MR. JUSTIN HUNTLY M'CARTHY,
who had the next Notice on the Paper, in the following terms:—To move that the conduct of Earl Spencer and the Irish Executive with regard to the dismissal of District Inspector Murphy was unjustifiable and contrary to the regulations of the Constabulary code and to the interests of public justice,said, he had been informed by the Clerk that he would be out of Order in moving this Motion, because there had been a previous Notice put down upon the same subject. He now found, on consulting Sir Erskine May's volume, that after an hon. Member had given Notice of a Motion, if he desired to change the day for bringing it forward, he must change it for a later and not for an earlier day. He would like, however, to ask, as a point of Order, whether, in the event of an hon. Member withdraw- 1019 ing a Notice of Motion, it would be in the power of another hon. Member to bring the question forward on an earlier occasion before the date originally fixed for the Motion?
§ MR. SPEAKER
In reply to the hon. Gentleman, I have to say that my remarks were rather personal to himself in so far as he had himself given Notice of a Motion for the 14th of April, but had withdrawn that Notice and put it down for to-night, knowing very well that Supply was coming on. The matter is one of extreme delicacy, the object of the Rule being to prevent the House from being taken by surprise. When a Motion is put down for a future day, if the hon. Member who gave Notice of it were to be at liberty to change the day, the House would not be aware of the day when the Motion was really to come on. It would, therefore, be quite out of Order for the hon. Gentleman himself, on the present occasion, to move an Amendment in terms almost identical with those which had been placed on the Paper for a future day. I am not, however, prepared to say that another hon. Gentleman—the Motion having been withdrawn and being now off the Paper—might not move it in general terms; but it would be quite out of Order for the hon. Gentleman on the present occasion to move it, and that is the reason why I have ruled the hon. Gentleman to be out of Order. I am certainly not prepared to say that a general reference to the case of this particular individual might not be brought on by another hon. Member.
§ [...]tice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members being found present,
§ MR. BIGGAR
said, it seemed to him that gross irregularity took place in the way in which District Inspector Murphy was treated. Mr. Murphy had given information to his superiors with regard to what was afterwards proved in a Court of Law to be the very gross misconduct of a certain officer of the Constabulary Force in Ireland, and by giving this information Mr. Murphy had drawn down upon himself the displeasure of the Authorities. Mr. Murphy had for many years been employed by the Government of Ireland as Inspector of Police. A man was not appointed Inspector at once. He got into the 1020 Force at first as a Sub-Inspector, and, having proved his capacity, he was promoted to the position of Inspector. That position was obtained by competitive examination, and not by favour. It came to Mr. Murphy's knowledge from several sources that very gross misconduct was taking place in very high quarters in the Police Force, and he thought it his duty to give information to the heads of the Police Force in Ireland. It seemed that the policy of the heads of the Force was the same as that of Earl Spencer—namely, to patronize as far as possible, and screen from any punishment, or even inquiry into their conduct, any persons against whom charges of an improper nature were brought. The County Inspector in the place in which Mr. Murphy happened to be treated him in the most offensive manner, and refused to acknowledge his salute. Mr. Murphy then ceased to salute his superior officer, the County Inspector, who complained of him in consequence. After a time a charge of drunkenness was brought against Inspector Murphy; but the charge was not brought in accordance with the rules of the Force, which provided that notice of the alleged offence should be given immediately. The charge against Mr. Murphy was framed by Mr. Bruce, who was, as a matter of fact, the final Court of Appeal in the case. The evidence given at the trial was of a very contradictory character; but Mr. Murphy was found guilty. He combated this decision, and appealed to the Government, who withdrew the charge, the Lord Lieutenant saying that the evidence of drunkenness was of a very slight nature. The Lord Lieutenant, however, called upon Mr. Murphy to resign without giving him a pension or compensation of any kind, not on the charge of drunkenness, but on the allegation that Mr. Murphy was guilty of insubordination and of writing offensive letters to his superiors. The real reason why Mr. Murphy was compelled to resign his position in the Force was, not because of his impertinence, but because he gave information against the pets of the Government. The person charged by Mr. Murphy had been found guilty in a Court of Law, and was now suffering the penalty of his misconduct. He (Mr. Biggar) believed it to be the duty of the Government to re-investigate the 1021 case of Mr. Murphy, and either reinstate him in the position which he held before his perfectly illegal and irregular dismissal, or else to allow him the pension to which he was entitled. Instead of persecuting District Inspector Murphy, the Government should have rewarded him for giving information of so valuable a nature.
MR. JUSTIN M'CARTHY
said, that if any Members of the Government intended to speak, he would ask them to apply themselves to the leading points of the case. First of all, Inspector Murphy had as the only definite charge against him the imputation of drunkenness, a charge which was afterwards positively withdrawn. It was then stated that the dismissal was due to persistent and insubordinate misconduct on the part of Mr. Murphy; and the second point was, that no definite charge of insubordination was ever made against him, and he was never brought to answer any charge of the kind. The third point—and the important one—was this, that until Mr. Murphy sent the letters containing those astonishing charges against Mr. French, there was nothing heard of Mr. Murphy's drunkenness or insubordination; the whole charge against him began with that time. Mr. Murphy had been 18 years in the Force before that, had been steadily rising in reputation, and had received honours of various kinds. Nothing was heard of his insubordination until he sent those statements against Mr. French. However startling those statements might appear to the Castle officials, they had since been proved in a Court of Law, and French was suffering the penalty of his misconduct. Unless the public received a clear explanation of the whole case, they would say that Mr. Murphy had been made a victim because he made a serious and terrible charge against his superior, which serious and terrible charge had since been proved to be true.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
said, he had been in the expectation that something more definite would have been said upon the subject than what had fallen from the two hon. Members. The gravamen of the charge was embodied by the hon. Member for Longford (Mr. Justin M'Carthy) when he said that it was owing, first of all, to Mr. Murphy having denounced to his 1022 superior officers the iniquities committed by Mr. French, that he was found fault with. Perhaps, the shortest way in answering the statements and allegations made was to recount to the House what really took place. The fact was, that Mr. Murphy, against whose capacity he would not say a word, had been, for a long series of years, a cause of great trouble to those at the head of the Force of which he was a member. The Constabulary Force was a disciplined Force, and it was necessary that every man in it should observe those ordinary rules of discipline and that regular conduct which prevailed in every body of that kind. When he was discharged for in-subordination, he said that it was a fresh charge, and that he knew nothing of it before. He (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) could read a number of such charges, in which his insubordinate conduct was pointed out, and after which he was remonstrated with and warned. It was said that all these charges arose out of certain letters Mr. Murphy forwarded with regard to French. Well, in that case, he should be obliged to go back some considerable time, for these charges had commenced in 1875, when nothing was known of French's misconduct. In 1875, he was reduced for making a false Return, and lost 12 steps seniority. That was on the 1st of August. In February, 1881—this was still before the question of French's misconduct had been heard of—he was informed that his conduct would require reform. There were several censures by successive Inspectors General against him on the following dates:—na[...]ly, on the 19th of November, 1875, December 12, 1876, February 13, 1877, March 5, 1878, September 28, 1878, January 14, 1879, September 10, 1880, and the 3rd of January, 1881. The House would, he believed, admit that this was a tolerably long list of accusations against him. He was censured, and warnings were noted against him that, if he persisted in insubordination, he would be severely dealt with. That was the Minute communicated to Mr. Murphy in February, 1881. He would give further particulars as to what was said to him on these occasions. He would begin in July, 1876. On the 26th of July, 1876, he was cautioned that if he was again brought under the unfavourable notice of Sir John Wood, the then 1023 Inspector General, he would be seriously