HC Deb 07 June 1886 vol 306 cc1145-245


Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [10th May], "That the Bill be now-read a second time."

And which Amendment was, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(The Marquess of Hartington.)

Question again proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

Debate resumed.

MR. GOSCHEN (Edinburgh, E.)

Mr. Speaker, I think it has become almost a commonplace in the opening of speeches in this debate to say that one of the most momentous issues presented to the notice of Parliament during the present century is now before us. I regret that this great issue has to so great an extent been obscured by many occurrences which have taken place during the last fortnight. Even now, many Members of this House scarcely know on what they are invited to vote—[Cries of "Oh!"]—or, if any hon. Members prefer it, I will not say on what they are invited to vote, but on what they are going to vote. Some few Members in this House, besides the Members from Ireland—some few Members on the Front Ministerial Bench, are prepared, we may believe, to vote for the Bills as they are. A large number of Members on this side of the House are prepared to vote for the Bills, because they are going to be withdrawn. The Prime Minister has stated what he considers to be the point upon which the House is to divide tonight—the establishment of a Legislative Body in Ireland to deal with exclusively Irish affairs. But has any Member in this House the right to say what is the precise point in the Bill submitted to us which will constitute the issue before us? It strikes me that the issue upon which we are called to vote is the Bill before the House; and however much the issue may be limited to one point by the Prime Minister, there are many hon. Members who will be perfectly entitled to say that they have registered their votes upon totally different grounds. They will say that they have voted in favour of the Bill, and the only record that will be found upon the Journals of this House will be that they have voted either for or against the Bill which has been presented to us. And supposing we were to vote for it as an abstract Resolution, I doubt whether the Prime Minister himself will be able to make a high argument as regards the virtues of an abstract Resolution in a case such as this; and it is possible that he himself might hold that there was no Parliamentary device more likely to lead to bitter disappointment and discredit, and to falsify hopes. An abstract Resolution submitted to this House might commit you to a wish; but it commits you to no pledge that you either can or will be able to put that wish into practical shape. It is said that the passage of this Bill is to be a message of love to Ireland; but the paper on which this message of love is written is to be torn up immediately, before the ink is dry. The Bills are to be withdrawn which contain the promise.

But now let me ask hon. Members who are prepared to vote for this Bill on the ground of the negotiations and correspondence and explanations and answers to questions which have been given in this House, do they even yet know precisely where they are? ["Yes!"] I hear a bold man behind me say "Yes." They do not know to what extent the Government are or are not pledged to reconstruct their Bill. The Prime Minister was indignant, the other day, when he was told he was going to reconstruct his Bill. [Mr. GLADSTONE dissented.] I thought it looked like indignation——


That is rather a gross error. What the right hon. Gentleman thinks looked like indignation was an eager repudiation by me of the cool statement that I had promised to reconstruct the Bill.


I see the distinction. My right hon. Friend was indig- nant at the cool assumption that he had promised to reconstruct the Bill. Hon. Members must see, therefore, that he has not promised to reconstruct the Bill. Some hon. Members thought that he had; but we have now a distinct statement that he has not. I fear my right hon. Friend has lost a vote by that answer; but that, of course, will be indifferent to him. But there is my hon. Friend the Member for the Barnard Castle Division of Durham (Sir Joseph Pease), who made an interesting speech the other evening—interesting from a psychological point of view—and who stated that, contrary to the declarations of the Chief Secretary for Ireland, the Bill would be reconstructed, and that for that reason only he looked with favour upon supporting the second reading. That was the attitude taken by the hon. Baronet. He distinctly warned the Government, in a phrase that easily impresses itself upon the memory, that they were bound "to be off with the old love before they were on with the new." That was his statement, and he said he would vote for the second reading, because he believed the Bill would be reconstructed. But we hear now it will not be reconstructed.

Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE, turning to Mr. Goschen, here interjected a remark which was inaudible in the Gallery.


Well, are the Government going to stand by their Bill, or are they not? This confusion comes from voting, not upon the Bill, but upon explanations, upon explanations first given at the Foreign Office, amplified or re-explained on the Friday following, further explained by an answer given to a Question on Monday, and again elucidated in various letters which have passed between the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends. That is the basis upon which many hon. Members are invited to vote upon this Bill, which, it is admitted, is one of the most important ever submitted to Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, the opponents of this Bill are not dissatisfied with the situation which events have assumed. Whether the division should result this evening in their favour or not they have achieved this, at least—that these Bills will be withdrawn; that these Bills will not be passed. And they have achieved the further result—and I am glad to call attention to it—that my right hon. Friend at the head of the Government is now more anxious to ascertain from his supporters what they will authorize him to give, than to insist upon knowing what the followers of the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) would accept. The tone is different, and it has been shown that the Parliament of Great Britain is not inclined to consider the hon. Member for the City of Cork as our Dictator. During the Recess I heard one who is now a Minister of the Crown say that it was certain the hon. Member for the City of Cork would be Dictator; but I think the hon. Member himself and his followers will acknowledge that we have now discovered points at which even men who are prepared to give some legislative autonomy to Ireland would draw the line.

Well, Sir, I said there was a change in this respect, and there is a change, and a welcome change, in another. The House will remember that my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland, in speaking on the first reading of the Bill, alluded repeatedly to "dark subterranean forces," though the House itself never much relished the allusion to those "dark subterranean forces." We do not hear so much of them now. Their presence and their pressure had some influence at first, perhaps, upon public opinion; but now they are withdrawn, not entirely, but to a great extent from our sight, and the curtain is dropped on those terrible times, the tragedies of which have scarcely faded from our memories. The alarmed Home Secretary of the Prime Minister's last Administration is now able to re-appear as the jocular and light-hearted Chancellor of the Exchequer of the present Government, and to make merry at what he calls melodramatic valour. I should think my right hon. Friend is the last man in this House who ought to take such a tone. At what date did my right hon. Friend begin to scoff at the reminder of possible dangers? I wonder whether it was at the date when first he bound on his arm, over his Ministerial uniform, the badge of Home Rule worn by the followers of the hon. Member for the City of Cork.

My right hon. Friend knows now, and we know now, that a "truce of God" has been proclaimed. How far does that "truce of God" extend? It extends to us here in this House; it extends now to Great Britain, and that part of the "dark subterranean forces" who were told off to terrify British opinion are holding their hands. But the devil is still at his work in some parts of Ireland. I scarcely thought hon. Members opposite from Ireland would disguise the deep regret they themselves must feel at the injury done to their cause by such murders as those to which I am referring. I presume they disguise the regret which I know they feel under the jeers with which they receive my statement. The democracy of England is to be appealed to to do justice to all; they will also require to see justice done on all; and I should have thought that hon. Members opposite would lend their great influence, and use their vast organizations, to help to drag to the light the perpetrators of those vile outrages. I do not say that they can do it; this matter may have passed beyond their powers and out of their hands; and I do assure hon. Members opposite—they may believe me or not—that it is not for the purpose of inflicting pain that I have thought it right to remind the House of a state of things for which we are still responsible, for we are still responsible for the protection of life and property in Ireland. I say it is not for any light purpose that I have brought this subject up, but in order that it may be shown that, whether we are right or wrong, we have some reason to hesitate when we are asked to place the protection of life and property in Ireland in the hands of an untried and new Executive, to part with the police, to disorganize the whole service in Ireland—I say we have a right to pause before we do so when we see the state of Ireland which is revealed by those outrages of which we have heard.

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken of some changes which have taken place in the present Irish situation, and I now wish to refer to the words which fell from the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and which made a great impression upon me, because, to a great extent, they represent my own views. He spoke of a vaster change, and one of a more permanent character, a change which had come over the whole of the Irish Question, particularly of late years—of the greater power exercised by the Irish people in consequence of the extension of the franchise, and their stronger representation in this House, and the loss of power which this country had consequently incurred, and he wound up by alluding to the millions of Irish-Americans, saying that that was the most important of all changes— Because the growth of Ireland across the seas had given to the Irish people at home a self-confidence, a moral power, and a command of material resources, of which O'Connell had never dreamt. Yes, the Chief Secretary continually recalls the Irish-Americans; and I trust the House will bear his warning constantly in mind, and then apply it to all the analogies he used in favour of this Bill. When the analogy of the Colonies is put to us, we may ask whether, in that case, we have the same danger, or the same influences of the Irish-Americans? When the Parliaments of previous centuries are appealed to it is forgotten that this change has come over the whole situation, and it ought to be present to the minds of all of us, when we speak of separation, when we speak of possible friction, and the finality of this Bill—when we speak of any struggle in which we may have to engage with Ireland—we ought, I say, to bear the words of the Chief Secretary in mind, that the Irish people now possess— A self-confidence, a moral power, and a command of material resources, of which O'Connell had never dreamt. Bearing that warning in mind, let me now address myself, following the example of the Chief Secretary, to the Bill, or, if not to the Bill, to the scheme embodied in the Bill, but always remembering the changes which have occurred. Now, the charge has been brought against Her Majesty's Government that this Bill was introduced in such haste that it is full of defects and difficulties. I am inclined to believe that most of these defects and difficulties, to which attention has been drawn, are not the result of hasty drafting, but that they are the result of difficulties inherent in the very essence of the case, and, in fact, that this Bill is a bundle of impossibilities. Take, for instance, the case of the presence of the Irish Members at Westminster. Two impossible things are attempted to be done—the continuous presence of the Irish Members at Westminster, and a separate Legislative Body in Ireland. Many means have been tried to solve that diffi- culty. It seems to me an inherent impossibility, as the Prime Minister practically stated when moving the first reading. Then there is the question of Ulster. It seems to me equally impossible to include Ulster in the Legislative Body at Dublin, or, on the other hand, to give it a separate Legislature. But there are many Members who would, or would not, record their votes for this Bill, according as Ulster is, or is not, excluded. Then there are the questions of finance and of taxes. There, again, you have an impossible task. It is equally impossible to fix a permanent sum as Ireland's contribution, and to give the Irish Parliament an effective voice as to the taxes to be imposed. These are not hasty defects which the Government have committed, but they are inherent defects, and this Bill has been drawn in this way because these defects were inherent. And if the Bill is withdrawn, it may be found that subsequent Bills will have equally to be withdrawn, because the same impossibilities will re-appear. And now I think I ought to remind hon. Members that there are several points on which, with regard to this Bill, we are entirely without information. Is this Bill still inseparably tied up with the Land Scheme? I wonder whether my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will think it right to vouchsafe an answer to that question when he replies? I have seen the correspondence which has taken place on the subject between him and an hon. Member of this House; and he refers to the declaration which he made on the first reading of the Bill. The words, I think, were these—"The subjects were inseparable in our minds"—the minds of the Government—"at the present moment." But "inseparable in our minds at the present moment" is not a phrase which conveys absolute information to us; and I think that the House is entitled—the friends and opponents of the Bill alike—to know whether this Bill, in its unreconstructed form, when it comes back in the autumn, will, or will not, be accompanied by the measure which now the Government consider to be inseparable from it. I do not think that that is an unreasonable demand.

I also should like to know whether, in the course of these long discussions, any ray of light has penetrated the open mind of the Government on the question of Ulster? Has any suggestion penetrated there, or are we, after all these debates, in this position—that Ulster will have no idea as to whether Her Majesty's Government intend, or do not intend, to give any consideration to that earnest pleading which Ulster has sent here? [An hon. MEMBER: Which Ulster?] Oh! if hon. Members ask what I mean by "Ulster," I mean precisely the same Ulster with regard to which the Prime Minister spoke on the first reading. I thought he must know.

Well, then, there is a third question on which we expect some light, and on which there still seems to hang a tremendous fog, and that is a question which has been more debated than any other—the question of the presence of Irish Members in this House. What has been granted, and what has not been granted? I think I see a clear distinction. No hope has been held out by the Prime Minister that the 24th clause will be dropped from the Bill. The 24th clause means the disappearance of any Representatives from Ireland as permanent and integral Members of this House. That clause has not been dropped. Two heads of objection have been felt with regard to the exclusion of Irish Members—one that they would not be able to deal with Imperial affairs or taxation, and what I may fairly call the argument that Ireland would be in a degraded position; the other a totally different argument, and one mainly insisted on by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham—that the exclusion of the Irish Members from this House meant the sacrifice by this House of the necessary locus standi and authority to deal with any Irish subjects that might be referred back from Ireland, or that this country might wish to see referred back to the Imperial Parliament. Hon. Members will see that that is a point on which, as I understand it, no concession whatever has been made by Her Majesty's Government. The Irish Members will be excluded from Parliament as permanent Members, and all that we know is this—that they are to be called back, under some plan which we have not yet seen, on important occasions interesting to themselves. Now, the Prime Minister, at the Foreign Office, I understand, said that he saw his way to a plan. When shall we know the nature of that plan? Shall we hear of it to-night? If we hear of it to-night, we may have to give our vote on the strength of the plan. Yes; some of us—certainly the waverers—some of those who are to be persuaded by correspondence. They know that the Prime Minister sees his way to a plan; but even if we see it before we come to vote, we shall only see it in the glowing light of the eloquence of my right hon. Friend, and without the power of being able to examine it or reply to it. The plan itself, I expect, we shall never see until October, when the next Bill is introduced. The question of Irish representation in this House leads directly and naturally to that question which lies at the bottom of the whole debate—the question of the sovereignty of Parliament. Hon. Members need not be alarmed, for I shall not follow the example of those Gentlemen of the long robe who have discussed this question upon purely Constitutional grounds. I think the case, in some respects, was extremely clearly put by the hon. Member for Sligo (Mr. Sexton) and the hon. and learned Member for South Derry (Mr. T. M. Healy). It was very interesting to watch the point to which they went, and with reference to this I should also ask the House to bear in mind that whenever supporters of the Government or Members of the Front Ministerial Bench have spoken, addressing themselves to the Irish Benches, of the sovereignty of the Imperial Parliament, there was a cessation of those enthusiastic cheers with which the utterances of the Government have generally been supported in that question. That has been my observation, and I think it has been very close. Now, I am glad to think that in the latter part of this debate, and especially in the speech of the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Henry H. Fowler), the sovereignty of Parliament was considerably insisted upon; but the case is this, and I think we may treat it, as others have said, from the most common-sense point of view. Supposing it is granted that the sovereignty is not impaired, but that it is in reserve; supposing that it is granted that it can be exercised, but that it would be a breach of contract to exercise it; is it not true that that sovereignty is practically weakened and impaired by the suspense and by the contract that we will not use it? I think that it was the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself who used the words that, of course, in a certain sense, the sovereignty of Parliament would be impaired. Are we content to allow it to be impaired in that sense? The point is this, and it was put in this way by the hon. Member for Sligo—he showed that the sovereignty was good against any breach of contract upon the part of Ireland; he showed that precautions had been taken with regard to the exercise of any illegitimate powers by establishing a Court, or by referring disputed matters to the Privy Council. But then the hon. Member came to the third head, that of possible misdoing on the part of the Irish Parliament; and he said—"If, on the other hand, they should pass Acts contrary to public policy, have you not the veto of the First Order in Ireland?" And the hon. Member went on to explain that the minority in Ireland had been given a great deal too much power. Well, but, if that is so, the House will see that the sovereignty in this respect is not dependent upon anything else but upon that power of veto which is given to the First Order in the new Legislative Body in Dublin—a First Order as to which I am extremely doubtful whether we shall see it again when we see the Bill next winter. There are certain precautions which have been taken in this Bill for the protection of minorities. Several Members of the Government have told us that they attach value to them, mainly on account of the fears of others, and not on account of fears which they entertain themselves. That is not an attitude of much encouragement towards those clauses which are to protect the minority; and so we come to this point—that the operation of the sovereignty of Parliament is dependent upon clauses in the Bill to which it is highly possible that the majority in this House will never consent. As was said, I think by my noble Friend the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington), in his speech at Bradford—there will be this great distinction, if this Bill is passed, from the present position—that there will be men having grievances who will not be able to come to the Imperial Parliament for the removal of those grievances. If we part with the control over legislation in Ireland, let us do it with our eyes open, because even though there were some power of veto, if you establish a separate Government and a separate Executive, if you establish this whole apparatus of Government, the exercise of the veto would lead to such intolerable friction that the last state of things would be worse than the first. I say, therefore, that the sovereignty of Parliament is visibly and sensibly impaired by the proposals of this Bill.

