§ * MR. BOLAND (Kerry, S.)
said that for the second time this session, by making use of the few remaining privileges of private Members, he had an opportunity of opening a discussion on a matter of great importance to Irishmen. He Laboured under a disadvantage in bringing forward the Motion which stood in his name by reason that he had not suffered under the English coercion Government. But whether they had suffered or not there remained to the Irish people a smarting sense of injustice because as a nation they were open to the operation of this law. For that reason he welcomed the opportunity of exposing once more the falsity of the contention so frequently set up by English people that Ireland was governed by the same system of law that obtained in England. The whole history of Ireland since the Union refuted that 461 statement. Only a few weeks previously he had been able to expose the hollowness of that contention in dealing with the system under which the law was administered with regard to what were called malicious injuries. He had been able to show that in the administration of the system a totally different procedure was followed to that of England. The only justification for the law was to be found in the contention which the Government were not able to uphold, namely, that in Ireland the people lived in a state of continuous riot. In no other way could they justify levying compensation for damage on innocent persons. Yet that was the system of law which obtained in Ireland. This was, however, a small matter compared to that to which he wished to draw attention.
The coercion laws, of which about eighty had been passed in the last century, culminated in the monstrous Act which was still a disgrace to the Statute-book, the law of 1887. Whatever reason could be put forward for temporary legislation of exceptional character, the English people could have no justification for placing on the Statute-book a permanent Coercion Act. So long as that Act disgraced the Statute-book of England, Englishmen ought to give up their attitude of unctuous rectitude and admit that the contention that Ireland was governed by similar laws to those which obtained in England was nothing but a travesty of the truth. If the contention that this Act was necessary for Ireland was based upon the prevalence of criminality in Ireland, then he would say that over and over again that had been refuted, because Ireland had an infinitely better record in this respect than either Scotland or England. The real object the Government had in carrying through that Act was to buttress up the rotten system of landlordism in Ireland. That system had now been condemned by the Prime Minister and the House had avowed its desire that land in Ireland should revert to its rightful owners. Presumably, therefore, they rested their contention on the prevalence of agrarian offences. The total number of agrarian offences reported in Ireland in 1903 was 195, out of which 462 there were nineteen convictions, six cases which were made amenable to the Act, and 169 cases with regard to which there were no convictions and no one was made amenable. Of that 195 cases, eighty-three were for the offence of sending threatening letters, with regard to which there were no convictions, and forty-two for incendiary fires, with regard to which only two were made amenable, and there were no convictions. During the same year there were nine offences reported of maiming cattle, and in spite of the diligence of the police—and those living in Ireland knew on what a policeman depended for his promotion—there were no convictions. On the Third Reading of this Coercion Act, in 1887, Mr. Gladstone, whose name and whose speeches were, he thought, not sufficiently heard in this House, said—The new coercion… aims at association. Association is the only weapon whereby the many and the poor can redress the inequality of their struggle with wealth, influence, power, and administrative authority.The chief objections that they in Ireland had to the existence of this Act were, first of all, that it abrogated the right possessed by every citizen of the British Empire of a trial by jury, and thus struck at the foundation of the freedom of the people. Secondly, they objected to the constitution of the tribunal by which the Coercion Act was administered—two magistrates chosen by the Government, paid by them, and removable by them. Thirdly, that the venue rested with the Attorney-General—of course, it might be said that there was a right of appeal, but those who were acquainted with Ireland knew that if an appeal were demanded there was very little chance of success. A new and very dangerous element had made its appearance in the last few years, which was that the police had become, not the judge of what a man who exercised the right of free speech did say, out of what that man might say. Hon. Members would remember the Kilmaine case, in which the hon. Member for East Clare was allowed by the policeman to address the meeting, but in which the Member in whose constituency the meeting was held was brutally restrained from addressing his constituents on a matter of public importance, and exercising the right of free speech. Another objection to this Act was that the Lord-Lieutenant, 463 probably an Englishman, or in his absence two landlords acting with others, had authority to assume the functions of Parliament by putting into operation a law in the interest of their class which should not be put into operation until this House had had an opportunity of deciding that it should be put into operation. Finally, they objected to it because it was monstrous that, by a majority of English votes in this House, people in responsible positions in Ireland should be deprived of the right of free speech. Coercion was the last result of a discredited Government. It was invariably put into operation for the reason that the Government of the day had lost the sympathy of their landlord supporters, and desired to court popularity with them. How long was this attitude to be maintained? Was it to be maintained until, the last parcel of land having reverted to its rightful owner, the reason for this Act would be gone? He urged the House to adopt a nobler policy; to free Ireland from an unmerited charge of criminality, and to rescue itself from the disgrace that attached to its toleration of an injustice.
§ MR. HAVILAND BURKE (King's County, Tullamore)
seconded the Motion. The strongest argument against Home Rule on Unionist platforms was on the declaration that they would grant to Ireland every right that England enjoyed, and Lord Randolph Churchill, when he declared the policy of "similarity and simultaneity," used words that had the assent of the Cabinet. He charged hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite with having violated the professions of honour on the faith of which they secured their return to Parliament. They obtained power on those professions, and they were now displaying a perfidy which was almost unexampled in Irish politics by maintaining the Coercion Act. It was said that there was a right of appeal against sentences under the Coercion Act, but to whom did it lie? He did not for a moment dispute the fact that there had been a considerable number of cases in which sentences had been reduced and mitigated. But the fact remained that the appeal was to the County Court Judges, a number of whom 464 had very little legal experience, and had been appointed for partisan services they had rendered. In his opinion the House had been rather too strict with regard to criticisms on Judges. It was too soon to forget that the first thing it did after the deposition of James II. was to set itself to control the dangerous and growing power of the Judges of the realm. What was the original tribunal? A resident magistrate could be appointed, promoted, retired, or dismissed by the Lord-Lieutenant. He need have no legal qualification, and he was the only official in the three kingdoms who had it in his power to prohibit a public meeting, to command, perhaps, hundreds of armed policemen to suppress a meeting, to order them to fire upon, bayonet, or baton men, to order what arrests he might think necessary, and to sit in judgment upon those arrested. He knew absolutely nothing to compare with that in any part of the British Empire.
