§ [MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT].
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
then rose in his place and asked leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, viz., "the riots which have been taking place in Belfast during this week, and the failure of the Executive to take proper measures for the protection of the lives and properties of the Catholic working men of Belfast;" but the pleasure of the House not having been signified, Mr. Speaker called on those Members who supported the motion to rise in their places, and not less than forty Members having accordingly risen—
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
The question which I feel it my duty to bring before the House is one of very great 434 importance. I can assure the House that the bringing up of questions of this kind in which Catholics and Protestants are in conflict is to me an absolutely hateful task. During all the years I have been in public life in Ireland I have carefully guarded myself against ever saying one word of an offensive character with reference to my fellow-countrymen in the North of Ireland of a different creed from my own, and I have always looked forward to the day when these wretched religious differences would disappear from Ireland altogether. As an Irishman I am ashamed of the fact that, in any part of our country, circumstances such as I have to allude to to-day could take place. If these unfortunate incidents had taken place, not in Protestant Belfast, but in Catholic Cork or Dublin, and the Protestant minority had been treated as the Catholic minority has been treated in Belfast, I would have been the first to raise my voice against them, and just as strongly as I do on this occasion. People in this country follow events in Ireland so slightly that probably an overwhelming majority of the Members of this House are not even aware that since last Sunday the city of Belfast has been almost in a state of siege, that day and night since then there has been a state of rioting, necessitating the strongest measures on the part of the police, and even upon one occasion the calling out of the military, in order to restore order. Let me briefly state what occurred. On Sunday last a Catholic religious ceremony was announced to take place in the enclosed private grounds of St. Malachy's College in Belfast, and the Catholic people from different quarters of Belfast, not accompanied by banners, religious emblems, or bands, marched in processional order to the grounds. There was nothing to mark their particular religious creed. No attempt was made to have any religious ceremony or service in the public streets. On the way to the college the processionists were insulted and attacked all along the route, but nothing in the nature of very serious violence occurred. It was after the ceremony was over, and the people returned to their homes, that the really serious violence occurred. From the very start of the procession no 435 adequate police arrangements were made. If there had been, the attacks and insults might have been prevented in the first instance, and certainly after the ceremony it would have been possible to prevent the disgraceful and barbarous scenes of violence which took place. That night serious rioting occurred; the people were pursued to their homes; their property was in many cases destroyed; the windows of houses supposed to be inhabited by Catholics were smashed; the processionists were scattered, and they fled for their lives. One would have thought the disturbance would have ended with that, and probably if a riot of this kind had occurred in any other city in the world, the whole thing would have been over that Sunday night. But no. What occurred on Sunday was only the commencement of the real mischief. On Monday it had been arranged that some yeomen, back from the war, were to be received in Belfast, and—for what reason I know not—the return of these yeomen, coupled with the occurrences of Sunday, was taken as a reason by the Orangemen of Belfast to make a deliberate and carefully planned and most murderous attack upon the Catholic population of the city. Large bodies of workmen employed on Queen's Island at a great shipbuilding yard marched out from their workshops, invaded the Catholic quarters of Belfast, attacked Catholic houses, smashed windows, beat and ill-treated Catholics wherever they could find them in the streets, and finally the rioting became so serious that the police were unable to cope with it, and the Lancers had to be called out to clear the streets. All this time, as far as I have been able to discover, there was not a single act or word of provocation on the part of the Catholics—unless it be held that the procession of the day before was a provocation. So far from there being any retaliatory violence on the part of Catholics—although, God knows, I hate the whole idea of these so-called religious fights and disputes—while reading the accounts of these riots I could not help feeling my blood boil almost at the fact that the Catholics did not resist this violence. They fled and escaped where ever they could, and there was never anything in the nature of a fight 436 between Protestants and Catholics. It was violence upon one side, and a scattering and running away on the part of the Catholics attacked. That was Monday. On Tuesday the reign of terror was narrowed down. Instead of sallying forth into the streets and attacking the houses and people, the whole force of the attack was concentrated upon the unfortunates in the shipyards at Queen's Island. We know something of these shipyards. We have always been proud in the knowledge that the greatest shipbuilding yard in the world is in Belfast. Some little while ago I visited this yard, and was astonished at its magnitude. L found that 10,000 hands were employed, that they were building the greatest ships in the world for every country in the world, and that amongst those 10,000 hands there were about 1,500 or 1,600 Catholics. I asked how the Catholics and Protestants got on together Mr. Pirrie, who personally I believe is a liberal-minded man, told me quite candidly that, while they got on all right during the greater part of the year, from, time to time it became impossible to protect the Catholic minority, and that Messrs. Harland and Wolff had actually at times to close their works in consequence for a fortnight at a time.
