HC Deb 21 June 1897 vol 50 cc440-57

, rising amid loud cheering from all parts of the House, said: I think, Mr. Speaker, it will be admitted that but very few words are required from me to justify the Motion of which notice appears upon the Paper. We should but very ill-represent the country at large if we remained silent and dumb, or refused to take any part in the chorus of congratulation which is arising from every portion of this vast Empire upon the auspicious anniversary which we are approaching. ["Hear, hear!"] Sir, I think it would be superfluous—I think it might, indeed, be worse than superfluous—were I to attempt to enumerate any of the remarkable changes and events which have so signally distinguished the 60 years of Her Majesty's reign. Great, indeed, those changes have been. You will seldom find comprised within the compass of two generations so many great industrial, scientific, and literary changes—I had almost said revolutions—as have characterised the two generations which have passed since Her Majesty ascended the Throne. ["Hear, hear!"] Sir, the discussion of the characteristics of the. Victorian epoch has occupied enough, perhaps, of public attention and has been made the theme of a sufficient number of speeches and of theses. More interesting is it and more germane to the Resolution which I have the honour to propose, to ask ourselves whether the universal popular instinct is in this case justified which associates, which closely associates, the personality of the Queen with the triumphs which have distinguished her reign. [Cheers.] Sir, there have been great monarchs who, as it were, by force, have stamped upon the people over whom they ruled their sign manual, who have so moulded them that for generations they have borne the impress of what may almost be described as their original creator. Such men, in their time, and in their place, have been among the great benefactors of mankind. But, Sir, there is no room in a society like ours for services of that kind, nor would it be desirable that any monarch should attempt to render such services to a country like our own. ["Hear, hear!"] Nor have the services of Her Majesty been of that character. ["Hear, hear!"] Again, Sir, there have been epochs in which Sovereigns have reigned, and have had prosperous reigns, of whom nevertheless history cannot claim that they bore any share in the important transactions which occurred during their reign of power; whose reigns, therefore, serve but to mark an historical epoch—serve, as it were, but to mark out a special period of chronology. And, again, I say the reign of Her Majesty is not a reign of that description. ["Hear, hear!"] No negation ever excited the passionate devotion and affectionate loyalty which the Queen has inspired in the minds of her subjects. [Cheers.] No, Sir. If to-day this Metropolis of the Empire is crowded by representatives from every continent in the globe—not all of our blood or of our language; men in many cases of a different race and heirs of a different civilisation, but all unanimous, all breathing one spirit of devotion to the Sovereign of these realms —if, Sir, that be the fact, as undoubtedly it is, we may be quite sure that such feelings have not been stirred by an abstraction, and that there is at the bottom of all this personal devotion something which rightly has called that devotion into existence. [Cheers.] Sir, it is true that the reign of Her Majesty has been a reign of unexampled length. It is also true that it has been a reign of unexampled prosperity. Yet, in celebrating this Jubilee, we are not ministering, I believe, to sentiments of national vanity or to vulgar feelings of national complacency, but we are really offering up from our hearts a homage to the great lady who rules over us. [Great cheering.] Sir, if you ask, or if any ask, what are the virtues which have called forth this demonstration, if anybody asks what are the claims to this national regard, I think the answer is not difficult to give. It is because, as the Queen is pre-eminent in station, so she has been pre-eminent in virtue. ["Hear, hear!"] It is because she has so well understood the difficult and delicate tasks which fall to a constitutional monarch to perform, that the constitution of this country has during her reign been able to adapt itself, without friction and without shock, to the varying needs of this great community. It is because through along and laborious life she has been animated by a single view of public duty. ["Hear, hear!"] It is because in her public life she has been an example to every Sovereign, and in her private life an example to every citizen. ["Hear, hear!" and cheers.] It is because she has shared our anxieties and shared our triumphs. It is because she has been throughout animated and inspired by our national ideals, that this nation, and this House as representing this nation, delight to do her honour. [Cheers] It is therefore, Sir, with an absolute confidence that these sentiments, however feebly expressed, are the sentiments common to all who hear me that I beg now to move,— That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, to congratulate Her Majesty on the auspicious completion of the 60th year of her happy reign; and to assure Her Majesty that this House profoundly shares the great joy with which her people celebrate the longest, the most prosperous, and the most illustrious reign in their history; joining with them in praying earnestly for the continuance during many years of Her Majesty's life and health. [The right hon. Gentleman resumed his seat amid loud cheers from all parts of the House.]

*SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

I can hope to add little to the eloquent and graceful terms in which the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House has introduced this Motion, which I rise to second. [Cheers.] I have, indeed, a qualification which he does not possess and which he will not envy me—that I can recall, as if it were to-day, the booming of the guns which announced the accession of the Queen. [Cheers.] It is most right and fitting that an Address of congratulation should be presented to the Sovereign from the House of Commons, which has the highest claim to represent the sentiment of the nation. Since the accession of the Queen this Parliament has been placed upon a still wider basis of representation than that which hailed at her accession. The early reign of the Queen began with a new political epoch, at a period when the real enfranchisement of the people had only recently commenced. It was an era of reform—social, political, financial, and commercial; and indeed there was great need in those days for such reforms. It is only those who can personally recollect what was the condition of the population of this country 60 years ago who can realise the enormous progress and improvement which have been made in the welfare of the people. [Cheers.] We rejoice to-day, and justly rejoice, in the greatness of this Empire, and the extension of the dominions of the Queen. But for the maintenance of such a vast structure there must be solid foundations at the base, and those foundations can only be found in a prosperous and a contented people. [Cheers.] Sir, I am myself able to testify that it was not always so. I can remember when the people of this country were neither prosperous nor contented, when disorder was rife amidst the masses of the population, who were impatient of suffering and intolerant of their miserable lot. Anyone who is acquainted with the social history of this country, I should say, for the first six years of the Queen's reign—from 1837 to 1813—and remembers what the sufferings were in the great towns, and still more perhaps in the rural districts, will be able to form some conception of the marvellous improvement that has taken place in the staple of the nation, in the growth not only of its numbers, but in the health and wealth, in the moral not less than the physical fibre of the people. [Cheers.] That has been above all other things the distinguishing feature, to my mind, of this auspicious reign. A people better fed, better clothed, better housed, better paid, better educated, crime diminished, taxation on the poorer classes lightened—this is the solid base upon which this vast Empire rests. [Cheers.] I can recall the fears of the brave and the follies of the wise, who dreaded lest the extension of popular power might endanger the Constitution of the country. Yet it must be acknowledged that in these sixty years the Queen has given the final sanction to measure after measure of democratic reform, and each extension of popular right has only strengthened the Monarchy and increased the confidence of the people. [Cheers.] Queen Victoria has never feared her people. [Loud cheers.] Decade after decade has passed with a progressive march of popular reforms, and the Sovereign has never been. more trusted or more revered, and, as the right hon. Gentleman well indicated, this enlarged democracy has been peacefully and insensibly incorporated into the framework of an ancient throne. [Cheers.] We celebrate to-day, and gladly celebrate with just pride the gathering of the representatives of our distant colonies. They are communities who went forth instinct with the same love of freedom which was native to their parent State. They carried that spirit beyond the seas, and it has borne the fruit of self-government and of self-reliance. [Cheers.] In this memorable growth of our race and of our Empire there has presided for two generations of men, one figure who has presented to the world the British name with a noble simplicity of greatness which has not been known before, and which will live for ever in the records of this nation. [Cheers.] It has been asked, What has been the office which the Queen has performed? That office has been the supreme tie which bound together various classes and diverse races in these vast dominions, which has held them in one united whole by a Sovereign partaking the spirit of the people, which has gathered them in growing affection around her throne. [Cheers.] The blessing that was invoked by the patriarchs of old was length of days and multitude of offspring. Surely never has a Sovereign been surrounded by a more illustrious progeny, both in her family and in her people. Her subjects are to be found on every shore, and her children's children are established in honour in many a State. As the right hon. Gentleman said, there have been glorious reigns in the great traditions of this land reigns of strife and of storm, of peril and of conquest, but if I might be permitted to affix an adjective, a characteristic of this reign, I should call it a sympathetic reign. [Cheers.] It has appealed to the heart of the nation, and it is the heart of the nation still more than its pride that speaks to-day and addresses Queen Victoria in the sixtieth year of her reign. She has made her people feel that she was the companion of their joy and the partaker of their distress and in all their fortunes—whether ill or good—her sympathies have never been wanting in that touch of nature which makes the whole world kin. [Cheers.] In a sense unknown before, the present Sovereign can be justly called the Mother of her people. In the fulness of her years and of her grace those children gather around her to-day with feelings of filial devotion. [Cheers.] The Queen has passed through bitter sorrows, and none so great as that which took from her the wise counsellor and consort who helped to support her in the burden of her Empire. But in all her desolation she never forgot her care and her duty to the nation. [Cheers.] It is not for me to attempt to portray a character known and admired and loved by all. Those who have served her themselves in any capacity will ever cherish the memory of her gracious kindness, of her upright judgment, of her ripe experience and her constitutional fidelity. [Cheers.] Her public: as her private life has been a lesson to all in every station. The first in virtue as the "first in place," she has added dignity to a mighty throne, and deserved the passionate loyalty of a free people. [Cheers.] She will leave to those who come after her larger dominions and a happier people; but, what is more, she will bequeath to future times the imperishable inheritance of a sovereign example. [Loud cheers.]


