§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. BIRRELL,) Bristol, N.
, in asking leave to bring in a Bill to provide for the establishment and functions of an administrative council in Ireland, and for other purposes connected therewith, said: When I call to mind the great occasions within the memory of so many of us when an illustrious man, a famous Prime Minister, and a consummate orator, standing at this Table, unfolded to the House, and to the country, and to the world, his scheme for the better government of Ireland, I am more thankful than I can say, for purely personal reasons, that my task this afternoon is one of far humbler dimensions, and, therefore, I need not add, more commensurate to my position and my powers. But when the Bill I am now asking leave to introduce has been propounded and published, it will be scanned and scrutinised, not only by every Member of both Houses of Parliament, but by every class of political critic, and particularly by Irishmen and Irishwomen, not only in Ireland, but all through that great and famous Empire in the building up and maintaining of which men of the Irish race have played so conspicuous a part. When that Bill comes to be scanned and scrutinised line by line, and, it may be, letter by letter, it will be found-that it does not contain a touch or a trace, a hint or a suggestion, of any new legislative power or authority. No law, public or 79 private, can ever be made at any time, or in any circumstances, by virtue of any one of its provisions. It does not authorise the levying of a single tax or the striking of the humblest rate. This Imperial Chamber of which we are so proud—a pride I am bound to say which does not seem quite commensurate with the amount of work which its habits and customs permit it to do—nevertheless, we are proud of it with all its faults—will remain majestically unaffected by the provisions of this Bill. Our friends from Ireland, in undiminished numbers, will still continue to foregather with us, and, though I hope their inquisitiveness will be directed in another and better constructed channel, they will still participate in our debates, and will have, I doubt not, their usual almost diabolical good luck in the Parliamentary ballot on Private Members' nights.
But though the Bill is thus limited in its scope, it will be found to be well defined as to the sphere of its operations. It has, as its reason for existence, an object the almost supreme importance of which will be called into question by nobody, sit where he may, in this House, and least of all by any person, who, like myself, has been summoned by the mysterious but by no means divine call of our in-and-out system of Party government to be responsible for the administration of the law in Ireland. That object has often been expressed before. The language may perhaps sound in some ears somewhat hackneyed, but it is language, I submit to this House, of the utmost gravity. That object, I say, is the association of the sentiment of the Irish people as a whole with the administration of the numerous statutes, rules, and regulations which direct the conduct of purely Irish affairs within Ireland herself.
Now, Mr. Speaker, the making of laws is one thing, their daily administration amongst the people for whose benefit they are intended is quite another. Over their law-makers the people of Ireland have now had for some considerable time some considerable measure of control. By what method they obtained that control I would not now stop to inquire. But when once these laws have been made and have crossed the Channel, they pass away out of the control of the Irish people, who 80 are not, as it were, the lawful consignees to whom alone delivery can properly be effected. No, the consignees of those laws that we make within these walls are not the Irish people, but the officials belonging to a system which is called, more conveniently than accurately, Dublin Castle. Some of those officials are under the control, so far as it is a real control, of the Chief Secretary for the time being. Others are wholly independent of him. Some of the Irish Departments are wholly on the Votes, others are partly on the Votes, and have endowments of their own. The Board of Intermediate Education, as some Irish Members lately discovered—though I should have thought they might have known it before—is not on the Votes at all, but lives entirely on its own resources, beyond the reach of either the Chief Secretary or the House of Commons. But, whether these offices are on the Votes or not, I am sure I shall carry with me, at all events, the Scottish and the Irish Members, when I say that the allotted days of Supply as an effective means of Parliamentary criticism and control are a mockery and a delusion. I do not add a snare, because they have long ceased to take anybody in. For the purpose of to-night I shall assume that what is called, though inaccurately, Dublin Castle administration is a failure. I have been supplied by a zealous friend, who in this matter of speech-making is, I think, to use Wordsworth's expression, "something betwixt a hindrance and a help," with a sheaf of quotations from distinguished politicians living and dead, belonging mostly to the Unionist side of politics, all criticising somewhat harshly what is called Dublin Castle administration. I read these quotations, I admit, with a lack-lustre eye. There are fifty-one pages of them, and although carefully indexed, I cannot say they have afforded me very profitable study. They differ very much in ferocity, according to the temperament of the speaker, the period of his political development, the occasion of the delivery of the speech, and, I daresay, sometimes the place of delivery; and although they all of them breathe the spirit of freedom and liberty, with which I greatly sympathise, many of them are not sufficiently informed with an accurate appreciation of the true facts of the case as to justify me in inflicting them on the House. But there are three short quotations, and three only, which I think 81 I should like to make, and the dignity of the occasion perhaps demands that I should do so. Two are from the speeches of that famous man, who was for long and difficult years the Leader, and, as some think, the reconstruct or, of the Tory Party, and the rays of whose illuminating discourse cast even over the dreary pages of Hansard, which he himself has called the Dunciad of politics—make even these volumes occasionally worthy of perusal. Mr. Disraeli, speaking in this House in 1844—a long time ago, but then time does not count for much in the history of Ireland—said—I always thought that the greatest cause of misery in Ireland was identity of institutions with England. It has become a great historical aphorism that Ireland is to be the great difficulty of the Minister. Now this is an opinion in which I never shared. I never believed that Ireland would be a great difficulty, because I feel certain that a Minister of great ability and of great power would, when he found himself at the head of a great majority, settle that question. What, then, is the duty of the English Minister? To effect by his policy all those changes which a revolution would do by force. That is the Irish question in its integrity. It is quite evident that lo effect this we must have an executive in Ireland which shall bear a much nearer relation to the leading parties and characters of the country than it does at present.Then he adds characteristically enough—I beg distinctly to say I never changed ray principles on Irish policy, or in any other respect.That is in 1844—I say this without reservation. At no time, at no place, in no circumstances, have I ever professed any other principles than I now profess. They are Tory principles, the only principles of the democracy of England.In 1868 Mr. Disraeli was challenged in this House with the use of these words, and I agree that the Disraeli of 1868 was a different one from the Disraeli of 1844; and how did he defend himself?—With reference to the passage which has been quoted from a speech made by me, I may remark that it appeared to me at the time I made it that nobody listened to it. It seemed to me I was pouring water upon sand, but it seems now that the water came from a golden goblet. With regard to the passage from that speech, there are many remarks which, if I wanted to convince, I might legitimately make, but I do not care to, and I do not wish to, because in my historical conscience the sentiment of that speech was right. It may have been expressed with that heedless rhetoric which I believe is the appanage of all who sit below the gangway; but in my historical conscience the sentiment of that speech was right.82 The third quotation, and the last, is from a living statesman, of great authority, whom, though a free trader, tariff reformers will, I am sure, listen to with respect, and who, though a Unionist, can always secure a patient and attentive hearing from any audience of Home Rulers; I mean the Duke of Devonshire. The Duke, speaking in Belfast as long ago as November 5th, 1885, said as follows—I believe that the Irish Government, the structure of the Irish Government, the system of the Irish Government has been most unjustly assailed, and I believe that it is not responsible for many of the sins which have been laid to its charge; but at the same time I am perfectly willing to admit that it is very possible, and even probable, that the Irish Government as now constituted is not the best fitted in all respects to discharge all the functions which it has now to discharge, still less "—and I ask attention to this—to undertake new and more important duties. I would not shrink from a great and bold reconstruction of Irish Government. I would not be disposed to deny it is probable that at present it is too centralised in Dublin, and that owing to the delegation of so many of the functions of Government to responsible boards it is wanting in vigour and responsibility. I would not shrink from a bold reconstruction of the Government of Ireland; but I maintain that as Ireland stands today the Executive Government must retain considerable power over any local boards which may hereafter be created, and I would endeavour so to frame those powers as to make them capable of relaxation, perhaps ultimately of relinquishment, in response, to any proof we may receive from the Irish people of their fitness for self-government, their fitness for the assumption of those responsibilities.It is at all events in the spirit of those quotations that His Majesty's Government have approached the solution or partial solution of this still unsettled problem. I will labour the point no further. If anybody here believes that the present system of administration of Irish affairs is sound and sensible, that it is a system likely to train the Irish people in the habits of self-respect and economy, I must wait to see how that individual seeks to make out his case. I hope I need not say I bring no accusation whatsoever against Dublin Castle or against Irish officials. Language of praise from one who has been such a short time in his office would be fulsome, and language of censure would be impertinent. For one or two officials with whom I have been brought into close personal contact I already entertain a feeling of respect 83 which I doubt not under favourable circumstances might ripen into affection, and I do not think that any Chief Secretary, with the slightest tincture of popular feeling in his bone, can enter the gloomy portals of Dublin Castle without a sinking of the heart almost amounting to an abandonment of hope. It is not that Dublin Castle is a sink or seat of jobbery and corruption. It may have been so once. It certainly is so no longer. But it is, to use a familiar expression, "switched off" from the current of national life and feeling; and one cannot feel—I do not believe anybody within the walls of Dublin Castle can feel—that that is the way to secure the regeneration of Ireland. No pulse of real life runs through the place. The main current of Irish life as it rushes past its walls passes by almost unheeded. There it stands, "remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow," regarding this great stream of national life and feeling with a curious expression, mingled, it may be, with cynicism and amusement, coupled also, I admit, with a passionate tutorial desire to teach the wild Irish people how to behave themselves, just and exactly as the great Roman provincial of Anno Domini 120, living in his delightful villa in York, or Colchester, or Bath, may-have regarded the vagaries of the then inhabitants of this island.
Well, now the total number of departments, boards and offices, excluding the Admiralty and War Office, engaged in the administration of public business in Ireland is, I believe, a matter of controversy. I have, however, been supplied with a list of forty-five, and they are grouped as follows. Ten come under the full control of the Irish Government, viz., the Royal Irish Constabulary, the Dublin Metropolitan Police, the General Prisons Board, Reformatory and Industrial Schools, Inspectors of Lunatics, General Register Office, the Department of the Registrar of Potty Session Clerks, Resident Magistrates, Crown Solicitors, and Clerks of the Crown and Peace. There are three not so fully controlled by the Irish Government—the Land Commission, the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests, and the Public Records Office. There are five not at all under the control of the Irish Government except as far as regards appointments and the framing of rules—the Board of National Education, 84 the Board of Intermediate Education, the Commissioners of Endowed Schools, the National Gallery, and the Royal Hibernian Academy. Not under the control of the Irish Government, but with the Chief Secretary as president ex officio, are the Local Government Board, the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, and the Congested Districts Board. There are four boards exercising statutory powers in Ireland not under Government control—the Public Loan Fund Board, the Commissioners of Irish Lights, the Royal University, and the Queen's Colleges. Eight are not controlled by the Irish Government, and of these the most important are the Supreme Court of Judicature and its offices, the Registry of Deeds, the Local Registration of Titles, and the Railway and Canal Commission. There are English departments working in Ireland not under the control of the Irish Government. There are twelve of these, among them being the Customs and Inland Revenue and the Board of Trade. [An HON. MEMBER: Board of Works.]
Here at all events is a sufficient area of choice, and the question we have to determine is how many of these departments, boards, and bodies should we attempt to place under some kind of real and effective control. Some, of course, for obvious reasons lie altogether without the scope of any such proposals as ours will be found to be, such as the Customs and Inland Revenue and the General Post Office. Nor do we in any way propose to affect the Supreme Court of Judicature and its offices, the Royal Irish Constabulary, the Dublin Metropolitan Police, the Land Commission, and the General Prisons Board—all these and others are left outside the provisions of the Bill. We propose to make the following departments and boards subject to the provisions of this Bill. They are eight in number—the Local Government Board, the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, the Congested Districts Board, the Commissioners of Public Works, the Commissioners of National Education, the Intermediate Education Board, the Inspection of Reformatory and Industrial Schools, and the Registrar-General. By the provisions of the Bill the Lord-Lieutenant, after consultation with the Irish Council, may by Order in Council apply the provisions 85 of the Bill to certain other departments not of an important character. The Irish Lights and the Lunatic Asylums are among the number. But for the purposes of our discussion of this Bill I think we will confine ourselves to the eight named departments which I have just set out. I will say a word or two about each of them.
First, there is the Local Government Board. The Local Government Board is well housed in the old Customs House of Dublin. The Chief Secretary is its ex officio president, and Sir Henry Robinson is its exceedingly able vice-president; the Under-Secretary is an ex officio member, and there are two other gentlemen. It has no endowments of its own or allocated specially to it, but it now has a Parliamentary Vote amounting to £76,000. In addition to the well understood duties of the Local Government Board, including Poor Law administration, it has now cast upon it, under the provisions of those very useful Labourers' Cottages Acts, the control and the responsibility of looking after the housing of the labourers in every part of Ireland; and the fund it may be called upon to administer in connection with those Acts may assume—and will assume—very considerable dimensions, much larger than the sum appearing this year on the Vote. It has a large staff of inspectors, general and medical, auditors, clerks in the first and second divisions, and assistants; and perhaps no other office is brought into closer contact with the administration of the law in Ire land than is this Board.
We come now to the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland. This important and comparatively well-endowed department was created in 1899 by Act of Parliament, 62 and 63 of the late Queen, chapter 50; and is a very fair specimen of Tory devolution. It transferred the powers and duties found vested in a considerable number of existing departments to a new department which it sought to place under some sort of—I will not say popular—control. The Chief Secretary is the ex officio president, but it will be admitted that the scheme of the Bill was that the Vice-President, who was originally, at all events, intended to be a Minister in this House, should do the work of the department with the 86 assistance of the Council of Agriculture the Agricultural Board, and the Board of Technical Instruction. The Council of Agriculture consists of 104 members; sixty-eight are nominated by the county councils, thirty-four are nominated by the department itself, and there are two ex officio members. This Council meets once a year—I believe that it has usually met twice—for the purpose of discussing matters of public interest in connection with the purposes of the Act. The Agricultural Board consists of twelve members, eight appointed by the provincial committees of the Council of Agriculture, and four by the department itself. This board meets five or six times in the year, and its business is to advise the department with respect to matters and questions submitted to them by the department in connection with the purposes of agriculture and rural industry. The council discusses, the board advises, and the department does what it thinks best. The Board of Technical Instruction corresponds to the Agricultural Board. It has twenty-one members, mostly appointed by county boroughs and the committees of the four provinces. Its duty is to advise the department on all questions submitted to it by the department in connection with technical instruction. This department is not badly off. It has an annual income of £166,000, apart from its Parliamentary Vote of £178,817. The annual income is derived from grants, from local taxation, and from the Irish Church temporalities, and it has certain capital sums standing to its credit. This department, very properly, employs a large staff in its agricultural branch, its technical instruction branch, its fishery branch, and other services, and it has, undoubtedly, done much good and energetic work under the enthusiastic guidance of Sir Horace Plunkett.
The Congested Districts Board, which comes next, is probably one of the most useful and one of the most popular bodies in Ireland. It came into existence by the Land Purchase Act of 1891. Its duties are so well known that I need not refer to them, but any one who cares to refer to the Land Purchase Act of 1891 will find them stated fully. It has found its way into Irish novels, and a good deal of the good humour often poked at it may be taken as an indication of its good 87 work. I do not think fun of such a good-natured character is ever poked at Dublin Castle. This board has indeed done very good work. Its revenues are made up of £41,000 from the Church temporalities fund, a Parliamentary grant of £25,000, and an equivalent grant of £21,000—in all about £87,000.
The Commissioners of Public Works are a highly criticised body, and I am certain that whoever comes to exercise control over them will find that they have to discharge duties which are certain to be the subject of a great deal of powerful criticism. The Commissioners, under terms of Acts of Parliament, deal with Railway Acts, Marine Works Acts, and, by the direction of the Treasury, with the execution or overlooking of such public works in Ireland as tend to the development of her resources, her trade and industries, and fishing. It has no endowment of its own. It has a Parliamentary Vote, but in effect it does what it is told to do, for it is provided with funds. It frequently, I am sorry to say, comes in collision with other boards. No task is more difficult and none more important than how best to spend whatever money can be obtained for the general development of Ireland. It can only be done by taking wide views and by resisting local pressure —two extraordinarily difficult things for any body of men to do. It may not have the opportunity, the means, or the qualification to take wide views, and the power of resisting local pressure notoriously varies according to individual cases; but I think, as a rule, it may be said that most men do at some time yield to it. In the present scramble for the grants that may be obtained from the Treasury I am sure to find sometimes the height of efficiency and almost the depth of personal degradation; and to be for ever taking precautions to support or to resist particular claims cannot, I am certain, be a pleasant task for any man whatsoever. The Chief Secretary suffers, perhaps, most, but the Irish Members from all parts of Ireland suffer also. They are baffled again and again in their visitations to the Treasury, and I am sure as they return back to the House to write their letters to their constituents they must experience more of that hope deferred which makes the heart sick, and they must have in their minds the substance 88 of the thought, if not the words, of Dante when he said—How sad a part it is to climb and descend other men's stairs.We hope by our proposals to lift this great work of Irish development to a position of greater dignity and enable those in authority to arrange the disposition of the money in such a way as will do the greatest possible good to a country which more than any other does stand in need of assistance to build up those trades and industries of a local character which, unfortunately, have been allowed to get into a bad state, and on which the happiness and welfare of the country greatly depend.
As to the Commissioners of National Education, they are incorporated by Royal charter, dated 1845, for administering the fund placed at the disposal of the Lord-Lieutenant for the education of the poor in Ireland. They are twenty in number. They are all unpaid except the resident Commissioner, and they are nominated for life or until resignation by the Lord-Lieutenant, and by an unwritten rule a Roman Catholic succeeds a Roman Catholic and a Protestant a Protestant in unbroken succession, thus maintaining an equal division between the religions. They have no endowment; but they receive from the Votes £1,000,408, and have a development grant of £74,000. There being no education rate in Ireland, these sums, added to by small local contributions for maintaining and repairing school-houses, represent the whole amount spent on primary education in Ireland. These Commissioners naturally employ at their central establishment a large staff of clerks and an army of inspectors.
The Intermediate Education Board consists of twelve Commissioners nominated by the Lord-Lieutenant and two Assistant Commissioners. By means of examination they look after the secondary schools in Ireland. They are independent of Parliamentary criticisms and subsist on an income of £81,000 per annum derived from the interest on Church temporalities and the Local Taxation Account. They have also considerable sums invested, representing accumulated savings. I need not say anything about the Re formatory and Industrial Schools or the Registrar's Office.
Taking, then, these eight departments as marking out and defining the spher 89 of our operations, how do we propose that they should be placed under the control of the Representative Council? If I am asked, "Why a council at all?" I can only reply that in a democratic age, and in a democratic country, and in this very democratic House of Commons, the resources of civilisation are somewhat restricted. I remember hearing Mr. Parnoll—that unforgettable Parliamentary figure—speaking at a memorable meeting of the Eighty Club, when he had as his fellow guest Lord Spencer, whose enforced absence from the Councils of the King and from public life I am sure every one without any exception whatever must deeply deplore—I remember hearing Mr. Parneil say that there were two ways of governing Ireland. One way he expounded at some length. The other way was to find a man strong enough and stern enough—sufficiently full of character and resource—who would go over to Ireland and do evenhanded justice between landlord and tenant, Catholic and Protestant, rich and poor. Mr. Parneil said that he had sometimes thought that that was the one way of governing Ireland. It may be said to us, "Why, instead of getting up a council to control administrative work, cannot you find some man of the kind Mr. Parnell had in his mind, who would go to Ireland and who would decide by his ipse dixit what great public work should be undertaken and what should be postponed and what should be altogether abandoned? Let him decide educational policy, primary, secondary, and technical, and let him do this work in a spirit of courage, honesty, and independence." Well, His Majesty's Government had no such man in their eye, and I do not think that Gentlemen opposite could supply our deficiency. For my own part I am exceedingly glad that we have not, for personally I would much sooner write the biography of a deceased autocrat than live under his sway; for the reason that these men, however great they may be, and however interesting their biographies may be, do not make good history. We are obliged, therefore, to fall back, and we need not be ashamed of falling back-on the contrary we may glory in it—on a representative Assembly. I quite agree that representative Assemblies have nowadays grown somewhat old. The gilt is a little rubbed off the gingerbread. Here is the mother of them all, and it would be 90 strange if we were not alive to some of their shortcomings and faults. But all institutions that are meant to be of any good in this workaday world must be content to be tarnished by the world, like the grand old name of "gentleman," which, soiled though it be, still remains a great thing. And representative institutions, though their faults be proved against them as much as you like, still remain the best educational methods of conducting the government of any country.
We propose to establish a Representative Council, an Administrative Representative Council, consisting of eighty-two elected members and of twenty-four nominated members, with the addition of the Under-Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant as an ex officio member. The elective members of the Council will be elected by the local government electors in the constituencies set out in a schedule to the Bill. That is the same as the Parliamentary franchise, except that it includes peers and women. I should be very sorry if women were not allowed to take part in any good work which may be within the reach of any one in their country. The nominated members are to be nominated by His Majesty during the first term of office. After the expiration of that term they will be nominated by the Lord-Lieutenant. I daresay that if the population difficulties of Ireland were of a different character, and if the population were not segregated as it is, some other method than nomination might be suggested to secure the representation of minorities. But I do not think that, Ireland being as it is, and the population being divided as it is, any system of minority representation would secure to the Protestants of the south and west parts of Ireland any representation whatsoever. Therefore, it is only by the process of nomination that that great object can be properly attained. The President of the Council will be appointed by the Council. The Chief Secretary, though not a member of the Council, and not entitled to vote, shall have the right to be present at the meetings of the Council or of any Committee, and to speak, if so moved, on such occasions.
The question arises now, What are the functions of this Council to be? It is to have control, and complete 91 control, over the exercise of the powers to which the Bill applies—and those are any powers vested at the time of the passing of the Bill in the eight departments which I have mentioned, and also any powers vested in the Lord-Lieutenant or the Chief Secretary at the time of the passing of the Bill relating to those departments, and any powers which may be declared hereafter to be vested in those departments. Therefore the function of the Council is to control the exercise of the powers now vested or hereafter to be vested in the eight departments I have mentioned. The method by which the Council is to exercise those powers is by resolution of the Council itself. The authorities in whom the powers are for the time being vested shall, subject to the provisions of the Bill, act in accordance with the resolutions of the Irish Council in respect of the exercise of those powers, and shall obey any direction given by the Council with respect to the submission of any matter relating to the exercise of these powers of the Council. I want the House to realise the method of proceeding. The powers remain vested in the departments, but the exercise of those powers is to be controlled by resolution of the Council in the manner which I have indicated. The final authority of Parliament is maintained by means of a power which is entrusted to the Lord-Lieutenant of reserving questions for consideration. He may reserve any resolution of the Irish Council, and when he has so reserved that resolution it will not operate until it is confirmed by him. And on the consideration of any resolution so reserved he may either confirm the resolution or he may annul it, or he may remit the matter for further consideration by the Council, together with any expression of opinion he thinks fit to make thereon. If anything more than that is necessary in order to preserve the efficiency of the service or to prevent public or private interests being affected in matters where immediate action may be expected, the Lord Lieutenant may make such order in respect to the matter as, in his opinion, the necessity of the case may require. That, of course, is Government business. The Lord-Lieutenant will remain, under the provisions of this Bill, a Party officer, and any interference that he feels called upon to make by way of annulling any resolution of 92 the Council will, of course, naturally come under consideration and discussion in this House and will be defended if it requires defence by the Chief Secretary. Therefore, subject and save so far as in the unlikely event of any interference by the Lord-Lieutenant by way of annulling a resolution of the Council—save and so far as that safeguard is created by the Bill, it is intended that the Council shall have full control over the exercise by these departments of their powers.