If one read of all this happening in some foreign country, in a semi-civilised; community, one would not be astonished. But to think that here, in a great and civilised city, by your own very shores, these things can happen, seems absolutely incredible. I am convinced that the Commission of 1886 or 1887, presided over by Mr. Justice Day, were correct when they stated in their Report that the riots and the maltreatment of the Catholic minority could not take place were it not that, unfortunately, the rioters have at their backs the sympathy of the well-to-do classes of the community. I allude to that statement of the Commission to show the horror, the barbarous, semi-savage state of things which exists in a community where this kind of conduct is tolerated by those who call themselves the upholders of law and order, and who are very fond of urging upon the Government the necessity of protecting life and property and liberty in other parts of Ireland. Let me read shortly a description of what took place 437 on Tuesday. I hope the right hon. Gentleman, if he does me the honour to reply to what I am saying, will carefully distinguish between the different dates, because I attach great importance to them. The original cause of the riot was this procession and religious ceremony on Sunday. The riot was not so bad on Sunday; it got worse on Monday, and the military had to be called out. On Tuesday the disturbance got into the shipyards, and, as I shall show, it culminated on Wednesday, there thus being nearly a week of the savage work, increasing in intensity from day to day. Here is what occurred on Tuesday. I am reading from the Irish News, of Belfast. That, no doubt, is a Catholic organ—I want to be perfectly frank—but that is no reason why this statement should be unduly exaggerated, and I think it will be found that it is substantially true—Scenes of violence, in which the sufferers were as usual Catholics, took place in the Belfast shipyards yesterday. The bigotry was strongly in evidence when the shipyards opened for the resuming time of business at the usual hour yesterday morning, but matters did not come to a head until the approach of the breakfast hour, when the Catholic workers in many instances were set upon and brutally beaten. As nine o'clock drew near the Catholic workers in the yard of Messrs. Workman and Clark were informed by some persons in authority there that they had better be on the alert, as a crowd was waiting for them at the gate by which they were to leave. When some of the workers had departed several hundreds, who had been outside, rushed through the gate, and proceeded in the direction of the boiler shop, where they attacked an old man named Ruddy, who is a Catholic, and resides at Sheriff Street. He was kicked in a savage manner about the head and body, and no doubt his life would have been in danger had he not managed to get on his feet and dash to the cook-house, where some fellow-workers were just then having the morning meal, and who intervened on his behalf. He was bleeding profusely, and at the first opportunity the ambulance was sent for, and in it he was driven to the Royal Hospital, where he was detained.Shortly after seven o'clock a.m. a young rivetter was attacked in a manner as savage as it was uncalled for. He was engaged in his work in the north yard, when he was surrounded by a crowd numbering about thirty, who threatened to 'tear the Fenian heart out of him,' and, in addition, they used further language of a most menacing character. A rivetter who endeavoured to protect the man from the violence of the mob was menaced, and to the credit of the foreman it must be said he did all he could in the interests of peace, 438 but his efforts were unsuccessful. The youth referred to—who, needless to add, was a Catholic—did not leave the yard at the time, as the foreman feared he would be again attacked by the mob.Towards dinner hour the mob had not vacated its position outside the gate, and, acting, on the advice of the foreman and others of the establishment, the Catholic workers gradually left the place as best they could, and were compelled through fear to remain out all day.But the more serious occurrences took place at Messrs. Harland and Wolff's. Here is what occurred there—The number of workmen employed usually on the Queen's Island amounts almost to 10,000, and of this number about 1,500 are Catholics. Whenever any disturbances take place in the city this small percentage are practically hunted, from the works. This is what took place yesterday morning. Fresh from the exploits on the Shankhill Road, hundreds of the majority assembled yesterday morning and began what was nothing short of a reign of terror for the Catholics. They succeeded so far in their efforts that just now there are very few of the hated religion left. Let us give some instances of their conduct. There is an apprentice on the island who is the son of a man who occupies a responsible position in the works. The unfortunate youth, who is in his teens, was going along Queen's Road on Monday morning, when he saw a mob of Queen's Island employes coming towards him. Very naturally, he anticipated that he would come in for rough usage, and, seeing a harbour policeman adjacent, he sought his protection. The constable endeavoured to save the boy, but without avail; and the cowardly crew set upon the poor apprentice, and beat him in a most savage manner. Indeed, as an eye-witness remarked, he thought no set of human beings could be so cruel. They left the apprentice with his face covered with blood. The wonder is that they did not finish him outright. After a period of semi-consciousness the poor fellow was conveyed to the dining-room close at hand, where the attendants removed the blood by washing. From this temporary resting-place he managed to get to his home.The details of the above give an illustration of what was occurring generally in the Queen's Island. The R.I.C. were not present, and perhaps they have no jurisdiction in the district, but there is a force of harbour police, and they were also painfully absent.I will have a word to say presently about the Royal Irish Constabulary being apparently exempt from duty on Queen's Island, because it is private property. The report then goes on to explain that these men went from shop to shop, singling out those who were known to be Catholics, beating them, and finally driving them out of the works. This reign of terror was thus going on in the streets and 439 workshops of Belfast for three days, but on Wednesday things got even worse. The Evening Standard of last night published this paragraph describing what they call—a shocking onslaught by the Queen's Island shipyard men yesterday—(that would be Wednesday)—afternoon on the Roman Catholic navvies employed on the new Musgrave Channel. About 100 of the latter, chased for their lives, had to take refuge in a tug-boat, which safely landed them on the other side of the harbour. Many of them were seriously injured by showers of iron bolts, nuts, and rivets. One young fellow was inhumanly beaten and thrown into the river. It was with great difficulty that he was rescued in a half-drowned condition. The new canal boats are to day idle, the navvies, numbering about 200, resolutely refusing to return. The harbour police were utterly powerless to cope with the disturbances. In 1886 a similar attack was made on the navvies at Alexandra Dock works, many being driven into the harbour, and one young fellow named Curran was drowned.Another description, taken from the Freeman's Journal of yesterday, says:—To-day the Queen's Island workers again signalised their joy at the return of the Yeomanry. A formidable attack was made by a large and organised body of them upon hard-working, inoffensive Catholic labourers employed by the Belfast Harbour Commissioners at the new Musgrave Channel works. The attacking party numbered from 300 to 400 mechanics. About one o'clock they swept down upon 100 Catholic labourers. The Catholics were taken completely by surprise, when the Orange and Protestant mob started hailing upon them bolts, bars, nuts, and stones. They took to a boat alongside, and escaped. The boat was towed rapidly off by a tug to the Co. Antrim side of the harbour. So complete was the surprise of the Catholics that numbers of the poor fellows hurried off leaving their coats behind on the slob-lands at which they were working. The derelict coats were burned by the magnanimous island rowdies, and then the windows in the huts were shattered to round off the expedition. Bitter complaint is made at the absence of the Royal Irish Constabulary from the neighbourhood of the shipbuilding yards, where serious occurrences took place during previous periods of excitement.I do not want to detain the House unnecessarily by reading extracts, but, after all, I am basing my case upon the information supplied to me from the ordinary sources of public information. Of course, personally I have no knowledge of these transactions, and I think it right to give the authority on which I make these statements. Here is another description of the transactions of Wednesday—The nature of yesterday's work was so serious that over a hundred Catholics (em 440 ployed by a public board) have been turned out of work in a body, and forced to subsist as best they can, as no remuneration will be given them during their enforced idleness….. At the dinner hour a Catholic labourer, in the employment of the Harbour Board at the Channel, was proceeding