§ Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Main Question [5th February].—[See page 52.]
And which Amendment was,
In line 62, after the word "us," to insert the words "but humbly to assure Her Majesty that the recent policy and conduct of the Executive in Ireland have not tended to the interests of tranquillity or contentment among the Irish people, and particularly to deplore the wanton prohibition of legal and constitutional public meetings throughout Ireland, whereby the exercise of the right of free speech has been practically extinguished in that Country; also, to condemn the Irish Executive for having permitted bodies of magistrates to make with impunity public declarations applauding the conduct of Lord Rossmore (an ex-magistrate superseded for disturbing order, and for provoking ill-will and strife between different classes of Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland), which public declarations have directly incited Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland to illegal acts, disorder, and violence."—(Mr. Parnell.)
§ Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted,"
§ Debate resumed.
MR. O'CONNOR POWER
Sir, since this debate was adjourned, the House has been occupied in discussing topics of great Imperial gravity and a most exciting character; and I feel that, on the present occasion, I shall labour under considerable difficulty in trying to recall the attention of hon. Gentlemen to a question of far greater magnitude even to England than the many exciting topics which have been debated during the last week or 10 days. I believe that, of all England's difficulties, her greatest difficulty is the condition of Ireland; and, no matter how deeply hon. Gentlemen may be interested in the dignity of the Empire abroad, and the condition of those populations over whom the Government of England has established either a temporary or a permanent control, I believe that not one of those questions can approach in gravity or importance the great question of 1466 the contentment and tranquillity of Ireland. I am slow to make that statement upon my own unsupported authority; and, as I have been anxious to obtain a text for my discourse to-day, I have found it in a speech delivered to his constituents, some two years ago, by a distinguished Member of Her Majesty's Government. The noble Marquess the Secretary of State for War (the Marquess of Hartington) made this declaration in respect of Ireland, and I particularly invite the attention of hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House to the weighty words which the noble Marquess employed upon that occasion. He said—The Irish people are only 5,000,000 out of a population of 35,000,000 who inhabit these Kingdoms; but the government of those 5,000,000 presents problems besides which all the other problems with which we have to contend in the government of the other 30,000,000 sink into insignificance. We have difficult questions to solve in relation to our foreign, our Colonial, and our Indian affairs; but I believe that difficulty and embarrassment of England would be immediately lessened if once we were relieved of that constant strain, which tests the faculties of our best men in dealing with the complicated difficulties of unhappy Ireland.In view of the statement made on the authority of a Cabinet Minister, and disregarding, as I hope the House will for a moment, the insignificance of the advocate, I do most seriously and respectfully invite the attention of the House to the issues which he at the bottom of the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell), which issues, I say with all respect to the distinguished Gentlemen who have already addressed us, have not yet been presented to the consideration of Parliament. Perhaps, before I go farther, I maybe excused if I stop for a moment to refer to some extraordinary rumours which, for the last week or 10 days, have been put into circulation respecting the character of the observations which I shall venture to address to the House to-day. It seems to have been supposed that I had some private relations with the defunct National Land League, which would enable me to give the House some information respecting that organization which the House has not already in its possession. On the part of some people, it was thought that I occupied some position in that organization which would enable me to communicate intelligence of that character to the House. Well, 1467 I have not had the advantage of being a member of the National Land League at any period of its existence. I know nothing whatever about its financial transactions, or any other transactions of that organization, with which I and every member of the public at large have not been made acquainted through the ordinary channels of information; but while it has not been my habit during the last 10 years that I have had the honour of occupying a seat in this House to introduce into the debates of the House outside controversies, I hope I am able to take care of my own political reputation, whether inside or outside the House of Commons; and, therefore, my only ambition at the present moment, and my only anxiety, is to address myself strictly to the Business before the House, and to endeavour, before I sit down, to say something which may be useful to those who wish to understand the real issues involved in the relations between Great Britain and Ireland. Now, I think the character of the Amendment, and the character of the speech with which it was supported by the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork, are very disappointing. I notice the admissions made by the hon. Gentleman in this Amendment, and I notice the omissions. He admits the following passage in the Address:—Humbly to assure Her Majesty that we learn with satisfaction that the condition of Ireland continues to exhibit those features of substantial improvement which Her Majesty described on the two occasions when Her Majesty last addressed us.The hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork does not traverse a single proposition contained in that paragraph. I merely call attention to the fact that he practically joins with Her Majesty's Government in informing the country and all interested that there has been a substantial improvement in the condition of Ireland. Now, one would have thought that, having made an admission of the kind, the bon. Member would have referred us to some facts or circumstances in the history of Ireland since we last met here which would justify the declaration, and that he would have addressed himself to the important subject involved in that declaration. Mark, I make no complaint of that declaration on the part of the Government, and I make no complaint 1468 of the admission on the part of the hon. Member for the City of Cork. What I wish to call attention to is the significant circumstance in the progress of this discussion, that the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman comes nearly at the end of the paragraph in the Address which I have just read. I have to express my great disappointment at the character of the Amendment itself. I think that the debate, so far, has simply consisted in the transference from the fields of Ulster to the floor of the House of Commons of the sectional fights and differences which prevailed between the National League and the Orange Society during the autumn and winter. I am bound to say that a foreigner, who had not an accurate knowledge of Irish affairs, and who was unable to measure the relative strength of forces arrayed on either side, would certainly receive the impression, from the discussion to which we have listened, that those differences were mere faction fights. I regret also that the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork did not propose his Amendment in its integrity. When the Amendment was first put upon the Paper, it contained a reference to the system of emigration, supported by the Government with the assent of the House of Commons, and, so far as the Tramways Act of last year is concerned, with the assent of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork himself. Now, in speeches made in Ireland, that policy of emigration has been condemned in the strongest possible language; and it has been described as fatal to the welfare and prosperity of Ireland, and that effective measures should be taken to stop it. If that be so, I ask. why does it not receive its rightful place in the discussion? Why let all the questions of the development of Ireland's resources be put in the background; and why is the House called upon to devote its time to the consideration of sectional differences which prevailed in Ireland, between the Party of the National League and the Party of the Orange Society? It would have been interesting to those who are concerned about the fate of the overcrowded population in the West of Ireland to know what progress the Government and the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork had made in carrying out the scheme of migration which they 1469 united in recommending to the House last Session, and whether anything has been done to remove those evils of which so many complaints have been made. I regret the mistake, as it seems to me, of the hon. Member, in putting the most vital question in the background, and in inviting the House to discuss questions which are of comparatively little importance. Then it also struck me that the speech was very much out of harmony with the Amendment. The Amendment is a charge against the Government. The speech of the hon. Member, like the speech of nearly everyone who supported his contention, was a speech not against the Government, but a speech against the existence of the Orange Society; and if the Amendment was made to correspond with the speeches in support of it, it should have been an Amendment to abolish the Orange Society, for it was only in a few words at the end of his speech that he referred to the part of the Government in reference to the Ulster meetings. He must have convinced himself that he had a very weak case against the Government, or he would have given it more prominence in the speech in which he dealt with it. I regret, then, that there has been no suggestion whatever of practical legislation of any kind in the speeches of the hon. Member and those who followed; for, as he was instrumental in procuring the rejection of the proposals of others last Session, a direct responsibility rests upon him to bring relief to the evicted tenants of Mayo and the other tenants in the West of Ireland who adopted a certain policy on his recommendation, and which in every case has not been so successful as, I am sure, he unquestionably wished it to be. So far it has been a contest, the country is told, between Loyalists and Nationalists. I venture to deny the right of either Party to the designation by which they distinguish themselves. It has been stated, in the course of this debate, more than once, that the Orange Society attempted to alter the succession to the Throne; and there was no denial of the statement, because it is notoriously a historical fact; and there was no attempt either to excuse or palliate it. What right, then, has an organization with such a history to come forward and pose before the country as the monopolist of Irish loyalty? I deny the right 1470 of those who are responsible on the National League side for the agitation in Ulster to designate themselves Nationalists, and for this simple reason—we were told, in the speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Sligo (Mr. Sexton), that the trouble in Ulster began with the Monaghan Election. He said that election meant a triumph of Nationality. Read the address of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Monaghan (Mr. Healy); read the address which captivated the tenant farmers of Monaghan, and upon which they voted. There is not a word about Irish Nationality in it from beginning to end. The great question of national self-government was suppressed in the appeal to the electors of Monaghan, and in place of Irish Nationality was substituted what I would call modern Socialism. On the strength of modern Socialism, and on the strength of that imaginary composition in the Land Act called the Healy Clause, the votes of the electors of Monaghan were given for the hon. Member who now represents that constituency. How are you to judge and test the character of a public movement if it is not to be tested in the legitimate and Constitutional manner which I have indicated? Judged by that test, I say the movement inaugurated by the National League in Ulster during the autumn and winter was not a movement in any sense of an Irish National character. Then, what is the complaint of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork? What is the attitude he occupies before the House and country at the present moment in respect of this Amendment? I think it presents a picture destined to become historical. He stands before the English House of Commons complaining that he has been subjected to intimidation by a portion of his countrymen. I entirely sympathize with the hon. Gentleman. He has every right to complain of those who have failed to bring him effective relief, and of having been subjected to intimidation. I ask by what right he bases his monopoly and that of his Party to freedom from intimidation? Is intimidation hateful, odious, disgraceful, or, as one writer said, damnable in Ulster; and is it philanthropic, good, delightful, pious in every other Province in Ireland? I have waited a long time for my vindication against the policy of intimidation, and it has come at last, 1471 and out of the mouths of those who were responsible for denouncing me two years ago, when I denounced intimidation as a brutal and immoral practice. Out of their mouths I read to-day that vindication of my conduct. I sympathize with the hon. Member in his condemnation of the intimidation to which he was subjected in Ulster. The Orange Society had no right to break up his meetings, no right to rob him of freedom of speech; but neither had he, nor any of his organs or agents, a right to perform the same illegality upon those who differed from him in other parts of the country. And now, Sir, here are the elegant extracts upon which I propose to rely, and which I trust some benevolent person will have printed in large and legible characters, and circulated throughout Ireland. The hon. Member said he complained that the conduct of the Orange Society bad been of a threatening and intimidatory character; their conduct had been disgraceful, because it was threatening and intimidatory. I agree with him. Then the hon. Gentleman the Member for Mallow (Mr. O'Brien) said—His hon. Friend (Mr. Healy) and himself had passed through the most dangerous districts of the North of Ireland alone and unarmed and without molestation, except twice or thrice, when the landlords had had a fortnight or so to organize and manufacture public opinion.Again he said—An Orangeman has no more right to rob me of freedom of speech than he has to steal my purse out of my pocket.Good. And I say a Land Leaguer has no more right to rob me of freedom of speech than he has to steal my purse out of my pocket; and I can tell the hon. Gentleman the Member for Mallow that if the intimidator is a thief in the one case, he is a thief in the other. Then they would have had something like a Royal progress, only the landlords had had a fortnight in which to organize and manufacture opinion. Well, really, I sometimes think that portions of those speeches are not intended to be taken seriously, because the House does not seem yet to have realized the amusing picture which is presented before us of the past masters of intimidation complaining that they have been subjected to opposition in Ireland. Well, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Westmeath (Mr. T. D. Sullivan), too, comes 1472 forward to vindicate my past conduct. He says—" Language of menace and intimidation is not calculated to further the ends of justice." Precisely, that is what I have been saying for the last three years, and I have incurred great unpopularity for saying it. But it never occurred to the hon. Member for Westmeath, or any of his friends, to say that the Member for Mayo was quite right, because intimidation was not calculated to further the ends of justice. I am glad to be still further fortified by the declaration of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Sligo, who, so far as my reading of his speeches goes, cannot be accused of inconsistency. In the peroration of his speech the other day he used the words—Let the Government preserve in Ireland an arena where every man may speak his mind without favour and without fear, and people would show, without incurring any just imputation of Irish sedition and disorder, that they could solve the problem by asserting their rights and regenerating their country.I endorse every word of that, and I hope the hon. Member will repeat it again and again, until he has stamped those words indelibly upon the mind of his country, and on the character of the Party which he so eminently adorns. Well, the difficulty is simply this—the attitude of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork, in this House and in the country, has always been a very interesting attitude. It never was more interesting than at the present moment. I believe that, if we had the privilege of reading the inner thoughts of the hon. Gentleman, we should find that he dissents very much from a great many things that are done in this House and done in Ireland