§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £32,684, be granted to His Majesty to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on 31st March, 1910, for the expenses of the Department of Agriculture and other Industries and Technical Instruction for Ireland, and of the services administered by that Department, including sundry Grants in Aid."
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
I should like to explain the Supplementary Estimate for this Department of £38,134, which is the additional sum required (after allowing for anticipated savings). It arises in this way. Under Section 49 of the Trish Land Act of last year, the annual sum of £163,750 was to be provided out of moneys provided by Parliament, from and after the appointed day, and of this sum £19,000 was to be paid to the Department of Agriculture for the performance of certain transferred duties, and the residue of £144,750 was to be paid to the Congested Districts Board. By an Order of 5th January this year the Lord Lieutenant, in pursuance of Section 56 of the Act, appointed 6th January, 1910, as the appointed day. Between 6th January and 31st March, 1910, there are eighty-five days, and I am told that eighty-five 365ths work out as follows: For the Congested Districts Board, £33,709, being their share from the appointed day down to 31st March, and for the Department of Agriculture, in respect of the transferred duties, £4,425. I have put it down this year under the Vote of the Department of Agriculture, the Congested Districts Board having no Vote at present, although, of course, it gets a much larger part of the annual income provided. I 786 think, in future, it would be desirable to have a Vote for the Congested Districts Board, but this year, for the purpose of the Supplementary Estimate, it was necessary to put the whole Vote down under the head of the Department. The Committee will understand that the whole sum of £38,134 is the division between the two Departments of their share of the new annual income down to 31st March from the appointed day.
§ Mr. MOORE
On a point of Order as to the limits of discussion on the Supplementary Vote. Will hon. Members be entitled to discuss this in relation to the whole work of the Department, and inasmuch as this is a grant going to the Congested Districts Board, will they also be able to discuss the purposes to which that Board will apply the money?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
So far as the Department is concerned the £4,425–allotted to it in respect of transferred duties which are specified in the Act—has nothing to do with general purposes.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Supplementary Estimate does not open up the whole scope of the Department's work. The only subject that can be discussed on the Departmental work are those which pertain to the Estimate itself. With regard to the second sum for the Congested Districts Board I think that the questions opened up by this new grant are those to which the money applies.
§ Mr. MOORE
Without quarelling in any way with your decision, Sir, may I call attention to the form in which this is brought in? I quite acquiesce in your ruling, which comes under the ordinary ruling about Supplementary Estimates; but this is brought in generally to defray the expenses of the Board of Agriculture, and is not limited in any way as to what those expenses are to go upon. Being general expenses it is not a Supplementary Estimate of a particular Estimate, or a particular branch, it is brought in by the Government to defray the expenses generally of the whole Department, and, therefore, I submit to you that this takes it out of the plane of the ordinary ruling as to Supplementary Estimates.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The circumstances in this case are very peculiar. We are really granting for a second time in another way money that has been received from other sources hitherto, and would, but for that Act of 1909, have been spent without coming under the further consideration of Parliament this year. But, as I understand this question, the money is to be granted in this form now, and it must inevitably raise any questions in regard to the subjects on which this money is spent. I think that that must be the case this year on account of the peculiar circumstances.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
I do not rise to offer any opposition to this Supplementary Vote, but only for the purpose of asking some information from the Chief Secretary. The question is a little more involved than appears at first sight. Although this does undoubtedly seem to raise the expenditure in this connection of certain money which would have been voted in any case, and which now has to be transferred under the Act of 1908, this Vote also proposes to deal with the new money which had to be voted under the Act which was passed last Session—that is the Land Act of 1909. I think, Sir, under your ruling I am entitled to ask the Chief Secretary one or two questions with regard to the purposes on which this money is to be spent, or is being spent at the present time. The Act of 1909 made it incumbent upon the Irish Government to fix an appointed day for the change of form of the Congested Districts Board coming into existence, at which time there is to be a certain transfer of duties. It was not apparent at the time—I have no doubt the Chief Secretary will be able to give us good reasons to-day—why it was necessary to fix the appointed day so early. It was fixed during the time the election was going on, and owing to its having been fixed at so early a period, it is necessary to provide money which would not otherwise have been required till the end of the current year, when, with the Act in force, the money would have been provided in the ordinary way, and there would have been no necessity for a Supplementary Estimate at all. May I ask for some information about the arrangement, the cost of which is included in this Estimate? What steps have been taken to arrange for the transfer of duties as between the two Departments? The Act of 1909 provided that certain duties connected with technical education and with fisheries were to be transferred from the Department to the 788 new Congested Districts Board. Are we to understand that the transfer has actually taken place, and that the necessary arrangements have been made for the performance by the Congested Districts Board of those duties? Then I would ask the right hon. Gentleman further what general arrangement has been made for the performance of their new duties by the Congested Districts Board? He is aware I think, that there has been some little correspondence in the papers in Ireland about the anticipated action of the new Congested Districts Board. Are we to understand that they are now newly constituted, that full arrangements are made not only for the transfer of duties, but that officials have been appointed to do the new work, and that, therefore, this money is actually required in order to put the new Congested Districts Board in a position to perform their duties?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The first question of the right hon. Gentleman was as to why I proceeded to appoint the day so quickly. In that matter I was governed entirely by a desire to get possession of the revenue at the earliest possible moment. Connected as I have been for some years with the Congested Districts Board, I knew what their great want was. I knew their impecuniosity, and the need of their obtaining funds. After having undergone the trouble of securing a handsome revenue for them, I was exceedingly anxious—I had no other motive, I can assure the right hon. Gentleman—to get the cash for them as speedily as possible, in order that they might proceed quickly with their duties. With regard to the other question, I believe that the information is necessary for which the right hon. Gentleman asks. We have had a joint conference of the Congested Districts Board and the Board of Agriculture with regard to this transfer of duties. They have met and made friendly arrangements, both being desirous of working in the best way and in the common interest. They have come to an agreement with regard to the agricultural work in the congested districts; they have also come to an agreement with regard to marine works, fishery works, and other subjects. They have gone in detail into those matters, and they have made high treaties between the two contracting parties. No difficulty arose between those two bodies as to the transfer of duties. With regard to the Congested Districts Board, it is fully established and now set going. Its new members have met, and their 789 operations are fully commenced. They have also had formal meetings with the Estates Commission, and arrangements have been made, not finally as regards all the estates, but they have practically settled already those estates of which the Estates Commissioner have now seisin, and which will be handed over to the Congested Districts Board, so that, I think, as regards that work, agreement has actually been come to.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
May I ask whether the landlords and tenants in this case have had any voice in the matter?
