Another Amendment proposed, at the end of the Question, to add the words—
And we humbly assure Your Majesty that the establishment of popular self-government in local affairs in Ireland has intensified the demand of the people of that country for Legislative Independence, without which Ireland can never be prosperous or contented, and which, in our opinion, is, and must remain, the most urgent of all questions of domestic policy."—(Mr. John Redmond.)
§ MR. J. REDMOND (Waterford)
I hope to be able in a very brief space of time to explain to the House of Commons the motives which have induced me to move this Amendment. Indeed, the circumstances in which this question of Home Rule seem to stand at the present moment are so peculiar that I think scarcely any explanation of the moving of this Amendment is needed at all. It will be in the recollection of some Members of the House that in moving a similar Amendment at this time last year I expressed my utter disbelief in the efficacy of annual Home Rule Debates, and I said that I looked to entirely different methods to force this question once more upon the urgent attention of Parliament. But last year there were two reasons why it seemed to me absolutely essential to move an Amendment of this character. First of all, a great Measure of Local Self-Government for Ireland had been promised by the Ministry, and was about to be introduced. The fact that this Measure was accepted and welcomed by Irish Nationalists was held by certain English politicians to 1179 argue the abandonment of the national demand on the part of the Irish people, and, therefore, it was felt necessary at the commencement of last Session for us to reiterate in the most emphatic manner in our power that local self-government could never be a substitute for Home Rule, and that Ireland could never be prosperous, contented, or peaceful except by the concession of national self-government. It also seemed necessary to us to warn English politicians of all parties that the Irish people would use the new powers about to be conferred on them under the local government system as so many weapons to assist them in obtaining the realization of their demand. It further seemed to some of us, in the second place, in view of the uncertain, unsatisfactory, unofficial declarations of many leading Liberal politicians upon this question, that it was necessary to endeavour, if we could, to extract from responsible leaders of the Liberal Party in this House some clear and authoritative pronouncement upon this subject—some such pronouncement as would enable Ireland to see precisely where she stood and enable the Irish people to gauge the exact position of that Liberal alliance to preserve which Mr. Parnell was sacrificed, and from which Ireland has obtained so little. We wanted to ascertain how far it would be well for her that that alliance should be continued in the future. In addition to that, it seemed advisable to us to make an effort to learn whether, as a matter of fact, the political ground in Ireland had been so cleared by recent developments on this question as to facilitate a re-union of the Nationalist forces in Ireland on the basis of complete independence of all political parties in this House. If these reasons seem sufficient to justify the moving of a Motion such as this last year, I venture to say that no one will deny the absolute necessity for moving it this year. Many things have happened since this time last year. The Local Government Act, for example, has come into operation, some of the new popularly-elected bodies have already been created, and the rest of them will be elected in the course of a very few weeks. The alliance subsisting between the Liberal Party and the Nationalist forces in Ireland has, during the year which has passed, been practically re- 1180 pudiated on a score of Liberal platforms, in a score of great leading organs of Liberal public opinion in this country, and by a score of Liberal leaders. The doctrine has been pronounced that, before Home Rule can be again regarded as within the range of practical polities for the Liberal Party, some years must be allowed to elapse to enable English Liberals to see whether, after all, the demand for legislative independence has not been satisfied by the concession of parish and county councils. Under these circumstances the Amendment such as I now have the honour to move seems quite essential in the interests of Home Rule. Let me ask the House for just one brief moment to consider, so far as the Local Government Act has worked in Ireland, what indication there is that anyone, either a Home Ruler or a Unionist, regards that Act as anything at all in the nature of a substitute for Home Rule. Elections have already taken place in the cities and towns of Ireland, and throughout the south-west and east, and in some parts of the north, overwhelming Nationalist majorities have been elected. And the very first act of all these bodies has been to make a formal declaration of their adhesion to the principle of national self-government, meaning thereby legislative independence. Already from the working of this Act, so far as it has gone, it is perfectly clear that the great masses of the Irish people are determined to work it in whatever way seems most likely to them to promote the interests of Home Rule in the future. On this point there is no difference of opinion at all among the various sections of the Nationalist Party, although it is true there are differences of view as to how best to use the Act for that purpose. For example, some Nationalists hold the view that the best way to utilise local government for the purpose of Home Rule is to take care that no one is elected upon any of these bodies who is not an avowed Homo Ruler, no matter what his other qualifications, and no matter how strong the Nationalist majorities upon those bodies may be. Others take the view which I have myself expressed in this House, and which I have expressed more than once in Ire land, that once a Home Rule majority on these county councils is secured, these men should, as far as possible, be 1181 selected upon their merits, apart from questions of religion and politics. But mark, Sir, the object we have in view is the same, viz., to use this Local Government Bill as best we can to further Home Rule. Those who would exclude every non-Home Ruler from election do so in fear lest by their election politicians in this country might be led to believe that the Irish people were weakening in their demand for Home Rule; while those, on the other hand, who, like myself, would gladly see a certain proportion of capable men, even if they be Unionists, elected upon these bodies, do so in the belief that by being associated with this work they may come to know the masses of the people better, to better understand them, to better recognise their good sense and business capabilities, and thus find that their great objection to Home Rule—their distrust of the people—would vanish into thin air. I believe that this process is going on in Ireland at the present moment; I believe there are many men who have been Unionists in Ireland in the past, and in the recent past, who are turning their thoughts in the direction of a future when they may be able to work hand in hand with the masses of their fellow countrymen, and when they may be able to welcome the widening bonds of freedom for Ireland generally. If that process goes on, as I believe it will, then the result to the future of Ireland cannot but be good. I do not desire to argue which of these two points is right. The one point I wish to make is this, that the object which all sections have in view is the same, that all sections, whether they think non-Home Rulers should be excluded from these councils or not, are united in their desire to use this Local Government Act as best they can to advance the interests of Home Rule. I am bound to say that whatever hesitation or doubt as to the effect of the Local Government Act on Home Rule may be entertained by right honourable Gentlemen on the Front Opposition Bench, I am bound, in all candour, to admit that there is no delusion on this subject among right honourable Gentlemen opposite. The right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the House and the Chief Secretary for Ireland have both spoken upon this question quite recently, and the words that they have used are so remarkable 1182 and have created so strong an impression in Ireland that I do not scruple to read a few passages from their speeches. What did the Leader of the House say in Manchester the other day? He said, "I know there are some persons who tell you that Home Rule is dead in Ireland. I wish I could believe that was true. Remember Home Rule is intertwined with Irish aspirations. The Irish people did not wake up one morning to find themselves Home Rulers. They did not date the birth of their affection from some Monday in 1886 with the same precision as one put down on his diary the birth of a child. They had not, in theological language, "found salvation one morning. Their aspirations have been of such long growth that they cannot and will not die in a day." I quote these words in order to show that whoever else may be under a misapprehension, the right honourable Gentleman himself does not cherish any such delusion. I would not be going too far if I said that his words were appreciated in Ireland as words which showed that he recognised the deep and intense reality of this national sentiment. The Chief Secretary also spoke a few days ago on this question, and he, too, made it clear that he entertained no delusion as to the effect of this Local Government Bill; on the contrary, and this is most remarkable, he admitted that the ordinary moderate and sensible working of this Act, which he anticipated in Ireland, would remove from English Home Rulers' minds one of the strongest arguments which they have entertained against Home Rule, viz., the belief that the Irish people, highly qualified as they admittedly are for the exercise of the arts of government in every other land on the earth, are unfit to rule themselves in their own country. Having said so much, let me turn for a moment to the declarations on this question which have been made during the Recess by the leaders of the Opposition. Last year the then Leader of the Opposition professed to find in a certain phrase in the Amendment which I moved an excuse for voting against it. He also made the excuse for refraining from giving any pledge whatever as to the future relations of his party with the question of Home Rule. Because the phrase "Independent Parliament" appeared in my Amendment the then Leader of the Opposition thought 1183 he had found a valid excuse for voting against it. I confess I thought at the time that the objection of the right honourable Gentleman was a rather paltry quibble. Does anyone pretend to doubt that we Irish Nationalists have always held that any Irish Parliament that is established in our own country must be in its own sphere, and in the discharge of its own functions, independent of interference—independent of the mischievous and ignorant interference of this Imperial Parliament? Mr. Parnell, whose demands it was said last year I had outstepped, repeatedly declared that in the Irish Parliament to be created there should be no veto except the veto of the Crown, which should be exercised there as in England, on constitutional principles, and in conformity with the wishes of the Irish Ministers of the Sovereign.
§ MR. J. REDMOND
That declaration was made repeatedly by Mr. Parnell, and the last time he made it was at Water-ford. He made it as far back as the year 1880, if my recollection serves me right, in the City of Cork. If I had imagined that anybody would have questioned it, I would have brought the dates down to the House. I am surprised that the honourable Member asks for the date, for I have quoted it in his presence at least a dozen times. I will give him another authority. I do not know whether Mr. Gladstone's words will carry more weight, but I find that he repeatedly used the term "independent" with reference to the Parliament he was proposing to create in 1886 and in 1893. On the 10th May, 1886, Mr. Gladstone said that the Irish Legislature would be practically an independent body in the regular exercise of its functions. And on the 7th of the following month he said the Irish Legislature would have a real and practical independent management of its own affairs. That being so, I sincerely hope that even with the promptings which he has received, the right honourable Gentleman the new Leader of the Opposition, if he speaks in this Debate, as I am sure he will, will not make any particular phrase which may be used by me, either in my Amendment or in my speech, an excuse for withholding what I ask from him—a frank and manly answer to the 1184 question which we feel it our duty to address to him, recognising, as I am sure the right honourable Gentleman must do, that in the interests of his own Party, just as much as in the interests of Ireland, it is essential that there should be no more room for further misunderstanding or recrimination. The speech which the right honourable Gentleman made on the first night of the Session was listened to with sympathy and admiration by everyone. It was certainly listened to, in addition, with interest and curiosity, but I fear it must have been heard by Irishmen with deep disappointment. He dealt in that speech with every conceivable subject of foreign and domestic policy except Ireland—truly he may be said to have surveyed the world from China to Peru, China, Russia, France, and Germany all in turn engaged his attention. He dealt with the subjects in the Queen's Speech and those excluded from it, with the affairs of the Empire, with the interests of England, and with the needs of Scotland. All these things in turn came under his critical observation. But of Ireland, her sorrows, her wrongs, and her needs, we did not hear a single syllable from the right honourable Gentleman. Possibly he may have been reserving himself for this Motion; if so, he now has his opportunity. It may be asked what exactly it is that we want to know. I will tell the House. We want to know from the future Leader of the Liberal party in this House what his view is as to the alliance which has existed between a large section of the Nationalists of Ireland and the Liberal party. We want to know does that alliance still exist; if it does exist, upon what conditions? There have been during the Recess many interesting speeches upon this very point from men of the highest authority in the Liberal Party. The right honourable Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton solemnly declared that the alliance was at an end. Is that so? May I be allowed to quote one or two sentences from the speech of the right honourable Gentleman? He said that this year the alliance had been dissolved, not by the Liberal party, but by the Irish, and he did not blame them for it. If they thought that their interests would be best served by being absolutely independent of English parties they had 1185 a perfect right to that opinion. But if the alliance was dissolved on both sides they could not maintain obligations as against either; if one were released from them, the other must be. He was not surprised at the dissolution of the alliance; there was a difference of opinion between the bulk of the Irish Members and the English and Scotch Liberals on the question of education. He also said we must go back in politics to the old lines. His opinion was that there was a much stronger Conservative feeling in Ireland than Liberal. They would welcome the support of the Irish Members in the future, but if they would not give their support to the Liberal party, then they must do without it. The Local Government Act must be fairly, fully, and completely tried before they would reconsider the question of any further change in the government of Ireland.
§ MR. J. REDMOND
The right honourable Gentleman, I am sure, does not mean to accuse me of deliberately misrepresenting him. I am reading exactly from the report which is in my hands. Here are the exact words: "The Local Government Bill should be fully, fairly, and completely tried before they would reconsider the question of any further change in the government of Ireland."
§ * SIR H. FOWLER
I quite appreciate the position of the honourable and learned Gentleman, and I am sure he would not wish to misrepresent what I said. The report from which he is quoting is not a verbatim nor an accurate report. I will tell the honourable and learned Gentleman now—it will probably save him and me trouble—exactly what I did say. I said, after having quoted the honourable Member's own words with reference to the Local Government Act, and also the words of some of his colleagues, that it was a great experiment that was about to be tried, and that many questions would be raised as to the manner in which the experiment would be carried out. Having said that and expressed a very friendly feeling towards the experiment, I uttered these words: "I venture to express the opinion that the constituencies of Great 1186 Britain will require that this experiment should be fully, fairly, and completely tried before they will reconsider the question of any change in the government of Ireland." I was not speaking for the Liberal party. I was expressing my own opinion as to what the constituencies of Great Britain would require.