And it is intended—and the Bill provides for that—to arrange for the exercise of these powers of control by means of committees. The Council will be authorised to establish as many committees as it thinks fit, either of a general or special nature, consisting of such number of persons as it thinks fit, and generally to organise and set up these committees. But there must be a Finance Committee, a Public Works Committee, a Local Government Committee, and an Education Committee. These committees are required to be forthwith set up. Other committees relating to other subjects it is for the Council to determine whether they will have or not, and of what character they are to be. The work of the committees, when they have concluded their investigations of the matter submitted to them by the departments, will come before the Council itself for confirmation or rejection or alteration. Each committee shall have a chairman, who is to be appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant. Now I have to make a distinction between six of the departments and the two educational departments. The six departments we leave alone to exercise their statutory powers, doing their ordinary routine work and generally attending to the business of the office, subject always to the control of the committee and of the Council who are placed over them, and may call upon them to submit what-over matters they think fit, and to come to such decision on each particular case, be it big or be it little, as they think fit. We do not propose to leave the education boards in that position, and we take by this Bill power by Order in Council to constitute a new Education Department; and when that Education Department has been constituted there will be a complete transfer to it of the powers and the funds of the Commissioners, who will be there upon dissolved. We, therefore, do 93 propose—and this is a part of the Bill to which I personally attach most enormous importance—that there shall be for the first time in Ireland an Education Department, which shall have responsibility for primary and secondary education in that country, and that that department, when it is constituted, will come under the control of this new Council, just in the same manner as the other six departments to which I have alluded. Provision will be made for the payment to the president of the Council and the chairman of any committee of such salaries as the Council themselves may provide.
I think now I should refer to the schedule showing the proposed constituencies which are to elect the eighty-two Members of the Council. They are divided into county boroughs and counties. As to the county boroughs, Dublin will remain with four members in its four divisions. Belfast will have its four Members in its four divisions; Cork will have its two Members as an undivided constituency; and Londonderry, Limerick, and Waterford will have one each as now. Of the counties Antrim will have four Members; Londonderry, 2; Donegal, 4; Tyrone, 4; Down, 4—Newry is deprived of any representation and thrown into the county; Armagh, 3; Cavan, 1 (instead of 2 as in this House); Monaghan, 1; Fermanagh, 1; Dublin, 2; Wicklow, 1; Wexford, 2; Callow, 1; Kilkenny (with the city), 1; Kildare, 1; Queen's, 1; King's, 1; Louth, 1; Meath, 1; Westmeath, 1; Longford, 1; Cork, 7; Kerry, 2 (instead of 4); Limerick, 2; Clare, 2; Tipperary, 4; Waterford, 1; Mayo, 4; Galway (with the city), 4; Sligo, 2; Roscommon, 2; Leitrim, 1. That makes eighty-two elected Members; add to this twenty-four nominated Members and one ex officio Member and you have a total of 107. I do not think, having regard to the number of committees that will probably be found necessary to manage this difficult business —and the considerable size which the Education Committee, for example, will have to be—I do not think that is too large a body to place at the disposal of the country the services of men of business whom we hope to see sitting upon it. With regard to the Education Committee, we propose that the Lord-Lieutenant shall have power on that committee to appoint persons having 94 experience in education, not being members of the Council, to be additional members of the. Education Committee, the number so appointed not to exceed one-fourth of the whole number of the members of the committee; and women may be appointed as additional members of the Education Committee. I do not think that the 107 is at all too large a body to supply the necessary material to discharge the very important duties that will be imposed upon them.
§ MR. BIRRELL
For three years.
I now pass on to the very important subject of ways and means. We propose to establish a separate fund for the purposes of this Act, to be called the Irish Fund, and all payments to that fund shall be paid to the credit of the account of that fund at the Bank of Ireland or at such other bank as the Irish Council shall determine. We propose to constitute by Order in Council an Irish Treasury, having at its head a Treasurer for Ireland. Now in order to feed this Irish Fund, our proposal is to charge on the Consolidated Fund and to pay into the Irish Fund, for the general purposes of this Act, certain annual sums to be fixed by Parliament afresh every five years. A less period can, I think, hardly be thought of as possible, nor would a longer period, I think, be found to be practicable, certainly not to be advisable. The quinquennial period seems to us, after consideration and discussion with persons in Ireland connected with our offices, to be the best period that we can suggest to the House. What is that sum to be for the first period of five years? The present cost of administering the services covered by these eight departments is a little over two millions. Now, there is no single man, however stern and strong and Parnellian he may be, and certainly no body of men, unless they were wholly bereft of their souses, who would consent to take over these eight departments at that figure. To do so would be to plunge; into a sea of troubles, and without the faintest prospect of doing any real good work either for Ireland or for one's own reputation. Think, for example, of the Education Committee responsible to Ireland, face to face with the Irish teachers, 95 face to face with the condition of the School buildings—the thing is perfectly unthinkable. Think also of the Committee of Public Works charged with the development of the railways, the harbours, and the fisheries of Ireland. They cannot spend their time rattling at the doors of the Treasury in the way I have described; they must be supplied with funds either to spend or to lend or to accumulate to provide for great schemes of arterial drainage or the like, as in their interest and common sense they think best and therefore we may be perfectly certain of this, that it will be hopelessly impossible to induce any Council, or any body of men—it ought to be impossible for us to allow ourselves—to go along endeavouring to do the work we all desire to see done in Ireland, both with regard to the improvement of its education and the development of its resources, without a considerable increase of the funds to be placed at the disposal of the Irish people. We therefore, in addition to, or in excess of, the £2,000,000, propose a sum of £650,000 a year. This sum, although it has been carefully considered, is not intended to be taken as based upon an exact Estimate. It is based upon a general view of the state of certain Irish services, and of the certain needs of those Departments during the next five years. I hope to hear that amount criticised. Whether we shall be told it is too large, I wait to hear. I do not desire to express any opinion adverse to the Treasury on the matter. They have treated me with great kindness and consideration in all my communications with them, but I am certainly prepared most actively to maintain that it is not one penny too much. This excess sum of £650,000 per annum, which I name at once in order that it may be in the minds of hon. Members as part of the finance of the transaction, is to be treated separately in the Bill. £300,000 a year, a part of the £650,000, is intended to provide capital for the purpose of public works and the general development of Ireland. That distinction, which everybody must see, ought to be struck between the natural annual out-goings in connection with any particular Departments, and that kind of capital expenditure on enduring works which are not happily of annual recurrence. We, therefore, propose to carry £300,000 per annum, although this 96 is all part of the Irish Fund, to a particular account called a Public Works Grant.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
Is that in substitution of the existing system of loans, or in addition to it?
§ MR. BIRRELL
Well, the statutory powers are not to be affected. In that sense it will be an additional grant of £300,000 a year for the purposes of this particular work. It is not substituted for any statutory obligation, and, therefore, so far as it is discretionary with the Treasury it may be additional. We intend this to be paid every year for the purpose of providing the new Council with a sum on which, if they like, they can borrow, and obtain advantages, being a certain sum which they will receive each year during the five years. Another portion of the £650,000, about £114,000,when you come to investigate it—
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I am sorry to interrupt, but this is so important that I want to clear the matter up. At present, as the House is aware, there are sums lent to Ireland by leave of the Treasury to the Public Works Loans Department. I want to know whether this grant, of which the right hon. Gentleman is speaking, is in substitution for these loans, or in addition to it.
§ MR. BIRRELL
If I have not been understood, I dare say it is my fault. In effect it is an addition. I say there is £114,000 which is also intended for expenditure that is in the nature of capital expenditure—for example, school buildings. We proposed, as the House may remember, £40,000 a year before we entered into this particular proposal for a period of three years for the purpose of school buildings. That is the kind of expenditure we have in our minds when we say that this £114,000 will partake of the nature of capital expenditure, and will not be annual expenditure in the ordinary sense. We, therefore, have these two sums, £300,000 and £114,000, which leave a sum of about £236,000 per annum to assist in providing for the general purposes of administration of the Departments under the Council, including the Irish Treasury. These three sums of 97 £300,000, £114,000, and £236,000 make up the £650,000, which is the excess sum over and above the £2,000,000 which is the present cost of running these Departments. These sums will altogether constitute the Irish Fund plus the £1,450,000 of local grants. That is allocated by statute to particular purposes—county councils and other bodies that will be in no way affected by it. These sums, £2,000,000, £236,000, and £1,450,000, make up a sum of £3,700,000. If you add to that the public works grant of £300,000 and the supplementary grant of £114,000 you get a sum of over £4,000,000. That will constitute, as a whole, the Irish Fund, which would be the guarantee fund in substitution for the existing guarantee fund. We, of course, propose that those funds constituting the Irish Fund are paid, in the manner I have already described, into the Irish Bank, and all expenses of the Irish Council and all expenses incidental to the powers of those eight Departments otherwise incurred in the execution of the Act are paid out of the Irish Fund, and Parliament is released of any obligation to provide for these expenses otherwise than by means of payments directly to be made to the Irish Fund. It is provided that it shall be the duty of any Department or authority to whom this Act applies to prepare every financial year, with respect to those Boards, estimates in the manner with which we are familiar, under such headings as may be determined by the Irish Council. These estimates, when prepared, will be referred to the Finance Committee under the Irish Act, and after they have been considered by the Committee, the Council must by resolution appropriate the actual sum to be expended under that head. We provide, of course, for an audit of the funds by the Comptroller and Auditor-General under Section 33 of the Exchequer and Audit Act, 1866. We impose necessarily—having regard to the quinquennial character of the grant—certain restrictions. I do not know that I can usefully add more on the subject of finance. It is a little difficult to explain, but I hope I have made it plain that there is to be this Irish Fund, of what the Irish Fund is to consist, that the new money over and above the £2,000,000 is to be £650,000 a year, and that that sum is to be divided, in a manner which I have described, into 98 what roughly may be called capital and income, in order to meet the purposes to which it is appropriated.
Before, however, I can entirely leave the subject of finance I must refer to a question which has arisen under the Land Purchase Act. A little cloud, already bigger a good deal than a man's hand, has arisen over the horizon in respect of that land finance, and I should like to state shortly what the position is in regard to that. Under the Act of 1903, the landlords are paid, not in stock, but in cash, and in order to get the cash wherewith to pay them you have to go to the investing public and induce them to buy your land stock. This is a most excellent security. It yields 2 ¾ per cent. and the capital is payable at par at the end of thirty years, and why there should be any shyness on the part of investors in investing their money is not for me to say. But the fact is that at present for every £100 of stock to be raised in order to get the funds wherewith to pay the landlords we only get £85. That involves an annual loss spread over the whole of sixty-eight and a half years of £4,000 for every million of money. Under the Act such a loss is thrown upon the Irish Development Grant. Everybody has heard of the Irish Development Grant, although few ever realise the number of things cast upon it. It has been a most useful beast of burden, but I am afraid that, not immediately, but at no great distance of time it must die, by the roadside, so many burdens have been placed upon it. It is at present a Fund of £185,000 a year; £20,000 goes to the Congested Districts Board; £5,000 to Trinity College, Dublin, reducing it to £160,000 a year. Other burdens have been cast upon it in respect of education and the like, but it is practically the Fund on which we depend to meet this loss. The loss already on the appropriation of stock is £70,000 a year, and that the Irish Development Grant still has to bear. If during five years the Irish Land Stock was to issue at the rate of £6,000,000 a year that would mean a sum of £30,000,000 and £4,000 for every million would be the loss to be borne by the Irish Development Grant. This Irish Development Grant is, therefore, in a very parlous state. What comes 99 after the Irish Development Grant? The ratepayers of Ireland. Upon the Guarantee Fund there are certain local demands, such as workhouse doctors, masters and mistresses, payment for pauper lunatics, and district asylums of Ireland, and the Irish people are naturally agitated because they see nothing between them and an enormous burden upon their rates, except this rapidly depleting Irish Development Grant. They naturally ask what is going to be done. That, after all, is still in futuro, because the Irish Development Grant is not dead yet and may last three or four years, even if the loss on flotation continues as great as it is. The present loss has been thrown upon it in respect of something which is not in their Irish Development Grant, namely, the advantageous terms offered to people to induce them to take up this stock. Stock applied for in March, although payable by instalments up to June, bears six months interest to its holders, as if they were in the concern for the whole six months. Somebody has got to pay for that, and that loss has amounted to £73,000 in two years. Unfortunately, this was not discovered until the end of the second year; so that this accumulated loss of £73,000 has suddenly been thrown upon the Irish counties. That is a condition of things which requires careful consideration, and the Treasury are considering means by which they may, if possible, prevent this loss on the issue of every £1,000,000 of land stock. At present, however, all we can say to Ireland is that the Irish Development Grant will last as the main fund liable to pay these capital losses on flotation for, at all events, three years; and we are going to throw on the Irish Development Grant the losses, representing £73,000, occasioned by the methods adopted to induce the public to take these shares. In the opinion of the law officers, they could not be properly charged on the Irish Development Grant as it stands, and we are taking power to do that. Therefore the immediate loss to the Irish ratepayer will no longer fall upon him, and the prospective loss will not appear for two or three years, during which time the Exchequer confidently expect they will be able to devise some plan or scheme by which this nightmare may be taken off the minds of the ratepapers. It is a nightmare of a very 100 serious character, because, if these losses were really to fall on the Irish ratepayer, it would be a blow to the system of land purchase which it would probably not be able to stand; and God forbid that anything should happen to interfere with the transfer of the land under the terms of that or some modified measure.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the actual loss of £73,000 which has been deducted from the grant due to the county councils of Ireland will be provided for and repaid to the Irish Development Grant account?
§ MR. BIRRELL
I am not in a position to make that statement. The provisions of the Bill relate only to future losses and not to the losses which have already been paid by the county councils.
There are only two other provisions of the Bill to which I wish to call attention. One is that we make use of this occasion to get rid of a doubt which exists in some people's minds as to whether the office of Lord-Lieutenant can be held without reference to religious belief. The Bill provides that, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other Act, every subject of His Majesty shall be qualified to hold the office of Lord-Lieutenant without reference to his religious belief; and in the same way there is a clause which provides that in the exercise of any powers to which this Act applies no preference shall be shown to any religious denomination, and any act or thing done, so far as it gives any such preference, shall be declared invalid. Any question involving a contravention of the Act is to be brought before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council within one year, and the Committee shall determine the question, and their decision shall be final.
§ MR. AUSTIN TAYLOR (Liverpool, East Toxteth)
Who is to appoint the officials of the departments controlled by this Council?
§ MR. BIRRELL
The power to appoint or remove officers to whom the Act applies is a power which is deemed and intended to be a power within this Act, and, therefore, it will be a power 101 exercised by the Council. We have provided in the fullest possible way to save the rights of all existing servants in the same way as, I believe, has been done in previous measures—that is to say, that existing officers, if they give six months notice of their intention to retire, or are required to retire, shall be entitled to receive such payment out of the Irish Fund as the Lord-Lieutenant may award. Our object is to secure in every possible way the rights of existing officers with regard to their pensions.
I do not know exactly, of course, what line of objection will be taken to this measure, but I do not see how any assembly of a democratic character can reject it unless it is honestly and deliberately satisfied that the majority of the Irish people are unfit to exercise any real control over their own Local Government Board, their Department of Agriculture, their Public Works Department, and the education of their children. If you say that the control exercised by this House is sufficient, I admit you will have an answer to this Bill; but nobody does say that of the government of Ireland as at present carried on under those boards and departments that can honestly and truthfully be said. It is part of the case that I assumed at the beginning of my speech that the present administration—what is called Dublin Castle administration—cannot be defended. Now, if we are told, as I dare say we may be, that Protestants under this Bill will have no chance of employment, I shall wait with some curiosity to see how that argument is developed. Ireland is an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country. It is not very surprising to find that in the county and borough councils there are 1,023 Catholic councillors as against 262 Protestants. If you look at the matter by provinces you find that in Ulster the Protestants are slightly over-represented and in the Catholic provinces you will find the Catholics also—not much, not materially, but slightly over-represented. The fact is you can hardly help that being so. So far as the election of county councillors is concerned, if that is to be any guide in the matter, you will find that what has happened in Ireland is just what would happen in any country whatever. It is not easy for a Roman Catholic to find his way into this House 102 on either side excepting he comes from Ireland. I regret it should be so, and I do not understand why it should be; so but I do not see why we should expect other people to exhibit a greater amount of liberality than we do ourselves. I do not think also that much should be made, or will be made by people who are really cognisant with Ireland, of the inability of people to get employment if they do not happen to profess the faith of the prevailing majority. I am aware that there are complaints both among Catholics in Protestant parts of Ireland and among Protestants in Catholic parts, but I do not think that on close investigation they will be found to amount to very much, and I shall be very much surprised if any one acquainted with the conditions of Kerry or Limerick will assert that in those counties no Protestant need apply, and refuse to the Irish people these very limited rights of being trained in the habits of self-government simply because there is a population of 3,388,000 Roman Catholics as against 1,150,000 Protestants. Surely you are not going to deny to the people this valuable opportunity of education in the habits of dignity, self-restraint, and self-government simply because by an overwhelming majority they belong to one particular faith?
I dare say we shall be told that this Bill paves the way to Home Rule. It the proposals contained in this Bill become law and obtain a fair trial, if the new Council after some years is a success, why, then, I dare say it may pave the way to Home Rule. If, on the other hand, it is a failure, it appears to me that it would present a very considerable obstacle to persuading the electors in this country, who have been called the predominant partners, to accept Home Rule. But surely it is not going to be contended—I know it will not be contended—that the Irish people are to be refused the opportunity of getting the training they require in the exercise of the rights they ought to have in the control of their own country—you, the Unionist Party, cannot refuse those rights on the ground that if they avail themselves of them and prove themselves fit to have Home Rule, one of the difficulties in the way of Home Rule will be removed. You cannot want to keep the Irish people in a state of chronic poverty 103 and disease. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh" and "Shame."] If hon. Gentlemen will read the medical reports they will discover that tubercular disease is making very great progress among the Irish people, and one of the first needs of any Irish Government is to deal with that question promptly. Therefore, I say I am perfectly justified in saying it cannot be argued that the Irish people are to be denied the right of showing themselves fit for self-government, simply because if they show that they are fit, the English people may be disposed, some day or other, to give way to their demand for it. That would be a shocking and terrible doctrine, and I am quite sure it is not the doctrine of the Party opposite. The Unionists of Ireland, Protestants as the majority are, love their country as much as any men can do, although they know it will remain, probably for ever, a Roman Catholic country; and I cannot believe they will deliberately refuse any well reasoned way whereby the wealth and prosperity of the Irish people can be increased and their chances of growing in those habits of self-respect, dignity, and self-restraint, which we all long to see them possess, promoted. I am satisfied that when that is put before them their objections to this measure will prove unjustifiable, and they will, after full consideration, not stand in the way between Ireland and the great advantages offered to her by these proposals. I beg to move.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That leave be given to bring in a Bill to provide for the Establishment and Functions of an Administrative Council in Ireland; and for other purposes connected therewith."—(Mr. Birrell.)
