§ Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Irish Parliament shall have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of Ireland with the following limitations, namely, that they shall not have power to make laws except in respect of matters exclusively relating to Ireland or some part thereof, and (without prejudice to that general limitation) that they shall not have power to make laws in respect of the following matters in particular, or any of them, namely:—
- (1) The Crown, or the succession to the Crown, or a Regency; or the Lord Lieutenant except as respects the exercise of his executive power in relation to Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act; or
- (2) The making of peace or war for matters arising from a state of war; or the regulation of the conduct of any portion of His Majesty s subjects during the existence of hostilities between foreign States with which His Majesty is at peace, in relation to those hostilities; or
- (3) The Navy, the Army, the Territorial Force, or any other naval or military force, or the defence of the realm, or any other naval or military matter; or
- (4) Treaties, or any relations, with foreign States, or relations with other parts of His Majesty's Dominions, or offences connected with any such treaties or relations, or procedure connected with the extradition of criminals under any treaty, or the return of fugitive offenders from or to any part of His Majesty's Dominions; or
- (5) Dignities or titles of honour; or
- (6) Treason, treason felony, alienage, naturalisation, or aliens as such; or
- (7) Trade with any place out of Ireland (except so far as trade may be affected by the exercise of the powers of taxation given to the Irish
1760 Parliament, or by the regulation of importation for the sole purpose of preventing contagious disease); quarantine; or navigation, including merchant shipping (except as respects inland waters and local health or harbour regulations); or
- (8) Lighthouses, buoys, or beacons (except so far as they can consistently with any general Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom be constructed or maintained by a local harbour authority); or
- (9) Coinage; legal tender; or any change in the standard of weights and measures; or
- (10) Trade marks, designs, merchandise marks, copyright, or patent rights; or
- (11) Any of the following matters (in this Act referred to as reserved matters), namely:—
- (a) The general subject-matter of the Acts relating to Land Purchase in Ireland, the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908 and 1911, the National Insurance Act, 1911, and the Labour Exchanges Act, 1909;
- (b) The collection of taxes;
- (c) The Royal Irish Constabulary and the management and control of that force;
- (d) Post Office Savings Banks, Trustee Savings Banks, and Friendly Societies; and
- (e) Public loans made in Ireland before the passing of this Act;
§ Provided that the limitation on the powers of the Irish Parliament under this Section shall cease as respects any such reserved matter if the corresponding reserved service is transferred to the Irish Government under the provisions of this Act.
§ Any law made in contravention of the limitations imposed by this Section shall, so far as it contravenes those limitations, be void.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ The CHAIRMAN
After the Government Amendment standing on the Paper in the name of the Postmaster General—"(12) Any postal service, and the rates of charge therefor (except with respect to postal communication between one place in Ireland and another such place); designs for stamps, whether for postal or 1761 revenue purposes"—is disposed of, I propose, next, to call upon the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Walter Guinness) to move his Amendment dealing with Trinity College, Dublin, and after that I understand it is desired that we should proceed with the Amendment dealing with factories, workshops, and mines, -standing in the name of the hon. Member for Falmouth (Mr. Goldman).
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
May I ask, Sir, whether that is in order. We are dealing with additions to the Clause, and there are certain proposed additions which have been on the Paper a good many days in the name of Members of the Opposition. To-day there appears upon the Paper this new addition in the name of the Postmaster-General, and I only wish to know whether it is in accordance with the Rules of the House, that where a number of Amendments have previously been put upon the Paper for additions to be inserted in a certain part of the Clause, a Government Amendment can take precedence of those Amendments of which notice has been previously given. The reason why I specially direct attention to this is that, under the terms of the Guillotine Resolution, Government Amendments have in any case precedence on the fall of the guillotine. Is it in accordance with the practice for the Government Amendment to be taken first in this way.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I understand the ordinary practice of the House to be that when several Amendments are offered at the same place in a Clause the Government Amendments take precedence, and that is in accordance with the rule. I imagine that is why the authorities, who in the ordinary course set down these Amendments, put the Government Amendment first on the Paper. Since it appears first, I should not be justified in declining to put it, but it is open to the Government to move or not to move it at this stage, as they think fit. I think the Government might waive precedence at the present time.
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
After what has fallen from the Chair I may state that when I put this Amendment on the Paper it was with no desire to block the Amendment which had already previously appeared on the Paper in the names of Members of the Opposition, and T thought the Amendment would take its place along with 1762 other Amendments already placed on the Paper, and would not be put in a position of precedence. The usual course is that an Amendment promised in Committee is moved on the Report stage, but as I have read to the House the terms of the Amendment, I thought it only courteous to the Committee to hand in the Amendment, but with no thought or desire that it would appear in a prominent position. After what has fallen from you, Sir, I do not, in the circumstances, propose to move it.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I think the object of my hon. Friend in calling attention to the point of Order was intended rather as a protest against what might become an inconvenient practice, than to object to the discussion of this Amendment, with which I hope the Postmaster-General will proceed.
§ Mr. MOORE
I am not in any way criticising your ruling, Sir, but may I point out the inconvenience which might arise? You propose to take the Amendment with regard to Trinity College, and there is another one with regard to Queen's University, Belfast. It would be very invidious if the claims of one institution were discussed and not those of the other. Might I suggest that they should be taken in some way together?
§ The CHAIRMAN
Dealing with the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington (Mr. T. Lough), I would point out that it is not within my control as to when the Government should move an Amendment. It is my duty to call on the Mover of an Amendment if I think it is right under the recent Order of the House to do so There are two courses open to the Government. One would be not to move it now, and to put it down again at the end of the proposed additions; the other would be to deal with the matter on the Report stage. With regard to the question of the hon. Member for North Armagh (Mr. Moore) I think he is quite right, and that Queen's University, Belfast, would come within the scope of the Amendment of the hon. Member for 1763 Bury St. Edmunds, which is to be moved by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University (Mr. J. H. Campbell), and I am informed that he will take that course.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
May I ask the Postmaster-General if he will be good enough to say, if he desires to defer the matter, whether it would not be the more convenient course to take his Amendment on Report?
§ The CHAIRMAN
Under the practice of the House I have no control over the placing of Amendments on the Paper.
§ Earl WINTERTON
May I ask, Sir, whether there will be any time after the factories Amendment for any other Amendment?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think these two Amendments—the Universities and Factories Amendments—will occupy a very considerable time, and I prefer to hear the views of hon. Members before I pledge myself further.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
I beg to move, in paragraph (11), after the word "Act" ["Irish Government under the provisions of this Act"], to insert the words, "(12) Trinity College, Dublin, or Dublin University, and Queen's University, Belfast."
In the absence of the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds I propose the Amendment which stands in his name on the Paper, and in view of the suggestion which has been made, I move the Amendment in the form in which I have given it. We have heard very frequently from right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite that this Bill is saturated with safeguards. I venture to say that if any constituent of an hon. Member opposite went to him and said, "Under this Bill what is going to happen to our Nonconformist Churches, schools, universities, and various religious and charitable institutions and corporations in Ireland," the answer he would get from his Parliamentary repre- 1764 sentative would be, "Oh!. all these things are safeguarded under the Bill." It may come as a revelation to them to know that from the beginning to the end of this Bill there is no safeguard of any sort or kind introduced with reference to any one of these institutions. The position is very remarkable, because this Bill in that respect differs in the most significant way from the Bill of 1886 and the Bill of 1893. In the Government Bill of 1886 there was introduced in Clause 4 a very important Sub-section which had for its object the preservation of all denominational charities, institutions, and bodies; and, with the preservation of them, the right to continue and maintain the particular religion or creed of those particular bodies. That was accomplished in the Bill of 1886 in-Clause 4, Sub-section (3), as follows:—
The Irish Legislature cannot make any law abrogating or derogating from the right to establish or maintain any place of denominational education or any denominational institution or charity.
So far as it went that afforded some protection, and that was in the Bill of 1886 as originally introduced. The Bill of 1893 contained the same Clause verbatim; but in this particular Bill we are now dealing with there is no Clause of the kind or anything like it, or anything that provides any safeguard such as was contained in that Clause. Therefore, so far as the present Bill is concerned, I state quite freely, without any fear of contradiction, that the. entire property of all the various creeds, Church of Ireland, the Nonconformist bodies, including Wesleyan and various Presbyterian bodies, all their property, their churches, their schools, their charitable organisations, and their funds and buildings, are handed over without restriction or safeguard of any kind to this new Parliament. There was another class of property which plainly required some security and some protection, and that was institutions of a public nature which were regulated or controlled by Act of Parliament or by Royal Charter. There are a good many such in Ireland, mainly devoted to purposes of education in connection with the various learned professions, and also in connection with banking and other public matters. At the time the Bill of 1886 was introduced the framers of it thought it was essential to protect such institutions, and accordingly in that same Clause in the Bill of 1886, that is Clause 4 1765 there was inserted Sub-clase 5, which ran in this way:—?
Impairing, without either the leave of Her Majesty in Council first obtained on Address presented by the Legislative Body of Ireland, or the consent of the corporation interested, the rights, property, or privileges of any existing corporation incorporated by Royal Charter and general Act of Parliament.
All such corporations were taken out of the jurisdiction of the new Irish Parliament. That same Sub-clause was introduced into and became part and parcel of the Government Bill of 1893; but so much importance was attached to it that when that Bill went into Committee in 1893, both in the Committee stage and the Report stage the scope of that Sub-section for the protection of those corporations was much enlarged, and further, an additional protection was given to such corporations. In this Bill, which we are asked to believe is saturated with those safeguards, that Sub-clause is also left out in its entirety, and from beginning to end of this Bill there is not a provision inserted of any sort or kind for the protection of those corporations carrying on public, religious, or charitable purposes under Acts of Parliament or under Royal charters. They are left absolutely and entirely at the mercy of the new Parliament. During the discussions in 1893 the Government were strongly pressed in Committee to make this Clause, which dealt with existing corporations, still wider, so that it should plainly cover and include the case of an institution like the University of Dublin, with its college, Trinity College, so that it might have ample protection from any invasion of its rights or privileges on the part of this new Parliament. Mr. Gladstone, who, not only then, but on many previous occasions had gone out of his way to speak in the highest terms of the traditions and history and the claims of that great university, supported, as I am bound to say he was then and on all other occasions so far as I know in very generous language by the hon. and learned Gentlemen the Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond), proceeded to say, in response to an Amendment that was proposed in the very words of the Amendment which I am now proposing, that, while he was most anxious in every way to safeguard and secure the University of Dublin, he was not prepared to accept this present Amendment, because, he said, "The university question in Ireland is not yet settled, and if I were to exclude the 1766 University of Dublin by name instead of leaving it to be protected under this general Clause, applicable to all charters, the future Irish Parliament (Home Rule Parliament) might be embarrassed in the settlement of the university question if it were precluded under all and every condition from interfering with Trinity College and the University of Dublin." That argument prevailed with the majority of his followers, with the result that an Amendment containing precisely the same words as that which I have now the honour to move was rejected in 1893 by a small majority of this House.
I desire to call attention to two matters which differentiate the position to-day in every respect from the way in which it stood in 1893. In the first place, in 1893 there was in the Government Bill that large and wide Section and the Sub-Clause protecting such corporations which has been omitted in its entirety from the present Bill; why I do not know, and I cannot even guess. As I have said, it was the Government's own model in 1886, then repeated in 1893, and further strengthened and enlarged in Committee, while in this Bill they have left it out entirely. Therefore we stand in this position as regards the University of Dublin, that there is no protection in the present Bill of any sort, kind, or description for it, and that is the position at a time when the reason Mr. Gladstone gave for not accepting this Amendment in 1893 has now gone, because, as you know, in the interval the question of higher education in Ireland as regards the claims of the Roman Catholic community has been settled by this House under conditions which, at the time at least, were supposed to receive the support and approval of their representatives below the Gangway, so that there is now no reason whatever under the existing condition of facts why this protection should not be given to the University of Dublin, and, of course, the Queen's University in Belfast stands in precisely the same position. It may be said, and I suppose will be said, and it seems to me the only answer we ever can get in reply to proposals concluding Amendments of this kind: "Why do you not trust the new Home Rule Parliament? Why have you not got confidence in the Home Rule Parliament?" I might deal with that in a very familiar way. I might say for example, "If a man had a pet canary and shut it up in a room with a cat, he would be entitled to say he had every confidence in the cat, so would I, but I would have very little confidence in the canary." 1767 That is exactly the position here. We do not want to have this institution in a position where it would afford the temptation to the Members of this new Parliament to experiment upon it. I want to point to one further matter. In 1893 the Government were informed in the course of the Debate that, notwithstanding this Clause they put in for the protection of corporations, it still would be open to a Home Rule Parliament to endow in public moneys denominational professorships in Trinity College, Dublin, in favour of one particular religion. Mr. Gladstone was so impressed with that danger that he inserted in that Clause 4 a new Sub-Clause, which ran as follows:—?
The powers of the Irish Legislature shall not extend to the making of any law whereby there may be established and endowed out of public funds any theological professorship or any university or college in which the conditions set out in the University of Dublin Tests Act, 1873, are not observed.
Therefore, he went out of his way in the Committee stage of the Bill of 1893 to take good care that this new Parliament should have no power to divert public funds hi regard to university or college education for purposes that had in the main any object of denominationalism or the teaching of one particular religion or creed. There is one other reason why this matter has becoming one of pressing importance. This university question has been settled in accordance with the solution which, rightly or wrongly, was accepted by hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, and which this House was led to believe was going to be a permanent and final solution of this question, though speaking for myself, after long experience of Irish legislation in this House, I have never known, nor can I conceive of any department of public life in which there can be any final or complete settlement; and I have taken part in so many of them that I begin to despair of having any final solution of any sort or kind in regard to any of these matters. But in regard to education I would just like to say this: that while I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman opposite that land purchase at this moment is far and away in excess of importance in contrast with the Home Rule Bill, so education in Ireland is a much more important question than either of them at present, and certainly not the least is higher education. As regards the people for whom I am entitled to 1768 speak there is nothing perhaps in the whole history of the future of Ireland that they regard with more interest than the question of the security and protection of their university. I am not going to rake up ancient history, nor am I going to say anything in the course of my contribution to this Debate that would excite any controversy or friction in the Committee, but it is necessary that I should remind the Committee of the distinct statement that was made many years ago, I agree, but never recalled from that day to this so far as I know, by Archbishop Walsh, the Roman Catholic Archbishop in Dublin, in regard to Trinity College. This is the statement he made, and though he made it many years age he has never, so far as I know, either qualified it or withdrawn it. These are his words: —So long as that central fortress of the education that is not Catholic is allowed to stand as it has now long stood, in the very foremost position, and to occupy the most glorious site in our Catholic City of Dublin, so long will it he impossible for any statesman, be he English or Irish, to deal with this great question on the only ground on which University reform in Ireland can be regarded as satisfactory or even as entitled to acquiescence the open and level ground of full and absolute equality for the Catholics of Ireland.That was said some time ago—
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
Yes. It was referred to frequently in the Debates of 1893, and during the intervening period the words have never been withdrawn, and, as far as I know, they have never since been either qualified or withdrawn. They amount to a positive declaration by Archbishop Walsh that so long as Trinity College occupied its present position, and was allowed to remain in the control and possession of a body that was not Catholic, so long would it be impossible to satisfy the Catholic demand for equal treatment in university education. That declaration, which I believe was to some extent responsible for the safeguards introduced in the Bill of 1893, has never been withdrawn or qualified. There is another consideration, to which I refer with some regret: but these matters are really of so much importance, legislating as we profess to be for perhaps many centuries to come, that it is essential that we should speak plainly, perfectly frankly, and at the same time without desiring or attempting to offend the susceptibilities of anybody. With that profound conviction I wish to point out to hon. Gentlemen opposite that here has arisen during the last few years in Ireland a new factor which has undoubtedly created the greatest possible apprehension 1769 in the minds of those who agree with me and with the great bulk of lion. Members opposite in their religious views. I refer to the extraordinary growth of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Until a few years ago that was a comparatively unknown organisation in Ireland. If it was operative, it certainly was not carrying on its operations with any publicity or with any great importance attaching to them. But some four or five years ago the society was revived with a, good deal of trumpet-blowing and proclamation as to what it was going to do for the regeneration of Ireland. It at once fell under the condemnation of Cardinal Logue, who in a public address denounced it as a jejune society, an organised nuisance, and a pest. When it was sought to revive it in Scotland the Roman Catholic hierarchy there in the same way interdicted it. For some reason which I do not know, all that seems now to be at an end. The interdict has been removed; Cardinal Logue has ceased, publicly at least, to censure or condemn the society; and, owing to the fact of its having become an approved society under the Insurance Act—the extension of which Act to Ireland, I believe, was only adopted by hen. Gentlemen below the Gangway for the express purpose of enabling this organisation to become an approved society under it—the order now boasts that it has spread the network of its organisation over the whole of Ireland. The hon. Member for West Belfast (Mr. Devlin), whose absence and its cause I regret, suited not long ago that he had planted its banner in the South of Ireland and spread its organisation for the benefit of all true Irishmen, and as a terror to all enemies of Ireland. Though I do not want to say that there is any necessary connection between the two, I regret to have to point out that we had in Limerick a few days ago a very regrettable indication of what that might mean—an indication which has spread great alarm among the loyal people of Ireland.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
It has nothing to do with the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I suppose the right hon. Gentleman is going to connect this with the case of the universities.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
Yes. I stated that one of the reasons why our anxiety at the disappearance of the safeguards, feeble as they were, in the Bills of 1886 and 1893 1770 was not lessened but greatly increased, was the existing condition in Ireland; and I was mentioning that one of the new factors has been the enormous and rapid growth and the extension of the powers of this sectarian organisation. No one will deny that its proud boast is that it is a sectarian organisation. No person except those belonging to one religion are eligible for membership, and members are bound by an obligation on all occasions to give preference to persons of that particular religious belief. This organisation has captured the whole political machinery of the Trish party to-day. The hon. Member for Waterford has himself described it as the great power behind his throne. [Laughter.] There is laughter, but no denial. The hon. Member has so described it, and he is right in so doing, because it is the real dominating factor to-day in Irish Nationalist politics. That is what has spread so much alarm amongst Irish Unionists, and to some degree accounts for a characteristic feature of the opposition to Home Rule in Ireland, namely, the extraordinary extent to which it has become a democratic opposition. For these reasons I beg to move the Amendment. With regard to the wording, I might explain that Trinity College and Dublin University are convertible terms; that is why the word "or" is used in the first instance, and the word "and" afterwards.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
As an Irishman, and not simply as a Nationalist, I regard the moving of this Amendment as lamentable and deplorable. It means that those who constitute this great historic Irish Protestant institution are afraid to trust its fortunes, its liberties, and its property in the future to their own fellow country-men, Catholic and Protestant alike. As an Irishman, I deeply deplore that attitude, and say that it is lamentable. From my point of view, to imagine that the smallest danger to Trinity College, Dublin, can arise to its religion, its property, or its status, at the hands of the Catholics and Nationalists of the country, is to misconceive fundamentally the Nationalist ideal. I take leave to say that the great bulk of the people of Ireland, Catholic as well as Protestant, are proud of Trinity College. We do not forget how it has been associated through so many of its most distinguished members with the history of Ireland and with the history of the national movement in Ireland. The precursor of Grattan in the movement for legislative independence, Molyneux, was 1771 the Member for Trinity College. Grattan and Flood, who won the legislative independence in 1782; Emmett and Wolfe Tone, who in another field of endeavour proved their devotion to the national cause in Ireland; in later times Thomas Davis and Dillon, the father of my hon. Friend the Member for East Mayo; and, later still, Isaac Butt, who was the father of Home Rule and the founder of the present movement which is now nearing its triumph, all came from the halls of Trinity College; and to imagine that harm could come or that injustice would be done to Trinity College by the bulk of the Catholic people represented in a free Parliament is utterly unworthy, and, I am bound to say, to all of us intensely offensive.
To remind the Committee what the attitude of the Catholic body has been for a generation past in reference to Trinity College, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Campbell) quoted some words which he said were uttered by the Archbishop of Dublin many years ago. But the Archbishop of Dublin's claim for the last thirty years, and the claim of the Catholics of Ireland, has never been the levelling down of Trinity College; it has been simply a claim for equality and for levelling up. I am glad to think that the great University Act with which the name of the present Chief Secretary will always be honourably associated in the history of Ireland, has afforded a settlement—though not perhaps as generous or as full a settlement as we could have wished, still a settlement that has been accepted—so that between the Catholics of Ireland and Trinity College there is to-day no ill will and no hatred. It was only the other day that Cardinal Logue, speaking on university education in Ireland, spoke of Trinity College with the highest respect; indeed, I might say with enthusiasm and pride. I assert here to-day therefore that that is the feeling which is entertained by the great bulk of Irish people, Catholics as well as Protestants, towards this great institution. And when people are told, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman has told the Committee to-day, that injustice and robbery, confiscation, and so forth, would be done to a great Protestant institution like this, there may be no harm in me quoting to the House one paragraph from a declaration that appears in this morning's papers, signed by a number of leading Protestants — [HON. MEMBERS: 1772 "Oh!"]—yes, signed by men like Lord Rossmore, who was Grand Master of the Orange Lodge, and one of the most bitter opponents of Home Rule in the early days of the movement; signed by quite a number of prominent Protestants who unhesitatingly declare that they are still Unionists. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] At any rate, I quote them on this question of Protestant injustice. They say:—We desire, moreover, to dissociate ourselves from the fears expressed in Ulster and elsewhere that under any system of Irish Government. Protestants would be exposed to religions or civil disabilities. We unhesitatingly record our convictions that, whatever results the settlement of this question has in store for us. religions intolerance or civil oppression need not lie feared.There is no single, name here who was ever associated with the Nationalist movement, and the overwhelming majority are gentle men who have been Protestants, and Unionist landlords. Although that is so and though the Committee will understand how deeply I resent that any Irishman should be found to give expression to this distrust, at the same time he would be a foolish man who would not face the real facts of the situation. The facts, as we see them to-day, are these: that those who speak for Trinity College, Dublin, and who are entitled to speak for it, ask in this House for this safeguard. The position that I have taken up all through this controversy for the last couple of years in this House and on the platform in England has been this: We repudiate with some heat and indignation the idea that any safe-guards are necessary. We believe that the Protestant population in Ireland may safely trust themselves to their fellow countrymen. Therefore, we regard safe guards as unnecessary. The right hon. and learned Gentleman quoted some Clauses from the Bills of 1893 and 1886. He expressed some surprise that these were left out of the present Pill. For a moment I really was rather staggered when I heard the right hon. and learned Gentleman, and I said to myself: "Why were they left out, because as they were read out to this House there was not one of them that I had the smallest objection to. I think—and the Chief Secretary will tell me if I am right—that probably they were left out in view of Clause 3 of the present Bill, which has no counterpart at all in the—
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
If my hon. and learned Friend will allow me for a moment: he cannot tell whether I am right or 1773 wrong. What I was saying was that the reason that they were left out was because Clause 3 was put in.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
If it does not, so far as I am concerned take the other Clauses. I have no objection to them in addition to Clause 3. My position must-be made quite clear to everybody. I regard these things as offensive. I regard them as unnecessary; but if any body of my fellow-countrymen conies forward and honestly says that they want these safeguards and really fear these things, then in God's name let them have the safeguards they want! Safeguards, innumerable safeguards, there are in this Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Hon Gentlemen representing the North of Ireland, especially, say that these safeguards are no use. They do not go far enough. How has the Government met them? The Prime Minister, from that table opposite, and in public meetings in the country, has declared: "If our safeguards are not sufficient suggest amendments and enlargements: new safeguards." But no, that invitation was laughed to scorn. The only answer was: "We do not want any safeguards." This afternoon for the first time hon. Gentlemen have asked for safeguards. They have come down here and asked that Trinity College should be exempted from the powers of this Bill.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
And Belfast. I need not dwell upon that because one carries the other. They ask that these shall be exempt from this Bill. Well, as an Irishman, I deplore that attitude, and as a Nationalist I resent it. At the same time I will not deny that, at any rate, some of them are quite in earnest about this matter, and that some of these fears are genuine fears. Therefore if they wish this safeguard, and if it rested with me, I would say: Take it and pass the Amendment.
