HC Deb 31 March 1897 vol 48 cc185-245

Order Read, for resuming adjourned Debate on Amendment to Question [29th March], That, in the opinion of tins House, the Report and Proceedings of the Royal Commission on the Financial Relations of Great Britain and Ireland establish the existence of an undue burden of taxation on Ireland, which constitutes a great grievance to all classes of the Irish community, and makes it the duty of the Government to propose at an early day remedial legislation:"—(Mr. Blake:)— And which Amendment was to leave out from the word "House," to the end of the Question, in order to add instead thereof the words so long as the Exchequers of Great Britain and Ireland remain consolidated all portions of the United Kingdom must be regarded as forming one country for fiscal purposes, and if any genuine and tangible grievance does exist, it can only be satisfactorily removed by so adjusting the present fiscal system as to render it just and equitable to all persons in whatever part of the United Kingdom they may reside." —(Mr. Whittaker.)

Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question." Debate resumed.

* MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Belfast, W.)

continuing the speech which was interrupted when the Debate was adjourned on Tuesday at midnight, asked leave to sum up very briefly the points he had endeavoured to make. In the first place it was totally incorrect to say that, the opinion of Ireland was universally in favour of the view of the hon. Member for Long-ford. He claimed to have shown that almost every section in the city of Belfast, at any rate, had declared itself, after full consideration, to be of a contrary opinion. He agreed with his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North, Armagh that, while there had been great exaggeration with regard to the alleged hardship inflicted by Britain on Ireland in the past, there was at the present moment neither over-taxation of any individual nor tangible injustice. He believed that the people of Great Britain would not tax themselves to remove an imaginary injustice or to undo a non-existent wrong. ["Hear, hear!"] With regard to the general case which was made against Great Britain on a claim of right, it failed if on no other ground, from its inherent absurdity and want of logic. It was said that Ireland was overtaxed, but no one proposed to reduce her taxes by a farthing. It was said that Irishmen were over-taxed, but it was admitted that Irishmen were taxed far more lightly than either Englishmen or Scotsmen. It was said that the fiscal system of the United Kingdom was unjust, but they had been told point-blank that it was impossible and undesirable to change that system. It was said that the whisky tax was a cruel burden on Ireland, but no one proposed to reduce that tax. It was said that the Act of Union prescribed exemptions and abatements, but no speaker in the course of the Debate had even suggested what those abatements ought to be, or whether there ought to be any. Lastly, they were told that Great Britain was robbing Ireland, and yet they had the positive assurance of Lord Farrer, the chief witness in favour of the Motion, that neither England nor Scotland profited to the extent of one shilling by the revenues raised in Ireland. ["Hear, hear!"] In view of these facts the claim, as a claim of right, seemed to him to fall to the ground. Whether there did not remain a claim of another character was a different question. He believed that there did remain such a claim. He believed that the Belfast Chamber of Commerce and the Belfast Liberal Unionist Association were right in saying that, in, the peculiar circumstances of Ireland, a peculiar and generous expenditure was warranted by the circumstances of the country. That Irish expenditure might be reduced he did not doubt, and he gladly noted the promise of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that any saving made in that quarter should be devoted to Irish purposes. Moreover, by our land legislation and in other ways, we had produced an artificial state of things in Ireland which could only be removed by an expenditure of money which would permit of a return to a normal condition of things. We had taken away the springs of initiative, and it was our duty to restore them. He believed that Parliament would be perfectly ready in the future, as it had frequently shown itself in the past, to take a most generous view of the needs of Ireland. ["Hear, hear"] In pressing them to do so he should be absolutely fulfilling the commission he had received from his constituents. He should be misinterpreting their view if he were to join in the demand, or rather in the menace, which had been made by the hon. and learned Member for Longford, a demand which he believed to be based upon inadequate grounds, and one which, if it were conceded, would inevitably lead to that disintegration of the United Kingdom which they had fought so hard and so successfully to prevent. ["Hear, hear!"]

MR. THOMAS LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said the Debate up to the present had taken a strange and unexpected course. They had had only one speech from the Liberal Benches, and that speech of the hon. Member for Spen Valley might be summed up in three expressions, namely, that England displayed the greatest generosity to Ireland, that Ireland displayed the utmost prosperity, and that the Report of the Royal Commission was on a flimsy basis, and that its recommendations were preposterous. That appeared to be the Liberal Home Rule position; but he thought it left something to be desired, and he was sorry that the Party pledged to the relief of Irish grievances should allow two evenings to pass in the discussion of the Report of a Royal Commission appointed by the Liberal Government without some expression of opinion being given to them. ["Hear, hear!"] The hon. Member who had just sat down described the Motion of the Member for Longford as a menace. He did not find anything menacing in it. It seemed to be a very modest Motion, which simply asked the House to consider the Report of the Royal Commission. [Cheers.] The hon. Member for Spen Valley might have allowed the House to discuss the Motion for a day or two, so that the country might understand the position before introducing his Amendment. The hon. Member said he was a Home Ruler, but he would not admit that Ireland should be treated as a separate fiscal entity. If the hon. Member were a Home Ruler he might lie glad to accept anything which would be a step towards autonomy. The separate fiscal entity of Ireland had been recognised already up to this day. It was not only embodied in the Act of Union but in the Act of 1816, and was perpetually recognised by the Government of both political parties all through the century. The hon. Member said Ireland had prospered greatly since 1850, and instead of dealing with the startling figures given by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Longford, who moved the Motion, he supported his statement by only two references, namely, the exports and imports of Ireland. He was quite right in saying that the exports and imports were far heavier now than a century ago, but they did not support his argument, but gave the most pathetic evidence of the suffering that Ireland endured. [Cheers.] It was absolutely necessary to examine these exports and imports to arrive at a conclusion. The exports consisted of fat cattle, pigs, and poultry, which were exported in order to enable the people to import food of a lower quality in order to pay the great burden that rested upon them with the difference. He compared these exports and imports with what had gone on half a century ago. Then there were no imports of food. Ireland fed herself— [Cheers.]—and whatever little was exported was a genuine export. The next point of the hon. Member was the Income Tax return. He said that in, 1856 the assessment in Ireland was 21 millions, whereas now it was 27 millions, and he said that that was evidence of the marvellous prosperity of Ireland. These figures represented an increase during 40 years of 30 per cent. In Great Britain in the first year the hon. Member mentioned, the Income Tax was 286 millions; it was now about 700 millions so Unit while the Irish returns had improved by 30 per cent., the British had improved by 140 per cent. The hon. Member did not refer at all to the diminution of the population, nor to the increase in pauperism, nor in lunacy. He simply gave the two cases, and on these he based his argument that Ireland's prosperity was marvellous. He would not characterise the expressions used by the hon. Member (Mr. Whittaker) about the Report of the Royal Commission being flimsy and its recommendations preposterous, except to say that they were very strong expressions for a Member who voted in favour of Ireland from 1892 to 1895. He could not but regret that the hon. Member took up such a fierce tone towards Ireland. The Tory view, as expressed from the Benches opposite, was very different from that of the hon. Member. It was at least something sympathetic. The speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a happy contrast to that of the hon. Member, though it must have been unsatisfactory to Members from Ireland. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said the burden of Ireland was heavy but not borne. The amount paid by Ireland was enough to ruin the country and make it impossible to go on with the fiscal system. The Chancellor of the Exchequer went on to say that there was no complaint between the year 1817 and the year 1853. He thought there was a great deal of complaint and a great deal of grievance during those years. The right hon. Gentleman said the complaints about 1853 was an historical grievance; he said that the burden that was pressed upon Ireland in 1853 had been renewed in the last Budget of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The history of the fiscal relations was this, Englishmen had been discovering for a hundred years how to oppress Ireland, and every idea upon the subject was embodied in the Budget and pressed upon Ireland. What occurred in 1853 was not merely historical but an act of living oppression. [Cheers.] The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked, "What tax do you complain of?" There was no answer.

MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)

Yes; I said every tax pinches.


The hon. Member said he was prepared to accept a continuance of the fiscal system.


said he never said anything of the kind.


was glad to be corrected by the hon. Gentleman, but he said he was prepared to accept a continuance of the fiscal system if large sums of money were spent in Ireland. It was impossible to debate this policy of giving back a large sum of money to Ireland. The tobacco tax, the tea tax, and the income tax were all oppressive in Ireland; and the immediate reduction of taxation was the way out of the difficulty. [Mr. W. JOHNSTON: "What about the whisky tax?"] All the money required for Ireland out of indirect taxation should be obtained from the tax on alcohol. This Debate had had too much of an historic character. The English people, he knew, believed that their circumstances were in part similar to those in Ireland; that the fiscal system which they had developed suited them, and that, therefore, it must be beneficial to Ireland. But the evil was that the system which had gradually grown up, while being fair to Great Britain, pressed the life-blood out of Ireland. The principles of that system were: firstly, to select a small number of articles for taxation; secondly, to select articles largely consumed in Ireland; and, thirdly, to provide for the required increases not by adding to the number of taxable articles, but by raising the taxes on the articles already selected. No more cruel system for Ireland could possibly be devised. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was quite right in saying that great relief in taxation was given at the beginning of the period from 1817. But that relief applied solely to Great Britain, not to Ireland. In 1816 there was an income tax of 14 millions pressing on Great Britain and not on Ireland. That, representing a charge of £1 4s. per head of the population of Great Britain, was swept away. Other taxes not levied in Ireland, and remitted at this time were taxes of 7s. per 1,000 on bricks, 13s. per 1,000 on tiles; the glass tax; the window tax; the heavy corn laws, which did not affect Ireland; the soap tax, and the candle tax. When these taxes were repealed, they were replaced by a common system of taxation by which Ireland was hit a very heavy blow. Out of 25 great articles taxed in England in 1617, only 8 were taxed in Ireland. Of those 25, only five now remained; so that 20 taxes were remitted in Great Britain and only three in Ireland. In Great Britain, 23s. 7d. per head of the population was levied by these taxes; that had been reduced now to 7d. per head. In Ireland 2s. 6d. per head of the population was levied on the eight taxes, now it was 4d. per head. Therefore, the English people got relief to the extent of 23s. per head, while the Irish people got relief only to the extent of 2s. 2d. per head. To see the operation of this relief it was necessary to take a long period. He would take that from 1815 to 1845. In the interval the taxation of Great Britain was reduced by 22 millions, although the population doubled. In the same period the taxation levied in Ireland increased one quarter of a million, although the country was sinking to the verge of the most dreadful famine. [Mr. LECKY: "The population was increasing."] Yes, but exactly in the same proportion as in England, so there was nothing in that. He would admit that there was kindness at the bottom of the attitude of English Members, but there was not enough knowledge or thought. Thus the taxes which had been retained were the great Irish taxes. The first was the tea, tax. That was equalised in 1817, which meant that while it was reduced in Great Britain it was increased in Ireland. In 1819 the tobacco tax was equalised. It had previously been only 1s. in the 11b. in Ireland, and it was gradually raised to 12s.; and now it squeezed one and a quarter millions out of the poorest people in Europe. These, with the stamp duty in 1841, prevented the Irish people from getting any relief after the war. It would be said that Ireland got some relief because a number of her taxes were removed. But if 12 taxes were reduced to six, and more was collected from the six than, had been formerly collected from the 12, there was no relief given, especially if those six taxes were on the necessaries of life. He had read in The Times that morning an unpleasant criticism on the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth. The Times said:— Nor does lie pause for a moment to consider that tills increase (of taxation) in Ireland is due to the increased consuming power of the people. The increase was not due to that cause. It was due to the fact that the taxes had been raised. It was quite possible to get more out of a tax from a people who were sinking in wealth and numbers, by increasing the tax in greater proportion than the wealth and population diminished. The taxes of 1853 were quadrupled because there were only half as many people on whom, to levy taxation. The total taxation in Great Britain in 1815 was £2 8s. 7d. per head of the population, and at the end of the 30 years period it was only £1 4s. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that a great relief had been given in Britain; but it did not extend to Ireland. In 1819 the Irish amount was only 11s.; in 1896. The Irish total was £1 2a. As to the spirit duties, the First Lord of the Treasury stated that the increased tax on spirits was made for philanthropic purposes, while the right hon. Member for Bodmin said it was a tax to curb a vice. But if they wanted to curb a vice they did not attempt it in Great Britain because the tax on spirits was there decreased. The tax on beer at the beginning of the period was twopence in Ireland and fivepence in Great Britain, but in 1830 it was reduced to twopence in Great Britain, and no relief was given to Ireland. The tax on spirits in Great Britain at the beginning of the same period was 11s. 8d., now it was only 10s. 6d. Britain used a great deal more foreign spirits than Ireland. At the beginning of the period the tax on foreign spirits was 22s. 7d., in 1845 17s., and in 1800, 10s. 6d. There was, therefore, no principle recognised here, either of curbing vice or putting the tax on for philanthropic purposes.


