§ (9.0.) MR. WILLIAM O'BRIEN (Cork),
in rising to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, viz.—The proclamation, under the provisions of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, of the City of Dublin and of nine Irish counties since the rising of the House in August, and the danger to the public peace arising from the harsh and partisan administration of that Act,891 said: I am sure it is a relief to all of us that we have at last come to the end of the long wrangle as to the right of the representatives of Ireland, without suppression by one English party and without patronage from the other, to have the affairs of their country discussed even for a few hours in a rational manner, instead of our being driven to whatever violent or sporadic means we may be able to find to express our discontent. On my own behalf, Mr. Speaker, and I think I may say on behalf of all my colleagues, I may be allowed to express our deep regret that an unfair portion of the inconvenience of this struggle should have fallen on your shoulders. I will pass from that topic by making an observation which, unfortunately, has a direct bearing on this Motion, and it is to the obstruction which has been offered to this Motion from the first day of these sittings down to the Notice Paper of Friday morning. It is a perfect epitome of the vices and follies of your government of Ireland, which we arraign at this moment, because, as invariably happens in Irish affairs, it turns out that it is we who are in the right, and it is the Government who are wrong. And yet your temper has been tried and our temper has been tried; your business has been obstructed and our business has been obstructed, for the mere pleasure of some puerile dialectical exercitation. As usual, the Irish people have been taught the old lesson that, whatever is not given with grace by this House, must be, and may be, extorted by rougher methods. Under this Motion we have charged the Administration in Ireland with partisanship as well as with hardship. The keynote of that charge—in fact the keynote of all that is occuring in Ireland at the present moment—is to be found in the statement which the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary a few weeks ago published in reference to the proposal of Captain Shawe-Taylor for a Land Conference. Here are his words:No Government can settle the Irish Land Question. It must be settled by the parties interested. The extent of useful action on the part of any Government is limited to providing facilities, in so far as that may be possible, for giving effect to any settlement arrived at by the parties.892 I venture to say that that is, perhaps, one of the most remarkable confessions that ever fell from the lips of an English Governor of Ireland, and if he had the logic and the courage of his convictions it would be one of the most creditable, because it is a confession of a fundamental truth. The right hon. Gentleman by that statement confessed the powerlessness of any English Government to settle the question which is at the root of all good government in Ireland. He confessed that to effect that settlement is a task which will have to be entrusted to the parties interested—that is to say, to the organisations representing the parties interested, because at this time of day to attempt to ignore these two organisations would be just as if you had tried to terminate the Boer War by opening negotiations between the old women and children on both sides. I am glad to find that The Times newspaper, for once in a way, agrees with me in the view of the right hon. Gentleman's statement. The Times of this morning says—By giving his blessing to the proposed Conference between Mr. Redmond and Mr. W. O'Brien, on the one hand, and the Duke of Abercorn and Lord Barrymore, on the other, Mr. Wyndham admitted the claim of the United Irish League to be as much officially the organisation of the tenants as the Landowners Convention is of the landlords.With that declaration of impartiality on his lips he immediately plunges into coercion up to the neck, and for what purpose? In order to gag and persecute one of the parties interested, and that the party that is ready for peace, and to make himself and his Removables and policemen the abject slaves and partisans of the rival combination who will have nothing but war. I ask, Has any English Minister ever more completely given away the case for English rule in Ireland, or more completely condemned his own position? I have no doubt he will say that the settlement was to be effected, not by bitter internecine war, but by friendly agreement between the parties. Yes, but there again he has given away the landlords, and the landlords have given away themselves and him. Because what happened? One of the parties interested, the Tenants Combination, instantly and unequivocally accepted the peace proposal, the only 893 practical proposition that was made. The governing body of the United Irish League unanimously approved of the Conference, the Irish Parliamentary Party unanimously approved of the Conference, and we did so genuinely and in good faith because we believed, and we believe still, that if the landlords had entered into that Conference in the same spirit as we were prepared to enter into it, it would have been perfectly possible to have arrived at a friendly agreement that would have been acceptable both to landlords and tenants, and, if necessary, without asking the British taxpayers to contribute a single shilling of additional taxation beyond the Imperial expenditure in Ireland at the present moment. If such a Conference had been followed by a Conference between representatives of the two English parties, as Mr. Gladstone, in one of his great inspirations, once suggested, there never was a moment that such astonishingly good results could have been brought about in the way of the appeasement of Ireland. That was the attitude of the tenants; what was the attitude of the landlords? The leaders of the Landowners Convention summarily and insolently rejected these proposals, notwithstanding that, if rumour does not belie him, the right hon. Gentleman took the trouble to travel all the way from County Cork up to Barronscourt in the extreme north, to implore them to save themselves and the country. That was the attitude of the landlords, and now you have the extraordinary result that at this moment it is the men who responded to these peace proposals that are being coerced and persecuted; and it is the gentlemen who scoffed at the right hon. Gentleman's own advice, it is the Landowners' Convention, who by seventy-seven votes to fourteen rejected the proposals of the Conference—these are the men in whose interests the right hon. Gentleman is prostituting the power of England, in order to pander to a clique of selfish territorialists, and play their own selfish game of political intrigue and influence at the expense of certain unfortunate tenants, and at the expense of the people of England, for whom they are laying up a fresh harvest of trouble. That is the right hon. Gentleman's notion of impartiality and statesmanship 894 in the administration of this desperate and exceptional law. We do not forget that it would be unfair to include all the landlords of Ireland in the same breath. There have been some very remarkable developments, and it would be a very shallow and stupid Irishman who would deny that the action of men like Lord Dunraven, the O'Conor Don, Lord Mayo, and Lord Castletown, might be capable of producing results of considerable importance to their own class if they were seconded by a Minister strong enough to grasp the situation, and fearless enough to look to high ideals rather than that of scoring a point, or attempting to do so. These men, undoubtedly, compare not unfavourably in every respect even with those intellectual giants—Lord Londonderry, Lord Ardilaun, and Lord Barry-more—who have hitherto had the courage of their opinions. Unhappily, Lord Dunraven and his friends have to deal with a class—I am afraid with a Ministry—who are not strong enough to stand up to this syndicate of brewers and colliery owners who are rushing the Irish landlords to their ruin. I regret it truly and unfeignedly. If these gentlemen would take a suggestion from me—and I can assure them it is made in no petty or Party spirit—instead of writing letters to The Times newspaper to convert gentlemen of the peculiar cerebral formation of Lord Londonderry, they would frankly and honestly join the United Irish League, and trust their own countrymen, within three months they would have settled the Irish Land Question to their own advantage and to the immeasurable advantage of Ireland. We are used to a great many ridiculous misunderstandings in this House and in this country, but there never was a more idiotic notion than the notion that we cling to agitation for the mere love of it. We are ready to act justly and generously, to give more than generous terms to the landlords of Ireland—we do not grudge them, on the contrary, we would welcome them, on the one simple condition, of these landlords recognising that they are Irishmen instead of their playing the part of country less half-castes, Anglo-Irish Octoroons, who have not at the present moment an atom of power or respect in Ireland and who, I suspect, enjoy very little more respect 895 or love in England. The fault, or perhaps the weakness, on our part is that we have been always too ready to respond to the first genuine touch of kindness. Even the most extreme amongst us are not altogether exempt from the weakness, if I may call it so. Be that as it may, under the present circumstances there is very little fear of even our extremists being subjected to any weakening, because the right hon. Gentleman is proceeding in his government of Ireland upon the principle of persecuting the men who are reconcilable and who are in the right, in the interest of the men who are irreconcilable and who are in the wrong.
