SIR ELLIS ASHMEAD-BART-LETT
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether it is the intention of the Government to allow the establishment of an armed Volunteer Force in Ireland? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the establishment of an Irish Volunteer Force was expressly provided against in the Bill of 1886? Why is it not forbidden in the present Home Rule Bill?
§ MR. W. E. GLADSTONE
I shall be better able to answer the question when we come to the discussion of the Home Rule Bill. There is no Volunteer Force in Ireland, and I know of no proposal for establishing one. Her Majesty's Government have not had the subject under consideration.
§ SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
Do I understand that the right hon. Gentleman declines to say now whether the words in the Bill which refer to the Naval and Military Forces include or exclude a Volunteer Force? It would be a great convenience to us to be told that.
§ [No answer was given.]