HC Deb 21 April 1910 vol 16 cc2335-435

4.0 P.M.


My first duty, Mr. Emmott, is to offer my most sincere thanks to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcester (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) for permitting me to have the opportunity of raising the question which stands in my name to-day. The Rule of the House is that the first day in Committee on Votes of Supply should belong to what is known as the regular Opposition, and the Report stage to any other groups in the House. The right hon. Gentleman has been kind enough to surrender his claim, and I am extremely thankful to him for his courtesy, and I hope the House will agree with me that his action must not be taken as a precedent, binding upon him or any of his successors.

The Motion I make is that the Vote on Account shall be diminished by so much money as belongs to the pension of Sir Robert Anderson. May I explain to the Committee the exact idea and purpose with which I make this Motion. In the first place, I do not make it, and I will not justify it by any language of a purely partisan, still less of a provocative character. I think the issues are too serious to be clouded by any such action upon my part; and in the next place I do not make it mainly, or, indeed, at all, through a feeling of personal, and still less of malignant hostility to Sir R. Anderson. Indeed, if Sir R. Anderson were the only person concerned in this question I would not regard myself as justified in making any demand upon the time of this House. Sir R. Anderson, with all due respect to him be it said, is small game. I attack his pension because I think he has violated the traditions of the high position he held and of the service to which he belonged; because he has been guilty of gross acts of official indiscretion; because he has made many statements which are inaccurate and misleading, and calculated to interfere with the course of justice; but, above all, I ask for the destruction of his pension because I regard him as the symbol and outcome, and as the standard-bearer of a bad and false and rotten system. Indeed, my object will be to impress upon the Committee that in discussing Sir R. Anderson we have to discuss, not his personality or his acts, but two different methods and two dif- ferent policies for dealing with the relations between England and Ireland.

Let me first say a few words about Sir R. Anderson and his career. I have the advantage, indeed we all have the advantage, of having had much material placed at our disposal by Sir R. Anderson himself. He has written his confessions, which are as voluminous as those of Jean Jaques, and the descriptions I may have to give of his character, modes, and actions I derive mainly from himself. Sir R. Anderson is an Irishman and a Unionist. I regard him, as many of the other tragic and painful figures with whom I shall have to deal, as one of the most striking and eloquent examples of the kind of being and the kind of man that the history and conditions of Ireland produce. He has the most violent political prejudices. These prejudices are so strong, and I am sure so honest, that they blind him very often to all the difference between what is right and what is wrong in the conduct of his fellow-creatures, and often to his own attitude towards those who have the misfortune to differ from him. But when one reads his history described by himself, one is not surprised at that. He is the son of a Crown Solicitor in Ireland. He began his official or semi-official career in 1865. In that year, or a year or two afterwards, there was going on in Dublin a series of State trials, which continued for many years, and some of which I personally saw. His father was Crown Solicitor, engaged in making up these cases. Sir R. Anderson, then I think a junior barrister, was asked to take some share in the preparation of these cases for the courts, and one of his first acts was to go into the prison cell of a man named Massey. I remember Massey very well. He was one of those unfortunate creatures so often found in revolutionary movements both in Ireland and elsewhere. You find plenty of such characters in the stories by Turguenieff—one of those unfortunate revolutionaries who enter into a dangerous revolutionary movement without having sufficiently gauged his own strength of character for meeting the trials which such movements involve. The result was that after the breakdown of the insurrection in 1867 Massey became an informer.

Sir R. Anderson boasts he was the man who wrung from Massey the confession that ultimately landed him as an informer in the witness box. Sir R. Anderson then became connected with Dublin Castle, where has was put in charge of what was called the Intelligence Department there. A short time afterwards he came to London. He was first attached to the Irish Office, and then to the Home Office, and a short time afterwards he became a member of the Secret Service Department. He subsequently became secretary to the Prisons Board, and finally he became assistant and ultimately head of the Criminal Investigation Department in this country. It will be seen that Sir R. Anderson was—I say it in no disrespectful sense—a policeman of the higher order. Of course he held a higher rank, but he was a policeman almost from the first time of his professional life to the time he left the public service. You will find in all his writings and all his proceedings he is constantly haunted and beset and obsessed by what I may call the policeman's spirit, and above all the secret service spirit. I venture to lay down the proposition that that is a very dangerous spirit, and that it has proved to be dangerous in all countries of the world, and in all ages, where revolutionary or disorderly movements are in revolt against existing conditions. As a matter of fact Sir R. Anderson really writes as you would expect a man who was a member of the third section in St. Petersburg at the time when the revolutionaries were in conflict with the Throne. He is a strong Unionist. May I quote one passage from his book? The Home Rule vote depends entirely upon the lower strata of the electorate in Ireland. In three out of the four provinces the vast majority are Roman Catholics, ff the franchise were raised to a higher level it would exclude the ignorant masses and the Home Rule majority would disappear. In this book he gives perhaps the most eloquent proof of his prejudices and prepossessions. This book has many villains; it has only one hero—or, perhaps, I should say it has many villains but only two heroes. One of the heroes of the book is Sir R. Anderson, and his achievements lose nothing in the telling. The other hero is Major Le Caron. But there are many villains, some of whom are sitting round me. I believe I occupy, a-s becomes me, an extremely subordinate place, but I do occupy a place in the villains gallery. But, Sir, the chief villain is the late Mr. Gladstone.

In dealing with the foul murders in Phoenix Park—murders the disastrous effects of which on Irish liberty and Irish prospects have not yet entirely disappeared—the greatest blow our movement got in the course of our history—in dealing with them Sir R. Anderson shares almost equally the guilt between the Invincibles who did the murders and Mr. Gladstone. He says:— It was not until a friend and colleague was struck down that Mr. Gladstone awakened to the sense of the responsibilities of the duties of the Government. This at least was the way the Irish read the facts, and the loyalists felt, as they feel to the present hour, that the executions which followed did not satisfy the claims of justice, and, that while the murderers hung upon the gallows, the Prime Minister ought to have been exposed beside them upon the pillory. Mr. Gladstone's remains were consigned, upon the proposal of the present Leader of the Opposition, to Westminster Abbey. In the appendix to his book he makes some startling references. He describes how he once met a great supporter of Mr. Gladstone at his dinner table, and he says:— At his dinner table one evening I made a flippant remark which he considered uncomplimentary to Mr. Gladstone, and he ' snubbed' me angrily before his other guests. 'The old rascal's base policy' was his reference to Mr. Gladstone in a letter I had from him at a later date. In a letter of a later date there is an even more violent expression of feeling with regard to Mr. Gladstone in this book of confessions. He is talking of a gentleman whom he describes as— One of the most amiable and equable of men—a man who never used an expletive or even raised his voice—he electrified me by saying in his calm way, without a trace of passion, that the Minister who was responsible for this state of things deserved to be treated as an outlaw, and that, if he could do it with safety, he would contribute £5 to have Mr. Gladstone shot. Was there any language like that used by any of the men who were brought before the Parnell Commission? I think if any such language had been used Sir R. Anderson would have made it the basis of a very serious charge against them. Now I come to his heroes'. He says:— Twenty-one years acquaintance with Major Le Caron had convinced me that he was a man of scrupulous truthfulness and integrity, and I determined to place his documents at his disposal. Up to a few weeks ago much as we knew of Sir R. Anderson's share in the Parnell Commission we did not know it all. In an article in "Blackwood's Magazine" he used this language:— Up to the present hour, I do not know whether the Home Secretary was then aware of my authorship of ' The Times' articles of 1887, on ' Parnellism and Crime,' for in relation to that matter I acted with the strictest propriety in dealing with Mr. Monro, and not with the Secretary of State I made no secret, however, of the fact that in my Whitehall days I wrote for the Press, and this may have made the Home Office suspicious of me after I went to Scotland Yard. We have now the statement that Mr. Monro was not consulted as to the writing of these articles, and that had he known he would have severely reprimanded Sir R. Anderson for doing so. I come now to the articles, and I am afraid I shall have to make a large demand on the patience and indulgence of the House. This is necessary, because the events I am dealing with are twenty years old, and many hon. Members of this House will not be able, without some references of mine, to recall for themselves the atmosphere which these articles created and the circumstances under which they were produced. Sir R. Anderson has since corrected his original statement, and has stated that he did not write all the articles called "Parnellism and Crime," but he says he wrote three of them. I have read these three articles, and they are on what he calls the American side of the conspiracy. I think they are very improper articles, and I think the Home Secretary will agree, with me that they are improper because in those articles he uses some of the secret documents which were afterwards produced by his assistant and Major Le Caron. There is a passage in one of these articles which I read referring to Major Le Caron as a man who had betrayed the revolutionary organisation to which he belonged. I do not think I do Sir R. Anderson an injustice in saying that, although he only wrote three of those articles, he had something to do with inspiring the others; and he made those articles confirm the articles which preceded them. Therefore, he wrote these additional articles with the full knowledge and in full sympathy with the articles which had preceded them. What was the character of those articles. Here is one of them:— But treason is not our main charge against Mr. Parnell. Murder still startles the casuist and doctrinaire, and we charge that the Land League Chiefs based their movement upon a scheme of assassination carefully calculated and coolly applied. Murderers share the inmost counsels. Murderers have gone forth from the League offices to set the bloody work afoot, and will have presently returned to consult the constitutional leaders on the progress of the case. That is how he speaks of these constitutional leaders. He goes on:— Assassins guarded it about, and enforced the high decrees of the secret conclave within with the bullet and the knife. Of that conclave, two or three member sit in the Imperial Parliament. In order to give the popular impression which these articles created, I will read an extract from a speech made by a warden in one of the colleges in Oxford, and he was an Irishman. He said:— And so they had not only a Home Rule League, which undergraduates of advanced views had been earnestly pressed to join, but also, as he understood, an Oxford "branch of the National League, with a Non-conformist minister for its president, which had not yet taken any active part in organising outrage so far as he knew, but which might yet succeed in attracting the attention of the Parnell Inquiry Commission. (Laughter.) They had already had visits from Mr. George. Mr. Hyndman, Mr. Davitt. and Mr. Billon, and his impression was that if the Whitechapel murderer could be identified, he would be invited to lecture by a club he could name. In one of these articles there was a peculiarly atrocious charge against Mr. Parnell. The more atrocious because it was an insinuation rather than a charge. Mr. Parnell, the House may remember, was liberated from Kilmainham Goal on parole, and he was met at Willesden Junction on his way to London by several of his friends. The article in "The Times" suggested that some of those friends were Invincibles, that they consulted Mr. Parnell about the murders they then had in contemplation, that Mr. Parnell knew and approved of them, and, therefore, he was as much an Invincible and an assassin as the men whose knives destroyed the lives of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke. The Attorney-General of the day endeavoured to explain away that language, but the court would have none of that interpretation, and in another passage it says:— It appears to us that Sir Charles Russell has put a correct interpretation upon the meaning of the language used. As any sane men would have done, they acquitted Mr. Parnell of that most atrocious and terrible charge. These articles were followed by a series of letters in "The Times" attributed to Mr. Parnell and to Mr. Egan, who was then treasurer of the Land League. I will read one or two extracts. All those letters were intended to back up the charge made with regard to the interview at Willesden Station, namely, that Mr. Parnell knew of the Invincible conspiracy, was party and privy to, and approved of it. There is a letter attributed to Mr. Egan, but which was a forged letter, to James Carey, one of the chief organisers of the Invincible conspiracy, who afterwards turned informer and gave evidence which sent five men to the gallows:— Dear Sir, —I have by this post sent in £2 to M " M." meant Mullins, one of the members of the Invincible conspiracy who received a heavy term of imprisonment. He will give you what you want. When will yon undertake to get to work, and give us value for our money? I am, dear Sir, Yours faithfully, PATRICK EGAN. Here is a forged letter which was attributed to Mr. Parnell:— DearKgan.—What are these fellows waiting for? This inaction is inexcusable Our best men are in prison, and nothing is being done. Let there be an etui of this hesitency. The word "hesitancy" was wrongly spelt, and when Pigott was put into the box he was asked by Sir Charles Russell to write the word "'hesitancy," and the wrote it as it was spelt in the original forgery. The letter proceeded:— Prompt action is called for. You undertook to make it hot for old Forster and Co. Let us have some evidence of your power to do so. Yours very truly, CHARLES S. PARNELI. Then there conies the letter, known as the "facsimile" letter, which was published in "The Times" newspaper:— Dear Sir,—I am not surprised at your friend's anger, but he and you should know that to denounce the murderers was the only course open to us. To do that promptly was plainly our best policy. But you can tell him and all those concerned that, although I regret the accident, of Lord Frederick Cavendish's death, I cannot refuse to admit that Burke got no more than his deserts. You are at liberty to show him this, and others you can trust also, but let not my address be known. He can write to the House of Commons. Yours very truly, C. S. PARNELL. I need not dwell upon that letter. After the Phœnix Park assassinations Mr. Parnell issued a manifesto denouncing those assassinations. This letter was intended to show that Mr. Parnell's denunciation was hypocritical, and that he had apologised for having made it. Mr. Gladstone took a splendid part in the defence of Ireland and of Mr. Parnell through all the transactions, and, as he said, this letter would have shown Mr. Parnell to have been a hypocrite, a liar, a coward, and a murderer. I need not dwell upon that facsimile letter. It belongs to history. Everybody knows it was a forgery, but I observe Sir It. Anderson still thinks that, though the body of the letter may have been a forgery, the signature was genuine. That shows the condition of the mind of this impartial publicist.

Sir R. Anderson has now confessed to writing some of the articles "Parnellism and Crime." We did not know that at the time. We never knew it until within the last fortnight or three weeks. One of the startling sidelights on this whole conspiracy, for conspiracy I will prove it to be, is that every single bit of evidence or material that could have helped Mr. Parnell to vindicate his honour was withheld by the Attorney-General and the other council of the time. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister was then junior counsel, and it was his duty to cross-examine Mr. Macdonald, the manager of "The Times." I have re-read the cross-examination, and it is rather startling reading at this moment:— I want to ask you with reference to one or two statements in ' Parnellism and Crime.' It is stated in one of the articles that knives and firearms were kept at the offices of the Irish Parliamentary party, Palace Chambers?—It is stated. You recognise that statement?—Yes. Was that, statement made upon your authority from information supplied by you?—It was stated on information supplied. By you?—Not by me. To you?—To me?.Not to me. To whom?—I presume it was stated to the writer of the articles. So, following closely in and out, the Prime Minister endeavoured to elicit from Mr. Macdonald the names of the other writers of "Parnellism and Crime," and he failed. The Attorney-General and Sir Henry James, I think, both intervened to try and keep that question from being answered. The Court also intervened, whether rightly or wrongly I do not stop to say at this moment, to prevent that question being answered Counsel who was prosecuting Mr. Macdonald, went on and on and on, but he could never get any further. Who is the writer of this article?—I do not know.' You do not know? — I do not know. Then I must, ask you who were the persons who were employed by 'The Times' to write these articles? —T do not know. There were no persons specifically employed to write about 'Parnellism and Crime' The leaders are written in the ordinary course of business. Can you tell me who wrote these various articles?— Certainly not in this box, and perhaps not on reference.'' '' Will you mention a few names? We have heard of one you know. Mr. Flanagan?—I do not see I can be called upon to do anything of the kind. I think it is a most unreasonable question to ask me. Nothing turns, said the President of the Court, on who else was the writer, when the Prime Minister was pressing the witness. Then came this grim statement from Sir Charles Russell:— I do not know. If he had known at that time, and if the world had been allowed to know by Mr. Macdonald, by the Attorney-General, and by the Court, that one of the writers of these articles was Sir R. Anderson, what a different complexion would have been placed on the matter. I say that every fact that could be kept back was kept back. This was to all intents and purposes a criminal prosecution, bringing the most terrible charges against public men, and the proof of which would have blasted them either as men of honour or as men entitled ever again to take part in public life. It was something more. It was a criminal prosecution of a nation. At that moment the whole fortunes and destinies of Ireland were bound up with the personality and the honour and the position of Mr. Parnell. To have destroyed him would have been to destroy Ireland's attempt to get restoration of self-government.

It will scarcely be believed, but it is true, that whereas in ordinary criminal prosecutions men at the Bar are supplied by honest counsel with every material that can help them in their defence—with the affidavits made against them, with the informations made against them, and with the names of the witnesses that are to appear against them—in this Parnell Commission the counsel for Parnell and other defendants were never told one hour before a witness appeared in the box the name of the witness or the nature of the evidence. Every witness was sprung upon them—informers taken out of gaol, police constables, dishonest clerks, and Major Le Caron. Every name was kept from them up to the last moment for the deliberate purpose of taking the defendants at a disadvantage and of giving them no opportunity of examining the records of witnesses for the purpose of cross-examination. I appeal to the Prime Minister if the statement I have just made is not correct, that the names of witnesses were kept back until the moment they appeared in the box and also the nature of their evidence. One of the facts which came out of the case in connection with Sir R. Anderson was that he supplied these particular documents to Major Le Caron, but how did that fact come out? Did it come out voluntarily? Did it come out with the assistance of the representatives of "The Times"? Not a bit of it. It had to be wrung out word by word and inch by inch. Major Le Caron is under examination, and is asked where he had recent access to these documents:— Where was it? In a private residence in the city?— If my Lord decided I will answer, Where was it? What is the mystery about it?— There is no mystery about it without yon are making one yourself. The President: The witness objects to answer, and I then should have to consider whether I should commit him for not answering. Sir C. Russell: I do not understand that the witness takes that position. The Witness: I am subject to the order of the Court. Sly Lords, I will answer it as your Lordships direct me. The President: If you are only waiting for our direction, then certainly I should advise you to answer. —Very good, Sir, I first saw the correspondence, from which I have culled the portion of my testimony submitted here, in a bundle of documents that were given me by Mr. R. Anderson, and the synopsis of the case as submitted by me was prepared by myself and Mr. Houston. In reference to these communications, of which there were many thousands, in fact, during the whole period, practically more before 1870, and a great many after 1875, you have had recent access to them?—Only to be cautioned. Then he goes on, but in the end he has to admit that he got the documents from Mr. Anderson, as he then was; but he does not admit it until after ten minutes' or a quarter of an hour's cross-examination, and only upon the order of the court. Therefore, every attempt was made to keep back Sir R. Anderson's share in this transaction. Major Le Caron brought up the extraordinary fact that all the documents had not been given to him:— Had you any conversation with Anderson as to bow he made the collection out of the many thousands which you say be sent?—Yes.‥.'' Remember these were secret documents belonging to the Crown and paid for by the Crown:— Just explain?—When Mr. Anderson handed me this package I have mentioned, he stated that he had chosen from my correspondence, in his possession, what he thought I would need appertaining to this case. In other words, he explained to you that he had gone through the mass of documents and had selected or, to use your own expression 'culled,' what, he thought you would need?—In substance that is correct. A Debate took place in the House of Commons on this startling evidence. Mr. Henry Matthews, now Lord Llandaff, was then Home Secretary. Sir William Harcourt called attention to this evidence, and Mr. Matthews, by the way, according to Sir R. Anderson, had come down to the House determined to throw him over. I can quote the exact words if I am challenged, but, said Sir R. Anderson:— Some Members of the Unionist party approached Mr. Matthews, told him they were determined to stand by Mr. Anderson, and insisted that he should give a favourable and not an unfavourable aspect to Mr. Anderson's conduct. Remember the Government of the day had nothing to do with Mr. Anderson. Sir William Harcourt, in the course of a very eloquent and a very severe, but I think not an unjustly severe speech, denounced the conduct of Mr. Anderson. Mr. Matthews, with all that forensic fury and passion which the members of his profession, I am told, are able to sum up at short notice—I hope I am saying nothing disrespectful—asked:— On what ground does the right hon. Gentleman base his assertion that Anderson agreed to aid 'The Times' at the request of 'The Times.' There is not a word of truth in it. Then his description of the letters is this:— Many of these letters were private letters to a private friend. It is refreshing to turn from this euphemistic language of politicians and counsel to the straight and lucid language, with all its shameless unreserved-ness, of Sir R. Anderson when he deals with the same transaction. He says in regard to the same transaction:— The only foundation for the pleasing fiction by which the Home Secretary amused the House— Mark you, amused the House. This is a very amusing business altogether:— The only foundation for the pleasing fiction by which he amused the House—that Le Caron was a personal friend of mine, was that during all my official life every man who served me faithfully learned to regard me as his friend. Then Sir R. Anderson said, and he has said it over and over again—it is one of the charges that I bring against him, that he made statements which were not true:— I am prepared to substantiate on oath the fact asserted by Mr. Matthews that neither the Assistant Commissioner of Police nor the Department which he controlled has given help to ' The Times' in the presentation of their case before the Commission. What was giving these documents? What was culling and arranging these documents, but something most dishonourable? To cull documents, choosing those which make against the defendants and excluding those which make in their favour, is a dishonour. "The Times," the day after this Debate, came out with an article referring to the reckless assertions of Sir William Harcourt, but I venture to assert that Sir William Harcourt said nothing that was not absolutely true, and admittedly true. Sir R. Anderson, in the same number of "The Times," repeated his statement that neither he nor his Department had anything to do with making up a case for "The Times." He repeated the statement over and over again, and he has done so again within the last few weeks. It is a false statement. This is a statement which I describe as false:— Let me say this distinctly, that neither before no; during the Parnell Commission did 'The Times' receive, either directly or indirectly, any assistance from the Criminal Investigation Department. Of course, I suppose the defence of that statement will be that he was not at that time officially connected with the Criminal Investigation Department. That is what I call a policeman's mind. Here is another adroit evasion:— I had no communication with 'The Times' relative to the conduct of the case before the Commission. … Just observe, "I had no communication with ' The Times ' relative to the conduct of the case before the Commission" ! That is his statement. That statement is not true. It is admitted that it is not true. The article in "The Times" says that— Sir Robert Anderson's letter stands out in striking contrast for dignity of tone and straightforward statement with the combination of recklessness and shiftiness displayed by his unscrupulous accusers. Again we have the statement of "no assistance from the Government." May I read Sir R. Anderson's account of that transaction?— When Major Le Caron called on me in December, having been summoned to England by his father's death, he repeated the expression of his desire to give evidence before the Commission. He had written tome several times about this, and I had already tried to dissuade him from it. I found he was under the imgression that the ' prosecution,' as he called it, was a Government matter and that I was personally interested in it. I set him right on both these points. I assured him that 'Scotland Yard' had no part whatever in the conduct of the case—had it been otherwise the presentation of it would possibly be very different; but that in fact I had never received even a hint that the Government wished me to assist' The Times,' and I had never been as much as asked a question as to what I. knew of the matters involved in the inquiry. I told him again that I had no communication with 'The Times' relative to the conduct of the case before the Commission, and that I would not volunteer; all I would promise was to bear his request in mind if I should be applied to…. This was in December. Next month Mr. Macdonald appealed to me to help him in finding a, witness to prove what he called 'the American part of the case.' These are the words of the man who said it was atrocious on the part of Sir William Harcourt to say that Sir R. Anderson had helped "The Times." After much discussion I consented to put the witness in communication with some trustworthy person to be nominated by Mr. Macdonald, under certain stringent conditions as to secrecy. I should say so. Next day he came back to tell me he had asked Mr. Houston" to undertake the task. The much bilked of letter of introduction was simply three lines to say that the bearer was the person I had promised to send. How did Mr. Houston come into the case? Le Caron is asked in the box, Was Mr. Houston the man to whom you asked for an introduction? The reply was:— I did not know the gentleman. I had never heard of him. I believed at that time, in common with those around me that the Government were prosecuting this case. I saw what I. considered to be a lame presentation of the prosecution. I saw the moral effect it was having among my then confrères. I saw the continual opposition that was being published in the public Press, the claims made by the Irish Press that it was a victory for Parnell and his confrères. He did not know Mr. Houston. Then what happened? Le Caron met Houston at Mr. Houston's residence. First the documents had been culled by Sir R. Anderson, and then they were further culled by Mr. Houston. The question was asked:— The documents that you so culled, did you hand them to Mr. Houston or not? I did. I selected and submitted to Mr. Houston, and he paused them with me, on my suggestion, what I thought "would be of no use; much that I suggested were not legal testimony in any way, and were thrown out by his advice and guidance. Mr. Houston, I should tell the House, was then the chief agent of "The Times" in getting up the case. What were these documents that were handed to Mr. Houston? They were documents any one of which might condemn a man to assassination. They were secret documents giving, or professing to give particulars of meeting of secret tribunals. Mr. Anderson himself gives a grim account of what non-caution with regard to these secret documents may result in. He describes how he only entrusted the name of one informer to Lord Mayo, and how Lord Mayo only entrusted it to one other, the Lord Lieutenant, and yet that informer, whose name was only known to three people, was assassinated. How were papers of this character handled? What precautions were taken in regard to them? They were given to Le Caron, and by him they were given to Houston. Counsel for the Defence—the Prime Minister and Sir Charles Eussell—applied to the Commission for the documents, and they were refused. The request was, I believe, afterwards acceded to, but Sir Henry James, at the time, actually got up and vehemently opposed the exposure of these documents, not to Houston, not to Le Caron, but to the Prime Minister and to Sir Charles Russell, probably two of the most honourable men in the legal profession in this country. What was refused to the Prime Minister and Sir Charles Russell was given to Le Caron and Mr. Houston. Who were these gentlemen who were entrusted with these documents? Who was Houston? Houston was the agent of "The Times in getting up the case. He played a much more important and sinister part. It was Pigott who forged the forgeries. It was Houston who suggested the man for them. How did these forgeries come into existence? Pigott and Houston became acquainted at Houston's request in 1885. Houston employed Pigott. Pigott at the time was in a desperate state of fortune. Letter after letter was produced in the course of the inquiry which almost made me pity the miserable and humiliated figure in the box as I saw him under cross-examination by Sir Charles Russell. Begging letters, begging under all pretences; letter after letter begging money from the late Mr. Forster on the pretence that he was going to attack Parnell; begging letters to Archbishop Walsh, anonymous in the first instance, on the ground that his children were going to become Protestants and that assistance was necessary to save them from this odious attack on their faith; begging letters to Mr. Forster to betray Parnell; begging letters to "The Times" to betray Parnell; begging letters to Mr. Parnell to betray "The Times"; begging letters all round! And this needy, desperate, wretched, unprincipled man, who is begging a £50 note, wherever he can find it, is the man approached by Mr. Houston! He is given what to him is unlimited money to go to Paris, to Lausanne and to the United States of America, and to take other journeys with money to buy documents. He is given £600 for the facsimile letter—£600 to a desperate, unprincipled villain like Pigott to produce a forgery. Who was the guiltier? The forger in his need, or the man with all the resources of "The Times" at his back, who tempted him to wrong? This was Mr. Houston. There is more to be said about Mr. Houston. He was the custodian of dangerous documents, and I am now going to tell the most startling incident in connection with the Parnell Commission. Mr. Houston was asked whether a particular letter from Pigott—there was an abundant correspondence between those two gentlemen in the preparation of the forgeries—could be produced. Mr. Houston replied that he had burnt the document. Sir Charles Russell, being under the impression that the document had been burnt on 7th November, 1888, asked Mr. Houston had he reason at that time to anticipate that he would be called as a witness—at the time he destroyed the letters. The answer was:— Oh, yes, I had, because at that time I had been subpoenaed by Mr. Lewis. I was subpœnaed in the month of October. Then says Sir Charles Russell:— That is your statement to the Court, that having, in in the month of October, been subpœnaed by Mr. Lewis on the part, of Sir. Parnell and his colleagues you deliberately destroyed a body of letters which you had theretofore received from Pigott. The answer was:— I destroyed the letters—Yes. 5.0 P.M.

