I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the increasing number of outrages throughout the south and west of Ireland; whether he has any official information showing that they have been instigated or condoned by the United Irish League, and, if so, whether the Government intend to proceed further with the Irish Council Bill; and, if they do, will he give a day before the Second Reading to debate the state of affairs at present existing.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN,) Stirling Burghs
I am not aware that there is any foundation for the suggestion contained in the first part of the Question. My right hon. friend the Chief Secretary informs me that the condition of Ireland as a whole is very satisfactory, though in certain limited areas disturbances have recently taken place in consequence of the agitation against the grazing system. Proper measures are being taken for the preservation of the peace in these districts, and there does not seem to be any reason why the present state of Ireland should be debated.
Will the right hon. Gentleman in his leisure time look to 980 the Questions addressed to the Chief Secretary and the Answers thereto as showing the state of the country?
§ MR. MOONEY (Newry)
Is it not within the knowledge of the House that the invariable Answer to the Questions put by hon. Members is a direct denial on the part of the Government?
§ VISCOUNT TURNOUR
asked if the right hon. Gentleman was prepared to say that the state of the west of Ireland was satisfactory.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I have given all the information I have, and it is quite sufficient for my purpose. With regard to the Questions and Answers referred to, the conclusion I have come to on the whole matter is that there never was an Answer given in the House to some hon. Gentleman that would not have a Question arising out of it.
May I press for an Answer to my Question as to whether these outrages have been instigated or condoned by the United Irish League?
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT
Was the right hon. Gentleman present when the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary made very grave admissions this afternoon as to the state of Ireland?