§ 3. In the exercise of their power to make laws under this Act the Irish Parliament shall not make a law so as either directly or indirectly to establish or endow any religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, or give a preference, privilege, or advantage, or impose any disability or disadvantage, on account of religious belief or religious or ecclesiastical status, or make any religious belief or religious ceremony a condition of the validity of any marriage.
§ Any law made in contravention of the restrictions imposed by this Section shall, so far as it contravenes those restrictions, be void.
§ Amendment proposed [22nd October]: After the word "marriage" ["validity of any marriage"], to insert the words "or whereby any person may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law in accordance with settled principles and precedents, or may be denied the equal protection of the laws, or whereby private property may be taken without just compensation."—[Mr. Astor.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
With regard to the Amendments on the Paper, it may be convenient to the Committee if I state that the next Amendment after the one now before the Committee which I propose to 2216 take stands in the name of the hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Wright). The Amendment of the hon. Member for Sutherland (Mr. Morton) is outside the scope of this Clause, and cannot be taken at this stage.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Yes, certainly. This Clause deals with laws which may be passed by the Irish Parliament. The hon. Member's proposed Amendment has nothing to do with laws made in the Irish Parliament, for it deals with quite a separate subject, and is therefore not within the scope of the Clause. If the hon. Member likes to put it in the form of a new Clause, I will give it consideration, but I am not quite sure that it is within the scope of the Bill.
§ Mr. MORTON
It appears to me that there is some misunderstanding, because this Clause has to do with not making laws.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Clause says that the Irish Parliament shall not make laws having a certain effect, and the hon. Member's Amendment does not come within that wide ambit.
§ Mr. JOHN WARD
The House adjourned last night after an extremely interesting speech from the hon. Member for the Camlachie Division of Glasgow (Mr. Mackinder). I venture to suggest that the statements which he urged as reasons why the House should accept this Amendment require very careful consideration, at least on the part of my hon. Friends who sit immediately around me. I understand that these words are taken almost verbatim from the American Constitution as it was established, according to the hon. Member, in 1868 or 1866. He suggested during his speech that it was not so much by way of any question of Home Rule for Ireland, nor was it any question of any particular interest that he could see immediately required defence that these words should be inserted in the Bill. He 2217 drew a picture of his own which is well established when one considers these words, and that picture was a parallel very much to what has taken place during the last thirty or forty years in the United States, and was very significant indeed. He said, for instance, that Parliament on some future occasion might not be concerned in legislating for some particular and immediate vested interest, but that there will be constantly before the Parlialiaments of Europe, and let us hope eventually in the United States, great economic questions which the Legislature itself ought not to be called on to decide, and which, as a matter of fact, should be decided by some Supreme Court, over which public opinion could not exert the slightest influence. Therefore we may take it for granted that this Amendment is put forward more for the purpose of opposing democratic legislation, and for the purpose of stifling democratic effort with reference to social reform and the great economic disputes which are raging at the present time between the different classes of society, than for protecting any immediate vested interest, as has been suggested by questions that have been put before us in the speeches that have hitherto been delivered.
Let me quote from what the hon. Member said before I give authorities and justifications for the suggestions that I am now making. He said that these words were originally in the draft of the United States or American Constitution. They were not immediately inserted, said he. He may be wrong, but I am accepting his history as correct. He says they were inserted in 1866 after the great Civil War and were ratified in 1868. That may be true, but I suggest that the Civil War was on a particular question, not necessarily economic, but perhaps sentimental as well as economic. It was largely owing to a dispute between the northern and the southern States with reference to slavery, and one naturally can understand that in refraining the Constitution the builders of the American Constitution after that war would try to insert words, having immediately before them the great struggle that I had taken place and the reasons for that great struggle, to protect the liberty of the I individual to the greatest possible extent. The hon. Member for Camlachie went on to say:—The Constitution of the United States has to lie interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States. That Court stands inferior to no Court in the world. Deliberately after two generations' experience 2218 the United States sets to its Supreme Court the duty of interpreting these very words."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd October, 1912, col. 2088.]So that we may take it for granted that what right hon. Gentlemen opposite are suggesting now is that we should have a Constitution, not a detailed Constitution, but a sort of general provision so as to enable the Courts of the country to question and decide whether any law passed by the Parliament in Ireland, I assume first, and then by the other Parliaments that may be established under the federal principle that is now being discussed, passed dealing with the subject of individual liberty and great economic questions, such as have been similarly decided in the United States, may be taken from the floor of that House and the floors of the other Houses under the Federal Constitution and be decided by pundits on the benches of the country. That being clearly in the speech of the hon. Member for Camlachie as his idea of what this Amendment means, I venture to say, no more dangerous proposition has ever been suggested in this House so far as labour is concerned than this Amendment. It is surprising that it should be put forward considering the idea that was promulgated in defence of a previous Amendment. We were told that we were not prepared to do anything to. as it were, extend good laws and restrictive legislation with reference to sweating and general industrial conditions to Ireland as well as to England; and yet here it is proposed now in this Clause by inserting these, words to practically destroy, so far as the industrial population of Ireland is concerned, even that modicum of industrial legislation and protection which the law gives the industrial population of Ireland even at the present time. Let us consider how the United States Supreme Court has decided these questions. Let us take a few cases that have been submitted to that Court.
Almost the first case submitted on these words was a Bill or Act of Parliament passed in California in 1868. The decision was not given until some years afterwards. The California Legislature, after a great agitation unanimously passed in 1868 an eight hour law. It had been working for some time when eventually some great trust, which I daresay the Mover of this Amendment has his eye on in moving this Amendment, and wishing it to be inserted as part of the Home Rule Bill, some great trust or great manufacturing association moved the Courts to say whether this law was proper 2219 or not. The Court decided that the law was inoperative because it was not a subject appertaining to legislative jurisdiction. Thus, though the working people of that State, and I suppose, the general body of well-meaning people in the country or in the State had so impressed upon the Legislature, the necessity of curtailing hours of labour, that the Bill passed through the House unanimously, not a vote even being challenged upon it, some great trust objecting to the operation of this restrictive labour legislation appealed to the Courts of the United States, which decided that it was inoperative, or in other words null and void. There are other more recent cases which one can quote. For instance, New York passed an Eight Hour Act so recently as 1886, and the Governor said it was an infringement of the Constitution and struck out all the penalties stating that such an Act could only be regarded as simply declaratory of the public desire, so that that, too, had no force though the people of the country required it. Everybody knows what desperate efforts have been made by social reformers to stop, or to curtail as far as possible, child labour in the industrial system of the United States. Sweating was carried on in the New York State itself in 1886. Our own Royal Commissioners, appointed by a Conservative Government, has a whole volume dealing with the attitude of the United States courts as to restrictive legislation relating to sweating and working conditions. Among other things it was found impossible, so long as child labour on a largo scale was allowed in ordinary tenement houses, to inspect or to do anything to restrict that undesirable form of labour. An Act of New York and Massachusetts, passed in 1884, was declared unconstitutional by the Court of Appeal in 1887 on the claim of the Manufacturing Cigar Makers Association, a huge trust operating in the, United States. In the "Bulletin" for the year 1008, issued by the Labour Bureau at Washington, you find, for instance, that Maryland enacted a law in 1902, providing for the insurance of working men by the State, and the law was declared unconstitutional by the State Courts. I am sure the Leader of the Opposition does not wish to put into the Bill words which would practically leave it to the Law Courts to decide whether legislation, demanded by the Irish democracy, should be applied for the 2220 purpose of stopping sweating and giving decent conditions of labour to the working people of Ireland; because it is a moral certainty that if it is submitted to the courts the case of labour is gone.
The injunctions, the obstacles placed by the Supreme Court in the way of ordinary labour action for the purpose of improving the conditions of the working people, form one of the most astounding features of American industrial life. Men stand their trial for things of which no notice at all would be taken in this country, and the labour movement in America has been driven to courses of action which would never have been possible but for this stumbling-block to the Supreme Courts and their decisions relating to labour questions, which have made it nearly hopeless for the people to improve their conditions, except under a system almost of terrorism. That is not the sort of thing that we want introduced into this country. The operation of this Clause in the American Constitution is best typified by the terrible story of the industrial conditions in regard to women and children in America published only two years ago. It is a disgrace to everybody concerned. These things are not allowed to be decided on sentiment, or even in accordance with the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the people, but are decided on some wretched legal formula settled in Courts where popular opinion has not the slightest influence and the demand for justice for the poor is very rarely heard. That is the cause of the terrible condition of affairs in the United States, and to suggest that words which have played such havoc in the matter of industrial conditions there should be enacted hers after the forty-years' terrible experience of social reformers in the United States, is one of the most astounding propositions imaginable! I suggest that Labour Members ought to take more notice of this Amendment than of any other on the Paper. The whole future of industrial democracy in Ireland is at stake. If once the principle is applied in Ireland it may be applied here. Once the precedent is set that the Courts of the country may be used as a sort of buttress to fob off the demands of justice on the part of those who are engaged in the economic and social struggles of the day, there will be no justification for refusing a similar demand on the par: of trusts and their friends in this country or any other over which this House has jurisdiction. This is such a 2221 dangerous Amendment that the Opposition, instead of appealing to the Government to accept it, should reconsider their own position and see whether after full consideration they ought not to withdraw the Amendment from the consideration of the Committee.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I think the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. John Ward) has given a very exaggerated and I think a very inaccurate view of the Amendment before the Committee. I do not know whether he read its terms, because, if he did, it seems strange that above all others those representing the Labour interest should refuse favourably to consider what I should have thought was merely a restatement of the elementary rights of every citizen of the country. What are the words of the Amendment? The Irish Parliament shall not make any laws "whereby any person may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law in accordance with settled principles and precedents." Does he object to that? Does any man in the present day really say that when this Parliament is setting up a new Legislature it is doing some outrageous act against the liberty of the subject, and particularly against working men, by saying that that new Parliament shall not make any law whereby a person may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law in accordance with settled principles and precedents? That, to me, is a most astounding proposition—or may be denied the equal protection of the laws, or whereby private property may be taken without just compensation.I should like any Member to get up, and. taking any one of those elementary propositions of justice and civilised government, tell us what it is that he objects to. The hon. Member for Stoke said that if the Irish Parliament is not allowed to make laws whereby persons may be deprived of liberty and property without due process of law, the whole industrial legislation of the country will be at an end. Anything more absurd or ridiculous it is impossible to conceive. The hon. Member said that in America, owing to disputes between various interests—he did not give particulars—certain laws of subordinate Parliaments relating to sweating and hours of labour had been held to be ultra vires. One would want to look at the real facts connected with the 2222 disputes before saying why that was done; but let me remind the hon. Member that all these points have been settled by us, and are, therefore, the very settled principles and precedents set out in the Amendment. The whole speech from beginning to end had really no relevance whatsover, having regard to the whole trend of labour legislation in this country for the past forty or fifty years. In addition to that, the hon. Member seems to forget that all this Amendment proposes is that the Irish Parliament should follow the settled trend of legislation in the Parliament out of which it has come. He forgets that we are doing nothing whatsoever by this Amendment to prevent the Imperial Parliament—which we are always told, when it suits the Government, is such a safeguard to the liberty of the subject—from passing any legislation it thinks proper, and the moment you pass an Act in this Parliament, even if you do not apply it to Ireland, which you claim to have power to do, you immediately set up a precedent which would make it impossible for any Court to prevent the Irish Parliament from taking a similar course.
We have had no answer as to why this provision, which was in the Bill of 1893, has been omitted from this Bill. Not only was it in the Bill of 1893, but when hon. Members from Ireland moved to strike it out Mr. Gladstone and his Law Officers strenuously resisted the proposal. But that is not the whole case, because the provision in the Bill of 1893 was supplemented by a very important provision, setting up an Imperial Court in Ireland, to which, if this particular provision was being infringed, there was a right of appeal to prevent injustice. That also is struck out, and we have not been told why. Therefore, not only have the Government omitted the provision which would prevent any of the consequences to which I have referred, but they have taken away from the Executive and the Executive's judges the power' to frustrate the provisions which the subordinate Parliament might enact in this regard. You do nothing of the kind in the present Bill. So far as I can see, even if you pass this—I will come in a few moments to the answer which has been given by the Solicitor-General—even if you are going to pass this without an Imperial Court and an Imperial Executive in Ireland, as was in the Bill of 1893, it is very probable that this provision may be a dead-letter. I 2223 would remind the House that so careful were those who framed the Bill of 1893 to see that all the provisions enacted by this House as safeguards—and there were far more safeguards in that Bill of 1803 than in this—should be effectual safeguards, that not only did they set up a Court which was under the control of the Imperial Government for the purpose of enforcing them; they went further, and they set up an Executive. They provided that if the Irish Executive refused to carry out the decrees of that Court, that Court should have the power itself to appoint officers to carry out those orders which would be necessary to make the decrees of the Imperial Court effective in Ireland, and so carry out the safeguards enacted by the Bill. All that is now put an end to. We ask the reason why? The Solicitor-General—if he will allow me to say so—gave us, I think, a very extraordinary reason. He said there is great difficulty in interpretation. Does the Solicitor-General find greater difficulty in interpreting these words than did Sir Charles Russell, or Sir John Rigby, who were great and eminent lawyers, and who were both in favour of this provision? I should like to quote to the House—and it is relevant to the speech of the last lion. Member who spoke—what Sir John Rigby, then Solicitor-General, said about this and the importance of it:—We never can repeat too often or in too many forms the words of those essential doctrines by which we intend to guide and govern our own inferior Legislatures, or the conduct of anyone subject to our laws. The desirability and the necessity of repeating these consists in this: that everyone's attention in serious matters such as this should he drawn to the fact that restrictions are imposed, not by reason of want of faith in the honesty of the body to whom power is given, but because it is simply in the interests of all that all should know the governing principles of our legislation. It is well, therefore, that on an occasion like this, when we are, as we hope, inaugurating a great legislative body for Ireland, that we should recapitulate, formulate, and make plain to those who are to act under the law, the lines on which it is intended they should act.That is an answer to the Solicitor-General. Where does the Solicitor-General find the difficulty of interpreting these words? The Solicitor-General says, "Oh, it would give a rise to a great deal of litigation." He made an observation which a lawyer always makes: "I hate litigation," he said. He was rather disappointed with me because I said I did not really care. He thought that was a very irreverent observation to make. Certainly it was not the stereotyped observation of a lawyer, and perhaps therefore he did not approve of it.
2224 But really, Sir, is it not trifling to say that this would give rise to litigation? If it does give rise to litigation, it will be because some citizen feels that his liberty or property is being infringed without due process of law, or in accordance with the precedents and settled principles of settled government, as they have grown up for centuries in this country. The Solicitor-General says, "Oh! but, after all, your liberty, property, processes of law, precedents—what is the use of them; they only cause litigation?" That is the way difficulties are always got over in this House. Let us shut our eyes! Once we set up an Irish Parliament we are no more responsible. We will cut our losses financially. We will cut our obligations of liberty to the people—who, I suppose, will be still our subjects! No, that is no answer at all, and the Solicitor-General knows perfectly well that the Courts, the House of Lords, and the Privy Council have day after day to decide questions quite as difficult as any question that may arise under this provision. Take what happens every day in the Courts. To take a simple illustration, what kind of questions have we to decide there? We have to decide under many Acts of Parliament whether a thing is fair, whether it is reasonable, "probable cause." What is reason? What is "probable cause"? What is fair? All these, no doubt are very difficult questions. I am perfectly sure the Chief Secretary's standard of what is fair and reasonable is very different from mine. But these questions have to be decided, and they are decided every day. You could not carry on the administration of the law if you did not decide them. I understand the position of the hon. Member below the Gangway. He would abolish Law Courts altogether.
§ Sir E. CARSON
He would leave them to some trade union or some trade council. To these he would leave the decision of, very likely, a question of the deprivation of life, or liberty, or property. He would leave the matter in Ireland to the United Irish League. He hates the "wretched formula" of the Courts, as he calls it. I remember a great advocate on one occasion winding up his case, and as he sat down he said, "Gentlemen, for his answer to this my learned friend would no doubt rely upon a wretched Section of an Act of Parliament." The hon. Member calls this 2225 the "wretched formula" of the Courts! The truth of the matter is you cannot find any real objection to the insertion of words which ought to be put into any Act of Parliament creating the powers over life and liberty that you are giving in this Bill to the Irish Parliament. If they mean to act fairly it cannot hurt them. The words are an indication to them to follow on upon the principles, precedents, and lines that have been acted upon for centuries in this country. As such they are an indication, if nothing else, very valuable to direct the attention of the people, as Sir John Rigby said, to what ought to be always before us when we are legislating with regard to the lives, liberty, and property of our fellow subjects. The Solicitor-General, yesterday, said, "But, after all, the standard is always changing in these things." Therefore it is useless to set this up! Of course the standard is always changing, just as legislation changes. The right hon. Gentleman gave an extraordinary explanation of his point. "Look," he said, "at the Land Purchase Act. Sixty years ago that would have been looked upon as something outrageous having regard to the law." I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman has ever read the Irish Land Purchase Acts.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I do not think any of us have. What are the Land Purchase Acts that the right hon. Gentleman takes his illustration from as to the principles of change? They are that a man may voluntarily sell his property and that the State will advance the money on the security of the property. There is nothing compulsory in them. I think the Solicitor-General was very unfortunate in the particular illustration that he took. I come to the reasons, apart from the difficulties that he does not like to put upon the Court to construe the matter. I come to the answers that he gave to the Amendment. "What do you want?" he said; "you have got the Veto." The immortal Veto! I remember that Veto so well during the passage of the Bill of 1893. It became such a common answer in every difficulty into which a Minister got when construing the Bill, and, on being asked as regards safety, that I remember in the end no Minister was able to use the word without a kind of apologetic cough, by which we all knew it was coming.
2226 What is the Veto? Whose Veto? How is it to be exercised? Why, the Veto is one of the most interesting considerations in the whole of this Bill. There is the Lord Lieutenant in his three capacities, the head of the Ministry—that is, the Ministry in Ireland—when it is an Irish service, responsible to the Government here when it is an English service, and when the service is half English and half Irish responsible, I do not know to whom! Just imagine the Lord Lieutenant in this position exercising the Veto. Imagine that bulwark of safety! When he comes to construe some Act of Parliament, some Land Purchase Act, finding that the purchase part is a reserved service and the settlement of rents an Irish service, when he meets his Ministers he will say, "Yes, so far as you advise me to sign this Bill in reference to the settlement of rents, you are quite right; I must get it done. On the other hand, on the purchase question involved, I must go over and ask the Ministers on the other side of the water." They will tell him that it is a reserved service; that they would not allow it. Then, in a case where it is neither one nor the other, he will consult both, and I suppose make up as best he can his mind between the two. How is he to exercise the Veto? Irish Ministers will care no more about him than do the present Government about the electorate of the country. So long as they have got their Parliament Act they do not care; and so long as the Irish Government have got this Act they will not care. Suppose they say to the Lord Lieutenant, "If you veto this—say it is a case of taking away property without compensation—"we resign." We will say that the Prime Minister—whichever of these right hon. Gentlemen will be Prime Minister—will resign. Nobody else will take office.
What is to happen then? Chaos in Ireland? Not at all. Chaos in England! Because the moment that happens the forty-two watch-dogs in this House will get up and will say, "Look what has happened in Ireland? What sort of a Lord Lieutenant have you got? He is going to veto the Bill, and the Government will resign and nobody will take their places. You have set up a Parliament, and we remember when this Bill was going through you were always preaching you must trust the Irish people." I would like to know how that Veto is to operate. And then the Solicitor-General went on to say, "Even if you are not satisfied with 2227 the Veto, you have the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament." How is that to be exercised? Suppose you were to try and exercise it to-morrow under this Bill, how would you carry it out? You would go to the Courts in Ireland, which are under the Executive you are going to override, and where are your powers to carry it out in Ireland? There, again, they will say to you once more, "You have created a subordinate Legislature: we are masters of the situation because we are not only masters in Ireland, but we are masters in your House in England." And going on the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor-General, who is always a very confident prophet, forgot that at the very moment this arises the forty-two Irish Members in this Imperial Parliament, counting eighty-four on a Division, may be regulating the whole balance of power as between the two parties in this House.
§ Sir E. CARSON
If you ask me, I think they will. I think they will all very likely be hostile to this country. Let me ask this question. We hear a great deal about the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament. When, even as Parliament is at present constituted with hon. Gentlemen opposite held in power by Nationalists below the Gangway, have they stood up against the demands of hon. Members, no matter what these demands may be? As this Bill goes through every action they take upon every Amendment which is moved is dictated by hon. Members from Ireland. That has been made perfectly clear in the course of these Debates. The truth of the matter is the moment you have set up your subordinate Parliament or your co-ordinate Parliament or, what I think it will be, your dominating Parliament, there is only one way in which it can operate, and that is by absolute trust. I agree to that. You always trust them when it is a question of the lives and liberty and property of people in Ireland, but when it is a matter relating to moneys advanced by this country, you take care to keep the moneys in your own hands, and to charge them upon the funds of the Imperial service. You take good care when it is a question of the Customs to keep the Customs in your own hands and to say to the Government you absolutely trust, "You must not raise revenue in the way you think best because we cannot trust you 2228 to deal fairly as far as we are concerned," but where it is an. ordinary simple elementary matter as regards the deprivation of life, liberty, and property, you say, "All these we hand over to Ireland."