, who was received with Irish cheers, said: If this Address were allowed to be passed without a word of protest it would be the act of the united Commons of Great Britain and Ireland, and no Irish representative who desired truly to speak the voice of the great mass of the Irish nation could allow it to be passed without protesting against it. [Irish cheers and Ministerial cries of "Oh!"] They were asked to pass the Address as part mid parcel of the Jubilee and rejoicing for a reign of 60 years, which had undoubtedly brought to the inhabitants of Great Britain and her self-governing Colonies almost limitless and unbounded prosperity and cause of rejoicing; but, as he should presently show, had brought to the country for which he spoke neither prosperity nor peace, nor cause of rejoicing whatever. [Nationalist cheers.] If he sought justification for the course he felt bound to take on behalf of the party for which he was entitled to speak, he should find it in the words: "To assure Her Most Gracious Majesty that this House profoundly shares in the joy with which her people celebrate the most prosperous and most auspicious reign in the history of this nation." He spoke for a section of the House—[ironical Ministerial cheers]—and he asked how could they share in that joy while the nation that had sent them there had been denied throughout the whole of the sixty years of that reign any share in the prosperity or the liberties celebrated that day? The Irish people alone throughout the dominions and Empire of Her Majesty were denied all occasion for rejoicing. Speaking as an Irish representative, he felt bound to oppose this Address because it was part and parcel of a jubilation and rejoicing for sixty years of blessings and prosperity and liberty which had undoubtedly been enjoyed by Great Britain and her Colonies, but which had been throughout the reign persistently denied to Ireland. Paraphrasing the language of the First Lord of the Treasury in moving the Address, the Irish Nationalist Members would ill represent the vast mass of the Irish nation if they abstained from telling them frankly and honestly, and telling Her Majesty, that her Irish subjects did not rejoice, and saw no reason why they should do so. [Nationalist cheers.] He trusted to the catalogue given by the Leader of the Opposition of the great advances made by the populations of Great Britain and the Colonies since Her Majesty came to the Throne, and in every item of the catalogue he noticed that Ireland had gone back instead of having progressed. When the Queen ascended the Throne, Ireland had a population of eight millions. Now she had 4,500,000. Great Britain, when the Queen came to the Throne, had a population of 17 millions, now she had a population of 34 millions, while the population of Great Britain had been doubled her taxation, had been reduced by one-half; while the population of Ireland had been reduced by one half, her taxation had been doubled. He turned to the greatest of all the advances which had been made by the Colonies and Great Britain during the present reign—the advancement made in public liberties. All the nation had been taken within the bounds of the Constitution, and had a voice in the Government of the country. That was the reason Great Britain was so loyal to-day. They had all been reading within the last few days the speeches of the Premiers of self-governing Colonies—Canada, New South Wales, Victoria, and New Zealand. Would the Premier of Canada have been here if Canada had been left in the same position she occupied 60 or 70 years ago? No. At the beginning of the Queen's reign Canada was in rebellion. To Canada they had given liberty, and with that she had built up a structure of prosperity. As