§ Order read for resuming Debate on Question [16th February], "That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, as followeth: Most Gracious Sovereign, We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament."—[Mr. Rogers.]
§ Another Amendment proposed, at the end of the Question, to add the words,—
§ "But we humbly submit that the condition of large portions of Ireland is deplorable and is becoming worse, and express our regret that Your Majesty's Ministers are making no effectual efforts to restore the authority of the Law or to protect the elementary rights of Your Majesty's subjects."—[Earl Percy.]
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, in the opening sentences of his speech yesterday, accused us, and I suppose he included me amongst the number, as going about the country according to the orders of party organisations. I freely admit I have been going about, and that I have taken every opportunity of referring to the disturbed condition of certain portions of Ireland, but I deny that I have done so at the request of any party organisation, and I also deny that the question has become acute in this country by reason of any party organisation whatever. What has made it acute are the facts of the case, and the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman himself in the administration, or, rather, may I say, in the want of administration of the law in Ireland. After all what else could we do but go about and bring these matters before the English people in the Constituencies?
We have appealed to the right hon. Gentleman in this House on many occasions, we were appealing to him yesterday, and we are appealing to him to-day, but the right hon. Gentleman and his Government hold out not a single ray of hope as to any better state of affairs 742 or better condition of affairs occurring in Ireland. I ask the right hon. Gentleman if we can get no hope from him if the state of affairs in Ireland are such as he confesses them to be what can we do but go and ask the people of this country to relieve us and to relieve those poor peasants in Ireland who are being persecuted through want of any strength or confidence in the administration of the law, to ask them to relieve them at the earliest moment, and to insist on their part on their being relieved from a state of affairs which I venture to say is intolerable.
The Leader of the Irish party, the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford, made a quotation, and did me the honour to quote from a speech which I made a few nights ago. I do not know why in the least he made that quotation. I adhere to every word I said in that speech. When I am accused of having either exaggerated or mis-stated any facts in relation to Ireland, all I can say is that in every speech that I have made I have given them the actual figures of the condition of Ireland from the lips of the right hon. Gentleman himself. I know that right hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway —[Several HON. MEMBERS: "Hon."]—hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway seem to think that we love going about. They never give us credit for any honesty they never give us any credit to do what we think right towards the people of Ireland. I am sorry for it. I think they are wrong. I do not know from what reason the hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Irish party imagines that it is any pleasure to me to depict the state of my country or the evils of my country except for the purpose of trying to have the condition relieved. The hon. and learned Member the Leader of the Nationalist party in this House last night expressed strong disapproval of many of those crimes that are going on. [An HON. MEMBER: "All."] I shall make an offer to the hon. and learned Member if he and his colleagues who are the representatives of the people in those parts of Ireland will assist the right hon. Gentleman to go down into those parts and denounce outrage and crime——
§ Sir E. CARSON
I repeat my offer, and let the House judge whether it is a fair one. When I am accused of undertaking the pleasure of going down through the country and depicting a false state of affairs in my own country, I say if the hon. Gentlemen, who have, I believe, so much influence with the people, went down to those districts and denounced, as the hon. and learned Member did last night, those circumstances of maiming of cattle, of cattle-driving, of boycotting, of intimidation, and all the rest that constitutes a deplorable condition in those parts of Ireland, I will undertake upon my own behalf, and I believe I can undertake on behalf of every Gentleman on this side of the House, that we will not mention again the subject of disturbances. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about the Craigs?"] Hon. Gentlemen laugh. I do not mind them laughing. Is it a fair answer to the accusation that is made against me, that I go down simply for the purpose of telling falsehoods about my country?
I am perfectly aware of the influence of hon. Members below the Gangway, and the least they might do in supporting the efforts of the right hon. Gentleman to govern the country by what he is pleased to call the ordinary law, such assistance as by doing their best in the districts where they have most influence to putting an end to the crime and outrage which I believe every man in this House deplores. I put another matter to the hon. and learned Member: Does he really think that the cause of Home Rule, which I know he has at heart, and which I know hon. Members below the Gangway have at heart, that that cause makes progress by those outrages under a system which is, I think, trying to govern Ireland according to Irish ideas?
I should think the hon. and learned Member may have thought that the time had come when if ever he was going to make progress he might try and encourage those who have great fears and great concern as to what might happen if a Home Rule Bill was passed, to try and encourage them by showing even now he was determined that, having influence with the Irish people in those districts, to show how that influence would be exerted by himself and his collegaues to try to put an end to this deplorable state of affairs in Ireland.
May I call attention for one moment to the terms of the Amendment to the Address? 744But we humbly submit that the conditions of large portions of Ireland is deplorable, and is becoming worse…Is that denied by any Member who has followed the course of events in Ireland? Is it denied by the right hon. Gentleman himself? He confessed it yesterday, and no responsible person who has spoken on the subject has denied it. It is deplorable; it is becoming worse. The Chief Secretary shakes his head. I really hope that that means that it is not becoming worse. No one would hail that fact with more satisfaction than I should. But where is his ground for such a belief? The figures from day to day certainly show that the condition has got worse since we discussed the matter last year. In regard to every item—whether boycotting, people under police protection, firing at the person or into houses, cattle-driving, or agrarian outrages—the figures are worse.
If you take the figures given by the right hon. Gentleman, the fact that the condition is growing worse is beyond dispute. He has proclaimed eight counties as being in a disturbed condition. Is he going to remove that proclamation from any one of them? He dare not. He has stated that the number of persons boycotted on 31st January last was 874. I decline to draw a distinction between cases of "major" boycotting and cases of "minor" boycotting. They are all acts of excessive intimidation, and behind every one of the units making up that total of 874, if we could depict it here, would stand revealed a terrible tragedy, involving the liberty and property of the most humble subjects of His Majesty in Ireland.
The number of cases of firing at persons and firing into houses—agrarian and non-agrarian—has increased from 29 to 132. My right hon. Friend and colleague in the representation of Dublin University drew attention yesterday to the fact that, according to an Answer given by the right hon. Gentleman himself on 15th December last, up to that time there were 193 cases, whereas, according to the figures furnished since the House met, the number is only 132. No reason has been given for the discrepancy, and I should be glad if the right hon. Gentleman would give the figures now. The point is of some importance, because 192 cases of firing at the person and into houses is a matter of extreme gravity in Ireland, and I shall refer to it presently in relation to the question of the repeal of the Peace Preservation Act.
§ The right hon. Gentleman spent a considerable amount of time yesterday in reading a Report which he had recently obtained from the police, and I must say that to anybody interested in the peace of Ireland it was most dismal reading. The right hon. Gentleman put in the forefront of the Report the favourable accounts of districts of which we have made no complaint whatever; but when he read the accounts of Clare, Galway, and other disturbed districts I thought how little the Report revealed of the reality of the condition of affairs. When you gloss over in mild and soft accents such phrases as "a considerable amount of intimidation and boycotting," "intimidation rife," "intimidation very prevalent," "no overt acts of intimidation"——
§ Sir E. CARSON
I was not talking about prosecutions. I wish the right hon. Gentleman would think more about prosecutions when in Ireland. The phrase "no overt acts of intimidation" is far more eloquent to anybody who knows the facts, and to the gentleman who drew up that Report, than any statistics of the acts which can be detected and are available for inclusion in the figures presented to the House. I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman read that Report. Was he suggesting that it was a satisfactory state of affairs or that it was a deplorable state of affairs? Was he making any suggestion at all?
Anybody who listened to that Report, after it had passed over the counties in a peaceful condition, must have come to the conclusion that every word we have been saying in England during the last two or three months in relation to the condition of portions of Ireland was absolutely justified. I am not going into these various figures in detail. The worst of it all is that the figures are a very slight index to the real state of crime in the various counties of Ireland. The figures are really only the statistics of those who, because they have refused to surrender their liberty, have had issued against them the terrible edict of the National League, which runs supreme in the various districts from which these people come.
The hon. and learned Member for Waterford gave the House a great deal of information last night about crime in England. No doubt there is crime in England. Nobody doubts it. But what is the whole difference between crime in England and 746 crime in Ireland? It is that in Ireland crime is organised for the purpose of stamping out liberty, whereas in England it is sporadic, the work of individuals, sometimes out of malice, sometimes due to poverty, and various other causes.
In Ireland crime is organised for the set purpose of making anybody who is unwilling to do so bend the knee to those who set themselves up as being the real governors in portions of the country. A great deal has been said about the decrease in the number of murders in Ireland. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will think I am sincere at least in saying that I am devoutly glad that that phase of crime has to a large extent passed away. But why has it passed away? A gentleman named Denis Johnson, who, I understand, is a paid organiser of the League, speaking in Ireland last year, said:—These graver crimes and graver outrages are now entirely unnecessary; we can effect all our objects by the more simple methods of boycotting and intimidation.While I rejoice, as everybody must, at the decrease of such serious crime as murder in Ireland, I am sorry to think that one of the reasons for that decrease is that the liberty of the subject has been so trampled upon by the success of the methods which are allowed to go unpunished that that serious crime has become unnecessary to secure the object in view.
I said just now that these figures are but a slight index to the real situation in various parts of Ireland. I read the Irish papers with considerable assiduity, and almost every day I read of people being summoned before the Land League Courts and fined by the decrees of the Land League. Where will you find those in the Reports? Nowhere. These are ordinary legitimate acts in Ireland. I read of persons who have attended before the League, and, at its dictation and through terror, have surrendered their farms. Can the right hon. Gentleman give me any statistics as to those people? Of course he cannot. Is not that as grave an invasion of the liberty of the subject as any outrage that is included in these Returns? Every day I read in the Irish papers of people who have left their employment and gone into a state of penury and want in consequence of the dictation of the League.
Under what head will you find that?
I read a case the other day in Ireland which really showed to what a pass the liberties and the property of the people had come. A gentleman had a farm on which there was a cattle-drive. The police 747 prosecuted a certain number of men for driving cattle over this man's farm. There was an adjournment of the case, and when it came up again after the adjournment what happened? It was announced in Court that terms had been arranged, and what were the terms? The terms were that these men were no longer to injure this gentleman on the condition that he surrendered his farm. The magistrates congratulated the parties all round upon the triumph of law and order. That was not a triumph of law and order. It was a peace which was a triumph of terrorism. That is not an exceptional case. It is a case of everyday occurrence in Ireland, and these are matters which you will find in no Blue Book, in no White Paper, and to which no answer can be given by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary. Nobody knows better than the Chief Secretary the real condition of things.
Nobody knows better than the Chief Secretary the hopelessness of his own position with regard to the government of Ireland. Of course, he is bound to make a defence as best he can, and I will say this much, that I think yesterday he gave the House the idea that he took a grave view of the condition of affairs in Ireland. What is the kind of defence—I will not call it a defence, but rather his mitigation? The first point he made was that he had made a comparison between 1886 and 1908—an interval of 22 years. What on earth was that comparison made for? Surely the time for which the right hon. Gentleman is responsible is the time in which his own Government has held office. Does he mean to suggest that we must wait until we go back to the same state of things as existed in 1886 before he puts such powers in force as are necessary to grapple with the situation? Otherwise I do not know how these figures were quoted at all. All I can say is that, if we are to wait year after year for things to get worse, and until we get back to that situation, the condition of Ireland is even more hopeless than before this Debate took place.
In one part of his speech he seemed to suggest that before he could come down and claim such exceptional powers he should have to be able to come down and point to a condition of affairs such as existed in 1886. Why? If you have a disturbed condition of Ireland with which you are unable to grapple, what does it matter whether your statistics agree with one period or another? It is certainly 748 very little consolation to a man living in a disturbed part and surrounded by crime, outrage, and intimidation to be told, "You are not nearly so badly off as somebody else was in another part of Ireland in 1886. You should be perfectly well satisfied, and, until I get the country into such a condition that I can go to the House of Commons and say 'I have exactly the same condition of affairs as existed in 1886, it is really impossible for me to do anything to protect you or your property.'"
§ Mr. BIRRELL
There must surely be some relation to the state of crime in the country and the suspension of the ordinary law.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I will ask the right hon. Gentleman a question about that in a moment. I believe so. But what is the necessity of going back to 1886? That is my point. The right hon. Gentleman says that it is only portions of Ireland that are disturbed now. That is perfectly true, but let him see what additional strength that argument gives to those statistics which are confined to a limited area, and which do not apply to the whole or the greater part of Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman says that there must be some relative condition. I do not think he really sets up the condition of 1886 as a condition which would entitle him to come and demand the Crimes Act. I will tell you why. Even with that condition he would not have the Crimes Act. He was one of its opponents.
I am still further at a loss to understand what is the relation to this question of 1886 at all. I would remind him that the Crimes Act was passed not merely for the putting down of a temporary state of affairs, but in order, when it had put it down, to prevent its recurrence. The Crimes Act was in operation from 1886 to 1891, and it was stated at the end of that period that there was no serious crime in Ireland. But surely the duty of anyone administering the law is not to go back to the condition which existed in 1886 as a plea for not using powers now to bring about a satisfactory state of affairs.
The right hon. Gentleman has been over and over again attacked for not putting the Crimes Act in force. I myself do not think it is worth while pursuing that matter, I may say in passing that I might find it difficult to see, having regard to the right hon. Gentleman's own mind and view, why he is so enamoured of the Statute of Edward III. and so much afraid of making any use of the Statute of Queen 749 Victoria. The Statute of Edward III. is a wonderful Statute. In the first place, what does the right hon. Gentleman do? He brings up his delinquents before one resident magistrate. Does he prefer that to bringing them up before two under the Crimes Act? He brings them up under a procedure under which there is no appeal. Does he prefer that system to the system under the Crimes Act, by which they would have an appeal to the County Court?
But, in addition to that, he brings them up under the Statute of Edward III. under which no prisoner is allowed to give any evidence for the defence. He prefers that to the system under which they would be allowed fully to state their case. All I say in passing, is that I do not quite understand the frame of mind of the right hon. Gentleman, who says that there is no hardship, no tyranny, nothing to complain of in the Statute of Edward III. with these disadvantages to the man accused, and refuses absolutely to take any proceedings under the Crimes Act, or, as he chooses to call it, the Coercion Act.
I quite understand that the right hon. Gentleman never can or never will use the Crimes Act, I think it is quite vain to keep rubbing the Crimes Act into the right hon. Gentleman. He dare not use it. How could he? He has said over and over again that he would never use it. His whole party said at the time that the Act was going through that they never would be party to any proceedings under it. They themselves have voted for the repeal of it. It is only to be expected that the right hon. Gentleman should say that he never can and never will use it to deal with the condition of crime in Ireland. Nor can the party opposite do it, having regard to all that they said, and having regard to the alliance they have entered into. That is perfectly true; but look at the position in which we are placed with that being the fact. I venture to think that no such unconstitutional doctrine has ever been laid down as has been laid down by the right hon. Gentleman and the Government, namely, that they have the power, because for political reasons and owing to political exigencies they denounced a particular Act of Parliament passed by Parliament, if they like to suspend that Act. The right hon. Gentleman said yesterday that the Act was in a sense a political Act. It required an Executive Act to put it in force.