You refuse to accept the words of this Amendment and you do worse because you refuse to put in any provision even if you did accept these words to make them effective. You strike at the Imperial Courts which was relied upon in 1893 as being a matter which you kept in a Clause touching the administration of justice in Ireland. And, notwithstanding all that, you go about the country boasting and bragging of the way in which you have stuffed your Bills with safeguards, when the truth of the matter is that so far from stuffing it with safeguards you try at several points in the drafting of the Bill to get rid of the safeguards that were in the Bill of 1893. To my mind, while I support this Amendment, it will be ineffective except as an indication of the lines upon which Parliament ought to go—if any indication is of any use to the Irish Parliament. Except as an indication it will be absolutely useless unless you can restore to the Bill some power of enforcing these words such as was in the Bill of 1893. I do not know whether the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor-General meant really to oppose these words. I think it was a lukewarm opposition, but I hope at all events before the Debate closes we will get some more solid reasons than those already given for refusing these words which were in the Bill of 1893.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think I ought to say a word at this stage. The discussion has taken a wide scope. I have not the least complaint to make upon that score—I think it was inevitable from the width of the Amendment—but clearly the Debate covers nearly all the subsequent Amendments to the Clause, and it must be remembered the point the right hon. Gentleman has raised also touches one of the chief Amendments to Clause 4. I think perhaps these things could not be avoided, but I think it my duty to point them out to the Committee now.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
It appears to me that a great deal of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, to which we have just listened, would be more appropriate to the Second or Third Reading of the Bill, and much of the remainder to the 2229 discussion which must take place in subsequent stages in Committee on Clauses which deal with the executive veto of the Lord Lieutenant and the powers of the Imperial Parliament generally. I propose in the very few observations I am about to make to the Committee to confine myself entirely to the Amendment itself. It is quite true, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman said, that words, in substance the same as those contained in this Amendment, appeared in the Bill of 1893. I remember very well, at that time, their insertion in the Bill was made a matter of ridicule by the Opposition of the day. We were told that they were perfectly useless, that they were not worth the paper on which they were printed, and that the whole thing was a mere pretext, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman, in his concluding observations, came to a similar conclusion if we were to accept this Amendment.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Of course! So we are not really discussing anything which, in the view of those who promote this Amendment, is of very real substance. Why, on the whole, have we come to the conclusion, departing from the language of the Bill of 1893, that it is not necessary, or, indeed, expedient, to insert a provision of this kind?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
If I asked a question, I am prepared to answer my own question in my own way. These words were taken in substance from the Constitution of the United States, not indeed from the original Constitution in which none of them were to be found, but from Amendments to that Constitution, and in particular as regards the concluding words, from the celebrated fourteenth Amendment inserted in the United States Constitution at the conclusion of the Civil War, with a view to securing fair and equitable treatment for the coloured population of the Southern States. The earlier words are to be found in substance in the original Constitution; but it is a remarkable fact that although these words are to be found in the Amendments to the Constitution of the United 2230 States they are not to be found, nor is anything analogous to be found in any of the Constitutions which this Imperial Parliament has granted to her Dominions.
Look at British North America? That had already been passed in 1893. You find nothing of the kind there. But if you look at subsequent legislation which took place since 1893—legislation for the establishment of the federal constitution in Australia in 1900 and the much more crucial establishment of the Union in South Africa—you will find no provision, no limitations, no restriction in any way analogous to this, in any provisions we have made with regard to any of our Dominions. And therefore the insertion of these words here would be an acknowledgment—and here is where I think the experience subsequent to 1893 is relevant—would be an acknowledgment that in the case of Ireland, and Ireland alone, amongst all parts of His Majesty's Dominions, it is necessary to fetter the free action of the responsible legislature you are setting up, by restrictions you nowhere else apply, and that is a very serious objection. But even apart from analogy, it is really necessary. In other words, would it if it were inserted supply any safeguard which is needed and which is not adequately provided by other parts of the Bill. I do not think so. As I will point out in a moment, I think it might introduce considerable practical constitutional inconvenience. Without concerning myself for a moment with the actual language of the Amendment, its object is to assert in terms that the Irish Parliament shall not pass legislation which no civilised legislature ought to pass or could pass. We believe, and notwithstanding the scoffs the right hon. Gentleman has urged against the reserved powers of the Imperial Parliament—it is a matter which we shall be' quite prepared to-deal with in detail when we come to the Clauses on which they arise—we believe' that if the Irish legislature were so minded the Veto of the Executive and the reserved powers of this Parliament are quite ample and more than ample to safeguard against such a possibility. But further, as I think my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General has pointed out, the language here used sanctioned as I agree it is by the precedent of the United States of America, is language full of ambiguity abounding in pitfalls and certainly provocative of every kind of frivolous litigation. Look at the adjectives used. What are "settled 2231 principles?" What is "equal protection of the laws"? What is "just compensation?" In every one of these cases you have adjectives, and with great deference, as to what was said by the right hon. and learned Gentleman just now, whose experience of the Courts is great, I do not agree so far as my recollection—now becoming, I am sorry to say, somewhat rusty—of these tribunals goes, that these are questions which are habitually entrusted by the British Legislature to the decision of the British Courts, I cannot really recall a precedent of the kind. They are all really matters of opinion, bias, or inclination and judgment which cannot be acted on under anything like settled rules of law as to whether or not in any particular case equality or fairness, some abstract, some probably very-varying standard of quality or fairness has or has not been observed. I cannot imagine any subject in which unnecessary and gratuitous litigation would be more readily-invited, or in regard to which the decisions of the tribunals would be received with less general respect and authority. That brings me to another part of the proposal, which, I think, is a very serious one, and one upon which I doubt whether we had sufficiently in mind in 1893. If you introduce into your Bill a limitation of this kind of the powers of the Legislature you are creating, you are really enthroning the judiciary as the ultimate tribunal of appeal. There is no question whatever about that. Look at what is going on now in the United States of America, where, as is inevitable in the development of a written federal Constitution, other questions must become every generation, and perhaps every year, more and more acute.
I need not say that I am not going to be presumptuous enough to intrude even in the way of suggestion or criticism into the domestic controversies of our kinsmen in the United States, but everyone who observes what is going on in the Presidential election now taking place must have noticed one of the main and most acutely controverted issues—and one put in the forefront in what is called the Progressive party, lead by Mr. Roosevelt, whose recovery to health everyone on this side of the House is as anxious to see as his own kith and kin—raised in the forefront of his platform is whether it is safe in a democratic community that your Legislature shall work under fetters, the interpretation and measurement of which, for all 2232 practical purposes, will be entrusted to a body which is not in any way responsible to public opinion. I am not saying whether or not the United States of America has reached that stage which they are represented to have reached, still less am I pronouncing any opinion upon the various suggested remedies for that supposed evil, but I do say it is one of the things which we should most carefully keep in view as a possibility in all legislation of this kind. I venture to say to the House that the experience we have now had, both across the Atlantic in the United States, in our own Dominion of Canada, and in our newer Dominions in other parts of the world, ought to make us very chary of imposing in our written Constitution any limitations upon the powers of the Legislature, and certainly any limitations expressed in ambiguous and dubious language, the ultimate interpretation of which must fall on the judicial bench, with the result that you may have one of the most undesirable conflicts it is possible to contemplate, a conflict between the judiciary on the one side and the Legislature and public opinion on the other. From that point of view, and quite apart from the special merits of this particular Amendment, I earnestly press upon the Committee the undesirability of introducing—unless the necessity is obvious, and unless the language used is such that there can be no reasonable doubt as to its possible interpretation—fetters, restrictions, exceptions, and reservations in the powers of the Legislature you are bringing into existence. By all means make it clear—as we hope we have made it clear in this Bill, and when we come to the particular Clauses we shall be perfectly ready to listen to criticisms of them—that the legislation does not offend against the elementary principles of justice, against the enactment of which you have provided adequate safeguards, but do not invite, if you can avoid it, endless litigation and perpetual conflicts between the judiciary on the one side and the Legislature on the other. It is upon those general grounds that I ask the House to hesitate before it accepts the Amendment.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I do not rise with any idea that I can add to the force of the arguments which were put forward by my right hon. Friend (Sir E. Carson), and which I am sure impressed the Members of the House in all quarters. I rise only for the purpose of pointing out, and I do not think it is difficult, that the right hon. 2233 Gentleman has not met or attempted to meet the strong grounds upon which this Amendment was pressed by my right hon. Friend. How did he begin? He began by saying that the speech of my right hon. Friend was hardly appropriate to this occasion. I can understand him taking that view. He does not mean that it is out of order, he only means that it is inconvenient, and he actually grudges us the very few opportunities which are still left to us to appeal to the country. Really the best commentary of the whole of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman is this. He told us very courteously in referring to my right hon. Friend, that he was somewhat rusty about points of law, but in 1893 he was not quite so rusty. He was fresher then from the Law Courts; the whole case was argued then, and the very points which he made to-day were put and answered by Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Gladstone's law officers, and after hearing the answers the right hon. Gentleman, before he had become rusty, voted in favour of the Amendment. Then the right hon. Gentleman went into history, very unfortunately, I think. That happens to all of us when we have made speeches without preparation. He told us this was only an Amendment to the American Constitution put in after the Civil War.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
No, I said that the last words were; the earlier words were in the earlier law.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Quite so. The impression left on my mind, and I think on the House, was that it was the result of the Civil War. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh."] Well, you cannot doubt the impression left upon me, and it does not prevent me making the point I wish to. The words were in the original Constitution since 1789, and the importance of them was felt to be so great that after the Civil War when the position of the States had again been brought under review, they were again inserted by Amendment with the approval of all the States in the American Union. What is the other argument, and almost the only one, used by the right hon. Gentleman? He said no such words are in the Constitutions of our self-governing Colonies, and he says a great deal has happened between 1893 and now. Is this one of the things that has happened since? Was the Bill of 1893 intended to be partly on the model of the subordinate Parliaments of Canada and Australia, and does he now, by putting forward this argument, 2234 claim that we are establishing a sovereign Parliament in Ireland, precisely the same as the Parliaments of Australia and Canada? Then the right hon. Gentleman came back to what was the piece de resistance of the Solicitor-General. He says these are matters of opinion; the Courts, of Law cannot settle them. Yes, but what are the matters of opinion that the Irish Parliament will settle, and the Courts of Law settle now? The Railway Commissioners now settle what is a fair rate, and in Ireland they settle what is a fair rent. Mr. Gladstone himself dealt with this very trifling argument, and I do not think I can meet it better than by reading Mr. Gladstone's words:—The hon. Member very much underrates the value of the phrase. I do not say it has received, I do not say it can receive, an exhaustive legal interpretation, but it is a phrase that rests on authority of the utmost weight. The phrase was first promulgated by Lord Coke himself, and is the authentic rendering of a phrase in Magna Charta itself.5.0 P.M.
As my right hon. Friend said, the trouble of litigation will not arise unless someone in Ireland feels that he is being injured in his life, liberty, or property, and if he does, does the right hon. Gentleman say that the fear of difficulty in interpreting it is to prevent such a subject from having the small protection which this Amendment gives him? Then the right hon. Gentleman says, "Oh, but by doing this you are setting the Courts of Law above Parliament. You are setting all kinds of friction at work." That is his argument. There are a great many things to be said—and possibly, if circumstances made the right hon. Gentleman take a different view of another subject, no one could say them better—in favour of a written Constitution interpreted by Courts of Law, even in regard to a Parliament like this, but, at all events, this is certain, that there cannot be by any possibility a subordinate Parliament without some pressure or some influence on the part of the Courts of Law. Why by their own Bill they make a pretence of an appeal to the Privy Council, and that is a Court of Law just as much as any other. It is perfectly obvious that none of the arguments which the right hon. Gentleman has brought forward touch the point or have even been considered by him. We have to go somewhere else for an explanation. I put this to any hon. Members of this Committee. These words were inserted in 1893. The Irish Members then did not like them, and they would have liked them left out. Mr. Gladstone attached so much value to them that he put 2235 them in, and he left them in. What is the position? Then, as now, the Government was dependent upon the Irish vote, but there was this difference. Mr. Gladstone was the head of that Government, and he is not the head of this. I will tell the Committee in what way, in my opinion, that difference comes in. Both of them desired the support of the Irish Members, but Mr. Gladstone was wise enough to know the pressure need not be all on one side; that if the Irish Members were necessary to them they were necessary to the Irish Members, and he exercised some control over them. The great mistake, in my opinion, which this Government has made is that they have been so determined at all costs to beat their opponents that they have resolved to stick in office whatever was asked by their Friends below the Gangway without any reservation. The right hon. Gentleman said these words would be perfectly useless. If they are perfectly useless, why does not the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford not allow him to insert them? Why are they not inserted? I think all of us have every reason to be suspicious when we find that some concessions are put in and others are refused, and I think our suspicion may be grounded upon this. The concessions which are put in are ones which hon. Members below the Gangway know are of no use, and those which are left out may possibly be of some value. By the admission of the Solicitor-General and the Prime Minister, all these safeguards, about which those in the House who are supporters of the Government on British platforms talk so much, come back to this: They maintain there is a supremacy of this Parliament. I am not going again into the points made by my right hon. and learned Friend. There is not a man in this House who has given any study to this question who believes for a moment that, under any circumstances, can one democratic Parliament control another, or that this Veto could ever be anything except a dead-letter. That is not only common sense, but the universal experience.
Why even in subordinate Legislatures, like those of the provincial Parliaments of Canada, it has been found absolutely impossible to enforce the will of the Parliament of Ottawa in cases within their own purview; that is the distinction and 2236 that is the real protection. Everything not specially handed over is reserved to the head Parliament, and that is the real protection. Beyond that it is so obviously impossible to interfere with subordinate Legislatures in their own sphere that quite recently the Law Officer in Sir Wilfrid Laurier's Government said publicly that if one of these subordinate Legislatures passed an Act to take away the whole of his property and transfer it to his opponent at the election, the Parliament at Ottawa would have no right and no power to interfere. That is the experience even with subordinate Parliaments. What is the experience of the Government? I am speaking only from memory, but I think it is in the recollection of the whole House. We were told by the Solicitor-General last night that the Veto is not used because these Parliaments are so reasonable that there is no occasion to use them. When the First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Churchill) was at the Colonial Office the Government of Natal did something which he did not think reasonable. He telegraphed interfering with it, and what was the result? He found that every Dominion under the British flag resented the interference, and within twenty-four hours he had to climb down and give up all hope of interfering. We do indeed attach but little value—the right hon. Gentleman is perfectly right—to any of these safeguards, but we do say that common decency, in view of what they are saying on the platform over and over again, should make them hesitate long before they refuse in this Bill safeguards for which they themselves voted in the Bill of 1893.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I really think the history of the genesis of this Amendment will bear a little further examination. The case for it is even stronger than that which has been put by the Leader of the Opposition and by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Dublin. The Prime Minister citicised these words, and said that perhaps they were somewhat hastily introduced in 1893. The greater part of the Amendment was embodied in the Bill of 1893, not as a result of an Amendment in this House, but actually as it was introduced. Section 4, Sub-section (5), of the Bill of 1893, as introduced, was in these words:—The powers of the Irish Legislature shall not extend to the making of any law … whereby any 2237 person may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or may be denied the equal protection of the laws, or whereby private property may be taken without just compensation.The Solicitor-General and the Prime Minister have said these words are not here. That is exactly what the Opposition in 1893 said. They said, "We feel these words are not sufficiently clear. We do not think the words 'due process of law' really explain what is fully meant." Mr. Gladstone at first resisted that view, but later he was impressed by the arguments presented to him, and he actually had inserted into the Bill the additional"words—in accordance with settled principles and precedents,which appear in this Amendment. Therefore, the final form of the Bill of 1893 was exactly the form in which this Amendment appears on the Paper. The alteration was made by Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Gladstone's law officers, and that is the precise phrase which the Solicitor-General now attacks as not being clear. I have the greatest respect for the legal ability of the Solicitor-General, but I think it is no aspersion on him to say that the legal ability of Sir Charles Russell and Sir John Rigby and Mr. Gladstone combined was at least equal to his, and, if they inserted this very phrase with which he quarrels on purpose that the meaning might be made clear, I think we may take it, at all events, that there is strong legal authority for believing the addition of these words did make it clear to the House. When it was pointed out these words were originally derived from the Magna Charta, both the Prime Minister and the Solicitor-General said, "Oh, but that was a case of framing a new Constitution." They also said, "In the American Constitution, as in Magna Charta, you are setting up a new Constitution." What else are you doing under this Bill I You are not only setting up one new Constitution, but two new Constitutions—one for Ireland and another for Great Britain. When it is suggested there is a difference between the cases which we have quoted, let me recall to the mind of the Committee what Mr. Bryce said on this very subject in 1893. Replying to the same objection which was made from the Irish Benches as is made now by the Prime Minister, he said:—Why, the whole object of the Government is to give a sort of Magna Charta to Ireland. A Constitution putting these words in here makes it impossible for the Irish Parliament to vary them, and so far from interpreting by the words of the Irish Statute, 1776, the phrase must be interpreted by the context of this Act.2238 I do not think anyone would quarrel with the eminence of Mr. Bryce, either as a lawyer or a constitutional historian. I really think the Prime Minister and possibly my hon. Friend were a little misled in the account they gave of these words in regard to the history of the American Constitution. It is quite true, as the right hon. Gentleman said, they were not in the original draft of the Constitution. The Constitution was drafted in 1787 or 1788, and it came into operation on 1st March, 1789. After it had been in operation six months, in September, 1789, nine Amendments were made to it, and the last part of the fifth of these Amendments was in the following terms:—Nor shall any person be subject to the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.I think, therefore, my right hon. and learned Friend was fully justified in saying that in a general sense these words did appear, if not in the original draft of the American Constitution, at all events in the earliest Amendments which were made six months after the Constitution came into operation. The other answer and the only other answer given by the right hon. Gentleman is that, after all, there are other safeguards; there is the safeguard of the veto. This appeal to the veto conflicts strangely with the speech made a short time ago by the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. J. Ward). He described this Amendment as "anti-democratic." I wonder what an appeal to the veto is. I wonder whether that is consistent with the principles of democracy. We have always got to put our trust in something. We were told not very long ago to trust the Prime Minister. We have been told in this Debate to trust the Nationalists. Now we are told by the Prime Minister to trust the veto. Trust anything except the electors apparently, and that is the democratic policy! I cannot refrain from pointing out that this very veto on which the Government rely was the veto which was denounced by Mr. Parnell and by the hon. and learned Gentleman for Waterford and which, as my right hon. and learned Friend has pointed out, is in point of fact unenforceable in practice.
There is a further point in relation to this that I want to point out to the Government when they say this Amendment is unnecessary because of this power of the Veto which is possessed 2239 by the Lord Lieutenant. Was there not a Veto in the Bill of 1893? I would like to ask the Attorney-General, if he is going to speak, to deal with this question. There was a Veto in the 1893 Bill, as everybody knows. It is true the Veto was to be exercised in the first place by the Lord Lieutenant on the advice of his Irish Ministers but subject to the instruction of His Majesty, just as the Veto now is to be subject to the instruction of His Majesty. I would ask the Law Officer to say why an Amendment which was necessary in the opinion of the Government in the 1893 Bill, and which was required, in the opinion of lawyers at least as eminent as any of those of the present day, is now unnecessary by the fact that there are Veto provisions in this Bill which cannot be differentiated from the Veto provisions in 1893? If there is any difference the difference lies rather in favour of the strength of the Veto provision of 1893 and against the strength of the Veto provision in this Bill. In 1893 you had this amount of control, that you had two English Exchequer judges in Ireland with their own officers and with power to enforce their decisions. In the present case you have no such power. The only other comment I have to make is on the democratic question. The right hon. Gentleman accuses us of wanting to enthrone the judiciary. That has been the argument of every tyrant and every despot throughout history. The great power of Magna Charta is that it was its first historical action to secure an appeal to the Court for every subject. I understand the Government are finding considerable difficulty from the fact that their subjects are appealing to the Courts at the present moment in connection with the Finance Bill.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
Were there no appeal to the Courts it would not be possible to raise this question which we are pressing forward, and which is designed to secure for all time that no one shall be deprived of the opportunity of apealing to the Court. The right hon. Gentleman says we are desiring to enthrone the judges. That is to use an argument against the liberties of a free people.