presumably in his name. But the hon. Gentleman is surrounded by certain lieutenants in this House and in Ireland who have very keen memories. They know the means by which he obtained distinction, and they are anxious to utilize these means in the hope that they may themselves arrive at similar prominence. The best description I can find of them is to be found in a few words of the greatest of our political philosophers, Edmund Burke—A species of men to whom a state of order would be a sentence of obscurity are nourished into a dangerous magnitude by the heat of intestine disturbances, and it is no wonder that by a sort of sinister piety they cherish 1473 the disorders which are the parents of all their consequence.I will now endeavour to traverse the policy pursued by those hon. Gentlemen. I object to the policy they have pursued in Ireland ever since the introduction of the Land Act into this House. I believe it has been a mistaken policy in the interests of Ireland; and for that reason, and that reason alone, I find myself unable to approve or endorse it in any way. Why, what has been its effect on legislation? It has not increased in any way the efficiency of the Land Act. It has postponed legislation which would have conferred upon Ireland equal municipal privileges with the people of England and Scotland, and would have established in Ireland, nearly three years ago, Representative Councils throughout the length and breadth of the land. If it has had the effect of preventing the passing of measures of a beneficial character, what has it given to Ireland instead? It has given to Ireland an additional three years of the most stringent and hateful coercion rule that was ever imposed upon any people. What has been the effect of it on the relations between England and Ireland? I say its effect has not been of a beneficial or healthy character, but the contrary. There is a point at which an aggressive policy must necessarily fail to accomplish anything. There are concessions which may be obtained by the result of action in this House and by agitation outside its walls; but there is one cause alone which cannot be furthered by a policy of exasperation on either side of the Channel, and that is the cause of Irish Nationality, whether it represents the enlargement of popular power in local government, or the transference to some Irish National Assembly of some of the duties which now belong to this House. One point upon which English public opinion is most sensitive is the attitude of the Irish people towards England, or what would be their attitude in the event of a substantial concession being made to the claims of the Irish people for self-government. I say that there are large and influential classes in various parts of Great Britain to-day, who are willing to make large concessions to Ireland upon that and other subjects; but who declare that it is utterly impossible to hint the faintest 1474 possible suggestion of concession, because of the exasperated feeling which has been created by these agitations. I believe the great mass of the English people are willing to confer upon Ireland equal privileges with the people of England and Scotland; and, although I may not have the assent of the House, I will go further, and say I believe the great mass of the people of England are willing to concede to Ireland as much self-government as is compatible with the supreme authority of the Imperial Parliament and the integrity of the Empire. I am not merely indulging baseless hopes when I use language such as that which I have just ventured to address to the House. In the Queen's Speech at the opening of the Session of 1881, I find a paragraph stating that a measure will be submitted to the House for the establishment of county government in Ireland, founded upon representative principles. Why has not the declaration there given been fulfilled? I ask you if you can fasten the responsibility for its non-fulfilment on the Government? [Cries of "Yes!"] I will vote with you in the same Lobby, if you will bring forward a single act or word of the Government to show that they are responsible. I say that the responsibility lies on hon. Gentlemen nearer me at the present moment, and I take that as an illustration of what Ireland has lost by the policy which has been pursued by some of my countrymen since the passing of the Land Act of 1881. I have spoken of what I believe to be the disposition of the great masses of the people of this country; but I would be guilty of something like a very mean affectation, if I did not also express my conviction that the ruling classes of England, without distinction of Party, do not sympathize with the just and legitimate aspirations of Ireland, and I charge against the ruling classes of England, without distinction of Party, that they are mainly responsible for the condition of Ireland, because in times past they have sought to govern Ireland without sympathy, and to legislate for her without justice. I believe in political agitation and in Parliamentary pressure, and it must not be imagined, when I say we have lost by the policy of hon. Gentlemen from my country, that I condemn their whole policy. But agitation must stop at a certain point; and when you find a Government disposed 1475 to come forward and meet your legitimate demands, it is a wicked and unpatriotic policy to pursue them as if they were enemies of the human race in general, and of the Irish race in particular. Reference has been made in the course of the debate to the condition of the Irish magistracy; and I have to join in the complaint as to the partizan character of that important body in the administration of Ireland. Anyone who will take the trouble to read the Return laid on the Table of the House last year, on the Motion of the hon. Member for Sligo (Mr. Sexton), must be convinced that one of the great difficulties attending the administration of the law in Ireland is the want of sympathy between the magistracy and the people; and that want of sympathy arises from the fact that the great body of the Irish magistracy are men who, by political, religious, and social circumstances, are removed beyond all touch with the great body of the people. I trust that every effort will be made to popularize that institution, and that no considerations of politics or religion will be allowed to interfere with the appointment of gentlemen qualified for those positions. I should like to make an appeal to both Parties in this controversy. It seems to me that the Conservative Party in Ireland, if one were called upon to describe them in one brief sentence, might be called a Party of lost opportunities. There never was a body of men who possessed so large a portion of the power and resources of the country as the landlord class of the Conservative Party in Ireland; and if their guidance, their doctrines, and themselves are discarded by the great mass of the people, I think the candid among them will admit it is because they have in past times neglected many of the most important duties which, by their position in society, they were called upon legitimately to discharge. I will appeal also to them in respect of the religious question. To Englishmen, to Americans, and Frenchmen, there is nothing more ridiculous than the historical memories which are annually perpetuated by annual celebrations in the North of Ireland. I shall only make one very brief quotation from a pamphlet which has been circulated during this debate. In an Orange placard which was recently issued, I 1476 find these words—"Remember Bund-rouse "(I hope I pronounce the name correctly); and then, lower down, I find another call to historical associations—" Remember Belleek." One would, have thought this was a matter belonging to the domain of contemporary history; but when I look at the dates, will hon. Gentlemen believe that the dates go back nearly 200 years?—" Remember Bundrouse, 15th July, 1689;" Remember Belleek, 6th May, 1689." I ask, what good purpose can be served, in the latter end of the 19th century, by appeals to struggles and issues which arose in the throes of revolution? No good whatever. They can only inflame the passions of ignorant multitudes, and urge them on, through a mistaken sense of patriotism, to oppose others of their fellow-countrymen. I am tempted to repeat—I hope I may say for the edification of both Parties in this controversy—the words of an Irish National poet, which I studied carefully as a young man, and read to-day with as much pleasure as I did in the morning of my political career. He exclaims—What matter though at different times our fathers won the sod,What matter though at different shrines we kneel before one God;In fortune and in fame were hound by stronger links than steel,And neither can be safe nor sound but in the other's weal.But, again, there is the difficulty of Irish administration, and no one has reproduced the difficulty in clearer language than the right hon. Gentleman the present Chief Secretary for Ireland. Addressing his constituents some time ago, he described the Government of Ireland, and this is his description of the machine, in the working of which he plays so distinguished a part—The Government of Ireland is not one Department, but many Departments rolled into one. Lord Spencer and I have the Home Office work, the preservation of the peace and order of the country, which I need not tell you is no sinecure. We have the Local Government business, which, with the distress in the West of Ireland, involves questions far more burning and critical than those which occupy the Local Government in England. We have the education of the country in all its branches in our charge. We have to watch the operations of the Land Act and Arrears Act, and to perform the duties of the Ministry of Agriculture which in this country does not even exist.In short, the Irish Office is concerned in the affairs not of a Department, but of a 1477 country; and, consequently, there arises from time to time that confusion in the affairs of Ireland which is certainly not calculated to promote the ends of good government in that country. It would be a mistake also to attribute Irish discontent to the memory of past wrongs alone. No doubt the historical part of the question is very important, but Ireland is discontented because she smarts under existing inequality, under the burden of unequal laws, and does not possess the privileges which are possessed by the people of England. Anyone who takes the trouble to look at the history of the Irish Coercion Acts since the passing of the Act of Union will see how often, in the course of the attempts made by successive Governments, it has been found impossible to maintain English rule in Ireland except with the suspension of the Constitution. Now, I believe that a change is coming over the spirit of English politicians of both Parties. I believe there is a real disposition to consider the claims of Ireland, to make concessions to her legitimate demands. But I do not say, because that disposition is manifested, we ought to disband our political organizations, and discard the means which other free peoples employ in order to create effective public opinion. No one has been more ready to participate in legitimate agitation than I have, and no one would be more ready again. I have not spoken on this question to pander to national prejudice, either English or Irish. I have no desire to gratify popular feeling on either side of the Channel, or to win the applause of my countrymen by deluding them, or the smiles of the opponents of my country by flattering them in a policy of tyranny and coercion. Notwithstanding all that has been done to embitter this struggle, I am convinced that many of us will live to see the strife of centuries brought to a close, and that we shall see it succeeded by a real and permanent union—a union such as Grattan and O'Connell contemplated—who, yielding to none in the warmth of their Irish sympathies and in the intensity of their Irish Nationalism, were still loyal to the union and integrity of the Empire. I believe that we shall have a union of equal laws and equal liberties; a union based on National right and Imperial integrity; a state of prosperity and tranquillity in Ireland, in which 1478 Irish industry, that has built up flourishing cities across the waters of the Atlantic, shall be fully occupied in the development of Irish resources; in which Irish intellect, that has filled so large a part in Colonial Governments and Parliaments, shall be devoted to the councils of the Irish nation; and in which Irish courage, that has never wavered on any field, in the darkest hour of defeat, or the brightest moment of victory, shall be the proud defence of free institutions at home, and the unassailable bulwark of that social order without which no civilized community can be either happy or free.
§ MR. HEALY
Mr. Speaker, I think, Sir, after listening to the speech of the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. O'Connor Power), and connecting it with the rumours of the vast "revelations" he was about to make, the House will fall into the position of the gentleman who listened to the needy knife-grinder:—"Story, God bless you, he had none to tell." The hon. Gentleman, in the course of his speech, has been indulging in a species of amusement not uncommon with him in this House. I refer to the species of tight-rope dancing, wherein he balances himself, with graceful poise, between the Irish Nationalists on the one hand and the "Whig Party on the other. The speech with which the hon. Gentleman has favoured the House is not, however, of the character with which we in Ireland have been accustomed to be favoured by him; indeed, it is not of the character of the speeches to which this House has in former times been favoured by the hon. Gentleman. I shall just give one extract from one of his speeches, by way of explaining to the House the present position occupied by the hon. Member for Mayo, and it will come with all the more force from me, because the words consisted of a condemnation of another hon. Gentleman, the hon. Member for Tralee. I trust the hon. Member for Tralee (the O'Donoghue) will now greet the words of the hon. Gentleman in the quotation with the same enthusiasm with which he greeted the speech of the hon. Member for Mayo a moment ago. I find reported in Hansard, vol. 220, pp. 939–40, July 2nd, 1874—how time flies!—the following remarks of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Mayo. He was commenting upon the recreancy of the 1479 hon. Gentleman the Member for Tralee, and it was in this remarkable style in which the present deserter from the Irish Party commented on the conduct of a past deserter—Now, he would not pretend to be sufficiently sagacious in judging men, or sufficiently acquainted with the careers of Irish Members of Parliament, to be able to analyze the causes which had enabled the hon. Member for Tralee to take so great a political rebound, as the speech he had just delivered showed he had made, since he addressed that excited meeting in the Rotunda, at Dublin. But, adopting means which he thought would be satisfactory to every impartial man in that House, he would make a quotation from another speech of the hon. Member, in which he said—' It is melancholy to observe how a patriot falls; there are few to remind him of his duty, and the power of the seducer is great.'I trust the Prime Minister will pardon that expression. It is not my expression—'It is easy to perceive that there is an interior struggle going on, for he has the look of a man who is trying to make himself think that he is doing right, but cannot succeed, and who is ashamed of himself.'Then he says—' How the Whips first act upon him—whether they begin by sending him in the morning neatly-printed invitations to come down in the evenings to support the Government, which look confidential, or whether they begin by staring at him, I cannot tell. The first dangerous symptom is an evident anxiety on the part of the patriot to be alone in a corner with the Government Whips. If you happen to pass him, he tries to assume an air of easy indifference, and utters a monosyllable in a loud voice. An evening or two afterwards, when the Ministry can scarcely scrape together a majority, the patriot votes with them, and remarks to his friend the Whip that it was a close thing.'I trust that the majority of 49, on last night's Vote of Censure, will be considered as "a close thing" with the vote of the hon. Member for Mayo cast for the Government, and that he may be commended to the dispensers of the Mammon of iniquity, accordingly.' From bad he goes to worse, taking courage to himself from the idea that nobody knows him in the great wilderness of London. He gets up early and slips down a back way to the Treasury, and all is over.'I think that after that quotation I may, to a great extent, leave the hon. Gentleman to his own reflections. When he condemns the course of conduct adopted by Members of our Party, whom he states are influenced in their action in Ireland by a desire to oust the Leader of the 1480 Party from his position, I would remind the hon. Member for Mayo of what his own course in this House has been. Who was the first man in the whole Irish Party to denounce the late Mr. Isaac Butt as a traitor? The hon. Member for Mayo. Who was the first man to leave the existing Party of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell)? The hon. Member for Mayo. And, in fact, I may say that not merely his personal but his political life is strewn with the wreck of broken friendships. