§ Unless and until the Parliament of the United Kingdom otherwise determine, the following provisions shall have effect:—
- (1) After the appointed day the number of members returned by constituencies in Ireland to serve in the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall be forty-two and the constituencies returning those members shall (in lieu of the existing constituencies) be the constituencies named in the second Part of the First Schedule to this Act, and no university in Ireland shall return a member to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
- (2) The election laws and the laws relating to the qualification of Parliamentary electors shall not, so far as they relate to elections of members returned by constituencies in Ireland to serve in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, be altered by the, Irish Parliament, but this enactment shall not prevent the Irish Parliament from dealing with any officers concerned with the issue of writs of election, and if any officers are so
1281 dealt with, it shall be lawful for His Majesty by Order in Council to arrange for the issue of any such writs, and the writs issued in pursuance of the Order shall be of the same effect as if issued in manner heretofore accustomed.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think it will be for the convenience of the Committee if I mention the main questions which arise on this Clause and indicate the Amendments which I propose to call hon. Members to move. The first question is whether the Irish representation in this House shall be dependent upon a contribution from Ireland to the Imperial Exchequer. That, I think, is best raised in the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for West St. Pancras (Mr. Cassel). The others on the Paper are, I think, all out of order, because they are equivalent to a complete negative of the Clause. The second question is as to the number of representatives there should be, if any; and the third question is whether these Members are to vote on all questions or only on certain questions. These matters referred to in the second and third questions are raised together in a good form, I think, in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Falmouth (Mr. Goldman). They would also be raised necessarily on succeeding Amendments which propose to leave out "forty-two," and to substitute some other number. We should have a discussion on the second and third questions together—I do not think they can be separated—on one or other of these Amendments.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I beg to move, to leave out the words "Parliament of the United Kingdom otherwise determine," and to insert instead thereof, the words "Joint Exchequer Board make such report as is referred to in Section 26, Sub-section (1) of this Act, Ireland shall cease to return members to serve in the Commons House of Parliament of the United Kingdom, but thereafter."
Hon. Members are aware that Clause 26, Sub-section (1), provides for a report by the Exchequer Board as soon as there has been no deficit on Irish expenditure for three years, and my proposal is that Ireland, having a Legislature of her own, should have no representation in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, at all events, until that period arrives, and that then the whole question should be reconsidered. This is not the Amendment I 1282 should have preferred to move, but I am constrained to move it because of the difficulties and embarrassments in which we are placed by the Closure Resolution. The Amendment which I should have preferred to make is this: "That no Members should be returned from Irish constituencies to the Parliament of the United Kingdom until Parliaments had been set for England, Scotland, and Wales." But I could have achieved that object only by a direct negative of this Clause and putting down a new Clause. Supposing I put down a direct negative of this Clause, the result is it would never have had any chance of being discussed, because the question whether the Clause stands part comes at the end of our discussion. So it is on technical grounds that I am constrained to move it in this form rather than in the form in which I should have preferred to move it. But I think it really does not make so much difference. I regret to say that from my study of the figures I think the period when the deficit is likely to be at an end is so remote and contingent that any further dealings with the question from that date are of quite secondary importance. I may preface my observations with this: I do not for one moment suggest that the proposal which I make is a satisfactory proposal or is one which in all its aspects is logical or reasonable. Our case against the Bill is that you cannot have a logical or reasonable answer to this question at all, and that it rests on a rooted mistake in the Bill. All I propose to do by this Amendment is to invite the House to choose the lesser of two evils.
If you have unsound and rotten foundations you cannot set upon them a stable and satisfactory building. You may make the building a little more secure and satisfactory, but if the foundations are unsound and rotten, then the building can never be a satisfactory one at all. The foundations of this Bill are rotten to the core. They are half-baked and piecemeal federalism. It is a proposal for a federal Constitution on principles on which no federal Constitution in the world has ever been inaugurated; a proposal under which you propose to give to one State of the federation a local Legislature, and to place the other States in the federation under the federal Legislature, without any local Legislature themselves at all. Apply the same principle to any other federated States. What would be the analogy in the case of Australia or America? The analogy would be, say, that three of the 1283 States of Australia—Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania—would have no local Legislatures themselves, but would be under the federal Legislature for their own local affairs and at the same time they would in that federal Legislature have representatives of those other States which had local Legislatures themselves. No Australian would have stood any such arrangement, and the right hon. Gentleman will find that no Englishman, no Scotchman, or no Welshman would stand it. Take the case of the United States of America. There the analogy would be this. You would select, say, the States of New York, Massachusetts, and Maine, and you would deprive those States of local Legislatures and place them under the federal Legislature, in which, say, Nebraska and Nevada were represented, while those other States would have their own Legislature, and for this purpose you have selected as the very States which you deprive of a local Legislature the States which pay the whole expenses of the federal Government. You have selected for the inferior position the States which not only find the whole of the expenses of federal government, but which grant a subsidy to those States which have their own Legislature. Do you think that any American or any Australian would have stood such a proposal that those States which were called upon to find the whole expense of federal government, and to provide a subsidy for the other States as well, were to be the only ones in the federation which had no local Legislature of their own?
The way the Government have dealt with the question is peculiar. They have dealt with it on four occasions in this House. The solutions offered on those occasions have only one thing in common. On each of those occasions the solution has been different from all solutions on any other occasion. When this Rill has met with its quietus, as we hope it will, and if on some future date some other Prime Minister comes forward with proposals for Home Rule, there is one thing which I venture to predict with regard to the provisions of that Bill, and that is that the fifth solution will be different from all the others. I may recall what the different solutions have been. In 1886 it was total exclusion. In 1893 it was first eighty members with the In-and-Out Clause, which was found wholly impracticable. The third solution was eighty members 1284 able to vote on all questions, whether British or Imperial. Now I should have thought that by that time the Government had boxed the compass of solutions, but it seems that the permutations are not yet exhausted and we have still another proposal, the magic proposal of forty-two. Why forty-two? Why not thirty-two or fifty-two? On what reasonable ground is that figure based? The right hon. Gentleman may ask me whether I say there are too many or too few. I say they are both too many and too few. They are forty-two too many when dealing with English and Scotch questions, and there may be occasions when they are too few. But one thing perfectly certain is that in no conceivable circumstance can the number proposed be the right number. I rest myself in my opposition to this Clause, to which, as an English Member, I have the most intense objection, upon the words of Mr. Gladstone and Lord Morley. Mr. Gladstone, in Manchester in 1886, said:—I will never be a party to allowing the Irish to manage their own affairs in Dublin and at the same time come over here and manage British affairs. Such an arrangement would not be a Bill to grant self-government to Ireland, but one to remove self-government from England. It would create a subordinate Parliament, indeed, but it would be the one at Westminster and not the one in Dublin.Lord Morley, in 1886 at Newcastle, said:I do not cure where you draw the line in theory, but you may depend upon it there is no power on earth which pan prevent the Irish Members if they are retained at Westminster from being in the future Parliaments what they have been in the past—the arbitrators of English, policy, of legislative business, and of the rise and fall of British administration.4.0 P.M.
I am perfectly aware that in 1893 Mr. Gladstone was a party to that which he said in 1886 he never would be a party. We have also to remember that at that time he was holding office without a British majority to support him. I am not citing these passages for the purpose of showing any consistency on the part of Mr. Gladstone; that is not my purpose. My purpose in quoting these words is to express to the House in language much more forcible and much better than any I can command the objection which I feel to the proposals of this Bill. If the reasons for the inequality were so strong and cogent as Mr. Gladstone thought in 1886, surety they are more cogent now. In 1886 Ireland was making a considerable contribution to the Imperial Exchequer, but to-day they are not contributing to it; on the contrary, we are to send, under this Bill, an unlimited subsidy, beginning at £2,000,000—I say, advisedly, an unlimited subsidy, 1285 commencing at £2,000,000 a year, to come out of the pockets of English, Scottish, and Welsh taxpayers. In that state of things you are going to say that Irishmen are not only to have their own Legislature, but that they are to intervene in Imperial matters, and in even purely Scottish, English, and Welsh affairs.
Apply such a principle to any private business. Take the analogy of two partners, an English partner and an Irish partner, who have a joint business, and each of them a private business. The Irish partner provides no capital, no contribution, to the working expenses of the joint business; and, not only that, he receives an annual grant from the English partner for the purpose of his making both ends meet. Under those circumstances, with that financial position, your suggestion is that the Irish partner shall, not only have a voice in managing the joint business, but have a voice in managing the private business of the English partner. To any man who did that in private affairs what would you say? It is suggested that the definition in the Mental Deficiency Bill is too wide; I think, however much we narrowed it down, such a man would not escape the more limited definition. That is not all. We pay for the privilege out of our own pockets of having these forty-two Irish Members here. I have the answer here which the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave to my hon. Friend the Member for the Southport Division of Lancashire to a question which he put in April—Whether, in the event of the Government of Ireland Bill becoming the law, the Irish representatives in this House would receive a salary, and, if so, whether that salary would be paid out of Irish or Imperial resources?The answer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was:—The Irish representatives in this House will continue to be paid the salary from Imperial sources.[An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] Why not? The result of it is that the salaries of these very men who are to come over here to manage our affairs, while still having the right to manage their own, will be entirely paid for out of the English pocket. The analogy is this, that after a man has been hanged you should then proceed to send in a bill for the remuneration of the hangman to his executor. Not only are we placed in a position of inferiority so far as Parliaments are concerned, but the English, Scottish, and Welsh voters are placed in a position of constitutional inferiority. As a voter, the Irishman will vote on two occasions. He 1286 will vote once for the Legislature which is to manage his own affairs, and on another occasion he will vote for the Legislature which is to manage Imperial and British affairs as well. The English, Scottish, and Welsh electors only have the opportunity to vote on one occasion, and that is the occasion when he votes for the Imperial Parliament. It is placing the English, Scottish and Welsh electors in a position of inferiority. I do not claim that the English, Scottish, or Welsh elector is in any way superior to the Irish elector, but I do claim that he is his equal. Are we more illiterate, are we less educated, less capable of managing our own affairs, that we should be placed in a position of constitutional inferiority, and that while Ireland is managing her own affairs we should be considered incapable of managing ours without the assistance of forty-two Gentlemen from Ireland?
It may be said that the reduction of numbers will prevent the Irishmen from having a predominant position here. Let me apply that, not to any imaginary case, but to the actual case of this Parliament. I ask you to cast your eye to the first Tuesday of September, 1913. I must assume for my purpose that the Bill will pass. At that time the present Irish Members would cease to be representatives of the Irish people in this House, and the forty-two Members would arrive. At the present time the Unionist party, not counting Mr. Speaker, numbers 280. Of those, nineteen Irish Unionists would disappear, which would leave 261 Unionists, as against 264 Liberals. Then there would be forty-one Labour Members and forty-two Irish Members. [An HON. MEMBER: "Are there no Unionists from Ireland?"] I have deducted nineteen Unionists in my calculation, but, with regard to the forty-two Members, I will tell you this: I venture to think that whenever Irish interests are at stake, ris-à-ris of British interests, they will all act together. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I am glad that sentiment has evoked those cheers. I am assuming that the Bill has been passed; I am bound to assume that for my purpose, and I am quite satisfied that, however much Irish Members might be fighting with each other, they would always be ready to join hands in a raid on the British Exchequer.
What would be the position? The Government will still be absolutely in their hands, and at any moment that the forty-two choose to vote against the Government the position of that Government cannot be held to be tenable, even assuming 1287 the Labour party voted for it. Assume that in the year 1913 there came before the House a Licensing Bill or an Education Bill? purely affecting England, and that at the same time land purchase for Ireland was before the House. Does any Member of this House doubt that the vote on the English Education Bill of these forty-two Irish Members would be cast in favour of that party which was willing to give them the best terms in regard to land purchase? Or, if you take an English Licensing Bill, does anyone doubt that they would not have the slightest hesitation in inflicting any hardship or injustice on English, Scottish, or Welsh licence holders, so long as it did not apply to Ireland?
I put it to you, in the words of Lord Morley, that these forty-two Members would still remain the absolute masters of British administration. We have seen an example of it in the way they manœuvre their vote on the Woman Suffrage question. I assume that the question of Woman Suffrage may come up again some day after Home Rule has gone through, as I am bound to assume, for the sake of my argument, it will. Are you sure, then, that these forty-two Irish votes will not be cast in favour of that view which may be most pleasing to the British Administration out of whom they hope to receive the most substantial benefits for Ireland? Besides, in the case of English private Bills and gas and water Bills, these forty-two Members would have the right to intervene. So far as England is concerned we should not have even gas and water Home Rule. Once they have the right to manage their own affairs, they have no right whatever to be here to intervene on any English Bill any more than, as Mr. Labouchere put it, a delegation of Greenlanders. I can imagine that in the future, as in the past, convenient adjournments will be made of purely English questions such as the Welsh Disestablishment Bill, in order to enable the Irish brigade to be here to deprive the Church in Wales of the property which belongs to her. The position of the Irish Members in this House would be an intolerable one.
I am reminded of the phrase in the Harrow song, "When the field rings again and again to the tramp of twenty-two men." And I think we might look forward to the time when the Lobbies would ring again and again to the tramp of forty-two men. We have been told that one of the considerations we are to get is that congestion 1288 is going to be relieved in the Imperial Parliament. It may be that they will have more time for their Irish affairs, but how is the congestion to be relieved here? Some smaller question might vanish, but I say that other and quite different questions would arise, and arise out of this very Bill, and out of the financial relations of the Bill, which would take infinitely more time for discussion than any of the smaller questions we might get rid of under this arrangement. I am entitled to ask: Where do we come in? It seems that we are to have one monopoly, which is still to be continued, and that is to foot the Bill whenever it is presented.
I do not wish in the least to say anything personally offensive, and I do not think I have done so, to hon. Members below the Gangway. We recognise the wish and ability of the hon. Member for North-East Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy), and the eloquence of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond). But I am dealing with a difference which is a constitutional one, and I object as an English elector to be placed in a position of constitutional inferiority, for however short a period. I should like to anticipate one or two points which may be made against me. It may be suggested that we are inconsistent, because in 1886 we objected to the exclusion of Irish Members. To begin with it hardly lies in the mouths of right hon. Gentlemen opposite to charge inconsistency against us. But we are consistent. We objected in 1886 just as we object now to Home Rule, which necessarily involves their exclusion. We never proposed it in Committee in 1886; it never got to Committee. If we had then proposed to reintroduce the Irish Members you might have something to say. Our very case is, and one of the reasons why we object to Home Rule is because it necessarily involves when you grant a sovereign Parliament to Ireland the severance of the United Kingdom. It has also been said that it is an advantage to have the Irish Members here as a sort of symbol. A symbol, if it is a symbol of something which is true, may be of use, but if it is a symbol of that which is false, then I would sooner dispense with it.
The Prime Minister suggested in his speech on the Second Reading that some of these difficulties might be cured by rules of procedure. I submit that that would be absolutely impossible. Mr. Gladstone said that it passed the wit of man to devise any Act of Parliament by 1289 which you could separate Imperial and British and Irish affairs. I think it will equally pass the wit of man to devise any rules of procedure by which you can separate British from Irish affairs. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford has himself emphasised that fact, because on one occasion he said that any English question was an Imperial question, because it involved things which might involve the downfall of the Administration. It may be said that at least over-representation of Ireland would be got rid of. The present position is that every Member of this House represents and is entitled to deal with every part of the United Kingdom. Hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway object that we should be entitled to deal with Ireland. When they want Home Rule our first answer is that Home Rule is a disadvantage both to Great Britain and to Ireland, but if we are to have it, as for the purposes of this Committee, we are bound to assume then, if they ask the right to manage their own affairs I say it is only a reasonable and legitimate condition that we should have Home Rule for our own affairs too; and if that freedom can only be attained by total exclusion, then it is only a reasonable condition of that grant to ask for total exclusion of the Irish Members. An argument was based on the last occasion when this matter was considered on the Second Reading on the Act of Union, and it was said that this is the only way in which you would be able to get lid of the over-representation of Irish Members in this House. It is held in terrorem over our heads that unless you grant Home Rule we shall never consent to abandon that over-representation which the Act of Union gives us. That threat has no terrors for me, because I say it is a threat which is founded neither on law nor on equity. It is not founded on law, as the Prime Minister will be the first to admit that this House has complete power to alter the Act of Union if it so desires; complete legal power. Is it equitable? In order to consider whether it is equitable or not you have to consider the original contract. The original contract was between two parties who no longer exist, the Irish Parliament and the British Parliament. The very contract itself put out of existence those two contracting parties and merged their existence in a third sovereign Parliament which they created.
I say by creating that sovereign Parliament by their contract they have impliedly give power to that sovereign Parliament 1290 to deal with all relations of the United Kingdom in such manner as may be equitable in the circumstances of the case. We shall really be carrying out the spirit of the Union and the spirit of the contract if we do reduce the representation. Do hon. Members below the Gangway claim that they have an indefeasible right for ever to be over-represented in this House? I put it that this case may be taken to be analogous to that of two companies which amalgamate and form a third company. That third company, when it exists is given, by the contract between the two companies, power to alter its constitution, provided they act fairly in what they do. The last men in the world to urge this argument against us are right hon. Gentlemen opposite. In 1893 they proposed to alter the Act of Union without the consent of the majority of Great Britain. How can it lie in their mouths to say that there is no power to alter the Act of Union in a sense which will be equitable and do justice and carry out the spirit of that Act without the consent, not of the Irish Parliament, the contracting party which has ceased to exist, but without the consent of the majority of the Irish Members. The Irish Members originated themselves in 1886 a proposal to do so. To summarise my case I say that the principle of this Bill is piece-meal federalism. I am opposed to piece-meal federalism, but if we are bound to have piece-meal federalism, then I say it is fair and right for us to say: "If you give Ireland the right to manage its own affairs, you should give it in such a way that we have the right to manage our own affairs." When we are paying the whole of the Imperial expenses, and that unlimited subsidy commencing with two millions to Ireland for evermore, to suggest that they should have the right to manage their own affairs and ours as well is as absurd and preposterous an arrangement as has ever been submitted to this House. I say that in his own private affairs no sane man would adopt such an arrangement, and that no representative in this House ought to adopt such an arrangement on behalf of those whom he represents.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. and learned Member has opened up a wider field than I understood was his intention on this Amendment. I understood he desired to deal with the question of contribution during the early years of Home Rule, and I understood that the question of the 1291 federal argument was going to be raised on the second Amendment. It would be more convenient, as far as possible, to separate the two questions, though I admit it is difficult to draw a very accurate line between one argument and the other.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
Before you put the question, I desire to know whether, as I understood during the speech of the hon. and learned Member, the whole question is open on this Amendment?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
In addition to what the right honourable Gentleman has said, may I suggest, as our time is so limited, that it would be to the distinct advantage of the Committee that the whole question should be discussed now?
§ The CHAIRMAN
That would practically cover both the other Amendments which I had intended to select. I do think, if possible, it would be desirable to deal separately with the question of numbers, and whether it ought to be forty-two or a smaller number. However, we shall have to see about that as the Debate proceeds. On the point of Order, I do not see my way to lay down too narrow a division on this branch of the argument.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
The hon. and learned Member has made a most ingenious speech, and I shall venture to attempt to deal with two or three of his main arguments. The hon. and learned Member said that in 1886 the Irish Parliament was paying a contribution towards Imperial expenditure. His argument, if I followed him rightly, is this: That that position no longer holds, and that so long as Ireland is involved in a deficiency, and so long as it contributes nothing to Imperial expenditure, so long will they have no right to be represented in this House.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
I shall deal with the other arguments later, and I shall begin with the financial argument that so long as the Irish Parliament is involved in a deficiency so long will they have no right to be represented in this House. That argument would be fair enough if the deficiency could be laid to the account of the Irish people or of the Irish Parliament, but who is responsible for the deficiency? The deficiency is the product of the Union; it is the creation of this Parliament, 1292 and it would never have come into existence if Irish affairs had been controlled by an Irish Parliament. Take an example. Who believes that an Irish Parliament would of its own accord have involved itself in the expenditure of old age pensions, which added straight away a third to its revenue, and which in itself is enough to account for the deficiency? Obviously they would have done nothing of the sort. The answer to hon. and learned Member appears to be quite simple, namely, that if you attempt to impose a penalty upon the Irish Parliament, upon a Home Rule Ireland, because of this deficiency, you will be trying to make the Irish Parliament responsible and answerable for circumstances which we have refused to allow the Irish people to control. You will attempt to make them answerable for the results of a system of government which they themselves have consistently opposed. The hon. and learned Member went on to argue generally that Ireland ought to have no representation in this House. He would put Ireland, in this matter, in the position of an ordinary Colony. Is he going to compensate Ireland as a Colony is compensated, by giving her over her own internal affairs the full freedom which a Colony enjoys? If Ireland is not to be represented in this House, this House has no right to interfere in Irish Customs, Irish Excise, Irish direct taxation, or Irish legislation. The proposal that you shall impose on Ireland the disabilities of a Colony, and at the same time shall not compensate her by giving her the full privileges of a Colony, is a proposal which is grossly unfair. The hon. and learned Member relied on one other argument of a most ingenious character. He said that this Bill would give to the Irish partner greater power than the British partner, and would put the Irish voter in a privileged position. His argument was that the Irish elector will have a right to interfere in English education, while the English elector will have no voice in Irish education. That is quite true, but it is only one side of the account. In other directions the Irish elector will have less than his due share of power, and it will be the English elector who is in a privileged position. Take Tariff Reform. In Ireland, a country of indirect taxation, Tariff Reform will have effects oven more vital than in this country, but on that question it is the English elector who will be in a privileged position.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
The hon. and learned Member has studied the Bill well enough to know that if we impose Tariff Reform on Ireland and Ireland reduces or discontinues any tax in that tariff, the whole burden of the reduction or discontinuance? will be borne by Ireland herself. The whole of Irish finance could be revolutionised by a British tariff, and that tariff would be decided in this House, where the Irish elector would have less than his due share of power, because by the provisions of the Bill he will be directly under-represented and the British elector, as against the Irish elector, deliberately over-represented. The hon. and learned Member has mistaken the position. The position is simple. The English elector will be privileged in certain directions and the Irish elector in other directions, but on the balance there is nothing in the arrangement unfair to either side.
§ Mr. STEWART
I am glad that this is an Amendment which we can discuss without any racial or religious feelings of any sort. It is purely an economic question, which affects the constituents of hon. Gentlemen opposite as much as it affects the constituents of hon. Members on this side. The principle we are trying to lay down is that those whom we represent and who put up the money should at least be put in a position to get their money's worth. To use a homely phrase, those who pay the piper have a right to call the tune. When we realise that in 1886 Ireland was to put up £3,000,000, and have no representation, and that in 1893 she was to put up over £2,000,000, and eventually after considerable difficulty was to have a certain representation in this House, we have a right to ask ourselves how it is that now, with a very much more prosperous Ireland, the Government are unable to offer to the Scotch, Welsh, and English taxpayers as good a bargain as Mr. Gladstone was able to offer under much more unfavourable circumstances. Our charges for Imperial matters amount to £105,000,000. We have a right to ask ourselves whether the bargain which the Government offer to our constituents is brought about by love of Ireland, or by lust for power and the desire to get Irish votes to keep them on the Treasury Bench. Working out, on the present valuation, the £105,000,000 which this 1294 country pays, if you deduct 103 Members for Ireland, who as a whole pay nothing—although I may say, in passing, that the only Members from Ireland who pay their way are those whom you are going to bully and thrust out of our community—you have 567 Members putting up, so to speak, £185,000 apiece. Under my Amendment which has been ruled out of order, I suggested that Ireland should come in on a tariff of £100,000, which would bring them in at somewhere about half price. The Irish in this particular matter give us neither men nor money. You cannot value men in money value, but the whole attitude of the Irish party is to prevent their men enlisting in our Imperial service. Even when Irish loyalists endeavoured to establish a body of boy scouts, they were met with an entirely hostile opposition; and I have in my hand papers showing that the Nationalist party when left to itself does everything in its power to prevent young men enlisting in the Imperial service. We all know the saying that the sins of the fathers are visited on the children. It has been left to the Nationalist party to say that the sins of the children shall be visited on the fathers, since they have in public bodies penalised old people in receipt of poor relief because their sons were serving in the British Army. [Several HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] It is a fact that the training ship "Emerald" had to be removed from Queenstown Harbour because the United Irish League issued circulars to the people in the neighbourhood telling them not to send their sons into the British Navy.