I did not say that. What I said was that anyone dealing with the incidence of the duties on alcohol could not forget that there was a philanthropic side to all such taxes.


said the right hon. Gentleman suggested that it was for the benefit of the people this was done, but if the opposite course were taken in England, then it knocked the bottom out of the right hon. Gentleman's argument. [Cheers.] There had been gradually brought into existence a fiscal system, which, while it taxed the people of Britain in the most easy and genial way, crushed the life out of the people of Ireland. This system had been perfected in another cruel way lately. The system had been adopted in the last 15 years of collecting more by this unequal taxation than was necessary; and after it was collected it was given back in grants in aid. In the collection the Government gut more than they required, and those grants in aid were given not impartially all round, but were given to Great Britain. In 1890 the licence duty was given to the local authorities here; it had never been given in Ireland: the Irish sum would amount to £300,000 a year. In 1896 the Government gave a grant of two millions to help agriculture, and this Session they have given £600,000 to help English education, but no equivalent had been given to help education in Ireland. Look at the system and its effects first from the financial and then from the material standpoint. Financially, the Report of the Royal Commission informed us of the growth of local taxation in Ireland, as well as Imperial taxation, and it showed that the whole burden was 12 millions a year collected in the island, whereas only two millions were collected from the same number of people at the beginning of the period. As to the material result, take definite periods at the end, and see the effect produced in Ireland. The first period was from 1837 to I897, the years of the Queen's reign. The dark spot in tin history of that reign, memorable as it had otherwise been, would be this country's treatment of Ireland. [Cheers.] The population of Great Britain was 17 millions; it was now 35 millions. In Ireland the population was then eight millions; it was now four and a-half millions. In the last 40 or 50 years of the reign, Ireland had experienced the most cruel treatment from different Governments. In the first year of the reign all he taxes levied in Ireland, local and Imperial, were 15s. 6d. per head; in the last year of the reign the taxes were 53s. per head. [Cheers.] It might be said that the people were richer now; no, they were poorer. Then, agriculture was flourishing. Ireland exported provisions to this country, but now all the industries of Ireland, except three or four, had been destroyed, and the country was less able to bear taxation. Then all the food of the country was produced at home, so that the people were able to export their surplus, whereas now they brought in the cheapest food procurable in any part of the world. All the manufactures used in the country were then made in the country, but they had all now been swept out of the country. Those two facts proved that the material wealth of the people had greatly diminished, while that in Great Britain had increased in the most extraordinary way. In the first year of the reign every person in England paid 4s. of taxes for every 1s. paid in Ireland; but in this year 1s. 8s. was only paid in Great Britain for every 1s. paid in Ireland. From 1864 to 1894 the vital statistics of population, pauperism, lunatics, deaf and dumb, blind, showed that Ireland was getting worse as the years passed by. While pauperism between 1870 and 1894 increased in Ireland by 40 per cent., it decreased in Great Britain by 26 per cent. Take the period from 1880 to 1896. The highest level of pauperism reached per thousand of the population before 1879 was 62 in Ireland, but in 1881 it reached 113 per thousand. Since 1880, when Liberal legislation began, the pauperism had never sunk below 80 per thousand. The population fell by 635,000 in those 15 years. If the same number of lunatics remained in the country at the end of the 15 years, with the population so much reduced, it would be a dreadful figure; but there had been an. increase of 5,373 during the period of 15 years, and a steady increase of taxation had gone on to 12s. 4d. per head. Rents had been reduced one and a-half millions, but the taxes had been increased by one and three-quarter millions; so that what they gained in one way they lost in another. The present Leader of the House had been closely connected with Irish administration for about 10 years. The right hon. Gentleman ought to ask himself whether the progress of the island could be considered to have been satisfactory during that period. During the right hon. Gentleman's connection with Ireland 350,000 more people left the island. Previously the highest number of emigrants per thousand, even in famine years, had never been more than 115, but in 1886 the total number per thousand rose to 129; and since the right hon. Gentleman's rule in Ireland began the average pauperism per thousand of the population had never fallen below 90. So that he had added another 10 per cent, to the appalling figures of pauperism. Eight, shillings per head had been added to the taxation during that period. Not more than 11 millions was ever levied before the right hon. Gentleman went to Ireland, but 12 millions were now being wrung out of the country. The right hon. Gentleman had often said that Ireland had grievances long ago, but that they were now only historical, having been remedied by the kindness of England. The Report of the Commission disposed of that argument, and the appalling figures showing the increase of taxation in recent years, the increase of pauperism, and the decline of the population, suggested that the oppression upon Ireland now was greater than at any period of her past history. In 1896 39,000 people left Ireland, and even since the publication of the Report of the Royal Commission the taxation of Ireland had increased by £000,000. Therefore, while the Government were saying that they were considering that Report, they were not really doing so. They had, in fact, pronounced judgment against Ireland, and were imposing taxation greater by £600,000 than any taxation imposed in any period covered by the Report of the Commissioners. The reduction of rents in Ireland proved her growing poverty. He would be the last to deny the hard measure that had been dealt out to the landlords by that House. The landlords had made great sacrifices, but these sacrifices had not done any good to the country, because what the landlord had been asked to forego, the greedy Government had seized. ["Hear, hear!"] Any reduction in relief of taxation ought to be given to the landlords in fair proportion to the relief given to the tenants, and it was unjust to cut down rents in court, and then to send the taxgatherer to take fresh taxes from the people. The Savings Banks Returns were relied upon by hon. Gentlemen opposite, who maintained that I the condition of Ireland had improved. They said that during 20 years the deposits in the Savings Banks had increased by nine or ten millions. But they overlooked the fact that the investments in Government stock in Ireland had decreased by the same amount. Any growth of the deposits in the Savings Banks could not be regarded as a proof of progress. It was a proof of fear; the people were afraid to invest their money in the land. The Savings Banks. Returns, therefore, could not be said to prove that things were mending. He asked the House to look forward for 10 or 15 years, and to consider what would then be the state of Ireland if the present policy were continued. In 15 years there would be in Ireland a population of only three and three-quarter millions, and the Government would be trying to wring 15 millions of taxation but of that population. They would be engaged in the most dreadful task ever undertaken by any civilised Government. In 1837 Ireland had a population of eight millions, and the total cost of government was only one million and three-quarters, but to-day the expenditure had grown to six millions, although the population was only four and a half millions. In 1837 the constabulary cost £350,000; to-day the cost was £1,500,000. Education to-day cost £1,200,000, the Post Office £800,000, the law charges were £700,000, the central government cost £1,500,000, and the contribution to local taxation was £350,000. Barring the items for education and the Post Office what benefit did the mass of the population derive from this huge expenditure? A vast proportion of the Cost of government in, Ireland was wasted in huge, extravagant salaries, and upon offices which were not required. He believed that the Government were, at that moment, maturing a scheme for the establishment of yet another Board in Ireland. He asked them to consider whether it was really wise to proceed with that scheme. Would it not be better to adopt instead some plan which, would give real relief to the people? ["Hear, hear!"] He contended that if it was right to regard the expenditure on the constabulary and for administrative purposes in Ireland as a fair charge upon that country, a large proportion of Imperial expenditure—such as the money spent in building ships, and on the Army and Navy—ought to be treated as local to England. Then there was the Civil List. To that Ireland had to contribute £75,000 a year. During the 60 years of the Queen's reign she had contributed altogether £4,250,000; yet the Queen had only spent 16 days in Ireland. Every day that the Sovereign had spent in Ireland had cost the country £250,000, and of this Ireland paid her full share. The cost of the Lord Lieutenant's household was not shared by Great Britain. This showed that perfect fairness had not been observed in making out these accounts. There was only one cure for the evils of which he had spoken—the reduction or abolition of taxes which pressed with such terrible effect on the Irish taxpayer. He would take the tax off tobacco, tea, and also abolish the income tax. The First Lord of the Treasury had more power to help Ireland than any other Minister had had. The time was getting short. If anything were to be done it must lie done soon, for the emergency was most pressing. The people were suffering in the most grievous way. They had heard of a lunatic asylum which contained 300 more people than it would properly hold. The fact was, the people were being driven mad with oppression. How could they better celebrate the long reign of Her Majesty the Queen, so splendid in many of its aspects, than by doing something to remedy grievances which were eating into the heart of Ireland? The reason the First Lord of the Treasury had succeeded so badly in Ireland was that he had not rightly diagnosed the evils I under which Ireland suffered. The true evil in Ireland was poverty, and that had been increased by the hopeless efforts of Ireland to bear the heavy charges put upon her by her richer sister. The right hon. Gentleman had now a splendid opportunity of dealing with this evil, and if, by dealing with it in a broad and bold wav, he could effect a drastic and effectual remedy, no one would rejoice more than be should to see the right hon, Gentleman's name linked with the most distinguished of those who had held the high position which he occupied. [Cherrs.]

* MR. LECKY (Dublin University)

