§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
, in rising to move an Amendment, said, he claimed his right on the ground of precedence, as well as of convenience, to move it in the form he was about to do, and he was justified in taking that course, for notwithstanding the direct manner in which, during the debate on the Address, the Belfast speeches of the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been assailed, among others, by his right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt); speaking, notin his private capacity, but as the accredited Representative of the Liberal Party, the noble Lord had thought it consistent with his position, as Leader of the House, to treat all the appeals that had been made to him respecting the language he had used in Belfast with contemptuous silence. In such a case silence was more obstructive than any number of speeches, and, as the result, the Report stage of the Address was not taken last night; and it had become the duty of some Member, if not of every one, on that side of the House to put down an Amendment in order to 1229 find out what was the position the noble Lord himself occupied with regard to language used in Ireland. ["Oh, oh!"] What were the circumstances in which that language was used? A Bill was before the House of Commons for the better government of Ireland. Liberals believed that the Bill offered peace, and would give contentment to the people of Ireland; the Conservatives that, if it passed, it would lead to civil war. The Orangemen were fit instruments for the Conservatives in Ireland, and they had always been so in their excessive bigotry and intolerance, and in this particular case they were ready instruments, because the ascendancy which they had so long held in Ireland was threatened. The noble Lord went over to Ireland, and he landed at Lame. When he landed he was received almost in state. A large number of Orangemen marched past the hotel, and the noble Lord was the hero of the grand demonstration after the manner peculiar to the brethren. Amongst the lodges of Orangemen present were the Belfast Invincibles, and the Duke of Abercorn's Invincibles. Amongst the gentlemen who went over with the noble Lord was the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson), and he explained to the brethren why the noble Lord had come. Then the noble Lord made a speech, in which he said that they enjoyed great privileges in the North of Ireland which were worth demonstrating for, and were worth fighting for. At the evening meeting he said he was anxious to ascertain how they proposed to deal with the crisis, what resources they could reckon upon, and what resistance they could give. The statements, he said, made in the Imperial Parliament of the numbers and determination of the Orange Party had been received by the Radicals and Parnellites with jeers and derision, and Mr. Gladstone believed that the Orange Party was played out. Then the noble Lord asked, amid great enthusiasm, whether his audience were the same men as their forefathers were in 1798. Everyone knew what their forefathers were then. According to Mr. Grattan, they were the most disreputable and oppressive banditti that ever existed on the face of the earth. In another speech the noble Lord said that if it should turn out that the Parliament of the 1230 United Kingdom was so recreant to its high duties, and the British nation was so besotted as to place them under the domination of an Assembly in Dublin, which must of necessity be a foreign and alien Assembly, he did not hesitate to tell them that in that dark hour there would not be wanting to them those of position and influence in England, who would be willing to cast in their lot and share their fortunes and their fate. On February 22 the noble Lord delivered a speech, a report of which he would quote from The Belfast News Letter. The noble Lord asked what title the Nationalists had to represent the Irish people, and said—Is it by a long sequence of acts, or by any acts done on their behalf? Is it a title earned, by hard fighting in any action upon the fields That was the title of the Italians, the Greek - and the Bulgarians, to independence; that was the title by which the mountaineers of Montenegro freed themselves from Turkey.The noble Lord proceeded to say that Mr. Parnell's title to independence was founded only on Parliamentary "action." He (Mr. Labouchere) could not imagine any Minister of State deliberately justifying such a sneer at a large portion of Her Majesty's subjects. The noble Lord sneered at them because they did not break out in open resistance. With absolutely cynical wickedness the noble Lord went to Ireland to proclaim the doctrine and urge the people of Belfast to break out in rebellion if the Home Rule Bill were passed, and then he returned to this country, and he and his Friends stated in the House, and during the Elections, that if the Bill were passed the people would break out in rebellion. Now, what was the meaning of that? It was that the noble Lord wanted a majority from the electors of this country; and so it was that he preached that the Bill, so far from bringing peace, would lead to civil war, with all its horrors. Therefore, the noble Lord first created his argument—and a most iniquitous argument it was—and then he used it for the purposes of himself and his Party. When people played with religious bigotry they played with edged tools, and it was so in this case. Shortly afterwards those persons in Belfast, whose religious animosities and passions had been fanned by the noble Lord, broke out in open riot, the result being 1231 that property was destroyed and blood was shed. He did not think anyone doubted, at present, that these riots were begun by the Orangemen. ["Oh, oh!"] No doubt, after a time, the Catholics joined in them; but Catholic, were not frogs, and would not allow themselves to be stoned by their Protestant neighbours. These riots would not have taken place, in all probability, had not their passions been inflamed by the noble Lord; and, therefore, the noble Lord was responsible for every person killed and wounded, and all property destroyed, in Belfast; but the evil did not stop there, for what was worse, his statements had confined the Tory Party to the pledge that the Irish hopes of Home Rule should be blasted. The position in Ireland at the present time was most critical. The cup of what the Irish people considered liberty had been dashed from their lips. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) had told them that they had an absolute right to self-government, and they had been told by the present Government that they were never to have that self-government. The right hon. Member for Mid Lothian also said he could understand their abhorrence of a law which was an alien law, for the defects of that law and rule were enormous. In these circumstances it seemed to him to be most desirable that Her Majesty's Government should not proclaim the wonderful doctrine which had been enunciated by the noble Lord at Belfast. The Irish people had been told by his right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt) that they could not pay the judicial rents, and on the division the flower of the Liberal Party voted in favour of the contention of his right hon. Friend. Under those circumstances, it was very serious that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should enunciate his wondrous non-Constitutional doctrine—that if any subjects of Her Majesty considered that a law was unjust to them they had a right to resist by arms that law. It was vain to hope that the efforts of his hon. Friend the Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) to quiet the Irish under their present wrongs would be successful if these views were to be enunciated by the noble Lord, and if they were to be regarded as the views of the entire Con- 1232 servative Party. Dissentient Liberals did not agree with the noble Lord, and he (Mr. Labouchere) would be glad to know whether the Conservatives agreed with him in regard to this matter. In the last Parliament the noble Lord was exceedingly anxious that this charge might be brought against him, in order that he might reply to it. The noble Lord urged the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian to give a day for the discussion of the Motion of the hon. Member for South Belfast; but the right hon. Gentleman was unable to give a day at that time owing to the pressure of Public Business. Yesterday the charge was made again, not in a direct manner, but incidentally alluded to in the course of a discussion on another Amendment; and the noble Lord declined to rise in his place and state whether he accepted, repudiated, regretted, or apologized for what he had said. The Government intended to ignore that it was officially acknowledged that the judicial rents were too high, and in the face of that and their other conduct they could not wonder if the Irish Chief Secretary's efforts at putting down Irish disturbance would not be successful. The same thing would result if there were no protest, no repudiation of the species of chartered revolt which the noble Lord had been the author of. The main duty of the Government was to maintain law and order, and the reason he (Mr. Labouchere) moved this Amendment was to ascertain whether the Conservative Party agreed with the opinions of the noble Lord, and to give every Gentleman on the Conservative side of the House an opportunity to free himself from the odium cast upon the Conservative Party, by registering his vote in favour of the Amendment. As he had said, in the last Parliament the noble Lord was most anxious to meet the charge brought against him, and he now gave the noble Lord the opportunity he then sought for. If the noble Lord wished judgment to go by default; if he were ashamed of those Belfast words, and did not like to say so; or if he did not desire, as a Minister of the Crown, to humiliate his dignity by endorsing the irresponsible frivolity which characterized him when in Opposition, the noble Lord would sit silent. But if the noble Lord should allow judgment to go 1233 by default the House ought not to do so. As law-abiding citizens, who protested against these revolutionary doctrines which rendered all law and order impossible, hon. Members should consider it their duty to register their votes upon the language of the noble Lord, unless he withdrew or expressed regret for it. ["Oh, oh!"] There could' be no doubt that the noble Lord's utterances needed explanation; and that was why he (Mr. Labouchere) gave the House the opportunity of saying whether or not it thought so too, by moving the Amendment of which he had given Notice.
To add, at the end of the Address, the words—"And we humbly declare to Your Majesty, that certain language used and published by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in regard to the action which ought to be taken by a certain section of the Irish people, should the Bill for the better Government of Ireland (1886) pass into Law, was calculated to provoke breaches of the Law, and ought to be publicly withdrawn, in view of the preservation of the peace of Ireland."—(Mr. Labouchere.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL) (Paddington, S.)
Mr. Speaker—Sir, "Surely in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird;" and of all the unskilful and clumsy Parliamentary fowlers of whose manœuvres it has been my lot to be a witness, I never met a sorrier practitioner than the hon Member opposite the senior Member for Northampton. In the various snares and arts and wiles with which he distinguished himself in the last Parliament he succeeded only in this—that he made himself the laughing stock of the Parliament and of the public; and he appears to be desirous to add to-night to his already great reputation in that respect. Now, Sir, he invites me, under the cover of quotations from a speech, to re-open the controversy as to the effect of the repeal of the Union. Sir, I flatly decline to respond to his invitation. I did not reply last night to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir William Harcourt), not from any want of courtesy to him, but because I considered, and because I believed, that most of my Friends on this side of the House considered the ques- 1234 tion had been amply dealt with by my right hon. Friend and Colleague the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach). My right hon. Friend met the charges that were advanced by the hon. Member for South Sligo (Mr. Sexton). He disputed their value and their accuracy; and he stated that he considered that the speech, under the circumstances of the time, and viewing the circumstances to which it was directed, was a justifiable one. But, Sir, I considered that that perfectly well represented—I know that that perfectly represented—the views of the Government; and I could see no good whatever in myself contributing to the prolongation of a controversy that could only serve to inflame Party passions, which, at the present moment, it is certainly not the desire of the Government to arouse, and the arousing of which cannot possibly serve any public or any useful object. Sir, it is perfectly clear—and this really is my best answer to these accusations, which I make once and for all—it is perfectly clear that if there was a shred of a shadow of a shade of a foundation, or if there was a shade of a shadow of a shred of a foundation, for any one, or any portion, of these charges which have been brought forward so freely and so glibly, it is perfectly certain that I should not now be filling the position which, by the favour of the Sovereign, by the friendship and the confidence of my Colleagues, and by the support of hon. Gentlemen behind me, I have the honour for the time to fill. And this I say, in conclusion—that nobody is better aware of the utter worthlessness and emptiness and preposterous childishness of the accusations which have been brought forward than the hon. Member for Northampton himself.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON (Armagh, N.)
