§ Order for Committee read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. SPEAKER do now leave the Chair."
§ MR. KETTLE (Tyrone, E.)
, in moving, 'That the cost of administration in Ireland is excessive, is unduly burdensome to the people of that country, and is steadily increasing; that the expenditure is not 1623 subject to Irish control and is not allocated or administered in such a way as to promote efficiency in government or national well-being; that, so far from alleviating the injury inflicted on Ireland by over-taxation, this waste of her resources on certain services tends rather to aggravate it; and that this condition of affairs constitutes an intolerable grievance and demands the immediate attention of Parliament," said the subject was one which had many recommendations to the attention of the House, though it could not lay claim to novelty. The wasteful expenditure on Irish administration was admitted, but so far not amended, and the taxation of Ireland had formed the subject of many debates in that House. As long ago as 1840, the matter of extravagance in Irish government was first raised by O'Council, and from that day to this there had been a long succession of vigorous and entirely futile protests from those benches. The subject was one of enormous gravity, going down to the root of Irish decay and discontent. It had been said that his Motion was the money argument for Home Rule. The education question in Ireland, the political condition of the country, and the excessive cost of administration were three questions which together formed one subject of the deepest significance. The present Motion was swallowed up in the Motion of his hon. friend the Member for Waterford to be moved on Monday; and for that reason, and for the technical reason of procedure, which the House would not fail to understand, he might state that the purpose of this proposition was to ventilate the subject and to bring the facts connected with it under discussion, though Members on those benches did not intend to proceed to a division. The Motion on the Paper did not put the whole money argument in favour of Home Rule; it put only half of it. The whole money argument included the question of the incidence of taxation in Ireland. This Motion dealt primarily with expenditure in Ireland and dealt only with taxation in relation to expenditure in the same way as the obverse side of a penny was related to the reverse side. Happily in that House it 1624 was not necessary to engage in any sort of historical reference. That had been done in a masterly fashion in a document with which he supposed those interested in Irish subjects were thoroughly conversant—he referred to the Report of the Commission on the Financial Relations of England and Ireland, appointed by the last Liberal Government. He did not propose to discuss any of the findings of the Commission. But there were one or two facts which he thought ought to be very briefly noted, for this reason. Many people in Ireland had thought that the effect of the Report would be to awaken and restore activity to the conscience of England. But the conscience of England, he was sorry to say, in regard to Irish finance had apparently discovered some soporific of which they would all like to learn the secret. At any rate, the conscience of England had not been awakened by the Report. Substantially the findings of the Commission were there, that from the date of the amalgamation of the Irish and English Exchequers down to the date of the Commission, the taxation per head of the population in England had been reduced by 11 per cent., while the taxation per head of the population of Ireland had been increased by 170 per cent. They found, in the words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, used in 1897, that the real fact was that Ireland was over-taxed to the extent of £2,500,000 a year, though the actual figure was much closer to £2,725,000. If they accepted the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer—and it could not be controverted—they would find that at the date of the Commission the accumulated conscience money due by England to Ireland touched a figure somewhere between £400,000,000 and. £410,000,000. He had said that in Ireland, and in England also, many assumed that the Report which brought to light facts of which many public men might before have been ignorant without any grave discredit to themselves, would have marked the beginning of a new epoch in Irish finance. They assumed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he came to budget for Irish expenditure, would have made the Report his study not by day only, but would have slept with it under his 1625 pillow at night. The only thing he had clone effectively with it was to fall asleep on it. So far from things having improved in reference to extravagant government in Ireland, they had gone back enormously since the Commission reported in 1894. Since then the cost of home government in Ireland had been increased by £2,062,239. The home government in Ireland, since the facts contained in the Report were brought to light, had increased from £1 4s. 6d. per head of the population to £1 15s. The total cost of all services in Ireland had increased by £1,799,655. The population in the meantime had fallen by 192,000. As a test of whether the country was advancing or not, they took the yield of income-tax per 1d. in the £, and they found that the yield was almost precisely to-day what it was in 1894, whereas in both England and Scotland it had increased by somewhere about 50 per cent. These facts showed how the Report of the Financial Relations Commission had awakened the conscience of England. Let him take another item of curious significance. Let him take the figures showing what was called their Imperial contribution, or, as he should prefer to put it, what it cost them to be associated with this Empire of which they formed part. The Imperial contribution had fallen from £2,073,984 in 1894 to £1,811,500 in 1906–7. The Annual Return from which the figures were taken was, he thought, the most thoroughly separatist document to be found amongst the publications of that House. If there was one thing that the Act of Union made clear, it was that in future arrangements there should be no discrimination with regard to expenditure between either of the contracting parties, Great Britain and Ireland. The formula of the Act of Union was that Great Britain and Ireland should enter into this Union, and that in future there would be taken from each country by way of taxation in accordance with its taxable capacity and that there should be given to each country in accordance with its administrative needs. There were to be no exemptions and abatements with regard to taxation, so far as Ireland and Scotland were concerned, 1626 and there was to be no discrimination whatever with regard to the cost of administrative services that might be regarded as Irish, those that might be regarded as English, and those that might be regarded as Imperial. Therefore this Annual Return afforded an interesting illustration of a fact that was not indeed new to any of them, that the Act of Union had two things against it—first, that it was carried, and, secondly, that it had never been carried out. But let him take the item of Imperial expenditure—the Irish contribution to the Army, the Navy, and the diplomatic establishment. He had pointed out the grave objection in principle to the separation of Imperial expenditure in the Return, but there were much graver objections than that. There was a grave and fatal objection to the amount. Last year the contribution of Ireland to Imperial services—and he thought this contribution was a good test of the cost and expenditure of home government—was less than £2,000,000. In 1859 it was more than £5,000,000. In 1869 it was £4,000,000, and in 1879, £3,000,000, though taxation was steadily increasing. So voracious was the appetite of Dublin Castle that it had eaten up the entire increase of taxation, and if matters went on on this basis much longer—not that he should regret the eventuality—England and the Empire would be running Ireland at a loss. He had said that in regard to the item of £1,811,500 which was to be found in the Appropriation Account of 1906–7 there were grave objections and grave mistakes. In the first place, the entire cost of the Royal Irish Constabulary, which was regulated by Imperial and not Irish policy and ideas, was returned as expenditure for the benefit of Ireland. He could appeal to much higher authority than he could lay claim to be for saying that a large portion of the £1,300,000 at present expended on the Irish police ought to be set down as a contribution to the expenses of the Empire. Sir Edward Hamilton when questioned before the Financial Relations Commission on the point said, and it had never been disputed, that part of the police charge in Ireland might be considered an Imperial charge 1627 Then in reply to a further question he said—I think it would be fair to transfer £600,000 of the change from the Irish to the Imperial Parliament.That was the situation in 1894. He saw in the Returns which were issued from year to year that at least £1,000,000 to £1,350,000 ought to be set down as the contribution by Ireland to Imperial services, and her actual contribution was closer to £3,000,000 than to £1,800,000. But he did not want to discuss that matter in any detail. The Returns proceeded to show, according to the fashion in which they were arranged, Ireland's contribution to what were spoken of and understood in that sense as expenses of Empire, at something less than 2 per cent. of the total cost of these services. If they took £3,000,000, it, with her actual contribution percentage, was up to about 5 per cent. of the other services. For that burden borne by the people of Ireland what did Ireland get? What was the Empire worth to them? Empire meant an Army. The Army in these humanitarian days was not to be employed for the purpose of making war, but only for the purpose of resisting invasion. Would any invader be more terrible, more fatal to their prosperity than a Government which in fifty years had reduced her population by half? Then again in these humanitarian days the Navy was not to be employed for the purpose of making war, but only as an insurance on sea-borne commerce A hundred years of the Act of Union and sixty years of free trade had left Ire and no sea-borne commerce. A third benefit which they were supposed to get in return for their contribution to the expenses of Empire was that they could employ Imperial credit when they had large national transactions to carry through. They saw the value of Imperial credit when as a result of that extremely immoral and, what was still more important for them, expensive war in South Africa, Consols and Land Stock had run down to 87 per cent. The benefit which they secured from the tottering and falling credit of the Empire at that time was that they put Land Stock on the market and paid the fourteen points difference out of the pockets of the Irish taxpayers. So much with 1628 regard to that portion of the burden of government laid upon the people of Ireland at present which represented the cost and expenses of Empire. The main subject of discussion was with regard to home government. They complained of three points with regard to home government. They complained of the amount spent on home government and of the allocation and administration of that amount. They in Ireland had never had any desire or ambition for cheap government simply as such. Just as according to the old story when a traveller came to a place where he saw a gallows erected he knew he was in a civilised country, so progressive government was to a large extent marked by increase in taxation. Some Governments would be cheap at any price, and Governments such as existed in Ireland would be dear at any price. Their complaint had always been that too much money was spent on the government of Ireland as a whole, and that if they reduced the amount by from 30 to 50 per cent., redistributed it, and brought their administrative house into order, they could get all their services more properly and efficiently discharged than under the present system. So far were they from desiring to reduce the amount expended on such services as education and agriculture that they would gladly take £500,000 or £1,000,000 from the other Irish services and transfer the money to education and to the development of the Department of Agriculture. He did not think he was going beyond the bounds of reason, or of political sense, in saying that under an Irish Government these would be the two most important services in the entire economy of the nation. What they complained of was that too much money was spent on the wrong things and not enough on the right things. Every agency that had for its function to repress the people, to keep them in what was humorously called order, was financed to the full, overstaffed and over-salaried. Every agency such as education and agriculture, which had for its purpose to build up the material and moral prosperity of the country, was under-staffed, and as far as salaries went absolutely starved. They called at once for a reduction of 1629 the total amount spent on Irish government and for a redistribution of the cost of the repressive services in favour of services of development. That was the position they had always taken up. He wished the House clearly to understand that every single penny of expenditure on Irish government was Irish money. He thought the mind of the House had been confused, certainly the mind of the public outside had been confused, by these perpetual references to Irish grants and exchequer contributions. In regard to this question it was well to understand the process at the outset. What happened was simply that the Treasury drained the Irish taxes into her reservoir, retained much of the contribution for Imperial services, and returned the rest for Irish services. Every penny, every fraction of the money, was derived from Irish sources, and its expenditure could not be properly managed until it was made subject to Irish control. He would also deal with another argument mentioned in the first clause of the Motion, of which much was heard. It was probably the most fantastic argument ever employed. In reply to the Report of the Royal Commission it was sometimes said that excessive expenditure in Ireland was a set-off against over-taxation. Then it was discreetly conveyed that this extravagant amount all came from the pockets of the British taxpayer. That set-off argument, that contention that amends could be made for over-taxation by over-expenditure, was perhaps the most fantastic of the many fantastic arguments employed on this subject. It was tantamount to saying: "Yes, it is true I get your money from you by the methods of the thief, but then I make amends by spending it after the fashion of the profligate." That was the conclusive answer. Another point which nobody seemed to have raised was that this was accounted for a good deal by the Treasury policy. The Treasury, however, was not able to ignore that Report in arranging its Estimates and controlling this expenditure. It attempted to meet it in this way. It was said that in 1894 the Commission reported that they were paying one-eleventh of the total cost of government in this country, while the taxable capacity of 1630 Ireland was estimated as being not more than one-twentieth. Now the Treasury replied: "Yes, but in 1906–7 you have not been paying one-eleventh, but only one-fourteenth or one-fifteenth." That was perfectly true. He would like for a moment to contrast the progress of the population and wealth made by England and Scotland with the decline of Ireland since 1894. Since the date of the Commission the United Kingdom had grown in population considerably more than the entire population of Ireland. They frequently heard in fiscal discussions that England had advanced in wealth and prosperity in a fashion entirely unprecedented. Ireland, however, during the same period had fallen in population by 200,000, whilst the yield of the income-tax had not only not advanced, but had only been maintained at the figure at which it stood in 1894. The Act of Union prescribed that the expenditure should be in proportion not to Ireland's contribution, but to her needs. A good test would be that when the expenditure of a country exceeded a certain definite proportion the total national income of that country was over-governed, or the Government was over-financed. Obviously, the best means of arriving at a conclusion was to take the government of Ireland and compare it with that of Scotland and England, and it might also be useful to compare it with some small European nations. Comparing the figures for Ireland with those for England, they would find at this moment that England was spending one-forty-second part of her total national income, whilst Ireland was found to spend one-eighth or one-ninth of her total national income. According to the book published by the hon. Member for N. Paddington, between £70,000,000 and £75,000,000 per annum represented the national income of Ireland, whilst £1,700,000,000 to £1,800,000,000 represented the income of England. Deducting a subsistence allowance of £12 per head of the population and taking what was left as the taxable margin of the national income, it left a margin of £3 per head in Ireland and £30 per head in England. Of that £3 in Ireland £2 was taken in national and £1 in local taxation. Those were the salient and sterling 1631 facts which confronted them upon this question. Every penny of the sums they were discussing was Irish money drawn from Irish sources. Upon whom in Ireland did the burden of this extravagant government fall? It fell on the weakest shoulders. It should be remembered that in England they raised the revenue as to 50 per cent. by direct taxation and as to 50 per cent. by indirect taxation, but in Ireland the proportion was 73 per cent. indirect and 27 per cent. direct taxation. That meant that in Ireland they were compelled to pay what it had been stated would never be tolerated in this country, namely, food taxes. The man in Ireland who bore the cost of this extravagant government was the indirect taxpayer, such as the small farmer and the agricultural labourer. Mr. Wilson Fox had conducted an exhaustive inquiry into the wages of the agricultural population of the three kingdoms. He found that the average weekly wage of the agricultural labourer in England was 18s. 3d; in Wales, 17s. 3d.; in Scotland, 19s. 3d.; and in Ireland, 10s. 11d. It was County Mayo and places like that that were bearing the burden of this extravagant government. The average wage of the labourer in County Mayo at this moment was 8s. 9d. a week. He had said that the cost of government of a country, whatever else it might be determined by, was determined in large part by the resources and taxable margin of the income of its inhabitants. What was the position of the inhabitants of the congested districts in the West? Let him read from the evidence given by Mr. W. L. Micks before the Railway Commission—There are two classes of people in the congested districts, namely, the poor and the destitute. Nearly all the inhabitants are on one dead level of poverty.Their dietary was almost vegetable. They had one meal a day. A little salt fish, or a small piece of coarse American bacon as a sort of relish with their food, but the majority of the people had nothing but vegetables, Indian meal, porridge, potatoes and bread baked by themselves. They also drank tea to a large extent. With 73 per cent. of the cost of Irish government paid by indirect taxation—that was the man who was bearing the 1632 burden of government in Ireland. There was no tax on meat in Ireland. They were told that never in England would there be a tax on meat. That did not matter to the inhabitant of the congested district, who did not eat meat, because he could not afford it. He found tea and sugar the prime necessity of his life, and Ireland paid about £605,000 on those articles towards the cost of Irish administration. Tobacco was another necessity of his life, and from tobacco they derived £1,500,000 of the cost of the same administration. They had always protested from the Nationalist benches that those engaged in educational work in Ireland were under-salaried and that education was practically starved. He was aware that the moment one touched upon the subject of education one naturally fell into the morass of equivalent grants. