HC Deb 08 July 1887 vol 317 cc228-321

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [7th July], "That the Bill be now read the third time."

And which Amendment was, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months,"—(Mr. Gladstone,) —instead thereof.

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

Debate resumed.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

said, the hon. and learned Attorney General (Sir Richard Webster), who spoke last night, at any rate paid the arguments they had urged against the Bill the compliment of seriously trying to refute them; but he (Mr. Bryce) did not think the hon. and learned Gentleman had succeeded in demolishing those arguments. The hon. and learned Gentleman was, for instance, very far from appreciating the force of the reasons which led them to believe that the 2nd clause did create new crime. It was hard to make a technical matter of this kind perfectly clear in this discussion; but he must remind the House that the law with regard to conspiracy, as it stood in England until the passing of the Trades Union Act of 1875, and as it appeared now to stand in Ireland for everything not covered by that Act, was a very vague law. Their contention had been that the principal reason and motive of the Statute of 1875 applied with no less force to agricultural disputes in Ireland than it applied as between employer and workman in England. The morality of the matter was the same, and the considerations of expediency were the same; and they said that, after the Act of 1875 in England, no English Judge—if a similar case arose in an agricultural dispute—would venture to press the law as it stood before 1875, and to apply it in the case of an agricultural dispute in England. But by this Bill they were re-enacting that objectionable law, and that was the point which the hon. and learned Attorney General failed to meet. In that sense a new offence was created, and if he added to that the provision of the 4th subsection as to incitement, they would see what a large stretch the law received by the Bill. This provision appeared to be expressly aimed at the case of persons who, in speech or newspaper, should endeavour to justify any combination of tenants. He did not know any case in England in which it had been held that to advocate such a combination would be deemed a punishable offence. There was another point upon which the hon. and learned Attorney General endeavoured to meet the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone). The hon. and learned Gentleman said that the Lord Lieutenant did not make an act a crime by proclaiming it, because the crime was to be punished by the Courts. But the Bill laid down that, if the Lord Lieutenant was satisfied that an association existed for certain purposes, he might declare membership in that association to be a crime. The crime existed in the impression of the Lord Lieutenant, recorded in his declaration that it was a crime—that was, merely in the impression in the Lord Lieutenant's own mind; and what was the mind of the Lord Lieutenant? His right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian had said that it was the mind of the Chief Secretary. It was not even that. It was the mind of some lawyer in Dublin Castle—whom they were not able to get at—and they had had experience of the way in which lawyers in Dublin, from the Lord Chancellor downwards, administered Acts of this kind. The hon. and learned Attorney General said that these offences would be punished by the Courts and not by the Lord Lieutenant. Yes; but if a case came before the Court, what had the Court got to ask? They had merely to ask—Did the prisoner take part in this association, and was the association mentioned in the Lord Lieutenant's Proclamation? Judgment did not follow from the finding of the jury upon the character of the association, but merely from the finding of the jury that the defendant had taken part in the proceedings of that association which the Lord Lieutenant by his own proper motion made criminal. Then the hon. and learned Attorney General, repeating an observation made earlier in the evening by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. A. J. Balfour), said the discussions on this Bill were not directed solely against those provisions which were capable of being perverted to interfere with political liberty. He (Mr. Bryce) supposed the hon. and learned Gentleman referred to the lengthy discussions on the 1st clause; but the 1st clause was ancillary to all the rest of the Bill. It was because the exceptional powers given for investigation might be applied so as to aid prosecutions for acts which were not really crimes that a minute and lengthy opposition had been given by the Irish Members to the 1st clause. Besides, the hon. and learned Attorney General was out of court on that point. The clause, before it had left the Committee, had swollen from a few lines to three pages, with Amendments which the force of argument compelled the Government to adopt; and, therefore, the time was not wasted which was spent on the 1st clause. He was glad to pass from those somewhat hackneyed points, and make one or two parting observations upon the Bill. It would no longer be capable of amendment in this House; it certainly was not likely to be amended in "another place," for the other House generally considered it to be its function to make seven times hotter any furnace prepared in this House. Nothing was left to them but to put on record the grounds on which they should ask the people of this country to condemn the Bill and the authors of the Bill. The Bill was opposed on three grounds. The first objection to it was that it was an unequal Bill, which destroyed the equal citizenship of Irishmen with Englishmen, which cut away the very ground on which hon. Gentlemen opposite relied—namely, that this was a United Kingdom, and that the same laws ought to be passed for England, Ireland, and Scotland by a United Parliament. The second main objection to it was because it was a permanent Bill. It did not come before them with excuses. It was not intended to tide over exceptional circumstances; but it was enacted as a permanent addition to the Criminal Code of Ireland. It would be in the power of the House of Lords to keep this Bill always on the Statute Book—a weapon always ready, sharp, and burnished, for the hand of any Conservative Government. It continued that demoralization of the Irish Executive, who had been too long accustomed to rely on exceptional powers, who had not learned, as the Italian statesman said, to govern without a state of siege, and who had lost the sense of the ordinary and natural government of a free country. And the third ground of objection to the Bill was that it was a Bill of a thoroughly despotic tendency. It gave powers too large even for a wise Executive. And what was the Irish Executive? It was an Executive which combined nearly every evil which an Executive Government could have. It was a shifting Executive—how many Lord Lieutenants and Chief Secretaries had there been in Ireland during the last seven years—how many Chief Secretaries belonging even to the same Party, but with different policies—and it had the great disadvantage of being more out of touch with public opinion than, he should think, any other Executive in the world —at least in a free country. It was out of touch with the public opinion of England, because it lived in Ireland in the recesses of the Castle; and it was out of touch with the public opinion of Ireland, because it was anti-National in its whole spirit. The Irish Executive was so far local that it had not got the traditions and the spirit of English justice to guide it. It was not accustomed to submit its acts to public opinion, as was the case in regard to English administration in this country, where, as had recently been shown, one apparent abuse of power in regard to a single individual had raised public opinion and this House in arms. The Irish Executive was not subject to public opinion in this way. But, though in some degree local, it had not the advantages that spring from a local Executive. It was not in sympathy with local feeling or anxious to meet local needs. He had been told the other day by an Irish Tory landlord that the Government was already believed in Ireland to be weak, and commanded little confidence there, because, if not, they would not have had recourse to exceptional powers, but to a more energetic administration of the ordinary law. He knew that hon. Members opposite were told by their landlord friends to bring in this Bill, because if the Government had not vigour of its own the Bill would give them vigour. But if they were to ask the wisest men in Ireland they would be told that if they relied upon the ordinary law, and put it in force with all the vigour and constancy at their command, they would find it amply sufficient for their purposes. He had mentioned on the occasion of the second reading—and he had not since addressed the House—that they were not discussing the Bill as if it were the first Bill of the kind; and it was rather remarkable that, in the course of the long debates since, there had been scarcely any reference on the other side of the House to any previous experience of the working of the law, with the exception of occasional recriminations against the Opposition in respect to the Bills of 1881 and 1882. Now, coercion in Ireland had a history which extended backwards beyond 1881. This history began with the year 1800, and, in fact, farther back than that; for the Irish Parliament between 1782 and 1800 had also passed Coercion Bills. They had been reminded of the fact that the old Irish Parliament had passed Coercion Bills; but it was a landlord Parliament—an exclusively Protestant Parliament. The Irishman of the day might, however, say, in the famous words of Byron— Our tyrants then Were still, at least, our countrymen. He asked hon. Members opposite if they had taken the pains to study and consider the history of coercion in Ireland since 1800? They were told that the richer classes and the educated classes in this country were in favour of the policy of the Government. He was not disposed to admit that there was any superior authority in the opinion of the richer classes, and what those classes called their education very often had the effect chiefly of filling people with the vain conceit of their own knowledge, and with a false notion of their own competence to discuss questions offhand which required a great deal of minute and careful study and consideration. He was not prepared to admit that because men belonged to the upper classes, as they were called, that they were likely to be wiser or better fitted to judge difficult and complex questions winch required a great deal of special knowledge and of special study. They had had some experience in England of the attitude of superior persons towards the great causes which had been fought among us during the last 20 or 30 years. The upper classes sympathized with the Southern States of America in the war of Secession. They sided with Austria against Italy in the long struggle for Italian national freedom. They went out of their way to show how entirely they had condoned the offences of Louis Napoleon. In the case of the Reform Bill of 1866, the upper classes—and conspicuously the upper classes in London—received with rapture the fervid declamations of Mr. Robert Lowe against the extension of the franchise. In days still more recent there was a large majority of the so-called educated classes who approved the monstrous folly of the Anglo-Turkish Convention and the wanton wickedness of the Afghan War. If a plébiscite had been taken in the London Clubs in 1878 both those acts of Lord Beaconsfield's Government would have been approved by large majorities, and he was afraid the University Clubs would have given no wiser judgment than the other clubs. How many of the persons who spoke so confidently upon these Irish measures had been to Ireland, or, being in Ireland, had tried to see the people, or get out of the little landlord circle in which most English visitors moved when they went to Ireland? How many had gone over the Irish history of the last century, and had tried to understand the causes of this perpetually-recurring discontent? He ventured to contend, in the teeth of all this appeal to the upper classes, that both logic and history were on their side. First, as to logic. They had given in 1884 an enlarged representation to the people of Ireland. They had given a franchise which, considering the condition of the country, was really more liberal than in England; and they, in redistributing the seats in Ireland, had continued to Ireland rather more than her share in the numerical representation. And now, when they had made that gift to Ireland, had invited the opinion of the Irish people, and had received the answer of the Irish people, they refused to listen to their Representatives. Some hon. Gentlemen actually made it a ground of complaint against the Opposition that, in considering what measure of self-government would satisfy Ireland, the Opposition had felt bound to pay some regard to the opinion of the Irish people expressed by five-sixths of their Representatives. Hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed to think that this was a question that ought to be settled without considering the feeling of the Irish Representatives. What, then, was representation for? To escape from this dilemma, the Conservative Party had invented the theory that in Ireland half the people were coerced by the National League and by agitation. It must be a curious agitation which had been able, in one form or another, to sustain itself for nearly 90 years, and had been able, as the National League now was, to thrive against all the wealth as it was said, against all the education as it was said, and all the powers of administration in Ireland. There must be some real ground of discontent, or the League could not have such power. They had in another part of Europe a state of affairs which was parallel to what they had in Ireland. There had been for two or three years a struggle going on in Bulgaria between the great bulk of the Bulgarian nation and a comparatively small part of it which desired Russian influence to be paramount. The Bulgarian people had asserted themselves, and continued to assert themselves, and had demanded national independence. But while the whole body of the Bulgarian people were of this opinion, the Russians, on the contrary, were fully persuaded that the leaders of the Bulgarian national movement were only a handful of conspirators who were endeavouring to crush the voice of the people. The Russian people believed what they were taught by the Russian newspapers in the teeth of all the facts. So it was with some of us. The supporters of the Government continued to believe, in the teeth of the evidence, that the Irish people were harassed by wicked agitators who had managed in some mysterious way to maintain their agitation for 90 years against the real wish of the Irish people. That which the so-called Unionist Party really desired was to extinguish the national feeling of Ireland, and there had been some candid, and perhaps unintended, admissions of that fact. There was a remarkable letter purporting to ema- nate from the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury (Mr. W. H. Smith) in which that admission was candidly made. This Bill would, no doubt, practically suppress freedom of speech in Ireland. But it did not go far enough. It would not have any effect upon freedom of speech in the House of Commons. Irish Members would still be able to say whatever they liked, and any denunciations of the Government or of the landlords, which they indulged in, and the Press would carry on its wings the speeches made in that House openly and freely throughout every village in Ireland. Why did not the Government silence the voice of hon. Members in that House? Why did they not take away Irish representation, which was useless if they were not going to listen to it? The action of the Government had been often compared to putting a man in a strait-waistcoat. But while putting on the strait waistcoat they were leaving one of the patient's arms free. Let them have the courage of their opinions. Let them go through with their policy. If they wore going to disregard the voice of Irish representation let them get rid of it, and let them govern Ireland as a Crown Colony. When the discussions on this Home Rule Question began, he had asked one of the most learned men in this country —indeed, one of the most learned men in Europe—he was a Member of the other House of Parliament—on what ground he would base his argument for Irish self-government? He replied "that he should base it on the ground of history, because he considered the argument of history to be absolutely overwhelming." He (Mr. Bryce) believed that must be the conclusion that any unbiassed mind who studied the history of Ireland for the last 100 years must come to. Irish history showed that these Coercion Bills had not subdued and quieted the country; that they had destroyed the grace and the healing power which ought to go with concession; that they had made law and order not loved but hated by the people; and that they had brought us no nearer to that peace and unity on which the greatness of the Empire must ultimately depend. He must insist upon this point, because it appeared to him that the argument from history was the supreme argument —the beginning and end of the whole matter. He asked hon. Gentlemen opposite to point out what ground of hope they had for better results from this Coercion Bill than from one of its predecessors. The House was naturally suspicious of prophecies, for it heard a great many; but the Liberal Party had made a prediction last year that if the Government of the day refused self-government to Ireland they would be driven to coercion as the only alternative. Hon. Gentlemen opposite and some hon. Gentlemen who sat near him derided that prophecy at the time, and declared that coercion would not be necessary. But the prophecy had come true, and he ventured now to lay before the House another prophecy, which was not a very bold one to make in view of the history of Ireland since the Union, and that was that this Bill must fail, because it had not even the advantages that the previous Bills had had. Previous Coercion Bills had been supported by both English Parties. The courage of those who supported them had not been broken by successive defeats at English bye-elections. The policy embodied in these Bills was, to a considerable extent, supported by Irish Representatives; certainly it had never been opposed, as this Bill was, by five-sixths of the Irish Members. How long did they think this new coercion policy would last? The Government could have no confidence in the permanency of their policy. They could not tell whether they would be in a power a few months hence. Their feet were not planted on a rock; they were standing on a whirling globe like that on which the Greek fable made Fortune stand, balancing themselves with difficulty on it, and liable to be overset by a hundred accidents. If the Government thought that the country would pardon such mistakes as they might make in administration, in domestic legislation, or in foreign policy, merely for the sake of supporting a plan of coercion in Ireland, which was not even submitted to the people at the last General Election, and had never received their approval—if they thought that merely for the sake of keeping a Tory Ministry in power every error would be condoned and forgiven they were sadly mistaken. He had endeavoured to show that logic was with those who opposed this Bill; he had also shown that history was with them, even recent history, the history of 1884 and 1885, that famous year of Tory surrender. He repented that this was not a case, as was alleged, of education against sentiment; it was a case of reason and experience against prejudice, arrogance, and fear. This was a very solemn moment for the Irish people. The Bill to which they were to be subjected was doubly wanton because it was not justified or required by the state of Ireland, and because it was foredoomed to failure. But there was a new factor in the problem. They on the Opposition side of the House, at least most of them, who stood by the oldest and best traditions of the Liberal Party —[Ministerial Cries of "Oh, oh!"]—yes; those traditions which had not disregarded national feeling, which regarded it as the duty of every Government to be, like our Throne, "broad based upon the people's will," and which held that, wherever there was discontent from year to year and from century to century, there were deep-lying causes which ought to be got at and removed—those were the traditions they stood by, and in the spirit of those traditions they had assured the Irish people of their sympathy and help. The Irish people were about to be subjected to harsh government, to be administered by Dublin lawyers and country magistrates, neither of whom the Irish people had much reason to trust. Coercive policy had hitherto been generally followed by more bitter hatred between the two countries, by outrages, and by secret and often deadly conspiracies. They could not be sure that they might not be followed by the same results now. But he hoped the Irish people would refrain from outrage, and especially from those secret conspiracies which had been the darkest chapter in Irish history. Let them be sure that the Liberal Party in England would not desert the policy they had adopted. There were differences on the Liberal side as regarded the particular form the self-government to be given to Ireland should take. They hoped by amicable consultation to settle and remove those difficulties, and bring about a more general re-union of all who believed in self-government than was possible a year ago. But whatever minor differences there might be on such points, they were, at any rate, perfectly united in their opposition to this Bill. There was no doubt about that. There were no difficulties to be settled there. The principle was plain and clear. Upon that they would stand or fall—upon that line they would fight. He therefore hoped and trusted that the Irish people would recover their courage and their confidence—that they would prove, by the self-restraint with which they would conduct themselves even after the passing of this Bill, that they understood and felt the new spirit of friendship in which the English Liberal Party purposed to treat them. He should like to say to the Irish Members and to the Irish people—"Time is on our side." All the chances and changes which happen in human affairs, and which have overthrown Governments far stronger, both in numerical majority and in their intellectual power, than the Government they saw before them— those were on their side. The moral forces of the world—[Cries of "Oh, oh !"]—yes, Sir; the forces which had made Europe now different from what it was at the date of the Treaty of Vienna, the forces which had everywhere recognized in one form or another the sentiment of nationality, which had advanced the liberties of the masses of the people, and which had made self-government more general, and the rights of the citizen everywhere more secure— all the forces which made for amity, peace, and freedom—these were on their side; and they were forces which, in the long run, would prevail. Therefore it was that he entreated the Irish people to be patient, because he believed that patience would be rewarded by victory.

THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON (Lancashire, Rossendale)

Mr. Speaker, I feel that anyone who rises to address the House at this stage owes to it something in the nature of an excuse, and ought to have something of a practical character to say after the long and protracted debates which have already taken place upon this Bill; and I can assure hon. Members who are present to hear me that it is not in the slightest degree because I believe it is in my power to add anything to the arguments which have been urged so frequently upon the consideration of Parliament in support of this measure that I venture to rise and say a very few words on the last stage of the Bill. It is solely because I fully recognize that as we have often been told in the progress of these debates, every portion of the majority which, has supported this measure has and must bear a great responsibility for the action it has taken, and inasmuch as that majority has been composed, to a certain extent, of the Party with which I have the honour of being connected and of acting, I do not wish that there should be the slightest doubt or hesitation in expressing the full sense of the responsibility which we bear for the part which we have taken. I think it is our duty to take this final opportunity of saying that we are as fully convinced, after all the debates that have taken place—after the discussion upon the introduction, on the second reading, and in Committee on this Bill—of the necessity and the expediency of the provisions it contains as we were at the first introduction of the Bill. Now, I shall not attempt to follow the able, but somewhat academical, speech which has just been addressed to us by my hon. Friend (Mr. Bryce). I think that my hon. Friend carried the argument about the judgment of the upper and the more educated classes, as compared with that of the less educated classes, a little further than it has usually been carried, and it did strike me that he was a somewhat remarkable champion to espouse the cause of ignorance against education. We are told—we were constantly told, Sir—that one of the elements in this case to which we ought to pay the greatest attention is the opinion of the civilized world, and that the opinion of the civilized world condemns the action of England and its relations with Ireland. We also heard last night how that opinion of the civilized world is expressed—that the permanent and lasting exponent of the opinion of the civilized world is the literature of the civilized world. We are, therefore, to understand that, as regards the judgment which is to be delivered upon the English policy towards Ireland, the opinion of the educated classes, who are, I suppose, the classes who produce that literature, is to be conclusive on this subject, and upon that judgment thus delivered we are to rely so long as those authors and writers do not belong to the British people. The people of the cultivated class throughout the world, and the opinion of the educated classes all over the world, is the opinion of the civilized world; and that, we are told, condemns us, and their verdict we are to bow to. But we are also told that the opinion of the educated classes among ourselves is the opinion not of a really educated class, but of a class which is only distinguished by its self-sufficiency and its shallowness. We have, however, never appealed to the opinion of the upper or educated classes, or to the opinions of any particular class in this country as conclusive on this question; but we have argued, and we shall continue to argue, that the opinion of those classes, who have, at all events, much more time and better opportunities of studying the historical questions which are involved in these discussions, is an element which is not to be neglected. We shall, therefore, continue to feel some confidence that we are in the right way so long as we are supported by the opinion of those classes. We shall not consider that the mere fact of being supported by those classes is sufficient to condemn them, because, as my hon. Friend went on to say, they are always in the wrong. He further went on to say that he thought the historical argument on this question much the strongest argument. Doesmy hon. Friend think that the educated classes are absolutely incapable of appreciating the historical argument, and that the great mass of the electors of the country are in a better position to form sound views of the history of the relations between England and Ireland than the educated classes whose opinion he condemns? But I wish to say a few words on the passing of the third reading of this Bill. The sole question now is, whether this House is to decide that this Bill is to pass as it stands? It is no longer a question whether it contains any unnecessary or any too stringent provisions. If it does contain any such provisions which have not been adequately discussed in the course of these debates, the fault certainly does not he with the Government, but rests with the Opposition. It cannot be denied that in the discussions of this Bill ample time has been given for a full and superabundant discussion of every one of those points on which my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition last night rested his final condemnation and denunciation of this measure. My right hon. Friend said he would not refer to the character of the opposition which has been offered to this Bill. Perhaps my right hon. Friend was well advised in taking that course. It seems to me that the Opposition have either done too much or not enough. They began by denouncing the measure before they had ever seen a single provision it contained. They conducted two protracted second-reading debates before the Bill was laid on the Table of the House. They conducted another long debate on the second reading, which was partly of the nature of a second-reading debate, partly of the nature of a discussion in Committee, and partly of the nature of a third-reading debate; and up to the time when the House separated for the Whitsuntide Recess my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian took various opportunities of palliating, if not of justifying, the character of the opposition which had been offered to this Bill by the Party that sits on the other side of the House from Ireland. When the House returned after that Recess, my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt), seeming to have some suspicion that the discussion had gone beyond the limits of the patience and forbearance of the country, did make a single, a first, and, I believe, a last attempt, in which he was supported by the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell), somewhat to limit the character of this discussion. But that suggestion of my right hon. Friend was absolutely rejected by the Irish Members below the Gangway. ["No, no !"] The offer was made nevertheless. It never, to my knowledge, was renewed, and the rejection of that advice did not make, so far as I am aware, and has not made, so far as I know, the slightest change in the attitude which has been taken by my right hon. Friend and his Colleagues towards the Irish Party. It has not made the slightest change in their attitude towards the Government, nor has the rejection of their advice induced them to give to the Government, or to the majority, the slightest assistance in shortening or putting an end to this debate. Well, Sir, I say my right hon. Friend is hardly entitled to take the credit of this barren protest, which has had no effect whatever on the conduct either of his own Friends, or, as far as I am able to see, on himself, and which, at the same time, only went to justify the action which had been taken by the Irish Party. Nay, more, in the last observations which my right hon. Friend made on this subject, I thought he actually went to the extent of applauding the Irish Members for having rejected his advice. He told them that if a Bill of this character had been introduced to apply to the county of Derby, he would have resisted it as the Irish Members have resisted this measure, and that he would have been entirely indifferent to the accusations of obstruction brought against him. [Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT: Hear, hear!] My right hon. Friend cheers that declaration. Then I want to know why he thought it necessary, at an earlier period of this discussion, to suggest to the Irish Member a that the discussion should not be carried on, or carried on in a more limited manner? Therefore it is we say that the Opposition has done too much in this matter, or it has not done enough; and, instead of exhorting the Irish Opposition to restrict discussion on this Bill, they ought either to have boldly supported them, or avowed that they would support them in any amount of obstruction to this Bill. My right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian said last night that the debates on this Bill might have been greatly shortened if the character of the Bill had been altered, if it had been reduced to what, in his judgment, was a real Crimes Bill, and had followed out the rule of such Bills in not attempting to interfere with political combinations. That conjecture has not received much support from the actual progress of the debate. My hon. Friend who has just spoken (Mr. Bryce) has admitted the fact that the 1st clause, which does not deal with political combinations at all, was a clause very similar to the clause contained in the Act of 1882, and yet that was the clause which received the longest and most protracted scrutiny.


My point is that the reason why the discussion was protracted on the 1st clause was because the machinery supplied by it was to be used for all the other clauses of the Bill, to which we objected.


My hon. Friend has interpolated in my speech exactly what I was going to say. But I ask him whether he considers that is a proper way to discuss measures in this House? Does he consider himself justified in discussing at enormous length a clause, which is, as he says, ancillary to something which is to come subsequently? If so, would it not have been more in accordance with the Orders and the traditions of this House that the provisions of the Bill to which my hon. Friend takes direct exception should be debated on the clauses where they occur and are directly raised than to discuss them on other clauses; and that indirect discussions on the 1st clause should not be resorted to, because there are parts of the Bill to which exception is to be taken? We are asked to reject this Bill on two grounds—first, because my right hon. Friend said that a Bill against crime was, at the present time, unnecessary in Ireland; and, further, that this was not a Bill against crime, but a Bill which created new crimes and offences— a Bill different in character and scope from all previous legislation of such a character. Well now, Sir, the position of my right hon. Friend is not quite clear. My right hon. Friend referred to a forecast which he made last year, when he told the House that coercion would be the alternative to the adoption of a Home Rule policy. Does my right hon. Friend hold that that forecast has been realized, or that it has not? Does he think that, notwithstanding the rejection of the Home Rule Bill, there is no necessity for a Crimes Bill in the present year, and that, therefore, his forecast of last year was an erroneous one; or does he think it has been realized, and that in consequence of the rejection of that Bill a coercion measure is required? And when a measure of this sort is, as he prophesies, the only alternative to the adoption of his own policy, I can understand that he is justified in opposing this Bill if he wishes the House still to adopt his alternative; but he cannot be astonished and surprised if we, who thought those proposals were absolutely inadmissible and likely to produce greater evils to the country and to Ireland than coercion, should be driven to resort to the alternative which he himself told us would be the necessary consequence of the rejection of his Home Rule scheme. My right hon. Friend says that the ground on which he asks us to reject this Bill is that there is no crime in Ireland which necessitates or justifies the introduction of a Crimes Bill. I deny altogether that the prevalence of the increase of agrarian crime is the only justification for Parliament resorting to a measure of an exceptional character; and I deny that it has ever been held to be the only justification. It is perfectly true that the Act of 1882 was, perhaps, stringent. Its introduction was hastened—perhaps it was carried— on account of the exceptional amount of agrarian crime which prevailed in Ireland, and that it was still further strengthened and hastened by the occurrence of a crime of a singularly atrocious character. But that Bill was in preparation by the late Government long before that event, and it was not aimed solely, any more than this Bill, at agrarian crime. That Bill was aimed, as this Bill is aimed, at the proceedings of the National League, and at the Boycotting which is the weapon of the National League. That Bill was aimed not, as my right hon. Friend contends, solely at agrarian crime, but at the intimidation which is the result of the proceedings of the National League. Sir, the provision in that Act against intimidation includes any words spoken or act done in order to, or calculated to, put any person in fear of any injury or danger to himself or to any member of his family, or to any person in his employment, or in fear of any injury to or loss of his property, or his means of living. That definition was not aimed at the prevalence of agrarian crime in Ireland; but it was aimed at that intimidation carried on by the National League, which I defy my right hon. Friend to say is now practised in a less degree than it was practised at the moment when that Bill was passed. If the Act of 1882 stepped short at the provisions aimed at acts of actual intimidation—if it contained no such provision as the present Bill does, aimed at conspiracy to intimidate—my firm conviction is that that was owing to the fact that it was considered at that time that it would be sufficient to strike at acts of intimidation, and that it was not necessary to deal with conspiracy or combination to intimidate. At all events, in the discussions on that Bill nothing was heard in palliation or extenuation of the proceedings of the National League, or of the Boycotting which it practised; and never was it suggested by any of those who are now sitting near me, and with whom I was then associated, that the National League and its practices as to exclusive dealing—its combinations for promoting exclusive dealing—were the only powers which the poorer tenantry of Ireland had for protecting themselves. These are considerations which it is absolutely necessary for anyone to bear in mind who would understand the reasons for the introduction of this Bill and the necessity for the provisions which it contains. It has been said in the course of the debate that no Government would dare to introduce a similar measure for England. The necessity for it does not exist in England; and, therefore, it would be a wanton, unnecessary, and gratuitous act to introduce for England a measure for which there is no necessity. My right hon. Friend speaks of the National League as a combination to promote the practice of exclusive dealing. He then proceeds to a general condemnation of the practice of exclusive dealing, and he invariably goes on to speak of it as being practised in some parts of England, and also as being practised, to a considerable extent, by Protestants in, Ireland towards Protestant Home Rulers; and he cited instances of that exclusive dealing as being analogous to the exclusive dealing encouraged by the National League. Now our position is this—that there is no resemblance whatever between the practice of exclusive dealing as prevailing in England and Ireland, in the instances referred to by my right hon. Friend, and the exclusive dealing habitually resorted to by the National League. Voluntary combinations to give preference to political adherents and political friends may be a very objectionable proceeding; but, whether they are objectionable or not, they differ absolutely from the proceedings that take place under the sanction of the National League, and from the practices to which that League resorts. We are told, as I have said before, that we dare not apply a measure of this sort to England. Well, when we are told that, let us attempt to conceive —though it is not easy to conceive—a case of a Primrose League in some part of England, where they are in a very large majority, adopting the policy and the methods of the Irish National League. Does the Primrose League hold courts, and summon before it its own members, or other persons, and examine them as to their transactions in business and their relations with other individuals? Does it take evidence and pass sentences, and does it enforce those sentences? Does it on force those sentences by inflicting similar penalties to those inflicted by the National League on all persons who do not pay attention to their decrees, and by means which are unknown in this country? If any instances of such practices on the part of the Primrose League can be adduced, I wonder why some Member on this side of the House has not been found to bring them forward. I should have thought they would only have been too glad to do so. But I go a step further, and I ask whether the Primrose League has been ever known in England to exercise its intimidation upon juries where the proceedings of the Primrose League have been brought before the tribunals of the country? I maintain that if any such state of things could be found to exist in relation to the Primrose League, in any single part of England, such as I have described in connection with the proceedings of the National League in Ireland—I cannot say whether Parliament would think it necessary to interfere or not, because that might depend upon the relative strength of the aggressor and the aggrieved—but if there were any such proceedings in any corner of England, there would be an immediate demand made on the Legislature for its interference in order to protect the victims of such tyranny, and the sense of the great majority of the impartial people of this country would cheerfully support any legislative interference which might be required to protect the minority. I deny, therefore, altogether that the prevalence of agrarian crime is the only ground that can justify Parliament in legislation of this kind, and I maintain that an amply sufficient ground for it has been admitted by former Parliaments in the existence of an organized tyranny that attempts to administer a law of its own—a law not in accordance with the law of the land, and a law intended and devised for the purpose of defeating and overthrowing the law which has been framed and established by Parliament. The next ground on which my right hon. Friend invited the House to reject this Bill is that under the Bill new crimes have been created. New crimes, I understand him to say, have been created by the 2nd as well as by the 6th and 7th clauses. As to the 2nd clause, my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General, who will be admitted to be a legal authority of some weight, absolutely denies that any new crime has been created by the 2nd clause of the Bill. And I must say that to my mind, not being a lawyer, it does appear to be impossible to conceive how a new crime can have been created by the 1st sub-section of the 2nd clause since the introduction of the words "now punishable bylaw." How is it possible that any acts subsequently enumerated in that sub-section should hereafter be held to be crimes, when it is distinctly stated in the second line of the sub-section that it only applies to acts which are "now punishable by law?" Sir, it seems to me that upon legal authority, and on the ordinary common-sense view of the matter, it cannot be contended that new crimes are created by the 1st sub-section. And if it is contended that any new crime is created by the 2nd sub-section of the 2nd clause exactly the same imputation can be brought against the Crimes Act of my right hon. Friend himself, for this sub-section has, I believe, been taken, word for word, from the Crimes Act of 1882. Then my right hon. Friend says that new crimes are created in a certain sense by the 6th and 7th clauses of this Bill. But I maintain that the Act of 1882, for which my right hon. Friend is responsible, contains provisions which have exactly the same aim and object, although the method adopted was a different one. The 9th section of that Act made it an offence under the Act to be a member of an unlawful association as defined by that Act, and in the definition of an unlawful association I find every unlawful association which is formed for the commission of crime: and the expression "crime," for the purposes of the section, means any crime punishable upon indictment by imprisonment with hard labour. Under that provision, any member of the National League might, at the discretion of a Court of Summary Jurisdiction, be sentenced to imprisonment by a magistrate, upon his definition of what an illegal association was. And after all that we have heard, and the opinion that is held on this side of the House as to the legal capacity of Irish Resident Magistrates, it seems to me that equal protection is given by this Bill, which requires that the definition of an unlawful association proclaimed by the Lord Lieutenant should be submitted to the review of this House, to that given under the Act of 1882 by the review of the decision of a Court of Summary Jurisdiction. Therefore, I say, though technically it is quite possible to maintain that new offences have been created by the Bill, the objects aimed at are precisely the same as those aimed at by the Act of 1882. I say the Act of 1882 was not framed entirely with respect to agrarian crime. It was aimed to strike at the unlawful interference practiced, or supposed to be practiced, by the National League at the time, and the provisions of this Bill are aimed at similar proceedings, undoubtedly carried on by that Association, My right hon. Friend said the other day— we have never given over to an Executive officer like Lord Castlereagh, or a Secretary for Ireland like Mr. Balfour, the power of determining the innocence or guilt of an individual with reference to belonging to particular associations, and of cancelling that right which essentially attaches to him as a British subject, the right to a judicial hearing of his case; and the carrying over of what are now questions of law and right into the chamber of the Executive Government, to be dealt with secretly, according to their interests or their views, is a fundamental change, and Lord Hartington has no right to say that any one of us for a moment ever gave countenance to a principle which, from the bottom of our hearts, we abominate and detest. When my right hon. Friend made that statement, he must have forgotten that he was the author not only of the Act of 1882, but of the Act of 1881. The Act of 1881 gave to his own Executive officers power to imprison men without trial before any judicial authority, without a hearing of their case before a Court of Law, for any offence of which the Lord Lieutenant might choose to suspect him. When we are told that the fact that this Bill places a power in the hands of the Executive Government not even remotely approaching that which was so energetically exercised under the Act of 1881, I cannot help thinking my right hon. Friend must have allowed his love of argument somewhat to overpower his memory and judgment, and that he can scarcely urge the fact that such a power is contained in this Bill as a conclusive reason why the House should reject it. Since my right hon. Friend and those who support him have adopted a different principle of government for Ireland, if they have discovered, as my hon. Friend who has just spoken has said, "a more excellent way," of course they are entitled to resist not only this Bill, but any Bill which introduces exceptional legislation for Ireland, and increases the power of the Executive. But what I cannot understand is why they should not be satisfied with condemning coercion as an alternative to their policy in the abstract, and why they should seek to prejudice the consideration of this measure, which really does not differ in any essential particular from Acts passed by my right hon. Friend himself, by imputing to it all sorts of high crimes and misdemeanours which it does not contain, and with which in reality it has no concern. My right hon. Friend last night, in the eloquent conclusion of Ms speech, asked what we were contending for. He asked whether we considered the condition of Ireland, after 700 years connection with England, so satisfactory and honourable that the maintenance of the Union was worth fighting for any further? ["No, no !"] I do not want to misrepresent my right hon. Friend; but he asked us whether we considered the state of Ireland satisfactory or honourable, and whether the existing relations between England and Ireland were worth the special effort of the Conservative Party, or of any portion of the Liberal Party, to maintain by fighting for them? I altogether deny that the state of Ireland is so unsatisfactory and dishonourable to this country or the British Government as my right hon. Friend contends. It is not so very long since I heard my right hon. Friend describe the vast strides in her material and moral condition which Ireland had made. But, granted that the relations between Great Britain and Ireland are neither satisfactory nor honourable to us, I cannot help thinking when my right hon. Friend was making that eloquent appeal he went a great deal further than he ought to have done to induce us to vot9 for the alternative he laid before us. If my right hon. Friend had convinced himself that separation between the two countries was the only way to put an end—[Loud Some Rule cries of "No, no!"] I say "if." [Renewed cries of "No !"] I am very well acquainted with the power of contradiction of hon. Members, but I do not know how those powers can extend to an "if." I say if my right hon. Friend had convinced himself that separation was the only way of bringing to a conclusion the unsatisfactory relations between Great Britain and Ireland the appeal made to us last night might have been made in the same words as he used. But my right hon. Friend admits that separation is impracticable, and physically impossible, and that he will not be a party to it. I think, therefore, I may put it to the House, and even to my right hon. Friend himself, that if we believe, however wrongfully or wilfully, the policy which the right hon. Gentleman recommends will lead to separation, surely we are entitled to treat his demands upon us in exactly the same way as the right hon. Gentleman himself would treat a demand for absolute separation. We believe that the policy which my right hon. Friend is urging upon us, no doubt honourably and conscientiously, is a policy which will lead to that separation which my right hon. Friend repudiates. Having that belief, we are entitled to act upon the conviction we hold, and to do as the right hon. Gentleman himself would, if separation was the only alternative, and so to strengthen the law of the United Kingdom as to afford protection to every member of the community, in whatever portion of the United Kingdom his lot may be cast.

MR. CROSSLEY (York, W.R., Sowerby)

said, that if they were to consult the feelings of hon. Gentlemen opposite, they would pass the third reading of the Bill without criticism or discussion, and it was because they felt it to be their duty to offer every opposition to the measure that they took part in the debate. In appealing to the country 12 months ago, the Conservative Party had not informed it that they intended to bring in a Coercion Bill. They had not promised a Coercion Bill. They had not said it was necessary—indeed, some of their most staunch supporters had gone so far as to say that the condition of Ireland was such that no coercion would be necessary. When Parliament met in the autumn, and when the Leader of the National Party in Ireland put in an earnest claim on behalf of the distressed tenantry of Ireland, the Government turned a deaf ear to his evidence and his warning, and since then they had been reaping the consequences of their neglect. What had Parliament done this year? It began with coercion; it said it would stand or fall by coercion, and that remedial measures might take their chance for all they cared. When the Criminal Law Amendment Bill was first brought in, it was expected that the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. A. J. Balfour) would justify it by producing ample evidence of excessive crime; but all the right hon. Gentleman was able to say was that some parts of Ireland were in a state of great agitation on account of unjust evictions and of unjust rents, and all the remonstrances from the Opposition side of the House was met by the parrot cry—"It is the duty of the Government to preserve law and order." But what was this "law and order" which the Government considered it was their bounden duty to maintain? It meant the defence of a number of Shylocks, who demanded not only their pound of flesh, but every drop of life-blood which that flesh contained. It would be a hard thing to find on charging a man with burglary that the law of the land was on the side of the burglar. All this talk about "loyalty," "disloyalty," "rebellion," and so on, was just so much dust in the road. It irritated and even blinded the eye; but all that was wanted was the heavy rain of just legislation to clear the atmosphere, What they had to do was to deal with this serious question of the law affecting land, and it was because the Party opposite would not do that seriously that the House was troubled with this Coercion Bill. The Shylock landlords of Ireland had ruined the tenants, and he would say to them as to the future that, in regard to every pound of flesh they had exacted from the tenants, they should pay the tenants for every drop of life-blood it contained. They should be compelled to make restitution for every pound of rack-rent they had demanded from their tenants; and, if justice and equity were done, no doubt in a large number of cases the property would have to be handed over entirely from the landlords to the tenants. Any legislation to satisfy the Irish people must make fair and just rents a possi- bility for the tenants of Ireland. If they attempted to do that they would undertake a gigantic task, as the question of the position of the landlords was surrounded with great difficulties; but it would be better to deal with it, and act on the Report of their Commission, than to try to skim over the surface. There would be coercion for over and ever so long as they neglected to go to the root of the evil. There lay the strength of the demand for Home Rule in Ireland, because this Parliament would not deal thoroughly with bad government in Ireland and the effect of unjust laws; but the House would find that it must have regard to justice and humanity as well as to law and order. Recently there was an extraordinary episode in the discussions upon this Bill, when hon. Members opposite endeavoured to show that it was impossible to find in that House a sufficient number of fair-minded and honourable men to deal with a simple question of the honour and privilege of the House. Now, however, they had no hesitation in placing in the hands of one hon. Gentleman the whole liberties of the Irish people. He looked upon this Coercion Bill as an instrument for undertaking a gigantic piece of Boycotting. The Government were going to endeavour to Boycott the National League, and they meant to put in its place, not a Constitutional League, but an Imperial League. The people of England would have to Boycott the Imperial League, and they were preparing to do it. The Liberals of England, who were staunch and true to their great Leader, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone), were determined that they would not let this question rest until they had torn this legislation to shreds and tatters. He opposed it because he believed it would be disastrous to the Tory Party. He would infinitely prefer to see the Tory Party dealing with the Land Question in a manly way than dealing with coercion. He also opposed the Bill because he believed it would be disastrous to the Liberal Unionists. The Party on that side had been honeycombed by Liberal Unionists; but if this Bill passed they would soon be reduced in numbers, and those who remained would come back to the House wiser if not better men. The action of the Government in resorting to coercion and neglecting the real source of the evil afforded the strongest argument that could be used in favour of Home Rule; and he had no fear as to the loyalty of the Irish people, whose union with this country, he believed, would be truer, nobler, and more spontaneous than many hon. Members on both sides might possibly expect. Many hearts had been stirred by the question of justice to Ireland, perhaps more than by any other cause of political agitation. He protested against the Bill, and should vote against the third reading.