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Mayo has taunted me with the fact that in my address to the electors of Monaghan there was not a word about Irish Nationality. If so, I can say, at least, I did not hoodwink the electors with false pleas about Irish Nationality, and then run away from the Party with which I was associated, and endeavoured by skilful artifice in this House to curry the favour of English Ministers. I have not attacked in Ireland what I have not attacked here. I have not referred in Ireland to "the pirate flag of England," and then come to this House with some paltry reference about a "local assembly" and "as much self-government as is compatible with the safety of Parliament and the integrity of the British Empire." How do references to a "pirate flag" associate themselves in the minds of hon. Gentlemen with the speech we have just heard? He says that my Monaghan address contained the principles of "modern Socialism." What was my address? It was simply a declaration in favour of a Bill containing an amendment of the Land Act, which the hon. Gentleman himself, on the 14th of March, 1883, marched through the Lobby to support, and yet the hon. Member for Mayo taunts me with Socialism. He informs us that we carried on intimidation in Ireland, and then that we taunted others with intimidation in Ulster. If there was intimidation practised in Ireland at the time to which the hon. Member refers, it was intimidation of a very different character from that practised in Ulster by the landlords. The one resulted from a struggle by the unfortunate and miserable peasantry of Ireland to relieve themselves from rents which the Prime Minister's law pronounced to be rack-rents; and if practised it was excusable 1481 as compared with the intimidation of the mob of noble Lords belonging to Ulster, who, to keep up their rack-rents and their harsh leases, invaded peaceful Nationalist districts, and endeavoured to put down peaceful meetings by means of the bludgeon. Then we are told that we deprived the hon. Member for Mayo of the right of free speech. When did we deprive the hon. Member of free speech? Does he not know the way to the railway station at the Broadstone? Does he not know where the Midland Railway leads to? Does he not know it will take him to-day to the town of Ballina, or Claremorris, or Irishtown, as of yore? And when did we ever stand between him and his constituents in those places? He it was who, at the first Home Rule Conference in 1873—of which, I may observe, the hon. and gallant Member for Dublin County (Colonel King-Harman) was Secretary—he it was who came forward and proposed a motion calling on every Irish Member not to fail in any year from tendering an account of his stewardship; and I think the failure of the hon. Member for Mayo to adhere to that resolution is quite as great as that of the hon. and gallant Member for Dublin County. We are taunted by him, too, that we were the means of passing for Ireland a most stringent and hateful Coeroion Act. If that be true, how was it that the hon. Member for Mayo, upon so recent an occasion as last evening, supported, on a Vote of Confidence, the Government who were the authors of that stringent and hateful Coercion Act? The hon. Member again charges us with bringing forward matters of comparatively little importance in our Amendment to the Address, these being the right of free speech and the right of public meeting in Ireland, of which the hon. Member says we deprived him. I doubt, however, whether the hon. Member prizes those rights now as much as when he had more occasion to prize them; and, doubtless, it is now a matter of little importance to him that Irish Members should be allowed to address the people of Ireland. We deem the right, however, a matter of the first importance, and our charge here is not so much a charge against the Orangemen for their attempts to break up our meetings, for in attempting to do that they were only carrying out their 1482 traditional policy of violence, but it is a charge against the Government that they made no attempt to put down these Orangemen. We do not utter complaints against the Orangemen for having attempted to break up our meetings, so much as we complain that the Government would neither put the rioters down themselves nor allow us to do it. We make no complaint that the Orangemen should desire to make a trial of their strength, if only the Government will stand aside and let the match be tested. For my part, I can say that, whether in this House or out of it, I was never particularly afraid of the Leaders of the Orange Party or the Leaders of the Ministry. If the Government are afraid to put down these Orangemen, or if they are not in league with them, which I strongly suspect they are, let them stand aside, and at least we shall do something for the rights of free speech in our country. But I pass from the hon. Member for Mayo. I have, perhaps, given his speech more notice that it deserves. The main point of our charge against the Government is what I have stated, and we shall not be drawn away from that charge by intervention such as that of the hon. Member for Mayo, who, no doubt, thought he would serve a useful purpose for the Government by drawing himself as a red herring across the track of the debate to divert the hunt from the fox. We are not to be misled by a speech from the hon. Gentleman from the main count of our indictment against the Government. I was reading yesterday a speech delivered in "another place" by the most ingenious Law Adviser of the Government (Lord FitzGerald), and he admitted what we have been all along contending for, that the meetings of the Orangemen, armed assemblies that they were, were illegal at common law. Nine meetings, the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland says, were stopped on account of outrages; but on reference to the facts I find that altogether 19 were stopped.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
I specially guarded myself in regard to that point. Those nine meetings were stopped on account of the outrages that were committed. I dare say the hon. Member is quite right, but the 19 meetings that were stopped included the nine that were broken up.
§ MR. HEALY
What was the outrage there? It was an outrage upon an unfortunate man named Philip Maguire, who was murdered by a party of Orangemen returning home from a Salvation Army conventicle; and because this outrage was committed the hon. Member for Cavan (Mr. Biggar) is not allowed to address his constituents. Why, this will give rise to an extraordinary state of things, because the Orangemen now, if they wanted to put down a meeting, had only to kill a Nationalist beforehand. It was like the old proverb, "first catch your hare;" first kill your Nationalist, and then there will be no meeting. That is a maxim, I venture to say, that will be laid closely to heart by gentlemen like Lord Rossmore. Up to the present the Orange device was to try to murder the Nationalists at the meetings, but now they will have no need to assemble at all for that purpose. All they need do to stop a Nationalist meeting is to murder one beforehand. In the North it has been found practically impossible to get a conviction against an Orangeman. And is the venue to be changed in the case of those accused of killing Philip Maguire? Will the Government dare again to incur the sneers of Judges like Chief Justice Morris, who is very severe on jury-packing when an Orangeman is concerned, but who has not a single word to say on the subject when the persons indicted are Nationalists? Philip Maguire was murdered in Cavan by Orangemen, and are the Government going to entrust that case to a Grand Jury who are Orangemen; to a High Sheriff who is an Orangeman—a person like Mr. Archdale, who, the day after he received the Lord Lieutenant's warrant appointing him High Sheriff of the county of Fermanagh, was not ashamed to say—and this is the class of men who are appointed to judicial functions in Ireland—I am appointed," he said, "Sheriff. I hope I will not have a great deal to do; but if I ever get a Parnellite at the end of a rope I will give it a very heavy tug at the other end?Has the Prime Minister had his attention drawn by the Law Officers of the Crown in Ireland to language such as that? Of course not, because the policy 1484 of the Irish Government with regard to the Prime Minister is a policy of seclusion. He knows little of what takes place in Ireland. We are charged with putting Questions on the Notice Paper of the House in undue numbers. Why do we do it? We do it in order, if possible, to bring the enlightened mind of the Prime Minister to bear upon some of the illegalities that are being committed. So far as Ireland is concerned, I have no doubt the Prime Minister is kept as much in the dark about what is going on as if he were not a Member of the same Cabinet as Lord Spencer. What chance is there of justice in Ireland with men like Mr. Archdale commanding the administration of the law? The Clerk of the Peace and Crown of Cavan is another official closely connected with the administration of the law; and have the Government, I would ask, ever reprimanded this Clerk, who summoned a meeting of magistrates to protest against the dismissal of Lord Rossmore? Will, I say, the Crown change the venue from Cavan in the case of Philip Maguire, where the trial would be in the hands of Orangemen, and will they take care, if they bring the Orangemen to Dublin, that they will be spared the innuendoes of Justices like Chief Justice Morris? Chief Justice Morris tried two cases recently in Dublin, one a trial for conspiracy to murder, another a trial for arson, a graver crime in the eyes of the law, for conspiracy to murder was a misdemeanour, and could only be punished by 10 years' penal servitude, whereas arson was punishable with penal servitude for life. In one case, where a landlord's life was attempted in Westmeath, every single juror of the Judge's own religion, 49 in all, and including one magistrate, were told to stand aside, and his Lordship made no remark with regard to jury-packing or change of venue; but when it came to Mr. Mathews, publisher of the first Orange counter-placard—how proud the Member for Dublin must be of his fellow-associates—but when it came to Mr. Mathews, of The Tyrone Courier—these are the class of men from whom Orangemen derive their literary pabulum—when it came to him, the Chief Justice, pious Catholic that he is, when he saw three Protestants challenged, said—"Why, what does this mean? It is a great shame to be chal- 1485 lenging these respectable men. There is Mr. Macintosh, the music-seller; what does he know about it?" Where were the Chief Justice's comments when 49 of his co-religionists were ordered aside in the Westmeath men's trial? "It is a very hard thing," says his Lordship, in the Orangeman's case—"it is a very hard thing that the jurors of Dublin should be troubled with those cases." Yes; it is a very hard tiling; but where are these judicial comments when Western peasants are indicted? Are Orange felons who attempt to roast unfortunate evicted families in their homes to enjoy the protection of the judicial ermine, and are miserable peasants of the West, who are driven to commit a crime under the grossest provocation, to have the full measure of punishment that the law permits? Mr. Mathews is recommended to mercy, a recommendation tenderly carried out by the Judge; and mark you the grounds of the recommendation—" The high political excitement prevailing in Ireland at the time." Was there no high political excitement prevailing in Ireland, were there no extenuating circumstances, when Kerry peasants got 15 years' penal servitude because they entered houses and carried away arms, though in drink at the time? The Chief Justice, taking into account "the high political excitement," gave Mr. Mathews 12 months, and his associates six months, but generously dated the sentences from the date of committal, so that Mathews, for his murderous attempt on an unfortunate aged family, was allowed off with nine months, and his companions with three months. The Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland appeared to deny with energy the suggestion that the policy of seclusion with regard to Irish matters was being pursued towards the Prime Minister. Have the Law Officers of the Crown in Ireland informed the Prime Minister of the nature of the offence, the character of the Judge's Charge in Mathews' and in the previous cases? Nothing of the kind. If he had, I have no doubt his mind would revolt with horror from the idea that the signatory of murder placards and the burner of a house over an evicted family should enjoy the favour of Lord Spencer, and protection at the justice seat from Castle placemen. What justice can we expect in Ireland when sentences are arranged beforehand in 1486 the Privy Council? Every indictment is considered in the Privy Council by the Lawsons, the Morrises, the O'Briens, and the Mays. When we come to trial our condemnation is cut and dry; but when men like Mathews are to be tried the Judge is informed that, being in the opinion of Earl Spencer a law-abiding man, he may, for an attempt to roast alive a helpless family, made in a moment of political excitement, be let off with nine months' imprisonment. Even then we have no guarantee that that sentence will be carried out. We remember what happened in the case of Hastings. We remember that Hastings, who pleaded guilty to what Chief Justice May described as "a vile and atrocious libel," was given six months' imprisonment. He was released by the Government after serving two months, because of the extremely delicate state of his health. I make no complaint of that clemency being extended to Hastings, but what I would like to know is, why there is no fair play in dealing out clemency? Why did not the Government release Mr. Harrington? Why was the doctor reprimanded in the case of Mr. M'Philpin because he ventured to suggest for him a little milder treatment? However, I am not surprised at the release of Hastings, as that person favoured me with an epistle, in which he explains the whole case by stating that Lord Spencer is a subscriber to his newspaper. I have no authority for this statement beyond the words of the released convict himself. The Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland is, doubtless, also a subscriber, and his organ is, doubtless, also carefully read by Her Majesty's Attorney General. Then we want to know why the Government do not carry out the law against Orangemen in the same way as they did against Nationalists? Either it was illegal for the Government to allow Lord Rossmore and his party to break up the Nationalist meetings or it was not. Lord FitzGerald gives the Lords his judicial opinion that it was illegal, and, if so, why did not the Government proclaim the meeting of Lord Rossmore? What answer had they to make to the charge of having allowed a violent meeting to assemble, headed by armed bands of men, led on in their endeavour to overawe what was undoubtedly a peaceful meeting, by magis- 1487 trates holding the Commission of the Peace? In the years 1881 and 1882, the Government would not allow at sheriffs' sales in Ireland people even to assemble at auctions for fear of a breach of the peace, although at auctions they knew that it was important that people should assemble in order that there might be bidding; but the Government feared that the sheriffs and police might be intimidated or overawed. Was not the same law open to them in the case of the Nationalist assemblies, when Lord Rossmore wanted to parade his forces in peaceful districts in Ulster? Why had they allowed armed mobs to assemble in such close proximity to peaceful assemblies? If the Nationalists ventured upon that policy, how would we be dealt with? I know very well what would happen. Cannon and grape shot would sweep them away. The Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland smiles; but suppose in any of the three Provinces in Ireland where the Orange minority exists we had endeavoured to intimidate them as they try to intimidate us, would he permit or tolerate it? How would he face the taunts of the Members for the University of Dublin? Supposing we had assembled on the occasion when the right hon. Member for North Devon (Sir Stafford Northcote) had visited Ulster, or if we had assembled near the meeting which was addressed by the late First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. W. H. Smith)? What would have happened had we organized a counter-demonstration against them? We would have been dispersed with cannon. We should not have been invited into the Castle to discuss the matter like Mr. George Scott, but would have been invited into a police station and put into a police cell after having tasted the policeman's truncheon. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that those who called the Kill-o'-the-Grange meeting did so illegally. The men who issued these placards had admitted the illegality of the placards. The right hon. Gentleman himself admitted that he told them that they were illegal.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
I am sorry for interrupting so interesting a speech; but the hon. Gentleman says that I said the placards were withdrawn because they were undoubtedly illegal. I have never stated that, for the very best reason that the Government took no 1488 part in the matter. The promoters of the meeting said that they were informed by the Irish Government that the meeting would be illegal, but I am very much inclined to think that it was only a pretext for drawing out of a very violent and dangerous position.