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had repudiated the principle of equivalent grants, but although the right hon. Gentleman had rejected that principle as fallacious and misleading it had been employed by the Treasury in arranging the probate duty and the local taxation account. He was glad to see the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover in his place, because he might lay claim to being the parent of the most remarkable kind of equivalent grant, that so-called equivalent grant out of which Irish education was paid for, which was started in 1902. At that time something like £1,400,000 was given to help education in England, and £185,000 to Ireland. In the interval that £1,400,000 had almost doubled in England, and the amount for Scotland had nearly been doubled, but in Ireland the amount remained at £185,000. In the first place it was not equivalent, in the second place it was not devoted to education, and in the third place it at present suffered from the Irish and still more fatal disease of non-existence. Part of it was swallowed up in the morass of the Land Act for Ireland, and another part was employed by the Board of Works. The principle of equivalent grants having been abandoned in regard to education, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was driven back on the Act of Union, and that was that Ireland should get as much as it needed. He supposed he might assume that the needs of Ireland in regard to education were not less than 1633 those of England, or Scotland, and that the power of Ireland to supply those needs out of local resources were not larger than that of England or Scotland. The figures showed a sinister contrast between the three countries. He wished to say a word in passing in regard to the other two branches of education in Ireland. As to University education he would only say that he hoped that within a very few days Ireland was going to get what she wanted. The wise Government which ordered all things in Ireland prescribed that £45,000 more should be spent every year on the policing of the City of Dublin alone, than on the entire fabric of University education. For the purposes of secondary education in Ireland not one penny came by way of Parliamentary Vote. Secondary education in Ireland had never been discussed in the House on the Estimates. The Board which controlled secondary education had two incomes—a fixed income derived from the Irish church surplus, which was, of course, an exclusively Irish fund, and a fluctuating in come derived from the yield of the local taxation account. The House, which had had recent experience of the influence of beer and Christianity, would be prepared to find associated in Ireland education and whisky. The fluctuating income of the Intermediate Board did not depend on the number of students or the educational needs. It depended on the amount of whisky consumed in Ireland. It laid on the Irish parent the duty of getting drunk on Saturday night, in order that there might be money to educate his children on Monday morning. There was no Parliamentary Vote for Irish secondary education. For English secondary education there was voted £802,000, and for Scottish secondary education £159,500. In regard to primary education, the figures showed the most striking contrast. For the current year, the Estimate for England was £13,594,150; for Scotland, £2,048,557, and for Ireland, £1,408,360, the amount per head of the population being 8s. 8d. for Scotland, 7s. 10½d. for England, and 6s. 5d. for Ireland. On the basis of so much per head of the population, Ireland should have £500,000 more, in order to bring the Estimate up 1634 to a level with that for Scotland, and £320,000 more to bring it up to the English level. A striking feature in connection with education in this country had been the growing willingness of the people to spend money on education. The figures showed that between 1900 and 1907 the money voted for primary education had increased 43 per cent. for England and 51 per cent. for Scotland, while for Ireland the increase had only been 1½ per cent. In the face of these figures he was surely justified in stating that the service of education in Ireland was starved. That was the Treasury side. Now let them take the teaching side. Was there any reason why teachers should be less well paid in Ireland? He saw none. The payment of male teachers in England worked out at an average of £160; in Scotland £179; in Ireland only £102. For women, the average was: England, £109; Scotland, £109; Ireland, £82. Then let them take the point of view of the child. He was sorry not to see present any of the Unionist Members for Ulster to take an interest in this discussion. He would refer to the Report of the National Board, 1906, in which would be found the statements of Mr. Kelly, the senior inspector of the Belfast district. In that Report Mr. Kelly said it was a fact that the prosperous and progressive City of Belfast was the most backward part of the British Empire in the matter of school accommodation. He was sorry that the Member for East Down, who was so anxious to float the Union Jack upon the national schools in order to warm the patriotism of the children, should not be present to co-operate with them in getting more money to buy fuel to keep the children's feet warm. Mr. Kelly concluded by referring to the Report of the sub-inspector of his district. Let it be remembered that this was four years after the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover, in dealing with the Benevolent Grant, had said that £185,000 a year was more than Ireland could usefully spend upon that subject. The sub-inspector wrote that in several schools in Belfast the class-rooms were not heated at all; the cloak-rooms, porches, and passages were occasionally used as class-rooms, and were not, of course, heated, In one cloak-room, where 1635 there was accommodation for 28 children he found 56, in another with accommodation for 26 he found 67, in another with accommodation for 34 there were 70, and in another with accommodation for 84 there were 174 children. In an entire school he found accommodation for 209, the actual number of children in attendance being 401. In another school he found 62 children working in a room 16 feet by 17 feet 6 inches, and he added that in that case he wrote to the manager, pointing out that the Black Hole of Calcutta, in which there had been 146 persons was a room 28 feet by 20 feet. If he had made the calculation he would have found that the persons in the Black Hole got 50 per cent. more air-space than the persons in the school in Belfast, but the Inspector pointed out that the only difference was that the poisoning in the latter case was a little slower, but none the less certain. Yet the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover had said that more than the amount referred to could not be usefully used.
§ MR. WYNDHAM (Dover)
said that his position then and now was that the equivalent grant and the money paid for the education of children ought not to be diverted to purposes that should properly be met out of building grants.
§ MR. KETTLE
said it would certainly be admitted that the right hon. Gentleman had worked for the advancement of Ireland in various ways, and they much regretted that a certain development of Unionist policy relegated him after a brief interval to unofficial obscurity and set in his place a representative with the most reactionary ideas that ever congregated in an English brain. He turned to consider the general vices which marked Irish administration as a whole. The object of administration was to get money used for the purposes for which it was voted and at the same time to secure that as little as possible should adhere to the transmitting hands of officials. The fundamental vice of the administration in Ireland was that there were, as everybody knew, two Civil Services—a permanent Civil Service and a casual, peripatetie service, 1636 a system of fixed and wandering stars. The permanent Civil Service was recruited by competitive examination and the members of it were generally kept in obscure positions. The peripatetic was composed to a large extent of gentlemen, who were what was known as well connected, who had friends at the Castle who could bring influence to bear, and whose only qualification was, in the words of a famous letter read in that House, that they could be trusted not to sell the pass and not to forget their friends. These gentlemen were, as every head of a department knew, always looking for something to inspect. It did not matter very much what it was as long as they got two guineas a day and subsistance money. They were prepared to inspect anything from seed potatoes to guipure lace. That Civil Service had to be provided before the other was attended to, and anyone who was well acquainted with administration in Ireland would agree with him that, in a very large number of cases, they had a deliberate duplication of offices so that occupations might be found for certain gentlemen. Even the Manure Department, over which the Member for South Tyrone presided, was not free from this vice, which, of course, the right hon Gentleman had inherited from his predecessors. Let them compare Ireland with Scotland, the population of the two countries being pretty much the same. Scotland, which had a more complex industrial population naturally calling for more expensive government than Ireland, had for reasons in no way discreditable to it to deal with a larger volume of crime. With the same population as Scotland and less crime, Ireland, with the children of Belfast sitting four deep on the staircase, spent on law and police £3 for every £1 spent in the case of Scotland. He would take a significant figure which would illustrate the matter still more. The Report of the Commissioners for Inland Revenue for 1906 showed, in the case of Scotland, that the number of officials assessed for income tax was 963. In Ireland it was 4,539. The gross income of the officials assessed was, in Scotland, £311,694; in Ireland, £1,412,520, or more than four and a half times the amount spent in Scotland, where there was the same 1637 population and less to do. For every £1 spent by the State in England on education 17s. went to education and 3s. to office expenses. In the case of Scotland 16s. 2d. went to education and 3s. 10d. to office expenses. For every £1 spent in Ireland only 13s. 6d. went to education and 6s. 6d. was spent on office expenses. With regard to the judicial establishment he was not failing in proper respect for the Judges, for they had always been proud in Ireland, especially those who were members of the legal profession, that the, Irish Bench had been adorned by some of the most powerful and subtle legal intellects of which there was record in the history of English law.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
The salaries of the Judges are not borne on the Estimates. It is only matters which are on the Estimates which the hon. Member can discuss.
§ MR. KETTLE
said that only the Irish County Court Judges' salaries were on the Parliamentary Vote and perhaps they were not worth discussing. Let him, however, give the House the figures of the Prisons Boards in Scotland and Ireland. There were two reasons for this; first, because the two Boards did precisely the same work, and secondly, they did it under precisely the same Acts. He knew that hon. Gentlemen above the gangway thought he was going to gratify their well-known appetite for statistics of crime. In Scotland the average daily number of prisoners under the charge of the Prisons Board in 1906 was 2,906, and in Ireland 2,541. The cost of the Irish Prisons Board was £107,012; and of the Scottish, £87,139. The explanation was given in the third column of the Report, which stated that the number of convicts under the charge of the Prisons Board in Scotland was 2,906 and the attendants 454; in Ireland the number of convicts under the Prisons Board was 2,541 and the attendants 628. Then let them take the case of pensions in the Police Force. In Ireland they were paying very much more than in Scotland for the ghosts, or rather the retired members of the Force. If the Police Estimates were looked at it would be found that the pensions to the Royal Irish Constabulary amounted to 50 per cent 1638 of their actual pay; and that the pensions of the Dublin Metropolitan Police amounted to 30 per cent. of their actual pay. He would be asked: What do you suggest should be done? Well, their cardinal suggestion was that the money allocated to the service of Ireland should be bettor distributed. Economies should be made in the police and judicial establishments, which were the last surviving relic of twenty years of resolute government. When that policy of resolute government was replaced by another system, that costly relic ought to go by the board. When Mr. Gladstone introduced his Home Rule Bill in 1886 he foresaw the development of Irish expenditure. Mr. Gladstone said—I will state one other striking fact with regard to Irish expenditure. The House would like to know what an amount has been going on—and is at this moment going on—of what I may call a waste of public money, demoralising in its influence upon both countries. The civil charges per capita at the moment are, in Great Britain, 8s. 2d. per head, and in Ireland, 16s. They have increased in Ireland in the last fifteen years by 63 per cent. and my belief is that if the present legislative and administrative systems be maintained you must make up your minds to a continual; never-ending, and never-to-be limited augmentation.When Mr. Gladstone spoke the Civil Government charges in Ireland were 16s. per head; they now amounted to 28s. 5d. The augmentation went on and they believed now, and always did believe, that they could not have clean, cheap, and effective administration in Ireland until they brought that administration under the control of a democratic. Assembly. They believed that the evils resulted from the fact that the political center of Ireland was not in Dublin, but at Whitehall. They were asked: What is your remedy? His answer was that the proper remedy would be found in the Motion to be made by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford on; Monday next. He begged to move.
To leave out from the word 'That,' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words the cost of Administration in Ireland is excessive, is unduly burdensome to the people of that country, and is steadily increasing; that the expenditure is not subject to Irish control and is not allocated or administered in such a
way as to promote efficiency in government or national well-being; that, so far from alleviating the injury inflicted on Ireland by overtaxation, this waste of her resources on certain services tends rather to aggravate it; and that this condition of affairs constitutes an intolerable grievance and demands the immediate attention of Parliament,'—(Mr. Kettle,)—instead thereof.
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ *THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR IRELAND (Mr. T. W. RUSSELL,) Tyrone, S.
said his hon. friend and colleague in the representation of Tyrone had stated that the question was not a novel one. He (Mr. Russell) had spoken on this subject more than once from below the gangway, and if any hon. Member would read the Resolution paragraph by paragraph he did not believe there was one who knew anything about Ireland who would traverse a single statement in it. Something, he admitted, might be said in explanation of many things, some things might be modified, but speaking as an Irish Minister responsible for one of the great Departments and speaking as an Irish Member who had given long and anxious consideration to the question, he stated that in his opinion the Resolution was substantially accurate and could not be doubted. Let them see how matters actually stood on the Estimates. There were two classes—the one productive expenditure and the other what he would call executive expenditure. He would take two great Departments and contrast them with two others. He would take his own Department first, and then he would take the Irish Land Commission, and contrast them with the Estimate for Law and Justice, and the House would see not only the difference, but the tremendous difficulty there was in dealing with this question. His Department was responsible for an expenditure of £400,000 per annum. £215,000 was on the Estimates, the remainder belonged to the endowment fund. But he should say that £149,000 of the Department Vote simply passed through its hands to other Departments. He would say that the charge for salaries and executive officers in connection with the Department was not over 1640 £65,000, although the total Vote on the Estimate was £215,000. But he claimed that the £400,000 was almost entirely productive and beneficial to the country. For instance, 750,000 head of cattle were annually shipped to Great Britain, and the large dealers who purchased these were unanimous in their testimony as to the great improvement of recent years that had been effected in Irish cattle. It was only reasonable to suppose that the improvement represented £1 per head. Anything less would not be noticeable. But if they put it at 10s. they had an increase of £375,000 per annum, at least three times the whole agricultural expenditure of the Department. Then what was the result of the agricultural instruction provided? There was now being carried out a most complete series of experiments in manuring and treatment of crops. Definite information was provided and widely disseminated to the farmers, who thereby know what and how to buy, what they were to pay, and how they were to use it. An enormous increase in the use of fertilisers was to be attributed directly to this work. Much had been made of the probable injury that would be done to the cattle trade of Ireland by the breaking up of the grass lands into small farms, but few people realised that the value of eggs, butter, and poultry, produced by small farmers, exceeded the total sum derived from the export of cattle—generally the business of large grazlers. This was due directly to the county committee schemes and to the direct work of the Department in developing and improving. He claimed that that was almost entirely of a productive character, and that the charge of something like £60,000 for salaries, etc., was not a large sum and was not misspent. If the work of the Department was to go on, technical education to be extended, and county committees supported as they ought to be, it was more and not less money that would be required. The Land Commission was another of those Departments of the State which involved a heavy expenditure, close upon £300,000 this year. He had heard complaints of the enormous sums spent by the Commission upon all sorts of work He asked was that fair? What was the Land Commission doing? It was very important 1641 to remember that the Land Commission was carrying out duties set by Parliament which involved practically resettling the whole country. It was changing the ownership of land throughout the whole of Ireland. Surely that was productive expenditure, and surely those were things which could not be done except in detail, which would require a great deal of time and a great deal of money. There was no doubt about it that the expenditure on these Departments was heavy and costly, but where that expenditure was useful and productive the House ought not to interfere, it ought to say that these Departments should be aided with money to carry on the work as quickly as it could be done. He came to a class of department of a very different kind, and he claimed the attention of the House to it because here it was that he thought real work could be done. He would take the Department of what was called Law and Justice. He summarised the Estimates, and found that the Supreme Court of Justice cost £103,446, and to that of course must be added about £76,000 for the salaries of Judges, which they could not discuss there; County Courts cost £110,475, pensions and salaries, £35,147, and resident magistrates £43,645. There they had an expenditure of £368,742 upon law and justice. Let them contrast that with Scotland, where the population was practically the same, although as far as criminal tendencies were concerned he should say that the great manufacturing centers such as were found in Lanarkshire would have a greater tendency towards crime than the agricultural districts of Ireland. What was the entire cost of Scottish law and justice? He took the Court of Session, the sheriff courts as representing the work of the Irish County Courts, and the entire cost in Scotland amounted to £202,608, or £150,000 less than law and justice cost in Ireland. He ventured to say with some experience of both countries that the law which the Scottish people got for their money was quite as sound, impartial, and pure as that which Ireland obtained. The only difference was that the Scottish paid £202,000 for their law and justice, whereas the Irish people paid £368,000, although the population was precisely the same. He thought something might 1642 be done in regard to that, though he admitted it was difficult to do it. For the present he contented himself with drawing the contrast. He took next the police. There was no counterpart for the Irish police in Scotland or in England. The Royal Irish Constabulary according to the Estimate cost £1,354,902, and to that must be added £96,632, the cost of the Metropolitan police, making a total of £1,451,534 for the police in Ireland. Hon. Gentlemen would not find in the Scottish Estimates a charge for the Scottish police, for this reason, that it was a local charge, and was locally managed. But picking out the sums from the various accounts of the counties it was a strange thing to find that 4,500,000 Scottish people were policed at a charge of £600,000, but that it took £1,500,000 to do the same work in Ireland. It was enough to state a fact like that to show that something was radically wrong, and that the hon. Member for East Tyrone was right in making his complaint. £1,430,818 was spent on primary education in Ireland less than the amount spent on police. That was intolerable. Education required more and not less. Under the present system under which it was spent there was probably great waste; there was certainly universal dissatisfaction, too many small schools, and inefficiency. What the House and the Government ought to feel was that those services which were productive should be helped and encouraged, whilst the others should have less expenditure made upon them. How was that to be done? Compared with Great Britain, Ireland was a poor country. She had not the natural resources of either Scotland or England. He was not making what was called in Ireland a "poor mouth," because he thought there were compensations. But they in Ireland had not the regulation of their own household. That was done for them, and all the expenditure was voted upon other people's ideas of what Ireland required. Ireland in a sense was a poor country forced to live beyond its means, and the result was inevitable. Why should the expenditure be upon such a gigantic scale? It was all because of a wasteful and wicked system of government. But let any 1643 Chief Secretary venture upon a discovery. Let him say: "I shall not sanction £1,500,000 for police in a country which in ordinary times is practically crimeless; I shall not sanction £350,000 for what you call law and justice; I will not spend large sums of money in Ireland which have no counterpart in Scotland and England; I will bring the services of the country within reasonable limits." In that case what would happen? The Chief Secretary would not be able to do very much. The average life of a Chief Secretary was two years and three months. He had seen sixteen Chief Secretaries since he began to take a part in public affairs in Ireland. The Chief Secretary would be gone long before the officials let him do much. The right hon. Member for Dover was a splendid example. He went to Ireland with the very best of intentions—[A NATIONALIST MEMBER: They all do.]—and he proceeded to put them into force, and to reduce the police and resident magistrates, or at any rate, to make arrangements for doing so. But when he went he was succeeded by another who filled up the vacancies; and what was called the "garrison" loudly applauded him as they stepped into the vacant offices. So the thing went round and round like a horse in a bark mill. Something might occur in the west to give trouble, or what was called the rash might come out badly in the north; the police would then be overworked and the resident magistrates unable to cope with the trouble. There would then be others appointed "temporarily," but no man ever so appointed really believed he was appointed temporarily. Temporary men in six months applied to be made pensionable officers. It was perfectly impossible for any Chief Secretary, no matter what his intentions were, to make any impression upon this business from the English side of the water. He had been twenty-two years in the House, and the thing had gone on all that time because no Chief Secretary could deal with it. Officials had become a great class in Ireland; there were thousands of them, and their influence was felt everywhere. They were largely of one class, one creed, and one party—and if any man dared to lay hands upon what they considered their 1644 rights, that man was doomed. That sort of devil did not go out by prayer and fasting. It would not go out by fine intentions; it would have to be dealt with by Irishmen, on their own soil and in their own way. He had to point out to Englishmen another difficulty in this matter. Who had any interest in economy in Ireland? The revenue Ireland paid last year was £9,490,000; that was the sum taken out of the country in revenue. The expenditure in Ireland was £7,678,500, leaving a balance in favour of Ireland of £1,811,500. That was the Imperial contribution. Thus if Ireland reduced her expenditure the money so saved went to increase the Imperial contribution—Ireland got no benefit from such saving. That was a wicked system. No one in Ireland had any interest in economy. There was a perfect hopelessness of doing anything. No Chief Secretary could do anything because he was there to-day and gone to-morrow. There was no encouragement for economy in Ireland itself, because the people thought it was better to have money spent in Ireland than to save it to swell the Imperial contribution. Long study of this question had driven him to the conclusion that the whole thing was hopeless, and it was impossible for England to make any impression upon it. That was why he had supported the Irish Council Bill, because he thought it would give Irishmen themselves a grip upon expenditure in the great Departments. Until that was done by Irishmen in Ireland the remedy would never be effected.