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The matter is between the two, and in many cases they have had communication with the parties. I do not say that the parties in every case have given their consent, but, generally speaking, the attitude of the parties has been totally indifferent as to which body it was, their only hope being that whichever it was it would be able to go a little quicker than its predecessor. In regard to the staff, no work has yet been done in respect of organisation, but two permanent members of the Congested Districts Board are busily engaged in the preparation of a report, which they will make to the whole Board, as to the reorganisation of the staff. Undoubtedly the reorganisation of the staff is absolutely essential, and I have no doubt that both efficiency and economy will result from the new arrangement, which will be come to at the earliest possible moment. All I can say is that at present no difficulty has arisen. The three bodies, the Congested Districts Board, the Estates Commission, and the Board of Agriculture have worked together without any manifestation of amour propre or departmental feeling, which so often interfere with the general conduct of the country's business. I do not anticipate there will be any difficulty between these three bodies, but they will work together for the common good. I think therefore that anybody who comes into our place will find the Congested Districts Board a very useful and very businesslike and well-constituted body, well supplied with funds, which, although I am sure they will never be considered adequate, will, at all events, enable the Board to do a great deal more good work than hitherto. With regard to the last question put by the right hon. Gentleman, let him take it from me that the bargain has been struck between the Congested 790 Districts Board and the Department of Agriculture as to the transferred duties.
§ Mr. CHARLES CRAIG
We are precluded by your ruling from dealing with, the question of the policy of the Department of Agriculture itself. I hope your ruling will not preclude us from saying a word or two, or from asking a question, on the subject of the policy of the Government itself with reference to the Department of Agriculture. The question which I wish to put to the Chief Secretary is, What is the policy of the Government with reference to the appointment of a new Vice-President of that Department? The right hon Gentleman the Chief Secretary, I understand, holds the honorary position of President of the Department of Agriculture. It will be within the memory of all those Members in the House now who were in the last Parliament that a Debate took place in this particular question in the second year of the last Parliament. At that time Sir Horace Plunkett was Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture. Then the Government felt themselves compelled, owing, I believe, or, at least, they said it was owing to—
§ Mr. C. CRAIG
On a point of Order. At the head of page 9 of the White Paper in our hands it is stated that this is a Supplementary Estimate of the amount required to 31st March, 1910, to defray the expenses of the Department of Agriculture and of the services of Ministers and so on. I submit that that clearly includes the expenses-of the Department just as well as those other expenses, which the Chief Secretary has pointed out are in reality expenses of the Congested Districts Board. It seems to me, therefore, that under the earlier part we are entitled to discuss the policy of the Department of Agriculture, seeing that it is not stated on the Paper what that £4,250 is actually to be applied to.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
On the point of Order. May I ask whether it is not the case that this Supplementary Estimate is to cover excessive expenditure incurred on behalf of the Board of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, and whether that 791 sum as set out in the Estimate of the Government is not specially apportioned to any part of the expenditure of the Department, but that it goes into the common puree out of which comes the salary of the Vice-President.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not think it is necessary to say any more on the point of Order. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary has assured me that no part of this money goes into the salary of the Vice-President, and, that being the case, it excludes this matter from our discussion.
§ Mr. MOORE
I wish to complain about the manner in which the Government meet us in this matter. The one official who ought to know all about the expenditure of the Department is the Vice-President. The Government have made no arrangements for having the proper Minister here to answer criticisms on the expenditure of the Department. The present Vice-President is unable to be here, having failed at the last election to obtain a seat in this House. Surely it is quite competent for us to complain that the Chief Secretary, who has so many other things to do in Ireland in regard to the whole administration of the country, should not have taken steps to have this Department specially represented by the special Minister who, the Chief Secretary has told us, again and again, should have a seat in this House in order to answer those criticisms.
§ Mr. MOORE
If I am not allowed to pursue the matter and draw attention to the unsatisfactory position in the Debates when we have not got the special Minister responsible to answer in this House, I should like to go further and ask the Chief Secretary to give us the names of the Members of this new Congested Districts Board of whose proceedings he expressed himself as so very satisfied. This matter came up during the last Session, and in those days the Chief Secretary had locked up in his bosom as a State secret the names of the Members whom he intended to appoint to act on this new Board. The House has never yet been put in possession of who those gentlemen are. Wild horses could not drag it from the Chief Secretary last Session. It was to be settled in consultation 792 with hon. Members below the Gangway during the Christmas recess, and up to the present, although the Chief Secretary now tells us of this perfect unanimity between the three Boards, the House is not yet officially in posession of the names of the Members who are going to spend a million per year in Connaught. I think we ought to have this information, because I think the House and my hon. Friends on this side are entitled to see what member is there on the new Board who will command public confidence in respect to the very large transactions which they are about to begin in dispossessing people compulsorily of land which has been in their possession and in the possession of their fathers and grandfathers for hundreds of years.
I notice that the Chief Secretary is exceedingly pleased that these three Departments—the Board of Agriculture, the Estates Commissioners, and the new Congested Districts Board—are working in such unanimity. If a man was going along a road and met three highwaymen who were in complete accord, it would be very little satisfaction to him, if he was about to be despoiled, to know that they were on most excellent terms. That is really all the statement of the Chief Secretary amounts to as to these Boards. I want to know is there any representative of the law-abiding minority in Connaught who are going to be evicted from their lands for these political philanthropic purposes of the Government—is there anyone to look after their interests and defend them on this Board? I quite understand the delicacy and the reticence of the Chief Secretary in not giving us the names in the last Parliament, although challenged again and again to do so, or in this Debate when we are asked to vote money to them. I think we ought to know the names. I think every step ought to be taken if public money is to be expended under compulsory powers, and I think we ought to see that at least there will be one Member of the thirteen, if not two or three, who will see that justice and fair play is done by the new tribunal, from whom there practically is no appeal. I want to ask another question. Connaught has been the spoilt child of all Radical Governments. It has been especially the spoilt child of the late Government, because there was more trouble, more cattle-driving, more outrage, more intimidation, more boycotting, and more breaches of the law there than in any part of the country, and how does this Radical Government 793 invariably deal with them? It does not put it down. It gets hold of one ringleader now and again, and asks him to confess to be bound to keep the peace.
