§ "(1) It shall be lawful for His Majesty in Council by Proclamation made at any time of Or during the existence of a state of war or of national emergency to suspend the exercise of executive power in Ireland by the Lord Lieutenant on the advice of the Executive Committee for such period as may be specified in the Proclamation, and during that period all executive power in Ireland shall be exercised without reference to the Executive Committee, and the Lord Lieutenant and the heads and officers of Irish Departments shall comply with any directions that may be given by His Majesty as regards Irish services.
§ (2) If any head, or officer, or servant, of an Irish Department neglects or refuses to comply with any directions given by His Majesty, in pursuance of the provisions of this Section, he may be removed from his office by His Majesty in Council, and His Majesty in Council may appoint another person to fill the vacancy so caused.
§ (3) All expenditure incurred in the administration of Irish services under the provision of this Section, and which are paid out of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, shall be made good by means of deductions from the Transferred Sum under this Act in accordance with Regulations made by the Treasury."—[Mr. James Hope.]
§ Motion made, and Question again proposed, "that the Clause be read a second time." Debate resumed.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
I think it is very generally felt on this side of the House that the extremely plausible case made out yesterday by my hon. Friend, who moved this Clause, deserved a fuller answer than it has yet received from the Front Bench opposite, and if the Government intend to insist upon the rejection of this Amendment a fuller justification for taking that course ought to be forthcoming. My hon. Friend who moved the Clause gave a number of 210 examples of ways in which it appeared likely that in time of national emergency during a war or when war might be apprehended danger might occur owing to conflict or friction, or at all events an absence of complete co-operation between the Imperial Government, who would be responsible for military measures, and the civil authority in Ireland which would be in the hands of the local Parliament and the local Executive. My hon. Friend referred, among other subjects, to the-Post Office. I do not want to go into that question again, but I should like to say that I for one entirely agree with the criticism which my hon. Friend passed upon the Government Amendment for dealing with the Post Office, which I think is entirely inadequate for the purpose intended. My hon. Friend spoke of such? matters as the control of the Press and the administration of the railways in time of war, and following him my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Torquay (Colonel Burn) speaking with a military-knowledge which I personally cannot claim, pointed out that in time of war, or when war is imminent, there might be a great number of matters connected with mobilisation and the necessary means for carrying them out, in which difficulties might arise with the local Executive authority. What was the reply to those criticisms given by the Postmaster-General? He practically contented himself by replying that all those matters were covered by the general words of the Bill, and he especially laid stress on this paragraph:—That the Irish Executive would have no power to deal with matters which were not within the competence of the Irish Parliament, and that those matters-included the Navy, the Army, the Territorial Force, or any other naval or military force for the defence of the-realm, or any other naval Or military matter.The words which the right hon. Gentleman specially laid stress upon in answer to a question were, "The defence of the realm, or any other naval or military matter." I do not know whether the view which the Postmaster-General put forward would be endorsed by the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General. I would like to ask them, supposing a difficulty arose over the administration of the railways, whether nationalised or remaining in the hands of private companies, could that possibly be held to be covered by the words, "defence of the realm, or any other military or naval matter." Would it be possible under those circumstances for the Imperial Government to take into their hands the 211 necessary administration of the railways? "What would be the result in a time of great national crisis if the interpretation of those words was disputed by the local authority in Ireland. The necessity would arise of referring the matter to the Privy Council for 'decision, and no actual step which ex hypothesi would require to be secretly and rapidly dealt with could be undertaken until it had been decided by a competent authority in Ireland, whether the very wide interpretation put upon those words by the Postmaster-General was or was not the true interpretation of the Statute. Then the right hon. Gentleman, on this particular point of the railways, later on in his speech relied upon the existence of Acts of Parliament at the present time giving power to the Imperial Parliament in time of war. He said there is the Regulation of Railways Act, 1871, and the National Defence Act of 1888, which gives power to the Secretary of State in time of emergency to assume control of all the railroads of the United Kingdom. He says those Acts would still be applicable to Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman does not contest the fact that it is open at any moment after the passing of this Bill to the Parliament in Ireland to repeal or alter these Acts in any way they think fit. Therefore, in time of emergency it would be necessary for the Imperial Parliament, which would still, I admit, have the power under this Bill of legislating for Ireland, in all the stress of a national emergency to repass the provisions of these Acts applicable to Ireland. It appears to me -that for the particular purpose we have in -view it would be idle to rely upon provisions of Acts of Parliament at present in existence and which it would always be open to the Irish Parliament to repeal. Passing from those particular examples given by my hon. Friend the Postmaster-General took much wider ground. He traversed the whole principle upon which this Amendment is recommended to the House. Of course, the principle upon -which my hon. Friend moved his Amendment and upon which we support it is that in time of war and of emergency it is a source of weakness to have the civil authority decentralised. That is the position which the right hon. Gentleman denies, and the words he uses are very dogmatic. He says:—It is a profound error to think that the more centralised the Government is the stronger it is."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th December, 1912, col. 168.]212 Of course, that is, at all events, an arguable constitutional proposition in ordinary times of peace, and, whatever our opinions may be upon it individually, none of us are concerned at the present time to argue the point. But can it be said it is equally true in time of war and in time of emergency when war is imminent, to say a Government is equally strong whether it is centralised or decentralised? I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that in holding that view he certainly finds himself in conflict with a number of very eminent authorities, both ancient and modern. It is a matter of common knowledge that in the most democratic period of the Roman Republic they recognised the necessity in time of war of transferring the power of their democratic State temporarily into the hands of a dictator, and the same idea, the idea that in time of war a strong centralised Government is the strongest and best for the safety of the State has been supported in modern times by political philosophers of repute, men like Stein on the Continent, and Burke in this country. The general position which the right hon. Gentleman laid down has certainly not got the support of those, both in the ancient and modern world, who have devoted the greatest genius to the consideration of political constitutions. If I may quote the authority of more practical modern men who have had to deal with these matters, I suppose it is common ground there is no State in the modern world which so far as preparations for war and civil administration during the time of war is concerned has proved so successful as the German Empire, and it has been very clearly laid down both by Bismarck, as a civil administrator, and by Von Moltke, as a military authority, that centralised control is best for the safety of the State in time of war and of emergency. It is quite true that in the German Empire owing to the circumstances of its federation an extreme centralised form of government in time of war will hardly be realised, but Von Moltke laid it down that in his opinion one of the chief secrets of the extraordinary military success of Napoleon was that in time of war he held all the threads of civil administration. Then, to refer to another statesman whose authority will have some weight in these matters, the right hon. Gentleman is no doubt aware of and will remember the very strong opinion expressed by Cavour upon two 213 occasions, once when he was contesting the Republican principles of Mazzini and on another occasion when he was insisting on the union of Naples with Piedmont. Cavour insisted upon centralised administration in Italy during the times which were looming ahead, and during which he foresaw the possibility of much war as a necessity of the continued existence of the country. Of course, it is no doubt a very happy circumstance for Cavour that he did not live long enough to know he had the misfortune to differ from the Postmaster-General.
There have been others in our own country and amongst those speaking our? own language in modern times whose authority is not altogether to be neglected, although perhaps not so preeminent as those I have already quoted. I would merely mention the well-known opinions of Lord Wolseley. Upon this very subject of Home Rule for Ireland, speaking as a soldier, he declared that the granting of Home Rule would be full of military danger to the Empire, and it is obvious, if that danger exists at all, it must be intensified by any division of the control of the civil authority in time of war. And Admiral Mahan, in the same way, has pointed out that it would be a naval danger to this country, even assuming, as my hon. Friend assumed, that the authority exercising the civil power in Ireland would be whole-heartedly loyal to the good of the Empire. That was Mahan's assumption, and of course his contention would be a fortiori true if there could be any doubt about that loyalty. It is not very surprising the right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General should venture to lay down as a general proposition something which is entirely at variance, as I maintain, with the greatest men of ancient and modern times upon this subject, because, as we all know, we are blessed at the present time with a Government so packed with genius that there is no Under-Secretary so insignificant that he is not prepared to instruct Lord Roberts upon questions of strategy. My hon. Friend, in moving the Amendment, brought the matter very near home by quoting examples, within the memory of all of us in this House, of the difficulties which occurred in South Africa at the time of the war both in Natal and in Cape Colony, and he laid stress upon the fact that those difficulties, which undoubtedly 214 hampered the administration of the military authorities in that country, were difficulties which arose where the subordinate civil authorities were absolutely loyal to this country. Without any disloyalty, we all know, as a matter of history, that when the country is unfortunate enough to find itself about to go to war there is usually a minority who hold a different opinion as to the justice or expediency of that war. The right hon. Gentleman quoted, for another purpose, Charles James Fox. We all know that Fox, during the Napoleonic war, was hostile to the war policy of this country. But let us come to more modern times and take the case of the Boer war. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and others showed themselves hostile to the policy of this country on that occasion. It was the same in the case of Mr. Bright at the time of the Crimean war. These, however, are only examples of the fact that no matter how united a nation may be there is always likely to be a minority opposed to war. In a united and Imperial House such a minority may not do very much damage; it may be unpatriotic but it cannot do much harm. During the American War of Independence there was a strong body in the Irish Parliament of that day hostile to this country. Chatham took up the same attitude in this country, but that is only another example of these differences of opinion. But so long as the difference is only that of a minority in a united House, necessarily controlled by a representative majority in the country at large, no serious injury is done. But if the minority as a whole is a majority in an isolated area, in a subordinate Parliament the damage it may inflict on the country is very serious indeed.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
Is the hon. Member proposing the suspension of the Constitution in our self-governing Colonies?
