§ The Irish Parliament shall not directly or indirectly grant or authorise the grant of any bounty on the production of any article.
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."
The purpose and effect of the Clause is to include bounties "within the prohibited legislative area. This is practically the first opportunity for discussing this very important question, and nothing could be more condemnatory of the whole operation of the guillotine than the fact that after forty-one days of Debate this practically should be the only opportunity for raising such a very important question. This Clause is essential and supplementary to what has been described as the leading principle of the financial provisions of the Bill. The Government have claimed that the Bill affords adequate safeguards to British industries by preventing the Irish Parliament from giving fiscal advantages to Irish interests. The very fact that the Government find it necessary to import these elaborate safeguards is an acknowledgment of the whole attitude and the position of those who favour Tariff Reform. It cannot be pretended for a moment that those safeguards are introduced for the purpose of assisting Ireland, because if that were the case it would be far more proper that they should be referred to the popularly elected Parliament that is to be sot up. These safeguards are introduced for the sole purpose of safeguarding English industries against any financial arrangement which may be introduced by the Irish Parliament. Indeed, the first principle of the Financial Clauses is that under no conceivable circumstances should the element of Protection be introduced by which English industries could be jeopardised. Again and again the Government have introduced Amendments to meet criticisms which have been made in regard to this question. It was pointed out that different opinions may exist at different times and by different authorities with regard to what constitutes a reasonable difference between Customs and corresponding Excise Duties. The Govern- 270 ment realised the difficulty and have met it by an Amendment which leaves it to the Exchequer Board to fix the basis. A further loophole was pointed out in the power to vary what has since become known as correlated duties, by varying these duties independently of each other. In other words, it would have been quite possible as the Bill originally stood to enable the duties to be varied in respect of cigarettes as against tobacco, and to vary the duties in regard to sugar as against sugar products. Again the Government saw the difficulty. They did not wish to see the element of Protection introduced, and they introduced an Amendment which made it impossible to vary any element of any particular related group of duties without varying the whole. Lastly, there was a third source of Protection left open under the original provisions of the Bill by which drawbacks might be granted in excess of the duty charged on the constituents of products. The Government moved an Amendment which left it to the Exchequer Board to prevent any excessive drawbacks being given. I admit that all the cases to which I have alluded, and all the Protection which the Government has done its very utmost to prevent, or to render impossible, arise from the manipulation of tariffs, and I think I will have the House in agreement with me when I say that the Government is less concerned in the methods than in the results—less concerned with the manipulation of tariffs per se than with the effect of the operation of the manipulation of tariffs in so far as they may introduce a system of Protection. In fact, the Government realise that the trade of the United Kingdom is on so considerable a scale that, however desirable it might be to give protection to Irish industries, and however much Ireland might desire it, the fact that the trade of England might be jeopardised and interfered with, is the reason for the Government making these particular safeguards.
Indeed the whole object and intention of the elaborate safeguards which they have introduced is to prevent this method of Protection, and it therefore seems to me necessary that we should inquire whether there are any other methods possible by which 271 fiscal advantages might be given by the Irish Parliament other than those of tariffs? It seems to me that there are two very important means of satisfying that end, the one being bounties on production, and the other monopolies. During the Debates in the Committee stage reference was made to the question of bounties, and the Postmaster-General, I think, appeared to contemplate that the only kind of bounty was that of Export Duty, for he immediately referred to Clause 2 and said that bounties on exports are prohibited by that Clause which prevents legislation dealing with any trade with any country outside of Ireland. The Postmaster-General seems to have been persuaded that these words did not carry the exact meaning, because I see he has an Amendment on the Paper now to give more precise effect to the criticism. He states in exact terms in the Amendment that bounties on exports are excluded from the purview and the authority of the Irish Parliament. What I wish to point out is that Export Duties are only one of an innumerable number of methods of introducing bounties in any particular system. Let me give one or two illustrations. There is the bounty system, by which direct payments are made on production. It would be quite possible under the Bill, as I understand it, to give, for instance, a bounty on the production of any particular article, to give a bounty on every pound of tobacco, to give a bounty or premium on the ton of beetroot, or, in the alternative, to give a bounty on any area under cultivation. That system seems to be perfectly possible.
I acknowledge that all the products so created are subject to Excise Duty, and it might be contended that in so far as any premium reduces the Excise Duty it might be considered ultra vires. At the same time the very fact that you can give bounties not dependent on the quantities, that you can give bounties on industries or manufactures, is, I believe, a big element of Protection open to the Irish Parliament. I should like to point out also that there are forms different even from that. Quite apart from the premiums that are paid there are other forms of bounties. There is the bounty system by exemptions, which give relief from direct charges. In fact the whole principle, as I understand it, of bounties is not so much a question of direct payment as a question of competitive advantage. Whether you can reduce 272 the primary cost by premiums or other-means makes no difference, and it is quite as easy and as feasible in encouraging an industry to say to the party that you will relieve him of direct charges, or, in the case of a new industry which carries with it an element of speculation, that you will render the speculation less risky by introducing forms of guarantees. I admit that such protection involves the superficial objection that the cost is to come from the Irish Exchequer, already not too full? My reply is, that, in the first place bounty systems have been universally adopted among the nations—by large as well as small nations, and by rich as well as poor-nations—and they have never been deterred by the question of how the money is to be found. The moment they realised that it was essential or good for the country to establish a particular industry funds have been available. In fact, it has always been approved and accepted as a reproductive investment by which not only the Exchequer will eventually be benefited, but the country as well.
The second point is that the Irish Parliament is not going to start with a depleted Exchequer. There will be an unappropriated surplus of £380,000 a year for a period of nine years, and after that £200,000, available for this or any other purpose. But in addition to that, great powers are still left to the Irish Parliament for effecting considerable economies. Great economies may be effected, for instance, in regard to old age pensions by taking over old age pensions in connection with the transferred services, and even supposing that a sum of only £100,000 was applied for that purpose, that might figure in the Irish Budget, and would be equivalent to £2,000,000 in the Imperial Budget. The third fallacy is that bounties are not necessarily always direct payments, but may be matters of exemption. Parties might be exempted from direct taxation or direct charges. In the case of Argentina, the whole beet industry was created and built up by the Government coming forward and saying that any person who wished to engage in the industry would be protected by a guarantee on the part of the Government of 5 per cent. for ten years on that article. The same country decided that it was desirable to develop and stimulate the wine-grape industry. They told those who wished to engage in that culture that if they would take it up they would be relieved for a number of 273 years of all land taxes. In other provinces the Government provided relief by giving premiums. In both cases the alternative system was regarded as equivalent to exemption from land taxes on the one side and direct payments on the other. This seems to me a very interesting commentary on the attitude of those who contemplate adding taxes on land values with the hope and idea of reducing the cost of production. In the case of Roumania and Servia a different system was adopted. There the Governments thought it desirable to start and establish manufactures. They were anxious to develop the textile industries, paper manufacture, and sugar making, and again the Government came forward and suggested that they would stimulate the industry by offering free sites for the factories, and saying to all those engaged in the manufactures that they should be relieved of all local rates for a number of years.
I only give these illustrations to show how many methods and systems exist by which effective measures of protection might be given by means of bounties. I have endeavoured to give illustrations of three distinct and separate types of bounties. The first is that by which advantages are given to productions by manipulation of tariffs. In fact, as the House knows, one of the classic instances where drawbacks have been given in excess of the duties paid is the sugar industry, which has led to an enormous development of that industry among the countries of Europe to the lasting advantage of those countries and the everlasting injury of our West Indian Colonies. Germany has spent enormous sums for that particular purpose. It is perfectly true that this system has come to an end through the Sugar Convention, but the fact remains that, although the system no longer prevails, the countries were able to build up and establish the sugar industry, and in spite of the cessation of bounties they have to-day that valuable and remunerative industry. The second system is that of direct payments. I might give one or two illustrations. One applies to Ireland at once. There you have a tobacco-growing industry built up on a bounty system for which the present Government is responsible.
§ Mr. T. W. RUSSELL (Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture, Ireland)
The late Government.