down Queen's Road, when a crowd of over 300, who had provided themselves liberally with bolts, angle-irons, stones, and bars, made a rush at him, the attack being apparently part of a thought-out plan. The unfortunate man ran for his life, remembering only too well that it was at this exact spot, in 1886, the poor boy Curran was drowned by the inhuman monsters then in force on the island. After an exciting chase, during which he was subjected to a fusilade of missiles, he managed to reach the Musgrave Works and sought to protect himself within the enclosure. The mob were determined, however, to achieve their object, and rushed into the works, taking by surprise the other workers who were scattered about, and therefore not in a position to return the attack. Taken by surprise, and alarmed by the large numbers of their assailants, they were unable to protect themselves, and only thought of how to escape the shower of bolts and nuts, etc., which was now raining down upon them. A tug was near, and towards this a rush was made, and just in time, for the mob had now advanced, seemingly with the intention of driving the Catholics into the water. Many were struck, some very severely, and one particular instance might be mentioned of one man who, whilst frantically endeavouring to drag an old man into the boat, came in for a number of blows from bolts and nuts, which caused bad injuries. Another young lad was seriously injured, and subsequently had to be removed to the Royal Hospital, where he was treated and detained, so badly was he injured…. There were no police about—there never are on the island—and then the paper repeats the statement I have already read with regard to the Royal Irish Constabulary—The Royal Irish Constabulary have no jurisdiction, we believe, upon the island, the latter being harbour property.These are the occurrences which have been taking place during the last few days in Belfast. As to their serious character nobody can have any doubt. If ever there was a case when it was essential to move the adjournment of the House to call public attention to the action of the Executive this is such a case. This is no party question. It is not a question of politics at all, and certainly it is not a question of religion. This is nothing new. If this was the first time such a circumstance had happened in Belfast there would be some excuse for the Executive Government. But what argument can there be in defence 441 of any Government which has been for twenty or thirty years trying to cope with this mischief, and which to-day has to admit it is unable to do it? I may use against the Government one of their own favourite maxims—that a Government which is not able to protect the lives and the property of the minority in Belfast is not able to justify its existence. I may be asked what exactly I complain of on the part of the Executive, and what do I suggest. The Chief Secretary just now said something about the probability of some prosecutions.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
I allege—and I am anxious to know whether the right hon. Gentleman will admit it—that these riots in Belfast were carefully and deliberately planned, that they were openly discussed, and that the Orange crowd were at public meetings in public speeches told to do exactly what they did. There is a man in Belfast named Trew. I am glad to think for the sake of Christian churches that he is not a minister of any religion; he is one of those itinerant preachers who sometimes arrogate to themselves the functions of properly appointed ministers of religion. He holds street services in different parts of the country, especially in Belfast. According to my information, this man has been in the habit of holding public meetings on the steps of the Custom House in Belfast, and at one of these meetings, on the Sunday before the riots, this Mr. Trew made a speech in which he told the people all about the Catholic ceremony which was coming on, and urged them in unmistakable language not to permit it or to allow the Catholics to walk through the streets. I ask is Mr. Trew to be prosecuted? I cannot understand the Chief Secretary saying it would defeat the ends of justice if he told us who were to be prosecuted. That may be true if these prosecutions are going to be confined to some two or three rowdies, picked up at street corners; but if the right hon. Gentleman is going to the fountain head of the mischief, and to prosecute the men who really are the ringleaders and instigators of this mischief, he need not be afraid of giving 442 the names, because they can scarcely run away from the country, and even if they did, possibly the right hon. Gentleman's object would be achieved.
So much for the open incitement by speech. Let me now read a poster which was put on the walls of Belfast, and also circulated as a handbill—issued, I am informed, on the authority of this Mr. Trew, but I do not know as to that. The poster says—Protestants! be on the alert. The Pope's brigade is preparing for an illegal procession through the streets of this Protestant city, carrying crucifixes, wafer gods, and other pagan emblems, on Sunday, June 9th. Will you permit God and Christianity to be insulted publicly by these pagans? Remember the glorious deeds of your forefathers at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen, and the Boyne, for our deliverance from papal tyranny. Rouse yourselves, Protestants, and see to it that Popery does not again gain the upper hand. God save the King.Well indeed might the Sovereign's friends say "God save the King" from a man who could put his name at the bottom of such a document. I put it to English Members—Can they wonder that "God save the King" is not such a popular cry in Ireland as they would wish, when they find these words dragged through the dirt and mire by a wretched section of anti-Christian men who are conducting a campaign which is a disgrace to any civilised human being? I am glad the police have seized these placards where-ever they could, but it is manifest that they did not do it in time. What steps are being taken to make the man responsible for that placard amenable to the law? Let me take an illustration of what I mean. We are continually hearing of prosecutions for intimidation in the south and west of Ireland. Some of the most respectable men in the county of Waterford were recently prosecuted for intimidation because they passed in a meeting a resolution which was held to be likely to hurt unfairly the sensitive feelings of a land-grabber. The mere publication of that resolution was held to be a criminal offence. I know numbers of cases of prosecutions for placards infinitely less criminal and objectionable than this. If in the south and west of Ireland it is possible for the Government to trace 443 and make amenable to the law for intimidation and public incitement to violence the authors of documents not half as bad as this one, how is it that they are unable to fulfil this duty which they owe to the State in the city of Belfast? We shall await with curiosity to see who will be prosecuted, but we know by bitter experience what happens. Three or four, or perhaps a dozen or two dozen rowdies will be arrested—ignorant men, who have been incited by such documents as I have referred to, and the ribald and wild talk of men like Mr. Trew, and possibly sentenced to terms of imprisonment. That kind of prosecution is no good. You must go to the fountain head and make the men who are really responsible amenable to the law and punish them. It is said that the police were not present at Queen's Island, and the newspapers state that the Royal Irish Constabulary have no jurisdiction in Queen's Island, and that the keeping of the peace is entirely in the hands of the harbour police. The Chief Secretary also seemed rather to take that view. I do not understand that view at all. If crime and violence are taking place in Messrs. Harland and Wolff's yard it is not only the right, it is the duty, of the police to stop it. The right hon. Gentleman is on the horns of a dilemma. If he takes the attitude that they have no jurisdiction, then it is a monstrous, illegal, and unconstitutional doctrine. If he admits they have jurisdiction and they were not there to protect the lives of the people, why were they not present? It is not as if this was a mere ebullition of temper, over in half an hour. It has gone on for four days, every day getting worse, and yet on not one of the occasions was there apparently a single member of the Royal Irish Constabulary inside the works to protect the lives and property of the Catholic workmen. I am told that this question of the police on Queen's Island was discussed before Mr. Justice Day's Commission, and that strong representations were made as to the necessity of putting a police barracks upon the island. Certainly that has not been done, and I would urge upon the Government the necessity of taking that course, so that when these disturbances take place 444 —if they ever take place again—the police may be upon the spot in order to deal with them. I may here say that I made the assertion with regard to Mr. Trew making that speech on the Sunday before the riots on what I thought to be very good authority, but I did not like to use names without permission. One of the gentlemen who gave me this information has been telegraphed to, and he has given permission for his name to be mentioned. It is the Rev. Dr. Murphy, of St. George's, Belfast—a Protestant clergyman.