regarded Ireland, the past sixty years had been marked, on the contrary, by a progressive denial of liberty. During the reign, 42 Coercion Acts had been passed. [Nationalist cheers and groans.] When the Queen came to the Throne no Minister would have dared to have stood up in that House to propose a perpetual Coercion Act for Ireland. In I887 the Government of the day selected the fiftieth anniversary of Her Majesty's Coronation to fix round the neck of Ireland the badge of perpetual servitude. Yet they were asked to rejoice and take part in the celebration of sixty years' degradation and ruin to Ireland, and to lick the hand that had chastised them. [Nationalist cheers and groans.] For sixty years many thousands had been condemned to gaol as political offenders for no other reason than endeavouring to do their duty by their country. Many men had been cruelly executed under the pretence of law because they had endeavoured to defend the rights of their country. At the present moment there were lying in the gaols of this country political prisoners whom they asked the Government to release on the occasion of the Jubilee as an act of grace, in order, in some degree, to mitigate the bitterness and indignation of the Irish people, and they refused to release them, although the Czar of Russia released a thousand political prisoners when he was crowned. The reign had, moreover, been marked by the cruel, unjust, and monstrous evictions of tens of thousands of people in Ireland, and at that moment thousands of these poor creatures were starving on the roadsides. [Ministerial cries of "Oh!" and Nationalist cheers.] Through bad laws, badly administered, famine had become enterdemic, and one of the ordinary events of life. The Nationalist Party had decided that in view of the deep-seated feeling of the Irish nation, they could have neither lot nor part in passing this Address. They had decided to move no Amendment to the Address, nor could they support any Amendment, and they felt that the best method by which they could give expression to what they believed to be the feelings of the people was to vote against the adoption of the Address. To-morrow, through the streets of that great world city there would pass a mighty procession—[Ministerial, cheers]—to celebrate what he fully and frankly acknowledged the people of this country and its Colonies were fully entitled to celebrate as a great national feast and occasion for rejoicing, and in that procession there would be representatives of their free self-governing Colonies and others loyal to Her Majesty. The Army and the Navy would be represented, and most of the Crowned Heads of Europe. How would -Ireland be represented—by the Royal Irish Constabulary—[Ministerial cheers and Nationalist cries of"Police!"]—fitly represented by a force which had no other justification for its existence but to suppress and keep down the people of Ireland, and whose chief occupation in the past hail been to assist in burning and pulling down their roof trees. They would ride close behind the carriage of the Sovereign—the only representatives of the Irish nation who would grace the procession, the only official representatives of the Irish nation. He had stated the attitude of the Nationalist Party and of the Irish nation. This was a great and mighty Empire, but Ireland, by the operations of the British Government, had been reduced to the position of an impoverished, diminished, and weak nation. They could conquer by force, and continue to keep in poverty and misery the nation to which he belonged, and for which he spoke, but they could not by Coercion Acts conquer the hearts of the Irish people or compel them to join in the present rejoicing. [Nationalist cheers.]

