§ (1) On and after the appointed day there shall be in Ireland an Irish Parliament consisting of His Majesty the King and two Houses, namely, the Irish Senate and the Irish House of Commons.
§ (2) Notwithstanding the establishment of the Irish Parliament or anything contained in this Act, the supreme power and authority of the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall remain unaffected and un-diminished over all persons, matters, and things within His Majesty's Dominions.
§ Amendment proposed [11th June]: In Sub-section (1) after the words "shall" ["there shall be in Ireland"], to insert the words "subject to the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, and Londonderry being excluded from the provisions of this Act."—[Mr. Agar-Robartes.]1504
§ Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted." Debate resumed.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Before I put the Amendment again before the Committee, I think, perhaps, I ought to remind the Committee of the exact point at issue. It is this: If this Bill is to pass should it pass with the four counties included or excluded?
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I trust, under the somewhat more tranquil conditions that prevail to-day than on the last occasion when I was allowed to address the House upon this subject, it will be possible to adhere more closely to the question of the four counties in the few observations I have to make than was done in the concluding part of the Debate on Thursday night. The question, the decision of which the Committee is approaching, is, I imagine, on the whole, the most important Amendment which will be raised or can be raised during the whole course of our Committee discussion on this Home Rule Bill. I confess that in the speeches which have been made on the other side of the House, and especially the speeches made from the Front Bench, I detect a patent inability on the part of the Government even to attempt to understand the fundamental facts of the Ulster case. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary said the whole or principal object of the Ulster case was to afford an opportunity for Parliamentary dialectics. I can assure the Government, with some knowledge of these people, that the last thing in the world they are thinking about is Parliamentary dialectics. The last thing in the world that is influencing them is any question of party tactics. I know that hon. Gentlemen opposite commonly assume that the intensity of feeling in Ulster is engineered in some way by my Friends and myself and those who agree with us in the interest of our party politics. I can tell the right hon. Gentleman that we have exactly the same phenomenon in Liverpool as we have in Ulster, and neither in Liverpool nor in Belfast are people caring or thinking at all of our ordinary party politics. It is true of Belfast, though in a lesser degree of Liverpool, that if there was not this issue between Home Rulers and anti-Home Rulers an overwhelming majority of the workmen of Belfast and a very large number of workmen of Liverpool would be found supporting right hon. Gentlemen opposite today, and it is just because they are so 1505 profoundly convinced of the mischief and menace of these proposals that they find themselves so resolutely supporting us in our opposition to them. The question whether Ulster was to be excluded or was not to be excluded from the provisions of this Bill, must have been considered by the Cabinet before this Bill was introduced in the House of Commons.
It is absolutely incredible that the Minister in charge of the Bill, and still more that the Prime Minister, could have left their treatment of the proposed exclusion of Ulster to the inspiration of the moment, or even, and this is more absurd, to the trend of Debate as the trend of Debate developed in the House of Commons. How has this question been treated when the proposal was made? The Government must have faced it not only with the knowledge that the proposal would be made, but, what is far more important, with the knowledge that the Leader of the Irish party would not permit of the exclusion of Ulster. No one will be so extremely simple to suppose that the attitude of the Government was decided upon without the knowledge that one of their own supporters was about to propose the exclusion of Ulster, and that nobody on behalf of the Government took the trouble to ascertain what were the views of the Leader of the Irish party on this question. We have had the advantage of hearing the views of the Leader of the Irish party, and we have had the advantage of hearing the views of at least one of his supporters. They told us, in explicit and categorical terms, that under no circumstances and for no consideration would they agree to the exclusion of Ulster from this Bill. That being so, I should like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that being clear, what is the use of a Minister asking, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked in the course of his speech, whether we seriously put forward this proposal on behalf of Ulster? Over and over again he said to myself and to my hon. Friend, if this request was a request seriously put forward on behalf of Ulster it would deserve and it would require the most grave consideration of the Government. The answer to that is that we have already been informed by the Minister principally in charge of the Bill that under no circumstances would this Amendment be accepted, and in the second place we have been informed by the Leader of the Irish party that under no circumstances will you be allowed to accept this Amendment. It follows from that, 1506 and no one I think will dispute this, that whether we accept this Amendment or not the Government is not in a position to accept it.
Is it not time that we got rid of this unreality of Debate? The device of the Government is childish in its transparency. The Prime Minister and the Solicitor-General and the Chancellor of the Exchequer all joined in a manner singularly maladroit in an attempt to prevent Ulster Members voting for this Amendment with one object and with one object only, in order that they might go on to every English platform and say Ulster was offered the opportunity of contracting out of this Bill, and the representatives of Ulster in the House of Commons declined to take it. They have all attempted to do it upon very simple grounds. The Prime Minister spoke of the chivalry which ought to be found in the Ulster representatives. The Solicitor-General asked whether the Ulster representatives were going to take to the boats, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked whether the Ulster representatives were concerned about saving their own skins. This argument would have been stronger if your case had not been that no reason exists which demands chivalry, and that there is no crisis which requires boats, and no perils which threaten anybody's skins. If we are to assume, and this is our case, that there is some risk, what is this argument which plays so large a part in the speech of every Minister. It is suggested, if I understand it, that the Unionists in the South of Ireland are being ungenerously treated by the Unionists in the North of Ireland, because the North of Ireland will be accepting an Amendment which excludes her from the Irish Parliament. That observation entirely ignores the fact that under no circumstances and in no event will Ulster in their view be in your Parliament. In no event will she have been in a position to give that form of protection to the South of Ireland.
You assume in this argument that the alternatives before Ulster are in the first place that she shall take part in the Irish Parliament, and from within the Irish Parliament protect the Unionist minority and the South of Ireland, and that the only other alternative is that she should by virtue of this Amendment or a similar Amendment, remain outside the Irish Parliament. Those may be the alternatives which present themselves to your mind. Ulster may be right or Ulster may 1507 be wrong, but she faces this crisis with wholly different alternatives. It never has presented itself to the representatives of Ulster that they shall be included in this Parliament, and in this view they have received the strongest possible encouragement from influential Members of the present Cabinet. No Minister who has spoken in the course of this Debate, has even attempted to put any construction upon the speeches made by the First Lord of the Admiralty and by the Foreign Secretary in order to reconcile those with the speeches made in every other corner of the House. Neither of those two Ministers, each of whom made a more significant pronouncement in relation to this Amendment than has been made by any Minister who has spoken from that bench, thinks this Amendment is sufficiently important to be here in order to explain. In their absence, and without them it must be said we have had little assistance from the Front Bench on this point, we must determine what their meaning was.
What they said was perfectly clear, because they both said in substance almost the same thing. They have both admitted that if Ulster persists in her resolution to stand outside the Irish Parliament that she is not practically compellable to take her place in the new Parliament. That is the substance of the admission made by both of them. What follows from that? If they are right it is no use you saying in this House that the alternative open to the North of Ireland is either to come into the Parliament or accept this Amendment. That is not the case at all. The alternative open to Ulster is either to stay out in virtue of this Amendment or in the circumstances conceived by the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Foreign Secretary to stay out by virtue of her own resolution, under which you never could compel her. But whether Ulster remains out in virtue of this Amendment or a similar Amendment, or whether Ulster remains out in the circumstances contemplated by the two Ministers of whom I have spoken, in no case will the Unionists in the South of Ireland derive the advantage of the protection of Ulster in an Irish Parliament. Therefore the whole suggested betrayal of the Unionists of the South of Ireland by the Unionists of the North is a chimera the moment you examine the real facts of the case if the case was that, and, what is more important, of the case as 1508 everybody knows it to exist. There is no answer to that contention, unless indeed the Government denies that, whether Ulster be right or wrong, that in fact the men of Ulster are determined to resist this proposal. I do not propose to argue at any great length as to whether the working men of Belfast are resolute in a determination which on more than one former occasion they have solemnly avowed.
I must allow myself an expression of surprise at the attitude which is commonly taken up upon this subject by the Labour party. You would really imagine to hear their openly-expressed contempt whenever any reference is made to the resolution expressed by the working men of Belfast that this was a resistance which, whether it be wise or unwise, justifiable or unjustifiable, was a resistance of capitalists. Surely whatever else is clear, it must be clear to the Labour party that whether this is a wise or unwise resistance, it proceeds from the working classes themselves, and it is held by them with a tenacity and enthusiasm which equals, if it does not surpass, the tenacity and enthusiasm of any other class in Belfast. We were afforded recently a most significant illustration of this situation. I remember speaking at a by-election in Belfast some four years ago, in which the candidates were not a Conservative Unionist and a Liberal. This particular by-election was between a Conservative candidate and a Labour candidate. The Labour Members of this House commonly avow themselves to be strong supporters-of the principle of Home Rule. It was therefore somewhat interesting to discover that when they challenged the suffrages of their own trade unionists in Belfast by a Labour candidate that that candidate announced himself as an opponent of Home Rule, while an adherent of the Labour party in domestic matters. Those are the principles on this matter of the Labour party. If they had won that election we should have been afforded the spectacle of a Socialist Unionist in the House of Commons. I can only admire the electioneering resources of a party which has been able to say with great truth that all is grist to their mill. When they sneer and jeer, as they do, at the expense of those in Ulster who say that they will resist, they do so at the expense of the trade unionists of Belfast. Let it be understood that they do so at the expense of men to whom they are the first to appeal when it suits them to do so for their suffrage on domestic issues.
1509 I have no doubt that Ulster will resist these proposals. I have still less doubt she will be right to resist them. I would draw a distinction. It is quite possible that we in England and any Government which addressed itself to the political condition of Ireland, would be entitled to say to Ulster, "the time has come when from our English standpoint it no longer suits us to permit the representatives of Ulster to come to the House of Commons, and when, for high considerations of State, we choose no longer for any purpose to be embarrassed by the Government of Ulster or be responsible for its affairs." I say I can understand, although it is not very easy to conceive the circumstances, but in the abstract, I can understand a Government taking up that position. In such a case they would say to Ulster, "we have cut ourselves adrift from you, go your own way. The very Act which has cut us adrift deprives us of the right to dictate to you what shall be your destiny in the new position created by us." If we had done that the particular criticism which I am bound to make would not have arisen, but the one thing you are not entitled to do to Ulster is to try to cut her adrift and then force Ulster to go to the Nationalists who could not force her to go there themselves. When I heard the Leader of the Irish party, and the hon. Gentleman who preceded him in the course of this Debate, announce that they cannot accept Home Rule unless it includes Ulster, and when I heard the parade of that determination that no concession of Home Rule would be accepted unless it involved the concession of Ulster to them I felt disposed to ask one or two questions. What kind of position do they think the passage of this Bill is going to create? Do they think that as the result of this Bill passing they are entitled to come to England and say to her, "There is Ulster, we cannot take Ulster for ourselves, you go and take it for us." I would dearly like to see the members of the Ancient Hibernian Society or the champions of the Land League mobilising for this attack on Ulster. They might start; they would never return. Their proposal is that this conquest should be achieved for them by English soldiers, and they take a somewhat more sanguine view of any encounter that is likely to take place than they would if they conceived of themselves as contingent combatants. They say that it is only bluff. They do not think there will be much bloodshed—a little perhaps, but not much. I venture to 1510 think their opinion would be tinged by apprehensions of a somewhat more sombre character if they were going to take any part in the conflict themselves.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
The hon. Gentleman has asked me a perfectly fair question. I answer very frankly that no one is more conscious than I am that I could contribute very little to the military efficiency of those who were resisting either the Regular Forces or the still more formidable invasion from the South. But while I make that admission frankly, I say here what I should not have said if I had not been invited by the hon. Gentleman to express my view on this point: neither I nor the vast majority of my hon. Friends would ever dream of recommending any course which we were not prepared according to the measure of our capacity to share. [An HON. MEMBER: "Good old rebel."] I wonder if the hon. Gentleman who is pleased to express in that way his view of the attitude I have disclosed has ever tried to put himself in the position of Ulster? What is it they say on this point? I do not know—and I do not intend to argue the point, because there are others who can do it with far more intimate knowledge than I can—what the position of Ulster would be if there had been a fair and specific appeal to the constituencies on the subject of this very Bill. No one can know. Nor is it necessary to address our minds on that point, because the position with which Ulster is confronted, and which more than anything else is exciting the indignation of the Protestants in Ulster, is that every one of them knows that they have never had the chance of an appeal to the constituencies on the subject. With what patience can the Protestants of Ulster listen to the favourite argument of the Prime Minister that Home Rule was before the country because Unionists speakers and Unionist candidates said that if the Government were returned to power a Home Rule Bill would be introduced? Nobody wants to know whether in that form of generality this question was considered by the country. I will ask a question which expresses the matter much more directly. Will anyone pretend that there is any pretext for saying that the constituencies ever pronounced on the question whether Home Rule should include the province of Ulster or exclude it?
1511 Those who have spoken from the Treasury Bench have thought it sufficient answer to the arguments which have been addressed to them from this side of the House to say that this is a wrecking Amendment. That description requires a little analysis. It becomes relevant to ask, What is it that constitutes a wrecking Amendment? Is it the intention of the Mover? No one will make such a foolish statement as to say whether or not an Amendment is a wrecking Amendment depends upon the motive operating in the mind of the Member who moved it. That is not the criterion of whether an Amendment is a wrecking Amendment or not. An Amendment is a wrecking Amendment, not because there is the intention to wreck, but because in actual fact the effect of the Amendment if carried will be to wreck the Bill. When the Government say that this is a wrecking Amendment, do they mean that if the Amendment is carried it will in fact wreck the Bill? That must be their meaning. No other is possible. Observe what follows. You are beaten in any event upon this Bill; you are beaten because you will never carry Home Rule with Ulster, and you will wreck the Bill if you carry an Amendment excluding Ulster. You can never carry a proposal that Ulster shall be included in the terms of this Bill. Your own Ministers have made it clearly known that you will never do that without shooting Ulster men down, and other things in Ulster will go down if shooting commences. We have heard from almost every speaker on behalf of the Government of the strong claim which Irish Nationalist Members have in their advocacy of Horns Rule, founded upon the degree of persistency with which for so many generations they have championed this cause, and the unanimity which has existed among their Parliamentary representatives in its support. My right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Mr. A. J. Balfour) pointed out earlier in the Debate that every argument which can be founded upon the persistency of Nationalist Members can be founded with equal force upon the persistency in the opposite sense of the Ulster representatives. No one has attempted to answer that argument. Either it is a good argument or it is a bad argument that the Parliamentary representatives of one-fifteenth of the total population of these islands have come to the House of Commons for forty years, and said, "We want Home Rule." If it is a good argument, it must be an equally good 1512 argument that the Parliamentary representatives of one-fourth of the people of Ireland have come to this House for thirty years, and said, "We do not want Home Rule, and under no circumstances will we have it."
The only answer which has been attempted to the point made so forcibly by my right hon. Friend was made by the Solicitor-General who said: "Is it not a fact that Ireland has always been treated as one legislative entity, and that no distinction has ever been drawn, or at any one moment in their history could have been drawn, between Ulster and the rest of Ireland as separate legislative entities?" Not only is that not true, but it is most profoundly untrue. When he said, in the sense of the argument which my right hon. Friend used, and to which the Solicitor-General attempted to reply, that Ulster and the rest of Ireland are for all purposes a single legislative entity, I suppose the hon. and learned Gentleman meant, if his argument had, as I am sure it had, any abstract reasoning value at all, that the kind of legislation which satisfies the rest of Ireland has been found in experience to satisfy Ulster, because in that sense alone could they constitute one legislative entity. Not only is that not true, but the very opposite is true; because we find to-day, after all these years of the Union, every Nationalist representative comes forward and says, "Your legislation has never suited us," while every representative from Ulster says, "Your legislation has always suited us." [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] There seems to be some dissent entertained to that proposition; I hope it will become vocal in the course of the Debate, and that I shall be shown where I am wrong. We have the fact unchallenged and unchallengable that the Ulster representatives in this House say, "We are satisfied with the method and machinery which exist for passing legislation by which we are bound." By Ulster I mean the Protestants of the North-East of Ireland. The proposition I laid down, as the House well understood, was confined to that section of the Irish people. Limiting the proposition in that way, I challenge contradiction when I say that just as you have the Nationalist Members saying, "English legislation carried in the English Parliament has never suited us," so you have these Ulster Members of whom I speak saying, "For all these years we have been satisfied with the machinery by which you have carried legislation for us." If that claim is well 1513 founded, as it evidently is, it is preposterous to say that during that period you have had one legislative entity of Ulster and the rest of Ireland.
Other speakers have appealed before me, and I entertain no expectation that I shall appeal with more success; but I invite the Government to do what I think they ought to have done earlier, and what I think they are bound to do now, and that is to tell us what is their policy supposing this Amendment is rejected. I hope the Committee will observe that the opportunity for adopting this Amendment will not occur very often. This proposal will not be debateable again during the Committee stage of the Bill, but it will be I imagine, on the Report stage. If it is not inserted either on the Committee stage or on the Report stage during the present year, as I understand, it can never be inserted at all, because if yon insert it next year or the year after, except by consent, the measure will no longer be the same Bill, and it will not be able to take advantage of the Parliament Act. Therefore the crisis is a serious and immediate one. I invite the Government to tell us in the course of this Debate, if this Amendment is not carried, have they at all faced the contingency that there will be resistance in Ulster; and if there is resistance in Ulster do they mean to commit themselves to the proposition that they will meet that opposition by force? I believe the Government have given no answer to this appeal, so often made, not from any desire to treat with rudeness those who made it, but because they do not know themselves what their policy is, and in that indecision on a point of critical urgency I am satisfied that this Bill will find its grave.
§ Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
I am anxious to make a few observations before this discussion comes to an end, and they will have very little reference indeed to the somewhat provocative party recriminations in which the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken is recognised to be one of the most brilliant and accomplished protagonists. I wish, however, to answer some of his arguments as one or two of them would deserve. There are very few compromises indeed to which I, for one, would not gladly assent if the effect was to conciliate the Protestant minority. The Amendment under consideration is almost the sole exception. This is the one compromise which to Irishmen is intolerable and impossible. Some of us, at all events, would prefer to 1514 the end of our days to be ruled by this Parliament, or by the Grand Turk for that matter, than be assenting parties to the mutilation of the country which the hand of God and the whole course of history has made one. That is one of the things on which all Irish Protestants, as well as all Irish Catholics, think alike. That is, I venture to say, if the right hon. Gentleman, who is not an Irishman himself, will give me leave to say so, one of the common instincts, one of the common ties of unity, one of the facts of our common mentality, which no human law can override, and which, no matter what man may say, do constitute us one nation, and not two nations. Whatever other differences we may have, we are, I think, all proud of being Irishmen; Irishmen not merely of the North or North-East or South or South-West, but Irishmen all round the compass. I think, indeed, the Solicitor-General was not far from the fact when he stated, in the course of Debate the other night, that the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin is himself one of the most characteristic of Irishmen; and he is in nothing more characteristic than in the fact that in the position he has taken up in this struggle—we in Ireland have reason to lament it—he is undoubtedly actuated by idealism, by disinterestedness, and, perhaps, by a touch of quixotism, which we are not altogether ashamed of as a special characteristic, or, if you will, as a special reproach to Irishmen.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University, in his most candid speech, has made it as clear as crystal that every Irishman for whom he speaks, as well as those we can speak for, thinks that any proposal to cut Ireland up into Protestant or Catholic concentration camps is unthinkable and impossible. I, of course, agree with the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken that their support of this Amendment is a sort of reductio ad absurdum of the federal theory, but it is perfectly intelligible Parliamentary tactics,' and perfectly legitimate in their war against this Bill. It is a new idea that an Opposition should propose no Amendment which did not please the other side. So far as the Nationalists are concerned, either at home or abroad, there is no possibility of our entertaining for one moment such a proposal as this Amendment. No doubt our race ethnologically is a somewhat mixed race; although we have the comfortable belief that it is Celtic 1515 blood that in the long run tells. But if there is any force in the somewhat absurd cry about two nations in Ireland, I can only say that it would be nearer the truth to say that there are three nations in Ireland. Whilst the Presbyterians of Ulster are mostly of Scottish origin, the Episcopalians of the Church of Ireland are mostly of English origin. Anybody who knows Ulster knows that up to a very few years ago, so far as there was any religious distinction in Ulster politics, it was the Presbyterians and the Catholics who were united in one camp, and the Protestant Episcopalians who were united in the other. So far, then, from there being any justification, ethnologically or historically, for the notion that the Protestants of Ulster should be annexed to Scotland—as a certain Scottish humorist proposed in the course of this Debate—it would be much nearer the truth to say that there are two nations in Scotland. You would be as little, or as much, justified in carving the country in two, as we would be in claiming that a large part of Scotland should be annexed to Ireland, because you have in the Highlands a large body of people who are part with ourselves of the Celtic stock.
I desire simply to say that this present Amendment is an impossible and hateful one to both Protestants and Catholics. It is almost the only compromise that I can conceive of to which those who think as I do would have any objection, even if the result were to allay the suspicions and win the co-operation of our Protestant fellow-countrymen. I daresay you would rule me out of order if I were on this particular occasion to go into the nature of the compromises that I believe are practical ones. I will content myself for the moment by saying that ever since the Disestablishment of the Church, ever since the concession of self-government to the counties, and the passing of the Universities Act, but above all, ever since the substantial outlines of the settlement of the agrarian difficulty were agreed to by all Irish parties and by all British parties in this House on the initiative of the Land Conference, practically speaking the old barriers of material interests which once separated one class of Irishman from another have disappeared. Although there are still in the North and on both sides remnants of the old sectarian narrowness and of rancour, I claim that there is nothing in which all classes and 1516 all races in Ireland are more deeply united than in their unchangeable attachment to religion, and that religion is in most essentials a common religion, because in our day religious faith has to contend with much more serious difficulties than those discussed by the theologians. As I have said, Irish Nationalists would as soon cut off their hands as cut off from Ireland the province which is sacred ground to all of us, from the earliest dawn of our history, by thousands of the most cherished associations.
Ulster was the home of the Red Branch Knights in the old days, whose code of chivalry was at the root of our Irish valour. It was the home of hundreds of the most heroic Gaelic princes, men like Shane O'Neil, Hugh O'Neil, and Red Hugh; it was the home of Anglo-Irish Protestant patriots of the Dungannon Convention, and the men of the United Irishmen days, whose names are worshipped to-day in every Catholic cabin in the South just as ardently as that of any Irish Catholic of whom our history tells us. We therefore cannot, and will not, for any consideration part from our historical inheritance, part with a single Irishman within the shores of the island. On the other hand, within the shores of the island, we respectfully invite and welcome our Protestant fellow-countrymen to seek and find every form of power and honour in their own country short of actual ascendancy. They will not be asked to submit to any theory of nationality which will do the slightest violence to their own English or Scottish associations or their own traditions, like the siege of Derry or the battle of the Boyne. I go further, no matter how my words may be misrepresented in Ireland, I say I should look forward to an Irish Parliament with very mixed feelings indeed if I did not feel sure that upon the day when our Protestant fellow-countrymen can see their way to join us in organising a great national peace party in Ireland, exempt from all the old party trammels and passions of the past, they will find themselves in a position not merely to defend themselves against persecution, but to defend themselves far better than this House has ever defended or can defend them, and they will in future years by their own qualities and by the natural bias of the Irish character find themselves amongst the most effective and powerful elements in the governing majority of the Irish Parliament and of the Irish Ministry.