What do I expect the Government to do? I expect them to prosecute the ringleaders, like Trew, to find out the ringleaders in the workshops who organised these attacks, and not to confine their prosecutions to the ignorant men who may have been taken red-handed throwing stones in the streets. In the second place, I ask the Government to put a police barrack on the island, so that they may not be in that ridiculous position of having to admit that although the rioting went on increasing in violence for four days there was not a single member of the Royal Irish Constabulary in the place. If we were dealing with any city or government other than the city of Belfast and the English Government in Ireland, I would have some hope that the mere statement of these facts would prevent the possibility of their recurrence. But I have no such hope in this case. This disgraceful state of things has gone on regularly year by year, Government after Government. It is ridiculous to tell me that the Government cannot put it down. If it were necessary to send an army of 250,000 men to Belfast for the purpose, you would have them better employed than they are in South Africa. If you are not able to put it down, I repeat that you cannot justify your existence. What would happen if these things took place in Cork or Dublin—[A NATIONALIST MEMBER: Mitchelstown again.]—if a peaceable Protestant procession was attacked in this manner on its way to a religious service in a private ground, and riotous proceedings similar to those in Belfast were Kept up for four days, and then the Government came to the House of 445 Commons and said, "We have done our best; our predecessors have done their best for generations. They failed, and we have failed. We are hopeless of putting this thing down, but we will institute prosecutions here and there"? If the condemnation of the English Government in Ireland rested upon this one fact alone, it would be condemned in the eyes of the whole civilised world. You are able to imprison men in the south and west of Ireland for things which are not comparable with the occurrences in Belfast, but with all the police and the military at your back you are unable to fulfil in Belfast the first duty of a Government—namely, to protect the lives and property of the citizens. I am heartily ashamed of having to deal with this matter at all. I take no pleasure in alluding to the bigotry, intolerance, and cruelty of the Protestants of Belfast. If these things were done by the Catholics in the south I would be in the first rank in condemning them. I take no pleasure in attacking Belfast; it is a great city, and for its greatness I am proud of it. Of the Protestants of Ireland I do not desire to say a single disrespectful word. They have given to the national cause of Ireland some of its greatest heroes. The Protestants of Ireland are not responsible for what has occurred in Belfast. They are, in the main, and growing more so every day, a broadminded set of men. The responsibility rests upon a little intolerant ring—just the same ring which, when Lord Fitzwilliam was Lord Lieutenant in Ireland, succeeded in defeating Catholic emancipation. It is against that little narrow section of bigots, an intolerant and unchristian set of people, that the Government should direct themselves instead of prosecuting two or three miserable tools. If they fail, as their predecessors have failed, then, I repeat, it is impossible to justify their existence at all. I beg to move the adjournment of the House.
§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)
In seconding the motion for the adjournment of the House I desire to say a very few words; but I hope they will be very plain. My hon. friend who has just sat down said that the responsibility for 446 these outrages in Belfast rested with a small knot of Irishmen whom he sufficiently described. I do not entirely agree with my hon. friend, because my view is that the responsibility is clearly shared by the Government sitting opposite. The reason why these things have been going on from generation to generation is perfectly plain to every Irishman; the law is not for the people of Ireland as a whole, but the law protects one section, and the people are out of it altogether. I was reading the-other day the autobiography of Dean Swift, in which a story was told that, because he was supposed to be in sympathy with the last ministry of Queen Anne, a small ring of the ultra-Protestants of the city of Dublin made a point of attacking him from day to day in the streets; and on one occasion when he went out to a place about seven miles from Dublin, accompanied by two servants, Lord Blake hired a chaise with two horses with the deliberate purpose of riding the Dean down, and when he failed to do that he turned round and struck the Dean's horse. The petition which Dean Swift presented to the Lord Lieutenant was a remarkable forecast of the present crisis. May I read a sentence from that petition.Your petitioner is informed that there is no law which can justify a certain noble Lord under cover of his peerage for assaulting any of His Majesty's subjects on the public highway and placing them in fear of their lives.The complaint of Dean Swift—himself a Protestant of the Protestants—Catholics had reason to echo from generation to generation, and it has re-echoed from generation to generation, no matter what the Government of England is, because the Government in Ireland remains the same—an Orange Tory Government—a Government not for the people but for a section—a Government which violates with impunity the rights of the majority of the people. What happened only last year in Portadown? I brought this question before the House a few months ago, and I warned the right hon. Gentleman that his conduct on that occasion would lead to a renewal of these disturbances from time to time. The Catholics of Portadown—a miserable minority in point of numbers—proposed to exercise their constitutional right to go on an excur 447 sion to a neighbouring town, and they gave the Executive warning that police would be required to protect them on their route. They gave them this warning by letter and by telegram, but that warning was disregarded. After many questions, I succeeded in finding out from the right hon. Gentleman that he made no effort to give protection; and the result was that these Catholics were assaulted, battered, and beaten, and a state of riot existed in that town for several days. Then, of course, when that took place, what did the Orangemen in other parts of Ulster say? They said, "When the Orangemen of Portadown are able to do this with impunity, we can do the same, for the law exists for only one section of the community." The right hon. Gentleman said that these rioters could be prosecuted, but I told the right hon. Gentleman that those prosecutions were a sham, and would continue to be a sham. Take, for instance, those who have been brought up before the magistrates in Belfast. What chance was there of their being convicted, or, if they were convicted, what chance was there of any adequate sentence being passed upon them? Their "pals" were on the bench—the real fomenters and inciters of the disturbance, encouraged by the Government, and many of them were appointed by the present Attorney General. These encouragers and outrage-mongers are placed on the bench and refuse to listen to any evidence against their friends; and then they rise in the height of their virtue and declare that their friends are not guilty, or, if found guilty, they sentence them as street-brawlers to a few weeks' imprisonment. The right hon. Gentleman will have to do a great deal more than prosecute; he will have to reform the machinery of the Government of Belfast. If he has the courage of what, I believe, are the right hon. Gentleman's own convictions—for I do him the justice to believe that the right hon. Gentleman despises these people, and does not sympathise with them—he will take much stronger steps, and, if he has not the courage of his convictions, I am ready to suggest the course he ought to take. The first step should be to report the names of every single magistrate in Belfast 448 belonging to the Orange persuasion to the Lord Chancellor, with a recommendation to remove them instantly. I say deliberately that unless the right hon. Gentleman does that he might as well do nothing at all, because all these prosecutions will be a sham, and all these other steps will be equally shams.