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

said he rose to endeavour to reduce to action the sentiments to which the hon. Gentleman had just given utterance. [Ministerial laughter.] He had no fault to find with the pictures which had been drawn of the benefits which had accrued to the people of the Empire generally during the present reign, which would be remembered, not merely as the longest, but probably as the greatest reign in English history. The advances which had been made were undoubtedly without parallel in the story of the nations, and he did not for a moment wonder at the enthusiasm with which this Jubilee celebration was being carried out. Had he been an Englishman, a Canadian, or an Australian, he should have been only too proud of the opportunity of celebrating the increase in prosperity and freedom, but he belonged to a part of the Empire to which the blessings of prosperity and freedom had been a closed book. Much as he personally disliked uttering any jarring note which might be considered even by some friends of Ireland as ungracious or ill-timed, he felt bound in the interests of truth to say that at this moment, while other parts of the Empire were proud, prosperous, and free, Ireland stood at their door in poverty and subjection, sullen and disaffected. He knew that on such occasions as this men were naturally anxious to shut their eyes to any discreditable fact, to any black spot that might, perhaps, spoil the beauty of the picture; but this was a great historical occasion, and in the interests of truth and justice alike they were bound, as Irish representatives, to place it upon record that during the past 60 years Ireland had suffered grievously in her prosperity and liberty, and was to-day in no mood to celebrate those great blessings which had been scattered broadcast throughout the rest of the Empire. British Members might possibly be inclined to resent the introduction of this topic at all, but there was no responsible man amongst them of any party who could deny the substantial truth, of what he was saying. [Cries of "Oh!"] In his view it was far better for England, as well as Ireland, that the truth should not be hidden. The three great achievements of this reign were, first, the extension of representative institutions and the broadening of popular liberties all over the Empire; secondly, the enormous and extraordinary increase in population and wealth, arid the decrease of taxation; and, thirdly, the spread of peace and contentment amongst the subjects of the Empire. What share had Ireland had in any one of these blessings? While representative institutions had been given to the colonies, and the people of Great Britain had had their popular rights and liberties extended year by year, Ireland had been constantly subjected to exceptional and repressive legislation. As had been pointed out by the hon. Gentleman who preceded him, there had been a Coercion Act of some kind or other for Ireland; some of these Acts had suspended trial by jury; others had suppressed the freedom of speech, or of the Press, and all of them, in one shape or another, abrogated the constitution under which Ireland was supposed to live. There had been two unsuccessful insurrections, and their prisons had never for one moment been without Irish political prisoners within their walls. [Irish, cheers.] He had hoped up to the last moment that an opportunity would have been found, as an act of grace, to release the few remaining prisoners in Portland Prison. There were only five of them left, and every man who was a leader of the conspiracy with which they were alleged to be connected had been released. At this moment in Ireland there was a statute in force under which trial by jury, personal liberty, freedom of speech and of the Press, were all vested in one man, who was absolutely irresponsible so far as the Irish people were concerned. The great mass of the people themselves were undoubtedly disaffected with the system of rule under which, they lived. While this country had been prospering, Ireland had been starving; her industries were dead—killed by the legislation of that Parliament; her population bad diminished by one-half; chronic famine haunted the home of her western seaboard; and one terrible visitation swept millions of her people out of existence. While the wealth of this country had quadrupled, and the taxation per bead had been reduced by about two-thirds, Ireland had had no increase of wealth, her population had diminshed by four millions, and her taxation per head had been doubled. These were facts which could not be ignored, and in the name of those whom he represented he felt compelled to say that Ireland to-day stood apart altogether from the Jubilee celebration, and asked first to have her liberty restored. He begged to move, at the end of the Question, to add the words,— But this House represents to Her Majesty that this House deems it its duty to place upon record the fact that during the sixty years of Her Majesty's reign Ireland has suffered grievously from famine, depopulation, and poverty, and from the continued suspension of her constitutional liberties, with the result that the Irish people are to-day discontented and disaffected, and are unable to join in the celebration of the sixtieth year of Her Majesty's reign.

MR. J. O'KELLY (Roscommon, N.)

said that Ireland refused to join in this celebration. When the Division on this Address took place it would be found that the whole of the National representation of Ireland had voted against it. It might be a light matter to the rest of the House that the Irish representatives should not take part in the proceedings to-morrow; but the action of the Irish Members meant more than appeared on the surface. It was a reign that when the day came, which he believed was not far distant, when they would have to fight for their Empire, the Irish Members would stand aside—[Irish cheers]—and some of them would not be content with standing aside. [Renewed Irish, cheers.] The Colonies were loyal because they were free; the Irish were disloyal because they were not free, and they were proud of their disloyalty. [Irish, cheers.] They never should be loyal—[Ministerial laughter]—until justice was done them —[Irish cheers]—and they had returned to them the liberties which by force had been taken from them. He begged to second the Amendment. [Irish cheers.]