As the Irish Unionist leader has very truly said, it is not our wish to segregate the different localities of this country, to cast up a debit and credit balance, and prove how they stand financially. But since the Nationalists and Radical parties will have it so, we must accept the law which they are going to force upon us. My own idea is that if you dissect the United Kingdom you can no more expect the dissected parts to live healthily on their own account than if you cut off a man's leg and told it to live an independent existence. The leg could only become mummified, and I believe that if Ireland is taken out of the Imperial unity it will tend to dry up and become mummified also. The attitude of the Irish party shows the truth of the old saying, that people never value what they get for nothing. The people who were told that 1295 they were going to get ninepence for four-pence do not value the fivepence which they are supposed to be getting for nothing. The Irish party are glad enough to have our "Dreadnoughts," and our Army to protect them from danger, but they show a distinct dislike to paying anything for those services. I believe that if we put them out for a time it would stimulate their desire to come back, because I cannot believe that any large hearted ambitious Irishman will ever be content to live in an atmosphere of obscure provincialism in preference to being represented in a Parliament such as this. I remember the Member for Clare saying what Irishmen had done in the Colonies, and so on. I confirm in its entirety what he said. But Irishmen do their work in the Empire because they come in with the general community. I believe that if the shade of O'Connell were listening to these debates and could speak, he would probably say to his countrymen, "You have now reached a position in the British Imperial Parliament where you are over represented, and where you get a full share of the British Empire at a minus subscription. Be careful you do not exchange the substance for the shadow." He would probably advise them to retain the leading position which they have now got instead of cutting themselves off as hon. Members propose to do.
Most assuredly, if Ireland cuts itself off from England there are very few representatives in this House who will advocate that their constituents should put up their cash or their credit for investing any more money in Ireland. The passing of Home Rule will, I am certain, be the death knell to any completion of land purchase. No Member for a British constituency would advise his constituents to put up their money or their credit when they receive such an ungracious reception. We have a feeling of great disappointment that, after all the British taxpayers have done, when they have worked day and night in order to give these gentlemen twentieth century comforts at early Victorian prices, we should receive full blooded opposition on the one hand, and bleak chill unfriendliness on the other. This country might do well if it filled up the places rendered vacant by those who leave us of their own free will by giving them, as our French neighbours do, to Dominions and Colonies who subscribe towards our Imperial expenses. The present position is 1296 a reversal of that to which we are accustomed. We know that taxation justifies representation, but the system that these forty-two Gentlemen will bring about is that no taxation ensures a substantial and unfair representation. Ireland would not be dumb even if the forty-two Members were taken out, because Irishmen claim to control sixty or 100 seats in this country, so that there would be plenty of people to voice any anxieties that they might have. We hear a good deal about taxable capacity. I do not understand what those two words mean. As far as I know, even the Nationalist party do not accuse Great Britain of having asked any Irishman to pay more taxes than an Englishman of similar means. But if taxable capacity means willingness to pay, I admit that the Celtic Irishman has less taxable capacity than the Saxon Englishman. When I see Lord MacDonnell writing to the "Times," and when I hear the hon. Gentleman the Member for Meath saying that this country has drawn from Ireland £300,000,000 sterling since the Union, I remember that I have never yet seen a statement from any of these hon. Members explaining the fact that we took over a bankrupt concern with £120,000,000 of debts, and that we have paid interest on that debt ever since! I would like hon. Members, whose constituents, equally with others, have to bear the burden, to consider the position of this country. The balance of that old loan is by experts considered to be about £50,000,000. We have given over £115,000,000 for land purchase, and have promised more—though I think if hon. Members below the Gangway go away, we will not give overmuch to them. There is £2,000,000 tribute which we have to pay, whatever the emergency of this country, and that capitalised amounts to £60,000,000. There is the £3,000,000 which under Mr. Gladstone they promised to pay, which capitalised means £100,000,000.
Here are sums involved amounting to £400,000,000, and the Government propose to give us six and a half hours—which is 300 odd minutes—to discuss it. Ireland has got considerably to windward of Great Britain, for she is getting, on a calculation, more than £1,000,000 per minute from Great Britain. That ought to be enough to satisfy them. I think it would be well, when our people have to meet these enormous charges, that we at least should be allowed to discuss our own affairs, and settle how we are going to meet the great charges put upon us. I am 1297 quite certain of this, that if the British people are in the position of having a prodigal Welsh Chancellor on the one side and a needy and independent Irish Chancellor upon the other, they will find themselves in the position of that son of Jacob who was likened unto "a strong ass bending between two burdens." I am quite certain that when they awake to the realities of the thing they will disembarrass themselves of that burden. If they were given a chance of expressing their opinion at a General Election they would, I feel sure, take every means in their power to prevent the possibility of such dual responsibility being forced upon them. The atmosphere would be very much clearer in the future when we have to discuss the great question of Imperial charges, if we were to suffer—because we would suffer—being deprived of hon. Gentlemen from Ireland, whom, however much we differ from politically, we all most cordially appreciate as individuals. Still I am quite certain that we would be able to argue these matters out in a more peaceful form if this House had not in it forty-two more or less irresponsible Gentlemen, who put nothing into the common pool, and yet have every desire—and are very expert at it—to dip their fingers into the pool and take out of it whatever they are able to lay their hands upon.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
I do not intend at the present moment to join in this discussion, but I would like to call attention to the fact that this is about the most important Clause in the whole Bill. It raises the question of the Constitution of this House, as well as that of Ireland. I really think we might expect to have more than one Minister present. I would suggest, with very great respect, that the Prime Minister might be here. This is a matter affecting this House and affecting the general history of Parliamentary institutions. This Debate has gone on for a considerable time, and we have not had a word from the Government. I really think the Debate would be better adjourned!
§ Mr. ATHERLEY-JONES
As you have ruled, Mr. Whitley, that a general discussion as to the intrusion of Irish Members into this House shall be permitted on the present Amendment, I shall avail myself of speaking upon that rather than upon the more narrow Amendment which follows in my name. I may commence by 1298 saying that I hope the present absence of the Leader of the Irish party does not indicate that we shall not have the opportunity of his views, not only on the main question, but on the smaller questions which are involved in this Bill. I have been a Home Ruler, and a very advanced Home Ruler, all my political career. Long before Home Rule had become a prominent question I was a Home Ruler. Therefore I hope that hon. Members opposite and those of my Friends who sit here will not suppose that my present attitude is at all indicative of any desire on my part, however futile that desire might be in its performance, to weaken the hands of the Government in the promotion of this measure. In 1893, with my revered and departed Friend, Sir Robert Wallace, the Member for Edinburgh, one of the most distinguished ornaments of this House, I was, I believe, the only English Liberal, Member who voted against the proposals of the Bill of that year, which were practically upon the same lines as the proposals of the present Bill. My devotion to Home Rule does not, however, extend to my willingness to witness the corruption and degradation of the English Parliament. Neither do I consider that the passage of the Home Rule measure, difficult undoubtedly as the problem is, does necessitate that evil result. I hope my hon. Friends who sit around me here will not suppose for a moment that I am expressing my own opinion. That would be of very little value in the matter. But I have behind me an authority which was not exercised for ephemeral purposes, but which is just as valid and authentic to-day as it was when it was promulgated in 1886 and 1893. Although I am not going to trouble the House with frequent or lengthy quotations, I must remind my right hon. and hon. Friends on this side, who will have some time or other to deal with this matter, that they must give us some reasons why the views expressed by the author of the Home Rule Bill, and by Lord (then Mr.) Morley, who was his chief lieutenant, are not equally as valid to-day as they were in 1886. I call attention to the words of Mr. Gladstone, who said:—The retention of the Irish Members would open the door to dark and dangerous intrigue.Is that true to-day? If it is not true of the present prospective condition of affairs, why is it not true? You may to some extent minimise its dangerous results by a reduction of the numerical strength, from eighty-four, but, broadly 1299 speaking, under probable general conditions, those words of Mr. Gladstone in 1886 about "dark and dangerous intrigues" are just as pertinent and effective to-day as they were when uttered twenty-seven years ago. But Mr. Gladstone did not confine himself to more generalisms. It was not his habit to do so. He entered very clearly into reasons, and without following them out with any minuteness, I will draw attention to one passage and the arguments he used in the speech in which he introduced the Home Rule Bill. He said:—Ireland is to have a domestic Legislature for Irish affaire. How I think it will be perfectly clear that if Ireland is to have a domestic Legislature. Irish peers and Irish representatives cannot come here to control English and Scottish affairs. I will not be a party to giving to Ireland a legislative body to manage Irish concerns and at the same time have Irish members in London acting and voting on British and Scottish concerns.Lord Morley was even, I think I may say, more precise and clear upon this point. He said:—You may depend upon it there is no power upon earth which can prevent the Irish Members, if retained at Westminster, from being in the future Parliament what they have been in the past-arbitrators and masters of English policy and English legislative business and of the rise and fall of British administration.Mr. Morley, when he uttered those words, had no doubt in his mind that by the Resolution of the House of Commons in 1886, moved by the hon. Member for the Bordesley Division of Birmingham (Mr. Jesse Collings), the Irish party crossed the floor of the House, and from being supporters of the Conservative party became supporters of the Liberal party. The only other quotation I will make from Lord Morley is this:—Plain, unlettered Englishmen—some of us here are unlettered—cannot understand why Irish voters on some questions which are in no respect Irish should be determined by those who have a separate Parliament and determine the same questions for themselves.5.0 P.M.
I believe these arguments used by the progenitor of Home Rule and by his chief lieutenant are just as pertinent and effective to-day as then. [An HON. MEMBER: "More so."] The Government do not intend, I think, this provision of their Bill to be permanent, to operate permanently, because they put in the words, "Unless and until the Parliament of the United Kingdom otherwise determine." Why were those words put in? Those words are put in so that the Irish Legislature, if the Imperial Parliament chooses to change the position by excluding 1300 Irish Members, will have the right to say, "Oh, but you are breaking the contract you entered into by putting on record the fact that any moment hereafter it will be open to the Imperial Parliament to exchange the existing status and restore to the Imperial Parliament the Home Rule relations between Ireland and England on the basis intended by the 1886 Bill." I do not wish it to be understood that I doubt the attitude of Irish Members upon this matter, because my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Waterford, in a former debate corrected me and pointed out that I misunderstood and misinterpreted the attitude of the Irish leaders upon this question. The attitude of the Irish leaders is, I think—and the hon. and learned Member will correct me if I am wrong—correctly summed up by what was said by Mr. Parnell in 1890, when, no doubt, it was in contemplation, in the event of the Liberal party returning to power, that the new Home Rule Bill should reverse the process of the old Home Rule Bill and introduce Irish representation into the Imperial Parliament. Mr. Parnell said in 1890:—With regard to the retention of Irish Members, the position I have always adopted and their representation is that the concession of full powers to the Irish Legislatures should he equivalent to those secured by the States of the American Union. The number and position of the members so returned will be a question of Imperial concern, not of present moment or of immediate importance to the interests of Ireland, but—and here is the reservation—but with the all-engrossing subjects of agrarian reform, constabulary control, and judicial appointments left either under Imperial control or totally unprovided for, it would be the height of madness for any Irish leader to imitate Grattan's example and consent, to disband the army which has led them to victory.My hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Waterford said this in 1893, and I want to draw his attention to what he did say:—Because agrarian matters—Irish constabulary, the fixing and control of Irish finance are held under the control of the Imperial Parliament, he would not consent to the reduction of the Irish representation by a single member, nor would he allow it to be reduced by one-third.Although I do not think the matter went to the vote, he opposed the Motion of the Government to reduce the Irish representation from 103 to 80. I do not quarrel with that position, and if I may anticipate what my hon. and learned Friend is going to say—if he speaks, as I hope he will—probably he will say, "You have left in the hands of the Imperial Parliament the question of Land Purchase Acts, and inasmuch as you nave left in the hands of the Imperial Parliament control of the Land 1301 Purchase Acts whatever you may have done with other things, it is necessary there should be an Irish representation in this House." I hope I am not inaccurately representing what the views of the hon. and learned Gentleman are. I do not deny that that is an extremely powerful argument. But be it observed that the great bulk of questions which were formerly under the control of the Imperial Parliament are now removed from the Imperial Parliament, and Ireland will really be a self-governing State to a very much larger extent under the present Bill than was contemplated by the Bill of 1893, and certainly by the Bill of 1886. We have given to the Irish Parliament the appointment and maintenance of their judiciary; we have given them, after a short interval, the control of their police; we have given them the power of raising, adjusting, or reducing taxation; we have given them control over tariffs, Customs, and Excise; the only thing which we have reserved, and which is not an Imperial matter, is land purchase, which, thanks to the efforts of the Chief Secretary for Ireland and his predecessor in office, is in a rapid process of completion. Therefore, whatever might be the argument in favour of the retention of the Irish Members in 1893, these arguments are considerably weakened by the concessions which have been made to the Irish Parliament under this Bill.
I admit freely it is a problem of great difficulty and I quite recognise that the exclusion of the Irish Members from the Imperial Parliament would give colour to the representation that it meant the separation of Ireland from England. I also quite agree that the action of Mr. Gladstone in 1893 was largely dictated by the attitude of the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Joseph Chamberlain). He took a most conspicuous part during the earliest stages of that historic struggle in insisting upon the retention of the Irish Members in the Imperial Parliament. That undoubtedly is history which has materially affected, and rightly affected, the policy of the Parliament of 1893 and the policy of the Government of to-day. But now what are the dangers—and it is a question of advantage or of disadvantage—that the anticipations of Mr. Gladstone and Lord Morley will be, and may be fulfilled. Under this Bill there will be forty-two Irish Members in the British House of Commons. Of what quality one perhaps cannot very well say. The brightest intellects, 1302 as was contemplated by Mr. Parnell, will be devoted to the promotion of their country's interests and to the welfare of Ireland. They will send here a body of men possibly under the leadership of my hon. Friend, the Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) for the distinct and very obvious purpose of what? Of looking after Irish interests in the English House of Commons. Let me implore my right hon. Friend to pause and consider this. This is not my own view, it is the views of men much greater than myself.
Under this Bill, I think by the twenty-ninth Clause, there is a provision that questions of the constitutional rights of the Irish Parliament shall be settled by the Privy Council, that is to say, supposing the Irish Parliament shall presume to act ultra vires it shall then be in the power of the Lord Lieutenant or the Crown to bring the matter before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and that Judicial Committee shall decide whether or not the action of the Irish Parliament is ultra vires. Can anyone who sits in this House now doubt that that question of ultra vires, if it is ever raised in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council will be fought out over again on the floor of this House by the forty-two Irish Members? Can anyone also doubt, and I do not think I am indulging in any wild foreboding, that the question of the financial relations and questions of Tariff Reform will undoubtedly be subjects of acute controversy in this House. I do not want to say too much, but there are a body of Liberal Members on this side of the House who view with something like dismay the proposal that Ireland shall have absolute control over Customs and power to impose taxes. That is a Free Trade sentiment with which, as a sentiment, I for one am in complete sympathy, although I am not prepared to stint the power of the Irish Parliament. But can anybody doubt that there must be acute controversy arising over attempts which may be made in Ireland, possibly in a direction that may injure the economic interests of this country. If that be so, can anybody doubt but that there will be on the part of the Irish Members in this House, what? Power, facility, opportunity and inducement to make bargains—bargains which Mr. Gladstone stigmatised as dark and dangerous intrigues. These bargains, it is no reproach to the Irish party to say, have I been made in the past. They have been 1303 made for the purpose of securing that great and beneficent reform on the edifice of which we are now seeking to put the crowning stone. It is a danger to which no prudent man may look forward without dismay, and although I do not suppose that any Amendment which is moved—and I say it without any disrespect to my right hon. Friend who, like myself, is most anxious to see this Home Rule edifice completed—for the purpose of excluding Irish Members will be any more effectual to-day than it was in the House of Commons of 1893. But I feel sure that this matter has given occasion for grave thought and deliberation on the part of the Prime Minister. He shows himself by the phraseology in the Bill that the matter is of a provisional character, but as one who is devoted to Home Rule, who has persistently, and I hope with as much courage as any hon. Member of this House, advocated that cause, I wish to try and reduce the dangerous risk which is attendant upon this proposal. Forty Members in this House is a number which can hold the scales of power. They can at any moment cast the sword of Brennus into the scale and decide the fate of Ministries and decide the fate of measures, and therefore what I suggest is, if I may without disrespect do so—and I hope I shall receive the assistance of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Waterford—that the right hon. Gentleman will at least so reduce the number of Irish Members who are sent from Irish constituencies to this House as will render less urgent and less menacing the dangers to which I have adverted.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
My hon. and learned Friend who has just sat down has for a quarter of a century, both inside and outside this House, been a most consistent and courageous advocate of Home Rule. I have listened, as we all have listened on this side, with interest to the various considerations and arguments he has put forward in the appeal which he has addressed to the Government. I do not think that my hon. and learned Friend will find that among those who, like himself, are supporters of the principle of this Bill, there is more than a handful—I doubt whether there is as much as a handful—in favour of the total exclusion of the Irish Members in the future from the Imperial Parliament. He has quoted passages from the hon. and learned Member who moved this Amendment, and 1304 also from the speeches of Mr. Gladstone and Lord Morley in 1886, which undoubtedly entirely assent to this principle, and, as he has quite candidly admitted, in 1893 both those eminent men were parties to a Bill which not only retained the Irish representation in this House, but retained double the number that is proposed by the present measure. While I quite agree that the precise figure which should be inserted in the Bill is one open to argument and discussion, I think my hon. and learned Friend will find among those who, like himself, are supporters of the principle of Home Rule, that there has been in recent times a tendency to revert to the position taken originally in 1886, and he will not find an adequate or satisfactory settlement of this problem in the total exclusion of the Irish Members from the Imperial House of Commons. With the permission of the Committee I will deal very briefly with the case as it has been presented to the House by the hon. and learned Gentleman who moved this Amendment. Ably presented it certainly was, although I am afraid there was an excess of vehemence, perhaps attributable to temperament.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I do not at all agree with the Leader of the Opposition, who says it is a matter of conviction. Vehemence and conviction often stand in inverse proportion. I do not know why, in the discussion of a very complicated matter of this kind, those who take the opposite view to the lion. Member and those who are bold and audacious enough to commit themselves to the proposal of this Bill, ought to be dealt with under the Mental Deficiency Bill. It is quite possible that both sides are honest and reasonable, although they may take different views, in a matter so complicated as this. The hon. and learned Gentleman said quite truly that a proposal of this kind under which you have a Central Legislative body, after the grant of local autonomy to one of its constituent elements, the presence in the Central Representative body of a number of representatives—I leave out the precise figure for the moment—from the country to which a Parliament has been granted with power to vote in regard to the local legislation of the other parts combined is an exception to which it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a parallel in the history of federalism. I think that was the hon. and learned Gentleman's first point. As 1305 I have pointed out more than once in the course of these discussions when dealing with other relevant cases, that is why it is so important that the argument from analogy should not be pressed too hard. In all the other relevant cases you have started a group, and sometimes in the case of the United States a sovereign State. There is the case of our great Dominions, which, at any rate, are separate and independent communities which have been united for common purposes for the first time into a homogeneous body. At present you have local autonomy, and the question is how to segregate central from local purposes, and in what proportions the various communities concerned shall be represented in the central body. Here we are proceeding, although for the same purpose, in exactly the opposite direction as regards method. We start with the central, which at present is responsible for all concerned, both general and local. We fully apprehend that we cannot do it all at once. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I quite admit it, and we are now creating step by step. We are dealing first with what is most urgent, and that is the main body, and we are endeavouring to devolve, partly in order that local affairs may be managed more in accordance with local sentiment, and partly also in order that the central body may be free in point of energy and time—
§ The PRIME MINISTER
That is a totally irrelevant remark. Partly that the central body may be set free in point of energy and point of time for the adequate transaction of affairs which are common to the interests of all of us. Why should any one of the constituent party be excluded from a share in those common interests, whether forty-two, eighty-two, or twenty-two? That is a question of detail. There are common concerns in which all the constituent parts are equally interested, and why should any one of those parts, because it has power to manage its own local affairs, be excluded? Those are the two objects which we have in view. Our purpose is the same as has been the purpose of all those great federalising movements. We wish to obtain a system of government in local affairs, conducted in accordance with local opinions, by persons cognisant with them, and under which central affairs are conducted in accordance with the general opinion and 1306 subject to the expression of that general opinion by the representatives of constituent parts. It follows that unless you can do the whole process at once there must be a time during which you have to retain the local representatives in the central body unless you are to adopt a different system, which, after a most careful examination, you found impracticable in 1893—
The PRIME MINISTERS
I shall be glad to answer any question my hon. Friend puts to me later, but I hope he will allow me to pursue my argument in my own way. The ground upon which the hon. and learned Gentleman based this Amendment, although I think he went a little beyond it, was that after Ireland has ceased to contribute to general and Imperial expenditure she ceases to have a title to be represented in the Imperial Parliament. That is the ground on which his argument is ostensibly based.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
At any rate, that is the ground on which the Amendment is ostensibly based. If that is true, then, of course, pro tanto Ireland ought not to be allowed to take part in the discussion of Imperial affairs now, because she does not contribute at this moment. If you strike a balance-sheet between the two nations, the facts are undoubtedly that she does not contribute a halfpenny to the Imperial revenue.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Yes. Therefore, so far as that argument is concerned, the state of things after Home Rule will be the same as the state of things before Home Rule.
I think the Prime Minister might be allowed to develop his argument without interruption.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The hon. and learned Gentleman seems to think that because Ireland gets the power to manage her own affairs and legislate for herself and administer her own Executive, that 1307 that makes a difference so far as this particular point is concerned. I confess that I cannot follow that argument at all. By our proposals we are set free here, and that is a clear gain to the Imperial Parliament and to its efficiency, because we are free from the transaction of a mass of business about which we are imperfectly informed, and I think that is in our own interests as well as in the interests of Ireland. The question of contribution remains as it was before. I agree that, although that is the basis of this Amendment, the hon. and learned Gentleman took a much wider and a much more interesting view. He said that this does not depend upon the contribution at all, but upon the grant of Home Rule itself. I want to address myself in the few observations I am going to make to that which is after all the fundamental question. Supposing you are going to grant, for the reasons which have actuated the House in giving the Second Reading to this Bill, what is called Home Rule to Ireland, with the representation remaining substantially at the figures which are proposed by this Bill. The hon. and learned Gentleman has said that this is the point upon which varied opinions have been held at different times. In 1886 the proposal was that the Irish Members were to be entirely excluded, and it is interesting as a matter of history to remember that the opposition offered by the Liberal party at that time in regard to the passage of the Bill of 1886 was mainly grounded on the exclusion of the Irish Members. I cannot do better than quote what was said by the most distinguished opponent of all, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Joseph Chamberlain). Speaking, I think, on the Second Reading of that Bill, on 9th April, 1886, and summarising the objections to the measure, he said:—I object to it, in the first instance, because it proposes to terminate the representation of the Irish Members at Westminster. I object to that because of the consequences which follow upon it. It Appears to me that if Irish Members were to cease to occupy their seats in this House—Mind you, he made no reservation or exception as to the subjects on which they were to be entitled to vote—the Irish Parliament, to which they are to be relegated must be, and ought, to be, and would be in the future, if not in the present, of co-ordinate and equal authority.That was the objection, and the main objection, to the Bill of that year, and it 1308 was in deference to that objection Mr. Gladstone and Lord Morley and those who were parties to the Bill of that year, in the deliberations which subsequently took place, and which resulted in the Irish Government Bill of 1893, agreed to the retention of the Irish Members in this House. I do not believe, with the possible exception of my hon. and learned Friend who spoke just now (Mr. Atherley-Jones), there is anyone now who will not so far assent to what was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham in 1886 as to agree, if the Irish Parliament is to be, what we always said it should be, a subordinate body dealing solely with local affairs, and if the Imperial Parliament is to continue with full and undiminshed authority to exercise control over all matters of common concern, it is absolutely essential the Irish representation should continue in this House. That was the view in 1893, and it is the view which has been consistently urged by all who have advocated Home Rule from that year to this. My hon. Friend suggested we were giving more power—I mean in a sense relative to this question—to the Irish Legislature by this Bill than we proposed to give by the Bill of 1893. I do not agree with my hon. and learned Friend. I think, when we come to discuss the financial Clauses, which were the only ones in which he grounded himself in this respect, the Committee will see that, although there is undoubtedly a difference in method, substantially the powers given are not greater than those previously proposed. It is common ground among all those who have accepted the principle of Home Rule—not, of course, among those who object to it—that you cannot carry it out consistently with the conditions, social, industrial, and political, which govern the-Constitution as between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom unless, whatever devolution or delegation you give to those constituent parts with regard to their own local affairs, you retain the continued representation of all in this House. As regards this proposed, but very reduced, representation of forty-two, I have heard some very extraordinary suggestions made in the course of this Debate. It is said that the whole forty-two will unite as one man in the political controversies of the future in this House. That is an extraordinary argument to proceed from one who told us Ireland is not one nation, but two, and who has perpetually insisted that the divergencies 1309 between the two parts of Ireland are so wide, so deep, and so irreconcilable that you cannot possibly bring them together. My own prognostication—nothing more—would be very different. I should think myself, as far as one can forecast the future, that in the early stages, at any rate, of this experiment you will find the Irish representation in this House divided very much, as it is now, and very much in the same proportions.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
It is the best opinion I can form on the figures. There will be under the scheme proposed by this Bill eight borough members and thirty-four county members. The eight borough members will be returned by three boroughs—Belfast, Dublin, and Cork—and the thirty-four county members by the different provinces of Ireland. Assuming the distribution of those members to be in something like the same proportion as regards predominate political opinions in the future, as it is to-day, it will work out that Ulster will have fifteen, including Belfast; Leinster will have eleven; Munster will have ten; Connaught will have six; and, as between the forty-two, there will be something, it might be eight or it might be ten—
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The electoral machinery is precisely the same. It cannot be altered for three years. It is precisely the same as that which exists at the present moment, so there was no reason whatever for the interruption of the hon. Gentleman. Those figures would work out, assuming the same proportions are maintained as prevail at the present moment, at something between eight and ten belonging to the Unionist party, and the balance, thirty-four or thirty-two, belonging to the Nationalist party in Ireland.