One great argument in the Home Rule debates—as I understood it—against Home Rule was that the minority of Protestants outside Ulster would be oppressed by the Home Rule Government. As a matter of fact, they never have been oppressed, and never will be oppressed; but what becomes of the Catholic minority in the North—in Belfast, in Portadown, and one or two other places? They have no more real liberty, no more real protection for their lives and property than if they lived in some savage part of China, where Christian missionaries have been murdered with impunity. When I recollect that in the Home Rule debates the charge made against Irish Members was that they sympathised with crime, because they did not denounce it; when I remember that they were charged before a tribunal, specially selected and constituted for that purpose, with having connived at crime, and not having denounced it, I begin to wonder why it is that the hon. Member for West Belfast sits silent to-day on the Treasury bench in face of the outrages detailed by the hon. Member for Waterford. I say, if I and my colleagues are henceforth to be accused of sympathy with crime because we do not denounce it, why should I not publicly accuse him of sympathy with these outrages in Belfast? If the hon. Gentleman does not avail himself of the position which he occupies in this House, and say that, in his opinion, the outrages that have been perpetrated in Belfast deserve no sympathy, then he sympathises with these crimes. ["Oh, oh!"] I hear some cries on the other side of the House, and I am surprised. I do not understand them. Do hon. Gentleman mean that when crimes are being committed by persons of their own political persuasion their action is not to be challenged, and that they sympathise with those crimes? I observe that hon. Gentlemen now cease to laugh. But the matter 449 is a little more serious. I say it most deliberately, that the failure of hon. Gentlemen opposite who sit silent while these things are being enacted, and fail to protest against these disturbances and crimes, incite their continuance. And if the Government continue to pursue their policy of inaction—and fail on every future occasion, as they have failed in the past, to anticipate these Orange disturbances—[AN HON. MEMBER on the Ministerial benches: They are not Orange disturbances]—if they institute prosecutions which, I maintain, are sham prosecutions, the disturbances will continue, and the only thing that remains for the Catholics of Belfast to do—and I hope they will do it—is to procure arms and defend themselves against those murderous assaults upon them by the Orangemen.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. John Redmond.)
§ MR. WYNDHAM
In replying to a question this afternoon as to the disturbances in Belfast, I ventured to deprecate any discussion of the subject at the present moment; and I think that many members on both sides of the House who have listened to the speech just delivered will agree with me that it was not an opportune pronouncement on the eve of the legal proceedings—[An HON. MEMBER on the Irish benches: A legal sham]—which are to be taken against the persons who are held to be responsible for these disturbances. Now, does it assist matters to make an unjustifiable attack upon the magistrates of Belfast, to make an appeal, as the hon. Member has done, to all those party and religious passions which have created the very evil which all men of common sense and of common charity deplore, and to challenge my hon. friend the Member for West Belfast to make some statement in the debate? I feel it due to my hon. friend to say that he asked whether he could intervene in this debate to denounce, with the hon. Member for Waterford, the objectionable and detestable placard that had been scattered broadcast. It has been suggested that the Catholics of Belfast should procure 450 arms and wreak vengeance. I say I was amply justified, not in order to shield the Government but in order that the ends of justice might not be defeated, and that Members' passions might not be excited, in submitting, as I did, that this was not the best occasion for raising a debate upon the riots of Belfast.
I come now to the speech of the hon. Member for Waterford, and I am glad to say I cannot urge against that that which I have urged against the speech to which we have just listened. The hon. Member for Waterford based his motion for adjournment upon the failure on the part of the Executive to take proper precautions, and in dealing with that charge the hon. Member asked me to reply, stating what action was taken day by day, commencing with Sunday, the 9th. I say that every step that could have been taken was taken. The Irish Government kept itself in close telegraphic communication with Belfast during that period, and had there been such a failure as the hon. Member has attributed to the Government and the police many lives would have been lost, whereas no lives have been lost, and many people would have been seriously injured, whereas only one case of serious injury occurred.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
I did not speak of the failure of the Government to take any particular course. I spoke of the failure which was proved by their inability to prevent this affair happening.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I will come to that later. I think it is due to the House that I should tell them what occurred, beginning with Sunday. The Lord Mayor of Belfast, the Commissioner of Police, and the magistrates held a conference prior to this procession, and in consequence of the steps that were taken by them, although the procession passed several points at which attacks upon it were attempted by the rabble—for that is what it is; it is not the Orange party—it was able to proceed. The hon. Member himself preferred the charge against the leaders of that party that they did not take proper steps to keep down 451 this disreputable fringe, this riotous element, in the town of Belfast.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
I must interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, The disreputable fringe of the Protestants of Ireland, as he now calls it, is synonymous in my mind with the Orange party.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Again I regret that this subject has been raised this afternoon, because I find myself being led away into making statements which, though I know and believe them to be true, cannot with advantage be made this afternoon. I know that the hon. Member has no justification for stating that the action of the irresponsible rabble in the riots of Belfast is in any way typical of a great, important, and public-spirited party. The arrangements that were made by us for this procession were adequate and successful. The procession proceeded without interruption or serious interference, and although there was a good deal of excitement and some stone-throwing and disorder, these were immediately suppressed by the police, and the city of Belfast remained quiet on Sunday night last. On Monday there was an outbreak of rioting, but owing to the elaborate police arrangements and the calling out of the military the rioting in the Shankhill Road was suppressed by midnight without serious injury to life and property. I do not suppose that the hon. Member for Waterford, who has read a number of partisan accounts of these riots—although I admit that one of his authorities was a newspaper which takes an opposite view upon this religious question—
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I agree it is an unfortunate expression. I am sorry so sacred a word as religion should be used in these miserable faction fights, but my meaning was perfectly plain, and I really do not think my expression invited the hon. Gentleman's interruption. The hon. Gentleman asks why was not our force sufficient to prevent the riot alto 452 gether; but he knows perfectly well that two hostile mobs live in Belfast in close proximity to each other, and are so organised that they can be called out at a moment's notice, and he also knows perfectly well that if provision had not been made there would have been loss of life that night.
