HC Deb 12 August 1901 vol 99 cc455-79

Order for Second Reading read.


I think the scope, purpose, and occasion of the Bill to which I now ask the House to give a Second Reading have been quite sufficiently expressed in the parliamentary papers laid before the House, which contain correspondence on the subject with the Governments of the great self-governing colonies. I cannot imagine anybody having any objection to the substance of the Bill; and, as regards the form, the only objection I have seen taken in any quarter is that the actual terms of the title are not contained within the four corners of the proposed statute. To this objection the reply is that we have followed precedent, and I think it will be a more convenient course to do now as we did in 1876, and abstain from embodying the ipsissima verba of the new title in the clauses of the statute which makes legal a change in the style and title of the Sovereign. I do not think I need labour this point. The character of the change is perfectly well known to the House; it has been very clearly indicated, and, though I suppose I ought not to pledge the Government absolutely to every word and comma, I am entitled for all practical purposes to say that the only change proposed is by way of additional words which will be interpolated between the words "Ireland" and "King" in the present Royal style and title. The added words will be "and of all British Dominions beyond the seas." There is but one suggestion with regard to the form which the new title should take upon which I need say anything, and I only occupy the time of the House with this because it comes from a quarter which deserves respect. The suggestion is from Lord Rosebery that instead of "British dominions," the word "Britains" should be used. Well, there may be some Latin justification for the use of that word, but there is no English justification. [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: Or Irish.] It is not in accordance, I think, with the spirit of the English language, and it is certainly a great novelty in usage. I doubt whether the public will ever be got to talk of each of our self-governing colonies as a Britain, and I do not think a man can go round the world and say he has visited half-a-dozen Britains. I think it is so violent a change, so great a revolution, in our accustomed phraseology, that, whatever might be said for it, had it embedded itself in our usage and practice, I do not think it would be possible to start it now by statute, or to impose it by law or by proclamation upon the practice of His Majesty's subjects. There is a still further objection to the suggestion which I think deserving of consideration. If I understand aright, Lord Rosebery's object in making the change was, in his view, that wherever Britons settled themselves down with free institutions in other lands, carrying with them, if not the letter, at all events the spirit of our Constitution, carrying with them our religion, our laws, and the general characteristics of a British community, there a Britain, a new Britain as it were, arose from out of the wilderness. I think there is something to be said for that view as regards the great self-governing colonies, but we do not wish to confine it to those colonies, and the new title will apply to many dominions of His Majesty which do not fit in with the description I have just given of a new Britain beyond the seas—the dominions of His Majesty where the greater number of the inhabitants do not belong to our race, do not speak our tongue, and are subjected to a jurisprudence which is neither the common law nor the statute law of this land. I hope that in all such places British views of justice and order and of personal liberty prevail, but it cannot be said that in the colonies to which I have referred a new Britain, on the model of the old, can in any sense be asserted to have arisen. For these reasons I venture to think the form of declaration I have read to the House will meet with more general favour than the alternative suggestion, important as the quarter is from which that suggestion emanates. I will, therefore, say no more in defence of the particular wording by which it is proposed to amend the present style and title of the Sovereign. I would only remind the House that when in 1876, amid considerable controversy and some little excitement, a change was made in the Royal style and title by the addition of the words "Empress of India," an earnest plea for the recognition of the colonies was advanced by Mr. Forster and others, and Lord Beaconsfield, then Mr. Disraeli, expressed his sympathy with the proposal. He said— It was a question of much difficulty, and, though he did not despair that the time might yet arrive when so happy a result might be consummated, he was unprepared at that moment to meet the requirements of the case. I think that happy result may now be attained; I think that the propitious moment has now arrived. As long ago as 1887 a colonial conference expressed its desire that some change might be made in the Royal style and title to indicate the vast growth in our colonial dominions which had taken place since the beginning of the reign of the late Queen. Their wishes expressed in 1887, Mr. Disraeli's and Mr. Forster's wishes expressed in 1876, should now, I think, find their adequate and worthy fulfilment in 1901, and we shall for the first time give to our Sovereign the title which covers the whole of the vast ground occupied by the British Empire. In those circumstances I hope that without controversy, without a dissentient voice, the House will consent to the Second Reading of this Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."