§ Mr. SPENDER CLAY
It has been suggested by one of the Law Officers of the Crown that if this Amendment were carried there would be a large amount of litigation, which he as a lawyer appears to resent very much. He said that the real way to restrain outrageous actions was not to arrange that there should be a law suit in the Irish Courts every time some doubt arises. I always understood that one of the objects of the Home Rule Bill, as adnmbrated in the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, is to relieve the congestion of business in this House, so that in the future we shall only have to ratify Bills here. We may also have to undo Acts of the Irish Parliament which, if this Amendment were accepted, would never have come before this House. I suppose many people would say, as hon. Gentlemen behind me will probably do, that there is no fear of any outrageous Act being passed by the Irish House of Commons. But when we come to consider the speeches delivered in days gone by and not the milk and water stuff we get now—when we compare them with the speeches made in America, we cannot avoid coming to the conclusion that there is a distinct probability of outrageous Acts being passed. Still the danger of that would be obviated to a very great extent if this Amendment were accepted. We are asked to trust the Veto and to put our confidence in the Irish party. It seems to me that the Government are engaged in one of the most gigantic confidence tricks that has ever been perpetrated, and the results of placing confidence in the Irish Parliament are likely to be just as disastrous to the nation as they were in the case of the young man who, in spite of frequent warnings, engaged in card games with affable strangers in America. I hope the Government will accept the Amendment. I agree that the Veto, if used at all, should be used extremely rarely. Of course, it would be far better to have the Law Courts as a sort of buffer between the Irish Executive and the Executive of this nation, and I therefore sincerely support the Amendment of my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
I was a little startled by the semi-veiled attack made by the Prime Minister at the conclusion of his speech on the judiciary.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
There was not a single word uttered by my right hon. Friend that could be construed as an attack on the judiciary.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
I certainly was surprised at the veiled attack which was made on the judiciary, not in regard to the personality of the judiciary itself, but in regard to it as a possible instrument of tyranny over the people of these islands. For centuries past we have been inclined, and rightly inclined, to look upon the judiciary as a defence of the liberties of the people, and time after time the democracy has appealed to the judiciary to obtain what it could not otherwise obtain—freedom from the Government. The whole objection to this Bill is that it would tend to enthrone the judiciary. The Prime Minister is to-day refusing to his fellow Protestants in Ulster the protection which he approved of in the case of the coloured races in the American War. Reference has been made to the Constitutions granted to Canada and South Africa. I always notice that Members of the Government think to score in the matter of the South African Constitution, but when we suggest Clauses taken verbatim from that Constitution we are at once told that the Constitution does not apply, and is really no guide in this matter. I am not at all sure we gain anything by bandying this Constitution backwards and forwards in this House. There were words inserted by the Law Officers of the Crown in 1893 in regard to the matter of compensation for the taking of private property, and Sir John Rigby at that time said, that if the just compensation provided for meant what the Irish Legislature might think just the safeguard would be aboslutely illusory. Will a Member of the Government define what the just compensation will be? We are laying down rules for the guidance of a subordinate Legislature. I think I can show this Bill creates not a subordinate but a sovereign Legislature. Assuming that the object of the Government is to erect and institute a subordinate Legislature, I agree with what Sir John Rigby said in 1893. We can never repeat too often, or in too many forms of words those essential doctrines by which we intend to guide and govern our own inferior Legislatures or the conduct of those who are subject to our laws. That was said in 1893. We were told we ought to lay down in the forefront of the Constitution of Ireland, the great governing principle upon which a Legislature is founded: that we should recapitulate, formulate and make plain to those who are to act under the law the lines on which it is intended they should act. If it was 2242 thought desirable to lay down that principle in the Constitution of Ireland in 1893, why is it not thought desirable to include those fundamental principles in the Constitution of Ireland at the present moment? I think it would be more necessary than ever that we should realise the enormous importance of this. This Government is not in the position of the governments of the component parts of the Federal States of South Africa, or of Canada, or of Australia. For instance, this Government will have the right to suspend altogether trial by jury; it will have the right to do away with habeas corpus; it will have the right to do away with the safeguards of personal liberty, and it will have the right—I ask the Chief Secretary if I am not correct in this matter—under the provisions of this Bill, subject, of course, to the illusory veto.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
Have not the right hon. Gentlemen the Member for Dublin University and the Leader of the Opposition shown conclusively how illusory it would be?
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
Yes, because by hypothesis the Irish Parliament can pass a law to abrogate trial by jury.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
They can suspend habeas corpus. Or, let us assume that they pass a law perfectly within their province, to transport all the Ulster Members back here. Let us assume that they pass it by a great majority in the Irish House of Commons. It might very well be. Are you going to exercise your veto over that?
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
How are you going to do it? I am delighted to find the Chief Secretary saying that he is prepared to exercise his veto. I hope he will tell us how he is going to do it. When the Irish Parliament, with the control of the Irish Executive, has passed a law to transport the Member for Dublin University here and have him put on board ship, how are you going to stop them? Are you going to send over a detachment of English troops in order to exercise your veto? 2243 You dare not do it. You did not dare to do it in Natal, when it was a question of dealing with four or five black men who were under penalty of being hanged. You thought the sentence was a monstrous one, or you would not have vetoed it. You dared not enforce your Veto on Natal, and I make bold to say that with forty-two Irish Members, who will come over here if the Home Rule Bill is passed, you certainly dare not and could not enforce your Veto on the Irish Parliament.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
I do not think anybody could. I do not think this Parliament itself could after having once set up a Parliament in Ireland, and giving to it the right to make laws for peace, order, and good government. The right hon. Gentleman is a lawyer, and knows very well that those words have received a technical interpretation by the Privy Council. In Court after Court it has been held that those words create sovereign rights in an Imperial Legislature. The right hon. Gentleman has not forgotten all the law he once knew, and he knows these are sovereign rights, and that once having been granted, it is certain you would never dare, or if you dared you would never succeed, in vetoing an Act of the Irish Legislature. I ask the right hon. Gentleman, when he makes his speech this evening, to tell us how he is going to exercise the Veto on any Act of the Irish Parliament in any one of the directions I have suggested. We are brought back to discussing this Amendment upon the suggestion which has been made by the Prime Minister on several occasions in debating the question of safeguards. He always says, "We who are in favour of Home Rule are prepared to trust the Irish Parliament." I reply that we who are against Home Rule are against it very largely because we are not prepared to trust the Irish Parliament. There is the great divergence of opinion. If I were prepared to trust the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) and the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon) with the life, liberty, and property of my fellow countrymen in the North of Ireland, I would vote for Home Rule. I should be only too glad in many respects to get rid of the infliction of Irish business in this House. There are many advantages in it. But I am not prepared to trust them.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
With life, liberty, or property. Take the speeches of the hon. Member for East Mayo, which I have quoted before in this House, which I have quoted in his presence, but for which he has never apologised, nor has he ever withdrawn them. What does he mean, for instance, by this speech:—When we come out of this struggle we will remember who were the people's friends and who were the people's enemies, and we will deal out our reward for the one and our punishment for the other.How is he going to do that except by an attack upon either their life, liberty, or property? There are other speeches. Dealing with the land question, he said:—I tell these people that the time is at hand and very close at hand—It is only fair to say that the hon. Member was a very poor prophet. That was in 1886, and it was not quite so close at hand as he then thought. I do not think it is quite so close at hand as some hon. Members think to-day—very close at hand, when the police will be our servants; when the police will be taking their pay from Mr. Parnell. And I warn the men to-day who take their stand by the side of landlordism and signalise themselves as enemies of the people that in the time of our power we will remember them—How is he going to remember them except by attacks upon their life, liberty, or property?—I say that a man who stands aside is a dastard and a coward, and he and his children after him will be remembered in the days that are near at hand when Ireland will be a free nation.These are quotations which have never been qualified or withdrawn, yet the Prime Minister asks us to grant Home Rule and not to insist upon safeguards, because we are to trust the hon. Member for East Mayo, who makes speeches of that kind. He made a speech within the last year or two which was almost, not quite, as extreme as those I have quoted. Speaking on 15th October last year, which is barely a year ago, just at the time when the Irish party were beginning to try—I was going to use the word "humbug," but I am told that yesterday it was ruled to be unparliamentary—to try to bamboozle the English people with their honeyed messages of peace and good-will all round and trying to attract us by their speeches. The hon. Member is always a little more bold than his colleagues. He said:—If you once get it into the heads of Irish landlords that a Home Rule Parliament will be sitting within two years in Dublin, they will be tumbling over each other to sell.2245 Why will they be tumbling over each other to sell if the laws of Ireland are as just and fair to life, liberty, and property AS they are to-day?Once you convince them that Home Rule is really coming you will find you have a totally different class of men to deal with.Why, if Home Rule is going to be fair, and their lives and property are not going to be interfered with, are you going to have a totally different class of men to deal with?If you had a proper compulsory Bill which would take the land from the landlords without a bonus, it would be like the case of the possum up the tree—Don't shoot; I will come down.'Yet the right hon. Gentleman asks us to believe that no attack is going to be made in the Irish Parliament on the life, liberty, and property of landlords. Landlords have at least some rights, even in this House. We are entitled to protect not only landlords, but the working men and the artisans in those great North-Eastern counties of Ireland in the proper exercise of their life, their liberty, and their property. I invite the Chief Secretary, when he replies, to try to make some little better defence than was made by the Prime Minister of their proposal to omit these words. These words are the great fundamental principles which have governed the legislation and the practice of our Courts in Great Britain for centuries past, and we desire to enthrone them in the Constitution of the new federal Parliament which is to be the guide for new Parliaments in Scotland and Wales. When we desire to put in these fundamental principles, the right hon. Gentleman and the Government say, "We will have none of them, because we will trust the Irish people, and the Irish Legislature, and the Irish Members"—who have not yet apologised or withdrawn speeches of the character to which I have referred, and who will, I am perfectly certain, as soon as this era of sham peace is over, commence once more making exactly the same kind of speech.
§ Mr. LOUGH
My right hon. Friend has made it very clear to the Committee why this Amendment cannot be accepted. Everyone like myself who is not a lawyer feels there is very great strength in the argument that some of the words are vague, that they will be difficult to interpret, and that the tendency of the Amendment would be to create difficulties rather than to smooth them down and settle them. I desire to say a few words somewhat from the broad standpoint taken by the hon. Member who has just sat down, on the question of the safeguards provided by the 2246 Bill, for I suppose that this is about the last opportunity we shall have of doing so. The object of this Clause, as well as of the second Clause, is to deal with this great question. It comes up largely in our Debates, and if we could arrive at some happy solution with regard to it, I think it would smooth the progress of the Bill. It has often been stated that the Bill bristles with safeguards. For my part, looking very closely at the difficulties that exist in Ireland—we make a great mistake in this Debate in not doing that; we look abroad for precedents and look at settled principles here, but we do not look very closely at the situation as it is in Ireland—looking at that situation, some of us might admit that some of the safeguards in the Bill want strengthening. They emanate too much from the British standpoint. They do not hit off the precise difficulty in Ireland as clearly and neatly as everyone would like to see. The Government are not to blame for this; in fact, they have done everything in their power to get the safeguards strengthened.
§ Mr. LOUGH
If hon. Gentlemen opposite would only adopt a more helpful attitude, they would help us. They propose Amendments they do not expect to be accepted. If they are accepted, the Government are sneered at for being foolish enough to accept them. That situation makes it extremely difficult for the Government. The Prime Minister from the commencement has appealed to hon. Gentlemen opposite to make some proposal which would be satisfactory to them. I notice that the Chief Secretary repeated that appeal in a very emphatic sentence he used last Friday out of this House. He said:—We have never had any honest, upright, genuine, self committing proposal made.I think that is perfectly true. As we are getting near the end of our Debates on the question of safeguards, it is a great pity that my right hon. Friend should have had to say that nothing of a practical character which might meet the Irish difficulty has been proposed from the other side. I venture to open up the question because I think that some of the supposed safeguards which the Bill contains will be found to be very injurious to the system when it gets into working. Take, as an example, the safeguard, as it may be called, dealing with the restriction in regard to Irish trade. We were promised some Amendment on that point, 2247 and I hope it will fructify. I will also take some of the Amendments which have been accepted in the hope of appeasing opposition. I think the Trinity College Amendment will be found, in working, to be a very great mistake. The Irish people will be false to all the great traditions of their race if they do not do everything they can for the great scholastic institutions in the country. My right hon. Friend, in the hope of soothing the Opposition, has excluded two of the great educational institutions of the country from the purview of the Irish Parliment. That will not be found to be helpful in working. In the same way the proposed Amendment with regard to the Post Office which has been promised, which will not allow the Irish people to send their letters direct to America, although they are nearer America than any part of Europe, would be a great pity. Many of these things might be considered from a more practical point of view.
Having said so much, I should like to mention two or three principles on which I think any useful Amendment must be based and in harmony with which any Amendment which will really help to provide any useful safeguards must be framed. The first principle is this: You must not cripple the Irish Parliament too much. That is the fault of this Amendment. It is the fault of every Amendment which is moved from the opposite side of the House. I appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite to say, if they would look at that Parliament broadly and think of the great work it will have to do in achieving some system of good government for Ireland, whether it will be assisted in this task if its hands are tied behind its back, and if it is crippled by a hundred provisions which have been hurriedly put into the Bill for purposes which are hardly perfectly honestly brought forward. Hon. Gentlemen opposite are thinking of something different from the precise Amendment which they are putting forward. They do not want to cripple the Parliament in this absurd way. They want something else, and if they will talk in an open way of that which they do want, it might be possible for the Government to meet them. I put forward this plea, that it is absolutely absurd if you are going to create a Parliament to cripple its powers too much. You must not tie its hands behind its back. You must give it some possibility of doing the work it has got to do.
2248 There is another principle which must be observed. We must not teach the Irish people, if they have anything to complain of in the future, to look to this Parliament at Westminster. That is a great fault. It is certainly the fault of this Amendment and the fault of most of the Amendments which have been brought forward by hon. Gentlemen opposite. You teach them to look to Westminster. You say this and that are to be left to Westminster. The Congested Districts Board is to be settled at Westminster. The building of the houses for peasants on the west coast is to be done here. The Post Office and the university institutions in Ireland are to be done here. That is all a gigantic mistake, and what hon. Gentlemen opposite ought to do is to endeavour to see whether some effort might not be made to provide for all these things in Ireland, and not to teach the people to look in the future away from home. What will be the effect of it if they do? The effect of looking to Westminster at all times will be to cause litigation and trouble. The people will not be taught to respect their new national institution. They will say, "It is not supreme; it is not a sovereign Assembly. We have to look to Westminster."
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Maclean)
The right hon. Gentleman's remarks seem to be rather in the nature of a Second Reading speech.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I really felt bound to raise the point, because it is extremely difficult. We get no thanks from hon. Gentlemen opposite for sticking closely to their Amendments, and I do not think their Amendments exactly express what is running in their minds, and if we talk of it we are slightly out of order. I respectfully put it to you that your predecessor, before he left the Chair, said that the Debate had taken a very wide turn. However, I will endeavour to keep within your ruling. I think this Amendment fails because it teaches the Irish people not to look for safety to their new institutions which have been set up, but to turn their eyes abroad, perhaps to Westminster or somewhere else, where these settled principles which are referred to in the Amendment may be found in operation. There is one other principle with which the House might really help the future situation. I do not think the majority that exists now in Ireland, and which will exist after the Parliament has been formed, 2249 should be asked to provide the safeguard which may be necessary under the Bill. There may be great difficulties in so doing. It would be an invidious task for them to perform, and the thing would go much more smoothly if the House itself would take the difficulty in hand and endeavour to set up the institution in Ireland in such a, shape that all the Irish people of all sections would have confidence in it, and would not think it necessary to bring forward Amendments like this, conceived in a very broad spirit and which will do much more to unsettle the minds of people in Ireland in future than to help the Parliament in achieving anything.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
I do not think the Government will be very grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for the remarks he has just made in regard to the few concessions that have been offered. I should be rather curious to know what attitude he took up towards this question in 1893. Was he in favour of it then? Did he vote for it then? I take it his attitude has now changed.
§ Mr. S. ROBERTS
I think I can leave the right hon. Gentleman to the judgment of the House. The Prime Minister has over and over again, especially, I believe, in the speech he made in Dublin, invited the Loyalists of Ireland to put forward their safeguards, and he said he would do his best to meet them. Now he has a very simple Amendment by way of a safeguard, if we may call it so. I am afraid it is not really, because the driving power is not behind it. But what attitude do the Government take? They will not have it. Does that show their bona fides towards the Loyalists of Ireland? It is a very similar law which we have been told this afternoon is in the Constitution of the United States of America. There has been no complaint in the working of it there. Then the Prime Minister to-day tells us that in the new Constitutions of the Empire, in Australia and in South Africa, this Clause does not find a place. But the parallel is not the same. You have not a North-Eastern corner of Ireland in Australia or South Africa. The people are loyal to this country there. There is not a State either in South Africa or in Australia that is in the position that Ulster is in—a position of dread and fear of being placed under a Government which they detest. There is no parallel between the case of 2250 the South African and Australian Colonies and that of Ulster. What is it that this proposes? It is very simple. It is simply that the Irish Parliament shall not be allowed to pass any law depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without clue process of law. It was suggested and backed up by the opinion of Mr. Gladstone and his Law Officer, the Solicitor-General (Sir John Rigby). Why? Because they said, "It is not because we distrust the new Parliament, but it is because we think it right that in making a new Constitution we should lay down a standard of political morality." That is the point. We want; to-day to give some guidance—a standard of political morality which should actuate every law passed by the new Parliament in Dublin. Sir John Rigby said:—Restrictions are imposed not by reason of want of faith in the honour and honesty of that body to whom powers are to be given but because it is desirable in the interests of all that all should know the governing principles of our legislation.That is the simple point which we beg the Government to consider for what it is worth. Let us have it put in as a declaration of what this Parliament thinks should guide the new Parliament in Ireland. I should like to make an appeal to our Nationalist Friends to consent to the Government accepting this Amendment, as a matter of bona fides on their part. They say they do not wish to do any injustice to the Loyalist population of the North-East of Ireland. If they do not wish to do that why not accept this Amendment declaring that it shall not be done? I hope the leaders of the Nationalist party will see their way to give some indication to the Government that in their opinion this provision would not be detrimental to the new Government.
§ Mr. MOORE
I speak on this occasion because, unlike the generality of speakers this afternoon, I am one of the unfortunate people whose life, liberty, and property will be wholly at the mercy of the new Parliament that is being set up. [An HON. MEMBER: "You look very cheery about it."] I am not at all cheery about it; I am rather despondent. I do not expect any quarter. The Government say they are prepared to trust the new Parliament and hon. Members below the Gangway; but what are they prepared to trust them with? Not with their own skins or their own liberty, or their own property, but with us, which is a very cheap and easy method for a Minister sitting on the Front Bench at Westminster, but a very different thing for the unfortunate Irish Unionist 2251 or Protestant who is put under this load of tyranny so soon as the Bill comes into operation. It is easy for them to say they trust. We have had references made to other Constitutions.
I do not think there is a case in the world where, as far as this country has made Constitutions, the minority have for years been fighting for one set of principles and one set of ideals, and have been threatened at every stage and derided by the majority of those to whom it is proposed to hand them over. In Australia that did not exist. In Canada the French-speaking people had their own Parliament. Because they were a minority in the whole of Canada they were given their own Parliament. In South Africa, it is true, there were diverse nations, but in the first place they were very nearly equally balanced, and in the second place they signed a treaty of peace before any question of a Constitution arose. Here you have this struggle which has been going on for centuries, and when the Government proposals are examined and the liberty, life, and property of the minority are to be handed over to a truculent majority that has been threatening them, whose only desire is to hound them out of the country, the Government refuse to put in the smallest safeguard to say that if their life, liberty, or property are to be threatened it should be done under due process of law.
Personally I agree with what the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Carson) said as far as this Amendment goes. This Amendment only deals with legislation. You may test these safeguards in every way. We come back to the difference between administration and legislation. An hon. Member behind the Chief Secretary interrupted jeeringly, "How about life?" He seemed to think that life would not be at stake. Well, look at the question of administration. The Chief Secretary will tell us that even at present a large number of people are under police protection to save their lives. There are over 300 people in that position. The Irish majority who are to legislate about life and property have only to see that that police protection is withdrawn. What will the life of a boycotted man be worth then? An hon. Gentleman tried to compare my remarks to insect powder scattered in prejudice over everything Unionists venture to say. The 2252 question of life comes in at every stage for the people in Ireland who have to live under the control of the majority, and surely it is not too much to ask that a safeguard which the Liberal party were forced to accept in 1893 should be continued today. Take the case of the landlord. Of course, the landlord gets no more quarter from one section in Ireland than the Protestant gets from another. We have the finding of the Parnell Commission. I expected to be greeted with cries of "Piggott," but Piggott was not concerned in this matter. The finding was that "the respondents had carried on an organised agitation by criminal methods against landlords in Ireland, because they were classed as the British garrison." That is the finding of the judges of the High Court who were appointed members of the Special Commission. There was an organised attempt to drive the landlords out of the country because they were the British garrison. It is now proposed to put one of the members of the British garrison absolutely under the control of Members below the Gangway. Some of the people who were leaders in the conspiracy carried on by these methods are to be leaders of the Irish Parliament. What protection for his life, property, and liberty will an Irish landlord have from that Parliament?
The Government say that they are willing to trust the Irish Parliament. It is a cheap confidence. The Government have left the Irish Parliament—it came out in a Debate last night—the sole judges of what the compensation is to be. At present there are certain principles on which compensation is given, but the Irish Parliament will have, it in their power to repeal every Act that deals with the compulsory taking of land, and to put their own limit upon it. The hon. Member for Middlesex referred to what was said by a Member of the Nationalist party, namely, that they were going to remember their friends and their enemies. What fair play would an owner of land get from the majority in the Irish Parliament? When one asks that liberty should be protected, and that property should not be taken from such a man except by fair process of law, the Government say, "Oh, we are going to trust them." That shows the real value of these safeguards. The Irish Parliament and Government may say, "Be it enacted that no compensation shall be paid for any land exceeding one year's rental." They 2253 have frequently said that the land should be valued at prairie value. The leaders of the Nationalist party have said that the landlords should be given a free ticket to Holyhead. This is what tickles the ears of the groundlings. What is to prevent them from legislating on these lines? They are carrying out a double object—getting rid of the British garrison, and getting rid of the landlords. [An HON. MEMBER: "What did you do?"] I have dealt with my land under British law, instead of dealing with it by fraud or force as the Irish Parliament would do. I do not think there is anything very wrong in what I did, but if this Government has its way, that will no longer be possible. Hon. Members will take the land from the landlords, because they are members of the British garrison, and they will give it to their own supporters for one year's purchase. That is the line of compensation on which the Irish Parliament is just as likely to settle with the landlords as any other. What does the whole thing amount to? As soon as you put the method of fixing compensation into the hands of a body like that, all sense of security in the country is gone. I think the sense of security is already gone very largely in the South and West of Ireland, which have been under the control of the Chief Secretary. His idea, first of all, is that the police are not to be censured when no arrests have been made. As soon as anything happens there, the police may make perfunctory inquiries.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The hon. Gentleman may attack me, but he should not bring accusations against the Royal Irish Constabulary.
