§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
Mr. Speaker, at Question time this afternoon, when the subject of the appointment of Sir Antony MacDonnell and the conditions under which he held that appointment came up for consideration, I used the expression, in speaking of the Government, that in my opinion they should tell the truth about this matter at once. You, Mr. Speaker—as I readily admit—most properly called me to order for that expression, because it 965 might have conveyed the impression that I thought that in the answers given by the Government they were actually stating what was untrue. I did not intend to convey that impression and apologised for my mistake. What I did intend to convey was that the Government was not telling the whole truth, and I desired to press on them that, in a matter of this supreme importance, they were hound to take the House into their confidence and to tell the whole truth. The conditions on which Sir Antony MacDonnell was appointed, the conditions on which he has held the office of Under-Secretary up to this moment, and the conditions on which he is to hold it from this time on are in doubt and uncertainty, and this is a matter of such supreme importance that I venture to suggest to the House of Commons that it is its duty to probe it to the bottom and to learn the whole truth. This is an important question from many points of view. First of all, it is important because of the gravity of the matter at issue, and secondly, because of the character and position of Sir Antony MacDonnell himself. The position which this distinguished Civil servant holds in Ireland is one which had its origin a long time ago. I believe the creation of the appointment was in 1777, that is before the Union, and the appointment is one which I think I can easily show has been held almost ever since by men who were not mere Civil Service clerks, but men who were politicians, and who had given to them the power and privilege of making suggestions not merely as to administration but as to policy. I remember that in the year 1902 my hon. and learned friend the Member for Donegal asked a Question of the present Chief Secretary as to the character of the office of Under-Secretary, and the right hon. Gentleman said in reply that the Under-Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant was the permanent representative of the Executive Government in Ireland. That answer precludes the idea altogether that the Under-Secretary is a mere Civil Service clerk without any right of suggestion or initiative as to policy. I will not allude to-night to the appointment of Mr. Thomas Drummond further than to say in passing that of course that was not 966 the appointment of an ordinary Civil servant. Mr. Drummond went to Ireland to initiate and carry out a policy, but I will come down to more recent times. What about Sir Robert Hamilton? Undoubtedly, when Under-Secretary he initiated a policy and exercised the widest possible powers. What about Sir Redvers Buller? He was appointed Under-Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland by a Conservative Government, and in the evidence he gave before a Royal Commission, evidence given, I believe, while he actually held the office—
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
I hope the hon. Gentleman will be kind enough to allow me to develop my argument in my own way, and I hope when I have finished the House will be delighted and entranced, as it always is, by his reply. Sir Redvers Buller gave evidence before a Royal Commission in which he did suggest a policy and did propose to take a certain initiative with reference to the action of the Government in relation to landlords and the land question. Then what about Sir West Ridgeway? He also was appointed by a Conservative Government, and I hope I may be allowed to quote from a recent declaration of his showing the powers he possessed while in the office of Under-Secretary, and how he exercised them. In explaining the other day in The Times newspaper his adhesion to the Reform Association of Lord Dunraven he used these words—My views and opinions are not of recent birth; they were conceived during the period of my service as Under-Secretary for Ireland, and were embodied in a Memorandum written in 1889.So Sir West Ridgeway was not a mere Civil Service clerk; he was a man with sufficiently wide powers to entitle him to prepare a Memorandum suggesting a fundamental change of policy on the part of the governors of the country. He goes on to say—In that Memorandum I advocated the concession of a liberal measure of local government in provincial as well as county councils, the administration of the education grant and other funds raised for that purpose by a local body at least partially-elected—967 Why, I thought that was one of the two proposals in Lord Dunraven"s reform programme which had excited the ire of the Chief Secretary. The letter goes on—decentralisation of finance, the reorganisation of Dublin Castle, and especially the abolition of that chaotic anachronism, administration by semi-independent boards, whereby three men do the work of one. The policy of extreme Unionism in Ireland is purely negative; that policy is to stand still and do nothing, Ireland is to rest and be thankful. While the rest of Europe progresses and develops, Ireland is to be stationary, to remain stagnant, and, if in the course of nature unhealthy ferment follows, it is to be corrected by the antiseptic of coercion.Could one conceive a more direct exercise of initiative and a suggestion of policy on the part of an Under-Secretary? That is the experience of the powers exercised by gentlemen occupying this position in the immediate past.
I now come to the position of Sir Antony MacDonnell. We have had a certain account given by Lord Lansdowne and by the Chief Secretary as to the particular terms on which Sir Antony MacDonnell was appointed. These conditions are contained in certain letters. We demand the production of those letters. There is a Rule of this House that any Minister who quotes a document in support of his position is bound to produce that document, and when we asked the Chief Secretary to obey that Rule his answer was that he did not quote the document. Now I will show that he did quote the document, and I submit respectfully to him and to the House of Commons that he is bound to produce that document, and that until he does produce it it is inevitable that there will be dissatisfaction and probably great misapprehension in the public mind on this question. I hope I may be allowed to make a quotation from the speech the right hon. Gentleman made the other night on this subject. He said—I could not invite such a man as Sir Antony MacDonnell, with such a record, to come and help me as a mere clerical assistant, and, apart altogether from anything that specifically passed between us, if it was proper to make such an appointment—and I hold it was proper—it was impossible to make it without accepting Sir Antony MacDonnell as he was, as a man sworn of the Privy Council the same day as I was myself. Do you suppose that a Minister 968 could invite a man who had rendered greater service to the country than he could ever hope to render to sit on an office stool and merely to register the papers that came into the office?Then he goes on to say—We embodied in our letters the conversation in which we had been engaged. These letters made it perfectly plain and clear that Sir Antony MacDonnell was invited by me rather as a colleague than as a mere Under-Secretary to register my will. I was glad to have his advice, to welcome his suggestions, and it was made clear, subject of course to my control, that he was to enjoy a certain freedom of administrative action. I made it clear to Sir Antony MacDonnell. Those letters are extant—they are in Sir Antony MacDonnell"s possession—and they show that no such problem was contemplated by him at the time of his appointment, as he suggested to Lord Dunraven.Will the right hon. Gentleman get up and seriously suggest that that is not a quotation from a document? In defence of his position he brought forward these letters, and said the letters would show that Sir Antony MacDonnell was precluded from considering this particular question, about which it was said his conduct was indefensible. I submit that if ever a document was quoted in support of a Minister this document was, and I say it is a mere subterfuge, and a most unworthy one for the right hon. Gentleman to say that he is exempt from the duty of pro-during the document because he did not quote the exact words. I call for the production of the document. Is there anything in the document of which the Government is ashamed? Is there anything in it inconsistent with the case they have been trying to make in their own support? If there is not, why is it not produced? If there is, was a more discreditable performance ever made by a Minister of the Crown than the assertion that he was not bound to produce it on the technical ground that he did not quote the exact words? The right hon. Gentleman went on to make further reference to these letters, and he said that among the subjects which these letters would show that Sir Antony MacDonnell was entitled to discuss with, various people in Ireland was this—co-ordination, direction, and control of the detached boards in Ireland.Co-ordination or co-relation … does not suggest to me, and never will suggest to me, the introduction of another board which is to be of an elective character.969 and he went on at the end of the reference to say in his speech that these proposals—let the House mark this—these two proposals of Lord Dunraven that there should be devolution of certain powers of this House to a body in Ireland, and that there should be a partially-elected board to deal with Irish finance had not been before him. I assert that the charge which is made against the right hon. Gentleman is not that these actual proposals, in the detail with which they were put before the country in Lord Dunraven's second pronouncement, were before the Government. That is not the charge I make. The charge I make is that the substance of these proposals were before the Government. So far as Sir Antony MacDonnell was concerned, judging by the statements made by Lord Dunraven in the House of Lords, and judging by what we think we know of Sir Antony MacDonnell's opinions, these exact proposals in the precise words in which they were put forward would not represent Sir Antony MacDonnell's view of the proper settlement of the Irish question at all. These proposals were put forward not by him, but by Lord Dunraven and his association on their own responsibility, and the responsibility for them is not the responsibility of Sir Antony MacDonnell, but the responsibility of Lord Dunraven and the Reform Association. The charge is that general powers to confer and discuss on similar subjects to these were conferred on Sir Antony MacDonnell, the charge is that Sir Antony MacDonnell, under the terms of his appointment, had power to consult not merely with Lord Dunraven but with anybody he chose in Ireland upon practically all questions, including specifically the question of local government in the country. He had, on the authority of Lord Lansdowne to discuss what was called the co-ordination of the various forty-one boards of which the Government of Ireland consists. He had, according to Lord Lansdowne, full authority to confer with anyone he liked in Ireland on the question of what Lord Lansdowne called improvement in the antiquated and complicated system of government by Dublin Castle. The Chief Secretary knew all about these discussions that Sir Antony MacDonnell was conducting. He has told us that 970 last August he went on Ins holiday and that he did not pay particular attention to the first pronouncement of the Reform Association. The Association issued its first report on August 30th. I do not know when the right hon. Gentleman went on his holiday. Upon what date did he go? When he went did not he know that he was leaving Sir Antony MacDonnell behind to continue these conferences with Lord Dunraven?
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Gentleman must remember that this matter was discussed at great length for two days, and the hon. Member is only entitled to discuss the definite matter on the Paper. He is not entitled to go into the question as to what the action of Sir Antony MacDonnell was, nor how far Lord Dudley or the Chief Secretary knew about it. The question is what are the terms on which he is employed.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
I quite understand, Mr. Speaker, and you will find that I am not in the slightest degree transgressing your ruling. I moved the adjournment for the purpose of calling I attention to the present conditions on which Sir Antony MacDonnell holds his appointment, and I submit respectfully that I am entitled to consider the conditions on which he has held the appointment up to the present, and then to go on to ask whether those conditions have now been changed.