Now, Sir, with regard to the protection of minorities. This is an essential point of the case. As I have ventured to say, until I know the Government view about the Land Bill, until I know the Government view about Ulster, until I know the attitude of Members on this side of the House towards that part of the scheme which involves the veto of the First Order, we have no security that that protection will be given. And, speaking of minorities, I would say a very few words upon a question which is an extremely delicate one, but to which I do not wish entirely to give the go-by—that is, the question between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants in Ireland. I entirely believe that there would not be what you would call persecution. We have got, of course, beyond that. I will go further, and I will say that I believe in the sincerity of the great number of hon. Members from Ireland when they declare that they would be anxious to prevent that clerical ascendancy which is aimed at by the priesthood. ["No, no!"] You have not heard the end of my sentence—which is aimed at by the priesthood of almost every Church; that ascendancy in education which I say is aimed at by the clergy of almost every Church. Why, surely, wherever we look, whether we look at history or at the present times, there is a fierce struggle in educational matters by the members of all religious denominations to keep as strong a hold as possible over the education of the young. It is a natural and perfectly justifiable tendency on the part of the clergy. I believe that hon. Members opposite will, if this Bill should pass, find themselves embarked in a tremendous struggle with the Roman Catholic clergy with regard to many of those educational questions; and it has required the moderating influence of England, that kind of neutral support which has been given, and which has sometimes been objected to in an almost angry mood by the ecclesiastics of Ireland—it has required that to keep the Protestants and the Catholics working comfortably, if they do work comfortably, together. The example of other countries has been appealed to. I think someone asked whether there was any country in Europe where there was a Roman Catholic ascendancy in which Protestants were not properly treated? I do not think, as I say, that you can point to persecution; but in Austria and Bohemia the position of the Protestants is by no means comfortable. They are elbowed out in various ways. They suffer in their educational arrangements; and I venture to say that, with every desire on the part of what I may call the lay Leaders of the Nationalist Party, they will have very great difficulty in this respect with the Roman Catholic clergy. I have put this part of the case, I hope, temperately. I have no wish in the world to excite any religious animosity; but I have said that there are dangers which have to be looked in the face. Let us also remember this—in acknowledging the difficulties with which the Irish will have to deal, that there is in Ireland, as compared with any foreign country, the example of which has been cited not only this difference in creed, but that it is aggravated by differences of class and differences of race; and we cannot entirely ignore this most striking distinction between Ireland and those countries. Well, let us pass from the consideration of the Protestant minority in general to the position of Ulster. Apart from any pressure upon the Protestants, what is now going on surely indicates great dangers arising from the rivalries of race and creed in Ireland; and how strong a hand is necessary, and, if possible, a neutral hand, to meet such difficulties as those which have just occurred. And the mention of Ulster reminds me of a matter which I am compelled to touch, as an explanation has been asked of me with reference to a point in an earlier speech of mine, to which allusion has been made by the hon. Member for the St. Stephen's Green Division of Dublin (Mr. Gray) on the subject of the Irish linen trade. It is scarcely part of the general argument; but the hon. Member complained of my having alluded to some remarks on the linen trade in a journal under his control. I will gladly say that I am convinced that the hon. Member had no animosity towards the linen trade in Ireland; but, on the contrary, that he instituted the inquiry published in his journal in its interests. I have read the whole of the papers which the hon. Gentleman has sent me. I admit that he undertook the inquiry and appointed a commissioner with the wish to servo the linen trade; but I must also admit that he was singularly unfortunate in the choice of the instrument he selected. I read to the House, on the first occasion, some quotations; and if I trouble them with other quotations now, it is merely that they may recognize some of the difficulties which exist with regard to Ulster. Through the whole of the correspondence in the paper in question the differences arising between the Protestants and Catholics are continually brought to the front, and complaints on the part of the Catholics that they are not employed by the Protestants, and recrimination on the part of the Protestants. Then follow denunciations of the linen trade as a scourge and not a blessing to Ulster. Here is an extract—I will not read many. It is from The Belfast Morning News of December 29, 1884. The writer says— Show American public opinion, interested in Ireland, interested in linen—that opinion which backs its judgment by purchase—that the supposed immaculately white article is deeply, densely, doubly orange and purple—that the bigoted Ulster 'linenites' rather than extend the area of flax cultivation to South and West—rather than supplement 'flaxed-out' Ulster by the 'Papist and League-ridden' Provinces—cheerfully allow the linen trade to walk the plank—and you at once bring to bear on the indiscriminate users of the Syrian hue an irresistible influence. It is the Gospel truth, as your Ohio correspondent was informed, that the linen trade of Ireland is solidly Orange. Here, again, is another extract from the same paper— The linen trade has been a scourge and not a blessing to Ulster. The Province is by far the poorest of the four, except Connaught, and even tops Munster in many respects. This Mr. T. Galloway Rigg, of Castle Douglas, has proved with force, finish, and finality in two admirable letters to The Dumfries and Galloway Standard. … Mr. Rigg does not mention what intensified the sterility of the Province; what added to the ruggedness of hill and mountain; what accentuated the inhospitality of bog and morass, and aggravated the fluvial propensities of the fine, watery, marshy, vapoury privileges enjoyed by Ulidia—the existence of the linen trade. The House will judge whether I was right in what I said in the speech which I made on the first reading of the Bill—that this correspondence in The Belfast Morning News boded little good to the linen trade if Home Rule were established. There is one point more on which I was specially challenged in reference to Ulster. I was reproached with having dealt with Schedule D only, and with having omitted Schedule A from my consideration. Speaking of the resources which would be enjoyed by the future Government of Ireland, I did not give the figures of Schedule D without mentioning clearly that I was speaking of Schedule D exclusively; but I distinctly spoke of them as showing the industrial resources of Ireland; and I will tell hon. Members why, in making their balance-sheet with regard to the finances under the new régime—a point which has never yet been dealt with by Her Majesty's Government, and which has attracted none of their arguments—I do not think they can count much upon Schedule A. And why? Schedule A will not form an available resource for the Income Tax. ["Why not?"] Hon. Members say, "Why not?" The Land Bill is still inseparably connected—at least, in the minds of Her Majesty's Government—with the scheme before the House. Under that Bill the owners of the land are to be paid by Consols. On these Consols the dividends will be paid in England; and the rent of Ireland, therefore, will not pay Income Tax under Schedule A in Dublin, but under Schedule D in England. Schedule A—not so far as regards houses, but as regards land—will perish as a taxable resource, unless you intend, after the property owners have carried off their Consols, to put Schedule A again as a tax upon the peasant proprietors who may be established in Ireland. Among the points which the Government have never dealt with, or attempted to deal with, is this question of the finances of Ireland. It has been put over and over again to them that friction must follow, because Ireland would have to pay a vast tribute for a poor country; and I should like to know why they have not answered the point? It may be said that this financial question is only a detail—that it is a matter to be dealt with afterwards. That is the only way in which I can account for the fact that none of the Prime Minister's Colleagues have dealt with this, which is surely a most important matter. And why so important? Because it leads up to a most momentous question with which the Government have attempted more or less, and hon. Members opposite also have continually attempted, to deal; and that is, whether this scheme can be looked upon as a final settlement, and will not ultimately lead to separation. Now, whether this is a final settlement I do not think will depend upon the assurances—I have no doubt the sincere assurances—of hon. Members opposite. I will not deal with this part of the case; because it has been pointed out over and over again that hon. Members cannot bind Ireland with regard to a final settlement. I allude to it for this reason—that if we wish this to be a final settlement, we must take care there is no room for friction; because, if there is friction, friction will upset the settlement, and the upsetting of the settlement may probably lead to separation; and I say in this scheme—not only in the Bill, but in the scheme itself—there are the elements of commercial friction, of financial friction, of legislative friction, and, above all, too, of Executive friction. That reminds me of another point which the Government have never attempted to answer, and that is with regard to the dangers which, from many international points of view, we might expect by establishing in Ireland an entirely separate Executive. I wish once more to recall to the notice of the House that, when we talk of Home Rule and a Legislative Body in Ireland, which is said to be just the principle of this Bill, it is accompanied by establishing in Ireland a separate Cabinet, a separate Executive; and in this it differs entirely from any demands for improved local government which come from Scotland or any other part of the Kingdom; it is this separate Executive that will lead up to friction and to separation. I admit that if you give this Parliament in Dublin such power as is sketched out by the Prime Minister, it is almost necessary to give an Executive too, and the Government may justify themselves and say they are compelled to give an Executive. But my inference is different. I say if you are compelled in that way to part with the Executive, do not give the Legislative Assembly in the form you propose to do. That is my answer to my right hon. Friend. I alluded, when I spoke first, to the difficulties of the Foreign Enlistment Act, to the case of the Alabama, to the many cases where this Imperial Parliament would be responsible for the acts of the Executive in Ireland; yet without any hope of our being able to control those acts. And do hon. Members below the Gangway think that is a mere abstract doubt? Do they think it is a question which I merely bring forward for the sake of argument? We have before us, at this moment, an instance which ought to make us realize the great dangers of the case. Is there not in Canada at this moment the precise difficulty of which I have spoken—the Canadian Executive getting into trouble with the Imperial Rule of the United States, and this country being responsible for the difficulty, and having to settle the difficulty with America? The analogy of the Colonies has been brought forward. It has been asked, how do you settle these difficulties in the Colonies? There is the answer—You have the difficulties of the Colonies, and they might sometimes lead you into war; yet to that part of the case the Prime Minister and his Friends have not condescended to give the slightest reply. Let me come back to the point that there will be Executive friction, and that Executive friction may lead to separation. It has been assumed—what we all wish in our hearts might be true—that if you grant Home Rule to Ireland the grant will be followed by smiling plenty in every part of the country—that the Land Question, that the poverty of Ireland, and that all those causes of misery which reach so deep down into her social system, will vanish with Home Rule. But is that so? Can you hope that the poverty of Ireland will be cured by her being, so to speak, cut adrift from the richer country? Do you think that there will be no discontent; that that discontent will not culminate in agitation; and that that agitation may not once more be used as an argument for a further disturbance of this settlement, and, ultimately, for separation? And then, remember, we must keep before our minds the words of warning of the Chief Secretary. If there is much discontent, if this settlement, which it is hoped is to be a final settlement, should not be final, you are told Ireland has amoral support which she never had before. You are told that the Irish-Americans will place resources at her disposal of which she never had an idea before. You have parted with your Executive Government; you have alienated the friends of England in Ireland—perhaps turned them into your bitterest foes. You have placed the Executive in new and untried hands. But it is said, even supposing, under all these circumstances, there is that friction, that agitation, those difficulties, are you not 30,000,000, and they are only 5,000,000 in Ireland? Suppression by force is held out to us as a remedy for this state of things. But if that be so, if force is to be used, remember how all the conditions are changed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in an historic mood the other evening, spoke to us about Grattan's Parliament, and pointed out that Grattan's Parliament was much more independent than that which you now propose to establish. But was the Executive independent? Was the Executive not in the hands of the Crown? Was the Executive responsible to the Parliament of England, or to the Irish Parliament, as it is proposed to make this now Executive? It was by the Executive that the two countries at that time were held together. [An hon. MEMBER: 1798.] Not 1798; it was before 1798; I have still to speak of 1796. My right hon. Friend cheered the remark that it was by the Executive that the two countries were hold together, and it was also cheered by the right hon. Gentleman who is, as we all know, the latest convert to those views—I mean the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I have a splendid extract from a speech of his in my pocket. [Cries of "Read!"] No; I shall resist the temptation; but he will know to what I refer when I state that it is from his speech upon the Irish University Bill in 1874, when he said that these Irish questions ought not to be treated according to Irish views, but according to Imperial views. But that was before he had noticed the statues of Burke and Grattan, of which he told us the other night. But to return to the point as to the one Executive having, in the time of Grattan, held the two countries together. I wish the two to be held together still. We are surprised to find that the Prime Minister will not admit that it is our duty still to keep the two countries together.


I have said so.


Well, the right hon. Gentleman would find it very difficult with the present Bill. My argument is that an appeal to the Parliament of Grattan, where you had an independent Parliament with an Executive dependent upon the Crown, cannot satisfy us that, if difficulties arose under this Bill, the unity that could be maintained then could be equally maintained now. There cannot be an argument from analogy where there is not, as a basis, that union of the Executive which exists, for instance, in the case of Austria and Hungary.


Partial unity only.


Well, I will not pursue the argument further. But here is another point. How is the question of the unity affected by the existence of the Irish-Americans? Remember I told you that their existence must always be borne in mind. An hon. Member just now called out "1798." But what happened in 1796? Was there not a French force that started from France, and which would have invaded Ireland but for a storm that then occurred? The unity of the Kingdom was not so entirely secure under the Grattan system, and but for the storms and waves it is not so certain that the Chancellor of the Exchequer could have pointed with such triumphant emphasis to the security of those days. My right hon. Friend also appealed to "the wisdom of our ancestors," and he read some striking passages to show that the statesmen of those days accepted cheerfully the separation of the two Parliaments. They assented cheerfully, but only when it had become absolutely indispensable; and it is a remarkable fact that my right hon. Friend, with all his great historical knowledge, was not able to quote a single instance from later statesmen in favour of anything like the course now proposed by the Government in this Bill. But ought he not to have put before the House the circumstances which really compelled the English Government to consent to that surrender? Does he not know that it was practically extorted from the British Government by the perils in which they stood? ["Hear, hear!"] My right hon. Friend and the Chief Secretary cheer that statement. I understand that cheer. I said that the quotations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer only showed that it was "the wisdom of our ancestors" to cheerfully concede what was extorted from them, and that statement is cheered by my right hon. Friends. Is this Bill extorted from us? The Chancellor of the Exchequer does not say no to that question. Is it extorted from him? Is this the reason that he is now an advocate of Home Rule? Is this a surrender? Remember, in 1782, Cornwallis had laid down his arms at York Town, and among the nations of Europe there was a league against us. Russia and Holland had joined France and America and Spain. Under these circumstances, the Volunteers in arms extorted this independent Parliament for Ireland; and yet my right hon. Friend puts this event before the House and the country as if our forefathers had spontaneously granted this independent Parliament, and as if they considered it the best thing that could possibly be done. As there are possibly many persons who are not very intimately acquainted with this chapter of history, I wish to dispose of the idea that the wisdom of our ancestors was in favour of a separate Irish Parliament. That Parliament was extorted from them, and when they had the power they cynically took it back. I should like, before sitting down, to make a few observations with regard to some of the suggestions and influences by which it is to be attempted to pass this scheme. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has, on more than one occasion, taken particular pains to say that those who oppose this Bill do so because they believe the Irish people to be endowed with a double dose of original sin. Can my right hon. Friend not see that there may be other beliefs which induce us to take this course? Can he not see that, without looking upon the Irish people as lost to the common virtues of civilized communities, we may think that they are not such an angelic people as to be likely to be suddenly transformed at one stroke of the pen, and all at once endowed with the faculty of governing themselves. No people with, such antecedents as the Irish could be suddenly trusted with the unexampled powers which he proposes to confer on them. After what they have gone through, you may say it is the fault of England. You may say—I believe my right hon. Friend himself acknowledges—that it has been the previous history and previous troubles under which they have laboured and are labouring now, which have created the difficulty. But whatever the causes are, I cannot conceive that hon. Members can, looking at what is now in progress in Ireland—looking even at such riots as there are in Belfast—["Oh, oh!"]—refuse to acknowledge that reluctance to entrust the Irish people at such a time as this with uncontrolled power does not assume them to be more innately vicious than other people. I think I have the right to protest in the strongest manner against that argument of my right hon. Friend, and to say it is not one that can be legitimately used against the opponents of this Bill. But there is another argument—a more startling influence rather than argument—which has been pressed into his service by the Prime Minister, and with regard to which I wish to say a word. He says he sees opposed to him in this matter "class and the dependents of class," and that he has on his side "the upright sense of the nation." He does not only speak of "class;" he speaks of "the Professions." I think almost every member of this House will probably in one way or another be included in one of the categories referred to by my right hon. Friend. Why, most of the Members of this House belong to professions of one kind or another, and the Prime Minister throws scorn on the Professions. My right hon. Friend has done something which will leave its mark, I fear, on the politics of the country. He has raised this question of class. ["Hear, hear!"] I do not know whether that was an approving cheer; but, let me ask, is it true? Are the majority of those who oppose this Bill "class and the dependents of class?" I wonder whether he includes the opponents of the Bill in Ireland—all the operatives in Belfast, for instance. I wonder whether my right hon. Friend includes the enormous number of working men in Scotland who have petitioned against the Bill. Does my right hon. Friend remember that there is opposed to him perhaps the oldest opponent of the privileged classes in this House? Can my right hon. Friend say, as he says, that the opposing Party is "class and the dependents of class," when the senior Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright) is against him? I do not know whether he has noticed all the protests that have come against his Bill, or whether they are sometimes kept from him, because otherwise I do not think my right hon. Friend would have made the statement. There are a number of Congregational ministers who are opposed to him—yes, a number of them. Are they "class or the dependents of class?" What shall we say of Mr. Spurgeon? The Daily News calls the opponents of the Bill the "swaggering class." I want to know is Mr. Spurgeon a representative of the swaggering class, while the Chancellor of the Exchequer represents "the upright sense of the nation?" There has been some merriment and some little discontent at my having introduced the subject, apparently, among some hon. Members of this House; but it is a matter of the most serious importance, and I think hon. Members who wish to see how it is put in some quarters had better read the views of the cynical Member for Northampton as expressed in a recent publication. They will there see what he thinks of the declaration of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has kindled a fire—a most serious fire. He has lit this fire in order to get up a sufficient head of steam to pass this Bill. He has said to himself—"Here are some old rafters which are holding the framework of British society together. Fling them into the flames. Steam we must have, or else we cannot pass our Bill." Then, of course, there is the favourite argument that is used against us—that this is a generous policy, and that all who are opposed to it are in favour of coercion. Really I am almost ashamed to speak again in this House of the false interpretation that has been put upon that unfortunate word. When used before public assemblies it is made to do duty as if some tremendous Draconic law were in existence in Ireland, and as if Ireland were being cruelly oppressed. Is this the case? And when we speak of exceptional legislation what is meant? Is it a Draconic Code which is going to suppress the liberties of the Irish people? ["Hear, hear!"] No; you know what I shall answer, and therefore that cheer was not as unanimous as usual. What we shall suppress are not the liberties of the Irish people; but if we can suppress them it will be the doings of the Moonlighters. I do not wish, even in voice or manner, to give pain to hon. Members opposite on this point; but we must remember that these Moonlight outrages—these murders—are not isolated crimes committed on the spur of the moment or in the heat of passion. There must be large numbers of men who are implicated. We hear of whole bands, and no evidence can be procured against the criminals. I say the British public, and the Prime Minister himself, will assist, if need be, in such legislation as may be necessary to put down this, which is a scandal to civilization. My right hon. Friend himself, I say, will assist. The English democracy, if it learns that these doings are what necessitate the demand for additional powers, will not refuse to give them. It has been said before, but may I say it again? that coercion is not a policy. Coercion is not a policy; but, in its present sense and in its present meaning, it means the enforcement of the law. When murders are committed, the means to deal with them are to find out the murderers and to punish them. I feel that I am on delicate ground, for this reason—that when hon. Members opposite or on this side utter cries of dissent from what I urge, they may be giving a colour to the view that some of us are ready to minimize crimes which have the effect of hastening on political changes. If hon. Members opposite encourage that view, if they refuse to assist in granting all necessary powers to repress crime, I say they will indeed have a tremendous responsibility. These questions which give such pain are forced upon us by the situation. We cannot be blind to these facts, and our bringing them forward ought not to be used to damage the Unionist cause amongst the people of this country. I admit there are some appeals that are made in favour of the Bill that are noble and generous, and the response which is given to them does not distress me, though I may take them to be mistaken and dangerous. An appeal is constantly made to the masses, that, in this matter, they are bound to follow the illustrious statesman who for 50 years has rendered such services. [Cries of "No, no!"] That which is put before the country continually is this—[Cries of "No, no!"] Then I will substitute other words, and I will, perhaps, convey my meaning better. It is put before them in this way—"You cannot understand this question; it is difficult, it is intricate; but here is one man who has been at the head of the State for all these years; you are bound to follow him blindfold." ["No, no!"] Hon. Members cannot deny it. It has been repeatedly so put in the Press. I am sincerely sorry that my mention of an appeal, which I admit is an appeal to the generous impulse of the people, should have raised this dissension. I wanted to say that it is perfectly natural that the people of this country should show the greatest respect for my right hon. Friend. It is a generous impulse. And it is also a generous impulse of the masses if they rise to their feet when they are told justice is involved, though it appears that justice to Ireland would not be the same as justice to Scotland or to England. Again, I think it is a worthy appeal which is made to them, when it is pointed out to them that they may satisfy in this matter Irish nationality. We have heard many eloquent appeals to this Irish nationality. They move us, and they excite our sympathy. But to many of us there is something else which appeals to our hearts, and which we think is even more worthy of sympathy, and that is the wider nationality of the United Kingdom. And if we think that the wider nationality is inextricably bound up with the Legislative Union between the two countries, then surely it is not an unworthy thing if we maintain that the Bill must be resisted to the last. The democracy of this country is now enthroned for the first time, so to speak, in office; and it has to face in its first days this tremendous responsibility. I say, do not let it be hustled into a fatal and irrevocable step. This step is irrevocable. Do not let the first chapter in this new volume of our history open with a breach in the Constitution and a sapping of the foundations which bear the weight of this colossal Empire. I said that this step was irrevocable. Why is it irrevocable? We may summon back the Members from Ireland for a special purpose, or we may summon them back in order to modify the Act which we are now passing. But, depend upon it, if they are so summoned back, it will be, not to tighten the bonds, but to widen the breach. So I say it is an irrevocable step. We are maiming for ever the Constitution of this country, and let us remember that we are but life trustees. Let us remember, too, with reference to foreign opinion, that no foreign country ever has had or has now a Parliament such as ours. We are told of Colonial opinion; but the Legislative Assemblies in the Colonies are not like the Mother Parliament. We are told of Legislative Assemblies of former centuries; but they had not the duties, the privileges, the responsibilities of ours—they did not hold in their hands, as we do, the supreme and concentrated powers of the State. So, I say, remember that we are life trustees. Let us feel that we are bound to hand on the glorious possessions which we have inherited, unimpaired and unimpeached, without waste and detriment, to those who are to come after us. I implore this House, by the traditions of which we are the heirs, by every present obligation of duty and honour, by our hopes in a mighty and beneficent future for this Empire, by our duty to the Sovereign that rules over these Realms, I implore this House, let us look to it that those who come after us may bear witness that we have not betrayed our trust.