§ Mr. MOORE
Well, if the Chief Secretary would not interrupt me, I would not be led into digressions. If you are not going to give security by Act of Parliament for life, liberty, and property, you are killing the sense of security in those parts of Ireland where it does exist. If you kill the sense of security where the Chief Secretary has least jurisdiction, 2254 thank God in the North of Ireland, you are hitting the commerce and doing real injury to the whole welfare and progress of the country. So far as these safeguards go, and this one in particular, I am thankful that we have in Ulster Unionists and Protestants who will be much better safeguards than the right hon. Gentleman is willing to put in the Bill. We are quite willing and ready to safeguard ourselves when a cowardly Government, in subservient obedience to the Irish vote, is going to filch our liberty and property from us.
§ Mr. ROBERT HARCOURT
The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. Moore) speaks from his experience, and his opinions are entitled to absolute respect in this House. I desire to make a single point with regard to the last line of the Amendment. I am going to quote what I hope will not be regarded as a trivial or false analogy. The last line of the Amendment says that property should not be taken without just compensation. I think the Prime Minister and other right hon. Gentlemen have indicated to the Committee their view that this is a question-begging phrase. I should like to ask hon. Gentlemen opposite, do they remember the Licensing Bill of 1908? Certain proposals were made for dealing with private property in that measure. I went down with others into the country to speak at a by-election, and we were greeted with posters all over the constituency bearing the words, "Thou shalt not steal." That was said in respect of a safeguard inserted in the Bill for the purpose of protecting the unfortunate publicans. Hon. Gentlemen opposite took the view which was expressed in these posters. I cannot really see what difference there is in these vague question-begging words whether you are dealing with the Imperial Parliament or a local Parliament. The hon. Gentleman brought out the well-worn argument that Protestants will be subject to religious persecution by the Roman Catholics in Ireland. I was in the House last night, and I think the Committee generally challenged the hon. Member for Sheffield or Hull to reply to an argument of that kind. I do not think the extreme point of view on that question finds support on the Front Opposition Bench. I have before me a speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Strand Division (Mr. Long) on 12th October, 1911. It has been quoted before, but I will read 2255 it again. I hope it is not a garbled quotation. He said:—Mr. Redmond complains that we talk about religious differences in Ireland, and that we believe the Catholic majority would trample upon the Protestant minority. That again is an argument to which I have never attached any importance.That, in my opinion, is a conclusive answer to the arguments of his own party.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
The Solicitor-General in his speech last night told us that the words of this Amendment are without precedent in any Act of Parliament. When the hon. and learned Member speaks on this Bill he does so in a cocksure way, as if he knew all about Ireland. I would like to ask if he has ever been in Ireland at all. I notice that other hon. Members on the Front Bench speak in a different tone. The Attorney-General speaks as if he did not know all about Ireland, but the Solicitor-General speaks as if he had lived there all his life. I would ask the Committee to remember that this Bill itself is without precedent. What are you going to do? You are going to set up a Parliament in a country which is torn and rent by religious factions. Of that Parliament three-fourths or, at all events, a large majority, will consist of Members belonging to one creed. I have lived the whole of my life in the South of Ireland, and I belong to a faith which is in the minority. I say at once that some of my best friends are members of the Roman Catholic faith. Hon. Members below the Gangway know I am right when I state that some of the most prominent of those who are standing shoulder to shoulder with me, opposing this Bill, are Members of the Catholic Church. I say at once that, so far as fear of persecution goes, if we take the word "persecution" as it is defined in Webster's dictionary, namely:to afflict, harass, punish, or put to death for adherence to a particular religious creed or mode of worship,I, at any rate, speaking as an Irishman, would not press for these safeguards. But we, the loyal minority in the South, have got to take things as we find them. We are not afraid of persecution as defined by Webster, but we are afraid of being discriminated against and getting unjust treatment if this Bill becomes law. Unfortunately the Catholic Church, with all its great qualities, does interfere in politics. Where you have a majority of Catholics you have a certain number in favour of certain forms of reaction and of not giving fair treatment to those 2256 opposed to them. Hon. Members will say to us from the South, "Why cannot you, the loyalist minority, trust your countrymen? Wait and see. We believe that these evil things will not happen. Why cannot you believe the hon. Member for Waterford and hon. Members below the Gangway when they say that the loyal minority will be given every fair play by Nationalists?" A burnt child dreads the fire. If we are asked to wait patiently and trust the promises made to us in Nationalist speeches, I ask hon. Members opposite to read the Debate on the occasion of the introduction of the Local Government Bill in 1898, when the loyalist minority in the three provinces were simply slobbered over and hon. Members appealed to the landlords to work this Bill and not to sulk, and the hon. Member for Waterford said that every conceivable opportunity would be given to them to take part in the county government, and that they must not imagine that they would be excluded from all share of county government because this Act had passed. The hon. Member for Kilkenny (Mr. P. O'Brien), who was such an excellent Whip, was in those days, besides being an excellent Whip, an excellent orator.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must ask hon Members in their speeches to have a little more regard for the terms of the Amendment, which are wide, it is true, but not so wide as the hon. Member is inclined to make them.
§ Mr. NEWMAN
As a result of all these pretty speeches, when these local elections took place, we, the Protestants, in my county alone, out of eighty elected and co-opted members of the county council had not one single member. We had two put on to represent the grand jury for the first three years, when those gentlemen went out of office, and from that day to this we have only had one Protestant sitting on the county council, and that man has only been on it because of the sponsorship of the All-for-Ireland League. We were told by the learned Solicitor-General that things have changed since 1893. They have! Land purchase was only then in its initial stages, and we had not then got what we have now, a Board more or less popularly elected which has powers to acquire by compulsion one-third of Ireland, the property of the landlord. Nor had we got the Labourers Act under which they can take land by compulsion. 2257 We say that if we are going to have these Acts in operation we must have a Cæsar. We have a Cæsar in the Imperial House of Commons. If this Bill becomes law our appeal to Cæsar is gone, and our appeal will lie to the Irish Parliament, in which in all human probability we, the loyalist minority of the three provinces, will not have one single direct representative.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
In resisting various Amendments which have been proposed from this side of the House, the Government have had occasion to resort to some strange expedients and have found themselves in some peculiar situations, but I do not think in the whole course of these Debates they have ever found themselves in a more extraordinary position than they are in with regard to this Amendment. These are not words invented upon our side; these are words invented and justified and insisted upon by the Prime Minister in 1893 and by all the Members of his Government. They are not invented by wicked Tories for the purpose of wrecking the Bill; they were deliberately inserted in the Bill of 1893 for making it a more effective measure for carrying out its provisions to protect and safeguard the interests of the minority in Ireland. These words were not hastily adopted by the Government in 1893, but were deliberately put into the Bill after a Debate extending over two nights and occupying something like eighty-seven columns in the Parliamentary Report. Now, the Solicitor-General comes forward and says that if these words are put into the Bill to-day they will only lead to fantastic disputation in Courts of Justice. If that were to be the result to-day, would not that have been the result in 1893; and is it not an extraordinary thing that with all the talent that was in the Parliament of 1893, neither the Prime Minister himself, Mr. Gladstone, nor his very distinguished Law Officers, including Sir Charles Russell and Sir John Rigby, nor, if the Solicitor-General to-day is right, one single soul on the Govern-Bench or one of its supporters in those days discovered that such would be the result?
§ Mr. BUTCHER
That may be a matter of opinion, and I do not wish to argue with the hon. Member on the question of sense. Possibly the impartial critic in 2258 history may think that there was at least as much sense in the Government of 1893 as there is in the servile Government of 1912. The Prime Minister to-day told us that if these words were inserted in the Bill they are such vague and such ambiguous words that when they came before a Court to construe it would be practically impossible for any Court to give a definite meaning to them Let me cite an authority at least as great as that of the Prime Minister to-day, the authority of Mr. Gladstone, speaking in the year 1893. A passage has already been quoted by the Leader of the Opposition from that speech. I quote another. He said:—It the Acts of the Irish Parliament are challenged in the Courts the Courts in view of this phrase—that is the phrase embodied in this Amendment,will have to determine whether they are law or not.There was no suggestion by the Prime Minister of that day that the Courts would have any difficulty in interpreting that phrase. He went on after the words already quoted by my right hon. Friend:—The phrase 'due process of law' was first promulgated by Lord Coke and is an authentic rendering of the phrase in Magna Charta itself.The phrase there was "per legem terrae," by the law of the land. Then Mr. Gladstone went on to say:—This phrase will operate as it has already operated with great lucidity in securing a strict adherence to the rules of justice.I will leave it to the Committee to decide whether the opinion of Mr. Gladstone, with his unrivalled experience, or the opinion of those who sit on that bench to-day is better worth having in this matter. The Prime Minister went on to deal with another matter. He said that these words are not in the Constitution of Canada. But they were not in the Constitution of Canada in 1893. It was present in the mind of the Government of 1893 as it is to the Government to-day that these words were not in the Constitution of Canada, and yet that was held to be no reason by the Government of 1893 for not introducing this Amendment into the Bill. Whenever the Government think it is to their own advantage they say they are following the precedent of the Act which gave powers to the Dominion Legislatures; but when they do not, for reasons which I can divine, think fit to follow the precedents of those Acts, then they throw them aside as if they were worthless. In which of those Acts will you find powers for a subordinate Parliament to deal with Customs and have their own judiciary? 2259 Those are the precedents we have asked them to follow and they absolutely refuse to do so. Therefore, coming from the mouth of the Prime Minister, these Dominion precedents are not of such very great value. Then comes the old argument, which was repeated to-night by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) about trusting the Irish Parliament. I desire to make a quotation about trusting the Irish Parliament from a very high authority, a person who knows well and knew well when he spoke the persons who were likely to be in authority in the Irish Parliament. In 1893 he said:They were told they should trust the Irish Legislature. Perhaps it did not occur to the Government that they were only prepared to trust men who had proved themselves trustworthy, and that being so, how were they to regard hon Members on the other side—that is the Nationalist Members from Ireland—as being trustworthy? If they could not trust them, those Members had themselves to blame.And he finished by saying:The right hon. Gentleman who asked them to believe in the policy of trust asked them to go aboard a vessel manned by pirates. They were not going aboard that vessel.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
He is a very important and most distinguished Member of the present Government, the hon. Member for North Tyrone (Mr. Russell), who had very-good reason at that time, perhaps he has good reason now, to know who are the men who would man the Irish Parliament and who would man the pirate ship. The hon. Gentleman has now hoisted the pirate flag himself, and he is in the position of helping to command the pirate ship. In all the reasons which the Government have given, or might give, for refusing this Amendment, they have not given the only real reason, and that reason I may explain by asking, "Are hon. Members from Ireland willing to accept this Amendment, or are they not?" I should like to know from some hon. Member from Ireland before this Debate closes whether they approve of the Amendment, and if, as I assume from their silence is unquestionably the fact, they object to this Amendment, then we have a sufficient, an adequate, and a complete reason to explain why the Government reject it.
§ Mr. HEWINS
I would ask the Attorney-General, with regard to the constitutional point, what he thinks of the view 2260 propounded by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister in his speech, drew a contrast between the United States Constitution, containing these words in the Amendment, and the practice followed with regard to the self-governing Colonies of the British Empire. I would remind the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. John Ward), who drew an eloquent and lurid picture of the iniquities which occur in that country, that the United States is in an entirely different position from this country. The United States first of all has a written Constitution, interpreted by the Supreme Court. In the second place, the United States has democratic sovereignty in a sense which the United Kingdom has not. In our Constitution we do not recognise the principle of the sovereignty of the people in quite the same way as in the United States. My hon. Friend quoted the case of the United States, not with a view to our following the example of that country by setting up a Supreme Court, but simply as showing what has been the experience of a great civilised country in respect to this point, and how necessary it is to have safeguards. I for my part think that the United States committed a great blunder in her history in separating from this country; but I do not think I need pursue that question any further.
As I understood the Prime Minister, he rested his case upon the fact that in the constitution of the self-governing Colonies of the British Empire, we do not include the provision contained in the words of this Amendment. Of course we do not. The reason is perfectly obvious, that from the moment a Colony becomes a British Colony, it comes under the British sovereignty, and all these laws and precedents which are the subject of this Amendment extend to that Colony, and bind that Colony, whatever comes after. The right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General will probably say, "Is not Ireland a part of the British Empire?" In her State trials, of which there are a great many, I see that precedents have been used and are used in great and important cases, which bear on the question; and if my memory serves me rightly, there has always been drawn a distinction between Ireland and other parts of the British Empire; because, whereas no British Colony has ever had a separate sovereignty, Ireland has had separate sovereignty. Ireland has been a Kingdom, a sovereign body; so has Scotland; and the principles which may hold with regard to all the 2261 British Colonies do not hold with regard to the early precedents of Irish history. Therefore the whole point is what are you doing under this Bill? Are you putting Ireland in a position of sovereignty? Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will answer that question. Is Ireland being put back into its position of sovereignty, as we claim she is? The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. As a matter of fact the argument on Clause 1 was never met from the Government Bench—the argument in which it was pointed out that that was the exact effect of this particular Bill.
You are now giving Ireland a written Constitution. That Constitution has got to be interpreted. Is that Constitution going to be interpreted in accordance with the settled principles and precedents of British law, or is Ireland going to be in the position in which it can make its own principles and interpret those principles in its own way to the disadvantage of others? It is not a question of opinion, it is a question of law, which no doubt the Attorney-General will argue from that point of view. A great deal has been made of the absence of this provision from old English laws. All I can say about that is that analogous phrases occur in all great fundamental laws of this country, and departure from the rule laid down in this Amendment have in times past been held by great lawyers to constitute a ground of resistance to oppression. I therefore ask the Attorney-General not to meet this question by vague sentiment and by saying, "trust the Irish people." If this Bill becomes law, and there is a written Constitution, I ask will the measures which the Irish Parliament pass be interpreted according to the special principles and precedents of English law, or will Ireland be able to start afresh?
Mr. JOHN GORDON (Londonderry, S.)
I wish to ask a few simple and plain questions of the House, and, incidentally, of my fellow countrymen below the Gangway. The first thing that occurs to me in reference to this matter is this: The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) said that we want more safeguards; he began his speech with that statement. Hon. Members below the Gangway have constantly stated that they are prepared to give any safeguards, no matter how offensive the hon. Member for Waterford may consider them to be. The Government have always professed that they wish to give any safeguards that could be reasonably asked 2262 for, and that they are ready to insert those safeguards in their Bill. Do the Government think, or do the Irish Nationalist party wish, that this new Parliament which to set up—but which I hope never will be set up in Ireland—should have the power, without due process of law or in accordance with certain principles and precedents, to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property; do they wish to be in a position to deny any person even the protection of the law, or do they wish to be able to take the property of any person without just compensation? I assume that question simply demands the answer, "Yes" or "No." If they do not wish to have those powers, then what harm can it do to them to have a provision inserted in the Bill, and why should not the Government accede to it? If they do wish to have those powers, then is it not the bounden duty of this House to see that they do not possess them?
I cannot see the force of any answer against this Amendment being inserted in the Bill when once you turn to look at it from that point of view. Either those powers are wanted—and certainly every sensible man would say that they ought not to be conceded—or they are not wanted, and, therefore, there is no reason why, when any body of opinion either in Ireland or in this country thinks it is necessary, this Amendment should not at once be accepted by the Government. What is the position of affairs in Ireland? I am not going into ancient history, I am not going back to make quotations from those who represented the Radical party years ago, when they described the action and conduct of the Irish Nationalist party—that is, all the leaders of Nationalists in Ireland, who will have the majority in any Parliament that you set up, and who will be able to enforce their will and their wishes on the whole of the Irish people, not alone upon their own friends, but upon a very large and very important minority which is entirely opposed to them. What is the state of affairs at the present time? On 31st January last the Chief Secretary for Ireland had to admit in this House that in that part of Ireland which is under the control of hon. Members below the Gangway, with their great organisation, the Irish Land League, there were 366 persons who were boycotted at that date, and 353 persons who were under police protection. The Irish Nationalist party, with their great organisation, pretend to control these people. 2263 Why have they not prevented these outrages perpetrated on their fellow subjects? If they cannot take control, then why should the whole of the people of Ireland be handed over to their charge, so that men guilty of no crime are submitted to pass their lives under such terrible circumstances?
We in Ireland know the history of these men. We know the history of their organisation; we know in whom the power will be centred. At the present time we know that the Government does not carry out the law in the way we would wish, but we can always look forward with hope of a change. But if you create an Irish Parliament, there would be no hope of any change, and the minority in Ireland would be under permanent subjection to the Nationalist majority. The Nationalist majority have shown, by their history and by their action, and sometimes by their want of action where we think and believe that they could by exerting themselves have prevented injury to life and to property, that they have failed to do anything which would create confidence in the mind of any man living in Ireland who is not a Member of their organisation. Therefore we say that this Parliament would be failing in its duty to its fellow-subjects in Ireland if it attempts to pass a Bill like this without taking due care to provide that no injustice can be done. It is not a question of whether there will be injustice or not; that is not the matter you have got to decide; you have to decide whether or not you will give these people power to do an injustice, and that in face of a strong opposition by men who are law-abiding and loyal subjects of this Empire. You cannot get rid of your responsibility as Members of this House and as fellow-subjects of these people by saying that you will, against the deepest and strongest objection, force a measure like this upon them without taking due care to provide every protection which may be reasonably asked for on their behalf.
We know that this form of outrage has been allowed to go on in Ireland, and we believe that the Nationalist party might have controlled things better. Some of the threats by prominent Members of the Irish Nationalist party have been cited to the Committee in this Debate. I am not going to repeat them because we in Ireland know them. You in England do not see them in your newspapers, but we see them from day to day. What effect do 2264 you think it could have had upon the minds of people not associated with the Nationalist party, when the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond), the leader of that party, went down to the North of Ireland and told them that, when they got Home Rule, people who did not agree with them would be put down by the strong hand. What do you think about the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. J. Dillon), who goes to Portumna not very long ago, and when he is speaking about the landlords tells them Home Rule is coming, do not make any mistake about it, and when it comes the Parliament in Westminster will not pay very much attention to the woes of those Gentlemen. We cannot forget these things.
It is very easy for English and Scotch Members who will not have to submit to this rule, which we loathe and detest, and which we rightly from our knowledge regard as a terrible danger to ourselves, to our liberties and to our property, it is very easy for hon. Members here to say, "Oh, trust the Irish Nationalist party." Can they adduce anything in their whole history which would induce us to trust them if they can let us have it here. I have never heard anything beyond the bare statements of men who know nothing about them, and who may have been in Ireland for pleasure or amusement for aught I know, but who are much more likely never to have been in the country, and are men who have no property or no stake in the country, and who neither carried on profession nor business nor manufacture there, and who have not owned a farm or a house in the whole of Ireland. I think that the least that hon. Members on the other side can do is that they shall see that nothing is wanting on their part, if they must force this injustice on the minority in Ireland, that they make due provision to see that the powers which they are themselves creating shall not be used unfairly or unjustly towards their fellow-subjects. The hon. Member who spoke last from the other side referred to the question of licensing. I wonder will that Gentleman think for one moment of the example that his party and his Government have set to an Irish Parliament in reference to this matter of compensation. Why, since they have come into office in every Act of Parliament which they have passed, and in some of the Bills which they were not able to pass, is introduced perilous conditions in reference to the property of individuals. They 2265 have set the example by saying that your property, or compensation, or the amount that you are to have is to be determined not by the Law Courts, but by some official who is connected with some permanent department. I know very little of my fellow countrymen if they will not better on that example. It is a very easy way for them to get out of the difficulty by saying, "Oh, some official sitting in a back office connected with some department is to determine what is to be paid for the property we are about to take for some purpose."
Mr. R. HABCOURT
As the hon. Gentleman is referring to me, what I pointed out was that this was a mere question-begging phrase, and I referred to the question of just compensation, on which there is acute controversy.
Mr. J. GORDON
I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is familiar with these matters, but I may tell him once you put into an Act of Parliament a phrase like that the matter has to be decided by a Court of Law, and that was why the hon. Member for York called attention to the answer which was given by Mr. Gladstone, or by some of the leaders of the Radical party. These words are not, as the hon. Member for York pointed out, words chosen at haphazard by a Member of the Unionist party here. They are the words that were selected and were defended by those who were then in power in 1893, and the moment we get a phrase like that put into an Act of Parliament you must go into a Court of Law to have it considered, and the real danger which exists is having decisions by an official or by a department, or even by a House of Commons. I do ask, then, the Attorney-General, if he is going to reply, what answer he is going to give to the alternatives I have put? Either these things are intended to be done or they are not. If they are not intended to be done then what objection is there to the Amendment? If they are intended to be done, would any honest, fair-minded man for one moment wish to leave it in the power of an Irish Parliament to do those things?
§ Mr. MUNRO-FERGUSON
This is a very interesting Amendment, and I think the Government has done well in resisting it. It raises the broadest constitutional question, and the particular case of Ireland. The matter raised by this Amendment is one which is being argued with 2266 great vehemence in America at the present time. We find, on the one hand, the Constitution of Canada, which does not contain these words, giving the Courts power to interpret laws respecting property or individual liberty. We find that Constitution working with remarkable smoothness and generally supported by the whole people of the country. We find in America, where these words or practically the same, are in the Constitution, that the gravest difficulties have resulted from that part of the Constitution. It is in order to remove those grave scandals and difficulties which have resulted from those words being in the American Constitution, that is the primary cause of Colonel Roosevelt's campaign at the present time, with which I entirely sympathise. It is one thing to have our legislation dictated by lawyers in this House, when they are here in sufficient numbers to predominate, but it is quite another thing to have our laws decided by lawyers within the professional fortress of the Law Courts. The result of that is shown in America, and the rule of the lawyers in a purely professional capacity has a really bad effect. That is why I am against this Amendment on the broad constitutional ground. The Courts in Canada have power to interpret laws which are restricted to the spheres of the Dominion and the provincial Government. It is in America where they have gone so far beyond that and where they have interfered through the State Courts as well as through the Supreme Court in all manner of social and other legislation that has produced that crisis in America which has led to the social convulsion which we see there now. I think upon that ground the House would do well to consider before it accepts this Amendment.