§ MR. WALTER LONG (Dublin, S.)
I should not have intervened in this debate but for what has fallen from the hon. Gentleman. As an Irish Member I should like to see reductions of expenditure if they could be secured in Parliament. I should not have risen, as I said, if it had not been for the extraordinary speech to which we have listened from the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture. I am not going to say anything about the action of a Minister, a Member of the Government, who gets up and makes by inference and by suggestion, an attack on all those who have sat on that bench before, and pretends to make a straightforward declaration 1645 to the House as to the action of others, while he carefully, and for purposes of his own, ignores the action of the Government of which he is now a Member—misrepresents the action of myself when I was Chief Secretary, and makes a comparison between my right hon. friend the Member for Dover and myself, which, if it means anything, means that I departed from the arrangement at which my right hon. friend had arrived, and broke that promise which he had made to Parliament. I did nothing of the kind. The Vice-President says that my right hon. friend, amongst other economies, effected a reduction in the police, and he wound up by saying that no Irish Minister could make economies because he was not permitted. Having said that my right hon. friend had effected an economy by reducing the police, he charged me with having departed from that economy. It was convenient for him for the moment to forget—I do not think he has forgotten—that, whatever may have been my sins, I left the police at the statutory number. One of the earliest actions of the Government of which he himself is a Member, was to increase that number. Why? Because the hon. Gentleman tells us in his particularly picturesque language, that the "rash" had broken out in the west.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
Oh, in the north! But according to the statement made by the hon. Gentleman's own chief, the increase of the police was in consequence of troubles, not in the north, but in the west. Therefore, the hon. Gentleman cannot ride off on that. But now the hon. Gentleman in his changed position tells us about an outbreak of the rash. Is there a man in this House or out of it, who has been more eloquent or more frequent in his descriptions of disturbances and trouble in Ireland than the hon. Gentleman? Now that he finds it desirable to make peace with the National representatives of Ireland he forgets his speeches of the past, and says the increase of police is in consequence of an outbreak of rash.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
The right hon. Gentleman must please remember that I stated that the trouble arose in the west, and the rash broke out in the north.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
The right hon. Gentleman also accused me of departing from my right hon. friend the Member for Dover's promise as to the resident magistrates. What about the Government of the right hon. Gentleman? Unless I am mistaken, a resident magistrate has been appointed since the Government came into office. I believe I am right in saying that the appointment that I made was to a resident magistrateship vacant within the conditions laid down by the right hon. Member for Dover, and I did not go beyond them. But what of this immaculate Government, who by their spokesmen accept every word uttered by the hon. Member who moved this Motion, and who have not a word to say in defence of those who held office before them, and who belonged to the same Party? Since they came into office they have done that which we deliberately de lined to do. They have filled up a vacant judgeship, a much larger matter from the point of view of finance than the appointment of a resident magistrate or an increase of the police; and they did that in defiance of the fact that we had made this arrangement with Parliament. We introduced a Bill which was not passed, having for its object the reduction of the number of Judges, and we declined ourselves to make a new appointment, because we were debarred from doing so by the arrangement made with Parliament. Yet, in face of these facts, every one of which was known to the hon. Gentleman when he rose in order to score a petty party point, in order, if possible, to do some injury to a single individual, he chose to try and draw this distinction between my right hon. friend and myself, and he chose in doing that grossly to misrepresent the facts as to my administration in Ireland. Now, the hon. Gentleman accepted the whole of the Motion from below the gangway. It is perfectly true that there are some questions, however keenly we may be divided on party politics, or on great matters of controversy, upon which we 1647 may speak without reserve, and I hope that will ever be so in this House. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Motion did so in a speech of rare ability and great interest, and I do not hesitate to say that he made, as others have made before him, a clear case for making an examination into those allegations in regard to the cost of government in Ireland and in regard to the incidence of the cost as between the Imperial Exchequer and the Exchequer of Ireland alone. The hon. Member said that the Motion involved part of their Motion to be moved on Monday next, and he said quite distinctly that no promise of economy—no putting on of the white sheet as the hon. Gentleman opposite has done tonight, by disavowing the action of his predecessors as well as of his own Government—will satisfy them; nothing-will satisfy them except the transference of power from this Government to another in Ireland. What was the answer to the hon. Gentleman? We thought he was going to leave that part of the Resolution untouched, but we were mistaken. The hon. Gentleman has never tired telling the House and Ireland that, although he has seen fit to join another Party, and has left the Party with which he had worked so long, it did not mean that he was identified in any way with the cause of Home Rule. Can he say that after the declaration he has made here to-night? Has he offered the smallest opposition to the explicit and definite declaration of the hon. Gentleman below the gangway, representing as he does the views he and his Party have always held? What interpretation does his language bear? If it does not mean that these matters are to be transferred to an Irish Parliament it has no meaning at all. Therefore, all these assertions and declarations which we have heard in this House and in Ireland, have been entirely obliterated by the definite statement made now, and we know he is prepared no longer to resist that great fundamental change in the government of Ireland which he resisted so long, and to which many of us believed he was not yet converted, although he had seen fit to join the present Government. It is not possible now to discuss 1648 the larger question opened up by the Motion and in a lesser degree by the hon. Gentleman; but I confess I regret very much that the Government has thought it necessary to put up to represent them on this occasion a Minister who has embittered what has been a non-controversial debate—a debate extremely interesting and in which any hon. Member could have taken part irrespective of the part he takes in public affairs, short only of the change from Imperial to Irish control, without embarking upon any of those personal attacks which the hon. Gentleman has thought it necessary to make in order to establish his case. I should not have risen if it had not been for the charges made by the hon. Gentleman, charges for which there is not a shadow of foundation, and charges which as a Member of the Government he ought not to have made, because he is in possession of the information I have now given to the House. I profoundly regret that we should have witnessed this spectacle of a Minister who, in his desire to join hands with those who support his Government, thinks it necessary to traduce those who are opposed to him, and who differ from him, not only in politics, but also in this, that they are consistent, whereas he is remarkable for his inconsistency.
§ MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
said, in regard to the Motion so ably laid before the House by his hon. friend, there was no excuse for a Member of the Front Bench saying that they could find no way to reduce the expenditure, and it was equally futile for the hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken to use the tu quoque argument, and say: "If we are fat, you are also." The right hon. Gentleman would excuse him if he said that he ought not to be excited by any burning desire for retrenchment in Ireland, seeing that he represented a constituency near Dublin Castle, called "Dublin Castle by the Sea," because, in that constituency the voters were very largely composed of those who were intimately concerned in the perpetuation of the system of extravagance and corruption which had been so strongly denounced that afternoon. The main argument used on the other side was this: "We grant that large 1649 sums of money are raised in Ireland, we grant that government in Ireland is costly, we grant that Ireland in proportion to her taxable capacity is overtaxed, but we have to set-off against that the extraordinary amount of money that is spent in Ireland. Look what a large amount of money is spent on law, justice, police, Local Government Boards, and all the other great Departments with which you are blessed in Ireland." But that was a very strange argument to use, that over-taxation was compensated for by extravagant expenditure. The extraordinary anomaly was that the more Ireland was taxed the less money went to the tax gatherer. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that that was due to the extravagant cost of Civil government in Ireland. He would give a few figures to the House in corroboration of that view. He would take five periods—1819, when the Exchequers were amalgamated, and then the periods of twenty years, 1849 to 1869–70, then 1889–90, and the present financial year. The estimated true revenue of Ireland in 1829 was £5,264,000. The percentage of Ireland's revenue to that of Great Britain was 10.4, and the contribution per head was 15s. 5d. In 1849 after the disastrous famine the estimated true revenue was £4,867,000, the percentage 9.4, and the amount per head 14s. 9d. Twenty years later the revenue, still rising, was £7,426,000, the percentage 10.7, and the cost per head £1 7s. 9d. In 1889–1890 the amount raised was £7,734,000, the percentage 9.1, and the amount per head £1 12s. 6d.; and in the last financial year for which they had figures, 1906–1907, the amount raised was £9,490,000, the percentage 6.8, and the amount per head £2 3s. 3d. Ireland's contribution had doubled in the past sixty years. To take the figures as given a few months ago by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in reply to a question by his hon. friend who had moved the Motion, the increase of the tax revenue within the past ten years had been from £7,144,000 to £8,274,000 or £1,130,000, and the percentage had fallen from 7.9 to 6.9, compared with Great Britain. The obvious conclusion was that the more Ireland paid in tax revenue the less the injustice of over-taxation, because of the inflated expenditure of Great Britain, and the more 1650 she paid in taxation the less she contributed to Imperial expenditure, because of the cost of Irish services. In other words the candle was being burnt at both ends. Ireland was paying more year after year, owing to the demands made upon her, and to the increase in British expenditure, but owing to the still greater increase of the costly system of administration in Ireland, that was more than counterbalanced by the increase in the expenditure, and while Ireland paid more and more as the years rolled by she contributed less and less towards the Imperial expenditure of the country. That had a double disadvantage. Ireland was expanding more and getting less in return. It might be said that a good deal of this increase was automatic, but this thing must be tackled in a radical manner and little peddling reforms here and there would do little. In order to tackle it in a proper way they must tackle the system which gave rise to these gross abuses and extraordinary anomalies. Lord Farrer and his colleagues on the Financial Relations Commission acknowledged this, and said—We are of opinion that the excessive expenditure of Ireland which we have described, although it may be no justification for the excessive taxation of Ireland, is at once a pecuniary loss to the taxpayers of Great Britain and the cause of demoralisation to Ireland.Even the Tory Government in 1906, which did not accept the findings of the Commission, proposed to appoint a fresh Commission, and in the reference to it acknowledged that there was a very strong case made out. The Commission was to inquire how the expenditure on Irish local services for which the State wholly, or in part, provided compared with corresponding expenditure in England and Scotland, and whether such expenditure might with advantage be adjusted or reduced. With regard to the very important point whether the injustice of over-taxing Ireland was compensated for by expending extravagant sums on administration by keeping up these over-manned and over-salaried offices, let him quote a very distinguished member of the Conservative Party.
