Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £12,707, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1889, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Offices of the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in Dublin and London, and Subordinate Departments.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A, Salaries, Household, part of the Salary of the Chief Secretary, be reduced by the sum of £425."—(Mr. John Ellis.)
§ MR. W. O'BRIEN (Cork, N.E.)
said, that during the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) last night, he noticed that some hon. Members opposite appeared to murmur that they had to hear more of the case of Mr. Mandeville He regretted that they would have to listen to a great deal more on that subject. He honestly regretted to be obliged to immerse the Committee in what was unquestionably, from his point of view, a most scandalous case. But after the speech which the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. A. J. Balfour) had delivered last night, and the unblushing view of the case which he put forward in Glasgow and in this country, he was left no alternative. After several months retreat in Scotland, the right hon. Gentleman had made a speech at Glasgow in which he spoke of nothing but the Mandeville case, and launched into accusations the most horrible, that he believed, had ever fallen from the lips of a Minister—accusations of a deliberate conspiracy to manufacture untruth and support it by perjury—loathsome charges which, if they were true, would unfit Irish Members to sit in that House, or to be in the society of men. And he levelled those accusations, not only against himself, but connected them by the most brutal language with a man whom few, except himself, would dispute to be the greatest and most venerable 1063 Englishman in that House or out of it. If one of the most unstable persons in the House believed Irish Members to be such demons as the right hon. Gentleman had indicated, at all events the House of Commons was the place where they could not be condemned unheard; and he ventured to say that if the Committee would bear with them for a short time, they would make it plain that if there was anything to blush for it was not on their side. The right hon. Gentleman made a speech last night which almost took away one's breath. He assumed that it was now established that Mr. Mandeville's prison treatment had no more to do with his death than the infantile ailments which he experienced in his cradle. It would be for the Committee to judge between the right hon. Gentleman and Irish Members; but to him it seemed that the evidence was very plain, and so irresistible that he could hardly imagine any man, with an honest mind, taking the trouble to master the details of this case without being driven to the conclusion that John Mandeville was treated in prison in a way which ought to cover every Englishman's face with shame. It was in prison that he was broken down and contracted the disease of which he died, and the shame of that should rest on the men who did it. He should state the facts and leave the Committee to judge between him and the right hon. Gentleman, who had nothing to say but what was jocose and offensive on the subject. The Blue Book furnished to the House as the Report of the Mandeville inquest was, from beginning to end, a mass of glaring falsification and suppression. He did not hesitate to say that it was one of the most shameful and untrustworthy books ever submitted under official authority to the House. But he took the evidence, even as it stood in that mutilated Blue Book, and he should not say too much in stating that he could convince the Committee that instead of there being any crime on the part of Irish Members in having brought the facts of the case to issue at a public sworn investigation, the crime on their part would have been to smother up, as the right hon. Gentleman's police attempted to do, this story of John Mandeville. It was one of the admitted facts in this case that John Mandeville was termed amiable by every single prison official who came across 1064 him, except the right hon. Gentleman and Dr. Barr. "Truthful, gentlemanly, and inoffensive"—that was the description given of him by the Governor of the prison. On the morning he and Mr. Mandeville met in Tullamore Gaol, the Chief Police Officer of the district shook hands with him, warmly recognizing him as an old acquaintance, and one of the magistrates swore at the inquest that he had accepted an invitation to breakfast with him after his release. That was the criminal which the right hon. Gentleman got a laugh about from his Glasgow audience by describing him as having taken part in a drunken row in a public house, and whom, after death, he had described as a scoundrel who did not get half what he deserved—the scoundrel which every person who had not had his eyes blinded described as an honourable gentleman. When he entered Tullamore Gaol he was the picture of athletic health and strength, and the chief warder described him as "a fine, healthy and powerful man." Mrs. Mandeville said she did not remember his being in bed even for one day from illness; Dr. MacCraith, whose evidence at Mitchelstown the right hon. Gentleman himself had accepted as invaluable, said, until he went into prison he was a strong, healthy man—a man of joyous temperament, with a strong nervous system, and who up to the time he went to prison never consulted him beyond asking for a few pills. That was the man the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland now asked the Committee to believe died because he took a few long country drives and attended a few open-air meetings. He (Mr. W. O'Brien) ventured to say that Mr. Mandeville had been treated in prison in a manner better calculated to break him down and kill him than those drives along country roads. Let the Committee remember that these statements were not made on their side of the House, but that they were the statements of the right hon. Gentleman's own officials and could be tested by the right hon. Gentleman's own records. On the 2nd of November Mr. Mandeville entered Tullamore Gaol, and three days afterwards he received his first sentence of bread and water—16 ounces of bread in 24 hours, no drink but water, and not one moment for exercising outside his miser- 1065 able, stuffy cell. The reason for the infliction of this punishment was that he objected to wear the prison clothes. On the seventh day he was subject to diarrhœa. On the 10th of November there was an entry made in the prison book that "Mr. Mandeville complained of sore throat and that his breathing was bad;" that was to say, that he was already betraying symptons of the disease of which he died. He ventured to tell the right hon. Gentleman that the character of Dr. Moorhead, who made this statement, stood as high as the reputation of the right hon. Gentleman himself in his own class of society. But they were not dependent on Dr. Moorhead. On the 12th of November they had the prison doctor, Dr. Ridley, prescribing for a sore throat, and yet on the 14th, instead of being removed to the hospital, this man, who was suffering from sore throat and diarrhœa, was sentenced to another term of three days' bread and water punishment. It was while he was undergoing that second term of semi-starvation that the incident occurred which his poor wife told at the inquest was communicated to her in the confidence which existed between husband and wife. She said—He told me the whole of his prison life.… He told me more than he told any person in the whole world.… He told me that while his throat was sore he was three days on punishment diet.… He told me that his throat was so sore during that time that he could not eat the punishment diet, Drown bread, and could not drink the cold water.… He told me that one of the Tang prisoners in the gaol had given him a rope, and that he tied it round his waist, and as he suffered more and more from hunger he tightened the rope.… He told me that from hunger his mind wandered, and that he prayed to God that he might die rather than go mad!In answer to the question—Did he say anything to you about a scrap of food he got in prison?she said—He told me that there was a warder one day outside his cell door—one of the ordinary warders, not a friendly warder—and he said he opened the door and 'he threw me in a scrap of meat, as I would throw it to Rover'—that is our dog, and he said he had never in his life enjoyed anything so much—it was a mere any scrap.The right hon. Gentleman had not ventured to repeat the term "perjury" in connection with this statement, although he 1066 might say that last night he had done so in effect, by stating that Mrs. Mandeville spoke under the influence of strong excitement, and did not know what she said; and never had one word of sympathy or human feeling dropped from the right hon. Gentleman for the unfortunate lady whom he had left alone in the world. She was not a Norah Fitzmaurice, or a land-grabber's daughter, and there was nothing for her except wounding accusations against the memory of her husband from Tory Gentlemen with all the blood of the Cecils in their veins. They had it on official authority that on the third day of his sentence, on November 14, the prison doctor had to interfere and order the punishment to go no further. Why did the prison doctor cut short that punishment if he did not see that at that period this strong man was beginning to be broken down? On the 14th Dr. Moorhead entered on the prison book that he found Mr. Mandeville suffering from sore throat again; as long ago as the 14th of November, the disease, which afterwards proved fatal, had manifested itself, and he had nothing to moisten his throat except bread and water, and yet it was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary last night that the diarrhœa was not only of no consequence, but was absolutely beneficial. Dr. Ridley did not take that view of the sufferings of his prisoner; he was obliged to cut short his punishment, because he found him suffering from sore throat, the effect of bread and water and imprisonment in that miserable and stuffy cell without exercise; and though they had the prison doctor recognizing the man's break-down and illness, was he sent to hospital even then? Did he receive an ounce of arrowroot or port wine or of brandy? Not a scrap. Dr. Barr swore at the inquest that a bread and water diet was excellent treatment for diarrhœa, and the right hon. Gentleman plainly adopted that statement in his speech last night, when he said that Dr. Barr had stated diarrhœa was of no consequence to Mr. Mandeville, and might even have been beneficial. It was entered in the Visitors' book that he was suffering from sore throat, failing sight, and diarrhœa; and three nights after he was attacked in his sleep, and his clothes were torn off his back by six 1067 jailors—six men against one. That was on November 22. The right hon. Gentleman in a public letter had denied that attack. He asked him if he denied it now? His own official, the Governor, swore that he thought Mr. Mandeville was asleep when they entered; the Chief Warder swore that he appeared to have been asleep. Did the right hon. Gentleman deny that Mr. Mandeville was assaulted? If he did, he (Mr. W. O'Brien) would go into the evidence of every official to show that they admitted that his garments were torn off his back one by one, and that he was left stark naked, only a sheet being thrown over his loins to cover his nakedness. It was said that this was done without violence. What was the evidence on that point by the Governor of the prison? He said there was slight resistance, and to the question whether he twisted about, he replied, "No, but he twisted his arms." The Chief Warder said that they pinioned his arms, and that there was slight resistance. The man was assaulted, the stool which he used to prop up his head was taken away from him, his arms were pinioned, his garments torn from him one by one, and, because this poor man, stricken by illness, stupefied by sleep, was no match for six men in that gaol, the English people were asked to believe that Irish Members were perjurers when they said his prison treatment had more to do with Mr. Mandeville's death than the few open-air meetings he attended. From 8 o'clock that night until 5 o'clock the following evening he was left in his cell without any covering whatever or any clothing of his own, not even his shirt, in bitter November weather. The Governor of the Prison, the Chief Warder, and Dr. Moorhead found him at 5 o'clock next evening walking about the cell with a sheet over him, his legs, chest, and arms bare, and even after that horrible treatment they actually removed the bed-clothes from the cell. The Chief Warder said they would have taken away the last rag if he had not submitted, and he had told him (Mr. W. O'Brien) that they would have done so if he had not submitted and satisfied the Chief Secretary's soul by acknowledging himself a convicted criminal. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary had been pleased to be facetious about this. One of his most 1068 brilliant sallies in Scotland was that he could not see how the independence of Ireland was to be won by a man sitting in his shirt in prison. It was very easy for the right hon. Gentleman to taunt Irishmen, who had to meet him with different weapons—they who were an unarmed people and he with his 40,000 bayonets, his magistrates, and his juries. It was brave sport, as Lord Rosebery had said, poking his poisoned arrows through his prison bars, and when one of his prisoners died from the treatment to provoke peals of laughter over his grave. Although he did not mean to say that Irishmen advanced the cause of Ireland by such poor fight as they were able to make in that prison, he would tell the right hon. Gentleman that he did not tend to advance the cause of order in Ireland by such practices as be had described. They were told that the warders were mustered for the attack, that they were drawn up as for some desperate deed of valour, and the Governor wound up by saying—"Lead on, men; England expects that every man will do his duty." Was the name of England ever so prostituted as by this ignoble attack upon one defenceless, sleeping man by seven armed warders? He left history to record this exploit of the right hon. Gentleman as his contribution to the glory of England, and he did not think that Irish Members or Ireland would have to blush at the record. Up to the 22nd of November all the punishments had been inflicted upon Mr. Mandeville for the one offence of refusing to wear prison clothes. Then when he put on the prison clothes they found anew cause of quarrel with him, because he refused to clean out his cell and remove slops. Then they discovered a new mode of warfare; they actually left utensils of offensive matter in the cell out of which he was not allowed to move from one day to another. That was the ignoble method of warfare adopted by the right hon. Gentleman. Three days after the attack on the 22nd November he was on bread and water again for this new offence, and on the 26th November Dr. Moorhead entered in the Visitors' book that he found Mr. Mandeville suffering from diarrhœa in a cell close and offensively smelling, and he added that "If this is allowed to continue it must eventuate in malignant disease." Again, it 1069 was not on Dr. Moorhead alone that they depended, for on the 19th November Dr. MacCabe, of the Prison Board, was sent down at the special command of the Chief Secretary, and he found Mr. Mandeville complaining of failing sight and of sore throat. He said that Mr. Mandeville asked him to put his finger in his mouth and directed his attention to a hardness in the gland on the right hand side of the throat,—the very region of the throat in which finally the fatal attack occurred. He actually directed Dr. MacCabe's finger to the very spot, but of course Dr. MacCabe could see nothing amiss. There was still some little strength in his magnificent frame, and instead of being then sent to hospital and put under medical treatment for sore throat, failing sight, and diarrhœa, he was three days afterwards stripped in his cell and left shivering in the winter cold. He (Mr. W. O'Brien) had told the Committee that the second series of punishments began about the refusal to cleanse his cell, and it was at this secondary stage that Dr. Barr made his appearance on the scene, as he (Mr. W. O'Brien) maintained, to flog Dr. Ridley up to his work. The right hon. Gentleman had shifted his ground very considerably last night. His charge in Glasgow was that Irish Members had tried to blacken Dr. Ridley's reputation, whereas his statement last night was that no man on those Benches had attempted to blacken his character. He denied the right hon. Gentleman's right to pose as the champion of Dr. Ridley. Dr. Ridley would not be in his grave to-day had he not been compelled, against his better feelings, to carry out this revolting torture. Not only did the right hon. Gentleman send Dr. Barr to him when he was alive, but he did him a very bad turn by constituting himself his defender after death. He (Mr. W. O'Brien) had not the smallest doubt in his mind that if they could have published in their entirety the secret reports of Dr. Ridley, and, if they could have the communications which he was seen writing upon the morning of his suicide, and of which no explanation had been given, they would find that if Dr. Ridley wanted protection from slander he would have gravitated in the direction of Irish Members rather than in that of the right hon. Gentleman—just as it was to the criminal, and not 1070 to the right hon. Gentleman, did he send in his card when he visited the House of Commons. It was one of the curious facts in the case that every visit of Dr. Barr to the prison was followed by a new spell of punishment for the unfortunate man. This Orange doctor, the chairman of an electioneering caucus in Liverpool, the man who in cold blood, when John Mandeville was in his grave, repeated that he was a scoundrel who did not get half enough punishment, had never to that hour expressed a word of apology for his brutal insult. Dr. Barr came on the 28th of November, and this "scoundrel" was again punished; he came on the 5th December, and he was punished again; he came on the 18th December, and on the 20th John Mandeville was thrown into the prison black cell, and it was there he spent the last days of his imprisonment. And this was the Mandeville legend which the right hon. Gentleman pretended had been blown to atoms! The man, instead of receiving medical treatment, was subjected, over and over again, to punishment to the very last day of his imprisonment, and Dr. Barr was not satisfied with all this bread and water, and the forcible stripping, and the hunger and the indignities which the unfortunate man went through, but he swore at the inquest deliberately that two years instead of two months of such treatment would have been a very good thing for John Mandeville. The case of the Government, as he understood it, was that John Mandeville was powerful enough to have gone through two years of this treatment, and yet that he was so frail a creature that, when he regained the air of liberty, a few drives to open-air meetings killed him. He (Mr. W. O'Brien) had never heard anything so detestable. On the 8th December he was on bread and water again, although he was every day complaining of one thing or another—sore throat, rheumatism, and failing sight—he was still kept in this poisonous atmosphere, and was cast into this black cell on the very last day of his imprisonment, and he was released on the morning before his sentence expired in order to prevent the people giving him a cheer. He was forced into a train; the prison officials would not allow him to breakfast with his friends in the town, or to receive the warm clothing that 1071 had been sent to him. They despatched him by train, on one of the coldest mornings, for a long journey without an overcoat. They had the story of his wife as to how he returned—so bluish and shrunken that she scarcely knew him; his hands shaking, and, so feeble, that he complained of the weight of his coat; that on Christmas Day he went to dinner at his father-in-law's house, and immediately after dinner asked his wife to take him home—sick and weary; a man who never had a day's illness in his life. That was the story, and Irish Members were to be called miscreants