§ MR. SPEAKER
What are the present conditions? As I understand, this Motion was based on an Answer given that certain fresh instructions had been given since this matter was first raised in the House, and it was on that really that leave to move was given. Of course quite agree that involves what are the terms as a whole on which he now holds it. The hon. Member appears to me to be going beyond that, and re-opening the whole discussion as to how far the Government was to blame for the attitude they have taken during the last few weeks towards Sir Antony MacDonnell. That is not the point.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
In order to arrive at some understanding of what are the precise terms, I must include 971 what the terms were on which he was appointed, and then go on to ask how those terms have been varied, but I will bear in mind the suggestion that you have made. You will find that I will not in any sense depart from it.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I will leave it to the hon. Member, who, I believe, always endeavours to follow any suggestion from the Chair, but it appeared to me that he was going beyond the terms of the Motion.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
I will endeavour not to do so. We are in this difficulty about these terms and conditions, that the right hon. Gentleman has not produced the document, and we are trying to ascertain what were the conditions on which Sir Antony MacDonnell was appointed, with the object of asking how far they have now been varied. We have really to grope about to ascertain what the conditions really were. The right hon. Gentleman has said that Sir Antony MacDonnell was appointed on conditions which did enable him to discuss questions of local government in Ireland, the question of co-ordination of Irish public boards, and the question of a large improvement in the antiquated system of Dublin Castle, but he has said these terms and conditions did not justify him in having anything to do with these specific proposals, namely, devolution and the creation of a financial board. I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman a Question. I want to ask him whether, in the first place, he knew, and of course the answer is obvious, that Sir Antony MacDonnell was conferring with Lord Dunraven on this question? Secondly, I want to ask him, whether the first report of the Reform Association, published on August 30th, contained anything which in his mind led him to believe that Sir Antony MacDonnell had violated the conditions of his appointment? It is only thus that we are able to arrive at an understanding of what the conditions were. That report for August 30th contains this paragraph—We consider this devolution would be beneficial to Ireland, and would relieve the Imperial Parliament"—972 that cannot mean private business—Of a mass of business with which it cannot now deal satisfactorily.That is point number one, devolution. Point two—The decentralisation or localisation of finance without sacrificing the element of control of Parliament.That is point number two, financial control. My point is that the report was issued on August 30th. The Chief Secretary knew that Sir Antony MacDonnell was conferring with Lord Dunraven and other people on this question. He saw in this report of August 30th the result of this conference, and he remained silent for a month. He has told us that he rushed into print in The Times newspaper after September 26th because the second publication of the Reform Association contained these two points which, he said, were quite new to him. He said he had not heard of them at all, but they were in the first report a month before. No one connected with Irish political life will grudge him a holiday. Some of us wish that we had been able to take a similar holiday ourselves. But he said—At the end of last session I defended Sir Antony MacDonnell, and I am prepared to defend him again. I went on a holiday and tried to make it as complete as possible. I paid no heed to newspapers and neglected correspondence. The Irish Reform Association came into being without startling me.That is, the first publication of the Reform Association, containing these two proposals specifically, did not startle the right hon. Gentleman—But in the second manifesto, published on September 26th, everyone read into the Reform Association all kinds of designs that I had not discovered in it in the very cursory perusal of the report of the first meeting.I am not going to suggest that the right hon. Gentleman is saying anything that is not absolutely true. But I do say that if he read the report of the first meeting which I read to the House, even in the most cursory way, he must have seen those two proposals—devolution and a financial council. He goes on to say—The first report issued by the association made no impression on my mind.Well, I have read the words of the report—devolution and a financial council—He added—It made very little impression on the minds of other people.973 There"s the rub. It made no impression on the mind of the right hon. Gentleman because his mind was prepared for it. It made no impression on the mind of the public in Ireland. Therefore, he held his peace—I did not read it at the time," he said, "but the Irish Times, a Unionist organ,"—apparently he has the Irish Times sent after him on his holiday wherever he goes—seems to have read this report more care-fully than I did, and even it was not startled or alarmed."—At devolution or the financial council.This newspaper pointed out that the proposals were very vague. If I had been in Dublin I should not have thought it my duty to dash into print and to say that these gentlemen were wrong.That is to say, if he had been in Dublin attending to his business he would not have felt it his duty to rush into print and declare that the proposal of devolution from this House and the creation of a partly-elected financial council was wrong. Let me dwell for a moment on the account Lord Lansdowne has given of the terms and conditions of Sir Antony MacDonnell"s appointment. He says—I suggest to your Lordships that it follows almost us a matter of course that a man of that kind and those antecedents could scarcely lie bound by the same narrow rules of routine which are applicable to an ordinary member of the civil Service, and I answer the noble Marquess"s question by telling him that it was understood on both sides that he was to have greater freedom of action and Dealer opportunities of initiative than he would have expected if he had been promoted in the ordinary way. It was also understood between Sir Antony MacDonnell and the Chief Secretary that there were certain subjects to which their efforts were to be addressed, and which they hail reasonable hope and expectation of being able to deal with should they remain in office, and amongst those subjects was the co-ordination of the many detached and semi-detached boards into which the government of Ireland is at present sub-divided. Any one who has studied that question is aware that, there is room for considerable improvement in that old-fashioned and complicated organisation.That is to say, one of the subjects which the Government hoped to deal with, if they remained in office, and which Sir Antony MacDonnell was specifically authorised to discuss with various people, was practically the aboli- 974 tion of the present system of government of Dublin Castle and the substitution for it of some other entirely new system.I think I ought to explain," he says, "that I say this to your Lordships with the knowledge and concurrence of the Chief Secretary for Ireland.In these circumstances Sir Antony MacDonnell was justified in assuming that he had a certain scope of action. He certainly acted upon that assumption, and with the full knowledge and approval of the Chief Secretary.It was with the Chief Secretary"s approval that Sir Antony MacDonnell made himself accessible to persons of all kinds and descriptions; and I maintain that in endeavouring to arrive at that result, and in endeavouring to break down the barrier which has so long and too often divided Dublin Castle from the rest of the country, my right hon. colleague.—that is Sir Antony MacDonnell—was taking a step in the right direction, and one for which he deserved the greatest possible praise. I have no doubt," continued Lord Lansdowne. "that he called to mind the understanding upon which he took office in 1902. I have no doubt he called to mind conversations and consultations with the noble Earl and the Chief Secretary, recollecting that the subject of local government was one that they had to discuss and examine together. I say, therefore, that it appears to me that Sir Antouy MacDonnell might well feel himself able to take part in the symposium with a perfectly clear conscience.Lord Lansdowne subsequently read a letter from the Viceroy of Ireland, which reflects the greatest honour upon his straightforwardness and his courage, in which he said he was aware that Sir Antony MacDonnell was helping Lord Dunraven, and that he discussed the reforms suggested in the noble Earl's scheme on several occasions with the Under-Secretary. He adds that he does not think that Sir Antony MacDonnell was exceeding his functions, because in the first place he knew that under the terms of his appointment—Where are those terms? This is a very serious matter. Here is the representative of the Sovereign in Ireland, the Viceroy, declaring that in his opinion, under the terms of that appointment, Sir Antony MacDonnell was justified. The Chief Secretary says that his conduct was indefensible; and because there is this difference between the Chief Secretary and the Viceroy, the House of 975 Commons, forsooth, is to be denied the production of the documents.Because," he says, "in the first place he knew that under the terms of his appoint merit his position differed from that of an ordinary Under-Secretary, and, secondly, he knew that on two previous occasions, the Land Conference and the University question. Sir Antony MacDonnell had been in close communication with Lord Dunraven.Surely this places the House of Commons in an extraordinary position. We have a direct conflict of testimony as to the terms and conditions on which Sir Antony MacDonnell was appointed, the Viceroy stating one thing and the Chief Secretary another, the Chief Secretary quoting by paraphrase the letters containing those terms and declining to produce them for the inspection of the House of Commons and the country. This cannot be tolerated. As I stated earlier in the day the whole truth will have to come out, and nothing but discredit will attach to the Minister who, declining to produce the whole truth at first, has it dragged from him piecemeal. The charge that I make against the Government is this: That the nature and terms of Sir Antony MacDonnell"s appointment covered, as the Viceroy has solemnly declared they covered, discussions upon questions such as this. I charge the Chief Secretary that he knew the subjects upon which Lord Dunraven and Sir Antony MacDonnell were conferring. I say that those subjects were specifically stated on August 30th in the terms that I read to the House, that they were stated to be devolution and a financial council, and I do not care in what part of the earth the right hon. Gentleman was hiding himself during his holiday [Cries of "Oh, oh!"]—I will withdraw that at once; I assure the House I meant nothing offensive by that phrase. I assure the House that I quite realise that the right hon. Gentleman was, in taking his holiday, anxious to get away as far as he could from politics; and it was only in that sense that I used the word "hiding"—and I do not blame him if he was. No matter on what part of the earth he was endeavouring to take his holiday free from bother and anxiety about Irish politics, it was impossible for him not to have seen some British newspapers or to have had some information as to the first pronouncement of the Reform Association. He has himself admitted, 976 though he did not see it in full, apparently, he was aware of its substance. He has admitted that he had seen, in the Irish Times, a statement on this subject. He must, therefore, have known either a whole month, even if he did not know, as I believe he did, beforehand, that Sir Antony MacDonnell and Lord Dunraven were discussing amongst themselves the question of evolution, and some sort of a partially-elected financial council for Ireland. I, therefore, come to this decision: the Viceroy knew about these conferences, and believed that they were within the scope of Sir Antony MacDoimcll"s powers. The Chief Secretary admits that he knew in substance what these proposals were, and also that for one month, from August 30th to September 26th, he never made any protest, never communicated with Sir Antony MacDonnell on the subject. What would have been more natural, if Sir Antony MacDonnell had really exceeded his powers, than for the Chief Secretary to have communicated with him; from the most distant quarter of the world he might have written him to say that he was startled with the result of his conference with Lord Dunraven, and hoped he would go no further, and that he did not approve of the length he had gone? But he did nothing until September 26th. He did it then, after the Orange section in Ireland had raised a loud cry against the proposals of the Reform Association, and after The Times newspaper had published a leading article demanding from the Chief Secretary a repudiation. I am not so sure that it conduces to the power or dignity of a great officer of State to be whipped to heel by The Times newspaper. I am riot sure that it consorts with the dignity of a great officer of State, having remained silent on this matter for a month, to come forward within twenty-four hours, with a repudiation in answer to a threatening and brow-beating article from the London Times calling upon him to do so. The great charge is that for one reason or another those who are in possession of the truth are withholding the truth. I think that the House of Commons and the country are entitled to have the full truth with reference to this matter. As Lord Lansdowne stated in the House 977 of Lords, Sir Antony MacDonnell was offered a great position in India, the position of Governor-General of Bombay. That is a position that any man living might envy. But Sir Antony MacDonnell gave up that great position, gave up his right to it in order to continue has work in Dublin Castle. Who asked him to do that work? Surely the refusal of Sir Antony MacDonnell to take up this great position, and his retention of office in Ireland, meant that at least he thought he, had the confidence and approval of the Government in Ireland. Now is it to be, supposed, if he had the slightest inkling that he had lost the confidence of the Government in Ireland, that he would have refused the Indian position? No, Sir, he possessed the confidence of the Government, and he was pressed by the Government of Ireland to give up his great career in India, and to remain in Ireland at the very time when he was engaged in conferring with Lord Dun-raven on these very schemes.