It was the proud boast of English law that there was on its administration a strict separation between the judiciary and the executive—a divorce had been studiously maintained between the police who detected crime and the magistrate before whom the offender was charged, as well as between the magistrate who committed for trial and the Judge who tried the case. But it was very different in Ireland, where the resident magistrate was in the habit of dining with the local police inspector and local landlord and discussing the chances of a successful prosecution, and then entering into communication with the law officers of the Crown in Dublin as to how best the meshes of the law could be put around the accused. The right hon. Gentleman, as representing the Government, had been in repeated and continuous communication with local resident magistrates and local district inspectors with a view of entrapping his fellow Members in that House and getting them into prison. When the Coercion Act was introduced the present Leader of the House, who was then Chief Secretary for Ireland, had the idea that by establishing a system of awarding the degradation of hard labour he was doing a brilliant stroke of business; that men who might cheerfully submit to simple imprisonment would shrink from the 465 odium involved in a sentence of hard labour. But that idea had been blown into thin air, and at the present moment no man was a penny the worse, even among Unionists, for having been sentenced to hard labour. He could mention one case in which while a man was undergoing a sentence of hard labour the wife of a distinguished legal Unionist at Trinity College, at her husband's request, visited him. This proved that no social degradation attached' to Irish politicians from that cause. The Irish Executive, apart from the Crimes Act, was armed with enormous powers. There was no other part of the United Kingdom where steps could be taken with greater promptitude or with greater severity against anybody suspected of a desire to incite to crime or outrage. Formalities which were absolutely indispensable in this country were not required in Ireland. In Ireland, for instance, there was no Riot Act. Any superior policeman in charge had the right to order the men under him to fire at the people at a moment's notice. ["No, no!"] Hon. Members cried "No, no," but he knew what he was saying. He did not want their instruction.
§ MR. HAVILAND BURKE
said he wished hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite would conduct the argument with good manners and temper. One might expect from them at least common courtesy. The fact was that in England no shot could be fired on the people even in most extreme cases until the Riot Act had been read. In Ireland there was no Riot Act or any notice or warning required. Any solicitor's clerk ought to know that. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No, no!" and counter cries of "Mitchelstown."] He repeated that the reading of the Riot Act in Ireland was not a necessary preliminary to firing on the people. In conclusion he would advise those who thought that the Irish were an abnormally criminal people to read the horrible weekly record of immorality and ruffianism presented by the London Sunday papers. In face of those records could it be honourably contended that the Irish were an abnormally criminal people? 466 He would furthermore ask them to note that it was a common complaint of magistrates and police inspectors in all the large English towns that they were unable to cope with crime owing to the reluctance of the people to prosecute because of the terrorism brought to bear on them by the habitual criminals who organised those crimes. Only last Sunday there was repotted a case in which three constables arresting a couple of well-known habitual and dangerous criminals were opposed by a mob of sympathisers and almost cut to ribbons, having to fight for their lives until reinforcements came up. Why was there not a special Coercion Act to meet that state of things? He did not for a moment delude himself with the idea that he could successfully appeal against the revengeful and bitter political spirit which devoted its energies, not to providing remedies for existing evils or in improving the condition of the country, but to concerting absurd schemes to disfranchise fellow Irishmen. That was a disagreeable phenomenon of the situation which it was difficult to explain away, but he would appeal for action in the direction of increasing and enlarging the liberties of Ireland.
It might be said that recourse was very seldom had to the Crimes Act, but surely that could not be accepted as an argument in favour of an intrinsically vicious measure. The fact remained that while they were talking about equal rights for all men they had in operation in Ireland an Act of Parliament under which, by a scratch of the pen, an official in Dublin Castle could do away with the right of trial by jury. While this country waged a great war on the ground of equal rights for all white men, here in the very heart of the British Empire they were depriving the Irish nation of the rights enjoyed by the people of England, Scotland, and Wales. The Irish Party had been treated with consistent and insistent injustice. On their own side of the water the Nationalist Members were not infrequently denounced with great bitterness because they did not, go far enough, because they were not sufficiently extreme, because they consented even to go to St. Stephen's, and because they did not relinquish the representation of Ireland to Orangemen and landlords. On the other hand they were 467 accused of being desperadoes secretly encouraging crime and screening the criminals. Let hon. Members opposite instead of tampering with the question of numerical Parliamentary representation, try to do something to remove the grievances which justly gave rise to these feelings of bitterness; let them seek to fulfil the pledges of their leaders and to make peace while there was yet time.
Motion made and Question proposed, "That, in the opinion of this House, the presence of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act on the Statute-book is a gross violation of the Constitution, without parallel in any other portion of His Majesty's dominions, and that the Act should be immediately repealed."—(Mr. Boland.)
§ MR. WILLIAM MOORE (Antrim, N.)
said he would be very happy to submit to any penalty the hon. Member opposite might suggest if he could point to a single section of the Crimes Act or any other Act which altered the provisions of the Riot Act as applied to Ireland. Again and again in Belfast there had been riots, generally provoked by the friends of hon. Members opposite, and in every case a Belfast magistrate had accompanied the police when the Riot Act had been read. Why the hon. Member should take it upon himself to say so authoritatively that it was within the knowledge of any solicitor's clerk in Ireland that the law there was different from the law in England in that respect he could not understand. It was scarcely necessary to say that Members from Ulster were going to oppose this Motion. He had listened in vain for any statement of glaring injustice or grievance arising out of this Act.
MR. DELAINY (Queen's County, Ossory)
You were never on a plank bed.
