HC Deb 21 May 1909 vol 5 cc729-801

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made and Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second time."


The object of this Bill being merely to repeal certain exceptional enactments affecting Ireland alone, and to that extent to assimilate the law in Ireland to that in this country, I need not occupy much of the time of the House in moving the second reading. As is usual in repealing Bills the schedules are the most important part of the Bill. The enactments contained in these schedules are exceptionally penal and coercive, and apply to Ireland alone, and they impose penalties on persons confessedly innocent. Of the Acts set out in the first schedule some portions have been already repealed or modified by later statutes. The Malicious Injuries Act, 1853, has all been repealed except one section, which we now propose to repeal. Enough of this enactment, however, remains in force to inflict. undeserved injury and indignity upon the Irish people. The second schedule is consequent upon or the corollary of the first. The small portion of the Acts which it proposes to repeal are also exceptional and coercive and have no counterpart in England, and would lose their utility if the repeal of the Acts in the first schedule were carried. In England, as hon. Members know, the ratepayers are not liable to pay compensation for malicious injuries to property unless such injuries are caused in the course of a riot under circumstances showing some degree of popular complicity in them. That is fair, and it is to that state this Bill proposes to bring the law on this matter in Ireland. The enactments which we propose to repeal are in excess of that fair and wholesome law, and impose penalties on innocent people where there has been no riot, and where therefore no such penalties can be imposed on ratepayers in England. I use the word "penalties" advisedly, because, owing to the form and constitution of the Court by which these sums are imposed on the ratepayers they are never limited to the cash value of the injury suffered, but are made in excess of that value punitive and deterrent by judges. glad to have the chance of placing a burden on ratepayers whom they know to be innocent. No jury or competent valuer is called in to assess proper damages, and though the local bodies are represented by solicitors, and sometimes by counsel, these professional gentlemen, sure of their fees irrespective of the result, and having in some cases private interests opposed to, and far outweighing the interests of the ratepayers, do not take the trouble to make even a decent pretence of earnestness in resisting the claims or reducing the amount of the award. In answer to numerous complaints of excessive damages. being awarded against ratepayers—

Attention called to the fact that 40 Members were not present. House counted, and forty Members being found present—


In answer to numerous complaints of excessive damages awarded against ratepayers, the Chief Secretary for Ireland has told us, with mock solemnity, that there is a right of appeal to the High Court. That answer rests upon the assumption, known to those making it to be false, that the Courts are constituted in Ireland, as in England, and command public confidence. So long as impartial justice, an essential condition of public confidence in Law Courts in England, is wanting in the Law Courts in Ireland, the boasted right of appeal is a delusive and a heartless mockery. There is, indeed, an appeal on points of law, which rarely arise, but as to the amount of damages there is practically no appeal. In the first place no court should have power to impose, any penalty upon innocent people, in any non-riotous cases in Ireland, any more than in England. In the second place in riotous cases, in which ratepayers may fairly be called upon to pay compensation for malicious injuries committed, evidence that the amount of compensation awarded by the court of first instance exceeded the actual injury and was punitive and vindictive, which would vitiate a decree, before a High Court in England, would be applauded and sustained and the amount would probably be increased by the High Court in Ireland. Some weeks ago, desiring to know, for the purpose of this Debate, the cash amount of this injustice, I asked the Chief Secretary to ascertain and state the amount of compensation awarded and paid by ratepayers in Ireland, in non-riotous cases, such as would impose no liability upon ratepayers in England. A true and frank answer would have shown the exact magnitude of the injustice. Instead of giving the information, the Chief Secretary gave the very unconvincing excuse, that to compile the particulars I asked for, would impose too big a task upon the local officials. I do not believe either that the task is big, or that the officials in question are too busy to do it. But whatever may be the cash amount of the injustice which we complain of, even that, however much it may exceed the injury sustained, does not measure the most serious evil which we propose to remedy. The most serious evil consists in the fact that the law, as it stands and as it is administered in Ireland, is itself an incentive to crime, the more odious for being prompted not by human passion or human need, but by the vilest, most sordid, and most calculated motives.

Of the various ways in which it produces this result, a few will be sufficient for illustration. A man, for any reason, living unhappily with his neighbours, and at the same time in embarrassed circumstances—say as the most common instance a. land grabber—knows in advance that if he can without being seen set his own corn stack or hayrick on fire he will be certain to obtain twice or thrice its value in cash from those neighbours whom he does not love. His house and premises not being frequented by the neighbours makes the accomplishment of his wicked purpose comparatively easy. The curse of hunger for gold, the favouring circumstances and the knowledge that the law facilitates the execution of his guilty design, present a temptation the force of which a man of the class supposed is not always able to resist. Another illustration of the abuse of the present law is a case in which a local agent of Dublin Castle, a wolf in sheep's clothing, for the amiable purpose of swelling the statistics of Irish crime, induces some foolish young men to commit some deed injurious to property, and a third is the case in which the Castle agent commits the crime himself in such circumstances that the discredit and the damages fall upon the people of the district. The criminal in my second and third illustrations is familiar with the movements of the police, and can arrange his own acts accordingly. I believe there is hardly a Member on these benches who could not give instances of these practices.

On the 1st of December, 1907, a most dastardly crime of the third kind was committed in my own Constituency, under the immediate shelter of the police patrol. Fifteen or sixteen head of cattle, the property of an inoffensive farmer living on friendly terms with his neighbours, were burnt alive while tied in their stalls. Every resident in the district was horrified. There was no suggestion that the crime was committed by tramps. The police admitted that they themselves were the last to pass the farmyard before the fire, yet, though the Government was promptly and publicly challenged by me to hold an immediate sworn inquiry while the evidence was fresh and available, and though the Castle notetaker took note of the speech containing that challenge, no inquiry was held.

There is, of course, a possibility, for anything we know, that the affair may have been accidental, in which case the ratepayers would not be liable. But in all the circumstances, and especially seeing that the Government shirked and refused an inquiry which the people demanded, there is not a shadow of doubt in the district that if the affair was criminal it was the work of an agent of Dublin Castle, prompted before it and screened after it by the Irish Government for the purpose of discrediting and making odious the public movement against ranching, which was just then giving trouble to the Government. That being the purpose of the Government, they did not want to have the facts ascertained. The County Court judge, true to his function as an agent of Dublin Castle, without a particle of evidence and without even asking evidence, impudently attempted to connect the horrible crime with cattle driving, and imposed penal compensation upon the ratepayers of two rural districts. Fear of exposure of its own complicity in that crime is held to be the only intelligible motive the Government could have in refusing the immediate sworn inquiry demanded by the people.

I wish the House to observe particularly that in some cases of this sort, and especially in the most criminal of them, is the people who call for investigation and it is the Government who shirk and refuse investigation—the Government which, if its hands were clean, should investigate without waiting to be asked. From this significant fact only one inference is possible. Odious crime committed at the instigation of the Executive Government, being practically unknown in this country, is scarcely credible here, except in the case of Russia or Turkey, but unfortunately there is no denying that we in Ireland also have been familiar with it under your own rule, and that, too, irrespective of the political Party in power. The latest instance exposed, but by no means the latest in fact, was the notorious case of Sergeant Sheridan, who, while in the police force, made a trade of committing crime and of inciting to crime, and was the cause of imprisonment and the death in prison of sonic men subsequently found to have been innocent, and instead of being punished by a court of law was paid by the Government for the satanic work, saved by the Government from the people's just wrath, given a compassionate allowance by the Government, and en- abled to leave Ireland and escape justice. Even the present Irish Ministers had better not pose here as clean handed, or attempt to mislead this House into thinking that they have broken with that abominable past, and that under them Dublin Castle is pure and incapable of conniving at crime. I hope for an early opportunity of proving the contrary, and that under the present Ministers flourish the very same beastly vices for which the officials of Dublin Castle had to fly from justice 26 years ago.


The hon. Member is getting a very long way from the subject matter of the Bill. Will he kindly approach the clauses of the Bill I


I was about saying that the present Ministers, finding subordinates guilty of those crimes their knowledge—


That is the very point on which I called the hon. Member up and begged him to desist from going on with. Will he kindly explain the provisions of the Bill and limit his speech to that? These other matters are not relative to this Bill.


I beg pardon. The present Ministers refer us in the matters dealt with in this Bill to the High Court. if seems to me, with all respect, to be germane to point out the fact that they have not referred to the High Court, or to any court, their own subordinates guilty of crime. With that remark I pass on. The present Irish Ministers, like all other Members of the House, must be aware that to screen and facilitate the escape of a criminal is—


The hon. Member is really contravening my ruling in the most bare-faced manner. I have pointed out already twice that the matters with which he is now dealing have no reference whatever to the Bill which is to amend the law relating to malicious injuries in Ireland. The hon. Member is dealing with a wholly different subject matter. I invite him once more to approach the consideration of the clauses of his own Bill, otherwise I shall have to put the Standing Order into force.


I am very sorry. I should not like at all to contravene your ruling. My immediate point is that these enactments which we propose to repeal would, even if fairly administered, inflict substantial injustice upon innocent people in Ireland. The amount of this injustice is increased by the combined operation of the Acts themselves, of their administration, and of the bias of the courts, and the existence of this power of extorting money improperly, under the inspiration of Dublin Castle, is a permanent and virulent poison in the social life of Ireland, which it is a danger to live under and a positive humiliation to have to describe, and which no decent Member of any party would desire to see continued. No one who really wishes to bring that style of Government to an end can hesitate to support this Bill. These enactments which we propose to repeal are degrading, and would disgrace a Czar or Sultan, and are themselves a malicious injury to the property and peace of the whole Irish people. They differ from what are commonly called Coercion Acts in that until they are repealed they are in active operation, and cannot be suspended by the Executive Government, as can the Coercion Act of 1887.

In Ireland, however, apart from what is fantastically called the ordinary laws the Executive have no power over their operation, except in the rare event of appointing a new judge to the county court bench. On those occasions the claims of Castle hacks and renegades are too numerous and strong to leave any chance for an honest man. Were it otherwise, had the Executive the option of suspension, as in the case of the Act of 1887, we should be entitled in justice and by analogy to accept the position of the Government to suspend the action of those scandalous laws, pending their repeal and the concession of the right to rule ourselves. In the absence of the power of suspension, and the failure of the Government to introduce a Bill to remedy this admitted inequality and wrong, we expect, as a matter of course, the help of the Government not merely in getting the second reading of this Bill. but in making its progress to the Statute Book speedy and certain, and that with their vast majority they could easily do. To fail in that would be trifling with this House and Ireland. On the same grounds of consistency, justice, and decency, I think we are entitled to the support of those Unionists who admit that the existence of exceptional laws is an argument against the Union, and whose highest argument for the existence of the Union is the alleged ability and willingness of the Imperial Parliament to concede every just demand to Ireland, especially when, as in this case, the thing demanded is the same as exists in England.

This Bill affords those gentlemen a splendid opportunity for giving practical proof of their faith in their own theory. To the general body of the Members of this House, who are free to consider this Bill on its merits, apart from party considerations, I would respectfully point out that this is an instance in which we are not asking something difficult for them to understand. What we ask is something which they do understand, namely, precisely the same state of things in these matters as exists in this country, and the granting of which would mean, what seems to be a special merit at the present time, that it would cost them nothing. On all these grounds I beg to move.


I rise for the purpose of seconding the Motion for the second reading of the Bill. The able speech delivered by my hon. Friend in moving the second reading takes off my shoulders to a great extent the responsibility which would have rested upon me. In respect of the subject matter dealt with in the Bill, the speech of my hon. Friend was fairly exhaustive. It was full of useful information, and he submitted to the House a very strong case in favour of the passing of this measure. I, for one, am in a state of expectancy to hear what explanations the representatives of the Government have to give, and what reasons they will advance to deliver themselves from the duty of grappling with the situation in which these scandals have placed them. During the course of the past week or ten days we have heard in this House arguments advanced over and over again by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in support of the contention that Ireland is treated in exactly the same way as the other portions of the United Kingdom. IN-hen we complained of some of the taxes imposed, notably the tobacco tax, the whisky tax, and the increased duties on licenses, we were told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that Ireland had no-reason to complain, and that she might protest and grumble as long as she liked, but she had to submit to be governed by the same laws as the other portions of the United Kingdom. As I listened to the speech of my hon. Friend I could not help thinking that it was a great fallacy for the right hon. Gentleman to say, and to lead the English people to imagine, that Ireland is subject to the same laws and treated in exactly the same way as England, Scotland, and Wales. The Bill before the House gives a full refutation' to that theory, and it completely explodes the argument so constantly advanced, especially by our adversaries above the Gangway, that the Irish people are subject to the same laws as the other portions of the United Kingdom.

This Bill deals with the extraordinary anomaly in regard to laws existing in this country and in Ireland in respect of malicious injuries. Without going into details or technicalities, I wish to explain to the House the position in which the law in Ireland stands to-day in this particular matter. All that an objectionable person in Ireland has to do in order to succeed in getting compensation from the ratepayers of the country for alleged injury to his property is to suggest that he is an unpopular or boycotted man. I remember, a short time ago, in my own district, injury was committed to some property. An ex-policeman, who had spent the greater part of his life in the constabulary, went into possession of a derelict piece of land. He knew as much al-out land and agriculure as I know about the making of a pair of brogues. The land itself was bad and swampy, and the sheep grazing there were subject to rot. As soon as this gentleman realised what was going on a terrible thing happened. Some of the sheep had been swept away by disease, and one fine morning the people in the locality heard that the remnant of the flock had been found lying broken to pieces on the land. The people gathered and protested against this, and declared that they had nothing to do with such outrages and crimes. That man claimed compensation simply and solely because he was boycotted, and the Recorder granted full compensation, not only for the sheep which had been killed, but full compensation for the diseased sheep that were killed as if they had been fit to send to the Dublin market. Here you have a case of a body of ratepayers protesting against this atrocious crime called on to pay full compensation in connection with an offence of which they knew nothing.

I remember a short time ago hearing of horses being mutilated in a shire in England. Were the owners of those horses compensated, and was the money paid for the horses levied off the ratepayers of the district, as happens in Ireland? I am perfectly certain that no such thing happened. Another case which occurred in my district a short time ago was that in which a gentleman applied for compensation for injury to his farm implements. A section of a mowing machine was stolen, and the man applied in the ordinary way for compensation, and of course the judge granted the full compensation for the stolen article, because it was alleged that the man was unpopular. The stolen article was afterwards found in the house of a neighbour, who is at the present moment awaiting trial in connection -with the matter; but, meantime, the unfortunate ratepayers of the district had paid the full value of the article, which, I think, is an illustration of the difference existing in the laws in both countries. I could quote case after case of compensation for malicious injuries put forward in exactly the same way. Such injuries are sometimes the result of bad feelings between neighbours. But that is no reason to justify the existence of a law which makes an entire countryside responsible for bad deeds which may be committed by any man having a grudge against another person. There is no law on the Statute Book to-day in reference to England at all comparable with this law as to compensation for malicious injuries in Ireland. In Dublin, Limerick, or Galway, if some poor wretched creature pegs a stone in through the windows of a grocer's shop his ambition is satisfied; he is sent to gaol; it is a luxury to him; he wants to go there. But strange to say the ratepayers of the district are called upon to pay for the damage done. The owner of the house serves a notice through the ordinary channels for compensation and he is obliged to be paid the full value of the windows destroyed by some person who is merely anxious to go to gaol for a few weeks in order to put himself over the bad weather.