Now, Sir, I commenced by asking for the production of the documents to show us what were the conditions of his appointment. I now ask for information as to how these conditions have been varied. Apparently, from the answer given this afternoon by the Chief Secretary, the conditions and power of the appointment have been varied. I asked whether Sir Antony MacDonnell had been asked to resign and I was told not. But a few minutes after we were told there had been some variation in his powers arid in the conditions under which he holds the appointment. So that what has happened is that the Government shrank from asking for his resignation, but they thought they could effect their purpose by degrading him from the position of colleague of the right hon. Gentleman, as the Chief Secretary himself described it, into being a mere head clerk sitting on a stool in Dublin Castle. I think the right hon. Gentleman said something this afternoon to the effect that in future Sir Antony MacDonnell would have no initiative power on any subject without consultation with the Chief Secretary; that is, on any subject which would be likely to cause discussion in Ireland or in this House. Well, if that be so, Sir Antony MacDonnell will be a very idle man. Between the gallant and 978 vigilant few who represent the Orange faction in this House and the numerous and vigilant gentlemen representing Nationalist interests in this House, I am afraid that not many actions in Dublin Castle will escape discussion in this House. If he is to be put on these new conditions, that is to say to do nothing, be the permanent representative of Executive Government in Ireland, it is degrading him from the position tubas held—which was not, I think, inconsistent with his great career—into the position of a mere clerk, which is inconsistent with all his past record. I ask the Government, therefore, to tell us the conditions on which Sir Antony MacDonnell was appointed. I ask the Government to produce the documents. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to explain his own conduct, how it is that, having read on August 30th the first report of the Irish Reform Association dealing with devolution and the elective financial board, he remained silent for a month and only came out against it when a storm was raided by the Ulster Members? How can the right hon. Gentleman hold the conduct of Sir Antony MacDonnell as indefensible in view of the declaration of Lord Lansdowne, and especially in view of the, manly and honourable vindications of Sir Antony by the Viceroy of Ireland? I ask the right hon. Gentleman to state specifically the whole of the variations in the conditions of Sir Antony"s appointment, and I say to him that, in my judgment, the whole of this transaction, down to the present moment, is discreditable and disreputable in the last degree and that the Government are bound in common decency to let the House of Commons and the public know the full truth in the matter.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM, Dover)
The form of my reply is dictated by the four Questions with which the hon. Member concluded his speech. He asked me in the first place to state the conditions of the appointment of Sir Antony MacDonnell. I am perfectly prepared to read the letters which passed between 979 myself and Sir Antony MacDonnell at the time that he was appointed. The letters embody the gist of our conversations, in which we discussed for some time the prospect of Sir Antony MacDonnell being able and prepared to take up the post of Under-Secretary in Ireland; and those conversations, on my part, took the form of a very full exhibition to Sir Antony MacDonnell of all I thought would arise within the utmost conceivable bounds of possibility in the near future in Ireland. That is treating Sir Antony MacDonnell as a colleague but colleagues are bound by the collective opinion of all their colleagues, and it is perfectly clear—and nothing to the contrary was in my mind and in the mind of Sir Antony MacDonnell—that I could not promise to do things unless they received the sanction of my colleagues, the sanction of the Treasury, and the sanction of this House. I was not telling him what I would undertake to do; I was telling Sir Antony MacDonnell all that I thought conceivably might be done; and nothing I could say I to Sir Antony MacDonnell could enable him or confer upon him powers which I did not myself enjoy. I will now read the letters.Dear Mr. Wyndhaiu—
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The date is September 22nd, 1902. He writes to me, and then I write a letter expressing my views. My letter is not a solemn document, but it is the expression of opinion from one gentleman to another who are both working together. The letter is—I told you that I had been offered and had accepted the nomination to a seat in the Council of India, and that it would be necessary for me to consult Lord George Hamilton, before anything was settled regarding the Irish appointment. I have now seen Lord George Hamilton, and I understand from him that there would probably be no difficulty in allowing me to retain a lien on the India Council and lending my services to the Irish Government. This procedure would be in accordance with my own wishes, and it would, I think, strengthen my position in Ireland if I go there. But if the matter, through Lord George Hamilton"s considerateness, is simplified in this direction, there still remains the difficulty to which I alluded when I saw you. I have been anxiously 980 thinking over the difficulty. I am an Irishman' a Roman Catholic, and a Liberal in polities. I have strong Irish sympathies. I do not see eye to eye with you in all matters of Irish administration, and I think that there is no likelihood of good coming from such a régime of coercion as The Times has recently outlined. On the other hand, from the exposition you were good enough to give me of your views, and. from the estimate I formed of your aims and objects, I find that there is a substantial measure of agreement between us. Moreover, I should be glad to do some service to Ireland. Therefore, it seems to me that the situation goes beyond the sphere of mere Party politics; and I should be willing to take office under you, provided there is some chance of my succeeding. I think there is a chance of success on this condition—that I should have adequate opportunities of influencing the policy and acts of the Irish Administration, and, subject, of course, to your control, freedom of action in executive matters. For many years in India I directed administration on the largest scale, and I know that if you send me to Ireland the opportunity of mere secretarial criticism would fall far short of the requirements of my position. If I were installed in office in Ireland my aims, broadly stated, would be—(1) the maintenance of order "[Mr. DILLON (Mayo, E.): Not by coercion.] "(2) the solution of the land question on the basis of voluntary sale; (3) where sale does not operate, the fixation of rent on some self-acting principle whereby local inquiries would be obviated; (4) the co-ordination, control, and direction of boards and other administrative agencies; (5) the settlement of the education question in the general spirit of Mr. Balfour"s views; and generally the promotion of material administrative improvement and conciliation. I am sure you will not misinterpret this letter. I am greatly attracted by the chance of doing some good for Ireland. My best friends tell me that I am deluding myself—that I shall be abused by the Orangemen as a Roman Catholic and Home Ruler and denounced by the Home Rulers as a renegade; that I shall do no good, and shall retire disgusted within the year. But I am willing to try the business under the colours and conditions I have mentioned. It is for you to decide whether the trial is worth making. In any event I shall be your debtor for having sought me in connection with a great work.Now I will read my reply:
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Sir Antony's letter was dated September 22nd, and my reply September 25th, 1902—My dear Sir Antony,Your letter was most welcome. I accept your offer to serve in the Irish Office with gratitude to you and confidence that your action will be for the good of your country. When Sir David Barrel resigns, I shall accordingly nominate you as his successor; and it is understood between us that I make and that you accept this appointment on the 981 lines and under the conditions laid down in your letter with a view to compassing the objects which you hold to be of primary importance—namely, the maintenance of order, the solution of the land question on the basis of voluntary sale, and where that proves impossible, on the basis of substituting some simple automatic system of revising rents in place of the existing costly processes of perpetual litigation; the co-ordination of the detached and semi-detached boards and departments; the settlement of education in such a way as to provide higher education in a form acceptable to the majority of the inhabitants, and administrative conciliation. To these I add—(1) Consolidation and increase of the existing grants for Irish local purposes with a view to reducing rates where they are prohibitive of enterprise; (2) if we are spared long enough, the development of transit for agricultural and other products, possibly by guarantees to railways, on the Canadian model. But this is far off. We have each of us terminated an option in the sense which I have all along desired. I ciphered the purpose of your letter to the Prime Minister and received his concurrence by telegram yesterday, and by letter this morning. It is understood that you accept a seat, on the India Council and are to be transferred when the vacancy occurs. I will ask Lord George Hamilton to see that the Press understands and insists on your great administrative achievements in India. That will prepare the public for the further move. I can only thank you once again with all my heart for coming to my assistance.I think that everyone will agree that that friendly letter, we having left one, another a fortnight to see whether we should suit, was not intended to be produced as a document. But the fact that letters were exchanged shows that the lines and measure of our agreement were laid down between us, and under these circumstances, as they are of a special character and of an important interest in this debate, some departure from the uniform precedent may possibly be permitted. The Prime Minister has, therefore, authorised me to read that correspondence, although it does involve a departure from uniform precedent. There is nothing in that letter of mine of which I am in the least ashamed.