§ MR. WILLIAM MOORE
said he was about to remark that if the hon. Members had a grievance, he did not think 468 they would say that Members from Ulster would be slow to back them. They had often joined hands together before on Irish grievances, and he believed they were willing to do so again; but the cardinal fact for the public to remember was that they had 1,250,000 people at home who found no grievance in this Act, who had prospered under it, who had carried on their trade under it, and who had no complaint as to prejudice to their life, liberty, or property. Surely that knocked a hole in the arguments that had been put forward about injury, injustice, and oppression to Ireland. This Act which they were now considering was one which at present, so far as he knew, was, except for one section, net in force in any part of Ireland. There might be proclaimed districts; but, if so, he did not know them. What hon. Members opposite complained of was that there were exceptional dormant powers which might be put into force by the Lord-Lieutenant in Council when exceptional circumstances arose, but not till then, and he put it to the common sense of any subject in the United Kingdom, that if exceptional circumstances in any district were unfortunately again to occur, why should they not have exceptional legislation to deal with them? He really thought hon. Members opposite were rather unreasonable. They had got the substance, and yet they would persist in straining after the shadow. This was a mere matter of administration in Ireland. He would explain what he meant by saying that hon. Members opposite had got the substance. An ex-colleague of theirs was now the highest permanent official in the Board of Agriculture. They had also an active and keen sympathiser in Sir A. MacDonnell, who was quite prepared to go their length in compensating evicted tenants who had broken the law, on the University question, and on various other topics which hon. Members had at heart. They had the whole local government representation of the country in their hands. Then in Ballinasloe a resident medical superintendent had been passed over for practically the only appointment open to him in favour of a junior who happened to belong to the predominant religion. Therefore, they 469 had also the substance in the Lunatic Asylums Department. A Unionist Government had given them that as part of the policy of conciliation. Then, too, hon. Members had the substance in Limerick, where Jews were not allowed—
§ * MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is now addressing himself to matters which are not affected by the Motion before the House.
§ MR. WILLIAM MOORE
said he had no desire to go beyond the Motion, but he understood that hon. Members opposite had been permitted to discuss the administration of the law in Plymouth and other places.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is not referring to the administration of the law at all, but to various appointments.
§ MR. WILLIAM MOORE
hoped he would be allowed to refer to the administration of the law in Limerick. The Jew in Limerick was not allowed to trade.
§ MR. WILLIAM MOORE
said he had other topics, but in deference to Mr. Speaker's ruling he should not refer to the £50,000 that Waterford had got for its bridge, or to the——
§ * MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is quite capable of understanding what I referred to. I hope he will observe my ruling.
§ MR. WILLIAM MOORE
said he would undertake not to trespass again, but, in view of the topics he desired to refer to, he could quite understand how the ruling was received with appreciation by hon. Members opposite.
§ MR. WILLIAM MOORE
disclaimed any intention of saying anything disrespectful to the Chair. He would apologise at once; he was exceedingly sorry he should have said anything of the kind and would at once withdraw the remark. Passing from 470 the forbidden topics, he expressed the hope that the Government would not accede to the Motion. These were days in which it was impossible for an Ulster Unionist to foretell what the Government would do in response to a demand from the other side of the House, but he hoped that at any rate this demand would be resisted. It was true that agrarian crime, certainly of the most serious kind, had almost disappeared in Ireland. That improvement was largely due to the fixity of tenure clause in the Land Act of 1881. Moreover, intimidation and boycotting were stopped in twenty-four hours all over Ireland, not by the Crimes Act, but by the verdict of the jury in the Tallow-case, which showed that it was possible for a trader who was injured by a combination of village tyrants to make them amenable in damages. It was quite possible that there might be a recrudescence of crime in Ireland, and the Government should not throw away the power they now possessed of dealing with special circumstances. The Liberal Party when in power were afraid to repeal the Act, and they would be afraid to do so tomorrow; he hoped the present Government also would hesitate to lay down a weapon which was forged [Cries of "By Piggott"] by Parliament before the policy of concilating enemies and estranging friends was adopted in Ireland.
§ MR. JOSEPH DEVLIN (Kilkenny, N.)
said the anger of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down was excusable. There was no anger like the anger of a discredited place-hunter. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Withdraw."] The Nationalist Members protested against an iniquitous measure of coercion being permanently inflicted upon the people of Ireland, and they appealed to the House to accept this Motion because it would create a true spirit of equality in the administration of the law. The hon. Member opposite had given them a beautiful lecture on boycotting, but he himself had impeached the hen. Member for South Belfast and was bringing him before an illegal tribunal. What was the cardinal crime committed by the hon. Member for South Belfast? His crime was that he had been caught discussing temperance with his hon. friend the Member for South Tyrone. In 471 the course of his lecture on boycotting the hon. Member opposite had attacked the hon. Member for South Tyrone because he was found talking to an hon. Member on the Irish Benches. Those were the tolerant Gentlemen who came to the House of Commons and lectured Nationalist Members as to their duty and gave them lessons in etiquette and respectability, and yet the hon. Member opposite could not stand up in the House without giving an exhibition of that spirit of intolerance which animated all the acts of Irish Members belonging to the Party opposite in Ireland, and which had made life in Ulster impossible for the minority there, and had caused a good deal of criminality in the Province of Ulster. In all the stormy times which had come and gone in Ireland, who ever heard of an Irish crowd breaking the windows at the house of a Protestant minister, and yet hundreds of the followers of the hon. Member for Antrin marched into the towns breaking the windows at the residences of Catholic priests and making life unbearable for Catholic citizens, thus creating an intolerable condition of things, and all this because a number of young fellows engaged in a game of hurling on Sunday, just as the Prime Minister would engage in a game of golf. And for this inoffensive citizens had their lives made intolerable, but the Chief Secretary never proposed to put the Coercion Act into force in such places. He protested against the insolence of a little knot of irreconcilable bigots controlling the Government of Ireland. Those Gentlemen had enjoyed all the power and substance, and he protested against them having the ruling power and riveting chains on the rest of Ireland. Unionists in the North of Ireland could run riot as they pleased; there was no coercion for them. And yet they talked about equality in the administration of the law in Ireland. The representatives of the Irish people called upon the Chief Secretary, who had come fresh from Ireland and from attendance upon the King, to give some proof of that better spirit towards Ireland of which so much had been heard lately, and to repeal an Act which put the stamp of criminality on Irishmen.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