said he thought there had been a great deal of exaggeration in the course of the Debate in the pictures that had been drawn of the present state of Ireland, but at the same time he thought there was a large amount of common agreement among the different Irish parties, and that the overwhelming majority of the Irish Unionists would go a long wav with hon, Gentlemen opposite. [Irish cheers.] They were all impressed with the general result of the late Commission, which was that whereas the taxable capacity of Ireland was put by no one higher than one-twentieth part of that of Great Britain, the taxation in Ireland wag really between one-eleventh and one-twelfth. This fact had sunk into the minds of people of all classes, and it would be a great mistake if the, Government treated it as a matter of insignificance. When they remembered that it rested not only on the authority of distinguished Irishmen, but also on the authority of such English experts as Mr. Childers, Lord Welby, Lord Farrer, and Mr. Currie, who were supported by Sir Robert Giffen, the first statistician in England, and perhaps in Europe, it was impossible to deny its gravity. It was fully corroborated by Sir David Barbour in his very able dissentient Report, though he contended that the Report of the Majority was not a complete statement of the case, and that you could not decide the question of taxation without considering at the same time how that taxation was expended. Another point on which they were generally agreed was that in financial matters, as in other branches of legislation, Ireland ought to be treated as Ireland, and not as a mere group of English counties. [Irish cheers.] Whatever else might be doubtful in this matter, there could be no reasonable doubt that constitutionally and historically Ireland had the right, not only under the Act of Union and under the Consolidating Act of 1817, but also according to all the precedents of British legislation, to have separate treatment in financial matters. [Irish cheers.] A great deal had been said about the terms financial "unity" and "entity." If they were reasonably defined, he, for his part, had no objection to use them. But he observed that in Belfast there had been a strong protest against these terms, and the Belfast Liberal Association and the Belfast Chamber of Commerce had adopted another expression. They said that under the express terms of the Act of Union, repeated in 1816, Ireland had a constitutional claim for a separate consideration of her financial position. If the Belfast Chamber of Commerce and the Belfast Liberal Association preferred to put it in that way he did not object. He only admired the metaphysical subtlety that could find any real difference between these two things. It was not necessary, after the eneyelopædical speech of the hon, and learned Member for Longford, to go at any length into the historical side, of the ease. Even when the amalgamation of the Exchequers was carried out it was subject under the Act of Union to such particular exemptions and abatements in the case of Ireland and Scotland as circumstances might appear from time to time to demand. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said it was very difficult to understand what the authors of the Act of Union meant by these words. Lord Castlereagh put it very clearly in the speech in which he proposed the Union and explained its terms. He said: — Ireland has by this means the utmost possible security that she cannot be taxed beyond the measure of her comparative ability, and that the ratio of her contribution must ever correspond with her relative wealth and prosperity. Ireland was not found capable of paying her full share between the Union and the year 1816. This was partly due to the contribution of Ireland having been placed too high, but mainly, he thought, to the fact that the great war had carried with it an enormous expenditure which, if Ireland had had a separate Parliament must have driven her to bankruptcy. The debt was ultimately taken over by Great Britain. He did not agree that there was anything fraudulent in the fixing of Ireland's contribution by the authors of the Union. It was simply a mistake in the calculation. Nor did he believe that the amalgamation of the Exchequers was a criminal thing. He believed it was the best thing that could have been done for Ireland. When the amalgamation was made it was done with the clearest possible statement that the exemptions and abatements which the Union Treaty laid down were to be continued under the new state of things. He did not know whether hon. Members were aware how very largely exemptions and abatements were at this time granted to Ireland. For several years there were taxes amounting to 20 millions which were imposed on Great Britain, and from which Ireland was exempted. As late as 1845 the exemptions amounted to con-considerably more than 14 millions. All these exemptions clearly, recognised Ireland as a distinct unity. Taxes impost d in England were imposed on every part of England whether rich or poor. The exemptions were Irish exemptions, and they applied to every part of Ireland, not only to Mayo and Donegal, but to the rich counties round Dublin and Belfast. He did not believe that during the period between 1817 and 1853 there was real ground to complain of financial treatment on the part of Great Britain. Perhaps the most serious grievance was the suppression of the right to cultivate tobacco in Ireland. Their turf soil was particularly well suited for the commoner kinds of tobacco. In the early part of the century a large amount of tobacco was cultivated in Ireland, and habitually used by the poorer classes. It was put down by Act of Parliament, in 1831, under the First Liberal Ministry that had been in power for a generation. The great period of augmentation of taxation began with the imposition of the Income Tax in 1853, when Mr. Gladstone reversed the policy of Sir Robert Peel, who had exempted Ireland from this tax. Not only was the augmentation of taxation at that period enormous, but he believed it was most unjustifiable. As was commonly the case, the blame did not rest entirely on one side, but by far the larger part of it was due to the policy of Mr. Gladstone. ["Hear, hear!"] But even then, as on all previous occasions, Ireland was looked upon as a distinct taxable unit. Mr. Gladstone argued that Ireland as a whole ought to pay more taxation than she did, and he also argued that Ireland was making a good bargain by the arrangement. He repealed certain consolidated duties which had 40 years to run, and he argued that, as the Income Tax, though a much heavier charge, would only last a few years, Ireland as a whole would gain. The result was that a capital debt of four millions was wiped out, but Ireland had since paid more than 24 millions of Income Tax. The Irish Members naturally opposed the Measure, and General Dunne made the question specially his own. Perhaps a few old Members of the House might still remember General Dunne. That Gentleman happened to be a very intimate friend of his father, and was, therefore, associated much with his early days, and he could well remember the indignation with which he used to talk of the extreme wrong that was then done to Ireland by Mr. Gladstone. An Irishman of Irishmen, belonging to one of the oldest Irish families, and a man of singularly independent character, he was at one time a moderate Whig and at another a moderate Tory, but he used to congratulate himself that, though he had sat on both sides of the House, lie had never sat mi the same side as Mr. Gladstone, [Laughter.] General Dunne struggled for a long time to obtain a Committee to inquire into the question of Irish taxation. Mr. Gladstone opposed it, but alter ten years General Dunne succeeded in getting it. This Committee clearly recognised that there was a question between Great Britain and Ireland; it was appointed to consider the taxation of Ireland as a whole, how far it was in accordance with the Treaty of Union, and just in reference to the resources of the country. He did not Know whether it was necessary to come furl her down, because in their own time there were abundant examples of the same kind. In 1888, 1890, and 1891 the separate unity was acknowledged, when grants were made in relief of local taxation and for the establishment of free education. In 1890 the present First Lord of the Admiralty, then Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledged it when he appointed a Committee to inquire into the present financial relations between England, Scotland, and Ireland, and only last year they had the Hating Bill, when Ireland was not allowed to have half her local taxation remitted, as in England, for five years, but was put off with £700,000 less. [Cherrs.] Some people seemed to consider Ireland as a kind of intermittent and fluctuating personality—something like Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll—an integral portion when it was a question of taxation, and therefore entitled to no exemptions; a separate entity when it was a question of rating and therefore entitled to no relief. [Cheers.] He thought he had said sufficient to show Ireland had a distinct claim to separate treatment, and it appeared to him an extraordinary thing to argue that this was inconsistent with the Union. There was hardly any single subject of legislation in which Ireland was not legislated for separately. They had separate legislation about Church Establishments, about land, police, local government, education, and even, in some respects, about marriage. ["Hear, hear'.!"] All that had gone on for 97 year's after the Union, and therefore it was preposterous to say that, in asking that Ireland should be legislated for separately in financial matters, they were acting in a manner inconsistent with the Union. [Cheers.] The statesmen responsible for the Union were careful to provide that in all future legislation in finance, Ireland might have the benefit of certain exemptions and abatements, but they did believe there would come a time when her circumstances would be such that no abatements would be required. They believed the wealth of Ireland was about to rise to the English level, and that the taxes might then become identical. Lord Castlereagh expressed this belief in a passage which has a great and melancholy interest: — It must be evident," he said, "to every man that, if our manufactures keep pace in advancement for the next 20 years with the progress they have made in the last 20 years, they may, at the expiration of it, be fully able, to cope with the British, and that the two kingdoms may be safely left, like any two counties of the same kingdom, to a free competition. They all knew how unfortunately that prediction had been falsified, and how different was the level of wealth between the two countries. There were a number of causes of this difference. First of all there was Free Trade. England under Free Trade had advanced in prosperity in a manner beyond all example, but in Ireland the effects of Free Trade were totally different. Ireland was almost exclusively an agricultural country, and the effect of Free Trade had been first of all to depreciate the articles which she produced and then to deprive her of the monopoly which she previously had for her goods. Hon. Members talked about the depopulation of Ireland having resulted from over-taxation. He did not believe that any human being had left Ireland because his tea, tobacco, or whisky were too dear. It was not over-taxation which had depopulated Ireland, or the Land Laws, but, alter the great pressure of the famine was over, what really depopulated Ireland was Free Trade, which turned it from a country of arable land into one of pasture land. He quite admitted that in some indirect ways Ireland had gained by Free Trade. He did not believe that Ireland, on the whole, had retrograded in material prosperity. ["Hear, hear!"] He did not also quite take the same view as hon. Gentlemen opposite about depopulation. He thought it was far better that Ireland should have four-and-a-half millions of prosperous people than eight millions of extremely poor people. Emigration in Ireland was not, he believed, of late years due to misery. If he might use an expression which looked like a bull, it was partly due to the home feeling which drew people from their homes to the country where many of their own people had gone. ["Hear, hear!"] It was also partly due to the higher industrial standard of ambition which led them to go to the country where they could make most of their industry and capital. Emigration does not always show the poverty of the people. It often means that large numbers had been able to save enough to go to the country where capital and industry would produce the highest return. ["Hear, hear!"] But when all this is admitted it is very doubtful whether any advantages that had come from Free Trade to Ireland had been at all equal to the great and terrible evil Free Trade had done to that, country by striking down her agricultural monopoly and depreciating her principal produce. Even if it were true that Ireland had advanced under Free Trade, it was absolutely certain that she had not advanced in a corresponding rate with England. It must be remembered that in carrying out: the Free Trade policy, a number of duties were abolished in England which Ireland had never paid, and in this way the proportionate taxation of the two countries was altered to the detriment of the poorer one. Then came the immense augmentation of taxation between 1853 and 1860, as to the injustice of which he observed there had not been a single dissentient voice. It fell upon Ireland at a time when she was barely recovering from the worst famine in her history; when the landed gentry were utterly crushed by a ruinous Poor Law, and at a time of great economical change which affected one of the principal sources of her revenue. Nearly 58 per cent., or 2½ millions, was added to the taxation of Ireland, and that impoverished and broken country was compelled for a time to pay not less than one-eighth part of the taxation of the kingdom. [Cheers.] When the glamour of rhetoric had passed away, when the fascination of a great, personality was no longer felt, and the results of Mr. Gladstone's financial policy were reviewed in the cold clear light of history, it would not be forgotten that he was responsible for one of the grossest acts of fiscal oppression that Ireland in her long, disastrous history had ever undergone. ["Hear, hear!"] Then came the Disendowment of the Irish Church. That Measure was brought forward as a popular Measure, for which the people of Ireland should be extremely grateful, but what were its financial results? Two important grants, paid from the Consolidated Fund, the Regium Donum and the Maynooth Grants, came to an end, and they were compensated by large lump sums from the Church Fund, while the remainder of this purely Irish fund had been continually employed for charges that would otherwise fall upon, the Imperial Exchequer. Then came the great Temperance movement. He did not suppose that anyone would object to the taxation of whisky because of its moral and social effects, but this did not, affect its financial aspect. If you had a low tax on coal, and a tax of from three to six times as heavy upon turf, could anyone doubt how it would work? Then came the long period of agricultural depression. It did not, it is true, fall with such intensity upon a pasture country as on a corn-growing country. The contrast between many counties in England where farms were thrown upon the hands of landlords, and farmers could not be induced to take them, and the immense sums paid for tenant right in Ireland, established this fact. But on the other hand the agricultural depression was spread over a larger area in Ireland, for agriculture in Ireland occupied a much larger space in the resources of the country. He supposed that during the whole period of agricultural depression in England, although the agricultural classes suffered most severely, the country as a whole steadily and even rapidly advanced in wealth owing to the great prominence of its manufactures. In Ireland there had been no such advance, or if there had been an advance it was at a much slower rate. The financial history of England during the last half-century had been a history of greatly increased taxation, accompanied by a far greater proportionate increase of wealth, with a rapidly increasing population. The financial history of Ireland showed a corresponding increase of taxation, with a far less progressive revenue, and a steadily declining population. While the population of England had trebled in the interval, the population of Ireland, so fur as he could ascertain, was now exactly the same as it was at the time of the Union. In the period from 1819 to 1890 it would be found that in England the taxation per head of population, in spite of the enormous aggregate increase, had sunk from £ 14s. 8d. to £2 11s., while the taxation in Ireland per head had more than doubled, having risen from 15s. 5d. to £1.13s. 3d, And while the taxable capacity of Ireland was not more than one-twentieth of the Empire, her taxation was about an eleventh. Look at the matter from another point, of view Practically speaking the poor in Ireland, as in England, paid duty only upon three things—tea, tobacco, and strong drink. Ireland consumed in proportion to her means as much tea and tobacco as England, but in the consumption of strong drink Ireland was taxed at a rate enormously greater than England, for whisky was, according to alcoholic strength, taxed at six times the rate of beer. The tax upon whisky was estimated at two-thirds or three-fourths of its price, and the tax upon beer was only a sixth of its price. As the result of all this there was a clear prima facie ease for Ireland s claim. It was tolerably evident that the two countries had advanced in a very different degrees of prosperity if indeed one could be said to have advanced at all, and it was extremely difficult to maintain fairness in taxation between two countries so unequal in their progress. What was the remedy for all this? They were often asked, "What tax do you wish to abolish, what policy would you propose as an alternative?" As they had been frequently challenged by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and others on the subject he might be allowed to say a few words upon this, and in the remedy he proposed he wished to speak with perfect candour, and not, he was afraid, altogether to the satisfaction of hon. Members opposite. In the first place, he did not believe in the possibility of any large extension of a system of abatements and exemptions. The Union must be kept, like many other treaties, in spirit but not in letter. It was easy to give exemptions when our fiscal system included numerous duties on a multiplicity of articles. It was much more difficult when all indirect taxation was concentrated on a very few articles. There were still a few exemptions from taxation in favour of Ireland. Some four millions wore raised in Great Britain by taxes which did not apply to Ireland. He did not believe that, these could be largely extended, and it would be absolutely intolerable to have n system of custom-houses between England and Ireland. [Cries of "No, no!" from Irish Members.]


The Channel Islands.


thought that a very large number of hon. Members opposite would agree with him. Neither did he think that any remedy could be found in the abolition or the reduction of the duty on whisky. The hon. Member who had just spoken did not advocate that, but he had not always been of the same opinion. On this subject, he was asked the question before the Commission: "What would be the effect of a reduction of the whisky duty?" and his answer was: — I think the reduction of the tax would develop the well-being of the people, and if that were done they would not resort any more to coarse stimulants or vice of any kind. He doubted whether any other hon. Member would share the hon. Gentleman's belief in the saving grace of cheap whisky. [Laughter.]


, interrupting, reminded the hon. Member that in Ireland, when whisky was cheapest, the greatest decrease in consumption took place in the four years between 1838 and 1843, during Father Mathew's time.