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I must say two words on that letter. It may be said that I was being urged by The Times to proclaim Ireland under the Criminal Law and Procedure Act, and that the 982 reference in my letter meant that Sir Antony MacDonnell was to come and that was not to be done. That was not so. I had in September proclaimed many counties under that Act and the maintenance of order was one of the points on which we were agreed. But was it unreasonable in 1902 to hope that administrative conciliation might become a practical policy? I do not think it was. These letters were written on September 22nd and 25th and the first public suggestion of a conference between the two Parties had been issued on September 3rd of that year, and though it excited much derision in many quarters, it also raised some sparks of hope in others. Therefore, when you are writing a document which deals not with the immediate future, but with all that is possible during a long term of years, the chance of the Government being occupied with something else besides police work is one that ought to be entertained as within the bounds of possibility. Then, Sir, loud cheers were given at the phrase "ample opportunities to influence the policy and acts of the Irish Government." Yes, but subject, of course, to the fact that I, as Minister responsible to this House, cannot divest myself of that responsibility, and that my policy must be the policy of the Cabinet, or that I must leave the Cabinet. Therefore, it must be perfectly clear that any terms which state what you hope in the process of some years to do cannot alter what is the foundation of the constitutional Government of this country. And then we have the words "co-ordination of detached and semi-detached boards and departments." Now, why do those words "co-ordination of departments" suggest to any man"s mind either of the two things to which I object and to which I very properly stated my objection? How does that phrase suggest either the creation of an elective financial board or the delegation to any board, however composed, of any legislative powers in excess of Private Bill legislation? It suggested nothing of the kind to my mind; it never has done so. And this is not the first time since I have been Chief Secretary that some phrase or word has been taken up and twisted to another purpose. I remember that when introducing the Land Bill there 983 were proposals made by me, or mentioned by me, with an idea of keeping a one-eighth instalment in perpetuity, and possibly bringing in local bodies. What are local bodies? They are county councils; but at that time the idea was promulgated that I was contemplating the creation of some central body indistinguishable from a national assembly. I never contemplated that. The hon. and learned Member traversed during a portion of his speech some parts of the ground which I endeavoured to cover, and, I think, covered fully the other day. I adhere to every word which I said the day before yesterday. I stated that there are two things to which I object, that I am eatitled to object to those things, and that I was right in stating my objection. You may entertain an objection and not state it, but I was right in stating my objection as I did on September 27th, because I did not wish it to be thought that I held an attitude of benevolent neutrality to these two proposals.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Well, if the hon. Member will take the pains to read my speech he will see why I did not state it before. I stated to the House that I saw no cause for taking the first publication of the Reform Association very much to heart. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford has misinterpreted one sentence of that speech. I did not say that I had read the Irish Times then; I said that having read the Irish Times afterwards, on looking back I found that one of the principal organs of Unionist opinion in Ireland, and an organ not too friendly to 1he Government, was not perturbed either, It is unnecessary for me to make all the points which I made the other night over again; but that unhesitating reaffirmation of my declaration that I do object to those two things, that I did object to them, and that I was entitled, and bound, in my opinion, to publish that object, I repeat to-night without any qualification of any sort or kind. Nor is there any reason why I should repeat the other part of my speech in which I explained, I know fully, and I think to the satisfaction of anyone who 984 accepted my account of what took place, how a misunderstanding grew up on the question of finance. But the critical and hostile comments upon the fact that I was not perturbed, as I was not, by the first publication of the Reform Association have really nothing to do with the case, because I have stated in the plainest words I can command my testimony to a belief in Sir Antony MacDonnell' s can I dour, loyalty, and integrity. Very well, there the situation stands. But, say hon. Members, then why do you announce that his conduct is indefensible? Sir, I cannot defend the publication of views which we object to, and I will not defend them, and I think that nothing I have read out in those two letters for one moment suggests that a mistake is not made if the Under-Secretary assists in the publication of those documents But the Under-Secretary wrote, as I said the other day, a letter to me in which he said that he was helping Lord Dun raven. That completely covers his good faith, and against his good faith, far from making a charge, I have specifically said that no charge could lie. But to say that in formulating that document, in drafting that document, he did not exceed the limits of what was expected, I think is going—that, I think, does constitute an action which the Government cannot defend.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The action which cannot be defended in my opinion is the action of formulating and publishing, ["He did not publish"]—well, formulating proposals to which the Government takes grave exception. Now I quite understand the charge which is made against me. The charge made against me is this—"If, as you told us the night before last"—and as I say now—"you had knowledge of the Act that Sir Antony MacDonnell had conferences with Lord Dunraven, if it is the fact that you were not opposed to a Moderate Party, if the misunderstanding which you trace and lay before us, made you feel that Sir Antony MacDonnell was not disloyal, uncandid, or insincere, then you had no right to be party to a document which 985 says his conduct is indefensible." I deny it altogether. This is a question of fact, not of argument. If I, without fully consulting my colleagues, had formulated views from which they sharply dissented they would take me to task, and if I were able to prove that my action was action taken in good faith, due to a misunderstanding of their views and which cast no reflection of any sort or kind upon my can dour or sincerity, I should accept their inability to defend my action, and should rest there. If I had seen those proposals from which I dissent and had assisted at their publication, I do not think my action in doing that could have been defended. At the same time, for the reasons which I gave the other night, and which I have given again to-night, there is no charge against Sir Antony MacDonnell of having in any way been disloyal to me or having in any word, written or said, done anything of which a man need be ashamed. There the position stands, and there I leave it. What I have to say is that I do object to these two proposals, and that no amount of arguing about the vague and obscure language of the Reform Association—
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I say those words did not cause me perturbation. No amount of arguing about those words will shake my knowledge that I did object to these proposals, nor deprive me of the right to state my objection to those proposals in order that it should not be assumed that I view them with benevolent neutrality when I do not view them with benevolent neutrality.
§ MR. JOHN MORLEY
It has been my fortune to speak during the last twenty years very often in Irish debates. The whirligig of time brings strange revenges. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary even now quite understands what is the gravamen of the charge, not against him particularly, but against the Government as a whole. The House have heard the correspondence. I submit with perfect confidence that every man in this House, except possibly a few gentlemen from Antrim and so forth, will 986 agree that this correspondence is one perfectly honourable to both parties. I cannot imagine a more straightforward, manly, clear, and definite letter than that of Sir Antony MacDonnell. I cannot, on the other hand, imagine a more frank, straightforward acceptance of such a letter than that of the Chief Secretary. We want to think about two think. First of all, what was it that made the Chief Secretary and, I presume, the Cabinet seek, not accept, but seek and accept, Sir Antony MacDonnell"s terms? Then we want to know what has happened since, which makes them, as I understand the answer given by the Chief Secretary this afternoon, now condemn Sir Antony MacDonnell, who was induced to take that post on the footing of being his colleague and not—to use, his own language, which I do not think very happy in respect of other Under-Secretaries I have had the pleasure and honour of knowing—on that of sitting on a stool in Dublin Castle. What has made the difference? I have never heard even in this House more extraordinary sophistry than that which the right hon. Gentleman has just fallen into. He says. "I dissent altogether. I will not defend the proposals of devolution made in the second Dun raven scheme." That is not the point. The point I, though he quite honourably and conscientiously cannot defend them, what is it that he finds indefensible in Sir Antony MacDonnell? He has not answered that; he has not touched it. Just let us see what it was. I advise hon. Members opposite to reflect on this. What were the terms upon which Sir Antony MacDonnell accepted office as we gather them from the letter which has been read? First Sir Antony MacDonnell said, if I heard the letter aright, that he was a Liberal in politics, that he was Irish in his sympathies—we know what that means—and then, that from their conversation he inferred that they, the Chief Secretary and Sir Antony MacDonnell, were in a substantial measure of agreement. The right hon. Gentleman accepted that. Sir Antony MacDonnell also said that he only took office on condition that he influenced policy and acts. I say frankly, as I said last night across the floor to the Prime Minister—it was he who introduced these supernatural 987 personages—that if the Archangel Gabriel came to me when I was about to appoint an Under-Secretary for Ireland, I should say "No. I should value your services, I am sure they would be useful to me, at least I am willing to assume that—but special terms cannot be made." But in this case you did accept Sir Antony MacDonnell's terms, whether for good reasons or bad, whether it was setting a good precedent in the Civil Service or a bad precedent. The Chief Secretary accepted the description of himself and Sir Antony MacDonnell as being in substantial agreement on policy. The right hon. Gentleman is in substantial agreement on Irish policy with the man who in that very letter says, "I am a Liberal!"
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
He also says he does not see eye to eye with my right hon. friend.
