SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL& c.) (Kirkcaldy,
said, he wished to ask a Question as to the Notice which had been issued that Members could have their Parliamentary Papers forwarded to them through the post free—whether the Government seriously intended to press the Irish Land Bill through the House as they did the Criminal Law-Amendment (Ireland) Bill; or whether they meant to drop it in the event of protracted discussion?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. U. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
The hon. Gentleman has been for some time in the House, and I am surprised that he should put this Question to me. He ought to be aware that the Government are in no way responsible for the Notice to which he refers. As to the Irish Land Law Bill, I can only say that it depends on hon. Gentlemen in this House whether it is passed or not.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
I am one of those who think it ought to be passed; and I beg to give Notice that as this 4th clause has been under discussion for four days, if somebody else does not shortly move that the whole clause be added to the Bill, I shall do so.
§ MR. ANDERSON (Elgin and Nairn)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he had read the statement which appeared in that morning's Daily News from an eyewitness regarding the shooting of a British sailor by a Spanish Custom House officer at Bilbao on the 17th of July; whether he could say if the facts mentioned in that letter were correct; 553 and, if not, would he give all the information the Government had on this matter?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
The passage quoted by the hon. Member is similar to the report which appeared last week in The Standard, and with reference to which I have answered several Questions. It is impossible to pronounce any positive opinion upon the case until the result of the formal inquiries by the Spanish Authorities is known. There is no doubt that the unfortunate man was in liquor at the time of the occurrence. The Custom House armed guards asserted that he had threatened the sentries, and that the shot was fired by one of them in self-defence. Other witnesses declared that the act was quite unnecessary. None of the witnesses before the Consul mention the incident of the cigarette. The House will, I hope, be content to await the result of the inquiry, which will be carefully watched by Her Majesty's Minister and Consul.