said, he rose for the purpose of moving an Amendment to the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere); and, though he was aware that it might be inconvenient to Her Majesty's Government, yet he thought he should be able to show the House that the extreme gravity of the case warranted him in taking the course he felt it his duty and was about to pursue. There was now a very gloomy prospect of sitting here for four or five weeks longer. ["Oh, oh "] Well, 1235 that might not be an attractive prospect to hon. Members who lived in England, Scotland, and Wales; but, from what they were told was the prospective condition of Ireland, it appeared that it would be well for hon. Members who lived in Ireland to take up their permanent abode in the House of Commons. They learned that there was to be in Ireland a condition of crime, outrage, and disorder. But why? The position of Ireland at the present time, so far as he could see, except in one or two localities, was not particularly suggestive of crime. There was little distress, and the position of the majority of the farmers was not altogether unsatisfactory. He intended to call attention to very grave circumstances affecting the honour and dignity of the House in the persons of certain of its Members. With this object he would move an Amendment. ["Oh, oh!"] Well, if hon. Members would look at the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton they would see what he meant. He (Colonel Saunderson) proposed to leave out all the words from the word "used," in the Amendment, to the word "calculated," at the end, and to insert the following words:—By certain Members of this House, and their participation in Conventions held in Foreign Countries in reference to Irish affairs, have given colour to the allegations which have been publicly made and extensively circulated throughout the United Kingdom that such persons are or have been members or associates of the Fenian Brotherhood of the United States, or of the Irish Republican Brotherhood are,He made no accusation—she merely brought the matter forward in order that hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway might have an opportunity of solemnly declaring that they were not and never had been connected with either of the two organizations named. The great question decided at the last Election was an appeal to the people on the question of Home Rule, and it was made under the shadow of a great and honoured name—that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone). But he did not think it likely that the question would ever again be put before the country under the same shadow. It might be made under the shadow of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt); but he did not believe that right hon. Gentleman's 1236 shadow would afford it sufficient support. But, under whatever auspices the question came before the country, he was satisfied that the verdict of the people would be even more decided in its condemnation than at the last Election. When Parliament should have been adjourned or prorogued hon. Members opposite would, doubtless, visit the constituencies. What he wanted them to do was to fight the battle in the open day, and to tell the country their real policy. He was ready to fight hon. Members at any time either in the House or outside. He did not mind fighting the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) either in the House or out of it; but he wished to fight the battle in the open day, and before he engaged in war he should like to understand clearly what he was fighting about. The fact was that there appeared to be two policies—one for the House of Commons and one for outside. ["Oh, oh!"] The question had become more serious since the Home Rulers had obtained certain distinguished recruits. The policy of the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) had been accepted by the late Prime Minister, and endorsed by the right hon. Member for Derby. According to the right hon. Member for Derby, the policy of the hon. Member for Cork was a policy of Parliamentary action. It was, the right hon. Gentleman said, by such action that he intended to gain his object. Now, a short time ago a Convention was held at Chicago, and a deputation of Irishmen attended, the members of the deputation being Mr. J. Redmond, M.P., Mr. Deasy, M.P., and Mr. W. O'Brien, who had been a Member, and who would probably soon return to the House. These Gentlemen went to America to explain the policy of the hon. Member for Cork. At the Convention, which was summoned with a view to support the Party of the hon. Member and to stimulate the subscribers to its funds, they met a Mr. Finerty, a gentleman of very advanced opinions, who declared that if there was any way by which he could harass and annoy England, and keep her awake at nights, he would favour it. Mr. O'Brien went over and met Mr. Finerty, and said—I am extremely glad to make your acquaintance. I look upon it as a great honour to come to Chicago in such company.1237 Mr. O'Brien was the accredited agent of the hon. Member for Cork, and yet he approached Chicago in company with that tremendous patriot who had used such tremendous language.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
No. I do not wish to misrepresent anybody; but Mr. O'Brien would probably have been informed of what had happened before he arrived. The hon. Member for Cork, no doubt, hoped that when he next made an appeal to the English constituencies for Home Rule for Ireland the masses and working classes would rally round him. But he would like to draw the attention of the working classes to a Constitution drawn up by a committee appointed by the Chicago Convention, consisting of Messrs. Dillon, Redmond, and Deasy, the 5th section of which ran as follows:—To hurt the enemy where he will feel it most, by refusing to purchase any article of English manufacture, and by using all legitimate influence to discourage tradesmen from keeping English manufactures on sale.When the British working classes knew that he sent his agents to Chicago to draw up this Constitution, they would not give him the hearty reception he anticipated. The Chicago and Westminster Home Rule policies did not coincide. America was the El Dorado of Irish politicians, where they got those supplies which were necessary. He understood that the advanced party found most of those funds, and amongst them there appeared to be a vision of action more dangerous, more perilous, and more heroic than moving the adjournment of the debate in the House. He took the following from The New York Herald of August 25—Mr. Redmond, M.P., who was introduced to the Chicago Convention by Judge Fitzgerald as the trusted and recognized representative of Mr. Parnell, came there at Mr. Parnell's request and used this language—'The principle underlying the movement for which this Convention is assembled is the unquestioned recognition of the nationality of Ireland. We are working not simply for the removal of grievances, or the amelioration of the material condition of our people. Once again all thoughts of amity with England have been banished from the minds of Irishmen, and to-day we stand face to face with our hereditary foes. I assert here to-day that the government of Ireland by England is an impossibility, and I believe it to be our duty to make it so.1238 These words were used by a Member of that House, the accredited agent and delegate of the hon. Member for Cork. Under those circumstances, he thought he was justified in asking the hon. Member for Cork, in his place, to tell the House and the country which of the two policies he was about to choose, and on which platform he was about to take his stand—that of Chicago or Westminster—to fight. He would also like to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-on-Tyne (Mr. John Morley) whether he intended to adopt the policy enunciated in such moderate language by the hon. Member for Cork in the House of Commons, or the policy announced in such terrific tones by the accredited agents sent by the hon. Member for Cork to America? When the English people read the challenge he (Colonel Saunderson) now threw down to the hon. Member for Cork, he hoped they would see that the hon. Member was bound in honour and in all consistency to state in clear and distinct terms which policy he intended to adopt and on which platform he intended to fight. At all events, he would not be able to stand any longer with one foot on the Westminster platform and the other on the Chicago platform. He (Colonel Saunderson) himself had no doubt as to the result of an appeal to the English people. At the last Election they dispelled for ever the illusion that the majority of them were in favour of Home Rule, or that Parliament would safely pass through a Bill for the dismemberment of the Empire. He did not think hon. Members below the Gangway were sorry for the result of the Election. The atmosphere of the House and residence in London must have affected them in the same way that it had affected him, and made him feel that it was the highest honour of his life to sit within those walls. The Bill, too, if it had not been thrown out, would have consigned them permanently to provincial obscurity; whereas now they could fulfil the highest and pleasantest functions of an Irish patriot, by doing their duty and living in London at the expense of other people. The discussion that might take place on his Amendment would probably form the keynote of the speeches during the autumn campaign. Returning to the consideration of the I proceedings of the Chicago Convention, 1239 he would point out that the members of it did not altogether agree with Mr. Finerty. Mr. A. Sullivan wound up the proceedings by saying—While Mr. Finerty has given expression to some views with which I will not say I disagree, let us all agree to make a sacrifice that is sometimes more than the sacrifice of our lives, the sacrifice of our self-suppression for the common cause.Hence the House would learn that the moderate Party did not disagree with Mr. Finerty, but thought it more convenient that he should not give expression to sentiments that would alienate public opinion in England and open the eyes of the working men in this country, who were loyal to the Crown, to the fact that this Home Rule movement was one which had for its aim the degradation and disintegration of the Empire. He would listen anxiously for the reply of the hon. Member for Cork as to which policy he would adopt. He now desired to call attention to another point—namely, the second part of the Amendment, which dealt with the honour and dignity of the House. A pamphlet had been circulated largely through the country. [An hon. MEMBER: Anonymously.] Yes; anonymously. He said nothing about the truth, or the reverse, of the contents of it; but it was sold everywhere, and had been in circulation for a long time. The circulation of a pamphlet like that, making allegations against the honour of hon. Gentlemen in that House, ought to be at once dealt with by them. That he would leave to the hon. Gentlemen themselves. Those hon. Gentlemen should get up in their places, and declare dearly that they had no connection, and never had any connection or sympathy, with the organizations which he mentioned in his Amendment. The following statement appeared in the pamphlet:—This was the oath I took in the presence of Almighty God—'I solemnly swear allegiance to the Irish Republic, now virtually established, and to take up arms when called upon to defend its independence and integrity, and also swear to yield implicit obedience to my superior officers.'[Cries of "This is all anonymous; who wrote it? "] Hon. Members asked him who wrote it? He could not say who wrote it; but if he could not give the hon. Member the name of the author, he could give him the name of the 1240 publisher. The pamphlet went on to say—It may be said I am now betraying that oath. If so, it is because I can no longer hear to see my unfortunate countrymen robbed and ruined by a set of scheming politicians who enjoy snug berths. I have not imitated the example of those distinguished Members of Parliament and Republican brethren.Let hon. Members read the names given in the pamphlet. Well, Sir, it is stated that among those who took this oath were Mr. J. O'Kelly—
§ MR. PARNELL
I rise to Order, Sir. I wish to know whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman, under cover of reading a pamphlet which he acknowledges to be anonymous and without any authority, is entitled to attack hon. Members of this House, and to charge them with being members of a treasonable conspiracy and with having taken two oaths—one to support this treasonable conspiracy, and the other to support Her Majesty in this House?
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. and gallant Gentleman has stated the sources from which he derives his information, and, having regard to any names he mentioned, of course he takes upon himself the responsibility of the course he is adopting. I do not think that I can interfere.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
The book I refer to is sold at all the railway stations, and is published at 169, Piccadilly, London, by William Ridgway. It is sold everywhere. I have no responsibility for the book. I do not myself say that any hon. Members of this House have taken this oath; but—
§ COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
I rise to Order, Sir. The hon. and gallant Gentleman declines to take the responsibility upon himself; but he was proceeding to quote from the book.
§ MR. SPEAKER
What I said was that the responsibility rests upon the hon. and gallant Gentleman as a Member of this House, and there is no point of Parliamentary Order upon which I can interfere.
§ MR. PARNELL
I rise to a point of Order. [Cries of "Order!"] Do I understand that your ruling, Sir, is to this effect—that the hon. and gallant Member is entitled to accuse other hon. Members of any offence in the way he has, provided he gets some book or 1241 some anonymous pamphlet and reads the accusation out of it? Because under those circumstances, if a pamphlet were written accusing the hon. and gallant Member of being a murderer, I should be entitled to come here and read the accusation out.
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. and gallant Gentleman has given his authority for the statement he is making. The House must judge of the value of that authority for itself. It is not for me to interfere on a point of Order in this instance.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
said, if the hon. Member for Cork accused him of murder, on whatever authority, he should be only too glad to have it repeated in that House, so that he might answer the accusation; and he should have thought that hon. Members opposite would have been only too glad to answer the pamphlet. It might be a vile slander for all he knew. It was the duty of any hon. Member to bring forward any such accusation; for if it were true it would unfit a Member from taking a seat in that House. However, he would accede to the wish of the hon. Member for Cork and hon. Members below the Gangway, and not proceed to mention the names.
§ MR. PARNELL
I made no request. I simply submitted a point of Order to the Speaker, and the Speaker ruled it against me.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
Then, if the hon. Member does not fear, I will read the names. [The hon. and gallant Member then proceeded to give a list of the names of persons who, in the pamphlet, were alleged to have taken the Fenian oath, among thorn being J. J. O'Kelly, William O'Brien, M. Harris, T. P. O'Connor, T. Healy, J. H. M'Carthy, J. Redmond, and W. Redmond.] Some of these men had sworn allegiance to Her Majesty. That was a very serious question. He had entered into the matter because they were now still at the preliminary stage of the great battle that they would have to fight; and he wished to know on what platform the hon. Members opposite intended to fight. They 1242 had won the first fall; they wished to take care that they won the second. Let the hon. Member for Cork lay down the platform on which he intended to fight, and they would be always ready to meet him. The hon. and gallant Gentleman concluded by moving his Amendment.
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment,
To leave out from the word "used," to the word "calculated," in order to insert the words "by certain Members of this House, and their participation in Conventions held in Foreign Countries in reference to Irish affairs, have given colour to the allegations which have been publicly made and extensively circulated throughout the United Kingdom that such persons are or have been members or associates of the Fenian Brotherhood of the United States, or of the Irish Republican Brotherhood are,"—(Colonel Saunderson,)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment."
§ LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL rose, but
§ MR. PARNELL
rose with him, and said: Mr. Speaker, before the noble Lord addresses the House I wish to consult you first on a point of Order. I wish to direct your attention, Sir, to the ruling which you gave when my Amendment upon the Address was under discussion. When a point of Order was raised in regard to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone), that he was not entitled to speak upon the Main Question in the discussion of that Amendment as well as upon the Amendment itself, and that he should confine himself strictly to the Amendment, you ruled that the right hon. Gentleman must confine himself strictly to the Amendment. Now, Sir, what I wish to submit is this—the Amendment which has been moved by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson) proposes to leave out certain words from the original Amendment, in order to substitute certain other words; and although it might have been possible, and may be possible, and is possible, to discuss an Amendment which proposes the addition of certain words to the Main Question without reference to the Main Question, it certainly is not possible to discuss an Amendment 1243 which proposes to leave out certain words, in order to substitute certain other words, without entering into the merits of the original question, in order to decide the question whether they should be substituted or not. I know of no way in which a discussion could be taken on the merits, if the rule you laid down before is to be applied in this case. It is manifest that on this occasion, when the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh proposes to substitute certain words for certain other words in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere), we cannot discuss the question without discussing the merits both of the original Amendment and of the proposed Amendment thereto.
§ MR. SPEAKER
In reply to the hon. Gentleman I have to state that I think he is under some misapprehension. My former ruling was that when an Amendment was proposed to the Address the whole subject of the Address was not open for discussion; but the debate must be confined to the specific Amendment proposed. In this case there is an Amendment proposed to be added to the Address; but before that question arises, or rather before the decision of the House can be taken upon it, another Amendment has been made in order to alter the words which it is proposed to add; and clearly, therefore, the Question before the House is the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Northampton, and proposed to be altered by the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh. Therefore, both the question of the speeches of the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lord Randolph Churchill) and the assertions of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh are now before the House, and both matters may be properly discussed.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL) (Paddington, S.)
I think it might be well that I should, without delay, state to the House the course which the Government propose to take on the Amendment moved by the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson). We shall oppose that Amendment, on the ground that we cannot, under any circumstances, concede that it relates to the matter of the Report in reply to the Speech from the 1244 Throne. As we conceive that the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) is open to the imputation that it would lead to an unprofitable waste of the time of the House, I am bound to say that we think that the further Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh comes under the same category. I am strongly of opinion that the matters dealt with in the pamphlet are not matters such as this House can deal with, but that they ought to be decided in a Court of Law, and that no possible good can arise from any action the House may take. Therefore, when the time comes for the division—which I hope may not be long delayed—we shall take exactly the same course as that which we took with regard to the two Amendments having reference to Burmah. We shall vote "Aye" to the first Question put from the Chair, which will have the effect, if carried, of negativing the second Amendment—that of the hon. and gallant Member, and then we shall vote "No" to the second Question, which will have the effect of negativing the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Northampton.
§ MR. T. D. SULLIVAN (Dublin, College Green)
said, that the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson), who had just addressed the House, referred to the Chicago Convention, and had a great deal to say about it. He omitted, however, to state the most important fact connected with that Convention, which was that a resolution was passed declaring that upon the concession to Ireland of a measure of Home Rule such as was proposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) there would be an end at once and for ever of the long strife, turmoil, and contention between the two countries. That was a most important omission on the part of the hon. and gallant Gentleman. The hon. and gallant Gentleman stated that the Convention was mainly composed of members of the Fenian Brotherhood. He (Mr. T. D. Sullivan) should like to know what right the hon. and gallant Member had to make any complaints of the Fenian Brotherhood? The Fenian Brotherhood had been disloyal to the British Crown, and had attempted insurrection in Ireland; but, 1245 considering the doctrine preached by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh during the late Election, and by the noble Lord the present Leader of the House of Commons, the Fenian Brotherhood had been justified in their action.
§ MR. T. D. SULLIVAN
said, that the hon. and gallant Member had referred to the Fenian Brotherhood in America, and everyone knew in what spirit and for what purpose he made the reference. It had been proclaimed on Irish platforms, and within the walls of that House, that because a certain Party in Ireland, who were in a minority, were to be subjected to laws which they said would oppress them and injure them, they would be not only warranted, but bound to have recourse to force, and to resist to the best of their ability the operation of those laws. That principle had been advocated in the House of Commons by right hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial Benches. What right, therefore, had they to attach the name of rebel to the Fenian Brotherhood? They would be rebels themselves, according to their own showing, if they were subjected to one-twentieth part of the grievous wrongs, injuries, and oppressions which the Catholic and Nationalist people of Ireland had had to endure for generation after generation. The hon. and gallant Member challenged the Irish Members to say whether they had sympathy with the Fenian Brotherhood. He (Mr. T. D. Sullivan) would tell the hon. and gallant Gentlemen, although he felt in no wise called upon to do so, that he had sympathy with the Fenian Brotherhood. He did not, however, approve of their methods; and many things that they said and did he believed to be unwise and unjustifiable. These men were his countrymen, who with a feeling of wrong and injury in their hearts, seeing no other chance of obtaining justice for their country, and finding Constitutional action vain and useless, took the wild and the foolish idea into their heads of rising in arms against the power of England and making a struggle for Irish liberty, whether they won or whether they lost. To a certain extent he had a great and high respect for these men; he sympa- 1246 thized with them as brave, though unwise men. The hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh had quoted against the Nationalist Members an anonymous pamphlet. Why did not the author of that pamphlet put his name to it, so that they might know what value to attach to his statements? The coward skulked in the dark. The hon. and gallant Member made a great point of the fact that the pamphlet sold largely. No doubt it did; but he might tell the hon. and gallant Member that any pamphlet would sell largely in England if it denounced and abused the Irish people. All caricatures of the Irish people had sold largely in England; but the English people were now beginning to have fairer and juster notions of the Irish people and of their cause. If the hon. and gallant Member would add four or five pages of calumny and slander to the pamphlet and publish a new edition of it, it would have a large additional sale. The hon. and gallant Member said he did not strike below the belt—["Oh, no!"]—but he (Mr. T. D. Sullivan) called it striking below the belt to quote charges from a cowardly and anonymous libeller. The hon. and gallant Member made great professions of being ready to fight anywhere; but that was all swagger and bunkum. Of course, the so-called Loyalists always imagined themselves splendid fellows; but they had been correctly described by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt), in a recent debate, as being, both now and in the past, the curse of the country. They had kept ill-will and animosity seething in Ireland. If the majority in Ireland had been treated as the so-called "Loyal" minority had been treated, there would have been much less disaffection. What the Loyalists were doing was striving to prevent such measures as would give the majority some excuse for being contented with the rule of England. The published Correspondence of the Marquess Cornwallis showed what were the character and conduct in 1798 and 1799 of the Orange Loyalists, whom their descendants were now called upon to emulate. The great difficulty of the Marquess Cornwallis was to restrain the Irish Yeomanry and Militia from plundering the people, burning their houses, and committing other outrages; and he 1247 complained that he was charged with lenity by the Loyalist Party because of his efforts to repress these outrages, which threatened to drive the people into rebellion again. He should like to read just a few historical extracts in support of his observations. They would be taken not from the pages of any Catholic or Nationalist historian, but from the published Correspondence of the noble Marquess, who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at the period referred to, in the years 1798 and 1799. Soon after his arrival in the country he found it necessary to issue the following document:—
§ "GENERAL ORDERS.
§ "Ballinamore, August 31, 1798.
§ "It is with very great concern that Lord Cornwallis finds himself obliged to call on the general officers and the commanding officers of regiments in particular, and in general on the officers of the Army, to assist him in putting a stop to the licentious conduct of the troops, and in saving the wretched inhabitants from being robbed, and in the most shocking manner ill-treated by those to whom they have a right to look for safety and protection. Lord Cornwallis declares that if he finds the soldiers of any regiment have had opportunities of committing those excesses from the negligence of their officers, he will make those officers answerable for their conduct; and that if any soldiers are caught either in the act of robbery, or with the articles of plunder in their possession, they shall instantly be tried, and immediate execution shall follow their conviction. A Provost Marshal will be appointed, who will with his guard march in the rear of the Army, and who will patrol about the villages and houses in the neighbourhood of the camp."
Such was the character, such was the behaviour of the men whose conduct the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the Orangemen of Belfast to act up to. Here was another piece of evidence on the subject, drawn from the same source. The Marquess Cornwallis, writing to the Duke of Portland on July 8, 1798, said—
The Irish Militia are totally without discipline; contemptible before the enemy when any serious resistance is made to them, but ferocious and cruel in the extreme when any poor wretches, either with or without arms, come within their power; in short, murder appears to be their favourite pastime.
That was the example which the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the Belfast Orangemen to act up to; and, no doubt, they did their very best to act on his advice. In another letter, bearing date September 30, 1798, the Lord Lieutenant said—
The country is daily becoming more disturbed. Religious animosities increase, and, I am sorry to say, are encouraged by the foolish violence of all the principal persons who have been in the habit of governing this Island; and the Irish Militia, from their repeated misbehaviour in the field and their extreme licentiousness, are fallen into such universal contempt and abhorrence, that when applications are made for the protection of troops it is often requested that Irish Militia may not be sent.
§ MR. WEBSTER (St. Pancras, E.)
rose to Order, and asked whether they were discussing the Revolution of 1798 or the Amendments?
