§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1:—
§ MR. DILLON () Mayo, E.
, in moving the omission of the words "whether within or," said the purpose of the Amendment was to meet the case so strongly dwelt upon by the Attorney General when moving the Second Reading of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman laid great stress upon the fact 1136 that unless this Bill was passed all the representatives of the Government of the protectorates which had been lately added to the Empire would cease to be officers of the Crown and would require to be reappointed, and that great complications and difficulties might arise in consequence of the interruption of office. The Amendment he proposed would cover the whole of the cases of the protectorates, and would, therefore, remove all the objections which had been put forward by the right hon. Gentleman; he himself did not see the force of many of the objections, but if the right hon. Gentleman accepted the Amendment it would remedy any difficulties with regard to the officials of India and the colonies, and other portions of the Empire. The right hon. Gentleman drew an appalling picture of the results 1137 which would follow if this Bill were not passed, but India and the other colonies were in existence at the previous demise of the Crown, and if there was no difficulty in those days in the reappointment of the officials of those places he failed to see how any should arise now, nor did he believe that any difficulty that might arise from the lapse of office in these portions of the Empire would ever have induced the Government to introduce this Bill. The real reason lay much nearer home. The Irish Members were determined to test this matter at every stage, but he only proposed by this Amendment to deal with the dependencies. As regards the officials of the other colonies, they were in the same position now as they were at the last demise of the Crown, and it was perfectly well known that on that occasion there was no difficulty whatever and no complications arose upon their reappointment.
In page 1, lines 5 and 6, to leave out the words 'whether within or.'"—(Mr. Dillon.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir ROBERT FINLAY,) Inverness Burghs
said that he hoped that the hon. Gentleman would not think it necessary to divide the House upon the Amendment, the effect of which would be, if adopted, to establish one rule for offices without the King's dominions and one rule for offices within the King's dominions. It would reduce, in point of fact, the operation of the Bill to the protectorates. In the case of appointments in the colonies and dependencies of the Crown, the inconvenience would remain as at present. Under those circumstances no grounds could be suggested for any alteration in the Bill, and he therefore hoped that the hon. Gentleman would not consider it necessary.
§ MR. CLANCY () Dublin County, N.
supported the Amendment, and said he saw very good ground for it. The hon. and learned Gentleman had pointed out that it would create two rules with regard to the appointment of officers of the Crown within and without the 1138 King's dominions. There was an exceedingly good reason why there should be a difference between the two cases. There was a very vast difference between the appointment of high officials in the colonies and the appointment of great Ministers of State in this country, and it was obvious that where it might be quite proper to reappoint ambassadors and high officers abroad, it might be absolutely improper to reappoint Ministers sitting in this House, who might hold their position in it through a fluke. The manifest object of the Bill was to legalise the tenure of their seats in the House by several gentlemen sitting on the Government benches, and indemnify them against the penalties to which they had rendered themselves liable by sitting and voting in the House this session. There was no difficulty about the reappointment of officials outside the dominions of the King. Ambassadors, viceroys, governors and others could be reappointed in a moment by a stroke of the pen, but it was quite a different thing with regard to Ministers of the Crown sitting here that they should bring in a Bill to continue themselves in office, when the law of the land said that they should not continue in office without having sought the opinion of their constituents. These gentlemen were elected by their constituents because they told them that the war was over, and if they had gone to their constituents on the death of the late Queen, as they should have done, and disclosed the facts contained in the despatches of Sir Alfred Milner published since then, the result might have been very different. It was a scandalous innovation of the practice of Parliament. It was the first time such a thing had ever occurred, and it lad been reserved for the first Government of the King to propose a Bill of which any past Ministers would have been ashamed.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE () Northampton
said the General Election was gained by he Conservative party on a misrepresentation of the facts in reference to the state of affairs in South Africa, and it was most desirable that the country should have had an opportunity, on the death of the late Sovereign, of saying 1139 whether they still wished the Ministers of the Crown to retain their offices. It was also desirable that they should have had the opportunity of considering whether so many Ministers should have been appointed from one family. If the matter went to a division he would vote for the Amendment.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON () Dundee
thought the Attorney General had failed to supply any adequate reason for the rejection of the Amendment.
§ MR. DILLON
said that after the answer which he had received from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General, he should certainly test the matter by a division. The constitutional practice which the Bill proposed to abolish had been in operation for many years, and no inconvenience had been discovered in its operation until the present Ministry landed themselves in a difficulty. The sole reason against the acceptance of the Amendment was that it would deny to Ministers relief from the constitutional obligation of having to seek re-election in consequence of the late demise of the Crown.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES () Lynn Regis
said the real sting of the Bill was in its last clause, which made it retrospective. If this was merely a Bill, which every measure ought to be, for the management of affairs in the future, a good deal might be said in its favour, but it was manifestly a measure to relieve some one of some penalty which had been incurred, and to legalise something which had been done since the demise of the Crown. Surely its object must be to relieve Ministers of the necessity of submitting themselves to re-election. That was a safeguard which it would be unwise for Parliament to relinquish. The present rules imposed upon those accepting certain offices from the Crown the necessity of submitting themselves to their constituents. The necessity for a rule of this kind was increasing day by day. Ministers were becoming more and more powerful, and the House less and less powerful; the rules were becoming more and more disregarded, and the Standing Orders of the House scarcely existed, and nobody would recognise 1140 what they did in the House of Commons from the Standing Orders. All these changes gave more power to the Ministers, and took away more power from the House. He thought the House should pause before it accepted the principle of the clause, that acceptance of office should not imply re-election, and should hesitate above all to give to Ministers a Bill of indemnity for something done previous to the passing of the Bill. If His Majesty's Government had really done nothing which required indemnity he thought the Amendment was one which they might reasonably accept.