§ Sir E. CARSON
Does the right hon. Gentleman think, after this Bill is passed, the Ulster Unionists will have the same feeling towards this country as they have now?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
That is a very illuminating and instructive remark. What does it mean? Does it mean when this Bill—
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Does it mean that when this Bill is passed, and we have forty-two Irish Members here, the Ulster Members will be working side by side and in common with their Nationalist fellow countrymen?
§ Sir E. CARSON
If they are working against this country, very likely. If you shoot us down, very likely.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
That is a very strong argument coming from an unsuspected quarter, and it supports the position we have always maintained, that the causes which in the long run unify are very much the stronger. I agree this is matter of conjecture and forecast, but, assuming at any rate that in the early stages of the experiment the distribution of representation will be substantially on the same lines as it is to-day, you will have, as I have said, eight or ten of the forty-two Members, roughly speaking, of the party opposite, and the balance belonging to the party now sitting below the Gangway. Is that an excessive representation having regard to the legal and constitutional situation which will exist after the grant of Home Rule? First of all, this House of Commons will retain the power of taxation over the whole of the United Kingdom; in the next place, this House, for a term of years at any rate, will retain the whole of the reserved services. Some of those services enter vitally into the everyday social, industrial, and political life of the Irish people. Again, this House will be responsible for all the the large matters of Imperial policy in which, whatever may be the precise state of the pecuniary advantage as between the two islands, Irishmen will remain in the future, as they have been in the past, vitally interested, bearing their share, as they do now, in our Army, Navy, and Civil Service, and being just as much affected as we are by the ebb or flow of the fortunes of the Empire of which they are a part. Is it or is it not right, having regard to the multifariousness and importance of those interests, that Ireland should retain here, not an excessive but an adequate representation? I quite agree that a state of things under which 1311 a part of the United Kingdom which has got complete control over its own domestic affairs is still able to exercise an influence, an influence immeasurably less than now, over the domestic affairs of other parts of the United Kingdom cannot be regarded as a final or adequate solution of the whole question. I entirely agree. We have presented this measure throughout, on the Frist Reading, on the Second Reading, and we are presenting it still, as a first step and a first instalment towards a larger measure of devolution. Whatever form that devolution takes, you will still have even when you have freed, as I hope you will free, the Imperial Parliament completely of purely local concerns, a vast body of matter in regard to which all the constituent Members of the United Kingdom are equally and vitally interested and in respect of which therefore, in accordance with the rudimentary principles of constitutional and democratic government, they ought to be fully and adequately represented in this House. It is on those broad lines of principle and policy we have framed this Clause. We do not believe the amount of representation we have given to Ireland is, either from the point of view of justice or practical expediency, in any way excessive, and of all the various attempts which have been made to solve a complicated and difficult problem we believe the one we have now submitted to Parliament is the one most likely in the long run to succeed.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
As a reply to the speech which was made by my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Cassel), I say, without disrespect to the Prime Minister, his speech must be counted a most amazing performance. Before I attempt to state in detail the grounds on which I myself support this Amendment, let me make soma attempt to deal in passing with the argument which the Committee has just listened to from the Prime Minister. The right hon. Gentleman began by saying, as he has told us often in the course of these Debates, that the measure now proposed for the better government of Ireland is a step in a larger programme, and he indicated, what he said before, that it was not possible for the Government to do all at once everything in the way of devolution they intend to do. I was refreshing my memory by reading the debates now of nearly thirty years ago, and my attention was attracted by a speech made by 1312 the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond), the Leader of the Irish party, and it was not without interest to discover that twenty-five years ago the hon. and learned Gentleman, and those who are not ashamed of repeating the same intentions to-day, were then declaring it was their intention to introduce a federal system, and that these anomalies were temporary in their character. The right hon. Gentleman apparently is of opinion that there is no inconsistency at all in the circumstance that thirty years ago it should be professed as an intention, and that it should be professed as an intention to-day. Is it intended we should wait another thirty years before it is carried out? I state in the clearest possible manner that which I believe to be the view of every one of my hon. Friends in this House and those whom we represent in the country. I state in the clearest possible manner that we do not believe the Government are ever going to introduce a federal system; we do not believe they intend now to introduce one, and we do not believe they ever did intend to introduce one. We believe that is a soothing syrup invented for the purpose of deceiving the Scottish representatives in this House of Commons, and for the purpose of securing the support of the Young Scots Association and other simple bodies in Scotland. That view, in itself, not inherently improbable to those who mark the history of the preamble, derives additional support from the circumstance that if for twenty-five years it has been the intention of the Liberal party to introduce the federal system, no party has had a better or longer opportunity in opposition of developing and preparing a scheme, so that in the moment of its Parliamentary strength it could introduce a complete scheme, and not one stage of that scheme which would make it impossible for all time ever to complete it. How did the Prime Minister use the time which would have sufficed him if he had intended to introduce the federal system. He used the time, instead of indicating to those who looked to him for guidance in this matter, when he was engaged in gradually shaping and evolving the federal system, to inform the country that he had followed Lord Rosebery in wiping Home Rule off the slate altogether. We know now that when Lord Rosebery said he was wiping Home Rule off the slate, and when the right hon. Gentleman, who knew Lord 1313 Rosebery's mind so well, said that he too was wiping it off the slate, what Lord Rosebery really meant, and what the Prime Minister really meant, was not that they were wiping it off the slate but that they were preparing a general scheme of federalism of which Home Rule wiped off the slate was to be the first instalment.
The right hon. Gentleman was not afraid, even after the arguments used by some hon. Members on his own side in this Debate, to say that the central body under the scheme which the Government now propose will be set free in point of time and energy to attend to the affairs in which all parties are jointly interested. I think, after the arguments of my hon. Friend, and after the arguments that were addressed to him from his own side of the House of Commons we had a right to expect the Prime Minister should have given us at least some explanation how the proposals we are debating to-day is going to relieve, in the slightest degree, the congestion of the House of Commons. Until the House of Commons proceeded to the discussion of these Home Rule proposals in the present Session I will undertake to say the time given to Irish subjects, in the last three or four years, had been incomparably less than any hon. Member would imagine. It has not been in fact a considerable proportion of any Session in the last four or five Sessions of Parliament. But the point made with overwhelming force in the course of these Debates is that the presence of Irish Members, in the absence of Home Rule, would cause congestion in our Parliamentary business. That congestion, stated in its mildest form, will be as great, if Home Rule is passed, as it is to-day. The best evidence on that point is contained in the speech made by the Leader of the Nationalist party on the last occasion on which these proposals were discussed in the House of Commons. The hon. and learned Member was addressing his attention particularly to the in-and-out proposal, and was demonstrating the impracticability of that proposal. He said, "Let me show you how absurd is that proposal."
You talk about there being some subjects which do not concern Irishmen. "Why," he added, "keeping in power the Imperial Government must always be an Imperial question and must concern the Irish Members." If that be true, and it is undoubtedly true, how can anyone suppose that any single subject, however remote from any interest, direct or indirect, to Ireland may not affect the fortune or even the 1314 life of the Government, and, therefore, may not entitle the Irish party to intervene by their votes in our Debates in the House of Commons? If you add to that the circumstance that forty Irishmen will be here, will you not find, as the eighty Irish Nationalists to-day find, they will have full scope for the satisfaction of their Parliamentary ambitions and objects within the ambit of what we do in this House of Commons? They will be here to try and enlarge the scope of the functions and privileges already conceded to them. Yon will have the certainty that you will have here forty discontented men, who, whenever there is a cause of friction between this House of Commons and their House of Commons, will be here, necessarily and properly, to take up the Irish ease as against the English case in any controversy which may arise. You may attain any other object you like to predict as a result of the retention of the Irish Members, but how any sane or honest man can do what the Members of the party opposite are doing on every platform in the country, and say that the one object to be attained as the result of retaining the Irish Members here will be to reduce the congestion of business, I frankly confess I find it difficult to understand. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the change which had taken place in the opinion of Mr. Gladstone and Lord Morley in 1886 and 1893. He suggested to the Committee that Lord Morley had ultimately acquiesced in the view that the present proposal, or some proposal differing only numerically from the present proposal, was one that commanded his ultimate support. So far as I know, the last deliberate expression of opinion of Lord Morley upon this matter was of a much more recent date than the last Debate in the House of Commons. Lord Morley produced the "History of Mr. Gladstone," with which hon. Members are familiar, and, in the course of that history, he considered this very point. This is what he said:—Each of the three courses is open to one simple but very direct objection. Exclusion along with the exclusion of revenue from Ireland by the Parliament at Westminster is taxation without representation. Inclusion for all purposes is to allow the Irish to meddle in our affairs while we are no longer to meddle with their affairs. Inclusion for a limited purpose still leaves them invested with the power of turning out the British Government by voting against it on an Imperial question. Each plan, therefore, ends in a paradox. There is a fourth paradox, namely, that whenever the British supporters of the Government did not suffice to build up a decisive majority, then the Irish vote, descending to one or other scale of the Parliamentary balance, might decide who shall be our rulers.1315 The Committee might conveniently, using the experience of the past, consider, as has been stated by the Prime Minister to-day, where the House of Commons and the country stand in this matter. There are three conceivable schemes. The first scheme is that the Irish Members shall be altogether excluded. That scheme, as the right hon. Gentleman said with perfect justice, was riddled with destructive criticism by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham, who, I beleve, spoke on that occasion commanding full support on this side. It perished by mere weight of the criticism it received. Then we pass to the second proposal, which is the in-and-out proposal. Parliamentary criticism in the same way destroyed that proposal; it was acceptable to no party in the House of Commons. The result was this last proposal by which Irish Members are to be retained. Lord Morley was undoubtedly right when he said that every one of these three schemes was impracticable. I believe every one to be impossible. What is the true lesson to be drawn from that circumstance? Are we to draw from it the lesson that you select of three impossible and impracticable courses the one which seems to adapt itself to the line of least resistance? Or was it the lesson which reasonable men as free agents would draw: That if they cannot produce a scheme which does not suffer on a vital and fundamental point for an objection which is in fact inseparable from it, the true course is not to persist with a Bill which necessarily carries you to an impossible goal, but to abandon it in favour of a proposal which can be defended by argument in the course of practical debate?
I confess I was astonished that the whole gravamen of the attack developed by my hon. and learned Friend received so little attention from the Prime Minister in his speech. I listened with great care to the speech of my hon. and learned Friend: it was a speech which entirely deserved the compliment which the right hon. Gentleman paid to the hon. Member. He developed one argument, and I do not exaggerate when I say he developed it with the greatest emphasis and with a degree of repetition which did not apply to any other part of the speech and which showed that, in his judgment at least, it was the most important point he had to make on this proposal. The argument was that if the Irish Members are allowed to participate 1316 in our Debates they will be in a position to control the fate of the Government on subjects which concern those who remain in this House alone, and on which they themselves are not entitled to express any opinion or to give any vote. The objection may be fatal or not, but whatever it was it was the gravamen of the case of my hon. and learned Friend.
There was no attempt on the part of the Prime Minister to reply to it. What does he say? He says there are many questions still of Imperial interest in which Ireland is concerned. There are the reserved services and other matters as well. That argument, if it has any argumentative value, only means that it can be defended on the ground of the in-and-out proposal. That part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech would have been opportune and strictly relevant in defending the in-and-out proposal, but it had no point when put forward in defence of the proposal which my hon. Friend has criticised to-day. The objection we take is not a fanciful objection. We found ourselves upon recent history. There are some Governments which are not safe if they are confronted with the temptation which Mr. Gladstone described in these words: Where an Irish party can say "Do this," and you have to do it, or "Leave this undone," and you have to leave it undone.
The Prime Minister dwelt by anticipation on this difficulty in his speech upon the First Reading. He said on that occasion that, making a calculation which he has repeated to-night, he anticipated that there would be a majority of twenty-six Nationalists after deducting the Ulster Members. I do not inquire, because it is a subject of secondary and contingent importance, what the difference is, or, conversely, the extent of the unity that may be anticipated among Nationalists and Ulster members in the new Parliament. I have no knowledge on that point and I make no anticipation upon it, but I accept the anticipation the Prime Minister himself made in the First Reading Debate, that there would be a majority of twenty-six Nationalist members over the Ulster members, a majority of twenty-six reasonably and presumably ready to support this Government, or any other Government, that would give them adequate terms in any controversy with one or other party in the House. The Prime Minister said, in his speech on the First Reading, that such a thing seldom happened, and he believed 1317 it had only happened once in the twenty-five years of his Parliamentary experience that the numerical difference between the two parties on a Division was so small that twenty-six Nationalist Members would have constituted a real danger. I think that the Prime Minister had for the moment forgotten the Parliamentary history of the last forty or fifty years. On at least twenty occasions since 1831 critical Divisions have taken place in this House the balance of which would have been altered and disturbed had there been twenty-six votes in the market to have been given to one or other party in the State. There have been at least twenty occasions, beginning with the carrying of the Second Beading of the Reform Bill in 1831 by 302 to 301. There have been no fewer than twenty cases during that period, if you invoke the assistance of the historian.
We may take the early part of the present Session. On 24th June, 1912, on the question of the reduction of the Tea Duty, the Government had a majority of twenty-two. Supposing there had been twenty-six Nationalist Members here saying, "We do not like the way you are construing the reserved services in Ireland. We do not like the const ruction you are putting upon the power to Veto of the Privy Council. Do you want your Tea Duty to pass?" Take the War Office reduction, when the Government's majority was forty-six. The subtraction of twenty-six votes from one side, and the addition of them to the other, would disturb a majority of even fifty. There have been no fewer than twelve occasions this year, one of them so important as the Third Reading of the Appropriation Bill, which was carried with a majority of twenty-nine, although an emphatically worded Whip was sent round from the Whip's office to every Member on that side of the House. It is entirely futile to say that when you are considering the effect of the possible mischief of twenty-six Nationalist Members that that is not a real danger and may not become, at any moment, a still graver danger. What are the prospects that after another election the Government—assuming that the present Government will return to office—will be in a position that will make it more independent of the Irish party than it is today? Putting it as most favourable to the Government, assuming that they are still prepared to return to office, nobody will contend that they would be returned 1318 to office except under circumstances and with a number of supporters which would make the danger even a graver one than has been the danger to the House of Commons in the country during the last three years. Let me put an analagous point. My lion, and learned Friend pointed out—I confess I thought with unanswerable force—the grave injustice to England which is involved in these proposals. I am not talking now of the fortunes of Ministries; I am speaking of the rights of the English people to the very same privileges which alone are the abstract justification of the proposals which are before the House of Commons.
We have been told in season and out of season by the Government and by the Irish Nationalist party, that the justification on principle of these proposals, however difficult, however illogical, however hateful to a large minority in Ireland, is that the majority of the Trish people are passionately desirous of managing their own affairs. I can understand that principle. It may or may not carry you the argumentative length to which the Government desires to go. It is a point which may be discussed on another Clause, but it is an intelligible, a logical and completely consistent theory. To where does that theory carry you the moment you come to consider the case of England? If it be true that Irish roads and Irish education and Irish licensing problems are problems which in the very nature of the case it is wrong to subtract from the uncontrolled decision of the Irish people themselves, why is this people that is so passionately determined to enjoy the exclusive control of their own services coming over to England to usurp and take from ns the exclusive control of our own affairs? We know the circumstances under which the Committee will arrive at a decision to-night. We know, and everybody knows, that if the Government were to get up now and say, "We will change our proposal and will substitute for it the principle of the complete exclusion of Irish Members from this House," there is not a Member sitting on the benches below the Gangway who would not change his opinion in five minutes, and, if an hour after that the Government were to announce that they had changed their opinion once again, and on the whole were reconverted to the in-and-out theory, there is not a Member sitting on those benches who, so long as he was in and not out, would not accept it. An illuminating 1319 observation was made on that point last night in the Debate upon the Woman Suffrage question by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury). Here one may quote the well-known observation made by a judicial wit thatTruth will leak out even in an affidavit.To apply that one may say that truth on the Home Rule question will leak out, though never in a Home Rule Debate. This is what the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley said about Home Rule last night:In this Hill at the present time there are several Clauses which I detest with all my soul. I hate the proposition to set up a Senate in Ireland. I dislike the proposition that forty-two Irish Members are to come here and vote on English domestic questions, while, at the same time we are not to be allowed to vote on Irish domestic questions."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th November, 1912, col. 1101.]There is one supporter of the Government who loathes this with all his soul and who hates the proposal. Unfortunately I do not see him in his place, nor, up to the present, has he contributed in any way to the Debate, but could there be a more illuminating illustration of the condition to which, under the forms of our present debate, the House of Commons has been degraded, than that it should be notorious that the hon. Member—and there are many other Members who share his views—should loathe this Clause, and yet we dismiss a question of this kind after a few hours perfunctory debate without a single Minister on the Front Bench except the Attorney-General.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I in no way wish to overstate the case of neglect. It needed no over-stating. I accept the Prime Minister's statement that he was here, during the speech of my hon. and learned Friend, and I recollect that he was, but when my hon. and learned Friend concluded his speech for a very considerable time indeed the Committee had no guidance from any Member of the Cabinet. No one but the Attorney-General was in his place in the House. Probably on the discussion of one of the most important parts of the whole Home Rule Bill, and one of the most important Amendments to it, there has seldom been a case in which even this House of Commons has been subjected to the degrading treatment it has received from the Front Bench opposite to-night. For myself I say 1320 perfectly plainly that this circumstance, and the method under which the House of Commons is arriving at a decision upon this important point, is the culminating point in satisfying us of the total farce of these Debates, a farce amid the daily discharge of which we may at least satisfy ourselves with the constant reflection that however long its lasts here, or by whatever actors it be played, the ultimate decision will not be taken in this House which will determine the fortunes of Home Rule.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
For the simple reason that after a careful examination of the Amendments I conceived this was the first reasonable opportunity of stating in public my opinion that these Committee Debates are a farce.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I fully accept the explanation, but it does not in the least meet my case. If the right hon. Gentleman thinks it worth while to once again grace this House with his presence, he might at least make his speech in a reasonably calm and polite way, especially when he is dealing with a matter which requires that sort of consideration. He charged the Prime Minister and other Gentlemen on these, benches with not being present. All through the beginning of the Debate we had not only the two Ministers who have been mentioned, but the Chief Secretary has been here—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—except for a very few minutes. We are worn out with paying deference to arguments that reach almost the verge of absurdity.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Hon. Members have had a strong speech on their own side; I hops they will listen to the right lion. Gentleman.
§ Mr. LOUGH
The Prime Minister made a speech which delighted all of us on this side of the Committee, and I believe it was an argumentative and complete reply to everything said on the other side of the Committee. I will analyse one argument that the right hon. Gentleman presented, an argument which he spun out at great length, and I can show the almost absurdity of the conclusion which he presented. He was dealing with the Prime Minister's point that forty-two Members would be here, and he said twenty-six of them would be Nationalists. Then he said, "Think of the crucial divisions which twenty-six would influence," and he painted it in the blackest colours. We all here saw that it was not a question of twenty-six. It is a question of ten. Twenty-six would be on one side and sixteen on the other.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
What I said was perfectly correct, and was indeed borrowed from the Prime Minister. He deducted the Ulster vote on the hypothesis that it would be cast on one side and the Nationalists on the other. The figure that remains is twenty-six.
§ Mr. LOUGH
All I can say is I am sorry I am obliged to differ in that little particular from my right hon. Friend. I have studied the Schedules very carefully, and I do not think the Nationalists would be able to send up more than twenty-six, and you would have to deduct any that came up to represent the opinion of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. I should like to look at the main argument which was presented in the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite. It was altogether a financial argument. He departed altogether from the broad considerations which have turned up in the Debate, and he put one point solely, and he urged it with a vehemence which, I think, the Prime Minister reflected upon. He said, "Here is Ireland, a pauper country, which cannot contribute a penny to the common resources of the United Kingdom. You allow that country to send up forty-two Members to interfere continually in your debates." I could wish that the Amendment had been moved in the spirit of the hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke from this side of the House, and who, without referring to finance, dealt with the question of the retention of the 1322 Irish Members. I have great sympathy with the argument put forward by the right hon. Gentleman opposite that there is a difficulty about the retention of the Irish Members in this House; but look how perfect the Bill is in this respect. Compare it with the Bill of 1886 and 1893. There are only forty-two retained. If there is objection to it everyone, must admit that the objection is far less than it was in the previous Home Rule Bills. But at the same time I quite recognise that when the day comes when Ireland will be able, I hope, to make some proper contribution to the common expenses of this country in addition to discharging all the expenses of her own country, this Clause might very well be reconsidered, and I will ask the House to remember that it is a compromise Clause, and that it is for a transitory period, and from this point of view I think, if hon. Gentlemen opposite were a little reasonable, they would admit that there is merit in the proposal compared with either of the past proposals, and they might accept the Clause in a spirit of compromise.