With regard to Ireland, no doubt the case of property may be one which excites special interest, but I am not at all sure that property in this country is safer than it is in Ireland. I am inclined to think the reverse. That view is supported by one who was an honoured Member of this House, the late Lord Carlisle, who, I recollect, in Committee upstairs, had taken part in a debate in which the Irish Members had taken a view contrary to that of the Government in respect to taking lands for roads and giving compensation. Lord Carlisle remarked: "Really the hon. Members from Ireland are now the only defenders of property left in the House of Commons." I seriously believe that the rights of property 2267 are more likely, on the whole, to be respected in Ireland than in this country, and I have had ample opportunity of judging. I am not disposed to think that the need for this provision is shown in respect of Ireland, and I think it has been greatly diminished by the undertaking of the Chief Secretary to expedite land purchase. I think, therefore, no case has been made
§ out for having this Amendment put in the Irish Constitution, and on broad constitutional grounds I am very reluctant to see it introduced in any Constitution in the British Empire.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 197; Noes, 299.2271
|Division No. 267.]||AYES.||[6.58 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Newman, John R. P.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Fleming, Valentine||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Baird, J. L.||Fletcher, John Samuel||Nield, Herbert|
|Balcarres, Lord||Forster, Henry William||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Gibbs, George Abraham||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gretton, John||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Barnston, Harry||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Barrie, H. T.||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Haddock, George Bahr||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Benn, Ion H. (Greenwich)||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Bennett-Gnidney, Francis||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Harris, Henry Percy||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bigland, Alfred||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bird, A.||Helmsley, Viscount||Royds, Edmund|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid)||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hickman, Col. T. E.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Sanders, Robert|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hills, John Waller||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Campion, W. R.||Hohler, G. F.||Stanier, Beville|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Cator, John||Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Horner, Andrew Long||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hunter, Sir C. R.||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Chambers, James||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Kerry, Earl of||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Callings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Keswick, Henry||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Kimber, Sir Henry||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Knight, Capt. E. A.||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Winterton, Earl|
|Croft, H. P.||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. S.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Dixon, Charles Harvey||Mackinder, H. J.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Doughty, Sir George||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Moore, William|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Astor and Mr. G. D. Faber.|
|Fell, Arthur||Mount, William Arthur|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Arthur Godfrey||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Kean, John|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||France, Gerald Ashburner||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Adamson, William||Furness, Stephen W.||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Gelder, Sir William Alfred||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Gilhooly, James||Manfield, Harry|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Gill, Alfred Henry||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dmbartonshire)||Ginnell, Laurence||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Armitage, R.||Glanville, H. J.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Arnold, Sydney||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Meagher, Michael|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Goldstone, Frank||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Millar, James Duncan|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Molloy, M.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Guiney, Patrick||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Barran, sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz|
|Barton, William||Hackett, J.||Mooney, John J.|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Morison, Hector|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Hancock, John George||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Muldoon, John|
|Bentham, G. J.||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Munro, R.|
|Bethell, Sir Henry||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Boland, John Plus||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Neilson, Francis|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Nolan, Joseph|
|Brady, P. J.||Hayden, John Patrick||Norton, Captain Cecil William|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Hazleton, Richard||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley Owen||Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Dowd, John|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Higham, John Sharp||Ogden, Fred|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hinds, John||O'Grady, James|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hodge, John||O'Malley, William|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Hogge, James Myles||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Shaughnessy, p. J.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Shee, James John|
|Clough, William||Hudson, Walter||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Clynes, John R.||Hughes, S. L.||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburghshire)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||John, Edward Thomas||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Crean, Eugene||Jones, Lelf Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Crooks, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jowett, Frederick William||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Cullinan, John||Joyce, Michael||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Keating, Matthew||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Kelly, Edward||Radford, G. H.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Kilbride, Denis||Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry|
|Delany, William||King, J.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Reddy, Michael|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Doris, William||Lansbury, George||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Rendall, Atheistan|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb rid, Cockerm'th)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lewis, John Herbert||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Esmonds, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lundon, Thomas||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Esmonds, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Robinson, Sidney|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Falconer, James||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||MacGhee, Richard||Roche, John (Galway, E)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Ffrench, Peter||Macpherson, James Ian||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Field, William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Fitzgibbon, John||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Toulmin, Sir George||Wiles, Thomas|
|Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Sheehy, David||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Sherwell, Arthur James||Verney, Sir Harry||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Shortt, Edward||Wadsworth, John||Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Walters, Sir John Tudor||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Walton, Sir Joseph||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Snowden, Philip||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wardle, George J.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Sutherland, J. E.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Sutton, J. E.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Webb, H.|
|Taylor, T. C. (Radcliffe)||White, James Douglas (Glasgow)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Tennant, Harold John||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Thomas, J. H.||White, Patrick (Meath, North|
§ Mr. WRIGHT
I beg to move, after the word "marriage" ["a condition of the validity of any marriage"], to add the words "or affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend an elementary school receiving public money without attending the religious instruction at that school."
The effect of this Amendment is to preserve to all children attending elementary schools in Ireland the right to a Conscience Clause. They have at the present moment a Conscience Clause under the fundamental rule of the Commissioners of Education for Ireland, but if Ireland is to have a Parliament under this Bill, there is a risk that the Commissioners of Education may come to an end; that a Board of Education may be established in their place, and that the Minister of Education, under those circumstances, may introduce legislation which would not give to all the children, of whatever denomination, the Conscience Clause which they have at the present moment. The object of the Amendment is to give the children of every denomination a statutory Conscience Clause, so that, whatever happens in the future, they will have the protection which such a Clause affords. There is nothing new about this Amendment. Except that the word "elementary" is added, it follows word for word Clause 4 (6) in the Bill of 1893, and a similar provision in the Bill of 1886. When the Bill of 1893 was in Committee, as far as I can discover there was not a word of discussion upon this particular Clause. The only reference to it was by the senior Member for Dublin University, who referred to the word "prejudicially" in connection with another Sub-section.
This Amendment is not one of those bugbears or bogeys which the Chief Secretary said that we on this side of the House were so ready to set up without any justification. It is not an instance of those "miserable 2272 suspicions," of which the Solicitor-General spoke last night, and in which he accused hon. Members on this side of being so ready to indulge in connection with this Bill. At any rate, if it is one of those miserable suspicions, it is one of which we in England have had experience from all parties, from all religious denominations ever since the year 1870, when the Elementary Education Act was passed. I may remind the Committee of the wording of the Conscience Clause which we have in every school in this country. Clause 6 (2) of the Act of 1870 lays down that any scholar may be withdrawn by his parents from such observance or instruction—that is, religious observance or instruction—without forfeiting any of the other benefits of the school. The wording of the Conscience Clause, under which the children of this country have protection from the imposition of any religious instruction of which their parents do not approve, has the same effect as the wording of this Amendment, which I hope the Committee will accept. It is inconceivable to me that the Committee, or the Government, can do otherwise than accept this Amendment. The only thing that astonishes me is how it was that the Government left it out in introducing the Bill. The only explanation I can give for it being left out, after being in the Bill of 1893, and agreed to without discussion, and after it being in the Bill of 1886, is that the Government meant that the Amendment should be moved, that the words should be reinserted, so that they would then be able to point to "another graceful concession" on the part of the Government to the other side of the House. No reason has been given why there should not be a statutory Conscience Clause for children in Ireland, as there is for children in this country.
But before I go on to say anything about the general reasons which have been given 2273 by right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite, and especially by the Prime Minister, in introducing this Bill to the House, I should like to say that if the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary wishes to interrupt me, and say that he will accept this Amendment, I shall be only too happy to spare the House, and shall be glad to save the time of the Committee. The general reasons given by the Prime Minister why this and other things which were in the Bill of 1893 have been left out, were four: Firstly, that they were vague in their terms; secondly, "We believe them to be absolutely unnecessary so far as we are able to foresee the course of events." The right hon. Gentleman said, thirdly, that they would give rise to an infinite opportunity for litigation; and fourthly, so far as they are directed against real dangers, they are amply provided against by other safeguards.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I do not want in any way to interfere with the hon. Member, because I am in one sense very much in agreement with this Amendment, to which I do not think the Government will offer any objection. It might, therefore, save time if I say that. I want to say something on the subject, but I do not want to interrupt the hon. Member. I make the intimation in order that the hon. Gentleman may, if he desires, shorten his remarks.
§ Mr. WRIGHT
If the right hon. Gentleman says that the Government intend to accept the principle of this Amendment, though they may make some small verbal alteration, I am perfectly prepared to sit down and allow the right hon. Gentleman to proceed.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's shortening of his remarks in addressing the Committee—addressing it, as I think, in a very able and persuasive manner. We think the language of Clause 3 with regard to disabilities and disadvantages covers this Amendment. Nay, we think the words do more. We think they also cover secondary education. I would suggest to the hon. Member that the word "elemen- 2274 tary" be left out, because if I were to accept the Amendment in the form in which he has put it, it would rather create the impression in relation to secondary schools, that the protection which we think Clause 3 already brings about had been omitted. We are just as anxious as the hon. Gentleman that secondary education should be in the same position as elementary education. The hon. Member is perfectly correct in saying that words very similar to these occurred, both in the Bill of 1883 and in the Bill of 1893. I have no doubt whatever that the draftsman, or the statesman who inspired the draftsman, to prepare these words had his mind choke full, as my mind at one time was, with the peculiar difficulties that have arisen in England in consequence of the eternal controversy between the Church of England schools and the schools either of the dissenting bodies or those worked by the old school board. I am not by any means here to defend the Irish system of elementary education. It is open to many drawbacks, but it has curious compensations.
The point is that the intense system of denominational education there is built upon the most undenominational foundation that any wit could ever have devised. It has its drawbacks, and it has its advantages, because the religious controversy with which I was familiar at the Education Office—indeed all my life before I ever became a Member of Parliament—the difficulty about withdrawing children from religious education has never entered into the Irish mind at all. The difficulty has never arisen. I have never heard of it. I have myself visited Irish schools conducted entirely by the religious orders. Everybody in the school, with hardly an exception—sometimes one or two Protestants—were Catholic. In these schools all the teachers, or almost all of them—at all events, those actually commanding the school—were nuns. In these schools the whole thing, seemingly to my Protestant eyes, had as complete a Catholic atmosphere as you could possibly imagine, and there was no religious difficulty. I have gone into a school at the time when secular education was proceeding. I did not notice anything peculiar—but, then, I am rather short-sighted. The fixed time for religious instruction when any Protestant child may withdraw came. On the occasion to which I refer two children withdrew. Then religious emblems mysteriously made their appearance, and 2275 altars were visible to the eye; candles were lighted, and the children went through their religious instruction. As soon as that was over the symbols disappeared. Everything went on without any discomfort.
I say, therefore, to the Committee that the particular thing which inspires this particular Amendment is redolent of England, and of English difficulties, and has no relation to anything that has hitherto appeared in the Irish system of education. That difficulty has never arisen. We have never had that trouble. No Protestant child attending a Catholic school, or Catho0lic child attending a Protestant school, would withdraw. All those real difficulties, of which I was very conscious—for I have suffered from them myself—that attend the tender conscience of the child, who does not like to withdraw from the religious teaching which is being given to his schoolfellows, does not like being a marked boy, do not happen in the happy country of Ireland. Nobody has any apprehension upon that subject whatsoever. Catholics do not mind being Catholics, and Protestants have no objection to being Protestants. Owing, I think, to the fact that all these religious bodies, be they Protestant or be they Catholic, have the appointment of the teachers in their own hands; all the jealousies and difficulties that arise in England are absent in Ireland. I therefore do not think this Amendment, or provision ought to have appeared, or that there was any occasion for it, either in the Bill of 1886 or that of 1893.
It is an English thing. As so often happens in our legislation, we are full of English ideas and English prejudices, and we are perfectly satisfied that Irishmen have the same. They have their own, not ours! The point having been raised, and it being one which affects people's minds in this country, being considered a real, a possible grievance, in England, it is open to remark that although hitherto in Ireland nothing of the sort has ever happened, nobody has ever endeavoured to upset these arrangements, still the new Parliament will have new powers, and it may hereafter do something which has never entered into its head to do or wished to do. I have no objection to accepting the Amendment. I hope we shall not be treated to accusations that we only do this at the bidding of our leader—[Laughter.]—friends. May I not quote the 2276 Leader of the Opposition? Every time any concession is made he says yon do it at the bidding of your leaders. Every time we refuse to make a concession we are told we refuse to make it because our leaders will not let us.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Gentleman has said that many times in the course of the Debate. I think we may take it once for the remainder.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have heard the hon. and learned Gentleman interrupt. A single interruption may perhaps not be taken objection to, but when it is continuous it is my duty to take notice of it.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Having said the thing three times myself I will not say it again. I will content myself by saying that the Government are quite willing, subject to the omission of the word "elementary," to accept the Amendment.
§ Sir E. CARSON
The only thing I cannot understand in the conduct of this Bill is why, when it was so plain that this Amendment would have to be accepted, we were not told of this long before; why, in point of fact, when the Bill was drafted these words were not put into the Bill.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I opened my observations by saying that we did not think them necessary at all. Clause 3 is very much better than the Amendment moved by the hon. Gentleman, because we think it covers both elementary and secondary education. The Amendment is not in our judgment really necessary.
§ Sir E. CARSON
The right hon. Gentleman, I am afraid, has taken away the graciousness of the concession. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Yes, he tells us that he has only accepted it because he thinks it is entirely unnecessary—
§ Sir E. CARSON
Which is a very extraordinary reason to give to the House for accepting the Amendment. The truth of the matter is that the Government do not apparently make up their minds upon these matters. [HON. MEMBEHS: "Oh, 2277 oh!"] If you want a row we will have one. Hon. Members below the Gangway are getting very impatient over this matter. Do they not think that they have gagged us sufficiently that they might allow us at least a very small amount of time we are given without these constant interruptions. They do not care a farthing what is in or what is out of the Bill. They are prepared to swallow anything, and they do not care how nauseous they make it for us. Hon. Members might consider the unparalleled circumstances of tyranny and cowardice under which we are trying to carry on our discussion in this House, and leave us to argue these questions which, though of no importance whatsoever to them so long as they can merely keep the Government and themselves in power at the present time, are of the very vastest importance to the people of Ireland. At all events I can inform them that their interruptions will not in the least, if persisted in, conduce to that good order which we are trying to maintain under circumstances of great provocation. The right hon. Gentleman made an observation with which I cannot at all agree. He says there is no necessity for this Amendment, and says, in point of fact, that this matter of children being interfered with in any way as regards the Conscience Clause has never arisen in Ireland. That is the whole point. Why has it not arisen in Ireland? Let me read to the Committee the words of the fundamental rule of the National Education Board:—With due regard to the consulting of parental right and authority, that accordingly no child shall receive or be present at religious instruction of which his parents or guardians disapprove.He says this Amendment, in his knowledge and mine, is not necessary, and only comes in because of the English system; and that the whole of the Irish system which does not depend upon any Act of Parliament depends upon the Irish rule made by the Board of Education.
§ Sir E. CARSON
It is engrafted by the rules from time to time on a system that had been framed as undenominational. There is one observation I should like to make with reference to this that does bring one back to the controversy in this House when the right hon. Gentleman opposite told us that any such system as prevailed in Ireland could not possibly work here.
§ Sir E. CARSON
This is a most essential Amendment. It was in the Bill of 1886 and the Bill of 1893. I fail entirely to see why the words we are now putting into the Bill are not necessary. There is nothing in the Section that I can see as a lawyer which would cover this matter, but as it is now accepted by the right hon. Gentleman, the only suggestion I would make to him is that, as we have such a short: time for discussing this Bill, when he comes to the decision to accept such an Amendment as this, he might give us an intimation beforehand.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I want, in the first place, to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman opposite on his really magnificent and most eloquent vindication of elementary education, which is denominational from top to bottom, and that he has recognised the advantages of religious education of which this country is ignorant. I want to ask him a question as to these words. He is now accepting an Amendment for the omission of the word "elementary." Is he quite certain that if the word "elementary" be omitted the effect would not be that it would not be possible for the Irish Parliament to make a Grant to secondary schools which did not adopt the Conscience Clause? There has been a great deal of controversy on this subject. No doubt I am dealing with English ideas. No one objects to a Conscience Clause in elementary schools where attendance is compulsory; but with regard to secondary schools the matter in England is entirely different, because many secondary schools in England are set up to cater for the needs of a special community of one religion and attendance there is not compulsory. The schools serve the needs of that particular body, and they enjoy in a limited degree a Grant, not for the whole maintenance, but a Grant from the State without having a, Conscience Clause, because too often the effect of the Conscience Clause would be that others would come in and that there would not be room for their own people. If this word is omitted, might not the effect be that it would be impossible for the Irish Parliament to pass a law to enable a Grant to be given to secondary schools unless they adopted a Conscience Clause, and would that not mean making a Conscience Clause for secondary schools, which a large section of opinion in England is not prepared to accept? I said last night, as I objected to any subordinate Parliaments, I 2279 did not object to any of the restrictions we are putting upon them, but if the right hon. Gentleman is going to introduce this precedent I hope my hon. Friend will not allow it to be done.
§ Mr. MOORE
I will spare the sensitive Chief Secretary, who is doing this under orders. I am glad he is getting sensitive at last about it. It seems to me at once absurd to consider this as a concession to the minority. The real people who get advantage are the Roman Catholic minority in the North of Ireland. That is why the Nationalist Members have no objection. A Roman Catholic child that goes to a Protestant school need not attend religious instruction; he can go to that school and get secular education; but what happens to a Protestant child who goes to a Catholic school in the South and West of Ireland? He need not attend religious instruction, but these schools hang out religious emblems, and therefore a Protestant child in the South of Ireland has to go to a school where all these religious emblems are on the walls. That is admitted, and the Chief Secretary, this year or last year, declined to interfere. Therefore, if this is looked at impartially, it will be found that a Roman Catholic child gets the benefit much more than a Protestant child. There never has been a case of the boycotting of school children in the North of Ireland, but if parents become unpopular in the South their children are boycotted by the national school, by the managers, and the school teachers, and are deprived of the benefits of education. Therefore, so far as this is a safeguard, it is not a safeguard for the Protestant minority in the North, but it is a safeguard for the Catholic minority in Ulster.
§ Mr. WRIGHT
I am quite prepared to accept the result which the Chief Secretary has suggested. I contend that my Amendment has the merit of precision which the Clause has not. The Prime Minister says that one of the reasons why some of these things were left out was because they were not precise. I think my Amendment is a necessary addition to the Clause. We are told that this difficulty has not arisen in Ireland, but it might arise to this extent at all events. Practically throughout the whole of Ireland Protestant children attend Protestant schools and Catholic children attend Catholic schools, and there is no combined education in Ireland. The object 2280 of my Amendment is this: Supposing there is a Parliamentary Grant, the system of education may become improved, and, instead of the enormous number of small schools, you may have improved schools with combined education, and for them this Amendment will be necessary.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
There are two observations I would like to make arising out of the speech of the Chief Secretary. In the first place, I hope he will make that speech with great vigour to the President of the Board of Education and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I trust there are many Nonconformists here who will listen with real attention to his very valuable evidence as to the result of a thorough going denominational system in the country. What has been the result? According to his statement, you have first-rate denominational education, and all questions of oppression of minorities has absolutely disappeared, and parents have a right, if they are in the least minded to do so, to withdraw their children from the religious instruction. What could be more desirable, and why have you not the courage to do the same in this country? That, of course, as has been said, has nothing to do with the Bill, and my only reason for making the observation was that the Chief Secretary rather founded his comment on it, and I say his observation is a very valuable observation in view of possible legislation next year; so much so that I wish to emphasise it. There is another observation that I desire to make. The Chief Secretary has told us that these schools of a high denominational character exist in Ireland without discussion or ill-feeling or bad blood.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I allowed the Noble Lord to reply, quite reasonably to what the Chief Secretary said, but really we must not have further discussion on that point.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I do not want to go into the question of rates on this occasion. I have never been able to understand the difference between rates and Grants, and I do not believe the Chief Secretary understands it. I quite agree, if I may say very respectfully, that this does not arise on the present occasion, but I want to make an observation that does 2281 arise. You have this very desirable state of things going on; you have, at any rate, in one Department, this relative absence of bigotry and religious animosity. What is the cause of it? The cause of it is the British administration of Ireland, and this valuable result, which is admittedly the result of a letter by an English Whig statesman forty years ago, you are prepared to imperil, as you are prepared to imperil many other things of greater value by this insane Bill which you are forcing upon the country. Surely it is an object lesson of the madness of the course the Government are now taking, and I cannot understand how hon. Gentlemen opposite approve of it. I do not appeal to those who are so absolutely judged to this policy—it would be absurd to expect them to abandon it—but I do appeal to other hon. Gentlemen, and I ask them, "Do they not see how we are getting a tremendously valuable result by the British Government of Ireland which we have no right whatever to expect from the new Government?" Is it not insane to upset this splendid result for no assigned reason, at any rate, except the sentimental desire of hon. Members to see their feeling of separate nationality gratified. Beyond that no practical reason has ever been, suggested for making this change. I do very respectfully say that this Amendment offers an object lesson of the utter fallacy upon which the whole of this Home Rule Bill rests.