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE () Wiltshire, Cricklade
said he wished to say a few words as to how Liberals ought to vote on this measure. The able speech of the hon. Member for King's Lynn contained a great deal of ancient Tory doctrine, but he wished to submit to the House a totally different view as a Liberal. The effect of the Amendment would be that there would be one law in the United Kingdom and another affecting the dominions of the Crown abroad. The view taken by the Government upon this question was in perfect harmony and consonance with what had always been the view of the House of Commons in regard to its own rights and the position of Ministers, and it was more especially in harmony and consonance with the views and traditions of former Liberal Ministers. In former days the Crown exercised a great deal of control over this House, and Ministers were described as being not Ministers of the people, but servants of the Crown. It was quite natural that, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Thanet wished to keep things as they were.
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
said the old doctrine was that Ministers were far more servants of the Crown than Ministers of the people and servants of this House. There used to be an idea that the whole machinery of the Government should stop when there was a change in the person of the Sovereign. Gradually, however, that ancient con- 1141 stitutional doctrine had been curtailed and reduced. There used to be a doctrine that the moment the demise of the Crown took place this House ceased to exist, and there would have to be a General Election. [An HON. MEMBER: In six months.] Yes, but that was a mere detail. Under the old practice the whole machinery of legislation stopped, and there had to be a new Parliament elected. That system was abolished in 1867 by a Bill introduced and carried by a Conservative Ministry. The Liberal party had always asserted the doctrine that the demise of the Crown was not to terminate the existence of Parliament. The question before the House was simply and solely whether they were to omit the words "whether within or." The effect of that would be that they would have one law in the United Kingdom in regard to the demise of the Crown, and another law abroad in regard to all appointments held under the Crown in foreign countries. That, in itself, would be an absurdity. What they were now asked to do was to assert in regard to appointments held under the Crown the same principle which was asserted by this House, when it said that the life of a Parliament should not come to an end simply because the demise of the Crown takes place.
MR. JAMES LOWTHER
said this question had never before been treated in any shape or form as a party question. He certainly took exception to the noble Lord classifying him as having opposed the views which he had just expressed. Thirty years ago he took a prominent part advocating the very principles put forward by the noble Lord. The clause in the Act of 1867 was really introduced in the House of Lords by the late Lord Stanhope and—though there was no record of it in Hansard—approved by Mr. Gladstone, as he distinctly remembered, when the Bill came back to the Commons. He did not intend to discuss at length the question before the Committee, but he felt that it was necessary to clear up the misapprehension of the noble Lord. It was right that the House
§ should bear in mind that these voidances of office came at a time when a Minister had to take over the duties of his Department, and this caused serious inconvenience to the public service. In this House they had had to wait for answers on important questions because the newly appointed Minister was engaged canvassing his constituents, a work which perhaps occupied a fortnight.
said it was not in order to discuss that matter on the Amendment now before the Committee.
MR. JAMES LOWTHER
said he did not wish to pursue that subject. He appealed to the Committee whether it would not be better to ask the Government if they were prepared to deal with this question as a whole. If the Government were prepared to deal with the whole question at no distant date in regard to the acceptance of office under the Crown and all the matters that had been raised in this debate, he thought the Committee should not discuss them further at present.
I have to remind the right hon. Gentleman that it would be quite outside the purpose of this Bill for the Committee to provide that acceptance of office under the Crown shall in no case vacate the seat of a Member of the House of Commons. That ruling was given with respect to the Instruction of which the hon. Member for Mid Lanark had given notice.