I want to go into the main question put by the Mover of the Amendment. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, "What right has this pauper country, which cannot contribute a penny to the common resources, to have any representation in this House?" I think that matter of the contribution ought to be mentioned as early as possible. The hon. and learned Gentleman did not go into it. You cannot mention this financial matter without remembering that it has a past, which was very long, as well as its present, which is very short. What year are we in? We are in the 111th year of the management of Irish finances by this House. What happened for 100 years? Throughout 109 years Ireland made a noble contribution which reduced the country to a state of poverty and degradation, which made her a byword amongst all the nations of the world because of the great exactions which this country wrung from her. I might take the year 1849 as an illustration when she was in the midst of that terrible famine. Then the House wrung out a contribution of nearly £4,000,000, and if you take the year 1859, this House was wringing out £5,500,000. So throughout the whole 109 years a contribution was wrung out of the blood of Ireland such as a poor country was never made to contribute by a rich and unscrupulous ruler. I could give the history 1323 of the whole 109 years in a sentence. At the end of the 109 years, when the balance was struck over and above all the expenses of Irish government, and everything that this House had lavished on the island, Ireland had not only paid all her own expenses, but £325,000,000 in excess.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I will give a perfect answer. I left out interest on both sides. If you bring in interest there is £500,000,000 to be repaid. I give the right hon. Gentleman the benefit of that little wretched debt, which was built up and manœuvred by the unscrupulous activity of this House. That was a most unfortunate interruption for the right hon. Gentleman. If I had included interest the amount would be nearly double the sum I mentioned. Then let the Committee consider this, which was thought to be a point by hon. Gentlemen opposite who are ill-instructed on the facts, so it was rubbed into us in the most nasty way. This House took out that huge contribution until the balance over and above all expenses of Irish government amounted to the great sum I have mentioned. Now I come to the present. You would think, to hear hon. Gentlemen opposite, that Ireland had been a pauper at the door of this House through all that period. There have only been two years in which there was not a balance—last year and the year before, and the whole amount of the difference was £1,000,000 the first year, and £800,000 the second. So here you have got, in favour of those Imperialists who are not ashamed to thrust out this unworthy argument of £ s. d., £1,900,000, and you have in favour of Ireland on balance £323,000,000 in excess of all the cost of government. I am quoting facts, and not a man can get up and contradict them. One right hon. Gentleman intervened, but none of the rest seem likely to do so. This matter has been examined by two Royal Commissions. I only wish that we had all the evidence that we could get from the second, but the second agreed with the first, and I have summed up the conclusion that both arrived at in the simple and true story I have told the House. If that be so, and if Ireland made a splendid contribution towards Imperial expenses for such a long period, I ask the House to give a moment's patience to the inquiry why she is short now. What else has happened in those two years?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The right hon. Gentleman is quite right. The Amendment raises the question of there being no representation in this House as long as there is a deficit, but I do not think he should go into explanations as to why there is a deficit.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I was merely going to say that the deficit has been caused not by the Irish, or by anything they said, but by the good or evil management of your own Chancellor of the Exchequer. You do not conclude the history of the two years when you say that they show a deficit. There has not only been a deficit built up, but there has been a huge extra burden of taxation thrown on Ireland.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I wish the right hon. Gentleman would recover his good humour. What matter who voted for it? I am speaking of the facts, and I say that in these two years of the deficit the heaviest burden of extra taxation which was ever thrown on Ireland in a short period was imposed. The Mover of the Amendment said we must fasten our eyes on this little deficiency and because of it, we must condemn this Clause and we must not admit any Irish representation. It seems a most extravagant and unreasonable argument. The hon. Member was trying to remember what the House will have to do in regard to Ireland after the Bill has passed. As he said, this House would have to deal with land. We tried to prompt him, but we could not get his attention. I will remind the House of one or two things that the House will continue to do even when a Home Rule Parliament is set up in Dublin. I would remind the House most seriously of the great and mighty functions of Government which the House will continue to discharge. All the taxation of Ireland will continue to be devised and imposed by this House. If the whole of the taxation is to be imposed, and it now amounts to something like £12,000,000 a year, if all the burdens which are thrown on the back of this poor people are dealt with here; at least all but any small addition that the governing Parliament can make, is it not reasonable that there should be at least some Irish representation here to see that the matter is carried out fairly. That does not exhaust it. There is the land question; there are all 1325 the reserved services; there is the insurance question and the question of old age pensions, and, for a period, the question of the police. I would ask hon. Gentlemen opposite to deal with this argument in a fair spirit.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
Will the right hon. Gentleman explain how the fact that these numerous services are reserved during the transition period will relieve congestion?
§ Mr. LOUGH
That is another point. Forty-four will not cause so much difficulty as 103. There will not be so many of them. This House will have done something to conciliate Irish opinion. I anticipate that there will be good feeling and no spirit of acrimony between the two Houses. Therefore I say the Bill is so constructed that it diminishes the very evils to which the right hon. Gentleman has called our attention. Having regard to the very small amount of the deficit for the last year or two, and the important services which are to be reserved for a time, and when we remember also the transitory nature of the Clause, and that as soon as an equilibrium is struck the whole matter is to be reconsidered, I say we ought to agree to this workmanlike proposal, which contrasts well with the proposals made in 1886 and 1893.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
I am not surprised that some hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway thought that my right hon. Friend (Mr. Lough) was out of order when he alluded to the financial aspect of this particular question, because the course of the Debate, so far as I have observed, has entirely given the go-by to what the Amendment actually proposes. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the Walton Division (Mr. F. E. Smith) made a long, characteristic, and exciting speech, but from beginning to end, so far as I could follow him, he never alluded to the proposal of his learned Friend (Mr. Cassel), which is that Ireland should be unrepresented in this House until the deficit is wiped out. I do not know whether the hon. and learned Gentleman is in favour of the total exclusion of Irishmen from this House or not, or what his scheme is, or whether he has any preference for one over another. It seems to me, therefore, scarcely worth while dwelling very long upon his speech, because it appears to be the speech of a man who simply raises difficulties to a scheme he desires to destroy and who does not contribute 1326 anything in the nature of useful suggestion for the solution of a difficulty. The hon. and learned Gentleman drew a lurid picture of what will be the state of things in this House in future if forty-two Irish Members come here. They would dominate Governments. They would settle the fate of great policies. But that is the state of things now—in a far more accentuated way. There have been, remember, in this House, practically during all last century, a large body of Irish Members whom you constantly accuse of sinking minor difficulties and putting on one side minor questions in order to concentrate themselves on the one great demand which they make for the restoration of Irish self-government. This is the case at present. During last century you had this large body of men coming here with this single object. Why, you constantly accuse us you say, "You voted for a Budget you did not believe in in order that you may get a Home Rule Bill." You have 103 Irish Members coming now, and you actually get up and protest against forty-two, which, as my right hon. Friend opposite has said, is, at any rate, a mitigation of the evil by one-half.
It would be quite easy to show that the, other arguments of the right hon. and learned Gentleman are equally transparent. I have not risen for the purpose of going into matters of that kind, and I am most unwilling to occupy the attention of the House upon this or upon any other portion of the Bill. I have only risen because I wish to put quite clearly before the House, as it has been put more than once, our position on this question of Irish representation after Home Rule. The history of this question has been recounted again in this House. Mr. Gladstone proposed total exclusion in 1886, and I am obliged to the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. F. E. Smith) for reminding me of a speech which I made then, in which I said we were not all enamoured of it. I distinctly stated on that occasion that a federal arrangement is the solution of this question, and therefore I did not look with any equanimity on a proposal which would permanently exclude Irishmen from this House. The right hon. Gentleman says that is nearly thirty years ago. And win-has not the federal system been perfected since then? Where does the fault lie? With himslf and his Friends and the House of Lords. I therefore start from the position of one who desires to see 1327 representation of Ireland in this House because I believe that a federal system is the solution of this question. In 1893 Mr. Gladstone declared that he had changed his mind upon this question, and that he was convinced the country was in favour of the retention of the Irish Members. Mr. Parnell did the same before his death. He emphatically declared that he was in favour of an Irish representation in this House. Of course, pending the complete settlement of a federal system, a representation of Ireland in this House, no matter how small, will be an anomaly. I assure hon. Members in all parts of the House that we have no desire whatever to interfere in the settlement of purely English, Scottish, and Welsh questions, any more than we desire them to interfere in the settlement of Irish questions. [An HON. MEMBER: "No one will believe you."] That is part of the latter-day politeness of hon. Members above the Gangway. I have been long enough in this House not to allow my temper to be ruffled by interruptions of that kind, because I have always found these interruptions recoil on the men who use them, and so far from injuring an opponent injure the person who uses them. We have no desire to interfere in English, Scottish, or Welsh business, but, on the other hand, I think now, as I thought when I made the speech which has been quoted, that an in-and-out system is impracticable and impossible, and therefore, if we are to have representation in this House after Home Rule and pending the perfecting of a federal system, it must be representation with equal rights of voting on all questions in this House.
The only way to mitigate that anomaly is by reducing the numbers. The Government say forty-two. I do not suggest any particular number. I know Mr. Parnell suggested thirty-four, and amongst the reasons he gave for suggesting that number was that he thought the larger the delegation from Ireland in this House the greater and more constant would be the temptation in this House to interfere in purely Irish matters which were not their concern at all. Therefore, so far as numbers are concerned, I make no point. I say we demand representation in this House pending the creation of a full system of federation, and we are willing that our numbers should be cut down. That is the first reason why we say that representation should be given to us. The second reason I need not 1328 dwell upon, because it was fully dealt with by my hon. Friend. So long as this House retains control over important Irish affairs it is a monstrous injustice to say that we should have no voice in this House. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen say, "You are going to take over the control of your Irish affairs yourselves, and then you are going to govern our affairs." We are not under this Bill taking over full control of Irish affairs. The reserved services are retained, some of them for a period, and some of them for the whole period they will be in existence-—for instance, land purchase. For a number of years the police are retained. Then, on the financial part of the Bill, large powers rest in this House, and so far as that is so the argument used by Mr. Parnell on this question stands, namely, that it would be an unjust, thing to deprive us of representation in this House. That is our demand—a demand which has been explained more than once in times past and more than once since this Bill came to be discussed. We say to English, Scottish, and Welsh Members that they cannot help having an anomaly pending the completion of a federal system, and they make it so themselves by the fact that their Constitution is full of anomalies and inconsistencies. If you were to point out, one after another, all these anomalies, and say, "That may work badly," you would condemn this Constitution, and you would condemn the Constitution of every self-governing portion of the Empire. I myself earnestly hope that the passage of this Bill into law will be speedily followed by the passage of Bills dealing with the other portions of the United Kingdom Scotland and Wales. I do not see why there should be any long delay in the matter. If after the Irish Bill is passed a Bill is introduced for Scotland, I would insist, so far as any influence rests with me, and I am sure the Irish Members who happen to be here then would also insist, that Scotland should have representation in this House, as we have asked it, and that afterwards Wales—[An HON. MEMBER: "What about England?"] Well, England can take care of herself. I am not endeavouring to exclude England from a House, where she always has a majority. In that way in process of time this anomaly will entirely disappear, and you will have local Parliaments transacting local business in these various portions of the United Kingdom, and then you will have in the Imperial Parliament representatives from 1329 all those portions meeting here together and transacting only those matters which are common to them all.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
I desire to intervene in this Debate for a very brief time. It must be apparent that there is a view with regard to this Amendment held by those who take the same view as I do with regard to the Bill, and that it should be put before the Committee. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. J. Redmond) commenced with the usual criticism that my right hon. and learned Friend (Mr. F. E. Smith) had not dealt at all with this Amendment. I do not think the hon. and learned Gentleman can have been here when you, Mr. Chairman, ruled that we were to have a general discussion, and indeed, unless we get general discussions on these questions, it is absurd to suppose that under the conditions in which we are debating the Bill any of the principles that arise can ever be discussed at all. It is perfectly plain we have to discuss the general nature of this Clause, and when I remind the Committee that when this matter was on in 1893 the discussion on this one Clause took, as well as I remember, some five or six days, and we are now getting only five or six hours, I think any criticism as to dealing with the Amendment is very much out of place. After all we are dealing now with a very serious matter, even though we are only getting five or six hours, not merely a matter concerning an Irish House of Commons, which you may care very little about in your anxiety to be rid of us, but with a matter concerning the whole future of Parliament in this country, and the way In which this House is to be constituted, as well as English, Scotch, and Welsh affairs. The hon. and learned Member who spoke on the other side of the House said it also meant the question of whether you were to increase facilities for the corruption and degradation of the English Parliament, and in the circumstances it is very difficult in the time at our command really to go into this question at all. We can only discuss, I suppose, in the time given to us, this one Amendment.
The Amendment is that in the circumstances of creating an Irish Parliament with an Executive, and having control of their own affairs, the Irish people ought not to be allowed to send Members to this House until Ireland is making a contribution for Imperial purposes, and therefore the resistance of the Amendment means this, that although Ireland is going to contribute 1330 nothing to Imperial purposes, and although she is to have the control of her local affairs, she is still to continue to send forty-two Members to this House in order to control as well the local affairs of England, Scotland, and Wales. And I would point out that the question arises at this present moment in an entirely different form from that in which it arose in either J886 or 1893. For this simple reason, that in 1886 and 1893, by the provisions in Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill, Ireland was to continue to contribute something like £3,000,000 towards national services n this country. Therefore, when you go back to those two particular dates of the former Bills, you are dealing with an entirely different state of affairs from that which exists at the present time. Whatever excuses there was—I am talking now from the English point of view alone; I will say a word about the Irish point of view in a moment—in 1886 or 1893, I cannot see that any of the same arguments which were then used for leaving the Irish Members in this House remain at the present time. The hon. and learned Member (Mr. J. Redmond) who has just addressed us says that my right lion. Friend (Mr. F. E. Smith) in his speech contributed nothing to the Debate, because he was only raising difficulties, and he asked of which of these three alternatives was he in favour. I thought my right hon. Friend perfectly explained the position, and he did so in a quotation from Lord Morley in his "Life of Mr. Gladstone," which showed that this question in existing circumstances between England and Ireland is an insoluble one. The hon. and learned Gentleman cannot say to us, "Here is one impracticable and impossible position, here is another, and here is a third, and you are contributing nothing to the Debate, because you will not tell us which of the impracticable and impossible positions it is possible to carry out." The sole reason why we are going into this matter at all is to point out that all through these matters these different solutions are impossible and impracticable, and for my own part I believe that there is no subject so much as the retention of the Irish Members here that will be so unpopular throughout the country when it is understood as this particular solution which you put forward here.
I know perfectly well there are many men I came in contact with myself who before this Bill was introduced said, "At 1331 least, when you pass Home Rule, we will get rid out of our affairs of the Irish Members, who are there always as a nucleus to help to tear away everything that we hold dear and that we care about in their efforts for Home Rule." I think when people understand in the country that forty-two Members are to be here—I am sure I do not know why forty-two— and if there is even a gas bill or a sewage bill, or any other local bill, say, one connected with a railway running into any or the counties of England, to be able to prevent that Bill passing or to interfere with it in Committee—I think when they get to understand that these most ordinary affairs of local government are to be interfered with by forty-two Irish Members, who have their own Parliament and Exchequer and have, in addition, a contribution of £2,000,000 a year or more, from the men whose local affairs they are going to govern, then unless the English people have become so apathetic to all their interests that they do not care what this House does—and I think in many respects they do not—but unless they have lost all concern in their own interests, nobody but a lunatic would say that it was a possible condition to set up the retention of Irish Members in the conditions that I have indicated. Before I make an observation with reference to the effect which it will have upon Ireland, let me say that I quite see that the Prime Minister sees the difficulties; and then he says that there must be a transition period in which that anomaly will occur. He admits that there is an anomaly; he admits it is wrong. Of course, he knows it. He says there must be a transition period. Why must there be a transition period? How long is the transition period to last? Are we going to have another Statute of Frauds like the Parliament Act? There is not the least need of any transition period at all.
Look at the British North America Act, the Canadian Act, that created a Dominion Parliament and a provincial Parliament all in one measure. I believe it is the only way you can create it, and I think if the Debates upon this Bill have shown nothing else, they have shown that so far from your proceeding in the direction of federated Parliaments you are going exactly in the opposite direction. I think the Debates have shown that there is not a single thing in this Bill which would be applicable to any other Parliament which you would set up in this Kingdom. But I think what is more, that by 1332 this Bill you are putting it out of your own power ever to create the federated system which you pretend to be about to set up. What would you have to do when you bring in, if you ever do, a federated system for Wales, England, and Scotland? You will have to go over and ask in Dublin, the Irish Parliament, to allow you to modify their Constitution, so as to make it fit in with the federated system. Of course, you will have to do it. You will see that in five minutes if you think out this matter. What is to be the basis of your Constitution? Is it to be the basis in this Bill? Then you will have none. Is it to be Customs? Well, then, you will have to modify the relation of Customs under this Bill. So far as I can see, there is not one single atom of basis laid down in this Bill which will be suited to the federated system which you yourself profess to take up. No! This whole idea of federation is the dug-up remains of something that was buried with the Home Rule Bill of 1893. It was brought forward then and suggested from time to time, and has laid dormant ever since, and when the hon. and learned Member says, "Whose fault is it that this Bill or the outline of this federation is not now ready?" he gets a great cheer by saying that it was the Fault of the Unionist party and the House of Lords. How? Hag nobody ever had the enthusiasm or the intelligence, in all these long twenty-five years, since this was first promised or suggested, even to produce the outlines of a scheme upon this matter which would hold water?
It is all a vast pretence, because you know perfectly well if you were going in for federation to get rid of this anomaly, which you yourselves admit is created under this Bill, you would not have commenced with Ireland. You would have commenced either with a Bill dealing with the whole question, or you would have gone to Scotland, where the ideals of the people are much more homogeneous than they are in Ireland, and where you would not, have raised up the vast differences which arise by reason of the fact that there are, more or less, two distinct nations living together in Ireland. The Prime Minister says very early, "We will settle this anomaly in some time." He did not say a short time, nor does he think it will be a short time, for he knows that he cannot, in present circumstances, for reasons which I will explain in a moment, even set out upon this journey, if it is a journey, towards federation. I will tell you why. 1333 He has not yet got England. At this present moment England is opposed to setting up this federated system. England is opposed by a majority of its representatives to this Home Hide Bill, and when the Prime Minister tells us that he is going to set out to establish a federated system, I ask him, is he going to wait until he has converted England to it! [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Then what is the length of time? Oh is he going to lay down that whether England likes it or not she will have it? He is giving it to the Irish because the majority of their Members ask for it. He is going to give it to England because the majority of their Members are opposed to it. No; he never can proceed with this federated scheme until at least he has got the predominant partner to consent to the matter, and he knows perfectly well that there is not the least probability of getting that consent, at all events, so far as one can see, in existing circumstances. I say that it only shows the whole insincerity of the argument that you pretend you are going for federation to cover up the defects of this Bill and to cover up the anomalies when you know you have not even yet got the vote of the majority of this House or from the parties principally concerned. I should like to make one observation as regards the allegation that has been made, that we are going to set free the central body. I agree with my right hon. Friend that that would be something gained by Home Ride. For myself, I have repeatedly asked to be told of any single advantage that will accrue either to England or to Ireland from Home Rule, and I have never got an answer, and there has been no attempt to give an answer. The right hon. Gentleman makes the assertion that it will set free this central body. That is a mere statement. He gave no instance why it would set it free. I believe myself—I may, of course, be wrong: T am not infallible, like the Prime Minister—that so far from setting it free. I believe it will raise greater complications from the very fact that you are keeping these Irish Members in this House. And for this reason. In the first place, as the Prime Minister himself said, you have all these reserved services. What are they? Land, police, trade, commerce, old age pensions, the Insurance Act. What else do we ever discuss in relation to Ireland that is not covered by all these?
In addition, you will have the constitutional question. Every time that the Irish? 1334 House of Commons wants to do something you disapprove you will have to bring Lord Aberdeen down to prevent it. You will have the Irish Members of Parliament in Ireland and the Irish Members in England, co-operating one with the other. What do you think they will be asking you for? Less powers? Is that the direction that things generally go when their powers are short of what they want to do? Do not you think that they will sell themselves again to you, as they have sold themselves now? Why not? If they want more power, why should they not say, "Well, here we are. We get up and complain of increased taxation, of the balance being brought against us upon account by your action, but at the same time we vote for it because, after all, we were only selling ourselves." I am not sure that they were not selling their country. But why is all that to cease when the forty-two Irish Members are here? Then there will be the question of money. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman has taken the trouble to follow the criticisms upon the question of money under this Bill. I myself have not seen, though I try to follow these things, as I am bound to do, one single criticism in Ireland that has been favourable to the Financial Clauses of this Bill. And you are going to give this Bill to Ireland while, so far as I know, everybody in Ireland, of whatever political complexion, is opposed to your Financial Clauses. What do you think the forty-two Members will be doing here on the question of finance?
When it comes to the Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer having to raise, as he is given power under this Bill to do, Irish taxation for the purpose of carrying out further purchase in Ireland—and everybody admits it will have to be raised almost at once—when he is doing that, and he finds he has, for instance, to put the taxation upon the farms of men who are paying hundreds of thousands a year in redemption of their holdings for the money that has been advanced to them, and when he tells these men, who are the bulk of the people in the country now, "Notwithstanding that your instalments are due, we have still to put upon you new and increased taxation, which you never anticipated," what do you think the Irish Members will be doing in this House1? When the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland gets up and says, "Yes, I do admit it is very hard upon you to put this money on Irish land with the instalments due, but 1335 the proper way to do it is to set up tariffs, or, in some other way, to increase the revenue, but we are not allowed by the Saxon Government to do that, and the only way is to put the taxation on you land holders, and you will have to pay these instalments," what would be the action of the Irish Members in this House? Do you think you will not have Debates here day after day, pointing out, for the purpose of rehabilitating Irish Nationalist Members, that it is impossible for these men to go on paying their instalments if, at the came time, the Irish Legislature is to go on increasing the taxation on land which is producing these instalments?
No, Sir; I believe it is an impossible system. I believe that in practice it will work out as between the two countries with far more friction and far more difficulty in this House than even under the present system. Knowing all those difficulties—at all events to my mind it is perfectly clear what is going to happen— knowing well that the ultimate goal of hon. Members below the Gangway is a Bill with far more extended powers—you may read day after day, if you take the trouble, in the Irish papers at the present time that that is the opinion of large parties in Ireland —knowing well that the hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for Waterford, if he is not prepared to go on with these people will, after this Bill is passed, have to turn out of the position he occupies; knowing well that all developments when they are from the central to, if you like to call them so, the subordinate authorities, always go in the direction of separation and not in the direction of unity, knowing all that full well, even though I should regret the breaking up of all interests between Irishmen and this Parliament I still think that even from the Irishman's point of view, and with the hope of less friction, it would be far better that the Irish Members should cease to sit in this House if you are really going to set up this Parliament under those conditions.
I think this Debate once more illustrates what I have said before, and repeated a great many times on other Amendments, the impossibility of the halfway house. You have to go on to the end. While, in my opinion, you are doing nothing for my country in keeping these Members here you are most certainly, as I think, ruining your own Parliament. But that is a result with which I do not 1336 concern myself. For the moment you pass this Bill and proceed to do what you say you are going to do, coerce the people in Ireland who have been on the side of the United Kingdom, I do not suppose I should care very much whether you ruin your Parliament or not. There it is. Upon which side, or on either side, do you get advantage by the retention of the Irish Members here? It is no answer to tell us, though it is the only answer we have got up to this, that this is the best expedient that you can hit upon, because no expedient can be hit upon that is not impracticable and impossible.
§ Mr. PIRIE
We know very well that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is no advocate of the federal system, but I believe his antagonism to it is not so fully shared by some of the hon. Members of his party. In regard to the question of the interregnum, when Irish Members are in this House of Commons before the full federal system is arrived at, on all sides it is admitted that it will bring about an anomaly and would not be popular. That is very acceptable to me, because the more unpopular the interregnum may be the better I should be pleased, for the reason that the Government would be bound to make it all the shorter. I had the opportunity of listening to the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, and I welcome the statement with which he closed his speech, and the assurance he gave of his complete sympathy with the ultimate aims of the Prime Minister. I acknowledge that the hon. and learned Gentleman not only spoke for himself, but the whole of his followers in Ireland, but as to the latter, I confess I am not quite so certain.
§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
When an hon. Gentleman makes a statement like that he ought to quote his authority. I absolutely deny it.
§ Mr. PIRIE
I withdraw my statement if the hon. Gentleman denies it, but I seem to have the House with me. 1337 It has been said that the only course open to this House is to mitigate the anomaly by diminishing the number of Irish representatives. My solution is a different one. I say that you would diminish the anomaly by shortening the time in which the anomaly exists. I cast my eye back to the description given by the Prime Minister as to the state of affairs in this House after the Home Rule Bill is passed. I think he described the state of the House that would then exist, and said that the Constitution would be incomplete, chaotic, and lopsided. Most of my colleagues from Scotland will remember, if those were not the exact words, that they were words bearing out that effect. It seems to me an extraordinary fact that we are here this afternoon engaged in work which would bring about a state of affairs incomplete, chaotic, and lopsided. I find it all the more difficult to finally approve of that system under that state of affairs when I hold in my hand one of the really cleverest pieces of work any private Member of this House has ever done. The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. MacCallum Scott), with infinite pain, has worked out a scheme, which has been already alluded to by an hon. Member, in which he makes it perfectly clear how perfectly possible it is to have one federal solution for the United Kingdom. That Bill of forty Clauses deals with every difficulty which the Cabinet and the Members of the Government individually have repeatedly said it was impossible to deal with in one Bill.