The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that one of the sections of the Act is part of the ordinary and general law of the land. Perhaps he also knows 750 that that section was made part of the ordinary law at the instance of a Nationalist Member. Why does the right hon. Gentleman suspend that part of the Act? Where is the Executive act in the matter? It is exactly the same as any other Act of Parliament, and I say again that nothing more serious could have arisen, particularly in these democratic days, than that any Minister entrusted with the administration of the law, either in Ireland or any other country, should take upon himself the responsibility, or assume to himself the power and authority, of refusing to enforce an Act of Parliament which the Houses of Parliament and the Estates of the realm have passed into law. All I can say is that it is a strange democratic principle that, in the interests of the subject, any Minister holding a high official office should be able to set at nought an Act of Parliament solemnly passed by Parliament.
Having exonerated the right hon. Gentleman from using the Crimes Act, and, having regard to the peculiar position in which himself and his Government have placed themselves, and, having regard to the present position of affairs in Ireland, I will put to the Attorney-General this question. Does he consider the law adequate or inadequate to deal with the present situation? Is it adequate? Is the law adequate to deal with the present situation?—a situation admitted to be deplorable. Yes or no? Is it adequate? The country, according to the right hon. Gentleman's own view, was, when the present Government came into office, quieter than it had been for 600 years. Yet, in two years a situation has been produced the gravity of which can hardly be exaggerated. On the other hand, if it is inadequate, is it consistent with the duty of any Member who is accountable to this House for the elementary preservation of law and order in Ireland—is it consistent with his duty for the purpose of upholding what he is pleased to call Liberal traditions to acquiesce in the inadequacy of the law?
What is the situation? I ask this simple question. How long is this state of affairs going to continue? I ask the Government, is there any time limit for it—for they are fond of time limits? Is there any date which they can give on which we may have some hope that at some time we may expect to see an improvement in the condition of Ireland? We can fix no time. We have to pronounce to the people of Ireland and the people of 751 this country that while the deplorable condition of affairs is admitted to exist in Ireland the Government can hold out no hope that it will end so long as they are in power.
If I am not wearying the House, I should like to say a few words about the non-renewal of the Peace Preservation Act, because to my mind it is one of the most serious acts done by the Government. I ask the right hon. Gentleman this question—does he say there is no connection between the refusal to renew the Act and the increase of outrages by firearms? It is a very simple question. If not, how does he account for the increase of outrages by the use of firearms? The Noble Earl who moved this Amendment put a very pertinent question, which has remained unanswered, and that was, were the police, who are entrusted with the maintenance of order in Ireland, consulted, and was it by their advice that this Act was allowed to drop? That question was put yesterday and not answered by His Majesty's Government.
We challenge an answer. If the police were not consulted, and if this Act was not dropped by their advice, is not the conclusion inevitable that this disastrous course was adopted to satisfy political exigencies? The right hon. Gentleman admits that revolvers are not employed in Ireland in the same way as they are in England and that in Ireland they are employed for the purpose of intimidation. Having told us all this, and having deplored the increase in the importation of arms, the right hon. Gentleman expresses the hope that the practice of carrying arms will be put down. By whom? He himself proposes to do nothing. I think if the right hon. Gentleman proposes to do nothing in relation to this question of carrying arms he is taking upon himself a terrible responsibility.
It is quite true he said, "You cannot have coercion without paying for it." Yes, Sir, but the unfortunate thing is, if you refuse to pay yourself, other persons have to pay for it. May I ask again, in relation to arms, as I asked in other matters, the simple question—What is the right hon. Gentleman going to do? Mr. Speaker, the right hon. Gentleman said that one of his difficulties in Ireland was that he found it difficult to procure evidence. I know as well as anybody what that is, for at one time I was in charge of what hon. Gentlemen opposite are pleased to call the Coercion Act. The only way in which the right hon. Gentleman will ever get evidence is by 752 causing the people to believe that you are in earnest in the enforcement of the law.
§ Sir E. CARSON
The hon. Gentleman is always the best behaved of the Irish party. Does the right hon. Gentleman never ask himself, with this abhorrence in Ireland at these outrages—which are growing day by day—whether the reason is that people are afraid to give evidence? I wonder if the right hon. Gentleman has ever read the protest made by the boycotted Protestants of Sligo when they were summoned to give evidence? After detailing their sufferings, the solicitor who represented them said:—This state of things has existed for months, and has been, and is well known to them, but nothing, not one little thing has been done by them. No real attempt has been made to protect the Protestants, or to allow them the ordinary liberty of action to which a subject of the King is entitled. In fact, the Government considered it a trivial matter until blood was shed. Now that life has been taken, the Government draws these unfortunate Protestants into the arena, after refusing for six long horrible months, or at any rate, neglecting, to give them the protection and assistance to which they are, as loyal subjects, entitled. My clients protest against this conduct, and each man and woman knows that after he or she gives evidence here they will be marked; after having been made use of by the Government they will be discarded.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I can give the name of the solicitor; but I merely read this as an illustration of the belief in the minds of these people that they were not to be protected if they gave evidence, and if not protected they will not give evidence.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND (Mr. Cherry)
Perhaps the right hon. and learned Gentleman is not aware that all these people did give evidence.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I am aware of it. What they said was: "Of course, if the Government compel us to give evidence, we will do so," and of course they gave evidence, and it was not contradicted, and the magistrates refused to send the defendants for trial. After all, it comes back to this, that the right hon. Gentleman is really unable to enforce the law, and he falls back upon this—he says, "if I am not able to enforce the law, I can give people police protection." There are 335 people at the present moment in these limited districts under police protection. Does he really hold that a man under police protection is leading the life of any ordinary citizen or a life which he ought to lead? 753 He said Mr. Clarke has and will have constant police protection. Does he know how Mr. Clarke lives? Against Mr. Clarke nobody can say one word in relation to his tenants or labourers or anybody else. He was asked to sell his lands to his tenants, and he sold them, and I am afraid that he will be a very long time before he is paid for them. Because he kept his demesne and home farm he committed an egregious crime. What is the life he leads? He has a police barracks on his demesne—an interesting object no doubt, but not a very pleasant one. In his gamekeeper's cottage there are 15 policemen, not for the purpose of protecting the game, but for the purpose of protecting him. He is the game. His butler's house has seven policemen in it. When he goes to Thurles or Cashel, the county towns, for the purpose of giving evidence on the summons of the Crown in these cases in which he is attacked, he is accompanied by police upon his motor-car, and when he enters the town a force of constabulary lines the streets, so that he may be able to walk in safety to the courthouse. What has Mr. Clarke done? He has 127 men in his employment at the present time—
§ Sir E. CARSON
He has 127 men in his employment, and these 127 men are boycotted. I take that case, and I ask what do you propose to do for Mr. Clarke and gentlemen in his position. The right hon. Gentleman unfortunately can only tell us he proposes to continue the same state of affairs, and to give him a sufficient amount of police for the purpose of guarding him. We are accused of exaggeration. I am accused, because I said I did not believe in any civilised country any similar state of affairs existed, or would be allowed to exist. I repeat it here, and I say that I, at all events, know no country in which a similar state of affairs exists. Then we are to have no additional enforcing of the law; no additional powers applied for. Things are not bad enough to move in that direction. What, then, is the alternative? I could understand the right hon. Gentleman saying the alternative is, as the hon. and learned Member for Waterford suggested last night, the alternative of the Liberal Government is at once to bring in a Home Rule Bill, and to put the whole responsibility upon the Irish people. That is not your policy.
You have undertaken not to bring in a Home Rule Bill, at all events, during the present Parliament, and as far as I can 754 understand it is likely to be an issue removed, as far as possible, from the next General Election. Is it Devolution? You told us that you had a mandate to bring in a Devolution Bill. It was kicked out, not by the House of Lords, but by the Irish Convention—a much greater body as regards the present Government. Is it by your Land Bill policy that you hope to make these things better? So far as I can see, and so far as I have been able to follow the land policy you are proposing, if it is to be the same as last year—and I think I have the concurrence of some hon. Members below the Gangway—your land policy is going absolutely to stop the very purchase which was the object, and the successful object, of the Act of 1903.
What is left? I should have thought that, at all events, if you were going to pursue the same policy as you have been pursuing, with such disastrous results in Ireland, of leaving matters to drift until they have come to the unfortunate position they are in at present, you would have summoned up your courage to say, as an alternative, that "we must at least see whether the Land Question cannot be hastened on, and the wishes and desires of those, on both sides, who want to see that question settled at last carried out." While you are playing with crime in Ireland, while you are palliating outrage, and while you are allowing this deplorable condition to increase from day to day, I can see no hope of any immediate accomplishment, of any real carrying out the sales and purchases, which have been entered into at the present moment in Ireland.
Therefore, as far as I can see, the whole situation under the present Government S an impossible one. You are not prepared to follow out, to its logical conclusion, your Home Rule theory, you are not prepared to take your courage in your hands and ask the electors what they think of your Home Rule theory, and that the same time, as you are putting into the background your Home Rule policy, you are pretending, and it is nothing but a pretence, to govern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom. I say that any Government which wavers between these policies of Home Rule and Unionism—
§ Sir E. CARSON
Yes, I have said that very often before. I say that any Government that wavers between Home Rule and Unionism is doomed to failure. I say 755 if you are not prepared, if the people of this country are not prepared, as I hope they are not, to grant Home Rule to Ireland, I say it is your duty so long as the Union lasts between these two countries, and so long as you are accountable and this Parliament and Government are accountable, for the Government of Ireland to take care that every citizen of the King enjoys civil and religious liberty.
§ Mr. DILLON
Up to this moment we have not heard, as I think we were entitled to hear, some explanation from the Opposition benches as to the cause for the postponement of the moving of this Amendment. The tone of the speech to which we have just listened was most moderate, and I must say it was one of the most remarkable speeches I have ever heard delivered from these benches. It was very different in tone from the speeches delivered on platforms by the right hon. Gentleman and by his colleagues. In those speeches for the last six months, as we heard from the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, the condition of Ireland was represented to be that of a community sinking rapidly into chaos. The law was suspended in three provinces, the King's Courts were almost paralised, and the King's writ did not run, and to use the very language repeated on a dozen platforms, the only Courts in these three provinces of Ireland were the Courts of the United Irish League, and we were told that Parliament would not be sitting for twenty-four hours until this Government would be indicted and placed upon its trial for the infamies of its rule in Ireland.
I say if there had been one word of truth, or anything approaching to the truth, in the statements made upon these platforms, this Parliament ought not to have been allowed to sit for 24 hours without calling the Minister responsible to account for his conduct. Even after Parliament assembled we were led to believe the very first work of the Opposition would be to indict the Government. But suddenly a change came over the spirit of the dream, and this great Amendment, which had been heralded with such fireworks in the country, was put in the background, and another Amendment was brought forward, and was moved from the Front Opposition Bench, and the question of the State of Ireland was postponed.
That other Amendment raised the question of Tariff Reform, but it raised it in 756 a new shape. For the first time the word Ireland was inserted, and I say deliberately, and I charge those gentlement with it, that this manœuvre was for the purpose of ascertaining where we stood on Tariff Reform.
§ Mr. DILLON
No explanation has yet been given why these repeated declarations of the Unionist Party that the first work of the Opposition would be to indict the Government upon their Irish policy was departed from. The right hon. Gentleman may say "Quite untrue," but we all know enough of this House to know that there was a struggle over the question, and that the Opposition were not unanimous upon their policy, and I say that the postponement of the Irish Debate and the insertion of the word "Ireland" for the first time in the Tariff Reform revolution indicated a purpose to ascertain where the Irish Party stood on Tariff Reform before the Government were assailed upon their Irish policy. The whole of this Irish Debate, after that manœuvre, is a sham and a Political farce. It is nothing more nor less than a dishonest attempt to do what has often been done before by British Parties, to construct out of the difficulties and troubles of Ireland a platform for a British Party to mount into power.
I think hon. Members will all have noticed the chastened and comparatively modest language in which this subject is dealt with by Unionist representatives in this House, as compared with the orators on platforms. I have taken part in every debate in the House on the state of Ireland for the last twenty-five years, and I venture to say anything more dead, hollow, unreal, and feeble than the present debate I have never heard. Yet on the platform for the last six months the condition of Ireland was represented to be the worst that was ever known, and I say when it is brought to the test in this House no case whatever has been made for this motion. But if anything were wanted to give away absolutely the whole case of the Opposition, it was the speech of the right hon. and learned Gentleman to which we have listened. What does he say? He said he knew, and the Opposition knew, that no Liberal Government could put the Crimes Act in force. Then what is the purpose of this whole debate.
You cannot turn out the Government and you are calling upon the Government to put the Crimes Act in force although the right hon. Gentleman admits he 757 knows perfectly well they cannot do it. He again and again asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland why he went back to 1887. It is quite plain why he went back to 1887. He went back to 1887 because in that year, when the then Government were making out a case for the Crimes Act, there was by their own admission more than double the number of outrages in Ireland than there are to-day, besides being of an infinitely more serious character. There were eight times as many murders. Yet the whole of the Liberal party resisted the Crimes Act, and how can the Liberal party, with that record, come forward now and say they claim those powers which they resisted and opposed twenty years ago?
"Oh, but," says the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Trinity College, "it is unconstitutional! How dare they suspend the ordinary law of the land!" It is not the ordinary law of the land. It is a law forced upon this House by fraud and perjury, and by a great conspiracy between "The Times" newspaper and the Prime Minister of that day, and it is a law which lays down that it can be enforced or not, according to the will of the Executive Government. That is the essence of that law, and the right hon. Gentleman forgets when he uses this argument that the Peace Preservation Act has been repealed by this House by an overwhelming majority, and, inasmuch as the Executive Government of this country is responsible to this House, and not to the House of Lords or to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, I say the Government are going in strict accordance with the Constitution when they declare their inability to put it into motion. It would be an outrageous violation of the spirit of the constitution if after repeated votes in the House of Commons in favour of repealing that law, the Government were to use it. Of course everybody knows that it would have been wiped out of the Statute Book years ago only for the House of Lords.
There is one thing I think we are entitled to know about which up to the present we have had no information. What is the whole policy for Ireland of the Unionist party? At all events, we are entitled to ask, and, I think, to learn, what is the policy for Ireland of the Confederates, who are the only section of the Unionist party which really counts. [An HON. MEMBER "Who are they?"] They are the power who control the Unionist party, and we have been led in Ireland by many publications during the autumn 758 to believe that the Confederates have a policy for Ireland very different from that which is now advocated in this Motion. This Motion raises a far wider issue in reality than the mover contemplated. It raises the whole question of how law and order is to be maintained in Ireland, and the question of how law and order can be maintained in any country raises the whole question of the Government of the country. Anyone, as has been frequently said, can govern in a state of siege, and law and order is maintained in a fashion in Russia, but, as I say, when you are considering a question of this kind, and an indictment such as has been made against the Irish Government to-night, it raises the whole question in its broadest sense of the Government of the country, and the principles upon which the Government of Ireland is to be carried on in the future is brought forward by this discussion. We have even in this somewhat stupid Debate heard lurid and most absurd exaggerations—grotesque exaggerations of the condition of Ireland. Government, we are told, has ceased to exist in that country; chaos, anarchy reign supreme in three great provinces, but this is the most extraordinary thing in the course of that indictment, and it was repeated by the right hon. Gentleman, that where there is no crime there it is the worst of all.