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
I have no such idea in my mind. The same question was brought up by the Postmaster-General yesterday, and certainly, as far as my opinion goes, they would not be likely to express a hostile opinion to this country, as might be the case with Ireland. But they are not part and parcel of the United Kingdom: they have never till recently been reckoned among the fighting forces of the Empire. This appears to me to be a serious danger in the case of a separate Parliament. The minority in the case of Ireland would 215 represent only one-fifteenth of the United Kingdom, yet it would be in a position to direct a separate Executive Government and to give effect to its opinions. All that is even on the assumption that, in the ease of Ireland, a subordinate Parliament would have behind it those who would be as loyal as the Government of Natal was in 1899. But I am not prepared, merely in order to say pleasant things to my hon. Friends below the Gangway, to make that assumption. I know a great deal too much about feeling in Ireland to make the assumption that if this country were in any difficulty they would for the first time for a long period abandon the view that "England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity." The right hon. Gentleman yesterday quoted the history of Grattan's Parliament. He said it supplied an example of the loyalty of the Irish Parliament to the Empire because one of its first acts after receiving extended powers was to vote Supplies for a war in which this country was at the time engaged. I quite admit that. But hon. Members must know that Grattan was distinguished for two political qualities above all others. He was distinguished for his loyalty to the English connection and for his detestation of democracy in all 'forms. Grattan's Parliament was not a democratic Parliament at all, and I entirely question, as a matter of fact, whether the mass of the people outside that Parliament were loyal at that time. My hon. Friend, the Member for Torquay quoted in his speech yesterday the opinion of Napoleon that the French Expedition of 1796 would have been successful with a little more luck and better weather. The same opinion was held in Ireland. There is a letter written at that time by a member of the Beresford family, in which the opinion is expressed that owing to the favourable reception by the native Irish in the South of Ireland at that time the French, with a little better seamanship and a little better weather, might have gained Ireland. But that would have been impossible if there had been that loyalty which the right hon. Gentleman thinks exists in Ireland at the present moment. We are told that we have only to pass the Home Rule Bill and the Irish people will immediately become loyal—we are, in fact, to have a union of hearts. That may be the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman, but I hope it will not be 216 taken to be disrespectful if I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman is not so well qualified for indulging in prophecy as the most famous of his namesakes. We are told that the movement to-day is the same as the movement of O'Neill, Wolf Tone, and Robert Emmet. But the hon. and learned Member for Waterford the other day repeated that he was carrying out the movement of men like Wolf Tone and Robert Emmet. But we have on record Wolf Tone's interview with Napoleon Buonaparte, in which an invitation was extended by him to Buonaparte to invade Ireland, and we have, too, the fact that Emmet on the scaffold avowed that he had invited a French invasion of his native country. That is our example of what Irish disloyalty has done in the past. You may or may not condemn them, but surely it is idle, when hon. Members who are leading the majority of Irish opinion at the present day are telling us from time to time that these historical examples are the ones they still hold up to veneration, and which they are still proud to follow, to tell us that when this Bill passes all this disloyalty will disappear. The Secretary of State for War quoted Grattan's Parliament.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
Well, somebody on the other side quoted Grattan's Parliament in this connection. Grattan's Parliament was a concession in its day to Irish opinion quite comparable with the concession now being made by the Government. That concession of Grattan's Parliament had a very slight effect in conciliating Irish opinion, for it was within a very few years after the granting of it that the greatest rebellion in Irish history took place. I was about to misquote the Secretary of State for War. I hope my next shot will be a better one. He went on to state that he spoke for the Government. We all took it for granted that the right hon. Gentleman was speaking for the Government, but was he speaking for the whole of the Government, or only for the Cabinet when he said the passage of this Bill would really strengthen us in time of war? It would be reassuring if we could be informed that he had taken into consultation the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. If he was only speaking for the Cabinet, we have to assume that that great authority was left uncon-sulted. I notice that although the right 217 hon. Gentleman was specifically asked whether he spoke for the Government and for the Committee of Imperial Defence, in his reply he was careful to say that he spoke for the Government, and said nothing about the Committee of Imperial Defence. Unless the right hon. Gentleman can tell us that that was merely an omission, and that he has behind him the authority of the Committee of Imperial Defence, we must conclude that those were the unaided reflections of the civilians who occupy the Front Bench opposite, which have not any high military authority behind them. A very strange argument the right hon. Gentleman used was this: He said, "You talk about Irish disloyalty in the time of the Boer war. You must not lay stress on the fact that hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway cheered to the echo the news of British defeats. That is not the true test. The true test is: Were the Irish regiments disloyal? What about the Dublin Fusiliers?" Does the right hon. Gentleman really think that that is a sound argument? Of course, the Dublin Fusiliers is a most gallant regiment, whose loyalty is due to their military training. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] Hon. Gentlemen opposite laugh. I think I can show that practically from the right hon. Gentleman's own speech. The right hon. Gentleman made use of a most extraordinary argument in answering a question put to him by my Noble Friend the Member for West Perthshire (Marquess of Tullibardine). He said:—The right hon. Gentleman has filled up the gap I was about to endeavour to fill in my reply to the Noble Lord. Those who fought for us in that war, whether they came from the South or from the North, and notably from the South, were some of the bravest regiments who have fought for us and were the most loyal of all. The gap is that those who thought that they had been wrongly deprived of the Parliament they once possessed were not friendly to us."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th December, 1912, col. 175.]Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the Dublin Fusiliers do not miss the Parliament? Have they not got as much right to be Irishmen in civil life as anybody else? If their loyalty is not to be attributed to military training, why do they care less than civilians for Home Rule? The right hon. Gentleman is not successful in showing that there is any gap. I entirely disbelieve in the prophecy of loyalty and goodwill to this country as soon as this Bill is passed. I am quite willing to admit, because I have it on the high authority of the greatest of Irish historians, the late Mr. Lecky, that in some of the periods in the eighteenth century the sentiment 218 of disloyalty in Ireland was much exaggerated and that is was sometimes very superficial, but I should like, while making that admission, to read a few words which have been written by the same historian on the subject of the sentiment of disloyalty. He said:—There is perhaps only one condition in which its unassisted action——that is, the sentiment of disloyalty—can be a serious danger to the State. It is when legislation breaks down the influence of the educated classes of the community, and then, by a democratic suffrage, under the shelter of the ballot, throws the preponderating voting power of the country into the hands of the most ignorant and most disaffected. It has been reserved for the sagacity of modern English statesmanship to create this danger in Ireland.It is because the Government are proceeding on the same course, and are wishing to give a further demonstration of the same sort of sagacity, that we on this side of the House support this Amendment and wish to save them from the folly of their own action.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
The Debate on the Clause at present under consideration has covered a very wide field. The primary question at issue between the two sides of the House is a perfctly simple one. There can be no two opinions as to the fact that inconveniences might arise under a Home Rule system as the result of the division of Executive power. If at any time under a centralised Government one portion of the community is disaffected and disloyal, under those conditions that disaffected portion is a source of weakness to the community in a time of stress, difficulty, and danger. It is only a change in degree. It might be admitted, for the purposes of argument, that when you divide the Executive authority the source of weakness is to that extent increased. But even if we on this side of the House do make that admission, it does not go to the root of the matter we are now discussing. You have to accept an assumption which underlies every speech which has come from the other side of the House—an assumption that when a Parliament is set up under this Bill, Ireland will continue to be disloyal to Great Britain and to British interests.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I think it is so. Apart from that assumption, this new Clause is useless. If it be assumed that the Irish Government and the Irish Parliament, supported by the Irish people, are going to be loyal to the British Government, 219 then there is no ground for any fear, and there is no need for this Clause. If one examines the speeches which have been made, he finds that the main part of them has been devoted to proving that there is a serious danger of the Irish Parliament and the Irish Government being disloyal. A large part of the speech of the hon. Member who has just sat down has been devoted to proving that. He referred to the powers of the Postmaster-General as a prophet, and suggested that they were not quite equal to those of another member of the same race who bore the same name. But, after all, the hon. Gentleman opposite also sets up as a prophet, and we may be pardoned for thinking that the Postmaster-General is at least as good an authority in the region of prophecy as the hon. Member (Mr. K. M'Neill). I am not prepared to say that one is better than the other as a prophet. On grounds of pedigree, of course, the Postmaster-General is better than the hon. Member, and as he is to some extent a supporter of the hereditary principle I have no doubt he will on that ground yield the palm to the Postmaster-General. When we are dealing with these prophecies we are in the region of probabilities, and there are two grounds on which hon. Gentlemen opposite have endeavoured to justify their assumption. First of all, they refer to the form of language of hon. Members of the Nationalist party. That is a large part of their case. I think it was a large part of the case of the hon. Member and of the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel Burn) last night. He said, "They have said these things in the past, and surely when you have on record that language you are justified in believing that the same sentiments will govern their action in the future." I think we on this side are prepared to make certain allowances for the language which was used by Members of the Irish party in the past just as we are prepared to make allowances for language which is used by hon. Members representing Ulster in the present. I believe in the former case hon. Gentlemen representing the majority in Ireland were speaking under deep feelings of resentment against this country, and I believe that hon. Members representing the North-East corner of Ireland are speaking with equally deep feelings of apprehension in relation to the 220 possible effects of Home Rule. But I think you will both forgive me if I say I decline to believe either the one or the other. If I were to believe them I should feel myself in a very strange position. I have heard some language of hon. Gentlemen on the other side in which they say for example that the passing of this Bill will be the end of the British Empire, and if Home Rule is granted it will not matter whether we are separated from Great Britain or not. Another hon. Gentleman said:We will disregard the decrees of an Irish Parliament; we will not pay any tax it may impose and if it is put upon us, we will be prepared to take even stronger measures.The hon. and gallant Gentleman (Captain Craig) said:We will not be loyal if it comes to any tampering with our ancient rights.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I have the reference here, I am glad to say. The hon. and gallant Gentleman was speaking at Lisburn on 24th December, 1910. Apparently the situation is this: If the Home Rule Bill is passed the majority in Ireland will continue to be disloyal, and the minority in the North-East corner will become disloyal, and now for once we are going to have a united Ireland. For the first time on record we shall have the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond) and the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Captain Craig) marching together under the banner of disloyalty to the British Empire. Needless to say, I think we shall see exactly the reverse, and I base my reasoning on experience. I should like to deal with some of the history which has been placed before the House by the hon. Gentleman opposite. He has covered a wide field. He has gone to ancient Rome and modern Germany as well as to the British Empire. I am not quite sure that the parallel which he raised in connection with ancient Rome has any application to the position of the British Empire; but he was dealing with the argument of the Postmaster-General that a centralised Government was the weakest form of Government. He examined the statement in relation to a different state of facts from those which the Postmaster-General had in mind when he made the statement. He was dealing with the general conditions and sources of national strength. I think it can be proved by history that in 221 the case of all widespread Empires, those which are highly centralised are weaker than those which give a large measure of local autonomy to the various parts.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
I was assuming, of course, that the right hon. Gentleman was dealing with the conditions mentioned in the Amendment—that is to say, the conditions in time of war or national emergency. I used no argument with regard to general considerations.
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
I distinctly stated that of course everyone agreed in time of war the control of the armed forces of the State must necessarily be centralised.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
The right hon. Gentle-man has brought me to the point at which I was endeavouring to arrive. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. R. M'Neill) will admit that when I began to deal with this argument I stated clearly that I thought they were dealing with propositions in two different senses, and that that accounted for the disagreement between them, that the Postmaster-General had made this proposition in reference to general conditions and sources of national and Imperial strength, whereas the hon. Member opposite analysed his proposition in relation to conditions of war. I think they are both right, and that when you have a condition of war you must have a high degree of centralisation. The right hon. Gentleman's argument was that in a widespread Empire the more play you give to the free action of different parts the stronger will your Empire be, and that, I think, as a general proposition cannot be disputed. It will not, I think, be disputed by any man who understands the spirit and principle of the British Empire.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
If the right hon. Gentleman was speaking in that sense and in that sense alone, it was entirely irrelevant to the argument. The difference between us was not quite that. I understand the right hon. Gentleman admits that centralised control of the military forces is necessary. What we say is not merely of the military forces, but of the civil authority—not generally, but in time of war.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I think the hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension. Of course, at the time when the Postmaster-General used that argument, he was dealing with the assumption upon which this new Clause is based, namely, that under 222 a Home Rule system in Ireland you will have a disloyal condition in Ireland, and he was answering that proposition, which, after all, is the fundamental proposition. If we disprove that fundamental proposition, then there is no argument for the Clause. If they can make out a case for that proposition, then they not only establish a case for the Clause, but they establish a complete case against the Bill, and the Bill must go. If they can make out a case that after the passing of this Bill we are still to have a disloyal Ireland, then we have no right to give Home Rule-to Ireland. It is not an argument simply for this Clause. It cuts at the root of the whole measure. I think I am correct in? saying that the argument of my right hon. Friend was dealing with the general conditions of national strength, and as a statement of the general conditions of national strength it is accurate and it is in accordance, not only with the experience of the British Empire, but of every other great empire. It is even true of the Roman Empire, to which the hon. Gentleman referred. In the days when the Roman Empire embraced the whole of the Mediterranean countries, and while it still continued in a position of strength, it was-largely because there was a large degree of autonomy given to the different parts of the Empire. There was autonomy in Greece and in various parts of Asia, and in many other parts of the Empire, and it was largely owing to that autonomy that in the earlier and better days of the Roman Empire that Empire was able to depend on the willing and ready support of such large numbers of trained and disciplined soldiers from those provinces of the Empire.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
It may be new to the Leader of the Opposition, but it may interest him to know that I have spent my Christmas holiday in reading Gibbon and Finlay.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
That is a very important thing. The decline began from the time they did away with local autonomy, and it may interest the Leader of the Opposition if I continue this line. I refer him to Finlay because Finlay came from Glasgow, like himself, and Finlay knew the sources of national greatness, and if the right hon. Gentleman reads his works on Greece and 223 on the Roman and Byzantine Empires he will find very accurately set forth the causes which led to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, and it was mainly, in the words of Finlay, that they suppressed all local autonomy. By suppressing it there was no local patriotism to support the Empire. I come back to the British Empire. The argument put forward by the hon. Gentleman opposite would have applied equally to Canada in 1837. If Lord Durham had taken up the attitude which hon. Gentlemen take in regard to Ireland he would never have written his famous report, the report which more than anything else has founded the British Empire, because it is on the principle of that report that the British Empire has been built up. If he had said, "These men are rebels, you cannot trust them with self-government; we must hold them down with a firm hand," where would Canada have been now? She would certainly not "have been a contented member of the Empire, and she would certainly not have been offering "Dreadnoughts" at present. Then, again, what about South Africa? We remember that there was a minority which was opposed to the granting of self-government to the Transvaal—a minority in the Transvaal and a minority in Great Britain—and we remember that the then Leader of the Opposition, when the measure was going forward, said it would "be a disaster to the Empire and that he washed his hands of all responsibility. Does anyone doubt that if self-government had not been given to the Transvaal and to the Orange River Colony in 1906, we should never have had a united and contented South Africa? I do not think anyone doubts that. I think we are justified in arguing that the application of the same principles to Ireland will have exactly the same results as "have followed in every other part of the British Empire. The hon. Member for the Central Division of Sheffield (Mr. Hope), in moving this Clause last night, referred to the unfortunate conditions that arose in Cape Colony at the time of the war in the later months of 1899 owing to the attitude taken up by the Schreiner Ministry. He said you might have the same thing in Ireland.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I will deal with Cape 'Colony. It is quite true, of course, that at that time there was a very difficult 224 situation in Cape Colony. You had responsible government there, but everybody must remember the very difficult position at that time of our Colonists who were of Dutch extraction. But the question which hon. Gentlemen should put to themselves is this, not what were the inconveniences at that time, but what would have been the situation if, instead of having self-government in South Africa then, we had simply had Crown Colony government. I think there is no doubt that if there had been the Crown Colony system instead of self-government in South Africa, you would have had more widespread disaffection and rebellion in our own Colonies, but as a matter of fact the self-government which did exist in Cape Colony made many of those of Dutch extraction loyal to the Empire who otherwise would have been disloyal. We believe that self-government, which has been the means of creating loyalty in other parts of the Empire, will be the means of creating loyalty in Ireland. It is upon that general principle that we found- ourselves. We believe that it is a principle of general application, that it is proved by the experience of other Empires as well as our own, and, basing ourselves upon that experience, we say that there is no foundation whatever for the assumptions which hon. Gentlemen opposite have put forward in support of this new Clause. As they have failed by the teaching of experience to make good their assumptions the House is justified in negativing this Clause.