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
I think all the better of it in that case. That is only one instance. Innumerable examples of this 274 class of bounty are to be found in the reports presented to this House by the Foreign Office and specially collected by British diplomatic representatives abroad. Almost every country you can think of, whether Canada, the United States, France, Germany or Bulgaria, has incorporated in its protective system the principle of bounties on production. They take the form of direct or indirect payments on the production of silk, manure, sugar, paper, forestry industry, silver industry, fruit canning, iron and steel. These all come within the category of bounties given by these countries. A third class demands a sacrifice by the-Exchequer by means of exemptions in respect of taxes. You have got exemption from land taxes, and with regard to local taxation, and money is advanced by the Government on the starting of industries at a low rate of interest, or without interest in some cases, or there is the reduction or the remitting entirely of duties on the introduction of plant and machinery required for particular industries; and, lastly, there is the using of railways as a large means of giving bounties by rebates in respect of rates. All these different forms of bounties need only to be stated to show how extensive are the resources which are left to the Irish Parliament under this Bill for the purpose of developing new industries or stimulating existing ones.
I say, frankly, that I am a Tariff Reformer and believe in a well-regulated system of Protection for stimulating old industries and developing new industries. Protection may be applied in the form of tariffs or of bounties. The Government have taken every means to-prevent tariffs being used by the Irish Parliament in order to give protection to their industries, but they have left open the question of bounties. I would like to guard myself against the suggestion that I am in any way opposed to the fullest development of Irish industries. I base my whole argument on the claim put forward by the Government as well as by Irish-Members that they wish to be part of the United Kingdom. An essential consequence of this Clause must be that, however desirable it may be to help Irish industries you shall do so only providing you do not in any way prejudice or interfere with British industries, because once that contingency arises you come back tattle system existing before the Union. You once more revive the animosities and 275 bitterness that arose in those days, and may give life to these reprisals which would produce all the disturbing influences that we believed had disappeared for ever. The Government, I believe, have adopted the same view in the whole attitude on tariffs. Indeed, there is no other explanation for their persistent desire to exclude Protection by means of tariffs under this Bill. Yet here is authority given in this Clause, which though perhaps not quite so effective is scarcely less effective, to pay bounties on production. That being the case, and as the Government have shown this desire to eliminate every form of Protection, I hope that in asking for a Second Beading for this Clause, I shall have their hearty support.
§ Mr. GODFREY LOCKER-LAMPSON
It seems to me that the Amendment put down by the Government in Clause 2 merely touches the fringe of the question of bounties, because, after all, the serious question of new bounties has not been dealt with at all by the Government. The Postmaster-General seems to be under a misapprehension as to what bounties really are. On the 7th November he said in this House:—A bounty is a Grant which is given for the purpose of export.My right hon. Friend the Member for East Worcestershire, who was present, interjected the remark—Not necessarily,and the Postmaster-General replied:—Certainly it is in the ordinary use of the term. A bounty is a Grant which is given to persons exporting goods to foreign countries.I think, if I may respectfully say so, that the Postmaster-General was playing with words on that occasion. I have looked up the word "bounty" in the Oxford Dictionary. It says:—A bounty is a sum of money paid to merchants or manufacturers for the encouragement of some particular branch of industry.There is absolutely nothing in that definition, the latest definition, about the export of goods. It is perfectly clear that there is nothing, therefore, in the Bill to prevent bounties on internal production or Irish manufactures. Therefore I submit that this Clause is one of the most important of the new Clauses put on the Paper. As the Bill originally stood, there were a good many loopholes in the Customs and Excise provisions which would have admitted protective principles. These loopholes have now been partially filled up through the criticisms on this side of 276 the House; but what really is the use of considering these Excise and Customs Clauses and trying to find out whether there is any protective danger left in them, when, supposing that the existing Government Amendments were carried later on, there is still this toleration of internal bounties in the Bill? On 8th May the Prime Minister, in answer to a question, I think, by my hon. Friend the Member for South Birmingham, said:—The Irish Government will be able to make a Grant to a particular industry for the encouragement of that industry.Since then the Government seem somewhat to have shifted their position, because on the 20th of last month the Postmaster-General said, in the Debate in this House:—If the Irish Parliament had not any power whatever to touch any Customs or Excise, they would still unless they were specially prohibited by a particular Clause, be at liberty to give a Grant to persons who did the pioneer work in establishing the industry of the cultivation of tobacco, for instance.Now note they have shifted their position, which had been power to give bounties on internal manufactures as a whole, and not merely in respect of pioneer work or infant industries. Who is going to decide in future what is an infant industry in Ireland? Presumably it will have to be left to the Irish Parliament. Therefore any class of goods may be selected and so treated as to deserve the name of an infant industry. For instance, the tobacco manufacture in Ireland is certainly not an infant industry.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Perhaps something I have said may have led the hon. Member on the wrong track. I did not desire to limit the illustration I gave to infant industries. I mentioned the infant industry of tobacco, for an example. Certainly the Irish Parliament would not be limited in giving Grants, if they so wished, to infant industries.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
The right hon. Gentleman certainly meant to emphasise the fact that it probably would be pioneer work or infant industries. Nobody can pretend that the Irish tobacco manufacture is an infant industry. Supposing that the Irish people in future chose to make tobacco articles like cigars, cigarettes, roll or twist or cut tobacco—that is Irish manufactures—partly with Irish-grown tobacco, there is nothing to prevent the Irish Government calling it an infant industry and giving a substantial bounty. The same thing can be done with regard to sugar and confectionery. A 277 small amount of Irish-grown wheat can be used in manufacturing confectionery. The same tiling can be done in respect of cotton or wool. The giving of bounties is the easiest thing in the world. My hon. Friend instanced Argentina, where they guarantee a minimum dividend on capital invested. In many countries they give bounties of different kinds. I believe I am right in saying that in Australia and many of the States of America, and in the Balkan States, they give different kinds of bounties—for instance, free sites for erecting factories, or they allow duty free importation of plant and machinery, or they give exemption from taxes over long periods of time. These methods have the very substantial advantage that there is no unnecessary disbursement of money. The only sacrifice is a sacrifice of revenue in the near future for the sake of a great deal bigger revenue later on, and I submit it is quite certain that Ireland could do this very easily indeed, and that the leather or woollen or earthenware manufacture could be bounty fed, or, for instance, the old Irish glass industries could be set up again and restored. The point is, if this is done, it simply means driving a coach and four through the Customs and Excise provisions of this Bill. What is the use of mending infinitesimal leakages in your saucepan if there is a hole big enough in it to put your foot through left unmended? If the Irish Government is to be allowed to protect its industries in far and away the easiest and the worst and the most corrupt way of all, what really is the object of the Government's Amendment to prevent forms of Protection when the old methods of Protection would become entirely unnecessary?
Of course, I believe, to be perfectly honest, that the only object of the Government in putting this Amendment into the Customs and Excise Clause, and still retaining the power of bounty giving, is to throw dust in the eyes of the people; that is to say, to conceal from the public the injury which would very likely arise under this Bill to British manufacturers and to British trade. Ireland, without any doubt, under this bounty system will be able to undersell the British manufacturers in the Irish market. The fact is that hon. Members opposite, honest Free Traders, convinced that Free Trade is the best thing, are merely allowing themselves to be led by the nose to pass one of the most Protective measures ever introduced into this House, while led to believe that no Protection is possible under it. It is not a 278 question really of what amount of Protection is expressly forbidden by the Bill. It is merely window-dressing for the benefit of hoodwinking Free Traders who sit behind right hon. Gentlemen opposite. The real and important question is the methods of Protection which are unmentioned in the Bill, but which the Government can now say, after the speech made the other day of the right hon. Gentleman, "We always intended to be employed when the Bill passed into law." It seems to me that these powers of Protection are all the greater when we realise that nineteen-twentieths of Irish trade is done with Great Britain. Therefore, Protection by means of bounties, when brought into operation by the Irish Government, means Protection against Great Britain, and practically against Great Britain alone.
Surely, if hon. Members opposite are honest Free Traders, as I believe they are, if they really are convinced that Free Trade is the best thing, I cannot possibly see how they can refuse to support the Clause introduced by my hon. Friend. As I said before, the safeguards in Clauses 15 and 16 are mere waste paper, dishonest as well as valueless. I have no doubt whatever that the Government were pressed very hard indeed by hon. Members below the Gangway to put rather greater Protective powers in black and white into the Bill, and I can imagine the Government saying, "We cannot possibly give you those powers openly." To satisfy the delicate conscience of the cocoa Members you must make an outward show of safeguarding Free Trade. But you have not got the slightest cause for anxiety. You can get all you want by means of bounties, only, in Heaven's name, say nothing more about it." The Government know perfectly well what they are about. They are acting with open eyes, although they may try to deceive some hon. Members who sit behind them. But I very much hope that in this case hon. Members will not be hoodwinked, but that they will act consissistently with their Free Trade principles, and vote for the Clause of my hon. Friend. Probably the right hon. Gentleman in his reply will say that it cannot possibly be done, and that, after all, you cannot stop Grants being given to Irish industries by the Irish Parliament.