1517 These are not smooth words to be uttered for mere partisan purposes, while the fate of this Bill is still in the balance. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University himself has done us the justice of bearing generous testimony to the fact that my Friends and myself for the past nine years have given some substantial proof of the faith that was in us in the teeth of misrepresentation. The right hon. Gentleman went still further. He gave, I think, a pretty broad hint that if our doctrine of conciliation and of toleration had only been allowed to prevail a little more largely in Ireland that the alarms of Protestant Ulster would not have been raised to the pitch to which they Lave been raised. He did not exactly say this, but I say it, that possibly if we had got a little more fair play in Ireland we would be a little nearer to the friendly and honourable compromise in which in my belief sooner or later this controversy will find its solution. At all events the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Walton spoke of our speaking with contempt for the existence of the Protestant North. I have never ridiculed, and I do not now ridicule either the reality of their apprehensions nor their power of resistance. I end as I began by saying that whenever our Protestant fellow-countrymen make up their minds to put forward proposals intended not to kill this Bill, but intended to make it acceptable to every reasonable Unionist in Ireland, I for one will be with them to the death and aid them in holding their ground in honour and in power in the land that is their native land as well as it is mine.
§ Mr. BUCKMASTER
The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Walton (Mr. F. E. Smith) said yesterday that this was the most real and most important Amendment that could occupy the consideration of the Committee in the discussions we must have on this Bill. I believe that from that statement few Members upon this side of the House will be prepared to dissent. It is the most real, the most vital, and the most important, and, yet in one sense, the most unreal Amendment that will be considered during the whole of these discussions. It is the most real because to a certain extent, and amongst a certain section of Members of this House it expresses an uneasiness and apprehension deeply felt, though I believe unreasonably held, as to the future of Ulster if this Bill becomes law. It was proposed by the hon. Member for St. Austell's Division of Cornwall (Mr. Agar- 1518 Robartes) for the purpose of removing that objection and allaying that apprehension, but it is supported by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite on the distinct ground that if this Amendment be carried the Bill will be destroyed. I do not say for a moment that these are the feelings that actuate the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool. It is not always easy to know exactly what are the real feelings that actuate him, but they certainly are the feelings that actuate the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Dublin University (Sir E. Carson). He said in terms at the big meeting at the Albert Hall that if this Amendment were carried the Bill would be destroyed, and therefore he supported the Amendment, and it is perfectly plain, when you consider the whole character and position of the history of this Bill, that if this Amendment were carried, and the Bill became law, Members like the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University, and those who follow him, would be in a position of grave embarrassment. The real fact is that what the right hon. Gentleman said as to the two alternatives of Ulster is quite accurate.
The real position which Ulster desires to get to-day is this: to stand aloof and to refuse compliance with the Bill if it becomes law in the hopes thereby that the whole measure may be defeated, and if once Ulster or the four counties mentioned in the Amendment were excluded from the operations of this Bill the very-ground and reason, the very basis of their hope and belief that this Bill will never become operative will at once be shattered and destroyed. I am anxious to examine not the tactical reasons, not the party reasons, but the real reasons that lie at the back of this Amendment. It is not easy to find them, but I gather from the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition and from the speeches from some of the hon. Members who followed him, that the real argument behind this Amendment lies in this, that there is a section of the people alleged by the Leader of the Opposition to be homogeneous in faith, in history and feeling, and in political idea who object to the passage of this Bill, and they object to it upon this ground, that for the reasons he has stated they fear religious persecution if the Bill should be passed; they fear the unjust incidence of taxation upon their property if the Bill should be passed and finally, their 1519 objection, which I am bound to say I thought a very unworthy one—alleged by the hon. Gentleman for North Armagh (Mr. Moore) and ornamented by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool—the objection that they say they have to sitting in a Parliament composed of representatives or moonlighters and assassins. With this argument I shall attempt to deal. First of all it is perfectly plain as it was pointed out by an hon. Gentleman of the Nationalist party (Mr. Redmond) that you cannot draw any geographical boundary and confine within its limits the distinction and attributes which hon. Gentlemen on the Unionist Benches wish to make as the reason why Ulster should be exempted. The hon. and learned Member for North Armagh refuses altogether to confine his national aspirations within any narrow cabined and confined Parliament. His distinction of a nation is, people who are prepared to fight on behalf of their liberty. But h6w are you going to gather all these within the four corners of a geographical limitation. I do not understand.
Is there any real reason why these four counties should apprehend that if the Bill be passed there will be religious persecution? I ask for these reasons. If it could be shown that that apprehension was justified by the facts of experience, believe me hon. Members upon the other side of the House would appeal to no deaf ears in advancing their arguments. I have listened anxiously to find what is the evidence upon which they base their apprehension of religious persecution. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the Walton Division has rescued from oblivion charges of certain judges to juries, observations of certain bishops to their flocks, the fact that a certain limited percentage of Protestants sit upon county councils. These are not facts of evidence of oppression. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I say they are not facts of evidence of oppression. What I look for is this: I look for a sensible measure of substantial evidence that the powers that have been enjoyed now for thirteen years by Irish county councils have been partially and punitively exercised against their Protestant fellow-countrymen. It is admitted that Roman Catholics sit upon these boards in over-whelming ascendancy. Had they desired to persecute they had full opportunity, yet no single evidence of any kind, not an 1520 isolated instance, not a doubtful or equivocal fact has been laid before this House for the purpose of suggesting that such occurred. I say we are entitled to come back and appeal in this matter, not to apprehension of what may come in the future, but to the solid and definite experience of what has happened in the past. Perhaps some hon. Members who follow me in this Debate will furnish the evidence I ask directed to the purpose for which I require it. In this apprehension of religious oppression there is nothing except that it is said to be religious. Is not this apprehension of religious oppression the natural hurtful and abominable legacy of past misdeeds, but not past misdeeds of Roman Catholic people, but the memory of past misdeeds of oppression by the Protestant minority in Ireland? The hon. Member for North Armagh laughs at my statement. Let me read to him what was said by one of the greatest men who ever distinguished the Unionist party, a man who represented, I imagine, better than any man the Protestant feeling of this country—I refer to Mr. John Bright. And this is what he said about the Protestant ascendancy and what it had done in Ireland:—They have everything Protestant, a Protestant clique which has been dominant in the country, a Protestant Viceroy to distribute places and emoluments amongst that Protestant clique. Protestant judges have polluted the seats of justice, they have Protestant magistrates before whom the Catholic could not go for justice. They have not only Protestants but exterminating landlords, as well as Protestant soldiers who, at the beck and command of Protestant priests, beat and killed a Catholic peasant even in the presence of his widowed mother.
§ Mr. BUCKMASTER
Surely the very strength and weight of the observations I have just read is due to the fact that they fell from the lips of a man who severed the ties of a lifetime because he did not believe in Home Rule, but it proves what I said that the tyranny and oppression which has left its hurtful legacy reverberating for centuries in Ireland is not the tyranny and oppression of the people who possess the Roman Catholic faith, but the tyranny and oppression of the Protestant people to whose ascendancy Mr. John Bright attributed all the evils from which Ireland suffered.
§ Mr. BUCKMASTER
I can only say it was a speech delivered in this House, and delivered without interruption. Assuming the possibility of an unfair and unjust exercise of the powers which this Bill will confer upon the majority of Irishmen the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the Walton Division says he utterly disregards the safeguards which the Bill contains. He said that many times, and it has been repeated by the hon. Member for North Armagh. I can understand the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for North Armagh repeating it, because I think he does not understand the people in this country, but I cannot understand the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool. If there be one thing upon which the conscience of this country is sensitive it is the question of religious oppression, and even if you were to assume the Government of the day were so cowardly and supine that they would decline to exercise the powers this Bill reserves to them to remedy at once any act of oppression. I say if Ministers were cowardly enough to abstain from doing that, the power and strength of the people of this country would sweep that Government from power. [Laughter.] I repeat that the power of the people of this country, I do not care whether it is immediately or later exercised, what does it matter, I am speaking not of the question whether you should appeal to the country on this Bill—that is outside the issue of this Debate or I would gladly discuss it, I am dealing with the question whether the safeguards in this Bill are to be trusted—and I say the safeguard of this Bill is the strong Protestant feeling in this country coupled with our old and hereditary hatred of religious persecution. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite may not trust the people of this country, but we do. We have reason to trust them, we have been returned three times in succession.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BUCKMASTER
There is no use saying not me. I can tall hon. Gentlemen opposite that Home Rule was the first sentence in my election address. The next question is this: Is there any real reason for the people of these four counties to be 1522 uneasy about the exercise of the powers of taxation which the Bill confers upon an Irish Parliament? In regard to that I feel sure that hon. Members opposite who say that the powers will be unjustly exercised do not take a fair view of the future in forming their views. This is not the first time that hon. Members for Ulster have entertained views and expressed opinions as to the injustice of taxation upon themselves for the benefit of Ireland. The right, hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool (Mr. F. E. Smith) said that the legislation of this country was always satisfactory to the people of Ulster. In 1849 Ireland was prostrate at the feet of famine, and a measure was brought forward in this House providing that there should be a sum of money raised by the poor rate of Ireland to relieve a distress which commanded the sympathy of the whole world It was said that the Indians in West America and even the negroes in the swamps of Carolina contributed their pitiful and sorrowful mites to relieve the distress of a country which they had never seen. But hon. Members from Ulster opposed that proposal, and sought to exclude their counties from sharing in the common misfortune which had laid their country low. They prophesied that the Poor Law guardians would not enforce the rate, and that such a proposal was a concession to violence, and nearly every argument which has been urged in favour of this Amendment was used in that Debate. Is that a matter of which the Members for Ulster are proud? Does it give them pleasure to remember that in a time like that they sought to cut themselves apart from a great nation in which they were geographically situated in order to exclude themselves from an obligation which was recognised and felt throughout the world? If you divorce the question of taxation from the other question of religious oppression you will leave nothing but the mean objection of a people who are wealthy and self-contained, to being subjected to taxation which may be imposed by people who are the representatives of the poorer districts. That is contrary to the system and spirit of democratic government. It is going back, not ten or twenty years, but centuries.
Realising as I do that there may be oppression coupled with religion, I say that if you remove that, this apprehension and" objection to taxation and the objections put by the Noble Lord the Member for 1523 Oxford University, in language as violent as language could be framed, becomes nothing but a paltry objection, which in the light of future events may be regarded in the same way as the objection to the poor rate in the past. It is said that this agitation has been supported by criminal acts, and the senior Member for Dublin University gave a long recital of those actions in the course of his speech on the Second Reading of this Bill. It is only material now, because that is made the reason why Ulster desires to be excluded from the provisions of this measure. Let me say that I think that recital by the right hon. Gentleman was one of the most painful and pitiful things it was possible to hear, and shameful for us to remember when you call to mind that the whole of those outrages were committed under œgis and shield of our Imperial Government. I should have thought myself that this measure might have been discussed without recalling those painful incidents, because if you are going to recall them on the one side, why should they not be recalled upon the other? Are you going to recite only the stories of wrong and outrage committed by the people, and never listen to the long history of oppression and woe, of provocation that drove a hunger-maddened people to the excesses of outrage and crime. Such things as evicted tenantry turned out on the roadside, a nation heart-broken and in exile, are these all to be forgotten and only the other side to be recalled? If ever the long, long catalogue of the woes and wrongs of Ireland be recalled and balanced, I should "hesitate to say that the debit would be cast against the tenants who are represented by hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway.
It is denied by the representatives of Ulster that they are of the same race, and they claim to be an exclusive and select race who have no part in the national feeling, and do not share national aspirations and hopes. I can only say that the arguments which appeal most to us are those couched in the language used by the right hon. Gentleman tie Member for Dublin University, when he speaks on behalf of Ireland, and not when he speaks on behalf of the four counties, but speaks for the nation of which he is a distinguished representative. Of all the arguments used in support of this Amendment, the one we English find the hardest to realise is this attempt to distinguish one Irishman from another. From time to time great Irish- 1524 men have lent distinction to the State, and do you really think that over here we either know or care from what part of Ireland they come. We regard each and all of them as representative of a great, generous-hearted, and gifted people. The Irish people ask that they may be allowed to use the service of their own sons to further their own fortune in order that they may lift their heads, bowed with the griefs and wrongs of centuries, and once more take their place amongst those nations of the earth who work out and fulfil their own destinies, yet at the same time owing allegiance to the English Parliament.
§ Mr. M'MORDIE
I wish to refer to the speech which has been made by the hon. Member for Cork City (Mr. W. O'Brien). There is no one, I presume, in the House, and no one sitting on these benches, who would not attach great importance to any remarks made by the hon. Member for Cork City. There is no hon. Member who commands greater respect because his views, whether they are right or wrong, are always expressed clearly and openly, and he has on several occasions given a guarantee of his honesty. The hon. Member, however, must recognise the fact that in public matters in his own constituency and surrounded by other Nationalists holding other views, there have been occasions when his own life was scarcely safe in his own constituency. At the time of the petition of his hon. and learned colleague in North Louth, we had an example of the most terrible conditions that prevailed in any country pretending to be civilised. I do not wish to rub that in too much, but I mention it for one reason, and that is that the declaration of an individual Member from Nationalist Ireland is not of the least importance in itself. It is not the view of individual Members that is important, but the power which is behind them. With regard to Nationalist Ireland, the one thing that never counts is the individual, because the great organisations behind the Nationalist party regulate the course of events, dictate the policy, and regulate the action and the views of every man they return to represent them. With regard to the splitting up of Ireland for the purpose of this Debate, I should like to say very little, but I would suggest to the hon. Member for Cork City that if his views are right with regard to the future, and if it is likely to turn out that peace will prevail in 1525 Ireland after this Bill is passed, I think it would be better to start in a decent way and leave us by ourselves for the present, and when all these beautiful things that are to happen have happened, when there is peace and prosperity in the other counties of Ireland then it would be perfectly right to approach us in order to settle the whole question. What seems to be the natural course to the outsider? Let the two Parliaments stand and let the four counties dealt with in this Amendment be associated with the Government of this country. If all these prophecies are true, then things will work nicely later on. We must recognise, and the Government know it, that the only Government prevailing in Ireland at the present time is the Government which has its centre in Clare and Galway. They regulate matters, issue their edicts, and carry out their own sentences. If this delimitation is made of the four counties advantage will accrue from the Irish point of view, because it will be to their interest to go on with their peaceful industries, and if the other districts of Ireland desire to progress and get up industries and accumulate wealth they will have an opportunity of doing so. The Chief Secretary, not long ago, expressed his regret with regard to the Army, but that Army has been extended, and it is not for us to attempt to ignore what the significance of that Army is. Forty years ago there was a certain amount of drawing together of the different sections in Ireland and a likelihood of peace, but since 1873–4, under the guidance of Mr. Gladstone, we have had a number of legislative events, each of which has stimulated the old feeling and widened the line of demarkation, and I tell the House that at the present day that line of demarkation is more definitely drawn than it was even in 1688. Attention has been drawn to Belfast, and we must look at it as the centre of these four counties. It occurs to me as strange that so many bitter and irritating remarks should have been made with regard to Belfast. I am prepared to assume our views on politics and everything else are utterly wrong, but I will say for the Ulster Members there is not one who has gone out of his way to say a bitter thing about Manchester, Derby, or any other English town, or of Dublin. We leave them to attend to their own affairs. But every offensive and abusive remark that could be made has been made deliberately by hon. Members below the Gangway with regard to Belfast and has been cheered by their Friends opposite. 1526 These remarks have been made, and they have had an unpleasant amount of Government support. I wonder if those who make them consider they are helping to pave the way for peace. Are we getting these remarks in advance in order to let us know what will happen when we get Home Rule?
I say those remarks are provocative and insolent, and they happen to be untrue. How is that calculated to promote peace in Ireland? How is it calculated to induce Ulster Members on these benches to fall into line and show that confidence in their brethren from the South of Ireland which they seem to expect? The most recent illustration of this was a very objectionable and untrue statement repeated in this House on Thursday last by the hon. Member for West Belfast (Mr. Devlin). It was served up for a second time in one of the chocolate papers yesterday in the shape of a resolution from some branch of the United Irish League. The hon. Member said that the Belfast Corporation had refused to appoint a Roman Catholic on a certain committee. On that particular committee there were two Roman Catholic and Nationalist Members. Only one of them happened to be present. A strong Unionist on that committee approached that particular Member and asked him if he would not go on this committee for insurance purposes. He said he would not. The Unionist went so far as to try and coax him to go on the committee, but he still said he would not go on it. The Unionist then attempted to get him to nominate any one of the other seven Roman Catholic Nationalist Members on the corporation, and he declined to do that. Then it is said, not only that a Roman Catholic was not appointed, but that the Unionists had refused to appoint one. I quote that as an illustration of the dishonesty that prevails on English platforms in circulating these atrocious and untruthful statements. Whether they originate from hon. Members below the Gangway or from that side of the House I will not attempt to say, but these untruthful, audacious, and insolent statements are being made on almost every platform in Great Britain, and being made with a certain amount of Government sanction.
The suggestion has been made that Ulster will not accept Home Rule on any terms, and there is a disposition to laugh when there is any mention of force. It is an easy thing to laugh, and I think it is not reasonable when men come together and make a solemn declaration to make so 1527 childish an answer. The question is whether there will be trouble or whether there will not. These men have made their declaration, and I can assure this smiling Government and those behind them that they mean what they say, and round this Chinese wall you will have irritation and trouble. If the division is made, then those within that district will have sufficient power and will have sufficient desire to preserve peace and prosperity within their own circle. Reference has been made to Belfast, and I presume Ulster, being nourished from the small deposits in the banks in the rural districts of Ireland. That is absurd. If all those contributions were taken away from that large manufacturing centre, it would not affect anyone. It was only with the greatest difficulty that those associated with these banks prevented a run in 1893, and, if this Bill goes through we shall certainly have a run on them, and it will sweep every particle of capital that is available for industrial and manufacturing purposes from the Province of Ulster. It nearly happened before; it is certain to happen now, and it will happen three months before the evil day on which this Bill is to become law. Our linen industry will go; some of it will go back to Leeds. Our shipbuilding will go to Scotland. I suppose that is desirable for those countries, but we have organised them and want to keep them. Under these conditions, a large number of people will go to the United States. They were driven there before, and they have made their mark there. It was the Ulster men in the United States who started and carried on the War of Independence to a successful issue. You want to send some more there. If this Bill passes, you will have disaster in commerce and in manufactures, and you will drive people abroad who will carry with them a hatred of this country as happened before. The hon. Member for West Belfast referred to Lord Pirrie. Lord Pirrie is a very enterprising gentleman in manufactures, and the hon. Member indicated him as being a very representative Home Ruler. I doubt that. It so happens—if I am wrong, I can be corrected before long—that like a very thoughtful business man Lord Pirrie has reduced his holding very extensively in that great concern, and in point of fact he now only holds about one-quarter of the amount held by the largest shareholders. That is worth mentioning, and I can assure the hon. Member for West 1528 Belfast that Lord Pirrie is no fool. I might also inform the House that a prominent, independent, fighting Nationalist from Dublin insisted on getting a covenant to his lease stipulating that the lease should terminate within six months of the grant of Home Rule.
On a point of Order. Is it not a fact that the hon. Member for West Belfast is outside the House and has no right to interrupt?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Maclean)
It is not in order for hon. Members seated where the hon. Member for West Belfast was sitting to take any part whatever, either by way of interruption or otherwise, in the proceedings of the House.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
I may point out that I am now inside the House, and I would like to challenge the hon. Gentleman to give the name.
§ Mr. M'MORDIE
I will give a reasonable answer if you will allow me one second. I think it will be inconvenient to the Gentleman I referred to give his name to be published, but if the hon. Member desires I will furnish the name to some one on the Government Benches. He is a supporter of the Government, but I do not think it right, having regard to the circumstances, to make him a cockshy. Hon. Members below the Gangway have frequently expressed their view on public platforms in regard to these matters. My suggestion is it will be better to have these four counties eliminated, and for hon. Members to use their influence to start industries all over Ireland. It is, I know, a difficult thing to do. The other day I took up a newspaper, the "Illustrated London News," printed in the year 1849, and containing the account of a Royal visit to Ireland. In that paper I noticed half a column devoted to a description of 1529 the efforts made to grow flax, and, although this was going on over sixty years ago, the industry has hardly yet got a proper foothold, and a great part of the material for linen has to be imported from Russia and other countries. We cannot produce it on our inferior land. But here is a way in which they might work out the prosperity of Ireland. A recent report of the American Consul stated that four-fifths of the entire linen manufactures in the world come from Belfast and surrounding districts. Why should not the people in the South or West of Ireland organise in order to produce the material required for the manufacture of linen? We could then work on a common platform, and no longer would one see desolate waters pouring down between broken walls, waters amply sufficient for carrying on large industries. Let them stop those appalling murders and outrages in the West, and when you have produced peace, when cattle can roam the hills in peace, arid the corn in the valleys grow in peace, then there will be hope for Ireland, and then, and not until then, under the British flag, can Ireland be a nation.
§ Mr. SAMUEL YOUNG
I wish to say a few words on this dishonest and insincere Amendment, which I believe if carried would be repudiated by the four counties. It seems to me the very essence of self-government, to which the Unionists object, to establish a Parliament for four counties with, I suppose, a monarchical or republican form of government, and presumably with Army, Navy, Customs, and Excise. It is really extraordinary that the Protestants should think their lives and property in danger in the midst of a population of which 30 per cent. is Protestant, and that in the South and West of Ireland, where the Protestant population is very sparse, leave them to the tender mercies of that wicked race, the dominant Catholic people. But stranger still, that these counties should be segregated when it is well known to every Unionist that throughout Ireland the Protestant people where they are in a minority are accorded a first place and are living a happy and contented life among their fellow Catholic countrymen, and their business establishments are supported by the Catholic people. Go to Cork or Limerick, or any of the chief towns, and you will find that the large drapery and grocery establishments owned by Protestants are supported by Catholic people, and if you attempted to prevent it you 1530 could not do it, because Catholics have no desire to persecute. They know also that if an evil genius were to arise and order a boycott the order would be disobeyed. It is not in the nature of the Irish Catholics to persecute; they have suffered too much from it. They have no desire to do it. On the contrary, they want to live in good friendship with the Protestants.
I am a Belfast man, and I wish to say a few words on the prosperity of Ulster. That sentence can only mean the prosperity of Belfast, because Ulster, except Belfast, is no more prosperous than any other part of Ireland, and many are flying from it to other lands. I admit the prosperity of Belfast. It would be a great marvel if it were not more prosperous than any other part of Ireland, for it had legislative and other advantages which no other town or city in Ireland had. A very extraordinary and partisan document issued by the Belfast Chamber of Commerce contains this statement:—It cannot be too strongly emphasised that the progress of Belfast has been made under precisely the same laws as those governing the other cities and provinces of Ireland. No privilege has been or is enjoyed by Belfast that has not been equally within the reach of every other city or town in our island.This is historically a mistake. It is perfectly incorrect, and I hope the man who wrote it was ignorant of history, otherwise he would be very wrong to publish such a statement. The North of Ireland has received favours and enjoyed privileges which were withheld from the South-West of the country. In the reign of James I., Ulster, or rather the North-East corner, Antrim and Down—between which Belfast is situated—was planted with Protestants from England and Scotland, on which account the inhabitants were well treated, and among other privileges they enjoyed the tenant right custom. That custom was this: When James I. made his plantation there, he allowed them only to sell to Protestants and not to Catholics. That was the origin of tenant right in that part of the country, and the privilege was not enjoyed by any other part of Ireland. It would be very interesting to spend a minute or two on the question of the manufactures. The Huguenots, or French Protestants, refugees settled among their co-religionists near Belfast, and assisted to found the damask and linen trade, which in its origin received the fostering care of the State. At this time the rest of Ireland was in a deplorable condition under the Penal Laws. The linen trade was exempted from those cruel enactments because it had its 1531 origin in the Protestant district. Then as regards Royal favours. I find that, in reply to an address, William III. said:—:I will do all that in me lies to discourage the woollen trade and to encourage linen manufacture,After William, in the reign of Queen Anne, 1705, there was a law passed exempting the linen trade from those proscriptive enactments which had annihilated all the other industries of Ireland; yet we are told this is a part of Ireland which never received any favours. After reciting the restrictive Acts of 1663, the Preamble of the Bill runs thus:—
"Forasmuch as the Protestant interests of Ireland ought to be supported by giving the utmost encouragement to the linen manufactures of that Kingdom, with due regard to Her Majesty's good Protestant subjects of her said Kingdom, be it enacted."