I pass on to the Tuesday and Wednesday. On those days disgraceful attacks were made on certain workmen in Harland and Wolff's yard. I gave all the information upon that subject that I could obtain in reply to the question asked me, and I do not propose to add anything more to what I said then. I say now that my conviction is that no step would have been a more mistaken one than to have arranged for a body of policemen to patrol the yard where during eleven months and three weeks of the year the men in that yard work in perfect peace and amity. Anything more unhappy than these collisions it is impossible to conceive, but when they occur the law must be enforced. On the question as to what further steps are to be taken, I assure the hon. Member and the House that the Government intend to take every step in their power. We are determined to put this sort of thing down, and it shall be put down; but is this an opportune moment to discuss those steps? Is it wise, when feeling runs high in Belfast, for us here to talk of the number of police that we have available, or of the necessity of keeping the military there for the next few days or the next few weeks, and to arraign a Government which declares that, in the first place, it is instituting, legal proceedings, and, in the second, it is in consultation with the authorities of Belfast as to what further steps will be necessary to maintain perfect order there? Such a thing does not assist the Government or the object which I am sure the hon. Member for Waterford has at heart. I have already stated in reply to the question put to me by the hon. Member that I do not propose to name any persons against whom it is proposed to proceed, but the hon. Member has himself named Mr. Trew. Now, I will not let it go forth that justice is to be affected by this discussion. Before this discussion I refused to give any names. I now say that Mr. Trew is to be pro 453 ceeded against. I do not say whether he is guilty or not guilty. I merely say his action during the last few days has rendered it a reasonable thing for the Government to call him to account for what he has done. If he can prove that his action had nothing to do with this matter, and was perfectly right, so much the better for Mr. Trew; but this House is not to constitute itself a revolutionary tribunal. Passing from prosecutions and legal proceedings to military and police steps to be taken for the preservation of order, I must say that in my opinion steps must be taken occasionally in Belfast of a military character, but I regard them only as a palliative of the evil and regrettable necessity. These troops ought now to be free to pursue their own profession.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I mention that aspect of the matter because it was some time ago urged that the police were unpopular and the military were popular, and that we should, therefore, police the north of Ireland by the military. I decline to accept that view; you cannot take away a battalion during two months of its training season from its proper work without involving great loss upon the taxpayers of this country, who are entitled to receive full value for their money. Therefore I hold it is necessary to take such other steps as may lead one to hope, though it does not do to be too sanguine, that those persons who were responsible for working up these unfortunate men to a state of maddened excitement would become sensible of the gravity of their action, would realise that they were not good citizens, and that their conduct was reprehensible, and would realise that those who agree with them in politics and many other questions dissent entirely from them when they misuse their convictions and madden the mob until they commit these deplorable excesses. The hon. Member for Waterford endeavoured to draw a distinction between the action of the Government in Belfast and their action in the south of Ireland. No such distinction can, in my opinion, be drawn. 454 The people of all parties and of all faiths have, in my opinion, the right to express their views, and to observe, if they please, political and ecclesiastical anniversaries, provided they do so in such a way as not to cause a breach of the peace, and that is the rule which governs the action of the Executive in the south of Ireland as in the north of Ireland. The Government do not take into account the political or ecclesiastical views or the motives of those who endanger the public peace. They regard only the probable consequences of their action. This is a police matter, not a political or a religious matter, and it is one question, whether in the north or in the south of Ireland. And, both in the north and in the south of Ireland, I am able to say to the House that, in my opinion, the Government do not favour one party or the other by a hairbreadth. All they are careful of is the maintenance of law and order.
§ MR. HAVILAND-BURKE (King's Co., Tullamore)
said that in his plausible explanation, the Chief Secretary for Ireland had entirely evaded the main point of the indictment brought against the Executive by the hon. Member for Waterford, which was, not that the police failed to be on the spot to suppress an outbreak of riot, but that, having had ample warning of the riot, they neglected to take the precautions it was incumbent upon them to take, and when the riot had broken out in its full and savage brutality they failed to appear, not for an hour, but for days, while the riot grew fiercer and the maltreatment of the Catholics grew more violent and more brutal. He accepted the disclaimer of the right hon. Gentleman and his declaration of disgust at the leaflet of which the Catholics of Belfast had so much reason to complain. It would have been more to the point if the printers of that leaflet had, instead of "God save the King," printed at the bottom "God save Protestantism from such Protestants as these." Every police station in Ireland had a stock of proclamations of public meetings with spaces left blank for the dates, and the statement that such a meeting was likely to cause boycotting or intimidation What meeting was more calculated to 455 cause intimidation than this scandalous leaflet, which was scattered broadcast over Belfast on the night before the riot? He accepted the statement that the placard was torn down by the police, but why did not the police take precautionary measures to protect the Catholics on the very day when this act of ruffianism broke out?
§ MR. HAVILAND-BURKE
said that in that case they did not maintain their vigilance. The right hon. Gentleman's first statement was very remarkable. He said the police could not control the harbour without the assistance of the military. That gave the House a picture of the unbridled lawlessness and ruffianism which generations of Irish Secretaries had allowed to exist in Belfast. The right hon. Gentleman had said that it was impossible for the police to show themselves in the harbour without the assistance of the military. What a confession of impotence! When thousands of the lives of His Majesty's Catholic subjects are menaced, to say that the police could not patrol a particular district without the aid of the military! The right hon. Gentleman said that too much police patrol would cause needless irritation. If the right hon. Gentleman desired to be needlessly irritated he had only to become a Nationalist Member and attempt to address his constituents in certain portions of Ireland. He had been to places where hundreds of armed men had been on the spot because it was said that such a meeting might create intimidation. The same sauce which was served out to the Nationalist goose should be served to the Orange gander. What the Nationalists wanted was the ruffianism at Belfast to cease, and they looked to the Chief Secretary and the Executive to take measures which were infinitely more prompt and effective than those which, on the right hon. Gentleman's own showing, they had taken when this outrage on the religious susceptibilities of the Catholics of Belfast was perpetrated in the leaflet to which allusion had been made. There was a sturdy little Protestant colony in the 456 constituency which he represented, but no riots ever occurred at Tullamore, because there the community was not brought up year after year in the belief that it was safer to break a Catholic head than a Protestant window! There was some attempt at impartiality in the administration of the law. In conclusion he might say he had not stood up to direct a malicious attack upon any Minister, but only to remind the right hon. Gentleman that the terrible riot of 1886 began in exactly the same way as the riots now under discussion, and to say that something more than the prosecution of a few poor corner-boys was needed to establish anything like the semblance of law in Belfast. It was useless to prosecute a few stone-throwers and not strike at the men who publicly initiated the attack against Catholics simply because they were Catholics.
MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAMS (Cork, N.E.)