That will bring us to the month of December, 1888. This Commission, as Sir Charles Russell put it to the witness, had been sitting for two months, and the reply of Mr. Houston was that it had been sitting for that period. And yet Mr. Houston burned every single line that had passed between him and Pigott in order to destroy any evidence that might disclose the meaning of this vast, not to say this gigantic, conspiracy of fraud purchased by money. The other person to whom the documents were entrusted was Major Le Caron, who is the one hero of Mr. Anderson. What was Major Le Caron? He took the oath of the Fenian body and became a high member of that organisation. He took part in all its inner councils and in their proceedings with the deliberate purpose, as he confessed on the witness table, of betraying it. He was paid for that work; he lived on blood money. I hope that nobody will suppose that I lay down the principle that if revolutions and disorder and violent conspiracies are afloat the Government has no right to employ secret agents, but nobody will get me to say that I admire the secret agent or will get any human being to do that, except, perhaps, Sir R. Anderson. What was brought out by the evidence? I have to warn the Committee I am not talking about Russia, but about England and English methods carried on by an Irishman unworthy of his country. I have read a good deal about Russian conspiracies, and we all of us have done so. I have read the hideous revelations in regard to Azef which appeared the other day, who was at once the head centre and the chief of the Central Committee of the Terrorist organisation and at the same time a Russian police spy. In all the hideous revelations in the part that ruffian played the most revolting was this, that first he planned the assassinations of the Grand Duke and of the Minister of the Interior of Russia, being present at the councils when they were planned, gave his vote in favour of them, and then the next day gave the authorities the names of his fellow assassins in order that they might be sent to the gallows.

That is the deepest depth, but Le Caron reached that abyss. He admitted in cross-examination by the present Lord Chancellor that he was present at some of those assassination meetings, that he voted with the majority if a vote was called for, and that very night, or the very next day, he sent to his private acquaintance, Mr. Anderson, the names of the men whom his denunciation, and perhaps whom his persuasions had secured for the work. It at always hard in these cases to say just where the occupation of the mere spy ends and that of the agent provocateur begins. It is hard to say in America, in Russia, and even in England where a man is simply discharging the functions of a spy and added to that the more hideous functions of the man who provokes, calls for and produces the crime which the other man executes. These were the two gentlemen who were entrusted with these documents that would not be entrusted to the Prime Minister or Sir Charles Russell, two of the most honourable men who ever distinguished the bar. They were entrusted to Mr. Houston, who bought the forgeries, and to Major Le Caron, the perjurer and agent provocateur. One of the statements made by Sir R. Anderson over and over again was that neither Scotland Yard nor the Government took part in this conspiracy. That statement is false, absolutely false, demonstrably false, and Sir Charles Russell in his speech described what was going on. I am sorry to make such large demands upon the time of the House, but I do not want to make any single statement which I do not believe; but Sir Charles Russell in that great speech at the close of the proceedings said:— I say, while in form it is not a Government prosecution, it has in fact been conducted in a way which has given to the prosecutors all the advantages of a Government prosecution, and given to an accused none of the advantages which they would have been entitled to, had it been in form a Government prosecution. I wish not to be misunderstood. I am not canvassing or discussing the question whether it is not perfectly right that the Government should give all the assistance they can to the prosecution. For my present argument, I am most willing to assume, and do assume, that they would be perfectly right and justified; but what I am desiring to point out to your Lordships is the way in which that has worked. What has been the state of things? Why, my Lords, Lincoln's Inn Fields has at times presented much the appearance of a camping ground for that military force known as the Royal Irish Constabulary, collecting to form a posse comitatus of a sheriff on his way to a great eviction scene. Mr. Soames' office, we have heard in the course of the case, has been constituted a kind of police registry for the Royal Irish Constabulary Police in London. We have had, thick as leaves in Vallambrosa, district inspectors and magistrates crowding even the very benches where the Counsel of the Queen sit, aiding, helping and suggesting the conduct of the case. And yet Sir R. Anderson says there is no foundation for Mr. Morley's suggestion that the Government was behind the prosecution, and asserts that the Government stood neutral.

I come to the most shocking of all the revelations in this case, which Sir Charles Russell alluded to in his speech when he said the gaols of the country and of the Kingdom were scoured. In the gaols of Ireland and England there were a number of men serving long terms of imprisonment after that terrible revolutionary struggle for the division of the land which is over, or almost over, by the consent of all political parties in this House. There were men in many gaols in England and Ireland, and, will the Committee believe me when I say that "The Times" was permitted to send its agents into the cells to men serving life sentences of penal servitude—John Daly was convicted and in prison. He was serving a life sentence and had only served three years of it. There was still a long and terrible vista of years before him. When he was finally released I read in the London newspapers about the first impressions of a man restored to freedom after years of penal servitude. I hope my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will be able to real this document. He is now in an office where there is greater room for reform, a greater chance for humanity in dealing with the fallen and the criminal, than any other position of the Government. One of the matters in the statement of John Daly which most impressed me was that when he came out the thing that caused him most surprise was not the crowded buses or the tumultuous life in the streets, but hearing again, after thirteen or fourteen years, the sound of a woman's voice. At the time I am speaking of Daly had served three years of his life sentence, and Mr. Soames, when he was in consultation with Scotland Yard, came to him in Portland Prison. And that is not the worst of the story. Pigott goes to him—this unparalleled forger, ready to forge any man's life and liberty away, is permitted to see John Daly. Inspector Littlechild, who was connected with Scotland Yard, also visited him, although Scotland Yard had nothing to do with the case and had given no assistance whatever, while the Government gave no countenance and stood neutral. This is an account of the matter:— Mr. Soames was the first to see him. He said there was an inquiry going on to trace home the Phœnix Park murders, and that Daly knew all about them. He suggested that Daly should give evidence, and offered him liberty, protection, and an income for life. But after that Pigott came, and he is more dexterous than Mr. Soames. He tried quite a different tack. The report proceeds:— Finally Pigott appeared on the scene. 'We had been great friends,' said Mr. Daly. Pigott said that Parnell had attributed the Phœnix Park murders to the Fenians, and Daly replied that if he were a free man he would publicly denounce Parnell's statement an untrue. Mark the way in which Pigott tries to get at this man, because men will do for revenge many things they will not do for lucre. Pigott says, in effect, Parnell is lying against you and your organisation. Do not go out because you want to betray him, or for money, but because you want to vindicate yourself against the calumnious statements of Parnell. It is very subtle; well worthy of Pigott. I need not say, and it is very much to his honour, that Daly ordered Pigott out of his cell and refused to perjure himself, as he would have done if he had taken away the characters, and perhaps the lives, of his fellow countrymen. As I read the story I wonder that a single one of us is here alive to tell the tale of this gigantic, this terrible, this foul, subtle and powerful conspiracy which was woven around our liberties, our characters, and perhaps our lives.

But there is a worse story than this of Daly and Pigott. I said this was England, and not Russia, but I think it must be Russia. I read the other day a description of the assassination of Father Gapon. Father Gapon was at first a revolutionary leader and afterwards a police spy, and oscillated between the two, and was finally assassinated by the order of Azeff, his fellow-conspirator. Gapon makes his confessions to a fellow-revolutionary, whom he wants to inveigle into the pay of the police. There is a very famous and sinister character in all this Russian revolution called Rachkowski. He played the part of Sir R. Anderson in the revolutionary movement in Russia. He asked Gapon to a dinner, and Gapon, who was a penniless peasant, unaccustomed to luxuries, was treated in the right way by Rachkowski, especially when he wants to lead him on to the primrose path of the pay of the police. Rachkowski brought him to a fashionable restaurant, and spread before him a table, I whereon Gapon remarked that there were hors d'œuvres and bottles of apparently good wine. Gapon is conquered. Our methods in England are different from those in Russia, even when we send spies and detectives into gaol. Inspector Little-child went to Chatham and saw Clerke. He said that for years the silence that prevailed was of such severity in the prison that the convicts were not allowed to talk to each other, and even the warders were discouraged from talking to the convicts:— So much was this the case that on my release I got a sore throat from a day's free use of my rake. I may add that for some months previous to this occurrence the treatment of the Irish political prisoners was exceptionally harsh, much harsher than at any time before. He goes on to say that he was taken to a room:— The room seemed to mo very inviting with a warm fire, and I remember noticing that there was a large bottle of whisky on the desk beside the inspector. A little mirage of the coming glories which were to be the reward of this man if he only betrayed his colleagues. I will not give the conversation which took place between these two men. Suffice it to say that Littlechild tried every device to induce this man, not to state what he knew —he could have stated it without implicating Parnell—but to invent what he did not know, as Pigott forged the letters. What was the object of all this conspiracy? The object was to break down the movement and to destroy the liberties of Ireland. I will read a significant passage upon this, I think, in cross-examination by the Prime Minister, which is found in the evidence of Mr. Macdonald, the manager of "The Times." The facsimile letter attributing Parnell's sympathy with the Phœnix Park assassination appeared on 18th April, 1887:— Why did you select 18th April, 1887, for the publication of that letter?—Because I thought it was a proper occasion to produce it, Why did you think it was a proper occasion to produce it /—I thought it was a suitable time on which to make the public acquainted with the character of the men who were then prominent in public affairs. Why did you think 18th April was a suitable time? —There were discussions then going on in Parliament which made that an appropriate moment on which to issue that letter. ' Discussions about what?—Discussions going on in Parliament upon Irish affairs, which made that an appropriate time and a suitable time for the issue of the letter. You selected the moment, did you not, for the Second Reading, or the Division upon the Second Reading, of Mr. Balfour's Crimes Bill?—Certainly I did. We all remember that tragic day. Mr. Sexton had to get up and make his speech before the entrance of Mr. Parnell, and it was not until Mr. Sexton was in the middle of his speech that the figure of Parnell was seen coming in those doors. Mr. Sexton finished his speech—with the word "forgery," and I remember to this day the gust of cheers that came from all the Liberal and Irish Benches, and the silence of the Tory Benches on the exposure of this conspiracy. That Coercion Act was passed in the Jubilee Year, and it is called the Jubilee Coercion Act in Ireland still. It differs from all other Coercion Acts which had preceded it in the fact that it is perpetual—it stands on the Statute Book to-day. If these Gentlemen came into office to-morrow, as a few days ago they hoped to come in by the despised Irish vote, the Jubilee Coercion Act would be put into force once again. There was a Jubilee, as everyone knows, in that year—it was the fiftieth anniversary of the late Queen's accession to the Throne. I saw the procession passing through the streets of London, and if I were not an Irishman, with the recollections of this trial in my mind, if I had been an Englishman, it would have been a wonderful and inspiring spectacle to see men of all races and from all parts of the world, black men and yellow men, as well as white men, all coming here to do allegiance to the Mother Country and to its Queen. But there was one absentee, and that was Ireland, in the very hour that her liberties had been perpetually destroyed by forgery and fraud. But I am wrong. Ireland was not entirely absent. She was represented by a body of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and can you wonder at the humiliation and the anger and the resentment of Ireland that after this celebration she should be represented by a body of men some of whom perhaps had done their part in building up the fabric of forgery and fraud which have put her for ever outside the liberties enjoyed by the citizens of this country?

That is my case. I have endeavoured to keep as free as I could from anything like personal attack. I have tried to bring as little partisan issue into it as I could. But I did it for a political, if not a partisan, purpose. I want the people of this country, who have a racial instinct against the spy and the informer, to understand the real inner meaning of the two policies on which they will have to decide in a few months' time, among other things. There is no standing ground between such methods as those of Sir R. Anderson and such creatures as Major Le Caron and all the rest of the gallery of villains and informers and spies who went through the Court then—there is no standing ground between that policy and the policy of self-government for Ireland. I put it to this Committee, and to the English people, that their choice is between Le Caron and Anderson or Gladstone and Parnell, between the policy of the spy and the informer and the forger and the policy of giving to Ireland equal rights with England.

Question proposed, "That Item Class VI., Vote 1, be reduced by £900, in respect of the Pension of Sir Robert Anderson."

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)

My hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) has renewed and revived in the memory of the House, as he was well qualified to do, in a speech of moving force, the incidents and the character of that fierce drama which reached its conclusion with the suicide of Pigott. The hon. Gentleman was fully entitled to take advantage of the opportunity which this discussion provides of bringing these matters once again vividly before the public. He was fully entitled, as every Irish Nationalist is entitled, to dwell with satisfaction upon the steady march of events which has increasingly tended to involve those who were responsible for the procedure of the Special Commission and for the whole apparatus by which the articles on "Parnellism and Crime" were manufactured, and which has steadily involved themselves in the deliberate discredit of historical judgment. The institution of a special tribunal in which the functions of judge and jury were confounded, and which denied, as the hon. Gentleman has pointed out, to men under the gravest imputations all the ordinary facilities and advantages which the generous common law of this country affords to the defence, which was a special procedure set up in connection with a political agitation—set up at the instance of the Government of the day as a means of striking at their political opponents and as a vehicle for producing a mass of evidence and allegations which it was believed would be advantageous in their political campaign of prejudice, and a procedure which unquestionably resulted in the infliction upon their political opponents necessarily of a serious pecuniary fine—such a procedure was foreign to the whole spirit of the British Government and Constitution, and will be more condemned the more it is studied. It has inflicted a stain of permanent disrepute upon the statesmanship of those who were responsible for it.

It is not my purpose to discuss these larger questions. They may safely be left to the judgment of the present, and still more safely to the judgment of the future; out my duty this afternoon is to examine in a few words from the point of view of the Secretary of State for the Home Department the case of Sir R. Anderson as it presents itself at this moment. There are three charges which are preferred against Sir R. Anderson. Two lies in the past, and are charges of gravity. One lies in the present. The first is the charge of writing the articles on "Parnellism and Crime" in "The Times" in 1887. Sir R. Anderson has now stated, as to the articles which he has published in "Blackwood," that he wrote certain of "The Times" articles in 1887. In the beginning he appeared to claim to have written the whole of these articles, but he has now reduced his claim to three articles of minor importance dealing with the Fenian Societies in America—three of them which appeared in May, 1887, two months after the important articles had appeared which led to the Parnell Commission.

That is the extent of the first charge against Sir R. Anderson, which rests upon this own voluntary confession. As to that, if it had been known at the time, if the Government of the day had done its duty, and if the Government of the day had followed the ordinary course which would be adhered to in a case of this character, there could be no doubt whatever that Sir R. Anderson would have been dismissed at once. The Treasury Rule, made in 1875, and republished in 1884, was to the effect that "no official information is to be communicated to public journals without the sanction of the responsible heads of the Departments, and any gentleman infringing this regulation renders himself liable to instant dismissal." Now Sir R. Anderson admittedly obtained no sanction from the then Secretary of State, or from the Prison Commissioners, whose secretary he then was, and the somewhat ambiguous suggestion that he had the sanction of Mr. Monro, who then controlled the Secret Service, has been definitely repudiated by Mr. Monro. It is possible that Sir R. Anderson might then have advanced the defence that he received his information, not in his official capacity, but as a secret agent of the Government. That defence would not in this case be available. Civil servants are not allowed to distinguish between their private and official capacity, and in any case a rule which is designed to maintain official secrecy in the case of the ordinary Civil Service would obviously apply a fortiorito the Secret Service. Therefore, I say that according to the ordinary disciplinary and administrative traditions by which the service is maintained and carried on by dif- ferent Governments Sir R. Anderson would have been dismissed if it had been known at the time that he wrote these three articles of which he has now claimed the authorship. That is the first charge.

The second charge is that he assisted "The Times" newspaper in getting up its case in 1888 and 1889. Sir E. Anderson wholly denies that, and says that he has always denied that he did so. In his letter to "The Times" of 21st March, 1889, and in subsequent writings, he alleges that he was forced by circumstances to allow Le Caron to give evidence, that he was forced to introduce them to Houston, who got up "The Times" case and to supply Le Caron with secret service papers. He made these excuses at the time, and they were accepted by his Home Office superiors then. I do not propose to comment on the propriety of that. Every one may form their own opinion. So much for the two charges against him which lie in the past —one which he admits and the other which he denies.

There is the third charge, and that is really the only one which I consider it is my duty to look at from the point of view of present administrative action. I mean the discussion of matters relating to the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police which is proceeding in the articles Sir R. Anderson is now contributing to "Black-wood." These articles deal with many details of the Metropolitan Police and the Secret Service, and their general effect gives strength to the feeling that confidential matters are dealt with, and dealt with in a way not creditable to the writer. But setting aside the extraordinary revelation as to the authorship of a portion of the articles on "Parnellism and Crime" in 1887, and setting aside also a large number of spiteful personalities with regard to his chiefs and colleagues at the Home Office and in the police, it is hardly possible to find in the articles revelations of confidential matters which are other than trivial and unimportant. These are the three charges open at the present time. It has been suggested that in view of these articles—and this is implied in the Motion to reduce the Vote—that it is my duty to deprive Sir R. Anderson of his pension. The Secretary of State's powers on the matter rest upon Section 8 of the Police Act of 1890, and Section 5 of the Police Superannuation Act of 1906. The words in the two sections read together, and I will quote them to the House: "A pension or allowance under this Act is granted only upon condition that it becomes forfeited and may be withdrawn by the Police Authority in any of the following cases:—…(b) if the grantee supplies to any person or publisher, in a manner which the Police Authority considers to be discreditable or improper, any information of a confidential nature which he may have obtained in the course of his employment in the Police." That power is a very strong one, and I think the Committee will see that it is a very necessary one. It would be absolutely intolerable of ex-police officers and ex-agents of the Secret Service were to be allowed, after they have retired, without fear of consequences to publish secrets which may have come into their possession in the course of their duty while in office. Let me point out to the Committee that it is particularly desirable in the case of Secret Service agents to possess this power, because they may do just as much harm and inflict just as much injury upon individuals by inventing secrets as by revealing actual facts, and it is far easier for them to invent secrets and fairy tales in many cases than to give authentic facts. I have put before the Committee the charges against Sir R. Anderson, ancient and modern, and I have also put before the Committee the law as it relates to the power which is vested in the Home Secretary. The question I have had to ask myself is: Is this an occasion on which I should exercise the authority which is entrusted to me by statute? I have come to the conclusion that it is not such an occasion. I have come to that conclusion after consideration; without, I hope, prejudice or undue prejudice of the circumstances and the nature of the three charges. Two out of the three charges lie in the remote past—one twenty-three years ago and the other twenty-one years ago. The authorship of the letters on "Parnellism and Crime" occurred twenty-three years ago, and their authorship has only now been revealed by the garrulous inaccuracies and indiscretions of advancing years. The charge of helping "The Times" newspaper in preparing its case occurred twenty-one years ago. It is strenuously denied, and not merely is there the great lapse of time which even in serious criminal processes might be held to interpose some barrier of limitation, but there is also the difficulty of proving matters from which we are separated by almost a quarter of a century.