MR. JAMES LOWTHER
said he was misunderstood if he was supposed to go behind that ruling. He was suggesting that, if the Government were to intimate that the whole question was engaging their attention, and that they intended to bring forward a proposal on the subject, it could be discussed more profitably then.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Aye, 162 Noes, 78. (Division List No. 205).1145
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Arrol, Sir William||Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r.|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Bain, Colonel James Robert||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Parker, Gilbert|
|Brassey, Albert||Hay, Hn. Claude George||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Purvis, Robert|
|Bull, William James||Heaton, John Henniker||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hope, JF. (Sheffield, Brightside||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Howard, John (Kent, Faversh.||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Hozier, Hon. James Hy. Cecil||Ridley, Hon M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc.||Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt. Hn Sir U||Robinson, Brooke|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kenyon, Hn. G. T. (Denbigh)||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Chapman, Edward||Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)||Russell, T. W.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Kimber, Henry||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Kitson, Sir James||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm.||Sharpe, Wm. Edw. T.|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Law, Andrew Bonar||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Lawson, John Grant||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Spear, John Ward|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Crombie, John William||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.||Stewart, Sir M. J. M' Taggart|
|Dairymple, Sir Charles||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Stroyan, John|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Lowe, Francis William||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Lowther, Rt. Hon. James (Kent||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Warde, Col. C. E.|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Finch, George H.||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Maconochie, A. W.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Fisher, William Hayes||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Webb, Col. William George|
|Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (T'nt'n)|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W.)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne),|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Malcolm, Ian||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Manners, Lord Cecil||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Flower, Ernest||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Martin, Richard Bidduiph||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Maxwell, WJH (Dumfriesshire||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Mitchell, William||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Younger, William|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Hain, Edward||Mount, William Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Hambro, Charles Eric||Myers, William Henry|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Mid'x||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.)||Doogan, P. C.||Leng, Sir John|
|Ambrose, Robert||Dunn, Sir William||Lloyd-George, David|
|Bell, Richard||Edwards, Frank||Lundon, W.|
|Boland, John||Elibank, Master of||M'Govern, T.|
|Boyle, James||Ffrench, Peter||Mooney, John J.|
|Brigg, John||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Caldwell, James||Flynn, James Christopher||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)|
|Cameron, Robert||Gilhooly, James||Moss, Samuel|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Murphy, J.|
|Carew, James Laurence||Grant, Corrie||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Griffith, Ellis J.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hayden, John Patrick||Norman, Henry|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Joyce, Michael||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Cullinan, J.||Labouchere, Henry||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Delany, William||Lambert, George||O'Malley, William|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Layland-Barratt, Francis||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Dillon, John||Leamy, Edmund||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Roe, Sir Thomas||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Price, Robert John||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Weir, James Galloway|
|Reddy, M.||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Spencer, Rt. Hn CR (Northants.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Sullivan, Donal||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Patrick O'Brien and Mr. Haviland-Burke.|
|Rickett, J. Compton||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Thompson, Dr. EC (Monagh'n N|
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON moved to leave out Sub-section 2, which proposed to make the clause retrospective. They had now passed a clause which laid down the principle of the Bill, so that that was done with; but the Bill went on to provide that it should take effect as from the last demise of the Crown. Now, that was a proposal which he ventured to challenge by the Amendment which he then moved. Why did the Government propose to make this Bill retrospective, and why did they depart from the ordinary channel of legislation, and ask that the new rule should take effect, not from the passing of the Bill, but from an anterior date? No answer had been given to that. So much had been said about the position of Ministers themselves in respect to this Bill, and the whole subject was so complicated with difficulties and technicalities, that he might be pardoned for a moment for referring to it. The House had not been assisted by any information on the part of the Government as to what had actually taken place in regard to certain Ministers. All Ministers did not fall in the same category. There were two distinct and separate categories of Ministers. In the first were all Ministers of the Crown included in the first part of the Schedule of the Oaths Act of 1868. The First Lord of the Treasury and the principal Members of the Cabinet were required by that Act to take the oath of allegiance, and the oath of office, immediately on accepting office. Now, he believed—and if he were wrong he could be corrected by the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill—that all those Ministers took these oaths on 24th January last. What could be the meaning of that, except that they took these oaths in compliance with the terms of the Act of 1868, and that, having so sworn themselves in on acceptance of office, they had vacated their seats in this House? The second class of Ministers included those who were not named in this Act at all, and to whom the observation he had 1146 just made did not apply, and who, if this Bill did not pass, must, within six months of the demise of the Crown, seek re-election at the hands of their constituents. This Bill would protect the latter, but would not protect Ministers who had gone through certain forms and ceremonies which implied re-appointment to office. He invited Ministers to take the House into their confidence, and, if they required an indemnity, let them ask for it and put it into the Bill in black and white. There would not be such objection to such a provision, as to the Bill in its present form. He contented himself at that moment with putting the matter before the House, and begged formally to move the rejection of the second subsection.
In line 9, to leave out Sub-clause (2)."—(Mr. Edmund Robertson.)
§ Question proposed, "That Sub-clause (2) stand part of the clause."