They may say that this is a Free Trade country, and yet, in spite of that fact, bounties or internal Grants are given under the existing regime. I do not think that is really a valid argument. The whole 279 of the Customs structure of the Home Rule Bill is, as the Government allege, to prevent British interests being prejudiced; therefore, the only way in which financial assistance can be given to Irish industries in future, in accordance with that principle, is that the methods chosen to support those industries should be directed and promoted by the Imperial Parliament itself. I am sure that nobody wants to stifle Irish progress. Everybody wants to see Irish industries developed in the future, but we have a right to see that the methods by which Irish industrise are going to be fostered in the future shall be approved by the authority which is responsible for the whole of the interests of the whole United Kingdom—that is to say, by the Imperial Parliament. I would like to point out that this Clause does not introduce a new principle. Everybody knows that the Development Commission is an institution for granting bounties. The Development Commission is under the authority of the Imperial Parliament. In that case, why should you differentiate between two or three authorities giving bounties. Surely it is better to throw over the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford in this respect than to leave open these possibilities of injuring British trade and British manufactures in the future. For these reasons I have great pleasure in seconding the Motion of my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. RUSSELL
I listened to the speech of the hon. Member who moved the Second Reading of this new Clause with a great deal of interest. He was candid enough to announce that he is a Tariff Reformer. I never understood that Tariff Reformers were violently opposed to bounties; but it seems to me now that Ireland is the only place where Tariff Reformers are against bounties. The real idea under this new Clause is, as the two hon. Members who moved and seconded the Motion seemed to feel, that the Irish Parliament should have the power so to manipulate the bounty system that it would interfere with English commerce; that is really the bottom fact of this new Clause. I should like to refer to the prohibition of bounties on exports.
§ Mr. RUSSELL
The Government proposal is now in the Bill, but they intend to move an Amendment which will make 280 the matter perfectly clear. I am old enough to remember the Bill of 1886. I am one of the few Members in the House, probably, who remember the whole of that discussion in the country and here. One of the principal rocks upon which the Bill of 1886 struck was precisely the subject mentioned in the hon. Member's speech, namely, that the Irish Parliament representing the manufacturing community would be protective and would protect Irish industries, and so injure English trade. That view prevailed very widely, and I remember that the commercial men of Lancashire and Yorkshire adopted a Resolution which made a very grave impression upon Parliament, and was one of the rocks on which Mr. Gladstone's first Home Rule Bill suffered. Things have considerably changed since that day, and everybody, on either side of the-House, has come to look at Ireland in rather a different light. Perhaps the Unionist Government have been the greatest pioneers in the bounty system as it exists in Ireland to-day. Who was it that formed the Congested Districts Board? It was the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour), and a very noble day's work it was when he did so. Who formed the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction? It was the same right hon. Gentleman and his party, and that Department really carries on its work on a very large system of bounties. Who formed the Development Commission? It was formed by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer; so that both sides of the House are committed to bounties in Ireland, and they are' committed to assist them because they have made up their minds that Ireland occupies a peculiar position. But that does not alter any opposition to the principle of Tariff Reform.
Let us look at the grounds on which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London formed a Congested Districts Board. He made the candid admission that he viewed the state of Ireland from the agricultural standpoint. He said that the land system of that country was one of the worst in Europe, and, because of the circumstances of Ireland, her position was regarded as peculiar. This Parliament had destroyed Irish industries by legislation. I do not refer to the-woollen industry, which it is admitted on all hands Parliament had destroyed, but I refer to the tobacco industry, which by 281 actual legislation in this House was destroyed and the growth of tobacco prohibited. I say that the right hon. Gentleman and the party opposite, reviewing all the circumstances in Ireland, came to the? conclusion that Ireland was in such a? different position from the rest of the United Kingdom that steps of this kind became absolutely necessary. I will take the Department of Agriculture first—my own Department. I know the whole machinery there, and I know all the difficulties which are to be encountered. I will take the question of tobacco, and it is stated that the Government now in office are responsible for promoting that industry. It was not the present Government but the Conservative Government, and I think it was Mr. Ritchie who deliberately gave a bounty in the way of a rebate of duty of a shilling in the pound.
When the present Chancellor of the Exchequer came into office that was abolished, and he gave a sheer bounty of £6,000 per annum for instruction in the growth of tobacco, and for educational work in connection with it. That has gone on ever since. The bounty will expire next year, and the Development Commissioners have made an arrangement by which to continue the support. That bounty was given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the purpose of carrying out an experiment. This House had previously forbidden the growth of tobacco in Ireland. [An HON. MEMBER: "And in England."] I am dealing with Ireland. [An HON. MEMBER: "And including England."] This Amendment applies to Ireland and not to England. This House had deliberately prohibited the growth of tobacco in Ireland; it was a destroyed industry, and this bounty was given because of that fact, and in order to set up the industry again. I candidly admit that I have no affection for bounties, I have no affection for building up industries in this way, I would rather they built themselves up; and I refused to join the Committee in Ireland because I did not like the spoon-feeding system. But it must not be forgotten that the circumstances under which the tobacco industry is receiving this bounty affords an illustration of what can be done by the Irish Parliament in the way of dealing with an industry that has been grievously injured. Let me take the whole question of agriculture in Ireland. The Agricultural Department of Ireland carries on its work very largely 282 with the aid of bounties. I see a member of the Council of Agriculture opposite. He knows what is done every year. A rate is struck to which every county contributes, and in addition to that rate the Department add a bounty larger than the rate.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. RUSSELL
I could find many names that would get rid of the difficulty, but it does not get rid of the fact that the State contributes more than the rate for the purpose of developing agriculture in Ireland. I should just like to ask, are hon. Members opposite prepared to say that Irish agriculture is in that state of prosperity that they can afford even for the purpose of gratifying an extraordinary idea, because remember this is proposed by Tariff Reformers, to bring the whole work to a stop. Are Tariff Reformers, who certainly are not opposed to bounties, and are the Irish Members from Ulster prepared to do so in order to carry out what I will not call a trick, but in order to get Free Traders on this side of the House to adopt this Amendment, and so impose a condition on Ireland that would amount practically to the abolition of the Department of Agriculture and of the Congested Districts Board.
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
I wish to explain that this Clause is introduced because I firmly believe if you introduce bounties on industries in competition with England, that that will not redound to the peace of Ireland but will lead to animosity between the two countries.
§ Mr. RUSSELL
It is a part of Parliamentary warfare, let us say. Take some of these matters, flax for instance. The flax industry is extremely prosperous in Ulster, but even there the Department supply bonuses and instructors. In the South of Ireland where the growth of flax has gone out the Department has stepped in, gone to the districts where the flax traditions still lives, and have sent instructors there. We got guarantees from the people to grow flax, and in the county of Cork, where five years ago probably there was not an acre of flax, there was probably five or six hundred acres grown last year simply because the Department stepped in and gave its aid with bonuses. Is anybody prepared to stop that? Is anybody prepared to say that in a country 283 which has been neglected, and where all these things have gone to ruin, and where the worst possible land system has crushed out these things, that this aid should be stopped. I say certainly we are not going, with the good that has been done, to accept a new Clause which would prevent the Irish Parliament from assisting that work still further. Let the House remember that this new Clause strikes a blow at the very poorest of the people. Take a new industry which has been started within the last few years, that of early potatoes. There are parts of Ireland, owing to climatic conditions, where the people are enabled to compete successfully with the potato growers of Jersey and elsewhere. Those people have realised the advantages they have and which they never dreamt of before. The Department stepped in and formed those people into societies and they have ever gone further, and in order that the experiments should have a fair trial they have given seed and they have left an instructor with them, and the industry is now rising. Those people get their potatoes to Glasgow a fortnight before the Ayrshire potatoes, and they get as much as £40 per acre for them. Is the House, under the idea that this might imperil English industries, prepared to stop that work in Ireland? I do not believe when this comes to a vote to-night, if it gets to a vote, or I shall be very much astonished to see the hon. Member for North Derry (Mr. Barrie) voting for it—
§ Mr. RUSSELL
If he does, let him see what the result will be at the next council meeting. Then fruit growing to a large extent in North and South has been pushed on by help of every kind. The hon. Member for Mid-Armagh (Sir J. Lonsdale) lives in a very famous fruit neighbourhood and he knows that the industry has grown within the last few years.