reduced upon the seniority list. On the 21st of September, 1876, he was again cautioned. In 1877 he was further cautioned. On the 10th September, 1880, he was again, by order of his superiors, cautioned. On the 3rd January, 1881, the Inspector General refused to submit to the Government a most improper representation made by Mr. Murphy, and he was cautioned with regard to it. On the 19th February, 1881, owing to the improper, disrespectful, and insubordinate nature of his correspondence, he was informed that, if he aggravated by such further conduct the charges against him, he would be dealt with. He, however, persisted in that insubordination, and later in 1881, notwithstanding this, some most insubordinate correspondence was sent in. On May 7th and 12th he was sent for, and was personally informed by the Inspector General (Colonel Hillier), in the presence of his deputy (Colonel Bruce), that his conduct had been censured, and that he was reduced 10 steps on the list; and it was only in consequence of his own admission of the impropriety of his conduct and his expression of regret, that he was not then recommended for removal from the Force. In 1884, Mr. Murphy, having been, on another occasion, the cause of some trouble, was dismissed. What he wanted to point out to the House was that Mr. Murphy had long-been insubordinate, and that his correspondence had been, for years back, full of animadversion on those responsible for the rules of the Force. The House would understand, as he had before observed, that this was a disciplined Force, and that such unruly conduct of tone and temper was perfectly inconsistent with the proper maintenance of discipline and order. That being the state of the case, and no communication having been made, or any likely to be made on the part of Mr. Murphy, in the autumn of last year, a charge was brought against him of having been drunk on a certain occasion. That was a charge which depended upon evidence; and, therefore, a Court of Inquiry was necessary in order to enable the Inspector General to ascertain whether the charge was one which could be sustained or not. In regard to all these questions which he had been alluding to there was no necessity for a 1024 Court of Inquiry—the letters proved themselves, and were sufficient proof and evidence of Mr. Murphy's unfitness to stay in the Force. There was, therefore, no necessity for inquiry, because the facts were fully and entirely before the Inspector General. The Government had power to discharge any officer if they found him unfit for the Service, and they came to the conclusion that Mr. Murphy was unfit for the Service. Then he came to the charge of drunkenness. That was a matter of fact. He thought it was really unnecessary to go further into this case, because the Inquiry found that the case was proved, but that the offence was, however, of a slight character; and although it was quite true that the action of the Government towards Mr. Murphy followed upon the finding of the Court, and that he was dismissed for drunkenness, it was never even alleged that this step would have been taken but because of this accumulated series of indents in his previous career, each leading up to a point when it was almost impossible for those responsible for the discipline of the Force to allow it to go further. He believed that the House would admit that the greatest forbearance had been shown to Mr. Murphy before this—if he was not in error, he had himself admitted this before his superior officers. This charge of drunkenness was therefore the last drop in the bucket, and he was called upon to resign his position in the Force, not because of this definite charge of drunkenness, but because his previous conduct had shown that he was not a desirable officer to be retained in the Force. He did not know that he need say anything more upon that point. He now came to the next point—a question which had nothing to do with it had been put before the House—a question with regard to certain communications on the matter of Mr. French's misconduct, which it was asserted he sent in. Mr. Murphy posed before the House and country as the victim of those persons in the Department who wished to screen Mr. French. Well, anyone who brought or entertained such a charge as was grounded on these alleged communications against Colonel Bruce, the Inspector General, could have no knowledge of the character of that officer. Colonel Bruce was a man of the highest rectitude, and of high character and stainless 1025 life—[Mr. CALLAN: So was French.] He would leave the world to choose between a man of Colonel Bruce's position and the hon. Member who sneered at him. There was not a word about Colonel Bruce, who was perfectly incapable of such an act; and he could only repeat that anyone who knew him would be aware that it would be impossible to attack, or to attempt to fasten any charge upon him, except vain, idle, sneers. As a matter of fact, the case was this—Mr. Murphy said that in the summer of 1882 he had forwarded letters to Lord Spencer making a series of charges against French. He had seen different accounts given of these letters. They were either anonymous letters, or they were sent by "round robins." Whatever was their form, all he had to say was that they were never received, and that there was not a trace of them. Any document of that sort would have attracted attention; but they never had reached Lord Spencer or his private secretary. The gentleman who then acted as private secretary, whose name was Brackenbury, had no recollection in regard to it whatever. He (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) could therefore only say that he had the testimony of this gentleman, and the fact that no such accusatory documents could be found, if they were sent, against the assertions of Mr. Murphy. If Mr. Murphy knew anything on the subject of the charge, his duty was to report it to his superior officer. He did not do so; but having this knowledge, as he said he had, he adopted an other mode of bringing it before the authorities. It was in the month of August in the following year—he did not know whether he was bound to justify the course taken in regard to French—but it was in August, 1883, that the first article appeared in United Ireland, and French was arrested upon a criminal charge on the 15th July, 1884, and the first communication received from Mr. Murphy on the subject of which anything was known was his Report on the following day in July, 1884. [Mr. SEXTON: Who received that letter?] He did not know. He presumed the Inspector General. That was on the 16th, the day after French was arrested. That Report was immediately examined carefully, and Mr. Murphy was "had up," brought to Dublin, and examined, and it was proved 1026 that he could not furnish any information whatever. There was a great deal of hearsay and gossip. This was his information in 1884, two years after he had furnished his original information. Even this information, which he gave, was of such a vague and indeterminate kind, that no additional light whatever was thrown upon that which the authorities already had. The whole contention, on his part, that he was instrumental in bringing French to justice was, therefore, absolutely without foundation. He brought nothing forward to prove it, except in 1882, when he stated that he sent an anonymous letter disclosing vague information. That communication—two years before the arrest of French—was never received, and having regard to the vague character of the information furnished by him in his Report in 1884, if he sent any information in 1882, it must have been equally worthless, and such as no action could be taken upon. Even had it been received, he had shown to the House that, so far from the attitude of the police authorities towards Mr. Murphy being due to his statements with regard to French, an attitude identical with it had been for years before adopted towards him. Long before anything was heard of the charges against French, Mr. Murphy had been over and over again warned and re-warned, that if he persisted in his almost mutinous, insubordinate, ill-tempered, ill-conditioned tone of language, he must be dismissed from the Force. No one could allege that, because he gave some information, that the whole of this business had been got up in order to punish him for having done so. It was very easy talking of screening.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
said, that if any definite charge were made, they should know what to do with it. There was not a tittle of evidence to support it. He had shown that Mr. Murphy's dismissal from the Force was on account of a series of acts of insubordination extending over years, and long before French's misconduct ever was thought of, either in that House or out of it. He had answered the charge that the accusations about drunkenness had been withdrawn. They were not withdrawn, but had been proved at the Court 1027 of Inquiry, and that would have been sufficient in itself to lead to a man's resigning his commission, and retiring from the service. He had also shown that the warnings given to Mr. Murphy for his insubordinate conduct had not been confined to the present Inspector General, but several—Sir John Wood, Colonel Hillier, and Colonel Bruce. He believed that he had shown that three consecutive Inspectors General had had to remonstrate with Mr. Murphy and warn him, and at length it was found that his conduct was perfectly inconsistent with his continuing in the Force. So long as the Irish Constabulary continued to be a disciplined Force, it was impossible that such conduct as Mr. Murphy's could be tolerated. His conduct was such as to be inconsistent with his holding his position in the Force.