What are the crimes for which the right hon. Gentleman has placed Dublin and these nine counties under such severe disabilities and degradations? The first fact that I would ask the House to bear in mind is that, broadly speaking, there is no real agrarian crime in Ireland—nothing except the technical crime of free speech, which has been created by the Coercion Act, and which even a Unionist so irrational as your own County Court Judge O'Connor Morris has confessed to be free from moral blame. If Englishmen only took the pains of going through the statistics of the present time in Ireland and compared them with the state of bloodshed and terror in reference to which other Coercion Acts were proposed, I am convinced that even the bitterest of our English opponents would feel humiliated and ashamed that proceedings so tyrannical should be put in force in a country from which crime has been so absolutely absent. If the Government had attempted to pass the Coercion Act through Parliament this session, with even their ironclad majority of 130, they could not have got the Bill through the House; and I venture to say there is no Minister on the Treasury Bench who would be case-hardened enough to propose it, knowing how utterly destitute were the materials to justify it. At The Times Forgeries Commission evidence was given that there had been eighty-seven agrarian murders during the three years of the Land League, in spite of the heroic efforts of Michael Davitt to avert them. The United Irish League has been four 896 and a half years in existence, and during those years there has been just one agrarian murder in the whole country, and that took place three years ago, and it did not take place in the province of Connaught, where alone at that time the United Irish League was in existence. When the Liberal Government were proposing the Coercion Act of 1882 they produced statistics showing that there had been 9,023 agrarian outrages from 1879 to 1882. I have got here the latest quarterly Return of agrarian crime in Ireland, and it is like a certain famous history of snakes in Ireland. Snakes there are none‡ Except a few threatening letters, there are only twenty-one petty agrarian offences returned in the whole country for three months. Under all the important headings there are long columns of blanks from many counties, and from whole provinces. It is exactly the same story in what are called the disturbed counties. Not a single crime of any sort; nothing that even the imagination of Dublin Castle could dress up and represent as a crime in the ordinary sense of the word, except threatening letters, of which I myself in this House have received in a single night as many as have been charged against the whole people of Ireland. I have no grievance against the threatening letter writers, except when they forget to pay the postage. It is not as if we made these representations about the state of Ireland. I have referred to your reports. Let me now refer to a still better witness. On the 14th March, in this House, the Chief Secretary stated, much to his credit, "Therefore, I have always held it my duty to say that of violent crime against the person or property in Ireland, there is less now than in any period of which we have record" Well, grossly though the people have been exasperated, I do not think that it will be pretended that any serious change has taken place since, except, as the House heard today, that no less than five county jails in Ireland have since been closed for want of any ordinary criminals to occupy them. This is the country in which the right hon. Gentleman has proclaimed the City of Dublin and nine other counties—this is the country in which you are attacking Members of Parliament, your own colleagues in this House, more savagely 897 than you sometimes treat your wife-beaters and garrotters in England. This is the country in which, I venture to say, within the last twelve months yon have attacked more newspapers—you who love the freedom of the Press—for reporting Irish meetings than have been suppressed in Russia during the same period—a period of exceptional danger to Russia, and I know what I am talking about perhaps a little better than the yellow journals who are so fond of giving the Czar a lesson on constitutional matters.
There is another point. It is not you, but these very Members of Parliament, and these very newspapers and this organisation that you have attacked, that have got rid of agrarian crime in Ireland. You could not do it. For the one crime you ever put down you create a hundred. The agents of Dublin Castle are themselves the worst disturbers, and very often the worst criminals, and yet, as I told the House the other night of a police crime, which, if it had succeeded, would have covered the reputation of this Party and organisation with mire and blood, you heard the Attorney General for Ireland really arguing as if the criminal were not the police forger but the man who, in defence of his own honour and the honour of the country against one of the foulest wrongs ever attempted, inconvenienced Dublin Castle by attempting to bring that man to justice. We have given you a country absolutely free from bloodshed or from any deeds which shun the daylight. You are dealing now, not with a country of moonlighters, but with a country of broad daylighters, thanks to the teaching of the United Irish League. This organisation has now for nearly five years been in operation, every year with decreasing agrarian statistics, and in all that time our watchful enemies in Dublin Castle and the landlord camp have never been able to fasten upon a single deed of bloodshed which by any perversity of malice could be traced to the teachings of our organisation. There is no fathoming the infatuation of English rule in Ireland. A wise English statesman would frankly and honestly acknowledge the work of the League. It may literally be stated that adjectives, strong adjectives, have been substituted for bullets in agrarian controversy. A wise statesman would go down on his knees and thank his stars that the Irish people have 898 been brought to look upon peaceful and combined public action in the open day instead of looking to the blunderbuss and to the midnight outrage for weapons of agitation.
What has been the statesmanship of the right hon. Gentleman, or rather of the Landowners' Convention, whom he has ignobly, for a man of his admitted mental stature, permitted to run the show, and to pull the strings, and to direct his performance? The men behind him have been striving to wrest from the people the weapons of open and legitimate agitation; they have been trying to persuade the people that an editor or Member of Parliament who fearlessly speaks out public opinion is doing a more dangerous thing for himself, and, perhaps, a more ineffectual thing, than the man who would fire at a landlord from behind a ditch. These men know that the absence of crime is our strength and their weakness, and horrible as it undoubtedly is to have to say it, I say deliberately these men are longing for crime, and working for crime, because they know it is their only hope of putting down the public opinion of their countrymen, and of arousing English prejudice and passion against us. Anyone knows that crime would be our ruin. The House has heard a good deal about County Court Judge Curran, the gentleman who threw in the face of twenty-three grand jurors their resolution referring to the peaceful condition of the county. That gentleman in passing a sentence of hard labour upon one of our colleagues, made this remarkable and eloquent statement—I have some experience of the terrible crime of boycotting in other times, and I deliberately say that as the result of that experience I should far prefer going back to the time when there would be a calendar containing twenty or thirty cases of serious crime, ordinary crime, than to see systematic boycotting practised in any county.That is to say, this gentleman would be happier if there were twenty or thirty cases of murder or midnight outrage, instead of the state of things in which the people are peacefully combining to deal with their friends instead of dealing with their enemies. I know how difficult it is to criticise this gentleman's conduct. The Prime Minister declined to give the House an opportunity of doing so. I do not desire to say anything particularly unfriendly of Judge Curran, 899 owing to his earlier life, but I am sorry for him, and all I can say is, if I had read that statement anonymously, I should have thought it a statement more worthy of a ghoul than of a Judge.
Now, what are those terrible crimes for which practically you have put an end to trial by jury and to freedom of the Press, and have been carrying on all these savageries against your own colleagues in this House? I hope I have shown that it is not really agrarian crimes you are dealing with, as of old. It is not a strike against rent, as of old. There is absolutely no trace of a rent strike in any part of the county outside the immediate neigh bourhood of the De Freyne estate, where it arose out of peculiar and sad local circumstance and without consultation with the governing body of the United Irish League ["Oh"]. Who is the Gentleman opposite who interrupts?
§ MR. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
The hon. Member for East Mayo will be mighty well able to speak for himself. I assert most distinctly that in no way whatever was the governing body of the League consulted.
§ MR. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
I would refer the hon. Gentleman to his own constituents, who, I think, will inform him that the English House of Commons is not the proper place for an altercation among men calling themselves Irishmen. For myself, the first whisper I heard of the fight on the De Freyne estate was when I was 12,000 miles away, and in a speech in which the right hon. the Chief Secretary charged me with having organised it. I invited the right hon. Gentleman in this House, and I invite him now, to cite from any of the four or five hundred speeches I have delivered in the course of this fight, a single sentence in which I countenanced non-payment of rent as a weapon in this agitation, and certainly I do not claim to be gifted with the talent of concealing my thoughts through so long a series of speeches. No, Sir, you have no crime to deal with, no 900 no-rent strike to deal with, and I venture to say to this House that the only crime of any kind against which this Act is directed is the crime of free speech and of free newspaper writing, based on the principle of trade union law in England, and asserting the right of exclusive dealing.
I am afraid of absorbing an unfair proportion of the time available for this miserably restricted debate, or I should be glad to quote the strongest of the speeches that have been made the basis of charges against my colleagues. I suppose I may safely leave that task to the Chief Secretary, and I ask the House to watch those speeches, and to see for themselves if this were a question of a big miners' strike in England, or a big dockers' strike in London, whether any one of those speeches would have attracted any particular attention in England if it were delivered at an English Trade Union Congress. There is an easy test. Lord Londonderry is a colliery owner in England, as well as a leader of the land war in Ireland. If there were a strike of his miners in England I should like to see Lord Londonderry and his colleagues facing the working men of I England at a General Election, I should like to see the Prime Minister of England facing the working men of Manchester, or the Member for West Birmingham facing the working men of Birmingham, if for speeches of that character to the strikers in England, men of honour and noble lives like the Member for Morpeth and the Member for Battersea had been treated as our colleagues have been treated—had been treated with the same cowardly and beastly violence and foul play.