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Although the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has displayed in the speech to which we have listened the familiar qualities of lucidity, humour, and eloquence to which we are accustomed when he rises to address us, I confess that he has not left upon my mind the impression that the plan he has laid before the House is one that even he himself takes seriously. After having listened to all he has had to say as to its character and as to its object, it must surely be evident to every one that there is no object which we ought to 104 desire or which any of us do desire in connection with the government of Ireland which would be furthered by the extraordinary proposals to which we have just listened. The right hon. Gentleman began, naturally enough, by giving us an account of the enormous chaos and complication, as he called it, of the Irish Boards.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I rather understood that it was this enormous number of Boards under nobody's control which was one of the reasons which influenced the right hon. Gentleman. If in introducing the word "chaos" I have exceeded his meaning, I regret it. If the evil of Ireland is that it has so many separate boards, why has the right hon. Gentleman only dealt with the number which he has? In view of all the evils inseparable from boards in Ireland—not inseparable apparently from boards in England or Scotland; indeed, two new boards are about to be established inScotland—why is it that out of the forty-seven boards with which the right hon. Gentleman might have dealt he has left thirty-eight undealt with, absolutely untouched, absolutely unmentioned except in the exordium of his speech? All this talk about the character of Irish Government is really based for the most part upon prejudice or ignorance of the working of the institution. Hon. Gentleman below the gangway object to the way it has worked; but I do not think any serious critic says the machine itself is an unworkable machine. Partly because one of the domiciles of Irish Government happens to be called a Castle, because it is possible for literary orators to talk about its gloomy portals, they raise a sort of prejudice that medieval practices prevail in Dublin Castle, which would never be suggested if it were called by some more prosaic name. When the right hon. Gentleman gave us an eloquent account of how the stream of Irish life flowed by the walls of the Castle leaving it entirely upon one side, I wondered whether anybody with an equal gift of rhetoric with the right hon. Gentleman might from the colonial point of view have described even Downing Street in not dissimilar language, and I would ask whether the Treasury itself is regarded by anybody outside the 105 Treasury as in the full stream of public life in this country. Is the Treasury sympathetic with every demand made upon it by an anxious population? No, Sir, the Treasury is not always sympathetic. I would seriously suggest that we ought not to use about this much-abused Dublin Castle language which has no better justification than similar language which might be used against offices within 200 yards of where I am speaking, and where, at all events, the right hon. Gentleman paid a most merited tribute both to the purity of that administration and the ability of those who are conducting it. The right hon. Gentleman ended his speech by saying, "Are you going to deny Ireland this boon we offer to her and which is to educate her in self-respect? If a board representing the county council electors, with a nominated fourth, is necessary to the self-respect of Ireland, I cannot see why it is not necessary for the self-respect of England. I see a great many able administrators before me. I respectfully put to the President of the Local Government Board for England the question whether he thinks his duties of controlling certain administrative functions connected with local bodies in England would be better performed if he ceased to be a servant of this House and became the servant of a body elected by those whom it is his business in certain respects to control? How would the President of the English Local Government Board fare if instead of being dependent for his position on the confidence of this House, which in many respects he possesses, he depended upon the Poplar Board of Guardians? Yet, if I rightly understand the political philosophy of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, his view is that the self-respect of Englishmen, their education in the higher purposes of policy, cannot really be carried out so long as the President of the English Local Government Board is only responsible to this House, and that the President of the Board ought to be made responsible as soon as possible not to this House, but to those whom it is his business to supervise, and in some respect to control. That brings me to the first of three questions. Those three questions are first, are you going to improve Irish administration by what you are doing; secondly, are you going to relieve 106 this House of any of the labours which the Leader of the Irish Party has so eloquently dilated upon; thirdly, are you going to satisfy either English opinion or Scottish opinion, still more are you going to satisfy Irish opinion by this scheme? I will answer those questions very briefly. You are not going to improve administration, and nobody thinks you can improve it by these methods. What are you going to do? To substitute for the well-tried plan of a permanent official responsible to a Parliamentary official, the plan of an official no longer permanent, I am afraid, an official who is responsible to a committee, then responsible to a semielected Assembly, which is responsible to a Lord-Lieutenant, who is responsible to a Cabinet, which is responsible to this House. A more preposterous way of attempting to carry out the local government of a country surely never was conceived the counties have got practically all that the English counties have got in the way of autonomy. Are you going to improve that system by putting over those counties another body partly elected by the same constituency, partly nominated? The work will no longer be done by the rapid, expeditious, and well tried method which like wise men you are going to keep in England and Scotland. That you propose to abolish in Ireland, and to substitute this most impossible plan of committees responsible to a body which is itself to have its work surveyed by the Lord-Lieutenant. Let us suppose that in the exercise of these duties it is found that the now body is carrying out a work extremely unpopular in a particular district of Ireland, let us say Ulster, and let us suppose that the police or even the military are required in order to see that the law as interpreted and as carried out by this new hybrid body is really obeyed. It is not a hybrid Council who have the right to send the police, luckily; it is not they who have to send the military, luckily; it is the Lord-Lieutenant. Suppose the Lord Lieutenant does not agree with the Council, who is going to settle that question? You will have a collision of authorities on this plan which must make your whole scheme break down. Again, who is going to advise the Lord-Lieutenant? You throw upon him a task of enormous difficulty. You leave him a partisan official, you leave him what he 107 is now, a nominee and representative of one of the two great Parties in the State, you tell him that he has to survey and adjudicate upon the resolutions of these committees, of this Assembly. If you give him a staff to enable him to survey these resolutions and form a judgment upon them, you have a double staff. If you make him dependent on a staff nominated by your semi-elected Council, you make him dependent on the advice of those whom he has to criticise. You must give him some independent source of information. What provision do you make for it? If you do make provision for it in your Bill, does it not stand to reason that you are re-duplicating and increasing the complexity of that machinery of government which you say it is your first desire to simplify and make clear? That is not all. You are going to nominate a fourth of this representative Council. The fourth nominated will be nominated by a particular Government of a particular complexion in this country. I hope and believe that those at present in office would be careful that their appointments had not a political complexion, but at all events it is possible they might have a political complexion. The appointments are for three years. Suppose that at the end of the first of those years they go out of office. Their political opponents come in and a new Lord-Lieutenant comes in of entirely different views, answerable to a Cabinet of entirely different views, and supported by a House of Commons of entirely different views. What position is that unfortunate man in, and are you going to improve Irish administration by methods of that kind? How are you going to deal between this Irish Board which has supreme power—which may represent not the majority of the elected body, not the gentlemen below the gangway, not the majority of the people of Ireland, nor the majority of the United Kingdom—and a Lord-Lieutenant who has to carry out his duties to the best of his ability? By having this selected body of a complexion which may be at variance with a Lord-Lieutenant representing the majority of this House you will make administration impossible. This system of checks and counter-checks I do not believe will safeguard anybody's interests, but it will destroy the whole mobility and efficiency of your machine. I do not see that the right hon. Gentleman has made the smallest suggestion in 108 his speech by which the danger I have indicated may be avoided. In the course of his speech the right hon. Gentleman quoted a line of poetry which he applied to Dublin Castle as being "unfriended, melancholy, and slow"; how slow will the new machinery be when a Lord-Lieutenant, hostile to the majority, has complete power to stop the whole machine? I venture to prophesy that, from the administrative point of view, people will look back to the halcyon days when through "the gloomy portals" of Dublin Castle they could see work done, business carried through, executed with regularity and with speed. So much for the first question I put with regard to administrative efficiency. I ask a second question—Is the right hon Gentleman going to relieve this House? I imagine the scheme would relieve us of three days of Irish Estimates, but I am not quite sure.
§ MR. BIRRELL
The Chief Secretary will remain here to answer on the Estimates of the other departments.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Then I do not think it will relieve us at all in the matter of Estimates. So far as legislation is concerned, there will be no relief, because by the hypothesis this new Assembly may be preparing the way for some future legislative body. At Question time the Irish Members will not be allowed to ask Questions affecting any of the eight departments which are taken away from the supervision of this House, and handed over to the relative obscurity of departments of which this House has washed its hands. But Irish Members will still remain good supporters of a Radical Administration, and they will be able to ask questions and raise debates upon any use of the veto by the Lord-Lieutenant, but otherwise their principal functions will be to deal with those Scottish and English affairs exactly analogous in character to those which you are taking away from the purview of this House, but which in the case of England and Scotland you mean to leave within the purview of this House. The 103 Irish Members may come here, and, indeed, ought to, and are expected to, come here to discuss everything connected with England and Scotland analogous to the business which is to be transferred to the new Council; but this House and 109 English and Scottish Members are not to say a word as to how those functions are carried out on the other side of St. George's Channel by this Council. That, I think, is a grossly unfair arrangement which utterly upsets the balance of power in this House, but does not relieve us of an hour's work, and the labour of Parliament will remain undiminished. Are you going to satisfy Ireland? Will the scheme satisfy the Unionists of Ireland? The right hon. Gentleman read some statistics by which he proved to his own satisfaction that, though there might be a slight over-balance of representation of Protestants in Ulster, and a slight over-balance of representation of Roman Catholics in the rest of Ireland, nevertheless, broadly speaking, politics have not been allowed unduly to interfere with the work of the county councils, and that we might anticipate from this new semi-elected body that in that respect it might be expected to follow the good example which, he thinks, has been set by the county councils. My information wholly differs from that of the right hon. Gentleman. It is quite certain that the great leaders of Irish Nationalist opinion have openly avowed the policy that the county councils should be used for Nationalist and political purposes. They have used their immense influence to see that that intention is carried out, and it has been carried out. Do you think this large Council will prove less political, that it will use its power less directly for political objects than the smaller units which it is supposed to supervise? It would be folly to hold out any such expectation. I doubt whether the Irish Nationalists themselves will hold out any such expectation. If they do, I am sure the expectation will be disappointed by the event. As certainly as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so certainly if you bring into being this semi-elected body, nominally for the purpose of controlling and administering these eight departments, it will be used by those who have the majority in it for political and Nationalist purposes. Then, you may say, if that is so, at all events the scheme will satisfy the Nationalists. If a body is to be created which can be used for political objects, those who are to use the weapon will welcome its being forged by the Government. It is for them to speak upon that point, and I do not presume to anticipate their verdict. But they have 110 over and over again, in unmistakable language, told us that nothing will satisfy them except a representative Assembly in Ireland, to which there shall be an Administration responsible. There is no Administration responsible to this Assembly, and the Assembly is not representative. 80 per cent. are elected, 20 per cent. are not elected. When the right hon. Gentleman, surveying the situation, said that in a democratic age, a democratic country, and a democratic House of Commons, only democratic suggestions could be entertained I wondered whether he thought a Council in which a fourth of the members were nominated corresponded with his idea of democracy in the sense that that word is used in our daily debates.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I quite agree that you may conceive a nominated Assembly which may in a real sense be representative, but that is different from a democratically constituted Assembly. I do not know whether a plan by which a fourth of your whole Assembly is not elected, but nominated by the British Cabinet, by the Crown, or the Lord-Lieutenant, on the advice of the British Ministers of the day, who represent the majority in this House and the country, is going to satisfy the Irish Nationalists; but I do know it bears not the smallest resemblance to any plan they have over advocated, and I am utterly unable to see how by any process of development it is capable of being turned into anything which they have ever contemplated. [MINISTERIAL cheers.] Hon. Gentlemen are evidently under the impression that I have made a slip. I have not made a slip, and they will see exactly what I mean before I have finished my speech. I say it is not capable of development by any legitimate means into anything which hon. Members say they desire. But before I deal with my last topic I must say something about poor England and Scotland in this matter. At present it appears that the government of Ireland, through these eight Departments, is carried on at the cost of over £2,050,000, but the right hon. Gentleman says that this amount must be increased by rather more than a quarter, which would mean £600,000. 111 That is the price which the English and Scottish taxpayer is expected to pay in order to attain the double object of educating the Irish in habits of self-respect —I think those are the words of the right hon. Gentleman—and of reducing Irish administration to a chaotic and impotent condition. I think that the English and Scottish taxpayers have some reason to complain. They get nothing, and it is not intended that they should, in the way of good administration in Ireland, of relieving the labours of this House, of having satisfied the ultimate Nationalist aspirations; they get nothing, but they have to pay another £650,000. I think that when that grievance is added to the other grievances of which I spoke, under which 103 Irish Members are brought to this House with the power of control over the work done in England and Scotland by the Departments here which correspond to the Irish departments, I think you are asking Scotsmen and Englishmen to pay for something which is of very little value. I said that I could not imagine how this plan was to develop legitimately into anything which would satisfy Irish aspirations. Nor do I see it. How can the Government, who avowedly introduce this plan in order that we may move an important step towards the realisation of Irish aspirations, justify the Bill themselves I cannot answer the question which I myself put. I believe that if it produces ultimately any movement in this country in favour of Irish Home Rule it will produce it, not because it will be a success, but because it will be a hopeless and complete failure. The only motive which has really moved British Home Rule statesmen to abandon the task of maintaining the Union, which men of all parties up to 1886 thought was part of their political heritage, is the weariness of dealing year after year with this perpetual and perennial Irish problem. I have never underrated the magnitude of that problem. I have never held out to any man, party, or audience the prospect that this problem is one the complete solution of which we shall see in our generation. It is of too old standing; its roots are sunk too deep in the past to hope that anything we can do will do more than alleviate conditions. Work of this nature can only be undertaken when the United Kingdon is not merely constitutionally, but, as regards every section of the population, enthusiastically beloved 112 by its citizens. I have never suggested that that prospect was one immediately before us, and I recognise that British statesmen may well have fainted under the weight of the responsibility which, generation after generation, the Irish problem has placed upon them. It is the weariness of that problem, the fatigue of sustaining the responsibility of which I speak, which has been the great engine for converting Englishmen and Scotsmen, in so far as they are converted, to the policy of Home Rule. If this measure does anything at all to further that end, it will be, not because it diminishes or alleviates, but because it grossly aggravates the difficulty of the problem with which we have to deal, because it will augment the feeling of disgust, because it aggravates the feeling of hopelessness too ready to come over us when the Irish question is mentioned, and it is in that way, and that way only, that it has the smallest chances of leading up to the "larger policy" of which the right hon. Gentleman spoke. At what cost is such a consummation to be attained? Even those hon. Members sitting below the Gangway who desire it can hardly say that the attainment of their most cherished desires should be reached through chaos, confusion, and administrative folly, which is, and must be, the only fruit of this hasty and ill-considered scheme. The scheme satisfies nobody, it endangers great interests, it must hamper administrative action, and, while it imposes a real grievance on England and Scotland, while it will be violently opposed by all those who represent Ulster, it will certainly do nothing legitimately to meet the aspirations so often, so clearly, and so earnestly expressed by those who are sent here from other portions of Ireland.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
I do not rise, let me say at once, for the purpose of answering the speech or attempting to answer the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. I stand at the opposite pole on this matter to him; yet, I must confess, there were some arguments he used of which I, looking at them from the opposite pole, felt the force. Therefore, I do not consider that it would be desirable for me on this occasion to enter into what I may call a debating speech in answer to the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman. I desire to 113 address myself, if the House will give me indulgence for a comparatively short time, to the measure which has been unfolded by the right hon Gentleman, as far as I understand it. My object will be very largely to try and make sure that I understand it, and to be very cautious about making any declaration on any point as to which I am not quite certain I run fully informed. Until the actual Bill of the right hon. Gentleman is in my hands, and until I and my colleagues have had time to consider every portion of that scheme, and to elicit Irish public opinion with reference to it, no one will expect me to offer a deliberate or final judgment. My observations, therefore, with reference to any parts of the scheme must be of a general nature, and of a provisional character. At the same time I think the House of Commons is entitled to hoar from us, without unnecessary delay, what the general attitude of the Irish Nationalist Party is towards the scheme as described by the right hon. Gentleman. Well, it is impossible to speak with precision about details before one has had time to consider them, though there are some considerations that I can deal with without any reservation whatever, with perfect frankness, and I hope with perfect precision. My mind, this afternoon, has gone back—as the mind of the right hon. Gentleman who introduced this measure —to those two other occasions when proposals were made for dealing with this Irish problem. In 1886and 1893 that great statesman, Mr. Gladstone, whose name will be for ever associated with the policy of justice to Ireland, proposed to solve this Irish problem by a full and frank concession of self-government and autonomy to the Irish people. We were asked by him to receive his proposals as a settlement of the demands which we were making, and notwithstanding the fact that there was some strong opinion in Ireland as to certain parts of the scheme, we frankly accepted the proposals. The position to-day is entirely different—not that I think the view of the Government or the Party opposite, speaking of them as a whole, is different from the view entertained by Mr. Gladstone as to the final and only real solution of this problem, What they offer us to-day is not Home Rule; it is not offered to us as Home Rule; it is not offered as a substitute for 114 or an alternative Home Rule. I suppose it is not necessary for me to say again what I understand by Home Rule. It is known by men of every Party in this House and everybody of all Parties in this country. What we mean by Home Rule is a freely elected Irish Parliament with an executive responsible to it. What we mean by Home Rule is that in the management of all exclusively Irish affairs Irish public opinion shall be as powerful as the public opinion of Canada or Australia is in the management of Canadian or Australian affairs. That is our claim; we rest that claim on historic right, on historic title, but we rest it also on the admitted failure of British government in Ireland for the last 100 years. I say admitted failure. What Unionist or Conservative statesman has gone to Ireland for the last twenty five years to carry out Unionist policy who has not frankly admitted that the state of government in Ireland was injurious to Ireland and impossible to sustain? Why, I myself heard the present Leader of the Unionist Party in the House of Lords declare a few short months ago that the system of government by Dublin Castle was an anachronism and could not continue to exist as it is to-day. What has the history been of your rule? The history of famine, of misery, of insurrection, of depopulation. These are facts that cannot be disputed. There have been three unsuccessful outbreaks of insurrection during that time, there has been one great famine which swept away in one year 1,500,000 of the Irish people by starvation. There have been famines every decade during that period, and depopulation is going on to this very moment, so that in a little over fifty years one half of the population has entirely gone. You may differ from me as to the precise cause of all these things, but you must admit that your rule has not been a success, but a failure. We have always been quite frank in these matters in the House of Commons, and I say that if your rule had been as good in the last 100 years as it has been bad, if it had led to the material advancement of Ireland—as in the case of Egypt—still our claim would have remained, because we stand by the principle enunciated by the Prime Minister himself quite recently, when he said, "good government can never be a substitute for self-government." No man has any doubt what our demand 115 means, and it can only he met by full trust in the Irish people. Your own history proves it. You tried a half-way House in Canada, and you failed. You conceded autonomy to Canada, and you turned that great province into a great united and prosperous nation. The lesson you have learned in Canada you have bettered in Australia. And is there no significance in the presence in England at this moment of General Botha? He is the Prime Minister of a self-governing Transvaal who tells you in his speeches that he, who three or four years ago was your open foe in the field, has to-day become a loyal member of your Empire. Why? Because you have fully trusted him and his people. We maintain that by applying that principle to Ireland, and by applying that principle alone, can this Irish problem be solved. The Government do not offer us such a solution, and the Government do not pretend to do so. If this scheme were offered to us as a scheme of Home Rule, if it were offered as a substitute or an alternative, I should feel it my duty, speaking in the name of my colleagues here, and I think in the name of Irish Nationalists in every part of the world, to reject and repudiate it. So far as I understand this scheme it is a continuation and development of the policy which the Tory Party applied to Ireland in 1898 by the grant of county councils, and that in spite of the fact that Lord Salisbury had declared that it was a greater calamity than Home Rule itself. Under this scheme as proposed there is no legislative power whatever extended to this Council—not even the power of private Bill legislation. Let me say this, I am not in favour of getting maimed and dwarfed legislative powers. I would prefer you should give no legislative power at all by this scheme than give dwarfed, maimed, and limited powers You have given no legislative power, and I say the creation of such a body as this is a continuation and development of the policy of the Tory Party in 1898, and simply gives control to the Irish people over the most important of those irresponsible boards which have become a by word in this country, and which have for years past been wasting millions of money in a rotten and inefficient system of government. The scheme, moreover, as I understand it, reproduces almost exactly, except in one particular which I 116 will mention, the original scheme for dealing with the Irish problem which was put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham. I have heard some people throw doubt upon that. I was myself told I was mistaken in that because that right hon. Gentleman's scheme was a scheme for provincial councils in Ireland. That is not so. I have here a quotation from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham in 1885, before Mr. Gladstone introduced his Home Rule Bill. He says—I would concede the widest possible measure of democratic Government to the Irish people. Nearly twelve months ago I prepared a scheme with this object, which in addition to providing for a popular representative authority throughout the country proposed also the establishment of a national legislative council to which might he referred the administration, supervision, and control which are now exercised by some of the Departments in London, and of those Departments in Ireland which are known commonly under the name of Dublin Castle. I proposed to sweep away all the network of boards appointed by the English Government carrying with them the seed of English authority, whose interference produces so much irritation, so much annoyance, and so much injury to Ireland.That scheme was originally proposed as an answer to our demand for Home Rule, and as such it was promptly rejected. If this scheme were proposed as an answer to our demand for Homo Rule, and if we were asked to say any such scheme as this would satisfy our aspirations or meet the necessities of the case, it would meet with precisely the same fate. Let me say that these being our views on the Home Rule problem, we, still as Home Rulers, feel ourselves justified in saying we can, at any rate, look on the provisions of this scheme consistently with the maintenance of those aspirations and those views. I want to apply some tests to this proposal. The first question I have to ask myself is this—does this scheme give a genuine and effective control to Irish public opinion over those matters that are referred to the Council? If not, the scheme is worse than useless. If any such scheme is to have any value at all the control must be genuine. The first question I have to ask is as to the constitution of this Council. I was delighted to hear the Leader of the Opposition championing the democratic principle against the nominated element.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