Suppose for the purpose of testing the law to see if it is really the same in both countries, the right hon. Gentleman this evening were to go up to Mooney's on the Strand, or to go down to the Industrial Depot and take a brick in his hand and dash it in through the window and see what would happen. Probably he would find himself in gaol in the evening; but I venture to say that even if he commits a deed of that character the ratepayers of the Strand or the ratepayers of Victoria-road will not be charged the full amount of compensation for the damage. No compensation will be awarded these people for the amount of injury done to their property, as is the case in Ireland. Why should innocent people in Ireland be put to all this trouble and expense, when there is no similar law in England? Everyone knows that Ireland is far and away more crimeless than England. There are far more crimes committed in London in one year than in the whole of Ireland, including all classes of offence, political and criminal. That being so, why should this extraordinary law apply to Ireland and to Ireland only? The existence of this law in Ireland is undoubtedly an encouragement to bad men, over and over again, to commit deeds on their own property as well as on the property of others, because they feel perfectly certain that all they have got to do is to apply to the Recorder, allege they are boycotted, and receive ample compensation for the injury done to their property. There is no such law in existence in this country. I venture to say that the people of this country would not submit to it for 24 hours. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has repeatedly told us in this House during the last fortnight that we should be subject to the same laws in Ireland as in Great Britain. All we ask to-day in proposing this Bill is that the people of Ireland should be placed in the same position as the people of this country. It is ridiculous and unreasonable for right hon. Gentlemen on the Government side of the House to contend for an instant that there is any similarity in this respect between the laws of the two countries.


I beg to move to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."

Hon. Members below the Gangway seem to have a positive passion for repealing Acts of Parliament. Last Session it was the Crimes Act which they wanted to remove from the Statute Book; and they have brought in a Bill to effect the same object this year. They received Government support for that measure last year, and it must not be forgotten that, in obedience to the Nationalist demand, the Government effected the repeal of the Peace Preservation Act, with the result that there was an appalling increase of shooting outrages in some parts of Ireland. We have this further attempt to remove out of the way a number of provisions, which the Nationalist Party oppose because they interfere with their political designs. Before I go into the details of the Bill I Flould like to call the attention of the House to a speech which was delivered recently by the hon. Member for East Mayo. The hon. Member was speaking at Thurles, in Tipperary, and he is reported to have used these words:— To the people of Tipperary, who had often taken the van in the great movements for the redemption of the land of Ireland, he appealed to dress their ranks and rally for the final charge. (Cheers). Let this meeting be as a warning to the landlords and the House of Lords that the spirit of the Land League was not dead, that they were not afraid of the House of Lords, and that if the House of Lords threw out this Bill, then the Irish people would cry havoc. and let loose the dogs of war. (Cheers). Hon. Members will observe the threat which underlies those expressions. All past experience of the methods of political agitation in Ireland absolutely precludes us from treating those words as mere empty metaphor. When the hon. Member threatens to cry "Havoc !" and let loose the dogs of war—




The hon. Member has it off by heart. I say hon. Members know very well what is meant. Anyone with the least knowledge of Irish history will have no difficulty in naming these Nationalist "dogs of war." One of them undoubtedly is "Malicious Injury "—the organised, secret, cowardly destruction of the property of a political opponent in order to strike terror and crush out opposition. And in my opinion this Bill—which proposes to take away from the victims of political malice every means of getting redress of their injuries—is simply intended to clear the ground for further acts of oppression of the minority in some parts of Ireland. I do not think the House ought lightly—and without the fullest consideration—to consent to expunge the provisions mentioned in this Bill from the Statute Book. I wonder how many hon. Members have taken the trouble to turn up the Acts and the sections of Acts which this Bill proposes to repeal. I doubt whether there are many hon. Members below the Gang-way who have done so. I have felt it to be my duty to look into this matter somewhat closely—and I should like to give the House the benefit of my researches. The first provisions which hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway want to get rid of are a number of clauses in the Grand Juries (Ireland) Act, 1836. That Act, Mr. Speaker, is entitled "An Act to consolidate and amend the laws relating to the presentment of public money by Grand Juries in Ireland." Section 106 of that Act makes provision for compensation being awarded—out of public funds—in cases where persons have been maimed or murdered in consequence of their having given evidence or information or done their duty as magistrates or peace officers.


That was at the time of the tithe agitation.


The promoters of this Bill want to sweep that away. They also desire to remove sections 135 to 140 inclusive, which lay down the machinery for dealing with claims for compensation for malicious injury. Then we come to the Malicious Injuries (Ireland) Act of 1848, and it is proposed to get rid of that altogether. That measure was passed for the purpose of enabling damages for malicious injuries to be "recoverable by shorter, less expensive, and more summary proceedings." The next measure which this Bill proposes to repeal is the Malicious Injuries (Ireland) Act, 1853, which I find is described in its sub-title as "an Act to extend the remedies for the compensation of malicious injuries to property in Ireland." The practical effect of this 1853 Act—as well as the 1848 Act—was to apply the machinery of the Grand Jury Act of 1836 to the recovery of damages for certain specified injuries. Then we come to the Local Government Act of 1898, certain provisions in which are to be abrogated by this Bill. The first of these provisions is clause 5, which transfers to the County Court the business of any presentment sessions and grand jury in relation to compensation for criminal juries, and provides for an appeal to a Judge of Assize. Section 56, which it is also proposed to eliminate, makes provision for compensation charges to be raised by means of the poor rate. Those are the provisions in this Bill which relate to malicious injuries, and I think the House will have gathered from the particulars I have given, that the object of this Bill is to destroy the entire machinery by means of which the victims of malicious injury may claim and recover compensation from the public funds.

When the Local Government Act was under consideration in 1898, so far as I can gather from the pages of Hansard, there does not appear to have been very strong opposition from the Nationalist Members to the principle of malicious injuries being compensated for out of public funds. The hon. Member for Louth opposed the transfer of compensation business from grand juries to the County Court Judges. He expressed a preference for the old system of assessment by the grand juries, because it afforded, in his opinion, greater safeguards against fraudulent claims. He said:— This clause of the Grand Jury Act has been in existence for something like 50 years. The Attorney-General for I rebind has said that great injustice arose under it. I deny it. That was the hon. Member for Louth's view of the matter at that time, and it does not seem to me to indicate that he felt very strongly then that the whole of these compensation provisions should be swept away.

The other part of this Bill deals with an entirely different matter— and that is the charges which are now levied upon the districts into which it is necessary from time to time to import extra police for the purpose of checking crime and disorder. The Bill proposes to repeal certain provisions in two Acts of Parliament—that is to say, the Constabulary Ireland Acts of 1846 and 1848. The first of these Acts—that of 1846—removed the charge of the Constabulary Force in Ireland from the counties, and placed it upon the Consolidated Fund; but there was this reservation—that counties were not to be relieved from the moiety of the cost of a further constabulary force applied for by magistrates or of the reserve force when employed therein, or of all increased constabulary force stationed there by the Lord Lieutenant It is this reservation which the promoters of this Bill wish to get rid of. The Act of 1848 lays down the maximum number of the constabulary chargeable on the Consolidated Fund; and fixes the Free Force allocated to each county. It also contains a provision that when an additional constabulary force is sent to any county there should be sent with it one sub-inspector for every 50 constables, and one head constable for every 25 constables, and the expenses of such sub-inspectors and head-constables shall be chargeable upon such county or borough respectively and he repaid by Grand jury presentment or from the borough fund in the same manner as the expense of the constables and sub-constables who may have been so appointed. This Bill by clause 2 proposes to repeal that provision which empowers the Executive to levy a charge upon the counties which require additional police. It is also proposed to abrogate section 6 of the Act of 1818, which provides if the constabulary shall be drafted to any other place than that in which they are stationed for an absence of five days the county or town to which the police are sent shall pay a moiety of the expense.

Those are the provisions of the Bill which the promoters are asking Parliament to repeal, and the question which this House has to consider is as to whether good cause has been shown for making the changes which are proposed. One of the many reasons relied upon by the advocates of this Bill is that the present state of the law in Ireland with regard to these two matters of compensation for malicious injury and charges for extra police is exceptional, and that the same law does not apply to the rest of the United Kingdom. I do not know what may be the case in Scotland, but there is no law in Scotland which will enable compensation to be obtained in that way. I believe in England there is an old law by which compensation can be obtained from a public authority for malicious injuries which are sustained by an individual. In regard to the cost of extra police, of course I speak subject to correction, I understand in England, if it is necessary to draft additional police into any borough to cope with an exceptional state of disorder, that that borough has to defray the expense. The right hon. Gentleman, the Attorney-General, can say whether that is so or not.

I am prepared to admit that in both those respects Ireland is treated differently from Great Britain, but in so far as there is a difference that difference is entirely due to the fact that there is no similarity between the conditions which prevail in the two countries. There is an old saying that different diseases require different remedies. The provisions under which compensation is recoverable in Ireland from the public funds arose from the impossibility of recovering compensation from the actual perpetrator of the damage. It was found impossible in Ireland to make the criminal or criminals amenable because the deeds had the tacit sanction of a large section of the community, and they were able by means of organised intimidation to shield themselves behind a dead wall of silence. The only way, therefore, by which the person who had suffered injury at the hands of his neighbours could obtain any redress at all was by levying a charge upon the community. It was intended, undoubtedly, to secure for the victim some recompense for his injury, and at the same time to deter people from the commission of those despicable crimes.

Before hon. Members below the Gangway can convince Parliament, and by Parliament I mean both Houses of the Legis- lature, that those safeguards can be dispensed with, they must be prepared to show that the necessity for them has disappeared. What evidence has the Mover or the Seconder brought forward to show that, first of all, that as a political weapon malicious injury has ceased to be employed? What evidence have they produced to show that the United Irish League has discountenanced those methods of attacking a political opponent? What evidence is there, I ask, that the doers of those malignant acts are being made amenable, as they should be, to the criminal law 4 There is no evidence, as far as I can gather, from the speech of the Mover and the Seconder. On the contrary, the evidence which I shall show to the House tells a very different story altogether. I hope the House will bear with me while I give a few facts with regard to malicious injuries which have been committed during the last two or three years. I may say that I have taken these facts from the Official Returns, and from answers to questions given to me by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, or those who represented him.

I have here an answer, given by the Chief Secretary in April of last year, which shows that in 1906 the number of claims for malicious injuries adjudicated on totalled 500. Compensation was awarded in 444 cases, and the amount awarded was £6,531. In 1907 the number of claims was 504, and the cases in which compensation was given was 454, and the amount awarded £10,538. In 1908 the number of claims was 636, and the cases in which compensation was given totalled 481, and the amount awarded £14,566. If those figures are added it will be found that compensation was awarded in 1,379 cases, and that the total amount awarded was £31,635. The point I wish to draw the attention of the House to is the steady increase year by year which is shown by the figures I have just given, both as regards number of claims and amount awarded. That circumstance is quite enough of itself, I submit, to prove that it is necessary to retain this special provision with regard to compensation for malicious injury.

If we take the other point which I have mentioned—the difficulty of discovering and punishing, as they should be punished, the persons who commit these offences—what are the facts 7 Again I turn to the admission of the Chief Secretary in April, 1908, and I find that in 1906, while 500 claims were made, and compensation was awarded in 444 cases, in only 36 cases were persons made amenable under the criminal law. The record for 1907 shows the same proportion. The actual figures were: 504 claims, 454 awards, and 43 persons made amenable. I have not the complete figures for 1908; but the Return for the first three months of the year shows that although there were 170 claims and 152 cases in which compensation was given, in only 16 cases were persons Made amenable. It will be seen, -therefore, that in only about 10 per cent. of these malicious injury cases are the perpetrators of these offences brought to justice. The injuries for which compensation is obtained under the Acts which hon. Members below the gangway want to repeal, are of all kinds. Walls, fences, farm implements and other property are destroyed; hay is scattered and burned; farm buildings are sometimes completely destroyed by fire. There were at least two cases last year in which more than £2,000 was obtained as compensation for the destruction of farm buildings. One of the most hideous and distressing forms of malicious injury is the cruelty practised upon dumb animals. I am sure hon. Members below the Gangway sympathise with what I say in that respect. In looking through the Returns of the compensation awards, one comes across such cases as these: Maiming of a foal, leg nearly revered by a billhook; maiming of a mare, legs slashed with a sharp instrument; houghing of seven cattle; horse killed by stabbing. There were 20 cases of killing or cutting cattle in six months during 1907.

Hon. Members below the Gangway assert that this horrible practice of injuring animals as an act of spite against their masters has died out. No one rejoices more than I do at the fact that it has ceased to be so prevalent as it was at one time. But it has not completely disappeared, and there are in these Returns of malicious injury far too many cases of the kind.


There are many more in England.


And more people, too.


There are many more in proportion.


It is not only individuals who are affected by these attacks upon property. At the Galway Quarter Sessions, in 1907, the Department of Agriculture was awarded £470 for the malicious burning of a house—its property—near Athenry. Fields of oats and meadow belonging to the Department had also been "spiked "—about 2 cwt. of spikes being taken out of the meadow alone. The fact that the Department of Agriculture brought a claim for compensation for this act of damage does not indicate a belief on their part, at any rate, that these provisions of the law are useless and should be repealed.

The facts which I have given to the House show conclusively to my mind that the need for these provisions has not disappeared. Of course, everyone recognises that this method of dealing with this class of offences leaves a good deal to be desired. The perfect system, no doubt, would be to hunt out the guilty parties, including those who organise the crime, as well as those who actually commit the offences. But that has been found to be practically impossible—at all events, during the last three years—and from that point of view these statutes dealing with compensation for malicious injuries amount to a confession of failure on the part of the executive authority. But, although in so many cases the criminal escapes punishment, the State can ensure that the victim shall receive the monetary value of the property which he has had destroyed. This is a very inadequate satisfaction to a man whose life is harassed by these manifestations of the enmity of his neighbours; and it, takes no account at all of the sufferings which must be undergone by the wives and children of the victims of this organised tyranny. Therefore, although it is a fact that compensation awards have to be contributed to by perfectly innocent persons—and very frequently by the claimants themselves—still, in my opinion, this grievance is quite insignificant in comparison with the hardship that would be caused to hundreds of people in Ireland if this Bill were to pass, and they were to be deprived of their only means of redress. A proposal of this kind does not come well from Members below the Gangway. They profess boundless consideration for the ratepayer, but their sympathy might take a more practical shape if they were to address themselves to the suppression of those criminal acts which give rise to claims for compensation. It may be that hon. Members who are advocating this Bill are overflowing with compassion for the persons whose hard cases are concealed in the figures which I have given to the House. I must say, however, that on the face of it this Bill has all the appearance of an attempt to prepare for the next capaign of violence—a campaign which is evidently contemplated in certain eventualities—by depriving their opponents of one of the few remaining safeguards which they possess.

With regard to the other part of the Bill—that which deals with the charges for extra police—it raises a question of considerable interest to the Treasury. If this Bill were to pass the consequence would, as I understand them, be that the entire cost of the constabulary would be thrown upon the Exchequer, and there would be no means of recovering from the districts where disorder occurs any portion of the expense entailed by sending additional police to restore order. I admit that it is hard upon the peaceable and law-abiding people of a district that they should have to contribute to expenses which are caused by the acts of political agitators. This hardship has frequently been experienced in Ulster, where police are sometimes brought into a district when there is no reason to anticipate a breach of the peace or any disturbance. A case of this kind arose in my own county of Armagh—


There is never any disturbance there


A few years ago, when police were drafted into the county, without any requisition from the magistrates, and against the wishes of the inhabitants, and when the districts into which the police were sent were in a perfectly peaceable state, and there was not the slightest apprehension of disturbance or need for the service of the extra force.

