HC Deb 15 July 1890 vol 346 cc1822-40

Resolutions read a second time.

Resolution 1 (see page 1492):—

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the First Resolution."

(11.50.) MR. DILLON

I desire to call attention to certain statements made by the Chief Secretary with reference to matters brought forward frequently in this House. It will be in the recollection of every Member that the Chief Secretary has repeatedly stated that the practice of shadowing is an old practice in Ireland, and that it was resorted to more frequently by the Government which preceded him than by himself. A sudden, swift, and fatal Nemesis overtook the right hon. Gentleman at a trial at Fermoy on Monday last. A man, David Kent, who was being shadowed at Fermoy Fair lately by a Constable, was so exasperated that, seeing Sub-Inspector Ball, he proceeded to follow him at a distance of three or four feet. The Inspector told him he would have him arrested if he did not desist. Kent was arrested, kept in prison six hours, and then released and summoned before a Crimes Act Court, at which, on Monday last, he was charged with obstructing Sub-Inspector Ball in the discharge of his duty. In the course of that trial the Sub-Inspector was cross-examined by the counsel for the defence. He said he had his instructions respecting shadowing from a person whom he was bound to obey. He was made to describe what the, practice of shadowing was. He said it was to follow as closely as possible the individual shadowed and to overhear all he said. In reply to further questions, the witness said, "The duty of shadowing commenced about 12 months ago in Ireland." Now, I would like to know what the right hon. Gentleman has to say to that? Is he going to tell us that Sub-Inspector Ball perjured himself, or is he going to stand by his police, and throw his own word overboard? The witness drew a distinction between watching and shadowing. He said habitual criminals in large cities were watched but not shadowed, and that the present state of the country rendered shadowing necessary. That is entirely a matter of opinion. The point is whether the Chief Secretary was mis-informing this House when he stated that shadowing was practised in Ireland before he came into office. Another witness, Constable Burke, deposed that he kept close to the defendant—"nearly treading on his heels." He believed it was very annoying and irritating to anybody who was shadowed, and he believed it might be punitive. There you have a definition of shadowing from the Irish police themselves, and it fully bears out all our statements on the subject. We were told by the Chief Secretary that shadowing was confined to men who were engaged in intimidation. I deny that. I say that the men who are being shadowed hare nothing whatever to do with intimidation, and that, as far as we have information from either public or private sources, no individual who has been shadowed recently in Ireland has ever been suspected of or charged with intimidation. I have here a most remarkable and interesting copy of the Private Instructions which are issued from Dublin Castle for the guid- ance of shadows. These Private Instructions generally manage to fall into our hands. First of all, we have a list showing what classes of persons are to be shadowed. They are divided into Class A and Class B. Class A is the class of people who are to be partly shadowed, and Class B is the class of those who are to be completely shadowed. Then we have columns for county police district, name, residence, height, age, hair, eyes, nose, complexion, whiskers, moustache, beard, and particular marks. But this is not the part of the Circular that is really most interesting and important. I find that these particular instructions were issued with reference to the collection of the Tenants' Defence Fund, and that the people ordered to be shadowed are the collectors engaged in collecting funds for feeding and housing the evicted tenants all over the country. This Circular had reference to a district absolutely free, and free for months and years, from intimidation or crime of any kind whatever. Here are other directions applicable to those persons who are engaged in making collections for the Tenants' Defence Fund. The police are to furnish— Names, occupations, and addresses of the parties who may be appointed to collect subscriptions in every parish. Their names are to be at once furnished if known; if not known at present a close watch should be kept, so as to ascertain what men may be appointed to go round and levy the 3d. rate. This is a voluntary rate; is it a crime to make such collections? The names of any person appointed to levy the tax and who are likely to use intimidation against persons not wishing to pay, should be specially reported at once, together with address and occupation. A close inquiry as to how the resolution levying the 3d. tax has been received by the farmers, whether, they are likely to willingly pay it. If it is likely they will resist the imposition or yield to pressure and intimidation, collectors are to he shadowed discreetly. But if they use intimidation, or are likely to do go, they are to be shadowed openly. Now, I should like to know how the knowledge of such a Police Circular would be received if issued in England? What would be the tone and temper displayed in such a case? Then we have a long series of directions in regard to people who are to be shadowed— In every instance in which a suspect in the general A list is shadowed a Report should be made by post without delay direct to the Inspector General by the District Inspector of the locality, who should briefly state what the suspect is doing and on what business employed, if known, and a duplicate Report sent to the Divisional Commissioner through the County Inspector. As regards the B list, persons named therein should be watched and wired after when they leave, and a Report of the same kind as is required in the A list sent to the Divisional Commissioners through the County Inspector as early as possible. The arrival of suspects in both the A and B lists should be notified to the Divisional Commissioner by wire. Members of Parliament leaving the country need not be wired after beyond the port of embarkation. We are grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for this. It seems that, when once we take our departure from Ireland, the "shadowing" and the wiring of our movements is to cease. But is not this an outrageous, a monstrous system of espionage to which Members who do not sit under the protecting