§ Mr. MOORE
I am sorry if I have transgressed, but the Chief Secretary stated that these three bodies of whom he spoke so highly had agreed to what estates were to be taken for purchasing in Connaught, and that they had arranged how many acres. I want to know how many acres and what is included in this tripartite agreement? How much does it mean in the way of advances under public funds? We want to know if this part of the country operated on by the Congested Districts Board is getting an undue advantage over the more law-abiding parts. I think we are entitled to have particulars from the Chief Secretary. Now that It has been definitely arranged what estates are to be taken I think the sooner it is announced—publicly announced—what land is to be taken the better. It may make the operations of the Congested Districts Board easier in future for people to realise that nothing is to be gained from the Congested Districts Board by a special agitation to acquire further lands. Also with regard to the working of the Congested Districts Board we ought to know the amount, because even though this Government have only got a limited amount to spend on land purchase every year, how much will be required to carry out these purchase transactions, and, in other words, how long will it take the Congested Districts Board to perform this part of their duty? If the Chief Secretary will let us know how much, then we will see how far the Government is dealing fairly with the rest of Ireland.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The hon. and learned Gentleman is very anxious to be in possession of information, while, of course, he knows perfectly well who the present members of the new Congested Districts Board are.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am rather surprised at that. They have appeared in all the Irish newspapers more than once. But I quite agree that this is a very admirable time to give him the information that he seeks, and I propose to do so now. The newly constituted Congested Districts Board consists of the Chief Secretary, whom I 794 need not describe, the Under-Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, Sir James Dougherty, and the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland).
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I thought the hon. Member was asking for information, and I am now endeavouring as best I can to impart to him, although, as I told him before, he probably knew it already.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
One or two probably. There are nine members appointed by His Majesty under the recommendation of his advisers. They are Sir Horace Plunkett, Father O'Hara, Lord Shaftesbury, Bishop O'Donnell, and Sir David Harrel; they were all old members of the Board, and have been reappointed by the King. The new members are Mr. John FitzGibbon, Bishop Mangan of Kerry, Father Glynn, and Mr. W. D. Walker, who was an admirable official of the old Congested Districts Board, whose services were recognised by everybody. He was so admirable a man of business that he received a very tempting offer to become head of a great industrial undertaking in Ireland, and although he was most reluctant to leave the service of the Congested Districts Board, still his interests demanded that he should accept this very well-paid and important office. He was very glad indeed to have the opportunity of returning to his old Board, as of course, an unpaid member of it. Those are the members, with the addition of the two permanent members, Mr. Doran and Mr. W. L. Micks. It as not for me to say anything either in its praise or in its dispraise. It has met several times; there has been a full attendance of both the old and the new members. I have had the privilege of presiding over the meetings, the members amalgamated uncommonly well, and I have every reason to believe that they will continue to work well together. But that the Board should give undoubted satisfaction to everybody has never entered my head as a possibility. I am sorry that some counties, particularly Galway, have not the representation on the Board that I should like to have seen. That is one reason why I am exceedingly sorry that in another place the county councils were prevented from doing what I very reluctantly had to do, namely, nominate these persons. I have no doubt that if the county councils had done it each county 795 would have had a representative; but that was not possible, and therefore the responsibility devolved upon the Irish Government. It was a very difficult business, but I believe we have discharged it in a manner which time will show to have been by no means reckless, and as well as we could with the materials at our disposal.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
Will the right hon. Gentleman explain the circumstances under which the Inspector of Fisheries, Mr. Green, ceased to be a member of the Board?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I do not know that I can answer that question. First of all, the whole of the old Board was swept away. I was under no obligation, if it is put to me in that way, to re-appoint a single old member of the Board. Mr. Green personally is most agreeable, and to part with him, so far as I had anything to do with it, was a matter of considerable sorrow. At the same time I am perfectly certain that in not offering him a seat on the Board I was consulting the best interests of the Board itself as a permanent body, if it was to go on under its new conditions. Hon. Members can easily understand that it sometimes happens that people do not like reconstituted Boards or permanent members, and they may not like changes in the constitution of a body with which they have been connected. I should be the last man in the world to say anything disrespectful of Mr. Green, whose services on the Board I was sorry to lose, but I had a responsibility in the matter, and one has to discharge such responsibilities, although they may be most disagreeable. The reason why Mr. Green was not put on the Board was that I believed it would not conduce to the best interests of the Board for him, retaining the opinions he did, to have a place upon it. It is really a delicate matter asking questions of this sort. There were reasons why, in my judgment, at all events, it was undesirable for Mr. Green to be on the Board. He was not removed from the Board. The Act of Parliament removed all the members. I had the task of reconstituting the Board, and it was difficult to do it in such a way that from the very beginning it should work together to the best advantage. The hon. Member (Mr. Moore) misunderstood my previous statement. What I said was that the Estates Commissioners and the Congested Districts Board had come to an 796 arrangement with regard to those estates within their areas, for the purchase of which the Estates Commissioners were negotiating. It was as to which of those estates should be transferred from the Estates Commissioners to the Congested Districts Board that I referred. I never supposed for a moment—it has not been and cannot be done—that the Congested Districts Board was in a position to say what estates they meant to buy, how many thousand acres, the price they would give, or anything of the sort. They must work as best they can with comparatively slender means. What was most important was that inasmuch as the Estates Commissioners were negotiating for and had practically agreed to buy certain estates within the exclusive jurisdiction of the new Board, arrangements should be made as to which of those estates should remain under the control of and be carried out by the Estates Commissioners, and which should be transferred as soon as may be to the Congested Districts Board. It was simply and solely in relation to that point that I used the language referred to.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
It was not the intention of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Campbell) to suggest that the Chief Secretary had been guilty of any improper action in omitting Mr. Green's name; but no one can be surprised that the matter should have been referred to from this side of the House. It is not a political question. All who have followed the work of the Congested Districts Board during recent years know that there is no man in Ireland who has done better work for that branch of Irish government than Mr. Green. For many years he performed the difficult and laborious duties of inspector, travelling all over Ireland in connection with fisheries, for nothing except the love of the work, for which work I understand somebody has now to be paid. When that is remembered no one will wonder that we should seek to render our small tribute for the work Mr. Green did, and to express our regret that room was not found for him on the new Board. At the same time, I frankly admit that the Chief Secretary was fully entitled to make his own selections, and I have not the slightest doubt that he had in view the future harmony and smooth working of the Department. I am, however, surprised that there should have 797 been any anticipation that Mr. Green's presence on the Board would have in any way interfered with that object.