§ Mr. HUGH LAW
When the hon. Member for the St. Augustine's Division (Mr. R. M'Neill) was challenged by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Leif Jones) to state whether he would extend the principle of the Amendment to the self-governing Colonies, he declared that he saw no analogy between the two cases, and as his speech proceeded it became perfectly evident why that was so. It was proved when the hon. Member, replying to an interruption, said that there was no analogy—or so I understood him—because none of the Colonies formed, as Ireland does, part of a single and united Kingdom, such as the United Kingdom, but lay at a great distance from these shores, pursuing their own affairs in an orbit wholly different from that of the United Kingdom. No doubt that is perfectly true, but it must be clear to the House that that was not the real reason which, in the mind of the hon. Member for Sheffield, and 225 those who support him, lay at the root of the application of this principle to Ireland. The real reason is, of course, that which was so ably dealt with by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Pringle), namely, the root conviction in the minds of hon. Members above the Gangway—a conviction which they have done their best, I think without much success, to impress upon the minds of the people of this country—that the Irish are an incurably disloyal people. For my part that is an imputation which I very deeply, very sincerely, and very hotly resent. Irish Members are often charged with saying one thing in this House, and another thing in Ireland. I shall say nothing here now which I am not willing to say in Ireland, and which, in fact, I have not said there. I have never understood, for my part, why the sentiment of "God save Ireland" should be supposed to be irreconcilable with the sentiment of "God save the King." I see no possible antagonism between the two things, and I have said so in Ireland before now. But, as we all know, certain historical causes have created in Ireland from time to time a state of things which has seemed to the mass of the people to make loyalty to the Crown, loyalty to the Empire, and loyalty to Ireland to be irreconcilable.
The hon. Member spoke of Grattan's Parliament, and acknowledged, as I understood him, that that Parliament itself under Grattan's leadership was loyal to the British connection. Indeed, it would be hard to deny, because one of the very first acts of Grattan's Parliament was to vote some 20,000 men for the service of the Navy, and from first to last Grattan's Parliament was distinguished in the same manner. The hon. Gentleman said, "That may be true of Grattan's Parliament, for Grattan was an aristocrat, a Protestant, and an anti-democrat, but it was not true of the mass of the Irish people." I agree with him that it was not true of the mass of the people. In heaven's name, why should it be true of the mass of the people at that time? I think I know enough of the hon. Member for the St. Augustine's Division to believe that if he had been an Irish Roman Catholic living about the year 1797 under the operation of the penal laws, on the sufferance of a landlord of another creed, and if ho and his people had been subjected to the iniquities, the atrocities, and the abominations, which no one will now deny were perpetrated in the name of the King 226 upon the mass of the people of Ireland—I know enough of the hon. Member to have a very shrewd idea where he would have been found. Let these things be remembered when it is made a subject of reproach that we have said from time to time—I have said it myself at the same time and to the same audience consisting of people who understood the connection between the two things—that our movement is the legitimate successor of the movement of Wolfe Tone, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and Robert Emmet, What is the explanation? It is perfectly simple and plain to any man who will sincerely and honestly study the facts, that that was a time when there seemed to be no possibility of redress for the hideous grievances and the most abominable oppressions that ever weighed upon a people—no redress except that of armed rebellion. Everyone of these men, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Wolfe Tone, and Robert Emmet, tried first constitutional methods, and it was not until they found that every effort along these lines was utterly fruitless, until the iron had entered into their souls, and until they saw no chance whatever of freeing, I was going to say, their people, that they turned to other methods. As a matter of fact, they were men who might have enjoyed liberty under the favour of the Government if they had not cared about the liberties and the welfare of the mass of their fellow countrymen.
Every one of these men had tried and failed in the path of constitutional reform before turning to the path of rebellion. A great deal of water has flowed under the bridges since then. The stream of reform is sluggish at first, and even down to our own day there were many men who might justly despair, and who have justly despaired, of reform except it were extorted from the people of this country, if not by armed rebellion, for which the time has long since gone past and become impossible, at least by violent action of one sort or another. To many of the Irish people the Government of the King has seldom been presented except as the symbol of oppression, the sanction and protection of eviction, or the justification of coercion. I believe most sincerely, for one, that as soon as the people of this country have come to understand the real facts of the Irish situation that old, bad chapter has closed. But these old, unhappy, and evil lessons are not all at an end today. There are still people in Ireland 227 here and there no doubt who, trained in the old school, without thinking much about it, probably have still lingering in them the notion that it is very difficult for a man at once to be a good Irishman and a loyal subject. I think there are such men still left, but I venture to say that they are fast fading away. I do not ask the House to excuse these men. It is not a question of excusing. Their feeling was not only natural, but it was right in view of the training they had received. It has been given to us to live in better times. I do most sincerely believe that during the last twenty years since this House has honestly addressed itself, as I think it has to the best of its capacity, to redressing Ireland's grievances, feeling in Ireland has most profoundly changed; and just as, if I may carry my mind back again through history, the coming of Lord Fitzwilliam, presaging as it was hoped Parliamentary reform and Catholic emancipation, was hailed with a great new outburst of Irish loyalty, which was only to die away in despair and revolt when the evil influences over here prevailed in his recall, so the mere introduction of this Bill, the promise and the presage of the coming of national government in Ireland has caused already a great change, and already it is becoming clear to men in Ireland that they can be good Irishmen, good Nationalists, and at the same time good loyal subjects of His Majesty, and frankly accept this Parliament as citizens of the British Empire. That is what the promise of Home Rule has done already. The accomplishment of Home Rule I believe will do the rest.
§ Sir REGINALD POLE-CAREW
I should not have intervened in this Debate but for the remarkable speech made last night by the Secretary of State for War; but before I refer to his speech, I may refer to that of the hon. Member for Lanark (Mr. Pringle), who persisted in comparing Ireland with our Dominions beyond the seas. It appears to be perfectly useless to attempt to persuade hon. Members opposite that there is no analogy between the two. He said one thing that was worthy of comment. He gave us to understand that the behaviour of our Colonies in South Africa was everything that could be desired during and before the war.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I did not say that. I expressly made a reservation about Cape 228 Colony of which I gave an explanation afterwards.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
It was mainly the action of Cape Colony in allowing the guns and ammunition for our opponents to pass through their territory that caused the war to be not only possible, but to be prolonged. Precisely the same thing might happen in Ireland, and that is worthy of consideration. The last speaker said that we, on these benches, have an idea that Ireland is incurably disloyal. I, for one, have no opinion of that sort, but I have formed the conviction that as long as hon. Members below the Gangway permit themselves to preach disloyalty and practise a form of tyranny in the shape of boycotting. [HON. MEMBERS: "What about the doctors?"] That is a very irrelevant observation. If that is the best that hon. Members from Ireland can do I am sorry for them. As long as hon. Members below the Gangway are guilty of preaching rebellion. [HON. MEMBERS: "What about Carson?"] As long as they advocate boycotting and instigate cattle driving you must have disloyalty in Ireland. [HON. MEMBERS: "Civil war in Ulster."] The hon. Member for Donegal tells us that there is still a certain amount of disloyalty in Ireland. As long as that exists, as long as the Union Jack is torn down at public meetings, and they refuse to sing "God Save the King," surely that is the best argument that can be adduced in favour of this Clause. We in the United Kingdom have got to look after ourselves and not to be at the mercy of these few disloyal people in Ireland. The; Secretary of State for War was distinctly asked by my hon. and gallant Friend who seconded this Clause (Colonel Burn) and my Noble Friend, the Member for West Perthshire (Marquess of Tullibardine), what was the opinion of his military advisers on this question, and what was the opinion of the Committee of Imperial Defence and he carefully avoided that question altogether.
§ Colonel SEELY
I can only reply to the specific question asked by the leave of the House, as I have already spoken. If I am asked if the Committee for Imperial Defence have discussed the Home Rule Bill, the answer is, certainly not. As the hon. and gallant Gentleman is aware the Committee of Imperial Defence does not deal with matters of policy like this. It is an Advisory Department and not an executive body, and it is not possible to submit to 229 the Committee such a question as the giving of Home Rule to Ireland.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
Then I am to understand that the Secretary of State for War comes to this House and gives an opinion on the military position of the country in case Home Rule is granted, without having taken into his confidence either his military advisers or the Committee of Imperial Defence. If that is the case I would like to know what is the good of the right hon. Gentleman having either military advisers or a Committee of Imperial Defence? It reduces the whole thing to a farce. I know that the hon. and gallant Gentleman did gallant service in South Africa, but. does that make him a judge from a military or naval point of view of what is good for this country or of what is not? I suggest that the sooner he does consult these bodies the better. The fact is he does not do so because he is afraid to tell the truth with regard to this position. [An HON. MEMBER: "You are a liar!"] Is it right that I should be called a liar? [An HON. MEMBER: "What did you call Seely?"] The whole of the Front Bench are sitting there not daring to express an opinion because they are under the thumb of the hon. Member for Water-ford. When did the Secretary of State for War change his mind on this matter? I am not going to give quotations, but it is within the recollection of the House that not so many years ago the right hon. Gentleman himself suggested that to grant Home Rule to Ireland was not to increase the security of this country. Now he says that Ireland might be hostile or that any part of these Islands might be hostile. Has he any reason to suggest that any other portion of these Islands has been hostile during the last hundred years? Has he any reason to suggest that the teachings of history are not better than the prophecies of the Postmaster-General or even of himself?
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
Now he is coming to the fraud. I am coming to that. Only last night he stated that the Parliament was taken away from Ireland by fraud. I should very much like to know where he found it.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
We cannot continue the Debate if the hon. and gallant Gentleman 230 is continually interrupted. The best thing is to hear the hon. and gallant Gentleman.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
Thank you very much. The hon. and gallant Gentleman says that the Parliament was taken from Ireland by fraud, and also that if you give Home Rule to Ireland now it will bring contentment to five-sixths of the country. I deny both one and the other. Although he seems to know a great deal of what happened in Ireland before he was born, I think he knows very little about it now. I have the honour of living in Ireland when I am not in this country, and I live in the South of Ireland. We have heard a great deal about the North of Ireland in these Debates, but very little about the South. My humble experience is, in the South of Ireland, that so far from Home Rule being likely to give contentment to five-sixths of the people even in the South of Ireland, if the hon. and gallant Gentleman would live, as I do, among farmers and go about and talk to them, I grant you singly, because if you get two together they dare not give an opinion, but if you get them alone they tell you they are living now in fear of getting Home Rule.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
Do you suppose that those men who are now prosperous and prospering wish to be put, far more than they are now, under the thumb of hon. Members below the Gangway? Do you suppose that they wish their country handed over to men who are now ruling by the Hibernian League and by tyrannv? [HON. MEMBERS: "Order."]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. and gallant Gentleman is now making really a Second Reading speech. This Clause deals with one particular object. I would advise the hon. and gallant Gentleman to address himself more particularly to this Clause.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
I was endeavouring to answer the Secretary of State for War, and I will now come to the next statement which he made last night. He told us by way of showing how loyal Ireland might be under Home Rule, of the gallantry and magnificent performances of the Irish soldiers in South Africa. Not only in South Africa but, I am thankful 231 to say, all over the world where I have had the honour of serving with them, I have found Irish soldiers not only the most gallant but the most true and the best to be depended upon, and as good as any we have in these Islands. But I deduce a very different conclusion from that which the right hon. Gentleman draws. What does it show? It shows that the moment you get them away from the influences brought to bear upon them at home, the moment you get them away from the influence of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway and their friends, you have in them the true spirit of Ireland. I have no hesitation in saying that if you give Ireland a strong and benevolent form of government, which can only be given by this country, and certainly not by Home Rule. you will then have an Ireland which will loyally support you in every way. In order to try and get up a cheer on his own behalf the right hon. Gentleman told us that because Irish soldiers are loyal when serving in the ranks, therefore hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway must be so. Why, that is childish, and is treating this House with scant respect. This House has a right to know and is entitled to ask, and the country has a right to know and is entitled to ask—although the right hon. Gentleman has not consulted his military advisers or the Committee of Imperial Defence—on this most important point, whether he will give us their opinion about it, or, as he cannot speak again during this Debate, perhaps he will ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, who is interested in this matter, if he will give us his opinion and the opinion of his advisers as to whether the granting of Home Rule to Ireland will or will not be for the security of this Empire.