This was the Preamble to a Bill providing for a Grant of £15,000 a year to the linen trade. I need not trouble the Committee with an account of the further Grants—Board of Trustees of linen and hemp manufacture, established in 1711, which had under its control duties and Parliamentary Grants, from 1711 to 1777, of over a quarter of a million sterling. These bounties were continued until 1827, which is like yesterday in the history of a nation, when the annuity was £33,000 a year. Is this the town and district which had no exceptional privileges? The other great industry of recent date which has sprung up in Belfast is a mere accident. Mr. Harland, one of the greatest shipbuilders in the world, did not drop from New-castle-on-Tyne on Londonderry, Cork, or Dublin, but on Belfast, where he created, in company with Mr. Wolff, one of the largest shipbuilding works in the world, which is now carried on by Lord Pirrie, who is certainly one of the most enterprising and clever men to be found anywhere in the maritime world. I may mention here with pride that these two industries, linen and shipbuilding, pay weekly £80,000 in wages.
Let me mention the root cause of Belfast's prosperity. Belfast, in assuming her stately proportions, is very largely indebted to her land tenure. The inhabitants of Belfast are practically peasant proprietors. George Augustus, Marquis of Donegal, of eighty years ago—the owner of the soil—was always in want of money, and converted terminable leases into leases renewable for ever, and sold his property on easy terms—so easy as to 1532 encourage expansion and inspire confidence. He gave away his property for less than one-eighth of its value. No other town in Ireland had the same advantages. The reason why the South and West are not so far advanced in the industrial world is because they had not the same advantages. They were persecuted under penal laws and deprived of the conditions which were freely accorded to the more fortunate parts of the island. If the same fostering care had been extended to them that was experienced by the North-East, the same happy results would have ensued and much misery would have been spared to that unhappy country. The political importance of Belfast is quite exaggerated. The great industries of Belfast might just as well be in the Sandwich Islands, or the Isle of Man, but for the money circulated in the town. The linen trade is practically carried on for the American market. Shipbuilding is carried on for the whole world, and really they might as well be carried on in any other place but for the circulation of money among the working classes in Belfast. The political influence of Belfast is only in a corner of the county, and to say that we should bow down before their opinion seems to me a great mistake.
§ Mr. MacCAW
I rise to support the Amendment now before the Committee, and to express my full concurrence with the views in favour of it which were so very ably put forward on Thursday last by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University (Sir E. Carson). I approve of the elimination of these four counties from the provisions of this Bill, because I regard the exemption of any single acre of land in Ireland from the jurisdiction of the Irish Parliament as so-much gained to the cause of good government and to the welfare of the people who may inhabit that area. These four counties have a special claim for exceptional treatment (and I think other counties should also be included in the category) because should Home Rule ever be granted to Ireland, which I trust may never be the case, they have declared by an overwhelming majority of their population, in the strongest possible way, their utter detestation of any such proposal, and their intention to resist it so far as they possibly can. Attempts have been made by the Nationalists to minimise the extent of this feeling, but these have ended in most cases in ignominious failure. In the speech delivered by the hon. and learned Member 1533 for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) last Thursday, in opposition to this Amendment, he brought forward certain figures of population, with the object of showing that the opposition to Home Rule in these counties was not so great as we Unionists had been in the habit of making it out to be. The Committee will remember that the figures he gave first of all, regarding the respective numbers of Catholics and Protestants in these counties, were proved to be altogether wrong. They were promptly contradicted by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Walter Guinness), who happened at the time to have a copy of the Census in his hand.
I do not for a moment suggest that the hon. and learned Member for Waterford put forward these wrong figures intentionally, with the object of misleading the House. He at once admitted his error when it was pointed out to him, and said he had been unintentionally deceived himself. But I do state that I think that the very greatest care should always be exercised in quoting statistics of this nature, for had not those figures been promptly challenged they would probably have been accepted as facts and so treated. It must not be forgotten that it was upon those figures that the hon. and learned Member for Waterford was going to base his argument, and was going to ask this Committee to form a considered judgment on the proposal put forward. Had those figures been passed without comment it is possible that the Members of the Committee might have come to a perfectly erroneous conclusion on the subject. That is not the only error which the hon. and learned Member made in the speech to which I refer. The hon. and learned Member stated that in these four counties there was a large minority of Protestants in favour of Home Rule, and he immediately proceeded to cite various election figures in support of this contention. Amongst others, he referred to the constituency of West Down, which I have the honour to represent, and he stated that in West Down, while only 17 per cent. of the whole population was Catholic, the candidate who opposed the anti-Home Ruler polled 40 per cent. of the votes cast, and he then asked the question, "Where did the remaining 23 per cent. of those votes come from?" Evidently with the intention of inducing the Committee to believe that 23 per cent. of the Protestants of West Down voted for a Home Ruler. Anything more contrary to the actual facts 1534 could scarcely be imagined. Mr. Beattie, the candidate who opposed me at the election at that time, did not stand as a Home Ruler at all. He pronounced himself to be a staunch Unionist. Let me read a paragraph from the election address which he issued to the West Down electors on that occasion:—In the address which I issued to you on the occasion of my last contest—He had fought West Down on a previous occasion—I stated that the first plank in my platform would be the maintenance of the Union. I stand to-day where I then stood, believing as I do that the maintenance of the Legislative Union is essential to the prosperity of your Division and of Ireland.That is the Gentleman who is supposed to-be a Home Ruler.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MacCAW
It would be impossible-to make a more pronounced statement regarding the upholding of the Union than, that. The fact is that Mr. Beattie was fully aware that he had not the slightest chance of getting Protestant votes in West Down, unless he declared himself to-be a Unionist, because there is no body of men more loyal to the Union than the Protestants of West Down. These facts-could easily have been ascertained by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford had he taken the slightest trouble to did, so, which I think he might have taken in order to avoid making such a misleading statement. I think it is only due to my constituents that I should take the earliest opportunity of refuting this grossly unfounded charge which has been laid at their doors. After listening to the speeches which have been addressed to the Committee during the course of this Debate by the various Members of the Government, I take it that the position which we have now in front of us is that the Government, acting under the orders of their Nationalist masters, have definitely made up their minds to refuse to exclude any portion of Ireland from the provisions of this Bill, so that Irish Unionists have now plainly before them what kind of treatment they are likely, to receive should this Bill ever come into operation. The Government have evidently resolved, in 1535 spite of argument, of protest and of warning, so far as they are able, to force Home Rule upon that portion of the Irish people who have repudiated it in the strongest terms at their command, and who have announced their intention of resisting it in every way which a deep sense of wrong and injustice could possibly suggest. I believe the day will arrive, and that not far distant, when the Government will deeply regret the decision they have come to, and I think it right to state that, should anything untoward happen in consequence of the action of the Government, on their heads alone will the responsibility lie.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
The hon. Gentleman who, up till now, is the only spokesman from the Government side today made a very fervent and eloquent speech, but, like all hon. Gentlemen on that side, he never touched the fringe of the question or endeavoured to show us why, if Home Rule is carried, this Amendment should not form a portion of it. The fervour of his remarks certainly made me feel that he was advocating a losing cause, because he alluded to those differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants which, up till now, hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House, as long as they thought they had a good case, kept carefully in the background. He made what I may call a violent attack on the Gentlemen on this side who represent Ulster, and adduced instances in the past which certainly are not matters which will forward the cause which he professes to have at heart. I know perfectly well that if I were to scan the pages of history I could adduce instances on the other side of the case, but I have no desire whatever to do that, because I feel that, to a certain extent, I am associated with the ideas of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. O'Brien), and we both feel that the only solution of the Irish question is by allowing the beneficial legislation and the beneficial influences which are at present at work in Ireland to be carried to their fullest extent and to allay for ever those differences which unhappily exist, to a certain extent, at present, but are excited and fomented by the action which the Government are taking. The Amendment may be characterised as perhaps the most important Amendment of the Bill. Why the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Agar-Robartes) moved it I have no sort of idea. One would have thought that if he had this idea in his mind he would have instituted in other 1536 portions of the Bill the machinery which was necessary to carry out his object. But I am glad he has brought it forward. It has given the House an opportunity, if they were unaware of it before, of realising that there is a deep-seated and a passionate feeling on the part of the community which lives in the province of Ulster. It has been endeavoured by various interrupters from the other side to question what is meant by Ulster. I have not the time to go into the matter now, but it will be recognised on all sides of the House that there is a great community, numbering almost a third of the population of Ireland, who are opposed to the enforcing of Home Rule upon them.
The hon. Gentleman who spoke on behalf of the Government said that what he appreciated most in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Carson) was that he spoke as an Irishman. I suppose by that he means that there is no distinction between any part of Ireland. I could wish that there was no distinction. But, after all, who is setting up a distinction on this occasion? It is put forward by hon. Gentlemen opposite that those who represent Ulster and the Unionist party in England are. wrecking the Bill. We are told that because we adopt this attitude, which, after all, is only asking to be left alone, to be allowed to enjoy the Government under which we believe and maintain that we have prospered for the last hundred years, and because we affirm that we are going to maintain that attitude, we are wrecking the Bill. Did we ever ask for the Bill? Did we ever call upon hon. Gentlemen opposite to force the Bill upon us? If hon. Gentlemen, will cast their minds back they will realise that the men of Ulster were not anxious to come into the Union; they were forced to come into it a hundred years ago; but they realised, when they did come into it, that the Union was made for their prosperity and for their interest, and they have realised that they have prospered by the connection which they maintain with this country, and you are asking us now to indulge in a great experiment at a very dangerous time, when the Radical party are in a certain quantity of strength, to give up all our traditions and to say that all we have said in the past is entirely wrong. We are then told that if we do not come into this arrangement the Bill cannot go forward. I am not going to pretend that I should be sorry to see the Bill destroyed. I have never made any secret of it, and I do not propose to make 1537 any secret of it. On the First Beading I said I looked upon the introduction of these Home Rule Bills as a sort of disease which the country is called upon to go through, and when we have once gone through it, I only hope it will not retard the progress which is going on in Ireland at present and that when it is all over we shall be able to continue on the pathway of progress.
I desire to make some remarks about the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond) on this Amendment in which he made a misstatement of a very serious character. He used these words:—Even at the present moment, as things stand, in these four counties the Nationalists hold the following seats, namely. South Down, South Armagh, Newry, and West Belfast.That is quite correct, but he goes on to say:—Take, further, the seats of South Belfast, South Derry, East Down, and North Antrim. They are all seats which in the past have been won by either Home Rulers or Labour men."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 13th June, 1912, col. 1074.]The object he had in view was to show that the opposition which we put forward in Belfast is not of the formidable character which it really is, and which I sincerely hope hon. Members opposite will quickly realise. I should like to draw attention to the question of South Belfast. The hon. and learned Gentleman endeavoured to show us that there is a strong feeling in South Belfast in favour of Home Rule. I should like to controvert that statement entirely. South Belfast was represented in 1885 by a Conservative, in 1886 by a Conservative, in 1892 by a Conservative, in 1895 by a Conservative, and in 1900 by a Conservative. In 1902, on the death of Mr. Johnstone, South Belfast was represented by an Independent Conservative, Mr. Sloan. I do not know whether hon. Members below the Gangway opposite are anxious to claim him as one of their followers. He was not very willing to sit with them, but sat with us on these benches, and in every attitude that he took up he was opposed to Home Rule for Ireland. But that constituency, I suppose, to a certain extent, supports the hon. and learned Gentleman's point of view. Let me take the next. We have had occasion quite lately to realise that he is somewhat inaccurate in his statements. I put it down to a faulty secretary or to a careless examination of records by himself, because the only other alternative is that he is anxious to mislead hon. Gentlemen opposite, and that is an imputation which I do not desire to cast upon him. The next constituency is South Derry.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
It is a very significant fact that in 1885 the hon. and learned Gentleman represented South Derry, but in 1886, after the question of Home Rule for Ireland had been brought up and adopted by the Liberal party as a portion of their political programme, a Liberal Unionist was returned and defeated the hon. and learned Gentleman. Since then Liberal Unionists were returned in 1892, 1895, 1900, 1906, and 1910. In regard to the case of East Down the votes polled for the Liberal have decreased, which shows that the influence in favour of Home Rule is also on the wane, and in North Antrim Mr. Glendinning was returned as a Liberal but opposed to Home Rule, and that policy was instrumental in getting a great many votes for Gentlemen on that side, who have always endeavoured, to the best of their ability, to keep Home Rule in the background. I am not trying to asperse hon. Gentlemen opposite, but they have never taken the interest in this question which they ought to have taken. They look on it as an electioneering millstone. They are persuaded by their agents that if they can only get it out of the way their seats are safe, and they approach this great fundamental national question in that way. Let us get it out of the way, and then we shall be able to progress with our measures of social reform. If ever this Home Rule Bill passes, and I sincerely hope it will not, instead of being the end of the Irish question it will only be the beginning of it. I should like to make mention of the attitude which the hon. Member (Mr. Dillon) is taking up at present. He has not addressed the House, I think, as yet on the Committee stage of this Bill, but he has been very industrious in various parts of the country. He made a speech as lately as 14th June, in which he said—they wanted Home Rule for all Ireland, or no Home Rule, and they would rather wait for years and continue this fight than consent to have their country divided up in this disgraceful way.….We know why the hon. Gentleman does not wish to allow Ulster to go. He further said:—The strong feeling was confined to Ulster, and …. it was a question of ascendency. The thing the Protestants of Ulster could not bear to accept was equality with their fellow-countrymen.That question of ascendency is one which I think we ought to go into. Is there any demand on the part of the people of Ulster for any sort of ascendency? Do they not enjoy at present with every other 1539 portion of Ireland exactly the same measure of self-government, and do they ask anything more? I should like to quote the Dublin Conservative workmen's protest. The following resolution was moved almost at the time when the hon. Gentleman was making the statement which I have quoted as to the desire of ascendency on the part of Ulster:—We seek no special privileges which we would not willingly concede to our Nationalist fellow-countrymen: we desire no special legislation, but our earnest wish is to remain as we are, and to be allowed, without interference or hindrance, to pursue our daily avocations in peace, contentment, and prosperity.That is really significant, and I commend it to hon. Gentlemen opposite. There is no desire for ascendency on the part of Ulster. The Unionists of that province desire to be left alone, and to continue under the Government under which they have prospered. There are one or two matters I should like to put forward to show to hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House what their position exactly is, notwithstanding their endeavour to allay our fears in respect of what may happen if Home Rule is carried. I desire to refer to certain remarks made by the Leader of the Nationalist party. I have mislaid the quotation, but the gist of it was that he fears the resistance of Ulster must be overborne by force. Are hon. Gentlemen opposite prepared to see the Unionist community in Ulster overborne by force? Or are they still under the delusion, after what we have been endeavouring to put forward on these benches and on different platforms in various parts of the country, and after what was put forward conclusively at the great demonstration at Belfast, which I had the pleasure of witnessing, that Ulster men are not sincere in their contention? What we wish to impress very strongly on hon. Gentlemen opposite is that this is a matter of vital importance. I believe the Government are cognisant of the difficulty with which they are faced. I believe that every day they are realising more clearly the sincerity of purpose which actuates the men of Ulster. It is a matter of the gravest possible importance, and I say they are courting the deepest possible disaster if they desire to fly in the face of what we know to be an absolute certainty. I believe the position in which they will be placed is dawning upon them at this moment if we in Ulster are ever called upon to engage in the experiment. In Ulster we are a peaceful community, but the prognostications are certainly contrary 1540 to the view held in various parts of the country.
May I say a word about the question of the police? In Antrim for every 10,000 of the population there are twelve policemen; Londonderry, twelve; Down, twelve; Armagh, fifteen; Tyrone, fifteen; Cavan, seventeen; and Monaghan, seventeen. When we go down to the South of Ireland we find in Limerick there are twenty-eight; King's County, twenty-nine; Tipperary (South Riding), twenty-eight; Dublin (County), thirty; Longford, thirty-one; Clare, forty-four; and Galway, forty-nine. We realise, therefore, that in the vast majority of the counties which will come under the Home Rule Parliament which the Government intend to set up, and where Nationalist opinion prevails, there is less law and order than in the North. I sincerely hope the Amendment will be carried for various reasons. It will have the effect of destroying the Bill, and I do not hesitate to say that if that were done it would give me great satisfaction. I should like to see the whole of Ireland exempted from the Home Rule Bill, and, failing that, as large a portion of the country as possible. If we are to be able to assist our fellow-countrymen who come under Home Rule, we will be more able to do so if one portion of the country is left out. We have observed that efforts have been made to work the sentimental reason for Home Rule to the fullest possible extent. An endeavour has been made to drive a wedge in between the Unionists in the North and those in the South, and it has failed signally. The Unionists in the South understand our action absolutely. I sincerely hope that when the Amendment goes to a Division it will receive more support than the Government anticipate.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
There are special reasons why I may ask the indulgence of the Committee to speak on this Amendment. One reason is that I happen to be-the only Member of the House of Commons, with the exception of my right hon. Friend and colleague in a representation of Dublin University (Sir Edward Carson), who is entitled to speak on behalf of the loyalists and Unionists outside of Ulster. Owing to the relationship between the Unionist party in Ulster and my right hon. Friend, perhaps I may claim with greater authority to speak on their behalf. I am also clearly entitled to speak on their behalf because I have lived in Dublin for many years, and I ought therefore to have 1541 been in a position to pick up during that time some information as to their desires. I think hon. Members from Ireland will not contradict me when I say that I have never been an extreme partisan. I have never had any quarrel, so far as I remember, with any individual or section of my fellow-countrymen of any class or creed. I am not an Orangeman. I never was in an Orange hall, and I never addressed an Orange meeting; but I am to-day in every particular in sympathy with them in regard to their position with respect to this Bill. I am anxious to deal with this point because of the dilemma in which it has been sought to place us by the right hon. Gentleman opposite with regard to this Amendment. The Prime Minister began—I think it was hardly worthy of him—by suggesting that we, who represent the Unionist and loyalist minority of Ireland, were placed by this Amendment in a dilemma. If we supported it, we would, it was said, leave ourselves open to the imputation of deserting the loyal minority outside Ulster. I can reassure him on that point. I have been in intimate and constant correspondence with them, and from the time some days ago when we determined as the Irish Unionist party to support this Amendment up to the present hour, I have not received a single line from any Unionist in Ireland outside Ulster objecting to our taking that course. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues will not have the benefit of any friction or division amongst us in the shape of the dilemma in which he seems to think this would place us.
There is another dilemma of a much graver kind. In the course of his very interesting speech on this question the Chancellor of the Exchequer referred to the fact that there was no Amendment down on the Paper by the Unionist Members from Ireland on the same lines as the Amendment moved by the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Agar-Robartes). He also referred to the fact that certain Amendments had appeared on the Paper on the same lines and had been withdrawn, and he suggested that they were withdrawn in order to evade the subject in Debate. I think he must have known that that was incorrect. It was a mere matter of tactics. Once there was an Amendment put on the Paper to be moved by the hon. Gentleman opposite on precisely the same lines as our Amendments; it was the merest elementary party tactics to give place to him, and to allow his Amendment 1542 to come on. The Chancellor of the Exchequer went on to say:—I believe with the hon. Gentleman that it is a very important question, and ought to be debated very fully, and that it is a matter we were bound to consider in the framing of any Home Rule Bill. And if anyone imagines that the Government did not give very careful consideration to it and did not examine every proposal made on the subject to deal with Ulster, then he is not doing justice to the care and the considerations that were bestowed upon this very important matter."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 13th June, 1912. col. 1111.]There is a specific statement that when the Government were framing their Bill—that is to say, before they introduced it in this House—they had come to a conclusion one way or the other upon the question of the separate treatment for Ulster. What was that conclusion? If it was the conclusion to which they have given expression through the lips of those Members of the Front Bench who have taken part in the Debate, then I want to know what was the meaning of the speeches of the First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Churchill), and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Edward Grey). They must have been deliberately shamming. They must have been speaking in reference to a matter as to which they knew the Cabinet and their party had definitely made up their minds, that they were not going to accept the Amendment or to give any separate treatment. If, on the other hand, they arrived at the conclusion that it was desirable to give separate treatment to Ulster—and they must have come to a conclusion one way or the other because the Chancellor of the Exchequer says they gave it days of anxious consideration in the framing of their Bill—has anyone in this House the slightest doubt as to the reason for the change in their view? It was the decision of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond). You can have no better illustration of the truth of the position that prevails to-day, and it only shows that in this matter the Government are not only prepared but will be compelled to drain to the last dregs their cup of degradation. That is a dilemma that I hope the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, who I understand is going to follow me, will deal with. I have put it plainly and, I hope, fairly. I start with the explicit declaration made in this House on Thursday last by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that this question of separate treatment of Ulster was deliberately considered before the Bill assumed its present shape, and that in the framing of the Bill a conclusion was arrived at. He did not state what that 1543 conclusion was. Subsequently we had speeches from the two right hon. Gentlemen whom I have mentioned, which, if they were honestly intended—and I do not suggest that they were not—conveyed clearly and distinctly that they at least were in favour of some scheme that would relieve Ulster from the fears which she anticipates from Home Rule. And yet within two days of the deliverance of these utterances we have the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer telling us that this question of excluding Ulster was unthinkable, and could not be entertained by the Government for a moment.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer also indulged in an argument which I confess I entirely failed to follow. He said, "How is it that during all the legislation of past years there has never been any claim on the part of Ulster for separate treatment?" He said that there were many measures brought in by a Liberal Government and passed into law to which Protestants in Ulster objected as strongly as they object to Home Rule. That is not strictly accurate. With regard to Disestablishment, it is quite true that the Church of Ireland, who are only a portion of the Protestants of Ulster, did strongly object to Disestablishment; but, on the other hand, some of the strongest champions and the most active supporters of Disestablishment were to be found in the Tanks of Presbyterians in the North of Ireland. But I pass from that. Perhaps it is only a small criticism. Surely the answer is obvious. After all those laws were passed we were still left under the control of the Imperial Parliament and the Imperial Executive. So long as that position is preserved for us we want no separate treatment, and we require none. So long as we have the guarantee and the protection that we shall only be asked to live under laws that have received the sanction of the Imperial Parliament, and shall be backed up by an Imperial Executive, so long we claim and demand no separate treatment and are not entitled to any. But once this Bill becomes law the position is entirely different, and the reason that separate treatment is required for Ulster under this Bill is that if it ever does become law Ulster will cease to remain under the protection of the Imperial Parliament, and will lose the guarantee of stability of the Imperial Executive. The Prime Minister asked why in 1893 was no demand made for separate treatment for Ulster. Here, 1544 again, the answer is obvious. There was no Parliament Act in 1893. The Government of that day had not devised the discreditable machinery by which, as the price of power and office, it is proposed to force through measures of this kind, so vital and momentous in their present and future effect upon Ireland, and to pass them behind the backs of the people of this country. That made all the difference in 1893. It was absolutely certain that even if a majority was secured, small as it was, in the House of Commons, the Home Rule proposals could not secure a majority in the House of Lords. There was no occasion at that time to demand separate treatment for Ulster.