said a speech was made in the House of Commons the other day by the hon. Member for East Clare in which he made a remark with a great deal of sense in it. He said that when the hon. and gallant Member for North Armagh got up to speak upon the Crimes Act, he knew very well what he was going to say from long experience. He pleaded guilty to that, but what he did say was that it was not his fault, but the fault of hon. Gentlemen opposite who would not leave the Crimes Act alone, but continued raising the question by Motions of the kind before the House. What was the history of the Crimes Act? Why was it introduced and why had it become the law of the land? It was not passed under a Conservative or a Unionist Government, but at a time when a Liberal Government was in power, and when the Nationalist Members stated publicly, and carried out to the full their statement, that their plan of campaign in Ireland was to make government impossible under the common law, and to make the proceedings in the House of Commons under its ordinary rules ineffective. Of course when that became clear to the Government presided over by Mr. Gladstone it was decided that the resources of civilisation had not been quite exhausted and the Crimes Act was introduced. The hon. Member who introduced this Motion said that Mr. Gladstone's speeches ought to be remembered, and he quite agreed with that remark. Mr. Gladstone said that "crime dogged the footsteps of the Land League," and that was why he brought in the Crimes Act in 1882. In 1881 there had been 4,439 agrarian crimes in Ireland, but the very next year after the passing of the Crimes Act such crimes dropped to 870, and the year after to 762. It was a descending curve. That temporary Act lapsed in 1885—[NATIONALIST cheers]—he did not know why hon. Gentlemen cheered; did they cheer crime rising or falling? In 1886 agrarian crime at once rose to 1,056. Then came the Unionist Government, who in 1887 brought in the Crimes Act which was still in force, and down went these crimes to 660, and gradually declined until, in 1903, they had fallen to 195. Hon. Gentlemen had cited a case of riot in Ulster, but he held that any breaking of the law, whether by 473 Protestant or Roman Catholic, should be punished. Who complained of the law? Certainly not the minority of some 1,500,000, a part of which he represented. He did not feel aggrieved because the law prevented him from intimidating his neighbour, from assaulting a sheriff or policeman, or from inciting people to acts of boycotting. The position in Ireland was not such as to warrant the Government in doing away with the Peace Preservation Act. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had given indications that the resources of their policy were by no means exhausted. The hon. Member for Waterford recently stated that Home Rule was once more becoming the deciding factor in English elections, declared that the United Irish League was as united and powerful an organisation as Ireland had had in its service, and appealed to the League to make ready for the approaching general election.
asked what was the Crimes Act passed for? It was originally passed because hon. Gentlemen opposite and their friends and predecessors stated that unless they got Home Rule they would make law impossible in Ireland and government impossible in the House of Commons under ordinary rules. It was then a question of Home Rule, and so the Crimes Act was introduced by Mr. Gladstone under those circumstances. The Nationalist Party had since shown no sign of mollifying the asperity of their policy. They had over and over again openly declared themselves to be enemies of the Empire. Now they had an organisation which the hon. Member for Waterford said was in the most perfect condition of discipline and ready at any moment, whenever they got the opportunity, to carry out his will and the will of the Party he led. Would it be safe then to remove this obstacle which had been fatal to the progress of his policy? Changes had taken place undoubtedly in this matter. The hon. Member for South Tyrone held views quite recently very similar to his own. He did not know whether the hon. Member had changed his opinion, and whether he, was going to 474 support the Motion now before the House. Speaking in this House in 1895 the hon. Member said that if an outbreak of crime occurred again in Ireland and this Act were repealed outrageous criminals must escape, or the House must spend many months in passing another Act. The, hon. Member also taunted the Government for neglecting to secure fair trial by using their powers for change of venue. What the hon. Member did in 1895 was not very ancient history. In the course of his speech on that occasion he said he had more sympathy with the victims of outrages than with the scoundrels who perpetrated them. [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: "Sheridan."] The only argument in favour of the Motion was that Ireland was in a state of profound peace. That was a solid argument, but the question which troubled his mind was what was likely to happen in the future. There was going to be a change of Government if hon. Members opposite and the Irish Party should realise their aspirations. The House of Commons spent three months in getting the Crimes Act through, believing that it was not a coercive but a protective measure. The hon. Member for South Tyrone had said that all the proclamations under the Act had been revoked, that at the present moment the Act was absolutely innocuous, but that it was wise to keep the sword in the sheath, to be brought out if required. Those words he heartily re-echoed. The Crimes Act existed at the present moment but it interfered with no one who did not, commit crime. There was peace in Ireland, but the hon. and learned Member for Waterford had adumbrated the possibility in the future of a recrudescence of those scenes which had taken place in Ireland, and when the desire to throw off the yoke of this country would bring organisations such as the Land League again into existence. It would not be sensible to repeal an Act which had only interfered with those who had claimed the right to persecute and injure their fellow-countrymen, and which had brought to Ireland immunity from crimes that had disgraced her past history. He did not believe the House of Commons would do anything of the kind. He and his friends absolutely denied the bigotry which was ascribed to 475 them by hon. Members opposite. They believed that the Nationalists desired the welfare of the country just as they did, but they pursued it by different roads and different methods. He and his friends believed that if the policy pursued by hon. Gentlemen opposite ever attained its end it would lead to the disruption of the Empire and the ruin of Ireland.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
felt he ought to apologise for intervening in a debate which had been so warmly Irish, but perhaps it might be expected that he should say something in behalf of those who usually acted with him on that Bench. Not that the something was really required, because they had again and again voted for Motions similar to that before the House, and they would continue to support any similar Motion until the repeal was accomplished of the Act at which the Motion was aimed. They were in a camp totally opposed to those who desired legislation of a coercive character. The hon. Member for Antrim said the Liberal Government from 1892 to 1895 did not venture to repeal the Crimes Act. It did better from its own point of view, for its hands were pretty full, and to repeal an Act of that sort against the strenuous opposition of the hon. Gentleman's friends would have occupied considerable time. That Government governed Ireland without using the Crimes Act, and thus showed that Ireland could be kept quiet by the application of the ordinary law if the people knew that the administration of the law was in reasonable and friendly hands. They had for some time come to see that coercive measures of this sort, that the whole policy of coercion, stood on a radically unsound basis. What you had got to do in a country which was liable to disturbance, such as Ireland in her history had undoubtedly shown herself to be, was to gain the confidence of the masses of the people in the administration of justice. It was not by making the law more drastic, by the adoption of exceptional measures and eccentric methods of administration, that confidence could be gained, but by making the provisions of the law and its administration as even, as regular, as open, as fair, as generous as possible. 476 It was by these means the sympathy and support of the masses of the population in administration of the law would be secured. That should be the object in view.