§ Mr. RUSSELL
There is a good deal done in that way, too, there. We have given all the help at all events that could be given, and in the South of Ireland help has been given. I do not think it is a safe thing to interrupt work of that kind. If you declare that the Irish Parliament is not to permit bonuses on production, why then you tie the hands of the Parliament. 284 There are other fields which we can enter even where we are working now, and the work can be extended, but you ask by this Amendment that the Irish Parliament, no matter what has been done, no matter what the results so far, no matter how much good has been achieved, is not to be allowed to do a single thing. Take the Congested Districts Board, of which I am also a member. It does not operate to the same extent as it did in the past in this way. It has become to a large extent a land association for the purpose of buying and selling land and for the purpose of improving land. The Board still carries on two branches of work which would be directly touched by this new Clause. They have in the poorest and most wretched parts of Ireland lace and crochet classes which have supplied an income to those poor people. Suppose you stopped them from doing this wholesome work in the most wretched parts of Ireland, for that is really what this amounts to, what is to happen? if you say the present work can go on, you are admitting the principle of bounties, and if you say the Irish Parliament is not to be allowed to increase it and to carry it into other regions, then you are striking a deadly blow at those poor people. Take the other question with which the Congested Districts Board also deals, namely, that of fisheries. You will find aid given in this way all round the coast of Ireland and given to the very poorest of the people. I am not concerned—I say this candidly to the House—in Ireland to uphold the principle of bounties—I mean internal bounties. I wish trade could be prosecuted without these aids, but I do say, looking at the circumstances of Ireland, looking at the admissions that have been made by Conservative leaders on the other side of the House in regard to those circumstances and in regard to the necessity which they created, then I think it would be a very cruel thing either to interfere with the work I have described or with the power of the Irish Parliament to enlarge that work to a certain extent. I think it would be one of the worst things this Parliament ever did to Ireland.
§ Mr. HEWINS
I should like to express my gratitude, speaking as a Tariff Reformer, for the speech which the right hon. Gentleman has just delivered. I am sure he will be delighted to know that we shall take very good care that that speech is widely circulated in the various districts of England. I have often expressed the 285 belief that there was nothing particularly in the way of the adoption of Protection by the party opposite, and, in fact, in the brief Debate we had a few weeks ago on bounties, I said something of that kind. The Postmaster-General then spoke as a Free Trader, but I understand now that both parties have united on this important question of bounties and the principle of bounties. Many of us scarcely hoped that we should have such a rapid and easy conversion to this principle.
§ Mr. RUSSELL
The hon. Member will allow me to say that I declared both parties in the past had committed themselves to legislation of this character owing to the conditions of Ireland.
§ Mr. HEWINS
I very much appreciate the interruption, but I really do not mind what the right hon. Gentleman says but what Governments do. When I can find a party like the party opposite prepared to take this line and admit the principle, it is no further concern of mine what particular defence the right hon. Gentleman may please to give for his action. As a matter of fact, the whole fallacy of the right hon. Gentleman's speech was contained in the first two lines, in which he tried to scoff at the position of Tariff Reformers as to the absence of a provision in the Bill preventing the Irish Parliament from granting bounties. I should have thought, after all these years of discussion on the Tariff Reform question, that the attitude of Tariff Reformers was sufficiently well known. We have never suggested on our side, and I have often myself contended the opposite point, that there was anything whatever stood in the way of the Government opposite of the Free Trade party so called, in adopting methods of bounties and many other protective schemes. I have always anticipated they would do that. I go so far as to say that if they remain sufficiently long in office they will give very wide extension to the principle enunciated by the right hon. Gentleman to-night. The difference, if I may say so, between Tariff Reformers and the party opposite is not a difference between Protection and Free Trade. Free Trade is as dead as dead can be. The difference between us is the difference between adopting a Protectionist system from an insular, narrow point of view, directed only against all foreigners, and the adoption of an Empire system of organisation. That is the whole thing. The essential difference is 286 not Protection versus Free Trade, but Preference under Empire organisation: versus Liberal chaos. We put that over and over again in various works that have-been published dealing with this question, and there is nothing in the world from our point of view in the way of the adoption of a policy of bounties by the Government opposite. I was naturally surprised to hear the Postmaster-General, when we had this subject up for discussion before, make a speech showing that they are under the impression they are-still clinging to Free Trade. They were told by organs on their own side that this-, very question of bounties was going to be a test and a key of the situation, and that the Government would show by their attitude on this question whether they were Free Traders or not. They have taken a line which shows, in the opinion of their own advisers on the question of bounties under the Home Rule Bill, that they are not a Free Trade party. So I trust they will dissolve the Free Trade Union. I cannot express the hope that they will join the Tariff Reform League. I trust we shall hear no more of the argument of Free-Trade. That is dead after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman.
I want to take a particular case or two-in which, as I conceive, the Irish Parliament will be quite free under the Bill to-erect a system of bounties. This is certainly not dealt with by the Amendment or by anything which has been said by the other side up to the present. I suppose that the most common and the most efficient method of giving bounties at present practised by the different States of the world is by means of railways and railway rates. It is universally recognised that the arrangement of railway rates is an essential part of the tariff system of foreign-countries, and that it is a particularly efficient method of granting bounties both on production and on export. The Postmaster-General will correct me if I am wrong, but I do not gather that there is any limitation at all in the Bill or in the Amendments proposed by the Government which would prevent the Irish Parliament from dealing in the freest possible way with the railways. If they were in a position to do so, I presume that they might nationalise the existing railways and reorganise the system of railway rates. Or they might make a Government arrangement with the railway companies, and give-payments, if payments were necessary, to the railway companies to rearrange their 287 classification and railway rates system so as to favour particular kinds of trade. Or, without making such arrangements, they might do it simply by legislation. This is such an important matter that I hope, if this absolute power of dealing with the railway companies and with railway rates is prevented by the Bill, the right hon. "Gentleman will point out the Clause and the precise words by which any arrangement of the kind that I have indicated is prevented.
How important this question of giving encouragement or bounties to export and production by means of the regulation of railway rates and the system of classification can be seen if any reference is made to the great system of commercial treaties which bind together the central European countries. In every one of those treaties if I remember rightly, there are important Clauses dealing with this particular topic, and it is universally considered a matter for proper commercial negotiation to prevent undue or unfair advantage being given or to prevent the Government from taking away tariff concessions granted by the treaties by means of an arrangement of the railway rates. At the present time the exports and the production of Germany are greatly increased by her system of railway rates. The same is true with regard to France, where there are particular clauses in the Acts of the French Government dealing with this subject. It is true also of Denmark. In fact, it would be rather difficult to find any European country where this principle is not conceded and acted upon. The right hon. Gentleman is perfectly well aware that, if you have a railway system such as we have in the United Kingdom, conducted roughly under a system of free competition, although competitive railway rates may and very often do merge in agreed rates between the different companies, the competitive system does not result in the establishment of a system of railway rates which is universally regarded as favourable to the home industries of the country. A great deal of the complaint sometimes made by traders, working men, and, in fact, all classes, of the working of the system in connection with industry is in no sense whatever due to the malice or the deliberate intention of the railway companies. It is simply due to the natural? operation of the competitive law in fixing railway rates.
288 What will be the position of the Irish Government? I take a case which is being agitated at the present time. This very question of bounties in connection with railway rates is being discussed at the present time, both in the industrial and in the agricultural districts of Great Britain and Ireland. It is a burning question. There is scarcely any topic that could be brought before an agricultural audience that would excite more interest than the question of bounties in connection with railway rates. It goes home to every small holder, every farmer, every great landowner, and every artisan. Everybody is concerned in the conditions upon which the transport of goods is effected. There is a universal opinion that, as things are at present, both in Great Britain and in Ireland, the case does not work out as it would, supposing there was more policy in the arrangement of railway rates. The Government have a Railway Bill before the House. I will assume that that Bill passes. This is exactly how pressure will be brought to bear on the Irish Government to carry out this system of bounties. It is not an academic question; it is urgent and insistent. It is one of the first matters with which the Irish Parliament will have to deal. We had a railway strike, and that Bill, in the interests of the workmen, authorises the railway companies to raise their rates so that a higher rate of wages may be paid to the railway operatives. That is the sum and substance of it. See how it at once alters this question of bounties from an academic into a real and practical question. No sooner was this Bill introduced than I was approached by a great many traders in this sense. If that Bill was going through, if the Government were going to fulfil the pledge which they had given to the railway companies, if they wanted to secure higher rates of wages for the railway operatives, they could do it at once, and have any alteration they liked, provided they would go one step further and introduce what is, roughly speaking, the bounty system in connection with railway rates, giving the trader the encourag-ment and protection he wants by means of railway rates. If that is done, they say you can do whatever you like. I venture to suggest that. taking the known labour situation and the actual situation of agriculture, one of the very first things an Irish Government will be forced to consider, and upon which it will be compelled to legislate, will be the introduction of a 289 bounty system in connection with the Irish railways by which they will be enabled to make such adjustments of the railway rates as will give the necessary encourag-ment and security to the traders of Ireland.