§ MR. T. D. SULLIVAN
, continuing, said, that he was addressing himself to the Amendments. One of the Amendments before the House had reference to the language used by the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer when addressing the Orangemen of Belfast; he asked them to prove themselves worthy of their forefathers in 1798; and he (Mr. T. D. Sullivan) was showing what was the plain purport and meaning of such language. Of course, the Orangemen in those days, as now, called themselves the Loyal Party; but here is what the Marquess Cornwallis said of the Loyalists of his time in one of his letters to Major General Ross—The greatest difficulty which I experience is to control the violence of our loyal friends, who would, if I did not keep the strictest hand upon them, convert the system of martial law (which God knows is of itself bad enough) into a more violent and intolerable tyranny than that of Robespierre. The vilest informers are hunted out from the prisons to attack, by the most barefaced perjury, the lives of all who are suspected of being, or of having been, disaffected; and, indeed, every Roman Catholic of influence is in great danger.He did not like to detain the House by reading further extracts of that character; he had many of them in his hand; but he would read only one or two others for the purpose of making still more clear to the House what sort of memories were appealed to, and what sort of men were held up as models for imitation in the speech of the noble Lord to the Orangemen of Belfast. Here was another letter of the Marquess Cornwallis to his friend Major General Ross. It was dated July 24, 1798—There is no law here, either in town or country, but martial law, and you know enough of that to see all the horrors of it, even in the 1249 best administration of it; judge, then, how it must be conducted by Irishmen heated with passion and revenge. But all this is trifling compared to the numberless murders that are hourly committed by our people without any process or examination whatever. The Yeomanry are in the style of the Loyalists in America, only much more numerous and powerful, and a thousand times more ferocious. The Irish Militia, with few officers, and these chiefly of the worst kind, follow closely on the heels of the Yeomanry in murder and every kind of atrocity, and the Fencibles take a share, although much behindhand with the others. … The conversation of the principal persons of the country all tends to encourage this system of blood, and the conversation, even at my table, where you will suppose I do all I can to prevent it, always turns on hanging, shooting, burning, &c, and if a priest has been put to death the greatest joy is expressed by the whole company.Again, writing to the Duke of Portland in June, 1798, he gave the following account of the savagery of the troops, both officers and men:—The accounts that you see of the numbers of the enemy destroyed in every action are, I conclude, greatly exaggerated; from my own knowledge of military affairs I am sure that a very small proportion of them only could be killed in battle, and I am much afraid that any man in a brown coat who is found within several miles of the field of action is butchered without discrimination. It shall be one of my first objects to soften the ferocity of our troops, which, I am afraid, in the Irish corps at least, is not confined to the private soldiers.Did the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer know what he was talking of when he incited the Belfast Orangemen to show they had in them the spirit of their forefathers as displayed in 1798? It must be assumed that he did; and there could be no doubt of the sense in which the Orangemen understood his words. So ferocious and bloodthirsty was the spirit of the Loyal minority in those days that they made loud complaints of the humane Nobleman who had dared to put a check upon their career of outrage, pillage, and murder. In one of his letters at this time he gave the following account of them:—The principal persons of this country and the Members of both Houses of Parliament are, in general, averse to all acts of clemency. … They would pursue measures that could only terminate in the extirpation of the greater number of the inhabitants, and in the utter destruction of the country. The words Papists and priests are for ever in their mouths, and by their unaccountable policy they would drive four-fifths of the community into irreconcilable rebellion.1250 Again, writing to the Duke of Portland in defence of his alleged leniency towards the unfortunate people, he said—Your Grace may be assured that I shall omit no means in my power to encourage and animate the whole body of Yeomanry to a faithful and active discharge of their duty; but I never can permit them to take advantage of their military situation to pursue their private quarrels and gratify their personal resentments, or to rob and murder, at their discretion, any of their fellow-subjects whom they may think proper, on their own authority, to brand with the name of rebels.Here is an extract from another letter of his, defending himself from the terrible charge of too great clemency towards the "rebels"—You write as if you really believe there was any foundation for all the lies and nonsensical clamour about my lenity. On my arrival in this country I put a stop to the burning of houses and murder of the inhabitants by the Yeomanry or any other persons who delighted in that amusement; to the flogging for the purpose of extorting confession, and to the free quarters, which comprehended universal rape and robbery throughout the whole country. If this be a crime, I fully acknowledge my guilt.Even after the suppression of the Rebellion he wrote—The ferocity of the Loyalists will not for a long time permit the restoration of perfect tranquillity.And he thus expressed his wonder at the folly of the Government in pampering a little faction in Ireland, instead of seeking to make friends of the great body of the people—It has always appeared tome a desperate measure for the British Government to make an irrevocable alliance with a small Party in Ireland—which Party has derived all its consequence from, and is, in fact, entirely dependent upon, the British Government—to wage eternal war against the Papists and Presbyterians of this Kingdom, which two sects, from the fairest calculations, comprise about nine-tenths of the community.Well, the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer claimed for the Orangemen of the present day that they were the descendants of those heroes of 1798, and he asked them to show themselves worthy of their sires. They themselves traced their pedigree still further back, and they claimed to be descendants of the victors of the Boyne and "sons of William." But if they were sons of William they must be illegitimate sons, and degenerate sons also. The victors of the Boyne were brave soldiers, drawn from all parts of Europe—Dutchmen, 1251 Danes, Norwegians, Englishmen, Frenchmen, and others—and at the close of the campaign nearly all of them went back with King William to England. But there was another class of men at the Boyne, the camp followers, who were more likely to be the progenitors of the rioters of the present day. The Rev. George Story, chaplain to one of King William's regiments, an eye-witness of the scenes which he had described in his narrative of the war, told how they deported themselves at the battle of the Boyne. One of their works was to strip and rob the body of General Walker, the defender of Derry, when he fell in the action. Story says—General Walker, going, as some say, to look after the Duke, was shot a little beyond the river, and stripped immediately; for the Scots-Irish that followed our camp were got through already (i.e., across the river) and took off most of the plunder.It had been said that the Orangemen had been taunted in that House with want of courage, and that they felt bound to show they could fight. Well, he had never denied the courage of the Orangemen, and did not want to taunt those whom the hon. Member for South Tyrone (Mr. T. W. Russell) had called the "Corner Boys" and the "residuum" of Belfast with any want of courage. Ireland did not breed cowards of any Party or class, and he would only say that they were misguided and ignorant men. Sometimes the Orangemen threatened great things, but did nothing, and then, perhaps, they were laughed at. He believed that if a Home Bill had passed there would have been quieter times in Belfast. But he put it to the House, considering the antecedents of these men, considering their prejudices and their passions, and the nature of the memories which were kept ever fresh among them by the incendiary orators of their Party, whether the conduct of the noble Lord, in going among them and addressing to them the language that had been quoted from his speeches in this debate, was not merely reckless and mischievous, but criminal; and he hoped the House would show their condemnation of it by their vote on this Amendment.
§ MR. FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)
said, he would not have risen but for the unsatisfactory statement or explanation given by the noble 1252 Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lord Randolph Churchill) of the very inflammatory and exciting character of the language used in his speech at Belfast. He had listened that night, as he invariably listened, to a speech delivered by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson), and all hon. Members would be prepared to admit that the hon. and gallant Member's sallies of wit never failed to amuse, even when his arguments failed to instruct or convince. He, however, felt some regret that the hon. and gallant Gentleman should have deemed it his duty—should have deemed it wise and prudent—to point his argument against hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition side of the House by references to which every Scotch and English Member of the House thought the most magnanimous conduct on the part of their Irish brethren, the Representatives at the Chicago Convention in America. It would, no doubt, be interesting to the House to learn whether the hon. and gallant Gentleman had ever on any occasion refused to accept rent from a tenant when he knew it could only be paid by money sent from America. The pointed argument came, he fancied, with questionable grace from the hon. and gallant Gentleman. The language used by the noble Lord (Lord Randolph Churchill) in his speech at Belfast, and especially in the peroration of the speech delivered to his constituents at South Paddington on February 12—the language used on those occasions called for the immediate repudiation and condemnation of every hon. Member of that House. The House was told a few nights since by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh that the recent outbreak of rioting in Belfast was left as a legacy by the late Government to Her Majesty's present Advisers—a legacy, forsooth! from the late Government to their Successors. He (Mr. Fenwick) denied that. The recent outbreak of disturbances in Belfast was due to the immoderate and injudicious language used by the noble Lord the Leader of the House (Lord Randolph Churchill) and by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen of the Tory Party. The noble Lord knew perfectly well the character of the people to whom his language was addressed in that speech at Belfast, and he (Mr. Fenwick) had 1253 no hesitation in saying that the language of the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his Friends was used entirely for Party purposes, and with Party aims alone. He had listened, during the short time he had been a Member of the House, to extract after extract taken from speeches of hon. Gentlemen from Ireland representing the Nationalist Party—extracts read by hon. Members opposite; and, indeed, on almost every public platform in the country. Tory orators had endeavoured to fasten the responsibility on the Nationalist Party for causing crimes and outrages in Ireland by the inflammatory speeches they had made outside the House; but had the House heard a single word of repudiation or condemnation from the Tory Party of the language of the noble Lord in Belfast? Indeed, so far from there having been any repudiation from that Party, only on Wednesday afternoon the House had to listen to an attempted justification of those remarks—a justification which the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach) was not very successful in establishing. If language such as that used by the noble Lord at Belfast came from responsible Advisers of Her Majesty—from Privy Councillors—then could there be surprise that crime and outrage followed very closely in the wake of the deliverance of such incendiary harangues? He would ask the House to listen to a quotation from the closing words of the noble Lord's speech to his constituents in Paddington on February 12 last—I believe,said the noble Lord—referring to his intended visit to Belfast and the message he intended to bear to the electors of that unhappy town—I believe there will be hundreds and thousands of English hearts—aye, and English hands, which, when the moment of trial comes, when the Protestants of Ireland are called on to give in the most practical and convincing form a demonstrative proof of their loyalty to the English Throne—I believe there will be found hundreds and thousands of English hearts and hands beside them, around them, and behind them, co-operating with them. Before the unity of the British Empire is for ever shattered, before the sun of the British Empire has commenced to set, a blow will have to be struck, a blow will be struck, the sound of which shall go into all the world, and the echoes of which shall reverberate to the uttermost corners of the earth.1254 Well, the blow had indeed been struck in Belfast. The inflammatory speech of the noble Lord had been reported by the local Press of Belfast; and the Orangemen of the unhappy town rightly divined the character of the noble Lord's words, and the outrage and crime perpetrated in the town of Belfast were but the necessary outcome of what he had termed the injudicious language used by the noble Lord, by the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh, and the injudicious letters which had been circulated throughout the country by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Joseph Chamberlain). If the House was expected to repudiate and condemn the character of the violent language used by Leaders of the National Party in Ireland—and he held it was the duty of the House to do so—then, in all fairness and justice, they must also offer the strongest protest in their power against, and repudiation of, language such as that uttered by the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was because he believed such language was immediately provocative of the riots and disturbances that had taken place in Belfast, resulting in loss of life and destruction of property, that he, as a Member for an English constituency now uttered the strongest protest in his power against such language as that of the noble Lord.
§ MR. WEBSTER (St. Pancras, E.)
said, that the outrages and disturbances in Belfast had occurred long after the Home Rule Bill of the late Government had been rejected by the House, and after the result of the General Election had been declared; therefore, it was impossible that they could have been the result of the language used by the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lord Randolph Churchill), whose remarks at Belfast had referred entirely to the eventuality of the measure being carried. He would ask if the House considered it to be a proper state of affairs that certain hon. Members should receive subsidies from the United States of America? He maintained that it was not right that any persons holding seats in the British House of Commons should do so. The United States had their own business to attend to, and we had ours; there ought to be, therefore, no subsidies given by any alien State to persons in the British Parliament. He 1255 could not agree with what the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson)said—thatthe State ought to give aid to the Irish landlords, and as to the desirableness of the British taxpayer coming to their aid. He did not think the British taxpayer would be willing to put his hand in his pocket for such a purpose, unless he had ample security for the interest. He thought that the debate on the Address had caused a very considerable waste of time; and the real question before the House was whether it was not now time to close the discussion upon it, when it was recollected that no fewer than 23 days had already been taken up this year in discussing the Speeches from the Throne. The Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton had been disapproved beforehand by the electors of the Metropolis, who, having the speeches of the noble Lord in Ulster before them, had sent 49 Conservative Members to that House to support the policy which the noble Lord had enunciated in those speeches. It must be remembered that the Metropolitan Members represented a population of about 3,500,000, whose opinions were at least equal in weight to those of the Nationalists of Ireland.
§ MR. WEBSTER
said, he would oppose both Amendments, because neither of them was worthy of the consideration of the House; and he trusted, therefore, that the House would quickly come to a decision, and would at once proceed to pass the Order of the Day relating to Her Majesty's Speech, with a view of proceeding with the Business of the nation.