Attention called to the fact that forty Members were not present. House 1651 counted and forty, Members being found present,
§ MR. FLYNN
, continuing, said he was endeavouring to prove the cruelty of the position and that by the system of undiscerning and indiscriminate taxation—by what was called identical taxation—they forced Ireland to bear taxation upon the same basis as England, altogether ignoring the fact that Ireland's proportion of indirect taxation was 50 per cent. as compared with about 23 per cent. or 24 per cent. for Great Britain. The mischief was twofold. In the first place over-taxed Ireland received a very much larger amount of money than would be required under normal circumstances, and they had to levy increased taxes year after year to meet increased military and naval expenditure. Even when military exigencies were over and they came to times of peace the taxation had to be retained at a high level, and by the system of identical taxation taxation was forced up year after year and decade after decade. But simultaneously with that there went on this automatic increase in the cost of Irish establishments, Ireland losing all the time and the Imperial Treasury gaining nothing as far as they were concerned, because the percentage of Ireland's revenue to that of Great Britain had fallen from 9.4 sixty years ago to 6.8. With regard to the argument of excessive expenditure with which this Motion dealt he was about to quote Sir Edward Clarke, who, speaking on a Motion on the broader question of the general financial relations, said—They tried to spend the taxation as if it did not matter how large was the tax imposed, so long as they spent it upon the population where it was raised. According to that theory they would be doing Ireland, in her poverty and trouble, no harm at all, if they were to impose £3,000,000 more taxation per annum upon her, always provided they doubled the number of her police, gave her more Judges, and for the special benefit of the landlords, an army of assistant Commissioners.It was quite obvious that if this system of extravagance in administration was to be held as justification for overtaxation it did not matter what they drew for Ireland. It did not matter how the taxation was increased, either direct or indirect, if they handed it 1652 back in this form. All they had to do was to double the number of police, put some more Judges there, and fill up more Dublin Castle appointments, and, hey prestol the thing was done to the satisfaction of everybody except Ireland, certainly to the satisfaction of the Treasury. But the real tragedy as regarded Ireland was that such a large proportion of the expenditure should be of an unproductive kind, or worse than unproductive if he could find an adjective to describe it, compared with the productive portion. Was it not something tragic after 100 years of the Union, in the twentieth century, to find this large amount for law, for police and for Judges, though the Judges' salaries were charged on the Consolidated Fund? In the matter of book-keeping they were entitled to bring in everything which was put down by the Treasury as a separate Irish service. It was an intolerable state of things to find that half the available revenue was devoted to unproductive services. There was no more painful thing than the average Irish Member having to approach successive Chief Secretaries or Secretaries to the Treasury or Chancellors of the Exchequer, either by deputation in Dublin or at that House or across the floor to get better terms and conditions for the educational needs of the country, for the development of agriculture, and for the building up and improvement of those industries which were largely crushed out by the bigotry of Parliaments that had preceded this; and there was nothing more humiliating than to have to come to the House and ask for what was after all their own money that was being spent on that corrupt and extravagant administration. He knew no better trial than, that which Irish Members experienced when during the recess they attended congresses of the national teachers and other bodies in Ireland, all of whom cried out for better conditions and pointed out the niggardly manner in which the country was treated by the Treasury. Yet the average Irish Member was powerless in the matter except to complain of the wretched system of finance. He admitted that the Congested Districts Board had received in the past considerable sums of money, but all that was as a drop in, the ocean compared with 1653 the amount of beneficial work they could have done had they had more money. But the operations of that Board had been sharply and suddenly brought to a standstill. The Chief Secretary had told them that the reason was want of money. The only Department in which there seemed to be no lack of money was that which dealt with those things which were unproductive and did nothing whatever towards developing the intellect or improving the moral and material resources of the nation. He noted the absence of the Ulster Members from the debate. It was very sad to think that there was only one branch of Irish subjects which seemed to interest them, and that was the police news of the country. The Police Gazette was the only class of literature they seemed to study. The subject the House was now discussing was absolutely non-controversial, or should at any rate be so, and it was non-political. Ten years ago the Ulster Members under the leadership of Colonel Saunderson, joined with the Nationalist representatives in making a strong representation with regard to the financial relations between the two countries. Times were changed, but matters had not improved. The duty of the Irish representatives was clear; they must keep on protesting against the excessive cost of administration of which the Motion complained. He had heard it suggested that changes which might be made in the Irish police would increase the Constabulary Vote. He would resist strenuously, as he hoped the Nationalist Party would, any idea of increasing the cost of administration of the Irish police. Not that they were overpaid, but if there was to be a revision it should be a revision that embodied common-sense as well as economy, and should be brought about by revising the salaries of the higher officers and the large establishment charges rather than by increasing the sum total of the Vote. The figures the hon. Member for East Tyrone had given contrasting Scotland and Ireland were most striking, and if he had had time to contrast the charges with those for law and police in Belgium and Germany he would have found that they proved that the Irish system was the most costly in any civilised country. Nay, he would not be surprised if it was 1654 found that the whole Russian autocracy, with its utter disregard for the people was carried on much more cheaply and much more to the satisfaction of the people. The Irish Members would never accept the uneconomic, vicious doctrine that they counterbalanced and gave an equivalent to what Ireland claimed to be the gross over-taxation of the country by an extravagant system of administration, which was ruinous to the country, developed none of its best interests, and produced very little good to the Imperial Treasury.
§ *MR. BARRIE (Londonderry, N.)
repudiated the idea that the present Ulster Members had gone back on the views held by the Ulster Members ten years ago. With regard to the contrast drawn between Ireland and Scotland, the heavy expense in Ireland had arisen largely from the operations of the United Irish League so far as the administration of the police was concerned. In Ireland the United Irish League ruled in opposition to the King's Law in several counties. [Cries of "No"]. In Scotland if the League still had a few branches, it did not dare to usurp the law and hold its Courts and execute punishments. Under those circumstances it was little wonder that Scotland had been able to have an effective police force at much less cost. He was pleased to hear the hon. Member for East Tyrone say, when referring to the Agriculture and Technical Instruction Department, that there was no extravagance there, and that he would gladly see another £500,000 or even £1,000,000 devoted to the beneficent work of that Department. The Member for South Tyrone had also spoken of the value of the work of the Agricultural and Technical Instruction Department. But what was the attitude of Nationalist leaders to that Department? They found the hon. and learned Member for Waterford describing the Department as an insidious attempt to divert the friends of Ireland from the Nationalist movement, while the Member for East Mayo said that the Department was from top to bottom a machine to burst up and destroy the Nationalist movement 1655 For himself, he endorsed what the Vice-President had said of his own Department, and was glad that its work was increasingly valued in Ireland, and that last year the amount raised by voluntary taxation to secure the grants from the Department was almost £60,000. That sum, coming from every county in Ireland, showed how much out of sympathy with the Nationalist Leaders' views on the matter the people of Ireland were. The Member for East Tyrone had referred to the income-tax figures in Ireland as showing no expansion, but he suggested that there was a simple explanation of that. Since the present Government came into power investors preferred to make their investments out of Ireland rather than in it. On the eve of the previous Home Rule Bill there was a very sharp shrinkage in all Irish securities, and again during the past two years a similar shrinkage had occurred. Investors as a rule were sagacious and prudent people; and they could hardly be blamed if under present circumstances they preferred to invest their money on this side of St. George's Channel. The Member for East Tyrone had said that there was a time coming when Ireland would be run at a loss to the Empire. He did not share in that prophecy, because in spite of the strong influence of the League Ireland was making progress. The increase in the amount of deposits in the Savings Banks from £5,000,000 in 1886 to £13,000,000 in 1906 was satisfactory, and so were the figures with regard to the growing resources of railways, and the amount of goods carried by them. These facts he thought disposed of the suggestion that Ireland was being trodden down by the pressure of taxation. It-had been admitted even by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford that if in the last ten years taxation had risen by £2,000,000 the various grants-in-aid had been swollen by almost exactly the same figure, so that, without expressing an opinion on the position as it was ten years ago, at any rate they could console themselves with the reflection that it was not worse now than ten years ago. He was sorry that the Vice-President of the Agricultural Department had introduced a bitter and controversial element into the matter, because he saw no reason why there should 1656 be political controversy in introducing a reasonable and moderate reform of Irish Departments, if real economy would result. The hon. Member's speech seemed to mark another milestone on his way to a seat on the Nationalist benches. He was surprised that, considering the hon. Member's experience, and his recent transfer from one Party to another, he should have endeavoured to make political capital by an attack on Unionists in this matter. It was altogether gratuitous and uncalled for, and not what they had a right to expect from the Government Fro Bench. The Vice-President had said he would be glad to have more money for his Department, and it was worth all it was costing. He was not disposed to differ, but it was clear there was no saving to be expected there. As to primary education they all agreed it was inefficient, that there were too many schools, and that teachers were not remunerated as they should be. The Government were full of compassion and sympathy, though they would only promise the disappointing new grant of £40,000 a year for three years. There again there was no hope of, education. It came to this, that in three out of the four Departments which had been enlarged upon in the debate it was admitted on all sides of the House that no radical economy could be expected. On the contrary, more money was called for, and the only item which looked large to the average Englishman and Scotsman was the cost of the Judges, stipendiaries, and police. Let it not be forgotten that the present Government added to the Judicial Bench in violation of an understanding existing in the last Parliament. The Vice-President of the Agricultural Department had told them that there were thousands of officials in Ireland, and thousands of suppliants more for office.
§ *MR. BARRIE
said he understood that from South Tyrone there had been a steady procession of eligible men to Dublin trying to emphasise and bring home their claims.
§ *MR. BARRIE
said the supporters of the Vice-President in North Derry were not very numerous, but there too each and all of them considered that they were highly qualified for every well-paid office and every honour of a more or less high degree. He could only say that many expectations had been disappointed both in South Tyrone and possibly in North Derry. But that was not the point. What he wanted to emphasise was that where they had a system of this kind they would always have plenty of a plicants who considered their qualifications were up to the mark. He did not think the hon. Member for South Tyrone was at all backward in that little weakness himself. He only wished he could join with hon. Members below the gangway in saying that the present time was opportune for attempting a reduction in the cost of preserving law and order in Ireland, but there was not au honest man sitting even on the Radical Benches who could say that the time was ripe for doing that. So far as other and less controversial matters were concerned, however, he would heartily join his friends below the gangway, and he thought he could also speak for his colleagues, in any arrangement which would make for economy in the public services. He hoped the time would come—it was not likely to come immediately in view of the forthcoming debate whose shadow was over the House—when all Irish representatives in the House might be able to gather at a round table conference and consider what substantial economies might be effected with great benefit to all concerned.
§ MR. MOONEY (Newry)
said he had listened with great pleasure to the speech of the hon. Gentleman as he had done on many former occasions. He was glad to bear the hon. Gentleman acknowledge himself in his true colours as an Irish-Scotsman, but he did not think they could get much light from a distinguished Scotsman on the conduct of Irish affairs. The right hon. Gentleman who sat for South Dublin had accused the hon. Member who represented the Agricultural Department of apostasy, and with importing into the debate a party spirit. The hon. Member for North Londonderry had also lamented that 1658 a tone of party had been imported into the discussion. He would have been very glad to join with the right hon. Member for South Dublin, and the distinguished Scotsman from North Derry, if this had not been made a party question; but a party meeting of the colleagues of those hon. Members had been held last week, and it was then decided that the Resolution before the House should be considered in a party spirit, and that the Orange Members would have no part or lot in the Resolution, which they declared was only a means to an end, and must be opposed. Hon. Gentlemen above the gangway must have very short memories, therefore, about what had passed at their own meeting when they charged the hon. Member for South Tyrone with giving a party tone to the debate.
§ MR. MOONEY
said he would accept the hon. Gentleman's disclaimer so far as the hon. Gentleman was personally concerned; but the hon. Member had been misled, because the organ which officially published all the discussions which took place at the meetings of the Irish Unionists, the Pall Mall Gazette, gave chapter and verse for what had taken place at this particular meeting, and the resolution which had been passed at it; and no contradiction of that report had yet appeared in the same or any other journal. He thought that on a question like that before the House the hon. Gentleman might have found time, when not trying to trace bogus outrages in Ireland, to read the paper. If he had done so he would not have said that no such resolution had been passed. The Vice-President of the Agricultural Department had, he thought, made a most interesting and courageous speech when he talked about the Imperial contributions of Ireland to England. For himself, he spoke as one of those who would gladly see the cost of government in Ireland go on and on until the Imperial contribution went down to an even lower rate than it was to-day; because if they were to make immediate savings in any great spending department in Ireland, the result would 1659 not be for the benefit of the taxpayer in Ireland, but would add to the contributions to the British Treasury. Everyone knew that the Imperial Exchequer derived more in proportion from the Irish taxpayer than from the taxpayers of either England or Scotland. He remembered that in the last Parliament when the light hon. Member for Dover proposed that the money which might be saved in certain departments in Ireland should be put to a fund for the benefit of Ireland, the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, with that eloquence which they were accustomed to hear from him, said that that would be scandalous, and that the savings should be handed on to the British Treasury. He did not think that the hon. Member for South. Tyrone was entirely free in this respect in regard to the department over which he presded. An Act was passed providing that the balance of any grant which might be made by Parliament for the use of his Department, unexpended at the end of the financial year, should not be sent to the British Treasury, but should be earmarked for the benefit of Ireland. The hon. Gentleman's predecessor interpreted that Act in another way, and instead of the grant being an advantage to Ireland, it had been a disadvantage. The hon. Gentleman's predecessor seized the opportunity of starving the industries which ought to have been encouraged by the grant, broke the promises given by the Department, and accumulated a fund which he held was absolutely illegal and had never been contemplated by the House. The hon. Gentleman's predecessor in order to induce the urban authorities in Ireland to start a system of technical education promised that if they would make a rate for that purpose, he would out of the funds of the Department make an equivalent grant to the amount raised by the urban authorities. All over Ireland the urban authorities embarked on an expenditure for technical education and struck a rate. The first year the grant was made to the urban authorities towards the cost of erecting technical schools, but in the following-year, after the urban authorities had again struck a rate and applied for the equivalent grant out of the monies 1660 voted by this House, the hon. Gentleman's predecessor said: "Oh no; we won't give you the money this year for technical education; we require it for something else."
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
said he thought his hon. friend was mistaken. The grant for technical education was £55,000, and that sum was distributed amongst the urban authorities; and it was so distributed now.
§ MR. MOONEY
said that the hon. Gentleman's predecessor sent round to the local authorities in Ireland a circulare in which he said that the technical education committees must manage to do without the grant that year as he was not in a position to help him; although he had formerly promised that if the local authorities established a rate for technical education he would give them an equivalent grant.
§ MR. MOONEY
said he did not think-that that was mentioned in the circular. In numberless cases the urban authorities did strike a rate, and the first year they did get an equivalent grant from the Department; but in the next year, after having again struck the rate and entered into contracts which they could not break, they were told that they could not get the money, which went to a special fund amounting to £500,000.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
said that that was not so. During the first two years it was found impossible to spend all the money which Parliament had voted, and the sums so accumulated were put together and constituted a reserve fund.
§ MR. MOONEY
said that no doubt the hon. Gentleman had more knowledge of the working of the Department than he had, but he did not think he was right on the question of fact, because week after week, and day after day, he questioned Mr. Pryce on this subject, and that right hon. Gentleman had to admit that there was a great discrepancy between the figures supplied to him and the figures published in the official Return. The answers of 1661 Mr. Bryce went to show that there was now being built up, under a system which had no legal sanction, a reserve fund for the Department which was never contemplated by the House. The hon. Gentleman talked about savings upon the Judiciary, the, Laud Commission, and other Departments, but he was not going to support savings unless they went into Irish funds and not into Imperial funds. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin had made a vehement attack upon the hon. Member for South Tyrone with regard to the charge the latter made against him as to the filling up of vaancies in the Judiciary. He was not concerned to defend the hon. Member for South Tyrone, who was quite able to do that for himself, but if anybody turned up the list of appointments made during the regime of the right hon. Gentleman they would see that every single statement made by the hon. Member for South Tyrone was accurate. He could only attribute the heat which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin brought into the debate to the fact that he had had so many tariff reform figures in his head, which were curious figures, that he absolutely forgot the figures in regard to the persons he had appointed during the time he was Chief Secretary for Ireland. He thought it was a curious point that, upon a question which the hon. Member for Derry said united Ireland, there were only two stalwart representatives of Ulster present. If it had been a question of whether Lord Ashtown had been amply compensated for the alleged outrage which took place at his lodge, the whole of the Party would have been present. He thought very little of a Party which, thinking that something advantageous was proposed which they ought to support, failed to support it, because some individual made a speech which upset their dignity, as he supposed he ought to say, but he did not like using such a word as applied to the Ulster Uniemist Party.
