HC Deb 23 February 1905 vol 141 cc1109-10
MR. PIRTE (Aberdeen, N.)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury a Question of which he had given private notice— namely, whether during the recent events connected with Ireland the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland had tendered his resignation.


I did not receive the hon. Gentleman's private notice; but I think he will see that, if we are to admit the right of any Member of this House to cross-examine the Government as to any confidential communications passing between colleagues, as in the case of Lord Dudley—if I were to admit that right in the case of one colleague I should have to admit it in the case of all colleagues, and no Government has ever allowed such confidential communications to be made the subject of Question and Answer across the floor of the House.


Have the recent events any precedent in the history of Ireland?

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I wish to ask the Chief Secretary a Question of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether any change has been made in the conditions under which Sir Antony MacDonnell holds the office of Under-Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and, if any change has been made, what is the nature of that change and how has it been carried into effect?


No, Sir, no change I has been made. I pointed out to Sir Antony MacDonnell that it would be necessary, in view of the criticism of my Department, to take into fuller account matters which might be made the subject of such criticism. This was not because my confidence in Sir Antony MacDonell had been in any way diminished, but because it appeared to be necessity of the constitutional position.


Are we to understand that the situation is exactly what it was before these debates took place?


No, I do not think that that is the inference to be drawn.


Then what is the situation?

[No Answer was returned.]