§ MR. SEXTON
said, that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Campbell-Banner-man), by a surprising diversion from the subject before the House, had indulged in what seemed to be a comparison between the character of the Inspector General of Constabulary (Colonel Bruce) and the hon. Gentleman who had interrupted him (Mr.Callan). He (Mr.Sexton) would not follow the right hon. Gentleman into that matter, but would merely remark that the incident was one which tended so little to the profitableness of these debates that it was to be hoped it would not be turned into a precedent. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken about vague and idle sneers against character. The reproach or reproof, if such it were—though he (Mr. Sexton) could not imagine to whom it was addressed—would have come from the right hon. Gentleman with a better grace, if the speech he made in defence of the Government and in attack on Inspector Murphy—for the speech had borne both characters—had been more definite and more distinctly to the point. He had quite expected, when the Chief Secretary for Ireland rose, that he would have addressed himself to one or other of two objects—that he would have endeavoured to prove that the charge of drunkenness had been justly made against Inspector Murphy, or else that he would have come to the Table and set down definite proofs of such other conduct on the part of this officer as would have entitled Lord Spencer to dismiss him from the Force, even con- 1028 sidering that the charge of drunkenness had been an ill-founded one; but he (Mr. Sexton) had listened to the right hon. Gentleman with strict attention, and must assert that he had done neither the one thing nor the other. He certainly had not endeavoured to make good the charge of drunkenness, and that was not surprising, for if the right hon. Gentleman had any intellectual faults, recklessness was not one of them, and it would have been reckless on his part to have endeavoured before that House to substantiate the charge of drunkenness levelled against Inspector Murphy. The first remark he (Mr. Sexton) would make upon that charge was that it was conceived in a spirit of cowardly intrigue, and that it was conducted and carried to a conclusion against that unfortunate officer in a manner clearly contrary to the Constabulary Act, to the Code which had grown out of that Act, and to the ordinary principle of common sense and fair play which had its abode in the bosom of every honest man. The rule of the Force—he (Mr. Sexton) called it common sense—was, that when a charge was to be made against an officer, it should be communicated to him at the earliest moment by the person who meant to make it, and that he should be asked, without delay, to put upon record whether he admitted or denied the charge; but what was the course pursued in the case of Inspector Murphy? Why this—the act of drunkenness was alleged to have been committed on 30th August; but this unfortunate gentleman was kept in ignorance of the plot against him until the 5th September. The County Inspector, instead of going to Inspector Murphy frankly, and like a man, and saying—"I am of opinion that you were drunk last night, and I intend to report the fact to the Inspector General, and I ask you, therefore, whether you admit or deny the charge," said nothing at all to him. Inspector Murphy was never allowed to know the plot that was hatching until a week had passed; and, as might well be conceived, it was more difficult for him to prove his innocence then than it would have been if he had received timely warning. He (Mr. Sexton) had said that it would have been reckless on the part of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ire- 1029 land to have attempted to prove the charge of drunkenness, so he would proceed to prove that statement. The Report of the Court of Inquiry said—We have to state that, in our opinion, some explanation is required as to why we found the verdict we have—Inspector Murphy's temper might have been very bad; but it was not worse than the grammar of the Government inquiry—Seeing that the weight of evidence as regards numbers would appear to be in favour of the accused. For the prosecution, nine witnesses, including the County Inspector, were summoned, but six of whom were examined. Of these, two would depose to no facts at all as regards the date in question, two more wore hostile; and of the other two, one corroborated the County Inspector, while the other—That was to say the man Pyne, who, for some mysterious reason unexplained, spent his evenings in the County Inspector's kitchen,Deposed to facts that occurred before Mr. Sheehan saw Mr. Murphy. The three witnesses produced for the defence, one being Mr. Murphy's own servant, swore that he was perfectly sober. As those were civilians, their evidence from a Constabulary point of view must be looked upon with caution.This reflected upon Mr. Speaker, upon himself, (Mr. Sexton) and all assembled in that House—When we have the direct and positive evidence of a County Inspector, corroborated by the evidence of the man Pyne, that the accused, by his manner and action, was under the influence of drink, and this is strengthened by the fact that the County Inspector's attention was specially directed to his movements at the time when the others were but casual observers, we feel bound to add that the case of intoxication exhibited by Mr. Murphy was of a slight nature; and we are of opinion it would have been more judicious if the County Inspector had acted of his own motion, and charged Mr. Murphy without delay, and informed him of his intention to make a Report."Why, the Report of the Court of Inquiry was a censure on the County Inspector, and not on Inspector Murphy. The impropriety of the course adopted against this unfortunate man, Inspector Murphy, was acknowledged even by the Court of Inquiry; and they had it on the face of the record that out of nine witnesses examined two knew nothing about the matter, six were in favour of the Sub-Inspector, and only one appeared to sustain the charge against him—namely, the person who appeared to be indebted to the hospitality of the 1030 County Inspector. This matter of the drunkenness was a vanishing point as they advanced in the case. How did it appear in Colonel Bruce's Minute of October 4th? Why, the Minute contained these words—The Inspector General does not place his recommendation on the case of drunkenness. This was proved, but was a slight ease. Putting that case on one side, there is enough against Mr. Murphy to make it desirable that he should leave the Force.Only on the 25th of January of this year, Sir Robert Hamilton, writing to Inspector Murphy, said—His Excellency, however, after consideration, thinks it right to inform you that your removal from the Royal Irish Constabulary was due to your persistently insubordinate correspondence and conduct, continued in spite of frequent warning, and to no other cause whatever.Therefore the first fact he (Mr. Sexton) emphasized was, that it was clear that the charge of drunkenness against Inspector Murphy was abandoned by the authorities, was practically abandoned by Lord Spencer; and from that it appeared that Inspector Murphy had suffered what no man, policeman or civilian, should be compelled to suffer—he had been made the victim of a course of action which was repugnant to every man, which was to be correctly described by saying that he was accused on one charge; that that charge was not made out against him by the weight of evidence; and that that proceeding having failed, he was dismissed from the Force upon another charge, of which he had not been accused. But what should he (Mr. Sexton) say of that part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech which dealt with the other charge against Inspector Murphy? What was the nature of that other charge? Was it not impalpable? Was it not intangible? Was it not, as the right hon. Gentleman would say, "vague and idle to the last degree?" He (Mr. Sexton) had fully expected that, after the manner of the right hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) when he was Chief Secretary for Ireland, the right hon. Gentleman would have come to the Table, and if he relied upon Inspector Murphy's language in proof of his insubordinate conduct would have taken up a file of Reports, and would have read out the language which constituted the insubordination for which the dismissal had taken place. As the right hon. Gentleman himself 1031 had said, the language itself was a proof. The whole of these Reports were upon the file in Dublin Castle; and if the language was so conclusive as to proof, as that proof could be so easily obtained, why was the House asked to take the whole case on credit—why was not a single one of these Reports produced? Inspector Murphy was no angel; he was human, like the rest of them, and it was to be presumed had his faults like other men. He (Mr. Sexton) was not there to say that the fault of temper might not have been one of them. He was not there to say that Inspector Murphy's language was conceived in the spirit and expressed in the phrase of Chesterfield; but it did not require a man to have passed through an official career to know and to understand how easy it was for an insolent and arrogant superior to produce an appearance of faults of temper in an unfortunate subordinate, who would have been humble and polite enough if he had been fairly treated. He contended that the right hon. Gentleman's speech that night was as fine and striking an example as ever came under his notice of how a man could be ruined by innuendoes. The right hon. Gentleman had gone back to the year 1875, and had given them not a record, but an allusion—a poor and vague allusion—to a record of a number of reprimands or warnings conveyed to Inspector Murphy in consequence of something which he could not define. At one time they were told that that officer's tone was impertinent; at another time that he caused embarrassment; and, finally, that he produced trouble; and it was such phrases from a Minister, void of direct evidence, that were to justify the taking away the reputation of a public officer and the ruining of his character. Was this the way to deal with a man who had given them 19 years' public service? He maintained that the right hon. Gentleman had evidently a deplorable want of frankness and candour when he gave them, at the Table, this trivial entry of want of temper and want of taste, and had not suggested to them, on the other hand, as an impartial Chief Secretary for Ireland would have done, that the whole career of Inspector Murphy, since he entered the Police Force, was studded with favourable reports. Here was one account which, he (Mr. Sexton) pre- 1032 sumed, would not be questioned—there had been public records, and in them this had not been questioned—and it was so circumstantial, and contained so many precise facts, that it bore on its face the appearance of credibility—When serving at Arva, County Cavan, I was recommended for a favourable record arresting a man who discharged a pistol shot during a riot. When serving at Ballycastle, County Antrim, I obtained a first-class favourable record, and was twice recommended. I was four times recommended for favourable record when serving at Ballina. I was also recommended at Listowel, Kerry, also in Gal-way, when on special duty; and in the County Monaghan, as well, I invariably got favourable minutes when my district was inspected, by superior officers from headquarters, particularly so in 1883 and 1884.The evidence, therefore, was, that in 1883 and 1884 there were favourable records for Inspector Murphy, and that the last complaint against him was in 1881, when he was found offending against the canons of taste at Dublin Castle.