said there was no Father Mathew now in Ireland, and he could not believe that if whisky were cheaper its consumption would diminish, or that the people would be either better or richer. It was quite impossible to find a remedy in this direction, nor could it be found in abatements and exemptions, but it might lie found in an equivalent grant from the Imperial Exchequer. This might be done by making the cost of maintenance of lunatic asylums or of other institutions a charge upon the Consolidated Fund. He would also advocate it creased expenditure on reproductive works. The fact that the taxable capacity of Ireland was greatly disproportionate to her taxation was a warning that something was wrong in the financial relations of the two countries, but he did not believe that it was possible to keep down expenditure in Ireland to any fixed relation to her wealth. It was impossible to provide how much an Irishman should spend in whisky or tobacco. The financial conditions had totally changed from what they were at the beginning of the century. Many new subjects of expenditure had arisen. Primary education was not then paid for by the State, the constabulary did not exist, and a new and enormous expenditure was required to carry out the beautiful Laud Laws. [Laughter.] When the accounts of the two countries were made up, it would be found that this last item told much against Ireland. He had himself a strong belief in reproductive works. There were a large number of persons in England who denounced what Lord Farrer called doles to Ireland. He was not in general in favour of the aggrandisement of Governments, and wished they would tax, meddle, assist, and control less than they did. But what the extreme disciples of Mr. Cobden never clearly understood was that the amount of Government assistance in different countries must vary enormously according to circumstances. A country like England, rich in manufactures, with vast accumulations of capital, with a wealthy middle class and landlord class, with an intense industrial spirit pervading every class of the community, could do a number of things without Government assistance that could never be done in a country like Ireland, where there were no large fortunes, no thriving manufactures, a small middle class, and few who could afford to make investments that did not produce immediate, return. Take light railways, for instance, which, perhaps, would never bring profit to shareholders—they could never be made in Ireland without the assistance of the Government. By far the most successful Chief Secretary-ship of our time had been that of the right hon. Gentleman now the Leader of the House—["hear, hear!"]—and this was largely because he had pursued the policy of the Congested District Board as opposed to the laissez-faire system of Mr. Cobden. You cannot govern a country like Ireland on the laissez-faire system. He hoped the right hon. Gentlemen the Members for Montrose and Bodmin would not think him offensive if he ventured to say that no class of persons were less fitted to understand Ireland or to govern Ireland than the thoroughgoing disciples of Mr. Cobden. ["Hear, hear!"] They were rather peculiarly apt to develope into the worst type of fanatic—the doctrinaire fanatic. The whole trend and tendency of recent policy in Ireland had been to make Government initiative and assistance more necessary. What has been one result of the Land Laws? To ruin a great portion of the landlords, and to take from the rest all obligation, or inducement to spend money on local objects. Is it probable the men who have been reduced by Statute to the position of poverty and precarious rent charges on the estates that were once their own, will expend any savings they may make either upon those estates or upon the development of local enterprises? But this is not all. If they wanted the capital of one country to go into another, the first thing they had got to do was to teach the sanctity of contract and the obligation of debts. What has become of contract in Ireland? 56 millions have been expended under the Incumbered Estates Act in purchasing the complete and absolute ownership of Irish estates—every stone of the buildings as well as every acre of the land. The sales were effected under Parliamentary authority. The properties were held under a Parliamentary sanction, the most sacred known to English law. What has become of this absolute, undivided property so solemnly guaranteed, and on the strength of which such vast obligations have been incurred? Leases representing the clearest legal contracts voluntarily entered into, have been torn to pieces by the legislation of 1887. Even the judicial rents guaranteed for 15 years have been tampered with. Only last Session the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon) told us with exultation that "it was all up with contract in Ireland." All this might be very beautiful, but it was not calculated to induce English investments to come to Ireland. Confiscation had many merits, but it had not that of attracting capital to a country. They were endeavouring to convert Ireland into a country of peasant proprietors. He hoped they would succeed, because he believed that, though it would not bring about a millennium in Ireland, it was the only way in which they could extricate the country from the confusion into which repeated confiscations and breaches of contract had brought it. But if they succeeded, two things would certainly follow, unless all the lessons which they could derive from the peasant proprietary of the Continent were untrue. One was that unless Government made the public works, nobody else would, for it was extremely unlikely that the peasant proprietors would make them. The other was, that if they did not wish the peasant proprietary to be the most ghastly of failures, they must produce in Ireland a higher level of agricultural industry and agricultural skill than at present existed. That could only be done by extending to Ireland some system of agricultural education like that which prevailed in Denmark and other countries of Europe. This, he believed, was the direction which, sooner or later, their policy would inevitably take, and he believed it was by such Measures that any inequality that now existed in their taxation could be best remedied. They were going to have another Commission to inquire into this question of Irish taxation. He did not suppose they looked forward to it with much delight; but there was not much use in opposing it, because sooner or later it would come to pass. But he thought there were two or three things with reference to this Commission which ought to be mentioned. One thing, which he believed the First Lord of the Treasury had already put forward, was that it was not to be a new but a supplementary trial, dealing with questions which had not yet been fully investigated. The conclusions of the last Commission would remain, and among them the cardinal fact of the disproportion between the wealth of Ireland and its taxation. He would also urge that there ought to be a judicial inquiry into the doctrine of what constituted Imperial taxation. Hon. Gentlemen were perfectly aware of the immense mass of legal opinion there was in support of the view that Imperial expenditure simply meant expenditure on the authority of the Imperial Parliament whenever it was spent, as local expenditure meant expenditure under local authorities. That view might be right or wrong; but, at all events, it was held by many high authorities. It was a question which ought to be judicially decided, and it was for that reason he had welcomed the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that Judges were to sit on the Commission. Then there was the question of the set-off. He thought that the new Commission ought to inquire into the place in which the money raised by taxation in each country was actually expended, as well as into the nature of Irish expenditure—whether it was really for the benefit of the country, or whether it was, as many of them believed, exceedingly improvident and exceedingly wasteful. ["Hear, hear!"] Then, again, there was the question of Ireland's contribution to Imperial purposes. It was constantly said that Ireland, according to the showing of the Commission, had one-twentieth of the taxable capacity of Great Britain, while according to the Treasury Returns she only paid one-thirtieth of the revenue. But it was not true that the Commission said that Ireland's taxable capacity was one-twentieth. It only said that it had not been put by a competent authority at a higher point. Lord Farrer only the other day said he thought it was much less, while Sir Robert Giffen was of opinion that, for the purposes of taxation, it ought not to be put beyond one-twenty-fifth. It was quite evident, on the other hand, that the figure of one-thirtieth as Ireland's contribution to the Imperial revenue was very fallacious. A number of items which were clearly Imperial were put down to the local account. There was the collection of the Imperial revenue in Ireland, and the expenses of the Viceroyalty, and there was also the great item of the Constabulary—an immense military force of some 12,000 men, supported by taxation to the extent of about a million and a half, and discharging, among other things, important revenue duties. A large portion of this ought to be transferred from the Irish side of the account to the Imperial side. In his opinion there was a real grievance, although he thought it had been greatly exaggerated, and although he did not share in the violent denunciations which had been made about the robbery of Ireland by England, He believed that most of the excessive taxation had been spent in Ireland either for Imperial or for Irish purposes; but he thought that, with the constant and steady decline in the relative, not absolute, prosperity of Ireland, the time had come when the account should be very carefully balanced again, and the best way in which the matter could be dealt with was by so increasing reproductive expenditure in Ireland that they might gradually raise the taxable capacity of the poorer country to the level of the richer one. [Cheers.]

On the return of Mr. SPEAKER, after the usual interval,

Mr. J. MORLEY (Montrose Burghs)

, who was received with Opposition cheers, said: I have the honour of following one of the most eminent Members of this House—a man distinguished in more than one way, and a Member of this House whom we are always glad to hear whenever he cares to address it. My hon. Friend has this afternoon administered a chastening monition to the Member for Bodmin and myself, and he has been good enough to lay down for the guidance of the Member for Bodmin and me the true principles of Irish government, and he says it ought never to be in the hands of doctrinaires. My hon. Friend, he and his class, have had the government of Ireland in their hands for ages—[Irish cheers]—and I wonder, if the doctrinaires had been in command all the time, whether they could have produced a more deplorable result than that which we now see. A considerable portion of the remarks of my hon. Friend were directed, not at all to the Motion before the House, but to extraneous topics. It matters very little to the right hon. Member for Bodmin or myself what may be said of us, but the hon. Member for Dublin University used some very, as I should have thought, excessive language about Mr. Gladstone. ["Hear, hear!"] He said that when the cool light of history is shed upon the career of that attractive and commanding personality it will be found that he has been the worst fiscal oppressor from whom Ireland has ever suffered. Aye, but Ireland has suffered from worse than fiscal oppressors. [Cheers.] The tax-gatherer has not been the worst oppressor of Ireland. The worst oppressor of Ireland has been the class for which my hon. Friend is the spokesman to-day. [Cheers.] But whatever Mr. Gladstone's misdemeanours may have been from the point of view of taxation, I submit that he has amply and a thousandfold redeemed any charges which may be brought on that account, by the fact that he has, at all events, prevented a perpetuity of that oppression of which my hon. Friend has to-day made himself once more the champion and the advocate. [Cheers.] My hon. Friend was not very discreet. He attacked Mr. Gladstone very bitterly for his land legislation; and what my hon. Friend calls "the cool light of history" is really the warm resentment of the Irish landlord. [Cheers and laughter.] But my hon. Friend bestowed warm eulogies—from which I do not for one moment wish to detract—on the present First Lord of the Treasury; and then he went on to talk about the cancelling of contracts under seal by the admission of the leaseholders to the benefits of this land legislation. Why, Sir, this canonised First Lord of the Treasury —[laughter]—is himself the Minister who passed the Measure which admitted the leaseholders. [Cheers.]


I expressly stated that it was under the Act of 1887.


It is all very well to make express statements in asides— [Cheers.]—but the hon. Member has no right, when he is passing a sweeping condemnation on an illustrious contemporary —for such, at least, he must admit Mr. Gladstone to be—to make these reservartions. I shall have a word to say by-and-bye upon the historic point which the hon. Member has raised; and I think that I shall be able to show to him that the animus which has induced him to lay the whole burden of the fiscal operations from 1852 to 1860 on Mr. Gladstone has misled him from the path from which I know in reference to more distant times he never swerves—the path of historic coolness and impartiality. I must return from the interesting speech of the hon. Member for Dublin University to the Motion which is before the House. The Motion moved by the hon. and learned Member for Longford affirms that it has been established by a Royal Commission that an undue burden has been laid upon Ireland; and that being so, that the Government is bound to provide remedial legislation. I do not understand, after listening to the weighty and powerful speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the Government, as at present advised, traverse the proposition that an undue burden is laid upon Ireland. Because, I suppose, from the action of the Government in proposing the constitution of a new Commission, that they admit that so far a primâ facie case has been established; but they say—and I respectfully dissent from the view—that that primâ facie ease stands in need of further corroboration, confirmation, and rectification. Then there is an Amendment to the Motion moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Spen Valley. He made a very potent and impressive speech; but there were some points in that speech which made me understand how it is that Englishmen are so well loved—how it is that they make themselves so attractive to Welshmen, Scotchmen, and Irishmen. [Laughter and Cheers.] My hon. Friend's Amendment is that, if there is an undue burden on Irishmen in Ireland, the same injustice of burden lies upon corresponding classes in Great Britain. That is the question which we are now discussing. A great deal has been said in the course of this discussion upon the Royal Commission. The implication has run through the Debate—and the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth, who made such an impressive and brilliant speech last night, seemed rather to share the idea—that the Commission was a packed Commission. ["Hear, hear!"] If that Commission was a Party Commission the fault does not lie with Mr. Gladstone, myself, or the Government. It is no fault of ours. I did my very best to secure the services on the Commission of two gentlemen— the right hon. Member for North Leeds, and the right hon. Gentleman who has since climbed the higher step of fame as Vice President of the Council. Both of those Gentlemen were Treasury experts, and I hoped to secure their services; but for good reasons or bad they were denied to us. Therefore, it was not my fault that those Gentlemen on the Bench opposite who know most about the Treasury did not take part in the Commission. They were invited. But there has been an assumption that those Gentlemen whom we were able to secure—Lord Fairer, Lord Welby, and Sir E. Hamilton — were so biassed by their political prepossessions that they would not judge, honestly and on their merits, any economic or scientific question which might be submitted to them. The Chancellor of the Exchequer talked about the Commission being established from the Home Rule point of view, and said that the Commission which he now proposes would be established from a Unionist point of view. I cannot understand what language of this sort means. [Cheers.] It is quite true that Gentlemen may have a prepossession for Home Rule, or for the maintenance of the Legislative Union as it now exists. But surely that is no reason why the men with these political prepossessions should not judge perfectly fairly and scientifically any scientific or economic issue submitted to them. ["Hear, hear!"]


That was not my argument.


But the right hon. Gentleman used several times the expressions "Home Rule point of view" and "Unionist point of view." But these questions which our Commission was appointed to examine, and which your Commission is in other details to examine, have nothing whatever to do with the question whether a new system of government in Ireland, or the maintenance now subsists is preferable. They have nothing to do with the point of view from which scientific experts on scientific questions will devote themselves to the evidence brought before them. ["Hear, hear!"] But I must say this. Have you ever asked yourselves how it comes that gentlemen of enormous, unsurpassed administrative experience, like Lord Farrer, Lord Welby, and Sir E. Hamilton, have these Home Rule, prepossessions? [Cheers.] They were not politicians. They had no political reason to take the Home Rule rather than the Unionist point of view. I will tell you why it is, and it is a most significant, circumstance. As far as they did pledge themselves to the principle of a system of self-government for Ireland, they did so because their administrative experience had taught them the demoralising effect of the present system on Irish administration—a system which apparently the hon. Member for Dublin University wishes indefinitely to prolong. [Cheers.] They found it from experience to be demoralising to the Irish Government, and they found it—and I venture to say that everyone will admit that that had much to do with their prepossessions for home Rule—they found it unjust to the British taxpayer. Lord Farrer makes abundantly evident, in his letters to The Times, the fact that what he regards as of greatest importance is this—that the; present policy involves a constant increase of the demands upon the British taxpayer, or a gradual decrease of "Imperial contribution," as it has been called. The Chancellor of the Exchequer referred to the Report, of the late Mr. Childers, and I will venture to say that that Report strikes me as one of the most important —one of the capital documents in the history of the relations between Great Britain and Ireland. ["Hear, hear!"] Whatever may be the end of this particular controversy, and of the larger controversy as to the best system of government in Ireland, Mr. Childers's Report will remain, for its grasp of the subject, and for the excellent scheme on which it has been conceived, a capital document. ["Hear, hear!"] The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that Mr. Childers suggested a duty upon meats, dairy products, etc. If the right hon. Gentleman will refer to the Report he will find that Mr. Childers mentions this among three possible courses, but instead of suggesting or recommending it, he repudiated it, and threw it over as impracticable. I think it is only right to say that much of a man who unhappily is not here to speak for himself. Let us come to another point upon which I shall be interested to hear the views of the First Lord of the Admiralty. I heard it stated half-a-dozen times in the course of this Debate that the Royal Commission was appointed by me to settle Home Rule points, and that it was directed to approach the inquiry from the home Rule point of view. It is important that this subject should be dealt with accurately and closely here, because there has been much vague talk and evasion in reference to it in the course of the Debate. It must be remembered that the beginning of this Commission is to be found in the time when the First Lord of the Admiralty was Chancellor of the Exchequer in the late Unionist Government. My right hon. Friend was asked whether he was prepared to grant an Inquiry into the financial relations between the two countries. I would ask my hon. Friend the Member for the Spen Valley Division, who thinks taxation goes by individuals and not by areas, to take a note of the answer; and perhaps, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin will take a note of it too.

MR. LEONARD COURTNEY (Cornwall, Bodmin)

I repudiate it. [Laughter.]