The question arose whether in such circumstances the county council was liable to pay the charges demanded from them for the extra police. The opinion of counsel was taken on the point, and he advised that the charges must be paid. That was in 1904. I know the Armagh County Council were considerably aggrieved at having to pay these charges, but the feeling was, I think, very largely due to the fact that the Government had just previously remitted the charges for additional police in the case of certain counties in the South and West of Ireland, although the state of those counties made the presence of the extra police a real necessity.

Of course, as the Lord Chief Justice said at the Nenagh Assizes last year:— It is a great anomaly that respectable farmers, good men, gentlemen and others. should be burdened 'became wrongdoers do wrong. It is hard upon the individual who has no sympathy with disorder; but it must be remembered that, in so far as the presence of the extra police checks crime and disorder, the law-abiding person is benefited. In any case, I do not think it lies with the representatives of any county in Ireland which has been declared by the authorities to be in such a state of disturbance as to require the presence of extra police to come to this House and ask to be relieved of the costs, unless they are able to show that they themselves, and those who have sent them here, have done everything in their power to suppress the disorder and check the crimes which have made the presence of the extra police necessary. I do not think it has yet been shown—and I do not believe it can be shown—that, having regard to the present state of affairs in Ireland, and to the threats which have been made of a renewal of disturbance if the Land Bill does not pass, it would be either prudent or just to repeal the enactments which are set out in the schedule to this Bill, and therefore I beg to move that the Bill be read a second time this day six months.


I wish to draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to a point of order. A portion of clause 2 ought to have been printed in italics, because it imposes a charge upon the taxpayer. If that is so, the Committee stage of the Bill cannot be proceeded with unless a Resolution in Committee of Ways and Means is obtained. Clause 2 repeals the words, "save as in hereinafter mentioned," in section 2 of the Constabulary Act, 1846. Section 2 of that Act provides "that all costs, charges, and expenses for constabulary forces and reserve forces respectively shall he paid the same as herein mentioned out of the proceeds of the Consolidated Fund." Section 5, which it is proposed to repeal, provides that in certain cases, under the provisions of the first recited Act, if certain things result, namely, if extra constables are sent into a district, the "one moiety of the charge shall be borne by the district." Now, it is evident if this is repealed, the moiety or charge will have to be borne by somebody, and the persons who will have to bear it will be the taxpayers who contribute to the Consolidated Fund. Therefore I main- tain that this clause will be out of order, unless it is founded upon a Resolution passed by the Committee of Ways and Means. The Armagh instance, which my hon. Friend (Mr. Lonsdale) gave just now, is to the point. Here the extra police were drafted in, not by order of the magistrates of Armagh, but apparently by order of the Lord Lieutenant of the county.


There may possibly be some little doubt on the point which the hon. Baronet has raised, and to which he had previously drawn my attention. I have not had time to go very fully into it. Prima facie, he has made a good case, but whether that is so or not, the matter is not one of immediate and pressing importance, because the second reading of the Bill may be taken with this clause in it. But before the Bill goes into Committee it will be necessary, assuming that the contention of the hon. Baronet is correct, to obtain, not a Resolution of the Committtee of Ways and Means, but of a Committee of HIP whole House.


On a point of order, Sir, would it be permissible to ask the Government if they intend to take that course, because, if they do not, it is a waste of the time of the House?


There is clause 1.


I beg to second the Resolution for the rejection of the Bill. In doing so I think it is not without interest to recall the fact. that this Bill has been brought before the attention of the House by a Member of the Nationalist party who is at present tabooed officially by that party. I only mention that in passing, because I do not think that we should have the responsible leaders of the party presenting any such measure to the House of Commons under the present circumstances. We have had a characteristic speech from the hon. Gentleman. He has given as one of his reasons. for advocating this great change that judges in Ireland are glad to get the chance under this enactment of inflicting injury upon the ratepayers. I desire briefly to address myself to that suggestion. I should like very much indeed to be able to say that the time had come when these exceptional provisions that we have in Ireland might be parted with, but I regret I see no prospect of any movement in that direction. While I say that I should be very careful to explain that in certain parts of Ireland I do believe that some hardship is inflicted under the present law; because there is a temptation in certain places where there has been improvidence in neglecting elementary precautions of fire insurance when a fire does take place it is at once called a malicious fire. In that way in Ulster, and I am sure in other parts of Ireland as well, we know cases where a very considerable burden has been placed upon the ratepayers through such cases. At the same time, I should carefully dissociate myself from the suggestion that any judge in Ireland would desire for a moment to penalise any section of the ratepayers, and I repudiate the suggestion in the strongest terms. Then the hon. Member went on to say that the law as it stands is an incentive to crime of the most sordid kind, and most calculated methods. I do not exactly understand what suggested such an exereme statement, and I have no knowledge of any recorded case where a man has fallen so low as to fire his premises or to wound his cattle with a view to recovering compensation from his immediate neighbours. I hope, though I realise that the position this afternoon is a somewhat difficult one, I hope that on this occasion there will be a sufficient sense of the fitness of things as will enable the Government, somewhat late in the day as it undoubtedly is, to say to our friends who are pr renting this measure this afternoon that while in a weak moment last year they did consist to the repeal of the Peace Preservation Act, Which gave great security for life and property in certain parts of Ireland, they have at last realised the mistake, and that they are not going to permit another to occur.

We know what has been the result of the repeal of that Act. Revolvers have gone into Ireland in very large quantities, and shooting outrages have in a remarkable degree increased. Life has been assailed in many cases, though happily, so far, with only one fatal result. I hope that with the example of the repeal of that Act before them that the Government will be able to say to-day to our Friends below the Gangway that they are not prepared to go any further in that direction. We are sometimes told that to continue to keep upon the Statute Book such measures as these referred to by this Bill this afternoon is the strongest argument for Home Rule. I am not going to enter upon that, although one is strongly tempted to reply to a suggestion made in that direction, but this I will say, that as long as we have so much disorder and organised crime in Ireland it would be madness to propose to make it more difficult than it is at present to protect those unhappy people who are unhappily the victims of such treatment. The official records speak eloquently of the hardships suffered in seven or eight counties in Ireland by certain people, and I should hope that this House to-day by its action will not make the position of those isolated persons more difficult and dangerous and more unhappy than it is at the present moment. A good deal has been said as to the provisions now sought to be repealed with regard to the power of charging for the services of special police. In my own county we have had some trouble over this matter. The complaint in my county is that sometimes on special occasions the police authorities act under the orders of Dublin Castle, and take it upon themselves to bring in large bodies of special constables into a county and to charge the cost upon the rates. If this were a measure simply to remedy a small grievance of that sort I could see a fair reason why the Government might consider the wisdom of in future arranging so that the magistrates in each county should have something to say when large bodies of constables are about to be brought into their area. But that is not the intention of the measure with which we are dealing at the present moment, and therefore I shall have no hesitation whatever in opposing this Bill as it is presented to the House at the present moment. I will only say further that we are at variance altogether with our Friends below the Gangway when they say that the law as it at present exists in Ireland is being abused by those responsible for its administration. We are not aware of any case in which it is so abused. We do not think that those responsible for the policy of the administration desire to abuse it, and I shall certainly go into the Division Lobby against the second reading of this Bill.


The hon. Member for Mid-Armagh (Mr. Lonsdale), who moved the rejection of this Bill, said the Nationalist Members of this House were actuated by a passion for the repeal of laws. Yes, that is part of our record. We have a passion for the repeal of all laws of a coercive nature, and I hope that passion will continue to dominate the Nationalist party sitting in this House until the worst of all bad laws has been repealed, namely, the Act of Union. We have always done our best to repeal coercive legislation and to bring before this country and Parliament enactments of a specially iniquitous character such as that we are now discussing. If we want to go into figures those furnished by the hon. Member for Mid-Armagh would prove that this Act does not punish the guilty or the ill-doer, but penalises and punishes the ratepayers, who are ignorant of and unconnected with the cases that occur. I am very much obliged to the hon. Member for the industry which actuates him in piling up statistics against the fair name of his country. I am sorry for his policy, but I recognise his industry. He gives figures for 1907 with regard to malicious injuries, and he states that there were 504 cases. Out of those there were 445 cases of compensation, and £10,000 in compensation was awarded. The great trouble in these matters is that the ill-doers escape and the unfortunate ratepayers are called upon to pay. It does riot matter whether it is the case of a drunken soldier in the streets who is anxious to be dismissed from the Army, and who goes and breaks the plate-glass window of an honest trader, or a tramp who wishes to have the hospitality of the gaol, or a man who sets fire himself to his farm buildings or hay-rick—in nearly all these cases the offenders go scot free, and the unfortunate ratepayers are penalised and punished.

Let the House consider for a moment the dates upon which these penal enactments were passed. One was passed 'n the year 1836, and another in 1848, and at a few later dates these Acts were modified or amended. In the year 1836 no doubt there were disturbances in Ireland, but they occurred in connection with the collection of tithes under a system which has been since denounced by every man who has any sense of equity and fair-play. Under that system of tithes disturbances, outrages, and offences occurred, but everybody recognises to-day that that was an infamous system under which the crops and cattle of the unfortunate peasantry could be legally stolen from them by law, and immediately those tithes were repealed the offences greatly decreased. Who can now mention the period of 1848 in Ireland without feelings of horror and despair, because the people were then plunged into the depths of a famine, and the landlords, instead of coming to the assistance of their tenants, evicted them wholesale. At that time Ireland was suffering from pestilence and famine, and I admit that, then, many offences were committed. I contend that the Acts of 1836 and 1848, which are still being perpetuated in Ireland, had their origin in a state of things which reflects lasting discredit upon English misgovernment, and which was caused by that wretched system of Irish landlordism which is now rapidly passing away.

We have now come to a clearer atmosphere and better times. The old system is passing away, and the hour and the moment has arrived when statutes of this kind should be wiped off the face of the Statute Book. I say that this system of compensation for malicious injuries tends to produce the very offences which it was designed to check, and if it is true that we, had such a large number of offences in the year 1907, it shows that even these. Acts have not succeeded in putting a stop to these offences, but, on the contrary, have had a tendency to encourage them. There is not a single Nationalist Member representing an Irish Constituency, who from his own experience and from attendance in the county courts and other courts in Ireland, could not quote scores of cases in which the unfortunate ratepayers, having no sympathy at all with crime or criminals, have been mulcted in heavy charges and costs. Ever since the year 1w3, when we thought things would have improved, they have, as a matter of fact, gradually worsened. The district council and the county council often have to be represented in these cases by counsel and solicitors, and yet there is no chance of these cases being tried by a jury, and the entire thing is left to the county court judges. The compensation allowed in many cases is excessive and iniquitous. I am not saying a word against the impartiality of county court judges, but it is not stretching the point too far to say that unconsciously they are biassed against those who have to meet these claims for malicious injury. As a rule, the onus probandi is thrown upon the district council or the county council when it ought to be thrown upon the claimant. From a lengthy experience of affairs in Ireland, and from a close reading of these cases, I say deliberately that the operation of these Acts and the system generally tends to produce perjury of a most flagrant character, and incendiarism, and it gives rise to carelessness on the part of the farmers and others which would not be tolerated for a moment in any other class of the community. I do not know whether the Attorney-General knows it or not, but it is a fact that the farmers in Ireland only insure their property and farm buildings to a very small extent, as compared with shopkeepers and other classes of the community. Why? Because they know that, if anything happens, it is not difficult to get the district council or the county council to pay for it. In case a farmer suffers loss, he has only got to lodge the most flimsy excuse, and if the district council or the county council are unable to go into the court and prove that he is quite wrong and show that there has been gross carelessness on the part of his employés then he is relieved of all responsibility, and he gets compensation. As a matter of fact the insurance on farm produce in Ireland is much larger than it is in this country. Then with regard to perjury. The experience of the Attorney-General must convince him that there is nothing more shocking in Ireland than the false statements made by many claimants. First of all, the amount of damages is grossly exaggerated. If put into a tight corner there is swearing of the strongest character on the part of the claimants amounting to perjury. Of course, there is often a semi-amusing side to many cases. A man says that he is unpopular, or not liked, or that he was boycotted. One of the amusing things on the music-hall stage and in general conversation in this country is the unpopularity with the average man of his mother-in-law. I Know a case in the county Cork where a man made a claim for £220, and he alleged that he was unpopular with his brother-in-law ! The sergeant of police was asked: "Can you find any evidence of malice or hostility to this man in the district?" and the answer was, "None whatever." "Have you heard the evidence to-day l Did it cause you to alter your opinion?" Sergeant: "No, sir. it did not." Counsel said: "This man married in March. He had no house to go into He and his wife lived for some months with some relatives. He went into a hospital, and remained there for 15 months, during which time his wife continued to live with her relatives. The applicant was twice in gaol. What happened? He had no stock on the land, and had no need for a house. He got money for meadowing on 10th November. The wife suggested to him that they should go to live in this house, and on that very night the house was burnt down." It was said that it was clearly not a case of malicious burning. Cases of that kind can be multiplied by the score. In many cases there is no doubt in the mind of the people that the injury done was owing either to gross carelessness or was a deliberate or a malicious act. But the compensation has to be paid by the unfortunate people in the district. I will give an illustration by means of a case that occurred in my own Constituency some years ago. There had been some evictions —six or seven. There was one holding taken by a man who was called a grabber. The people in the neighbourhood were a quiet sort of people. Though the man was unpopular there was not much boycotting, and no particular severity was shown towards him. He found it difficult to get servants, but he managed to get the services of a widow. There was a fire. A claim was lodged. I forget the exact amount, but I think it amounted to £200 or £300. The widow had brought over a cousin to manage the farm. This cousin brought over by the widow to manage the farm went before the court of first instance, and it was stated by the inspector of police at Mallow that he had heard that the man set fire to the farm in order to get compensation, and that the cousin was prepared to give evidence to expose the whole thing. The case was not persevered with. The inspector sent to this man and asked him if the statement was true. As I said, the case was not persevered with. The claim was not made in the legal way; it was dropped, and not brought before the county court judge. How are the ratepayers or the distric or county councils to protect themselves under such circumstances. It was because of a quarrel in the last case between two of the persons concerned that the truth came out. If these kind of cases can be brought forward the presumption is that there are a large number of other cases of a similar kind. Let me say one word in illustration. I do not desire to dwell upon this unsavoury topic more than is necessary, but I must refer to the outrages of Sergeant Sheridan, with whom are associated three or four other constables. These outrages were dragged into the light of public day, and they throw a most illuminating light on the cases of mutilation of cattle and malicious injury. Although only four or five cases were exposed and brought under the notice of the then Chief Secretary for Ireland. the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover, they were all cases of the mutilation of cattle and of burning, and they would appear in the Returns which the hon. Member for Mid-Armagh constantly brings before the House, and over which he rolls his tongue with such appetising methods for the delectation of the British consumer.


On the contrary, they make me sick.


I can only say the hon. Gentleman seems very fond of that which disgusts all healthy-minded men. These outrages by Sheridan and others figure, I repeat, in the Returns of malicious injuries. This sergeant was stationed in many counties in Ireland, and in all of the cases he had charge of the prosecution, although he was the ajent provocateur, and must have been responsible for many instances of malicious injury. That is an illustration of the infamy remaining on the Statute Book which we desire this House to repeal.