because they said that the case was a subject for examination in public Court, and because they said that, wherever he died, John Mandeville received his death-blow in Tullamore Prison. The right hon. Gentleman was not satisfied with putting forward his own theory and view of John Mandeville's case; he was not satisfied with sneering at the verdict of the jurors that his death was due to brutal and inhuman treatment; but his position was that the family of this man had been threatened with ugly disclosures in order to intimidate them from going on, and Irish Members were denounced, with every word in the language, because they were not intimidated from bringing the case into a Court of Justice. He would ask the Committee whether, if the most abandoned convict in England had been subjected to such treatment as he had described, and with such results, it would not have been a scandal if it had been allowed to pass without a Coroner's inquest. He owed something to the memory of John Mandeville as a friend and comrade. What was the Governor's reply? What was their theory of John Mandeville's death? In the first place, they handed in a public speech on his release, in which he said that imprisonment had not knocked a feather out of him. What a bravo and generous use of a brave man's words! If he had said the opposite, if he had complained that his imprisonment had injured him, or broken his magnificent constitution, what taunts would they not have had, and what crowing would there not have been over the success of coercion! He would read a word or two of what John Mandeville said, almost prophetically to himself—it was taken from his (Mr. W. O'Brien's) evidence at the inquest— 1072Mr. Mandeville never spoke of what he suffered in prison, chiefly because of the base use which might he made by his adversaries of all reference to the subject. He 50 times referred, in the most indignant manner, to the use made by Mr. Balfour of replies of this kind, and told him distinctly, over and over again, that one of his troubles in prieon was what reply to make to the Visiting Justices as to whether he had complaints, inasmuch as every word of ours might be tortured by the scoundrels into a whine.That was strong language, but he knew the generous adversaries with whom he had to deal. The right hon. Gentleman knew in his heart that John Mandeville had never whined, and that Irish Members had never whined or complained of his sentences. Better than any man he knew that they fought him and beat him alone in the depths of that hell with all his aids, and all his tremendous might against them. If the right hon. Gentleman was not satisfied, let him not taunt them in Glasgow, but let him try it again in Ireland, and it would then be seen whether he had the courage to put them to death in the face of the Irish people for refusing to acknowledge themselves miscreants; and if he had not that courage, then let him not allege that matters of this sort were to be disposed of by his sarcasms. John Mandeville never gave up, he kept his principles fast to the last; but his wife told them that day by day he was suffering from one thing or another, although previously he had never had a day's illness in his life, and in the interval between his release and his death, while being examined by a doctor, this giant fainted in his chair. This was the sort of capital which the right hon. Gentleman tried to make out of John Mandeville's avoidance of his suffering. What was the Government case as to John Mandeville's death? They had it announced, in every horrible word in the language, that because he had died outside the prison, his prison treatment had nothing to do with his death, but that he died six months afterwards because he took a few country drives and attended a few open-air meetings. The Government took right good care that he did not drop dead the moment he got outside the prison gates. It would take more than two months of treatment, even such as he got in Tullamore, to shatter a magnificent frame like his. But the right hon. Gentleman, in Glasgow, had given a diary of what he 1073 facetiously calls Mr. John Mandeville's engagements, and his movements night and day, as recorded by the police. That diary he thought deserved to live as an infamous monument as to what police espionage meant for them in Ireland. It showed that he was on six nights out late, and made about a dozen public speeches in the course of six months. He (Mr. W. O'Brien) would like to know what possible bearing that could have on Mr. Mandeville's death. He contrasted that diary with the prison diary he had recited of his continuous round of punishment, and the most brutal and destructive attempt on his health, and he would ask whether the two were to be compared for an instant. He could understand one explanation. The one thing which would give any importance to the right hon. Gentleman's diary would be some foundation for the atrocious charges of intemperance which were hinted at by the Crown counsel at the inquest, and also by the right hon. Gentleman in his speech at Glasgow—accusations which the Crown counsel afterwards slunk out of, and which the right hon. Gentleman did not dare to re-assert last night. On the charge of intemperance he would like to point out to the Committee that the very completeness of the police diary of John Mandeville's movements was a complete and triumphant answer to any possible charge of intemperance, and he said that because the eyes of the police were upon him day and night—and he asked the Committee to believe that the police spies, who noted so exultingly every time they saw him enter a public-house, would have been only too eager to note every time they saw him under the influence of drink, only that they knew that the accusation was a wicked lie in order to intimidate the family from going on with the inquest. When the right hon. Gentleman threw out some dubious hints at Glasgow that John Mandeville had been engaged in a public-house row, he thought he might have recollected that this would have inflicted pain on the widow of that gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman had never explained to that hour that if John Mandeville had to be out late at night, and that if he had to make public speeches, it was because the right hon. Gentleman, instead of bringing the Mitchelstown murderers to justice, screened them first, and then 1074 actually obliged the people who were fired upon to pay compensation to the extent of £1,000 to the very policeman they had injured, and it was to resist this by his protests that John Mandeville was obliged to be out late at night. Why did not the right hon. Gentleman tell his giggling audience that Irish Members had to be out late at night, and meet in private houses, because he had himself prevented them from meeting in open day? If it were his (Mr. W. O'Brien's) case he was appalled to think what a diary the right hon. Gentleman would construct of his proceedings at night and his presence on licensed premises. He did not know what a Glasgow audience might not have to consider, but intemperance would no doubt have entered into his diary to a very large extent. But if these statements were false and base, as they were, why did the Government tell them that they accounted for John Mandeville's death? Let the Committee remember that he had done the same thing for 12 months previously, only with tenfold energy, in the Plan of Campaign, and that he never had a day's illness or a day with sore throat. Was it the case for the Government that Mr. Mandeville succumbed, when he came out shattered in constitution, to things which he had been able to do with complete immunity 12 months previously? He (Mr. W. O'Brien) said that they held the Government in this dilemma as in a vice; either John Mandeville came out of Tullamore so weak that a few nights' exposure to summer air were enough to kill him—and in that case they had broken him down—or else, if, as they said, he came out of Tullamore as healthy a man as he entered, then he (Mr. W. O'Brien) said, it was preposterous and grotesque to tell men of common sense that this giant in the prime of life was broken down by a few drives to country meetings, and by undertaking duties not half so laborious which had been gone through in the black country with impunity and glory by the oldest man in that House with 79 winters upon his head. He was unwilling to trespass further on the time of the Committee, but would ask the Government to tell them plainly what it was that killed John Mandeville, if it were not that he was broken down in prison. From the highest to the lowest prison officials the right hon. Gentleman could 1075 not get one, except Dr. Barr, to carry out in strictness his unnatural and revolting instructions. He held that this was not a question for medical experts. They had on their side overwhelming testimony of medical experts—the evidence of five doctors, one of them the most eminent physician in the South of Ireland, Dr. P. J. Cremen. Another medical man from Mitchelstown, whose word was accepted as gospel in the Mitchelstown case, was also on their side, and these five doctors, who saw John Mandeville in prison, they had to set against the tremendous array of two doctors. These gentlemen said that John Mandeville's constitution was shattered and broken in prison, and against their evidence the Government had two doctors only—one of them a mere theoretical doctor from Dublin, who never laid his eyes upon John Mandeville, and who was not the most distinguished specialist on the subject; the other was the amiable and infallible Dr. Barr, who swore that his professional brethren were perjurers. Notwithstanding that, he held that this was no question for medical experts, but one for the exercise of common sense and judgment on the facts of the case. Here was a strong man broken down and killed, and the Government told them that he was broken down and killed because he attended some open-air meetings. On the other hand, Irish Members showed that this man had been subject for two months to an unrelenting system of most shameful punishment, and sentenced while suffering day by day from diarrhœa, sore throat, and failure of sight. He had shown that the symptoms of the disease of which he died began to develop themselves after he had been a week in Tullamore prison; that they steadily continued to develop; that on the 12th November Dr. Ridley had to prescribe for his sore throat; that on the 19th a Member of the Prisons Board had his attention directed to the very spot where the hardness was found to exist on the day of his death. He held that that was brutal and inhuman treatment, and that they would have been unworthy of the name of men if they had let the story be buried in John Mandeville's coffin. The right hon. Gentleman had his majority behind him, and he would have it a little longer. Still they submitted to the judgment of 1076 Englishmen, that a man who could make sport of such a story as that was not a man fit to be entrusted, as the right hon. Gentleman was, with the lives and the liberties of thousands of John Mandevilles. They held that the hour would come when the condemnation the right hon. Gentleman invoked upon them would fall upon his own levity and his own unmanly and cowardly and cruel treatment.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down began his speech by objecting to what he described as the grossly coarse language in which I adverted to this question in the speech I made at Glasgow. It is certainly singular that the hon. Gentleman who made that criticism at the beginning of his speech should not only be the editor of United Ireland, but should adorn his peroration by adjectives such as unmanly, cowardly, and cruel. [An hon. MEMBER: It is true.] It may be true, but what I was going to indicate was that it is hardly polite, and it hardly rests with the hon. Gentleman from whose mouth these flowers of rhetoric spring so freely, to accuse anyone, even the humble individual who is now addressing the Committee, of using coarse and violent language. The hon. Gentleman is apparently under the impression, judging from something he dropped in the course of his speech, that I mean to evade the real issue put before the Committee. The Committee has had several opportunities of judging whether I evade real issues. I do not think my severest critics will say I am in the habit of evading the point. Before I sit down I will give the hon. Gentleman ample proof, at all events, that that is not my intention on this occasion. The hon. Gentleman has not merely adverted to one principal point on which he desires information from me—namely, what is the Government theory as to the death of Mr. Mandeville, but he has indulged in a considerable amount of miscellaneous invective at my expense. Some of his statements I had perhaps better dispose of before I call the attention of the Committee to what I regard as the kernel of the subject. The hon. Gentleman said for example, amongst other things, that I had uttered calumnies on the late Mr. Mandeville, and I am not 1077 sure that he did not make out that I had accused Mr. Mandeville of intemperance.
§ MR. W. O'BRIEN
I am referring to the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman in Glasgow, amidst the cheers of his Tory audience, that Mr. Mandeville was engaged in a drunken row in a public house shortly before his death.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
It is not my business to interpret the cheers of my audience; but, if I may interpret the feeling of my audience, it was that they they considered—as I considered—that by the time I had reached that point in my references to Mr. Mandeville it was proved and demonstrated that no man in a delicate state of health could do what Mr. Mandeville did for several months before his death. But, passing from what my audience did, I absolutely deny that I made any insinuation against Mr. Mandeville of the kind indicated; and I go further, and say that if the hon. Gentleman will look at the part of my speech to which he refers he will see that I carefully guarded myself against any inference being drawn of a character unfavourable to Mr. Mandeville from the catalogue of Mr. Mandeville's doings during the few months before his death, which the character of my argument rendered it absolutely necessary I should give. If I had to mention, as I was bound to do, the incidents of this drunken row, do not let any hon. Gentleman think I obtained the information from what are called "police spies." The matter came before a public tribunal, and a report appeared in the journals of the country. Why I am not allowed to quote anything so relevant to the argument I was then addressing to the people of Glasgow, I am unable to understand. I repeat that it is wholly false to allege that I made the slightest insinuation against the private character of Mr. Mandeville, either as regards habits of intemperance or his occupations. But, then, the hon. Member attacked my reference to Mrs. Mandeville. So far as I recollect, I, for obvious reasons and on account of the delicacy of the subject, did not refer to that question at Glasgow at all. I was forced by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian to refer to it last night; and I ask any 1078 man who heard the terms in which I made that reference whether I did not take every pains that it was possible to take, that no wound should be inflicted upon Mrs. Mandeville, by what I said; and whether I did not make every excuse in my power for the statement which fell from her, I believe in a moment of excitement, but the accuracy of which it was absolutely impossible for me, in view of the whole circumstances of the case, to accept or to pretend to this House that I did accept. The hon. Gentleman says that no words of sympathy ever fell from me with reference to Mrs. Mandeville; but he has only to look at my speech last night and he will see that in the very passage to which he refers I did point out that Mrs. Mandeville's position was naturally and necessarily one with which every humane man must sympathize. Now, the hon. Member went on to state that his Party had never blackened Dr. Ridley's character, and he seemed to think that he had obtained some support for that doctrine of his from the fact that I said last night that hon. Members below the Gangway opposite had themselves admitted that Dr. Ridley was a humane man in the conduct of prisons. Yes; hon. Members below the Gangway opposite have publicly stated that Dr. Ridley was a humane man, and they did him no more than justice; but that did not prevent them or their friends bringing forward at the Ridley inquest most mendacious and calumnious accusations against the unhappy man, threatening to blacken his character—[Mr. W. O'BRIEST: Certainly not!]—when there was no man left to defend him. There was actually an attempt made to induce the jury to bring in a verdict of felo de se, and then to brand the unhappy man with the character of a felon. What Dr. Ridley thought of the hon. Gentleman himself and his friends was evident, not from evidence got up afterwards, but from contemporary letters which have been produced since. For instance, it was Dr. Ridley who talked of the far-fetched blackguardism of the proceedings by which his character had been attacked. The hon. Gentleman then went on to discuss the whole question of Mr. Mandeville's treatment in prison. I 1079 suppose most hon. Members who are now listening to me heard the account of Mr. Mandeville's treatment given by the hon. Member for East Cork (Mr. Lane). Would it not be supposed from that account that this unhappy man was in a constant, state of illness, and that while he was suffering from severe diarrhœa, from a severe affection of the eyes, and from severe sore throat—that while he was suffering from this accumulation of ailments he was subjected day after day to a succession of brutal punishments for not wearing the prison clothes? Will it be believed that the total number of days' punishment which Mr. Mandeville was subjected to during the whole course of his imprisonment was six? ["No!"] Six days' punishment Mr. Mandeville was subjected to during the whole course of his imprisonment; and the chief hardship—if hardship it could be called—to which he was subjected during those six days' punishment was the diet of bread and water, and on the subject of the diet of bread and water Mr. Mandeville himself said, in a speech reported in The Freeman's Journal on the 27th of December—As to the mere bread and water, I did not care a snap of my finger about it.That was Mr. Mandeville's own statement, and his own view of what I regard as the chief incident of the punishment inflicted upon him throughout the whole of the two months during which he was subjected to imprisonment. Then the hon. Gentleman has brought up the question of diarrhœa. Let me point out to the Committee that the whole medical case of the hon. Gentleman and of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian, and of those persons who have dealt with the prison treatment of Mr. Mandeville, rests, not upon the testimony of doctors who examined him, but upon the testimony of doctors who did not examine him. [Cries of "Who are they?"] It rests entirely—I do not count the Report of the Medical Gentleman who sent in a Report without seeing Mr. Mandeville at all; I leave that on one side—it rests entirely upon the allegation made by Dr. Moorhead. Now, Dr. Moorhead never examined the prisoner medically. He was a Visiting Justice, and in the interests, I presume, of the National Leage, he abused his position of Visiting Justice in 1080 order to send inflammatory and mendacious reports to the newspapers of what went on, and his conduct, which, in my opinion, would have been disgraceful in any circumstances, was rendered doubly disgraceful by the fact that the man whose character he was taking away was his professional rival. It is on the testimony of that gentleman, and on the testimony of that gentleman alone, that assertions with regard to the health of Mr. Mandeville are made. We have to put against them the actual testimony of the three doctors who did examine Mr Mandeville—namely, Dr. Ridley, Dr. Barr—[Ironical Cheers]—I have not done with Dr. Ban—and Dr. MacCabe. Well, these doctors all agreed in saying that the attacks of diarrhœa were trifling. [Cries of "Quote the evidence!"] There is no evidence that the diarrhœa was otherwise than trifling, and there is this positive evidence that it was trifling.