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL (Sir EDWARD CARSON,) Dublin University
said that the House had already sanctioned the principle that on the demise of the Crown no officer holding under the Crown need be re-appointed. The hon. and learned Member had seriously proposed that the Bill should not operate until the next demise of the Crown; and if that were to be accepted the result would be very foolish. They all hoped that the contingency of the next demise of the Crown was in the very far distant future, and he thought that a discussion on his hon. and learned friend's Amendment—that the rule was not to come into force until an indefinite period in the future—was, to use the phrase of the hon. Member for East Mayo, rather absurd. The Bill was made retrospective in order that all those many officers who held office under the Crown in this country, and throughout the Empire, and even outside 1147 His Majesty's dominions, should not require re-appointment. The hon. Member for East Mayo asked what difficulty was there in having these re-appointments made? The answer was, "What was the use of having these re-appointments made to offices, high or low?" In the olden time they had to go through the mere farce of sending down a document, at considerable inconvenience, saying to these officers, "You are appointed to hold the same office under the Sovereign as before the demise of the Crown." The reason for the Bill being made retrospective was to avoid that, and that was the answer to the hon. and learned Member. The hon. and learned Member harked back to the old tack that there was some purpose hidden away in the Bill, and said that one class of Ministers had been reappointed on the accession of His present Majesty. He was not going to traverse the ground which had been taken at the Second Reading of the Bill, but he would say that in his opinion there had been no such reappointments. The hon. and learned Gentleman himself admitted that if these Ministers had been reappointed this Bill did not cover them. Well, if the Bill did not cover them, the hon. and learned Member was not prevented, by any law, from taking such course as he thought proper to test the right of those Ministers to sit in this House. It might be contended that continuance in office was to be held as acceptance of office under the new monarch, though he himself did not hold that opinion. But was there any reason why Ministers should seek re-election? The convenience of the House and the country was against such re-election. A great deal had been said in the course of these debates upon the question whether, office having been accepted by a Member of this House, the opinion of his constituents should be taken as to whether he should have accepted that office or not. There might be something in that contention, but, when a Minister had taken the view of his constituents as to whether he should become a Minister or not, it was absolutely puerile to ask him to go down after he had been a Minister for a few months to ask his constituents whether he should take the same office under a new sovereign.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said that the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not seem to appreciate the object of the Amendment. He contended that Ministers who took the oath of allegiance to a new Sovereign were reappointed. Under these circumstances, what was the position of those Gentlemen who did not submit themselves for re-election after reappointment? They were not Members of this House, for they had forfeited their seats according to the law, and in order to get them out of the mess, it was now proposed that a perfectly new system should be adopted. For the first time in its existence it was proposed that the House should co-opt Members. Such a practice might be most grossly abused with the present Government in power—a Government which endeavoured to take every vestige of control from the House and make the Executive master of the situation. He had noticed the presence of strangers in the House, but the Deputy-Speaker had ruled that no notice could then be taken of them because they had already strayed into the House, and that, not having taken the first opportunity to call attention to their presence, he (Mr. Labouchere) was not in order. Such a ruling was almost an admission that he was right. The Solicitor General said their constituents were perfectly satisfied. Admitting that, then there would be little trouble; they would be re-elected, and what a glorious thing it would be to show that the country had confidence in the Government. They would not have to take hold of some Pro-consul and try to "boom" him. They would come back at least free from the imputation of having secured re-election on the misstatement as to the war having been finished. He was upon these matters a very old Conservative. This was an entirely new practice. Such a thing might have happened in the days of the Witenagemot, but it had never happened in any Parliament since. He should vote for the Amendment.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that when he first saw the Amendment he came to the conclusion that he would have to vote for it, but every hon. Gentleman who had spoken upon it had so given away his case that he had come to a 1149 totally different conclusion. The mover of the Amendment had given away his case by admitting that there were some Ministers that the Amendment would not cover. Then the learned Solicitor General had given away his case. He had made a very good case for the law being passed in the extraordinary inconveniences which had recently been brought to light, which had never been observed in any previous reign, but the discovering of which had been reserved for the legal lights sitting on the Treasury Bench; but when the right hon. Gentleman came to that part of the clause which was now being attacked, he made no case whatever. The right hon. and learned Gentleman argued that if it was right that such a thing should be done in the future it was also right that it should be done in the past. With that he could not agree. The House had always set its face against anything in the shape of retrospective legislation. It was a monstrous usurpation to go back and unmake, for the past, the laws which then existed. If it was done it should be on the frank avowal that the law had been broken. The hon. Member for Northampton had given away his case, perhaps, worst of all. He said that the right hon. Gentlemen sitting on the Treasury Bench were not Members of the House at all. If that were so, all he had to do was to go to the courts and have them mulcted in penalties. What a grand opportunity it would be for the hon. Member, and of what a spectacle had he deprived the House by not taking the First Lord of the Treasury and others before the Court, and obtaining penalties against them for many thousands of pounds. The remarks of the hon. Member had convinced him that he ought not to vote for the Amendment, and he was very glad, for he was desirous not to vote for it because the Government disapproved of it. At the same time, he could not see why the Government had introduced the measure unless they believed with the hon. Member for Northampton that they had vacated their seats by the action which they had taken, and if that were the case they should make a frank avowal of the fact, and if they did he for one would grant the Act of Indemnity which they asked.
§ MR. TAYLOR () Lancashire, Radcliffe
said that he always understood that 1150 the Government was opposed to retrospective legislation. The Cockerton judgment referred to a number of hard-worked and underpaid public servants, but so far as he could see there was no retrospective act of white-washing for those gentlemen. Which horse were the Government going to ride? Was this a principle that they were going to lay down for other cases, and if they were going to apply this retrospective principle to public officials of one character would they also apply it to officials of another?