It is not for me to measure my right hon. Friend's repudiations of the actions of his colleagues. But my right hon. Friend opposite said, in reply to that question: — I do not want to exclude Scotland, and I think hon. Members from both countries will see that we are anxious to meet them. We shall be glad to throw as much light as possible on the financial relations of the two countries. Hon. Members will see at once that it must be a full and proper inquiry"; and my right hon. Friend winds up by saying: — If the inquiry should show that injustice had been done to any part of the United Kingdom steps will be taken to afford redress. [Nationalist cheers.] I will not read the proposed terms of reference to the Commission then promised, but the last paragraph was to the effect:— How far the financial relations are equitable, having regard to the resources and population of England, Scotland and Ireland respectively. [Nationalist cheers.] I think when my right hon. Friend gets up to reply he will not charge us with having framed the terms of reference to the late Royal Commission with a special regard for the Home Rule point of view. ["Hear, hear!"] The Royal Commission, so far as the most substantial portion of their inquiries goes, have done exactly what my right hon. Friend desired his Commission to have done. It is quite true that the Report of the Royal Commission contains, as was to be expected, many divergent recommendations and suggestions; but there is abundant evidence in these very divergencies—first, that the subject is one of very great difficulty and complexity; and, secondly, that the Commissioners felt themselves at liberty to use their own minds, apart from the terms of reference. There was, however, one proposition on which they were all agreed excepting the hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenock, and it is the only proposition which concerns the Motion before the House. I mean the proposition that there is an undue burden of taxation placed upon Ireland. [Cheers.] Sir Edward Barbour who issued a Minority Report, says:— It seems to me that Ireland is so greatly overtaxed in proportion to her resources that if we could ignore all considerations except those of revenue and taxable capacity it would be necessary, under the Act of Union, to apply a remedy of some kind. I say therefore that the important result of this Commission, in my judgment, is that we have got an almost unanimous consensus of opinion which places beyond all dispute that the taxable capacity of Ireland in relation to Great Britain is l–20th, while she pays 1–11th or 1–12th. [Cheers.] But we should not be very much surprised that this was the outcome of the Commission, because all of us who were here during the Home Rule Debates will recollect that my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty said that he considered that in relation to its wealth and its taxable capacity Ireland's share was l–18th, l–19th, or l–20th; and during the same discussions the Secretary for the Colonies said that l–18th was the proportion of Irish resources to those of Great Britain. [Cheers.] We therefore find that, notwithstanding the alleged sinister Home Rule bias, the Commission only arrived at the same conclusion as the First Lord of the Admiralty. It was said last night by the hon. Member for Greenock that the doctrine of separate treatment had been dead and buried during the century. The hon. Member for Dublin University has today quoted figures which show that the doctrine of separate entity was, on the contrary, recognised on a large scale up to 1853—and has been up to to-day for that matter—by respective Governments of both parties. ["Hear, hear!"] Twenty millions a year were levied in Great Britain by taxes not imposed in Ireland from 1817 to 1821; and that from 1845 to 1863 14½ millions were imposed annually in taxes in England that were not imposed in Ireland. [Cheers.] It is quite true that there were large remissions of taxation which was not imposed in Ireland, and that consequently the relief went to Great Britain alone; but it cannot be denied that during those years the fiscal separation of Ireland was largely recognised by this Parliament. [Cheers.] It is said that the excessive taxation of Ireland is due to whisky. This argument, which was used by the right hon. Member for Bodmin and the First Lord of the Treasury, I find it hard to discuss with gravity. ["Hear, hear!"] I greatly regretted to hear the First. Lord of the Treasury say last night that he would find himself unable to take part in this discussion, for I should like to hear from the right hon. Gentleman a development of his view of free-will as applied to taxation. [Laughter.] I do not think he will find that the present Chancellor of the Exchequer and the late Chancellor of the Exchequer agree with him in his truly astonishing doctrine that no tax— for this is what his doctrine of free-will comes to—can be unjust or oppressive, for a man can please himself whether or not he incurs the obligation to pay it. [Laughter.]


That was not my argument.


I submit that it was.


I do not know that it matters much what it was. [Opposition cries of "Oh, yes."] But as it seems to interest the right hon. Gentleman, I will repeat it. I said that you could not possibly treat on exactly the same level in these matters money taken out of a man's pocket whether he liked it or not, and money which he could have kept in his pocket if he did not choose to incur the expenditure.


Suppose I say that it is a monstrous thing that the income tax is 1s., and that it ought to be 6d.: then the right hon. Gentleman, on the: principle he has just now restated to the House, would, if he were Chancellor, have a right to come to me and say: —" It is your own fault if you earn over £160 a year, and we will take your shilling out of your pocket. If you will be content with earning £160 a year, you will pay no tax, therefore you have no right to complain." I do not think any other interpretation or application of his proposition can be made but that. ["Hear, hear!"] I should like to refer to another curious doctrine which has been broached by the First Lord of the Treasury and by the hon. Member who moved the Amendment. That doctrine is that the principle of alcoholic taxation is that it is laid on in order to repress alcoholic consumption. I wonder if the late Chancellor of the Exchequer or the present Chancellor of the Exchequer would get up at that box and say he put a high duty on alcohol because he wanted to make the people drink less. This kind of talk is a bit of hypocrisy. ["Hear, hear!"] The high duty on alcohol is not in the least put on from the philanthropic side; it is put on at the highest point at which the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day convinces himself he will not get the worst of it by diminishing the consumption. ["Hear, hear!"] The Chancellor of the Exchequer asserted that I had said that alcohol was a necessary of life. As a matter of fact, I never thought it, and never said it. There are, however, many people who have said that alcohol is a necessary of life. There is a passage in Mr. Burke upon the virtues of gin and the solace gin affords to the labouring poor. In that respect I venture to dissociate myself from that illustrious man. [Laughter.] But let us turn away from this fascinating topic for a moment. If it comes to a question of the necessaries of life, nothing is a necessary of life except bread and water. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, "I eliminate tea." Yes; but I submit that that is an arbitrary and capricious elimination. The right hon. Gentleman has also told us on some other occasion that lie himself is indifferent as to tobacco. I think there are many hon. Gentlemen in this House who, from their observation of the lives of poor people in this country, from their knowledge of the great exposure, fatigue, and exhaustion to which men of this class are subjected, would agree that tobacco is, as a matter of fact, not much less a necessary of life than tea itself, if you have regard to the habits of the people. There are many scientific and medical authorities who have told us that, in their opinion, the consumption of tea is one of the explanations of the melancholy and deplorable fact that insanity is on the increase in Ireland. Without adopting that view, I do say that we have no right to assume that one particular article the people choose to consume has got superior virtues over any other. ["Hear, hear!"] I will venture to bring before the House, very shortly, what is the case in Ireland. In the First Report of the Congested Districts Board, published in 1893 and dealing with the previous year, there were 12 budgets of persons living within the area of the congested districts taken by different persons and relating to different portions of the area. Of these 12 budgets, taken by perfectly impartial and competent persons, there is only one which contains whisky at all. When you talk about our system of taxation being ideal and perfect, I would like to tiring before the House one or two of the cases of these poor people—and they are poor, otherwise they would not be within the congested districts area. Here is a family whose little budget of revenue and expenditure is £30 a year. It is made up in this way. Agricultural, fishing, and home industries—rent, £2; cess, 5s. 8d.; tea £5 17s.; tobacco, £2 7s. 8d. As the House knows, the tobacco duty is 3s. 2d. per 1b., or 85 percent, of the selling price, and the duty on tea is 4d. per 1b. Therefore this little humble household, consuming £5 17s. worth of tea, pays as duty on that £1 15s., and on their £2 7s. 8d. worth of tobacco they pay £2, so that with their little budget of £30 they contribute no less a sum than £3 15s. to the Imperial revenue. [Cheers.] Here is a second case:—Rent, £3; cess, 11s.; tea, £5 4s.; tobacco and snuff, £4 11s.; whisky, £2 8s. For rent they pay £3; between tea, tobacco, and snuff they consume £10; and on whisky they only consume £2 8s. I think figures of that kind will lead Gentlemen to rather reconsider the harsh language they are accustomed to apply to these unfortunate people in Ireland when they say that Ireland is always wallowing in the consumption of alcohol. [Cheers.] No doubt they are large consumers of tea and tobacco, but I submit that there is no preferential claim which can be set up on tea over tobacco. The hon. Member for the Spen Valley Division says— Grant that the taxation on tea and on tobacco is excessive, is there not a similar grievance affecting the consumer of tobacco and tea in this island?

MR. T. P. WHITTAKER (York, W.R., Spen Valley)

Of the same income and habits.