Order, order! The hon. and learned Member for the Harbour Division of Dublin must restrain his impatience. I am sorry to have to appeal to him personally. I have had to do so before. He must not interrupt the speaker.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
And there is this positive evidence that the ailment was trifling—namely, that the prisoner himself refused treatment for it, certainly on one occasion. Very well. Then there is the question of rheumatism. Is it conceivable that a man suffering from rheumatism should refuse, as Mr. Mandeville did refuse, to use the flannel garments which were offered to him? Then, Sir, there is the question of the sore throat. The hon. Member who has just sat down has had the hardihood to declare that the disease from which Mr. Mandeville ultimately died was one that had already manifested itself when he was in prison. Mr. Mandeville was examined not merely by Dr. Ridley, not merely by Dr. Barr—but by Dr. MacCabe, and Dr. MacCabe could not find any evidence of ailment of the throat. Under these circumstances what is the value of the accusation made by 1081 the hon. Member that this man was not admitted to hospital? Has there ever been shown the slightest reluctance on the part of any doctor in Ireland to put any prisoner in hospital, be he one of that Party opposite, or be he a member of any other Party, who ought properly to be in hospital? The hon. Member himself was in hospital most of the time he was imprisoned. The hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon) was in hospital, I believe, the whole time of his imprisonment; and Dr. Ridley himself, if I am not mistaken, actually implored the Member for East Cork—if my recollection serves me, the fact came out at the Ridley inquest—to go into hospital, but he would not do so. We have this accumulation of testimony, that there has been no reluctance on the part of the Irish prison doctors to send any man to hospital.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
And in the face of that the hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. O'Brien) actually comes down to this House with the amasing and absurd fiction that Mr. Mandeville was purposely kept out of hospital to prevent him getting hospital treatment, with the view of carrying out the amicable object the Chief Secretary had in view—namely, putting an untimely end to his existence.
§ MR. W. O'BRIEN
Mr. Chairman, is the right hon. Gentleman in Order in imputing that statement which I, as a Representative of the people, submitted very solemnly to the House is a fiction?
I did not understand that. I was watching the right hon. Gentleman very carefully, and I did not understand that he imputed to the hon. Member that he intended to put forward a false statement.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Very well; so much for the hospital treatment, or the want of hospital treatment, of Mr. Mandeville. Now I come to the question of bread and water and semi-starvation and the rope. It is perfectly true that Mrs. Mandeville said that Mr. Mandeville had, upon one occasion, put a rope round his waist because he was suffering from hunger. I am sorry to 1082 say that it is absolutely impossible for me to attach any credence to that story; but I have no doubt Mrs. Mandeville, when she made it, made it in perfect good faith. My reasons are these: In the first place, the prison officials said that such an incident could not possibly take place in prison without the prison officials knowing it. No prisoner in England or Ireland, or anywhere else, could possibly put a rope round his waist, even if he could get a rope, which he could not, without its being known to the prison officials, and it never was known. My second reason is, that while every incident of the imprisonment of this gentleman was made the subject of comment—and not always of veracious comment—in the Nationalist journals at the time, while every incident was twisted in order to prove that prisoners were suffering from unusual and unheard-of treatment, we never heard a word of this incident of the rope round Mr. Mandeville's waist until Mr. Mandeville was no more. In the third place, the quantity of the diet of bread and water is perfectly well known. It is, I believe, the same in England as in Ireland; and there is no evidence whatever—what evidence there is is entirely the other way—that that diet, however disagreeable in other ways, was so limited in quantity that it would not satisfy the appetite of an ordinary man. There is one other argument I have to bring before the Committee on this subject. At the very time it was alleged that Mr. Mandeville was so far suffering from starvation that he had to tie a rope round his waist, we know from independent testimony—from hon. Members opposite—that two or three of the Members for Cork, who were at that time incarcerated, were at that moment receiving clandestinely food from outside. If they could receive food—if they could mitigate the horrors of the prison, under a Conservative Government, by getting food from outside—why could not Mr. Mandeville do the same? Let us have some explanations of this exceptional treatment of Mr. Mandeville. The hon. Member for North-East Cork (Mr. W. O'Brien) could get it; the hon. Member for South-East Cork (Mr. Hooper) could get it.
§ MR. HOOPER
I regret to say the right hon. Gentleman cannot have read the evidence I gave at the inquest, or he would not have made that statement.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
If Mr. Mandeville was suffering from exceptional starvation, I cannot understand why he or his friends could not find the means of obtaining food from outside, as the hon. Members for North-East and South-East Cork did. Now, we come to the question of prison clothes. The hon. Gentleman has given the Committee an account of what took place when Mr. Mandeville was compelled to put on his prison clothes, the accuracy of which I absolutely dispute. I have expressed before in the House my opinion that the officials of the prison would not only be justified, but would be obliged to use such amount of force as should, unhappily, be necessary to compel prisoners to obey the Prison Rules; but I am glad to think that in this case the amount of force used was so trifling as hardly to be perceptible. [An hon. MEMBER: He was awoke out of his sleep.] He was not. The incident occurred a little after 8 o'clock in the evening, and the gas was still burning. The warders came in, and Mr. Mandeville acting on the ludicrous policy—I never could regard it as otherwise than a comic policy—by which the hon. Member for North-East Cork (Mr. W. O'Brien) attempted to vindicate the liberties of his country—declined to put on the prison clothes, and he gave just that amount of passive resistance which was necessary to afford adequate proof that he was carrying out that policy. But that this strong man offered any serious resistance to the warders there is no evidence to show; all the evidence absolutely contradicts it. Nor is it true, as the hon. Gentleman seems to believe, and attempted to make the Committee believe, that when Mr. Mandeville was deprived of his clothes he was left shivering in the cold without any means of covering. In the first place, the new clothes were left in the cell; and, in the second place, he was left with the ordinary bed-clothes. He went to bed in the ordinary way, and remained there until 5 o'clock the next morning. If he walked about, as the hon. Gentleman alleged, covered 1084 only by a sheet, it was entirely due to his own voluntary action—it had nothing to do with the action of the prison officials, and he had no one but himself to thank for the consequences. I am glad that, so far as any evidence we have can give any indication on the point, he suffered no inconvenience. Now, I have gone through in detail the particular allegations made by the hon. Gentleman with regard to the maladies from which the hon. Gentleman alleges Mr. Mandeville suffered during his imprisonment. Then the hon. Gentleman put before us two alternative theories as to Mr. Mandeville's death—his own theory and what he calls our theory, and he asked the Committee to decide which was most probable. His theory is that the seeds of the inflammation of the throat, of which Mr. Mandeville died, were sown in his constitution during the course of his imprisonment; that he practically left the prison a dying man; and that he took six months to die simply because he happened to be a man of exceptionally strong constitution. Now, before I come to our theory of Mr. Mandeville's death, let me point out the objections there are to the hon. Gentleman's theory. In the first place, we have the evidence of the doctors who examined the gentleman that he was not suffering from any serious malady of the throat at all. In the second place, Dr. Moore, who went from Dublin—and not he alone, but Dr. Barr also—swore that the malady of which Mr. Mandeville died could not have laid dormant in the constitution for more than a comparatively small number of days. We have, further, the fact that Mrs. Mandeville never advised her husband to go near a doctor during the whole of the six months which elapsed between his release from prison and his final illness. Now it will be observed that besides this we have the fact that Mr. Mandeville, who was a very heavy man—upwards of 17 stone in weight—only lost three pounds during the course of his imprisonment, the severity of which has been described by the hon. Gentleman. Then we find that Mr. Mandeville, in a speech he made at Cork, said he had not lost a feather by his imprisonment. We have the contemporaneous evidence of the reporter of The Freeman's Journal that Mr. Mandeville looked perfectly well at the time—that he was in excel- 1085 lent spirits; we find, further, that it was proved on oath at the trial on the 1st of March that Mr. Mandeville said he had never in his life been in better health; and, lastly, we have the whole course of life which Mr. Mandeville pursued during the interval between his release from prison and his death. Anyone who examines the circumstances will say that none but a very strong man would venture to go through the continual excitement, exposure, and fatigue to which Mr. Mandeville voluntarily exposed himself after his release from gaol. These difficulties seem to me to be absolutely insuperable; and observe that they do not rest upon evidence got up after Mr. Mandeville died—they rest upon contemporary statement, largely, if not entirely; and I am bound to say, after looking through all the evidence presented at the inquest, that every statement that was not a contemporary statement appears to me as extremely suspicious. Then, what is our theory? It is simply this: Mr. Mandeville was a strong man; he was subjected to the ordinary treatment to which prisoners in Ireland are subjected—a milder treatment than that which ordinary English prisoners receive; he had not to undergo any very prolonged punishment; there is no contemporary evidence whatever that he suffered by his imprisonment; there is contemporary evidence that after his release he lived a life of extreme fatigue and excitement; there is evidence that the disease he died of—namely, an in flamamtory affection of the throat—was one he might easily have caught from the life of exposure which he did live; and I am utterly unable to understand how any human being who puts these two theories side by side and considers the evidence upon which they both rest, can hesitate for a moment as to which ought to be adopted. Now no one will accuse me of having shirked the real issue. I must protest—no, I will not protest, for it is too foolish to protest against—but I must call the attention of the Committee to the gross absurdity of the theory habitually put forward by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. O'Brien) that I have any design against his life or of that of any of his friends. That is a theory which seems to me to be the production of a diseased vanity. I assure the hon. Gentleman that if ever I entertained the design of committing 1086 murder, it is not upon him or his friends that I should commence operations. If he really supposes that I or any gentleman who has been a Member of the House—I will not say anyone who has ever occupied a responsible position—could ever entertain such a design, the absurdity of which almost exceeds its wickedness—if he really entertains such a theory, the sooner he purges his mind of it the sooner he may be able to apply his intellect impartially and clearly to the consideration of contemporary Irish Questions. Now I am reminded by my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General for Ireland of a matter which I should have been very sorry to have forgotten. I promised the Committee just now that I would refer again to Dr. Barr. I have more than once had to boar testimony, and have gladly borne testimony to the merits of Dr. Barr; but I should like to call the attention of the Committee to testimony to Dr. Barr's merits which does not depend either upon the opinion of the Prisons Board of England, though I do not think that opinion is not likely to be attacked from the Front Bench opposite, nor upon my own, but upon the opinion of Dr. Barr's own professional brethren. Will the Committee allow me to read the testimony to Dr. Barr's merits, signed by 181 medical men of Liverpool of all shades of political opinion, initiated by Dr. William Carter, the President of the Medical Institution. It is as follows:—We, whose names are affixed hereto, knowing Dr. James Barr, and appreciating strongly his high and independent personal character and sound professional abilities, desire to express our sympathy with him in the recent attacks made upon him, and especially in the unfair attempt to depreciate him professionally, made by a Medical Member of the House of Commons on the 15th instant.That is signed by Dr. William Carter and 181 medical gentlemen of all shades of political opinion.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
That is not all. I am authorized to use publicly a letter from Dr. William Carter to Dr. Barr. It appears Dr. Barr offered to show Dr. William Carter, confidentially, the Report he made upon the Irish prisons. Dr. William Carter replied— 108778, Rodney Street, Nov. 27, 1888.My dear Dr. Barr,—Unless you particularly wish me to have a private inspection of your Reports, I will not avail myself of the offer, for the following reason—namely, that I have such absolute faith in the integrity and generosity of your disposition as to be fully persuaded, first that you would not turn to the right hand nor to the left from the plain path of duty to please anybody: and, secondly, that you would deal truly and generously with a political opponent as with a political friend; and that, if I inspected your Reports, it would seem almost like implying a doubt about your possession of the good qualities I have mentioned. If—I beg the attention of the Committee to this fact—If I were a political prisoner—as, owing to my total dissent from the methods and principles of the present Government, I might possibly have been, if accident had not removed me many years ago from Ireland—there would be no man whose Report on my health I would more implicitly trust for soundness, and even for leaning towards generosity within the limits of truth and duty, than yours. I regret very much to see the attacks made upon you in the House of Commons.And then follows a reference to a private individual. I have been favoured by other gentlemen high in the Medical Profession with the strongest testimonials to Dr. Barr's merits; but I have not been authorized to use them in particular. I have been authorized to use the letter of Dr. William Carter, and I do it with peculiar pleasure, because the man who wrote it is not merely a representative of the Medical Profession in Liverpool, but he is an advanced and ardent Home Ruler. He is an advanced and ardent supporter of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian; and testimony couched in such language, and coming from such a quarter, may, I think, impose some silence upon those who have thought fit to turn their political venom against Dr. Barr. In connection with these points, I might—had I not already kept the Committee much longer than I intended—have brought forward some satisfactory comparisons of the prison treatment in Ireland and in England; but I think what I have said is simply sufficient to show that, so far as anything has been brought forward against the Government with regard to the treatment of political prisoners in Ireland in general, and with regard to Mr. Mandeville in particular, the case absolutely breaks down, that it will not stand a moment's impartial 1088 investigation, and that we may safely leave it to the verdict of our countrymen.
MR. T. P. O'CONNOE (Liverpool, Scotland)
said, he would deal first with the statement which the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary had made with regard to the weight of Mr. Mandeville. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman took the trouble to read the evidence at the Mandeville inquest or not; but, if so, he begged to call his attention to the evidence of Mr. William Webb. Mr. Mandeville was weighed in the Cork Gaol by Mr. William Webb, or on scales under the control of that gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that there was only a diminution of three pounds in the weight of Mr. Mandeville; but Mr. Webb, in his cross-examination by the hon. and learned Member for the Harbour Division of Dublin (Mr. T. C. Harrington), said he was present in February last when the weights were tested by the Constabulary, and found that they were not correct. It was upon the result of the weighing on these scales that the right hon. Gentleman founded his statement that Mr. Mandeville was only reduced three pounds in weight. He was afraid that that statement of the right hon. Gentleman was quite as untrustworthy as many others he had made. In the course of his speech, the right hon. Gentleman had also said that the hon. Member who had just spoken (Mr. W. O'Brien) and his Colleagues brought disgraceful charges against Dr. Ridley. They denied that statement. The right hon. Gentleman gave as an excuse for his own disgraceful and gross language in Glasgow, the language which he said that hon. Members employed towards Dr. Ridley, but that language, if employed at all towards Dr. Ridley, was employed towards him alive, while the gross insults of the right hon. Gentleman were directed against Mr. John Mandeville dead. The Chief Secretary had said that John Mandeville was only subjected to six day's punishment altogether. Had the right hon. Gentleman read the evidence given by his own official, the Governor of Tullamore Gaol, at the inquest on Mr. Mandeville's body? That gentleman stated that on November 5 he sentenced John Mandeville to one day's punish- 1089 ment, on November 14 to three days' punishment, but one of which days was remitted. On November 28 to one day; on December 8 to two days'; and on December 20 to two days' solitary confinement in the punishment cell. They amounted to eight days' punishment altogether.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
He was condemned to eight days' punishment, but only suffered six days' punishment.