If, Mr. Speaker, I intervene in the contest of giants which has been proceeding for so many days in this House in reference to this great question, it is not because I suppose that that intervention is specially suitable to the moment; and I certainly should not, under ordinary circumstances, have felt any self-confidence whatever in following so able and eloquent a Member of this House as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Eastern Division of Edinburgh. But "Thrice is he armed who hath his quarrel just;" and even a man so inferior from every point of view to the right hon. Gentleman as I am may hope upon this occasion not to be so much behind him as usual. Sir, without intending to offer any disrespect to the right hon. Gentleman, I must say that I could not help thinking, when listening to his speech, that in all the lost causes which I have seen him attempting to defend during many years past he was never so little effective as when contending against the Bill which we hope to see read a second time to-night. The right hon. Gentleman has sought—I think very unfairly—to cast a lurid light upon the situation by an allusion to those unhappy outrages which have occurred in Kerry. I join the right hon. Gentleman in expressing my contempt for these cowardly and disgraceful practices. I join him in that respect to the fullest extent. Neither do I say that because for months past evictions have been more numerous in Kerry than in all the rest of Munster taken together—neither do I say that that constitutes any excuse for these outrages, although it may supply us with a reason for them; but when I denounce outrages I denounce them in all parts of Ireland, whether they occur in Ulster or in Kerry. The right hon. Gentleman himself is certainly free from reproach in this matter. He has not joined the noble Lord the Member for South Paddington (Lord Randolph Churchill) and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. J. Chamberlain) in the use of reckless language with reference to the affairs of a country which is not their country, for the use of which language they had not even the paltry excuse that the subject was any business of theirs, or that they really feel any interest in it. My Colleagues have been reproached, some of them, in times past because they have not been very careful to look into what might be the effect of their language, and the doctrine of indirect responsibility has been employed against many of them to the length of imprisonment. But if the doctrine of indirect responsibility had been employed against the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, the former of them might, perhaps, have pleaded as an excuse that as he himself believes in nothing and in nobody except himself, so he could not expect any great importance to be attached to his declarations; while the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham might have said, and very truly, that he was absolutely ignorant of all the circumstances of Ireland, his celebrated projected visit to that country last autumn not having come off, and that consequently he really did not know what would be the probable result of his language. However, Sir, we have the result now in one murder which has already been committed in Belfast. I trust that in future right hon. Gentlemen will remember that the importance and gravity of the occurrences which may follow in Ulster—and these occurrences cannot well go further than outrage and assassination—will depend very much upon what they say and upon the meaning which their words may convey to the minds of Ulster men. But certainly I do condemn these outrages in Kerry; and the right hon. Gentleman says very rightly that they must be put a stop to. Well, so say we all; but the right hon. Gentleman would try to put a stop to them by resorting to the old bad method of coercion, which he and his Friends have been using for the last 86 years, while we say with the Prime Minister—"Try the effect of self-government;" and if Kerry men then resort to outrages they will very soon find that the rest of Ireland will put a stop to them. With reference to the terrible occurrence in Belfast, I wish to give an explanation, because, as usual, the English newspapers have perverted for their own purposes what actually took place. I was very much pained at reading that it was alleged that the disturbance arose out of an expression addressed by a Catholic workman to a Protestant fellow-workman, to the effect that in a short time none of his religious persuasion would be allowed to earn a crust of bread in Ireland. Now, that does not represent the circumstances of the occurrence as they are reported in the local newspapers. What really took place was this. The Catholic overseer of the works found fault with the way in which an Orangeman—I think he was an Orange workman; at all events, he was a Protestant workman—was executing the digging out of a drain. The overseer said to the workman—"That is a nice way to dig this drain," and the Orangeman replied—the overseer happened to be a Catholic—"What does a Papist know about digging drains?" The overseer being irritated—I will not say justly irritated, because it was absurd of him to be irritated by such a remark—said, in reply, "You will never earn a crust in these works again," meaning that the workman would be dismissed. "That is all right; that is all I want," said the Orangeman, and he took up his shovel and left the works, and I believe that while leaving he was assaulted by one or more of the Catholic workmen. It is necessary to point out—so difficult is it to know here what is true with regard to any Irish matter—it is very important that the House should understand that the overseer's remark had not a general but an individual application. At the same time, I am not to be taken as justifying in the slightest degree the conduct of the Catholics employed in the yard. Now, Sir, the right hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Goschen) spoke about the sovereignty of Parliament. I entirely agree upon this point. I entirely accept the definitions given by the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Bryce) the other day. We have always known since the introduction of this Bill the difference between a co-ordinate and a subordinate Parliament,, and we have recognized that the Legislature which the Prime Minister proposes to constitute is a subordinate Parliament—that it is not the same as Grattan's Parliament, which was coequal with the Imperial Parliament, arising out of the same Constitution given to the Irish people by the Crown, just in the same way, though not by the same means, as Parliamentary Institutions were given to Great Britain by the Sovereign. We understand this perfectly well. Undoubtedly I should have preferred—as I stated in speeches which have been quoted against me as showing that I could not accept this proposed settlement as final—I should have preferred the restitution of Grattan's Parliament; it would have been more in accordance with the sentiments of the Irish people, whose sentiments in such matters it is most important to regard. But with reference to the argument that has been used against us, that I am precluded from accepting this solution as a final solution because I have claimed the restitution of Grattan's Parliament, I would beg to say that I consider there are practical advantages connected with the proposed statutory Body, limited and subordinate to this Imperial Parliament as it undoubtedly will be, which will render it much more useful and advantageous to the Irish people than was Grattan's Parliament, and that the Statutory Body which the right hon. Gentleman proposes to con- stitute is much more likely to be a final settlement than Grattan's Parliament. That Parliament had many disadvantages. In the first place it had a House of Lords. Well, we get rid of the House of Lords by the Constitution of the right hon. Gentleman. It is true that in its place is put the First Order; a very salutary provision, although I do not agree entirely as to the extent of time for which the First Order is allowed to hang up a Bill, or as to some of the qualifications for it. But these are subordinate matters. I say, then, that the First Order is a very salutary provision, one that will tend to prevent rash legislation and intemperate action; and as to the power of the First Order to hang up a Bill, I would rather see a measure hung up for 10 years by such a Body than hung up for only 24 hours by this Imperial Parliament. I venture to express that opinion, having regard to the irritation which such constant action by the Imperial Parliament, such constant meddling and overthrowing on the part of this Imperial Parliament, as is suggested by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham, would have on the minds of the people of Ireland. That would be most mischievous and dangerous, and sure to prevent the settlement being regarded as final. But when we are all assembled together in one Chamber, different sections of Irishmen threshing out different subjects, those causes and effects which have always come into operation in similar circumstances will be reproduced in Ireland also, and discussion will be relied upon for bringing about a settlement of disputed questions, which we, of course, have, like other people, and the result of these two Orders working together will be that those questions will be decided on a basis of compromise more or less satisfactory to both parties. We feel, therefore, that under this Bill this Imperial Parliament will have the ultimate supremacy and the ultimate sovereignty. I have already said that under this Bill the House of Lords of Grattan's Parliament will not be revived; but there is another great difference between Grattan's Parliament and the Legislature to be established by this Bill—namely, that in Grattan's Parliament the Executive was divorced from the Legislative Body, whereas the two Bodies will be united under this Bill. I think it was Fox who said that there could be no perfect system of government in which the Executive and the Legislative Bodies were not joined together. In that observation I quite agree, and I think that the most useful part of the Bill is that in which the Prime Minister throws the responsibility upon the new Legislature of maintaining that order in Ireland without which no State and no society can exist. I understand the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament to be this—that they can interfere in the event of the powers which are conferred by this Bill being abused under certain circumstances. But the Nationalists in accepting this Bill go, as I think, under an honourable understanding not to abuse those powers; and we pledge ourselves in that respect for the Irish people, as far as we can pledge ourselves, not to abuse those powers, and to devote our energies and our influence which we may have with the Irish people to prevent those powers from being abused. But, if those powers should be abused, the Imperial Parliament will have at its command the force which it reserves to itself, and it will be ready to intervene, but only in the case of grave necessity arising. I believe that this is by far the best mode in which we can hope to settle this question. You will have the real power of force in your hands, and you ought to have it and if abuses are committed and injustice be perpetrated you will always be able to use that force to put a stop to them. You will have the power and the supremacy of Parliament untouched and unimpaired, just as though this Bill had never been brought forward. We fully recognize this to be the effect of the Bill. I now repeat what I have already said on the first reading of the measure, immediately after I heard the statement of the Prime Minister that we look upon the provisions of the Bill as a final settlement of this question, and that I believe that the Irish people have accepted it as such a settlement. [Cheers and ironical cheers.] Of course you may not believe me, but I can say no more. I think my words upon that occasion have been singularly justified by the result. We have had this measure accepted in the sense I have indicated by all the leaders of every section of National opinion both in Ireland and outside Ireland. It has been so accepted in the United States of America, and by the Irish population in that country with whose vengeance some hon. Members are so fond of threatening us. Not a single dissentient voice has been raised against this Bill by any Irishman—not by any Irishman holding National opinions—and I need scarcely remind the House that there are sections among Irish Nationalists just as much as there are even among the great Conservative Party. I say that as far as it is possible for a nation to accept a measure cheerfully, freely, gladly, and without reservation as a final settlement, I say that the Irish people have shown that they have accepted this measure in that sense. Even the terrible Irish World, which has not been upon my side for the last five or six years, says— The Irish race at home and abroad have signified a willingness to accept the terms of peace offered by Mr. Gladstone. And it goes on to say that— If a Coercion Bill were now passed by Parliament, it will be equivalent to a declaration of war on the part of England. I need scarcely say that we have not agreed with Mr. Patrick Ford during the last five or six years. We strongly condemn his proposals, and he returns the compliment by not agreeing with us, so that the honours are pretty easy; but I take his testimony upon this point—that as far as the Irish people at home and in America can accept this Bill they have done so without any reservation Whatever in a final sense. I will now leave this question of the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament, and I will turn to one that was strongly dwelt upon by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Edinburgh—I mean the influence which he fears the Irish priesthood will seek to exercise upon the future education of the Irish people. The right hon. Gentleman certainly has not followed the example of other illustrious persons by indulging in extravagant language on the Protestant and Catholic question, and I may say at once that I am quite sure that the right hon. Gentleman's apprehensions upon this subject are genuine, so far as they go, and that at the same time he has no desire to fan the flame of religious discord. On the whole, I think that the right hon. Gentleman has spoken very fairly in reference to this part of the question; and I will not say that, perhaps as a Protestant had I not had, as I have had, abundant experience of Ireland, I might not have been inclined to share his fears myself. Certainly, I have no such fears; but it is rather remarkable that this question of education is the only matter the right hon. Gentleman has any fears about in dealing with the question of Protestant and Catholic in Ireland. There is, however, a further remarkable fact that in reference to this branch of the question the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham has actually proposed to give the entire control of Irish education to a Central Council sitting in Dublin, without any reservation whatever as regards Ulster or the Irish Protestant population. I believe in that scheme, also, there was to be a First and Second Order. Sir, it is very hard to please everybody, and while we please the right hon. Member for West Birmingham by agreeing to give the control of Irish education to a Legislative Body which will include the Representatives of the Protestants of Ulster, we find that we are unfortunately running foul of the right hon. Member for East Edinburgh. I can, however, assure the latter right hon. Gentleman that we Irishmen shall be able to settle this question of Irish education very well among ourselves. There are many Liberal Nationalists in Ireland—I call them Liberal Nationalists, because I take the phrase in reference to this question of education—there are many Liberal Nationalists who do not altogether share the views of the Roman Catholic Church upon the subject of education, and they are anxious that Ulster should remain an integral part of Ireland in order that they may share the responsibility of Government and may influence that Government by the feelings which they have with regard to this question of education. You may depend upon it that in an Irish Legislature Ulster, with such Representatives as she now has in the Imperial Parliament, would be able to successfully resist the realization of any idea which the Roman Catholic hierarchy might entertain with regard to obtaining an undue control of Irish education. But I repeat that we shall be able to settle this question and others very satisfactorily to all the parties concerned among ourselves. I may, however, remind the House that things are going on in this House with reference to denominational education which would undoubtedly result in denominational education being conceded to Ireland within a very few years without any effective control over it being given to the Ulster Protestants. Mention has been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Goschen) of the linen trade of Ireland, and some correspondence on the subject has been read. I think, however, the right hon. Gentleman was rather unfair to my hon. Friend the Member for Dublin (Mr. Gray). I have not had the advantage of reading the correspondence; but the part of it which the right Gentleman quoted to prove that the linen trade was the curse of Ulster was one passage out of many letters intended to prove that the linen trade of Ireland had been a curse to Ulster, as it had been the means, not perhaps directly, but indirectly, of enabling the peasantry to pay the rack rents of the landlords, who otherwise could not have obtained them. I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman was fair in seeking to carry the matter further than that; indeed, there did not appear to be an inclination on the part of the right hon. Gentleman to carry it very far. I observe that there had been a similar reticence exercised with regard to the financial question, of which such a point was made upon the first reading of the Bill. The speech of the right hon. Gentleman upon the first reading of the Bill undoubtedly produced a great sensation in the House and in this country. The right hon. Gentleman, as I and others, and as I believe the country, understood him, argued on that occasion that Ulster was wealthier than either of the three other Provinces, and that consequently the burden of taxation would chiefly fall upon her, and that without Ulster, therefore, it would be impossible to carry on the Government of Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman did not press the financial question very far to-day; but it would not be improper, perhaps, if we were to direct a little more of our attention to it. For instance, the great wealth of Ulster has been taken up as the war cry of the Loyal and Patriotic Union. The right hon. Gentleman was not very fair in choosing the Income Tax, Schedule D, referring to trade and professions, as his standard and measure of the relative wealth of the four Pro- vinces. The fair measure of their relative wealth is their assessment to the Income Tax under all the different Schedules, and also the value of the rateable property in Ireland; and these tests show conclusively that, so far from Ulster being the wealthiest of the four Provinces—and the right hon. Gentleman does not deny it now—Ulster comes third in point of relative wealth per head of the population. She comes after Leinster and Munster, and she is only superior to impoverished Connaught. The Income Tax for Leinster shows £10 6s. 9d. per head; Munster, £60s. 7d. per head; Ulster, £5 14s. 9d. per head; and Connaught, £3 13s. 7d. per head. These figures will give the relative wealth of the four Provinces as ascertained by these, the only fair tests, as 9.92 for Leinster, 5.78 for Munster, 5.49 for Ulster—or little more than half the relative wealth of Leinster—and 3.52 for Connaught. And if you take any other fair test the same results will be arrived at, and you will find that Ulster, instead of being first on the list as regards wealth per head, conies along way third. But the right hon. Gentleman also argued that there was a great disparity between the north-eastern or Protestant counties of Ulster and the Catholic counties in point of relative wealth. He chose not the fairest test, but the test that showed the best results for his argument, and he represented the disparity as a great deal larger than that which actually exists. But undoubtedly, to a considerable extent, there is this disproportion between the relative wealth of the north-eastern counties of Ulster and the other counties of the Province. But that same disproportion exists all through Ireland. The eastern counties are universally the richer counties all over Ireland. If you draw a meridian line down through the centre of the country you will find to the east of that line comparative prosperity and to the west of it considerable poverty. The reason of this is obvious. In the first place, the country becomes rocky and barren as you go west; and, in the second place, its chief trade is with England; and consequently the great distributing centres, the shipping ports and other places where men of business and wealth congregate and find their living, exist on the eastern sea-board. And it is only natural, not only as regards Ulster, but Munster and Leinster, that the eastern portions of the Province are richer than the rest. I come next to the question of the protection of the minority. I have incidentally dwelt on this point in respect to the matter of education; but I should like, with the permission of the House, to say a few words more about it, because it is one on which great attention has been bestowed. One would think from what we hear that the Protestants of Ireland were going to be handed over to the tender mercies of a set of Thugs and bandits. ["Hear, hear!"] The hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Major Saunderson) cheers that. I only wish that I was as safe in the North of Ireland when I go there as the hon. and gallant Member would be in the South. What do hon. Gentlemen mean by the protection of the loyal minority? In the first place, I ask them what they mean by the loyal minority. The right hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Goschen) does not seem to have made up his mind, even at this late stage of the discussion, as to what loyal Ulster he means. When asked the question, he said he meant the same loyal Ulster as was referred to by the Prime Minister in his speech; but he would not commit himself by telling us what signification he attributed to the Prime Minister's expression. Well, I have examined the Prime Minister's reference since then, and I find that he referred to the whole Province of Ulster. He did not select a little bit of the Province, because the Opposition had not discovered this point at that time; and consequently I suppose I may assume that the right hon. Member for East Edinburgh also referred to the whole Province of Ulster when he asked for special protection for it. He has not, however, told us how he would specially protect it. But we may go to other sources to supply that deficiency. It is one of the features of this debate that in order to make up the patchwork of a plan you have to go round to the Opposition speakers and select a bit from one and a bit from another and a bit from a third to frame something like a programme in opposition to the proposal of the Prime Minister, and even then the results are very unsatisfactory. But the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain) has claimed for Ulster—and I suppose that the right hon. Member for East Edinburgh, when the proper time comes, will support him in that claim—a separate Legislature for the Province of Ulster. Well, Sir, you would not protect the loyal minority of Ireland even supposing that you gave a separate Legislature to the Province of Ulster, because there are outside the Province of Ulster over 400,000 Protestants who would still be without any protection so far as you propose to give them protection. You would make the position of these 400,000 Protestants, by taking away Ulster from them, infinitely less secure. But you would not even protect the Protestants in Ulster, because the Protestants, according to the last Census, were in the proportion of 52 to 48 Catholics; and we have every reason to believe that now the Protestants and Catholics in Ulster are about equal in number. At all events, however that may be, the Nationalists have succeeded in returning the majority of the Ulster Members, and consequently we have the Nationalists in a majority in Ulster. The main reason of the balance of forces I believe to be that a large proportion of the Protestant Nationalists voted in the closely divided constituencies of Ulster in favour of my hon. Colleagues. So that you would have the Nationalist will to deal with in Ulster, even if Ulster had a separate Legislature; and the very first thing that the Ulster Legislature would do would be to unite itself with the Dublin Parliament. Well, being driven away from the fiction of Protestant Ulster and the great majority of Protestants which until recently was alleged to exist in Ulster, the opponents of this Bill have been compelled to seek refuge in the north-east corner of Ulster, consisting of three counties. Here, again, comes in the difficulty that, instead of protecting the majority of the Protestants of Ireland by constituting a Legislature for the north-east corner of Ulster, you would abandon the majority of the Protestants of Ireland to their fate under a Dublin Parliament. Seven-twelfths of the Protestants of Ireland live outside these three counties in the north-east corner of Ulster, and the other five twelfths of the Protestants of Ireland live inside those counties. So that, whichever way you put it, you must give up the idea of protecting the Protestants either as a body or as a ma- jority by the establishment of a separate Legislature, either in Ulster or in any portion of Ulster. No, Sir; we cannot give up a single Irishman. We want the energy, the patriotism, the talents, and the work of every Irishman to insure that this great experiment shall be a successful one. The best system of Government for a country I believe to be one which requires that that Government should be the resultant of all the forces within that country. We cannot give away to a second Legislature the talents and influence of any portion or section of the Irish people. The class of Protestants will form a most valuable element in the Irish Legislature of the future, constituting as they will a strong minority, and exercising through the First Order a moderating influence in making the laws. We have heard of the danger that will result from an untried and unpractised Legislature being established in Ireland. Now I regard variety as vitally necessary for the success of this trial. We want, Sir, all creeds and all classes in Ireland. We cannot consent to look upon a single Irishman as not belonging to us. And, however much we recognize the great abilities and the industry of the Irish Protestants—and we recognize them freely and fully—we cannot admit that there is a single one of them too good to take part in the Dublin Parliament. We do not blame the small proportion of the Protestants of Ireland who feel any real fear. I admit, Sir, that there is a small proportion of them who do feel this fear. We do not blame them; we have been doing our best to allay that fear, and we shall continue to do so. And finally, when this Bill becomes an Act, we shall not cease from the work of conciliating the fears of this small section of Irishmen. No, Sir. Theirs is not the shame and disgrace of this fear. That shame and disgrace belong to right hon. Gentlemen and noble Lords of English political Parties who, for selfish interests, have sought to rekindle the embers—the almost expiring embers—of religious bigotry. Ireland has never injured the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham. I do not know why he should have added the strength of his powerful arm—why he should, like another Brennus—let us hope not with the same result—why he should have thrown his sword into the scale against Ireland. I am not aware that we have either personally or politically attempted to injure the right hon. Gentleman, yet he and his kind seek to dash this cup from the lips of the Irish people—the first cup of cold water that has been offered to our nation since the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam. This settlement, Sir, I believe will be a final settlement. I have been reproached—and it has been made an argument against the honesty of my declaration as to the final character of the settlement—that in a speech at Wicklow I claimed the right of protecting the Irish manufactures, and it is said that this Bill gives no such right. Well, undoubtedly I claimed that right. But it was not when a Liberal Government was in power. That speech about Protection at Wicklow was made at a time when we had every reason to know that the Conservative Party, if they should be successful at the polls, would have offered Ireland a Statutory Legislature with a right to protect her own industries, and that this would have been coupled with the settlement of the Irish Land Question on the basis of purchase on a larger scale than that now proposed by the Prime Minister. I never should have thought, I never did think, and I do not think now, of claiming Protection from the Liberal Party—I never expected it, and, therefore, I recognize the settlement as final without Protection. There is another and a stronger argument as well. In introducing this Bill the Prime Minister showed that unless we have fiscal unity there will be a loss of £1,400,000. I think, therefore, that, as a consequence of fiscal unity, £1,400,000 is a good quid pro quo for the loss of protection. The question of the retention of the Irish Members I shall only touch upon very slightly. I have always desired to keep my mind thoroughly open upon it, and not to make it a vital question. There are difficulties; but they are rather more from the English than the Irish point of view, and I think that when we come to consider the question in Committee that feeling will be a growing one on the part of Liberal Members. I admit the existence of a strong sentiment in favour of our retention—I will not say it is a reasonable sentiment, when I consider how many times my Colleagues and I have been forcibly ejected from this House, how often the necessity of sus- pending, if not entirely abrogating, representation on the part of Ireland has been eagerly canvassed by the London Press as the only necessary solution of it—perhaps I may not, under these circumstances, consider the desire on the part of Liberal Members as a very reasonable one. I admit that it is an honest one. All I can say is that when the Prime Minister has produced his plan—and I admit that it is a difficult question, and will require some little time for consideration—when the Prime Minister has produced his plan, without binding myself beforehand, I shall candidly examine it, with a desire not to see in it an element that will injure the permanency of the settlement. I shall chiefly deal with it with a view of seeing whether it will diminish the permanency of the settlement to the success of which my Colleagues and I have pledged our political future. But I confess, Sir, that if I had regard to the spirit with which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham has dealt with this question, I should have been hopelessly alienated from the plan of retaining the Irish Members. He has dealt with it in a way to attach an apparent stigma of inferiority to us, and in order that he may have the excuse for constantly meddling in our affairs, checking us, thwarting us, and keeping us under his thumb. The Irish people will never submit to that. We could not agree to his scheme, for that would be fatal to the finality and durability of the scheme. Now, Sir, what does it all come to? It comes to two alternatives when everything has been said and everything has been done. One alternative is the coercion which Lord Salisbury put before the country, and the other is the alternative offered by the Prime Minister, carrying with it the lasting settlement of a treaty of peace. If you reject this Bill, Lord Salisbury was quite right in what he said as to coercion. ["No, no!"] With great respect to the cries of "No!" by hon. Members above the Gangway, I beg to say you will have to resort to coercion. That is not a threat on my part—I would do much to prevent the necessity for resorting to coercion; but I say it will be inevitable, and the best-intentioned Radical who sits on those Benches, and who thinks that he "never, never will be a party to coercion," will be found very soon walking into the Division Lobby in favour of the strongest and most drastic Coercion Bill, or, at the very outside, pitifully abstaining. We have gone through it all before. During the last five years I know, Sir, there have been very severe and drastic Coercion Bills; but it will require an even severer and more drastic measure of coercion now. You will require all that you have had during the last five years, and more besides. What, Sir, has that coercion been? You have had, Sir, during those five years—I do not say this to inflame passion or awaken bitter memories—you have had during those five years the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act; you have had a thousand of your Irish fellow-subjects held in prison without specific charge, many of them for long periods of time, some of them for 20 months, without trial and without any intention of placing them on trial—I think of all these thousand persons arrested under the Coercion Act of the late Mr. Forster scarcely a dozen were put on their trial; you have had the Arms Acts; you have had the suspension of trial by jury—all during the last five years. You have authorized jour police to enter the domicile of a citizen, of your fellow-subject in Ireland, at any hour of the day or night, and to search every part of this domicile, even the beds of the women, without warrant. You have fined the innocent for offences committed by the guilty; you have taken power to expel aliens from this country; you have revived the Curfew Law and the blood-money of your Norman conquerors; you have gagged the Press and seized and suppressed newspapers; you have manufactured now crimes and offences, and applied fresh penalties unknown to your laws for these crimes and offences. All this you have done for five years, and all this and much more you will have to do again. The provision in the Bill for terminating the representation of Irish Members has been very vehemently objected to, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Border Burghs (Mr. Trevelyan) has said that there is no half-way house between separation and the maintenance of law and order in Ireland by Imperial authority. I say, with just as much sincerity of belief, and just as much experience as the right hon. Gentleman, that, in my judgment, there is no half-way house between the concession of legislative autonomy to Ireland and the disfranchisement of the country and her government as a Crown Colony. But, Sir, I refuse to believe that these evil days must come. I am convinced there are a sufficient number of wise and just Members in this House to cause it to disregard appeals made to passion and to pocket, and to choose the better way of the Prime Minister—the way of founding peace and goodwill among nations; and when the numbers in the Division Lobby come to be told, it will also be told, for the admiration of all future generations, that England and her Parliament, in this nineteenth century, was wise enough, brave enough, and generous enough to close the strife of centuries, and to give peace, prosperity, and happiness to suffering Ireland.