Now we come to the proclamation of Dublin. Today the right hon. Gentleman, with a candour on which, I must say, I compliment him, made to this House the astonishing confession that the city of Dublin, the capital of the country, had been proclaimed under this frightful Act, for no other reason under the sun except to enable him to deal with the Irish People newspaper. I congratulate him on his candour and thank him for its gigantic advertisement; but I ask the House was there ever such a declaration made by a Minister before, as that the capital city of a country, counting with its suburbs something like 500,000 901 inhabitants, should be stripped of the right of trial by jury and reduced to a state of minor siege in order to deal with a humble weekly newspaper? An hon. Member opposite interrupted me just now when I was referring to the Member for West Birmingham. There are two Members for West Birmingham—the Member of the present and the Member of the past. I would ask the hon. Member opposite just to fancy the Birmingham of old times being proclaimed under this Act and being stripped of the right of trial by jury, in order to get at a weekly newspaper in Birmingham, or even at the Birmingham Daily Post, for publishing the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, the speeches of those old, old times of his Radical, or rather of his Republican, days when we are assured on high authority that he was preaching the doctrines of Jack Cade. No, Mr. Speaker, Birmingham is not to be proclaimed, though Dublin is a very much more peaceful city than Birmingham, as I think the hon. Member for Carnarvon can testily.
I have something else to say to the House, and I will not waste the time of the House [some MINISTERIAL cheers, and Irish cries of "Order" and "The gentlemen of England ‡"] I can only attribute that interruption to what the French call "inferior mentality" I will not waste the time at my disposal by dealing with the three or four trumpery paragraphs denouncing landgrabbing, for which the Irish People was prosecuted. I am sure that the Chief Secretary will make up for the deficiency, and will read those paragraphs in full, and I ask the House as soon as they have heard them to say if ever there was a more ridiculous mouse produced than that which the Government had produced, after putting a mountain in labour and after reducing a city of half a million of inhabitants to slavery. We accuse the Government in this Motion of harshness, as well as of partisanship—harshness is the very meekest word that I could find in the dictionary. We do not intend to make any appeal to this House in reference to the brutal way, the blackguardly way, in which these Coercion Courts have been conducted. The more those courts are conducted in 902 that manner the sooner will any decent Englishman be revolted at them. Do not for a moment think that we on these Benches want to be one whit better treated than the humblest man who appears before those courts for taking our advice—I mean, of course the advice we really do give, not the hideous caricature of that advice that passes current with the Party of invincible ignorance on the other side of the House. I only mean invincible ignorance as to the affairs of Ireland which they will persist in running into. If the expression of public opinion is to be a crime, by all means do not spare us. On the contrary, I felicitate the Government upon having the courage of their convictions, and upon treating the representatives of Ireland with more brutality even than you are treating the people. You are now laying down as your principle of government that the more faithtul and fearless a representative of the people is, the heavier will be his crime and the heavier will be your disgusting punishment. That is your pretty theory of constitutional Government in the twentieth century, and you are surprised that a race of 20,000,000 do not kiss the rod and do not bow down and worship and love you.
In the old times, before you passed the Local Government Bill in 1892, you fell back upon the empty cry that the elected representatives of Ireland were not the true representatives of the people. Even so late as last Saturday I saw in the newspaper that Lord Cadogan had made a speech with some questionable taste, knowing as he well must, that if he had made that speech the day before he quitted Dublin the men he had used for his own purposes had only to raise their hands, and he would have been hooted through Dublin to the ship's side. But by your own Local Government Act you have blown Lord Cadogan's ideas sky high. In the local councils of Ireland there is as intensely localised a representation of the people as it would be possible to have, and what is the consequence? In 30 out of 32 counties you have been forced to make war on the County Councils and the District Councils, just as you are making war on the Irish representatives. It is a war directed not so much against Members of Parliament, 903 whom you cannot disqualify and dare not expel, but against the local representatives of the people—a war to intimidate the men who have carried on a system of local administration so excellent that the Local Government Board, hostile as it is, has borne testimony to its good work. Instead of honestly con fessing that you have the people of Ireland against you, instead of admitting that all Irish representatives in every shape and category, in Parliament, in corporations, in district and county councils, are against you, your brilliant idea is to try to terrorise by these disabilities and these disgusting torments of public men—in order to drive from public life the men whose character and public spirit would be the treasure and security for the good government of any other country on the face of the earth.
The treatment of these men is opposed to the usages of civilisation. Englishmen have been political prisoners before now. I am not speaking of the Jameson raid, with reference to which incident the right hon. Gentleman hawked a begging letter round the House. When the right hon. Gentleman remembers, the way he is treating Irish Members, let him not forget how they enabled him to secure civilised treatment for his own friends. I do not envy the right hon. Gentleman's feelings when he reflects that at this moment some of the men who signed that petition at his request are now lying on plank beds under his orders. But Dr. Jameson was not merely the prisoner of this country; he was the prisoner of President Kruger, whom hon. Members opposite are accustomed to abuse. Was Dr. Jameson stretched on a plank bed, or was he hanged by the neck from the nearest tree, as Mr. Kruger would have been justified in doing by every canon of international law? English soldiers and officers in thousands fell into the hands of those poor, rude, uncultured, peasant farmers in South Africa, and they knew what Boer prisons were like. No doubt the English soldiers had to rough it and to put up with a good deal of discomfort; but I ask them to say whether they were treated by their Boer gaolers as the Irish Members are being treated by the Chief Secretary in Ireland. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Question, 904 question"] Irish Members, after all, have feelings as well as the officers of the Imperial Yeomanry, and I ask what would hon. Gentlemen opposite think if they had been treated by the Boer Generals as the right hon. Gentleman's gaolers have treated an hon. friend of mine who is sitting on these Benches at this moment not far from me—I will not name him, because it is a matter too horrible for the ears of civilisation. A member of the Irish Party has been sentenced for a speech to his constituents, and he has been ordered into the prison wash-house and invited to wash the underclothing of abandoned women from a neighbouring ward. [Some MINISTERIAL laughter, and Irish cries of "Shame," "Only a cad could laugh," and "Cecil."] The hon. Member who laughs is not worthy to unloose the latchet of the shoe of the man to whom I have referred, and I pity the England that can produce a noble Lord that can jeer at such a circumstance. It is one of those things almost too horrible to mention, one of the things from which history loves to avert its gaze. But this is the way in which the Government are vindicating the glory and humanity of England against the Irish Members. What were the offences for which these two sets of men found themselves in prison? I do not want to say anything against the soldiers, who, of course, only obeyed orders. The Government entered upon the Transvaal war in order to plunder the Boers of their gold. [Cries of "Order."]
§ MR. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
I was only going to point out that as far as the men who are imprisoned under this Act are concerned, their one crime is that they strove to preserve some remnants of the population of their own country, which is less within the last ten years by some 430,000 of the very flower of the inhabitants. Those who live in this rich country cannot imagine the feelings of Irishmen when they see the population in Ireland wasting away like a consumptive patient, coughing away its life 905 every week, and who feel that unless something heroic is done it may be too late. The Chief Secretary may have a brilliant career before him, but up to the present his only achievement in Ireland has been to invent a new way of stretching his political opponents on the rack, a war from which the present Prime Minister shrunk under the old Coercion Act. The right hon. Gentleman read out the other day a list of 1,200 sentences of hard labour under the old Coercion Act, but in nearly all those cases they were directed against instances of resistance to the police and to the bailiffs, none of which are taking place at the present moment, while as to the large number of Members of Parliament, priests, and editors of newspapers who were prosecuted then, only the merest insignificant fraction of them were sentenced to hard labour. I should be very sorry for one moment to suggest that the right hon. Gentleman derives any pleasure from sending his colleagues to hard labour, but it will not do for the Chief Secretary, as he did this afternoon, to state that it is not by his orders, and that he has not given any directions to these removable magistrates. Who ever suspected Dublin Castle of doing anything as clumsy as that? But mark this fact. These removable magistrates suddenly began to pass sentences of hard labour the moment the cue was given them, and every man in Ireland knows thoroughly well that, at one word of reprobation of this savagery from the right hon. Gentleman, his miserable creatures would drop their new plan of campaign just as quickly as they took it up. Some of the resident magistrates are honourable men, but most of them are creatures who are as amenable as the right hon. Gentleman's valet to his slightest word.
These proceedings are only worthy of your concentration camps in South Africa. But we have no appeal to make to you. These things degrade and disgrace you and not us, and you are only in the beginning of them. I could have quoted to you what happened to my hon. friend the Member for North Longford, who was sentenced to two months hard labour for publishing reports of the branches of the United Irish League. You remember his answer when he was told that the sentence of hard labour would be dropped if he undertook to refrain from such conduct. Do you suppose that you are 906 going to frighten him by hard labour? Will you frighten the hon. Member for South Mayo, who was not frightened by your policemen who pulled him down, without a shadow of legal right, by brute force, and pulled him off every platform from which he attempted to address his own constituency? Do you suppose you will frighten my hon. friend the Member for East Galway, who will be face to face with a sentence of four months hard labour? You may torture these men, you may kill them, and you will kill them if you go on in this way. These hon. Members have announced that they will risk their lives in resisting your prison treatment. Any man who knows the hon Member for North Longford and the hon. Member for East Galway knows that when they pledge their lives they mean what they say. Do you think you will dishonour my hon. friend the Member for East Galway in the eyes of the Irish people, for whom he has already given up the greater part of his noble and unselfish life? Do you think you are going to frighten the local bodies of the country? No; these bodies have only at any moment to cease holding their meetings, and they would land the Government in chaos and paralysis. They are not in a hurry to be driven to such steps, but they could do it, and if they are driven to it they will do it. The right hon. Gentleman has had a great opportunity in Ireland, and has still, for we never nourish a personal grudge against any man who will do good work for Ireland.