I do not deny that these duties press very heavily on the poorest classes of this country. No doubt they have made vast strides within the past few years, and Mr. Gladstone's efforts to effect improvements in their condition in that direction may be set against the terrible title of being the worst fiscal oppressor Ireland ever knew, which has been applied to him by the hon. Member for the Dublin University. Mr. Gladstone has been at the head of this movement for reducing the burdens on the people, and great strides have been made in it. ["Hear, hear!"] There are two points to be considered in the Irish case. Hero we are dealing, not with scattered groups of extremely poor people, but we are dealing with a community which, as the evidence before the Royal Commission most abundantly shows, is mainly and substantially composed not merely of poor, but of a class who correspond to something like almost the poorest parts of this kingdom. It is said that the same results might be shown in other parts of the kingdom. What I say is, that here is a case brought before us by the Report of this Commission; let us deal with this case, and then, by-and-bye, if some Chancellor of the Exchequer thinks he can apply the same principle of fiscal operations to the whole kingdom, we can deal with that matter when it is specifically before us in the same way that this is. ["Hear, hear!"] That does not in the least degree affect our duty if we can ameliorate the condition of a community which is admitted by everyone to have a title to be treated in a separate and distinct way. I do not regard the fraction of contribution, whatever it be, as a claim for damage, nor the findings of the Commission on this point as a claim for damages, but as a sort of summary of a social and economic situation. This is not the place for the examination of the particular tests by which the Commission arrived at their conclusions; but the House cannot deny that it is a most important and significant thing that, this Commission, composed of men who approached the question from different points of view and taking different tests—somehow or another those tests, like the tests adopted by the Colonial Secretary and the First Lord of the Admiralty, all average about the figure of 1–20th. Anyone acquainted with the position of Ireland, anyone who travels through Ireland and then travels through England and Scotland, swarming with great towns, must see that to take that country at l–12th or 1–11th is a monstrous inequality. I believe that I am forcing a door which is open. I do not believe that the First Lord of the Admiralty will tell the House that in his judgment 1–12th or 1–11th. is a fair contribution from Ireland to the common revenue, but the right hon. Gentleman will agree that there is an undue burden on Ireland. I come to another point, and it is the fact that not only is the community a well defined one, but it is a community with certain covenanted rights for special consideration. [Cheers.] I was rather shocked to hear my hon. Friend the Member for the Spen Valley make so light of these treaty obligations, and I thought that the Chancellor of the Exchequer passed lightly over them. The hon, and learned Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Mr. Bigham) said that he had never heard of such a thing before; it is called a treaty, he said, by hon. Gentlemen opposite. Was it not a treaty? Was not the Union a treaty? Has the hon. and learned Member never read the noble words of Pitt in making his Motion for the Union in 1799? This House has always been too apt and is at this moment too apt to forget what was the starting point. These are the words of Pitt: — Is it not rather the free and voluntary association of two great countries, which join, for their common benefit, in one Empire, where each will retain its proportional weight and importance, under the security of equal laws, reciprocal affection, and inseparable interests, and which want nothing but that indissoluble connection to render both invincible? Then he wound up by a famous quotation from Virgil: — Non ego, nee Teucris Italos parere jubebo, Nee nova regna peto; paribus se legibus ambæ Invictæ gentes æterna in fœdera mittant. It was a treaty, it was a fœdus. Let us go from Pitt and look at the Irish newspapers of to-day. The Chief Secretary no doubt finds it to be part of his duty to read the Irish newspapers, not the most enviable part of his duties. At this moment every newspaper of every complexion in Ireland—Unionist, Parnellitc, Nationalist—are all pressing every day upon the minds of their readers in discussing this question whether or not this House is to sanction, aid, and abet an infraction of the spirit and letter of the Act of Union, or whether it will deal with it as Mr. Pitt meant it to be dealt with—as, in effect, a treaty between two equal contracting parties. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that he took his stand by the arrangement of 1817. What did Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, the Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer, say on June 16 1815? He said:— I do not fear that Parliament will ever declare the competency of Ireland to bear the entire weight of that taxation which the wealth and resources of England enable her to support without reference to those considerations upon which alone Ireland should be exempted from those burdens which are laid upon all other subjects of the United Kingdom. The power of that exemption is expressly reserved to Parliament by the Act of Union. Lord Castlereagh, on the point of revision in the arrangements of the Union, said: Ireland has by these means" (that is, the assurance of revision) "the utmost possible security that she cannot be taxed beyond the Measure of her comparative ability": and he also said: — The United Parliament will always be able to make abatements in Ireland, as the Parliament of Great Britain has always done in Scotland since the Union when, from local circumstances, the high duty cannot be levied without either rendering the revenue unproductive or pressing too hard upon the poorer classes. Whatever else this Commission has done it has undoubtedly shown that your present system of taxation, if uncompensated, does press too hard on the poorer classes in Ireland. There is a very remarkable attitude taken up in regard to the Act of Union. Hon. Members from Ireland say you ought to have indiscriminate expenditure, but not taxation. The Chancellor of the Exchequer the other day rode on the other horn. He said you ought to have indiscriminate taxation, but you ought not to have indiscriminate expenditure. The whole of the last portion of the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer implied discriminating expenditure. But you have to make up your mind what your line is to be. My own impression is that the founders of the policy of the Union intended both indiscriminate taxation and indiscriminate expenditure. If Mr. Pitt and Lord Castlereagh could see what has happened from indiscriminate taxation they would be horrified, because that indiscriminate taxation might lay just as heavy and just as unfair a burden on Ireland as any excess in the quota system which they contemplated the eventual removal of. They took every pains to avoid any excess falling upon Ireland. They provided for periodic revision in the quota; and if they had seen the possible injustice which would just as well arise under indiscriminate taxation as Lord Castlereagh at the time saw would arise under the quota, they would have provided for revision. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has entirely established the case for separate treatment of Ireland. If all excessive local expenditure in Ireland went back to the pockets of the individual people who pay what, by the hypothesis, we admit to be an excessive taxation, there would be something in the argument; but unless the Chancellor of the Exchequer can assure us that the present expenditure flows into the same pockets from which excessive taxation comes, I do not think there can be very much in the argument. The question, however, is whether there is any remedy that we can now propose. It is not our business to propose any remedy. If you agree that any unfair burden is imposed upon Irishmen who pay taxes in Ireland, if you agree in that, it will be your duty to find some remedy for that admitted wrong. The hon. Member for the University, who preceded me, laid great stress on the suggestion that the way to recoup Ireland for any excessive payment by that country was by reproductive works. I am sorry to say, from my own experience, that I do not believe any worse thing could be done. Of all kinds of aid of that kind given to Ireland I should put down 50 per cent, as waste—["hear, hear!"]—and you not only waste this enormous percentage of the money of the taxpayers, but you demoralise Ireland herself. ["Hear, hear!"] I, for my part, will do my best to resist any remedy that takes that particular form. I do not object to what was done by the First Lord of the Treasury when he was Irish Secretary; but I may say, without any want of charity, that the success of the experiment still remains to be proved, and I am afraid that even there you will find that your benevolent attempts have not been entirely successful, and that when the final count is struck you will discover a great deal of the money has been wasted. But there is another way of repaying to Ireland any excess of taxation which you may be driven to admit. I do not Know whether it would be popular with hon. Members below the Gangway or not, but I consider it worthy of the consideration of the Government. You are pledged to bring in a Measure for county government in Ireland. That is part of the Unionist scheme of policy.— An HON. MEMBER: "No."] I do not know who says "No,"' but if my statement is challenged all your pretence of a resolution to put Ireland on the same footing as England or Scotland is baseless. For years Royal Commissions and Committees have reported that the present conditions of local government in Ireland are intolerable, and Measures on the subject have figured in 40 Queen's Speeches at least. Supposing that at last hon. Gentlemen opposite screw up their courage and coerce their Unionist friends from Ireland into an admission that, there ought to be a scheme of local, responsible, elective, representative government in Ireland, and supposing, if you establish these representative bodies, that you make up your mind that Ireland is entitled to have a million or a million and a half, why should you not hand over that sum to those local bodies and make them responsible for the expenditure of it? [Ministerial laughter.] I thought I was submitting what is certainly not a Home Rule policy. I was suggesting that when you set up local government in Ireland you should supply a fund with which to set the local bodies going, so that if they wasted it they would have to bear the burden of that waste. ["Hear, hear!"] I think the new Commission is a most needless and futile process. I do not know why it is appointed. I do not know what it is going to inquire into which the Chancellor of the Exchequer could not find out for himself by a week's work in the Treasury. As to the proposal that there should be Judges on this Commission, I wonder what light Judges can throw upon the question of tax exemptions. We were charged with packing one of our Commissions, and the First Lord of the Treasury, criticising its composition, said that everyone upon it would have either a patriotic or a political bias. Well, I am very interested to hear what you think of the composition of the Commission of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Nobody on it, is to have a patriotic bias—that is to say, a Commissioner is not to be an Englishman or Scotchman or Irishman, or he would have a patriotic bias. Then he is not to have a political bias—that is to say, he is to be an important and capable man who, during all these years of discussion about Irish government, has somehow or other kept his mind a complete blank upon the subject. [Laughter.] If you are going to abolish patriotic bias and political bias you must have recourse to the King of Sweden. [Laughter] I do not say that the Government might not have contended that some points and issues were left over by the late Commission; but then they would have done much better to remit this margin of unsettled questions, the question of set-off and so on, back to the old Commission. To constitute a new Commission on lines which I cannot comprehend and for purposes which you can satisfy without reference to any Commission at all, I can only look upon as an evasion, a dilatory plea. ["Hear, hear!"] The fact is you find the feeling in Ireland so strong that you want to let the gale blow over, but you cannot. You will be baffled. However, I am not altogether discontented with the result of this Debate. We have established, from the admissions of the Government, that Ireland ought to be treated for fiscal purposes as a separate entity and unity; secondly, we have got it established that competent and important men believe that the over-taxation of Ireland amounts to a very large annual sum; and, thirdly, we shall have brought home to the mind of the British taxpayer the fact that the alternative policy of reproductive works, of what is called generosity to Ireland, is a generosity which is to be practised at the expense of the taxpayer. ["Hear, hear!"] I apologise to the House for having detained it for so long, but I have thought it necessary to state the reasons which induce me to vote for this Resolution.


, who was received with Ministerial cheers, said: The laws of courteous Debate require me to compress my observations into the very shortest time possible, in order that an hon. Member from Ireland may have an opportunity of replying. I will endeavour to bring out from the mass of statistical and controversial matters that have been raised the first-class issues which are really before us. The chief issue, stated in its broadest terms, is this: The majority of a Commission have reported that a sum varying from two-and-a-half millions to two-and-three-quarter millions is paid by Ireland in excess of what Ireland ought to pay, and those who refuse to look at this matter any further, and who consider that now we have got all the facts before us, have no option, it seems to me, but to accept the conclusions of the Commission. Is that the position of the Party opposite? Are they prepared to say that two-and-a-half millions ought to be transferred from Ireland and put upon British taxpayers? That is the clear issue which is before us. ["Hear, hear!"] The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down speaks of a million or a million and a half, but if you accept the finding of the Commission that Ireland is unduly taxed to the extent of two-and-a-half millions, whatever you might do in the way of a palliative the grievance would still remain; it would still be contended that Ireland had been unjustly treated, and we should not have advanced much further than we are at present. If Ireland has been unjustly treated every dictate of honour would require that Ireland's grievance should be met, and that would be the view of every Unionist. But we traverse the Motion which, is now before us absolutely. We do not admit the case as put before us by the Royal Commission. We do not admit the undue burden which the right hon. Gentleman described as a burden "unless there be a set off in other directions." There is the point; that is the cardinal issue which has to be referred to the new Commission, viz., whether the sum spent on local purposes in Ireland ought to be treated as a set off or not. I know that hon. Members below the gangway opposite do not accept the doctrine that there is that set off; they ignore it. But how does the right hon. Gentleman opposite propose to deal with the question? By a new set off. [Laughter.] He proposes to meet the grievance of Ireland by an allocation of money which is to be spent in Ireland; but that is what we have been doing during the last ten years.


My point was that the money should be spent by the Irish themselves, and not by Imperial departments.


Well, I think the million for education in Ireland goes into the pockets of the people, although it is voted by the Imperial Parliament, just as much as it would if it were voted locally. I now turn to another point of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. I refer to what he calls the effect of these duties on tobacco and spirits. He had spoken of how hardly individuals are hit by these taxes, but he does not propose to remedy it at all. The money is to be placed at the disposal of the County Councils, but he does not state for what purposes—possibly for the relief of Ireland and Irish resources. If so, that would meet the views of the hon. Member for Dublin University. But he does not propose, and not a single Member who has spoken in the Debate has proposed, that this question should be met by the reduction of taxes, which are alleged to be the great burden.

MR. VESEY KNOX (Londonderry)

The right hon. Gentleman should not be misled as to what Irish opinion is. There are a large number of Irish Members who do demand a reduction of taxation, but who have not been allowed to speak in the Debate.


I do not know how that may be. I accept the statement of the hon. Member, but it has not found expression in the Commission, on which the majority were Irish representatives. [Cheers.] The feeling may be so in Ireland, but it has not yet been recommended by the Commission, on whose authority we are asked to transfer two and a-half millions from one body to another. But is it conceivable that if this Budget were acknowledged to be such that we ought to interfere with the fiscal policy of this country and reduce the remaining portion of taxa- tion—tliati the poor inhabitants of Bethnal Green should continue to pay a duty on their tobacco, while the equally poor, but not poorer, inhabitants in Ireland should not continue to pay them? Whatever remedy may be adopted, I venture to consider that this is not the remedy which would commend itself to the House. I hold with the Chancellor of the Exchequer that no remedy can be adopted which interferes with the general fiscal policy of the country. Now I have said that the demand is that £2,500,000 should be transferred from Ireland to the shoulders of Great Britain, and that the present contribution by Ireland per head is £1 9s., while the contribution by Great Britain is £2 4s. Whether Ireland pays too much or not, at all events every Irish individual has to pay infinitely less than the individual in this country. A disparity in favour of the poorer country exists. If time allowed I should have liked to have followed, not in detail, but broad outline, the historical argument on which so much stress has been laid. It has been mentioned that in the first live years after the Act. of 1817 England continued to pay at the rate of 20 millions in taxes which were not imposed on Ireland. If the historical argument, which is not acceptable to the right hon. Gentleman, is to hold good, of course a point like that would have to be heavily weighed. For my part I am bound to say that the historical argument does not greatly impress me. I do not think it would be fair to put on the great-grandson of an English labourer at the time of the Union an additional burden now to relieve the great-grandson of an Irish peasant who paid too much in the earlier part of the century. But we now come to the very important period between 1853 and I860, in which the grievance arose through the increase of the spirit duty and the Income Tax. But let me point out that, while the right hon. Member for Montrose laid such great stress on the harsh taxation of the spirit, tea, and tobacco duties, and that while others have said that famine is stalking at the door of the Irish occupier because the duly on whisky was too high, if the Home Rule Bill had passed these taxes would have become a permanent pledge to the English Exchequer as a contribution to the Imperial revenue. Hon. Members opposite discovered this excess in this tax, not when the Home Rule Bill was under consideration, but now after a Commission has been appointed. [An IRISH MEMBER: "They have the figures!"] The hon. Member has fallen into the trap which, I was laying for him. [Laughter.] It is the Commission which has made the difference. But we are told that the Commission has arrived at no new facts, that the l–20th was before the House when the Home Rule Bill was under discussion; the l–10th to 1966–12th was also. The set-off in local taxation, too, was before the House when the Home Rule Bill was under discussion. In the face of these facts, to which nothing has been added by the Commission as regards revenue or expenditure, the right hon. Gentleman and his Party are prepared to take up a totally different attitude from that which they took up on the Home Rule Bill. I have spoken of the period from 1853 to 1860. From that time the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth said the amount per head of Imperial taxation in Ireland rose until the proportions were very different from what they were before. But the hon. and learned Member, like almost every hon. Member in this Debate, has omitted the question of local taxation and expenditure for local purposes. Many hon. Members will remember the period between 1860 and 1890. It was a period of increase in local taxation by leaps and bounds. This country had to expend vast sums of money on account of the increasing needs of the people, and for purposes that were rendered necessary by the increase in civilisation, but which weighed most heavily on the British taxpayer. And while this increase in local taxation was going on in England, by which, taking Imperial and local taxation together, the Englishman and the Scotchman were heavily weighted—during that time money was being freely given from the Imperial Exchequer to Ireland for the same purposes for which Englishmen were being rated. [Cheers.] Without taking account of that, I say it is impossible to form an opinion as to the relative burden on the different parts of the kingdom. This matter must be looked at as a whole, and we must take the doctrine of set-off as it has been taken previously on various occasions. ["Hear, hear!"] I come now to the year 1890, when I, as a Member of the Government of that time, moved for a Commission to inquire into the financial relations between England and Ireland. When I used the phrase "fiscal entity"— not, as has been stated, "taxable entity" —in regard to Ireland, I was looking upon the question, not- as a political question, but as a fiscal question. I looked upon it in this way, that Ireland must receive a certain amount of benefit when any considerable amount was granted to England from the Imperial Exchequer. Large grants in relief of local taxation were at that time made to England. Would it have been right to treat that as a common purpose? Yet we are now asked to look on any money spent in Ireland for local purposes as money spent for a common purpose and properly payable out of the Imperial Exchequer. [Cheers.] That is not a doctrine that can be applied to Ireland alone. ["Hear, hear!"] If it is true of Ireland, it is true of England. Because at the time we were giving large sums to England, I thought Ireland and Scotland ought to have corresponding benefits, and I thought we were all the more bound to see to that, because as Unionists we should regret that anything like fiscal injustice should have arisen during the fierce political struggles then going on. [Cheers.] On that occasion I caused to be drawn up—and I incurred great personal responsibility in doing so—those tables which have formed the foundation of the present controversy, which have been before the Commission, and which have been scarcely shaken by that Commission. My hon. and learned Friend complimented me on the accuracy of those tables. What was the result of those tables as drawn up? That Ireland, taking all expenditure and revenue together, was paying 3[...]6 towards Imperial expenditure. But that part of the tables is not accepted as authoritative, though the contribution to revenue has been accepted as fairly correct at 1–20th. My hon. Friend the Member for Dublin University wished to have even that question re-opened before the Royal Commission; but for my part I am prepared to stand by that figure. ["Heal, hear!"] While hon. Members opposite accepted that portion of these Returns, and while my hon. and learned Friend complimented the Treasury on their accuracy, he spent half an hour in showing that, in his opinion, our analysis of expenditure was incorrect, and ought not to be accepted. What is to come, then, before another Commission? Clearly those points which are not accepted by the Party opposite generally as conclusive. ["Hear, hear!"] The right hon. Gentleman opposite said that the Treasury can do in a week what we are asking a Royal Commission to do. The Treasury have done it, and it has been placed before Parliament, not only by ourselves, but by the right hon. Gentleman opposite. In the Returns provided for the Home Rule Bill there stood all these figures and, if they are accepted, Ireland is now paying less than she ought to Imperial expenditure. Therefore, if we are to accept the authority of Treasury figures, we should have no further Commission and no action taken on the finding of the previous Commission. ["Hear, hear!"] This set-off, which is now repudiated by the majority of the Commission, was allowed by Mr. Gladstone under the Home Rule Bill. ["Hear, hear!"] We are prepared to examine the Act of Union and the question of exceptions and abatements, and if it can be proved on examination that the set-off, which we hope the Commission will examine, and which the late Commission ought to have examined but did not, has not the effect which we believe it to have, it would, no doubt, be our duty to see whether such abatements and exceptions as were contemplated in the Act of Union can be made in the interest of Ireland, and, if so, we should not hesitate to come forward and ask the taxpayer to allow them. ["Hear, hear!"] But I would ask right hon. Gentlemen opposite, when did this question of exceptions and abatements present itself to the Party opposite? What question of exceptions and abatements was raised in the Budgets between 1853–63 or during the whole period that has followed since then? [Cheers.] Does it not shake, to a small extent, the confidence of hon. Gentlemen opposite in the finding of this Commission when they find that it must run counter to the deliberate action of all their leaders and the men who have guided their finances? That is a point I am entitled to submit to their judgment. ["Hear, hear!"] What was in Mr. Gladstone's mind in 1853? He looked on the question evidently from the point of view of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenock, and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley. I do not remember any recantation of that view. It was not recanted during the period of his Chancellorship of the Exchequer, or during the Debates on the Home Rule Bill. I do not hold the doctrine to the extent my right hon. Friend held it and acted on it: but I do submit that his authority should not be lightly disregarded by hon. Gentlemen opposite in the action they are now taking. ["Hear, hear!"] I should like to know what Mr. Gladstone's attitude would have been had he at this day to deal with the Motion before us. I hope I have shown some reason why a Commission should be adopted. We feel that that which the late Commission was instructed to examine has not been examined. We find that the principle which underlay the reference—namely, that money spent for local purposes, should be taken into consideration when calculating undue burdens—has been entirely set aside by the late Commission, and into that matter our Commission will look. They will be entitled, nay, more, it will be their duty, to examine this principle of set-off. I hope they will keep free from all theoretical questions and subsidiary matters and apply themselves to three points— first, ought there to be a set-off, and, if so, was that properly calculated in the Treasury returns; secondly, ought there or ought there not to be a contribution towards Imperial expenses from Ireland; and, thirdly, is there anything in the circumstances of to-day that would require the application and giving effect to that part of the Act of Union that requires that under certain circumstances abatements and exemptions are fair to the poorer country? ["Hear, hear!"]