I do not anticipate that there will be any substantial opposition, at all events to the Second Reading of this measure; the circumstances are entirely different from those in which the most recent alteration in the style and title of the Crown was brought about. We all remember how great a storm arose from the proposal to create the title of Empress of India. That storm arose from the apprehension on the part of the public, not, I think, either an unworthy or an unreasonable apprehension, that this new and more sonorous title might swallow up and swamp the old familiar traditional names of King or Queen, which are thought much more characteristic of our country, not only in its domestic, but in its Imperial aspect. There was great fear lest we should become accustomed to alterations in the title, not only of the Crown itself, but of the Royal Family. I remember a most impassioned speech made by Mr. Joseph Cowen, whose principal, overwhelming fear was that the old name of Prince of Wales should be merged in some such title as the Imperial Crown Prince, or some designation of that kind. Well, there is nothing of that kind at all in this proposal. There is merely an acknowledgment and expression of a fact which already exists, and the King at this moment is King over all the dependencies of the country, and as it has been desired especially on the part of our fellow subjects in other parts of the world this fact should be recognised, and I certainly see no reason why there should be any great jealousy or susceptibility on the subject. At the time when the Royal Titles Bill of 1876 was discussed, as the right hon. Gentleman said, it was suggested that some words should be introduced acknowledging the colonial empire, and I confess to a great relief at finding that the Government have rejected all the rhetorical and fantastic suggestions that have been made, and have adhered to a simple and unadorned statement of the fact. The original proposal, which emanated, I think, from the Colonial Secretary, and was submitted to the colonies, in his name, not in the name of the Government, was that the words Greater Britain should be used. Since then we have had the other proposal by a noble friend of mine, that Britains should be used in the plural number. That is liable, I think, to all the objections which the right hon. Gentleman has stated against it. The colonies themselves, in the answers they gave to the inquiry of His Majesty's Government, preferred the less ambitious, less poetical, simpler title, and I think in that they showed their good sense, and that the country and people at large will be of that opinion. I did not catch that the right hon. Gentleman read to the House the actual title which was to be used, but it is sufficiently known. The only observation I should like to make upon it is this. Of course, everyone has his own idea of what the proper title ought to be; I am not very much enamoured of the word "dominions," for many resaons, but among others that it clashes a little with the fact that one of our great colonies has assumed the title of Dominion itself, and others may assume other names. I should have thought that the familiar words "colonies and dependencies," King of Great Britain and Ireland, and the colonies and dependencies thereto belonging, or thereof, words which have authority and usage in their favour, would have been a simpler suggestion to have adopted. But it really does not matter very much; the Government make this proposal in order to carry out the desire of many of our fellow-subjects in the colonies, who, it must be remembered, are quite as much our fellow-subjects as if they lived in this country. I believe it is undoubtedly the case that any fellow-subject of ours among the whole domi- nions of His Majesty if he came over here and qualified himself, by residence and otherwise, could vote in our elections just as much as if he had been born, and bred, and lived all his life in this country. So that we are really one people essentially, and this slight alteration or addition to the title of the Crown merely gives public recognition and expression to that fact. I, therefore, do not see why anyone should raise, as I said, substantial objection to the title.


said that the Leader of the House in the space of five minutes made two-cardinal mistakes, and the Leader of the Opposition, who followed, was a good second, because he made one mistake. The Leader of the House made a cardinal mistake when he said there was no precedent whatever for permitting an Act to be passed containing the actual terms of the title to be assumed by the Sovereign. The right hon. Gentleman would at once cite in support of his contention the Royal Titles Bill of 1876. He would tell the right hon. Gentleman that was not a precedent. That Act was based on the precedent of the Act of Union, which Mr. Gladstone asserted was no precedent at all. The present Bill, therefore, was clearly distinguished from the Royal Titles Act of 1876, which was an infraction of constitutional usage. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House, who was never very accurate in details, made another mistake, and the reason he made the mistake was that in 1876 he was absorbed in the tactics of the "Fourth Party," and teaching the Nationalists the methods of obstruction. This is what Mr. Disraeli said in 1876— It is absurd to suppose that our colonial fellow-subjects misconceive the spirit in which we are proposing to legislate; but, on the contrary, I believe there would be great cause of complaint if we drew a line and made a distinction between those of Her Majesty's subjects who live in the United Kingdom and those who are to be found in Canada or elsewhere. The Leader of the Opposition had said that this Bill was desired by the colonies. That was a mistake. The initiative of the Bill did not come from the colonies at all; it came from the Colonial Secretary, and it had the "Brummagem" brand from top to bottom. It was not the legislative offspring of the Cabinet, but a genuine product of Birmingham. It was a mean attempt, inspired by the absurd and vulgar spirit of Imperialism, to subsidise the Crown with a parvenu title, and a tawdry, gew-gaw decoration.