So I put aside altogether, for the purposes of any action which I could take at the present time, both those charges which relate to the distant past, though I have expressed my opinion very clearly upon them. There only remains, therefore, the minor revelations contained in the "Blackwood" articles. I have read the "Blackwood" articles. It was my duty to do so—I do not think I should otherwise have been drawn into their perusal—but it was my duty to do so for the purpose of the case which has come under my notice. I have looked through these articles and they seem to me to be written in a spirit of gross boastfulness. They are written, if I may say so, in the style of "How Bill Adams Won the Battle of Waterloo." The writer has been so anxious to show how important he was, how invariably he was right, and how much more he could tell if only his mouth was not what he was pleased to call closed. The most curious feature of these articles is the extremely spiteful references to other Civil servants with whom Sir R. Anderson served. Sir Godfrey Lushington and the late Lord Thring, two servants of the State for whom the highest respect was entertained, are both made the object of offensive and pointless observations, and I think that from many points of view these articles are not calculated to advance the reputation of the writer either with the public at large or with that great body of Civil servants which is thoroughly capable of judging for itself the nature of his conduct.

But none of these matters seem to me to have any real or immediate bearing upon the administration of the Home Office at the present time. I have thought it my duty to call on Sir R. Anderson to restore documents which are the property of the public, and he has expressed his willingness to comply with that request. And it seems to me, reviewing the whole subject and reviewing these articles, that it would be attaching far too much importance to the articles and to their author to take the step at the present time of forfeiting the pension which was conferred upon him nine years ago upon his retirement from the public service. As I have said, the power unquestionably remains, and in future, if any offence were committed and revelations were made which reflect upon private people injuriously, I should not at all bar myself from considering the case as a whole, including the present series of articles so far as they have gone. But at the present time and so far as I am at present advised and informed, I do not think it would be a proper course on my part, and I do not think it would be a wise or judicious administrative action, to apply the disciplinary provisions which exist strictly to Sir R. Anderson's case. As to the general question which has been before the House, I submit that the discussion which has taken place this afternoon and the speech of my hon. Friend who has just sat down are in themselves of far greater value to the cause which he has at stake than all the articles which Sir R. Anderson would ever be able to write can ever be of harm.


This Debate, as I understand, is nominally about Sir R. Anderson and his pension. Unless I entirely misapprehend some words which fell from the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool in his speech he takes very little interest in Sir R. Anderson. He has no great animosity against that Gentleman; and although he moved an Amendment to diminish and indeed destroy his pension altogether I take it that he does not in his heart very greatly regret that the Government do not see their way to comply with that request. The Member for the Scotland Division told us that he was flying at higher game. Unfortunately, I was not here to hear the whole of the hon. Gentleman's speech, but the part which I did hear, I confess, seemed to me wholly irrelevant, if he will forgive my saying so, to the rather narrow question of Civil Service discipline with which the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary has chiefly dealt in his speech; and it seemed to me that the hon. Member was really attempting to reopen the controversy which shook this House and shook the country nearly a quarter of a century ago. In the parts of the speech which I did hear—I did not hear the end of it—the impassioned invective of the last speaker was conspicuously absent. He and I profoundly differ in our whole way of looking at this question, but I am bound to say he did not speak with any violence of which I or anybody else could complain. In the parts of the speech which I heard he never approached the heights of rhetoric with which the Home Secretary began the observations which he has addressed to the House. He, in his very best stye of polished invective, attacked the Administration which was in office in 1887, 1888, and 1889. He accused them of every kind of political crime, treachey, and meanness; and altogether he entirely suited his tone to the taste of his audience.

I am the only Member of the House of Commons at present who was a Member of that Administration, and I was, I suppose, the youngest one. By some kind of political tontine, I suppose, all the responsibility of all my colleagues has gradually and slowly accumulated and I have become the heir of the whole. I have no objection. I think that the position of the Government in connection with all these matters was a difficult one, but I do not see how a different course could have been pursued. I do not mean to go into it at any length, but I must say something after what has fallen from the Home Secretary. What was the position of affairs? The position was this. Mr. Parnell was accused of writing certain letters and being connected with certain organisations. The natural course for him to have pursued, of course, was to have taken an action for libel. [NATIONALIST laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen need not interrupt me. I think they will see that I am not exceeding what I am bound to say on this occasion. The ordinary course that is prescribed for citizens of the State when attacked is to proceed by an action for libel. Mr. Parnell did not do it. We know the main mason why he did not do it. We know it on the very best authority, because the present Lord Morley, in the brilliant party pamphlet which does duty for a chapter in the "Life" of Mr. Gladstone, has told us that he advised Mr. Parnell. Mr. Parnell was anxious to take that course at one time—I do not know whether he persisted in his anxiety—but unless my memory wholly deceives me, Mr. Parnell was anxious to take that course. He was dissuaded by his advisers, among whom, no doubt, the most important was the present Lord Morley of Blackburn himself; and the reason given by Lord Morley is that he could not trust a London jury in the storm of passion and prejudice which then tore the whole community—and everyone will remember the great bitterness of feeling which existed in all classes. For my own part, I entirely agree that it is absurd to say that a man is either to admit he is guilty of this or that charge against him or else bring an action for libel. I think that is really a preposterous dilemma.

If the law could be so contrived that a trial for libel might not produce the most cruel punishments on the man who rightly brings it, you might say to a man, "Here is a disgraceful charge brought against you; bring this into court or admit your guilt." But our law is so happily contrived that a great many things besides" the particular charge can be dragged out of the unfortunate man, or else his witnesses, things which seem to a wreched layman like myself wholly irrelevant, or very nearly irrelevant, from the main issue. Under those circumstances, I quite agree that there may be difficulties, and often are difficulties, which would properly prevent a man attempting to deal with a case of calumny by bringing a libel action. So far has this gone in America that no human being there ever thinks of bringing a libel action whatever the charge which may be brought against him. I do not know "whether I am right, but parts of the American Press have an unenviable reputation for making vigorous statements about the private affairs of citizens of the United States and others, and nobody thinks it is within the bounds of reasonable, practical politics that you should try and protect yourself by bringing an action for libel. And probably in this country there may be special cases of difficulty when a person is a politician. I remember consulting an eminent legal friend of mine when I was accused of being a murderer. The question was whether I might claim some protection from the laws of my country, and he told me that he thought I should not, that I had better not; and I had to submit to the charge of being a murderer, until it was happily forgotten in the new charges which are constantly being brought against persons who are subject to the critical limelight of party politics.

6.0 P.M.

I am only making a jesting reference to my own case, which was, I agree, quite different from that of Mr. Parnell. Mr. Parnell would not take, for the reasons which Lord Morley gave, the ordinary and only remedy given to a citizen of this country when he feels his character has been defamed, and I do not myself see, looking back, how the Government of that day could have taken any other course than that which they did take, unless they totally refused to take any action. It was put to the Government in this shape: "I will not bring an action for libel; give me a Special Committee of this House." That was the request made. I must say that nobody, looking at that request in cold blood, could do otherwise than think that it was an absolutely impossible one to comply with. Whether the Special Commission was a good or a bad tribunal, it was incomparably better than a Committee of this House, which would have been utterly incapable of carrying out such a duty. I am utterly at a loss to understand the violence of the invective which has been poured out on this subject. Lord Morley says it was monstrous to propose what was, in effect, a criminal trial without giving the respondent the advantage of a jury. But the whole of Lord Morley's contention was that Mr. Parnell could not bring an action for libel because a London jury could not be trusted. He said it in black and white—anybody can read it for themselves. He said that was the reason. If that was the reason that Mr. Parnell would not go before a jury it is very unreasonable to complain of the tribunal which was provided, and in which a jury did not take part. If that is so, could a better tribunal have been provided? The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool seems to think that in the conduct of the trial the judges behaved with harshness to the respondent— or, at all events, they refused him the facilities which they ought to have granted.


I purposely abstained almost entirely from commenting on the tribunal. The persons of whom I complained were the counsel who were representing "The Times," who did not by due notice of the names of witnesses give any fair chance to the opposite party.


I am not sure that I am acquainted with all the facts, but am I wrong in this, that if the counsel for the defence, of whom there is one here, had any belief that this procedure was one inimical to the ends of justice and unfair to the respondent, would they not at least have made it known in order that the tribunal might see justice done in the matter? I am convinced they would. I am convinced, in the first place, that Sir Charles Russell never would willingly have allowed any injury to be done to his client, and I am convinced also that if he did not appeal—and he did not—then it comes back to what I said, that it was by the deliberate decision of the tribunal that the course pursued in ibis matter was carried out.

I do not think there can be any doubt, looking back, about two things: in the first place, that if the Government of that day had not appointed the Special Commission, there would have been no trial. Mr. Parnell would not go, for reasons good or bad, to be tried before the ordinary tribunal of the country, and to this day we should never have known the case as to the letters or any of the other matters dealt with by the tribunal. That seems to me to be a great gain in the interests of truth, and it could not have been accomplished had the Government of the day taken any other course than that which they did take. Of course, there are some who think that the inquiry should have been narrowed to the authenticity of the letters alone. I think Lord Morley and others have used such a phrase—I am not sure the Home Secretary did not use it as that the appointment of the Commission was an indictment of a whole nation. No; it was not an indictment of a whole nation, but it was undoubtedly an inquiry into a great movement which, at one end of it at least, unquestionably used the most atrocious methods for carrying its objects into effect. Let me say, so far as I have heard the speech of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division, that nothing has been said indicating that any action of Sir It. Anderson reflected by a hair's-breadth the true finding with regard to the facts and allegations brought before the Special Commission. The ninth finding of the Special Commission runs as follows:— IX. As to the allegation that the respondents invited the assistance and co-operation of and accepted subscriptions of money from known advocates of crime and the use of dynamite, we find that the respondents did invite the assistance and co-operation if and accepted subscriptions of money from Patrick Ford, a known advocate of crime and the use of dynamite, but that it has not been proved that the, respondents or any of them knew that the Clan-na-Gael controlled the League or was collecting money for the Parliamentary Fund. It has been proved that the respondents invited and obtained the assistance and co-operation of the Physical Force Party in America, including the Clan-na-Gael, and in order to obtain that assistance abstained from repudiating or condemning the action of that party. That is the finding of the judges. I did glance at the three letters, and, so far as I can make out, there is nothing in those letters which goes in the smallest degree beyond the bounds of the ninth finding of the Special Commission.

I come now to the actual case of Sir R. Anderson. I entirely agree with the condemnation passed upon any Civil servant, who, while he is a Civil servant, writes to the newspapers, or takes any part in polities. That condemnation was given in very-strong language by the Prime Minister a few days ago, and it has been repeated by the Home Secretary, and with that I entirely associate myself. I also agree that Civil servants should abstain, while they are Civil servants, from mixing themselves up in our political controversies. It really is all-important that after their functions are closed discretion should still seal their lips. In these days of growing publicity, when everybody is either publishing, writing or reading memoirs, it really is of vital importance that it should be an honourable understanding that Civil servants do not use information which they have received confidentially in the course of their duties and turn it into material for publication. I do not know whether any rule can be laid down on the point. I do not remember whether there are official conditions laid down, but I do think it would really be worth while for the Prime Minister to consider whether it should not be made a condition of retaining a pension that a man should not use the information he has obtained in his official capacity. At the same time, I think the Government are right in their view that the case of Sir E. Anderson did not reach the point or attain the magnitude which would justify this House in depriving him of his pension. I rather doubt whether even the hon. Member who moved the Amendment would like to see so heavy a punishment upon a man for what was done nearly a quarter of a century ago. Therefore I agree both with the particular decision come to by the Government and with the general principle that the Prime Minister and Home Secretary laid down, and I rather hope that they will draw still tighter the bond which already confines the action of Civil servants outside their own Departments. It so happens that I am, I believe, the only representative in this House of the Cabinet in office in those stormy years, but, so does time pass, I believe I am the only man, the only survivor of either the ex-Government of that day or the Government of that day. There is not in the House now a single Member of the Gladstone Cabinet of 1886, which was then sitting on this bench in Opposition, and there is no representative in this House of the Government of that day, which then sat on that bench, excepting myself. I, and I alone, remain, but I am quite sure that bitter as were the differences which then separated us, violent as the controversies were which shook this House and shook Society at large over all this Irish revolutionary difficulty at the time, I am sure if I could re-people these benches with their then occupants, every one of them, whatever his views might be upon the burning question of that day or of this, would concur that there was no more vital interest which all parties ought to guard than the interest of keeping pure the Civil Service of this country from any admixture of our party conflicts. Civil servants are human beings. They have their private convictions, they belong to this party or to that party in their private capacity. You neither can, nor should you, prevent that, but what we have been very successful in doing up to the present time, and what we ought to strive to do even more successfully in the future, is to see that these admirable servants of the State are servants of the State and not of party, that they give their services with equal readiness and equal zeal to the Parliamentary Ministers of the day from whatever side those Parliamentary Ministers may be drawn, and that they keep themselves entirely pure from all suspicion of using their great powers in the interests of one party or one section rather than another.

I welcome the declaration of the Government that they hold those views as strongly as we hold them on this side of the House. I am sure they will do everything they can to strengthen the existing regulations, if such strengthening be required, to give formal support to the broad principle of policy with which we all agree. I hope this Debate, whatever else it may do, at all events, will have the effect of discouraging for all time not merely the writing for the newspapers by Civil servants, but disclosures after the period of Civil Service is over of any of the secrets which have come to the knowledge of Civil servants while they still occupied office. If that is the result I shall welcome this Debate. I do not know that that was the object with which the Debate was initiated. I do not know that it is the thing which chiefly occupies Members whom I am addressing, or would be chiefly dealt with in the speeches of those who may follow me. At all events, that is the relevant issue, and I think the only relevant issue, which has been raised by the hon. Gentleman who moved the reduction, and in so far as I can express an opinion on the subject I entirely agree with the broad principles which have been laid down in such clear, and unmistakable language by the occupants of the Treasury Bench.

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

The right hon. Gentleman has said truly that he is the only occupant of that bench who was responsible, as a Minister of the Crown, for the legislation and subsequent proceedings connected with what was called the Parnell Commission. He has taken upon his shoulders the burden of a scapegoat, and admitted that, so far as their conduct is now being impugned, he must accept full responsibility, and that upon him lies the burden of their justification. I occupy possibly a still more difficult position in relation to that matter. I was already a Member of this House at the time, although I never had held any official position, and had no prospect of doing so, but in another capacity, the forensic capacity, I had the honour of serving with my distinguished leader, the late Sir Charles Russell, as counsel, not for the Irish Members at large, but for Mr. Parnell. During nine months, never to be forgotten in my professional life, I sat behind that great advocate, the greatest advocate of our time, watched him, and, to the best of my ability, assisted him day after day in coping with perhaps as heavy and as difficult a task as ever fell to the lot of a lawyer in the course of law in this country. Therefore I speak with a certain amount of embarrassment in relation to anything that took place either in regard to the constitution of that tribunal, or to its operation. But this much I will say in reference to some remarks which fell from the right hon. Gentleman in the earlier part of his speech.

Our complaint, first of all, the complaint which was made by the Opposition and by the Irish Members in this House, and the complaint which was afterwards advanced by us as advocates, when the tribunal got into working order, our main complaint was this, that instead of the inquiry being confined, as it ought to have been, to the serious direct personal charges which were brought against Mr. Parnell in particular, and some of his colleagues, instead of to the main and gravest charge of all, the one which practically absorbed public attention, the charge of the authorship of the fabricated letters which were published with such suspicious opportuneness, instead of the inquiry being confined to those charges, nay, further, instead of those charges being made the forefront of the inquiry, we were kept there week after week, month after month, investigating the history of a social movement in Ireland with regard to which, with all respect, and no one has a more unfeigned respect for the distinguished judges who composed the Commission, they were no better fitted to pronounce an opinion than the ordinary Member of Parliament. That was the real grievance we had, and anyone who studies the proceedings of that Commission, anyone who realises the moment the authorship of the fabricated letters came to be inquired into, I think within a week, and certainly within a very few days, the whole fabric crumbled to the ground with one of the most dramatic collapses that has ever been witnessed in any court of law. What we felt at the time, both as politicians and speaking for myself and my colleagues as advocates, was that we were unfairly treated in the manner in which the case was presented. And that this main, grave governing incident was one which, in fairness to all parties, ought to have been decided promptly and at once. I do not wish to go further back upon that, because if I did I would be justly suspected of speaking perhaps with partisanship, and certainly with partiality. But I must point out in regard to the observations of my hon. Friend, who opened this discussion, and in regard to the Motion which is now before the Committee, that he is concerned, not so much with the institution of the injury, or the composition of a tribunal, or even the mode in which the case was presented, though he has dealt more or less with all those topics; but with the allegation that in the conduct of the ease the prosecution, if so they are to be called, received assistance to which they were not entitled from the officers of the Crown.


And the Chief Secretary.


I want to say quite plainly that I am perfectly certain neither the then Home Secretary nor the right hon. Gentleman who was then Chief Secretary for Ireland had anything whatever to do with it. [An HON. MEMBER: "Indeed he had."] As far as I know, I do not believe that any Member of the Cabinet was aware of or would have sanctioned what we now know to have been done. I think they would not; I think it is so alien to the traditions of British statesmanship. What my hon. Friend said early in the afternoon that the representatives of "The Times," accompanied by a man who was an actual detective, and by an ex-detective, should have been allowed to visit a convict in his cell for the purpose of offering him, for that is what it really came to, inducements to give evidence which would be damaging to Mr. Parnell, I really do not Relieve any English statesman who has ever held the office of Home Secretary would consciously tolerate such a proceeding as that.


The Home Office must have given permission to visit the convict.


Permission must have come from the Prison Commissioners.


And Anderson was Secretary to it.


I agree that bears on the case. I am speaking of the position of the Secretary of State who always denied that he had any knowledge of it, and I see no reason whatever for disputing that fact. That does not affect the gravity of the matter at all. The grave charge made by my hon. Friend is this, whether with or without knowledge of the head of the office a proceeding of that kind should have taken place. That is the gravity of the matter, and I am bound to say, with the admissions which have now been made by Sir R. Anderson, who has claimed to have been the author of the articles on "Parnellism and Crime," and to have written those articles while he was in the Secret Service of the State and Secretary to the Prison Commission, an admission which I cannot either doubt or dispute whatever, and that he supplied the witness Le Caron—and some of us will never forget that most remarkable and sinister personality—that at the time that it was supposed that the case of "The Times" was not prospering very well in the courts, or was being somewhat lamely handled, that he supplied that witness with documents which had come into Sir R. Anderson's possession as a servant and officer of the State, and which he had no more right to part with than anybody has to part with property which does not belong to them, I say if you take those two facts of themselves they are sufficient to justify my hon. Friend's speech to us, and to show that he was well warranted in call- ing attention to this matter even at this distance of time.

What has followed? Sir R. Anderson, as he now is, has written these articles in "Blackwood's Magazine." I have not read them, nor has the right hon. Gentlemen, and I do not propose to read them, but I have been referred to certain passages, find, in particular, to a passage to which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary alluded to-day. I venture to say, as regards that, what I said a few days ago in regard to the allegation that Sir R. Anderson had written the articles called "Parnellism and Crime." I entirely agree with what the right hon. Gentleman said, that the obligations of a Civil servant do not cease when he retires from actual Civil Service. That an ex-Civil servant should permit himself to write in the columns of a magazine or newspaper the kind of thing which appears in these articles is not of much value, not even of much importance. It is full of triviality and full of passages to which my right hon. Friend has referred, but that an ex-Civil servant should permit himself to write articles of that kind is, in my opinion, a matter which merits the strongest condemnation at the hands of the Government. We come to the question of whether for this indiscretion, a very grave indiscretion, my right hon. Friend ought to exercise the power conferred on him by Statute of depriving Sir R. Anderson of his pension. I will not trouble with the minute examination of the words of the Statute, but I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman, that the case is not one in which he would be justified in exercising that particular power, and in regard to the exercise of which, I may point out, there is an appeal to quarter sessions. It would be most undesirable that any Secretary of State should take away a pension which had been granted to an ex-police officer, and that it should go to the London Quarter Sessions to see whether or not his decision was well founded. I really do not think the House would expect my right hon. Friend to place himself in such a position.


Does the Prime Minister suggest that you can appeal from a decision of this House to quarter sessions?


No, not from this House. But if my right hon. Friend exercised disciplinary powers, as suggested, there would be an appeal from that. But, quite apart from that, what I was going to say to the House is this— and I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman concurs—that the time has come when we ought to reconsider the conditions under which pensions for past services are held. Both the law and the practice are at present in a somewhat nebulous condition. It is difficult to deal with a particular case unless you have some general rule to which that particular case can be referred. I think that the time has come when we should draw up in definite form the conditions under which pensions of this bind are to be enjoyed, and that we should take safeguards which our present practice does not afford against such abuses— serious abuses as I consider them to be— as have been committed in relation to this matter by Sir R. Anderson himself. I think the House will find that that is the best and most practical way of dealing with this matter. This Debate will not have taken place in vain if conduct of this kind is made for the future absolutely impossible.


I think I shall have the sympathy of a large proportion of Members when I say that the speech of the Leader of the Opposition was remarkable not so much for what the right hon. Gentleman said, as for what he omitted to say, not so much for the points he dealt with as for the points which he managed to avoid. He dealt only cursorily, as if it were a matter of no interest at all to the House or in connection with the question under discussion, with the complicity of the Government in which he was Chief Secretary for Ireland, in the conspiracy with "The Times" newspaper. At the end of his speech he raised some of those smaller issues which were involved in the findings of the Commission. I shall not hesitate to deal with the points to which the right hon. Gentleman referred. In the meantime I may express my agreement with my hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) in expressing regret that the circumstances of the case compel us to-night to deal with a miserable creature like Anderson, instead of with some of those more sinister figures which are lurking in the background of this black plot. We cannot pass over this Vote, because Anderson was one of the villains of the piece. He was the pivot around which the whole conspiracy turned. He was the great connecting link between the Govern- ment and "The Times" newspaper. As Secretary of the Prisons Board, as the Prime Minister has just admitted, he was able to send or to give permission to hirelings to go into the loneliness of the prison cell to tempt men with the greatest reward that could be offered, namely, the restoration of their freedom, to go into the witness-box before the Parnell Commission and bear false witness against their neighbours. As an ex-Secret Service official he was supplying information day to day to "The Times" newspaper. As Assistant-Commissioner at Scotland Yard he was in close touch with the Home Secretary of the time, and, through the Home Secretary, with the whole Government of the day. He it was who introduced Le Caron to "The Times," and negotiated the amount of blood money to be paid by that newspaper for the informer's services. All the time he was, on his own showing, writing these articles in "The Times" newspaper, attacking one of the political parties in the House. And all this, forsooth, without the slightest knowledge on the part of his superior public servant, or of the Government of which he was an official.