I desire to acknowledge the considerate terms in which the Leader of the Irish party has spoken of the services which the Protestants of Ireland have rendered in the struggles of the Irish people to recover their lost rights. I heartily believe that the respectable Protestants of Ireland, whether in Belfast or in any other province, condemn the proceedings which have recently disgraced Belfast as strongly as any person can possibly do. It is rather remarkable that so far not a single Member for the northern provinces of Ireland has yet seen fit to take part in this debate, to repudiate the disgraceful state of things which produced this riot. While there may be some allowance made for some members of the Government not taking part in this debate, I should have thought that some of those unofficial members of the House who are closely and intimately connected with Belfast would have felt it to be their duty to rise in this House and denounce in the strongest possible terms the conduct of men who I, as a Protestant, am ashamed to think are classed as my coreligionists. I say that it is a disgrace to Protestants that these riots should be carried out by Protestants. If there is anything at all in Protestantism it is a 457 desire to secure perfect freedom for every man to exercise his own religious belief. The Catholics of Belfast felt it to be their duty to take part in a religious ceremony inside the walls of a college, and their procession was attacked by men who call themselves Protestants. Therefore I think it is the duty of every right-minded Protestant who glories in the freedom which is the real foundation of Protestantism to rise in this House and dissociate himself from those wretched men who have brought disgrace upon Protestantism. I have just heard the Chief Secretary state that he intends to put down these proceedings in Belfast. We shall look with much curiosity to see what means are taken to accomplish this end. We shall watch with interest the prosecutions which the Government will initiate, not against those few misguided individuals who have disgraced that city, but against those persons who are behind those unfortunate men, and who have incited them to commit these acts which have disgraced the city of Belfast. As an Irish Protestant, I have risen to take part in the debate in order to thank the Member for Waterford for his kind expressions towards Protestants, and I feel that I should be false to my convictions if I did not express my opinion from my place in the House of Commons.
§ SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)
I only wish to occupy a few moments in order to say why I intend to vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Waterford. I intend to do so as a protest against the constant troubles in Belfast, which I have heard of from time to time, ever since I have had a seat in this House, and which I think are a disgrace to our system of government. On this occasion complaints have been made that there have not been adequate prosecutions in past times. It is also complained that the magistrates are biased or partial in their administration of the law. Of course, all those things are denied, and no doubt the Chief Secretary for Ireland thinks he has taken proper precautions, and he believes in the impartiality of the magistrates. There must, however, be a screw loose somewhere. What seems to me to be absolutely unintelligible is that people engage 458 in a discreditable riot, which is denounced by the Chief Secretary and everybody else, which it ought to be within the power of the law to put down, and yet it does not seem to be put down. What would the Attorney General do in England if he found a local authority did not put down rioting? He would take care that a large number of those persons who were the ringleaders in getting up religious riots were prosecuted. Of course, it is not necessary to prosecute everybody, but the law should direct its shafts towards the ringleaders and towards those who are most highly placed. The Chief Secretary has stated in language which I listened to with satisfaction that these riots shall be put down, and that this state of things shall not be permitted to continue. If he will direct his weapons against the ringleaders and the persons who instigated these disgraceful scenes, that will be the most effective method to adopt. Everybody will watch with considerable interest the steps the Chief Secretary takes to put down these riots, and I hope he will take care to punish those who are really guilty.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
My hon. and learned friend who has just sat down has made the statement that these riots are condemned by every reasonable man in this House and in Ireland. That statement compels me to call attention to a fact which I think is very remarkable in the course of this debate. We have had a repudiation of these riots from the Chief Secretary and from hon. Members on the Irish benches, both Catholic and Protestant. But although this debate has gone on for some time, and there are Members in the House associated with Belfast and with the organisation which was the root and origin of these riots, the debate is apparently about to close without a word of repudiation, and without a syllable of condemnation from them, of these disgraceful proceedings. I waited for the right hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh to rise—
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
I was very unwilling to join in this debate, because the case had been so ably, stated by my hon. and learned friend the Member for Waterford and other hon. Members who have spoken, but I think my rising will have been more than justified if it elicits some words from the right hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite. Now that he is going to rise after me, may I suggest some subjects to which he may direct his remarks? The Chief Secretary says that the Protestants of Ireland are to be held free from responsibility for these riots. That statement was also made by the hon. Member for Waterford. Perhaps I may be permitted to say that in my opinion the Protestants of Ireland in future will play as great and honourable a part in the self government of Ireland as any other religious section of the community. Religious discussions in Ireland are not raised from the point of view of making wider and deeper the gulf which lies between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. The Chief Secretary went on to say that he was able to relieve not merely the Protestant body of responsibility for these riots, but also that section known as the Orange Society. Here I am sorry to say I could not agree with him, and if I wanted a contradiction and repudiation of this statement I could find it in his own speech. He says that for eleven months in the year Catholics and Protestants are able to get on well together, and that even in the Belfast Dockyards, where one-eighth of the men are Catholics, they are able to work in peace side by side for eleven months in the year. Everybody acquainted with the north of Ireland knows that that is perfectly true. There is one month of the year, however, which seems to bring out all those ancient feuds and unchristian passions. That month would pass away like other months if religious feuds were not resurrected from their graves by men of repute and position, who make it their business to make speeches, call meetings, and use all the old weapons by which those religious feuds can be revived and religious passions excited. Even the hon. Member for South Belfast excuses his absence from this House on the ground that he has to be in Ireland on the 12th of July. On that date probably the right 460 hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh will be addressing Orange Lodges in Ireland and arousing religious passions.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member must keep to the specific point before the House. He is now entering into a discussion about what happens on the 12th of July. That is out of order, and it is undesirable to discuss it now.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
We say that every precaution has been taken by us to prevent these riots, and may I not make an appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite not to make speeches which arouse religious passion in Ireland and which we hold are the origin of the riots? It is a little too bad that we should have to come here year after year and make the same complaint in regard to these riots and always get the same answer. I remember these riots when a boy at college in 1886, and every five years since that time we have had the same riots and the same promises to put them down. The Chief Secretary says the law is administered in the same way in the north as in the south of Ireland. I dare say that is his intention, but as far as the facts are concerned it is not so. These riots would never take place in Belfast at all if the rioters did not feel that the strong arm of the law would not be raised against them.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
The Chief Secretary denies this, but I have seen Protestant magistrates in the north of Ireland leading mobs, and the very next day those gentlemen were not ashamed to take their places upon the magisterial bench to administer what they called impartial justice to Catholics. The only occasion in my life when I was seriously assailed by a mob was in the north of Ireland, and the gentlemen who took part in it were pointed out to me as members of the magisterial bench.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
The Chief Secretary shakes his head and gives me that solemn negative which Chief Secretaries always give to unpleasant facts. In this country people know that they have to face the law, and that it will be enforced if they do not obey it, but in the north of Ireland the Protestant feels that the law is his friend and protector in riotous proceedings. Ireland must be in a very bad way if the Government cannot rule without resorting to such methods. There is something to be admired in a Government which is determined at any cost to preserve the rights of every individual and the maintenance of law and order. Let the Chief Secretary adopt that principle in the north of Ireland. I hope this debate will have three useful results: (1) the repudiation by the right hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh of the men who are guilty of these gross and brutal acts of cowardice; (2) a greater vigilance on the part of the Government than they have hitherto shown; and (3) most important of all, I hope this discussion will bring home to the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite and the people of this country that, if there is any danger of religious servitude and bigotry in Ireland, it would come not from the Catholics, but from those who persecute them.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
I can assure the hon. Member who has just sat down that it is not the habit of the party to which I belong to make any allusion to the faith of those who are opposed to us, and I challenge the hon. Gentleman to go through the speeches which I have made during the last twenty years and produce one single instance where I have ever uttered one syllable which is insulting to the faith to which the majority of Irishmen belong. It is not the habit of myself, or the organisation to which I belong, to do that. I am perfectly well aware that hon. Gentlemen look upon it almost as an insult if we take a strong Protestant line. We are Protestants, and we are not ashamed of it. We proclaim it, and we intend to stand by it in Ireland and in this country. As for insulting or inciting the Irish 462 people to attack their fellow-countrymen, that is not our habit. If hon. Gentlemen opposite desire that this ill-feeling shall permanently cease, a good deal rests with them. Let them abandon their insane policy of Home Rule, which nobody believes in either in Ireland or in this country. It is merely a political cry which fills the Irish benches. But there is really nothing in Home Rule, and why not abandon it?
