HC Deb 25 February 1886 vol 302 cc1190-1

I beg to give Notice that on Monday next I will ask the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, with reference to his statement as to dispensing with certain powers claimed by the Executive in Ireland, Whether he is aware that the National League arrogates to itself the power directly and indirectly to prohibit the payment of rent; whether the Rev. Mr. O'Connor, parish priest, of Firies, is not reported in The Kerry Sentinel of November 10 to have stated at a meeting of the National League— That any tenant who went behind the back of the other tenants and paid his rent was a traitor to the cause. [A Voice: Shoot them.] Father O'Connor: Don't. Whether Mr. Curtin was not shot on the Friday following, having paid his rent; and, whether as this and similar circumstances have occurred constantly in Ireland the Chief Secretary will take steps to bring the laws of conspiracy to bear upon illegal combinations of this character?


Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of Order. I would ask whether the statement of the hon. and gallant Member that the National League arrogates to itself certain powers is not a matter of opinion and argument, and is, therefore, by the Standing Orders of the House, excluded from the Journals of the House?


At the same time I would ask, as a matter of Order, whether it is within the spirit of the Rules of this House that hon. Members, at Notice time, should inflict upon the House long extracts from letters in newspapers, containing expressions such as those to which my hon. Friend has called attention, which will not and cannot afterwards appear on the Journals of the House, being contrary to the Orders and spirit of the Rules of the House?


In reply to the two hon. Members, I have to say that I wish the House would sanction me in restraining Questions of the nature referred to, and also in enforcing the practice that when Questions are to be put they may be placed on the Notice Paper without previous Notice, or being required to read them. With reference to the special Question asked, I shall, of course, before it appears on the Paper, carefully revise it; and if I find introduced in it any argumentative matter or any disputed statement of fact I shall not allow it to appear.


When the Question is put I will ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, whether the meeting referred to was not a meeting of the tenantry of a certain estate; whether it is not the fact that the landlord, in consequence of the action of the tenants since, has made a reduction of rent to the extent of 20 per cent; and, whether the landlord in question is not a Member of Her Majesty's Government?

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