§ MR. CAMPBELL- BANNERMAN
It was the last before he alleged he brought any complaint against French.
§ MR. SEXTON
said, he was obliged to the right hon. Gentleman—that was his case exactly. The last warning before Murphy professed to have intervened in French's case was in February, 1881; and in 1882, 1883, and 1884, at a period much later than the date of the last complaint made against him by the right hon. Gentleman, according to his own account, Murphy had obtained favourable records. Would it then be contended, for a moment, that if Inspector Murphy, after he had passed two or three years of perfectly blameless life, had not intervened to make a charge against a formidable personage like French—if he had kept his mouth closed, and kept the evidence of French's guilt in his own bosom—that these old charges of 1876, 1878, 1879, and 1881 would be raked up against him as an alternative case, after the case that had been brought against him had been abandoned, in order to ruin the man for life? The Chief Secretary for Ireland proceeded to say that, in 1882, no complaint was made by Inspector Murphy against French; and, in fact, in the ardour of his argument, he went further, and discredited—he (Mr. Sexton) might almost say pooh-poohed—the notion that Inspector Murphy was at all the 1033 cause of the revelation of French's guilt. Now, he (Mr. Sexton) was there to say that Inspector Murphy was the cause of it; and, for his own part, he ventured to maintain that if Murphy had kept silence he would to-day have been an Inspector, and French also would have been receiving the emoluments of his office. Inspector Murphy it was, and no one else, who, acting on a noble impulse to vindicate the law, and hunt up base and unspeakable crime in high places, first brought to light the charge for which French was now wearing a grey jacket in prison—that was, if the tenderness of Irish prison officials would allow them to inflict that indignity upon a gentleman who had occupied the distinguished position of Detective Director in Dublin Castle. Murphy, in his letter, says—Fully impressed with the truth of the allegations which reached me from so many different and independent sources, and knowing that French could not be safely grappled with owing to the enormous influence which he exercised in the Castle, I, at length, in the interests of decency and morality, posted, in conjunction with seven others, two documents in the nature of a round robin, one to Earl Spencer and the other to Colonel Brackenhury, who was then the Under Secretary for Crime.The right hon. Gentleman now desired the House to believe that that document never reached either Lord Spencer or Colonel Brackenbury, a proposition which he thought the right hon. Gentleman would find some difficulty in getting the House to accept. If the fact was doubted, the matter was one perfectly susceptible of proof, as the persons who signed the document were still in the Force. But District Inspector Murphy, finding that a communication to Lord Spencer and Colonel Bracken-bury was of no avail, addressed a letter to a Member of that House, and it was a curious circumstance that about this time Colonel Brackenbury retired from the service in Dublin Castle. Colonel Brackenbury was a soldier—he was a man with a soldier's nature—he was a frank and honourable gentleman, and there was a growing suspicion in Ireland that Colonel Brackenbury wiped the dust of Dublin Castle from his shoes, because he found that pliancy to the ruling Powers there meant degradation and self-abasement. The letter addressed to a Member of that House by Inspector Murphy was more fruitful than the round 1034 robin addressed to the Castle. An article had appeared in United Ireland, then the Government had been dragged on to prosecute, and in the chain which had dragged them to that prosecution Inspector Murphy had been the first link. In daring to obey the impulse of his honesty Inspector Murphy had pronounced his own sentence of condemnation; and he (Mr. Sexton) thought the House would agree with him in saying that if Inspector Murphy had allowed crime to go unpunished in official places in Ireland he might have gone on to that day indulging his temper, and he would not have been dismissed. But no—he had the courage to impeach crime where he found it in high places, and the lesson of his career and his fate was this—that in official circles in Ireland, while the knave thrived the honest man—for the fault of Inspector Murphy was his honesty—who dared to obey the impulse of his honesty, and endeavoured to point the finger of justice at corruption in official places, drew down upon himself thereby only his own condemnation and his own official ruin.
§ MR. HARRINGTON
said, the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland impressed him (Mr. Harrington) forcibly with the hopelessness of anyone sent over to govern Ireland clearing himself of the foul atmosphere he found in Dublin Castle. He thought that the punishment inflicted upon Inspector Murphy had been sufficient, without the additional injustice of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. A miserable conspiracy had been got up against Inspector Murphy, simply because he had been instrumental in exposing the iniquity of Dublin Castle officials. If when the trumped-up charge of drunkenness had failed, the Chief Secretary for Ireland desired to show that District Inspector Murphy was insubordinate, why then did he not give the evidence on which that charge was founded? Knowing as he did something of the circumstances connected with this alleged insubordinate correspondence, he (Mr. Harrington) must confess himself utterly surprised at the manner in which it was treated by the Chief Secretary for Ireland. Would the House be surprised to learn that the insubordination referred to was contained in letters regarding a matter in which the County Inspector had endeavoured to interfere 1035 with the private rights of Inspector Murphy? When the public learned the facts of this matter—for they could not be kept secret after the insinuations made by the Chief Secretary for Ireland—they would be surprised indeed to find that the insubordination alleged was due to the interference of the Inspector General, who objected to Murphy's acquaintance with a lady who happened to be a friend of that official When the public found that his insubordination rose from an attempt on the part of that official to interfere with Murphy in the selection of a person whom he desired as a partner for life—that it arose from an attempt unduly to prevent him from visiting a certain house—when the public learned these facts, and saw the grave charge which the Chief Secretary for Ireland endeavoured to base on them, he thought the right hon. Gentleman would be more discredited than Inspector Murphy. It had also been said that the round robin regarding French had never reached the Castle; but he (Mr. Harrington) thought he was able to prove, by the manner in which the Dublin Castle officials themselves acted, that it must have reached their hands. When the charge against French appeared in United Ireland an inquiry was held at the Castle, and there were summoned to that inquiry the very men who signed the round robin. If there was no knowledge of the round robin in the Castle, why wore these men summoned to the inquiry?