Really it is impossible to please these Gentlemen. Hit high, or hit low, it is impossible to please them. If you have crime and disorder you must have coercion, but if there is no crime it is worse, because that proves that crime is unnecessary, and it proves that the condition of the country is much worse. Here is the language used by the hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge, who is a past-master of language. He said:—The eye of the League follows its victims from the house to the market and fair. It dogs the children to school. It marks them down and hunts them out of it, the whole system is malignant, ubiquitous, penetrating, piercing.He has a great gift of language has the hon. Member for Cambridge and he lavishes it in his speeches, and that is a description which you are called upon to accept as applying to the condition of Ireland. We are told that that is the position of the greater part of the country under a system of tyranny described in that language which would be the most hideous that could prevail anywhere. I doubt whether it has ever prevailed in any country and I deny that it actually exists in Ireland to-day. 759 On the other hand, the hon. Member for Cork City, who is quoted as an authority has declared that there is not a single branch of the League alive to-day, and the "Times" newspaper the week before last said—There is abundant evidence accumulating day by day that Mr. John Redmond and his colleagues are rapidly losing all control over the Irish people.You cannot have it both ways. According to the hon. Member for Cambridge and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin we have such control that we can pursue every human being in all the affairs of his life and exercise over him while we are in London a tyranny unequalled in the annals of mankind, and yet the "Times," when it suits its pur[...]pose and it wants to look at the matter from another point of view, says there is this abundant evidence accumulating day by day, that we are losing all control over the Irish people. As I say, you cannot have it both ways, and you must elect to stand upon one leg or the other.
Then there is another aspect of this picture which has been drawn of the state of Ireland. It is a very peculiar and interesting one, and has not been alluded to. Surely from these declarations one would conclude that if the country was in this great disorder there must be some corresponding decay in its great industries. Would not that be the natural inference?
But what are the facts? Why, you find according to the statistics published by the Board of Agriculture there is a most marked recovery in all the industries of Ireland, and, above all, in those industries which are practised most in the disturbed districts. The small peasant industries are all without exception improving. There has been for the first time in the history of Ireland some sign that we are turning the corner, and the process of decay is being arrested. But observe the extraordinary deduction which necessarily follows from that state of things. Have chaos in the country, abolish the law, play havoc, and let slip the dogs of war, and trade will improve. Restore law and order and decay recommences in the country. What an evil lesson to teach Ireland. Then they talk about the cattle trade, and say the cattle trade was destroyed.
Even the Prime Minister himself, in the fulness of his knowledge about Ireland, in a speech at Aberdeen declared that great and serious mischief had been done to the cattle trade in Irleand by these cattle drives. I must differ from him, and chal- 760 lenge contradiction when I say—I deal a little myself in the cattle fairs in Ireland in a small way—that there never has been a better year for the cattle trade of Ireland than the present year. We were told that the poor small farmer of the West Riding will be the first to suffer. These Gentlemen above the Gangway are always dropping tears—I do not like to be offensive, but I sometimes think that they may be described as crocodile tears—for the sufferings of the small farmer in the West; they do not champion the richer landlord. The small farmer was to be destroyed, and all the cattle fairs which his small stock went to were to be destroyed, so that he would not be able to sell his cattle.
At the Western fairs during the last four months there has not been a beast to be got after ten o'clock, and we have never known of such prices and of such a sweep. What is the argument if I were inclined to argue with as much logic as has been shown above the Gangway? The argument is, turn the country upside down, abolish English law, and let chaos prevail, and immediately the country begins to flourish. You have been maintaining law and order in Ireland for a hundred years, and what is the result of your hundred Coercion Acts? You have diminished our population and destroyed all their industries, and if this is the result of chaos, I prefer chaos to the prosperity of your administration of law and order.
So much for the result of this terrible state of things, and so much for the effect of cattle-driving on the cattle trade. I have pointed out over and over again that all this interesting nonsense is absurd to anyone who understands Ireland. I think there are certain grass lands which ought not to be cut up into small farms because they are too heavy; but if the greater part of this grass land were broken up and cultivated by small farmers the result would have been immeasurably to increase the wealth of Ireland, and it is impossible to tell me that when you increase the wealth of Ireland you are injuring the cattle trade. But if you do injure the cattle trade, is that any reason why the population should not be on the land?
I have heard a great deal to-night and last night about the crime of cattle-driving. I listened to the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge, an Irishman, who is a study of unending interest to me, a man who reminds me of the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde more than any man I have ever known. When he is in a better mood, as on the question of educa- 761 tion, we find him a brother Irishman whom we can love and with whom we can work. He has his deepest heart open to the sympathies of his countrymen, and, in any case, of his genius we are proud. But when this unhappy question arises he becomes pale and haggard and full of pain. That comes down from ancient ancestry, and he then goes for Ireland with a fury which is really absolutely incomprehensible to those who have the honour of his acquaintance in private life. What did he say last night speaking of boycotting and cattle-driving? He said he could never understand, and what filled him with horror and amazement was this system of Irishmen persecuting each other.
Did he ever hear of peasant-driving? Did he ever hear of the great clearances in Ireland when whole villages and hundreds of human beings were hunted out on the roadside in misery and ruin without one shadow or shred of excuse. I wonder where was his indignation and horror and surprise at those things that happened in his boyhood and in mine. He seems to have forgotten it, he seems to have bottled up all his indignation and his horror. But when cattle are driven then his indignation and horror rise to boiling point and he pours it out. Cattle-driving is a very rough thing, it is a method of expressing public indignation with which I can quite understand the House does not sympathise, but let me say this, and draw attention to the remarkable figures given by the Chief Secretary when he said that in all these cases of driving there were only three cases of men hurting the cattle. All this talk about men hurting the cattle is gross calumny and exaggeration. In my own knowledge there is more cruelty in one week in driving cattle through the streets of Dublin and shipping them to England for English food than there has been during the whole of this cattle-driving; that is a matter of fact. What mockery and hypocrisy it is for hon. Gentlemen to get up and talk about cattle-driving. I would pay more heed to their talk about the cattle-driving if they had a word to say about the people who were driven off the land. One would suppose that Ireland had no history, that these people are simply driving cattle because they want to grab other people's land and to take other people's property That is the view that is put forward on these benches.
But whose property is that land, if law and justice prevailed in Ireland? The property of the poor people who tilled it for 762 centuries until the clearances of 1850 and 1867, when thousands of them were done to death by the most infamous system of oppression that ever prevailed. And the men who to-day are driving the cattle off these lands are the children, and very often, in the case of old men, the very men whose homes stood upon these lands over which bullocks now roam. To tell me that this is parallel or to be compared with ordinary robbery is an outrageous libel upon our people. These men who engage in these cattle-drives are often honest, decent, and respectable men, who never had any record against them. He may condemn their action, but he cannot deny it, because his own police know it well. They engage in these cattle drives, to my own knowledge, very often without having any desire to get part of the land. Some do, but many do not; and they engage in them because the grazing system has become an abomination in Ireland, and in spite of 20 Coercion Acts we will crush it and drive it out of the country.
As I say, this whole subject is argued as if Ireland had no history, as if there was not beneath the surface of Irish society a burning sea of lava of national hate, molten with the feeling of 100 years of wrong, and ready to burst out on any possible occasion and to make havoc.
When you talk of cattle-driving, have you forgotten the words of Swift, that great Irishman, written 170 years ago, who said: "Don Quixote was looked upon as mad when he mistook a flock of sheep for his enemies, but the people of Ireland will never be sane until they make the same mistake." Cattle-driving was going on in Ireland on an infinitely greater scale and on a far more cruel scale than now, for in those days they drove tens of thousands of bullocks over the cliffs into the sea and killed them on the spot. One difficulty that hon. Members above the Gangway labour under is the difficulty of explaining what has been proved beyond contradiction—the greater criminality of Great Britain over Ireland. That is an admitted fact in all the more beastly and serious forms of crime.
The right hon. Gentlemen the Members for Cambridge University and Dublin University say the difference is that in England these acts are sporadic—the acts of individuals—while in Ireland they are organised. But we labour in Ireland under the great disability of having no criminal classes, and that, I suppose, is one of the reasons why we should be coerced. But that, I assume, is a privilege which requires 763 a higher civilisation than we possess. In time, perhaps, we may reach that stage of civilisation. But here comes in the great theory of the dupe. The theory is always adopted by hon. Members above the Gangway that you have a poor, ignorant body of peasantry, only anxious to be left alone to the tender care of their landlords and the law if the agitators would let them alone.
We are the agitators, there is no mistake about that, and if we would let them alone and not make them our dupes they would be decent and orderly people. But by some extraordinary process which I could never understand we are able to dupe or mesmerise them, and make them drive cattle, commit outrages of all kinds, and do whatever we desire them to do without expressing our wishes. That is the theory, and we are supposed to devote our time to agitating, with occasional retirements to Kilmainham gaol and other fashionable hotels just as the weary statesmen here would retire to the Riviera or Monte Carlo.
I notice with great interest that the late Under-Secretary for Ireland, Lord Mac-Donnell, delivered a speech in the House of Lords the other day on this theory, which was extremely significant. The reason, in his judgment, for the present state of things was this—?The proceedings of the Royal Commission, under the Presidency of Lord Dudley, were protracted. This led the people in the West to entertain the belief that the relief of congestion was not a serious object of the Government, and, in order to bring the Government to what they considered a proper conception of its duty, advantage was taken by the agitators of the state of the Western districts, and the statistics relating to grass lands, which were in fact the only vulnerable point open to them. The agitation had been gotten up at the present time, and it was a question whether the Government was not blameworthy in not taking adequate steps to put an end to it. But if he were asked what was his opinion in regard to the agitators, he would say if the same circumstances were to occur again, he would give them a very short shrift.
I suppose on Indian principles. I remember the day when Lord MacDonnell was very glad to avail himself of the assistance of the agitators to protect himself against the Gentlemen above the Gangway, who, although he was an officer of their own Government, made charges against him and attacks upon him much worse than anything they are now making on the Chief Secretary. But now he says he is sorry he did not give the agitators short shrift. I daresay he is. I know the purpose for which he came to Ireland. It was to break up the Irish party, and he has failed in that purpose. He is now 764 sorry, I suppose, that he did not get some of us under lock and key.
The question is raised—What are we going to do in the present condition of Ireland? In the whole course of the Debate, no speech aroused my interest more than that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Trinity College. I think it was a Home Rule speech. It was a most valuable speech, and with the concluding portion of it I most heartily agree. I think a Government which hesitates for long between the policy of trying to rule Ireland from London and giving it Home Rule is lost, because they are attempting an impossible task, and the warning of the right hon. Gentleman was absolutely true. He began by saying, turning to us, "you will never give us credit for honesty." We should be only too glad to give him credit for honesty, but how much credit do these Gentlemen give us for honesty—the agitators whom they are so anxious to get under lock and key. If we are met fairly we are always only too ready to meet our fellow-countrymen more than half-way. In fact, I think we sometimes go three-quarters or four-fifths of the way.
He then proceeded to make an offer—one of the most remarkable I ever heard and a very significant one. I noticed an ominous silence behind him. There was not a single cheer, and I saw some hon. Members exchange uncomfortable glances. The offer was in these words: "I will undertake," he said, "on my own behalf, and, I think I can undertake on behalf of my colleagues, to say not one word more of the condition of Ireland if the Irish Members will go down to those districts and denounce outrage." I wish to make a reply to that. This is a very serious matter, because the tone of the right hon. Gentleman was entirely different from what I have been accustomed to. I say the Irish Members would be perfectly willing not only to go down and denounce outrage, but to put down outrage absolutely if this House will put us in the position to tell the people that their legitimate grievances will be remedied, and remedied in the near future. You have taught the people of Ireland by long experience that if they are quiet they get nothing. What is the use of telling us to go down and denounce outrage if we are not in a position to say: "Give up all this disturbance and disorder and your voice will be listened to in Parliament and your legitimate grievances redressed." Irish outrage is the inheritance of centuries of bad government.
You have put into the hearts of these people that belief, and until you remove 765 it no amount of eloquence and denunciation will preserve peace in those districts. I recognise in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman that very remarkable statement and the conclusion that the real truth of the case is that the way effectually to put down outrages in Ireland and to render it the most crimeless country in the whole world would be to throw upon the representatives of the Irish people the responsibility of governing them. Is not that mooted in the invitation of the right hon. Gentleman? I have heard men on this side of the House denouncing in the wildest language the idea that the Irish Secretary should lean on Nationalist Members to aid him in putting down outrage and in governing Ireland, and the moment you appeal to the representatives of the Irish people to aid you there is mooted the assumption that the voice and advice of the Irish representatives should be accepted in governing the country.
Therefore I say I am entitled to claim that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman was in reality a Home Rule speech.
Let me deal with another aspect of the question which has not been touched upon at all. It has been assumed throughout the whole course of the Debate that the peaceable condition of Ireland which admittedly prevailed in 1906, when this Government came into office, was due to coercion. But nothing is so soon forgotten as realities, because they are completely beyond the memory of men, even of those who take part in them. What is the history of Ireland during the last eight years? From 1900 to 1902 there was a tremendous agitation in Ireland, a more widespread agitation than at present, and that was followed by coercion; and I recollect well the denunciations that used to come from those benches, from the Ulster Members, against the hon. Member for Dover and Lord MacDonnell—though he is now a great favourite of theirs—because they were not using the Coercion Act with sufficient vigour, and I have at home a dossier of speeches by the Member for Antrim and a number of these men denouncing their own Government of 1901 and 1902 because the Coercion Act was not used with sufficient vigour.
The Coercion Act was tried and proved an absolute and utter failure, and the country was drifting rapidly from bad to worse, and combinations against rent and disorder of all kinds were spreading rapidly, as always happens in these circumstances. The clamour was incessant from Ulster Members for more and more coercion. How was the peaceful condition of 1906 pro- 766 duced? In the autumn of 1902, in the very height of the agitation, while the Coercion Act had produced no effect whatever, the hon. Member for Dover surrendered to the forces of disorder, abolished the Coercion Act, and appealed to conciliation, and he was denounced and hunted from office by the Ulster party because he had done so. And then, not because of the Coercion Act, but because, in the face of the forces of disorder, the hon. Member for Dover surrendered to them—I am using the language of the Tory Benches now—and appealed to conciliation, you had undeubtedly great peace settling over Ireland. That peace lasted until this Government came into office. It was not a peace that was bred by coercion, but it was bred and created by the promises which were made in the speeches of 1903 to the Irish people.