We had a very interesting speech this afternoon from the hon. and learned Member for Keighley (Mr. Buckmaster). It was a speech that appealed rather to the heart than to the head. There was more sentiment in it than argument, but in so far as it did contain argument he ridiculed, as an English Protestant, the fears of the loyalist Protestant minority in Ireland, and said that so long as the great passion for religious freedom and toleration prevailed in the breasts of all Englishmen so long might the minority in Ireland be reassured. I wonder do hon. Gentlemen opposite ever ask themselves, Are the people of Ulster and are the Loyalist minority in Ireland outside of Ulster all fools? Are the men who have made Ulster and Belfast what they are fools or lunatics; and why is it, if this thing seems so plain to hon. Members opposite, that every Protestant and loyalist in Ireland, whether in Ulster or outside it, with very few exceptions indeed, are heart and soul opposed to this proposition and are determined to resist it with every means in their power? The Church of Ireland, by unanimous resolution passed in general Synod under very solemn conditions indeed, have rejected it. The Presbyterian community held a demonstration in Belfast, unexampled in the numbers of persons who attended it, and who came from all parts and corners of Ireland. They crowded the churches and assembly rooms of Belfast; there was no accommodation for them. And there, again, they were unanimous in their condemnation of Home Rule. The Methodist Church in Ireland also had their Convention, and a similar resolution was passed.
§ Mr. ROBERT HARCOURT
Will the right hon. Gentleman say that these are formal decisions of these Churches in Ireland?
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
Certainly. I do not complain of the interruption because hon. Members opposite have a great many matters affecting their own constituents and localities to think of, but it is something serious for us to see the want of knowledge on these matters of hon. Members opposite which is still to be found in many parts of Ireland. I have tried to observe the rule never to make any statement outside this House that I might be ashamed or afraid to repeat within it or vice versâ, but I tell the hon. Gentleman who has interrupted me that in regard to every one of these great religious communities, which make up the great Nonconformist body in Ireland, each and every one of them have met in Convention and solemnly and almost unanimously denounced these proposals. Why do hon. Gentlemen opposite and their Nonconformist brethren in England turn a deaf ear to them? Is it that they do not believe them? I hardly think that they would say that. Is it that their Nonconformist brethren who live in Ireland are not better judges of what is likely to happen to them, and what is to be their fate under Home Rule, than hon. Gentlemen who perhaps have never been in all their lives in Ireland, and who certainly cannot know ail the conditions that prevail there? It is to me, and always has been, a source of the very greatest amazement to find a gentleman like the Rev. Mr. Horton writing to the public Press to say he fears there is, and may be, religious intolerance and persecution of his Nonconformist brethren in Ireland; but, substantially, what he says is, "I prefer allegiance to party rather than to conscience, and my advice to my Nonconformist brethren in Ireland is to pack up and come and live in England." An hon. Member from Scotland, who seems to suffer under the same conviction has advised us to pack up and seek refuge under a Parliament in Scotland. We are not going to do anything of the kind. We are not going to leave Ireland until we are driven out of it, and it will be for hon. Gentlemen opposite to say if they are going to assist in this work of extirpation. The hon. Member for Keighley referred to the fact, and said that he did so with very great pain, that there had been much crime, intimidation and boycotting going on for the last thirty years in Ireland; but he said, after all, there was just as bad carried on before and one side was just as much to blame as the other. Take it that that is so; assume that in the history of Ireland—and 1546 no fair-minded man will deny it—that there is much in the history of the last three centuries of which both sides should be ashamed. I do not care, be the greater blame on one side than the other. But it has been there going on. It is going on up to the present year. And the only security and the only safeguard for the victims that you have left to them is your Imperial Parliament and your Imperial Executive.
It has not always been a reliable safeguard, I admit. We have had a period in the last five years even when there has been no safeguard, during which the forces of intimidation and disorder have been allowed to usurp the seat of Government, and have carried on the Government of Ireland by their own decrees and their own agents. But that has not always been the case, and I hope it will not be always so in the future. Then the hon. and learned Gentleman gave us a quotation from a speech by Mr. John Bright. I cannot understand why an astute Gentleman, as the hon. and learned Member is, should have thought it worth his while to do so. We all know that no greater champion of the rights of the Protestant and loyal minority in Ireland ever existed than Mr. John Bright, and that no man showed his devotion and his interest in their cause in a more unselfish and useful way than he did. But I would like to suggest to hon. Members opposite, if they want really to know of something of what is going on in Ireland, and to understand why this feeling of antagonism to Home Rule is deeper and stronger than it ever was in the former history of this question, I would only ask them did they hear the speech delivered on Thursday in this House by the hon. Member for West Belfast (Mr. Devlin). I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman is not in his place. I will not say as much as I intended to say about that speech; but I will say this, the hon. Gentleman is very clever and very eloquent, but he is always bitter and vindictive. He has seemed to intervene in these Debates on the principle suggested by an Irish peasant to his son who was going for the first time to an Irish fair, "Wherever you see a head, hit it." This hon. Gentleman, who indulges in speeches of the kind delivered here on Thursday, is President of this Ancient Order of Hibernians, which boasts that it has been in existence 300 years, and, what is notorious, this is an organisation of a secret character with signs, from which every Protestant is rigorously excluded; and, from my own 1547 knowledge of its working, because I have come in contact with it, the whips of the United Irish League and the Land League under which we have suffered in Ireland for the last 30 years are trifles as compared with the scorpions of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. It has been said in the course of this Debate that no evidence has been adduced to the House to show that under Home Rule there will be no real danger either to the civil or religious liberty of the loyalists in Ireland. I am not going to weary the House by referring to some matters I have already mentioned in the course of the Second Reading Debate, but I think the House will hardly have forgotten one quotation which I gave, it was a quotation from a letter published in 1892 by one of the right hon. Gentlemen sitting opposite. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Tyrone (Mr. T. W. Russell), in 1892, writing to the "Scotsman," said under his own hand:—I know of my own knowledge, case after case of men, Protestant farmers, in the South of Ireland, the very salt of the districts in which they live, who have been compelled to pack up and leave Ireland owing to religious persecution.That is not my testimony; that is his. I am not going to weary the House by going over the figures which I gave, which have never been challenged or contradicted, and which conclusively establish to any reasonable man that to-day in many parts of the West and South of Ireland there is prevailing a reign of intimidation, of crime, and disorder which is making the lives of hundreds of your fellow subjects miserable and wretched. The hon. Member for Salford (Sir W. Byles) shakes his head at that. Does he contradict the figures?
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I refer to the figures which I gave a fortnight ago, and which have been alluded to in the course of the Debate by the hon. and learned Gentleman sitting beside him. I repeat that from that hour to this no answer has been given to those figures, nor have they ever been challenged or contradicted. Why should I repeat them? They are uncontradicted and are incapable of being contradicted up to the very hour and moment I address you. There are in many parts of Ireland hundreds of your fellow-countrymen living a life of misery and wretchedness under intimidation and persecution. Let me give you one figure which I did not 1548 mention on that occasion because it was not available. The Government, in its wisdom, determined some three years ago to drop the Peace Preservation Act, under which certain restrictions were placed on the importation and purchase of firearms in Ireland. Three years have elapsed, and there have since been many shooting cases in Ireland—over 800. Mark what that means. In every one of those cases there was an attempt to murder or maim somebody. In thirty cases the victim was murdered. In nearly 200 he or she was maimed or shot. It is no pleasure to me to mention those facts, but we ought to know the truth and speak plainly about them. When hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, and sometimes hon. Gentlemen opposite, talk about intolerance in Ulster and the bigotry of Protestants in Ireland, have they really forgotten the history of Ireland for the last thirty years? Have they forgotten the days of the Land League, the United Irish League, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and all those various organisations that have kept so many parts of the country under constant tyranny and terror? All that is not over; it is going on to-day; yet we are asked, "Why are you afraid?"
I repeat, in the words of the last speaker, that until time elapses, and until Irishmen not only get the opportunity but avail themselves of it, to show that they wish to live at peace and in good will with their neighbours, and until they have done that for a sufficient number of years, so as to give us some guarantee for stability, then and not till then will be the time to consider how far the government of Ireland is to be altered and modified. Let me say in conclusion, that I was rather disappointed to hear from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor-General (Sir J. Simon), in his interesting contribution to the Debate, frequent references to the privileged minority in Ireland. I wonder whether he realised that he was speaking of a thing which does not exist. There is no privilege in Ireland. I challenge him, and I challenge the right hon. Gentleman who is going to follow me (Mr. Birrell), to tell me one single particular in which to-day in Ireland any loyalist or Protestant has any advantage of any sort, kind, or description which is not enjoyed by every other Irishman, without distinction of class or creed! I say unhesitatingly that it would pass the wit of man to mention any grievance that any Irishman, Protestant or Catholic, is to-day suffering 1549 under, civil, political, or religious, as compared with any one of you or any person living in England or Scotland. That is due to the generous legislation of the last thirty years, which has completely removed every vestige and shadow of grievance; and to-day, and for some years past, Ireland has been utilising the greatest and best chance in its history for material progress and advance and prosperity. It has done it mainly owing to your generous treatment of its land legislation, and largely owing to the liberality with which you have by your credit promoted, encouraged and stimulated the industries of Ireland. I cannot recall any day or period in the history of Ireland when things looked more promising and better for the interests of my beloved country than they have done during the last few years. You are now going to kill all that, at a time when admittedly every grievance is gone, and at a time when Home Rule could do nothing that you cannot do and express your willingness and desire to do.
It is no wonder that many Nationalists in Ireland, who unfortunately live under conditions which make it impossible for them to come out in the open, do not come forward, It is as well that laugh should come from hon. Members below the Gangway, for many of them come from places in which this intimidation has been and still is rampant and rife, and they know in their hearts that what I am saying is true. Within the last two years hundreds of them have declared to me that they look with horror and dislike on this Home Rule question. I put the question to them, "Why do you not come out in the open? Join hands with us and make the party strong enough to influence English public opinion," and invariably I got the same answer, and I have had to admit the truth of it, because I know it to be true, that it was because of the danger and risk to their lives to their persons, and property—[HON MEMBERS: "Oh! oh."] Do hon. Members below the Gangway pretend that the lives of men who came forward in that way in Galway or Clare would be worth an hour's purchase? What indeed is the condition of Clare and Galway to-day? I am not going to weary the House again by a description of it; I would only remind the House that the Roman Catholic Bishop of Killaloe, in whose diocese Clare is, says that they have now come to this in Clare, that if a man had a quarrel with a neighbour over even a shilling he would go behind a hedge and shoot his eyes out, 1550 or maim his cattle. That is not my indictment. I am quoting the actual words of the Roman Catholic bishop. Not only have these things caused many men who sympathised with the sentiment of Home Rule to protest against the attempt to enforce it now, but it has confirmed and strengthened the loyalist minority, not merely in Ulster, but outside; and nothing that honour, duty, and courage can dictate will be left untried in their hands in their determination and resolution to resist these proposals. Speaking for myself, I am free to confess that had these proposals come before this country in a constitutional way, had they been submitted either as a result of a deliberate reference to the electors, or had they been submitted under conditions which would secure that before they became law, they would be sanctioned by the will of the people, were I convinced that the proposal of the Government in this country is one to which the electors in general give support, my position and that of many others of my fellow-countrymen would perhaps be a different one; but so long as these proposals are going to be forced upon us under the existing machinery and by methods and devices with which we are all so familiar, then so long as I have a voice to raise I will encourage and stimulate all my fellow-countrymen, without distinction, who have thrown in their lot with us, in their determination that, at any cost or sacrifice, they will resist this to the very death.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
Not only in the speeches of right hon. Gentlemen opposite have they frequently introduced pictures of the two nations, both of different tempers and dispositions; but they have also, certainly in some of their speeches, notably in the speech to which we have just listened, presented us with very different pictures of the one nation. The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has thrown equal fervour into both pictures. When I listened to him, I hardly knew which of those two pictures was his masterpiece. He referred to the advance, and to the prosperous condition of Ireland during the last four or five years, probably more advanced and prosperous than she has been for many a long generation. That was an encouraging picture, and a hopeful picture. Then, in another picture which he draws with equal force he describes a part of Ireland, and he talks about 1551 Clare and Galway, which, no doubt, are parts of Irish territory, in a manner which would make me believe, if I had not spent many happy weeks in one of them, that they were inhabited by devils, murderers, cowards and scoundrels. I dispute entirely that any portion of Ireland or any portion of Clare or any portion of Galway, is inhabited by any such persons. The bad parts, and surely Irishmen ought to rejoice that they are small parts, are confined to very narrow geographical limits. There is a large part of Clare which is just every bit as free from crime, and probably more so, than any county in England. I would say with reference to those unhappy black districts in those two counties—and I never stood up at this Table to prevaricate on this subject or to deny that a lamentable state of feeling does exist in those small districts—I would point out to the House that those districts have had, without exception, the full benefit of eighty-six Coercion Acts, and everything that you could do, and everything that the suspension of the Constitution could do, and everything that the powers of putting people into gaol without saying what they are in gaol for, and keeping them there for unlimited periods without giving them the opportunity of proving their innocence; all those things have been done and have been in full force in those parts of the world. Therefore I should be disposed to say that even in that matter those arguments were no arguments at all against any measure which has for its object the better government of Ireland.
I repeat that one great reason why I advocate Home Rule is because I believe it is only under some measure with a local executive that you can get, in these so-called democratic times, the power and the authority to enable you to deal with severity, and with the support of the people behind you, with incidents of this kind. Therefore, I really do not think that after a hundred years of attempted government, sometimes successful, but which has never completely succeeded in banishing in those limited parts of the country the kind of crime the right hon. Gentleman referred to, I do not think it is relevant to a measure of this description unless, indeed, the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends do wish us to believe, for sometimes they use language which almost points to that, and the right hon. Gentleman himself did speak of contemplating being driven out of his country, that the Protestants are to be extirpated. If he 1552 really does adhere to that description, I really think any Irishman would wish to leave the country that was inhabited by such persons and has such evils as he would have us believe.
I have been present throughout the whole of this Debate and I have heard a great number of very interesting speeches, and as I am told that the time is approaching for the Committee to divide— [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] I only said approaching. Even Ulster Members are still living in time, and therefore everything must be approaching. A Division would not be disagreeable—at all events to a good many. I think I may be permitted to say a word or two upon its subsequent developments. As for this Amendment, I do not wish to take any time over that. I am not surprised to find and to see that this particular Amendment has received no support from any person, and nothing but a good deal of very harsh treatment. No reason for it has been alleged, or was attempted to be alleged, and none was given by the right hon. Gentleman the senior Member for the University of Dublin, because he himself at once said, with his accustomed candour, that four counties would not content him; he must have six. I say no reason has been given, statistically or otherwise, pointing out why these four counties and these alone should be segregated together and separated from the rest of Ireland. I am not concerned so much with the difficulties that would certainly arise, and which the Noble. Lord opposite indicated would occur, if this Amendment were adopted. No provisions have been made or suggested as to what is to be the fate of those four or six counties when they are separated from the rest of Ireland. I am not now concerned to consider the geographical position too much, or where is to be the Lobby through which those four or six counties will have to walk, or the position of the Chamber which is to resound in future years to the eloquence of the representatives of those counties, although it is gratifying to notice that wherever they may be, the representatives of those four, counties will not be in the same Lobby, because they are not more homogeneous than any other part of Ulster.
I should like to ask what is to be the fate of the Executive: who is to look after their education? Are they to be handed over to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Education? Who is to look after their local government and 1553 their labourers' cottages, and all those questions which, I agree, would have to be considered, but for the fact that this Committee has, by one of those wise conventions which occasionally govern our affairs yet, agreed to take this Amendment as a kind of token vote to raise the whole question of what is Government policy and the policy of this House, with reference to that geographical part of Ulster (if it can be ascertained or determined) where there is a preponderating number of Protestants, who no doubt strongly object—the great majority of them do—to the proposals of this Bill. We are asked and challenged by right hon. Gentlemen opposite to say what is our policy and what is our opinion with reference to Ulster. To hear those right hon. Gentlemen talk, you might suppose that until the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition went the other day to Belfast, those of us who have been Home Rulers all our lives had not been aware that the opposition of a number of Protestants in parts of Ulster was the greatest difficulty and the real crux of the Home Rule question. You seem to have supposed this, even as to those of us who have been for ever so many years, ever since 1885, engaged in this question. The whole of my political life sychronises with the introduction of the Home Rule question. Although I was not in Parliament in 1886, I stood for Parliament both in 1885 and in 1886 in Lancashire, and again in 1893 when I was in this House. You suppose that we were ignorant that this was perhaps the greatest difficulty, and you suppose that we did not know that if this difficulty could have been solved and if the Protestants of Ulster had stood line by line with the Roman Catholic and other inhabitants of the South and West, that this Home Rule question would have been settled long, long ago! We have always known that. You suppose just at this moment that the star of Ulster has for the first time arisen and cast its baleful light over our actions; but to suppose that, and that we are aware of it for the first time, is to ignore the whole history of the Home Rule agitation and the Home Rule demand.
There is no novelty in the difficulties it creates. There is no novelty in the searchings of hearts it may give rise to. The novelty is in this Amendment and in the support which it receives from the Members for Ulster. There I admit there is for the first time a great deal of novelty indeed. We are now told, half-told, half-led to believe, which is of course no belief at 1554 all, that for some reasons or other the attitude of the Members from Ulster has altered in this matter, and that they are prepared to support, I will not say to consider, because that is not their line, but they are prepared to support an Amendment which, were it to pass, would exclude four counties, and, probably having regard to the convention under which we are conducting these proceedings, a larger number of the counties of Ulster. Is that really the line and the course which hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to be pursued in this matter? We are familiar with the attitude of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin, who puts a pistol to our heads. He says, "drop your Bill or I fire." We understand that. I do not laugh at that point at all. That is his proposition. He says, "Unless you drop this Bill, there will be such dreadful contingencies that no sensible and right-feeling man could even contemplate them." You may amend your Bill to prevent contingencies of this character happening, but he does not drop his pistol. He still makes it perfectly plain that this opposition and that of his friends would be pursued to any setting up of a Parliament and an Executive in Ireland. I quite agree that is a position which I fully understand. I do not quarrel with it except morally. Dialectically I admit of course to the full that that is a perfectly proper attitude for an Opposition to assume to a Bill of which they really honestly disapprove; but that does not carry us any further. The right hon. Gentleman was very candid at the beginning, at least I thought so, and I am sure he was. He found a difficulty in keeping up that line in pursuing his speech. He began by saying he wanted to argue this purely as a Committee point, and that he was prepared to assume that Clause 1 was to pass, and that there was to be set up an independent Parliament, subordinate to the Imperial Parliament, and having an Executive and Cabinet Ministers, and within its own province a Parliament such as other Parliaments in other parts of the Empire.
He did not pursue that argument very long, because he soon made it plain, and any lack of plainness on his part was removed by the hon. and learned Gentleman who followed him, and I am quite sure the whole of the Ulster Members sitting behind endorse that view, that they will not have Home Rule at all, and with 1555 Ulster or without Ulster no Home Rule for them. Therefore I think the Committee point very soon has to be left out. I do not wonder that you, Sir, occasionally were a little unhappy, although I admit you behaved exceedingly well in the matter, at the long series of Second Reading speeches, many of great force, which were made. We are told you cannot get Home Rule, because you cannot get Ulster. If that is so, what is the use of discussing an Amendment which incidentally makes its appearance on the Paper from a supporter of our own, and treating it as if it were a grave and deliberate design on the part of the Protestants of Ulster to see whether or not some settlement could not be arrived at whereby the wishes of Ireland, of the great majority of the people of Ireland, to have a Parliament and Executive of their own might be gratified, and yet at the same time the desires, and the wishes, and the feelings of the Protestants in the North-East of Ireland might also be gratified.
I really think, therefore, that we are obliged to regard this very much as a Second Reading Debate, and Second Reading arguments have almost necessarily to be used. We are always being asked, are you so blind, so deaf, so unimaginative, so unable to put yourselves in the place of others, as not to believe that there is a great deal of danger and gravity in the position of Ulster in this matter? Do you pay no attention to the language which they employ? Is civil war a thing in regard to which anybody can be callous or indifferent? Civil war is a most frightful thing. Any conception of it can hardly obtain entrance into our minds. If it did it would, of necessity absorb every other consideration. Civil war within these islands! I am old enough to have lived through that fearful civil war between the Northern and Southern States of America, the War of Secession, in which nearly a million human lives were lost. That, I think, was not only the most appalling event in the nineteenth century, but probably one of the most appalling events ever heard of, and in its horrors far exceeding the much more advertised excesses of the French Revolution. Yet you ask how can we light-heartedly contemplate civil war raging not only in Ireland—because you cannot confine it to one part—but probably extending to this island; and we might even find its reverberations all over the Empire.
1556 Therefore get out of your minds the notion, first of all, that we were ignorant till you told us that Ulster objected to Home Rule. We remember the opposition of Ulster in 1886; we remember it in 1893. It was conducted with as much vehemence and, I am sure hon. Gentlemen will not quarrel with me if I say with as much ability as the opposition which is being carried on to this Bill. The right hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to suggest that, after all, Ulster was only playing at opposition at that time, because it could rely on the House of Lords. [An HON. MEMBER: "And the country."] Any appeal to the country must always have a certain element of uncertainty about it—[An HON. MEMBER: "Try it."]—unless you have the Referendum, because unless it is on a Referendum, a General Election, having regard to the multiplicity of other issues, and the indifference of vast numbers of the electorate to anything except the questions in which they happen to be interested, must always have a certain element of uncertainty. The House of Lords, I agree, was another pair of shoes. I should be surprised if anybody who was in the House in 1893 said that the opposition of Ulster was a mere theatrical march-past business.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
If the right hon. Gentleman refers to me, I made no such suggestion. I was dealing with an argument put forward by the Prime Minister or the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in which he reminded the House that in 1893 there was no formal demand from Ulster for separate treatment. I said that the explanation of that was that there was no Parliament Act at that time. I never suggested that their opposition was a mere march past, or insincere, or anything of the kind.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I recognise that at once, but I certainly gathered from the right hon. Gentleman that the Parliament Act made such a difference that the opposition of Ulster, although it was genuine before, was of a more obvious and violent character on this occasion. I think it was as violent in 1893 as it well could be. We who have been connected with the Home Rule movement have always been aware of this opposition of Ulster. Right hon. Gentlemen opposite are always asking, Do you deny that if you push on with this Bill and it becomes law you will have to encounter civil war? If you say honestly that you do not believe it, you have to say 1557 it with great caution, because nobody has any desire to deny that the feeling of Ulster is one of strong opposition to the measure. We do not deny that for one moment. They object to Home Rule; they dislike it very much; they are very angry about it. All I say is that I do not believe there is an Ulster man living who thinks that his life, or his liberty, or his religion, or his property will be in any more danger under this new Constitution than it is under the régime of my right hon. Friend.