Tomorrow, or the day after, a great many of us will be going back to Ireland, and it will be for this House to send us back with a message of peace or war. With the Government will be the responsibility, and, sooner or later, with them will be the retribution. If you send us back with the message that this House has no sympathy for the people you persist in governing against their will, and who have never done you any wrong and upon whom you have inflicted centuries of almost uninterrupted cruelty and wrong, yours will be the responsibility. The Irish people may be beaten down by the force of England, but they have never been beaten down for long. Cromwell could not do it, and I do not think that even the right hon. Gentleman's rashest flatterer would suggest 907 that he is likely to succeed where Cromwell failed. The attitude of the Irish Party and of the Irish people towards our enemies in this House, or out of it, may be summed up in a rough and ready way in a couplet which is familiar to us in Ireland, in which the stalwart peasants of Tipperary are made to say to their landlords:We have a hand for the grasp of friendship, and another to make you quake,And you are welcome to whichsoever it pleases you most to take.
§ (10.15.) CAPTAIN DONELAN (Cork, E.)
said that after the exhaustive and powerful speech which his hon. friend had delivered it was not necessary for him to go into detail in seconding this Motion. It would be generally agreed that a more powerful indictment of the Government had never been presented to this House. He felt sure that many hon. Members sitting in different quarters of the House who had listened to the speech just delivered could not but feel ashamed of the coercion policy at present pursued in Ireland, and of the brutalities at present being perpetrated upon their political opponents and the public men of that country. He ventured to think that even English Conservative Members could not fail to recognise that the existing situation in Ireland was a disgrace to England. It was difficult for any one who did not reside in a proclaimed district in Ireland thoroughly to understand the conditions of life which prevailed there and under which the people had at present to live. Not only were public men flung into gaol for asserting the right of free speech, but members of public bodies were unable to transact the business of the boards to which they belonged without being compelled to pass through rows of policemen stationed at the doors, who entered their names in note-books, just as if those public men were bent upon some desperate enterprise. Within the past fortnight he had attended a business meeting in the board room of one of the unions in his constituency. On entering the gates of the workhouse he passed through files of police, stationed there for the purpose of entering the names in their books of his friends and himself, just as if they were ticket-of-leave men. He wondered how long the English 908 people would submit to insults of that character. He would ask hon. Members to turn this matter over in their minds, and put themselves in his place and the place of his colleagues. One would imagine that the Unionist policy would be a policy of conciliation, and that an attempt would at least be made to cultivate good relations between the two countries, but apparently the policy, at least of the present Unionist Government, was as far as possible to widen the chasm between them. What greater outrage could be inflicted on any people than to heap insults on their elected representatives? It appeared to him to be the deliberate aim and object of the present Government to heap every species of indignity and insult upon the Irish Nationalist representatives in their own country. Irish Nationalist Members were sent to pick oakum, and in this country they were targets almost daily of the vilest abuse from the so-called Unionist Press. He regretted to say that the abuse was not confined to the Unionist Press, for within the past two days the late Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, who was always treated with the utmost courtesy by the Irish Members, joined in the chorus. It surely must at length be apparent to the English people that the present situation in Ireland was impossible. He ventured to say that the sooner the British electors recognised that no country could be constitutionally governed against the will of the vast majority of the people, the sooner would they adopt the only possible remedy of Home Rule for Ireland. He begged to second the Motion.
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. William O'Brien.)
§ (10.23.) MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
said the debate tonight was worthy of somewhat more respectful attention than some, at least, of the hon. Gentlemen below the gangway on the Ministerial side had given to it. He rather regretted that some of the younger Members opposite thought it desirable to interrupt his hon. friend with observations which were not worthy of them, the House, or the subject. Though this was a very serious and 909 violent question, he wished, so far as he could, to give the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary no provocation to choose the worse instead of the better way of dealing with the Irish problem. His own opinion of the present situation in Ireland, whatever the right hon. Gentleman or anybody else might say, was that they were nearing the close of the land struggle in that country, if the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues were equal to the situation. The landlords and the tenants were approaching each other by stress of circumstances, and the right hon. Gentleman therefore had the opportunity, which no Statesman who was responsible for the government of Ireland ever had before, of dealing with the question with everything in his favour. But if the right hon. Gentleman wished to clear the way for this settlement of the Land Question forever, he was going in the very worst way about doing it by his policy. If the right hon. Gentleman proceeded on the sinister path of coercion he would produce a state of feeling in Ireland, and in England as well, which would make it almost impossible for him, or for any Government, to deal with the Land Question in a large and statesmanlike way. Their complaint against the right hon. Gentleman was that his administration of the Coercion Act was partisan—that it was used in the interests of one great class in a class war. What would have been said of President Roosevelt if, at the very moment when he was trying to produce reconciliation in connection with the great coal strike he had proclaimed the organisation of the miners, and proceeded by officers dependent on the Executive Government, instead of by independent judges to try the leaders in special courts, and to send them to prison? What would have been said of the leaders of the capitalists on the other side if they had insisted on the insane and childish policy of the landlord party in Ireland, and had refused to meet Mr. Mitchell and the other leaders of the workmen on the ground that they were not representative of the miners' organisation? The right hon. Gentleman had said that he gave no directions to the resident magistrates. It was not necessary that he should. What was their position? 910 They could be removed, promoted, dismissed, or pensioned by the right hon. Gentleman. They were absolutely at his mercy. With regard to sentences, he thought the right hon. Gentleman had improved upon the Chief Secretary in the administration of coercion. He did not know whether the House understood what was meant by the addition of hard labour to the sentences which were passed now. The meaning was that if a district councillor were sentenced to hard labour he was for five years debarred from serving his country as a member of those Boards. Was it statesmanship to exclude from the Government of Ireland the most trusted and respected leaders of the people—those men who had gained encomium even from a hostile Local Government Board? He had the honour of being a member of the Select Committee of this House which a few years ago dealt with the whole question of the prison treatment of this country and of Ireland. That Committee had the honour of abolishing the system of starvation which existed in the prisons of England and Ireland. They endeavoured to make the distinction which was made in every civilised country in the world between political and ordinary prisoners. Was there any country where it was not made except this? He was going to say Russia, but it was made in Russia to an extent that very few people knew. Transportation to Siberia for political offences, which was deprecated as something beyond human endurance, was a far better fate than being sent to several years penal servitude. It was reserved for England, which claimed to stand in the van of civilisation and humanity, to treat political prisoners in a manner unknown to the despotism of Russia. He was sorry to see hon. Members opposite burst into laughter when the prison treatment of political offenders in Ireland was described. He should have thought that the ferocious attempts which were being made to degrade political opponents would have made every decent Englishman blush. During this great war which had recently been closed thousands of Englishmen were treated with the utmost humanity by the manly and courageous foe with whom they were dealing, and he thought that Irishmen had a right to ask that 911 their countrymen should be as well treated by the British Government as the Boers treated British prisoners. There were hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House who brought the petition in favour of the better treatment of the participants in the Jameson Raid to the Nationalist Benches. Was it consistent that these very hon. Gentlemen should now cheer the Minister who refused to distinguish between political and other prisoners in Ireland? Some of the sentences which had been passed were savage and unworthy of any Government. Hon. Gentlemen opposite might complain that some of the language from the Nationalist Benches had been hot and strong, but he should like to know how, if they had come from imprisonment with the plank bed and bread-and-water diet, they would feel if a Liberal Government were to debar them from the opportunity of making the facts known. He had no doubt the right hon. Gentleman desired to settle the Irish Land Question if he had an opportunity of doing so. He hoped and prayed that the right hon. Gentleman would now avail himself of the opportunity which had presented itself for carrying out a right land policy and of closing the struggle of centuries. He asked him to turn away from the dark and sinister paths of coercion.