MR. MORGAN HOWARD (Camberwell, Dulwich)

said, that whether, on the one hand, it was wise on the part of the Imperial Parliament to confer upon Ireland, or expedient or wise on the part of Ireland to accept, such powers as were conferred by this Bill, was an inquiry which had already been exhaustively dealt with, and which, therefore, he would not further pursue. But he would say, at all events, that if he were an Irishman he should like to have some voice in the question of the trade and the navigation of the country, in the great question of foreign affairs, in the question of peace and war, which might so vitally affect the fortunes of his country, a voice in the making and discussion of International Treaties, and would desire to be entrusted with the guardianship of the country's Revenue. He could quote statistics showing that since the Union the trade and navigation of Ireland had increased, and that the condition of the people had greatly improved. The Irish Debt, for example, in 1791 was less than £2,500,000, the annual interest charged being £142,000. In 1800, the year of the Union, within a short period of nine years the Debt had increased to upwards of £25,500,000, the interest charged being considerably over £1,000,000. The Prime Minister had stated that the national sentiment of Ireland was in favour of the Home Rule scheme. What evidence was there to show that the national sentiment of the country had declared itself in favour of such a proposal as this? Speaking of the people of Ireland as a whole, he asked what evidence had been forthcoming to show that they desired the tremendous changes which this scheme involved? It had not been shown in the few and meagre Petitions presented in favour of the proposal; while, on the other hand, probably no fewer than 500,000 persons belonging to the influential and industrious classes of the country desired that the Bill should be defeated. What, then, was the apology for the Bill? The Prime Minister had stated that they must regard the return of 86 Nationalist Members as expressing the Constitutional voice of the Irish people. That seemed to him, with great deference to the Prime Minister, to depend upon many circumstances. He should like to know, in the first place, by whom these Members were returned, because he was convinced, from examination which had been made of the statistics of the last elections in Ireland, that the 86 Nationalist Members, out of the 103 Members returned for Ireland, represented only one-half of the Irish electors. He would ask the Prime Minister whether his proposition was that because 86 Home Rulers had been returned to that House therefore we ought to grant Home Rule in such a sense as to disturb the Union between the two countries? Was not this a national as distinguished from an Irish question? With regard to the endowment of religion, it was a significant circumstance that the Attorney General had given no answer to the question addressed to him by the noble Lord the Member for North Devon (Viscount Lymington) as to whether the new Parliament in Dublin might not, under Clause 19 of the Bill, give pecuniary support to the Roman Catholic Church. His hon. and learned Friend escaped—he would not say evaded—the point, and they were at that moment without any assurance on the part of the Government that that was not an inevitable consequence of the 19th clause. There would be, as he believed, an actual power vested in the new Legislature to apply much of the Revenues of Ireland to the support of the Roman Catholic religion. A Dissolution of Parliament had been threatened if this Bill were defeated; but in the course of the debate the Government had contended that the constituencies were consulted on this subject at the late General Election, and so it followed as a matter of course that the majority which would be registered against the second reading was the Constitutional verdict of the people. The Prime Minister had stipulated for absolute political equality between Great Britain and Ireland as an essential condition of his scheme; but there could hardly be equality between three peoples when two of them had the right to impose burdens, and the third only the obligation to share them. That was not consistent with the Prime Minister's declaration that it was indispensable to maintain absolute political equality. If he were an Irishman he should not look with indifference upon the exclusion of his countrymen from the exercise of voice and vote upon such questions as the defence of the Empire, peace and war, navigation laws, and all the subjects reserved to the Imperial Parliament. The Prime Minister had laid it down that the welfare and security of the whole United Kingdom must be preferred to the advantage of a part; and he must surely now recognize the weight of opinion and belief that his plan did jeopardize the unity and safety of the whole. It was said that they were to vote upon the principle of the Bill, and not upon its provisions. He understood the Bill, but not the principle, which, without the Bill, was without a definition. It was said the principle was a domestic Legislature sitting in Dublin; but the whole question was the sort of Legislative Body to be provided. It did not advance matters to speak simply of a Legislative Body. If some reasonable definition were given then they might go into the Lobby with their eyes open. The retention or exclusion of the Irish Members was really a question of high principle, and when the Prime Minister had said he could see no alternative to their exclusion it was not easy to trust his supporters who, under stress of weather, proposed to retain them. Whether, in the view of the Government, there was or was not a way of meeting this difficulty they ought to be told before the division. He trusted the Prime Minister would deal frankly with the House, in order that they might know in what sense it was that there was in the Bill a principle with a definition attached to it which should command their assent, and be entitled to receive their support. It was not treating the House properly to ask them, merely to save a Government from defeat, to support the Bill because it was to be withdrawn, and he declined to walk in the path so indicated.

MR. MENZIES (Perthshire, E.)

Sir, at this late stage of the debate, I do not ask the indulgence of the House for the purpose of making a speech upon the interesting, but not inexhaustible, subject we are discussing. I wish only to make a plain statement of the construction which I personally place upon the vote for the second reading. In voting for the second reading of this Bill, I consider that I am voting upon nothing more than the general principle of an Irish Legislature, dealing with affairs specifically and exclusively Irish. It would be impossible for me to withhold my assent from that proposition, and I consider that a very grave and serious responsibility will hereafter lie at the door of those hon. Members who oppose it, should they be unfortunate enough to succeed in securing its rejection.

MR. E. R. RUSSELL (Glasgow, Bridgeton)

said, he had heard nothing whatever to diminish the disposition which he had felt from the beginning of this question to place trust not merely in the Irish people, but in those Liberal principles which were at stake, in granting the Irish people self-government at the present time. The hon. and learned Member who lately spoke (Mr. Morgan Howard) rather misconstrued the ground upon which they based their adhesion to the principle of Home Rule. It was not the case that this Parliament was about to give the Irish nation Home Rule simply because the Irish people had demanded it. We could imagine the Irish people demanding things which this Parliament must refuse them. It was an essential part of the doctrine of those who adopted the measure that the power of this Parliament would remain intact—that this Parliament was acting for the best for the whole nation and the whole Empire. He believed the speech of the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) would affect very greatly the minds of the people in Great Britain when it was as carefully read as it had been soberly and seriously delivered. They might recognize in that speech not merely goodwill in reference to the un- dertaking now set about, but also a perception of the difficulties of that undertaking; and they might trace the past workings of the hon. Gentleman's mind when, as Leader of his Party, he had been determining the nature of the relations which he could establish between this Parliament and the nation whose affairs were intrusted to his hands. Then they had the speech of his right hon. Friend the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Goschen). They knew that the sentiments of that right hon. Gentleman were very firmly fixed and very conscientiously held, and they all agreed that he had maintained them that night with no inconsiderable amount of delicacy and consideration, and that he escaped the dreadful sin of pandering to that bigotry in which some right hon. Gentleman on that side had unfortunately involved the discussion. On a former occasion he (Mr. E. R. Russell) protested against the right hon. Gentleman's use of the word coercion, because the right hon. Gentleman always persisted in maintaining that coercion was not an extraordinary action of the State, but a regular method. The simple test in such a question was whether we should like the methods employed in Irish coercion to be employed in their entirety in our own country. If the question was put, they all knew what the answer must be. This difficulty about coercion was not a new one. There was an incident in the past history of the question which was of very great interest and significance. It would be remembered that in 1846, when Sir Robert Peel was carrying through his change of the Corn Laws, and had at the same time to deal with the question of insecurity of life and property in Ireland, he had to decide upon whether he would dissolve or resign in the event of his measures being beaten. In a Memorandum which he handed to the Duke of Wellington deprecating Dissolution, he made use of these remarkable words— I firmly believe that the dangerous watchword, coercion for Ireland, would shake the foundations of the Legislative Union. Sir Robert Peel felt that, however easily coercion might be adopted incidentally at other times, whoever went to the country with the watchword "coercion for Ireland" must bring great evils on the country, and one of the greatest evils he foresaw was that the foundations of the Legislative Union would be shaken. He (Mr. E. R. Russell) asked, if now they went to the country with coercion as the only alternative, what chance there was that the Legislative Union would be perpetuated by such an attempt? The Duke of Wellington, on the other hand, took the tone of the noble Lord the Member for Rossendale and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Edinburgh. He wrote, in reply to Sir Robert Peel— I confess that if it were necessary I should feel no objection to go to the country on the single question of the Irish Assassination Act Sooner or later the people must be informed of what is really going forward in that country, and must make up their minds to govern it as people in a social state ought to be governed. But Sir Robert Peel wrote back asking the Duke what could be done to make the people of England more fully acquainted with the state of Ireland, where in many districts no man's life was safe except the life of an assassin; and he further asked what would happen if they went to the country. Sir Robert Peel said there would be a stronger Irish representation in the new House of Commons, and it would not be possible, owing to Party considerations and combinations, to pass a Coercion Bill. That case was very much on all-fours with the present situation, and it was remarkable that Sir Robert Peel and his Colleagues resolved not to bring about a Dissolution, and to avoid going to the country on a Coercion Bill. Another point on which he thought his right hon. Friend (Mr. Goschen) was very interesting was that of nationality. The right hon. Gentleman expressed that sentiment of sympathy which was very easy for us to feel when we had no inclination to gratify it. This Bill would, however, in a safe manner gratify the national aspirations of Ireland, of which there were innumerable illustrations, both gay and grave. As a humorous illustration, he (Mr. E. R. Russell) gave a citation from the records of the Council of Constance, in 1418, when the four Empires represented were the Roman, the Constantinopolitan, the Spanish, and the Irish. The English Ambassadors were allowed precedence solely because Henry was Monarch of Ireland, England not counting, because deemed to be absorbed in the German, which was equivalent to the Roman, Empire. On the serious side of the case, in the Reign of Henry VIII. a Chief Baron wrote to him in words which were as true now as ever they were. He said— The English statutes passed in Ireland are not observed eight days after passing, whereas those laws and statutes made by the Irish on their hills they keep firm and stable without breaking them for any favour or reward. When they found things like this written from age to age, could they hear in patience the high tone of superiority in which so many Members addressed that House, as if all the thinking, all the arguments, and all the judgment were to be found with those who wasted hour after hour of the discussion in pointing out small objections to a measure designed to gratify insuperable national feelings? They showed that some Gentlemen had been very good Attorney Generals, and that others were likely to be very good Attorney Generals if they got an opportunity, when any one of the rising suns began to shine. But they did not convey, to his mind at least, the impression that they had really mastered the exigency. He supported an appeal which had been made on the other side of the House in a most thoughtful speech by the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Trotter) to consider the position of the hon. Member for Cork with more candour than they had been in the habit of showing. He asked whether the English and Scotch people had not the necessary sense of humour, if they had not the necessary imagination, to treat in public debate, as they treated at dinner tables and in private conversations, the surroundings which led to Irish public men adopting a particular tone at a particular time? When he heard the hon. Member for Cork charged with many of the things which he had repudiated, he felt very much inclined to remember the case of Benedick, who, when he swore he would die a bachelor, did not think he would live to be married. The hon. Member for Cork had now good reason to believe that the spirit which had so long defied his endeavours had been modified and ameliorated. As to the Protestant part of Ulster, he (Mr. E. R. Russell) did not doubt the sincerity or earnestness of those Gentlemen who had spoken strongly on this subject; but he believed that events would change their convictions. He had such faith in the solid character of the people of the North that he could not imagine them embarking for any length of time on a course of resistance to the mighty will of this Empire, when they were able to perceive that it had been brought to bear for the good of their country. His hope was that the natural exercise of those Northern faculties, of which we heard so much, would find play not in resisting a policy which, would make the Catholic majority inconvenient or hurtful to the Protestant minority, but in the working out of a great system, in which should be blended religions and races, the habits and characteristics of each of which would alike minister to the good of the nation. He had always looked with great admiration on many of the Gentlemen who sat below the Gangway opposite, for the place they had made for themselves in public life. He had thought sometimes that if a man so largely just and so little ungenerous as the noble Lord the Member for Rossendale were to acquaint himself with the lives and struggles and the self-education of many hon. Gentlemen who had taken a part in the freeing of their country in that House, he might be inclined, perhaps; to purge his political system of that despair which seemed so largely to have poisoned his ideas on one of the greatest questions. The whole value of the speeches against the Bill had been nil, except so far as they represented the strong and earnest objections to Home Rule which were known to be entertained by the noble Lord the Member for Rossendale and some others. Theirs was a logical and consistent opposition. He had listened with great respect to the many elaborate and brilliant dissertations that they had had on the details of the Bill. He believed, however, they all anticipated what ought to be left to a later stage. The issue of the whole matter was whether they were bound, in the interests of the Empire, to fly in the face of the national sentiment of Ireland; whether there was not hope that the measure of the Government would produce excellent results in bringing together rival interests in Ireland, and promoting the general good and the prosperity of the Empire? It must not be supposed that because the heads of the Liberals had now, as some said, sprung this policy on the Party, there had been no feeling for Home Rule in their ranks. Hon. Gentlemen opposite knew of many candidatures which had turned on this question. If the Liberals now found their Leaders coming to the front they had good reason to rejoice over it, and he could not understand that there was anything for the Leaders to be ashamed of, even if some were convicted of a certain degree of inconsistency with their past declarations. He denied that the Party were blindly following their Chief. Still more, that this had been, as his right hon. Friend the Member for East Edinburgh said, avowed. He had not seen one word in print, or heard one word to justify any such insinuation. If the adherence to the right hon. Gentleman had ever been blind it would now have been limited to a few, and it would have fallen off. The reason the followers of the right hon. Gentleman adhered to him more steadily than to any other statesman, and the reason the country was about to support him by an overwhelming majority, was that he was right oftener and ready sooner than any other statesman. They believed he was right now. They rejoiced that he was ready, and they would do their utmost to support him in the course he had resolved to adopt.

MR. MUNTZ (Warwickshire, Tamworth)

said, that they were bound to ask themselves who were responsible for the outrages which had taken place in Ireland and had culminated in the murder in the Phoenix Park? He felt bound to say that, in his opinion, it was the Party led by the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) that was responsible for what had taken place in Ireland at that period, and there had been no sign given that that Party had since regretted the part which they had played, nor had they taken any steps to repress outrages in Ireland or support the Ministers of the Crown. He refused to acknowledge that hon. Members below the Gangway represented the majority of the Irish people, considering the circumstances under which they had been elected. The Irish legislation of the Prime Minister had hitherto been a great failure, and they could not trust him to try any further experiments. The Bill, instead of being a final settlement, would create numerous inconsistencies, and lead to conflict and confusion. When the Conservative Party declared their policy last January, which was the policy of maintaining law and order in Ireland, what did the "old Parliamentary hand" do? He introduced this treasonable measure. ["Oh, oh," and cries of "Withdraw!"] He used the word "treasonable" on the authority of the Prime Minister. [Renewed cries of "Order" and "Withdraw!"] He could not withdraw, because he found the Prime Minister proposing to put the Government of Ireland into the hands of a man whom the right hon. Gentleman himself had described as "steeped to the lips in treason."


No, no; I never said that.


As the right hon. Gentleman denied it, he would withdraw at once; but the right hon. Gentleman certainly had always had the credit of that saying. There was neither policy nor principle in the Bill. If it had any policy at all, it was that of poltroonery and pandering to the Home Rule vote. He believed that the electors of England would disdainfully discard this most unwise measure as calculated to do irreparable injury.

MR. JOSEPH COWEN (Newcastle-on-Tyne)

I will not occupy the time of the House more than a few minutes. Indeed, it is physically impossible for me to do so longer, as I am, and have been for some days, suffering; but I do not wish the debate to close without having an opportunity of stating—even if it is only in a few sentences—my cordial approval of the new Irish legislation of the Government. In these perturbed times there is not much credit got by being consistent. But such as there is I may not unfairly lay claim to. I am not accustomed to take my opinions from the Treasury Bench, and while I have been a Member of this House I have invariably voted against coercion and for Home Rule. I have, therefore, no recantation to read, no compromising speech to unsay, and no tergiversation to apologize for. In upholding the principle of this Bill I am only upholding a sincere and lifelong conviction. With the personal recriminations of the debate I am not concerned and will not meddle. The opponents of this measure are for law, for order, for property, and for Imperial integrity. So are we. Law is the enacted reason of the Legislature, and is intended for every man's preservation. It rules and vitalizes society. The weakest feels its care, and the strongest are not exempted from its power. Obedience is the essence of law, and without obedience the wisest and best laws will fail. Law without force would give us licentiousness and not liberty; and force without law would produce slavery and not subjection. But we run contrary to the spirit of law, and we shake the whole system of jurisprudence, when we put a man above the law and entrust him with discretionary power over the liberty and fortunes of his fellow-subjects upon the presumption that it will not be abused. That is not law. That is coercion. We are against it. We are for order—for the faithful and diligent submission to the immutable principle by which the duties of life are methodized, separated, and harmonized. Without authority there would be anarchy, the rule of the Buccaneers. Whoever else is benefited by disorder, the poor man is not and cannot be. The strong man may. Demagogy and despotism are equal foes to liberty; and I would resent as vigorously the tyrannical exercise of power by a multitude as by a King. We are also for property—as the indestructible condition of personal dignity, as the sign and fruit of labour, and as indispensable to secure the existence of society, to sanction the liberty and promote the development of man. I am opposed to all methods, whether open or covert, of robbing any man, or any class of men, of his or their honest earnings, acquirements, or inheritances for the nation's benefit; but some of our opponents' ideas of property are so severe that they mystify their ideas of justice and liberty. Finally, we are for National Union—Union, mark—not centralization. The two things are not only dissimilar, but antagonistic. Destroy the Empire! Why, I would grapple it together with hooks of steel, make it as lasting as the granite which underlies the Island. The Imperial sentiment is incarnate and ineradicable in Englishmen. It will die only with the extinction of the race. The man would be a traitor, not only to his country, but to civilization, who would attempt to break up an organization which had conferred such inestimable benefits on the human race. But we seek to show that the Empire is not a noun of multitude, but a moral personality; that its benignity is as great as its strength; that its power may be trusted as well as feared; and that its efficiency to secure concerted action throughout the whole without infringing upon the local freedom of parts is equal to the force with which it can resist external aggression. On these points we are agreed with the opponents of the Bill, and on one essential point our opponents are agreed with us. They admit that over the greater part of Ireland misery is chronic, discontent perennial, and insurrection smouldering. They allege that in those districts the Queen's writs do not run, and that the law of the League is more potent than the law of the land. They also admit that something must be done, although no two of them agree throughout what that something should be. One set of objectors are in favour of suspending evictions and instituting inquiries, as if we had not information galore. Another are for establishing Provincial Boards; another for the creation of a National Council, charged with administrative, but not legislative, functions; and all are for one or other form of coercion. Some of these schemes might have succeeded if they had been tried in time; but they are now too late. The country has traversed new phases of its history, and fresh elements have been introduced into political life since they were suggested. Provincial Councils, if they had been established when Earl Russell proposed them 35 years ago, would have modified the popular craving for self-government. Now they would only stimulate it. To give Ireland not all she is entitled to, but only half of what she asks, and to allow that half to be extorted from apprehension and embarrassment, will evoke no gratitude and allay no disaffection. We are told that this measure is revolutionary. It may be. Its authors, however, are not responsible for that. Revolutions ought not to be set to the account of those who make them, but of those who make them necessary. Times arise when great ills demand great remedies—when we cannot avoid a blow by flying from it, and when energy, far from inviting danger, routs it. This is a decentralizing, but not a disuniting, Bill. The Act of 1800 united the Legislatures, but divided the peoples. This Bill will divide the Legislature, and, we trust, unite the people. We believe in the possibility of one and the certainty of the other result. When national affections are alienated, when the fraternal spirit gives way to indifference, or collision of objects festers into hatred, parchment Unions are artificial and transient. We do not want England and Ireland to be strapped together like a leash of angry hounds, but to be bound by the magnetism of consolidated interests and kindly sympathies. We do not seek a statutory combination only, but a co-mingling of spirit and purpose, of homogeneity of sentiment and aspiration. The blood in our veins is a kindred tide. Every way our welfare is intertwined. We would bind the two countries in bonds which no despotism can suspend and no anarchy subvert—too subtle for the succession of events to leave isolated, and too enduring for the changes of time to render obsolete. We are moving forward to that end. We have got out of routine into realities. Events are stronger than Cabinets. No political phantasmagoria, no word entanglements, can undo what has been done. It is irrevocable. You can no more remake the past than you can resuscitate the dead. Party combinations can no more resist the progress of this cause than a stack of corn can retard the roll of an avalanche. The spirit of great events strides on before the events, and in to-day already walks to-morrow. If this Bill is not victory, it is the herald of victory. In its principle—the liberty for a nation to walk faithfully after the type of its own individuality—will be found the political gospel of the future. It will send a quickening stir of grateful life through a dissevered and discontented land, which has long been rent with civil feuds, and often stained with fratricidal blood. Its influence will be more benign than sunshine or than zephyrs. It will dress the labourer's face with smiles, lift him in the scale of civilization, imbue him with the true spirit of human, toil. It will educate and enrich him. It will cover the barren rocks with soil; drain the sterile swamps, clothe the brown heath with verdure, and people the storm-swept gorges of Ireland's old grey hills with beneficent activity and enduring peace. The mists from the marshes may obscure the sun, but they do not taint or extinguish it. Through the gloom there is light, and beyond the sorrow there is hope. And in the same scroll in which Providence has written "Safety for the British Empire" is inscribed" Peace, liberty, and contentment for Ireland."