§ Sir JOSEPH LARMOR
As an Irishman who has probably had more to do with the administration of Irish universities than any Member of this House, I would say, that the safeguards which are asked for 1774 by the right hon. and learned Gentleman are absolutely essential. It is common knowledge that at any time in the last thirty years it was in the power of the Roman Catholic inhabitants of Ireland by going to Trinity College ultimately to rise to Fellowships in the University, and in nineteen or twenty years to secure a majority on the Governing body of that Institution. Why were they prevented from doing that? Why was the Ukase of their Church put in force to prevent them doing that? The reason was that peaceful infiltration of cultivated Catholic Gentlemen into the University of Dublin was not what was wanted. What was wanted was affiliation of an extern institution which had no connection with the university and which was of an ecclesiastical type; which was intended to be of an ecclesiastical type, and foreign to the whole idea of the freedom of universities as understood in modern States. What was wanted was to keep the grievance open in order that a foreign body should be imposed upon the university which would bring in foreign ideas and destroy the freedom of thought and learning which had been the cause of the marvellous success of the University of Dublin, which had given it a reputation and distinction which spreads far away from Ireland and over the whole world, and in fact which makes it one of the three Imperial Universities of England. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Hon. Members make light of Trinity College. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] They smile at the thought that it shall be called an Imperial University.
§ Sir JOSEPH LARMOR
Oh, I should have said the "United Kingdom." I say that the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford is himself a graduate of Trinity College, or at all events I understand that he is a member of the College. I do not know whether I speak the views of all Trinity College or not, but as an Irishman I would welcome the fact that many members of the Catholic faith should go to Trinity College, with all the protection for their religious views, and that they shall rise to the highest positions there. I should not at all be sorry that the governing body of Trinity College should become in the main Catholic. I should, however, strongly object to the imposition of a foreign extraneous Catholic college on to that institution, which would bring in ideals which have never been the 1775 ideals of the free universities of this nation. I think there has always been a grave fear that what is desired as regards Trinity College is not to render it accessible to the Roman Catholics of Ireland, but to capture it for ecclesiastical purposes which are not those of a free and open university.
I think that there is really nothing to be said in calm, dispassionate discussion against the incorporation of the Amendment. What is the alternative? If you leave this matter open, I firmly believe that you are throwing at the head of the Parliament which you are instituting in Dublin the most contentious question that you could possibly send to it. I have no doubt whatever that in a very few years the question of university education in Ireland, which has been such a thorn to this House of Commons, will be reopened in Ireland under conditions which will lead to discussion which I should regard as deplorable. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary will tell us that there is no reason to fear any interference with the endowments of the University of Belfast, which have been safeguarded by this Parliament. Granted so. Why, then, does he object to yield to the scruples of the people in Ulster, and, in fact, the Unionists throughout Ireland? It will cost him nothing to exclude them from the purview of this Act of Parliament. If, as he tells us. there is no danger to their endowments, why not avoid this whole range of difficult, questions by simply letting the settlement of four years ago become permanent? It will be said that the Parliament in Dublin will not meddle with that settlement. I have very grave doubts as to that. Personally, I have been the victim of successive settlements of the Irish University question, each of which was to be final. The seat of my own education was Queen's College, Belfast, in one of its earliest phases. I remember a time when, to the great indignation of all the graduates of that college, it was smashed up and put under the rule of a University in Dublin—I admit by a Conservative Government. I think one side was as bad as the other. Later on I was a professor at another Queen's College in Ireland—University College, Galway. I might have been there to this day, and never been heard of in England again, had it not been for the threat that was held over Galway College of suppression in order to make wav for another 1776 settlement of the Irish University question. It was the business of every body connected with the place to get out as quickly as they could. This settlement, which was to be a final one, is to be replaced by another "final settlement" of four years ago, and now this Bill as it stands at present means that the duration of the last settlement of the Irish University question instead of being ten or twenty years, the previous average period, will be something like four years. I am speaking chiefly on behalf of the University of Belfast. That university was established chiefly as a makeweight to give a reason for the establishment of a university with what was called a Catholic atmosphere in Dublin. The people of the North of Ireland did not want such a religious atmosphere in their university. Their constitution was that of an undenominational university. The result has been that the Government quite rightly appointed a hybrid Senate, on which Protestants and Catholics were both represented.
It is well known that for the last two years there has been a bitter controversy going on in that Senate between the two parties as to the policy of establishing a denominational chair of Catholic philosophy in the University of Belfast. It is clear that that dispute is still unsettled and that it will at once be transferred to the first year's Estimates for the University of Belfast in the Parliament to be established in College Green, and the whole question of secular rersus denominational university education will be fought out and reopened. I have in my pocket a letter from a distinguished Oxford man who has gone as a professor to the University of Belfast. He says he was appointed to his post on the strength of his endowments being voted annually by the Imperial Parliament. He says he was appointed by a Commission which was established by the Government of the United Kingdom, and he wishes to have the security and the tenure which any person appointed to permanent office by the Government of the United Kingdoms—appointed for Civil Service or any other public office—should have, namely, the tenure of depending upon good conduct and efficiency in the discharge of his duties. I think it is a very great hardship that men who held academic appointments in England and who accepted appointments in the University of Belfast four years ago at the hands of a Commission appointed by 1777 this House should have their tenure altered and should be transferred from an Imperial status to the control of a Parliament in Dublin, of which they had no cognisance or reason to suspect the existence at the time they were appointed to their duties. The matter seems to me to admit of no argument. The Government v. ill say there is no danger, but people in Ireland say there is very great danger. The obvious way to avoid the reopening of the whole question is for the Government to fix the present conditions as the Amendment asks.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken is not only perhaps the most distinguished living member of the University of Cambridge, to which I humbly belong, but he has also had unique experience of university legislation in this House with regard to Ireland, and the account which he gave of his various vicissitudes and misfortunes in consequence of the varying legislation of this Assembly rather induces us to believe that after all this House is not perhaps the very best guardian to put over our educational institutions in the adjoining island. But I thank him very much for the observations he has made. Now, with regard to this question of Trinity College, Dublin, those of us who were Members of this House during the Debates of 1893 have probably but a dim recollection of a great many of (hem, but I am quite sure that those Members who heard the speech made by Mr. David Plunket, now Lord Rathinore, on behalf of the University of Trinity College, Dublin, of which he had the honour to represent, are not likely to forget it. For my part, I remember it as almost the only thing except a speech of Mr. Gladstone, as if it happened only yesterday, and I was rather curious to notice how the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, who is also a Member for the University of Dublin, would deal with the case as represented by Mr. David Plunket in those days, because all through that marvellous and most eloquent discourse we find introduced through its texture his fear for Trinity College. His only dread and alarm was that the Irish University question, so far as Catholics were concerned, never had been dealt with, and it almost seemed as if it could not be dealt with when the most eminent men on both sides have tried and failed; and the contention of Mr. 1778 David Plunket was that until it was settled it was only human nature that the Roman Catholics of Ireland, when they came in with new powers and were authorised to legislate on purely Irish affairs, would lay hands upon that magnificent, that ancient, and that splendid foundation. That was the case he presented with very great force, and. I remember it made a very considerable impression upon my mind, but things have altered since then.
The case as the right hon. Gentleman said is differentiated; the Irish University question is settled, and when I say settled, I am not going to say that anything can be settled for centuries—but we were undoubtedly able, by the great kindness and consideration which the Government received from the hands of their Nonconformist supporters and the generous support which I received from the senior Member for the University of Dublin (Sir E. Carson) and from the right hon. Gentleman, the then Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Balfour), who had made this subject peculiarly his own, and was known to entertain very strong opinions about it, we were able to put upon the Statute Book a measure which enabled a university to be established, to which Roman Catholics could send their children without exile, but with that peace and comfort of mind which parents require when they are considering into what educational establishment they are to send their children. That university was established in Dublin, and nothing gave me greater pleasure than to notice the other day when Trinity College had a great celebration, when it bestowed its recognition upon different kinds of persons, that ancient University of Dublin, did at all events, offer recognition and the honour of their degrees to those most actively engaged in the conduct and the management of the new university. What better proof could there be of how possible it is for brethren to live together in peace and amity. I am not going to say more than that these things afford a ground for the pious hope that this may be but the beginning of a time when Catholics and Protestants alike may be able without bark and bite to rejoice in the spread of information and the growth and strength of education throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. Therefore, I think the case is a very different one now, and that the demand made by Trinity College, Dublin, for special 1779 exemption is not nearly so strong as when Mr. David Plunket moved an identical Amendment to this and made his famous speech. I really think that the demand made by the University of Dublin to put Trinity College in a place, as it were, upon the other side—a canary in a cage of its own as the right lion. Gentleman said—is a change which, I think, time will show need not be made.
As far as Trinity College, Dublin, is concerned, I know how difficult it is for anyone who does not belong to that great university to sing its praises. People grudge praise from outside. When a Cambridge man praises Oxford the expression on the face of the Oxonian is one of being mildly bored. Therefore, I feel a little shy in this matter; but at all events I have had a great deal to do with Dublin in the last six years, and I do not sec why I should not openly confess myself a great friend and admirer of Trinity College, Dublin. I have always done my best for it and for its work. I love Trinity College, and so far from grudging it its splendid position in that great city, I rejoice that Dublin alone of our metropolitan cities has one of its universities in such a proud and magnificent position, that anyone who visits Dublin, even for a few hours, cannot fail to be impressed with how splendidly that university is housed. I do not want to go into details, but I have always been a friend of Trinity College, Dublin, and it is to be observed that when this Catholic grievance had been removed and university facilities were thrown open to Catholic parents, it had a strengthening effect. Many, of course, predicted it would have, but I do not pretend to have so predicted upon Trinity College—and the effect has been to increase the number of Catholic students in Trinity College. That is what it has done. There are now more Catholic students going to Trinity College than ever before, and the reason is that when the grievance is removed from other Roman Catholics, and as they are entitled to exercise a freedom of choice in the matter they feel that they can go to the older foundation if they wish without in any way disregarding or cutting themselves off from their fellow religionists, and therefore Trinity College, Dublin, occupied an even stronger position than ever before. People have sometimes spoken -of Trinity College, Dublin, as if it were a narrow-minded seminary that turned out people all bearing the same stamp, all 1780 of the same way of opinion. Nothing of the kind. Trinity College, Dublin, has always in all great moments of Irish history and in all great strains and agitations, sent forth men on both sides, and some of the most distinguished Nationalists that ever lived belong to Trinity College, and Mr. Plunket in his speech says:—?It is the college of Swift and Molyneux. Grattan and Curran and Tom Moore and Thomas Davis and of Isaac Butt. Yes, and in this House to-day there are not a few men who have had their education in Trinity College, Dublin, whom, though widely differing from me in politics, I am proud to claim among her alumni — I may name the present Attorney-General for England, and the hon. Member for Waterford who, I think, among the many eloquent men in this House, be-t revive the ancient renown of Irish eloquence.And these are some of the great services which Trinity College has rendered to Ireland and the Empire. With such associations, such memories, and able to recall such distinguished names, they come forward and beg and pray for a safeguard. [An HON. MEMBER: I "We are not begging."] I withdraw that word, and I will say that you are asking, by placing a Motion upon the Paper of this House, for an Amendment in order that they may be, as it were, placed outside the boundaries of the Act I think that is a most unnecessary and unreasonable demand for Trinity College to make. I confess that Belfast University has a stronger case than Trinity College, because it is new, and it was not established with the enthusiastic support of a great many hon. Members who reckon themselves, and no doubt are, representatives of local opinion. I should have thought that Belfast required a great deal more protection than the magnificent old foundation of Trinity, of which all Irishmen are proud. [An HON. MEMBER: "Belfast can protect itself."] I should have thought that Belfast, under the provisions of this Bill, would really stand more in need of protection, because it might have cool persons outside it and warm-hearted friends within its walls, and of the two I should be disposed to think that Belfast stood more in need of protection. I was surprised that the right hon. Gentleman should have quoted Archbishop Walsh again in regard to words used such a longtime ago, because when Mr. David Plunket made the same quotation. Mr. Sexton got up and said:—Will the right hon. Gentleman allow me to interpose for a moment? He has quoted some of the words used by the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin in 1886. Is he not aware that by a more recent declaration the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin said that the Irish University question might be settled in the same satisfactory way without the disturbance of the Dublin University?1781 That is an old quotation. [An HON. MEMBER: "It has never been withdrawn."] It has been contradicted by the declaration of the Archbishop himself. Trinity College remains in possession undisturbed of her great position, and she was not compelled to enter into an unequal yoke with persons she might not be minded to join, and she was left scrupulously and religiously alone. I think that quotation may be relegated to a buried past, for it has no relevancy whatever to the present situation. The case made by Mr. Plunket in 1893 is a feeble case now. I do not think any ease has been made out for the exemption of Trinity College from the general purview and scope of an Irish Legislative Assembly. I quite agree that it is unreasonable for me, a strong Home Ruler, to expect persons entertaining very different opinions, living in Ireland itself, and no doubt having some grounds, as they seem to think, for discomfort and apprehension. We have no business or right, and it would be a truculent and unreasonable course for us to adopt, to say, "Really your suggestions are foolish, your fears are groundless, and there is really nothing whatever in your point." The representatives of Trinity College and Belfast University come forward and say, "We are in doubt; we have apprehensions; we are associated with great educational traditions; we have a reputation extending all over the world. We are dependent upon that reputation for a supply of undergraduates and pupils, and we think you ought at least to give us one or two of the safeguards we really want." The right hon. Gentleman put upon the Paper an Amendment by means of which he desires to exclude from the operation of this Bill Trinity College, and he asks that the claims of Belfast, about which I will say a word presently, should be considered. I think it would be an unreasonable thing for us too jealously to inquire whether there is any foundation for the case, and for my own part I am perfectly willing, subject to? what I am going to say in a moment, to concede this Amendment. Let us consider the reason of that for a moment. Are safeguards of any value?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
If that is so, then the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Trinity College is wasting time.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am quite willing to accept the opinion of a learned body, and perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will not be offended when I say that I prefer the opinion of his constituents to the right hon. Gentleman's opinion Here we have proposals made by Trinity College, Dublin, itself put forward by one of its representatives and placed upon the Paper of this House, while dealing with a measure which has for its main object the setting up of a Parliament in Ireland with legislative and executive powers to be exercised by an Irish Ministry. They come forward and say, "We really think, having regard to all the past and our own great position, and everything that has happened, we are doubtful as to whether it is safe for us to entrust ourselves at once to such a jurisdiction, and we ask you to exempt us from your Bill." And when the Government entertain that idea they are received with loud and contemptuous laughter. That is not much encouragement for us to proceed by way of compromise and consideration. Hon. Gentlemen opposite say these things are forced upon us by hon. Members below the Gangway. Lot hon. Members opposite force things upon us themselves, and see whether we are not prepared to reduce the objections which we know are serious to them in a measure of this kind. Although I honestly think that by argument we could make a stronger case out for the rejection of this Amendment than Mr. Gladstone did in 1893, having regard to the circumstances of the case, I am glad to think the Government are in a position to concede the Amendment which has been proposed by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Trinity College, Dublin. Now I come to the case of Queen's College University, Belfast. Under Sections 7 and 8 of the Irish University Act it is provided as follows:—Out of the moneys provided by Parliament, an animal sum of £18.000 for general purposes.I pass on to the buildings, and it is provided forA sum not exceeding £10,000 for land and buildings.That is granted out of the Irish Church Temporalities Fund. We have to consider with regard to Belfast not quite the same question as in the case of a great and wealthy foundation like Trinity College, Dublin. In the case of Belfast we are dealing with a new university created quite recently, upon which a capital sum was spent, and it is 1783 really very largely dependent upon an annual sum of £18,000 for general purposes, and as the Bill now stands no doubt that £18,000 might be diverted by the Irish Parliament, say, to other educational purposes. I will not say diverted to unreasonable or improper purposes, because I do not contemplate anything of that kind. At any rate it is not an impossible assumption that this money might, in the course of time, be diverted to other purposes, and the question is whether that is a fair thing, having regard to the recent establishment of the university, and the fact that the professors and other persons have undertaken their appointments for seven years, and whether they should be exposed to the risk that the fund from which they are to be paid may be depleted and devoted to other purposes. I am disposed to agree with this suggestion, although I think the idea is a more novel one than the exemption of Trinity College, Dublin. I think Belfast University stands more in need of protection, if either of these institutions need protection at all, than Trinity College, Dublin, and therefore I am quite disposed to accede to this Amendment.
I am not in a position at the present moment to produce the exact words which will be adequate to meet the case. I do not think in the case of Trinity College or Belfast University that this Clause is the proper place in which the exemption should find its place in the Bill. I think Clause 3 meets the case put forward by the right hon. Gentleman with regard to certain emissions, and we can discuss them when we come to Clause 3. I am quite willing to promise the Committee that on the Report stage I will introduce words in Clause 3 which will give substantial and complete effect, so far as Trinity and Belfast are concerned, to the substance of the Amendment which has been moved by the right hon. Gentleman. This, however, is not the place to insert it. It is a matter connected with religion and education that this exemption really arises, and it must not be understood for a single moment that because we give way on these points we are prepared to say that every charter and every dependent body, to use Mr. Gladstone's striking phrase, "Is entitled to be approached with a spade, dug up, and thrown over the Irish boundary." That is something we could not agree to; but so far as these two great educational establishments are concerned, I offer that when we come to Clause 3 or on the Report stage, to introduce words 1784 which I will take an opportunity of consulting the right hon. Gentleman upon, which will have the effect he desires of exempting Trinity and Belfast.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
As this Amendment has been accepted by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, I do not propose to criticise his action on this occasion, but I do think a few remarks are absolutely necessary in order to show where we stand. This Amendment has been moved by the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Campbell), basing his argument upon two grounds: one an old letter of more than a quarter of a century ago of the Archbishop of Dublin, which has been made entirely out of date by recent events, and which I do not think anybody need have dragged into the present Debate; and the other was the growth of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Beyond those two points the light hon. and learned Gentleman did not adduce one single reason for the acceptance of his Amendment. I am not going at this stage to make any comment on the action of the Government or on the action of the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford in accepting that ground for the insertion of this Amendment into the Bill, but when the right hon. Gentleman accepts the Amendment he should remember this: There are many subjects on which Trinity College may desire legislation, and surely at all events some phrase should be introduced as to consent. The Legislature should have the power, at all events, of being approached. At the present moment Trinity College stands very badly in need of the King's letter. I myself should say the Royal Prerogative was spent without any such letter.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
It has not been challenged. There is a great deal to be said for the view that the Royal Prerogative is spent. It has not been attacked; there is nobody to attack it. I myself would very much like to see legislation. Let us take, for instance, the amounts which are lying useless and unemployed, granted in 1903 under the Wyndham Act. There is at this moment lying in the library of Trinity College a vast amount of unpublished manuscript of the most important and valuable kind. Is it to be supposed that the college is to be debarred from approaching the Irish Legislature, and that the Irish Parliament is to be excluded from 1785 using with the consent of the college, some of the funds which are already unemployed, for the purpose of publishing these manuscripts? I think the case of providing for consent is still stronger with regard to Belfast. The case of Belfast is embedded in a Statute along with the cases of Cork, Galway, and Dublin, and certainly it would create a most extraordinary state of things if, as regards the Bill of 1908, there was power in the Irish Parliament to legislate as regards Cork, Dublin, or Galway, and that portion of the Statute dealing with Belfast was exempted from the purview of the Legislature. It would certainly introduce into this present legislation an anomaly of the most curious and extraordinary kind. Surely we ought not to have monsters of legislation of this kind accepted by the Government. Take the Bill of 1908. We are to be competent to deal with it as regards Cork, Dublin, and Galway, but when we have crossed the Boyne—this is the real Ulster exclusion— the Legislature itself is to be incompetent to deal, even at the request of the university, with any matter concerning it. That is a deplorable kind of legislation, and, when the right hon. Gentleman said this is not to be taken as a precedent for further concessions, I think he omitted to take into account the mocking laughter with which his concession was received. Any safeguards that our fellow-countrymen desire, I for one am willing to afford them, but I do not regard this as any real safeguard, nor do I see how the right hon. Gentleman can logically resist a whole series of subsequent Amendments which follow on the Paper and of which it will be said this is the legitimate parent.
Let us look down the Paper, and see what are the other proposed exclusions. After Trinity College comes "marriage or divorce, factories and workshops, Customs and Excise, the Law Courts, the writ of habeas corpus, the custody or guardianship of infants or parental rights, the creation of a monopoly, bankruptcy or insolvency, joint stock companies, and the Bank of Ireland." What argument that has been addressed to us to-day with regard to Trinity College will not be applied with renewed vigour when you come to that Amendment? It will give the Opposition an opportunity of saying, "But for the Closure you would not have got your Bill through." Let us look further. "Elections, the execution or service of all writs, or other proceedings sued out of or issued by His Majesty's Courts in Great Britain, 1786 the fixing of judicial rents, and the Royal Irish Constabulary." Of course, hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway will say, "You exempted Trinity College. Is it safe to entrust the Irish Constabulary into the hands of an Irish Parliament?" "Explosive substances, postage or Inland Revenue stamps, moneys granted by the Treasury out of the Development Fund, contagious diseases of animals, the Irish Church, the appointment of judges, old age pensions, trial by jury, marine insurance, collection of taxes," and so on. When on Thursday last the Government yielded on the question of the Post Office, they had their concession met with the most mocking laughter, and there was not a word of gratitude or of thanks. If this concession of the Government would appease hon. Members above the Gangway, I would be all too eager to grant it them; but it will not: it will only make them worse. While quite willing to adopt any course that would lead to appeasement or fraternisation, or even compromise with hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway, I would ask the Government to remember that the acceptance of this Amendment is only made a stepping-stone or springboard, so to speak, or lever for fresh Amendments. While some of us would be quite happy if this Amendment were taken as a means of appeasement, I greatly fear its acceptance will do the Government harm instead of good.
§ Mr. MOORE
I think those who want this Amendment carried are under a deep debt of gratitude to the hon. and learned Member for Waterford for allowing the Chief Secretary to give way. If there is to be gratitude, let us give it to the proper quarter. I think the Committee might take note of this, and I hope the English electorate will take note of it. Here you have two centres of learning in Ireland, between whom there is a natural rivalry of different sorts, but unity in this: that come what may, they regard as the greatest danger that could happen to them their being left in the future under the power of the cattle-driver and the moonlighter. If a change of Government were proposed in England and you found the governing bodies of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, and London united in that way, people would begin to think there was something in it. That is the position in Ireland; and while I am glad, for the sake of appearance—I cannot put it beyond that— this concession has been made, there is another question which will have to be 1787 considered, and that is the unfortunate professors in Galway, who are left out of this Amendment. I would suggest to the Chief Secretary that he should apply for liberty in the proper quarter to have these gentlemen provided for. The whole argument of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford is this. If we, the Unionists and Protestants in Ireland, ask for any concession we are always offensive. It is a crime on our part to voice our own opinions or to ask for special treatment. It is all so very offensive to the Nationalist party. I do not think that is argument.