§ MR. CALLAN
said, the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) must have lost his usual caution in presuming, in the course of an argument in that House, to sneer at Members of the House, and in presuming to compare an official of Dublin Castle to Members of the House. He hoped it would take at least a Royal visit, and the cleansing that must ensue, before any Minister on the Treasury Bench could presume to set in opposition to a Member of that House the character of a Dublin Castle official like Colonel Bruce, contaminated as Colonel Bruce was by contact with the "French" case. Who was Colonel Bruce that the right hon. Gentleman had the effrontery—he (Mr. Callan) would say the audacity—to sneer at Members of that House, because they would not endorse the hyperbolical expressions of respect 1036 of the right hon. Gentleman for that official? Colonel Bruce was aware of the charges against ex-Detective Director French, years before they came before that House. Would the Chief Secretary for Ireland grant a sworn inquiry; and he (Mr. Callan) would prove, by the evidence of Mr. Bracker, of the Depôt, by the evidence of Mr. Mallon, the Chief Detective in the City of Dublin, that Colonel Bruce had official knowledge of the misdeeds and the charges against ex-Detective Director French, long before one word of them appeared in the columns of United Ireland? Was the Chief Secretary for Ireland going to follow the example of his Predecessor in Office? On June 17th, 1884, 12 months after Colonel Bruce held a private inquiry in his own office with respect to the abominable practices of French, what did the right hon. Gentleman the late Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. Trevelyan) say in that House? He said—How, then, can the Government act against a man who may be innocent or may be guilty, when they have no evidence at all of any sort or kind, except what is contained in an article in United Ireland.—(3 Hansard,  697.)He (Mr. Callan) charged now, in the face of the country, that when the late Chief Secretary for Ireland made that statement, Colonel Bruce had full and ample evidence, documentary evidence, taken in his own office, at an inquiry specially held, evidence given by Inspectors of the Police Force, incriminating French as strongly as the evidence given at the trial. What now became of Colonel Bruce? If he had communicated that evidence to the Chief Secretary for Ireland, that right hon. Gentleman would not have made that statement; but Colonel Bruce, to shield the infamous scoundrel French, suppressed that evidence from the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and this was the man whom the present Scotch Chief Secretary presumed to compare to a Member of that House, and to sneer at hon. Members on account of.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
As it is a personal question, perhaps I may be allowed to say that I did not sneer at any Member of this House. What I said was, that I blamed hon. Members for sneering at Colonel Bruce.
§ MR. CALLAN
said, even a Scotch intonation could express a sneer, and 1037 the right hon. Gentleman had certainly contrasted the character of Colonel Bruce with the characters of hon. Members. Before the right hon. Gentleman had done with Colonel Brace's suppression of evidence, he would be as heartily sick of Colonel Bruce as his Predecessor was sick of French. Mr. Murphy was discredited by Sir John Wood, who had been himself obliged to retire from the Force, and by Colonel Hillier, another tainted character. What were the facts about Mr. Murphy? Was the hon. and learned Solicitor General for Ireland, who was taking notes, prepared to deny that long before the article appeared in United Ireland two of the Sub-Inspectors whoso names were signed to the round robin were examined by Colonel Bruce in his own office? How were the names of these men obtained except by the round robin? The Chief Secretary for Ireland had stated that Mr. Murphy had furnished a statement of a mere gossiping nature. Was he prepared to produce that statement? The right hon. Gentleman had sneered at the idea of Inspector Murphy having been in any way the cause of French's arrest. Was he aware that in 1883, 12 months before French was arrested, Mr. Murphy—he must be aware, because, by surreptitious and dishonourable means, the Constabulary authorities obtained the information—had supplied information to United Ireland? [Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN: No, no!] He begged pardon—to an hon. and learned Member of that House, the hon. and learned Member for Monaghan (Mr. Healy), in which county Inspector Murphy was stationed. The Chief Secretary for Ireland, knowing very well that his speech would be reported at full length, had either stated as facts that of which he knew nothing, or had not taken the trouble to look into the Dublin Office, and had thought nothing of maligning and traducing the character of Mr. Murphy, a most deserving public officer, on mere assertion. They knew but little in Ireland of the present Chief Secretary; but it was to be hoped that they would know something better of him than they were led to expect from his conduct that evening. If not, it would be unfortunate for Ireland and unfortunate for the right hon. Gentleman himself. Though they were Home Rulers, and agreed in some matters and politics with the right hon. 1038 Gentleman, they had a greater respect for the opinions of Irish gentlemen of character and position in Ireland than they had of Scotch interlopers.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I am bound to remind the hon. Gentleman that his language is extremely violent, and exceeds Parliamentary manners. I shall have to caution him very severely if he pursues this course of observation.
§ MR. CALLAN
said, he would withdraw the expression "Scotch interlopers," and would say "gentlemen who had intruded, against the wishes of the Irish people, into official positions in Ireland." Lord Ardilaun, a Conservative nobleman in Ireland, had said he was happy to testify to the energy and ability displayed by Mr. Murphy after Lord Mount-morres' murder. That statement of Lord Ardilaun alone was sufficient to overbalance the offensive language used by the Chief Secretary for Ireland. Sir Charles Knox Gore, Deputy Lieutenant of the county of Mayo, had no hesitation in saying that he considered Mr. Murphy a zealous, efficient, and steady officer, and that from a personal knowledge of him. He would also call attention to several testimonials to Mr. Murphy's character from Irish gentlemen. One gentleman—Colonel Chichester—who had in last week's Tablet given a character to the Lord Lieutenant, had also given a testimonial of a similar character to Mr. Murphy. Captain Boycott, who had been the means of giving a new word to the English language, had also written very highly of Mr. Murphy, so had Mr. Blake of Galway, Colonel Han-nay of the Antrim Militia, Mr. Gage of Ballycastle, and many others. After those testimonials, he thought Mr. Murphy's character came out scatheless from the ordeal and from the slurs which had been cast upon it; and he hoped the debate would be a warning to the Chief Secretary of Ireland not in future to place the character of any Dublin Castle official in comparison with that of a Member for Parliament, and not to put the character of Colonel Bruce in comparison with that of any man who was not a convicted felon.