§ Mr. HOARE
I appeal to the Chief Secretary to give an answer to the point made by the hon. Member for Sheffield. I think he will agree that my hon. Friend has raised a very material point. It must be within the right hon. Gentleman's recollection that the pretext of a Conscience Clause has been frequently used during the last three or four years for undenominationalising denominational secondary schools. I think we should have some indication from the Chief Secretary that the exclusion of the word "elementary" and the inclusion of the word "secondary" to this Amendment would not mean a repetition of that state of things in Ireland.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
In Ireland Clause 3 would prevent the granting of public money either to elementary or secondary schools unless provision was made to allow parents to withdraw their children if they wished from religious instruction which is given there. I think the Bill as 2282 it stood covered the case; but for reasons given by the hon. Member for precision, and in order to avoid doubt that existed in his mind and in the mind of others, I assented to his Amendment, wishing to make his Amendment as strong as we could, so that it should apply to all. If the hon. Gentleman asks me what would be the consequence, I say the consequence will be that a Grant of public money will not be given to secondary schools unless they permit persons belonging to another religious body, different from that with which the management is connected, to withdraw during religious instruction.
§ Mr. WRIGHT
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, to leave out the words "an elementary" and to insert instead thereof the word "a."
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Will the schools receiving Grants be able to select their own scholars, or will they have to admit anybody who conies along, and then withdraw the children during religious instructions? I want to know whether the Chief Secretary is applying by Clause 3 the same principle which his colleague at the Board of Education has applied to England. It is a very important point and I want to enter a caveat against this being accepted as a precedent.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The rule will be that no secondary school will be able to receive a Grant of public money if it refuses to allow children attending the schools, when the parents or guardians wish it, to withdraw from religious instruction.
§ Amendment to proposed Amendment made.
§ Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
§ Mr. SANDERSON
I beg to move to add at the end of the first paragraph the words "or remove the actions of any official of the Government from the cognisance of the ordinary law."
The Amendment is so clear and the arguments so cogent that I need not take up the time of the Committee only for a short time in moving it. The object of the Amendment is to preserve in Ireland one of our most valued principles of law, which is that officials of the Government should be subject to the ordinary law of the land. That is so in this country with its highest officials, and they are also subject to the ordinary tribunals. It is to that principle we owe many of our rights and liberties 2283 in this country at the present moment. We are so used to this principle, that we are apt to forget that in other countries that principle does not obtain. Take France, for instance. There the officials of the Government are put in quite a special position. They are not subject to the ordinary laws of the land, and when I say officials I mean all persons in the service of the State. In France they are exempted from the ordinary laws and from the ordinary tribunals, and they are in many respects subject to official law administered by an official body. What is more important, when a question arises as to whether any particular magnate is to be subject to the ordinary tribunals or administrative law it is not decided by the ordinary Courts. It is not necessary for me to argue the merits of this question now, but I do not think it can be denied that it is a most important one. I could give the Committee many instances where actions have been brought in our ordinary course against Government officials. I do not suppose it will be disputed that the principle I have endeavoured to enunciate is really very important, and is recognised by this country. It certainly was so recognised when this Amendment was moved in 1893 by the then Chief Secretary for Ireland, whose main argument was that in certain cases officials in this country are, to a certain extent, exempted from the law of the land.
I cannot understand that argument, and I do not know of any case where an official of the Government is exempt from the law of the land. I know that there are certain cases under the Local Government Act in which actions cannot be brought against the officials of the Local Government Board except within a certain time; but that does not exempt them from the ordinary law, and it is merely an arrangement for the convenience of the parties engaged in litigation. If an action was brought against an official of the Local Government Board after a considerable number of years, it might be impossible for that Department to deal with it, because the officials concerned may have left their service. That is the chief reason which Mr. Morley, the then Chief Secretary, gave as a reason for not accepting this Amendment. The question I wish to ask is whether it is necessary to put this Amendment in the Bill. I submit that it is. There are many things which the Irish Government are not 2284 allowed to deal with. The Irish Government may pass laws, and will in all probability pass laws, which will infringe upon those things which are exempted. There will be litigation, and the Government, may find that the judges of the land may be standing in the way of them achieving their objects.
What more easy way can you possibly suggest than the adoption of what I may call the administrative law. What would be more simple than that they should pass a law saying that the officials of their Government should only be subject to an official tribunal and should be exempted from the ordinary law of the land, as is the case in France? It seems to me that they might do many things. Suppose, for arguments sake, they found that one of their officers, in carrying out one of their newly made laws, was, according to the law of the land, exceeding his authority, what would be more simple than to pass a law saying that that official should not be liable? I only give that as an instance, but there would, of course, be many others. It seems to me that under these circumstances it is the duty of this Committee to put into this Bill a provision which would protect the Irish Legislature from making a great mistake, and adopting a system which would be injurious to the liberties of the people of that country, and would be contrary to all our principles of law in this country.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I regret I am not able on behalf of the Government to accept the Amendment which has been proposed by the hon. and learned Member opposite. I think he must feel that it is quite impossible for me to introduce the words which he put upon the Paper in order to fetter the action of the Irish Parliament. Nor is it reasonable to expect that an official of the Irish Government should be given an immunity which we do not give in this country for anything that he may do in breach of the law. I do not think we shall serve any very useful purpose by discussing what is done in France or Germany, for that is a matter which cannot be disposed of in a few words, and it is not so simple as the hon. and learned Gentleman suggested. In France I know there are infinite gradations of responsibility upon the official, and very often it is a question upon a particular procedure which has to be adopted to bring him to book for any act contrary to law. It may be said in Germany that 2285 this practice obtains in a different degree, but it does not seem to me to be useful for us to discuss this Amendment from that point of view. The hon. and learned Gentleman himself did not do that, and he contented himself with a statement as to the state of the law in France. In this country it is not quite right to say that you can always proceed against an official, because there are many cases in which you cannot get a mandamus against a Government Department for some action they may have done. There are various actions which I have no doubt will occur to the hon. and learned Gentleman in which the remedy is not quite so simple as might appear, but I cannot help thinking if you introduce words of this kind you will be going further than the hon. and learned Gentleman intends to go. The contention of the Government is that it is unnecessary to introduce these words. The argument which has been used is one which it may be said has been addressed to other Amendments, although it has been approached from a different standpoint. Hon. Members opposite are desirous of introducing these Amendments because they cannot trust the Irish Parliament.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
You trust your Parliament here. Does the hon. Member who interrupted me know of any subordinate Parliament which derives its authority from this Parliament which has any such power?
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I thought you were going to set up certainly four, and perhaps twelve, subordinate Parliaments.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The hon. Gentleman knows that that is about as irrelevant an observation as he could s have made, and no one is more aware of it than he is himself. The question I was putting is a very different one. There are subordinate Parliaments in existence which have been created by the Imperial Parliament, and the question I put to the hon. Member is, Does he know amongst those Parliaments any Constitution in which any such provision as that which was suggested for insertion in this Bill has been adopted? I confess that it is news to me to have to look upon an Irishman who will be administering laws or taking part in legislation in an Irish Parliament who will be so enamoured of the Government of the Irish Parliament that he will be willing to 2286 give him official immunity for any act he may have done as an official of the Government. The notion we have got of most Irishmen is that they are "agin the Government," and I do not know that they are likely to change the moment they get their own Parliament. Is there any serious danger of an Irish Parliament granting to officials of the Government immunity for any act of those officials? Really there is not the slightest reason why we should fear that. We should be only introducing confusion if Ave inserted these words. It is quite true this Amendment was moved in 1893, but it was rejected, I think I am justified in saying, very summarily.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
And as was stated at the time by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Joseph Chamberlain) it was not really susceptible of any long discussion.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
At that time there was much more reason for introducing, and there would have been much better argument for accepting it than there is now; but even in 1893 Parliament did not consider it at all seriously. It was disposed of quite shortly and after the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, who was then opposing the Bill, that it was a matter really not susceptible of much discussion. My submission is that is the true view of this matter, and it ought not to be accepted.
§ Sir ROBERT FINLAY
I have heard the right hon. and learned Gentleman say he could not be expected to accept this Amendment, I confess with some regret. I think the Amendment is one which deserves much more serious treatment than the Attorney-General has given it. His only reason for not accepting it is one which we have heard often, that we are not to suppose anything unreasonable will be done by the Irish Parliament. It was reserved, however, for the Attorney-General to give a most original reason for supposing the Irish Parliament would not pass a law of this kind. He said the Irish were always against the Government, they are against the Government at present, and there is no reason to suppose they will change their attitude when they have a government of their own. I think the 2287 Attorney-General deserves great credit for discovering that most original argument in support of an old and stale reason. The question is not what most Irishmen may want, but what the Irish Executive may desire. We are all aware that the Executive in this country has obtained an interest over Parliament which did not exist in former generations, and I should like to know what security we have that the Executive in Ireland may not have a very considerable influence upon the Irish Parliament constituted under this Act. Is it improbable the Irish Executive may, as they would put it, desire that they should not be harassed in the discharge of their public duties by liability to actions in the ordinary Courts of Law? So far from being improbable, I think it is extremely probable that some legislation of that kind may be carried.
We have seen in Great Britain itself a great tendency to withdraw matters from the cognisance of the ordinary tribunals. It is a tendency that has grown very greatly, and it is still growing and wants checking. I confess so far from sharing the optimistic views of the Attorney-General, I think it is extremely probable that tendency in the Irish Parliament and under the influence of the new Irish Executive will be carried to far greater lengths than it has up to this time been carried in this country. I regard the liability of officials of the Government to have their proceedings questioned in the ordinary courts of law as the foundation of liberty in this or any other country. The Attorney-General assents to that, and anyone familiar with English Constitutional history must recognise the truth of it. Why not provide for a security so important in the Irish Parliament? Does the Attorney-General deny there may be a tendency on the part of the Irish Executive to endeavour to induce the Parliament to prevent them from being troubled with actions of this kind? If the Attorney-General will look at the last provision in this Clause, he will see the absolute necessity for ensuring that there shall be the right to question in a court of law the action of any official—Any law made in contravention of the restrictions imposed by this Section shall, so far as it contravenes those restrictions, be void.Suppose a law contravening those restrictions has been passed, and an official, acting in accordance with the terms of 2288 that law, inflicts a wrong upon some individual, how is that individual to get redress except by an action against the official? If you leave open the possibility of preventing recourse to the ordinary Courts of Law, you take away all security of this provision as to the nullity of such laws being effective in practice. You take away all security against its being taken away by the action of the Parliament you are setting up. The Attorney-General used an argument which appeared to me to be singularly remote from the point. He said immunity from action against officials exists in some cases in this country, and the instance he gave was that you cannot get a mandamus against some public Department. The provision which it is sought to have inserted here is that no law shall be passed to remove, the actions of any official of the Government from the cognisance of the ordinary law. If it is not a case for a mandamus, of course the mandamus cannot be got, but every official in this country and in Ireland at present is liable to an action being brought against him in the ordinary Courts if he has done any wrong, and he will be liable to an action if this security is maintained if he acts by way of enforcing any law which is annulled under the provisions of this Section.
If this right of recourse to the ordinary Courts of Law should be taken away, the provision at the end of the Section would in practice be rendered to a great extent valueless. It would be no use to say the matter might be laid before the Privy Council under a later Section. That would not be an effective remedy. It is very difficult indeed to say what the effect of such a reference would be, but I do say without any hesitation at all that every student of constitutional history must recognise that in practice the only way of rendering the prohibition of this Section as to the nullity of the law effective is to ensure that the right of recourse to the ordinary tribunals against officials who enforce such laws is preserved. The Attorney-General said it is not necessary to consider the details of foreign law. I perfectly agree; but the Attorney-General does not, as I understand, deny that in these countries, and notably as I think he said in Germany, there is very great infringement of what we consider one of the most valuable parts of the common law—a right of recourse to the ordinary Courts of Law against any Government official who does wrong. So far from sharing the feeling of 2289 the Attorney-General, I must express my surprise that he should resist so valuable an Amendment.
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
The right hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down has given us some information on this subject which was not in the knowledge of a great many of us. The Attorney-General to my mind touched the real point which applies to all the arguments in these Debates when he said "we approach this subject from two entirely different points of view." He says the principle of the Government is to trust the Irishmen, while we, on the other hand, say if you establish a Parliament of this character which does not command the sympathy of all sections of the community, it is necessary there should be a number of reserved services and that the safeguards should be as rigid as possible. The Prime Minister laid down an entirely new doctrine in his speech on the guillotine Motion. He said that because we were opposed to the principle of the Bill it was just as well there should be a very short time allotted to the discussion of it. I cannot say I share that view, but I do admit the difficulty we have in discussing these safeguards.
It is quite true, if we realised there was a general consensus of opinion in Ireland that a Parliament should be set up in Dublin, we should agree that no safeguards would be necessary and that no reserved services would be necessary, but we realise that this Parliament which does not command the entire sympathy of all sections of the community, must be set up with great danger to this country and also with great danger to a great many Irishmen. We are compelled to support putting into the Bill safeguards of a rigid character, and also as many reserved services as possible, because we are really frightened that the Executive which you are establishing in Ireland will be carried away by the differences of opinion which there is in that country and disregard that which the Attorney-General says with great confidence no established Parliament would ever dream of disregarding. It is for that reason I most heartily support the Amendment. We cannot agree that the establishment of a Parliament in Ireland will meet with any success at all, but, if it is to be set up, we say the minority are entitled to have every safeguard you can possibly put into the Bill.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
The learned Attorney-General just now said that no provision of this kind has found its way into any Constitution of the Parliaments within the Empire which we have set up. I presume this is quite true, but since these Constitutions have been set up an entirely new danger has arisen to the body politic. I refer to the great growth of bureaucracies, the growth of the principles of bureaucracy, and also the tendencies of Government Departments to take more and more power into their hands. If you set up new establishments in Ireland the same symptom is almost sure to appear. Under the new Parliament you will have a new Executive. They will undoubtedly, having a house of their own, like to furnish it on a large scale. A number of new posts will be created, and they will be filled by men without, any official training whatever. When the Government comes into power many difficult questions will arise. New duties will be thrust on these men, and mistakes will be made. Will not these officials turn round and say we have to carry out a new and odious task, and you must see us through? The Attorney-General tries to minimise the danger. If you take the effect of the growth of bureaucracy, and if you are going to set up a new bureaucracy, it will have a very hard task to administer the law. It is therefore necessary that some protection should be given to it. The Attorney-General has said that in England men can proceed against a Government Department with the same ease as against an individual, especially where the Crown is nominally involved. But there is that cumbersome procedure, the Petition of Right. I remember one case with which the right hon. and learned Gentleman is familiar, where a subject had the utmost difficulty in getting a redress, although, in the end, he got most handsome redress. If difficulties exist already, there is no need to multiply them under conditions in which there would be every temptation on the part of a new Government to afford privileges to its own officials. The case becomes worse in a smaller area in a matter of this kind. Suppose it was the case of a Welsh Executive. Take, for instance, the local authorities of Swansea and Anglesey. Suppose the new officials carried out their duties in the spirit in which these local authorities performed their duties: would not one of the greatest bulwarks of old English liberty dis- 2291 appear? I would not trust any of these Executives, but, if it would be any consolation to hon. Members below the Gangway, I will say at once I would sooner trust an Irish than a Welsh Executive. I want to keep the principle of English liberty supreme throughout the whole United Kingdom. Setting up a new Parliament involves special dangers, and I think that, without in the least impinging on the principle of this Bill, the Government might accept this Amendment.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I understand the argument of the Government is that there is no need for this Amendment because of the veto which is provided by the Bill. It may not be out of order to speak from experience of the manner in which the veto does not work in the case of a subordinate legislature. I propose to speak of it from the point of view of one who has had an opportunity of observing that phenomenon. I passed a great deal of my life in a subordinate Government in which the Governor had the right of Veto over his colleagues. He had a right of putting aside the verdict of his council at pleasure and of recording his opinion which would have to be merely submitted to the Government at home. I have often been told that the Indian Government is less democratic and more absolute than the Government of this country. So far has that argument been carried that doubt has been expressed whether I am as good a democrat as hon. Members who sit on the Labour Benches opposite. I think it is so far right that, if the veto is a real safeguard in a case like this it would be less an actual safeguard under a benevolent despotism than it would be in regard to an Irish Government. It occurred to me while listening to this Debate that it would be well to find out in how many cases this veto had been exercised, and, after much investigation I was unable to discover any occasion upon which it has been used. I looked through the records of the last century and I never found any occasion upon which the instrument had been used. I think this to be an illustration of some value, coming as it does from one who was himself concerned in an Administration which would not have been unwilling to employ the veto, believing it to be quite a proper and permissible weapon of Government. How strange is it then to find hon. Gentlemen on that Bench who have stigmatised the 2292 concurrent jurisdiction of the other House, which has existed for centuries, and who have found it was intolerable, and therefore gave it the name of the veto, and destroyed it to the abolition of the Constitution.
In regard to this Amendment, it is argued that the veto is sufficiently good to render an Amendment like this unnecessary. I confess I cannot understand that argument; neither can I understand the Prime Minister arguing that there is no need to provide for special access to the Courts of Law. Among other reasons which the right hon. Gentleman gave was one which sounded strangely as coming from a lawyer. Even a Minister of the Crown may have been a lawyer in his earlier days, before his reincarnation on that bench. He said provisions of this sort increased litigation; but surely no good lawyer ever in his heart regretted that. It seems to me that in the course of his argument the judicial bench has been treated with scant courtesy, and with such consideration as might be expected from an Administration which, at the point of the bayonet, was forced to do justice in the case of the Oxford Street Schools, Swansea. They would not do justice until access was provided to the Courts such as would be provided by the Amendment of my hon. Friend. The Government, which is opposing this Amendment, is exceedingly shy of the Courts of Justice. I remember the Home Secretary issuing an unprecedented circular telling magistrates how to exercise powers of punishment, and when they should be severe. We have seen the same phenomena under the Home Secretary with regard to political offences, when sufficiently strong pressure has been brought to bear upon him.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I really think the hon. Member is going well beyond the limits of this Amendment. The greater part of his speech appears tome -to be much more relevant to the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Plymouth, passed some time ago. I hope he will confine himself particularly to this Amendment.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I will endeavour to do so. I will say in excuse that my speech was proceeding strictly upon the lines of preceding speakers to whom I have listened. I will be careful that I shall not be betrayed by making a theme what was intended to be a mere illustration. That shall be my peculiar care. In point of 2293 fact, I cannot see how it is irrelevant—however, I must not argue the point. I should have thought that the indisposition of the Government to provide specifically for appeals to the Law Courts was strictly relevant to this Amendment, as much as to the last, to which I understand you have referred me in your ruling. We are told that we are to trust the Government of Ireland and that therefore this Amendment is unnecessary. I do not know if I shall be in order in doing what many previous speakers have done and refer to what in my opinion is a proof that we cannot in any way trust that Government, in the same way that they have done by quoting passages, no longer than they have quoted, in order to prove precisely the same position.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I would point out to the hon. Member that if those passages had already been quoted, there is no need to quote them again.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member just informed the Committee that he was going to quote again passages already quoted.
§ Sir J. D. REES
No, Sir; with respect, I did not. I am afraid it is my inability to make myself understood. I should not have thought of troubling the Committee with any passage previously quoted. In fact I am not going to quote from anything that has been said before, although I have noticed a familiar resemblance in speeches made in regard to the same point. The passage to which I refer is the passage in which the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) in 1897, at Newry, quoted what was said by Mr. Parnell:—I believe in the policy of taking from England anything we can wring from her which will strengthen our aims to go on for more.That being the principle held by the Leader of the Irish party, is it possible to say that anybody accustomed to British administration is to trust the new Irish Parliament? I am certain that that is relevant. I cannot say it has not been used before. If so, I apologise for using it once again. They were the words of the leader of the party, who, unlike some other leaders, does lead the party which follows him. There is the head of the Ancient Order of Hibernians—an ancient order which recently has become illus- 2294 trious. That hon. Gentleman, who is a Member of this House, said in 1902:—When equipped with comparative freedom—That is the freedom which we are to have under this Bill, and which the Amendment seeks to limit—then would be the time for those who think we should destroy the last link that binds us to England to operate, by whatever means they think best, to achieve that great and desirable end.Are we, nevertheless, to trust the Irish Parliament and to hold that the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend is unnecessary? I submit that that passage is strictly relevant. I have one more, and one only. There is a gentleman who was a Member of this House—I have often heard him keep the House alive—Professor Kettle, who in 1908, quoting the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, said:—I believe in an independent nation. If any man says this, I say that we do not disbelieve him. These are our tactics; if you are to take a fortress, first take the outer works.Unless we are to follow the example of those who force themselves by mental gymnastics to trust the Irish Parliament, in the face of speeches like these from Gentlemen who will admittedly be leaders in the Irish Parliament, we cannot trust the Irish Parliament. I thoroughly, heartily and completely distrust the Irish Parliament. It is because they dislike and distrust us that they want that separate Parliament. Therefore this Amendment, like others which I shall also hope to support, instead of being treated as superfluous, should be regarded as absolutely essential. I cannot understand the arguments that have been adduced to the contrary, in spite of the exceedingly able and eminent men who have used them. The weakness of the case has been too great for the ability of the defender. That has been the case before; it is the case now, and I sincerely hope it will be so proved in regard to this Amendment. An hon. Gentleman who was speaking before dinner said there was very little crime in Ireland. You must apply crime to a particular case.