This amplification of titles was a bad sign—a sign of decadence. On the eve of the French Revolution the nobility of France invented new titles and indulged in this kind of peacock grandeur, when power was actually slipping from their hands. From a psychological point of view this Bill showed the fondness of the Colonial Secretary for pageantry and ceremonial. Moreover, it differed from every other Bill with reference to the Royal title in two respects. First it did not contain the addition to the title. The Bill which created Henry VIII. "Defender of the Faith" named that title, and it was said that it would be high treason to deny that the King was "Defender of the Faith." He supposed it would be high treason to deny hereafter that the King was "King of the British Dominions Beyond the Seas." Again, when the King was made King of Ireland in 1545 that was done by Act of Parliament. In 1876 when the Royal Titles Bill was introduced there was considerable controversy as to what the title should be in relation to the Queen's sovereignty over India, and the title was kept back for something like ten or twelve days after the introduction of the Bill into the House of Commons. But before this Bill was introduced at all in the House of Lords a most ridiculous and ludicrous correspondence took place between the Colonial Secretary and the colonies. The Colonial Secretary asked the cabinets of the colonies to select a title, and they having selected a title the right hon. Gentleman would have nothing to do with it. He excluded the title from the Bill in order that the King might himself assume the title. He would remind the House that the prerogative was entirely independent of an Act of Parliament, and there was no reason for the omission of the title in the Bill except the author's contempt for Parliament. The second respect in which this Bill differed from all others amending the Royal title, certainly since the Revolution, was that it came down from the House of Lords, while all these other Bills of a like nature had been first introduced in the House of Commons, and for the perfectly proper reason that the King ruled by a statutory title, and the House of Commons, as representatives of the people, had a large voice in determining what that title should be. In fact, he at one time had thought of taking the extreme step of objecting to the First Reading of the Bill as not being in agreement with constitutional principles.

Further, he maintained that the Bill meant nothing after all, because His Majesty was King of the colonies in a far more absolute sense than he was King of this country. The colonies were mere settlements to which our Acts of Parliament did not apply unless they were specially mentioned in these Acts. If the Colonial Secretary had ever read the history of the North American War he would have known that one of the chief contentions during that war was that the King himself was the legislator and sole executive power of the colonies, and that the orders of the King in the colonies, had the force of the law. Again, in 1858, a Royal Proclamation was issued, with which the right hon. Gentleman ought to have been familiar, by which the Charter of the old East India Company was abrogated and the territories of the East Indies were brought under the dominion of the Crown. In that Proclamation the Sovereign was described as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and all the Colonies. There was therefore no necessity for any new title stating that His Majesty was King of the colonies. In 1876 it was urged very strongly in debate that when India was brought under subjection to the British Crown in 1858 then would have been the time to make an alteration in the title of the Queen; but the answer made by Mr. Disraeli to that argument was that they could not introduce an alteration in the title of the Queen when our swords after the Mutiny were simply reeking with the blood of our fellow subjects in India. Why, then, introduce a Bill conferring a ginger-bread title on the King, when our swords were reeking with the blood of our fellow- subjects in the South African Colonies, and when fierce racial passions had been invoked by the right hon. Gentleman mainly responsible for this war? In 1875 the despatches between the Home Government and that of India, in reference to the new title of the Queen, were repeatedly asked for by the Opposition of that day, but were refused for high State reasons. He could not conceive what malignant spirit had induced the Colonial Secretary to publish the despatches between himself and the Governors of the Colonies in regard to the King's new title. The first was— Mr. Chamberlain to Governor-General, the Earl of Minto (Canada), and Governor-General the Earl of Hopetoun (Australia); sent 7.10 p.m., January 29th, 1901. King Edward's accession offers an opportunity of considering the Monarch's titles. —he was not a monarch at all; he was a king— and I am very desirous that the separate and greatly increased importance of the colonies should be recognised if possible. I therefore venture to suggest 'King of Great Britain and Ireland and of Greater Britain beyond the seas.' There was a fine suggestion, flamboyant enough for a signboard for a Birmingham shop. It is possible that some of the self-governing colonies might desire more special recognition, as King of Canada, King of Australia, but this would give rise to very great difficulty. Other self-governing colonies, viz., New Zealand, Newfoundland, the Cape of Good Hope, and Natal could hardly be excluded. It would be also desirable to refer to the Crown colonies, all of which would be covered by the expression I propose. I request that you will consult your Ministers most confidentially. —everything was mystery with the Colonial Secretary— and inquire whether such recognition by the King would be gratifying to them, and, if so, whether they approve of the proposed style. In 1876 there was one matter consistently pressed by those opposed to the Royal Titles Bill, and it was that no secret should be made of the title beforehand, and that the additional title should be made in consonance with the wishes of the people of this country and of India. But this new title was to be made in consonance with the wishes of the Colonial Secretary, and of no one else. At the very time that that despatch was written Queen Victoria was lying dead, and her son was mourning for her, but the Colonial Secretary was devising a flamboyant title for her successor. The Queen was not buried until 4th February, and that horrible epistle was, from mere vanity, despatched on 29th January, by telegram. Everything was done by telegram by the Colonial Secretary except when we wanted to know the reverses in the war. The Governor-General of Canada took time to consider the matter, and did not answer the telegram until two days after the Queen was buried; while the Earl of Hopetoun, Governor-General of Australia, did not answer until 8th February. They were more decorous than the right hon. Gentleman, who wished to worship the rising sun. He wondered, in respect to the very flamboyant title which the Colonial Secretary wished to give to the King, that his imagination had not done better. Had the right hon. Gentleman asked him, he could have suggested something from the title of the Prince of Siam, who, he believed, described himself as the brother of the sun, half brother to the moon, absolute master of the ebb and flow of the tide, and supreme lord of twenty-four golden umbrellas. The scandal was that the time of the House of Commons had been sacrificed for two hours over a Bill of this kind for the gratification of the Colonial Secretary, when they had not the time to discuss such things as the famine in India. Such a thing was treating parliamentary institutions with contempt. He did not think that such a Bill as this would in the slightest degree add to the dignity of the Crown, and, in his opinion, these new titles were only invented to cover the ignominy and defeat which the Empire had suffered.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I take a serious view of this Bill, and I desire to ask the House in the first place what they believe the intention of the Bill to be. It is not right for the Government to suggest alterations in the title of the Sovereign without some solid justification for that course. This Bill has been submitted to the House without a single word of argument or justification. If the Government had placed before the House any argument for this proposal, that argument, I take it, would have been the argument of former days, of binding the colonies together, but it would have been a much wiser course to allow the colonies to take the initiative in this matter; that was not done. In this particular instance the change in the title of the Sovereign had come entirely from the Home Government, and not from the colonies. I have never been a believer in this Imperialism, which is supposed to have come from the colonies, and I do not believe that the course pursued by the right hon. Gentleman during the eight years he has held the office of Colonial Secretary will meet with success, because I do not believe it will bind the colonies closer to this country, and I believe that the action of the Colonial Secretary will result in bringing a hitch between them and the home Government which will end all his policy. But even if I believed in this policy I do not believe the present policy of forcing upon the colonies such changes as we are now considering would be the best means of attaining the ends of the Imperialists.