§ MR. HEALY
Oh! "a very violent and dangerous position." I accept the correction, and thank the right hon. Gentleman for having found me these words. Might I ask why he did not attempt to prosecute these gentlemen? Look at what it leads to. Supposing that we acted upon the same principle as these men—we who are in Dublin over 200,000 strong—I give them 30,000, 40,000, or 100,000 even. Supposing we imitated them by issuing murderous placards—such as "Nationalists, assemble in your thousands, and march upon the traitors' meeting," and so on; suppose we retaliated; and supposing in all the other Provinces in the country where the Nationalists are in a majority we carried on a system of reprisals—where would the right hon. Gentleman's Government be? It would be an unpleasant state of things, and, in the interests of law and order, he would rue it; and yet he allows the temptations to reprisals to be held out to men whom he would himself declare to be "hot-blooded and enthusiastic;" yet he allows impassioned men to be excited and goaded on by this attempt at intimidation, and makes no effort to put it down. What was more audacious than the placard issued in the County Dublin, in the heart of the patriotic Metropolis of Ireland, calling upon the "Constitutional Party" to go to the meeting at Kill-o'-the Grange to defeat the rebels—Loyalist horsemen and bicyclists will prove most useful in carrying despatches along the column of march to the main body. It will be in the discretion of the leaders coining from Wicklow to select the route to Kill-o'-the-Grange. The watchword of the day will be conveyed to the divisions from the main body,Where was Sir Garnet Wolseley? Had the gentleman who drew up this placard the advantage of a consultation with the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces before he issued it, as well as he had a consultation with the Law Advisers before he withdrew it? The Chief Secretary denied that they had any hand in the withdrawal. I will read the countermand to the right hon. Gentleman— 1489The Government have intimated that they consider the proposed Loyalist meeting to-morrow, if it were held, would he illegal.That is a question of evidence like the letter of Mr. Hastings. The right hon. Gentleman denied that the Government gave instructions; and I quote from the incriminatory documents. This is the piece de conviction, and let the Government deny it if they can.
§ MR. HEALY
It seems, then, that the Government in Ireland is worked in "water-tight compartments;" that whilst the Prime Minister knows nothing that the Chief Secretary knows, the Chief Secretary knows nothing that the Solicitor General knows, and the Solicitor General knows nothing that the Lord Lieutenant knows. So that, consequently, there must be some mysterious person connected with the Government who told the authors of the placard that it was illegal. Perhaps it was John Naish. The Government knew that the question would be raised in the House of Commons as to this Proclamation.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
I admitted that I believed that it was a mere pretext for these Orangemen to withdraw from a dangerous position.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
That, again, is a question which, if hon. Gentlemen will permit me to say, I have already explained to the House. Two gentlemen came to me on the morning of the Saturday, and urged me most strongly to stop the Nationalist meeting. I argued with them upon the question, and said that "no power upon earth would induce me to do it."
§ COLONEL KING-HARMAN
Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that Orangemen were connected with that body?
§ MR. HEALY
I would like to ask the Law Advisers to the Government, if the placard had been issued by the Nationalists, would they not have held it to come under the 7th and 8th sections of the Crimes Act? Is this intimidation, or is it not? Let us have the answer of the Government upon the point. They may say that the Orangemen are not like the Nationalists, and that their placards 1490 do not lead to disturbance. Then I would ask them why was Giffen killed at Dromore? who kicked Maguire to death at Cootehill, after returning from a Salvation Army meeting? who put Kelly's eye out at Derry? and who put a bullet into unfortunate Dunnion's lungs? Who burned the but in the County Tyrone? Clearly the men who issued these placards. Mathews, the first signatory to one of the placards, is a felon, and he is now enjoying his bread and water with such "medical comforts" as the doctor of Richmond Gaol administers to him. We clearly see the sequence of events. The men who issued these placards aimed at intimidation first, and reached to murder afterwards. Yet, no prosecution is attempted against them by the Government. The Tory newspapers teem with incitement to outrage, not merely in prose, but in verse. I should like the right hon. Gentleman to read some of the ballad poetry of Ireland. There is nothing appearing in the Nationalist journals of this description. I quote from The Armagh Standard of January 18 the following, which is signed "A. G. Luke, Dromaghee, Markethill," and en titled "The Invasion"—And now those men, whoso League you spurn, With blood-stained hands are seen "——I hope the hon. and gallant Member for Dublin County (Colonel King-Harman) enjoys the beauty and grace of this description, and will excuse me if I cannot give it the proper elocutionary emphasis as he could'—Like frowning demons clustering round The standard of the green.Friends, never trust the knaves who how Before a Popish shrine.There is nothing about "loyal Roman Catholics" in this, you see. But the Government seem to read nothing in Ireland except The Kerry Sentinel and United Ireland. They disdain to read a paper conducted on the principles of The Armagh Standard, or the organ of the excellent Mr. Mathews, The Tyrone Courier. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland desires to get the vernacular Irish flavour; and, therefore, his studies are altogether conducted amongst the popular organs of the country. I may, however, ask him, are such incitements as these, in which Nationalists are described as "rebels," "frowning demons," and "traitors bowing before a Popish 1491 shrine," permissible in a country where he says men are so easily incited and led away? If speeches which could be "delivered without harm in England would be dangerous in Ireland," what answer had the Government to make against those charges of partiality, and where was the prosecution against The Armagh Standard, The Tyrone Courier, The Fermanagh Times, and all the papers of the class in which these inflammatory harangues have appeared? I venture to say that not a single warning has been addressed to any of them. Is it because the High Sheriffs of these counties would not empannel a Grand Jury that would find true bills against them? But even if they did find a true bill, there would be some "sworn brother" on the petty jury. And if by a miracle a verdict was returned, there would be some lenient and tender-hearted Judge who would pass over the most shocking crime, and would let the delinquents off with three or nine months' imprisonment. The Executive is the fountain at which justice is poisoned. There is no wholesomeness and no soundness in it. From the beginning of the judicial hierarchy down to the hangman of Earl Spencer, Binns, from first to last, every man of them liked the task of practising tyranny upon the Irish people; and, acting under the pressure of the minority, they treated them in the way that Mr. Jenkinson treated the Natives of India, and the way Mr. Clifford Lloyd the people of Burmah. So far as I am concerned myself, I may say that I am not particularly alarmed by anything that Lord Boss-more and his friends could do. What we ask is, give us a fair field and no favour. Let the police and military stand aside. Let them not do as they did at Dolly's Brae, or the battle of the Diamond. If the Government do not carry out the law, let them leave us to protect ourselves in the North, and I venture to say that the men who rallied round me at the poll at Monaghan will rally round me when I address them from the platform. I think Earl Spencer and the Lord Chancellor would do well to return to the 44th section of that ancient document known as "Magna Charta," which we are told is every Englishman's charter, and which contained a remarkable promise of King John of the following words:—"We will not make any constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs, ex- 1492 cept of such as know the law, and mean duly to observe it." In the County Fermanagh the majority of the people are Catholics, and yet they are represented in this House by two Tories, owing to the state of the franchise, and there is not a single Catholic on the Bench of magistrates. The Government were afraid to produce Captain M'Ternan's Report as to the recent action of the Enniskillen Bench, presided over by the Rev. John Frith, a meritorious member of the Church of Ireland, who, after its disestablishment, commuted, compounded, and cut. He then gave up the preaching of the Gospel of Peace, and the tending of spiritual sheep, in order to go in for the grosser operation of cattle-jobbing. A man was charged before the Bench of Enniskillen magistrates for smashing the windows of Mr. Jeremiah Jordan—who, by the way, is not a Catholic, but of the Methodist persuasion—and a policeman swore positively that he saw him take the stone out of his pocket, and heard the crash. But what were the rev. gentleman's words in the face of the evidence? "Would you swear that the stone you saw him fire was the same stone as smashed the window?" The policeman, who, it being a dark night, could not follow the trajectory of the stone, of course said "No," and the Rev. John Frith marked the case "No rule." This is much the same as if I should take out a pistol and fire at the hon. and learned Solicitor General, and hit him about the waistcoat, and then that the bystanders? evidence should be rejected because they could not actually see the course of the bullet. How will hon. Gentlemen delude themselves by talking rubbish about loyal Ulster—loyal Ulster, represented in this House by the hon. Member for Cavan (Mr. Biggar) and myself? The loyal portion of Ulster are loyal to their rents, to their unbroken leases, and their estates. Men who threatened to kick the Queen's Crown into the Boyne would have kicked the Queen's Crown into the Boyne if they could have prevented the passing of the Land Act; for the Church Act only attacked the parsons; it did not touch the sacred persons of the landlords. Will anyone tell me that gentlemen like the hon. and gallant Member for County Dublin (Colonel King Harman), or the Conservative 1493 Member for Tyrone (Mr. Macartney), or the noble Lords who harangue throughout Ulster, would have hesitated at that, if they could have prevented their rents being reduced? They may have the certificates of character as to their loyalty, but I am entitled to look at the persons who sign these certificates, and I find these noble Lords and Gentlemen themselves are their own guarantors, and, judging them by the light of history, I disbelieve in their loyalty. I believe their loyalty is to oppression, rack-rents, and unbroken leases. Look at Lord Rossmore. He succeeded to the title in 1874, on the death of his brother. His great appeals are to Protestants. His bigotry is of the most alarming character, and yet, strange to say, both the mother and grandmother of this Lord are Roman Catholics. It appears to me that Lord Rossmore ought to have taken the beam of the grandmother out of his own eye before he taunted the Nationalists of Ireland about the Pope. What is the history of his family? He is the first Tory of his name—made, no doubt, by the Land Act. His father was elevated to the Peerage by the Liberal Government. As the supporter of the Melbourne Administration, his father was returned for the county of Monaghan by the votes of helpless tenants, and well they paid for their devotion to the Rossmore family. Many have been the evicted homes and quenched hearths in County Monaghan for the sake of the father of Lord Rossmore. The unfortunate men who voted for him are, many of them, I fear, now subscribing to the doctrines of O'Donovan Rossa. Had it not been for the father of this Lord hundreds of peaceful homesteads would now be standing in the county of Monaghan. They were wrecked and demolished because the tenantry of the county were true to their principles, and supported his father to get a Peerage. How does his son reward the Catholic people and their descendants in the county of Monaghan? On the Rossmore estate there was built by the efforts of the priests and the subscriptions of their flocks a series of schools. This House thinks that the Catholic people of Ireland and the Catholic priests are in favour of ignorance; that we thrive on ignorance, and endeavour to prevent the people from getting the light of "the Word." But these schools were built 1494 by the Catholics on the Rossmore estate' and what became of them? Has Lord Rossmore no defender in this House to tell us? They were pulled down. The schoolhouses built from the subscriptions of the people, to enlighten their minds, were pulled down, and the stones carted away to build up Orange Lodges. The Catholic schools on the Rossmore estate, so far as Lord Rossmore could do it, had been abolished, and those halls of light and leading—Orange Lodges-erected in their stead. I do not think the bitterest Orangeman in this House—not even the Gentleman who deprived his tenants of turbary because they voted for a Poor Law Guardian whom he did not approve of—will venture to stand up and approve of the conduct of Lord Rossmore in tearing down Catholic schools out of mere bigotry, and in their stead building up Orange Lodges. My words on the point might be questioned, but, fortunately for me, the whole subject was laid before the House in the shape of a Parliamentary Paper upon the Motion of the late Tory Member for the County of Monaghan (Sir John Leslie); and this is the character of this Lord—this bigoted, malevolent young puppy.
I rise to Order. Is it competent for a Member of this House to apply to the Member of another House the words just used?
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is responsible for his own words. I am here to give my opinion on points of Order. If I were called upon to give my opinion on a matter of taste it would be a different thing.