§ *MR. J. F. MASON (Windsor)
said the resolution before the House expressed the opinion that the cost of administration in Ireland was excessive, and that reduction would result if it were subject to Irish control, which meant 1662 Nationalist control. He quite admitted that there were a great many points in the administration of Ireland which were very costly. To begin with, there was one item due to the multiplicity of officials, because of the large number of exceptional Acts which applied to Ireland, such as Land Acts, Land Purchase Acts, Labourers Dwellings Acts, and Congested Districts legislation, all of which were worked by a large number of officials, with such an amount of overlapping as must cost a considerable amount of money. He might point out that the greater part of this expenditure, especially under the Land Acts, was borne by taxation, of which England paid a very large share, whereas with the cost of the English Land Acts the whole expenditure was paid by Englishmen through rates. The Land Purchase Act, which was going to cost £112,000,000, would be paid as to eight-tenths of it by Englishmen. [Cries of "No."]
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
said that was just the difficulty that Irishmen had to meet in the House, but he had pointed out that the gross revenue paid by Ireland last year was £9,000,000, and the gross expenditure in Ireland about £7,000,000, and that, in fact, after paying every penny of expenditure out of Irish taxation, the result was that £1,800,000 went for Imperial purposes. Therefore, it was wrong to say that England paid anything of the kind, as far as administration was concerned.
§ *MR. J. F. MASON
The point I made was as regards the Land Purchase Act, which is going to cost £112,000,000.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
Then the hon. Member is out of order, because it is administration that we are discussing now.
§ *MR. J. F. MASON
said he was stating that that was the expenditure which 1663 fell upon them under the Act, and he said that it fell very largely upon English shoulders. [NATIONALIST Cries of "No."] The Vice-President of the Irish Board of Agriculture had proceeded to say that law and justice cost more in Ireland than in Scotland, with a more or less identical population. That was so, but, after all, the large expenditure on police in Ireland, as compared with Scotland, was to a great extent due to the agrarian movement and to the difficulty of protecting a large number of people in their ordinary avocations. A great number of the police were at this moment engaged in protecting men whose lives were not otherwise safe. Not only so; but the Nationalist Members themselves were in need of being protected by the police. The Leader of the Nationalist Party himself last September was protected by the police when he went to the Mansion House, and the Lord Mayor of Dublin called in thirty policemen to keep order in the assembly. After all, too, there was a per contra in regard to the support which Ireland received from the United Kingdom. In thirty years Ireland had had £135,000,000 of money from the British Exchequer. What would have been the position if Ireland had had to raise that money from her own resources? Would they have been able to raise that money as cheaply as they could with British security? Had not British security been a valuable asset to Ireland in the past? He said that the Union had saved Ireland far more money than it had ever cost her. After all, however, there were opportunities for economy in the administration of Irish affairs, and he ventured to think that if there were more firmness in the executive and the Government were less squeezable by hon. Members below the gangway, there would be less uncertainty and turbulence, and great saving might be effected. That uncertainty in Ireland cost a large amount of money, not only for the police, but for the disturbance of the trade and industry of the country. Trade and industry would thrive if there were more certainty in the application of the law. The Irish people had done a good deal to endanger their most useful trades, those of agriculture end cattle raising, and he thought that the 1664 root cause of the difficulty in administering Irish affairs was that Ireland was now governed by a Ministry, many members of which did not believe in the system they were called upon to administer; they did not believe in the Union, or only half believed in it, and the consequence was that there was an amount of indecision and vacillation which accounted for much of the expenditure of the country. But were there prospects of more economy under a Nationalist rule than there were under the present rule? He thought they might get an object lesson from the way in which economy was displayed by the Nationalist municipality of Dublin. The Sinn Fein of 14th March, 1908, said—On a city, one-fourth of whose population suffer from acute distress each winter, £7,600 a year has been levied by the Bill-promoters and their allies, for a dozen years past, and £2,000 a year added to the salaries of overpaid officials, under whose administration the debt of the City has risen to £2,750,000, and the rates stand at over 10s. in the £, paralysing industry, and thus throwing men and women out of employment and into the workhouse. Of that 10s. in the £ levied on the direct ratepayer by the Corporation, and levied in rent on the indirect ratepayer, only 1s. 6d. is now available for the upkeep of the City. The remainder goes to pay the interest on the enormous debt which burdens the City, to pay for the pauperism which the debt largely causes, to pay for a police force over which the citizens are denied any control, and to pay salaries to officials at a rate which wealthy England does not pay. The town clerk of Dublin, a City of 300,000 people, draws a salary of £2,100 a year. The clerk of the London County Council, governing an area with 6,000,000 people, has a salary of £2,000 a year. If he were paid at the rate the town clerk of Dublin is paid, his salary would approach £50,000 a year.That was the sort of economy they would have to look for if Ireland were governed by the Nationalist Party.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT (Down, N.)
said that his hon. friend had been taunted with being a Scotsman sitting for an Irish constituency. If the hon. Member for Newry was an average Irishman it would be an excellent thing for the House if there were a few more Scotsmen representing Ulster. The Vice-President of the Agricultural Department of Ireland had introduced into the debate a very violent and bitter tone. He had succeeded a man absolutely single-minded in his Department: a man who shut out politics from it altogether and who had never 1665 shown that bitter and controversial spirit in the debates. The hon. Member had said that the cost of police in Scotland was £500,000 and that in Ireland it was three times as great. Then he had asked in tragic tones "What does it mean." He remembered an occasion when the hon. Gentleman, who then professed a different political, faith was saved from an attack by an angry mob and knew the need for effective police and stringent administration of the law in Ireland. The hon. Member had made a rather hopeless and despairing speech declaring that before any hope for Ireland was reached Chief Secretaries would come and go. He gave his right hon. friend a year and a half to remain, and he then said he would leave the country without having solved these questions. Of one thing they might be quite certain—that whatever happened the hon. Gentleman would not depart. Whatever Party was in power they would always find him on the Treasury bench drawing the emoluments. The hon. Member had taunted Ulster Members with not being present at the debate, but Ulster Members he ventured to say did more without being paid for it than the hon. Member had ever done. When a short time ago a Committee was ordered the hon. Member himself was one of the absentees and did not come into the House. The taunt which he threw out was not deserved by the Members of the Ulster Party.
§ MR. J. P. FARRELL (Longford, N.)
said there were two points in one of the speeches made from above the gangway which struck him as confuting each other in their argument. The hon. Member for North Derry had spoken of the want of confidence of the people of Ireland and their investing their savings in this country rather than their own, and he had taunted the the Nationalist Members with the fact that the Irish people were investing their money on this side of the Channel and not in Ireland. In the next breath, the hon. Member had declared that the deposits in the Savings Banks and Joint Stock Banks were millions more than they were ten years ago. That completely refuted the argument that there was any lack of confidence among the people of Ireland, and proved conclusively that under this or any other Government the people of Ireland know their own business 1666 and attended to it, and that they were not losing prosperity as was alleged to be the case in consequence of the agitation now going on in the country. He rose principally to call attention to the cost of primary education in Ireland. Figures and tables had been read to show the amounts expended upon the police, law charges, and other expenses of Civil administration in Ireland. It was a most extraordinary thing that the amount spent on police was almost equal to that spent on education. The hon. Member for North Derry had referred to the speeches made by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, and the hon. Member for East Mayo, commenting adversely on the work done by the technical instruction department, had suggested that as public bodies were working the scheme of technical education those hon. Members did not represent the views of Ireland in their speeches. The work itself might be such as to commend itself to the people of the country, but so far the operations of the Department in Ireland had been disappointing, and there was much to be done. The Vice-President of that Department had his work cut out to undo the mischief which had been done by his predecessors in Ireland. The country people of Ireland had no confidence whatever in the work of the Department—neither as to the ability nor as to the scheme—which had done nothing permanent for the benefit of the people. The hon. Gentleman had spoken of a reserve fund of £340,000. There should be no reserve fund, there was plenty of scope for the work.
§ MR. J. P. FARRELL
said that the charges of the hon. Member for North Derry therefore fell to the ground so far as Ireland was concerned. In his opinion the best thing the Government could do would be largely to increase the Estimates for primary education in Ireland, and to turn the minds of the teachers in Ireland to the imparting of better knowledge to the people. Forestry, gardening, and agriculture should be as much matters to be imparted by the teachers as the lengths of rivers and names of foreign countries which these people were never likely to see, In that way primary 1667 education might be made useful to Ireland.
§ VISCOUNT CASTLEREAGH (Maidstone)
said he rose in the hope of eliciting something from the Treasury bench that might obviate the extravagant expenditure in Ireland. He did not wish to import party feeling into the debate, because it was a matter of too much importance to be discussed as a party question. Everybody would agree that it was desirable to put a stop to the present extravagant and lavish expenditure in Ireland. He agreed up to a certain point with the mover of the Motion, but he had to take a divergent opinion with regard to the latter portion of his speech, because the hon. Member maintained that Home Rule was the only remedy by which the difficulty would be entirely removed. When the hon. Member for North Tyrone made his speech, however, he endeavoured wherever he could to raise all that political animosity which Unionist Members had striven to allay. Instead of endeavouring to suggest anything that might be done, the hon. Member had said he looked on the matter as absolutely hopeless, and hurled recriminations at his predecessors. They had heard that the Motion was an argument for Home Rule, but he was convinced that it was the strongest argument against it, because when the government of Ireland was handed over to the people of Ireland, if ever it was, it should be handed over as a going concern and not in the condition in which as he understood it was at the present time. With regard to economy he was in entire agreement with the mover of the Motion. As to the second part of the Motion, which stated that the expenditure was not distributed in such a way as to promote national well-being, he regretted that he could not express himself as in agreement with it, because although it was true that the money was voted by Parliament, the Estimates were proposed by Irishmen, the money was apportioned by Irishmen, and what was more the work which was paid for by this money was done by Irishmen. The hon. Gentleman who proposed the Motion complained that too much money was spent. After all, the people who benefited by the expenditure 1668 were the Irish. He maintained that it was the duty of any Government in power, where money was too lavishly spent in Ireland, to suggest some plan, or do something, to redress the wrong. But until now the only solution put forward had been that mentioned by the mover of the Resolution, namely, that if there were Home Rule in Ireland all these difficulties and evils would disappear. With regard to the question of taxation, it was true that it had increased in Ireland, but it was equally true that it had increased everywhere else. He thought that they must all admit that taxation would go on increasing instead of decreasing, but they must also take into consideration the wealth of the country, which had also increased. The railway receipts had increased by something like 25 per cent., and deposits in joint stock and savings banks had increased to a very large extent. It was obvious, if taxation had increased, as they knew perfectly well it had, and would increase in the future, that they should set off, on the other side, the wealth of the country, which had increased constantly in proportion to the taxation to be borne. In reference to the decrease of population referred to by the hon. Member below the gangway, and so constantly lamented, he was one of those who believed that at the present moment Ireland was overpopulated. ["Oh."] He regretted it very much, but he did not think that Ireland was at present in a condition to maintain a larger population than it had now. He was very sorry for it. But the population which had disappeared from Ireland was not to a great extent the population which they could look to as contributors to the Exchequer; it was rather the population which would have been more or less a charge on the Exchequer, and that would have been a disadvantage to the country. From the various speeches which they had heard one would imagine that England had been the gainer by that. He could not see that argument at all. It was a long time since England could be looked upon in any sense as having injured Ireland. He entirely agreed that in years gone by the policy of England was not calculated to do Ireland any good; in fact, 1669 it did Ireland a very great deal of harm. But since those days England had certainly wiped out any deficiency in that respect, and all that had been done by England in the recent past had been for the benefit of Ireland. When they looked to the large sums of money advanced, with the credit of England at the back of it, he for one could not understand why hon. Gentlemen were so anxious to have everything in their own hands, because it meant that once they established Home Rule in Ireland that credit, from which they extracted so much benefit at the present moment, would be gone for ever. There was also the question of primary education, on which the expenditure was certainly extravagant and of an unjustifiable character. By extravagant he meant that the number of schools in Ireland was far greater for a smaller number of children, than was the case in Scotland. It seemed extraordinary that when there was lack of efficiency in primary education, they should hear so much clamour on all sides for secondary education in Ireland. One of the solutions, besides the redistribution of money which the hon. Member proposed, was that the Royal Irish Constabulary should be reduced, and it was pointed out, in support of that proposal, that there was less crime in Ireland. It was perfectly true that there was less crime in Ireland, but he did not suppose that he would be entirely wrong if he drew from that the analogy that the less crime in Ireland was in proportion to the large force of Irish Constabulary maintained. He, however, did not want to draw that analogy at all. But they must remember that the Royal Irish Constabulary were also employed as excise officers, and it was also, perhaps, a very curious coincidence that the force had been increased in numbers by the present executive. He did not believe in the conclusion at which the mover of the Resolution had arrived, that the removal of all the difficulties of which they complained would be effected by the granting of Home Rule. He did not believe that that would prove a solution in any sense; but he did think that if the Government set themselves to discover—and he appealed to them to do so—how it was that a great deal of the money was allocated in an extravagant and 1670 useless manner, they would be able to remedy the present state of affairs in Ireland by causing it to be expended in a manner advantageous to that country.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
said the speech of the noble Lord was a speech which filled countrymen of his with curiously mingled feelings. There were parts of it which showed a certain amount of sympathy and natural feeling, and others which betrayed a state of invincible ignorance. They had heard from the hon. Member for East Tyrone as powerful an indictment of British government in Ireland as had ever been uttered in that House. Out of many passages he singled one which attracted his attention and moved his feelings. It was the passage which the hon. Member quoted from the Education Inspector's Report, which described a school in the north of Ireland, he believed in. Belfast, where there was rather less air space than in the Black Hole of Calcutta. Yet, in face of that, the noble Lord said that the chief fault of the primary education system in Ireland was its extravagance. That was the first example of invincible ignorance. He did not know anything more tragic in history than the emigration from Ireland. With a population reduced by one-half in half a century, with all the misery and suffering which exile meant to an Irishman, the noble Lord got up and said the work had not been sufficiently completed, and that Ireland was not yet sufficiently empty. He was like the famous divine, who said that Ireland was a delightful country except for its people. It made him sad to think that a young Irishman, who might be serving his country—he would not say like his ancestors, because that might be treading on delicate ground—could only say that the remedy he had to offer was the further depletion of a population which already in half a century had been diminished by one-half. The noble Lord had said also that the Estimates were made by Irishmen, spent by Irishmen, and, he suggested, voted by Irishmen. Let him look at the House. Who, if the Motion were divided upon, would vote on the question of the expenditure in Ireland? Was it the Irishmen, was it 1671 even the Englishmen who had listened to the debate? No; the division lobbies would be crowded by a majority of Englishmen who had not listened to a single word of the speeches. He must express his profound regret that more English Members were not present at the debate. He did not want to complain on that point, but as Englishmen were, in the main, the people responsible for the government of Ireland, and as most of them, by the circumstances of their lives and conditions, knew little of the state of Ireland, they might at least inform their minds in regard to the country they had to govern by listening to such an instructive debate as that now proceeding. He noted also the absence of the Ulster Members. He dared say, in view of the Motion to be debated on Monday, these Gentlemen had other and more agreeable occupations to divert their attention from that House. But if the debate had been on the question, not of saving, but of coercing Ireland, the Unionist benches would have been crowded by an excited and enthusiastic; audience, ready to contribute their share towards the disparagement of the character of the country. What had been proved that evening? He put it to the Chief Secretary that they could have alien government which was cheap and efficient. There were portions of the British Empire where alien government was cheap and still efficient, and there were other parts of the world where alien government was cheap and efficient. He did not know of a more successful Government in the world than the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria, whose administration had certainly been both cheap and efficient. He was not sure whether a large number of Englishmen were of opinion that, though the government of England in Ireland might be unpopular and might be called alien, still it had the distinguishing marks of purity, cheapness and efficiency, which they regarded as belonging to British government in all parts of the world. The curious thing was that government in Ireland was dear, corrupt, and inefficient. The intelligence of the Irish people was admitted by every other race in the world. He could speak with 1672 some feeling and experience on this subject. When he was a young student in Galway College he saw a sight which could be seen in no part of the British dominions outside Ireland and Scotland. He saw the children of the poorest of the poor, the sons of laundresses, getting education as medical men and going out into the world and getting positions in which they could earn an excellent living. That showed the necessity of education for the people of Ireland. Yet in face of that they had the tragic feature of schools without fires, children without air, teachers without adequate salaries. They had education in a lower and meaner and less endowed position in a country that had only education to look to than in any other part of the British dominions, and side by side with the poor tireless school house was a white-washed, opulent, well paid police barracks. That was not the only tragic contrast of Irish life. In the eighteenth century when there was an Irish Parliament—he heard an hon. Gentleman above the gangway repeat the words "eighteenth century" by which he assumed he meant he was going a long way back to find a grievance for Ireland. The fact was that they were still governed in Ireland on eighteenth century methods.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