Let us consider for a moment the purport of the Bill. We have been told by the First Lord of the Treasury that, although legislation is not to be allowed to fix the new Royal titles, His Majesty's advisers will advise him to add the words "King of the British Dominions, and of all British Dominions Beyond the Seas." First of all, that is a notice to us that Ireland has nothing to do with it. She is not British. Whatever meaning you attribute to "dominions," they are British, and not Irish colonies. You set aside Ireland, and by these titles gratuitously advertise the fact that Ireland is an outcast, and is not to have any share in the glories of the colonies or the Empire. I welcome the statement that we are to have no benefit from the colonies or the trade of the British Empire. While all your self-governing colonies have been prospering, Ireland has been perishing, and therefore I think you are wise in denying Ireland any share in the titles. That will be taken notice of in Ireland, and if we are not to have any part of the so called glory, which you evidently consider it to be, let us at least have the power and advantage of taking our rank and position as a Power. Let us have the freedom your colonies enjoy if we are not to have any share in the governing centre of the Empire. That is the first remark I make with regard to this Bill. It bars us having a share, and I register our assent to it. These are British colonies, and the King of this country is King of Great Britain and Ireland. Now, at the beginning of the new century, you place against Ireland a bar sinister. If, as the inferior partner, we are to be abandoned, and the predominant partner only is to take notice of the benefits from across the sea, we must have corresponding advantages.

Now, as to the second branch of this subject. Now that you have decided, in spite of the advice of Lord Rosebery, to assume the title of "King of All the British Dominions Beyond the Seas," we come to a much more serious matter, which hon. Members who regard this Bill so lightly do not appear to have the least conception of. Contrast the treatment which the House has received on this occasion with the treatment it received when the last alteration was made. When Mr. Disraeli, in 1876, suggested an addition to the Royal titles, he introduced it in a long and historical speech, and the debate upon the Second Reading consumed at least ten nights of parliamentary time; and I venture to say that it would never have entered into the minds of anybody in this House in those days to introduce a Royal Titles Bill in the last week of the session. When we compare the importance and gravity of the change which it is now proposed to make in the titles of the Sovereign with the change that was made in 1876, in my judgment, at least, the present proposal is quite as grave and as far-reaching as that made in 1876. The proposal to add the title of Empress to the Royal titles was, I have always thought, a mischievous thing, from the evils of which we are now suffering; but in that debate Mr. Disraeli was careful to show that it should only be a local title. But this title "King of the British Dominions Beyond the Seas" is to be an integral part of the title of the King, as was the case when upon the Union of Ireland the King was declared to be "King of Great Britain and Ireland"; so that it is a more important change with regard to the Sovereign of this country.

