§ (1) If it appears to the Lord Lieutenant or a Secretary of State expedient in the public interest that steps shall be taken for the speedy determination of the question wheher any Irish Act or any provision thereof, or any Irish Bill or any provision thereof, is beyond the powers of the Irish Parliament, he may represent the same to His Majesty in Council, and thereupon the 2198 said question shall be forthwith referred to and heard and determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, constituted as if hearing an appeal from a Court in Ireland.
§ (2) Upon the hearing of the question such persons as seem to the Judicial Committee to be interested may be allowed to appear and be heard as parties to the case, and the decision of the Judicial Committee shall be given in like manner as if it were 2199 the decision of an appeal, the nature of the report or recommendation to His Majesty being stated in open Court.
§ (3) Nothing in this Act shall prejudice any other power of His Majesty in Council to refer any question to the Judicial Committee or the right of any person to petition His Majesty for such reference.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
May I ask your ruling, Mr. Chairman, at this stage on a point of Order which I raised the other day? It refers to another compartment of the Bill upon which we have not yet entered, but, though it does not refer to the Clause we are about to discuss, I feel that if I wait for the Clause the guillotine will fall again, and it will be difficult for me to put the point of Order under these circumstances. I observe that the Attorney-General has given notice of Amendment on Clause 30, extending the right of appeal from decisions of the Exchequer Board, and what I wish to ask you is whether, the House having already decided under the guillotine that the words at the end of Sub-section (2) of Clause 22 stand part of the Clause, namely, that decisions of that Board on any matter to be determined by them shall be final and conclusive, it will be competent for the Attorney-General to move the Amendment standing in his name?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think I can give the right hon. Gentleman an answer now. He will recollect that on Wednesday last, in the course of the Debate, reference was made to an Amendment the Government proposed to bring forward. I had not then seen the Amendment, and when the right hon. Gentleman put the question of order to me I said that I must wait until I had seen the Amendment before giving a decision. On the following day two Amendments were submitted to me, namely, the one on the Paper on Clause 29, and the other which has been referred to on Clause 30. I then gave my decision. After examining the first one I said it would come in on Clause 29. As to the second one on Clause 30, I said that it did seem to contradict words which had been left in Clause 22 by the Committee, and that therefore I could not allow it to be moved on the Committee stage. I understood from the Government then that they proposed to put it on the Paper in order that hon. Members might see what it was their intention to move on the Report stage.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
What you have stated just now is quite correct. It was stated in the Debate on behalf of the Government that we would introduce an Amendment on Clause 22, and obviously, in view of that promise, it did become necessary to put down the Amendment on Clause 30. What I am going to ask is whether it will be possible—I ask this in the interest of the Opposition, in view of the fact that we are going to put down an Amendment in Clause 22 on the Report stage—to discuss the Amendment on the Paper on Clause 30? If it is thought desirable to discuss the Amendment on Clause 30, of which notice has been given, I wish to know whether you could allow it to be discussed, in view of the Amendment which must be made on the Report stage, on Clause 221 I am told that if an Amendment is going to be made on the Report stage you can, if the Committee wish, allow a discussion on the Amendment on Clause 30, although it would not be directly in order, and could only be directly in order on the Report stage. Our anxiety was to put the Amendment on the Paper so that it might be seen by hon. Members, and that we might hear any criticisms upon it they have to offer.
§ The CHAIRMAN
On that point of Order I am afraid I could not agree to the suggestion of the hon. and learned Gentleman. I have to apply the same ruling to a Government Amendment as to any other Amendment on the Paper. We have passed Clause 22 in a particular form, and as the Amendment on Clause 20 is something contradictory I could not allow it to be moved in the Committee stage.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I think the necessity for amending Clause 22 was recognised by hon. Members on this side of the House, but our representations on the subject were very lightly treated by the Attorney-General. I pointed out that the Government ought to have made the Amendment when Clause 22 was before the Committee.
§ Mr. SALTER
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "State" ["If it appears to the Lord Lieutenant or a Secretary of State"], to insert the words "or any person affected thereby."
Hon. Members will see that the Amendment is designed to make the Privy 2201 Council under this Clause accessible to every subject, and not merely to a few high officials by whom only the provision could be put in motion. I hope to show that there are serious grounds for thinking that this Amendment is an improvement upon the Clause as it stands, and that it ought to be adopted in the interest of the Imperial Government, the Irish Government, and the minority in Ireland. The Clause provides quite a novel machinery for dealing with ultra vires and excess of jurisdiction by the Irish Parliament. It is a new method altogether, and therefore an experiment. It is one of three methods by which excess of jurisdiction by the Irish Parliament can be dealt with under this Bill. The others are the exercise of the Lord Lieutenant's veto in dealing with Irish Statutes, and action in the Courts by means in ordinary private litigation. With these exceptions, there is no means of dealing with excess of jurisdiction except the novel means provided by this important Clause. I think any Member who applies his mind to the matter is likely to agree with me, that by far the best of these three ways is that which is provided by this Clause. If you attempt to deal with excess of jurisdiction in the new Parliament, in Ireland by refusing the Royal Assent, which would be done on the advice of British Ministers, you immediately get serious conflict between the British Government and the Irish Government. Unless we had in this country a British Government independent of Irish support, it is not very likely that the Grown would ever be advised by the British Government to refuse assent to a Bill passed by both Houses of the Irish Parliament.
If you consider the only other way, namely, that of challenging Irish Acts in the Courts by litigation, that again presents every kind of difficulty, because rights are in doubt for a long period until the particular action is brought. When the Privy Council decides a matter in an ordinary appeal, it does not quash the Statute. It merely deals with it ad hoc on the particular case, the Statute impugned remains on the Statute Book, and it is extremely difficult to say that the judgment applies to persons outside of that particular suit.
Then there is the further great difficulty with regard to challenging Irish Statutes in the course of private litigation, namely, that there is no knowing, and no one has explained, how the judgment of the Privy 2202 council in England reversing the decision of the two Irish Courts is ever going to be enforced in Ireland. It is not, I think, very likely that the Irish Government is going to provide military and police for the purpose of enforcing a British judgment overriding their own Courts with respect to a Statute passed by the Irish Parliament. If the Irish Parliament will not provide a force, the British Government will not be likely to do so. Therefore, I hope the Committee will agree with me that the method of testing and checking ultra vires legislation which is provided by this Clause is a valuable piece of machinery, and that it ought therefore to be made as extensive and flexible as possible, because it provides a means of testing this question which has three great advantages. It enables you to test the question of ultra vires at the earliest possible stage, while the Irish proposal is only still a Bill, and before rights have grown up under it; it enables a very speedy determination, because the Privy Council can decide this matter within a few months at any rate and it provides also a final decision upon the point. I submit to the Committee the question: ought this useful machinery to be made accessible to every subject of the Crown who feels himself aggrieved by legislation or ought it to be limited, as it is limited as the Clause now stands, to the Lord Lieutenant or a British Secretary of State? I do not overlook the fact that under this Section the Crown can be set in motion by a petition by a subject, but that is only another way of saying the same thing, because such a petition would be dealt with by the Crown on the advice of responsible Ministers and therefore it is done by the official again. As the Clause stands what is the position where ultra vires is alleged under this Bill? Supposing a Bill exciting strong feelings in Ireland and touching upon religious matters creates excitement in the public mind of Ireland, this, which as I have tried to show, is the best and quickest and simplest method of dealing with this matter, can only be set in motion by the Lord Lieutenant or a British Secretary of State.
Suppose that the Lord Lieutenant does not move and a British Secretary of State does not move, and the Crown on being petitioned replies that the Crown is advised that the petition should not be acceded to, then there would undoubtedly be the strongest feeling in Ireland that the matter was being dealt with by politi- 2203 cians in a partisan spirit, and that the Imperial Government under pressure from Ireland was not allowing the Lord Lieutenant to set the Section in motion and a British Secretary of State would not move for the same reason, and for the same reason the Crown had been advised to disregard the petition. There would be the greatest suspicion and the greatest dissatisfaction in Ireland. The difference if this Amendment were carried would be that any subject or body of subjects who desired seriously to impugn the validity of an Irish Bill would have the right on their own motion without the co-operation of any politicians or officials, to set this machinery in motion and have the matter determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. It would have many advantages. First of all, it would be of advantage to the Imperial Government, who would be saved from the odious necessity of either taking proceedings under Clause 7 or else putting the Lord Lieutenant in motion under this Clause and raising all sorts of political suspicions. It would be of advantage to the Irish Government—and I ask the Nationalist representatives for this reason to consider this modest Amendment in a very sympathetic way before deciding not to support it—if the validity on ultra vires grounds of an Irish Bill is really challenged in Ireland, that any Irishman should have a free right of access to the Privy Council, and that there should be no question of setting the officials in motion, and no possibility of bandying recriminations as to whether the British Government was being kept quiet because of Irish pressure or anything of that kind.
Is it not all in the interests of the Irish Government that free access should be had to the Privy Council in such a case? A Bill is ultra vires or is not. If it is ultra vires it is to the interests of the Irish Government that that should be established at the earliest possible moment. If it is not, if the appeal fails, the Irish Government is stronger than ever it was before, and stronger for every unsuccessful appeal; and I ask the Government and the representatives of Ireland to consider whether in times of stress and turmoil in Ireland it would not be a great reassurance to the minority, and a great safety valve for them, to feel that the doors of the Privy Council were open to them, whether the Irish Government or the Imperial Government desired it or not, and that no inter- 2204 vention of politics or politicians entered in, but that they had a right as subjects at the Privy Council to challenge the validity of any Irish Bill? I shall hear with great interest what objection can be urged against this very modest proposal. I have only been able to think of one, which seems to me a very small and trumpery matter. That is the danger of frivolous and vexatious appeals. I do not know that I should trouble the Committee with what is so trumpery a point as that, even if there was anything in it, in weighing such a thing as expense or anything of that kind in connection with frivolous appeals against great considerations such as I have endeavoured to lay before the Committee for the avoidance of trouble and the quieting of the population in Ireland.
But what is there in this fear of frivolous and vexatious appeal? The Privy Council have the power to prevent themselves from being occupied with what is frivolous, and if the Attorney-General or anybody else thought that that inherent power was insufficient I would be very glad, and we would all be very glad, to insert in this Clause any further express provision that the Attorney-General thought fit to devise for seeing that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council should have summary powers to decline to hear any attack upon an Irish Bill or Statute which seemed to be frivolous or vexatious. Quite apart from that, I should have thought that the good old-fashioned protection of costs was a pretty fair safeguard. The Privy Council will no doubt have power, and by all means let us give it power, of requiring sufficient security for costs to make it extremely improbable that anybody would be so ill-advised as to bring frivolous appeals. No responsible body of men in Ireland who are opposed to the Irish Government are likely to bring frivolous and unsuccessful appeals, because if they do they will lose a great deal of money, and the Irish Government will become stronger. Nothing could more strengthen a new Irish Government than for somebody like the Ulster Unionist Alliance or some Irish Unionist body to bring a series of frivolous appeals which would be contemptuously rejected by the Privy Council. I respectfully submit to the Committee that if nothing can be urged against the Amendment except some danger of frivolous appeals that is an argument that should not prevail against it.