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
I will not pursue that question or my speech in that direction. As one of the Orange leaders, I utterly repudiate, as I know they also repudiate and abhor, any such proceedings as have been described. Protestants claim a perfect freedom and right which, I believe, all the King's subjects claim to hold their faith, and, if they choose, to proclaim it. We agree that our fellow-countrymen have a right to celebrate any religious ceremony which they believe they ought to perform. These riots in Belfast, unfortunately, occasionally recur. I deplore this, but these riots are invariably got up by boys and girls under eighteen. They are never got up by the leaders of any party, and amongst those who are now being tried or have been tried in Belfast you will not find one single member of the Orange organisation. [Nationalist cheers, and AN HON. MEMBER; No; they will not touch them.] I challenge contradiction of the statement I have made. No doubt hon. Gentlemen opposite will say that an Orangeman is seldom brought before the magistrates, and if he is he is generally acquitted. There is not one syllable of truth in such a statement. As one of the leaders of the Orange organisation, I say that Orangemen themselves and those who are under our discipline take no part whatever in riots of this kind, and we deplore them as heartily as hon. Members opposite. Therefore I hope that I have satisfied my hon. friend opposite that the leaders of the party to which I belong and myself deplore and condemn as strongly as he does 463 these unfortunate proceedings. I only hope that good sense will prevail in Belfast, and that these people will see that those who are really injured by such proceedings are not the co-religionists of the hon. Gentlemen opposite, but it is their own faith which is covered with obloquy and disgrace.
§ MR. FIELD
If the right hon. Gentleman when he goes to Belfast would repeat the statements he has made in this House I am quite certain that they would have a much greater effect than any debate here, because there can be no question whatever that it is only when Orange festivals come about that these riots take place. It is always about the 12th of July.
§ MR. FIELD
The right hon. Gentleman's recollection and my own do not agree. I think it is generally about the 12th of July that the Orangemen decide to have a night in Belfast. It seems to me most intolerable that in this age of free thought and civilisation the occurrence of a procession within Catholic grounds should be made a reason for such proceedings as those which happened in Belfast during the past few days. I have always preached toleration. I do not care what a man's religion is, he has a right to the free exercise of his
§ religion irrespective of his political party, and it appears to me that the Orangemen of Belfast ought to allow Catholics the liberty to exercise their religion, which is almost the only liberty left to them in Ireland. I trust that the result of this debate will be that the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland will be in earnest in what he has proclaimed this evening. Those who have studied the question for years past know very well that the administration of the law is not evenhanded in Ireland. Those of us who have taken part in Nationalist demonstrations know very well that in various parts of Ireland the same liberty is not accorded in the south and west that is freely given to the Orangemen in Belfast. I have no desire to quarrel with Orangemen. I cannot understand why such proceedings as occurred at Belfast should take place. I could understand if they took place in Africa. If meetings are to be put down in Nationalist quarters in Ireland the same law should be carried out in Belfast. I trust that the result of this discussion will be that the Chief Secretary will carry out the law in all parts of Ireland in an evenhanded manner, and that he will bring to an end those unfortunate riots between Catholics and Protestants in Belfast, which are a disgrace to the community.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 105; Noes, 182. (Division List No. 254.)465
|Murnaghan, George||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||O'Shee, James John||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Nolan, Cl. John. P. (Galway, N.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Nolan, Joseph (Louth South)||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Thomas, J. A (Glamorgan, G'wer|
|Norman, Henry||Power, Patrick Joseph||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.).|
|O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Reckitt, Harold James||Wallace, Robert|
|O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Reddy, M.||Weir, James Galloway|
|O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East),|
|O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|O'Dowd, John||Robson, William Snowdon|
|O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|O'Malley, William||Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire|
|O'Mara, James||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Duke, Henry Edward||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lowe, Francis William|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Finch, George H.||Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. Ellison|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Fisher, William Hayes||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W. (Leeds||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Balfour, Maj K. R. (Christchurch||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Malcolm, Ian|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Forster, Henry William||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Galloway, William Johnson||Maxwell, W J H. (Dumfriesshire|
|Bigwood, James||Garfit, William||Mitchell, William|
|Bill, Charles||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Morgan, David J (Walthamstow|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh.|
|Butcher, John George||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Morton, Arthur H A. (Deptford)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon, Sir Edw. H.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Murray, Rt. Hn A Graham (Bute|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Midd'x||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Peel, Hn. Wm. Rbt. Wellesley|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard|
|Chapman, Edward||Heaton, John Henniker||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Helder, Augustus||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Henderson, Alexander||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Higginbottom, S. W.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Hogg, Lindsay||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Purvis, Robert|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Pym, C. Guy|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Rankin, Sir James|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Rasch, Maj. Frederick Carne|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.)||Ratcliffe, R. F.|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kimber, Henry||Robertson, Herb. (Hackney)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Knowles, Lees||Ropner, Col. Robert|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Round, James|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Law, Andrew Bonar||Russell, T. W.|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Lawson, John Grant||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Sassoon, Sir Edw. Albert|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J|