What were those promises? They were that there would be complete relief given to the congests in the west, and that the great grass ranches would be broken up. What has been the genesis of the present disturbance in Ireland? It may be well, and I think it no betrayal of a secret, to tell you that the first day when Mr. Bryce took over the Secretaryship of Ireland in the spring of 1906 I went to him myself. I spent two hours with him, and I said: "In the name of God let us have a Land Bill immediately, because there is peace in Ireland now, and you never had such a chance of showing the Irish people that the Government will be just without disturbance; but if you postpone dealing with this question you will have a disturbance of a most serious character on account of the breakdown of the most important parts of the Act of 1903 and the other disappointments of these great promises about breaking up the grazing ranches." The Government took a different course under the guidance of Lord MacDonnell—the gentleman who is so sorry now that he has not us all under lock and key—and they introduced their Council Bill.
Lord Dudley's Commission was appointed, and although we advised the appointment of it it was not our policy; it was only as an alternative to doing nothing. But they appointed the Dudley Commission and then did nothing. It sat for two years, and then the people got it into their heads—the fatal lesson that has been taught us in Ireland— "Once more we have had a promise in Ireland; it was made four years ago, and they have done nothing; we have waited and waited, and now they have appointed a Royal Commission, and it will 767 never report, and we will never get anything in Ireland." Then the agitation commenced again. That is the real history and origin of the present disturbance in Ireland. And anybody who studies Irish history will come to the conclusion that it was not a lesson as to the value of coercion in putting down disturbance, but the very reverse, and that it was a lesson as to the futility of coercion, and showed that the only remedy is to remove the grievance. Therefore I say that the remedy for all this trouble is to pass, and pass rapidly, a Land Bill which will convince the people that the Government are in earnest in their determination, and that this House is in earnest in its determination to redeem the promises which were made in 1903, and which have never been fulfilled.
There is one aspect of the land question which is absolute proof of what I say. There was no branch of the land question about which there were bitterer feelings and more outrages than the question of the evicted tenants. The right hon. Gentleman has honourably redeemed his promise about the evicted tenants, and we do not hear of much trouble about that question now. It is rapidly being settled, and in about a year I think the whole of that bitter chapter will have been closed, because he did pass through the House two Acts which have given real power to reinstate the evicted tenants. I say that that is the only real remedy. Hon. Members who have supported the Amendment know that they are engaged in a farcical and unreal Debate. They say they know that this Government can never use the Crimes Act. Therefore that remedy is barred out of this discussion. They know that this Government cannot give Home Rule in this Parliament because they have pledged themselves against it. There is only one remedy—a temporary remedy I admit, but an effective remedy if undertaken boldly—and that is to pass a good Land Bill on the lines introduced by the right hon. Gentleman, which I might say here in passing—though I know it is out of order—will not stop land purchase; but, on the contrary, in my opinion will put land purchase on a sound and solid basis.
In conclusion, I may say a word on the subject of boycotting. With the exception of the case of Mr. Clarke, we had almost no case at all cited in this discussion. In the old discussions we always had long lists of cases of hardship and cruel out- 768 rage. In the present discussion we have only had three cases mentioned, and one of those was the case of Mr. Clarke, with which I shall deal very briefly. But there was another case mentioned by the hon. Member for Cambridge of an old lady in the County Clare, who, he said, is boycotted because she will not give up her home. All I can say about that case is this, if the facts are as stated by the hon. Member for Cambridge, we are ready in the Dublin League to use the whole strength of our organisation to rescue that old lady. But we have never heard anything of the facts. Inasmuch as his statement of the facts in the Clarke case is absolutely misleading, I must make the qualification that if the statements of fact made by him in the Clare case can be substantiated, then the whole strength of our organisation will be used to crush that state of things.
He stated that there was a campaign to compel people to give up their demesnes and home lands. That is absolutely false. Only one or two cases of the kind came before our Committee in Dublin during the last two years, and we stamped upon them at once. It is totally against our principles. And now I may say a few words about the Clarke case. Mr. Clarke is a gentleman who has a demesne. He has sold all his agricultural land, and it is said that thereupon the people out of pure greed, and for no other reason, come to him and say, "Though you have sold all your agricultural land, and are a large employer of labour, we also require you to give up your demesne." If that were true it would be a most infamous thing; and I say deliberately that all Mr. Clarke would have to do would be to acquaint us in Dublin with that, and we would dissove all the branches of the League concerned in such a transaction; and so far as our influence would go—I do not say that it is as great as is believed by some—it would be placed at his disposal.
But it is not proved that the facts are as have been stated. As I am informed the facts are these—and I do not for a moment say that I am accurate in every particular; but both sides of the case must be heard, and let anybody who likes investigate. Mr. Clarke is a great employer of labour, and has sold his agricultural land. In connection with the sale of that land he holds still in his possession, outside his tenanted land which he has sold, about 1,700 acres of land. Of that I believe that about 200 is his demesne. The balance of it is mostly land—certainly about 1,200 acres of it—from which the people were evicted 769 about 50 years ago by his grandfather, the lands being swept clean.
There were 1,550 acres of evicted land from which the people have been evicted within living memory; and there are still to be seen on that land, which he calls demesne land, the ruins of the houses from which the people were evicted. If that be so is not it manifest to anybody that that revolutionises the whole case? These local farmers claim that Mr. Clarke should give up, of that 1,700 acres of land, 400 acres, to be divided among the neighbouring farmers, selling it through the Estates Commissioners. That would leave in his own possession over 1,200 acres of land, including his whole demesne, which nobody ever proposed to take from him. In the immediate neighbourhood of that estate there are two other Tipperary estates, on both of which similar clearances were made. One of these is the estate of Mr. Carden—Woodcock Carden—one of the most infamous men who ever lived in Ireland, who destroyed the homes of 80 families, whose rent was paid up to the day they were evicted, and who turned a vast tract of land to the north of Templemore into a grazing ranch.
That land under the Bill has been bought and distributed among the people. Is it any wonder—human nature being what it is—that that excited the feelings of the people on the Clarke estate? They say to themselves, "inasmuch as a great act of restitution has been done on the Carden estate, why not on the Clarke estate also?" But they asked, as I understand only for 400 acres. A dispute went on for some time. Then the people found out the fact that Mr. Clarke was actually selling some of this land under a system which the Estates Commissioners consider to be an evasion of the Act, and which we all condemn as most injurious to the interests of the people. He was dividing his land into farms and was putting a rent on the farms and was then selling it by auction to neighbouring farmers, getting, owing to their land hunger, the greatest possible fines. And then he was telling them not to allow the Estates Commissioners to know that they had paid any fine for the land, and then they were to come in and buy the land from the Government.
The infuriated people thought they were being swindled, when this land was being sold under this system, which I confess we are attacking and putting down by every means in our power and which I think is a most disgraceful system. That was the condition of affairs when the row com- 770 menced. There was what you call a "drumming party"—a lot of young fellows coming home from some entertainment, I suppose, pretty lively. They passed through a portion of Mr. Clarke's land and played a drum. They were summoned and taken to Cashel and tried. On the occasion of the trial at Cashel there was a series of baton charges by the police of a most scandalous kind without the slightest provocation, and many heads were broken and a great number of people were knocked down. This infuriated the people and I think it was when returning from these baton charges that they made the attack on Mr. Clarke's house and threw the stones. But previous to that a number of men had been sent to Cork for trial for one of these demonstrations against Mr. Clarke's house and they were convicted on Mr. Clarke's own evidence, and when the second batch came up for trial they pleaded guilty, and I remember Mr. Justice Johnson said from the bench that he understood a better feeling was prevailing in the district, and he would release them to come for sentence when called on, and that he hoped a still better state of feeling would continue to prevail.
At the trial Clarke swore that he did not believe anyone of them ever meant to hurt a hair of his head. Observe the extraordinary charge which is now made against the right hon. Gentleman. He is charged with not having a sufficiently large police force, and a dreadful picture is drawn of the police. I am reminded when I hear all this talk about Mr. Clarke, and the gross exaggeration indulged in, of a certain case that occurred in this House only eight years ago, during the Boer War. May I remind the House what happened when I brought forward a case which occurred at Stratford-on-Avon, where a man had his house attacked and his furniture was thrown out into the street because he said he was a pro-Boer? At that time I appealed to the Leader of the Opposition, who was then Prime Minister, and asked him whether he was going to leave this man without any protection. What was the answer I got? The right hon. Gentleman's reply was to the effect that the occurrence was extremely regrettable, but there were limits to human patience. Mr. Clarke had his windows broken, and yet he swore that he did not believe that the mob meant to hurt a hair of his head.
Nevertheless, there are over 100 police protecting Mr. Clarke, although in the Stratford-on-Avon case all the assistance the man got from the Leader of the Opposition was a hint to his persecutors that 771 there were limits to human patience. With regard to mobs, I myself, in company with one of the present Ministers for Cape Colony, was hunted by a mob through the streets of London, and my life was barely saved by the intervention of the police at the last moment. And why was I attacked in this way? Simply because I happened to be a pro-Boer. Then there is the case of Mr. Rowntree, who is one of the most respected men in this country. Within my own memory Mr. Rowntree had to fly out of his house and take refuge with his friends because the police of Scarborough and York declined to be responsible for his safety. In that case where was the indignation of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition? All this talk is really hypocritical nonsense, and all these tears over the wails of Irish landlords are shed purely for party purposes.
I say deliberately that if the Chief Secretary is guilty of any crime at all in regard to this matter, he is guilty of sending too many police into these districts. If these gentlemen do wrong, then they ought to be taught the lesson that they ought to learn to live like good neighbours amongst their own people. If they were taught not to rely so much upon the police they would live happier lives.
Hon. Members above the Gangway have drawn pitious pictures of the life of men under police protection. I think it is a very miserable life, but if the Irish landlords had long ago been taught that they were not going to be made a petted minority they would not have needed police protection, because it is well known that they live amongst some of the kindliest and most friendly people in the whole world, who are always the friends of any man who acts fairly towards them. I appeal to this House by its vote to-night to put the brand of its disapproval upon this abominable system of endeavouring to turn this House into a platform for libelling and slandering Ireland. And I ask hon. Members not to again commit the infamy of subjecting to the suspension of the Constitution and coercive law the most crimeless nation in the whole world.
§ Mr. WILLIAM MOORE
I do not think anyone who has listened to the speech we have just heard can complain that it was subdued either in tone, temper, or taste. It certainly was not subdued so far as accuracy was concerned, because more wild, inaccurate, and rambling, statements upon questions of fact, which ought to be within the hon. Member's knowledge, and 772 experience, it has never been my lot to listen to. I have the honour of calling Mr. Clarke a friend of mine, and I have known him since I was three feet high. I have stayed in his house, and I say that what has been stated here about him is an absolute tissue of fabrications. I do not know who is responsible for the statements made by the hon. Member for East Mayo, who has, no doubt, been speaking from information supplied to him, but whoever put him in possession of the rigmarole he has given to the House about the Clarke estate has done a great injustice to Mr. Clarke and a great indignity to this House.
§ Mr. CULLINAN
I have all the facts here, and I can give them to the hon. and learned Member. My hon. Friend's statement is quite accurate.
§ Mr. MOORE
Only last night the Chief Secretary said that Mr. Clarke's case was one of two exceptionally bad ones. The hon. Member who spoke last took up the attitude which has been taken up by branches of the League in the constituency of the hon. Member who has just interrupted me. It is quite true that hon. Members below the Gangway are always declaring that they are the last persons in the world to touch a poor landlord's demesne or home farm; they always express their pious sympathy in this way, but how do they carry out their professions?
They call a meeting of the League, and proceed to denounce the man, and they provide an excuse by saying that, although it may be a home farm or demesne now, everybody knows that it was in the tenant's hands some years ago. Then they proceed to abolish the restriction placed upon the land by a League resolution, and that at once leaves the demesne ready for attack. That has been done in repeated cases throughout the country, although the supporters of the League policy have constantly declared that they would never be so base, or such savages, as to take a home farm, or demesne, from one of these landlords. What has a person in Ireland, who is savagely boycotted, to do?
The conception of the hon. Member for East Mayo as to the duty of a man who is boycotted amuses me. If you please, he has to appeal to the head centre of the National League in Dublin. That is where he has to get redress, and that is the only remedy suggested. I maintain that a man who is boycotted is entitled to the same protection from injustice as any other man. The man is told that he must appeal to the National League in Dublin, who will 773 deal out to him National League justice. The minority in Ireland have had experience of what is meant by National League justice, and very few, I think, will be found willing to trust themselves to the clemency or mercy of the Central Branch of the National League. It is the right of every boycotted person to obtain justice, if necessary, through the forces of the Crown who govern Ireland, who ought to protect all sections of the people and secure for every man his own individual rights. It is only because during the last two or three years the Crown has lacked its duty in this respect that this indictment has been brought forward at the opening of this Session.
There is only one other matter I wish to refer to. I desire to disclaim the suggestion which has just been made by the hon. Member for East Mayo. I have spoken on many platforms since the House rose last August, and I have no desire to withdraw in any shape or form from anything I have said on those platforms, or from what I am going to say now. I have said on platform after platform what is the opinion of many men living in Ireland who are familiar with Irish history, and it is this, that when it comes to the fulfilment of the ordinary duties of the Government and securing equal right to every man and to every class of the community, whatever position they hold, this Government have deliberately neglected and refused to secure those rights for the people of Ireland.
The Chief Secretary may be accustomed to that kind of thing, and, of course, it all depends upon what his conception of his duty is. According to my conception of the duty of the Chief Secretary, the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues have miserably failed in that respect. When any Minister finds in existence a startling state of affairs, involving the whole welfare of a country, surely it is his duty to look for the motive. I have found that motive. My inference is the only one which can be drawn, and it is that the right hon. Gentleman is influenced by the political exigencies of the situation. I believe that it is the power and the political influence in this House of hon. Members below the Gangway and those who are supporting this agitation that induces the right hon. Gentleman to remain hand-bound and tongue-tied, no matter who is suffering. This is called, is said to be, political in its origin, this system of terrorism which exists in parts of Ireland. I have never said that it is general throughout Ireland. 774 I notice that the Member for Waterford, who assumes the right to speak for the whole of Ireland—frequently does that—though he certainly cannot for any county in Ulster, which returns a Unionist Member, counts the population of Ireland by head, and also the percentage of crime, forgetting that the bulk of the population is concentrated in counties with which the right hon. Gentleman has no connection. The Member for Cork, it was said the other day, has driven the United Irish League out of the county of Cork. There are six or eight Members in that part of the county who would repudiate the suicidal tactics of the Members for Mayo and Waterford. I really think when the latter really pretends to speak for the whole of Ireland he might at least limit his claim to the parts to which the Crimes Act would be limited, if in force, and to those parts of the country which he can really claim to represent.