wing of the hon. Member for North Armagh should be subjected, and from which we are only relieved at the port of embarkation when we leave Ireland? Then we have instructions as to persons on a C list, la this not like an account of the "third section" under Russian administration? As to this C list, the police are to report anything of a suspicious nature in relation to the persons therein to the Divisional Commissioners or County Inspector. I suppose that, seeing that lists A and B include Members of Parliament, and all active politicians opposed to the Government, this C list includes all the rest of the population of Ireland. This, then, is the system which prevails in Ireland! The whole country is divided for police purposes into A, B, and C lists. Is it not a scandalous, a disgraceful system, thus to turn the whole country into a gaol? All this in spite of the repeated disclaimers of the Chief Secretary. We have it on oath in the evidence of the police that this system of "shadowing" is new, that it was never known before it was introduced some 12 months ago. So much in answer to the right hon. Gentleman's declarations on the practice of "shadowing." There is one other matter to which I must allude, a matter of almost equal importance. A system has arisen in the House, introduced by the friends of the right hon. Gentleman, of putting down questions addressed to him embodying an account of any outrage that may come under their notice as having been perpetrated in Ireland, and then the Chief Secretary answers that the report is correct. I only wonder we have not had incorporated in a question the report which appeared in yesterday's Express of a dairymaid in Tipperary being stripped of her clothes and sent home stark naked as a mark of being obnoxious to Nationalists, but I suppose due warning was given of the falsity of the report. Every effort is made by means of these outrage questions to blacken our cause in the eyes of the people of this country. A few days ago, the Chief Secretary was asked by the hon. Member for South Tyrone (Mr. T. W. Russell) whether it was true that a man had been caught in the act of throwing an explosive machine into the house of a boycotted shopkeeper in Tipperary named Gubbins, and the right hon. Gentleman in reply said the report was true. Then my hon. Friend (Mr. Sheehy) rose and asked was there any shopkeeper in Tipperary of the name of Gubbins. It is beyond question that the name given was Gubbins, and the Chief Secretary insisted upon the truth of the statement. Now what are the actual facts? Mr. Gubbins is not a shopkeeper in the Town of Tipperary, but a farmer in the Parish of Oola, in the County of Limerick. It is true that on the 20th June two explosive bombs filled with gunpowder and cut wire were thrown into the house of Mr. Gubbins, one into the bedroom of the farmer, the other into the room where his children were sleeping. Fortunately, no injury was done. When inquiry came to be made it transpired that this could not have been an outrage committed by a member of the Nationalist Party, seeing that Mr. Gubbins is an active member of the Committee of the National League in this Parish of Oola, and it transpired that on a certain occasion he had taken part in a resolution passed by the committee by which a man named John Rafferty, of Cullen, was condemned for his conduct in having traded with a notorious land grabber named Ryan. Rafferty was condemned by the association, but, prepared as I am for cheers from hon. Members on strange occasions, T do not suppose that on this occasion they are meant to indicate that Rafferty was justified in throwing explosive bombs into the house of Mr. Gubbins. But that is what he did. On investigation it appeared that this emergency man Rafferty had thrown the bombs into the bedrooms of Mr. Gubbins in revenge for the part the latter had taken in the passing of the resolution I have referred to. For this abominable outrage Rafferty was arrested by the police. What expressions of horror there would have been on the opposite Benches if this outrage had been perpetrated upon a so-called Loyalist! Well, Rafferty was arrested and evidence brought sufficient for the Magistrate to commit him for trial, but, if you please, he is out on bail! Out on bail after throwing an infernal machine into a room where children were sleeping! Now, where is your law and justice? Now we see how the people of Ireland and their good name are traduced in this House. This abominable outrage was committed by one of the supporters of the party of law and order upon a member of the Nationalist Party, it has nothing to do with the movement in Tipperary, and as an outrage there it did not occur at all. And then the Magistrate deliberately releases the accused on bail. Why, if he had been a Nationalist all the money in Ireland would not have bailed him, and I will go further and say it should not have bailed him. Our movement in Tipperary has, I am glad to say, been attended with no serious outrage on the part of our people. There were some attempts at outrage in the earlier days of the struggle, and we condemned those attempts, and did our utmost to check them. They were attempts against property, not against life. There was no such abominable outrage as throwing an explosive bomb into a room with sleeping children. Why, if this had been done by a Nationalist or by any drunken rowdy whom you could by any cruel misrepresentation hold up to the people of this country as a Nationalist, the whole Press of England would have rung with horror and condemnation. But now we hear not a word of condemnation or indignation on those Benches because the man who suffered the outrage was a Nationalist. ["Not true."] Well, I shall be perfectly willing to withdraw what I have said and apologise if it can be shown to be untrue, but I speak from the best information I have, and I believe it is reliable. Here are two specimens of the impartiality of Irish administration. We had a question the other day in reference to a poor Irish farmer who was arrested at a cattle fair on a charge of assisting at boycotting, nothing in the nature of intimidation, but simply recommending persons not to deal with certain other persons. On this charge he was dragged to Cork Gaol, bail being refused. Side by side with this, here you have a man employed by the landlord class who comes at night and throws an explosive bomb into a room where there are sleeping children, and he is bailed out! I leave the House to consider these examples of impartial administration without further comment.