Up to this time a landlord in England has only been shot at by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and others with political weapons, and has never been in danger of his life; but the position in Ireland is that where there is anybody who opposes Home Rule in his own district, his life is not safe. In the face of that fact, it is useless to say that the general average of crime is less in Ireland than in England. In the simple agricultural community you do not get so many crimes. I take crime 2295 as it affects this Amendment and proves that it is necessary to provide for the protection of those who come under this new Parliament. If we are to judge it by this criterion, it will be seen that crime of this character is far greater in Ireland than in England, where, happily, for the present it is unknown. How long that will continue when incitements to crime are not only palliated and endorsed, but actually encouraged by Ministers in the most eminent positions, I cannot tell, but at present there is that difference. For these reasons, and more particularly because of the instance I adduced of the complete and utter failure in practice of a nominal Veto, I support the Amendment.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
I should like very briefly to deal with the argument of the Attorney-General on which he based his opposition to this Amendment. He told us at the outset that this Amendment was less necessary to-day than it was when it was rejected by this House in 1893. He gave no reason for that statement. I join issue with him, and I hope to show him, I do not say to satisfy him, some considerations which may induce him to alter his view in that respect. Since 1893, and up to the present day, this Parliament has instituted a number of new boards and bodies in Ireland with very strong and drastic powers—powers which, in many cases, involve the acquisition of a man's property by compulsory methods, and powers also which involve very considerable infringements of the ordinary liberty of the subject in the rights that they confer to invade a man's property for the purpose of valuation, inspection, and various other matters of that kind. We had, in addition, legislation passed for this Parliament with a view to the relief and restoration of the evicted tenants, and there were several provisions under those measures which gave very drastic and very novel powers to inspectors to be appointed by the Government in investigating the conditions of those farmers and in seeking for provision elsewhere for the restoration of those tenants.
I am speaking of what I know, because it was my professional privilege to take part in many of these cases in Ireland, and I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that case after case arose within the last ten years in which some person who had been the victim of some of these inspections, or of some of these demands for the compul- 2296 sory acquisition of his land, challenged the action of these public Departments. I refer to the Land Commission, the Estates Commission, the Evicted Tenants Department, the Local Government Board, and several others. In every one of these cases the first and great struggle of the Government body was to try and establish that they were acting as a Court of Record, and that therefore their proceedings could not be made the subject of investigation and examination. That was their constant and perpetual effort. They were defeated in that, although they had taken care, while those Bills were going through the House, to get Clauses inserted which primâ facie might seem to have put them outside the pale of the law, but the Courts there, as the Courts in England have invariably done, disregarded this, and pointed out that the immunities were not of that extensive nature that the public Departments claimed. The point I am emphasising is that in every case when they were brought to book they would make this defence and endeavour to establish this immunity. In a great many of these cases they were beaten, with the result that a course of practice and procedure which had gone on for perhaps a year or two, until some courageous man challenged it, was ripped up from top to bottom by the decision of those Courts, and declared to be illegal from beginning to end. It is therefore idle to say that this is a protection and a safeguard that was much more necessary in 1893 than it is to-day, and I repeat that while the Attorney-General made that statement he gave no argument and no reason in support of it except one to which I am now coming.
He advanced the extraordinary proposition that this Amendment has become the more unnecessary because the Committee have already rejected an Amendment to put into this Bill a Clause which is really very little less than a free translation of a similar Clause in Magna Charta. That is a provision that nobody was to have his life, liberty, or property assailed in Ireland by this new Parliament except through process of law. It is really, as everyone knows, a sort of free translation of a similar provision in Magna Charta, a provision which every constitutional writer has proclaimed to be the bulwark and the essential safeguard of British freedom; and that Amendment, which was moved from these benches to-night and rejected, has, according to the right hon. Gentleman, by a process of reasoning which I entirely fail to follow, 2297 strengthened the case for the rejection of this Amendment. I should have thought the exact opposite was the fact. I should have thought that if it is open to the Irish Parliament, as it is as this Bill now stands, to interfere with life, liberty, or property outside the ordinary course of law, if they choose to pass legislation for that purpose, it was above all imperative to see that their executive doing this were subject in the ordinary way to our Courts of Justice in Ireland. That is not the view, however, of the right hon. Gentleman. Again I say, I fail to see either how he substantiates his case that this Amendment is less necessary to-day than it was in 1893, or that it has become less necessary by reason of the rejection by the Committee this afternoon of a provision which the Government of the day themselves not only inserted, but resolutely defended, in this House by their Prime Minister and their Law Officers.
I do not imagine for a moment that the Government are going to give way in regard to this matter, because what has been the consistent course they have taken throughout this Committee? It is the fact of their having taken that course that makes anyone who, like myself, is compelled from a sense of duty to take part in these Debates, to do it under a deep sense of humiliation and degradation. What is the course they have taken? They have left out, and I believe they left it out deliberately, certain safeguards that their predecessors thought to be essential in the Bills of 1886 and 1893—ordinary matter-of-course safeguards. These by piecemeal, after long Debate and after much intriguing, they throw at our heads as a great concession, and then they expect to be able to go out on public platforms and say, "Look at the concessions we have made. See what we did in Committee." They have given us nothing, not one scrap of concesion, that did not take the shape of putting back into this Bill something that their predecessors had in the Bills of 1886 and 1893.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
If the hon. Gentleman had been present and heard me when I moved that Amendment, he would have known that it was in substance contained in the Bill of 1893, and that the Prime Minister's only reason for not putting in the words expressly as I proposed them the other evening was, as 2298 stated by him, that he did not want to tie the hands of the Irish Parliament in settling Roman Catholic higher education, because, for that purpose they might require to make some formal Amendments in the constitution of the University of Dublin. But he went on to point out that to all intents and purposes the other provisions of that same Clause which have been inserted in this Bill, gave Trinity College all the protection and security it required. Therefore I repeat that all these pretended concessions, all these professions made on the public platform and in this House, that we have only got to ask for safeguards, and even though they are considered unnecessary or unreasonable, they make no point of it, but will give them to us, are pure sham, and the action of the Government throughout this Committee demonstrates it, because the only scraps of concession that they have thrown to us have been in the shape of restoring fragments of Clauses which were introduced by themselves and made part of their Bills, both in 1886 and in 1893. Therefore it is that we feel that we are carrying on this Committee stage under conditions which make our appeals perfectly useless, and which impose, upon us, in addition to the tyranny of the Closure and the guillotine, the conviction that we are attempting to discharge our duty under almost intolerable conditions. The Government pretend that they are yielding to our appeals, but they are really doing nothing more than by a preconcerted arrangement restoring the Bill to the condition in which the Bills of 1886 and 1893 were introduced by their predecessors.
§ Mr. ROBERT HARCOURT
I do not think that the hon. and learned Gentleman has made out his case. I wish to put a point about Trinity College. Is he aware that since he moved the Amendment the "Irish Times," a prominent Unionist paper, has denounced and repudiated the concession in most unmeasured terms? When dealing with questions in a general way, what is the use of the Government making concessions which are immediately repudiated by the Unionist party?
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
It would hardly be in order to answer the hon. Member's question, but if the Committee desire me to do so I am prepared to answer. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]
§ Mr. CHARLES CRAIG
I was not here when the Attorney-General replied on behalf of the Government to my hon. and 2299 learned Friend's argument in putting forward the Amendment, but I understand the reply was the same as that given to a considerable number of Amendments, namely, "You must trust the Irish." I understand quite well from their point of view that that is the answer they must give to an Amendment of this kind. It is quite obvious that they reluctantly, after considerable lapse of time, and by force of circumstances over which they had no control, found themselves an the position that they must either go or introduce and carry through the Home Rule Bill. They are bound to take up the attitude they are taking up on this Amendment. I have no doubt that they had almost as many misgivings when introducing the Home Rule Bill as we had, but they were in such a position that they had to do it. In regard to all these applications for safeguards and Clauses to protect the interests of the minority in Ireland, they have quite rightly, from their point of view, decided that they are quite unnecessary. They say, "We have the most absolute faith in the good will and fair dealing of hon. Members below the Gangway, and therefore we consider that the suggestions made are superfluous and unnecessary." We cannot agree with them. I would point out that the Government attitude is inevitably bound to increase the feeling of hostility and opposition to this Bill, which, heaven knows, was strong enough in the hearts of the minority in Ireland when the Bill was first introduced, by their consistent refusal to introduce reasonable safeguards which they themselves have admitted cannot possibly do any harm, although they have always maintained that they are superfluous. By their refusal to include such safeguards in the Bill they are increasing, if possible, the hatred of the minority in Ireland to this Bill, and are equally increasing the determination of that minority to oppose the Bill, not only through their representatives in this House, but in every possible way in their power if the Bill should ever unfortunately become law. Reference has been made to what is alleged to be the fact, although it is not so, that the position is different now from what it was I in 1886 and 1893, when the former Home Rule Bills were before the House. I say the condition of affairs in Ireland is not different now. It is true that in 1886 the country was shocked from week to week by outrages, very often by murders—
§ Mr. C. CRAIG
An argument used by the Government in refusing to accept this Amendment was that the condition of affairs in Ireland is not the same to-day as in the years I have mentioned. I submit to you that it is open to me to show that there is really no difference between the condition of Ireland to-day and what it was in those times.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
That may be a proper subject on the Second or Third Reading of the Bill, but I must ask the hon. Member to confine himself strictly to the Amendment.
§ Mr. C. CRAIG
If I must do so, I must also make a protest against Members of the Front Bench opposite being permitted to bring forward that argument and your not allowing me to reply to it. I will not say any more on that point, but as showing how reasonable it is to ask the inclusion of this Amendment in the Bill I would remind the Committee of what has happened in Ireland with reference to the injustice of the Nationalist party and their officials where they have power. [Laughter.] The hon. Member opposite smiles at that.
§ Mr. C. CRAIG
Well, lie was just smiling aimlessly. I would point out to the Committee that where the Nationalist party have had power they have misused it. I do not suppose that they would call it misuse, but at any rate they have used their power to the detriment of the Protestant minority in Ireland. It is a well-known fact, which has been often stated in this House, that in county council matters in the South and West of Ireland, in spite of the declaration of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) and many Members of the Nationalist party, at the time the Local Government Act was passing through this House that justice would be done to the Protestants of the South and West of Ireland; that they would be given their share in county council representation, and that they would have a fair share of the posts under the county councils, that in the South and West of Ireland in some 650 members of county councils there are not more than thirty-five Protestants. The same thing is true with 2301 regard to the officials appointed by the county councils. We have had from time to tame statistics given by the Nationalist party as to the Protestant officials who hold office under the county councils, but they forget to state in nearly all these cases that the Protestant officials in the South and West were men who held their offices at the time the Local Government Act was passed and who could not be dismissed from their offices without payment of considerable compensation or pensions. But the fact also remains that in all new appointments since the Local Government Act came into force, practically no Protestants or Unionists have been appointed to positions in the South and West of Ireland. That glaring fact has never been denied by hon. Members below the Gangway.
§ Mr. C. CRAIG
With that in view, we are entitled to ask for such safeguards as this. Believing, as we do, that the first Act of the Nationalist party when they have their own Parliament in Dublin will be to appoint followers of their own to every office under that Parliament, and squeeze out from every position all Protestants and Unionists, we are entitled to ask for the most stringent provisions to
§ make such action as difficult as possible, I do not say impossible, because we believe that these safeguards are to a very large extent useless. But we are acting on the assumption that we are trying to make an absolutely bad Bill somewhat less bad, and we are entitled to insist on such Amendments as this, so that the wickedness and evil of the Bill may be redeemed as far as possible. The disinclination of the Government, acting no doubt on the dictation of hon. Members below the Gangway, to accept any Amendment which will go even a small way towards safeguarding the interests of my fellow countrymen in the North of Ireland, only confirms our knowledge that our position, if this Bill pass, would be as bad as it could possibly be. And if the object of hon. Gentlemen opposite is really to try to allay our fears and conciliate us and bring us to a better understanding of their proposals and of the moderate treatment we are to receive when Home Rule is passed, they will accept this Amendment without any trouble. For the benefit of their Friends below the Gangway they might say, "We look upon this as quite unnecessary; it will never be required, but at the same time, in deference to the fears of hon. Members opposite, we are quite prepared to accept the Amendment." They have not done so, and the result is to show more clearly that they are in the hands of hon. Members opposite, and that, even if they wanted to do so, they would not be permitted by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford to introduce this or any other words to safeguard us.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 120; Noes, 255.2305
|Division No. 268.]||AYES.||[9.2 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Boyton, James||Croft, Henry Page|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Bridgeman, W. Clive||Dalrymple, Viscount|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Bull, Sir William James||Denniss, E. R. B.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Butcher, John George||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott|
|Baird, J. L.||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Dixon, C. H.|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset. N.)||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Doughty, Sir George|
|Balcarres, Lord||Castlereagh, Viscount||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Chambers, James||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)|
|Barnston H.||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Fell, Arthur|
|Barrie, H. T.||Collings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey|
|Bathurst, C. (Wilts, Wilton)||Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Fletcher, John Samuel|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Forster, Henry William|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Courthope, George Loyd||Goldman, C. S.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Greene, W. R.|
|Bird, A.||Craik, Sir Henry||Gretton, John|
|Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid)||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Hamersley, Alfred St. George||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Mackinder, Halford J.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, N.)|
|Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Moore, William||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Hill, Sir Clement L.||Mount, William Arthur||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Hills, John Waller||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Hohler, G. F.||Nield, Herbert||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Hope, Harry (Bute)||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Perkins, Walter F.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Pretyman, Ernest George||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Rawson, Col. Richard H.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Keswick, Henry||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Younger, Sir George|
|Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Spear, Sir John Ward||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.— Mr. Sanderson and Sir J. D. Rees.|
|Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Stanier, Beville|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Keating, Matthew|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Elverston, Sir Harold||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Adamson, William||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Kelly, Edward|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Esslemont George Birnie||Kilbride, Denis|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Farrell, James Patrick||Lamb, Ernest Henry|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lambert, Richard (Wilts., Cricklade)|
|Armitage, R.||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Lansbury, George|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Ffrench, Peter||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Field, William||Law, Hugh A.|
|Barnes, George N.||Fitzgibbon, John||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Furness, Stephen||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Lundon, T.|
|Bentham, George Jackson||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Lynch, A. A.|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Gill, A. H.||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Ginnell, L.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Gladstone, W. G. C.||McGhee, Richard|
|Boland, John Pius||Glanville, H. J.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Goldstone, Frank||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Brady, P. J.||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Greig, Colonel J. W.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Gulney, Patrick||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hackett, J.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Meagher, Michael|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hancock, John George||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Karmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Molloy, Michael|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz|
|Cawley, H. T. (Heywood)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Mooney, John J.|
|Chapple, Dr. W. A.||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Morgan, George Hay|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hayden, John Patrick||Morison, Hector|
|Clough, William||Hayward, Evan||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Clynes, John R.||Hazleton, Richard||Muldoon, John|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Needham, Christopher Thomas|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Higham, John Sharp||Nicholson, Sir c. N. (Doncaster)|
|Crean, Eugene||Hinds, John||Nolan, Joseph|
|Crooks, William||Hodge, John||Norton, Capt. Cecil W.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Hogge, James Myles||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Cullinan, John||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Nuttall, Harry|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Hudson, Walter||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Delany, William||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Dowd, John|
|Dickinson, W. H.||John, Edward Thomas||Ogden, Fred|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Grady, James|
|Doris, William||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Duffy, William J.||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Malley, William|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Joyce, Michael||O'Shee, James John|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Roch, Walter F.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Roe, Sir Thomas||Ward, John. (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Rowntree, Arnold||Wardle, George J.|
|Pollard, Sir George H.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Pensonby, Arthur A, W. H.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Samuel, J. (Stockton)||Webb, H.|
|Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Scanlan, Thomas||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Price, Sir R. J. (Norfolk, E.)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford)||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Pringle, William M. R.||Sheehy, David||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Radford, G. H.||Sherwell, Arthur James||Wiles, Thomas|
|Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Shortt, Edward||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Reddy, M.||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Snowden, Philip||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Sutherland, J. E.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Sutton, John E.||Winfrey, Richard|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Thomas, James Henry||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Thome, William (West Ham)|
|Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Toulmin, Sir George||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.— Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Robinson, Sidney||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
§ Colonel RAWSON
I beg to move, after the word "marriage" ["validity of any marriage"], to insert the words, "or impose any disability or disadvantage in respect of service past or present in the armed forces of the Crown, or the Royal Irish Constabulary, or any existing police force."
I am very sorry that it is necessary to place this Amendment upon the Paper, but we here are convinced that it should be done, because we are afraid soldiers and ex-soldiers and policemen may suffer by reason of their previous service. The reason why we are afraid is that we realise that under a Home Rule Parliament, if ever it comes into existence, the Ancient Order of Hibernians are going to be the dominant force in Ireland. Public opinion in that country will be largely controlled by them, and we know that their attitude will be as it has always been in regard to soldiers, ex-soldiers, and policemen. I have here a form of question which the Ancient Order of Hibernians submit to anybody who wishes to join their friendly society. One of the questions is:—Are you in receipt of any pension or allowance o any kind for service in the Army, Navy, or Police Force?We know that no soldier, ex-soldier or policeman is allowed at the present time to belong to the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
§ Colonel RAWSON
I do not wish to quote from speeches made by hon. Members below the Gangway at the time of the Boer war in regard to the British 2306 Army, because some hon. Members might say that it was too long ago, and they might also say that other people besides Irish Members spoke against the Boer war; but I do submit that the speeches made by the hon. Members below the Gangway about the British Army at the time of the Boer war are quite sufficient to justify the Amendment which I have put down. I am not, however, going to embark on any speeches made so long ago. I will only quote from one or two speeches made quite lately to show the attitude of hon. Members below the Gangway with regard to the British Army. The hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon) as recently as the 20th October, 1911, at Tralee, said:—I see there is a gentleman coining over here looking for recruits for the Irish Guards. I hope you will put him out of Kerry if he comes here.We have every reason to expect that the hon. Member for East Mayo will hold a very high position in the Irish Cabinet, if ever it comes into existence; therefore, we shall know what his attitude will be with regard to soldiers and ex-soldiers. I have also an extract from a poster issued in January, 1909.
§ Colonel RAWSON
I have quoted from a speech made at Tralee, and which was quoted in the London Press. I also wish to quote from a poster issued in 1909 at Enniscorthy.
§ Colonel RAWSON
It is headed, "Join the Array," and is as follows:—Sell your souls, your country, and your God for the Saxon shilling. Join England's hireling murderers. Your reward will be a life of immorality and a dog's death in gaol, or by the roadside. Go to India, to murder women and children and shoot down men who are righting for liberty.Another poster, headed "Join the Police," is the following:—Become one of England's paid spies and murderers … Soldiers and 'peelers' are alike; don't associate with them; make it impossible for England to get recruits here, and her power is at an end. God save Ireland, and to Hell with England!I will only quote one more passage, and this is from the "Clonmel Nationalist" in reference to a meeting which took place at Moyglass on the 21st January of this year. That meeting was a meeting held under the auspices of the United Irish League, and it was not allowed to be held by the powers that be in Ireland. The Royal Irish Constabulary had orders to stop the meeting. The hon. Member for East Tipperary (Mr. Condon) was at that meeting, and he attempted to go on the platform. He was stopped by a police sergeant, and it is reported in the "Clonmel Nationalist" of 24th January that he pointed to the police sergeant and made us of these words:—I will have the name of that man. I will mark him.We wish to see that no men are marked for doing their duty in the services to which they belong. As far as we can tell, there is nothing in this Bill to prevent an Irish Parliament from refusing posts in the Civil Service to ex-soldiers or ex-policemen. We know that the postal service in Ireland is going to be under the control of the Irish Parliament. We know too that ex-soldiers are particularly suited for positions in the postal service. We have every reason to be very much afraid that the Irish Parliament will refuse to give those posts to ex-soldiers and ex-policemen, and we wish to guard against anything of the sort. As far as I can see, there is no reason why the Irish Parliament should not put obstacles in the way of ex-soldiers and ex-policemen drawing their pensions through the Post Office. [An HON. MEMBER: "How?"] Petty annoyances of that sort which the Irish Parliament might do are numerous. I believe there is nothing to prevent the Irish Parliament from passing resolutions not to allow ex-soldiers or ex-policemen to be on the voters' lists. I hope I have shown some reasons why we have every reason to be apprehensive as to the way that soldiers and policemen will be 2308 treated by the Irish Parliament. The object of my Amendment is to secure that they shall have fair play, and not suffer for having served their country, as it is their duty to do.
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has moved this Amendment will perhaps not be too greatly surprised if I have to say that the Government cannot see their way to accept it. The Amendment, of course, is the outcome of the general fundamental dislike to the principle of this Bill which is entertained by so large a number of hon. Members opposite. In their opposition to the principle of Home Rule itself they are anxious to see any and every restriction that the ingenuity of man can devise imposed upon an Irish Parliament if one should be created. Of the many suggestions that have been made for the limitation of the powers of the Irish Parliament, I venture to say none rests on a flimsier foundation than this. The hon. Member supports his case by two or three quotations, the genuineness of which is by no means above suspicion. I do not for a moment suggest that the hon. Member does not believe them to have been spoken by the persons who are reported as having done so, and does not believe that the poster was the product of some authoritative Nationalist body; but there are others, perhaps, of us who may be exceedingly sceptical on these matters in view of past experience. However that may be, if it be the case that from time to time some of the leaders of Irish opinion may have expressed sentiments of distrust towards those who have been in the service of the Crown, even though some sporadic remarks of that kind may have been made by individuals, that is a feature which is seldom absent when the national Government of a country is out of touch with the national sentiment of the country. There is every reason to hope and believe that when a measure of political freedom is given to the Irish people such sentiments as those, however rarely they may have been expressed in the past, will be unknown in the future.