§ MR. JOHN MORLEY
That is what is called acute dialetics, and I do not admire it. If you declare you are in substantial agreement with a man, you may still say there are some points on which you do not see eye to eye with him. ["Oh!"] Are you going to cavil on this point? When two men say, "We are in substantial agreement with one another;" when one says," I am a Liberal in politics, Irish in sympathy, I am a Roman Catholic," is it to be contended for an instant that it was not understood between them, as much by the Chief Secretary as by Sir Antony himself, that there was substantial agreement? And agreement upon what? The land question we need not say anything about, because that is settled. Sir Antony, I think, according to Lord Lansdowne's account, and also according to the Chief Secretary's, did a great and substantial service in settling that question. But then there was another question which Sir Antony MacDonnell bargained that he might have a share in settling. There was the question of what is commonly called a Catholic University for Ireland, but more scientifically called higher education in Ireland, in accordance with the spirit of the views of the Prime Minister. We have had a 988 good deal of trouble in other matters in getting at the Prime Minister's views, and if we are to have further mystifications of the spirit of them we may get into deep water. Is this understood by the House? I entirely agree, in spite of the views of some of my hon. friends behind me, in the enormity of your pretending to govern Ireland while no Party dare take in hand the redress of an admitted grievance. There is no man, I believe, who has ever been responsible, certainly no one in this House who has been responsible for the government of Ireland, who does not agree with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister asked us what we were going to do in some points of Irish policy. I would ask him what is he going to do about higher education in Ireland?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
If you agree, why do you not do it? What are you going to do when you come into power?
§ MR. JOHN MORLEY
I can only point to one of the important topics which Sir Antony MacDonnell, by the terms of the agreement which are now being modified and the modification of which we are discussing—that one of those terms was the carrying out of the policy of the Prime Minister in respect to higher education in Ireland. Then we come to co-ordination; but if I were to introduce a discussion on the degree in which co-ordination is required or was involved I should be getting out of order. All we do know is from Lord Lansdowne himself, and the House ought really to give great attention to his words, because we are discussing a censure passed on an important public servant—a censure passed by the Cabinet without their having heard what Sir Antony had to say. The Chief Secretary has described his conduct as indefensible; but Lord Lansdowne, on the other hard, who knows as much of Ireland as any one, 989 says that the Lord-Lieutenant, who is curiously enough left out in all these discussions—I do not understand why I have always understood that though the Lord-Lieutenant was not so important a person as the Chief Secretary, who happens to he in the Cabinet, he is still a poison acting with him and the Undersecretary. Is that denied?
§ MR. JOHN MORLEY
Now, there! The right hon. Gentleman denies that. An Under-secretary discussing day after day, and, for all I know, week after week with the Lord-Lieutenant is discussing with an officer whose authority in any such, matters the Prime Minister throws over and entirely denies. It is not a pleasant occupation to be a Lord-Lieutenant on the best of terms, but really, if he is to be thrown over in the House of Commons by his own Secretary—for technically, I believe, the Chief Secretary is Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant—what a picture does it present of the confusion of the Irish government? I have been amusing myself with thinking of the Phoenix Park. There is in it the Lord-Lieutenant's lodge, the Chief Secretary's lodge, and the Under-Secretary's lodge. What delightful terms they would be on! What sort of discussion can you have in Dublin Castle? How can you pretend to discuss any great administrative question when each one of these three gentlemen knows that one of them has been thrown over by the Prime Minister, and that the Under-Secretary has been thrown over and his conduct has been denounced as indefensible by the Chief Secretary? I have seen a good many Chief Secretaries in difficulties, but never a Chief Secretary in such difficulties. And it is not only the Prime Minister who throws over the Lord - Lieutenant. It is not only the Chief Secretary who is going to make the Under-secretary, whom he accepted on special terms, sit on a stool. There is the Solicitor-General for England. What language has he thought it right and consistent with his colleague-ship to use? We have all got to consider what sort of system of government will obtain in Ireland in the next month or 990 two? This is what the Solicitor-General said—It would be unbecoming in a member of the Government to make any charge against any permanent Civil servant.I hope it is not disrespectful to an able Member of this House, but surely that is pure hypocrisy. He knew perfectly well what he was talking about. He said—The charge was that a Civil servant had himself evolved a policy which had been disavowed by the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary.Not only the Under-secretary but the Viceroy, is thrown over by the Solicitor-General, the Chief Secretary, and some other members of the Government in equally unworthy and disparaging language, thus weakening the power of the Executive in a country where above all things it is desirable the power in the Executive by its own members should be upheld. I rejoice that the letters have been read. I think they make the case perfectly clear; and what remains for the Prime Minister to do, if he is going to speak in this debate, is to tell us why it is that the special terms under which Sir Antony MacDonnell was invited to accept this great office have been modified, why he has been punished, why he has been censured in the face of the House of Commons and in the face of the country for doing things which he warned them that he would do [Cries of "No"], and which they specially invited him to take office to do. ["Oh."] What is the meaning of Lord Lansdowné's language? Lord Lansdowne says what has been said in more emphatic language many years ago by the right hon. Gentleman the hon. Member for West Birmingham. He says the system of Dublin Castle is antiquated, complicated, and obsolete. When Lord Lansdowne says that, he admits that the system in Dublin Castle of Irish government must be changed. How can you change it? You cannot change it—and really this is at the bottom of the difference between you and us, or the people, at all events, like myself, who take a certain view of Irish affairs—you cannot break down that system which Lord Lansdowne rightly characterises, knowing Ireland and its difficulties extremely well, unless you do either what I suspect Sir Antony MacDonnell first meant to do, introduce the Indian system, 991 or introduce the elective principle. Probably Sir Antony MacDonnell, I should guess, thought that he could improve or amend that system by introducing the Indian system; but, of course, nobody who attempts to reform the government of Ireland can do it without appeal to the elective principle. Therefore, when we say that you have censured Sir Antony MacDonnell and regarded his conduct as indefensible because he introduced the elective principle, you have really condemned any possible scheme by which Lord Lansdowne's own object and the object of the Prime Minister and all of you can possibly be attained.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The last few sentences of the right hon. Gentleman's speech contain a singular piece of reasoning. He is a conscientious and convinced Home Ruler, and thinks, from his point of view quite rightly, that if you are to reform Dublin Castle you must reform it by introducing Home Rule and the elective element. [Cries of "No, no!"]
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I thought the elective principle introduced into discussions on Ireland was commonly called Home Rule by the other side. I have no wish to enter into any dispute about terminology with the right hon. Gentleman. What I want to point out is his contention that because he thinks no reform can be carried out in Dublin Castle without introducing the elective element, therefore Sir Antony MacDonnell when he expressed a desire, as he did in that letter, to make tome administrative changes must have meant to introduce the elective principle. That is entirely inaccurate. I believe that the ideas which my right hon. friend and Sir Antony MacDonnell exchanged upon the subject of the reform of the various boards in Dublin Castle were based upon the strengthening of the office of Chief Secretary—not upon introducing the elective element, but upon increasing the grasp which the Chief Secretary and his subordinate the Under-Secretary had upon the various departments which make up the complicated system of Irish 992 Government. And I think that is the proper way to reform Dublin Castle. But what I protest against is the inference that because Sir Antony MacDonnell desired, most rightly, that some administrative reforms should, be introduced he was committed to the principle of the elective element. They had nothing to do with the elective principle, but depended on an increased amount of centralisation and a strengthening of the grasp which the Chief Secretary's Office ought to have, over the whole administrative machinery of the country. The right hon. Gentleman says these letters have made everything clear. His own speech is conclusive proof that he, at all events, has not yet had an opportunity of fully understanding what the conclusions to be drawn from these letters are. He will be able to see them in print to-morrow, and I think on a more careful perusal he will not be indisposed to concur with the observations I now proceed to make upon them. These letters, on the very face of them, are not formal documents. As constantly happens with letters not to be seen by other eyes than those of the writer and the recipient there are phrases in them which may excite a smile when they are read out in a great assembly accustomed to deal with formal and official documents. These are not formal and not official documents; but they prove two things conclusively—in the first place, that Sir Antony MacDonnell and my right hon. friend were not in full agreement over the whole range of Irish politics, because that is stated explicitly; and they also prove that over another part of the field of Irish politics my right hon. friend and Sir Antony MacDonnell were in agreement. The character of that field in which they were in agreement is quite clearly and unequivocally stated in the letters themselves, and there is not one shadow of a suggestion in any of the subjects which they desired to discuss together and to settle if possible in their joint term of office that anything in the nature of devolution, delegation, or representation was contemplated by either one or the other. Nor was that in the nature of a formal declaration of policy on the part of the Government of which my right hon. friend was a member. That, again, is obvious on the face of these 993 documents, because, as the House knows, the question of higher education in Ireland is not, and, as far as I can see, never again can be a Government question. I still hope that at no distant time we may settle it; but if it is settled at all it will have to be settled as many great questions touching religion were settled in the early part of the l9th century, not as a Government question but as a question independent of the Government of the day. I am convinced that there are a large number of my hon. friends on this side who will resist firmly any attempt to carry out any plan yet suggested on this subject, and I do not believe there will be a less strenuous resistance from a body of opinion on the other side. It is possible that the House of Commons may deal with this question, not under the guidance of a Government, but as other great questions, such as Catholic Emancipation and the Divorce Bill, were settled. I only want to show that on the face of the documents these points do not constitute a Government programme. They are not subjects which either the Government or the Party to which I belong need feel themselves necessarily committed. The Chief Secretary and Sir Antony MacDonnell met and discussed what they regarded as the immediate problems of, Ireland. Having done so, they came to the conclusion that they could not agree in all things, but they did agree on some things of immediate practical importance, the greatest of all being the land purchase question, which is now part of the Constitution of Ireland.