(12.15.) MR. P. J. POWER (Waterford, E.)

In reference to this system of "shadowing," which the Chief Secretary says, though it is contradicted by his own police, he found in existence, and that it had been exercised by his predecessors, I wish to draw attention to what occurred within my personal experience and in my own constituency. I had reason to attend the December fair at Waterford to buy store cattle, and as I went I met a young man named Farden, and knowing him to be a good judge of cattle I entered into conversation with him and asked him his opinion on cattle before us. Immediately a policeman came up and stood listening to every word we said. We walked along and looked at other cattle, and the constable followed and listened as before. Turning to him I asked the object of this, and he replied that he was under orders from his superior officer to follow Farden and hear every word he said in the fair. We went about and looked at various cattle, and I bought a few. Thence, having some purchases to make, we went into shops in the town, still followed by the constable. Finally, we went to the National Bank, whither the constable followed, and remained standing by while I transacted my business. Afterwards I took occasion to see the mana- ger of the bank, and I told him that if the bank authorities allowed their premises to be used in this manner by police spies the matter should be made known, and my constituents would know how to deal with it. In the result Mr. Prosser waited upon the authorities, and the bank managers have set their face against the practice, and refuse to allow constables to interfere with the private business of their clients. We hear much about this system having long prevailed in Scotland, but I defy the right hon. Gentleman to prove that any such sys tem was in vogue under the administration of Lord Spencer and the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Bridgeton Division. We fought them for what they did do, and we should do so again in like circumstances; but I emphatically deny that this system of shadowing was practised when Lord Spencer ruled Ireland under a Coercion Act. It is a novel expedient introduced by the right hon. Gentleman the present Chief Secretary; and we have it on the evidence of his own subordinates that it has come in under his own beneficent rule. You complain of want of respect for order, and demand obedience to the law, and law and order are conditions of every civilised community. We are as anxious as you can be that law and order should prevail in Ireland; but if the law is to be respected and obeyed it must be worthy of respect. I hope the House will not think me egotistical in this personal allusion I have made. I simply give my own experience, that Members may realise the actual condition of things under this system of shadowing.

(12.20.) Mr. J. O'CONNOR (Tipperary, S.)