It is absurd to say there is no crime there, and that it would be an injustice to enforce the Crimes Act in these counties.
The question is: How are you to deal with these particular disturbed areas? The whole of the exceptional crime which we are asking to be dealt with here is concentrated. Through the country, here and there, crime is concentrated, forming an exceptional and special condition. That is why we say that in the ordinary interests of good Government special legislation should be put into force.
It is said, and that is the excuse made for it, that this crime is political in its source. Some Members who stated that seem to have that excuse for all crime. The Chief Secretary has again and again made that excuse. You mention crime of this sort. It is stated—it was stated by Lord Crewe and Lord Denman in the House of Lords—"Oh, it is a quite harmless sort of crime; it only arises out of the intense desire of the people to possess the land." But why, if it is a fact, and it arises from land hunger, should it be ignored, as the Government have and are ignoring it? I have said it is political. I think there will be little difficulty in tracing that. The hon. Member for Waterford made a remarkable speech.
After the passing of the Evicted Tenants Bill in this House. He wanted to have things all his own way. He summed up the general situation. He was complaining of the rejection of some particular Amendment. He said that the House of Lords, representing the loyal 775 party, would not dare to deal with this Bill in the way it had done if there was a strong and menacing agitation afoot in Ireland at the present time. Then he passed on to say that if they wanted to get next Session the land legislation they so desired, and get the Land Act of 1903 amended, they would have to close up their ranks, make their movement sufficiently strong and menacing, and overcome both the Members of Parliament above the Gangway and the House of Lords.
Then he went home to Ireland, and said he wanted a virile and active agitation set on foot throughout the country. During the Easter Recess he said that he had asked the country for a vigorous agitation, and that it was not vigorous enough. That was how the agitation was set on foot. The way it is carried out is by the developing of the organisation, and increasing the membership of the branches and forces of the United Irish League in every district. And you find the crime in proportion to the strength of the agitation, and the strength of the agitation in proportion to the strength of the branches of the United Irish League. Let me quote a speech made by the Attorney-General for Ireland, whom I understand will take part in this Debate. Speaking on March, 13th, 1907, on a similar question, he said:—There were in Ireland, in 1906, 234 agrarian crimes.
Then, dealing with police reports, he said:Throughout Galway and the East Riding it was reported that there was no improvement in the condition of the Riding, which continued in a lawless and unsettled state, except in certain districts. Persons were under constant protection. The United Irish League was still a paramount power in the Riding. There were several cases of partial boycotting. Intimidation was very prevalent, and that was the only report that he could really say was unsatisfactory. On the whole he thought the position was satisfactory.
The Attorney-General used the words "paramount power" in relation to the United Irish League, and this was the only unsatisfactory division of Ireland at that date. But this is no longer the exception. The agitation has got to Tipperary now. Lord MacDonell, with whom I on this occasion find myself in agreement, said that "it was very unfortunate that he did not make short shift of the gentlemen who began this virile and vigorous agitation." Let me quote the words of the Bishops of Ardagh, Elphin, Killaloe, and Raphoe, at the risk of being told that the devil car quote Scripture. The Bishop of Ardagh said:— 776I feel it my duty to call your particular attention to the sinfulness of boycotting that exists in a few parishes of this diocese. With the aims and objects of the societies that adopt this sort of punishment I am in sympathy. They wish to stop emigration and to make the people happy by a more equitable distribution of the land. That is all right and highly to be commended. But what are the means that are adopted to reach this end? Proscription, public denunciation and violence. These as instruments in the hands of private individuals are unlawful, prolific of evil, and quite opposed to the teaching of the Gospel. It is fortunate we have not had murders such as disgrace other parts of our country.
Then Dr. Fogarty, in his Lenten pastoralcondemns the inhuman and un-Christian outrages which are perpetrated in one or two localities of the diocese. He especially referred to assaults on human life, firing into houses, terrifying defenceless women and children, and burning and destroying property, for which innocent people had to pay. These crimes were horrible, and when perpetrated in furtherance of private greed or malice were not only awful but alarming.
Four Roman Catholics have found it their duty at this season to admonish their flocks against the methods of this vigorous and virile agitation. They are witnesses upon the spot.
Let me quote from the inside. There was a period when Parnellites and anti-Parnellites persecuted each other, and this is the description given by the bon. Member for Clare, who took the chair at the National League on 22nd March, 1892, in Dublin. He said:—They in Dublin were lucky to live in that City. where they could congregate in vast numbers, and where intimidation of a spiteful kind dare not be attempted against them. (Hear, hear.) The men in Cork, the men in Waterford—(applause)—the men in all cities, were all right, but throughout the length and breadth of the land, in little country districts where the people lived In an isolated condition, where they seldom saw any newspapers, where they seldom had public meetings to give them courage, to inspire them and teach them, there were thousands of men through Ireland, farmers, shopkeepers, and labourers, who, since the commencement of this struggle, had been suffering a life of hell because of the boycotting and persecution to which they had been subjected, because their cow-sciences taught them to stick by Mr. Parnell.
I have given the date, and I am sure he will find it in the "Freeman."
§ Mr. W. REDMOND
The "Freeman" were deadly opposed to me at the time, and they would not publish a word of what I said.
§ Mr. MOORE
The point is that you have both elements of the Nationalist party, not persecuting each other, but directing their energies to persecuting the minority in Ireland, whom the Government refuse to protect. I do not say they would refuse protection, for if a man is sufficiently stirring they send policemen to his door to give him protection. The Attorney-General says, and I believe the Chief Secretary shares the sentiment, that we will never have peace in Ireland until the people come to love the law, and it is 777 going to be his pleasing duty to teach them how that should be done. If you wish the people to have trust and confidence in the law, there should be no discrimination. If you find that the power of the League is paramount, that illegal agitation is rampant and rife, and crime follows, then you have no right to discriminate between the dupes who carry out the agitation and the people who are responsible for it. At Mr. Clarke's place about thirty young men were arrested for unlawful assembling, in one form or other, for a vigorous and virile political agitation; but the hon. Member who interrupted me just now was present with his colleague, and were part and parcel of the demonstration against Clarke. The Government myrmidons take the small farmers or the labourers to be dealt with by the resident magistrates, or they are tried at the assizes, and they lie in Clonmel gaol. I know that the hon. Members do not disavow responsibility.
The hon. Members for Tipperary took part in the meeting held to intimidate Clarke, but they now walk about the House here; they shake hands with the Chief Secretary and the Attorney-General, and express their pleasure at meeting one another again in the bright air of freedom. How can you ask people to have confidence in the law when it discriminates between the humble peasant and his representative in Parliament? There was another case at Limerick in which the Attorney-General was attacked because he ordered jurors to stand aside. He gave an explanation in this House of why he took that course. He said there was a Sligo case to be tried, and that he had information of attempts which had been made to canvass jurors. He had the names of those who attempted to canvass the jurors, and he also said that he would do all in his power to stop such a reprehensible practice.
Why does not the Chief Secretary or the Attorney-General prosecute these people? He has their names; he told the House he had their names. Is it the fact that the men who canvassed the jurors in the Sligo case were Members of this House? If it is the fact, and if the Attorney-General has the names, why does he not prosecute them?
§ Mr. CHERRY
I have the names of those who were suspected of it, but they were not Members of this House.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
Is it in order, Mr. Speaker, to make imputation of crime, either on suspicion or otherwise, against hon. Members of this House?
§ Mr. SPEAKER: I think we have always scrupulously avoided any suggestions of that sort, and I think they are very undesirable. I understand the Attorney-General to say that he has not any information which would bear out the view of the hon. Member.
§ Mr. MOORE
I express my regret if I have committed a breach of Parliamentary usage. Whatever the result of this Debate may be, it is simply a further illustration of the lesson—which has sunk deep into the minds of the British elector—of the barren and fruitless results of three years of Liberal administration in Ireland. When its epitaph comes to be written it will be this: The Liberal administration in Ireland, by neglect of its primary duty, by its cowardice, moral and political, and by its ineptitude, turned a large part of Ireland, once the scene of prosperity, into a desert, and called it peace.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND (Mr. Cherry)
I trust the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down will excuse me if before I deal with his speech I say a few words as regards the very remarkable and eloquent speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Senior Member for the University of Dublin. As regards the tone of that speech, the Government has, in some respects, cause to be grateful to the right hon. Gentleman, because he did not, as some of his colleagues have done, notably his own colleague in the representation of the University of Dublin, impute to my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary or to me any desire or intention to increase the amount of lawlessness in the country for political purposes. He said very fairly, and I am sincerely grateful to him, that he believes nobody would be better pleased than we would be, or any Member of the Government, if there was a distinct improvement in the condition of Ireland. The Government have not denied during this debate, nor as to anything that has been said in this House during the last twelve months, that a very serious state of affairs does exist in a portion of Ireland. We have never denied the seriousness of the state of intimidation which prevails in, at all 779 events, a portion, though I am happy to say a small portion, of Ireland—much smaller than has been represented in the speeches made in the course of this debate. On the other hand, it is not right or fair that the gravity of that situation should be exaggerated. In the speeches made in the country and made in this House from the Benches opposite, I think it has been greatly and grossly exaggerated. The Noble Lord who moved the Amendment began by stating that there were 22 counties in a disturbed state. As a matter of fact, the returns show that only 11 counties, and only portions of those 11 counties, are in a disturbed state. The Noble Lord, who appeared to be speaking from a carefully-prepared brief, actually doubled the number of counties which were in a state of disturbance. When we come to discuss the particular counties, or particular portions of those counties, and inquire into the circumstances of a locality, we find the same tendency to exaggeration. Now, the right hon. Gentleman, by his rhetorical power and eloquence, leads the House to attach far more importance to particular circumstances than they would otherwise do. He deals with the subject of boycotting, and refers to a number of cases. Then he goes on to say that behind these cases of persons boycotted there is an appalling tragedy. But that is a statement which can be made about every crime in every civilised country of the world. If a wife is beaten by her husband in the slums of an English town, is not that a tragedy of an appalling kind? If an unfortunate cashier is shot in the back of the head with a revolver and robbed of the money of which he has charge, is not that a tragedy of an appalling character? If a poor child is sent into the streets, is not that a tragedy of an appalling character? If the virtue of a girl is taken away from her that is a tragedy of an appalling character. But none of these crimes excite the sympathy of the right hon. Gentleman. He reserves his sympathy for the owner of a motorcar who was compelled to carry a policeman in it. [An HON. MEMBER: "He was not discussing general crime."] But I am. We cannot, by exaggerating the condition of the country, effect any purpose. Every crime is bad. The only question is, Are the crimes so numerous and so bad as to justify the putting aside of Constitutional methods for the prosecution of crime and adopting one exceptional method? The 780 right hon. Gentleman went on to deal with intimidation, and we had the same sort of picture drawn. Of course, intimidation is bad, and I would be sorry to say one word to encourage it in any way. What does he suggest should be done? He said the worst cases of intimidation were those where there were overt acts. But how can you prosecute if there is no overt act? I asked. What was his reply? "I am not talking of prosecutions," he said. Then why does he blame the Government? What can we do if there is no overt act of intimidation brought to our notice? Where there is evidence we instruct a prosecution in every case. We have never refrained from doing so, and it is a gross slander on me and my colleagues, and to any person who is in charge of the duties of Government at Dublin Castle, to say that we do not prosecute in every case when the circumstances are brought to our notice.
We enter a prosecution in every case in which crime is reported to us and where evidence is available. We cannot institute prosecutions if no evidence is available or where no evidence would be possible, unless there is some overt act.
What is the pith of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, and the remedy which he suggests? I listened carefully to what he said and I observed that he confined himself to one. His suggestion was we should put in force the Second Section of the Crimes Act. He did not say anything of proclamations. We are told over and over again it is part of the ordinary law, and why, he asks, does the Chief Secretary suspend that part of the ordinary law. The Chief Secretary has no power to suspend any portion of the law, but he can do this, and we can do this: we can choose the particular method by which we proceed against crime. We can either go by indictment or proceed to bind to the peace persons we suspect of having committed or about to commit crimes; or constitute a special court under the Crimes Act. Because we do not take the third course, he says we are suspending that portion of the ordinary law, and his colleague, as Member for the University of Dublin, suggested that my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary was violating his oath of office, because he did not proceed against persons who commit crimes by this method which is pointed out by the Crimes Act.
I would like to ask the senior Member for the University of Dublin, and I will venture to address it also to the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, 781 who, I understand, will speak later, I want to know between 1895 and 1901, when the late Conservative Government was in office, when the right hon. Gentleman was Leader of the House of Commons, and afterwards Prime Minister, and his colleague was Solicitor-General for Ireland, why were not proceedings taken under this section at that time, and there were none. Some hon. Members say there were, but I have looked very carefully into the matter, and I think they will find themselves mistaken. I find until 13th August, 1901, from the year 1892, there was no proceeding whatever in Ireland, North, South, East, and West, under the Crimes Act, under this particular section; no proceedings whatsoever.
Possibly it might be suggested by hon. Members opposite or the right hon. Gentleman, that there were no offences that could be prosecuted in that way. We find, however, that there were a great many cases of boycotting in those years, and that the number of persons boycotted increased steadily from 1895 until 1900, while the Conservative Government was in power.
In the year 1895 there were 35 persons reported as wholly or partially boycotted. At that time cases of minor boycotting were not reported, and we had no return whatsoever of the number of those cases. Those 35 were all serious cases, and in not one of those cases was there a prosecution. What answer can be given to that? Did the right hon. Gentleman suspend the law or did he violate his oath of office as the Chief Secretary is alleged to have done? In 1896 that number increased to 45 "units, behind which terrible tragedy lurks." And no prosecution. Next year, 1897, we have 64 cases, or almost doubled in two years. That is the terrible state of affairs we are told exists in Ireland, with those agrarian crimes increasing. They were increasing in 1895, 1896, 1897, and in 1898. We had them up to 120, and in 1899 to 180—actually double the number reported on 1st January of the present year.
I am speaking of serious cases, not with minor boycotting, which were reported for the first time in 1902 and form a distinct class by themselves. As a matter of fact, there has been some confusion, and they have been lumped with the others and compared with years in which only the serious cases were reported. In 1899 we had 180 cases of wholly and partially boycotted, as against 94 on the 1st January last. Then we are told my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary and his colleagues are violating our oaths and allowing the coun- 782 try to drift into disorder because we do not take proceedings under the Crimes Act. During the whole of those years—and I challenge contradiction on this—that from 1895 to 1899 there was not one single prosecution either by indictment or summary proceeding or otherwise against the persons carrying on this boycotting.
Then is the law to be laid down for the Liberal Government, while a Conservative Government may talk of governing according to Irish ideas if Lord Cadogan happens to be Lord Lieutenant? When the Liberal Government comes into office the flame bursts forth, and Members fly through the length and breadth of the land and talk of the disturbed condition of Ireland.