said that in ordinary circumstances he should not have thought it worth while to detain the House, because he looked upon the Amendment as one of those recurring symptoms of chronic disloyalty that existed among a certain class of Irishmen. But this was not an ordinary occasion. It was one unique in the history of the country—he ventured to say it was unique in the history of any country in the world. The greatest Empire the world had ever seen had spontaneously manifested its devotion and loyalty to the person of the Sovereign of this country, whose reign had been so distinguished for freedom and justice. Only one jarring note occurred in this short universal hymn of praise. Only one string was out of tune, and that string was twanged by an Irish hand. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had assumed to speak in the name of the Irish nation, but he also spoke in the name, at any rate, of a very considerable portion of the Irish nation who were as loyal to the Crown as any to be found in any part of Her Majesty's wide dominions. [Cheers.] The hon. Gentleman who had just sat down apparently felt the difficulty of the position in which he was placed in raising this note in the midst of the general harmony. Well, he did not wonder that the hon. Gentleman felt the difficulty, for, in order to justify his action the lion. Gentleman should have had an overwhelming ease to make out before the House to justify his act; but the justification of both the hon. Member for Waterford and the hon. Member for East Mayo simply consisted in broad assertions which they had never attempted to prove. [Irish cries of dissent.] They stated that the liberty of the subject in Ireland was curtailed and interfered with in a way that no other subjects of the Crown had to submit to; but, as a matter of fact, the liberty only was interfered with of those who desired to commit murder and crime, whilst the liberty of well-disposed citizens in Ireland was not touched in the slightest degree. [Cheers.] Then the hon. Members had told them that they would not take part in the Jubilee rejoicings or in the loyal Address, because they said that during the GO years of Her Majesty's reign, Ireland had been starved and had been in misery. He contended that that was a libel upon Irishmen, and those who bad asserted it had given no figures at all to prove their case. ["Hear, hear!"] Ireland, he submitted, was wealthier now that when Her Majesty came to the Throne. She was more prosperous than she had ever been, and her social condition was infinitely superior now than at any time within the present generation. When the Queen Caine to the Throne there were in Ireland, he believed, seven miles of railways; now there were 3,000 miles. The fact that the population had decreased in the period did not prove anything, as a large population in a small country was not usually productive of prosperity. Sixty years ago indeed Ireland was one huge congested district. Moreover, then there were only 1,381 schools, attended by 169,000 pupils, receiving a grant from Parliament of 150,000; whilst in 1895 there were 8,550 schools, with 1,018,000 pupils, and a Parliamentary grant of £1,138,000. In 1849 there was in deposit banks in Ireland a little over seven millions; now there were 39 millions; and in tins Post Office Savings Bank in 1863 there were £143,000, and now there were £5,919,000. [Cheers.] Irish Members on the other side of the House would not join in Her Majesty's Jubilee. The only part they would take was to take tickets for the Parliamentary stand. [Loughter.] It was said that the population of Ireland had decreased. Well, so it had; but why blame Her Majesty or the authorities of this country for that? The reason was because the means of locomotion had been increased —[laughter]— and Irishmen would not stop in Ireland in a condition of comparative poverty when they could do better elsewhere. At the present time he was glad to say there were signs that the decreasing of the Irish population had ceased, and his opinion was that Ireland was on the rising grade. ["Hear, hear!"] These assertions of decreased prosperity and great starvation had no foundation whatever in fact; and he could only see in the attitude of the Irish Party a manifestation which, to his mind, need never have been made by lion. Gentlemen—a manifestation of the chronic hatred and disloyalty to this country which loyalists had always asserted, and which he thought the Irish Party had never denied. [Cheers.] He spoke in the name of at least one-third of the Irish people, and he ventured to say, in supporting the Address to the Crown, that he was expressing the views of men in Ireland of every creed who were the most strongly attached in their devotion to the Queen. Surely it was going out of their way for hon. Gentlemen to do this ungracious act towards a noble lady, and it was to his mind totally foreign and alien to the Irish character. [Loud cheers.] If they did not intend taking part in the Jubilee proceedings they should simply have remained away, being perfectly persuaded in their own minds that no one who know them would ever accuse them of any feeling of loyalty to the Crown. [Laughter and cheers.] That section of the Irish people for whom he had a right to speak had, he thought, shown in the past ten years that they, at any rate, were able to hold their own. [Cheers.] The majority of the House would agree with him when he said—and he believed history would record it— that had it not been for the stand taken by the Irish Loyalists, the Queen to-morrow would not have celebrated a reign over a United Empire. [Cheers, and Nationalist laughter.] As an Irishman, he regretted that the Amendment had been moved. As an Irish Loyalist he rejoiced at it. The only people who ever objected to his assertion of the disloyalty of hon. Members opposite were to be found in Radical ranks, and he should hope now that no one would get up and speak about the "union of hearts." ["Hear, hear!"] There had been a jarring note struck—but microscopic in dimensions and it only tended to emphasise, to broaden, to deepen that mighty tone which had reverberated round the world, and which told the nations in unmistakable words of the unity, the solidity, and the might of the greatest and the freest Empire the world had ever seen. [Loud cheers.]