It may tend to shorten discussion if before the right hon. Gentleman replies he has the full statement of our case. My hon. Friend has given his personal experience, but I suppose the Chief Secretary will discount that statement as coming from an Irish Member, and we know he sets up the word of his agents against that of any Member on these Benches, no matter how supported or corroborated. We have more ground to go upon when we charge the Chief Secretary and his lieutenant the Attorney General for Ireland with giving answers to our questions which are calculated wittingly or unwittingly to mislead the House. I put a question the other day to the right hon. Gentleman, to which, he being absent, the Attorney General replied, giving me the answer I suppose L should have received from the Chief Secretary himself had he been here. I asked for information upon facts I put in question form, whether a meeting of the suppressed branch of the National League took place on Sunday fortnight; whether 500 or 600 men marched from the place of meeting into the town of Tipperary in order to demonstrate the fact that a meeting did take place? The Attorney General replied that no such meeting had occurred, that 500 or 600 people did not march into Tipperary as stated, and this answer was given with all the assurance of official information. Then I read in my newspaper the report of proceedings in which a noble Lord in another place made an attack upon Lord Spencer, and I found that the attack was based on the fact of that meeting having been held, and citations were made from a speech delivered there. Which are we to believe? Either Lord Londonderry stated a falsehood in another place, or else the statement made from that Bench in answer to my question was inaccurate, and based on false information. It is one of the usual modes of attack by the Government on those who sit opposite to them to say, "You did likewise when in office," and this was the whole burden of the noble Lord's speech, but I think it is time for someone to say, from his own knowledge, as I do, that there is no comparison between the state of things in Ireland now and the state of things under the r°gime of Lord Spencer and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Bridgeton Division. I know what occurred, I know there was crime all over the country, but I know that, while Lord Spencer sought to grapple with crime, liberty was restored to the people at the same time. The right of public meeting was restored, and the National League grew up under the regime of the noble Lord, and I know that the Government then tried to steer an even keel, and treated Orangemen in the North with the same severity as Nationalists in the South. Now, I wish to draw attention to another statement of the Chief Secretary. I forget now whether it was in debate or in answer to a question in reference to the state of Tipperary. The right hon. Gentleman said that a meeting, which we declared had taken place there did not take place at all. We stated that the meeting held at the, opening of New Tipperary took place out or doors, but the Chief Secretary said if it took place at all it took place under a roof, and not in the open. Now, I know the Chief Secretary will prefer to accept his official information to our statements. But here I have further evidence. Photography does not lie, and here I hold in my hand two photographs, one of the exterior of the building where there are four persons only, and here I have a photograph of the exterior, where in the open air thousands of people are represented, and a platform erected, and speakers addressing the people. Then, I say the statement made from that Bench was calculated to mislead. The Chief Secretary said no open air meeting took place; here is a photograph of the scene of the meeting with all the accompaniments of a public meeting in the open air. If hon. Gentlemen opposite have any doubts as to the genuineness of these photographs, I should be happy to submit them to inspection. I have brought them here for the purpose of showing the House that, day after day, in answer to our questions, we get statements from the Chief Secretary inconsistent with the facts, and calculated to mislead the House, and I think this is a proper opportunity to bring this under the notice of the House.

(12.30.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR

I have spoken several times to-night, and I will, therefore, now make my remarks as short as I can. The hon. Gentleman has brought forward two cases, which he states are instances of inaccuracies on the part of the Irish Government. The first relates to an answer given by the Attorney General for Ireland, on my behalf, denying that there had been an open-air meeting at Tipperary on a certain occasion, and the hon. Member contended that that statement was shown to be inaccurate by the fact that Lord Londonderry recently quoted from a speech alleged to have been delivered at that meeting by Father Humphrey. But that is no ground whatever for supposing that the police were wrong in the Report they made that no open-air meeting took place. The reports, of alleged meetings of suppressed branches of the National League are continually appearing in certain newspapers, though no such meetings occur at all. But in regard to this instance, I admit that I rather over-stated the facts. It is true that an open-air meeting was held, but this was no part of the original programme that the, authorities had to deal with.


It was the principal event of the day.