Look at the appalling situation we should be in. While you could do that in Ireland, you could not meet exactly the same case in Great Britain. You would at once, by this system of bounties, have a wedge driven in between the two countries and you would accentuate the economic separation which the Home Rule Bill introduces, and which we Tariff Reformers are most anxious to avoid in all the arrangements which we propose. That is the situation. I do not argue this merely with regard to Ireland. It is far too important. The subject touches every trader in the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. HEWINS
I am not sketching out the policy of our party. I should be only too delighted, if it was in order, to give a very complete sketch. But these proposals have been sketched in scores of publications, and if the hon. Member will apply to me I shall be only too pleased to send him any amount of material. There is no sort of obscurity about it. I should not be in order discussing the matter at the present time, otherwise I should be too pleased to do so. But I do suggest to the House that this is far too important a question to dismiss lightly. Ireland has got to face the point; they cannot avoid it. They could not resist the pressure brought to bear upon them. You have only to look through a list of the industries of Ireland and you see that there are any number of industries which under proper treatment would flourish. The difference between us is that we object to economic separation between the two countries by the proposals of this Home Rule Bill, and we ask Irishmen to look forward to that scheme which we have in view by which Ireland would benefit by the joint union of Ireland with Great Britain and the Empire more than she possibly can benefit by isolation. That is the real difference between us. Therefore we are voting for this new Clause, not on the grounds which the right hon. Gentleman was pleased to attibute, not because we are inconsistent, but because it is the proper and only way by which we can give effect to our convictions.
290 We are dead against these economic arrangements which tend to separate Great Britain and Ireland. We wish that power to be reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. We wish that power to be exercised more generously in the future than it has been in the past. We say that all these admirable methods of encouraging production which the right hon. Gentleman has sketched would go on not only unchecked, but with much greater effect, if the line of policy which we are in favour of were adopted. We are against taking that power out of the control of the United Kingdom and putting it into the hands of a local Irish Parliament to which—I would not for a moment attribute motives—but which in the nature of the case, because you have different authorities dealing with the same economic districts, must necessarily lead to the separation of Ireland. It could not possibly be helped. We say keep matters in the control of the one Parliament of the United Kingdom. We do not ask Irish Members to turn their backs upon what we think is sound economics. On the contrary, we ask them to do very much the reverse, if they have to choose between the severance which is the object of the policy of the party opposite and Imperial policy of the party we represent here. There is no question—I have said it before and I say it again—now that these proposals have been put into the Home Rule Bill—there cannot be any question whatever—as to the maintenance of Free Trade between the United Kingdom and Ireland. You have to take the Empire and the United Kingdom as they arc, and Ireland will do well to fall into line with the great movements going on throughout the Empire. Join with us and you will get your prosperity, your encouragement of trade, your bounties, and you will have in addition the sense of building up instead of destroying the Empire.
Mr. W. REDMOND
I desire to say just one or two words on the Amendment, as it affects directly a young industry in Ireland in which I have taken some interest. The hon. Member who has just spoken has made an exceedingly interesting speech, but I am sure he will excuse me if I say that it has somewhat bewildered us.
Mr. W. REDMOND
It is difficult to understand how anybody holding and professing strongly, as the hon. Gentleman does, the principles of Protection—I am 291 not in the slightest degree finding fault at the attempts being made in Ireland to resuscitate industries—
§ Mr. HEWINS
I did not find fault with any of the methods sketched by the right hon. Gentleman. On the contrary, I approved of them, and recommended rather a policy which would lead to their extension and development.
Mr. W. REDMOND
I did not quite understand the speech of the hon. Gentleman in that direction, but if it be as he says, then I fail to see how he can possibly vote for the Amendment of his hon. Friend. The Amendment is opposed by us, because it undoubtedly would have the effect of preventing all those developments of which the hon. Gentleman says he approves, and which have been described by the right hon. Gentleman, the Vice-President of the Board of Agriculture in Ireland. The hon. Gentleman said that if it were in order he would sketch the exact policy of his party in reference to these matters. Most interesting as the hon. Member's speech really was, I can assure him that it would be of infinitely greater interest not only to the House, but to the whole country and to the world at large if he would only do that thing, and sketch what really is the policy of his party, because, I say it with all respect, there is on that point, to say the least of it, some little doubt at the present time in the minds of the whole world, not forgetting the journalists of his own party. All I desire to say on this point is this: What it is not, I am glad to say, proposed to do by the Amendment is to do what hon. Members above the Gang-way and their Friends did some years ago in Ireland. We all know that in Ireland a great many industries of the people were most ruthlessly and frankly destroyed in the interests of the trade of this country. Not only is this true of the woollen industry but of a great many of the industries which thrived in Ireland and for which Ireland was quite famous.
These industries were deliberately destroyed by the Acts of this Legislature, frankly, in the interests of English trade. There is nobody, no party in the House at the present time, who can approve of that. I have heard many Unionist Members declare that it was a great pity, and that it was an entirely wrong policy, to interfere with trade which was thriving in Ireland in the interests of this country, or for any other reason whatever. It is only fair to 292 say of the party on this side, as well as of the party opposite, that from time to time some efforts—not very great efforts—have been made to undo the wrong, and to help some of these industries which once thrived in Ireland to thrive again. One of those industries which thrived eighty or ninety years ago, particularly in the portion of Ireland which I had most acquaintance with, the county of Wexford, was the tobacco industry. Many many hundreds of acres were under cultivation with tobacco. Much employment was given. There are records in the Library of this House which can show that in these particular districts there was very little want, and there was plenty of work for man, woman, and child. There was a great deal of prosperity. What happened? Some traders in this country interested in tobacco came to the conclusion that the tobacco-growing industry in Ireland which was going forward quite successfully might interfere with the tobacco trade here in this country. It was alleged that Irish tobacco might be smuggled here. It was alleged that if this industry grew it might interfere with those who are interested in the tobacco plantations in America and abroad. Really for no reason in the world, except those reasons, this thriving industry was deliberately strangled by Act of Parliament. There are records in the Library here which will show that in the year 1831 everyone of the Irish Members representing all classes and shades of opinion—Mr. O'Connell was one of them—many representatives of the Conservatives in Ireland—all bitterly opposed the Bill which was brought in to make tobacco planting illegal.
Yet in face of the united protest from all parties in Ireland this House deliberately, in 1831, passed an Act of Parliament rendering it illegal and a punishable offence to grow even a single tobacco plant in Ireland. The whole industry was wiped out with the results that hundreds and thousands of men, women, and children were thrown out of employment, and it is an interesting thing to read that the chief tobacco grower in Wexford, a man who had over 500 acres under cultivation, was a Conservative Protestant gentleman who was very much attached to the Union and opposed altogether to any National spirit in Ireland. He came here to this House, and before a Committee of Parliament of that day he stated that the country was recovering from the effects of the rebellion of 293 1798, that industry was beginning to thrive, that the people were being employed, and he said that the British Parliament were preventing this industry from giving employment to the people there, which was very wrong and would cause discontent, and he protested strongly against it. In spite of that protest this industry was crashed out, the tobacco crops were seized and destroyed in Ireland. From thenceforward any man who grew tobacco was liable to prosecution and was proceeded against and fined. Of course, the people considered it a gross injustice and bitterly have complained. About six or seven years ago, after a good deal of effort, I succeeded—and I give every credit to them for it—in getting every Unionist representative in Ireland to sign a petition, which was also signed by every Nationalist representative, and which had the unique distinction of having attached to it the names of every one of the 103 representatives from Ireland, presented to the late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman to give facilities for the passage of a Bill to repeal the prohibition against tobacco growing in Ireland.