§ MR. T. M. HEALY () Louth, N.
said that the Solicitor General had justified the clause on the ground that it would be absurd to ask right hon. Gentlemen to go down again to the constituents for reapproval on taking office. Perhaps that argument might have some validity when only four or five months had elapsed since the date of their election, but supposing four or five years had elapsed and that new methods of registration, followed by an entire change of public opinion, had come into operation, what would be the value of that argument then? What was the object of compelling Ministers to resign at the beginning of a new reign? The object, he took it, was that there must always be a Civil List for the new Sovereign, and in former times the questions surging round the Civil List were very exciting and important. The idea of Ministers being compelled to go before their constituents on the accession of a new Sovereign was that they should lay before the taxpayers of the country what provision they were prepared to make with reference to the Civil List. That all disappeared under the procedure proposed by right hon. Gentlemen opposite; and, in addition, he observed they were kind enough to make themselves the judges in their own case. They were under no pressure from the House or the country. There had been no meetings of their constituents, no petition from any Gentleman or lady in the land asking for the Bill. The House had heard of petitions with reference to the Sale of Drink to Children Bill, and they knew the kind of attention they received, but at all events no member of the human race had petitioned the Attorney General or the 1151 Solicitor General to bring in a Bill to save their own skins. Accordingly, these learned lawyers were engaged in making a provision—to some extent a corrupt provision—to save themselves, and the time of the House of Commons, which they were told was so precious that it could not be given to an Old Age Pensions Bill or an Irish Land Bill, or other important questions which it was stated in the King's Speech would be brought in if time permitted, was to be given to save the skins of gentlemen on the Treasury Bench. The hon. Gentleman the Member for King's Lynn stated that it would be possible, if they thought that right hon. Gentlemen were under a disability, to bring an action against them for £500 for every day they sat. As a matter of fact, if any gentleman sat in the House without having been sworn his seat was declared by statute ipso facto vacant, and a penalty of £500 was incurred for every day he sat and voted. But there was one necessary preliminary. As he recollected the Bradlaugh case, when Mr. Bradlaugh came down to the House and voted without having been sworn, and when a gentleman proceeded to adopt the delightful role of a common informer, and sued Mr. Bradlaugh for the penalty, it was held by the House of Lords that the verdict could not stand, because no one could sue for the penalty without the leave of the Attorney General. It was supposed to be not a private matter in which a private individual was interested, but a matter to be vindicated by the intervention of the law officers. In order that the law might be vindicated in the case before the Committee they would have the Pooh-Bah arrangement of the Attorney General versus the Attorney General, and they would have the splendid spectacle of that virtuous officer sueing himself. They occasionally saw a magistrate when he was prosecuted for having his dog unmuzzled fining himself half-a-crown. No doubt that was a very Spartan and heroic proceeding, but if he issued a writ against the Attorney General for Ireland, he could scarcely see him committing the splendid act of altruism of giving him a preliminary fiat to enable him to prosecute the right hon. Gentleman. Therefore the suggestion that there was a legal remedy in the case 1152 was utter nonsense. No one went hunting unless there was a fox to be hunted, and no one went into the law courts unless there were damages to be obtained. No one was going to start an action against a Minister when it was perfectly well known, after the Bradlaugh decision, that defeat stared him in the face. It was the constitutional part of the case which brought him to the retrospective proposal in the Bill. They were aware that the British Constitution had existed for 800 or 900 years, but no proposal such as was before the Committee had been made until the twentieth century. Whenever any ordinary change in the law was made it could always be said that the change was necessary because of the changed conditions of the times or because new evils had arisen, or that new conditions required new provisions. But as far as the matter before the Committee was concerned, there had been no change. It was now as it was in the beginning, and there was no change in the circumstances of the times or in any of the conditions which necessitated such a measure. His Majesty's Ministers had brought it in simply on the practical principle that it suited them to relieve themselves of liabilities they had incurred, simply because they were in possession of a majority of the House of Commons. He did not think that any usurpation of authority by any crowned head could equal the usurpation of power which the Government indulged in in this case. Ordinarily, when a monarch took any step of an arbitrary kind—a coup d'etat—he was always able to refer his misconduct to some great human principle, and to say that he acted in the name of humanity, equality, or fraternity, or any of the other great principles which were put forward to justify revolutionary proceedings. But Ministers had not for this Bill a rag or shred of pretence of anything except the selfish necessity to save themselves from the trouble of re-election, and that at a time when right hon. Gentlemen boasted that the heart of the country was throbbing and pulsating on their behalf in every constituency in the United Kingdom. Therefore, it seemed to him that the Bill was the greatest departure from constitutional principle which even the Tory party had ever 1153 attempted. In previous legislation they had only attacked contracts or property, or the taxpayer, but in this matter he would respectfully submit that the Crown itself was assailed by the action of the Government. When the smallest private Bill touching a foreshore or Crown lands was brought before the House, it was necessary to bring the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Thanet Division down to go through the sacramental form of taking off his that to signify the consent of the Crown. But for this Bill, which was an attack on the prerogatives of the Sovereign himself, not even the preliminary consent of the Crown was given.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
Another good point gone! Owing to his absence from the House when, of course, he ought to have been present attending to such high matters, he had not observed that that form had not been gone through. What her espectfully said was that although Ministers had the consent of the Crown they, at any rate, avoided securing the assent of the constituencies, and that at a time when they said that the constituencies were heartily in their favour, and when most of them maintained that their unopposed return would be a matter of certainty. It seemed to him, on the whole, that even according to the case of the Government it was a Bill without necessity, and it appeared to him to be one of the gravest departures from constitutional practice he had ever witnessed.