§ Captain CRAIG dissented.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I say that I do not believe the people of Ulster really think that their lives, their liberties, their religion, or their property are in danger. I am quite certain that the right hon. Gentleman and all his Friends can protect their lives, their liberties, their religion, and their property—
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Without the necessity of repudiating the law of the land or disregarding their constitutional obligations. I have been challenged over and over again to say what are our feelings on the subject, and how we face this problem. That is my answer. We do not believe that the circumstances of the case will ever compel any body of intelligent men to appeal to the arbitrament of war. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about tyranny?"] Wait to be tyrannised over. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] You talk about civil war. Can you, with all your knowledge of history, point to any people who went to war on account of their lives and liberties until some overt act of one kind or another had made them feel that murder ceased to be a crime? You must have a very strong case of actual pending tyranny before you can make an appeal of that kind. We have fully taken into consideration the case of Ulster. You ask what are our proposals. Our proposals are to be found in the Bill. My right hon. Friend said that we had considered this question. So we have. How could we have failed to do so? We have had the whole case of Ulster before us all the time. We considered whether it would be possible to discover any dividing line or any basis whereby we could segregate any portion of North-East Ulster from the rest of Ireland, and we came to the conclusion that we could not do it. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to assume that Liberal Govern- 1558 ments are so given over to tyranny that no sooner have they put, down their Bill than they consider that no human being can make out a single case whatsoever against it. We could see no case for separating any portion of Ulster; we see no case now. At the same time, if it had been possible for Ulster Members to put forward a case of their own—not a sham case—it would have been our duty to give it consideration. [An HON. MEMBER: "You are not your own masters."] We are bound to listen to what they say, but I confess I cannot imagine myself being converted. But who knows? I have been converted before now by arguments addressed to me by my opponents, and it is possible that I might have been converted in this case.
That is the view we take in presenting this Bill to the House. You may call us optimists, sentimentalists, or what you like. We have watched Ireland and Irishmen closely for a considerable length of time. We know that Ulster men are Irishmen. Although an Ulster man loves Ulster as a Yorkshire man may love Yorkshire better than he loves Lancashire—though that seems to me an odd thing to do—still at the bottom of his heart he is an Irishman, and I believe that throughout the great part of Ireland, although there may be difficulties here and there, once it becomes pretty plain and obvious that the status quo is an impossible one, many of the fears which have been expressed will be found to be groundless.
You ignore all the difficulties on the other side. You say that Ulster will not have Home Rule, and therefore Ulster can kick the whole thing over and leave things precisely as they are. You have to face other problems and other rights if you take that view. We do not say that it is an easy question; we admit that it is a difficult one; but we believe that on the whole the true solution is to be found in the entity and the unity of Ireland as a country. I remember hearing an Irish Judge, a strong Tory, saying that no Irishman hated another Irishman nearly as much as all Irishmen hated Englishmen. I do not know that that is true, but during my years of office I have often found amongst the Irish people a real unity of a kind that has made it evident to me that Irishmen really do regard Ireland as a whole, with legislative and executive interests of its own, and they are by no means prepared to throw it into hotch potch with the rest of the United 1559 Kingdom. They demand separate treatment for many of the most important questions affecting human life; they are able to regard themselves as an entity; and I believe that when this disturbance is over it will be found that Irishmen of all sorts, as in the past so in the future, will be able to act together for the common good.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I venture to detain the Committee for a few minutes because the speech just delivered shows even more clearly than all that has gone before that the Government do not realise what is the position in which they are deliberately placing themselves. I am not going to deal with the dialectics of the right hon. Gentleman about the insincerity of this Amendment. What has that to do with the facts of the case? So far as I am concerned I say that no Amendment which we could move could be more sincere than the one for which we intend to vote. I say that for this reason. We are, of course, opposed to Home Rule root and branch, but, like the right hon. Gentleman, I do not look with equanimity on the prospect of civil war, and I say therefore, if there is to be Home Rule, I would rather have it under an arrangement by which civil war can be escaped. The right hon. Gentleman professed to answer questions which have been put over and over again. Those questions were two: one was, what do you really mean to do if Ulster resists; and the other, if you have determined to force this Bill in spite of the opposition of Ulster what was the meaning of the speeches of the First Lord of the Admiralty and of the Foreign Secretary? Either these right hon. Gentlemen meant that if the resistance of Ulster was carried to an end they would not persist in this Bill, or they were insincere and shamming when they made their speeches. The right hon. Gentleman said that, as a boy, he had lived through the civil war in America. I hope he does not want to see another. But there is one point of difference which he did not remember. The civil war in America took place to prevent people from seceding. If you carry out your proposals to an end it will be a civil war in which you will use your forces, not to prevent, but to compel loyal citizens to leave their country.
Why I say that the Government do not realise what they are doing is this: They have put themselves in a position from which they cannot recede. Under the con- 1560 ditions on which alone this Bill can possibly be passed, unless it goes to the end in the form in which it leaves this Committee, it cannot be carried at all. Then they are deliberately shutting out from, themselves the right to go back upon the decision they are now taking. What does that mean? It means simply this: that they know that if Ulster is in earnest, that if Ulster does resist by force, there are stronger influences than Parliament majorities. They know that in that case no Government would dare to use their troops to drive them out. They know, as a matter of fact, that the Government which gave the order to employ troops for that purpose would run a greater risk of being lynched in London than the loyalists of Ulster would run of being shot in Belfast. What are they doing? They know, and the right hon. Gentleman himself practically admitted, that their resistance would be all right when the evils they fear have occurred. But my right hon. and learned Friend asked, "Do you suppose that the people of Ulster are fools?" Does the right hon. Gentleman suppose that they are going to allow forces to be organised against them and then submit when they have the power to prevent that organisation? People do not carry on their business in that way. What the right hon. Gentlemen are doing, and doing deliberately, is this. They are saying, and they have said in so many words to the people of Ulster: "Convince us that you are earnest, show us that you mean to fight, and we will yield to you as we have yielded to everybody else." They talk about incendiary language. What they are doing is to invite the people of Ulster to show, not by language, but by acts, that they are determined.
I only desire to spend a very few minutes, for there remains very little more to do except to say that we in Ulster accept the challenge of the Chief Secretary for Ireland. We shall commence from henceforth to take the steps which become necessary in order to prove to the Government the sincerity of our people at home—that is not to submit to government by the Nationalist party under any circumstances whatever. What does this Committee invite the men of Ulster to do? They say that what they would like them to do is to accept humbly this humiliating Bill, to join forces with the rebels in Ireland, to become rebels, to join the United Irish League or the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and in every other sense to 1561 become Nationalists, and then to take themselves away from the domain of these Houses of Parliament. That is the alternative which is offered by the Government, for us to become Nationalists, to out-rebel the rebels, and then to leave England and join with those whose cry will be the old cry that "England's danger is Ireland's opportunity." The Prime Minister wishes to drive us from here under the present shattered Constitution. Who are the Government that they should talk about constitutional means when it is impossible for us to secure our ends by constitutional means, seeing there is no Constitution?
What hurts the men of Ulster so much is that they have been tricked and put into a corner by the actions and methods of the Prime Minister. We are asked by the Government to submit to this. We are told that time will heal, what was described by the right hon. Gentleman as merely after a few years "a ripple on the surface." He said that he felt confident that after a few years peace and harmony would reign. Is he quite sure; is the country quite sure that England has made real friends of this new party which is rising up, before it casts off its older friends? That is what it amounts to. Have the Government even made sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford, when he said that he was prepared to accept this Bill as the final and lasting word upon Home Rule, is really able to keep that promise to this House? Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the hon. and learned Member is able to say that he will prevent his followers from ever moving a step forward? The newspapers in Ireland at the present moment are pointing out that this Bill is but a mere step towards the aspiration of hon. Members below the Gangway. Ours is a difficult position. In the first instance, we have to restrain our own followers in Ulster, lest they become disheartened by the treatment which has been meted out to them by England, and we have to take steps even more vigorously and more earnestly than perhaps hon. and right hon. Gentlemen ever contemplated. We have heard speeches made by men of great and reasonable thought who have lived all our lives in Ireland to the effect that they would prefer to take another and a more serious course than submit to be governed by the Nationalist party in a Parliament in Dublin.
We Ulstermen are therefore charged first of all to guide and control an element 1562 as to which we do not know how far it might go at the present moment. At the same time we charge ourselves with the sacred cause of not surrendering, although at the present time the thing seems rather hopeless. We are charged, and charge ourselves, with doing what we have done before, and that is not to surrender because the forces against us are large, because they are unfair, because they treat this matter, as many of them have shown this evening, in a laughing and joking manner, and because so few of them really understand how much there is underlying this hereditary detestation of having to sink our status as British citizens into being the mere underlings of a party which, for all time and in perpetuity, will be able to guide the destinies of the country which they love as much as any Nationalist. Therefore, the Amendment put forward, I believe in all sincerity by the hon. Member who is responsible for it, is to be supported by us, not because for one moment we desire in the slightest to desert our fellow-loyalists in any other part of Ireland—far from it! My hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the Unionist party in this House has made it perfectly clear and plain to the whole country, and to this House that there is no desire on our part to desert anyone in Ireland who wishes still to retain the integrity of this Kingdom and of the British Empire. But how can we face the British electors in the uphill task we have before us if we do not show our sincerity in this matter? Let the House understand that in voting for this Amendment we are voting for principle—for a principle for which we are prepared to fight. How can we stand on any platform in any part of the country and say that Ulster will fight for the maintenance of the Union between the two countries if it can be said to us that when an Amendment even approaching that upon the Paper was before us we were not prepared to vote for it whole-heartedly?
As to the merits of the Amendments, I must confess it requires a much longer time to discuss them than I intend to take. But even if those four counties were kept out of the despotism that you are going to make of Ireland in the future, we would still keep staunch, loyal British subjects in the very heart of the country, and they would be a rallying point for every loyalist throughout the country; and as time went on the aid that we would be able to afford them would be security at all events that 1563 not far off they had someone who sympathised with them, and who could in an emergency take certain action. On the wider ground of Ulster, on the narrower grounds of saving something from the wreck, and of there being a party in Ireland able to fly the British flag—because that is what it comes to in the long run—we take the action we do. That Ireland shall have a flag to take her place among the nations of the world is the ideal of hon. Members below the Gangway. No one can say what will happen at this crisis, except that there is a very strong and earnest determination on the part of Ulster to take action, and there is a movement already on foot to take it. If the right hon. Gentleman has challenged this part of His Majesty's Dominions at the present time to civil war, as my right hon. Friend said, the challenge is accepted.
§ Several Members on the Opposition side having risen,
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put." [Interruption.]1564
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL remained standing. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order."]
§ The CHAIRMAN
As the hon. Member is aware, there is a Rule that when the Chairman rises an hon. Member standing should resume his seat; and there is another Rule, which, no doubt the hon. Member does not know, that after a Division has been called, if he wishes to address the Chair, he should do so seated and with his head covered.
§ Mr. MOORE (speaking seated and covered)
On a point of Order, Mr. Whitley. Has any question been put? I did not hear it.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Will hon. Members allow me to answer the question of the hon. Member for North Armagh? The time for putting the Question a second time is now expiring.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 321; Noes, 249.1567
|Division No. 98.]||AYES.||[7.45 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Chancellor, Henry George|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Chapple, Dr. W. A.|
|Adamson, William||Bentham, G. J.||Clancy, John Joseph|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Bethell, Sir John Henry||Clough, William|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Clynes, John R.|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Black, Arthur W.||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Boland, John Pius||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Alden, Percy||Booth, Frederick Handel||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Bowerman, C. W.||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Armitage, Robert||Brady, Patrick Joseph||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Brunner, J. F. L.||Crean, Eugene|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Bryce, J. Annan||Crooks, William|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Crumley, Patrick|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Burke, E. Haviland-||Cullinan, John|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Devon, Barnstaple)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick)||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Barton, W.||Cameron, Robert||Dawes, J. A.|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||De Forest, Baron|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Delany, William|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Kelly, Edward||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||King, J. (Somerset, N.)||Radford, G. H.|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Dillon, John||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lansbury, George||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Doris, W.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Duffy, William J.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Reddy, Michael|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Leach, Charles||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lewis, John Herbert||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lundon, T.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Lynch, A. A.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Falconer, J.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||McGhee, Richard||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Ffrench, Peter||MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Field, William||Macpherson, James Ian||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Fitzgibbon John||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||McCallum, Sir John M.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Furness, Stephen||M'Curdy, C. A.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||M'Kean, John||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Gilhooly, James||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Gill, A. H.||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Sheehy, David|
|Ginnell, L.||M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Shortt, Edward|
|Glanville, H. J.||Manfield, Harry||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northamtpon)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Masterman, C. F. G.||Snowden, Philip|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Meagher, Michael||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Median, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Summers, James Woolley|
|Gulney, Patrick||Middlebrook, William||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Millar, James Duncan||Sutton, John E.|
|Hackett, John||Molloy, M.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Hancock, J. G.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Tennant, Harold John (Derby)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Mooney, John J.||Thomas, J. H (Derby)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morgan, George Hay||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Morrell, Phillip||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Morison, Hector||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Harwood, George||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Muldoon, John||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Munro, R.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Hayward, Evan||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||Neilson, Francis||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, East)||Nolan, Joseph||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Norman, Sir Henry||Wardle, George J.|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Waring, Walter|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nuttall, Harry||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Henry, Sir Charles S.||O'Brien, William (Cork)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., South)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Webb, H.|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Hinds, John||O'Doherty, Philip||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Donnell, Thomas||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Hogge, James Myles||O'Dowd, John||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Grady, James||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Holt, Richard Durning||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir T. P.|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Malley, William||Wiles, Thomas|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Hughes, S. L.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Shee, James John||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worc, N.)|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Jowett, F. W.||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Joyce, Michael||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Keating, M.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Power, Patrick Joseph||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fleming, Valentine||Mount, William Arthur|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William Ft.||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Forster, Henry William||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Foster, Philip Staveley||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Ashley, W. W.||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Gibbs, G. A.||Nield, Herbert|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Col J.||Gilmour, Capt. John||Norton-Griffiths, J.|
|Baird, J. L.||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Goldman, C. S.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Grant, James Augustus||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Greene, W. R.||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Gretton, John||Perkins. Walter Frank|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Guinness Hon Rupert (Essex, S. E.)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barnston, Harry||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Bathurst, Hon. A B. (Glouc, E.)||Haddock, George Bahr||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Quilter, sir William Eley C.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Harris, Henry Percy||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Bird, A.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Royds, Edmund|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Boyton, J.||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hills, John Waller||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Hoare, S. J. G.||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Burn, Col. C. R.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Butcher, John George||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pool, Walton)|
|Campion, W. R.||Horner, Andrew Long||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Cassel, Felix||Hume-Williams, W. E.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cator, John||Ingleby, Holcombe||Starkey, John R.|
|Cautley, H. S.||Jackson, Sir John||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Cave, George||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Joynson-Hicks, William||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Kerry, Earl of||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Keswick, Henry||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Chambers, James||Kimber, Sir Henry||Terrell, George (Wilts., N. W.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Knight, Captain E. A.||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Clyde, James Avon||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Larmor, Sir J.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Cowan, W. H.||Lewisham, Viscount||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lloyd, George Ambrose||Walrond, Hon. Llonel|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wards, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Croft, H. P.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han, S.)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. H.)|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Winterton, Earl|
|Dixon, C. H.||Mackinder, H. J.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Doughty, Sir George||Macmaster, Donald||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||M'Mordie, Robert||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Malcolm, Ian||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Fell, Arthur||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Younger, Sir George|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon, W. Hayes||Moore, William||Agar-Robartes and Mr. Pirie.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."1570
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 251; Noes, 320.1573
|Division No. 99.]||AYES.||[8.0 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Falle, Bertram Godfrey||Macmaster, Donald|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Fell, Arthur||M'Calmont, Colonel James|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||M'Mordle, Robert|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St Augustine's)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Malcolm, Ian|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Fleming, Valentine||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Col. J.||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Baird, J. L.||Forster, Henry William||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Foster, Philip Staveley||Moore, William|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gastroll, Major W. H.||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gibbs, G. A.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Gilmour, Captain J.||Mount, William Arthur|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. A. C.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Goldman, C. S.||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Barnston, H.||Goulding, E. A.||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Grant, J. A.||Nield, Herbert|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Norton-Griffiths, J.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilton)||Gretton, John||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid.)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S. E.)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Haddock, George B.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Perkins, Waiter Frank|
|Bird, A.||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Boyton, James||Harris, Henry Percy||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Ratcliff, Major R. F.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Burn, Col. C. R.||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hills, John Waller (Durham)||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Campion, W. R.||Hoare, S. J. G.||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Royds, Edmund|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Rutherford, Watson (L'Pool, W. Derby)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hope, James Fitzaian (Sheffield)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cator, John||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Cautley, H. S.||Horner, A. L.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Cave, George||Houston, Robert Paterson||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Hunt, Rowland||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool Exchange)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Ingleby, Holcombe||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Wor'r.)||Jackson, Sir John||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Chambers, James||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Joynson-Hicks, William||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Kerry, Earl of||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Keswick, Henry||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Kimber, Sir Henry||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cowan, W. H.||Knight, Captain E. A||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Larmor, Sir J.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Croft, H. P.||Lewisham, Viscount||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lloyd, George Ambrose||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col A. R.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Touche, George Alexander|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)|
|Faber, George D. (Clapham)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Mackinder, Halferd J.||Weigall, Captain A. G.|
|White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)||Younger, Sir George|
|Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Winterton, Earl||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George||Agar-Robartes and Mr. Pirie.|
|Wolmer, Viscount||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Duffy, William J.||Keating, M.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Adamson, William||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Kelly, Edward|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||King, J.|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Elverston, Sir Harold||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Alden, Percy||Esmonde, D. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lansbury, George|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Essex, Richard Walter||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Armitage, Robert||Falconer, J.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Farrell, James Patrick||Leach, Charles|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Ffrench, Peter||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Field, William||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Fitzgibbon, John||Lundon, T.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Barnes, George N.||Furness, Stephn||Lynch, Arthur Alfred|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Barton, William||Gilhooly, James||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Gill, A. H.||MacGhee, Richard|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Ginnell, L.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Gladstone, W. G. C.||MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Glanville, H. J.||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Goldstone, Frank||McCallum, Sir John M.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||M'Curdy, C. A.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Greig, Col. J. W.||M'Kean, John|
|Boland, John Pius||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Griffith, Ellis Jones||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Gulney, Patrick||Manfield, Harry|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Hackett, J.||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hancock, J. G.||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Masterman, C. F. G.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hardie, J. Keir||Meagher, Michael|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Menzies. Sir Walter|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Middlebrook, William|
|Cameron, Robert||Harwood, George||Millar, James Duncan|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Molloy, M.|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Hayden, John Patrick||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Chapple, Dr. W. A.||Hayward, Evan||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Clough, William||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Clynes, John R.||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, East)||Morrell, Philip|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Morison, Hector|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hemmerde, Edward George||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Muldoon, John|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Munro, R.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Henry, Sir Charles||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Neilson, Francis|
|Crawshay, Williams Eliot||Higham, John Sharp||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Crean, Eugene||Hinds, John||Nolan, Joseph|
|Crooks, William||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Crumley, Patrick||Hogge, James Myles||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Cullinan, John||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Nuttall, Harry|
|Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Brien, William (Cork)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Hughes, S. L.||O'Doherty, Philip|
|De Forest, Baron||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Delany, William||John, Edward Thomas||O'Dowd, John|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Grady, James|
|Devlin, Joseph||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.).|
|Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness)||Jones, Leif Straiten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Malley, William|
|Dillon, John||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Donelan, Capt. A.||Jowett, F. W.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Doris, W.||Joyce, Michael||O'Shee, James John|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Scanlan, Thomas||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wardle, George J.|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Waring, Walter|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Sheehy, David||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Pollard, Sir George H.||Sherwell, Arthur James||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Shortt, Edward||Watt, Henry A.|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Webb, H.|
|Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Radford, G. H.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Raffan, Peter Wilson||Snowden, P.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Spicer, Sir Albert||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Whyte, A. F.|
|Reddy, Michael||Summers, James Woolley||Wiles, Thomas|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Sutherland, J. E.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Sutton, J. E.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Tennant, Harold John||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Roche, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Toulmin, Sir George||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Rowntree, Arnold||Verney, Sir Harry||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wadsworth, J.|
§ The CHAIRMAN
With regard to the next Amendment standing in the name of the Noble Lord the Member for Maidstone (Viscount Castlereagh), I would point out to him that if that point be raised at this place, it will have rather a serious effect on a number of subsequent Amendments on the Paper in the name of the Noble Lord's hon. Friends. I do not know whether, in these circumstances, he would desire to move it here.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the word "Parliament," and to insert instead thereof the word "Legislature."
The policy on this side of the House has always been to confine the discussion to important Amendments of wide scope. This Amendment is not one on which very many questions arise, but it is certainly a most important Amendment, although it is confined within a comparatively small scope. I do not intend to discuss any question beyond that of nomenclature, and I do not propose to discuss the duties of the Irish Parliament. The Amendment is important because of the reasons which have induced the Government to alter the nomenclature which was in the former Bills. I wish to draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that in both the Bills of 1886 and 1893 the word "Legislature" was used, and there was a reference to that point in the speech of Mr. Gladstone, in which he 1574 declared that the use of the word "Parliament" would cause confusion, and raise questions quite outside the range of the Bill, and he suggested that it would detract from the supremacy of the English Parliament which the Bill explicitly affirmed. Those were the words used by Mr. Gladstone, and on this point in the same Debate the hon. and learned Member for Waterford said that the Irish people would prefer the word "Parliament," and Mr. Gladstone replied that he saw no necessity for altering the language of the original proposal. So far as I can gather, the only necessity that exists now as against the Home Rule Bills of 1886 and 1893 is the very vital one of obeying the slightest whim of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford. I desire to put before the Committee one or two reasons why it is desirable that the word "Legislature" should be adopted. In the first place, if this Bill is to form part of the wider proposal of a federal system for England, Scotland, and Wales, it is desirable that there should be some uniformity of nomenclature, and when these other Parliaments are set up, I think the use of the word "Parliament" will lead to considerable confusion.
There is another more important reason why I hope the Government will accept this Amendment. As far as I can gather from the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, the reason why they are so anxious to have the word Parliament in this Bill is in order to recall the memories 1575 of Grattan's Parliament. I venture to submit it is extremely undesirable the existence of that unhappy and dismal Parliament should be recalled at the present period. We are often asked to be witness to the glorious days in Ireland of Grattan's Parliament, but I would point out it was a period when there was more corruption in Ireland than at any other time. From the moment of its foundation to its extinction there was hardly a single vote which could not be bought in the same shameless manner, and the civilisation of Ireland then was probably inferior to the civilisation of Persia at the present time. I see no necessity whatever for recalling a period when the relations of Great Britain and Ireland were more unfortunate than at any other time previously or subsequently. I think it is necessary this alteration should be made in order to give a clear definition, to disarm misunderstanding, and above all to leave no doubt what the relations of this body to this House will be. I respectfully invite the Government to state the reasons for altering the term used in the previous Bill. To the best of my belief nothing has occurred in the nomenclature of Colonial and Dominion Parliaments to affect the point taken by Mr. Gladstone on that occasion, because, speaking generally, the word "Legislature" has been used in the case of the subordinate Parliaments of the Dominions and Colonies. This change has been adopted in answer to the demand of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, and this is only another instance of how the Government give way to him on every possible point.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
The Noble Lord has very truly said that this is a question of nomenclature, and is not, therefore, one of substance. It does not affect in any way the powers or functions of the body which is going to be brought into existence. The Noble Lord called attention to the fact that in this Bill there is a change of phraseology from the Bill of 1893 and, I think, the Bill of 1886. The question is whether or not the word "Parliament" is a proper word to describe the body which is about to be brought into existence under this Clause. The hon. Member spoke of some form of pressure being brought to bear on the Government in the matter. There is really nothing of the kind. We exercised our own judgment, and came to the conclusion that upon the whole this was the better name of the two. At the time of the Bill 1576 of 1893, this House had created only one other body designated by the name of "Parliament," namely, the Parliament of Canada. Since the Bill of 1893 the Imperial Parliament has created under the name of "Parliament" legislative bodies both in Australia and South Africa. It is quite true, as the hon. Gentleman said, that the constituent States which make up that Commonwealth have other bodies of their own which are not described by that name. These bodies, both in Canada, Australia, and South Africa, are the creation of the Imperial Parliament, and, as everybody knows, the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament over them is unquestioned.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
There has been no occasion for exerting it, as we hope there will be no occasion in the case of the Irish Parliament; but, if a dispute does arise, the Imperial Parliament can exercise its supreme authority over those bodies, although they are designated by the word "Parliament." When we go on, as I hope we shall go on, in time to deal with this problem in relation to Scotland, I think Scotch sentiment will also demand that whatever body is created there shall go by the name of "Parliament," and recall such traditions as are venerable in the institution which was extinguished by the Act of Union between England and Scotland. Historical associations and recent precedent seem to favour this name, and, as the serious question is not by what name the body shall be called but what shall be the powers with which it shall be vested and its relation to the Imperial Parliament, I think the Committee will agree that on the whole this change in nomenclature proposed in the Bill is a good one.