Mr. W. REDMOND
Sometimes he did; and the hon. Gentleman himself smokes, and he looks better when he is smoking. As a result of that unique petition—I do not think there ever was such a one before, but I hope there will be again—the Bill passed through the House of Commons. It was a very difficult thing for a private Member to get that done. There was very little time, and I had to wait night after night, but eventually it did pass this House and the House of Lords and got the Royal Assent, and after seventy years the prohibition against tobacco growing in Ireland was removed. Then at once experiments began to be made. In different parts of the country gentlemen interested, farmers, and people of all classes began to cultivate tobacco with great success. Before that time the hon. Member for York (Mr. Butcher), a member of the Unionist party, went with me to the late Mr. Ritchie, who was at that time Chancellor of the Exchequer, and pointed out to him how this industry was destroyed by Act of Parliament, which was a great injustice, and that efforts would be made to resuscitate it and we asked him to give us some help in the matter. He inquired into it, and he did the very thing which this Amendment now proposes to undo. 294 He gave us what if you like was a bounty. The duty on tobacco at that time was 3s. a pound, and he said, "I will return you 1s. so you will have a bounty to that extent to help you to reorganise this industry, and to prove if successful efforts can be made to cultivate tobacco in Ireland." Later on, when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcester (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) was Chancellor of the Exchequer he renewed it. That was what was done in the first instance by the Conservative party. When the present Prime Minister was. Chancellor of the Exchequer under Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, we went to him when the limited numbers of years to which the bounty extended had expired for the remission of the duty, and he continued it for a few years more, and the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, seeing that the industry was going to be successful, nearly doubled the amount.
§ Mr. RUSSELL
No. He abolished the rebate of a shilling, which amounted to about £5,000, and he gave a sum amounting to £6,000 a year for educational purposes in connection with tobacco growing.
Mr. W. REDMOND
Yes. Perhaps it is not quite accurate to say that he doubled the remission of duty, but in another way he doubled the amount of money available for the encouragement of this industry, and then subsequently he said that when the number of years for which this sum for encouragement had expired, he could not do any more.
Mr. W. REDMOND
I am not absolutely certain, but I think it was 1906 or 1907. It is quite easy to find it. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer then said he could not continue the old system and referred us to the Development Commission. The Department of Agriculture in Ireland with the Irish tobacco growers went to the Development Commissioners and made their case. They showed that this industry gave great employment to men, women, and children at the time of the year between the planting of the crops and the reaping of the harvest when the country people were quite idle and when they might be employed in the cultivation of tobacco growing, and so impressed were the Development Commissioners, all of them British except one Irishman, with the possibility of this industry that they 295 granted to the Department of Agriculture in Ireland a sum of £7,000 to be expended for ten years for the purpose not in reality of giving a bounty at all, but for the purpose of giving full and ample and complete opportunities for experiment to see whether this industry could be proved to be successful. It was stated quite frankly by those interested that after a certain number of years they believed the industry would stand upon its own legs. I do not suppose that anyone ever thought that the tobacco industry in Ireland, if it was to become a continuous industry was to be always fed by bounties and it was felt that once the movement was set going and that the people had learned the business of tobacco growing, there was every prospect of a sound industry being built up as it was built up many years before. At the present time that money is available and as the Department of Agriculture knows it is administered with every hope of success.
As I understand it, if this Amendment was carried, it would be impossible under Home Rule for that scheme to be carried forward. Surely there is no one in this House, however much opposed to Home Rule, who would like to support an Amendment which would have the effect of stopping this industry in which a great many of their own party are interested as well as Nationalists. If this Amendment means anything it means it would make this industry impossible, and therefore I hope nobody interested in this matter in Ireland will support this Amendment. Under the Congested Districts Board industries were encouraged by both parties in this House. This industry is now beginning to revive, and from the point of view of all partes in Ireland it would be an absurd thing, and a monstrous injustice to have an Amendment grafted on to the Home Rule Bill which would make this revival of industry in Ireland impossible. I hope hon. Gentlemen will not support this Amendment. I would remind the House that it is only a short time ago since they voted not merely for a limited bounty to enable experiments to be tried, but they themselves proposed a bounty in support of an Amendment to the Budget which would have had the effect of reducing the Tobacco Duty in Ireland by one-half. The hon. Member says that he does not want to make any distinction between Great Britain and Ireland, but in the Budget they propose that the Tobacco Duty in Great Britain should be what it is, while the duty 296 in Ireland should be one-half that amount. If they did that at the time of the Budget I cannot see with what consistency they can now support this Amendment. I hope nothing will be done by them to undo what is really rather a good record as far as Irish tobacco is concerned, on the part of their party. They joined with the Liberal party in helping this movement to be revived, and I hope that that friendly cooperation on the part of both parties will continue, and if it does the result will be that in years to come there will be many thousands of happy men and women in Ireland who will find employment in this trade, who otherwise would be obliged to emigrate and go to a foreign land.
§ Mr. HUGH BARRIE
We always listen to the hon. Member for Clare with pleasure when he is dealing with the subject of the revival of the tobacco industry in Ireland, and we desire to give him every credit for what he has done in the past; but if our present support is to be used as a reason why we should openly and knowingly give the Irish Parliament free and unlimited powers to grant bounties to all forms of industries in Ireland, then the time has come when it is necessary for Unionist Members to say that we cannot further continue the support we have given in the past to hon. Members. With regard to the speech made by the Vice-President of the Irish Department of Agriculture I had not intended to intervene but for the personal references that he made to myself. I do not complain of them, but I am bound to say that when he challenges me I shall go into the Lobby in support of this new Clause without the slightest reluctance and with a full sense that I am only performing my duty in so doing. We welcome the return of the right hon. Gentleman into these Debates, in which he has been in the past only conspicuous by his consistent votes, and by a comparatively remarkable absence from intervention in the Debates. The right hon. Gentleman has been pleading for consistent action on our part, but I think it was rather unfortunate that he should have made such an appeal to me. He tried to make out that any vote given in favour of this new Clause would be a vote of censure on the Irish Department of Agriculture. I was glad that even the right hon. Gentleman at this late day in his political career should have felt it necessary to express a word of praise to the founder of that Department for the splendid work which he has done, 297 and which we hope the Department will long continue to do in Ireland.
§ Mr. BARRIE
I disagree entirely with the hon. Member's statement. This new Clause is directed against giving the Irish Parliament power to subsidise industries by way of bounties, and the right hon. Gentleman was put forward to try and draw the red-herring across the trail, and to make out that the Grants-in-Aid given under the work of that Department are really bounties. The right hon. Gentleman stated that he had personal knowledge of the effect which these Grants-in-Aid have, and the work which is being done by them in all the counties in Ireland, and he referred with pride to the fact that every county in Ireland is engaged in this work. As a member of the Agricultural Council, and as chairman of the board which conducts this work in my own county, I can claim some particular knowledge of this subject. What is the process? First of all, we are asked to strike a rate, and if we do so we get a Grant-in-Aid from the Department, which is spent, not by way of bounties or subsidies, but entirely upon educational work, which I am sure hon. Members below the Gangway will be the first to acknowledge as being of the highest value. Not one penny of that money has ever been spent to subsidise an industry since the right hon. Gentleman came into office. I can speak with some knowledge of my own county, and I say that there would be a unanimous refusal on the part of my committee to subsidise any industry. In the North of Ireland we should not think of doing anything of the kind. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his own Government within the last three years passed an Act that gives power in England to county councils to do somewhat similar work, and when they do it they are entitled to receive a Grant-in-Aid from the Government? Is he not aware that in Scotland there is a public demand for the same form of a Grant-in-Aid in order that the same valuable work may be carried forward there? It is a distortion of terms to suggest that these are bounties. I am glad that under a Radical Government the policy of these Grants-in-Aid has been continued. I am not sure that all forms of expenditure of the Irish Department are so valuable or useful or can show such immediately beneficial results as the Grant-in-Aid to which 298 I have referred. By these Grants you give the tenants instruction in all forms of agriculture, and another Grant is given because of the standard of proficiency obtained in the technical schools. It is absolute misrepresentation to describe these Grants as at all appertaining to anything of the character of bounties.