But there was something even more sinister in Anderson's conduct, which seems to have escaped the attention of the Home Secretary. Throughout the whole of the Parnell Commission Anderson knew that Pigott was a forger. As he tells us in his book, he implored the legal advisers of "The Times," who were also the law officers of the Tory Government, not to put Pigott in the box, but to put him instead; and, with a callousness which would cause any honest man to shudder, he actually avows that if "The Times" had only taken his advice, the result of the Commission would have been very different. If the Anderson policy had been adopted, Mr. Parnell would probably have been condemned by the Special Commission as a man who condoned and applauded assassination, he would have been disgraced in this House, he would have been disgraced before his countrymen, and his colleagues would have been avoided in this House as though they were lepers, while the Unionist party would have been raising statues to Pigott as one of the saviours of the Empire. In justice to "The Times," let me say that they were quite willing to act on Anderson's advice. They were not at all anxious to put Pigott in the box. They would.not subpœna him to attend the Commission. It was Mr. Parnell who did so. It was only when Sir James Hannen. got absolutely sick of the procession of witnesses who were being produced to swear that the signature to the letter was Parnell's signature, and asked, "Why do you not give us the man from whom you got the letter," that "The Times" was prepared to produce Pigott, and the great exposure came.

The public did not know as much then as it knows to-day of the part Anderson played in that conspiracy. It even justified the late Sir William Harcourt in saying that if these things had happened in any other times and under any other Government it was not at Scotland Yard that Anderson would have found himself. Mr. Gladstone also denounced Anderson in this House. What followed? Was he dismissed in ignominy? Was he even censured? No, he was promoted. He received an increase of salary in order that he might receive a larger pension; and, to crown all, his name was sent forward to the Sovereign as that of a worthy recipient for a knighthood. I do not know why they did not make him a Peer at once while they were at it. This knighthood was conferred upon him, I suppose, as a reward for his disinterested efforts to assassinate a political leader, a party, and a nation. In his articles in "Blackwood's Magazine" Anderson relates interviews which he had with Cabinet Ministers and private conversations which he overheard between Cabinet Ministers. Some of those conversations, I am sorry to say, seem to have been of a somewhat acrimonious character. I was always under the impression that when Members obtained the Elysian comforts of the Treasury Bench, they lived in love, peace, and harmony ever afterwards; but it seems from Sir R. Anderson's revelations that they do not. I do not complain at what he has disclosed about Cabinet Ministers; in fact, I rather enjoy it. But the other revelations are of a more serious character. I would ask the Government to tell us plainly—I asked the question the other day, but could not get any information—whether there is any Home Office Minute on record forbidding the writing of articles by Government officials, whether still in the public service or in receipt of pensions. What was the fate of Sir Charles Warren, a Commissioner of Police, who wrote much less serious articles in "Murray's Magazine"? He was censured and retired from office because he wrote an article on the administration of Scotland Yard. Anderson did infinitely worse than Warren; and yet Anderson was loaded with honours, while Warren was hunted from the public service. I think Sir Charles Warren has just reason to complain of the manner in which he was treated by the Home Office and by the Government.

There is one revelation in particular in Anderson's articles to which I would like to direct the attention of the House, because, if it is true, it is one of the greatest scandals ever known in police administration in this country. It deals with the arrest of a former Member of this House, Mr. Jabez Balfour, in South America. A detective was sent out by Anderson to effect the arrest. Difficulties were placed in the way of Balfour's extradition by the Argentine Government. The detective effected the arrest, and brought his prisoner in a 'Special train. On coming to a station the detective found that the sheriff of the district was waiting to prohibit the arrest of Mr. Jabez Balfour, and to demand that this illegal procedure should come to and end. Anderson tells us that the detective got between the engine-driver and the levers, and insisted on driving the engine forward, with the result that the sheriff was cut down and killed on the spot. That is an extraordinary statement. Anderson goes on to say that the widow of the sheriff thus killed received a gratuity from the Government in England, and that the man who committed the murder now holds a prominent position in the Detective Department at Scotland Yard. That, I say, is a most extraordinary story. If it is true, and if at the present moment there is in authority at Scotland Yard a murderer for whose arrest a warrant was issued by magistrates in the Argentine Republic, the charge is one which demands and must receive serious investigation at the hands of the Home Office. If it is true, I affirm that the murderer should be sent back to the Argentine to face the warrant and to stand his trial. I read in the newspapers yesterday that there is in this country at present a deputation of Japanese police officials, who are investigating our police methods. I wonder if they were shown Anderson? I wonder if they were presented by the Home Office with copies of "Blackwood's Magazine"? I wonder if anybody pointed out to them this interesting official in Scotland Yard for whose arrest on a charge of murder a warrant was issued by the Argentine Republic? I have heard of setting a thief to catch a thief, but I have not heard before of any police administration setting a murderer to catch a defrauder. I am afraid the Japanese deputation would not be very much impressed by Western police methods if they were told all that they might be told about Scotland Yard and its administration.

The only defence made by Anderson is that by the publication of these articles he averted a serious plot for the blowing up of Westminster Abbey by the use of dynamite at the time of the Jubilee. The plot is one about which the Home Secretary has told us there are absolutely no papers at the Home Office. There is no confirmation whatever of this theory, except the statement of Anderson himself. We Nationalist Members, at any rate, have had enough experience of what these plots are. We know the number of plots that have been born by policemen and police agents out of money supplied by the Secret Service Fund, and we accept all these stories of dynamite plots with great reserve. If these big rewards were offered to poor men for disclosing plots of this character it would pay them to imagine plots and send in their information. The Secret Service Fund in this country is one which, I think, this House would be well advised to give serious attention to. I do not accuse those responsible for its administration of jobbery. I do accuse them of extravagance and of a bad investment. They paid out £5,000 to that interesting humbug, Major Yellow, before they discovered that he was humbugging them all the time. P. J. Sheridan was offered £50,000 to come over from America and swear that Parnell was associated with outrages in Ireland. Where was that £50,000 to come from? I do not think "The Times" was so innocent as to pay that money itself. There was some other force at the back, and I know of no more possible force than the Secret Service Fund. Le Caron received £10,000 for the evidence he gave before the Parnell Commission. I do not know how much he had received in the years preceding that from the Secret Service Fund. This I do know, that money spent upon Le Caron was absolutely wasted. Such of his evidence as was true was notorious, and therefore useless, and such of it as was false was grotesquely false, and was therefore equally useless. A less valuable witness certainly never was produced before any Commission.

Hon. Members will be surprised to know that Secret Service money was paid to have hon. Members watched in this House and to see what visitors sent in their cards to them. A Secret Service agent was actually stationed at Chester for the express purpose of reporting what Irish and American visitors might call upon the late Mr. Gladstone at Hawarden. Public money was spent for that! If these facts are not sufficient in themselves to prove the absolute necessity of a searching inquiry into the whole administration of the Secret Service Fund, then I do not know what proofs the House will desire. There was another interesting revelation made yesterday by the Home Secretary. None of the letters written by Le Caron were found at the Home Office, although vast sums of public money were being paid for them. Le Caron made no reports to the Home Office, and no reports were made as to the substance and character of the communications which were received by the Home Secretary from Le Caron. I should like therefore to know what check any Minister had upon the money which was being spent upon Le Caron, or how they knew that they were getting value for their money? Le Caron, I say, got £10,000 for his evidence before the Parnell Commission. A few days before he gave evidence he called upon a friend of his in the North of London, a Nonconformist minister. He told this Minister that "The Times" was disputing with him as to the exact reward which he was to receive for the evidence he was about to give. He wanted £10,000. "The Times" only proposed to pay £6,000. Of course his ministerial friend advised him to get as much as he could out of it. He went into the witness box the next day and swore before the Commission that he had been offered nothing from "The Times," or from the Government for the evidence which he was about to give. Then he wrote this letter to his ministerial friend whom he had consulted as to the terms of the original demand:— My dear Sir,—While you may not agree altogether with my methods. I value your good opinion of my honesty and truth too much to let pass without any explanation from me the apparent difference in my testimony from my statement made to you at your house in respect to my being offered a reward for my evidence‥ … I have not yet drawn one cent. from the Government or ' The Time'. And while I do not fear the future, or doubt the honour of either, no bargain has been made.'' There is another aspect of Le Caronism, which I respectfully commend to the attention of Labour men. This was not the first time that Le Caron had been concerned in matters of this sort. There was a serious labour strike on one of the Gould railways in America in 1889. Le Caron then wrote a letter to one of the Labour leaders. In this letter Le Caron said:— Dear Sir,—At such a time as this a few words of advice and encouragement may be of service to you, and may possibly serve to solve the very difficult problem so suddenly thrust before you. A peaceful law-abiding strike will never conquer such a power as you now have to deal with. Moral suasion, so good in trivial cases, becomes of no use when applied to such a coldhearted fiend as J. Gould; entreaty, argument and sympathy appeal to him in vain, and though they plead with him in thunder tones, the sound falls on leaden ears. You must touch his pocket, and meet force with force. You must not be expected to publicly countenance anything but peaceful measures; you will not even know that any other has been resorted to. All that you need do will be to give me the names of a few of your lieutenants along the Missouri-Pacific road, and I will attend to the vest. Name only those in whom you can place implicit confidence, and I will place in their hands materials that will, if properly handled, destroy every bridge and culvert on the road. I have made a study of explosives, and can give you an unfailing remedy for the wrongs your members complain of. All that you need do will be to write the names I have asked for on the blank space of this sheet and return it to me without name even. I will manage the rest. Whatever is to be done must be done quickly— The very phrase used in one of the forged Parnell letters! I know you by reputation for years and can trust you. All I ask is your confidence, and, in return, I promise the most gratifying results. Faithfully yours, HENRI LE CARON. That is the stamp of man who was in the pay of the Home Office for thirty-five years before he was produced before the Parnell Commission to give evidence attempting to connect Mr. Parnell with crime. He was endeavouring, at the same time that he was seeking to blast the reputation, of the Irish Leader and the Irish party by charging them with association with crime, to organise these crimes himself, and to endeavour to entrap the labour leaders in America into conspiracy of the same character. An hon. Gentleman in the House asked, the other day, a supplementary question as to whether Lord Russell of Killowen had described the incidents connected with the Parnell Commission as "a foul conspiracy." He asked whether the House could not have the opportunity of ascertaining who were the foul conspirators. We know who the foul conspirators were ! There is no necessity for us to say, "Oh, that mine enemy had written a book." Both of our enemies in this matter have written books. Le Caron wrote one book, and Anderson the other. I may say in passing that there is no more pathetic touch in the two volumes than the unanimity with which Le Caron pays high tribute to the honesty of Anderson, and Anderson pays high tribute to the honesty of Le Caron! But with these biographies for documents we have conclusive proof that the foul conspirators were the Government of the day and "The Times" newspaper. The Government refused to give the Irish Members a Select Committee. They offered instead to set up the Special Commission. Who made the arrangements for the Special Commission? They were made at private interviews between Mr. W. H. Smith, then Leader of the House, Mr. Walter, manager of "The Times," Mr. Buckle, editor of "The Times," and Sir Richard Webster, who was afterwards to be the prosecutor on behalf of "The Times." Instead of investigating the authenticity of the forged letters—the only subject in which the public was interested —the scope of the inquiry was widened in order to include every incident of the agitation. The judges were three Conservatives. One of them was an Irish landlord whose rents had been reduced by the very agitators he was going to try. Above all the Commission was not to inquire into causes, but only to deal with effects. Thus there was to be a tribunal appointed by political, opponents and consisting of political opponents. The trial—to be without jury— was of a political movement by a political party. As the Prime Minister said, ' It was the trial of a nation." Surely if ever there was a time when the dice were loaded, the dice were loaded in that inquiry!

The connection of the Government with the conspiracy was clear, for not only had there been secret interviews between Mr. W. H. Smith and the manager of "The Times," but Sir Richard Webster was constantly advising the Government as to the powers and constitution of a tribunal before which he himself was to appear as counsel for the forgers. We had the Home Secretary, Mr. Matthews—now Lord Llandaff. We had Monro, Anderson, Scotland Yard, the Home Office, the Prisons Board, and a vast army of well-paid spies and informers, all actively working in scouring the purlieus of the cities of America and Great Britain, as well as our convict prisons, to get evidence in support of "The Times" newspaper. We had the Chief Secretary—now the Leader of the Opposition—himself. He was also actively concerned in that matter. I notice that a prominent politician, who is also a distinguished journalist, (Mr. Foster Frazer), said a few days ago that he believed I had an idea at the back of my head that Mr. Balfour was the author of the Pigott letters. I have got no such idea, but I will tell the House what I think of the Leader of the Opposition. The Chief Secretary let loose in the interests of "The Times" newspaper every county and district inspector, head constable, and sergeant in Ireland to give information to "The Times." He gave them unlimited leave of absence. He let loose every resident magistrate, released from duty every Crown Prosecutor and other officials of the Government. They were in receipt of two salaries—the Government salary and "The Times" salary during all the time they were in London. I need scarcely tell the House there was not one of them in a hurry to get back to Ireland. They were all here giving service for the good of "The Times." The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary said many harsh things about the Nationalist party, and the Nationalists said many about him. But since he became Leader of the party his speeches have been characterised—as we gladly recognise—by a courtesy and consideration which some of those who sit immediately behind him would, I think, do well to imitate. But that is no reason why I should not state quite frankly the part which the right hon. Gentleman played in that Parnell Commission. The Prime Minister said that he was shocked at the charges made by my right hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division, and that he could not believe that any man, occupying the position of a Cabinet Minister, would be a party to hunting up the convicts in their cells, and offering them the bribe of freedom and a pension if they would give evidence. There is a kind of freemasonry between the Front Benches, and you will never get the Cabinet Minister on the one side to believe that a Cabinet Minister on the other can do anything wrong. Not only were the convicts approached in their cells, and offered their liberty if they would give evidence against Mr. Parnell and the Irish party, but a large number of them were actually brought to the Parnell Commission, and were released from penal servitude immediately afterwards. How were "The Times'" agents able to get into their cells and offer these men their liberty unless they had the Government at their backs? Delaney, for example, was offered his liberty in Maryborough Convict Prison. He was one of the Dublin Invincibles, and he was lying there under sentence of penal servitude for life. The House does not need to be told that a poor wretch in a condition of that kind when offered his liberty and a large money reward would be ready to swear anything to get out. He promptly closed with the offer of "The Times," and came over and swore that Parnell was connected with the commission of the outrages in the West of Ireland.

7.0 P.M.

The man was released then, and his expenses were paid to Australia, and he received a large sum of money from either the Government through the Secret Service Fund, or from "The Times" newspaper to start life again. Mr. Michael Davitt was travelling in that part of the world some years afterwards. He called at the local prison to make some inquiries about the prison arrangements in that place, because, as hon. Members may know, Mr. Davitt was of a strong humanitarian feeling, and never lost an opportunity of making inquiries about the condition of men who were undergoing long terms of penal servitude. The Governor of that prison was an Irishman. He took Mr. Davitt round the prison, and drawing aside the grating on one of the cell doors, asked him to look in, and see if he could identify the prisoner who occupied the cell. Mr. Davitt looked in, but failed to recognise the man. Well, said the Governor, ' that is Delaney, the ex-Maryborough prisoner, who gave evidence against you and others it the Parnell Commission. He came over here afterwards; he spent all his money, and then went down again into his old habits, and he is now here serving another term of penal servitude on the charge of murder. That is the class of man with whom the Government of the time conspired.

There were other Unionist leaders concerned. Captain O'Shea was put into the witness box at the Parnell Commission to swear that the signature to one of the forged letters was Parnell's signature, which he stated he knew well. He was asked how he first came into contact with "The Times" newspaper, and he said, "I was introduced to Mr. Parnell by Mr. Chamberlain"—that is the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham. It was he who introduced O'Shea to Parnell, and he induced O'Shea to give evidence before the Commission—evidence when was afterwards proved to be absolute perjury. Now O'Shea had been, as most Members are aware, the secret agent of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham in the negotiations in the Kilmainham Treaty, and time may yet disclose who, after the failure of the forgeries, provided the funds to enable Captain O'Shea to enter his divorce action against the late Mr. Parnell.

British Consuls were approached, even the Admiralty was dragged into the matter, and the First Lord of the Admiralty of that period was induced to give leave of absence to certain officers who were sent over to America to gather information on behalf of "The Times." Yet we are told the Government of the day knew nothing about it. If they did not I must say they were the most constantly maligned Government that ever I heard of and they were the most innocent and simple-minded Government that ever presided over the destinies of this Empire since the days of Simon de Montfort. Even Le Caron laughed to scorn the idea that the Government were innocent. But not only did the leaders assist, but the rank and file of the Tory party assisted these charges for all they were worth. They used them upon every political platform and made political party capital out of them, not only against the Irish party, but against the Liberal party also. They issued hundreds of thousands of the pamphlets "Parnellism and Crime," and they distributed them in every constituency in Great Britain. As hon. Members will see, there is on a corner of the front cover of this pamphlet a blood-red thumb-mark bearing the inscription, "Brand of the National League." That was to make people's blood curdle, and that was the pamphlet that contained Sir R. Anderson's famous article. The late Marquis of Salisbury, in a public speech, accused the late Mr. Gladstone of having allies tainted with the strong presumption of conniving at assassination. Anderson was not the only instrument in the conspiracy; Pigott was not the only instrument in the conspiracy. I have no hesitation in declaring my belief that in the circumstances far more guilt attaches to the tempters than to the tempted, far more guilt attaches to those who provided the money than to the poor wretches who accepted their bribes. As the late Mr. Davitt truly states:— No hired bravo in undertaking to despatch some victim in a Sicilian vendetta made a more business-like arrangement for driving a stiletto into the object of his professional vengeance than the men who planned and premeditated this assassin blow at the Irish cause. Hon. Members above the Gangway on the Opposition side are quite right in saying that the leaders were never convicted of these charges. That is quite true. They never were convicted, but that was because they were never tried, and they took care by the provisions they inserted in the Act setting up a. Special Commission that they never should be tried. The late Lord Russell could have proved before the Commission that three Members of the Cabinet of the day had contributed to the funds of the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union which had suborned Pigott and others. The Commission would not allow that to be gone into. They would not call for the production of the books of that organisation, and Lord Russell thereupon, acting upon Mr. Parnell's instructions, threw up his brief and retired from the case. They could have found that rewards had been provided for Anderson and all his spies, and even that rewards had been provided for more highly placed people. The merchant in Dublin, Mr. Jonathan Hogg, who advanced the money for the purchase of the Pigott letters, was made a Privy Councillor, and he is still one of the select body advising His Majesty as to the proper government of Ireland.

Hon. Members above the Gangway will follow the advice of their Leader and endeavour to side-track this Debate as to the responsibility of the Government of that day, and if we may judge from an exhibition which we saw in the House the other night during a time of some excitement from one Noble Lord above the Gangway, whose manners, I hope, are not the manners of Mayfair, we shall hear in the course of this Debate a lot about Mr. Patrick Ford. I can conceive circumstances under which the name even of Mr. Patrick Ford might be hailed with cheers above the Gangway. If he could serve them in any way, non talio auxilio, they would take him to their bosoms. Circumstances alter cases. The other day a rumour got abroad about Mr. Patrick Ford's political views, and the "Daily Mail" sent one of its smart young men to interview him, and then, in a cable home, they flashed across the ocean the glorious and joyful tidings that Patrick Ford was a Tariff Reformer. I think if they could only persuade Mr. Ford to come over and address a public meeting in the Albert Hall on Tariff Reform, a vote of thanks would be proposed to him by the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Austen Chamberlain), and seconded, perhaps, by the Noble Lord (Viscount Winterton). But they did not stop at that; they proceeded to build upon it a most interesting super-structure. They said: "Patrick Ford controls the Irish party, the Irish party controls the Liberal party, and so perhaps, in the fullness of time, we may find Mr. Ford compelling the Liberal party to adopt Tariff Reform." There is one hon. Member in this House who sits on the Opposition benches above the Gangway—I do not know his Constituency, and therefore I am compelled to designate him by his name, which is Mr. Pretyman Newman. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, Order."] I said I did not know his Constituency.


Find out.


If I want to find out, I will not appeal to the Noble Lord, because I might not get a civil answer. This distinguished statesman writes a weekly letter to a local newspaper called the "Weekly Herald." I am sorry to say that this newspaper thinks so little of his contribution that they will not insert it except as an advertisement. His letter is headed "Advertisement," and in it he says:— Mr. Ford, the ex-Fenian Dynamiter, is now the man who finds the money in America to pay Mr. Redmond and his merry men, and Mr. Redmond, through Mr. Asquith, at this moment rules this country, the Empire, and our destinies. Such queer and whimsical changes as this, the whirlgig of time brings about. [HON. MEMBERS: "Author."] I am not; aware whether he is here to-night to respond to the call of "author." If he is, I should like to hear him justify the advertisement he inserted in this local newspaper.

It is said that Mr. Patrick Ford was an advocate of physical force, and the Leader of the Opposition in his speech quoted the finding of the Parnell Commission, in which it was said that we on these benches, who are the advocates of constitutional methods as against revolutionary methods, accepted financial help from the Physical Force Party in America. But what about the Tory party itself? They do not approve of the objects of the Irish party, and they say that the methods of the Irish party led to crime and mischief. Yet they accepted help from the Irish party in the General Election of 1885 to turn the Liberal party out of power, and they were very glad to get it, and they would be glad to get it again. Not only that, but immediately after they won the General Election of 1885 with the aid of the Irish Nationalist vote, the Tory Lord Lieutenant of that day proceeded to negotiate with those whom they alleged to be "criminals and associates of murderers and assassins" about a certain Home Rule Bill which the Government of that day was about to introduce. The interview between the Tory Lord Lieutenant and Mr. Parnell took place in an empty house in Dublin. They met there secretly to draw up a scheme of Home Rule for Ireland. The Marquess of Salisbury went down to Newport in 1885 when this good feeling between the Tory party and the Home Rulers was in full blast, and he delivered a speech which sounded very much like a defence of boycotting, which he professed to condemn. You who shudder at the idea of physical force hold up as a hero Dr. Jameson in connection with the raid in South Africa for trying to persuade the Boers to recognise the blessings of British rule. Evidently we are to be judged by different standards:— That in the captain is but a choleric word, which in the private is rank blasphemy. This was very much like saying "You may steal the horse, but we must not look over the hedge." The Home Secretary of the time, Mr. Matthews (now Lord Llandaff) expressed his opinion at that time, and what was his opinion about associating with murderers? He was nominated for Dungarvan by Pigott, and Patrick Ford was one of his energetic supporters. One of the first friends he entertained after his election at his house was O'Donovan Rossa, and the London "Times" in introducing Mr. Matthews to public life said he was "a cross between a Fenian and a Tory." Yet as soon as Mr. Matthews became Home Secretary under a Unionist Government he proceeded to conspire with "The Times" newspaper to charge the Irish Nationalist party with doing the very thing he had been guilty of himself as candidate for Dungarvan. Was ever more magnificent audacity witnessed in politics? We heard a good deal about the physical force party. We do not agree with their methods, but we are not ashamed of them. For my part, I am proud of every man who is ready to risk property, liberty, and even life itself for the liberation of his fatherland. The hon. Gentleman from Scotland, who represents one of the North of Ireland constituencies, laughs at that remark, but I tell him and all his kidney that they may denounce the physical force party as much as they like, but the more they denounce them the more we shall respect them. We have tried to bring Fenianism in line with the Nationalist movement, and we have as much right to aim at the solidarity of the Irish race as hon. Members above the Gangway have to aim at the solidarity of the Empire. We are striving to win our cause by constitutional means, but if those means fail we shall be free to try other methods; and we shall not shirk the consequences of our action. I read a speech the other day, delivered in Manchester by the hon. and learned Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool (Mr. F. E. Smith), in which he said:— The Irish Members are rebels at heart, and are too honest to deny it. They are disloyal. For my part, I think the duty of a good citizen is loyalty to the country of his birth first, and any man who says otherwise is either a sycophant or an economiser of truth, or both. The hon. Member for the Walton Division may be loyal to the House of Hanover, the House of Brunswick, or to some particular reigning House, but he is far more loyal to the House of Smith; therefore I take with a grain of salt all his fierce denunciations at that meeting. I know he is not a rebel and that he will never shoulder a rifle in the defence of any cause whatever, for I am perfectly certain he would rather shoulder a brief bag. The charges which have been made may roughly be divided under two heads. In the first place, there are charges which impute personal dishonour to Mr. Parnell and Irish Members by complicity in murder and association with known murderers; and, secondly, there are a series of allegations with reference to excesses and illegalities in regard to the land agitation in Ireland. Before the Parnell Commission the charges against individuals were absolutely abandoned and the Commission applied itself to the question of the charges against the organisation. The result was that Irish Members were triumphantly acquitted. I think there were sixty-five Nationalist Members affected, and they offered no defence with regard to the smaller charges because it was regarded as a waste of time to discuss them. Sixty-four Irish Members were found guilty of making strong speeches, and one was acquitted of this charge. The Irish people, however, came to the conclusion that this one gentleman was guilty of being innocent, and he lost his seat at the next election and has never since been heard of in Irish politics.