* MR. J. B. BALFOUR (Clackmannan and Kinross)

desired to briefly state the reasons why he should give his vote in favour of the Motion, and he believed that the like reasons would not be without influence on the action of many of his colleagues in the Scottish representation. His main reason was that the Motion recognised and the Amendment negatived the claim to have nationality acknowledged as a basis for considering the equity of financial contribution to the Imperial Exchequer. That had for a long time been recognised by successive Governments, and public opinion in Scotland regarded it as important. Since 1888 it had been recognised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in apportioning local grants in the ratio of 80, 11, and 9. in 1890 a Select Committee was appointed to inquire and report in regard to the financial relations of the three countries, England, Scotland, and Ireland. That Committee met only once, for it was the end of the Session, but it recommended that a similar Committee should be reappointed in the subsequent Session, and the reappointment of that Committee Scotland had always greatly desired and strongly urged. He fully believed that the acceptance of his hon. Friend's Motion would eventually lead, and in no very long time, to an inquiry in regard to Scotland, and the result would be to living about a material diminution of the taxation levied in that country. lie was not speaking on the question at large, but he would add that I the large expenditure in Ireland which had sometimes been called a set-off for its large contribution would have no equivalent in Scotland, where the expenditure was generally admitted to be very moderate.

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

devoted his first few words to the observations of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty, and the first point on which it was necessary to correct him was this. The right hon. Gentleman was under the impression that the Liberal Party, and to some extent the Irish Party, were estopped from complaining of the financial relations between Ireland and Great Britain by the fact that both the Liberal Leaders and the Irish Party were in favour of the Home Rule Bill, which left these financial relations as they are, and the right hon. Gentleman also made observations as to the attitude of Mr. Gladstone on the occasion. First in regard to Mr. Gladstone it should be noted that he had in the plainest terms declared his conviction that a case for Ireland had been made out. In the Contemporary Review for 1888 the following passage would be found in an article written by Mr. Gladstone: — Ireland loudly and intensely complains that we have fleeced her, as Dr. Johnson predicted we should. This was a statement from the most eminent financial Minister the Liberal Party over had: — I am compelled, after some inquiry into this very intricate subject, to say that, in respect to her share of the National Debt charged to her under the arrangement of the Act of Union, her complaint, in my opinion, is one the substance of which it will be found impossible to confute. Here then was an instance of an act of reparation and withdrawal on the part of Mr. Gladstone in regard to the financial relations established between England and Ireland. But no doubt the astute and subtle mind of the right hon. Gentleman would be ready with the answer that this article was written in 1888, and in his Bill of 1892 Mr. Gladstone left the financial relations pretty much as they were. But the memory of the right hon. Gentleman was a little at fault with regard to that part of the Home Rule Bill. Irish Members—and especially Mr. Sexton, whose services in elucidating this question nobody could gainsay or exaggerate—["hear, hear!"] —were strongly discontented with the financial proposals of the Home Rule Bill, and it was in consequence of this discontent that two things happened. First, in the Home Rule Bill the financial relations were made provisional for some six or seven years, and in the second place a Royal Commission was promised; that Commission practically the House was now dealing with, though not the same in personnel. That Royal Commission was promised in order that the Irish claims might be considered, and to see if the financial relations were on a sound basis or not. He did not say this for the purpose of casting any reflection on an English Party, and so far as Ireland was concerned there was almost equal ground of complaint against one Party as against the other. One of the recollections every Irishman would carry from this Debate was, that next to the speech of his hon. Friend the Member for Longford and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, the ablest and most sympathetic speech made in support of the Irish claim came from a Conservative Member, and the attack on Ireland made with the crudest theory and most malignant temper came from an honourable Member who called himself a Radical. ["Hear, hear!"] Therefore, as to the quarrel as between English Parties, Irishmen stood impartially aside. Their position was that of Irishmen fighting the case for Ireland, and it was a case he was glad to say they were all united upon. And what was that case? It would be ridiculous for him to attempt to go over the details, for these had been elaborated by a much abler man than himself. It was unnecessary for any Irish Member to refer to more than the leading principles of the controversy after the speech of the hon. Member for Longford, which marked an epoch in this struggle, and he hoped also in his hon. Friend's Parliamentary career. He would state the case in general terms. First, that the Act of Union is a solemn contract still in force; secondly, that an article of that contract was that Ireland should not lose financially by the loss of her separate Parliamentary existence; that she should increase in prosperity and wealth, and that the taxation on the other hand should not be increased, that if not decreased it should remain at the same level; thirdly, that so far from this contract having been kept and these promises realised, her population had halved and her taxation doubled; and, fourthly, that the claim of Ireland had been examined and confirmed by a tribunal appointed by Great Britain, and if not in the majority largely composed of eminent English financial experts. Then he rapidly ran through the answers made. The first was that those who made the Act of Union did not understand the meaning of what they were doing. Whatever the contract was, this was usually the plea of the party wishing to break it. The Act of Union was the work of some of the ablest statesmen of the day, their public words were on record, and their correspondence proved that they plainly enough understood the full meaning of the bargain they made. It was a little startling in the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the First Lord of the Admiralty had joined in the statement, to find that little importance was attached in reference to the Act of Union to the historic aspect of the question. Now the Act of Union upon which Irishmen relied for their case was alluded to some years ago in a Queen's Speech, and in that Speech, departing from constitutional usage, and he believed even from constitutional doctrine, Her Majesty's then advisers referred to this Act of Union as a "fundamental law," and yet this very Act was now to be regarded as an absolutely insignificant document. Hon. Members on the other side had said surely the Act must now be considered as abandoned. Not so, the terms of the Act upon which Irish Members relied were re-enacted in 1816, were continued by speeches made in Parliament then, and as the hon. Member for the University of Dublin had pointed out, formed a portion of the very clauses of the very body of the Act of 1816. Then it was said the Act of Union could be neglected or could be modified. Yes, a contract could be modified, but only on condition that the contracting parties agreed to the modification; but a modification was indefensible when made by the richer, more powerful partner in his own favour against the will of his poorer partner. The hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite said, "Why didn't you think about that when you disestablished the Irish Church?" But the Irish Church was disestablished by mutual agreement. [Ministerial cries of "No!"] Yes, by England passing it, and Ireland demanding it; and to say that a recognition of a contract with the agreement of the two parties, and to the advantage of the weaker party, was to be put on a par with a breach of a contract by the will of one party and against the consent and to the prejudice of the other, was one of the absurdest pieces of analogy which even the hon. and gallant Gentlemen had ever offered. The Act of Union was a bargain between the rich and powerful country with the weaker and the poor country—a bargain, lie it remembered, that was forced upon Ireland. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the member for North Armagh said last night, that an ancestor of his sat in the Irish Parliament, and that he voted against the Act of Union. [Cheers.] He regarded it as a curious thing that nearly every hon. Gentleman opposite who had Irish blood in his veins was prouder of the fact that his ancestor voted against the Act of Union than of almost anything else in his family history. [Laughter and cheers.] He did not think that that temper was likely to be changed by the fact that the descendants of these men had found out the truth of the prophecies made at the time of the Union, that that legislation would be as destructive to the landlords of Ireland as it would be to the population of Ireland. [Cheers.] What were the circumstances under which the Act of Union was passed? Nobody denied that Ireland, before the Act of Union was passed, was a lightly-taxed country, and that England was a heavily-taxed country: and the great argument was, that if they united a rich and heavily-taxed country to a poor and lightly-taxed country, the result was bound to lie that the poor country would be levelled up to the taxation of the richer country. It was to meet that argument that this section was placed in' the Act of Union. [Cheers.] The liberties of Ireland were bought by this promise, and it was a monstrous thing for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his Party, and his country generally, to say they are not bound by that contract, and the bargain by which the Irish people were induced to part with their independence.[Cheers.] There was no answer in honour or in conscience to the demand of Ireland that England should keep her word and her faith m regard to the Act of Union. [Cheers.] They had heard a great deal from the Member for the Spen Valley about the taxpayer of England being put in a different position to the taxpayer of Ireland. The Chancellor of the Exchequer used the same argument, and so did the First Lord of the Admiralty, who instanced the case of a taxpayer of Bethnal Green. His difficulty in answering that argument was the embarrass de richessesof the replies that could be made. The inhabitant of Bethnal Green was master of his own political destinies. He could elect whom he pleased, and the man elected by him, with other Englishmen, formed the overwhelming majority of this Parliament, always able to control legislation in this Parliament in the interests of England. If he chose to give his sanction to legislation and taxation which weighed oppressively on him that was his affair. ["Hear, hear!"] That was not the position of the Irishman, who was powerless to control the legislation of this Parliament. ["Hear, hear!"] Then there was the extraordinary contention of the Member for the Spen Valley and other speakers, that the same impost on the same article in Ireland and in England meant the same thing. That meant, if it meant anything, that to put the same tax on India and on England, because the tax fell on individuals and not on areas, would amount to the same thing. Let them test the argument. Put si tax on rice in England and it would not do very much harm; place a tax on rice in India; and they would bring the country within the reach, if not absolutely within the fangs, of famine.[Cheers.] Then, again, Bethnal Green was one of the poorest districts of London, and the case of the hon. Member for the Spen Valley would be perfectly complete if all England consisted of Bethnal Greens. But all Ireland consisted of people on the same level of those in Bethnal Green. [Ministerial cries of "No!"] Hon. Gentlemen contradicted that observation; perhaps they would allow him. to confirm it by facts and figures. The average poor law valuation of the Congested Districts of Ireland was £1 0s. 3d. The valuation of Bethnal Green was about £3; so that so far as that portion of Ireland was concerned, its valuation was one-third of the valuation of the champion district, the grievance of which was put against the grievances of Ireland. [Cheers.] It might be said that he had only taken the Congested Districts. He would take the whole of Ireland. The average valuation of Ireland as a whole was £2 18s. 6d. The valuation of the poorest borough of London was about £3; and, therefore, he was entitled to say that all Ireland showed a valuation on the level of Bethnal Green. [Cheers.] He thought he had sufficiently dealt with the argument that Ireland should be taxed not by areas, but by individuals. The next argument was the contra account. He was rather astonished that anybody should have the courage to put forward that argument. One of the great items was the charge for Constabulary. Why did they require so many Constabulary? Would so many Constabulary be required if Ireland were self-governed? What was the Irish Constabulary? The hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin acknowledged frankly that it must be regarded as an Imperial body, which should be paid for out of the Imperial Exchequer. The Constabulary was a fine and robust body of men, but a well-drilled army of occupation, for the purpose of helping this Imperial Parliament to govern Ireland against the country's will. The argument of the Government was, that any money spent in Ireland was local Irish expenditure, and that any money spent in England, except that from the rates, was to be charged to the Imperial expenditure. The Queen had spent 12 days in Ireland, and Ireland had contributed her share to the expenses of Royalty during all Her Majesty's reign. Was that contribution to be charged as Imperial expenditure or as English expenditure? He maintained that the argument of the Irish representatives had been confirmed by the Commission. It was said that Irishmen were in the majority. As a matter of fact, the gentlemen who represented Nationalist opinion were a small minority of the Commission, and one of the gentlemen, who must be counted as an Irishman, Sir David Barbour, was the strongest opponent of the claims of Irishmen. He called it an English Commission, appointed by an English Government. Why was not the jury challenged before it gave its verdict? Not a single man ever objected to the composition of the jury until an adverse verdict had been given, and now the conduct of hon. Gentleman opposite was to play the part of the rich litigant that would drag a poor defendant from court to court, trusting, by his rich purse, to ultimately gain the victory. He knew that in the division they would be beaten, but that was not the end of their claim. [Cheers.] They made a just and equitable demand, and they made it practically in the name of a united Irish people. What was the answer of almost the most powerful Ministry this country had ever had or probably ever would have? It was that they were able to do justice to every demand of Ireland. The promise of their ancestors was that Ireland could always rest in security on the liberality, the justice, and the honour of the British people. Irish Members brought their claim before Parliament and asked them to fulfil their promise, but Parliament was going to answer in the negative. He and his hon. Friends would be able to tell their people of another instance of unredressed grievance and violated treaty. [Cheers.]