2205 I would like, in conclusion, just to address one respectful word, if I may, to hon. Members from Nationalist Ireland. Ought they not to consider very carefully whether they could not support this Amendment, and whether they have not an opportunity in supporting this Amendment, at no cost to themselves, but with great advantage to themselves, to show how sincere have been some of their statements which are not always accepted on British platforms. They have been going about England during the last few months with a new song. [HON. MEMBERS: "No," and "Hear, hear."] I am very anxious to avoid controversy if I can. I have described those statements as a new song, but let us call them an old song—statements addressed to the British elector about matters which the British elector loves—legality, order, conciliation; and I am appealing to hon. Members for this reason, that those statements have been received with incredulity by a large body of opinion in England. The Irish Members have gone about saying, "We desire to act loyally and in the spirit of the Home Ride Bill. We shall make no attempt to exceed the limits which that Bill imposes; and we desire to act most uprightly and without any oppression towards the minority in Ireland." Could there be a better way or a less costly way of proving the truth and sincerity of those statements than by supporting this Amendment? If those professions were not sincere, and if the Trish Members intended when this Bill comes into operation, to exceed those powers, and then to rely upon their political influence with the British Government to prevent intervention, I can well understand their opposing this Amendment, and saying, "No, this must be a political matter and a matter for the British Government to deal with."
But if they have no such feeling, is it not a natural thing for them to say, "By all means throw open the doors of this Court. We have nothing to fear; there will be very few of these appeals; there will be no ultra vires legislation; we have nothing to fear at all; we have no desire to oppress the minority, and if any member of the minority thinks that he has been oppressed by ultra vires legislation, let the door be open, so that he may go to the British Privy Council." I cannot help thinking that in times of civil strain and stress, which we may see in the near future, it would be a matter of the greatest importance by way of reassuring the minority and quieting public feeling 2206 for it to be known to all Ireland, especially to the minority, that the door of the Privy Council was open to them. I think it very likely that that knowledge would prevent the right of appeal being much used, but there would be the knowledge that the door was open, and, without passing through, it would be of incalculable value in reassuring the minds of the minority in Ireland. I repeat my appeal to Nationalist Members and to the Government to consider very carefully what are the reasons why the doors of the Privy Council should not be thrown open to the public, and I respectfully commend this Amendment to the Government and to the Committee in the interests both of the Imperial Government, the intended Irish Government, and the Irish minority and their friends.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The hon. and learned Gentleman who proposed this Amendment has undoubtedly made a very moderate speech and a very moderate appeal both to Nationalists and to the Government to consider this matter. He has put his argument in such a form that I confess that, if we had been disinclined to listen to him, he certainly removed any such disinclination. I can assure him, on behalf of the Government, that this matter of appeal to the Privy Council has occupied a very considerable share of our time and attention, particularly in regard to the discussion that has taken place recently, not on these Clauses, but on earlier Clauses; and, as will be seen from the Paper, we have given effect to promises which were made, and we have gone beyond the promise made in this House in the Amendments we have put upon the Paper. But the Amendment which the hon. and learned Gentleman has been asking us to accept goes very much further than any suggestion that has been made during the course of the Debates that we have had upon this Bill. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] I say that it does. We have had to consider the Debates very carefully in order that we might meet the legitimate desires of hon. Members opposite so far as they commend themselves to our judgment.
I think we are justified in saying that we have met the points, but it may be said that the time has not yet come, and that what we were dealing with was the Joint Exchequer Board and the right to appeal from taxation. I agree with that, but it justifies the observation I made that the Amendments which were put down, 2207 have been framed in order to meet the promises which have been made during the discussions which have taken place. But I say that this Amendment which is now proposed is going one step further than that. That is perfectly common ground between us. The hon. and learned Gentleman described it as a very modest Amendment, not of very great importance; in fact, according to him, perhaps of small importance in one aspect, but he said it might have the effect, and he thought it would have the effect, of settling disputes which will arise, and serious disputes, in times of great agitation and commotion, when this Bill first comes into operation, and when, no doubt, according to his view—and I think he is quite warranted in putting that view before the Committee—it might be that there would be violence and something in the nature of rioting. If the hon. and learned Gentleman means that the acceptance of this Amendment would put an end to all possibilities of that character, of course it would commend itself very much more to the Government than, I am sure, to some hon. Members opposite. I see at least one representative of the Ulster Unionists present. Does the hon. Gentleman agree with the view that supposing the Amendment were accepted, and that right of appeal to the Privy Council were given to any person, would lie accept that as a settlement of this matter? Would he take the view that that in any way mitigated the dangers of this Home Rule Bill?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I expected that answer from the hon. Gentleman, and I make no complaint with regard to it; but it carries out the view which has been put forward, and the hon. Member to whom I appealed has replied to the hon. and learned Gentleman who moved the Amendment, and who addressed his appeal to Nationalist Members. The answer which has been given seems to me to be a complete answer to what was said by the hon. and learned Gentleman. I am not expecting him to admit that. The proposition which he put forward was that this Amendment should be accepted by the Irish party because it would make an end—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."]—allow me to finish the sentence, because it would make an end of difficulties, doubts, dangers, which might be expected to occur after the Bill had come into opera- 2208 tion. That was what he said, and it was in order to test whether he was right and whether that argument was well founded or whether he was expressing merely a pious aspiration and hope of his own. If he had been saying that as something which would have commended himself to the Ulster Unionist party, it would have been a very different matter. Let us consider it, having regard to the answer given from the Ulster Unionist party. First of all, let us see what it is we give, so that we may understand the proposal. We give an appeal to the Privy Council if either the Lord Lieutenant or Secretary of State thinks it expedient in the public interest that there should be an appeal, and not only upon an Act of Parliament. I think the hon. and learned Gentleman must have omitted to take into calculation the further important provision that the appeal is also upon any Bill which is introduced into Parliament. I do not say the hon. and learned Gentleman did not mention that, but I say he must have omitted to take it into calculation, and I will show why. When he tells us that there is no danger of any oppressive use of this appeal to the Privy Council, if it is given to any person, has he considered what it means in regard to Bills?
Let us take into account that there was such a right of appeal from this House to the Privy Council in order to test a Bill, and that any person who was affected thereby, not merely the Government, but that any person without limits could upon any Bill that was introduced into this House, go to the Privy Council and get the opinion of the Privy Council upon it, does anyone imagine, particularly with party wrangling running very high, that there would not be applications to the Privy Council with regard to Bills, which were frivolous and vexatious applications, and which were introduced either for the purpose of delay or for the purpose of annoyance, or for the purpose in some way or other of indirectly bringing pressure to bear on the Government? Does anyone who has had any part in political life doubt that that is what would happen, if we had such an appeal from this House? If, for example, we introduce some Bill like the Budget Finance Bill, or the Insurance Bill, or this Bill, would there not be applications to the Privy Council with regard to them, and the more it was obvious that it was necessary to get the Bill through quickly, the more, of course, pressure would be 2209 brought to bear on the Opposition? I am not making any reflection upon this Opposition; I mean any Opposition. The Opposition would seize hold at once of this weapon which was open to it, and would use it as a perfectly legitimate weapon of warfare between the two parties, and would do everything it could to delay the Government and to injure it, and to prevent the passage of the measure. We meet the question, I think, in a reasonable way, and I will show the Committee. We give an appeal to two parties—that is either the Lord Lieutenant or the Secretary of State. Just consider what that means. I think it must be obvious that at least we have given a new and additional means of appeal to the Privy Council, and an appeal which has never existed hitherto, both on Bills and Acts. There is no such appeal in existence at the present moment.
We enable this matter not to be litigated in the Courts, but to be taken straight, either by the Irish Government or by the British Government, to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Then let us consider what that means. The Government might say that it did not consider it in the interests of the public that they should take the appeal to the Privy Council; but suppose there is a strong feeling of a minority, and that opposition is got up by certain sections of the Opposition and pressure is brought to bear, then I cannot myself conceive that any Government could resist, under the circumstances, if you have strong pressure, as it would be if you had an oppressive Bill or an oppressive Act, taking that measure to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. I might be answered that it might be inconvenient for the Government to do so, or I might be answered that the minority might be a very small one, but still might feel very keenly about the matter. My answer to that is that they are not devoid of remedies which are open to every litigant and which are open to them, and which are the same remedies which are open to every citizen of Great Britain. Apart altogether from this appeal direct to the Privy Council, every person in Ireland will have exactly the same right as every person in Great Britain, and the moment a Minister does an act which is ultra, vires, and which exceeds his powers, then, as the hon. and learned Gentleman quite correctly said, there are means open of bringing him to book, either by resisting the enforcement of the Act by any private liti- 2210 gant or by means of the well-known remedy of mandamus or certiorari. All those means are open as they are in this country.
What we are doing is, we are saying that all those means shall be open by which you can eventually get to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, if private persons chose to challenge an Act. We say, having given the opportunity of the same remedies as are in this country, and also with regard to this Clause having added a safeguard and an additional remedy which is quite new, we give that which we think meets the difficulty that might occur. I do therefore submit to the Committee that we really have met everything that can be legitimately suggested as the evil consequence of not accepting this Amendment. I say there is very grave danger of the power proposed in this Amendment being abused if you throw it open as the hon. and learned Gentleman would do, I think not intentionally, because he says he only means it to be used by a person who is really anxious to know what the law is—that is to say, that it would be used by the Irish people very sparingly. As I have pointed out, that leaves entirely out of account the seriousness of the litigation which must necessarily ensue if the Opposition, by means of any person or persons, had the right to go to the Judicial Committee on any Bill of Act of Parliament. On those grounds, although we have accepted in the fullest degree the suggested Amendments with regard to the Exchequer Board and also as to the Lord Lieutenant and the Secretary of State on other matters, we cannot accept it here because, as I have pointed out, the remedies are already sufficient and this additional remedy is not necessary as a safeguard.
§ Mr. DOUGLAS HALL
I rise to support the Amendment, because I have always understood that the Government, in their attempts throughout the length and breadth of the country to make this Bill popular, have been declaring that any reasonable safeguards against injustice or ill-usage would be given to the minorities in Ireland. It seems to me that this is a very small concession to make to the ordinary layman. The expensive methods of going to the Privy Council mentioned by the Attorney-General are not available to people with small means. Moreover, that method of redress could only be availed of after a Bill had become law, when the mischief had been done, and rancour and bitter feeling had been stirred up. There 2211 are many limitations, although not half enough, on the powers of the Irish Parliament. Those limitations to a large extent may affect people personally. I would like to mention some of those limitations which might be overstepped by the Irish legislature acting ultra vires. I do not say that they would do it deliberately. That would be foolish, because it would draw attention to their illegal act. But they might bring in a Bill which indirectly affected the rights of individuals in a way that they are not empowered to do. For instance, they are prohibited from interfering in any way with the Army, the Navy, and the Territorial Force. There is no doubt that the Army, the Navy, and the Territorial Force will not be very popular in Ireland, except in the North, after Home Rule is passed. Some Act might be carried through the Irish Legislature seriously affecting an individual Territorial, an individual soldier, or an individual sailor, and the person affected might require direct access to the Crown or to the Privy Council to obtain a decision there and then as to whether the Act did infringe his rights. There is also the question of dignities and titles of honour. I do not suppose that that would affect the individual very much, but, as hon. Members are aware, there was a law once passed in England under which nobody was allowed to use a title conferred by the Pope. Such a measure would affect the individual.