§ MR. E. HARRINGTON (Kerry, W.)
said, he begged to congratulate the hon. Member for East St. Pancras (Mr. Webster) on his maiden effort. Hon. Members opposite who represented Irish constituencies were fighting for a class with whose interests they were identified. The noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lord Randolph Churchill) had been charged with having incited to disturbance, treason, and rebellion in Ireland, and yet he had not dared to get up and defend his conduct. The noble Lord had deliberately used in Belfast incendiary language which he knew must necessarily lead to disturb- 1256 ance. As a consequence Ulster had fought, and he appealed to hon. Members to say whether she had been in the right in doing so. He (Mr. E. Harrington) maintained that the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought either to take the responsibility of his language, or make a decent apology to the House for his incendiary speech. If the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary (Mr. Matthews) was not ashamed of his religion, he should like to see the right hon. Gentleman get up and dissociate himself from one who incited to the persecution of men of the same creed as himself. The hon. and gallant Member for Armagh (Colonel Saunderson) had taunted them with being payees of the Chicago Convention. He (Mr. E. Harrington) believed that the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh had been put up to raise a side issue and draw away attention from the criminal conduct of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Every speech in which the hon. and gallant Member for Armagh made these insinuating attacks on the Nationalist Party, that they were there merely for the exercise of a selfish purpose, for paltry pelf, to sell or betray their country according as they were paid to do, the one or the other was a blow below the belt. But these blows came with ill grace from the descendants of those who betrayed their country and their country's liberties in times gone by. It seemed to him that if a band of men, representing a poor and persecuted country, determined to resign all the purposes of their own lives and to give themselves up wholly and solely to the interests of their country, it was no discredit to them that their countrymen should maintain them. Then it was said that they were poor men, and could not live in London without being paid. It was no disgrace to be poor; but when their position was contrasted with that of the Irish landlords, they could not but ask how they attained their position. Theirs was a blood-stained history, and there was no other country in which the landlords had so ill performed the office of resident gentry. The conspiracy of silence on the Treasury Bench was the conspiracy of guilt, and he had no doubt the country would pass judgment upon the noble Lord, who had allowed it to go by default against him.
§ COMMANDER BETHELL (York, E.R., Holderness)
said, he congratulated the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lord Randolph Churchill) upon having had the courage to resist the efforts made by hon. Members opposite to draw him into this discussion. With reference to the charge that the noble Lord had incited to riot in Belfast, it was the fact that riots had taken place there long before the noble Lord made his speech, and even long before the Home Rule Bill came into existence. It could not be doubted that the tension of feeling existing in Belfast was the slow accumulation of various causes, nor could it be denied that what had been going on all over Ireland for years had had a great deal to do with it. The noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson) had been found fault with, because they were said to have made rebellious speeches. It could not be maintained that rebellion was wrong under all circumstances. There was sometimes a vindication for it. But if right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on the other side thought that the noble Lord and the hon. and gallant Member were "rebels," why did they not arraign them for it and have them tried as such? In the course of these long debates nothing had surprised him more than to see hon. Members below the Gangway rise one after another and denounce in tones of indignation those who had recently, perhaps, taken a leaf out of their own book.
§ MR. JORDAN (Clare, W.)
I desire to make a few remarks upon the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson). The chief part of the observations of the hon. and gallant Member had reference to Fenianism; and by implication the hon. and gallant Member endeavoured, from an anonymous communication, to fasten Fenianism on hon. Members on this side of the House. [Colonel SAUNDERSON: I did nothing of the kind.] I said by implication, and I will give the exact phrase of the hon. and gallant Member. He stated that if hon. Members on these Benches did not belong to such an organization he would give them an opportunity of disavowing their connection with it. Now, I have never been a Fenian myself, and, thank God, I have never been an Orangeman. Nor 1258 am I here to advocate the cause of Fenianism, but had I been a Fenian I certainly should not disavow it; and if the charge were pushed further, rather than disavow it, I would affirm my connection with that honourable Society. At any rate, I would infinitely prefer Fenianism to Orangeism. I look upon Fenianism rather as a patriotic and national organization; and whether the Fenians have been misguided or not, they are, in my judgment, much more unselfish than Orangemen. Orangeism is, to a large extent, an appeal to the pockets of certain persons, not only in the ordinary work of the organization, but for the selfish objects of its leaders, to enable them not only to maintain their position, but also to replenish their pockets. I am not now attacking the members of the Orange Society; I am prepared to admit that there are many respectable gentlemen connected with the Orange Association, but; if so, they are respectable gentlemen in spite of the Association to which they belong; because I maintain that Orangeism is inimical to liberty of opinion, to freedom of thought and action, and, hence, to the principles of true Protestantism. I see nothing, except to the advantage of Fenianism, that is different between it and Orangeism. The one is a secret Society, and the other is a secret Society. ["No!"]
§ MR. AMBROSE (Middlesex, Harrow)
I rise to Order. I wish to ask you, Sir, whether it is within the Amendment before the House to discuss the relative merits of Fenianism and Orangeism?
§ MR. JORDAN
I was saying that one was a secret Society, and the other was a secret Society. One was a Society that was said to encourage private drill, and the other is an organization which resorts to the same practices. It will be in the recollection of the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson) that, speaking at an Orange anniversary meeting at Enniskillen not long ago, the hon. and gallant Member recommended the brethren, who had previously met in secret conclave, to combine, to put on military dress, and to march and drill. [Colonel SAUNDERSON: I did nothing of the kind.] In that case my recollection must be very defective, for I was one of the per- 1259 sons in the crowd who listened to the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and so charitable were his auditors that when they recognized that there was a person in the assembly who was a Liberal and a Land Leaguer they threatened to beat me. Therefore, I think that Orangeism and Orangemen have nothing whatever to boast of as being superior in any shape or form to the organization of Fenianism and the Fenians—of the two, the Fenian Organization is the more respectable. It did not sail under false colours. It neither sailed under the colours of religion and devotion to God, or loyalty to the Queen; but it stated boldly—"We are dissatisfied with the existing form of Government; we will fight against it." The members of the Fenian Organization did try to fight against the Government, and the only thing which made their efforts discreditable was the want of success which attended their efforts. If they had succeeded there would be no difficulty in regarding them as respectable men. The hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh said that the Irish Members have two policies. I altogether deny the assertion; but if we have two policies that is no novelty in the political world. The hon. and gallant Gentleman himself is an illustration of that. I recollect at one time, when I was much, younger, that we looked upon him—that is to say, the few Liberals there then were in the North of Ireland—looked upon the hon. and gallant Gentleman as our rising hope, and the man we were ready to support against the Tories. The hon. and gallant Gentleman has changed his policy since that day, and now he is one of the most ardent and enthusiastic advocates of a Tory policy the very reverse of that which at one time he advocated. I want to know what is meant by a double policy? The Tory Party in 1866 had one policy in regard to the franchise; but in 1867 they had another. Whenever it has been expedient, the Tory Party have found it very convenient to have a double policy; and it cannot be denied that they have even coquetted very considerably with the Irish Nationalists. It has invariably been their policy to take all the aid and assistance they can get, and there can be very little doubt that if the Election before last had not turned out as it did their policy would have been much more conciliatory towards the Irish 1260 Nationalist Members than it has since been. Let me refer the House to a much greater man than any individual Member of the Tory Party—I refer to the Leader of the greatest Party in this House—the Liberal Party—the right hon. Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone). That right hon. Gentleman has had different policies at different times with regard to coercion. Not many years ago he was altogether in favour of the policy of coercion; but recently he has entirely given up that idea. The Tories have done the same. When they went into Office early in the present year they declared that, in the present state of Ireland, it was absolutely necessary to bring in a Coercion Bill. They have entirely changed that view now, and they are of opinion that coercion is altogether unnecessary. The hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh has stated that the National League in Ireland is supported by American gold. Well, what of that? Gold is the most powerful factor in all political struggles, and it is simply because we have got the gold that we are now able to fight the landlords with their own instruments and with their own tools. The fact that the Organization had money was the very first thing that made me join the Land League. [A laugh.] Allow me to explain, and. I am glad to see hon. Members opposite so happy. I have no wish to transgress the Rules of the House; but I wish to explain that in the North of Ireland, before the Land League established a footing there, there were a few Tenant Eight Associations that were purely local, and they had very little power. They had no combination or organization, and they were unable to do battle with the combined power of landlords and their agents and bailiffs. It was found that every organization of that kind was only short lived because it did not possess the gold. The landlords had all the gold; but by-and-bye America said that if we desired to continue tinue the battle against landlordism the money necessary to carry it on would be placed at our disposal, and it was then that I threw in my lot with the Organization and the Society that gave me the means of fighting the landlords. [A laugh.] I quite understand that laugh. I will come to the point in a moment, 1261 and when I have done I do not think that the hon. Members will laugh at me. I threw in my lot with the Organization which had the means of doing battle effectively against the tyranny and oppression of landlordism. I have taken the greatest possible delight in this Organization, because it has been able to procure American gold to assist it in meeting the blank cheques of Dukes and the subscriptions of loyal and patriotic Associations, and all those Associations of Dukes, Lords, and Squires who, as a class, are desirous of doing battle with the masses of the working people of England and Ireland. Another point the hon. and gallant Gentleman made was, that it was a discredit to be in this House at the expense of other people. [Colonel SAUNDERSON: No; I did not.] I beg the hon. and gallant Member's pardon, but I have the words down here on my notes, and he accused the Irish Members of being here at the expense of other people. Well, as far as I am concerned, I deny that accusation altogether. I am not here at the expense of other people. I will not adopt the course that was taken by my hon. Friend (Dr. Tanner) the other night in denying that charge; but I must say that men who have no sense of honour deserve very little consideration. Hon. Gentlemen opposite often talk of their fine sense of honour; but they think very little of hurting the feelings of others. I, for one, altogether repudiate the insinuation that I have been sent here at the expense of other people. But, Mr. Speaker, if it were so, I should think it a credit and an honour to be maintained and supported in this House by the subscriptions which come from America. Recollect that they do not come from foreigners, for I do not call subscriptions that come from my brothers, my uncles, and my friends in America, foreign money, and I should count it an honour to be maintained by subscriptions sent from America out of respect for Ireland, and the National cause, rather than to be maintained in this House by money wrung from misery, poverty, and hate by the Irish landlords from Irish tenants. What are the principal part of hon. Gentlemen in this House supported by? Are they not supported by the money of other people? Who makes the money? Is it not the tenant farmer who makes the 1262 money that supports the landlords here? While a certain proportion of it may be fairly and justly due and obtained, the larger part is wrung from the tenants of Ireland, and from the miserable small farmers in that country, who have to deny themselves food, and clothing, and covering in the winter nights in order that the rent may be sent over to London to the Irish landlord, to be spent in England, or on the Continent, in the Holy Land, or elsewhere. Sir, the tenants of Ireland have exhausted every possible moans of making up the rent. Rent is but interest in another form, and I have known many instances in which tenants, to pay rent, robbed merchants and others of both principal and interest; and now the time has come when it is impossible any longer to continue the payment of such rent. There is another point in relation to America. The Irish in America are accused of calling upon the American people to "Boycott" the English manufacturer. [An hon. MEMBER: No!] I certainly understood the allegation to be that at the recent Chicago Convention the American citizens were asked by the Irish Representatives to refuse to take English manufactured goods. Now, I want to know what control the Irish National Party, or even the great English nation itself, can have over the action of the American people? How can we prevent any number of American citizens from meeting in a Convention, or otherwise, and passing any Resolution they choose? I do not see how it is possible for us to interfere, and it certainly would be an impertinence on our part to make any attempt to interfere, with the affairs of a foreign State. My answer to the observations of the hon. and gallant Gentleman is that if an American Convention chooses to pass a Resolution in reference to English manufacturers, we have no more control over them than England had when some of the United States declared their independence. I think I have now referred to the different points on which the hon. and gallant Gentleman has chosen to attack the Irish Party; and as to the Amendment he has moved to the Resolution, I trust that the House will emphatically reject it. I have only one word more to say, and it has reference to the action of the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Belfast. I believe that 1263 the course taken by the noble Lord produced a great deal of confusion in the North of Ireland. I know that it has been denied that the action of the noble Lord has had any influence in Belfast and the North of Ireland. Now, let me give an illustration to show the influence which the noble Lord's speech has had. The noble Lord stated in that speech that the Orangemen of Belfast and Ulster had in their own hands the protection of their lives, their liberty, and their property, and on them depended the integrity of the Empire. These two statements so permeated the Orangemen of Belfast and Ulster, that they were quoted at every social and local meeting in the North of Ireland. A short time after the speech was delivered there was a small Orange electioneering tea meeting in the town of Brookborough, County Fermanagh, the county in which I live. One of the members of the Orange fraternity, speaking at that meeting, said—Lord Randolph Churchill has said that on the Orangemen of Belfast and Ulster depends the protection of our lives, our liberties, and our property, and not only so, but upon the Orangemen of Belfast and Ulster depends the integrity of the Empire.The speaker added—And we are the boys who will do it.—meaning that they were the boys who would fight to maintain the integrity of the Empire. In the same locality, at another tea meeting, a well-known magistrate—Lord Cole—was present; and, animated by the same spirit as the result of the noble Lord's speech, he recommended that the Protestant people of that part of that country should take means to exclude from their service all Roman Catholics, and that they should keep them out of their farms and occupations, and thus rid them out of the country. Another local magistrate in the county of Fermanagh, Mr. Frank Brooke, Tory candidate for South Fermanagh, and who lately so nearly escaped dismissal from the magistracy, advised the Protestants to fight. If such feeling animates the people in the rural districts and in the small villages, is it to be wondered at that the speech of the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer had a much more powerful effect in Belfast itself, where political feeling runs much higher? But the noble Lord ought not properly to 1264 bear the entire blame. In my opinion, the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain), and the noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington), had something to do with the matter as well. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, during the late Elections and in North Wales, strongly appealed to Protestant bigotry. The noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale also went to Belfast, with the object of inducing the Liberal Protestants of Belfast and of the North of Ireland to efface themselves—to immolate themselves on the Tory altar, and prepare the way for the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The noble Marquess was successful, and as the result of his efforts we have at this moment some of the noble Marquess's following in this House. I need not go further than point to the hon. Member for South Tyrone (Mr. T. W. Russell), who sits here as the nominee of the noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale. I must apologize for having detained the House so long, and, in conclusion, I beg to support the Amendment which has been moved by the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere), and to oppose that which has been proposed by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson).