§ MR. HEALY
I am glad the matter of taste will also be decided upon by the people of Ireland, and of Monaghan in particular. I venture to think there is not a single word I have stated which is not borne out. I shall proceed with the career of the noble Lord. The noble Lord is a very poor Lord, and, fortunately for him, he made a very excellent match, and the marriage festival was conducted under very extraordinary circumstances. How did the noble Lord endeavour to bring home to the minds of his tenantry the felicity which might await them owing to the improvement which had occurred in his fortunes? He served about 40 of them with writs from the Superior Courts amidst the ringing of the joy-bells, and so ashamed was he of his own transaction that he 1495 did not venture to get them out of a single Court, but in batches—out of the Queen's Bench, the Common Pleas, and the Exchequer. In 1882 the Town Commissioners of Monaghan, which is the heart of Lord Rossmore's estate, for the first time ventured to elect a majority of their own friends to the Town Council. They were not all Catholics, because they allowed some Protestants, whom they could have put out, to be returned. I merely mention this to show it was from no bigoted motives they acted. They returned a majority of Nationalists, and ousted out of the Chairmanship the uncle of Lord Ross-more—Mr. Jesse Lloyd, J. P., and Clerk of the Peace. How did Lord Rossmore take this step? The municipal authorities had formerly created a market-house, and spent hundreds of pounds in improving it. Buildings of a substantial character were put up by these men in the belief that Lord Rossmore would not attempt to interfere in what was, after all, a municipal institution for the benefit of the town. Unfortunately, they neglected to obtain a lease. No sooner had the election of 1882 to the Town Commission of Monaghan gone against Lord Rossmore than he brings an action of ejectment against the Town Council, and turns them out without a farthing of compensation from buildings on which they had expended hundreds of pounds. As to the deprivation of the noble Lord of his office of Justice of the Peace, except that it was a snub to the young gentleman, he might just as well have been allowed to retain the nominal honour, because he scarcely ever sat on the Bench, and has not a particle of brains. The Government have punished, however, Lord Rossmore, and they have neglected to punish men whose conduct has been as bad; and these men, who are allowed to make attacks of this kind without a word of condemnation by the Government, or without any punishment, are allowed to rail at the rest of the people of the country as rebellious and disloyal. In the county of Monaghan, which I have the honour to represent—and proud I am of the honour—it is the practice every Sunday in every Catholic church for prayers to be offered up for the Queen and those who are in high stations, which, I presume—at least, until he was deprived of his office of Justice of the 1496 Peace—would include Lord Rossmore, and yet it is these congregations which are taunted with disloyalty. I repel the charge. And this frequently, too, comes from men who are only too anxious, while stirring up bigotry on the one hand, to make a profit of the Catholic religion on the other. A Gentleman high in Office in the last Administration—the late First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. W. H. Smith)—comes over to Ireland to stir up Party passion and religious bigotry. He might not be conscious of this himself, but there are men at his back who use him as their fugleman; and this Gentleman, who comes to Ireland himself, makes a profit out of the publication of Roman Catholic Prayer Books. What would the Orangemen of the North of Ireland think if they know that the leading light who addressed their heroes made a profit out of darkening the souls of unfortunate Papists? Curiously enough, the right hon. Gentleman is himself ashamed of the transaction, because he publishes the books through his manager, Mr. Charles Eason, manager to Messrs. Smith and Sons, and he leaves out the number in Middle Abbey Street whence the great firm enlightens the country. His manager who publishes the Catholic Prayer Books is himself a Freemason. The Freemason manager of the Orange proprietor who issues "A Manual of Catholic devotion for private use, and for the service of the Catholic Church," with the Nihil Obstat of Bishop Donnelly, the new Coadjutor Bishop of Dublin, and the imprimatur of the late Cardinal Cullen—these are the gentlemen who profit on the one hand by the circulation of their literature amongst the benighted Roman Catholics, and on the other have the face to come over to Dublin to stir up passions in order that these Catholics may be slaughtered. Whether I contemplate the hypocrisy of the "Loyal" Party on the one hand, or the encouragement given to them by their Grand Master, Lord Spencer, on the other, I am at the same time amazed and disgusted. The people of Ireland, we are told by the hon. Member for Mayo, have long memories. I venture to say that in every cabin in Ireland there is an understanding of the partial administration of the law, and of the favour meted out to these men, while those who advocate the people's cause 1497 in this House are persecuted and imprisoned. The poorest Kerry peasant, the poorest Mayo cottier, understands the merits of this question. He needs no enlightenment from the Treasury Bench. He can see through the fallacies of the Chief Secretary. He knows what all this means. It is the old fight which his fathers fought, and he will stand by the men who are standing by him. We may have made mistakes. They will be looked upon by such men with indulgence. They believe in our honesty, in our integrity, and in our zeal. We shall be able to prove that they will not be mistaken. Our fathers met our enemies in a different way; but they have handed down to us their struggle, and I venture to say that whether the Orange faction have the support of the Government or not, they will find face to face with them in Ireland men in no fear of them in their hearts, who will carry on to the bitter end the glorious battle for Irish Nationality.
§ VISCOUNT LYMINGTON
said, that but for the speech which had just been delivered he should not have addressed the House. He had heard with regret the speech which fell from the hon. Member for the County of Monaghan. He had always regretted that those who were opposed to the so-called Nationalist Party should describe it as being composed of rebels. It seemed to him that in the future the stability and the security of the Irish Government must largely depend upon its being established on popular sympathy; and therefore it was, to say the least of it, singularly imprudent that persons of position and responsibility should abuse the Nationalists for merely Party purposes. He very much regretted that the hon. Member for Monaghan did not reply to the speech of the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. O'Connor Power), and that instead of answering the charges which the hon. Member for Mayo very gravely brought against the popular Party in Ireland—that, so far as the introduction of legislation into the House was concerned, they had, instead of furthering, hindered it, the hon. Member for Monaghan went back into the original spirit in which the debate had been carried on. So far as the action of hon. Members on that side of the House was taken in connection with the Amendment of the hon. Member for the City of 1498 Cork (Mr. Parnell), he ventured to say that it would be impossible for them to support it. The charge of interfering with liberty of speech and the right of public meeting was a charge which had to be met by the Liberal Party, who placed the instruments of legislation in the hands of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, who could not fairly be blamed for having used them; and those in the House who were responsible would be showing a spirit of cowardice in endeavouring to shelter themselves from the responsibility of their own action. His right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary had, he thought, in his speech completely defended the Irish Executive from the charge of partiality. The hon. Member for Cavan (Mr. Biggar) seemed to object to that; but he thought the hon. Gentleman had convinced those on that side of the House that the Government had endeavoured to exercise as fairly, and with as little harshness as was possible within the range of human capacity, the power placed in their hands. In supporting the Amendment of the hon. Member for the City of Cork, hon. Members would be not merely admitting the partiality of certain Ministers of the Crown, but admitting also that the House had no right to place these instruments of authority in their hands; and he, for one, must totally dissent from the spirit of the Amendment of the hon. Member. He would not enter into the differences between the Orange Party and the National Party, but it seemed to him nothing had been proved in the course of the debate in a more complete manner than the incapacity of the Orange Party to act as maintainers of social order in Ireland. The Orange Party might be fairly said to represent the relic of what at one time was the dominant Party in Ireland. He should like to put to the House what was at the present moment the extent of the authority and the power of that Party. It had been put forward by certain Members opposite that it was to the Orange Party that they must look for the preservation of social order. It seemed to him that before they accepted that statement they must consider the practical extent of the power of that Party. He did not wish to enter into controversial matter, but if 1499 he might say so, the Liberal legislation of the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, supported by the Liberal Party! in the House, had had the effect of completely shattering the power and authority of the Protestant minority in Ireland. They had destroyed the Established Church, which represented in every parish in Ireland a permanent symbol of State connection with England, and they had, by the Land Acts of 1870 and 1881, entirely destroyed the political influence and the social authority of the landlords, who were the basis of the Protestant power in Ireland. What he wanted to point out was, that while they had destroyed the old system of government in Ireland, which was particularly ingenious in enabling a certain minority in Ireland to return a majority of Irish Representatives to the House, there was nothing at the present moment to take its place. They were governing Ireland at the present moment through an Irish Executive which was not supported by popular opinion in Ireland. Distrusted and disliked by the Party in Ireland who posed as the champions of order, and entirely supported by a certain majority in the House, the Irish Executive stood face to face with the Irish people, with nothing behind their back but a majority in the House of Commons. Was this a state of things which was likely to conduce to good government in Ireland, or which was likely to be permanent? There were few who had really studied the Irish Question but had made up their minds to this—that those who had supported the policy which had destroyed the old system were logically certain to go further in the future. He put it to those who had studied the question that, so far as Ireland was concerned, the only foundation upon which social order could be permanently maintained was upon the foundation of a responsible Irish Government. It was one of the unfortunate incidents in the Irish Question that the Representatives of Ireland, whether they were Nationalists or represented the Conservative Party, did not and were not obliged to carry with their utterances any sense of responsibility. The great point to remember was the means by which a greater sense of responsibility could be placed on the Leaders of the Irish Party. The hon. Member for Monaghan made a speech 1500 which, if it was remarkable for anything beyond its forensic skill, was remarkable for the intensity and bitterness of its opposition to Her Majesty's Government. Hon. Members opposite were inimical to Her Majesty's Government; they had Irish popular opinion at their back; but what was the real force they had to contend with? What was the real barrier against any scheme of further reform in Ireland? It was the irresponsibility with which hon. Members attacked Her Majesty's Government. It might be that they were mistaken, but the Liberal Party in England—who, after all, were the Party to whom the National Party had—he did not say always, but for the present, certainly, to look to for support—and the Liberal Party in Ireland were disgusted and repelled by the virulence of the abuse with which Representatives of their opinions were assailed in the House of Commons. The hon. Member for the City of Cork made use of a pregnant phrase, in which he said that no English Government had existed in Ireland which had been strong enough to stand by the rights of the people. He could not accept that statement without qualification. Popular rights, as expressed in the frothy rhetoric of agitation, it "required very little moral courage to advocate. The attitude in Ireland of an agitation was neither fraught with danger or self-denial. To him, the moral courage that was needed for the government of Ireland seemed to exist in a totally different attitude—in that of a just and firm discrimination. It was essential that the Government should not stand by the rights of any particular class, but the general rights of good order. If the contention of the hon. Member had any weight, he ventured to say that his own Party was indirectly largely to blame. He did not wish to excuse the Orange Party. The Orange Party and the Nationalist Party seemed to him to have both sinned in somewhat the same direction. The Orange Party had endeavoured to prejudice public opinion in Ireland by, perhaps, one of the worst forms of bigotry—that was to say, by recalling the memory of unfortunate incidents in the history of Irish oppression in the past; while the Nationalist Party had not been content with criticizing in the House the system of landowning in Ireland, but had absolutely extended 1501 their attacks and opposition to the very principles and foundations of property and social order. In dealing with the Irish question there were people in the House who were in no way concerned in the personal differences between the Orange and Nationalist Parties. There was another Party in the House who were willing to accept the logical consequences of recent legislation, and to take the earliest opportunity of giving to the Irish people, through an enlarged system of local self-government, a greater sense of responsibility for good government. The real barrier did not consist in any lack of political courage on that side of the House. It was true, to a certain extent, that the ruling classes of Ireland had been responsible for much of the Irish discontent. That did not need any argument to prove. The class who, for the last 200 years, had special legislative opportunities, at the very first occasion of a popular rising had fallen, and had entirely lost touch and control of the people. That was sufficient to speak for itself. But the ruling classes in Ireland no longer existed. Their authority, their influence, and, in a great many cases, their wealth, had been destroyed, and there was now but one class to whom they could look to build up social order, and that was the people of the country. Many real difficulties arose from the fact that the Irish Representatives endeavoured to further their objects, not by winning English support, but by alienating popular support in England from Irish sentiment, by giving utterance to sentiments which were opposed to the very foundations of political connection between England and Ireland. The Irish people had shown that they had no practical idea of self-government; but if they would exercise a conciliatory policy, he did not believe that any Administration in this country would be strong enough, in face of the enormous and overwhelming mass of Irish public opinion, to resist a demand for a measure representing the legitimate aspirations of the Irish nation.