With regard to the Grant-in-Aid of the fisheries, that is work which I agree was altogether neglected for too long, and the amount allocated to that work is still insufficient for present needs. It cannot, again, be described as in any form a bounty. I have never heard it so described before, and I do not think hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway will so describe it. I am not aware that at the present moment any money of the Agricultural Department is being spent in a form that can fairly or legitimately be described as bounties except the Grant-in-Aid of the growth of tobacco. Why do we draw this sharp discrimination and why do we think it necessary to support this proposed new Clause? I give my reasons again with reluctance, but I give them with sincerity. We have many expressions on record showing hostility to and jealousy of flourishing industries in the province of Ulster. I have in my limited time heard in this House repeated references from the benches below the Gangway to the fact that one of Ulster's industries, the great flax industry, thrived because of former bounties received to help to establish it, and the cry has always been that similar bounties should be granted to other parts of Ireland for other purposes. I know there is that hostility. We have had it expressed in different parts of the country that immediately the new Parliament is set up the time will have come when that wrong will be capable of rectification, and we actually know the particular industries that are so intended to be spoon-fed and to receive the support of the bounties which the right hon. Gentleman is so concerned the Irish Parliament should not by any action of ours on these benches be debarred from granting. I presume the right hon. Gentleman has studied the Home Rule Bill and knows the financial position of that Parliament, if it ever comes into existence, will be highly precarious. We know the money to grant these bounties can only come from the province of Ulster, and that those industries, when established, must be detrimental to the industries of Ulster, utterly independent of 299 any form of bounty from any Government whatsoever.
Finally, our real objection to this Parliament having this power is that we under any circumstances would have no countenance in its administration. I have said before I take only an academic interest in these Debates because I realise the farce of the whole proceedings connected with them, but I do realise that if there is one thing more certain than another it is that what we have understood as the methods of Tammany Hall would be mild as compared with the methods of any Parliament to be set up in Dublin. Our only objection to bounties is that under this Bill they would pass into the hands of men whom we cannot trust, and whom we have no right to be asked to trust. We entirely approve of a system of carefully selected bounties to foster in their initial stages different industries—and the need of Ireland is for more industries—so long as they are under Imperial control, and so long as there is a Member sitting on these Benches who can be called to account for the manner in which he has permitted the expenditure. That is the reason why we support this new Clause and why, as I have said, I shall give my vote in favour of it regardless of the threat which the right hon. Gentleman has thought fit to utter, that I shall be called to account at the next meeting of the Irish Council of Agriculture. May I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that it was a mistake to use threats in these days of conciliation; they are out of place at this particular time. I am prepared to give my vote in support of the Amendment, and I shall only make one stipulation. When I rise to defend it, I hope I shall have somewhat more fair play from the Chairman of that Council than I have received in the past when I have ventured to differ from him on important public matters.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BIGLAND
Some of us on this side of the House feel a little difficulty in saying we are prepared to vote for this new-Clause. I am in favour of bounties that are reasonably and rightly given to foster industries, and I trust the hon. Member for Clare (Mr. William Redmond), who spoke so feelingly on the question of the tobacco industry, will not imagine that any Member on the Conservative Benches would for a moment deprecate what has been done or be so mean as not to go a great deal further than the present Chancellor of the 300 Exchequer is doing. I consider it is rather a mean and small matter to grant this subsidy to the tobacco industry and to limit it both in time and amount to the extent that has been made. I, for one, take the charge he has laid to us as being the son of a man who probably in his years voted for many measures which have been hurtful to Ireland in the past, and I am one of those who stood up and said it is now our duty, as Englishmen, to see if it is possible we can in some way give back with a full hand to the people of Ireland that prosperity and wealth which we know the country is capable of producing. The hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. Hewins), if he had been allowed and if he had been in order, would undoubtedly have been prepared to have outlined some of the things which we in our policy of the future are prepared to give to the agricultural interest in Ireland as well as to the agricultural interest in this country. I know it would be quite possible for us to do a great deal more than Ireland will ever be able to do by the subsidising of her own home industries from the Parliament in Dublin. I would like to give a reason why I shall support this new Clause. The Mover of it made one statement which seems to have been overlooked. He said if this new Clause is not put into the Bill the result will most positively be an increase of bitterness, and I would almost say of malice, between the people of Ireland and the people of England. One instance of a bounty came within my own cognisance in business. It was a bounty given by the Government in Australia, and it might have been said it was not a bounty but a prize. Dairies which produce butter that realised a certain price on the London markets were to receive £9 per ton from the Government of Australia in return for having produced a very high-class article. The effect of that is felt to this very day, and in one steamer alone, the "Ionic," Which is to reach London on the 6th February, there are coming 1,350 tons of butter as a direct outcome of this bounty given in Australia. That is an instance of what the bounty will do to develop an infant industry. We have had a wonderful review to-night from the Vice-President of the Board of Agriculture for Ireland as to what it is possible to do by giving very small bounties. I sincerely trust that in many ways the future of the United Kingdom will see many such assistances from the Government to industries that need help for a certain period of time. But it is not with any idea of that we are 301 going to support this Amendment. It must be evident to all hon. Members that the Development Committee will still be able to give Grants whether there is Home Rule or not. I understand that the powers they are to exercise are absolutely above and beyond the grant of Home Rule. They have still a large amount at their disposal to help forward any industry in Ireland, and the Grants they are enabled to make will not be withheld by reason of the fact that there is an Executive in Dublin.
The difficulty will arise in this way. Suppose that the Executive of the Irish Parliament say it would be very desirable that the farmers should not export immature cattle, but they should bring them up to their full weight and then ship them over to England. They might offer them a sum, say, of £5 per head for animals over a certain weight when sent across to Great Britain. That would encourage the feeding of animals on Irish farms, and would be a great encouragement of the industry as well. But when they came over to England and had to compete with animals from English farms in the Manchester, Bradford, and other markets there would naturally be jealousy by reason of the fact that the Irish cattle were brought to market under more favourable conditions. I can quite understand jealousies between English and Irish agriculturists becoming very intense, and efforts might be made to prohibit fat cattle coming here under such conditions. May I point out that if there were a prohibition of Irish livestock and dairy produce for even only one month, the half of Ireland would be ruined, and that retaliation would be the certain result if this Clause is not inserted?
If the Irish Parliament in the future sees right to give a sum to help the industry forward in such a way, the jealousies of the whole of the farmers of Great Britain would be aroused to such an extent that they would probably send their representatives to this House to ask for an Order prohibiting the importation of Irish animals and Irish stock into this country until a change had been made in the conditions. I think we have very good reason for saying if no such Clause as this is put into the Bill there will be malice, bitterness, and jealousy arising between the two countries. These matters should all be dealt with out of one pocket and by one authority. There is no intention to stop the industries of Ireland being helped. We will do all we can in every possible way to assist them. The records 302 mentioned to-night show how Conservative as well as Liberal Chancellors of the Exchequer in the past have done their best to help forward Irish industries. We are all prepared in this House to see that more than justice is done to Ireland, but we want her to still remain a part of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. MOORE
I did not hear the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Agricultural Department for Ireland, and I am not going to express any regret for that, because I do not generally listen to his speeches if I can possibly help it. But I have heard that he threatened certain things against Ulster Members if they chose to vote for this Amendment. Has he forgotten his own experience in Lister? If he had not done so I do not think he would have ventured to utter those threats. Here we have a case where a Government, boasting of its adherence to Free Trade principles show that they do not believe sufficiently in their own doctrine to say that the Government they are setting up in Ireland shall also adhere to those doctrines. If Ireland is to be part of the United Kingdom after this Bill is passed it surely would be inconsistent for the Irish Government to grant bounties. It might be consistent if they were to be allowed to have a separate fiscal system, and if they were to be allowed to start a protective system so far as bounties are concerned. That is my first point.
The second point is that if these bounties are to be given the Government are careful to provide that they shall not find the money for them. We have had laid before us by the Postmaster-General the annual income of the Irish Parliament, and I do not think I am mis-stating the case when I say that the provision does not allow for follies or vagaries or extravagances, seeing that the annual surplus will not exceed £500,000. The Chief Secretary has stated that it is going to be a tight fit, and I for one do not think there is going to be much out of which provision can be made for bounties. Therefore, if the Irish Government decide to grant any bounties they will have to do so out of their own taxation, and I do not think it is likely bounties will be given under such circumstances. I am not going into the technical distinction between bounties and Grants-in-Aid. To my mind they are exactly the same thing. The difference only arises when you come 303 to apply them. I am not dealing with that now.