There are also questions of naturalisation—of alienage. Acts might be passed by the Irish Parliament directly affecting the individual in reference to those matters. They might not be of sufficient importance for the Lord Lieutenant or the Secretary of State to interfere officially, but an individual might be prepared to take steps to protect his rights. Questions affecting trade marks, patents, and matters of that kind are not, perhaps, individually of sufficient importance to cause high officials of State to take action, but they would be quite sufficient to move an individual. The Irish Parliament are prohibited from interfering with navigation, including merchant shipping (except as respects inland waters and local health or harbour regulations). They are allowed to make local health and harbour regulations, and a question may arise how far they are allowed to go, where inland waters commence, and the high seas finish. In such a case the rights of the individual ought to be safeguarded. It is all very well 2212 for the Attorney-General to ask my hon. Friend whether he would be satisfied with this concession. If you were being compelled to eat rotten eggs you would like to avoid eating as many as possible. If you could save eating one it would be an advantage, but you would not admit that you liked eating rotten eggs. Not being a lawyer I do not understand lawyers' arguments. I presume it is all right, but as a layman I do not understand it. All the safeguards are a sort of contract between the Government and the King's subjects in Ireland, and every subject is entitled to see that this contract is fulfilled.
What you want is to attempt to give Ulstermen, O'Brienites, and others, some confidence that they will not be unduly oppressed by the majority in Ireland. Therefore, I think the Government might very well grant this small concession. The right of the Lord Lieutenant and the Secretary of State to appeal to the Privy Council on the question whether or not an Act is constitutional, will not give any confidence to minorities in Ireland. Both the Lord Lieutenant and the Secretary of State will probably be nominees of the Radical and Nationalist Government. What confidence will minorities have under such a Clause of getting justice from them? There will be a certain amount of political prejudice, and even if the Amendment were of no practical good at all it would, at any rate, show the minority that the Government were making some slight attempt to protect their interests. The power to which the Attorney-General has referred can only be exercised at enormous cost and after a Bill has been passed. Those are two grave objections, and, in addition, there will be considerable delay which may be very serious after an Act is in force. Governments sometimes act very illegally; they collect Income Tax which they should not, and do other things like that. In this particular instance there is no precedent for guidance. We have no written Constitution in the United Kingdom, but Ireland is to have one of a sort. Therefore I cannot see any analogy between what might happen in the English Parliament and what would happen in the Irish Parliament.
We are told by the right hon. Gentleman that this power may be used vexatiously; that it may be used to delay legislation. Personally, I should be quite willing that some short form of words should be added which would safeguard that. I think that 2213 the cost would be enough to deter most people from bringing a vexatious action. To do so they have got to come over to England, and to approach the Privy Council in a proper manner. "Proper manners" at law are very expensive manners, and nobody knows that better than the Attorney-General. That alone would deter people from making a vexatious use of this provision. If that is the only drawback which the right hon. Gentleman sees, why not enact that any applicant shall show to a judge, either in Court or in Chambers, that he is a fit person, and has a fit case to bring before the Privy Council? I do not say he ought to ask for the fiat of the Attorney-General, because the Attorney-General is always a political personage, and might not give it; but let an impartial judge decide whether a man has reasonable cause and is a fit and proper person to approach the Privy Council. Surely that would be a sufficient safeguard against any vexatious use of this power. Then all fear of all political partisanship may be swept away, for the subject of the Crown in Ireland would feel that he had free, rapid, and easy access to the Privy Council in case he felt that he was in any way aggrieved by any Act which was passed, in his opinion, ultra vires by the Irish Parliament.
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
The right hon. Gentleman's main contention was, firstly, that he tried to make us shudder by imagining a sort of running fire of interference with our proceedings during the passage of a Bill through this House—I mean a running fire of interference by the appeals of an outside body. In that case I thought the fundamental conception of this Bill was that this Irish Parliament was not going to be a sovereign body, whereas this House of Commons is a sovereign body. When the right hon. and learned Gentleman objects to giving this power to the subject in case of Bills as well as in the case of Acts, is not that really an objection to the provisions of this Clause, which interprets Bills as well as Acts? Does not the same objection apply with even greater force to his proposal that the alternative remedy should be used, of applying, as the individual wronged, to the Courts not for the ordinary remedy, but for a mandamus to issue? I do not know that anybody ever heard of a mandamus to a legislative body to arrest incomplete proceedings which had not got beyond the stage of merely informally expressed opinions! The argument of the right hon. 2214 Gentleman was also directed to asking whether my hon. Friend who sits for a constituency in the North of Ireland would accept this as doing away with the possibility of disturbance and resistance. It is very interesting to lookers-on if such a little bargain was made, but I happen to be one of those who think that these questions ought to be looked at from an English point of view as well, and from that calm standpoint one cannot help but observe that this question, that this kind of question, which this Clause makes possible, will not only end with the passing of this Bill, but fifty years hence may come up and be not less important then than at the passing of the Bill.
The right hon. Gentleman said that we had already got a great many concessions in the provision of Amendments to Clause 30—that the right of appeal from the Joint Exchequer Board should be given the subject, and that this was really going further than that. I submit that the concession of that Amendment makes the concession of this Amendment right and just a fortiori; for this reason, that appeals from the Joint Exchequer Board will be appeals from the power of taxation in which it is much more likely, or as likely,. as public questions as distinguished from private questions will be involved. The question of taxation for which the Joint Exchequer Board will have to deal will no doubt affect private individuals to some extent, but it is more likely to affect the balancing between the Imperial and Irish Budget and other like questions wholly and solely of political meaning. Why is it that we contend that the right is in the subject, in the individual, in the private citizen, to bring these appeals to the Privy Council against the misuse of its powers by the Irish Legislature? The Bill only provides us with such an appeal upon the initiative of either the Lord Lieutenant or the Secretary of State. We say that both these provisions are perfectly illusory safeguards as to the rights of individual. The Lord Lieutenant is an official who will act, if he wants to save his own skin, or if he wants to lead a quiet life, upon the advice of Ministers in whose support the majority of that House will be acting that will be passing the Bill. An Irish Secretary of State, even supposing him to be a Minister opposed in policy and sentiment to the existing majority in the Irish Parliament—I take that case because it is the I worst against myself—he will have to be a 2215 man who has to face, if he takes that kind of action, if from a sense of duty he is persuaded to take action of the kind, and bring an appeal to the Privy Council, will, there is no doubt, lose a day from Debate that Ministers may be most unwilling to give. This is one of these questions of processes which we are debarred applying to an Act completed or a Bill in course of passing through the Legislative House; and it does quite clearly raise questions which it is desirable in everybody's interest, and most of all that of private people, to have decided most efficiently and at the earliest possible moment. On these grounds, I think the Government and hon. Members from Ireland who are so full of lavish and abundant professions of their desire to be conciliatory, might at least give way at this late stage, and in this one solitary instance give something like a tangible proof of the reality of their professions.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
I beg to support the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend. I listened to the speech that the Attorney-General has just delivered, and I quite appreciate his arguments. I think that perhaps one real objection to this Amendment is that there will be great danger of many appeals, which are partly vexatious, being made to the Privy Council. But I do not think it is a sufficient answer to the arguments that my hon. and learned Friend has put forward. I wish to draw the attention of the Committee to two or three points. This Clause gives the power to the Lord Lieutenant or to the Secretary of State to move under two conditions. In the first place, the matter must be one of public interest, and, secondly, it must be one which requires speedy determination. Anyone who wanted the Lord Lieutenant to move would have to convince him that the matter was a matter of public interest, and, secondly, they would have to convince him that it was a matter which required speedy determination. He might think the matter was important, but he might come to the conclusion that it was not a matter of public interest; or he might think that although it was a matter of public interest it was not one that required a speedy determination, and he might feel it his duty to refuse the request. Now it seems to me that that being so there ought to be this right of intervention, not only for the individual, but it may be for a certain class of individuals— 2216 a certain religious sect or a certain trade. It might be that a particular Act of vital importance to that particular sect or trade, and if it was passed into law or allowed to remain it might have most injurious effects upon that particular sect or trade, and if they went to the Privy Council, the Privy Council might say it was certainly a matter of public interest and ought to be speedily determined.
I remember, if I may give an instance, although it is not quite on all fours—I remember one day being at the Privy Council waiting for a case to come on. There was a counsel there who had come all the way from Canada to ask the leave of the Privy Council for an appeal which had been refused by the Courts in Canada. He was representing a certain religious sect. The learned judge who was presiding over the Privy Council on that day said, "Mr. So-and-So, we have read your appeal, and we are clearly of opinion that this is a matter which affects so many people in Canada that it may well be a matter of public interest, and we give you leave to appeal." That counsel never opened his mouth, because the Privy Council was clearly of opinion that it was a matter of public interest, whereas they thought in Canada that it was not a matter of public interest. And so here; the Lord Lieutenant might quite honestly in the exercise of his discretion come to the conclusion that in a particular matter which affected a certain class, or was calculated to affect a certain class of the community, say, a certain religious sect, might not be a matter of public importance, or might not require speedy determination, whereas when the matter was brought before the Privy Council that body might decide it was a matter of public interest. Under these circumstances, I submit that the Amendment proposed by my hon. and learned Friend is really a matter of substance, and the mere answer that there may be frivolous and vexatious use made of this right of appeal is not a sufficient answer, because everybody knows that every Court that has any respect for itself or for the proceedings that are taken in it can always prevent frivolous and vexatious abuse of its procedure. This Amendment seems to me to raise a matter of importance. We are setting up for the first time in Ireland a written Constitution. We are setting it up under conditions which nobody can say are likely to be peaceful, and I submit it would be a matter of the greatest gratification to 2217 everybody who had the real interest of Ireland at heart if he could feel that any member of the community or any section of the community which felt that an ultra vires Act of Parliament was about to be passed or had been passed, could go bonâ fide, at once to the Privy Council and get the matter decided so as to avoid irreparable injury to that particular class or sect. That certainly would be a matter of great public interest.