Question put, "That those words be there added."

The House divided: Ayes, 7; Noes, 436. (Division List, No. 240.)

The numbers were received with loud Ministerial cheers.

The main Question having been put from the Chair, a Division was challenged by the Nationalist Members.

The House divided: —Ayes, 459; Noes, 44.—(Division List, No. 241.)

Resolved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, to congratulate Her Majesty on the auspicious completion of the sixtieth year of Her happy reign, and to assure Her Majesty that this House profoundly shares the great joy with which Her people celebrate the longest, the most prosperous, and the most illustrious reign in their history, joining with them in praying earnestly for the continuance during many years of Her Majesty's life and health.

THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY moved, "That the said Address be presented to Tier Majesty by the whole House."

MR. J. J. CLANCY (Dublin Co. N.)

After what has taken place this Motion is an absurdity, for it is quite plain that Members representing Nationalist constituencies will not take part in the presentation of this Address. Therefore a Motion declaring that the whole House presents this Address would amount to an absolute untruth. If the Motion is not amended to meet this objection, I shall certainly vote against it.


put the Question, and the Nationalist Members challenged a Division.

Question put a second time.


stated that he thought the Ayes had it; and on his decision being challenged, it appeared to him that the Division was frivolously claimed, and he directed the Noes to stand up in their places.

All the Irish. Members present on the Opposition side having risen,


named Tellers for a Division.

The House divided: —Ayes, 411; Noes, 41.—(Division List, No. 242.)

THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY moved,— That such Members of this House as are of Her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council do humbly know Her Majesty's pleasure when she will be attended by this House with the said Address.

Motion agreed to.

SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, as a great difference of opinion exists in the House on the subject, what dress hon. Members are expected to wear on the occasion of this Address being presented? I should also like to ask you for your advice, and for the expression of your wish as to whether hon. Members should proceed to the Palace in carriages or on foot?


As it is more than 36 years since an Address was presented to Her Majesty by the whole House, perhaps it would be convenient if I were to refer to the two points raised by the right hon. Baronet's Question. [Cheers.] As regards dress, I understand it is usual for Members to go to the Palace in morning dress, except that Privy Councillors usually wear levee dress. As regards the mode of arriving at the Palace, shortly after prayers I shall proceed through' St. Stephen's Hall and Westminster Hall to New Palace Yard, followed by hon. Members, and thence drive at a walking pace to Buckingham Palace. I believe it has been usual for the bulk of hon. Members to follow on foot. [Cheers.] Those hon. Members, however, who wear levee dress frequently go in carriages. Of course, all hon. Members are at liberty if they choose to use carriages. I may add that going on foot very materially facilitates the ingress to and egress from the Palace. After Her Majesty has received the Address I shall return directly to the House and report to the House Her Majesty's gracious answer to the Address. Afterwards, in accordance with the Motion about to be put, I shall adjourn the House at once without question put.