Mr. WILLIAM REDMOND
I only intervene in this Debate because of the speech just delivered by the hon. and gallant Member above the Gangway, who said that if the people in Ireland were left to themselves they are in reality not Home Rulers at all. I wonder if he really expects the people of this country to believe that statement. The hon. and gallant Gentleman knows as well as anybody in this House that there is no part of the United Kingdom where the people are keener politicians than they are in Ireland, where they have a more thorough grasp of the meaning of the Ballot Act and the power which that Ballot Act confers; and at election after election, ever since the 232 franchise was extended in 1885, the Irish people have by an overwhelming majority returned to this House hon. Members upon these benches, who are described by the hon. and gallant Gentleman as the tyrants of the Irish people. There is only one way of testing a statement of that kind, and it may be tested when the next poll is made of the people at the General Election, be it of near date or of distant date. The hon. and gallant Gentleman will then have an opportunity of appealing to the Irish electors, and to those farmers when he meets them one by one. If he goes before them as an anti-Home Rule candidate, they will vote one by one in the secrecy of the polling booth, and they will be quite at liberty, if they think fit, to vote for the hon. and gallant Gentleman. But we cannot forget, we who come from Ireland, that it is only a short time ago the hon. and gallant Gentleman used the language of such a disgraceful and defamatory character as to the people in certain parts of Ireland that the public board in the town of Carrick-on-Suir felt called upon to pass a resolution condemning him.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
May I ask if the hon. Member is justified in accusing me simply on a charge brought against me in a newspaper, and which is absolutely untrue?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have not the faintest idea of what the hon. Gentleman is alluding to, or what the resolution is, or what the body is who passed it. It really seems to me that this is utterly irrelevant to the Clause now before the House.
Sir GILBERT PARKER
Is it in order for an hon. Member of this House to characterise a statement made by another hon. Member of this House as disgraceful? I myself was reproved by a former Speaker for using the word in connection with some utterance made by my right hon. Friend the Minister for War.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
It depends in each case upon the circumstances. To quote some local body in Ireland who passed some resolution, again I say, seems to me to be absolutely irrelevant and pure waste of time. The House has very little time. We are called upon to discuss an important Clause, and the whole time is being wasted in ridiculous talk which might have been 233 relevant upon the Second Reading of the Bill, but is utterly irrelevant now.
Mr. W. REDMOND
I certainly have no desire to waste the time of the House. But I submit to hon. Gentlemen opposite who heard the speech of the hon. and gallant Member whether it was not a speech of a character highly calculated to provoke at least some retort from hon. Gentlemen on these benches accused of not representing the Irish people at all. As to the way in which, Sir, you have characterised some of the speeches as being ridiculous, I have only to say that, while I have the very greatest respect for you, as to the character of the remarks I feel called upon to deliver, I will take leave to be the judge myself, and if I in any way go outside the rules of Order, I will at once, Mr. Speaker, bow to your ruling; but I do say that to apply the adjective "ridiculous" to the speeches of hon. Gentlemen trying to discharge their duty is, I think, somewhat hard.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
My reflection was not confined to the speech of the hon. Member. It ranges over some of the other speeches with which we have been favoured this afternoon, and again I must repeat that they were absolutely ridiculous, as not in any way relevant to the Clause now before the House.
Mr. W. REDMOND
I assure you, Sir, that as far as I am concerned I only desire to reply to the charges made by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and which he was allowed to make by you, Sir. Those accusations do not in any way represent the true sense of the Irish people. The hon. and gallant Gentleman found fault with the speech delivered last night by the Secretary of State for War, remarking that it was simply made for the purpose of provoking a cheer from these benches. The hon. and gallant Gentleman also said that Members on the Treasury Bench and on the benches opposite are supporting this Bill, not because of any true conviction, but simply because they feel themselves bound to follow the advice tendered in this matter by the Member for Waterford and Irish Nationalist Members. I have been over thirty years in this House, and I have taken a somewhat active part in discussing the cause of Home Rule under both Liberal and Conservative Administrations. I have never been sparing in my criticism of Members on either side of the House, when I thought their action 234 deserved criticism, as far as Ireland is concerned. But I certainly never have, nor do I believe any of the hon. Members here have, expressed any opinion so insulting to elected representatives of the British people as the opinion we have just heard from the hon. and gallant Gentleman, that hon. Members are supporting this measure, not because they really believe in the desirability of Home Rule, but simply because they are the bond slaves of Irish Members. I submit that this statement is of a character which will merit and receive the contempt of the vast majority of the people of this country. This Amendment which is contained in the new Clause is supported because it is said that in time of difficulty or war a self-governed Ireland would be dangerous to the welfare of the United Kingdom. The hon. and gallant Gentleman said that because in the Boer war a certain section of the people in Cape Colony allowed guns and supplies to be passed through their territory it was an indication of what would happen in Ireland.
§ Sir R. POLE-CAREW
I did not say anything of the sort. I said it was an instance that might be followed, and that what happened in one country might happen in the other.
§ 5.0 P.M.
Mr. W. REDMOND
I assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that nothing is further from my desire or intention than to misrepresent him in any way, but certainly I think what he has just said bears out my contention. His argument went to show that because there was disaffection in certain portions of Cape Colony during the war, there will be similar disaffection in Ireland in the event of the United Kingdom being at war with some foreign Power. I say here, as an Irish Member, and I believe it is the opinion of every single Member representing an Irish constituency, that we endorse in the most thorough and hearty way the view expressed in this matter by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War last night. The hon. Gentleman said that any portion of the United Kingdom in time of war being disaffected would be injurious and disastrous to the State at large. That of course is true, but I invite any hon. Gentleman in this House to quote to me a single instance in the "whole history of the world where a people had the power of self-government conferred upon them and exhibited afterwards hostility against 235 the power that conferred those powers on them of self-govenment, and which was not, on the other hand, strongly disposed to show gratitude at the measure of liberty so extended. [HON MEMBERS: "Hertzog."] I do not deny, nobody can deny, that the Irish people have been disaffected in the past. The hon. and gallant Gentleman said that that was because of the action of the Irish Members sitting upon these benches, and that if we only left the Irish people alone there would be no demand for Home Rule. Might I repeat what I once said in this House, that there is nothing more absurd in this controversy than to attempt to make out that the demand for Home Rule is the result of the action of the men of the present day or generation. Before a single Member who is now in this House sat upon these benches the demand for Home Rule was passionately made upon behalf of the Irish people. Before this century, before the last century, before the demand for liberty in Ireland was called Home Rule, as the hon. Member for Donegal showed in his excellent speech this afternoon, the demand of the Irish people for the power to control their own internal affairs was made persistently and insistently. And if by any unfortunate mischance the Irish people should be disappointed at the present time, and if the great hope which they feel of a future of unity and friendship and goodwill with the British people under this measure were destroyed, what would happen? I say that under the presidency of some other Speaker in the years to come, when every single Member of this House might have left it, this demand of the Irish people to restore to them the right to manage their own internal affairs would still be made.
If you like, pass this Clause, and by so doing mar and destroy the gift which Home Rule will confer on the Irish people; if you like, deny Home Rule entirely to the Irish people, but do not let it be done on the ground that the Irish people do not want it. I assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that I for one can appreciate to some extent some of the arguments, groundless though I believe them to be, which are advanced against Home Rule, but there is nothing more futile and useless in this controversy than to attempt to meet the Home Rule demand by trying to prove that the Irish people do not want it. There has never been a single day since the Irish people lost their own Parliament under 236 the circumstances mentioned by the Secretary of State for War when Ireland has not, as best she could, insisted upon her demand for the restoration of that Parliament. Sometimes it was, in moments of despair, by attempted rebellion; sometimes it was by persistent and strong agitation of a violent character, if you like; but, directly the masses of the Irish people got the constitutional right to have their views expressed in this House, directly the franchise was extended to them in 1885, and even before the franchise was extended, and when it was very limited in Ireland, the Irish people have always sent a large majority of their representatives here to ask for the restoration of the right of Ireland to manage her own affairs.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I fail to follow what relevance that has to the Clause now before the House. Perhaps the hon. Member will point it out.
Mr. W. REDMOND
I do assure you, Sir, nothing is further from my intention than to go outside the rule, but I submit, with great respect indeed, that when the hon. and gallant Gentleman was allowed to enlarge upon the argument, which he insisted upon, namely, that the Irish people in reality did not want Home Rule at all, and that it was merely the work of hon. Members here, then that I may certainly be allowed in all fairness to reply to that argument by showing, as I think I can show, that before one of us was born this demand of the Irish people for Home Rule was made, and that I believe it will continue until it is satisfied.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Let us assume that the hon. Member has disposed of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and let us now approach the Clause under discussion.
Mr. W. REDMOND
Whatever else we may hold different opinions about in this House, there is one point upon which there is no difference of opinion amongst Members of any party, and that is your extraordinary impartiality, and after the statement of fact which you have just made with regard to the hon. and gallant Member, there is not a single word further which is necessary for me to say, or anyone else to say, as to the argument of the hon. and gallant Gentleman. The argument of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University in support of this Clause was that it was necessary to combat with the disloyalty 237 of the Irish people. I say here what I have said in Ireland, and what I have said on many platforms in this country, that the Irish people have been disloyal in a sense if you like, but that the Irish people have never been even in the bitterest times of agitation, as far as I know, disloyal to the Crown of this country. Hon. Gentlemen may say that this Clause is necessary, because on certain occasions the Crown has not been presented with addresses in Ireland, and approached in the manner in which it is approached in this country. That is true, but it has not been because of any disloyalty to the Throne; it has been because it was found that whenever loyalty was expressed to the Throne it was unscrupulously and unfairly used as an argument in this country that the Irish people were so contented that they really did not want Home Rule at all. Everyman who knows the true inwardness of Irish life understands that position.
The hon. and learned Gentleman and others spoke of the action of the Irish soldiers in South Africa during the war. I say that the action of those soldiers alone ought to be sufficient to compel hon. Gentlemen to be careful of the charges they make of disloyalty against the Irish people. [An HON. MEMBER: "Did you approve of it?"] The hon. Gentleman asks me if I approved of it. I certainly say that I never myself have been able to understand the action of any Irishman who, denied legitimate liberty in his own country, goes and fights and sheds his blood for the Power that denied that liberty; but I say here that in considering this Clause, it should be remembered that the Irishmen of the Munster Fusiliers, of the Dublin Fusiliers, of the Connaught Rangers, the Inniskillens, and the rest, I say those regiments are composed of men like the men who are here, the vast majority of them Catholic in religion, Home Rulers in their political views. They undertook to do this work, and they did it loyally, even though every man of them felt that his country was not being fairly treated in the matter of government. Who is going to get up here and say that this Clause is necessary, because if Ireland gets Home Rule, the Irish soldiers will be less willing than they were to keep their pledge and to fight for this Empire as they did at the time of the Boer war. I myself, more than once, saw regiments of Irish soldiers leaving Ireland to go to South Africa, and they cheered for Home Rule. I myself at one period of my career held a commission 238 in an Irish regiment. Yes, and I say here one of the strongest political memories I have is, that at the time of training a General Election was on, and in the very town where the training was taking place, and where the election occurred, and when the poll resulted in the triumphant return of the Nationalist candidate, this regiment of 900 men strong burst into long and loud cheers for Home Rule, and raised their shakos on their guns and shook them in their triumphant joy. Those men are Home Rulers, make no mistake about it! And I say that no man ever stood at that box at the Treasury Bench and uttered a speech that was more true than did the Secretary of State for War when last night he declared that the effect of Home Rule would be so far from increasing disaffection to destroy disaffection, and to make the Irish people feel in Ireland that they are responsible for the government of their own country, and that it is incumbent on them to use with wisdom and discretion and power the authority which this Bill will confer upon them. I say that as the result of Home Rule that whatever lingering disaffection and disloyalty there may be in Ireland will entirely disappear.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin last night said that at the present time in Ireland the newspapers were discussing whether in the event of war between this country and Germany, Ireland would be best advised to take the side of Germany or of England. We on these benches are pretty familiar with the Press of Ireland, and, although I have inquired, I have not met a single one of my colleagues representing any portion of the country who is able to tell me of any responsible or reputable journal in Ireland which has ever published any such leading article as that referred to by the right hon. Gentleman. It may be that there is a sheet here and there which many of us have never seen, and is absolutely unrepresentative, which has been sent for very specific purposes to Members on this side of the House; but in reply to the Member for Trinity College I say that from North to South and from East to West in Ireland not a single newspaper of responsible position has published a leading article balancing whether Ireland would be upon the side of Germany or of England in case hostilities broke out. Let the truth be said upon this matter. The Irish people have never had any inherent hostility whatever to the people of 239 this country. Even in the times of darkest agitation, when every vestige of the Constitution was suspended, when scores of men freely elected by the Irish people were sent to prison without even the slightest mockery of a trial, when the Irish people were exasperated to the last degree, their enmity was always expressed to the form of government imposed upon them in their country, and they never expressed nor felt the slightest hostility against the masses of the population of Great Britain. It is against the form of government that the people have rebelled, and we believe that this Bill will have the effect of bringing contentment to Ireland, of putting an end once for all to the disaffection which has existed there.