said, he confessed he was surprised when he heard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) on the previous night. He had never attempted to compare this Bill with the Acts of 1881 and 1882. Had he done so, the whole of the arguments upon which he rested his opposition to the Bill would have fallen to the ground. For his own part, he had never for a moment desisted from opposition to the views propounded by hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway opposite; and he had condemned any faltering whatever by one Government or another, from what he conceived to be the strict line of duty in reference to Irish government. He should like to go a step farther back in the retrospect than did the right hon. Gentleman, who chose a particular period as best suiting his own purpose. He would go back to 1847, when he knew Ireland well, and was engaged in carrying out what was necessary for the maintenance of law and order there. In 1847 there was an Act passed—Lord John Russell being then Prime Minister, and Lord Bessborough Lord Lieutenant—a necessary Act in the then condition of Ireland, after the Famine year. There were classes of murders such as he hoped and believed could not be committed now. Agrarian murders, not carried out by those concerned in the dispute, but by hired assassins—men who took "blood money," as it was called. Many were the murders, and two men were particularly notorious as having committed them, Ryan Puck and Andrew Day. Puck was principal in 13 murders and accessory in four others. A Commission sat, and these men were tried, condemned, and executed at Limerick, and Punishment fell upon all those who con- nived at the crimes. This passed, and then arose disturbances between the "Old Ireland" Party and the "Young Ireland"—the Smith O'Brien Party. It fell to his lot to be called out on duty at Limerick to suppress a great disturbance in which three remarkable men were implicated— Mitchel, editor of United Ireland, Martin, who afterwards sat in the House as Member for Meath, and Meagher. On the occasion referred to the military cleared the streets, and these three men were sent off to Dublin, having been rescued just in time to save their lives by the dragoons under his command. Mitchel, Martin, and Meagher were all afterwards transported. Mitchel was editor of United Ireland, and he would venture to say that the articles for which Mitchel was sentenced to 15 years' transportation were not more mischievous than the articles in United Ireland of to-day. But what he intended to say was, that there was this state of crime; that a repressive Act was carried out; there was a Commission that punished the offenders, and for 20 years after that Ireland was prosperous and peaceful. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] Would any hon. Gentleman who gave vent to his incredulity get up and deny the facts that showed that never had Ireland made greater strides towards prosperity than in the 20 years between 1848 and 1868, alike in regard to trade, cultivation of land, the number and character of the houses built, the money spent on improving property, and the ease with which money could be borrowed on mortgage for improvements? [Laughter.] Would any hon. Member deny that Ireland prospered in those 20 years? The right hon. Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt) laughed; let him get up and refute the statement.


said, he begged the hon. Baronet's pardon. He certainly did smile; but it was at the hon. Baronet's statement that the proof of the prosperity of Ireland was shown by the greatness of the amount raised on mortgages.


said, that was not what he said or meant. Ireland could then get money when she required it, and England was prepared to lend it; and Englishmen were also prepared to buy, and did buy, land at that time. Would, the right hon. Gentleman say there would be no difficulty now in raising money on an Irish mortgage? He would venture to say there was not a man who would lay out a shilling on Irish security. This state of things went on until the time to which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian went back. To see what crime was, he went back to the Fenian disturbances. In reference to these, he might mention an anecdote which would show how easily the Irish people were influenced. It was in 1866, and in Wicklow, just after a considerable outbreak, that a raid was made upon the police station at Tullagh. Lord Strathnairn was in command at Dublin, and took such precautions that the Fenians were surprised; several men were shot, and the rest threw away their arms and ran away. [An hon. MEMBER: They had no arms.] Who said they had no arms? They had until they threw them away to use their legs. Some 208 were made prisoners, and sent to Dublin, under two sergeants' escorts. Lord Strathnairn having refused for such men to send them in under a stronger escort, he had the bands of their trousers cut, so that they had to hitch them up with both hands, and in this condition they marched into Dublin, and the Dublin population turned out to make merry at and laugh and jeer at the very men whom they had cheered on the previous day. And so it would be to-morrow if the Government had the courage of their opinions; if they behaved as they ought to behave. With the credit and honour of the country at stake, and when so much was said about the many friends of Irish malcontents, there need be little fear on that account. But the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) began his history with 1869, when the more recent troubles had their beginning. And why? Without attributing blame to one side or the other, it was then that, for political purposes, first one side and then the other began to tamper with hon. Members below the Gangway. This was the cause of all the mischief to one side or the other. Votes were of use, and were to be had, and a policy like this would be fatal to any country, and particularly a country like Ireland. It had been seen how ready were hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway to turn out a Liberal Government that had made no overtures to them, and to give their support to the Conservative Party. They claimed to represent the interests of Ireland, and these, according to their own showing, were diametrically opposed to the interests of England. [Cries of "No, no !"] From speeches in and out of the House he could show that that was the case, and how the value of the professions made could be estimated. Who, after listening to the speech of the hon. Member for North-East Cork (Mr. W. O'Brien), could doubt that the feeling of hostility existed, and would exist, Home Rule or no Home Rule? Threats had been made to worry and annoy this country in her time of difficulty, and it was that power to make mischief that he would do all that in him lay to prevent. When the hon. Member for North-East Cork spoke of stalwart men abroad, did he not mentally think of them as harassing us when we were in difficulty, as the Irish had formerly sought the assistance of the French? Never should there be the opportunity, if he could prevent it, of a foreign nation using Ireland as a means of pounding England, as in the days of Pitt. An attack was recently made upon the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Goschen), and he was called by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby a deserter. There were two classes of deserters. A man sometimes deserted from his regiment from dislike to it, but re-enlisted in another. That was not a serious offence. But what do you say of the man who deserts and goes over to the enemy? The right hon. Gentleman who was so free with the epithet could say of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway on December 16, 1885, that "they were not to be trusted," and on the 26th January, 1886, he accepted Office in a Government that came into power on a compact that Home Rule should be brought in. In a week he deserted the principles he had followed all his life and deserted to the enemy. The men whom he had condemned in unmeasured terms were now his faithful allies. On this matter he felt strongly, and he hoped the Government would feel that the country felt strongly. Morning, noon, and night had hon. Members sat there, and they had given powers to the Government to assist them in putting an end to the reign of Boycotting, terrorism, and crime; to restore law and order; and to prove to the loyal minority of Ireland that the Government would do their duty. He called upon the Government to do their duty as soon as they had the power, and if they found the powers insufficient, let them come to the House for more. Beyond what was necessary he did not want to go; but there was the work to be done, and no Government could remain leaving undone the duty of restoring law and order in Ireland. To the completion of that work he believed the Bill would prove a powerful means, and heartily, therefore, he supported the third reading.


said, the noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington), in the powerful speech he delivered a short time ago, referred to the peculiar circumstances attending the passing of this Bill through the House. He (Mr. E. Robertson) proposed to follow the noble Marquess, though he did not hope to reach the same conclusion. He thought the most remarkable fact about this Bill was that it had occupied a larger amount of Parliamentary time, and had received a less amount of Parliamentary consideration, than any other measure of the same importance, perhaps in the whole history of the House of Commons. The Session was nearing its close. The five or six weeks during which they had been, here had been occupied with discussions, almost every one of which had been preparatory or subsidiary to, or incidental to, or in some way or other connected with, the measure which was now finally passing through the House; and yet as to three-fourths of that Bill, it had received no sort of Parliamentary consideration whatever. The Bill was leaving them, like the spirit in Hamlet, "unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled." Who was responsible for this state of things? The House as a body was not responsible. The vast body of private Members who had sat silent throughout these long debates were not responsible for this state of things. Responsibility, as his right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) said last night, lay where power lay. There were various sections of leaders in the House to whom was freely and voluntarily given great authority in the management of affairs in this House. He was not there to deny that responsibility might rest upon the collective leadership of the House as to the management of this Bill. He inferred from what had been said on the other side, and what had been said that night by the noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale, that the supporters of the Bill agreed with that principle. They had accused the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian of conniving at obstruction, and the noble Marquess said the right hon. Gentleman had palliated, if he had not justified, the course that had been pursued below the Gangway. This admitted the principle that where leadership was there the responsibility rested. Now, if the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian was responsible, because of his powers as loader of a portion of a minority, how much greater must be the responsibility of the right hon. Gentleman who commanded the majority, and who commanded the whole powers of the House. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Goschen), speaking at a small meeting some where in London the other day, apologized to his own followers in a way which showed that he was sensible that this charge lay at his own door. He said the Liberals actually thought that the Government had been indifferent to this waste of time, because they wore not prepared with legislative measures which they were anxious to force on the consideration of Parliament. He (Mr. E. Robertson) did not know whether that charge had been formulated in that way; but he had said in this House, and he said again, that the Government had been indifferent to the waste of time in the passage of this Bill, and if the reason given by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not the true reason he would suggest another. It was that the Government were indifferent, because they did not wish to hasten the time when they should come into dispute with their allies, and force those allies either to disavow their principles or vote against themselves. No sooner did this Bill come to its final stage than the Liberal Unionists found it difficult to support hon. Gentlemen opposite. Two or three days ago they placed the Government in a minority, and he suspected when the Land Bill was reached, if they did not place them in a minority, they would place them in a position of very considerable embarrassment indeed. It was for this reason the Government had been callous and indifferent to the waste of time. Let him remind the House of the extraordinary powers which the Government had asked and received in connection with this Bill. First of all, they received a permanent power of closure of debate. He did not complain of that, because he himself was an absolute partizan of closure. In the second place, besides that power, which they deliberately mutilated at the time they got it, they received a Rule of Urgency of a peculiar and unprecedented kind in the Committee stage of the Bill. They received another Rule of Urgency equally unparalleled, which they applied on the Report stage; and the result of all these tremendous powers was that as to three-fourths of the clauses of the Bill it was leaving them without any consideration whatever. The Government were carrying this Bill, not by a regular process, but by a series of convulsions. The various stages of the Bill had not been stages so much as shocks. They bad catapulted the Bill through the House. Instead of using the closure, which the Liberal Party bestowed upon them as an instrument for the benefit of ordinary debate, they had treated it as a Party expedient. Was it not the fact that since urgency was first devised the permanent and regular closure had never been applied at all? Let him take, for example, what happened in the Committee stage. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury (Mr. W. H. Smith) fixed a period by which the debate was to close. He must have supposed that that period was sufficient for full and fair debate of all the clauses of the Bill. What did he do? He allowed the whole of that urgency week to be absolutely wasted on two clauses of the Bill. Either he under-estimated and blundered with regard to the amount of time necessary for that discussion, or he was faithless to his trust in not applying the regular closure in such a way as to distribute the time of the House over the whole Bill. There was another point on which right hon. Gentlemen opposite must share responsibility with their opponents on this side. He wished to bring this charge with all deference and humility and respect to the Leaders of the House. A great deal of time had been wasted in perfectly unnecessary recrimination between the two Front Benches, and in the irrelevant charges of inconsistency which they had been in the habit of bringing against each other. What did hon. Members who had not been tainted with coercion care about the inconsistencies of right hon. Gentlemen on either side of the Table? It was an easy and amusing game for them to play. It was like the spot stroke in billiards. It always succeeded, and it was always easy. In conclusion, he had only a word or two to say about the Bill itself. He thought the Government in framing the Bill, in defending the Bill, in everything that they had done with regard to the Bill, had displayed the same kind of fatuous imbecility as marked their conduct in the case of Miss Cass. It had been the same in this large matter as it was in the small matter. The right way was easy and obvious to them, but they chose the wrong and difficult way. The House would permit him to give one or two examples of what he meant. He would take, in the first place, that provision of the Bill which substituted trial by Stipendiary Magistrates for trial by jury. That was the gist of the whole matter. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Mr. John Morley), everybody knew, was perhaps the most extreme opponent of this Bill on this side of the House, and was prepared to carry his opposition to it much farther than he (Mr. E. Robertson) was. The right hon. Gentleman had said he wanted to make coercion difficult. That position he did not accept, because it seemed to mean that to the evil of coercion in Ireland the right hon. Gentleman was prepared to add the still greater evil of a wasted Session and a paralyzed Parliament. He only mentioned that to emphasize what the right hon. Gentleman said about the gist of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman said the gist of the Bill was in the substitution for trial by jury the trial by Stipendiary Magistrates. How easy would it have been for the Government to obviate all possible objections on this score by a simple method? Why did they not clean out the whole Bench of Magistrates in Ireland and substitute competent and qualified men? They could get plenty of them both in Ireland and in this country. If they had done that they might have smiled calmly at any amount of claptrap that might have been talked on this side of the House regarding the benefits of trial by jury. Then as to the arbitrary powers they proposed to give the Lord Lieutenant. There again, by introducing a definition as the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for South Hackney—the late Attorney General—(Sir Charles Russell) proposed, they might have avoided all reasonable objections. Perhaps a still more remarkable example of the way in which they had avoided the obviously right thing to do was in their treatment of the question of conspiracy. The way was there again pointed out to them in a clear and definite Resolution by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for South Hackney, and they refused to take it. They deliberately rejected that which would be—he warned them—the first principle of democratic jurisprudence, and that was that whatever was lawful for one man to do should not be unlawful for two or more men to do, and thereby they had drawn upon their Reads perhaps the most formidable criticism levelled against this Bill. After all had been said, he must confess he was heartily glad that they had reached the final stage of this abominable Bill. He was sure that in that sentiment all parts of the House—including that part where hon. Gentlemen from Ireland sat —would cordially agree. They were going to get rid of it, and he was thankful for it. He had never pretended to be one of those who struck melodramatic attitudes about this coercion. He thought that after 86 Coercion Acts it was a little ridiculous to go into hysterics over the 87th, and for his part he hoped that way of looking at the Bill would be shared by some hon. Members near him. [Cries of "No, no !"] He believed many of them shared it now. He believed they would find that the Bill in its administration would be as great a sham as the policy of Her Majesty's Government generally. At all events, he hoped and trusted that hon. Members from Ireland, neglecting, if it be necessary, any counsel to lawlessness that they might receive from this side of the House, would do their best, by patience, by fair play, by abstinence from violence, to make it difficult for the Government to convert this sham Bill into anything like a reality.

MR. ADDISON (Ashton-under-Lyne)

said, the accusation of the hon. and learned Member for Dundee (Mr. E. Robertson), that the Government had been guilty of "fatuous imbecility," added nothing to the strength or the value of his criticism. The hon. and learned Member had stated that the essence of this Bill was to substitute for trial by jury trial before Stipendiary Magistrates. That was perfectly true, and it was probably one of the most important provisions of the Bill, because the object sought to be attained was that crime which was committed on Monday should be punished on Wednesday; that the punishment, though moderate, should be swift and certain; and that there should no longer be the mockery of an Assize trial. No peaceable person going about his business in Ireland would be one whit the worse in consequence of this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House (Mr. W. H. Smith) had taken care to avoid all personalities, and in no respect had the Government been responsible for the waste of time spent over the Bill. The suggestion that the delay was encouraged by the Government in order to postpone the quarrels with the Liberal Unionists which were inevitable in the future was absurd on the face of it, as there neither were nor were likely to be any serious differences between the Conservative and Liberal sections of the Unionist Party. He was proud to sit behind Ministers who conducted the affairs of the country with such dignity, skill, and moderation.

MR. PAULTON (Durham, Bishop Auckland)

said, that in respect of dignity the Government was the laughing stock of Europe in respect of the Turkish. Convention. Of their skill they had proof in the absolute stagnation of Public Business, and their moderation was manifested by the introduction of a Bill of unexampled severity forced through the House by the most tyrannical methods. The noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington) had commented upon the fact that the educated classes were in favour of the policy of the Government; and he also asked why it was that whilst they did not attach so much importance to them in this country, they yet did attach very great importance to educated opinion abroad. He ventured to point out this difference, and, in his opinion, it was a very striking one— namely, that in this country those who considered themselves the upper classes had a strong and direct personal interest in such questions as they wore now discussing—namely, the government of Ireland. Abroad the state of things was not the same. There educated opinion was not so closely identified with those classes of the population connected with the landed interest, and he did think that there was no doubt whatever that the views and opinions of the upper classes of this country must of necessity be, to a certain extent, influenced and tinged by the considerations which attached to their interests as contrasted to the interests of the masses of the people. If they were to have coercion, the sooner it came the sooner it would be ended. He believed that this was the very last lease of life it would have in this country. The noble Marquess told them that if such an organization as the National League existed in England it would be immediately crushed. If a National League existed in England the first thing Parliament would do would be not to sot to work to crush it, but to remove the cause of its existence. In the same way, until the remedy was adopted in Ireland, no matter what attempts they might make to crush such organizations, they would spring up again and again. What right had the Party opposite to talk of a wasted Session? Had they not got their wretched Bill through? If they attached but half the importance to it which they professed to attach to it, they ought to be satisfied and to cease to prate about the Session having been wasted. The Bill had been described by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. A. J. Balfour) as a measure for the protection of minorities in Ireland. What he wished to know was this—If, as was admitted, the opinion of the majority of that House was to govern, why should not the opinion of the majority govern in Ireland? The Bill was really only a makeshift. If the Government had had the courage of their opinions they would have adopted the only true alternative to the policy of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone), and attempted to govern Ireland by martial law. The noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale had declared that the ob- jects of this Bill were the same as those of the Bill of 1881. Even if that were so, nothing would be gained, for, according to the evidence of Lord Spencer himself, the Bill of 1881 failed to secure its objects, as would inevitably the measure now under consideration.


said, he thought he could very well understand why hon. Members opposite were anxious that the debate on this Bill should come to a very speedy conclusion, because from what had been said on the opposite side of the House during the debate their position had not been improved. The longer this measure, which they were trying to force on the House in this unprecedented fashion, was investigated, the more monstrous it would appear. Admitting, for the sake of argument, that hon. Members opposite did well in endeavouring to bring this debate to a speedy conclusion, it did not follow in the least that at any rate the Irish Members were bound in any way to give in to their wishes in that respect. They had not been sent there to suit the convenience of hon. Members opposite. Nowadays Irishmen were not prepared to betray their country to suit the convenience of an English political Party. The day in which that sort of thing could be done was gone by, and there was very little chance of its coming back again. They cared very little whether they were called Obstructionists or not any more than they cared whether hon. Members chose to call them dynamiters and assassins, for there was as much reason for the one reproach as the other. They were told that in opposing this Bill the Irish Members were impeding English legislation; but it was the duty of the Irish Members to oppose this Bill. It was the Government who wore responsible for its introduction, and if English legislation was impeded, that was not the fault of the Irish Members, but of the Government. Would not hon. Members opposite have offered an equally strenuous resistance to the measure if it had affected their own country? Would they submit tamely while their liberties were voted away by an unfair and unscrupulous majority? In an old number of The Times he remembered reading these words—"Liberty is a serious game to be played out, as the Greek told the Persian, with knives and with hatchets." When that appeared The Times was supporting the cause of the revolution in Italy. He did not suppose that The Times would consent to the application of those words to the case of Ireland. But the Irish people considered that they were as much entitled to the rights of free men as were the Italians, and they had not the slightest intention to forego their claim. They could not regain their liberties by force of arms, but they intended resorting to every Constitutional method. This Coercion Bill had been brought in by the Government in breach of their pledges to the country at the last General Election. The Conservatives then denied that there was no alternative to Home Rule but coercion; but the event had proved that they were wrong. There was no justification for the Bill, for Ireland was in a very peaceful condition—more peaceful than when the Conservative Party were coquetting with Home Rule, more peaceful than when they themselves deliberately abstained from resorting to coercion. It almost seemed as if the object of the Government in bringing in this Bill was to find some excuse for not legislating for the reform of abuses and the abolition of privileges. At first reference was made to one or two charges of the Irish Judges to justify this Bill, but this ground had been abandoned, for it had been shown that the great majority of the charges of the Irish Judges testified to the crimelessness of the country. Then it was urged that the Bill was made necessary by the fact that juries would not convict. But, though it was quite true that Irish juries, to their credit, would not allow themselves to be made the tools of the Irish Government in prosecutions carried out by trick and chicanery against political foes, he denied that juries had been unwilling to return fair verdicts according to the evidence in ordinary cases. The last excuse for coercion was that intimidation was rife in Ireland. As a matter of fact, there was less intimidation than there had ever been, and far less than there had been when the Tory Party had gone about the country reproaching the Liberals for coercing Ireland. The Irish people had learned in legitimate combination a better method of protecting themselves and preserving their families from eviction than the mutilation of cattle and assassination. It was not intimidation that the Government intended to attack by this Bill; they wanted to put down the Plan of Campaign, which was now legal, but which the object of the Bill was to make illegal. It was a Bill to suppress the right of public meeting and free speech, to silence the Irish people, to attack the opponents of the Government, and to put down Constitutional agitation. Its only result would be to make things in Ireland worse than they now were, and to make the people more disloyal. They had asked through channels which the Constitution laid down for the right to make their own laws, and this Bill was the answer which was given them by the Government. He believed that they would succeed in winning back that right before very long, in spite of coercion and in spite of Her Majesty's Government.