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
said, this was the third day of the discussion on the Amendment of the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell), and a variety of topics not altogether relevant to the Amendment had been introduced. He would not follow his noble 1502 Friend who had just sat down, for he was bound to say that he did not exactly understand him; but he agreed with him in one thing, and that was that they wanted a responsible Irish people. If they could get a people in Ireland which were homogeneous, then nine-tenths of the Irish difficulties would be solved. He was anxious to say a few words with reference to the death of the young man Giffen, of whom they had heard a great deal during the debate, as they also had about the conduct of Lord Rossmore; and Irish Members had asked the Government many questions to try and show that Giffen was killed because he was riotous. It would be most unbecoming to allow the occurrence to pass without notice because Giffen was of humble position. He would therefore state the circumstances under which the young man met his death, and he hoped the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland would even now be disposed to institute an inquiry. Two meetings were announced to be held at Dromore, one by the Nationalist Party and the other by the Loyalists, and the place of each meeting was fixed by the Government. The Nationalist procession passed along the old road, and the Orange and Loyalist procession, which was upwards of a mile in length, passed along what was known as the new road. The two roads for some distance were separated by fields, but they met at the end towards which the processions were advancing. The authorities, fearing a collision, thought that one body should be stopped, and the Cavalry were ordered to stop the Loyalist procession. They did so, and charged down the road, and the result was that Giffen and a number of other people ran into the field farthest away from the Nationalist procession. A constable thereupon came out of the ranks, and, having approached the young man, ran him through the back. At the inquest the solicitor who represented Giffen established what he believed to be a case of murder, and the Crown Solicitor declined to call witnesses. That being so, there was a strong primâ facie case for further investigation. He quite agreed that Lord Spencer's position in Ireland was a most difficult one, and he did not concur in many of the aspersions passed upon him; but he must point out to the Chief Secretary that if the Government in this particular instance declined to 1503 inquire further into Giffen's case, they must not be surprised if people in the North of Ireland put a bad interpretation upon their conduct. With regard to the present debate, they had heard the views of the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. O'Connor Power) as to what ought to be done in Ireland. The hon. Member, in eloquent language, drew a somewhat roseate and sanguine view of what the condition of Ireland might be, and his speech was approved by hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side of the House; but they should bear in mind that, eloquent as the hon. Member was, he practically represented no political power or Party in Ireland. The hon. Member for Monaghan (Mr. Healy) had also spoken with his characteristic ability and characteristic abuse, especially against Lord Rossmore, to whose private life the hon. Member referred. Courage was not shown by verbal brutality in the House. The hon. Member had even mentioned the supply of cheap Roman Catholic Prayer Books by the firm of which his right hon. Friend the Member for Westminster was a member. It was to be presumed that the Prayer Books would not be bought if they were not wanted. The Rossmore family were better known to the Catholics of Monaghan than the hon. Member who attacked them; Lord Rossmore was held in general esteem by them, and that was a sufficient refutation of the many charges which the hon. Member had made. One of the cases which the hon. Member quoted in support of the charge that the administration of justice was corrupt furnished a conclusive refutation of the charge, for although Mathews was tried by a jury, a majority of whom were Protestants, he was convicted, and the sentence, which was complained of as lenient, was passed by a Roman Catholic Judge, who was one of the most upright and able Judges on the Irish Bench. As to the alleged use of language inciting to outrage, the bulk of the examples in the pamphlet Loyalty plus Murder, were taken from The Freeman's Journal, which was not partial to either Protestants or loyalty; and you might as well quote The National Reformer against the Christian religion. The hon. Member complained of the use of strong language: that meant the language used by Gentlemen whose politics were not the same as his own. 1504 But what language had the hon. Member himself used? When the Leader of the Opposition (Sir Stafford Northcote) was within three miles of Belfast, certain Orangemen, contrary to the advice of their leaders, organized a torchlight procession; stones were thrown, and some windows of a convent were broken; a nun was lying on her deathbed at the time; and the hon. Member spoke of the right hon. Gentleman as the "nun-slaying Northcote." It would have been impossible to have used language more calculated to excite the feelings of susceptible Roman Catholics, and to place in danger the life of the man against whom it was directed, and yet the hon. Member came down to the House and took part in the 4 o'clock comedy in asking the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Government did not intend to notice the strong language of Orangemen. He was afraid that the Radical Members were easily imposed on. A great many of them had seats dependent on Irish votes in their boroughs, and consequently they were inclined to conciliate the Irish voters to which they owed their position in that House. It was not good taste on the part of the hon. Member for Monaghan to taunt Irish landlords as being only loyal for the sake of their pockets, considering the money which the leaders of the Land League agitation had obtained from the people of Ireland. The most curious part of the hon. Member's speech was that in which he repudiated the charge of disloyalty. The people of Monaghan, he said, were loyal. He (Lord George Hamilton) was glad to hear it, and it was because they were loyal that he and others in the North of Ireland did not want disloyal agitators to come amongst them for the purpose of making them disloyal. He asked the attention of the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and the Law Officers of the Crown to the language used on the 19th of August in that House by the hon. Member who now stated that the movement in the North of Ireland was a Constitutional agitation to attain legal ends by Constitutional means. The hon. Member said—The sooner the fact was recognized the better for the country, that there was a state of war between England and Ireland. It was not 1505 a physical war, because the Irish people were not able to give it physical effect, but it would be if the Irish people were able to carry it out.Therefore, all they wanted was the means to give physical effect to a war against England, and they went to the North of Ireland to obtain means to carry on that war. If the North of Ireland was now seething it was mainly owing to the conduct and speeches of the hon. Member for Monaghan, and when the Leader of the Opposition went to Belfast his meetings were only the means of concentrating and bringing together the feelings that had been already excited. From his (Lord George Hamilton's) point of view, the hon. Member for Monaghan had his uses in that House. In old days, when expeditions were sent to savage lands, they were always accompanied by clergymen, who went to explain to the Natives the meaning of the word "Hell" and the blessings of civilization. The hon. Member, by his language, by his demeanour, and by his sentiments, brought home to the English people what Home Rule really meant. It meant the extinction of the civil and religious liberty of all who differed from him, and that was the reason why the hon. Member, shortly after his declaration of war against the English people, to his surprise found at Dungannon that he was taken at his word; and no position could be more absurd than that of the hon. Member, who went down to carry out his threat in the name of the Irish people, and was compelled to seek the protection of the power he declared war against. A great deal of abuse had been heaped upon Orangemen. He was not an Orangeman, and therefore he could the more freely say that Orangemen were not open to the charge of cowardice. It was well known that if an employer of labour wanted a man to discharge a duty that would place him in personal peril an Orangeman was the very best man he could find. He doubted if ever at a time of social disturbance more courage and patience had been shown by any men than was displayed by the Emergency men, who, in small troops of two or three, watched patiently at their posts throughout the country when their lives were in danger, and water was poisoned, but not by landlords, as Irish Members suggested, exposed to every 1506 conceivable form of outrage, and, when their duty was discharged, returned without bluster to their homes. They were told that when Lord Palmerston asked the Orangemen why they combined, and they replied for self-defence, he again asked, "For self-defence against whom? "If Lord Palmerston lived now he would not have to ask that question. The Orange Institution was essentially a defensive organization, and the proof of it was that whenever the most aggressive Roman Catholic Party had not pursued a policy of aggression against Protestantism then the Orange Lodges became small. During the reign of the Roman Catholic Archbishop, Dr. Murray, the Orange Lodges decreased; but when, after his death, a more vigorous policy was pursued, they became stronger, and since the National Land League was established they were stronger than ever before. And what was most satisfactory was that the old sectarian feeling was rapidly leaving the Orangemen. They were combined, not for religious, but for political purposes, and their movement was not anti-Papal, but anti-Parnellite. They were told that all armed men came to those meetings with murder in their hearts, but greater nonsense could not be uttered. The fact was that the Orangemen carried arms, not for the purpose of attacking their rivals and opponents, but in order to defend themselves when going home at night in small parties. At the Dromore meeting not one-third of the persons present were Orangemen, and one of the principal speakers on that occasion was Mr. Montgomery, who four years ago was one of the Liberal leaders in the county, and who explained the reason of his appearance on the platform by saying that the differences between Liberals and Conservatives vanished like smoke in the presence of the appalling danger that was before them. He (Lord George Hamilton) addressed the meeting on that occasion, and as well as the other speakers deprecated violence in every shape, as not only wrong in itself, but as bringing discredit on the cause for which it was used. When he was told that Orange Lodges went to break up political meetings he would remind the House that when the 'prentice boys of Derry were making preparation to celebrate the shutting of the gates, which they had 1507 celebrated for over 200 years, United Ireland suggested that a party should be organized to oppose them, and that every man should bring a revolver with him, and that the man who had no revolver should provide himself with another weapon. If the language used in the North of Ireland was strong, it was not nearly as strong as the language which Her Majesty's Ministers applied to this very movement before the Kilmainham Treaty. The real question resolved itself into this—Was this a legal agitation endeavouring to carry out Constitutional ends? Was not the National League the same as the Land League? He had been waiting to hear some hon. Gentlemen point out the difference between them. Their organization was the same, their object was the same, and their personnel was the same. Well, perhaps the personnel was not quite the same, because Egan, Sheridan, and others had been compelled to leave the country. That was the only difference. What did the Prime Minister say about the Land League? The right hon. Gentleman said it was a conflict for the very first elementary principles on which civil society was constituted, and he added that rapine was the only object. At the meeting at Rosslea several resolutions were passed. The first pledged the meeting: to support National independence. What was meant by that might be gathered from the language of the speakers who alluded to the English Government as being a foreign Government. The second resolution proposed the abolition of landlordism. Well, that was rapine. The fourth resolution was even more remarkable, and it illustrated the absurdity of the comedy which went on every day in that House at Question time. That resolution was in favour of the "Boycotting" of all English goods. Yet if a humble Protestant clergyman suggested to his congregation that there were good traders among them it was suggested that he should be prosecuted under the Crimes Act. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department described the Land League movement as being nothing less than Fenianism under another name. The right hon. Gentleman said its object was to accomplish nefarious ends by nefarious means, and he added that after the speech of Mr. John Dillon the country would 1508 know that the doctrine of the Land League was the doctrine of assassination. Hon. Members would not find in any of the placards issued in the North of Ireland language half as strong as that used by the right hon. Gentleman. No man was more dexterous than the hon. Member for the City of Cork in treading on the exact line which divided legality from illegality. But the hon. Gentleman must be judged by the language which he used in the West and the South of Ireland, and by the American Press, from which he derived his support. The right hon. Gentleman the senior Member for Birmingham (Mr. John Bright) only last year, at a great political gathering at Birmingham, spoke of hon. Members below the Gangway as an Irish rebel Party, whose Oath of Allegiance was broken by associating with the enemies of the country. Every Member of Her Majesty's Government, including the President of the Board of Trade, was, by his public utterances, bound to use force in order to prevent the separation of Ireland from England. Only the other day the right hon. Gentleman characterized this so-called legal and Constitutional agitation as an agitation carried on by men who poisoned the water and were using explosive bullets. The right hon. Gentleman was speaking of hon. Members who sit below the Gangway. It was felt in the North of Ireland that these monster meetings were held and organized by the Nationalist Party for the purpose of intimidating public opinion in the locality, and for the expression of certain theories which the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland had condemned. The right hon. Gentleman a short time ago declared that—The Government would not permit Ireland to be organized, drilled, and excited for the purpose of giving effect to objects which would be Ireland's ruin if attained, and which could only be attained by civil war.Were the Government prepared to stand by those words? Because their own view on the North of Ireland was that this agitation could only end in civil war. That was a terrible calamity, and it would not be confined to Ireland; for if the news that their co-religionists were being assailed and overpowered were carried into Lancashire, nothing would prevent the operatives there—or, indeed, in other parts of England and 1509 Scotland—from crossing over to take part with their fellow-Loyalists. No human power could stop the operatives of Lancashire, and the civil commotion would be enormous. The President of the Board of Trade defended the Government on the ground that they were endeavouring to administer the affairs of Ireland on an even keel. But when one Party was agitating for objects which the Government in the last resort declared they would step in and prevent by force, how could they steer an even course? The mistakes the Government made in the Transvaal or in Egypt were as nothing compared with the mistake they were making in Ireland, by themselves protecting an agitation of which they declared that should it attain such dimensions as to come within the range of practical politics they were prepared to stop it by force. If the Government would only fairly raise the issue—if they would only place it before the country in such a way that its magnitude could be understood, he would be perfectly satisfied. The Government took credit in the Queen's Speech for the improved condition of Ireland, saying that juries would now convict. Why did they convict? Because the Government had excluded from the jury-box men who refused to convict even on the clearest evidence, and because they put in their places loyal men who had done their duty at the risk of their lives and of their property; and after having done all this the Government proposed to swamp their privileges by extending the franchise to men whom they considered unfit to be trusted in the jury-box. The attention of the Prime Minister was called to an article in an Irish newspaper rejoicing over the recent disasters in the Soudan. The Prime Minister could not understand the question, but the reason he could not understand it was because he did not appreciate the fact that the great bulk of the Irish population hated England and English government. Every weapon they put into the hands of that Party would be used against England and against English interests. That was why he and his Friends opposed the extension of the franchise, which would largely increase the power of disorder and of disloyalty. Take what was said on the subject in the Queen's Speech. It was there stated that experience had shown that 1510 an extension of the franchise tended to still more closely attach the people to the Constitution. That was simple nonsense. There were only two Parties in Ireland. The Conservatives opposed the extension of the franchise on the very ground that hon. Members below the Gangway supported it, and the former urged that it would largely increase the power of the Party of disloyalty and disorder.
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
The hon. Member would be astute enough not to support any measure unless it tended to the interest of himself and his Party. Her Majesty's Government would go on enveloping itself in its present humbugging pretensions until it was too late, and then they would have to face the alternative of the reconquest of Ireland or a civil war. The seeds of the unhappy conquest 200 years ago had not yet been eradicated from Irish soil, and this of itself should teach us a lesson. It might be said—What were the proposals of the Conservative Party in this matter? He would tell hon. Members. There were only three ties by which you could bind together a community to another—the ties of race, of religion, and of self, or perhaps he would rather say, of common interest. The ties of race and religion were, unhappily, wanting over a great part of Ireland, and it was beyond their power to create them; but that of common interest remained. The Conservative Party maintained that the Union between the two countries, England and Ireland, was indissoluble. One party was rich and the other was poor, and it was only fair that the poorer party should derive some benefit from the credit and the wealth of her richer partner. Therefore our Irish policy should be to develop the material resources of that country, to elevate the material condition of the people, to make Irishmen in the West and the South see that their interest lay in maintaining, and not in repealing the Union, and if we could only carry out this policy it would soon tend to undermine that disloyalty and hatred which now existed. That being done, we could, without risk, give the people an extension of political power; but to give that power now, in the present state of political feeling, was simply accelerating the crisis. He knew 1511 that those who held these views were outnumbered in the House of Commons; but he believed that the dangers they saw ahead, and the method of meeting those dangers would, if they were known, receive enormous support in the country. If the Government persisted in their present policy the Conservative Party would appeal out-of-doors, for he believed there were hundreds of thousands of their political opponents who were not prepared, even for the sake of keeping the Prime Minister in Office, to sell the integrity of our national existence, or to betray the rights and liberties of our loyal kinsmen in Ireland.