I, as a Scottish Member, can only deplore enormously that the Government refuse to take up this question on the lines suggested. However, we are in a minority. We have to accept the present state of affairs, and we can only urge our fellow countrymen to follow us in pleading that the time should be as short as possible. There is an Amendment on the Paper, but I do not know whether it would have been moved if the hon. Member happened to have been here. It was an Amendment of my hon. Frend the Member for East Aberdeenshire (Mr. Cowan), who is, I am sure we all regret, absent through illness. In that Amendment he proposes that the number of Irish Members shall remain the same as it is at present until there is a Parliament with similar powers conferred on Scotland. My hon. Friend, in that Amendment, was voicing a fear which we naturally have in reference to the future of our country. We have helped the Irish 1338 loyally. We recognise that the future is uncertain as far as Scotland is concerned, and we say: Why reduce the Irish votes from seventy to thirty? We strongly urge that it is only fair that as we have given help to our Irish colleagues, so they, in their turn, should be in their numbers to help us. There are three courses open to the Committee. First an Out-Clause, then an In-and-Out Clause, and now an In-Clause. My solution is the fourth, and what I advocate is that there should be no interregum at all, and that the Government should deal with the question, if not this year, then before the end of this Parliament. We have been told of justice to the Irish demand, and we have been told a reason why we should support it in what, I think, was one of the least sensible speeches which came from any Member of the Government. I refer to what was said by the right hon. Member for East Bristol (Mr. Hobhouse) who, last year, speaking in Bristol, said to his constituents that we are bound to support the Irish on this question of Home Rule because the Irish had always been faithful to the Liberal party. What about the Scottish—not assistance from them, but subservience from them. Why, someone said, and with; justice, that our claim should come before that of Ireland. I do feel that the present situation is in many ways a lamentable one for the country at large. What about the Unionist party? They have been in the past and are now, to a certain extent, coquetting with federalism. Whenever they get the chance, both parties are putting aside the best interests of the country for mere party advantage. The country at the present moment is being sacrificed and the best interests of the country are being sacrificed on the altar of party, and it is not to the credit of this House that that state of affairs should continue.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down will forgive me if I do not follow for the moment into what he has said about the concession of Home Rule for Scotland. I do not believe there is a single Member of this House who thinks there was any necessity for the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford (Mr. John Redmond) to apologise for his intervention in this Debate. Our complaint is that we do not hear him often enough. When I case my mind back to the old Debates on Home Rule, when there was some free discussion, I recollect that the Members from Ireland took considerable part in them in the various stages on 1339 Second Reading and in Committee. I am not only saying that because of the unlimited influence he has with the Government, but I also recollect that, after all, he is one of the high contracting parties to this treaty. I am not one of those who for a moment doubts his good faith when be tells us that he hopes that when this Bill becomes an Act there will be a voluntary agreement for the in-and-out appearance of Irish Members in this House only to take part in Debate and to vote upon questions which concern Ireland. I quite believe him, but will he be able to compel the forces of the future? Will he be able to do anything more to bring about this result than the Leader of the Labour party, who often tells us that he is against the use of violence in trade disputes, though he cannot control those who are behind him? In just the same way I cannot conceive that the hon. and learned Gentleman will be able to prevent those who come as a delegation, as a body of ambassadors, to this House taking advantage of their opportunities here.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) is so often put up by the Government Whips to defend the Clauses of this Bill that one imagines he must be in a large degree responsible for the drafting of its provisions. I wonder sometimes what post he will get in future—whether he will be the Lord Lieutenant of the new dispensation, or whether he will be the mysterious Minister who is to represent Ireland in this House on the grant of Home Rule. I do not believe there is anybody but himself here who would have called this Bill a perfect Bill or this Clause a perfect Clause. It certainly would not be the Prime Minister. I never heard anybody speak with a more melancholy sense of the difficulties created by this Clause than he did, and I have never heard him speak in this House with less of the cheers of his followers to back him up. He knows perfectly well that in the whole range and experience of federal government throughout the world, and there are many experiments to watch, you cannot find anything to compare in the slightest degree with the provisions of this Clause, which are really a caricature of federalism and perhaps the most impossible part of this Bill. The Bill itself is a hotch-potch of all the contradictions and of all the failures we have had in the British Empire, and of all I think that this Clause is the most ridiculous. We heard 1340 from the hon. and learned Member for Durham (Mr. Atherley-Jones) the voice of reason and the voice of candour. I was glad to hear something of an echo of the old Liberalism I knew in the days of my youth. The greatest characteristic of the old Liberalism was its intense reverence, even amounting to worship, for this House. Mr. Gladstone was never tired of stating that the one thing to be considered was the efficiency of our Parliamentary institutions. I should like to ask anybody how the efficiency of our Parliamentary institutions will be affected by this Clause, which is really an in-and-out Clause of a far more noxious kind than was introduced into the Bill of 1893. It is an in-and-out-Clause, because everybody knows the presence of the Irish delegation will depend, not on the merits of the case, but on the exigencies of the party position.
Mr. Gladstone foresaw perfectly clearly what would happen, and although it has been said that he acquiesced in the settlement of 1893, that does not mean that in 1893 he did not restate the arguments against the provision for the retention of the Irish Members. He said in 1893, and not in 1886, that he was afraid of their opening possibly the door to wholesale and dangerous political intrigues, and he made one observation in defending, unwillingly defending, as I believe, and I have some reason for saying so, the provision for the presence of Irish Members here, and that was those eighty Members would be found here on proper occasions, and those occasions would be somewhat rare. What would be those proper occasions? The proper occasions would be obviously those in which they could influence the Government of this country in their favour, either, as the right hon. Gentleman the learned Member for the University of Dublin said, for getting further powers for the Irish Legislature or more constantly for getting further funds for the Irish Legislature to dispose of, and to relieve the taxes of their own peasants. The hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Lees Smith) asked how it was possible for us who really had upon our shoulders the burden of saddling Ireland with fresh expenditure during recent years, to urge the argument that she ought not to be here because of the certain deficit and almost certain bankruptcy with which the Irish Exchequer is starting. The fact that we have to subsidise it from the first with £2,000,000 per year shows that. The answer is a perfectly plain one. There was not one large proposal of expenditure 1341 which was not only acquiesced in by the Irish Members, but urged on this House by the Irish Members.
The example of old age pensions was given, but everybody knows that the Irish Members called for old age pensions, and it there is a deficit it is because, being over-represented out of all proportion to population, Ireland insisted on this House giving her her fair share of all the different boons conferred on the population. Mr. Gladstone was always fond of urging that you must accept the representation of the different parts of the country here as conclusive evidence of the wishes of the people. If that is so, how can hon. Gentlemen opposite plead that we have forced expenditure on Ireland; and that because we have forced it there we ought not to take advantage of the fact of the deficit in order to deny them representation. There has been no compulsory expenditure; it has been the constant claim of Ireland for doles and for subsidies which no doubt has raised the expenditure, but which cannot now be urged as any reason for giving them a representation of forty-two Members here when they will have control of their own local concerns in their own Parliament. It is as certain as anything can be that the efficient working of our House of Commons depends on the regular and even balance of parties, and if there is a sudden intrusion of a foreign contingent, because that is what it will amount to, coming here for special purposes, then I think the working of our Parliamentary institutions must suffer. It means the degradation and demoralisation of this House, and, looking at the interests of Ireland, we are called upon to resist it. The hon. Member for Waterford has been long enough in this House to know that it is impossible to work our party system if you have this contingent at the call of the Government here, or of the Government in Dublin. The whole conditions of Parliamentary life will be altered, and I believe that it will be impossible to continue any sort of efficient working of the House of Commons if you have Irish Members brought in in this way and with this purpose.
I contend that it will be an in-and-out Clause, worked without rule and without precedent, and it is bound to end in failure. If I were to look at the interests of Ireland alone, I should say that it is likely to affect very prejudicially the working of any Parliamentary institution there. 1342 Mr. Parnell expressed the view that the best and brightest spirits in Ireland would elect to remain in the Irish House of Commons. I do not suppose the Chief Secretary shares that view. He probably thinks that those who have the larger ambition will find their place in Westminster. We cannot overlook the fact that we are holding out a pecuniary inducement to Members to come to this House. It is not likely that in Ireland the salaries of Members of Parliament will be on the same scale as here, and I do not think it is imputing any unworthy motive to men who have the ambition for a public life to say that they would prefer to fill the well-paid rather than the low-paid place. Therefore, for those who care for the working of the Irish Parliament, no worse step could be taken than to induce, as we do by pecuniary bribes, the best talent to come over to Westminster instead of remaining in Dublin. I hardly fancy that this Clause would have many supporters if we were to vote by ballot this evening. Only the other day I heard a Member on the other side appeal to the Government to allow Members on that side to vote according to their consciences. Nothing sounds more hollow in this House than to talk about political conscience; but I think that if Members were to vote according to their consciences to-night, no matter what may be their opinion on the general question of Home Rule, this Amendment would be carried and the proposal in the Bill decisively defeated.
§ Mr. AGAR-ROBARTES
I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman who spoke from the Front Opposition Bench that this is probably the most important Clause in the Bill, and I cannot understand how any Liberal Members who have any regard for the chief features of Liberal policy, such as education and licensing and matters of that sort, can for one moment consent to the retention of forty-two Irish Members m this House. Personally I have no objection to a small delegation of Members from Ireland to put the views of Ireland before this House. In fact, I have an Amendment on the Paper suggesting a considerably reduced number. I maintain that it is intolerable, unfair, and almost degrading that any Government, whether from this side or that, should live or exist in the constant fear of having forty-two hands pressed to their windpipe at any moment and on any provocation The Irish themselves will be enabled to decide a majority of their own 1343 local affairs, and in this House to hold the balance of power, as may often happen, and control the affairs of the English people. This Amendment is certainly a step in the right direction, and it can be justified on the old maxim that he who pays the piper has a right to call the tune. The British taxpayer will be paying the piper, while the Irish people will have forty-two voices to control the tune. That is what is described as justice to Ireland. If it is justice to Ireland to give Ireland control of her own affairs, why could not justice be equally meted out to England by enabling England to control her own affairs? I think I could make out a far more logical case for sending forty-two British representatives to the Irish Parliament to look after the money which the British taxpayer is to subscribe.
The whole proposal is an anomaly. It reminds me of a story of an Irishman and an Englishman who bought a cow between them. They tossed up to decide how they should divide the animal. The Irishman won the toss and chose the hindmost part. Shortly afterwards the Englishman came to the Irishman and said, "I want to cry off that bargain; it does not suit me at all." "Why not?" said the Irishman. "Oh," replied the Englishman, "I have got the head and have to do all the feeding. You have got the tail, and get all the milk." That, in my opinion, is an exact, analogy of the position of the English taxpayer in relation to the Irish Parliament. I would appeal to the few English Members present to realise how dangerous it is, if they have the chief features of Liberal policy at heart, to have forty-two Irish Members left in this House. For instance, I can quite imagine that their constituents are still anxious to see the Education Act of 1902 amended. I remember that in the election of 1906 the Education Act played a considerable part. "Justice to Nonconformists" was a very good war cry. The time may come when the Government will eventually redeem the promise which they gave the Nonconformists in this matter as far back as 1906. If that time comes, we cannot expect any help at all from Irish Members. So far as I know, they are against us on education. The same thing applies to licensing Reform. There are many earnest men in my Constituency who still hope that suck a Bill as the Licensing Bill of 1908 may be again introduced. In fact, they were promised it by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I remember very well his declaration 1344 that if he fell he would rise up from that war and fight again. We are still expecting him to rise. But the forty-two Irish Members will not support such a Bill. On the question of Free Trade, I believe that English Liberals are as firmly convinced as they were at the last election. In time to come we may have the question of Free Trade or Tariff Reform in the balance, with the Irish party holding the balance of power. So far as I know, the majority of the Irish party are Tariff Reformers, and then we shall have the British taxpayer having to submit to a double form of robbery, money being extracted from his purse for the Irish Parliament and taxes from his pocket for heaven knows whom. Therefore, in the interests of the British taxpayer, I shall certainly oppose this Clause.
I do not know if there are any Scotch Members present; if so, I would like to put a point to them. I do not think it is very material, because I have always looked on Scottish Home Rule as a joke— one of those pleasant touches of humour in which Governments occasionally indulge, and which may perhaps prove later on a grim jest for the Scottish Members. I do not imagine that many really believe that Scottish Home Rule is in the sphere of practical politics. My hon. Friend (Mr. Pirie) suggested just now that it was; but we are well aware that there are some people who will swallow' anything. I remember once, when turning over the pages of Johnson's Dictionary, I happened to stumble on the word "oats." It described oats as a food for horses in England and for men in Scotland. If the Scottish Members think that Home Rule is within the sphere of practical politics, I imagine that they will have to consume Government chaff. But if they are anxious to obtain Home Rule, surely it must be better that they should carry their own measure of Home Rule; that they should not be dependent on Irish votes, but should have an opportunity of settling the matter with the assistance of their English and Welsh colleagues; so that, if we ever reach the millennium, when Scotland has Home Rule, Wales has Home Rule, and Cornwall has Home Rule, these four nations would then be able to decide how many Members should be sent to the Imperial Parliament. But that is a matter to be done not now, but after the formation of these four different Parliaments. That, I think, is an obvious point to anyone concerned. Personally, not 1345 only shall I vote against this Clause, but if these forty-two Members are left to gnaw at the vitals of the British taxpayer, I shall on a later occasion vote against the Third Reading of the Bill.
§ Mr. HICKS BEACH
It is most unfortunate that during the discussion of what has been described as the most important Clause in the Bill, there should have been as one time only five Members on the Liberal benches to listen to the pertinent arguments put forward by the hon. Member opposite. I have listened in vain to find some valid argument put forward in support of this Clause. It appears to me that the arguments which have been submitted are mutually destructive. The chief argument of the Prime Minister was that it is necessary to have some Irish Members in the British House of Commons in future because so much more time will be devoted to the discussion of matters of Imperial importance. That argument was completely shattered by the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) and the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond), both of whom very clearly announced that the subjects of Irish importance discussed in this House after Home Rule has been granted will be very numerous indeed. It would be futile for anybody to deny that after the passage of Home Rule there will be numerous attempts made by the Irish represntatives to discuss matters which to them are of very great importance, such, for instance, as the taxation of Ireland in general, the administration of the Land Purchase Acts, and the reserve services, including the police for a certain number of years.
I am constrained to believe that the time of the House occupied by Irish Members in future will be very much more instead of very much less than has been the ease in the past. I was much interested in the speech of the hon. Member for Waterford, because he told us that for years past the Irish party had been dominating our affairs, and that therefore we ought to be only too glad when it was suggested that their numbers should be reduced from 103 to 42. But the hon. Member looks at the question entirely from the Irish point of view, and fails to recognise the English point of view, which I think is far more important, namely, that so long as we English people had an equal right with the Irish people to a say in the administration of Irish affairs, we 1346 thought it right that they in turn should have an equal right to a say in the administration of English affairs in the joint British and Irish House of Commons. But directly the Irish people are given control over a large number of their own affairs, in which the English people have no say at all, we, as English people, would very strongly resent the continued presence of forty-two Irish Members in this House. Not only will it occupy very much of the time of the House in the discussion of Irish affairs, thereby proving detrimental to the discussion of English affairs, but also the Irish representatives will have the last and final say in matters of great importance to the English people which really are of no importance at all to the Irish people.
I was also very much struck by another statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman. He told us frankly that, so far as he and his Friends were concerned, when they had Home Rule for Ireland, the forty-two members who came over here, would take no part in the discussion of English, Scottish, and Welsh affairs. I, for one, very freely and readily accept the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman; but I am bound to point this out, that in making that statement he is, in the first place, making a statement which I would only suggest he will in the future, owing to the force of circumstances, find himself unable to carry out; but, secondly, he is now making a statement which has the effect of showing his approval of what is call the In-and-Out Clause. We have the sanction and approval of the Leader of the Irish party to the old in-and-out Clause, which he himself criticised with great severity in the Home Rule Debates of 1893. Let me just give one quotation from a speech the hon. and learned Gentleman made on 13th July, 1893, in which he was speaking to the Motion of the then Prime Minister to omit those Sections of the Home Rule Bill which attempted to carry out the In-and-Out Clause. The hon. and learned Gentleman said:—I am glad, therefore, that the Prime Minister yesterday moved the Amendment which stands in my name. It seems to me that the in-and-out system is indefensible, grotesque and absurd, and that for two reasons. One, which to my mind is conclusive and unanswerable, is that it is impossible to make a division between Imperial and local affairs. … In my opinion, there is no English, Scottish, or Welsh matter but which might become a subject of Imperial concern in which Ireland would be interested. Take, for instance, the local veto. At any moment the fate of the Government might depend upon the decision of the House on that Bill, and the moment the fate of the 1347 Government depended upon the decision of the House on the Bill it would become a matter of Imperial concern. Assuredly that is unanswerable. What is more essentially an Imperial concern than the maintenance of the Imperial Government? Therefore it is impossible to provide any 'in-and-out' scheme by which we can make a division between Imperial and local affairs.That is very well expressed by the hon. and learned Gentleman about the in-and-out Clause. He tells us that he and his Friends, when they are Members of the British House of Commons, when they are forty-two members here, are not going to take any interest in English, Scottish, and Welsh affairs. That might be a perfectly honest statement, but perfectly impossible for him to carry out. As we know very well, we have only to think about this matter a little to come to the conclusion that the Irish Members sent over here would come here with some definite purpose. I should be very much surprised if one of those purposes was not to extract more money from the British taxpayer. I should be very much surprised if at that time all the Irish Members, Unionist and Nationalist, do not combine to exercise the whole force of their strength of forty-two to coerce the Government of the day. How can the Irish Members exercise their influence if they do not threaten to vote against the Government upon any matter of importance to the Government? The Government may be trying to pass an Education Bill, a Local Veto Bill, a Franchise Bill, or any other Bill which is of importance, but which strictly concerns only the English, Scottish, and Welsh people. If the Irish Members are to have any influence at all on the Government they are bound to exercise their vote on any of these Bills in a way detrimental to the interests of the Government. I say it is absolutely impossible therefore for any of the Irish Members to come down here and say, that if they are Members of this House at all they are not going to interfere, and interfere to the detriment of the Government in the administration of purely English, Scottish, and Welsh affairs. To my mind, if you have any Irish Members here at all they should be such a very small number that they could not have any real effect upon the Government.
What the number may be that will have no effect it is perhaps difficult to say. The Government only obtained a majority of three votes on a Division in the early part of this Session. Therefore three or four Irish Members voting against the Government would be quite sufficient to turn the 1348 scale in the administration of English affairs. That brings one to the conclusion that no system of the representation of Irish Members in this House can be satisfactory to English people unless some statement is made as to the federal Parliament to be set up in which there will be fair representation for the English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish people at the same time. Though the Government tell us that this Bill is the forerunner of federalism, and that they mean to carry out a system of federal government for the British Isles, I would like to ask when that federal system is going to be carried out? In the first place, the Government have to get the support of a majority of the electors of this country. I venture to say that there is no majority for this-system of federal government in the Unionist party nor in the Liberal party, and I believe if the two parties combined there would be throughout the country as a whole no majority at the present time for this system of federal government.
If the Government really mean to carry this system of federal government into practice, will they tell us now when they are going to bring in their Bill? If they did that, we might perhaps be inclined to put some faith in their policy. But we have a very keen memory of the promise on the Preamble of the Parliament Bill. Then we are told that the reform of the House of Lords was a debt of honour which brooked no delay. We have no sign-at all of that debt of honour being fulfilled! I think, therefore, it is not surprising that we are a little sceptical when we are told that it is the intention of the Government at some future date to introduce a system of federal Parliaments— a central Parliament for the whole of the British Isles, with local Parliaments for the rest of the United Kingdom. I believe this Clause, which imposes attendance upon the Irish Members in this British House of Commons, is the crux of the whole Bill. I believe that Lord Morley has very clearly pointed out that both the retention of the Irish Members here, the abstention of the Irish Members altogether and the system of the In-and-Out Clause discussed here—that all these three systems are bound to end in an absurd compromise. This system of Home Rule is absolutely unworkable, and the best thing that the Government can do is to withdraw not only this Clause, but the whole Bill.
§ Mr. JAMES MASON
I could not help being very much struck by the fact that the principal speakers on the Government side of the House during the whole of this Debate have made no attempt to defend the proposal contained in this Clause from the point of view that it is either workable or possible. The principal point put forward is that it is not final, and that it is only a compromise. I think that it is perhaps something new in the Debate to be told by the Prime Minister that this is not a final arrangement. But if it is not to be a final arrangement, I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would not suggest that it was not intended to be such an arrangement as would finally fit in to his ultimate scheme of federation—if he really means that that scheme is to be put into practice. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington, I think it was, suggested that it was merely a compromise. But I think it would be interesting to know whether in saying on the one hand that this is a compromise, and on the other that it is not a final arrangement, we are to understand that the whole of this question is going to be reopened; that the question of the representation of Ireland in this House is to be reconsidered again in a short time, or whether it is meant that it is not final, inasmuch as it is to be incorporated later in a scheme of federalism. The Amendment which is before the House is a most eminently reasonable one. It is based on what I believe used at one time to be the accepted maxim of the Liberal party, that taxation and representation went together. Of course, there is no attempt to deny that under this arrangement Ireland, although she will pay nothing towards Imperial or British expenditure, is to interfere in Imperial and British affairs, whilst we, who are to pay a very considerable sum towards the upkeep of Ireland's local affairs, are to have no voice whatever in the expenditure of that money.
What interests us here of course particularly is what is to be the practical effect of the presence of the Irish Members in this House. It is quite obvious that at times, when one of the great parties in the State has a large majority, the effect of the Irish representation here will be very small, as it has been in the past. We do not hear very much about Irish affairs and Home Rule Parliaments when the Radical party has a big majority. It is only when the one party is dependent upon the Irish vote for its existence that we have a large portion of the time of this House 1350 taken up with Irish questions. We are told, as we have always been told, that Home Rule is to be followed by federalism. If we take that seriously we must consider what are the conditions which are likely to be incorporated into that federal system. It is true that some of the provisions of this Bill seem to be extremely difficult to incorporate into a devolutionary scheme applicable to all the other countries. For instance, the Irish Parliament is to have the power to vary certain taxes, certain Customs, say, by 10 per cent. on the original tax. Assuming that condition were to apply to Scotland, Wales, and England, you would have—
§ The CHAIRMAN
We are not discussing the general principle of federalism, but only so far as it arises in this proposal of forty-two Members in the Clause.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. JAMES MASON
Of course, I will endeavour to keep well within your ruling, but I would only point out in my own defence that in transgressing I was attempting to point out that until this system of federalism is extended in such a way as to make that 10 per cent, vary from a datum line which does not exist at present, you would get into an absurd position. The Irish Members of this House will have a very large voice in financial questions affecting the Empire, and will vote not from the point of view of what is good in itself, or from financial considerations, but simply to suit variations which they themselves anticipate. Then we have the proposal that the Irish Members should interfere in a very large number of questions which solely affect this country, or Scotland, or Wales, and do not in any way affect Ireland. Surely there is something extraordinary about a proposal that will enable Irish voters at any time to control the policy of this House. While we are not to have a word to say about such things as elections and franchise in Ireland, they are to be able to interfere in any alterations which we may make in our franchise laws. The most absurd position is that affecting the Post Office. The Irish will have their own Post Office, yet if any proposal is made to alter or affect the Post Office of this country the Irish will have the power of very seriously altering the effect of such legislation.