It is sometimes said that the Irish people in Ireland are misled and that their opinions are not truly voiced in this House. What, then, of the Irish national sentiment in every other part of the Empire? There is no coercion or pressure upon the Irish people in Canada, Australia, South Africa, the United States, or anywhere else where the English language is spoken. There is freedom in those countries, and yet everywhere there is the most passionate and yearning desire upon the part of the Irish people to see this Bill passed. They do not hope through its passage to witness the commencement of new strife or the continuance of old strife. They believe that Home Rule will do for Ireland what it has done for every other portion of the British Empire, that it will make the people locally contented in exercising control over their own local affairs, and at the same time anxious to take part in the development. extension, and preservation of the Empire, which Irish Nationalist Catholics like myself have done quite as much to build up as citizens from any other portion of the realm. The Secretary of State for War need pay no attention whatever to gibes and sneers telling him that when he stands at that box he is afraid to speak the truth. He may be consoled by knowing that the speech he delivered last night has gone straight to the heart of the masses of the Irish people, and that in days to come when this Bill is in operation all men will wonder why it was not passed sooner. When the day arrives, when the Irish people and the British people are each independent in their own sphere, and yet bound together by the common unity of Empire, men will say, Why did it not come sooner? When 240 that day comes peace will reign from the centre to the utmost limits of the Empire, and the King will be able to go into-Dublin or to any other part of Ireland and receive from his Irish Parliament, his Irish Ministers, and his Irish people as strong, as warm, and as hearty a welcome as he would receive in any other part of the Empire.
The Secretary of State for War may justly take credit to himself that speeches such as he delivered last night really do more to place the union of the Empire upon a firm and Liberal basis than all the taunts and sneers which are hurled at us at the present time, or all the references which are sometimes made in support of Clauses such as this to past moments of exasperation upon the part of the Irish people. After the Boer war the Dutch Minister came here and was heartily welcomed by the people. If hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway had had their way, instead of being presented with addresses of welcome, General Botha would have been presented, as we are to-day, with addresses containing long extracts from those bitter and violent speches which he made before and during the war when he was a stronger, more bitter, and more powerful enemy of England than the Irish people have been at any time. The speeches and declarations which are quoted against the Irish people to-day were made in moments of despair. Today, as the Member for Donegal truly said, there is born a new spirit in Ireland. The people there are watching the progress of this Bill, and noting the steady action of the mass of representatives of England, Scotland, and Wales in its support. They are keenly alive to what has been going on. They appreciate the action of Members who desire to give freedom to Ireland in a legitimate way. The time will come when the result of this great policy will be seen, not only in the contentment and the increasing prosperity of Ireland, but for the first time in its history in the absolute unity of the Empire. Hon. Members talk about the increase of armaments and the enlargement of our fleet. The greatest guarantee that England can have for her success and stability is the turning of the soldier-like Irish race, for the first time in their history, into the friends and not the disaffected subjects of the British Empire.
§ Mr. GRETTON
I fail to understand the relevance of the arguments in favour of 241 Home Rule which have been addressed to the House at such great length by the hon. Member for East Clare (Mr. W. Redmond). This new Clause presupposes that the Home Rule Bill will pass, and it deals with that situation alone. It proposes that the Government should keep in reserve certain powers to be used in case of war or national emergency. The Clause does not make it necessary that those powers should be used unless the conditions of war or emergency are such as to make that course essential for national safety. The Government have themselves recognised that powers must be reserved to the Imperial Parliament. All matters relating to the Army and Navy and to various subjects appertaining thereto are, under the Bill, retained to the Imperial Government; but the Government have not kept in their hands any means by which they can exercise those powers in case it is necessary to use them. Without some such machinery as the Clause proposes the reserved powers in the Bill will be a dead letter and of no avail. The Postmaster-General said last night that to exercise any powers such as these would be to throw the whole of the proposed Home Rule Government into chaos. It seems to me that that argument is effectively met by the fact that the Government themselves propose in case of war to reassume their control of the Post Office. If it can be done in one case it can be done in another, and it ought to be done in all cases where the national safety is involved. There is one thing that this Clause docs not do. It does not profess to get rid of the inherent difficulty and weakness of a divided Government. It is quite useless in this case to talk of a wide-flung Empire with a decentralisation of power. The British Isles can never be a wide-flung Empire, and this Bill deals with the British Isles alone. For war we must deal with them as an entity. All the greatest strategists and statesmen both of this country and of those countries which in times past have been our enemies agree that Ireland is vital to the safety of the United Kingdom.
What this Clause proposes is that in time of national emergency the central Government should reassume the powers necessary to maintain the safety of the nation—nothing else. There is no question of loyalty or disloyalty. The more loyal the Irish people are, the more anxious they are to protect the Empire, the more willing they will be that the central Government should take the 242 powers which the emergency requires. All this talk about loyalty and disloyalty is not necessarily relevant to this question, but of course disloyalty will magnify the difficulties and render this Clause even more imperative. If I were going to argue the matter I should refer to the present position. It is not a matter of loyalty or disloyalty, but the lately discussed question of the possible neutrality of Ireland in the event of war. The essence of war is to be ready and to be ready quickly. With a divided Government time will be lost; there will be delay in negotiation and arrangement. The Government were asked whether they had consulted the Committee of Defence on this question, and the Secretary of State for War said that that was not necessary as this was a political question. It is not a political question. It is a naval and military question, and no other. I would prefer that inquiry should be undertaken by the National Defence Committee. Has the Bill been laid before the Army Council, and have they been asked if they are satisfied that in every respect in case of war or national emergency the powers necessary to be exercised by them are reserved to them in the Bill, and machinery given to them to exercise those powers?
We can, of course, do it under martial law! We were told that last night. But martial law is a suspension of constitutional government and the last resource in national emergency. We do not want the suspension of constitutional government. We want a constitutional way of taking the measures necessary for national safety. Has the Board of Admiralty been consulted? Have the Clauses referring to the naval and military powers of the Crown been laid before them, and has their opinion been taken? These are questions which should be answered. If they are not answered it shows there has been gross neglect and gross carelessness on the part of the Government in reference to national safety. I fail to see, as I believe every man who has given any real thought to this question must fail to see, the relevance of the Debate to which we have listened this afternoon. The Secretary of State for War is the culprit who led the Debate down upon these lines by making a gushing sentimental speech which did not deal with one fact of the situation which was relevant. He has misled Members, for his observations had no relevance to the business of his department on the question put to him. 243 The matter is one which vitally affects this country, and if it is not dealt with, we can only assume that the Government is grossly careless and neglectful; or that they are indifferent to the matter, because they believe that this Bill is a dead letter, and not meant to pass.
I did not intend to intervene in this Debate when it was concluded yesterday, nor until I took up the speeches of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite and re-perused them this morning. I was very much struck with the concluding sentences of the Postmaster-General on this very important subject. May I, in passing, say that of course the technical point is one which has always and very largely been considered by the loyalist people of Ireland in any scheme of Home Rule. We have looked at it from the point of view of a state of war, and what attitude Ireland as a whole would adopt; what difficulties she might possibly place in the way of the United Kingdom as a whole. Therefore this particular point, that of placing every possible security in the hands of the central Government in the case of war or preparation for war has always been one of the most important points to which we have looked in this very wide question of Home Rule. I was astounded to hear the Secretary of State for War, this afternoon, say that where great men have written most important articles Admiral Mahan and many others have been mentioned on this particular point—the present Government do not think fit to consult their naval and military advisers as to what effect this Bill would have on the defence of the Kingdom and the Empire. I was astounded at the statement of the Secretary for War. It occurred to me that even in discussing the question as to where our troops are to be posted at the present time, all sorts of much less important questions are submitted to the Committee of Defence, even the change of a regiment from one place to another in Ireland at the present time is so considered. All these matters are most carefully considered by the naval and military advisers of the Crown.
To say that this Bill is put forward from a political point of view and has never been submitted to the Board is an astounding statement, and one which I think really nobody in this House, and certainly nobody in the country, would have believed had it not been stated by the Secretary of State for War. To revert to the 244 concluding statement of the Postmaster-General, whom I am sorry to say is not in his place. On that statement hangs really the whole of the few remarks which I intend to address to the House. He said—If you want security in time of war, in time of stress and danger, yon can only get it by giving liberty without which there can be no loyalty.He went on further to say:—It is far better and safer in time of war and emergency to have by your side a friend that is free rather than an unwilling partner bound in chains."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 36th December, 1912, col. 169.]
Yes, but perhaps the hon. Gentleman opposite will just listen for a moment. In what way are these people in Ireland, the Nationalist party in Ireland, bound in chains? The hon. Member cheered. It is exactly this sort of sentimental rubbish which is scattered in country places, and through our towns, where people have not got time really to follow the intricacies of questions of this sort. It is such ridiculous—I really cannot find a name to explain in the House what I think of this kind of speech. In this House the Members are supposed to have really studied this important question of Home Rule in all its bearings. I cannot see how they can get up and cheer to the echo sentiments of the sort, that without liberty there can be no loyalty. In other words the Postmaster-General, and I presume his colleagues, intend to convey the idea that in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, the Isle of Wight, and other parts, there is no liberty, and the people there are really in chains, until such times as a benevolent Government like the present comes along and severs these desperate bonds which are weighing down and cruelly ill-using hon. Members below the Gangway and their followers; until that time it is impossible really to look after the proper safety of the United Kingdom. Really it is too bad, that we should be treated to this class of argument by the Postmaster-General. It is on all fours with the class of argument used on the Front Bench, not alone in this House but in the country, on this Home Rule measure. False grounds were put forward and false promises were dished up in a manner to suit the palate, and they were sent forth as the grounds upon which this Bill was to be rushed through the House of Commons.
Let us for a moment come back to the new Clause as it was started by my hon. Friend and supported on this side of the House. In the first instance there is not a single Member who does not remember 245 that all questions of disloyalty have been passed over as being outside the scope of this Amendment. The hon. Member who spoke last from the Nationalist benches and who evidently broke loose—I see that the Leader has now come in rather late—let us have that very interesting Second Reading speech. Hon. Members below the Gangway do not often get a chance of putting their case before the House. They are kept muzzled; but the hon. Gentleman advanced either intentionally or unintentionally arguments which are in my opinion overpowering for the acceptance by the Government of this new Clause. Anyone who has had knowledge of the difficulties of the preparations for and the carrying out of a campaign on a large scale necessary for the defence of the country knows that there must be immediately to hand the machinery for putting the whole organisation into its highest fighting form at the earliest possible moment, and without a hitch. Take the Amendment. It says that—
"the heads and officers of the Irish Departments shall comply with any directions given by His Majesty as regards Irish services."