I now come on to the year 1900, and in that year there was the worst case of boycotting that ever occurred in the whole history of Ireland, far worse than the Clarke case, far worse than the Rivers-town case, or than any of the cases mentioned in the course of this debate. I refer to what is known as the Tallow case. A systematic boycott was started against a rich, well-to-do merchant in the town of Tallow, who made himself obnoxious with the local branch of the League. He was completely ruined. Sentinels were. stationed outside his shop, public meetings were held in the town, he was denounced by orators, who declared the grass would be made grow outside his hall door. That was successfully done, and the man's business ruined and destroyed. Everybody in Ireland knows I am speaking the truth.
What did His Majesty's Government do? Did they put in force the Crimes Act? They did nothing of the kind. They did what we have done—they commenced prosecutions before a jury in the ordinary way. That prosecution in the Tallow cases was tried at the Spring Assizes of 1901 in Waterford, and resulted in a disagreement of the jury. Did they then resort to the Crimes Act? No; there was not a word or a suggestion about the Crimes Act, although the strongest evidence was brought against the accused. They changed the venue to Cork just as we changed the venue to Dublin.
We have been reviled and reproached for our failure to secure convictions. They met with exactly the same fate in Cork as in Waterford. There was another disagreement. What happened then? Did they resort to the Crimes Act? No; they abandoned the prosecution altogether, and let the poor unfortunate man go back. Then he took the remedy into his own hands, and brought a civil action, which was tried by a special jury before the 783 Lord Chief Baron, the ablest Judge we have on the Bench in Ireland, and resulted in a verdict for the plaintiff in the large sum of damages against the defendants of £5,000. I venture to assert that it was that verdict put an end to boycotting at the time, so that there are some advantages in resorting to the ordinary law even when you are dealing with boycotting. Apparently those advantages were appreciated by the Government in office between 1895 and 1900. So much for boycotting. I think I have given a complete answer to the charge made against the Government in regard to that.
Now, as regards the other matters, I said there were exaggerations. It is quite true. We have seen inflamed placards in the newspapers, such as:—Paralysis of the Law in Ireland.
There is no paralysis of the law in Ireland, as everyone who lives in Ireland knows perfectly well—absolutely no paralysis. The law is enforced in Ireland the same way as it was by the hon. Members opposite when they were in power. They put in force the Crimes Act for a short period, but they dropped it again. They began it in 1901, continued in 1902, and in 1903 they withdrew it, and never prosecuted under it again. The other day I took up one of the Unionist papers, and in which was one of the sensational headlines we see in those papers:—Anarchy in Ireland.Chaos in the Irish Office.
I had been to the Irish Office the day before and I could see no chaos. I saw the chaos referred to a speech of Lord Donaghmore, in which he compared some figures given by Lord Denman with some given by Mr. Birrell, and said there was an inconsistency between them. The inconsistency arose in this way: My right hon. Friend was dealing with agrarian outrages and Lord Denman was dealing with outrages of all kinds, so that there was no means of comparing the two. But the anarchy is as unfounded as the chaos in the Irish Office.
I invite any English Member to come and see Ireland and travel through it from the Giant's Causeway to Cape Clear, from Connemara to the Hill of Howth, and he will be just as safe as in the streets of London, and even a great deal safer. He will see no sign of disturbance, he will not see any boycotting, he will not see any riots. By mere chance, he might have an opportunity of seeing a number of boys 784 with tin whistles, as was the case in Thurles the other evening and who were dispersed by the police. Anyone will see just as much disturbance if he goes through England or Scotland. We have unfortunately—and it has never been denied—this system of intimidation going on in the grazing districts, and during the last year or so we have had this cattle-driving. We are doing our best by every possible means to stop it; but you cannot put an end to it in a day.
Then we are told that there is a number of cases where crime goes unpunished, and we are given appalling figures, which, it is said, have been unwillingly given by the Chief Secretary. My right hon. Friend has given hundreds of figures during the last six months; I do not think he has refused any to anybody. What are the facts about unpunished crimes? My hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General pointed out last night that in the year 1907 there were 25,665 cases of crime in Scotland, for which no persons were made amenable. If those had occurred in Ireland everyone of them would have been made the subject of one or more questions in this House, because whenever a crime occurs in Ireland it is put on the Question Paper, and we are asked how many arrests have been made and what punishment has been inflicted. Imagine 25,000 questions having to be answered! It cannot be said that even in law-abiding Scotland crime is always punished even when discovered. Only a few days ago there was a case of a gross and brutal crime going unpunished, and I will tell the House what it was. In the "Times" of Friday last an account was given of a Tariff Reform meeting held in Central Glasgow. A Socialist lawyer happened to be present. Of course, a Socialist lawyer had no business to be at a Tariff Reform meeting. He was being quietly removed by the stewards when, according to the "Times" correspondent:he was approached from behind be a gentleman who. I am afraid, was a Unionist.and struck a violent blow on the back of the head with a thick stick. The blow drew blood; the poor man's head was streaming with blood. The police were summoned, and one would naturally have expected arrests and prosecutions. But what does the "Times" correspondent say:The police, as usual, behaved splendidly, remaining stolidly calm, and refraining from arresting anyone.Suppose that, instead of being a Socialist lawyer, the victim had been a Unionist landlord in Ireland? Suppose Mr. Clarke in his motor-car had had the back of his 785 head struck by a Nationalist, and blood drawn, and that the police made no arrests although they knew who struck the blow, what would the hon. Members for East Down and North Antrim have said? What would the "Times" have said?
§ Mr. MOORE: I do not think you ought to suggest it.
§ Mr. CHERRY
Here is a case of a man being struck on the head, and there is no prosecution, but because it happens in Scotland nothing is said. If it had been in Ireland every platform throughout the country would have reverberated with cries about "Anarchy" and "Paralysis of the law."
I have noticed throughout this Debate that the attention of the House has been concentrated upon agrarian crime, as though there was something specially bad about agrarian crime. Is not all crime equally bad? Is it not the duty of the Government to put down and punish every crime, whether agrarian or not? Why should we confine our attention to agrarian crime? If you take crime as a whole, crime in Ireland, instead of increasing, is steadily diminishing. I challenge contradiction when I say that, according to the official statistics, crimes in Ireland, as reported by the Registrar-General, for the years 1905-6-7, have been steadily diminishing. With regard to agrarian crime, although I regret to say that it has unfortunately increased considerably, yet fortunately the increase has been in the less serious forms of crime. The House must not lose sight of that fact. During the years 1906-7-8 there was only one murder classed as agrarian in Ireland, whereas, 20 years before, in 1880-1-2, there were 51 agrarian murders. In 1880-1-2 there were 148 cases of firing at the person; in the latter period there were 27.
With regard to the total of agrarian outrages, it must be borne in mind that a very large proportion of these outrages are very trifling in character as crime. No crime is trifling, but they are trifling as crime. Out of a total of 576, there are 233 cases of threatening letters. As everybody knows, threatening letters are treated with contempt by the persons who receive them, and they never lead to anything. I have had them reported to me again and again, and I am always told that the men who receive them know from whom they come; they cannot prove it, because of the disguised writing, but they 786 treat them with contempt, and are not in the least afraid of them. Yet everyone of those letters is recorded as an agrarian outrage. I am not blaming the statisticians or the police; it is their duty to record them; but when we are considering the state of Ireland and whether or not we should suspend the Constitution—because that is what it comes to—and put in force exceptional powers to set up special Courts to try particular classes of offences, we must consider the gravity of the crime.
Cattle-driving has been referred to. None of us here would attempt or wish to defend cattle-driving. We know that it has done a great deal of injury to the country, that it is causing enormous expense to the ratepayers, and that it has injured the cattle trade, though not so seriously as might have been supposed. Still, after all, it is not such a very terrible thing that a number of young men, anxious to get land, go out, and, to make a demonstration, drive the cattle off a farm for a few miles, where they are found next day by the police and brought back again. ["Oh, oh!"] I will ask the attention of the House to the manner in which it was described by a Unionist Lord in another place a few days ago. Lord Dunraven—
§ Mr. CHERRY
He describes himself as a Unionist, although I believe he is a Devolutionist. At any rate, he is Lord Dun-raven and a landowner in Ireland. Speaking of cattle-drivers, he said:—They were like a pack of naughty children, not altogether from vice, but from exuberance of spirits, who tried to see how far they could defy a rather weak governess.I think that that is a fairly good description.
§ Mr. CHERRY
I am afraid I cannot answer that now. Whenever cases of cattle-driving are brought before me prosecutions are invariably directed when there is sufficient evidence, either before resident magistrates or before Petty Sessional Courts, or otherwise. I think the method by which the Government has proceeded in the matter of cattle-driving has been the proper one. People have been brought up before the 787 magistrates and shown the seriousness of what they, were doing. It may not be a case where you would want the man to be sentenced to a long term of penal servitude, but you want to stop the practice, because if it is allowed to continue it may have a serious effect upon the people. I do not think anybody will accuse me of ever having said the contrary to that, although a speech of mine has been largely but inaccurately quoted by hon. Gentlemen opposite to the effect that I had described Ireland as being in a position worse than that of savages in Africa. What I said was that if this cattle-driving were allowed to continue unchecked it would produce a state of things worse than that among the savages of Africa. To that statement I adhere. It is desirable that we should, as far as possible, put a stop to cattle-driving, and we are doing our best. I am happy to say that cattle-driving has diminished very considerably during the last two months. According to the returns of the police it is far less prevalent than in the corresponding period of last year.
The real evil in Ireland is not the extent of crime nor the fact that crime is allowed to go unpunished. The real evil is, as was pointed out by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford last night, that the people, as a whole, are indifferent to the enforcement of the criminal law; they will not assist in it; they act towards the judges and Courts like schoolboys towards their masters: they will not give any active assistance. This evil, which I admit is a serious one, cannot be got over by coercion. That is a fact I should like to impress upon hon. Gentlemen opposite. If you introduce the Crimes Act, good-bye to any attempts to reconcile the people to the law. The object of the Government has been, and I hope it will continue to be, to impress upon the people that the criminal law is their friend, not their enemy. [A laugh.] I do not know why that should be greeted with laughter. Does the hon. Member suggest that it is a laughing matter to say that the minds of the people ought to be impressed with the idea that the law is their friend, and not their enemy? The only way in which you can make that impression is by firmly and justly administering the law, by strictly and impartially meting out justice to everyone, by not seeking by indirect and improper means to secure verdicts from juries, but by dealing with them fairly and impartially in every respect. And 788 that is not my opinion alone; it is the opinion also of the last Conservative Viceroy in Ireland. Lord Dudley's remarks have often been quoted, but I will read them again. Lord Dudley was the last Lord Lieutenant to put the Coercion Act in force. He was Lord Lieutenant when the proclamations were issued in 1901;he continued in office during the whole period until they were withdrawn in 1903, and, speaking in the House of Lords on February, 1908, he gave his opinion of the Crimes Act as a means of restoring tranquility in Ireland in these words:—I cannot therefore now refrain from dissociating myself with the advocacy of a policy (that is the enforcement of the Crimes Act) which, though perhaps temporarily efficacious, to my mind cuts at the root of all true union between England and Ireland. and which embitters public opinion in that country to such an extent as to render successful government difficult, if not impossible.These are the words of the late Unionist Viceroy of Ireland, and I ask the House to endorse them. Hon. Gentlemen opposite may sneer at our attempt to get from the mass of the people of Ireland co-operation in the enforcement of the law; but if our attempt has not been successful as they seem to think, or as they seem to hope—[OPPOSITION cries of "Oh!"]—I say seem to hope, judged by their appearance at Question time whenever it is announced in this House that no arrests have been made. These announcements are greeted with loud cheers by hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House. [An HON. MEMBER: "With loud laughter."] They are greeted with loud laughter and loud cheers. It is because the Gentlemen who laugh and cheer do not desire to see Ireland pacified. They desire to see the Crimes Act put in force. The results of jury trials in Ireland for agrarian offences were more satisfactory in 1908 than in the previous year. As to the question of empanelling juries, it has been suggested in some quarters, and particularly by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University, that it was done during 1908 in a different way from that to which was followed in 1907.
§ Mr. JAMES CAMPBELL
The right hon. Gentleman is entirely misrepresenting me. What I said was that in another place the Lord Chancellor stated that at the Limerick Assizes convictions were got without ordering a single juror to stand by. I showed that a minimum of ten were ordered to stand by in every case.
§ Mr. CHERRY
I do not think that the Lord Chancellor made any such statement, and if he made the statement he was in error in doing so. But that is an 789 observation which has nothing whatever to do with that question. It is not a question of what the Lord Chancellor said at all, but what was done. The instructions that were given by the Attorney General to the Crown solicitors throughout Ireland were the same in 1907 as in 1908. There was no change whatsoever so far as I know in the practice. In almost every case, whether it is agrarian or non-agrarian, there are some jurors ordered to stand aside. The hon. and learned Gentleman knows that the names of the jurors are set out in print, and that there was no packing in 1908, if you mean by packing the placing of jurors in the box simply because they have one set of political opinions. That has been forbidden since the present Government came into office and since I came into office, and I hope it will never be done. The number of persons put on trial at the assizes in 1907 for agrarian offences was 90, and in 1908 93. What was the proportion of convictions? In 1907 five persons were convicted, and in 1908 49. There were five per cent of convictions in the one case and nearly 50 per cent. in the other. Is not that an improvement? if it is an improvement, is it condemned by hon. Gentlemen opposite? I think it is a satisfactory and hopeful statement in favour of the policy the present Government has adopted, namely, to administer the ordinary Law fairly.
In 1907, there were only six persons convicted by juries of agrarian offences. In 1908 there were 65. That is taking the whole of the three Assizes—Spring, Summer and Winter. These are, to my mind, hopeful facts. They are more than that. They are satisfactory facts, because they justify the policy inaugurated by my right hon. Friend—a policy which I hope he will persist in so long as he remains in office, and that he will disregard the Crimes Act and all forms of exceptional legislation, while adhering to and humanely administering the ordinary Law and trusting to the good sense of the people for support in restoring peace to the country.