§ MR. KENNY
said, he thought the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) must be characterized as being, if not disingenuous, at all events, entirely evasive of the point. The remarkable 1039 change in District Inspector Murphy's official career took place just at the time when he had entitled himself to the good favour of the authorities. The correspondence between Disfrict Inspector Murphy and the officials was of a remarkably instructive character. The letter announcing to District Inspector Murphy what was virtually his dismissal was couched in somewhat modest terms. The Government felt, he presumed, the weakness of their case, and wished to do what they no doubt considered a necessary, but still an ugly job, in as nice terms as possible. Colonel Bruce virtually abandoned the case of drunkenness, and said there were sufficient reasons without that for Mr. Murphy's dismissal from the Force. It was upon hearsay evidence that the House was asked to support the decision of the Government in their endeavour to condemn District Inspector Murphy. It was perfectly clear to those who knew something of the manner in which the administration of Dublin Castle was conducted that this officer was really dismissed for exposing the iniquities and abominations of the system carried on by District Inspector French, and because he had committed the unpardonable offence of having tried to bring him to justice. His (Mr. Kenny's) contention was, that the officials at Dublin Castle were so implicated in each other's guilt, that they were determined to protect each other, and to crush those of their subordinates who endeavoured to expose them. Had Inspector Murphy consented to shut his eyes he would still have retained his office; but through doing his duty he had lost the advantages attending 16 years' public service, and had had to commence life afresh. It was hard to think that the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General for Ireland could stand up in that House to defend a policy of revenge and spite-fulness; and he trusted that the time would come when Ireland would have an official Representative in that House who would have the courage to expose the system pursued in Dublin Castle, and to sever himself from it.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
said, that the pith of the charge brought by hon. Gentlemen opposite against the Government was, that there was no real ground of complaint whatever against Mr. 1040 Murphy, except that which they themselves had suggested, until the final charge was brought. His right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman), however, had already stated the real charge made against him over and over again—the insubordinate character exhibited in his writings to his superior officers, and his general temper being inconsistent with the discipline which ought to prevail in a Force in which discipline was an essential element. District Inspector Murphy served under three Inspectors General, and under many County Inspectors. Now, when a person was found incapable of agreeing with any of the superior officers under whom he served, there must be something to blame in the character of the man.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
As far back as 10 years ago, before Mr. Murphy was dismissed, on the 8th of July, 1874, he received a most friendly caution from Sir John Wood, who was then Inspector General, as to the tone of his communications to his superior officers; and that gentleman strongly advised him, if he was desirous of giving satisfaction, to alter that tone very considerably. Under the rules of the Code, the District Inspector was bound to visit his stations once a month; and it appeared that on October 4th, 1875, he made a false return, representing that he had visited a station when he had not done so. The offence having been proved, he was reduced in rank. District Inspector Murphy then made a charge of felony against the County Inspector, and was ordered by the Inspector General to withdraw the charge, or to submit it to the Duke of Abercorn, or to have it heard by a Court of Inquiry. He elected at once to withdraw the charge. In 1876, in Colonel Hillier's time, he was reprimanded for making highly improper and insubordinate statements.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
If I were to road all the statements made by Mr. Murphy, I should occupy the time of the House until this time to-morrow.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENEEAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
said, if it would please the hon. Member for the City of Cork, he would give an instance. On the 20th September, 1880, he said—Lord Macaulay exactly describes the treatment I have received. True justice was meted out thus—first, execution; then, investigation; and last of all (or rather not at all) the accusation.That was a sample of the way in which this gentleman wrote. [Laughter.] It might be very amusing and very clever; but he asked the House whether it was the way in which an officer of a Force should write to the head of the Force?
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
said, then came the transaction in 1881, to which reference had been made, when he was further cautioned that his conduct was noted on the record; and if aggravated by any future conduct of a similar nature, it would be at once dealt with as continuous and persistent insubordination. In June of the same year he was again reduced for insubordinate writing, and gravely warned that if he were again insubordinate to his superiors, either in writing or in speaking, the Inspector General would report that he was unfit for the Force, and recommend his immediate removal from it. A point had been made by hon. Members on the other side that nothing was recorded against Mr. Murphy since 1881. But that was not the case. After that date, on July 1.5th, 1882, he was again reprimanded, the Inspector General informing him that there was a very improper tone in his official correspondence, and that, if persisted in, the strongest measures would be taken to bring his insubordination to an end, and that it would cause his removal from the Force. Again, on January 8, 1884, he wrote another letter of a similar character, and was transferred in the spring of that year. A month after his transfer he was informed that if he continued to cause so much 1042 trouble and to put forward such exaggerated statements, it would be necessary to consider whether his retention in the Force was for the benefit of the Public Service. In August, 1884, he made certain statements against County Inspector Sheehan, which he was given an opportunity of withdrawing, but refused. As he persisted in these statements, the papers were submitted to the Inspector General, and a little later the charge of drunkenness was made against Mr. Murphy. The fact of it having been made was communicated to him five days afterwards. A court martial found that the charge was established, and it devolved upon the Inspector General to decide what should be done. It was a slight charge, and would not of itself have been one on which the Inspector General would have dismissed him; but, in the opinion of that officer, it was the last straw added to the 11 or 12 cautions and warnings which Mr. Murphy had had, including, in one instance, at least, a reduction by way of punishment. It was felt that such an offence was ample, in a Force requiring discipline, to justify the removal of this officer. In forwarding the discharge on September 22nd, 1884, Colonel Bruce recommended that he should be dismissed not on the charge of drunkenness, but on his aggregate conduct. With reference to the charge of felony brought by Mr. Murphy against his County Inspector, it consisted in these facts only—that 27 years before, the County Inspector, when a candidate for the Force, reported his age incorrectly by a year or two. With regard to the transactions with respect to French, he might say that the first occasion on which Mr. Murpby made any statement to the authorities about French was on the 17th of July, 1884, after French had been arrested, and three months after he had been dismissed from the Force. The evidence was submitted to the Commissioner; but what he asserted proved to be hearsay only, and could not be used in evidence. Some very strong language had been used by hon. Members about Colonel Bruce, about Sir John Wood, and about Colonel Hillier—in fact, every official with whom Murphy had come in contact had been denounced in strong language by the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Callan).
§ MR. CALLAN
I only used strong language in reference to Colonel Bruce; 1043 and I am prepared to abide by it and to prove it if I am afforded the opportunity.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOB IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
All I can say is that Colonel Bruce is a man of the highest character.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
He is a man who has held a high post for years with a character unstained, and I believe not one charge can ever be established against him.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
What has Colonel Bruce done? He has done nothing. I say that every word he heard about French he at once laid before the Lord Lieutenant. After the article appeared in United Ireland an informal inquiry was held, and nothing transpired against French.
§ MR. HARRINGTON
There was no article in United Ireland containing a specific charge against French.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
His name was coupled with that of Colonel Connolly.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WALKER)
But that was the article on which the action was afterwards brought. Everyone know that it was directed against French. It was on that article that he was directed by Colonel Bruce to clear his character. What transpired at that informal inquiry was laid within 24 hours before the Law Officers of the Crown; and they took the responsibility of saying that there was not one word in the proceedings before Colonel Bruce to establish any case of guilt against French. Therefore, Colonel Bruce's character, at all events, ought not to be slandered in the way in which it had been. He was an honourable gentleman, as everyone knew, and a high-minded and upright official.
MR. JUSTIN HUNTLY M'CARTHY
said, with reference to the fact that District Inspector Murphy had served under 1044 three Inspectors General, all of whom he had disagreed with, it would probably be found that he was all the more honourable for having persisted in that course of proceeding. However that might be, he (Mr. Justin Huntly M'Carthy) had to complain that the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland had drawn a comparison between Colonel Bruce and an hon. Member of that House.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I must be allowed to say that I am very sorry if that is the impression left on anyone's mind. I did not refer to any individual Member. When I mentioned Colonel Bruce, and said something in his favour, there was some deprecatory noise—I will not call it a sneer, but a sort of laugh, or something equivalent to that; and I then said that I would leave the country to judge between the character of Colonel Bruce and that of any hon. Member of this House. I did not refer to any individual Member of this House.