§ (10.40.) MR. TULLY
said there had not been a Coercion Act passed in Ireland for the last twenty-five years where he was not one of the first to be taken up under it. When the right hon. Gentleman came to Ireland and issued his first Crimes Act summons, it was against him it was issued. He wished to protest not only against the proclamation of nine counties, but against the mean, underhand manner in which the operations of the Crimes Act had been extended by the Chief Secretary and his colleagues on the Front Bench. Section 2, sub-Section 8, was one of the most dangerous provisions in the Crimes Act. It dealt with cases of unlawful assemblies. Owing to the action of the right hon. Gentleman, and he supposed the Attorney-General, that sub-Section bad now been extended to every part of Ireland without any proclamation and without any notice being 912 given in this House. The old legal writers held that an unlawful assembly should be one that would create terror and fear to His Majesty's subjects, but owing to the refinements of lawyers and judges in Dublin this had now been extended to attending assemblies which were perfectly peaceful, and at which no riot and nothing exciting fear or terror occurred. At first it was held that if a person took part in an unlawful assembly he should do so knowingly or unlawfully, but the law had been extended so that the mere fact of being present at a meeting in Ireland brought a man within the meshes of the Crimes Act. It had been decided by the Lord Chief Baron that under Section 2 of the Crimes Act such a meeting as he had described was an unlawful assembly, and that anyone taking part in that assembly was knowingly taking part in it. That was how the law had been strained and extended in Ireland in a mean and underhand manner. What happened in his own case? He attended an ordinary crossroads meeting on a Sunday. It was sworn by the police officers that the meeting was perfectly peaceable, that there was no riot, or anything tending to excite fear or terror among His Majesty's subjects. The Crimes Act had not been proclaimed in the district, and no notice had been given to anybody that the meeting should not be held. Yet he was dragged before two removable magistrates for attending and speaking at it. The judges in Dublin decided that the Chairman's speech was legal, that the resolutions were legal, that the speech of the man who spoke before him was legal, and that they could not point to a single sentence in his speech which was illegal. In fact, it was not half as strong as some of the speeches he had made in the House. But because two other gentlemen made speeches, which he himself did not hear, the meeting was declared to be an unlawful assembly. [Laughter from the MINISTERIAL Benches.] The judges declared that they could not split an assembly up into compartments. [Renewed laughter.] That might be very funny to hon. Gentlemen opposite, but he had to lie on a plank bed for it. That was the law as laid down in Ireland dealing with every meeting, even County Council and District Council meetings, where any 913 man got up and made a strong speech; any man who took part in such a meeting could be tried, as he was, by removable magistrates, and packed off to the nearest prison. What he complained of was that the second section of the Crimes Act had been construed in a mean and insidious manner. The hon. Member for Cork and the hon. Member for Scotland Division of Liverpool had now taken up the very attitude for which he had been ostracised and denounced. They had come round, in fact, to his way of thinking. He did not wish to embitter this matter, but he had been denounced for publishing a letter suggesting a conference on the De Freyne estate, a conference which he knew would have been successful, and would have saved the tenants all the law costs and ruin which had fallen upon them; and a conference which would have led to a large number of these tenants being now on their way to become peasant proprietors. Because he would not give the name of the writer of that letter, he had been denounced in the most scandalous manner. He was glad to think that the hon. Member for Cork had now accepted his views in regard to the conference. He hoped the Chief Secretary would give up his policy of coercion and would deal with the land question. If the land question in Ireland was to be settled, it could only be so on a fair basis that would give to the landlords as much for their investments of the price of their property as they were now getting from their rents, and which would enable the tenants to obtain their land on the same terms as they would get it by voluntary purchase. It was said that the landlords were willing to accept twenty-seven years purchase, and that the average tenants were paying, by voluntary agreement, eighteen and a half years purchase for their holdings. He understood that the rent-roll of Ireland at the present moment was between seven and eight millions. The difference between twenty-seven years purchase and eighteen and a half years purchase would be about fifty-six millions. That fifty-six millions could easily be saved by abolishing the Land Commission, and reducing the bloated strength of the constabulary in Ireland, and the whole thing could be carried 914 out without the loss of a farthing to the British Exchequer. He supported this Motion because he was always against coercion, he did not care from what quarter it came. He had been put in prison by Liberals as well as by Tories, and had been coerced in every quarter of the House, although he had always managed to survive.
§ (10.55.) THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM,) Dover
I do not rise either to re-argue the legal points involved in the case which led to the hon. Member's being sentenced to a term of imprisonment, or to confirm or dispute his anticipations of the details of the solution of the land question which he believes will put an end to all future troubles in respect to the land in Ireland. I know everybody nowadays has a solution of the land question in his pocket; and, indeed, I can say quite sincerely I think we are nearer a solution than we have ever been before. Sir, I rise to answer a sweeping indictment which has been brought against the Government. The major parts of all the speeches to which we have listened have consisted in a charge that the Government, and myself as the Minister responsible to this House, have instituted in Ireland unjustifiable and partisan prosecutions; that the persons who have been found guilty before the tribunals in Ireland have, owing to the administration of the Criminal Law and Procedure Act, had less than justice, and during their incarceration they have not received that humane treatment which, I suppose, they should have received had the general prisons rules been properly administered. Well, that was a sweeping indictment. But hon. Members were good enough to suggest the line of my defence. It was very obliging of them to challenge me to read out three paragraphs in one newspaper on which I founded the recent action taken by the Irish Government. Sir, my defence will not consist in reading out this or that paragraph from a newspaper, or this or that passage from a speech. My defence, if I have time to develop it, will consist in showing there has been a steady, persistent, and deliberate encroachment upon liberty in Ireland; that the Government, after long delay, and perhaps 915 after undue reluctance, have taken the steps which in their opinion were necessary if the existing system of land laws, or any other system of land laws, in Ireland is ever to have a fair chance to assist that country.
But I cannot pass altogether by a certain note which was sounded more than once in the speeches to which we have listened. The hon. Member who moved the Adjournment concluded his speech by asking whether he and those who sit with him were to be sent back to Ireland with a message of peace or of war. The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool re-echoed that language. They seemed to indicate that we were at a parting of the way. The words "peace" and "war" came again and again into the speech of the mover of the Adjournment of the House. He charged one set of Irishmen with being in favour of war, and another set of Irishmen, including himself, he credited with a desire for peace. I have often, I hope not in a priggish or pedantic way, deprecated the importation of these military terms into the discussion of economic and constitutional questions. But there are, I suppose, some civil contentions to which the terms of war may aptly be applied. In Ireland we talk of the land war when we speak of the land; but, whether in respect of actual warfare or in respect of such civil contentions, I have always found that those who have most personal experience either of actual warfare or of such contentions are the slowest to begin war, because they know what the cost of war is. Just because they do know, they hold it right when this course has been undertaken to see that value has been received from it, and the men who are slowest to begin war are found to be the slowest to make peace. In the first period, they are unpopular with the war party, and in the second period, they are unpopular with the peace party; but I think they are right all through. There is room for diplomacy before the outbreak of war; there is room for sentiment after the conclusion of peace; but between these two epochs there is, I deeply regret to say, room only for fighting. Fighting must go on until the question has been determined one way or the other.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
That is so. Nor do I think what I have said points by any means to the necessity of war. What is the question at issue? In our opinion it is a simple one. Our contention has been one of one point alone—that intimidation ought not to be used in order to coerce people into courses, good, bad, or indifferent, from which they have a right to refrain. We contend that it is used in Ireland, that it is used for an object which inflicts injury, not only on the immediate victims of such intimidation but on the general welfare of the Irish nation; and, in any case, we contend that such intimidation is illegal, and consequently that those who are guilty of using it for this purpose ought to be made amenable to the law. But the contention of hon. Members is not simple; it is complex, and even confused. Whereas some of them speak, as hon. Members have spoken tonight, of insisting on the necessity of passing some Large measure of land purchase which would enable the tenant to own the holding he now occupies without, the delay adequate for that purpose, others say that all the great grazing ranches ought to be split up and distributed. Stated in that extreme fashion, it is an economic absurdity and legislative impossibility. There may be room, there ought to be room, for working into any general Bill for land purchase, as a subordinate corollary, facilities for dealing with congestion wherever it exists, for not selling a holding to anyone who is to be a debtor to the State and who cannot count upon making a livelihood. But there is a third section of opinion, and I could quote sheaves of speeches to prove it, who state that the object of this land movement is not a solution of the land question, but that it is necessary to expel what they call the British garrison. These are not the great titled noblemen, but some of them are themselves farmers who came forty or fifty 917 years ago from England, and some men who came from England in the time of Cromwell. These men are to be expelled from Irish soil. Then there is the fourth school of thought, if that is the proper phrase, who seem to think that this question ought to be used, not in order to settle the land question, which, I think should he done, but to render Government in Ireland impossible. That, again, is subdivided into minor classes, some of which, if we are to judge from the Roscrea case, hold that tenancies in towns ought not to be determined according to the ordinary process of law. And there are some who advocate that in towns all shopkeepers ought to be boycotted who will not join a particular political organisation. There are others who advocate openly that through the length and breadth of Ireland, local boards who have received great power under the Local Government Act should give their contracts, not to the lowest tender, but to the highest tender if the person who tenders belongs to the political organisation. I do not rehearse these different views in order to bring any acrimony into the debate. It is my duty to refrain from stating anything offensive, but it is also my duty to state facts, even if these facts may offend. It is my duty to state that week in and week out for months past all these positions have been advocated from one point of Ireland or another. If that is so, can there be peace if there is illegal intimidation? Eager as I am to see the restoration of social peace in Ireland, desirous as I am of seeing the end of illegal intimidation applied to the land question, and an end also to the perfectly legal litigation which is the curse of Ireland and inflicts a heavy burden on the population—eager as I am to see these things come about, I must decline to purchase peace by receding an inch from the position it is the duty of the Government to take up in protecting those who are exposed to intimidation and to prosecute all, even where it is necessary before exceptional tribunals, whatever may be their crime, who are guilty of intimidation, and who break not only the common law, but the statute law of this and every other civilised country. I pass from that. It is not intended to be a bellicose utterance, and I do not think 918 it is a bellicose utterance, unless, indeed, hon. Members who desire to see the land question settled still believe, after twenty-three years of disillusion, that this weapon which is employed against their own countrymen leads up to settlement, or induces hon. Members of this House to look favourably upon attempts which one Chief Secretary or another may make to effect it. I must not in this way evade the indictment brought against the government of Ireland.