§ MR.T. P. O'CONNOR
said, the testimony of the Governor of the Gaol, which he preferred to that of the right hon. Gentleman, was that only one day's punishment out of the nine was remitted, which made eight days' punishment in all. The right hon. Gentleman had also said that there was no contemporary evidence that Mr. John Mandeville suffered from throat disease. How could the right hon. Gentleman have arrived at that conclusion? Dr. Ridley was contemporary evidence that Mandeville suffered from throat disease, for Dr. Ridley himself gave Mandeville a gargle for his throat. Dr. Barr was evidence that Mandeville suffered from throat disease, because he acknowledged that he suggested to Dr. Ridley that a gargle should be given to Mandeville. Dr. M'Cabe was contemporary evidence that Mandeville suffered from throat disease. Dr. M'Cabe said he was unable to find symptoms of sore throat himself; but he did not deny that Mandeville complained of sore throat. All the time Mandeville was in gaol he complained of sore throat, and treatment for sore throat was frequent on the part of Dr. Ridley. Under such circumstances the Right hon. Gentleman had the face to say that there was no contemporary evidence of the existence of sore throat. Again, would the Committee believe that the same records, upon which the right hon. Gentleman relied as to John Mandeville's weight, gave his age when first he was admitted to prison as 38; that subsequently they gave it at 34; and, by the time he went out, they gave it at 30? The right hon. Gentleman shortened the life of John Mandeville by his prison treatment; but, at least, he could not take eight years from the life he had already lived. Now, the Glasgow speech was slightly more vigorous than the poor, fumbling, and weak speech they had had from the right 1090 hon. Gentleman to-night. The right hon. Gentleman was not then confronted by his opponents, and he gave full play to that sinister wit which he possessed in association with the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury), who insulted 250,000,000 of Her Majesty's subjects by the odious title of "Black men." The right hon. Gentleman had dared to defend the taste of his Glasgow speech. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) was in Glasgow two days after that speech was delivered, and it was his duty to reply to that speech. He had to read the reports of the speech carefully, but he could scarcely follow the meaning of the right hon. Gentleman, because of the fact that nearly every phrase was interrupted by the shouts of merriment which his coarse jokes over the grave of John Mandeville evoked. Scotchmen were generally supposed not to be more quickly alive to a joke than men of other Nationalities; but the jokes of the right hon. Gentleman, which he described as obscure, were so palpable that every man in that Scotch audience burst into shouts of laughter at every second sentence. The right hon. Gentleman meant to provoke laughter at the expense of a man who lay silent in his grave, and at the expense of some hon. Gentlemen here still happily alive to answer his taunts and his sneers. There was in Scotland no more unflinching supporter of the right hon. Gentleman's policy than the Unionist organ, The Glasgow Herald, but so disgusted was The Glasgow Herald with the tone and taste of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, that it publicly rebuked him on the day after his speech. What did the right hon. Gentleman say of Mr. Mandeville? He said that on May 21 Mr. Mandeville drove home late at night and took part in a drunken row, and that statement was followed by laughter. The right hon. Gentleman said—Ladies and gentlemen, do not misunderstand me. I have not the smallest idea in what capacity Mr. Mandeville appeared on the occasion,His refutations of the charge of drunkenness in the case of Mr. Mandeville were quite as sincere as was the use of the phrase—"They are all honourable men," by which a great Roman once wished to describe and denounce his political opponents. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say that— 1091On Jane 4 Mandeville was in Fermoy, and remained in a public-house until 10 o'clock, and that on June 21 he was seen in a public-house in Fermoy at 11.30 o'clock—14 miles from home.And again there was laughter. In the course of half-a-dozen lines the words public-house were mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman three times, plainly suggesting—though not openly and courageously avowing—that Mr. John Mandeville was what the right hon. Gentleman's tools in Ireland had endeavoured to paint him as being—namely, a man of intemperate habits. The right hon. Gentleman described John Mandeville's crime as that of urging tenants to resist eviction. Why did not the right hon. Gentleman have the honesty to say that in the affair with which John Mandeville was associated not a single blow was struct, and no harm done to anyone? Why did he not say, as he must know, that to-day and for all time to come, the tenants, and the children of the tenants, on the Mitchelstown estate would bless the name of John Mandeville for having secured them peace, happiness, and prosperity? The right hon. Gentleman disclaimed all responsibility for his audience; he was not at all surprised at that. "Was," he said, "his treatment harsh and unjustifiable?" and then there were cries of "No, no!" and cheers. That even shocked the right hon. Gentleman; for he went on to say—Well, I do not ask you to accept that conclusion until I have finished.To-night the right hon. Gentleman denied that he had said anything injurious of Mrs. Mandeville. What did he mean by saying that he attached no weight to the evidence that was concocted after Mr. Mandeville's death? The evidence that was given after death was evidence given not only by medical men—but the most serious, most damaging, and most convincing evidence was given by the widow. Therefore, when the right hon. Gentleman spoke of concocted evidence, he must have meant the evidence given by Mrs. Mandeville as well as by the doctors. The right hon. Gentleman was guilty of the miserable expedient of throwing dirt at the widow of a man whom his officers had done to death. The Chief Secretary had said that the reporter of The Freeman's Journal had spoken of John 1092 Mandeville as being in the best health and spirits. His hon. Friend (Mr. W. O'Brien) had dealt with that statement; but he had dealt with it in a way that any honourable and high-minded man could understand. The hon. Gentleman had said that the Chief Secretary took advantage of the cheery words of a brave spirit as indicative of the man's health. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) had read Mr. Mandeville's letters; he had read all the evidence concerning him; and the conviction in his mind—and, he thought, in the mind of every impartial man—was that, if there was one thing more conspicuous among the many noble qualities of John Mandeville than another, it was his noble fortitude and his reticence as to his own sufferings. That very reticence it was that the right hon. Gentleman turned against him. The right hon. Gentleman said that no doctor did anything for Mr. Mandeville; that the wife never called in a doctor. That was a most injurious statement to make in regard to the widow of John Mandeville. It was a statement amounting to a charge of gross neglect of her duty as a wife. But the statement was not true; it was utterly untrue. Dr. M'Craith prescribed for John Mandeville; but there was another doctor whose evidence he regretted was not taken. Dr. O'Hara actually was called in by John Mandeville to examine his eyes. What took place? While Dr. O'Hara was examining the eyes of John Mandeville, this powerful giant fainted. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) could not say how long it was after his imprisonment. His hon. Friend (Mr. W. O'Brien) now told him it was about a month before his death. It was, therefore, long before the final seizure which, according to the right hon. Gentleman, was a circumstance which arose suddenly and killed suddenly. Could proof be required more clear or convincing that the health of John Mandeville was broken down by prison treatment and prison doctors? There was a consensus of opinion among medical men, excepting, of course, Dr. Barr, and one or two other prison officials, that John Mandeville, when he came out of gaol, was remarkable for a blueness of the lips; and in this connection might he be permitted to allude to the lamentable death of a Colleague of his, the late Mr. Dwyer Gray? A few months before that gentleman died he remarked, in his 1093 lips, that very same lividity which was described by a witness in regard to John Mandeville. Mr. Dwyer Gray died of syncope of the heart in connection with asthma. There was no symptom, he was informed by a medical man, which more clearly proved weakness of the heart than that very blueness of the lips. The lividity of Mr. Mandeville's lips, immediately after he came out of prison, proved conclusively to his mind, and he thought to every rational man, that at the very moment of his release he was already suffering from weakness of the action of the heart, which was one of the causes of his death. Dr. Barr was examined at the Ridley inquest in regard to this blueness of the lips. The resources of that medical gentleman did not fail him upon this occasion. In the first place, he denied that there was any blueness of the lips at all; and when that could no longer be denied, he advanced the theory that the blueness might be due to the use of a blue pocket-handkerchief. What were they to think of the capacity, or the honesty, or the impartiality, or the humanity of a doctor who, when he was brought face to face with this lividity of lips, which was one of the strongest signs of the weakness of the heart's action, found refuge in the statement that it was, perhaps, due to the use of a blue pocket-handkerchief? The statement was worthy of the Chief Secretary himself. He had shown how untrue the statement was that Mr. Mandeville did not go to a doctor in the interval between his release and his death. The Chief Secretary relied on Dr. Moore's evidence; but did Dr. Moore ever see Mr. Mandeville alive or dead? Dr. Barr never saw him when he was dying, and never saw him when he was dead. Dr. M'Cabe never saw him when he was dying, and never saw him when he was dead; and they were asked to disbelieve all the men who saw him dying and saw him dead, and to believe the evidence of men, some of whom never saw him alive, and none of whom saw him dying. He never heard a more extraordinary demand upon the credulity of mankind. Dr. Moore gave his account of the case from statements made to him; and the right hon. Gentleman, in face of that fact, which he took care not to tell to his Glasgow audience, made the audacious statement that the evidence of Dr. Moore alone was sufficient to prove the case of 1094 the Government that Mr. Mandeville did not die of the prison treatment. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) did not deny the evidence of Dr. Moore; he was not inclined even to throw doubt upon Dr. Moore's impartiality, especially as he saw the right hon. Gentleman made him declare that the prison treatment could have had nothing to do with the death of John Mandeville, a statement he was sorry to say Dr. Moore committed himself to. At the same time, Dr. Moore was obliged to confess that such treatment as John Mandeville received was treatment calculated to predispose a man for the disease of which John Mandeville died. The evidence of Dr. Moore, so far as it could be relied upon at all, was in favour of, and not against, the Nationalist case. His hon. Friend had called attention to the fact that Dr. M'Craith, another doctor who committed himself clearly and explicitly to the statement that the prison treatment contributed to the death of John Mandeville, was a Constabulary doctor, and therefore under the control of the right hon. Gentleman himself. Then the right hon. Gentleman said that the Irish Prison Rules were more lenient than the English Prison Rules. That was exactly on a par with the statement that the laws of England and Ireland were exactly the same. The statement, however, was absolutely untrue; but, supposing it was true, they all knew that two countries might have the same laws, but very different administration of those laws. Would anybody dare to treat English prisoners as Mr. Mandeville was treated? His hon. Friend said that Mr. Mandeville was not treated as well as ordinary prisoners in England who were willing to wear the garb of their profession. But his hon. Friend did not state the whole strength of his case. Even leaving out the question of the wearing of the prison garb altogether, John Mandeville was not treated as well as a burglar or a pickpocket would be in England. The first rule and maxim of prison treatment and of medical authorities in gaols in England was that a prisoner, if ill, should be sent to the hospital, and should not be tortured as John Mandeville was. What became of the statement that the Prison rules in Ireland were more lenient than those in England? The meaning of the statement was that the poorest Irish patriots were tortured in the Irish prisons 1095 in a way that the vilest cut-throat would not he tortured in England. Mandeville was suffering from diarrhœa; and if he had been in any English gaol he would have been in hospital. It was only because he was in an Irish gaol, under the more lenient rule of Irish prisons, that he was allowed to remain suffering in his cell. He would like now to deal with the question whether the evidence in regard to John Mandeville's suffering was contemporaneous or concocted ex post facto in order to make a case. And here let him recommend to the right hon. Gentleman's perusal the little penny pamphlet called John Mandeville's Murder, and written by Mr. Sidney Halifax. From that pamphlet it would be seen that Mrs. Mandeville's evidence in regard to the suffering of her husband was evidence which she gave months before the poor man's death. Mr. Mandeville died in June; but on the 7th of the preceding January Mrs. Mandeville wrote to Mrs. Halifax—You can well imagine my joy in having my husband home. He was very thin and weak; but, thank God, is daily pulling up. His eyes have become quite weak from the white prison walls, and I think it will be a long time before they will be as strong as they were before.There was a second letter given in the pamphlet; it was not dated; but he understood it was written about the same time—namely, January 7. It was written to a lady at Cambridge, and in which Mrs. Mandeville said—My dear Jack being liberated on Christmas Eve was quite unexpected, and evidently done by the Government to avoid demonstrations at Tullamore and at stations along the line. His cell was flagged and bitterly cold. I wonder my husband did not go mad. He tied a rope round his waist, which he tightened as his hunger grew worse.This was the story the right hon. Gentleman said he could not believe. Here, however, was astatement not only setting forth the same fact, but a statement in the very same words which were employed six months afterwards, a coincidence which was absolutely conclusive of the bona-fides of the statement. Now what had the right hon. Gentleman to say as to the assertion made by Mrs. Mandeville being made "in a state of great excitement"? But this was not the only testimony he had. He had also a letter written by John Mandeville himself, and dated January the 2nd, 1096 1888, also six months before his death—more than six months. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) would not go through the letter now. All he would say was that it corresponded in every particular in this statement as to the man's treatment with the statement made afterwards by his widow at the trial. How could these statements be accidental? If he (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) made a statement now, and if six months hence he should die, and if that statement remained on record, supposing it were repeated after his death, surely the coincidence would not be accidental. Would it rather not be corroboration sufficient to bring conviction to any candid man? Therefore this ex post facto "evidence concocted after the man's death" was evidence that was given six months before there could have been any reason to quote such evidence. He left the right hon. Gentleman to reconcile this evidence on the part of Mrs. Mandeville with his pretended sympathy for her. And now he came to Dr. Barr. Dr. Barr did not seem to have understood in what capacity he went to the gaol. As he (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) understood this gentleman's functions, they were to report upon the treatment of the prisoners, and to assure the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary that they were being properly treated. Well, those were functions which were perfectly intelligible. He did not think the instrument chosen was very well adapted for the purpose of the right hon. Gentleman. What did Dr. Barr do? Why, he scarcely had arrived in the prison when, instead of simply confining himself to reporting upon the case, he interfered with the treatment of the prisoner by Dr. Ridley. He suggested a gargle, and made some other suggestions which he (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) could not at the moment recollect. But that was not the only kind of interference he practised. This generous and humane man spent every moment of his time there in either insulting John Mandeville, or in trying to overcome the humanity of the poor weak creature, Dr. Ridley, whose untimely death was as much at the door of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary as that of John Mandeville himself. Here, again, they had coincidents. The right hon. Gentleman smiled. There was a familiar quotation which he could 1097 apply to the right hon. Gentleman, but he would not repeat it at that moment. His idea of the right hon. Gentleman was not that he was a villain; he had another very different impression of his character, which he would take the liberty of submitting to the Committee before he sat down. Here were some singular coincidents. Every time that Dr. Barr visited this gaol there was an increase of the punishment of poor John Mandeville. Was this accidental? What did Dr. Barr say in his evidence? Why, his hon. Friend the Member for South-East Cork (Mr. Hooper), who was at that time in Tullamore Gaol, and who had just passed him a slip of paper with a memorandum—threw very considerable light on the relations between Dr. Barr and Dr. Ridley. His hon. Friend said—"Dr. Barr asked me to go back from the hospital cell, because he was expecting the mysterious doctor to visit him." That was not the only testimony which could be given by people who were in the hands of Dr. Ridley in testimony of the state of trepidation this poor man was in if he followed the dictates of his own humanity, and dared to disobey the mercenary and tool of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary—Dr. Barr. Every time Dr. Barr visited John Mandeville there came an increase of punishment. Dr. Barr had some explanation to give. He said the punishment could not have been the result of his visit, because his report had not reached Dublin Castle, and could not have been acted upon there until the punishment had been altered. Yes; but it was the influence of Dr. Barr upon Dr. Ridley, it was his prestige as the tool of the right hon. Gentleman, that gave him the power to force this poor, unfortunate, weak man into those acts of cruelty which his own humanity recoiled from. What was Dr. Barr's report?—Everything satisfactory in gaol; nothing the matter with Mr. Mandeville; the cell was perfectly comfortable.He further said that the fault of the prison authorities in regard to John Mandeville was not the torture he suffered in gaol, but the fact that he was not kept two years there instead of six months. Now, in this gaol described as "comfortable," John Mandeville was chilled up to the knees. It was admit- 1098 ted that a change had been made in the punishment cell.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