§ MR. JUSTIN M'CARTHY
said, the noble Lord who had just sat down denied that he was an Orangeman. Well, if he was not an Orangeman, he had very closely followed the tactics of the Orange organization. They knew what those tactics were in regard to popular meetings. When the Orange Associations wanted a popular meeting proclaimed they wrote to the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, saying—"If you allow this meeting to go on we must hold a counter-demonstration, and there must be bloodshed. We, therefore, call upon you to prevent the Nationalists from assembling; "and in this way they induced the right hon. Gentleman to proclaim a perfectly lawful and peaceful meeting. The noble Lord told the right hon. Gentleman that if the Government allowed the National League to go on there must be civil war. That was exactly the policy of the Orange Association repeated over again, but on a grander scale. Who would make the civil war? The Orange Association. The noble Lord and his friends were the men who would make civil war, and his language told the Government in plain words—" If you do not suppress the National League we will cause disturbance, and we will throw on you the responsibility of the bloodshed." He did not believe the noble Lord would be successful. He did not believe the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and his Government would be so very unwise and unreasonable as to take any such course. The National League was founded on Constitutional principles, and was entitled to the fullest protection of whatever law and justice there might still be left in Ireland. The noble Lord, in the course of his speech, said a great 1512 deal about the use of strong and bitter language in debates in the House and in speeches made out-of-doors. He, no more than the noble Lord, was an admirer of epithets of an offensive kind. He boasted no gifts of speech in that way; but the noble Lord, in the course of his speech, went on to quote passages from the most offensive and insulting language used by Members of his own Party, and by Members of the Government, against the Irish Members who sat on that side of the House. He quoted again and again phrases used by the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, containing the bitterest and the most venomous attacks upon his hon. Friend the Member for the City of Cork. They all knew that such phrases had been used again and again. He remembered hearing the Home Secretary, who was a great master of a certain ponderous form of abuse, declare again and again in the course of a speech that a leading Member of the Irish Party, who was not then present, was a poltroon, and was guilty of poltroonery. The noble Lord himself that evening used language, perhaps unconsciously, which seemed to him (Mr. M'Carthy) to be of the most offensive kind as regards the Irish Party. He told the House that hon. Members of that Party were personally benefited by funds drawn from America by the National League. What more offensive imputation could be directed against independent Members of the House of Commons? He need not repudiate such an assertion. The noble Lord could hardly believe it himself; but, whether he believed it or not, it was equally offensive, equally reckless, and equally provocative of the bitterness of language which was occasionally resorted to by Members of the Irish Party. The noble Lord referred to a remarkable speech made in the course of the debate by the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. O'Connor Power). The noble Lord, he thought, somewhat mistook the present and historical position of the hon. Member for Mayo. He spoke of the hon. Member as representing law and order, and all the good and tranquil influences at work in Ireland, and he said the only reason why the hon. Member's influence did not prevail over his country was that all those who supported him—all the moderate people—had been extir- 1513 pated and crushed by the intimidation of the National League. The noble Lord, he thought, mistook the position of the hon. Member amongst the Irish people. The truth was that the people who supported the hon. Member for Mayo, who returned him to that House years ago, had not changed their opinions in the slightest degree. They had not been extirpated; they had not been crushed; they had not been terrorized by the National Party. They were with the National Party now, as they were when they accepted the hon. Member for Mayo as the spokesman of their feelings. It was the hon. Member for Mayo who had changed, and had left his people behind him. The hon. Member, for some reason or other, had chosen to pass into the opposite camp; and therefore the people who stood by him in his earlier, and he might say his better days, no longer gave him their allegiance and support. He was reminded to-day by the speech of the hon. Member of a very expressive and emphatic phrase once used by the Prime Minister. During a memorable debate which took place in that House some years ago the right hon. Gentleman spoke of an hon. Member as the "repentant rebel from below the Gangway." He believed the position of the hon. Member for. Mayo was clearly defined by those words. He rose to-day as the repentant rebel from below the Gangway. He (Mr. Justin M'Carthy) did not feel much encouraged in the hopes of what might be done for Ireland and the Irish cause by the Liberal Party, when he heard the somewhat tumultuous demonstrations of admiration and enthusiasm which were made from the Liberal Benches while the hon. Member for Mayo was denouncing his former Colleagues. He did not undervalue the great oratorical powers of the hon. Member for Mayo. He had always listened to him with interest and admiration, but it would not require oratorical power anything like his to receive the cheers of that House on any special occasion. If any of his hon. Friends were desirous of receiving the enthusiastic plaudits of the House, and of being ranked for the hour among its great orators, the poorest speaker of them all—if there were any poor speakers amongst them—had only to rise from these Benches and denounce his Col- 1514 leagues and companions, and he would be hailed by Liberals and Tories alike as though he were another Demosthenes. Passing from this subject, and from the hon. Member for Mayo, of whom, on account of old associations, he was unwilling to say anything harsh, he would endeavour to bring back the House to the subject immediately before it. The noble Lord the Member for Middlesex (Lord George Hamilton) told them that the Orange organization was essentially and exclusively a defensive Association. Well, he had only to ask, in the words of Lord Palmerston, what was it against which the Orange Association was defensive? If the Orange Party, as it was professed, had all the strength and influence, all the property, and all the power, and all the law on their side, what, then, had they to defend themselves against? One of his hon. Friends reminded him that they had all the revolvers, too. What, then, were they afraid of? Was it physical strength that frightened them? He believed they were really afraid of the growth of National opinion, and he could assure hon. Members from the North of Ireland that by no process of resistance that they could devise would they prevent the spread of National opinion in Ulster. Did they propose to build a Chinese wall round their Province? Did they mean to enclose it with a girdle of brass? Even so, he could assure them that National opinion would grow in Ulster. That was the only kind of "civil war" the Nationalists proposed. They proposed to send their opinions into the North, to argue them with all the force they could, and to show to the people of that Province that those opinions were for their interest as well as for the interest of the people of the South. What they wanted to effect was not the subjugation, but the conversion of Ulster. In this debate they had got rid of many chimeras. One was the idea that there was special loyalty in Ulster. A poem written, he thought, by Sir Samuel Ferguson, concerning a certain "loyal Orangeman from Portadown, on the Bann," expressed the character of the loyalty of Ulster. The person mentioned in the poem makes no condition for his loyalty except that he should have—The crown on the causeway in every street, And every Papist beneath his feet.1515 The noble Lord (Lord George Hamilton) had asked what real difference was there between the Land League and the National League. There was a considerable difference; but could he not retort upon the noble Lord by asking what was the real difference between the traitorous Orange Association which was dissolved and the Orange Association that now existed? There was no real difference. If the Orangemen could not carry out their ends, they would not remain loyal. Those who governed this country might feel assured that Orange loyalty would never be given, except on the payment of whatever extravagant price the Orangemen chose to exact. They had also in this debate dispelled another phantom. Ulster was spoken of by those Orange Gentlemen as "their Province." In what sense was that Province of Ulster theirs?
§ MR. JUSTIN M'CARTHY
replied, that they claimed Ireland as being "their Ireland" because they had the vast majority of the people on their side. Let those who thought otherwise test it by any process, even by elections on the present restricted suffrage, and it would be found that the vast majority of the people in the three Provinces were with them. Of late the same sentiments were growing in the North. The theory of the loyalty of the people of Ulster ended, he held, historically with this debate. Ulster was the Ulster of the Irish people, and he looked forward to a time when the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Macartney) and his friends would be reduced to as insignificant an umber in that Province as they were in the other three Provinces. Turning to the consideration of the manner in which the Government had maintained their "even keel," he said he found no fault with the Orangemen holding their meetings, or with the Leader of the Opposition going to Ulster and making any number of speeches. The right hon. Gentleman had a perfect right to do so, and had there been found occasion for it the Government would have been bound to protect the right hon. Gentleman and his friends in holding their meetings. But they were also bound to have protected any number of Nationalist meetings in Ulster, using 1516 any force at their command for the purpose. That might have caused expense, but the House, which was so liberal, even to extravagance, in maintaining a police force to repress Irish National movements, would not have grudged the right hon. Gentleman some additional funds to enable him to say that in Ireland the first principle of civilization and liberty was still maintained, and that men there had freedom of speech. The defence of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was ingenious. He said—"We have only prohibited 19 meetings"—only 19 meetings—only 19! How many meetings did the right hon. Gentleman think there must be prevented in order to make out the contention that there had been interference with the right of free speech? He invited the right hon. Gentleman to remember that even in the most despotic countries all meetings were not suppressed. In the worst days of the Second Empire some meetings were allowed. It was not the number of meetings you allowed which constituted the freedom of a country. It was the number you suppressed which constituted the absence of freedom. The right hon. Gentleman need only have held a firm front, and those heroic Orangemen would have fallen back, and allowed the Nationalist meetings to go on undisturbed and uninterrupted. They were not by any means the Bobadils and swash-bucklers and Copper Captains which they gave themselves out to be. The duty of a civilized Government was not merely to maintain order, but to maintain liberty with order. If the Government did not make it clear that men could meet unmolested and speak in favour of what they believed to be right, their order was a mere sham, and in reality they maintained neither order nor liberty, for they could not maintain order unless they guaranteed liberty. Believing that the Government had failed distinctly in meting out justice between the two Parties, he said they deserved all the censure conveyed in the Amendment, and he should give it his cordial support.