One word with regard to the question of extra police. To some extent hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway have supported us in this matter. They, too, complain that police are sent into districts without sufficient justification. One such complaint has been made by the hon. Member for Mid-Armagh, and I think this incident must have occurred about the scarlet-fever time of the year. Another Unionist hon. Member made practically the same complaint, that, without any requisition from the magistrate, and without any popular call, the Lord Lieutenant, on his own initiative, can move large bodies of police all over the country without being responsible to anybody, either inside or outside this House. The ratepayers cannot raise the question by a writ of certiorari, and they cannot bring the action before this House. It is quite a fallacy to suggest that in the case of Ireland the police charges are dealt with as in England, and appear on the Consolidated Fund. The ordinary police charges do so appear, but the extra police charges have to be defrayed directly by the ratepayers. As a matter of fact all the police charges come on to Irish funds. The charges for officers. and men, amounting to about one and a half millions a year, or Os. 9d. per head (compared with the 2s. 3d. which is the average cost in English boroughs and counties), ostensibly arc on the Consolidated Fund, but they are really paid by Ireland, because there is a balance-sheet issued every July, in which the amount is carefully debited to the last penny in the Irish account, as Ireland's contribution to Imperial revenue. But when it comes to extra police, what we complain of is this: You have a force of police in Ireland at the present time which, considering the crimeless condition of the country, is far too large and expensive. Under ordinary circumstances if there be a little breach of the peace or disturbance of public order in any Irish borough, sufficient police can be brought in from surrounding districts without any necessity to fall back on the large reserve in Dublin. I should like to give one illustration to prove this point. A short time ago there were some strikes in Cork among the quay porters; there were also strikes in Belfast and Dublin of a similar nature. No one will argue, I suppose, that there is a deeper shade of criminality in a strike in Cork or Belfast than in one in London. At any rate, strikes have occurred in Cork, and anyone who knew anything about the city at the time must have been perfectly well aware that there was quite a sufficient force of police in the city itself to deal with the trumpery incidents which occurred. Nevertheless large numbers of police were brought in from outside and kept in barracks for many days, and even weeks.

Attention called to the fact that 40 Members were not present. House counted; and, 40 Members being found present,


I was endeavouring to point out when this interruption occurred, that there is really no check on the part of the representatives of the ratepayers or of their representatives in this House on the power of the Lord Lieutenant to move bodies of constabulary from one part of Ireland to another on more or less unsubstantial grounds, and I was illustrating that by citing the recent strikes in Cork. This was not a very serious matter and there was an ample force of police in the city itself to cope with whatever occurred, yet on the order of the Inspector-General or of the Lord Lieutenant the town was flooded with a large number of the county police, who were kept there many days, and even weeks, in barracks without any necessity whatever to call in their services. Nevertheless the account was sent in to the corporation. What remedy has that body? It has no remedy but the remedy of protest.

I want before sitting down to give just one illustration of how this question of malicious injury operates in Ireland as compared with England. Hon. Members will remember that very recently in Hampshire there was an enormous destruction of woods and other property, the burning extending over a vast area, and troops were sent from Aldershot to cope with the flames. The gentleman whose house was in the midst of the burning area believed that the outbreak was caused maliciously, and he pointed out that similar cases had previously occurred. All this, no doubt, was very sad and regrettable, but are the owners of the property entitled to turn round on the ratepayers of Hampshire and to demand compensation for injury of such a wide and extensive character, and acknowledged to be malicious? They have no right of the kind. Now take the Irish case. Lord Ashtown may have a careless gamekeeper, who, after lighting his pipe, throws down the match and causes a fire. His lordship, under those circumstances, can demand compensation, and even get it to the extent of five or ten times the amount of injury done, by an order from a very complacent county court judge. These are two cases which illustrate the working of this exceptional legislation, and I believe we are justified in this, as in other matters, in endeavouring to secure the removal of such legislation, and I believe we are justified the Realm pending the final disappearance of that worst piece of all legislation—the Act of Union. In taking this course we are only discharging our duty to our Constitutents and to our country, and we must not refrain from continuing to expose the evils of the present system.


The Mover of the second reading who introduced this Bill to the House and every speaker in support of it alluded to two or three old friends, who have been again trotted out on this occasion. We have had allusion made to our old friend Serjeant Sheridan, who illustrates the position which the King's head occupied in the mind of Mr. Dick, and I do not know what he has to do with the question we are dealing with now. The unfortunate victim of outrage, whether that outrage resulted from malicious combination or whether it was the result of deliberate malice on the part of the person who perpetrates it, is in the same position, except that in the one case he may be in a greater condition of terror than the other, bill his monetary loss is the same. I was rather anxious to hear from the Mover or Seconder or the hon. Member for Cork, who led us over a great variety of subjects. something about the origin of these Acts of Parliament—something about the circumstances—not the general state of the country which existed at the time the Act was passed, but something about the history of these measures under which compensation was given for malicious injury. It goes back to the Irish Parliament in 1783 or 1784, and the schedule of this Bill, amongst other things, relates to an Act which was passed in the year 1848 for the purpose of enabling parties to take advantage of the simpler and easier means of recovering compensation for malicious damage given to them under the Act of 1783 or 1784, and that Act was one which dealt with damage to nearly every class of property which is mentioned in the Grand Jury Act. It was, however, limited to cases where people who did these acts acted riotously or. tumultuously. That is quite true that was in force, and in the year 1836 this Grand Jury Act, which contains this clause 135, was adopted in the House, and was before the Committee. There was a measure brought in first, the opposition to which was such that it was dropped and a new Bill was brought in, and the Bill, which afterwards became the Act of 1836, which left out this matter about riotous and tumultuous assembly, and they made it a charge if acts were done maliciously or wantonly. At that time Daniel O'Connell was a Member of this House, and took part in the Debates in the Committee on this Bill. I may be wrong, I may not have completed the researches, but as far as I can see there was no word from him or anyone else against this clause of this Bill, and it has been in existence from that day to this, anti there have been Acts of Parliament just as the Act of 1848 and the Act of 1853, which is the third mentioned in the schedule before the House, and no one suggested the repeal or even modification of section 135 of the Act of 1836.

It has gone on from that clay to this. It has been a great safeguard and protection to the people who are subject to these outrages, and it has prevented the scheme of outrage and injury to the person of the individual and of oppression from having its full force and full effect. Property is destroyed, and if it is done maliciously and the owner of it can prove it is done maliciously, then it is known that it will be compensated, but then and then only, and the House should understand that these Acts which are being attacked have their origin 130 years ago, and, more than that, have been in their same principles before the House from time to time, not alone down to 1853, but they were directly before the House in the Local Government Act of 1898, and no one ever seems to have suggested that this section should be repealed. On the contrary, as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid-Armagh (Mr. Lonsdale) pointed out, by reference to that speech made by one of the ablest representatives of the Nationalist body in Ireland, the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. T. M. Healy), it was not complained of. The hon. Member's point was not an objection to the schedule at all. He said it had worked well and done good work under existing conditions—viz., that the parties went before the grand jury, and if either party is dissatisfied with what the grand jury has done, then if the judge thinks fit—that was the way it was put in the Act of Parliament—he might allow the question to be tried by a common jury. The hon. Member for Louth thought it would be better to retain the provision of that Act—that is to say, it should be entirely under the control of the grand jury unless the judge thought fit to allow a trial by common jury. He considered that it would remove this matter from prejudice and from the personal feelings of jurors who lived in the district and who might be perhaps just as much influenced in the interests of the claimants as they would be in the large body of ratepayers upon whom the burden would be extremely small, and it was proposed that it should be left in the hands of the county court judge, who would be the sole authority to determine this Question, and from whom there is to be an appeal to the judge of the High Court going on circuit. Is not that reasonable and right? But what do we find the Mover of this Bill is driven to? I was surprised. After all, is it expected that Members of this House, whether they represent English, Irish, or Scotch Constituencies, are going to accept this, that the county court judges and the high court judges in Ireland are corrupt in this matter, and that every one of them is prepared not alone to allow compensation to be given, but to allow it to be given to an excessive amount, and that without evidence?

That is the case which is presented to this House by the hon. Gentleman who moved this Bill. Does any hon. Member believe that? Do the Nationalist Members even believe it? Several Nationalists are county court judges. Do they charge them with corruption, with wilfully determining that compensation shall be given in a case where it ought not to be given according to law? That. is one of the great grounds relied upon by the mover of this Bill in order to commend the Bill to the House. He says enormous amounts and excessive amounts are awarded when there is no expert evidence and there is no one to test it. I have been now for 30 years at the Irish Bar, I have been, in a great many of these cases, before grand jurors and common jurors and judges under the Act of 1898, and think it is the experience of every man at the Bar, and I would appeal to the Attorney-General for Ireland and the Solicitor-General for Ireland, if it is not their experience also, that in every case, as far as one can judge, too little is given. I have never been in a case where there has been excessive damages, and the Attorney-General will tell us of one if he knows of it. I have never known of a case in which excessive damages have been given, either by grand jurors or common jurors, or any one else who have to deal with this matter. They always take a very low and moderate estimate. But the case which is made here for the Bill is that it is always excessive, that there is no expert evidence, that there is nothing to prevent the judge of the county court or the High Court from working his wicked will against the ratepayers and in favour of the claimant. Arguments like these are absolutely destructive of the case for the Bill. I refer to these things because this Act and those other subsidiary Acts have been in force now for a long time, and no one has attempted in legislation which has been passed, dealing with the same subject matter, to interfere with them or alter them, and I want to see it analysed now. What are the grounds put forward for suggesting that they should be repealed? The first is this excessive amount of awards and this corruption on the part of the judges of both the inferior and superior courts. The next is that objectionable people, such as landgrabbers, will burn their houses or hayricks, and will maim their own cattle, in the sure and certain hope that they are going to get far more than the amount of damages they sustain by going before a county court judge or a judge of assize. I wonder whether the responsible law officers will state that as being their opinion. If a man was wicked enough to wish to secure dishonestly large sums for property of his own, has not he a far simpler and far easier and far less troublesome mode of doing it simply by insuring and then burning his premises? I wonder what the Attorney General will say. Will he back up the argument of the hon. Member for Westmeath (Mr. Ginnell)? If a man was so wicked he could easily insure and then burn his premises. It is not unknown, either in Ireland or anywhere else. But to say this Act of Parlia- ment is specially used for the purpose of a man destroying his own property on the chance of getting compensation ! Look at the troublesome and technical procedure which he has to take. If he makes the smallest mistake his whole claim is utterly gone, and he has to do it within a very short time. Three days is the longest for some of the things, and 24 or 48 hours for some of the others, and the smallest slip endangers every claim that he has. Further, he has to run the risk of failing to make out his case before the county court judge or the judge of assize on appeal, and, above all, he, presumably a poor man, without large resources, has to fight the county council with all the rates of the county at their disposal. The thing is really too absurd, too ludicrous. It is a very curious fact, as stated by the hon. Gentleman, that it is always an objectionable man, a landgrabber, who does this kind of thing. Surely it shows to any intelligent person who looks at this Question in an unprejudiced way that this organisation, or those wicked individuals m ho believe they are acting in the interest of these organisations, are perfectly willing to inflict injury upon the people whom they regard as objectionable, and this scheme which the hon. Member for Westmeath took a large part in starting, this cattle-driving and injury to cattle would be complete if the cattle could be injured without the owner getting a penny of compensation. To complete that a Bill is introduced to deprive the owner of property that is to be injured, and injured following out statements which have been made at public meetings by the hon. Gentleman himself, of any compensation whatever.

The next ground is that agents of Dublin Castle commit these crimes, or get someone else to commit them, and that this is done at the instigation of the Castle hacks and renegades, and they can divide up these two descriptions between themselves. Will the right hon. Gentleman accept that as an argument for repealing the Bill? Surely, when you have to rely upon arguments like these for the purpose of inducing an intelligent assembly to repeal laws which have been in force now some of them for 130 years, it shows the hollowness of the whole thing. It shows not merely that it is hollow, but that it is intended to be, and that its effect would he, mischievous in the extreme.

The hon. Member for Cork lays a great deal of stress upon the unfortunate ratepayers having to pay for window breaking.

But there is very little of that in this Question. There may be some of it in Dublin, and there may be some Gentlemen who spend time in those hospitable and entertaining houses in Dublin and other large cities, and when they come out have not perhaps that full control over themselves that they ought to possess. But the whole of it is only a few hundred pounds in the year. That is not the point that we are dealing with. The case which was referred to, for instance, by the Mover of the Bill was a ca-se where a very considerable number of cattle were roasted to death in their stalls, and where property to the value of some thousands of pounds—sheds, hayricks, farm buildings, and cattle—were all destroyed. That came before a county court judge and a judge of assize, a judge who everyone practising at the Bar and who Nationalist Members would admit, is not willing to take any extreme view on a question of this kind as against the ratepayers. Mr. Justice Johnson, as well as I recollect, disposed of the case, and after a very long and patient and careful hearing came to the conclusion that it was malicious. There was more involved in that one claim than there would be for all the broken windows of Dublin and Belfast for two years. But it does not please gentlemen who are dissatisfied with Mr. Dove. Mr. Dove was admittedly boycotted, and so were several other people in the same neighbourhood. Is it suggested that Mr. Dove burnt them himself? Is that the sort of case which is being made here?

Of course, the hon. Member for Cork is not a lawyer, but he states with as much confidence as if he were that the judges put the onus upon the county councils or those who are meeting these claims. That is the reverse of the case, according to law and fact and practice, and the judges of the county courts and the superior courts are most careful in that respect, and the claimant must satisfy him that it was malicious, and if it can he shown that it was not he dismisses the claim. I challenge anyone in the House, whether a Nationalist or not, to contradict that statement. In every case where compensation has been awarded malice has been proved, as it must be proved. In 1905, before the present Government came into office, I think the whole claims for this class of thing amounted to about £500. It was £6,000 in 1906, but it was not £1,000 in 1905. It was a very small amount.


It was £6,597.


In 1905 it was over £6,000, in 1906 it was over £7,000, and in 1908 it was over £14,000. Of course, the usual taunt is flung at my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Armagh when he brings cases of outrage before the House, and he is accused of rolling them as a sweet morsel under his tongue. Does not every man who wishes to promote the good and welfare of his country wish to put an end to these things? The only way to put an end to them is to bring them before the House of Commons, and let the House and the public know that they exist. So long as that terrorism goes on in distant parts of the country, and so long as people suffer injury, these cases ought to be brought to light in this House. Every law-abiding man will agree that we want to get the country freed from the reproach of this crime. No man can fail to be sorry that so many people in Ireland have been suffering from these crimes. The statement which the Attorney-General has just made shows that these outrages and crimes have doubled in the time the present Government has been in office. The amount has gone up in two years from £7,000 to £14,000. If you remove from the Statute Book this power of awarding compensation for malicious injury you will have, not £14,000, but perhaps twice as much taken out of the people whom other parties regard as objectionable. Would any sane man regard that as right'? Would any man like to have his property destroyed without the hope of getting any compensation for it? This Act operates in two ways. It operates to try to save the man who is injured from great loss, and it operates to prevent people from committing these outrages, so far as one can prevent people from doing wrong, by showing them that they do not succeed, because the person who is injured will receive compensation at the expense of the community.