MR. J. PLUNKETT (Gloucestershire, Thornbury)

, said, he quite agreed with the remark used by an hon. Member that the sooner this law was passed the sooner it would die. That was his hope and wish, and the sooner the Irish people made up their minds to enjoy the peace and security which Her Majesty's laws had brought to other parts of the Empire the better it would be for them. That Bill, by being permanent, would prevent a seditious and dangerous organization, under another name, but with the same leaders, from taking the place of the National League in Ireland. There were many parts of that country which could not by any possibility support their present amount of population, and he maintained that emigration was a blessing to the people. It was cruel to try and keep the people on the poor land, and he believed that emigration was the only remedy for the congested and impoverished districts of Ireland. In many instances that he knew of, Irishmen had borrowed the money to emigrate with, and had invariably repaid it, and in a little time they had also sent for their families and invited their connections to follow them. It was said that the poor Irish tenants had only been enabled to pay their rents with the assistance of the money they received from their kindred in America; but, instead of taking the hard-earned money sent to them by their brothers and sons in America, why did the poor Irish, tenants themselves not also go across the Atlantic, where they would be enabled to live in comfort and plenty? Scotland many years ago was in quite as bad a condition as Ireland was now, but her people wisely adopted emigration with the excellent results which were at present apparent. They were told that Ireland was now suffering under unfair laws; and the right hon. Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt) said that if the laws were unfair the first thing to be done was to rectify them and make them fair. The right hon. Gentleman, however, seemed to have forgotten that he and the right hon. Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) had been mainly responsible for the law in regard to Ireland for a long period of years. If, as was admitted, the past Irish legislation of the right hon. Member for Mid Lothian had proved a total failure, was it likely that the people of England would try his statesmanship again? If the right hon. Gentleman's Irish legislation had not been a failure, why did he completely turn round and now promote the very thing which his former measures were intended to guard against, because they had been entirely directed against Home Rule? They were often reminded that the right hon. Gentleman's public career had extended over 50 years. For 49 years out of the 50, however, the right hon. Gentleman had been against Home Rule, and one year for it. Had he been wrong for 49 years and right only for one? Each of the right hon. Gentleman's former great Irish Bills was announced by him as final, and yet they had all failed. Were they to have another great measure from him which should be positively final? If the right hon. Gentleman were to turn round again in his opinions, and to say that Home Rule would be a form of treason which, as a patriotic Englishman, he could not submit to, he would have just as large a following as he had at present. The hon. Member had made a charge of false imprisonment against the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian for having shut him up in Kilmainham. Why did not the hon. Member for Cork take proceedings against the right hon. Gentleman? The fact was, the case was settled out of Court, and the compensation awarded to the hon. Member was the Kilmainham Treaty, by which it was agreed that the hon. Member for Cork, on condition that he was released from gaol, would give a general support to the Liberal Party, and induce his followers to do the same. The next reward offered by the right hon. Gentleman for the support of the hon. Member for Cork was the giving over the country of Ireland to the tender mercies of that hon. Member. And the right hon. Gentleman said the whole of the civilized world was in favour of his extraordinary scheme. If that were the case, he could only say that the conversion of the civilized world to that creed had been effected quicker than its conversion to Christianity. It was quite clear, however, that such dark corners as London, Oxford, and Cambridge were not included in the civilized world, though in the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman such places as Chicago were. The scheme of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian would not have satisfied the Irish Representatives. Although their speeches in the House of Commons might have conveyed the idea that they were satisfied with it, they could not speak for those to whom they looked for support. The promises of the hon. Member for Cork could not be depended upon; and if the scheme of Home Rule offered were not exactly what the supporters of the Irish Parliamentary Party thought it should be, the only way of rectifying the fatal mistake that would be made in granting it would be a military re-conquest of Ireland. He had heard it stated in the House that the Crimes Bill would be rendered futile by the action of the Nationalist Press in Ireland; but he supposed that if a newspaper deliberately incited the people to rebellion it would come within the provisions of the Bill. The course adopted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian had shown all disaffected persons that if they disagreed with the law they had only to break it either with gunpowder or with the other resources of civilization, and they would get it altered. His present allies, by persistent law-breaking, had wrung concession after concession from the right hon. Gentleman, until now they had got him on his knees, and he had gone over to the very men who were formerly described as marching through rapine to the dismemberment of the Empire— to the very men he had put in prison, and who were now pursuing the same objects by the same means as those for which he imprisoned them, when all England applauded their imprisonment.

MR. B. COLERIDGE (Sheffield, Attercliffe)

I have listened with what attention I could to the somewhat incoherent speech of the hon. Member for the Thornbury Division of Gloucestershire (Mr. Plunkett), and I could not but sympathize, when I listened to that speech, with the dislike and distrust exhibited on the part of the Irish Members with British rule in Ireland. It struck me that at this late period of the contest we have something graver and more weighty on hand than the wretched bandying of tu quoques from one side to the other, and I was surprised that the main argument of the hon. Member for passing an Act which deprives the Sister Country of the liberty we enjoy was that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) at some other time, and under other circumstances, had expressed other views than those which he now expresses. Whether that were true or not, it struck me that a taunt about the Kilmainham Treaty from a Member of a Party which, within the memory of everyone, has intrigued for the support of the Irish Party did not come from the right quarter, and was not addressed to the right quarter. I am well aware that the time for argument on this question is closed. I am aware that argument is treated with quiet contempt by those who have power on their side; but, although the time for argument may be passed, the time for protest, however unavailing, is not past. I speak on behalf of a working-class constituency; and I tell the House, that it may be some satisfaction to the Irish Members when I say it, that the working men in my constituency—and I believe they are only a sample of the working men throughout the entire Kingdom—repudiate with scorn and contempt all responsibility for the passing of this Bill. I am aware that this Bill has practically been passed by the closure of debate in this House. I have never said a word against the right of the Government of the day to pass the measures it thinks necessary to pass by closing debates in this House. I admit that from their point of view they are justified in preventing prolonged discussion if they think that prolonged discussion is a disadvantage to the country over which they rule. But I maintain that it is our right to protest in season and out of season against legislation which we believe to be damaging to the best interests of the country. It is our duty to show the people that if you destroy the liberties of a Sister Country you destroy your own. The result of closing debate in this House is to drive discussion to platforms. There the contest will have to be fought out; and I have no doubt of the issue. I maintain that by the legislation which the House is now attempting to enforce the House is running counter to the great and healthy moral sentiment of all that is best and wisest in the people of the United Kingdom. I know there are men who cast scorn upon any person in the House who mentions either moral or sentiment; but I say that in this time of day that Government will not last long which violates the moral instincts and sentiments of the people over which it rules. It is within the recollection of all in this House that the strongest Government perhaps this country ever saw was swept away because the people of the country considered it was in its foreign policy violating moral instincts, because it was fighting on behalf of oppression against freedom and self-government. I might appeal to the other side on other and lower grounds; I might ask them as a candid friend of an Opportunist Government, whether or not they think that the passing into law of this legislation will redound to their credit and benefit? The effect of passing bad laws does not cease when those laws come into operation. The effect of passing bad laws is to demoralize those who pass them. You have already begun to lower the line of controversy in this country. You no longer fight the question upon bare argument. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of this House (Mr. W. H. Smith) lends his name and the name of his business to the spreading throughout the length and breadth of the land accusations against Members of the House which, if false, are dishonouring to him who spreads them.

THE FIEST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

I wish to ask whether it is consistent with the dignity of political controversy to introduce charges of this kind into the debates of this House. I have said before, and I say again, that I have nothing whatever to do with the circulation of the papers to which the hon. Gentleman refers, and it is monstrous such charges should be made in this House.


I do not retract anything I have said.


I do not ask him to retract anything, and I did not expect it of him.


If the right hon. Gentleman had heard me out he would have heard I said that the spreading of these accusations, if they were false, were dishonouring to him to spread them. Into the truth or otherwise of those accusations the right hon. Gentleman himself declines to inquire, and I say that the right hon. Gentleman is thus dealing a blow at the respect which I say from my heart all persons in this House, including myself, desire to entertain for him. Such are the means, hitherto unknown, by which this Act is being propagated and pressed in this House. How will it work in Ireland? If it fails, it will be a monument of incapacity, covering the grave of the right hon. Gentleman's political reputation. If it succeeds, through what method and through what men will it succeed? After the Bill is passed all that is wisest in the Irish Nation will be stigmatized as rebellious and criminal. The persons by whom you will work this Act are those men who are cowards enough to become informers, or who are dishonest enough to become your spies. You do not even stop here. From day to day, on the platforms of the country, and in this House, you and those who support you are trading in the ignoble passions of religious hatred and religious prejudice. If I had that dash of opportunism in my nature which I believe is owned by Her Majesty's Government, if I were simply considering Party triumphs, I should say—"Go on, walk in the exact path in which you are now walking, do not be too hasty, but fill up drop by drop the cup of exasperation until it is full to overflowing." Sir, higher considerations animate our minds in dealing with a great question like this. I do not think that the attainment of Party triumphs are what we ought to consider in deal- ing with the Irish Question. I do not wish to see enacted over again the sad and harrowing details of Irish evictions; I do not want to see performed again upon public platforms the last tragedy of a nation's life. I do not expect the hon. Gentleman opposite will do anything else but jeer at anything that seems to them like sentiment or morals. I say this, that when that day comes, as come it inevitably will, when you have to appeal to the people of this country to endorse your actions and to approve your policy, I am as certain as I stand here that your actions to-night will be spurned and disowned by all that is best, wisest, and most generous in the people of the British Isles.

COLONEL DUNCAN (Finsbury, Holborn)