§ MR. DUKE () Plymouth
said that the hon. and learned Member had very appropriately introduced some comic opera into the discussion, and he did not wonder at it, because the debate was an idle, or, at all events, a futile attack on members of the Government. The principle of the Bill was the abandonment of the last vestige of the old system of the personal government of the country by the Crown—the abandonment of the last scrap or relic of that ancient system. From the Act of Settlement downwards the people of the country had desired that those who enjoyed their confidence should continue to enjoy it, notwithstanding the accidents of the 1154 constitution, and that the forms and ceremonies and incidents which arose from the former state of things should be done away with. The Act of Settlement provided that Ministers should retain office for six months after the demise of the Crown, unless there was an intimation of the will of the Sovereign to the contrary. That continued down to 1867, when Parliament enacted that it should continue to perform its duties not for six months after the demise of the Crown, but until it came to the end of its term in the ordinary way, and the Crown not having happily demised for upwards of half a century, that state of things continued. Now the Government proposed a change which met with the general consent of the House and the country, namely, that Ministers in office at the demise of the Crown should continue to hold office. Hon. Gentlemen opposite professed a desire to except the present Ministry from that change and to have a little General Election in order that they might renew their experience of the great General Election. He thought there was no reason for an exception. He had listened to the debates on the Bill, and he had not seen any hon. and learned Gentleman above the gangway opposite who ventured to tell the House on his credit as a lawyer that any Member on the Treasury Bench had incurred a penalty. He had endeavoured to ascertain what lawyers thought on the matter, and, so far as he could ascertain, there was no lawyer who had the courage to advise any of the multitude of common informers to seek the fiat of the Attorney General to proceed against the First Lord of the Treasury, or that it was worth while trying the experiment. He as a lawyer had his own opinion on the matter, but it was not in the direction of the Amendment before the Committee. There was no constitutional lawyer ready to advise on his credit and responsibility that penalties had been incurred and that an application should be made to the Attorney General for his fiat to recover them. The matter had been before the House of Commons for several months, and many applications for the fiat of the Attorney General could have been made, and if they had not beer granted what a weapon hon. Gentlemen 1155 opposite would have had with which to trounce the Attorney General and the various members of the Government. He had no hesitation in saying that that was not done because no lawyer of credit or responsibility could be found to advise that penalties had been incurred. It was suggested that because Ministers took the oath of allegiance they had vacated their seats. He happened to hold a small office under the Crown, and he took the oath of allegiance, but he did not vacate his office. Hundreds of people took the oath of allegiance on the accession of His present Majesty, but they did not vacate their offices. On what ground, therefore, could it be suggested that right hon. Gentlemen had vacated their offices?
§ MR. CLANCY
asked if the hon. and learned Gentleman would say what the Bill was for, if his argument were correct?
§ MR. DUKE
said he should have thought it was very plain what the Bill was for. The Bill was to relieve the country from an admitted inconvenience and the House from the discredit of making a great constitutional change without including the present Ministers of the Crown in the effects of that change. [Several hon. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] He was glad he was able so easily to satisfy hon. Members. He was sure that anyone who considered the matter would agree that the exception sought to be set up on fictitious and party grounds against the present occupants of the Treasury Bench was not worth discussion as a matter of principle. It was really a sham fight, and for his part he would have the greatest delight in supporting the Government.
§ MR. DILLON
said that if the view of the hon. and learned Gentleman were correct, why should not the Government accept the Amendment? It was the view of the hon. and learned Gentleman, who professed to be a great lawyer, that Ministers would be in no danger or suffer any inconvenience if the Act were not retrospective, and why therefore was not the Amendment accepted? Why should not Ministers face the music, and why should protection be thrown around them? The hon. and learned Gentleman 1156 made one of the strongest speeches he had listened to in support of the Amendment. He described the Bill as a great constitutional change, and he would put it to the Committee, were those the circumstances in which a change should be brought about—above all, a great constitutional change complicated with personal relief and open to the suspicion that it had been dictated in order to relieve Ministers of the trouble and expense of going to their constituents. He did not profess to be an authority on the matter, but the Attorney General, in introducing the Bill, said that the enactments were far from clear, that opinions might differ as to their effect, and that the Bill would put an end to a state of things in which the House might arrive at a conclusion different from that of a court of law. The Attorney General had frankly stated that one of the main objects of the Bill was to relieve Ministers from the position in which they found themselves. That, however, was not the view of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, who called the discussion comic opera. Was it not comic opera to have introduced the Bill at all, when they were told night after night that every minute of the time of the House of Commons was precious?