Mr. RONALD M'NEIL
The main argument of the Prime Minister is, I think, in favour of the Amendment. He said the change in this Bill as compared with the Bill of Mr. Gladstone in 1893 was made because since that date there have been within the British Empire two new Legislatures brought into existence and given the name of "Parliament," whereas in that year the only Legislature which bore the name of "Parliament" was that of Canada. Mr. Gladstone, in 1893, referring to Canada, laid special stress on the point that it was an exception to the general rule, because the word "Parliament" was there reserved for the central Government, and the provincial Governments 1577 had some other titles, such as "Legislative Assemblies." The new bodies which have been brought into existence, and to which the Prime Minister referred, are analogous to that central Government in Canada. They are not subordinate, but super-Parliaments. They exercise control and do not submit to control. Therefore I should have thought, if you wanted to preserve any sort of general system of nomenclature or any sort of analogy between the various bodies in the British Empire, as compared with the central Government at home, you would reserve the word "Parliament" for the central Government of the particular federation, whatever it may be, and then give some other term—I do not think it is of any great importance whether it is "The House of Representatives" or "Legislative Assembly"—to those subordinate bodies, which are, so to speak, satellites in the federation.
We have been told this Bill is only the first step in a very considerable system of federation. We are to have a Parliament not only for Ireland, but for Scotland and for Wales, and I presume, though we have never been actually told so, we shall have a Parliament for England. I presume in that case this Parliament will be reserved for Imperial affairs, exercising some sort of supervision and control over all the other subordinate Parliaments. It seems rather absurd to look forward to a time when we shall have five or six Parliaments in these Islands. It appears to be absolutely necessary we should start at the outset with some sort of classification whereby we can draw a distinction in writing and in conversation without long circumlocution, between the Parliament we have been speaking about—between the central Government and the subordinate bodies. Some of us who have been endeavouring to make suggestions for the improvement of this Bill have already found, owing to the phraseology adopted in the Bill, some inconvenience and difficulty when we have wanted to draw a distinction of any sort between the body to be set up by this Bill in Dublin and this Imperial Parliament, and it has put us to the inconvenience on several occasions of describing this Parliament as "the Parliament of the United Kingdom," whereas this is the Irish Parliament. Would it not be much more simple if we could, in all our legal phraseology and literature, have a general reference to this body, and be able to speak about Parliament without any further qualification regarding the body to which we are referring.
1578 I want to call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman opposite to two speeches made on this subject with which no doubt the Prime Minister is familiar, although he may possibly have lost sight of them. First I want to call attention to a statement made by Lord Morley, at the time Chief Secretary for Ireland, in this House, and one of the Ministers of the day most responsible for the proposals then before Parliament. An hon. Member belonging to the Nationalist party had moved the converse Amendment to that now before this Committee, namely, to replace "Legislative Assembly" by the word "Parliament." He was opposed by the then Chief Secretary on this, among other grounds:—Not for the purpose of gaining anything substantial the Government are asked to awaken jealousies and arouse susceptibilities which would undoubtedly make the progress of our policy more difficult.I venture to submit to the Government that Lord Morley foresaw the true difficulty which would follow if the Amendment then proposed were accepted by the Government, and I think the phraseology which we have in this Bill, and which we are now attempting to displace, will certainly arouse susceptibilities very likely to make the progress of the Government more difficult. There is another question to which I would ask the attention of the Attorney-General, and that is a question which, as far as I can see, looking at what has happened on former occasions, has never yet been decided, and that is whether or not it is correct, as is done in the case of this Bill, to describe the Sovereign as part of Parliament. There is a very respectable authority for it, I believe. I refer to Blackstone—and it is certainly not my intention to speak disrespectfully of that authority any more than I would do of the Equator. There is a more modern authority on the other side. It is quite apparent that, in 1893, it was still considered an open question. I venture to suggest, that a point of this sort is not one of deep constitutional law, but rather one of usage, and the authority of Mr. Gladstone as a Constitutionalist and Parliamentarian, may carry as much weight, indeed it might be expected to carry more weight with the Government, than even the more ancient authority of Blackstone. This is what Mr. Gladstone said, when speaking on an Amendment in 1893. He at first appeared to have taken the point that it was incorrect to describe the Sovereign as part of Parliament. He was 1579 then confronted by the argument on the other side that there was a precedent in the case of Canada. He thereupon used these words:—But for the precedent of the Canada Act he would have been inclined to say that Parliament is complete and does not include the Queen.I want to call attention to this particular expression on the point whether it is correct or not to describe the Sovereign as part of Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman said:—I own it is an infelicitous expression to use Parliament as was done in the Canada Act as a grammatical equivalent of legislature. It is certainly not according to common usage to speak of the Queen as a portion of Parliament.Surely, apart from the question of Black-stone's authority, Mr. Gladstone's expression about its not being common usage to speak of the Sovereign as part of Parliament seems sound common sense. That the Sovereign should be part of some larger expression that includes all the elements of government one can well understand; but I do say it certainly is not common usage to speak of the King as part of Parliament. Then Mr. Gladstone went on to point out that in the case of Canada it was used only for the federal Government. He said:—I do not think we can use the case of Canada as a precedent, as no analogy exists between the state of things that obtains in Canada and the state of things we propose to set up in Ireland.That is an expression on the part of Mr. Gladstone which does not appear to be observed by the supporters of the Government's policy to-day. It would be better therefore, in my opinion, to use the phraseology of the Bill of 1893 in this measure. Mr. Gladstone finished his observations with these words:—It is better to avoid ambiguity in matters of this kind, and not constitute substantially new precedents but to adhere to established practice.I propose to say a few words about the associations which attached to the word "Parliament," although I do not intend to follow the Prime Minister into the history of Parliament, whether during Grattan's Parliament or before it. I would point to hon. Members who lay very great stress upon Irish nationality, and object to any English institution being forced upon any Parliament in Ireland, that that was an ancient institution imposed on Ireland by England, and was in no sense a development of Irish history. I suppose the reason why the word is put into the Bill, and why it is desired by hon. Members below the Gangway to have it there, is that this Bill, whatever may have been the case 1580 with former Bills, will call up entirely false notions. Surely it is important, when you are creating new authorities of this sort, and a new Constitution in a country, to avoid so far as possible employing language which will call up false historical associations, especially in the minds of people like the Irish, who are, at one and the same time, a people of long historical memories and given very much to submitting themselves to sentimental associations.
It was pointed out, in the Debates of 1886, of the Bill then before Parliament, that it was lacking in exactly those features which Grattan congratulated his contemporaries upon his Parliament possessing. Hon. Members at the present day may think this is a matter of no importance, or merely a matter of historical trifling. But its importance is very much better understood in Ireland than in this country, and much more stress is laid upon it in the public mind. There are very large numbers of people in Ireland perfectly familiar with the historical fact that Grattan, in a famous speech in his own Parliament, congratulated the people upon the upon the possession of five distinctive features. Of those five distinctive features some have became obsolete, and could not have relation to affairs of the present day, but there are some which are by no means altered, and it would be quite possible, if the policy of the Government were so inclined, to have given to the Parliament to be set up in Dublin by this Bill some of the features which were associated with Grattan's Parliament. Since that has not been done, it appears to be going out of your way to call up false ideas of what this policy is in the minds of the people for whom it is designed by using phraseology of that sort. From the point of view of our own convenience, from the point of view of avoiding ambiguous language and using language more suitable for a federal system when that system is complete, and also from the point of view of the convenience of the Irish people themselves, the Government would do well to act upon the authority of Mr. Gladstone himself, and say it would be better not to create a new precedent such as is being done in this Bill, but to adhere to old-established traditions such as we suggest in this Amendment.
§ Mr. CASSEL
We have been told that the general scheme of the Government is of a federal nature, and what we have to see is that nothing is put into this Bill that 1581 is inconsistent with a federal scheme. According to the practice in all the Colonies which have self-governing Legislatures it is contrary to a federal scheme to call the subordinate Legislatures Parliaments. The Government themselves have said that they intend this to be a subordinate part of the federation. I have a very high authority in Todd's work on "Parliamentary Government in the British Colonies," in which he particularly draws attention to this distinction in the case of Canada, and says:—Such in fact is the relation borne by the legislatures of the different Canadian provinces towards the Federal Parliament of the Dominion. The powers and jurisdiction of both are regulated by Imperial Statute. To the former is delegated the exclusive right to make laws in regard to matters of a local or private nature in each province.Then he says:—This distinction is justified by the terms employed in the British North America Act. Therein the provincial legislative bodies are designated as Legislatures, and the Dominion Legislatures is uniformly described as the Parliament of Canada.So that we have the very high authority of this work for saying that it is the rceognised practice, where you have a federal system in the Empire, to call the federal Legislature a Parliament, and to call the subordinate Legislatures not Parliaments but Legislatures, or some other name than Parliaments. I think the Prime Minister recognised that although it was a question of phraseology, yet that question of phraseology had behind it an important question of substance, because if you use the word "Parliament," which is recognised throughout the Dominions as being appropriate to the federal Government alone, for the subordinate Parliament, it will give justification for any claim on the part of the Irish Parliament to be treated not as a subordinate Parliament, but as one over which the Imperial Parliament ought not to exercise control. I see an hon. Member representing a Scottish Division present. I understand that the Scottish Members are going to take good care to see that in this Bill there should be nothing inconsistent with a federal scheme. I am now addressing my argument to the point that in the whole of our Colonial system it is inconsistent with the federal scheme to call subordinate Legislatures Parliaments. It would afford justification for the claim that the Imperial Parliament has no cause to interfere. Supposing there are cases where the Imperial Parliament was called in as a safeguard. What will the answer be? "We are a Parliament—are you going to interfere with our Parliament?" Suppose the question arose of what powers 1582 ought to be given to this new Legislature. The contention will be put forward that those powers ought to be such as should be given to a Parliament within the meaning of the word as it is used throughout the Empire.
It will be of the greatest importance, when we come to discuss Clause 2, which deals with the powers, what name we have given to this Legislature. If you consider the powers, even as they exist under the Bill in Clause 2, they are not of such a character as are usually given to a body which is called a Parliament. Their powers of taxation are extremely limited. Take the other bodies in the Empire—the Parliament of Canada, the Parliament of Australia, and the Parliament of South Africa, each heads of a federal system. In their cases the powers of taxation are not limited. The very fact that the powers of taxation are so limited as they are under this Bill—I hope they will be still further limited—renders the word "Parliament" a most inappropriate word by which to call this Legislature. This body will not have power to make a single law with regard to the collection of taxes. A body of that description ought not to be called a Parliament. Again, it has no powers to deal with land, except so far as the fixing of rents is concerned. It has no power to deal with the question of land purchase, a limitation which is not found in the powers of any Government throughout the Dominions which has ever been called a Parliament. I hope that when we get to Clause 2 these powers will be still further limited, and when these further limitations have been introduced so as to make it consistent with a federal scheme, then the word "Parliament" will be still more inappropriate than it is under the Bill as it stands at present. In this matter I think the view which was taken by Mr. Gladstone was a better view than that which is taken by his successors. It is not as if it was a chance decision of Mr. Gladstone. There was a definite Amendment proposed and Mr. Gladstone deliberately rejected it because he considered that "Parliament" was an inappropriate word to apply to this Legislature, but if there were good reasons for Mr. Gladstone rejecting it, the reasons are doubly strong now, because at that time this was not put forward as part of a federal scheme. The very fact that you called it by that name would be a reason for constantly provoking the Irish Members to ask for such powers as a Parliament ought to be endowed with and for 1583 also resisting any kind of interference by the Imperial Legislature. For these reasons I submit that it really is a question of importance and substance and not merely a question of nomenclature whether you call this body a Parliament or a Legislature, and we ought to adhere to the decision which Parliament came to in 1893 and had then the support and authority of Mr. Gladstone.
§ Mr. SANDYS
The Prime Minister, in the course of his answer to my Noble Friend (Earl Winterton), adopted the usual policy which the Government follows in dealing with a question of this sort. When they find themselves in a difficult position and unable to give a satisfactory answer to the arguments on our side, they invariably reply that the subject is of such small importance that it really is not necessary to answer the arguments at all. This proposal is really one of great substance and importance, and it would have been very desirable for the right hon. Gentleman to give us some indication of the real reasons why he thought it necessary to make a substantial and important change in the proposals of 1893 and 1886. The right hon. Gentleman merely alluded, in a very vague way, to what had actually occurred. He said they had exercised their judgment, and had made this change because they came to the conclusion that it was a better name; but we want to know why they came to that conclusion. The right hon. Gentleman did not deal with the question as to whether this concession was the result of pressure which had been brought to bear upon the Government by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Redmond).
§ Mr. SANDYS
I did not follow that he dealt with it effectively at all. His answer did not satisfy me. The right hon. Gentleman then pointed out that when the 1893 Bill was introduced there was only one legislative assembly in our Colonies —in Canada—which enjoyed the title of "Parliament," and that since then we had, in the Imperial Parliament, given our assent to new Constitutions forming Parliaments in Australia and South Africa, and that in those Colonies the subsidiary legislative assemblies were called by other names. I think he is mistaken in one point, because I have been looking up the 1584 provisions of the Commonwealth of Australia Act and I find that by Section 107 the subsidiary bodies in Australia are not called legislative assemblies, but are actually called Parliaments, and I was rather surprised that he did not bring that forward as an argument in support of his view of the case, because it might at first sight seem that that was some argument for giving the name of Parliament to this new assembly. If that argument should be brought forward later on I might point out that these subsidiary Parliaments in Australia were in existence already at the time when the Australian Constitution was passed, and, therefore, the situation is absolutely and completely different. No-doubt had they been starting de novo and constructing a new federal Constitution— a task, I understand, which we now have in hand—they would have adopted the other system and would have called the central authority the Parliament and the subsidiary bodies Legislatures.
Then the right hon. Gentleman said the ultimate intention is, and I hope it may be given effect in the immediate future, to establish similar assembles, which are also to be called Parliaments, in Scotland, England and Wales. It seems to me obvious that if that is the intention it is absolutely necessary that these assemblies should not be called Parliaments at all but Legislative Assemblies, in order to prevent any unnecessary confusion; but in my opinion there is a complete confusion of ideas existing with regard to this federal scheme which it is highly desirable should be cleared up at the earliest possible opportunity, and I think this would be an admirable occasion for some definite declaration on behalf of the Government. What we want to know is whether this new sort of Union, which does not seem to approximate to any kind of Union at present in existence in any part of the Empire, which is going to be established between this country and Ireland, and which is ultimately to extend to other parts of the United Kingdom, is to be similar to the union which exists between this country and the Dominions of the Crown, or whether on the other hand it is to approximate more closely to the union which exists between the central Parliament, shall we say in a Dominion like Canada, and the legislative subordinate assemblies of which that union is composed. We have never had a clear declaration of the Government's policy on that point, and it is highly desirable that we should have their view stated at the earliest possible 1585 moment so that our further examination of the Bill may be conducted under more favourable conditions.
The hon. and learned Member (Mr. Cassel) called attention to the fact that this proposal was dealt with in a discussion which took place on the 1893 Bill, and he pointed out the very strong reasons which Mr. Gladstone at that time urged in an absolutely contrary direction to the position taken up by the right hon. Gentleman on this Bill. I think we are entitled to demand whether he cannot give us some adequate reason for this complete change of front, for this absolute alteration from the policy which Mr. Gladstone laid down, and to which he evidently attached very great importance indeed. I would like to call the attention of the Committee to an interesting speech made on the same occasion by the hon. Member for Deptford (Mr. Darling, now Mr. Justice Darling). He objected very strongly to the use of the word "Parliament," because he thought it would be inappropriate to apply it to the Irish legislative body. He drew a comparison between the position of a judge and the position of a Parliament, and went on to say:—He had no suggestion to make to any Irish judge except that he would be naturally disposed to earn for himself the description of what was called a good judge. Naturally he would be inclined by every means in his power to enlarge his jurisdiction.It would be very interesting to know whether Mr. Justice Darling holds the same views now, but this is the point:—If the Irish Assembly were called upon, it could do as this Parliament had done—encroach on the rights and privileges of every one in the realm, until it had all those rights and privileges itself.I venture to suggest that from the great importance which hon. Members below the Gangway evidently attach to this it may be inferred that they have some idea of this sort in their heads. If so, I think it is most desirable that we should dispose of it, and at once make it perfectly clear that we are not going to put up with an encroachment of this character by definitely laying down at the beginning that the Assembly is to be called a "Legislature" and not a "Parliament" at all. I would refer to the great difficulty which hon. Members will have when they wish to make it clear to the world that they are Members of one or other of these legislative assemblies. It would no longer be any good to place the letters M.P. after a name, because that would not indicate to which Parliament they belonged. Again, if the letters M.I.P. were used, they might equally apply to Members of the 1586 Irish Parliament or Members of the Imperial Parliament. The only way to make it clear would be to use the letters M.A.P. to indicate that the person belonged to the ancient Parliament, while a Member of the English Parliament would remain an M.P. These are some of the difficulties which must arise, unless we make a distinction between the Imperial Parliament and the new Assembly we are going to establish in Dublin. It may be said that there is not very much in a name. I venture to say there is a great deal in a name. I know the Nationalist party attach very much importance indeed to having this new Assembly called Parliament. I do not wish to suggest that wherever their demands are reasonable we should not give way to them, but I do not think this is a reasonable demand. It will be far better to make it perfectly clear from the first that this is going to be a legislative assembly of a subordinate character, not having any of the attributes of this Imperial Parliament.
§ Sir J. D. REES
In referring to this matter, I think any hon. Member should approach it from the point of view with which he himself is most familiar. It occurs to me that this term "Parliament" is extremely inappropriate to the new body, when I remember that the Legislature of the Government of India is described as the Legislative Council. It may occur to this House that that is not at first sight a very appropriate or convincing analogy.
§ 9.0. P.M.
§ Sir J. D. REES
The Attorney-General intimates his concurrence, and I hope I shall be so fortunate as to obtain his concurrence when I develop my argument. The fact is that though I am as well aware as the right hon. Gentleman that the position of the Indian Legislature and that of the Irish Legislature will be, in many respects, one of contrast rather than similitude, nevertheless the Irish Parliament will have as its Upper House a Senate, and the Members of the Senate will be nominated by the Executive Government. That is precisely the position of the Members of the Indian Legislature. I was myself a nominated Senator in India—precisely the position which a Senator will occupy under this Bill. I represented 40,000,000 people, not one of whom voted for me. Nevertheless, I represented them, and I honestly 1587 believe I represented them far better than if they had voted. I am perfectly candid on the subject. But that is not the point. I am not establishing any resemblance between the electorate of Ireland or of the United Kingdom and the electorate of India. I am establishing an analogy between the Senators, and I say that the analogy is complete. A Senator in the Indian Legislative Council is nominated by the Executive. A Senator in the Irish Parliament—if that inappropriate expression be for the moment conceded—will also be nominated by the Executive. I do not know if the right hon. Gentleman opposite sees that analogy to be as faulty as he saw the difference I drew before to be exact. I was fortunate in meeting his concurrence on the first point, and I do not know whether on the present point I will be equally fortunate in obtaining his approval. If the new body in Ireland is to be a Parliament, it should be more or less an elective body.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Is the hon. Member in order in discussing what is to be the constitution of the Parliament? I understood the Noble Lord who moved this Amendment merely discussed the question of substituting "Legislature" for "Parliament," and that he purposely guarded himself from raising any point as to the constitution of the Irish Parliament.
§ Mr. CASSEL
Is it not important in considering what appropriate name the new body is to be called by we should also consider its powers and functions?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Maclean)
I think this Amendment ought to be kept within much narrower limits than those indicated by the hon. Member (Mr. Cassel). The later remarks of the hon. Member (Sir J. D. Rees) were getting rather outside the Amendment.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
May I ask whether an hon. Member may not point out that the name given to the new body does not fit the powers conferred upon it?
§ Sir J. D. REES
I shall not attempt to discuss the point after your ruling. I shall confine my remarks within the narrow limits you have laid down. I would ask, can a body be called a Parliament when half of it is appointed by the Executive? Would the term Parliament be properly applicable to a body of which the Upper 1588 House should be the more important? I am not sure whether it should be. I could tolerate the fact that it was the more important of the two Houses. I often think that in arguing in connection with this Bill one may fairly argue that the Upper House is the more important, the better advised, and the more representative of the people of the country. Is the expression "Parliament" properly applicable to a body consisting of two Houses, one of which is nominated by the Executive? I submit to the House that it is not.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Why introduce Canada? I am confining myself within the narrowest limits. I am on the point of the Parliament here and the Parliament which is to be appointed in Dublin. Is the word Parliament properly applicable to a body of that kind: elected Members, elected by constituencies which are not to be reformed, which are to bear the most unsatisfactory relation to constituencies in this Island, which are to return Members far in excess of their strength, and to have above them a nominated body? I submit that the term Parliament is wholly unsuitable to a body of that kind, and that the term Legislature exactly meets the case. No one can dispute, whatever his opinion may be as regards the propriety of establishing it and the propriety of the method of constituting it, that this body will have to legislate, that it is a legislaure, and that that is the appropriate and exact title for it. We have been accustomed to call this Parliament the Mother of Parliaments. The right hon. Gentleman is a distinguished Member of a Government which has altered that Parliament, and has quite destroyed the other House, while promising to make the legislative element predominating in both Houses, though it has not done so. Surely it is most inappropriate for a Government with that record to designate this new body a Parliament. I hope that I may be allowed in a subsequent Amendment to develop the point which has been ruled out of order, and in the circumstances I should not think it becoming to spend any greater amount of time upon this extremely limited Amendment.
Mr. JOHN GORDON (Londonderry, S.)