I do not think the speech we have listened to from the right hon. and learned Gentleman shows that he has at all appreciated the gravity of the issue now being discussed by the House. The hon. Member for East Mayo began his speech by a violent attack upon this front bench for arranging that this Amendment should come on at a time 790 when in his opinion it seemed to indicate that we regarded it as of small importance. Indeed he went so far as to say that this Amendment dealing with the administration of the law in Ireland really had some mysterious connection with the Amendment we put down with regard to Tariff Reform, and that in bringing forward this Amendment on Tuesday instead of Friday, it was our desire to know the reception which bon. Gentlemen below the Gangway would give to the Tariff Reform Amendment. The hon. Member for Mayo seemed to think that if the reception given to the Tariff Reform Amendment by the Irish party had been of a more satisfactory character to us, then very little would have been heard of the Amendment with respect to Ireland. Of all the ingenious mare's nests ever invented, I think that is really one that does the greatest credit to the inventor. Whether it was invented by the hon. Member for East Mayo or the Chief Secretary for Ireland, I do not know. I think the Chief Secretary also made reference to this. The two amendments were handed in by the Whips of the party at the same moment, and there is no suggestion of deciding on the merits of the two questions. They are not pari materia. Both of them were discussed within a week, and it does not matter in the least in what order the amendments were taken. I have never heard anyone suggest that as between two amendments to be discussed within a week, both moved from the same Front Bench, and both involving censure upon the Government, there was a pin to choose between the two as to the relation or order in which they were to be brought forward. If any party or group in this House supposes for an instant that the policy of the party to which I have the honour to belong to, is, at any rate, so long as I belong to it, going in the smallest degree to be modified in relation to the direction it takes with reference to Irish affairs, not by what we think ought to be done for Ireland, but by what we think Irish votes in this House, or out of it, are going to do for us, they are greatly mistaken. I would strongly advise no politician to found his policy upon any such shifty and sandy foundation. I do not know that that assurance was necessary, but at all events it may be desirable as two important gentlemen have referred to the matter, that I should put it, so far as I am concerned, absolutely 791 beyond doubt or question. To return to the substance of the Amendment, I do not think the Government can feel that they come satisfactorily out of this Debate. It is true that the Chief Secretary for Ireland informed us that he had surveyed the whole of his career during the troublesome time of his administration, and so far as his critics were concerned, or the matters on which he had been criticised were concerned, he had no reason to regret anything he had done. The Chief Secretary put a vote of confidence in himself to himself and passed it unanimously. No doubt that was eminently satisfactory to the right hon. Gentleman, and rightly so. He is happy, and after all it does not matter to him what happens to anybody else.
Yes; certainly. And more than that, I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman has a conscience. I am only glad that his conscience is of so satisfactory a character, and that it gives him so much gratification in the face of difficulty and embarrassment. But has the right hon. Gentleman attempted any defence upon the facts? He has read out, and it is, as far as my experience goes, a new procedure, a long Parliamentary paper in which there were many extracts, given by the police, referring to the state of every county in Ireland. We learnt with gratification that the relations in this country and that between landlords and tenants were all that was desired, that perfect peace prevailed in that county and the other; but when we came to the counties with regard to which the indictment is levelled I did not discover that these condensations of police reports gave any different impression to the House or to the country than that given by hon. Friends of mine near me with regard to the state of things prevailing.
It is quite true if you simply put in a sentence that "intimidation prevails in this district"—and this was stated in a great many of the paragraphs—the sentence by itself conveys very little to the hasty reader. It is true also that this development, when it is developed, by questions. and by speeches made in the country and the House by hon. Friends of mine, that meagre sentence takes a new complexion, and people ask themselves whether, in the face of the state of things reviewed, it is not the duty of the respon- 792 sible Government of the country to take every means in their power to deal with it. As to the report itself, the right hon. Gentleman gave the whole case away. I cannot quite say that the hon. Member for Mayo takes a different view of the state of Ireland from the Chief Secretary and also as to particular cases that have been put before the House. There is the Clarke case for example. The House was empty when the hon. Member for Mayo was defending the Clarke case. I have no special knowledge of the case, but the defence of the hon. Member for Mayo put side by side with the admissions or the statements of the Chief Secretary made me feel that the eyes with which the hon. Member looked at agrarian crime are different from the eyes of the Chief Secretary, though the practical conclusions and the remedies to be applied are manifestly identical. The hon. Member for Mayo will not deny that Mr. Clarke was boycotted, that many of his labourers whom he employed were boycotted, but his excuse was that the grandfather of Mr. Clarke had evicted certain tenants from land which Mr. Clarke now cultivates, and which was cultivated before him by his grandfather and was not cultivated by the descendants of those evicted tenants. But the cousins and great-nephews, looking back on what happened two generations ago, were, I understand, justified in coining forward and preventing Mr. Clarke in doing with his land what he had a right to do.
§ Mr. DILLON
I never uttered a single word as to the question of justification or excuse. What I said was that the facts of the case given to me by the local men were entirely different from the version furnished by hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House above the Gangway.
I think that the hon. Member will admit that what I have said about the feelings of the local people with regard to the fact that Mr. Clarke's grandfather had done something which justified the tenants in acting in the way they did is accurate. It was part of the case he laid before the House in great detail. Why he laid it in such detail unless it had some relation to the crime prevailing in that part of Ireland I am at a loss to understand. I may have misinterpreted the hon. Member, but why he makes his assertions except to draw inferences which I have drawn I am utterly unable to understand. At all events, nobody who heard the speech will deny that the language used by the hon. Member is wholly inconsistent 793 with the statement which the Chief Secretary made that Mr. Clarke's case was a bad case because the people wanted the untenanted land made into farms. But if the hon. Gentleman did attempt to minimise the amount of crime in Ireland, he has been followed by the Attorney-General, who in the early part of his speech used a great many phrases to prove that the state of Ireland was very serious, and then proceeded to discuss crime in Scotland and in England. He asked, "Why are we to be asked to deal with this question of agrarian crime—why is agrarian crime different from other crimes; and if many crimes go unpunished in Scotland why are we to be blamed because agrarian crimes are unpunished in Ireland?" I do not believe that any Attorney-General for Ireland, no matter to which party he belongs or any Chief Secretary to which party he belongs, ever before made such a preposterous argument. I do not go into these comparisons of general crimes. I will take, if you like, the facts as you state them. I will not quarrel over any of these facts. I will admit that in the rural populations of Scotland there may be great crimes. The facts, from my point of view, are irrelevant, because in my judgment they have been regarded as irrelevant by everyone who has been responsible for the Government of Ireland, whether belonging to one party or the other, and who has ever spoken in a responsible position. Why? Because, as was pointed out by the hon. Member for Cambridge University, the crime in Ireland to which we draw attention is organised crime, using organised instruments to compel people to abstain from doing things which they had a right to do, and compelling them to do things which they did not want to do. All crime is abominable from the amount of suffering it produces. But organised crime, in addition to all the suffering it produces in the shape of physical pain or material loss, is an invasion of the liberties and the rights of individuals with which sporadic crime, however frequent in England and Scotland, is not really comparable, and everybody knows that distinction exists, and that that distinction is relevant.
§ The Attorney-General
says that there is a great deal of crime in Scotland which has not been punished, and in connection with which no one has been made amenable or in which the evidence is forthcoming. If that is true, it is a melancholy and regrettable fact; but, at all events, the evidence has not been with- 794 held, and all those anxious to convict were not afraid to give evidence. A crime has not been committed in combination with a great semi-political organisation for carrying out of a particular political object. At all events, when evidence has been produced and brought before a jury the jurors are prepared to convict on the evidence. Those three facts alone, if there were no others, show what folly it is to draw a distinction which is natural in the mouth of the hon. and learned Member who leads the Irish party, but I never thought that I would hear it repeated by anyone holding the responsible position of Attorney-General for Ireland.
I need not argue any longer about the condition of Ireland being serious in certain parts. I now come to the defence of the Government as to why they have not used all the legal and constitutional methods in their power to put down an admitted evil. What was the defence of the Attorney-General? He said: "Why are we to put in force the Crimes Act? You did not out it into force in 1898 and 1905, except during eighteen months, and during that period there were cases of boycotting." I have not the figures, and accept the hon. and learned Member's figures. No doubt there were cases of the kind; but does the hon. and learned Member really mean to tell us that the condition of Ireland at any time from 1895 to 1905 was comparable with the condition of Ireland as it is now? That is really the point he has to deal with; but he did not attempt to deal with it. We did not reproach him in 1906 for not having put in force the Crimes Act. But what has happened since 1906? We do not deny that there might be cases of boycotting, but there was no sign of the increasing demoralisation nor had crime in any part of the country reached alarming magnitude. What has happened since 1906? By the admission of the Government themselves this particular class of crime, which has always to be dealt with by every Government in Ireland, has increased to a lamentable extent and undoubted rapidity. That is not denied. What on earth is the use of telling us in a totally different state of things when crime was not increasing by leaps and bounds that there is no evidence of demoralisation in large districts of the country, and that we do not put in force the Crimes Act? That is no defence at all, and I think that the Attorney-General must have been perfectly aware that it was no defence. The thing he says is that what he calls the ordinary law is sufficient to deal with the 795 situation. I must here make a comment on the Lord Chancellor, and the want of defence of the Lord Chancellor just made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman.
It appears that the Lord Chancellor said—and I mention this again because it is of great importance; it was referred to last night by my right hon. Friend the Junior Member for the University of Dublin, and although the Attorney-General was present he has not taken the trouble in the interval to make himself acquainted with what the Lord Chancellor really did say—it appears that the Lord Chancellor said—I do not profess to quote his exact words, it was a proof that exceptional means of supporting the law are unnecessary when you find jurors in Limerick convicting prisoners without asking jurors to stand aside. On that text the Lord Chancellor denounced the system of what it called jury packing, and said it was inconsistent with our ideas of English liberty and English law, and the impression left upon the less well-informed among his hearers was that the Government had given up the system of asking jurors in Ireland to stand aside.
The Lord Chancellor
is entirely wrong in his facts. It is admitted that these convictions were obtained in Limerick by juries after jurors had been asked to stand aside. If I understood the figures of my learned Friend rightly—I have not verified them myself—they showed that the more jurors that were asked to stand aside the more nearly the verdict of the jury conformed to the evidence. It is a matter of very small importance that the Lord Chancellor, misinformed by those who got up his facts for him, should have made an unintentional misstatement in the House of Lords, but it is very important to know what is the real policy of the Government. The Chief Secretary for Ireland and the Attorney-General for Ireland have been boasting that they are governing Ireland by the ordinary law. The Lord Chancellor, lays down, in his official capacity, that asking jurors to stand aside is not governing Ireland according to the ordinary law, and is not liberty as we in England understand it. Now, who is right?
Which is the policy of the Government Does the Chief Secretary share the views. of the Lord Chancellor? If so, why does he violate this theory by permitting his subordinates to direct jurors to stand aside? On the other hand, if he differs from the Lord Chancellor as to what is 796 consistent with our ideas of English liberty, he and the Lord Chancellor may both carry their studies further, and, as they do not agree on this fundamental issue, perhaps they may, after the Debate is over, agree to the view which we hold, namely, that, after all, that machinery of justice is to be most esteemed which is effective in dealing with the evil-doer, and does not permit injustice upon the well-doer. Nobody ever suggested that under the Crimes Act innocent people were convicted—
Nobody, so far as I know, contends that the machinery of the Crimes Act is one under which injustice is in the least more likely to be done to an innocent man than under the law which obtains in England or Scotland or Ireland, while undoubtedly it is more effective for dealing with certain kinds of offences.
If ever our system of trial by jury reached the level of the jury system in Ireland you would find a large number of Gentlemen on both sides of this House and also in the country who would say that some modification should be introduced. I am quite unable to understand why the Government are content with the results which they have obtained, or even results which they would have obtained if the law has worked as it was meant to work. How are they dealing with this cattle-driving which they admit is doing so much harm, but which the hon. Member for East Mayo sees no harm in at all?
They are dealing with them by bringing them up under the statute of Edward III., and binding them over to keep the peace. Even if they did get evidence, do they think that an adequate way of dealing with crime and intimidation? I wish the House would compare the methods in which the cattle-drivers are dealt with by the Chief Secretary and the manner in which the suffragettes are dealt with. I am not going to compare these ardent political ladies with cattle-drivers—let everybody settle that his own way—but when we have to be protected from their intimidatory acts we are not at all content with binding them over to keep the peace. They are brought before a single magis- 797 trate and tried without a jury, and they are fined, and if they do not pay the fine they are sent to prison, not as untried prisoners, but as ordinary prisoners, subject to all the inconveniences of prison life—
I am not in the least complaining of the action which the Home Office or the Government or the magistrates have taken in England with regard to these particular persons. It is quite out of my province, but it is ludicrous to tell me that that is the proper way to deal with suffragettes, and that the proper way to deal with cattle-drivers is simply to ask them to be of good behaviour, and if they refuse to make them first-class misdemeanants. You cannot make any comparison between the two, and if the Chief Secretary for Ireland, who is responsible for the action taken, seems to be quite satisfied that the machinery of Edward the Third in regard to cattle-drivers, I ask him to compare the procedure taken in that portion of the United Kingdom under his immediate supervision with that which his colleague has taken in this Kingdom in a matter which very nearly concerns their comfort and ours.
That, after all, brings us back to what is the essential point between the two sides on the matter in dispute. The great mass of the House on both sides take the view that there are portions of Ireland where the condition of things is extremely dangerous and unhealthy, where demoralisation exists and is growing apace, where intimidation is rife, where boycotting goes on unrestrained, where firing into houses, arson, and other crimes against life and property are perpetrated with appalling frequency—all are agreed about that. [Cries of "No, no," from the NATIONALIST benches.] I do not say it is agreed by hon. Members below the Gangway. I say the rest of the House agrees, and it is admitted by the Chief Secretary.
It is not denied in any quarter of the House except below the Gangway that the condition of Ireland in parts is extremely anxious and disquieting, and that crimes exist and go unpunished. The difference is a much narrower one. It is not a question of the disease to be remedied, but of the remedy to be applied. That is the real difference between us, and we, founding ourselves on experience of what is unhappily now 798 a long past, say that for these exceptional Irish difficulties the only method of dealing with crime is to put in force such provisions as those contained in the Crimes Act, and which, we contend, were contained in far stronger form in a long series of Crimes Acts, of which the great majority were passed by men describing them selves as Liberal and Radical politicians.
That has been the unfailing experience of the past. Why are we going to throw that experience to the winds? Why are we to believe that the remedy which has been tried and not found wanting is not to be tried again? The only reason given, absolutely the only one, is that it is inconsistent with Liberal principles. Why is it inconsistent with Liberal principle? Judging by the past, it is not inconsistent with Liberal principle. There was no Liberal politician at the head of his party before 1885 who had not had a hand at some time or another in passing a Crimes Act for Ireland. Therefore it is not the old tradition of the Liberal party; it is the new tradition. It is not the tradition in which Mr. Gladstone was brought up, nor Sir George Trevelyan, nor Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, nor Lord Spencer. All those gentlemen were responsible for passing Crimes Acts and defending Crimes Acts.
Therefore the Liberal principle has changed since 1885. Is it only since 1885 that we discovered in what the true principles of Constitutional freedom consists? Is it only since 1885 we have learned under what system of law a man can be described as a free citizen? The thing is surely a calumny upon all the great statesmen belonging to all great parties to say they were guilty of crime against the fundamental liberties of this country when each in their turn was forced by the condition of society in Ireland to pass exceptional measures for dealing with it. Is it according to Liberal principle that a man should not cultivate his land in his own way? Is it Liberal principle that the farm labourer working for a man who has offended in some way the local branch of the League should not get the necessaries of life?