MR. KNOX moved, "That the Debate be now adjourned."


hoped the hon. Member would not persevere with his Motion. A distinct arrangement was made that the Debate should end to-night. The agreement was made in precise terms, and he trusted it would not be interfered with.


said that Irish Members allowed the Debate on the Queen's Speech to lie concluded in four or five days, when it could have been continued much longer. In return they had got one Government day. To a large section of the House justice had certainly not been done by this Debate.


said that, in the circumstances, he would not persevere with his Motion, although, owing to the course the Debate had taken, a large section of Irish Members had been debarred from expressing their views upon the question. If he withdrew his Motion it was only fair the Leader of the House should promise that a reasonable opportunity should be afforded for the discussion of what was practically the same question when the Budget came on.


did not know what course hon. Gentlemen would take on the Budget; he must wail until that time came. He

had never, he hoped, shown any desire to unduly interfere with the Debate.


, rising to a point of order, said he presumed the Amendment of the hon. Member for the Spen Valley could not be put after half-past Five.


said it would be his duty, assuming that the Motion, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," be defeated, to put the Question, "That these words be there inserted." If any Debate arose that Question could not he put unless the Closure was moved and curried.


asked when the Government proposed to introduce the Budget?


Not till after Easter, but I hope not very long after that date.

MR. G. W. WOLFF (Belfast, E.)

earnestly supported the appeal that when the Budget did come on, an opportunity would be afforded hon. Members of fully discussing this subject.

Question put. The House divided: — Ayes, 157; Noes, 317. (Division List— No. 154—appended.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Commins, Andrew Gilhooly, James
Acland, Rt. Hon. A. H. Dyke Condon, Thomas Joseph Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John
Allan, William (Gateshead) Crean, Eugene Gold, Charles
Allison, Robert Andrew Crilly, Daniel Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley
Ambrose, Robert (Mayo, W.) Crombie, John William Griffith, Ellis J.
Arch, Joseph Curran, Thomas B.(Donegal, N.) Hammond, John (Carlow)
Asher, Alexander Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Harrington, Timothy
Ashton, Thomas Gair Daly, James Harrison, Charles
Atherley-Jones, L. Dane, Richard M. Harwood, George
Austin, M. (Limerick W.) Davies, W. Rees-(Pembrokesh.) Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-
Balfour, Rt. Hon. J. Blair (Clackm Dillon, John Healy, Maurice (Cork)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Donelan Captain A. Healy, Thomas J. (Wexford)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Doogan, P.C. Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth)
Billson, Alfred Dunn, Sir William Hedderwick, Thomas Chas. H.
Birrell, Augustine Ellis, Thos. Edw. (Merionethsh.) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.
Blake, Edward Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Hogan, James Francis
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Evans, Sir Francis H.(Southt'on Holburn, J. G.
Brigg, John Farguharson, Dr. Robert Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.) Jacoby, James Alfred
Burns, John Farrell, Thomas J. (Kerry, S.) Jameson, Major J. Eustace
Burt, Thomas Ferguson, H. C. Munro (Leith) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Caldwell, James Ffrench, Peter Kilbride, Denis
Cameron, Sir Charles (Glasgow) Field, William (Dublin) Knox, Edmund Francis Vesey
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Finucane, John Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington)
Carew, James Laurence Flavin, Michael Joseph Leuty, Thomas Richmond
Causton, Richard Knight Flower, Ernest Lewis, John Herbert
Clancy, John Joseph Flynn, James Christopher Logan, John William
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Lough, Thomas
Clough, Walter Owen Fowler, Matthew (Durham) Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Collery, Bernard Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis Macaleese, Daniel
Colville, John Gibney, James MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
McCartan, Michael Pinkerton, John Tanner, Charles Kearns
McCarthy, Justin Plunkett, Hon. Horace Curzon Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
McDonnell, Dr. M. A. (Queen's C.) Power, Patrick Joseph Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
McGhee, Richard Price, Robert John Tuite, James
M'Hugh, E. (Armagh, S.) Priestley, Briggs (Yorks) Tully, Jasper
M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim) Reckitt, Harold James Ure, Alexander
McKenna, Reginald Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)
Mandeville, J. Francis Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Robson, William Snowdon Wayman, Thomas
Minch, Matthew Roche, Hon. James (East Kerry) Wedderburn, Sir William
Molloy, Bernard Charles Roche, John (East Galway) Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)
Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose) Schwann, Charles E. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Murnaghan, George Scott, Charles Prestwich Wilson, John (Govan)
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Woodall, William
O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Shee, James John Woods, Samuel
O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary) Sheehy, David Young, Samuel
O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal) Smith, Samuel (Flint) Yoxall, James Henry
O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Spicer, Albert
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Stevenson, Francis S. TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Sir Thomas Esmonde and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
O'Kelly, James Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
O'Malley, William Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Parnell, John Howard Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)
Aird, John Campbell, James A. Ellis, John Edward (Notts)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Carson, Edward Evershed, Sydney
Allsopp, Hon. George Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Fardell, Thomas George
Ambrose, William (Middlesex) Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire) Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Arnold, Alfred Cayzer, Charles William Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r)
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Cecil, Lord Hugh Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)
Arrol, Sir William Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Fielden, Thomas
Ascroft, Robert Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.) Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r) Firbank, Joseph Thomas
Atkinson, Et. Hon. John Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Fisher, William Hayes
Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth Charrington, Spencer Fison, Frederick William
Bagot, Capt. Joceline FitzRoy Chelsea, Viscount FitzGerald, Sir R. U. Penrose
Bailey, James (Walworth) Clare, Octavius Leigh Fitz Wrygram, General Sir F.
Baillie, James E. B. (Inverness) Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Flannery, Fortescue
Baird, John George Alexander Coddington, Sir William Fletcher, Sir Henry
Balcarres, Lord Coghill, Douglas Harry Folkestone, Viscount
Baldwin, Alfred Cohen, Benjamin Louis Forster, Henry William
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J.(Manch'r) Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerld. W. (Leeds) Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Fry, Lewis
Banbury, Frederick George Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Galloway, William Johnson
Barry, A. H. Smith- (Hunts) Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds.) Garfit, William
Barry, Francis Tress (Windsor) Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Gedge, Sydney
Bartley, George C. T. Cooke, C.W. Radcliffe (Heref'd) Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H.(City of Lond.)
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H. Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Cox, Robert Giles, Charles Tyrrell
Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M.H.(Bristol) Cozens-Hardy, Herbert Hardy Gilliat, John Saunders
Beach, W. W. Bramston (Hants) Cripps, Charles Alfred Godson, Augustus Frederick
Beckett, Ernest William Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Goldsworthy, Major-General
Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Gordon, John Edward
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Curzon, Rt. Hn. G.N.(Lanc, S.W.) Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Bethell, Captain Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.) Goschen, Rt.Hn.G.J.(St.G'rg's)
Bhownaggree, M. M. Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh Goschen, George J. (Sussex)
Biddulph, Michael Dalkeith, Earl of Goulding, Edward Alfred
Bigham, John Charles Dalrymple, Sir Charles Graham, Henry Robert
Bigwood, James Darling, Charles John Green, Walford D.(Wednesb'ry)
Bill, Charles Davies, Horatio D. (Chatham) Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Denny, Colonel Gretton, John
Bolitho, Thomas Bedford Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Greville, Captain
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Gull, Sir Cameron
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Dixon, George Halsey, Thomas Frederick
Boulnois, Edmund Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord George
Bousfield, William Robert Donkin, Richard Sim Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Dorington, Sir John Edward Hardy, Laurence
Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Haslett, Sir James Homer
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Doxford, William Theodore Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.
Brookfield, A. Montagu Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Havelock-Allan, General Sir H.
Bucknill, Thomas Townsend Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Heath, James
Heaton, John Henniker McKillop, James Rutherford, John
Helder, Augustus Malcolm, Ian Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter Manners, Lord Edward Wm. J. Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord Arthur(Down) Maple, Sir John Blundell Savory, Sir Joseph
Hill, Rt. Hn. A. Staveley (Staffs.) Marks, Henry Hananel Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Hoare, Edw, Brodie (Hampstead) Martin, Richard Biddulph Seely, Charles Hilton
Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Massey-Mainwaring, Hon. W. F. Seton-Karr, Henry
Hobhouse, Henry Maxwell, Sir Herbert E. Sharpe, William Edward T.
Hopkinson, Alfred Mellor Colonel (Lancashire) Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Hornby, William Henry Melville, Beresford Valentine Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Milbank, Powlett Charles John Simeon, Sir Barrington
Howard, Joseph Mildmay, Francis Bingham Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Howell, William Tudor Milner, Sir Frederick George Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle Milward, Colonel Victor Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)
Hozier, James Henry Cecil Monckton, Edward Philip Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)
Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Monk, Charles James Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Hudson, George Bickersteth Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Hughes, Colonel Edwin Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth)
Hunt, Sir Frederick Seager Morrell, George Herbert Stephens, Henry Charles
Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice Morrison, Walter Stone, Sir Benjamin
Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.) Mount, William George Strauss, Arthur
Isaacson, Frederick Wootton Mowbray, Rt. Hon. Sir John Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies Muntz, Philip A. Sutherland, Sir Thomas
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute) Talbot, Lord E (Chichester)
Johnston, William (Belfast) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Talbot, John G. (Oxford Univ.)
Johnstone, John H. (Sussex) Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Thornton, Percy M.
Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Myers, William Henry Tollemache, Henry James
Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea) Nicol, Donald Ninian Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Kemp, George Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford Tritton, Charles Ernest
Kenny, William O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Usborne, Thomas
Kenrick, William Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Kenyon, James Parkes, Ebenezer Wanklyn, James Leslie
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Waring, Col. Thomas
Kimber, Henry Pease, Arthur (Darlington) Warkworth, Lord
King, Sir Henry Seymour Penn, John Warr, Augustus Frederick
Lafone, Alfred Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)
Laurie, Lieut.-General Pickersgill, Edward Hare Webster, Sir R.E. (Isle of Wight)
Lawrence, Edwin (Cornwall) Pierpoint, Robert Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks) Priestley, Sir W. Overend (Edin.) Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land) Provand, Andrew Dryburgh Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Pryce-Jones, Edward Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Leighton, Stanley Purvis, Robert Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Llewellyn, Evan II. (Somerset) Quilter, William Cuthbert Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans'a) Rankin, James Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm.)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A.R. (Essex) Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Willox, John Archibald
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Renshaw, Charles Bine Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)
Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham) Rentoul, James Alexander Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool) Richardson, Thomas Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)
Lorne, Marquess of Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir Matthew W. Wodehouse, Edmond R. (Bath)
Lowles, John Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. P.. Stuart-
Lubbock, Right Hon. Sir John Robinson, Brooke Wylie, Alexander
Lucas-Shadwell, William Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Wyndham, George
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Rothschild, Baron James F. de Wyndham-Quin Major W. H.
Macdona, John Cumming Round, James Younger, William
Maclure, John William Royds, Clement Molyneux
McCalmont, Maj.-Gen.(Ant'm N Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenh'm) TELLERS FOR THE NOES, Sir
McCalmont, Col. J.(Antrim, E.) Russell, Sir George (Berkshire) William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
McEwan, William Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)

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



Debate accordingly adjourned.