In other words, instead of having a dual control from the beginning, you have one united control under the free and full control of this House. That is to say, this House would be able to discuss the suggestions thrown out as to the preparations necessary to be made in Ireland in the event of a sudden raid by a foreign Power, which after all would be just as disastrous to Ireland as to England or Scotland. Therefore I cannot conceive why in a case of this sort the Nationalist party do not come forward and say, "In the case of a great and sudden descent upon Ireland we have no objection to the course proposed." Their new born loyalty, their affection for the Empire which they are now rolling out with so ready a tongue, surely should be sufficient to make them say, "Here is a chance, a heaven-born chance, and certainly we shall accept this Amendment, because we are now swallowing all that is passed; everything we said during the past five of six years is entirely wrong; we are very sorry for it. We see a chance now of death-bed repentance; to come forward and to ask the Government to accept this Amendment." This Amendment is vital to Ireland as well as to this country. I cannot see why the Government on the one hand and the Nationalist party on the other should not welcome the 246 Amendment—for remember it would only be put into operation when there is great danger to the whole country—why they should not accept an Amendment which permits the general, or field-marshal, or whoever it may be that takes command of the organisation of the whole of the forces throughout England, to have the power to immediately seize upon the officers at the head of the Departments of Ireland, and say to them, "Our policy is so-and-so, please carry it out." And further, in case any of the officers, through fear of their taskmasters in the new Nationalist Parliament, should stand out and decline, saying, "I am not going to risk my career under this Parliament by doing anything of the kind," that the military authority should have the power of immediate removal of such persons, and of putting someone in their place to carry out their work.
There is plenty of precedents for this sort of action. At the present time, if boards of guardians or any board in Ireland do not carry out their work properly, what happens? The board in Dublin send down an inspector, and, if necessary, replace the board by an officer of their own. That is a common thing. The power is vested in Dublin of superseding any officer or county council or rural district council or board of guardians—at least, I understand that there are these powers—I do not say quite accurately what they are, but there is a power of taking the matters into the hands of the Executive. Surely in the case of emergency in the country it should be necessary for some such power as this to be in the hands of the central organisation, who are responsible in this country for the defence of the country, so that they might take the moderate steps suggested by my hon. Friend. Hon. Members and the hon. Member for Clare, who has just spoken, have made very impassioned speeches on the loyalty of the soldiers in Ireland. This Amendment does not in any way attack the loyalty of the Irish soldier, because the Bill docs reserve the Army and Navy to the control of the Imperial Executive in time of war, and therefore that really does not arise at all. That was all window-dressing, for which I did not see any necessity at all. No one ever questioned the loyalty of the soldiers in Ireland; that is outside the scope of this Amendment, because the Amendment deals more with the Civil operations necessary in order to carry out the defences of 247 the country in times of national stress. It deals with the Civil side in dealing with food supplies, the removal of troops, questions of horses and remounts, and with the natural assistance that any locality can give in time of national emergency to secure the good working in time of war. It is to that that this Amendment is directed, and not in the slightest degree to the Army and Navy. Then, of course, we had a very interesting speech from an hon. Member, who I see is in his place. I do not quarrel with him at all, and, with the exception of a misquotation of something I said, I think his contribution to the Debate was very reasonable. What was his point? I want to deal with it, because he himself seemed to get rather astray in drawing an analogy between the United Kingdom and the Colonies. Over ant; over again we have this pet theory of appealing to the sentiment in New Zealand, in South Africa, and so on, but there is no possible analogy, not a shadow of analogy between the South African case and the case which this House is dealing with to-day. These Colonies are thousands of miles away; you cannot control them in time of war from the Central Executive here; you cannot dictate to people with whom you are not in daily contact; and not one of His Majesty's Ministers would dare to interfere if the Colonies desired to take up a certain course. They act on their own will and they make a suggestion, and if it is agreeable to them of course His Majesty's Government are prepared to incorporate it in the scheme of national defence necessary at the moment. How can you compare that position with that of Ireland, which is only twelve miles from this coast? It is easier to get from here to Ireland than it is to get to the North of Scotland. I can get home to my home in the North of Ireland sooner than some of the Scotch Members could get to their homes. It is a stupid idea to draw an analogy between Ireland and Natal or the Orange River Colony, or Australia or New Zealand. It is that false idea running through the minds of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen unfortunately that gives rise to so much unnecessary discussion in this House because there is absolutely no analogy whatever, and I will tell the House why. If this Bill, which proposes to set up Home Rule in Ireland conferred upon Ireland all the powers that the Colonies enjoy, then 248 you would have to deal with Ireland as a Colony. The two things go hand in hand, but here you are reserving to yourselves under this Bill very large powers. You have the reserved services, showing by your own wording of the Bill that you consider it necessary, owing to the proximity of Ireland to run her land purchase scheme and so on, keeping a firm hand upon these particular matters, and also matters in relation to the Army and Navy, pointing clearly to the fact that you are treating her for this purpose as part of the United Kingdom. And if that is the case surely it is all the more necessary to take into consideration when you are reserving certain powers to yourselves, the very points which have been overlooked, but which are brought to your notice in this new Clause so that your whole machinery of defence in time of war may not break down. I ask the House to look at the matter from that sensible point of view, and not from the point of view of any Colonial analogy which does not exist, but rather from the point of view which must present itself to every hon. Member of this House.
This Clause is, in my opinion, absolutely necessary, but it is an optional Clause—that is to say, it shall be lawful that these things shall be done. There is no necessity to put the Clause into force if everything desired by the authorities is properly done. In the second instance, in my opinion, in time of stress, it would be absolutely necessary to take into your hands at once the very powers embodied in this Claus\e; the only difference is that you have not got the powers under the Bill as it stands. This Clause gives you the power, and it would be useful perhaps in times of emergency to put it into force. Why the Nationalist party should object to this Clause I cannot understand, except perhaps, as I conscientiously believe, they are unrepentant so far as their former declarations and speeches are concerned, and that they do not for one moment intend this Bill to be a final settlement of the Irish question; but, on the contrary, to use a famous expression of theirs in the immediate past, it is only to be a stepping stone for further enlarging the powers of Ireland, a nation, or, as one of their recent publications said, a Republic free of Saxon rule. Hon. Members have challenged us and said we were only quoting in support of these charges of intentional and deliberate disloyalty from old speeches, that we are only raking up some ancient speeches made when it was 249 necessary to fill the hat when hon. Members were begging in Australia or when they were trying to cheer up the hearts of their followers in Ireland. That was not the case at all. I have in my hand here a speech delivered since this Government was returned to power, as they say with a mandate for this Home Rule Bill, and surely if peace and goodwill are to be established so far as the defences of the country are concerned, surely this Clause would not be resisted, but should be supported by the Nationalist party as a whole. I will read three short extracts to show what the feeling of the Nationalist party is and to show what the Government are bound to provide for and to guard against if they do not wish in the future to run the risks and the dangers which this country had to face in the past. Here is a speech delivered by Major McBride, a great Nationalist leader, who fought in the Boer war.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
Major McBride was never a supporter of the Nationalist party or of the Home Rule movement. He has from the very commencement up to this day been an open opponent of it.
The strongest Nationalist body in Ireland is the Dublin Corporation, and they gave him a place because, I presume, they had not got a place in Parliament for him. At any rate, what I say is this, that this class of man has a large following in Ireland, and it is not fair for hon. Members to get up and say, "Oh, So-and-so is outside our pale." These men in the public life of Ireland represent a large section, and in their speeches and sentiments they voice the opinion of a large section in Ireland, and here is what this gentleman said, and I read these words in order to show the class of people you have to provide against. He said:—England was not his country; the English King; was not his King. He owed no allegiance to England, and he indignantly repudiated the idea of an Englishman posing as censor of his words and acts in Ireland. The English King would undoubtedly receive a reception from his garrison and from the men who still believed they had a country to sell, but the manhood of Ireland would take no part in that reception.And continuing he said:—Four distinguished statesmen would also visit their country during the coming summer, and he hoped the 250 Press of the world would take note and emphasise the machined reception that would be given to the King of England and the splendid reception that would be extended to the four elected rulers of the four youngest nations of the world. The sword had fallen from their hands at present, but they hoped to take it up again and fight for Ireland, and they would not. stop until they had swept away every vestige of that Empire of Hell. There were ways and means of striking against England, and they should strike how they might against the Throne, the cursed British Empire, and for the freedom of Ireland.I only quote that because it is dragged from me by speeches of hon. Members below the Gangway. It is no use whatever for them to come down to this House at the eleventh hour and profess their sentiments of loyalty. We know what they have said, all of them. They put up this afternoon one of the tamest cats in their ranks to pose as a loyalist and to give hon. Gentlemen opposite an opportunity of quoting in the country from the OFFICIAL REPORTS, which always carry great weight in the country with audiences, this loyal patriotic speech made by one of the leaders of the Nationalist party, but that speech of the hon. Member will not for a moment I think stamp the whole Nationalist party as recruits to the loyalist ranks, as he would have the House believe they are. I have here a choice extract from the hon. Member for East Clare from a speech made in 1902, which was only ten years ago. The hon. Member said:—I take the Opportunity of admitting in this House that I am intensely disloyal, and the Chief Secretary knows that in making that admission I am giving the best and most adequate expression I ear, give to the sentiments of more than three-fourths of the Irish nation.6.0 P.M.
So there we have the hon. Member stating that three-fourths of the Nationalists in Ireland are absolutely disloyal to the Empire and to this country, while hon. Members on the Front Bench opposite come down and in the suave tones of the Secretary of State for War make speeches of which he and his colleagues ought to be thoroughly ashamed. The right hon. Gentleman, fresh from his honours in the South African war, came and spoke for an hon. Friend of mine in my own Division, and now he turns round and made the speech he did last night. I have looked up his very words, which I intend to use when I go down to his Constituency, and he then said the very same things that I am saying here now. That sudden sort of onversion certainly is not from a military point of view, and I refuse to believe that the refusal of an important Clause like this, based on argument out of the mouth of the right hon. Gentleman himself, is not a proper spirit in which to approach this 251 question. Let me quote the leaders of the Nationalist party. Speaking in 1907 in Dublin—I am not quoting from one of those rags which the hon. Member for Clare said were sent specially for the consumption of hon. Members on this side, but from the pet journal of the hon. Member, the "Freeman's Journal "—he said:—It was an admitted fact that the overwhelming majority of the Irish people are disaffected and disloyal to English rule.There is not one of the old stalwarts of the Home Rule Brigade who will deny these facts, and that shows that the spirit of opposition and hatred towards this country has not been appeased or ameliorated by the sort of Bills which the right hon. Gentleman has introduced. If you go on with your measure, you should at all events put all these military and naval safeguards, and all that appertains to them, outside the scope of the political part of the Bill, so that, whether we are right or you are, at all events you will have the power at any time to use the machinery proposed in this Clause for the safety of this country as a whole. Surely that is not asking too much, considering the gravity of forcing this Bill through in such a hurry when there will be no time to amend the other parts of the Bill. Besides all these very serious statements made by the leaders of Nationalist opinion, both inside and outside the House of Commons, you can pick up any day in the streets in many towns in Ireland the most disloyal literature which is being scattered about to prevent people from joining the Army and the Navy. I will only read one out of a hundred I have in my possession, in order to show hon. Members that I am not picturing anything at all in the way of exaggeration, because this is the everyday life of the people, and what they are educated to by hon. Members below the Gangway. This is the kind of thing you are deliberately encouraging in your Bill. Here is the last of these famous circulars picked up in Wexford. [An HON. MEMBER: "Who is responsible for it?"] I can only say that somebody is responsible for it, but do not let the House misunderstand me. I do not wish to accuse any Member of the Nationalist party in this respect, but month after month I have asked questions in this House upon this important matter, and I only refrained from asking more questions at the special request of the present Lord Chancellor when he was Secretary of State for War, because he said that such questions only 252 emphasised a matter which it is much better to allow to pass over, because it would eventually die down, and he said that I was just as keen as he was not to do anything which would interefere with recruiting in Ireland. Of course, I agreed with him, and over and over again these circulars which have been circulated in small towns and villages in Ireland have been sent to me, and I have sent them back to those who forwarded them, stating that I thought in the interests of the Service it would be better not to make much of them, and not ask questions about them. But that does not affect the fact that there they are, and they are being posted up by those who have the same horror of serving His Majesty either Imperially in the Army or Navy or locally in the police force, and they are doing all they can to stop recruiting for those services in Ireland. This circular which I will quote is typical of the rest:—On the 27th of May. 1798. the men of Wexford arose to free their native land. The cause that called them will call you to-morrow. Another tight for the green again. The time is drawing near when we, their descendants, will be called upon to do the same. England is certain to be involved in a big war in the near future with Germany, and so it is necessary for each and every one of us to be ready for that time and to break away from England. Irishmen awake I Arm at once. Delays are dangerous. The dawn of invasion is at hand. rove yourselves worthy descendants of the men of '98.[Laughter.] I have only given that one typical case and hon. Members will observe that it is met with hilarity upon all sides. Let me point out the effect that laughter and that jeering and supercilious way of treating a serious matter will have in Ireland. The papers will record, "Loud ironical cheers from the House of Commons." When I read such a statement as that practically the whole of the House of Commons, or at any rate the Radical party and His Majesty's Ministers, all laugh at my statement. And so it goes from bad to worse, and that very spirit of disloyalty which we deprecate and try out best to counterbalance in Ireland is fostered. For years and years we have done our best to-check this spirit of disloyalty, and when we bring these matters before the House of Commons, instead of being met with condemnation, they are met with the jeering laughter of those who are careless as to what happens to Ireland. I do not wish to go any further into this matter beyond saying that it is only one instance" trating the false promises on which a great many hon. Members of this House build their bright hopes for the future of Ireland under the Home Rule Bill. I think all this 253 shows the importance of having a workable scheme when three-fourths of Ireland are intensely disloyal to the United Kingdom and the Empire, as the hon. and learned Member for Waterford and the hon. Member for Clare have already stated in public.