Mr. Speaker, the House always listens with pleasure to the hon. Member who has just sat down, not merely because we recognize in him the highest form of Parliamentary eloquence, but also because throughout all his speeches there is a depth of conviction and honesty of purpose which we can all appreciate and approve. Yet, Sir, I can remember the day when, after speaking as plainly as he has done tonight on another subject, the hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. Joseph Cowen) was formally drummed out of the Liberal Party. The hon. Member has given to us his views upon the advantages of Home Rule for Ireland; but I observe that he carefully abstained from attempting to prove how the Bill that is now before the House would bring about those advantages. I admit, Sir, that the hon. Member is more than consistent in the views he has expressed upon this great subject. For many years—long before Home Rule became part of the creed of the Liberal Party—the hon. Member was a Home Ruler; and, Sir, if the measure now before the House had proceeded from him, at any rate I should not have anything to say upon the proposition that there was something remarkable in its history. But, Sir, this measure, important though it is, is, perhaps, important for this reason as much as any other—namely, on account of its history. It does not represent the policy of one of the great Parties of the State, ratified by the constituencies at the polls. It does not represent the views of the Leaders of the Liberal Party. With one great exception, all those Leaders are going to vote against it; and I will venture to say that if this Bill had chanced to have been found in the Lobby of the House of Commons about the middle of January last by, let us say, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that right hon. Gentleman would have disclaimed it altogether as exhibiting the policy of the Liberal Party, and would have put it down to an infamous combination between the Tory Leaders and the Home Rule Members below the Gangway. Now, Sir, this Bill is the production of one man—the highest, no doubt, in authority and in power in this Kingdom—of one man practically alone; and, Sir, it is not the result, so far as we can tell, of a very lengthened or ancient conviction on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. His addresses and his speeches to his constituents during the electoral campaign did not lead the country to anticipate for one single moment that he would have made, himself responsible for such a proposal; as this. On the contrary, we have heard I from more than one of the staunchest admirers of the right hon. Gentleman on that side of the House that, having carefully considered those speeches and those addresses, and having formed their own opinion upon them, they now find themselves bound, by the pledges which they gave to their constituents upon the plain interpretation of the statements of the right hon. Gentleman himself, to vote against this Bill. Well, Sir, I may therefore say that, up to the date of the close of the General Election, this policy was not anticipated from the right hon. Gentleman even by his own followers. Then, Sir, there was a sudden change. It became evident to the country, not that the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) would have between 80 and 90 followers in the new Parliament—for that had been practically known to everybody, including the right hon. Gentleman himself, long before—but that the right hon. Gentleman could not obtain a majority in the new House of Commons without the assistance of the hon. Member for Cork and of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. And, Sir, something happened which strangely coincided with the evidence of that fact. Unauthorized statements were sent in a mysterious way to certain newspapers of the right hon. Gentleman's opinions upon this subject of Home Rule for Ireland—statements which in some material particulars were strangely like the Bill which is now before us. Remonstrances were made by some of the most trusted Colleagues of the right hon. Gentleman, but a very half-hearted denial of those statements was given in reply to those remonstrances; and, Sir, when Parliament met, on the first night of the debate upon the Address the right hon. Gentleman made it very clear to the hon. Member for Cork that he, at any rate, would not object to the disturbance of the Legislative Union between England and Ireland, and within a few days the right hon. Gentleman was installed on that Bench by the support of the hon. Member for Cork. Now, Sir, I have stated simple facts. It has been a favourite subject of insinuation with a good many persons that the late Conservative Government were not impervious to similar temptations. Those insinuations have often been made, and, as I think, have been sufficiently responded to by the distinct statements of Lord Salisbury. But, Sir, to-night a more definite statement than I have ever heard before has come from the hon. Member for Cork. I think the hon. Member stated that his demand for power to protect Irish industries was made at a time when he had every reason to suppose that, if the Conservative Party had been successful at the polls, they would have offered him a Statutory Parliament.


With power to protect Irish industries.


With power to protect the Irish industries. That, I think, would be a more agreeable proposition to the hon. Member for Cork and his Friends than the Bill now before the House. I judge from the speeches of the hon. Member for Cork that he is in favour of a protection of Irish industries which this Bill would not enable him to bring about. If the hon. Member really believes that he could obtain from a Conservative Government a Bill that would be more agreeable to him and his Party than the Bill before the House, why do they not vote against the present measure? But, Sir, that is not all that I have to say with reference to this remarkable statement of the hon. Member. I must for myself and for my Colleagues state, in the plainest and most distinct terms, that I utterly and categorically deny that the late Conservative Government ever had any such intention.


Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to deny that that in- tention was communicated to me by one of his own Colleagues—a Minister of the Crown?


Yes, Sir; I do—[Cries of "Name!"]—to the best of my knowledge and belief; and if any such statement was communicated by anyone to the hon. Member I am certain that he had not the authority to make it. [Renewed cries of "Name!"] Will the hon. Member do us the pleasure to give the name to the House?


The right hon. Gentleman has asked me a question which he knows is a very safe one. [Cries of "Oh!"] I shall be very glad to communicate the name of his Colleague when I receive his Colleague's permission to do so. [Cries of "Oh!" and "Name!"]


Insinuations are easily made. To prove them is a very different thing; and I have observed that the rules of the code of honour of hon. Members below the Gangway step in at the point when proof becomes necessary. But, after all, the question before the House is not what the late Conservative Government did or would have done, or what they certainly would not have done; but what the right hon. Gentleman now on the Treasury Bench has actually done. Under the circumstances which I have stated to the House the right hon. Gentleman formed his Cabinet, on the basis of examination and inquiry into this important question. Some profane persons said that it was a Cabinet formed on the chance of being able to agree. Well, I do not know how that might be. I do not know whether that truly represented the state of affairs or not; but this we do know—we have learnt from one of the Members of that Cabinet, from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain), that this examination and inquiry was not undertaken by the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister in concert with his Colleagues. It was so distinctly stated in this House; and in proof of that I may say that, although the Cabinet was formed in the very early days of February, it was not until the 13th of March that the first intimation was made to the Cabinet that an early edition of the plan which the right hon. Gentleman had personally framed for the govern- ment of Ireland was ready to be submitted to his Colleagues. That fact the right hon. Gentleman stated to the House himself; and it was not until the 26th of March that a complete scheme was submitted to the Cabinet, which, with the important exception of the clause relating to the control of the Customs and Excise, was substantially identical with that which was submitted to the House by the right hon. Gentleman upon the 8th of April.


There were many other alterations.


The right hon. Gentleman says that there were many other alterations; but I have taken the trouble to compare the statement in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain) as to the scheme that was submitted to the Cabinet when he was a Member of it with the scheme that was introduced to this House by the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, and I assert that there was no difference of importance between them except upon the subject of the Customs and Excise. These dates show conclusively that the right hon. Gentleman is alone—or, perhaps, in conjunction with the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, is alone—responsible for this scheme, and that the Cabinet really never had a voice upon the matter. If I wanted proof of that I would refer to the debate upon the first reading of the Bill, when, in answer to all our arguments and to all our inquiries, no one Member of the Cabinet, with the two exceptions of the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary for Ireland, could do anything more than refer us to what we should see in the Bill when it was printed and circulated among hon. Members. But, Sir, no sooner was the Bill printed—and it was not until a week after it had been read a first time that it was printed—than doubts began to arise in the mind of its author as to its provisions. On May 1 the right hon. Gentleman began to minimize his scheme. The right hon. Gentleman then told us that we had not to deal with details and particulars, and that we had only to decide whether or not we should have regard to the prayer of Ireland for the management by herself of affairs specifically and exclusively her own. On May 10, in moving the second reading of the Bill, the right hon. Gentleman proceeded further, and he announced this very important alteration—that the Government would provide that when a proposal was made to alter taxation in relation to the Customs and Excise of Ireland, the Irish Members should have an opportunity of appearing in this House to take part in the discussion. The right hon. Gentleman went on to dangle before our eyes some extraordinary suggestions as to the mode in which Representatives of the Irish Parliament might deal with Imperial and foreign affairs, but which have never since got beyond the point at which he then left them. And then, again, at a subsequent meeting at the Foreign Office of Members of the British Home Rule Party, the right hon. Gentleman extended his alterations to the promise of a plan for retaining to the Irish Representatives a title to be heard upon Imperial and reserved questions, and he told those present on that occasion that votes given on this Bill would not be taken as binding them to support the Land Purchase Bill, hitherto considered to be an inseparable part of the measure.


That was my own speech on the Land Purchase Bill.


I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman quoted his own speech, and I am not going to follow his example; but he distinctly presented to his followers—and I am open to correction by many who were present—that their votes upon the second reading of this Bill would not bind their votes upon the Land Purchase Bill, and he went on to say that provided the barren honour of a second reading were vouchsafed to this Bill no further progress would be made with it. These were the concessions, the modifications, the explanations, and the withdrawals which were promised by the right hon. Gentleman in the hope that by means of them he might unite his Party in support of his scheme. But even that did not suffice. All these tactics, no doubt, required delay, and there were influences at work—subterranean influences—which somehow or other delayed the judgment of Parlia- ment upon this great scheme of Her Majesty's Government. Never was a Government so little anxious, to all appearance, to obtain the judgment of the House of Commons upon a great proposal to effect alterations in the law. For a whole week after the commencement of the debate on the second reading the right hon. Gentleman could not be induced to ask the House of Commons to divert its attention from academical discussions, which were not of the slightest interest to anybody, in order to proceed with his Bill; and when he had hardened his heart to that point, somehow—of course, not from his initiative—Government Business was introduced, which practically delayed the consideration of this Bill, but which Business, if the Government had not deliberately wasted their opportunities, might have been dealt with long before. The net result, Sir, is this—that during a long and weary month the debate on the second reading of a measure which was imperatively required for the restoration of social order in Ireland has been protracted without a word of remonstrance from the right hon. Gentleman. And how has the interval been spent by the wirepullers of the Liberal Party? We know very well that every method of persuasion, of influence, of intimidation, and of abuse has been used against hon. Members on that side of the House, who because they could not depart with the same facility as Her Majesty's Government from the principles they had hitherto held—because they thought themselves bound by their pledges to their constituents, have been branded as traitors and Secessionists. Well, Sir, at last, to-night, we are about to come to an issue upon this Bill; and even yet the issue is clouded, or is attempted to be clouded, by the supporters of the right hon. Gentleman. The staple of some of the speeches which have been delivered from that Bench has been abuse of a coercion policy to be applied for 20 years, which they have calumniated Lord Salisbury by attributing to him; and we have been told by many speakers that we are asked to vote on the adoption of such a policy. Sir, that is not the question on which the vote of the bulk of the House will be given. Neither will the vote of the House be given to-night on an abstract Resolution, as was suggested by the hon. Baronet the Member for Durham (Sir Joseph Pease) on Friday night. The right hon. Gentleman himself has very frankly and very properly, in reply to some remarks of my own, expounded the true position of the House in this matter. He has said that the vote of this House is to be given for the very thing which has always been put by him in contrast to an abstract Resolution—namely, that it is a vote having reference to a Bill before Parliament. And no wonder that the right hon. Gentleman repudiated the suggestion—the clever suggestion—of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) the other night, when he told the House that what we had before us was merely a draft for discussion, and not a definite plan to establish a Statutory Parliament for Ireland. But still the clouds do seem to obscure the minds of some hon. Members opposite, as acute and as intelligent as the hon. Member for Clapham (Mr. Moulton), who addressed the House on Friday evening. That hon. Gentleman said that the House was in a favourable position for avowing its conviction with regard to the great question of autonomy for Ireland, unhampered by the manner in which the principle was to be carried out. Who can for a moment, if he really considers the matter, believe that a question of principle can be separated from the question of the possibility of the application of the principle? If any hon. Member of this House votes for the establishment of a Statutory Parliament for the transaction of Irish affairs without having satisfied himself that it is possible that such a Parliament can be established consistently with the maintenance of the real supremacy of the Imperial Parliament, and with the protection of the rights of the minority, I will venture to say that the vote of that hon. Member is not only a farce, but a mischievous farce, for such a vote merely means this—that it discredits the existing system of government and of legislation for Ireland, without expressing any opinion as to what should be put in its place. The hon. Baronet the Member for Durham (Sir Joseph Pease) suggested the other night that this scheme was impracticable; that the House was not prepared to assent to it; and that it ought to be withdrawn. But, Sir, so long as this scheme nominally holds the field, so long it is the scheme on which Members of this House are called upon to record their votes. If you are opposed to this scheme, you will vote against the Bill; if you are in favour of the scheme, you will vote for the Bill. If you vote for the Bill, what does that vote pledge you to? Why, Sir, it pledges you to a Bill that is not to be remodelled, and that is not to be reconstructed, except as regards the relations of the Representatives of Ireland to the Imperial Parliament. I think the right hon. Gentleman will not deny that.


Yes; I do.


I have simply quoted the words used by the right hon. Gentleman in this House on Friday last; and, of course, if these explanations and withdrawals and concessions are to be carried further tonight, I cannot say how much further they will go. But the right hon. Gentleman himself then distinctly stated that this Bill was not to be remodelled, and was not to be reconstructed, except in regard to the relations of the Irish Representatives to the Imperial Parliament; and I think he used the word "never." I do not know how long the right hon. Gentleman's "never" lasts. It may last even a shorter time than his opposition to the principle of Home Rule for Ireland lasted when he saw the result of the Election. That, at any rate, is our present position in regard to this measure. That is the position of the Bill; that, so far as we know, is the point at which the Government have stood with regard to any possible alterations in it. And the right hon. Gentleman has further stated that he will accept a vote in favour of the second reading of the Bill as a promise or engagement, than which nothing can be more definite or more distinct either as to substance or as to time, in favour of the establishment, at the first available moment, of a Parliament which he described as a practically independent Body for the exclusive management of Irish as distinct from Imperial affairs. Now, can any hon. Member suppose that having given a vote in favour of that principle to-night, he does not compromise his action in the autumn, or that he will not be appealed to as having deprived himself by such a vote of the power of disappointing Ireland of what he has virtually promised her by his vote in the summer by withdrawing from the support of this Bill or a similar Bill in the Autumn Session? Sir, I trust that the House to-night will not commit itself to so dangerous a pledge. My view of this matter is shortly this—I am anxious, as far as may be possible, that the political privileges and disabilities of the people should be equal throughout the Three Kingdoms; but I do think that throughout the Three Kingdoms sufficient power should be retained in the hands of the Central Government for the effective control of law and order, and the real and practical supremacy of the Imperial Parliament should be preserved, We have had many legal arguments for and against the theory whether the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament will be preserved by the Bill. I will not touch that question. The hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) to-night has said that he accepts this Bill as subordinating the Irish Parliament to the Imperial Parliament. Well, Sir, it may do so in theory, but how will it be in practice? The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) has told us that the only difference the Bill would make in the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament would be the difference between a power exercised and a power in reserve; but I maintain that you cannot reserve a power which you deliberately give away. By this Bill this House is asked deliberately to give away to the Irish Legislative Body in Dublin the sole control over Irish affairs. If that be so, it would be practically impossible for this House to legislate upon Irish affairs, having given away their power to the Irish Legislative Body in Dublin, and in the absence of the Irish Members here. More than this, it is a capital article of the Irish Legislative Body that it should have the control of the Executive Government of Ireland. Well, Sir, that being so, this House could not deal with the Executive Government of Ireland, which would be constitutionally responsible to the Irish Legislative Body in Dublin. Therefore I contend that for all practical purposes, so far as Irish affairs are concerned, this Bill does deprive the Imperial Parliament of its supremacy and hand it over to the Parliament in Dublin. That surely is a large concession. Do we get anything in return? One of the two main objects which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to himself when he introduced this Bill was to restore to the Imperial Parliament its dignity, and to legislation its natural and ancient unimpeded course; and the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland made the same remark earlier, in rather rougher language. He said he wished to remove the Irish Members from the House of Commons, because they turned out Ministries and rejected Bills from motives which were not, in our sense, national and patriotic. Now, Sir, the Bill as it was framed effected this—it banished the Irish Members from the Imperial Parliament. But how is it after the alterations which the right hon. Gentleman, has promised to embody in it? The Irish Members are to come here in their full strength for the consideration and discussion of all Imperial and reserved affairs. I do not think anything was more clearly demonstrated in this House by the right hon. Gentleman, who is a master of argument, than this—that it would be impossible for the Queen's Government to be carried on by a House of Commons varying in its composition from day to day; on one day turning out a Ministry, and on the next day reinstating it. He showed how difficult it would be to distinguish between the classes of Business in which the different Members might take part, and he dwelt on the anomaly of having two classes of Members in this House, the one competent to deal with all kinds of Business, and the other only summoned for certain kinds of Business, and in the intervals consigned to a state of suspended animation. Well, Sir, that, I think, would utterly ruin the efficiency of the Imperial Parliament—first, as a working machine, and, secondly, as a power to control the Executive Government. The Chief Secretary for Ireland told us that he objected to the Irish Members as a disturbing element in the House of Commons. Why, Sir, if they are a disturbing element now, what would they be under such a proposal as this? We have been warned that they would vote on Imperial questions not with regard to their merits, but with regard to what they could get for Ireland; and that their votes might depend, therefore, upon some change in the powers given to the Legislative Body in Dublin, or on some financial boon which might be afforded to Ireland by the Imperial Parliament. Would that, Sir, tend to the unity of the Empire, or to the advantage of Great Britain? But, more than this, the Chief Secretary for Ireland desires to free this House from the discussion of Irish affairs; but the Irish Members are still to come to this House for the discussion of affairs reserved from the Irish Legislative Body, according to the proposals as modified by the Prime Minister; and, therefore, we should have some Irish matters discussed here by hon. Members taking, as they do now, opposite views; and it would be very strange if, in the first place, the legislation which might be passed by this House on those subjects was deemed in Ireland less foreign than the legislation we pass now, or if, on the other hand, the subjects were not made, by the ingenuity of Irishmen, vehicles for introducing discussions on every conceivable question in the House of Commons. Therefore, what I would say is this—that while, by the proposed alterations of the right hon. Gentleman, you would do almost irreparable injury to the Imperial Parliament, you do nothing, on the other hand, to remove the main objection to this Bill, for the main objection to this Bill is that you give to the Irish Legislative Body complete control of Irish legislation and administration free from the control of the Imperial Parliament. Of course, in objecting to that we are told that we are incurably opposed to any measure that shows confidence in the Irish people. But, Sir, we cannot forget the views that have been expressed by the Irish popular Representatives, and the objects that are aimed at by the Irish tenants, and we cannot believe that all those views and those objects will be entirely changed by the mere passing of the measure that is now before the House. Why, Sir, Her Majesty's Government do not believe it themselves, for if they did they never would have suggested that Land Purchase Bill, which, up till to-night, we have supposed to be an inseparable part of this great scheme for the restoration of social order in Ireland. If they did believe it they never would have attempted to reserve from the Irish Legislative Body a power of imposing religious disabilities on any class of the people of that country, or of interfering with the rights of Corporations. Nor would they have suggested to the House that we should pass a special enactment to prevent injustice to Irish Judges, whose only fault has been that they have faithfully administered the law. Sir, these very points of religious freedom and of security of property are the points on which the Loyal minority in Ireland are at the present moment most anxious. Well, the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell), in the speech which he made to-night—so mild, and so remarkably contrasting with his previous utterances before this Bill was introduced—suggested that the Irish Loyal minority might be protected by the system of Orders in the new Irish Legislative Body. I think he told us that this was a very salutary provision. I marvel at that statement coming from the Leader of the Party who have, year after year, ever since I can remember, protested against the tiling most nearly corresponding to this Institution of Orders, which, at the moment. I can recollect in Ireland—namely, the institution of ex officio Guardians in Poor Law Unions, is the most objectionable thing in the whole system of Irish local government. It may be, however, that the hon. Member for Cork, like the right hon. Gentlemen on the opposite Bench, has changed his opinion. If so, I shall welcome the change; but I must say that I cannot see how his support of this remarkable proposition of the First Order in the new Irish Legislative Body is consistent with his long-continued opposition to a Body like the ex officio Guardians in Poor Law Unions. But I am bound to say that the hon. Member guarded himself, for he told us that he did not quite approve the period of veto allowed to the First Order in the Irish Legislative Body, and he rather doubted the proposals of the Government with respect to the mode in which the First Order should be elected. ["No, no!"]

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

He said the qualification.