said, he felt bound to repudiate the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member for the Attercliffe Division of Sheffield (Mr. B. Coleridge), that argument was wasted upon those who sat upon the Conservative side of the House. He had listened to all that had been said on this subject, and he had endeavoured to put himself in the place of those who spoke on the opposite side, but he had come to the conclusion that this measure was necessary, and that it was no encroachment on individual liberty. As a soldier he objected to the term "coercive" being applied to a measure intended to enforce the law and to prevent crime. It was aimed at crime and criminal associations, and would no more interfere with well-affected individuals than did the law of this country. Complaint had been made that the Bill was aimed at political association, but as he understood politics it was the science of all that related to the welfare of the State, and if not the welfare of the State but its injury was contemplated by any political association then he said the political association should feel the power of the laws as much as the individual. There was no more reason why this measure should not be permanent than there was against the Decalogue being permanent. He trusted that hon. Members would come to a Division that night without any acrimony entering their minds.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I have listened with considerable attention, and with some amusement, to the speech of the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just addressed the House. Although the hon. and gallant Gentleman belongs to the Tory Party, he is a Gentleman for whom I have always entertained a deep respect and kindly feeling. I have not the slightest doubt that he means well to Ireland if his lights enabled him to see the facts in their true position. I do not intend to follow him in the hopeless task of essaying to throw oil on the troubled waters, but there is one statement of his to which I must take exception when he said that he and his Party looked at this matter from a higher standpoint than we do. I deny that proposition. They look at it from the point of view of what is best for the Empire; we look at it from the point of view of liberty. Our duty is to see that the liberties of the Irish people are respected, and our first duty is, although we are prepared, as we have frequently stated in this House, to acknowledge when we are decently treated, a duty also to this Empire which we do not acknowledge at the present moment. Our first and greatest duty is to the people of Ireland, who have sent us here to represent them. There is one point frequently alluded to in the course of the long debates on this Bill, and which has formed the substance to-night of the speech of the noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale. That is the protracted character of the opposition given to this Bill by the Members for Ireland. I admit that the character of that opposition has been prolonged and bitter, but hon. Members who indulge in this charge forget, or pretend to forget, that during the whole of this matter we have represented in this House a majority of five-sixths of the nation to which this legislation is alone sought to be applied. Can anything be more disingenuous or unjust than to conduct an argument on the assumption that there is no real distinction between the English and Irish nations? Had not the history of your legislation swept all such contention away? Are not the land laws of the two countries, is not the whole machinery of government, as different as possible? Why is it that the Queen does not rule directly in Ireland, but is represented by a Lord Lieutenant? Everyone knows that it is false and misleading to say that the two natious are one nation; therefore any argument as to the character of the opposition to the Bill drawn from precedence of the opposition given by a minority in that House to measures affecting the entire nation, or by a minority of English Representatives to measures affecting England, is false and fallacious. If the Irish nation formed an integral and indivisible part, as you maintain it does, of this British nation, why do you introduce laws into this House and not apply them to the whole people? I maintain that our position is impregnable when we say that we stand upon the floor of this House as the Representatives of a vast and overwhelming majority of the people—I was going to say the great people, but I will not say that, but I will say the unfortunate people whose fortunes and liberties alone are affected by this Bill. If there be any object at all in our remaining in this House that object must be, to some extent, to impress our views upon the House. We have laboured long and hard during this Session, and I cannot, for my part, see that we have achieved much in the direction of impressing our views upon the House. I recollect clearly at an early stage in these proceedings, when it was proposed first to put the closure upon the Irish Members in this House, that some of our Party upon these Benches used what might be described as the threat that if closured in this House they would betake themselves to the country and appeal to the people of England, and I recollect the roar of derision with which that threat was received by hon. Gentlemen opposite. In view of the threat I read with great amusement the speech delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at St. James's Hall, on the 6th of July, when he was endeavouring to revive the somewhat drooping spirits of his Party as the result of the Spalding election. What does the Chancellor of the Exchequer say in reference to the Spalding election? He says— I will tell you one means by which that election was won. The Irish Party sent down almost a force of their energetic Members to spread their doctrines abroad in that constituency, not only making set speeches at big meetings, but going from village to village and almost from house to house. I thought that, according to the right hon. Gentleman, if they attempted to do such a thing they would be kicked out of the place. They put their plausible case before the electors, who had not the means which men have in the great centres of intelligence to contrast the language used in England and the language used in Ireland. They heard the views which were put before them by those Irish Representatives—men of much eloquence and tremendous energy. They had not read about their antecedents; they had not read, no doubt, as most of you have read, of how that frendliness towards England which may have been displayed in the hamlets of that division has not been the friendliness avowed when they stood upon other platforms in Ireland, or America, and so a successful campaign may have been carried on, and a certain transfer of votes may have been obtained. I can tell the right hon. Gentleman that his Unionist friends took care that the electors of the Spalding Division should read every blackguardly libel that has been circulated. They were deluged with them, and there was not a peasant's cottage or a labourer's house but the libels of the hon. Member for South Tyrone were poured upon their tables. The electors had read them, but they refused to believe them. Let not the Chancellor of the Exchequer lay the flattering unction to his soul that he has only to spread his libels and all will be well. These libels have been spread abroad for months past, but they had no effect, and the labourers and farmers of England will not believe The Times, but they will believe the Irish Members. [A laugh.] Hon. Members may laugh, but we will meet you at every election in England. It is made a grievance against the Irish Members that, not content with addressing public meetings in England, they went into the houses of poor men and sat at their tables. We did, and we are proud to boast that we were welcomed there in spite of your calumnies. We whom you denounce broadcast over England as murderers and assassins are welcomed at the poor man's board in England, and we will meet you there on every occasion, and we will see the poor men, and though we be denounced by The Times newspaper, we can get a hearing from the labourers of England, and get them, perhaps, to vote for the Irish Members in preference to men who sit on those Benches. You can clôture us in this House, and I told you at the commencement of these debates I did not care how soon you put the clôture on us in this House, but you cannot clôture us in England. I defy you, and I defy the Ministers to refuse us a hearing in England, no matter what Bills you may pass in this House. One of the great arguments in favour of this Bill, and which has been used throughout these debates—namely, that there is crime in Ireland, has been practically abandoned. The speakers to-night have practically ceased to put that branch of their contention. Men like the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Hartington) and others admit now that the object of this Act is to prevent the Government of Ireland and the power from passing into the hands of men whom they denounce as unworthy of all public confidence. Members opposite were parties some time ago to an attempt on which, at least, some of them must look back with a considerable degree of regret, and that was the attempt made to hound us from public life as murderers and assassins. There is not the slightest doubt that the Party opposite, in conjunction with their Press, made a determined effort to hound every Member who sits on this Bench out of public life and out of this country. What would you have bettered your position if you had done so? If you could have got the English people to believe that we were what you painted us to be, there would have been but two courses open to us—we should either have fought for our lives in Ireland, and fought for them as dearly as we could, or have quitted this country and gone to America or elsewhere where an honourable career was open to us. And do you imagine for one moment that you would have been better in your position in Ireland if you drove 86 men from this House across the Atlantic to America? I doubt it very much indeed. What has been the head and front of our offending—what has been the history of our political life? I state the history of the majority of the men sitting around ma when I say our lives in Ireland have for seven years been one continued struggle to get our people to abandon the methods of revolution and violence and to trust to action within the walls of this House. Over and over again we have been assailed in Ireland by old comrades, and by men who call themselves advanced Nationalists, because we have asked the people to place hope in the action of a Party within these walls. If you had succeeded—as you did your best to succeed—in driving us across the Atlantic, or, at all events, in exterminating us out of public life in Ireland, how far do you think you would have advanced on the road towards settling the Irish problem? What would have been your position? You would have been face to face with the reconstitution of the Fenian organization and a rebellion—you would have been face to face with the secret societies of America—and I cannot see that you would have in the least bettered the prospect of settling this quarrel and bringing about peace in Ireland. I admit frankly—and I know there are men sitting on the Benches opposite, Irishmen, and Irishmen in Ireland, who deliberately look forward for years and years to come to a succession of rebellions to be crushed by a superior power. That is what has been to them the normal condition of Ireland since the Union. They like it, for it means ascendency, a subject people, and a tyrannous aristocracy. That is the future of Ireland that the Irish Tory Party look forward to, and I put it to Ministers, is that the future they look forward to—a repetition of what has come before—the maintenance of the aristocracy in a position of power, and a constant repetition of unsuccessful rebellion and savage repression. I know perfectly well that is the idea of the Irish Tory, but I question whether it is the idea of the English Conservative Party. Had you succeeded in the great scheme of extinguishing the Parnellite Party and driving them to America, that would have been all you could have looked forward to in Ireland. I wish I could impress upon the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite—those who mean well, and there are many men sitting on those Benches who mean well—that no wilder folly ever entered into the head of man than that you will ever quench the national spirit by repression. There is not a shadow of a chance of doing it. You can crush us and hold us down, but make us love you by repression you never will. I wish to say a few words on the speech delivered by the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Hartington) to-night. The noble Marquess found fault with the statement of the right hon. Member for Mid Lothian as to the verdict of the civilized world, and he asked him—"By what evidence are we to judge of the verdict of the civilized world?" I listened with the greatest attention for I thought the noble Marquess was going to adduce evidence on his side, but he carefully abstained from doing so. He pointed to no specific fact which tended to show that the verdict and feeling of any part of the civilized world was in favour of your cause, and no greater folly could be imagined, and there is not a single man on those Benches who believes in his heart that the verdict of the civilized world, whether on this side of the Atlantic or the other, has not an effect upon the public opinion of England, and ought to have its effect, and I scorn the man who stands up in this House—as some of little intelligence have done— and makes it a boast that the people of England have treated with scorn the opinion of the civilized world. I am not going to enter into the question of the civilized opinion of Europe—we could make a strong case as to the civilized opinion of Europe. But I take the case of America, and I venture to say there is no country in the civilized world whose opinion is of more value and ought to be of more weight in the minds of intelligent, liberty-loving Englishmen than the opinion of America, and I say it is absurd of any intelligent man to assert at this time of the day that nine-tenths of the intelligent and educated opinion of America is not with Ireland in the demand for Home Rule. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for he is about to speak, to name the great journals of America that do not side with us. I could name dozens which do, and I do not know one single journal of importance from the Atlantic to the Pacific that is not strongly on the side of Home Rule. Take the great City of New York, the greatest commercial City in the world next to London. There is not a newspaper in New York that does not side with us. ''They are all Irish newspapers," says the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Are we to be told that the English and the Germans of that City are not wealthy and powerful enough to have newspapers of their own? I have a considerable opinion of the power of the Irish in New York, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to hold a greater opinion of that power than I do. Does he know that there are 10 or 12 newspapers printed in the German language in the State, all of which are friends of the Home Rule movement? I challenge him to go from East to West and from North to South, through the States and find a single journal of importance that opposes us, and the journals that circulate among the educated classes are on our side. A few observations were made by some speakers in reference to the fact that my hon. Friend the Member for North-East Cork (Mr. W. O'Brien) had not much to say of his experiences in America. My hon. Friend probably felt a little embarrassment on that subject because he is not very much in the habit of blowing his own trumpet. My hon. Friend went out to Canada under circumstances which hon. Members opposite will admit were of the greatest difficulty, and the impression prevailed in this country that his mission which seemed in the opinion of some of his friends to be a desperate one, would turn out a failure. But it has turned out a conspicuous success—aye, even in the province of Canada his mission was a conspicuous success. [An hon. MEMBER: Toronto. And cries of "Murderers !" from the Irish Benches.] Yes; a gang of murderers and assassins were the only men who were got to oppose him. The educated classes of the country do not take revolvers and stones in hand to settle political disputes in the streets. I make you a present of the mob of Toronto. My hon. Friend had on his side three-fourths of the Press of the country in spite of the influence of society and the Governor General, and I am aware that Lord Lansdowne, if approached privately, would admit that the mission was a success beyond everything he could imagine. When my hon. Friend returned to the United States he was entertained in Boston and New York, and I state without the slightest fear of contradiction except by those hon. Gentlemen opposite who were never in America, and many of whom do not know whether the Battle of Bunker's Hill was fought 100 years ago or 10—I say that men who know America and love America will admit that my hon. Friend was received by the noblest and most respected in the States, and, further, I say we are entitled to declare that not only the intelligence and education of America, but also the sentiment of the democracy, is unanimously almost on our side. The noble Marquess went on to sneer and become very witty at the expense of the hon. Member for Aberdeen (Mr. Bryce) because of his remark about the educated classes. The educated classes are all very well; I do not pretend to belong to thorn myself; I make no doubt that hon. Gentlemen opposite believe they constitute the educated classes. My experience in life is that the most learned men are not always University men, and that men who take degrees at Oxford are not always the lights of the Universe. The noble Marquess said the educated classes were those who had produced the literature of the country. That depends on what you consider as the educated classes; but if the noble Marquess moans gentlemen who take "double firsts." and can spend their £300 a-year on their education, I absolutely deny it. Who are the men who have made the literature of the 19th century? If you run down the list, you will find a very large proportion of them belonging to the people—that the noblest and greatest names did not belong to the educated classes, but were the children of the people, who secured their education in spite of adverse circumstances by hard labour—men who were born out of the blood and brain of the people. The literature of the people springs from the people, and everything that is good has sprung from that class. I say, therefore, in spite of the sneers of the noble Marquess, that so far as I have been able to read history, there never has been a movement great and noble, with worthy principles, that effected a great reformation or change in the world, that had not its root and origin deep down in the hearts of the common people, and which was not opposed by gentlemen of the educated classes. That proposition is true from the day that the Gospel was preached to the poor and lowly at Galilee down to the present hour; and, in my opinion, one of the best signs of the success of any movement is that it takes its origin from out the ranks of the poor, and what you may call the uneducated classes, and is opposed at its outset by the wealthy and powerful and the presumably educated classes. The noble Marquess went on to denounce at great length the proceedings of the National League in Ireland, and he plainly intimated that the practical object and purpose of this Bill was to rescue Ireland from the power of the National League, but he never went into detail as to what those proceedings were; but the Government, in spite of statements of this kind, has declined to state what they proposed to do with the National League. There have been eloquent indictments of the proceedings of that body. Irish Conservative journals have declared that the Bill would be worthless and a dead letter unless the League were broken up and utterly destroyed; but throughout the debate the Government have declined to state what they proposed to do with that body. It would, I think, be an act of courage if the Chancellor of the Exchequer would take this opportunity of frankly stating to the House and to the country what the Executive intended to do. Judging from the speech of the noble Marquess the Bill would be worthless, and the time that had been spent upon it would have been wasted, unless it were directed to the immediate destruction of that organization. Contrasting the position of his Party with that of the right hon. Member for Mid Lothian the noble Marquess considered this Bill to be the only alternative to the granting of Home Rule. But only two weeks ago, at Manchester, he reiterated the statement that he was prepared to go a long way towards decentralization in Ireland and to give a large measure of local self-government. How was such a measure to be proposed pari passu with a Coercion Act? The noble Marquess said— From our point of view if you once remove the Irish Representatives from Parliament, whether in 10 years or in one year—if you once create representative institutions in Ireland, then Parliament loses as regards Ireland its representative character, it loses the only title by which it has the right to concern itself with Irish affairs. If that be the creed of the noble Marquess in this matter of the Irish Representation in this House, that it has no title to concern itself in Irish affairs but for the presence of the Irish Members, how does he reconcile that proposition with his policy and the policy of his Party—namely, that in Irish affairs the Irish Representatives are to have no voice whatever? What, I would ask, is the object of retaining the Irish Members in this Parliament for the pleasure of clôturing them? What is the object of retaining the Irish Members in this Parliament if for all futurity you are to pursue the same course which has been consistently pursued during this Session —namely, that on all questions relating to Ireland the voice of the Irish Members is not to be listened to, and they are to have no voice in the decision of them? It has come to be almost a commonplace with the noble Lord that important Irish questions are to be settled by English and Scotch Members without reference to Irish Members at all. And yet he says the only title of the House to deal with them arises from the presence of the Irish Members. I leave it to the ingenuity of the noble Marquess to reconcile these apparently irreconcilable positions. We have now reached the conclusion of these long debates, and you have practically got the Bill passed. You have worked hard for it, and now what will this Bill do for you? It is now about time to think of the value it will be to you. It is perfectly true that you may get a number of Gentlemen sitting round me, and get myself, into gaol. Certainly we shall not alter our course in Ireland by a single iota. Supposing you have 10 or perhaps 15 Irish Members in gaol by the time Parliament meets again, does any one of you really suppose that you will have advanced the solution of the Irish problem, or that the Irish Question will remain quiescent? Do you believe that you can in that way get rid of the trouble which the Irish Question gives you in this House and in Ireland? Supposing even that we wished to withdraw from our policy, which we certainly do not—we could not withdraw from it—we should have to hide our faces and fly to the uttermost ends of the earth if we turned our backs on our principles and our policy. But do you imagine that we are so lost to all sense of shame that we are going now to lie down and deny every principle which we have preached to our people— could we desert them now in their hour of trial? ["Hear, hear !"] An hon. Member says "Hear hear." Well, I do not think we have given you any cause to suppose anything of the sort. I do not pretend to have the warlike courage of Members opposite. But this is not a question of courage—it is a question whether we are men lost to every sense of honour and shame, and men who would desert our people when danger came. The man who turned his back on a cause like this, who denied all the principles he had preached to the people and deserted them in the hour of their danger, would be unable to live on the face of the earth. Widely as Irishmen are scattered no English-speaking country would receive him. We have no choice in the matter. We must go forward: and I leave it to you to say how the matter is to end. I come now to the conclusion of the speech of the noble Marquess, when he said, to my surprise, that he denied the condition of Ireland after 700 years of English rule was so altogether unsatisfactory or dishonourable to England. Well, I must confess that part of his speech astonished me more than anything else. Does any Member opposite consider it is either satisfactory or honourable, no matter to whom it is attributed, even if I say it is our fault? Does it not show a contemptible and miserable condition of government to allow a few poor men, such as we are, to shake your government in Ireland to its foundations? No matter what you attribute to us in the way of base motives, conspiracy, and the other charming charges you have made against us. Even if we were all as black as you paint us—even if Ireland were brought into, its present condition by our action, it is a condemnation of the government which has existed during the last 86 years, because it shows conclusively that whatever our policy may be the Government has not succeeded in founding itself upon the affection of the people or securing to itself their sympathies. It is an artificial government—it is a tottering government that is propped on bayonets and not resting on the confidence of the people. The people look to it not as a protecting power, as every Government ought to be, but as a hostile power, which they view with suspicion, and taking it at your own estimate the English government in Ireland is a government which can be maintained only by external force, and which has not a permanent foundation upon the confidence and the affections of Ireland.