I did not know the democratic principle had such a haughty champion. I do not like the nominative principle. I say with the Leader of the Opposition it is quite undemocratic. I object to the nominated element on this Council. But when I am told that the object the Government had in view in putting that nominated element on the Council was to give a somewhat larger representation if they can to that small minority in Ireland who are suspicious and who entertain fears as to the action of the majority of their fellow-countrymen, then I say I am quite willing to accept this undemocratic principle, or any other safeguard the wit of man can devise, consistent with the ordinary principle of representative government, which is necessary to show this minority in Ireland that their fears are groundless. I have often been accused—indeed, I think I was accused in yesterday's London Times—of having declared that my policy was to put down the Unionist minority in Ireland with a strong hand. I have already explained that in this House. I never said anything of the kind. On the contrary, the speech I made was a speech in which Istated—and I repeat it here now—that so far as the overwhelming bulk of our opponents in Ireland are concerned, I believe they are honest opponents. I believe their fears are groundless and mistaken, but I believe they are honest, and there is no length to which I am not prepared to go to meet these fears. Therefore I am prepared to accept and swallow this undemocratic and nominated element, if it is put forward upon this ground by the Government. Of course it will be repudiated in the House by hon. Members from a portion of Ulster who say they do not want it, and it is no use. The Leader of the Opposition spoke of Ulster. The majority of the Members from Ulster are in favour of Home Rule. I am bound to say that the more violent of the Ulster representatives from the other corner of the province who speak in this House do not in my opinion—I say it without the slightest desire to offend them in any way—really voice the genuine Unionist opinion of the majority of our opponents 118 in Ulster. I believe they voice the opinion of a small minority in tae line they take. They probably will repudiate this anti-democratic provision. Still, notwithstanding that, I am prepared to accept it, at any rate, as a pledge of my good faith that I am willing in this Bill, or in any Home Rule Bill which may see the light of day, to agree to any conceivable safeguards in order to show that the desire of the majority of the Irish people is not to oppress or to do wrong to anybody. What control will this Assembly so constituted exercise? Up to a certain point in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman I thought that the control would really be absolute and complete. I thought that the Council through its committees and by its own action would have complete power over the Departments, would have complete power over the officials of the Departments, and would have power over the finances of the Departments; but I confess that a question then arose in my mind about the provision as to reservation by the Lord-Lieutenant. Of course, there must be power of reservation in any Home Rule scheme in the world. There is the power of veto by some responsible person. The Lord-Lieutenant, or the Governor in the case of a colony, must have the power of reservation or veto, and I do not object to the Lord-Lieutenant having the power of reserving those resolutions, of confirming or rescinding them, or of referring them back again to the Assembly. That is quite right; but if I understood the right hon. Gentleman properly there is apparently a proposal to give power to the Lord-Lieutenant to do something entirely different, and that is instead of rescinding or confirming or referring back, of simply filing the resolutions and doing the thing himself in his own way and according to his own pleasure. If so, then undoubtedly the power would rest in the Lord-Lieutenant of interfering with and thwarting every single act, large or small, of this Council. In point of fact, if a hostile Lord-Lieutenant was there, he might, as the Loader of the Opposition has said, stop the entire machine on every resolution come to, and he might do it himself irrespective of the view of the Council. Surely that cannot be the real intention of the Government. If that is their intention, then it destroys the real and genuine character of the power given 119 to this Council. But if that is not their intention, if I have misunderstood the right hon. Gentleman on that point, then I am fain to confess that the Bill apparently does give genuine and complete control over those matters that are referred to the Council. The next test I want to apply is this. Is the scheme for the exercise of these powers by the Council a workable scheme? The Government had before them two models. They had before them what may be called the national or Parliamentary model, and they had the municipal model. The national or Parliamentary model takes the form of Ministers in the Assembly charged with the management of certain Departments and responsible directly to the Assembly. The municipal model, on the other hand, is a series of committees. I am not sure that oven the experience of the greater county councils goes entirely to prove that in municipal matters that model is entirely satisfactory. But apparently the Government have halted between the two, because while they say that the work shall be done by committees they create a chairman of each committee, to be nominated by the Crown apparently, who will receive a salary. In the ordinary course of events the chairman of a committee would be in the position of a Minister. The chairman would really exercise over his Department the same kind of control which the Chief Secretary is supposed to exercise, and of course cannot, over the whole of the forty-five boards in Dublin Castle. That is to say, he would really be in the position of a Minister. If so, I submit that to hamper him with a committee is an embarrassment and a mischief. I do not believe in this committee system. I do not believe it is a practical system. It would be far better to have one man, selected as the chairman of these committes are to be selected, to have charge, so far as the Council is concerned, of the working of the Department, and then all these chairmen acting together could form a sort of organic body which would give cohesion, would co-ordinate, and give stability to the whole of the work. I am afraid that the Government seem to have shrunk from that for fear the argument would be used against them that they were really creating a Ministry. I am afraid that in the Bill as it stands they are doing neither the one thing nor the 120 other. They are halting between the two, and therefore I am most doubtful whether this machinery of committees is workable machinery. Of course, if these chairmen of committees are to be appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant on the constitutional principle that they are to be men representing the will for the time being of the majority of the Council, then on that theory no one, I think, would object to the Crown exercising this power. I do not know whether that is the intention of the Government. I do not know whether it is a thing that is going to be put in the Bill at all, but I would like to know what their intention is. On the other hand, if these appointments are to be made by the Lord-Lieutenant quite irrespective of the opinion of the Council, then that is a provision I must enter my protest against. There are to be created apparently two Boards of Education. The primary board and the intermediate board are to be abolished apparently, and one Department is to be put in their place—a Department over which there will be a committee as in the case of all the other Departments, and over which the committee of the Council will have complete power with the reservation I have mentioned. The only difference, apparently, is that on this education committee there are to be some outsiders nominated by the Lord-Lieutenant. I want to ask some questions as to the creation of this Department. Who is to create it? When is it to be created? Is it to be created by the Lord-Lieutenant? If so, is it to be without consultation with the Council? That goes to the very root of the thing. You are giving power to the Council to dismiss officials, safeguarding their rights as to pensions, superannuation, and so forth, but what an absurd thing it would be for you the day before this Bill came into law to create a new Department without consulting public opinion in Ireland at all, without waiting for the Council to express an opinion, and thereby, perhaps, put at the head of the Department, or in a responsible position in the Department, a man whom the Council next day, even though it did cost them a considerable amount of money, would probably dismiss from office. I have to ask, therefore, whether the creation of the Education Department is to be carried out in consultation with the Council. This question of the creation of an Education 121 Department is a thorny and difficult one. We have been denouncing these nominated and irresponsible boards for decades in this House, and whenever a Minister stood up and said: "Well, will you agree to the abolition of these boards and the creation of a Government Department?" we said, "No, bad and all as these boards are, we should prefer them to remain there rather than that education should be put under a new Department responsible to an English House of Commons and an English Government." Therefore, we must look all round this project before expressing any decided opinion upon it, and I must ask for further information as to how the Department is to be created. The same thing applies to the second Department, which apparently is to be called the Irish Treasury. I do not know how that is to be appointed, and almost the same considerations apply to it. Now I come to the most serious of all the tests that must be applied to this measure, namely, is the finance of this measure just to Ireland, and is it sufficient for the proper working of this scheme? The whole question really turns upon this. First of all, I must enter a protest that any financial scheme put forward in this Bill must be considered by us and dealt with by us without prejudice to the great outstanding problem of the financial relations between the two countries. Upon that matter we stand upon the Report of your own Royal Commission, men of your own, British experts who heard the evidence of the greatest British financiers of the day, including, the Opposition will be glad to remember, Lord Milner, the Treasury officials, as well as men like Sir Robert Giffen, and who came to the unanimous conclusion—I believe there was one caveat from Sir David Barbour—but with that exception they came practically to the unanimous conclusion that the terms of the Act of Union were being violated, and that Ireland was being overtaxed, and had been since the year 1852, to the extent of between two and three millions a year. There is a verdict in our favour. That is a verdict in our favour by a tribunal manned by yourselves. And that verdict has never been appealed from, and it stands now. I must enter a caveat that so far as the finances of this Bill are concerned that nothing can be considered by us except clearly with- 122 out prejudice to the larger outstanding problems of the financial relations between this country and Ireland. Moreover, I give due notice to the Government that even if this Bill were passed tomorrow our demand would continue and would be renewed and pressed with all the vigour at our command for a settlement of the larger question. Now let me consider the finances as described by the right hon. Gentleman. As I understand it the present cost of these Departments is in the first instance to be handed over. In addition to that the local taxation moneys which amount to £1,300,000 are to be paid into an Irish fund. But of course that is no advantage to the Council or to Ireland. That is money that is being paid already, and the Council will be as a sort of aqueduct for paying the money out. So that it ought to be struck out of the calculation altogether. We have the present cost of the Departments roughly £2,000,000, and in addition to that £650,000 a year. We are told that £300,000 of that is in respect of Public Works, and £114,000 in respect of certain educational charges are to be put to what is called the capital account. I do not know what that means. If it means that these sums of £300,000 and £114,000 are not to be regarded as really part of the income of the Council, but small sums of money that will be paid every year for five or six years, then I have to express the gravest dissatisfaction. Let me deal with the question of public works. You must remember that in dealing with Ireland you are dealing with a neglected property, one that has fallen into dilapidation; and the first thing you have to do is to spend a considerable sum of money in putting the place into decent order. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned a number of various directions in which money would have to be spent on public works—railways, harbours, and so forth. Let me give the House an example of just one. There have been a series of Royal Commissions, extending I do not know how far back, dealing with the question of arterial drainage in Ireland. One of these reported that the want of arterial drainage is not only doing serious injury to agriculture, but is poisoning the climate, and is a cause of disease and sickness of all sorts and kind. We have never got any remedy. The remedy has always been to appoint a new 123 Royal Commission. Just before going out of office the late Government, in answer to our claim, having told us they could not do anything for us, gave us another Commission. This Commission has just reported, and anything more striking I cannot imagine. It first of all confirms everything said by all its predecessors extending back for generations; and it winds up by declaring that the state of things in Ireland is absolutely appalling. It says—The annual rainfall is not greater than in England or Scotland, yet the climate is much damper. The humidity we believe is due, not only to the Gulf Stream and the southern winds, but also to the extent of the lodgment of the water all over the country … Besides improving the climate, drainage would act upon the public health. There would be less pulmonary disease, less rheumatism, and less disease of other descriptions. There are districts after districts in which there is an enormous amount of work to be done.Take the case which Unionist Members for Ireland press upon the Government, the flooding of the Bann—a flooding affecting five Ulster counties and causing widespread misery and disease all over the district. In the district of the river Barrow there are 46,000 acres of good land that are regularly flooded, and all the towns in that district are poisoned. All the medical experts tell us that the excessive eases of consumption and other diseases are due to the same cause. They can have no water supply. The water supply of these towns is always polluted. There is no system of drainage in these towns. The water practically comes up and blocks the sewers, and in that way disease is brought about. A more appalling state of things than exists on this drainage question you cannot conceive. Sir Antony MacDonnell made a speech in which, having deprecated the honors of this state of things, he conceded it would take £3,000,000 to remedy it. He very much understated the case. The present Secretary to the Treasury said the other day, I think, £5,000,000, and unless I am greatly mistaken the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover said on one occasion when he was in office that the cost of a proper system of arterial drainage all over Ireland would run into £20,000,000. I say nothing of the 1,500,000 acres of waste land which experts tell us can be reclaimed or of the afforestation of 3,000,000 acres. Reafforestation is a great question. In 1886 a Committee 124 was appointed to inquire into it. A Dutch expert gave evidence, and he declared that if the forests of Ireland had been cared for and fostered they would to-day be worth £100,000,000 of money. I say nothing about railroads, harbours, and other items. I take this one question of drainage, and I say that, if this £300,000 is not to be part of the income, but is to be a capital sum which at the end of five years is to cease, then your provision for public works in Ireland is ludicrously inadequate. I say the same about education. The provision which would thus be made for education would be altogether ludicrous. By what was said by statesmen on both sides of this House it would require £200,000 or more probably £300,000 a year to put primary education upon a proper footing. Does the House realise the fact that in Ireland the teacher of our children is paid less than the policeman? To remove that scandal will take a vast sum of money. Then there is intermediate education. Another anomaly of our precious system of government is that the amount to be spent upon intermediate education in Ireland depends upon the amount of whisky consumed by the people. [Laughter.] The House laughs at that, and, I suppose, many hon. Members are sceptical about the truth of it; but it is absolutely true. More than half of the income of the Intermediate Board in Ireland comes from whisky. ["It is the same in Scotland arid in England."] I do not know about that. I put this question to my hon. friends opposite. There has been a wave of temperance, to the delight of everybody, flowing over these countries. What has the result been in England? Has that wave of temperance reduced by £20,000 a year the intermediate education grants? No. It has not reduced them by one penny, whereas in Ireland for the last four or five years, I think, the diminution in the consumption of whisky has had; this direct result, that the grants for intermediate education have been reduced by about £12,000 to £15,000 a year, and we cannot even raise the question for discussion in this House,, because we are told there is no Vote on the Estimates which would enable us to do so. Then there is the large provision which must be made for University education. I do not know whether, if this Bill were passed to-morrow and immediately afterwards a 125 settlement of the University question were proposed, it would not be quite consistent to throw the cost of that settlement upon this Irish Fund you are now creating. For all these reasons I am myself strongly of opinion that the amount mentioned of £650,000 a year is altogether inadequate. Really, when the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition talks about the poor British taxpayer, is it not playing it a little bit too low down to profess that he thinks for one single moment that the British taxpayer is to provide this money? You get over £10,000,000 a year at the present moment of Irish money in Imperial taxes, and apart altogether from the finding of the Royal Commission you will find that every single penny required for a measure of this kind will come directly from the taxes paid by the Irish people themselves. So far from this Bill providing for the present cost of those Departments and the floating balance, so to speak, for the development of Ireland, the whole of that £650,000 will be mortgaged—every penny of it—from the day the measure passes, and it will be impossible under those conditions to work the scheme successfully. But we are told, "You have got your savings." The one great service upon which there can be any real appreciable saving you do not handover to the Council at all, namely, the police service. The police in Ireland cost exactly three times what the police in Scotland cost, and I do not know that anyone will assert that Scotland is freer from crime than Ireland. I may put it in this way. In Ireland we have two and a half policemen for every 1,000 of our population. In Scotland you have only one policeman for every 800 of your population. The cost of the police in Scotland is £500,000. The cost of the police in Ireland is £1,500,000. That is the only service I know of where you could in a short time make a real saving. It is all nonsense to say it is necessary to keep up this great police force. It has been kept up as a separate political garrison. If once you could enlist the sympathy and confidence of the Irish people, it I certainly is not an extraordinary thing to prophesy that Ireland could be policed by as few men and at as little cost as Scotland. In that way you would save £1,000,000 a year. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman where would that saving go? The Government are going 126 to keep control under the present existing system of the police. Are they going to be kind enough to keep all savings that may be made under that service? If they are it is a monstrous injustice. It should be handed over for the service of the country. One word more and I am finished about this question of finance. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman was very clear about the Land Acts finance, and he did not convince me by his statement. Enormous liabilities exist and fresh ones are springing up every day I under the Land Act of 1903. Are these expenses to be thrown on the Irish Council, or are they to be borne by the Treasury? That is a serious question, involving a vast sum of money, and until we have a clear and definite answer to it, it is impossible for us to express an opinion upon the question of finance as a whole. One more question as to a matter which concerns the Irish Members sitting here more than any other Members of this House, although it ought to concern every Member of this House. It is, Will this scheme, if carried into effect, be a hindrance or an aid to Home Rule? In other words, can a Home Ruler accept it? On the answer to that question our support of this Bill must depend. That is the question which will be submitted to our fellow-countrymen at the National Convention to be held in the City of Dublin very shortly, but it will be our duty to express our opinion on this Bill having given it consideration. If it does not give a real and effective control over those departments, if it does not prove a workable scheme and its finance is unjust, then this Bill if carried into law I would lead to a breakdown. The Leader of the Opposition seems to think that a breakdown would be a good thing for Home Rule. I take exactly the opposite view. If this scheme came into operation and broke down what would people say? What would the right hon. Gentleman say? Not that the breakdown was due to this defect in the law or to this defect in the machine. No, they would say that the breakdown of the machine was due to defects in the character of the Irish people who conducted the machine, and we cannot take the responsibility of advising our people to accept any scheme which in our honest judgment we believe to be unworkable; because if it is unworkable I think that its breakdown will be looked upon by the people of England as a 127 proof of the incapacity of the Irish people for self-government. But if, on the other hand, when we have considered it, we believe that this scheme is of such a character as to be capable of being worked with moderate success, I for one would agree that its enactment will be an aid and not a hindrance to Home Rule. If it works successfully it will show two things, I think—first, that the Irish people are not bereft of those qualities which have made their race successful governors everywhere else in the world; and, secondly, it will prove that the people of Ireland are not incapable of self-government, and it will also prove that they will not rest content until they get the full measure for which they are asking. I believe the more prosperous you make the people of Ireland, the better you educate them, and the wider you extend the powers of the Irish people, the greater will be their determination to obtain complete self-government. In that view I am inclined to think the successful working of this Bill would be an aid to Home Rule, and I can say for myself to-night I am anxious to find in this scheme, if I can, an instrument which, while it will admittedly not solve the Irish problem, will, at any rate, remove some of those most glaring and palpable causes which keep Ireland today poverty-stricken and Irishmen hopeless and discontented. It is in that sense that my colleagues and I will address ourselves to the serious consideration of this Bill. I have never in all the long years that I have been in this House spoken under such a heavy sense of responsibility as I am speaking on this measure this afternoon. Ever since Mr. Gladstone's Bill of 1886 Ireland has been waiting for some scheme to settle the problem—waiting sometimes in hope, sometimes almost in despair, but the horrible thing is this, that all the time that Ireland has been so waiting there has been a gaping wound in her side and her sons have had to stand by helpless while they saw her very life blood flowing out. Who can say that is an exaggeration? Twenty years of resolute government by the Party above the gangway have diminished the population of Ireland by a million. No man in any position of influence can take upon himself the awful responsibility of despising and putting upon one side any device that may arrest that hæmorrhage, even although he be- 128 lieved, as I do, that far different remedies must be applied before Ireland can stand upon her feet in vigorous strength. We are determined as far as we are concerned that these other remedies shall be applied, but in the meantime we should shrink from the responsibility of rejecting anything which, after that full consideration which the Bill will receive, seems to our deliberate judgment calculated to relieve the sufferings of Ireland and hasten the day of her full national convalescence.
§ MR. SHACKLETON (Lancashire, Clitheroe)
I rise to put forward the views of the Labour Party on the Bill which has been laid before the House by the Chief Secretary. We were certainly strong Home Rulers before we were ever constituted as a separate Party, and we should have been better pleased this afternoon if we had been listening to a Home Rule speech from the right hon. Gentleman. We cannot but express our regret that the democratic spirit that governed the Liberal Party in 1886 and 1895 does not govern that Party to-day. But at the same time we recognise that it is only a question of time, and that self-government for Ireland will have to come some day, and the longer it is delayed the more will have to be paid to the credit of that country in consequence of the trouble which exists in it under our administration. We are, however, anxious, as far as we are concerned, not to hamper the Government in this matter, provided that opportunities are given to strengthen the Bill. There is room for it, and if it can be strengthened in the direction of democratic rule we shall be willing to support it as a step in the right direction. Judging from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition he would prefer this Bill to become law in order to show it is unworkable, and if it was unworkable it would prove that only Home Rule was necessary to meet the demands of the Irish people. I think that full administrative powers should be given to the Irish people, and I should like this Bill to be one which would give them the greatest administrative powers that they can have. I do not agree with the nominated element on the Council. No democrat could, but if it pleases the Irish Members to say that in order to show their bona fides they are prepared to accept this proposal I cannot object, 129 but I am not prepared to go that length myself. I think that everyone serving on a governing body should be elected to office, and I think that everybody who represents a county or a borough should periodically come before the electors to be judged by his work and to show the way in which he has managed the affairs of the body of which he is a member. I do not think this Bill will satisfy the aspirations of the Labour Party or of the Liberal Party in the country. I believe that since 1895 the feeling of the country has been changed in the direction of giving the people of Ireland greater powers than this Bill confers upon them. As to co-ordination, I believe that this Bill will be a considerable improvement; it must be an improvement upon the present system. I have been a constant listener to the debates on Irish matters in this House, and I can assure the House that there is no sadder feeling than that they could be better conducted among the Irish people themselves. I believe that this Council will be the means of relieving this House of some little of the time it has to give to Irish matters and some of its work in connection with them. The minor details we have to listen to sometimes will be removed no doubt, but the chief gain to this House will be that less time will be occupied at Question time. Many of the Questions asked of the right hon. Gentleman by hon. Members behind me, Questions relating to matters for which the right hon. Gentleman is not responsible, will be transferred to this Council, but I cannot see that a great deal will accrue to England and Scotland. There may be a slight improvement, but nothing that we can be proud of. Looking at the measure itself it appears to me that the administration of the police ought to be conferred upon this Council. I cannot imagine how any Englishman would feel if he had some person outside his own country who claimed the light to govern the police in this country. Is the Irishman not a trustworthy citizen and has he not the good of his country at heart? I think it would be the one other proof of our trust in the Irish people to give them the control of their own police. I think our not doing so is the blot on this Bill. The reason for it I know. It is because a minority in this country have in some way or other to be satisfied. 130 But that is not in accordance with my view. I think a trustful spirit should be shown by giving Irishmen more control. The only other point is whether the Labour Members can support this measure as Home Rulers. I said in my opening statement that I regret this is not a wider measure, but I believe that short of a measure of full self-government within the lines that everyone understands there is something to be said for this step. Just as the county councils of Ireland have assured the British people of the ability of Irishmen to govern, so, I think, this Council will further show the trustworthiness of our friends across the water. I trust in going into this matter in detail the Government will not be hostile to any suggestions that may be made by Irish and other Members. I trust that this scheme as given us to-day will not be considered to be the final word, and in no sense a proposal beyond which no further powers will be granted. I hope what we have got now will be considered a starting-point, and that, so far as this Bill is concerned, before it reaches another place it will be a much more Radical measure than it is at present. I believe such a policy would be more in harmony with the views of the people of this country than a policy of cutting down, and therefore we shall support every effort our Irish friends make to extend the measure in the direction of giving greater power to Irishmen to administer the affairs of their own country.
§ MR. MOORE (Armagh, N.)
I should like, as one who was born and bred and has lived in Ireland, to take this opportunity of stating, on behalf of my constituency and many people I know in Ulster, the view we take of the proposals laid before the House to-day. I could not help, when I heard the speech of the Chief Secretary and the answers given by the Prime Minister on the subject-matter of this Bill, noticing how they endeavoured to minimise its effect and create the idea in the country and the House that whatever the proposals might be they were not Homo Rule or an instalment of it. I was reminded of the efforts made by Mr. Gladstone, when the Bill of 1893 was before the House, to show that Home Rule was not a breach of the Union. I cordially concur in what fell from the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, that in Ireland, 131 I care not to which Party a man belongs, the real question which everybody has in view from his respective standpoint is whether this proposal makes for Home Rule, for what the hon. Member calls the national demand, or whether from our point of view it makes against it. Perhaps that is not putting it correctly. If we find these proposals are in the opinion of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford an aid to Home Rule—
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
I said if this measure fulfilled certain conditions I laid down we should consider it an aid to Home Rule. I do not know whether it does or not till I have examined it.
§ MR. MOORE
If, in his view, the Bill makes certain proposals, he would consider it an aid to Home Rule On the basis that the Bill will carryout what it professes to carry out the hon. and learned Member will consider it an aid to Home Rule. The hon. Gentleman representing the Labour Party said the Bill did not go sufficiently far; that he has been a convinced Home Ruler all his life and that he thinks this would help Home Rule, and when we find the hon. Member for Waterford praising it as an aid to Home Rule and the hon. Gentleman below the gangway can support it as a convinced Home Ruler, then it gives us cause at home to consider that it makes for Home Rule and separation. The House will understand that the people we have the honour to represent here are as determined and inflexible as ever in their opposition to any legislation in Ireland that will tend towards Home Rule and separation. In recent years part of the political machinery of the wire pullers of the Nationalist Party has been the suggestion that Ulster has been weakening in its resistance and objection to Home Rule. That has been put about by Nationalist partisans for Party motives. There was never a greater political slander or mis-statement. There are only two Parties in Ulster at the present time. We are sometimes told of a third Party; a Party which is the survival of the old Liberal Party in Ulster. Everything worth preserving of the old Liberal Party when the hour of crisis arrived for Ireland, when the whole interest of the country 132 was at stake, joined the Unionist Part; and has acted loyally with it ever since I believe the Government fulfills it promises to the old Liberal Party by making them all magistrates. The only test you can apply to such statements is that of an election. In West Belfast a the last election we had a Liberal, a Nationalist, and a Unionist candidate and the figures are most instructive as a counter fact to the suggestion that there is any weakening in Ulster on the question of their opposition to Home Rule The Nationalist candidate who nailed his colours to the mast and was elected received 4,138 votes, the Unionist 4,122, and the third Party, the gentle man who represented the Liberal force in Ulster, the gentleman, who, typical of his class was prepared to become a magistrate or seek other honours, who was willing to traffic in every constituency and sell ever principle, got 153 votes. After that we are told that the third Party whose representative received 153 votes is a sign that Ulster is weakening in its opposition to Home Rule. These figures have only to be examined to see how the third Party stood at the last general election. There have been three by-elections since, and these showed that the question of the Union was and still is an important one. It was the sole plank, except that the Ulster Radical described himself as a Devolutionist. But the people of North Armagh paid their candidate the highest honour by multiplying the majority of a man like the late Colonel Saunderson two and a half times. I do not think the hon. Gentleman who last spoke realised what the democracy is who support us in Ulster. At the election the other day in Belfast, the main and foremost plank in that democratic constituency was the Union, and they increased a majority of 291 to over 1,800. My hon. friend was opposed by a member of the Labour Party, and what attitude did his opponent take? In my University days I was told that hypocrisy was the homage of vice to virtue; and on this occasion, such was the feeling in favour of Unionism in Belfast, that our opponent in his address, in his placards, and in his speeches, described himself as good a Unionist as the hon. Member beside me. To grant Home Rule or separation would be to hand us over and 133 place us at the disposal of hon. Members below the gangway. You have the question of tariff reform in England, and you have those who are against it, and those who are for it, believing that it would increase employment. I am not going into that question. I merely mention it as an illustration of what I advance. In our constituencies, the people who send us here, the industrial classes of the North of Ireland, recognise the importance of the Union in regard to their employment just as here the importance of tariff reform is recognised in regard to industry. Unionism is a question of the livelihood of the people in the North of Ireland. The workman in Ulster knows that under the Union there is security for him and his work, for capital and for industry; he knows that while the integrity of the United Kingdom is preserved there is safety for him. You find masters and men, on the question of the Union, appearing on the same platform, and voting in the same polling booth. The maintenance of the Union is the predominant question with them. I say that our constituents are as democratic on various questions as hon. Members below the gangway, but the preservation of the Union stands first with them, and it is only right that this evidence should be put before the House by one who has the honour to represent them and who knows them. We were told rather contemptuously by the Chief Secretary that we are only 1,100,000. We do not mind that taunt from the Chief Secretary. It is part of the minimising process. The right hon. Gentleman has told us that all Irishmen are lacking in self-respect.