§ MR. DILLON
said that that was not the opinion of the Attorney General, who did not consider it comic opera. The hon. and learned Gentleman had advanced the most extraordinary constitutional doctrine to which he had ever listened. He described the Bill as removing the last tattered rag and shred and remnant of personal government. He wondered what His Majesty the King would think of that. He was under the impression, until he listened to the learned expounder of the constitution opposite, that the King had power to send for his Ministers. If the Bill swept away the last tattered shreds of personal government, would they be allowed to elect their own Ministers? They had no voice, except most indirectly, in the matter at present, because the King sent for a gentleman, who formed the Ministry without con- 1157 suiting the House of Commons. They were progressing, no doubt, but they had not yet reached the point of eliminating the King altogether. From all he had been able to learn about the prerogatives of the Crown, he would not have described them as a tattered rag. There was some influence left to the Crown, perhaps more than they approved of; but it was strong language to describe the prerogative of the Crown as a tattered rag. That was what the language of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite amounted to. He regretted it was not open to him to move the Amendment he had on the Paper. He did not in the least challenge the ruling of the Chair, but he thought that although the words were the same as the Amendment of the hon. Member for Mid Lanark, still by inserting them in the second clause the effect would be totally different to the effect of inserting them in the first clause. The first sub-section applied this principle only to the future, but the second was retrospective. His object was to raise the narrow issue of whether, in connection with the great constitutional change proposed in the Bill, private individuals should be relieved from the disabilities attaching to acts which they themselves had committed. The present Amendment raised a somewhat broader issue, but it also covered the one he had desired to bring before the Committee. The Solicitor General for England had dealt frankly with the main issue of whether Ministers should be put to the inconvenience of facing their constituents, and he made a strong appeal against the injustice and unreasonableness of their being required to do so. His whole argument, however, was based on the peculiar circumstances of the present case, whereas a question of principle such as this ought not to be decided on the particular circumstances of any particular case. It might happen that at the demise of the Crown Parliament had been in office for five years, and become completely out of touch with the country. Ministers might know perfectly well that if they faced their constituents they would be defeated, and there would be a strong motive for not going to the country. In such a case this provision might be very wholesome and useful, because it would force the 1158 hands of Ministers, and give the electors an opportunity of declaring their will. Even though Ministers were no longer servants of the Crown, as had been argued—he did not agree with the argument—but servants of this House, the provision would still be a wholesome one. There had been instances in recent history of the House of Commons seeking to rule the country against the will of the people, and such cases might occur again. Therefore, this provision would be useful, not only for protecting the House of Commons against the undue influence of the Crown, but also for protecting the electors against the tyranny of the House of Commons itself.
§ MR. POWER () Waterford, E.
thought if the Government were sincere in the attitude they had taken up they ought at once to accept the Amendment. As far as he understood, one of the principal objects of the Bill was to do away with the necessity of Ministers going to their constituents on the acceptance of office. That was a very salutary provision, and it ought to be preserved. The argument that a General Election had taken place shortly before the demise of the Crown was altogether beside the question, because that was a mere chance. A great constitutional question was involved, and it should be argued in a very different spirit from that which had been manifested.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
said that after this Amendment had been disposed of he should move to add at the end of the sub-section the following words:—"Provided that nothing herein contained shall relieve the holder of any office of any penalty which he would have incurred but for the passing of the sub-section." He was sure the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Plymouth would vote for that provision, because he had assured the House on his authority as a lawyer that no penalties, whatever had been incurred. The hon. and learned Gentleman had also given the House an assurance which it had not yet received from any occupant of the Treasury Bench, namely, that the Attorney General would be glad to grant his fiat so that anybody could proceed for the recovery of penalties. The fact 1159 that a gentleman who was ready to give all these legal assurances still lurked in the shades of a back bench under the gallery made him think there was something wrong somewhere. It was deplorable that so much merit should be thus hidden. He hoped that someone on the Treasury Bench would get up and, on behalf of the Government of
§ His Majesty, give the Committee the legal assurances which, so far, had only been given them by one of the new members of the House.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 152; Noes, 84. (Division List No. 206.)1161
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Penn, John|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Hain, Edward||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Hambro, Charles Eric||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Middx||Purvis, Robert|
|Arrol, Sir William||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'rry||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Bain, Col. James Robert||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Ridley, Hn M W. (Stalybridge)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J (Manch'r||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H (Bristol)||Heaton, John Henniker||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex||Hozier, Hon. James H. Cecil||Russell, T. W.|
|Brassey, Albert||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Brookfield, Col. Montagu.||Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Kimber, Henry||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Bull, William James||Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm.||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Lawson, John Grant||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareh'm||Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Spear, John Ward|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)|
|Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Chapman, Edward||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Stroyan, John|
|Charrington, Spencer||Lowe, Francis William||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lowther, Rt. Hon. James (Kent||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Dairymple, Sir Charles||Macdona, John Cumming||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||M"Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Duke, Henry Edward||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Malcolm, Ian||Webb, Col. William George|
|Finch, George H.||Manners, Lord Cecil||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunt'n|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Fitzroy, Hon Edward Algernon||Mitchell, William||Wilson, A Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Forster, Henry William||Morrell, George Herbert||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Fred.||Mount, William Arthur||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin&Nairn)||Myers, William Henry||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Nicholson, William Graham||Younger, William|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Parker, Gilbert|
|Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs.)||Peel, Hn. William Robert W.|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Cameron, Robert|
|Allen, C. P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Boyle, James||Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton|
|Ambrose, Robert||Brigg, John||Channing, Francis Allston|
|Bell, Richard||Burke, E. Haviland-||Clancy, John Joseph|
|Boland, John||Caldwell, James||Cogan, Denis J.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Joyce, Michael||O'Malley, William|
|Cremer, William Randal||Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt. Hn Sir U||O'Shaugnessy P. J.|
|Cullinan, J.||Labouchere, Henry||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Delany, William||Lambert, George||Price, Robert John|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Priestley, Arthur|
|Dillon, John||Leamy, Edmund||Reddy, M.|
|Doogan, P. C.||Leng, Sir John||Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Lloyd-George, David||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Edwards, Frank||Lundon, W.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Elibank, Master of||M'Govern, T.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Ffrench, Peter||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Moss, Samuel||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Gilhooly, James||Murphy, J.||Thompson, Dr E C (Monagh'n N.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Grant, Corrie||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Wason, Engene (Clackmannan)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Norman, Henry||Weir, James Galloway|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir A. D.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Mr. Edmund Robertson and Mr. Charles Spencer.|
|Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.||O'Connor, James Wicklow, W.|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
, in moving to add at the end of Sub-section 2 words providing that the holder of any office should not be relieved from any penalty which he would have incurred but for the passing of the sub-section, said that he could not see how the Government could resist the Amendment. Either the law had been broken or it had not. If the law had been broken, Ministers ought to be penalised. If it had not been broken, then the proviso could do absolutely no harm.