§ MR. J. REDMOND
I suppose the right honourable Gentleman was also expressing his own opinion as to what would be the proper course for him to take. I certainly would not deliberately misquote the right honourable Gentleman's words. I quoted from a report in the newspapers, and as far as I can see the explanation now given only carries me to the second sentence which I was going to quote, and which, from my point of view, is quite as serious as the first. The right honourable Gentleman, according to the report which I have in my hands, went on to say that it was of no use shutting their eyes to the fact that they could not carry Home Rule with the consent of the constituencies of England and Scotland. As we have the consent of the constituencies of Scotland, of course, that means we cannot carry it with the consent of the majority of the constituencies of England, which is simply a reiteration of Lord Rosebery's predominant partner theory, and which is regarded by me, and by the Irish people generally, as a postponement of Home Rule for all practical purposes for the immediate future. Is that a correct account of what the right honourable Gentleman said? He says he was only speaking for himself. The reason I quoted him was not that I imagined he took upon himself to speak for the Liberal party, but because I wanted to put it to the Leader of the Liberal party, and to ask him does he endorse a declaration which amounts to this, that it is practically impossible for the Liberal party to carry Home Rule until a majority of the English constituencies agree, and that the English constituencies cannot be expected to agree until the Local Government Act has been fully and fairly tried, which must necessarily be a matter of some years. The right honourable Gentleman states that the alliance has been dissolved. Is that so? If it is so, then I, for my part, heartily rejoice at it. Ireland obtained nothing from the alliance but dis- 1187 appointment, heart-burning, and dissensions. To preserve it a great Irishman was sacrificed, and I am profoundly convinced that Ireland can never again become united, respected, or powerful except on the basis of absolute independence of English parties in this House. I will not deal further with the speech of the right honourable Gentleman except to say that the position which he has taken up is an absolute reversal of the policy of Mr. Gladstone, and so long as it remains the attitude of the Liberal Party, if it is declared to be their attitude tonight, so long will it be impossible for them to return to power in this House by Irish votes, and I leave it to the party-managers to conjecture how soon they are likely to return to power without Irish votes. But I have a higher authority than the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton. The new Leader of the Opposition has himself spoken quite recently upon this question. According to a report in The Times of 7th of December last he delivered a speech at Dunfermline in which he said:—The Liberal Party were neither blind, deaf, nor idiotic. They must take facts as they found them. Two heroic attempts had been made within the last few years to carry out Home Rule. They had failed, though sustained by the genius and enthusiasm of Mr. Gladstone. Could they shut their eyes to the fact that the preponderating opinion in England was opposed to Home Rule, and that a third attempt in the present circumstances to pass it would really mean a third failure? What would be gained by going on kicking against a stone wall?
§ MR. J. REDMOND
I have read all I have got. The Times report stops there. I have read one connected passage verbatim from The Times.
§ MR. J. REDMOND
I have stated I was reading from The Times' report. I have not the magical power at my command to know what the right honourable Gentleman said except through the medium of the Press, and I am sure the right honourable Gentleman will be thankful if I give him the opportunity of showing that the report published in 1188 The Times, and commented upon for so many weeks, was entirely wrong.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
The honourable Gentleman will, perhaps, allow me to follow the example of my right honourable Friend and supplement the quotation. I said that in the present circumstances it was kicking against a stone wall. I was speaking of the proposal some people make that we should go on, if I may use a homely word, hammering at this subject at the present time, which seems to be the theory of the honourable Member himself. Then I went on to say the time might come, and that sooner than many people expected, when the stone wall would be loosened by the action of other influences, and it might crumble even of itself, or something to that effect. I said that if we had a little patience—it may be a short spell of patience—the stone wall might crumble of itself.
§ MR. J. REDMOND
The right honourable Gentleman will forgive me if I say that I do not think his addition to the quotation I read has improved his position on this question. He says there is a stone wall, and that it is of no use going on kicking against it. He hopes, and this is the only addition he makes, he expresses a pious hope that some day or other, if we live long enough, other influences may loosen the stones in the wall—other influences outside the action of the Liberal Party—and when this convenient gap is made he will be valiant enough to go through it. The speech of the right honourable Gentleman is the predominant partner speech of Lord Rosebery over again. Lord Rosebery spoke about the predominant partner, the right honourable Gentleman speaks about the predominant opinion in England, and says it must be converted, not before Home Rule is carried, but before any further attempt is made to carry it. He speaks, indeed, of the third attempt. In other words, England, Scotland, and Ireland may be united in support of Home Rule; those countries may, as they did in 1893, return a substantial majority in favour of Home Rule, but yet the stone wall will remain, and no third attempt is to be made by the Liberal Party to carry this Measure so long as the preponderating opinion in England is against it. Might I suggest 1189 there are other words in which this determination of the right honourable Gentleman might be put? Does it not amount to this—that the Liberal Party will never again propose a Home Rule Bill unless it has a majority which is independent of the votes of Irish Nationalists in this House. If that be so, then I think that contingency is likely to arrive with the Greek kalends, and it amounts to an absolute abandonment by the right honourable Gentleman of the position of the Liberal Party as defined by Mr. Gladstone—a complete and, I venture to say, shameful repudiation of their pledges to the Irish people. In my view, the time has arrived for plain speaking. If that be the view of the Liberal Party, let them say so frankly and officially, and then we shall know where we stand. My Amendment is not merely a declaration in favour of the Home Rule principle. It is also a declaration that Home Rule is the most urgent of all questions of domestic reform, and therefore must be dealt with first. That surely was an essential condition of the alliance entered into between Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Parnell. It surely was an essential condition of the alliance when we were told that the highest interest of Ireland was to support the Liberal Party. And if I understand aright the declaration of the right honourable Gentleman, that declaration, at any rate, has gone to the winds. That, at any rate, I say was the position of Mr. Gladstone, and was the programme and platform of the Liberal Party when the Irish alliance was entered upon, and it was on the faith of the condition that Home Rule should have the foremost place in the programme of the Liberal Party that the Irish people—to their great sorrow, as I believe they now realise—consented to abandon the great man who had extracted that alliance from the Liberal Party. We want to know what is now the position of the Liberal Party on this question. We want to know whether the right honourable Gentleman stands by his words at Dunfermline, as reported in The Times, and amplified by himself to-day. If so, is that the true mind of the Liberal Party? If so, then, for my part, I do not fear the result which this declaration may have either upon Ireland or her cause, for I believe it will lead to a great revival of national enthusiasm and activity in that country. 1190 The Irish people have been too often in the past deceived and betrayed by English political parties to lose heart now. They have been for some years past learning afresh in pain and disappointment the lesson that is written large on every page of their history—that for the achievement of their rights and liberties they must trust not to the benevolence of English politicians, but to their own determination and self-sacrifice and union. If there is a new period of struggle, suffering, and sacrifice before us, then I believe the Irish people will face the issue cheerfully, as they well know that the cause they were advocating does not depend upon the fickle and fair-weather friendship of apostles of expediency like the right honourable Member for Wolverhampton, but upon something sounder, surer, and deeper—namely, upon the national sentiment of the country, which is the soul of the nation and which they know can never die. I beg to move the Amendment.
§ On the return of Mr. SPEAKER, after the usual interval,
§ MR. J. P. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)
Mr. Speaker, in rising to second the Amendment proposed by my honourable Friend, I do not think it necessary to delay the House at any great length. With regard to the first portion of the proposition, that the Local Government Act has intensified the feeling of the Irish people for self-government, I am able to bear my personal testimony to that fact, because during the last couple of months I have met, in connection with the working of the Local Government Act, a large number of people, in two or three counties at least in Ireland, who have always believed in the right of Ireland to national self-government. That belief is, if possible, though I think it is hardly possible, very much stronger since the concession of Local Government was made last Session. On the other hand, I do not know, from personal contact with many who have been previously Unionist in Ireland, of any growth of opinion in the opposite direction. In some instances, indeed, the opposition to National rights is nominal, or, at least, in many cases is not what it was formerly. There are many landlords in 1191 Ireland who formerly might have been classed as strong Unionists, but these men are now looking forward to seeking election at the hands of the people upon the new district and county councils, and the landlords themselves have acknowledged that Ireland is as well able and as much entitled to manage her own affairs as this country. In other cases, they have boldly declared in favour of self-government. I know two or three instances in which this was the case, and there have been other cases, again, in which these people, though still not declaring themselves in favour of legitimate independence for Ireland, have recognised that if the majority of the Irish people continue to insist upon this claim for independence, it ought to be given to them by this Parliament. Their opposition is, as I have said, by no means what it used to be. The fact that the Land Question is partly on its way to a settlement by the creation of peasant proprietors has taken away from many the great cause which has previously existed in favour of the Union. Then it is seen also that local administrative power which has been exercised in Ireland all through the centuries has now been taken away from the landlords, and that no longer have they any interest in looking towards this Parliament for the maintenance of their power in the country. In some cases where they are unable to declare, along with the majority of their countrymen, in favour of Home Rule, they have intimated in their addresses to the electors that, at least, if they are not able to support in the councils any motion in favour of Home Rule, they will not offer any opposition, as they believe that the wishes of the people upon such matters should be heard in those councils. There is no class in Ireland—at least in these Provinces—that does not acknowledge the right of the people to work the councils established by the Act of last Session for the advancement of the National cause, and where candidates do not feel themselves justified in declaring their intention to support such declarations, they at least state to the electors beforehand their belief in the desire of the Irish people to work the councils for such objects, and that in no case will they thwart the wishes of the people in this matter. Now, this is a fact which shows the unmistakable trend of public opinion 1192 in Ireland, and it proves that whilst the old National spirit has been maintained by the majority, it is growing and spreading amongst the minority, and those who really believe in the ultimate realisation of the dreams of Irishmen for self-government regard this fact with great satisfaction, for they believe that if there were once a practically united Ireland in favour of Home Rule, this Parliament would be powerless any longer to refuse the demand of the country. We agree also with the second part of the proposition, namely, that this is the most urgent claim that could come before this Parliament. This was recognised for some years by the Liberal Party. During the past few years they seem to have departed from that principle. Now, as long as there is dissatisfaction in such a large and important part of this realm as Ireland, as long as this demand exists unceasingly, as long as neither concession nor coercion can put down this feeling in the country, it must remain one at least of the most urgent that can claim the attention of this House. That being so, it is hard for us to realise why Members of this House, who are sent here by Great Britain, and who believe, as they say, as strongly as we do, in the right of Ireland to self-government, should depart from the policy adopted by the late Mr. Gladstone. We look with surprise at the declaration made by Liberal Members that the Local Government Act is an experiment. I do not think that the statement has been made by any of the authors of the Act, because work done last Session can never be undone by this House. The Act is now in existence in the country; it is now part of the Statutes of the land, and no Minister, no Government, no Party, can ever repeal it. Avowedly, it was not brought in as an experiment to see whether the Irish people are fit for the full Measure. The manner in which the elections were carried out in the cities and towns of Ireland proves without question that the people of Ireland are willing and able to carry out any system of Local or National Government with credit to the country, and that they are determined to carry out this or any other Act given to them for any purpose in order to advance their National cause. That in the majority of cases the councils are overwhelmingly National is an admitted fact. That the new councils in 1193 the counties and rural districts will likewise be overwhelmingly National, everyone who has the slightest knowledge of the country must know. That they mean to work the Act for the advancement of the Home Rule cause is admitted now by everyone who has observed the actions of the people. In Ireland, as my honourable Friend pointed out, amongst some sections of Nationalists there is a slight difference of opinion as to whether men differing from the majority of the people should be elected on these councils. Now, whilst there is that slight difference between sections, as has been pointed out, there is absolutely no difference of opinion amongst other sections in Ireland as to the ultimate aim that should be observed by Nationalists in supporting the Act. They are all agreed, though differing slightly as to the methods, that the Act should be worked in order to advance the interests of Home Rule. Some say that the councils should be composed entirely of Nationalists; some say that the majority of the councils should be Nationalists, and that in every case councils should be prepared to raise their voice—or rather the voice of those who elected them—upon every National question that from time to time comes up, and especially upon the question of legislative independence. The representation of the minority and of all classes on the councils should be secured, so that representatives of the minority who may be elected may be brought into close and daily contact with the representatives of the majority, and convinced that the people of Ireland are capable of efficiently carrying out not only the complicated system of local government but of administering the affairs of the entire country. They believe that the Members of the minority who are thus brought into contact with the majority of their countrymen, whom previously, perhaps, they distrusted, will shortly be converted to the idea that Ireland is not only a nation, but that she is a nation fit and capable and deserving of legislative independence. I will not, Mr. Speaker, trouble the House with any further observations. No one will deny, I think, that the existence of the Local Government Act in Ireland has undoubtedly intensified the national desire, and the national feeling, and that it has, if possible, made this far more urgent a case 1194 to bring before this House than it has been, perhaps, at any previous time. I have pleasure, therefore, in seconding the Amendment.