said that now they knew where they were. The only fault he had to find with that expression of opinion by the hon. Baronet was that he did not take the opportunity of revealing it on the platform at Peckham during the recent election. He was sure it would have helped the electors of what was once his constituency to a proper appreciation of Moderate and Tory policy. What he was saying was that in the eighteenth century there was a financial arrangement by which any job that was too crude for even eighteenth century England, the paradise of the hon. Baronet, should be put upon Ireland. If a bishop not considered sufficiently worthy for high prelatical position in England had to be provided for, he was sent to Ireland. If an official not sufficiently free from the then rather prevalent taint of peculation 1673 was too corrupt even for eighteenth century England—too strong for the digestion of England—he was sent to Ireland. Nay, if members of the fair sex whose career had been adventurous rather than edifying were found rather too unacceptable claimants for the bounty of the treasury of England, they were placed upon the exchequer of Ireland. That was the eighteenth century system in Ireland which the hon. Baronet would like to see extended to modern England.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
said they all knew that the City of London was absolutely free from the taint or even the suspicion of any dealings not in absolute accordance with the Ten Commandments. But what was the twentieth century system? Now gentlemen of good family and defective intelligence found themselves without anything to do. A job was immediately found for them in the official hierarchy of Ireland. There were two twin instruments of government in Ireland, and he was not certain that he did not dislike the second more than the first. The first was repression by superior force. The second, and to some extent the more effective, was the corruption of the intellect of Ireland. He was not allowed to discuss the salaries of some of the high officials in Ireland, notably, of the Judges. If he was he would be compelled to call the attention of the House to the fact that whereas in England elevation to the Bench nearly always meant to a barrister a diminution of income, in Ireland it nearly always meant an augmentation, sometimes the doubling of his income. Going all through the course of official life in Ireland they found the same thing—innumerable cases of bloated salaries and of the hideous temptation that a rich country could offer to a poor country, with the additional wrong that the money and the bribe were given, not from the purse of the rich nation, but from the purse of the poor impoverished nation. As the hon. Member for East Tyrone had pointed out, the money thus extravagantly spent was not English money. It was Irish money. If it were English money 1674 it would be at least an excuse that it came from a rich country and in some respects at least from the richer classes. The aggravation of the evil was that the expenditure came not only from the poor country but from the poorest of the poor in the poor country, because indirect taxation in Ireland bore a proportion to direct taxation almost the converse of the proportion in England. In England the taxation was to a large extent paid by the rich. In Ireland it was paid to the extent of 73 per cent. by the poor. One of the things they constantly heard about Ireland was that the poor people drank too much tea, and so they did. Too much tea was drunk among the poor in all parts of the world. They drank too much tea in Whitechapel, in St. Giles's, and in parts of Glasgow. Why did they do it? Because tea was food, and the over consumption of tea was a proof not of the extravagance of the poor but of the poverty of the poor, who sought in tea not only the stimulus that it gave but the food for which it was a substitute; and when they put these two pictures into juxtaposition—the official in Dublin paying an occasional visit to the office of the Board of Agriculture and spending the remainder of the day in a charitable discussion of the affairs of Ireland in the smoking-room of the Kildare Street Club—the unnecessary and the over-paid on the one side, and the poverty-stricken peasant of Mayo on the other, who was paying for them, they had as strong a condemnation of English rule in Ireland as they could have of the rule of any country. What was the remedy? The noble Lord proposed that they should have an investigation. He must note, and he commended it to the attention of the Chief Secretary as a significant fact in the debate, that all parties who had been represented had agreed that the expenditure of Ireland was excessive. That was an important fact. He thought it extravagant and wasteful. If he was not mistaken it was the first time they had had the fact admitted by the universal assent of all parties in Ireland. If the expenditure in Ireland was wasteful and extravagant they must find a remedy. What was the remedy—investigation by a new Royal Commission? Let them not talk to Irishmen about a Royal Commission upon Irish expenditure. They had had their experience on that subject 1675 More than a dozen years ago a Royal Commission consisting of Englishmen had come to the conclusion that Ireland was overtaxed by £3,250,000 a year, and the only result was that over-taxation had increased and gone on ever since that day. So they did not want any more Royal Commissions. They knew that their verdicts were ignored by Parliament. What was the use of reducing expenditure in Ireland? As the hon. Member for South Tyrone had said, it was Ireland's loss for England's gain. Their complaint, let it be observed, was not so much that England gained and Ireland lost by this old system, but that both England and Ireland lost, because whenever the taxation of the United Kingdom was increased, England did not gain anything by it, for if there was £1,000,000 increase on the Imperial taxation there was £2,000,000 increase on Irish taxation. There was only one remedy for it. They must give the expenditure of Irish money and the economising of Irish money to the Irishmen concerned. They alone would have the necessary interest, knowledge, and responsibility, and until that day came he regarded as futile and absurd any other means of bringing the condition of Ireland into that of a really well-governed country.
§ *MR. VERNEY (Buckinghamshire, N.)
said there was one point which struck him in the remarks of the last speaker. He referred to education, and he thought that the hon. Member would perhaps have indicated some practical reform, and have made some reference to a country where there were many Irishmen at the present moment—he referred to the United States and Canada, where they had adopted for education a consolidation scheme in connection with their schools, which was doing an enormous amount of good, and which might be applied with advantage to this country. What he alluded to was the system of consolidation of schools in Massachusetts and in Canada, whereby the children were reaping all the advantages of large schools with a great economy of labour and a diminution of expense. The organising secretary for the county of Buckinghamshire had lately returned from the United States and Canada full of the scheme in operation there. That system was giving to the teachers the greatest 1676 opportunity for the use of their powers in encouraging their pupils, and providing the children with those opportunities which could alone be given in big schools: beautiful buildings, and splendid playgrounds, with all the advantages of co-operation and consolidation which had been so marvellously shown in Ireland in quite another held of operation. As Ireland had taken the lead and taught them a lesson in agricultural consolidation and co-operation, so in education also it was possible that she might teach them a lesson. In a country which was sparsely populated, and where the advantages of consolidation and co-operation in educational matters would have such valuable results, was it not possible that the ability, the imaginative power, and the power of creation in the sister isle would rapidly bring the educational system of Ireland to an entirely different level from that at which it stood to-day? He hoped to see the principle of co-operation and consolidation applied in Ireland. Although £70,000 a year was spent in Massachusetts in couveying childrenback-wards and forwards to the large schools, yet economy and actual reduction of expenditure had been produced by the system, and that was something which the Americans and the Canadians themselves had hardly anticipated. Those facts and figures might be confirmed and thoroughly proved and tested, and the success of that system would shortly be common knowledge. He knew nothing of the political question as it affected agricultural advance in Ireland, but he knew that in England they were often pointing to the Irish power of combination for the purpose of inspiring the English people in the same direction. He hoped that during the coming years they would be able in this country to do as much in the way of consolidating and co-operating their agricultural and educational systems to the advantage of the whole community as had undoubtedly been done by their Irish brethren across the seas.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. BIRRELL,) Bristol, N.
I am sure no one will deny that the subject brought forward by the Resolution is one of great importance, and it was introduced in a speech of remarkable 1677 ability, which fully deserved the encomium generously passed upon it by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin. The Chief Secretaries for Ireland have not cut a very heroic figure in this debate, and the House has been assured that two or three months is quite sufficient to have exhausted all their vitality. We are also given to understand that they are capable of nothing except occasional jobs. I am the last man in the world to magnify my office; I would much rather be put under a microscope than exposed to a magnifying glass. But as I have ten living predecessors, I am bound to say on their behalf that, after all, during the short period in which they hold office they are not altogether left alone, and that at all events there are persons in Ireland who think them of quite sufficient importance to pay very marked attention to them, and even occasionally to ask something of them. It is a little difficult to separate this Resolution into its component parts. In the middle of the Resolution there is wedged in a good substantial bit of Home Rule, and with that part of the Resolution I entirely concur, for I at all events have no difficulty in that matter. With regard to some of the other questions raised, a little investigation might perhaps reveal that the case of the Irish administration is not quite so bad as is made out. I am satisfied that no person, to whatever party he belongs, will maintain that the mode of Irish administration is a good and sound one, that it is efficient and economical, or that it gives any real satisfaction to any portion of the Irish people. Nobody likes it or has much confidence in it, and no person who has been called on to administer it has ever really spoken a good word for it. Some may say that it is better than Home Rule, but it is rather a lamentable state of things that after all these years of the Union the most that anybody can say for the administration is that it is not efficient, that it is extravagant, and does not give satisfaction, but that it is at all events better than it would be if the task of spending their own money were entrusted to the people themselves. The hon. Member for East Tyrone pleaded for clean, honest, and efficient administration. Surely that is what we all long and look for, but we certainly 1678 have not yet got it, at all events on the economical side, and we are at a loss to know how the resources of Ireland should best be ministered to and husbanded. It has been said that there are some cheerful symptoms. I am glad to think that even the cattle trade is thriving. I am glad to believe that the deposits in banks are increasing, although that is not a very good sign of commercial prosperity. If people can do nothing better with their money than put it into a bank at a very low rate of interest in order to allow the bank and their shareholders to earn some 15 or 16 per cent., that cannot be taken as proof of commercial prosperity, but rather of the lack of investment for people who have been able to save a little money. Quite irrespective of those features, we have only to look at the Revenue Returns to see how poor is the country. The total revenues collected for 1906–7 are £11,399,000, of which £8,000,000 is derived from Customs and Excise. The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool has drawn attention to he fact that the poor in Ireland drink large quantities of tea, and smoke many ounces of tobacco. That, in my opinion, is proof of the inadequacy of their sustenance and not of the extravangance of their taste. The income-tax which produces in England over £28,000,000, produces in Ireland only £999,000. Therefore, we have in Ireland a country whose revenue is derived from indirect taxation upon articles which must be described as articles not of luxury, but of prime necessity. In these circumstances it is perfectly fair to say, whatever hon. Members may allege to the contrary, that Ireland, being a poor country, unhappily for her economic peace of mind—whatever political benefits she may delive—is damnified by being so closely associated with a country of such expensive tastes as England. I know of nothing in private life moredisadvan-rageous to a poor man than to have rich relatives. I am a poor man, but I am glad to say I have no rich relatives, and consequently I have been able to fix my own habits and live my own fife. A poor man with rich relatives feels bound, especially if he be of a sanguine disposition, to launch into extravagances wholly destructive of his peace of mind and 1679 calculated to drive him into the Bankruptcy Court. A rich relative makes you a present of a motor-car, saying it is charming to run down to Brighton, to lunch at the Hotel Métropole, and to get back in time for dinner. But you soon find that a few such runs and a few such luncheons, and the expenses of chauffeur and petrol, and things of that kind—not to speak of dangers by the way—are sufficient in twelve months to wholly upset your standard of life and destroy your peace of mind. Therefore, hon. Gentlemen from Ireland are perfectly justified in saying, "We cannot see the advantage of being called upon to contribute such heavy taxation for purposes which do us no particular good. They might do us good if we were as rich as you are, but if you are not prepared to supplement us we object very much to be taxed on the same footing as yourselves. We do not want such things. We are unable to share in these heavy expenses; and consequently we have to deny ourselves these glories which are so dear to the British mind." That is a perfectly fair and legitimate argument. Therefore, if you put this question upon general grounds, I think there is a good deal to be said for many of the terms of the Resolution.
But when we come to criticise the details, when we call attention, for example, to the excessive cost of the administration of the various Departments for which I am responsible, there are a few facts which ought not to be overlooked. Take the case of the Local Government Board. Sometimes the figures of the Local Government Board are compared with that of the corresponding Board in England, but you must remember that in Ireland you have assigned to the Local Government Board all the work—the most important and beneficial work—connected with your labourers' cottages and medical charities Acts. The work in connection with the provision of labourers' cottages and the administration of the Medical Charities Act take £34,000 out of the £82,000 which is the cost of that Department. I do not think anybody will dispute that the Labourers Act has been enormously beneficial to Ireland. I know of nothing in my experiences of Ireland which gives me more profound 1680 satisfaction than the springing up all over the country of these admirable cottages. I have also noticed that the Irish people, who have very often been accused of living in a sort of heathenish state, have already shown a taste for cottage decoration, and for cleanly and even beautiful homes, which is calculated to make every right-thinking man very joyful. But these labourers' cottages cost money, largely owing to legal expenses, which are the curse of every country. The district councils have to make bargains for the purchase of the land. The land has to be inspected, and consequently the army of inspectors which is the despair of all economists, has had to be very largely increased. If we would act in the spirit of the revolution which was the outcome of that century so dear to the heart of the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, we could do things more economically. But in Ireland we are a people of law and order. There is more respect shown for property in Ireland than in many other parts of the Empire. You can get nothing in Ireland without paying for it—aye, without paying through the nose for it. As President of the Local Government Board, I know, and it is my duty to know, the price that has to be paid for every acre of land upon which a cottage is built; and I say it is an extravagant price, and a price which ought to be most gratifying to the mind of the Member for the City of London who likes everybody to be paid for what he has to sell. He may rest perfectly assured that everybody in Ireland who parts with his property is being paid its full value, and rather more than its full value. But, as I was saying, it is only fair to remember that this Local Government Board has imposed upon it the task of working the Labourers Act at a cost of £26,500 a year, and it is not to be blamed for having been obliged to increase this army of inspectors. We do not want this army of inspectors, but as my hon. friend has already pointed out, you cannot build 20,000 labourers' cottages on little bits of land scattered all over Ireland without inspection, without a great deal of the red tape which we all, at the bottom of our hearts, deplore, but from which none of us are able to extricate ourselves. 1681 It is just the same with the Land Commission. It is impossible to carry out the beneficent work contemplated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover without inspection unless you are prepared to act on revolutionary principles, which we all abhor. In changing the land of the country to the occupying tenants you must have an army of inspectors in order to protect property and secure payments and carry out all the details, not of a revolutionary proceeding, but of a quiet City of London proceeding. I regret that they have to be paid, but I am not at all sure that they are paid too much. Their cost totals up to a large figure. They are a terrible burden, and, what is worse even than the burden, they do occasion, in the exercise of their excellent work, great delay, which is a matter of extreme irritation to both landlord and tenant. I know nothing that is more irritating, more endangering to the peace of the country, more injuring to the beneficent work which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover had in view, than the delay which has taken place in carrying out contracts and agreements come to betweeen landlord and tenant. [AN HON. MEMBER: Why do you not find the money?] The money will be found when the work has been done. The delay has not been occasioned by the Treasury refusing the money. I do not say that the Treasury may not have a certain sinister pleasure of late years in seeing the difficulties in our way. Whenever a contract has been completed the Treasury has never yet refused to supply the money. I am explaining these two things—the Labourers Act and the Medical Charities Act—as something which the Local Government Board in England has not got to do, and it is only fair to remember that you mnst deduct a large sum from the Estimate which appear; on our Papers as the charge for this Board.