Now let me ask, what are the British dominions beyond the seas? Then are the self-governing colonies, and so far as they are concerned, if they had asked for this Bill, that would have been a very strong case for the new titles, always providing that they satisfied the home Government that a strong local feeling existed in this matter. Then there are the Crown colonies and the Uganda Protectorate, West Africa, and Egypt. Is Egypt a dominion of the British Crown? Is East Africa a dominion of the British Crown? What is to be said as to the Protectorates? We ought to have been told of this before, and if it be true that this title is to extend to Egypt, the Soudan, and Central Africa, then you have this embarrassment, among others, that every session we have well founded complaints from various quarters that the British flag flies over slavery. We know it flourishes all over the Soudan, as it does also in East Africa, and now you are going to bring the matter closer home, because you are going to proclaim the King Sovereign of those countries in a special way.

But a more important consideration still, to my mind, is this. If there be any value at all in the institution of the Throne and King, that value must be found only in its historical associations. It is only that which gives the King of England or any sovereign in the world any value whatever. Nobody supposes that any country that had lost the continuity of its throne would deliberately set to work to reconstruct it. The whole history of the last generation shows that the only ground on which the Throne can stand is that of its historic associations. The traditions which surround the Throne in this country are very great; they are traditions of liberty, and it is upon those traditions that the greatness of the Throne depends, but you are now by this extension of the title to bring that Throne into direct contact with a multitude of Governments which are not dominated by any traditions of liberty. By this title the King is to be King of the Uganda Protectorate, of West Africa, of the Cape Coast, of the Gold Coast, and King of innumerable slaves, of at least hirty Governments under which no principle of liberty is practised, and I maintain, ridiculous as it will appear to you, that in making this change you are striking a blow at the stability of the British Crown. It is part and parcel of the whole policy of Imperialism, and it is for that and that alone that this change is introduced. Looking at it even from the point of an English Imperialist, I should think the proper amendment would be, instead, to adopt the description, "all the freely-governed dependencies of the Crown." That would include all the free | governing colonies, and would have the British colonies brought in direct relationship with savage races or any community where slavery is practised. But I confess the nature of the titles is to my mind a matter of minor importance, the real thing is what is the object which is aimed at; the object is the same as that which was based on the policy, which was initiated at the time of the two Jubilee processions, upon which the Government has floated so triumphantly. We are to have a great performance next year. We are to have another great display next year, with a promenade of various loyal colonists, Indians, and negroes from the Soudan and West Africa—who, we are told, may be used in the next European war—to intimate to Europe that this is a great Empire, and, above all, to maintain the present Government and to keep up the Imperialistic game. I hope the people will take note of how that game is played. Prom the last procession the Irish were the only absentees. Every other dependency of the Crown sent loyal representatives to take part, but the only so called representatives of Ireland were the Royal Irish Constabulary who rode behind the carriage of Her Majesty—the representatives of the loyalists of Ireland! Four years have since passed, and the policy of Imperialism has cost you £200,000,000 and the lives of 30,000 men. When the procession next year passes through the streets of this city mother of your great dependencies will have dropped out. The Cape, which was loyal then, and which, of all the colonies, came forward at the Jubilee and offered a ship for the Navy, has been driven by this base and wretched policy of Impe- rialism into rebellion, which may end in revolution. When that time comes, I hope the people of this country, beginning to suffer from the pinches of depressed trade and overburdened with taxation, will calculate how much they are paying for this gaudy game. The present proposal, the object of which is to increase the Imperialistic enthusiasm of the country, will be a blow struck at the real prosperity and power of the nation, and because every blow so struck increases the poverty and misery of our country I shall oppose the Bill at every stage.


The speech of the hon. Member for East Mayo is entirely beyond my comprehension. A great part of that speech was to the effect that this Bill will deal a very severe blow to the prosperity of the nation which the hon. Member and his friends have always professed to seek to destroy. ["No."] If I was an enemy of this country, and a Bill was introduced which I thought was likely to strike a telling blow against its strength and security, I should support that measure. The hon. Member, however, after arguing that the Bill would strike a blow at Imperialism and the Imperial principle, wound up by saying that the Imperial principle was one which he would always uphold and protect, and, therefore, he should vote against the Bill. I do not wonder that the hon. Member and his friends look upon this measure with very great bitterness. The Bill is the crowning stone of the great Imperial movement which has been going on for some years. Where was the great Imperial principle born? It was born in Ireland, and the hammer of Home Rule, with which hon. gentlemen opposite thought to shatter the Empire, has proved to be the hammer that has welded the Empire into a great and powerful whole, more closely connected than ever before. I take this Bill to be a gracious acknowledgment on the part of the King, the Government, and the House of Commons of the noble part the colonies have recently played, and it will be regarded by the colonies in that light. It does not in the least interfere with our legal relations with the colonies, but it is a sign and symbol that we recognise the manifestation of solidarity on the part of the colonies in time of danger and trial. The hon. Member for East Mayo said that this country had a noble tradition of freedom and liberty. In what other country in the world does liberty exist so completely? Where else would hon. gentlemen be permitted to come to Parliament, take the oath of allegiance, and then go back to Ireland to preach open treason?[Cries of "Oh, oh!" and "Withdraw."]


was understood to call for order, but in the uproar his voice could not be heard in the Press gallery.