Well, that was the impression I derived. At any rate, the assent was qualified; and I also understood the hon. Member to say that, if this Bill should reach Committee, he would not be prevented from offering a distinct resistance to this protection of the minority, which he now considers is in principle a salutary provision. As a matter of fact, the I Loyal minority in Ireland have seen the I Bill with this provision included in it; and whatever may have been their political creed—whether they are Conservatives, Liberals, or Radicals—they are practically unanimous in declaring that it does not remove their fears of this measure. Why do they fear it? I think not so much on account of the danger which they might incur from bad legislation as of those greater dangers which they might incur from bad or unjust administration. Now, there has been some talk of armed resistance. Well, I have seen something of Ireland, and I have learnt to believe that if you want to arrive at the real English meaning of Irish speeches you must make a very liberal discount from the words spoken. I have never heard it alleged that there would be any attempt on the part of anybody in Ireland at armed resistance to an Act of the Imperial Parliament. What I have heard stated is this—that the relations between the minority in Ireland and the Irish Legislative Body would be very dangerous. Now, that view has been treated with ridicule, not merely in that quarter of the House, but also by right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench. I do not think that it was wise to treat that matter with ridicule. It is perfectly possible—I hope it might be so—that there would be no open resistance in Ireland to an Irish Legislative Body and Irish Executive; and yet if anyone looks back to the history of the Battle of the Boyne, and the events that preceded that battle, and if one also bears in mind what the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) has stated to-night to this House, that he would not be safe in Ulster—[An hon. MEMBEB: No; he did not say that.]—and the fact that the present Government, mainly in view of the deep animosities between different factions in the North of Ireland, had found it necessary to pass an Arms Act, I do not think he will treat with ridicule even the possibility of open resistance. But, to my mind, what is very much more likely is this—that the successful career of the National League will be imitated in the North of Ireland, and that the Irish Legislative Body and Executive will find themselves met by a sort of resistance which they might find it very difficult, if not impossible, to deal with. I do not think that they would have the help of Imperial troops in any such matter. The Imperial troops, if this Bill were to become law, would be in Ireland as they are sometimes in our great self-governing Colonies, for the maintenance of Imperial authority, and for defence against foreign attack, but not for interference between the local Government and its subjects. I suspect that hon. Members below the Gangway, if they were then the Irish Executive, would be disposed to look with more favour than they do at present on the quasi-character of the Irish Constabulary, and even, perhaps, to suggest certain coercive legislation from the Irish Legislative Body—a course which would be deeply painful to hon. Members opposite. But there would be something worse. Coercive legislation directed against the Irish minority would excite deep sympathy in Scotland and in England, and that would not tend to the establishment of those harmonious relations between Great Britain and Ireland which you expect to be insured by the Bill that is now before the House. Well, Sir, I do not want at all to go into the details of this Bill; but the point which I have touched upon is not a detail. It is what is known, though I think somewhat inaccurately, as the Ulster Question. And what we feel about that matter is this—that we cannot—it is the first difficulty upon the threshold of any proposal of this kind—we cannot give uncontrolled authority to the majority of the people in Ireland without the gravest risk of injury and injustice to the minority far greater than anything that could be possible under any Coercion Act which has ever been passed by the Imperial Parliament. I may be asked to define what coercion is. Of course, we are constantly twitted with this suggestion—that coercion is our only alternative policy. To my mind, coercion may he defined in this way. It is restriction upon the liberty of the subject in Ireland which does not exist in any other parts of the United Kingdom. If that be so, the present Government are not opposed to coercion in principle in spite of their denunciations of coercion. I can remember when I was Chief Secretary for Ireland, in 1875, that it was my duty to pass a Bill through Parliament which mainly imposed the precise restrictions on the possession and use of arms that are included in the Bill which has just been passed by the right hon. Gentleman the present Chief Secretary for Ireland; and, Sir, that Bill in 1875 was resisted by the whole of the popular Irish Party as strongly and as vehemently as any Coercion Bill that was ever proposed in this House. The hon. Member for the County of Cavan (Mr. Biggar) distinguished himself on that occasion by speaking for four hours in this House; and that was the character of the resistance to that measure. Her Majesty's Government only object to coercion if that coercion touches the National League. The Secretary of State for War told us the other day that this was because the National League is a political organization. Now, Sir, the freedom of political organization in the United Kingdom is a great popular right. Long may it continue. But political organizations have their duties as well as their rights, and in return for the freedom which they enjoy they are bound to carry on their agitation for the objects which they desire by Constitutional means. If a political organization in Great Britian were to seek to promote its objects by the use of intimidation followed by outrage, by interference with individual liberty—well, Sir, the law ought to deal very strictly with that organization, and if it was not strong enough to deal with it, it ought to be made so. And, Sir, that, neither more nor less, is all that we mean by coercive legislation for Ireland. We object to this measure because we believe it destroys the advantages of the Union, and does not satisfy that national sentiment which the hon. Member for Cork represents. He admitted that it did not satisfy that national sentiment as much as Grattan's Parliament did. If it does not satisfy that national sentiment, it cannot bring about that improved state of feeling between Great Britain and Ireland which has been the basis of the arguments of the supporters of the measure. The right hon. Gentleman and his supporters have appealed to the opinion of the civilized world. Well, there are several kinds of foreign opinion. There is the opinion of those who are notoriously hostile to England. That opinion may be set aside. There is the opinion of others who express their views merely as a bid for political office. I should not pay much attention to that opinion. But there is a friendly opinion, and to that let us pay all due attention. But even to that let us say that we do not brook interference in our domestic affairs. Now, Sir, I think we may take warning from these expressions of opinion. They are given now with hesitation generally, almost with bated breath; and why? Because these affairs are domestic affairs. But if the Irish Legislative Body was once established at Dublin—if that Irish Legislative Body contracted, as it would very soon contract, a loan in New York or in Paris—when that was done, we think there would be a temptation, and a justification oven, for foreign interference between us and Ireland, in the event of any financial or political difficulties between the Irish Government or Parliament and this Government or Parliament, which might cost us dearly. No, Sir; this is our affair; but it is not only the affair of Irishmen. The hon. Member for Cork seemed to question the right of my noble Friend near me (Lord Randolph Churchill), and the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain), to discuss Irish affairs. I would venture to remind the hon. Member for Cork that we are still a United Kingdom, and, please God, we long mean to be so. The Union was effected by the vote of the Parliament of Great Britain.

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

And the money of England.


The Union was effected by the vote of the Parliament of Great Britain, as well as the vote of the Parliament of Ireland. Whatever maybe the result of to-night's division, this at any rate is certain—that the majority of the Representatives of Great Britain in this House will vote against this Bill; and I do not hesitate to say that the House of Commons has no right, even if this Bill should be carried by the votes of a majority of Members from Ireland, to modify the Union without the previous consent of the people of Great Britain, who have never been consulted in this matter at all. The right hon. Gentleman has told us that this proposal has been welcomed with warmth throughout the country, and he has urged that his opponents are only certain classes and their dependents. If he believes in his own statements he will not fear to appeal to the people of Great Britain. [Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear!] Their verdict, and their verdict alone, can really settle this question. I believe, in spite of the great authority of the right hon. Gentleman, that this verdict will be given decisively in condemnation of his policy; and if it be given I also believe that the Irish people will accept it, because they are bound to submit themselves to the majority, and if they do not the people of this country will know the reason why. The issue is now near. I am sorry that in the consideration of that issue Party questions have been raised. I regretted to hear the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. Illingworth) on Friday night, as the burden of his speech, make an urgent appeal to those who sit about him to avoid doing a vital injury to the Liberal Party. The life or the death of a Government in this country is as nothing in comparison with the consequences of the vote we are called upon to give. I think we who sit in this part of the House may claim to have given some proof that we do not look on this matter from the point of personal advantage; that we are not thinking of the interests of our Party; that we are trying only to save our country from that which we believe to be the greatest evil which has ever menaced it in our generation. Sir, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Goschen) said very truly that we are the trustees and inheritors of the Parliamentary privileges of a free and historic Kingdom—a Kingdom which is the centre of a great but loosely united Empire. Many Members on both sides of the House are looking for means to unite and weld together that Empire more firmly than at present. Let us beware how we admit the canker of disintegration into its very heart. There may be dangers in the rejection of this Bill. There may be difficulties in store for us in this House or in Ireland. But these dangers and difficulties will vanish before a bold determination to confront the responsibility from which we cannot escape, and to maintain the union of our Government and our Parliament before the nations of the world.