The hon. and learned Member for Waterford did try to discover an argument as he went along. He said there was no reason why the Protestants or Unionists in Ireland should suppose they would be treated unfairly in respect of Trinity College by the new Nationalist majority. That is all very well for consumption in the House of Commons, or for a British audience, but we live in the country and we know what goes on. We know this affection for and this great popularity of Trinity College, which are now supposed to exist among the Nationalist party, do not exist. I remember very well when we had the Land Act in this House in 1903. It was practically a consent Bill. I remember the Amendment the Nationalist party moved with reference to Trinity College, and the hon. and learned Member for Waterford said he would oppose it more bitterly than any other Clause in the Bill. Why? Because it was a Clause giving relief to Trinity College, the college of which everybody now is so fond. What did he say of that college then? He said:—Why should this State-endowed educational establishment be picked out, the richest in the country, and one against which personally lie did not desire to say anything—[HON. MBMBEUS: "Hear, hear."] Let me finish.but against which there was undoubtedly a strong feeling in the country amongst all classes of the population.That is the university so popular with the new Nationalist majority in the new Parliament. It does not stop there. For years the dispensary doctors and the Poor Law Medical officers throughout the country, whether Roman Catholics or Protestants, if they have taken a degree from Trinity College, they have been refused election by any public body throughout the West and South of Ireland, because of the possession of that Trinity degree. These facts are beyond contradiction. Take another matter. The Chief Secretary brought in a 1788 University Bill, which provided that county councils, out of the public rates, might endow scholarships in any Irish University. But wherever you get a Nationalist County Council in Ireland, although in some cases more than half of the rates are contributed by Protestants, they decline to endow a single scholarship in Trinity College. That is an illustration of their love for Trinity College. In some of these county councils, amendments have been moved by the fair-minded Roman Catholics that, while they endow a majority of the scholarships in the new National University, one or two should be endowed in Trinity in view of the fact that many poor Protestant farmers are within their jurisdiction. In every case such a proposal has been voted down and rejected by these people who profess to be so fond of Trinity. Is it not absurd to say there is no foundation for the statement that they are dying with the desire to embrace Trinity, and that therefore she can safely leave herself in the hands of an Irish Parliament?
The hon. and learned Member for Cork said, and the Chief Secretary also inquired: Why do you ask for these safeguards? My view has always been this, you cannot get sufficient safeguards by legislation. I am not prepared to deny that there are portions of this Bill which may be adequately safeguarded by legislation. But that is not sufficient. Everybody knows that it is safeguard by administration that we want, and Parliament cannot give us that. As soon as you put up an independent Government with its own executive we are at the mercy of the administration. I think the hon. and learned Member for Waterford gave up very little. If the Irish Parliament, with its National University, were empowered to found these national scholarships, there would be little, if anything, to prevent them devoting large sums derived from Protestant taxpayers to the National University. They could give the students a bonus at the National University to help them, and Trinity College would have to compete on these unequal terms. There is no guarantee that, under the administration of the Bill, we shall be able to rely on county councils in the South and West of Ireland no longer refusing to allow Trinity men taking up appointments under them. What is the value of legislative safeguards when there are these administrative powers of discrimination? It is all very well to jeer at us for not accepting these safeguards. If the Chief Secretary 1789 says the safeguard is not well drafted, I would reply to him that his own Amendments are not particularly well drafted. When he suggests to us that this is going to work as a safeguard, our answer is that that is absurd. Trinity College is not alone in desiring to be free from this domination. Are they not right in saying that they lack the confidence which every other person who speaks on this subject shares with them? They may be right or they may be wrong, but they are not alone in desiring not to come within the purview of the Imperial Parliament. Look at the provisions we have before us. Would it be possible to pass a Land Act which would affect Trinity College? It is not merely that they cannot interfere with the internal regulation of Trinity College as an educational establishment. I hope that this will not be left an open matter. We do not want further subjects of litigation.
§ Mr. CECIL HARMSWORTH
I have listened to the ungracious speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite with great pain. Knowing Trinity College as well as he does, I can assure the House that his sentiments are not very largely shared there. If I were responsible for the administration of Trinity College as a college, I should be disposed to trust absolutely to the Irish Parliament. But, as many speakers have said this afternoon, that is not the view of the Protestant minority. I do not think it is the view of the governors of the university, and, since it IB the case that concessions must be made, this is one of the most reasonable concessions that could be made. I support this Amendment simply out of consideration for the governing body of Trinity College, to which I myself owe so much. I feel certain, whether they are mistaken in the line of action that they have adopted on this occasion or not—I feel perfectly certain that a great many of them, whom I know intimately, will share gratitude to the right hon. Gentleman for the concession he has made. Whether in the future they will realise with regret that the concession has been made, I do not know, but, since they have asked for it, I think my right hon. Friend has been wise in making it.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I hope there will be no misunderstanding. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to accept the Amendment, but at the same time to intimate that it would be necessary to alter the form of words and to bring them up on Report.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
What I said was that I accepted the spirit of the Amendment. I cannot accept it in its exact words or in its-present place. I object to its standing here in this Clause, and I have said that when we came to Clause 3 I will then deal with the matter, and will add words of my own which I propose to submit to the right hon. Gentleman opposite. I distinctly said I could not accept the Amendment in this place.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I cannot remain satisfied with that. I do not want to throw doubt on what the right hon. Gentleman has said, but my view is that this Amendment would be out of place in Clause 3, which is confined to religious and irreligious advantages. I very much doubt if any Amendment would be in order which gees outside the subject-matter of the Clause. If you look at the marginal note, it will be seen that it reads, "Prohibition of laws interfering with religious equality." I think there would be a great deal of danger in attempting to introduce an Amendment dealing with education. It would probably be moved out of order. I do press my Amendment, and if it is withdrawn it can only be on the undertaking that the right hon. Gentleman will propose something on Report which will meet the wishes of those who are putting forward this Amendment.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I will bring forward an Amendment on Report in the proper place. I am not prepared to say it cannot be placed in Clause 3, in the form perhaps of a new Sub-section, but if it should be found that it would be better to place it in Clause 2, I will consider the point. I cannot accept this Amendment at this stage.
Of course, having regard to what has taken place about the Amendment, I have not thought necessary, nor do I now think it necessary to speak upon its merits. But having regard to the difficulties under which we are labouring, and the way in which we are gagged and closured in this Debate, I think we might expect the Chief Secretary to be prepared with words which he is willing to accept. It is very unsatisfactory to say, "I accept the spirit of the Amendment, but I do not know where I am putting the words in." I would remind the Chief Secretary that this Amendment was on the Paper before the Adjournment.
§ Sir E. CARSON
Surely the Chief Secretary must have considered what he is going to do with Trinity College and with Belfast. Surely he must have made up his mind and have put the words in a concrete form. Has he not consulted the draftsman where those words are to be put in the Bill?
§ Sir E. CARSON
Well, I think the right hon. Gentleman might have given us the words and have told us where they are to go in. In all these matters it appears to be assumed by Ministers opposite that we are carrying on these Debates in the ordinary way and with general freedom, but, as a matter of fact, we have only got seconds to distribute between the various Amendments, and it is a very unsatisfactory thing, working as we are under these difficulties, that when concessions are offered we are not told what form they will take.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I would like to ask from the Chair some indication as to our procedure. It has been suggested that on the next Clause only Amendments dealing directly or indirectly with the subject of religion will be admissible. That must affect our discussions very considerably. There are a large number of Amendments on the Paper affecting the powers of the Irish Parliament on matters unconnected with religion, and it will make a great difference to the course of the Debate if the Chair is of opinion that only Amendments dealing with the exercise of the power of the Irish Parliament with regard to religion are in order. I would at the same time submit that that is not really the effect of the Clause, and that any Amendment dealing with the manner in which the powers of Parliament are to be used, apart from the subject-matter, would be in order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
On that point of Order, I certainly do not propose to give any ruling on Clause 3 until we reach it. I would point out that the marginal note is—?
Prohibition of laws interfering with religious equality. 1792 We are not bound entirely by a marginal note. I take it that the general subject of that Clause is discrimination on account of opinion. That may be said to be roughly the subject-matter of Clause 3. With regard to an Amendment which I have not seen, I certainly cannot give any ruling as to whether or not I should accept it.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
If this Amendment is voted upon and negatived now, will it be in order to raise the same subject on Clause 3, or when we come to it? I take it that it would not be in order, if the Amendment is voted upon and negatived, to raise the matter again until we come to Report.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Certainly, if it is identical or very closely similar. As I say, I have seen no suggestion of an Amendment yet.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I hope there will be no suggestion of negativing the Amendment. I have considered the matter as carefully as I could with the draftsman, but I will not go into the conversations I have had with him. His point of view is that it ought to be included in Clause 3. Of course I am not empowered to ask the Committee to take that view, but what I want to say is that I cannot accept the Amendment in this place now, having regard to what has taken place. If it is not suitable for Clause 2, then on Report I pledge myself to bring it in.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
It has been discussed. I do not think there is any substantial difference between us. The Amendment requires careful wording, and my objection is to putting it in this place.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
Perhaps I can make a suggestion. What I am anxious for, as the right hon. Gentleman will understand, is to have—whatever the frame or form of his altered Amendment may be—the substance of my demand conceded.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
What we are afraid of is, with the very best intentions on the part of the right hon. Gentleman, that if he does not accept my Amendment now, on the understanding that he is to alter it afterwards—
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
And the place of it, and brings up on Report something which may not satisfy my Constituents, we may, under the conditions of this Debate, have no opportunity of discussing it. If the right hon. Gentleman accepts it now, I will always admit that he is doing so on the understanding that it is to be inserted in some other place and in some other form.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The only question about that is that the right hon. Gentleman means that I shall later on bring in words of my own to which the right hon. Gentleman does not agree.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I know; but at the same time, human nature being what it is, it is quite possible. What position should we be in then?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I want to work it out now or on Report. I do not think the proposal I have made is unreasonable. I cannot take the Amendment as it stands here, because if it is put in here my hands are to a considerable extent tied hereafter.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
I beg to move, after the words "transferred to the Irish Government under the provisions of this Act," to insert the words,
(12) Factories, workshops, mines, or other trades or industries, or the regulation of the hours or conditions of employment or rates of wages therein.
This Amendment seeks to retain for the Imperial Parliament, and to exclude from the cognisance of the Irish Parliament, broadly speaking, all industrial and labour legislation. The Prime Minister, in 1794 moving the Closure Resolution last Thursday week, described the Amendments of the Unionist Members as being, as a class, obstructive and dilatory. I can sincerely say that this Amendment is not intended to be either destructive or obstructive. On the contrary, it is a sincere attempt to improve what I believe to be a bad Bill. I do not like the Bill, but I do believe that if the Government were to accept this Amendment it would remove one of the great dangers to which the industrial classes of both England and Ireland would be exposed. The Government might accept my Amendment without any prejudice to the Bill. I claim, and I hope to have the support of the Labour party for my Amendment, because it embraces the most cherished ideals of their party, without in any sense violating any of their principles or their policy. In the first place, when a question of this great magnitude is submitted to a highly industrial country such as this, the first question we should ask ourselves is this: How is it likely to improve the working conditions of the people of Great Britain and Ireland; and, how is it going to conduce to the primary interests of the community? I lake the primary interests of the community to be the preservation and maintenance of industrial peace. The first interest of labour is organisation. The higher the efficiency of organisation, the wider the area over which you seek to spread your organisation, the greater is the means of securing solidarity and co-operation, the better it must be for labour. Conversely, if you narrow or limit your cooperative organisation, the worse it must be for labour. Therefore, it is obvious that if you narrow the scope of industrial organisation, you are not advancing the prospects of concerted and common action among labour.
In this Clause the Committee is asked to deliberately ignore the wishes of the majority of the workers in North-East Ulster—wishes that have been expressed with a clearness and emphasis almost unique in public demonstrations. Already in Liverpool, in Glasgow, and in many of the industrial centres of England, it has been made clear that a large number of the working class population are determined not to ignore the wishes and the cry of their brothers who are engaged in kindred concerns, and who are working under similar conditions. The greatest strength of labour lies in the belief that 1795 their whole policy is directed to the safeguarding of labour interests, and not to giving indiscriminate support to the one party or the other party, or to the one Government or to the other Government. We think, that under the circumstances, to depart from the declared and stated policy which is accepted right through Europe, would be to give a shock to the whole labour movement, and to the trade union movement in this country. May I reinforce my appeal to the Labour party with a warning given by a man whose authority will be respected, even by those who do not happen to agree with his views. Mr. Sidney Webb, in the preface to the 1911 edition of the "History of Trade Unions," says:—Now, it may well be a matter for trade union consideration how far it is wise and prudent for a trade union to engage in general politics. We have pointed out, with some elaboration, how dangerous it may become to the strength and authority of a trade union if any large section of the persons in the trade are driven out of its ranks, or deterred from joining, because they find their convictions outraged by part of its action. Nothing could be more unwise for a trade union than to offend its Roman Catholic members by espousing the cause of secular education; or to annoy another section by actively supporting Home Rule for Ireland.… Without taking a vigorous part in promoting, enforcing and resisting all sorts of legislation affecting education, sanitation, the Poor Law, the whole range' of the factories, mines, railways, and Merchant Shipping Acts, shop hours, truck, industrial arbitration and conciliation, and now even the Trade Boards Act, the trade union cannot properly fulfil its function of looking after the regulation of the conditions of employment.May I add that the establishment of a separate party to deal with labour legislation in Ireland runs counter to the whole spirit and policy of the Labour party. Let me remind the Committee that in a case, relatively unimportant as compared with this Clause, the question of establishing special Commissioners under the Insurance Act, was looked upon by labour as a retrograde step, and aroused deep suspicion, not only among the labour classes, but among the benefit societies as well. It has tended to thrust workers out of the existing organisations in Ireland, organisations which are unknown in this country, into new organisations. With regard to the establishment of a separate authority dealing with labour questions, I should like to remind the Committee of the protest issued not long ago by one who has some authority to speak on behalf of labour— Mr. Appleton, secretary to the Federation of Trade Unions. This is what he said on that subject:—We are told that all the complications following upon the denationalisation of the scheme must be 1796 endured, because national sentiment demands four sets of conditions. In the trade union movement we have little use for that kind of sentiment which manifests itself in the creation of divisions between people whose industrial interests are identical, and which propose to set up anomalies between one country and another. What the workers need is solidarity rather than nationality.There are 40,000 trade unionists in Ireland at present. Ireland is a developing and an expanding country, and unless that material prosperity is checked by the operation of this Bill, we must assume that the material prosperity of Ireland will increase, and if it does increase it means that the numbers of trade unionists and their influence will increase. But if you are going to put them under a different industrial system, under different labour laws and conditions, will you not be producing complete paralysis in the co-operative movement between labour there and labour on this side? We have always been taught to look upon the whole policy of labour as being one of community, solidarity, and organisation, while we know that nationalism stands for separation and division. Labour all over Europe is working at present to break down international barriers. It would be a serious thing for labour in this country, and I deliberately say it would be a serious thing, and an evil for the State itself, if it could be said that the Labour party in the House of Commons was deliberately setting up barriers in this country while externally trying to break down those barriers. The evil will not merely end in the case of Ireland. We have already been informed that if this Bill is accepted the Government propose to extend legislative power to Scotland, and possibly also to Wales, and the First Lord of the Admiralty has already indicated his intention of extending legislative powers to Lancashire, Yorkshire, and other divisions of the country. Do you propose to give to these new legislative bodies that you are going to create similar powers of control over labour and labour conditions to those you are giving to Ireland] If you do, the situation leads to this, that we shall be having separate legislation for all the industrial centres of England, and in so doing you will be making labour and labour organisations powerless in this country. If you consider it right and fair to give special authority and special control over industrial labour legislation to Ireland, upon what principle could you deny it to Scotland, to Lancashire, or to the other counties proposed under the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Churchill's); 1797 scheme? The result would be to have the great centres of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Scotland, and Ireland in constant communication with each other, living under similar industrial conditions and yet absolutely separated by different industrial legislation. You would have one industrial law for Leeds and Bradford, another for Liverpool and Manchester, a third for Glasgow, a fourth for Birmingham, a fifth for London, and a sixth for Belfast. With all these great centres of the greatest industries in England, having in many respects close industrial associations, living under different labour laws, the result would be that when the worker leaves Belfast and transfers his employment to Glasgow, or from Leeds to Liverpool, he will come under different industrial laws and a different industrial code.
The result of such action would be that while capital, by its inherent mobility, is capable of adjusting itself to the change of conditions and can transfer and migrate from one town to another, you will be rendering labour impotent for the reason that concerted action between labour under these conditions would be difficult if not impossible. In Australia the division of powers between the various States has been a great misfortune to industry. So serious has the situation become that the Commonwealth Parliament in 1909 was obliged to come to an agreement with the various States for the establishment of a central Commonwealth authority. Where one particular industry is being injured in one State by the competition of an employer in another State, and that injury is found to be due to unfair labour conditions in the one State as against the other, the matter has to be referred to the decision of the central Commonwealth authority. In other words, the Labour party in Australia are adopting a clumsy equivalent for our existing efficient central scheme dealing with all labour problems which we have in the House of Commons at present. With the experience of Australia before them the Liberal Government decided, so far as industrial and factory legislation is concerned in South Africa, that it shall be vested in the Union Government and that control shall not be given to the Provincial Legislatures, and all that this Amendment asks is that the Labour party in this House should follow the example of the Labour party in Australia and that the Liberal Government should at least see that the working classes 1798 in this country do not find themselves, under this Clause, in a worse position than the working classes in South Africa.
May I now refer to a speech which was made by the Leader of the Labour party on the Second Reading of the Home Rule Bill, and in which he explained his position with regard to this very question. He said he accepted the principle of Home Rule because he was satisfied that no Irish Government would do what it had every inducement to do, namely, to have labour laws of its own. This is what he said:—So interlocked, so interlaced were the interests of the two countries that no Irish Parliament could possibly tolerate a system of social legislation markedly inferior to that of the Imperial Parliament.My answer to the hon. Gentleman is this. If the interests of Great Britain and Ireland are so intertwined, so interlaced and so interlocked, is that not the best reason for leaving the system where it is instead of adopting an experiment the result of which you cannot know? The Leader of the Labour party expressed his confidence in the powers of concurrent legislation which are to be retained by the Imperial Government. He is asking us, in other words, to believe that if the conditions of Ireland reacted unfavourably on the industrial conditions of England, this Parliament, by legislative enactment, could correct the difference even if by so doing it caused the ruin of a successful industry in Ireland. The idea, in my opinion, is an impossible one. In the first place, supposing it were possible for the Imperial Government to interfere in Irish legislation, it seems to me it would be grossly unfair to Ireland, because you would then be legislating for Ireland in a Parliament in which only forty-two Members are represented, when on the basis of her population she would be entitled to a fairer representation. Is it likely that an Irish Parliament, given its powers and its privileges, would tolerate interference of that character? The Canadian Government in 1859 rejected the interference of the Imperial Parliament. In 1878 Cape Colony repudiated the interference of the Imperial control over their citizen soldiers, and little Natal, as late only as 1906, showed that it would not tolerate interference with its rights and liberties. The Government of the time resented, by its resignation, the paternal interference of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Churchill) and his colleagues at the Colonial Office. In fact the whole history of the Colonies shows us that young 1799 governments are very jealous of their rights and privileges.
There is another interest which, I think, is deeply concerned with this Clause and with my Amendment, and that is the community as a whole. The formation of great federations of workers has produced a situation in which a small dispute between an employer and one individual may lead to a great national calamity. The labour world is very much in the same position to-day as nations in international affairs. In international affairs nations have grown so strong, and the consequences of war are considered so terrible, that the whole movement between them at present is to try and avert war by means of peaceful stetlement and arbitration. So also in the labour world. The consequences of a labour strike are so terrible—and we have seen it quite recently—that the whole movement to-day is to try to settle labour disputes by some peaceful settlement. How will this tendency and this movement be jeopardised by the passage of this Clause? Whether you adopt arbitration or conciliation, or whether you accept the policy of the Labour party embodied in their Bill, to enforce the agreements arrived at between some employers and some men on the rest, this fact remains certain in my opinion, that you can only enforce these agreements provided masters and men all agree in accepting that agreement. What would be the case if you had separate industrial legislation and separate rules and regulations for Ireland1? In the case of Ireland labour would find itself precisely in the position in which labour found itself in the recent London dock strike. You will have in England Trade Boards or Conciliation Boards working for one particular industry, and perhaps imposing certain burdens on that particular industry, and, so far as Ireland is concerned, with separate labour conditions and separate labour laws; whatever you impose upon industry in England, Ireland will be exempt from.
If Ireland is exempt, you arrive at precisely the same situation that we had in the time of the dock strike. Moreover, if there is no combined organisation, let us see how it will affect this question of Irish labour. If the burdens placed upon industry in England are not equally applicable to industry in Ireland, then I say you arrive at the same situation that arose between England and Ireland in the eighteenth century. The whole history of 1800 Ireland shows that traders and manufacturers in Ireland developed their trade on the basis of low wages. The low-wage conditions of Ireland were used for the purpose of competing with industry in England. Manufacturers and traders in England had three alternatives. They could either say that, in order to compete with the unfair conditions in Ireland, their workers should be reduced to the level of the people in Ireland; they could press for tariffs; or, finally, they could demand the suppression by force of the Irish industries. At the present day it would be a very unlikely thing that any manufacturer in England would attempt to deal with any unfair labour conditions in Ireland by savage suppression. He would have two alternatives. He could say to his men when they demanded higher wages, "I cannot give you higher wages unless my rivals across the water have also higher wages." He might say, "We must have a tariff." In other words, we come back to the same situation as we had then. The lesson which was learned in the eighteenth century by the expenditure of life, and trouble, and money, was that any arrangement other than complete industrial union between the two countries was as unfair to one country as it was to the other. What you can have is this, either complete industrial union between the two countries or practical seperation, with full tariff powers on one side or the other; but as between the two there is no abiding resting-place.
I dare say we will be told that the Irish Nationalists have always been on the side of labour, and that they have always been in favour of democratic measures. I do not deny that the Irish Nationalists have always been in favour of labour legislation so far as it affected the people of England but what has their record been so far as industrial legislation for Ireland is concerned? In the case of the Trade Boards Bill, which was enthusiastically championed by the late Sir Charles Dilke, where did the opposition come from? It came from the Irish Nationalists, and for this reason alone. They said, "We have young, growing industries and we cannot allow these to be burdened by any conditions imposed upon us by any trade board." In the case of old age pensions the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) said it was an extravagance that no Irish Parliament would have sanctioned. In the case of the Budget of 1909–10 we were told that it was the foundation of all 1801 future social and industrial progress. But it is the most detested piece of legislation presented to Ireland in the last twenty years. In the case of the Insurance Act much opposition was expressed in Ireland, and it was only checked by the great skill shown by the organisation of which the hon. Member for West Belfast (Mr. Devlin) is the head. I fully recognise that there may be sweating in Ireland. The Government have instituted an inquiry into the matter of sweating. It was started eighteen months ago, and if there is any serious sweating in Ireland at present, why has that Committee not reported, and why is its Report not before the country at present? No doubt our attention will be directed to a paragraph which appeared last week in one of the Liverpool papers. It referred to a deputation of weavers and spinners which waited upon Mr. Hamilton, Secretary of the Trades' Federation Union. The deputation complained that there was sweating in the district of Lurgan, where weavers only earned 13s. a week, which they considered an extreme form of sweating.
