§ MR. ROSS (Londonderry)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has refused to receive a deputation of Irish ladies, who proposed to place in his hands a Memorial to be forwarded to the Queen, addressed to Her Majesty, protesting against the Home Rule Bill, and signed by over 100,000 Irish women; and has he any objection to receive the Memorial and to forward it to Her Majesty?
§ MR. ASQUITH
I stated a week ago to the promoters of the Petition that if they would send it to the Home Office I should be happy to lay it before Her Majesty. The Petition has now arrived at the Home Office, and as soon as the physical difficulties of transporting the structure in which it is enclosed can be surmounted it will be forwarded to the Queen. It is true that I refused to receive 122 a deputation from the signatories. It would be altogether contrary to practice, and would establish an inconvenient precedent, if the Secretary of State were to receive deputations in connection with the presentation of political addresses to the Queen.
§ MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
I should like to ask, with regard to this Petition, how many of the signatures belong to female servants, bow many to school girls, and bow many to children who cannot write?
§ MR. ASQUITH
I have seen the Petition, and it would be a work of great time and labour to examine into the signatures.