I come to the third point, and that is the terms on which Sir Antony MacDonnell was asked to take the office of Under-Secretary. And on that I will in the first place observe that again, on the face of the documents, it was evident that the appointment was considered both by Sir Antony MacDonnell and by my right hon, friend as a temporary and parsing appointment. The second thing evident is that my account yesterday evening of the terms on which Sir Antony MacDonnell took the appointment did not differ either morally or legally from those of the Civil Service. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to think, from a sentence in this letter, that Sir Antony MacDonnell is 994 altogether outside the category of the Civil Service, not bound by its rules, and enjoying privileges which such great public servants as Sir A. Godley and Sir G. Murray are debarred from. That is not the case. Sir Antony MacDonnell said—I should be willing to take office under you provided there is some chance of my succeeding. I think there is a chance of success on this condition, that I should have adequate opportunity of influencing the policy and acts of Irish administration and, subject, of course, to your control, freedom of action in executive matters.It is perfectly clear from that letter what it was Sir Antony MacDonnell was afraid of and what he hoped to attain in the arrangement he came to with my right hon. friend. What he was afraid of was that he would be reduced to a position of having opportunity only of "mere secretarial criticism." That was not enough for him. He wanted something more than "mere secretarial criticism." And what was that additional privilege which he thought necessary to enable him to do that good for Ireland which was his chief ambition in taking an other wise thankless portion? Adequate opportunity of influencing the policy of the Irish Administration and, subject to the Chief Secretary's control, freedom of action in executive matters. Every great permanent head of a department has, and if the office is to work properly, ought to have, precisely those powers. I have had official experience in more than one department, and have seen the inside of some with which I have not been formally connected. In all these cases, and with regard to every one of the permanent officials at the head of them, all have had t he opportunity which Sir Antony MacDonnell rightly thought night to be given to him if he was to do any good for Ireland. Although I had not had an opportunity last right of carefully considering those letters, it is evident that the account I gave of Sir Antonv MacDonnell's position was strictly accurate. What Sir Antony MacDonnell desired to do was what all great permanent officials are—aiders, advisers, suggesters to their official chief, but always bound to follow the rulings of the Government which they serve, and always bound by those rules of the Civil Service which are the great strength of the administrative machine.
995 Then the right hon. Gentleman asks me why the Cabinet felt themselves constrained to inform Sir Antony MacDonnell that his conduct in a certain connection was indefensible. The, reason was that we conceived, and surely conceived rightly, that in his connection with the Dunraven scheme he had exceeded the bounds laid down by the technical rules, and what is even more important, the ordinary practice, of the Civil Service [ANATIOALIST MEMBER: What did he do?] I am not going into all the details again. They have been discussed for two nights. It may be that hon. Gentlemen opposite think that Sir Antony MacDonnell was acting within the rules of the Civil Service. We do not take that view; and we think that nothing which passed between him and the Chief Secretary when he took office, that nothing embodied in the two letters which have been read to the House, gave him the slightest authorisation to go beyond the bounds which circumscribe the action of his colleagues in other great offices of the State in this country. I quite admit that his action was due to a misapprehension. I quite admit what has been said over and over again by the Chief Secretary, that it does not carry with it the smallest or the faintest imputation upon Sir Antony MacDonnell's honour, trustworthiness, or the fidelity with which he genuinely desired to serve the Government of which, for the time being, he was servant. But the fact remains that he did act beyond his powers. I cannot help thinking that there has been a great deal of unnecessary feeling and exaggeration about the whole matter. Personal questions are always painful. It is disagreeable to me even to say the few words I have said in justification of the action of the Government. It is doubly painful to me to hear one or two speakers attack my right hon. friend the Chief Secretary in a way which I am glad to think is rare in this House. But, at all events, I hope it will be understood by every one in this House and out of it, in the first place, that when Sir Antony MacDonnell agreed to aid my right hon. friend as Under-Secretary, it was not in contemplation by either the one or the other that any scheme should be either considered or discussed which involved devolution or separate re- 996 presentation—[An HON. MEMBER: Coordination]—and, in the second place, that neither my right hon. friend nor the Government have for one instant hesitated to express their own profound disbelief in a scheme which, in good faith that it was in conformity with Unionist principles, has been put forward by Lord Dunraven and his friends. We do not agree with the scheme. We do not think that, in its results at all events, it is compatible with the Unionist policy. We lost no time in expressing our official condemnation of it; and, while I do not regret for one instant either the strength of that official condemnation or any of the merely political results that have flown from it, I do regret that it should be involved in a personal controversy which, I think, makes the already turbid stream of controversial politics more turbid and less wholesome still. I do not think I have anything to add in regard to the position we have taken up. The episode, which we all regret, was due to a misapprehension. Cannot we bury it in oblivion. This episode which, while it reflects discredit on nobody, gives pain to some? That tolerant and Christian-like suggestion does not meet with universal favour on the other side. But, so far as we are concerned, we have made our position clear both as to the terms on which Sir Antony MacDonnell agreed to serve us and as to the policy to which, in an unfortunate moment, he committed himself unknown to the Government of which he is the able servant.
§ MR. WILLIAM MOORE (Antrim, N.)
hoped the House would allow him to say a few words on the matter. He and his colleagues who acted with him had to a certain extent been misrepresented—he was quite sure unintentionally. The Prime Minister had said and done nothing to which they, his followers, could take any reasonable exception. On the other hand,—he did not refer to what the Prime Minister had omitted to say. They had, however, a good deal to complain of in some of the speeches made, in which it had been suggested that the legitimate and justifiable criticism which they had directed against certain of these matters had been an unfair and violent attack. He could only say that their attack 997 would be repeated tonight or tomorrow if the same circumstances recurred. He was afraid they might. He accepted at once the statement of the Prime Minister that the correspondence between the Chief Secretary and Sir Antony MacDonnell, was an honourable one; it had certainly justified Sir Antony MacDonnell, in his opinion, in everything that he had done in Ireland. It had equally justified his colleagues and himself in attacking him for doing it, now that they knew that he was doing it as the co-equal of the Chief Secretary. [NATIONALIST cries of "Colleague."] It had equally justified them in the course of criticism they had taken up in Ireland and in the House. But when he stated that the correspondence was honourable as between the Chief Secretary and Sir Antony MacDonnell, he did not think that exhausted the whole field in relation to the Chief Secretary's obligation to the Unionist Members for Ireland, who were also his colleagues. How often in the past four years had they been found in different lobbies from him? Yet the Chief Secretary, without consulting them, in secrecy took to himself a gentleman to fill a subordinate position, but not as a subordinate. In the right hon. Gentleman's own word he was to be a "colleague." Sir Antony MacDonnell's powers were to be political because he frankly stated that he was a Liberal in politics. Frankly he claimed that he was to have influence in the direction of policy. The Prime Minister had said that it was obvious that the Under-Secretary could never be given initiative political powers, because the moment that was done the Under-Secretary might commit the Government to schemes of which they did not approve. After the date of Sir Antony MacDonnell's appointment as a colleague of the Chief Secretary under these terms, he was authorised by the Chief Secretary—not by the Cabinet or the Government—to go to the North of Ireland to secure political support for a scheme, to which Irish Unionists were opposed, for the endowment of a Roman Catholic University So far as Sir Antony MacDonnell could do it the Government was committed to that 998 policy. The Government, however, had been obliged to repudiate the transactions entered into by the Under-Secretary. However honourable this correspondence might have been it was not fair to the Unionist Members of the House and the Government itself. The whole idea in view was that in Ireland a Moderate Party was to be formed to be directed very largely against hon. Gentlemen opposite. He did not complain of that. It was perfectly legitimate for a Unionist Chief Secretary to destroy by any fair means in his power the influence of hon. Members opposite; but it was not a fair thing for him to start an organisation to solicit, to procure the influence of newspapers—[A NATIONALIST MEMBR: Or to buy them up]—so as to undermine and destroy his Unionist colleagues in that House.
§ MR. WILLIAM MOORE
said he accepted the right hon. Gentleman's explanation that he did not intend to do that, but that only showed his ignorance of the results that were likely to follow his action in Ireland. He was glad the letters had been produced, because they justified down to the ground that wholesale distrust and suspicion which had been entertained during the last two years by the Unionist Party in Ireland. They showed that the Chief Secretary had been at the bottom of the whole thing in this desire to form a Moderate Party to carry out his own ends, and, under these circumstances, no man could deny that the suspicion which the Unionists entertained was not justified to the letter.
§ MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)
I will not detain the House for more than two or three moments, but I think I may congratulate the hon. and learned Member for Waterford on initiating both an instructive and informing debate. The mystery surrounding the original appointment of Sir Antony MacDonnell, and 999 the still deeper mystery which shrouds the present status of the Under-Secretary, have not been wholly cleared up, though they have been substantially illuminated. But we have obtained one solid result from the discussion which has taken place. We have had read to us what has hitherto been denied, the correspondence which originally passed between Sir Antony MacDonnell and the Chief Secretary and which formed the basis on which the appointment was made. I want to say one or two words on the minimising comments which the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister has made on that correspondence. In the first place, he tells us that they were after all, informal letters, never intended to see the light of day, such as one gentleman might write to another. Yes, but the Chief Secretary informs us that they were shown to the Prime Minister. I cannot imagine, therefore, a State Paper which possesses greater authority or which is entitled to be construed with a more strict interpretation of its language. The Prime Minister goes on to say that, after all, it was to be a temporary appointment. What was it Sir Antony MacDonnell was summoned to help the Irish Government to do? To settle the land question, to settle the education question, to settle the great question of co-ordination in all it ramifications and developments. I do not think the use of the word "temporary," in the sense in which it is ordinarily employed, is at all justified in these circumstances. And here I come to the much more serious question of what was the character of the powers, functions, and duties which the Under-Secretary was to perform. The Prime Minister told us last night, and he has repeated it again to-night, that to all intents and purposes Sir Antony 1000 MacDonnell was to be like an ordinary member of the Civil Service, subject to the same rules, obligations, responsibilities, and limitations as members of that great service are in the habit of conforming to. Is that the fact or is it not? I have never in my Parliamentary experience known a greater discrepancy between the language of responsible Ministers on the question at issue than we have heard in this House and in another place on this particular matter. We heard the Chief Secretary, only two nights ago, tell us that he would never have thought of inviting a man of Sir Antony MacDonnell's eminence and experience to occupy a merely secretarial position. That is the way in which he described the functions of previous Under-Secretaries at Dublin Castle. He was not to be a subordinate, not to be a servant, but a colleague. Is that the position of any of the great permanent heads of departments in any part of the Civil Service of the State? Lord Lansdowne—who, after all, is the Leader of the other House, who is, as my right hon. friend said, very conversant with Irish affairs, and who, moreover, according to his own statement, was the person who brought about the introduction of Sir Antony MacDonnell to the Chief Secretary—used language which, in view of what the Prime Minister has said to-night, I must quote. He stated—I suggest to your Lordships that it follows as a matter of course that a man of that kind, a man of those antecedents, could scarcely be expected to be bound by the same narrow rules of routine which are applicable to an ordinary member of the Civil Service, and answer the noble Marquess's question by telling him that when he took up this appointment it was understood on both sides"—not only on his own side, but on the side of those who appointed him—"that he was to have greater freedom of action, greater opportunities of initiative, than he would have expected if he had been a candidate promoted in the ordinary course.1001 I say there is an absolute divergence between the language of the Leader of the other House and the language of the Leader of this House as to what were the terms of Sir Antony MacDonnell's appointment. We must all form our own judgment in this conflict of testimony; and, as we have the letters which passed between Sir Antony Macdonnell and the Chief Secretary, which, we now know, were sanctioned by the Prime Minister, I do not hesitate to give my vote in favour of the version of Lord Lansdowne. And if Sir Antony MacDonnell was appointed upon special terms, what was the nature of the "indefensible" error which he committed in associating himself with the conference which led to the formation and promulgation of Lord Dunraven's scheme? It may be an error, of course, not to agree with the Chief Secretary as to the precise difference between co-ordination and devolution, as to the mysterious and dim boundary between those two spheres of possible legislation. Not to agree with the Chief Secretary about that may be a symptom of uninstructed or, at all events, undeveloped intelligence. But I am bound to say in that respect the state of Sir Antony MacDonnell's mind appears to me to be shared, as far as I can judge, by the vast majority of Irish people, without distinction of class, Party, creed, or school—they do not, and the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken does not, know where co-ordination ends and where devolution begins. Maybe it was an error; very likely it was. But it was described in this House by the mouthpiece of the Cabinet, in the censure of a distinguished public servant, not merely as an error, but as an indefensible error. What does that mean? The term 1002 "indefensible" used in such circumstances as these is not appropriate language in which to describe a mere intellectual delinquency; if language has any meaning at all it conveys a moral blame, or, at any rate, to put it at the lowest, it must mean that the great official against whom such a charge is levelled in the name of the Cabinet of this country has seriously transgressed the rules, written or unwritten, of official propriety. What has Sir Antony MacDonnell done to merit that censure? If he entered upon his office upon the terms of the letters read to-night, if he was free, as Lord Lansdowne and the Chief Secretary have said, from the fetters which bind the action of Civil servants, what was there, even if he went beyond what the Chief Secretary and the Government think to be desirable or expedient in regard to Irish government—what was there indefensible in his entering, as he had done on the land question and the education question, into free conference and even friendly co-operation with persons who were endeavouring to solve the question of Irish government?
The Prime Minister passes by the Viceroy as if he were a mere fly upon the wheel of the administrative coach. We know perfectly well, and no one can dispute it, that the Viceroy, who is the representative of His Majesty, was privy to these proceedings, was cognisant of them, and, as we know, was sympathetic towards them. At any rate, Sir Antony MacDonnell had the right to assume that whatever he was doing was being done with the assent of the representative of His Majesty I ask this question, not because it affects the character and reputation of Sir Antony MacDonnell, whose reputation needs no 1003 defence here or elsewhere, but because it does affect the course of public business and the responsibility of Governments in this country when, under conditions such as these, an official, for whom still the greatest respect and confidence is expressed, and who is even now retained in the public service, is publicly censured in the eyes of the whole world for doing something which it now appears was within the terms of his original appointment. [Cheers, and MINISTERIAL cries of "No."] I say it was in the terms of his appointment, and was certainly done—this is not denied—with the cognisance and approval of the Viceroy.
There is one other point, and one which the Prime Minister absolutely ignored in his speech. What is the change that has been made in the status, and the functions, and the authority of Sir Antony MacDonnell in consequence of this "indefensible" error? Is there any change? Are the letters which have been read to the House to-night still to be regarded as containing the basis and expressing the terms upon which he continues to be employed by His Majesty's Government? If they are not, if they have been modified in any particular, if he has been reduced from the position which Lord Lansdowne and the Chief Secretary described to the status of an ordinary Civil servant, then not only he, but this House, is entitled to know what are the terms in which that communication has been made and what are their scope and effect. We are still in the same state of ignorance as we were when the debate began as to the present position of Sir Antony MacDonnell, and upon this we require information, for it is an important question upon both personal and general grounds. I hope the Motion will be pressed to a division.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
said he rather hesitated to get up because he had hoped that some member of the Government would have risen to answer the last Question put by the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. He would press that Question home. What was the exact position of Sir Antony MacDonnell? Was he still in the position of an Under-Secretary in the terms of the contract between him and the Government, or was he not? Had he been degraded in position and status? Of course, he could not be degraded in personal character; that was beyond the power of the Government or of anybody else. But so far as they could degrade him the Government had done so. They had allowed the Solicitor-General for England, the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General for Ireland and their supporters to condemn Sir Antony MacDonnell, and had instigated their Press to conduct a campaign of calumny against him.
§ THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. JAMES CAMPBELL,) Dublin University
Will the hon. Gentleman pardon me? He said that I conducted the campaign of calumny against Sir Antony MacDonnell. I spoke on several occasions in public and denounced the Dunraven scheme of devolution on its merits, but never once referred, directly or indirectly, to Sir Antony MacDonnell.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
said he received with the same cordial welcome as hon. Gentlemen opposite the denial of the hon. and learned Gentleman, and for this reason, that the hon. and learned Gentleman had placed himself in 1005 such marked and honourable contrast to the Attorney-General for Ireland. Knowing what he did of the character of the hon. and learned Gentleman, he must say that he was not surprised that his conduct was in such marked and honourable contract to that of his colleague. However, for months a dead set had been made against Sir Antony MacDonnell until it reached a climax in the speech of the Solicitor-General for England, and during that time not a member of the Government had revealed the fact, which that night was known for the first time, that Sir Antony MacDonnell had taken his position under a contract to do the very thing for which he was denounced. Well, those letters read that night were described with epithets by hon. Gentlemen opposite which he would not repeat. Of course they were all hon. Members in these transactions, including the colleagues of Sir Antony MacDonnell, who denounced him, but had not the courage to mention his name! The letters were astounding. He would take one part from the letter of the Chief Secretary to Sir Antony MacDonnell—I ciphered the purport of your letter to the Prime Minister, and received his concurrence by telegram yesterday.The letter was sent by telegram in cipher! He would like to know whether Sir Antony MacDonnell's letter was also ciphered to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN (Birmingham, W.)