§ MR. MOORE
Well, the right hon. Gentleman spoke in a patronising English way, and said that if Irishmen adopted his proposals they would be educated in self-respect. I disclaim the compliments of the Chief Secretary, and I believe that, in spite of the manner the Chief Secretary has adopted towards them earlier in the session, Ulster Members have persuaded him that they are entitled to a little more respect. I also 134 ask the House to remember it is not a mere question of numbers. If 1,100,000 people were taken from Connaught and Munster, they would not be missed. Blot out 1,000,000 of the industrial people of Ulster, and there would only be left that part of the country which seemed unwilling to prosper. It will not take the advantages which the people of Ulster have taken under the common law, a law which applies to Belfast in every respect as to Cork, a law under which the North of Ireland has been made prosperous, simply by industry, by resisting intimidation, by attending to their business, and by ignoring politics. If we blotted Ulster out of the map of Ireland, with its 1,100,000 inhabitants, hon. Members below the gangway would have nothing to tax. I believe I am right in saying that the City and Port of Belfast, that one town in the North of Ireland built up under the same British law which applies to the rest of the country, provides one-third of the revenue of Ireland. It is not a question of counting heads. We have to consider what share the population, whose right to live is being questioned, bears to the fortunes of the country. That is why Ulster has a right to have its opinions heard and considered in this House. Even the Government with the worst grace in the world has recognised that they must protect minorities, though I am sure, from answers given in the House by the Chief Secretary, that it is not willingly done, and that they must protect what Chancellor of the Exchequer called lately a "noisy and diminishing section of the people." I think there is nothing more remarkable than the attitude of the Liberal Party towards the Nationalists. In 1885, the Liberal Government was ready to trust them with the fullest powers. In 1903 there was a diminution of the powers given, thus showing a diminution of confidence in Nationalists. To-day the confidence had reached the lowest point of the thermometer. They are not allowed to deal with the police, they are not to touch the judiciary, or to deal with any of the Boards of Ireland, except some eight of them, and this is softened with the suggestion that they will receive £600,000 a year extra to console their wounded pride. The one essential thing is that it 135 will be placarded throughout the country that this is not Home Rule. I have referred to the support of the Union given by Ulster. What was the position of Ulster 100 years ago? The Union which was then proposed had no more bitter opponents than these very people of Ulster. They stood out as a body against it. Some of them took the field against it. What in the course of history have not Ulstermen found? [An HON. MEMBER: Money.] That was not our standard. For a century they have discovered that they can live and thrive under British law, that it gives them security for their rights, liberty, and religion, that it has made them contented, as it is capable of making the rest of Ireland contented if there is any real wish that it should be contented. One important change has been the fact that a complete and extended system of local government has been introduced as part of Unionist policy, and has been in full working order for the last eight years. The fact is that there is not an English county that enjoys superior powers over an Irish county in the matter of local government. Also as a part of Unionist policy—which has been of very great benefit to Ireland—the British taxpayer has become a creditor or a mortgagor on the land to the extent of £50,000,000, and this country has pledged itself to raise £100,000,000 in addition as occasion requires. A financial bond of interest has in this way been created between the two countries, a result which has been achieved with the fullest concurrence and consent of the Nationalist Members below the gangway. There has also been a very large investment of money by English railway companies in Irish railways, and it must be recognised that the expenditure of English railway shareholders' money is necessarily another link in the interests which bind the two countries together. There is another matter to which I must allude, and I do so with some regret, because it has reference to the conduct of hon. Members below the gangway. The House has had a very suggestive illustration of their feelings towards the United Kingdom since the last Home Rule Bill was introduced by their very regrettable conduct during the Boer War. Although the county councils in Ireland have been given the fullest 136 power they were ready to pass resolutions denouncing the British Army and the British nation, in every way lending comfort and sustenance to British enemies in the field. When the House comes to consider the relations between this country and Ireland it is necessary for them to consider what are the political opinions and actions of the men to whom the Government propose to commit the government of Ireland, and in considering them they should not forget—at least those who have the interests of the Empire at heart—the attitude they took up during that war. I say it with regret that on Imperial questions there are occasions when Members below the gangway cannot be trusted. That seems to make it absolutely essential that in all schemes brought before the House we should consider how far the control of the Imperial Parliament is to be preserved before any matter of administration is committed to Members below the gangway, because the control of the Imperial Parliament is really the only safeguard the minority has in Ireland. In this respect I believe that the provisions in the Bill are lame and ineffective, and will prove to be wholly inoperative. The only safeguard which the minority of Ireland can look to as effective is the continuous control of the Imperial Parliament of the United Kingdom. I was struck with the proposal in the Bill which proposes to set up again an Irish Treasury. In the Act of Union there was a provision that the Irish Exchequer should be continued, but after it had been worked for seventeen years it was found that the system of having two Exchequers did not make for economy or smooth working, and by Act of Parliament it was determined that the Irish Exchequer should be abolished in the interests of the whole of the United Kingdom, and there should be one Exchequer for the three countries. I consider it an ominous sign that we are setting up, under another name, the old Irish Exchequer. We are told that these powers are limited, but I could not help noticing that every time the right hon. Gentleman referred to a limitation of powers he always spoke hopefully of the Lord-Lieutenant being able to make provision for extending the whole scheme. It seems to me that in setting up a separate Irish Exchequer we are retracing 137 our steps to what existed before the Act of Union, and therefore this is a proposal which will have to be very closely looked into. Speaking in Lancashire the other day, the Chief Secretary for Ireland complained of the diminished quantity of business which the Government mill had been able to do, and he said that the poison of Irish business ran through the House and through the business and almost paralysed their efforts. It has often been said on English platforms that if the Government would only devolve Irish business there would be more time for British social reforms. I hope it will be made clear to the House that this Bill does nothing of the sort, because Irish Members will still be here and so will the Ulster Members. There will not be a single day less of Irish Supply, and it will only mean that when an Irish Member below the gangway addresses the House he will not be able to deal with the business of these eight Departments. To say that the Irish "poison" to which the Chief Secretary referred will be removed by this Bill is saying something which is a very gross perversion of the facts. I do not understand that the Chief Secretary even suggests that that would be the result of these proposals. I believe this scheme is intended to remove entirely from the control of the House of Commons the money voted for the services of those Departments, so that there cannot be any debate upon them in the House of Commons. The British taxpayer will contribute his quota to the Treasury, and £2,600,000 will be removed from the Consolidated Fund. That cannot be debated in this House, and what the British taxpayer subscribes is to be debated and discussed by a body in Ireland to which he is not qualified to send arty representatives. If taxation and representation go together what is now proposed would be a very gross breach of the Constitution, and it should not be hurried through in a Bill of this sort. I maintain that the British taxpayer has a right to discuss through his representatives every expenditure or allocation of money from the Imperial Treasury which comes out of the Consolidated Fund. That is a constitutional matter which I think deserves the very serious attention of all who have the 138 effective working of our Parliamentary system at heart. What is the real scope of this Bill? An Education Board is to be formed, but will that Board have power to deal with higher education in. Ireland, and will it have power to deal with University education as well? I should like to know, if a body of Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland obtained a King's Letter—which they can do without coming to Parliament at all—enabling them to found a University, would the Education Committee appointed under this Bill have power to endow that University out of the general funds which come to this Council for the purposes of education? Certainly as far as the right hon. Gentleman's statement has gone there does not seem to be anything to prevent that, and it would be tantamount to a Parliamentary fraud that by a side wind such as that this harmless-looking Bill should authorise in Ireland the establishment of a Roman Catholic University, which, as hon. Members know, is a subject upon which we feel very strongly indeed on this side of the House. There should be some limitation of this Bill, as there was in the Home Rule Bills, for preventing the endowment of a religion in this way. I see that at every turn in this measure there are opportunities for a Nationalist majority to put a block in the way of the Government, and the House of Commons will lose control over Irish Estimates. I know what would happen about the Bann if this Council were set up. I am sure that a Nationalist majority on the Council in Dublin would not vote a penny for the drainage of the Bann.
§ MR. MOORE
I will now refer to the question of the block of business. The Council is to take over the work of the Agricultural Department, and I should like to put this case to the Chief Secretary. I understand that English Radical opinion is that Canadian stores should be freely admitted to the United Kingdom. Irish opinion is that they should not, and I know that the Irish Council would unanimously arrive at the decision to keep Canadian stores out of Ireland. I want 139 to know whether, if Canadian stores are admitted to the United Kingdom, the Irish Council will have power to prohibit their landing in Ireland? There is not a single one of these Irish boards which are being transferred to the new body which would not cause a most troublesome deadlock between themselves and the Government of the day. The reason I object to that is this. Every time such a deadlock is caused it will simply be made another occasion for levying more Parliamentary blackmail by hon. Members below the gangway upon the Government, the price of which is always paid at the Unionist expense in Ireland. I was reproached just now for saying that the Bann would receive no consideration from the Council in Dublin. I regret to say that the professions by hon. Members of conciliation, good-will, and toleration to the Unionist minority in Ireland, which have been made again and again, and which I am not going to suggest they do not believe themselves, have been controverted whenever an attempt has been made to carry them into effect. I was present at a meeting in the University of Dublin, and the hon. Member for Waterford was on the platform. I heard him make a speech which, if he will allow me to say so, would do credit to any Christian man, and in which he pleaded for the most intense toleration for his fellow countrymen who were Unionists. It was on the eve of the Local Government Bill coming into force. The hon. and learned Member said—and I have no doubt that he was perfectly sincere—that he hoped Unionists throughout Ireland would be allowed to take their own share in the county councils and the district councils about to be formed. How was that advice carried out? He is lacking in control over the people for whom he professes to speak. I do not suggest for a moment that he did not act up to what he said. There are 244 county councillors in the province of Munster. Two Unionists were allowed in. That is local government in Munster. There are 144 county councillors in Connaught, but only two Unionists were allowed to take part in the local government of that province. I say without fear of contradiction that there is not a county council in Unionist Ulster in which Nationalists are not 140 welcomed and allowed a full share of fair play. [Nationalist cries of "Oh !"]
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
Will you name one division where you have a majority and admit a Nationalist?
§ MR. MOORE
I think I may take Portadown. There has been a respected Roman Catholic on the council there for years. That is one instance. I knew that hon. Members below the gangway would not like it. When the County Councils Association was formed in 1899 or 1900, under the chairmanship of the hon. Baronet who sits for one of the divisions of Wexford, it was to be composed of two delegates from every county council in Ireland, and they were to meet together in Dublin to consult for the furtherance of county council interests. It was originally understood that all political, religions, and controversial matters were to be excluded from the consideration of the association. I have to mention this to show how it has been borne in on the Irish minority that facts are too strong for the protestation of toleration and conciliation we are to receive from hon. Members below the gangway on crucial occasions such as those to which I have referred. The Unionist counties of Down, Derry, and Antrim, sent up their members to take part in the proceedings of the association in Dublin; no politics were discussed, and they did excellent business. I do not know that all the Nationalist counties were represented very well—the members had to attend at their own expense. In 1902, however, a Local Government Act was passed which allowed the expenses of the delegates to be charged upon the rates, and from that time there was a very ample attendance at the meetings, and the Nationalist majority said they were going to propose a resolution about Home Rule. The hon. Baronet who occupied the chair got up and said that this action was a breach of faith, and that he would resign his position as a protest. The Duke of Abercorn put the case very well when he said to the chairman, "It is not your fault. Your resigning would not satisfy us." Thereupon the Nationalists passed a resolution declaring the inalienable right 141 of all Irishmen to govern themselves, and the Unionist county councillors were obliged to withdraw, and they are now excluded from all participation in the business of the Central County Councils Association. This action of the Nationalist majority was taken in the face of the most explicit undertaking that politics were not to be introduced. Can you blame the Irish minority if we refuse to accept at their face value the protestations as to the kindly and good treatment reserved for us in future? The hon. Member for Waterford, some time ago, made a speech in which he referred to a certain section who disagreed with him. He said he would have to use a strong hand in certain circumstances. He said he did not use that language in regard to the whole of the Unionist population. He certainly used it in regard to some section of the population, and when you f get a leader who, in a public place in Ulster, is able to get up and threaten any section of his opponents with a strong hand when Home Rule is introduced, it does not make for conciliation or toleration, and Irish Unionists are justified in their attitude of suspicion or distrust, which unfortunately the whole trend of events in Ireland has obliged them to take up. I pass by the attacks which I have heard made in the House by the hon. Member for King's County on certain clerks of certain boards in Dublin who happen to be Protestants. I think that is a very unfortunate sign of the toleration we have been so glibly promised in more quarters than one. The point of the whole thing is this. With regard to these departments, the central Council is to have the power of the purse. Of course, if they are a central Council, say for public works in Ireland, it will be their duty to look after the entire material interest of the country. Having in view the policy announced again and again by the Nationalists, I want to know what chance we have in Ulster of receiving any share of the funds to be handed over to the Council for distribution? We have had protestations of good treatment, but we have to look at probabilities. In the new Council the Unionists will find themselves in a minority. We might have eighteen elected members, and the Government might give us 142 twelve of the nominated members, so that we should have thirty out of the 110 members. What chance would that give that the material interests of Ulster would be attended to when it came to a question of voting on a resolution brought before the Irish Council, unless we have a guarantee of fair play, and unless the provisions for the protection of minorities go further than the Chief Secretary has suggested? It seems to me, if I may suggest an alteration, that a very fair way of preventing injustice to minorities in that respect would be to allocate the annual amount to be spent province by province in accordance with the valuation of each province. That would remove one of the objections which every Unionist would have to the Bill. It would not remove all our objections. I am sure the Chief Secretary is not sanguine enough to expect that. It would remove the very grave apprehension which we have in the light of past experience, and our claims would have some faint chance of being considered. I do not think that there is anything in the question of economy. I understand that the whole or the main ground for any change in the administration of affairs in Ireland is to be the reduction of expense. The question of the cost of the police has been trotted oat in organ after organ of the Party opposite. We have also had reference to the cost of the judiciary. If the Nationalist Party would discontinue certain methods of agitation the police could be reduced by one-half. Patriots who are anxious to economise the resources of the country might adopt that suggestion. I understand that the only amalgamation that will be effected is the creation of one Board instead of three. I do not understand whether the other Departments who do now exist are to be subordinated to the General Irish Council. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that the powers to be given to the Council are to be carried out by the existing Department so that the Government have abolished nothing. But in addition to that you are setting up four or five new committees with paid officials. I cannot, therefore, see how in any manner the administration of the country is to be cheapened by the right hon. Gentleman's proposals.
§ MR. BIRRELL
I may say that there is a power to amalgamate portions of the administration by means of an Order in Council if it can possibly be done.
§ MR. MOORE
I understand that that is to be done at a future date, but for the present the cost will not be diminished. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford and the hon. Member for East Mayo have put forward at different times the claim that Ireland should be treated as a Colony; and to-day the hon. Member for Waterford in the course of his eloquent speech referred to the system of independent government which we have given to the Transvaal. From the Irish Unionist point of view we regard our position as infinitely higher than that of a Colony. There is not a Colony which has the privilege of sending representatives to this House—a privilege for which there is not one of them which would not pay a very large price—I do not say in money. We have at the present time popular control over every penny of expenditure in Ireland through the Irish representatives in this House. Of course the Irish people have not the exclusive control which a self-governing constitution would give them, but they have the protection and authority of this House to see that in that expenditure justice and security are given to all sections of the Irish people. There is another distinction. I know of no Colony which receives grants for public services out of the Imperial Treasury as Ireland does. A perfect stream has flowed and flows out of the Imperial Treasury for public services in Ireland, Some Irish Members talk about Irish money, but I contend that the only purely Irish fund was the money derived from the disestablishment of the Irish Church, and nearly every penny of that has been devoted to Irish purposes. I do not see how it is possible to separate Irish money from the contributions to the Imperial Treasury any more than it is possible to separate Scottish or English money. If there were three boxes into which the respective contributions from Ireland, Scotland and England were put, I am sure that, compared with those from England and Scotland, that from Ireland would be found to be very small. It is not in the interest of Ireland 144 that there should be separate accounts for each part of the United Kingdom. Every attempt to put Ireland in the position of a Colony weakens our claims to make drafts on the Imperial Treasury. It is conceded that Ireland is a poor country, and we must have Imperial grants and Imperial credit to assist in our development. Why, we have advantages for Ireland which are far above those of any Colony. I object that hon. Gentleman from Ireland below the gangway should degrade their country by asking that it should be placed in the position of a Colony. The right hon. Gentleman will find that by his proposed Measure he cannot get rid of the Ulster question. We feel deeply on this matter. I believe that when this Bill is printed and comes to be studied there will not be a provision in it which cannot be manipulated by hon. Gentlemen below the gangway to the injury of Ulster. No safeguards are given to us equal to the adequate protection and control of the Imperial Parliament. We are quite ready to protect ourselves. [Ironical Irish cheers.] I am speaking of the Council to be given by the Council. [An IRISH MEMBER: The walls of Jericho.] We have as much right to be protected from oppression and injustice, as a numerically small body, as the majority have. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give as much consideration as he can to the points I have indicated.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
I wish to draw attention to the remarkable fact that the hon. and learned Member for North Armagh had omitted in his references to elections to refer to that at Derry where he was put out by a Liberal by a majority of almost 1,000. It was curious that an event of that kind should escape the hon. Member's recollection.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
You got out any way. The next statement was that if this Council were set up not a farthing would be voted for the draining of the River Bann. Why, the only movement made in the last Parliament for that drainage came from these Benches and the Nationalist Benches, and the hon. 145 Gentleman did nothing in that direction. Was that not a fact?
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
Well the hon. Gentleman cannot get beyond the records of Parliament. The hon. and learned Member for North Armagh declared that Ireland had not a penny of her own. Well, it is a matter of plain book-keeping. The Irish payments are £10,000,000 and the cost of administration is £7,000,000. It is not, therefore, fair of the hon. Gentleman to say that the Irish have nothing to their credit. But that is just a sample of his many reckless statements. I have risen to point out what the position of Ulster Members really means. They have for months past been preparing the people of Ulster for a Home Rule Bill, and they are immensely disappointed, because the people are a shrewd people and it will take the Unionist Members some trouble to convince the people of Ulster that this is a Home Rule Bill. The Bill does not impinge upon the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament, and it does not interfere with the presence of Irish Members in this House, and it has nothing to do with the land question. What is the difficulty which Irish Unionist Members have in regard to a Bill of that kind? I know what it is. Ever since the Union of Ireland the government has practically been in their hands. They have worked that government for their own purpose. Every position of trust and emolument and honour has been filled by what is called "the gang." They have seen the power slipping from them and mainly by Unionist legislation. Irish Unionists have had under Dublin Castle complete power over the machine all that time. They have it at present. It matters little to the people of Ireland what Government is in office, the Tories are always the power there because they have complete control of the whole of the machine of administration. From the magistrates up through the whole gamut of officials these, gentlemen have occupied posts for the whole period of the Union. They oppose the Bill because they see that their privileges —they have no rights in the matter—are in danger. It is because the old system 146 is going—the system of administration by patronage and jobs; that is the sole ground upon which they can logically oppose the Bill. That is the reason the Bill will be fought to the death. The Unionists have lost five seats in Ulster since 1886—a considerable number out of the small band of twenty, and they now hold some seats only by trifling majorities. It is perfect nonsense to say there is no change in the opinion of the people of Ulster. I do not say that the people of Ulster will vote for Home Rule. There is, however, a change in the position of Ulster, and men are willing to consider political questions as they never considered them before. They are sick to death of that miserable spirit which keeps Irishmen apart from each other. I am confident that in so far as the Bill abolishes the power of Dublin Castle and transfers the power to the representatives of the Irish people a very large mass of the Protestants of Ulster will stand up for the Bill and the Government that promotes it.
§ MR. LONSDALE (Armagh, Mid.)
As I listened to the speech of the Chief Secretary I was reminded of a passage in one of those charming essays which have come from his pen, in which he draws a distinction between a mandate and a mission. If my memory serves me I think the right hon. Gentleman has used the language of good-natured contempt on the subject of mandates. He has said, for instance, that—Only poor, miserable, degraded politicians have mandates. Authors have missions.The Chief Secretary was writing as an author; but it would be very interesting if he would tell us in which character he submits his present proposals to the House. Is he the mere politician with a mandate? Or does he look upon himself as a man with a mission? If we are to regard the right hon. Gentleman as a missionary—a modern St. Augustine—then whatever view we may take of his policy, we must all, I think, admire his courage, because one gathers from his writings that he is not oblivious of the fate which usually awaits the missionary. He has reminded us that—When a town turns out to welcome a missionary it is not usually with loud applause, but with large stones.147 I think it is not improbable that the right hon. Gentleman may have occasion before very long to reflect upon the accuracy of his own generalisation. Be that as it may, I think we must adopt the view that this is a missionary effort on the part of the right hon. Gentleman; because it is admitted on all hands that the Government have no mandate from the electors of Great Britain to give Ireland Home Rule. It is beyond question that at the time of the general election several Members of the present Government led the people to believe that if a Liberal Government were returned to power they would not propose any measure of Home Rule. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was very explicit on this point. Speaking at Newcastle-under-Lyme, on November 27th, 1905, the right hon. Gentleman admitted that if there was to be a Liberal majority at the general election—It would be gained by large numbers of people who voted against the Liberal Party in 1895, or abstained from voting at all, voting with the Liberal Party next time.And then he went on to say—Now it would not be honest, in his opinion, to use the votes of men given in that way to reverse the verdict of the country with regard to Home Rule which was given in 1895.The Chief Secretary himself, was one of those who pooh-poohed the idea of a Liberal Government bringing in a Home Rule Bill. The notion was derided as a mere bogey. The Prime Minister described it as a scarecrow. The Government and their supporters obtained many Unionist votes on the strength of those assurances, and the present Ministry was undoubtedly returned to power upon the understanding that Home Rule would not form any part of its programme. And yet, after only a few months of office, we find the Government making an insidious attempt to reverse the verdict of 1895. The introduction of this Bill, in view of the pledges given at the general election, convicts His Majesty's Ministers of an act of political dishonesty which is surely without a parallel in the history of this country. Of course we are all aware of the attempt of the Government to cover up their flagrant violation of their assurances by inventing a specious and innocent- 148 looking title for their Bill. That is too ancient a trick to deceive anybody. There are certain familiar lines—with which I have no doubt the Prime Minister is acquainted—which seem to me to be applicable to this case—The merchant to secure his treasureConveys it in a borrowed name;Euphelia serves to grace my measure,But Chloë is my real flame.An "Irish Council Bill" certainly does not sound very revolutionary; but the country will be asked to examine this Bill in the light of the sinister declarations of the Prime Minister. What did the right hon. Gentleman say in his famous speech at Stirling? These are his words—Now ladies and gentlemen, there are two ways of capturing a stronghold—by an open and high-handed assault, or by a process of sap and gradual approach. What matters it which of these methods you use provided you ultimately capture the citadel?This Bill, is part of the "process of sap and gradual approach"; and, therefore, it is an attempt to reverse the verdict of the country with regard to Home Rule which was given in 1895, which the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs declared this Government could not put forward without sacrifice of honesty. I would like to ask the Government this question: "If this Bill is not Home Rule, what justification have they for introducing it at all?" The whole case for the proposal is that it is intended to meet the Irish demand. But whether it is Home Rule or not, Irish Unionists certainly do not want it. As for the Nationalists, if it were not Home Rule, they would repudiate it at once. The mere fact that hon. Members below the Gangway accept it as an instalment of the "larger policy," disposes at once of the assertion of the Government that it is not Home Rule. The Government have betrayed a positive genius for subterfuge, but when the electors of Great Britain have this Bill before them, they will not be long in discovering the real nature and purpose of these proposals; and they will not be slow in arriving at the conclusion that the measure represents an attempt on the part of His Majesty's Ministers to perpetrate a gigantic political fraud upon the people of Great Britain. At election times Radicals talk largely about the social reforms they mean to accomplish. But when, 149 on the strength of their promises and professions, they are returned to power, they immediately begin to complain of the obstacles in their path. They either go a-tilting at the House of Lords, or they raise the cry that "Ireland blocks the way !" I suppose, we may take it that this Bill is an attempt to remove the Irish block out of the path towards the social millennium, which exists only in the perfervid dreams of Radical politicians. If that is the object of the measure, all I can say is, that of all the means which could be devised to accomplish the end in view, this is surely, the least effectual.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER
Order, order. I thought the hon. Gentleman was aware that the House could not be counted out between 8.15 and 9.15.