An hon. Friend said the cell had since been boarded—then John Mandeville had not died in vain. That was true in more senses than one. There had been an aperture in the cell.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
said, he did not know whether it was an ordinary cell, but there was an aperture which let in cold draughts to the bed on which John Mandeville had to lie. These were very small things, no doubt, and the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary could afford to loll and smile. If the right hon. Gentleman himself, however, were in gaol for three days, he would whine to the whole world. Why, only the other day, the whole world was taken into his confidence, and daily bulletins were published with regard to a slight cough and feverish cold with which the right hon. Gentleman was afflicted. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) had not observed on that occasion that Dr. Barr was called in. There was another thing he wanted to ask about Dr. Barr. Did Dr. Barr ever examine John Mandeville properly? He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) had stated earlier on that he would presently allude to John Mandeville's eyes. Well, he thought it was Dr. Evans who swore that John Mandeville was suffering from retinal congestion, which was one of the symptoms—one of the most lamentable symptoms—of renal complaint. It was proved that when John Mandeville was dying, his disease of the throat was complicated by renal disorder, and this weakness of the eyes of which he complained was not only weakness of the eyesight, but was one of the premonitory symptoms which ought to have made it plain to any ordinary man—[Interruption.]—he must ask to be protected from disorderly interruptions of hon. Members below the Gangway opposite. What he wished to point out was that the state of John Mandeville's eyes, as well as the colour of his lips, was an indication of renal complaint and disease of the kidneys. The eyes had been called the windows of the soul, but to a medical man they were 1099 also the windows of the body. If a man was suffering from certain diseases the eyes would reveal those diseases to a medical man. Dr. Barr looked at the eyes of John Mandeville, but did not examine them. He was candid enough to admit that his examination of John Mandeville was a superficial examination. Here was a man whose eyesight was almost entirely destroyed, as was proved after he left the gaol, and yet a cursory official examination was all that this "generous and humane" medical man thought it necessary to make. Dr. Barr had received a testimonial from his friends in Liverpool. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) did not know any Profession which ought to stand higher in human esteem than the Profession of Medicine. He should be tempted to say that the avocation of a statesman was a little higher if he did not know the poor things and the creatures who now claimed the title of statesmen. But what were the canons of medical etiquette? His impartiality. They all knew that a fierce controversy had lately been raging over the death bed of the late Emperor of Germany—and he only alluded to this for the purpose of illustrating his point. There was not a man connected with the Profession in the world, he would undertake to say, who would not declare that a medical man was untrue to the highest and the simplest obligations of his Profession, if he did not think of his patient and his patient alone. Gentleness and mercy were also the attributes of a medical man. They frequently noticed these attributes in the gentlemen of the Medical Profession, oftentimes, indeed, running to extreme. Often when a man was sentenced to death for murder they had an outcry from the Medical Profession that the man should not be hanged because he was suffering from mental disease, the whole bent of the medical man being towards leniency, mercy, and gentleness. Let them test Dr. Barr's conduct, however, by these professional canons. At the inquest at John Mandeville's death Dr. Barr sat beside the Crown Counsel, and, as he had himself confessed, had coached them, made suggestions to them, and even proposed the line their cross-examination should take, as though he were the junior counsel for the Crown. He made suggestions, not only with regard to the medical 1100 treatment portion of the case, but with regard to that portion of the case bearing on prison treatment. He was asked whether he had not devoted a good deal of his time to instructing counsel in this case, and in giving evidence on the medical portions of it, and Dr. Barr had replied in the affirmative. He said that he had acted in this way when members of his own Profession were under examination, and he was asked if he could mention a case in which a doctor had ever before adopted a similar course. In reply to this query he mentioned a railway case in which certain doctors had been called for the plaintiff, and others for the Railway Company. As a matter of fact, he had compared his position as an impartial official sent to the gaol to protect John Mandeville, to the position of paid professional men taking sides for the plaintiff and defendant in a Court of Law. This reminded him (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) of the story of the Judge who ought to be alive in these days, because if he were he would be described by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary as "a most impartial Judge "—a Judge who, turning to one of the parties in the case, said—"What have the other side to say in this case?" thereby identifying himself with one of the parties to the dispute. Dr. Barr was asked—Did you ever say he (John Mandeville) did not get half enough punishment?—No.Did you convey as much?—I may have.Did you say to any gentleman in Liverpool that John Mandeville was a great scoundrel, and deserved what he got?—No; but I may have used words to that effect.That was the kind of man that Dr. Barr was. He had violated every canon of the noble Profession to which he belonged, and he (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) denounced him as a disgrace to his high calling. So much for this case, which he (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) thought appealed to the best instincts of every humane and honest man. He had a strong conviction that all prison treatment was too severe in all cases. He thought they required a great prison reform in these days, not merely in regard to prisoners such as those to whom reference was made in this debate, but to all prisoners. The treatment of political offenders by the Irish Government was described as "bravery." He regarded it as bravery to endure 1101 tortures inflicted in prison, and to sit and laugh at the description of these tortures he looked upon as miserable cowardice. That, however, was the attitude of the Government in regard to the treatment of John Mandeville. He did not wish to use harsh words—he would not call such conduct womanish, because it would be a libel; he would call it unmanly. An unmanly and effeminate man was the man who inflicted tortures, from which a manly and brave nature would shrink, and to inflict tortures on such men as John Mandeville was no more bravery than he should regard the action of flogging the breath out of a dying horse. John Mandeville was dead, but he had not died in vain. He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) appealed across the grave which separated life from death; and he and his Friends would never rest until the cause for which John Mandeville died triumphed, and they had punished the vile dastard who had brought him to his end.
§ MR. H. J. WILSON (York, W.R., Holmfirth)
said, he desired to bear personal testimony with reference to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland on the Mitchelstown affair.
Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; Committee counted, and 40 Members being found present,
§ MR. H. J. WILSON
said, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) on the 9th of May, at the Memorial Hall, in referring to what had taken place at Mitchelstown, made certain statements which were attempted to be answered by the right hoc Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland at Battersea on the 16th of May. The right hon. Gentleman went so far as to say of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian's account that he believed it to be "wholly and absolutely true in every particular," and he went on to say that "the police barracks were in the most imminent danger," although he did not say what that imminent danger was. It was quite true that the police retreated to the barracks and that a certain number of stones were thrown, but hon. Members knew something of election riots and of the occasional smashing of committee-room and hotel win- 1102 dows. In the front of the Mitchelstown police barracks there were 165 panes of glass, of which seven were broken, and of those four were proved to have been broken by the police putting their rifles through them, and there was some doubt whether a fifth was not broken in the same way. There was no direct evidence of more than two panes having been broken by the persons who threw stones. He pointed out that the lower windows of police barracks in Ireland were protected with bullet-proof iron shutters, and how a barrack of that kind, full of armed men, could be in any danger from an unarmed crowd he was at a loss to understand. No one, he thought, in that House, would undertake to say that an attack by such a crowd would justify the use of fire-arms and the slaughter of the three men who fell on the day in question. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland then went on to say that from all he could learn those killed could not have been killed from the barrack windows, and that one of them was killed by a ricochet shot which glanced from some obstacle or stone building. The right hon. Gentleman last night seemed to speak of the bullet glancing from the ground, but to speak of the open street as an obstacle in that way appeared to be a curious use of an ordinary word. But the right hon. Gentleman made this statement six months after the inquest had taken place, and he ought to have known that two constables had given evidence that they had fired out of the window. In reply to a Question of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian the right hon. Gentleman said, on the 7th of June, that he had been correctly reported in The Times, and referred to a Report of a Departmental Committee which hon. Members had never been able to obtain, saying that it was physically impossible to fire a rifle out of the window from which the shot was alleged to have come in the direction of the place where Lonergan was standing; and, further, that it was impossible to do that without leaning out of the window and taking up a position which there was no evidence to show was adopted by the police. The right hon. Gentleman was, with reference to the whole of this matter, under a misapprehension as to the point that some hon. Members 1103 chiefly cared about. These poor men were killed; and it mattered not whether they were killed by a direct or by a ricochet shot. The police fired and they fired to kill, and they had instructions that when they fired they should fire with effect. The point he and his hon. Friends were chiefly interested in was as to whether the statements of the right hon. Gentleman in that House and at Battersea and elsewhere were or were not to be relied upon; and the facts in the case seemed to show conclusively that they could not be relied upon. He had said that the Report of the Departmental Committee had never been given to hon. Members. They had certain representations from Mr. Colomb, with regard to which he would say that they were not the Report they wanted, but he himself said that it was early in June that the ricochet shot was first suggested. Accompanying the observations of Mr. Colomb there were diagrams to illustrate what had taken place. Now, the right hon. Gentleman would not say last night whether the shot glanced from a wall or from the ground; but if there were any question as to that, why were they to be deluded by the plan which showed that it glanced from a building? If the shot glanced from the ground, they ought to have had a diagram constructed vertically; but all the facts showed that there was nothing in the mind of Mr. Colomb, but the idea that the bullet glanced from some stone building. It was now suggested that it was possible that the shot glanced from the ground. At Leeds the other day the right hon. Gentleman said he was perfectly convinced that the death of Lonergan was the result of a ricochet shot—but why could not he take up one ground or the other with regard to it? Before the Adjournment of Parliament he had addressed a letter to the right hon. Gentleman asking for the necessary authority to inspect the barracks at Mitchelstown, and in a short time he had received that authority from the Castle, and he desired to thank the right hon. Gentleman for permitting him to see the place for himself. He went and did exactly what the constable swore at the inquest he had done; he put his head out of the window—not his body; he had a rifle in his hand; the District Inspector sent a constable to 1104 stand on the spot where Lonergan fell, and with the rifle he took easy aim at the constable so standing. Further, he had with him a pocket camera with which he took a view of the square and the constable in it; he then went into the square, and from the spot in question photographed the barracks. He said that no one seeing the photographs would for one moment maintain the ridiculous statement of the right hon. Gentleman, that to have killed Lonergan from the window was physically impossible. He had had an interview with Mr. Colomb, who was a polite and courteous gentleman, and he wished that could be said of all the other officials. On the 4th of October he again went to Mitchelstown and satisfied himself in the same way as before; on the following day he was joined by his hon. Friend the Member for the Hoxton Division of Shoreditch (Mr. James Stuart), and they went together and repeated the experiment in each other's presence. He did not understand how any supporter of the right hon. Gentleman in that House, or anyone, could possibly pretend that there was any difficulty about the matter in question. The right hon. Gentleman had at Leeds thought fit to make fun of these photographs; he said the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian had sent his photographers to Mitchelstown. But that right hon. Gentleman did not, until a long time afterwards, know that they were sent, and it might perhaps more correctly be said that the Chief Secretary for Ireland had sent them. The right hon. Gentleman had used similar language at Battersea, and said that "as long as Mr. Gladstone spoke about Mitchelstown he should continue to do so. But with regard to the photographs he said they proved that if a man put himself in an extremely awkward position it would be possible to fire a bullet at the place where the man named Lonergan was alleged to have fallen. The right hon. Gentleman, being beaten out of the position of physical impossibility, now introduced the term "alleged to have fallen," in order to have something to fall back upon. Mr. Colomb had said that the crosses marked accurately the spot where the man fell, and yet the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland was obliged to abandon the main position in order to bring in 1105 these words. The right hon. Gentleman had gone on to say that he did not think it would be of any importance, even if it were proved that the policeman did what he was alleged to have done. Again they had the word "alleged"; the police swore that they aimed at the spot, and the right hon. Gentleman said—"I can assure you that the police did not do it." How could the right hon. Gentleman know that? He said he had proof; but why did he not produce it? The right hon. Gentleman then went on to sneer at those who had taken all the trouble to find out the truth of the matter, and finished by saying—I absolutely adhere to the opinion formerly expressed that Lonergan was killed by a ricochet shot.He had omitted one point—namely, that the line from the police barracks being produced, 100 yards through the point where Lonergan fell would fall upon the exact place that was struck by buckshot on the occasion, and that was a proof that the constables did what they said they had done. He asked on whose authority did the right hon. Gentleman say this was impossible, and whether he would have to place the same reliance as before on those who said it? The right hon. Gentleman was far too ready with his denials and contradictions, which would not always bear to be tested. He and his hon. Friends had tested his denial in this instance and found that it was not to be trusted. The right hon. Gentleman said that his opponents would not charge him with being indefinite or trying to raise side issues, but he thought the right hon. Gentleman who did charge him with that had made out his position pretty plainly; at all events he (Mr. H. J. Wilson) charged the right hon. Gentleman with endeavouring to raise side issues in this matter, and should be glad if he could clear himself from that charge. As a matter of fact, the "ricochet shot" had been thro wn in to contradict the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian, who said that the police aimed, and he wanted to know why the right hon. Gentleman continued to hold that view in the face of the evidence of the constables? He wanted to know why he had used the word "alleged," and why, after saying that the thing charged was absolutely impossible, he afterwards said at Leeds that the facts were true? This was a test case. They had proved 1106 that the replies of the right hon. Gentleman were unreliable, and he would leave it to him and his subordinates to say which of them had made the mistake.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Derby)