MR. JUSTIN HUNTLY M'CARTHY
said, he would be glad to find that he had made a mistake in the matter; but he was quite content to leave the Irish people to judge which was the better man between District Inspector Murphy and Colonel Bruce. Lord Spencer, however, did not wish to retain an honest man in the Service, and Mr. Murphy was sacrificed. He had, however, done a great service to Ireland by helping to break up an infamous gang in Dublin; and the manner in which he had been treated by the Government would be remembered by the people of Ireland, more especially when it was borne in mind that he had really done nothing to justify that dismissal.
§ MR. PARNELL
I am often surprised, when listening to debates raised by Irish Members in this House, at the attitude which the defenders of Her Majesty's Government on such occasions as the present take up. Tonight we have another example of the kind; and we find, as we have always found, that the two forlorn hon. and right hon. Gentlemen are left entirely to themselves to accomplish the task which 1045 I cannot help thinking must have been odious to them from the beginning—that of defending their system of government in Ireland, and that they have not the slightest encouragement from any of those who support them on other questions. That is a significant fact. It appears to me that hon. Members of the House, who usually follow the Government on questions which they do understand, vote with them yet on occasions like the present. I cannot help thinking that hon. Members very frequently feel themselves that they are giving their votes with great reluctance, and that they are not going into the right box; and it is a remarkable fact that all through the discussion that we have had upon Ireland no single supporter of the Government finds a voice to speak on their behalf. Then I am entitled to draw the conclusion that, however much they may feel it necessary to support the Government by their votes, they cannot, for the sake of very shame, find it in their power to offer an articulate expression of approval. The House will recollect that District Inspector Murphy was not an officer of a few years' service; he was an officer of 18 years' service. But although we are told he had been guilty of acts of insubordination in corresponding with no fewer than three of the Inspectors General of the Royal Irish Constabulary, yet it was not until after 18 years, not until after he had written a letter, or round robin, in the nature of a Report, to the Lord Lieutenant and Colonel Bracken-bury, giving information with regard to French's misconduct, and after a subsequent letter written by Mr. Murphy to the hon. and learned Member for Monaghan (Mr. Healy), that these charges of insubordination were brought against him. It was then that a charge of drunkenness, which was subsequently abandoned, was trumped up against District Inspector Murphy; it was then that the acts of insubordination were fallen back upon, and made use of as an accusation against him. We have been placed at great disadvantage in this discussion by the extraordinary conduct of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General for Ireland. He only gave one side of the case; and in the absence of official documents, to which he has access, and to which we have not access, it makes it unusually difficult for us to show the 1046 full strength of which this case is undoubtedly capable from our point of view. The hon. and learned Solicitor General for Ireland said a number of extracts from letters of Colonel Bruce, and also Inspector General Wood, complained of insubordinate passages in letters from Mr. Murphy to one or other of the Inspectors General; but though he gave us verbatim the accusatory passages from the letters to those officers, he did not give us a single one of the causes for which Inspector Murphy was dismissed. He has placed us, and the House also, in a very unfair position by this conduct. The charge of drunkenness against Inspector Murphy has been admittedly abandoned. It was abandoned by Colonel Bruce. We have his letter to that effect. It was abandoned by the Lord Lieutenant as his reason for dismissing Mr. Murphy—abandoned expressly, and in so many words. It was abandoned by the hon. and learned Solicitor General for Ireland. He said that the intoxication in the case was of a very slight nature; and there was some doubt about it, as there was only one witness. Then these acts of insubordination, running over 12 or 15 years, were those upon which Inspector Murphy was dismissed. Inspector Murphy was dismissed under circumstances creating the gravest suspicion against the Irish Executive in the ease of French. It is alleged by the Castle authorities, and by their defenders in this House, that Inspector Murphy was dismissed on account of certain acts or words of insubordination contained in letters to his Inspectors General. Why were not these words given to the House to-night, if they were capable of supporting such a charge of insubordination? Why did the hon. and learned Gentleman carefully avoid quoting them? When he was at last asked to mention one of these acts of insubordination, the only reply he could make was to quote a passage from Lord Macaulay. One would have thought that the knowledge of such an ornate and distinguished author as Lord Macaulay would not have been considered offensive knowledge, even on the part of a District Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary. But we now learn from the hon. and learned Solicitor General for Ireland that it was on account of a quotation to the Colonel of a passage from Lord Macaulay that Mr. 1047 Murphy was dismissed. At least, we have not heard any other passage. That is the only insubordinate passage, the only alleged insubordinate quotation on the part of Inspector Murphy that has been brought forward in evidence against him by the hon. and learned Solicitor General for Ireland. I am entitled to assume that such a distinguished master of prosecution and defence, for he has defended some of my comrades very ably in former days—I cannot believe that such a master of prosecution, as he has since unhappily become, could have omitted any other counts in the indictment. I am, therefore, entitled to assume that the worst and most hideous crime of Inspector Murphy was making this quotation from Lord Macaulay; and that passage will go down to posterity as a distinguished example of insubordinate language on the part of a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary. But even when the hon. and learned Solicitor General for Ireland gets up to defend so distinguished a man as Lord Spencer, he ought to deal with the matter seriously, and in accordance with the gravity of the case. This accusation against the Irish Executive is very serious. It is alleged by us—and we hare brought forward proof of it—that Sub-Inspector Murphy was not dismissed for insubordinate conduct extending over any number of years; that the insubordinate conduct, if it ever existed, and whatever it might have been, was, practically speaking, condoned and forgiven, and is now only the pretext for the dismissal of this unfortunate man. But we allege that Inspector Murphy was dismissed because he, first of all, gave information to the Lord Lieutenant and Colonel Brackenbury of French's misconduct, giving the names of seven witnesses who had knowledge of his misconduct, and because he had written to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Monaghan (Mr. Healy), asking him for assistance against the action of the police authorities, and had given to him the same statement which he had supplied to Lord Spencer and Colonel Bracken-bury with regard to French's disgrace. I admit, if you like, that Inspector Murphy was guilty of an act of insubordination in writing to my hon. and learned Friend; but that has not been brought forward as a reason for his dismissal. The Govern- 1048 ment have not the manliness to make the charge. The Government cannot admit that which all the world knows to be the real reason for Murphy's dismissal—they cannot admit that he was breaking the rules of the Force in writing to the hon. and learned Member for Monaghan, and appealing to him as the arbiter of law and justice in the matter, after he had vainly appealed to his own superior officer and to the noble Earl who ought to be the foundation of justice in Ireland. They dare not admit that; because, if they did, they would have admitted the real reason why they had made themselves the instruments in defending the most infamous nest of villains which existed in Dublin. But if Inspector Murphy has been dismissed he has not been silenced. He has been able to put in print a narrative of the persecution to which he has been subjected after it was discovered by the Castle authorities that he had been in communication with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Monaghan. We allege that there was a conspiracy between Colonel Bruce and Inspector Sheehan to get rid of Murphy. I shall be glad to know if the proceedings of District Inspector Murphy, which were found fault with and criticized by the Inspector General, were proceedings which he was not perfectly entitled to take as an honourable man, and also as an officer of the Royal Irish Constabulary? Secondly, whether his letters written to Inspector Bruce, in which the insubordinate passages not given to us by the Government were alleged to have occurred, were letters written to the Inspector General dissenting against a remonstrance made by Inspector Wood which he was not entitled to make? If that be so, the whole charge against Inspector Murphy vanishes into thin air. Inspector Murphy wants a simple inquiry before a simple tribunal in order to establish two things—first, that he has not been insubordinate; and, second, that he has been a victim of