It is said that the people ought to insure. The hon. Member for North Cork (Mr. Flynn) said there was very little insurance. He stated that their ground for not insuring was that they knew they would get compensation under this Act. I know Ireland just as well as my hon. Friend below the Gangway, and I can state that you will not get the small farmer in Ireland to insure. That may be very wrong, it may be a very improvident thing for him. I think it is, but the fact remains that the small farmer will not insure his house, hay, or cattle, and so long as that is the case he is at the mercy of the offender—the man who will injure his cattle, destroy his crops, burn his house, or do any other mischief that may be done to him. It is idle to talk about insurance. Do not let the House of Commons be mistaken about that. It has been said that innocent people have to suffer under the present system. That is perfectly true in regard to everything in the world. You find the innocent suffering, but that remark is no more appropriate to this particular set of circumstances than to others with which Parliament has to deal. Surely this Act, which does save people from suffering great loss, injury, and wrong, ought not to be removed from the Statute Book without stronger and more conclusive arguments than those we have heard to-clay.


In the discussion this afternoon we have had the usual statistics trotted out in regard to outrages which are alleged to have taken place in Ireland. Every decent minded man must deplore the outrages which have been referred to by the hon. Member for Mid-Armagh (Mr. Lonsdale), but I would say at the same time that to hear him speak of Ireland in the way he did one would suppose that no such sickening outrages occurred in this country. I dislike the to quoque argument in regard to this and other matters. The hon. Gentleman was concerned with others in a campaign for the purpose of trying to get the Government to renew the Coercion Act, and in that they had the assistance of the Press of this country. They represented the condition of Ireland as being very bad, and hon. Members asked questions in this House for the purpose of proving that we were criminals. We in self-defence had to ask questions with reference to the state of crime in some of the constituencies represented by these hon. Gentlemen. The statistics given by the Home Secretary showed that, so far from England being free from these outrages, there was a deal more in nearly every constituency represented by the hon. Gentlemen than in Ireland.

The provisions of the old grand jury system are now in most respects things of the past, but some of the objectionable features of that system prevail in an aggravated form. It was truly described as a system of taxation without representation. In regard to the law with respect to malicious injuries, having had some little ex- perience of the working of the Act, I never could understand the way in which the associated ratepayers of Ireland were chosen. In my father's time I was rated (el a large holding,. and I gave a vote on that occasion, but from that day I was never associated with the justices. My friend the late Mr. Douglas Pyne, a Protestant, was one of the largest ratepayers in Waterford, but he was never called upon to be an associated ratepayer. Being persecuted in this way the Catholics of West Waterford returned him to this House as their representative. For my own part, I am inclined to think that the method of dealing with claims for compensation was more satisfactory under the old system than at present. You have now an appeal to the county court judge, and you never have the advantage of a common jury. Under the old state of things we had a system which as a deterrent was in sonic cases particularly useful. But we hear a great deal of the good effect of this law of compensation. Even if this law did apply to Great Britain, and that people here could he compensated from the rates for outrages, I would still think it an objectionable system, and I could not approve of it; but where the system applies exclusively to Ireland, it does appear to me to be particularly objectionable. I admit that, theoretically, there is something to be said for the contention that if you fine a locality for the deed or outrages committed in the locality, it would have a good effect in preventing such occurrences; but, practically, it would work out in quite a contrary direction. It is notorious that when these excesses occur they are committed very often by people who have no connection with the locality, or possibly with the connivance of the occupiers or owners of the damaged places or property.

Without going into the merits of the case, I will allude to the case that was so much spoken about in this country some years ago, the explosion at Lord Ash-town's place at Glenahiry, which was said to be representative of the state of things then prevailing in Ireland. In the papers circulated this morning there is a question of mine asking the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant what compensation was paid by the ratepayers of the county -Waterford to Lord Ashtown in connection with the explosion which occurred at his residence at Glenahiry, county Waterford, in 1907, and what was paid by the ratepayers for law costs in connection with the trials and investigations that took place in reference to that explosion. The answer is:— I am informed that Lord Ashtown was paid £140 as compensation, £288 5s. 11d. as cost of the county court. and £20 for the costs of the appeal in connection with the explosion at Glenahiry, and in addition to that there were the cost, of counsel employed by the local authorities. It would not be proper for me—probably you would not allow me—to go into the merits of the case of Lord Ashtown, but I think, from the evidence of his friends and from the conversation of his friends, that even Lord Ashtown did not believe that it was done by the locality which had to pay, because his contention and the contention of his friends was that it was the work of Galway men, and we heard, usque ad, nauseam, about the Galway pot, the Galway lugs, and so forth, and that the people of the locality had nothing to say to it. Nevertheless, they had to pay the damage, and pay these enormous costs, and I imagine Judge Fitzgerald must have strained the law in giving what seems to me to be those enormous costs. Probably I should incur your censure if I were to give my opinion of Judge Fitzgerald and his conduct; but I may say this, that I hope we shall never see such an exhibition again in a court of justice as we saw in Waterford the evening when he cleared the galleries and called a great number of the most respectable of my friends a gang of ragamuffins. However, these enormous costs have been imposed on the people. With regard to the Galway aspect of the case, I do not intend to go into it, but I would remind hon. Gentlemen that when we brought this case forward and desired to go into it and to probe it to the bottom they, by their votes, defeated us, which does not speak very well for their consistency.

I am not here to endeavour to prove that Lord Ashtown is a popular man in the county. Waterford. He could not be popular in the county, because he spends most of his time in editing a document which has for its object the defaming of his own country, and latterly he has done a great deal to thwart the working of the Evicted Tenants Act. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] I would remind the hon. Gentleman who cheers that his action with regard to the Evicted Tenants Act did not take place until after this occurrence, and consequently any of the unpopularity attaching to him with regard to the planting of evicted farms could not have affected him at the time that this explosion oc- curred. I do not know how anyone can defend this present system. If it is such a very good system for the prevention of outrage, why not apply it to the whole kingdom? But it is a remnant of the old system that prevailed of penalising the people under the Grand Jury system. The Grand Jury levied the county rate, that was not paid by the land-owners, but was imposed on the people, and under existing circumstances also it falls on the occupiers of the land, those who have purchased as well as those who have not. I think that my hon. Friends have made out an excellent case for the second reading of this Bill. It is a Bill to place us to some extent on an equality with the people of this country. We abhor and detest as every man must these excesses that have occurred in Ireland, but we say that they have been grossly exaggerated, and from a criminal point of view our country will be found to compare favourably with any country in the world. I remembered well when this Glenahiry outrage occurred I happened to be staying at Droitwich. At the very same time a series of outrages occurred in the neighbourhood, in Staffordshire. I never heard of any English Members here parading these cases and endeavouring to blacken their country. No doubt most of the people staying at Droitwich were suffering from an excess of uric acid in the system, and they gave voice to the most venomous sentiments with regard to the Glenahiry explosion, endeavouring to persuade me and everyone else that it was typical of the state of Irish society in general. People in glasshouses should not throw stones. We can compare very favourably from the criminal point of view with any part of the United Kingdom. I give my most hearty support to the second reading of this Bill, which should do something to remove an undoubted grievance.


The hon. and learned Member who moved the second reading of this Bill described it in the opening sentence of his speech as a little Bill the object of which was to repeal some exceptional enactments and assimilate the law in Ireland with that in England. I do not think that a more misleading description of the Bill could have been given than was given in that short sentence. The Bill is a little Bill in one sense of the word. It is a short Bill. But when you go through these apparently harmless-looking schedules you will find that it is a totally revolutionary Bill. It proposes to repeal a large number of Acts which regulate important matters. The hon. and learned Member (Mr. Ginnell), in the course of a speech which lasted nearly 40 minutes, only referred to one portion of the Bill—practically onethird—and left two-thirds entirely unexplained and entirely undefended. So far as those parts of the Bill are concerned, I have not heard from any hon. Member any real argument in their support. The Bill proposes to repeal in the first place a number of sections of the Grand Jury Act, 1836, and several other subsidiary Acts. Two important sections in the Act of 1836 that are mentioned are section 106 and section 135. Section 106 deals with compensation to persons who have been injured or maimed on account of having given information or evidence in a criminal matter, or to magistrates or police officers or others who have been maimed because of their exertions to preserve the peace. It also provides for compensation to the representatives of persons who have been murdered in circumstances contemplated by the enactment. The whole House will agree that where a witness, a magistrate, or a constable meets with death during exertions to preserve the peace they should certainly be compensated by somebody, whether the ratepayers or the State. It would be pitiable if we were to leave without any compensation the representatives of those who have lost their lives in preserving the peace or in their efforts to bring offenders to justice.


What compensation would they get in England


I really do not know what they would get. It may be that cases do not occur in England, but whether they do or not. we are considering now the question of Ireland, and I am dealing with a third of this Bill which the hon. Member who moved the second reading, and the hon. Member who seconded, entirely passed over. I am happy to say that the number Of cases that come within the portion of the Bill with which I am dealing is diminishing. I think that is a very satisfactory state of affairs as far as Ireland is concerned. The year 1900 is the earliest year for which we have a Return. Under the Grand Jury system no record was kept, and we have no local statistics until the Local Government Act of 1898. In 1900, £3,393 ls. 2d. was awarded in all Ireland for injury under these special conditions — maiming, murdering police officers or witnesses, and so forth. It was a very large and a very lamentable sum. But when we come to the year 1908 that sum is reduced to £475, a mere fraction of the earlier amount. This shows that things, in that respect, are decidedly improving in Ireland. Whether the sum be large or small, however, as far as I can see absolutely no case has been made out for repealing this enactment, which gives compensation for injury in the circumstances which I have stated. If it had been suggested that the compensation should be paid out of some other fund, paid by the Treasury or paid by the whole of Ireland, or in any other particular way, that is a suggestion which might have been listened to. No such suggestion is made. I ask the House not to accept a Bill which entirely repeals these enactments so far as they deal with compensation for injuries.

That portion of the Bill which the hon. and learned Member did deal with has formed almost the entire subject of our discussion this afternoon. The hon. and learned Member told us that the sections proposed to be repealed are exceptional in their character, and he seemed to regard them as a kind of Coercion Act. [" Hear, hear."] Hon. Members who cheer that statement should have waited a little before they cheered. As a matter of fact, some of these enactments had their origin in the legislation of the Irish Parliament at the time of its greatest glory—I mean when they had secured independence of the English Legislature. Some of the most important of the Acts were passed in 1779 and 1783; and, curiously enough, the method of recovering compensation under the Act of 1783 was very much the same as in modern legislation introduced in England on the subject. Compensation was recoverable by action taken against the chief magistrate of the city, or two of the principal inhabitants of the parish, and then cornpe-nsation having been assessed, was applotted in accordance with the Act. The principle that compensation is to be paid to a person whose property is maliciously injured is not, therefore, a new principle in Ireland; it is a principle which was established and maintained by the Irish Parliament, and which has been ever since in operation all through Ireland under Acts passed by the Imperial Parliament. The tendency of legislation has been to increase the area of compensation. The earlier Acts dealt with such injury as houses being burnt down, corn being destroyed, and that legislation continued down to 1836, when by section 135 of the Grand Jury Act a very large number of things were set right, and the compensation covered almost all classes of property. A great deal of litigation took place with the view of ascertaining whether certain claims came under the particular description of section 135. Then the Local Government Act provided compensation could be recovered for malicious injury to all classes of property. It has been said by some hon. Members this afternoon that this is a kind of penal legislation against ratepayers. I cannot see the slightest indication in any of the statutes, of which there are great numbers coming from the middle of the eighteenth century down to the present time, that this was the intention of the legislation. On the contrary, I think the object was merely to compensate persons who have suffered injury when entirely innocent. That is the view taken by Lord Justice Fitzgibbon in recent cases. He described the matter as being as— A voluntary insurance of honest and innocent people against Crime. He said also it did not— extend to the extent of insurance against accident it. negligence. That is the principle of insurance which is laid down in the Acts. Complaints have been made that they were used as engines of a punitive nature to punish persons for sympathy with supposed crimes. I must say if that were so the Acts have been greatly strained in their operation. The object and the intention of the Acts was merely to give compensation on proof of loss and on proof of malice. A great number of remarks have been made as to the liberal way in which compensation is allowed for malicious injuries. It has been suggested by several hon. Members who have spoken that the judges of the High Court and the county courts and the grand juries in the old days allowed very large sums in cases were very little damage was suffered. [An HoN. MEMBER: "And is so still."] I have been engaged in a considerable number of these cases in the old grand jury days. I have not had much experience of late. I must say that the grand jury, so far as I make out in one portion of the country were not at all willing to give compensation. They were the persons who had to pay it themselves. In a great many cases they refused compensation or gave a very small amount where it occurred to me that a large amount of damage had been suffered.


Does the right hon. Gentleman really mean to suggest that under the grand jury system compensation was not levied as county cess, and that it was the occupier, and not the landlord, who paid the county cess?


Surely the hon. Gentleman is aware that every grand juror, or almost every grand juror, is a large occupier.


I knew of a grand juror who had £20 valuation, and that was the whole of it. He was Lord Lansdowne's agent.


I think that was an exceptional case. Anybody who has had any experience of grand juries in Ireland knows that the large occupiers of land, the owners of large demesnes, were almost invariably members of the grand jury. As ratepayers they were distinctly interested in the amount of compensation to be paid.


They did not pay as ratepayers—they paid as cesspayers.


As regards the method of assessing the damages, I should not like to go into the method of assessing the damages since the Act of 1898. I should not like to go into individual cases or criticise county court judges or High Court judges as to their action in particular cases. Let me look at the figures generally—the amount of compensation claimed, the amounts that were awarded, the number of claims put forward, and the number that were rejected. They do not, to my mind, suggest anything in the nature of outrageous claims having been allowed as a general rule in any particular case. The last complete Return I have got is for the year 1907. I find, dealing with claims for injuries to property alone, 443 claims have been allowed, and in 177 cases the claims have been entirely refused. That is a very large proportion. Surely, when you have 177, very nearly half as many rejected as those that are allowed, I do not think it is the case that the county court judges are in the habit of allowing claims recklessly or wholesale. I think, on the contrary, it shows that they do what is their duty and what they are sworn to do in the position of judges, that they investigate these cases carefully, and award compensation only because they are satisfied that malice has been shown, and that the injury to the extent claimed or whatever amount they award has been really and truly suffered. If you take the number of civil actions, you will find the proportion is very much the same. In the same way in these cases many are honestly put forward, and about the proportion of them is allowed that you would expect and about the proportion you would expect is rejected. Coining to the amounts, I find that in the same year the total amount decreed as compensation by the county court judges was £13,040, and the total amount of the 177 claims that were rejected was £10,495.


Can you give us the corresponding figures in 1900?


I am dealing now with a particular point, and I shall deal with the other later on with the greatest of pleasure. I am dealing with the 'allegation that the county court judges are reckless in giving compensation. I am only showing, by the amounts, that they appear to me to have very fairly done their duty in investigating those claims. Another matter referred to by another speaker was the question of the onus of proof. Some hon. Members seem to be under the impression that the onus of proof is on the county council or the district council. I assure them that this is not so. It has been laid down again and again by the highest legal authority, by the Lord Chief Baron in a case specially reported, that the onus of proof in all these claims for malicious injury is upon the claimant, and that it is his duty to show not only the amount of his loss, but also the fact that it was done maliciously or wantonly, not done by himself, or not done accidentally. It lies upon him to disprove the possibility of an accident in order to get compensation.

We are in the habit in this House of speaking of these cases as if they were all political cases. We heard speeches from hon. Members of victims of political malice. My experience is that a vast number are not political cases at all. They are cases of a personal nature, very often a dismissed herd burns down a house or barn. Sometimes it is the case of a tramp who was refused money and sets fire to the unfortunate farmer's hay.


Why should the people have to pay for that?


I think it is only fair and reasonable that a man who suffers loss of this kind—


Is there any such law in England?