The hon. Member is misrepresenting the case.


The Noble Lord can get up later on and read the evidence, and I hope he will lay stress on that part dealing with boycotting, because he has had a painful experience himself of boycotting at the hands of his own party, and I trust he will get up and tell us about it. Let him be as frank about that as he will probably be about the boycotting by Irish agitators. If he does that I can promise him a full House and a splendid report in to-morrow's newspapers. During the Reform Bill agitation I remember reading that the cities of Bristol and Nottingham were in flames, and that the loyal men of Birmingham threatened to march upon London. I have dealt with all the more important charges. I have dealt with the charge of receiving assistance from the Physical Force party, and I have referred to the statement in the Report that the Land League agitation was followed by disturbance. The Noble Lord is welcome to that, and if he wants to elaborate boycotting he can tell us what he thinks of the methods of the squires and the parsons who, in the distribution of blankets at Christmas, take care that Nonconformists do not get a share. He can tell us something also about boycotting in other respects when the children of Nonconformist parents are excluded from the bun worries.

The Irish Members were found guilty of having made strong speeches. I think we all make strong speeches from time to time, and most politicians do. Some say exactly what they think, while others say exactly what they think will suit. There is, however, a disposition amongst politicians to say what comes into their heads without regard to the consequences. I should be inclined to say they "damn the consequences," but I suppose that remark would be out of order in this House, although it is permitted in the House of Lords. The "Daily Telegraph," which will not be accused of any extraordinary bias in favour of the Nationalist party, said on the day after the Commission had reported:— Nobody really cares how much or how little moral blame attaches to Irish Members for what they said in the hurly-burly of political agitation. Revolutions, however mild, are not made with rose-water. I should have thought that was the very point the Commission would have been instructed to examine. I ask hon. Members above the Gangway whether sufficient time has not now elapsed since the inquiry to enable them to do justice to-night to their political opponents. There were sixty-five Nationalist Members indicted at that time, and most of them are now Sleeping the sleep that knows no waking, and they are beyond the reach either of your praise or your censure. But some twenty still remain Members of the Irish party to-day. Do hon. Members owe no reparation for the false charges they brought against us at that period? Not a word of apology has ever been spoken by the Tory party to the base and brutal charges which they then brought forward. The Leader of the Tory party rose in his place to-night and not a word of apology escaped his lips. You dangle Tariff Reform before us, and wonder why we do not rise to the bait. Perhaps you will discover the explanation of many things in Irish politics if you would only examine your own consciences, and recall the fact that whilst you offer us these things you persist in the villification of our living and our dead. No apology has been offered by you. After the exposure of these charges, Sir Richard Webster rose and stated on the Parnell Commission:— After the evidence that has been given, we are not entitled to say that the letters are genuine. That was the apology. He proceeded:— Those whom I represent request me to express their regret that the letters were published. That feeling, which most truly exists, will at the proper time be more fully expressed by themselves. The proper time never came. I wonder has it come to-night? Will those whom he represents do the right thing during the remainder of this Debate? One Unionist Leader, at any rate, gave expression to the honest indignation that he felt at the time of the conspiracy, and offered his whole-hearted sympathy to the Irish Members. That was Lord Randolph Churchill, to whose memory I gladly pay a passing tribute to-night. I apologise to the House for having detained it so long, and I can only plead in extenuation that during the eight years I have been a Member of this House I have never trespassed so long before upon its attention. My last word will be that during a time of great stress and anxiety the party opposite stood loyal and devotedly to the cause of the Irish people. Neither would I make the appeal to that newer force which has arisen in English politics, namely, the Labour party, who have experienced, like we have, what it means to fight a great, wealthy, and well-ordered organisation, and who have experienced, like we have, what it means to receive the shafts of calumny and slander. My appeal is rather addressed to hon. Members above the Gangway. Even though a quarter of a century has passed away since these events took place, and even though the great Reaper has cut down many of the most prominent figures of that interesting time, I would appeal to them not for our sakes but for their own, not for the sake of Ireland but for the sake of the honour of public life in this country, to act to-night a part which they themselves will be able to justify when they are summoned before the greatest of all tribunals.


It has occurred to me, as an Irish Unionist Member, that all this talk we have had to-night from the hon. Member for South Down (Mr. MacVeagh) and the hon. Member for the Scot land Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) has centered round a small indiscretion of a public official. They have not impugned his veracity, and I must say, having listened to the impassioned speeches delivered by these two Irish Members, that I have been struck by the fact that now, after twenty years, they are trying to rehash up the whole of this Parnell trouble. Why is it done? It is done to distract attention from what occurred last night; it is done to distract attention from their having voted last night in favour of the Budget, and having thus placed on the Irish farmers Land Taxes, extra Stamp Duties, and extra Death Duties. This is all brought in tonight in order to drag a red herring across what they did last night.

There has been a great deal said about Le Caron and Sir R. Anderson. The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool in his eloquent speech said that every fact that could be kept back was kept back at that Commission. The onus of proving the charges was on "The Times," and "The Times" brought forward facts to prove them. We admit now, after this long lapse of time, that "The Times" did not succeed in proving that Mr. Parnell wrote these letters. Everyone knows that. We have had it all rehashed up to-night by the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool. I do not blame him. He was one of the respondents in the case, and I have no doubt he feels very bitterly, and he naturally speaks in a very heated manner about it.

That was not the only charge "The Times" brought against them. There were a great many other charges. It is very hard for us to throw ourselves back to the state of excitement and uproar that prevailed in Ireland at that time. The hon. and learned Member for Water-ford (Mr. John Redmond) has said thousands of times on public platforms that the object of the Irish Nationalist Members at that time was to make the government of Ireland by the Imperial Parliament impossible. They were endeavouring to destroy law and order in Ireland, and, speaking as one of the Irish loyalists, and as one of those persons living in Ireland who are anxious to see the law of the Imperial Parliament, and not the law of the Land League, prevail in Ireland, I say, looking back at the excitement produced at that time, that I think "The Times" did a great public service to the cause of law and order in Ireland by charging the Nationalist party with having attempted to make Government impossible, a charge which was found to be perfectly true by the Commission. It is all very well for Irish Nationalists to talk to-night as if they got off scot-free. They did not do anything of the kind. "The Times" succeeded in a great number of issues which were raised. The only Member who has made charges on the personnel of the judges of that Commission was the hon. Member who last spoke. He seems to have a very low opinion of those three great English gentlemen.


The hon. Member is drawing on imagination. I said nothing at all to justify that observation.


My recollection is that he said one of the judges was an Irish landlord who had had his rents reduced. If he did not infer by that that he was a prejudiced judge, I do not know what he meant. He was only wasting the time of the Committee.


The hon. and learned Gentleman must not put words into my mouth which I did not use. I said three of them were Tories, and, if he thinks that is a reflection, he is quite welcome to take it as such.


It is my recollection that he said one of them was an Irish landlord.


So he was.


And that he had had his rents reduced. I do not know to which judge he referred.




He was one of the most distinguished and most fair-minded judges who ever sat on the English Bench. I do not think any Member of the Treasury Bench will endorse the innuendo that he was not a fair-minded judge. These English judges found that a certain number of charges had been proved. They found that some of the respondent Members of Parliament established and enjoyed the Land League Organisation intending by its means to bring about the absolute independence of Ireland as a seperate nation. That was one of the charges in those days, and it is a charge we still make against the Irish Nationalist party. When they ask for Home Rule, they really ask for Ireland as a nation, and to have it cut off clean from the United Kingdom.




Who said that? One of the Labour Members, the hon. Member for Stoke. I think we who live in Ireland and have a great deal of experience of the Irish Nationalist party know what they are up to better than a great many of the Labour Members.


The interrupter happened to be an Irishman.


Oh, the hon. Member opposite knows everything. I will not, however, stop to discuss that. This is a matter which affected the Loyalists of Ireland very much and affects them still. What did the judges find? We find that the respondents"— sixty-five of the Irish Nationalist party— did enter into a conspiracy, by a system of coercion, and intimidation, to promote an agrarian agitation against the payment of agricultural rents.


On a point of order. Is the hon. and learned Gentleman in order in referring to all the findings of the Parnell Commission on this Amendment to reduce the pension of Sir R. Anderson for indiscretions in his life as a Civil Servant?


If I had taken a narrow view of what could be brought up on this Amendment I should have had to stop a great many speakers, and I do not think it is fair for me now to call the hon. Member to order. The reason I have given such latitude is that I think it would have been almost impossible to have drawn a hard and fast line as to what is or is not in order on this particular Amendment.


I should like to say that the charges about the Parnell letters which have been talked about by the Nationalists till we are perfectly sick of hearing of them, had no more to do with Sir R. Anderson than they had to do with the man in the moon. Sir R. Anderson had nothing whatever to say to the Parnell letters as they were called. The only charge brought against him, and mind it is brought against him on his own confession, is that he wrote two or three of the articles "Parnellism and Crime," and those dealt with the American movement and the American conspiracy against England, and its association with the hon. Members who represented the Nationalist party. I think I am entitled to refer to these other matters just as much as the Irish Nationalists were entitled to rehash up all the business of the Parnell Commission. I was reading the Second Finding, and I will read it again:— We find the respondents did enter into a conspiracy by a system of coercion and intimidation to promote an agrarian agitation against the payment of agricultural rent. Listen to what comes next:— For the purpose of impoverishing and expelling from the country the Irish landlords, who are styled ' The English Garrison.' That was the object of the no-rent agitation. I will not read out all that was found.


Go on. I forget what I was guilty of.


Finding No. 4 was as follows:— We find the respondents did disseminate the ' Irish World ' and other newspapers intending to incite to sedition and the commission of other crimes.


God help me.


That was another crime found. It is all very well for the hon. Gentleman to jeer, but he does not come here with clean hands.


They are covered with blood. Look at them.


I will give another finding. We have heard something about Patrick Ford. He was introduced by the hon. Member who last spoke. Patrick Ford is a very great friend of the Irish Nationalists to-day. He is the best friend they have, in fact. He has collected money for them, and he enabled them to fight the last General Election. What do we find that their best friend was found guilty of by "The Times" Commission? He was described as a known advocate of crime and of the use of dynamite. I do not suppose that Patrick Ford is advo- cating the use of dynamite now, because he thinks he has a better way of dealing with the Government. He has seventy Members who are now sitting on the head of the Government, and therefore dynamite is no longer necessary to promote the separation of Ireland and England. Figuratively speaking, a much better dodge is to pass Veto Resolutions and to make attacks on the House of Lords, and this at his instigation the hon. and learned Member for Waterford and his friends are doing. In those days, however, Patrick Ford was the great apostle of dynamite, and I have a quotation from his paper describing the Irish skirmishers as dynamitards who entered London unknown and unnoticed, with the result that one quiet calm night, when the wind was blowing, all London, from one end to the other, would be in flames shooting up to the heavens in fifty different places. These were the doctrines which Patrick Ford was preaching at the time of the Parnell Commission—this was the doctrine he was preaching when Sir R. Anderson, while employed at the Home Office, stopped the dynamitards from coming into London unknown and unnoticed. I believe it is a fact stated by Sir R. Anderson himself that, owing to his action, an explosion of dynamite was avoided at the time of the Queen's Jubilee. I do not wonder at Nationalist Members from Ireland objecting to Sir R. Anderson, because he was the man who put a stop to the goings on of Patrick Ford. Still, Patrick Ford, the dynamitard of 1887 and 1888, is now the best friend of Irish Members here. I have a letter written to him the other day by the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool, in which he states that they have all been reading the "Irish World" with delight for the last six weeks and they all recognised the brilliant success of the work Mr. Ford was doing for Ireland. The magnificent return to his appeal was one of the most signal proofs of the strength of their movement, and they were looking to brilliant prospects for the near future. The letter ends:— It is a matter of congratulation that you who have held the flag aloft in seasons of storm, should, now the time is ripe, reap a rich return for your fidelity to the cause. The hon. and learned Member for Water-ford, in a speech last September, described Patrick Ford as a grand old veteran who had done more in the last thirty or forty years for Ireland than almost any man living. During those thirty or forty years Mr. Ford, however, was preaching the doctrines of physical force and dynamite. Hon. Members below the Gangway on this side cheer that statement. I should like to know if any one of them has ever been invited by a Liberal Member to stand on a Liberal platform and to say, "I am the friend of Patrick Ford, the dynamitard."


And Tariff Reformer.


I know nothing about that. At any rate the interruption is irrelevant.


Does the hon. and learned Gentleman mean to say that my statement is untrue?


I do not think the matter is worth discussing. All I am pointing out is that Patrick Ford, the dynamitard, is the very best friend Nationalist hon. Members now have, and they know that if they did not cheer him they would get no more money from America I have brought forward these matters, however, to show that when you go back twenty years to the sitting of the Parnell Commission you will find there are two sides to the case. Hon. Members have come here to-day and have rehashed up to the House all about the Parnell letters. They have given us quotations from the speeches of one of the ablest members of the English Bar (Sir Charles Russell), who, however, acting on their behalf, was still unable to get them off scot-free, although I admit, as everyone must admit, that on some charges they were acquitted. Still "The Times" did a great public work. It was a good day's work that it did for the loyalists of Ireland and for the boycotted persons in that country, crowds of whom came over and gave evidence before the Commission. The whole of the evidence laid before that Commission was not confined to that of Le Caron and informers. There were hundreds of peasants who had been terrorised by the land organisation which was then operating in Ireland with the object of making government by the Imperial Parliament impossible. I am glad to say that it did not succeed, and under the Unionist Government law and order was restored to Ireland. I wish to goodness there was as much law and order today.


Is the hon. Gentleman referring to the time when somebody threatened to kick the Crown into the Boyne?


I think the hon. Member, who is sitting among the Labour Members—he may be one of them —is getting rather mixed. I am referring to the conspiracy of the Irish Nationalists to make government in Ireland impossible. I say that that conspiracy failed. Speaking as an Irish loyalist, I am glad that it did, and I think to-night the Committee, having seen the way in which Sir R. Anderson has been pursued—the vindictive way in which he has been pursued simply because he was one of the men who stopped the Irish Nationalist policy of dynamite, bearing in mind the way in which he has been pursued with vindictiveness and malignity, it is sufficient to show what would be likely to happen to Irish loyalists if the Nationalist policy of Home Rule should ever become effective.


As a new Member, representing probably more Irishmen than any other English Member, I crave the indulgence of the House for a very few minutes. The subject before the Committee has become somewhat expanded, and one cannot feel certain, if he confines himself to the main object of the Resolution—Sir R. Anderson—that he would not be likely to be called to order. I wish to make reference to something said by the Home Secretary; and if the right hon. Gentleman speaks later in the evening I hope that this point will not escape his attention. The right hon. Gentleman divided the effective charges against Sir R. Anderson in this way. First, there was a charge which would have led to his dismissal had it been discovered at the time. That is admitted on all sides. Secondly, there was a charge which was not proven, and, thirdly, there was a trivial charge. The right hon. Gentleman, I rather gather, justified his inaction in the matter of a pension on the fact that the only charge which turned out to be well-founded was a trivial offence; but I do wish he would give more consideration to the gravity of the first charge, even though it relates to a matter occurring twenty-five years ago. I think I am right in saying that had that charge been made good at the time, or within a short period of its being advanced, it would have led to the instant dismissal of Sir R. Anderson, and, therefore, in that case there could have been no possible question of hits getting a pension. That is a very serious point, and one which deserves to have more attention paid to it. I have had, in connection with large business undertakings, experience of the necessity of dealing leniently and kindly with officials when it is purely a question of errors of judgment—minor errors of judgment— but when it is a serious kind of error, one which would justify dismissal without notice, it comes in an entirely different category of offence.

8.0 P.M.

The difficulty of discovering this kind of offence renders it doubly necessary to deal out the most condign punishment when it is discovered, and in the case of Sir R. Anderson, however willing one might be to let bygones be bygones, we are very anxious to prevent these things happening in future, and we should be undoubtedly condoning a very serious offence if we did not in this House of Commons show that the enormity of his breach of faith and breach of duty is such that we cannot in the interests of the public service either forget or forgive. The Leader of the Opposition, in dealing with the broad issues raised by the question, rather implies that as twenty-five years have gone past since these occurrences we ought to clean the slate and not think any more about the matter. That would be very well if the poison was not still working. I come from Liverpool, where I know how this poison works. I mean the poison of Pigott, the poison of Le Caron, aided and abetted by Sir R. Anderson. It is still working in the body politic of this country. One moment it is aroused to get votes for Tariff Reform, at another time to get votes on some religious question, and at other periods to thwart the democracy in other ways.

In the next election, if there is to be one in the course of the next few months, which personally I do not desire, and hope will be prevented—but if we have to fight the great cause of democracy against the House at the other end of the passage, what will be the weapon which will be used in most of the great cities of this country. It will be this virus, this poison, this rousing of racial and religious animosities, for which Sir R. Anderson, as we now know, is largely responsible. There may possibly have been things which Nationalist Members of twenty-five years ago would rather have not done, and would not have done had it not been that they were in the heat of life, but if it was necessary to have an inquiry into that organisation and to investigate those various points in regard to the machinery they had, it ought to have been done by per- sons with clean hands. If there was a case to be made against the Nationalism of that day, it should have been made without resort to forgery and all these other corrupt methods which have been brought before us. Naturally, coming from Liverpool, I speak in a matter like this with a certain amount of feeling, because the life of any man in that city, however respectable he may be, however single-minded he desires to be, is made intolerable by those religious persecutors, who spread slanders the moment that he dares to stand up on the side of the democracy either of this country or of the other. I do feel the enormity of this offence when I think of the tremendous bitterness which has been one of its results, and of the stirring up of the hatred and passions which have caused enormous detriment to real progress and social reform. I do hope that even now the Home Secretary will reconsider the matter, and see that it is a case where justice is right and mercy would be unjust.


I listened to the cheery optimism of the hon. Member for Mid-Tyrone (Mr. Brunskill) with considerable amusement, and evidently he is determined that if his Parliamentary career is going to be a short one, it shall be a merry one. When he charged the Nationalist party with rehashing the case of "Parnellism and Crime," after an interval of twenty years, he really forgets that, if anyone has been anxious to make rehashes in regard to this matter, it has been the Tory party. It is extraordinary to watch from a detached position the movements of the Tory party in regard to Irish parties. Anyone who does so at once recognises that it is only at a time when in this House great measures of amelioration or reform are brought forward or when something has happened in Ireland which either strengthens the hands of the Government, which is devising new forms of punishment, or when there is a friendly Government proposing a measure of relief, that these things happen. The way in which these things synchronise with the bringing forward of a coercion Act or a prospect of peace is extraordinary. Last year on the day when the Land Bill was under discussion some very infamous articles appeared in a paper called the "Observer," and here to-day we have the charge laid at our door that we are re-hashing the topics which were dealt with by the Parnell Commission for the purpose of hounding down Sir R. Anderson with great malignity and vindictiveness. Nothing is further from the truth. The real truth is this, the Tory party anticipate a General Election at an early date, and they are determined that they should have some weapon which they can use on every platform throughout the Kingdom. In the same way Pigott was found twenty years ago Sir R. Anderson is now awakened from his slumbers and is brought forward as the writer of "The Times" articles. That, it is thought, is splendid material to use throughout England in order to stir the matter up.

We are not, therefore, responsible for the re-hash; it is the Tory party playing the game they always have played of blackguarding and abusing the Irish party, and it is they who have started this game by setting up this re-hash of the Anderson business. No one has asked Sir R. Anderson to admit that he was the author of these articles, and it is very doubtful whether he was, although he says he is, but whatever view the House may take of the finding of the Parnell Commission, there is one thing which is perfectly clear, and that is notwithstanding the legal arguments of the hon. Member for Mid Tyrone, that the onus or burden of proof was thrown upon Nationalist Members to free themselves from the charges made against them, he forgets that the onus of proof was thrown upon "The Times" to prove the charges which they set out to prove, and to bring them home to the prominent Members of the Nationalist party. It cannot be forgotten that no matter what opinion may be formed about the finding of the Commission, there is one result which is proved, and proved beyond denial, and that is that means the most dastardly, and methods of the most cowardly and disgraceful character were adopted and brought into use for the purpose of blocking the advance of the Irish movement, and of bringing ruin to the Members of the party who were responsible for carrying that movement forward so far. There are one or two facts upon which there is very little doubt whatever in connection with Sir R. Anderson, but in dealing with this matter I do not intend to go into detail as to what was proved at the Commission or what the findings were. I intend to confine myself to Sir R. Anderson and his relations with the Home Office and the Criminal Investigation Department. The first thing about which there can be no doubt whatever is that Sir R. Anderson was the political adviser of the Home Office in 1887, and while he was in that position he wrote some of the articles, and, secondly, that whilst he was the head of the Criminal Investigation Department he placed the entire machinery of that Department, notwithstanding his denials, at the disposal of "The Times."