§ MR. LONSDALE
It cannot be denied that under existing conditions the affairs of Ireland occupy a very large part of the time of this House. I can quite understand some Members thinking that Ireland gets far more than her proper share of attention. But will the measure now before the House lessen in any degree the demands which Ireland makes upon the consideration of the Imperial Parliament? I do not see how the Government or the Party opposite can expect this proposal to relieve the congestion of public business. If it is their object to get rid of "the Irish block," as it is called, by satisfying Ireland, then, all I can say is this Bill certainly will not satisfy anyone. Unionists, of course, will to the uttermost oppose its passage here, and should it get through Parliament, they would strenuously resist its operation in Ireland. The Nationalists make no pretence of accepting it in full settlement of their demands. They are willing to take it only as an instalment; or as the hon. and learned Member for Waterford has said, as a foundation upon which they can build. What is it they mean to build? It is only due to the Nationalist Party to say that they have never made any secret of their intentions. If 150 they get their Council they mean to turn it into a Parliament as quickly as they can. The Parliament they contemplate is not the subordinate body—which is all that the Lord Chancellor is prepared to give them, but an independent Parliament with an executive responsible thereto. The Council which the Chief Secretary proposes to set up in Dublin will give the Nationalists large powers of control over the administration, but the powers of the new body will be restricted. It will, therefore, become the immediate object of the Nationalists to remove those limitations. Those efforts will be made upon the floor of this House, by hon. Members below the Gangway, who will be present here in full force to make their demands. At the same time the House may be very sure that Nationalist administration of the affairs of Ireland will furnish Irish Unionists with any number of subjects for Question and debate in this House. If the Government hope that this Council will be a sort of buffer between Parliament and the people of Ireland they will be quickly undeceived. So far from relieving this House, under the scheme of modified Home Rule now proposed, I do not hesitate to say that Ireland would make more demands upon its attention than ever before. So far, I have discussed the negative effects of this proposal. Now I would ask the House to consider the positive consequences of the policy of Home Rule by instalments. If this Bill were carried, the entire control of Irish local affairs would be placed in the hands of the Nationalist Party. Let hon. Members dismiss from their minds the idea that under this scheme the Loyalist section of the community would be given any appreciable share in the administration. They are the principal contributors to the revenue. It is their industry and grit which have made Ulster prosperous. They are law-abiding, and loyal to the Union and the Empire. But they will be excluded from any effective voice in the management of the affairs of their country. I do not see any ground whatever for doubting that the new Irish Council, if established, would become immediately a purely political organisation with aims and objects hostile to Great Britain. The history of 151 the General Council of County Councils in Ireland has a bearing upon this point which hon. Members opposite would do well to note. This body was established on a strictly non-political basis for the purpose of assisting the equable administration of the Local Government Act. It comprised representatives from every county council in Ireland. Unionists and Nationalists met together to discuss questions of local government, and for a time the council did useful work. But the Nationalists were not satisfied with this arrangement. They very soon insisted upon giving a political bias to the organisation, and began by passing resolutions in favour of Home Rule. It was impossible for the Northern delegates to remain members of the council which had so changed its character, and with their withdrawal, this experiment of associating Irishmen of all parties in the practical work of local government came to an end. The history of this movement proves the hopelessness of the task which the Government have undertaken. Irish Nationalism has shown itself to be implacable, and there is not the slightest reason for hoping that the Irish Council which the Government propose to set up would display a more reasonable and practicable spirit. On the contrary, it is certain that from the very first the entire energies of the new Council would be directed not to the work of good, honest administration for the benefit of all, not to the task of developing the resources of Ireland—but to an agitation for complete Home Rule as a step towards separation. The Government and their supporters under-rate the strength and violence of the anti-British feeling which is the dominant spirit in the Nationalist movement of to-day. Every restriction upon the powers of the new Council which this Bill contains, would be used to stir up ill-will against Great Britain. Ireland would still be represented as bearing the yoke of England, and it is impossible to doubt that, if this dangerous experiment were to be carried out, all progress and development in Ireland would be swamped by a flood of political agitation. As to the consequences of the policy of the Government to the loyal minority in Ireland, I desire to speak with moderation. I do not hesitate to say, however, 152 that rather than submit to constitutional changes which would place them under Nationalist domination, the Unionists of Ireland are prepared to resort to every means of resistance which may be open to them. This is a matter of life and death to the minority of the Irish people. Not only their material prosperity but their whole civil and religious liberties are bound up with the maintenance of the Union, and the unimpaired control by this House over the administration of Ireland. The Irish Loyalists are not a mere handful of the population. They number at least 1,250,000; and they are by no means confined to Ulster. There are over 250,000 scattered throughout the southern Irish provinces. Under the scheme which the Chief Secretary has laid before the House, these isolated Unionists would be absolutely at the mercy of their political opponents. No safeguards which this House could devise would avail to protect them from injury. The Nationalist majority would undoubtedly use the power entrusted to them without any consideration for the rights and interests of their opponents. I would ask hon. Members opposite to reflect upon the past history of the Nationalist movement. Let them consider whether in an organisation with such a record there is any possibility of toleration going hand in hand with the possession of power. Indeed, the Leader of the Nationalist Party has left us no room for doubt on this point. He has said "The handful of Protestants" in Ulster, "must be overborne by the strong hand." I know the hon. Member has tried to explain away that unfortunate but illuminating phrase. But it stands as an indication of the real spirit of the Nationalist movement towards political opponents. It is possible, that English Members fail to appreciate the full significance of this threat, of the "strong hand." Unfortunately, Irish Unionists have too close, and too recent an acquaintance with the manifestations of the strong hand of the Nationalist organisations to be under any doubt of the real meaning of this expression. It is not surprising that with this menace ringing in their ears the Loyalist minority should determine, by all means in their power, to resist any approach to Home Rule. We who represent the Unionists 153 of Ireland, see in the measure which the Chief Secretary has explained to the House, an instalment of Home Rule, which, if carried, would involve immediate ruin to Unionist interests in Ireland and he fraught with disastrous consequences to the United Kingdom and the Empire. For those reasons, we shall offer to this Bill the most strenuous opposition at every stage.
§ SIR ALFRED THOMAS (Glamorganshire, E.)
On behalf of those Gentlemen with whom I am associated I wish to offer a word of hearty congratulation to the Chief Secretary for the very important measure which he has ad imbrated this evening. We have just heard some doleful tales from hon. Members opposite of what will happen if the Bill becomes law, and the hon. Member for Mid Armagh asked us to look into the past history of the Nationalist Party. I should be very sorry to look into the past history of any political Party. The Irish people have some experience of self-government under the Local Government Act, and it seems to me that the actions and proceedings of their Councils have, except that they passed resolutions against the war, been a pattern even to our own. I know that the Bill does not make any provision for legislation, but we all know that administration is a very important part of the government of any country. Pope said—For forms of government let fools contest; Whate'er is best admmister'd is best.This Bill gives an opportunity to Irishmen to take a part in their own administration. One hon. Member said that the Bill will not save much of the time of the House, but we all know that half of the Questions that are addressed to Ministers in the House come from Irish Members and mostly relate to administration; and if the Bill become law these questions as to administration will not come before the House but will be addressed to the people in Dublin who administer affairs there. This is not a Bill of magnificent dimensions, but still it is a Bill that will go far to give the people of Ireland an opportunity of showing how capable they are of administering their own affairs, and it is very pleasant for those Members with 154 whom I am associated to know that our friends in Ireland will have this instalment of what, I think, is something very like Home Rule.
§ MR. GOOCH (Bath)
In considering this question Liberals are in duty bound to apply two tests. The first is whether this scheme is in accordance with our election pledges. In the second place, does it constitute a definite advance in the direction of reform of Irish administration? I think that there is not much difficulty in replying in the affirmative to both these questions. The speech of the hon. Member for Mid Armagh, seemed, if I may say so without disrespect, to have been prepared, before he heard the speech of the Chief Secretary, in anticipation of a very much more far-reaching scheme than the House has actually heard described. I think it must have struck the House that this measure is a modest one, and even the most timid Liberal can support it. I am confirmed in this opinion by referring to what was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition. He made a remark which I venture to think will be repeated many times in this House in the course of the debates, and certainly will be quoted all over England on every platform where this question is discussed. The Opposition papers in England and Ireland have been telling their readers long before they knew what the Bill was to be that this measure, whatever its name, would be a measure designed to lead up to Home Rule, or an instalment of Home Rule under another name. The reply to that comes not from the Radical Benches, but from the Leader of the Opposition, who used remarkable words which the House will appreciate. He said that there was no resemblance between this scheme and Home Rule. ["No, No."] I took the words down. Therefore, when we hear the hon. Member for Mid Armagh saying that this is an instalment of Home Rule under another name, I think that we have a double reply. The first is as to the enabling provisions of the Bill, which do not set up a legislative machine, but merely an administrative body—a machine which cannot pass a law, which cannot levy a tax, which cannot raise a rate. The second reply is in the words used by the Leader of the Opposition to which I have referred. 155 I think I can say that, however timid Members were at the time of the election in refusing to pledge themselves to any far-reaching scheme of Irish reform, the proposal of the Government is so modest and moderate that there is nobody on this side of the House who will not be able to support it. I myself feel, and my hon. friends feel, that, so far from going too far, we should have liked the scheme to go a little further, and it should be strengthened in Committee, without, of course, in any way departing from the election pledges of certain Members. The second test which I propose is this: Does this Bill take a definite step in the direction of the reform of Irish administration? I must say that I was amazed to hear the Leader of the Opposition this afternoon speaking for about an hour without a single reference to the admitted anomalies of Irish administration. I should have thought that it was common property among men of all parties, among Unionists, among Devolutionists as well as Home Rulers, and among Liberals, that Irish government, as it at present exists, is full of anomalies. Lord Lansdowne said that the present system of Irish government was cumbrous and antiquated. We know what is the view of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover, who, when he was in office took the view that coordination of the Departments was one of the things which the Government was bound to attempt to carry out. If hon. Members will turn to Lord Dunraven's book on "The Outlook in Ireland," they will find a very interesting chapter as to the schemes and utterances of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham and the Duke of Devonshire, that is to say, the founders of the Liberal Unionist Party twenty years ago, asking for almost the same thing as the Government has now put before the House. The Leader of the Opposition in his speech to-day spoke of the administrative machine of Ireland as moving swiftly and easily, but he forgets, for instance, the long wrangles and delays, between the Congested Districts Board and the National Board of Education and the Treasury. So far from Irish government working smoothly, it does not work at all, or when it does work it works exceedingly slowly. I think that 156 those who take this view ought make it quite clear that we are bringing no indictment against the officials of Dublin Castle or any other Government Board. It has been my good fortune to know personally a good number o permanent officials of the various Irish Departments, and I believe my view shared by a great number of those Members of the House who have had tin pleasure and privilege of making their personal acquaintance. The fault is not in the men, but in the system. I think that Ireland and Irish government have suffered, not from the officials because they are able and honourable men, but from what certainly deserves the name of chaos, a word which the Chief Secretary did not use, but which I believe he would have been abundantly justified in using. There has been another preliminary difficulty in the minds of various speakers to-day in connection with local or administrative devolution, and that is the failure in certain respects of the Local Government Act of 1898. I think that it is unfair in estimating the effect of the Act of 1898 to concentrate attention on one aspect, and on one result and on one result alone. That, after all, is only one aspect of the work of 1898. We have heard much too little from the Unionist Benches of the undoubted absence of corruption and the misuse of money which seems to have been quite as rare in the case of the Irish county councils as it has been in this country. From the point of view of economy and efficient administration, I venture to think that on the whole Ireland has administered its powers in a more economical way. I ask hon. Members representing Ulster to consider whether we should not do the same thing over here if in a constituency at an election for the county council you had almost entirely on the list of voters Churchmen and landlords, because it is not at all likely that Churchmen and landlords would select a Radical or a Nonconformist, and still less a man who was a Radical and Nonconformist combined. I wish to say one or two words about the Bill, the undoubted merits of which I think will strike anybody who has carefully considered the machinery of Irish Government. What 157 pleases me most in this measure is the promise to carry through a reform which is notoriously necessary, and which is considered to be necessary by men of all parties, namely, the amalgamation of the two Education Boards for elementary and secondary education. That is a question which has been discussed many times in this House. We are all acquainted with the independent position which those two Boards have occupied in the past, and we are all agreed that it is necessary that they should work in the closest possible connection. They are not only housed in different Departments and created under different statutes, but they have no sort or kind of connection one with the other. Consequently, I am absolutely delighted to find that in addition to the creation of this Council there is to be an amalgamation of these two Boards. I rejoice at the fact that Ireland is going to have, an extra £650,000, and I hope that we shall not hear any grumbling from the English, Welsh or Scottish taxpayers at having to provide this sum. It has already been pointed out by the Leader of the Irish Party that the Commission on Financial Relations recommended certain reforms which have never been dealt with. This additional £650,000 to be granted to the Irish Treasury should not be regarded as a matter of money but simply as a matter of financial justice. Looking to the needs of this new Irish Council, I feel that no passage in the Chief Secretary's speech was more justified than that in which he said it would be folly or even madness to expect the Irish Council to carry on the work of these eight Departments with £2,000,000 per annum. It is no use setting up these Boards and an education office, unless they have more money to spend. I am sure hon. Members will agree that another £100,000 or even £200,000 spent upon school buildings and teachers' salaries would be wel spent, and the country would get a very good return for the money. One of the first results of the setting up of this new Council will be a permanent advance in the efficiency of Irish education. I noticed that the somewhat curious franchise which has been suggested is going to include women voters, and therefore 158 this may be considered an enfranchising measure as well. I do not think the Council will be any the worse from the fact that it will to a certain extent represent Irish women. There was one aspect of this measure which the Leader of the Irish Party rightly called attention to, and it seems to me that unless this great block is removed the measure will not be anything like so valuable—I refer to the position of the Lord-Lieutenant. I think his position as set out in the Chief Secretary's speech is absolutely impossible. The strongest, the wisest, and the most hard-working man in the world could not possibly deal with all the duties proposed to be placed I upon the Lord-Lieutenant. It is a very wrong thing that he should be expected to give the important decisions which he is supposed to give. It is unfair to the Council and to the Lord-Lieutenant, and I think it is common ground between both friends and opponents that this proposal cannot possibly stand. I hope that the Government will take the sense of their critics upon this point, and try in Committee to relieve the Lord-Lieutenant of this intolerable and unnecessary burden. We on the Ministerial Benches accept the Bill with gratitude as an instalment not of Home Rule but of good government for Ireland, and it leaves Home Rule exactly where it was before. The Government have not pledged themselves to finality, and they do not ask hon. Members from Ireland to accept it as final. Lord John Russell's famous finality speech seventy years ago, after the passage of the first Reform Bill, has now become the laughing stock of history, and he lived to regret it and recant it by being afterwards associated with more than one Reform Bill. The sole question which we have to ask ourselves is whether this is a step in the direction of the reform of Irish Government. After an impartial consideration of the question, I believe it is such a step, and I think it will bring forth the same answer from thoughtful Unionists as well as from thoughtful Liberals, and therefore I shall give it my hearty support.
§ MR. BARRIE (Londonderry, N.)
The hon. Member who has just addressed the House docs not seem to be aware that 159 ever since the year 1898, ladies have had the privilege of voting in Ireland, and I am pleased to say they have discharged that duty with credit to themselves and credit to the government of the country. I do not think this is a measure which can be described as in any material degree falling short of an instalment of the larger policy leading up to Home Rule. I confess that I could not help reflecting that there seemed to be a very close and most honourably carried out understanding between the Government Front Bench and the Nationalists, that by no possible slip should this measure be received or described as in any way touching the question of Home Rule. I congratulate both the Parties I have referred to upon the honourable manner in which that compact seems to have been carried out, but it is my duty to bring the House back to certain well remembered utterances of the Prime Minister which have long justified us in looking forward to the introduction of this Bill with considerable misgivings. Whilst fully acknowledging the eloquent terms in which this measure has been brought before the House, I cannot admit, anxious as I am to get rid of that idea, that our suspicions of a compact which we believed to exist between these two Parties has been in any way removed. We find—and this shows how the Prime Minister's opinion develops with the passage of the years—on going to records the accuracy of which cannot be disputed, that in 1900 the right hon. Gentleman said—If the desire for self-government continues it would best be met, in my judgment, by some scheme of devolution of business applicable to the three kingdoms alike.But at the time of the general election the Prime Minister evidently desired to conciliate the Irish vote, and in a speech made at Stirling he said that if he were asked for advice by an ardent Irish Nationalist he would advise him to take a fulfilment of his desires in any way he could get it, that if an instalment were offered he should accept it provided "it was consistent with and led up to the larger policy." I assume that in view of this declaration the Irish Nationalists voted for Radical candidates at the last election. Now the price has to be paid, no doubt reluctantly. I remember a 160 famous speech of the hon. Member for North Louth in which he said that when the Nationalist Party did anything to help another political Party their price had to be paid. Probably if the Radical Party had been able to foresee the great majority they would obtain at the General Election the Prime Minister would have been more judicious in his language. I hold moderate views, but at the same time I hold very sincerely the Unionist convictions held by the bulk of the people in the North of Ireland, and as a Unionist I have no option but to offer the Bill my most strenuous opposition. I feel that there lies behind this innocent looking Bill a serious intention to do a very grave injustice to the best interests of Ireland. If there is one thing which Irishmen who live in their native land and others who have gone to live there are proud of, it is the success of that splendid modern development the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. The antipathy of the Nationalist Party to that Department is very well known. I remember Sir Horace Plunkett preaching the gospel of self-help and the revival of Irish industries by co-operative exertions. He was said to be a dreamer of vain dreams, but the time came when Sir Horace by his sincerity and by his zeal succeeded in obtaining the support of some of the best and most thoughtful men in Ireland. The result is that, whereas at first there were only 800 technical students in Ireland, at present there are something like 42,000. I speak with some knowledge of the Department's operations, because the county I have the honour to represent has received the greatest possible benefit from its schemes. I am all the more pleased to say this because I have at times criticised some details of the Department's operations as strongly as others have done. The work of the Department has been performed under the greatest possible difficulty. On behalf of the Nationalist Party the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford said it was undermining the influence of that Party. I say God speed to it if it is so doing. The hon. Member for East Mayo has preached the same thing. If it was so, I thought when I read his speech that Sir Horace Plunkett was doing a better work than 161 I had ever realised before. I hope the House will remember with gratitude the great work Sir Horace has done, and I am proud to know that the work will go on though he ceases to be at the head of the Department. Under the wise guidance of the Department the value of the flax crop in Ulster was a quarter of a million more last year than the crop of five years ago. It has been brought about by educating the Irish people by means of Dutch experts, who were brought to Ireland to teach the people a few years ago. I refer to this great Department because I believe that the aim and scope of this measure is to undermine its usefulness. We are to have a new Council which will be largely composed of members of the Nationalist Party; and I challenge the members of that Party to deny that they disapprove of the operations of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. There are other parts of the Bill which cause us in the North of Ireland very serious anxiety. There is the case of education. I am very sorry to say that I fear there is no hope for education in Ireland being brought up to the standard of Scottish education so long as you hand it over to what is called a popularly elected body. I am sorry to make that observation. It is often alleged that Ulster Unionists refuse all public offices to Nationalists. I believe that in the county council of which I am a member we have five Nationalists and sixteen Unionists, and for five years a Nationalist has been elected vice-chairman. I admit that I opposed that gentleman's re-election as a Nationalist—not because I objected to give the Nationalists a minority representation, but because we had that peculiar brand of Nationalist who was pulling wires in Dublin Castle to get elected a member of the Grand Jury and at the sane lime resuscitating a branch of the United Irish League. [NATIONALIST cries of ''Name."] It is unnecessary to give the name. I remember that at an early period we had a Roman Catholic chairman of an urban district council of which I was a member, although the Nationalists in the council numbered only three out of eighteen. As to the composition of the proposed Council, I cannot congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on the fairness of 162 his scheme of representation. He has told us that we are going to have four representatives from Belfast and four from Dublin; but I would remind him that there is a startling difference in the population of the two cities. Then he proposes to give two representatives to some of the counties in the North of Ireland, while two representatives are also to be given to counties in the South and West, which have only half the population of those in Ulster. It has been said by the right hon. Gentleman that "imnorities must suffer, it is the badge of their tribe." But I should have thought that as one professedly anxious to deal justly even with minorities the right hon. Gentleman would have taken a larger view of our special circumstance; in the constitution of this new body, a body which I venture to prophesy will never get the length of working. It is disappointing that he should have proposed to continue the gross under-representation of Unionist opinion in Ireland. There are hon. Members sitting below the gangway who represent only a fifth of the population I represent. I hope that that part of the Bill will be recast, and that when we get to the Second Reading every opportunity will be afforded us, as we have not had to-day, to discuss this measure in full detail—a measure which, I repeat, I have no doubt, has been carefully designed to lead up to the larger policy of Home Rule and to pay the price of the support of Nationalists in England and Scotland at the last general election.