I do not wish to go into the question of sweating in Ireland, but I am told that in the linen industry there is a state of depression at present, and that the workers engaged in it do not get the wages they would require. They work on piece, and there is not at present work enough to go round. Let us assume for the moment that there is sweating in that industry. Is there a single Clause in the Home Rule Bill that holds out the least hope that these classes are going to be bettered, and that the industrial conditions of Ireland are going to be bettered? Let me say that so far as the labour of the United Kingdom is concerned it has entered upon a new era. The working classes in this country are waging war upon poverty. Here you have an established authority in the Board of Trade, which has valuable statistics in respect of all industrial questions. The fact that it has been successful in the past in dealing with industrial disputes seems to be a reason why you should leave the situation unaltered. I am appealing to the Labour party opposite on behalf of the majority of the working classes in Ireland, who say, "We are better off with our industrial legislation dealt with by the Imperial Parliament, where we have the whole of the vast power of organised labour behind us." In England they have the sympathy of the Labour party behind them, and the sympathy of a vast proportion of hon. Members opposite and on this 1802 side of the House They say that this House is more capable of dealing with these industrial highly specialised questions than an Irish Parliament, composed, as it would be largely, of the agricultural element, which has not the knowledge and experience of these matters. In the Irish Parliament labour might be represented by three or four out of 164. It is in the interest of industry as a whole that I appeal to the Labour party. You have recognised that the strength of labour lies in solidarity. The Labour party has rendered inestimable service to peace and humanity by their unceasing efforts to break down national prejudices and differences. I believe that the sincerity and reputation of the Labour party is put to a test by this Amendment. If you really mean that solidarity is the means of obtaining industrial peace and progress in this country, you will vote for thi3 Amendment, which secures that as between Ireland and England this solidarity will not be broken. I appeal to every Member of the Committee to maintain intact the authority of this House as a court of appeal for every worker in the country who may consider himself sweated or oppressed in any way.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
The Amendment which has just been moved by the hon. Member, in an interesting speech, is one of real substance, and I hope it will be discussed upon its merits. I will not follow the hon. Member in the details of his speech, because so much of it related not to factory legislation, but to the general question of Home Rule. He did seem to assume that the standard of factory and labour legislation which this Parliament sets is bound to be higher in this country than the standard of legislation which the Irish Parliament would set, but that is not true. If hon. Members get a majority in this House, they will certainly undo, according to their own pledges, such Acts as that which is generally known as the Taff Vale Act, and I say that the Unionists of Belfast will not thank my colleagues or myself if we put them once more under the control of a majority of Unionist Members sitting in this House. I think the detailed merits or demerits of the Amendment might very properly be considered. It is for the purpose of offering some considerations upon it within a somewhat narrower field that I venture to address the Committee on the subject. It is not profitable to talk in vague generalities about labour organisations. The hon. Member has displayed 1803 this afternoon a somewhat rarely expressed enthusiasm for labour organisations, strikes, and similar things. All I can hope is that on other occasions he will support us when we are voicing those sentiments so admirably voiced this afternoon. But what we have to consider are the special conditions of Ireland as affected by this Amendment. Nobody who has read the factory inspector's annual reports is ignorant of the fact that the administration of factory legislation in Ireland is very unfortunate, and that the interests behind Ulster Unionism are largely responsible for obstacles being put in the way of inspectors. I refreshed my memory as recently as this morning. I was reading particularly that section of the 1910 Report which deals with the lady inspectors, examinations, and reports. There on page after page and in section after section the hon. Member, if he would only read them, would have a great revelation regarding the industrial record of those who rule Ulster politics. I am not going lightly to hand over the control of Irish factory legislation and the administration of factory and labour law to those commercial interests. The difficulty that has arisen in connection with Irish factory administration has been mainly threefold. First of all, Irish industries, with the exception of Belfast shipbuilding, have not been precisely of the same character as British industries. They have been conducted on a different scale. They have been organised differently, and our factory laws require special or local, and, if you like, national administration before they quite touch the Irish circumstances. And one of the great difficulties our inspectors have experienced is that our law, English factory legislation, has been passed primarily from the point of view of English industry, and that when it began to be applied to Ireland there were all sorts of little details which had been forgotten, but which meant everything from the point of view of administration in Ireland.
The second point is that English factory legislation has never been dissociated from an alien taint. The Irish people may be quite wrong in associating the taint with it, but the simple fact that an English factory inspector was an English factory inspector and that an English factory law was an English factory law, came to the minds of a large section of the Irish people pretty much the same way as our Excise laws come to the mind of the Indian. He assumes that on 1804 the whole they have not been passed for his benefit, but for our own advantage against him. The consequence is, as Miss Martindale, in a part of the report to which I am referring states, that the Irish factory operatives, the Irish workpeople, have never whole-heartedly associated themselves with the administration of our factory laws. And then the third reason is the weakening effect of sectarian politics in Ireland, more particularly in Ulster, where you have the organised Labour movement divided into two sections, whenever it suited certain interests to divide them—into the section of Protestants, and into the section of Catholics. That has had a most weakening effect upon the outside pressure that can be brought to bear, and has to be brought to bear, before factory laws are properly administered. I put it, after very careful study continued for a number of years, that those are the three main reasons why we all have got to admit, those of the Labour as well as of the Unionist and the Liberal parties, that the administration of the factory laws in Ireland has up to now been on the whole very disappointing. The question we have got to settle is, What has got to be done! Will this Amendment, if it is carried, exempting factory legislation and Labour legislation from the power that is to be given to the new Irish Parliament, benefit matters? If I think it will I am going to vote for it; but I do not think it will, and I shall try and persuade the Committee that this is so. The Noble Lord (Viscount Castlereagh) stares. I am going to address an argument to him.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
The Labour party will not vote against the Government unless they see that the Government is safe.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
The Noble Lord has got no business to make that observation. We are just as independent as the Noble Lord himself. I should have thought that one with the traditions of the Noble Lord's family should be exceedingly careful in criticising others. I was coming to consider the question as to whether, if this Amendment were carried, the administration of the factory law, whether it is an Irish factory law or an English factory law, will be improved. I begin with the fundamental proposition that if we are going to give Home Rule to Ireland at all we must give it with a full measure of confidence. Perhaps really the difference between us is that the hon. Member who move the 1805 Amendment started by confessing quite candidly that he was not in favour of Home Rule. Well, I am.
§ Mr. GOLDMAN
That does not arise out of the question. The hon. Member said I am against Home Rule. I said that I did not like the Bill.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
I assume that he is a loyal Member of his party and a conscientious Member, and that he is not in favour of Home Rule. That is the difference that cuts very deep. If one is in favour of Home Rule then one will take a certain point of view; if one is opposed to it one will take another point of view. Now I am in favour of Home Rule, and being so, I want to show the fullest confidence in the Irish Parliament. If we begin by exempting subjects in which we are personally, or as a party, specially interested, where are we going to end? I am not only keenly interested in factory legislation; I am also keenly interested in public health legislation, and I think it might be said that in certain respects we might be on a higher standard of public legislation here than they will be in Ireland, and the special circumstances of Ireland and the geographical circumstances are so different that they might express themselves in that way. The hon. Member might just as well have said: "I do not believe in handing over the sanitary conditions of Belfast, which goodness knows is bad enough, to the goodwill of Irish farmers coming from Cork and Kerry, and I will refuse to hand over the industrial legislation which is going to affect Belfast to the same body of men." The fact is, if we are exceedingly keen upon various interests, and if we propose to retain them in this House and not leave them to an Irish body, that is not an argument in support of the Amendment, which is now before us. Moreover, this Bill proposes to reduce Irish representation in this House to limits which are less than Ireland can claim if we are going to deal substantially with Irish affairs. If this House is going to have control of the factory and labour legislation generally that Ireland has got to obey, then the Irish representation ought not to be cut down, as it is proposed to be cut down in this Bill. The whole assumption of this Bill is—it does mot matter what provision of it you take— 1806 that we are going to hand over to Ireland the full responsibility for control of her internal affairs, and everything else follows as a consequence.
There is just one point where I think the Irish Parliament may hope to follow practically, the decision of this House. I refer to international agreements. If we are going to develop the very promising beginning of international labour agreements—I am speaking of the agreement which has been recently come to regarding the prohibition of the manufacture or the import of the yellow phosphorus matches—I think in the whole circumstances of the case, and considering that those points will never be settled until the evidence in favour of them is simply overwhelming, that when such an international agreement was come to between, say, Germany and France, and Japan and Russia, and ourselves, the interests of Ireland, its special interests in such circumstances are so reduced and are so small that the Irish Members might be very well advised in allowing all international agreements relating to industrial conditions to be made on their behalf by this House. That is a point that I wanted to discuss on a later Clause, but as this Amendment is put down here, I thought it would be advisable just to mention it on the general argument, that if you give Home Rule you must give it with a full measure of confidence. Then we come to the practical difficulty. The hon. Member, though I do not think he expressed it quite so clearly—possibly it might have been my own fault in not following him properly—had in his mind a desire to have uniformity of legislation and uniformity of administration. I have got that desire in my mind, too, and I do not see how this Amendment would carry out that intention. I am perfectly certain that nobody can read and study the factory inspector's reports for the last seven or eight years without seeing that one of the great causes of the inequalities of administration as between England on the on hand and Ireland on the other is the uniformity of legislation, and that what Ireland wants now in order to have her factories and workshops inspected with the same accuracy and care as ours, is that there should be special Irish legislation dealing with the special conditions of Irish industry. That does not mean that there is going to be a lower grade of factory inspection. I do not believe for a single moment that an Irish Parliament, 1807 elected as this one will be under the conditions under which election will then be conducted, with the reformation of parties and the uprising of totally new political issues in Ireland can to any substantial extent pass and sanction industrial legislation which is lower in its standard than the industrial legislation which we have got in this country. The hon. Member opposite referred to the Wages Board Act, and I think he is quite wrong in respect to that. As a matter of fact, the hon. Member for West Belfast (Mr. Devlin) has been one of the most active Members in this House, both privately and publicly, in trying to persuade the Board of Trade to extend the Wages Board Act to shirt-making in Ireland.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
It is quite possible that individual Members belonging to the Nationalist party and belonging to other sections of Irish representatives may have made speeches against the Bill, but the simple fact remains that Members in that part of the House who are interested in this industry have been most active in bringing influence to bear on the Board of Trade to extend the Act in order to include shirt-making in Ireland. My first point is that uniformity in administration often necessitates diversity in legislation. I think that has been proved by the factory inspector's report that that is the case at the present time in Ireland. That is not all. Uniformity of legislation very often means diversity of administration. If the hon Member's Amendment were carried it would not touch the question of administration at all. Here is the Wages Board Act: Supposing we extended the scope of that Act and we applied it to industries in Ireland, does the hon. Member mean to tell me, or do Members in any other section of the House believe, that that Act is going to be applied to any main Irish industry except through an Irish Board, whether we have Home Rule or not. The home industries of Ireland of any importance at all would require that you should set up an Irish Board, quite independent of this Bill. Let us assume you have got an Irish Board in the shirt-making trade and an English Board in the shirt-making trade, and let us assume that the hon. Member is right—it is not my assumption at all—and that the interest of Ire- 1808 land means that Ireland should be put in a position to compete with England. Let us assume—[An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] Yes, that is a very good assumption from the hon. Member's standpoint.
Let us assume that the English Board fixes 4d. or 4½d. per hour—I do not think it would be more than that, judging front recent revelations—what would be the Irish figure? I think if the hon. Member is right in his figure the Irish rate would be 3d. or 3½d. Under the Wages Board Act are you going to force 4d. or 4½d, on Ireland? You cannot do it. Whether you get this Bill or not, you cannot possibly do it. My hon. Friend shakes his head. Very few men in this House know the difficulties and intricacies of the Wages Board Act better than my hon. Friend. If he means to say, after experience of the Australian experiment, that you are going to apply the Wages Board Act to a country like Ireland, with its widely scattered domestic industries—which are subsidiary to other industries, daughters of farmers, for instance, working while they attend to the cattle—he has far more faith in an edict issued from Whitehall than I have. As a matter of fact, in regard to the point which I have already made, my hon. Friend knows quite well that the ordinary operation of the factory law has been badly administered in Ireland, just because Ireland has never kindly taken to it for the three reasons I have given. If that be so, the difficulty is going to be enormously greater as soon as we touch the question of wages. The point I want to-make is that, given uniform legislation, that does not mean you have got to have uniform administration. As a matter of fact, it may mean that your administration is going to be far less effective than if you had some flexibility or some differences of legislation going on at the same time. We come back to this position, and I lay it down as a proposition which cannot be successfully assailed, that the only way you are going to keep up a high standard of factory and workshop administration in Ireland is to get Irish public-opinion behind that administration, and to-organise effective political pressure outside. We have got to do it here.
Those who have been behind the administration of the factory laws know perfectly well that if there were no trade unions in this country the Home Office never would have had administered the factory laws as they have done. They have had endless anonymous complaints 1809 showing the defects of the law; and one of the most pathetic things is that there are very few complaints from Ireland. We know from the factory inspector's report in regard to the administration of the factory laws that very few complaints come from Ireland, and the inspector's report shows how very little interest is taken in it. I put that down to the fact that all Irish political fights are fought by sectarian battalions on the Nationalist field. One of my great reasons for speaking as I do is to put an end to all that, and to bring about in Ireland precisely the same political issue, the same political parties as we have fighting political battles in this country. The moment that is done then the whole administration of the factory laws and the labour laws will become real and active, causing more interest to be taken by the outsider in Ireland as the outsider takes here. But you will never get that until you have got your Home Rule Bill passed into law. One final point I wish to make. Let the Committee, or at any rate those who are in favour of Home Rule, try to realise for a moment what is going to be the effect of Irish political opinion if all Labour legislation and all industrial legislation is going to be dealt with by this House, and if our Home Office is going to be the authority to send its inspectors to Ireland, to regulate Irish factories and Irish workshops, in the great political issue which is to be fought under this Bill, organised labour would not be paying attention to its own self-government, but would look to this House. The whole thing would be so impossible, so alien and so awkward, that Ireland would remain under Home Rule as indifferent to factory legislation as unfortunately it is now before you grant Home Rule at all.
I want to see a Labour party started in Ireland. I want to see the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond), when he leads his friends in Irish battles, opposed by a battalion of Labour. The great difficulty we are in is that we never know whether our Irish colleagues are Liberals, Conservatives, or Labour men. One of the great mistakes we have made in the past is that we have always divided them into Nationalists and Unionists, and it is because I feel perfectly convinced—and you must of course give mo my fundamental assumption, otherwise you will never understand the position we take up—that if you are going to give Ireland Home Rule at all we are only justified in doing that if we can succeed in dissolving, as I think, the very bad and 1810 very wicked lines of distinction that have kept the Irish people apart for generations. Home Rule is going to do that. If I was convinced Home Rule could not do that, I would vote against this Bill as it stands on every occasion. Therefore, if that is my aim, if that is what I consider to be the extreme test of success of Home Rule, then I would not vote for any Amendment which would make it difficult to effect that object, and the one Amendment which would do that would be the Amendment the hon. Gentleman has just proposed. I want the Irish Parliament to take the responsibility for this. I want Irish trade unionists in Belfast to join hands with their fellow trade unionists, irrespective of creed, and form outside the Irish Parliament a Labour party to make opinion and to form inside the Irish Parliament a Labour party to pass legislation. Insert this Amendment and all that is gone. Every vestige of hope that it could be accomplished would have to be abandoned. Therefore I take the Bill as it stands so far as my vote goes, leaving to the Irish Parliament control of labour and industrial legislation with all the awkwardness there may be to settle at the present time, because I believe that a Parliament devoid of that would be so lopsided and inefficient and its interests so narrow that it never could raise in Ireland those great political divisions which are likely to be the political salvation of that country directly Home Rule is carried.
I think everybody who has heard the speech of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down will be ready to admit that he has done what is not always done by the supporters of the Government on this Bill—he has attempted to-argue the case, and has really tried to let the House into the secret of his soul and tell them why it is he is going to support the Bill in the shape in which it is at the present time. I have listened to his argument with the profoundest interest, and, in parts, some measure of agreement. I think if he looks back and surveys the subject as a whole it must be brought home to his mind how really ineffectual it is if you look at the substance and core. In his very last words he gave us to understand that one of the reasons which induce him to vote against my hon. Friend's Amendment was that he thought with that Amendment the new Irish Parliament called into existence by the Government would not have some of the elements which the hon. Gentleman, perhaps naturally, 1811 thinks essential to every good Parliament, it would not have a Labour party. I think that was the view he expressed. He said in substance, "What I want to see in Ireland is a Parliament in which all the existing Irish divisions shall vanish, and new Irish divisions shall come into being, and—I am not quarrelling with that part of his argument—which should copy the parent Assembly," an Assembly of which the hon. Gentleman is a distinguished Member, and from which he wishes practically to expel all the effective Irish talent. That is what it comes to. I do not think that is an adequate reason for handing over labour legislation to an Irish Parliament.
What are the reasons on the other side? The hon. Gentleman began his speech by saying to my hon. Friend those of us who are really genuine Home Rulers, as he is, trust an Irish Parliament, and if you trust an Irish Parliament at all you ought to give them all the powers this Bill gives, and not accept any Amendment diminishing or withdrawing those powers such as the Amendment suggested by my hon. Friend. I frankly say I do not trust an Irish Parliament. The House knows that very well. I have given my reasons often enough why I do not trust an Irish Parliament. My objection to this contention is not based upon anything that can properly be called mistrust of an Irish Parliament. It is based upon other and deeper reasons. In the first place, I would ask the hon. Gentleman how far he means to carry this principle. I understand the party to which he belongs—I do not mean the Labour party, but the general body of opinion on the other side—regards this as a mere step to federalism. Is Scotland to have its own labour Jaws and is Wales to have its own labour laws? Does he think so—I want to know? Does he want the various fractions foreshadowed by the First Lord of the Admiralty—Yorkshire, Lancashire, and all the rest of them—a question which my hon. Friend asked in his speech? I think when the hon. Gentleman is laying down broad principles with regard to Home Rule he ought to remember that the Home Rule we are discussing is, I believe, by profession of its authors, preliminary to a larger measure embracing the whole of the United Kingdom. Are we really to be told that to every fraction of the United Kingdom is to be handed over the power to settle the labour laws under which our industries are to be carried on? It seems to me the people who ought to be 1812 first of all others to resist that most strenuously and most ardently are the Gentlemen opposite, whom the Leader of the party so ably speaks for in this House. I do not believe he wants that subdivision of labour laws when federalism is really carried out. I do not believe he will get up and say he does wish that. Why does he not wish that? If I may venture to invent the reason why he does not wish it, it is because he does not wish to see great divergencies of legislation regarding these matters, and a most reasonable ground that is. He knows quite well, though he has not said it in his speech, that however much he trusts an Irish Parliament, the mere fact that you have created two co-ordinate and necessarily equal Assemblies for dealing with labour legislation, so, for certain, they will go on different paths, animated by different ideas, but in any case taking different views of legislation on this or that great labour question.
Therefore whether you distrust an Irish Parliament, as I frankly do, or trust it, as the hon. Gentleman does, I say that to create those various bodies is to force to an absolute certainty divisions in labour legislation which the hon. Gentleman will admit are deeply to be deplored. How did he attempt to deal with that argument? I do not think he denies that the result of setting up a separate Assembly in Ireland would be that there would be great divergencies, or certainly divergencies, in the labour laws. I think he will admit that, but he said even under our existing system, or perhaps because of our existing system, though your legislation is identical the administration is different, and you get that very diversity of operation to which he objects, and to which I, like him, also object. Of course it is quite true if you have the feelings of any industrial centre hostile to legislation, you will find it works with difficulty. I quite agree, but does he really think that he is going to get legislation in his Irish Parliament which will meet with greater favour than the legislation passed by this House in which Ireland, everybody admits, is fully represented, and in which the question of religion does not come in, and the question of nationality does not come in, and in which nothing conies in which ought to or can affect the reasonable legislation of this House. The idea that the Irish Parliament is going to do this particuar kind of work better seems to me to be wholly absurd. The Irish Parliament will, presumably represent the mass of the Irish 1813 people. The mass of the Irish people consists of small farmers and labourers whom the small farmers employ.
I really cannot understand how any man who understands the difficulties and the delicate and highly controversial work of settling this labour legislation, can think it is going to be better done by a Parliament so constituted. However, we may trust it, or whatever view you may take of its Parliamentary capacity, and though I have never doubted that of my Irish fellow-countrymen, yet it is absurd to suppose they are a better machinery for carrying but industrial legislation than this House, representing largely an industrial population, in which employers and employed, trade unions and unorganised labour, all And in their respective fashions, voice, and power of utterance, which individual Members may think inadequate, but which is certainly not absent from our councils. Therefore, I do not believe you will find in the new assembly which you mean to create in Dublin a better machinery for legislating on labour questions. I am sure you will find an assembly that will legislate differently, and therefore you must look more for wide divergencies in your labour legislation in Ireland and in England. Is that a thing anybody can look forward to without the gravest disquietude? It has in the past, in bygone years before the Union, certainly caused the most grievous friction between the communities on the two sides of St. George's Channel. Those divergencies have done harm and not good. When the hon. Gentleman goes on to point out that in many respects the administration of the laws about child labour and the ventilation of factories and other points is less satisfactory in Ireland than here, is not that partly because at this moment the standard is a lower standard of living in Ireland, unhappily, than in England. I do not say that anybody is to blame for it, I only ask whether it is not a fact, and everybody knows it is the fact, and I say to divorce Ireland from England, to divorce the country with a relatively lower standard of living for the working classes from a country with a relatively higher standard of living for the working classes, is to do grave injury to the country with the lower standard.
Surely it is not a question as far as this Amendment is concerned of confidence in the justice of an Irish Parliament; it is not a question of their good intentions. The question is quite other than that; the question is, in the first place, is an assembly 1814 composed predominantly of the representatives of small farmers, with no experience and no interest, no natural interest, no personal interest in manufactures, the best assembly to deal with vast industrial centres like Belfast? That is the first question. The second question is: Is it wise, is it right, is it justified for this House to leave industrial legislation in Ireland to an assembly created, and representing even that lower standard of comfort and to wholly divorce it from that Assembly in which they have got full influence and from a country where, as we all know, however much we may deplore the lowness of the standard that still exists, yet that standard is higher than that which exists on the other side of St. George's Channel. I quite agree that the hon. Gentleman argued his case, as he always does, with lucidity and with fairness; but that he made out his case, that he, representing the Labour party and labour interests, or, rather, claiming to represent labour interests, not in England and Scotland alone, but all over the whole United Kingdom, that he should come forward and vote against the Amendment, which, of all the Amendments under this Bill, most directly affects the industrial future of Ireland, I am bound to say fills me with astonishment. That his vote will be given in all honesty I do not doubt; that his speech was an able one I have already admitted; but that he, having made that speech, can really come forward and present himself to the world at large as the champion of raising the general level of comfort of the working classes of the United Kingdom; that he should be able to do so seems to me, after the speech he has made and the vote he is going to give, utterly and absolutely incredible.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir John Simon)
The right hon. Gentleman began by saying frankly enough that he does not trust an Irish Parliament, and he went on to assert, though not, as I think proved by what he subsequently said, that it was not his distrust of an Irish Parliament which caused him to support this Amendment. I listened, as we all listened, with interest to the speech he made. I think it is possible to show, and I think he did show, that it is distrust of an Irish Parliament, it is opposition, perfectly sincere of course, to Home Rule itself, which causes right hon. Gentlemen such as he to support this Amendment, and to resist the present proposal of the Bill. The question 1815 that is raised by this Amendment is not limited to the question whether or not the Irish Parliament should have power to legislate in respect of labour matters. Side by side with the question of what is the ambit of legislation comes the corresponding question of what is the ambit and scope of administration. By the very framework of this Bill, every subject which is excluded from the legislative capacity of this Irish Parliament, is at once and automatically excluded from administration under its Ministers and through its executive. Therefore, the question raised here is not merely the question as to who is to make the law which regulates the conditions and hours of labour in Ireland, but also the question of who is to administer whatever law there may be in Ireland from time to time on this subject; and are those persons who administer it, the factory inspectors and other people, to be subject to the Irish Executive in the Irish Parliament, or to the English Executive in this House. That is the question which is really raised; and when we approach that question in its full breadth and meaning, what is really the argument presented on the other side. The right hon. Gentleman says that he does not support this Amendment because of his fears of, or want of trust in, an Irish Parliament. Let us approach it for a moment in the way in which a sincere Home Ruler—and the right hon. Gentleman admits that there are sincere Home Rulers—may be expected to approach it. Is the proposition put forward in support of this Amendment that the existing factory law is good for Ireland or that it is bad for Ireland? Is the proposition put forward that Irish public opinion approves, or that Irish public opinion does not approve it?