I thought really, when the Prime Minister spoke, from the beginning of his observations that he accepted this Amendment 1589 because he said it was simply a matter of nomenclature, and did not affect the substance of the Bill. If that be so, why did he select the word "Parliament," having had before him the wisdom of his predecessors on that bench who chose another word in 1893, and were so satisfied that the word "Parliament" was wrong that they opposed an Amendment from the Nationalist Benches to substitute "Parliament" for "Legislature." The only reason that one can see is that the present Government, with its larger and truly coalition majority, is more squeezable than the previous Government and has been forced into the adoption of a word which the wisdom of Mr. Gladstone made him stoutly refuse to concede to the request of Irish Nationalist Members. Why should the Prime Minister and the Government adhere to a mistake which they have made when there is so much to be said against it? First, it is contrary to all precedent which can be applied here. The case of Canada has nothing to do with it. That is the supreme Parliament of a federation and the subordinate assemblies are not called Parliaments at all. What the Prime Minister says he is going to do here is to create a federation in this country and have five subordinate Legislatures and one Imperial Parliament, which would correspond with the Parliament in Canada at the present time. Not only is precedent against this change, but convenience is very much against it also. Suppose you had your five Parliaments created and were dealing then with the Parliament of England, and you had another Parliament sitting in England—because I presume among all these many changes you would still have the Imperial Parliament located at Westminster, or in some other part of London—how would you distinguish between them? Would not you create endless confusion and require some roundabout phrase to make certain what particular body you were referring to? All that can be got rid of by adopting some distinctive name, such as was suggested in this Amendment, or any other name which will not lead anyone to make the mistake when dealing with a subordinate assembly that you are referring to the Imperial Parliament. Those are matters which, if there is not some constraining force operating on the Government, would at once cause them to adopt the position of Mr. Gladstone in 1893 and accept this Amendment or adopt some other word or phrase.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I think it a pity that some hon. Members who have spoken did not hear the Noble Lord the Member for Horsham move this Amendment, because he made it quite clear that he did not intend to raise or wish to raise any question but one of name by this Amendment, quite realising that if he did raise the broad questions which might be involved in the use of the term the consequence would necessarily be under our rules of procedure in this Committee to shut out a good many Amendments which would be raised hereafter. That was the reason why I ventured to interpose on a point of Order when the hon. Member for Nottingham was speaking. The consequence is that by your ruling we are confined within very narrow limits. The whole question which we are discussing is one of name. We are not dealing under this Amendment with the powers either of the Parliament or the Legislature. There is really no argument to be drawn from analogy as to the word "Legislature" being used, because in this particular case we are dealing with a Parliament whose powers are clearly defined in the Bill itself. We cannot discuss that on this Amendment, but it is stated what the powers are to be of the Parliament which is to be created by this Bill. The argument has been used that when this question was raised in 1893 the term "Legislature" was used instead of the term "Parliament"; but it must be borne in mind that we have gone very far since then. In point of fact, both as regards Australia and Africa, the Parliaments there are under the Imperial Parliament, and in both those cases you will find that the term "Parliament" is used as subordinate to the Imperial Parliament. I do not understand what the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. Hewins) means when he says that the Commonwealth Parliament is not subordinate to the Imperial Parliament. Does he say that?
§ Mr. HEWINS
Certainly I do. When the Constitution was settled at the Imperial Conference, the Parliaments of the Dominions were made co-ordinate with the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. HEWINS
I only wish to say that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is enunciating a principle which is of the greatest possible importance to the Empire.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I would remind the hon. Member that we are in the habit of passing Bills in this House which affect the Dominions outside the United Kingdom. We are constantly doing it. Although it might be said, speaking of the Australian Parliament, that apart from the central Parliament the term "Legislature" might be more appropriate, yet I would point out that in the Commonwealth Parliament you cannot do anything of the kind. You have a Commonwealth Parliament which is the central Parliament, and then you have the Parliaments which are subordinate to the Commonwealth Parliament; and there you have exactly the same state of things that you would have if you had a number of Parliaments under the federal system which it is proposed to adopt. In Australia the State Parliaments were already in existence before the Commonwealth Central Parliament was made, and therefore it might be said that it would be more convenient to adopt the name which you had been in the habit of using. It is a very fine point, when you come to consider it. It is simply which of the terms you prefer to use. We prefer to adopt exactly the same nomenclature that has already been used. If we continue to work out what has happened under the federal system in Australia, you would have a central Parliament, and then you would have subordinate Parliaments which would also exist under that name. The hon. Member opposite, in the course of the Debate, said that the use of the term "Parliament" might arouse jealousy and awake susceptibilities. But the answer to that is that we have done this very thing, and I suppose in the ordinary course of things in the Empire we shall do it again with regard to a creation of Parliaments and self - government through our Dominions. I do not understand why we should have all this discussion on the mere use of a term which carries no weight with it, because whether you use the term "Legislature" or "Parliament" you get to the same point.
§ Mr. PIRIE
May I ask this question of the Government, whether it is their absolute intention to create under a federal scheme a Parliament for each of the other nationalities of the United Kingdom, to be called by the name of "Parliament"? I speak for Scotland. I would like a definite, clear and straight answer to that simple question.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I do not know whether my hon. Friend was here when 1592 the Prime Minister spoke on this Amendment.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I am very sorry; it is very unfortunate; if you had been present you would not have put the question.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The hon. Gentler man will find that the Prime Minister made a very definite speech in which he put the matter very explicitly, and he specifically referred to the country for which the hon. Member speaks. The Prime Minister did not take very long, but I think he said all that was to be said on the point. The whole argument against the Bill was simply based upon what happened in 1893, but the answer to that is what has occurred since. Evidently several hon. Members who have spoken have not realised what the Prime Minister did say on this matter. He was clear and quite emphatic in his view that he preferred the use of the term "Parliament," having regard to the precedents that had been created, that it was not a question of argument but of fact, and that he had adopted the term "Parliament" for Ireland, not in consequence of any pressure put upon him by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I agree with the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General, that the point is a very narrow one, and that it is a question of title and not a question of status at all. None the less, it is a point of some importance, and was so regarded by the Nationalist party in the Debates of 1893, because in that year one of their few Amendments dealt with this subject, and was pressed to a Division against the Government of the day. I think I am right in saying that this Amendment, although in form rather narrow, is in fact of some importance. I confess I am astonished at the answer which the Government have made. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said the Prime Minister had put the case in the fewest possible words. He said that this is a change which is desired in the first place on grounds of sentiment, in the second on grounds of history, and in the third by analogy with what we have done in Australia. In this case I submit there is a strong argument which you can draw, 1593 not only from the case of Australia, but of South Africa as well. In each of those cases, or rather in the case of South Africa, and in the case of Canada, the central Parliament of the federation is the Parliament, but the local bodies are the legislatures. That is the point on which Mr. Gladstone took his stand in 1893, and the fact that the Australian bodies happened to be called Parliaments was really an answer by anticipation to my hon. Friend the Member for Wells. He quite rightly pointed out that before the Federation in Australia came about at all those bodies were Parliaments. In point of fact, that was a title which I think they gave themselves, and, at all events, the State of Victoria certainly gave itself the title of Parliament. When the legislative body in Victoria was set up, I well remember to have read that this House set up a legislative body in Victoria and expressly called it so. The first Act of the Legislature of Victoria was to enact that it should be called a Parliament, with the powers and status of a Parliament.
I think, therefore, in the case of Australia there is a distinction, and a proper distinction, which was drawn by my hon. Friend I come then to the argument of history. I think it is a false reading of history which desires to have the title of Parliament connected with a body of this kind from the associations of the word "Parliament" in the old days with Irish history, because, whatever may be said about this Parliament, or previous Irish Parliaments, no one will pretend that the powers which you are going to give under this Bill are the same, or anything like the same, as the powers which were possessed by Irish Parliaments in other days, either under Poyning's law or Grattan's Parliament. Under Poyning's law you had not anything like similar powers to those in this Bill. In Grattan's Parliament the Executive was under the control, or, at all events, responsible to the British Executive, and therefore the argument of history and the historical analogy proves nothing. There remains the question of sentimental attachment to this word, and against that I bring the views of Lord Morley, in 1893, when he was speaking on an Amendment of a similar character moved by the hon. Member for West Clare. Lord Morley on that occasion said:—I submit to my hon. Friend that in pressing this Amendment, he is pressing for language which would represent a settlement that would convey erroneous deas as to the true policy of this Bill.1594 I want to know has the true policy of the Government to Ireland changed since since 1893. If it is still the same policy, then I say the language of Lord Morley holds good. By inserting words of this description you are giving expression to a sentiment, even if it be nothing more, which is alien even to the policy you yourselves profess.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
As I understood the argument of the Attorney-General, it was that the word Parliament is used in Australia and that the Australian legislative body is subordinate, and therefore why should you object to giving the word "Parliament" to an Irish legislative body, which will also be a Parliament. Does he really mean to say that it will be subordinate in the same sense, and that the Crown in England could exercise in practice with regard to Australia the powers which, under this Bill, the Crown is to exercise in regard to Ireland? I am sure he could not contend that in practice the Crown could exercise those powers with regard to Australia, and if he does maintain the analogy then all the safeguards and restrictions and as to the powers of the Lord Lieutenant are so much waste paper in this Bill. That is the only logical inference from his argument. That being so, it is useless for him to attempt to defend Clauses 2 and 3 and the powers of the Lord Lieutenant in Clause 7. He knows very well powers of that kind cannot be exercised in the case of Ireland if he puts the case of Ireland on a parallel with the Australian Colonies. If the Attorney-General likes to make a further speech on that point I will give way, but I say that the course of my argument is irresistible. I object to the word "Parliament" on another ground, because of the association of the word. It would create great popular confusion. I may say I do not like the word "Legislature" either, and much prefer the word "Diet," which I think is a word applicable to subordinate Legislatures, and which evidently appeals to the right hon. and learned Gentleman. The word "Parliament" implies unrestricted power. I do not want to go into Blackstone, but there is practically nothing physically possible that a Parliament in this country is not held capable of doing. That, of course, is not the case with regard to the Parliament you are going to set up unless all the restrictions are so much waste paper.
A great deal of popular confusion must necessarily arise if this Bill becomes law 1595 with the word "Parliament" in it, because people will talk of an Act of Parliament, and they will say, is it of the Irish or the Imperial Parliament? The essence of an Act of Parliament is that the judges cannot, however much they may try to do so, as occasionally they do by their temptations, set it aside as void in this country. But every Act of the Irish Legislative body will be liable to be set aside by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and if there would be that confusion with regard to Ireland how much greater it would be in the case of five separate legislative bodies which have the title of Parliament, and people will ask, is it an Act of the Irish, or the Welsh, or the Scottish, or the English Parliament? Thus the authority of the words "Act of Parliament" will be lost in the confusion that will ensue. With regard to what the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said as to what the Prime Minister declared about Scotland his words were a great deal vaguer, and when reported will give much less consolation to the hon. and gallant Gentleman below the Gangway than the right hon. Gentleman would mean us to apply. We must look at this Bill as part of a federal system to be set up in future, and looking at it in that way we must reserve the word Parliament for the central body unless we are to degrade the authority of that body. There is one other matter which I think does deserve a word of criticism, and that is the position of the Crown in respect to the use of the word "Parliament" here. The first Clause of the Bill reads:—On and after the appointed day there shall be in Ireland an Irish Parliament consisting of His Majesty the King, and two Houses.I do maintain that whatever Mr. Gladstone's argument as against Blackstone was we ought to have reserved the word Parliament for the supreme Parliament of the United Kingdom. We ought not to say that a subordinate Parliament, even if there is a Canadian precedent, shall consist of the King and two Houses, because that would make the position of the Crown the same with regard to the subordinate Parliament as it is with regard to the supreme Parliament.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Does the hon. Gentleman say that a Bill passed by the two Houses could become an Act of Parliament without the Royal Assent?
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Pro tanto with the assent of the Lord Lieutenant, subject to the authority of the Imperial Parliament, To place the subordinate Parliament on an equality with the Imperial Parliament as regards its relations with the Crown is to create a totally false impression, and one which, if it lasts at all, must lower the status of the Imperial Parliament to that of the Irish Parliament and of the various-subordinate Parliaments to be set up in the future. If you want to preserve the status and powers of the Parliament at Westminster you must not give the name "Parliament" to any of these other bodies which are ex hypothesi to be inferior.
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
The point which has been very largely emphasised by the Government is the analogy between this country and the Dominions across the sea, and we have been told that we should work towards the federal ideal. The Prime Minister stated that the basis of the designation "Parliament" was partly historical, partly sentimental. Why should history and sentiment apply in the case of Ireland and not in the case of South Africa? The South African Constitution is the last that this country has given to a Dominion. You have history in Natal. There is hardly a roadside that does not bear some evidence of the sacrifices which the people have made for the sake of their country. Natal, the Orange River Colony, the Transvaal, Cape Colony—each has its history, but the Government has given that country an Act of Union in which the designation "Parliament" is not preserved to either Natal, Cape Colony, the Transvaal, or the Orange River Colony. Why should you make this distinction in the case of Ireland? History and sentiment are as strong in South Africa as they are in Ireland. Why in the case of Ireland should you depart from the principle laid down by Mr. Gladstone, and in the case of South Africa allow the central body to be called a Parliament and the others to be called Provincial Legislatures?
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
The Attorney-General said that the whole argument for this Amendment was based upon the action of this House in 1893. That is not so. He also said that much had happened since 1893, and he referred to the establishment of Parliaments in Australia and South Africa. I think that what has influenced the right hon. Gentleman is something much nearer home than Australia or South Africa. It has arisen from 1597 the benches below the Gangway. I agree that much has happened since 1893. Mr. Gladstone, in supporting the Home Rule measure of 1893, never argued that it was the beginning of a system of federalism in this country. One of the most powerful passages in the Second Reading speech of the Prime Minister told us what we did not know before, that it is the intention of His Majesty's Government after they have set up this Legislature or Parliament in Ireland, to set up Legislatures or Parliaments in England, Scotland, and Wales. Therefore it makes an enormous difference whether we call the first of these bodies a Legislature or a Parliament. It is not only a matter of name. The Attorney-General says that the name does not indicate power. The name does and must indicate power. The term "Legislature" might easily mean a provincial Legislature with certain powers of making laws but with no powers of taxation. Show me a Parliament anywhere with power to make laws and not at the same time powers of imposing taxation. I want to help the Government in this matter. When after the Bill has been in Committee for some time they come to consider the financial powers given to this first assembly, and they have to argue the question of customs and matters of that kind, they will find that it would have been far better from their own point of view to have set up in Ireland a body which at first had only powers to make laws and not powers of imposing taxation. I hold that this body ought not to have powers of imposing taxation at all, but only powers to make laws. I submit, therefore, that the proper term to apply to this assembly is "Legislature" rather than "Parliament," and that the word "Parliament" should be kept for the great central body hereafter to be created having dominant powers over the four different assemblies in the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. PIRIE
I doubt whether the term "Diet" suggested by the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. James Hope) would be thoroughly understood by the people of the country. I am glad, at any rate, that one Member of the Cabinet—and I should like to congratulate the Attorney-General on his admission to the Cabinet—has clearly stated that Scotland when her case is dealt with is to receive a Parliament. A great deal of the difficulty of this question has been the surrounding of it to a large extent by vagueness and uncertainty.
1598 The Prime Minister said in one of the Debates that neither he nor any of his colleagues had shown the slightest reluctance to grapple with this question in alt its aspects. I take the strongest exception to that statement. I think it is one of the greatest drawbacks to the clearness of the position, and it shows a want of proper respect for this House, that Members have practically had no information from the Government right through on these questions. How can we debate-on the particular questions that will come-up without knowing more clearly than we do the ultimate scheme which the Government have in view passes my comprehension. It is want of respect for the House of Commons to keep information from us in this way. When we are in ignorance of what the ultimate intentions of the Government are we cannot do our duty, and come to clear and reasoned decisions on the different questions that come up. The hon. Member the Member for Down quoted from Lord Morley, but I do not think that any quotation from Lord Morley on this question of Home Rule, especially as applied to Scotland, will have much relevance. For myself, I congratulate the Scottish Members on that fact, that Lord Morley is becoming a waning power in the Cabinet so far as this question is concerned. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] Yes; there has never been all through his career a more bitter enemy to Scottish self-government—
§ The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Whitley)
How does the hon. Gentleman bring that matter in in connection with this Amendments
§ Mr. PIRIE
With all due respect, Mr. Whitley, I was answering a quotations from Lord Morley mentioned by an hon. Member opposite, and when your predecessor, Mr. Maclean, was in the Chair. The hon. Member for Down quoted an expression that Lord Morley made use of in the Debate of 1893. In that quotation Lord Morley distinctly insisted upon the Parliament of that Bill being known by the name of a "Legislature." That is the relevance of my observation. With regard to the last speaker, I can see no difficulty about the word at all. Surely the head or the supreme Parliament of all can be recognised as the "Imperial Parliament"? That is what we are aiming at, and for the other Parliaments to be known as the English, the Irish, and the Scottish Parliaments. The Imperial Parliament will be known by that name, and 1599 we are striving to create it as soon as possible, and that is why I strongly support the word "Parliament," and oppose the Amendment.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I think the discussion has been fortunate in this House, for Members of the Government have gone down to a good many constituencies and have put forward the claim that this Bill is nothing more than a local government Bill, and that in point of fact what we are doing is nothing more than allowing an Irish Government to the Irish people, with power to manage their own local affairs. The use of the word "Parliament" gives the lie to that argument. The word "Parliament" is never used in the case of local government, and the moment you use it it does away altogether with the idea of local government. I think it also proves the pretence that this is part of a federal scheme. That is really shown to be untrue. If you were setting up for the United Kingdom a federation nobody on earth would think of calling the separate bodies Parliaments at all. Something has been said about the various Legislatures in the Colonies, but I think hon. Members must see there is no comparison between any of the Colonial Legislatures and this Bill, for the simple reason that these Colonial Legislatures have none of them any representation or can have in this Parliament. Therefore the proper word to use is "Legislature." Indeed, as has been pointed out, Mr. Gladstone and Lord Morley themselves have shown that the use of the word Parliament was quite inconsistent. I would suggest to my hon. Friends that we have now discussed the question sufficiently, and that we could very reasonably go to a Division.
§ Mr. AMERY
On this matter of nomenclature, might I point out that when we have our promised federal system, when we have our five Parliaments, one of them will have quite different powers to the others. You will then be faced not only with subordinate Parliaments in the United Kingdom, but a further different between the Parliaments of the United Kingdom and the Parliament of the Empire. The Attorney-General dwelt upon the fact that in Canada and Australia the legislatures were subordinate, but that is just the sort of confusion that has been carried on throughout all these discussions. In a purely legal and technical sense Australia and Canada are sub- 1600 ordinate. But their legislatures have coordinate powers. It is quite true, as the right hon. Gentleman reminded us that the State Assemblies of Australia, unlike those of Canada and South Africa, are called Parliaments. That is because the Australian federation has been built up on the American plan, in which sovereignty is still retained—in so far as any sovereignty in a Colonial Legislature is retained—in the States, and not in the federation. Are we to understand that that is to be the position here: that in a future federation Ireland is to be a Sovereign State with certain limited powers temporary or additional to the Parliaments of the United Kingdom? The right hon. Gentleman said the powers after all were defined in the Act, but it has been admitted on every hand that this Bill is really provisional, and that it will be changed in many respects. If you are face to face with the possibility of change will not the attitude both of the members of the Legislature in Ireland and of the Government in this country be materially influenced by the name? Will not the name "Parliament" be an additional invitation to members of the Irish Assembly to resist the interference of the Parliament of the United Kingdom? And will it not be an additional excuse for a weak Government to make concessions?
Mr. CATHCART WASON
The remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin accusing us of going down to our Constituents and misrepresenting the effect of this Bill are hardly fair—namely, it is simply a measure for giving to the Irish people the right to manage their own affairs in their own way. With all respect, I do submit that the word "Parliament" really means very little. It is undoubtedly the wish of the Irish people that there should be conferred upon them an assembly with the name of Parliament. What on earth constitutional difference can it make it any way whether you call it a Parliament or a Legislative Assembly. In effect the thing means the same, and surely when we are trying to give the Irish people that which they have so long demanded, and when the question before us is simply one of conferring a certain kind of legislature upon the Irish people we might be well content to leave the words as they stand. The question of local administration of local Irish affairs it seems can only be settled quite satisfactorily by an Irish Parliament with powers to manage their own affairs. We 1601 have examples in many of our Crown Colonies, where they have speakers and local councils and all the paraphernalia of Parliaments. Surely in these circumstances, with the examples that we have before us, we need not cavil whether the term of Parliament applies. The right hon. Gentleman laid very much stress upon the constitutional distinction between a Parliament and another Legislative Assembly. I respectfully submit there is no difference whatever in the term, and that it is merely a question of nomenclature, and whether we call it Parliament or Assembly it really does not matter.
I quite understand the feelings of my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen (Mr. Pirie), who takes such a very keen interest in these matters. We all agree about his sincerity for the establishment of a Scottish Parliament, and many of us share his views. In this connection I should like to point out to my hon. Friend that this will not at all prejudice, as he
§ seems to dread, the case of a Scottish Parliament. Personally, I have never gone to my Constituents and attempted to put any such views before them as alleged by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University. There is no question whatever of prejudicing the position of other portions of the United Kingdom, or the position of the Imperial Parliament, and I should have thought that the Prime Minister and the Government have made it clear that the Irish Parliament to be set up will be a subordinate legislature entirely subservient to the Imperial Parliament except on matters which are purely of Irish concern. Therefore I trust the Amendment will be withdrawn, and that we will not be put to the trouble of going to a Division.
§ Question put, "That the word 'Parliament' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 292; Noes, 196.1605
|Division No. 100.]||AYES.||[10.0 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hackett, J.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Hancock, John G.|
|Adamson, William||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Crooks, William||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Crumley, Patrick||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)|
|Alden, Percy||Cullinan, J.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Armitage, Robert||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Dawes, J. A.||Hayward, Evan|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||De Forest, Baron||Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Delany, William||Healy, Maurice (Cork)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Devlin, Joseph||Helme, Sir Norval Watson|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Dickinson, W. H.||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Dillon, John||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Barnes, George N.||Donelan, Captain A.||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick)||Doris, W.||Henry, Sir Charles S.|
|Barton, W.||Duffy, William J.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Higham, John Sharp|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Hinds, John|
|Beck, Arthur||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Elverston, Sir Harold||Hogge, James Myles|
|Bentham, G. J.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Black, Arthur W.||Essex, Richard Walter||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|Boland, John Pius||Falconer, J.||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Farrell, James Patrick||Howard, Hon, Geoffrey|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Ffrench, Peter||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Field, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Fitzgibbon, John||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Furness, Stephen W.||Joyce, Michael|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Gelder, Sir W. A.||Keating, Matthew|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Gill, A. H.||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Ginnell, L.||Kelly, Edward|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Goldstone, Frank||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton.)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Greig, Colonel James William||Lansbury, George|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Griffith, Ellis James||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Clough, William||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West|
|Clynes, John R.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Leach, Charles|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Lewis, John Herbert||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Shertt, Edward|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||O'Doherty, Philip||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Lundon, Thomas||O'Donnell, Thomas||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||O'Dowd, John||Snowden, Philip|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Ogden, Fred||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||O'Grady, James||Spicer, Sir Albert|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|McGhee, Richard||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Sutherland, John E.|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||O'Malley, William||Sutton, John E.|
|MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Macpherson, James Ian||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|McCallum, Sir John M.||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Thomas, James Henry (Derby)|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Parker, James (Halifax)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Manfield, Harry||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wadsworth, John|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Pirie, Duncan Vernon||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Pollard, Sir George H.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wardle, George J.|
|Martin, Joseph||Power, Patrick Joseph||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Meagher, Michael||Radford, George Heynes||Watt, Henry A.|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Webb, H.|
|Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Middlebrook, William||Reddy, Michaer||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Millar, James Duncan||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Molloy, Michael||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Rendall, Athelstan||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Whyte, A. F.|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Williams, Llewellyn (Carmarthen)|
|Mooney, John J.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Morgan, George Hay||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Morrell, Philip||Roch, Walter (Pembroke)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Morison, Hector||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Muldoon, John||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Munro, Robert||Rowntree, Arnold||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Neilson, Francis||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel)|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Scanlan, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Norton, Captain Cecil William||Scott, A. McCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Nuttall, Harry||Sheehy, David|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Butcher, John George||Faber, George D. (Clapham)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Campion, W. R.||Falle, Bertram Godfray|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir E. H.||Fell, Arthur|
|Astor, Waldorf||Cassel, Felix||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Castlereagh, Viscount||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Cautley, Henry Strother||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Cave, George||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Fleming, Valentine|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Forster, Henry William|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Chambers, James||Foster, Philip Staveley|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton|
|Barnston, H.||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Gilmour, Captain John|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Clyde, James Avon||Goldman, C. S.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc., E.)||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Courthope, George Loyd||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Becket, Hon. Gervase||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Grant, J. A.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Greene, Walter Raymond|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Gretton, John|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Craik, Sir Henry||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S. E.)|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Haddock, George Bahr|
|Bird, Alfred||Croft, Henry Page||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Dairymple, Viscount||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Hambro, Angus Valdemar|
|Boyton, James||Dixon, Charles Harvey||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Doughty, Sir George||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Duke, Henry Edward||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||M'Mordle, Robert||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Hill, Sir Clement L.||Magnus, Sir Philip||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||Malcolm, Ian||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Hope, Harry (Bute)||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Moore, William||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Hume-Williams, Wm. Ellis||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Hunt, Rowland||Newdegate, F. A.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, N.)|
|Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Newman, John R. P.||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Sykes, Mark, (Hull, Central)|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Nield, Herbert||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Jessel, Captain H. M.||Norton-Griffiths, J.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Joynson-Hicks, William||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Kerry, Earl of||Parkes, Ebenezer||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Keswick, Henry||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Perkins, Walter Frank||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Peto, Basil Edward||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Pretyman, Ernest George||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Lewisham, Viscount||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Ratcliff, R. F.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Rees, Sir J. D.||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Lyttelton, Hon. J. G. (Droitwich)||Rothschild, Lionel de||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Earl|
|MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Royds, Edmund||Winterton and Mr. Walter Guinness.|
|Mackinder, Halford J.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Mr. HEWINS
I beg to move, in Subsection (1), to leave out the words "His Majesty the King and."