Everything they say outside the House they are quite ready to deny here, and that is what I cannot understand. There are hon. Members below the Gangway who have represented the separatist views for many years. I have here the most sordid stories of the treatment of the Union Jack, which I shall not quote because they will only be met with jeers which show that hon. Members opposite are just as disloyal as the Nationalists, and I shall not trouble the House with any more of them. I have already given hon. Members a sample, and they can be repeated by the thousand if anyone cares to inquire into the matter. I say that there is not a single hon. Member below the Gangway who will dare to get up and make the speeches which hon. Members opposite make for them. The Secretary of State for War made a speech last night in which he said this Bill was going to bring fraternity and good feeling, and make all Nationalist the best of friends to this country in the future. Nevertheless, we find the Nationalist Members absolutely unrelenting, and they have no more intention of stopping here than the Government have of stopping here if they were still pressed further by the Nationalists. Not a bit of it, and not one of them will deny it. I dare any Nationalist Member to rise in his place and say that this Bill is a final settlement of the Irish question.
Such statements as we have heard are mere bosh, intended for consumption in this country. The whole story is too sordid for words, and too desperate if it were not so serious. I suppose this Amendment will be dealt with on the same lines as any other proposal which has any real vitality in it, and means anything, and it will be thrown over by the Government. Consequently you will leave yourselves and the country in the unsatisfactory state of knowing that unless the sanguine views of the right hon. Gentleman opposite are realised in the future, you may have this country involved in real and grave perils.
§ Sir ARTHUR MARKHAM
I wish to raise my protest against the speech of the hon. and gallant Member who has just sat down. What right has he to talk about the disloyalty of hon. Members on this side of the House? Disloyalty can only mean disloyalty to the Throne. I remember the same kind of speech was made by hon. Members opposite when they were sitting on these benches, and particularly by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Joseph Chamberlain), at the time of the Boer war. We were called traitors, because at that time a certain number of us took views which to-day, owing to the policy which has now been adopted, have made South Africa not only a prosperous but a contented country under the Crown. Hon. Members on this side of the House, or at all events I myself, feel very bitterly these charges of disloyalty and these imputations against our good faith. Coining into this House as an anti-Home Ruler, I became convinced after being here only five years that the only solution of the Irish difficulty was Home Rule, and I am still as convinced of that as ever after the speeches which have been made on the other side of the House I believe Home Rule will work peacefully in Ireland and that you will have these causes of discontent removed, making Ireland a loyal portion of the Empire. I utter my protest against the speeches of hon. Members on that side of the House who seem to think they have a monopoly of all honour and of all loyalty to the Crown. It has been the privilege of hon. Members to go about the country for years past declaiming against the disloyalty of hon. Members on this side of the House. I say the very tone of the speech of the hon. and learned Member—
If the hon. Member and his party associate and identify themselves with disloyal people, surely we are entitled to call them disloyal too.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I should have thought if the hon. and gallant Member had any understanding he would have known if you remove the cause that creates the discontent you get rid of the discontent. Are we to understand that if two people in this world have a grievance, and a very great grievance, they are not entitled to use the strongest language they think fit to get that grievance removed?
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
It is at all events a grievance which the overwhelming majority of the Irish elected representatives come here to voice. The whole tone of the hon. and gallant Member's speech was that this disloyalty is going to remain in Ireland. He ignores the fact that this Bill is accepted by the Irish people. When he talks about finality, is he aware there is no finality in this life? Anyone knows that in any Parliamentary system, or any other system of government, there can be no finality in this world. Therefore, when the Irish people say they accept this measure, I am going to trust them. I have recorded my votes for that reason, and I honestly believe this measure will bring peace and prosperity to Ireland. The very same kind of speech was made on these benches six or seven years ago. We were told South Africa must be governed with a firm hand or we should lose that country. What would have happened if South Africa had been governed from Downing Street, and what is the position to-day?
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
There is no more loyal subject in the British Empire to-day than General Botha. You have removed in South Africa the cause of the discontent, and you are going to remove the cause in Ireland.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have been trying to persuade hon. Members to discuss the Clause now before the House, but they seem determined to discuss anything rather than the Clause.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I apologise for rising without having prepared a speech, and for having occupied more time than I intended. All I got up to do was to protest against the tone of the hon. and gallant Member's speech and against his statement that we on this side of the House are disloyal because we ironically cheered the statements he made and which we treat with the utmost contempt.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I do not think the hon. Gentleman was in the 256 House when at an earlier period of the afternoon you, Sir, called attention to the irrelevance of some of the speeches that were made and directed the House to devote its attention to the Clause which is actually before us. I hope in the few observations I have to make I shall not give any cause to be censured by you. They will be confined to the subject which we are supposed to be discussing. My hon. Friend, in a remarkable speech last evening, moved a Clause the object of which was to secure civil control in Ireland to the Government of the United Kingdom in case of war or emergency if the circumstances were such as in the opinion of the advisers of His Majesty as to call for special steps to be taken in that direction. What is the answer that is made from the other side of the House to that demand? So far as any answer has been attempted, I think it is twofold. The first is an answer of detail. The Postmaster-General said in regard to a particular illustration put by my hon. Friend, namely, the use of the railways, that the Imperial Government would be sufficiently protected by the use of the Railway Act of 1871 and the Defence Act of 1888. A question was raised by one of my hon. Friends which is of prime importance in regard to that, and no answer has yet been given to it. I am not sufficiently a lawyer to venture a confident opinion on the subject myself, and I therefore only repeat the question to the Government: Are those Acts beyond the competence of the Irish Parliament to vary, repeal, or amend? Unless they are beyond the competence of the Irish Parliament to attack or to alter at all, of course they are no security under this Bill. It is only if the Irish Parliament is unable, I will not say to alter any part of these Acts, but any part of those Acts which is material to this particular subject, that they would be of any use. I hope from the Attorney-General or from some Member of the Government we may have an explicit answer to the question put by my hon. Friend and which I have ventured to repeat.
The other argument is one used by the Postmaster-General, repeated in shorter terms by the Secretary of State for War, and accepted and repeated, I think, by every other hon. Gentleman who has addressed the House from that side. It is that by the passage of this Home Rule Bill an entirely new state of feeling will be created in Ireland in which it will be the desire of whatever Irish Government 257 is in existence at any time of national trouble or danger to co-operate wholeheartedly and strenuously with the Imperial authority. I am not going to elaborate the observations made by my hon. and gallant Friend who has just spoken, because I do not think that is material to the issue. Of course, if you cannot have perfect faith in the Irish Government, the case is very much stronger, and I admit that to assume this perfect confidence in a future Irish Government in view of past declarations which are familiar to any of us who have followed Irish history, and in view of almost the present declarations of those who are not acting under the immediate restraint which hon. Gentlemen for reasons of policy impose upon themselves in this House, and to trust to receiving at all times and under all circumstances that whole-hearted co-operation from the Nationalist Government in Ireland does seem to me to partake too largely of credulous optimism to be good statesmanship. To say that if you pass this Bill then by law the leopard will change his spots and the Ethiopian his skin, and to believe that every man who hitherto has denounced the British connection, every man who has said that England's difficulty would be Ireland's opportunity, and every man who has cheered, echoed and applauded the statement that no man has the right to set a limit to a nation, and that, therefore, no Bill is final, or their successors can be counted upon to give you this whole-hearted co-operation in your time of difficulty because a Bill of this kind is wrung from your necessity, appears to me, I say, an impossible basis for statesmanship to rest upon.
I do not want to dwell upon that because you may say that is the argument with which you justify the Second Reading of the Bill, and that I should be doing (that which I expressly desire not to do, arguing the question of the Second Reading rather than the question of this new Clause. Let me put that argument altogether on one side, not because I do not think it is a sound one, but because I believe if you do put it on one side the case for this new Clause is not touched, and still remains an unanswered one, and, as I think, an unanswerable one. Assume all goodwill on the part of the Irish Parliament and assume all goodwill on the part of the Irish Ministers, are you weaker or stronger for purposes of war by having divided authority instead of united authority? That is the real question. My 258 hon. Friend who moved the Amendment called attention to what I think everyone will admit to be an obvious truth, that for the immediate purposes of war, for the purposes of preparation in anticipation of the possible outbreak of war, and for the purpose of taking those steps which are necessary for defence, rapid and successful a democratic country like ours where everything or almost everything has to be done in public, where we are extremely jealous of our liberties and of any infringement on them under any pretence whatever, is necessarily handicapped as compared with a more autocratic or more absolute power. That is not a reason for changing our system of government or for abandoning our democratic principles, but I say it is one of the difficulties with which democratic Governments have to contend in these matters, and it makes it the more important we should not multiply our difficulties. We are handicapped already; do not let us needlessly handicap ourselves further.
I quite agree it is of the first importance to a Government which feels bound to call upon its countrymen for great sacrifices on behalf of national defence to carry the goodwill of all its people with it, but it is of little less importance that it should be able to act swiftly, effectively, and secretly, if secrecy is needed, and when you have authority vested in two bodies instead of one, and when you have two Executives to consult instead of one you are so much the weaker. You are so much slower; your powers of secrecy are very much more limited. Put aside altogether the question of loyalty or disloyalty, put aside the question of willingness to co-operate or otherwise, the case for the Amendment is that, with the best will in the world, the establishment of two independent authorities weakens you for the purpose of defence in case of war. One single authority in that event could, if it liked, stretch out its hand to any part of the United Kingdom, and could give its directions and see that they were carried out in whatever part of the United Kingdom might be necessary. The hon. Member for Lanarkshire (Mr. Pringle) in his speech earlier in the evening made references to Roman history, and quoted certain authorities. I venture to say there are even greater authorities than Gibbon or Finlay, which the hon. Member might consult if he wants to arrive at an accurate view of the later stages of the Roman Empire—as to whether indeed the Roman Empire in its 259 flourishing days did accord to the provinces the autonomy to which the hon. Member suggests the Roman Empire owed its strength. But the hon. Gentleman was dealing with the Colonial analogy. He said, do you propose to apply your Amendment to Canada, Australia, or South Africa? Of course we do not. We are not discussing that point now.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Perhaps it was an interruption by another hon. Member. But he undoubtedly used the Colonial analogy. He pointed to Canada and South Africa, and said you did not apply an Amendment of this kind in those cases, and he further asked why in such a case should it apply to the case of Ireland? Let me, in the first instance, suggest that the object of everybody interested in Imperial defence, whether in the case of the Dominions or at home, is to find some authority to co-ordinate the activities of our military and naval forces in all parts of the Empire. There our great difficulty in Imperial defence is that at present we have not the machinery which would enable us to co-ordinate those forces. The speeches and proposals of Canadian Ministers show how they feel this lack. A Canadian representative, and, indeed, we hope representatives of the other Dominions, is to be admitted to our Defence Committee as a first step towards the creation of a common authority for matters of defence. Let me examine the Colonial analogy a little further. Surely it does not exist as between the Dominions and Ireland, but as between the different provinces of the Dominions and Ireland. Hon. Gentlemen opposite are accustomed to say that what has brought South Africa together is the grant of self-government. But what did bring it together was the pressure of outside forces—the problem of defence, and that had a great effect on the Union of Australia also. In both cases the central authority could in war act directly and swiftly everywhere. It would be possible to frame a scheme of defence for Great Britain and Ireland which did not include Canada, South Africa, or Australia. We could not, however, frame a scheme of defence for Great Britain which did not include Ireland. Assuming therefore the best will in the world on the part of the Irish Parliament, it is necessary to make 260 it clear it is within the power of the Imperial Parliament to act in an emergency. If the defence is that under the Bill the Parliament at Westminster retains concurrent power of legislation, and can therefore in any emergency acquire the powers they do not now take under the Bill, the reply is that it would be better to put the powers in the Bill than to await until the emergency arises and time is precious.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Isaacs)
I think I should perhaps be more precise if I say that this greater part of the time occupied by the Debate has been devoted to subjects irrelevant to the precise nature of this Amendment. I certainly do not make this observation in any way as applicable to the observations made by the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken. What we have to look at is the Clause providing that the power of the Executive shall be suspended in the case of war. The right hon. Gentleman has said, and to a large extent I agree with him, that this Amendment depends upon the fact that in time of national emergency it will have to deal with naval and military matters and the giving of precedence for transport over the railways-I quite appreciate that there is importance to be attached to the point, and that it is-susceptible of a very definite and clear answer. Right is given in time of national emergency to secure the power of transport over railways. This right to take precedence over the railways in time of national emergency is given by the Regulation of Railways Act,. 1878, and by the Defence Act of 1888, which give power of precedence for naval and military traffic. There is no doubt whatever about it that this power, given as it is under these two Statutes to the United Kingdom, is not taken away or in any way affected by this Government of Ireland Bill which we are now discussing. These are matters which are expressly excluded from the purview of the Irish Parliament under Clause 2, paragraph (3). It is perfectly plainly laid down that these questions of naval and military matters are excluded' from the operation of the Irish Parliament. Therefore you have your Imperial' Statute, which lays it down that in time of national emergency, in time of war, in matters relating to naval and military traffic, there shall be precedence for transport of naval and military stores, 261 that will operate just as much in Ireland as in other parts of the United Kingdom.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I have not the words before me but I have some recollection of having to deal with one of these Statutes during the time I have held office. Section 16 of the Act of 1871 says:
"The directors, officers and servants of any such railroad shall obey the directions of the Secretary of State as to the user of such railroad or plant as aforesaid for His Majesty's service."