I am giving my opinion. They can have their own. The principle of the law, as laid down in the Stathites, is that this is a matter of compensation and not of punishment. That has been laid down by the highest judicial authorities. It may be right or wrong. That is the principle. The laws were established long before the controversies which are now troubling us were in existence, but they have the advantage, and are entitled to the advantage, of the law as it exists. We, on the other hand, are entitled to say that we are not going to repeal our laws and alter the whole system of the country because there happens to be some questions involved in which it is alleged bogus claims have been allowed.

It has been said that there are a great number of bogus claims. I am sure that there are some. The hon. Member for South Derry (Mr. Gordon) said it would be very much better for people to insure their buildings before they burnt them down. But insurance costs money, and although it may prevail in some parts of Ireland, it does not prevail in the south and west. No doubt bogus claims are sometimes made, and a great many of them will probably be found in the 177 cases that were rejected by the county court judges.


Why does not the law deal with these cases?


As a matter of fact, very often the police sergeant of the district comes forward and says that in his opinion the injury is not malicious at all. Frequently the man who burns down his hayrick with a view to getting compensation has to incur a considerable amount of law costs, and is refused compensation after all. When difficult cases of this kind have to be investigated it is only human nature that there should be errors. There must be cases where persons have brought forward bogus claims and have been awarded compensation, but I do not think the cases are so numerous as hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to suppose. Moreover, that does not really affect the question whether the law should be altered. The hon. and learned Member for North Armagh (Mr. W. Moore) asked for the figures as to outrages upon property in 1900 as compared with 1908. I am happy to be able to give them. The compensation for injuries to property awarded in 1900 was £14,867, as against £14,027 in 1908; so that there was a smaller amount paid in this terrible year of 1908, when anarchy is said to have prevailed throughout Ireland and the law was paralysed, than in the halcyon year of 1900, when a Conservative Government had been five years in office.


Will the right hon. Gentleman give the figures for 1905?


1900, £14,867; 1901, £13,000; 1902, 17,997; 1903, £6,125; 1904, £7,279; 1905, £6,597; 1906, £7,000; 1907, 12,890; and 1908, £14,027.


May I ask whether in 1907 there were not hundreds of bogus claims made in Belfast which were rejected or withdrawn? Are they included in the numbers the right hon. Gentleman has just read? Was it not an attempt on the part of those who inspired the riots to blackmail the community?


The amounts I have read out were the sums actually awarded. Some very large claims were put forward in Belfast, but they were withdrawn. The public Returns do not distinguish between the cases to which the hon. Member (Mr. Devlin) refers and any other kind. It is, however, important to show that in the terrible year of 1908, about which we hear so much, the amount awarded for malicious injuries was less than in 1900.

On the third branch of the subject there is a great deal to be said. We have heard much about assimilating the law in Ireland to the law in England. In this case the promoters of the Bill are seeking to do in Ireland what is not done in England at all —they wish to charge the Imperial Exchequer with the entire expense for extra police in any county. I am informed that when extra police are required in any borough or county in England the entire cost has to be borne by the locality, no contribution whatever being made by the Imperial Exchequer. In Ireland the main police force is entirely maintained by the Imperial Exchequer, and surely it is not unreasonable that where extra police are required by reason of any special disturbance in a county one-half of the extra cost should be charged upon the locality, the remaining half being left on the Exchequer.

In this respect I think that no case has been made out for a change, and no one has attempted to say a word in favour of it. It has been suggested by the hon. Member for Mid-Armagh (Mr. Lonsdale) that police have been sent unnecessarily into certain districts; he complains very much of the extra cost involved, and suggests that the magistrates should decide when extra police are required. It would create great confusion if you had two distinct authorities to determine when extra police are necessary. As long as the present system of police is in existence and the Executive Government are responsible for the peace of the country, it is certainly desirable that the Inspector-General of Constabulary, acting on reports from the localities, should decide what extra police are required. For magistrates to decide would involve making the magistrates personally responsible for any outbreak of disorder which might occur through the presence of insufficient police. No doubt if representations were made by the magistrates the constabulary authorities would pay every attention to them. They are bound to do everything they can to prevent disturbances, and if when disturbances are apprehended, when people seem to be bubbling over with excitement, more police are sent than are absolutely necessary at times, the money is not wasted if it actually prevents disturbance. As regards the rest of Ireland, I am glad to assure the House that the amount charged for extra police in the present year is not very large, and we have every hope that we shall be able to withdraw the proclamations and extra police from some of the counties within a reasonable time.


What will a reasonable time be for county Clare?


I am afraid that Clare has a very poor chance as compared with other counties. But I am sure we shall always bear in mind the claims of Clare as long as the hon. Member sits on those benches.


A finishing touch to a bad speech.


I have not attempted to make an eloquent speech; I have endeavoured to put the facts before the House as carefully as possible. We are opposing the proposed repeal because we think it is only consistent with justice and right that this system of compensation for maiming I or murdering police officers or witnesses, and for malicious injury to property, no matter what the object may be, whether political or personal, should go on; and that as regards the extra police, that it is only fair and reasonable that one-half of the cost, at all events, should continue, as before, to be borne by the localities, the conduct of whose inhabitants requires the extra police.


The speeches which have been delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General, and by the hon. and learned Member for South Derry (Mr. John Gordon) have given me great consolation. I have no doubt that the speeches have given a considerable amount of consolation, too, to the hon. Gentleman behind me. Up till to-day we have been under the impression that the largest part, if not the whole, of the humour of the Irish Office, was monopolised by the right hon. Gentleman beside the Attorney-General (Mr. Birrell), but I am bound to say that it must have been the sense of humour of the Attorney-General that at this late hour of the day has led him to speak a good word for the old grand juries of Ireland. When I. heard the learned Member for South Derry tell us that he and his friends, when putting questions in this House, were always actuated by the highest motives, and desired to free their native land from the opprobrium of having these crimes continued, it was a great consolation to me. I and every Member of this House will remember that in their laudable desire to free their native country from opprobrium they enlisted in their support several of their colleagues representing English constituencies. But, as we did not believe that they were actuated altogether by these very high motives, my hon. Friend the Member for South Down (Mr. Jeremiah MacVeagh) thought it advisable "to carry the war into the enemy's country," as he called it, and to put a few questions on the notice Paper with respect to the character of the constituencies represented by the English Members who were putting these questions about Ireland in support of the North of Ireland representatives.

It is a curious thing that the moment the answers were given, the English representatives referred to gave up asking their questions. They took no further interest in freeing their constituencies, whether in the Midlands or elsewhere, from the opprobrium of these charges. My hon. Friend the Member for Westmeath (Mr. Ginnell) said that one of the reasons why in Ireland we desire the removal of this law is because there is still an irnpression there that the police agent, the agent provocateur, is still to be found there. I observe that the Attorney General in his speech generally assured the House, generally assured the Irish Members, that such an individual was not in existence to-day. But we have to remember the history of our country. We are obliged to remember that there was such a person as Danny Mann. We are bound to remember what occurred in West Clare; what occurred at Sexton's; and how Cullinan, as everybody knows, was brought up and kept by Her late Majesty's Government in the informer's house in Dublin for years. We must remember that an enormous sum of compensation was awarded by the Clare grand jury, chargeable not on the ratepayers, but on the county cess-payers. If my recollection serves me, £2,000 was awarded by the grand jury of county Clare to the widow of Whelahan, because the latter lost his life in Sexton's Yard, or was killed by moonlighters. Cullinan, as everyone knows, and as the Government of the day had to admit, was at that time in receipt of 10s. a week from the local police, and it was a put-up job between Cullinan and Head Constable Whelahan, who wanted promotion. And so Cullinan, as one of the principal men in the moonlighting organisation, arranged this raid on Sexton's home. What happened?

Head Constable Whelahan and a number of police were hiding in one of the cowbres in Sexton's yard. Cullinan, thorough vagabond and rogue and a most disreputable character, made the raid. Sexton refused to give up the arms. The police immediately came out of the cowbres, and as soon as the unsophisticated moonlighters saw that they were betrayed by their leader, Whelahan was fired at. But he was not killed by gunshot. What happened was that one of the men tried to escape, and knocked him down in the yard, and another man, also trying to escape, smashed his skull.

I do not hear or observe from the right hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench any expression of horror at that frightful day—of the smashing of Whelahan's skull. No, he dare not disapprove of it. What he would say outside of this House is that "the engineer is hoist with his own petard." Then I ask what reason have we' to believe; what evidence is there; what grounds of belief that the Whelahans and the Cullinans do not exist to-day as they did in the past?

Now, with regard to Sheridan, when Sheridan was stationed in hospital in the county of Limerick he wanted to get a local man named Murphy into gaol, and Murphy was put into gaol accordingly; but he did not die in gaol, but he died shortly after he came out, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover gave Murphy's wife an allowance of £30, because her husband had been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. A man named Dan McGoohan spent two years in Sligo Gaol on the evidence of Sheridan. Sheridan cut the tails off seven or eight cows and then he charged McGoohan with having committed the crime, and our case against this Act is that under it the owner of these cows was able to get compensation for the outrage which was committed by Police-Sergeant Sheridan. A woman named Mrs. Quinlan had her hayrick burned in Limerick by one of Sergeant Sheridan's outrages, and the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General said that it was perfectly proper and right and just that property which was wantonly or maliciously destroyed should be compensated for—


Hear, hear.


The right hon. Gentleman says "Hear, hear." Mrs. Quinlan's hay was burned by a sergeant of police, and the right hon. Gentleman cheers the statement that the ratepayers of Limerick have to pay for it. It is such cases as these that makes us anxious to see this exceptional law repealed. The Attorney-General for Ireland is, of course, anxious to leave the House under the impression that even to-day the occupiers of the Irish Office are most anxious to put down crime in Ireland. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman what action he took in Maughan's case? This man Maughan lived in Woodford, county Galway. He became unpopular, and other people, I believe, became unpopular there also. Maughan's house was burned down, and he made application for compensation for £25 or £30 for the loss of his cottage, and he applied to the county court judge for compensation. It is quite true the police opposed the claim on the ground that they believed Maughan to be a man of no character, and he did not succeed in his claim before the county court judge. Maughan appealed to the judge of assize, and the day before the case was coming on Maughan and his wife came into the village of Woodford and went to the police barracks and handed to the police sergeant half a sheet of note paper, at the head of which were armorial bearings, which I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer has decided should be taxed or should pay duty. The armorial bearings consisted of a death's head and crossbones and a coffin, and, I believe, a representation of a loaded rifle or blunderbuss. Maughan presented to the sergeant the threatening notice, which set out that if he went to Galway in the pursuit of his claim for compensation for malicious injuries he would meet with a sudden end. The police, not believing Maughan to be a man of the highest virtue, said to him, "Just leave us the half sheet of note paper." Meantime, some of the police went to Maughan's house, which was in the immediate vicinity of Woodford, and there, curious to say, they discovered another half sheet, which proved to be the companion half sheet of the one they had already got from Maughan, from which it had been torn off. There was further evidence. Maughan, not being a practised caligraphist, wrote the notice in pencil with a heavy hand, and the one half sheet of note paper bore the clear impress of what had been written on the other, and could be read word for word, and letter by letter by the police. The police having obtained this very extraordinary piece of evidence in Maughan's house, secured still further evidence. Maughan came back to the police barracks later on in the day, and said to the police, "I left you that threatening notice, but I will want it when I go to Galway before the Judge of Assize, so you had better give it to me." And they said, "Yes, but before you leave give us a copy of it, and write it yourself." Maughan wrote the copy with a pencil in the police barracks, and it required no Guerrin or any other expert to see that the original threatening notice and the copy were written by the same hand. I think that was pretty straight circumstantial evidence. What happened? I wish the House to observe the extraordinary desire of Dublin Castle, whether occupied by a Liberal or Tory Government, in the interest of law and 'order, to put down outrage and save the country from the opprobrium of being charged with threatening letters or any of those other things with which we are charged by our virtuous Tory representatives. I should like the Attorney-General or the Chief Secretary to inquire whether the local police had kept Maughan under observation expecting every day to receive instructions for his arrest.


Will the hon. Member tell the House what. happened on the appeal case being heard?


Yes; the moment Maughan appeared to prosecute his appeal the police refused to produce the evidence they had in their possession, and the judge disallowed the case. We bring forward that case as an instance because there are hundreds and hundreds of cases where people burn their own houses and write threatening letters to themselves, and it is only in one case out of a hundred that the police are successful in ascertaining who the authors of the threatening letters are. A question was put down on the Paper by one of my hon. Friends asking what proceedings the Government proposed to take with regard to Maughan, this admitted threatening-letter writer. And what did the Attorney-General say? He told us that, as a matter of course, Dublin Castle and the police were not going to interfere.


Because Maughan had gone off with the letter.


The police kept Maughan under observation, and the Attorney-General can get every information on this point if he applies to the local police. It is a fact that Maughan was in Woodford when that question was put in the House, and he was there for days after the proceedings were commenced in the Assize Court at Galway. In the meantime the Government did not do anything; and what was the result 7 Maughan got away, and this is the way we are treated by Dublin Castle when we try to maintain law and order in Ireland. I doubt very much if the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. J. H. M. Campbell) if he had been at Dublin Castle at that time would have allowed Maughan to get away. The right hon. Gentleman has done many things of which I disapprove, and I dare say he will do a great many more; but I do not think that, even at his worst, he would have allowed Maughan to burn his own house and write threatening letters to himself, although he did allow Sheridan to get away. I am sure after his Sheridan experience he would not have allowed Maughan to get away. There is a large number of hon. Members representing English constituencies present now who were not present when the Debate opened, and English Members are not always acquainted with the origin and history of Irish Acts of Parliament. The Attorney-General told us that no doubt some of these Acts want repealing, and some of them were passed in 1879 and others in 1783; but the Grand Jury Act, sections 106 and 135 to 140, which my hon. Friend proposes to repeal, was passed in 1836. What was the condition of the country at the time when that Act was passed, and why was it passed then? It was passed at the time of the tithe war and the tithe agitation in Ireland, when unquestionably there was destruction of property, and a good many other outrages were committed besides the burning of property, because at that period the landlords of Tipperary were engaged in wholesale evictions. May I remind the House that when that Act was passed Mr. Drummond, a Scotchman, was Under-Secretary, and he wrote a celebrated letter to a grand juryman at Tipperary reminding him that property had its duties as well as its rights. It was during that state of affairs that this Act was passed, and 70 years later we find in this House the Attorney-General standing up and saying this Act ought to be continued on the Statute Book, although the old state of things ceased to exist many years ago. The Attorney-General tells us that compensation ought to be paid for the loss of property which is maliciously destroyed and which has not been destroyed by accident. At the Galway Assizes year after year a certain person makes application for the burning of the heather, which is mostly mountain heather. The rent of this particular mountain farm is between £35 and £40 a year. Perhaps the House will be surprised when I tell them that for the last ten years this man's liability in rent has been more than covered by the amount he has received for malicious injury for the burning of the heather, and not only this, but this man has made enough in this way over and above his rent to enable him to live in comfort and decency. That is to say that this man absolutely makes an income, and has done so for the last ten years, by claims for malicious injury for the burning of the heather on the mountain side, although it is extremely difficult to ascertain whether the heather is burned maliciously or by a mere accident.