Sir, the hon. Member for Cork City attacked the application of this Act to large sections of Ireland, and he reverted once more to a statement, which is perfectly true, that in Ireland at the present moment there are not many crimes of violence against the person or of destruction of property. I have always said so. I said so during the first debate upon this subject in June, 1901. There are some crimes of that character which stand out, because, apart from agrarian crime, Ireland is so crimeless, and therefore agrarian crime, even upon a small scale, looms large in the eyes of the Irish people, and if there be but 20 or 30 incendiary fires in the course of the year, why, that acts as the steel tip to the spear of verbal intimidation, and it acts forcibly in a country where many men can remember the horrible time to which the hon. Member alluded, when there were, I think he said, 9,000 agrarian outrages in the course of three years. But I do not weigh upon that, I never weighed upon it. Before there were any proclamations—before the beginning of the last session—I stated that it was the duty of the Government to defend one set of Irishmen against organised intimidation at the hands of another set of Irishmen. We did that in the first place by mere police measures. We did it in the second place by proceeding under those sections of the Act which do not need a proclamation, and we were successful. Meetings with bands to march about and terrorise individuals have ceased altogether. They were used, I may inform the House, not only against those who may be supposed to be in favour of paying rent, but in one case, on the Morley estate, against two tenants who had failed to pay rents. There was a settlement on the estate on the condition that one year's rent should be paid by 919 every one. Two tenants did not pay their rent, and the others turned out to intimidate them with a band and a procession, so deeply has the lesson sunk into the Irish people that that is the only proper way to persuade any one to do anything. The police stopped that procession, just as they would have stopped any other. Then we had on the De Freyne estate a recrudescence of intimidation indistinguishable, in my opinion, from the Plan of Campaign, The hon. Member has stated that we were responsible. I will refer him to the debate which we had on 24th July, But whoever was responsible, there was a great breach of social order a commencement anew of an evil which only fifteen years ago wrought indescribable havoc over large areas of; Ireland and reduced thousands of men to a ruin from which they have never yet recovered. It would have been impossible for the Government to overlook such a breach of social order as that, and we proclaimed in April those sections of Ireland where such crimes were prevalent—for they are crimes—acts which are declared to be illegal by competent authorities on law; and hon. Members cannot cite one judge, whereas I can cite all the great legal luminaries of the last thirty years, to prove the proposition that to coerce a man to take a course from which he could lawfully refrain is a crime, and a very serious crime. A third feature that has to be taken into account is the practice of boycotting. I have been criticised because the Irish Government did not at an earlier date proclaim certain parts of Ireland. When I was so criticised in June, 1901, the number of cases of boycotting in Ireland had fallen, and whereas it had stood at thirty-three in 1900, in June, 1901, it had fallen to twenty-five. With a decreasing number of cases it was right to refrain from a measure, the gravity of which I have never sought to minimise. But the numbers did not continue to fall, they began to rise, and when in April I asked the House to sanction our action in proclaiming a number of counties and our action was challenged the number stood at over fifty. Well, I am glad to say the numbers have begun to fall again, and now stand at forty-three. When the Irish Government are placed 920 on their trial in this way, when they are accused of acting in a partisan manner, and using grave powers of the law without adequate cause, when we are charged with error of judgment in not relying on the ordinary law, I think I am entitled to ask the House to consider some of the things which have been happening in Ireland, and which did happen there for a long period of time before we determined to have recourse to exceptional tribunals. I wonder if the House grasps what such a thing as the Tallow case means? Tallow is a small I town of 1,080 inhabitants, and in that town are two tradesmen—one called O'Keefe and the other Walsh.
§ MR. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
May I interrupt. We have often been prevented from making reference in this House to cases in which a trial is pending. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that another trial of the Tallow ease is pending?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
If that is the case I have no more to say on the subject, and I think the hon. Member is justified in intervening. It will shorten my present remarks, and when a third or fourth jury have disagreed I will return to the subject.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The right hon. Gentleman may have spoken unconsciously, but he spoke of three or four juries disagreeing. I submit that that is prejudging the case by anticipating what the action of the jury may be; and I hope, Sir, you will see your way to ask the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw the observation.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I gave way to the hon. Member and allowed his point, and I am not going to reopen the subject, though I think I might be amply justified in doing so. I take the case of the Thompsons at Templemore. What is urged against these gentlemen? I will ask the House to realise the condition of 921 things there. Because some forty or fifty years ago there was a land quarrel there, between the holder of the estate and his neighbours, suddenly war is declared against a man and his family who have lived there in perfect peace for two generations. The case was brought before the Land League in the old bad days of 1879–81, and the League refused to take cognisance of it, but now an irresponsible stranger arrives and stirs up strife in the district, lights a blaze, I think the expression is, which is not to be extinguished in Tipperary until every man of English and Scottish descent is driven out of the county. [Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN: Nonsense. It is absurd.] I am glad to hear the hon. Member for Cork disclaim the doctrine preached by an agitator of the name of Corr, but it has been put forward again and again as part of the doctrine proclaimed by the organisation to which the hon. Member belongs. [HON. MEMBERS: No, no.] If challenged on that I am quite prepared to cite proofs here or elsewhere. [Interruption.]
§ * MR. SPEAKER
I would appeal to hon. Members to remember that they have received a courteous hearing, and, in the spirit of fair play, to allow the reply to be heard.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Hon. Members from Ireland object to my making the only form of defence possible against the sweeping attack they make in general phrases on the administration in Ireland. What other form of defence is there when we are accused of attacking the liberty of speech and of the Press? Our case is that we interfered after months—after two years—of persistent and steady development, of encroachment on the liberty of individuals, which not only subjected them to pains and penalties from which they are entitled to be free, but ruined the whole country side in which they lived. [Interruption.] If hon. Members are so impatient that they will not allow me to tell the stories of these cases, I will take another opportunity of doing it. I only select them as they come to ray mind at random from scores which could be adduced, and which all have the same characteristics. There is the Corofin case, an old quarrel which the National 922 League of 1887 refused to take up. A man's brother-in-law had advanced him £400, or security to that extent, and becomes the owner in occupancy. Eighteen years afterwards a stranger to the district marches in and states that this is a contravention of the unwritten code, and this man, who lent £400 and spent £900 of his own money, is suddenly subjected to ostracism and every form of petty and even of grave annoyance, and that is done against the repeated protest of the Catholic priest in the place. There is no more pathetic figure in all this sorry story of Ireland than that of the priests, who, with exceptions that can be counted on one hand, have been for the past two years doing their best to hold back this movement. Hon Members laughed. When an interruption is not relevant, ironical laughter may be supplied in its place, but I repeat that in almost every one of these cases the priest has joined the League very often in order to restrain it; he has tried again and again to restrain it, and finally found he was powerless to do so. In this very case Father O'Donovan stated in evidence that the man who brought his plea before the secret tribunal made the best case he could and had no case at all. Even Bishops have openly stated that, in their opinion, this social evil should come to an end. [An HON. MEMBER: Name.] The Bishop of Elphin and the Bishop of Meath. That being the situation in June or July of last year, the Government found a new practice, namely the avoiding of a district which they had proclaimed by going just over the border of it and there delivering speeches to keep up those flames which had been lit around certain individuals, and which were devastating certain tracts of Ireland. Finally, when open intimidation by mobs and by meetings was abandoned, its place was taken by an almost uniform and sudden movement over Ireland by the local Press. Up to June, 1901, there was not to my knowledge a single boycotting resolution naming an individual published in any newspaper in Ireland. The first event of that kind took place in October 1901 and led the Government of that day to think that the time had come when it was necessary to make 923 use of the force placed at the disposal of the Government in 1887. During the last week of July and during August these local papers consisted of little else except column after column of resolutions culled from secret meetings of the League, in almost every one of which names were given. In the Longford Leader, which has been referred to tonight, this practice was adopted, the threatening effect of which will be easily realised. Three weeks ahead it was stated that at the end of the three weeks all the names would be published of those who were members of the League and of those who had not joined. The pressure was kept up week by week by further threats against those who were not named, and finally the day came when their names were given in the black-list or the white-list as the case might be. Will any one who realises what the Templemorc and the Corofin cases mean, not only to the victims, but to the country, say that the Government ought to stand aside because of a regard for the liberty of the Press—we should always have regard for the liberty of the Press—when that liberty was used as a vehicle of intimidation in substitution for those others which had been abandoned?