That makes it perfectly plain; it is as complete as anybody could desire and should properly desire, in my opinion, that in the case of a national emergency there should be this power not only to take over the railway, but also to take over the servants. Practically what it comes to is that power is given to use the railway as if it were the property and completely under the control of the Imperial Government. That, I think, gives an answer to the right hon. Gentleman, and I do not doubt that he will consider it a satisfactory answer.
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
I understand the right hon. and learned Gentleman to say that the Irish Parliament has no power to vary those provisions?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
None whatever. The right hon. Gentleman dealt with some other matters, most of which were, I think, dealt with by the Postmaster-General yesterday evening, but I am not sure whether the right hon. Gentleman was present then.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
My right hon. Friend pointed out how the Executive in Ireland would be limited by the Bill to dealing with such matters as were entirely outside the question we are now discussing, except with relation to railways. The Executive can only deal with the Irish services. Those services are regulated by the Act of Parliament, and they are limited very strictly. All naval and military matters are excluded from their direction or operations in any way, both as regards legislation and as regards the power of the Executive.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The police stand on a different footing. For six years they stand in a different category. After the six years it will be a question for the Irish Parliament to determine as to what shall be done with the police, and how that force shall be carried on. It is perfectly plain as regards the Navy, the Army, the Territorial Force, or any other Naval or Military force for the defence of the United Kingdom, or as regards any naval or military matter, that the Irish Executive have no power, and that the Irish Parliament have no power to legislate. I think I have answered all the points raised by the right hon. Gentleman with reference to the Bill without in any way travelling outside what seemed to me to be the very narrow limits of this Amendment. There is only one other observation I desire to make in answer to the right hon. Gentleman. He has criticised some of the observations made in reference to our self-governing Dominions from this side of the House, and also, I think, from the Irish Nationalist party. With much that he said I am in agreement. I do not think anything has been said from the Front Bench on this side which would indicate that we view Ireland for this purpose as if it were a self-governing Dominion, or that we treated Ireland, which is twelve miles from here, as we treated Canada, which is some thousands of miles away. We have said—I know I have said it myself, and although I do not like referring to my own speeches I do so in order to make the matter clear—it is true that at times during the course of the Debates references have been made to the various Acts which confer Constitutions on our self-governing Dominions, but it has never been for the purpose of drawing an analogy. We do not suggest that there is any exact precedent for the particular powers we are giving to the Irish Parliament under this Bill. You have a totally different set of circumstances to deal with. It was only occasionally, when we were dealing with some specific Clause where a challenge has been made in the course of Debate, quite naturally, "Is there any precedent for such a Clause as this?" that we have referred at times to the various Constitutions that have been conferred by Act of Parliament, or, in some cases, by Letters Patent, and arguments were adduced on each side both for and against the particular provision under discussion.
263 It is a total error to conceive that we have founded this Bill in any way on any precise analogy to the self-governing Dominions. I desire to make that clear. I do not think there can be any doubt about it after the Debates which have taken place, although, perhaps, in the earlier stages, there was some misunderstanding in regard to it. In this connection, as reference has been made to it, it is worthy of observation that in this Bill with which we are dealing, and in reference to this particular Amendment dealing specifically with national defence or a time of national emergency, we have reserved far greater powers than under any Act of Parliament which has been passed conferring self-Government on any of our Dominions beyond the seas. Naturally that has to be done in view of the geographical proximity of Ireland to this country, and the relations in which we must naturally stand to Ireland in time of war. I submit to the House that we have taken every protection which can legitimately be asked for to safeguard this country, and, of course, also to safeguard Ireland, for if there is any great war in which this country should unhappily be involved Ireland will be in just as much peril as this country, and Ireland will just as much have to shoulder the rifle as we should. Bearing that in mind, it is to Ireland's interest just as much as it is to the interest of Great Britain that there should be proper protection. We think we have taken under this Bill every protection that is really needed. Bearing that in mind, and giving full effect to the particular provisions of this Bill, we think we must add the further consideration, which must never be lost sight of, that you will get a better co-operation for the purposes of your common defence from your friends in Ireland than you are likely to get from those who think, at any rate, that they have grievances, and that therefore they ought to be disloyal to the British rule.
§ Mr. MOORE
The right hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken will pardon me if I do not follow him into a great many of the topics with which he has dealt. I want to put what occurs to me in this way: This is an enabling Clause, with powers in it. When you come to decide, as the House will have to decide, whether it is necessary or not, the most important element to consider will be the conditions of the place in which 264 it is to operate. If we are convinced that the majority of the population will be hostile to measures which are taken for the defence of the United Kingdom or of the Empire, that makes a very material difference indeed as to the necessity of adopting it or not. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for East Down (Captain Craig), when he read out literature circulated here and in Ireland proving that there would be a danger of that hostility from the population, was received with jeers and laughter from the other side. Hon. Members opposite want to live in a fool's paradise; they want to say that everything is going to be all right; that we are going to have a loyal population in Ireland who will entirely facilitate and assist us in time of emergency or of war. I wish to give one instance in my own knowledge. This is a topic on which Irish Members may be of use to the House, because they can state what is going on in their own country. I challenge contradiction of the facts I am going to put forward for the consideration of those Members who laughed when rebel literature was read out. There are the Victoria Barracks in Belfast. The cemetery is about a mile and a-half from the barracks. To this day, under an Order sanctioned by the War Office, which has been in operation since the year 1907, if an unfortunate soldier has to be brought for burial from the Victoria Barracks in Belfast to his nearest resting place in the cemetery, you cannot bring the corpse the direct route of a mile and a-half, because it would be covered by the Union Jack, and because it would be escorted by his comrades in the King's uniform. You have to trail it round three miles before you can lay that man under the sod. Why? Because there intervenes the Nationalist quarters, and Nationalists would consider it a disgrace if a soldier's funeral should pass through their midst. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] You need not say "Oh." There is the Secretary for War, who had to admit it in answer to a question on the floor of this House on the 7th August last, that it is done under an Order issued by the General commanding the district in 1907, which the right hon. Gentleman admitted in this House was in force to this day. That is the love of the population and their desire to assist the British Army. They are carrying on a vendetta against the dead. [An HON. MEMBER: "That is worthy of Moore."] It is worthy of the OFFICIAL REPORT, if the answer the War Secretary gave me is true. It is no 265 pleasure to me to bring these things up. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] I think it is a disgrace to you. That is the dead! How about the living?
That quarter is put out of bounds for every soldier who comes to Belfast. You get English or Scottish regiments coming in, who are strangers to the town, and a poor young Englishman or Scotchman, not knowing the city, perhaps, gets into this quarter. What happens to him? He is beaten and assaulted because he wears the King's uniform. Yet the Secretary for War will get up in this House and bleat of the
§ assistance and support that the British Army will get in their defensive measures from the population composed of his Nationalist friends in Ireland. I say the facts give him the lie, and his own answer gives him the lie. While things like this are carried on under orders issued with the approval of his Office, he has no right to get up and mislead the House by statements as to the halcyon days that are to come.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 150; Noes,288.269
|Division No. 473.]||AYES.||[7.0 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Moore, William|
|Astor, Waldorf||Forster, Henry William||Morrison-Bell. Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gardner, Ernest||Mount, William Arthur|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Goldman, C. S.||Nield, Herbert|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Goldsmith, Frank||O'Neill, Hoa. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Barnston, Harry||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Gretton, John||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Haddock, George Bahr||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Harris, Henry Percy||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Bird, Alfred||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Blair, Reginald||Helmsley, Viscount||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Rutherford, John (Lanes., Darwen)|
|Boyton, James||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Butcher, John George||Hoare, S. J. G.||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Campbell. Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Swift, Rigby|
|Cassel, Felix||Horner, Andrew Long||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Houston, Robert Paterson||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hunt, Rowland||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Chambers, James||Kimber, Sir Henry||Valentia, Viscount|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Larmor, Sir J.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Ward, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Lewisham, Viscount||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lloyd, G. A.||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Croft, H. P.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Winterton, Earl|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lonsdale, Sir John Browniee||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dixon, C. H.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S.Geo.,Han.S.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich)||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Duke, Henry Edward||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Macmaster, Donald||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||M'Mordie, Robert James|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Colonel|
|Fell, Arthur||Magnus, Sir Philip||Burn and Mr. Wheler.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Malcolm, Ian|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)|
|Adamson, William||Armitage, Robert||Barnes, G. N.|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Barton, William|
|Alden, Percy||Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Beauchamp, Sir Edward|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Calthness-shire)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||O'Brien, William (Ccrk)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Boland, John Plus||Hayward, Evan||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hazleton, Richard||O Dowd, John|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||O Grady, James|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Brace, William||Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Malley, William|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Shee, James John|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Higham, John Sharp||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hinds, John||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Hodge, John||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hogge, James Myles||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Phillpps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Philips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Chappie, Or. William Allen||Hudson, Walter||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hughes, S. L.||Pointer, Joseph|
|Clough, William||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Power, Fatrick Joseph|
|Clynes, John R.||John, Edward Thomas||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Primrose, Hon. Nell James|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Radford, G. H.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Reddy, M.|
|Crean, Eugene||Jowett, F. W.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Crooks, William||Joyce, Michael||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Keating, Matthew||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Cullinan, John||Kellaway, Frederick George||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Davies, Ellis William (Elfion)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Richards, Thomas|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) -||Kilbride, Denis||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||King, J. (Somerset, North)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Delany, William||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Dillon, John||Leach, Charles||Robinson, Sidney|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Doris, William||Lewis, John Herbert||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lundon, Thomas||Rowlands, James|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lynch, A. A.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||McGhee, Richard||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Maclean, Donald||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Esslemont, George Birnle||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||ScanIan, Thomas|
|Falconer, James||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Macpherson, James Ian||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sheehy, David|
|Firench, Peter||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Field, William||M'Kean, John||Shortt, Edward|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||McKenna. Rt. Hon. Reginald||Simon, Sir John Allsebrcok|
|Fitzgibbon, John||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lines.,Spalding)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Furness, Stephen||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Snowden, Philip|
|George, Rt. Hon, D. Lloyd||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Gilhooly, James||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Sutton, John E.|
|Gill, A. H.||Meagher, Michael||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Ginnell, Laurence||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Millar, James Duncan||Tennant, Harold John|
|Glanville, H. J.||Molloy, Michael||Thomas, J. H.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Mciteno, Percy Alport||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Morgan, George Hay||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Morrell, Philip||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Morison, Hector||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Morton, Alphcus Cleophas||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Guiney, Patrick||Muldcon, John||Wadsworth, J.|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Munro, R.||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Hackett, John||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Nannettl, Joseph P.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Hancock, J. G.||Neilson, Francis||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Nolan, Joseph||Wardle, George J.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Norman, Sir Henry||Waring, Walter|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Wintrey, Richard|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Webb, H.||Williams, John (Glamorgan)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Whitehouse, John Howard||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)||Illingworth and Mr.Gulland|