If it is said that the existing factory law is such that Irish public opinion does not approve, what comes of the proposition that under the Union Ireland has all the advantages of self-government? What is the good of saying in one breath that there are serious reasons for supposing that the British factory law is resisted and disliked by the mass of Irish opinion, and in the next breath that Ireland has no reason to complain that she does not get her way, because she gets her way in the Imperial Parliament? But if, on the other hand, as I think is nearer the case, the truth is that Irish public opinion has not shown itself on the whole seriously hostile to improvement in labour legislation; if, as we all know, 1816 the representatives of Ireland in this House have been amongst the foremost in urging many improvements in labour legislation for the whole country, I want to know what conies of the fear and the anxiety which is expressed at handing this subject over to the Irish Parliament? I will put this point to the Committee: I rather think that the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment—though I apologise for not being here when he made his speech—is amongst other things, anxious lest a different authority—the Irish authority—should so vary the standard of industrial regulations as to affect the labour conditions in Ireland as compared with England. What if that does happen? What is his view? Is it his view that if you have longer hours in Ireland and less stringent conditions, that will be a fresh prejudice to British trade? I shall be very much surprised to learn that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Balfour) supports the doctrine that a loose administration of industrial regulations and a lower standard of conditions in carrying on labour, actually put those who pursue them at an advantage at the expense of their neighbours. Nobody who has followed with the closeness and interest that some of us have the economic explanation of the right hon. Gentleman will ever accuse him of that heresy.
If that is the case, the position is this: England is not going to suffer by such a sub-division of powers, because all that you are afraid of is that the Irish Legislature is going to reduce the standard against her own interests, and not to our disadvantage. If, on the other hand, you take the view, which I submit to the Committee is the true one, that Irish public opinion has not shown itself unreasonably suspicious of, or hostile to labour regulations, and that those who speak as Irish representatives have supported and encouraged them, I say that there is no reason in the special circumstances of the case for supporting the express exclusion of this subject from the Irish Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the Irish farmer, who is naturally going to have some substantial interest and representation in the Irish Legislature. Is the proposition, then, that the Irish farmer is going to show himself unwilling to insist upon stringent regulations for the industrial districts of Ireland? The Conservative party are fond of reminding Liberals and others that it was the agricultural interest—so they say, and I am 1817 not challenging it at the moment—which did so much to insist upon stringent factory laws at an earlier stage of our history. The real truth is that if the manufacturing and industrial interests in Ireland have anything to fear it is certainly not from the agriculturist people that they have to fear it—if, indeed, they are so foolish as to be afraid of reasonably stringent regulations in the interests of a better standard for their own industrial population.
The last consideration, and the one which should, I submit, be the governing matter in the minds of the Committee, is that with which the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) concluded. Here we are professing to set up an Irish Legislature, and here are hon. Gentlemen opposite sincerely and gravely concerned because they say these religious differences, these old traditions, descended from the battle of the Boyne, are going to prevent that Legislature from acting in peace and harmony. Then, in the name of all that is good sense, let us give that Legislature a vital subject with which they have to deal—a subject which cuts across those religious difficulties. I have the greatest respect for the good faith, and it may be for the vehement determination, of the different parties to this quarrel in Ireland. But surely we are not going to have hon. Gentlemen from Ulster because they are from Ulster and because they are Protestants quarrelling on subjects of this sort with hon. Gentlemen from other parts of Ireland because they do not come from Ulster and because they are not Protestants! Whatever be the lines that will be drawn in the Trish Parliament, there can be nothing more fortunate for them than that they should be able to concern themselves with the real present pressing problems of their own life and time. There is no single subject in which Irishmen ought to be interested, and I believe are interested, in the same vital and intimate way as the proper regulation of the conditions under which their wage-earners live. Nothing could be more foreign to what we understand by Irish Home Rule than that we should attempt to exclude from the purview of the Irish Legislature and the Irish Executive this topic, which I do not say will not raise controversy, but which, at any rate, will raise controversy that goes on natural lines, instead of preserving the unnatural and strained animosities which have done so much to damage Ireland in the past.
§ Mr. J. W. HILLS
The two speeches to which we have listened from the Solictor-General and the hon. Member for Leicester have dealt mainly with this question as though it were an Irish question. They seem to me to have lost sight of the great importance of this question on the future industrial condition and development of England. I am going to argue the question almost exclusively as an English question. I am quite willing, as the Solicitor-General suggested, to approach this question from the standpoint of one who believes in Home Rule. I am quite ready to argue and I hope to convince the Committee that, oven assuming that it is to the advantage of Ireland to give her the control of her factory legislation, it is not to the advantage of England. But before I come to that I want to deal with one or two points made by the hon. Member for Leicester. He started with a sneer at the party that sits on these benches, in making which I think he forgot for the moment the record of the Conservative party in the matter of the Factory Acts. He passed on to make a reasoned defence of his attitude on this Amendment. It was, I think, a piece of rather special pleading, but still it was an attempted defence on the ground of argument. He first of all gave three reasons why ho opposed the Amendment. I can deal with those very shortly. The first was that the factory laws are passed by England and for England; the second was that they were regarded as alien; and the third was that labour was organised upon a sectarian basis. All these may be true, or may have a certain amount of truth in them, but they are really only matters of detail. They do not really touch the main question whether it is for the future good of the community that there should be a single standard over the two countries. It may be that in certain laws we have not regarded the interests of Ireland. It may be that the laws are regarded as alien. Still you have a much bigger issue than that. You have the whole future of the factory laws in England at stake.
Before you give way to arguments of that sort you must look at the other side of the case and see what you are jeopardising. It has not yet been stated in this Debate, though it is, of course, within the knowledge of the Committee, that were the Bill to pass in its present form, the whole of our code of industrial law could be repealed. All the Factory Acts, all the elaborate provisions for the protection of working women and children, 1819 all the laws relating to employment in dangerous industries, all that careful code which has been built up by years and years of labour, could, as far as Ireland is concerned, be wiped out by a single Act of the Irish Parliament. I think sometimes that we do not know how large and valuable that code is. Perhaps one disadvantage of not codifying the law is that you cannot see in one single book exactly what your factory legislation is. But it is a most remarkable performance. It is not perfect; it could be improved; but still, as far as it goes, it has shown the way to the world, and is still the leading code in the world. Take this question from the point of view of the Home Ruler. Assume that you have a federal system. I rule out for the moment the Colonial system, as you are not making Ireland a Colony. Assume that you are to have a federal system. I say that it is to the advantage of England—I think of Ireland, too, but, at any rate, of England—that she should control the factory legislation of the whole federation. Just look at what has happened in those federations in which this system does not prevail. Take the United States. There all industrial legislation is the province of the States Government. You get the most ridiculous variations between the governments of the different States. In some of the New England States you get very good provisions indeed. In some of the Southern States there are no factory laws at all. The progress of the whole is delayed, and the pace is made by the slowest State. Anybody who has studied this matter, every writer in the States who is interested in labour conditions, complains that they are the great stumbling block in their power as separate States, for you have different provisions across the different borders.
From the point of view the hon. and learned Gentleman, who is a sincere Home Ruler and who takes public opinion in Ireland as a test, you ought to consider very carefully before you deprive the Imperial Parliament of the power of controlling factory legislation. I need hardly say all these arguments apply with ten times the force if you carry your federation further. If you really mean a federal constitution, I cannot think that you will not accept this Amendment, for, as every political thinker and every writer on social questions knows, if you start a federation on these terms you sign the death warrant of all good labour conditions. I go a step 1820 further. Even assuming you meant to give a Colonial constitution to Ireland, and to make her for all practical purposes a foreign country, even then I would not let go the power of controlling the factory laws. What are the features that we see all around us in the sphere of social and industrial legislation? We see increasingly year by year that no nation can settle these questions for itself. You see, as soon as you start handling any question of the sort, that its importance transcends national boundaries. You have to go outside the nation, for a very simple reason that you cannot raise the conditions in one country unless you impose a charge upon the industry, and assuming you impose it you are liable to be undersold, under-cut, and undermined by worse conditions outside. That has been recognised for the last twenty years. This is in a great many ways a new condition that we have to consider now. In 1886 no international conferences had been held; no international agreements had been made in 1893. It is true that the Conference of Berlin had met two years before, but no international agreement was come to. The whole thing was in the air, and people who favoured labour agreements were regarded as visionary. You did not get these questions before you in 1893. Now, and especially in the last four or five years, we had seen a great extension of international movements.
The Committee knows of the Conference at Berne which took place six years ago, and at which all the great Powers, with few exceptions, undertook to prohibit the use of poisonous phosphorous in the making of matches. Look at what occurred. To that conference all the great Powers adhered in a few years with the exception of the United States of America, who could not because she could not bind the separate States; and those separate States did not attend the conference themselves because they were not sovereign Powers. There was an agitation in the States, and even an amendment of the Constitution was hinted at to overcome the impasse created by this state of things. Now the difficulties have been overcome, because the Federal Government still has the power to control imports and exports, and it has therefore prohibited the import and export of phosphorous matches. The Federal Government also controls taxation, and it has laid a prohibitive Excise Duty on the manufacture of phosphorous matches. Therefore when these laws are in force, we can hope that they 1821 will exterminate in the States the use of phosphorous matches. But let the Committee mark what the Federal Government has done in the States you could not under your Bill do in Ireland! You could not impose any tax which the Irish Parliament could not reduce. It would be an Excise Tax and specially within their control. Whether you could prohibit the import of poisonous matches or not is doubtful. I do not think you could, but still it is perfectly clear you could not impose any Excise on phosphorous matches in Irelnad which their Parliament could not reduce next day. Therefore, even the clumsy and roundabout expedient which the federal constitution of the United States imposes—even that is out of your power. I do not believe for one moment that is the wish of the Government. Surely, however, they must see that in the future, if we are to go into these bargains, one representative must speak for the whole of what we call the United Kingdom. Otherwise you get an absolute deadlock. If we cannot bind Ireland, nobody can bind Ireland. For she cannot be admitted as she is not herself a sovereign State.
There is now a very extensive movement for increasing the scope, cogency, and area of international agreements. In this present year no less than two conferences have met—one in London and one in Zurich. Both of them have made some very far-reaching recommendations. Are we to rule out all possibility of Ireland being concerned in arrangements of this sort? Is she to be excluded altogether, because that is the effect unless you accept an Amendment of the sort proposed?
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Leicester gave a further reason why he opposed the Amendment, because, he said, of the sectarian organisation of labour in Belfast. He has used that argument before. He used it on the Second Beading. He told the House there was more of economics than religion in the State of Ulster. That may be true. I cannot say. But surely that is not an argument for making worse the conditions of Ulster. He himself warned us that those conditions were not ideal. "But," he added, "neither is your sanitation ideal, and if you wish us to interfere and control the factory laws of Belfast why do you not at the same time wish us to control the sanitation of Belfast?" Of course, the answer is simple. Factory laws are a federal question—assuming a federation. The sanita- 1822 tion of Belfast is a purely local or provincial question, and you can perfectly well leave the sanitation of Belfast to the town,, while you cannot leave the whole control of your factory laws to it. Then the hon. Gentleman went on—and this I think really was his main argument—that he did not want uniformity, but the same laws applied to the different conditions of Ireland, and he said that sometimes you wanted different legislation and sometimes you wanted a diverse principle of administration.
I quite agree that there are local differences, but there is no difference so great as to justify us in allowing the condition of Ireland to lag right behind that of England. I think that is possible. I am certain it would be a very great misfortune for this country. I think it is possible, for this reason, the Parliament in Ireland will be controlled and elected by small farmers. Borough Members will be very few, and labour Members will at first, I think, be a very small body. The whole of the tendency of that Parliament will not be to protect labour: it will, rather, be to cheapen labour. I can very well conceive Irish statesmen believing that in the long run it would pay the country to have new industries, even though, for the time being, they had imposed longer hours of labour, and worse conditions. Therefore such a statesman might say, "I have not got the remedy that all small industrial States have got of protecting new important industries. You have taken that away from me, but I have got one thing you cannot take away from me, and that is the physical endurance and power of work of my people, and their power of existing on a lower wage than Englishmen." Supposing he did that. Supposing he looked ahead, supposing he wanted a large and prosperous industrial Ireland, might he not very well say, "It will be easy for a short time to have these long hours of labour if we can thereby build up our industries?"
I can quite conceive him saying that, and that is where, if I may say so, all this nonsensical cry of trusting the Irish people comes in. Trust them, if you liker so far as their own interests are concerned. But surely the Committee sees that their interests may be opposed to our interests! What they may want for Ireland may be the very worst thing for us. It might pay them to have a low paid industrial population rising, but still very gradually rising; but it would not pay us 1823 to have on our flank a sort of industrial Poland. Of course it would not. It would mean a competition either in goods or labour which must end in reducing our standard, and it is one that we cannot protect ourselves again. I ask any friends of labour, Can they regard such a thing with equanimity? Do not let them forget that they speak for organised labour. Do not let them forget that we cannot allow a part to lag behind the interests of the whole. In his speech on the Second Reading the hon. Member for Leicester talked about the interests of England and Ireland being interlocked and interlaced. They are interlocked and interlaced to this extent: If you get worse conditions across St. George's Channel, those conditions, like contagion, will inevitably spread to this country, and all the great work of the twenty or thirty years which we have built up at such great cost and care will be jeopardised. I have spoken longer than I intended, but I just want a word or two in reply to the challenge of the hon. Member for Leicester. I think I can state his challenge fairly. He said whether you have Home Rule or the Union when you start a system like the Trades Board, you are compelled to impose different tariffs upon Ireland, and while in shirt-making you find your Trade Boards in England fixing a rate of 4d. per hour, it will not fix such a high rate in Ireland. I quite agree. It is perfectly possible that the standard at present is lower in Ire- I land, but what we all want to do is to raise that standard, not to lower it, and by not passing this Amendment you run the risk of lowering your standard. After all, the association of Ireland with England has resulted in increasing the payment of Irish workers. We have slowly and painfully endeavoured to raise the industrial conditions in Ireland as well as in England. One the whole the attempt has been successful, but we must abandon that attempt as soon as Home Rule is passed. I will deal with just one other point that was touched on in the speeches, both of the hon. Member for Leicester and the Solicitor-General, and that was that they did riot wish to see the Irish Parliament deprived of a very useful sphere of activity in factory labour laws. I am sure that is not an argument upon which I, as an Englishman, feel very great sympathy. I want the best conditions for Ireland as well as for England, and if I think I can obtain better 1824 conditions by depriving the Irish Parliament of this very interesting exercise of dialectics, I should certainly deprive it of it. Surely we have got to settle a very big and far-reaching question, and that is not answered by saying if you take this subject away from Ireland their Debates will not be so interesting, and their party organisation will be upon less useful lines. We have to settle the whole future of our industrial life. We cannot allow the conditions in Ireland to fall very much below our own. We find we cannot advance except in company with other nations, but now we are definitely placing Ireland in such a position that she must be a drag upon our movements, and then whatever we do we cannot bring her along with us. I hope the Committee will pass this Amendment.
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
The question raised by this Amendment is one which will not only affect this country but Ireland as well, and I desire to say a few words as one deeply interested in the labour questions involved. My criticism of the case put forward by the hon. Member who moved this Amendment is this, that in dealing with many points in the course of his speech he entirely omitted to deal with the question of whether the existing situation with regard to factory legislation in Ireland had been successful or not. This Amendment proposes to debar the Irish Parliament from dealing with any aspect of factory legislation, and to continue the present system, and the justification for the hon. Member's Amendment can therefore only be found if the existing system has been successful. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Durham (Mr. Hills), in the course of his interesting speech, said, "If you give these powers to Ireland, the Irish Parliament may, in a single Act, wipe out the whole of the beneficial factory legislation that exists at the present time." My reply to the hon. Member is that the factory legislation which has been passed by this Parliament, and which nominally applies to all parts of the United Kingdom, is already wiped out in a very considerable degree, so far as Ireland is concerned. Why is that? All the great measures of factory reform, and most social measures, like the Truck Act, apply to Ireland as well as to this country, but they apply to Ireland only in form and in name; they do not apply in actual practice, and the great tragedy we are faced with to-day is this: that social legislation which has 1825 been loyally accepted by other parts of the United Kingdom has not been accepted in Ireland, and is not observed in Ireland.
Reference has already been made in the course of this Debate to the evidence on this point given us in the Reports presented to this House by the Home Office in connection with the inspection of factories for the observance of the Factory Acts. It is notorious that in Ireland there is a lower standard both with regard to the observance of the Factory Acts, and there is frequently no observance whatever. It is notorious, too, in the case of measures like the Truck Act, that they are generally disregarded in Ireland, and whenever there is expert investigation instituted by this House in regard to any aspect of social legislation in this country and in Ireland, it is invariably found—and in this I think I shall command general agreement—that whatever the social conditions may be in this country, they are worse in Ireland, and that however legislation is disregarded in some aspects in other parts of the United Kingdom, it is more flagrantly disregarded in Ireland.
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
The Noble Lord says it is a good argument for the Amendment; but I have stated the case in order to ask the Committee to consider what is the reason for this lower standard of observance in Ireland? It is this: It is the feeling throughout Ireland that this alien legislation is being forced upon the people of Ireland without their having any responsibility for it; that it is not something which they consider good; but it is something other people consider good, and because it defies the spirit of Irish nationality. That, I contend, is the reason why there is this lower observance of factory legislation and social legislation in Ireland. If I may refer for a moment to the speech made by the Solicitor-General, I should, in passing, like to dissent from what I understood to be one branch of his argument, where, if I understood him aright, he said it was because the record of Ireland with regard to social legislation in the past was so good that we should do well to entrust Ireland with these powers in the future. I should rather take the contrary argument, and re- 1826 cognise that the observance of legislation imposed by this country upon Ireland, has been bad, and I should seek to find the reasons for it, and these reasons I have stated, and having stated these reasons, I think the solution follows, and it is this: that we shall only get effective administration of the Factory Acts; that we shall only get social legislation responded to by the Irish people when they themselves are charged with the duty of initiating and administering it.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour) inquired across the floor of the House whether we desired to carry that principle further; whether we desired to give Scotland also the responsibility for the factory legislation. The right hon. Gentleman waited for a reply which it would be difficult to shout across the floor of the House, and he evidently thought he had submitted a final difficulty with regard to this matter; but surely the reply is simple. If you found in Scotland and Wales the same condition of affairs that you find to-day in Ireland; if you found the same non-observance of legislation imposed by a Parliament from outside, if you found that these nations felt that their nationality was not recognised, and that the laws imposed upon them were not binding, then I say, in all confidence, to the right hon. Gentleman that the right and just and proper solution would be to yield to each of these countries the reasonable demand for the play of their own national spirit. And the right hon. Gentleman went on to ask this further question: "Can it be supposed for one moment, can the hon. Gentleman the Member for Leicester suppose for one moment that if the Irish Government was entrusted with these powers that we would see any considerable advance in social legislation or in factory legislation?" My reply respectfully to that is this: that already we see that Ireland can be trusted with these powers. I quote in support of that the instance of the Irish Labourers Act—an Act far in advance of anything we have in this country or of any analogous Act we have in this country—as a proof that the Irish nation when it has the opportunity is prepared to go forward and to advance social legislation. We sincerely believe that in the recognition of Irish nationality and the giving to Ireland of the power to work out her own salvation, Ireland would not fall behind other parts of the United Kingdom in social legislation, but we rather hope to see a new impetus given, and we are quite sure that the people of Ireland 1827 would respond to social legislation which they, through their own representatives, were directly responsible for.
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
This is a question upon which I have had some official experience. I contend that this Amendment is moved partly in the interests of Great Britain and partly in the interests of Ireland. The Solicitor-General assumed as an axiom that could not be denied that the lowering of industrial standards in Ireland by relaxed factory legislation and lax administration would not tend to increase the profits of the Irish producer. It is possible that in the long run it would not, but in the first instance it probably would, because it would undoubtedly cheapen production. The hon. Member who has just sat down said something which totally conflicts with my official and Parliamentary experience. He said that the Factory Acts in Ireland are a dead letter at this moment.
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
Well, that is a modification. He said those Acts were a dead letter because they were looked upon as alien legislation forced upon the people of Ireland. I may say that that conflicts with everything I have seen and heard since I came into this House. I have never heard a discussion in Committee of Supply in which the question of the lax administration of the Factory Acts has been raised. I have seen many Factory Acts passed, and I have had to take my share in the production and the passing of them. I have been in the chair at meetings of the Standing Committee, and I have seen some Acts passed, and I have always noticed that the Irish Members took up a definite line and supported British Labour Members in getting the higher standards passed. Therefore we are driven to this conclusion, that if it be the fact that factory legislation in Ireland is at the present time a dead letter, it must be either because the Home Secretary in Great Britain has been lax in his duty and has forced a lax administration upon an unwilling people; or else it must be something of which there is certainly no evidence, that his efforts to keep an efficient administration have been defeated by a supineness of which we have no evidence from the Irish representatives here.
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
How does the right hon. Gentleman reply to the evidence of the annual reports of the inspectors of factories on this point?
§ Mr. STUART-WORTLEY
I should think they have only been referred to only in general terms. It shows either that the Members for Ireland are in fault in one respect or the other. Either they are submitting to an unduly lax administration of the Factory Acts in Ireland or they are themselves consenting to a lax administration by the Home Secretary. The reason why this Amendment is really justifiable is that all experience shows that in cases of this kind the wider the area you take the higher the standard you secure. That is the reason why in the case of the county councils in Great Britain and Ireland we did not hand over to them the administration of the Factory Acts. Factory administration is often very difficult, and nothing would have been easier or more attractive than to allow local authorities to administer the Factory Acts. I was in the House when the Secretary ship for Scotland was created, and I remember that a discussion arose as to what powers we should put in the Schedule, and I do not think it was suggested by any Scotch Member that the powers under the Factory Acts and the Mines Acts, wielded by the British Home Secretary, should be handed over to the Secretary for Scotland. In the same way we do not think these powers, in the interests of Great Britain and of Ireland, should be handed over to the Irish Parliament. The reason for this is that the ultimate and real safeguard for securing a high Imperial standard in industrial legislation is the independence of your local administration, by which I mean your inspector on the spot. In these matters your safeguard is to be independent of local influence.
§ Mr. THOMPSON
The labour conditions prevailing in Ireland have been so prominently brought before the Committee that I think it is my duty to say a word or two. The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. R. Macdonald) has stated that the conditions of labour are quite different in Ireland, and that they work under different Factory Acts. I am here to testify that there is not one word of truth in that statement, because the same Factory Acts that apply in Manchester and throughout England apply equally in Belfast. I have been fifty years connected with the employment of labour as a millowner in Belfast, and I may say that I have never 1829 heard so much misrepresentation in so short a space of time as that which has taken place in this House to-day. The hon. Member for Lanark (Mr. Whitehouse) stated that the Truck Act had not been observed in Ireland in the past, but there is not a word of truth in that, statement, because it is strictly observed. The hon. Member also said that some other Acts were a dead-letter, or largely a dead-letter, but that is not so, because the Acts he referred to are carried out very minutely and strictly. As regards what has been said about wages, I happen to be a member of the Industrial Council, and I was present at some of the meetings when the trade unionists gave evidence to the effect that higher wages were paid in Belfast than in any other town in the Kingdom in certain trades, and in the case of those labourers who were not so highly paid they have cheaper houses and cheaper food, and they are happy and contented. I was the chairman of the Flax Mill Owners' Association, and I know something of the workings of the trade. These people, so far as I know, are perfectly contented and happy. I think these things speak volumes for the prosperous condition of Belfast. Take the number of paupers under the Poor Law. Not a city or town in the Empire will compare with Belfast. The paupers there number about a third of the number in Dublin and about half the number in many towns in England. It is the lowest of any city or town in the whole of the United Kingdom. Surely these things ought to weigh with the Committee. I myself am a Belfast man, representing a Belfast city, and I was elected by the working men of Belfast in preference to the strongest candidate the hon. Member for Leicester could bring forward. The working men of Belfast are more opposed to Home Rule than even the respectable classes. They are so determined against Home Rule that I, for my part, have taken very little interest in these proceedings, because I feel convinced the Bill will never apply to Belfast. I am persuaded that if Home Rule is forced upon Ireland, and especially upon Belfast, you will have the streets of Belfast deluged with blood. I warn the Government that the people of Belfast are ready to break out the moment they see the least indication of Home Rule being forced upon them. I think the Committee should take a note of what I say, because I do not speak from idle boast. I speak only of what I know, and I say that in dealing with Home Rule you are dealing with very dangerous commodities in- 1830 deed, and you will raise up a very dangerous position in the North-East of Ireland generally, and especially in the city of Belfast.