§ Mr. NIELD
It seems to me that the words used by the Prime Minister some months ago, in connection with the earlier stages of this Bill, affect the whole of his followers. The Prime Minister professed himself a prejudiced optimist, and it appears to me that, in obedience to the settled practice of this House, whatever the Prime Minister says is impressed upon his followers, and that we may take it, therefore, that they are prejudiced optimists with regard to the future of the country which this Bill is intended to govern. Another thing, it seems to me, is that the plausibility of the Front Bench is likely really to be a curse to the party they represent, and there is no more plausible person in this House when he has got an Amendment which, on the face of it, is reasonable, but which the Government, have come to the conclusion they have not-got the permission of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford to accept than the Attorney-General. We all appreciate the difficulty of the position of Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite when, after their morning conferences, they have to make straight their own views with the opinions of Members who come from the other side of the Irish Channel. [An HON. MEMBER: "Bosh!"] I do not often speak from this corner of the House, and perhaps it is just as well I do not, because the observations which I hear made from the Nationalist benches, and which I do not like to refer to are certainly unparliamentary, and I think hon. Members will do well to avoid them. The question here is whether or not this Parliament which is about to be set up in Ireland is a sovereign Parliament. That is really at the bottom of this matter, and one can see perfectly clearly the reluctance on the part of the Government to accept a reasonable Amendment of this sort intended to give to the ordinary subjects in Ireland protection which is not given as the Section is drawn, and which is resisted by the Government because it is an attack upon the sovereign 2218 position of the Parliament we are setting up. I venture to submit that that is the kernel of the whole of this matter. If the Government had any real intentions of setting up a subordinate Parliament they would at once concede this reasonable proposal that any subject may have the right to take this matter to the Privy Council. I think we have a right to assume this at any rate that the present Government will not always have a lease of the benches opposite, and it is admitted also that if this Bill once becomes an Act it will be very difficult to repeal it. It can only be repealed by armed interventions in an extreme case. I am supposing no such thing ever became necessary, but I put to hon. Members from Ireland below the Gangway that the possibility and probability is if the country gets an opportunity of expressing its views upon this particular legislation that it will serve notice to quit on the Government, and therefore we may find that although a Home Rule Government may be in existence in Dublin there may be a Government of a totally different complexion to the present one in power in this House, and I submit that hon. Members below the Gangway from Ireland would be wise to contemplate such a condition of things.
§ Mr. NIELD
I am going to speak to all parties in this House, and having that fragment of Irish blood in my veins I am going to speak all the more if I am interrupted. But I will address myself, not to those interrupting Members behind me, but to the Chair. Supposing the Lord Lieutenant appointed to represent His Majesty was appointed not by the present Government but by one holding views directly opposite to the present Government, and there was an English Chief Secretary here whose views were out of harmony altogether with those of the representatives who will come to this House from Ireland and also out of harmony with the Parliament sitting in Dublin, is it not for their protection that any person subject to the qualification my hon. and learned Friend proposes to insert, and is it not reasonable that patriotic Nationalists should have the opportunity of coming to the Privy Council and getting any grievance which they regard as a grievance redressed by such an appeal? Surely it is, I will not say absurd, but unreasonable to suggest as an analogy that we must take an appeal to the Privy Council or another 2219 body to arrest or suspend the proceedings of this House. We must remember that this House is a supreme Sovereign Parliament and in a very different position from that which we are told is to be set up in Dublin. Therefore it is no analogy to take the case of a Parliament in Dublin endeavouring to pass legislation which is opposed to the interests of a large body of persons in Ireland and acting unfairly or hostile to an individual. The individual has to petition the Lord Lieutenant, with all the delay which that would involve. My right hon. Friend has pointed out how very improbable it is that a Secretary of State or his Government will be prepared to afford facilities for discussing a matter of that sort. We must test the attitude of the Government on a matter of this sort as a test of their bona fides with regard to the real intention to bring this Bill into operation. If they resist Amendments which are reasonable in themselves and couched in moderate language to protect subjects in Ireland against the abuse of power by this subordinate Parliament, then we must conclude that they do not wish this Parliament really to pass this Bill, or else they are so much in the grip of hon. Members below the Gangway that they are obliged to resist this most reasonable Amendment.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I wish to make it clear why I support this Amendment, and why I do not wish to give a silent vote upon it. My reason is rather different from some of my hon. Friends. I am opposed to the whole Clause, and it is astonishing to me that a Clause of this kind should be accepted which introduces so novel a principle into our judicial administraton without a word of protest. If we ever come to debate the question, "That this Clause stand part of the Bill," I shall then give my arguments on this point in full. I wish now simply to indicate that I consider this Clause introduces a most dangerous, novel, and unprecedented proposal. Even under the American Constitution, although they have to decide on the validity of Acts, they have always been very careful to do it only in cases where the question arises in a real suit. The danger of anything less than that must be obvious. You may have a question raised, and the Privy Council may say that the parties interested are to appear. It may be to nobody's interest to appear, and the case may be prejudged against a person without him having had an opportunity of 2220 appearing. There is in this case a peculiar feature. After the Privy Council has given its decision it is not binding on the House of Lords, and it is possible that parties can start litigation raising that very point in England, in which case it would go to the House of Lords, and a decision which is not judicial, but purely consultative and advisory would not be binding as a legal decision. I object to the whole Clause, and we ought to have an opportunity of discussing such a Clause as this fully before it is adopted in our administration of justice.
§ Mr. CHARLES CRAIG
I wish to refer to something which I said by way of interjection in the Attorney-General's speech when he asked whether the acceptance of this Amendment would make any difference in regard to our attitude to this Bill. Of course, it would make no difference whatever. During all the discussions on this Bill we have taken up the attitude that it is our duty to take part in the discussions, and to try and make this a less evil measure than when it was first introduced. It is an extraordinary thing to me that the Government should make such a fuss over so small an Amendment as this. All we ask is that the right should be given to an individual who considers himself aggrieved to have the liberty to go to some tribunal and put his case before them as to whether the Act of Parliament that has been passed by the Irish Parliament is ultra vires or not. Supposing an Act has been passed, and an individual considers himself to have had his property or his liberties endangered, and he thinks it is ultra vires, we ask that that individual should have the right to go direct to the Privy Council to have the question tested as to the legality or otherwise of the Act of Parliament. What possible objection can there be to that? The only real objection raised by the Attorney-General is that opportunities would be left open for individuals to bring frivolous actions, but I think that argument may be dismissed in a very few words. I think it has been shown already by hon. Members on this side of the House that there are perfectly well-known means by which frivolous actions can be discouraged and made practically impossible.
The other argument used by the right hon. Gentleman was that hon. Members from the North of Ireland would naturally refuse to accept such a concession as a settlement of their opposition to this Bill. 2221 That argument has not been used by the Prime Minister, the Chief Secretary, the Solicitor-General, and other Members of the Cabinet in dealing with other Amendments moved to this Bill. The Attorney-General knows perfectly well that certain Amendments have already been accepted by the Government, and I think I am right in saying that some of my colleagues from the North of Ireland have already declared that this is not going to make any difference to their attitude in regard to this Bill. With regard to the argument that we should accept this Amendment as doing away with our opposition to this Bill, I would like to know why he uses that argument now for the first time when other Amendments have been accepted and when precisely the same arguments have been used by us. I do not think there is much in that argument, and I do not believe it is seriously meant, because some of us will vote against the Third Reading no matter what the right hon. Gentleman does, and, furthermore, we will take every step in our power to prevent it coming into force in our own particular part of the country. I do not think any weight ought to be given to the Attorney-General's argument with reference to frivolous appeals to the Privy Council. I think this Amendment is a perfectly legitimate demand. If anyone could imagine for a moment that after Home Rule has been established in Ireland the Government official who has to answer for Ireland in this House of Commons is the present Chief Secretary, and if we could further imagine that the same individual fills the post of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland who does so at the present moment, does anybody imagine those two officials would be likely, except in very extreme cases indeed, and in the last resort, to move to upset any Act of Parliament passed by a Parliament in Dublin I We know perfectly well it would have to be a very outrageous Act, and a very extreme Act of Parliament before the right hon. Gentleman would ever interfere, because his principle of government during the four years he has been Chief Secretary has been to leave everything that could possibly be left to the Irish people. In our view, he has entirely handed over the responsibilities he was appointed to perform to certain hon. Members whose usual place in this House is below the Gangway. That being so, it is no encouragement whatever to us to know that practically the only two 2222 people who can move in this matter are the Lord Lieutenant, in whom, I may say, if he should be the same individual as at present occupies that office, we should have no more confidence—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Maclean)
Perhaps the hon. Member will leave out any observations as to the present Lord Lieutenant.
§ Mr. C. CRAIG
I am speaking of future Lords Lieutenant, but taking it, for the sake of argument, that the same individual might be Lord Lieutenant after the Bill is passed as before, in the same way as we may be afflicted with the same Chief Secretary. If that were so, we should consider it absolutely no safeguard to have the provision that the only two people who could move in the matter to contest the legality or otherwise of an Irish Act of Parliament were the Lord Lieutenant and the Chief Secretary. It is true it is stated in the Section "a Secretary of State," which includes him, but we know perfectly well no other Secretary of State would move in the matter, because, as some right hon. Gentleman has told us to-day, all matters appertaining to Ireland are inevitably and very properly left in the hands of the one Minister responsible for Irish affairs. Therefore, under the circumstances I have mentioned, the Section, as it stands, is of no use in the wide world to us. I cannot conceive hon. Members opposite who are so clamorous in their desire to provide us with all reasonable safeguards, can for One moment object to this very reasonable and small Amendment.
§ Captain CRAIG
Perhaps the Chief Secretary who, so far, has not intervened, will be able to answer one or two points which seem to me to require clearing up. It appears to a layman, at all events, that this Clause as it stands is very one-sided. Presuming it is possible ever to carry this Bill into law, everybody admits it will be necessary that both sides of the question should be as readily accessible to the highest tribunal as possible. Here is a Clause putting it in the power of the Lord Lieutenant to settle whether an Irish Bill or any provision of a Bill is beyond the powers of the Irish Parliament according to this Bill. I cannot see why, if a keen party politician or partisan like the Lord Lieutenant for the time being might be, or like his representative the Chief Secretary is sure to be, has the power of having the question speedily settled, similar powers should not be given to someone 2223 who cared to move in this way in the public interest. Why should the Lord Lieutenant and the Chief Secretary be the sole judges whether a matter is for the public benefit or not. I have the gravest distrust of certain Lords Lieutenant and Chief Secretaries, and I would be the last to put into their hands a decision as to whether a certain part of an Act, or the whole of an Act, was really of benefit to the people of my country or not.
Supposing we stretch our imagination so far as to picture a Nationalist Parliament sitting in Dublin. A grossly unfair and partisan measure might be introduced which would have the effect, either directly or indirectly, of disfranchising a large number of the loyal population in Ireland in order that the Nationalists might have even a larger representation either in the Irish House of Commons or over here. The only persons who could arrest that Bill at the time would be the Lord Lieutenant or the Chief Secretary. Of course, it might, after it had become an Act, be held to be ultra vires and have no effect in law, but consider all the trouble to which the country would be put before that was determined. I presume it could only be determined by a test action in the Courts. The simpler method would be to find out, when it was introduced, whether it was an Act within this Rill or not, and so have am immediate decision and settle the matter at once. Hon. Members might say it would certainly be worth while waiting in order to find out later whether it was an Act or not according to this Bill, but we have had experience of having to wait, and I do not recommend a long waiting period. It is intolerable to have to wait a year or two years to know whether at the end your position would be one of equality with other citizens of the United Kingdom or one of inferiority under the Nationalist party. I think it would be a very bad thing that we should have to wait while matters of the gravest concern, stirring to the hearts the people of the country were determined. Supposing one of the hon. Members for Cork saw this Franchise Bill was going to strike very hard at that minority, they would warn the Chief Secretary and the Lord Lieutenant that the Irish Parliament were wandering entirely outside their powers as a Legislative Assembly, and they would say,. "We shall take the earliest opportunity of proving this Bill is ultra vires." What is their remedy? They can appeal 2224 to the good sense of the Lord Lieutenant and say, "For goodness sake have this case brought up and settled at once; do not keep these people you are attempting to disfranchise in suspense any longer." But the Lord Lieutenant, I understand, under the new scheme, is to be an absolutely partisan politician. How can it be expected that any Nationalist Parliament in Ireland, if this Bill passes, will fail to pick out the most rabid Member of the whole Nationalist party, to act as Lord Lieutenant. Picture that man being appealed to for any sense of justice to the minority! I do not see how anyone can expect even a shred of justice in a case of that sort.