I did not quite follow the Chief Secretary's reference to the action of another place in regard to the Act. He expressed his regret that it had not been possible for him to appoint representatives of the various counties, and he said that had the selection been left to the counties, each county would probably have sent one of its own representatives. The fact that the present members are not chosen as representatives of the counties is in no way due to the action of another place. The Chief Secretary was perfectly free under the powers of the Statute to select his representatives where he pleased. He could have adopted the plan—which I think would have been a good one—of appointing representatives geographically. But he had other objects to serve. He took a different view as to the best way of selecting these gentlemen, and he selected them in order to meet the wishes of some people in Ireland. I do not blame him; no doubt that was the easiest and smothest way for him. I do not wish to suggest that the new Board will not work well, but I do claim that the responsibility of the Board rests with the Chief Secretary, and not with any action taken in another place.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
That is not so. I quite agree that I could have appointed members in the way suggested if, instead of appointing any of the old members, I had appointed fresh members entirely.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
All I am saying is that, so far as the action of another place is concerned, the Chief Secretary was given full discretion, and he could have adopted the geographical plan. I only hope the new Board will do their work as energetically and as well as the old Board did theirs, and that there will be as much harmony among the members as there was on the Board during the time I was associated with it. There were differences of opinion, but they were generally disposed of; and the work was, on the whole, I believe, satisfactory. The new Board will have a much wider sphere of action. I hope they will be prudent in embarking upon their new enterprises, remembering how much the future of Ireland depends upon the wisdom of their action.
§ Mr. S. H. BUTCHER
Who on the Board now represents expert knowledge of fisheries? Is it Mr. Walker? We have 798 this peculiar position. Fisheries were transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the Congested Districts Board. There was on the Board one man who knew more about fisheries than all other men in Ireland put together, namely, Mr. Green. It seems very peculiar that when the actual work of the fisheries is transferred to the Board, Mr. Green should be the only person who is not reappointed. It certainly seems to demand some explanation.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am sorry that this matter should have been raised, because I do not want to say a single word against Mr. Green, who is a personal friend of mine, and for whom I have great respect and admiration. If I had felt myself at liberty to appoint the whole of the thirteen members afresh, disregarding the claims of everybody who had been on the Board, I could have adopted the geographical plan. I daresay I should have had difficulties even then in regard to some of the counties. It is much easier for a county council to take upon itself the responsibility of appointing a person than it is for an individual like myself. But I had to take up that duty, and a very difficult one it proved to be. Some of the most businesslike people on the spot had contracts with the Congested Districts Board, and that appeared to me to be an insuperable objection to their appointment—by me, at all events. They were not in a position to give up their contracts, and yet in a country where you want businesslike people it is a little hard to find yourself excluded from nominating persons simply because by virtue of their businesslike qualities they have these pecuniary relations with the Board. It was undoubtedly desirable that there should be as large a new element introduced as possible. I do not want to refer to private matters. I had various interviews with Mr. Green, and I think—although perhaps I ought not to say this—that in not putting him upon the Board I was consulting his wishes—at all events, as he expressed them to me—having regard to the new constitution. I should hate to say a single word which would seem to reflect upon Mr. Green's great reputation, his perfect devotion to the work, and his undoubtedly great technical knowledge of the whole subject of fisheries. But I really must ask the House in that matter to repose that amount of confidence in me as to think I am unwilling to do anything reflecting on the service of this 799 gentleman. I sincerely believe that if you asked him at this moment if he wished to remain on the Board or not, he would say "No." I know that was his feeling. Certain views he expressed with very strong feeling. I had to undertake the painful task of passing over two. One gentleman did not make any great trouble about it. When I wrote to him telling him that I did not intend to reappoint him, he was very kind in regard to the matter. Had I not taken this course, I could not have got the degree of local representation which I have got. I had to get rid of somebody. With regard to Mr. Green, I can assure the House that I thought I was doing on the whole what he wanted. Mr. Walker is not a technical fishing man at all. His work was inspection of quite a different sort. Therefore, we are at a disadvantage in that sense. But Mr. Green is still connected with the Department of Agriculture and we shall not have any difficulty in getting such evidence as we want. What we want in the fishing industry is not so much knowledge of fish as business knowledge to help to make the thing pay, and I hope we shall not be deficient in that respect.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I only rise to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether there was not an intention of giving a territorial representation on the new Board? Of course, to some extent the right hon. Gentleman has met that case, and I think on the whole the appointments have given general satisfaction. But I understood there was an intention that every part of the area was to have some direct representation on the Board. Now take the county of Cork. There is a large section which partakes of the character of a new district and requires specially to be looked after. Now the effect of the appointments is this, that you appoint a man of Mayo, Donegal or Sligo. He will be supposed to look after his own neighbourhood. I would only ask to whose hands the care of the interest of the western district of Cork are to be entrusted. Everyone must recognise that the northern area has in the past received special treatment, and therefore the more southern area, or a portion of it, might be expected to make up for lost time. That cannot be done unless somebody on the Board is charged with that special function of looking after that end of the county. If there is no special representation, I think there should be somebody to fight for that end of the county.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
There is no doubt that if the original scheme had been carried out of allowing the county councils in the whole area to nominate their own men, and if there had been the whole Board to operate upon, the territorial system would have prevailed. But I had so few vacancies at my disposal that it was impossible for me to carry out such a system. The representatives would not go all round, and therefore, although I did my best to get representatives and for Kerry and Clare to be represented, I do not think now that you can look upon the Board under its present arrangement as having constituents. There is a good number of gentlemen on the Board who cannot be said territorially to be connected with any part of the congested districts area. Lord Shaftesbury, for example, and Sir Horace Plunkett—they are not territorially connected with any portion, and then, of course, there is Sir David Harrel and Mr. Walker and a number of other persons, and so long as I am a member of the Board I shall consider myself a representative of those portions of the congested area which do not get a local representative. I do not think it would be a wise thing for me—indeed, I have no constitutional rights so to do—to appoint anybody who should have a watching brief for any particular portion. But I hope, now it is so obvious that the territorial system has broken down, that all those members of the Board who are not intimately connected with the congested districts area will consider themselves particularly bound to look after the interests of the unrepresented parts. I do not really think the members of the Board require a homily from me on the subject, but nobody is any the worse for being reminded that it is his duty to look after those portions of the area not represented from the locality. That is all I can say.