§ Mr. ASTOR
I confess I have listened to the speeches delivered on the opposite side of the House with a considerable amount of surprise. My hon. Friend, who moved the Amendment, suggested that the Labour party was going to oppose it. I thought, perhaps, he was exaggerating the opposition to the Amendment, and I was considerably surprised accordingly to find the Leader of the Labour party speak strongly against it. I noticed both he and one or two subsequent speakers on the other side opposed the Amendment because in their minds they were mainly thinking of administration. This Section of the Bill deals chiefly with legislation, and it is chiefly with legislation, as I understand the Amendment, that we are dealing. The point before the Committee is really quite simple and clear. It is: Are we to have in England and in Ireland two standards of factory legislation? Are we to have two codes of industrial legislation? I am glad to think we have not reached the end of industrial legislation, and that in the near future we are going to deal with such important questions as child labour, medical inspection, factory inspection, and other questions connected with the general welfare of the industrial classes. The whole object of this Amendment, as I understand it, is that if there is any progress in this country Ireland should also share in it. If this Amendment is rejected it will be possible to have two codes of legislation and to have a different standard existing in this country and in Ireland. I do not mean to suggest that the Parliament in Dublin will always intentionally oppose industrial legislation. We know perfectly well the Parliament in Dublin, if and when it is created, will have a large number of questions with which to deal. They may be in the throes of a most important discussion on a large question when we in the House of Commons at Westminster are passing some Bill affecting factory legislation, and it is quite possible that in Dublin they may be too busy to pass concurrent legislation on the same lines and at the same time. It is quite possible that unintentionally they may drop behind, and that accordingly a lower standard of comfort and a lower standard of legislation may gradually come to exist in Ireland, as compared with this country. 1831 It is also quite possible that the Parliament in Dublin may intentionally lag behind. We know they are going to have comparatively little money to deal with their own affairs. The industrial representatives will be in a minority. The large party in the Parliament in Dublin will represent agricultural constituents, and by "agricultural representatives" I do not mean agricultural labourers so much as I mean the small farmer, the small owner, and the small tenant, whose interest very frequently is diametrically opposed to that of the industrial community of the country. You will have this majority frequently tempted to spend the money in other ways than in introducing parallel and concurrent legislation with legislation passed in this country. There may be yet another inducement. It is quite conceivable the people in Ireland may decide to create or develop the potential industries of that country. We know perfectly well that, as a rule, the tendency of factory and industrial legislation at the moment is to increase the cost of production. We may in the future deal with a curtailment of the employment of child labour and with the raising of the age limit. We may conceivably in the near future deal with some sort of medical inspection of the industrial community. Both these items of legislation, if passed, would increase the cost of production to the industrial community. If Ireland were to drop behind and were not to pass these measures which I have adumbrated, the cost of production in Ireland would be lower than the cost of production in this country. It would therefore be to their interest not to bring in this legislation, because by means of the lower cost of production they would feel they were able to compete with their fellow workers in this country. If we here in this country find competition coming from other countries unfair, owing to the length of hours or to the age at which boy labour may be employed, we always have the remedy of protecting ourselves by a tariff, but as regards Ireland that is impossible. We cannot protect ourselves from such competition by protective tariffs and duties.
There are in this Bill a large number of things which will produce friction between the two countries, and I think it would be a very great pity if we were to add to their number and bring in a new possibility which will seriously embitter the relations and feelings existing between the industrial classes in England and 1832 in Ireland. The hon. Member for Leicester in his speech dealt with international agreements, and I gathered from him that he would be prepared to accept some Amendment on the lines of an international agreement. He said he hoped to discuss this point at a later stage. I only regret he did not bring it forward this evening, because he may very possibly find as many of us on this side have found that owing to the restricted power of debate when the time comes for raising a particular point the opportunity is not given. I noticed the hon. Member for Leicester, when speaking on the Second Reading, recognised the fact that in the Dublin Parliament the industrial representatives would be in a minority; but he argued that this really did not matter because there was identity of interest between the agricultural worker and the industrial worker. As I have tried to point out, the agricultural worker is really a small part of the Irish population. When we refer to the agricultural population in Ireland, we mean not so much the agricultural labourer as the small farmer, the small tenant, and the small owner whose interest will very frequently be entirely opposed to the industrial community in the North-East corner of Ireland. The hon. Member for Leicester, in the previous speech, said:—We cannot have in this country one code of factory legislation and a different code in Ireland.If the hon. Member continues his opposition to this Amendment that is exactly what he is going to bring about. He has referred to certain guarantees that exist in this Bill. We on this side of the House do not put a great deal of faith in the guarantees as they are contained in the Bill, but, as a matter of fact, the guarantees which the hon. Member has in mind are of no use whatever against the formation of two codes of legislation, because, in the month of April, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, replying to an hon. Member on this side, definitely stated that it would be possible to have two separate and distinct codes of legislation under the Home Rule Bill. The hon. Member for Leicester put forward one argument which, I think, was quite unworthy of his speech as a whole. He said he opposed this Amendment because it was proposed by an hon. Member who was not in favour of Home Rule. Many of us are not Home Rulers. But we are obliged to discuss this Bill as if it were going to become the law of the land, and we are trying to make it as good a 1833 Bill as possible. Therefore, to refuse to accept an Amendment put forward genuinely on this side merely because it is not proposed by a Home Ruler, is unworthy of the Leader of the Labour party. The issue we have to decide upon this evening is whether we are to have the same or a different code of legislation; the same or a different standard for workers in England and in Ireland. It is for the Labour party to declare whether they really intend to represent the interests of the industrial population, or whether their main consideration at the present moment is the maintenance in office of the present Government.
§ Mr. HUDSON
The argument of the hon. Member who last spoke was that the Labour party are opposed to this Amendment because they are not in sympathy with the workers of Ireland. Let me tell him that I know the workers of Ireland well. For seven years I have served on their Parliamentary Committee. It is quite true that at the present time there is one code for England and Ireland, but is also true that there is a different method of administration. One of the greatest difficulties we have always had to contend with has been that of administration. We have known that the law is there, but the difficulty has been to administer it. For years the Parliamentary Committee of the Irish Trades Congress has annually met the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant in Dublin on such matters as the question of the factory law and the question of the Truck Act. The latter is indeed a vital one. I am constantly receiving complaints from Ireland on that head. There is another important question that has often arisen and that is in connection with the Fair-Wage Clause in Government contracts. There has been the greatest possible difficulty in getting that administered. In 1903 I was on the Parliamentary Committee of the Irish Trades Congress, and, with others, I waited on the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham) at Dublin Castle, when we put a very pertinent question to him with regard to Government printing contracts. Our great difficulty has been in bringing the matter home to the Irish administration, the various departments of which are conducted through the Chief Secretary.
If the workers of Ireland were given an opportunity of working out their own industrial economic condition by having an administration in Dublin itself, they would have a much better chance than they now 1834 have. We support the Home Rule Bill because it will give them this opportunity, instead of taking it away. I am surprised at the argument put forward by hon. Members opposite with regard to the universal code which they are so anxious about. The code may be there all right, but if you do not get administration of it, what is the good of the code? There is no Trades Union Congress in the three Kingdoms that has passed more resolutions than the Irish Trades Congress, and sent them to the administration in order to get them put into practical effect. It is admitted by speakers on the other side that Ireland is below this country. Why should that, be so if the law is the same? The simple explanation is that the administration is at fault. Is it thought for a single moment that the aspirations of the workers of Ireland are in any degree less than those of their fellows in England? They have endorsed every good resolution passed by the British Trades Union Congress from time to time for their own amelioration, and it is a question of difference between Belfast and Dublin or Cork, because the six chief cities of Ireland have always had representative men who have been working for this end. The fact remains, however, that they are not on an equality with England. We are asked to carry this Resolution and to take away from a Parliament to be set up in Ireland to govern its social affairs an important matter like this, and to leave Ireland in a worse condition than it is now. I am speaking as one who has worked with them for a number of years, and has had to do with representing these matters to the Chief Secretary from time to time, meeting inspectors with regard to these questions, and I urge upon my Friends in this House, if they have any respect at all for the Irish industrial classes, to at least defeat this Amendment.
§ Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCK
While I feel a considerable amount of sympathy with the plea that industrial administration in Ireland should be handed over, and reliance placed upon Irish public opinion, I am most of all anxious that we should have some guarantee that the national minimum, which is now set up, should not be whittled away. In the second place, I am most anxious that the Imperial Parliament should not divest itself of its power to legislate for Ireland. If we were to follow the American precedent it would be a fatal mistake. As is 1835 well known to the Committee, the advance in social legislation has been greatly delayed by the fact that the Federal Government has no power to enforce its will upon the States. For instance, when the Convention was signed prohibiting the manufacture of white phosphorous, the Federal Government had no power to enforce its will except by putting a tax upon white phosphorous. I am particularly anxious that the Imperial Government should have the power of making international agreements which would be binding not only upon this country, but upon Ireland as well. This is the era of international agreements, and if we are to see any great advance in the well-being of the industrial classes, it is to industrial agreements we must look to make that advance. The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) reminded us that the White Phosphorous Convention was brought about by international agreement. Only last month at Zurich, at a Conference I had the honour of attending, it was agreed that the representatives of the different countries concerned should go on with preparations for calling together an international conference with the idea of abolishing the use of lead in the manufacture of china and earthenware. There were several other agreements arrived at, for instance, as to the establishment of an eight hours' shift in continuous processes. I think it would be a great handicap to the future advance of the working classes, not only in this country, but also in Ireland, if that power were denied to the Imperial Parliament, and I should like some guarantee from the Government that that matter will not be lost sight of.
§ Mr. STEPHEN WALSH
I have listened for some time to this Debate, and I am bound to say that it strikes me as being very unreal. One of the speakers on the other side of the Committee said that he was glad to know that we were going to begin to consider the question of child labour, and matters such as that. We on these benches have been considering those questions for a very considerable time, and when we have tried to make any real progress in the amelioration of the conditions of child labour, we have found a most tremendous opposition from the benches upon which that hon. Member sits.
§ Mr. S. WALSH
I am going to recite a few cases. In 1906, almost at the end of the Session, when hon. Members had been sitting up night after night, the Labour Members tried to pass a very small Bill entitled:—
"A Bill for the Feeding of Necessitous School Children."
§ Mr. S. WALSH
I bow to your ruling, Sir. I thought I would recite a few cases, and I commenced with that. Let me take the Committee back for a couple of years only. The last speaker referred to the eight hours' shift in continuous processes, and he spoke of the great necessity of getting such legislation, if made international, applied to Ireland. For twenty-five years we tried to get an eight hours' day in the mines. That surely is labour legislation. This particular Amendment applies to factories and to mines. When we were trying to reduce the hours and to better the condition of the children in the mines, continuous and bitter opposition came from the benches opposite during the whole of a quarter of a century. Take the case of the Coal Mines Regulation Act. My colleagues and I tried thirty years ago to lower the hours of labour of children of twelve years of age in the mines. Who were they who opposed us bitterly and who have opposed us continuously ever since? Members on the benches opposite, who now put on this air of super-sanctity and say how sincerely they desire that legislation for Ireland should not lag behind that for England. Only in 1910 we tried to improve the condition of the general body of people in the coal mines of England, Wales, and Scotland. There, again, we were opposed from the other side by the very same class of Member who at this moment, I suppose, is prepared to support this Amendment. So far as we are concerned we oppose this Amendment on the very ground put forward by the hon. Member for Plymouth (Mr. Waldorf Astor), that you must consider the Amendment from the point of Home Rule having been passed. He said we must make it as good a Bill as possible, and that that was the only ground upon which the Amendment could be debated Of course, if we are to make it as good a Bill as possible we must, in debating it, assume that the measure has become law, and then decide what are the powers that ought rightly to 1837 be given to Ireland. In a Home Rule measure surely the very first thing you have to give to these people is the right to govern themselves in their own affairs. If you are not prepared to give that, your Home Rule Bill is a mockery to begin with. It is better for the people of Ireland, even in factory and mines legislation, to govern themselves badly at the beginning rather than not govern themselves at all, because it is not by the mistakes or even by the wisdom of English Parliaments that you will get a real development of Irish life. It is by bettering and building up upon their mistakes. If they do badly to-day they will be able to find out upon what lines they can most wisely administer their lives, and, even if they make mistakes in the beginning, profit by those mistakes and do better in the future.
An hon. Member opposite referred to the administration of the Truck Act, which, he said, so far as Belfast was concerned, was absolutely above reproach. I wish the hon. Member would wade with me through three big volumes of evidence which were given to us, sitting, as I was, as a Member of the Truck Committee which inquired into that question for about two and a half years. I can assure him that Belfast is by no means guiltless and is probably as big a sinner as there is in the United Kingdom in breaches of the Truck law. Of course, this is not to blame Belfast unduly. First of all, it is a most complicated Act, and it is very doubtful if there is any one authority in the Kingdom that knows its ramifications or whether it is doing quite right or quite wrong. But certainly Belfast is not guiltless, and Ulster is by no means above reproach, as could easily be proved from the pages of the Report of the Departmental Committee. But, in one word, what we base our opposition to this Amendment on, is that we believe the Bill should be made, on the lines stated by the hon. Member, as good a Bill as possible, and that the Bill cannot be made as good as possible if you begin by withholding from the people the very powers that they, and they only, are entitled to administer. It is not sufficient to refer, as the hon. Member did, to the necessity for parallel and concurrent legislation. The conditions are not parallel and concurrent. In England itself you have a population, in some cases, of tens of thousands to the acre. Your factory administration and your general administration must proceed upon lines having regard to that terrible con- 1838 dition of things. In the other country you have a population of hardly more than one-tenth of your own, and how, therefore, can you say with anything like sincerity that parallel and concurrent conditions of factory administration and mining legislation must prevail? The conditions are not parallel and concurrent. But even, if they were, if we are really in earnest—and that is the only basis on which the argument can proceed—in making this as good a Bill as possible, we must surely give powers to the people whereby they can govern themselves in those affairs which are peculiarly their own. That is why we are opposing the Amendment.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HEWINS
I must say the speeches from the Labour benches are not very convincing. I was looking forward to hearing the case stated by the hon. Member (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) and his colleagues, why the Labour party, of all parties, should be in favour of splitting up the legislation of the United Kingdom. Instead of that we hear very enthusiastic speeches from the Liberal point of view and, if I mistake not, I do not think the Labour party were sent to Parliament to preach Liberal principles, but Labour principles, and the first thing we want to hear is why we should split up the United Kingdom in respect to industrial legislation. The hon. Member (Mr. Walsh) and the hon. Member (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) said they were against this Amendment because they were Home Rulers. Home Rule, I presume, means the granting of certain powers to the Irish Parliament. We are now engaged in considering the enumeration of those powers, and it is no answer to the objections which have been raised to say that they are, I presume on sentimental grounds. Home Rulers, because they have first of all to decide whether it is a desirable thing to grant these powers before they decide, as practical politicians, whether they are Home Rulers in the Government sense. They have not established that. Then the hon. Member (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) made what I call a good argumentative case by drawing a somewhat sharp distinction between factory legislation in England and in Ireland—the argument that factory legislation in England suits the English point of view, whereas factory legislation passed by England for Ireland does not suit the Irish point of view. I have been in many industrial districts in the 1839 United Kingdom, but I have never yet come across any body of people engaged in British industry who have not thought that the factory laws were not capable of a great many improvements to bring them into conformity with the needs of English conditions. The fact is this sharp distinction does not exist. Factory legislation is an exceedingly difficult task. It requires great care and consideration to carry out even the aims of the Government who bring it in, and, as a matter of fact, the factory laws do not suit the particular industries of England nor of Scotland, nor do I presume they will suit the industry of Ireland in the complete sense. They are the best approximation we can arrive at as practical legislators, and the case the hon. Member drew as between England and Ireland is a case which applies with equal facility and equal truth to different districts and different trades and different industries in England or in Scotland or any other part of the United Kingdom.
Then the strength of his case rested not upon the question of legislation and the principles embodied in the legislation at all, but upon the mere differences of administration. I have yet to learn that mere differences in administration of industrial law are to be a ground for disintegrating the United Kingdom. The case has not been made out, and never can be. It seems to me that the case made by the hon. Member and his colleagues breaks down on all sides. The fact is that they cannot make a case for doing what is directly contrary to the aims and declared objects of the Labour party. It is quite impossible. It is entirely in conflict with trade unionism and entirely in conflict with the views of labour Socialists, and the real reason why the Labour party intend to vote for this Amendment is not because they approve of the principle embodied in the Government Bill, but because they think that by supporting the Government now they may have opportunities later to get perhaps what they think will suit them better. That is the best I can say for their case. There is nothing else in it than that. It would lead them to suffer other graver inconveniences to vote against the Government now, so they are going to vote for them, but it is not because they believe in throwing overboard their labour principles, as they have always been avowed. I have heard no reply to the argument put forward by the 1840 right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Balfour). What case can there possibly be for putting into the hands of the Irish Parliament, as we know it will be constituted, labour legislation for Ulster? I should have thought that on all economic grounds there was a far greater analogy between the industrial needs, from the legislative point of view, of Ulster, Lancashire, Yorkshire, the North of England generally, and parts of Scotland, than there is between Ulster and the rest of Ireland. Forty-nine per cent, of the industrial population of Ireland is in Ulster. What ease can there possibly be for placing the business of legislating for this 49 per cent., with industrial economic conditions—I am not now speaking of political conditions at all—analogous to those of the factory districts in England and Scotland, into the hands of people who either represent a farming, peasant proprietary class, or else represent industries formed upon the old model domestic system t Will anybody, will a Yorkshireman or a Lancashire man, tolerate that legislation should be framed in that way? Would a trade union tolerate it? I do not think so.
I am not one of those persons who wish in any degree to declaim against Ireland or Irishmen. I have always had the highest admiration for Irishmen. One of the defects in my own composition is perhaps that I have no Irish blood whatever. Supposing you establish this Irish Parliament, let us see how it would work. What are the principles on which it would act in regard to those important economic laws, and what would be the effect of their operation upon great social problems? In the first place, the Irish Parliament—and I say this not in the religious sense—would undoubtedly be dominantly Catholic. I am not going to introduce the religious issue. The hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) talked about the creation of a Labour party in Ireland similar, I presume, to the Labour party here or on the Continent. That is, in my opinion, extremely unlikely in Ireland, for this reason: the population is dominantly Catholic. We know perfectly well, presuming that Parliament is dominantly Catholic, what are the economic views which would dominate that party. What are they going to do with social legislation? I say without hesitation that they will follow the guidance in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XIII. It was quoted some time ago by the hon. Member for West Belfast. What are those principles? They assert 1841 the doctrine of a living wage. They assert the right of private property. They are dead against Socialism. I do not think you can easily compare Irish conditions with English conditions. The whole structure of society in Ireland is different from that in England. The process of development has been very different there, and I do not think it fair and wise to regard the money rate of wages set down for Irish classes as comparable with those for English classes. It is difficult to find an analogy. I do think, however, that all observers will agree that the rate of wages in the rural districts of Ireland is lower on the whole than the average rate of wages in rural England. The rate of wages in factories is certainly lower. In Belfast in the shipbuilding industry the rate of wages is higher, but, generally speaking, with the exception of the ship-building industry, the rate of wages is at a lower level in Ireland, and you find a different state of society from what you have in England.
How are the Irish Ministry going to apply their social policy? They cannot work out systems of laws for the regulation of wages which will at once raise the people engaged in those industries in Ireland up to the English standard. It is quite impossible. They will have to make allowance for the practical difficulties of the case, and any statesman in Ireland would have no difficulty whatever. Why? He would vary the legislation of Ireland from that in this country. Owing to the exigencies of the closure it is quite impossible to discuss a ramified question like this with the fullness it deserves. There is only one condition into which the Irish Parliament must be driven. They must be driven to support their social legislation by a policy of national protection. There is no other way, and that is what the Irish Parliament will be driven to. In the powers which this Bill confers, which I cannot now discuss, everybody knows that you have the germs of that system of legislation and administration which would give the Irish Parliament complete power to establish the old system. Ireland will be forced in its legislation to pass industrial and fiscal measures, and my contention is that industrial legislation will be a great lever to bring about economic separation between England and Ireland. I say that is the inevitable result, and you will have in the twentieth century a recrudescence of those commercial rivalries which we had before. 1842 There is nothing to stop it. It is only another argument that the one thing you must preserve between Great Britain and Ireland is economic union. If you can secure economic union, it will go a long way to improve the conditions of Ireland, and that is essential as the basis of progress in any other direction. That is why I heartily support the Amendment.
I listened with great surprise to the speech of the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Walsh), because he made a most unwarrantable attack on the Unionist party as regards social legislation, and said this Debate was "humbug." I do not wish to go into the records of the Unionist party on social legislation, for I think it is a record which stands for itself. I do not think the hon. Member in his cooler moments will approve of an observation of that kind.
I am very glad to withdraw the word, though I am not sure what was the unparliamentary expression. This side of the House is often blamed because it is said to be a party supporting landowners who have not got sympathy with labour. To me that is one of the strongest arguments against handing over this factory legislation to an Irish Parliament, because the Irish Parliament will be a Parliament of landowners. They will represent landowners. I take a keen interest in agricultural matters, and I am very glad, as unfortunately a great deal of prejudice and ignorance are displayed in this House against landowners in this country, that the land question at least has a chance of being treated with impartiality in the Irish Parliament. That has been a great satisfaction to me. An hon. Member opposite said: "After all, give this power to the Irish Parliament. They will make mistakes and be taught by their mistakes"; but that is not a very comforting doctrine.
What we want is to preserve labour in that country from the ignorant experiments of landowners. Merely from that point of view we are arguing in the interests of labour. Home Rule is often argued on this basis: that you are a country of high industrial development, and understand industrial things thoroughly. Your industrial legislation is therefore intelligent and highly specialised, but you do not understand agriculture, and Ireland is an agricultural country. That is one of the reasons why we are asked to give Home Rule. All we are asking in this Amendment is this: That the part in Ireland which we do understand, the industrial side, shall be kept within the purview of this country, which has a special knowledge of industrial questions. I listened to the speech of the hon. Member for Leicester with a great deal of interest. I thought it was a very able and ingenious plea against the solidarity of labour, and I wondered how he reconciled it with many of his speeches which he must have delivered at international congresses, where I am sure he was equally eloquent on the necessity for the solidarity of labour, not only in these countries, but in Europe generally. I can only hope that no ingenious German or troublesome Swiss will remember his speech and quote it afterwards against him when he is defending himself at some subsequent conference. The speech was one list of unproved assumptions. The hon. Member told us that the factory laws of this country had no application, or very little application, in Ireland. He never said a single word in defence of that proposition. I do not think we can draw any great distinction between a factory merely because it is in Ireland and a factory in England. I am familiar with businesses which have factories in this country, in Belgium, in Germany, America, and other places. So far as my experience goes the conditions of the people in these different factories is very much the same.