a conspiracy between Colonel Bruce and Inspector Sheehan because he gave information that led to the exposure of French. That inquiry has been denied; but I wish to ask the Government if they still maintain that attitude? Are they afraid to grant Murphy this inquiry? Do they believe that Murphy will be able to prove his 1049 case? These are very serious questions for the Government, and questions which the Government will be asked again and again to answer until satisfaction is obtained. Recollect that neither the Irish Executive nor their defenders come into court with clean hands in this matter. The House will remember that the late Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. Trevelyan) defended French in the House as long as it was possible to defend him. The Irish Executive used detectives for the purpose of defeating the efforts of Meiklejohn, and they acted in the most injudicious manner to defend these wretched men in this House. It will be remembered that when the Irish Executive was at last driven to take action that action was insufficient in the last degree; that the case against Cornwall and French and the others was got up in such a manner as to render it impossible for the jury to convict; and that no pains whatever were taken to secure convictions, although evidence or proof of the guilt of these men was abundant; and that while, in agrarian cases, all the resources and machinery of Dublin Castle would have been used without mercy and without scruple against the sought-for victim, in the case of these unheard-of criminals nothing was done to secure that justice was satisfied. The House will also remember that, during the whole course of these cases, the action of the Irish Executive was to excite the gravest suspicion that they thought it necessary to defend these wretched criminals, because they believed that the administration of what they called "law and order" was in the mind of the Irish people, and that the prestige of Dublin Castle and the Government would be deteriorated if it was found that some of the principal agents and instruments who were trying to bring home crime to innocent men were guilty themselves of the most unspeakable offences. Under these circumstances, I consider the conduct of the Government to-night doubly suspicious. No doubt, the right hon. Gentleman the present Chief Secretary for Ireland has to take up the burden of his Predecessors in this matter—a burden to escape from which the late Chief Secretary for Ireland resigned his Office. The right hon. Gentleman is obliged, to some extent, to defend everything that his 1050 Predecessor did, and all the acts of the present Administration in Ireland. It is one of the misfortunes of the Office which the right hon. Gentleman holds that while he is expected to be a regular Jack-of-all-trades, and to know everything, from the duty of a Field Marshal to the duty of a Sub-Inspector, and the duty of a clerk in a public office, he is also obliged to represent himself as sufficiently well informed upon every point to give answers in this House in relation to the 101 matters which we find it necessary to call his attention to, as if he himself were perfectly acquainted with all the details. We know how vast is the area encompassed by his Office, and how broad, and how deep, and how high is the mass of work which he has undertaken, and for which he is obliged to answer. We know that when he is defending such persons as Colonel Bruce, and when he is reading out here carefully-drafted replies, sent over to him from Dublin Castle, he is not speaking from his own convictions or knowledge, and that he is merely retailing at second-hand the views of a number of prominent officials, who know full well that the period during which they will be responsible for any portion of the system of government in Ireland will be very short indeed. He (Mr. Parnell) therefore sympathized to some extent with the right hon. Gentleman, but; while we sympathize with him, we cannot allow him to escape on that ground, and we say that in taking up, as he has done, the chain which his Predecessor had to drop, and in making himself the defender of such proceedings as those involved in the dismissal of District Inspector Murphy, and defending the doings of Colonel Bruce and County Inspector Sheehan in the persecution of this unfortunate man, he is undoubtedly doing a thing which will bring no credit to the Government to which he belongs, and will certainly not increase the respect of the Irish people for what is called "law and order," or increase their love for, and induce them to cherish friendlier feelings towards, the maintenance of British rule in that country.
§ MR. WARTON
said, he thought that the gloomy and almost savage silence maintained by the bulk of the Party opposite, when complaints were made by Irish Members, was hardly calculated to 1051 conciliate the followers of the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell). He (Mr. Warton) held that a disposition ought always to be evinced to hear patiently the accusations that were brought against the officials of Dublin Castle. As to Inspector Murphy, he ought to have been dismissed from the Force in 1881, if not before. The Executive was much to blame for having allowed him to commit seven or eight acts of insubordination with immunity from punishment.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
hoped that the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) would now see the necessity of changing the manner in which Irish Business was debated in the House. His hon. Friend the Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) in the course of his speech had asked various questions; but the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland and the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General for Ireland (Mr. Walker) had previously exhausted their right to speak, and therefore there was no one to answer them. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) ventured to say there was no other Member of the House holding the position of his hon. Friend who would be left unanswered. That he considered a most inconvenient, and he might almost say unseemly, state of things, and the sooner it was mended the better. He should be very glad indeed if there were some Member left on the Treasury Bench who could supply some buttresses to the very shaky building set up by the hon. and learned Solicitor General for Ireland. He complained that though the hon. and learned Gentleman had said all he could against Mr. Murphy when in the service of the Government, he had mentioned none of the points that might be made in his favour, although he knew very well that Mr. Murphy was left without any resources, and had to begin the world anew. He thought that the number of times Mr. Murphy had been highly commended for his conduct when on special service should have been referred to, and also the fact that he was able to get a most remarkable series of testimonials from Lord Ardilaun, Mr. Blake, and others. He was surprised that the hon. and learned Gentleman had not alluded to this unbroken favourable record of services in the most 1052 difficult situations and trying times. The hon. and learned Gentleman had repeated, at least five or six times, the charge against Inspector Murphy of making a false return, although Inspector Murphy over and over again endeavoured to direct the attention of his superiors to that charge, in order to have it re-opened, and every time his request to be allowed to clear his character was refused. With regard to the charges of insubordination made against him, they amounted, when thoroughly sifted, to only two, and those of a very insignificant kind, in the course of 18 years. When pressed strongly to give particulars of the insubordinate statements which he attributed to District Inspector Murphy, the Solicitor General for Ireland at last offered to read one of those statements, and it turned out to be only a quotation from Lord Macaulay. That was the solitary instance of an insubordinate statement on District Inspector Murphy's part which was adduced to the House by the hon. and learned Gentleman. For himself, he believed that the real reason for District Inspector Murphy's dismissal was not the ostensible one that was brought forward by the Lord Lieutenant, and that that deserving officer was treated with an amount of unfairness and want of consideration which was a very bad return for all his past services. By the Police Code, any charges brought against a member of the Force had to be in writing in clear and distinct terms, and a copy of the charges must be given. It was also expressly stated that no general charges of misconduct should be brought against a member of the Force. In the case of Mr. Murphy the charge of insubordination had not been made at all, much less in writing, and he had been dismissed upon a general charge of misconduct, in direct antagonism to both the letter and the spirit of the Code under which he had taken office, and according to which he ought to have been tried. It had been said that Mr. Murphy had been reprimanded by three different Inspectors General; but no mention had been made of the fact that one of these three had himself been dismissed from the Force. In Ireland Mr. Murphy would be regarded as an honest and outspoken official, who had on that account been dismissed after an unfair trial. The defence of 1053 the Government that night had left the matter precisely where it stood. They (the Irish Members) claimed that Mr. Murphy was treated with an amount of unfairness and want of consideration that were a very bad return indeed, not only for his personal services, but for the extraordinary services which he had rendered to the organization to which he belonged.
§ Main Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.