At the close of this long debate I certainly shall not trespass on the attention of the House, by endeavouring to review the whole of this complicated, and, as it seems to me, ill-omened Bill; but I would ask leave to inquire what is the object of the Bill, and what are the purposes which the Government expect to attain by it? We have been told over and over again, and I suppose we shall be finally told it again to-night, that the object of the Bill is to restore law and order in Ireland. What do you mean by restoring law and order in Ireland? As far as I know there is no disturbance of law and order in Ireland, except in the particular of the agrarian question, and I believe that that springs from the exaction of excessive and exorbitant rents. I do not think that can be denied. There was some Moonlighting six months ago; but that has been put a stop to by the ordinary law, and it is not for that purpose that this Bill has been introduced. The more we have pressed the Government for the real object of this Bill, the more it is apparent that this Bill is directed against what they consider to be dangerous and unlawful combinations. It is not intended to put a stop to the scenes at Bodyke. It will encourage the repetition of such scenes. The only object of this Bill is to put down what you call unlawful combinations, or conspiracies, if you so prefer it. Against the evil of excessive and exorbitant rents there is no remedy given at all. This is admitted by the Cowper Commission. It is asserted in the Report of that Commission that the rents are too high—I mean the judicial rents that were fixed some years ago. Is that true? We have before us the Returns for March and April—the most recent figures in regard to rent. They are astounding figures. They show that the estimate of the Cowper Commission was too low by half of the excess of the rents in Ireland. Of course, the estimate of the Cowper Commission was only a rough estimate; but these are the judicial decisions of the men who have gone into the cases. I will take the case of the County of Kilkenny, not for any special reason, but because it is complete. Now, the judicial rent in March and April was £1,369. The old rent was £2,364; and I may as well give the old tenement valuation, which in former times was lower than the actual rent, or the judicial rent. As compared with the judicial rent the tenement rent was £1,857, so that the judicial rent is £500 lower than the tenement rent. What does that mean? It means that the judicial rent now fixed is about 45 per cent lower than the old rent, and about 30 per cent lower than the tenement rent. These are the figures for the month of March. The figures for April are equally strong. The judicial rent was £2,540, and the former rent £4,000, the tenement rent being £3,562, or £1,000 higher than the newly fixed judicial rent. If you take the figures throughout the whole of Ireland, you will find that they give £6,000 judicial rent as compared with £9,000 former rents, and £7,642 the old tenement rent. What is the conclusion I draw from that? That the judicial rents fixed before the fall in prices were lowered 20 percent, when they ought to have been lowered 40 per cent, in order to make them fair rents, and that is the difficulty for which in your Land Bill you offer no efficient legal remedy. You give a remedy to the leaseholders, because they will have a now revision, but you give no efficient remedy to the holders of judicial rents, because you will give them no revision at all. What is the consequence of that? You refuse a legal remedy, and the tenants of Ireland who are suffering from excessive rents have no redress whatever except that which they can find in combination. Now, bear in mind that I am not speaking of combinations which use intimidation as their instrument. I am speaking of combinations of men who are determined among themselves that they will not pay, and that to the utmost of their power they will resist the extortion of these exorbitant rents. In my opinion, the manner in which they have been met hitherto has been due to the operations of such combinations as have existed. That is the combination of which I am speaking. We tried to give them a remedy at law by the Act of 1881, but we failed. Why was it that we failed? We failed for two reasons. We failed, first, because of the fall in prices. That was one great cause of failure. There was another cause, of which I can only speak with indignation and with shame. I have heard from Ireland, and I believe it to be true, that the judicial rents were not fixed at the rate at which they ought to have been fixed in those years even, in consequence of the intimidation exercised upon the persons appointed to fix the judicial rents by the Commission appointed by the House of Lords. This House protested by its vote against that monstrous proceeding—the proceeding of a House of landowners, who were deeply and personally affected by the inquiry. You have heard a great deal about the intimidation of jurors by the National League. What do you say to the intimidation of Judges appointed to fix judicial rents by the House of landlords? That is what took place, and I believe it to be one of the reasons why the judicial rents were not fixed at the proper price. Now you have got no remedy by law. In my opinion, the Government are not going to give, as regards that class, at all events, of the tenants of Ireland, any remedy whatever by law. I doubt very much whether the ingenuity of any Statute could defeat that astuteness by which the landlords of Ireland, in the exaction of exorbitant rents, have defeated, in turn, every provision of the Legislature in favour of the tenants of Ireland. We know very well how they defeated the Compensation for Improvements Act of 1870, by confiscating the improvements, and by raising the rents in Ulster and elsewhere. Therefore, in my opinion, there is but one defence for the tenants of Ireland, and that is to be found in legitimate combination. I am obliged to say this, because, I confess, that until I read the evidence of the Cowper Commission, I could not have believed in the possibility of the organized injustice on the part of the landlords of Ireland towards the tenants of Ireland, which is revealed in the evidence of that Commission. I see the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh (Colonel Saunderson) in his place. I was attacked by the hon. and gallant Member the other night. I have not a word to say against him. He has a good-humoured ferocity which charms his foes. We are pleased with the good humour, and we do not take his ferocity seriously. This I will say, that if all the landlords of Ireland were like the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh I do not think we should ever have heard of this Bill. But the real truth is that the hon. and gallant Member is just one of those swallows who do not make a summer. He is the exception to the rule. I do not, to use a phrase of my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone), attribute any special original sin to the landlords of Ireland; but, as the hon. Member for North-West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) said to-night, as a proof of the prosperity of Ireland, that they have borrowed so much money on mortgage—the real fact is that the landlords of Ireland are in a position in which they cannot afford to be just or humane. We have had a very similar description of the landlords of Ireland given by an authority which I think even the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh will accept—certainly he will accept it much more readily than any authority of mine—for it is the authority of the Prime Minister of England. The noble Lord was speaking on the subject of the evictions in Ireland, and he asked why it is that these evictions take place in Ireland when they do not occur in England? And he made this remark, which hon. Members opposite recognize to be true —that in England the landlord does not evict his tenants; he does not want to got rid of them; his great object is to keep his tenants, and he will make great sacrifices in order to do so—I do not mean from mere motives of interest, but from higher motives. But in Ireland the great object was to get rid of the tenants. What does Lord Salisbury say of the Irish landlord? In this sentence is to be found the whole history of the agrarian question in Ireland. Lord Salisbury said—and I will read his words, for I think they will go deep into the consciences of the, people of England, and I am sure they will be recognized as true by the people of Ireland—Lord Salisbury said— It is the interest of the Irish landlord to get rid of his tenant who has become a burdensome obligation on the land, which can only be got rid of by getting rid of the tenant. I hope these words will be remembered and thought out by the people of England, for they are the true account for generations of the history of the relations between the landlords and the tenants of Ireland. It is the interest of the Irish landlord to get rid of his tenant, as Lord Salisbury says. [Colonel SAUNDERSON: Certainly not.] I had hoped that the hon. and gallant Member would have been more loyal to his Leader. The noble Lord was disavowed by the hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. Johnston) the other day, and he is now disavowed in another quar- ter. Although the hon. and gallant Gentleman may not agree with Lord Salisbury, I hope he will excuse me for taking a course which is more loyal to his Chief than his own. Lord Salisbury, it is true, tries to make out that that condition of things is the result of the legislation of 1881. Well, was there ever such an example of the fable of the wolf and the lamb? Why, the legislation of 1881 was found to be necessary, because it was the interest of the Irish landlord to get rid of his tenant, and to prevent him from doing so. What is the history of the great evictions in all the periods preceding 1881? It is a notorious fact that every famine, every period of distress, was made use of by the Irish landlords to evict their tenants. What is the Irish tenant—this "burdensome obligation" to the Irish landlord? He is the man who has made the value of the land. He is the sucked orange that is thrown away, and the value of the land which he has created is parted with or sold to someone else, and the more often and the more readily the Irish landlord can get rid of this "burdensome obligation" the greater he finds it his interest to do so. That being the situation, as I believe it has been truly stated by the Prime Minister of England, of the interests of the Irish landlord, it can be met in one way and one way only, and that is by legitimate combination of the tenants of Ireland to resist this interest and desire on the part of the landlord to get rid of them. You talk of the American Irish. We have heard a good deal of the American Irish in this debate. Who are the American Irish? They are the "burdensome obligations" of Lord Salisbury who have been expelled from their native land by the cupidity of the landlords. These are the men of whom you complain that they do not love you; they are the "third and fourth generation of them that hate you." And why do they hate you? Because they have found in the English Government the supporters of the system which has expelled them from their native land. These American Irish, whom you are never tired of denouncing, who are they, or who were they? They were the victims, and they are the Nemesis of the Irish landlords. What are these poor "burdensome obligations," who are all to be got rid of, to do? They are to combine, and, in my opinion, they have a right to combine. They have a case to combine, and they ought to be supported in combining, as you have supported the English artizans in combining in defence of their interests. There never was a class so defenceless; there never was a class so cruelly ill-used; and there is not a class in the United Kingdom which, unless they are protected in their right of combination, are more certain to be cruelly ill-used in the future. And I condemn this Bill mainly because it attacks not only illegitimate and unlawful combinations, but because it attacks the right to form legitimate combinations on the part of this class. It is upon that right that I ask leave to press some arguments upon the House. We have said that you have refused to the Irish tenants what you have granted to the trades unions in England, and I will endeavour to state as fairly and clearly as I can the grounds on which I maintain that assertion. The history of trades unions is very instructive. They began with acts of violence and outrage, which were condemned, and rightly condemned. They were punished, and rightly punished, for that. But as the trades unions went on they became more educated and more reasonable, and they entered upon peaceful combination by methods which they considered lawful. It is the fashion now to say—"The trades unions were excellent institutions, and we always thought so." Take the file of The Times newspaper, and you will find that exactly the same language was held 25 years ago about trade unions as is now held about the National League. I remember that when we began the struggle for the protection of the trades unions we were denounced almost as much as we are now, and the language which was held about trade combinations was exactly the language which is now held about the Plan of Campaign. Although the trades unions adopted these peaceful combinations the law did not protect them, and the Judges condemned them. In the celebrated case of the gas-stokers the mere breach of a civil contract was treated as a criminal offence, and the men, if I remember right, were sent to prison. There is a vulgar error abroad that to break a contract constitutes a criminal offence. It is nothing of the kind. Every man has a right to break a contract subject to the civil consequences of breaking it. To treat it as a crime is contrary to the first principles of law. There may be an action for damages and a breach of specific performance; but it is not a criminal offence. It ought not to be so treated, although the Judges chose to treat the breach of contract as a criminal offence in the case of the gas-stokers. But what did Parliament do? Did Parliament follow the Judges in this respect? Did the Government read the Judges' charges? Did they put the combination down? Not at all. Did they introduce a Coercion Bill against the artizans of England to enforce the decisions of the Judges? No; they abrogated the doctrine of the Judges—they protected the trades unions against the application of that doctrine. Why was that? Because the artizans of England were able to influence the majority of the House of Commons, and the tenants of Ireland can get no hearing from the majority of the House of Commons. That is why they are treated differently. Now, that doctrine laid down by the Judges in the case of the trades unions was repealed only in respect of trades unions and of persons who come within their protection. It is an unjust doctrine applied to anybody. If the Code had passed into law it would have been abrogated, because it distinctly proposed to abrogate it, but it is extant. It can be brought out by the Irish magistrates and the Irish Judges, and that which you deemed unjust to be applied to the English artizans can be applied to-morrow by the Irish Judges against the tenants of Ireland. I am sure that the Attorney General, the other night, did not intentionally mislead the House. I know that he is incapable of doing anything of the kind. But he did not understand what our point was. He referred to the words "now punishable by law." What is meant by the words "now punishable by law?" Of course, everybody not within the protection of the Trade Unions Act is punishable by law under the old Common Law doctrine. That old Common Law doctrine, which you discredited and denounced and condemned when it was brought before you, by the 1st sub-section of the 2nd clause, you bring fully into operation against the tenants of Ireland. The Attorney General went off at the phrase of a "new crime." In one sense, no doubt, it is not a new crime. What we proposed under our Amendments was that against that old doctrine you should give to the tenants of Ireland the same protection you gave to the trades unions of England. But you refused it. I argued it, and am prepared to argue it, that you may answer; and depend upon it there is not a town or a village in England that shall not be made to understand it. You deliberately refuse protection against the old oppressive Common Law doctrine of combination to the tenants of Ireland, although you have granted it to the artizans of England. I defy any man on that Bench to say that that Common Law doctrine is not that doctrine which, by the words "now punishable by law," the magistrates are invited to put into force against the tenants of Ireland. This clause says anybody is to be punished who is now punishable by law under that old doctrine, who induces any person not to fulfil his legal obligations. It has been said that it is a plausible argument; that the trades unions offer no analogy to the case of the tenants, because the tenant remains in possession of the land; whereas in the case of combination to break a contract for labour, the contract is simply dissolved, and the parties are remitted to their original position. I admit the plausibility of the argument, but allow me to give my answer to it. That assumes that the landlord is the sole owner of the soil. He is not the sole owner of the soil. He is a co-partner in the proprietorship of the soil. [Cries of "No, no !" from the Ministerial Benches.] You say "No;" and yet in the same breath hon. Members on those Benches denounce dual ownership. What do you mean by it? If the tenant is not a co-partner, what do you mean by dual ownership? I say that he is entitled to his improvements; that he is entitled to fixity of tenure; and that he is a copartner in the soil; and if the rent is raised in an unjust and exorbitant manner, what is it but this—that one co-partner forces the other out of the concern and compels him to lose his share? That argument, so plausible at first sight, has really nothing in it. But it is not only the question of the tenure of the land, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian has pointed out—it is not a law confined to men re- maining on the land, but it is directed not only to contracts in land, but against combinations of people who have entered into no contract in land, and are not on the land, but who may have entered into any agreement with reference to the letting, hiring, using, or occupying of any laud, or dealing with or working for any person in the ordinary course of business or trade; and every combination for any purpose is made criminal by this Bill under the old Common Law doctrine; and the magistrates are invited so to treat it. I say, then, that this Bill, in that respect, strikes at the rights of tenants in Ireland, which ought to be protected, as similar rights are protected in the case of the artizans of England, under the Trade Unions Act. Then, the Attorney General said—"We have only changed the method of procedure." Only changed the method of procedure ! Well, Sir, in this, the most difficult of all questions of law, bad as the Combination Laws under the old interpretation of the Judges were, you had at least the protection of the Judge; you had the protection of the jury. You are going to take away both of these safeguards in respect of the administration of this Criminal Law. Now, I will just give an illustration of what it amounts to when the Attorney General says—"We only changed the method of procedure." Suppose the Attorney General came down with a Bill on the subject of political libel, and said—"We will alter the law, and make it criminal before a police magistrate." He would say— "We have only changed the procedure. It is no new crime. We have only taken away the jury and taken away the Judge, and have made the trial for criminal libel to be conducted before a magistrate. It is quite unimportant. We have only changed the procedure." What would the English people say to that? It is quite obvious that the whole object of the Bill is to bring this cruel law of combination into operation before the Resident Magistrates—which you abrogated in the case of trades unions—and to take away the old safeguards of the Judge and jury, which mitigated the operation of these laws against combination. Then, Sir, this is a highly technical and difficult law to administer. That was admitted by the Chief Secretary for Ireland in a moment of candour. In answer to an appeal made to him by me he admitted the injustice of leaving a question of this kind to the Resident Magistrate; and he said—"We mean to give an appeal in every case to the County Court Judge." It was pointed out to the right hon. Gentleman that in sentences under a month no such appeal was given under the existing law. He said he would amend the law in that respect, and give an appeal to the County Court Judge in every case. Well, Sir, when the time came he did not give it. This is the most critical question in the most critical part of the Bill, because this is the part which is meant to be worked against the tenants of Ireland—meant to be worked by and for the landlords of Ireland against the tenants for the exaction of inordinate rents. On this critical point where do we find the pledges of Her Majesty's Government? The Chief Secretary for Ireland has been distinctly charged, both by myself and by hon. Members below the Gangway, with having broken his pledge. [Ministerial cries of "No !"] [Mr. MAURICE HEALY: Yes.] We have not had one word of explanation, not one word of apology, not one word of defence from the Government upon this point. The Attorney General—who might have defended or apologized for the conduct of the Government, and who might have shown, in some way or other, that this pledge had been fulfilled—has spoken and avoided the subject. I tell the House that the assertion that in the existing law the pledge has already been fulfilled is entirely without foundation. By the 14 & 15 Vict. c. 93 —the Petty Sessions Act for Ireland— an appeal is given in cases of imprisonment exceeding one month. There is no appeal under that Act when the sentence is under one month. The Chief Secretary for Ireland said that an appeal would be given in all cases, whether the sentence was above a month or under a month. That was his distinct promise. Since it was made he has told us that he has found a law which will permit an appeal in every case. As far as I know in the absence of any other explanation, he could only be referring to 20 & 21 Vict. c. 43—the Act to improve the administration of the law as far as respects summary proceedings before the Justices of the Peace; but that Statute only permits the statement of a case for argument before a Superior Court, and gives no appeal similar to the one asked for. I am speaking in the presence of many lawyers, and they know that the appeal given by the first Act which I have mentioned is for a rehearing of the whole case, facts, and law and evidence included, and is a valuable thing; but the other thing, which is a mere statement of a case upon a legal point, is utterly without value for the purpose which we have in view. To bring forward such an appeal as that as a fulfilment of the pledge of the Government is a complete mockery and delusion; and, therefore, unless there is some other and some further explanation upon a point with reference to which the Government have been most painfully silent, I can only say that this Bill will go forth stamped upon its face in its most material part with the stigma of broken pledges. Then, I say that the Irish tenants have much need to combine—that they ought to combine. I am not speaking now of the Intimidation Clauses of the Bill, to which I referred on the second reading, and I say again, I do not object, for I am altogether opposed to the use of intimidation. I am speaking of the Conspiracy Clauses, which are aimed at mere combinations of men in defence of their own rights. I hope the Irish tenants and their advisers will confine themselves strictly within the lines taken up by the trades unions in this country. I cannot promise them that that will save them from the effect of this Bill, because the measure is meant to attack them just as the trades unions were attacked before they were protected by the Act of 1875. They are meant to be attacked in the same manner and upon the same principle. They will probably be punished and imprisoned as the members of trades unions were punished and imprisoned before 1875; but when that has happened their case will be understood by the people of this country; it will be understood by the Parliament of this country, and I venture to assert that we will never rest until the same protection is given to them which has been given to the artizans in England. Now, this is what you are doing in the name of law and order. Why, you are making laws which are provoking disorder. There is comparatively little crime in Ireland now. I hope that after this Bill has been passed into law the same thing may be said. I trust that as the result of this measure crime will not increase in Ireland. I do not believe that the Bill will diminish crime. I pass now to the only other point upon which I intend to speak—the 6th and 7th clauses of the Bill, by which absolute discretion is given to the Lord Lieutenant with respect to the proclamation of associations. The Lord Lieutenant may declare any association dangerous, and it becomes unlawful by virtue of that declaration. Not even the Resident Magistrate will have power to hear and decide. I wonder you do not rely solely upon that clause. By its aid alone you might destroy every combination in Ireland, and put down every tenant. How do you defend this clause? You defend it by a reference to the Act of 1881. The Chief Secretary the other night said—"You passed that Act, and a detestable Act it was." [An hon. MEMBER: A monstrous Act.] Yes, a monstrous Act. The Act of 1881, whether a monstrous Act or not, made an enormous mistake. It certainly proved so. The discretion vested in Mr. Forster, and exercised by him, became intolerable in the opinion, not only of Ireland, but of this country. Why was it condemned? Why was it abandoned? Why was it called by the Chief Secretary for Ireland a monstrous Act? It was because it vested the discretion of imprisoning men in the Secretary for Ireland, or in the Lord Lieutenant, and because the people of this country would not tolerate powers so exercised, or such a discretion. Therefore it was abandoned. It has been denounced by the Chief Secretary for Ireland. [Mr. A. J. BALFOUR: Hear, hear !] "Hear, hear," and yet, forsooth, when the right hon. Gentleman is challenged on the 6th and 7th clauses, he says—"I defend myself upon the Act of 1881, and that is why we have introduced this Bill." You say you have safeguards. What are your safeguards? Your safeguard is your Parliamentary majority. That is your safeguard for the liberties of the Irish people. Whatever the Lord Lieutenant might wish to do, there is not a Gentleman opposite who would not vote in support of it. Why, the Liberal Unionists have said that in the name of the Union they will vote for anything. It used to be said—"Oh, religion, what crimes are committed in thy name !" Now, in the name of the Union, there is no crime that will not be committed and approved. These are the safeguards you offer under the Bill. I am sorry my noble Friend the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington) is not here at this moment; because I would like to ask him for an explanation of a very remarkable utterance which he made not very long ago. He did not repeat it in this House to-night. He was speaking of certain conferences which have taken place, of which I happen to know something, and he said that if only those had come to a successful issue, if the proposals that he had made at various times on the subject of Home Rule had been accepted, that then this Coercion Bill would never have been necessary. Now, that is a very dark saying. It seems to mean that if we had come to a certain agreement about the character of the Irish Members at Westminster, and their remaining there, and about certain arrangements with reference to the government of Ulster, and with reference to the Judges and the police, he would have voted against this Coercion Bill. Then what becomes of the assertion that this Coercion Bill is necessary to put down crime? As far as my noble Friend and his Party are concerned, this Coercion Bill has been adopted merely as a screw to carry out their particular plan of Home Rule; and unless there is some other explanation to give, I can come to no other conclusion. We have resisted this Bill as an evil; you have promoted it—I believe sincerely promoted it—because you believe it to be a good measure. You are as sincere in taking away the present rights of the Irish people as your ancestors were in refusing all civil rights to the great majority of the people of Ireland. You speak of the Union now just as they spoke of our Protestant constitution in Church and State, which they believed would be utterly and irretrievably ruined if the Catholics were allowed to have votes. You appeal to popular prejudice and passion exactly in the same way. Why, in those good old days the Pope played the part that the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) plays now, and everybody who had communication with him was treated exactly as if he was a confederate in "Parnellism and Crime." You always had some bogey with which to delude the unwary. But then, in time, the people ceased to be alarmed at bogeys. We are not the least afraid, as your ancestors were, of the Pope conquering England. I do not believe even the Home Secretary fears that to-night. Your "Parnellism and Crime" bogey is ceasing to have any more effect than the good old Pope used to have on the good old people of England. The Liberal had to fight a hard struggle against those prejudices, and against those arguments. They suffered much in that cause; but at least they won civil rights for the great majority of people in Ireland in Catholic emancipation. We are fighting now against your taking away those rights, and even more than the rights which were then conceded. We shall win in the long run this battle as we won that battle. Every day you are losing votes, and we are winning them. You cannot always deceive the people whatever nonsense you may talk about— "Parnellism and Crime," the Union, and all the rest of it. That is all very well for a short time; but in a country where intelligence is spread and argument goes it wears off, and this Bill will do very much to undeceive the people of England. In that sense, if the noble Lord the Member for South Paddington (Lord Randolph Churchill) will allow me to borrow a phrase from him—he has so many good phrases that I am sure he can spare one—I believe this Bill will be a blessing in disguise. It will awaken the minds of the people of England; it will make them understand what are the fundamental and necessary conditions of your system of government in Ireland. It may be a difficult and a painful—it may be even a shameful lesson, but it may also be a necessary lesson. The operation of this Bill will expound to the people of England the true principles of the great pillars upon which the great Party of the Unionists rests. Now, there are the Liberal Unionists who profess to be Home Rulers. They say they always were Home Rulers; they say they were all for self-government in Ireland. I observe that to-night in supporting this Bill the Leader of the Liberal Unionists said not one single word about the remedial measures for improving the system of government in Ireland. But other Members of that Party, who profess to hold the same opinions, have superadded this fundamental condition—they are perfectly willing to improve the government of Ireland, and give to it those blessings of self-government which they so much value and admire; but they make it a fundamental condition of the concession of self-government to Ireland that you should perpetually abrogate all the civil rights of the people of Ireland. That is only the superstructure upon which they will build a system of self-government. Those are the doctrines of what are sometimes called the Radical Unionists, and sometimes—the noble Lord will correct me if I am wrong—the National Party. The noble Lord had such signal success with a Party of four that he thinks he is going to double its success by halving the number. Well, you have made great sacrifices for this measure. You have sacrificed the character and the reputation of the House of Commons. You say, in effect, that you do not value the reputation and character of the House of Commons, and it is a proof of your sincerity that you make such a sacrifice as that you have sacrificed everything for coercion. ["No, no !"] You will have sacrificed your own souls. [Cries of "Oh !" and "Withdraw !"] Before you have done with this policy of coercion, you will have sacrificed a great deal more than you have sacrificed already—you will have sacrificed all the traditions of liberty and freedom which are dear to the English people. When you have done that, the English nation will have learnt at what price—you must carry out this policy. [Mr. CHAPLIN: Hear, hear !] I am glad to be interrupted by the approval of the right hon. Member for the Sleaford Division of Lincolnshire (Mr. Chaplin). I know that in his county my opinions are largely held. [An hon. MEMBER: Spalding !] Well, this is the policy of the National Party, which went to the hustings with the cry of equal laws for both nations. We all remember the declaration of the noble Lord the Member for South Paddington when he was not a co-partner with the National Party, but a Leader of the Party opposite, and when he said he was all for the identity and the simultaneity of the law in England and in Ireland, and this Bill is to illustrate the equality and the simultaneity of the law in the two countries. I have spoken of one fundamental principle upon which Unionism rests, and I will speak now of another. The other principle upon which it rests is that under no condition shall you pay any regard to the opinion of the Representatives of Ireland. That is the other fundamental condition; that has been stated not only in the vulgar slanders published every day, but solemnly by the noble Marquess the Member for Rossendale. He says that it is a sine quâ non in the settlement of the Irish Question that the Irish Members shall not be consulted, and the policy of the Government made agreeable to them. That is the fundamental condition on which Unionism rests. Of course, you are not going to consider or to listen to the confederates of assassins. That is the language held by the Union Leader. That is the policy of the Unionist Party, and on that they hope to maintain the Union. What do you have the Irish Members here for? Is it for the purpose of defaming them and of calling them assassins? That is why you keep them here, and you denounce anyone who pays any attention to their opinions, or gives any support to the policy which it is the interest of their country to promote. Do you think that those two principles are likely to recommend the Union or Unionism to the affections of the Irish people? This coercion and this rejection of the opinions of the Irish people are the two principles that hold you together. I do not know that you have any other principle which you hold in common. Then you are going to pass this Bill, and when you have passed it, do you think you will have got rid of all the matters which it involves? Why, your troubles will then only have begun. The Chief Secretary for Ireland has had to explain and defend this Bill, and when it is passed he will have a great deal more difficult task to accomplish. He has got to use this Bill when he goes to Ireland, if he ever does go there. What will happen to him in Ireland? He will be put under the harrow of the Tory landlords in Ireland, who will say to him—"Now you have got your powers, get us our rents." we have had a full description of a military charge of cavalry from the hon. Baronet the Member for North-West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Barttelot), which he would insist upon being performed by the Chief Secretary for Ireland. The Chief Secretary will have to put a great many of these "burdensome obligations"—the tenants of Ireland—into prison. Do you think that that will lighten your labours in this House, or that it will relieve the House? Why, when you have got these arbitrary powers there is no place where the exercise of them can be challenged except in this House; and as long as this Bill remains law, in my opinion the greater part of the time of the House of Commons will be taken up in examining how it is exercised. You will have a more difficult task than you ever had before. You will have to administer a Bill of this kind under the careful scrutiny of a great part of the people of this country. You will have to administer a Bill condemned by the great majority of the people of Scotland. [A laugh.] Oh, I know you do not believe in representative government; and if the majority of the Scotch Representatives vote against the Bill to-night, you will say that is nothing —that they do not represent the people of Scotland. You say it of Ireland, why not say it of Scotland? You will have to administer a Bill condemned by Wales. [A laugh.] Yes; laugh at Wales; laugh as you please, but he laughs best who laughs last. You will have to administer this Bill against the opinion of a large and, I venture to say, increasing section of the English people. I do not speak of the opinion of the people of Ireland, because that you profess to despise, and will not attend to; and the fact that it will be against the opinion of the people of Ireland is its great recommendation in your eyes. The more this Bill is worked, the more apparent it will become what is involved and what is the price you will have to pay for your system of government in Ireland. [A laugh] You may laugh. I know you despise them. I do not condemn you. It is your opinion; it is your principle. But I do not despise the Representatives of Ireland; and I would say to them that the darker the night for them the nearer is the dawn. The people of Ireland may have to suffer much grievous injustice and much intolerable wrong under the administration of this Bill; but I hope that they will endure it with patience and with hope. I believe that injustice and wrong will be the road finally to their emancipation from injustice; I believe that the operation of this Bill will be the main instrument of converting the English people to the method we have proposed in place of coercion; and when the people of this country come fully to understand the spirit and the policy which the Government of this country are pursuing in this Bill, they will, I feel firmly convinced, condemn it as it deserves to be condemned.