§ Captain BRYAN COOPER
I must ask the Committee to accord me the indulgence which I understand is always granted to Members of this House who seek to address it for the first time, particularly as I am one of the youngest Members of the House and the youngest from Ireland at the present time. I gathered from the Chief Secretary that the larger sum is to be at the disposal of the Congested Districts Board for the new duties imposed upon it last year, and undoubtedly the most important of the new duties is the redistribution and the resettlement of the grass lands of Connaught. I do not 801 think the right hon. Gentleman told us where the Board met—whether they are going to meet in Dublin—
§ Captain COOPER
I did not know if any met in Connaught. I think it is only reasonable to suppose that since they have met they have decided on their policy in regard to the portion of the money which is going to be spent on the resettlement of the lands they are going to buy. The House is entitled to know what their policy is going to be. What steps are going to be taken to render the men who get the land efficient cultivators of it—for that is an important matter—and what portion is going towards construction? But there is a more important matter. The crucial matter is, Who is the land to go to? I think most people are agreed that this is not the time nor the place to discuss the policy of dividing up grass lands, but most people will agree with me that a man with an uneconomic holding in the neighbourhood of grass lands should have first claim. Who are going to have the next claim? Are you going to provide for the congests living in Connemara, or are you going to get the neighbouring landless men who have been driving cattle? You will have a more bitter hornet's nest than you have had in the past if you pass over the landless men. Are you going to give it to the landless men? The people of Connaught say they are not going to have the congests there, and the people of Roscommon have no doubt as to the policy that ought to guide the Board. They are passing resolutions every week stating that they are not going to have any congests there. I prepared an elaboration on that subject with quotations from the Irish papers and the right hon. Gentleman's speeches, but I was told that the Vote was not coming on to-night, and I left it on my dressing table. The point at issue is quite clear. If you do not move the landless men you stereotype congestion. A recommendation from the Dudley Commission was in favour of the migrants, and if they do not get this land and landless men are provided for the congestion would be stereotyped for ever. I believe that one member of the new Board has been trying in Roscommon to smooth matters down in order to get landless men in, and he has propounded a theory that counties in Ireland are the 802 imagination of the British enemy. While I cannot agree with that gentleman's history, I hope his efforts will be more successful than they appear to be at present, because there is no sign of this feeling dying down. People concerned must be careful not to add another chapter to the long list of chapters of concessions to agitation. Every concession makes the next worse, and teaches the people who are naturally decent, honest, law-abiding men that the only way to get a thing is to break the law. That is the lesson which they have been taught by the right hon. Gentleman's Administration, and they have proved apt pupils. If you admit the principle that the landless men, the sons of farmers, have a right to have a farm provided for them by the State I maintain it is an absolutely unsound principle. If there was any amount of land and any amount of money we might perhaps be glad to see it. But there is not enough land and there is not enough money, and if the Tight hon. Gentleman has ample money I think it should be spent in other ways, as, for instance, on drainage. You will be losing the confidence of the people if certain methods of help are applied. Why should a farmer be set up in a farm? Why not a shopkeeper set up in his shop, or why should not a doctor in his practice? It seems to me to be rather an extended application of the principle of the right-to-work. Hon. Members sitting on the Labour Benches would, I am sure, be glad to see that principle adopted in England, but this is literally what is proposed by this recent Act. I think the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland once made a pronouncement, in which he said that, in providing for the congests, you could never deal with the problem unless you let in the landless man. That appears to be a principle of buying off the agitator, and saying to him, "I will let you in if you will let the congests in." That is a bad policy, because for every one that is bought off you will have ten more applicants. It is not a dignified policy, either This is not a question that affects me in the least or that affects my Constituency directly, but it is a question that vitally affects the future peace and prosperity of Ireland. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to give us some indication that this new Board have made up their minds to take a strong line, and to say to the landless men, "Until these congests are provided for, you cannot be 803 provided for," and, finally, I hope that when these congests are provided for the right hon. Gentleman will protect them.
§ Mr. D. D. SHEEHAN
I rise to call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the question of the relationship of the Department to the Irish Creamery Managers. The right hon. Gentleman knows the relation between the Department and this organisation have been of the most straightened character in the last few years, originating in the appointment of an instructor named Mr. Caroll. Various efforts have been made to smooth matters—
§ Mr. CHARLES CRAIG
On a point of Order. I desire to ask whether it is in Order to discuss a question of creameries which are generally administered by the Board of Agriculture, as several of my friends and myself have been ruled out of Order for trying to discuss other branches of the policy of the same Department.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I should like to ask the Chief Secretary—because I cannot carry all these matters in my head—whether the question of creameries has any relation to this Vote.
§ Mr. E. H. CARLILE
I merely want to ask the question from the point of view of the British tax payer with regard to the excess of the amount over the original Estimate. The original estimate was £25,000, whereas the revised Estimate was £33,000 in excess of the original one, making now £58,000 in all. Will the right hon. Gentleman explain why there is this discrepancy between the two items?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I explained that in my opening observations. The whole is new money provided by the Act in 1909. Of that new money, £19,000, was to go to the Department of Agriculture in respect of certain duties which were to be transferred to it from the Congested Districts Board. There was a large grant of £163,750 given to the Board, new money. Out of that, £19,000 was to go to the Board of Agriculture in respect of the duties transferred.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The hon. Member was not in his place when I explained this Estimate. 804 If he had been he would have understood the whole nature of the case. I do not think I should be obliged now to go into it again. The whole thing is, as I say, new money.