I fully appreciate what the hon. Member said about the number of officials in Ireland. I do not think you can get out of the figures that he presented to the House. But at the same time you have got to bear in mind that you are doing things in Ireland which you are not doing to a like extent in Scotland, and which you are not doing at all in England, and that these things 1682 cannot be done without employing persons. The Local Government Board have, in this matter of Poor Law relief and the like—I do not know whether it is a good thing or a bad—a much more inquisitorial authority, and a number of multifarious duties which do involve the employment of a great staff of inspectors. I do not think it is altogether fair—in fact, it is most unfair—to say that the administration for which I or any of my predecessors have been responsible is a corrupt administration because of the fact that we had to create and appoint all these officials. I daresay that we have often appointed the wrong people; but, Heaven help us, how could we avoid it? I am quite sure that all my predecessors, as myself, have had only one desire in this matter, and that has been to choose the person who, at all events, would give us the least trouble, and discharge the duties of his office with honesty and efficacy. Though there may be a certain number of lazy and incompetent persons, I do not believe that the number is one fraction larger than the number in England or Scotland My own experience of them is that, although most of them were glad to get the job, and, perhaps, would not have known where-else to get so good a job, once they have got the job, they have devoted their time and their energy, with some exceptions I dare say, to the discharge of their duties. As to salaries, those of the Irish Civil servant are smaller than those of his brother in England, and that sometimes is made a little bit of an Irish grievance. There are clerks in the Office over which I preside who do duties precisely of the same kind as clerks in the English Home Office, for example, and they are not paid anything like the same salaries as their corresponding brothers are here. I really do not think, when you come to deal economically with this thing, although you may be able to reduce, in time, your army of commissioners and inspectors, that you will be able to work much reduction upon their salaries. "Salaries of Judges" is happily out of order. I would like to say a word upon the vexed question of police. I do not know whether the figures have been given to the House precisely in the form I will give them, but I think it will be 1683 worth the while of hon. Members to get them into their heads. In England and Wales in 1905–6 the gross total cost of police, including pensions, was £6,043,470; the Exchequer contribution was £2,363,000, £3,000,000 falling on local rates; the total cost per head of population, 3s. 6d.; Exchequer contribution per head of population being 1s. 4d. In Scotland the total cost was £583,347; the Exchequer contribution including contribution to pension fund £219,000; the difference between £219,000 and £583,000 is borne by local contribution; total cost per head of population, 2s. 6d. In Ireland the total cost, including pensions, is £1,460,000; that is all borne by the Exchequer, I agree, out of Irish money; total cost per head of population, 6s. 7d., as compared with the 2s. 6d. for Scotland and 3s. 6d. for England. But then, what am I to say for myself? I am the last person to conceal a retort, particularly when it is so obvious that it could hardly be overlooked by anybody. I appear here as having increased the police force by 400 men. I am glad to say that even that increase brings the force much lower than it was in such bad times as 1883–4, when the number of police was 14,277, whereas now it is 9,900. It is said you ought to be able to get rid in Ireland of this monstrous cost of police, 6s. 7d. per head of the population. If that is put as a question of policy I dare say there is a good deal in it. You may say "Change your policy and you change your cost." But that is not wholly in my power. Being here responsible as Chief Secretary for Ireland, a member of an Administration which is not in a position during this Parliament to deal with any great change of policy in Ireland, I am clearly bound and they are bound to maintain in Ireland such a force of police as is necessary, our policy being what it is, to secure law and order in all parts of Ireland. You ask me why did I increase the force by 400 men. My answer is, because the Irish people took to cattle-driving. The cattle-driving policy in the opinion of some people may be worth the cost of the 400 policemen; but I think no fair-minded man, whatever his politics may be, be he Unionist or Nationalist, can 1684 deny that, our policy being what it is, it is very difficult to see how you can reduce this costly police force, things being what they are. I dare say there is a great deal of truth in what was said by the hon. Member who introduced this Motion; that the pension scheme may seem somewhat extravagant; and that Ireland is supporting a considerable number of able-bodied men who have served in this police force. But assuming the police force to be necessary [Cries from the IRISH Benches of "Oh!"]—our policy being what it is—you have to secure to these men fair and reasonable terms and to offer them remuneration sufficient for their needs; and I cannot say—I will not say—that in my judgment the Royal Irish Constabulary are one bit overpaid. In fact, when there was an inquiry some years ago into their circumstances, a report was made advocating certain additions which, so far as they could be carried out administratively, have been carried out, but so far as they required legislation have never been carried out from that day to this. What would our position have been in regard to cattle-driving if we had not employed the police to prevent it, to arrest the perpetrators, and to take part in the peaceful pastoral occupation of restoring bullocks to their owners? I do not think that when you have a Home Rule Government—and I hope that some day, and soon, you will [OPPOSITCON cries of "Oh! oh,"]—well, I may be allowed to express a hope, we may all have our hopes, the hon. Member himself may have hopes of Heaven. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh!"]
§ MR. BIRRELL
I do not know that there will be many opportunities of knocking up against one's acquaintances there. I was saying that any Government, be it Home Rule or other, is bound to use the police to maintain law and order. You may think, and I hope your expectations may be realised, that you might do this with a smaller, cheaper force than you have now, but the point I am labouring is that we, pursuing our present policy, which we do not at present propose 1685 to change, are bound to maintain a sufficient force to meet the exigencies of the situation, and when the exigencies of the situation renders an increase of that force necessary we are bound to make that increase. But all this does not interfere with the moral lesson to be drawn from the fact that after 100 years of union we find it necessary to maintain a police force—a force that might be called by another name—which costs 6s. 7d. per head of the population. Surely that presents for any economist a great field for future operations, but I do not admit that the force can now be substantially reduced, nor am I prepared to admit, having regard to the multifarious duties—I will not stop to read a page or two detailing them, but they are duties quite different from those the police have to discharge in England or Scotland—that their pay or pensions are framed on an extravagant scale. I shall be glad if the opportunity offers, and indeed the obligation will remain on the House, to keep faith with that body of men and to carry out recommendations made on their behalf so many years ago. If that can be accompanied by economy nobody will be more delighted than myself.
One word on education, a subject near and dear to me. Although Chief Secretaries are mere phantoms of the hour and disappear—as I am reminded every day when I bring down my budget of Answers to Questions in an envelope still bearing the name of my predecessor; it has been thought unnecessary to alter it, no doubt, because of the precarious nature of the tenure—during the time I have been in office I have not been wholly unsuccessful in securing, not an adequate, but substantial, assistance to teachers' salaries. Nobody is more alive than I to the miserable condition of too many of the school houses in Ireland, both in the north and in other parts. Inspectors have told me that, over and over again, after going to a school, the first thing they have done has been to insist on the children going back home, soaked through in scanty clothing, from buildings almost entirely unwarmed, where the teacher was struggling to light a miserable fire with peat brought by the children. I hope before my time is up to make some substantial 1686 improvement in this condition of things; but, as to education itself, I do not think I need now trouble the House much with figures except to say that hon. Members below the gangway make a mistake which is often fallen into in their comparisons with Scotland in regard to technical and secondary education. I know it is very difficult to distinguish between them. But you get your educational grant in Ireland, £1,421,971, or 6s. 5½d. per head, and you know little is raised from local rates for educational purposes. In England and Wales the local rates for education are £9,230,000, or 5s. 5½d. per head, and in Scotland £1,000,000 odd, or 4s. 10½d.; in Ireland £26,000, or 1½d. per head. You, therefore, find an insufficient sum out of Irish money spent on primary education. You want it increased, and increased it certainly must be. I do not want to go back on past history, but one of the considerations which induced me to take a favourable view of the Council Bill was that it did supply money which might have been used for great educational reforms in Ireland. But those reforms, undoubtedly, are only postponed a little longer. The point of the speech of the hon. Member who introduced the Motion was that he wanted a distribution, that is to say, he wanted the money taken away from the police and spent on education. A most pious and noble resolution. But for the purposes of this Resolution it would show that all the services are excessively and extravagantly conducted, and I think that would be rather more difficult to show than some hon. Gentlemen below the gangway think.
§ MR. BIRRELL
The hon. Member was clear that far too little money was spent on education and far too much on police. In that, of course, I entirely agree with him, except that I am bound to say that at the present moment, under our present circumstances, I do not think the amount spent on police can be described as excessive, though I quite agree it is not economical. Consequently, money cannot be obtained from that quarter for increasing the educational services. I hope in the 1687 Estimates that come to be considered it will be found that, although we have not found it possible to reduce the expenditure, on police, we have been able to increase the expenditure on education. As to the number of officials in Ireland, I cannot deny that it is somewhat alarmingly great in proportion to what obtains in other countries or other parts of the Empire. But against that you have to remember that in Ireland you are carrying on great temporary works, experimental works in a sense, which do of necessity require the employment of a large number of officials. When land purchase, for example, has been carried out, and when the Congested Districts Board has got to the end of its work—no one can exactly determine when that will be—this great army of inspectors will grow beautifully less, and finally, let us trust, dwindle down to the comparatively modest dimensions it assumes in England and Scotland. I fully recognise that the present mode of administration in Ireland, in the language of the Resolution, is little calculated to minister to the well-being of the Irish people. It is an ignominous form of government, ignominous to the Irish themselves and to a very large degree to the Chief Secretary who has to carry on this work. The sooner it is brought to an end the better; the sooner the establishment of Ireland can be made responsible for itself and self-supporting, the better for all concerned. In the meantime some of the services are carried on, I daresay, somewhat lavishly, but I do not think you could prove, even on the closest inquiry, that there was anything approaching to corruption, and I was very sorry that that word was used. I do not think any trace of corruption can be found. [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: What about the Secret Service Fund?] I am not sensible of anything that can be called corruption in carrying on the affairs of Ireland. So far as the administration of patronage is concerned, it is always open to great and grave objections, not only in Ireland but in all other countries. But I do not think it is at all just and proper to found any allegation of anything that can be called corruption in Irish affairs. I have no doubt whatever, and I am certainly not ashamed of the 1688 faith that is in me or the half-faith that has been in many people who have had anything to do with Irish affairs, that the only solution of this question will be found in a liberal measure of what is compendiously called Home Rule. But at the present moment all I can say is that, though some of the services are somewhat lavish, I do not think that the hon. Member would be able with the closest possible inquiry to make out the whole of his case, or to say that the services of Ireland deserve all the harsh things that have been said about them.
§ *MR. WYNDHAM (Dover)
As previous speakers have said something about myself I may perhaps be permitted to say a few words. I do not wish to import a controversial tone into the debate, but I think that the right hon. Gentleman will agree that it is impossible for a Unionist to rise without dissociating himself entirely from the right hon. Gentleman's concluding observation. The House discusses a question of this kind with marked disadvantage when it is handled by a Chief Secretary who proclaims himself a Home Ruler, and at the same time is precluded from introducing a Home Rule Bill. The Nationalists are Home Rulers, and if they had a majority they would bring in a measure to give effect to their principles. But as Home Rule is excluded from the discussion and also the consideration of the economic condition of Ireland, so far as the right hon. Gentleman is concerned, I hope that I am not adopting a polemical tone if I say that the Chief Secretary, being precluded from being an active Home Ruler, does not make his own task of governing Ireland according to the Union easier by describing the form of government as an ignominious form of government, and by saying that the sooner it is brought to an end the better. What in fact, has the Chief Secretary been able to do recently? To increase the number of the police force and to decrease the amount of money spent by the Congested Districts Board on certain useful functions.
§ MR. BIRRELL
was understood to say that he pointed out with great regret that the Congested Districts Board had a statutory income, and that it was not sufficient to pay for certain expenditure.
§ *MR. WYNDHAM
At all events the funds of the Congested Districts Board have not gone up, and some of the most useful work of the Board, the support of parish committees, has ceased.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I will take the state of Ireland now. The facts of the situation are such that the right hon. Gentleman ought to try to govern under the limitations which he acknowledges instead of indulging hopes for the future which the right hon. Gentleman and his friends cannot bring any nearer. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the Local Government Board and the Land Commission. I do not believe that anyone seriously desires a diminution in the cost of the Local Government Board in Ireland. Certain parts of Ireland are exposed to visitations which necessitate inspectors, and no one advocates less inspection, because without inspection there can be no case brought forward for giving aid where aid is needed. I personally believe that it is not possible to reduce the cost of administration in that Department; and when it comes to the Land Commission, I do not think that anyone will urge that the cost should be cut down at the present moment. But what some persons say is that the Government have recently added to the cost of that Commission and to the number of officials in it without producing any expedition in the process of land purchase. This has led some persons to believe that the Government are not efficiently concerned in pushing forward land purchase at the present time.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Some persons think that this is an unnecessary addition which the right hon. Gentleman has made to the burdens which he has to boar already. The two points of the discussion are: Can we effect economies in Irish government? And if we can, can we do something to improve education 1690 in Ireland, and to develop its agricultural and industrial resources? We have to exclude the constitutional argument of Home Rule, and we are also precluded from considering the fiscal system. I believe it is true that the taxable capacity of Ireland and the Imperial contribution of Ireland depend more on the kind of taxation you have there than anything else. If you are debarred from discussing the question of Home Rule versus Union, which is specially reserved until Monday next, and practically from considering the present fiscal system, nothing is left in this debate but the question of whether any money which the Government may have at their disposal is to be used to the best advantage for the purpose of improving Irish education, and developing the resources of the country. As the area is so limited it is well to clear the ground inside the limits of that area. If we cannot discuss Home Rule, still less is it wise to shed a tear over the unlamented urn of last year's Council Bill. That also goes by the board. I really do not understand the allusion to that measure by the Vice-President and the Chief Secretary, because all it would have done would have been to add another £600,000 to the cost of administration which is now being imposed on the country. So also I think we may put aside the comparison drawn by the hon. Member between Ireland and such countries as Portugal. Underlying all this there was the Home Rule question. We have to look at Ireland as an integral part of the United Kingdom. I hope it will always remain so. The right hon. Gentleman has no such desire.