Mr. Speaker, I do not doubt, if I may paraphrase the last words of the right hon. Gentleman, that when the people of this country come to understand the spirit and the policy which have animated the Government and the Unionist majority in passing this Bill they will know how to judge them. I do not for a moment wish to contend that the Government can be blind to the immense difficulties in the way of the administration of the Bill which the right hon. Gentleman has foreshadowed. He has warned us that as the Opposition has fought this Bill line by line, so when it is administered —and he does not say whether administered harshly or not—the whole time of the House will be employed in discussing the mode in which that administration takes place. That is the prospect which the ex-Home Secretary holds out to the Executive Government. I shall not pause for a single moment to inquire when the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) ceased to be a bogey to the ex-Home Secretary. A chronological inquiry into the various revolutions of the right hon. Gentleman's mind would be interesting; but it would take us too far from the serious issues with which we have to deal. I am bound to say that the right hon. Gentleman exhibited a shortness of memory in his speech tonight which I think he has scarcely equalled in any of his previous speeches on this Bill. I think my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) said that this is the 40th night of the discussion on this Bill. There seem to have been so many nights spent upon it that I am unable to enter into a calculation to test the correctness of the right hon. Gentleman's arithmetic. But, looking to the numerous nights on which we have dis- cussed this Bill, it would, I think, be abusing the indulgence of the House if I were to interpose very long between it and the Division to which we shall shortly come; but I shall be obliged if the House will patiently listen while I reply to some of the observations that have been made in the course of this debate on the third reading. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian and other Members who have spoken have insisted upon the point that this Bill is more drastic, and goes further than any Bill proposed by a previous Administration, and the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down stated that the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland had defended the Bill on the precedent of the Bill of 1881. Not only did the right hon. Gentleman denounce that Bill of 1881, to which I think he was a party, but he asked how the Chief Secretary, who used some strong expressions in regard to it, can say that it is a justification for the present measure. The right hon. Gentleman misunderstood the point of the remark that has been made. Our contention is not that this Bill is justified, because previous Bills even more drastic have been passed. That would be no justification whatever. Our contention is, that it is necessary under the circumstances. That is our justification, and it has been our duty, will be our duty, and ought to be our duty; and it does not lie in the mouth of the right hon. Gentleman opposite to denounce the Bill as going further than previous Bills, when it is a fact that the Bill of 1881 abridged the liberties of the people of Ireland to a degree which this Bill certainly does not. It was by way of correcting this mistaken impression—an impression it has been sought to spread abroad, that this Bill ought never to have been introduced on account of its drastic character—that it was necessary to point out, as has been pointed out with success, that the Bill of 1881 was far more drastic. [Cries of "No !"] Hon. Members opposite say "No." Have they never heard of the number of men who were imprisoned under it without trial, without the possibility of trial on mere suspicion, at the discretion of the Executive? I know it is the fashion to say that that Bill created no new crimes, and that great emergencies required great remedies. [An hon. MEMBER: Were they perpetual?] I will deal with that matter presently. I think I have said enough to show that the Government have introduced this Bill, although it undoubtedly abridges the liberties of the subject, in order to secure the restoration of law and order. That is the point I make, and I will not weary the House with a summing-up to show how previous Bills have gone further than that. I maintain that this Bill falls short, and that it is in no respect stronger than previous measures. It is said that the Bill creates new crimes, and some legal Gentlemen have argued at great length whether it constitutes new crimes or not. My hon. Friend the Member for South Aberdeen (Mr. Bryce) said that this is such a technical matter that it is almost impossible, except for a person who is a lawyer himself, to understand it, and yet he afterwards said that this technical matter is one of the main points on which the opponents of the Bill rely. The hon. Member considered the point so technical that we poor laymen can scarcely understand it; but, nevertheless, he said it is the chief point they rely upon. It is also true that my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian put that last night in the forefront of his charge against the Bill. The charge he put in the forefront was that the Bill is of so technical a nature that the House can scarcely understand it. Nevertheless, one legal point was discussed at great, length by the right hon. Member for Derby—namely, the legal point, and a very important point it is, with regard to the parallel between trades unions and combinations of tenants in Ireland. I must admit that to the unsophisticated lay mind, if not to the legal mind, there seems to be the broadest possible distinction between trades unions in England and their methods, and the combinations of tenants which have taken place in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian spoke of lawful combinations and of un-lawful combinations in Ireland; but he did not enlighten us, as we should have wished to be enlightened, upon the point as to whether the combinations that have existed in Ireland have been, in his opinion, unlawful conspiracies, or have fallen under the category of lawful conspiracies. The right hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues were certainly very long silent with regard to the Plan of Campaign; but I have no doubt that he now holds that the Plan of Campaign was an illegal conspiracy. There is lawful and unlawful combination. Let me see if it is possible to recognize the difference between what is a legal combination and what is an illegal combination. I should hold that it would be a lawful combination on the part of the tenants of Ireland if they were to meet together, and say—"We will agree not to pay more rent than so and so, and we will leave our holdings if we cannot get a reduction." [A laugh.] An hon. Gentleman on the opposite side laughs. Well, that is the lawful action to take. But to agree not to do a certain thing, and to hold the land against the laws of the country without paying one farthing, is quite another thing. I hope, at all events, that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite will appreciate the broad distinction between those two combinations—a combination to do something which is illegal in itself, and a combination to do something which is perfectly legal. Against a combination like that on the part of the tenants, that they will not pay more than a certain rent, this Bill does not strike at all. But the Bill will strike, no doubt, against conspiracies amongst a certain number of men to do something which is unlawful and illegal, and against the laws of the country themselves; and I presume that if such an illegal and criminal conspiracy took place in England it would also be the opinion of most men that it ought to be punishable by law. I confess that I am incompetent to argue this question with lawyers. When lawyers have argued it, I have held that I might rely, and that we might rely, as much on the authority of my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General as upon the authority of my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby. We have sought the highest authority on these matters, and we contend, and will continue to contend, that the Bill which is now under consideration does not strike in any degree against such combinations as trades union combinations. We do not wish to strike at such combinations, and the Bill is so drawn that it leaves them untouched. And now one word as to the third point. I was reminded just now by an hon. Member below the Gangway that this Bill is permanent, and this is one of the stock arguments that has figured in many of the speeches of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. We have refused to put into this Bill a date at which the Act shall end, because of the experience to which my hon. Friend the Member for South Aberdeen pointed. My hon. Friend told us that were we to consult history and experience it would be shown that half the inefficiency of the Crimes Bills of the past had been due to the fact that they came to an immediate end at so short a period; that they kept this country in an unsettled state, because the determination of those Acts was made the occasions for the fight of political factions and Party struggles at elections. I do not think we could, in fact, inflict a greater damage on our future political prospects and on Ireland than if we were to again expose Parliament, in the near future, to such discussions as we have had to suffer during this Session. I think I might well, on behalf of the Government, put in this claim in the interest of English, Scotch, and Welsh fellow-subjects, that they should expect that we should not too soon again have to occupy ourselves almost exclusively with the affairs of Ireland, as we have been compelled to do during this Session; and so no date has been put into the Bill. But hon. Members opposite would indeed misread our sentiments, and would misinterpret our hopes, if they think that we believed this Bill would have to be absolutely permanent. It does not show that we wish to put what is called a stigma on Ireland by having a permanent Crimes Bill. We have shrunk from putting a date into the Bill, because it would necessitate at an early period, perhaps, the recurrence of these discussions, of which, Heaven knows, we have had enough. There is an interesting point which arises out of the whole argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian, and also illustrated in a striking manner by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt). The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian put it very pointedly to us in the forefront of his speech that this Bill was the necessary consequence of refusing Home Rule to Ireland. I believe I do not misinterpet my right hon. Friend who said—"You are driven to this Bill on account of your refusal to give Home Rule." But if that is the case, is this an Agrarian Bill or is it a political Bill? Hon. Members from Ireland have also insisted that this Bill is due to the rejection of the Home Rule Bill. But anyone who listened to the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby will be capable of judging what possible connection there is between the rejection of the Home Rule Bill and a Bill for regulating illegal combinations on the part of the tenants in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman dealt with this question as if it were simply an agrarian question, and he repeatedly charged us with this— that it is a Bill simply in the interest of the landlords. But, if that is so, what has it to do with Home Rule? I think I caught the words that "it is owing to the Government;" but I believe that this Bill would have been as absolutely necessary if Home Rule had been granted as it is now. And if not, why not? Would hon. Members above and below the Gangway opposite, then have ceased to take that keen interest in the tenants and their combinations which they now take? And how far would they have attempted to carry out the words of the hon. Member for North-East Cork (Mr. W. O'Brien), that landlordism would "die in the ditch?" Would that be the consequence of the adoption of the principle of Home Rule, and is it because that would be the consequence if Home Rule were passed that a Bill of this kind would never have been necessary? Does it mean that if the Home Rule Bill had become law there would have been no attempt to put down intimidation, Boycotting, or any of these illegal combinations? Or would it not have been necessary? But why not? Is this Boycotting, and are these other means employed with political objects, and not simply with agrarian objects? Is that part of their policy? I can see no connection between the two, unless there is this consequence —that as we fear, through the handing over of the government of Ireland to hon. Members below the Gangway, the interests of a certain class in Ireland would be entirely neglected, and neglected as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian himself expected they would be when he introduced, concurrently with his Home Rule Bill, his Bill which he thought necessary to preserve the rights of the landlords. It is not so very long ago since his Bill was introduced, and when it was introduced we did not hear from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby those denunciations of Irish landlordism to which we have listened in the course of the present discussion. When was it that my right hon. Friend began to hold these views with regard to the rack-renting landlords in Ireland? [Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT: When I read the Report of Lord Cowper's Commission.] At last we have a valuable confession. It was the right hon. Gentleman who has been conversant with Irish affairs since the year 1881, who had been a party to all the land reforms which had been passed, who had watched the affairs of Ireland, who had spoken on the affairs of Ireland, who had instructed all the constituencies, Session after Session, and autumn after autumn, with unparalleled energy; and he confesses he did not know what was the situation of Ireland until he read the Report of the Cowper Commission. I should like some of the constituencies of England to think of the perils which they have escaped, from the fact that the right hon. Gentleman was not sooner made acquainted with the affairs of Ireland. He had been a party to a proposal that the Irish landlords should be bought out at the expense of the Imperial Exchequer. And what if that Bill had been carried side by side with the other Bill of the late Government? But fortunately we succeeded in defeating both Bills. [Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear !] Oh, most splendid confession ! Oh, splendid cheers of repentance ! Think from what we have escaped. Under the guidance of the right hon. Gentleman we have been denounced throughout the length and breadth of the land for defeating his measures, and now he congratulates himself on being defeated.


Nothing of the sort.


The right hon. Gentleman says nothing of the sort. I should be extremely sorry to misrepresent the right hon. Gentleman.


You defeated the Land Bill.


No, no; I am too old a Parliamentary hand—I measured my words well, and I said both Bills. [Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE assented.] My right hon. Friend admits that I said both Bills; but I presume the "cheer" was only to apply to one of the two unfortunate measures which came into the world at that time. But my right hon. Friend will forgive me if I say that it does bespeak some rashness, to say the least, that, although the Bill was submitted to the country so short a time ago, he already repents of it. I remember, indeed, the significant words used towards the landlords of Ireland— "The sand is running through the hour glass." But the landlords were Irishmen, as well as owners of the land, and they thought that they could not accept the price in gold which the then Prime Minister offered them in return for severing their country from ours. Patriotic but foolish, they refused the offer of the right hon. Gentleman, and now the consequence is, the denunciations of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby to which we have listened this evening. We did not hear that tirade before, and all I can say is, that if my right hon. Friend has waited for these last few months to inform himself with regard to the situation of the Land Question in Ireland I am very much surprised at the negligence of such an industrious statesman. It is most important for the country to understand the fallacy which is continually submitted to it with regard to the agrarian nature of this present Bill. Hon. Members opposite imagine that it is an extremely popular mode of discrediting the Bill to represent it as a Bill simply in favour of the landlords. I think it was the hon. Member for North-East Cork who, speaking last night, said that this Bill was introduced in order to maintain the rights of the Clanricardes and O'Callaghans. ["Hear, hear !"] I can quite understand that, carried away by their feelings, they entertain that opinion; but that opinion is cheered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, although he knows of, and has at this moment in his possession, a Bill which has for its special object the prevention of harsh evictions. Do hon. Members deny that? [Cries of "Yes !"] Then they have great powers of denial, and I am surprised that that capacity is shared by the right hon. Gentleman. There is a Bill before the House—and let the country understand it—and it is the object of that Bill on which the right hon. Gentleman made a speech that I thought had been prepared for Monday, but which he appears to have fired off this evening—it is the object of that Bill to put a stop to harsh evictions. At all events, it is known that it is so; and although we have a Bill introduced for that purpose, they say we have introduced the present measure for the purpose of keeping up harsh rents. We deny that entirely. [Interruption.] I hope hon. Members below the Gangway opposite who have treated me with indulgence hitherto will continue to listen to the few remarks I have to make without too many interruptions, and I shall be very grateful to them if they will do so. I must admit that my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian has never taken that line with regard to the Bill—the line of representing it as a Bill for the simple purpose of keeping up the rents of the landlords. But I think we should have argued it, if I may venture to say so, in a more fair and just spirit. He has taken the line exposed by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland, of arguing it upon statistics alone. His argument with regard to statistics, I must say, was somewhat peculiar, because he compared the last five months of 1886 with the first five months of 1887. [Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE: 1885.] It may have been a slip of the tongue on the part of the right hon. Gentleman, but he certainly spoke of the first five months of 1887. That is my point. Any other five months I do not care about.


No; I compared the last five months of 1885 with the first five months of 1887?


Yes; the first five months of 1887, and the right hon. Gentleman said that as there was no increase, and as there was no argument to be founded upon those first five mouths of 1887, we ought not to have introduced the Bill, But, Sir, we introduced the Bill long before the first five months of 1887 had elapsed, and the right hon. Gentleman has quoted and pointed to a period which was not in existence when this Bill was brought into the House. I do not know what my right hon. Friend would reply to such an argument as that; but it shows that, notwithstanding his great powers of dealing with statis- tics, he may fall into an error, though he may not deem it so himself. I do not know whether the conversation which my right hon. Friend is now engaged in will elucidate the point; but I should like to know how the five months of this year, which would include May, bear upon this Bill? The argument of the right hon. Gentleman was that we had not made out any case for our Bill. We have, from the first, contended that this Bill was not to be argued upon the statistics of crime. I may remind the House, though I will not weary it by repeating the arguments and the passages read from previous speeches of my right hon. Friend, that he contended and showed conclusively that statistics of mere crime were no criterion whatever as to the necessity for legislation. We contend that it is the state of Ireland with which we have to deal. My right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary exposed the fallacy that it was only when there was an increasing ratio of crime that interference was required. If crime has reached a certain point, if it is in a dangerous state, if it is discreditable to the country, it ought to be dealt with irrespective of any other consideration. What is the condition of the country at the present time? An hon. Member below the Gangway thought to improve his case—the case against the Bill—by alluding to the charge recently delivered by Mr. Justice Holmes at Drogheda. I presume the argument to be that the opinion of the Judges and their charges ought, after all, to be considered. The case of the Government for the Bill is so eloquently and clearly stated in the charge of another Judge, just delivered, that it is worth while perhaps for me to read it to the House. It is the charge of a Judge who was appointed by the right hon. Member for Mid Lothian, on the recommendation of Lord Spencer. I do not think he was a political Judge. [Cries of "Oh, oh !"] He did not hold the Offices of Attorney or Solicitor General, and he was appointed by the present Head of the Home Rule Party of the present day. [Cries of "Oh, oh !"] Do not discredit the Judges who were appointed by those in whom you now place the most absolute confidence. These are the words which I say state the case of Her Majesty's Government, and are entitled to your consideration— You need not be told that there is in existence a form of unseen terrorism that interferes at present with all the relations of social life, penetrating every class and every relation, hampering and checking men in all their daily business and pursuits, and utterly hostile to that freedom and confidence of social life and civil life which are the foundation of all prosperity and all happiness in a country, and, as has so commonly happened in the past in Ireland, criminal means and criminal organizations once in existence are applied to other objects and other ends besides those for which they are brought into existence. It is not the relations connected with land alone, but every relation is affected by it more or less. Men cannot pursue their daily avocations; they cannot buy or sell; they cannot employ or dismiss their servants without being subjected to a species of tyranny so dire that it has become a common marvel—that I have heard expression given to in this and in other countries—that out of the common intelligence of all honest men, and out of the common instincts of natural life, some power has not risen up capable of putting down this dire form of oppression, and its results. Intimidation has produced no benefit to any class in the community; on the contrary, all evil that may be supposed or expected to arise from disturbance and from want of confidence are to be found as a consequence of the state of things. It is not alone that rents are not paid, but debts are not paid of any kind. Tenancies are broken, banks are idle, shopkeepers are straitened in their means, and you, who are in the presence of the evils yourselves, whose fortunes are cast in this country, and who cannot leave it, must become entirely conscious of the fact that as a result of this state of things disorder of every kind has been increased, public burdens have become greater, the poor have become poorer, and poverty and distress are unfortunately creeping over every class. These are the words of Judge O'Brien. ["Hear, hear !"] Why those cheers? It is true, I believe, that Mr. Judge O'Brien was engaged in the prosecution in the Phœnix Park murders. [Cries of "No !"] Why a Judge appointed by the Head of the Home Rule Party should, not be listened to I do not know, and I leave hon. Members below the Gangway to settle the point among themselves. That is a true description of the state of things which we wish to remedy —which we are determined to remedy. If that is a true state of things, and if the civilized world is indeed on the side of the Home Rule Party—on the side of those who are not startled by such a state of things—I think the ears of the civilized world must tingle. ["Hear, hear !" and "We do not believe it."] An hon. Member opposite says—" We do not believe it. "But they take their evidence—that portion of the civilized world—from the Members of the Home Rule Party. But if this is brought home, if statements such as these are brought to the ears of the civilized world, then I believe that they will think that we are not only fighting the battle of the Union between England and Ireland, but for principles which are important to every civilized country, and that we are bound to go forward in the task of dealing with such a question as this. I will not trouble the House at this late hour with any further quotations in reference to this point; but I maintain that I have shown that up to the month of June, and even into the present month of July, terrorism is progressing in Ireland, and resolutions of the National League are being passed with regard to intimidation, and that this system is in full vigour, and is flourishing at the present time. But we are told that, notwithstanding all this, we have to face the verdict of the civilized world on the question. I have been challenged upon this point by the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon), and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian not only made a great deal of the opinions of the civilized world, not as was pointed out by my noble Friend the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington), in the same acceptation in which he treats the verdict of Great Britain and Ireland—namely, the masses —but appealed in foreign countries to the enlightened opinion of literary men, which, he states, condemns us. I think that the right hon. Gentleman got into some little confusion, because, while in one portion of his speech he seemed to think that the civilized world condemned the present action of the Unionist Party, in another portion of it he showed that what it was that the civilized world condemned was the system under which we had governed Ireland in the past. [Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE: Down to the present time.] But the literature of the civilized world is often sis months, and even 12 months, in arrear; and that portion of it with which I have been acquainted has been mainly engaged in denouncing our sins of the past, and not in condemning the present action of the Unionist Party, but were referring, I am sorry to say, to a portion of the time when the right hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues, of whom I was proud to be one, were engaged in endeavouring to conciliate the people of Ireland. I do not think the civilized world were acquainted with the efforts of the right hon. Gentleman to redress the balance of evils in the past. The interest in the literature of the civilized world will not be less when it is seen that an ex-Prime Minister of England has dissociated himself from all his former traditions. It is untrue that the civilized world condemns the action of England in struggling for unity. I do not think that my right hon. Friend would be able to find one trained statesman in Europe who would not say that we should be committing an act of suicidal policy if we had adopted the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman. I have had an opportunity of communicating with many of the Representatives of our Colonies, who told me that if we had made the surrender the right hon. Gentleman had urged upon us to the avowed enemies of England they would have ceased to believe in the power of England. [Cries of "Name?"] Name, indeed ! Why, when the hon. Member opposite spoke of the millions of Irish in America, did we cry name? I should like very much to know some of the names in that case. When the hon. Member favours us with the names of those millions, I may be induced to give him the names of those I am referring to. I say that we ought to accept the evidence that has been brought to us from America with the greatest caution. I am not going—and I hope the hon. Member for East Mayo will not think that I would sneer at the great American people—nor shall I, for one moment, deny what he contends for, that the opinion of our cousins in America is of value to us in this country. But I have heard many and many Americans laugh at the idea that we should take seriously the statements made in this country at electioneering meetings which have taken place in America, where the Irish vote is as valuable as it is in this country. I think an hon. Member last night called the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian to the statement that it was extremely difficult to resist the pressure of Irishmen in constituencies where there were many Irish voters. [Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear !] I value the cheers of the right hon. Gentleman to a very great extent, because they show me the effect which I have been able to produce. I shall look forward to a similar cheer when I remind him of something else. The hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon) challenged us pointedly with regard to American opinion. It has been said before, and it must be said again, that, with the greatest respect for the opinion of our American cousins, we prefer to look to the example they set us, rather than to the views which they express at no great distance from a Presidential Election. We know that sooner than consent to a secession which would have severed the United States they would not listen to any European advice, even though it came from some of the first statesmen in Europe. They determinedly, doggedly, and unflinchingly went forward with their purpose, and said—"We will not allow anything to stand between the Union of the American Republic." And so we say that we will not allow American opinion, if it were against us, which I deny, to influence us in regard to the maintenance of that Union on which we believe depend the fortunes of this land, and in which we also believe the welfare of the Empire is bound up. My right hon. Friend (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) spoke yesterday as if he could not imagine the motives which are inspiring the Unionist Party on this occasion. He said that before now the Conservative Party had opposed measures which he believed they resisted from honourable motives. A good many years afterwards he admits that their opposition may have been honourable, and based on large considerations. But, engaged as we are in this struggle, he with all his imagination fails to be able to grasp that there is a great cause for which we are fighting. It is not for coercion we are fighting. We are fighting against his policy, his policy of Home Rule, which he supposes to be the only alternative. There is one point which has not once been mentioned by right hon. Gentlemen opposite in the course of this debate, and that is our duty to the loyal minority in Ireland. Judging from their utterances during this third-reading debate, there is not a single right hon. Gentleman opposite who remembers that there is a Loyalist population in Ireland to whom we are bound by many ties, and who look with confidence to the English people for protec- tion. If it is for this we are fighting, if we are fighting for these obligations of honour, if we are fighting for maintaining social principles in which we believe all the civilized world is interested, if we believe we are fighting for the Union between England and Ireland, which is in our opinion essential for the safety of the State, if we believe we are struggling against surrender which would be interpreted as a sign of weakness in every corner of this great Empire, I say if this is so, and it is so, no Parliament at any epoch of our history has ever been engaged in a greater cause.