Very often those who are most interested in the preservation of heather may go on to the mountain for the purpose of enjoying themselves. They may smoke cigars or pipes, and a match carelessly thrown down may result in the burning of the heather. There is nothing more difficult to determine than the cause of the burning of heather. It may be malicious, or wanton, or a mere accident. Here is a case in the county Galway. In this case the man was popular. No element of malice or wantonness could have entered into this case of burning, and this popular man got nothing at all. If he had said that he was the most unpopular man in the county he would have got the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite and the right hon. Gentlemen and learned Gentlemen on this side of the House to speak on his behalf. In these cases the two right hon. and learned Gentlemen are always impartial. The learned counsel, in opening the case, would begin: "My client is an unpopular man in the county." I do not know that I have any other remarks to make to the House as to why the House should assent to the Motion made by my hon. Friend, but I should like to draw the attention of the learned Attorney-General for Ireland to a case that occurred some time ago. The learned Attorney-General has said that the judges of assize courts never act with prejudice.

Mr. CHERRY here made a remark which was quite inaudible in the gallery.


Mr. Speaker, after that interruption I feel bound to say that I think more highly of the right hon. and learned Gentleman than I ever did before. He has a keen appreciation of the truth, and I regret that his appreciation of the truth prevents him from accepting the statement which I was about to put in his mouth relative to the prejudice in the minds of judges and county court judges. There was a cattle-drive in my neighbourhood. There was a claim for compensation under this Act. The applicant went before the county court judge. The county court judge was a man of high eminence. The applicant was awarded for the driving of 29 cattle £3 10s. per head. I should be extremely grateful if I could get £3 10s. per head by way of compensation for the driving of cattle. But this unpopular man got £3 10s. per head for the driving of 29 head of cattle. There was an appeal by the county council. Lord O'Brien was the judge of assize, and he reduced the claim by £25, because Lord O'Brien was under the impression that the judge of the court below was not wholly free from prejudice. It cost the county council a good deal more than £25 to fight the case. For these reasons my hon. Friend and the party to which I have the honour to belong desire to see this Act removed from the Statute Book. I do not desire that rogues and vagabonds should be allowed any longer to rob the ratepayers of the country.


I always have a certain feeling of uncertainty when I see the right hon. and learned gentleman get up. It is a feeling somewhat analogous to that which is created when we see the heroine on the variety stage beginning to undress. I never know what particular weapon for the defence of the Constitution will be given away by the right hon. and learned gentleman. I am entirely in accord, and have the fullest sympathy with nearly everything which he has said, with some exceptions. The hon. Member who has just spoken has rather invited me to enter into a discussion on various points which are wholly hostile to the subject matter of this Debate. As he has invited my opinion on several subjects I will say that the murder of Constable Whelehan was cowardly and dastardly — a more dastardly or cowardly murder has never taken place in Ireland.


It was not murder at all.


I have given my view, at any rate.


It was not the Crown view.


I retain the view I have stated, and I have never had occasion to alter it. I welcome the references which have been made to Sergeant Sheridan, because it gives me the opportunity of stating that from the first hour of my official connection with Dublin Castle I never saw or read a paper in connection with the case of Sergeant Sheridan. I do not say that in order to relieve myself from the suggestion that may have been intended to be made, but I know less about the case, I believe, than many Members of this House, and certainly than many Members below the Gangway, because from beginning to end I never saw a paper in connection with that matter. Passing away from these matters, which, after all, are riot very pertinent to the Debate, let me say a word or two as to why I think this House would be well advised in rejecting this Bill. I am not going to stop to criticise the action of the hon. Members who introduced and seconded it in failing to make any reference of any kind to two of the most important matters with which the Bill proposes to deal. I am afraid that neither of them were aware that those matters were in the Bill, because certainly if the hon. and learned Member for Meath hail known that by this Bill, for which he has the responsibility, it is intended to relieve the ratepayers of charges for extra police—a matter which constitutes a very great grievance in many parts of Ireland, and has formed the subject. of very many strong protests—I think at least he would have made some casual reference to the fact that that principle wu embodied in the Bill. But he never referred to it from start to finish. I am quite sure that the hon. Member for Galway, who seconded, was absolutely unaware that the Bill contained any provision of the kind. In order that the Reuse may understand the nature of the matters which are dealt with by the Malicious Injurit., s sections of various Acts of Parliament, and that they may get rid of the idea that these claims are made by either the wealthy or the middle class, or by persons capable of insuring their property, let me tell them what is exactly the class of persons who derive benefit under these Malicious Injury claims. May I, at the outset, say I do not propose to enter into the vexed question of the correspondence between crime in this country and in Ireland. I maintain, and I have said it in this House and on public platforms in the country, that for ordinary crime and as regards morality Ireland, in my opinion, compares most favourably with both England and Scotland. At the same time I have never failed during the last few years to call attention to that very remarkable outbreak and epidemic of special and peculiar agrarian crime which has been the distinctive feature of the last three years. It was pointed out by Mr. Gladstone over and over again that the distinction between crime in this country and Ireland is obviously due to the fact that this country is to a large extent urban, and that among urban populations the percentage of crime is necessarily much higher than it is in rural districts. Ireland, on the other hand, is mainly rural, and, naturally, one expects to find a much lower percentage of ordinary crime in Ireland than in England. But what we consider these various Acts are specially calculated to deal with with most beneficial results is that class of combined crime, social crime if we may so call it, which is the result of a deliberate organisation which from time to time covers a certain area in my country. It is in connection with crime of that sort that I consider the operation of these acts is so beneficial and so useful, and I do not think it is any insult to one's country to say so. Certainly I have never had the slightest desire to hold up my country as a peculiar exception in the matter of crime, but I do think, on the other hand, it is the duty of everyone who is interested in his country, and who cares for it, when an epidemic of agrarian crime is in existence, to call public attention to it, and to see if it cannot be remedied. Let me give an illustration of the class of case which comes under the head of malicious injury by referring to a Return given by the Chief Secretary in reference to the six months of the year ending 1st January, 1908, which is about the most recent Return that I think there is. I think the House will then see what exactly arc the class of offences with which these Acts deal, and who are likely to be the persons who benefit under them. In the six months there were altogether 276 of these malicious injury claims. Of them 80 were in respect to incendiary fires and 20 in respect to the killing or cutting of cattle; and let me say, when I refer to that matter, that I am quite aware that not only in this House but in the country at home hon. Members below the Gangway have never failed to express their indignation and disgust with this particular class of crime. I quite admit that they have done that in the House and at home in the country, where their influence and power is far greater than it is here.


There are far more cases in this country.


I cannot admit that for a moment. It is quite true that there was, for a short time, in this country, in a few places, a sort of epidemic of this kind of crime, but it was only for one particular year, and was confined to one particular locality. I think English Members opposite would resent any statement that killing and maiming of cattle is indigenous in England.


In the last statistics which I quoted to the House, it was shown that it was not in one locality but that all over England this crime was a great deal more rife in regard to England than Ireland. I gave the names of places, the names of the people, and the property which was destroyed from the figures of the official statistics.


I was not dealing with any statistics, and it was not necessary to interrupt, but I repeat this: that because there happened to be in one year in this country some outbreaks of crime, it is no foundation for the sweeping charge sometimes made that this crime of killing and maiming of cattle is a common one in this country. I pass to the figures again; injury to gates and fences numbered 17, injury to houses 16, injury to crops 13, injury to farm implements 13, injury to shop implements 8, injury to lorries 6, injury to cattle by driving them 6, and injury to turf 6.

That may give the House an idea not merely of the class of crime, but also of the individuals whose property is injured, and they may take it from me, because I do not think hon. Members below the Gangway will deny my experience in this matter however they question my accuracy, that in the great majority of these cases the person whose property is injured is the small farmer or the small occupier of some house or plot in a village. Is it not ludicrous in such cases as that to -suggest that these injuries should be guarded against by insuring. The small farmers and the small shopkeepers and owners of these small plots in towns in Ireland are not insured. They do not insure themselves, their families, or their property, and unless they have the protection of these laws there would be no remedy for them where they have been hurt and injured in this particular way. But further than that, anyone acquainted with Irish politics knows perfectly well that what we have suffered from most of all in our unfortunate country for years back has been the want of moral courage and the lack of sound public opinion. There are hundreds, nay thousands, of men in the West and South who, I am convinced, in their heart of hearts deplore the conduct which has gone on there in the last few years, but they have not the moral courage to come out and say so, and the only thing which will ever teach them or their neighbours courage in a matter of this kind is that they should have at least to contribute some portion of the cost when outrages of this kind are common and rife in their neighbourhood.

It was stated by one or two hon. Members that there have been in connection with these claims from time to time bogus cases. I have been engaged for 30 years in the active pursuit of my profession at home. I have been for these claimants, and I think on occasions I have succeeded in getting them compensation when the claimant was not entitled to it. On other occasions I think the claimant has failed to get them where he was entitled to them, but is that peculiar to this class of litigation? There is another class of litigation which I think we are all familiar with who practice in our profession—claims against railway and tramway companies. Are they never bogus, and is that a ground for suggesting that you should do away with the law in favour of the honest claimant because there are occasionally bogus claims made? The argument is ridiculous, and anyone who is at all acquainted with any form of litigation or with any legislative machinery that provides relief in case of specified injuries knows perfectly well that advantage from time to time is taken of that by persons who really are not entitled to it, though the fact that they are not entiled to it they are able to conceal from judge and jury.

As regards the conduct of these cases by the tribunal whose ditty it is to investigate, I very greatly regret that the right hon. Gentleman opposite should have thought it necessary, in response to an interruption from below the Gangway, to have said he never contended that the Irish judges of the High Court did not sometimes act with prejudice in these matters. T. think he might have allowed that remark to pass, and it was hardly worthy of the chief law officer to have taken notice of that with a view to getting a very feeble cheer.


The statement was put into my mouth like this, that no county court or superior court judge in Ireland had ever acted from prejudice. That is the statement which I said I never made, and which I repudiated.


The statement of the right hon. Gentleman was that in the discharge of their duties under this Act he had every confidence that judges, both county court and High Court, discharged their duties fearlessly and conscientiously.


I never denied that statement.


But when the right hon. Gentleman was challenged with having made that statement by an hon. Member below the Gangway, he should have treated it with contempt. It was hardly worthy of him or his high office that he should have thought it necessary to say that he, for one, did not want to convey that the Irish judges did not sometimes act with prejudice.


That no judge had ever acted with prejudice.


I pass from that. With regard to the case quoted by the hon. Member for Kildare (Mr. Kilbride), I do not know the county court judge to whom he alludes, but the mere fact that upon appeal the judge of the High Court reduced his finding by a sum of hardly justifies the conclusion of the hon. Member that the judge did so because he thought the county court judge acted under the influence of prejudice. I think that was an unjust conclusion and unfair to the county court judge, and unfair on the face of it. I do not for a moment wish to put either the county court judges or the judges of the High Court in Ireland upon any higher standard than other judicial persons. They are human beings. They are liable to error. But I certainly will never be any party to nor accept any suggestion of prejudice, which is about the gravest charge you can bring against any judicial person. that they are mistaken is proved by their decisions being reversed, but it does not necessarily follow that the court which has reversed it knew much more about it than the lower court, but there must be, of course, some finality in these matters. With regard to these claims, I do not think there has been any department of their work—I.say this without fear of contradiction, speaking as I do from the actual experience of a lifetime—in which the judges of the High Court have been more scrupulously careful than in the discharge of their duty in connection with these claims under the Grand Jury Act, and now under the Local Government Act. It is very difficult to get them to give compensation. They hold strictly that the onus of proof lies on the claimant, and that ho must negative the possibility of accident before they decide in his favour that the injury was malicious. Therefore there is every possible safeguard, and so far from this being a matter so easy as is suggested by hon. Members below the Gangway that it has become a daily occupation to make claims of this kind, the difficulty of recovering compensation is of the greatest possible kind. It is only when the case is proved practically to demonstration that the judges will grant compensation. It has been suggested that in these inquiries all that the claimant has to do, either himself or through his counsel, is to say that he is a boycotted man. That is a ludicrous exaggeration. What is true—and it is the strongest argument against the Bill—is that a person whose property forms the subject of malicious injury is, in nine cases out of ten, a boycotted man, and that the injury is part and parcel of the system of intimidation and persecution to which he is subjected in the neighbourhood in which he lives. Of course the strongest possible prima facie evidence that the burning or other injury was malicious, if not done by the man himself, would be the fact that he was a boycotted person. Assuming that the claim is honest, you would expect it to be made by a person who is the victim of persecution, because he is a person likely to be attacked. I admit that in the majority of cases in which compensation is given the persons concerned have already been the victims of boycotting and persecution:. That is inevitable, and, so far from being an argument against the present provision of the law, is, to my mind, an argument strongly in support of it. I would only say in conclusion that I think the right hon. Gentleman might have spared us the suggestion that these Acts have been used as a vindictive weapon, and that they have been abused, because that observation hereafter will be quoted by hon. Members below the Gangway as an admission by the right hon. Gentleman opposite that they have been so used. I should have expected him to say from his experience as a member of my profession, and its present head, that he knew of no case in which these Acts have been put in force for vindictive purposes. I have never heard of a case in which the Acts have been so used. I hope the House will by a considerable majority reject the Bill. It is false in its principles from start to finish. Its promoters, I think, are not quite aware of its contents. Even if they are I think that the House should pause before passing a Bill which its promoters have not thought it fit or necessary to explain.


In rising to sup port the second reading of this Bill, I wish to assure the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. J. H. Cupmbell) that we on these benches are perfectly familiar with the provisions of this Bill. It has been adopted by our party, and has the unanimous support of the Irish party. The speech which the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General for Ireland has delivered has been a very keen disappointment to us on these benches, and it will be a very keen disappointment in Ireland when the reports of it are received there. Our contention is that we are dealing in this Bill in both schedules to it with actual Coercion Acts in Ireland which inflict grievances every week of the year on the people of that country, and it is a very curious circumstance that while the Members of the Irish Government are perfectly willing to vote for the repeal of a temporarily dead Coercion Act they have refused to give us their support in repealing a series of Coercion Acts which, if they be the splendid Statutes which they are claimed to be this evening, really ought to have been applied to England, but which have not been applied. On the last occasion on which this subject of malicious injuries was before the House the case of the Government of the day was made by the present Lord Atkinson, and I hope that the Attorney-General for Ireland before he leaves the House this evening will read the speech which Lord Atkinson delivered on that occasion, and if he does he will find that in Radical statesmanship he falls a great deal behind what Lord Atkinson was in 1904. On that occasion there was sitting beside Lord Atkinson on those Benches the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. Campbell). I have read that speech which Lord Atkinson delivered in 1904, and I must protest that there was no defence of these Acts of Parliament contained in that speech, and that the defence of the then Chief Secretary for Ireland was merely a statement that until some means could be found of compensating persons whose property was maliciously injured the present system would have to be continued. The Attorney-General for Ireland said that no case was made out by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Westmeath in support of this Bill. But let me point out that the case made by the Attorney-General is that the malicious damages Act of 1848 is an Act borrowed from an Act passed by the Irish Parliament in 1779, and that it is an excellent Act to the repeal of which he could not for one moment assent. In fact he passed an eulogium upon that Act. If it is such an excellent Act why during all that period has it not been applied to England? May I ask the further pertinent question, why during all that time has it not been enforced in Ireland? It is in operation since 1848, and I should like the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, or anybody else, who may reply from that Bench to produce one case decided in Ireland under the Malicious Damages Act of 1848.