§ MR. AUSTIN TAYLOR
I am certain that every English Member addressing the House on such a question as Irish administration and the constitution and power of the Irish Government must feel considerable hesitation in plunging into an arena of political affairs which is more complicated than any other before the House. English Members may be excused from taking part in the ordinary course of debates on matters affecting Irish administration; but when it is proposed to take from this House certain powers which it has hitherto exercised, the case is altered. I feel that on most questions, and particularly on this question, I stand possibly in a freer position as regards 163 the Party point of view than most other Members in the House. When I sat on the other side of the House I was not a Home Ruler, and the fact that I have crossed the House and find myself seated and associated with hon. Gentlemen with whom I am more in accord than with the Unionist Party does not alter my position in that respect. I remain on this side of the House as I was on the other, opposed to Home Rule as I understand it, and as it has been described to-day by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford—a separate Parliament for Ireland with a separate executive responsible to it, carrying out the expressed and declared wishes of the Irish people There is an idea of giving to Scotland, Ireland, and Wales a Parliament equipped as in the self-governing Colonies. That has never appealed to me as likely to lead to the efficiency of the government of this country or to the integrity and efficiency of the Empire. My attitude arises from no want of sympathy with hon. Gentlemen below the gangway opposite in their aspirations after a complete expression of nationality. No one in this House sympathises more than I do with the conception of obtaining the greatest possible future for a nation. If I am unable to do anything but oppose the ideas of hon. Gentlemen below the gang-way it is only because that larger country which has this Parliament as its governing body demands that the idea of Irish nationality should not be pressed too hard. The Bill before us has been described, both by the right hon. Gentleman and by the Irish Leader, as in no sense a Home Rule Bill; and I take it that really the issue before the House is not so much whether this is or is not a Home Rule Bill, on which we could consume a good deal of time in an academic discussion, but whether this is or is not the best way of re-constructing a system of government which, by common consent, is held not to be as efficient as it might be, and which may justly be described as a hindrance to the development and prosperity of Ireland. I listened with interest to the quotations read by my right hon. friend in his opening speech of some remarks made by the Duke of Devonshire in 1885, upon the possibility of re-constructing Dublin Castle government somewhat on the 164 lines of this Bill. I do not know whether my right hon. friend ever took the trouble to look up Mr. Gladstone's reply to the Duke of Devonshire. Perhaps, however, it is hardly fair in a debate of this kind to go too extensively into the speeches of the past. It would be a very easy matter to rake up speeches of twenty years ago and to prove, not only from the lips of Mr. Gladstone, but from the lips of the present Prime Minister, that any Bill which touches the administrative side only in connection with Ireland and which does not touch the legislative side is a Bill which ought not to receive the assent of this House. I hold extracts in my hand which I will not weary the House with reading, but the House may take it from me as incontrovertible, that during the defence of the Home Rule Bill of 1886, both Mr. Gladstone and the Prime Minister said that a Bill which only reconstructed the Government of Ireland on the administrative side and left the legislative side untouched, was one which would be found impracticable in the working and unsatisfactory as far as the wishes of hon. Gentlemen below the gangway opposite are concerned. But I really think the speeches of statesmen twenty years ago, under conditions of controversy which are entirely different from those we have to face to-day and under conditions in Ireland which are different, are not germane to the present Bill, and need not be quoted at length. The admitted problem before the House is the bringing into a state of efficiency the administration of the Government in Ireland. My right hon. friend the Chief Secretary, as many other speakers in this House have done, has pointed to the multiplicity of Boards in Ireland and the irresponsibility of those Boards, and to the impossibility, in considering the question of Irish administration, of maintaining the system of departmental administration, coupled with responsibility in this House, without devising some scheme with an elective element as is suggested in this Bill. I do not know whether I can make my position clear to the House, but I feel that if you are reforming the administration as practical men, there are only two really 165 satisfactory solutions before you. Either you must follow the precedent of Scotland, where you have a system of Departmental administration carried out by the Secretary for Scotland, in sympathy with the wishes of the people of Scotland, so that it makes for efficiency and national well-being, or you must refer to the model of the Colonial Governments and abandon altogether the idea of revision in this House through the Secretary of State of the administration in different parts of the United Kingdom, and create in the different parts of the United Kingdom a fully responsible and separate Parliament with a separate executive. This Bill does neither the one thing nor the other. I want to speak quite frankly to hon. Members below the gangway. With their desire to do everything which will make for the happiness of everyone in Ireland, no one has greater sympathy than myself. The situation in Ireland is not so different to that of Scotland, if the Irish people were willing to be dealt with in a similar manner, and that is really at the root of the difficulty. Our difficulty in Ireland is not a question of natural conditions, but a question of sympathy. [Hear, hear.] Yes; but questions of sympathy are things which require the most delicate treatment that any statesman can give to them. If the Irish people were willing, it is not impossible to imagine a peaceful and contented Ireland with the hon. Member for Waterford as Chief Secretary, catering for the material, moral, and spiritual needs of that country. The obstacle in the way of that, as have said before, is the sentiment of the Irish people, and it is because the Government recognise that opinion in England will not tolerate a Parliament either in Ireland, or Scotland, or Wales, upon the model of the Colonies, and on the other hand, they recognise that Irish sentiment will not accept and sympathise with the system of Departments, and the sympathetic system as it prevails in Scotland, that they are driven to produce this measure which divorces from the purview of this. House these six or eight Departments of government. You then have this anomalous position, that while the Parliament in England is absolutely responsible for the collection and the 166 raising of the finances for these Departments, another body, a representative body—though not altogether representative, because there is this nominated element which my right hon. friend has introduced—but still a representative body in Ireland is to have the disbursing and control of these funds. I am sure that no Member of this House on either side, if he were free to choose his ideal, would commit the destinies of Ireland to such a system. I feel that if we endorse a scheme of this kind, we are endorsing something which requires considerable explanation, and if for my part, I vote for the First Reading of this Bill, it is only because I think that any measure produced under circumstances such as these, and designed, as I believe this is, to secure, if possible, peace in Ireland (a country to which by birth and sentiment I am deeply attached), deserves respectful treatment and consideration from this House, and every portion of it. In regard to the position of the Lord-Lieutenant, it seems to me that it is nothing less than the veto of the Imperial Parliament applied in a peculiar way. Surely if the Imperial Parliament is to have a veto at all, it must be applied through some channel, and if the Lord-Lieutenant is to be that channel, he will have the sense of the Cabinet behind him. It will then be open to hon. Members to challenge his action in this House, and I can quite imagine that they will do so. It will then be for the Chief Secretary for Ireland, among his other congenial occupations, to get up and justify the action of the Lord-Lieutenant in interfering with the first representative council with which Ireland has become acquainted. In regard to the eight Departments which are now represented by my right hon. friend, and which are no longer, I understand, to have official representation in this House suppose some legislative change is required in particular matters which affect those Departments, it is this House which will have to deal with those Bills, and it is my right hon. friend who will have to take charge of them. Therefore I should like to know from my right hon. friend whether really he will find himself in the future less likely to be held responsible for the general administration of law in Ireland in 167 regard to questions from both sides of the House by the action or inaction of this new body. I ask whether we do really get rid of so large a slice of Irish administration, and if we are not proposing a new Board in Ireland to take the place of the existing Boards, which my right hon. friend might some day complain of as being more than human nature can stand. I have not made these remarks in any spirit of malicious criticism of the project of the Government. I desire that any proposals in regard to Irish administration should receive fair criticism, and I hope I have not gone beyond the limits of reasonable criticism in pointing out the inherent anomalies that a half-way house of this kind contains. I feel strongly that securities for the minority in Ireland should be inserted in the Bill. If on examination they are not found to be of such a character as will sufficiently protect the minority, I strongly feel that in view of the religious differences in Ireland every care should be taken by this House to safeguard the interests of the Protestant minority. I welcome the declaration of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Waterford, which I hope this House will see carried out by all the force at its command, that he at any rate is prepared to go as far as it is possible for man to go with due regard to reason and common sense in the direction of securing the rights of conscience and liberty to every Irishman who may ultimately be affected by the Bill before the House.
§ MR. JAMES CAMPBELL (Dublin University)
There is such an air of mystery about the proceedings of tonight, that I feel it must have struck not merely hon. Members on this side, but hon. Gentlemen opposite who are not "in the know," that a treaty has been arrived at between the Government and hon. Gentlemen below the gangway upon this subject.
§ MR. JAMES CAMPBELL
That makes the mystery all the greater. No one is more capable of making perfectly clear the meaning of his proposals in this 168 House, but on this occasion very few have been able to follow the right hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. JAMES CAMPBELL
It seemed to me that he troubled so little about the matter that he did not trouble to think out the details. What was the anxiety of hon. Gentlemen below the gangway? For the last year and a half Irish Nationalist papers have been proclaiming that, owing to the advent of the present Government to office, they were on the eve of attaining the fruition of the hopes they have entertained for so many years, and hon. Members have proclaimed in their organs and speeches that the irreducible minimum in satisfaction of their demands is a Parliament in Ireland, with an Executive responsible thereto. When certain estimable but rather weak-minded gentlemen in Ireland thought they could form a Moderate Party to engineer a policy of devolution—a modified form of Home Rule—they were received with derision by all Members. Mr. Michael Davitt said the devolution proposals were a mere matter of form, and the hon. Member for East Mayo denounced then in most animated terms. He said the proposals were preposterous and utterly unworkable, and that if set up, they would not last six months, and if put up in the House of Commons would not last a night's debate. The right hon. Gentleman opposite has introduced proposals which are to a certain extent mild proposals in the form of devolution, and yet the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, the Leader of the Nationalist Party in this House, instead of standing up as I expected he would, and making the rafters ring with his denunciations of the treachery of the Government, who had once more broken faith with the Irish Party—instead of uttering these warnings and threats with which in these debates we have grown familiar, has spoken tonight in the accents of a sucking dove, and says he is going to reserve his criticisms and his ultimate vote on these proposals until they have been laid before a convention of the Irish people. That seems to suggest an understanding, and we have not heard from the right hon. Gentleman 169 what is the nature of the understanding that exists between him and the hon. Member for Waterford on this matter. The large sheaf of notes from which the hon. and learned Member spoke showed he had evidently some information with regard to this Bill, and that the disclosures of the right hon. Gentleman were not the only source of information from which he was speaking. Does anyone in this House know what treaty exists, and what is the meaning of the remarkable unanimity we saw here to-night, when one hon. Member below the gangway, who was recently in the United States, is stated by the Freeman's Journal to have said to a large assembly in the United States a month ago, that "in a few weeks Home Rule was to be granted to Ireland?" Almost every day for the last twelve months the Nationalist newspapers of Ireland have been proclaiming that we are on the eve of a settlement of this question. The hon. Member for Waterford and other hon. Members below the gangway have declared again and again during the last twelve months that whatever the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman might be, if they fell short of the irreducible minimum of a separate Parliament they would not accept them. What is the reason of the reprieve? How is it that these milk-and-water proposals have raised no denunciations? To my mind it suggests that there is more in this matter than has been brought to light. I cannot profess to say whether the Government intend to treat this Bill in Committee as they have treated other Bills in this Parliament, and turn these harmless proposals into an effective measure of Home Rule, or whether they have brought them in with a knowledge or a conviction that they will be rejected in Ireland when they will be able to say: "Those of us who spoke of a policy of Home Rule by instalments can justify ourselves by saying We brought it in,' and those of us who look on this as an academic question can say, We were right, because the proposals were so mild that the Irish rejected them. The extraordinary thing about the proposals is that they settle nothing and satisfy nobody. There is no finality about them, and their introduction marks the beginning of a new chapter of that unfortunate religious and sectarian strife 170 that has so long distracted and destroyed the energies of Ireland. Speaking for myself, I attach very little importance to pledges and promises that are given that any proposal introduced for the purpose of dealing with so-called Irish grievances is to be the basis of a settlement or a final settlement. In my short experience in this House I have seen introduced several important measures each of which was heralded as a settlement of the land problem in Ireland. In 1903 there was passed in this House a great scheme of land purchase which was heralded as a settlement of the land question, under which the British people pledged themselves to grant a loan of £100,000,000 and a bonus of £12,000,000. Within the last few weeks there was introduced into this House by an hon. Gentleman below the Gangway a Bill which received the blessing of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary and his Attorney-General, the very purpose of which was to tear to shreds that so-called final settlement, to abolish the voluntary system, and to introduce by-laws to sweep away zones which were intended as a protection. Therefore I attach very little importance indeed to promises or pledges that any particular measure will be accepted by ray fellow countrymen at home as a final settlement. They know the game much better than that. They take what they can get; they pretend that it does not please them; they pretend that it is a miserable substitute for what they really desire; but they take it and then they ask for more. Even if the hon. and learned Gentleman gave to the House any assurance of this sort, that any such measure as this could or would possibly be accepted as a reasonable fulfilment of the pledges of His Majesty's Government, such an assurance coming from him would be made in perfect good faith as anyone who knows the hon. and learned Gentleman will realise; but there are powers and forces behind the hon. and learned Gentleman which he is absolutely incapable of controlling or restraining. I think hon. Gentlemen below the gangway will do me the justice to say that I have never publicly or professionally in any way maligned my fellow countrymen; I have never 171 been guilty of any form of expression intolerant towards my fellow countrymen in any part of Ireland. These proposals are fraught with great good or great evil for the future of the country, and it is the duty of Members for Irish constituencies, and representing Irish interests, to speak out with frankness. There is in existence at the present day, running to a certain degree on parallel lines with the Parliamentary movement represented by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford, but far more extreme and dangerous for the security of Irish credit, Irish trade, and Irish prosperity, than that with which the hon. and learned Gentleman is associated, the movement known as the Sinn Fein, or "Ireland for ourselves." It is taking from hon. Gentlemen below the gangway followers day by day. If hon. Members below the gangway accept the scheme as a fulfilment of the promise of the Prime Minister the Sinn Fein will take the field against them. The programme of that body is first an absolute boycott in Ireland of all goods of English manufacture; secondly, to pay no Imperial taxes of any kind; thirdly, an anti-enlisting crusade in every department of His Majesty's Service; fourthly, an absolute boycott of the English tongue. The leader of the movement has described the English language as being only fit for a flunkey, and the kind of language which no one but a slave in Ireland would use. This movement has already got its newspapers; it has a newspaper in Belfast which is called The Republic, and within the last few weeks it has published an article in which it says—The absolute independence of Ireland is Ireland's right. We ask for no more, and we will take no less.There is also a paper which I have never read, called The Peasant, which was formerly known as The Irish Peasant, and which is published in Dublin. What does this paper say as to the suggestion of the hon. and learned Gentleman for Waterford for calling a convention to consider what reception should be given to the proposals of His Majesty's Government? Hear what it says—A National Convention, we are told, will be called to discuss the Bill about to be introduced to the House of Commons; but 172 surely Mr. Redmond does not imagine that he can have a National Convention which will be open to his own followers alone. Such a Convention will only be trifling with the affairs of the nation.I only mention these facts to show that whatever desire the hon. and learned Gentleman and his followers may have to give a pledge or promise in connection with this Bill, there are forces behind him and above him which he cannot control or command. And what about Irish feeling in America? We know that the Nationalist Party have to depend on America for their funds, and we know that in America the idea and the dream of every Irish Nationalist is, not these devolution proposals of the right hon. Gentleman, not even a separate Parliament with an Executive responsible to it, but an independent and separate nation. While I would be the last to suggest, and I do not suggest, that the hon. and learned Gentleman has ever said out of this House anything that he has not had the courage to say inside, yet at the same time it is right in this House to remember, and he would be the last to deny it, that he has to keep alive the spirit of his Party at home with constant references to those delegations which are sent to America, and constant references to what he believes, and those who think with him believe, will be the real result of the Irish movement, and that is not merely a separate Parliament, but an absolutely separate and independent nation. Let me say a word as to these proposals of the right hon. Gentleman. [MINISTERIAL cheers]. I presume hon. Members opposite, who are so free with their cheers, were well acquainted before this evening with the nature of these proposals. I had not that advantage, and my knowledge of them is derived from listening to the right hon. Gentleman's effort to explain them. So far as I can understand them they involve the handing over to this new Council the management and administration of eight of the existing departments of Irish Government. There are some of these that they can do very little arm at. Take for example the Congested Districts Board. That is a board which has been doing, and is doing, excellent work, and why it should be interfered with I cannot for the life of me understand. That 173 board was appointed practically to administer a fund for charitable purposes. Take as another example the Agriculture and Technical Instruction Department. This body is to be revolutionised and re-organised and upset in the midst of its best and most active work, and I cannot understand why it should be. This is a new department engaged in new work, and it is not carrying on any system which up to the time of its creation had existed before. And what about these Education Boards? What about the board entrusted with the management of national education? What about the board entrusted with the supervision of intermediate education in Ireland? There is no more controversial and difficult question that can be suggested for this new Council than the control and management of Irish primary education. So difficult and delicate is that task, owing to the determination of all classes and creeds in Ireland to run their schools on denominational lines, that from the very first it has been recognised that the only method by which this can he carried out so as to secure fair treatment for all creeds is to have a Board with an equal number of Protestant and Catholic members. The same thing has been done in the case of the Intermediate Education Board, and there are upon these boards Roman Catholic and Protestant gentlemen of the highest position and intelligence who give gratuitously their time and ability to carry on this difficult and most delicate work. Does anyone imagine that the gentlemen who constitute these boards will submit to being controlled in the carrying out of their duties by this Council? The thing is preposterous, and they will resign in a body. And who will you put in their places? The Roman Catholic hierarchy have passed resolutions against the dissolution of the National Board. Are you now going to re-model primary education upon any basis that will not 174 be acceptable to the Irish Roman Catholic hierarchy? Everyone knows that it is ludicrous to leave them out of the matter. What are you going to substitute? You are going to substitute a Council two-thirds of which will always be a Catholic majority over a minority of Protestants? There must inevitably be, owing to the system of registration and the electorate, large Roman Catholic majorities. ["Why not?"] Past experience has shown the absolute necessity of having education, both primary and secondary, administered by boards consisting of members of both faiths. What reason is there for upsetting that arrangement in order to set up a board two-thirds of which will be able to dictate to the minority? I would like to say a word or two about the alleged intolerant opposition of Irish Unionists in Ireland to all proposals for the amelioration of Irish Government. Has it ever occurred to hon. Gentlemen opposite who belong to the Nonconformist bodies to ask themselves why it is that every single one of their co-religionists in Ireland is a Unionist? Have they ever asked any Scottish or English commercial gentlemen who have gone over to reside in Ireland if they have ever suffered from the tyranny of the British Government? If they were asked they would tell you that they lived under the same laws and enjoyed the same freedom and liberty as they did in this country, and if they have ever had any interference with their civil or religious liberty it certainly did not come from the representatives of His Majesty's Government. These considerations suggest themselves when we are asked why it is that we cannot entrust our civil and religious rights to the administration of a Council which will have a permanent majority of Nationalists and of those who differ from us not merely in politics but also in religion. Hon. Gentlemen representing England or Scotland have no idea of the extent to which religion enters into the daily, social, and industrial life of Ireland. I am not saying whose 175 fault it is, and I assume that there is fault on both sides, but we have to face the fact. When the Local Government Bill was passed for Ireland we received assurances that every Unionist and Protestant would be gladly welcomed, and that their services would be requisitioned in the south and west of Ireland. What has been the result? It has now become the boast of hon. Gentlemen below the gangway that the whole scheme of local government in Ireland has become a Nationalist organisation. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford in 1904 said that if the Government were to strike at their political organisation the work of the Nationalist Party would be carried on in the county councils and the district councils. It has been claimed by them, and they are entitled to claim credit for it, that they have mastered and got possession of the entire system of local government in Ireland for the purpose of political agitation. I am not ashamed to say it. I regret it, but the fact has been almost universal that throughout the west and south of Ireland men professing Unionist and Protestant principles have been rigorously excluded from any part or lot in the administration of local affairs. Not only that, but the Roman Catholic hierarchy have issued declarations calling upon local bodies not only not to select any Protestants but to select only Roman Catholic officials of a particular sect. [NATIONALIST cries of "No."] I am stating what I know. I am speaking of what I have read, and I will give hon. Members a concrete case which all below the gangway will recognise. In the Claremorris District Council there was a vacancy for a clerk to the council. The local Catholic clergy met and passed a resolution that no man was to be appointed unless he brought a certificate from his parish priest. Among the candidates was the brother of the Member for one of the divisions of Mayo, but because he did not bring a certificate from his parish priest he was scouted from 176 the place, and someone who had the imprimatur of the parish clergyman obtained the appointment. [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: Was he a Protestant?] No, he was not. I quite agree that they are not so exclusive as that, I quite agree that the boycott and exclusion is extended not merely to Protestants, but even to those of their own faith who differ from them in politics. I think hon. Members below the gangway are aware of that.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to ask him a question. He made the serious statement that the members of the hierarchy in Ireland had issued appeals that no Protestant should be elected to district or other popularly elected councils. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to give a single instance in which a member of the hierarchy ever made such a request.
§ MR. JAMBS CAMPBELL
What I did say was that as regards certain appointments the hierarchy, by their pastorals and otherwise, had called upon people to act in that way. Does it make it any better to call upon the local authorities in choosing their medical officers, not merely to select Roman Catholics, but absolutely to select Roman Catholics educated in a particular medical school, not merely to the exclusion of Protestants, but of Roman Catholics educated in any medical school except the one they choose?
[The right hon. and learned Gentleman read a passage from a letter by the late Mr. Michael Davitt, published in the Freeman's Journal in 1904, on the subject of Irish education, and referring to the interference of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in that as well as in other matters.]
That was the language of Mr. Michael Davitt, and I think I am clearly entitled to refer to it. I would like to say—and I 177 am sure that hon. Members below the gangway will do me the justice to accept the statement—that all my present interests and all my future interests are centred in Ireland. It is not only my native country, but the country to which I am attached by affection, and I think hon. Members will give me credit for the quality of patriotism at least. If I thought I could find in these proposals anything that would be for the ultimate prosperity of the greater portion of the inhabitants of Ireland, I would be quite prepared to sacrifice any personal views I have on the matter and give it my most cordial support; but I confess that I find it impossible to do that. In the first place there is no finality, or any pretence at finality, about these proposals. On the contrary, they will produce a war of religious and sectarian strife in Ireland; because I may tell hon. Gentlemen opposite that these proposals will be considered in Ulster, as the hon. Member for South Tyrone said of somewhat similar though more exaggerated proposals, in 1893, as a matter of life and death. "They will fight them—" I am quoting what the hon. Member said in 1893.
§ MR. JAMES CAMPBELL
The hon. Member said—They will fight them, and I will fight them line by line and clause by clause.Well, Ulster has not changed its views as regards its attitude towards proposals of this kind. They are fraught with, I believe, disaster to the country, because they will paralyse industry, for the best of all reasons—that they will deter and dismay English credit. [Laughter.] Those who laugh are those who forget very easily. They forget whatthen effect of the introduction of the Home Rule proposals was on the money market in 1886 and 1893, and 178 they forget what in the few months that have elapsed since this Bill was talked of has been the effect on industrial securities in Ireland. But as one who remembers these things I certainly share the opposition to this Bill. As I have said, there is absolutely no finality about it. It will satisfy no class or section of the Irish people. It will be a bitter disappointment to Irish Nationalists who have been led to believe by their organs and leaders that they were on the eve of some great settlement of the question of Home Rule. It will be bitterly and sturdily contested by Unionists in Ireland for the simple reason that right hon. Gentlemen opposite are pledged to it not on its own merits, but as an instalment leading up to the "larger policy." I noticed in the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman that, while he was quite free to say that neither he nor his followers would accept it as a substitute for Home Rule, he was careful to abstain from saying that they were not prepared to accept it as an instalment of Home Rule, and as leading up to the "larger policy"—a policy which we Unionists believe to be prejudicial to the best interests of our country. We, therefore, will give it our most relentless opposition.
§ THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. REDMOND BARRY,) Tyrone, N.
My apology for taking part in this debate to-night is the fact that I am connected with the Government of Ireland, and that I have also the great honour to represent a constituency in Ulster. I am here on the part of my constituents to raise my voice in favour of the proposals contained in this Bill. I find it rather hard to estimate the exact basis of the opposition of hon. Gentleman opposite to the Bill. Two hon. Members for Ulster denounced the Bill as Home Rule in disguise, and two other Gentlemen opposite, particularly the Leader of the Opposition, declared in a notable pronouncement that under 179 no circumstances could the Bill be converted into a Home Rule Measure.
§ MR. REDMOND BARRY
I certainly understood that to be the effect of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. My right hon. friend who has just spoken referred to the measure as a harmless one or apparently as a harmless one, but, having a somewhat sinister cast of mind, he spoke of it as the result of some private treaty between the Government and the National Irish Members. I am astonished that my right hon. friend on a great occasion like this, in reference to a measure intended to bring relief to Ireland, should guide his actions solely by reference to some supposed treaty or arrangement existing between the Government and the Nationalist Members. On the part of the Government I may tell my right hon. friend that that apprehension, if really entertained by him, has no foundation in fact. This measure is presented to the acceptance of the House solely on its own merits, and not because of any private arrangement between the Nationalist Members and the Government. What is proposed by the measure? It proposes to deal with eight Departments which are closely identified with the administration of the government of Ireland. It places these Departments under the control of a Council most of the members of which are to be elected and some nominated by the Lord-Lieutenant. It involves no legislative proposals. There is not a single provision in the Bill under which the Council established under it will have authority to pass a law, great or small. It is a Bill purely administrative in its scope. I ask my right hon. friend with what sense of responsibility he can then get up and say that the passing of such a Bill will inaugurate religious strife in Ireland? I shall not answer an 180 argument of that kind, and I am sorry that my right hon. friend should have been the person to introduce the element of religious dissension and discord into the debate. I should have thought that the House had become weary of arguments of that kind. How does the Bill touch religion or in any way endanger the fate of any faith or creed in Ireland? [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh,"] Speaking as an Irishman and as a Catholic, I feel that it is a humiliating thing that, forsooth, my right hon. friend should suggest that if a measure of this kind is passed, within twenty-four hours you would have the members of the various creeds in Ireland practically at each others' throats. We who live in Ireland and know it appreciate the hollowness of that argument. We know that there is no foundation for it, and it is humiliating to find such arguments advanced in this House by hon. Gentlemen from Ireland. The proposal of the Government aims at no class. Its sole object is to bring the Irish people into touch with the government of the country, to collect the powers of the various Departments and bring them under the control of a representative Council of which however tweny-four member will be nominated. It is our wish to give the people confidence in and respect for the Government of the country, and to inspire them with a respect for the administration which, unfortunately, does not at present exist. Is not that a worthy object? My right hon. friend suggested that the minority which exists in Ireland will find no representation on the Council.
§ MR. JAMES CAMPBELL
I never suggested that they would have no representation; but I said that they would be in a permanent minority.
§ MR. REDMOND BARRY
In a permanent minority! That is due to a circumstance over which the Government has no control. It is an extraordinary ground of complaint against 181 either the government or the people of Ireland that, in the case of a people among whom Catholics are in a large preponderance they will find in an elected body in the ordinary course of things more Catholics than Protestants. I entirely dispute and repudiate the idea that the people of Ireland will elect their representatives to representative councils only on the view that the men are Catholics or Protestants. My belief is that the people will elect their representatives apart from questions of creed, and solely by reference to their opinion on the great public questions of the day. [OPPOSITION Cries of "Oh, oh."] In order to meet the apprehension of my right hon. friend opposite, a provision has been introduced into the Bill which I should have thought would have given satisfaction to him, namely, the introduction into the Council of twenty-four nominated members. I myself to-night noticed with great pleasure the declaration which the hon. Member for Water-ford made as to his acquiscence with regard to the nominated element on this Council. He was quite ready, speaking on behalf of the great majority of representatives of Ireland, to submit to any provision in this Bill the object of which would be to secure the representation of the Unionist minority on the Council. That I should have thought might have been received with satisfaction by hon. Gentlemen opposite; but what is their answer? My right hon. friend spoke for half an hour before he came to consider the proposals of the Bill. His speech lasted half an hour more and left the proposals on one side. What part of the Bill does he object to? Does he suggest that there is no need for reform in Ireland? I do not understand that he takes that view. Without pressing the point that they contemplated any particular scheme, the right hon. Gentleman and his friends did apparently meditate some reform in the government of Ireland. My 182 right hon. friend could scarcely deny that the need exists. The Government believe it exists, and come forward with this proposal to meet a state of affairs in Dublin which in their view demands some measure of this sort. What is the answer to it all? The sole answer my right hon. friend is able to make is founded on distrust on his part—rooted and permanent distrust of the people in Ireland. He looks forward to no future time, to no period when it will be safe to pass some such measure as this. He cannot tell us whether in forty or fifty years the state of Ireland will justify such a measure. He has no hope now or in the future whether such a Bill as this can be given to the people of Ireland without the danger of the power being abused. We take no such view. We believe the time is ripe for this measure; that this is a measure which no rational man can object to. It admits the people to a share in the administration of the country by given them control over the eight departments specified. The power of action in certain cases reserved to the Lord-Lieutenant is designed merely to meet the case of a deadlock. The Government, while not absolutely committed to the form of the proposal, make it in the interest of the public service, and to prevent the public business from coming to a standstill. These are practically the important features of the Bill which we commend to the acceptance of the House. I do not believe when the House comes to consider it on its merits it will take the view that some hon. Members suggest. We believe it will be seen to be a moderate proposal to deal with a grievance admittedly existing in Ireland. I believe that when those whom the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Water-ford specially represents come to consider this Bill calmly and quietly they will welcome it and will see in it proposals that will afford Irishmen a future career and an opportunity of 183 taking a useful part in the government of their own country, thereby acquiring that moral improvement which results from the exercise of government. They will see in it also proposals that will go some way, at least, to relieve the burden under which Ireland has too long suffered
§ MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)
I am sure we all welcome the appearance of the hon. and learned Gentleman, and we realise that, whatever we may think of his defence of this Bill, he has abundantly realised the expectations we have formed as to the part he would take in our debates. But so far in this debate we have had no answer even from the hon. and learned Gentleman to the questions put from this side of the House with regard to this measure. The hon. and learned Gentleman has contented himself with attacking my right hon. and learned friend the Member for Dublin University, and in stating in broad and general terms what is the object of this measure. We are not concerned with the object of the Government or the object of the measure. What we are concerned with is, Are the methods by which the Government seek to attain their object likely to be in the smallest degree successful? The hon. and learned Gentleman has found great fault with my right hon. and learned friend because he made reference to possible religious controversies, and he asked what is there in this Bill which can possibly lead to religious controversy. Well, the hon. Member for Armagh has asked a question of first-rate importance, and the debates on this stage of the Bill cannot close, and ought not to close until that question has been answered. What was the legacy left by the late Chief Secretary to his successor? What 184 was the last speech he made before he left Ireland to go to America? It was a speech in which he declared what was to be the policy of the Government in regard to University education in Ireland. My hon. and learned friend very properly asked, Will the powers in regard to education that the Government are going to confer upon this new body apply also to higher education, and will they enable the Council to set up a University or not? No answer has been made, and the hon. and learned Gentleman contented himself with asking what is there in this Bill which can possibly raise religious controversy? I answer at once that there is this proposal to alter and control the education of Ireland, for we do not know whether these proposals relate to higher education as well. [Mr. BIRRELL was understood to say that they did not.] In that case, all that the new body will be able to do will be to deal with elementary and intermediate education.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
That is exactly the point. We have asked, in regard to higher education, whether it will be possible out of these funds to make such changes in the administration as will enable them to set by money to be applied to a particular purpose, and the right hon. Gentleman's answer is that all the money allowed to this body will be taken up by the work they have now to perform. Then what is the greatness of this change, and where is the great trust in the people of Ireland? Apart from the education question, the most important change made by the Bill is the transfer to the new Council of the work now done by the 185 Chief Secretary and heads of the departments in Ireland, and I take it that the whole of the Civil servants of Ireland, many of whom the right hon. Gentleman has had in eloquent terms to defend against attacks made upon them by hon. Gentlemen below the gangway, are to be handed over to this National Council. The right hon. Gentleman said, "We reserve to them their rights in regard to pension; we protect them, as they have been protected before, under Local Government Acts." Yes, but in the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford there was a remark pregnant of possible results for the Civil servants. He, speaking with the full responsibility of the Leader of the Nationalist Party, warned the Government that they must not, in this new
§ Education Department, appoint a permanent official with whom the Council, when it comes into existence, will find itself so dissatisfied that it will be compelled at once to remove him. That is a bad omen for the public work that is to be done by this council, and it holds out a poor prospect for these Civil servants, against whom it is an act of gross injustice to transfer them to those who have never concealed their hostility towards them.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 417; Noes, 121. (Division List No. 161.)191
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Clynes, J. R.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Billson, Alfred||Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Agnew, George William||Blake, Edward||Cogan, Denis J.|
|Alden, Percy||Boland, John||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Bottomley, Horatio||Collins, Sir W m J (St. Pancras, W.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Bowerman, C. W.||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Ambrose, Robert||Brace, William||Cooper, G. J.|
|Armitage, R.||Bramsdon, T. A.||Corbett, C. H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Branch, James||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Brigg, John||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Bright, J. A.||Cowan, W. H.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Cox, Harold|
|Atherley- Jones, L.||Brooke, Stopford||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Crean, Eugene|
|Bilker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J. T (Ch'shire||Cremer, William Randal|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Bryce, J. Annan||Crooks, William|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Crosfield, A. H.|
|Barker, John||Burke, E. Haviland-||Crossley, William J.|
|Barlow. Percy (Bedford)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Barnard, E. B.||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Davies, David (Montgomery Co|
|Barnes, G. N.||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S)||Byles, William Pollard||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)|
|Barry, Redmond J (Tyrone, N.)||Cameron, Robert||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Beale, W. P.||Carr-Gomm. H. W.||Delany, William|
|Beauchamp, E.||Causton, Rt Hn Richard Knight||Devlin, Joseph|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Cawley, Sir Frederick||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Bell, Richard||Chance, Frederick William||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Cheetham, John Frederick||Dillon, John|
|Benn, Sir J. Willi'ms (Devonp'rt||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Dobson, Thomas W.|
|Benn, W. (T'w'rHamlets, S. Geo.||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Dolan, Charles Joseph|
|Bennett, E. N.||Clancy, John Joseph||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham)||Duckworth, James|
|Bertram, Julius||Cleland, J. W.||Duffy, William J.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H (Essex, Romford||Clough, William||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Hyde, Clarendon||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall||Idris, T. H. W.||Morrell, Philip|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Illingworth, Percy H.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Murnaghan, George|
|Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Murphy, John|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Jardine, Sir J.||Murray, James|
|Erskine, David C.||Jenkins, J.||Myer, Horatio|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Napier, T. B.|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)|
|Evans, Samuel T.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea||Nicholls, George|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Nolan, Joseph|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Jowett, F. W.||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Fenwick, Charles||Joyce, Michael||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Ferens, T. R.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Kekewich, Sir George||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Ffrench, Peter||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Nuttall, Harry|
|Field, William||Kettle, Thomas Michael||O'Brien, Kenda, (Tipperary Mid|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Kilbride, Denis||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Kincaid-Smith, Captain||O'Connor, James (Wickiow, W.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Fuller. John Michael F.||Laidlaw, Robert||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S.||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||O'Donnell. T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Lambert, George||O'Dowd, John|
|Ginnell, L.||Lamont, Norman||O'Grady, J.|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn Herbert John||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||O'Hare, Patrick|
|Glover, Thomas||Lea, Hugh Cecil (S. Pancras, E.)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||O'Malley, William|
|Gooch, George Peabody||Lehmann, R. C.||O'Mara, James|
|Grant, Corrie||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||O'Shee, James John|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Levy, Maurice||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Lewis, John Herbert||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Gulland, John W.||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Lough, Thomas||Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Lundon, W.||Pearson, W. H. M (Suffolk, Eye)|
|Hail, Frederick||Lyell, Charles Henry||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)|
|Halpin, J.||Lynch, H. B.||Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Philips, Owen (Pembroke)|
|Harmsworth, Cceil B. (Wore'r)||Macdonald, M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Harrington, Timothy||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Price, C. E. (Ediub'gh, Central)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)|
|Harwood, George||Macpherson, J. T.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Radford. G. H.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||M'Callum, John M.||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Hazelton, Richard||MCrae, George||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Healy, Timothy Michael||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Hedges, A. Paget||M'Kean, John||Rea, Walter Russell (Searboro'|
|Helme, Norval Watson||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Reddy, M.|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||M'Killop, W.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||M'Micking, Major G.||Redmond William (Clare)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Maddison, Frederick||Rees, J. D.|
|Henry, Charles S.||Mallet, Charles E.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.)||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Renton, Major Leslie|
|Herbert T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Richard, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Higham, John Sharp||Marks, G. Croydon (Lanuceston||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Marnham, F. J.||Richardson, A.|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Hodge, John||Massie, J.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Hogan, Michael||Masterman, C. F. G.||Robertson, Sir C. Scott (Bradf'rd|
|Holden, E. Hopkinson.||Meagher, Michael||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Meehan, Patrick A.||Robinson, S.|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Menzies, Walter||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Hooper, A. G.||Micklem, Nathaniel||Roche, Augustine (Cork)|
|Hope, W. Bateman (Somers't. N.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Mond, A.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Hudson, Walter||Mooney, J. J.||Rose, Charles Day|
|Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Rowlands, J.|
|Runciman, Walter||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Russell, T. W.||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Summerbell, T,||Whitbread, Howard|
|Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Scarisbrick, T. T. L.||Taylor,Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Scott, A. H. (Ashtonunder Lyne||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Sears, J. E.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer|
|Seaverns, J. H.||Thomasson, Franklin||Wiles, Thomas|
|Sedddon, J.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somers't, E.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Seeely, Major J. B.||Tomkinson, James||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Shackleton, David James||Torrance, Sir A. M.||Williams, Llewelyn-Carmarth'n|
|Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||Toulmin, George||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Sheehy, David||Ure, Alexander||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Sherwell, Arthur James||Verney, F. W.||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Vivian, Henry||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Silcock, Thomas Ball||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Simon, John Allsebrook||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Walsh, Stephen||Winfrey, R.|
|Smcaton, Donald Mackenzie||Walters, John Tudor||Wodehouse, Lord|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Ward, John (Stokeupon Trent||Young, Samuel|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Stanger, H. Y.||Wardle, George J.|
|Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)||Waring, Walter||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Steadman, W. C.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Whiteley and Mr. J. A.|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)||Pease.|
|Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Strache, Sir Edward||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Craik, Sir Henry||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dalrymple, Viscount||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Ashley, W. W.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Du Cros, Harvey||M'Calmont, Colonel James|
|Balcarres, Lord||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh, W.|
|Balfour, Rt Hn A. J. (City Lond.)||Faber, George Denison (York)||Magnus Sir Philip|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Fardell, Sir T. George||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester||Fell, Arthur||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Moore, William|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Fletcher, J. S.||Muntz, Sir Philip, A.|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Forster, Henry William||Nicholson, W m. G. (Petersfield)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Nield, Herbert|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Gordon, J.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Haddock, George R.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hamilton, Marquess of||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Percy, Earl|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Helmsley, Viscount||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury S. Edm'ds||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hills, J. W.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cave, George||Horn by, Sir William Henry||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Keynon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Keswick, William||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.|
|Clark, George Smith (Belfast, N.||Kimber, Sir Henry||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lambton, Hon. Frederick W m.||Smith, Abe, H. (Hertford, East)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareham||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Liddell, Henry||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskir k|
|Craig, Curtis Charles (Antrim, S.||Lockwood, Rt Hn. Lt.-Col. A. B.||Starkey, John R.|
|Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel||Younger, George|
|Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Tuke, Sir John Batty||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Turnour, Viscount||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-||Viscount Valentia.|
|Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
§ Question put accordingly.192
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 416; Noes, 121. (Division List No. 162.)195
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Byles, William Pollard||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cameron, Robert||Evans, Samuel T.|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Eve, Harry Trelawney|
|Agnew, George William||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Everett, R. Lacey|
|Alden, Percy||Cawley, Sir Frederick||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Chance, Frederick William||Fenwick, Charles|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Ferens, T. R.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Cheetham, John Frederick||Ferguson, R. C. Munro|
|Armitage, R.||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Ffrench, Peter|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Field, William|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Clancy, John Joseph||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham)||Findlay, Alexander|
|Astbury, John Meir||Cleland, J. W.||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Clough, William||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Clynes, J. R.||Fuller, John Michael F.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)||Fullerton, Hugh|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S.)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Cogan, Denis J.||Gibb, James (Harrow)|
|Barker, John||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Ginnell, L.|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W.||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John|
|Barnard, E. B.||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Glover, Thomas|
|Barnes, G. N.||Cooper, G. J.||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Corbett, C H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd)||Gooch, George Peabody|
|Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Grant, Corrie|
|Beale, W. P.||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Cowan, W. H.||Greenwood, Hamar (York)|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Cox, Harold||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill|
|Bell, Richard||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Gulland, John W.|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Crean, Eugene||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Cremer, William Randal||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt||Crooks, William||Hall, Frederick|
|Benn, W. (T'w'rHamlets, S. Geo.||Crosfield, A. H.||Halpin, J.|
|Bennett, E. N.||Crossley, William J.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Dalziel, James Henry||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Wore'r)|
|Bertram, Julius||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.||Harrington, Timothy|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf rd||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Hart-Davies, T.|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Billson, Alfred||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Harwood, George|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Delany, William||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Blake, Edward||Devlin, Joseph||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Boland, John||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Bottomley, Horatio||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Hazleton, Richard|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Healy, Timothy Michael|
|Brace, William||Dillon, John||Hedges, A. Paget|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Dobson, Thomas W.||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Branch, James||Dolan, Charles Joseph||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Brigg, John||Donelan, Captain A.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Bright, J. A.||Duckworth, James||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Duffy, William J.||Henry, Charles S.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes..Leigh)||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J. T (Cheshire||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall||Higham, John Sharp|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Hobart, Sir Robert|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Hodge, John|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Hogan, Michael|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Erskine, David C.||Holden, E. Hopkinson|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Holt, Richard Darning||Micklem, Nathaniel||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Hooper, A. G.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.||Mond, A.||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Horniman, Emslie John||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Rose, Charles Day|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Mooney, J. J.||Rowlands, J.|
|Hudson, Walter||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Runciman, Walter|
|Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Russell, T. W.|
|Hyde, Clarendon||Morrell, Philip||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Idris, T. H. W.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Illingworth, Percy H.||Murnaghan, George||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Isaacs, Ruins Daniel||Murphy, John||Scarisbrick, T. T. L.|
|Jacoby, Sir James Alfred||Murray, James||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Jardine, Sir J.||Myer, Horatio||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Jenkins, J.||Napier, T. B.||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Sears, J. E.|
|Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Nicholls, George||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Johnson, Sir D. Brynmore (Swansea)||Nicholson Charles N. (Doncast'r||Seddon, J.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Nolan, Joseph||Seely, Major J. B.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Norman, Sir Henry||Shackleton, David James|
|Joyce, Michael||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.|
|Kekewieh, Sir George||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Sheehy, David|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Nuttall, Harry||Sherwell, James Arthur|
|Kettle, Thomas Michael||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Kincaid-Smith, Captain||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Kitson, Rt. Hon. Sir James||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Laidlaw, Robert||O'Doberty, Philip||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim S.)|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walwort M||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Lambert, George||O'Dowd, John||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Lamont, Norman||O'Grady, J.||Stanley Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||O'Hare, Patrick||Steadman, W. C.|
|Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||O'Malley, William||Stewart-Smith D. (Kendal)|
|Lehmann, R. C||O'Mara, James||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||O'Shee, James John||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Levy, Maurice||Parker, James (Halifax)||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Paulton, James Mellor||Summerbell, T.|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxtcth)|
|Lough, Thomas||Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Lundon, W.||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Badcliffe)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)||Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury|
|Lynch, H. B.||Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (FalkirkB'ghs||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Mackarness, Frederic C.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Thomasson Franklin|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Thompson, J. W. H (Somerset, E|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)||Tomkinson, James|
|Macpherson, J. T.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Torrance, Sir A. M.|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Toulmin, George|
|MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Radford, G. H.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|M'Callum, John M.||Rainy, A. Rolland||Ure, Alexander|
|M'Crae, George||Raphael, Herbert H.||Verney, F. W.|
|M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)||Vivian, Henry|
|M'Kean, John||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose|
|M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Reddy, M.||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|M'Killop, W.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Walsh, Stephen|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Redmond, William (Clare)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Maddison, Frederick||Rees, J. D.||Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S)|
|Mallet, Charles E.||Rendall, Athelstan||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent,|
|Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n)|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n||Wardle, George J.|
|Marks G Croydon (Launceston)||Richardson, A.||Waring, Walter|
|Marnham, F. J.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Robertson, John H. (Denbighs.)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Massie, J.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd||Wason, John Catheart (Orkney)|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Meaghcr, Michael||Robinson, S.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Meehan, Patrick A.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Menzies, Walter||Roche, Augustine (Cork)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Whitbread, Howard||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||Winfrey, R.|
|White, George (Norfolk)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthn||Wodehouse, Lord|
|White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Wills, Arthur Walters||Young, Samuel|
|White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)||Yoxhall, James Henry|
|Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Wiles, Thomas||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)||Whiteley and Mr. J. A.|
|Wilkie, Alexander||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||Pease.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Anstmther-Gray, Major||Faber, George Denison (York)||Nicholson, W m. G. (Petersfield)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Nield, Herbert|
|Ashley, W. W.||Fardell, Sir T. George||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Fell, Arthur||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J (City Lond.)||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fletcher, J. S.||Percy, Earl|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Forster, Henry William||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Baring, Capt. Hn. G (Winchester||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Gordon, J||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Haddock, George K.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hamilton, Marquess of||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hardy, Laurcnce (K'nt,Ashf'rd||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Helmsley, Viscount||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hervey, F. W. F. (B'ry S. Edm'ds||Sheffield, Sir Berkeby George D.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hills, J. W.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormski'k|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.||Starkey, John R.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Keswick, William||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)|
|Cave, George||Kimber, Sir Henry||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cavendish, Rt, Hon. Victor C. W.||Lambton, Hon. Frederick W m.||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Law, Andrew Bonar Dulwich||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham||Tumour, Viscount|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Liddell, Henry||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Clark, George Smith (Belfast, N.)||Lock wood, Rt Hn. Lt-Col. A. R.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent. Mid)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Long, Rt Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Cory, Clifford John||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Younger, George|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES —Sir|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Alexander Acland-Hood and|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Moore, William||Viscount Valentia.|
|Du Cros, Harvey||Morpeth, Viscount|
§ Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Birrell, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mr. Attorney-General for Ireland.