MR. W. REDMOND (Fermanagh, N.)

(who was received with loud cries of "Divide, divide !") said: Mr. Speaker, I promise I shall stand between the House and the Division about to take place for a very few seconds. With the Division which will be challenged in a moment, the final death-blow to the liberties of the Irish people will be dealt; and, that being so, I think the generosity which is claimed to be a characteristic of Englishmen might allow one who has taken part with the Irish people in the struggle for their independence to make a few observations. [Renewed cries of "Divide !"] The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has referred to the Colonial Dependencies of England. He knows right well that this Government dare not apply the Code of Laws such as are contained in this Bill to any part of the British Empire except Ireland. You know there is not one of the Colonial Dependencies of England which would not, at the very mention of such a Code of Laws, spurn the connection with England. You put this Code of Laws upon the Irish people to-day, not because the Irish people are less deserving of sympathy than the populations of the other parts of the Empire, but simply because, as the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, it is the object of the Government, not to do justice, but to be cruel to Ireland in order that the power of England may remain intact. He said—"If we give in and do not pass this Bill, it would be taken as a sign of weakness by our Colonies." I ask Englishmen, is the liberty of the Irish people to be voted away simply, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer says, to parade the power of England before the eyes of the people occupying the Dependencies of England in different parts of the world? [Renewed cries of "Divide !"] I say, Sir, that the object of this Bill was utterly exposed when the right hon. Gentleman said that he wanted to keep up the loyal minority in Ireland. Now, it is that minority—[Renewed cries of "Divide, divide !"] I will only be one minute longer. [Cries of "Divide, divide !" and "Order, order !"] Now, it is what is called the loyal minority in Ireland which has tyrannized over the Irish people by the aid of your soldiers. To-day you wish to perpetuate the tyrannical ascendancy of that class by a law such as this. All I can say is, that if the Irish people had the means of defending their liberties in other places than in this House they would do so. Hon. Members on this side of the House, much as the Irish people value their sympathy and their support, must not forget that when this Division has taken place, and when this Bill has become law, a stain and a stigma upon the name of England will have been cast; and from the decision of this House to-night we look to the Party upon this side of the House and to the people of England to remove that stigma, and to show the Irish people that if they bear this wrong, as they will, decently, and quietly, and hopefully, their patience and their hopefulness will be rewarded in a day to come—a day which God knows we all hope soon will come—when, instead of the Representatives of this great nation meeting together to pass a Code of coercive laws, they will assemble to pass a law which will give peace and tranquillity to Ireland, and which will restore between England and Ireland those friendly relations which this Bill is destined for some time to destroy.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 349: Noes 262: Majority 87.

Addison, J. E. W. Baggallay, E.
Agg-Gardner, J. T. Bailey, Sir J. R.
Ainslie, W. G. Baird, J. G. A.
Allsopp, hon. P. Balfour, rt, hon. A. J.
Amherst, W. A. T. Balfour, G. W.
Anstruther, Colonel R. H. L. Banes, Major G. E.
Barnes, A.
Ashmead-Bartlett, E. Barry, A. H. Smith
Atkinson, H. J. Bartley, G. C. T.
Baden-Powell, G. S. Barttelot, Sir W. B.
Bass, H. Dalrymple, C.
Bates, Sir E. Davenport, H. T.
Baumann, A. A. Davenport, W. B.
Beach, W. W. B. Dawnay, Colonel hon. L. P.
Beadel, W. J.
Beaumont, H. F. De Cobain, E. S. W.
Beckett, E. W. De Lisle, E. J. L. M. P.
Beckett, W. De Worms, Baron H.
Bective, Earl of Dickson, Major A. G.
Bentinck, rt. hn. G. C. Dimsdale, Baron R.
Bentinck, Lord H. C. Dixon, G.
Bentinck, W. G. C. Dixon-Hartland, F. D.
Beresford, Lord C. W. de la Poer Donkin, R. S.
Dorington, Sir J. E.
Bethell, Commander G. R. Dugdale, J. S.
Duncan, Colonel F.
Bickford-Smith, W. Duncombe, A.
Biddulph, M. Dyke, right hon. Sir W. H.
Bigwood, J
Birkbeck, Sir E. Edwards-Moss, T. C.
Blundell, Col. H. B. H. Egerton, hon. A. J. F.
Bond, G. H. Egerton, hon. A. de T.
Bonsor, H. C. O. Elcho, Lord
Boord, T. W. Elliot, Sir G.
Borthwick, Sir A. Elliot, hon. A. R. D.
Bridgeman, Col. hon. F. C. Elliot, hon. H. F. H.
Elliot, G. W.
Bright, right hon. J. Ellis, Sir J. W.
Bristowe, T. L. Elton, C. I.
Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F. Evelyn, W. J.
Ewart, W.
Brookfield, A. M. Ewing, Sir A. O.
Brooks, Sir W. C. Eyre, Colonel H.
Brown, A. H. Farquharson, H. R.
Bruce, Lord H. Feilden, Lieut. - Gen. R. J.
Burdett-Coutts, W. L. Ash.-B.
Fellowes, W. H.
Burghley, Lord Fergusson, right hon. Sir J.
Caine, W. S.
Caldwell, J. Field, Admiral E.
Campbell, Sir A. Fielden, T.
Campbell, J. A. Finch, G. H.
Campbell, R. F. F. Finlay, R. B.
Cavendish, Lord E. Fisher, W. H.
Chamberlain, rt. hn. J. Fitzgerald, R. U. P.
Chamberlain, R. Fitzwilliam, hon. W. J. W.
Chaplin, right hon. H.
Charrington, S. Fitz - Wygram,Gen. Sir. F. W.
Churchill, rt. hn. Lord R. H. S.
Folkestone, right hon.
Clarke, Sir E. G. Viscount
Cochrane-Baillie, hon. C. W. A. N. Forwood, A. B.
Fowler, Sir R. N.
Coddington, W. Fraser, General C. C.
Coghill, D. H. Fry, L.
Colomb, Capt. J. C. R. Fulton, J. F.
Commerell, Adml. Sir J. E. Gardner, R. Richardson
Compton, F. Gathorne-Hardy, hon. A. E.
Cooke, C. W. R.
Corbett, A. C. Gathorne-Hardy, hon. J. S.
Corbett, J.
Corry, Sir J. P. Gedge, S.
Cotton, Capt. E. T. D. Gent-Davis, R.
Courtney, L. H. Gibson, J. G.
Cranborne, Viscount Giles, A.
Cross, H. S. Gilliat, J. S.
Crossley, Sir S. B. Godson, A. F.
Crossman, Gen. Sir W. Goldsmid, Sir J.
Cubitt, right hon. G. Golds worthy, Major General W. T.
Currie, Sir D.
Curzon, Viscount Gorst, Sir J. E.
Curzon, hon. G. N. Goschen, rt. hn. G. J.
Gray, C. W. Lambert, C.
Green, Sir E. Laurie, Colonel R. P
Greene, E. Lawrance, J. C.
Grimston, Viscount Lawrence, Sir J. J. T.
Grotrian, F. B. Lawrence, W. F.
Grove, Sir T. F. Lea, T.
Gunter, Colonel R. Lechmere, Sir E. A. H.
Gurdon, R. T. Lees, E.
Hall, A. W. Legh, T. W.
Hall, C. Leighton, S.
Halsey, T. F. Lethbridge, Sir R.
Hambro, Col. C. J. T. Lewis, Sir C. E.
Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F. Lewisham, right hon. Viscount
Hamilton, Lord C. J Llewellyn, E. H.
Hamilton, Lord E. Long, W. H.
Hamilton, Col. C. E. Low, M.
Hamley, Gen. Sir E. B. Lowther, hon. W.
Hanbury, R. W. Lowther, J. W.
Hankey, F. A. Lubbock, Sir J.
Hardcastle, E. Lymington, Viscount
Hardcastle, F. Macartney, W. G. E.
Hartington, Marq. of Macdonald, right hon. J. H. A.
Hastings, G. W.
Havelock-Allan, Sir H. M. Mackintosh, C. F.
Maclean, F. W.
Heath, A. R. Maclean, J. M.
Heathcote, Capt. J. H. Edwards- Maclure, J. W.
M'Calinont, Captain J.
Heaton, J. H. Makins, Colonel W. T.
Heneage, right hon. E. Malcolm, Col. J. W.
Herbert, hon. S. Mallock, R.
Hermon-Hodge, R. T. Marriott, right hon. W. T.
Hervey, Lord F.
Hill, A. S. Matthews, rt. hon. H.
Hoare, S. Maxwell, Sir H. E.
Hobhouse, H. Mayne, Admiral R. C.
Holland, rt. hon. Sir H. T. Mildmay, F. B.
Mills, hon. C. W.
Holloway, G. Milvain, T.
Hornby, W. H. More, R. J.
Houldsworth, W. H. Morgan, hon. F.
Howard, J. Morrison, W.
Howard, J. M. Mount, W. G.
Hozier, J. H. C. Mowbray, right hon. Sir J. R.
Hubbard, rt. hn. J. G
Hubbard, E. Mowbray, R. G. C.
Hughes, Colonel E. Muncastor, Lord
Hughes - Hallett, Col. F. C. Muntz, P. A.
Murdoch, C. T.
Hulse, E. H. Newark, Viscount
Hunt, F. S. Noble, W.
Hunter, Sir W. G. Norris, E. S.
Isaacs, L. H. Northcote, hon. H. S.
Isaacson, F. W. Norton, R.
Jackson, W. L. O'Neill, hon. R. T.
James, rt. hon. Sir H. Paget, Sir R. H.
Jardine, Sir R. Parker, hon. F.
Jarvis, A. W. Pearce, W.
Jennings, L. J. Pelly, Sir L.
Kelly, J. R. Penton, Captain F. T.
Kennaway, Sir J. H. Pitt-Lewis, G.
Kenrick, W. Plunket, right hon. D. R.
Kenyon, hon, G. T.
Kerans, F. H. Plunkett, hon. J. W.
Kimber, H. Pomfret, W. P.
King, H. S. Powell, F. S.
King-Harman, right hon. Colonel E. R. Price, Captain G. E.
Puleston, J. H.
Knightley, Sir R. Quilter, W. C.
Knowles, L, Raikes, rt hon. H. C.
Kynoch, G. Rankin, J.
Lafone, A. Rasch, Major F. C.
Reed, H. B. Temple, Sir R.
Richardson, T. Thorburn, W.
Ritchie, rt. hon. C. T. Tollemache, H. J.
Robertson, J. P. B. Tomlinson, W. E. M.
Robertson, W. T. Townsend, F.
Robinson, B. Trotter, H. J.
Rollit, Sir A. K. Tyler, Sir W. H.
Ross, A. H. Verdin, R.
Rothschild, Baron F. J. de Vernon, hon. G. R.
Vincent, C. E. H.
Round, J. Walsh, hon. A. H. J.
Russell, Sir G. Watkin, Sir E. W.
Russell, T. W. Watson, J.
Salt, T. Webster, Sir R. E.
Sandys, Lt.-Col. T. M. Webster, R. G.
Saunderson, Col. E. J. West, Colonel W. C.
Sellar, A. C. Weymouth, Viscount
Selwin-Ibbetson, rt. hon. Sir H. J. Wharton, J. L.
White, J. B.
Selwyn, Capt. C. W. Whitley, E.
Seton-Karr, H. Whitmore, C. A.
Shaw-Stewart, M. H. Wiggin, H.
Sidebotham, J. W. Williams, J. Powell-
Sidebottom, T. H. Wilson, Sir S.
Sidebottom, W. Winn, hon. R.
Sinclair, W. P. Wodehouse, E. R.
Smith, rt. hon. W. H. Wolmer, Viscount
Smith, A. Wood, N.
Spencer, J. E. Wortley, C. B. Stuart-
Stanhope, rt. hon. E. Wright, H. S.
Stanley, E. J. Wroughton, P.
Stewart, M. J. Yerburgh, R. A.
Sutherland, T. Young, C. E. B.
Sykes, C.
Talbot, J. G. TELLERS,
Tapling, T. K. Douglas, A. Akers-
Taylor, F. Walrond, Col. W. H.
Abraham, W. (Glamorgan) Campbell, Sir G.
Campbell, H.
Abraham, W. (Limerick, W.) Campbell-Bannerman, right hon. H.
Acland, A. H. D. Carew, J. L.
Acland, C. T. D. Chance, P. A.
Allison, R. A. Channing, F. A.
Anderson, C. H. Childers, rt. hon. H. C. E.
Asher, A.
Asquith, H. H. Clancy, J. J.
Atherley-Jones, L. Clark, Dr. G. B.
Austin, J. Cobb, H. P.
Balfour, Sir G. Cohen, A.
Balfour, rt. hon. J. B. Coleridge, hon. B.
Barbour, W. B. Colman, J. J.
Barran, J. Commins, A.
Barry, J. Condon, T. J.
Beaumont, W. B. Connolly, L.
Biggar, J. G. Conway, M.
Blake, T. Conybeare, C. A. V.
Blane, A. Corbet, W. J.
Bolton, J. C. Cossham, H.
Bolton, T. D. Cox, J. R.
Bradlaugh, C. Cozens-Hardy, H. H.
Bright, Jacob Craig, J.
Bright, W. L. Craven, J.
Brown, A. L. Crawford, D.
Bryce, J. Cremer, W. R.
Buchanan, T. R. Crilly, D.
Burt, T. Crossley, E.
Buxton, S. C. Davies, W.
Byrne, G. M. Deasy, J.
Cameron, C. Dillon, J.
Cameron, J. M, Dillwyn, L. L.
Dodds, J. Macdonald, W. A.
Duff, R. W. MacInnes, M.
Ellis, J. Mac Neill, J. G. S.
Ellis, T. E. M'Arthur, A.
Ellis, T. E. M'Arthur, W. A.
Esmonde, Sir T. H. G. M'Cartan, M.
Esslemont, P. M'Carthy, J.
Evershed, S. M'Carthy, J. H.
Farquharson, Dr. R. M'Donald, P.
Fenwick, C. M'Donald, Dr. R.
Finucane, J. M'Ewan, W.
Flower, C. M'Kenna, Sir J. N.
Flynn, J. C. M'Lagan, P.
Foley, P. J. M'Laren, W.S. B.
Foljambe, C. G. S. Mahony, P.
Forster, Sir C. Maitland, W. F.
Foster, Sir W. B. Mappin, Sir F. T.
Fowler, rt. hon. H. H. Marum, E. M.
Fox, Dr. J. F. Mason, S.
Fry, T. Mayne, T.
Fuller, G. P. Menzies, R. S.
Gane, J. L. Molloy, B. C.
Gardner, H. Montagu, S.
Gaskell, C. G. Milnes- Morgan, rt. hon. G. O.
Gilhooly, J. Morgan, O. V.
Gill, H. J. Morley, rt. hon. J.
Gill, T. P. Mundella, right hon. A. J.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Gladstone, H. J. Murphy, W. M.
Gourley, E. T. Neville, R.
Graham, R. C. Newnes, G.
Gray, E. D. Nolan, Colonel J. P.
Grey, Sir E. Nolan, J.
Haldane, R. B. O'Brien, J. F. X.
Harcourt, rt. hon. Sir W. G. V. V. O'Brien, P.
O'Brien, P. J.
Harrington. E. O'Brien, W.
Harrington, T. C. O'Connor, A.
Harris, M. O'Connor, J. (Kerry)
Hayden, L. P. O'Connor, J. (Tippry.)
Hayne, C. Seale- O'Connor, T. P.
Healy, M. O'Doherty, J. E.
Holden, I. O'Hanlon, T.
Hooper, J. O'Hea, P.
Howell, G. O'Kelly, J.
Hoyle, I. Palmer, Sir C. M.
Hunter, W. A. Parnell, C. S.
Illingworth, A. Paulton, J. M.
Jacoby, J. A. Pease, Sir J. W.
James, hon. W. H. Pease, A. E.
James, C. H. Pease, H. F.
Jordan, J. Pickard, B.
Kay-Shuttleworth, rt. hon. Sir U. J. Pickersgill. E. H.
Picton, J. A.
Kennedy, E. J. Pinkerton, J.
Kenny, C. S. Playfair, rt. hon. Sir L.
Kenny, J. E.
Kenny, M. J. Plowden, Sir W. C.
Kilcoursie, right hon. Viscount Potter, T. B.
Powell, W. R. H.
Labouchere, H. Power, P. J.
Lacaita, C. C, Power, R.
Lalor, R. Price, T. P.
Lane, W. J. Priestley, B.
Lawson, Sir W. Provand, A. D.
Lawson, H. L. W. Pugh, D.
Leahy, J. Pyne, J. D.
Leake, R. Quinn, T.
Lefevre, right hon. G. J. S. Rathbone, W.
Redmond, J. E.
Lewis, T. P. Redmond, W. H. K.
Lockwood, F. Reed. Sir E. J.
Lyell, L. Reid, R. T.
Rendel, S. Sullivan, T. D.
Reynolds, W. J. Summers, W.
Richard, H. Swinburne, Sir J.
Roberts, J. Talbot, C. R. M.
Roberts, J. B. Tanner, C. K.
Robertson, E. Thomas, A.
Robinson, T. Tuite, J.
Roe, T. Vivian, Sir H. H.
Rowlands, J. Waddy, S. D.
Rowlands, W. B. Wallace, R.
Rowntree, J. Wardle, H.
Russell, Sir C. Warmington, C. M.
Russell, E. R. Watt, H.
Samuelson, Sir B. Wayman, T.
Schwann, C. E. Whitbread, S.
Sexton, T. Will, J. S.
Shaw, T. Williams, A. J.
Sheehan, J. D. Williamson, J.
Sheehy, D. Williamson, S.
Sheil, E. Wilson, H. J.
Shirley, W. S. Wilson, I.
Simon, Sir J. Winterbotham, A. B.
Smith, S. Woodall, W.
Spencer, hon. C. R. Woodhead, J.
Stack, J. Wright, C.
Stanhope, hon. P. J. Yeo, F. A.
Stansfeld, right hon. J.
Stevenson, F. S. TELLERS.
Stevenson, J. C. Marjoribanks, rt. hon. E.
Stewart, H.
Stuart, J. Morley, A
Sullivan, D.

Bill read the third time, and passed.

Main Question put, and agreed to.