§ * MR. W. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)
Mr. Speaker, I do not think any section of this House can complain of the action of the honourable and learned Member for Waterford in raising this question at this time. The uncertainty which seems to exist among Members of the Liberal Party concerning the position that Home Rule should occupy in this country is ample justification for the honourable Member testing the question in this House, and seeking to draw from the new and distinguished Leader of that Party an opinion on this question, which is vital to the Irish people. I think, Sir, that it must strike the House that there has been considerable difference of opinion on the part of the mover and the seconder of this Amendment in regard to the way in which the new Local Government Act will operate in Ireland. It has been suggested, on the one hand, that the Nationalists should put forth all their strength, in order that only Nationalists should be returned to the district and county councils; on the other hand, an enticing prospect has been held out that the Unionist Members, who by some unexplained means would get into these councils, would be so converted by the amiability and affability of their colleagues that their views would be changed, and they would become Home Rulers. It is also asserted that there is a growth of opinion in favour of Home Rule among Unionists in Ireland. That I most emphatically deny. We are told to-night in no uncertain way what the object of these district and county councils will be. We are told that nothing will satisfy but Home Rule, and that when the district and county councils are elected the members will rush at once into the council chambers, take off their hats, and cry out for Home Rule. The prospect altogether is not a happy one for those who desire to see councils elected which would develop practically the material prosperity of the country. We are told that questions of roads, bridges, infirmaries, and the like are immaterial considerations for the great patriots of this noble land, and that the objects of those elected to 1195 those councils is to put Home Rule in the front. I, for one, cordially supported the Bill for the local government of Ireland, and entertained a hope that Irishmen would take advantage of it to prove themselves capable of managing their own affairs. We are told that the lesson we are to learn from this gift of local self-government to Ireland is that they will set everything on one side, and do nothing for the country until they have got Home Rule, I shall be happy to be mistaken on this point, and to be informed that this wave of insanity is going to recede. I shall be proud to learn that they are desirous of developing the best interests of the country. I had no intention to take part in this Debate, but having risen I desire most emphatically to protest against this Amendment on the part of the section of the people of Ulster, to which I belong. Since I entered the House of Commons, 30 years ago, I have never hesitated, in the best interests of Ireland, to protest against this idle dream. We desire to see the material progress and prosperity of Ireland, and because we do so we are anxious that it should continue to be an integral part of this great Empire. The Unionists of Ireland heartily co-operate with their fellow subjects in promoting the best interests of the country; but they are resolutely determined to do everything possible to prevent the severing of that link which binds us to Great Britain, and to maintain the integrity of the British Empire.
§ * MR. HALDANE (Haddington)
Mr. Speaker, the honourable Member for South Belfast referred in the beginning of his speech with some complacency to the remarks which had fallen from the honourable Member for Waterford. I confess that, speaking for myself, I am not surprised at the complacency of the honourable Member's tone, because I was in some difficulty in understanding what the precise object was of the speech and Motion of the Honourable Member for Waterford. If the honourable Member desires to make co-operation with the members of the Liberal Party difficult upon this subject, I cannot help thinking that he selected the best possible means of doing it. The honourable Member inserted into his motion the word "independent," which increases the difficulties, but the honourable Member was not content with that. Upon this, again, he 1196 made a sort of apologia for the right honourable Gentleman, the Leader of the House, and the present Chief Secretary for Ireland. He praised the sincerity of their utterances, and contrasted what they had said with what he was pleased to characterise as a great falling off and a great going back of the Liberal Party. Well, I will speak for myself. I was one of those who had the honour to vote for both Bills brought in by Mr. Gladstone. I in no way go back on that vote. If these Bills were reintroduced under the same conditions and circumstances and as part of the same policy, I should vote for them with all my heart again. I am as strong a Home Ruler as ever I was, and I believe that my frame of mind represents that of most of those with whom I have the honour to associate myself. Not content with drawing invidious contrasts between Unionist leaders, of whose Administrations he seems to come forward as a prophet instead of the assailant, the honourable Member for Waterford brings forward this Amendment—and, I ask, with what object? He has introduced into it language the meaning of which is, to say the least, as explained by himself, ambiguous. I listened to get a definition of what he meant by "independent"—to get something which would throw light on what was in the mind of the honourable Member. I listened to various platitudinous utterances about the interference of the Imperial Parliament with Irish legislation. Does anybody suppose that the granting of Home Rule in any shape or form should be accompanied by any constant interference? I think the object of Home Rule was that Ireland should be free from interference with its affairs, which I believe would be administered satisfactorily by the people to whom they would be entrusted. But that was not the purpose for which the honourable Member introduced this word into his Amendment. I had the privilege of listening to the speech of the honourable Member for Waterford last year, when he brought forward a similar motion, though somewhat varying in language, but to the same effect as the Motion which is now before the House. He then brought out more clearly than he has to-night what was the real meaning of this Motion. He told us on that occasion that the scheme which had been introduced by Mr. Parnell was a 1197 scheme which did not represent the real desires of the Irish people; that the scheme was a compromise, and what he meant by the introduction of the word "independence" was a Parliament which should be quite outside even the theoretical control of the British Party. I listened to the speech of the honourable Member most closely and most carefully, and I found that he explained that this word meant something more than mere general non-interference in the legislative affairs of the country. I found that he wanted the establishment of a Party in Ireland, in which the British Party should in no sense, even theoretically, be supreme. Now, I should like to ask the honourable Member for Waterford, if he were here, a question. The honourable Member asked many questions of my right honourable Friend, who, no doubt, will answer them in due time, but if I might put a simple question to the honourable Gentleman, which he may answer in the course of the Debate, I would ask him, what is his attitude, not to the Liberal Party, but to Mr. Parnell? Does he, or does he not, accept the scheme of Home Rule which Mr. Parnell put forward, and to which he pledged, not only himself, but the whole of the Nationalist Party That did not ask for the complete independence of which the honourable Gentleman has just spoken to-night. What he means by this Motion is to lay down something new to what Mr. Parnell meant. Now a Parliament constituted like that to which Mr. Parnell referred would in a measure be independent from interference from the legislature here, but it would not be independent in the sense of the speeches of the honourable Member for Waterford last year and to-night, and when the honourable Member introduces this new phrase I want to know whether he is advocating the scheme which Mr. Parnell advocated or not. If he is introducing such a scheme, why does he introduce those new words? If this Motion is to be so amended as to make for the Home Rule to which I am pledged—not merely by paper pledges—but in which I am a firm believer, then I will gladly support it, but if he will not so amend it then I cannot help drawing the inference that this Motion has been framed in the way in which it has been, and these 1198 words have been introduced to sow dissension as to what is meant by Home Rule, not only amongst the honourable Members with whom he sits, but between the Liberal Party and those representatives of Irish constituencies with whom they are in complete accord. Now, so much for the Motion. Until I have had it explained, and until I know whether or not I am going to be asked to go further than I intend, I shall not vote for the Motion. But the honourable Member has raised, as he is quite entitled to, the general question in this House, and I want to say a few words upon it, definitive of the position which I occupy, and in which I conceive this question to stand. At the end of 1885, Mr. Gladstone became convinced that the system under which Ireland was governed had not been a success, and with the extension of the franchise he found it was no longer possible, and that the affairs of Ireland required an alteration in the system of the Government. He recognised that the mode of Government in Ireland had been a failure—I should not be in order or I could refer to a Motion, which comes later in the paper, upon the Address, which contains facts and figures which we might consider here—a population diminished from 8,000,000 to four and a half millions, agricultural industry falling away, the area under cultivation being diminished by many acres, the people disagreeing more and more with the Government which they ought to look upon with feelings of affection. All these facts point to a failure in our system of governing Ireland, and that was, I take it, the foundation of the appeal Mr. Gladstone made to this country. But there was another thing which was in Mr. Gladstone's mind, and which is in the minds of some of us at the present time: We have extended the franchise again and again, and always get a solid adverse Irish vote; then how can you hope to continue to govern Ireland under the present system? The present majority of 140 is not a state of things which will continue for ever, and sooner or later you will have two Parties put under the temptation of bidding for Irish support. There are no higher motives than those which were in the mind of one of the purest-minded English statesmen who 1199 ever sat in Dublin Castle—I mean Lord Carnarvon—and which brought him to the opinion that it was impossible to conduct affairs in Ireland unless some radical change in the system of Government was made. I do not want to go back into past history, but I believe that the time will come when the balance of the two parties will be more equal. Then, in whatever form you debate it, you will be brought face to face with circumstances which will make it necessary for you to reconsider the whole situation, and you will wish at the time that the whole question had been dealt with as one too grave for Party Government. That was Mr. Gladstone's wish, but the desire that he expressed was a desire that was not responded to. I venture to think that the Party, whether Unionist or Liberal, will gain a great glory who will bring to some satisfactory settlement a question which disturbs our Debates, and destroys the efficiency of Parliament, and which will never be settled until we have brought about a change with which four-fifths of the representatives of Ireland are content. Now, Mr. Speaker, at present circumstances appear to me to point to this, that we are nearing more and more something like the old crisis. First of all, I will refer to the remarkable convergence of opinion on the financial relations question, which has brought about a remarkable obliteration of political differences between Home Rulers and Unionists, who are united to defend the claim of Ireland to financial claim. A claim which can only be supported on one footing, that Ireland is to be treated as a nation: a unit, a place which has its own national life, and is entitled to sever itself from the rest of the United Kingdom. That is the basis which underlies the financial question and the Home Rule policy, and which has brought together men like the honourable and gallant Member who sits opposite, who league themselves with Nationalist Members for that purpose. There is another question with which the Government are face to face of great gravity, and that is Local Government are face to face of great cast the result of this legislation. I do not profess to be able to follow the policy of the honourable Gentleman the Member for Waterford, who says that 1200 his aim is to bring together the landlord party and associate them with the Nationalist Party.