I will not pursue that further. Even hon. gentlemen from Ireland cannot deny that perfect freedom of the subject is permitted by the Constitution of this country, and if the Bill has the effect of pointing out to the people of the colonies, and others whom it may concern, that the glory of this country is its freedom in all respects, the measure is one undoubtedly deserving our support and admiration. The hon. Member seemed to be in a slight tangle. He admits the King is King of Great Britain and Ireland, but, in his estimation, this proclamation in some way dissevers Ireland from all connection with the rest of the kingdom. I do not know what he means.


It is proposed to call these dominions beyond the seas British, and we are not British.


Ireland belongs to Great Britain, and is a part of the British Empire. Whatever the hon. Member may say or think, he is and will remain British. Ireland is just as much a part of the British Empire as Scotland or Wales, and when the King's title is proclaimed to the nation at large, Ireland will have that honourable share in it which the hon. Member for East Mayo so intensely desires. It cannot be denied that in the immediate past there has been on the part of our colonies an indication of loyalty to the mother country which no one a few years ago could have hoped ever to see. Long before the Coronation the war will have ceased, and whatever hon. members may think, the action of Great Britain in South Africa has not alienated a single loyal man. ["Oh, oh!"] We have not alienated the Boers, for they were alienated at the start; they were not colonists of ours. We have not alienated the Dutch in Cape Colony, for they never professed to be loyal to us—["Oh, oh!"]—though I guard myself by saying there are a minority of the Dutch who are and have all along been loyal to Great Britain. But I venture to say that at the Coronation we should have a large representation of loyal representatives from South Africa, the country to which I believe we shall bring prosperity and freedom.


As far as I am concerned, the King may adopt a separate title for each of the dependencies of the Crown, beginning by calling himself the Emperor of the Island of Fiji. There is, however, one particular, at any rate, in which this Bill requires amendment, and in Committee I should propose that whatever new title His Majesty may see fit to assume he should no longer continue to call himself "Defender of the Faith." That title was conferred on the English King by Pope Leo for his defence of the Catholic Church against the attacks of Luther, and subsequently, when the authority of the Pope and of the Catholic Church was overthrown and disregarded in this country by Henry VIII., Pope Leo withdrew the title. It is quite true that afterwards the English Parliament passed an Act directing the King to continue to assume the title of "Defender of the Faith," but the whole meaning of the words was lost when the Pope revoked the title. That His Majesty should continue to call himself "Defender" of a faith which, when he ascends the throne, he describes as "superstitious and idolatrous," is a piece of absurdity.


The hon. Member must not speak in terms of disrespect of the Sovereign.


I did not use any term of disrespect to the Sovereign. His Majesty in these matters has neither power nor discretion, and only does as he is directed by Act of Parliament. It is absurd that one Act of Parliament should compel His Majesty to stigmatise as idolatrous and superstitious the very faith of which, by another Act of Parliament, he is described as the "Defender."


The hon. Member is quite in order in describing the state of the law as absurd, but he did use words—I do not think he intended to do so—which attributed the action which he describes as absurd rather to the Sovereign personally.


I should be very sorry to attribute to His Majesty any of the absurdities which are continually being enacted by Parliament in his name. If Parliament would only leave the King alone, I think he would very willingly do without this title of "Defender of the Faith," and also refrain from making the absurd declaration which he is obliged to make immediately after his accession. There are millions of people in addition to Roman Catholics, in this country and over the seas, who object to the title of "Defender of the Faith." Dissenters disapprove of the title, having reference simply to the Church of England. I am surprised that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite should have been guilty of the indiscretion of saying that the occurrences in South Africa have not alienated a single loyal man from Great Britain in that country, and that none of the Dutch were ever loyal.


I expressly stated there were a minority who were loyal.