What will be the position of an aggrieved party I understand that the objection to allowing any individual to have the power of appeal would be frivolous, because it might be brought forward to delay the progress of some Act through the Nationalist House of Commons. But there are two great cheeks. First of all, look at the machinery. Any man who goes into a case of this sort will incur very heavy responsibility and very heavy costs. I do not know what it costs to bring a case before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, but I should imagine it amounts to thousands and even tens of thousands of pounds. Of course the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary knows better than I do. That is a point on which I desire to get information. If the case is brought by a private individual before the Privy Council, what will it cost him? Another check is this. I am informed that the costs of a successful action cannot be recovered by the plaintiff. The Attorney-General was cross-examined on this point, and answered a good many questions, but he was very careful not to give this particular information. What is the position? An appeal is permissible to the Judicial Committee, but are there any funds provided whereby in the case of a successful appeal the person who initiates that appeal will have the costs paid to him, as is the case in an ordinary Court of Law? I am told you cannot claim costs as against the Crown, but surely in a case of this sort, of such vital importance to the whole community, where the appeal is brought in the public interest, it ought to be possible to give the private individual, in the case of his appeal being successful, his costs as against the Crown. I cannot see why it should be such a one-sided bargain, and why all the power and privileges should be on the one side.
2225 Of course, it will be said you will have your turn, but hon. Members in this House always forget that there is no such thing as our having any chance when you set up your Nationalist Parliament. It will be Nationalist for all time, unless if some hon. Members opposite go over to Ireland and seek the suffrages of the men of Mayo or Galway or some other of those inviting places. It appears to me that hon. Members are living in a fool's paradise so far as dreaming for a moment there can be any opposition. The only people prepared to accept the Home Rule Bill are Nationalists. They will be the one party; they will appoint the Chief Secretary and the Lord Lieutenant, and there will be no opposition possible, unless indeed the hon. Member for Pontefract is willing to go over there and stand as a party of one.
§ Captain CRAIG
I must say that is not a very good earnest for the future, seeing that the hon. Member is one of the most subservient followers of the Nationalist party in the Division Lobbies of this House. It does not seem to matter what Amendments have been put down. This is the only opportunity that we have of pointing out the one-sided way in which the Bill is drafted, and as for hon. Members opposite suggesting that our Amendments are dealt with in a conciliatory spirit, I can only say that they are always negatived and not infrequently laughed at.
§ Mr. MOORE
I hope the Committee will remember the great powers that this Bill is giving to what they call the Irish people, who represent perhaps two-thirds of the population. But I want to point out that we were not allowed to discuss an Amendment to this Bill which would prevent the Irish Parliament suspending the Habeas Corpus Act. The Irish Parliament can suspend that Act, and I think even the Chief Secretary will not contradict that. It may be suggested that such action would be disallowed, but will anyone tell me that a Radical Government are going to disallow any act of the Irish Parliament when they have forty-two Nationalist votes in this House to consider? It would be entirely contrary to past and present history. It may be taken as an axiom that it is within the power, and quite within probabilities, that the Irish Parliament will suspend the habeas corpus as far as Ulster is concerned. That Act is part of the Charter of English liberty. It is to 2226 be taken from us, and, instead of it, we are to be given an appeal to the Privy Council in case we have reason to complain of any illegality. Where is the safeguard for the individual? The Lord Lieutenant is to be a party man. He may do as he likes. The Secretary for State may do as he likes, and all the individual will be able to do will be to appeal to the Privy Council under the limitations laid down in this Clause. What are First of all, if you ever get the Lord Lieutenant or the Secretary of State set in motion—and if they are political partisans they are not going to be moved to tears or justice by the complaint of an Ulster man—it may be the Privy Council will say, "So-and-So are necessary parties to the suit," but unless the Privy Council chooses to do that after the case has been brought to them and has been opened, the individual does not come in. If an individual sees that the Lord Lieutenant and the Chief Secretary will not do it, what has he to do? He has to go through the circumlocution office; he has to petition the Sovereign, and if he does that, he must first get the fiat of the Secretary of State. He may petition the Sovereign to have the matter referred to the Privy Council. All the formality of a petition to the Sovereign and the hearing of the petition by the Privy Council has to be gone through before his case can reach them. Why should not the individual, in the case I have put, where you have put it in the power of this new Government to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act, have his right under that charter of liberty, which is supposed to be a charter of liberty for the minority, of going to the Privy Council? Why should the Lord Lieutenant or the Secretary of State decide whether or not he should go to the Privy Council? The King's Courts are open to all. You are setting up a Court, yet you will not allow an individual to go to it. If there is any sincerity in the protestations of the Government of their desire to give safeguards, the individual should not be shut out of the right to go to the only Court that can protect him. You will be doing that unless you accept the Amendment. I hope the Amendment will be pressed to a Division, and I shall certainly support it.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The hon. and gallant Member for East Down (Captain Craig) asked me to answer one or two questions, and I am quite willing to do so. He did not, I think, hear, neither did I hear, the speech of the Attorney-General, therefore 2227 in that respect we are both at the same disadvantage, but I understand from those who did hear the Attorney-General that he dealt with some of the points raised by the hon. and learned Member who has just sat down. The hon. and gallant Member is always haunted by the idea that I and other persons connected with the present administration of Ireland are immortal, that we shall live for ever, and that for all time we shall be there defeating the ends of justice and refusing to set the ordinary laws in motion. I know that he really rejoices with me that that is not the case. The time will come when the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland and the Secretary of State here will be of a different political complexion than those who now occupy this bench. I am sorry the hon. and gallant Member did not hear the very short reference made to this Clause by the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras (Mr. Cassel), because the hon. and learned Member showed a greater appreciation of why this Clause was inserted in the Bill. He expressed a very strong objection to it altogether, saying, with perfect truth, that it is a novelty to introduce into legislation a proposal that there should be a means of testing the validity of a Bill, or what would be its validity if it became an Act of Parliament. He said that it was a very dangerous thing to introduce the Clause at all, and that he would vote against the whole Clause as being one which ought not to be introduced into a measure of this kind. I do not doubt that the hon. and learned Member, as is usually the case with him, would be able to give reasons for objecting, on grave constitutional grounds, to a Clause of this kind. But those of us who were concerned wtih the preparation of this measure thought that the special circumstances of the case were such that it was a desirable thing to give the earliest possible opportunity to stop a measure the ultra vires of which was considered to be apparent.
§ Mr. CASSEL
What I did say was that I objected to the whole Clause, but that if you have the Clause I thought the subject ought to have the right as well as the Government.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I quite understood that. I only mentioned the hon. and learned Member because he objected to the introduction of this Clause. No doubt he said that if it was to be in he preferred it to be amended in a particular way. I think the 2228 justification for the Clause requires to be stated. I agree with him in thinking that it is somewhat of a novelty in constitution-making to insert a power to take the earliest possible opportunity of getting from the greatest possible authority, the highest Court in the land, a decision upon the question whether a proposal should be stopped although it could not purport to be an Act.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No. It refers to—
"any Irish Act or any provision thereof, or any Irish Bill or any provision thereof."
The Court may be applied to while the measure is still in the stage of a Bill. That was the point which attracted the attention of the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras, and he expressed a constitutional objection to it. I think it does require some justification.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I agree. I think it is a desirable thing that there should be this Clause, and that there should be, in limited circumstances, when public interest demands it and a speedy determination can be predicated, this means of taking the earliest opportunity of going to the Privy Council in the matter. I therefore think that the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland should have this power. Of course, I can not agree with the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for East Down in his supposition as to every Lord Lieutenant at any time once this extraordinary, infamous measure to which he referred has been set in motion. He thinks the contagion will spread to every successive Lord Lieutenant by whomsoever appointed, and whatsoever may be the independence of his character, and that he will be perfectly incapable of gauging honestly whether there is in Ireland any feeling upon a question or whether public interest is involved. I cannot argue with the hon. and gallant Gentleman on that footing. I am very sorry, because I have great appreciation of his ability and of the way in which he always puts his case, but I cannot fight him on that argument, because I am bound to proceed upon the assumption, and I do proceed upon the assumption, that in the years to come there 2229 will be honest Lords Lieutenant of Ireland, possibly Tory Lords Lieutenant of Ireland, and men who will make it their duty in their high office under the Crown to discharge every function that this Bill will impose upon them. I am sure that there will be.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I must leave it to the hon. and gallant Gentleman and those who think with him to make that change. I have no doubt that in the fulness of time that change will be effected. Therefore I argue that there will be a Lord Lieutenant in Ireland and a Secretary of State over here who will be able to judge whether public interest and speedy determination require that this unusual provision should be put into force. That was the only reason why this Clause was introduced, and that was the reason why it assumed what the hon. and gallant Gentleman calls its one-sided character. But it is a very different thing altogether to insert in a Clause of this sort, not a highly placed and responsible public official, such as the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland and the Secretary of State here, but to allow any person who conceives himself likely in future to be aggrieved, of his own motion, and notwithstanding the difficulties which, I quite agree, may be placed in his way by reason of the expense of the proceeding, to go to the Privy Council. I think, therefore, that such a novelty as is involved in this Clause, should be of necessity severely restricted to cases of public interest, and that the only way of ascertaining whether that public interest exists is by entrusting the operation of this Clause to such public officials as the Lord Lieutenant for the time being, who knows Irish feeling, and the Secretary of State over here, who will be able to comprehend the gravity of the application.