On Friday last, in the course of a discussion upon a very reasonable proposal to do away with a flagrant injustice, as it was thought to be, in the administration of the law in Ireland, the Attorney-General for Ireland quoted a nineteen-year-old speech of his delivered in Scotland. The right hon. and learned Gentleman must have vary little to do, or a very singular taste, if he spent his leisure in reading those old speeches, his own or, with few exceptions, anybody else's. But he dug up this old speech in which he had spoken of the difficulty of obtaining verdicts in Irish trials and suggested that if a reasonable alteration, of the law were made permanent the greater part of the difficulties would disappear. He was not then recommending anything exceptional or eccentric; he was recommending an extension to Ireland, as he would to England, of a simple principle of law in Scotland, that juries should return verdicts by a majority. He would not argue that question or refer to it except for the purpose of showing that he was not recommending anything he was not willing himself to undergo, for his country had lived and flourished under that law for many generations. The application of a coercive law was another matter altogether. What was it that they had in Ireland that was really the root of the whole mischief? It was that for generations there had been two political Parties contending with each other. There had been the Government and its Ministers and the officials of the law trying by any means they could to obtain verdicts, and naturally, in opposition to them, there had been a quick-witted, sensitive, and determined people trying any cunning device that they could adopt to thwart the officials of the law in then method. Which of those two contending parties was to blame? It was the administrators and the officials of the law, who had created, through many generations, this atmosphere of suspicion, and who had alienated the sympathy of a great mass of the people from the side 477 of the law. That he believed to be the key to the question, the root of the whole mischief, and what they ought to do was to assist in removing it. Therefore it was that he said it would be wise to take the step of throwing themselves on the ordinary law, dismissing the idea that they could ultimately do anything but mischief and bring anything but disaster by the adoption and enforcement of a drastic exceptional law. And then they would, by showing the people that they could trust the administration of justice as being impartial and fairly controlled, gradually gain that which ought to be their object, the sympathy of the people all round.
The right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had referred to a matter which was rather beyond their scope that night—namely, the question of the self-government of Ireland. That, of course, was the remedy which they would apply. [MINISTERIAL cries of "When?" "Asquith," and "Rosebery."] The path to it had been greatly facilitated by the action, not of His Majesty's Government, but of the different forms of it of which the present Government was the residuum; at all events, by the Party opposite. They had given to the mass of the Irish people the control of their local government. He did not forget what Lord Salisbury said, and said with great truth—that it would be much more dangerous to give to the mass of the people the control of their local government than the control of their larger national concerns, because they were then dealing with ordinary, small matters indeed, but which intimately affected their daily life and were the subject of jealousy and prejudice, and which would be conducted without the strong and bright light of general public opinion. That was an opinion with which lie agreed. The Party opposite having done that went further, and, whereas the most of these difficulties arose in the agrarian question, from the antagonism of landlord and tenant, they had now practically proceeded to obliterate the landlord from the face of the country. He made no complaint. So tar from that, he congratulated the Party opposite on both those steps. He admired them for having courage to take them, although his admiration was 478 coupled with a chuckle. He would say to them that, having gone three-fourths of the way, they had better go the other part of the way, or, at all events, prepare themselves for it. Let them advance in the direction of increasing confidence in the people and thereby obtain the confidence of the people. To do so he believed one of the first steps would be to dispense with this exceptional legislation. Let them have the courage to put away this musty, obsolete weapon—a weapon which was useless and dangerous for him who wielded it, cruel and exasperating to those upon whom it was employed, and the cause of infinite delay and disappointment to the hope of a contented and friendly Ireland.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM,) Dover
said the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition began by stating that he felt he owed some apology for intervening in what had been an exclusively Irish debate. Although it was obviously his duty to say what was the attitude the Government should take up, he felt that he owed almost an apology if he was to make a long speech to-night. The duel had been spirited but good-humoured, and no one who was not an Irishman and conversant with the amount of spirit which could be put into such a subject would believe that it could be carried on without the infliction of a deadly wound. It generally fell to the lot of the Chief Secretary to receive blows from both sides. The Leader of the Opposition had gone on to say that those with whom he usually acted had voted again and again for the repeal of the Crimes Act. It was quite true that the Leader of the Opposition voted for the repeal of the Crimes Act. His Party was then in power, but he took no more effective steps. And now to-night he was prepared to vote not for a Bill but for a Motion. He invited the attention of the House to the Motion which the Leader of the Opposition had suggested for their attention. Although he should speak without warrant, be should argue that they did not consider this a very important question; he ventured to say that they did not consider it very urgent. It was quite 479 true that in 1894–5, when the Irish Party introduced a Bill to repeal the Crimes Act, the Leader of the Opposition supported the Bill in all its stages. His Party was then in power, and he took no more effective steps, and now to-night he was prepared to vote, not for a Bill, but for a Motion. He invited the attention of the House to the contrast to which the Leader of the Opposition had invited their notice. He thought that this was the first occasion on which it was suggested that the Act should be withdrawn from the Statute-book. [Cries of "Oh" from the IRISH Benches.]