And it is not too much of a paradox to say that you might have an almost general factory legislation for these different factories in the various countries, and they do not establish any reason why a factory in Ireland must have a special kind of legislation in contradistinction to factories doing the same work and employing exactly the same number of people in England itself. Then the hon. Member told us that factory legislation in Ireland was un- 1844 successful, as it had the alien taint. That is after all the Home Rule argument, but that is not the labour argument. That is the assumption that you must give Ireland control over labour legislation, because any sort of English legislation comes to it with an alien taint. That is not an argument to apply in any sense to any special form of labour legislation. Then the hon. Member said the great difficulty in Ireland was that you had these sectarian differences between Catholic and Protestant, Home Ruler and Unionist, which obtained in the factories themselves, and it was those differences that had very largely killed the administration of what was otherwise possibly a good industrial law in Ireland. What a sentiment! Is it to be supposed that all this is going to disappear; that all these differences are at once to be placated, and you are going to have a different division of parties and a different arrangement of Members, possibly new Members elected on a totally new basis, and your difficulties as regards labour legislation and administration, are to disappear entirely, and these sectarian difficulties are going to melt away. It was rather curious to hear the great stress laid by hon. Members opposite on the value of administration. The party to which they belong is nothing if not a legislative party. They are always legislating, yet listening to the hon. Gentleman you would suppose that legislation does not matter, but that administration is everything. After all, they have come to the view of Dr. Johnson, "What e'er is best administered is best."
§ Mr. WALSH: Pope.
I did not expect to hear the sentiments of so excellent a Tory as Pope from that side of the House. If administration is important, legislation is equally important, and if the adminstration makes such a difference, surely it is important also that we should have proper and good laws to administer. I think there are very good reasons for assuming that you will not have the careful criticism of experienced legislators, that you would have in this Parliament. It would be almost incredible if you had, considering the vast amount of experience we have had for over a hundred years in this country, in industrial legislation; and I am very glad to say that it was my great grandfather who brought in the first factory legislation in this country over 110 years ago now, and from that day to this we have really a wonderful record of experience in 1845 industries and factory matters. Why you should want suddenly to cut off the whole of the industries of Ireland from this mass of experience—
Of course he was. He was a much better Tory than his son who was Prime Minister. Why we should want to cut Ireland entirely away from the whole of this accumulated experience of 110 years, is more than I can understand. It is said, of course, that if you keep the whole of this legislation in the hands of the British Parliament, the administration also must be in the hands of the British Parliament. I think that was the whole argument of the Solicitor-General. That may be a good thing, but it does not necessarily follow that it must happen, because it is perfectly easy by Amendment to provide that the Irish Parliament should have the administration and this country the legislation. Even the matter of international agreements, the hon. Member for Leicester himself, was under the impression should be left entirely to Great Britain. He rather minimised the interests of Ireland in industrial matters, and said they were so small that the Irish Members might leave them to the representatives of this country to be settled. So that where the interests of Ireland are small this country can be trusted to deal with (hem in a fairly impartial manner.
The whole of this matter of separating legislation in these countries is a very great step on which we have had no answer at all. The proposition put by my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London is whether this separation is to apply to the different countries—Scotland, Ireland. Wales and England. In the matter of the Post Office it was held that the broad and tempestuous ocean made all the difference, and for that reason we ought to give the Post Office to Ireland; but the broad and tempestuous ocean surely makes no difference in the matter of industrial legislation, where there are land frontiers as well as ocean frontiers, and the reason for giving special terms to Ireland, and denying those terms to the other countries, surely has no weight whatever. We see in Australia, also, that the whole tendency is to concentrate and unify industrial legislation in a central body, and it is considered a retrograde step that the different provinces of the Union should have control over that legislation. We are told that the only answer to all this is that the Irish Parliament 1846 must be trusted. You may trust the Irish Parliament, but you are going to have differences between the legislation of this country and that of Ireland, differences arising in the way of jealousy between the industrial sections of both countries, and invidious comparisons may be made between the sort of legislation made in this country and the legislation passed in Ireland. For the sake of labour and of industry, which is really the strongest point, it is worth while sacrificing a little amour propre, and say that with all its faults that this Parliament should have the right to legislate on industrial matters for Ireland as well as this country.
I propose to deal mainly with the argument brought forward by the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald). I am one of those Members of the House who are very much interested in industrial problems, and I am really desirous of seeing the Labour party rightly represented in this House. I am sorry to see that the Labour party are not making progress in the country and are not gaining the greater confidence of the workpeople. They are quite out of touch with them now, and why? Simply because they are the tail, and the very poor tail, of the Liberal party. The hon. Member for Leicester, in his clear and logical arguments, from the commencement practically let it be known that whatever happened he should vote for the Government, providing there was any danger of defeat. We need in this House a strong and independent Labour party, and we shall not get the right class of legislation so long as there is log-rolling between the leaders of the Radical party and the leaders of the Labour party. The Labour party, if it is to do its duty, must be independent, and it must have the courage to show its independence in the Division Lobby. Irish Members, although they have faults, are not fools. They mean—whatever the Free Trader on the other side may intend, and I admire Irish Members for it, and I will help them as far as I can in it—they mean to establish Irish industries. They would to a man—I hope they will contradict me if I am wrong—set up some protection for Irish workers against foreign untaxed and unrestricted imports. [An HON. MEMBER: "NO."] I notice that there is only one "No" from the Irish party. But you will—probably because you trust the Irish people—prevent them from doing it. The only remedy left to them is to free them- 1847 selves from many of the restrictions which this House—in its sympathy, in its benevolence, and more often in its ignorance—has imposed by passing laws preventing the establishment of manufacturing industries in the rural districts. If they are permitted to manage their own affairs as regards labour problems, the Irish Parliament will, wisely, not pass such legislation as would prevent the establishment of industries in the rural districts. If you prevent them from protecting themselves by Tariff Reform, they will pass legislation to establish Irish industries which will give them an advantage, as regards labour, over the Englishman.
So that all other conditions being equal, if they run industries in Ireland—I am speaking as a manufacturer and capitalist—unrestrained by all these laws and restrictions—inspectors and inspectresses, or inquisitors, or whatever you like to call them—the Irish manufacturer will be able to beat the English manufacturer in the English market. But what is the position of the Labour party—they who profess to represent labour, and are binding their people hand and foot, and delivering their industries over to the Irishmen? They already fight against any effort to free them from the competition of the foreigner, and now they are delivering themselves over to the Irishmen. Their position as a Labour party is not improving, and the workmen are seeing it, and are losing confidence in them. One more appeal, and I make it to the Ulster Members on this side. The South and West of Ireland want to milk Ulster pretty well, but Ulster will be run dry unless the Ulster manufacturers can make a profit; so the South and West of Ireland will not interfere, but will encourage and help the manufacturer in the North as far as they can, in order that they may squeeze more out of Ulster, and it is in the interests of Ireland as a whole that this Amendment should not be carried. I appeal to the Ulster Members here, as manufacturers, not to vote for this Amendment, but to leave Irishmen to manage those industrial concerns for themselves, so that, having no log-rolling to do with the Labour party, they will be able to foster local industries and help the Irish industries against English manufacturers and English labour. But as I am representing an English constituency, and as I have the deepest sympathy and interest with English labour, I shall vote for the Amendment.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
The hon. Member who has just spoken in a very practical speech full of actual business experience, has taken it for granted that the Irish Parliament will attempt to steal a march upon British competitors by lowering its standard of industrial conditions below that which is enforced in Great Britain. I believe, even if the Irish Parliament wished to do so, it could secure no advantage by that method. I am convinced that a nation which attempts to secure an advantage, amidst the competition of different countries, by sacrificing and surrendering the health and efficiency of its workmen, will find that it loses more than it gains. In the hon. Member's speech, and I believe in every speech I have heard, there is the assumption that the industrial legislation of an Irish Parliament will be less progressive than the legislation of this House. I see no reason to believe it. In the industrial legislation of this House no party has a better record than the Irish Nationalists. Some hon. Members think that that record will not be maintained in an Irish Parliament. The evidence up to the present is to the contrary. This country is hearing that Belfast, like other towns and industrial centres, has underpaid, sweated labour, and the only protests from Irish representatives have come from the Nationalist Benches, and the only contribution from the Unionist representatives has been to tell us that there is nothing particular to trouble about. But, as a matter of fact, I do not believe that in an Irish Parliament this will be a matter of party conflict.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour) stated that the fact which differentiated and which made the position dangerous in the Irish Parliament was that it would consist mainly of agricultural Members. Why should it be assumed that agricultural Members will be hostile to industrial legislation? When the Factory Acts were fighting for existence en the floor of this House were the agricultural Members amongst their enemies? I admit quite frankly that their share in the passage of those Acts is a record of which they have reason to be proud. [An Hon. MEMBER: "What about the Liberals?"] I do not wish to be led aside from the point on which I am speaking, namely, that of the agricultural Members. Why should it be assumed that agricultural Members in an Irish Parliament elected mainly by the votes not of tenant farmers, but of agricultural labourers, will act in a manner any 1849 different? The position of agricultural Members, and the explanation of their support of factory legislation, seems to me to be this, that the initiative in this kind of legislation is not likely to come from them. It did not come from them in this House; but if the driving force is provided, as it was provided in this country by the working men of the North, then for the Tory reason that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London stated, because the interests of the agricultural Members are not very directly involved, they have no motive for opposition.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
The real question appears to me to be this: Will there be a driving force in the Irish Parliament? I believe you will find that the driving force in Ireland after this Bill is passed will be far more powerful than any that is there at present. The natural centre of that driving force is Belfast. Belfast contains a population of an industrial and trade union type, just like those towns which send Labour Members to this House. [An HON. MEMBER: "It does not want Home Rule."] You would naturally expect they would be the leaders in industrial legislation. They are not so at present, for a reason which seems to me to be very plain. Two forces are contending for the minds of the men of Belfast—Radicalism and fanaticism. Fanaticism is the product of the present conflict. When this conflict is over I believe the men of Belfast will be free to turn their attention from sentimental to practical politics, and they will then take up their natural position as the driving force of industrial legislation. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London took it for granted that what we wanted in industrial legislation throughout the United Kingdom was uniformity. He asked whether, if the Bill was passed in its present form for Ireland, the future Parliaments of Scotland and of England would also have control of the Factory Acts. I do not think the two questions are related. I myself, for example, am of opinion that in Scotland, England, and Wales the economic and industrial conditions are so comparatively similar that you could very well have a uniform system throughout. But as a matter of fact, whether you answer yes or no to that question, it does not affect the Amendment before us, because whatever you may 1850 say about Scotland and England and Wales, it is quite clear that the economic conditions of Ireland are so dissimilar that she must be an exception.
Let me take an example. I believe we all agree that probably the most important extension in the sphere of Parliamentary regulations of conditions of industry would be in the regulations of wages. You must in such regulations take account of differences in the levels of wages. The building trade in Ireland earns an average wage of 27s., and in England 33s. You cannot ignore those facts. That means that what you want in this legislation is elasticity, not uniformity, and the elasticity most suitable to Irish conditions will be secured by men who know those conditions—that is, by Members of the Irish Parliament. I desire to refer to an argument, which I certainly thought powerful, advanced by the hon. Member for Durham (Mr. J. W. Hills). It was that this country would find great difficulty in the various international labour agreements in which we-are engaged, because we could not bind an Irish Parliament. I think he exaggerates the difficulty. The difficulty has already arisen, and where it has arisen it has already been solved. We have had exactly the same problem to solve. It has arisen in the case of our Colonies. In our Colonies, just as in Ireland, there are Parliaments which cannot be bound by the legislation of this House, and the two agreements which have been signed, namely, that with regard to night-work by women and that with regard to white phosphorus, contain special articles for the purpose of meeting the difficulty by which, if any Parliament of any Colony wishes to be bound by the principle, it signifies the fact to the Imperial Government and the Imperial Government signifies the fact to the Swiss Federal Council. These articles could equally well be applied to Ireland. As a matter of fact, I have looked at them since the hon. Member spoke, and I find that in their wording as they are at present they would apply to Ireland without the changing of a single word.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
It is left free to a country to join if it pleases. I quite admit that a country is not bound to join. But I thought the hon. Gentleman was making a difficulty with regard to our position in those conferences. If the hon. Member means that in a case in which 1851 Ireland does not wish to join we should force her to join against her will, that is another question.
§ Sir E. CARSON
This Debate affords one more example of the great difficulty there is in segregating the interests of trade and commerce in Great Britain and in Ireland, and in trying to make us believe that there is some distinction to be drawn between trade conditions in the two countries contrary to the fact that they are so united that it is absolutely impossible for anybody to disentangle the various interests that arise. The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Lees Smith) has, like other hon. Members, set himself up to tell the Committee that he knows far better what is for the interest of the working men of Belfast than the Belfast men do themselves. According to him, the whole thing that rules the Belfast working man is his fanaticism. I do not know if the hon. Member has ever been to Belfast.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I am glad to hear it But does he really think, when he talks of the fanaticism of the working men of Belfast, that Belfast was brought to its preeminent commercial position in Ireland by the acts of fanatics? Has he ever compared the progress of Belfast with that of other parts of Ireland? If he has, to what docs he attribute that progress? To the fanaticism of Belfast? I have never before heard that that was an ingredient that tended to the commercial or financial stability of any community. The truth of the matter is that the hon. Member wants to do what hon. Members opposite always want to do, namely, to give the go-by entirely to the opinion of the men of Belfast. They do not really care about it. They pretend to think that they are working entirely in the interests of the working men. They forget that the only real democracy in Ireland is the democracy of North-East Ulster. I do not know of any other democracy. I know that there are what would probably be called democrats in other parts of Ireland, but they act absolutely at the dictates of leagues and of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. I know, too, that it is because of the fact that they so act that they have gone back in the race of commerce, while Belfast, which is said to be ruled by fanaticism, has gone forward.
1852 Has it ever occurred to the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) that after all these working men in the shipyards, the dockyards, the linen factories, and the various other works that exist in the North of Ireland, may have some ordinary common sense and reasonableness, which enables them just as well as anybody else to understand where their own interests lie? Why are you to treat them as if they were working men with entirely different aspirations and ideas from those of the working men in this country? When the working men in North-East Ulster are satisfied that their best interests lie with the same conditions that prevail in legislation as regards the working men of England and Scotland, why should you say that that is not a reasonable argument on their part? Many of these men have come from England and Scotland. They have brought with them the same traditions and aspirations that move the men of England and Scotland. They have found over in Ireland that they prosper under these traditions and aspirations. Yet the only answer to all that that the hon. Member for Northampton will give is that they are fanatics, and that if you can only get rid of their fanaticism they will fall in with the rest of Ireland and progress equally with the South and West. I do not want to be offensive to the hon. Member; I hope I am not being so. My right hon. Friend (Mr. Balfour) asked a very pertinent question which the hon. Member for Leicester would not answer. After pointing out that this Bill was said to be the foundation of a great federal system for the United Kingdom, my right hon. Friend asked, "Do you really mean to apply different factory and labour laws to England, Scotland, and Wales, as well as to Ireland?" We have never had an answer to that. The hon. Member for Northampton did not give us an answer. All he said was, that the conditions of England, Scotland, and Wales are entirely different from the conditions of England, but he did not tell us what the difference was. He did not tell us what the difference was between Belfast and Glasgow, for instance. I do not know what the difference is, and I do not believe that any man in this House can tell the difference. All I can say is that if the Belfast working man says that he prefers to be under the same conditions as the workingman in Glasgow, I do not see why he should be called a fanatic. He knows no other conditions, and no hon. Gentleman can point out to him that any 1853 other community either in the South or West of Ireland has adopted any other ideals, and can show him a better way than the way he has under the Imperial Parliament. No, the Belfast working man is just as good a judge of his own interests as is the hon. Member for Northampton. May I ask the hon. Member for Northampton and also the hon. Member for Leicester what reason can they lay down, what reasonable argument can they adduce, as to why the Belfast working man should not be allowed to select for himself; why he prefers the conditions under this Parliament to any Parliament which you are about to set up in Ireland? Earlier in the evening the hon. Member for Leicester said that unfortunately the Belfast working classes are led away by sectarianism—by what the hon. Member calls "fanaticism." I ask him: Is it his experience that when the working man sees that his bread and butter depends upon a particular system he prefers to take some other system because of historical or sectarian reasons? The thing is absolutely absurd.
The most potent argument that you can bring before this Committee is the argument the hon. Member for Leicester used in an entirely different way. It is the fact that for years and years the Belfast working men, and the working men in the North of Ireland have so valued Government under this Imperial Parliament and administration under this Imperial Parliament that even in regard to labour disputes and labour matters, whenever matters become acute, so convinced are they that their interests will lie in the connection with this country and the brotherhood of the working men of this country, that they sink everything else in order that they may try and maintain what they believe lies at the basis of their prosperity and civil liberty. I venture to suggest to this House that this attempt to treat the democracy of the North of Ireland as something different from the democracy of any other part of the United Kingdom is absolutely absurd. Why does not the hon. Member for Leicester go over himself and contest one of these constituencies? I do not doubt but that they have a great admiration for the hon. Member as the Leader of the Labour party. Whether they like altogether the fact that he is tacked on to the tail of the Liberal party, I am not so sure. I have no doubt they pay attention to him as an exponent of labour matters in this House. But I think he would find—I daresay he 1854 has taken the trouble, for all I know, to ascertain their opinion that what is at the back of the mind of all these men is simply this: We have prospered through our connection with England, the businesses in which we are concerned in the North of Ireland have, we believed, attained to their present position through their connection with England; we far prefer legislation through the Imperial Parliament composed as it is of Members representing the great industrial centres of activity in Great Britain, to legislation from the South and West of Ireland, which will represent no great successful industrial undertakings, but will simply represent very small agriculturists, and the labourers who work for these particular agriculturists? I put it to the hon. Member apart from all question of prejudice or sectarianism, or those other matters which are so constantly getting into these Debates, that he will find that such men will give as good and solid reasons for preferring to remain under the Imperial Parlament as any English working man would give in relation to any labour questions.
One or two observations of the hon. Member for Leicester I would like to say a word or two upon. As usual, he tried to say something derogatory to Belfast, but there were so many inaccuracies which were always afterwards exposed in relation to statements made about Belfast, that I think the House ought to be very chary of statements made in the course of these Debates. It is, I think, admitted that Belfast and the surrounding manufacturing towns are opposed tooth and nail to this Home Rule Bill. It is therefore found necessary to be constantly slandering Belfast and these places. I can assure hon. Members opposite that, so far from it having the least effect upon the electors, working men, and democracy of these places in the North of Ireland, it has quite the contrary effect. They absolutely resent statements made from time to time which they know to be absolutely inaccurate, and which they know to be made for purely political purposes.
The hon. Member for Leicester went so far as to say that the factory legislation passed by this House in relation to Ireland could never succeed because it came to Ireland with an alien taint. Does the hon. Member really think that that applies to Ulster? Does he really think that 1855 that applies to Belfast? The truth of the matter is that all that argument is absolutely insincere. It is absolutely without foundation. It is a gross misrepresentation so far as these men are concerned. So far as, at all events, I know, legislation in regard to factories and other labour legislation had been received in the only industrial communities I know of in Ireland in exactly the same way as in English communities. We have had again then to fall back upon the old question which, of course, still lies at the root of these Amendments, and which we never hear the end of, as to whether we really have confidence in the Parliament which is to be set up in Ireland. The hon. Member for Leicester said, very fairly, that the whole thing came back to the question of confidence. He said he looked at the question as a sincere Home Ruler. I am not in the least concerned in any wise to impugn his sincerity in the matter, but I do not know where he gets the confidence. I do not know where he sees the great commercial or financial success of any venture which has ever been undertaken by the Nationalists in Ireland. I do not know where these great manufacturing towns are in the South and West to which he might refer us as noble examples to Belfast and to North-East Ulster. I really do not see where they are. We never hear of them. I think they exist only in the imagination of the hon. Member, and I think they are only trotted out or suggested for the purpose of framing arguments under this Bill.
As regards this confidence, I should like to ask this one question: Have the Government confidence in the Irish Parliament? If the Government have confidence in the Irish Parliament, why do not they trust to the Irish Parliament the whole of the Customs and matters which relate to the real building up of business in Ireland? Does not everybody know that what would happen would be this? When the Irish Parliament met, finding that they could no longer rely upon the British Exchequer or the joint Exchequer—the partnership of the rich and the poor—and when they are driven back to tax the land and the industries in Ulster—does not everyone know perfectly well that what they will say in the Irish House of Commons is, "We are driven to do this, which we know is wrong and distasteful, because the only possible way in which we could support our industries would be by raising 1856 the charges of the Customs, the very thing that the English Government will not allow us to do." The truth of the matter is, there is no rea trust by the present Government in the Irish Parliament. If there was, the first thing they would say is that the natural corollary to labour legislation and to factory legislation, and all such legislation as increases the cost of production, is that you must build up new revenue in the way you find just. They know perfectly well it does not suit them to make that concession, and so we are here from day to day arguing this question of disentanglement of provisions, and you say you are doing it in the interests of the people of Ulster themselves, and when these men tell you they do not want it, and that they believe that as regards labour and factory legislation they are far better off joined to the labour democracy of Great Britain, your only answer is that they are fanatics and that you are weary of sectarian differences.
§ Mr. CHIOZZA MONEY
The right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite very naturally conducted his argument as though the principles of Home Rule were compromised in the acceptance of such an Amendment as this. I do not believe that argument, although I do not blame the right hon. Gentleman for using it from his point of view. Home Rule is not compromised by sympathy with such an Amendment as this, and I rise before giving a vote on this Amendment, because I feel bound to express my sympathy with it. If there is any lesson to be derived from the experiences of federal systems it is that the world has come to see that labour laws must be entrusted to the federal government if they are to advance progressively and if they are to be properly administered. I think that is the lesson to be derived from the federal system, and I think also that in those parts of the world, as, for example, the United States, where the labour laws are left to the provincial legislators it goes hard with labour. It is, of course, the case that the operations of great trade unions in this country extend to Ireland, and I should be exceedingly sorry to contemplate the possibility of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, for example, which has 4,000 members in Ireland, making one set of laws here and another set of laws in Ireland. But do not let us exaggerate. Let us remind ourselves of the provisions of the Bill. I think it has been forgotten by a great many speakers that Clause 38 of 1857 the Bill continues for Ireland the existing laws of the United Kingdom, while giving to the Irish Legislature the power of altering them or advancing them or amending them within the four corners of the Bill. [An Hon. MEMBER: "Or repealing them."] Yes, or repealing them within the four corners of the Bill. Let us contemplate quite calmly what are the probabilities of this matter. Our experience of Irish legislation in this House cannot encourage the belief that the governing classes and leading men of Ireland, whether they are Ulster men or Nationalists, would do anything to destroy the existing labour laws set up by this Imperial Parliament. That is true. But let us not forget to point out even to hon. Members from Ireland, that a great temptation lies before a poor country in the matter of labour laws.
It is unfortunately true, it is well known to every student of labour, that poor countries are tempted to forget the excellent economic statement so well expressed by the hon. Member for Northampton, and to have a false idea of the economics of labour legislation. If you look at the legislation, for example, on such subjects as those of the Southern States of the United States of America, which are poorer than the rich Northern industrial States. If you look at the legislation of Spain or Italy you see it falls far behind in economics which lead men to believe that poor men gain by the absence of labour laws. That is a danger undoubtedly which stands before the people of Ireland, and I ask any Irish Member to search his heart and say whether he could resist the appeal of these false economists when he came to legislate on these matters. That is the great fear that exists in my mind and I am bound to express it, and I am bound to call the attention of my hon. Friends opposite to it. Another point of importance is this. In the years that have elapsed since the Bill of 1893, a great and a marked change has come over the legislation of this country. Whereas in those days Ireland contributed more to the Imperial Exchequer than she received, she now contributes less. That is a simple and a marked change.