§ MR. SAMUEL SMITH
said, he had great pleasure in listening to the speech of the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. O'Connor Power), which he was sure would do something to improve the rela- 1517 tions between the two countries. The hon. Member had laid down a platform on which both the English and the Irish might stand together without injustice to their respective countries. He appreciated the concession which the hon. Member made to a large section of British opinion when he said there was in this country a large class of people most earnestly desirous to restore, as far as possible, a happy and harmonious state of things between the two countries. He might say that the hon. Gentleman did nothing more than justice to the feeling which prevailed amongst many on that side of the House, and amongst a still larger number in the country. He believed that if Gentlemen belonging to the Irish Party would fully recognize this, and would do us the credit to believe that there was amongst us a most hearty and earnest desire to remove what we admit to be long-standing wrongs, they would be much nearer to accomplishing their project. One of the greatest difficulties that stood in the way of a hearty reconciliation between England and Ireland was the extremely hostile spirit of the Irish Party, for which, he admitted, there were great justifications in the past. This irreconcilable spirit made the people of Great Britain afraid to grant concessions, though they felt they ought to be granted, because they did not know what use such concessions would be put to. He was quite satisfied that if Irish Members would address themselves more earnestly to meet them half way upon some platform of equal justice, such as that set before them so ably that afternoon, the response would be much greater than they had any idea of. For his own part—and he was sure he expressed the feeling of many in this country—they had no greater desire than to wipe out the memory of the miserable past; and he was persuaded that they would get much support on this side of the water if friends on the other side would try, in some degree, to meet them half way. It was charged against the hon. Member for Mayo that his speech to-day was inconsistent with his speeches of former years; and no doubt it was. Most young men began life with very ardent feelings; but as men grew older their minds became susceptible of additional light, and open to wider and larger views of things. He could so far put himself in the position of a 1518 young Irishman beginning life as an ardent patriot, and nourished in the memory of past wrongs, as to understand the perfervid views he might take of his country's wrongs and his country's rights. That in no way weakened his respect; but as a man grew in knowledge he took a wider and truer view of the forces which governed human affairs, and it was natural that that larger view should in some degree lessen those hard, narrow, hostile views with which he began his career. He could only hope that other Gentlemen would follow the example of the hon. Member for Mayo, and that, beginning life as Irish patriots, nourished on the memory of past wrongs, they would come to know us better, and to recognize that we wished as much as they did to atone for the past and remove those cruel and shameful laws under which the Sister Island groaned for many years. He felt there was no hope whatever for the settlement of this eternal Irish Question except on the broad lines sketched out by the hon. Member for Mayo. They must be willing on both sides to meet each other half way, and give up the habit of discussing Irish matters from the opposite pole of opinion, and of piling up the agony each on his own side. They must seek to deal fairly on both sides, to strip themselves of early prejudices and prepossessions, and open their minds to the admission of the fullest light. He would hold up for imitation on both sides of that House—and especially to the factions of Ireland which had been confronting each other in the last few months with such hostility—the case of America at the conclusion of their Civil War. No war excited deeper animosity than that war. He knew that from personal experience. It was said both before and during the war that it would be impossible to bridge over the chasm. But it had been bridged over. The American people had made up their minds that, as they must live together, they would live in peace. There had now been for several years past the most sincere desire for amicable relations, and, to a large extent, it had been attained. Our civil wars were at a far earlier period than theirs; and why did we not imitate our American kinsmen? Surely it was possible for us to do so. He would ask hon. Gentlemen opposite to set before themselves as the true solution of the Irish Ques- 1519 tion a modus vivendi that would be just and fair and practicable for both countries. There was no use in visionary schemes. They must limit their view to a practical plan—to fair government, on the lines laid down by the hon. Member for Mayo. They never could reach a solution of the case on the lines laid down by some hon. Members who spoke in the name of the Irish Party. "The thing was absolutely impossible. It was very much better to get half a loaf than no broad. If we would set before us as our ideal the removal of all class injustice, he thought the thing could be done. No doubt there would be difficulties. We had the remains of a bitter past. We could not repair all the wrongs at once. He quite admitted there were still injustices and wrongs in Ireland to be set right, and that we had not yet attained to anything approaching absolute civil and religious liberty in Ireland; but the language used by certain hon. Gentlemen was the chief obstacle to that happy solution—the chief barrier to that on which they had set their hearts. He would venture to say that if the language generally used openly by Protestants and Catholics resembled the language used by the hon. Member for Mayo, we should very soon approach that Millennium. We should be very near the attainment of that justice and equality which many hon. Members called out for so loudly. He believed that the reforms which hon. Gentlemen opposite had set their heart on would come as naturally as the ripe pear falls to the ground. They would be conceded because they were right. If hon. Gentlemen wished to have reforms, and they were urgently wanted, there should be union of heart and feeling. That might be called sentimental; but the difficulty could only be got over by hon. Members taking care not to hurt the feelings of each other. Let them remember how much nobler a thing it was to spread peace on the earth than to keep up hatred. He believed that if this policy were adopted both by Orangemen and Catholics, both by Englishmen and Scotchmen—the policy of avoiding incentives to strife and hatred, the policy of aiming to unite the Three Kingdoms in entire affection—he believed a golden time of prosperity would open, especially for Ireland; and that the prosperity which Ireland wanted would be 1520 marvellously increased by the removal of the hostility which embittered our relations. They would see what a change would pass over the face of Ireland if there were perfectly harmonious relations with England. They would see such a flow of capital into that country that all industry would revive. We should then have in reality what now we had only in name—mutual self-interest. The two countries would be so welded together that what was for the interest of the one would be equally for the interest of the other. His object in rising was to contribute his small mite in the direction of establishing good relations between the two sides of the House. He again expressed his own feeling of satisfaction with the policy which was so ably set before them by the hon. Member for Mayo, and concluded by saying that they should seek to let bygones be bygones, and determine to carry out the policy of fair play and just equality for all the inhabitants of the Three Kingdoms.
said, he trusted that the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken would succeed in the appeal he had addressed to the Irish Members below the Gangway. He would not succeed, however, in inducing the other Irish Members to cease their resistance to the action of the Nationalists in their attack upon the Irish Constitution. The hon. Gentleman had advised them to take example by America, the two portions of which had become friends since the Civil War, but they were not so friendly as they were supposed to be; there was still a remnant of hostility between them. But the hon. Gentleman forgot one thing: the American Civil War arose out of one particular point. There was no hatred between the Americans of North and South—no hostility which had existed for several centuries, no dislike of one people to another—of one religion to another, of one class to another. It was one portion of America against another portion on the subject of slavery. It could not be forgotten that in Ireland a great number of materials went to make up the estrangement which existed between England and Ireland. In the first place, there was the aboriginal dislike to the conquerors. Hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway objected to Ireland having been conquered by the same people who conquered England. They called them 1521 Saxons, but they were really Normans. Some hon. Members who were Irish were not allowed to call themselves so. Hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway were not agreed on what principle to say "our Ulster," or even "our country." After one speech he (Mr. Macartney) had made, the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) remarked—" Oh, he's not an Irishman, he's a West Briton." What was the hon. Member himself? He was half Irish, half Yankee. His father was an Irishman of English descent, as his named proved, of the same Cheshire family as the poet Parnell, and his mother was an American of Scotch descent. He (Mr. Macartney) maintained that he was more an Irishman by descent than even the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) himself. His name had been changed from M'Carthy to Macartney, and even hon. Members below the Gangway would acknowledge that M'Carthy was Irish. This aboriginal feeling was the first cause of difference. Religion was the next, caused by the Reformation, and this difference had now been operating for 300 years. The confiscation of lands and the transfer of estates from those who held them to those who were supporting the Government at the time was the third cause. But this was what had been done all over Europe, and even in America the land had been transferred from the natives to the Anglo-Saxons. To these three points was super-added the position of landlord and tenant. He need not remind the House of the extremely complimentary way in which landlords were spoken of by hon. Members below the Gangway. Another cause of difference was the opposition between the ignorant lower class and the educated upper class. Yet, with all these causes of difference existing in Ireland, they were expected to agree better than any other country. The hon. Member for Longford (Mr. M'Carthy), who was such a master of historical description, in his works spoke about the origin of the Orangeman. He (Mr. Macartney) hoped that his next inquiry would be devoted to the origin and progress of the Orange Party. He did not belong to the Orange Party; but his principles were the same as theirs—belief in the Bible, loyalty to the Constitution and Sovereign, and fidelity to the Union between Great Britain and 1522 Ireland. There was a story that at one time the Orange Party had a scheme to place the then Duke of Northumberland upon the Throne of England; but he believed it was only a cock-and-bull story. At all events, if the Orange Institution years ago was open to the taunt of being a secret society, it was not so any longer. There was no secret; its doctrines and principles were perfectly well known—namely, freedom of religion and loyalty. At the commencement of this debate an hon. Gentleman said the Loyalists of Ireland were those who supported the Crown in early years, and that Orangemen were only loyal because it suited their purpose to be so. Were the Loyalists loyal to James I.? Hardly, for he found it necessary to turn them out of Ulster. The next King was Charles I., and a notable illustration of tolerance was the massacre of 1641. The Irish were kept with their noses to the grindstone by Strafford. The predecessors of the hon. Gentleman prevented Cromwell from governing Ireland. Coming to the Reign of James II. he found these words in Macaulay's History of England—At that time the purpose of these men was to break the Irish yoke and exterminate the Saxon Colony, to sweep away the Protestant Church, and to restore the soil to its ancient proprietors.He (Mr. Macartney) maintained that those were the purposes of hon. Gentlemen below that Gangway now. From those objects they never removed their eyes. The late Lord Mayor of Dublin (Mr. Dawson) went down to Derry to lecture on the franchise, and the Derry men had good reason to keep their eyes open, and we ought to be thankful that they did. The real object of the "Irish Jacobins," according to Macaulay, was to separate Ireland from England, and to put her under the protection of France. He did not know whether France entered into the calculations of hon. Gentlemen now; but he believed that, no matter what Power offered, they would accept it in order to get rid of England. Such being the case, they in Ulster, when those Gentlemen went down to expound the principles of liberty and freedom, took, he thought, a wise course when they tried to show that they did not agree with them. If they had come into Ulster and held their meetings, and if no opposition had been 1523 shown to them, it would have been said—"Why, in Ulster you are the same as the people in other parts of Ireland if you agree with these Gentlemen. No body gets up to oppose them, evidently they speak the voice of the people, and therefore the British Legislature ought not to oppose them." It had been said that the Orange meetings were got up by landlords. He denied that; if all the landlords in Ulster had remained at home the meetings would have taken place, but he was afraid bloodshed would have ensued. The landlords thought it wiser, when demonstrations of the kind were going to take place, to accompany those with whom they agreed to try to control them, and to prevent any disaster taking place. He did not think that, beyond the duty of a man who loved his country—he might say also a man who loved his property, for according to hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway the people in the North of Ireland held the most sordid views. But what about the £32,000? Sometimes there were such things as golden baits hanging over and dazzling the eyes of patriots. The House had even heard to-day of one patriot accusing another, and then relating how that other had accused still another on the opposite side of the House. The accusation fell and bounded and re bounded. Of course, Ulster landlords wanted to maintain their position. They did not wish to be driven out of the country, and to accomplish the prophecy of the hon. Member for Longford (Mr. Justin M'Carthy), that before very long the Protestants in Ulster——[Interruptions.]
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, those interruptions were disorderly, and if they continued he would have to take notice of them.
Well, the Loyalists in Ulster. It meant the same thing, and the hon. Member said they should be diminished in number until they were no more numerous in proportion to the Nationalists than in the other Provinces of Ireland. He was quite sure that would not take place unless force was used to drive them out, and if force were used they would repel force by force. But although all kinds of incendiary and seditious speeches might be made by the Nationalists, nobody else must say a word. The landlords were to have a gag; they were the 1524 dangerous, mischievous, disloyal, and selfish party, who ought to be destroyed. That was the motto. Well, he could not help thinking they were a disagreeable obstacle in the way of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. They could not get rid of them, and they would like, if possible, to set the Government to do the work that they could not do themselves. The invasion of Ulster began in the county which he represented. First there was the reconnaissance of Strabane, then the skirmish of Aughnacloy, then the engagement at Dungannon, then the battle of Omagh, and next the tremendous conflict at Dromore. None of those meetings were proclaimed, and the Orange Party called their meetings together, not to prevent the other meetings being held, but to show by comparison of numbers and respectability who it was that the Government should pay the most attention to. He was not at the Aughnacloy demonstration, but his son was, and headed the Orange Party. He was at Dungannon, where he saw the hon. Member for Monaghan (Mr. Healy) at the station, who did not seem to be in the least danger. The hon. Member was standing next but one to the hon. and gallant Member for Dublin County (Colonel King-Harman) on the platform, and there was no disturbance and no danger. One would imagine from what had been said in the debate, that the Orangemen designed to take the hon. Member's life, or, at any rate, to make it so dangerous for him that he would not come back again. He did not know whether the hon. Member went away with that impression, but it certainly did not strike him (Mr. Macartney) as well founded. He was at Omagh, where no injury was done except by an accident at the station, where a poor man got pushed under the train. Then came Dromore. At that time the Government had proclaimed some meetings, considering them dangerous to the public peace, or likely to revive the seeds of disorder. The Loyalists certainly were astounded and annoyed when they heard the meeting in the County of Cavan was proclaimed and the meeting in the County Tyrone was not; but he could not help thinking that the existence of a Liberal Member for Tyrone, his hon. Colleague, had something to do with that—[Mr. T. A. DICKSON: Hear, hear!]—because it would not do to let the Liberal electors 1525 think they had not the right of meeting. In the County Down meetings were suppressed, but a Nationalist speaker boasted that he addressed a meeting of nearly 2,000 persons near Castlewellan in spite of the prohibition. If that was true, the Government did not do their duty of enforcing the Proclamation, and the offender ought to be prosecuted. If it was not true, then it ought to be made known that the story was false. He could not sit down without alluding to the painful subject of the death of Giffen. The meeting was allowed to take place, although he believed there was no doubt that the Resident Magistrate, the County Inspector, and others had advised the Government not to allow it. That, at any rate, was the common belief. However, the Government preferred to send 1,600 or 1,700 men to preserve the peace between the two seriously exasperated parties. It was not the case that all the Orangemen went to that meeting with arms. He knew that very strenuous efforts were made to prevent their taking their arms—in the first place to keep the peace; and, secondly, not to place themselves in opposition to the law in a proclaimed district; because, although they had many faults, Orangemen did give way to the law; they did not go near a meeting after it was proclaimed; not like the hon. Member for Cavan (Mr. Biggar), who took the trouble to dodge the police all day at Cootehill. The hon. Member proceeded to relate the circumstances of Giffen's death, and laid special stress upon the statement that the constable who bayonetted him advanced two or three yards in front of his comrades in order to reach him as he was running away. He had the greatest admiration for the Irish Constabulary. They were a magnificent body of men, composed of most respectable persons, and he believed a more reliable body could not be found in the world; but if there was a black sheep among them, the authorities ought not to shield him. The onus of inquiry was thrown upon the relatives of the deceased, whereas it ought to have been undertaken by the authorities on the spot. Their neglect of the matter created a very bad impression. It was thought that a tremendous hubbub was being in the North of Ireland kicked up about Lord Rossmore, but no notice was taken of this poor young man because he 1526 belonged to the humbler classes. That was a great mistake. Something did occur that day which ought to be cleared up, and it would have been better that it should not be supposed that it was by the order of any officer that this manslaughter was committed. These things were melancholy to reflect upon. He could not join the hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. O'Connor Power) in foreshadowing the Irish Millennium; but he might say that as long as the loyal Protestants were living in Ulster they would act as they had done.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Debate be now adjourned,"—(Mr. Molloy.)—put, and agreed to.
§ Debate further adjourned till To-morrow.