We have to add to the martyrs to the cause of Liberalism those unfortunate persons in the West and South of Ireland whom the right hon. Gentleman could protect but will not protect, because of Liberalism. Is it a Liberal principle that a man should not cultivate his own land in his own way? Is it a Liberal principle that a farm labourer who has offended in some way a, local branch of the League 799 should be denied the necessities of life? Are we to martyr to Liberal principles and to sacrifice to a modern development of an ancient and honourable political creed these people who happen to have incurred the wrath of those who think that their own personal position would be improved by some modification of the tenure of particular plots of land. To admit that these are Liberal principles seems to me to destroy the whole of Liberalism.
Are you seriously going to say on the platforms of the country, "I admit that this man should be free from the tyranny which besets him, but Liberal principles prevent me from doing it; that unfortunate person has his house shot into, but Liberal principles will not allow me to hold an inquiry under conditions which will bring the criminals to justice; that notorious intimidator or malefactor might be brought to justice, but Liberal principles would not allow me to use the machinery by which justice might be done?" That the policy of the Government is disastrous to Ireland seems to me to be obvious from the statement of the Chief Secretary himself. When those statements are backed up by such opinions as we have heard to-day from Roman Catholic prelates, the present position of things is utterly demoralising to a large portion of Ireland, and I think the treatment of it by the Government extends the demoralisation from Ireland to Great Britain itself. If you are going to tell people that the fundamental principles of your party—that Liberal principles—stand in the way of carrying out elementary justice and of the Government performing their fundamental duty, that it seems to me is a policy which will have a re-action far beyond the limits of Ireland, and will be disastrous to the fate and fortunes of the party that is reckless enough to adopt it.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
The House, I am sure, is anxious to come to a division, and the case on behalf of the Government has been so ably and fully presented by my right hon. Friends that I shall not intrude upon its attentions for more than a few moments. But one or two words seem to be called for in reply to the speech which has been made by the right hon. Gentleman. I will not go into the question, interesting though it will be, to the historian of the future, how it was that as between the two official Amendments of the Opposition 800 priority was given to one, and posteriority to the other. I am disposed to gather from what the right hon. Gentleman said that the persons responsible resorted behind the scenes to the process of "tossing up." I hope that is a gratifying announcement in regard to the progress of Tariff Reform. Nor need I waste many words on the noble professions of independence of the Irish vote with which the right hon. Gentleman adorned the exordum of his speech. Nothing is easier than to rise superior to the temptations of tomorrow. We shall see what time will bring forth. No, Sir; I will go at once to the more serious matter which formed the staple of the right hon. Gentleman's speech.
As regards the facts as to the condition of Ireland, there is a great deal of common ground, and among that common ground is this, which is to my mind far the most remarkable and significant, that if you take Ireland as a whole it is a country in which respect for law is more widely spread, and in which disobedience to the ordinary law is more rare in occurrence than probably in any other part of his Majesty's dominions. On the other hand you have, who can deny it, these black areas in some of the counties of Ireland in which a state of things prevails which no man in this House would venture, or attempt or desire to defend. That is the really significant thing about it. How is it that in Ireland, with a population which so far as the ordinary temptations to law breaking are concerned, shows itself signally and exceptionally capable of self-restraint you get in particular areas, and at particular times these regrettable and malign outbursts of lawlessness. That is a question with which the right hon. Gentleman did not attempt to deal. He was full of the Statute of Edward III. and what is commonly called prohibition. These are simple remedies of detecting and punishing crime that has been committed, but you do not approach within measureable distance of the heart and core of the matter until you have tried to investigate the causes which produce such a state of things and make that standing paradox in Irish history not only possible, but of common and periodical recurrence. I will say a word as to what I call these superficial remedies.
I perfectly agree that it is the duty of the Executive Government to resort to every remedy that it thinks will be effectual for the purpose. The main 801 gravamen of the right hon. Gentleman's charge against us was that we have not resorted to the Crimes Act. Why have we not done that? Because we do not believe that it would have been effective. He has given the names of great Liberal statesmen like Lord Spencer and the late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who in times past have been responsible for proposing to this House coercive legislation, and who have administered it in Ireland with a ruthless impartiality which has not always been exhibited by their Conservative successors, and he says that these men surely were great in the traditions of Liberalism, imbued with true Liberal faith, and asked "Why are you turning back on them, and repudiating their example." For the same reason that they themselves having tried the experiment, one and all said, "We are not going to repeat it." Because experience teaches us that it is one of those so-called cures that are worse than the disease, and only aggravate the symptoms, and do not touch the cause.
But really, when we come to this almost hysterical display of indignation against His Majesty's Government because they do not resort to the Crimes Act for the condition of things now prevailing, I must go back to that state of things which prevailed in the year 1900—not further than that—when the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues were responsible for the administration of the country. I have here a copy of the proceedings of the annual meeting of a body called the Irish Unionist Alliance on the 31st of May, 1900. What do they say of the condition of Ireland at that time? (The right hon. Gentleman read the extract, in which complaint was made of the recrudescence of crime in Ireland.)
If I look at the figures of the number of persons then under police protection, I find that they were: on January 1st, 1900, 591; on January 1st, 1901, 401; whereas on January 1st, 1908, they were 281, and on January 1st, 1909, they were 344. I am comparing the years 1900 and 1901 with the last two years, and I am pointing out that a state of things prevailed which was described by the official organisation of the Unionist Party in Ireland as at least as had as it is now, and that according to the official figures the number of people under police protection was very much worse. But the right hon. Gentleman himself made no attempt whatever to put the Crimes Act into force. The Crimes Act was not resorted to by his administra- 802 tion until the 13th of August, 1901—that is 18 months after the statements to which I have just referred. Is it not rather absurd that gentlemen with such a record should come down to this House and exhaust the violence of vituperation in denouncing His Majesty's Government for not resorting to the Crimes Act? Then there is one other point raised by the right hon. Gentleman—cattle-driving.
I pointed out on the first night of the Session that so far from the Executive having been supreme in dealing with this most stupid and foolish offence, they have prosecuted in over 100 cases in regard to which the police said that the offence was committed by organised bodies of persons and evidence was practicable. The right hon. Gentleman said, "Why don't you proceed under the Statute of Edward III." I think my right hon. Friend said out of something like 1,000 cases in which persons had been bound over, in only a very few cases—an insignificant number—has the obligation been violated. That shows that we have taken the best and most effectual steps to prevent the re-commission of the offence.
I agree that if cruelty and violence are used and those poor animals are in any way maltreated, as used to be the case unfortunately in the olden days of Ireland, and mutilation and offences of that kind are resorted to, the Statute of Edward III. for the process of binding over is, not sufficient. But there have been only four such cases, and although I am the last man in the world to apologise or say a word in extenuation of cattle-driving, anybody who is acquainted with the melancholy story of agrarian crime in Ireland cannot but notice with something approaching gratification and satisfaction that the terrible practice of cattle maiming which used to prevail in the old days is, I will not say altogether extinct, but very nearly obsolete. I hope I shall not be supposed to be standing here and advocating disrespect for the law, but when it is a case simply of cattle driving pure and simple by organised bodies of persons opening gates and letting the cattle loose on the road—a very stupid and inconvenient proceeding—I think the Statute of Edward III. is admirably adapted to meet the requirements of the case.
§ I am not going into detail into the action of the Executive—I think it has been sufficiently dealt with—but you will never approach anything in the nature of a real remedy for the condition of things which exists in certain parts of Ireland 803 until you go to the root of the matter, and deal not with mechanical preventives, but with causes. I am the last person to make adverse criticisms upon the intention of the Land Act of '03. The scheme of land purchase instituted by that Act is a very admirable thing, and in its intention and in its effect I believe useful for Ireland. But undoubtedly expectations were created by the passing of that Act with regard to untenanted land, which expectations have not been justified. I am not defending people for showing their resentment at the non-fruition of their hopes, but until you have remedied, or attempted to remedy, the defects in that legislation, you will not have struck at the root of agrarian disorder; and His Majesty's Government, side by side with the rigorous enforcement of the law, by all means which they think effectual to the purpose, are endeavouring by
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fletcher, J. S.||Moore. William|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Gardner, Ernest||Morrison-Bell, Captain|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Newdegate, F. A. N.|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hon. Hugh O.||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Gordon, J.||Oddy, John James|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Parker. Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gretton, John||Percy, Earl|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.)||Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Guinness, W. E. (Bury St. Edmunds)||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Haddock, George B.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Baring, Capt. Hon. G. (Winchester)||Hamilton, Marquess of||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Renton, Leslie|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hay. Hon. Claude George||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bowles. G. Stewart||Helmsley, Viscount||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Hill, Sir Clement||Rutherford, W, W. (Liverpool)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hills, J. W.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Sandys, Col. Thos. Myles|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Houston, Robert Paterson||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hunt, Rowland||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Carlile. E. Hildred||Joynson-Hicks, William||Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cave, George||Kerry, Earl of||Stanier, Beville|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Keswick, William||Starkey, John R.|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Kimber, Sir Henry||Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc?r.)||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Clark, George Smith||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham)||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Craig. Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Walker. Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Warde. Col. 0. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Du Cros, Arthur||M?Arthur, Charles||Wyndham. Rt. Hon. George|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||M?Calmont, Colonel James|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants. W.)||Magnus, Sir Philip||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.?Sir A.|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Marks, H. H. (Kent)||Acland-Hood and Lord Valentia.|
|Fell, Arthur||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Barry, E. (Cork, S.)|
|Acland. Francis Dyke||Astbury, John Meir||Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.)|
|Agnew, George William||Atherley-Jones, L.||Beale, W. P.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Beauchamp, E.|
|Alden. Percy||Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Beaumont, Hon. Hubert|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Bennett, E. N.|
|Ambrose. Robert||Barker, Sir John||Bertram, Julius|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)|
§ I will go a step further. The agrarian and the political side of things in Ireland are to-day, as they always have been, inextricably intertwined. You cannot segregate the one for the other. They blend together and they will always confront you. You will never really and effectually deal with these outbursts of defiance to organised contempt of, and indisposition to assist and to aid, the enforcement of the Law in Ireland till you have succeeded by your legislation, as well as by your administration, in associating the people and the sentiment of Ireland with the Law.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 118; Noes,. 336.807
|Birrell. Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hazel, Dr. A. E. W.||Mooney, J. J.|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Hazleton, Richard||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Brace. William||Healy, Timothy Michael||Morrell. Philip|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Hedges, A. Paget||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Brodie, H. C.||Helme, Norval Watson||Muldoon. John|
|Brooke, Stopford||Hemmerde, Edward George||Murnaghan, George|
|Brunner. J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Murphy, John (Kerry, East)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.)||Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)|
|Buchanan, Rt. Hon. Thomas R.||Henry, Charles S.||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincaid)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Higham, John Sharp||Myer, Horatio|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hobart, Sir Robert||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Buxton. Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Napier, T. B.|
|Byles. William Pollard||Hogan, Michael||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Holland, Sir William||Newnes, Sir George (Swansea)|
|Causton. Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Henry Holt. Richard Durning||Nicholls, George|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Hooper, A. G.||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Cherry. Rt. Hon. R. R.||Hope, John Deans (Fife. West)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Horridge, Thomas Gardner||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Clough, William||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Clynes, J. R.||Hudson, Walter||Nuttall, Harry|
|Cobbold, Felix Thornley||Hyde, Clarendon G.||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Illingworth, Percy H.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Collins. Sir Wm. J. ( S. Pancras, W.)||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Jardine, Sir J.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jenkins, J.||O'Doherty. Philip|
|Corbett. C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Grady. J.|
|Cotton. Sir H. J. S.||Jowett, F. W.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Cowan, W. H.||Joyce, Michael||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Crean, Eugene||Kavanagh, Walter M.||O'Malley, William|
|Crooks. William||Kearley, Sir Hudson E.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Crosfield. A. H.||Kekewich, Sir George||O'Shee, James John|
|Cullinan, J.||Kettle, Thomas Michael||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Dalziel. Sir James Henry||Kilbride, Denis||Partington, Oswald|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Kincaid-Smith, Captain M.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Davies. Timothy (Fulham)||Lamb. Edmund G. (Leominster)||Perks, Sir Robert William|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol. S.)||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Philips. Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lambert, George||Philips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||Lamont, Norman||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Pollard, Dr. G. H.|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Dilke, Rt Hon. Sir Charles||Layland-Barrett, Sir Franc's||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Dillon. John||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)||Radford, G. H.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lehmann. R. C.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich \||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Dunne. Major E. Martin (Walsall)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Lewis, John Herbert||Kendall, Athelstan|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)|
|Erskine, David C.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Richardson, A.|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lundon, W.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Evans, Sir Samuel T.||Lupton, Arnold||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Lyell, Charles Henry||Robinson, S.|
|Ferens, T. R.||Lynch, H. B.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Ffrench, Peter||Macdonald. J. R. (Leicester)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Field. William||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roche, Augustine (Cork)|
|Flavin. Michael Joseph||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Roche. John (Galway, East)|
|Flynn. James Christopher||Macnamara. Dr. Thomas J.||Roe. Sir Thomas|
|Fuller. John Michael F.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Rogers. F. E. Newman|
|Gill, A. H.||Macpherson, J. T.||Rose, Charles Day|
|Ginnell, L.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Rowlands, J.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal. E.)||Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.|
|Glover, Thomas||M`Crae, Sir George||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Kean, John||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Scarisbrick, T. T. L.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||M'Killop, W.||Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)|
|Gurdon, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Brampton||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||M`Laren. H. D. (Stafford, W.||Sears, J. E.|
|Hall. Frederick||M'Micking. Major G.||Seaverns, J. H.|
|Halpin, J.||Mallet, Charles E.||Seddon. J.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Marnham, F. J.||Seely. Colonel|
|Harcourt. Robert V. (Montrose)||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Shackleton. David James|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Massie, J.||Shaw, Slr Charles Edward (Stafford) )|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh)||Meagher, Michael||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Sheehy, David|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Menzies, Walter||Silcock, Thomas Ball|
|Harwood. George||Micklem, Nathaniel||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Haslam. James (Derbyshire)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Smeaton. Donald Mackenzie|
|Haslam. Lewis (Monmouth)||Mond, A.||Smyth. Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Snowden. P.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Montgomery. H. G||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Spicer, Sir Albert||Wadsworth, J.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Walsh, Stephen||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Steadman, W. C.||Walters, John Tudor||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Walton, Joseph||Williams, W. Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Williams, A. Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Williamson, A.|
|Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Wardle, George J.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Waring, Walter||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Summerbell, T.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Tennant. H. J. ( Berwickshire)||Waterlow, D. S.||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)||Weir, James Galloway||Wood, T. M`Kinnon|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Thorne, William (West Ham)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.?Mr.|
|Tomkinson, James||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)||Joseph Pease and the Master of|
|Toulmin, George||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Elibank.|
|Ure, Alexander||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Verney, F. W.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|