At the end of Sub-section 2 to insert 'Provided that nothing herein contained shall relieve the holder of any office from any penalty which he would have incurred but for the passing of this sub-section.'"—(Mr. T. M. Healy.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words stand part of the sub-section."
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said it was impossible for him to accept the Amendment. If the hon. and learned Member
§ looked into the statute he would see that the action for penalties lay only in the case of those who were disqualified from holding seats in the House, and did not apply to those who required re-election on the acceptance of office. The section was so worded as to make that clear in the English Act, and it was equally clear in the Act applying to Ireland. To insert this proviso would lure a number of unfortunate people to their ruin, as it would give them an impression that such an action would lie. They would then, perhaps, look to the hon. and learned Member for an indemnity for having misled them. Therefore, in the interests of the hon. and learned Member, as well as of the law, he opposed the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 157; Noes, 80. (Division List No. 207).1163
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Brassey, Albert||Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Brigg, John||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry|
|Arrol, Sir William||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Chapman, Edward|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Charrington, Spencer|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Brymer, William Ernest||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Bull, William James||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Cautley, Henry Strother||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)|
|Bigwood, James||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Crossley, Sir Savile|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Lecky, Rt. Hon. Wm. Edw. H.||Ropner, Col. Robert|
|Dairymple, Sir Charles||Lee, Arthur H (Hants, Fareham||Russell, T. W.|
|Dixon-Hartland Sir Fred Dixon||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Finch, George H.||Lowe, Francis William||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Finlay, Sir Robt. Bannatyne||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Spear, John Ward|
|Fitzroy, Hn. Edw. Algernon||Macdona, John Cumming||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Forster, Henry William||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb'rgh, W||Stroyan, John|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Fred.||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Malcolm, Ian||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S)||Manners, Lord Cecil||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Valentia, Viscount|
|Green, Walford D. (Wedn'sbury||Mitchell, William||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Greene, W. Raynond- (Cambs.)||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Morrell, George Herbert||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Middx||Mount, William Arthur||Webb, Col. William George|
|Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Myers, William Henry||Welby, Lt.-Col. AC E (Tauntom|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Nicholson, William Graham||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Williams, Rt. Hn J Powell- (B'rm|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Parker, Gilbert||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Penn, John||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Wodehouse, Rt. Hon E R (Bath)|
|Hozier, Hon. J. Henry Cecil||Purvis, Robert||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt. Hn Sir U.||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Younger, William|
|Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (St'lybridge|
|Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Kimber, Henry||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Law, Andrew Bonar||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Lawson, John Grant||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Abraham, Wilham (Cork, N. E.||Gilhooly, James||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud||Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Grant, Corrie||O 'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Bell, Richard||Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Malley, William|
|Bo and, John||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Boyle, James||Healy, Timothy Michael||Price, Robert John|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Priestley, Arthur|
|Caldwell, James||Jacoby, James Alfred||Reddy, M.|
|Cameron, Robert||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Joyce, Michael||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Labouchere, Henry||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lambert, George||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Leamy, Edmund||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Leng, Sir John||Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Lloyd-George, David||Spencer, Rt. Hn-CR (Northants|
|Cremer, William Randal||Lundon, W.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Govern, T.||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Delany, William||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Thompson, Dr E C (Monagh'n, N|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Dillon, John||Moss, Samuel||Weir, James Galloway|
|Doogan, P. C.||Murphy, J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Edwards, Frank||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Elibank, Master of||Norman, Henry|
|Ffrench, Peter||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Mr. Patrick O'Brien and Mr. Warner.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)|
|Fulller, J. M. F.||O'Brien P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
§ Bill reported, without Amendment, to be read the third time upon Thursday, 6th June.