Then there was another feature. The war was transferred from the county and from the land question to the towns. There was what was known as the Roscrea case, which has been decided and to which I can therefore refer. A Mr. Menton evicted a caretaker from a house of his in the town of Roscrea. There was no quarrel about rent. The tenancy had been determined. The victim, himself, I believe, an advanced Nationalist, asked those who were working up the public feeling against him what was their intention, what was the reason of their extraordinary conduct. He said, "If you mean to wage this war against me in my own town, why have you not the pluck to do it yourselves?" and the answer was as stated on oath, "Why should we, when we have an organiser to do it for us?" Well, then take another case which has also been decided. Some sports were got up in the 924 town of Birr by the Gaelic Association, which, I believe, is a Nationalist Association, though not the association which the hon. Member for Cork patronises. The hon. Member lives in the sublime belief that any one who does not join his association is not a Nationalist or an Irishman. The Gaelic Association believes in building up a nation by drawing all the component parts of the nation together. An organizer of the rival partisan association—the United Irish League—was sent down and a rival set of sports was arranged in which the amusement was to consist in a number of bands assembling and a number of men armed with hurleys. A breach of the peace would have taken place had not the Government sent down 160 policemen. And what followed? A resolution was passed at an impromptu meeting to the effect that the meeting desired to show their hearty approval of the principles of the United Irish League, and called upon all the business people of Birr to at once become members of the organisation, otherwise they would be compelled to regard them as supporters of Castle rule and landlordism, and refuse in future to patronise their shops. Hon. Members cheered. I am glad to hear those cheers, because earlier in my remarks, when I said that there was a section in Ireland who were in favour of boycotting shopkeepers who would not join a particular organisation those remarks were met with coldness and shudders of disapproval from the Benches opposite; and when I read out a resolution which is to that effect and no other, the sentiments are warmly applauded.
But, Sir, let us come closer to this matter. We were invited to send back hon. Members from Ireland with a message of peace or war, and I understood that a message of peace would mean a promise to deal with the land question. But even if the land question were dealt with to the satisfaction of every 925 tenant, every landlord, and every agent in Ireland, it would be all to no purpose if, while it was being settled and after it had been settled, people were to be at liberty to convene a meeting with the object of declaring that every shopkeeper in a town who has nothing to do with land is to be boycotted because he will not join a particular organisation. Then, finally, a more recent feature which I deplore is that bodies which have been clothed with the powers of local government have passed one resolution after another to the effect that tenders are only to be accepted from members of this particular political association. I notice that some of them are not quite convinced that that is a proper course to pursue in discharge of their duties. [An HON. MEMBER: Coercion for Coercion.] One gentleman the other day said, "It looks rather bad to accept a contract of £2 a ton more than another." That not only looks bad, but it is almost the most deplorable thing that has happened in recent years in Ireland. The Local Government Act in Ireland is working well, I am glad to say, but nothing can bring it into greater discredit than that such courses should be pursued. It corrupts the whole civic life of the country, if persons who are in the position of trustees are to abuse that trust and place upon the ratepayers burdens heavier than need be Placed on them in order to favour a set of persons holding particular political opinions at the expense of others. When we reflect that even when the land question is settled in Ireland, the rating question, and it is formidable enough, will be there, when we reflect that even now many Acts have been passed to deal with many parts of the country where the rateable value is low, and districts have been scheduled, as congested, is it not idle that I, or any other Minister 926 in my place belonging to any Government, should hope to persuade this House to deal boldly not only with the land question but with the rating question, when any critic can point to the fact that popularly elected local bodies think nothing of putting £200 or £300 a year on to the present rates of 7s. to 8s. in the £ in order to show their hostility to a particular section of the community?
I have only a few minutes more at my disposal, which I fear will not suffice to deal with the attack which has been made on the administration for which I am responsible—the attack that the magistrates are removable at the pleasure of the Government. There is not a case in which their decision has not been upheld by the County Court judges, who are not removable. Then all the charges against the resident magistrates disappear, and in their place charges are to be levelled against the County Court judges who are as secure as the judges of the Superior Courts in this country. It is idle to argue against critics who shift their ground with such agility. I do not believe that these men, distinguished Irishmen, are banded together to break their oath or to put an unnecessary slight upon their countrymen. If time availed I could quote passages from resident magistrates and County Court judges, showing that they felt bitterly the painful necessity of sentencing men who have sat with them as magistrates on the Bench to imprisonment. I believe them. I am sure that every man in this House regrets when a Member of Parliament has committed an offence which leads to his imprisonment; but every man in this House will agree on reflection that when a Member of Parliament breaks a law which exists for the protection of the liberties of all, and when 927 that breach of the law leads to social tyranny and ruin, he must suffer, and ought to suffer, the same penalty as the men whom they have incited to act a subordinate part.
I must now draw my remarks, imperfect I admit, to a conclusion—imperfect not because my material is not strong, but because in replying to a sweeping indictment all that a man can do is to ask hon. Members to listen to typical cases, and then consider whether the action of the Government has been unjust, or arbitrary, or hasty. I maintain that it has been just, and that it has not been hasty; and I maintain that such action had to be taken if the existing land legislation in Ireland, or any legislation that may succeed it, is to be of the slightest avail. That we shall see legislation on the land question in Ireland hon. Members know.
I can now take up the challenge of the hon. Member for Cork with reference to the statement I communicated to the Press on the subject of land legislation. It was not a hasty generalisation. It was a concise summary of what I stated in greater detail in the month of January last. I then asked if any sane man would say that the Irish landlords and the tenants could afford to go on in definitely with this fighting and litigation. I said:The land question in Ireland must in the interest of Ireland lie settled. By whom? It may seem a hard saying, but I believe it is true that no Government can settle a question of purchase and sale. Many have tried and failed. The question can only be settled by the parties concerned—by the party on the one hand who knows what he can afford to take, and by the party on the other hand who knows what he can afford to give. But is the Government to stand aside? By no means. The Government has many duties to perform, three of which are to use its best ability to 928 bring the parties together, to assist the party ready to sell to turn the price which he gets to the best account, and to assist the would-be purchaser to give to the vendor a price he could accept without crippling his resources. In a word, our business as a Government is to bring Irish land into the market.I still believe that to be true. To whom will fall the honour and glory of doing that, I do not set any estimation whatever. If I had a solution which I confidently thought would settle the land question, and if I thought that the hon. Member for Cork would be still more likely to settle it, I would drop my solution anonymously into his letter box. I believe sincerely that this question will be settled by many people combining together; and yet if it were settled at the price of abandoning the duty of protecting those who are exposed to intimidation and of making those who break the law in order to intimidate others amenable to the law, then such a solution of so great a question, inestimable as it would be in itself, would in that event be to Ireland, not a blessing, but a curse.