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
We have had debates for hours initiated session after session against the maintenance of the Act.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I have been Chief Secretary for three-and-a-half years, and never during that period has a Motion been brought forward for the repeal of the Act. This year the hon. Members had been exceptionally fortunate in the ballot, and this was the eighth occasion on which it had been their privilege to invite the attention of the House to Irish questions. Not until that night had they brought the subject forward.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
Surely the right hon. Gentlemen has an unpleasant reason for remembering that not only the reduction of his salary was moved on the question, but that for an hour I denounced the right hon. Gentleman as the head of a coercionist Government, and asked him to repeal the Act.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said he had been criticised for having put the Crimes Act into force, and there had been debates on the administration of the Act, on Irish railways, on technical instruction, on the land question, and many other Irish subjects, but this was the first time in five years they were asked to repeal the statute passed in 1887. The Leader of the Opposition went on to point out that he was in a camp totally opposed to those who 480 admired coercive legislation; and begged the question by inviting him to give an epitome of all the speeches made night after night in which the then Government declared that the Bill was not coercive; that it differed little, if at all, from the legal procedure in Scotland. He would remind the right hon. Gentleman of the action taken by the Party which he now led. He did not want to go back on the past. He was glad that the present position offered many points of difference from the past. If the right hon. Gentleman at one time desired only that juries in Ireland should return their verdicts by a majority, he did not go as far as some of those with whom he was associated in those days. This was a matter of some notoriety. The Government of which the right hon. Gentleman was a member in the year 1886, at a time of excitement, contemplated an Act which, according to the description of Sir George Trevelyan, would have differed little, if at all, from the Act of 1887. Sir George Trevelyan, speaking at Galashiels in May, 1886, as to the intention of his Government had it remained in office to have introduced a measure similar to the Crimes Act of 1887, said—In June last, Mr. Gladstone and his Cabinet determined to maintain the law in Ireland. They resolved to have a preliminary investigation on oath into undetected crime, which you have in Scotland. They resolved to have power of changing the scene of a trial from a locality where public feeling was too strong for that trial to be a fair one—a power which you have in Scotland. They resolved to call a special jury in cases of crime as a substitute for the far more potent and effective system of committing or acquitting by a majority of jurors—which you have in Scotland. They resolved to allow a summary sentence of a few months to be inflicted for crimes of violence and intimidation by two stipendiary magistrates, who answered in essential respects to your Scotch sheriffs.If he were speaking at any length he could make it evident to any one that, so far as Sections 3 and 4 of the Crimes Act were concerned, which provided for the change of venue and for special juries those sections did not go further than the existing law in Scotland. In Scotland, as with the Chief Secretary in Ireland, the institution of prosecutions rested with the Lord Advocate, or, in other words, with the Government. He agreed that the procedure under the Crimes Act was different from the procedure in England, but it was not 481 different from the procedure in Scotland, and he had yet to learn that it was one of the aims of a Chief Secretary to effect absolute similarity between the laws in England and Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition had expounded the doctrine that a quick-witted and sensitive people might be expected to return a verdict not in accordance with the evidence, because they differed upon constitutional questions from the Government who instituted the prosecution.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
What I said, or intended to say, was that when they find themselves treated by devices of cunning and tricks, such as the wholesale exclusion of jurors, and in many cases the change of venue, and other devices resorted to for the purpose of obtaining convictions—it is only in accordance with human nature that they should retort by devices of their own to which I alluded.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said he thought the right hon. Gentleman had not mended his case. They were discussing the advisability of the repeal of the Crimes Act. Under that Act, by a perfectly legitimate operation copied from the procedure in Scotland, they attempted to anticipate that local feeling which put too great a strain on the conscience of the jurors by changing the venue and obtaining a special jury. That was a much more straightforward practice than asking a great number of jurors to stand aside. He joined with Lord Spencer, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose, and all his predecessors, on whatever side of the House they sat and whatever view they held upon the constitutional relations of the two countries, in repudiating any suggeston that the Government of Ireland pressed for verdicts unduly, or unless they believed that it was necessary to do so. In spite of the view which the right hon. Gentleman held, during the three years in which he held office he did not think it expedient to devote the time of the House to the repeal of this statute, because it would waste time, rouse angry passions, and do no good to Ireland. That was his view. He believed that the legislation they had initiated for Ireland was likely to do good to Ireland, 482 and that the repeal of this Act would do harm—at any rate, would arouse angry passions which, thank goodness, had been laid to rest.
He was told that he was a member of a residual Government, but the residual Government might remain in office longer than a potential conglomerate Opposition imagined. They had a consistent policy in this matter. In reply to the right hon. Gentleman, he hoped he had, very hastily, sketched his reason for holding still that this Act was no violation of the Constitution. It was different in some particulars from the procedure which prevailed in this country it was not widely dissimilar from the procedure which prevailed in Scotland. The hon. Member who introduced the Motion, in an able and eloquent speech, could not recall whether there were any proclamations in force under the Crimes Act. There were some, under Sections 3 and 4. There had been four cases only of a somewhat serious character. Trials had been held, and in three cases convictions were obtained. One of those cases took place in July last year, and he was told then that the Constitution was being violated because these persons were made amenable to the law in a place where a trial could be held without placing an undue stress upon the conscience of those in whose midst they lived. But that was a case of following in Ireland the procedure which obtained in Scotland. He agreed with his hon. and gallant friend the Member for North Armagh in this—that he had not sought the occasion for this debate; he agreed, too, that, the occasion being offered, it was very hard to speak without making the kind of speech which was made in old days. He differed, however, from his hon. and gallant friend in feeling, as he did, that there was quite a different ring in the speeches made during the present debate. There were in Ireland some two, three, or four places where some embers of past disturbance still glowed. It would be a heavy responsibility for any Government to say that all chance of those embers being fanned into flames had passed away. He would not name those places; he did not wish to advertise them; he knew that those who kept the embers of discord still glowing were acting without any support from any organisation in 483 Ireland, and that all those who wished the Land Act to continue its pacifying influence regretted that such discord should still prevail, insensate as it was and opposed to the hopes they all shared. On the horizon of social life in Ireland he saw no single fact which could justify him in declaring that he anticipated a recrudescence of social disorder in that country; but there was always something beyond the horizon; and he must be rash indeed if, with the bitter experience and sad disappointment of decades behind him he said that never at any time would a storm cloud sweep up again over that horizon and overshadow for a time the fair prospects they were now privileged to view. For those reasons the Government did not intend to repeal the Crimes Act in Ireland.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