§ Mr CARLILE
Although I was not in my place when the right hon. Gentleman made his opening statement, I made careful inquiries and was informed that no statement was made upon that point by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. WILLIAM REDMOND
With reference to the question put by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, I think a more satisfactory course would be for him to wait until to-morrow when the OFFICIAL REPORT is published, and he can then carefully study the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary. I rise for the purpose of congratulating the Government upon the excellent appointment they made to the Congested Districts Board when they selected the Rev. Father Glynn. I think it is rather a pity, although I presume it could not be helped that direct representation could not have been instituted in the Board from all the districts which are newly included. Obviously it is a difficult matter to do that, and, as the original scheme of representation was not acceded to by the House of Lords, I suppose the Government did, in the circumstances, the best they could do. At any rate, although it does not often happen, it is a pleasing thing for one to be in a position to assure the right hon. Gentleman that the appointment to the Congested Districts Board of this Reverend Gentleman from the county of Clare, as far as one can see, has given genuine and universal satisfaction, because it is evidently felt that, being a resident in the county for many years and having wide experience of the people, he will be a most efficient and capable representative of the county on the Board. It only remains for me to say that I hope the right hon. Gentleman will use all his influence with the Board to point out the necessity for dealing promptly with the added areas under the new Act. The work is essential in every part of the congested districts, no doubt; but it is, if possible, more pressing in those districts which have been recently added; and I ask the Chief Secretary to see that the work in these districts of the county of Clare is taken up by the Board without loss of time, and that it is thoroughly gone into, and that the people should receive the benefits of 805 the Act as soon as possible. I am sure that the Chief Secretary is quite alive to the necessity for seeing that this is done. But at the same time I think it is only proper to remind hon. Members that the utmost anxiety exists throughout the length and breadth of the county. The people have had their hopes aroused in the matter, and it would be a deplorable thing if for any reason the work was not speedily commenced. I beg of the right hon. Gentleman to see that no time is lost.
§ Captain CRAIG
I do not think the hon. Member who has just sat down can complain of the constitution of the Board. He certainly cannot complain about its representative character so far as his Church is concerned, at all events. On this small Board no fewer than four of the priests belonging to his Church are members of it, while not a single Presbyterian clergyman has a seat upon the Board. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary also complains about not having had a free hand in the matter of selecting proper representatives from the various parts of the congested districts, but if he had left off these four reverend gentlemen he would have an opportunity of putting on four representative men from other parts of the congested areas. Then, again, the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture, who is a member of the Board, is not able to be here at this House to answer questions, so that we are doubly handicapped in discussing the Supplementary Estimates, whether they relate to the Board of Agriculture or to the Congested Districts Board. I think that is unfair to the House, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary will take early steps to see that some Member of the House does represent these two Departments.
§ Captain CRAIG
I was not going to pursue it, and only intended to add a word to what had been said by my hon. and learned Friend and colleague the Member for North Armagh. The Chief Secretary in his statement did not mention the expenses in any detail whatever, and I am anxious to know what have become of the supplementary sums mentioned here. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will be able to say what real value we have got for this actual expenditure of £38,000. 806 What class of assistance was given in the congested districts? Has the bulk of this money gone towards the fishery industries, or towards relief, or towards assistance in these congested districts, or to the purchase of seed potatoes? The right hon. Gentleman referred to the Act of 1909, but so far as the actual work which has been performed by the newly constituted Board the right hon. Gentleman has not given us one single word of explanation. I do not for a moment suggest that he should give us in actual pounds, shillings, and pence every item of this enormous sum of money. If, this sum of money had been added to the old age pensions of the people living in the congested districts, would it not have been better spent than the way in which it has been? How many persons have benefited from this expenditure, and on what class of work has the money been spent? In many cases in Ireland we know that the expense of carrying on Departments are out of all proportion to the benefits which they confer upon the people, and I think it is necessary for any Minister of the Crown to justify the vast sum of money spent in this way in some fuller manner than the Chief Secretary has so far done.
I would like to raise another question with regard to the constitution of this Board. The right hon. Gentleman has taken away a great fishing expert, and he has not replaced him. In Ireland a large amount of congestion occurs in districts where fishing is the chief industry, and many of the questions referred to the Board will necessitate and require a most intimate knowledge of the whole fishing industry in Ireland to decide them. If the Government had asked Mr. Green to remain on the Board they could have retained his services instead of allowing him to slip off. Under present circumstances I do not think we can look forward to this Board carrying out its duties as it ought to do. I would suggest the right hon. Gentleman should clear off the Board one of the clerical representatives and put back Mr. Green in his place. I think Mr. Green's services should be secured in the interests of the fishing industry. That is the point which particularly struck me during the remarks made by my right hon. Friend on the Front Opposition Bench. Now we have had the names brought out in the House of Commons, but I am not satisfied with the way the appointments have been made, and I shall watch very 807 anxiously to see how this Board conducts its business in future. I think £1,000,000 is to be placed in the hands of these men for the purpose of buying estates in order to help to settle the problem of congestion ill Ireland, and in view of this fact surely we should have assurances from the Chief Secretary that this committee will be the strongest that can possibly be obtained and the most representative. We ought to see also that no undue pressure has been brought to bear in order to influence the Chief Secretary in his selection of the members of this Board. I hope we shall have a satisfactory answer as to what has become of this money and what he proposes to do in order to keep us right as far as this large spending Department is concerned.
§ Mr. THOMAS SCANLAN
I have no intention of expressing any difference of opinion with the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just spoken as to the merits of the Rev. Mr. Green, but if the hon. and gallant Member had made himself acquainted with certain legislative changes he would have known that the duties of the Fisheries Board had been transferred entirely to the Board of Agriculture, and that the Rev. Mr. Green is still in charge.