The new conception of legislation which has come over this country has lead to the spending of money upon social legislation, and it has also led to a great advance in labour laws. I am one of those who contemplate with some sorrow the cutting off of a poor division of the country from that expenditure; that is only one part and not 1858 a major part of the consideration. A nation—I use the word advisedly—has a right to oppose its sentiment and conception of nationality to the idea of sharing with the rich parts of the country at large. They have chosen that. I honour them for taking that course. But there is another consideration in that connection and it is this, that because of this rapid advance of labour law and social legislation there is a great danger in this connection that the Irish legislature based, as I have before observed, upon the poorer democracy, may be tempted not to advance as rapidly as we hope to advance in the next ten, or fifteen, or twenty years. It is because I contemplate that advance with joy and satisfaction with regard to our own country that I have the fear—it may be an exaggerated fear—that the Irish Legislature may be tempted not to advance towards so great a position. The satisfaction with which I contemplate the advance of legislation here is the measurement of fear which I have with regard to the advance of legislation in Ireland. These considerations, which I will not further enlarge upon, induce mo to appeal to the right hon. Gentleman below me to reconsider this matter. As I have said, the principle of Home Rule is not compromised by the acceptance of such an Amendment as this, and as a convinced Home Ruler, I think I am entitled to appeal to my right hon. Friend to take note of the considerations which I have put before him.
§ Mr. PETO
After the very able speech in support of this Amendment from the hon. Member for East Northants, I feel that the air has been somewhat cleared, for he has rendered a real service to the Debate by bringing forward arguments which I feel perfectly certain are lying at the back of the mind of every hon. Member opposite who has given any thought to industrial questions and industrial legislation in this country, and, above all, must have been present to the mind of every hon. Member sitting on the Labour benches below the Gangway. The hon. Member for South-West Lancashire complained of the unreality of the Debate, and as I listened to the speeches of other hon. Members I could hardly believe my ears. Those speeches have made it perfectly clear that whatever happens to the Home Rule Bill, this Amendment ought to be accepted. Hon. Members of the Labour party, after having used arguments which all through their speeches have shown their 1859 real convictions, they proceed by a marvellous dexterity to wriggle into some position which enables them to vote against this Amendment.
The hon. Member for South-West Lancashire said we must give hon. Members from Ireland an opportunity of making their own mistakes for themselves in order that they may at some future date correct them. By this method he proposes to scrap the whole of the industrial legislation which it has taken 102 years in this House to pass in order to give hon. Members representing the South-West corner of Ireland an opportunity of making their own mistakes at the expense of those who live in the North-East industrial corner of Ireland. The great argument of the hon. Member for Newcastle against this Amendment was that his experience of the administration of factory law in Ireland was that they knew what the law was, but they never could depend upon its administration. His cure for this is to create a position of things in which there will be two laws in this country and two administrations as well. That is supposed to be by way of simplifying factory legislation and administration. The hon. Member for Durham, in a very able speech, absolutely riddled every argument which has been put forward from the other side. He pointed to the experience of others who have tried to govern on the federal system, and to the failure of diversity of factory legislation in the different States. Still he admitted there was an argument that at present there were local differences as to the standard of comfort, of wages, and so forth. That is our whole position. The position of hon. Members who support the Union is that we must do our very utmost to gradually diminish and abolish these local differences in the standard of comfort. What is the contribution of hon. Members opposite? They say that because there are these local differences existing it is absolutely necessary you should have two authorities in the matter of factory legislation, so as to perpetuate these local differences and the inferiority of position of the workmen in the sister country of Ireland. Nothing could make more clear our position on the whole of this Bill than those admissions, which have been made again and again in the course of this Debate. We want to level up; they want to perpetuate these differences. There is the whole of this question in a nutshell.
1860 The Solicitor General asked if any hon. Member maintained that a lower standard, in the matter of wages, hours, and labour really meant an unfair advantage to the country giving these lower wages and admitting these longer hours of labour. I notice in this Amendment many things besides factories. Mines are mentioned. Does any hon. Member maintain that the product of mines cannot be won more cheaply if we have no regard whatever to the hours of labour in the mines, and no regard whatever to a standard rate of wages? We have had an: election fought in this country mainly upon the question of Chinese slavery. If labour in the mines, the rate at which it is remunerated and the-hours for which it works, makes absolutely no difference in the cost of production, why was all that outcry against Chinese slavery? Was it not that it was supposed to be an unfair advantage the capitalist in South Africa was gaining by importing cheap labour? It was said all over the country at that time to ignorant audiences that knew no better that if these Chinamen were not there, then white men would take their places. Everyone knew that was a lie and those orators who made the statement most of all. Apart from that, there is not the slightest question that if you pay no regard to conditions, hours, and remuneration of labour, then you may get a sweated industry. I am merely giving the basic facts, which everybody knows. Therefore, I say it is monstrous for a Member of the Government to dismiss such arguments with a wave of the hand. I do not say that necessarily the Parliament which it is proposed some day to set up in Dublin will legislate for an inferior standard in labour matters in Ireland. It might be the other way, but it does not matter which it is. It does not matter whether they legislate for higher pay and shorter hours or for lower pay and longer hours; we want uniformity of labour. It may be in the memory of the Committee that we had a preliminary canter for these Home Rule Debates, when the Insurance Bill was before the House, and there was a proposal to set up a separate authority for England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
Mr. Appleton, the great authority on labour matters, declared that what was wanted was a uniform condition: not spurious nationalism in the matter of insurance legislation. Why is not that applicable to factory legislation as a 1861 whole? Mr. Appleton absolutely defined the position of the Unionist party when he was thus defining the position of the Labour party. What we require in questions where workpeople are concerned is uniformity, and not spurious nationalism. What does the hon. Member for Leicester say? He made one exception which he hoped to refer to at a later date, if ever permitted. He said he proposed to enter a protest against Ireland ever having any separate power in the matter of international agreements. He wanted Ireland to be bound in the matter of any international agreements that might be come to in the regulation of the labour question. If it is necessary to have that exception where we enter into the wider field of international labour questions, why is it not necessary to make a wider exception which would include the provisions of this Amendment? If you are to have uniformity in international legislation on labour conditions, in the matter of phosphorous matches, or women's labour at night, or anything else, why is it unnecessary within the narrower margin of these islands we should have one uniform code? I maintain that not only is it absolutely more necessary that we should have it here at home, but it has been shown by speeches which were eminently real and to the point, by Members on this side of the House, that whatever you do with the Home Rule Bill as a whole, undoubtedly you must in matters of labour legislation have one uniform code, one authority in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales—in fact, in every part of the United Kingdom.
When an hon. Member opposite was speaking a short time ago he said, if a Home Rule Bill were passed with this Amendment in it, the conditions would absolutely be worse than if we had no Home Rule Bill at all. I think if anything was necessary to supply an absolute climax to the various arguments on the other side of the House against an impossible position, a position which the hon. Member for Northants alone has had the courage to face and to admit that he sees it with alarm, it would be the argument that if you are to have a Home Rule measure under which factory legislation will be uniform and controlled by this House, the position would be worse than if we had no Home Rule at all. I do not believe in the Home Rule Bill. I do not believe it is 1862 going to improve the condition of affairs either in Ireland or in this country for working men or for any other class of the community. But I say without hesitation, if we are to have a Home Rule measure with diversity of authority in the matter of factory legislation, that would be the worst condition of all. We are not bound to argue for perfection in the matter of each Amendment. We do not say because we argue that a Home Rule Bill, with uniform factory legislation, would be better than a Home Rule Bill without; that there would be no anomalies and difficulties if such a Bill was ever to be passed into law. What we have to do is to try to make the best of a bad job, step by step, right through the Committee stage of this Bill. I say unhesitatingly that this Bill, bad as it would be as the law, would be most distinctly improved in the interests of the working classes and in the interests of uniformity of factory legislation if this Amendment were accepted.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Some of the arguments which were used during this Debate I cannot accept; I mean those which imputed insincerity to hon. Gentlemen on the Labour Benches, and particularly to the. hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald), who applied his ingenious and plastic mind to this Amendment, with not altogether unexpected results. The Committee may remember that the hon. Gentleman has not to consider merely the narrow interests of labour in England, but he has also to consider the well-known solidarity of sentiment and identity of interest between the British working man and the Indian coolie. If hon. Members would only consider the conditions under which the hon. Member for Leicester spoke they would not find it in their hearts to blame him for the manner in which he dealt with this Amendment. It is a very extraordinary circumstance that anybody who desires the welfare of industrial enterprise in Ireland can find it in himself to vote against this Amendment. I do see that if it were desirable that Ireland should have Home Rule—which I cannot understand—it would be undesirable to have this Amendment; but since it has been shown already that the whole of the enterprise and industry of Ireland is centred in the North-East, the people of which oppose this Bill, and have therefore been described as fanatics by the hon. Gentlemen opposite, who speak of them, as mad dogs, it makes one wish that they would 1863 bite the rest of Ireland and infect them with some of that industry and enterprise which distinguishes them. It is absolutely impossible to conceive anything more completely opposite to the principles which guide hon. Members upon the Labour Benches if the Bill is passed without this Amendment. There is the Eight Hours Act, the Shops Act, and the multiplicity of measures which burden labour, which increase the cost of production, and in which, in the eyes of hon. Members, are so absolutely necessary in order, as they say, to raise the status of the working man. That is not my theory; that is their theory. Holding that theory, it is extraordinary that they can find it in their hearts to accept the views of the leader who does not lead the party which does not follow. They cannot refuse the Amendment if they are governed by argument and right reasoning.
The hon. Member for East Northamptonshire (Mr. Chiozza Money) seemed terrified at the idea of two sets of laws dealing with the same subject. Then he must abandon Home Rule, and so must hon. Members of the same mind. Is it not evident that, if Ireland is to have Home Rule, it will be for the purpose of passing laws which are different from the laws which obtain here in respect of any subject, otherwise she would not want Home Rule, and would have no reason whatsoever for pressing that claim. The hon. Member also spoke of the temptation of poor countries to forget economic laws. It is very doubtful what economic laws are. I have heard the hon. Member argue, and he is a professor on this subject. I am old enough to have seen economic laws which were laid down by professors in my youth absolutely abandoned by their successors. While it is true that the poorer country suffer by being severed from the richer one, while it is true that Home Rulers like Lord MacDonnell have urged that separation should stop short of separation from the rich purse of England, it is absolutely impossible to sever Ireland even to the extent contemplated by this Bill from the United Kingdom without allowing her independence in respect of this perhaps above all other matters. The hon. Member said Ireland was on the horns of a dilemma. He said it was a question whether the purse was to be considered or nationality. But the Irish have solved that difficulty by plumping for purse and nationality. But I rose because I thought 1864 it absolutely necessary to add my words to what had been said about the position of the Labour Members in this matter. I wish to expose the absolutely complete inconsistency of their conduct. I cannot believe that on this occasion we shall find them meekly accepting the lead of the hon. Member (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald), who, with one eye on India and one on those benches, deals with this Amendment in a manner which clearly shows that he is divided between the two objects in view, and finally will succeed, I hope, in satisfying neither.
§ Mr. GILL
Regardless of being considered inconsistent as a Labour leader, I venture to offer a few remarks in opposition to the Amendment. I have listened very attentively to a very great portion of the Debate, taking, as I do, great interest in factory legislation, and have tried to find out what reason could have been given for considering that the Irish party would act differently in the Parliament which is to be set up in Dublin from what they have acted in this House. I have been here for nearly seven years and have watched their action, so far as industrial legislation is concerned, very carefully indeed, and I have found that on all occasions—I do not remember a single exception—when labour legislation has been before this House and before Committees upstairs, the Irish have invariably voted in favour of that legislation. In 1906, directly after a number of us came to the House, we had the Workmen's Compensation Bill before us, in which we took a great deal of interest, and we endeavoured to get Amendments introduced into it for the purpose of making it better for the working classes of the country. We were supported at all times by the Irish Members. In 1901, when I used to Lobby to try to get Members to vote in the way we desired—I am speaking now in reference to textile workers in particular—the Conservative Government introduced a Factory Act consolidating the various Factory Acts. The textile workers of Lancashire were anxious to get a shortening of the hours of labour. We had not had the hours shortened for, I think, a quarter of a century, and we desired to get a reduction of one hour only on Saturdays. We were opposed by the Government. Mr. Ritchie, the Home Secretary, opposed the matter strongly, and used some remarks which were certainly not complimentary to the Lancashire operatives. A Division was taken on the Report stage, and if 1865 it had not been for the whole body of Irish Members voting for it the Lancashire textile operatives would still be working till one o'clock on Saturdays instead of twelve. When that particular legislation was going on they came over purposely from Ireland to vote for it.
You can take it right away from 1901 onwards, and I challenge any Member in this House to find an instance where Irish Members have voted against the labour legislation brought forward. Bear in mind that this legislation has applied not only to this country, but to Ireland as well. What is the reason for saying that the Irish Members of this House, who will largely constitute the Irish Parliament, are going to act differently there from what they do here. It is mere assumption. I make the general statement, and I challenge contradiction, that they have supported labour legislation all along the line. Hon. Members have attempted to make a good deal out of the question of federalism. There will be difficulty. Federalism has its weakness as well as its strength. A strong point has been made with regard to the United States of America. I do not believe that if the United States had had, through the Parliament at Washington, to decide the whole of the legislation, some of the States would be as forward as they are to-day. Some of the States have set an example to the rest. We have an example of this in the State of Massachusetts. We used to be the first in showing what could be done in reducing the hours of labour, but we are not the first now. The State of Massachusetts last year reduced the hours of labour to fifty-four per week in the textile industry.
§ Mr. GILL
I do not think the Noble Lord has gained very much by the interruption. I went to Massachusetts for the purpose of looking into the conditions in the cotton mills and seeing in what way they differed from our own. Reference has been made to the fact that there is a 1866 Catholic majority in Ireland. Some hon. Gentlemen seem to think that parties in Ireland will be divided exactly in the way they are now. I am of an entirely different opinion. I certainly think, from what I have seen, that the representatives of industrial Ireland will divide themselves into parties, as in this House. They will look to see which side their bread is buttered on. They will try to get industrial legislation of the character that will suit them, and when I am told that Irish farmers are going to vote to make industrial conditions worse than they are, I want to know where are the voters to come from to elect such persons to an Irish Parliament. We have hon. Members on the Irish benches who represent agricultural constituencies, and probably the same Gentlemen will represent them in an Irish Parliament; and I do not believe that they are going to act any such part as has been represented. They have set us an example in this country in voting for labour legislation for many years at great personal sacrifice to themselves, and I believe that they are going to act honestly in the future. It is quite true, as has been said, that wages in Ireland are low, but the wages in the Belfast shipbuilding and engineering trades are high. The reason is that the latter are strongly organised trade unions; they are backed up by the people in this country; they are not afraid to put their principles into operation, and that is why they have better wages than the others. But these people will also organise themselves, and in the linen industry and other industries they will want to get better conditions. Reference has been made to Trade Boards. They were set up in this country for the purpose of fixing wages in low-paid industries. If they are set up in Ireland they will be constituted exactly in the same way as they are constituted here with equal numbers of representatives of employers and employed and representatives of the Board of Trade. It is unworthy of such hon. Members as the Member for Hereford (Mr. Hewins) to throw out such taunts as that we are voting against an Amendment in which we believe purposely to get Home Rule passed, and wonder if he is judging by his own standard. I wonder if that is the kind of conduct that he would practice? I throw back his taunt at him, and say that we are quite as honest as he is. We believe in the principle of Home Rule. We believe in trusting the people. The arguments in 1867 support of this particular Amendment are the same as the arguments in support of every other Amendment—that is, the distrust of Ireland. Hon. Gentlemen opposite cannot trust the Irish people. It is because we trust the Irish people that we are going to vote against this Amendment, believing that we are doing the right thing.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
It is very gratifying to hear hon. Gentlemen from the Labour benches taking part in a Labour discussion. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has shown a certain amount of simplicity which I did not expect to hear from those benches. He has enumerated the many occasions on which the Irish party have supported him and supported the Government. Is he at all surprised that the Irish party have supported the Labour party and the Government? Does he remember that they supported the Government on the Budget? Is he not aware that the Irish party are going to support the Government so long as they realise that the Government are going to support them, but when they realise that the main object of the Government is not to pass Home Rule or Welsh Disestablishment, but the Franchise Bill, then the Irish party will throw over the Government. We have had a very interesting speech from the hon. Gentleman the leader of the Labour party, but despite the words of the Speaker earlier in the evening, he left the House before hearing the reply and has not returned to it. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order," and interruption.]
§ Mr. CROOKS
I rise to a point of Order. It is perfectly true that my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester went over to the hon. Member for Durham, and pointed out that he was obliged to leave the House. What more honourable action could you have than that?
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
I think it only fair to the Noble Lord, after what has been said by the hon. Member, to say that when the hon. Member for Leicester left the House he went to the dining-room, where I saw him for some considerable time.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That is not a point of Order. It is a matter of personal ex- 1868 planation which can only be dealt with by the hon. Member himself, and I think it had better be left there.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
I am very sorry the hon. Member is not present, because he made a speech which required a certain amount of answering, and he made an observation which perhaps also requires a certain amount of answering. The hon. Gentleman, in an eloquent speech, said that after mature consideration he had come to the conclusion that he was going to support the Government. Of course he was going to support the Government, because he knows that if the Labour party in a body voted against the Government, perhaps it might be put out of office, and that is not what the Labour party are going to endure for one moment. The hon. Gentleman, throwing a sneer at this side of the House, said we were not interested in industrial legislation; but if he likes to look back at the last century he will see what has been done by the majority of the party to which I belong in regard to the Factory Acts, which were opposed by Cobden, the patron saint of the party opposite, and others. Another observation which the hon. Gentleman made, and which I personally resent, for it is frequently made in this House, was in the nature of a reflection on the industrial community of Belfast. He told us that they have a certain amount of wisdom on industrial matters, but that the moment the employer or the landlord sees that legislation is not for his particular benefit he dashes into the arena with the religious controversy. If the hon. Member believes that the industrial community in Belfast are in any way inferior, perhaps his friends will tell him that that community is as level-headed and just as capable of knowing where its bread is buttered as any industrial community in the country, and it is perfectly ridiculous because hon. Members want to support the Government to say that the industrial community of Belfast do not know their own minds, and are not capable of legislating.
This provision proves the folly of the Government in introducing this Bill. Why is this service not reserved. A number of services are reserved, and one would imagine that the Government put all the services into a hat and had drawn lots as to which they should reserve, and which they should not reserve. It is true that when there is any subject of cost that is made a reserved service, and we are called 1869 on to defray the cost. To my mind, the hon. Member for Northampton put the whole thing in a nutshell. It is an argument which has been adduced from these benches. We have been told that the drawback to Ireland is they are a poorer community and have not been able to live on the scale on which we have to live in this country. It is obvious if you ever set up this Parliament in a poorer country that their industrial conditions will be those that prevail in poorer countries. The hon. Member spoke of Italy and Spain, and said they were false economies. He was quite correct in saying that, but it is perfectly obvious if we have a Parliament in Dublin, those economies will perforce prevail in Ireland as in those countries. Hon. Gentlemen say, "Oh, trust Ireland, trust the Irish people." If hon. Gentlemen have read history they will realise what the conditions of labour are in poorer countries. In the whole course of this discussion to-day, we have had no answer whatsoever as to what will be the state of affairs when the federal system is introduced. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, looks very weary and I quite understand his weariness when, for five days he is called upon to make those ridiculous answers to questions—I say advisedly those ridiculous answers. I will put him one specific question now, and that is: When is the federal system to be introduced, and I suppose he proposes to introduce it—will he answer that question? Is the federal system coming in when Home Rule is established, and does the First Lord
§ of the Admiralty speak with his authority or the authority of the Prime Minister. I think I am entitled to an answer to that question. If the right hon. Gentleman cannot answer, I sympathise with him. He is in a very difficult position. I do not know whether he even believes in Home Rule. The question I desire to put to him when the federal scheme is introduced, and when we have, according to what the First Lord of the Admiralty said, Parliaments for Lancashire, Middlesex, and Yorkshire, will we have separate industrial systems for all those divisions? We are entitled to an answer. It is not for the right hon. Gentleman to sit on the Front Bench and say nothing. After the little mistake he made the other day when he considered land purchase to be more important than Home Rule, perhaps he may consider the industrial question more important than Home Rule. Whatever his view is he is not disposed to say, so perhaps I had better leave the right hon. Gentleman. We have had no answer to the questions put from this side, and as the proceedings of this House appear to be a farce, I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 198; Noes, 294.1873
|Division No. 258.]||AYES.||[11.2 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bridgeman, William Clive||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Bull, Sir William James||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Butcher, John George||Croft, H. P.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Denniss, E. R. B.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Dixon, Charles Harvey|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Campion, W. R||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Faber, George D. (Clapham)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cassel, Felix||Falle, Bertram Godfray|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Castlereagh, Viscount||Fell, Arthur|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Cautley, Henry Strother||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cave, George||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Fletcher, John Samuel|
|Barnston, Harry||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Gardner, Ernest|
|Barrie, H. T.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Chambers, J.||Gibbs, G. A.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Goldsmith, Frank|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Courthope, George Loyd||Gretton, John|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)|
|Boyton, James||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Haddock, George Bahr|
|Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Hambro, Angus Valdemar||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Mackinder, Halford J.||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Malcolm, Ian||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Stewart, Gershom|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Moore, William||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Mount, William Arthur||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Hill, Sir Clement L.||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||Newdegate, F. A.||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Newman, John R. P.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Hope, Harry (Bute)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Nield, Herbert||Touche, George Alexander|
|Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Valentia, Viscount|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Jesse!, Captain Herbert M.||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Joynson-Hicks, William||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Perkins, Walter Frank||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Peto, Basil Edward||Winterton, Earl|
|Kerry, Earl of||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Keswick, Henry||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Randles, Sir John S.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Rees, Sir J. D.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Lloyd, George Ambrose||Ronaldshay, Earl of||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)||Younger, Sir George|
|Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Salter, Arthur Clavell||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Goldman and Mr. Hills.|
|Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Clynes, John R.||Gelder, Sir William Alfred|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd|
|Adamson, William||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Gill, Alfred Henry|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Ginnell, Laurence|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Cotton, William Francis||Glanville, Harold James|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles Peter (Stroud)||Cowan, W. H.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Arnold, Sydney||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Goldstone, Frank|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Crean, Eugene||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Crooks, William||Greig, Colonel James William|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick)||Crumley, Patrick||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Cullinan, John||Griffith, Ellis Jones|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hackett, John|
|Boland, John Pius||Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normantgn)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Dawes, J. A.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Delany, William||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)|
|Brace, William||Doris, William||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Duffy, William J.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Elverston, Sir Harold||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Hayward, Evan|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Hazleton, Richard|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Farrell, James Patrick||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Helme, Sir Norval Watson|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Ffrench, Peter||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Field, William||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Fitzgibbon, John||Higham, John Sharp|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Hinds, John|
|Clancy, John Joseph||France, Gerald Ashburner||Hogge, James Myles|
|Clough, William||Furness, Stephen||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Rowlands, James|
|Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Muldoon, John||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Munro, Robert||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Hudson, Walter||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel)|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Neilson, Francis||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Nolan, Joseph||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Scott, A. McCallum (Glas., Bridegton)|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N)||Sheehy, David|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Jowett, Frederick William||O'Doherty, Philip||Shortt, Edward|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Donnell, Thomas||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Keating, Matthew||O'Dowd, John||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Ogden, Fred||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Kelly, Edward||O'Grady, James||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Lamb, Ernest Henry||O'Malley, William||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Sutton, John E.|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||O'Shee, James John||Tennant, Harold John|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Outhwaite, R. L.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Parker, James (Halifax)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Logan, John William||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Lundon, Thomas||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Pirie, Duncan Vernon||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Pollard, Sir George H.||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|McGhee, Richard||Power, Patrick Joseph||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Price, Sir R. J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wardle, George J.|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Waring, Walter|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Pringle, William M. R.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Radford, George Heynes||Webb, H.|
|M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Manfield, Harry||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Reddy, Michael||Whyte, A. F.|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Martin, Joseph||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Rendall, Athelstan||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Meagher, Michael||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Millar, James Duncan||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Molloy, Michael||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Robinson, Sidney||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Mooney, John J.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Morgan, George Hay||Roe, Sir Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Morison, Hector||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again to-morrow (Tuesday).