Then with regard to the cost, the hon. and gallant Gentleman said he supposed it would cost £10,000 to take the opinion of the Privy Council upon a case. I think he takes a rather exaggerated view of the horrors of litigation. I do not think I could imagine any such charge, unless counsel's fees in the Elysian days of the future assume Gargantuan proportions, for taking the opinion of the Privy Council, argued as it might be for even an unreasonable length of time by counsel on 2230 both sides. I think £10,000 is a very extravagant figure. But that it would be a grave and serious step for any single private individual to take I quite agree, and that is one very good reason for not including him within any such Clause as this, and tempting him into litigation which must be beyond his means, and for which no provision as regards the payment of his costs is made by this Clause. Nor do we contemplate any such case as that. Therefore the exclusion of the private individual from this Clause is really rendered necessary by the exceptional character of the Clause itself. I think, nevertheless, that the Clause is a good one, and I shall be very surprised if constitutional authority denies the excellence of a provision which enables, after grave cause shown, the functionaries I have described to go to the Privy Council and ascertain whether the actual Act before it has come into operation, or the Bill before it even becomes an Act, is or is not ultra vires. I think, therefore, the Clause as it stands is a good one, but I do not think, as amended, it could possibly be recommended to the House.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
There is one reason why this Amendment is of very considerable importance, and it is due to the fact that probably the majority of the Committee never heard of, and the few who did hear of it have forgotten; that is to say, that at a very early stage of these Committee discussions an Amendment was on the Paper by which it was guaranteed that no subject of the King in Ireland should be proceeded against, or his property affected, except by due process of law—an Amendment inserted by Mr. Gladstone in his Bill and stated by him to be fundamental and essential in every Constitution and to be merely a repetition of what had been centuries ago secured for this country by Magna Charta. That Amendment was put on the Paper. The Government, under orders as I have no doubt, refused to accept it. They failed to give any reason which would commend itself to any man of intelligence. [Interruption.] I challenge the hon. Member who is so ready with his sneers and gibes to explain any reason which was given for refusing that Amendment. It is only another illustration of the habit he is so fond of indulging in of these cheap sneers and gibes at any hon. Member on this side of the House who is attempting under very great difficulty to discuss this Amendment, 2231 and I can only suggest to him that insolence is not argument and that his manner is exceedingly offensive to those on this side of the House. It becomes all the more important after the refusal of that Amendment that we should, if we can, secure to every subject now the right of appeal to the Privy Council, more particularly as it is plain that that is an appeal that cannot and will not be taken on frivolous occasions. It is an appeal which will cost money and time and no man is going to rush into an appeal of this sort unless he feels that he has a real and a substantial grievance.
It is proposed by the Bill that the party to set the Privy Council in motion should be the Lord Lieutenant or the Secretary of State. Assume that it is a Lord Lieutenant appointed by a Government in sympathy with the Irish Executive. Is it reasonable to expect that in such a case as that either the Lord Lieutenant or the Secretary of State will raise objection to the proposed legislation which has the support of his own Executive in this country? You are putting him in a wrong position. It ought never to be the duty of the Lord Lieutenant to put himself in direct friction and in direct conflict with the Executive of the country over which he is the Lord Lieutenant. But that is the duty you are imposing on him here. It is quite right to impose that duty on the Secretary of State because he is an Imperial official, and he is responsible to this House and can answer in this House for anything he does. But the Lord Lieutenant will be the Governor of the country against whose action he is going to take steps with a view to having it reviewed. I would suggest that there is no reason whatever why this right of appeal to the Privy Council should not be extended to every subject of the King who believes that he has a real and substantial case. It is quite easy to prevent the abuse of any such power. You can give the Privy Council power, if they think the appeal is frivolous or vexatious, to punish him in the matter of costs. It will be a very severe handicap to him at the outset to have to start such an investigation as this at his own expense. He runs a very great risk of very heavy costs and of ultimate failure, and therefore it is not a procedure which should be undertaken lightly or without good reason. But so long as you only leave this power in the hands of the Lord Lieutenant and 2232 a Secretary of State it is practically nugatory and a denial of justice in very many cases. I can only say that it really makes one utterly disheartened, and feel a sense of utter degradation in continuing to take-part in these discussions under the promises and pledges which have been showered upon us that we have only to ask any reasonable precaution, safeguard, or guarantee, and it will gladly be-afforded. Every time we make any proposition tending in that direction that will alter a single comma or sentence in the Bill we have the entire force of the Government getting up to tell us that the Bill is excellent as it stands. That makes the whole of the proceedings here a sham and a farce, and it intensifies in me the conviction that, so far as we are endeavouring to amend this Bill, so far as we are endeavouring to secure on the part of right hon. Gentlemen opposite the fulfilment of the promises and pledges which they have so lavishly bestowed, we are simply wasting our time. The whole Bill has been signed, sealed, and delivered by agreement with hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. No argument, however convincing, no matter however clearly proved, will obtain for us or those we represent, any concession of any sort or kind that has not already got the consent and approval of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway.
Therefore I say the whole proceeding we are engaged in is a humiliating and degrading farce, and so far as I am concerned I should be very glad to see it concluded by the guillotine falling entirely on these discussions at half-past ten. I believe you would save a great deal of public time and a great deal of inconvenience to every Member of the Committee, but so long as this thing drags along so long shall we endeavour to discharge our duty under the conditions imposed upon us, and so long shall we endeavour to test the sincerity of those professions to give us guarantees. This is a typical case. Remember there is no appeal to the Privy Council to the individual except in regard to the decisions of the Joint Exchequer Board. An appeal is to be given to the individual, as the result of an Amendment proposed to be moved, in the case of the action of the Joint Exchequer Board; but will the action of the Joint Exchequer Board be of more importance than the action of the Irish Parliament? Which is the more likely to affect private individual rights—the action of the Joint Exchequer Board or the action of the new 2233 House of Commons? Is there any man on the Government side who will contest my statement when I say that the action of the Joint Exchequer Board will be small and insignificant in the matters with which they have to deal as regards individuals as compared with the enormous powers which this Home Rule Parliament will exercise over the lives, liberty, and property of the people, and yet, as to attempted legislation, you give no appeal whatever to the individual, though you do give it to him, for some reason not quite clear to me, as regards the action of the Joint Exchequer Board?
How can you give the right of appeal in regard to the action of the Joint Exchequer Board and deny it in the case of the Irish House of Commons? The position cannot be defended. If an appeal for the individual is justifiable and right in the case of the decisions of the Joint Exchequer Board, whose acts primâ facie are to affect the people as a whole and not the individual, why should you deny an appeal for the individual who honestly believes that the legislation actually intended or carried is to affect him, either in his person or property, to a degree which the Privy Council would not be inclined to sanction? I say here, again, is one of the many instances in which we have brought to the test of actual experience the sincerity of those oft-repeated professions. The denial of this right we claim of an appeal for the individual is only another illustration of what has become so clear throughout the Debate, that right hon. Gentlemen opposite are not free agents in this matter, and that they cannot give a concession on any particular of the Bill unless, in the first place, they have
§ obtained the consent of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford.
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
I will answer the single question of the right hon. and learned Gentleman as to why we draw a distinction in this case from the rule we have adopted in the case of the Joint Exchequer Board. The brief answer is that in the case of the Joint Exchequer Board, in regard to matters left to their decision, there is no appeal at all to the ordinary Courts. He can have no remedy of any kind, sort, or description, for any wrongful action committed in these matters by the Joint Exchequer Board. The matters on which we are now giving an appeal from the Joint Exchequer Board to the Privy Council are matters on which there would not be in the ordinary course recourse to the Courts of Law.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
These are not matters that are now the subject of appeal. We are giving an appeal now because the point was made by the Opposition that there would be no remedy in the ordinary Courts of Law in the case of action which was ultra vires by the Irish Government or the Irish Parliament. The subject is not denied a remedy, as the hon. and learned Gentleman has suggested. He may find his relief in the ordinary procedure in the Courts.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 139; Noes, 273.2237
|Division No. 381.]||AYES.||[10.15 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cater, John||Gardner, Ernest|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Chambers, James||Gibbs, G. A.|
|Baird, J. L.||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Goldsmith, Frank|
|Balcarres, Lord||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Courthope, George Loyd||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)|
|Banbury, sir Frederick George||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Grant, J. A.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Gretton, John|
|Barnston, Harry||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S. E.)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Craik, Sir Henry||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Hambro, Angus Valdemar|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Croft, Henry Page||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Denniss, E. R. B.||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence|
|Blair, Reginald||Dixon, C. H.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Doughty, Sir George||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Duke, Henry Edward||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Eyres-Monseil, Bolton M.||Hickman, Col. T. E.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Hills, John Waller|
|Butcher, John George||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Hohler, Gerald Fitzoy|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Fleming, Valentine||Hope, Major A. (Midlothian)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Fletcher. John Samuel (Hampstead)||Home, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)|
|Cassel, Felix||Foster, Philip Staveley||Horner, Andrew Long|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington)|
|Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Swift, Rigby|
|Hunt, Rowland||Peto, Basil Edward||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Pretyman, Ernest George||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Kerry, Earl of||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Randles, Sir John S.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Rees, Sir J. D.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Lewisham, Viscount||Ronaldshay, Earl of||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Rothschild, Lionel de||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Royds, Edmund||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Mackinder, Halford J.||Sanders, Robert A.||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Macmaster, Donald||Sanderson, Lancelot||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Sassoon, Sir Philip||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Spear, Sir John Ward||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Stanler, Beville||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Moore, William||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Staveley-Hill, Henry||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Nield, Herbert||Stewart, Gershom||Salter and Mr. Hewins|
|O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hodge, John|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Dawes, J. A.||Hogge, James Myles|
|Adamson, William||De Forest, Baron||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Delany, William||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hudson, Walter|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Devlin, Joseph||Hughes, S. L.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Dillon, John||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Donelan, Captain A.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Doris, W.||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Armitage, R.||Duffy, William J.||John, Edward Thomas|
|Arnold, Sydney||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Elverston, Sir Harold||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Essex, Richrd Walter||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Esslemont, George Birnie||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Farrell, James Patrick||Joyce, Michael|
|Barnes, G. N.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Keating, M.|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Ffrench, Peter||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Barton, W.||Field, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Fitzgibbon, John||Kilbride, Denis|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||King, J.|
|Bentham, G. J.||France, G. A.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Gill, A. H.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Boland, John Pius||Ginnell, L.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Goldstone, Frank||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)|
|Brace, William||Griffith, Ellis J.||Lundon, T.|
|Brady, J. P.||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Guiney, P.||Lynch, A. A.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Gulland, John William||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||McGhee, Richard|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hackett, John||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||MacNeill, J. G. Swill (Donegal, South)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hancock, J. G.||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hardie, J. Keir||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||M'Kean, John|
|Chancellor, Henry G.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Manfield, Harry|
|Clough, William||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Clynes, John R.||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Hayden, John Patrick||Martin, J.|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hayward, Evan||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||Meagher, Michael|
|Cotton, William Francis||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N. E.)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Crean, Eugene||Hemmerde, Edward George||Millar, James Duncan|
|Crumley, Patrick||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Molloy, Michael|
|Cullinan, J.||Henry, Sir Charles||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Higham, John Sharp||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Hinds, John||Mooney, J. J.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Morrell, Philip|
|Morison, Hector||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Snowden, P.|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Power, Patrick Joseph||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Muldoon, John||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Stanley, Albert (Stalls, N. W.)|
|Munro, R.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Sutton, John E.|
|Nannetti, Joseph P||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Needham, Christopher T.||Pringle, William M. R.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Neilson, Francis||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Nolan, Joseph||Reddy, Michael||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Nuttall, Harry||Redmond, William (Clare)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Richards, Thomas||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|O'Connor, T, P. (Liverpool)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Wadsworth, J.|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Ogden, Fred||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|O'Grady, James||Robinson, Sidney||Wardle, George J.|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Watt, Henry A.|
|O'Malley, William||Roe, Sir Thomas||Webb, H.|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Rowlands, James||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Rowntree, Arnold||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|O'Shee, James John||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Whyte, A. F.|
|Outhwaite, R. L.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Scanlan, Thomas||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Sheehy, David||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Sherwell, Arthur James||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Shortt, Edward||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Pointer, Joseph||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Pollard, Sir George H.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Geoffrey Howard and Capt. Guest.|
§ The CHAIRMAN
Since I announced the first two Amendments to be proposed, an Amendment has been handed in by the hon. Member for St. Pancras, which, I think, arises out of the discussion which has been going on, and I therefore propose to put it.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I beg to move, in. Subsection (1), after the word "thereof" ["any provision thereof"], or leave out the words "or any Irish Bill or any provision thereof."