§ Mr. SCANLAN
I represent a Division of the County of Sligo, which is a congested centre, and Sligo is not provided with any direct representation on this Board. I would, therefore, like to impress upon the Chief Secretary the desirability of urging on the Board to enter immediately upon its heavy duties, and so far as the great bulk of the people in the congested areas are concerned the work of the Board will be rendered as smooth as possible. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who represents a Division of the County of Dublin is a Constituent of mine, and I was amazed to hear him express the opinion that the beneficent work of the Act of Parliament passed last year would have the effect of sapping the independence of the people from whom he and his relatives derived a very large influence. The people in that district are at present dispirited and downhearted. The hon. Member asked who was going to advocate the removal of the cottar cultivating 808 land on a barren hill-side and planting him on the ancestral estates of the hon. and gallant Member for South Dublin and his friends and relatives on the plains of Boyle. I am amazed to hear from a man with a reputation for intelligence like the hon. and gallant Member that it would sap the spirit of independence of an Irish peasant on the hill-side to transplant him to a fertile farm of economic proportions, where he would have an opportunity of making a living for himself and his family and providing them with the decencies, comforts, and necessaries of life, a position which he cannot take up so long as he is forced to live on the barren hill-sides of Ireland, where such people have been driven by the ancestors of the hon. and gallant Member.
§ Captain COOPER
The hon. Member has completely misunderstood me. What I referred to was providing farms at the Government expense. I made it perfectly clear that I was in favour of the policy of migration from the congested districts.
§ Mr. SCANLAN
I am satisfied that the difficulty with regard to the landless people has been entirely exaggerated and misrepresented by people speaking on Unionist platforms and the representatives of the landlord party in this House This is a difficulty created not by the farmer, but it is a bogey set up by the representatives of the landlord who wish to oppose the transfer of the land from the landlords to the people. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman and his Friends are really and sincerely anxious to promote the smooth and efficient working of the Congested Districts Board, as they represent the landlords, they have the power in their own hands. All we want is that the landlords shall deal reasonably with the Congested Districts Board, and in a short time you will then be able to transplant the people from uneconomic holdings to holdings on which they can maintain themselves in decency and comfort. I suggest to the Chief Secretary that in districts such as those in the county of Sligo, which have not a local representative on the Board, he should at once send down officials to make investigations in regard to the land which is available for purchase by the Board for the purpose either of providing economic holdings or extending holdings which are uneconomic, and thus make provision for the landless people, who are so much attached to the land.
§ Mr. MOORE
My hon. and gallant Friend has already pointed out that this Board has been constituted not territorially, but ecclesiastically, with four leading members of the Roman Catholic Church upon it. I pass that by, and I wish to say a word or two with reference to the internal matters with which this Board will have to deal. I think its principal work should be to improve the breed of cattle. When the Chief Secretary gets up here to speak, he seems to think that his duties are confined to the question of acquiring land and dispossessing some persons, but this Board really has a more useful work to proceed with in developing the breed of cattle and horses. Although the hon. Member who has just spoken may sneer at the lack of knowledge possessed by hon. Members representing the North of Ireland, may I remind him that those hon. Members live a great deal nearer to the congested areas than Glasgow, where the hon. Member for North Sligo carries on his being.
§ Mr. MOORE
Probably the hon. Member has changed his venue to London, but that is also a long way from Ireland. With regard to the breed of cattle in the West of Ireland, we all know how valuable the black crosses are and how they find a ready sale. I notice that the Congested Districts Board of late years have been importing Galloway cattle. I know these are most excellent beasts and they thrive in the Lowlands of Scotland, and I do not want to say anything against any particular breed; but my point is that they mature much more slowly than the Aberdeen Angus. I should like to have an explicit answer from the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Redmond Barry) as to whether the Congested Districts Board will abandon to a great extent this system of importing Galloway bulls, and will make the black crosses by bringing in Aberdeen Angus bulls. There is another matter to which I wish to refer. A most unfortunate experiment has been recently made in Ireland in importing Normandy sires, and the greatest dissatisfaction has been expressed about them in all parts of the country. What Connaught can produce is really a hardy, all-round, small-sized horse, good for the poor roads and the small carts, and if you want to make a horse really a farmer's horse he must be a tough, wiry, small, 810 hardy beast. You do not want shires; you want a really good, hardy, native horse. Are the Congested Districts Board in the congested area going to follow the wishes of the Vice-President, and introduce into Ireland, to the ruin of every breed, these great lumbering, soft French horses? It has roused a great deal of feeling in the country, and I want to know how far the Congested Districts Board, under ecclesiastical supervision, are going to import these Normandy sires into these rather backward parts of the country, for which I am assured they are absolutely unfitted. This is a very important matter for the well-being of the country which the Board administer; and I think we should have satisfactory assurances that both Galloway bulls and Normandy sires will not be brought into the congested districts.
§ Mr. ARTHUR LYNCH
I rise to say a word, because the Constituency I have the honour to represent is also a district of the Congested Districts Board. I am very glad to pay my tribute to the Rev. Mr. Green. The Chief Secretary has been twitted by several Members who have just spoken with having over-represented the clerical element on the Board, but anyone who knows the circumstances is perfectly aware that these gentlemen were not selected for any ecclesiastical reason, but simply because they happened to be the best men available for these very important functions. That is emphatically the case with the Rev. Father Glynn. I am very glad to be able to pay this testimony to Father Glynn, and I may say it is an opinion held by every elector in my Constituency. I daresay that none of these appointments have been made from the point of view of whether a man be a Protestant or a Catholic. They have simply been made on the one standard which governs the whole case, and that is the question of efficiency.
With respect to the landless men, I would venture to say that there are no men in Ireland more worthy of consideration, and the whole object and trend of this kind of legislation is to put the best men on the soil of Ireland. The objection has been taken that these men have gained their influence through breaking the laws. They may possibly now and again have broken the laws. Irishmen have in times past broken the law, but I think they have always done so with regret that those laws should exist which for their own salvation it has been necessary to break. If you take 811 a retrospective view, you will find that this law breaking, which has been condemned, has been invariably endorsed, perhaps a decade afterwards, by the Government, whether Conservative or Liberal, which has happened to be in power. I remember having a conversation with a very notable man who also broke laws in his days (Mr. John O'Leary), who said Englishmen were always sympathetic to Ireland in a retrospective way. He said that he would meet well intentioned Englishmen who said Ireland had suffered disabilities in the past—
§ Mr. LYNCH
I was trying to bring it round to that, but I will bow to your ruling and conclude by saying that, so far from the Government deserving any censure for the action they have taken in regard to this legislation, it is one of those pieces of legislation which within its scope has really brought into the areas it affects the promise of peace and prosperity to Ireland, and is one of the best ameliorative measures passed for Ireland.
