THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir W.HARCOURT, Derby)
This is a very grave question—the gravest, I may say, which will occupy the attention of the Government. But I do not think that I could, during the present Session, make any definite statement on the subject.
§ MR. SEXTON
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman, looking to the fact that several measures which have passed this House have been defeated by the exercise of this veto, and especially, from my point of view, to the fact that this Parliament has been rendered impotent in regard to Ireland by the rejection of the Home Rule Bill last year and of the Evicted Tenants Bill this year from the same cause, whether the Government intend or anticipate that, in the Queen's Speech at the opening of next Session, they will be able to define their policy?
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
It is those facts to which my hon. Friend refers that constitute in great degree the gravity of this question. I have already stated that the Government are fully impressed with the gravity of the question, and hope to be able to deal with it; but, as I have told my hon. Friend before, I do not think it would serve any good purpose, nor are the Government prepared at this moment to make a definite statement on the subject.
§ MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
May I ask whether it is not a fact that the two Bills referred to were rejected in this House by a large majority of the votes of Members from England and Scotland?
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
I have already stated that I am not a Separatist to the degree that are gentlemen opposite— [Mr. SEXTON: Conservative gentlemen]—and I recognise no distinction between the votes of Members of this House, or between the nationality from which they come.
§ MR. BARTLEY
But, as a fact, were not the Bills referred to carried in this House by the preponderance of Ireland, which has a larger share of representation than it ought to have.
§ [No answer was given.]