Mr. Speaker—I shall venture to make, Sir, a few remarks on the speech of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach); but I will first allow myself the satisfaction of expressing what I believe to be a very widespread sentiment, and saying with what pleasure I listened to two speeches this evening—the singularly eloquent speech of the senior Member for Newcastle (Mr. Joseph Cowen), and the masterly exposition—for I cannot call it less—of the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell). Sir, I feel a strong conviction that speeches couched in that tone, marked alike by sound statesmanship and far-seeing moderation, will never fail to produce a lasting effect upon the minds and convictions of the people of England and Scotland. Sir, with respect to the personal question which has arisen between the hon. Member for Cork and the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach) I think it no part of my duty to interfere. I have avoided, and I shall avoid, in the discussion of this question, so far as I can, all matters which are of a purely polemical character between Party and. Party. I presume that this subject will be carried further. I understand a distinct allegation to be made by the hon. Member for Cork with regard to some person, whose name he does not give, but who is one of a limited body. In that limited body it will not be difficult, I conclude, to procure it if it can be given. Upon that I pass no judgment. I simply make this comment upon a subject which is of considerable public interest. The right hon. Gentleman opposite will do me the justice to say that I have not sought, before taking Office or since taking it, to make the conduct which right hon. Gentlemen opposite pursued on their accession to power matter of reproach against them. [Opposition laughter.] If they do not like to do me that justice I shall not ask it. On the speech of the right hon. Gentleman I need not dwell at great length. He began by stating a series of what he succinctly described as simple facts. I will not gay his simple facts are pure fictions, because that would hardly, perhaps, be courteous. But they are as devoid of foundation as if they had been pure fiction. The right hon. Gentleman declared—though I do not see that it has much to do with the matter—that this is the Bill of one man. Well, I am amazed that the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman speak as if they had been at my elbow all day, and every day, through the autumn and winter of last year. How can any man know that this is the Bill of one man? [A laugh.] How can the hon. Member who laughs know that this is the Bill of one man? Reference is made to the allegations of my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain). My right hon. Friend could only speak within the compass of his knowledge, and if he said that it was the Bill of one man he would know no more about it than the hon. Member opposite, What my right hon. Friend said, and said truly, was to state the time at which the Bill came before the Cabinet. But, Sir, long before that time the subject of the Bill and its leading details had been matter of anxious consideration between me and my nearest political Friends. [Cries of "Name!"] I never heard a more extraordinary demand in my life, not to say gross impropriety. I refer to those of my Colleagues who were most likely to give the most valuable aid, and with whom from the first I was in communication. Then, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman says we were installed in Office by the help of the hon. Member for Cork. The right hon. Gentleman appears to have forgotten the elementary lessons of arithmetic. It is perfectly true that the energetic assistance of the hon. Member for Cork might have kept the right hon. Gentleman in Office. The right hon. Gentleman speaks of the Party behind him and the Liberal Party, as it then was on this side of the House, as if they had been two equal Parties, and only required the hon. Member for Cork and his Friends to turn the scale. [Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL: They were.] They were, says the noble Lord? The noble Lord's arithmetic is still more defective—335 is by 85 votes a larger Party than 250. Then the right hon. Gentleman says that with the exception of the Customs and Excise Duties no change was made in the Bill after it was first submitted to the Cabinet. He has no means of knowing that, even if it were true, but it happens to be entirely untrue. Provisions of great importance had never been seen by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain). My right hon. Friend took exception to certain provisions of the Bill without being acquainted with the whole corpus of the Bill. That is the fact; so that the right hon. Gentleman is entirely wrong also upon this as well as upon his other "simple facts." Then the right hon. Gentleman says that I had announced that this Bill was not to be reconstructed. I announced nothing of the kind. I announced that I did not promise that it should be reconstructed. [A laugh.] There are actually Gentlemen opposite—Members of Parliament chosen to represent the country—who think this a matter of laughter, and can see no distinction between promises that a Bill shall not be reconstructed, and not having promised that it shall be. I conceive that a person who has promised that a Bill shall be reconstructed is bound to reconstruct it. Is that true? A person who has not promised that a Bill shall be reconstructed is free to reconstruct it, but is not bound to do so. I hope I have made a clear distinction; and I am glad to see that the laughter opposite has ceased as light has flowed in upon the minds of those hon. Gentlemen. I was struck with another observation of the right hon. Gentleman. He says that this Bill, whatever else may happen, will at any rate be rejected by the votes of a majority of English and Scotch Members—[Opposition cheers]—and he is cheered by those who teach us that they are, above all things, anxious for the maintenance of an absolutely United Kingdom, and an absolutely United Parliament, in which Irish Members are in all respects to be assimilated to, and identical with, those representing English and Scotch constituencies. The right hon. Gentleman talks about a Dissolution, and I am very glad to find that upon that point he and we are much more nearly associated in our views and expectations than upon almost any other point. After what the right hon. Gentleman has said, and the want of acquaintance which he has shown with the history of this Bill, on which he dwelt so long, and after what was said by my right hon. Friend behind me (Mr. Goschen), I must again remind the House, at any rate, in the clearest terms I can use, of the exact position in which we stand with reference to the Bill. In the first place, I take it to be absolutely beyond dispute, on broad and high Parliamentary grounds, that that which is voted upon to-night is the principle of the Bill as distinguished from the particulars of the Bill. [A laugh.] What may be the principle of the Bill, I grant you freely, I have no authority to determine. [A laugh.] The hon. Member laughs; I am much obliged for his running commentary, which is not usual on my observations, but it is our duty to give our own sense of the construction of the principle of the Bill, and I think I drew a confirmation of that construction from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, because he himself said this was a Bill for the purpose of establishing a Legislative Body in Ireland for the management of Irish affairs. Well, Sir, that—if we have any power or any title to give our view on the subject—is the principle of the Bill. As respects the particulars of the Bill, I apprehend it to be beyond all question that Members voting for the principle of the Bill are in this sense entirely and absolutely free—that if they consider that there is another set of provisions by means of which better and fuller effect may be given to the principle of the Bill they are at liberty to displace all the particulars they find in it which hinder that better and fuller effect being given to the principle. [A laugh.] That does not admit of doubt. I am quite certain the hon. Member who laughs will not rise in his place at any time and say that a Member is not at liberty to remove each and all, if he thinks fit, of the particulars of the Bill if in good faith he believes that the principle of the Bill can be better and more adequately promoted by a different set of provisions. But the Government have taken certain engagements. They have taken an engagement as to taxation for the intervention of Irish Members, to the terms of which I need not refer. They have also taken an engagement on the claim of Ireland to a continued concern through her Members in the treatment of Imperial subjects generally. And that has entailed a positive pledge to reconstruct the 24th clause, and to adopt certain consequential Amendments connected with it. One more question has been raised and has excited a deep interest, and that is with respect to other Amendments to the Bill. Of course, as to the freedom of hon. Members to suggest other Amendments. I have spoken in terms which, I think, are abundantly large. As respects our duty, there can be no question at all that our duty, if an interval is granted to us, and the circumstances of the present Session require the withdrawal of the Bill, and it is to be re-introduced with Amendments at an early date in the autumn—of course, it is our duty to amend our Bill with every real amendment and improvement, and with whatever is calculated to make it more effective and more acceptable for the attainment of its end. It is, as a matter of course, and without any specific assurance, our duty to consider all such Amendments. We are perfectly free to deal with them; but it would be the meanest and the basest act on the part of the Government to pretend that they have a plan of reconstruction ready beforehand, cut and dry, in their minds at a time when from the very nature of the case it must be obvious that they can have no such thing. So much, then, for the situation, for the freedom of Members to propose Amendments, for the duty of the Government to consider Amendments and improve their Bill, if they can, with the view of a fuller and better application of the principle; but subject, let me add, to conditions, five in number, which have been clearly enumerated on a former occasion, and from which there is no intention on our part to recede. The right hon. Gentleman speaks of Ulster as a question of principle. The question of Ulster, or whatever the common name of the question may be, may be one of great importance; but I must say that while I in no respect recede from the statement made in regard to it at the opening of these debates, yet I cannot see that any certain plan for Ulster has made any serious or effective progress. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh (Major Saunderson) emphatically disclaims the severance of Ulster from the rest of Ireland, and the hon. Member for Cork has laid before us a reasoned and elaborate argument on that subject to-day, which, as it appears to me, requires the careful attention of those who propose such a plan for our acceptance. We retain, however, perfect freedom to judge the case upon its merits. Now, Sir, I want to say a word upon the subject of Irish loyalism, because we are obliged to use phrases in debates of this kind which cannot be explained from time to time when using them, and it is well that there should be a little understanding beforehand. When I hear the speeches of the hon. Member for South Belfast (Mr. Johnston)—and of some other Gentlemen—it always appears to me that he is under the pious conviction that loyalty is innate in the Irish Protestants, and disloyalty innate in [a slight pause] some other persons. I do believe that he is under the impression that at all times, in all the long generations of Irish history, that has been the distinction to be drawn between Protestants and persons who are not Protestants. ["No, no!"] Is Protestant loyalism a thing that has a date and origin, or is it not? Has the hon. Member, or the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Major Saunderson), inquired what was the state of Ireland in the 18th century with respect to loyalty? As far as regarded the great mass of the population—the Roman Catholic population—they were hardly born into political life until the close of the century, and for a long period, in the time of Dean Swift, who describes their incapacity for political action as something beyond belief, it would have been absurd to speak of them as loyal or disloyal. But at the close of the century the Protestants and Roman Catholics of Ireland were described in a short passage by Mr. Burke, which I shall now read to the House. The date of it is 1796, and it is taken from a letter to Mr. Windham. He speaks of the subject of disaffection. "It"—that is to say disaffection— has cast deep roots in the principles and habits of the majority among the lower and middle classes of the whole Protestant part of Ireland. The Catholics who are intermingled with them are more or less tainted. In the other parts of Ireland (some in Dublin only excepted) the Catholics, who are in a manner the whole people, are as yet sound; but they may be provoked, as all men easily may be, out of their principles. What does that mean? That the Protestants, not having grievances to complain of, have become loyal; but in many cases the Roman Catholics, as Mr. Burke says, have been provoked, as all men easily may be, out of their principles of loyalty. And these are words, and these are ideas, which show us what is the way in which to promote loyalty, and what is the way in which we can destroy it. Another subject on which I shall dwell only for a moment is that of federation. Many Gentlemen in this House are greatly enamoured of this idea, and the object they have in view is a noble object. I will not admit the justice of the disparagement cast by the right hon. Gentleman on the British Empire. I do not consider that this is a "loosely-connected Empire." But I admit that, if means can be devised of establishing a more active connection with our distant Colonies, the idea is well worthy the attention of every loyal man. The idea of federation is a popular one. I will give no opinion upon it now; but I suspect that it is beset with more difficulties than have as yet been examined or brought to light. But this Bill, whatever be its rights or wrongs in any other respect, is unquestionably a step—an important step—in that direction. Federation rests essentially upon two things, and upon two things alone, as preconditioned. One is the division of Legislature, and the other is the division of subjects, and both those divisions are among the vital objects of this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the question of supremacy. My own opinion is that this debate has, in a considerable degree, cleared the ground upon that subject. It is most satisfactory to me to hear the statements of the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell). I own I have heard some astounding doctrines—astounding to an ignorant layman—from learned lawyers; but still, upon the whole, the balance of authority seems to me to have established, as a clear and elementary proposition that cannot be denied, that this Parliament, be it the Imperial Parliament or not, as long as it continues in its legal identity, is possessed now, as it was possessed before the Union and before the time of Grattan's Parliament, of a supremacy which is absolutely and in the nature of things inalienable, which it could not part with it if would, and which it would not part with if it could. There is no doubt a practical question, because it is quite true that in constituting a Legislature in Ireland we do what we did when we constituted a Legislature for Canada and for Australia. We devolve an important portion of power—we did it in Canada, and I hope we shall do it in Ireland—and we devolve it with a view to not a partial, not a nominal, but a real and practical independent management of their own affairs. That is what the right hon. Gentleman objects to doing. That is the thing which we desire and hope and mean to do. It is obvious that the question may be raised, How are you to deal with the possible cases where the Imperial Government, notwithstanding this general division of affairs, may be compelled by obligations of Imperial interest and honour to interfere? My answer is that this question has received a far better solution from practical politics, and from the experience of the last 40 or 50 years, than could ever have been given to it by the definition of lawyers, however eminent they may be. When the Legislature of Canada was founded this difficulty arose. We had the case of the Canadian Rebellion, where I myself, for one, was of opinion, and Lord Brougham was also of opinion—I know not now whether rightly or wrongly—that the honour of the Crown had been invaded by the proposition to grant compensation for losses in the Rebellion to those who had been rebels, and who had incurred those losses as rebels. I say nothing now about our being right or wrong; but in 1849 Lord Brougham brought forward a Motion on the subject in the House of Lords, and I myself did the same in the House of Commons. The important part was the declaration which was drawn from Ministers of the Crown. Lord John Russell then, in answer to me, laid down what I conceive to be a true and sound doctrine in terms which I think, may be described as classical and authoritative in their manner of dealing with this question. Lord Russell, speaking on the 14th of June, 1849, said— I entirely concur with the right hon. Gentleman—and it is, indeed, in conformity with the sentimental expressed in a despatch written, I think, some ten years ago—that there are cases which must be left to the decision of the responsible Ministers of the Crown. There are cases where the honour of the Crown and the safety of this country are concerned, and in such cases it requires the utmost temper in the Colonies, and the utmost temper and firmness in this country, in order to prevent differences from being pushed to a collision which might be fatal to the connections between the Mother Country and the Colonies. I fully admit that there are such cases; but when the right hon. Gentleman goes on to say that he considers the Earl of Elgin has received some instructions from the Government of this country by which he is debarred from asking the advice and direction of the Crown upon questions which affect Imperial policy and the national honour, he is totally mistaken in that unwarranted assumption."—(3 Hansard, [106] 225–6.) That passage, as I believe, contains, very justly and clearly set forth, the practical mode by which this question, difficult in the abstract, will be settled now as it has been settled before, and we shall find that as it has been perfectly easy to reconcile the rights of Canada with the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament, it will not be less easy in practice to reconcile the rights and the autonomy of Ireland with the same supremacy. I wish now to refer to another matter. I hear constantly used the terms Unionists and Separatists. But what I want to know is, who are the Unionists? I want to know who are the Separatists? I see this Bill described in newspapers of great circulation, and elsewhere, as a Separation Bill. Several Gentlemen opposite adopt and make that style of description their own. Speaking of that description, I say that it is the merest slang of vulgar controversy. Do you think this Bill will tend to separation? ["Hear, hear!"] Well, your arguments, and even your prejudices, are worthy of all consideration and respect; but is it a fair and rational mode of conducting a controversy to attach these hard names to measures on which you wish to argue, and on which, I suppose, you desire to convince by argument? Let me illustrate. I go back to the Reform Act of Lord Grey. When that Reform Bill was introduced, it was conscientiously and honestly believed by great masses of men, and intelligent men, too, that the Bill absolutely involved the destruction of the Monarchy. The Duke of Wellington propounded a doctrine very much to this effect; but I do not think that any of those Gentlemen, nor the newspapers that supported them, ever descended so low in their choice of weapons as to call the measure "the Monarchy Destruction Bill." Such language is a mere begging of the question. Now, I must make a large demand on your patience and your indulgence—we conscientiously believe that there are Unionists and Disunionists; but that it is our policy that leads to union and yours to separation. This involves a very large and deep historical question. Let us try, for a few moments, to look at it historically. The arguments used on the other side of the House appear to me to rest in principle and in the main upon one of two suppositions. One of them, which I will not now discuss, is the profound incompetency of the Irish people; but there is another, and it is this. It is, I believe, the conscientious conviction of hon. Gentlemen opposite that when two or more countries, associated but not incorporated together, are in disturbed relations with each other, the remedy is to create an absolute legislative incorporation. On the other hand, they believe that the dissolution of such an incorporation is clearly the mode to bring about the dissolution of the political relations of those countries. I do not deny that there may be cases in which legislative incorporation may have been the means of constituting a great country, as in the case of France. But we believe, as proved by history, that where there are those disturbed relations between countries associated, but not incorporated, the true principle is to make ample provision for local independence, subject to Imperial unity. These are propositions of the greatest interest and importance. Gentlemen speak of tightening the ties between England and Ireland as if tightening the tie were always the means to be adopted. Tightening the tie is frequently the means of making it burst, whilst relaxing the tie is very frequently the way to provide for its durability, and to enable it to stand a stronger strain; so that it is true, as was said by the hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. Joseph Cowen), that the separation of Legislatures is often the union of countries, and the union of Legislatures is often the severance of countries. Can you give me a single instance from all your historical inquiries where the acknowledgment of local independence has been followed by the severance of countries? [Cries of "Turkey!" "Servia!"] I was just going to refer to those countries, and to make this admission—that what I have said does not apply where a third Power has intervened, and has given liberty in defiance of the Sovereign Power to the subject State. But do you propose to wait until some third Power shall intervene in the case of Ireland, as it intervened in the case of America? [An hon. MEMBER: We are not afraid.] I never asked the hon. Gentleman whether he was afraid. It does not matter much whether he is afraid or not; but I would inculcate in him that early and provident fear which, in the language of Mr. Burke, is the mother of safety. I admit that where some third Power interferes, as France interfered in the case of America, you can expect nothing to result but severance with hostile feeling on both sides. But I am not speaking of such cases. That is not the case before us. But I ask you to give me a single instance where, apart from the intervention of a third Power, the independence of the Legislatures was followed by the severance of the nations? I can give several instances where total severance of countries has been the consequence of an attempt to tighten the bond—in the case of England and America, in the case of Belgium and Holland. The attempt to make Belgians conform to the ways and ideas and institutions of Holland led to the severance of the two countries. In the case of Denmark and the Duchies, they long attempted to do what, perhaps, Gentlemen would wish much to do in Ireland—namely, to force Danish institutions and ideas on the Duchies. Those long attempts ended, as we all know, together with the insufficient acknowledgment of the ancient institutions of those Duchies, in the total loss of those Duchies to Denmark, and their incorporation in another political connection. But let us not look simply to the negative side. Where local independence has been acknowledged and legislative severance has been given, there, in a number of cases, it has been made practicable to hold countries together that otherwise could not have been held together, and the difficulties which existed either have been lessened or altogether removed. The world is full of such cases. [An hon. MEMBER: Turkey.] An hon. Gentleman imprudently interrupted me by calling out "Turkey." I am going to tell him that in Turkey, with its imperfect organization, in cases where there has not been violent interference, where the matter has not been driven to a point to provoke armed interference by a foreign Power, local autonomy has been tried and tried with the best effect. In the Island of Crete, which 20 years ago appeared to be almost lost to Turkey, loosening the ties to Constantinople has immensely improved the relations between the Sultan and that Island. [Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL: Chronic revolution.] Chronic revolution! What are the tests of chronic revolution? Has it paid its tribute? Has it called for the armed force of Turkey to put down revolt? Then I will take another case, the case of the Lebanon. That was the subject of International arrangement 23 or 24 years ago. The Lebanon was in chronic revolution, and was under the absolute sway of Constantinople. The Lebanon was placed under a system of practical local independence, and from that day to this it has never been a trouble to Turkey. In a case more remarkable, the case of the Island of Samos, which has enjoyed for a length of time, I believe, a complete autonomy, and in which, singular as it may seem, it has never been possible to create disorder, a real attachment to the Turkish Empire, or, at any rate, a contentment with the political tie, subsists and holds that country in tranquillity. So that even Turkey bears testimony to the principle of which I speak. There are numbers of other cases. The case of Norway and Sweden is most remarkable, because of these two countries the stronger and more populous can hardly hope to have power to coerce the weaker—two countries completely separate, having absolutely no connection of Legislative or Executive Government, and united together recently, only 60 years ago. That union has been found practicable, and practicable only, by means of granting a just autonomy and independence. Take the case of Denmark and Iceland. [Laughter.] Laughter is, with hon. Gentlemen opposite, a very common weapon now, and it is very difficult for me to contend with it at this period of my life. Perhaps 20, 30, or 40 years ago I could have defended myself against it with more ease. It has been said that the Parliament of Iceland has been dissolved, and that there have been difficulties. Well, there have been difficulties between the Parliament of Iceland and the Crown of Denmark. The Crown of Denmark is, unhappily, in difficulties with the Legislative Body of Denmark, but between the Legislative Body of Denmark and the Legislative Body of Iceland there have been, I believe, no difficulties. When my hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Bryce), in his admirable speech, quoted the case of Iceland, hon. Gentlemen opposite, with their usual method of rebuke, laughed, and someone endeavouring to dignify, adorn, and decorate that laughter with an idea, called out—"Distance; Iceland is so distant." Well, if it is so distant, I apprehend that that makes it a great deal more difficult for Denmark to hold her down by force, and therefore more necessary for her to choose the methods which are most likely to secure contentment and tranquillity. But if you object to the case of Iceland on account of distance, what do you say to the case of Finland? Is that country distant from Russia? Are you aware that the social and political difficulties, which have so often threatened the peace of Russia, and which were fatal not many years ago to the life of one of the best and worthiest of her Sovereigns, have no place in Finland? Why? Because Finland has perfect legislative autonomy, the management of her own affairs, the preservation of her own institutions. That state of things has given contentment to Finland, and might be envied by many better known and more famous parts of the world. But the case of Austria is, perhaps, the most remarkable of all. I will not refer now to Austria and Hungary further than to say that I believe my right hon. Friend the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Goschen) is entirely wrong, for all practical purposes, in what he said as to the mixture of Executive Governments. I may lay down this proposition without fear of contradiction. There is no mixture whatever of Executive Governments so far as local affairs are concerned. As far as joint affairs are concerned it is a different matter; but there is a perfect independence between Austria and Hungary so far as local affairs are concerned. The case there, I should state, was surrounded with difficulties infinitely transcending any before us. But it is not Austria and Hungary alone. It is not too much to say of Austria that that great Empire, with the multitude of States of which it is composed, is held together by local autonomy and nothing else, and that the man who should attempt to banish local autonomy from Austria and to gather together the Representatives of her States in Vienna to deal with the local affairs of the Provinces would seal the death-warrant of the Empire. Long may she flourish as having based herself upon so just and so enlightened a principle. The most striking instance in the wide circuit of her Empire is Galicia. Galicia is inhabited by Poles. Austria has one of the fragments of that unhappy and dissevered country under her charge. Well, I need not speak of Russia and Poland, while even in Prussia the relations of Prussian Poland are, at this moment, the subject of most serious difficulty. There are no difficulties between Galicia and Austria. Why? Because Austria has treated Galicia upon the principle of placing trust and confidence in her, and has invested her with full practical power over the management of her own affairs. Now, I do not think that I have thrown out any unfair challenges. I have asked for instances from the other side in which the granting of Home Rule has been attended with evil consequences, but none have been given—whereas I have given a multitude of instances in support of my proposition; which is that the severance which we propose to make for local purposes between the Irish Legislative Body and Parliament meeting in these walls, is not a mode of disunion, but is a mode of closer union, and is not a mode of separation, but is a mode preventing separation. Before I leave this point I must refer to the case of Canada, because it is so remarkable, and because, notwithstanding the multitude of circumstantial differences between Canada and Great Britain, yet still the resemblances in principle are so profound and so significant. My right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain) said, as I understood him the other day, that he had been investigating the case of Canada. I own I thought I knew something about it, because in the early years of my Parliamentary life I took great interest in it, and some part in the great discussions on the disposal of Canada some 50 years ago. My reading of the history of Canada sustains my original propositions. My right hon. Friend announced to the House that he had found that the Legislative Councils in Canada had been established for the purpose of protecting the minority. Where did he find that? I read not long ago the very lengthened and detailed debates in Parliament on the subject of the establishment of those Legislative Councils, and from the beginning to the end of those debates, while the character of the Legislative Councils was abundantly discussed, there is not a word about their being appointed for the protection of minorities. But I will not rest the case of Canada upon that ground. What does the case of Canada show? It shows two things—first, that between 1830 and 1840 there were most formidable differences between Great Britain and Canada, and that those differences were completely cured and healed by the establishment of a responsible Government with a free Executive—that is to say, that those differences were absolutely cured by the very remedy which we now propose to apply in the case of Ireland. But, as I have shown, supremacy was not relinquished, it remained as was stated in the citation from Lord Russell. But after that, what happened? The two Provinces changed most fundamentally in their relative importance, and the stereotyped arrangements of the Union of 1840 were found to be totally inadequate to deal with the altered conditions of the Provinces among themselves. Recollect that these Provinces were united Provinces with one Legislature. Discord arose between them. What was the mode adopted of curing that discord? The mode which we now propose of the severance of the Legislatures—the establishment of an extended Union under which, at this moment, with the multiplied Legislatures of those Provinces, a substantial and perfect political harmony exists. I can understand, then, the disinclination which hon. Gentlemen opposite have to go into history as to these cases; but it will be unfolded more and more as these debates proceed, if the controversy be prolonged—it will more and more appear how strong is the foundation upon which we stand now, and upon which Mr. Grattan stood over 86 years ago, when he contended that a union of the Legislatures was the way to a moral and a real separation between the two countries. It has been asked in this debate, why have we put aside all the other Business of Parliament, and why have we thrown the country into all this agitation for the sake of the Irish Question? ["Hear, hear!"] That cheer is the echo that I wanted. Well, Sir, the first reason is this—because in Ireland the primary purposes of Government are not attained. What said the hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. J. Cowen) in his eloquent speech? That in a considerable part of Ireland distress was chronic, disaffection was perpetual, and insurrection was smouldering. What is implied by those who speak of the dreadful murder that lately took place in Kerry? And I must quote the Belfast outrage along with it; not as being precisely of the same character, but as a significant proof of the weakness of the tie which binds the people to the law. Sir, it is that you have not got that respect for the law, that sympathy with the law on the part of the people without which real civilization cannot exist. That is our first reason. I will not go back at this time on the dreadful story of the Union; but that, too, must be unfolded in all its hideous features if this controversy is to be prolonged—that Union of which. I ought to say that, without qualifying in the least any epithet I have used, I do not believe that that Union can or ought to be repealed, for it has made marks upon history that cannot be effaced. But I go on to another pious belief which prevails on the other side of the House, or which is often professed in controversies on the Irish Question. It is supposed that all the abuses of English power in Ireland relate to a remote period of history, and that from the year 1800 onwards from the time of the Union there has been a period of steady redress of grievances. Sir, I am sorry to say that there has been nothing of the kind. There has been a period when grievances have been redressed under compulsion, as in 1829, when Catholic Emancipation was granted to avoid civil war. There have been grievances mixed up with the most terrible evidence of the general failure of Government, as was exhibited by the Devon Commission in the year 1843. On a former night I made a quotation from the Report which spoke of the labourer. Now I have a corresponding quotation which is more important, and which speaks of the cottier. What was the proportion of the population which more than 40 years after the Union was described by the Devon Report as being in a condition worse and more disgraceful than any population in Europe? Mr. O'Connell has estimated it in this House at 5,000,000, out of 7,000,000; and Sir James Graham, in debate with him, declined to admit that it was 5,000,000, but did admit that it was 3,500,000. Well, Sir, in 1815 Parliament passed an Act of Irish legislation. What was the purpose of that Act? The Act declared that, from the state of the law in Ireland, the old intertangled usages and provisions containing effectual protection for the tenant against the landlord could not avail. These intertangled usages, which had replaced in an imperfect manner the tribal usages on which the tenure of land in Ireland was founded—Parliament swept them away and did everything to expose the tenant to the action of the landlord, but nothing to relieve or to deal with, by any amendment of the law, the terrible distress which was finally disclosed by the Devon Commission. Again, what was the state of Ireland with regard to freedom? In the year 1820 the Sheriff of Dublin and the gentry of that county and capital determined to have a county meeting to make compliments to George IV.—the trial of Queen Caroline being just over. They held their county meeting; the people went to the county meeting, and a counter-address was moved, warm in professions of loyalty, but setting out the grievances of the country and condemning the trial and proceedings against the Queen. The Sheriff refused to hear it. He put his own motion, but refused to put the other motion; he left the meeting, which continued the debate, and he sent in the military to the meeting, which was broken up by force. That was the state of Ireland as to freedom of Petition and remonstrance 20 years after the Union. Do you suppose that would have been the case if Ireland had retained her own Parliament? No, Sir. Other cases I will not dwell upon at this late hour, simply on account of the lateness of the hour. From 1857, when we passed an Act which enabled the landlords of Ireland to sell improvements on their tenants' holdings over their heads, down to 1880, when a most limited and carefully framed Bill, the product of Mr. Forster's benevolence, was passed by this House and rejected by an enormous majority in the House of Lords, thereby precipitating the Land Act of 1881, it is impossible to stand by the legislation of this House as a whole since the Union. I have sometimes heard it said, You have had all kinds of remedial legislation. The two chief items are the Disestablishment of the Church and the reform of the Land Laws? But what did you say of these? Why, you said the change in the Land Laws was confiscation and the Disestablishment of the Church was sacrilege. You cannot at one and the same time condemn these measures as confiscation and sacrilege, and at the same time quote them as proofs of the justice with which you have acted to Ireland. I must farther say that we have proposed this measure because Ireland wants to make her own laws. It is not enough to say that you are prepared to make good laws. You were prepared to make good laws for the Colonies. You did make good laws for the Colonies according to the best of your light. The Colonists were totally dissatisfied with them. You accepted their claim to make their own laws. Ireland, in our opinion, has a claim not less urgent. Now, Sir, what is before us? What is before us in the event of the rejection of this Bill? What alternatives have been proposed? Here I must for a moment comment on the fertile imagination of my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham. He has proposed alternatives, and plenty of them. My right hon. Friend says that a Dissolution has no terrors for him. I do not wonder at it. I do not see how a Dissolution can have any terrors for him. He has trimmed his vessel and he has touched his rudder in such a masterly way that in whichever direction the winds of Heaven may blow they must fill his sails. Let me illustrate my meaning. I will suppose different cases. Supposing at the Election—I mean that an Election is a thing like Christmas, it is always coming—supposing that at an Election public opinion should be very strong in favour of the Bill. My right hon. Friend would then be perfectly prepared to meet that public opinion, and tell it—"I declared strongly that I adopted the principle of the Bill." On the other hand, if public opinion was very adverse to the Bill, my right hon. Friend, again, is in complete armour, because he says—"Yes, I voted against the Bill." Supposing, again, public opinion is in favour of a very large plan for Ireland. My right hon. Friend is perfectly provided for that case also. The Government plan was not large enough for him, and he proposed in his speech on the introduction of the Bill that we should have a measure on the basis of federation, which goes beyond this Bill. Lastly—and now I have very nearly boxed the compass—supposing that public opinion should take quite a different turn, and instead of wanting very large measures for Ireland should demand very small measures for Ireland, still the resources of my right hon. Friend are not exhausted, because then he is able to point out that the last of his plans was four Provincial Councils controlled from London. Under other circumstances I should, perhaps, have been tempted to ask the secret of my right hon. Friend's recipe; as it is, I am afraid I am too old to learn it. But I do not wonder that a Dissolution has no terrors for him, because he is prepared in such a way and with such a series of expedients to meet all the possible contingencies of the case. Well, Sir, when I come to look at these practical alternatives and provisions, I find that they are visibly creations of the vivid imagination born of the hour and perishing with the hour, totally and absolutely unavailable for the solution of a great and difficult problem, the weight of which, and the urgency of which, my right hon. Friend himself in other days has seemed to feel. But I should not say now that our plan has possession of the field without a rival. Lord Salisbury has given us a rival plan. My first remark is that Lord Salisbury's policy has not been disavowed. It is, therefore, adopted. What is it? [A laugh.] Another laugh? It has not been disavowed; what is it? Great complaints are made because it has been called a policy of coercion; and Lord Salisbury is stated to have explained in "another place" that he is not favourable to coercion, but only to legislative provisions for preventing interference by one man with the liberty of another, and for insuring the regular execution of the law. And that, you say, is not coercion? Was that your view six months ago? What did the Liberal Government propose when they went out of Office? They proposed to enact clauses against the—[Cries of "No, no!" from the Opposition.]


They never made any proposal.


Perhaps not; but it was publicly stated. It was stated by me in a letter to the right hon. Gentleman.


In October.


Certainly; but it was stated in order to correct a rather gross error of the right hon. Gentleman. It was stated as what we had intended when we were going out of Office—unless I am greatly mistaken, it was publicly stated in this House long before. However, it is not very important. What were the proposals that we were about to make, or that we were supposed to be about to make? Well, a proposal about "Boycotting"—to prevent one man interfering with the liberty of another; and a proposal about a change of venue to insure the execution of the ordinary law. And how were these proposals viewed? Did not the Tories go to the Elections putting upon their placards—"Vote for the Tories and no Coercion?"

SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT (Sussex, North-West)

No, no!


I do not say that every Tory did it. The hon. and gallant Baronet cries "No." No doubt he did not do it; but he had no Irish voters.


If I had I would have done it.