The words used in the drafting of this measure do not carry out the intention of the Government to create a Sovereign Parliament, and we are gradually unmasking the objects of the Government. This particular Sub-section of the Clause, and the other Clauses we shall have the opportunity of discussing later on, are cunningly devised to conceal a plan which fully explains why the hon. and learned Member for Waterford has accepted this Bill. My contention is that we cannot use the words "His Majesty the King" coupled with the word "Parliament," without constituting a Parliament which is sovereign entire and co-ordinate with the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Whatever Clauses you may put in later on to say that that Parliament is subordinate to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, it is not so. Let us take the history of this question of sovereignty in relation to Ireland—
§ Sir E. CARSON
I was only asking that we should have some order. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order."] You want a row.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If hon. Members will be good enough to keep order themselves, they are much more likely to get other people to keep order. What I was going to say was that I am not ruling the hon. Member out of order, and if he desires to move his Amendment now, he is entitled to raise the whole subject here; but I must say that this does not seem to me to be the best place to raise it. Of course it is for the hon. Member to judge. If it is raised here, it necessarily affects a considerable number of other Amendments in the name of his colleagues later on the Paper, but I think it would be unfair of me if I let the point pass without saying that.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I am sure the Committee is indebted to you for your guidance, but I confess, listening to my hon. Friend, I thought there was a point, not susceptible of long discussion, which did belong to this Amendment specifically, and which did not relate to the general question whether this was a Sovereign Parliament or not. Perhaps I was wrong, but the Committee would be much obliged if 1607 you would direct it as to whether there is anything particular to this Amendment as distinct from the general question.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think that remains to be seen. If the hon. Member is able to confine himself to a point of that description he would not be travelling over other hon. Member's ground.
§ Mr. HEWINS
I think I shall be able to show as my remarks proceed the points I am raising do not conflict with any general discussion on the co-ordination or subordination of the Irish Parliament. Ireland was originally a Lordship. In 1719 it was deliberately enacted by this House that Ireland and the Irish Parliament could be bound by the decisions of the British Parliament. That was reversed in 1782, and I am not aware that Act of 1782 has ever been repealed. It therefore stands upon record that Ireland has the status of a kingdom, and the Crown, Great Britain, and Ireland became an indivisible Sovereign by the Act of Union. My contention is that whenever you establish a Parliament described in the terms of this particular Clause you do, in fact, establish a Sovereign Parliament. I think that is proved by what has taken place with regard to the self-governing Dominions. The Attorney-General just now appealed to the self-governing Dominions to illustrate and enforce what the Government are doing with regard to Ireland. The phrase, "Queen, Senate, and House of Commons" occurs in the British North America Act, and there are similar phrases in the Acts establishing the other self-governing Colonies. These phrases have been uniformly interpreted by great statesmen of the self-governing Dominions as establishing a Parliament co-ordinate in authority with this Parliament; and that view has been expressed by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, a most marvellously accurate interpreter of constitutional usage, and has been endorsed by the Imperial Conference. The self-governing Dominions now take part in the Imperial Conferences coordinate with the Government of this country. My contention is that constitutionally in accordance with the interpre- 1608 tation given to us the Government are not carrying out their intentions, and, therefore, the phrasing and drafting of these parts of the Bill should be revised to bring them into conformity with the declared intentions of the Government.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The hon. Member for Hereford, as I understand, urged that if the words of the Bill be left as they now stand the Bill will set up in Ireland a Legislature which constitutionally will not be required to recognise the superior power of this Parliament. I can see, at any rate, two short answers to that proposition. If the hon. Member will look at the Clause he will find that Sub-section (2) in express terms reserves the supreme authority of the Imperial Parliament.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I thought the hon. Member was engaged in correcting what seemed to him to be a mistaken expression in the first Clause of this Bill. I did not know he was referring to anything else. If he or anybody else takes the view that the first Sub-section of the first Clause establishes a Parliament which does not recognise the Imperial Parliament as supreme, then I say he has omitted to notice that Sub-section (2) in terms states that "the supreme authority of this Parliament remains unimpaired and undiminished." I never heard before —of course, we must live to learn—it was right to construe the first or any other Section of this Bill or of any Act of Parliament without having regard to the different Sub-sections of which it is composed. The second answer to the hon. Gentleman is at once wider and, if possible, simpler. I am really astonished to learn from any hon. Member of this House that it is his view that the Imperial Parliament is not the supreme authority in constitutional law over all parts of the Imperial Dominions.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I have no doubt whatever that in point of constitutional law the Imperial Parliament can legislate for other parts of the Empire. It very much surprises me to learn that anybody can take any other view. If the hon. Gentleman's point is that the reference to the Crown in itself implies that the Legislature set up 1609 is co-ordinate with this House, let me point out it has been the almost invariable practice in nearly all the self-governing Dominions of the Empire to introduce references to the Crown in addition to references to the two Houses of which the Legislature is composed. That is not peculiar by any means to the self-governing Colonies or to the cases of the great Federations of Canada and Australia. There are, I am aware, one or two exceptions which I believe to be pure matters of accident. Broadly speaking, and in nearly every case throughout the length and breadth of the British Empire, the form which legislation assumes when it is passed by a Parliament in any part of the King's Dominions is legislation which is enacted, not by a Governor or Lieutenant-Governor, but by the King, by and with the consent of the Chambers of which the local legislature is composed. With every desire, which I sincerely entertain, to follow the point which the hon. Gentleman wishes to make, I am completely at a loss to understand on what ground of constitutional law or practice he founds himself when he suggests that by this Amendment he is unmasking some conspiracy which has hitherto been concealed.
§ Sir E. CARSON
There was one remarkable omission from the speech of the Solicitor-General—that is, what is the reason for putting these words in here at all? I assume that there was some reason for it.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I do not agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman. In connection with a Bill of this kind, where the Government profess that they are going to create a subordinate Legislature, I think we have a right to know why they put in these words. That is my first question to the Government. The hon. and learned Gentleman may give the answer, "We put them in here, they mean nothing"—which is like Sub-section (2)—"to show that there is no idea of separation or anything of that kind." But when a serious argument has been made by my hon. Friend (Mr. Hewins) we might at least have heard from the Solicitor-General what is the object of putting in these words. The point made by my hon. Friend seems to be a very important point. He says, "You still profess to have a United Kingdom, and that you are not going to interfere with the United Kingdom." If that is not a good point, it is surely true to say that you cannot have 1610 within the United Kingdom an additional Sovereign Parliament, which is what you are creating by the use of these words. If there was nothing else in the Bill but these words, we say why set up another Parliament composed of His Majesty the King and two Houses of Parliament? No one for a moment would suggest that that would not constitute a co-ordinate Parliament, subject to what the Solicitor-General calls, in an adopted phrase, the theoretical power of this House. The hon. and learned Gentleman is far too good a lawyer, and far too good a statesman, to put forward for one moment the argument that this House would ever pass any Act of any kind or description in relation to the Parliament of Canada or the Parliament of Australia. Will he get up now and tell us that he can conceive any circumstance in the present day in which this Parliament would pass any Act over the heads of the Canadian or the Australian Parliament? Putting aside all technicalities, if that is so, the Parliaments of Canada and Australia are, to all intents and purposes, co-ordinate Parliaments with this Parliament, and they are created with similar words, which my hon. Friend says are inconsistent with one United Kingdom under a King and Parliament.
But the matter really cannot rest there. We are always being reminded that this is federation, and that within the United Kingdom there are going to be four sovereign Parliaments with the King named in regard to each, as if it was something separate and distinct from the Imperial Parliament, of which, of course, in our common law and in our history His Majesty is at the head. That seems to me to raise a very serious question if these words have any meaning. That is what we want to unmask. We want to know whether all this is a sort of Preamble or something of that kind. We really are suspicious of the Government, because we were told only last year that a Preamble was the most effective thing in the world. Now we know that was put forward for the purpose of masquerading before the country, therefore we have a right to be suspicious of these words and to know what they mean. The hon. and learned Gentleman said these words were used in relation to the Legislatures in Canada and Australia. I suppose he looked into the matter before he made that statement. I have only had time to look at the British North America Act, and as regards the provincial legislatures they certainly do not use these 1611 words. That makes the whole difference. The Dominion Parliament stands in relation to the federated Parliaments as this House is going to stand, I suppose, in relation to the federated Governments which are to be set up, of which this is the first. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman say that with these provincial Parliaments the words "His Majesty" are used?
§ Sir J. SIMON
No, but I suggest that in each of the States of Australia which together compose the Commonwealth of Australia, the name of His Majesty is used to-day.
§ Sir E. CARSON
That was on account of the antecedent history of those States. There you were bringing together a number of States. That is entirely the opposite of this case. But take Canada, where you have a Dominion Parliament, would anyone ever have thought in the British North America Act of enacting that there should be a supreme Dominion Parliament for Canada and a supreme Dominion Parliament for Ontario? That is what you are doing now.
§ Sir E. CARSON
You do not answer by merely shaking your head. You really cannot at one moment say this is federation and at another say it is not. You tell us at one moment to look at the provincial Parliaments of Canada and draw your analogy from that, but the moment that does not suit you you say that is nothing to say to it. What is this going to be? Is it a provincial Parliament; is it a federated Parliament; or is it going to be a sovereign Parliament? Of course, it is a very easy way to deal with it, as I notice hon. Gentlemen do, to give a kind of inane smile, but the hon. and learned Gentleman knows perfectly well that as regards the Dominion of Canada and the provincial Parliaments they draw a distinction which in practice, here in your own Bill, you try to draw apart from the introduction of His Majesty's name into this part of the Clause, because in your Home Rule Bill you are setting up this veto of the Lord Lieutenant, who is to be the Governor-General of Ireland, just exactly in the same way as you have a Lieutenant-Governor in the various provinces that constitute the federated States of Canada. I have before me the enactment showing the powers of these legislatures. It says, "There shall be a Legislature of Ontario consisting of the 1612 Lieutenant-Governor …" If you carry this out in accordance with the terms of your own Bill—unless you have some reason for putting in these particular terms—you would say, "The Lord Lieutenant and two Houses …" We have heard no argument to meet that of my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment, and you still pretend that you are keeping up the United Kingdom while you are laying the foundation of several sovereign States.
§ Mr. MARTIN
I would point out that the provincial Parliaments of Canada use the same form at the beginning of their Statutes. It reads as follows: "His Majesty, by and with the consent of the Legislative Assembly of —, enacts as follows." It seems quite clear why that should be so. It is because every provincial Legislature of Canada has sovereign power within its jurisdiction. With the subjects allocated by the British North America Act to a provincial legislature in Canada, that Legislature can deal just as effectively and completely as this Parliament can legislate with regard to the subjects which belong to it. It seems to me that it would be a most unfortunate thing, speaking from the standpoint of the Empire, if that principle were ever lost sight of. It is one of the prerogatives of the Crown to legislate through Parliaments. It requires the Crown to make legislation complete, and while it is true as the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Carson) stated, that the British North America Act provides for a Lieutenant-Governor for each province and a Governor-General for the Dominion, the Lieutenant-Governor and the Governor-General represent His Majesty. [An HON. MEMBER: "NO."] Yes, they represent His Majesty in the provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia, and Statutes are enacted in the same form, and assent is given to these Statutes by the Lieutenant-Governor on behalf of His Majesty the King. The Crown is as much part of the Legislature of these provincial assemblies in Canada as the Crown is part of the Legislature here. I have the greatest pleasure in supporting the Government in this matter, especially after what has been said as to separation under the Home Rule Bill. The Government put forward in this Clause that His Majesty will be as powerful in Ireland when the Bill passes as in England or Scotland.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I confess that the speech of the hon. Member (Mr. Martin) 1613 appears to me to be in favour of the Amendment. The question we have now to consider is a very narrow one, but it is one of real interest and importance. The question is: under what form is the authority of the Crown to be exercised in respect of the proceedings of Parliament set up by this Clause? It appears very clear from the speech which the hon. Member has just delivered that in the case of a great many subordinate legislatures in the British Empire the authority of the Crown is exercised in the name and through the means of a Lieutenant-Governor. The authority of the Crown would be not essentially different, but under a different guise, and this emphasises the local, and non-national character of the proceedings of the legislature of which the authority of the Crown is the consummation. As I understand the Government's idea is that this Irish Government is to be of a strictly subordinate character. We are discussing whether the general character of the institution should be subordinate in so far as it relates to the action of the Crown. The action of the Crown ought to be appropriate to the general form of government, and ought not to bear the name of the King, but of some subordinate authority. As my right hon. and learned Friend very truly said, the Solicitor-general gave no reason whatever for using the name of the King, except that it has been done in certain circumstances that are not parallel. Even if they were parallel circumstances that is not a good argument, but is merely an argument from usage and usage of a certain character. It has been said that it really does not matter. If so, why not accept this Amendment and bring the Debate to a happy conclusion at once? The name of the King can only arouse suspicion, and make people think that something is intended which apparently the Government does not intend. It can only set up Ireland as a true nation with a King at the head of it, which is precisely what we object to in the design of the Government, whereas if this is left out you strike a blow at the root of the national conception. You make it perfectly clear that what you are doing is local in respect of the Crown, as in respect of the Houses of Parliament. In respect of the relations of the Crown, you make clear that this is a matter of local significance, and that there is no national question involved at all. It is all done on the principles on which the Government 1614 framed the Bill in general, and on which they inserted, I think, the second Subsection of the Clause in which they affirm the supremacy of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. If it is merely a point of form surely it is better to accept this Amendment forthwith and so bring this discussion at once to a conclusion.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
We heard the learned Solicitor-General give his answer with his usual clearness and courtesy. But as my Noble Friend has pointed out, it was purely an argument addressed to the form of this particular Section. My right hon. Friend the Member for Dublin University (Sir E. Carson) carried the argument a great deal further. It has been suggested that precedents are to be found for this in our Colonial Statutes. Yes, but the Government should really try if they can to follow one consistent line of argument. Minister after Minister has got up and, as I think entirely irrelevantly, stated that they are following the precedent of South Africa. The Prime Minister told us that they are laying the foundations of a federal system. We have had talk about a federal system, and Members from Scotland have appealed to the Government on that point and have been told that it will all come in good time, and that this foundation is being deliberately laid by the Government for a federal system. If so, will the Solicitor-General tell us before this Debate concludes, why they refuse to follow the precedent of the latest example in Colonial Government, namely, British South Africa? What do we find in British South Africa? We find in the Union Parliament and the Parliaments of the four Colonies exactly what you are going to do here. You profess that you are going to have federal Parliaments for the four countries of the United Kingdom, and what you are really doing is that you are setting up four provincial Parliaments on the direct analogy of South Africa. And let the House remember that the Act in regard to South Africa was the product of much more careful consideration and consultation than the Bill which we are now considering. The South Africa Bill was sent over to this country, and was most carefully examined in the Colonial Office, and when it was brought here certain Amendments were inserted. In the Act setting up the federal Parliaments in South Africa the language is, "There shall be a provincial council in each province consisting of the same number of 1615 members." There is no mention of the King in this Act of Parliament, which you have said is the last precedent for what you are doing in regard to Ireland. No words of the kind used in this Bill occur in that Act. The Solicitor-General tells us to look at the next Sub-section, Sub-section (2), which clearly lays down that the Parliament is to be subordinate. I have often noticed that the Law Officers, in defending the construction of a Bill, constantly tell us that we need not mind the phraseology of the Clause, that it is a little loose, and they are not sure whether it is wanted. That is what the argument of the Solicitor-General practically comes to. They say, "There is the question of precedent, and the words will do no harm; but if you are really anxious, look at Sub-section (2)." I am not a lawyer, but will the Solicitor-General contend that the language of Sub-section (2) destroys what comes earlier in the Clause? Will the Parliament in Ireland, under the Bill, not have power to create subordinate Parliaments in Ireland? Is this a Parliament which will enable Ireland to have Parliaments created subordinate to it? I dare say that it is not realised that you are at this moment trying in a hurry to create a brand-new Constitution, for which you have no precedent in any of the Dominion Parliaments. The argument of my Noble Friend demands a fuller reply than it has had, and I do hope the House will not, for the sake of getting its business through, pass words of this kind, unless it is absolutely satisfied that it is not doing very much more than appears to be done.
§ Sir J. SIMON
We always desire to give proper attention to arguments and suggestions which are made by hon. Members opposite, but, so far as the argument of the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. Hewins) is concerned, it is really based on this assumption, an assumption which is a complete and undoubted fallacy. It seems to be supposed, because you mention the King, the Sovereign, in the enacting words of a piece of legislation that therefore you admit that the legislature which passes such legislation is sovereign. That is a mere play upon words, because you mention the name of the Sovereign in the enacting words of a piece of legislation that therefore you conceive that the Parliament which enacts that legislation is sovereign. I am quite certain that some distinguished constitu- 1616 tional authorities sitting on the Front Bench opposite would never subscribe to any such proposition as that. I suspect that the true constitutional view is this, not merely that we do not part with the sovereign rights of the Imperial Parliament uncontrolled and undiminished over all persons and things of the British Empire, but that we could not do so if we tried. I believe that is the true constitutional view. Be that as it may, the fact that the King's name is mentioned does not in the least show or support the view that the Parliament is other than subordinate, and I respectfully suggest the arguments advanced in favour of this proposition are ill-founded. By omitting the name of the King we should be not promoting but diminishing the cause which hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to maintain. It is essential if you follow the mass of precedents in these matters that you should show that you are constructing a Legislature, self-governing it is true, but which is subordinate to the Imperial Legislature, just as many self-governing Legislatures are subordinate. I do not say that in all respects the analogy is complete. I do not think it would be true to say so. I think hon. Gentlemen opposite are quite within their rights when they say that what we are proposing in this Bill does not find a precise analogy. I hope I have sufficient candour to make that concession unreservedly. That is a very different thing from saying that we are engaged in the impossible task of setting up a Legislature which is not to be subordinate, but which is to be co-ordinate with ourselves. I think I am stating the situation accurately when I say that whether you have regard to the federations or whether you have regard to what may be called the single States in the British Empire, in both cases, as a general rule, you will find that the King's name is mentioned in what I may call the instrument of constitution which sets the self-governing area up, and the King's name is mentioned in the enacting words of the legislation which that body passes. My hon. Friend on the benches below me, who speaks with special knowledge of Canada, referred to the case of Ontario. I desire to be as precise as I can. I suggest to him there is some variation in practice between some of the provinces of Canada in this regard and others.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I have some special reason for saying there is, at any rate, one 1617 exception, but as regards what are ordinarily self-governing Dominions I do not believe a single case can be found in which there is not mention of the Sovereign either in the institution of the Constitution or in the legislation, as the case may be. The right hon. Gentleman calls attention to the close analogy that may be said to exist between the Irish Parliament on the one hand, and the Imperial Parliament on the other, and the provinces in South Africa, and the South African Union on the other. As I have said, I do not think a precise analogy is really to be drawn; but there is obviously this distinction. Though, indeed, it is quite true that we do not in practice seek to interfere, and there is no reason why we should seek to interfere with the ordinary exercise of legislative rights of the Union Parliament of South Africa, I do not think any constitutional authority in this House will deny that in constitutional theory we have the right to interfere. Therefore, it follows that the provinces of South Africa are removed in a second degree from supremacy. They are not supreme themselves, and even the Parliament upon which they are dependent is not supreme. The only supreme Parliament, constitutionally speaking, is the Imperial Parliament here. Whatever may be said as to the position of the Irish Parliament, no one will say that it is two degrees removed from the Imperial Legislature. On the contrary, it derives its title by devolution of one degree from the Imperial Legislature, and from that point of view, at any rate, it is properly comparable with the greater and not with the smaller areas throughout the Empire. I submit, not indeed, that it is a matter of indifference whether we leave the words in or not, not that it will do no harm to leave them in, but that it is right and proper to leave in the name of the King, because the Irish nation under this Bill will recognise effectively the supremacy of His Majesty in their island just as much as it is recognised here.
§ Sir R. FINLAY
The Solicitor-General has told us that we need be under no apprehension whatever, because Sub-section (2) makes the matter perfectly clear. That Sub-section provides that the authority of the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall remain unaffected over all persons, matters, and things within His Majesty's Dominions. What practical authority has the Imperial Parliament over the Parliament of Canada, the Parliament of South 1618 Africa, or the Parliament of Australia? The Solicitor-General offers his supporters, very cold comfort indeed when he refers them to that Clause, because it ensures to the Imperial Parliament over the Parliament of Ireland a purely illusory supremacy which in practice could not be exerted. What we are doing here, if there is any truth whatever in the statement that this is a step towards federation, is to set up subordinate Legislatures which will stand to the Imperial Parliament in the same relation as the local assemblies in Australia, South Africa, and Canada stand to the Parliaments of those great Dominions. Whether you look at Canada or at South Africa, you find that the name of the King is introduced only with regard to the Parliament of the Dominion. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] The Solicitor-General mentioned Australia. I referred only to South Africa and Canada. In the case of Australia, as the Solicitor-General knows perfectly well, the Parliaments of the several Colonies were created before federation took place; they were not part of the scheme of federation. The explanation is purely historical, and is absolutely irrelevant to the present argument.
§ And, it being Eleven of the clock, the CHAIRMAN left the Chair, to make his report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow (Wednesday).