§ * MR. HALDANE
Well, Unionists; it comes to pretty much the same thing. In the three provinces where the voice of the honourable Member is heard it comes very much to the same thing. His policy is to associate the Unionist with the Nationalist in the County Councils, and bring them together to advocate the policy of an independent Parliament It seems to me to be an odd policy, but the fact remains, whether through his instrumentality or some other, the Unionist landlord party in three provinces in Ireland are sitting very closely side by side with people of different political opinions, and the Government for the first time is face to face with this: hitherto the landlords of Ireland have been pretty well indifferent as to what the views of the Irish representatives in Parliament were. They had their local affairs in their own hands, and it did not trouble them very much. But now you have a different situation. You have the landlord—the Unionist—party in Ireland fighting for their lives on the County Councils, and what will happen is what always does happen when that occurs. The landlords are showing signs already of combining upon this question of local government as they combined on the question of financial relations. You have got the spectacle of men sitting and working together who never combined and worked together before. It is astonishing, compared with what they did before; and the result is that the Government is face to face with this combination, which it has never had to face before, and which is making the government of Ireland under the existing system yet more difficult than it is today. Then there is a third question with which the Government is face to face. I, for one, shall never in this House raise my voice in the least to embarrass the First Lord of the Treasury in the most courageous and high-minded attempt which he made the other day to take a step towards the settlement of the problem of higher education in Ireland. That seemed to me to be the act of a 1201 statesman—a statesman who went beyond the trammels of Party in order to attain an end which he thought a just end. But whatever be the merit of this question, the result of it is unmistakable. You have got this—you have got a new grievance upon which the Irish people are united, but which apparently—it is premature to speak—the Government are not ready to approach with any immediate legislative solution. There, again, Mr. Speaker, you have got a third factor with which the Government is face to face, and which makes still more difficult the pursuit of the policy which, as long ago as 1885, Mr. Gladstone declared to be no longer possible to be pursued effectively with an extended franchise. If we dispute over the terms of Bills; if we begin at the wrong end by quibbling over the word "independent,"—bring it up in such a way as to create divisions between people who have worked together, unnecessarily and without any apparent reason—then I venture to think that those who bring forward such motions will only work the end of the Party opposite. But if we apply our minds to finding out what underlies this policy of Home Rule, and define our duty in accordance with the principle which underlies it, I venture to think we shall at last have the chance of making some progress. Mr. Gladstone clothed his policy in two Bills. Those Bills were in the form in which, having regard to the time and circumstances, it seemed to Mr. Gladstone best to deal with his policy. Mr. Gladstone thought it necessary to accomplish a great reform which he had in view as far as possible at a stroke—as far as possible—and, with his great genius, he thought there was at least a chance that the people of this country would be converted to that policy; a forecast the truth of which was verified by the fact that that which had been predicted as impossible had become-possible and the Home Rule Bill passed through all its stages in this House. But the policy of Mr. Gladstone was, I believe, much larger than the particular form in which it was clothed. That particular form meant not only that things were to be done at once, but it meant finality. I have always recognised that there was something to be said against that notion of finality; that notion that you shall go so far and no farther, which was characteristic, and 1202 necessarily characteristic, of Mr. Gladstone's scheme, which sought to accomplish everything at once. It was not so that we dealt, and dealt successfully, with matters in our Colonies; in the Colonies the problem has been solved by granting the most complete system of self-government, a system of self-government which was given in the case of many of them step by step and bit by bit. I think there is nothing more striking than the way in which, I will not say honourable Gentlemen opposits, but their predecessors in office, differed from those who sit upon this side of the House in regarding ever manifestation of the spirit of nationality as evidence of a spirit of rebellion, and in refusing to recognise that there was safety as well as justice in the policy of entrusting people who were dependent with the management of their own affairs. It was by neglect of that that we lost some of the most important of our American Colonies. It was by recognition of that that the Government of Lord Melbourne, a little more than 60 years ago, solved the problem in Lower Canada, and made Quebec to-day one of the most contented and pacific portions of Her Majesty's Dominions. Between us and honourable Members who hold to the contrary view there is a great gulf fixed upon this question. Now, underneath Mr. Gladstone's policy there lay the recognition of this principle, the recognition of trusting people whom we trusted with the franchise with the management of their own affairs. But I am bound to say that I think Mr. Gladstone's notion of finality, Mr. Gladstone's notion of Bills which should do everything at once, and once and for all, was not necessarily the only form in which this policy should proceed. I think if you could proceed step by step, giving to the people of Ireland something, building upon that foundation which the Government—and I say it to their credit, because I think it has been a tremendous step—have afforded by the Local Government Act of last Session, by adding to that you could do something more, if you could go on building until your edifice becomes more and more complete, you would find that you would progress more and more easily as the people of this country become more and more convinced that it can be done safely, that it can be done securely, and so, bearing fruit, your labours would 1203 have a chance at least of resulting in the pacific government of Ireland by the representatives of the Irish people themselves. That is a policy which I believe to be a possible one for clothing the great principle which underlay Mr. Gladstone's two measures. It is a point of view from which the matter, perhaps, has not been contemplated, but I am not sure that it is not the way in which this matter will work out. I for my part decline to discuss the form in which the Home Rule principle is to be applied. I decline at this moment to discuss the question whether it is this Bill or that Bill. I notice that the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Birmingham, addressing his constituents the other day, advised them to put to any candidate on the Liberal side who stood on the platform the question "Will you vote for the Home Rule Bill of 1893 if it is introduced again?" If anybody asked me that question, I should ask him upon what common basis we were to meet and discuss the question. Is he, the right honourable Gentleman who favours those who put questions of that sort, in favour of the policy of giving to the people of Ireland control of their own affairs? Are the people who put this question themselves prepared to support the principle which was accepted, I believe, by the Liberal Party once and for all in 1886, which, whether in the form of the Bills of 1893 or 1886 was the same, and which, adopted to the circumstances of the time, must continue to be the policy of the Liberal Party if the problem of the government of Ireland is to be successfully solved? Now, Sir, that seems to me to be at the very root of this question at the present time. That seems to me to be the real point, the real substance, of what it is that we have to deal with just now. Those who believe in the principle will be prepared to give it effect. Why, then, a Bill such as the Bills of 1886 and 1893, or some other Bill adopted to the circumstances of the time, will be prepared to carry out their aim and object, which is to hand over to the people of Ireland in the fullest way the control of their own affairs. We wish to have as little interference with affairs in Ireland as we have with the House of Keys in the Isle of Man, or with the Legislative Assembly in Jersey. These are bodies which are subject to the 1204 control of this Parliament, with which we do not interfere, because we know that "no interference" is the best policy, the policy which has been justified by its fruit. To that we look forward. We are facing a problem which we have faced, and successfully faced, elsewhere, We are facing a problem which, wherever we have not courageously faced it, has led to failure in other parts of the world. I for one am told that the Irish, as a whole, are in favour of separation. My answer is, "Yes; and that is why I vote for Home Rule." It is because there is a desire for separation in Ireland—a not unnatural desire—for separation, a desire which is the inevitable outcome of the circumstances under which the people live. But when anybody asks me to pledge myself at this moment to some particular Bill, to give the details of some Bill, for which at some future time, under some future circumstances, I should be prepared to work, I say, "No." I am not sure that the time may not arrive when I shall find the honourable and gallant Member for North Armagh working side by side with honourable Members here for the cause of extending the self-government of Ireland by some very large measure which he will be advocating as zealously as he advocated financial relations and other matters. Well, Sir, we will judge when the time comes how we are to work. Meantime, I for one refuse to vote for the Motion of the honourable Member for Waterford, because I believe it to be a mischievous Motion— because I believe it to be a most mischievous Motion—because I believe it to be a Motion inconsistent with the declarations of the Party whose policy it professes to support, because I believe that it only seeks to sow strife between myself and other Members representing Ireland, and because I believe the main effect of its being brought forward is to assist and bolster up the system of government which he himself professes to be anxious to get rid of, and as to which we ought to have a common purpose. Holding these views. I would venture humbly to suggest to the honourable Member for Waterford that if he wishes to get an answer to this question which he says he is so anxious to receive an answer to; if he doubts the sincerity of the declarations of the Liberal Party, of people who have 1205 worked for the cause which he has at heart, of people who have spent their energies and their majorities in trying to get a Home Rule Bill through Parliament—if the honourable Member wishes to get a satisfactory answer to this question, then that he will direct himself to putting his Motion in such a form that we can vote for it.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON (Armagh, N.)
Sir, I think one peculiarity must strike everybody in the House, and that is that in the speeches made on this Amendment there has not been an attack upon Her Majesty's Government; the attack has been by one section of gentlemen opposite upon the other; and therefore, Sir, under ordinary circumstances I should not have tried to mix myself up in what, naturally to me, is a very interesting family quarrel. But, Sir, I look upon this Debate as one of very great importance. I think, Sir, it will clear the air; I think it will bring before the country the exact position which Home Rule occupies in the public mind; and I look upon that as a matter of great importance. As for the speech of the honourable and learned Member who has just sat down, I can only say that if I was an Irish Nationalist I do not think I should look upon it with absolute satisfaction. He says he has got one eye on the Isle of Man and the other on Jersey, and he would vote for some Home Rule Bill at some time which is suitable to the circumstances. That renders the Home Rule Bill, I think, very uncertain; there is a possibility that it may be postponed ad infinitum. Now, Sir, the honourable and learned Gentleman also flatters himself with the fact that I and some of my colleagues have poined most cordially with honourable Gentlemen opposite—and I hope to do so again—on a matter which seems to me to be an injustice done to Ireland by this country. That shows to him that there is some tendency on our part to embrace the Nationalist cause. Well, Sir, he need not distress himself upon that point. There is just as much probability of my becoming a Home Ruler from the fact that I have had the honour of sitting with honourable Gentlemen opposite as there is of the honourable Member for Waterford joining the Orange organisation because I happened to sit in the same room with him. Sir, we have sat together upon those occa- 1206 sions most cordially. In former times, when financial inequalities were to be redressed in Ireland, it was invariably done, with the hearty concurrence of honourable Gentlemen opposite; by taking money out of one Irishman's pocket and putting it into another Irishman's pocket. Naturally we very much objected to that method of redress; but when it comes to a question of injustice on the part of Great Britain to Ireland, why, all Irishmen are agreed. Therefore, Sir, I think I have said enough about the speech of the honourable and learned Gentleman. He has left me absolutely in the dark as to what lie intends to do. He has not said that when he next stands before the electors of his Division he will place Home Rule M the forefront. He has not told us that is the main-plank upon which he, as a Liberal, intends to stand, and, therefore, as he has not done that, I do not think his speech can tend to comfort the hearts of the honourable Gentlemen opposite. Now, Sir, what is of vast interest to me in this Debate is this: it places the position of the Home Rule question fairly before the House and before the country. I think no one can fail to be struck by the amazing difference that we have seen in this Home Rule Debate in comparison with what happened in years gone by. We have none of the excitement; the floors are not occupied by chairs for Members coming to hear a great policy set forth. It is more a Debate of an academic character. Sir, I differ entirely from the honourable Gentleman for Waterford, and it is on a point of essential difference. I have never looked upon Home Rule in itself as a great question. From his point of view it is; from my point of view it is not. Home Rule is the embodiment of that dislike of English rule, and I think I might say almost of any rule, which, in the language of my right honourable Friend the Leader of the House, is entwined around the hearts of the Irish people. Sir, to make Home Rule a great question it requires a great man; and, Sir, I do not believe that the Home Rule question would ever have become a great and patent factor in British politics had it not been for two men who in their way were of great and masterful ability—Mr. Gladstone and the late Mr. Parnell. These 1207 two men combined and raised this question to a position in the forefront of British polities, and it became really for the first time, and I hope it may be for the last time, a really great political question, which divided the political parties of this country by almost an impassable gulf; more so, perhaps, than any question that has risen up in our time. Sir, these two men are gone, and there are no others to take their place. There is no man at the present moment; and although, of course, I admit the great ability of honourable Gentlemen who sit opposite, I think they will admit themselves that there is no man at the present moment alive who is capable of raising up this fallen question and making it one of political importance. Therefore, Sir, I do not intend to discuss the Home Rule question itself at all. I have spoken often in the House upon it. I have heard the honourable and learned Gentleman who has just spoken make almost the same speech any time before; appealing to the feelings of a people about whom he knows nothing, and suggesting courses which we ought to take which no Irishman would ever think of walking in. But what interests me, Sir, in this Debate is that it brings out the real position that Home Rule now occupies. Now, Sir, I conceive that to an Irish Unionist Home Rule at the present moment exactly occupies the position in which I like to see it. It has got its feet around the neck of the Radical Party. They would like to cast off this Old Man of the Sea, but they cannot, wriggle as they may. Sir, when I looked at that front Opposition Bench, as I did almost with sorrow, when the honourable Member for Waterford was making that brilliant speech to which we all listened with attention, it put me in mind of a very painful scene which I recollect happened to me in my early childhood. I and other unhappy victims were brought to a dentist's, and I remember we heard the horrid creature behind who told us to open our mouths, and we knew if we did he would have our teeth out on the spot. That is the operation the honourable Member for Waterford desires to perform. All his speech was directed to trying to open the mouths of the silent Gentlemen who sit on the seat above the Gangway. I 1208 have not seen any sign upon their countenance of a desire to burst forth into an eloquent Home Rule speech. What I say is this, they may remain silent if they please, but I say they owe it to this House, and they owe it not only to their own followers, but to the country, that they should explain the attitude that they intend to take. Some of them have spoken, I admit, in the country. There is the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Wolver hampton, to whose speech allusion has been already made, and the right honourable Baronet the Member for Berwick, whom I see in his place. Now, those two speeches I have given attention to, and if I were asked to describe those speeches I should say that those speeches indicated that those two right honourable Gentlemen simply meant to show that they were sick of Home Rule. I think that exactly and aptly describes the nature and character of those speeches. They described them selves as in the state of contemplation. Whether they are to be considered to be Home Rulers or not depends altogether upon the effect upon their minds of the action of the Irish district and Irish county councils. They did not inform us, and I suppose the honourable Gentleman opposite from Ireland will re member this, how long they intend to remain in contemplation. But, Sir, we are undoubtedly impressed—I am, at any rate—with the fact that they are heartily sick of Home Rule. I have often observed in crossing the Channel that if you see a passenger become contemplative it is a sign that the sea does not agree with him. And so I should like to know from those two right honourable Gentlemen how they are going to get this impression from the county councils in Ireland which is ultimately to determine whether they are going to remain Home Rulers or not. If the Irish county councils, as apparently will be the case, are to be elected entirety on a political basis—and that has been forced on by honourable Gentlemen opposite, I do not blame them —if that is so, if the Unionist minority in Ireland is to be entirely excluded from the district councils and the county councils in all countries where the Nationalists are in a predominance—