It has been already pointed out that the power of the Irish will extend to the making or unmaking of Ministries in this country. That is one of the most obvious 1351 things. I think there is no more delusive argument put forward in support of Home Rule than the argument which has been persistently urged and very frequently put before the people of this country that the granting of Home Rule to Ireland will get over one of those acknowledged difficulties from which we suffer in this House, namely, congestion of business. It is put forward that if Home Rule is granted it will relieve this House from a great deal of congestion and enable it to devote more time to its own legislation. It is perfectly obvious that so long as you retain Irish Members, whether the number be forty-two or any other substantial number, they will be able by agitation and by using this House as a Court of Appeal from the Irish Parliament to occupy a great deal of time. There is nothing to prevent them raising almost every question again upon the floor of this House, and they will be able to produce a condition of congestion in this House which will be perhaps even worse than at the present time. If that is the case, and I honestly believe there is not the slightest doubt about it, then the only one advantage which Great Britain is supposed to derive from the passing of Home Rule for Ireland entirely disappears.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
I imagine that any stranger listening to the Debate this afternoon would think that the Government are in very great danger. He would have heard the speeches from the benches opposite delivered against this particular Clause; he would have seen the benches practically unoccupied, and he would have heard the Prime Minister's speech without even a cheer from his followers, and he would think that the Whips were in a state of great anxiety as to what would take place on the Division. I do not think there need be any anxiety at all. This Clause deals with the number of "watch dogs" to be sent over here from Ireland to look after Irish interests. We have directly opposite views as to what the number of these "watch dogs" should be, and as to what their duties should be. The hon. Member for Northwest Durham (Mr. Atherley-Jones) did not want any watch dogs at all. He believed they would be apt to be engaged in dark and dangerous intrigues. Then we had the hon. Member for Aberdeen, who said that if these Members came over here they would make the whole thing chaotic, lopsided, and incomplete. The hon. Member for Cornwall wanted to reduce them to three 1352 and a-half couple. All the same, I take it that the big battalions will win and that the numbers assigned to Ireland in the Imperial Parliament will be forty-two. Roughly, as I understand it, looking through the Bill and Schedules, that means that one Member will have to represent 100,000 inhabitants divided by five, so that there will be one Member for each 15,000 or 20,000 electors. What does that mean? Take Middlesex, which I represent. There we have seven Members and each Member represents something over 26,000 electors. Here we will have brought over from Ireland Members each representing 15,000 or 20,000, and seven such Members will be able to swamp Middlesex, although they do not take any real interest in the affairs of this country. Is that right and just? But I say this, speaking as an Irishman, if we are to have a delegation over here to represent Irish interests this twenty-one couple ought to be most carefully selected. They are to be a delegation, and, to a certain extent, a delegation on suffrance. Where you have no Imperial contribution you ought to have no Imperial vote.
Under the Government proposals will this delegation, which I say ought to be as efficient as possible, will it be the most efficient and will it be chosen in the most effective way, and will it represent all creeds and classes in Ireland as efficiently and fairly as possible? I say no. On the lines of the Bill the Prime Minister told us that of this delegation of forty-two he calculated eight would be Protestants and Unionists, and thirty-four would be Nationalists. This delegation will be to a large extent elected under our old friend, the block system, with all its inequalities and injustice. First, take the boroughs. In the boroughs apparently there will be a certain rough justice in an unjust way. What is going to happen? Belfast is one of the boroughs. It is going to return four Members to this House. Under the block system the four will be simply Protestants. That, I say, with all due respect to my Belfast friends, is unfair. Belfast under any other system would probably return not four Protestants but one Catholic and three Protestants, one of whom would be a Labour Member, but under the unfair block system it will return four Protestants. Dublin will return three under the block system. These three will obviously be Nationalists. That is absolutely unfair. One ought to be a Conservative and a Protestant, for, 1353 as a matter of fact, as is acknowledged, the Unionists and Protestants in Dublin pay more than half the rates, so we would be jockeyed out of one man there. Let me take the counties. I will show one or two injustices under the block system that will occur there. Take Dublin county. Dublin county is to return two Members to this House. Of course, they will be Nationalists. That is absolutely unjust. As I showed the other day under any fair system of proportional representation Dublin county will return half and half, the amount of Unionist votes and Nationalist votes being nearly equal. Take Monaghan and Tyrone. They are to be taken together, so that two Nationalists may be returned. In Tyrone, which has two Divisions at present, one of the Members returned is a Protestant and a Unionist. Monaghan has a very big Protestant minority, and under a just system of representation there ought to be one Nationalist returned and one doubtful, who might, however, be a Conservative. The condition of things is really more extraordinary when you go South.
One of the great arguments in the Debates of last week on proportional representation was that candidates seeking election in these great areas would have no chance. We were asked how could a man who is not rich go about kissing the babies and visiting the electors in areas of several thousand square miles? We were told the thing could not be done, and it was said how on earth could a man who was poor, and did not have a motor car, compete with the man who had one or two motor cars and had plenty of money to get several other motor cars? What does this Bill propose to do in the South of Ireland? First, take the county of Kerry. Kerry is a kingdom, and yet Kerry is not going to be allowed to send its own representatives to this Parliament. Kerry is going to be lumped on to West Limerick. Why I do not know. West Limerick is tacked on to the county of Kerry, and the two together are to send two representatives to this House, with the obvious result that one of those two "watch-dogs," who will be a Kerry man, will have to bark and bite for Limerick as well as Kerry. Take the county of Cork, to which I belong. What do we get there? South-East Cork is to be tacked on to West Waterford.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
And this Division has a coast line of 150 miles. That is a nice position. There is practically no train service in that great area. The roads are bad and the sea coast is pretty rough. Yet these Divisions are lumped together. I say that county Cork is not the county Waterford and the county Waterford is not the county Cork. Some few years ago I had the honour of attending as a visitor a meeting of the Waterford County Council at Dungarvan. There was a very interesting discussion about contractors upon the county Waterford roads who employed county Cork horses, and a strong resolution was passed that those contractors who employed county Cork horses while there were a great many Waterford horses to do the work should have a bad mark placed against their names and should be passed over for future contracts. That shows that the county Cork and Waterford do not work together. Take the present state of Irish politics. We have Cork City, represented by the hon. Member (Mr. William O'Brien) flying the All-for-Ireland flag, and the county Waterford, represented by the hon. and learned Member (Mr. John Redmond), flying the United Irish League flag. What is going to happen? You are going to have some unfortunate Member, under the Government scheme, to represent this grouped Division who will either be an All-for-Irelander or a Nationalist. He will have to be an All-for-Irelander in Cork and a Nationalist in Waterford. The thing is absolutely impossible. If we are going to have a deputation sent over to this Parliament, why should it not be elected or selected by the Irish House of Commons in the fairest way they can do it? Let the Government for the moment withdraw this Clause and this Schedule, and between now and the time this Bill passes into law let them set the boundary Commissioners to work, who, in a fair and impartial way, should try to arrange Divisions which will be fairly representative, and not counties cut up into strips. I have drawn up a Schedule myself which I could show to the Government. In this way we should get away from the ridiculous idea of such places as Waterford and Cork being grouped together.
§ Sir J. D. REES
The hon. Member for Aberdeenshire said that the hon. Member for the Scotland Division had "spoken with two voices," whereupon the hon. Member for the Scotland Division challenged that statement. I happen to have 1355 beside me a little book containing a number of quotations from speeches made by the hon. Member for the Scotland Division. I believe them to be accurate, because I wrote the book myself, although I did not write the speeches. I will read only two lines from the hon. Member's speech. The position of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division is that he is a Home Ruler, a Nationalist, and a convinced and ardent follower of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford. That is his position, but nevertheless he said at Ottawa, on 4th October, 1910:—He approved of a federal system of government for the British Isles, such as the province of Canada enjoyed, under a central Government.I am sorry the hon. Member is not here to explain himself, and it is not my fault that I could not throw this quotation at him while he was here. Nevertheless, he stands convicted unless he repudiates that quotation of being guilty of what the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire said of him. I will leave him for the moment and come to his leader who does lead the Nationalist party—there are some leaders in this House who do not lead. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford, commenting on the speech of the hon. and learned Member for the Walton Division (Mr. F. E. Smith) said:—The hon. and learned Member for Walton has said that he did not believe that there was anything in the statement of the Front Bench, that the present policy was merely part and parcel of a more complete policy of devolution which is to follow.Then the hon. and learned Member for Waterford said:—Whose fault is it that in thirty years this scheme has not advanced? It is the fault of the Lords and of the Tories.Those bodies are not so powerful in these times as I should like to see them, and I do not think they can do very much; but it was a far greater power than those two bodies that prevented Home Rule being passed; for it was the people of Great Britain who prevented it, and who will prevent it now. Why the hon. and learned Member for Waterford left that point out of account I really do not know. The hon. and learned Member went on to say that he had no desire to interfere with the affairs of England, Scotland, or Wales. I am quite ready to accept his statement; but will he be able to control the position in this respect? Probably circumstances will be too strong for him if he and his forty men in this House want something 1356 out of the Government, because they can squeeze a Government which has given evidence that it is squeezable in regard to matters like this. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford said, "I will not interfere." That is like an hon. Member of this House saying that a certain Clause when it becomes a Section in an Act of Parliament will be interpreted in a given way, whereas everybody knows that when a Bill becomes an Act every word said in this House about it is absolutely wasted. In case of a Section of that kind in Court, it is not the slightest use to refer to a speech of the Prime Minister, because any judge can disregard it. Even the youngest judge on the bench can disregard every word said by every Member of this House, however eminent.
What is the use of an engagement like that? The House has to consider how many members are going to be in this Parliament representing Ireland, and what is their effect going to be on the affairs of the United Kingdom. Upon that question the most sincere and solemn pledge of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford is not worth the breath which gives expression to it or the paper upon which it is written if it is put into writing, as indeed it will be by accurate gentlemen in the Press Gallery. He said that the Irish Nationalists under this Bill were not going to take control of Irish affairs. If that is a true description, what is the use of this Bill. The hon. and learned Member argues both ways. One moment it is no more than gas and water business and another minute it is going to satisfy the highest aspirations and ambitions of Irish Members. The fact is that it is going to give the Irish control of their own affairs, while at the same time a section of them are coming over here to retain control over our affairs. That is the real position under this Bill. Then the hon. and learned Member and other hon. Members went on to consider the probability, the possibility, and the practicability of the further development of the devolution policy, and this is a matter of the utmost importance. Every speaker who has addressed himself to this subject has said that he believes this policy of devolution is going to follow for Scotland and Wales, although most of them have disregarded England which has to pay. That is perhaps an oversight, but they have all made a great point that this policy of devolution is to be extended to England, Scotland, 1357 and Wales. Perhaps it may seem bold of an hon. Member who is not a Scotch Member to speak on this subject in the presence of at least one representative of Scotland. Scotland is a country better known to other people, because most of us spend a very great deal of our time there. I know, as a frequent visitor to Scotland and as a late Parliamentary candidate there, this talk about Home Rule for Scotland is the merest farce and pretence that was ever put forward. Nobody wants anything of the sort, nobody believes in it, and nobody believes it is ever likely to happen.
§ Sir J. D. REES
It was merely in passing that I alluded to that matter, but the hon. and learned Member for Waterford dwelt upon it for a longer period by the clock, and I hope I may express my belief in the fact that this is not part of a devolution scheme. If I went beyond my brief in giving an opinion about Scotland I must express my regret and hope I shall be in order in saying that its extension to Wales is impossible, as Wales is not a political unit, North and South Wales having no more connection than the country North of the Tweed and the country South of the Tweed, or than Yorkshire and Lancashire, or than any other parts of the United Kingdom. I believe Home Rule to this extent can never come into force until, as Lord Rosebery said, the predominant partner, which as yet is obdurate, is converted. I dispute altogether the assumption on which the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford was based, that this is a piece of a larger policy, to quote the late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and merely an instalment of a policy to eventually embrace different units of Great Britain which may be divided into separate entities for that purpose, but which most certainly will never follow the lines in speeches here commonly assigned to them. They may as regards Scotland, but I will answer for it that they never will as regards Wales, North and South Wales being absolutely antagonistic, having no common ties or solidarity.
I should like to refer to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington (Mr. Lough). It is a very good thing to be your own accountant, and, being for the moment in possession of the Committee, he made out to his own satisfaction 1358 —and this is relevant because a pecuniary basis has been put forward by many of my hon. Friends as that upon which the numbers in issue are to be calculated — that £123,000,000 are due from England to Ireland upon the account. One would like to know, as an elementary beginning, whether anything is debited in that account, to the Army and Navy, which has preserved Ireland as a nation and enabled it to have any income or government at all. It is perfectly obvious, if the account is anything but a sham one, instead of there being £123,000,000 due to Ireland, the balance would be, and in point of fact actually is, the other way. I see in the Report of the Committee on Irish Finance, it is stated the experience of the last few years does confirm the theory that a financial partnership with Great Britain leads in Ireland to a scale of expenditure that is beyond the requirements and beyond the natural resources of the country itself. That is a sufficient proof of the folly of those who are urging this policy without regard to its effect upon the purse. I am bound to say they are not the leaders of the party, because they are wise and wish to have no separation from the British purse, whatever separation they may want from the British Parliament It is now urged that in consequence of certain measures, and particularly the Old Age Pensions Act, the present deficiency on the Irish Account is not to be counted against Ireland, but in point of fact the Irish Members voted with one voice for old age pensions, and they will continue, through their forty-two Members, to vote for any measure from which they will gain any benefit so long as the money will come out of the pocket of that patient ass the British taxpayer. When he will rise in his wrath and object to these payments, I am sure I do not know, but I hope that day is not far distant.
The Prime Minister asked why you should exclude the Irish Members from the British Parliament. Is it not a sufficient reason that the Irish Members are praying to be rid of this Parliament? Their whole case is that they want a Parliament to themselves. They cannot eat their cake and have it. Why are they to have a Parliament to themselves and also to be in this Parliament? It is perfectly obvious they will continue to have a dominating influence. Some remarks have been made about the little effect the Prime Minister said the forty-two Members would have. Not long ago, upon a Motion of my own, the Government were 1359 defeated by forty votes only, and had there been twenty-six Members transferred, or if there had been as many Irish Members sitting in this House then as it is proposed to have under this new Constitution, they would have been in a minority. If there is one matter which concerns the whole of the United Kingdom absolutely more than any other it is the Budget, and I see on one occasion a Budget was defeated by only twelve votes. The two Reform Bills, the Reform Bill of 1831 and the Reform Bill of 1866, were carried by one vote and by five votes only respectively. Yet it is seriously contended that a representation of forty is not sufficient to give the Nationalist party an absolutely dominating position in the Parliament here. There are no less than eleven occasions on which a representation of that amount would have been sufficient to expel a powerful Government from office.
The Prime Minister actually said, "Why we gain in this House by being cut off from Ireland." He said, "To lose Ireland from a Parliamentary point of view is England's gain." If that is so, in Heaven's name let the loss be complete and the gain substantial. To argue that to cut off Ireland is a gain to England, and then to hold on to Ireland by forty Members, is the most extraordinary argument, coming from one of the great ability and mental dexterity of the Prime Minister, that was ever laid before this House. It seems to me he absolutely gave his whole case away. Why should this country pay the salaries of these forty Members? In every respect this Bill is wholly unfair financially to England. Why the British taxpayer—I call him again a patient ass, because he is that; he has power if he would only use it—should first of all pay these subsidies to Ireland, when Ireland ought to pay a subsidy to us for keeping the Army and Navy to preserve them, and then pay salaries to forty Irish Members to come here and interfere with him and prevent him being master in his own House, is something that passes the wit of man. Why Ireland, which contributed in the 1893 Bill, should now be credited with £2,000,000 a year from this country—an amount which, as has been shown by my hon. and learned Friend may be increased to any extent— is also a matter which passes the wit of man.
Not one hon. Gentleman who has spoken to-day has mentioned the tremendous commitments on account of land 1360 purchase which lie outside this account, and would make these other items appear small and insignificant. As to the use that these forty Irish Members will make of their vote, need any hon. Member carry his memory farther back than to what happened yesterday upon an Amendment moved to this Bill? The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary said, "I am with you heart and soul, but I cannot vote for women's votes yet," and then an Irish Member said, "I am burning to help you, but not now." The right hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench, and the hon. Gentleman on the back bench, made no secret of the fact of their convictions, but they admitted that those convictions were absolutely nothing compared with the necessity for using their vote for the material purpose of the moment. I think there is something to be ashamed of in that. It is said that the Conservatives objected to the inclusion of Irish Members in 1886. A great deal has happened since then, and the position has to be considered as it now is. I do not think that the historical aspect of this question really interests anybody or is of any importance. We have now to take into account existing circumstances. We have to consider whether forty Members should or should not sit here, and we have to say, supposing any Members are to sit here at all, why there should be so many as forty. To refer to the condition of things which obtained in 1886 appears tome to be wholly irrelevant.
A point has been made in the course of this Debate about the Union. It has been said it will be necessary to obtain the consent of the Irish to the repeal of the Union. But the fact is that the Irish and British Parliaments, as they then were, have disappeared. The present Parliament is a Parliament of the United Kingdom, and it alone has to deal with the whole of this question. If it decides in its wisdom or folly to cut off Ireland and give it a separate Parliament, surely not one argument brought forward in the last fourteen days in opposition to such a course of conduct can be otherwise than utterly inconsistent with the principle of a piecemeal federalism. It is evident that this Bill, like the programme of the Government, has to be altered here and amended there in order to satisfy the separate groups of which its supporters are composed. I maintain that the Irish elector is placed in a superior position to the British elector, who has no 1361 chance of belonging to two Parliaments. No one seriously thinks, not even the First Lord of the Admiralty, that England is by way of being endowed, or likely to be endowed, with a separate Parliament. The real function of England is to rule over the two islands instead of being ruled by them. The bargain made in the past between Ireland and England has been entirely to the advantage of Ireland since early days, when, no doubt, in regard to her industries Ireland had something to complain of. But this is to be a merely parochial Parliament. I have no doubt it will be parochial, dealing with the affairs of poor people. Does anybody believe that the forty representatives who are to come over here will be other than the most brilliant and able men in Ireland? They will be the men who should be attending to the affairs of that island, but they will come over here in order to enjoy the greater emoluments, the greater honour, and the greater amenities of life in London and of Membership of this House. The Irish boast that they have the control of something like sixty British seats. I know they have the control of one, because I came up against them. But if they have the control of sixty seats they certainly will have far more representation than is their due in the British Parliament. I have no doubt there will be a prospect of our seeing the best men from Ireland here. There will be one who will be missed, and that is the hon. and learned Member for North-East Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy), who, unlike most of his colleagues, appears to be really anxious to be a member of the parochial Parliament which is going to be concerned with the humble affairs of poor people. I do not think many will be as sincerely consistent as he is, and we shall have over here, I have not the least doubt, the whole of the brains and wit of Ireland, and instead of looking after this Home Rule Parliament which they are now fighting for we shall find that they will leave it to look after itself, and they will troop over here in order to squeeze the British Government and the British taxpayer. I have not heard throughout this whole Debate a single good argument why the Irish should run our Parliament. I know they want the run of our purse-strings, but I do not understand why we should allow them to continue to upset all our arrangements except for the purpose of making more corrupt understandings and, as I think, disgraceful bargains, with the British Government.
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
The hon. Member who has just sat down has entirely ignored the fact that all this Bill does is to replace the existing Union by a different kind of Union, namely, a Union in all those things which are common to Ireland and Britain, and separate only in those things which are special to Ireland.
§ Mr. CHAPPLE
There is a classification in this Bill of legislative functions—of functions that are common to both Countries, and functions that are special to each. The hon. Member asked, "Why have a Parliament in Ireland, and at the same time allow representatives from Ireland to come to this Parliament?" If you classify your functions into functions that are common and functions that are special, you must have two different kinds of representatives. You must have those in Ireland attending to those functions which are special to Ireland, and representatives here representing those functions which, although Irish, are also common to the two countries. That is the case under all federal systems.
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
It is Federalism. We have to accept the pronouncement of the Prime Minister. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Then I do not see how we can make any progress whatever. It has been alleged from start to finish that this Bill is the first step in a process of devolution. The Opposition are not prepared to take that step, but they have no right to say that we who take the first step do not intend to take the second step.
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
The Government is committed to take the second step when the first step is accomplished, and the second step is to give Home Rule to Scotland. [An HON. MEMBER: "He never said it."] The Prime Minister has said it over and over again.
§ Sir J. D. REES
May I ask the hon. Gentleman what is the statement of the Prime Minister to which he refers promising Home Rule to Scotland?
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
The statement was that this was a first step in a system of devolution under which Scotland would get Home Rule after Home Rule had been granted to Ireland.
§ Mr. HENRY TERRELL
Did the Prime Minister ever say that Scotland should get Home Rule at any time, and if he said so, when and where has he said it?
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
I will not pursue that point Perhaps I may add that it is only a matter of looking at the records to see how deeply not only the Government, but the whole Liberal party is committed to take the second step when the first step is accomplished. The difficulty that has been raised by having representatives from Ireland in this Parliament for a short period dealing with subjects which are Scottish and British subjects, but voted upon by Irish representatives, is only temporary. We are establishing a permanent Parliament in Ireland under this Bill, and when a complete system of devolution is established, the anomaly which is complained of, which would, if it remained, make the whole system lop-sided, will be removed immediately.
§ Dr. CHAPPLE
I find it in all the Federations of the world. Wherever you can classify legislation into functions that are local and functions that are special, functions that are central and functions which are peripheral, you have representatives in the peripheral body dealing with its special subjects, but sending representatives to the central body. I am surprised that any Member of the Opposition should cast any doubt upon that at all. Most of the arguments of the hon. Gentleman who preceded me are arguments in favour of complete separation. Assuming that you are not going to separate Ireland entirely from Britain, you must have Irish representatives in this House. If you are going to give complete self-government in Ireland you will give her complete power to raise her own Army and her own Navy, and to establish her own Customs, and give complete control to her own Members, and she will have no representatives here, but will be exactly as the Dominions overseas are, 1364 separated from this country, and having only the tie which binds the Dominions to ourselves. If you are going to have functions reserved for this Parliament, then you must of necessity have representatives coming from Ireland to represent those functions in this House. It would be a greater anomaly than any pointed out by the Opposition this afternoon to have this Parliament levying taxes in Ireland but not allowing Ireland to have any representation at all in this Parliament. So far as the deficit is concerned, I believe that is only temporary. I believe that by the practice of economies in Ireland, with the further revenue which will come from increased taxation, we shall revert to the conditions which obtained up to two years ago. If that financial deficit is only temporary there is no reason whatever why we should deny to Ireland representatives in this House until the accounts are balanced. So far as Scotland is concerned, she is prepared to put up with the defects that exist for that interregnum which will remain between the time that Home Rule is granted to Ireland and the time when Home Rule is granted to Scotland. Granted that a Parliament is granted to Ireland to attend to Irish local affairs, and that we are retaining control of some of those affairs in this country, I cannot understand the argument that Ireland should not be represented in this Parliament.
Sir GILBERT PARKER
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down belongs to that new school of thinkers on the Liberal side whom the Prime Minister designated as credulous optimists. He believes, for instance, that the Prime Minister said some time or other, and somewhere or other, that the next step would be to give Home Rule to Scotland. I do not know that the Prime Minister ever said that. He said this was the first step. It may be that the Prime Minister would attempt to give it, if he ever does give it at all, to England. I think when that time comes he will cease to be a credulous optimist. He may attempt to give it to Wales. There is no certainty in the matter. I regret to say to the hon. Member that, having followed the Prime Minister's speeches very closely, I cannot give him any encouragement at all in his belief that the Prime Minister means to do what he calls that great act of justice to Scotland. The hon. Member speaks about dividing the functions. Anybody who understands our Colonial Constitutions, or federal Governments, in any part of the world, 1365 must understand that it is the simplest thing in the world to divide the Imperial functions, the national functions, and the local functions, and that the object of this Home Rule Bill is to divide those functions. Does the hon. Gentleman suggest, what the Prime Minister has never done, that Customs and Excise and Post Office are not Imperial functions, and are not functions which have belonged in every federation within our Empire to the federal power? I have a Liberal friend who constantly says to me that the Prime Minister is a remorseless logician. I have seen the same phrase in a Liberal paper. I agree he seems very remorseless sometimes to himself and to his own party. I will show in one or two instances where he is remorseless in his own logic against his own policy as embodied in this Bill. For instance, the Prime Minister said this afternoon that the federations which were formed within the Empire were formed by a number of provinces coming together and yielding up their powers to a central Government, and then he said the object of these federations was to give local responsibility to local States and provinces. I deny that absolutely. It is not the case. It was not the case in Canada. You had in the province of Canada two States joined together, in composition like Ulster and the South of Ireland—a French Catholic population and an English population—and federation sprang from the fact that a larger union was needed. The federation of Canada represented, not a delegation of powers to provincial assemblies, but a union which would enable any kind of federal Government to be established which would solve the problem, as Lord Durham called it, of those two races warring between the body of a single State. I have heard the Postmaster-General, the Solicitor-General, the Attorney-General, and the Prime Minister all state this fact, but history is on my side. Those who read history, not only intelligently, but with knowledge, know that the fact I am stating is correct.
§ 9.0 P.M.