Sir R. Anderson, in the light of this discussion and in what has recently taken place, cuts a very sorry figure. He asks us to believe and persists in saying that Charles Stewart Parnell wrote the letters, or, even if he did not, he signed the last page of them and handed them to somebody else to fill in. The next thing that he wants us to believe—and this is important as showing the frame of mind of a man of the type of Sir R. Anderson—is that if Pigott had not been put into the box, but after Le Caron had been put into the box he had been examined to explain how the letters came into Le Caron's possession, the result of the Commission would have been very different. Why did he not go into the box? He says:— I wanted to give evidence. I was most anxious to do so, but Sir Henry James, who was counsel for' The Times,' was against it, although Sir Richard Webster was in favour of that course. He further says:— When I asked, I was told—'Yon do not know what cross-examination means at the hands of Sir Chas, Russell.' Perhaps the learned counsel had a grave suspicion as to who wrote the articles, and they thought that Sir Charles Russell would drag out from Sir R. Anderson in the witness box that he was the man who was answerable for some of the letters, and for the sitting of the Commission. Sir Henry James was hardly anxious at this stage of the political history of the country to have such a thing occur, and was not anxious to have Sir R. Anderson run the gauntlet of Sir Charles Russell's cross-examination. Sir R. Anderson's view is this, that a stupid blunder was committed in placing Pigott in the box, and he said:— After Pigott left the box the whole thing fizzled out like a damp squib. This is very useful in enabling us to make up our minds as to what sort of man Sir R. Anderson was, because he seems to think that after the supreme mistake of putting Pigott into the box was made the whole thing fizzled out like a damp squib. He says: "If after Le Caron had left the box they had put me in the result would have been very different." If that had been done we never should have had the dramatic end of Pigott's career, and the evidence by which we know that these letters were forgeries. I do not think that Sir R. Anderson would have done anything wrong, or would have committed perjury, but certainly if he had gone into the witness box the things which ought not to have been exposed would not have been exposed, and the things which ought not to have been heard would not have been heard. I regretted to hear the Home Secretary say that this was a, trivial matter, and Chat the articles did not mean very much. I quite agree that the articles do not mean very much as far as the Parnell Commission, is concerned, but they are most important things, taken in connection with Sir R. Anderson's book, "Side Lights on Home Rule," because he admits that he put Mr. Macdonald of "The Times" into communication with certain people. Later on in the very same volume we find this in reference to his being called as a witness before the Commissioners:— To the last I expected to be called, but the summons never came. Sir R. Anderson would have us believe to-day that he was wholly unaware of the fact that "The Times" were getting assistance from the police and from these spies, notwithstanding his own admission that, "I have no official position." Any time he applied for an increase of salary he was told, "You have no official position." He sat in a little room there and he met these agents and spies and kept the whole of this stream flowing, and kept the money going out which was necessary to keep the work going on. There is no doubt about that whatever, as appears from his own book. Let us see exactly what his position is in regard to the "Blackwood Magazine" article. He says in the April number:— To the present hour, I do not know whether the Home Secretary was then aware of my authorship of The "Times' articles of 1887 on ' Parnellism and Crime.' and in relation to the matter I acted with strict propriety in dealing with Mr. Monro, and not with the Secretary of State. I made no secret, however, of the fact that in my Whitehall days I wrote for the Press and this may have made the Home Office suspicious of me after I went to Scotland Yard, but if Sir Adolphus Liddell had been at Whitehall he would have treated me frankly and as a gentleman, and I should have given him the facts, and I should have told him that when I was gazetted a Police Commissioner, I said good-bye to journalism. He says he acted with strict propriety in dealing with Mr. Monro and not with the Secretary of State. And this was in con- junction with the articles of which he now claims authorship. Let us turn to the "Blackwood" article in the March number:— My friend, H. O. Arnold-Forster, had knowledge of action of that kind taken in Mr. Forster's time, and he it was who pressed the matter on me. I willingly responded, but as Mr. Monro was then responsible for the conduct of Secret Service work, I conferred with him before taking action, and we decided to use 'The Times ' in the public interest. 'Spread the light' was long a favourite aphorism of the conspirators, and with excellent effect I enabled 'The Times' to spread the light at that important juncture. Let us hear what Mr. Monro says in regard to that. In the answer of the Home Secretary to-day to the question of the hon. Member (Mr. MacVeagh) he read a statement from Mr. Monro, in which that gentleman says:— When 'The Times' earlier articles appeared they certainly caused a sensation in London, and everybody was talking about them. I have no doubt that Mr. Anderson and I talked about them, and I can quite imagine that I may have welcomed public interest being directed to the existence of a dangerous conspiracy. But such an expression of opinion was a very different thing from authorising an agent of mine to give information to the public. Such a course would have been opposed to all my training in a service where communication on the part of officials with the Press was carefully limited. As a matter of fact no such authority was asked by Mr. Anderson, and none was given by me. When subsequently articles appeared in ' The Times ' I was unaware of the name of the author, and naturally I made no report on the subject to the Home Office. A long time afterwards Mr. Anderson informed me that he had written one or more of the article, and I felt much annoyed. The House has to choose between the statement of Mr. Monro and the statement of Sir R. Anderson. Sir R. Anderson's original proposition was that he was the author of the articles "Parnellism and Crime," and that he dealt with Mr. Monro, and not with the Secretary of State. Mr. Monro says he was never consulted, and never gave his authority, and it was only a long time afterwards that Sir R. Anderson told him for the first time that he was the author, and he was naturally annoyed. Evidence of this kind hardly conduces to very great reliance upon what falls from the mouth of Sir R. Anderson. Now let us pursue the policy of a little internal examination, and we shall find that our entire weight will be on the side of Mr. Monro, and not of Sir R. Anderson. In his letter of 12th April he says, after expressing unfeigned distress at being censured by the Prime Minister:— But will you allow me to notice the charges implied in Mr. Redmond's question. For the mistake on which it is based I am in part responsible. When drafting my article for this month's ' Blackwood,' I told how I once incurred Home Office censure through the smart action of a pressman in the way he reported a historical lecture of mine. And I added 'to the present hour I do not know whether the Home Secretary was then aware of my authorship of 'The Times "articles of May, 1887, on ' Parnellism and Crime.' but the typist who copied my MS, omitted the 'May.' an omission I never noticed till last Friday. My only connection with that campaign was by three articles entitled 'Behind the Scenes in America.' Sir R. Anderson blazons to the world, "I am the author of ' Parnellism and Crime.' I was the man who sent the articles to the Press." He suddenly discovers that he has put his foot in it. The election is not so near as he thought. He is in a mess and his pension is in danger. He draws back and declares that he only wrote three of them, and it was the typist who made the mistake. I can quite understand the typist making a mistake, but I cannot understand a man like Sir R. Anderson making the mistake which appears on the face of this letter a clumsy mistake, and that was this. The articles of which he was the author were not the articles entitled "Parnellism and Crime," but the articles entitled "Behind the Scenes in America." He goes on to say:— A reference to the articles will make this perfectly clear. First they were based upon newspaper reports of quasi-public conventions in America, and upon secret Fenian documents, proving that those conventions were engineered by the miscreants who promoted the dynamite outrages in this country. And here I may say that not a single statement of mine was ever refuted or even challenged. I think anyone who knows anything about the movements of Sir R. Anderson and the connection of Red Jim McDermott with the Home Office will answer any of these statements of Sir R. Anderson, because we know the convention referred to in that article was the convention got together by Red Jim McDermott. In the same letter he says:— That work (referring to 'Side Lights on Home Rule'), however, plainly indicated my connection with the ' Behind the Scenes ' articles, and I was definitely told that 'everybody in Fleet Street knew that I was the author of them.' Hence it was that I referred to them in ' Blackwood ' in such a matter of course and incidental fashion. Everyone in Fleet Street knew all about it. This book, "Sidelights on Home Rule," made it clear who was the author of the articles. Mr. Monro only heard it a long time afterwards. Mr. Monro denied that he gave authority for them. Mr. Monro denied that he was consulted about them, and yet Sir R. Anderson says this belated discovery in "Blackwood" is all nonsense, and everyone knew it. Then there are put to him the statements which are contained in his own book about his connection with Le Caron and Mr. Macdonald, and his provision of the witnesses to supply the American end of the case. He then retreats and says: I gave them nothing but the three articles entitled "Behind the Scenes in America," and he tries to belittle the whole of the charge by saying there was nothing in them, and that they only contained the reports of quasi-public conventions and speeches made by dynamiters in" America. Will he tell us what he got for those three articles? Will he tell us who wrote "Parnellism and Crime," and what he was paid for these, and whether he divided "The Times'" reward for these interesting communications with another gentleman, or whether it was all paid to him? When he sent this letter to "The Times" it would have been a very interesting and striking testimony in support of Sir R. Anderson's theory if he had given the name of the gentleman that every one in Fleet Street knew was the author of the articles. The Home Secretary takes up the position that this matter is very trivial and that Sir R. Anderson's attitude now is analogous to the story of how Bill Adams won the Battle of Waterloo. After reading "Sidelights on Home Rule" and the "Blackwood" articles, I was driven back to the conclusion that there was something very similar in the spirit animating Sir R. Anderson in these articles now to the spirit which animated the executioner of a previous generation, who for a small fee displayed the rope on which he had hanged some well-known criminal. Sir R. Anderson equally gloats now on the way in which he handled the Irish Members twenty-five years ago. He regrets that he was not put into the witness box after Pigott. He believes hat if he had been put into the witness box to give evidence the result of the Special Commission would have been very different from what it was for the Irish Members and that the fortunes of Irish politics would have taken a very different course from that which they have taken since then. Irish politics have weathered worse storms than any which could be raised by Sir R. Anderson. I think one of the truest things he has written is this statement:— Naturally I made some grave mistakes. But no man is fit to be head of the Criminal Investigation Department if he is not clever enough to make mistakes without being caught, and I can boast that I never received a word of censure for a single one of my errors, and in one instance it was a matter that cost me much distress and some searching of heart for it related to the safety of the Queen. I had a letter of commendation and thanks from the Home Office. Though I was never detected when in the wrong. I was occasionally censured when in the right. If Sir R. Anderson's statement is correct that he has never been detected when in the wrong, I would like to know how many times he has been deserving of censure which he has not got. To return to the simile of the executioner, I would point out that there is this difference between the two. The victim of the executioner is not affected in any way by the display of the rope which is the one instrument of his trade, but here we have Sir K. Anderson rehashing for election consumption all the worst charges which have ever been brought against the Irish party and the national movement. He has continued to do this while deriving a pension from the State as the result of service which he gave in an office where he professes to have acquired the information which enables him to make these charges and to circulate these stories. I say that the mouth of anyone in the Criminal Investigation Department should be sealed in respect of even the most trivial matters, but if a man like Sir R. Anderson is to be allowed to speak at all, let us have the whole of the facts. It has been said that "half a truth is worse than a whole lie." I have to complain that we have not had from him the number of the would be spies and informers whom he interviewed and paid, but did not come up to the scratch by going into the witness-box. We have heard of numerous plots and counter-plots which were engineered, and of thousands of pounds which streamed through his fingers from the Secret Service Fund. If he is to be permitted to talk in this way, let him be compelled to talk fully, and do not let us have only statements on the side of those who are hostile to the Irish party, whose objects he desires to thwart. The writing of such articles by a pensioned official in connection with any other office would not be tolerated for a moment. The Home Secretary says that all this happened over twenty years ago, and that it is too long since now to deprive him of his pension. The Home Secretary, in the same breath, admitted that had it been known at the time that he was the writer of these articles he would have been dismissed if the Government had done its duty. I think we are eititled to assume that the Government would have done its duty. I will give them the most favourable comment I can. The right hon. Gentleman says that now, when Sir R. Anderson is out of office, it would be a very harsh thing to deprive him of his pension. Does the right hon. Gentleman forget that the object for which these articles were written over twenty years ago is the same as that for which the articles in "Blackwood" are being written at the present moment? Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that Sir R. Anderson is dealing now with the characters of men, some dead and some alive, and with the reputation of a nation? If any retired public servant were to reveal in magazine articles secrets of naval construction or of war tactics, he would be docked of his pension on the spot. It would not be tolerated for a moment. [An HON. MEMBER: "He would be put in the dock."] I am not sure that my hon. Friend is not right. He has been put in the dock of public opinion here to-night. The Home Secretary has decided that his pension shall not go. I want to know from the Government at once whether they are going to put on their Whips in this matter, or whether they are going to set the House free to express their opinion on Sir R. Anderson's conduct. Are we to have an opportunity of giving a free verdict? Recollect it is not merely Sir R. Anderson, or Ireland, or the fair fame of Irish Members, that is at stake in this matter. The disclosures Sir R. Anderson has made in "Blackwood" and in "Side Lights on Home Rule" cast a grave reflection on the Criminal Investigation Department of England, and bring into serious disrepute the reputation of the Home Office and the Secret Service. I hope the warning that has been given as to the results which may flow from such conduct as that of Sir R. Anderson will stir the Government into action, that the Secret Service will receive the serious consideration of the Government, and that some reform will immediately follow as the result of the investigation.


I desire to intervene in this discussion for two reasons. The first is that I was many years ago a Member of the Civil Service, and, in my judgment, Sir R. Anderson has grossly erred. The second reason is that I am one of a comparatively small band in this House who were Members when these transactions happened, and I remember very vividly the Debates which took place at that time. I listened carefully to the speech of the Home Secretary this afternoon, and I must say that I regret very much the decision at which he has apparently arrived. It came to me as a great surprise. It seems to me that the decision was not justified by the reason which he gave. He divided the case against Sir R. Anderson under three heads. He dealt, first, with the series of articles which are now appearing in "Blackwood's Magazine," and he said, quite truly, that for the most part those articles consist of rather venomous—in fact, I might say, very venomous —imputations upon chiefs, both political and permanent, under whom he has served. And although those statements offended grievously against good taste and good manners and good feeling, yet I am not going to pretend that they can be put higher than that; but I do respectfully submit to the Home Secretary that the allusions in those articles to Sir William Harcourt stand upon a different footing from the other allusions to Home Secretaries or permanent officials.

The statement concerning the late Sir W. Harcourt is this: That on 18th February, 1883, Sir R. Anderson was summoned post-haste to a conference with Sir W. Harcourt, who was then Home Secretary, and that when he arrived he found Sir W. Harcourt closeted with two other Cabinet Ministers. And Sir R. Anderson proceeds to give an account of what happened at that conference. He went there, be it observed, in pursuance of his official duty, and he gives an account of that confidential interview. I do not pretend that the account which he gives is of very profound public interest — that is, I do not mean to put before the Committee that the disclosure involves any public danger. But we are not here considering whether or not a prosecution under the Official Secrets Act ought to be taken. I do not discuss that. But it is perfectly obvious that actions which would not justify a prosecution under that Act may very well be the reason for the withdrawal or suspension of a pension. I come to the second reason which the Home Secretary gave for his conclusion. He said that this happened a great many years ago. So it did; but it has only been quite recently disclosed, and that is important from more than one point of view. I suggest to the Home Secretary that this disclosure puts a new light on the acts of Sir R. Anderson which was unknown at the time and aggravated those acts. Let me illustrate what I mean.

The writer of the three articles in question was obviously animated by bitter hostility towards the Parnellite party Just one sentence which I will read fully proves the justice of what I say. In the article of 20th May, 1887, Sir R. Anderson says:— From 5th June, 1883, every Clan-na-Gael lodge became an agency for raising the funds, by means of which Mr. Parnell's eighty-five items had been twice returned to Parliament, and salaries been paid to many of those who had no other means of livelihood. When you consider the spirit which animates those articles, and of which this is only a single illustration, one may very well come to the conclusion that Sir R. Anderson's action in helping Mr. Macdonald by introducing Le Caron to Mr. Houston, Mr. Macdonald's nominee, was I not only indiscreet, but was instituted and instigated by malice. What is Sir R. Anderson's defence? It is this: He says that when Mr. Macdonald came to him he was very loth indeed to do anything in the matter, and that he was only induced to act by Mr. Macdonald's pertinacity. That seems to me to be a very shortsighted defence. It makes matters worse, and for two reasons. In the first place, it shows very clearly the enormous value which Mr. Macdonald himself attached to the assistance which he asked Sir R. Anderson to lend to him; and, in the second place, it shows clearly that Sir R. Anderson fully appreciated at the time the gross impropriety of what Mr. Macdonald asked him to do and what he was ultimately induced to do.

The third reason given by the Home Secretary was this: That the action of Sir R. Anderson was judged and decided by the Government of the day. I do not dwell on the point that all the facts were not before the Government of the day. My point is this: what was the temper and spirit of the Government at that time with regard to the action which Sir R. Anderson took? It is very well illustrated by the letter published by Sir R. Anderson in March, 1889. It is a long letter in which he defends himself, and goes fully into the merits of the question; and it was a singularly gross breach of discipline. We know what happened. We know that the Home Secretary, then Mr. Henry Matthews, had determined to throw over Sir R. Anderson completely. We know that Mr. Henry Matthews had actually formulated an answer unfavourable to Mr. Anderson, as he was then, which he was about to give in this House in reply to Mr. Labouchere; but just at that moment before the House actually sat, the following incident occurred—and here just let me incidentally say, that my hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division under-stated his case. He said it was some Member of the Conservative party who intervened. It was far more than that. It was the Whip of the Tory Government of that day, who said that Sir R. Anderson had done the party—not the State or the nation, but the party—a great service, and the Whip went straight off to the late Mr. W. H. Smith, who was then Leader of the House, and who was ill at the time. He put the case before him. Mr. Smith summoned the Home Secretary, Mr. Henry Matthews, and, as a result of that, in Mr. Anderson's own words:— Notwithstanding the intention which Mr. Henry Matthews had originally formed, as a consequence of the intervention of the Whip, and in consequence of the action of the Leader of the House, the Home Secretary made a bold and generous defence of my action. A more discreditable action was never committed, and the decision of a Government who were prepared to decide Sir R. Anderson's case upon such lines as those I have described, is deserving of no consideration from the Government of the day. This is a sordid business. I suppose Secret Service is necessary. But it is dirty work, and when a man has been at the business for twenty years—and Sir R. Anderson had been engaged in this business for twenty years at the time when he wrote those letters—then the hand of the man who has been engaged in this dirty work is imbued with that dirty work as is the dyer's hand. I do not stand alone in regretting the conclusion at which the Home Secretary has arrived, but still we are not bound by the conclusion of the right hon. Gentleman. Let the Committee take the decision of this question into its own hands. I appeal to all parties in this House, for there is no party which can ultimately derive any advantage from impairing the great traditions of the Civil Service of this country. Therefore, I ask the Government, in the first place, not to send their Whips to the Division which will shortly take place, but let the decision be freely taken by the Committee of the House of Commons. We have a right to ask that, and I appeal to all parties in this Committee to unite with us in vindicating the loyalty and purity of the great Civil Service of this country by making a public example of Sir R. Anderson.


I invite, first and foremost, the Committee to behold those benches above the Gangway. They are completely empty and free from their usual occupants. Those of us who can recall the halcyon days of a quarter of a century ago, when these charges were first made against the occupants of these benches, cannot help coming to the conclusion that Sir R. Anderson and those of his way of thinking in this House are now engaged in flogging a dead horse. A quarter of a century ago, when the late Colonel Saunderson rose in his place to attack the occupants of these benches on the charges that have formed the subject of this night's Debate, the House was generally full; in fact, I may say entirely packed, and there was a good deal of electricity in the air. I listened to the hon. and learned Member for Mid Tyrone, and I saw that he was surrounded by a few of the old adherents, a few of the old gang who supported these charges against the Irish Nationalist Members, yet notwithstanding the re-hash of the old charges by the hon. and learned Member he was not greeted by a single cheer, even from his own followers. The Home Secretary declared, in the course of his interesting speech, that the drama of the past was concluded by the suicide of Mr. Pigott. Although there is not so much electricity in the House as there used to be a quarter of a century ago on the subject of these charges, there is an effort being made—and very probably the publications in "Blackwood's Magazine" are part of it — to revive these old charges against Irish Nationalist Members, for the very same reason that they were invented, namely, to help the Tory party in an election that is about to take place. It is a very curious thing that the charges that are now being brought in the country are charges arising out of the communications made to "The Times" twenty-five years ago by Sir R. Anderson. Those charges arose out of the articles which he now admits, charges which are being repeated with great effect in the country. I noticed only a few days ago that the hon. and learned Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool (Mr. F. E. Smith) waved the bloody shirt as vigorously as ever it was waved in the year 1885 or 1886, and his example has been followed by others who sit on the same side as himself.

The right hon. Gentleman the leader of the Opposition claimed that he is the heir of the Cabinet which took the full benefit of these charges when they were first made. The speech of the right hon. Gentleman was exactly similar to the speeches made a quarter of a century ago. Mr. Parnell was invited to bring an action for libel against "The Times." He was told that was his remedy. He was told not once but a score of times in the House by Members who were responsible for the Government of the country, that that was his remedy. He was invited by "The Times" newspaper itself to bring an action for libel against that journal. An action for libel was brought, not by Mr. Parnell it is true, but by a man who felt himself aggrieved by these articles, a man who had dissociated himself from us, but a man who felt he had been pointed at by these articles—I mean Mr. Frank Hugh O'Donnell, who recently published also a work which contained some very unflattering observations about ourselves. The action was brought against "The Times" by Mr. Frank Hugh O'Donnell, and what was the result? The jury of twelve independent Englishmen, without leaving the box, and after a few minutes consideration, returned a verdict in favour of "The Times." The charges that were made against the Irish Members were the charges formulated during that trial. The charges then formulated formed the subject of investigation by the Special Commission. I remember when it was first suggested that Mr. Parnell should bring an action for libel against "The Times."

It was controverted and argued against by the late Mr. Gladstone who recalled some historical events to prove that Mr. Parnell would not be justified, or rather would be perfectly justified in not taking an action for libel against "The Times." One of those events occurred in Mr. Gladstone's own life, and it will be remembered by those who have read Lord Morley's life of Mr. Gladstone. The facts were then stated by Mr. Gladstone himself. When he was a young man he was sent to the Ionian Islands to investigate some grievances or conditions that were considered very unsatisfactory at the time, and then there was jurisdiction in the government of those islands exercised by the Government of this country. Mr. Gladstone went and restored confidence to the people, and composed the differences that existed among the various parties. When he came back charges were levelled against him by those who were not his friends in those days, and he was called upon by those people and by the newspapers which wrote in an uncomplimentary manner about him to bring an action for libel against his traducers. He then stated to the House of Commons, who listened to him with that respect with which his observations in this House were always treated, that he took the very best advice that could possibly be given to him, he took advice from those who were his poli- tical associates, from the leaders of the politics of the day, and from his own lawyer, and that they all advised him that it would be foolish of him to seek in a court of law any vindication of his character in carrying out his duties in the Ionian Islands. Acting upon that advice, he never went into a court of law to establish his character.

It is rather late in the day for the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition to suggest now that the true remedy for Mr. Parnell was to have brought a libel action against "The Times." Every experience of those who were able to advise Mr. Parnell at that time of their own, and every knowledge that they possessed of historical precedents were on the side of Mr. Parnell in not bringing an action for libel against "The Times." Something has also been said in the course of the discussion, and probably they were irrelevant observations, with regard to the procedure during the proceedings that were brought to investigate those charges. It may not be very relevant, but still, something turned upon it, and I will read the view the Commission itself wrote as to the procedure that should be followed. They said in one of the early paragraphs in the Report that the inquiry was to be judicially conducted according to the laws of evidence and procedure prevailing in the ordinary Courts of Justice. They started out with that intention, but I think those of this Committee who listened to the observations of my hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool will come to the conclusion that in the course of the proceedings that intention of the Commission was not carried out. I do not say that the Judges were entirely at fault. Persons who were responsible for the conduct of the proceedings on the part of "The Times" did not disclose to the accused persons who the witnesses were whose evidence they had to meet, and did not disclose to the accused persons the documentary evidence that was going to be used against them. I remember well, as one of the accused, who was obliged, because of certain circumstances, to attend the Court every day, that fresh witness after fresh witness was put in the box about whom we had never heard and about whose character we could make no inquiries. Therefore we were hampered to this extent that we could not cross-examine effectively those witnesses who were brought up against us.