said he could not follow the interruption of the hon. Member. Although much had happened upon which they might congratulate themselves, he must say that the position of the Government now was exactly the position stated by the Prime Minister when he was Leader of the Opposition in 1895. His right hon. friend then s lid—The Crimes Act is not now in operation; long may that happy state of things continue; may Government after Government succeed each other in this country, and the tranquil course of Irish society go on as now. May the existence of the Crimes Act on the Statute-book he forgotten; but with the bitter experience of the past we should be criminally foolish if we refused to keep in repair the only instrument by which a state of disturbance can be dealt with.If that were not, as it was, the definite view of the Government, and if it were right because of certain conditions to accede to this Motion, would they be fostering the state of peace which existed in Ireland? He thought not. There were people living in Ireland who remembered days in which their liberty was interfered with, and who, in some cases, suffered personal loss. There were many other persons who sympathised with them and considered themselves bound to espouse their cause; and if the Government were to announce that they intended to repeal the Crimes 484 Act, that would not be accepted as testimony from them that times were better in Ireland. It would be taken as a declaration of a great change of policy, and that the Government held themselves absolved from a responsibility of which they could not divest themselves. Acting with a due sense of that responsibility he said that, not only would they be wrong in repealing the Crimes Act, but that if they did so the general sense of confidence which now existed in Ireland would be replaced by a general sense of timidity, and the realisation of the fair prospect now in view, which could only be attained for the good of Ireland by a steady progress, as laid down by the Land Conference, would be adjourned to another day. That was why, on the part of the Government, he refused to accept this spasmodic Motion.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
said the right hon. Gentleman was quite right in saying that he observed a change in the character of this debate as contrasted with previous debates. The change was, he thought, largely to be found in the fact that the Nationalist Members were able to regard with more equanimity than in the past the exhibitions from parts of the House opposite such as they had had that night. He did not observe any change in the tone of the right hon. Gentleman. It was perfectly evident to him before the hon. Member for Antrim had been speaking five minutes that his object was, going as near to insult as the forms of the House permitted, to goad the Nationalist Members into some action which would precipitate a scene. He thought his colleagues and himself might congratulate themselves that they had foiled that plan by showing that even under provocation of that kind they could preserve an equanimity and calmness which must have conveyed to the House the utter indifference and contempt with which that attempt had been met. The right hon. Gentleman was ludicrously wrong if he saw in that any indication that they did not regard this question as a vitally urgent one. He was rather surprised that the Chief Secretary made the petty point that a Motion of this kind had not been moved for two years, and that no Bill had been introduced on the subject. He himself was very doubtful whether it 485 was wise to give notice of this Motion. The question at issue was so far-reaching, grave, and urgent that he had serious doubts whether it could be adequately discussed in a three hours sitting, and whether they would not be minimising the importance and urgency of the question by bringing in a futile Bill on a Friday. But the Nationalist, Members had shown their view of the urgency of this question in the past by impeaching the conduct of the Government by attacking the salary of the Minister in charge, and on a Motion for the reduction of that salary founding an impeachment of his conduct in his office.
Let him say, and in this respect he spoke the views of his colleagues, that he had listened with great gratification to the speech of the Leader of the Opposition. So far as that right hon. Gentleman was concerned, he never had any doubt of his view on this matter. He was glad, however, the right hon. Gentleman had expressed his view to-night frankly, and perhaps he might go further and say with what gratification he heard his further reference to self-government in Ireland. What a petty reproach it was for the Chief Secretary to make against the Leader of the Opposition that when in office he did not introduce a Bill to repeal the Coercion Act. Of course he did not. He introduced a Home Rule Bill, which would, of course, have swept away the whole of this rotten edifice and misgovernment in Ireland. The terms the right hon. Gentleman had used with reference to self-government in Ireland, would give satisfaction to all those who recognised in him a friend of the national aspirations of the Irish people. What was the defence of the Chief Secretary? It was that the Coercion Act was proposed because of an alleged state of crime and disorder in Ireland. Crime and disorder admittedly did not now exist in Ireland and had not existed for a long time. It was said that the Coercion Act was necessary in 1887 because of crime and disorder, and that it was necessary to retain it because crime and disorder might return in the future. According to that theory this was in truth and reality to be a perpetual Coercion Act. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary seemed to desire to mislead the House— 486 he did not use the phrase in any offensive sense—as to what this Coercion Act really was. An intelligent foreigner listening to the right hon. Gentleman would say what an unreasonable people the Irish were to make all this trouble about a Coercion Act which was merely a change of procedure in the law in Ireland approximating to the procedure in the law in Scotland. What a dishonest, he almost said what a ludicrous, perversion of the true facts of the case.
What was the essential point in this Coercion Act? It was that it abrogated all over Ireland at the will of a single man the most cherished possession of the people of this country—the right of trial by jury. By the Union England deprived Ireland of her own Constitution, and she never gave Ireland the English Constitution in return. Bitter opponent as he was of English rule in Ireland, he did not hesitate to say that the British Constitution was one of the freest Constitutions in the world; and if that Constitution were in force in Ireland things in Ireland would be different; but never for one hour since the Union had Ireland had the advantage of being under the British Constitution. Every year since the Union a Coercion Act of one kind or another had been in existence which deprived Ireland of one or other of the bulwarks of the British Constitution. He regarded the Coercion Act as a permanent disability and stigma on the Irish people. He took the gravest possible view of the present Coercion Act, which had been placed as a permanent disability on the necks of the Irish people. He had no hesitation in declaring, with brutal frankness, that a law which deprived the Irish people of the right of trial by jury was a law which justified armed rebellion; and he said further that if the Irish people had the means of rebellion against the existence of that law it would be their duty to rebel. That was the view which was universally held by the Irish people. It was said the Irish people were disloyal. Give them something to be loyal for; give them the British Constitution. If he were an Englishman living under the free Constitution of England, he would be ready to die for that Constitution. But so long as Ireland was denied the rights and privileges of the British Constitution the 487 Government of Ireland would not deserve and would not receive the loyalty of the people of Ireland.