§ Mr. J. R. P. NEWMAN
As a Member representing an English Division, but as an Irishman who has lived all his life in the South of Ireland, I have been watching this Debate with a great deal of interest. An hon. Member on the Bench behind me sneered to a certain extent at men from the North of Ireland as men who did not understand the South of Ireland. I am, at any rate, a Southerner. A Member on the Bench behind me said the Unionist Members for Ireland were always in the habit of exaggerating the difficulties which the Congested Districts Board and other Boards experienced in getting men on to the land. I am sure the Congested Districts Board are doing good work in getting men now on small bad holdings on to good land, although financed by English money, but there are difficulties in the way. I remember only two or three years ago a plot of good land was acquired in Tipperary. It was divided up, and certain men from other districts were given that land. When they came on to the land they had a very bad time of it. They were rigorously boycotted. The people round them thought they ought to have had the land, and not strangers.
A great deal has been spoken about Mr. Green, and why he has not been appointed 812 to a certain position. Under the Land Act of 1909 (Section 48) a committee was appointed of six members, three nominated by the Department and three by the Congested Districts Board, and to that committee was entrusted the duty of looking after the fisheries of Ireland. If that Is so, surely as regards Mr. Green the difficulty falls to the ground. Then, with regard to the Normandy sires, some years ago a tenant on my estate in the South of Ireland introduced a Normandy sire in our district with most unhappy effects. I can remember I had the pleasant privilege of trying to teach a daughter of that sire—half Normandy, half Irish—to jump, and I could not do it. She jumped on me and rolled on me. My hon. Friend said they were not introduced for the purpose of making good hunters but for making good farm horses, but even there I say without hesitation that they are useless. They run away to nothing and are absolutely useless. I would earnestly beg the Board of Agriculture not to continue the experiment of bringing in these Normandy sires. Let us keep to Irish horses. We do not want these Normandy sires to spoil our breed.
§ Mr. J. P. BOLAND
I am sure a great number of Members are quite at a loss to know why the name of the Rev. Mr. Green has been introduced into this Debate by the hon. and learned Member for East Down (Captain Craig). The Rev. Mr. Green, whom I know very well, has been a member not merely of the Congested Districts Board but also superintendent of the Fisheries Department, of the Irish Department of Agriculture. I understand that under the provisions of last year's Act practically all the Fishery Department of the Irish Government was handed over to the Department of Agriculture, and that Mr. Green, in his Department, is now in practical control of the fisheries of Ireland. I am quite at a loss to understand why the hon. and gallant Member for East Down should make out that injustice of an ecclesiastical nature was meted out to Mr. Green because he ceases to be a member of the Board. As far as the Irish fisheries are concerned, I understand he is now in a position of still greater responsibility than he was before. If there is anyone who should have some reason to complain of Mr. Green ceasing to be a member of the Congested Districts Board it is myself, because he is a resident in my Constituency of South Kerry. Ever since he has been a member of the Congested Districts Board we have always found him extremely 813 anxious to look after the interests of South Kerry and to see that our claims are properly put forward. Since the Board have been constituted the Bishop of Kerry has been appointed to represent Kerry and the western part of Cork. I am sure there is not a man, certainly not in the south, who will say that the Rev. Mr. Green has been removed forcibly from the Congested Districts Board in order to give way for a Roman Catholic Bishop to be upon it. It is nothing of the kind, and certainly, so far as we are concerned in the southern part of Kerry, we know that now the fishery development of the country, particularly on the western coast, has been placed in the hands of Mr. Green, who is the head of the Irish Fishery Department, that our interests are well and thoroughly looked after. I entirely deprecate the introduction of this gentleman's name—he is known to us all in Kerry and is respected by everyone who has come in contact with him—in order to make out that the Chief Secretary and those who have the appointment of the Congested Districts Board and its new members were actuated in any degree by feelings of religious motives or any desire to remove a man because he happened to be a Protestant. I only introduce this matter because I am afraid, from what has been said, an opinion may arise that the Rev. Mr. Green has been removed in order to make way for another of my own religious persuasion. Mr. Green now occupies an important position at the head of the Irish Fisheries Department, and he will have to work in with the Congested Districts Board. There has been no religious animosity of any kind in connection with his appointment. I would like to say further with regard to the work of the Congested Districts Board and of the Department of Agriculture, I have been under the impression that practically the agricultural interests in the West of Ireland is under the control of the Department of Agriculture and not in the hands of the Congested Districts Board. This is a department of Irish life which the Board should look after. There is another division of the work of the Department of Agriculture to which I should like to allude for one moment. There has been a great change in this respect. In the old days of the development of Irish Fisheries the work was very much in the hands of the Congested Districts Board. I would like to get an assurance from the Attorney-General that in the policing of the West 814 Coast of Ireland the depredations of steam trawlers within the prohibited areas should be carefully watched. We know that in parts of Scotland Government vessels have been detached in order to watch these marauders, but on the West Coast of Ireland, owing to insufficient policing, steam trawlers from this country and abroad are able to break the law day after day and week after week.
§ Mr. BOLAND
I understand this Supplementary Estimate arises out of the Act of 1909, by which certain duties were handed over from the Congested Districts Board to the Department of Agriculture. I wish to point out that in consequence of this transfer the carrying out of these duties affects the development of the fishing industries. All I ask is that the steam trawlers engaged in illegal operations should be properly watched.
§ Mr. BOLAND
Of course, I bow to your ruling. I thought it did come in. I only wish to say that, as far as we are concerned in my Division of Kerry, the constitution of the Congested Districts Board is satisfactory, and that in the Rev. Dr. Mangan we have a man more competent than anyone else in that district to represent the interests of the whole of Kerry. There has been no religious question introduced into this matter, except by the hon. and gallant Member for East Down; and I can only repeat that we have always looked on the Rev. Mr. Green as one of the most capable men engaged in the development of the fishing industry on the West Coast of Ireland.
§ Vote put, and agreed to.