This Amendment is one which I have already indicated, while the previous Amendment was under discussion. I move to leave out those words by reason of the fact that the previous Amendment has been rejected; because we have now got to deal with the fact that the only person who can apply to have an appeal to the Privy Council is the Government, and not the subject. Under these conditions the proposal to refer to a Court of Law a Bill which is actually under consideration before Parliament is absolutely ridiculous and unprecedented in history. If hon. Gentlemen opposite will give fair consideration to this Amendment they will agree with me in thinking that those words ought to be omitted from the Bill. There are a good many written Constitutions in the world, and if you search the whole of them there is not one of them in which you will find a provision under which a Bill actually be- 2238 fore Parliament can be taken to a Court of Law to see whether it is intra vires or not. I agree that in the Canadian Constitution an Act of Parliament, when once passed, can be submitted to the Supreme Court, even before an actual case has arisen. Under the American Constitution the question of the validity of a Statute is only considered in a case which actually arises, and in which the litigants are actually concerned. But this proposal goes further even than the Canadian practice: it proposes that you shall take a Bill which has been introduced into Parliament to the Privy Council to see whether or not it is intra vires. At what stage are you going to take the Bill to the Privy Council—as soon as it is introduced, or when some Member in the Committee moves an Amendment and a question arises as to whether the Amendment is intra vires or not? And what is the position of Parliament while the Privy Council is considering the question whether the Bill—which is actually under the consideration of Parliament—is intra vires or ultra vires? Parliament will be placed in a very ludicrous position. The proposal of the Bill is an absolutely absurd one.
You have also to consider that when the Privy Council comes to deal with questions of this kind you bring the Courts at once into the arena of politics. Can you 2239 imagine anything worse from the constitutional point of view than that, a controversial Bill in dispute between the parties before even it is discussed in Parliament, can be taken before the Privy Council to decide upon it. Just consider the application of such a system to one of our Bills, like the Insurance Bill or the Licensing Bill, to have its validity adjudicated upon while it was under consideration, and that any Amendment moved in Committee could stop the whole proceedings and take the Bill to the Courts. I look upon it from this point of view: that I think it is a most dangerous thing for our Courts and for the authority of the Privy Council that you should place the Privy Council in that position of adjudicating upon the validity of a Bill while it is actually under the consideration of Parliament. I venture to say that that is a position in which the Privy Council ought not to be placed. It is most unfair to the subject to give a decision in advance in this way, for this reason. It is quite true that the Privy Council can say that the persons interested are to appear before it, but who is going to appear before it when it is only a Bill. Suppose it is some Bill which imposes taxes, and the question is whether the tax is valid or invalid, do you suppose anyone would take the trouble to spend money to go before the Privy Council to contend that the tax is invalid when he does not know whether it is ever going to be imposed? Are all the parties who appear before the Privy Council in these questions to be paid out of Government funds? If so, are they to be paid out of Imperial or Irish funds? At whose expense are these questions to be litigated? You cannot possibly expect the person who may be interested, if the Bill becomes an Act, before it is an Act to incur the expense of going before the Privy Council and stating his views. If the Privy Council does not have the benefit of those parties interested appearing before it, then I say its decision is worth nothing, and will count for nothing. Moreover, in the way in which you have worded this Clause you have put it in the power of the Government to obtain a decision whenever it likes.
Supposing the Government itself is doubtful as to the validity of a Bill, it can arrange some suit before the Privy Council, before whom parties appear who are not the real parties interested when the 2240 real question arises. You get in advance a hole-and-corner decision which, when the case arises, will be binding on those really affected. Take a taxing Statute, and suppose while the Bill is under consideration the Government arranges to take the question to the Privy Council, and it puts up dummy parties to argue both sides, and some decision is given, and thereafter you find someone who is heavily taxed under the Act, and when that person says, "No, I am not liable because it is ultva vires." Can the Government then answer, "While the Bill was under consideration we got a decision of the Privy Council, and so you are bound by that decision." Either that decision is binding or it is not. If it is binding, it is grossly unfair; and if it is not binding, then you are wasting your money and your time in obtaining the decision, I do not know whether it has occurred to the right hon. Gentleman that under the curious provisions of this Bill you have got two ultimate Courts of Appeal. You have got the House of Lords and the Privy Council. It just depends on whether you choose to commence your action in England or in Ireland. Many of these actions can be commenced in England just as well as in Ireland. It is simply a question of service. If you can serve the defendant in England you start your action in England, and you land yourself in the House of Lords as the ultimate Court of Appeal. If a decision of the Privy Council is cited, the House of Lords will probably say, "That decision was taken before the real facts in issue were before the Court; it was a mere consultative opinion by which we decline to be bound." I venture to say that even the Privy Council itself would feel some hesitation in acknowledging its own previous decisions if they had been given simply in the air before the actual questions had arisen or before there was any matter actually in litigation which bonâ fide parties had argued before them. The Amendment becomes vital now that the previous Amendment has been rejected. It will be in the power of the Government to obtain a decision, but it will not be in the power of the Opposition to do so. The Irish Government would not introduce a Bill which they considered ultra vires, and they would naturally advise the Lord Lieutenant that any appeal to the Privy Council was unnecessary and frivolous. Similarly the Secretary of State in England might be placed in a most embarrassing position. Supposing the 2241 Opposition in the Irish Parliament approached the Secretary of State in reference to a Bill which it was vital to the Irish Government to get through quickly: he would be placed in a position of extreme difficulty and embarrassment. This provision is unprecedented in the history of the world. I challenge any hon. Member to cite anything similar in any Constitution anywhere. It is fraught with such grave danger and constitutional disadvantage that I move its omission from the Bill, This measure is really a museum of legislative curiosities, and of all the curiosities to be found in it this is the choicest specimen.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The hon. and learned Member, who throws his adjectives about with very great freedom, suggests that this is legislation run mad, and that there is nothing like it in any other Constitution in the whole world. But let us consider the matter for a moment. The hon. Member speaks as though the provision imposed an obligation upon the Lord Lieutenant and the Secretary of State to interfere with Bills in the course of their passage through the Irish House of Commons in order that the proceedings might be arrested until a decision had been taken. He puts various questions, which he thinks are puzzling, as to the stage at which these legal proceedings would begin. I put it to him that this course of proceeding will probably be very infrequent; but it might very well be, without imagining any of the absurdities which the hon. Member so freely supposes, that during the passage of a Bill a genuine doubt might arise in the mind of the persons engaged in introducing or discussing the measure as to whether it was intra or ultra vires. That was the sort of case we had in mind when we inserted these words. Written Constitutions are of necessity somewhat complicated in character; they involve nice legal points, whether the Bill, or some particular provision of the Bill—which is perhaps more likely than the whole Bill itself—some Clause in the Bill, does or does not controvert in one way or another the provisions of this Constitution. Therefore, in order to save the time of the Irish House of Commons and to prevent people from wasting their time over the discussion and consideration of a measure which may be open to this grave doubt, we thought it a desirable thing—I quite agree it does not occur in any other Constitution, but I am not aware that that in itself is any limita- 2242 tion—we are not here to put a period to Constitutions or to their development in different directions—we thought, I say, it well to do this having regard to the fact that the Irish House of Commons would have to legislate more or less in chains, as all assemblies legislate in chains when they have to legislate in accordance with a written Constitution. [HON. Members: "Hear, hear."] Quite so! We do not want to have any written Constitution at all. This is an argument, that it is open for hon. Members to use. But when you are creating a subordinate Parliament it is absolutely essential that there should be a written Constitution that will impose obligations, restrictions, and limitations upon the powers of the subordinate Parliament.
It may very easily happen to such a Parliament in the course of its deliberations that some ingenious gentleman, such as the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, may raise the point. In the course of the proceedings in the Irish Parliament the question, "Aye" or "No," as to whether a particular provision was or was not a violation of some provision in the Constitution might be raised. That might be a very desirable thing in the interests of Parliament itself. We are not contemplating acting contrary to the wishes or desires of the Assembly. They may wish to know themselves whether or not a particular provision in a particular Bill under consideration is ultra or intra vires. I think it is an excellent and admirable precedent, which very likely may be followed by other Empires and other Constitution makers. They may wish to take time by the forelock and enable a decision to be obtained at once, before going to the trouble and subsequent expense and annoyance of passing into law a Bill which, may be, contains only one ultra vires Clause. We therefore, for reasons I have given in speaking just now to the other Amendment, thought it a most desirable thing in the case of an Act, to allow a speedy recourse to a final Court of Appeal, and without going through any preliminary steps or acts to obtain an authoritative declaration upon this subject with regard to the Act, I think with reference to the Bill, although I agree the circumstances are unlikely to be of frequent occurrence, that nevertheless it is most desirable in the interests of the Irish House of Commons itself, against whom we are not acting in any way what- 2243 soever, that they or their Ministers, or the members of the Opposition, or any other person, who entertains grave doubts as to whether this particular Clause may be or may not be ultra or intra vires, should be given this opportunity of taking appeal to the Privy Council. There is the whole of the matter. It really does not deserve all the wealth of adjectives which the hon. and learned Gentleman has imposed upon it. I think on consideration it will be found to be an admirable and wise provision in the interest of the subordinate Legislature of Ireland itself.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
I think my hon. Friend who moved this Amendment had a desire—a very worthy desire—to strike out what is comic in this Bill. But really, if we were to strike out all the fantastic and comic provisions of the Bill, the limited time we have at our disposal would be further curtailed, and the right hon. Gentleman, I think, must see it was comic, although he thought it was better to leave it as it was, as he said it would do practically no harm, and probably that was the real reason in his mind, and in the same way he thought probably it would do no good, so it might be as well to leave it there as part of the Bill. But this Amendment did draw from him one important sentence, which I think is worth emphasising—that we were legislating in chains under the Parliament Act. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."]