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
North Armagh shows what a fair-minded county it is by electing me—if these councils are elected of nothing but Nationalists, will that affect the minds of the right honourable Gentlemen, and induce them to return to the fold from which they have strayed? On the other hand, if the county councils carry on their business in, I may say, a desultory manner, in the sort of manner indicated by an interesting occurrence at Limerick, where the Mayor of Limerick, Mr. Daly, had to appeal to "the enemies of the people" to avoid the attentions of his own followers, what will happen? Now, I should like to ask those two right honourable Gentlemen what effect that has on their minds. What I want to get at is, when they are contemplating, how will this contemplation affect them, and why? Then again, to show the great interest taken at the present moment in the new local government by the people in the Irish counties, an occurrence the other day at Donegal struck me very much. This shows the intense interest suddenly aroused by the Local Government Bill. At the Road Sessions last December in Donegal the deputy county surveyor refused to certify the work done on the roads. He did not for this reason, that no work had been done. This was looked upon by the road contractors as a monstrous injustice. Instead of arguing with him as they would have done in former times they made for him. The deputy-surveyor, being a nimble man, flew out through the window like a comet, pursued by the road contractors. He fell on the roof and then jumped into the street, followed by the road contractors. He then ran for two miles along the railway and got into the station, and so escaped. Now, many of these road contractors will probably be members of the county council. I do not know what the deputy-surveyor will do, but I should like to know the effect it has had on the minds of the two right honourable Gentlemen. Will it induce these two right honourable Gentlemen to try again for Home Rule? That, of course, remains to be proved. I said, years ago, to this House, and I remember I was met with great dis- 1210 approbation by honourable Gentlemen opposite: I said I did not believe, and I don't believe now, that the Radical Party were animated by honest convictions when they became Home Rulers.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
Now, just wait a moment, and I think the honourable Gentleman will see I have some reason for what I have said. I remember reading a speech of Mr. Gladstone's in which he said that under certain circumstances the Liberal Party was not to be trusted, and that if the Nationalist Members had the power either of keeping them in office or turning them out of office, they might surrender to the Nationalists. Now, Mr. Gladstone was a man of great insight into human nature, and the remarkable thing about this is that this prophecy uttered by Mr. Gladstone in regard to the Party he led has been absolutely justified by his son. If the House will allow me, I will read what the right honourable Gentleman said the other day about the Radical Party. What I say does not matter, perhaps, but what a Liberal says about the Radical Party does matter. Now, this is what the right honourable Member for Leeds, West, said, the other day; it is an extract from the Leeds: Mercury of 20th October. Of course, I know that honourable Gentlemen opposite do change their opinions very quickly, but I suppose that, since October, they remain pretty much what they were. The right honourable Member for Leeds, West, said:—"We are in a great minority now, but things are looking up in the constituencies. Our electoral experiences have been extremely satisfactory. We have done better in the by-elections than we have done during the last 30 years. If we could get to close quarters—" (great laughter)—I am glad to think honourable Gentlemen opposite are happy—"within the next year or two—putting aside the question of whether it is desirable—the result would be the return of the Liberals and Tories in pretty equal numbers. I do not think we would get a large majority, we might even be just in a minority, but probably the balance would be pretty even. And in the centre would be our friends the 80 Irish Nationalists. They would sit 1211 in the centre of the balance and see Lord Salisbury at one end, perhaps, and Sir William Haroourt at the other. They would simply say 'Now, my friends, you see how you are situated; you may be in a position of considerable elevation and prosperity, or, on the other hand, you may be very much depressed, and sitting on the ground. We can send either of you up or down, as the occasion requires. The occasion requires Home Rule; which of you will give it to us. Lord Salisbury and Sir William Harcourt will have to look at each other and take their measure, and I do not think there will be any doubt about the position of Sir William Harcourt. He will say we are Home Rulers; we stick to Home Rule, and we are prepared to give you Home Rule in full measure. I think that will be good enough for the Nationalists, and up will go Sir William Harcourt and down will go Lord Salisbury. If Lord Salisbury also says I am ready to give you Home Rule, there will then be healthy competition. The Irish Nationalists would have to see which would give them most, and that is a matter of business. "Sir, that is what I have been saying all these years. The honourable Gentlemen below the gangway thoroughly agree with me. The honourable Gentlemen above the gangway, in 1886 bought their votes by paying them in a Home Rule Bill—a Bill which was not honoured in the end.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
They were bought by the Home Rule Bill. They were perfectly right in making what bargain they could, but that is just what I have said so many times. On the other hand, the right honourable Gentlemen opposite said, in this House, that they were convinced, in their own minds, that they had done the best thing for Ireland and the Empire. But here we have the right honourable Gentleman the Member for West Leeds saying that it was "a matter of business. Of course it was a matter of business, and if the time should ever come again for those right honourable Gentlemen above the Gangway to see their way to make Home Rule the first plank in their platform they would do so without a moment's hesitation.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
That, of course, is a matter of opinion. The honourable Gentleman has a perfect right to have any opinion he may choose, that I am capable of doing this or that, but he has got to prove that I have already done it. No kind of bribes have been offered by honourable Members opposite, to our Party in Ireland. We were once told that our sands were running out, and our time was getting short, and that if we refused the offer Mr. Gladstone made to us in his Bill, it would never be repeated. Although it was a bribe of a very high character, we rejected it with the scorn it deserved. And my friends and colleagues on this side of the House have the right to say, therefore, that our past, at any rate, does not justify the prophecies of the honourable Gentlemen opposite. I say we have a right 'to ask the right honourable Gentlemen opposite to give the country some indication as to the position they intend to take UJD on this question. If the giving to Ireland a Parliament and a Government entirely separated from the House of Commons —if that is to be a question at all, it is the greatest question we can conceive; it is a tremendous constitutional experiment which ought to be placed in the very forefront of the programme of any Party. Now I am afraid we won't learn very much from the speeches of the right honourable Gentlemen opposite, to-night, for I did not believe, and I do not now, that in the majority of cases, at any rate, conviction ever touched the minds of the right honourable Gentlemen opposite. The Leader of the Opposition has told us that he "found salvation."
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
Perhaps the right honourable and gallant Gentleman will allow me to remind him that I have denied half-a-dozen times or more that I ever used the phrase.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
The right honourable Gentleman may not have used the phrase, but he appears to have sat very comfortably under it. We have a right to ask, in the House of 1213 Commons, the Leader of a great Party, on a great Constitutional Question, whether he sticks to his guns? Is he still in the same mind as when Mr. Gladstone brought in his last Home Rule Bill? If he is of that opinion, if he believes, as he believed then, and as his Party believed, that Ireland cannot be governed under our laws, then, I say, it is his business, as Leader of a great Party, to say that this great constitutional question, which is absolutely necessary for the good of Ireland, and the welfare of the Empire, is to be the first plank in his Party platform. You cannot treat such a Bill as a Sanitary Bill. Either it is a great truth or it is not. If it is a great truth it ought to be in the forefront of the programme. If it is not a great truth then they ought to throw it away and confess that they made a mistake, and have discovered that the whole thing is a sham. I do not know whether we shall mollify the silence of the Front Opposition Bench, or whether the appeal of the honourable Member for Waterford will have the effect of getting some definite declaration from them as to their future policy in regard to Home Rule. That I do not know. But we have a right to ask, not from a Party, but from an imperial point of view. We have a right to know, and the honourable Gentlemen opposite have a right to know, what stand the right honourable Gentlemen are going to take on Home Rule. I look to Home Rule as having done one good thing, at any rate, and I am very thankful for it. It has shattered the Radical Party. And the reason is that that Party never were bound to Home Rule by sincere convictions. Sir, if they had been convinced of the greatness and the justice of the cause, the fact that they were in a minority in the country would never have prevented them going on to the end. I was a Member of this House a great number of years ago, and I remember that, Session after Session, a Bill was brought in to establish the ballot, and that Party was in a great minority. But the men who were in that minority were not afraid to trust to what they believed was the justice of their cause, and they confronted the great majority, and ultimately won the day. And why did they win the day? Because those men knew and were convinced of the truth of 1214 their cause. But when a party shilly-shallies on a great constitutional question, like this, no wonder they are broken up. If you do not believe in it, tell the House of Commons and the country so. If you do believe in it, then join hands again, and let the "union of hearts" again take place. But do give us a definite policy which we can deal with in the country, and which can be attacked, and not an evanescent, india-rubber policy which disappears with the touch. Now, that is one good thing Home Rule has done. I will do honourable Gentlemen from Ireland the credit of saying that the cant about the "union of hearts" never came from below the Gangway. With them it was always a condition of the union, and it was a "union of hearts" so long as they got all they wanted and gave nothing in return. That was the union, and it was not a union called for by the greatness and the truth of the cause, but it was a sort of mercantile transaction which did not lend itself to sentiment. Sir, I am glad that we have had this opportunity, at any rate, of appealing to the House and to the country, and I believe that, whatever the cry, this thing will never happen again. Home Rule will never again be draped before the country in the tinsel garments prepared for it by right honourable Gentlemen opposite, but it will stand on its own merits or demerits. It stands now naked and alone, and it will thus be judged by the British people, and I have no fear whatever of the result. One great argument in favour of Home Rule was that you could not govern Ireland unless you gave her what she asked for. Why, Sir, there is no more peaceful part of Her Majesty's dominions to-day than Ireland. We were told that a resolute policy meant tyranny and oppression in Ireland. My right honourable Friend the present Leader of the House has bombarded the Irish people not with shells and bullets, but with light railways and seed potatoes. And what has been the result? Why, you have a peaceful country anxiously looking for favours to come, and this expectant attitude is one which eminently suits the Irish character. I venture to say that if my right honourable Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland were to go over now to the west, south, or northwest of Ireland with Home Rule in one hand and a light railway in the other, I 1215 know that the people would jump at the light railway.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
I never offered the bribe, so that is not the point. Well, Sir, honourable Members from Ireland are now under one great difficulty. The question is—Is Ireland a peaceful country, or is it not?
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
I am glad that I have drawn that confession from the honourable Member, for it proves what I was going to say, and that is that the great difficulty which honourable Gentlemen opposite are in, including the honourable Member for East Clare, is this, that they cannot work up the Irish people now as they could in former times.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
I am very sorry to interrupt the right honourable and candid Gentleman, but, as he has mentioned me by name, I desire to say that what my exclamation meant was this: it has been unfortunately proved now, as always, that when the Irish people are peaceful they get nothing but taunts, and that, if they want to get any substantial benefit, they have to resort to disturbance. The honourable Gentleman has said that my difficulty is that I cannot disturb the country. Does he challenge me to go and disturb the county of Clare?
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
Well, the honourable Member might do that with impunity, because I do not live in the county of Clare. The difficulty which honourable Gentlemen are in at the present moment in order to create, from their own point of view, a demand for Home Rule and make it a really great question, is that they must get the Irish people thoroughly on their own side on that subject. I live in Ireland, and, as far as I know, Home Rule is hardly ever mentioned there. The difficulty they are in is this, that, so long as Home Rule meant making short work of the landlords and giving their property to other people, undoubtedly it was an extremely popular Measure in Ireland. But the Pill of my right honourable Friend the Secretary for Ireland in 1881 has taken off most of the landlords' skins, and the Bill of the Leader of the House has scraped of nearly all the rest; so really 1216 there is very little left to induce Irishmen to abandon the present form of government and adopt a new one. Therefore, I think it is extremely improbable that any effort made by the honourable Member for Clare, or anybody else, to get up excitement in Ireland upon Home Rule has any chance of success.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
Well, I wish the honourable Member joy of his effort, for if anybody could do it I believe the honourable Member could. Therefore, Sir, Home Rule at the present moment, to my mind, is not a grave question, either in this House or in Ireland. It is true that it is not dead, and there are 80 highly lively specimens of Home Rulers in this House to show that it is not dead, and who would be an entire mistake, because they are ready at any moment to arrange with any political party who desire to get those 80 votes in exchange for Home Rule; and I am not blaming them in the least. Therefore, Home Rule is not dead, in the real sense, in this country. But, Sir, Home Rule, to my mind, in Ireland has got very small vitality; therefore, I do not fear it as a great power. It gives me unqualified satisfaction that we have had the opportunity in this Debate of laying before this country the present position of what was at one time a great question, but which in our time will never be in a stronger position than we see it to-night.