Then it means this—that these proposals which we were about to make were defined as coercion by the Tories at the Election, and Lord Salisbury now denies them to be coercion; and it is resented with the loudest manifestations of displeasure when anyone on this side of the House states that Lord Salisbury has recommended 20 years of coercion. Lord Salisbury recommended, as he says himself, 20 years of those measures which last year were denounced by the Tories. But what did Lord Salisbury call them himself? What were his own words? His words were— My alternative policy is that Parliament should enable the Government of England to govern Ireland. What is the meaning of those words? Their meaning, in the first instance, is this—The Government does not want the aid of Parliament to exercise their Executive power; it wants the aid of Parliament for fresh legislation. The demand that the Parliament should enable the Government of England to govern Ireland is a demand for fresh legislative power. This fresh legislative power, how are they to use? Apply that recipe honestly, consistently, and resolutely for 20 years, and at the end of that time you will find Ireland will be fit to accept any gift in the way of local government or repeal of Coercion Laws that you may wish to give. And yet objections and complaints of misrepresentation teem from that side of the House when anyone on this side says that Lord Salisbury recommended coercion, when he himself applies that same term in his own words. A question was put to me by my hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Thorold Rogers), in the course of his most instructive speech. My hon. Friend had a serious misgiving as to the point of time. Were we right in introducing this measure now? He did not object to the principle; he intimated a doubt as to the moment. I may ask my hon. Friend to consider what would have happened had we hesitated as to the duty before us, had we used the constant efforts that would have been necessary to keep the late Government in Office, and allowed them to persevere in their intentions. On the 26th of January they proposed what we termed a measure of coercion, and I think we were justified in so terming it, because anything attempting to put down a political association can hardly have another name. Can it be denied that that legislation must have been accompanied by legislation against the Press, legislation against public meetings, and other legislation without which it would have been totally ineffective? Would it have been better if a great controversy cannot be avoided—and I am sensible of the evil of this great controversy—I say it is better that Parties should be matched in conflict upon a question of giving a great boon to Ireland, rather than—as we should have been if the policy of January 26 had proceeded—that we should have been matched and brought into conflict, and the whole country torn with dispute and discussion upon the policy of a great measure of coercion. That is my first reason. My second reason is this. Let my hon. Friend recollect that this is the earliest moment in our Parliamentary history when we have the voice of Ireland authentically expressed in our hearing. Majorities of Home Rulers there may have been upon other occasions; a practical majority of Irish Members never has been brought together for such a purpose. Now, first, we can understand her; now, first, we are able to deal with her; we are able to learn authentically what she wants and wishes, what she offers and will do; and as we ourselves enter into the strongest moral and honourable obligations by the steps which we take in this House, so we have before us practically an Ireland under the representative system able to give us equally authentic information, able morally to convey to us an assurance the breach and rupture of which would cover Ireland with disgrace. There is another reason, but not a very important one. It is this. I feel that any attempt to palter with the demands of Ireland, so conveyed in forms known to the Constitution, and any rejection of the conciliatory policy, might have an effect that none of us could wish in strengthening that Party of disorder which is behind the back of the Irish Representatives, which skulks in America, which skulks in Ireland, which I trust is losing ground and is losing force, and will lose ground and will lose force in proportion as our policy is carried out, and which I cannot altogether dismiss from consideration when I take into view the consequences that might follow upon its rejection. What is the case of Ireland at this moment? Have hon. Gentlemen considered that they are coming into conflict with a nation? Can anything stop a nation's demand, except its being proved to be immoderate and unsafe? But here are multitudes, and, I believe, millions upon millions, out-of-doors, who feel this demand to be neither immoderate nor unsafe. In our opinion, there is but one question before us abou this demand. It is as to the time and circumstance of granting it. There is no question in our minds that it will be granted. We wish it to be granted in the mode prescribed by Mr. Burke. Mr. Burke said, in his first speech at Bristol— I was true to my old-standing invariable principle, that all things which came from Great Britain should issue as a gift of her bounty and beneficence rather than as claims recovered against struggling litigants, or at least, if your beneficence obtained no credit in your concessions, yet that they should appear the salutary provisions of your wisdom and foresight—not as things wrung from you with your blood by the cruel gripe of a rigid necessity. The difference between giving with freedom and dignity on the one side, with acknowledgment and gratitude on the other, and giving under compulsion—giving with disgrace, giving with resentment dogging you at every step of your path—this difference is, in our eyes, fundamental, and this is the main reason not only why we have acted, but why we have acted now. This, if I understand it, is one of the golden moments of our history—one of those opportunities which may come and may go, but which rarely return, or, if they return, return at long intervals, and under circumstances which no man can forecast. There have been such golden moments even in the tragic history of Ireland, as her poet says— One time the harp of Innisfail Was tuned to notes of gladness. And then he goes on to say— But yet did oftener tell a tale Of more prevailing sadness. But there was such a golden moment—it was in 1795—it was on the mission of Lord Fitzwilliam. At that moment it is historically clear that the Parliament of Grrattan was on the point of solving the Irish problem. The two great knots of that problem were—in the first place, Roman Catholic Emancipation; and, in the second place, the Reform of Parliament. The cup was at her lips, and she was ready to drink it, when the hand of England rudely and ruthlessly dashed it to the ground in obedience to the wild and dangerous intimations of an Irish faction. Ex illo fluere ac retro sublapsa referri, Spes Danaûm. There has been no great day of hope for Ireland, no day when you might hope completely and definitely to end the controversy till now—more than 90 years. The long periodic time has at last run out, and the star has again mounted into the heavens. What Ireland was doing for herself in 1795 we at length have done. The Roman Catholics have been emancipated—emancipated after a woeful disregard of solemn promises through 29 years, emancipated slowly, sullenly, not from goodwill, but from abject terror, with all the fruits and consequences which will always follow that method of legislation. The second problem has been also solved, and the representation of Ireland has been thoroughly reformed; and I am thankful to say that the franchise was given to Ireland on the re-adjustment of last year with a free heart, with an open hand, and the gift of that franchise was the last act required to make the success of Ireland in her final effort absolutely sure. We have given Ireland a voice: we must all listen for a moment to what she says. We must all listen—both sides, both Parties, I mean as they are, divided on this question—divided, I am afraid, by an almost immeasurable gap. We do not undervalue or despise the forces opposed to us. I have described them as the forces of class and its dependents; and that as a general description—as a slight and rude outline of a description—is, I believe, perfectly true. I do not deny that many are against us whom we should have expected to be for us. I do not deny that some whom we see against us have caused us by their conscientious action the bitterest disappointment. You have power, you have wealth, you have rank, you have station, you have organization. What have we? We think that we have the people's heart; we believe and we know we have the promise of the harvest of the future. As to the people's heart, you may dispute it, and dispute it with perfect sincerity. Let that matter make its own proof. As to the harvest of the future, I doubt if you have so much confidence, and I believe that there is in the breast of many a man who means to vote against us tonight a profound misgiving, approaching even to a deep conviction, that the end will be as we foresee, and not as you do—that the ebbing tide is with you and the flowing tide is with us. Ireland stands at your bar expectant, hopeful, almost suppliant. Her words are the words of truth and soberness. She asks a blessed oblivion of the past, and in that oblivion our interest is deeper than even hers. My right hon. Friend the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Goschen) asks us to-night to abide by the traditions of which we are the heirs. What traditions? By the Irish traditions? Go into the length and breadth of the world, ransack the literature of all countries, find, if you can, a single voice, a single book, find, I would almost say, as much as a single newspaper article, unless the product of the day, in which the conduct of England towards Ireland is anywhere treated except with profound and bitter condemnation. Are these the traditions by which we are exhorted to stand? No; they are a sad exception to the glory of our country. They are a broad and black blot upon the pages of its history; and what we want to do is to stand by the traditions of which we are the heirs in all matters except our relations with Ireland, and to make our relations with Ireland to conform to the other traditions of our country. So we treat our traditions—so we hail the demand of Ire- land for what call a blessed oblivion of the past. She asks also a boon for the future; and that boon for the future, unless we are much mistaken, will be a boon to us in respect of honour, no less than a boon to her in respect of happiness, prosperity, and peace. Such, Sir, is her prayer. Think, I beseech you, think well, think wisely, think, not for the moment, but for the years that are to come, before you reject this Bill.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 311; Noes 341: Majority 30.

Abraham, W. (Glam.) Clancy, J. J.
Abraham, W. (Limerick, W.) Clark, Dr. G. B.
Cobb, H. P.
Acland, rt. hn. Sir T. D. Cohen, A.
Acland, A. H. D. Coleridge, hon. B.
Acland, C. T. D. Colman, J. J.
Agnew, W. Commins, A.
Allison, R. A. Compton, Lord W. G.
Arch, J. Condon, T. J.
Armitage, B. Connolly L.
Asher, A. Conway, M.
Ashton, T. G. Conybeare, C. A. V.
Atherley-Jones, L. Cook, E. R.
Baker, L. J. Cook, W.
Balfour, rt. hon. J. B. Coote, T.
Balfour, Sir G. Corbet, W. J.
Barbour, W. B. Cossham, H.
Barry, J. Cowen, J.
Bass, Sir A. Cox, J. R.
Beith, G. Craven, J.
Bennett, J. Crawford, D.
Biggar, J. G. Crawford, W.
Blake, J. A. Cremer, W. R.
Blake, T. Crilly, D.
Blane, A. Crompton, C.
Bolton, J. C. Crossley, E.
Bolton, T. H. Davies, W.
Borlase, W. C. Deasy, J.
Bradlaugh, C. Dilke, rt. hn. Sir C. W.
Brassey, Sir T. Dillon, J.
Bright, W. L. Dillwyn, L. L.
Brinton, J. Dodds, J.
Broadhurst, H. Duckham, T.
Brocklehurst, W. C. Duff, R. W.
Bruce, hon. R. P. Durant, J. C.
Brunner, J. T. Egerton, Admiral hon. F.
Bryce, J.
Buckley, A. Ellis, J.
Burt, T. Ellis, J. E.
Buxton, E. N. Esmonde, Sir T.
Byrne, G. M. Esslemont, P.
Cameron, C. Everett, R. L.
Cameron, J. M. Farquharson, Dr. R.
Campbell, Sir G. Fenwick, C.
Campbell, H. Finlayson, J.
Campbell - Bannerman, right hon. H. Finucane, J.
Fletcher, B.
Carbutt, E. H. Flower, C.
Carew, J. L. Flynn, J. C.
Chance, P. A. Foley, P. J.
Channing, F. A. Foljambe, C. G. S.
Childers, right hon. H. C. E. Forster, Sir C.
Foster, Dr. B.
Fowler, H. H. MacInnes, M.
Fox, Dr. J. F. M'Arthur, A.
Fry, T. M'Carthy, J.
Fuller, G. P. M'Carthy, J. H.
Gardner, H. M'Culloch, J.
Gaskell, C. G. Milnes- M'Donald, P.
Gibb, T. E. M'Donald, Dr. R.
Gilhooly, J. M'Kenna, Sir J. N.
Gill, H. J. M'Laren, C. B. B.
Gill, T. P. Magniac, C.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Maitland, W. F.
Gladstone, H. J. Mappin, F. T.
Glyn, hon. P. C. Marum, E. M.
Gourley, E. T. Mason, S.
Gower, G. G. L. Mather, W.
Gray, E. D. Mayne, T.
Green, H. Mellor, rt. hon. J. W.
Grenfell, W. H. Menzies, R. S.
Grey, Sir E. Molloy, B. C.
Haldane, R. B. Montagu, S.
Hamilton, J. G. C. Morgan, rt. hon. G. O.
Harcourt, rt. hn. Sir W. G. V. V. Morgan, O. V.
Morley, rt. hon. J.
Harrington, E. Moulton, J. F.
Harrington, T. Mundella, rt. hn. A. J.
Harris, M. Murphy, W. M.
Hayden, L. P. Newnes, G.
Hayne, C. Seale- Nolan, Colonel J. P.
Healy, M. Nolan, J.
Healy, T. M. O'Brien, J. F. X.
Hibbert, rt. hon. J. T. O'Brien, P.
Holden, A. O'Brien, P. J.
Holden, I. O'Brien, W.
Hooper, J. O'Connor, A.
Howard, E. S. O'Connor, J. (Kerry)
Howell, G. O'Connor, J. (Tippry.)
Hoyle, I. O'Connor, T. P.
Hunter, W. A. O'Doherty, Dr. K. I.
Illingworth, A. O'Doherty, J E.
Ince, H. B. O'Hanlon, T.
Ingram, W. J. O'Hea, P.
Jacoby, J. A. O'Kelly, J.
James, hon. W. H. O'Mara, S.
James, C. H. Otter, F.
Jenkins, D. J. Paget, T. T.
Johns, J. W. Palmer, C. M.
Johnson-Ferguson, J. E. Parker, C. S.
Parnell, C. S.
Joicey, J. Paulton, J. M.
Jones-Parry, L. Peacock, R.
Jordan, J. Pease, Sir J. W.
Kay-Shuttleworth, rt. hon. Sir U. J. Pease, A. E.
Pease, H. F.
Kelly, B. Pickard, B.
Kenny, C. S. Pickersgill, E. H.
Kenny, J. E. Picton, J. A.
Kenny, M. J. Pilkington, G. A.
Kilcoursie, right hon. Viscount Playfair, rt. hon. Sir L.
Labouchere, H. Portman, hon. E. B.
Lacaita, C. C. Potter, T. B.
Lalor, R. Powell, W. R. H.
Lane, W. J. Power, P. J.
Latham, G. W. Power, R.
Lawson, H. L. W. Price, T. P.
Leahy, J. Priestley, B.
Leake, R. Pugh, D.
Leamy, E. Pulley, J.
Lefevre, rt. hon. G. S. Pyne, J. D.
Leicester, J. Rathbone, W.
Lockwood, F. Redmond, J. E.
Lyell, L. Redmond, W. H. K.
Macfarlane, D. H. Reed, Sir E. J.
Reid, H. G. Strong, R.
Rendel, S. Stuart, J.
Reynolds, W. J. Sturgis, H. P.
Richard, H. Sullivan, D.
Rigby, J. Sullivan, T. D.
Roberts, J. Swinburne, Sir J.
Roberts, J. B. Tanner, C. K.
Robertson, E. Tennant, Sir C.
Robinson, T. Thomas, A.
Robson, W. S. Tuite, J.
Roe, T. Vanderbyl, P.
Rogers, J. E. T. Verney, Captain E. H.
Roscoe, Sir H. E. Wardle, H.
Russell, Sir C. Warmington, C. M.
Russell, E. R. Wason, E.
Samuelson, Sir B. Watson, T.
Saunders, W. Watt, H.
Sexton, T. Wayman, T.
Shaw, T. Weston, J. D.
Sheehan, J. D. Whitbread, S.
Sheehy, D. Will, J. S.
Sheil, E. Williams, A. J.
Sheridan, H. B. Williams, J. C.
Shirley, W. S. Wilson, Sir M.
Simon, Serjeant J. Wilson, C. H.
Small, J. F. Wilson, H. J.
Smith, S. Wilson, I.
Smith wick, J. F. Wilson, J. (Durham)
Spencer, hon. C. R. Woodall, W.
Spensley, H. Woodhead, J.
Spicer, H. Wright, C.
Stack, J. Yeo, F. A.
Stansfeld, right hon. J.
Stevenson, F. S. Marjoribanks, rt. hon. E.
Stevenson, J. C.
Storey, S. Morley, A.
Addison, J. E. W. Bethell, Commander
Agg-Gardner, J. T. Bickersteth, R.
Ainslie, W. G. Bickford Smith, W.
Allen, H. G. Biddulph, M.
Allen, W. S. Bigwood, J.
Allsopp, hon. C. Birkbeck, Sir E.
Allsopp, hon. G. Blaine, R. S.
Ambrose, W. Blundell, Col. H. B. H.
Amherst, W. A. T. Bonsor, H. C. O.
Anstruther, Sir R. Boord, T. W.
Ashmead-Bartlett, E. Borthwick, Sir A.
Baden-Powell, G. S. Bourke, right hon. R.
Baggallay, E. Boyd-Kinnear, J.
Baily, L. R. Bridgeman, Col. hon. F. C.
Baird, J.
Balfour, rt. hon. A. J. Bright, right hon. J.
Balfour, G. W. Bristowe, T. L.
Barclay, J. W. Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F.
Barnes, A.
Bartley, G. C. T. Brookfield, Col. A. M.
Barttelot, Sir W. B. Brooks, Sir W. C.
Bates, Sir E. Brown, A. H.
Baumann, A. A. Buchanan, T. R.
Beach, right hon. Sir M. E. Hicks- Burdett-Coutts, W. L. Ash.-B.
Beach, W. W. B. Burghley, Lord
Beadel, W. J. Campbell, Sir A.
Beaumont, H. F. Campbell, J. A.
Beckett, E. W. Campbell, R. F. F.
Beckett, W. Cavendish, Lord E.
Bective, Earl of Chamberlain, rt. hn. J.
Bentinck, rt. hn. G. C. Chamberlain, R.
Beresford, Lord C. W. De la Poer Chaplin, right hon. H.
Charrington, S.
Churchill, rt. hn. Lord R. H. S. Fraser, General C. C.
Fry, L.
Clarke, E. G. Gardner, R. Richardson-
Coddington, W.
Cohen, L. L. Gathorne-Hardy, hon. J. S.
Commerell, Adml. Sir J. E.
Gent-Davis, R.
Compton, F. Gibson, J. G.
Cooke, C. W. R. Giles, A.
Coope, O. E. Goldsmid, Sir J.
Corbett, A. C. Goldsworthy, Major-General W. T.
Corbett, J.
Corry, Sir J. P. Gorst, Sir J. E.
Cotton, Capt. E. T. D. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Courtney, L. H. Grant, Sir G. M.
Cranborne, Viscount Green, Sir E.
Cross, rt. hn. Sir R. A. Greenall, Sir G.
Cross, H. S. Gregory, G. B.
Crossley, Sir S. B. Grey, A.
Crossman, Gen. Sir W. Grimston, Viscount
Cubitt, right hon. G. Grove, Sir T. F.
Currie, Sir D. Gunter, Colonel R.
Curzon, Viscount Gurdon, R. T.
Dalrymple, C. Hall, A. W.
Davies, D. Hall, C.
Dawnay, Colonel hon. L. P. Halsey, T. F.
Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F.
Dawson, R.
De Cobain, E. S. W. Hamilton, Lord C. J.
De Worms, Baron H. Hamilton, Lord E.
Dickson, Major A. G. Hamilton, Lord F. S.
Dimsdale, Baron R. Hamilton, Col. C. E.
Dixon, G. Hamley, Gen. Sir E. B.
Dixon-Hartland, F. D. Hanbury, R. W.
Donkin, R. S. Hankey, F. A.
Douglas, A. Akers- Harcourt, E. W.
Duncan, Colonel F. Hardcastle, E.
Duncombe, A. Hardcastle, F.
Dyke, rt. hon. Sir W. H. Harker, W.
Hartington, Marq. of
Eaton, H. W. Haslett, J. H.
Ebrington, Viscount Hastings, G. W.
Edwards-Moss, T. C. Havelock - Allan, Sir H. M.
Egerton, hn. A. J. F.
Egerton, hon. A. de T. Heaton, J. H.
Elcho, Lord Heneage, right hon. E.
Elliot, hon. A. R. D. Henry, M.
Elliot, hon. H. F. H. Herbert, hon. S.
Ellis, Sir J. W. Hervey, Lord F.
Evelyn, W. J. Hickman, A.
Ewart, W. Hill, Lord A. W.
Ewing, Sir A. O. Hill, A. S.
Fairbairn, Sir A. Hoare, S.
Farquharson, H. R. Hobhouse, H.
Feilden, Lt.-Gen. R. J. Holland, rt. hon. Sir H. T.
Fellowes, W. H.
Fergusson, right hon. Sir J. Holmes, rt. hon. H.
Hope, right hon. A. J. B. B.
Ferguson, R.
Field, Admiral E. Houldsworth, W. H.
Finch, G. H. Howard, H. C.
Finch-Hatton, hon. M. E. G. Howard, J.
Howard, J. M.
Finlay, R. B. Hubbard, rt. hon. J.
Fisher, W. H. Hughes, Colonel E.
Fitzgerald, R. U. P. Hughes - Hallett, Col. F. C.
Fitzwilliam, hon. W. J. W.
Hunt, F. S.
Fitz-Wygram, Sir F. Hunter, Sir G.
Fletcher, Sir H. Hutton, J. F.
Folkestone, Viscount Isaacs, L. H.
Forwood, A. B. Jacks, W.
Fowler, Sir R. N. Jackson, W. L.
James, rt. hon. Sir H. Pitt-Lewis, G.
Jardine, Sir R. Plunket, rt. hon. D. R.
Jenkins, Sir J. J. Pomfret, W. P.
Jennings, L. J. Powell, F. S.
Johnston, W. Price, Captain G. E.
Jones, P. Puleston, J. H.
Kennaway, Sir J. H. Quilter, W. C.
Kenrick, W. Raikes, rt. hon. H. C.
Kenyon, hon. G. T. Ramsay, J.
Ker, R. W. B. Ramsden Sir J.
Kimber, H. Richardson, T.
King, H. S. Ritchie, C. T.
King-Harman, Colonel E. R. Robertson, H.
Robertson, J. P. B.
Kitching, A. G. Ross, A. H.
Knatchbull-Hugessen, hon. H. T. Rothschild, Baron F. J. de
Knightley, Sir R. Round, J.
Lawrance, J. C. Royden, T. B.
Lawrence, Sir T. Russell, Sir G.
Lawrence, W. F. Ruston, J.
Leatham, E. A. Rylands, P.
Lechmere, Sir E. A. H. St. Aubyn, Sir J.
Leighton, S. Salis-Schwabe, Col G.
Lethbridge, Sir R. Sandys, Lieut-Col. T. M.
Lewis, C. E.
Lewisham, Viscount Saunderson, Maj. E. J.
Llewellyn, E. H. Sclater-Booth, rt. hn. G.
Lloyd, W.
Long, W. H. Seely, C.
Lowther, hon. W. Sellar, A. C.
Lubbock, Sir J. Selwin - Ibbetson, rt. hon. Sir H. J.
Lymington, Viscount
Macdonald, right hon. J. H. A. Seton-Karr, H.
Sidebottom, T. H.
Mackintosh, C. F. Sidebottom, W.
Maclean, F. W. Sitwell, Sir G. R.
Maclean, J. M. Smith, rt. hon. W. H.
Macnaghten, E. Smith, A.
M'Calmont, Captain J. Smith, D.
M'Garel-Hogg, Sir J. Stafford, Marquess of
M'Iver, L. Stanhope, rt. hon. E.
Makins, Colonel W. T. Stanley, rt. hon. Col. Sir F. A.
Manners, rt. hon. Lord J. J. R.
Stanley, E. J.
March, Earl of Stewart, M. J.
Marriott, rt. hn. W. T. Sturrock, P.
Marton, Maj. G. B. H. Sutherland, T.
Maskelyne, M. H. N. Story- Sykes, C.
Talbot, C. R. M.
Maxwell, Sir H. E. Talbot, J. G.
Mildmay, F. B. Taylor, F.
Mills, hon. C. W. Temple, Sir R.
Milvain, T. Thompson, Sir H. M.
More, R. J. Tipping, W.
Morgan, hon. F. Tollemache, H. J.
Mount, W. G. Tomlinson, W. E. M.
Mowbray, rt, hon. Sir J. R. Tottenham, A. L.
Trevelyan, rt. hon. G. O.
Mulholland, H. L. Trotter, H. J.
Muncaster, Lord Tyler, Sir H. W.
Muntz, P. A. Valentine, C. J.
Murdoch, C. T. Vincent, C. E. H.
Newark, Viscount Vivian, Sir H. H.
Noel, E. Walrond, Col. W. K.
Norris, E. S. Walsh, hon. A. H. J.
Northcote, hon. H. S. Waring, Colonel T.
Norton, R. Watkin, Sir E. W.
O'Neill, hon. R. T. Watson, J.
Paget, Sir E. H. Webster, Sir. R. E.
Pearce, W. West, Colonel W. C.
Pelly, Sir L. Westlake, J.
Percy, Lord A. M. White, J. B.
Whitley, E. Wortley, C. B. Stuart-
Wiggin, H. Wroughton, P.
Williams, J. P. Yorke, J. R.
Wilson, J. (Ednbrgh.) Young, C. E. B.
Winn, hon. R.
Winterbotham, A. B. TELLERS.
Wodehouse, E. R. Brand, hon. H. R.
Wolmer, Viscount Caine, W. S.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Second Reading put off for six months.


After the division which has just taken place, the Motion which I think it most fitting to make is that the House at its rising, do adjourn until Thursday next.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House, at the rising of the House this day, do adjourn till Thursday."—(Mr. W. E. Gladstone.)

MR. T. M. HEALY (Londonderry, S.)

I would ask the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister—[Cries of "Order!"]—to remember the words of Frederick Douglas, the Negro orator—"God and one make a majority."[Cries of "Order!"]

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

On the question of adjournment I wish to say a few words. Let me say, Sir, that I am entirely in favour of adjournment. I rejoice at the occasion which makes us adjourn. The Dictatorship of intrigue and incapacity is over.


Order, order!


On the Motion for the adjournment of the House, my hon. Friend is quite in Order.


Order! Hon. Members must obey the Chair when I call them to Order. The hon. Member was not using Parliamentary language, and that is why I called him to Order.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House, at the rising of the House this day, do adjourn till Thursday.

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