Sir G. PARKER
I allege nothing. I am stating what I believe to be facts which have never been controverted by those who have made any study of the Constitutions within our Empire. Let me take the case of South Africa. There you have the Government, of this country giving to the Transvaal a practically independent 1366 Government. You had the Transvaal yielding up that independent Government to the control of three other States—Cape Colony, Natal, and the Orange River Colony. She yields up her complete control to a Union Government. But what are the powers of the States of the South African Union at present? The Prime Minister and his colleagues, when that question came up in this House, when the hon. Member (Mr.Orde-Powlett) moved that the very powers which were granted to the States or the Provinces or the Colonies in the South African Union should be applied to Ireland, said, and the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Redmond) said, "No, those powers are insignificant; they mean nothing."
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I am quite aware that the discussion has proceeded on very wide lines this afternoon, but I really think the line which the hon. Gentleman is pursuing is more adapted to a Second Reading Debate. I must ask him to confine his remarks more particularly to the Amendment.
Sir G. PARKER
The discussion has been wide and the Prime Minister and other speakers have dealt with these very points with the idea of making us believe that the Constitution which has been granted to Ireland was in line with the Constitutions which have been granted elsewhere. Let me give my reasons for supporting this Amendment and why I think it would be well not to give the Irish Members the right of sitting in this Parliament. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond) said this afternoon that it was an anomaly for Irish Members to be sitting in this House while there was not yet a federal system established. The Prime Minister himself has spoken of his own scheme as illogical, lop-sided, and in fact as a makeshift. I want to ask the Committee if it is illogical to send Irish Members to Westminster, why do it? [An HON. MEMBER: "Temporary expedient."] Yes, but the question then arises what is the effect of that temporary expedient? If it is to put out of joint the legislation of this House and to enable a party of some forty Members to decide English, Scotch, and Welsh questions, the injury done to this Parliament and to our Constitution is infinitely greater than if we waited to have Irish Members sent to Westminster under a federal Constitution given symmetrically as it has always 1367 been in the case of our Oversea Dominions. They give new Constitutions to provinces in our Oversea Dominions. Alberta and Saskatchewan got them a few years ago, and I was present at the inauguration. What was to prevent the Prime Minister from leaving the Irishmen to represent Ireland in their own country and leaving this Parliament unfettered and unhampered by what the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Atherley-Jones) described this afternoon in terms which I will not use? They were more violent than I am in the habit of using, but he spoke of bargains, of an unhealthy and dangerous kind, and he quoted Mr. Gladstone as speaking of dark and dangerous intrigues. That is what the hon. Member, a life-long Home Ruler, prophesied would happen when Irish Members come to Westminster in their new position.
Let us see what they are going to do at Westminster. You will have Irish Members who will be able to control our legislation here and to decide the fate of Governments. You will have also Irish Members coming here who may have seats in the Irish Parliament. They can detach themselves. It is another anomaly, and a gross anomaly, in this Home Rule Bill that a Member of the Irish Legislature may also sit in this Legislature. What is to prevent a number of members of the Irish Legislature being elected for this Parliament, and adding thereto, not as Irish but as English Members their influence with the forty Irish Members who will be here from Ireland to produce the effect they desire with respect to those things which they think would be for the benefit of Ireland. In the great controversial questions which will arise these Members with double constituencies in Ireland and here will be playing their double part, bringing, as they ought not to have a right to do, a double dose, I will not say of original sin, but a double dose of Irish interference in British affairs. Besides that, you will have also a time when there may be some more Irish Members summoned to Westminster when financial matters come to be considered. You will have a delegation coming to discuss these financial relations and adding their influence to those who sit for Irish and English constituencies, thereby really making a farce of constitutional government as we have hitherto understood it in this Empire. If you were going to have a federal scheme of Home Rule, then the 1368 only logical thing was to have brought in a federal scheme. If you do not do that, and if you do what you are doing now, then the only logical thing is to exclude Irish Members until you have fulfilled the pledge given to the people of this country and to this Parliament, and which the Prime Minister has declared to-day it is his deliberate intention to do.
You have got, as I think, not merely an anomalous constitutional position, but you have this situation: These double functions of Irish Members on this side of the Channel, acting in concert with the Irish Legislature when something is desired for Ireland, will produce a kind of effect that nowhere within our Empire would be permitted in any federal consititution, because in any federal constitution the members from each province come under a clearly defined scheme with fixed numbers proportionate to the whole numbers in the Dominion or Commonwealth. They have their own legislatures, but they do not sit in these legislatures. There are legislatures which represent their interests in their provinces. They come to represent national interests. If I was assured that every Irish Member who came to this Parliament—I am speaking from the standpoint of logic, for I oppose the Bill—would be what every Member of the Imperial Parliament should be devoted to the Imperial service first, and would remember that he was a Nationalist in the larger sense, I should find greater difficulty in making my argument to-night. But there has never been a sign, to my mind, and there has never been a promise upon the opposite side from those responsible for the Empire or the United Kingdom that Members below the Gangway will do as English, Scotch, and Welsh Members do now, namely, sink their local differences in view of the larger and greater principle, and the larger and greater responsibility. It is because of that that I feel so strongly, and that I support this Amendment tonight, while at the same time I say that in any federal system you ought to have full representation according to population in this House, drawn from the best men in every portion of the United Kingdom for the specific purpose of dealing with Imperial and national affairs.
You have not got it, and you cannot get it under this Bill. The temptation to hon. Members below the Gangway is natural. If I were in their position, I do not think I should be able to escape the temptation, but it is, to my mind, a thing which history 1369 will condemn, that a Government representing this great Empire, and which is supposed to set an example to all Administrations throughout the Empire, should suborn the principles which have governed constitutional procedures in the past, and should give us this Constitution for Ireland which mixes up the functions of the Imperial Parliament with those of a local Parliament, and which puts into the hands of a sectional, and, I was going to say, fanatical element, power which for their own purposes in this Imperial Parliament will enable them to make and unmake Governments. I think it ought not to be. I think hon. Members on the other side of the House who, whatever may be said of them, are at any rate men who read, write, and think, are not fair to themselves in accepting what not one of them could stand up in this House and say is a logical thing. You acknowledge it is not logical. If it is illogical and also unworkable, if it is illogical and also unjust, and if it illogical and thrust into the hands of a dissident, and, so far as this Parliament is concerned, unpatriotic minority, then I say, it is a Bill which we ought to reject, and it is a Bill which this Amendment can do nothing to make right. I will support the Amendment because it is in itself logical, and because it has behind it the traditions and experience of the whole Empire.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I hope that some reply will be forthcoming from the Government Benches to speeches from this side of the House, which have not received any answer except in sporadic speeches of some hon. Members opposite. Our grievance is perfectly obvious to His Majesty's Ministers. It is that we cannot conceive, or we cannot tolerate with patience, that forty-two Irish Members—though I understand from the Prime Minister's speech that the number is alterable should come over to this country, and, having had their expenses paid by England and Scotland, should deal with matters which purely concern England and Scotland themselves. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) gave us a lecture this afternoon on courtesy. He said—I suppose it was a sort of rhetorical statement—"We tell you that if we come over forty-two in number, we shall not interfere with your English Bills." It is not quite true that they do not do so now. There was a private Bill the other night which was carried by their vote. But leaving that out of account for the moment, 1370 the hon. and learned Gentleman seems to forget, as he and his party so often forget, that they have passed words which they have never taken back, and which are called to their memory by ourselves. The hon. and learned Gentleman said, indeed before we had time to interrupt, "This is part of the new courtesy which is extended to hon. Members in the House of Commons to say, we do not believe you." Nobody had said they did not believe him. But supposing they did not believe him, he had only himself to thank. I know that the speech has been already referred to, but this is what the hon. and learned Gentleman did say in that famous Debate on the 13th July, 1893:—I have heard a friend of mine say that the Irish Members could have no concern with purely English matters. Now in my opinion, there is not an English, Welsh or Scotch matter which might become a, subject of Imperial concern in which Ireland might nut have an interest. Take for instance the Local Veto Bill. At any moment the fate of the Government might depend upon the decision of the House upon that Bill. The moment the fate of the Government depends upon the decision of the House upon the Bill, the Hill would become a matter of Imperial concern.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
Hon. Members opposite say "hear, hear." Very well then, it is perfectly true that the Irish Members, in contradistinction to what the hon. and learned Member for Waterford has said, would take part when they came back forty-two in number, in purely English concerns; because it is impossible for them, as he himself said, and as Mr. Gladstone and Lord Morley said, to make any real distinction between what are English and what are Imperial concerns. The hon. Gentleman who is interrupting me with sotto voce interruptions, will not say himself what are purely English concerns. If he can I am perfectly certain that his colleagues on the Front Ministerial Bench would be only too glad to have a schedule of them, as it would make the conduct of the Bill a great deal easier. The Prime Minister mentioned, as a point to the disadvantage of the Unionists, that in 1886 they voted against the exclusion of Irish Members. That is perfectly true. They voted against the exclusion of Irish Members at a time when Ireland was contributing a very substantial sum towards the Imperial Exchequer and Imperial expenditure. From what I recollect I think that Ireland was contributing in 1886 between three and four million pounds a year, and if the Whigs, or whatever the name of the hon. Gentlemen representing them on the other side of the House, had any faithfulness to their old traditions, they 1371 would remember that as a corollary to "no taxation without representation" comes surely "no representation without taxation." If it were otherwise, Canada and Australia would have a perfect right to be represented in this House. It is simply because they are not taxed by the Imperial Parliament that they do not claim to be in the House at the present time. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington tried to diminish the force of our argument by saying that really we were cavilling at a very small thing when we said that the deficit of Ireland at present was so much that that country could not expect to be represented until that deficit was done away with. He told us, to my enormous surprise—because this is one of the questions in which I have taken a very considerable interest for a great many years past—that this deficit has existed only during the last few years, and did not come to more than £1,500,000 or £1,900,000 at the very most. The right hon. Gentleman said, "Nobody rises to contradict me." It did not seem necessary to contradict him every time he was wrong, or we should be all rising up against him during the whole of his speech. One remembers that Lord MacDonnell, who is, I believe, one of the divinities worshipped by the Chief Secretary, said himself, in a letter to the "Times" on 4th November:—When Mr. Samuel, in the Debate on the Irish Police Amendment on 28th October, speaks of the present deficit of £1,500,000—which, in rough figures, is what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington stated—This language is, if he will pardon me, most inaccurate as a description of the relative fiscal situations of Great Britain and Ireland under the law at the present time.Of course it is. It is singularly inaccurate, grotesquely inaccurate, and misleading. The truth is that on local expenditure in Ireland the deficit is £2,000,000, and on Imperial expenditure the deficit is something between £3,500,000 and £4,200,000, the total deficit therefore being somewhere much nearer £6,000,000 a year in the year 1913–14 than the deficit of £1,500,000 or £1,900,000 quoted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington. The last point to which I will refer is the assumption by the Prime Minister and others that by the passing of the Home Rule Bill the congestion will be relieved of the Imperial Parliament. I would like to point out to those who have been Members of the House for a lesser time than I 1372 have been a Member, that in the old day there was none of this congestion before it became the practice to cram about four first-rate Bills into every King's Speech. If the old practice had been adhered to, and one or at most two measures of first-rate importance had been thoroughly gone into and thoroughly discussed in the House of Commons, there would have been none of this congestion about which the Prime Minister and hon. Members complain. But I am bound to say this, that so long as they go on with their present practice simply in order to have an excuse to pas Home Rule that complaint has a great deal to recommend it to Members of the Liberal party. Of course, there might be some relief of this congestion such as it is, congestion of the Government's own making. Take the instructions to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—if that is to be his title—which he is to receive from the Crown with regard to every Bill which is sent for the Royal Assent. Do not let the Committee forget that if the forty-two Members from Ireland, or if, let us say, the thirty-six Nationalist Members from Ireland, disagree with those instruction sent by the Crown to the Lord Lieutenant, every one of those instructions upon every Bill could be debated ad nauseam on the floor of this House. If past experience of Irish Members is to be any guide of what they are going to do in the future, we may be perfectly sure that no business will be got forward with regard to the affairs of Great Britain until every one of those instructions from the Crown to the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland has been thoroughly debated, and a great deal of time has been wasted in this House.
I think this relief possibly might be forthcoming if there was not all this question of the reserved services, to which reference has been made in this House. Those reserved services, let it be remembered, since the answer of the Chief Secretary yesterday afternoon, may very likely be administered by a servant of the Irish Parliament in Dublin, and it is conceivable that that administration may not be altogether unchallengeable. It might possibly be an administration which would require a certain amount of consideration in this House. I do not see that the congestion is likely to be relieved while that is continued. While forty-two Members are to be retained in this House of Commons, I am perfectly certain that the congestion will and must continue. It is not a question of numbers. Those who have 1373 been in the House a good deal longer than I have can remember the time when six Irish Members held up business in this House for many a long day. They became sufficiently adroit to overcome the Closure, the "kangaroo," and other forms of it. My right hon. Friend who sits on the Front Bench (Mr. Austen Chamberlain) knows very well that three or four Irish Members are able to hold up the business of the country if they are determined to obstruct its course for reasons of their own. All this is to be done in the sacred name of federation, or of devolution, to the various provincial Parliaments throughout the country. Speaking for a very large portion of the country, and speaking for Members of a party which is the chief party in this House, we on this side have very grave and serious complaint to make against the Prime Minister of this country for his secrecy in not telling us what federation is ultimately to be. It seems to me, though I do not like to use the words of a Prime Minister of this country, something very like being politically dishonest not to tell the country—it does not matter for ourselves in this House—who are the masters of Parliament and of the Treasury Bench, that which they have a right to know namely, what devolution really means. Is it to be only four Parliaments for England Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, or is it to be a kind of jig-saw arrangement of which the First Lord of the Admiralty gave us indications in his speech, the carving up of the United Kingdom into twelve or fourteen Parliaments? At the present time we have really no knowledge of what is at the back of the minds of His Majesty's Government, and it is because they have not had the candour to tell us what the future arrangements really are that I feel that I and everyone of us are bound to vote for this Amendment, which does something, at any rate, to mitigate the difficulties and hardships of the present Bill.
§ Mr. KERR-SMILEY
It seems to me that up to the present this Bill has been concerned in making arrangements to put oppressive burdens on the minority in Ireland, and it now proceeds to place oppressive burdens on the British people. I have heard Liberals in England who absolutely refused to believe that this Clause is contained in the Bill at all. They said the story was circulated in order to discredit the Government. It is impossible to discredit the Government any more than it is. Of course, it is perfectly easy to understand 1374 the attitude of some Radicals in the country, who do not realise that the Government have to submit to every order of the hon. Member for Waterford. They have to go into the country and try to the best of their ability to explain to their followers why they have voted for a Bill which will not only make the Nationalists absolutely masters of the Irish Parliament but also of the British Parliament at Westminster. We are told that the passing of the Home Rule Bill will relieve the Imperial Parliament from the necessity of dealing with Irish affairs; but by leaving forty-two Irish Members in this House you make ample provision for raising the Irish question in its most acute form. What is more, you put temptation in the way of a weak Government like the present to sell the dearest interests of Great Britain in return for the Irish vote. Would any Government with an eye to the interests of Great Britain allow forty-two Members to remain in the British Parliament after Ireland had been granted a Parliament of her own?
You are doing it, not because you can justify it, but because your masters have-told you that you must do it, or else you must clear out. No doubt you would like very much indeed to cling to the sweets of office. In 1886 Mr. Gladstone proposed the total exclusion of Irish Members, in spite of the fact that under the Bill of that year they would have to pay £6,000,000 or £7,000,000 a year to the Imperial Government. In 1893 it was proposed that the Irish Members should not be allowed to vote upon other English or Scottish matters, but now, although you are going to give Ireland a handsome subsidy, Irish Members are to have the privilege of coming here and shaping the course of British legislation. There are some Nonconformists who desire to settle the English education question in a certain way, and they are to have the satisfaction of knowing that the Irish vote can be used against them when the education question is brought into this House; and the probability is that when Home Rule is granted the Nationalist vote will also be constantly thrown into the scale against the Labour party. It is intolerable, after we have given Ireland a Parliament over which the Imperial Parliament will have no control, that you should allow Irish Members to come to Westminster and try to control British legislation, and also to impose upon the British people taxes which the Irish 1375 people do not have to pay. It seems to me that the scheme will make the British people ridiculous in the eyes of the world.
I think you will find that Mr. Gladstone was right when he declared that it passed the wit of man to devise a scheme for doing that which this Clause now proposes to do. Every course proposed Lord Morley has told us ends in a paradox. You may argue the question as you please, but the retention of forty-two Irish Members at Westminster means not only a wrong to England but the weakness of Great Britain. The presence of Irish Members at Westminster will be a great injustice to England but to the weakness of Great while you allow Irish Members freedom to do what they like in Dublin, that they should have the right to come here and determine your policy, a right which incidentally includes the placing of additional burdens upon the British taxpayer. The Irish Nationalist Members will always vote not for what is best for Great Britain or the Empire, but for their own selfish ends. You say that you have got a mandate for Home Rule. May I ask have you a mandate for inflicting this injustice on the British people. Personally, I do not think you have. I object to this Clause; firstly, because it will destroy the whole system of Cabinet Government; and, secondly, because it will establish a system of sectarian interests in this House which must have a most disastrous effect, and, lastly, because it is the least defensible part of an absolutely indefensible Bill.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
Anybody whose memory extends over any length of time will agree that this is a very ancient battle. The field is strewn with weapons still capable of use, and which anyone who chooses, with very small expenditure to himself, can take into his hands and wield with as much force as his dialectical ability or his native ferocity of disposition permits. Gentlemen opposite, right hon. and learned, have to-night quite justifiably flourished those weapons afresh, and have made great use or considerable use at all events, of the difficulties, the undoubted and admitted difficulties, which surround any solution of this particular question with which we are confronted this evening. That question is this: Is Ireland after Home Rule to have any representation, and, if so, what representation in this Imperial Chamber. That is as I say an old question. I 1376 remember in 1886 being in the Gallery of this House, and hearing Mr. Gladstone introduce his measure, and I was, of course, greatly impressed by his eloquence and by his rhetoric, and I own I was also very much impressed, being then young, by the marvellously able speech which immediately after he sat down was made by my very dear friend, who still, I am happy to say, is alive, Sir Edward Clarke. Sir Edward Clarke proceeded with very great effect, and to the satisfaction of a great many people in the House, to demolish the notion that it was even conceivable or arguable that Irishmen should be totally excluded from this Imperial Chamber, and I own it was my first Parliamentary shock to learn, as in a few hours afterwards I did, that the ingenious orator had come to the House prepared with two speeches in his head, one to demolish Mr. Gladstone if he excluded Irishmen and the other to demolish him if he included Irishmen. That was the first shock, but I have received many since in this Parliamentary business.
However, from that very moment we have been face to face with this question, and everybody who has had to consider it has had to consider the different solutions that have been offered from time to time of this question with which we are now confronted. There was the exclusion of the Irish Members, their total exclusion, which recommended itself to Mr. Gladstone in 1886. It was vehemently opposed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain) and by many others at that time. Then subsequently it was conceived that they might be retained but not for all purposes. That was called the "ins" and "outs," and then, after further discussion and consideration, a third solution was suggested, which was called Omnes Omnia. Latin is always useful, namely that they would be always here for all purposes. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool (Mr. F. E. Smith) gave the House the pleasure of an extract from Lord Morley's Life of Mr. Gladstone, in which Lord Morley stated those three solutions, and said, with the frankness of a biographer, that each of them ended with a paradox. Thereupon, so affected was the right hon. and learned Gentleman with horror at the very notion or idea of anything being paradoxical, that he invited the Government at once to drop this Bill. He said, 1377 If Lord Morley puts those three things before you and you must have one or other of them, and if the three of them end in paradoxes, then once and for all now is your chance and opportunity to abandon this senseless dream and give up altogether the idea or notion of self-government of any real sort or kind for Ireland.
Then you will, I suppose, be face to face with Mr. Parnell's alternative, which he always recognised as an alternative, namely, to send over some still strong man, the Lord Kitchener of the day, to govern Ireland, because surely you are not content to go on for another century or for another half-century with the farce of a representative system in Ireland which has the result of sending Members of the one way of thinking, all demanding the same thing, from every part of Ireland except Ulster, and which overruns the whole country, boroughs and counties, and which has sent men here by large majorities again and again, election after election, year by year, all making constitutionally the same demands. You cannot surely be prepared to sit quietly down and to allow that to go on for another half-century with eighty of them all asking something which is so paradoxical, according to Lord Morley, that you cannot by any possibility even contemplate its passing into law. I am not very much affected by Lord Morley's paradoxes. I see no reason why I should be more Royalist than the King, and Lord Morley is himself a party to this Bill. He is himself responsible for this Bill in a very particular and full governmental sense. Therefore I really do not think that the right hon. Gentleman was justified in coming to the conclusion that, because there are difficulties and objections in regard to every one of those courses, many of them dialectical, some of them most important, and difficulties which must continue to infect the subject for a considerable period of time, therefore the whole thing is to be at once abandoned.
The right hon. Gentleman and others have gone on to say that the retention of Irish Members in this House in a limited number—thirty-eight, or forty-five, or whatever the number may be— works out the degradation of this House. The right hon. Gentleman felt particularly alarmed on this subject, and prayed that he might himself be delivered from temptation. He felt that if he were a member of a Government with no very great Parliamentary support he hardly 1378 dared to contemplate the possibilities. [An HON. MEMBER: "When did he say so?"] That was the effect. [An HON. MEMBER: "Nothing of the sort."] That is what he said of us, and I am perfectly certain that any Government which contained the right hon. and learned Gentleman would be just as likely to be tempted and to fall. [An HON. MEMBER: "DO not judge others by yourself."] It was the right hon. Gentleman himself who was judging us. It was he who said that no Government was safe —if you like, that this Government was not safe. I am surely entitled to say that, just as much as he was. He did, in fact, say that the reason why this House would be degraded by the presence of these Members was that the Government would be tempted to angle for their support. Very well; I say that if any Government, if you like some imaginary Government of the future, which will not be honoured by the presence of any Member of this House, is likely to be affected by the presence of those forty-two Members—and I do not deny the existence of the temptation—it is far more likely to be affected by the existing number. A hundred and three members are far more formidable in that way than the reduced number now proposed. The right hon. Gentleman went on to speak about gas Bills, and how these Members would interfere in regard to them. I do not think they are very likely to interfere with gas Bills. The best case you could possibly give for their interference is one in regard to which right hon. Gentlemen opposite never had the slightest objection to availing themselves either of the eighty-eight, or of the 103, or of the forty-two, and that is, let us say, an Education Bill. I do not know that the advocates of denominational education resented the valuable reinforcement of the Nationalists and Catholic Members from Ireland. When the opinion of the great majority of the Liberal Members of this House was affected, compliments and affection were lavished upon Catholic-minded Gentlemen, whether they were Anglo-Catholics or Roman Catholics—I was not able on that occasion to distinguish between them. Hon. Gentlemen opposite never have any objection to their own opinions being reinforced—none whatever. It is only when their opinions are not reinforced in any particular quarter that they begin to question the right of persons in that quarter to be in the House at all.