SIR HENRY CAMPBELL-BANNER-MAN
Mr. Speaker, we have had from the right honourable Gentleman, as usual, a long, racy, and amusing speech. I am afraid that in following him I shall neither be long, racy, nor amusing. During the greater part of that speech I was entirely at a loss to discover what the object of it was, because it appeared to me to have the very smallest connection with the Amendment now before the House. But at last the right honourable Gentleman let fall an expression which explained to us his motive, and that was to mollify the silence of the front Opposition Bench. But the right honourable Gentleman, is not a person that I should have thought very likely to mollify anything or anybody, and I can assure him that the silence of the front Opposition Bench would have been broken more than three-quarters of an hour ago if it had 1217 not been that I saw from the impatient indications of the right honourable Gentleman that he was very anxious to speak. There is only one phrase which the right honourable Gentleman let fall to which I take exception. "His opinions we well know, for we have heard them before, and we shall hear them again. But he said of us, of myself, and those who sit near me, and of my political friends, that we never had any sincere convictions in this matter. Well, the right honourable Gentleman, I believe, is also a gallant Gentleman, and I ask him whether it is a very suitable thing for anyone owning the epithet of "gallant" to make so slanderous an accusation against a body of public men who have every right to claim the same good appreciation of their countrymen as the right honourable Gentleman. Well, Sir, I now come to the Amendment of the honourable Member for Waterford, and I find that it is—as, indeed, he himself said—practically a repetition of the Amendment which he moved on a similar occasion last year. On that occasion the position of the Party with, which I am connected was fully and clearly stated by my right honourable Friend the Member for Monmouth, and I might really leave the case as he left it without adding a word to that clear statement. The only change that I observe in the Amendment of any importance is that whereas last year the honourable Member put words in his Amendment to the effect that the carrying of the Local Government Bill was likely to increase the demand of the people of Ireland for legislative independence, he now asks us to affirm that the establishment of popular self-government in Ireland has intensified the demand of the people for legislative independence. Now, Sir, I cannot help thinking that that is a very subsidiary, but still a decided objection I take, to the Amendment. None, of us are in a position to deny that the establishment of county councils and parish councils has intensified the desire of the Irish people for independence. I have always held, and still hold, that it is extremely likely to have that effect. I feel certain that it will have the effect not only of increasing the demand, but of intensifying the title of the Irish people to the larger powers of self-government which we proposed to be a party to giving them. But to say that it has intensified 1218 that feeling before even the county councils have been elected is, I think, inviting us to assert a thing which we cannot possibly be aware of of our own knowledge. But that, of course, Sir, is a comparatively small point, but still worthy of being noted. There is one element of difference now between the present Amendment and that of last year, and it seems to me to be an important one, and that is that it does not arise in Ireland. I am referring to what my honourable and learned Friend behind me spoke of in connection with the association of honourable Members from Ireland of all shades of opinion for the prosecution of certain public objects. I am speaking of events which have happened in this House and in this Parliament; and those events are the passing, with the exuberant assent of the landlord party and with the full acquiescence of the House of Lords, of that great democratic Measure of last year. Surely that marks a most notable Surely that marks a most notable stage in the progress of self-government in Ireland. Because, what have we been hearing year after year during the twelve years of the controversy? What has been one of the arguments most strongly enforced, especially upon the people of England and Scotland? It has been the danger of entrusting to a people so unfitted for the exercise of such powers, the powers of local self-government. We have been told that not in Ulster only, but still more largely amongst the scattered communities in the west of Ireland, they would be left at the mercy of the Catholic majority amongst whom they lived, and, therefore, they would be subjected to unfair treatment by them. The feelings of the people of this country were roused, or an attempt was made to rouse them, on this subject, and now we see the, very men who use that argument as against Home Rule, readily and joyfully, so far as I can see, conferring full powers over their, local affairs on those same men whom they have been declaring were unfit for the exercise of those duties. And let it not be said that those powers have only been given with reference to the small everyday concerns of life, and that that does not constitute so great a danger as when minorities are left at the mercy of majorities in the larger affairs of national politics. That at least cannot be urged 1219 by the right honourable Gentleman opposite in the face of the publicly expressed, and very wisely expressed, opinion of Lord Salisbury, which has been so much quoted, that it is precisely in those small and every-day affairs where the eye of public opinion is not very strongly upon them, that the danger, if any danger at all, exists of tyranny and oppression. I consider that the unreality of these alleged apprehensions has been approved by the conduct of the honourable Gentlemen opposite last year. They passed a Measure giving, as we were glad to see, great democratic powers to the Irish people. They introduced no safeguards such as the right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the House, thought necessary, when he was Chief Secretary for Ireland, in the Bill he then brought before the House. This disposes of the very apprehensions of which so much was made. It is a huge step in advance, which I gladly note, and which I believe makes strongly in the direction of the ultimate attainment of the policy of Home Rule; but that is the only difference that I can see between the position last year and the position this year. Now, Sir, we must ask ourselves what is the object of the honourable Member in moving this Amendment? What was his object in moving it last year, and what is his object in repeating it this year? He puts forward a proposal, and he knows when he does so that so far as the Liberal Party is concerned they must Tote against that proposal. We are the only Party in this island who have been friendly to Irish self-government—I mean to Irish national self-government—and the honourable Member seeks by this Amendment to accomplish the feat of showing his hostility to the only friend of the cause which he professes to be desirous of advancing. I can assure him that there are many among us—with very few exceptions, I may say all of us—whom even his strange tactics can estrange from the Irish policy which for the last 12 years we have continuously advocated—
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
And this, indeed, only shows how strong must be our fidelity when it stands so severe a strain. Our judgment as to the ultimate necessity of adopting the solution of devolution and autonomy in 1220 Ireland remains absolutely unchanged. The honourable Member asked me one or two questions. I do not know exactly what title he has to do so, but as I have nothing to conceal from him in the world, I am very willing to answer any question he chooses to put. He quoted a speech that I made to my constituents, and he asked me how the Liberal Party, according to my idea, stands towards Home Rule now. The Liberal Party stands towards Home Rule as it stood before. What I said in a speech to my constituents on the occasion to which he referred I repeat again now. We are practical men, and are men of common sense. He apparently invites us to go on year after year, passing resolutions of this sort, which do not advance the cause one whit, and he invites us also to promise and pledge ourselves before the world that whatever the situation may be, or whatever the circumstances may be, this question of Home Rule shall be the very first subject with which we shall deal when we have an opportunity of dealing with any subject. Now the honourable Gentleman knows perfectly well the conditions of public life, and the instruments with which we work in public life. The Liberal Party was described by its great Leader as a great instrument for progress. It is a great instrument for progress, and the question is, how are we best to use that great instrument. The honourable Member's idea of doing it best is to exhaust the patience of all members of this Party by continuously striving to attain what is unattainable—[Ministerial Cheers]—I mean that which for the moment is unattainable—or, as I said in the words which have been quoted, kicking against a stone wall; whereas, in the meantime, all other questions, however urgent they may be to the Liberal Party, deeply affecting their own interests, and their own conceptions of public policy, are to be pushed on one side. So far from that being the most direct and straight way to help Home Rule, I think that is the very way to hinder it. Our way is to retain—and so long as I have any connection with the Liberal Party, I shall endeavour to retain—the force and energy of the Liberal Party, and be ready to apply it, when opportunity offers, to such subjects as it seems most likely to be 1221 capable of being applied to. Our principles are well known, and the only question that remains is as to the method of their application. As to the most effective method of their application, we have the right to retain our judgment. That right I am not willing to surrender either to the honourable Member for Waterford, or to any honourable Friend behind him, who is strongly in favour of any particular reform, because, as I say, the best way to accomplish success in legislative reform is to apply your forces at the proper moment in the right direction. The honourable Member asked me whether the alliance with the Irish Party still continues. Yes, Sir, the alliance in community of object, and in willingness to co-operate, continues as much as it ever did. There never was, so far as I ever heard, any formal alliance, but the alliance in the sense of sympathy, and the desire to co-operate, remains with us as strong as ever it was. In criticising the honourable Member's Amendment, I may be permitted to recite the objections that I take to the substance of it. The honourable Member himself knows perfectly well what those objections are. He speaks of an independent Parliament, and he quotes to-night some expression of Mr. Gladstone, where he used the word "independent." I daresay he did, but if Mr. Gladstone had been here he would have asked what the context was, what the occasion was, and in what sense the word "Independent" was used. It is no use standing upon mere words, because it is known to all the world that we have always refused to agree to what is known as an independent Parliament. We have brought in two Bills, both of them sedulously and explicitly guarding this idea of an independent Parliament. My right honourable Friend, the Member for Montrose, who is a friend of Home Eule if anyone is, spoke of one of those Bills as "saturated with supremacy," and the Leader whom the honourable Gentleman professes' to revere, and of course sincerely reveres, again and again said that he accepted those conditions to the full. Therefore, we cannot accept the Amendment of the honourable Member, and I am bound to say that if that word were not there I should not vote, and I am sure my honourable Friends could not vote for it, because he says that the question is, and must remain, the most urgent 1222 question of domestic policy. That gives this question of Home Rule the priority of which I have been speaking. Now, priority may be said to be the resultant of urgency and possibility, and priority is not a common thing that can be assigned to any question in politics in advance. The circumstances for the moment must determine the priority, and if this is true of fresh questions, how much more is it true of this question, which has known two attempts to deal with it in legislation? We rejoice that we made those attempts, and we are ready to make them again so soon as circumstances are favourable. [Laughter.] The honourable Gentlemen who laugh appear to think that circumstances are favourable when we have a majority of 140 against us, and are utterly unable to do anything for it except pass such a resolution as this, if it was in itself acceptable. The honourable Member for Waterford knows the difficulties which caused our failures before. There is no one who can more effectually contribute to the removal of those difficulties than the honourable Member. There is no one who has it more in his power to increase those difficulties. It is for him to make the choice as to which course he shall follow As for us, we must decline to accept the Amendment he has proposed for the reasons which were stated last year fully by my right honourable Friend the Member for Monmouth, and which I have shortly referred to to-night, because we find the Amendment to be inconsistent with the convictions and plain declarations which have guided our conduct from the first of the controversy on this great Irish question.