§ MR. ATHERLEY-JONES (Durham, N.W.)
I do not intend to trespass upon the time of the House for more than a very few minutes. At the same time, I think there is an obvious moral to be drawn from the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for the Holderness Division of Yorkshire (Commander Bethell). If a man of his erudition and attainments should be saturated with the views as to the right of rebellion which emanated from the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much more likely is it that persons belonging to a lower class of society—persons of the type and character of those who are led by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson)—should be induced to take a serious view of the purport of the language which we, on this side of the House, ascribe to the noble Lord? I am far from saying that the debate which has taken place this evening has been productive 1265 of much good. I am inclined to think that the results have been far less than those which we had a right to anticipate. It is quite true, Sir, that we do not for one moment imagine that the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) would have brought the noble Lord (Lord Randolph Churchill) to the stool of repentance. We did not expect for one moment that we should be able to produce any reform in the political character of the noble Lord. But, Sir, we did hope, and we had a right to expect, that we should receive something like a distinct repudiation of the meaning attributed to that speech. That repudiation we have, it is true, in part obtained. ["No!"] It is true that in the course of a speech made by the noble Lord yesterday he stated that the sentiment which had been ascribed to him in the report in The Times newspaper was not his sentiment, but was the sentiment of The Times itself. ["No!"] Hon. Members say "No;" but my distinct recollection is this—the noble Lord did state, and stated most emphatically, that the language which was read verbatim from the report in The Times was an inaccurate report. Then, in that sense I say that this debate has not been without result, or rather that the two debates have not been without result. What, however, we do complain of is this—that language of this kind, which has been denounced in no unmeasured terms from the opposite side of the House when applied to Members sitting below the Gangway on this side, has not received one word of blame or one word of condemnation from Members sitting on the other side when applied to the noble Lord. I am inclined to think that the noble Lord will not deny that what he taught at Belfast was that the doctrine of rebellion was justifiable in a certain contingency. That is a proposition which the noble Lord has not ventured to contradict. There are lawyers of eminence sitting on that side of the House, and I would appeal to them, and to those who represent Her Majesty's Government, whether there can be the slightest justification for such language proceeding from any person whatever? What I mean is this—it may well be that the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson), assuming the hypothesis of the noble Lord; assuming that Ireland had been sepa- 1266 rated from the United Kingdom by an Act of the dominant State, would be justified in adopting the doctrine of insurrection on the occurrence of such an event. I appeal to hon. Members opposite whether such a view is consistent with any doctrine, either legal or quasi-legal—that is to say moral—[A laugh.] When I use the word "moral" I mean a law which does not have exact and positive sanction, but one which is recognized as Constitutional law; and I appeal to hon. and learned Members opposite to say whether, on the hypothesis of such a case occurring, it would be justifiable on the part of any subject of the Sovereign to foment an insurrection, because the Sovereign had considered it right to part with its sovereignty over a portion of its Dominions. I hope that I have made my proposition clear; but as it may be that I have not succeeded in doing so I will put the point in one sentence. What I mean is this—that the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer would remain a subject of the Queen of England whether this separation were to take place or not; and therefore he could not by any possible means be justified, in the event of a separation being brought about, in inciting to a resistance by force in that part of the Queen's Dominions which might be separated from the Crown. I do not think, however, that it is either right or wise for us on this side of the House to attach the great importance to the speech of the noble Lord which has been attached to it. I do not think the noble Lord fully appreciated, when he uttered the sentiments which have been complained of, the gravity of the language he employed. Is is not of the original sentiments that I am complaining. What I do complain of is that he has not seized the opportunity of making an unqualified withdrawal. Why do I say that I do not so much find fault with the noble Lord in this instance? His speech was delivered under peculiar circumstances. I should not be at all surprised if it turned out to be true that the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson) spoke on the same platform on the same night. [Cries of "He did!"] I should not be surprised if a number of stimulating and invigorating circumstances were brought to the notice of the noble Lord. If I remember rightly the noble Lord felt 1267 for the moment that the mantle of an illustrious ancestor had descended upon him, although, probably, it was much too large for him. I have no doubt that the noble Lord felt that he was called upon to fire off some great guns; but what I do say is this—that in the language which was used by the noble Lord the most dangerous part of it is to be found in his peroration, and the peroration, from internal evidence, does not appear to have been carefully prepared. It was a peroration which showed that it was the result of a sudden inspiration, and it was wound up by a quotation from a poem familiar to us from the days of our childhood, as one which we were in the habit of reciting. It may well be that the inhabitants of Belfast—the Protestant inhabitants of Belfast—anticipated the meaning of the noble Lord; and although he only contemplated that there should be a resort to violence if a certain contingency arose, yet they felt that they ought to be wise in time, and anticipated the occasion. Therefore, it is not unjust or unfair for hon. Gentlemen who sit below the Gangway on this side of the House to attribute to the noble Lord that the language of the noble Lord in Belfast, to a considerable extent, was the cause of the outrageous attacks which took place in the streets of that town. I am not surprised at the way in which the question has been treated by the Government. They feel how grave a charge is made against their Leader; they feel that he is afraid to discuss the question, and that he has left it to the back Benches to vindicate his character. Sir, I hope the result of this debate will be to teach the noble Lord to exercise prudence on any future occasion when he may be called upon to address an excited population, and that it will be a lesson hereafter to him not to indulge in violent and intemperate language, the effect of which, in the present strained relations between the two countries and the two Parties in Ireland, it is impossible to contemplate with satisfaction. I trust that the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) will be carried to a division, so that we may put on record that we, who represent the Liberals of England, sympathize to the full with the sentiments which have been expressed by the hon. Member, and by those who sit behind him below the Gangway, and in the con- 1268 demnation which they have passed upon the language used by a Privy Councillor of the Queen and a high Minister of the Crown.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
Mr. Speaker—Sir, I cannot quite understand the language of an hon. Gentleman—the Member for the Holderness Division of Yorkshire (Commander Bethell)—who spoke a few moments ago from the Conservative Benches with that naîveté and good feeling which endear him to the House. The hon. and gallant Gentleman entered into a defence of the sacred right of rebellion. I have no objection to the hon. and gallant Gentleman amusing himself in the House with such exercises. But there is something contradictory in the position of hon. Gentlemen opposite. They start off with eulogies of rebellion, and when they have exhausted themselves in that direction they turn round to these Benches and bring a charge of rebellion against us as one of the foulest and most criminal which can be preferred. Sir, I think it is necessary that I should take notice briefly of the remarks of the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson). I am surprised that the hon. and gallant Gentleman should think it becoming on his part to introduce into the debates of this House an amount of venom, and passion, and irritation which is usually wanting in our conflicts here. I do not think the hon. and gallant Gentleman was particularly happy in his efforts this evening, because he had scarcely proposed his Amendment when the noble Lord his Leader got up and promptly, and in the most emphatic terms, repudiated it. The hon. and gallant Gentleman claims to be a fair antagonist; but I confess that I am unable to reconcile that claim with the course he has pursued this evening, in having, under cover of an anonymous and slanderous pamphlet, preferred charges against hon. Members sitting upon these Benches, which he would not dare to make on his own responsibility. The hon. and gallant Gentleman has given to this pamphlet a gratuitous advertisement. He says that it is widely circulated. So it is, and I have no doubt that any pamphlet which attacks Ireland is sure of a large circulation at W. H. Smith's bookstall. Let me give the House some idea of the character of the pamphlet upon which the hon. and 1269 gallant Gentleman founds his attack. Certainly, if I were anxious to secure the defence of my political reputation and position from the attacks of my political opponents, I should owe a debt of gratitude to the hon. and gallant Gentleman and the author of this pamphlet. I may say that I have been found fault with by my countrymen for the moderation of my views. [A laugh.] They may not be moderate to the hon. Gentleman opposite; but they are to them. Nevertheless, in this pamphlet I have the high honour to be represented as a desperado, and the connecting link between the dynamite party and the Nationalists of Ireland. It is upon a pamphlet of this kind, containing the most grotesque calumnies against the Irish Members, that the hon. and gallant Member founds his attack upon us. As a matter of fact, the only Member of the Irish Party whom I know to have been connected with the Fenian Brotherhood is my hon. Friend the Member for South Mayo (Mr. J. F. X. O'Brien). The association of my hon. Friend with Fenianism is an historic fact. He was fined for it and condemned for it 20 years ago. He suffered the penalty. He is certainly not the man to incite others to rebellion and then skulk in shelter; but, with a manliness and a courage that even the bitterest of his political opponents must admire, he went out into the field, took the responsibility of his acts, regardless of consequences, risked his life, and lost his liberty. It is to the credit of my hon. Friend that, having endeavoured in the past to teach the Irish people that it was only by determined action that they could hope for success, having since undergone the penalty attached to his offence, he should now be able to enter this House, and manfully take part in its debates, conducting himself with a decency of demeanour which hon. Members opposite would do well to imitate. The hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson) has alluded to the fact that the Irish people in America have subscribed large sums of money for the Irish cause in Ireland, and for the support and maintenance of some of the Members of this House. If it be a crime, all I can say is that I, for one, glory in it. I remember some years ago, before the Irish-American movement assumed its present proportions, that an old Member of this 1270 House came with an air of great alarm to my late lamented Friend, Mr. A. M. Sullivan, and said—"Mr. Sullivan, is it true that there are Members of the House of Commons who are paid for their Parliamentary services?" Mr. Sullivan replied—"I do not know that I can definitely answer the question; but I have heard that there are two Members who are paid." "Who are they," he asked, with his eyes enlarged at the prospect of having his curiosity gratified. "Well," said Mr. Sullivan, "one was a late lamented Member of this House, the Member for Stafford (Mr. Alexander Macdonald), and the other is my hon. Friend the Member for Morpeth (Mr. Burt." Now, will anybody desire to maintain that it is a reproach to my hon. Friend the Member for Morpeth (Mr. Burt), who still possesses a seat in this House, that his services—his great and eminent services to the cause of his fellow-workmen—should receive the recognition of being supported by their voluntary subscriptions? And now let me say a word about these American subscriptions. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson) is very much mistaken if he thinks it is a question we ever desire to shirk whenever we may be brought face to face with it. What is the secret of these subscriptions? They are attributable to two sources—first, the undying love of Ireland which her sons bear towards her in whatever part of the world they may happen to be. I will tell the hon. and gallant Gentleman that if, like me, he had gone to America—if he had passed through the great cities of America, and had met Irish people there, some of them 6,000 miles away from the shores of Ireland, and had seen their aspirations and desires, and the sacrifices they were making for the prosperity and elevation of their native country, I believe that even he and our Orange opponents would have been struck with feelings of admiration by their patriotism and love of Ireland. That is the first reason why these voluntary subscriptions have been made in America. The second reason is this. The money which the Irish-Americans subscribe to the Irish movement at home is the fine which they are willing to pay in order to relieve themselves of the annual tribute which they had to pay to the landlords of Ire- 1271 land. Now, Sir, upon this point allow me to read a short extract from the evidence published in the third Report of the Royal Commission to inquire into the Depression of Trade and Industry—a Commission appointed by a Tory Ministry- In the evidence of Mr. Murrough O'Brien, one of the gentlemen connected with the Land Commission in Ireland, in answer to Question 8,551, that gentleman said—It is a common practice for farmers in Ireland to save money in order to send their children to America, not altogether with the object of providing for such children, but incidentally to provide for themselves also; because the children who go to America and do well there send remittances to their friends in Ireland. Various estimates have been made of the amount remitted in that way from America and other foreign countries. Of course, it is impossible to obtain a correct estimate of the amount remitted; but it may be placed, I think, at £1,000,000 a-year.Mr. O'Brien was asked—Is it not a matter accepted generally that a large portion of the money thus remitted goes toward the payment of rent? I think," said Mr. O'Brien, "there can be no doubt that a large portion of the money so remitted is applied to the payment of rent.I would ask whether the friends of the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh, who are pressing for the payment of rack rents, ever refused any payment towards those rack rents because it came from American dollars sent over by Irish emigrants? Sir, the tragedy of Irish landlordism pursues the Irish race wherever it may go. Like the Nemesis of which the Greeks used to speak, it never stops or falters in its purpose, but carries out that fell purpose with, a power of self-fulfilment that no science can defeat. It pursues the Irish people wheresoever they may go—in the slums of Scotch as well as the English cities. [A laugh.] No doubt, all this is very amusing to the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite. I am not alluding to the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson), for I am glad to say that his good feeling renders him unable to participate in these jeers; but I repeat that Irish landlordism follows the Irish people even into the slums of English and Scotch cities, down in the depths of British mines, into the hotels of America, along the sheep-walks of Australia—wherever you go, you find that Irish men and Irish women are poor, and 1272 must remain poor, because they are endeavouring to help their fathers, their mothers, and their brethren at home who are trying to fill the maelstrom of rack rents. Does it lie in the mouths of hon. Gentlemen opposite, who have only been able to maintain their position by the American dollars of Irish servant girls, to turn round and attack hon. Members sitting on these Benches because our people in America have subscribed money in order that they may kill the vulture which has fed upon their vitals. I will now pass to the subject of the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I do not think the noble Lord, with his experience of the past, can have been very much surprised that the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) should have made his language the subject of a definite Motion. Even reformed rakes, when they get upon the Treasury Bench, must remember the stormy passages of their Parliamentary youth. The noble Lord has always been challenging us to make his speech the subject of a definite Motion. Only the other night the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, thinking that he has done enough in explaining away the language of the noble Lord, has come to the conclusion that a more bellicose attitude is necessary, and has made it a matter of reproach to my hon. Friend the Member for West Belfast (Mr. Sexton) that he has not had the courage of his convictions, and has not made the action and language of the noble Lord the subject of a definite Motion. And yet, when the challenge is accepted, and the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) shows that he has the courage of his convictions, and brings the language and acts of the noble Lord before the House as the subject of a definite Resolution, the noble Lord runs away. The noble Lord must be aware that he has supplied us with many precedents, and I am sorry to think that it will be our duty to study the speeches of the noble Lord during the next six months with the utmost care, in order to see whether they "point a moral or adorn a tale." On the 6th of February, 1884, the noble Lord, I find, took the serious step of moving the adjournment of the House. Probably the noble Lord may forget the fact. In fact, in those days the noble Lord moved the adjourn- 1273 ment of the House so often that he may well fail to remember any particular occasion on which he did so. But it does not require frequent Motions for the adjournment of the House to make a large breach of the decorum usually observed in it, and to task very considerably the patience of this Assembly. Of this, however, there can be no question—that the noble Lord moved the adjournment of the House at least as frequently as any other Member. I do not know whether the noble Lord recollects the particular instance to which I am about to refer or not; but why did he move the adjournment? What was the great cause that induced the noble Lord to adopt this rather extraordinary Parliamentary course? It was that the night before the right hon. Gentleman who is now, I believe, the Governor of the Province of Madras (Mr. Bourke) had made a speech, and that nobody on the opposite side had got up to make a reply. The noble Lord, with all the breadth of language of which he is so great a master, commented upon the scandal, the indecorum, and the indelicacy of allowing an important Member of the Front Opposition Bench to get up and make a speech, and nobody on the Treasury Bench rising to make a reply. Yet last night the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt), who is at present leading the Liberal Party, got up and made a speech directly impugning the conduct of the noble Lord, arraigning his acts, and giving quotations from his speech, in a manner which imperatively called for an answer, and yet the noble Lord sat glued to his seat, and had neither the decorum, nor the politeness and courtesy, in accordance with the immemorial traditions of the House, to rise in his place and to make even an attempt to reply. A direct Motion is now submitted to the House by the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere), and we challenge a vote. The noble Lord describes the course we take as Obstruction. I accept the noble Lord as a very high authority on Obstruction. In Obstruction he lived, moved, and had his being for many years. Obstruction was the ladder on which he climbed to power. It was the means by which he obtained political position, and, to a large extent, forfeited political reputation. At that time I supported the noble Lord, 1274 and I recollect a great deal of what the noble Lord did. We hunted in couples in past years. I myself am very heartily ashamed of the memory; and I hope the noble Lord is too. I have sat with the noble Lord in this House for some years, and I have carefully observed the course he has pursued. I have seen, the noble Lord employ methods in this Assembly which I think even an Irish rebel would shrink from taking. I can remember—who can forget who was in the House at the time—the terrible strain there was when this country and the Empire of Russia were disputing over the Frontier of Afghanistan. Those days were days of anxiety, and in the possible consequence they were only contemplated with horror by every humane and reasonable man. We saw ourselves on the point of being involved in a contest with the most colossal Empire of the world—a contest which would have led to the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of lives, and have brought about one of the most terrible tragedies in the annals of war. What did the noble Lord, in such circumstances, do? Instead of being impressed by the danger of his country and the imminent prospect of finding her involved in all the horrors of a gigantic war, he stood up night after night, from his seat below the Gangway, and endeavoured, by every means in his power, to embarrass and thwart the Government in their efforts to preserve peace, and to make political profit out of their difficulties. Therefore, I am not surprised at the course which the noble Lord took in Belfast. More than that, Sir; when at last the time came, and the Prime Minister was able to announce, with that perfect consistency and honour, the Government had been able to save the Empire from the horrors of war, the comment of the noble Lord was that it was "terrible news." [Cries of "Question!" and "Order!"]
§ COLONEL BROOKFIELD (Sussex, Eye)
I rise to Order. I wish to know from you, Sir, whether the remarks which the hon. Gentleman is now making have any reference to the Amendment before the House?
§ MR. SPEAKER
I understand that the hon. Member is replying to a charge of Obstruction made against himself and against hon. Members sitting with him, and I must say that he is entitled to 1275 reply to that charge. At the same time, the illustration which the hon. Member is employing seems to be somewhat long. I must remind the hon. Member and the House that the subject before us is the speeches of the noble Lord and hon. Members who are impugned in the two Amendments now under discussion.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
I must admit that my illustration is somewhat long, and I will not pursue it further. The recollection of the words to which I have alluded is fresh in the public memory; it lives in the public memory, and it is one that will never be forgotten. I am not surprised at the conduct of the noble Lord in Belfast, although I confess that I was surprised when I heard of it first. An hon. Friend of mine told me that the noble Lord had only acted as was to have been expected, having in his early career been so much in our favour. At one time it appeared that there were only two things upon which the noble Lord entertained any strong feeling—namely, his hatred of Jingoism and his sympathy for the National League of Ireland. At length, however, it was said that he had turned so much against us that he had declared his intention of going to Ireland and arousing the Orangemen of the North against us. When I heard that announcement I was so innocent that I believed it impossible. I thought the noble Lord incapable of taking such a course; but I confess now that he more than realized the prophecy. What was the object of the speeches at Belfast delivered by the noble Lord and the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson)? I think I can tell you. Their object was to create as much disturbance in the North of Ireland as would make the English people go away with the idea that Home Rule could not be granted without causing a civil war in Ireland. Those objects were not always openly avowed; but you will find that there was a journalistic revelation of their purport very soon after the delivery of the speeches themselves. On the 10th of August The Times informed its readers that a large share of the responsibility must fall on the mass of Protestants in the North of Ireland; that at that moment they were practically triumphant; that the danger of Home Rule, which would have swept the Protestants of Ulster out of the Dominion of Ireland 1276 and placed the Government in the hands of Mr. Parnell and Archbishop Walsh, had passed away; that there could no longer be any mistake about the feeling of the Ulster Protestants; and that it was clear now that their strength consisted in sitting still and waiting for the results—that is to say, that these riots have carried out the purpose of deluding the people of this country into the belief that Home Rule means civil war, and, that having been proved to the satisfaction of the public, murder and plunder might take a rest and sit still, and that the English public might wait. What was the character of these riots? I think they must have been a revelation to English Gentlemen. I do not think that anybody could have supposed it possible that in the 19th century men calling themselves Christians could murder one another in the name of religion. You must go to the Mussulman to find anything like the intolerance, bigotry, and murderous ferocity exhibited in the streets of Belfast, where Orange workmen were found pelting bolts of iron at a poor boy while drowning.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I must remind the hon. Gentleman that the question of the Belfast riots has already been discussed and decided by a vote of the House.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
I will not continue that subject. I was only endeavouring to point out what was the effect of the language of the noble Lord; but I will not pursue the argument further. It was only an illustration of the cruelty and horror of the transactions which the speeches and language of the noble Lord had brought about. In the face of scenes like these, I wonder at the hon. Member who dares to speak of the courage of the Orange rioters of Belfast. I am the more filled with wonder and astonishment at the language which has been used by the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Tyrone (Mr. T. W. Russell), who, having denounced the Orange Leaders, now sits on the Liberal Benches in order that he may the better defend the Orange cause. What must have been the effect on the people of Ireland of language and conduct such as that of the noble Lord. The noble Lord goes to Ireland, and the first thing he does is to revive religious bigotry, to stir up the embers of religious hatred, and to give a certain section of the population there to understand that, al- 1277 though they may murder and plunder their Catholic fellow-countrymen, the arm and strength of England will be behind them. What more atrocious gospel, more damaging to the honour of England and to the power of both England and Ireland, can be preached? You teach the Irish people that, under certain circumstances, they are perfectly free to plunder and murder, because the strength of England will be behind them while they are doing so. Can you not see that by this method of teaching you are giving every Irishman a reason for hating and detesting your rule, and, if possible, for rebelling against it? We have been lately discussing a good deal—at least, in the papers—the attitude of Russia and Bulgaria; but the very journals which are always talking about the evil results which would attend the establishment of Russian rule in Bulgaria are the first to encourage the noble Lord in a policy of coercing Ireland, and not only of dividing that country, but of actually supporting a portion of her people in rebellion, if a certain state of things should be brought about by legal and Constitutional means. I maintain that any man who propounds a policy like that in Ireland is doing more to make English rule hateful and detested than any rebellion could, and far more than can be done by American dollars. The noble Lord filled the Office of Secretary of State for India only last year. He knows very well that the only defence of our rule in India is that it keeps rival races and sects from cutting each other's throats. And yet, immediately the noble Lord retires from the Office of Secretary of State for India, with the experience he must have acquired of the ferocity of racial and religious differences, he goes to Ireland to reverse the policy of England in India, and to make the people fall foul of each other's throats, when, without his intervention, they would be able to live at peace. Talk about the disintegration and dismemberment of the Empire! Such a policy will best be carried out by fomenting religious animosities and arousing the worst passions of mankind. I think the words and acts of the noble Lord have done more to estrange the people of England and Ireland than almost any occurrence which has taken place within the last few years. The worst enemy of Eng- 1278 land in Chicago and elsewhere could not do more to sow the seeds of hatred in Ireland than the language of the noble Lord; and I hope the House to-night by its vote—at least, this side of the House—will show its detestation of such a way of bringing shame, dishonour, and danger upon England.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Main Question put.