I should not have intervened in the debate, after the protracted discussion of last night, had not the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland thought it necessary to make an attack upon me in my absence, and say that I had led Lord Spencer, with whom I had the honour to serve, astray on the question of prison administration in England and Ireland. I, therefore, think it fit to take up the right hon. Gentleman's challenge, and the proposition I intend to lay before the Committee is that the statements of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary with reference to prison administration are unsound in doctrine and un-Constitutional in principle; and that all his statements of fact are as inaccurate in this case as he has been proved to be in almost all other points. The right hon. Gentleman has charged Lord Spencer with a great many things, all of which are contradictory, and absolutely unfounded. First, he says that Lord Spencer never made any distinction in the treatment of any of the Irish prisoners, and that he had made no such distinction in the case of the hon. and learned Member for the Harbour Division of Dublin (Mr. T. C. Harrington). That statement had been proved to be entirely unfounded; but it still continued to be made with all the glibness and positiveness which is usual with the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman says that the conduct of Lord Spencer was illegal, and that also is as unfounded as the statement which it is intended to support. Now, with reference to prison administration in England and Ireland, the Executive Government, as represented in England by the Home Secretary, and in Ireland by the Lord Lieutenant, are absolutely and immediately responsible for every act done in those countries with regard to prison administration; they have the whole control of the Prison Commissioners, and to endeavour, as the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary has done, to set up the Commissioners as an independent authority is un-Constitutional, and the idea is simply put forward for the purpose of 1107 shirking his own responsibility. It is stated in the Act of 1877 that—The prison authority shall be transferred to, and vested in, and exercised by one of Her Majesty's principal Secretaries of State.What is the position of the Commissioners? The next clause of the Act says—For the purpose of aiding the Secretary of State in carrying into effect this Act he is authorized to dismiss the present Commissioners.With regard to Ireland, the words are not the same, but the position is identical. The Prison Commissioners are subject to the orders given by the Lord Lieutenant; they are appointed by the Lord Lieutenant to hold office during his pleasure, and the Board are subject to such directions as they might from time to time receive from the Lord Lieutenant, and to the provisions of the Act for the control and management of all prisons and of all prisoners therein. To maintain a different doctrine from that would be to maintain the most un-Constitutional and mischievous doctrine conceivable. To set up a Body of Commissioners, not subject to the control of a responsible Minister, would be odious and intolerable, and Parliament never contemplated such a thing. To a certain extent the Visiting Justices were a protection to the prisoners, and I regarded the Act of 1877 at the time with some doubt; but it makes every act of the prison authorities the act of the Executive Government, and I came to look upon it as sound. I felt all the responsibility and difficulty of working the Act, and I used all my authority in diminishing the friction which was caused between the Prison Commissioners and the Visiting Justices, and in encouraging the latter to give security for prison administration. One of the things which I had observed with the greatest dislike and condemnation in Ireland was the attempt to defeat the protection given by the Visiting Justices. I had done all in my power to maintain that protection, because I felt how odious it would be to throw on the Government alone the responsibility for prison management But, at the present time, whenever it is thought that the Visiting Justices are likely to interfere in favour of prisoners, the latter are removed to other prisons in order to deprive them of the protection 1108 which Parliament and the Constitution has given them. In my position with reference to the Prison Commissioners I have had the immense advantage of the assistance of Sir Edmund Ducane, one of the ablest public administrators with whom I am acquainted. I consulted that gentleman on all matters, but I held myself personally responsible for the conduct of the Commissioners, and responsible to Parliament and the country for the treatment of prisoners in gaol. That is the doctrine which I hold, and which I communicated to Lord Spencer. Now the right hon. Gentleman chooses to attack me and say that I had led Lord Spencer astray. I should like to know how many people the right hon. Gentleman had led astray by the doctrine he has initiated. When Lord Spencer wrote to me to ask what was the principle of English prison administration, especially referring to the case of the hon. and learned Member for the Harbour Division of Dublin, I had no hesitation in replying at once; and Lord Spencer has read elsewhere an extract from the letter written to him in answer to that question. The letter is to this effect—In England I consider that the Secretary of State has absolute authority to deal with the treatment of particular prisoners as he thinks fit under the circumstances. Of course the regular rules are not departed from except for special and sufficient reason. I have so departed from the regular rule in Davitt's case. I think that in any case undue severity would do more harm than good. I do not make a formal or official order, but have given instructions through the Commissioners to the Governor of the gaol where special leniency and indulgence as to diet were to be exercised. Davitt's case was a difficult one, because he was under sentence of penal servitude. I took advantage of the delicacy of his health to relieve him as to labour, and give him good diet. I allowed him all the books he liked—even Hansard.And I remember making the observation at the time that that was rather an aggravation of his punishment—And I made a special order that he should be visited by his female friends. I had some difficulty in giving an order with regard to his male political friends.And I added—This has had a good effect. A good deal depends on the discretion of the Government, and I should advise you in the same way to mitigate the treatment of Mr. Harrington, assuming that you can trust the Governor.I am certain that I was acting within 1109 my legal authority in taking that course, and that the action was one which policy as well as humanity dictated. Now the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland to my infinite amazement last night, shows how ignorant he is, not only of the principles of the Constitution, but of the law which he has to administer, for he says that if Lord Spencer had given directions officially to the Prison Commissioners they would have refused to obey them. The right hon. Gentleman said that he had made the statement about Lord Spencer in ignorance. I believe that invincible ignorance has to be pleaded as a defence against pains and penalties, and the right hon. Gentleman may, at all events, take the benefit of that belief. I, therefore, denounce the doctrine of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland as absolutely inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution and the letter of the law. There is another aspect of this present case which bears on what my hon. Friend the Member for Holmfirth (Mr. H. J. Wilson) has said in reference to the extraordinary and glaring inaccuracy of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland. He is always hurling charges of mendacity against other people; but I think it is quite time that in this House and outside this House we should test the accuracy of his own statements. Upon this very subject the right hon. Gentleman attacked Lord Spencer and myself at Leeds. His first statement was that there had been no difference of treatment, and then he said he had discovered that there had been a difference of treatment, but it was illegal. Then the right hon. Gentleman went on to say—It appears from inquiries I have myself made on the subject that Lord Spencer gave orders orally in this matter to the Governor and the officials of the prison where Mr. Harrington was confined.I want to know whether he now adheres to the statement that Lord Spencer gave instructions orally to the Governor and the officials of a particular prison? This is not a statement rashly hazarded; but it is made after full inquiry. Then he goes on to say that Lord Spencer—Never consulted the Prisons' Board on the subject; that they"—that is the Prisons Board— 1110Gave no orders, and that he went behind their hacks in order to make the alteration in the treatment of one of the prisoners committed to the charge of the Prisons Board.Now, what is the meaning of that statement that Lord Spencer gave instructions to the Governor and the officials orally and directly, and that he went behind the back of the Prisons Board. It, of course, was not intended to convey to the world that the Prisons Board knew anything about his action. Then, I understand that last night the right hon. Gentleman stated that the orders were given by the Vice President of the Prisons Board. Now, if that is so, what are we to think of the accuracy of the statement made, after full inquiry, as to Lord Spencer's illegal conduct, when—so far as I can see from the report of the debate last night—it was stated, and not denied, that this order was given through the agent, who was a member of the Prisons Board, and that, therefore, the Prisons Board must have been perfectly acquainted with the subject. Before I leave this matter of the prison treatment I should like to say a word on the subject of the treatment of prisoners generally. It is a matter in which I have long taken a deep interest, and in which I have had some experience. It has been said, and argued very strongly, that under no circumstances will you make a difference in prison treatment in political cases from any other cases. I think the right hon. Gentleman has at various times thrown at my head sentiments to that effect. But I should like to know what he says to the fact that in both the Prison Acts there is a special provision that political offences are to be treated differently from any other? Both in the Irish and in the English Act there is a provision that a man guilty of a political offence shall be treated as a first-class misdemeanant. What is the meaning of it? I presume it is on account of the quality of the offence, that, although called a misdemeanant, he is not to be treated as an ordinary misdemeanant but as a first-class misdemeanant. A Divisional Magistrate of Lublin passed sentence upon a respected Member of this House (Mr. T. D. Sullivan). I cannot help saying that there must be something very wrong in a system which requires you, and makes it essential for your government of Ireland, to send to prison a man like the 1111 Lord Mayor of Dublin. [A Laugh.] The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, as usual, laughs; the more Lord Mayors he can send to prison the more successful he thinks he is. Far from regretting and disavowing it, it is, of course, a feather in his cap; if he can only send a Lord Mayor to prison, he is, of course, twice as great a Secretary. I am speaking from memory again, but I think the Divisional Magistrate said, in sentencing the late Lord Mayor of Dublin, that it was quite true that the case he had to deal with did not come directly within the provisions of the Act, but looking at the intention of Parliament in their legislation, he considered that in dealing with the case he ought to pass a sentence upon the prisoner as a first-class misdemeanant. That, I think, was reasonably held by the Divisional Magistrate of Dublin, and I wish all the Resident Magistrates of Ireland had the same common sense and the same regard for the spirit in which the legislation in regard to prisons had been passed. Now I leave this question of prison treatment, having endeavoured to answer the charge made by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, that the conduct of Lord Spencer and myself in holding ourselves personally and directly responsible for the directions given for the treatment of prisoners was illegal. But there is one other matter I should like to touch upon—namely, the affair at Mitehelstown, which raises what I consider to be a most important Constitutional principle. The fact that cannot be denied is that by the firing of the police certain persons were killed. In my opinion that is a very grave circumstance, but the Government treat it in a very off-hand and airy manner. They think their ipse dixit is to determine whether these men were lawfully and justly killed or not, but I maintain that, whether it be in the case of an individual or of a body of police, the act of killing a man is primâ facie a thing which has to be justified: it is homicide. It may be justifiable homicide; it may be an accident; it may be manslaughter; it may be murder; but the law of this country has made provision that such a circumstance shall not pass; that a public inquiry shall be held in order to see the ground upon which that justification rests. What is the tribunal which the Constitution has provided in cases of this kind? We all know 1112 it is a Coroner and a Coroner's Jury. What is a Coroner? All other Judges are appointed by the Crown, but a Coroner is appointed by the people in order that he shall be a defence against the Crown, in order that he may see that persons shall not be made away with by violence on the part of the agents of the Crown, You cannot be surprised that the first object of the administration of the right hon. Gentleman has been to set at nought and get rid of Coroners and Coroners' Juries. The institution of the Coroner's Court is to secure a full, fair, and public inquiry into violent deaths. There was a Coroner's inquest at Mitchelstown, but the verdict of the jury was set aside. I will not enter into the matter now, because I am bound to assume, and I do assume, that having been set aside by the Superior Court it was properly set aside; but that does not end the question. If you set aside the Coroner's Jury, what have you to substitute for it? What we have demanded—what I say in every free country must be demanded—is that when such a circumstance occurs as that the police shoot down people and take their lives there shall be some public inquiry, and not only a mere statement of a sneering Minister as to the causes and the justification of that act of violence. Mr. Courtney, we derive great advantages from your presence in the Chair, but we also lose something by it. I should have been glad if you had not been in the Chair to-night, so that you might have made the statement, which I see you made to your constituents, and which would have carried much more weight than mine, that you consider it very deeply to be deplored that a public inquiry had not been made into the killing of these people at Mitchelstown. We may go on wrangling as long as we like; we may go on asserting on the one side that the police were justified, and on the other side that they were not justified, but we can never settle the matter satisfactorily until we have a public inquiry into the transaction. There has not been in my experience such a case in this country before, where men have been shot down either by the soldiery or the police, where there has not been an inquiry. I dare say, however, that the right hon. Gentleman may have got a whole book full of precedents; but whatever has been done, or 1113 whatever has not been done, will not alter my opinion in the smallest degree. [Ministerial Cheers.] Well, I do not see the slightest justification for that cheer. Tory Members may laugh if they like, but I state a proposition which their constituents will accept—namely, that when the police shoot down people there ought to be a public inquiry. I venture to say to those Tory Members who laugh that they will laugh best who laugh last. Now, the question which ought to be the subject of public inquiry is this—was there that urgent, imminent, overwhelming necessity which alone can justify the police in firing on the people? The law in reference to the police is exactly the same as the law in reference to private individuals. There are circumstances which will justify a man in taking the life of another. He may take life in self-defence; he may take it in defence of life or property, at least of his house; but if he takes the life of another he is bound to prove the urgency of the necessity which led to so dire an act. That is equally true with reference to the police. It is disputed, and I have never seen any sort of evidence which satisfied me that there was that dire, imminent, and overwhelming necessity as would justify such an act as was committed at Mitchelstown. It may be that there was justification. Then hold a public inquiry and show it; that is what the people of Ireland are entitled to. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland says he has held a secret Departmental inquiry. What good is that? He also, with a cynicism almost surpassing himself, takes care to inform us that he held this inquiry, not for the purpose of knowing whether these people were legally killed or not—that he cares nothing about—but for the purpose of inquiring into matters affecting the police, and for the satisfaction of the police. That is incidentally what he states to be the only reason.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
We have heard the right hon. Gentleman say so on several occasions, and I read it in the report of his speech last night in this morning's papers.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
But the right hon. Gentleman said he did not hold it for the purpose of seeing—
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I think I describe the argument of the right hon. Gentleman correctly when I say he did it for the purpose of inquiring how it was possible that such a police force could be overpowered. Well, I denounce that statement. I say the thing to be inquired into was the whole transaction as to whether a state of circumstances had arisen which justified the proceedings. But then the right hon. Gentleman says—And as to shooting, of course they shot. That I do not care to inquire into, and of course they shot to kill.Now, mark what this case is characterized by. There is one point which I think is not denied. It was not denied last night that the whole transaction originated in a very unusual circumstance—the forcing of a reporter to the platform without communicating with the holders of the meeting. The right hon. Gentleman did not deny last night that that was an unusual proceeding; he admitted it was. Why was it that the usual course was departed from on this occasion? That was the original provocation. I see the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Goschen) busy at Hansard. I hope he has found the passage he wants, and he has secured his daily pabulum of tu quoque. I sympathize with him, and if I were his gaoler I should not have the hard-heartedness to feed him on such skilly. But to turn to more serious matters than the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his quotations, I challenge the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland on the subject of the instructions given to the police and their duty in respect to firing upon the people. I say that no more vicious or unjustifiable language instigating the police to violent acts was ever uttered by a British Minister than that uttered by the right hon. Gentleman last night. I regard it as a disgrace to British administration. I have for some years myself been responsible for the conduct of the police, and to have encouraged the police to such acts of violence as the right hon. Gentleman encouraged them to last night, by his language, I should have regarded as a disgrace. What is it he said? He said it would have been 1115 a great dereliction of duty if the police had fired not to kill. [Sir EDWARD HAMLEY: Hear, hear!] Yes; the hon. and gallant Gentleman cheers.
§ SIR EDWARD HAMLEY (Birkenhead)
The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland did not say "fire not to kill;" he said "fire in the air, or fire over the heads of the people."