§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
The right honourable Gentleman has asked What was the object with which this Amendment was moved. I shall endeavour very briefly to state at least one of the objects with which it was moved, if the right honourable Gentleman will kindly give me his attention. It; has been the opinion of a section of the Irish Nationalist Members with whom I have acted that the alliance which has existed between several sections of the Irish Nationalist Members and the Liberal Party of England during the last few years, has been productive of harm, instead of good, to Irish1 legislation. I will not enter into any 1223 reasons for that opinion, because I do not want to make more than a bare assertion. We believe that this alliance has resulted in postponing the advent of Home Rule to Ireland, and we have always believed since that fact first began to appear that the first thing to do in order to restore Home Rule to the position which it formerly occupied was to secure that the Irish Nationalist representatives in this House should be absolutely independent of any English Party. After the speech which we have heard to-night, that object will be accomplished from this hour forward. The right honourable Gentleman who has just sat down was asked a very plain question by my honourable and learned Friend for Waterford. He was asked as to the principal point in the Amendment, as to the position Home Rule occupies at present in the programme of the Liberal Party. One of the honourable Members who succeeded him said that before he answered that question he would like to ask my honourable and learned Friend what attitude he maintains towards Home Rule as proposed in former years. Sir, that question fades into insignificance after the speech of the right honourable Gentleman who has just sat down. It is entirely immaterial now to know what are Ms views upon the precise measures of Home Rule which Ireland would accept in view of the fact that he himself has to-night indicated that any sort of Home Rule at all is no feature of the Liberal Party's programme, and, in fact, gave no sort of clear answer whatever, or indicated what his Party will do when they have the power to do anything upon the question of Home Rule. The right honourable Gentleman had his attention particularly directed to the main point of the Amendment by a quotation of his own speech in Scotland a short time ago. He was asked in very plain terms whether he still stood, or whether he did not still stand, by that famous passage in his Scottish speech, in which he spoke of a "stone wall." I regret to say that we have still to ask him that question, for we have got no light whatever upon that point. The right honourable Gentleman, as I said before, must have known what he was called upon to speak about, and I draw again attention to the fact that he has passed by the main point 1224 of the whole Debate, the main point raised by this Amendment, and he has apparently made up his mind that neither now nor at any time in the future, so far as we can see, will he give us any light upon that point. The right honourable Gentleman's position is now a very curious one, and it is also the attitude of the Liberal Party. The right honourable Gentleman may be regarded, with respect to Home Rule, as sitting down before a stone wall and waiting for somebody to lift him over. I do not think that that is a very dignified attitude, in the first place, for the Leader of a great Party, which has pledged itself again and again during the last 10 or 12 years to this great principle, and I venture to say that it is unworthy even of the traditions of the Liberal Party itself. Unless I am wrong in my history, and I think I am not, the Liberal Party in England, since 1832, never had a majority in England itself for carrying any great reforms, never possessed during those years the authority of the predominant partner; but they did not sit down when they met with obstacles and say, "We are before a stone wall, and there is no use in battering our heads against it." They never said, "We had better sit down and wait before this stone wall." The right honourable Gentleman has, in this matter, disregarded the history of his own Party, and he has also disregarded the traditions of his great Leader who has passed away. The right honourable Gentleman tonight ridiculed the idea of the Irish Nationalist Members, that everything else should wait until Home Rule was granted to Ireland, by which I presume that he means that, so far as the Liberal Party is concerned, Home Rule must wait. That is the opinion of the Leader, and I wish to draw the attention of Irish Nationalist Members to the fact—and that is my reason for quoting it—that those were not the grounds upon which Mr. Gladstone advocated Home Rule. Mr. Gladstone advocated Home Rule on two grounds, one of which was that the question could not wait—that the question was of supreme importance—that it was necessary to settle it before any other question, and for this, reason amongst others, that as long as it remained unsettled the greater would, be the strain upon England in conse- 1225 quence of refusing the just demand of Ireland in this respect; and it must be admitted that from 1885 to 1892 Mr. Gladstone did keep the subject of Home Rule in front, and did make it the first Measure of each of the Governments which he formed during those years, and therefore I say that the right honourable Gentleman who now occupies his place in this House, in ridiculing the notion that everything must wait for Home Rule, disregards and discards the policy of his late Leader, and renounces the traditions of his own Party. It seems to me that the Liberal Party, after all, is pursuing a very foolish game, and I want to give them a little bit of friendly advice. They think at present, what they have thought for many years, that by getting up a Newcastle programme and mixing up a whole lot of Measures together, they can carry the country with them; but my opinion is, and I believe it is the opinion of many Liberals in the country, that the only policy upon which they have ever united for the last 15 or 20 years has been the policy of Home Rule, and I believe that in the future it will be the only policy upon which they ever can unite. I want to know on what they are going to the country at the next election. What horse are they going to ride? What programme or policy are they going to put before the country if they do not put Home Rule? I wonder whether it is Mr. Kensit and his programme. The right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition perhaps is going to take up the question of the reform of the Church of England, and I suppose if he does that he will give effect to the doctrines of Mr. Kensit. If he does, I fancy he will have a very tough job before him, an even tougher job than the Home Rule is. Is he going to take up the question of Temperance Reform? Well, I would like to see the result upon the Liberal Party of another campaign for Temperance Reform. Again I ask, on what grounds is the Liberal Party going to ride to victory? In my opinion, and I have had some experience in England previous to 1890, there is one question, and one question only, upon which the Liberal Party will unite, and that is the question which they are now turning their back upon. I rejoice at the speech that the right honourable Gentleman 1226 has made to-night. I believe and hope that the effect of that speech will be to put an end to this disastrous Liberal alliance, from which Ireland has suffered so much. I hope that after to-night we shall hear no more of that alliance, because I believe that the sooner the Irish Nationalist Members of this House become the avowed opponents of each British Party in this House, the sooner we shall restore Home Rule again to the condition which it occupied for many years past. I suppose the right honourable Gentleman expects, by the speech which he has delivered to-night, and by the ambiguous policy which he has announced, to win a triumph at the next election, and he spoke to-night of the possibility of being in a position to act independently of any Irish Party. I would like to know how he has arrived at that rosy idea of the future. There is at present a majority of 140 against us. He has to win absolutely 70 seats in England only before he comes to a level with his opponents. Well, Sir, I must confess that, for one, I am not struck with the idea of his being able to act independently of any Irish Party—indeed, I rather fancy that when he has won his 70 seats he will be very much in want of Irish assistance. Supposing he was on an equality, supposing that he was in a majority, as he hopes to be, he would have to win at least 100 seats in England and Scotland in order to be able to do anything, and I say that without Irish assistance and without a policy in accordance with the sentiments and wishes of the Irish nation, a policy which he does not apparently approve of, and does not apparently possess, he will never be able to accomplish his purpose. All I can say is this—that every Irish Nationalist Member who remembers the time before 1885, when the Irish Nationalist Members were a strong minority, will welcome the return of a time like that in which their hands were raised against every Party, and when they were ready to sacrifice any English interest for the sake of Ireland. Several years have elapsed since then, and I am afraid that Irish Members have got it into their heads that because we are in a minority we are therefore powerless. There are Members, however, in the House who remember very well what we were able to do from 1878 to 1885. When the late 1227 Mr. Parnell began his campaign he was in an exceedingly small minority, but before 10 years elapsed one Party offered us a nostrum and the other Party offered us the Home Rule Bill of 1886. I believe, for one, that the best thing that can happen to the Irish cause will be to relegate ourselves to the position in this House which our predecessors occupied for many years; that is, the position of practical political outcasts, ready and able to use our position and our power against either Party in turn, and I say candidly to your faces that until you can give way to the just demands of Ireland, neither of you will ever have peace in this House, or out of it. I rejoice at the speech of the right honourable Gentleman, and I agree in thinking that it must clear the air. I think that after to-night it will be impossible to pretend that the Leader of the Liberal Party in this House has not practically abandoned the policy of Home Rule. I say that he has openly and actually abandoned the policy of Home Rule. He, forsooth, asked us what our attitude was on the question of the Home Rule Bills of 1886 to 1892. What does it matter what our opinions are on this question, if he will not say what he will do in regard to any Home Rule Bill at all? He will neither tell us what sort of a Home Rule Bill we are going to get, nor will he tell us what he will do when he gets into power, and it will be a foolish section of Irish Nationalists which will pin its faith to the Leader of the Opposition after the speech he has made tonight. I should have preferred, of course, if the right honourable Gentleman had again avowed the policy of Mr. Gladstone. The policy of Mr. Gladstone was clear and plain. He said rightly that Home Rule was the most urgent of our domestic questions. He said it was the most urgent because it was necessary for Ireland and necessary for England. He put it first in his programme of 1885 and again in 1892, and now, forsooth, that policy is abandoned because the right honourable Gentleman and his followers have met with two defeats! Is that the way in which they treated the question of reform when it was fought 60 years ago? What would have been said to the Liberal Leaders of 60 years ago if the Reform Bill of 1832, which was rejected twice, had been abandoned by them for ever? What would 1228 have been thought of them if they had said in regard to that Bill, "Oh, there is a stone wall in front of us, and we had better sit down and wait until someone pulls it down"? Was that the policy of Sir Robert Peel in carrying Free Trade? What would have been said of Sir Robert Peel if, after meeting with two defeats or three or six defeats, he had abandoned the policy to which he had consecrated his time? What would have happened had he done so? It is impossible to conceive what would have been said of Mr. Gladstone if he had said, on the question of the Disestablishment of the Church in Ireland, "Oh, here is a stone wall, which I can't get over, and I must wait until it is pulled down"? That was not the policy of Mr. Gladstone. If I may say so, he took the pickaxe himself and opened a hole in the wall in order to get through it. The fact of the matter is that the Leader of the Liberal Party to-night has actually and openly abandoned the policy of Home Rule, and the people of Ireland know it, and all I can say is this, that if we have achieved no other result, I regard that as strongly important and highly gratifying in itself, because for the first time in some years it opens up an opportunity for the Irish Nationalists to combine to make an assault upon this Parliament, and demand by every means in their power—by battling against one Party or the other—to attain the principal object and the desires of the Irish nation.
§ * MR. C. P. SCOTT (Lancashire, Leigh)
The honourable Member who has just sat down has spoken as if we on this side of the House had definitely abandoned Home Rule, or as if the speech of the right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition had indicated that that was the intention of the Liberal Party. I think that certainly is not a policy which will commend itself to us. I do not in the least believe that that was the intention of the right honourable Gentleman, and certainly it is not a policy that would commend itself to the Liberal Party in the House or in the country. Nothing is gained by bandying charges of this kind, either between one side of the House and the other, on between different sections of the same side. What we want is to get at the facts and realities, and to have done with shams and accusations. Holding that 1229 view, I confess that I think that it is not quite clear to some of us on this side of the House that we ought to vote against this Amendment. No doubt it is to a certain extent ambiguous, and I think that its phraseology offers a certain amount of difference which it would have been better to avoid, but I do not, for my own part, see anything in the terms of it which need prevent any honest and thorough going Home Ruler, who believes in Home Rule in the sense in which Mr. Gladstone believed in it, and the sense in which I believe in it and the great mass of the Liberal Party also, from supporting it. I was last year one of a small body of Liberals who voted for a similar Amendment, brought forward by the honourable and learned Member. I did so just on the same grounds as I shall do again, namely, because I understand that the phrase "legislative independence" means nothing more than our old friend, Home Rule, as understood by Mr. Gladstone and as accepted by Mr. Parnell. If the honourable and learned Member the Member for Waterford means anything more than that, he ought to tell us so. He has not told us that it meant anything more. On the contrary, he quoted various extracts from Mr. Gladstone's speeches, in which Mr. Gladstone made use of the term "legislative independence." I believe Mr. Gladstone, in using those words, always attached to them the qualifying phrase, "practical," and spoke of "the practical legislative independence." That is what he meant by his Home Rule Bill, and that is all that can be meant by any Home Rule Bill passed by this House. I think that is sufficiently obvious. This House cannot divest itself of its power to control its offspring. It cannot part with its supreme authority, unless there is a complete severance of relations between the two countries. I think we have heard a little too much of this terrible word "independence," which means nothing more than we all mean when We speak of Home Rule.
§ * MR. C. P. SCOTT
I am glad to hear that the honourable Member for Water-ford assents to that proposition, and as he assents to it, I think we may claim the Votes of several Gentlemen, and especially that of the Member for Haddington, who has expressly stated that if 1230 "legislative independence" means nothing more than Home Rule, the Liberal Party in this House would be bound to vote for it. Then there is the question of urgency. I cannot understand how any Liberal can regard this question as otherwise than urgent. I cannot understand how any person could commit himself to a change so enormous, so far-reaching, so disastrous if it fails, and so pregnant with infinite good if it succeeds, if he does not regard its position as most urgent. To bring up a question of this kind and then to treat it as a matter of minor importance, is, in my opinion, simply trifling with it. We all regard this question as urgent. I believe that every man on this side of the House regards it as a Measure of a most urgent character. I believe that our readiness to make Home Rule the law of the land is limited wholly and solely by our power to do it. We are not ashamed to be in a minority. We have been in a minority before, and other Parties have been in a minority; but we should be ashamed of ourselves if we abandoned our principles in any way or in any degree whatever. It is one thing to say that a Measure is urgent, and another to say exactly what steps are to be taken to pass that Measure into law. I think we may assure the honourable Member for Waterford that the moment the Liberal Party has behind it a sufficient strength to carry this great reform into effect, it will leave no stone unturned to do so. But I do not think that we ought to wait whistling for the wind. It is our duty to keep this question steadily before the country, to urge it in season and out of season, and to make it clearly understood by everybody whom it might concern, that the moment we have the power to carry Home Rule we shall do so. If that is not the case, if we treat the matter as simply one of a dozen reforms which we shall carry in whatever order we think proper, and just at our convenience, then I think Members on the other side of the House will have a just right to reproach us. If we went to the country on a dozen other issues, and were successful, and then brought forward a Measure of Home Rule, our opponents would have a good right to tell us that we had got our majority on other matters, and that they were entitled to regard the verdict of the country as in no 1231 sense one in favour of Home Rule. For these reasons I hope a good many Liberals will vote for the Amendment. I do not believe that the Liberal Party has deviated, or means to deviate, one single inch from the principle to which we have so solemnly committed ourselves, and, holding that view so strongly as I do, I shall certainly vote for the Amendment.
§ MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)
I only rise to express in a few sentences the reasons why I cannot vote for the Amendment of the honourable Member for Waterford. When the honourable Member expresses to us how sincere and honest he is in this matter, he ought surely to extend the same credit to other members. He has to-night, in his usual eloquent fashion, called for pledges from the Leaders of the Opposition as to their intentions in regard to Home Rule, and, almost in the same breath (as he has also done on platforms throughout the country) he expresses his utter want of confidence in anything the Liberal Leaders may say or do. What does the honourable Member mean by inviting declarations as to what the Liberal Leaders are going to do? If his policy is to embarrass the Liberal Leaders, then I can understand him. Is that it? If his policy is to do his best to injure the Liberal Party, I can understand it. Is that it? If his policy is a matter of self-advertisement for the small Party he leads, I can also understand him.