That is an exact contradiction of all that has been said again and again by the supporters of the Government, and by nobody more emphatically than the Colonial Secretary. We have heard over and over again of the extreme loyalty and wonderful forbearance of the Dutch colonists all over South Africa ever since this war commenced, and now, because they have not risen in open rebellion and taken up arms, they are sneered at by the right hon. and gallant Gentleman as people unworthy of notice, as people who never were loyal, and therefore unaffected by the progress of the war. Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman forget that the majority of the Parliament of Cape Town was Dutch, and that the Dutch Ministry and Parliament subscribed for the upkeep of the British Navy of this country £30,000 per annum? We are told now that these men were never loyal, that their position need not be considered, and that nothing has alienated one loyal man. That is a statement which will not be endorsed by those best acquainted with South Africa. I had not long ago the pleasure of speaking to a gentleman who held a high position in the Government and the Ministry of Cape Colony, and he told me that whereas for twenty-five years he had lived upon the best possible terms with Dutch colonists of the Cape, since this war commenced the disaffection amongst the Dutch had become so pronounced that it was now a painful thing for an Englishman to live there, remembering the good terms upon which they lived before the war. A more extraordinary statement and a more extraordinary occasion to choose to make such a statement I never heard of in my life.

The right hon. and gallant Gentleman says that Imperialism was born in Ireland. I never heard that argument before, but I do say that Irish people, in common with millions of the best people in this country—I do not use the term in the sense in which it is used with reference to people who mix in high society, such as lords and dukes and things like that I mean the masses of the working people of this country, who have to pay the taxes, and I say in common with them, and in common with the Irish people, that we hold that there are two kinds of Imperialism—one which is perfectly legitimate and reasonable, and which populated and developed the Australian continent and New Zealand, and which induced millions of people to seek fresh fields for their energies in those colonies which were open to them. That is the Imperialism which is legitimate and reasonable and has resulted in much benefit to millions of the Irish people as well as to the Scotch and the English people. That is the Imperialism which is legitimate that is the Imperialism which the late Mr. Gladstone would have supported, and which millions of the sober-minded people of this country are prepared to support, because it is a natural development which does not necessitate either robbery or bloodshed. Imperialism of that kind I do not imagine anybody would object to but the Imperialism of which the right hon. and gallant Gentleman says this is the crowning act is the Imperialism which is illustrated by the great imperialistic spirit which has recently spread over the country. What kind is that? That is not the Imperialism which developed and populated Australia and New Zealand. It is not like the Imperialism which opened up the great desert tracts of Canada to the working classes. No. The Imperialism which the hon. and gallant Gentleman glorifies, and which he says the people are steeped in to the lips, is the Imperialism of South Africa. This Imperialism does not go to a country awaiting development, but to countries where other people have already gone.


Order order! The hon. Member cannot go into that subject upon the Titles Bill, and he cannot discuss the question of the Imperial policy in South Africa.


I think every gentleman sitting in the House will do me the justice of admitting that what you, Sir, have taken exception to was in reply to the argument of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman. I will not pursue the matter further beyond saying that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman referred to this Bill as the result of the Imperial spirit which had sprung up in this country. He alluded to South Africa, and said that this Bill was a reward for the action of the colonial troops in the South African War, and having said those things, I thought that I was justified in saying that the kind of Imperialism he referred to was the wrong Imperialism, and was not an Imperialism which should be marked or rewarded in any way, much less by conferring titles upon the Sovereign. As you, Mr. Speaker, have decided that it is not in order for me to go further into the matter, I say that I object to this Bill not so much because it confers another title or two upon the Sovereign, but I object because even on the showing of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman this Bill is the result of the war in South Africa. It is the result of the action of the colonies in sending troops to fight in South Africa, and it is a sort of reward and glorification for all the treasure that has been wasted, and the blood which has been shed in South Africa. If this be the object of this Bill, then it is a measure which I hope every man who loves justice and fair play will vote against, because, so far from marking our approval of this war in any way by giving additional titles to the Sovereign, I think it is a thing which really ought to be the cause of national mourning and regret. You cannot read your newspaper any day without finding that there is still bloodshed, misery, and wretchedness existing everywhere in South Africa, and in view of those circumstances, and the fact that the war is not yet over—and no man is able now to get up and put a period to the war—the time is singularly ill-chosen for conferring new titles. As far as I am concerned—and I believe it is the opinion of many other Irish Members—we do not object to this Bill on account of any particular title which Parliament may authorise the King to assume. These titles make very little difference to us, but we object because we believe that the time is inopportune, and our votes will be recorded as one of the long list of protests we have made, and which I hope we shall continue to make, when Parliament meets again,

against the injustice and the iniquity of this cruel and robbers' war in South Africa.

MR. O'MARA (Kilkenny, S.)

I rejoice with the hon. Member for East Mayo at the fact that this is the first time for a hundred years that Ireland has dissociated herself altogether from the Imperialism which is at the bottom of this Bill. If at the passing of this Bill conferring additional titles upon the Sovereign of this country in respect of other dominions beyond the sea we dissociated ourselves from all responsibility in conferring these titles upon the King, I cannot help thinking that it is only fair that those colonies should share in the expenses of this great Empire.


That is quite out of order.