I am inclined to believe from my general knowledge of human nature that the banquet was the principal event. Next, the hon. Member for East Waterford has referred to a case of shadowing that came under his notice. But I am not concerned to deny any of the facts stated by the hon. Member. I do not deny that the Irish Government direct shadowing. On the contrary, we openly avow that shadowing is a part of our policy to which we attach great importance. As to whether shadowing the boycotters at fairs is justifiable or not is another question, and one upon which I have already addressed the House. I have told the House that, in my opinion, it is the only way of protecting these poor boycotted people. If we permit such boycotting, it means practically a sentence of death on every man who holds a boycotted farm. Under the circumstances I consider shadowing perfectly justifiable, and, as far as I am concerned, it will continue. It is to be noticed that the boycotters also shadowed the boycotted person, and the only difference between the action of the police and of the boycotters is that the one has an innocent motive and the latter a criminal intention. Then, reference has been made to a case at Fermoy, in which it is alleged that the constable stated that this duty he had been on was pew within the last 12 months. It is hot denied that the shadowing of boycotters at fairs is new. But Lord Spencer had not to deal with boycotting at fairs; that class of crime did not exist then. I do unhesitatingly assert that Lord Spencer's Government did not hesitate to shadow individuals who were suspected of crime, intimidation, or boycotting.


I wish to make my point clear. The Inspector swore that shadowing was unknown in Ireland till within the last year, and in his evidence a distinction was drawn between "shadowing" and "watching." Lord Spencer had persons suspected of crime watched, but he did not have them shadowed.


I think it will be found, on reference to Hansard, that shadowing of a most rigid character was practised under Lord Spencer's administration. The character of the "watching" by the police differs with the character of the persons watched and the offence to prevent which they are watched. If the person watched is suspected of organising boycotting it is absolutely necessary, in order to prevent that particular offence being committed, that he should be followed closely—shadowed, as it is termed—to prevent him from carrying out the crime of boycotting.


I understand the right hon. Gentleman to admit now that what he considers absolutely necessary is a new departure.


I say that boycotting at fairs is new, and there was, consequently, till it came up, no necessity to shadow people at fairs. But Lord Spencer's Government, and every Government, have always shadowed and watched such persons as in the interest of public order they thought necessary. The hon. Gentleman proceeded next to discuss some inaccuracy of which he said I was guilty in answer to a question of the hon. Member for South Tyrone. I am sorry the hon. Member for South Tyrone is hot in his place; if he were he would have told the hon. Member that the person about whom he asked was Duggan, not Gubbins. Duggan was the only person in the mind of my hon. Friend and myself, and with regard to him the answer was perfectly accurate. I can only say with regard to this parti- cular case I am sorry that the hon. Member should always speak of a particular instrument when used by his own Party as a squib, but when used by others, as a bomb, or an infernal machine. The latter description is, no doubt, the more accurate, but I hope that in both the cases of Duggan and Gubbins the real authors of these iniquitous outrages will be brought to justice.

(1.45.) MR. JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)

I was looking for a much stronger defence from the right hon. Gentleman of this abominable method which is known by the name of shadowing. I had occasion to visit Ireland two or three months ago, and I had some personal experience of the system. I went to Tipperary to see the place which has created so much interest during the last few months, and I stayed at the best hotel. While I was at breakfast I happened to state that I intended to walk through the town, and a gentleman whom I met there offered to accompany me, but we had hardly gone 20 yards from the hotel when a policeman came so close to us that he might be taken as one of the party, and walked by our side, so that he could hear every word. I was naturally somewhat surprised, and was anxious to know whether I or my companion was thus being shadowed. I found that it was my companion who was shadowed. Whatever the Chief Secretary may say, this was a mean and contemptible method of causing irritation and annoyance. There was no need whatever that the policeman should walk by our side. It was done only to irritate, and was likely to cause a breach of the peace rather than to promote order. If a policeman was to walk in the same way by my side in my own constituency it would certainly lead to a breach of the peace. Trade Unions and their leaders in this country would not submit to such a thing, and I am satisfied that the Government would not attempt it in England. I met a friend in Tipperary who is a Magistrate of the County of Durham, and has been High Sheriff. That gentleman happened to be in the town when the meeting was held at which the hon. Member for East Mayo attended, and in a letter he gave an account of what he saw at the time. The letter speaks for itself. The writer says— I saw a policeman run after a poor man who was quietly walking across the square by himself, and on overtaking him he seized him by the coat collar, struck him over the face with his baton, fetching blood, and the man dropped down. There was no attempt at aggression or self-defence. The man was suddenly seized and knocked down while walking quietly, and some people were running up to see what was doing, when my car drove away out of sight. My daughter was with me. I was twice driven back into the new Mart by the police, whilst I was quietly talking to a friend, and my daughter was also driven back and told to go or they would have their heads broken. During the whole of the day I saw no obstruction or any breaches of the peace, except those for which members of the Constabulary were themselves responsible. The statement that Mr. Dillon made in the House of Commons is correct in every word. These facts speak for themselves. They show clearly that the Irish Constabulary abuse their powers. If the Government will grant an inquiry into these events, my friends, I feel sure, will unhesitatingly come forward to give evidence. I hope that even now the right hon. Gentleman will consent to such an inquiry being held.