I am quite sure that there will be a great demand for bounties in Ireland. The old Irish Parliament created a great many industries by means of bounties, and it is a system which, so far as it has a history attached to it, will be quite popular. At the present day there is a great deal of feeling in Ireland as regards trade matters. I come from that part of the country where the staple agricultural industry is potato growing. The prices vary from £2 10s. to £4 a ton in various seasons, the price being largely affected by the demand in America. Our farmers at home have complained again and again that it is a very great hardship if a ton of potatoes is sent, to New York that a duty of 37s. 6d. or 38s. per ton has to be paid before the American consumer is allowed to enjoy them. There will be a demand for bounties because bounties are the only way in which the Irish Parliament can assist those who get their living by growing potatoes. The Irish Parliament cannot make trade treaties with other nations, and if they want to equalise these grievances the only power they will have is that of granting bounties. There will be a demand on the Irish Parliament to grant bounties for various home industries. Especially will that be the case when one comes to consider the proportion of urban to rural members in this ridiculous Schedule. There will be thirty-four urban Members out of the 100 who will determine what the financial policy is to be. There will be great pressure from the overwhelming agricultural voles in the Irish Parliament for something in the nature of bounties, which is the only commercial help they will be able to give, seeing there is no right to make trade treaties. If there are to be bounties, they can only be given through Irish taxation. There you come back to the crux of the whole business. The large agricultural majority in the Irish Parliament is derived from that part of the country which pays the least taxation. You will have the minority in the North of Ireland, who pay two-thirds of the taxation. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Two-thirds and nearly three-fourths of the Customs revenue of Ireland is paid by the Port of Belfast—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—and collected from Belfast industries.
I take out Cork, Limerick, and Water-ford, and out of thirty-four Members, you 304 will perhaps have twenty representing the North-East industrial end of the country which will pay the greater bulk of the taxation, in a Parliament where the majority of the people who claim bounties will represent agriculturalists who pay very little taxtaion. Considering that we have an artisan population and capital sunk in industries giving employment, and that we make the main contribution to the revenue of the country, we are quite justified, in spite of the silly threats of the Vice-President, in voting for this Clause. We are to be the people who are to contribute the bulk of this taxation, and may have to contribute all of it, because the agricultural Members are not going to vote for paying it. It is not in human nature. Yet we are to have only twenty voices in an Assembly of 160 Members which grants these bounties. We shall have to trust to the administration of the class of Members who will be in sympathy with hon. Members below the Gangway as to what is wrung from us by taxation. Knowing the past financial history of Ireland—I say nothing about its political history—I think it would be a mischievous thing to give the Nationalist Parliament the power to administer Unionist money by giving bounties to certain trades. There is a great deal of lace made in convents. I think it is very creditable to the Nationalist Members from their point of view, and I take off my hat to them for it, that they have always been loyal to the convents. They have always prevented any inspection or trade regulations being applied to them, because they say they are outside the ordinary law. I suppose they will keep them outside the ordinary law under the Irish Parliament. I do not blame them for it, because they will be consistent. It will be very easy for them to grant a bounty. If somebody got up and said that there should be a farthing a yard bounty upon convent-made lace, how many of them would dare to get up in the Irish House of Commons and oppose it? They dare not do it. We have set up in the North industries making Swiss embroidery. You may get a proposal to give a bounty to convent-made lace, which will not be given to the lace made by hand in the North of Ireland. That is only an instance. I am fair enough to admit that it may be an extreme instance. There are industries which will be specially favoured by the Nationalist party, and which will be spoon-fed at the expense of Protestant industries, or industries in the Protestant part of the country 305 Tobacco is spoon-fed at present, because the Nationalists support it. They only support it because it will not grow in the North of Ireland. I have never seen the least enthusiasm on the part of the Nationalist party to get fair play for Irish potatoes in any market, or to lift a finger to get a bounty for Irish flax. If their part of the country were not interested in tobacco, they would not move in the matter.
§ Mr. MOORE
I do not think you are. Anyone would tell the hon. Member that the export trade in potatoes is nearly all derived from the Northern counties. The Midlands are a great cattle country, the South-West is a dairy country, and Wexford perhaps is an agricultural county. I am not overstating the case when I say that the bulk of the export trade in potatoes is done in the north. I do a little myself. I am not talking of the early potatoes for the Dublin market. It is a question of export so far as this matter is concerned. Here we are under your scheme having no effective representation in the new House of Commons. If we have no effective representation it gives the sole administration into their hands. If we could trust them I should not have the least objection to the Amendment. We have never
§ pretended we could trust them. I do not do it now. But if your belief is that they will spoon feed trades in which the South and West are interested, as they certainly would, and think nothing of penalising ours, which they certainly would not, it is perfectly plain why we should support this Amendment and come down to this, not that we object to bounties, but that if there are to be bounties, if there are to be trade regulations, let them be dealt with, under the impartial administration of the Imperial Parliament and not by a packed Nationlist majority in this bogus Chamber you are setting up in Dublin.
§ Mr. KING
I am sure the House must feel very much indebted to the horn Gentleman. He has put life again into a flagging Debate and he has averted that catastrophe—another Division at an inconvenient time. I hope those in the House and those who are enjoying the after-dinner siesta or cigar outside the House equally feel grateful to him.
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 102; Noes, 252.307
|Division No. 474.]||AYES.||[9.30 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Moore, William|
|Astor, Waldorf||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Newman, John R. P.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gardner, Ernest||Nield, Herbert|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gibbs, George Abraham||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Barnston, Harry||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Goldsmith, Frank||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Bathurst. Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peet|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Gretton, John||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Boyton, James||Harris, Henry Percy||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Helmsley, Viscount||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Swift, Rigby|
|Butcher, John George||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hoare, S. J. G.||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Carlile. Sir Edward Hildred||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Thynne, Lord A.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Horner, Andrew Long||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Valentia, Viscount|
|Collinos, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Hunt, Rowland||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Kimber, Sir Henry||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Larmor, Sir J.||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lewisham, Viscount||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Croft, H. P.||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Dixon, C. H.||Macmaster, Donald|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Magnus, Sir Philip||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Malcolm, Ian||Goldman and Mr. G. Locker-|
|Fell, Arthur||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Lampson,|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Hancock, J. G.||O'Malley, William|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Harcourt. Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Adamson, William||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Shee, James John|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Suilivan, Timothy|
|Alden, Percy||Hayden, John Patrick||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Hayward, Evan||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Hazleton, Richard||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Armitage, Robert||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Hemmerde, Edward George||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Barnes, G. N.||Henry, Sir Charles||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Higham, John Sharp||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hinds, John||Priestley, Sir W. E. (Bradford)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hodgs, John||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Boland, John Plus||Hogge, James Myles||Radford, G. H.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Reddy, M.|
|Brace, William||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Hudson, Walter||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hughes, S. L.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Rendall, Atheistan|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||John, Edward Thomas||Richards, Thomas|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Jowett, F. W.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Joyce, Michael||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Chappie, Dr. William Allen||Keating, Matthew||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Kellaway, Frederick George||Robinson, Sidney|
|Clough, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Clynes, John R.||Kilbride, Denis||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||King, J. (Somerset North)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)||Rowlands, James|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Rowntree. Arnold|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Leach, Charles||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Crean, Eugene||Levy, Sir Maurice||ScanIan, Thomas|
|Crooks, William||Lewis, John Herbert||Sheehy, David|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Cullinan, John||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Shortt, Edward|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Lundon, Thomas||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|Davies. Ellis William (Eifion)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lines, Louth)||Lynch, A. A.||Snowden, Philip|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Dawes, J. A.||McGhee, Richard||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Delany, William||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Sutton, John E.|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Macpherson, James Ian||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Dillon, John||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Tennant, Harold John|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Thomas, James Henry|
|Doris, William||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Duffy, William J.||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding)||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Edwards, John High (Glamorgan, Mid)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Meagher, Michael||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Esslemont, George Birnle||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes.Ince)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Millar, James Duncan||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Molloy. Michael||Wardle, George J.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Molteno, Percy Alport||Waring, Walter|
|Field, William||Morgan, George Hay||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Fitzglbbon, John||Morison, Hector||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Furness, Stephen||Muldoon, John||Webb, H.|
|George, Rt Hon. D. Lloyd||Munro, R.||White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)|
|Gilhooly, James||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Gill, A. H.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Ginnell, Laurence||Neilson, Francis||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Nolan, Joseph||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Glanville. H. J.||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Goldstone, Frank||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Guest, Hon. Maior C. H. C. (Pembroke)||O'Doherty, Philip||Winfrey, Richard|
|Guest. Hon. Frederick E, (Dorset, E.)||O'Donnell, Thomas||Wood, Rt. Hen. T. McKinnon (Glas)|
|Gulney, Patrick||O'Dowd, John||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||O'Grady, James|
|Hackett, John||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Wall, Frederick (Normanton)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
Question, "That the Question be now put," put, and agreed to.