I was only wishing to point out that in a new Bill conferring additional titles on the Sovereign which enables the colonies to share in the glories of the Empire and the so-called glories of Imperialism they should also be called upon to share some portion of the expenses of this Empire.


Order, order! The hon. Member cannot discuss the question of contributions from the colonies.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 210; Noes, 63. (Division List No. 458.)

Acland-Hood, Capt.Sir Alex. F. Burdett-Coutts, W. Cranborne, Viscount
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Caldwell, James Crombie, John William
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud) Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Crossley, Sir Savile
Anson, Sir William Reynell Carlile, William Walter Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Dickson, Charles Scott
Arrol, Sir William Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh. Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cayzer, Sir Charles William Dorington, Sir John Edward
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Balcarres, Lord Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Duke, Henry Edward
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey Chapman, Edward Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds) Charrington, Spencer Elibank, Master of
Banbury, Frederick George Clare, Octavius Leigh Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)
Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Coghill, Douglas Harry Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Cohen, Benjamin Louis Ferguson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r
Bignold, Arthur Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Blundell, Colonel Henry Colomb, Sir J. Charles Ready Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Fisher, William Hayes
Broadhurst, Henry Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond
Bull, William James Cox, Irwin Edward Bain bridge Flannery, Sir Fortescue
Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Univ. Leigh, Sir Joseph Randles, John S.
Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S W Leveson-Gower, Fred K. N. S. Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Reid, James (Greenock)
Gardner, Ernest Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesh'm Renshaw, Charles Bine
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J. Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S Rickett, J. Compton
Gordon. Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Lonsdale, John Brownlee Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Staly bridge
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Loyd, Archie Kirkman Ritchie. Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Round, James
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Macartney, Rt. Hon. W. G. E. Rutherford, John
Goulding, Edward Alfred Macdona, John Cumming Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Grant, Corrie MacIver, David (Liverpool) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Maconochie, A. W. Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col Edw. J.
Greville, Hon. Ronald M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.
Griffith, Ellis J. M'Kenna, Reginald Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Haldane, Richard Burdon Majendie, James A. H. Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x Mansfield, Horace Rendall Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Maple, Sir John Blundell Smith, H C (North'mb Tyneside
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E. (Wigt'n Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)
Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd Milton, Viscount Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Mitchell, William Spear, John Ward
Harris, Fredk. Leverton Molesworth, Sir Lewis Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants
Harwood, George Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Haslett, Sir James Horner Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Mord, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Strachey, Edward
Heaton, John Henniker Morgan, David J (Walthamst'w Sturt, Hn Humphry Napier
Helme, Norval Watson Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Henderson, Alexander Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Tennant, Harold John
Higginbottom, S. W. Morton, Arthur H A. (Deptford Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.
Holland, William Henry Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Hornby, Sir Wm. Henry Moss, Samuel Thornton, Percy M.
Horniman, Frederick John Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Hoult, Joseph Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Howard, John (Kent Faversh. Nicol, Donald Ninian Tritton, Charles Ernest
Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Norman, Henry Valentia, Viscount
Hozier, Hon. James Henry C. Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Hudson, George Bickersteth Parker, Gilbert White, Luke (Yorks., E. R.)
Johnston, William (Belfast) Parkes, Ebenezer Whiteley, George (York, W. R.
Jones, Dav. Brynmor (Swansea Partington, Oswald Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne
Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire Paulton, James Mellor Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley Williams, O. (Merioneth)
Keswick, William Pemberton, John S. G. Wills, Sir Frederick
Lambton, Hn. Frederick W. Pierpoint, Robert Wilson, A Stanley (Yorks, E. R.
Law, Andrew Bonar Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth Plummer, Walter R. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Lawson, John Grant Pretyman, Ernest George
Lee, Arthur H. (Hants Fareham Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Lesse, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Purvis, Robert Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Pym, C. Gup
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Flynn, James Christopher O'Doherty, William
Ambrose, Robert Gilhooly, James O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hammond, John O Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Boland, John Hardie, J Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Dowd, John
Boyle, James Hayden, John Patrick O Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Burke, E. Haviland- Healy, Timothy Michael O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Burns, John Joyce, Michael O'Malley, William
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Leamy, Edmund O'Mara, James
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Lundon, W. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Channing, Francis Allston MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Power, Patrick Joseph
Clancy, John Joseph MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Reddy, M.
Cogan, Denis J. M'Fadden, Edward Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Condon, Thomas Joseph M'Govern, T. Redmond, William (Clare)
Crean, Eugene Murnaghan, George Roche, John
Cullinan, J. Murphy, John Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Daly, James Nannetti, Joseph P. Sullivan, Donal
Delany, William Nolan. Col. John P. (Galway, N. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Dillon, John Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Doogan, P. C. O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Duffy, William J. O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Field, William O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)

Bill read a second time, and committed for to-morrow.