§ Sir E. CARSON
What the right hon. Gentleman said was that the moment you proceed to legislate under a written Constitution you were legislating in chains. We are legislating under the Parliament Act, and therefore we are legislating in chains. I really do not know why the right hon. Gentleman should interrupt me because I do not very often agree with him, but I do agree with him upon this occasion, and let us, at all events over this comic portion of the Section, have this little bit of agreement—that we are legislating in chains. I think everybody will 2244 agree with that. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say that it is quite true there never has been anything like this conceived by the wisdom of any other Constitution, subordinate or insubordinate, but he said it might well be imitated. If we could make no other contribution to the European situation let us suggest it as a new Constitution for the Balkans. I think in that way, at all events, we would have shown that the discussions on the Home Rule Bill have not been in vain, and it would be handed down to posterity that the conception of England towards Ireland when they were separating was to give something so new and novel that it might be imitiated in the Near East. I do not really think this part of the provisions of this Bill really does any harm; no more do I think it does any good, but I think it is comic, unworkable, and impracticable. And I will tell the right hon. Gentleman why. He proposes that his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant or the Secretary of State shall at any stage, of his own free will, move the Privy Council that a Clause in a Bill, or the whole of a Bill of the Irish Parliament, shall be disallowed. The right hon. Gentleman has a great sense of humour. Does he not think that comic?
§ Sir E. CARSON
He does not think it comic. How on earth is the Lord Lieutenant to know whether the provision which he is going to bring before the Privy Council will ever pass in Committee or on Report—I suppose the Irish House of Commons will have some formal procedure—or that it will not be amended? If the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General gets called to the Irish Bar and gets so enamoured of the Irish Parliament that he goes over there to practise in Ireland, he will give them solemn advice that this thing is probably outside the bounds of the Irish Parliament. They do not even wait until they pass it.
§ Sir E. CARSON
They need not wait. Before that provision is accepted or divided upon and before it becomes law, His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, or the Secretary of State here, or some busybody like the Minister for Agriculture or the Secretary for Scotland, who will, no doubt, be looking for a federal system for Scotland, will solemnly bring this matter which is under the consideration of the Irish Parliament over to the 2245 Privy Council. Now, am I wrong in saying that it is comic. Let me see who the Lord Lieutenant is. He is the representative of the Sovereign in Ireland. He is the head of the Irish Government when he is in one capacity, because he has several capacities under the Bill, and which leg he is dancing upon nobody can ever find out. He is the Gentleman to decide for Ireland, and I believe he will know more about it than the Secretary for Scotland. The Secretary for War may probably be a lawyer for all I know, at the time, and the Secretary of State and the Lord Lieutenant, then being the head of the Government in Ireland, is, of course, advised by his Ministers. That, I suppose, is the constitutional position, and he is a great man advised by a whole Parliament himself. The Ministers come up, and, as one of them has brought the Bill into the House of Commons, are they going to come and say, "Your Excellency, we have brought in a Bill within the purview of the House of Commons, but we think it is expedient in the public interest that steps should be taken for the speedy determination of the question whether the Bill is within the jurisdiction of the House of Commons that we have brought it into." That is what this Act is. Will he be advised in this matter by his Ministers? If not, who else is to advise him? You will not have a Chief Secretary then, and the Law Officers will have to advise whether the Bill is within the purview and powers of the House of Commons. Whose advice will he take? Perhaps mine for all I know. What I really want to know is whether the Lord Lieutenant, apart from his Ministers and his Law Officers, is to have a staff to advise him, or how is he to be set going in relation to this matter when he takes a step which is plainly one against the authority of the Irish Parliament which is asserting its right to have this Bill and its particular provisions. The other point is what is the Secretary of State to do? Has he got to examine every Bill that comes into the Irish Parliament, and, after looking through them and comparing them with this Bill and making up his mind when he thoroughly understands this Bill as to whether it comes within the purview of the Irish Parliament, has he to take advice? Where is he to get advice? I really cannot see how this part of the Clause is anything but futile. Anything more calculated to bring the Bill into ridicule I can hardly imagine. During the discussion on the 2246 last Amendment we were told this was a great protection to the subject. It may be some protection, though I think it would have been much more of a protection if any subject were allowed himself to raise it without waiting for the Lord Lieutenant. But the right hon. Gentleman says now, "It is not merely a protection for the subject we are thinking of; it is also a protection for the Irish House of Commons. They may bring in a Bill, and they may get nervous about it. They may not be quite sure where they are, and the 'Freeman's Journal' or some other paper may be commenting upon the fact that they are going beyond their powers. Surely it would be a great satisfaction to all concerned to at once pop over here to the Privy Council and try and get a decision on it before they go any further." I can conceive a Motion by some hon. or right hon. Member, or some Minister, "That the House do now adjourn until the Privy Council in London have given their opinion as to whether we are going on in a legal fashion or not." Then comes what is not an unimportant matter. When the Lord Lieutenant or this Secretary of State have brought the matter before the Privy Council there is, as far as I can see, no provision in the Bill as to there being any opposing counsel there. It is quite true it says any person interested may be allowed to attend. I do not know who that means, but I suppose he is to come at his own cost. But supposing nobody desires to come over here to raise this, is the Lord Lieutenant himself going to instruct counsel on both sides so that an argument may arise, or will it simply be an ex-parte statement, so as to prop up the Irish House, or how is it to be carried out? The Bill is singularly unfortunate in never laying down any process or system or principle of any sort or kind. Really, it does not in the least trouble me whether the words are left in or taken out, but I do submit these are matters in the Bill requiring serious reconsideration as to how the Clause is to be worked at all, and that before we come to deal with the matter, at all events upon Report, the Section ought to be further reconsidered, so that if it is to remain in the Bill at all it may take some practical shape.
§ Mr. MACMASTER
It seems to me these words in the Bill discriminate unfairly against the Opposition in the Irish Parliament, but they are absolutely unnecessary. 2247 I submit that under the powers given by this Act, namely, the power to regulate peace, order, and good government of the country, the Irish Government would have the power to refer the matter to the Privy Council. Therefore, this Clause is entirely unnecessary. Suppose a Bill is introduced by the Government, it is improbable there would be any interference with its progress through the House because the Ministry of the day in Ireland must advise on the introduction of the Bill. That being so, of course the Government would never think of making a reference to the Privy Council. I would call attention to the powers conferred on the Irish Legislature under this Act to make laws to regulate the peace, order, and good government of Ireland. Under the Clause the Irish Parliament may pass a Resolution to refer to determination of the Privy Council the question whether a particular Clause in a Bill is within the competence of the Irish Legislature. There would be
§ a very good precedent for that, as recently a Colonial Legislature which has the same powers did actually refer a Bill pending before Parliament for determination by the Privy Council. One is familiar with the discussions which took place with regard to the Marriage Laws of Canada, and the question whether particular powers were vested in the several legislatures became so controversial that it was decided to refer the matter to the Supreme Court with the right of appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The same procedure might be followed by the Irish Parliament, which would be competent to refer the very question raised by this Amendment to the determination of the Privy Council. Therefore, I say it is absolutely unnecessary.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 270; Noes, 148.2251
|Division No. 382.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hardie, J. Keir|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cotton, William Francis||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)|
|Adamson, William||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Crean, Eugene||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Agnew, Sir George||Crumley, Patrick||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Cullinan, John||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Davies, Timothy (Louth)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Armitage, Robert||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hayward, Evan|
|Arnold, Sydney||Dawes, J. A.||Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||De Forest, Baron||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N. E.)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Delany, William||Helme, Sir Norval Watson|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Denman, Hon. R, D.||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Devlin, Joseph||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Dillon, John||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Donelan, Captain A.||Higham, John Sharp|
|Barnes, G. N.||Doris, W.||Hinds, John|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Duffy, William J.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Hodge, John|
|Barton, W.||Elverston, Sir Harold||Hogge, James Myles|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts. St. George)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Bentham, G. J.||Essex, Richard Walter||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Esslemont, George Birnie||Hudson, Walter|
|Black, Arthur W.||Farrell, James Patrick||Hughes, S. L.|
|Boland, John Pius||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Ffrench, Peter||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Field, William||John, Edward Thomas|
|Brace, William||Fitzgibbon, John||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Brady, P. J.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||France, Gerald Ashburner||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Gill, A. H.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Ginnell, Laurence||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Jowett, F. W.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Joyce, Michael|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W||Goldstone, Frank||Keating, M.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Chancellor, Henry G.||Guiney, Patrick||Kilbride, Denis|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Gulland, John William||King, Joseph|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Clough, William||Hackett, J.||Lambert, Richard (Cricklade)|
|Clynes, J. R.||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Hancock, J. G.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Lewis, John Herbert||O'Doherty, Philip||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Lundon, T.||Ogden, Fred||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||O'Grady, James||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Lynch, A. A.||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Sheehy, David|
|Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|McGhee, Richard||O'Malley, William||Shortt, Edward|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Smith, Albert (Lancs, Clitheroe)|
|Macpherson, James Ian||O'Shee, James John||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Sutherland, J. E.|
|M'Kean, John||Parker, James (Halifax)||Sutton, John E,|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Manfield, Harry||Pirie, Duncan V.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Pointer, Joseph||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Pollard, Sir George H.||Thorne, W. (West Ham)|
|Martin, Joseph||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Meagher, Michael||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Millar, James Duncan||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Molloy, M.||Pringle, William M. R.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wardle, George J.|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Reddy, Michael||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Mooney, John J.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Morrell, Philip||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Webb, H.|
|Morison, Hector||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Richards, Thomas||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Muldoon, John||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Munro, R.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Whyte, A. F.|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Needham, Christopher T.||Robinson, Sidney||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Neilson, Francis||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Rowlands, James||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Nuttall, Harry||Rowntree, Arnold||Young, William (Perthshire, E.)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Geoffrey Howard and Captain Guest.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Hills, John Waller|
|Ashley, Wilfrid||Craik, Sir Henry||Hill-Wood, Samuel|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Croft, Henry Page||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Denniss, E. R. B.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dixon, Charles Harvey||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Doughty, Sir George||Home, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Duke, Henry Edward||Horner, Andrew Long|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Hunt, Rowland|
|Barnston, Harry||Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr|
|Barrie, H. T.||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Kerry, Earl of|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Fell, Arthur||Knight, Captain E. A.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Fleming, Valentine||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Fletcher, John Samuel||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Bird, Alfred||Foster, Philip Staveley||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Blair, Reginald||Gardner, Ernest||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownice|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Gibbs, G. A.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Mackinder, H. J.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Goldman, C. S.||Macmaster, Donald|
|Butcher, John George||Goldsmith, Frank||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Malcolm, Ian|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Grant, J. A.||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Gretton, John||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Cassel, Felix||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S. E.)||Moore, William|
|Cator, John||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Nield, Herbert|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G A.|
|Chambers, James||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Fretyman, Ernest George|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Howins, William Albert Samuel||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Randles, Sir John S.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Rees, Sir J. D.||Swift, Rigby||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Ronaldshay, Earl of||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Rothschild, Lionel de||Talbot, Lord Edmund||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Royds, Edmund||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Sanders, Robert A.||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Sanderson Lancelot||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Sassoon, Sir Philip||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Touche, George Alexander||Younger, Sir George|
|Spear, Sir John Ward||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Stanier, Seville||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Staveley-Hill, Henry||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)||Larmor and Mr. Jardine.|
|Stewart, Gershom||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow (Wednesday).