1379 I say quite frankly that since 1893 many things have happened. Public opinion has run in a particular course. People are always talking about voting by ballot, and expressing their opinions free from party obligations. I feel certain that if they could do that the feeling now is far stronger in favour of retaining a representation of all parts of the United Kingdom in this House as long as you have to regard it as an Imperial Chamber. If you can imagine such a thing as Mr. Gladstone's introducing a Home Rule Bill for the first time now, in 1912, instead of 1886, I think it would be impossible for him to suggest the total and absolute exclusion of Irish Members from this House, so strong is the feeling—the Imperial feeling, if you like to call it so—which binds all parts of the Empire together. That feeling is that there should be in this country an Imperial Chamber, representing all the interests of the divers parts of the United Kingdom. Some people go even further, and think that representatives of the Dominions beyond the seas might very properly take their place in that Imperial Chamber. There are great difficulties in the way of anything of that sort. But the desire to maintain the Imperial character of this House has most emphatically grown in all parts of the country, wholly independent of partisan differences of opinion. I say quite frankly that I think the retention of Irish Members is very necessary for this House itself, for the Imperial taxation that will be levied, and for questions of Imperial policy. To leave Ireland out in regard to these matters would be a very great danger. You may say that the effect of this legislation is to cut Ireland adrift, and to make the connection between Ireland and England far less than it has been in the past. We absolutely deny that.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Certainly I do. So is Scotland a nation. I say that we are binding these nations together. I believe that the effect of this measure properly worked out, so far from cutting Ireland adrift, will be to bind her to England far more closely than she is at present, or possibly can be under our present régime, which is separating and dissipating, instead of binding and uniting. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we should 1380 maintain in this Parliament a fair representation from Ireland. I do not quarrel about the number, but we ought to feet that we have Irishmen here whilst we are discussing great Imperial questions. It would be of the utmost danger to Imperial considerations to leave Ireland out. I frankly admit that whichever of these solutions you take, a great deal of opposition can easily be raised. I do not deny—a man would be a fool to deny—that people can, on the platform and in other places, make a great deal of play with the fact of which so much play was made in 1886 and 1893, and again to-day, that you are entrusting the Irish people with the management of their local affairs, and yet you are retaining, a very reduced number it is true, but still a considerable number, who will have the power and right, if they choose to exercise it, of interfering in our affairs. [Opposition cheers.] I recognise that kind of cheer. You can go down to a popular audience, and you can endeavour to excite their feelings. I do not think you will succeed to any extent. No doubt you will, with courage and repetition, endeavour to excite a great deal of indignation. You may so excite it where there is annoyance and dislike of Home Rule, and where that feeling has been already excited; but I do not think that you will ever be able to excite English people simply by telling them that there will be forty-two Irish Members in and out of this House, or with the right to go in and out of this House—for one of the greatest privileges that Members of this-House enjoy is that of staying away from it. If you imagine that you are going to excite great feeling in the country by representing that these Gentlemen may interfere unwarrantably in gas and water Bills, I do not think you will succeed. You will not excite very much enthusiasm.
My Nonconformist Friends behind me have a much better case than you opposite have, because you Tariff Reformers and denominational educationists always suspect the Irish—with some degree of reason so far as denominational education is concerned—of being warm advocates of both. Therefore, if any damage is done, it is far more likely to be done to us than to you. I hope, if you do go to the country and point out how awkward it is for these forty-two Irish Members to be in the House, if it happens to be the occasion of an English Education Bill, that you will have the candour to say that on these occasions you expect to find the Irish Members 1381 in your Lobby. If you do that, you will no doubt somewhat destroy the enthusiasm of the meeting. I have already said that I acknowledge a great deal of the force, dialectical and otherwise, that can be made against any one of these solutions. I say that there need be no wonder at Lord Morley's three paradoxes. If you think that by simply saying there are disadvantages and difficulties, by exaggerating one aspect of the case and withholding others, you can raise a great deal of ill-feeling on this subject, you are mistaken. I really do not think that you ought to consider that sufficient to move a great party in Ireland, and a great party in this country, to abandon the policy of self-government in which they firmly believe, and from which the good feeling in Ireland will largely benefit. As to the In-and-Out Clause, I do not express any very violent, opinion upon it. More authoritative Parliamentarians than myself, of this and other days, concur that it is impracticable. That being so, I say that the retention of the Irish Members in a limited degree is essential to the Imperial character of this Chamber, and is essential to the good government of the country.
§ 10.0 P.M.
There is a candour about the right hon. Gentleman which I frankly admit always disarms me. I am one of his constant admirers. He observed just now that one of the most valuable privileges of an hon. Member is that of leaving the Chamber to which he was elected. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman when I hear he is speaking I rush from the furthermost parts of this building in order that I may enjoy the intellectual feast which he has prepared. The right hon. Gentleman's speech has quite come up to his ordinary and very lofty standard. He really has put the matter as well as it could possibly be put for the Government, and, if I may say so, far better than it was put by the Prime Minister. Really he put the whole thing in one sentence. The rest of his speech was interesting and amusing, and it was in order. I do not know that he absolutely went to the heart of the matter. He did say one thing that does go to the heart of the matter. Practically it came to this. Our scheme, he said, is indefensible on any platform. No; I modify that. He said you cannot effectively defend it on any platform. He did not add what he might have added, that it has perplexed not those who have 1382 spoken upon platforms, but every successive Cabinet which has had to deal with this question, and that it is not a subject in which mere misrepresentation on the platform is easy, even to the practised orator. It is a subject upon which I venture to say every Government, every Minister, and every draughtsman has spent sleepless nights and perplexed days ever since the question of Home Rule came forward. But, says the right hon. Gentleman, I do not minimise these objections. They are unanswerable. Lord Morley called them paradoxes. A thing may be a paradox, and yet true.
Yes, it may be true. I do not think—at all events, I hope I am not greatly misrepresenting the noble author of the famous biography when I suggest that when he used the word "paradoxes" it was a polite phrase for absurdity. We all know very well that each of them is absurd. I do not believe that the right hon. Gentleman denies that each is absurd. What he says is, absurd though they may be, we must tolerate their absurdity rather than refuse Home Rule to Ireland. Well, I think he has put the Government case for what it is worth—in the very best possible light! I think that is the only way to put it, I put the case to myself, as old Parliamentary hands are won't to do: "What if I were in the unthinkable position of having to defend the case which the right hon. Gentleman has put, what would I say, and I could think of nothing better." What did the right hon. Gentleman say? He said all three courses were absurd, but if you wanted Home Rule one of these absurdities must be swallowed whole. That is the policy of the Government. If I may leave what I may call the central thesis of the right hon. Gentleman, and come to some of the outworks, may I point out to him that I think that he misunderstood the objection we feel to the position of these forty-two Irish Members in the House of Commons, which will accentuate the evils from which we no doubt have partially suffered for many years past. He misunderstood the case when he quoted the Education Bill and said of course, hon. Gentlemen opposite, meaning those who sit behind me, would welcome the assistance of the Irish Members if there was an Education Bill before the House. Of course that is quite true. Why not? But let me draw a distinction. The Irish Members in voting against the 1383 Education Bill, in so far as they did vote against it, of the right hon. Gentlemen opposite were voting in accordance with what is notoriously their own convictions, and as long as we have a united Parliament not only do we not complain of people voting according to their convictions, but it is the contrary we recognise to be unrealisable under the system which has been brought to such amazing perfection by the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends. What we complain of is not the action which the Irish Members or any other group of this House would take in conformity with their convictions, but what we regard as really destructive of Parliamentary life, as sapping the independence of Parliament, as sapping the power of the Government in the introduction of the group influence at the very root of our Constitution, is that for ulterior purposes people vote against their convictions. In the case of the Irish party they have been quite frank. It is the action of the Irish party in voting against their convictions that we complain, and if there were forty-two Members sent here by another Parliament, or at all events outside the national Parliament which you are creating, they would accentuate the evil from which we have suffered, and although their numbers would have diminished, I am not sure that the actual evil might not in effect be increased. The right hon. Gentleman began his speech by saying that this is the old battle over which many of us have fought before. I am not sure he was right in the case of Sir Edward Clark. I think Sir Edward Clark's speech was made in 1893 and not in 1886.
Although the battlefield is one which has been often fought over before, I will venture to point out to the Committee that we have heard to night, not from the right hon. Gentleman, but from the Prime Minister an entirely new line of defence for the indefensible position which I think the Government attempt to take up. The Prime Minister, as the Committee will remember, based his whole case upon the fact that this was an interim measure—I speak to a House much fuller than it was when the Prime Minister spoke—I therefore do not hesitate to repeat what the Prime Minister said. He treated this Home Rule Bill as 1384 a mere interim measure working up towards a general scheme of federation, and he said, "it is no doubt an anomaly of which you have some right to complain, but it is a temporary anomaly, necessarily intended as a portion or fragment of a great scheme, and I hope you will endure it until that great scheme reaches fruition and maturity." Well, I confess I never heard a statement from a responsible Minister of the Crown, and one for whom I have great personal respect, with more absolute and utter incredulity than I heard that statement of the Prime Minister. And I will tell the House why, and I think they will see I am not animated in this respect by any mere partisanship. I ask them to look through this Bill from beginning to end, from the first line of the first Clause to the last line of the last Schedule, and I ask them whether they will see one trace of the alleged fact that this is the beginning—the first corner stone—of a new building.
There is one anxious but rather credulous countryman of mine, the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, who spoke earlier in the evening. He is evidently much troubled about this Bill. He desires honestly to see a federal system carried out, and he naturally desires to look at the Prime Minister's statement in the most favourable light. Even his anxious fidelity can fine no such spark in the Bill now before us, and, indeed, it is incredible that any fair critic of this Bill could believe that it is intended by its authors to be an instalment of a big measure. If it were intended to be an instalment of a bigger measure would you have included Customs. Do you intend to have a Customs line between Wales and England, between Scotland and England, and between Wales and Ireland? Of course you do not. Then how on earth can you regard this Bill as an instalment? You find in this Bill a provision already discussed, fully discussed, of a separate Irish Post Office, and in the original Bill, before it was amended, which, after all, is the test of the Government's intentions, you had complete Irish autonomy with regard to the Irish Post Office. Will anybody tell me that the Government, if they intended to make this the basis of a general federal scheme, would have introduced into the first instalment the question of the Post Office, premising, as it inevitably does, a separate Welsh Post Office, a separate Scotch Post Office, a separate English Post Office? That new defence, of which Mr. Gladstone 1385 never dreamed, really is no improvement of the Government case. It is not the Prime Minister's argument, but the Chief Secretary's argument, that the line which has the least absurd anomaly is that which you must take in granting Home Rule to Ireland. According to him, you must grant it with all the intolerable absurdities which an Home Rule Bill inevitably carries with it. I pass from that aspect of the Prime Minister's speech to other arguments advanced in this Debate by him, by the Chief Secretary, and by others.
These forty-two Members are regarded as a compromise—a compromise favourable to this House favourable to the interests of England and Scotland. I ask those who believe in a successful compromise whether this does not carry, as it often happens in compromises, all the disadvantages of both schemes. I am strongly of opinion it does. I will tell the House why. I put aside the reserved services on which this House through the responsible British Government has some control over our affairs, and I go straight to the vital question of taxation. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington (Mr.Lough), is in his place—I rather think he is not—but he delivered a speech earlier in the evening in which he dwelt at length on the way in which this Parliament had to keep up an unredeemed debt to Ireland. What was the Parliament that did it? It was a Parliament in which Ireland was not only fully represented but over-represented; and yet, observe this is put before us as an iniquity of the British Parliament. What is going to happen when Ireland is not over-represented but under-represented? Suppose this House, with the forty-two Irish Members passes taxation for Ireland to which Ireland objects. What is the position? With those forty-two members in this House, what story will they be able to take back to the Irish Parliament which you propose to establish? They will say, and say with absolute truth, "We are now being taxed for a policy of which the Irish Parliament disapproves and of which we forty-two Members in the British Parliament also disapproves. It has been carried over our heads by an Assembly of which indeed we were a part but in which our country, the interests we represent, and those who sent us here, were deliberately under-represented."
By the consent of the hon. Gentleman sitting below the Gangway. I am talking of the forty-two successors, and what right have eighty-one hon. Gentlemen to represent the forty-two to follow? What right have they? They have none. Here you have the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington coming forward and accusing a House in which Ireland was over-represented, of having oppressed Ireland. What is he going to say, what are the future Members for Islington going to say when in consequence of some great national necessity the Chancellor of the Exchequer comes down to this House and imposes taxation for the three Kingdoms to which the forty-two Irish Gentlemen object and to which under-represented Ireland objects, and they go back to their own country and say, "We do not get a fair chance in the Imperial Parliament, and you are going to be taxed for a policy of which you disapprove, of which we disapprove, and of which we, with our inadequate numbers, protested against in vain before the representatives of England and of Scotland."
May I in the short time left me very briefly point out to the House that in addition to the difficulties which I have endeavoured to put before them this plan will really be I think disastrous both to the Irish Parliament and the British Parliament. What are these forty-two Members to be from Ireland? Are the best Irishmen going to come over here frankly to take their part in the affairs of the Empire or come as an army of observation paid by the conquered country in order to see that nothing is done in this House inimical to the interests of Ireland. I am confident it will be the latter. The whole trend of the controversy on the part of Irishmen has been, "Give Ireland, a nation, a Parliament to manage Irish affairs." In other words turn the eyes of Irishmen to their own island, to their own business, turn them away from that larger whole of which they are legally, nominally, and as I hope in many cases really a part, and all the brains of Ireland available forth is sort of work will, I suspect and believe, be turned upon the domestic legislation which you are going to leave to them, and the forty-two gentlemen who are to come here will be sent with a specific object. They will not come here with a view of acting with other members of the Empire in Imperial interests, I do not mean to say they will be either fools or traitors. I am not suggesting anything of that sort, 1387 but I do say they will come here from the very nature of the case as an alien element to this Assembly. You will compel them to be, and you are making them aliens, and they will come here, as they will be forced to do, to use all the power which our Parliamentary procedure gives to an able minority, and never was there an abler minority than we have had from Ireland during the last thirty years, and I do not know that their successors will be inferior to them. In other words, they will use the whole of their powers as a Parliamentary minority not to further the interests of British legislation—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"]—I have given my reasons—but to extort from a British Parliament the very best financial and other terms which they can for the country which has sent them; and these men will have the perpetual grievance of being under-represented. Whatever the point is which comes up, and in which Ireland is interested, they will always be able to say, and they will always say, and in my opinion they will always have a right to say, "While you ask us to take part in matters in which Ireland is concerned, you take care Ireland should have less than half her proper representation and that only half her fair voice should be heard in your Debates."
If I turn from the effects on Ireland to the effects on this House and on Britain, may I ask whether the prospect, is in any sense more agreeable? We have seen the irritation only last night caused in certain quarters of the House by the fact that some Members in this House believe the Irish Member's now are doing exactly what I think the forty-two Irish Members will be compelled to do under your new system. The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down admitted with his usual candour that it was a paradox. I think it is wore than a paradox that Irishmen should govern their own domestic affairs and should help to govern our domestic affairs. That is admitted, but it is one thing to admit it before your system is adopted and another thing to have it thrown in your teeth time after time when subjects of critical debate are before this House. Every time the forty-two Irish
§ Members or any large fraction of them throw in their lot with the Government or with the Opposition, I care not which it is, in favour of that course or this course, they will of course be supposed to be selling their votes, not for personal or sordid interests, but for the interests of their country, irrespective of the merits of the question, irrespective of the effects of legislation upon the English. I cannot imagine anything more utterly corrupting to the life of this country or more a source of perpetual irritation. Is it not evident after this Debate—after the defence of the Government proposals by the Prime Minister and by the Chief Secretary—that really this House, if it will proceed with this measure, is in face of a dilemma which is absolutely insoluble. Take the case of a sick man who turns from one uneasy position to another. The position taken up appears to be absolutely intolerable. Anything is better than that. After a short time he finds the new position is painful and inconvenient and causes as much suffering and discomfort as the one he has just left. So we go on from one attempted solution to another in this insoluble problem. I accept the dilemma put before me by the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary. I admit if you are to have Home Rule one of these three things must be done. I admit there are objections to every one of them. But where I differ—where I am convinced that my countrymen will agree with me—is that these alternatives will appear intolerable, individually and collectively, to those who tell us we must accept one of these unacceptable things as a solution of one of these insoluble riddles. It is practically condemning the whole scheme they lay before us. This is not a mere dialectical triumph. The more you consider the alternatives placed before you by the Government themselves the more you see that a measure which requires one of those alternatives should be taken is a measure which should be rejected.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 315; Noes, 213.1393
|Division No. 303.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Baker, H. T. (Accrington)|
|Adamson, William||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Armitage, R.||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Arnold, Sydney||Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Glanville, H. J.||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Goldstone, Frank||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Barton, William||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Meagher, Michael|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Greig, Col. J. W.||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Millar, James Duncan|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Molloy, Michael|
|Bentham G. J.||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Mond, Sir Alfred M.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Guiney, Patrick||Mooney, John J.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Boland, John Pius||Hackett, John||Morrell, Philip|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hancock, J G.||Muldoon, John|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Munro, R.|
|Brace, William||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Hardle, J. Keir||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Neilson, Francis|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, W.E.)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, William (Cork)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hayward, John Evan||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Hazleton, Richard||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Dowd, John|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Grady, James|
|Clough, William||Higham, John Sharp||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Clynes, John R.||Hinds, John||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Hodge, John||O'Malley, William|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hogge, James Myles||O'Neill, Dr Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Shee, James John|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwih A.||Hudson, Walter||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Cotton, William Francis||Hughes, S. L.||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Crean, Eugene||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Crooke, William||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Cullinan, John||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Jowett, F. W.||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Joyce, Michael||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Dawes, J. A.||Keating, Matthew||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Do Forest, Baron||Kellaway, Frederick George||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Delany, William||Kelly, Edward||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Dillon, John||Kilbride, Denis||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||King, J.||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Doris, William||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Radford, G. H.|
|Duffy, William J.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Reddy, Michael|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Leach, Charles||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Lewis, John Herbert||Rendall, Atheistan|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Falconer, James||Lundon, Thomas||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lynch, A. A.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Field, William||McGhee, Richard||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Flennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr T. J.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||MacNeill, J. G Swift (Donegal, South)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Macpherson, James Ian||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||M'Callum, Sir John M||Rowlands, James|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||M'Kean, John||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Gilhooly, James||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Gill, A. H.||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding)||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Ginnell, Laurence||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Manfield, Harry||Samuel, J. (Stockton)|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Toulmin, Sir George||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Verney, Sir Harry||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Sheehy, David||Wadsworth, John||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Sherwell, Arthur James||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Waiters, Sir John Tudor||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Walton, Sir Joseph||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Snowden, Philip||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs. N.)|
|Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Wardle, George J.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Sutherland, John E.||Waring, Walter||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Tennant, Harold John||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Young, William (Perthshire, E.)|
|Thomas, J. H.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Webb, H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Thorne, William (West Ham)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lloyd, G. A.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Denniss, E. R. B.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Dixon, C. H.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Doughty, Sir George||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Duke, Henry Edward||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Astor, Waldort||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Fell, Arthur||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo.,Han. S.)|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Fleming, Valentine||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Fletcher, John Samuel||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Forster, Henry William||Malcolm, Ian|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gardner, Ernest||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Barnston, Harry||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Barrie, H. T.||Gibbs, George Abraham||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gilmour, Captain John||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Moore, William|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Goldman, C. S.||Mount, William Arthur|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Goldsmith, Frank||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Newman, John R. P.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Gretton, John||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Nield, Herbert|
|Bird, Alfred||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Orde-Powlett, Hon W. G A|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Haddock, George Bahr||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid.)||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Boyton, James||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Harris, Henry Percy||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Helmsley, Viscount||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Butcher, John George||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Campion, W. R.||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peet|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hills, John Waller||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Cassel, Felix||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hoare, S. J. G.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cator, John||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Royds, Edmund|
|Cave, George||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Horner, Andrew Long||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Joynson-Hicks, William||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Chambers, James||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kerry, Earl of||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Keswick, Henry||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Callings, Rt. Hon. J.||Kimber, Sir Henry||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stanier, Beville|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Larmor, Sir J.||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Cralk, Sir Henry||Lawson, Hon. H. (T.H'mts., Hile End)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Lewisham, Viscount||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Talbot, Lord E.||Wheler, Granville C. H.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)||Younger, Sir George|
|Tryon, Captain George Clement||Winterton, Earl|
|Valentia, Viscount||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Walrond, Hon. Lionel||Wood, John (Stalybridge)||Mr. Sanders and Mr. Eyres-Monsell.|
§ It being after Half-past Ten of the clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 14th October, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Half-past Ten of the clock at this day's Sitting.1394
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 314, Noes, 212.1397
|Division No. 304.]||AYES.||[10.40 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Adamson, William||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Hayward, Evan|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Hazleton, Richard|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Dawes, J. A.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||De Forest, Baron||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Delany, William||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Armitage, Robert||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Higham, John Sharp|
|Arnold, Sydney||Donelan, Captain A.||Hinds, John|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Doris, William||Hodge, John|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Duffy, William J.||Hogge, James Myles|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Hudson, Walter|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Hughes, S. L.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Elverston, Sir Harold||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Sw'nsea)|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Barton, William||Essex, Richard Walter||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Esslemont, George Birnie||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Falconer, James||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Farrell, James Patrick||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Jowett, F. W.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Ffrench, Peter||Joyce, Michael|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Field, William||Keating, Matthew|
|Black, Arthur W.||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Boland, John Plus||Fitzgibbon, John||Kelly, Edward|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Bowerman, C. W.||France, Gerald Ashburner||Kilbride, Denis|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Gelder, Sir W. A.||King, J.|
|Brace, William||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Lamb, Ernest Henry|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Gilhooly, James||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S.Molton)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Gill, Alfred Henry||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Ginnell, Laurence||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Glanville, H. J.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Leach, Charles|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Goldstone, Frank||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Greig, Col. J. W.||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Lundon, Thomas|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Griffith, Ellis J.||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Lynch, A. A.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Guest, Hon Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Guiney, Patrick||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Clough, William||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||McGhee, Richard|
|Clynes, John R.||Hackett, John||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hancock, J. G.||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hardie, J. Keir||M'Kean, John|
|Cotton, William Francis||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Crean, Eugene||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Manfield, Harry|
|Crooks, William||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Crumley, Patrick||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Cullinan, John||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Meagher, Michael||Pollard, Sir George H.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Power, Patrick Joseph||Sutherland, John E.|
|Millar, James Duncan||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Molloy, Michael||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Mooney, John J.||Pringle, William M. R.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Morgan, George Hay||Radford, G. H.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Morrell, Philip||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Muldoon, John||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Munro, R,||Reddy, Michael||Wadsworth, John|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Needham, Christopher T.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Neilson, Francis||Rendail, Athelstan||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Nolan, Joseph||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wardle, George J.|
|Nuttall, Harry||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Waring, Walter|
|O'Brien, William (Cork)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Robinson, Sidney||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Webb, H.|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|O'Dowd, John||Roe, Sir Thomas||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|O'Grady, James||Rose, Sir Charles Day||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Rowlands, James||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, W.||Rowntree, Arnold||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|O'Malley, William||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wiles, Thomas|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. [...].||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|O'Shee, James John||Samuel, J (Stockton-on-Tees)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Scanlan, Thomas||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Outhwaite, R. L.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Sheehy, David||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Sherwell, Arthur James||Young, William (Perthshire, E.)|
|Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Pirie, Duncan Vernon||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Pointer, Joseph||Snowden, Philip|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Campion, W R.||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Fleming, Valentine|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Fletcher, John Samuel|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Cassel, Felix||Forster, Henry William|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Castlereagh, Viscount||Gardner, Ernest|
|Astor, Waldorf||Cator, John||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Cautley, Henry Strother||Gibbs, G. A.|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Cave, George||Gilmour, Captain John|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Goldman, C. S.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Goldsmith, Frank|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Barnston, Harry||Chambers, James||Gretton, John|
|Barrie, H. T.||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Collings, Rt. Hon. J.||Haddock, George Bahr|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence|
|Bigland, Alfred||Craik, Sir Henry||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Bird, Alfred||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Harrison-Broadley H. B.|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Helmsley, Viscount|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)|
|Boyton, James||Denniss, E. R. B.||Hewins, William Albert Samuel|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell-||Dixon, C. H.||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Doughty, Sir George||Hill, Sir Clement L.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Duke, Henry Edward||Hills, John Waller|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Hill-Wood, Samuel|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Hoare, S. J. G.|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Fell, Arthur||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Butcher, John George||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Mount, William Arthur||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Newdegate, F. A.||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Newman, John R. P.||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Joynson-Hicks, William||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Nield, Herbert||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Kerry, Earl of||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Keswick, Henry||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Parkes, Ebenezer||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Perkins, Walter Frank||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Peto, Basil Edward||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Pole-Carew, Sir R.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lawson, Hon. H. (T.H'mts., Mile End)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Lewisham, Viscount||Randles, Sir John S.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Lloyd, G. A.||Rawlinson, Sir John Frederick Peel||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Rees, Sir J. D.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Remnant, James Farquharson||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Ronaldshay, Earl of||Winterton, Earl|
|Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Royds, Edmund||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo, Han. S.)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Lyttelton, Hon. J C. (Droitwich)||Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C B Stuart-|
|Mackinder, Halford J.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Sanderson, Lancelot||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Sassoon, Sir Philip||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Malcolm, Ian||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)||Younger, Sir George|
|Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Spear, Sir John Ward||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Stanier, Beville||Mr. Sanders and Mr. Eyres-Monsell.|
|Moore, William||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow (Thursday).