It is one of the Acts brought into operation by the Local Government Act of 1898, and here is a comment by Mr. Vanston, a gentleman well-known to hon. Members, and who has made a special study of this legislation. He says:— The Act is included among the enactments mentioned in Part I. of the schedule 4 the Government Act of 1898, but it is an Act quite obsolete. and might well have been repealed. There does not appear to have been any case brought Under its provisions since it was put into operation. That is to say the Act which has received a great deal of approval, assent, and eulogium from the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General for Ireland, never really has been put into operation in that country. The same may be said of the Act of 1853, the last remnant of which we propose to repeal in this Bill. No case has been decided under that Act. The material portions of the Act which we do propose to repeal as far as malicious injury is concerned, are contained in the Grand Jury Act of 1836, sections 106 and 135. The first gives compensation to those who have been injured by reason of' evidence which they gave or proposed to give. I challenge any Minister on the Front Bench to produce a single case for 20 years under that branch. There is no doubt. there have been a number of cases under the second head—that is to say, compensation to persons who w ere injured or maimed in bringing disturbers of the peace to justice. We, in proposing to repeal that Act, are doing a greater favour to the province of Ulster than to any other province of Ireland because if the records be searched for ten years past it will be found that "Ulster has produced more claims under those provisions than any other province in Ireland. What is our case for the repeal of that provision'? It is that policemen and police officers in Ireland in under taking their duty are getting well paid, and they ought to be put in the same position as police officers in England. The doctrine of common employment ought to apply. Compensation for doing their duty is really what their salary is for, and the risk which these officers incur is a matter which is considered in their salaries. Why on earth should there be compensation to an officer in Ireland which cannot be paid in England? You have never attempted to apply that provision, or anything like it, in England. I come to the Grand Jury Act of 1836, passed, as has been pointed out, when there was a very fierce agitation in Ireland; but that Act was strictly limited in its character, and there was only a comparatively small class of property subject to it at all. And if the section be looked at it will be found that the class of property referred to was that which was likely to be the subject of attack by night, or attack by bands of men. The Act during the 60 years it was in operation was administered by the grand jury, body consisting of 2 amen selected haphazard by the Sheriff of the county. The landlords under the provisions of that Act were not required to pay any proportion of the county cess. Everybody who remembers the administration of the Malicious Injuries Act knows that it was almost a dead letter down to 1881. Will it be believed that the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland told us that no statistics were available of the amounts granted by grand juries under the Act of 1836. That is not strictly accurate. No doubt there are no returns, such as those that are produced now from year to year, but there were returns occasionally made. Thus, in the year 1880, a year in which there was a fierce agitation going on in Ireland, the total sum awarded under the Grand Jury Act of 1836 was R12,788 10s. 2d. And, according to a return presented to this House, there was a very large sum claimed in the year 1887. From Belfast alone there were claims in that year amounting to £270,000. That was, of course, after the riots of the previous year in that city.

Our objection to those provisions in all those Acts is that the innocent are made responsible and are made liable for the acts of the guilty, and, in fact, that nobody else except the innocent is made liable for those acts in many cases. The Attorney-General said, in his speech this afternoon, that really the provision of those Acts was an insurance fund by the ratepayers against malicious damage by evildoers. That, no doubt, was a statement made by Lord Justice Fitzgibbon, but Lord Justice Fitzgibbon at the time was complaining of the principle of these Acts. I quite agree with the speech that was made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. J. H. Campbell) that many of the Superior Court judges have put the claimants under these Acts on the strictest proof, and that it is extremely difficult to get from the strongest and the best of the judges of the High Court any claim whatever admitted, because they do not like those Acts. There are certainly nine or ten of the Superior Court judges upon the Irish Bench who could be quoted as having made the strongest remarks against the principle of this legislation. The Lord Chief Baron, in one important case, described the extension which was made by the Local Government Act of 1898 as a disastrous one, bringing in as it did all classes of real and personal property. The Act of 1836 was very limited and restricted in character, but since 1898 this legislation applied to all classes of real and personal property.

I do not agree with the Attorney-General as to what the purpose of these Acts was. Baron Fitzgerald, in a very important case nearly 30 years ago, said that the first object of the Act of 1836 was to create in the locality a healthy feeling against outrage. The second object was to enable peace officers in the locality to capture the evildoer, and the third was to pay some compensation to the victim of the outrage. No doubt the first object was an excellent one, but the difficulty about this legislation is that while you may have in a locality every single man, woman, and child leagued against crime and outrage, yet everyone of those people would be liable to pay compensation under this Act. Take a case which has actually happened. A tramp from a workhouse puts a stone on a railway line and wrecks a train. Under this Act the railway company, although insured up to the last farthing, could bring a claim in the form of an action against the county council, and every penny might be laid on the townland in which the damage occurred. The extent of the damage might be thousands of pounds, and the law-abiding, unoffending, and innocent persons in the locality would be required under this legislation to pay the entire sum. Can any hon. Member defend a proceeding of that kind? Or has any hon. Gentleman attempted to defend any of the iniquities which are possible under such a system. It is evident the administration of this law under such circumstances can have no effect whatver in creating a healthy feeling against crime.

The second of the purposes was started to be to enable the criminal to be captured. But even if he were the liability of the ratepayers remains the same as it was before. So that if the entire locality assists in capturing the person who committed the outrage they would still have to pay. Another of the objects was to enable some compensation to be paid to the victim of the outrage. But the victim of the outrage in a very large number of cases is already insured to the full value of all the property which has been injured. At the present time every insurance company has a condition in the contract of insurance that until the liability of the ratepayers is tested, and until it is discovered whether the proceedings were malicious or not, they are not to be liable. That we conceive to be one of the great hardships of this legislation. When this House was passing in 1886 a Malicious Damage Act for England they took very good care to provide that wherever the property was insured no compensation should be paid by the ratepayers. We are quite willing that a law of that kind should be applied to Ireland.

Let me give a pregnant illustration of how this Act works. A trader in Belfast sent two cases of whisky to a merchant in Strabane. It is known in the North as the Strabane case. Some employés of the railway company broke open the cases, took the whisky, carried it away, and none of it was delivered. The trader commenced an action against the county council for malicious damage to his property, and it was decided by the Lord Chief Baron that it was a clear case for the application of the Act, and he granted full compensation. The railway porters, who were found guilty of the offence, were sentenced to three months' imprisonment. Is that really a satisfactory state of the law 1 The property in that case was insured; every penny of its value could have been recovered from the insurance company. No one can defend an Act which works such injustice as that. That, let me point out on this question of malicious injury, is our chief objection to this legislation, that the innocent and unoffending are made equally responsible for the acts of the guilty. You have never in this country put that principle into force. I remember what took place in the case of the Worcester election. Following the last General Election the judges found that corrupt practices prevailed. And when the Whip of the Tory party moved in 1907 for a new writ for Worcester the House refused to issue it, in order to punish the constituency in whose midst there were a number of persons guilty of corrupt practices. At the commencement of the Session of 1908 the application was renewed by the Chief Conservative Whip. The Attorney-General for England came down to the House, and said that the punish- ment was absolutely illogical, and ought not to be continued. He said that:— The House, he was sure, would hear in mind that this was a punishment of a somewhat illogical character, and fell upon the innocent as well as upon the guilty; and unfortunately it was, perhaps, the innocent who felt it most acutely. Those guilty of the offences charged were the last and the least to suffer any pain front the stigma attaching to this form of punishment. That is exactly the principle we ask the House to adopt with respect to Ireland. That is exactly the principle for which we ask the House to give to this Bill a second reading. Remember that by your legislation you inflict the greatest injury upon the innocent, and that really the guilty person escapes without any penalty whatever.

As regards the Police Acts, in Ireland the police force is entirely an Imperial charge. That was done deliberately by Sir Robert Peel as an act of financial justice to Ireland. What we ask the House to do is not to relieve the Treasury of any sum which would be payable by them under the Statutes at present in force. But we say that if the Government want to send extra police to any part of the country that they should not charge the amount against the local ratepayers, who have made no application for them, and who are not under any liability to pay.

The Attorney-General has said that the same system is in force with regard to the counties and boroughs in England, and only the same law applied to Ireland. We are unable to find that that is so; but granted that it is so. In England there is always an application for extra police by the local authority, who, by giving order for the police, make themselves liable to pay. If that be the law in England we are willing that it should be applied to Ireland. We will accept it. Meanwhile, we say that these provisions of the Police Acts are entirely unwarranted, are unjust in principle, and that they cannot be defended in this House. We only propose to assimilate the law in Ireland to what it is in England. That was one of the claims made for the Act of Union ! It was promised by the Unionist party in 1886. Lord Randolph Churchill from that Bench said that we should get a similar system, an equal system, and he said that Ike would give at the same time:— Similarity, simultaneity. and equality. Speaking in the House two years afterwards, Lord Randolph Churchill made it plain that in making that declaration of policy he spoke with the entire assent of the Unionist party. Let me read shortly what he said:— It has been supposed-and this supposition I never before noticed, although it has been rather widely alluded to in the Press —that in the declaration which it was my duty to make at that Table in August, 1886, I was expressing what was much more my own opinion than that of Her Majesty's Government. Sir, I think it right to say that that is not so in any degree whatever. The declaration I made at that Table at that time was, so far as it related to Ireland, a written declaration, every sentence of which, I might almost go so far as to say every word of which represented the opinions of the Government, had been submitted to, and assented to by the Prime Minister and Chief Secretary for Ireland of that day. More than that, the declaration I made in regard to Ireland—I recollect it as well as if I made it only yesterday—I made without a dissentient voice among the gentlemen who belong to the Tory party. I hope it is not too late to still ask this House to give to Ireland the benefit of the declaration made on behalf of the Unionist party more than 20 years ago. The opportunity is now given to Members of the Liberal party and to the Unionist party who are not false to the principles laid down in 1886 to make this system of local government in Ireland equal—and we do not ask for anything more than equality, and we will be satisfied with nothing less —to what it is in England. As regards the administration of the Act by the county courts and the judges of appeal, I have really very little to say. The Local Government Act of 1898 transferred the jurisdiction of the grand juries to the county court judges, and proceedings were commenced in the form of an action against the county and provisions were inserted in the Act to enable district councils and county councils to appear in opposition to those claims. I think there is some laxity—I do not at all say it is general—in connection with the administration of the Act in the county courts. I think there is failure on the part of the councils to work up evidence rebutting the presumption of malice and proving the injury was really the result of accident. I should like to point out that when the Local Government Act was passed, and when the subject of Malicious Injuries was enlarged so as to include all kinds of real and personal property, an epidemic of claims commenced in 1901 and 1902, and I quite agree with the criticism advanced on this side of the House that from time to time at Assise it was the same class of persons who made those claims. A regular industry sprung up in these kind of claims. That no doubt was largely scotched by the action of one or two strong judges who put the claimants upon strict proof of malice in each case. The largest number of claims that were ever made was in the years immediately following the Local Government Act. For some time since the number has been steadily diminishing, until last year. This Act has no effect in preventing crime and outrage. For these reasons I think the present Bill ought to be passed into law.

Mr. J. D. REES

The hon. Member who. introduced this Bill has appealed to the general body of hon. Members of this House, who are not over bound by party shackles, to support this measure; but, up to the present, not one such hon. Member has had an opportunity of saying a word upon this measure. I trust the House will reject this Bill as a flagrant instance of legislation by reference. I do not think that, up to the present, anybody has referred to this great objection to this measure; but, as one accustomed to practical administration, I say that this Bill is liable to serious objection on that score. With the exception of the one instance of Home Rule, I think I have voted with the Nationalist party in regard to most of the Bills they have brought forward in this House, but I am afraid that the speech of the hon. Member for Westmeath was not likely to commend this Bill to the impartial Members of this House to whom he made a special appeal.

I think the hon. Member dwelt too much upon the charges he made against Dublin Castle to the effect that they employed agents to promote crime. At any rate, if such men are sent broadcast in this way by Dublin Castle, they are Irishmen, and I, for one, decline to believe that men of that sort exist to any great extent in Ireland. I think too well of the inhabitants of Ireland, of whose eloquence we have such splendid examples in this House, to believe that these provocative agents from Dublin Castle can be sown broadcast about the country amongst a people who, are by no means remarkable for crime, but, on the contrary, whose statistics in that respect compare favourably, except in certain districts and in respect of certain offences, with any other part of the United Kingdom. I should like some hon. Member from Ireland to. point out how he reconciles the belief that Dublin Castle can find creatures of this character to do this dirty work with the belief, to which I subscribe, in the common-sense and the general good character of the people of Ireland. [Cries of "Time."' I could not listen without some indignation —[cries of "Divide, divide "]—to the wholesale charges of corruption, meanness, and prejudice which were brought against the judicial administrators of Ireland, and imputed to judges and magistrates by the hon. Member for Westmeath. Probably his own experience induces him to take an unfavourable view of the administration of justice, but that is a view which is not supported by the facts. [Renewed cries of "Divide, divide."]

Division No. 126.] AYES. [5.0 p.m.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Gwynn, Stephen Lucius O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Halpin, J. O'Doherty, Philip
Alden, Percy Hayden, John Patrick O'Dowd, John
Ambrose, Robert Healy, Maurice (Cork) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Atherley-Jones, L. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Hodge, John O'Malley, William
Barnes, G. N. Hogan, Michael O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Beale, W. P. Hudson, Walter Pointer, J.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Joyce. Michael Power, Patrick Joseph
Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R. Kavanagh, Waiter M. Reddy, M.
Boland, John Kennedy, Vincent Paul Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Bowerman, C. W. Kettle, Thomas Michael Redmond, William (Clare)
Burke, E. Haviland Kilbride, Denis Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Byles, William Pollard Lamont, Norman Roche, Augustine (Cork)
Cameron, Robert Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Roche, John (Galway, East)
Clancy, John Joseph Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Cleland, J. W. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Cooper, G. J. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Crean, Eugene MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Crooks, William MacVeagh, Charles (Donegal,E.) Weir, James Galloway
Delany, William M'Kean, John White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Devlin, Joseph Meagher, Michael Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Dillon, John Mooney, J. J. Young, Samuel
Duffy, William J. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas TELLERS vas THE AYES.-Mr.
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Muldoon, John Patrick O'Brien and Captain Donelan.
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Murphy, John (Kerry, East)
Ffrench, Peter Murphy, N. J. (Kilkenny, S.)
Flynn, James Christopher Nannetti, Joseph P.
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)
Ginnell, L. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Grant, Corrie O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)

Mr. GINNELL rose in his place, and claimed to move: "That the Question be now put."

Question put: That the word ' now ' stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 88; Noes, 176.

MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Pickersgill, Edward Hare Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Thomasson, Franklin
M'Arthur, Charles Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
M'Callum, John M. Radford, G. H. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
M'Calmont, Colonel James Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Valentia, Viscount
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Rees, J. D. Vivian, Henry
M`Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Ridsdale, F. A. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Mallet, Charles E. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Marnham, F. J. Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Massie, J. Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Waterlow, D. S.
Menzies, Walter Rogers, F. E. Newman White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Rowlands, J. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Micklem, Nathaniel Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Molteno, Percy Alport Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Wiles, Thomas
Morpeth, Viscount Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Morrell, Philip Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Williamson, A.
Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.) Sears, J. E. Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Seaverns, J. H. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Myer, Horatio Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Newnes. F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Snowden, P. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Soares, Ernest J. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Norton. Captain Cecil William Spicer, Sir Albert Younger, George
Nuttall, Harry Steadman, W. C. Yoxall, James Henry
Partington, Oswald Strachey, Sir Edward TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Straus, B. S. (Mile End) F. Banbury and Mr. J. Gorton.
Pease, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Saff. Wald.) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)

Whereupon Mr. Speaker adjourned the House without Question put, in pursuance of Standing Order No. 3.

Adjourned at Eleven minutes after Five o'clock till Monday next.