He knew not what the future might have in store for them. He would welcome most eagerly the day when all serious enmity between Ireland and England disappeared. He believed honestly they were on the road towards that consummation, because with the exception of the speech of the Chief Secretary all the speeches in favour of the Coercion Act had come from that little ring of anti-Irish Irishmen who, in the words of John Bright, stood in the way of the franchise and every other right conceded to the Irish people, and had always sacrificed the rights of their country in order to maintain their own ascendancy. It was a sign of the times that the English Members had remained silent, although of course they would vote down the Motion. He thought they were advancing rapidly to the time when enmity would disappear between the countries. Local government had been given to Ireland, and the Irish people were governing themselves as wisely and well in local affairs as were the English people. The House had also passed a great Land Act: the ultimate result would be, in spite of delay and drawbacks, to abolish landlordism, which had been the cause of almost all—a great portion at any rate—of the social trouble in Ireland, and which was the greatest barrier which stood between the masses of the people and the so-called gentry of the country. The effect of such legislation undoubtedly would be that before long Englishmen would see that the wisest and safest course for them to adopt would be to trust the Irish people in large things just as they had trusted them successfully in small, and that what had changed Canada from being a country in open rebellion into a contented portion of the Empire probably would have the same effect in Ireland. But so long as this Coercion Act remained in existence, so long as every free-born Irishman felt that his dearest liberties might be taken away to-morrow at the scratch of a pen by an individual sent over to Ireland, so long England could not expect and would not receive the loyalty of the Irish people. He wished he had words at his command 488 to express more adequately than he had been able his sense of the importance of this question from the Irish point of view. It was not too much to say that they regarded the existence of this Coercion Act as a deprivation of their liberties and a gross insult to the whole character of their people; and as long as it was there, good-bye to the hope of better relations between England and Ireland.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
said that some of the Ulster Members wished to know what he was going to do, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Armagh read an extract from a speech of his delivered ten years ago. He did not disavow that speech, but to hear his Ulster colleagues speak one would imagine that nothing had taken place since the year 1887. He saw them coming down to that House and forming a solid row when anything for the coercion of Ireland was being proposed, but he looked for them in vain when measures of appeasement and reform for Ireland were being discussed. That was a most hateful condition of affairs. Did anyone imagine that the Local Government Act could be passed without producing the present inevitable result? It had brought men together to discuss public affairs who never met in any capacity except to quarrel with each other. Agrarian crime—the only class of crime in the country, had absolutely disappeared. And of what had happened during the past week, surely he who ran might read. The King had had a triumphant progress in the South of Ireland in the most Nationalist centres. His Majesty had been received with perfect respect and perfect good feeling. [An HON. MEMBER: Why not?] He remembered the time when it was not so. Surely he must be a dull student who did not know what happened years ago in this respect. All this showed that the persistent action of that House in well doing had begun to tell upon the Irish people, and he believed that if they went on extending these things, turning neither to the right nor to the left from the path of strict duty, it would bring its reward, and that they would yet see a contented Irish people. It was true that there were some dark spots in Ire- 489 land, and the cause of them was known. But for those spots the difficulty would be entirely over. He laid on the Irish landlords the blame of keeping alive this agitation and bad feeling in the midst of an attempted solution. The only real defence offered by the Chief Secretary was that there were those spots in which a recrudescence of crime might recur if the landlords did not accept the good offer of money made them for the land. He himself was down on the system of keeping Irishmen apart, and setting them at one another's throat. He would be no party to it. There was a feeling growing up in Ireland that the interests of the country were greater than the interests of the landlords, and men were beginning to see things as they were. Two years ago, when the Coercion Act was discussed, he went out of the House without voting. He wished
§ to be perfectly frank with the House. He desired to co-operate with the Irish Members in everything that was for the well-being of Ireland, and if he could get rid of those spots he should have no difficulty about the course he would take. He believed that the Land Act would be successful, but as Ions as those spots existed in Ireland where crime might be produced by the action of the landlords he was not prepared to take the remedy out of the hands of the Government. He hoped, however, that the day was not far distant when all coercive legislation would be removed from the Statute-book because it was unnecessary.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 124; Noes, 197. (Division List No. 114.)491
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Hammond, John||O'Dowd, John|
|Allen, Charles P.||Harcourt, Lewis V.(Rossendale||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Harwood, George||O'Malley, William|
|Asher, Alexander||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Mara, James|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Horniman, Frederick John||Rea, Russell|
|Bell, Richard||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Black, Alexander William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Blake, Edward||Jordan, Jeremiah||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Boland, John||Joyce, Michael||Roche, John|
|Brigg, John||Kilbride, Denis||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Leamy, Edmund||Shackleton, David James|
|Caldwell, James||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Levy, Maurice||Sheehy, David|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lough, Thomas||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lundon, W.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Crean, Eugene||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Slack, John Bamford|
|Cullinan, J.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants|
|Delany, William||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway||M'Crae, George||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||M'Fadden, Edward||Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Tomkinson, James|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Kean, John||Toulmin, George|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Ure, Alexander|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)||Mooney, John J.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Moulton, John Fletcher||Weir, James Galloway|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Murphy, John||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Young, Samuel|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Thomas Esmonde and Captain Donelan.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Grant, Corrie||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Foster. P. S. (Warwick, S.W.)||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden||Fyler, John Arthur||Mount, William Arthur|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Galloway, William Johnson||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gardner, Ernest||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby- (Salop||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Aubrey Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury||Percy, Earl|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Grenfell, William Henry||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gretton, John||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch'r||Groves, James Grimble||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford)||Pym, C. Guy|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Harris, F. Leverton(Tynem'th)||Randles, John S.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Harris, Dr. Fredk. R. (Dulwich||Rankin, Sir James|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Mich. Hicks||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)||Renwick, George|
|Bigwood, James||Heath, James (Staffords., N.W.||Ridley, Hon. M.W.(Stalybridge|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Helder, Augustus||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Bond, Edward||Henderson, Sir A.(Stafford, W.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Brassey, Albert||Hobhouse,Rt Hn. H (Somers't, E||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hoult, Joseph||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Bull, William James||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Butcher, John George||Hunt, Rowland||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Campbell, J.H.M.(Dublin Univ||Hutton, John (Yorks., N.R.)||Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Saunderson, Rt Hn. Col. Edw. J|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A (Worc.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East|
|Chapman, Edward||Kerr, John||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Keswick, William||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Kimber, Henry||Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset,|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.|
|Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R.||Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks., N.R.||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Tuff, Charles|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Vincent, Col. Sir C.E.H.(Sheff'ld|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Denny, Colonel||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh, W||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Wilson, A, Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Doughty, George||Majendie, James A. H.||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Malcolm, Ian||Wodehouse, Rt.Hn. E.R.(Bath|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Maxwell, Rt. Hn. Sir H. E (Wigt'n||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh.)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton||Wylie, Alexander|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Milvain, Thomas||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|FitzGerald,Sir Robert Penrose-||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Moore, William||Alexander Acland-Hood|
|Forster, Henry William||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
§ Adjourned at thirteen minutes after Twelve o'clock.