9.0 P.M.

Sir R. Anderson, in making some explanations recently in an interview with a newspaper, said that the writing of those articles had been suggested to him by the late Mr. Arnold-Forster, and that Mr. Arnold-Forster suggested it to him as a good journalistic idea. He suggested to him that he should write a series of articled on the facts that had come to his own knowledge, and he suggested it, I am positive, purely as a question of journalism. That is a statement on the part of Sir R. Anderson which nobody can believe. Nobody who knew the late Mr. Arnold-Forster will at all agree with Sir R. Anderson that the suggestion was made merely because it was an idea of good journalism. The late Mr. Arnold-Forster was a bitter foe of the Irish Parliamentary party. No man of his time worked more industriously to destroy the Irish Parliamentary party, or with greater zealousness than the late Mr. Arnold-Forster. He was a bitter foe, and he always tried to blacken the characters of people who sat on this side of the House, and I submit to the Committee that we have now disclosed by these articles of Sir R. Anderson, that the late Mr. Arnold-Forster was one of his co-conspirators, and it was rather strongly suspected at the time that these were not the only conspirators.

On the statement being made before the Commission that Mr. Pigott was not to be found, and when it became clear that he had fled, Sir Charles Russell stated that they would still go on and expose what they believed to be a conspiracy against the Irish Parliamentary party. That conspiracy has now at last, but only to some extent, been exposed. The party in power at the time took full benefit of the work of the conspirators. In 1887, when the Coercion Bill was before the House and was about to pass its Second Reading, there appeared the final article of the series, containing the letter which was afterwards found to be a forgery. One of the charges made against the Irish Parliamentary party, founded upon those articles, some of which are now acknowledged to have been the work of Sir R. Anderson, was that the party knowingly had intimate relations with criminals, both at home and abroad. I submit, notwithstanding the reading of the ninth finding of the Commission by the Leader of the Opposition, that the party were acquitted of that charge, which is now being repeated by Sir R. Anderson in his articles. The Commission found:— It has not, however, been proved that Mr. Parnell or any of the respondents knew that the Clan-na-Gael had obtained control over the Irish National League of America, or was collecting money for the Parliamentary Fund, and the circulars of that body as well as the evidence of Le Caron show that their operations were secret. Although Anderson is now striving to reestablish "The Times" case, and is writing books with that avowed object, I submit that that finding entirely acquits the Irish Parliamentary party and the leaders of the Irish people as a whole of any knowledge whatever that any criminals had been connected with the movement in America, or had collected funds to carry on the movement. As has been pointed out by other speakers, in the year 1885 the Tory party, with full knowledge of the whole case, which Sir R. Anderson is now endeavouring to reset up, entered into intimate relations with the very persons who are now accused. In 1885 Sir R. Anderson was, I think, at the Home Office; he was in communication with Le Caron; he was also in communication with his superiors. Whatever he knew, his superiors knew. With that full knowledge the Tory party entered into close relations with the Irish Parliamentary party to devise a scheme of Government that would have put in power in Ireland the very persons whom they are accusing. A new fact has been revealed by Sir R. Anderson himself, namely, that he was the writer of some of those articles, and that he was part and parcel of the conspiracy entered into by many persons, some of whom we now know, and some of whom we shall probably never know, for the purpose of destroying the Irish movement. Sir R. Anderson began his official life in Dublin Castle; he had all the worst traditions of Dublin Castle; he was in association with those who had the traditions of '98. He began his official career by being associated with the prosecution of the Fenians in 1865 and 1867, and he went on step by step until he came over here, where he associated himself with the conspiracy to bring these charges. The Debate of to-day will possibly check the attempt that has just been begun to revive those charges on the eve of an election, so that the same party might now benefit by the self-same accusations as they have done for many years past. At all events, the party in power can, if they act in a spirited manner, get rid of the man who is discovered by his own act to have been an unfaithful servant, and they can rid the country of the reproach of keeping such an unfaithful person upon the pension list of the nation.


I am sure that English Members have listened to this Debate with very mixed feelings. We had always imagined, at least so far as political controversies were concerned, that they were conducted in open fashion; that whilst occasionally, perhaps, leaders on either side might in public wilfully mis-represent each other's objects, it was not known, to me at any rate until to-day, that there are occasions when the Government of the day stoop to use even the spy and the Secret Service Fund for the purpose of injuring political opponents. This is quite a new idea of British politics. We occasionally look at the conditions that prevail in some other countries where they have not so much liberty and freedom of discussion as we have, and we call attention to the peculiar way in which the machinery of government in those countries is used for the purpose of injuring political opponents. I think we shall have to look at home for the future, for quite clearly it is within the memory of men who sit in the House to-day that the most vile things have been suggested and conspiracies hatched under the guise of an Administration and by officers of the Administrations against their political opponents. I do not know whether my views will be re-echoed by any English Member who may speak on this subject, and I speak as one standing apart from this controversy; but after all I have not seen much as yet to cause me to be personally very hostile in my attitude to Sir R. Anderson. Sir R. Anderson, clearly from the statements that have been made to-day, was merely the puppet, the paid servant of the party, and was using his position at the Home Office and at Scotland Yard and his connection with the Criminal Investigation Department solely for the purpose of assisting his party in a great political campaign. Therefore, it is not so much the servant, I think, that we should direct our attention to, or that we should visit our condemnation upon. It is with those who employed him and paid him to do the work. An hon. Member who represents, I think, Tyrone, was speaking this evening, and one of his observations was cheered by every Tory Member who sat near him. It was quite an eye-opener to me. There has been no Tory Member on the benches since. I do not know whether they were ashamed of what he was suggesting—though I see one or two Tory Members who have gravitated back again. He made the most remarkable statement that those concerned ought to be congratulated upon the good work done in the early eighties. Not, mind you, the good work for the country; not the good work for any of the departments of the State, but he said distinctly that the publication of the articles by "The Times" was the best piece of work that had ever been done for the Loyalists. All his colleagues who sat round him cheered, clearly indicating that after all "The Times" was not anxious, nor those behind "The Times," in any way whatever to discover real crime, nor to protect society from criminals. It was clearly a political move. They were doing the best they could for that little faction which they especially represented in this House. Therefore, so far as I am concerned I certainly think in this business we ought to look to higher game.

I contradicted the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition to-day—who, by-the-bye, suggested that I knew nothing about the occasion and the circumstances to which he was alluding. I followed, at any rate, the doings of the Commission and the discussions that followed, though I was not a Member of this House; and I do not know that it is wise for either a young or an old Member to imagine that because a man does not happen to be a Member of this House he does not follow its discussions and proceedings. Possibly he follows them more closely when he is not than when he is a Member. I remember a considerable number of the incidents that I read in the newspapers. I remember the howl of derision that the Tories made to the statement of Charles Stewart Parnell that he was not the author of the letters. In addition to that, the Tory Attorney-General, Sir Richard Webster, stood against that box and declared that if ever it came to a trial that he would prove that Parnell wrote the letters. Then the right hon. Gentleman said that he himself had no connection whatever, or only an indirect connection, with this business. The records of Hansard in no way support the contention of the right hon. Gentleman. I only wish he was here. A Debate took place in this House on the question of the Report of the Commission. I may say before I make this quotation that in reading that Debate I find that the late Lord Randolph Churchill had then just resigned some position in the Conservative Administration, and that the present Premier and several other gentlemen of note and lead- ing declared that it would be the duty, even if it were after twenty years, that the House of Commons should do justice to the Irish Members by erasing from the Journals of the House this Resolution in support of the Report of the Judges. There was a speech in this Debate by Mr. Whitbread, who was then a Member. In this Debate of 11th March, 1890, Mr. Whitbread said:— Now the Government have been closely connected with this campaign. They have done all they could to assist 'The Times ' in this inquiry. If they deny that I would ask them to point to one single step that by any possibility they have taken, that could be taken to assist 'The Times' which they have not taken, and taken over and over again. No, we had the frank admission last night of the Chief Secretary for Ireland.— Which is the right hon. Gentleman himself, who says he had nothing to do with it. that he had done all in his power to aid the inquiry, and that he would be ashamed of himself if he had not. Then there follows—and there is a starred interjection, showing that the right hon. Gentleman had the opportunity of revising his words—this:— Mr. A. I BALFOUR: I stated that last night, and I say again, that I did everything in my power to aid the inquiry, and that I gave "every facility to 'The Times ' I legitimately could. I can quite imagine that the right hon. Gentleman has forgotten these incidents. I can quite imagine that any Minister who was mixed up in this business would be only too delighted if everybody would forget it. At the same time there is the fact that the right hon. Gentleman himself admitted that he, as Chief Secretary for Ireland, rendered every assistance he could to the newspaper that was libelling hon. Gentlemen opposite, and libelling them in the most outrageous and criminal fashion. That is not all. I want to deal with one other point which the right hon. Gentleman mentioned to-day. He said that Mr. Parnell refused to take an action for libel which would have entitled him to receive consideration, and the decision of a jury of this country, and he said that Mr. Parnell did not take an action owing largely to the fact that it would be tried by a jury. Well, the fact that the middle classes of this country had been fed upon stuff like "Parnellism and Crime," written by Sir R. Anderson and other less reputable writers, it was possible that Mr. Parnell may have imagined he could not get justice from a jury of Englishmen, and I am very much afraid he was perfectly accurate. I am sure from every- thing I read about the business that that was the real reason why Mr. Parnell refused to take an action for libel at the time. We must not forget the incident to which I drew attention a moment ago that before he was challenged to take an action for libel the Attorney-General declared that if an opportunity was given to "The Times" they would be able to prove their case. The Attorney-General had already been retained by "The Times" for the purpose of conducting the case for that journal against Mr. Parnell and the Irish Members. Hence one can quite understand that if Mr. Parnell did take an action against that journal the Attorney-General and all the powers of the State were going to be used for the purpose of injuring those who had been opposed to them. I think myself, in these circumstances, no one would have felt doubtful as to what would have been the result. I think the right thing was done, therefore, by Mr. Parnell in refusing to proceed against "The Times" in that manner.

The hon. Member for one of the Divisions of Kildare (Mr. John O'Connor) referred to the famous case brought by Mr. Frank Hugh O'Donnell against "The Times." He left the party and entered upon an action for libel, and one of the conditions which I remember—I have not looked up the matter lately, but I think I am right—one of the things which Mr. Frank Hugh O'Donnell expected was that he would be able to have produced the writer of the forged letters. The Attorney-General of the Tory Government of the day, who was counsel for "The Times," refused to produce the writer, from whom Mr. O'Donnell hoped to be able to extract information in the box. This man was never placed in the box, and Mr. O'Donnell therefore was unable to go further, and I think a verdict was entered for "The Times."

It must not be forgotten also, in reference to the case, that the then Lord Chief Justice Coleridge, who had followed the case very closely when it came before the Commission, wrote a letter to Sir Charles Russell, as he then was, congratulating him and his clients upon their escape from a foul conspiracy. There is no getting away from the fact that after all there is ample proof in the speeches made at that time to show that the conspirators really were not the puppets of the police, but that the real conspirators were the people referred to in this House. I ask hon. Mem- bers to consider the speech for a moment to which I have referred. It was admitted in the Debates that took place in 1890 that in order to secure evidence against Mr. Parnell and his party, Mr. Soames, who, I believe, was solictior for "The Times," was actually given a warder's key, so that he might enter any of the cells, either in Millbank or Dartmoor, where men were imprisoned, to procure evidence. Does anyone mean to tell me that such a thing as that could happen without the Home Secretary's knowledge? If so you have either got to say that the Government were utterly incompetent for their business or else that they knew what was happening. Certainly things like that ought not to have been allowed to go on under any circumstances, and if it is admitted that the Government knew nothing about it it shows that they were utterly incompetent. I must say the Leader of the Opposition did not attempt in any way to excuse the part he played in that business, as is shown by his statement, made on 11th March, 1890. He said. "Yes, I confess I rendered every assistance I could." That, I dare say, accounts for the fact of the Irish Constabulary, with all their paraphernalia from Dublin Castle, infesting London at the time. This Debate, so far as I have listened to it today, has not caused me to look upon Sir R. Anderson in merely the vindictive spirit which seemed to be displayed during a portion of the discussion. I look upon him merely as a puppet who was doing the business of those that employed him, and having regard to the continuity of policy that all Governments follow, it would, of course, be an outrage if the present Government did not try to protect him. He had merely done what he was ordered to do. He did the business of the Government of the time and the present Government stand by him. If they did not stand by him they would have to throw many another idol over. Once you begin that kind of thing you do not know where you would end. At the same time, it is a very unsavoury kind of business. This cost the Irish party £40,000. What was it that happened? The Irish Nationalists party of that day demanded a Select Committee of this House to inquire into the matter. On that Committee, if it had been appointed, men of all parties of the State in proportion to their numbers would have been represented. It would have been a perfectly fair tribunal. I do not think anyone will contend that a Select Committee of this House, on which all parties would have been represented, would have been an unfair tribunal. The Government refused that, and they proceeded to set up their Commission. Lord Randolph Churchill at the time presented a written statement to the First Lord of the Treasury pointing out that it was unconstitutional, that it was wrong, and that it was unfair What does it amount to? You charge your political opponents with certain crimes. Then you proceed to appoint a special tribunal to try the charges which you yourselves have made, and you name the judges who are to try the case. That is not a tribunal before which anyone would wish to appear. The Parnellite party were obliged to appear before it, but they, nevertheless, succeeded in proving the falsity of the whole business from beginning to end. I am delighted that even at this late day we are able to consider this question, although it is twenty years since it occurred, and it is surprising that at that time Mr. Asquith, Lord Randolph Churchill, and several other important Members of the House declared that sooner or later the House of Commons would do justice to those men. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hope they will do it to-night."] I do not suppose it was intended to-night that we should stop at reducing the salary of a mere puppet in this business. I think it is generally agreed that we ought to eradicate for ever the record on the Journals of this House, which throws not only a stigma on the representatives of Ireland in years gone by, but represents a scandalous outrage upon the nation which they represent.


Although hon. Members from Ireland frequently make inroads into Debates on Indian affairs, I do not propose to follow their example in regard to Irish politics. My purpose to-night is a very simple one. It seems to me that it is quite becoming for me as a Civil servant in receipt of a pension to say that I sympathise with the things that have been said about the conduct of Sir R. Anderson. I shall not follow my hon. Friend into the matters with which he dealt, because that is not my point. It is a well recognised thing amongst Civil servants that when they have retired and received their pensions they shall not use the information they acquired in the term of their service to embarrass the Government. I think this is a most valuable rule.


May they embarrass the opponents of the Government?


I think it is their duty not to embarrass the successors in title of the Government they served. I will go further and say that they ought not to embarrass the Opposition either because the Government consist of both the Government and the Opposition. I regret I did not hear the speech of the Prime Minister, but I understand the Government have decided that the conduct of Sir Robert Anderson, however reprehensible, is not sufficiently reprehensible to justify so drastic a step as that of depriving him of his pension. It is not for me to adopt a more Dracoian standard, but I think if they had been a little more severe I should have felt myself constrained to support them, though as a democrat with a sense of discipline I propose to support them as it is. Sir R. Anderson, if he succeeded in preventing an explosion in the 80' s, has certainly succeeded in making one in 1910. I think it is becoming that a Civil servant should express his strong disapproval of the conduct of that gentleman, and, although I cannot follow the example of many of my hon. Friends in pretending to speak for all those who may be more or less in the same position as myself, I believe my remarks will meet with the approval of the class of Civil servants to which I have the honour to belong.


I do not think anything is to be gained by prolonging this Debate, and if I have any influence with my hon. Friends I would suggest that we ought now to go to a Division. I am sorry that the Government at the moment is not more fully represented on the Treasury Bench. I make no complaint of that beyond saying that if they were here in force I would make an appeal to them. The appeal I would make is that on a question of this kind they ought to leave the decision to the House. I do not think it would be fair or right for the Government in a matter of this kind, where in substance there is very little difference between us, to put on the Government tellers, and in that way to endeavour to coerce the decision of the House. Let me say that if there is anyone present who thinks that we are animated by any vindictive feeling against Sir R. Anderson as an individual he is entirely mistaken. For my part I regard Sir R. Anderson's personality as of the smallest importance in this matter. I do not want to take vindictive action, and to deprive him of his pension unnecessarily, and my view is not animated in the smallest degree by any trace of hostility or vindictiveness towards him.

His action is simply a symptom of the system under which we suffered in those days, and which I am not sure is not in full swing in a great many respects up to this very moment. I make no pretence in the accusation I make in this matter. I say that all through those proceedings the Government of the day, from the head of the Government down to the least important Member of it, were up to their necks in this criminal prosecution, land nothing would delight me more than if it were possible for us to take the Vote, not on the pension of a miserable underling like Sir R. Anderson, but on the conduct of those who were really responsible for the conspiracy, but we cannot do so. We have the opportunity on this Vote of condemning the Government of that day as a whole on the action of Sir R. Anderson, and I do appeal to all Members of this House who believe with us that we were the victims in those days of a foul and criminal conspiracy, to use the words of two Lord Chief Justices of England—Lord Chief Justice Russell and Lord Chief Justice Coleridge—to take this opportunity by their votes of recording their opinion, and in that way of endeavouring to take the most effective steps to prevent such a thing occurring again.

I will not attempt to go at length into the case or to improve on the powerful and unanswerable argument of my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor), who introduced this Debate. Let me take one argument, and one only. The Prime Minister condemned the action of Sir R. Anderson, but he seemed to acquit the general body of the Government of that day. There is an unwritten law of continuity in the policy of Governments which apparently compels the Government of to-day in the main to support the administrative action of the Government of yesterday. I wish to give one instance to show how false that action is under the present circumstances. When the present Prime Minister was Secretary of State for the Home Department there were a number of Irish political prisoners suffering terms of penal servitude in Portland Prison. I at that time was profoundly convinced, as I am to-day, that they were wrongfully convicted, and I interested myself in obtaining their release. I appealed again and again to the Government for permission to visit them, and I am sure I paid at least twenty visits to Portland Prison and interviewed these men. Every time I wanted to pay a visit to Portland Prison to one of these prisoners I had to appeal to the present Prime Minister, who was then Secretary of State for the Home Department, to get permission from him from the Home Office to pay the visit.

During "The Times" Commission agents of "The Times" and officials of the Government paid visits to certain of these penal servitude prisoners in the convict gaols of this country. I say they could not have paid these visits without the permission of the Home Office. When I ventured to say that to the Prime Minister he said to me across the House that they paid these visits by permission of the Prisons Board or Commission, or whatever they call it. At that time Sir R. Anderson was secretary of that Prisons Commission. I say these visits could not have been paid without the knowledge and sanction of the Home Office authorities. I assert boldly here to-day that everyone of these agents of "The Times" who paid visits in the convict prisons to these penal servitude prisoners went there with the knowledge and by the permission of the Home Secretary of the day. What did they go there for? My hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool has given you some evidence of what took place at these visits. Let me supplement what he said by reading you shortly the account of one of these visits. It was paid at Chatham Prison to a man in penal servitude under the name of Wilson, but whose real name was, I think, Clark. The man who went down with the permission and with the knowledge of the Government of the day to interview him on behalf of "The Times" was an official of the Government. He was Inspector Littlechild, of Scotland Yard. Let me read the account of the interview:— 'Certain persons in Ireland,' said Inspector Little-child to the unfortunate penal servitude prisoner, ' knowing you come from America in connection with the skirmishing movement, believe that you would be in a position to give valuable information, and they have sent me down to you to give you the chance of also appearing in the witness box.' He then dipped his pen in the ink and said. 'Now I am ready to take down what you care to say by way of evidence.' My reply was: 'Look here, inspector, if a single word of information would get, me out of here tomorrow, sooner than give it you I would prefer to remain here till the day of Judgment. Please take that as final,' and I got up from my seat and turned to the door. He at once cried: ' No. Wait. Sit down and let us talk the thing over.' I resumed my scat, and be started off in this strain:— ' You appear to be a common-sense sort of fellow, and yet you are acting like an idiot. Just consider. Here you are associated with the worst class of English criminals, treated worse than they are, shut out from God's free air and sunshine, and you propose to spend your life here. You may not be aware, hut I am, that you have been merely a tool in the hands of others— others who are outside in freedom and comfort, with plenty of money in their pockets, thinking no more of you and your suffering than if you were a disgrace to them.' He continued in this strain for a considerable time, painting the misery of prison life, contrasting it with the joys of freedom, and ended by telling me I was an infernal fool if I did not avail myself of the opportunity now offered me of release. Not only did he offer me my release as the price of giving evidence, but be spoke of a job in the Civil Service for me. He mentioned the job in a vague way, but the offer of liberty was definite and explicit. When he stopped speaking I merely said: ' You have my answer.' I would say nothing more than that, Then he tried another tack. ' Take me, for instance,' he said, ' I am an official of the English Government, and a trusted official; yet, were a revolution to take place to-morrow in England and the present monarchy be overthrown, I would have no hesitation in accepting a position under those who succeeded in the revolution. After all it is my aim, as it should be yours, to get the most value and happiness out of life. This job I hold means bread and butter to me. You will not take that view of life, but have some sentimental view about patriotism.' He then said:— Very well, when yon go back to your cell think the thing over. You will probably change your mind. In fact I know you will. If you do drop me a line. The Government will give you pen, ink and paper, and Scotland Yard will rind me. I went out and the officer escorted me back to my cell. When I got up there my uttermost feeling was one of indignation at the outrage inflicted upon me by the authorities in allowing me to be so approached. When next I became entitled to write a letter I wrote to a friend telling him of Inspector Littlechild's visit and denouncing the Government for permitting such an outrage upon me. I was immediately notified that my letter was suppressed. I say that that recital is a horrible picture of what was going on. It is a marvel to me that evidence was not procured in that way which, believed by a hostile tribunal, might have condemned to loss of liberty or of life Mr. Parnell, myself, and other colleagues. The Home Secretary has come in. Let me say this to him. I do not acquit the Home Secretary of the Government of that day from complicity in the conspiracy. I say an incident such as I have read of an inspector from Scotland Yard going to a prison could not have taken place without the knowledge, approval, and permission of the Home Secretary and the Home Office of that day. We are not attacking this miserable man, Sir R. Anderson, we are using him simply as the only opportunity afforded us of recording our opinion on the action of the Government of the day. I hope that every hon. Member in this House who feels that we were the victims in those days of con- spiracy by the Government of the day from the highest to the lowest will vote with us in the Lobby. I will say nothing further. The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, for whose able speech I give thanks in the name of my colleagues, and the hon. Member for Bethnal Green also, I am told have given very sympathetic consideration to this matter, and the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, at the close of his speech, alluded to the fact that the present Prime Minister and the late Lord Randolph Churchill and other eminent statesmen of that day said they hoped the day would come when some other House of Commons would expunge from the Journals the records that exist in those Journals at this moment of the transactions of that time. As an Irishman I make no appeal to the British House of Commons to expunge anything from their Journals. I think it is a matter for British Members themselves.