§ MR. DALZIEL
I have seldom, Mr. Speaker, had a compliment which I valued so much as that, because it is from a Gentleman who is a high authority on the subject. Is it possible that the action of the honourable Member for Waterford is dictated by a desire to embarrass his colleagues in the representation of Ireland? What I venture to point out is this, that in my judgment those of us who have consistently in season and out of season, voted for Home Rule—[Oh! Oh!]—Yes, I have voted for Home Rule and Home Rule all round. Perhaps the honourable Member will vote for it himself. That is not the question which is before the House. The question is, What does the honourable Member mean by asking for declarations which, if given, he would not believe, 1232 and would not attach any value to? Let the honourable Member speak for himself. Will he support the Liberal Party? Will he work for its return to power? He says he will support Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill if brought forward again. Very well. Then I ask the honourable Gentleman, Will he support the Liberal Party, and of course he will not answer that question. And for the same reason he does not want a reply from the Leader of the Opposition. The Amendment asks for an independent Irish Parliament. I for one will never give a vote as long as I live for an independent Irish Parliament. So long as I am able, I will oppose such a demand to the utmost of my power. I have voted for Home Rule—for a subordinate Home Rule Parliament—to this House, and in that measure, this House gave up no particle of its power. I voted for that measure because I believed it was consistent, and because the authority of this House remained untouched. It retained every power it ever possessed, and would have continued to do so even if Mr. Gladstone's Bill had been passed. That is a matter of fact. It retained complete control over Irish legislation, and as far as I am concerned, I will oppose any other Bill which even suggests the possibility of an independent Irish legislative body. Mr. Gladstone's Bill is the only possible Bill which can be brought forward on this subject, and I thoroughly believe that there is no constituency in this country in which a man of either party on this side of the House could get 200 voters to support him if he advocated an independent Irish Parliament. I oppose this resolution for the further, and, perhaps, better, reason that I see no purpose in supporting it. The honourable Member asks us to say that this is to be the first and most urgent question. The honourable Member is wrong in saying that. He asks us to go on ploughing the sands, and till this question is settled we are not to have the power of dealing with anything in any way at all. But, Sir, we are not in possession. It is the duty of the Government to declare its policy. We heard to-night remarks concerning Cobden, and Bright, and Peel, and that they did not give up the question of reform and other matters after being defeated once or twice. But why did they not give up? Because the men in whose cause they pleaded stood by 1233 them; because they did not harass those who were working for them; because they did not exhaust their ingenuity in seeking for methods by which to injure their own cause. They did not treacherously attack their friends when they should have been engaged in bringing their guns to bear upon the enemy. No, Sir, that was not the calibre of the men who supported Cobden, and Bright, and Peel. We are as much Home Rulers as we were before, no more and no less, and if the honourable Member for Waterford has confidence in the Liberal Party—which I presume he must have, or he would not have wasted so much time in asking for specific declarations—I beg him to give to that Party, and to its Leaders, some loyalty, and to cease from embarrassing the only Party which has shown its willingness to bring to a successful issue the cause which he professes to have so much at heart.
§ * MR. MADDISON (Sheffield, Brightside)
I do not wish to stand more than two or three minutes between the House and the next speaker, but I wish to say a word or two as to the view which I believe is held by the great mass of the organised workers and industrial classes in this country. I have fought three elections, and have been beaten twice. I was a Home Ruler first, and a Home Ruler last. I was a Home Ruler in spite of the fact that my Irish friends opposed me on the Education question. I said then, as I say to-night, that I firmly believe with all my heart in Home Rule, and I shall support it though every Irishman in Brightside is against me. But, holding those views, I wish to be emphatic upon one point. I will not trouble about the question of an independent Parliament—I will leave that to statesmen to discuss—but I am very much concerned with the concluding portion of the Amendment, especially as employed and interpreted by the honourable Member for Waterford, "and must remain the most urgent of all questions of domestic policy." Now, Sir, I listened with intense interest and anxiety to the speech of the Leader of the Opposition, because, to speak quite plainly, there have been one or two members of our Party, and distinguished members too, who appear to me not to have been very sound on the question of Home Rule, and it was for that reason that I 1234 listened with so much interest to the declaration of the Leader of the Opposition; and I say here to-night that that declaration satisfies me, and I go further and say to the honourable Gentleman from Ireland, and the Labour Members of this House, and especially to those Gentlemen who are brought into direct contact with the organised workers—If you say that Home Rule shall be the first item in the programme of the Liberal Party, under any and every condition, all I can say is that that means the rejection of Home Rule by the industrial classes in this country. Let Home Rule by all means be one of the planks, and I shall not object. If I thought for one moment that this was a question as to the Liberal Party ratting on this point, I would go into the lobby with the honourable Member for Waterford; but when I think of the misery that exists in this country—
§ * MR. MADDISON
When I think of the daily life of the masses of people in this country, of the men who toil hard for the bare necessities of life, and when in the face of that state of things I am asked as a British Radical to go to them and say Home Rule must come first, and that they must wait for Old Age Pensions, and for other badly wanted industrial reforms, then I say distinctly that that must simply mean failure to the cause of Home Rule. I have only to add this, that I am grieved beyond measure that after a Party such as that which sits on this side of the House has incurred great losses by its espousal of the cause of Home Rule, now that it is in a minority, now that it will take all our efforts to get a majority—aye, and we shall get it—that the honourable Members for Ireland, with whose views in the main I am in accord, and I desire and long that the national aspirations of Ireland shall be dealt with on the lines laid down by Mr. Gladstone, should play deliberately into the hands of the Tories, and thus defeat the cause they have at heart. In conclusion, all I can say is this, that, whatever may be the result, I am a Home Ruler. I don't want Home Rule merely in this House, I want it in Ireland, and I shall vote against the Amendment, not because it is for Home Rule, but because it represents a policy of mistrust, which can only end in disaster to Home Rule.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
I do not desire, Sir, to stand between the House and Division; but I wish to make a few observations upon the subject before the House. This Amendment was introduced for the purpose of getting some declarations from the Leaders of the Liberal Party as to what their position towards Home Rule would be when they came into power. We have had a declaration from the right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, and then, somewhat to our astonishment, when we looked for further declaration from some other Leader of the Liberal Party, we were treated to a speech from the honourable Gentleman the Member for Kirkcaldy. We all know that the Liberal Party is in a somewhat distracted and disjointed condition, but I have yet to learn that the Party is in such a sorry plight as to acknowledge for one of their Leaders the Member for Kirkcaldy. The honourable Gentlemen introduced a remark into his speech with reference to the honourable Gentleman who moved this Amendment—a remark of a somewhat offensive character. In discharge of what we consider to be our duty, this Amendment was introduced, and the honourable Member for Kirkcaldy was good enough to say that the mover of the Amendment was actuated by motives of self-advertisement.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
I am aware that the honourable Gentleman had no intention of being offensive, but then there are some natures which never do know when they are offensive, and I leave the honourable Gentleman by saying that I am perfectly certain that the Members of this House will not be so ready as he is to charge the honourable Gentlemen who bring forward such an Amendment as this with motives of so base a character as that of self-advertisement. The honourable Gentleman who last spoke, the Member for Brightside, representing as he does the working men of this country—[No! No!]—well, who represents a portion of the working men of this country—
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Yes, I admit that; and I am bound to say that if anything were wanted 1236 to prove to a conclusion the charge which we have made that Home Rule has been practically put on one side by the Liberal Party, the speech of the honourable Gentleman has given the additional proof. He said that Old Age Pensions were not to wait for Home Rule, and the other industrial questions were not to wait for Home Rule. I have every sympathy with those Measures, and I agree that they are urgently needed in England; but I remember Mr. Gladstone was the man who said, and who pointed it out to the Liberal Party, that the greatest argument in favour of Home Rule was that needed measures of reform for the working classes would have to wait whilst Home Rule blocked the way, and that no substantial progress could be made with those Measures. That is the view Mr. Gladstone took of Home Rule, and that is the view we take. The Leader of the Opposition says he will vote against this Amendment. He asked what title we had to either bring it forward, or to make any demands upon him. Our title is the title given to us by our constituents, the Irish Nationalists; and I tell him that in voting against this Amendment upon some quibble—some word—he is doing that which, in my opinion, is dishonourable and unworthy—
§ MR. SPEAKER
That is not Parliamentary language, and I must ask the honourable Member to withdraw the expression.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
I quite understand, Sir, that the expression was out of order. It was not my intention to charge the right honourable Gentleman with personal dishonour for a single moment. What I meant to say was that it will be regarded in Ireland as a breach of the pledge given by the Liberal Party on this question of Home Rule, and I can only say that it is not the first time, and as I read the past history of my country it will not be the last time, that the Irish people will have relied upon English promises and will have been utterly deceived by those promises.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 43; Noes 300.—(Division List No. 11.)1239
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Gibney, James||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)|
|Ambrose, R. (Mayo, W.)||Gilhooly, James||O'Keeffe, Francis Arthur|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hammond, John (Carlow)||O'Kelly, James|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Malley, William|
|Carew, James Laurence||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Pinkerton, John|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Healy, T. M. (Louth, N.)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hogan, James Francis||Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)|
|Crilly, Daniel||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Scott, C. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Curran, T. B. (Donegal)||Jordan, Jeremiah||Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.|
|Daly, James||Kilbride, Denis||Sullivan, D. (Westmeath)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Labouchere, Henry||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Engledew, Charles John||Macaleese, Daniel|
|Ffrench, Peter||Molloy, Bernard Charles||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Field, William (Dublin)||Morris, Samuel||Mr. Patrick O'Brien and Mr. William Redmond|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Murnaghan, George|
|Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||O'Brien, J. F. X. (Cork)|
|Allen, W. (Nc.-under-Lyme)||Charrington, Spencer||Greene, Hy. D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Chelsea, Viscount||Gretton, John|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Clough, Walter Owen||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)|
|Arnold, Alfred||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Griffiths, Ellis J.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Gull, Sir Cameron|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Haldane, Richard Burdon|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Halsey, Thomas Frederick|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert H.||Colston, Chas. E. H. Athole||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord Geo.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robt. Wm.|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Hanson, Sir Reginald|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man.)||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Ohas. Seale-|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W.(Leeds)||Curzon, Viscount||Heath, James|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Barnes, Frederick Gorell||Dalziel, James Henry||Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H.|
|Barry, Rt. Hn. A. H. S. (Hunts)||Davenport, W. Bromley||Helder, Augustus|
|Barry, Sir F. T. (Windsor)||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampst'd)|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Hobhouse, Henry|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brstl)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hornby, Sir William Henry|
|Beach, W. W. B. (Hants)||Doxford, William Theodore||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Drage, Geoffrey||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn|
|Bethell, Commander||Duckworth, James||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Biddulph, Michael||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-|
|Bigwood, James||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)|
|Bill, Charles||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Billson, Alfred||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton|
|Birrell, Augustine||Ellis, Thos. E. (Merionethsh.)||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Blakiston-Houston, John||Fardell, Sir T. George||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn. Sir U.|
|Bond, Edward||Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith)||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man.)||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir JohnH.|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Fisher, William Hayes||Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Kitson, Sir James|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Lafone, Alfred|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Flower, Ernest||Lambert, George|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Folkestone, Viscount||Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn)|
|Burt, Thomas||Forster, Henry William||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)|
|Butcher, John George||Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'l'nd)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Galloway, William Johnson||Lea, Sir Thos. (Londonderry)|
|Caldwell, James||Gedge, Sydney||Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)|
|Carlile, William Walter||Gilliat, John Saunders||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Edward||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Leng, Sir John|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Llewellyn, Evan H. (Som'rs't)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (L'pool)|
|Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (StGrge's)||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r)||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Lowe, Francis William|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Lowles, John|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Green, Walford D. (W'dns'bury)||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Lucas-Shadwell, William||Penn, John||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Phillpotts, Capt. Arthur||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Pilkington, Richard||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Pirie, Duncan V.||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Maclure, Sir John William||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Plunkett, Rt. Hn, Horace Curzon||Strauss, Arthur|
|M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Pollock, Harry Frederick||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|M'Calmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.)||Price, Robert John||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh||Sutherland, Sir Thomas|
|M'Killop, James||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Maddison, Fred||Purvis, Robert||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv.)|
|Malcolm, Ian||Pym, C. Guy||Tennant, Harold John|
|Maple, Sir John Blundell||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Thomas, Alfred (Gl'm'rg'n, E.)|
|Marks, Henry Hananel||Reckitt, Harold James||Thorburn, Walter|
|Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Reid, Sir Robert Threshie||Thorburn, Percy M.|
|Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Rentoul, James Alexander||Valentia, Viscount|
|Milbank, Sir Powlett Chas. John||Richardson, Sir Thos. (Hartlep'l)||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Milner, Sir Frederick George||Rickett, J. Compton||Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)|
|Monckton, Edward Philip||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|More, Robert Jasper||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh)||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Round, James||Weir, James Galloway|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham)||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Morton, ArthurH. A. (Deptford)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Moss, Samuel||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley||Whiteley, George (Stockport)|
|Moulton, John Fletcher||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Mount, William George||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.||Whitaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Murray, Rt Hn A. Gr'h'm (Bute)||Schwann, Charles E.||Williams, John Carvell (Notts)|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Williams, Jos. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wilson, Sir John Archibald|
|Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Nicholson, William Graham||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Northcote, Hn. Sir H. Stafford||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Woods, Samuel|
|Oldroyd, Mark||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)||Wyndham, George|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Smith, Samuel (Flint)||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Palmer, Geo. Wm. (Reading)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Souttar, Robinson||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:—|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Spicer, Albert||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther|
|Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlingt'n)||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ And, it being after Midnight, the Debate stood adjourned.