§ The House divided;—Ayes 119; Noes 202: Majority 83.1280
|Abraham, W. (Limerick, W.)||Kelly, B.|
|Kenny, M. J.|
|Allison, R. A.||Lalor, R.|
|Anderson, C. H.||Lane, W. J.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Leamy, E.|
|Barran, J.||Lefevre, rt. hn. G. J. S.|
|Barry, J.||Lyell, L.|
|Bickford-Smith, W.||M'Arthur, W. A.|
|Biggar, J. G.||M'Cartan, M.|
|Blake, J. A.||M'Donald, P.|
|Blane, A.||M'Donald, W. A.|
|Borlase, W. C.||M'Laren, W. S. B.|
|Bright, W. L.||Mahony, P.|
|Broadhurst, H.||Mayne, T.|
|Brown, A. L.||Molloy, B. C.|
|Cameron, C.||Morgan, O. V.|
|Campbell, H.||Morley, rt. hon. J.|
|Carew, J. L.||Morley, A.|
|Channing, F. A.||Murphy, W. M.|
|Clancy, J. J.||Nolan, Colonel J. P.|
|Clark, Dr. G. B.||Nolan, J.|
|Commins, A.||O'Brien, J. F. X.|
|Condon, T. J.||O'Brien, P.|
|Connolly, L.||O'Brien, P. J.|
|Conway, M.||O'Connor, A.|
|Conybeare, C. A. V.||O'Connor, J. (Kerry)|
|Corbet, W. J.||O'Connor, J. (Tippry.)|
|Cossham, H.||O'Hanlon, T.|
|Cox, J. R.||O'Hea, P.|
|Craig, J.||Parnell, C. S.|
|Crilly, D.||Pickard, B.|
|Crossley, E.||Pickersgill, E. H.|
|Dillon, J.||Picton, J. A.|
|Ellis, J. E.||Pinkerton, J.|
|Ellis, T. E.||Portman, hon. E. B.|
|Esmonde, Sir T. G.||Power, P. J.|
|Esslemont, P.||Power, R.|
|Fenwick, C.||Provand, A. D.|
|Finucane, J.||Pyne, J. D.|
|Foley, P. J.||Quinn, T.|
|Fox, Dr. J. F.||Redmond, W. H. K.|
|Gilhooly, J.||Rountree, J.|
|Gill, H. J.||Rowlands, J.|
|Gill, T. P.||Russell, E. R.|
|Harcourt, rt. hon. Sir W. G. V. V.||Schwann, C. E.|
|Harrington, E.||Shaw, T.|
|Harris, M.||Sheehan, J. D.|
|Hayden, L. P.||Sheehy, D.|
|Hayne, C. Seale-||Sheil, E.|
|Healy, M.||Shirley, W. S.|
|Holden, I.||Stack, J.|
|Hooper, J.||Stanhope, hon. P. J.|
|Hunter, W. A.||Stuart, J.|
|Jordan, J.||Sullivan, D.|
|Sullivan, T. D.||Williamson, J.|
|Summers, W.||Williamson, S.|
|Swinburne, Sir J.||Wright, C.|
|Tanner, C. K.|
|Wallace, R.||Labouchere, H.|
|Watson, T.||O'Connor, T. P.|
|Williams, A. J.|
|Addison, J. E. W.||Dimsdale, Baron R.|
|Agg-Gardner, J. T.||Dorington, Sir J. E.|
|Ainslie, W. G.||Duncan, Colonel F.|
|Ambrose, W.||Duncombe, A.|
|Amherst, W. A. T.||Egerton, hn. A. J. F.|
|Anstruther, Colonel R. H. L.||Egerton, hon. A. de T.|
|Ellis, Sir J. W.|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, E.||Elton, C. I.|
|Baden-Powell, G. S.||Evelyn, W. J.|
|Bailey, Sir J. R.||Ewart, W.|
|Balfour, rt. hon. A. J.||Eyre, Colonel H.|
|Balfour, G. W.||Feilden, Lt.-Gen. R. J.|
|Banes, Major G. E.||Fergusson, right hon. Sir J.|
|Barttelot, Sir W. B.|
|Bass, H.||Field, Admiral E.|
|Bates, Sir E.||Finch, G. H.|
|Baumann, A. A.||Fisher, W. H.|
|Beach, right hon. Sir M. E. Hicks-||Fitzgerald, R. U. P.|
|Fletcher, Sir H.|
|Beach, W. W. B.||Folkestone, right hon. Viscount|
|Beadel, W. J.|
|Beckett, E. W.||Forwood, A. B.|
|Bective, Earl of||Fraser, General C. C.|
|Bentinck, Lord H. C.||Fulton, J. F.|
|Bentinck, W. G. C.||Gedge, S.|
|Beresford, Lord C. W.||Gent-Davis. R.|
|De la Poer||Gibson, J. G.|
|Bethell, Commander G. R.||Giles, A.|
|Gilliat, J. S.|
|Blundell, Col. H. B. H.||Godson, A. F.|
|Bond, G. H.||Goldsworthy, Major-General W. T.|
|Bonsor, H. C. O.|
|Bristowe, T. L.||Gorst, Sir J. E.|
|Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F.||Gray, C. W.|
|Brookfield, Col. A. M.||Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F.|
|Bruce, Lord H.|
|Burghley, Lord||Hamilton, Col. C. E.|
|Campbell, J. A.||Hamley, General Sir E. B.|
|Clarke, Sir E. G.||Hanbury, R. W.|
|Coddington, W.||Hankey, F. A.|
|Coghill, D. H.||Hardcastle, E.|
|Colomb, Capt. J. C. R.||Hardcastle, F.|
|Commerell, Adml. Sir J. E.||Heathcote, Capt. J. H. Edwards-|
|Compton, F.||Heaton, J. H.|
|Cooke, C. W. R.||Herbert, hon. S.|
|Corry, Sir J. P.||Hill, right hon. Lord A. W.|
|Cotton, Capt. E. T. D.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hill, A. S.|
|Grossman, Gen. Sir W.||Hill, Colonel E. S.|
|Cubitt, right hon. G.||Hoare, S.|
|Curzon, Viscount||Holland, rt. hon. Sir H. T.|
|Curzon, hon. G. N.|
|Dalrymple, C.||Holloway, G.|
|Davenport, H. T.||Holmes, rt. hon. H.|
|Davenport, W. B.||Hornby, W. H.|
|Dawnay, Colonel hon. L. P.||Houldsworth, W. H.|
|Howard, J. M.|
|De Lisle, E. J. L. M. P.||Hozier, J. H. C.|
|De Worms, Baron H.||Hughes, Colonel E.|
|Hughes - Hallett, Col. F. C.||Pearce, W.|
|Penton, Captain F. T.|
|Hunt, F. S.||Percy, Lord A. M.|
|Isaacs, L. H.||Plunkett, hon. J. W.|
|Isaacson, F. W.||Powell, F. S.|
|Jackson, W. L.||Raikes, rt. hon. H. C.|
|Jarvis, A. W.||Reed, H. B.|
|Jennings, L. J.||Ritchie, rt. hon. C. T.|
|Kelly, J. R.||Robertson, J. P. B.|
|Kennaway, Sir J. H.||Robinson, B.|
|Kenyon, hon. G. T.||Rollit, Sir A. K.|
|Kerans, F. H.||Ross, A. H.|
|Kimber, H.||Round, J.|
|King, H. S.||Russell, Sir G.|
|King-Harman, Colonel E. R.||Russell, T. W.|
|Sandys, Lt.-Col. T. M.|
|Knowles, L.||Saunderson, Col. E. J.|
|Kynoch, G.||Selwyn, Captain C. W.|
|Lambert, I. C.||Seton-Karr, H.|
|Lawrance, J. C.||Shaw-Stewart, M. H.|
|Lawrence, W. F.||Sidebotham, J. W.|
|Lechmere, Sir E. A. H.||Smith, rt. hon. W. H.|
|Legh, T. W.||Smith, A.|
|Lethbridge, Sir R.||Smith-Barry, A. H.|
|Lewisham, right hon. Viscount||Spencer, J. E.|
|Stanhope, rt. hon. E.|
|Llewellyn, E. H.||Stanley, E. J.|
|Long, W. H.||Talbot, J. G.|
|Low, M.||Tapling, T. K.|
|Lowther, J. W.||Temple, Sir R.|
|Macartney, W. G. E.||Theobald, J.|
|Macdonald, rt. hon. J. H. A.||Tollemache, H. J.|
|Tomlinson, W. E. M.|
|Maclure, J. W.||Verdin, R.|
|Macnaghten, E.||Waring, Colonel T.|
|Mallock, R.||Watson, J.|
|Manners, rt. hon. Lord J. J. R.||Webster, Sir R. E.|
|Webster, R. G.|
|Marriott, rt. hn. W. T||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Matthews, rt. hon. H.||White, J. B.|
|Maxwell, Sir H. E.||Whitmore, C. A.|
|Mayne, Admiral R. C.||Wilson, Sir S.|
|More, R. J.||Wodehouse, E. R.|
|Mount, W. G.||Wood, N.|
|Mowbray, rt. hon. Sir J. R.||Wortley, C. B. Stuart-|
|Wright, H. S.|
|Mowbray, R. G. C.||Young, C. E. B.|
|Murdoch, C. T.|
|Northcote, hon. H. S.||Douglas, A. Akers-|
|Parker, hon. F.||Walrond, Col. W. H.|
Bill read the third time, and passed.