I do not know whether the Question is addressed to me; but it was not.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
said he wanted to know for this reason, that they had a member of the Cabinet, the Chief Secretary, and the Prime Minister entering 1006 into a campaign in Ireland for a Catholic University, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham was kept in the dark about it! Nay, more, Sir Antony MacDonnell was sent on this mission to Belfast, was actually trying to create a campaign there in concert with, and with the knowledge of the Chief Secretary and the Prime Minister, yet without the knowledge and sympathy of the right hon. Member for West Birmingham. Sir Antony MacDonnell went to West Belfast to conduct a campaign in favour of a Catholic University, while at the same time the hon. Member for West Belfast was calling on his constituency to have no transactions with the "Scarlet Lady!" That was a new theory and practice of Cabinet responsibility, a new theory of Cabinet loyalty. Might he ask if the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Belfast was informed of Sir Antony MacDonnell's letter, because at the very moment when this campaign was being conducted with the knowledge and approval of the Chief Secretary and the First Lord, the right hon. Member for West Belfast, with the delicacy and elegance and toleration of language characteristic of him, and of him alone in that House, declared that rather than allow his children to be educated by a Catholic priest he would sooner allow them to run wild in the woods. Now the First Lord affected to believe that Sir Antony MacDonnell was simply in the position of any other great Civil servant. Why, then, did Lord Lansdowne say that a man of Sir Antony MacDonnell's antecedents could scarcely be expected to be bound by the same narrow rules of routine applicable to an ordinary member of the Civil Service? 1007 Why did Sir Antony MacDonnell write that candid, frank, and full letter of the conditions under which he would accept the position of Under-Secretary? Why did the Chief Secretary write to Sir Antony MacDonnell that he accepted his offer to take the position of Under-Secretary on the conditions set forth? There was a contract as solemn and as honourable as any that could be made between two men. The right hon. Gentleman, it must be kept in mind, knew very well that Sir Antony MacDonnell was a Liberal and was Irish in sympathy. That necessarily meant that he was in favour of Home Rule. Did the right hon. Gentleman, who shook his head, really mean to suggest that Sir Antony MacDonnell was not in sympathy with the views of the Nationalist Party? And if he knew that how was he able to place these two things in juxtaposition—that while he was in substantial agreement with Sir Antony MacDonnell, the Home Ruler, who proceeded to the verge of devolution, he applied to that gentleman as gross and cowardly an insult as ever had been applied to a man in a public position. He used the word "cowardly," because the Government had not said a word about any change made in Sir Antony MacDonnell's position. The Prime Minister had been asked that afternoon if there had been any change in Sir Antony MacDonnell's position, and he said that there had not. The Chief Secretary said that when Sir Antony MacDonnell was appointed he had been a Cabinet Minister only a fortnight, but the Prime Minister, who was a party to the appointment, had been in the Cabinet for a great deal more than a fortnight. The Chief Secretary went on 1008 to say that he had pointed out to Sir Antony MacDonnell that—In view of the criticisms to which my Department has been subjected during the last two or three weeks—Mark the reason—it is necessary for me to see any matter that is likely to be the subject of debate in this House.The House was acquainted with the large range of subjects covered by the Questions put to the right hon. Gentleman by his hon. friends around him—the mail delivery in a village, a small affray with the police, re-appointment of an inspector under one of the boards in Ireland. There was not a question in Ireland, large or small, to which this description of the Chief Secretary did not apply, and it was monstrous to contend in the face of that that the position of Sir Antony MacDonnell had not been degraded and narrowed from that which he occupied when he took up his appointment What was the meaning of all this? It was that the Government wanted to get rid of Sir Antony MacDonnell. And for what reason? In consequence of the criticism to which the Chief Secretary"s department had been subjected. Was there ever a more miserable reason given why a Cabinet Minister should abandon either his policy or his subordinate? He had never read a more mean confession of faith. The Government were going to abandon a great public servant, simply because someone on their own side of the House and in the public newspapers, had criticised the Chief Secretary's department. He confessed he had gathered new light on his profession from the letters read that afternoon. The newspapers were to be told to write articles insisting on the great administrative 1009 achievements of Sir Antony MacDonnell in India, and in that way public opinion was to be ripened and matured for a new departure in Irish politics, a new departure to be inaugurated by a gentleman who, according to the Prime Minister, had only accepted pub in office in Ireland on the usual conditions! He maintained that these were new methods to him and a new departure in journalism. He thought the right hon. Gentleman must have been reading the memoirs of Bismarck, who, when he wanted to make a change in his policy, always sent an article to the newspapers. Now, however, when they wanted to get rid of Sir Antony MacDonnell, the Press was prepared to denounce and abuse the same man which they had formerly lauded, and who was worth all the men on the Treasury Benches for the services he had rendered to the Empire. He did not mean to enlarge on the services of Sir Antony MacDonnell in India, although the Chief Secretary had confessed to colossal ignorance of Indian affairs. He hail no doubt that that confession by a member of the Cabinet which was responsible for the government of India would appear in the vernacular journals in India before many weeks were over. Sir Antony MacDonnell knew that the provincial councils in India were semi-elective in their constitution. Sir Antony MacDonnell was an Irishman, and had ruled 47,000,000 of people in the East; but he was under the tragic misunderstanding that if Asiatics were capable of being governed by an elective body, one of the most brilliant nations in Western Europe was not to be denied that privilege. The misunderstanding of Sir Antony MacDonnell was far greater and more tragic than that of the right hon. Gentleman. 1010 Here was a man who had been brought from India who had been able to govern autocratically a province with a population of 47,00,000. He did not attain that high position by social influence. He himself knew Sir Antony MacDonnell's father. He was at school and college with Sir Antony MacDonnell, like his hon. friend the Member for North Dublin. Sir Antony MacDonnell was a Catholic and a Liberal, and had no great social influence behind him. With all due respect, that gentleman was more remarkable for for titer in re than for suaviter in modo. He was told that nobody disliked Sir Antony MacDonnell except the man who wanted him to do him a dirty trick. Here was an Irishman, the son of a small farmer in the west of Ireland, able to attain the foremost position in the government of one of the greatest dependencies of the Empire, and the autocrat of 47,000,000 of people. And what was his tragic misunderstanding? It was that he himself was not to be allowed to have a single word in the government of his own people, of his own race and creed. The moral of all this was that Sir Antony MacDonnell was one of the many Irishmen who had helped to do great works of statesmanship in this Empire, and who had entered on office in Ireland in the great and glorious hope of doing something for his native land. Many epithets had been applied to the correspondence read that evening; but it I was one of the most pathetic instances on record that this great man of genius, who had been ready to risk his splendid position in India and come to the land in which he had his birth, had, for his reward, been flouted, degraded, insulted, and baffled in trying to do a little good to his suffering native land.
§ Question put.1012
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 223; Noes, 265. (Division List No. 7.)1013
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Ffrench, Peter||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Field, William||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Allen, Charles P.||Findlay, Alexander(Lanark, N. E.||Mitchell, Ed. (Fermanagh, N.)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Mooney, John J.|
|Asquith, Rt Hn. Herbert Henry||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Flynn, James Christopher||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Murnaghan, George|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Murphy, John|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Fuller, J. M. F.||Newnes, Sir George|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Bell, Richard||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Norman, Henry|
|Benn, John Williams||Griffith, Ellis J.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Black, Alexander William||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Blake, Edward||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||O' Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Broadhursl, Henry||Hammond, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Harwood, George||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hayden, John Patrick||O' Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||O'Dowd, John|
|Burns, John||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Caldwell, James||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Malley, William|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Higham, John Sharpe||O'Mara, James|
|Campbell, Bannerman, Sir H.||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||O"Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Holland, Sir William Henry||O"Shee, James John|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Partington, Oswald|
|Channitig, Francis Allston||Jacoby, James Alfred||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Johnson, John||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Joicey, Sir James||Pirie, Dunean V.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Jordan, Jeremiah||Rea, Russell|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Joyce, Michael||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Reddy, M.|
|Crean, Eugene||Kennedy, P. J. (Westmeath N.)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Cremer, William Randal||Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W.||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Crombie, John William||Kilbride, Denis||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm"h|
|Cullinan, J.||Kitson, Sir James||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Labouchere, Henry||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||Lambert, George||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Delany, William||Langley, Batty||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway||Law, Hugh Alex, (Donegal, W.)||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Roche, John|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Dillon, John||Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington||Rose, Charles Day|
|Dobbie, Joseph||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Runciman, Walter|
|Doogan, P. C.||Levy, Maurice||Russell, T. W.|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lewis, John Herbert||Samuel, Herbert L.(Cleveland|
|Duffy, William J.||Lloyd-George, David||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Lough, Thomas||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Lundon. W.||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight)|
|Edwards, Frank||Lyell, Charles Henry||Shackleton, David James|
|Elibank, Master of||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Ellice, CaptEC (StAndrews Bghs||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sheehy, David|
|Emmott, Alfred||M"Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone||M"Crae, George||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||M"Fadden, Edward||Slack, John Bamford|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M"Hugh, Patrick A.||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Kean, John||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Spencer Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants||Ure, Alexander||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Stevenson, Francis S.||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose||Wills, Arthur Walters(N Dorset|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Wallace, Robert||Wilson, Fred W (Norfork, Mid.)|
|Sullivan, Donal||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N|
|Tennant, Harold John||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersfd|
|Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.||White, George (Norfolk)||Young Samuel|
|Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir|
|Tomkinson, James||Whiteley George (York, W. R.)||Thomas Esmonde and|
|Toulmin, George||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Captain Donelan.|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Heath, Sir James (Staffords. NW.|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Cust, Henry Joint C.||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Helder, Augustus|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Davenport, William Bromley||Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.)|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Denny, Colonel||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.|
|Arrol, Sir William||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H||Dimsdale Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C.||Horner, Frederick William|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Hoult, Joseph.|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Doughty, Sir George||Hunt, Rowland|
|Balcarres, Lord||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Duke, Henry Edward||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh)|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Kerr, John|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michacl Hicks||Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ssB'hs||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Fisher, William Hayes||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Knowles, Sir Lees|
|Bigwood, James||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Bluudell, Colonel Henry||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Bond, Edward||Flower, Sir Ernest||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Forster, Henry William||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm"th|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W||Lawson, Hn. H. L. W. (Mile End|
|Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F (Middlesex||Galloway, William Johnson||Lawson, John Grant (YorksNR|
|Bowles,T Gibson(King's Lynn||Gardner, Ernest||Lee,Arthur H (Hants, Fareham|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Garfit, William||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Bull, William James||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.|
|Burdett-coutts, W.||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Butcher, John George||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdm'nds||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.|
|Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbysh.||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Gretton, John||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Macdona, John cumming|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hain, Edward||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Chapman, Edward||Hall, Edward Marshall||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Coates, Edward Feetham||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E||Hambro, Charles Eric||M'lver, Sir Lewis Edinburgh W|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord G (Midd'x||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R.||Hamilton, Mar. of (L'nd'naerry||Malcolm, Ian|
|Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Marks, Harry Hananel|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Maxwell, Rt. Hn Sir HE (Wigt'n|
|Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriesshire||Ratcliff. R. F.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Reed, Sir Edw. James (Cardiff)||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Reid, James (Greenock)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Fredk. G.||Remnant, James Farquharson||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Milvain, Thomas||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Renwiek, George||Tuff, Charles|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Ridley, S. Forde||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Morgan, David J (Walthamstow||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney||Turnour, Viscount|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H' (Sheffield|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Round, Rt. Hon. James||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H|
|Mount, William Arthur||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles||Welby Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Myers, William Henry||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Welby, Sir Charles G. E.(Notts.|
|Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Seton-Karr, Sir Henry||Whiteley H (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Pemberton, John S. G.||Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Percy, Earl||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Pierpoint, Robert||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Pilkington, Colonel Richard||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Plumraer, Sir Walter R||Smith, H. C (North'mb. Tyneside||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Smith, Rt. Hn. J Parker(Lanarks||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand||Wylie, Alexander|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Spear, John Ward||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Purvis, Robert||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Pym, C. Guy||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lanes|
|Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir|
|Randles, John S.||Stock, James Henry||Alexander Acland-Hood|
|Rankin, Sir James||Stone, Sir Benjamin||and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne||Strutt, Hn. Charles Hedley|