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
That is not what the right hon. Gentleman said last night. The very words used were—"Fire not to kill." I will read the words of the report, and they can be contradicted if they are not true. The right hon. Gentleman said—He did not know whether the policeman used those words; but he would have been guilty of a grave dereliction of duty if he had not fired to kill.If the hon. and gallant Member (Sir Edward Hamley) is ever Chief Secretary for Ireland, he will, no doubt, be as ready to direct the police to fire to kill as the present Chief Secretary. This recalls a celebrated telegram—"Do not hesitate to fire." [An hon. MEMBER: To shoot.] I suppose we must take that advice as advice not to hesitate to kill; the police are learning lessons of ferocity which have not been taught them before. "We all remember the nickname—I always regretted to hear it—which was applied to the late Mr. Forster. What was the meaning of the instructions which Mr. Forster gave to employ buckshot? It was that the police were to fire and not to kill. Mr. Forster's doctrine was the exact opposite of that laid down by the right hon. Gentleman the present Chief Secretary for Ireland. It was this—that you were to use means of deterring the people, but not to resort to the odious and dreadful alternative which may be forced upon the police in self-defence or in defence of life. [Cries of "Hear, hear!"] Yes; but in the last resort, in the last extremity; and I have yet to know that any such extremity arose at Mitchelstown. As far as I can see, the fatal shots, or, at least, some of them, were fired after all danger had passed. If the danger or the pressure upon the police was gone, no antecedent pressure or danger could justify firing on the people to kill. That is the whole question at issue in the Mitchelstown case, and it is a question of which we have a right to know how the facts stand, and not to be simply told that in the opinion 1116 of the rignt hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary it is all right, and that the police were right in firing to kill. In leaving the case of Mitchelstown, I must again point out the extraordinary recklessness of the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, because, as my hon. Friend behind me (Mr. H. J. Wilson) said, it is absolutely necessary to know how far in matters of this grave importance it is possible to place any reliance upon the official statement of the responsible Ministers. Now, what is the position of the right hon. Gentleman with reference to this? He says he has held a private inquiry. He has gone into this matter, and he comes before the English nation in a matter of this gravity and of this importance, and he makes a statement that the police could not have fired at this man Lonergan, because the place at which he fell could not be seen from the windows of the police barracks. That statement appears to be absolutely unfounded. How comes the Chief Secretary, having made a full inquiry, to stand before the country and make a statement of that character, which he is obliged to admit now is unfounded? That is the just value of the official statements made by an English Minister upon his responsibility. [A Laugh.] The right hon. Gentleman laughs; he thinks it extremely unimportant. If the statement were true, it disposed of the whole case; but if it were untrue, why did he make it? Then, driven out of the position which he solemnly and publicly assumed, he says, "Oh, yes, it was a ricochet shot." What grounds have we to believe in his statement that it was a ricochet shot any more than in his statement that the place could not be seen from the windows of the police barracks; what reliance can we put upon a statement of this kind? But then, driven from the statement that it was a ricochet shot, as well as, from the statement that the place could not be seen from the windows of the barracks, he says, "Oh, the matter is not of the slightest importance; the man was rightly shot, and the police were right in shooting him." That is how the taking away of the lives of the subjects of the Queen is dealt with by a responsible Minister. I protest against it. Now, this is what I have to say about Mitchelstown. There is only one other case I will deal with, and this will 1117 again afford a pretty good test of the accuracy of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, who is constantly, in language which no one would be allowed to repeat in this House, charging other people with inaccuracy. In the Killeagh case my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) attacked the conduct of the magistrates. The charge brought by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian was that the Resident Magistrates who conducted the case were so incompetent for the discharge of their duties that they ought no longer to be trusted with the liberties of Her Majesty's subjects. What did these Magistrates do? Some men were charged under the Crimes Act with intimidating certain other persons. The Magistrates convicted the prisoners, and said the case was so clear that they would not state a case or allow an appeal. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary violently condemns my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian for speaking disrespectfully of these Resident Magistrates; but it was not my right hon. Friend who, for political and Party purposes, took away the character of these unfortunate Resident Magistrates. What was the opinion that the Judges before whom the case on appeal, in spite of the Resident Magistrates, and in spite of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, and by the ingenuity of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for North Longford (Mr. T. M. Healy), came? The Chief Baron said the Magistrates had committed the small mistake of "confounding the victim of the wrong with the man who had done it." To speak disrespectfully of these Resident Magistrates is a great crime in my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Lothian, and it is destructive of law and order in Ireland. I will read what one of the Judges who heard the appeal in the Killeagh case said of these Resident Magistrates, who have the entire approval for their legal sagacity of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, who threw his ægis over them last night. Mr. Baron Dowse said—There are several things I have never been able to understand in the course of my life, and one of them is the minds of local Justices, or how local Justices bring their minds to bear upon a case; and I am less able to understand very often the state of mind of the Justices of 1118 whose legal competence the Lord Lieutenant has been entirely satisfied. Now, how these Justices—I never saw either of them, or never heard of them before, except once I heard of one of them—have satisfied themselves that the point made here was a frivolous one, I cannot comprehend. My Lord Chief Baron, it appears to me conclusively that, so far from that being a frivolous point, it was a perfectly good one.And then the Chief Baron, in language which I would commend to the attention of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, quotes a passage from a well-known writer, who says—Where true liberty exists every agent of the administration, from the gendarme to the Finance Minister"—and will, I suppose, include the Resident Magistrates of whose legal knowledge the Lord Lieutenant is satisfied—should be rendered personally responsible to the citizens whom his act affects, for the legality of every act. This is the real foundation of English liberty and the great legal principle which distinguishes the laws of England from the laws of the Continental nations of Europe, and from those of Rome from which they are derived. I wish, for myself, that these doctrines were a little better understood and practised in Ireland, and I think then we should not have the difficulties which exist in that country.That is what the Judges say of these competent magistrates, and I suppose that these Irish Judges will be denounced by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for using that language about the magistrates which is fatal to the administration of justice. Now, last night the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary chose to say that these Resident Magistrates had been appointed by Lord Spencer, and, therefore, they must be competent. But what were they appointed to do? What was this case which he said was so difficult that they might very well go wrong in it? It was the case of the law of conspiracy. What did we tell you when we were discussing the Crimea Act? We told you that it was a law of so difficult and complicated a nature that it was not wise, or safe, or just, to leave it to the administration of inexperienced men. Well, here is a case in which the magistrates go so wrong that they mistake the victims of a wrong-doing for the wrongdoer himself, and they send them to prison and keep them there, as they had kept others with law just as bad as this; and then the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary turns round and denounces the right hon. Gentleman the 1119 Member for Mid Lothian for calling attention to the case. I say it is a scandal that men so denounced by the Judges of the land should be allowed to go on administering the law in Ireland. At the end of this case I must point a moral by showing the accuracy of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland in the statements he has made upon this subject. The right hon. Gentleman goes to Leeds to confute the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian upon this subject, and he says—"Oh, the Judges themselves confessed that though the magistrates convicted the men of an offence of which they were not charged, yet they were guilty of something else," and he said that the Superior Court gave this view—that the prisoners were guilty of a crime punishable by the Common Law of England and Ireland. That is an absolute misrepresentation of what the Judges said. The right hon. Gentleman stands up before a great audience in Leeds, and with full knowledge of the facts makes an absolute misstatement of what the Judges said. The Judges said an absolutely different thing. The Chief Baron said he thought there would have been evidence upon which a jury might have convicted. [Sir EDWARD CLARKE: Hear, hear!] Oh! So the hon. and learned Solicitor General maintains that when a Judge says there is evidence upon which a man might have been convicted by a jury for one offence it is the same thing as stating that a man should be found guilty of one crime when charged with another. That is about the worst law I ever heard from a Law Officer of the Crown. [Sir EDWARD CLARKE: I agree with the Judges.] How condescending! Because, on the Licensing Question, we all remember that the hon. and learned Gentleman did not agree with the Judges. I maintain that the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary at Leeds was an absolute misleading of the public by an inaccurate statement coming from official sources. I object in all these cases to the un-Constitutional conduct of the Administration, as represented by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland. I will not repeat the right hon. Gentleman's language as to the suppression of the truth, and, what is worse, perversion of the facts. I will 1120 not use such language as that which he applied to the greatest and most venerable statesman in the country—I will not imitate that language, but, looking at the circumstances of the statement on a most important subject, I will say that, in my recollection, no man has more than the right hon. Gentleman shaken the confidence which the public have a right to expect to be able to repose in public men.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The right hon. Gentleman's speech might be divided into two parts of very unequal interest and value. The first part, which was of great interest and great value, I shall deal with at some length. The last part was a réchauffé of a réchauffré of a réchauffé of a réchauffé. It was a speech removed four removes at least from its original utterance, and I will venture to treat of it at this time of the evening, and, after having already made so many speeches on this subject, with comparative brevity. The right hon. Gentleman admits, with regard to these magistrates, of whose competence he spoke at this moment, that Lord Spencer was the person who certified as to their competence.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I beg pardon; I said he never certified their legal competence to try questions of conspiracy.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The right hon. Gentleman is perfectly aware that Lord Spencer certified their legal competency, and he had the testimony of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Bridgeton Division of Glasgow (Sir George Trevelyan) last night, that Lord Spencer was in the habit of spending a quarter of an hour, at least, with new officials whom he was appointing to a new office. Therefore, I should imagine that Lord Spencer certified the competence of these magistrates to deal with questions of conspiracy, as he certified them competent to deal with other legal questions raised by the Act of 1882. The right hon. Gentleman says the Act of 1882 did not deal with conspiracy, as the Crimes Act deals with it. No; but it dealt with the law of "unlawful assembly," which involves more questions of legal difficulty, including questions of conspiracy, than almost any other question which can be brought before a Court of Law, and if these magistrates were capable of dealing with such questions of unlawful assem- 1121 bly as Lord Spencer, when Lord Lieutenant, certified that they were, surely they are capable of dealing with these questions of conspiracy which are far less difficult, and which, in some cases, are subsidiary to these very questions of unlawful assembly. Very well. Then the right hon. Gentleman went on to talk of the verdict in the Killeagh case. No one could read the declarations of the Judges, including the quotations given by the right hon. Gentleman, and including the quotation, which he did not give, from Baron Dowse—the Judge he quoted in another connection—which is even stronger than the utterances of the Chief Baron—no one, I say, could read these declarations without seeing that it was perfectly clear to the minds of these Judges that there was ample grounds for dealing with these men under the ordinary common law of conspiracy. I do not care to go farther into this matter at this moment.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
The right hon. Gentleman has suggested that I intentionally suppressed words uttered by Baron Dowse. I intended to read the passage he had referred to, but I overlooked it. He said—The evidence given of the refusal of variou parties to supply bread to the police, in my opinion, constitutes evidence on which a jury might convict.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The right hon. Gentleman, who has now read the quotation under compulsion, will see that that quotation from Baron Dowse is far stronger than that from the Chief Baron, and fully bears out my contention. Then I turn to the observations the right hon. Gentleman has been good enough to make with regard to something I said yesterday in the debate, at which the right hon. Gentleman did not think worth while to be present, with regard to the action of the police at Mitchelstown. The right hon. Gentleman accuses me of having uttered a brutal and savage doctrine, or something to that effect, when I gave expression in this House to the perfectly well-recognized principle which governs, or ought to govern, the action of the forces of the Crown when they are dealing with riots—namely, that there is no more unmerciful course which the forces of the Crown can pursue than that of firing over the heads of the rioters, and thus 1122 leading them to believe that it is mere child's play, and that they may riot with impunity. The right hon. Gentleman, who has himself been Home Secretary, and who, if anybody, ought to be acquainted with this principle, actually attacks me for having explained it to the House, though he must know that this is not the principle which has guided one Chief Secretary, or one Home Secretary, but is the principle which has always regulated the policy of both those officials under successive Administions.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
That is the policy which has been universally adopted, and, until I heard the contradiction of the right hon. Gentleman, is the policy I should have believed he himself would have adopted. I now understand from the interruption of the right hon. Gentleman that his view is, that if ever it be necessary for the police or the military to fire—if ever the occasion arises when firing is justifiable—they must take pains to make it clear to the crowd that, though they fire, it is merely for show, and is not to be directed against the rioters—they must make it clear that it is a mere feu de joie, with the chance—nay, more than the chance—of killing some perfectly innocent person far in the rear of those who are actually guilty of the riot which justified the firing. I think that the Committee will feel that, having dealt at much length, as I did yesterday, with the questions of the Killeagh and Mitchelstown cases, I may be excused from going further into this question. I now go to the subject with which the right hon. Gentleman began. The right hon. Gentleman began his speech, when the House was a good deal less full than it is now, with that elaborate, I was going to say, defence of Lord Spencer, but in reality with a defence of himself. I directed, I admit, some remarks at the beginning of my speech yesterday evening, to the action of the right hon. Gentleman. Now, the right hon. Gentleman's connection with the treatment of political prisoners refers solely to Mr. Davitt. Mr. Davitt was arrested at the same time as the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell).