10.0 P.M.

I remember an incident when the late Mr. Bradlaugh was lying on his deathbed, when in a moment of generosity this House passed a Resolution expunging from its Journals the record of what had been passed in a moment of passion with reference to him. I believe the last message he received on his deathbed was a message to the effect that that had been done. An hon. Friend near me tells me it came too late, but, at any rate, it was passed by this House while Mr. Bradlaugh was on his deathbed. If I may be allowed, as an Irishman, to express an opinion, I would say I think it would redound to the honour of this House if the records in the Journals of the House with reference to "Parnellism and Crime" were expunged. But that is a matter for you. I do not ask it, and no Irishman asks it. We care not how many records you have of this character on your Journals. If the hon. Member for Stoke desires to move to expunge them let him do so We certainly will not, but we will take this opportunity—the first offered us for a quarter of a century—by our votes to express our opinion, not that this wretched man should be deprived of his pension, but by our votes, and by the votes, I hope, of many Englishmen on all sides of this House, to express our condemnation of as foul a conspiracy against the liberty and lives of representatives of our nation and against the liberty of the nation itself, as was ever hatched by any Government or its supporters.


I do not profess to be within the counsels of the party of the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford. Sometimes, I admit, I have shared in their secrets. I hope I have never betrayed them. But I confess I am utterly at a loss to understand what they expect to gain from their point of view of political tactics from the discussion which they have raised in this House this afternoon. We are asked to bring back to our recollections matters connected with the Parnell Commission which took place so many years ago that I venture to think they have almost escaped the memory of even the oldest Member in this present House.


They have not escaped our memory.


I am not surprised. I should think the hon. Member for East Mayo would be the last to forget the incidents of the Parnell Commission. But I cannot for the life of me understand why his party has thought it desirable to raise this matter at this stage. In the first place I believe they have rendered a signal service to the cause of the Union. I believe there are many people in the rising generation who will be glad to be reminded that there was a Parnell Commission, and who will turn with interest to the proceedings before that Commission as well as to its findings. I am not going to say one word that will awaken anger or acrimonious feeling. I have every indulgence and every excuse for my countrymen in those days of wild and burning passions, and I would be the last to seek or to attempt, after so many years have rolled by, to revive the bitter controversies of those days. But we must all admit that there were being pursued at that time in Ireland methods and practices which were utterly inconsistent not merely with a well regulated and lawfully organised community, but with the ordinary instincts and principles of common humanity and civilisation. For years before 1887 the country of Ireland ran red with the blood of persons who were the victims of the tyranny and cruelty of the Land League. There were innumerable assassinations, midnight outrages, murders, and crimes of every kind and degree, and there were outrages which appalled the sense of decency and propriety on the part of the people generally of the United Kingdom. Those days have long since passed away. They were to a great extent one of the matters which, as the Home Secretary said the other night, had become buried in the oblivion of the past. I think they might have been allowed to remain there, and I believe that the hon. Member for the Scotland Division has done a great disservice to his party in raising this question here to-night. He delivered a most interesting speech, one I think that was listened to with admiration and interest by every Member of this House, and I certainly do not think anyone revelled in it or enjoyed it more than he did himself; but why for the life of me he should have thought it desirable now that this question of Home Rule may again, through the arrangements which exist between the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) and right hon. Gentlemen opposite be brought prominently in the forefront of politics in this country—why he should have selected that moment of all others for bringing back to the recollection of the people of this country what actually was proved before that Parnell Commission and what the findings of that impartial tribunal were passes my comprehension to understand. I listened very attentively to his very eloquent speech, and, apart altogether from this trivial and personal reference and element connected with Sir R. Anderson, the only point, as far as I can follow, he was anxious to bring out was that the London "Times" on that occasion had the assistance, if not of the Government, at least of responsible officials connected with the Government.

I cannot conceive anything that ought in the opinion of a disinterested person more strongly to fortify the conclusions of that tribunal than the fact—if it be a fact—that it had before it evidence not collected from private sources, but through official channels. I can speak perfectly dispassionately—" my withers are unwrung." At that time I was a struggling and briefless barrister; I had no connection direct or indirect with the Parnell Commission or anything leading to it or springing from it. I can only repeat this, that if it be the fact, as emphasised by the hon. Member, that the London "Times" on that occasion, in presenting their case before those three Judges who were selected, and at that time commanded the entire respect of every person in this country for their ability and impartiality—I can only say that if in arriving at the conclusions which they did arrive at they found themselves fortified by evidence from the official record that it would occur to me, and I say it as an ordinary outsider, that that is the strongest recommendation, not merely of the impartiality of their conclusions, but of the importance and value of the evidence on which those conclusions were based. While I think, as a matter of party tactics, it was a grave mistake on the part of my hon. Friends from Ireland below the Gangway to have raised this discussion now, when they have allowed this matter to remain without attack or challenge from the year 1887 up to the present day, I can only say that I think they have committed a grave political fault. But, of course, everybody in this House knows that the discussion is the merest sham. This question was not raised with any view of seeking for any vengeance or any direct or indirect punishment upon Sir R. Anderson, and the hon. Member who introduced this discussion gave away the whole secret, if it was a secret, at the conclusion of his speech, because he said that his object was not to seek for punishment for Sir R. Anderson, but to make a political pronouncement.

It was an attempt to induce the English people to believe that, after all, when this tribunal of impartial English judges, sitting in judgment upon the conduct and action of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway and condemning them and their action in the unmeasured condemnation that is to be found in the conclusions of that Parnell Commission, that they were doing that not as the result of evidence collected by private persons, but as the result of evidence placed at the disposal of "The Times" newspaper by the Government of the day. I confess that if that conclusion is correct, I should have thought it would have been the very last thing that hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, particularly those who are personally involved in the findings of that Commission, would have liked to have placed before the House and the country. I think hon. Gentlemen from Ireland below the Gangway will give me credit for my statement that I would be the last either in this House or out of it to attempt to impute to them at all a desire to foster or promote or encourage crime. Yet, notwithstanding that, I do think that it cannot be without advantage to the cause of those who still value the integrity of the union between Great Britain and Ireland—it is not without advantage, nor will it be within the next six months, that the recollections of the people of this country should be recalled to what very lately their fellow countrymen in Ireland had to suffer for years up to 1887 at the hands of this Land League because, apart altogether from the question of the privity of Mr. Parnell, whether it is a fact or not that the terrible murder in Phœnix Park—[Cries of "Shame" and "Withdraw.] What is the cause of this interruption?


If the right hon. and learned Gentleman asks me what was the cause of the interruption, the cause of the interruption as far as I am concerned is a feeling of indignation that after the Pigott forgeries it should be held an open question whether Mr. Parnell wrote those letters or not.


I can assure the House that I am very little concerned indeed by the present views of the Home Secretary on this subject. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."]


On a point of Order. In view of the fact that the Commission in their findings explicitly acquitted Mr. Parnell of all complicity in this horrible murder, is the right hon. Gentleman in order in the statement he has made?


That is not a matter of order in which I can ask the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw what he has said.


It is a matter of fair play and decency.


But I think I may remind the right hon. Gentleman that in a matter of this kind a very good motto is, De mortuis nil nisi bonum.


I think I would be the last to contravene the wise principle of that motto, and, speaking for myself, I am now, and always have been, quite prepared to accept the finding of the Commission in respect of that particular issue, provided that hon. Members below the Gangway and opposite will do me the favour of agreeing to the other findings of the same Commission. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."]


I must appeal to the Committee to allow the right hon. Gentleman to proceed with his speech. He has said nothing that I can order him to withdraw.


Mr. Emmott, I say this is an outrage. This Special Commission, packed as it was, unani- mously acquitted Mr. Parnell, and if the right hon. Gentleman is to be allowed to say whether Mr. Parnell was guilty or whether he was not, it is an outrage, and if you do not ask him to withdraw, he ought not to be allowed to be heard. [An HON. MEMBER: "He is a Castle hack."]


The right hon. Gentleman has said that he is willing to accept the finding of the Commission on that point if hon. Members will accept the findings of the Commission on other points.


That is just as bad.


I am here to carry out the Rules of Order.


The right hon. Gentleman should carry out the rules of decency.


Although I do not think it was a very happy way of putting it, I cannot say the right hon. Gentleman was out of order.


remained standing amid continued interruption.


I must appeal to the Committee again to allow the right hon. Gentleman to proceed. He has not been allowed to say one single word since the expression that is objected to.


On a point of Order. May I ask if it is not laid down by the supreme authority of the House, namely, the Speaker, in a ruling that this House is not bound to listen to any Member whom it does not desire to hear?


I am very sorry the right hon. Gentleman has taken the line he has. I consider that, in a matter of this kind, in which the feelings of many hon. Members are naturally very excited, he has been unnecessarily aggressive. But in regard to the point of Order, I do not remember any such ruling from the supreme authority of this House. In fact, I remember the present supreme authority on one occasion outside this House quoting the saying of a former Speaker of long ago to that effect, and he said he himself did not agree with it.


On a point of Order. Is it not the proper way, if the House desires not to hear a Member, that some Member should move that he be not heard?


No, that cannot be done now.


Is it not the proper and usual course under these circumstances, when it is perfectly plain, as the right hon. Gentleman will not withdraw, that he will not be listened to, to send for the highest authority in this House, the Speaker?


No, I do not think that is the case at all. I have stated my view about it, and I hope now the right hon. Gentleman will be allowed to proceed. The right hon. Gentleman cannot alter what he has said unless he is heard.


rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put"; but the Chairman withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.


Is it not in accordance with precedent in circumstances of this kind and in order to avoid the confusion which is likely to increase that the Speaker should be sent for and the case placed before him?


I think I must be left to deal with that matter. I would make one more appeal to hon. Members to hear what the right hon. Gentleman has to say. It may be that he desires to modify what he has said. [HON. MEMBERS: "Let him withdraw."] It is not fair to prevent his saying another word.


It is not fair to call us murderers.


He was allowed to say a word that he ought not to have said, and he should have withdrawn it.


I was not given an opportunity of either withdrawing or affirming what I have stated. What I do say now is that I am perfectly willing to accept the conclusion that we ought to adopt, as agreed upon, all the conclusions of the Parnell Commission. [HON. MEM-BBES: "No," and "Sit down."]

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Haldane)

May I venture to make an appeal to hon. Members—[HON. MEMBERS: "No use."] The Chairman has ex pressed his view upon what has fallen from the right hon. Gentleman, and if we had more give-and-take in this House—


The observation was perfectly scandalous—perfectly intolerable.


I would therefore appeal—


You can make no appeal on that.


I rise to a point of Order. The right hon. Gentleman in the course of his speech has insinuated that Mr. Parnell may have been cognisant of the Phœnix Park murders—


Send for the Speaker.


I repeat that the right hon. Gentleman in the course of his speech said that Mr. Parnell might have been cognisant of the Phœnix Park murders. I submit, on a point of Order, that his comment on Mr. Parnell's conduct directly reflects on a large body of Members of this House, and any suggestion to that effect is grossly out of order; and I submit to you, Sir, that, failing a modification or a withdrawal by the right hon. Gentleman of that insinuation, you should call upon him to withdraw the remark.


I do not consider that a remark made solely in reference to the late Mr. Parnell can be said to be an insult to any present Member of the House of Commons. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh."]


Do you not think it was an insult as to Mr. Parnell?


We consider it an insult to his memory, and we will not submit to it.

HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw"— "Divide."


What I am saying now is a matter of fact. It would have been very much easier to deal with this matter if it had been about a living man. I have already expressed my opinion that it is not a proper thing to say about him, and I certainly wish that the right hon. Gentleman had had the grace to properly withdraw what he said. I am bound by the Rules of Order, and I must carry them out to the best of my ability.


On a point of Order. May I venture to suggest that, in view of the growing excitement and heat of the House, you should accept the Motion which was moved by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford? I beg to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."


below the Gangway on the Opposition side shouted, "Three cheers for Parnell."

In response a number of Irish Nationalist Members rose in their places and gave three cheers.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 232; Noes, 111.

Division No. 57.] AYES. [10.35 p.m.
Addison, Dr. Christopher Guiney, Patrick Muldoon, John
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Gulland, John William Murray, Capt Hon. Arthur C.
Agnew, George William Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Muspratt, Max
Ainsworth, John Stirling Hackett, John Nannetti, Joseph P.
Allen, Charles Peter Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Neilson, Francis
Anderson, Andrew Macbeth Hancock, John George Nolan, Joseph
Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale) Nugent, Sir Walter Richard
Baker, Harold T. (Accrington) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Nuttall, Harry
Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Barnes, George N. Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) O'Doherty, Philip
Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.) Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Barry, Edward (Cork, S.) Harwood, George O'Dowd, John
Barton, William Haslam, James (Derbyshire) O'Kelly, Edward p. (Wicklow, W.)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Ge[...].) Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry O'Malley, William
Bentham, George Jackson Haworth, Arthur A. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Hazleton, Richard Palmer, Godfrey Mark
Boland, John Plus Healy, Maurice (Cork, N.E.) Parker, James (Halifax)
Bowerman, Charles W. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A.
Bowles, Thomas Gibson Higham, John Sharp Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North) Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Brady, Patrick Joseph Hogan, Michael Power, Patrick Joseph
Brigg, Sir John Hooper, Arthur George Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Brocklehurst, William B. Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Primrose, Hon. Neil James
Burke, E. Haviland- Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich) Pringle, William M. R.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Radford, George Heynes
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Hudson, Walter Rea, Walter Russell
Buxton, C. R. (Devon, Mid) Hughes, Spencer Leigh Reddy, Michael
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North) Illingworth, Percy H. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Cameron, Robert Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel Redmond, William (Clare, E.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Rees, John David
Cawley, H. T. (Lanes., Heywood) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Roberts, George H. (Norwich)
Chappie, Dr. William Allen Jowett, Frederick William Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Joyce, Michael Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)
Clough, William Keating, Matthew Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Kelly, Edward Roche, Augustine (Cork)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Kennedy, Vincent Paul Roche, John (Galway, East)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Kettle, Thomas Michael Rowntree, Arnold
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Kilbride, Denis Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Condon, Thomas Joseph King, Joseph (Somerset, N.) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Corbe[...]t, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Lambert, George Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Crawshay-Wllliams, Eliot Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Crean, Eugene Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Scanlan, Thomas
Crossley, Sir William J. Leach, Charles Schwann, Sir Charles E.
Cullinan, John Lehmann, Rudolf C. Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy) Levy, Sir Maurice Seddon, James A.
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Lewis, John Herbert Seely, Col., Right Hon. J. E. B.
Dawes, James Arthur Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Deiany, William Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich) Sheeny, David
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Lundon, Thomas Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-shire) Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Soares, Ernest Joseph
Dillon, John Lynch, Arthur Alfred Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)
Doris, William Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Strachey, Sir Edward
Duffy, William J. Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Summers, James Woolley
Duncan, C. (Barrow-In-Furness) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Sutton, John E.
Edwards, Enoch M'Curdy, Charles Albert Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Elverston, Harold M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcilffe)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Mallet, Charles Edward Tennant, Harold John
Esslemont, George Birnie Markham, Arthur Basil Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Falconer, James Marks, George Croydon Thomas, James Henry (Derby)
Farrell, James Patrick Master man, C. F. G. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Fenwick, Charles Meagher, Michael Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Ferens, Thomas Robinson Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Twist, Henry
Ffrench, Peter Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's County) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Flavin, Michael Joseph Menzies, Sir Walter Verney, Frederick William
France, Gerald Ashburner Millar, James Duncan Vivian, Henry
Gelder, Sir William Alfred Molloy, Michael Walters, John Tudor
Gilhooly, James Molteno, Percy Airport Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Glanville, Harold James Mond, Alfred Moritz Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Greenwood, Granville George Mooney, John J. Wardle, George J.
Grenfell, Cecil Alfred Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Guest, Capt Hon. Frederick E. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Watt, Henry A. Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
White, Sir George (Norfolk) Wilkie, Alexander Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire) Williams, Aneurin (Plymouth) Young, William (Perth, East)
White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
White, Patrick (Meath, North) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Matter
Whitehouse, John Howard Wilson, T. F. (Lanark, N.E.) of Elibank and Mr. Fuller.
Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Adam, Major William A. Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. Mason, James F.
Archer-Shee, Major Martin Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas
Arkwright, John Stanhope Fell, Arthur Morpeth, Viscount
Attenborough, Walter Annis Finlay, Sir Robert Mount, William Arthur
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A. Newton, Harry Kottingham
Balcarres, Lord Fleming, Valentine Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)
Baldwin, Stanley Fletcher, John Samuel Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Forster, Henry William Paget, Almeric Hugh
Barnston, Harry Goldsmith, Frank Pollock, Ernest Murray
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Gooch, Henry Cubitt Rankin, Sir James.
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Grant, James Augustus Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Beckett, Hon. William Gervase Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Rice, Hon. Walter Fitz-Uryan
Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich) Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight) Rothschild, Lionel de
Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish- Hambro, Angus Valdemar Royds, Edmund
Brackenbury, Henry Langton Hamersley, Alfred St. George Rutherford, William Watson
Bridgeman, William Clive Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry) Salter, Arthur Clavell
Brunskill, Gerald Fitzgibbon Harris, F. L. (Tower Hamlets, Stepney) Sandys, G. J (Somerset, Wells)
Butcher, S. H. (Cambridge University) Harris, H. P. (Paddington, S.) Sassoon, sir Edward Albert
Calley, Col. Thomas C. P. Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Heath, Col. Arthur Howard Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Cator, John Henderson, H. G. H. (Berkshire) Stewart, Gershom (Ches. Wirral)
Cautley, Henry Strother Hillier, Dr. Alfred Peter Stewart, Sir M'T. (Kirkcudbrightsh.)
Chambers, James Hills, John Walter (Durham) Strauss, Arthur
Clive, Percy Archer Hoare, Samuel John Gurney Talbot, Lord Edmund
Clyde, James Avon Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)
Coates, Major Edward F. Hope, Harry (Bute) Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)
Cooper, Capt. Bryan R. (Dublin, S.) Home, Wm E. (Surrey, Guildford) Thompson, Robert
Cooper, Richard Ashmole (Walsall) Horner, Andrew Long Thynne, Lord Alexander
Courthope, George Loyd Hume-Williams, Wm. Ellis Tobin, Alfred Aspinall
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Jackson, John A. (Whitehaven) Tryon, Capt. George Clement
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East) Verrall, George Henry
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Keswick, William Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Craik, Sir Henry King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Croft, Henry Page Knight, Capt Eric Ayshford Worthington-Evans, L.
Dairymple, Viscount Llewelyn, Venables
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S. (Glasgow, E.) Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir A.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A Akers- Long, Rt Hon. Walter Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Duke, Henry Edward Macmaster, Donald

Question put accordingly, "That Item VT., Vote 1, be reduced by £900, in respect of the pension of Sir Robert Anderson."— [Mr. T. P. O'Connor.]

The Committee divided: Ayes, 94; Noes, 164.

Division No. 58.] AYES. [10.45 p.m.
Atherley-Jones, Liewelyn A. Hackett, J. Meagher, Michael
Barnes, G. N. Hancock, J. G. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)
Boland, John Plus Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Molloy, M.
Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.) Hazelton, Richard Mooney, J. J.
Brady, P. J. Healy, Maurice (Cork, N.E.) Muldoon, John
Brotherton, Edward Allen Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Muspratt, M.
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Hogan, Michael Nannetti, Joseph P.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hope, John Deans (File, West) Noland, Joseph
Crean, Eugene Hudson, Walter Nugent, Sir Walter Richard
Cullinan, J. Jowett, F. W. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Delany, William Joyce, Michael O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Dillon, John Keating, M. O'Doherty, Philip
Doris, W. Kelly, Edward O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Duffy, William j. Kennedy, Vincent Paul O'Dowd, John
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Kettle, Thomas Michael O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Kilbride, Denis O'Malley, William
Esmonde, Sir Thomas King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Farrell, James Patrick Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Parker, James (Halifax)
Fenwick, Charles Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Ffrench, Peter Lundon, T. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Flavin, Michael Joseph Lynch, A. A. Power, Patrick Joseph
Gilhooly, James Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Reddy, M.
Gulney, P. MacVeagh, Jeremiah Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Markham, Arthur Basil Redmond, William (Clare)
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Roche, Augustine (Cork) Sutton, John E. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Roche, John (Galway, East) Taylor, John W. (Durham) Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)
Scanlan, Thomas Twist, Henry
Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne) Wadsworth, J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Seddon, J. Walsh, Stephen Patrick O'Brien and Mr. Haviland-
Shcehan, Daniel Daniel Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent) Burke.
Sheehy, David White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex. F. Gibson, James P. Palmer, Godfrey
Addison, Dr. C. Glanville, H. J. Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A.
Adkins, W. Rytand D. Greenwood, G. G. Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Agnew, George William Grenfell, Cecil Alfred Primrose, Hon. Neil James
Ainsworth, John Stirling Guest, Capt. Hon. F. E. Pringle, William M. R.
Allen, Charles P. Gulland, John W. Radford, G. H.
Anderson, A. Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Rankin, Sir James
Baker, H. T. (Accrington) Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale) Rea, Walter Russell
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury E.) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Rees, J. D.
Balcarres, Lord Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Barran, Sir J. (Hawick) Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Barton, A. W. Haworth, Arthur A. Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets) Heath, Col. A. H. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Bentham, G. J. Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Higham, John Sharp Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Bowerman, C. W. Hillier, Dr. A. P. Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Bowles, T. Gibson Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hooper, A. G. Seely, Col., Right Hon. J. E. 8.
Brigg, Sir John Hope, Harry (Bute) Soares, Ernest J.
Brockiehurst, W. B. Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich) Stewart, Sir M'T. (Kirkcudbright)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford) Strachey, Sir Edward
Buxton, C. R. (Devon, Mid.) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Summers, James Woolley
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.) Hughes, S. L. Talbot, Lord E.
Cameron, Robert Illingworth, Percy H. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel Tennant, Harold John
Cawley, Ha[...]ld T. (Heywood) Jackson, John A. (Whitehaven) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Chappie, Dr. William Allen Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. King, J. (Somerset, N.) Tryon, George Clement
Clay, Captain H. Spender Lambert, George Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Clive, Percy Archer Leach, Charles Valentia, Viscount
Clough, William Lehmann, R. C. Verney, F. W.
Collins, G. P. (Greenock) Levy, Sir Maurice Verrall, George Henry
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Lewis, John Herbert Vivian, Henry
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Walters, John Tudor
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Long, Rt. Hon. Walter Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Cooper, Capt. Bryan (Dublin Co., S.) Low, Sir F. (Norwich) Wardie, George J.
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Crawshay-Williams, Eliot Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Crossley, Sir W. J. M'Curdy, C. A. Watt, Henry A.
Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy) McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Mallet, Charles E. White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Dawes, J. A. Marks, G. Croydon White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Denman, R. D. Masterman, C. F. G. Whitehouse, John Howard
Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness) Menzies, Sir Walter Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Millar, J. D. Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)
Duke, H. E. Molteno, Percy Alport Williams, Aneurin (Plymouth)
Elverston, H. Mond, Alfred Moritz Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Falconer, J. Montagu, Hon. E. S. Wilson, T. F. (Lanark, N.E.)
Ferens, T. R. Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Finlay, Sir Robert Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Young, William (Perth, East)
Fleming, Valentine Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.
Fletcher, J. S. 1 Nellson, Francis
Forster, Henry William Newton, Harry Kottingham TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Master
France, G. A. Norton, Capt. Cecil W. of Elibank and Mr. Fuller.
Gelder, Sir W. A. 1 Nuttall, Harry

Original Question put, and agreed to.

Progress reported. Committee to sit again to-morrow (Friday).

Resolved, "That this House do now: adjourn."—[Master of Elibank.]

Adjourned at Five minutes before Eleven o'clock.