§ (11.45.) SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
It is greatly to be regretted that the right hon. Gentleman was obliged to compress his statement of the policy of the Government owing to lack of time. But I would point out that if he were inconvenienced and if the public interest has suffered—as I believe it has—it is because the Government did not choose to respond to the appeal of the Irish Members for a day—that the Irish Members have been driven into the irregular and altogether imperfect resort of having a short evening sitting. The right hon. Gentleman has now told us what the case of the Government is for the action they have 929 recently taken in Ireland. I am sorry to say that I have listened on many occasions to a Minister either introducing some exceptional law or accounting for the application of some exceptional law which has already been in existence in Ireland, and there were two things on all such occasions that I can remember that were invariably done. In the first place, a case was made out of an unusual and extraordinary prevalence of crime, or a case was made out that the ordinary law had been attempted to be applied and had failed. Now, in both of those instances the right hon. Gentleman has had little or nothing to tell us. He admits, as everybody knows, that Ireland is almost crimeless. Well, I have taken the advice that the hon. Member for Cork has tendered to all who are interested in this subject, and I have looked into the statistics of crime, and one fact, at all events, I will quote to the House. It is with regard to indictable offences, which cover a large range. There were in Ulster 195 cases—[An hon. Member laughed] oh, I jotted the figures down carelessly, and my gallant friend is perfectly justified in finding fault with me for not being more accurate. But, at all events, in Ulster, which is not proclaimed, which is not subject to exceptional law, there are 195 cases of this kind; in Minister there are 139 cases, and in Connaught 89. Surely that goes far to show that it is not in those parts of Ireland in which crime is most prevalent that this exceptional law is applied. I fully expected that the right hon. Gentleman would have based his case on boycotting, that boycotting had been carried on to such an insufferable extent in connection with land agitation that it was necessary 930 to interfere. But the cases of boycotting, as the right hon. Gentleman himself tells us, have fallen to forty-three, an almost insignificant number, over the whole of Ireland.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
Well, surely that would not justify intervention under exceptional law. But I turn to the second plea, which has always been urged by a Minister in taking these steps—that is to say, he has always shown that recourse had been made to the ordinary law and that it had been found insufficient. The right hon. Gentleman has made no such allegations here. He has said that there is a great deal of intimidation in different places, directed not apparently against any particular class, not against any particular section of opinion, because he quoted the case of ardent Nationalists who have been subjected to intimidation. No doubt every one here has as much horror and as much indignation as the right hon. Gentleman at any violent course of intimidation such as he described. But we want to know has an attempt been made to deal with it under the ordinary law before he has resorted to this extraordinary course? [An HON. MEMBER: Yes]. The hon. Member seems to know. It has not been alleged at all events, and I believe, as a matter of fact, the ordinary law has not been resorted to. The right hon. Gentleman has quoted cases, and they do not excite any sympathy in me, but there is another thing which we must always bear in mind. When we find a disturbed state of society, with a tendency to take a violent course, it always arises from a deep-seated 931 grievance under the surface which causes those who suffer from that grievance to resort to such methods. Now we all know that the thing which disturbs society in Ireland, agrarian society, is the question of land purchase, and how can we expect that Ireland can be peaceful and contented while the present state of things as to land purchase continues? You have advanced, as we have often said in this House, on an inclined plane, and you cannot expect your equilibrium to be maintained while you are going down the incline. You have introduced the idea, you have familiarised the Irish farmer with the idea, that he would have his farm cheaper as an owner than as a tenant. Unless by some method or other you can reduce all the tenants to the same position and give them the same advantages, you are bound to have always disturbances. As to these cases which have been tried before magistrates, who, whatever the right hon. Gentleman may say, are subject to the Executive of the day, the one essential thing in Ireland, as elsewhere, is to divorce the judiciary and the tribunals, high and low, from the Executive Government, and make them perfectly independent. But these resident magistrates are sent about on the instructions of the Executive Government. It was my good fortune to be a Member of the Mc Hugh Committee which sat last summer, and that made us perfectly familiar with the Courts before which these men were brought. The next fact which strikes the eye is the severe sentences which are being given—sentences far more severe than any that have been given before in similar circumstances; sentences of hard labour; sentences of a degrading kind, 932 and of an unnecessarily cruel and severe kind. And sentences of hard labour have this consequence—that any one undergoing them is, under an existing statute, disqualified for five years from serving on any public body. This is the punishment for a political offence—no offence of violence or outrage—by men who, on the authority of the Local Government Board, have admirably carried out the duties under the new local government system. I will not dwell on that. But what do we gain by the whole of these transactions? Can the right hon. Gentleman really hope to put an end to the state of disturbance and confusion by these hardships inflicted on individuals? No, Sir, the way to arrive at the removal of any disturbance of social order, such as the right hon. Gentleman has described, is to remove the causes which create that disturbance. The party opposite has been engaged for nearly sixteen years in carrying out the "twenty years of resolute government," which, we were told, was all that was necessary to make Ireland perfectly peaceable and contented. Now they come on with the adoption of these measures beyond the ordinary law more inexcusable than any the House of Commons has known before. The condition of Ireland is certainly not a very happy one when it has the Crimes Act apparently for its Magna Charta, and Sergeant Sheridan as the embodiment of law and order; and with the magistracy in some degree—in a fatal degree—subservient to the Executive. It is not we who deserve the name of Separatists. It is those who govern Ireland, and apparently can only govern Ireland, by methods like these—methods which are not to be 933 found in any part of the Empire outside these is lands. That name ought not to be applied to us, who have shown, and will continue to show, a more excellent way of dealing with the difficulty.
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead)||Joicey, Sir James||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||O'Malley, William|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Jordan, Jeremiah||Partington, Oswald|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Joyce, Michael||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Black, Alexander William||Priestley, Arthur|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Labouchere, Henry|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Lambert, George||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Rigg, Richard|
|Caldwell, James||Leamy, Edmund||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Runciman, Walter|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Carew, James Laurence||Leng, Sir John||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Levy, Maurice||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lough, Thomas||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lundon, W.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Cremer, William Randal||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Cullinan, J.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Spencer, Rt Hn C. R.(Northants|
|Delany, William||Mac Veagh, Jeremiah||Sullivan, Donal|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Taylor, Thedore Cooke|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Cann, James||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|M'Kean, John||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Edwards, Frank||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Markham, Arthur Basil||Tomkinson, James|
|Ffrench, Peter||Mooney, John J.||Toulmin, George|
|Field, William||Murphy, John||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Tully, Jasper|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Wallace, Robert|
|Gilhooly, James||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John||Norman, Henry||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Brien, James, F. X. (Cork)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard. B.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersfi'd|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Young, Samuel|
|Harwood, George||O'Brien, William (Cork)|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Horniman, Frederick John||O'Dowd, John|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bain, Colonel James Robert||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Balcarres, Lord||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Bignold, Arthur|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Balfour, Carpt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Bigwood, James|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Bill, Charles|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Banbury, Frederick George||Bond, Edward|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Beckett, Ernest William||Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex|
§ (11.57.) Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 121; Noes, 215. (Division List No. 426).
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hall, Edward Marshall||Myers, William Henry|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Bull, William James||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Burdett Coutts, W.||Hanbury, Rt Hon. Robert Wm.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n|
|Butcher, John George||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Carlile, William Walter||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Percy, Earl|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Helder, Augustus||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Henderson, Sir Alexander||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn J. A. (Worc.||Higginbottom, S. W.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Chapman, Edward||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Purvis, Robert|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Randles, John S.|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Hogg, Lindsay||Rankin, Sir James|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Colomb, Sir John Charlos Ready||Horner, Frederick William||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Compton, Lord Alywne||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Howard John (Kent, Faversham||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Kemp, George||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Keswick, Wiliiam||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Denny, Colonel||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isleof Wight|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lawson, John Grant||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Smith, Hon. F. W. D. (Strand)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareh' m||Spear, John Ward|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lockie, John||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Stroyan, John|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Talbot, Rt Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Finch, George H.||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Macdona, John Cumming||Valentia, Viscount|
|Fisher, William Hayes||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Fison, Frederick William||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Walrond, Rt Hn. Sir William H.|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim.E.)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunt'n|
|Forster, Henry William||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Foster, PhilipS. (Warwick, S. W||Majendie, James A. H.||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Malcolm, Ian||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Gardner, Ernest||Manners, Lord Cecil||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H. E (Wigt'n||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Milvain, Thomas||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop||Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc)||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Morgan, David J (Walthamst'w||Younger, William|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Greene, Sir E W(Bury SEdm'nds||Mount, William Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Grenfell, William Henry||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Gretton, John||Murray, Rt Hn. AGraham (Bute|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Gunter, Sir Robert||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
§ Mr. SPEAKER, in pursuance of the Order of the House of the 16th October, adjourned the House without Question put.936
§ Adjourned at ten minutes after Twelve o'clock.