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Will hon. and learned Gentlemen allow me to say what I have got to say without interrupting me. The hon. Member for Cork, and certain other Members, were arrested under Mr. Forster's Peace Preservation Act. In the same connection the right hon. Gentleman took advantage of the fact that Mr. Davitt was a ticket of leave man and arrested him.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Mr. Forster arrested him under his ticket of leave, and in my opinion that was not a very wise proceeding. I think that if Mr. Davitt was to be put in prison he should have been put in prison under Mr. Forster's Peace Preservation Act.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Quite so, but the right hon. Gentleman interrupts me in a manner in which I did not venture to interrupt him. I was not aware that this particular case was to be raised, and I did not furnish myself with precise information, but substantially I am correct. Mr. Forster thought that the proper way to deal with disorder then prevalent in Ireland was to arrest certain Gentlemen whom he regarded as the centres of the disorder. Of course he could not arrest the hon. Member for Cork until he passed his Peace Preservation Act, but he could arrest, and did arrest, through the instrumentality of a ticket of leave, Mr. Davitt. The hon. Member for Cork and the other suspects arrested under the Act were treated as first-class misdemeanants, and in my opinion it would have been most improper to have dealt with Mr. Davitt in a different way, he being arrested under the same principle that governed the then policy of the Government. But how did the right hon. Gentleman carry out this legitimate object? He exceeded his powers, as I believe, as Home Secretary, and gave arbitrarily of his own motion to Mr. Davitt the same privileges that were given ultimately, under the Peace Preservation Act of Mr. Forster, to the suspects arrested under that Act. The right hon. 1124 Gentleman is of opinion that he was justified in that proceeding, but I think, on the contrary, he was absolutely unjustified, and that he not only committed an error in law, but led Lord Spencer in to the same error. The right hon. Gentle man then quoted the Prisons Act under which he acted, and has laid down—the Gentleman who is always quoting the great lawyers of two centuries ago has actually laid it down in this House tonight as a principle which ought to govern the action of the Executive in dealing with prisons, that it rests with the Home Secretary in England and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to decide exactly under what regulation a prisoner who has been condemned by a Court of Law shall be subjected to the sentence of that Court in prison. If the Home Secretary thinks that a prisoner deserves consideration, or if he is a political friend of his own, or for any other reason, the Home Secretary may interfere and may mitigate his punishment or give him any privileges he likes. But if, on the other hand, the Home Secretary thinks the sentence not severe enough, then he may increase the severity of sentence or modify the rules laid down in the Act of Parliament for the regulation of prisons, and add, in what way he likes, to the sentence inflicted by Judge, Jury, and Magistrate. That is actually the doctrine laid down by an ex-Home Secretary to regulate the conduct of his Successors in Office with England and Ireland. Such a doctrine is monstrous. Such a doctrine is a gross violation of every principle which ought to regulate the action of the Executive in dealing with persons sentenced by Courts of Law to legitimate punishment, and I am amazed that the right hon. Gentleman should have had the hardihood to give utterance to it. I believe however that the right hon. Gentleman has misinterpreted the Statute he has described. If the right hon. Gentleman looks at the Statute which regulates the English practice he will find that the treatment of prisoners is minutely regulated by the schedule to that Statute, and that though it is in the power of the Executive to alter the general rules regulating the treatment of prisoners, I do not believe and will not believe, until it is demonstrated, that it is in the power or can be the duty of a Member of the 1125 Executive Government to modify the treatment, not of classes of prisoners, but of individual prisoners whom he happens to make the objects of special favour or aversion. But I will go further, and repeat what the right hon. Gentleman might have heard last night if he had chosen to be present during the debate. If he will look at the Act regulating prisons in Ireland, he will see that it provides that the Prisons Board in Ireland—Shall, subject to such directions as may from time to time be received from the Lord Lieutenant and the provisions of this Act, have the control and management of all prisons and prisoners therein.My accusation against Lord Spencer is that he did not conform to the provisions of this Act, and that the action he took was not action taken through the Prisons Board. That has not been denied by Lord Spencer, and cannot be denied by any mouthpiece of Lord Spencer. When the right hon. Gentleman comes forward as an advocate of the principle that in England the Executive has the absolute control of the destiny of every prisoner in the country, he does not take into account the speech delivered by his great Chief at Hawarden, on the 20th of August last, on which occasion the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) said that, as far as he understood it, the Prisons Board in Dublin was the Executive Government, but he did not believe it was so in England. Yet here we have the right hon. Gentleman coming down to this House and explaining, as a Constitutional doctrine, that the Prisons Board in England are the Executive Government, whilst his Chief at Hawarden, only two months ago, said that was the pernicious practice in Ireland. He said it indirectly no doubt, but he did say it. I shall be glad to know from the right hon. Gentleman, or any hon. Gentleman sitting near him, how they are going to roconcile the view of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian with the un-Constitutional doctrine uttered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby. The right hon. Gentleman discussed the question of having a public inquiry whenever the life of a citizen was sacrificed in conflict with the police, and he said it was all very well for a sneering Chief Secretary 1126 to refuse such an inquiry, but that such an inquiry was required by the conscience of the country, and would be demanded by the people of England. Well, Sir, that brings me conveniently to the subject that was dwelt on yesterday by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian, when, in the course of some observations which I made in answer to the right hon. Gentleman, I said that Mitchelstown was not the first occasion on which the life of an Irishman or an Irish woman had been sacrificed by the action of the police, and, in a state of great excitement, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian challenged me to produce an instance. Of course, I could not come down to the House provided with every fact that might be demanded at the moment, but, having great respect for the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian, I have taken care to supply myself with the particular instances in question. On the 4th of January, 1881, near Claremorris, County Mayo, a party of police, protecting a processserver, were attacked. A man named Quinn received an injury that resulted in his death next day. The Coroner's Jury which, the right hon. Gentleman says, is to stand between the citizens and the Crown, returned a verdict of manslaughter. Sub-Constable George Stevens was committed for manslaughter, but the Grand Jury found no Bill against him, and there was no public inquiry. On the 2nd of April, 1881, four policemen, protecting a process-server, were attacked by a mob. The police fired and shot two men and wounded five others. Sergeant Armstrong was murdered by the mob. The Coroner's Jury found a verdict of wilful murder against the police, but the Crown ignored the Bill. There was no public inquiry in that case. On the 1st of June, 1881, a party of police, protecting a process-server, arrested a prisoner, and a man received a blow from which he died. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder, and the constable was arrested. At the Assizes the Crown refused to prosecute; the Crown (pointing opposite) the right hon. Gentleman. Number four: On the night of the 1st of September, 1881, a police patrol, near Millstreet, fired on a party of Moonlighters and shot a man dead. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict 1127 amounting to manslaughter, but no action was taken, and there was no inquiry, Departmental or otherwise. On the 9th of October, 1881, a detachment of Constabulary, returning from a Land League meeting at Ballyragget, attacked by a mob, charged with bayonets, and a man was wounded and subsequently died. A verdict of wilful murder was returned against two District Inspectors, but the warrants, although they were issued, were not executed, and there was no inquiry. Number six: On the 5th of May, 1882, a detachment of police were attacked by a mob at Ballina, and the police firing, a man named Melody was shot and afterwards died; but no steps were taken by the Government in pursuance of the verdict of the Coroner's Jury. Number seven: On the 27th October, 1884, the police, protecting a process-server near Belmullet, fired and wounded two women, both of whom died. The Coroner's Jury returned a verdict of "wilful murder," but the incriminated police officers were not arrested; an information was refused, and no inquiry, not even a Departmental inquiry, was held by the Government, of which the right hon. Gentleman was one of the principal Members. This is the right hon. Gentleman who has the audacity to get up and say that no precedent exists for not holding an inquiry in the present circumstances. A more amazing statement surely was never uttered, even by the right hon. Gentleman. Well, Sir, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will take to heart the facts I have been able to give him, and, in conclusion, I can only wish that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian were present to receive from my own lips, in the fullest manner that I can give it to him, that information for which he so anxiously thirsted yesterday evening.
§ MR. JOHN MORLEY (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
I believe that the House on both sides is very anxious for a Division, and I will not interpose for more than a moment. I only want to put two questions to the right hon. Gentleman. Against me, at any rate, the right hon. Gentleman will bring no tu quoque arguments. I detested the system of coercion when my own friends supported it, and I detest it now. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland declares it to be a humane and 1128 merciful policy to fire into crowds with a view of killing. In my short official experience the necessity was laid upon me of considering that question upon a very important occasion and upon a very considerable scale. Now I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to read the Minutes of Instruction that were sent from the Castle at the time of the Belfast riots in 1886, and to read the evidence given before the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into those riots. I say he will not find one single responsible officer who will maintain that doctrine he has so often set forth here. The right hon. Gentleman will find in every one of the instructions, and they were not instructions given especially in my time, nor in the case of the Belfast riots, for I dare say they were given in the case of other disturbances too, that the humane and merciful doctrine that you must fire into crowds with the view of killing was repudiated by every responsible person until the right hon. Gentleman attained to Office. I also wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman if ever he becomes responsible for order in England, as he may some day be, whether he will maintain with reference to England the doctrine which he now expresses with respect to Ireland? Does he maintain that in England free men shall be shot down by the officers of the Executive Government and no inquiry be held? I defy him to utter such a doctrine with respect to England. Well, now I am going to come down to a very plain and a very civil question. The right hon. Gentleman has spoken of the impropriety, of the incredible impropriety, of the notion that the Chief Secretary should interfere with the discretion of the Prisons Board. Now I will ask just one question, and with that I will sit down. I want to know by whose authority it was, by whose instructions, by whose direction, by whose inspiration it was that priests have been treated differently from other persons condemned to imprisonment? Though we are all anxious for a Division, there is still time for the right hon. Gentleman to get up and answer that question. If it is by his own instructions and directions, I maintain that he has thrown away his position, and I defy him to say that it was not by his own instructions and directions.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I never shirk a question. I said at the time that different treatment was given to different prisoners. I said at the time that I had considerable doubt as to whether I should deal differently with priests and other people. The right hon. Gentleman appears to be under the impression that the fact that I, rightly or wrongly—for I regarded the question as a doubtful one—[Laughter.]—Yes, I said so at the time; I always thought it extremely doubtful—the right hon. Gentleman seems to think that because I laid it down that priests as a class should be treated differently to other people, that my action was similar to that of Lord Spencer. But what is the difference between the course I took and that adopted by Lord Spencer? I acted through the Prisons Board.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
"What do we care about Lord Spencer?" says the right hon. Gentleman opposite. Well, what do we care about Lord Spencer; and what do we care about the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby? I really do not care about the one or the other.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I acted, as I was bound to act by the Statute, through the Prisons Board, and Lord Spencer did not act, as he was bound to act, through the Prisons Board. I dealt with a class, and with the view of equalizing the punishment between persons who formally received the same sentence. I acted on this principle, that a priest sentenced, let us say, to a month's imprisonment, suffered more than a layman sentenced by the same Court to the same term of imprisonment, from the fact that the priest tad to be disfrocked. ["No, no!"] Well, he had to give up the dress he was canonically bound to wear, and that inflicted greater punishment on him than the punishment suffered by a layman convicted for the same offence and sentenced to the same punishment. 1130 That was the principle, good or bad, upon which I acted. It was a principle that had for its object the equalization of the incidence of the same punishment, and it dealt with a class as a whole, and it was carried into effect through the Prisons Board. Lord Spencer did not act in accordance with the rules of the Prisons Board. He did not try to equalize the punishments, and he did not deal with a class. These three considerations differentiate the conduct of Lord Spencer in connection with the hon. and learned Member for the Harbour Division of Dublin (Mr. T. C. Harrington), and the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby in dealing with Davitt from the conduct which I pursued, rightly or wrongly, with regard to the priests. Of course, if the opinion of the Committee is that I ought not to have made this concession with regard to the priests, I might be willing to—[Cries of "Try it!" from the Irish Members.] I was doubtful about the matter from the first.
§ MR. JOHN MORLEY
I want to know whether the right hon. Gentleman seriously lays it down that one of the great principles of his administration is that the canons of the Catholic Church are to over-ride Acts of Parliament?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
No. I was desirous, however, not to make a sentence nominally equal press unequally on a particular class. I have been informed by those who know more of the matter than I do, and more, I might add, than the right hon. Gentleman opposite does, that the feelings of Roman Catholic priests and of the Roman Catholic community would be deeply hurt by a proceeding in the case of priests that would not touch their feelings if it were adopted in the case of laymen. If the Committee, however, takes a different view, I shall be perfectly ready to re-consider my decision.
§ MR. PARNELL (Cork)
The spectacle that the right hon. Gentleman presents in search of a shred of consistency is a very pitiable one. He has invented a new principle on which to stand in the administration of his Crimes Act. He talks about endeavouring to make the incidence of sentences bear equally upon different classes. But has the right hon. Gentleman ever considered that a sentence of 1131 stone - breaking and oakum - picking presses with infinitely greater pressure on a journalist, who has never broken stones or performed any manual labour, than it does on a person who is used to manual labour? If the right hon. Gentleman had been really anxious about this wonderful new principle he has discovered, he would have carried it a good deal further, not that we have ever asked for any difference on account of the qualities or the merits of the men who suffered imprisonment in Ireland. We have asked for the same treatment for the peasant as for the Member of Parliament; but what we have asked for and what we will insist on having before this Vote is concluded, is the difference which your Statute law enacts in the treatment of political offenders as compared with other offenders. But, Sir, I have not risen to continue this discussion, or to go further into this matter, but merely to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has heard that the Lord Chief Baron, at the Cork Winter Assizes, commenting to-day on the action of the Crown in the case of Police constable Swindell, against whom a verdict was recently found by a Coroner's jury for murdering a peasant at Middleton, County Cork, said that the Irish Attorney General was plainly not going to proceed against Swindell; and he intimated that if an application were made to him by the next of kin he would consider it to the best of his judgment, and, if he deemed it proper, he would cause a Bill to be sent up. I desire to know whether the right hon. Gentleman will re-consider his policy in view of this serious and grave pronouncement, and will take care that a jury should decide whether he is guilty of murder or not?
§ MR. PARNELL
I asked the right hon. Gentleman two questions. I think it unreasonable that he should have had no information with regard to the statement of the Chief Baron at Cork; but I also asked as to what the policy of the Crown was in Ireland with reference to this case of Swindell, and I submit that that policy should not have been formed without conference with the right hon. Gentleman and with the legal authorities who sit by his side.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
These matters rest with the Attorney General for Ireland. I can assure the hon. Member that we have not changed our policy, which is the policy that has been pursued by successive Irish Governments. It is impossible for me to give a specific answer to the particular question addressed to me by the hon. Member until I know the circumstances of the case.
§ MR. P. J. POWER (Waterford, E.)
said, he would not stand for more than a few minutes between the House and a Division, but he could not give a silent vote on the Division which was about to take place, and for this reason: Most of his hon. Friends had been acquainted with the late Mr. John Mandeville for the last two or three years, ever since he entered into political life, but he (Mr. P. J. Power) had had the honour of Mr. Mandeville's acquaintance for upwards of 20 years, and he felt he should be false to his friend, and to his poor, sorrowing widow, if he did not endeavour to shield his character from the insinuations which had been levelled at it by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman was dealing—as was usual with him—in sneers at Irish agitators, and twitted them with keeping on the present agitation for their own personal advancement. But what was the case so far as regarded John Mandeville? He was a gentleman—no doubt of small means as compared with county gentlemen in England—but he was a gentleman of competence, able to live comfortably in his own quiet way, and to enjoy the country sports of the district in which he lived. He was a gentleman possessed of a heart that hated oppression; and, when the law refused to protect the people amongst whom he lived, he determined, as far as he could, to stand between the oppressor and the oppressed. He endeavoured to do by agitation what the law refused to do for the people, and he (Mr. P. J. Power) ventured to say that the events which had occurred since his imprisonment had proved that the late John Mandeville was right in every step he took. The duly constituted Courts of the country had declared that the efforts he used for the poor struggling people amongst whom he lived were just 1133 and equitable, and that his demands were such as should not have been refused. He (Mr. P. J. Power), as he had said, had known John Mandeville for many years. He had known him as a boy, he had known him as a youth, and he had known him as a man. He had met him at various houses; he had met him at his (Mr. Mandeville's) own house; he had met him at his (Mr. P. J. Power's) own house; he had met him at his (Mr. P. J. Power's) own father's house, and at various other houses, and he had never on one occasion seen the least sign of intemperance about him. So far from it, he was essentially abstinent—in fact, for a long time was a total abstainer. What, however, had the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary insinuated—not stated, but insinuated—in his speech at Glasgow? Why, that John Mandeville had taken part in a drunken row on the 21st of April. What did the right hon. Gentleman insinuate by that? Why, that John Mandeville was a drunkard—as if he had not his spies around the man dogging his footsteps night and day. Why had not the right hon. Gentleman come forward and proved the charges he so basely insinuated? He (Mr. P. J. Power) knew that right hon. Gentlemen opposite hated the Irish Members and the country for which they spoke, and hated the people who had elected them; still he ventured to say that, taking the men individually, there must be some Gentlemen opposite who must hate the existing relations between England and Ireland and the system under which the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary was not satisfied with killing a man, but endeavoured by base insinuations to destroy what was more valuable to a man than life—namely, his character, and to injure the reputation of those who belonged to him. He knew that hon. Gentlemen opposite hated the Irish Representatives and their country. [Cries of "No, no!"] Yes, their deeds proved that they did, but yet he was perfectly confident that there must be men opposite who disapproved a system which not only killed men by cruel prison treatment but which slandered them when dead. That was a system of which every man, whatever his Nationality and whatever Party he belonged to, ought to disapprove of.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 181; Noes 233: Majority 52.—(Div. List, No. 327.)
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ It being after Midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his report to the House.
§ Resolution to be reported Tomorrow.
§ Committee to sit again To-morrow.