§ MR. BIRRELL
I have no desire that Ireland should cease to be an integral part of the United Kingdom.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Taking the situation as it is, and that is what I am suggesting the right hon. Gentleman ought to do, and what we suggest he did not do, the cost of Irish government must be greater relatively to Ireland than the cost of English government. Every part of Ireland demands that there shall be a number of separate departments in Ireland, and that they shall be Irish Departments. There is not, I believe, an Irish Member who would wish that the local government of Ireland 1691 should be a part of the English local government. So it is with every other Department. And as there is a reduction on taking a quantity so if you will have separate Departments for the smaller and poorer country the cost must be relatively larger. You cannot escape it. You could economise if you made the Union a logical whole, if you carried it further than it has been carried before, if you made Ireland so many counties in the United Kingdom, with the same Local Government Board. But I believe there is not a single Irishman who desires that, and if you have a separate Local Government Board, Agricultural Department, Prisons Board, and Lunacy Board, the cost of the government of Ireland must be greater relatively than that of England. The cost of governing a country of 4,000,000 inhabitants must be greater than the cost of governing 36,000,000. Then we have to remember that Ireland, in respect of education, unanimously prefers to have schools which suit the views of those who live in the country. That is a costly matter. If you have to suit the views of people whose views diner—a course of which I am in favour—you must have more schools, and then the building grant must be heavy. The cost must be inflated. If you are to have schools which suit the views of the various component parts of the population you will find it very difficult to have a rate in aid of education, and in Ireland there is not a rate in aid of education. That, again, makes the cost of Irish government seem heavier than it really is. There is one argument of the mover of the Motion which really will not hold water. He gives us the amount of money contributed by the Exchequer for this purpose per head of the population. But I think he is aware that in Ireland there is no compulsory provision for education all over Ireland, and the proportion per head for the children is much lower in Ireland than in England or Scotland. Hon. Members have criticised the whole basis of the equivalent grant. What is the basis of the equivalent grant? It is that when a large sum of money is voted in respect of England or Scotland for a new service, a proportionate amount of money shall be voted for Ireland for new services, but not for an automatic 1692 increase upon old services, and not certainly for levelling up the standard to what I might call decency in Ireland. There is not an Irish Member who does not desire that the Irish child and Irish teacher should have a better time than they now have. But if you mix up that question with the question of the equivalent grant, the Irish teacher and the Irish child never will have a better time than they have now. You have to say that the Irish child and the Irish teacher are entitled to certain things. If that is assented to, the money has to be found. The question of the equivalent grant is another matter. It turns only on this fact—that, if a considerable sum of money is found for quite new services in one other of the three countries, there is a moral obligation for every Unionist to find a new source of money for some service equally required in Ireland. Therefore, I would ask whether it is true, as the Chief Secretary seems to suggest, that there is no hope for Ireland under Unionism in the field of economic administration and the development of the resources of Ireland. The Unionist Party are the only Party who by their policy are able to give a vote to which they can give effect. It is all very well to say: "I am a Home Ruler, but cannot pass Home Rule." The Unionists can govern Ireland in a manner which is conducive to the interests of Ireland. Looking back on the last twenty years, for the greater part of which the Unionist Party were in power, they have sought to economise on non-productive services in Ireland and to find money for productive services in Ireland. Can not that hope be enlarged? It can if all those, whether they be Ministers sitting on the Front Bench or those hon. Gentlemen below the gangway who have power and influence, use their influence to diminish the causes which inflate the cost of law and police in Ireland. Then, and then only, by that means is it possible to effect economies in the unnecessary and unproductive portions of Irish government.
AN IRISH MEMBER
If you fulfil the pledges you made in the Land Purchase Bill of 1903 you would remove the cause of the present trouble in Ireland.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I do not wish to go back to the discussions of 1903, but I can say that I have always tried to keep any pledges I have made. If we can diminish the causes which inflate the cost of maintaining law and order, then, under the Unionist regime, which is the regime the right hon. Gentleman had got to administer, undoubtedly there are savings which could be allocated to the Irish Fund for improving new services in Irish education and developing Irish resources. That is the policy of the late Government. Let that be the policy of the present Government until they are in a position to come down to the House and say that their views on Home Rule are practical views, and not views which they can not introduce into this House, which Unionists would always resist and which for the moment are not a part of practical politics.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said an interesting discussion had taken place upon the Motion but he would like to say a few words on the English question. He wished to draw attention to the matter from the point of view of England. When the Government came into power they informed the House that the new regime was one of economy and efficiency, and he desired to call attention to the way in which the Government had carried out the pledges they gave last session, to show that there had been no economy, and that it was extremely doubtful whether there had been any efficiency. It was quite certain that expenditure had increased without the nation having gained any corresponding advantage. The true definition of economy did not mean that necessary expenditure should be saved, because if that were done it would only need greater expenditure to be incurred in the future. Neither did it consist in cutting down the expenditure required to maintain efficiently a given department either of a business or of the State. The power of administration was not given to everybody. It did not follow at all because a person was able to make a very interesting speech that he was 1694 capable of administering; on the contrary, the reverse was often the case. A real token of a good administration was when he produced the same, or possibly better, results, without increasing the amount of money spent. Had the Government succeeded in doing that? It was not for him to allude in any way to the question of the Army and Navy; he would confine himself strictly to the question before the House. It had, in his experience, been the custom for the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, before the question was put, to present to the House the Memoranda detailing the general facts of the Estimates before them. On this occasion no such Memoranda had been presented; the Estimates were not even bound up in one volume. Why was it this had not been done? They were told to look forward to a period when the administration, at any rate, of the Government would be done in a businesslike manner; when the "gilded duffers" would disappear, and men of business would take their places. He had failed to observe any change in that direction; on the contrary, he had observed that the facilities they had been accustomed to had been denied them, and that the Estimates were simply thrown at their heads, and they were expected to shut their eyes and accept them. He had taken the trouble to do for himself what the Financial Secretary of the Treasury should have done for them, and he found that in Class I. there was an increase of £160,000, in Class II., an increase of £85,000, in the Revenue Departments an increase of £1,013,000, and in Part III. of the Revenue an increase of £109,000, making a total increase of £1,367,000. This was from the Party of. economy, and was on the Civil Service Estimates—unproductive expenditure—and for a Department which was not an insurance.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. RUNCIMAN,) Dewsbury
Has the hon. Baronet included the Post Office?
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said he thought he had, and he was coming to the Post Office afterwards. The increase he had included was £400,000, whereas, according 1695 to the statement of the Postmaster-General, within a year the increase would be very nearly £700,000. He therefore thought the interruption of the hon. Gentleman was a little inopportune. There was something to be said on the other side; a case was bad indeed if one could not say something in favour of it. Nobody was quite as bad as they were painted. There was something, but very little, to be said for hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. There was a decrease in the Revenue Department No. 4, of £128,000, in No. 5, Revenue Department, of £248,000, in Miscellaneous of £263,000, and in Class 6 of £34,000. Adding these together they arrived at £673,000, and, subtracting that from the sum of £1,367,000, they arrived at a net increase of £694,000, which was arrived at in the following way. Last year there was a miscellaneous vote of £200,000 for the unemployed. That did not appear this year, and was not therefore a decrease. The result was that in that particular Department there was no saving in the ordinary expenditure; on the contrary, he was afraid they might look for a supplementary estimate for a certain sum, whatever it might be, for provision for the unemployed. He was quite certain, if the Government did not bring it forward, the hon. Gentlemen below the gangway would ask them why they did not do so. He therefore maintained that so far as that was concerned the decrease of £200,000 was absolutely illusory. In the Colonial Vote, too, there was a sum last year of £150,000 for the earthquake in Jamaica. That of course, did not appear again in these Estimates, and the saving was not a real saving. It was merely the nonappearance of an item which appeared last year for circumstances which they all hoped would never arise again. There therefore appeared to be a saving of £350,000 which was really nothing of the sort. The real increase, consequently, was something over £1,000,000. And that was not all. He had included an increase of £400,000 in the Post Office, whereas, if his memory was not wrong, the Postmaster-General informed them that the amount of the increase would be very nearly £700,000. He might therefore add another £300,000. He was, 1696 however, content to add £200,000, and that made the increase over £1,200,000. But even that was not all. If the Education Bill became law, £1,400,000 would be added to the expenditure, and if they added those two figures together they arrived at a total of £2,680,000. And this was a Government of economy. That was a sufficiently startling indictment if it stood alone, but he was not at all sure that it did stand alone, because last year the Irish Council Bill was brought in which, if it had been carried, would have added £600,000 more. Every step in that direction was going to cost additional money. Again, things were placed upon the rates which ought to come on the Estimates; in arriving at a correct estimate, those also should be taken into account. He had now shown that part of the economy was due to Civil Service Estimates which ought to be increased beyond the present amount by no less than £2,600,000. A reduction had been effected in the expenditure in the administration of the Aliens Act of something like £1,300, by a reduction in the inspectors—the people who did the most important work of the Act. The administration of the Aliens Act had altered so much since the present Government came into power, that he desired to ask whether it was in accordance with Parliamentary precedent, that a Government by its administration should so alter the effect of an Act as to change it entirely from what Parliament intended it to be. True economy was not cutting down expenditure and getting no result out of what was eventually spent. True economy was to cut down the expenditure and produce the same results for the reduced amount spent. The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, by his reduction under the Aliens Act, had not only not produced the same result, but had succeeded in producing no result at all, and, at the same time, had diminished the expenditure very slightly.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."1697
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 182; Noes, 31. (Division List No. 56.)1621
|Acland-Hood. Rt. Hn Sir Alex. F.||Cross, Alexander||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Doughty, Sir George||Percy, Earl|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Balcarres, Lord||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Fell, Arthur||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Forster, Henry William||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Gardner, Ernest||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Hamilton, Marquess of||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hills, J. W.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Frederick Banbury and Mr. Claude Hay.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis Antrim, S.)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Gibb, James (Harrow)|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Cooper, G. J.||Glover, Thomas|
|Ambrose, Robert||Corbett, C. H.(Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Grayson, Albert Victor|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Greenwood, G (Peterborough)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Gulland, John W.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Crean, Eugene||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Crossley, William J.||Hall, Frederick|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.||Cullinan, J.||Halpin, J.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Curran, Peter Francis||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Dalziel, James Henry||Harvey, A. G. C (Rochdale)|
|Barker, John||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.|
|Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset)||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Haworth, Arthur A.|
|Barnard, E. B.||Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Barnes, G. N.||Delany, William||Hazel, Dr. A. E.|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Devlin, Joseph||Hazleton, Richard|
|Beauchamp, E.||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Healy, Timothy Michael|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Bennett, E. N.||Dillon, John||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Donelan, Captain A.||Higham, John Sharp|
|Boland, John||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hobart, Sir Robert|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Duckworth, James||Hogan, Michael|
|Brace, William||Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall||Hooper, A. G.|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Horniman, Emslie John|
|Brodie, H. C.||Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Hudson, Walter|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Erskine, David C.||Idris, T. H. W.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Essex, R. W.||Jackson, R. S.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Esslemont, George Birnie||Jacoby, Sir James Alfred|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Jenkins, J.|
|Byles, William Pollard||Everett, P. Lacey||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)|
|Cameron, Robert||Farrell, James Patrick||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Fenwick, Charles||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire|
|Causton, Rt Hn. Richard Knight||Ferens, T. R.||Jowett, F. W.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Joyce, Michael|
|Chance, Freberick William||Ffrench, Peter||Kavanagh, Walter M.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Findlay, Alexander||Kekewich, Sir George|
|Clynes, J. R.||Flynn, James Christopher||Kettle, Thomas Michael|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Kilbride, Denis|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)|
|Laidlaw, Robert||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Lamont, Norman||Nuttall, Harry||Sheehy, David|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Lehmann, R. C.||O'Doherty, Philip||Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||O'Dowd, John||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Lewis, John Herbert||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||O'Malley, William||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Lough, Thomas||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Lundon, W.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Lupton, Arnold||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Summerbell, T.|
|Luttrell, Hugh Pownes||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Lynch, H. B.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Tomkinson, James|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Torrance, Sir A. M.|
|Mackarness, Frederic C.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Toulmin, George|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Macphorson, J. T.||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)||Verney, F. W.|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)||Villiers, Ernest Amherst|
|MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Vivian, Henry|
|M'Callum, John M.||Pullar, Sir Robert||Wadsworth, J.|
|M'Kean, John||Radford, G. H.||Walsh, Stephen|
|M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Raphael, Herbert H.||Walton, Joseph|
|M'Killop, W.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wardle, George J.|
|M'Micking, Major G.||Redmond, William (Clare)||Waring, Walter|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Rees, J. D.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Millet, Charles E.||Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n||Watt, Henry A.|
|Marnham, P. J.||Ridsdale, E. A.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Massie, J.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Whitbread, Howard|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Meagher, Michael||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradef'rd||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Meehan, Francis E.(Leitrim, N.)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Whitehead, Rowland.|
|Mechan, Patrick A.(Queen's Co.)||Robson, Sir William Snowdon||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Menzies, Walter||Roche, Augustine Cork)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Micklem, Nathaniel||Roche, John Galway, East)||Williams, Osmond Merioneth)|
|Montagu, E. S.||Roe, Sir Thomas||Williamson, A.|
|Montgomery, H. G.||Rogers, P. E. Newman||Wilson, Hon. G. G. Hull, W.)|
|Mooney, J. J.||Rowlands, J.||Wilson, J. W. Worcestersh. N.)|
|Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Runciman, Walter||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Murnaghan, George||Russell, T. W.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhougiton)|
|Murphy, John (Kerry, East)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Murray, James||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Napier, T. B.||Sears, J. E.|
|Nolan, Joseph||Seely, Colonel|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Gulland, John W.||Murnaghan, George|
|Alden, Percy||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Murray, James|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Hall, Frederick||Myer, Horatio|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Harms worth, R. L.(Caithn'ss-sh||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Harvey, A. G. C.(Rochdale)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Harvey, W. E.(Derbyshire, N. E.||Nuttall, Harry|
|Balfour, Robert, (Lanark)||Haworth, Arthur A.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Barker, John||Hazleton, Richard||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Barnes, G. N.||Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Dowd, John|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Bennett, E. N.||Henry, Charles S.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Higham, John Sharp||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Boland, John||Hodge, John||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hogan, Michael||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Brigg, John||Horniman, Emslie John||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Brodie, H. C.||Hudson, Walter||Price, G E (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hyde, Clarendon||Radford, G. H.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Illingworth, Percy H.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Byles, William Pollard||Jardine, Sir J.||Rees, J. D.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jenkins, J.||Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Chance, Frederick William||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Jowett, F. W.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W||Kearley, Hudson E.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kilbride, Denis||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Cooper, G. J.||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Corbett, C H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Laidlaw, Robert||Rowlands, J.|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Lambert, George||Runciman, Walter|
|Cowan, W. H.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Russell, T. W.|
|Cremer, Sir William Randal||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Crooks, William||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Seely, Colonel|
|Crosfield, A. H.||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Crossley, William J.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Cullinan, J.||Lewis, John Herbert||Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)|
|Curran, Peter Francis||Lough, Thomas||Straus, B. S. (Mile End)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.||Lupton, Arnold||Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Summerbell, T.|
|Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Bg'hs||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Devlin, Joseph||Maclean, Donald||Tomkinson, James|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Toulmin, George|
|Dickinson, W. H.(St. Pancras, N.||Macpherson, J. T.||Verney, F. W.|
|Dillon, John||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Waring, Walter|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Watt, Henry A.|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||M'Killop, W.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Elibank, Master of||M'Micking, Major G.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Mallet, Charles E.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Ferens, T. R.||Marnham, F. J.||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Williamson, A.|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Massie, J.||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Meehan, Francis E.(Leitrim, N.)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Gill, A. H.||Meehan, Patrick A.(Queen's Co.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Menzies, Walter|
|Glover, Thomas||Mond, A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Montagu, E. S.|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Mooney, J. J.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Carlile, E. Hildred|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Cave, George|
|Balcarres, Lord||Boyle, Sir Edward||Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bridgeman, W. Clive||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Hills, J. W.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Fell, Arthur||Hunt, Rowland||Winterton, Earl|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Keswick, William||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield|
|Gretton, John||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Guinness, Walter Edward||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Viscount Valentia and Mr. Forster.|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hill, Sir Clement||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
§ Main Question put accordingly, and agreed to.