*(12.52.) MR. WOODALL

During the evening a discussion has arisen with regard to the trial of the Gweedore prisoners at Maryborough. There were some circumstances which seemed to the English visitors so exceptional as to call for a special appeal to the Lord Lieutenant, to advise that the clemency of the Crown should be exercised in the case of William Coll. As the Chief Secretary is aware, a Memorial was sent to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, signed by the visitors present, praying that the clemency of the Crown might be exercised in favour of the prisoner. This Memorial, I regret to say, had no effect on the Lord Lieutenant. The special points to which the Memorial drew attention were certain parts of the evidence of Constable Varilly, which, I hold, ought not to have been admitted, and the Judge and Jury's disregard of the evidence of most respectable and impartial men who were present to prove an alibi. I say, again, that the circumstances seem to call for a re-investigation. If I wanted any vindication for this appeal, I think I could find it in the action of the right hon. Gentleman opposite in connection with the Maamtrasna case.

*(12.56.) MR. MADDEN

No doubt the Lord Lieutenant will carefully consider any Memorial or representation made to him in a proper manner. The only point as to which there was a point reserved, and a difference of opinion among the Judges, was as to admissibility of questions founded on a deposition made by Constable Varilly. This deposition the learned Judge, actuated by merciful motives, did not admit, because he thought it might contain certain statements prejudicial to the prisoner. He allowed specific questions, based upon that deposition, to be put, his desire being to prevent the whole of the depositions from being made evidence and so to protect the prisoner. The minority of the Judges considered this to be an irregularity, and that is the utmost that can be said on the point.

(12.59.) COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)

I wish to call attention to the case of Mr. Nally who, seven or eight years ago, was sentenced to penal servitude for 10 years, and as to whom there is a strong opinion among people who do not hold the same political opinions as myself that he was not guilty of the crime alleged against him. The crime with which he was charged was an atrocious one, and I would not seek to palliate it did I believe he was guilty. I think the case is one in which the Lord Lieutenant ought to interpose. Nally was kept 10 months in prison before he was brought to trial and convicted. He was tried by a jury in Cork, and the jury disagreed. There was an application for bail in Dublin pending a new trial. This application was refused I believe, and the Judge at the trial, when he delivered sentence, made the declaration that the 10 months during which Nally had been imprisoned between his arrest and trial would be considered in his term of penal servitude. The father of Nally is a very old man, and unless the Government extend some grace in this matter it is probable that Nally will never again see his father alive. The point I wish to put is that the 10 months during which Nally was in prison before his trial and conviction ought to be counted in the working out of his sentence. I hope the Government will make some reply to this, and I trust that it will be favourable.

(1.3.) MR. HALLEY STEWART (Lincolnshire, Spalding)

I ask the attention of the House for a few moments; a few sentences will be sufficient. I with to point out to the Chief Secretary the serious state of affairs in Ireland, and I will confine my observations strictly to a narration of my own experience in that country. When hon. Members have heard me, I think they will admit that I have a fair case to submit to the House. I, in company with my wife and another lady, and several Irish Members, left the town of Cashel at 9 o'clock on my way to Tipperary. Our car was followed by four drunken policemen, who drove their horse into our waggonette. They had loaded revolvers in their possession, and they showed their loyalty to the Chief Secretary and to the Government by singing the Fenian song "When we at the rising of the moon." These are the champions of law and order. They say that drunken men and children tell the truth. Perhaps this shows the sympathy of the Royal Irish Constabulary with Home Rule; it is not improbable. We needed protection against the excess of the Constabulary, and we stopped at the first police station we came to. I am sorry to say that we had to call the Inspector out of bed, and I asked him if he would defend us against the only ruffianism of which we were afraid, and that was the ruffianism of these drunken policemen. We could get no redress from the Inspector for this reason—it had never occurred to me that we were not under protection—that these policemen were not in his district, and that he had no jurisdiction. It seems to me that Englishmen travelling in Ireland have as much right to protection against a drunken policeman as against a drunken civilian. Is there not to be some safeguard and assurance given that the rights of civilians to protection will be maintained against these men who are supposed to be the champions of law and order? While I was gone to the police station these drunken men surrounded the waggonette, in which my wife and another lady were left under the protection and safeguard of the Irish gentlemen, and these drunken men used words which I hardly like to repeat to the House. They called the party a "damn'd set of loafers." That is what ladies and gentlemen in Ireland are subject to. Is there a village or town in England where such a state of things would be tolerated, or where the police would offer such insults to men and to women? I ask the House to consider this state of things. The right hon. Gentleman informed me, in reply to questions, that the Inspector had been degraded in rank, and one of the constables fined. No redress was given in the case of the other two. I was told that I could resort to process at law. But it is quite impossible to go over to Ireland to see justice done in a matter like this. I ask the House to consider the terrible state of things in Ireland, and the protection which is vouchsafed by the Chief Secretary to these people, who feel that they can, without fear of being reproved or having their rights interfered with, go on persecuting Irishmen and Englishmen. I do not complain that I was shadowed; I have not the slightest doubt it was the Irish gentlemen with me who were shadowed. I do think that if hon. Members opposite would go to Ireland incognito, and share, as have certain English Liberals, the sympathies and wretchedness of the Irish people, and see what they are subject to at the hands of the Irish police they would see to it that, before the Chief Secretary had the Vote of his salary, he brought this system of the Irish Constabulary to an end.

(1.12.) MR. SHEEHY) (Galway, S.

I wish to offer a few remarks on the case of Mr. Nally. None of us would ask for any favour from the Government for Mr. Nally, but we have a right to claim that on the ground of justice he should be released. He spent 10 months in custody before his sentence, and as he received the maximum sentence that 10 months ought to be taken as part of the sentence, in which case he is now entitled to his release.


I have no right to speak again, but I will assure the hon. Member that if the case turns out as has been represented the matter shall be brought before the Lord Lieutenant.

MR. BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)

I think the case brought forward by the hon. Member for Durham is one on which we ought to insist on an inquiry. That case having been put forth on the authority of an ex-Sheriff and Magistrate of Durham, it ought not to be passed over in silence.


I only wish to call attention to the facts which came under my personal cognisance last year. Two English ladies, one of them the wife of an eminent Judge in this country, and both ladies of position, happened to be in Cork, where I called upon them and showed them round the city. They were Catholics, I being a Protestant. They went inside a Catholic place of worship, and found policemen stationed at the door, where they waited till they came out. The police followed us round from place to place in the same mean, low, and despicable manner as has been proved in the cases of shadowing that have come before us. I know what the Chief Secretary wants. He wants people to hit out in order that they may put themselves within the meshes of the law. I sincerely hope our people will not do this, but will continue to have confidence in the sense of justice of the English people, and the leaders of the English people, who will soon sit on that side of the House.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

May I be allowed to say a word upon the case of Mr. Nally, which has been brought forward by my hon. Friend. He was convicted on the evidence of a paid informer, named Colan, a person of infamous character. The impression in the district is that Nally was innocent of the crime charged against him, and also that he was the means in that district of preventing crime and outrage, and even of saving life. Between his arrest and conviction the extraordinary period of 10 months elapsed, during the whole of which period he was kept in custody. He has conducted himself so well in prison, that he has reached and maintained the first class for good conduct, and has never incurred the loss of a good conduct mark. If his good conduct marks are added together, and his 10 months' imprisonment before sentence were taken into account, he would have nearly served his full term of 10 years. I think that special weight should be given to his previous imprisonment. I have only to add that while Nally will not abase himself by making any appeal to the Government, he has a very aged father, who is in bad health and whose life cannot be much further prolonged. Under these circumstances, I think it would be a graceful act if the Government would consent to release Nally without further detention.


The matter shall be carefully considered.

Question put, and agreed to.

Second Resolution (see page 1524) agreed to.