With reference to what the hon. and gallant Member has said with respect to the fear that under an Irish Government ex-soldiers and sailors would not get employment in the Post Office, I should like to repeat what I said a few days ago on the same subject. In the first place, the question is an exceedingly small one, as 2309 there are only about from sixty to eighty men per annum concerned. I should like to add to that this point: if the hon. Member will look at his own Amendment he will see that it certainly would not ensure that the ex-soldiers and sailors would receive that measure of preference which they now get in the selection of persons to serve in the Post Office. Even if his Amendment were accepted and put into the Bill it would merely have the effect of preventing the Irish Parliament from imposing any disability or disadvantage in respect of service past or present; but that is not what he is asking. He is asking that the Irish Parliament should be required, not to impose disability, not to refrain from imposing disability, but to grant the privilege which has hitherto been granted by the Government in respect of Post Office servants, and which I myself have continued and think very desirable. This Amendment would not in the least guarantee that that privilege would be continued if an Irish Government desired not to continue it. With respect to previous Amendments to this Clause, hon. Members opposite have indeed, on one or two occasions, been able to point to the fact that in an earlier Bill, the Bill of 1803, corresponding provisions were inserted which, under different circumstances, are provisions not necessary to be inserted now. With respect to this proposal that you should state in the Constitution of the new Parliament that that new Parliament shall not impose any disability on any person in respect of service under the Crown, I do not think that any hon. Member can point to any precedent in any Bill or in any Constitution in any part of the world for so insulting a provision as that. Not only not in the Bill of 1893, but not in any Colonial Constitution, nor even in the Constitution of the United States, which has been given as a precedent for another proposal to-day, and not even in Magna Charta itself, will you find a Clause of this character. The Government cannot consent that the distrust of the Opposition to the new Irish Parliament shall be expressed in terms such as these on the face of the Act which Parliament is about to pass. For these reasons the Government cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Captain CRAIG
I would only like to answer very shortly a few of the suggestions—I will not call them arguments—that have been thrown out by the Postmaster-General. He defied us to find any 2310 precedent for including an Amendment such as this in the Bill. I might ask him if there is any precedent for such a Bill as this in the history of any country in the world. He says that it is an insult to suggest the insertion of a safeguard of this kind in the Bill. Yesterday, I had in my hand a placard picked up in the streets of Tralee warning everybody against associating in any way with any of the forces of the Crown. Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that during the past six years we have repeatedly asked questions across the floor of the House as to the way in which the Nationalist party and the Ancient Order of Hibernians and other secret leagues have been treating soldiers and sailors and the other classes to whom this Amendment refers? No later than last week, when a dastardly outrage occurred in Limerick, hon. Members got up and threw the whole blame on the inspector and the police—[An HON. MEMBER: "What about Belfast?"]—and the latest report is that last night in Limerick a general attack was made upon the soldiers. Yet the right hon. Gentleman gets up and, with his vast knowledge of the internal conditions of Ireland, says that it is an insult for anyone to suggest that soldiers and sailors are not received with open arms by the whole Nationalist party and the leagues that back them up. So much for one of the foundations on which this abominable and cruel Bill has been based. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that in his own Department only some sixty or eighty men might be affected.
§ Captain CRAIG
No one doubts that for a moment. We have had questions on the subject over and over again. But does the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the demands which we have made that these men should receive consideration at the hands of the Post Office have met with the most strenuous opposition from Nationalist Members? But far beyond that is the real fear that we entertain, rightly or wrongly, that the boycotting and ostracism of His Majesty's forces by the Nationalist party, which is now to a certain extent subdued until this Bill has been forced through the House, may break out to such an extent that no one who has ever worn the uniform of any of His Majesty's services will have the slightest chance of preferment or of getting any post of responsibility in 2311 Ireland. I support the Amendment, not for one moment in order to suggest that the Bill can be improved, but because it affords a slight opportunity of showing the electors of the country, whom the Government are afraid to face, that here is a proposal put forward to prevent any disability or disadvantage being imposed in respect of service in the armed forces of the Crown, and it is repudiated by His Majesty's Government. The Government are throwing into the melting pot not alone the resident loyalists of Ireland, but also all those who have served this country in the past and have proved themselves true in the time of its difficulty. In accordance with their loyalty, so are they to suffer. This is another example of which I hope the country will take note. [Several HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] It is received with jeers from the Government side, by Members who are afraid to go to their constituents and put these cases before them. They sit here and cheer and jeer, because that is the only satisfaction they get, muzzled as they are, and afraid to voice their sentiments inside or outside the House of Commons.
§ Mr. HUGH BARRIE
It is a matter of common knowledge throughout the length and breadth of Ireland that if this Bill ever passes into law, the members of the Royal Irish Constabulary will immediately become marked men. We do not forget the many occasions on which Nationalist Members themselves have had their own personal protection secured by the tactful efforts of the members of that splendid force. We do not expect any gratitude for the past exertions of the Royal Irish Constabulary in that direction, but one would have thought that the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) would have consented to the Government's accepting this moderately worded Amendment. I am not personally disappointed that the Postmaster-General has not received that permission. We have to remember that even under the rule of the Radical party, no doubt very reluctantly, the Government have found it necessary to add no less than 700 members to the Royal Irish Constabulary, and I believe I am disclosing no State secret when I say that since it became certain that a Home Rule Bill would come before, the House of Commons there has been increasing anxiety amongst those responsible for the recruiting of the Royal Irish Constabulary to secure sufficient recruits to keep up the 2312 force to the strength considered necessary, even at the present moment, for the preservation of law and order in Ireland.
We are not disappointed at the attitude of the Government, but we know that amongst the rank and file of the Royal Irish Constabulary there is great uneasiness as to their future if they are placed under the tender mercies of a Dublin Parliament. We think it therefore only reasonable that they should be ensured the moderate and limited protection asked for by this Amendment. We know that public bodies in Ireland outside Unionist Ulster will not employ men, no matter how high their rectitude or how clean their character, if they have had the misfortune to serve in the Army or in the Royal Irish Constabulary. We know that that discrimination exists now. How much bolder it will be under a Dublin Parliament, Radical Members may begin to have some faint idea. We regret exceedingly that it should be necessary to emphasise that truth before the House. We do not expect to alter the view of our Friend below the Gangway, but we do desire to present this aspect of the matter in all sincerity and with a full knowledge of the truth. What we say is that upon Radical Members opposite rests the responsibility of placing this desirability upon the public forces responsible for the maintenance of law in Ireland, men who have discharged their duties with tactfulness, often in great personal danger, and at all times in a manner which has earned respect from those concerned in the administration of law and order.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I cannot, as one who has spent the most of his life in the public service, allow this to pass without rising to express my deep regret that a Minister of the capacity and ability of the Postmaster-General should be driven to palliate treasonable and abominable passages in posters. It seems to me an appalling thing that when passages like that are ascribed openly by my hon. and gallant Friend to-certain sources, that the Postmaster-General, replying for the Government, makes light of the odious and treasonable expressions by merely suggesting that their authenticity is doubtful. Have they been repudiated by anybody? Will the Postmaster-General say who made this statement: who was responsible for this detestable poster on the walls, as well as for the vitriolic and poisonous language 2313 ascribed to the Irish Members? The House is always generous to the men who are defending their fellow-servants, and speaking for the class which is otherwise unrepresented. That happens to be my case at the present time. Hon. Members, whatever may be their views and opinions, however much they may regard the soldier as "the wearer of England's cruel red," will excuse me if I quote one of these posters. It contains this expression, which was read by my hon. Friend:—Go to India and murder women and children, and shoot down the men who are fighting for liberty.I should have thought the Postmaster-General and everyone of his colleagues, and every servant of every class drawing pay under the Government, would have tried to find out who it was that put such detestable and treasonable stuff upon any walls of any town in the United Kingdom. The Minister in charge of the Bill actually passes this by with the light suggestion that it is not sufficiently brought home to any individual—as if it was reasonable to expect that the man with his paste and paper could be produced here as the person who did it! Is it disputed that a placard of this character was put out at Enniscorthy? Consider the effect of a placard like this! Many of our bravest and most admirable soldiers who are thus traduced are Irish. In India the Irish and British soldiers who are known to be tender and generous protectors of the men, women, and children of all classes, castes, and colours, are actually held up here to public odium and detestation as the shooters down of a people who are fighting for liberty! In all the time I have had the honour to be a Member of this House I have never heard such treasonable and detestable charges made so lightly and so contemptuously passed by by a Minister of the Crown.
§ Sir E. CARSON
It is somewhat unfortunate that in these Debates, which are so closely connected with life in Ireland, and the realities of Irish life, we have not on the Treasury Bench any Irishman who is allowed to speak. The fear of the Government is indeed very feasible when we know that they cannot obtain in Ireland at the present time even a seat for either of the law officers, and that they have to depend for the exposition of this Bill upon the English law officers who know nothing whatever about Irish life and conditions. Nobody doubts the ability of the Postmaster-General. I would not for a moment say that he does 2314 not very cleverly discuss the questions which come before us, but he always discusses them in speeches which show that he has no more knowledge of Irish life and what goes on in Ireland than any man who has never been connected either with Ireland and England. The Postmaster-General threw out a suggestion, and, I think, a very unworthy suggestion, but he said nothing, so far as I can find out, upon the suggestion that these placards and other records which have been referred to in the course of the Debate were the products of the enemies of Home Rule. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] Yes, Sir, I know that hypocritical cheer. [An HON. MEMBER: "You know Piggott."] Upon this question, or what is really the state of facts in Ireland, we know perfectly well that hon. Members below the Gangway on this side were always speaking with two voices, and two voices directly opposite: one in Ireland and one in England. [An HON. MEMBER: "And another in America."] And another in America if you like. Hon. Members of this House put forward these hypocritical views.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If hon. Members have any points of Order to raise, perhaps they will be good enough to address the Chair, and not one another.
§ Sir E. CARSON
The right hon. Gentleman doubts very much whether there is any real case in Ireland of hostility towards the servants of the Crown—in the case of the Royal Irish Constabulary or of His Majesty's Forces. May I remind him of two facts which I know myself, and which no doubt he has never heard or never concerned himself about? I remember perfectly well this instance of local government in Ireland. While the Boer war was going on, an application was made by a woman in Kerry for outdoor relief. The board of guardians, who are there to administer impartially the duties that are put upon them, passed a resolution saying that this old woman and her husband should only have one shilling per week, instead of the three or four, or whatever was the ordinary sum, because they had so disgraced the country that they had allowed two of their sons to go out and fight in the British Army in South 2315 Africa. That was a matter that I myself made public in the Press at the time in England. It is a matter that can be proved absolutely as to the facts. The Postmaster-General would tell you that that is the ideal method of carrying on local government in Ireland.
§ Sir E. CARSON
He says he would not, but when we take steps to prevent this outrage on a larger scale he gets up and says, "All this is simply an invention and manufactured by you." I will give another instance. Is he aware that while the Boer war was going on in South Africa that such troops as it was thought necessary to keep in Ireland and even in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, during the time of the war had to be confined to barracks as if they were prisoners, and were not allowed to go through the streets in consequence of the assaults made upon them because they were members of a force fighting against the Boers in South Africa? When you have that condition of facts prevailing in Ireland, are we asking too much when we ask this House to say, when granting a Constitution to Ireland, you should prevent in the future, so far as you can, in the great powers you are transferring to the Irish Parliament, any outrages of a similar character occurring in Ireland? The truth of the matter is this. It is convenient for the Government to discuss these matters upon the idea of an abstract Ireland which is burning with enthusiasm for the Imperial forces and that love of the Empire which the hon. Member for Waterford has so recently developed, and never to look at the actual state of affairs which everyone acquainted with the subject knows exists in Ireland.
§ Mr. HAMAR GREENWOOD
Surely references to the Boer war should not be put in the way of the right hon. and learned Gentleman has put them. The very Boers who were fighting against the Crown in the years to which he refers have received a grant of Home Rule. [HON. MEMBERS: "Question."] Reference to the oversea Empire is always objected to by hon. Members opposite. The Boers, who were undoubtedly in the field against the forces of the Crown, have received a grant of Home Rule much wider than this grant which is proposed for Ireland. If men should not be allowed to have self-government because here or there, as I think 2316 unfortunately, speeches have been made that might be called treasonable, surely self-government should not have been given to the Boers in the Transvaal, and self-government should have never been given to the Canadians. I think such unworthy remarks should not be urged against Irishmen who, suffering under grievances a century old, have made speeches which I have no doubt they regret, and which I regret. The same remarks were made about the Canadians when they rebelled in 1827 in French Canada and in English-speaking Canada, and when they were put down, not by the local loyalists, for there were no local loyalists in any great numbers, but by the Regular Forces of the Crown. The condition of things which prevailed both in South Africa and in Quebec and Ontario, apply here in reference to the case of Ireland.
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
No, I admit they were not, but we are dealing with patriotism. We are dealing with Irish patriotism, and not with representation in this House. I am one of those who would like to see the self-governing Dominions represented in this House, and if they were so represented they would support the Nationalist party now. There is not a Minister of the Crown, in all the Parliaments of the Oversea Dominions that supports the Unionist party in their opposition to Home Rule—not one. When one condemns Irishmen in this House for what they said in the past, I may say I have myself heard equally treasonable speeches, if they may be called treasonable, made by men in Canada. The principal Member of Mr. Borden's Cabinet, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Dougherty, is President of the United Irish League of Montreal. Is he a traitor?
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
He has been called a traitor by the extreme Orangemen in Toronto. I personally regret the issue of any poster or the making of any speech that attempts to dissuade men in Ireland from joining the forces of the Crown, but I believe once Home Rule is granted to Ireland all that will disappear. I have given two cases where the grant of Home Rule has enabled our great self-governing Dominions to raise sufficient forces for 2317 their own defence, and to make some contributions towards Imperial defence as well, and you can quote no case where the grant of Home Rule has not made those who enjoy it more patriotic. I believe once Home Rule is granted to Ireland, not only will there be no attempt to dissuade people from joining the forces of the Crown, but that Irishmen, with their natural love for the military service, will come into our forces in greater numbers, and that we will be able to get recruits in much larger numbers then than now. The opposition to Home Rule is opposition to the Nationalist party, because they are Roman Catholics. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."]
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
I am about to conclude my remarks. At any rate, the opposition, as I understand it, is opposition to Roman Catholics. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] No one doubts, at any rate, that that is the feeling. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] If I am wrong I am sorry.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Amendment before the Committee is in reference to any possible discrimination being made against the Royal Irish Constabulary and other forces of the Crown.
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
My point is that 80 per cent, of the Royal Irish Constabulary is Roman Catholic, and that between 30,000 and 40,000 of the Regular soldiers in the British Army are Roman Catholics. The Irish Guards, that have the special duty of attending on the Royal Family, are largely Roman Catholic. There could not be a British Army without Roman Catholics, and those who condemn the Nationalist party and oppose Home Rule are condemning those soldiers. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no," and interruption.] That certainly is my view. [Interruption.]
§ Captain CRAIG
On a point of Order. May I ask is the hon. Member to be allowed to make such gross mis-statements?
§ The CHAIRMAN
Statements may possibly be made on both sides to which hon. Members take considerable objection. 2318 That is what they are here for; but when hon. Members have been heard themselves I think they should listen with patience to others.
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
I am sorry if I have said a single thing which cannot be substantiated, but on this side we believe that the opposition to Home Rule is an opposition to the majority of Irishmen because they are Roman Catholics, and nothing in the recent procession in Ulster with which the right hon. Gentleman was associated has occurred to persuade us that that is not so—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is really going wider than the Amendment, which deals with the constabulary and other forces of the Crown.
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
My statement is that the precedents of Canada and South Africa specially show that whilst men may be traitors in fact in law, whilst they have a grievance and struggling for self-Government, once their grievance is removed their patriotism gets a chance, and they will rally to the colours.
§ Mr. MOORE
My complaint against the speech we have just listened to is that from start to finish it never had the slightest relation to the Amendment. What we are discussing is whether it would be right to prevent an Irish Parliament from putting penalties on men who have served the Crown. In the past and up to the present day the Nationalist party, who are to constitute the majority in the new Parliament, have shown such consistent hatred and unfairness, and issued so many threats against sailors, soldiers, and policemen, that in the ordinary course of events, when they have the power, they will put their threats into force and these men will be penalised. First of all I wish to deal with several threats which have been made by the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon). The speech I refer to was made a long time ago, on the 5th December, 1886, but the hon. Member has never gone back on it, in fact he spoke in the same terms last year. The hon. Member for East Mayo said:—I tell these people that the time is very close at hand when the police will he our servants, when the police will be demanding their pay from Mr. Parnell, and he will be Prime Minister of Ireland, and I warn the men who to-day take their stand by the side of landlordism and signalise themselves as the enemies of the people that in the time of our power we will remember them.We are asking that the threats made against men whose only crime was that 2319 they did their duty as servants of the Crown, shall not be permitted to be carried into force. We ask the Committee, do you intend in the face of that threat, to hand these men in return for their loyal and obedient service, over to the power of the majority whose leaders threaten them in that fashion. There is a song entitled, "We all love Jack." It is what the Nationalist party sing in the House of Commons. They love the sailor, the soldier, and the policeman, and they are prepared to love anyone if it helps them a little further towards Home Rule. I continually read the speeches of hon. Members below the Gangway, and I think it is very dishonest of them to take credit for what the Irish soldiers did in South Africa. The last speaker has not been long in this country—
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MOORE
Well, at any rate the hon. Member spent more time out of it. What happened? When these men were loyal to their enlistment oath and their service to the Crown, and went out to fight our battles, how were they treated by the Nationalist party who are now taking credit for their loyal action? The Nationalist party went through the country engaged in a campaign against enlistment and against recruiting. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] But I can give the reference. They went through the country on a campaign denouncing anyone who was willing to go out to fight and do his duty by his oath. That is what the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Mr. Patrick O'Brien) did, and he is one of the Whips of the Nationalist party. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] It is no use hon. Members saying "No." The hon. Member for Kilkenny, speaking in Dublin on the 1st of October, 1899, said:—He would not say shame to the Irishmen who belonged to British regiments because he had hopes that before they lined up against the Boers they would remember that they were Irishmen and instead of tiring on the Boers they would fire on the Englishmen.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
My hon. Friend the Member for Kilkenny has quite a dozen times publicly repudiated that charge. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."]
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must ask hon. Members to keep order because there is not any question of withdrawing. An hon. Member in this House is entitled to make 2320 a statement as he pleases, and the hon. and learned Member for Waterford has denied what the hon. Member said. There is no necessity for the hon. Member to withdraw because he has only stated his opinion, and he ought to be listened to.
§ Mr. MOORE
I am giving my own opinion, and when the hon. Member for Kilkenny who made the speech, and not the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford, who did not, repudiates it, I think the Committee will accept his view, but he has not repudiated it up to the present moment. Hon. Members will find a report of the speech in the "Irish Daily Independent" on 2nd October, 1899. But it does not stop there. There is an hon. Member in this House who went out and fought with the Boers and what is his reward. He comes back here first representing the City of Galway and afterwards he is given a safe seat in Clare. Do you want any more corroboration of my statement than that? Not long ago the hon. Member for West Clare (Mr. Lynch) boasted that he would use a rifle against us Englishmen, Scotchmen, or Welshmen, and that was his public boast. The hon. Member has not gone back on that statement, and that is why he is in the House now.
§ Mr. LYNCH
The hon. and learned Gentleman has referred to a remark of mine on the platform. That again is one of those remarks which, not being quoted in their full context, appears to acquire a meaning totally different from that which I intended, and which was perfectly understood by the audience whom I addressed. The question having arisen as to whether I fought against the Boers—[HON. MEMBERS: "With the Boers"]—with the Boers—I naturally had to refer to it in my speech. I did so only to affirm with greater emphasis, as I did in the speech quoted, that if England granted Home Rule to Ireland I would fight the battles of England—
§ Mr. R. HARCOURT
May I rise to a point of Order? The statement of the hon. Gentleman was deliberately and openly challenged in a manner to reach you and the Gallery. At least one hon. 2321 Gentleman directly repudiated the statement the hon. Gentleman was making. I ask you, Sir, has it not been ruled from the Chair that the House of Commons is bound to accept the explanation of an hon. Member?
§ The CHAIRMAN
Nothing of that kind reached me. I think I can rely on the Committee generally that any hon. Member who is attacked should be allowed to make his personal explanation. The hon. Member who was speaking did courteously give way to the hon. Member.
§ Mr. MOORE
I am sorry if I went in conflict with any account of the speech that the hon. Member made, but I have not observed that there is any conflict. I will omit all reference to the hon. Member's speech at Southampton. It is quite enough for me to know that beyond doubt he fought with the Boers, and came home, and was convicted of treason, and has now got a seat in the House. I will leave it there. It was suggested by the last speaker, to use the words of the Postmaster-General, that these were mere sporadic utterances, and that they were uttered in heat. I want to draw attention to a few more, just to prove how "they all love Jack." The hon. Member for West Kerry (Mr. T. O'Donnell) said at Churchill, on 29th September, 1901, and reported in the "Cork Examiner" of 1st October, 1901:—He was passing through Tralee that day, and a more sickening, disgraceful sight he never witnessed than what he saw there. … To see a fine, brave, hearty lot of young Irishmen marching in red coats down the streets of Tralee that day to the heat of the drum which leads to plunder and strives to strangle nationality the world over, was a spectacle which should bring blush of shame to the cheek of every self-supporting Irishman.That is how they love the Army. The hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. Joyce) was speaking, I suppose also in heat, but on a different day, 6th October, 1901, and he is reported in a paper of his own town to have said:—There was another kind of emigration which he wished to say a word on, and that was with regard to recruiting-sergeant's emigration. He had pledged himself to denounce on every public platform this system of enlistment in England's coward army.And "they all love Jack."
§ Mr. MOORE
That is what I quite expected from the hon. Member, who is always frank. There is no repudiation 2322 there. He spoke again—no doubt he has confirmed the accuracy of this—at Patrickswell, I suppose in heat, on 20th October, 1901:He would advise yonng men if the recruiting sergeant came within their reach (a voice: 'to Hell with them'), and if he enticed or tried to entice their young men to join the ranks of England's hireling Army to tell him to go to the Devil, to tell him they had an army at home, the United Irish League Army, that they would join, and let England and Englishmen light their own battles, and believe him, they had more, as the old saying had it, than a dish to wash."—"Freeman's Journal," 21st. October, 1901.Last of all comes another Boer hero, Major M'Bride. He is not at present in the House, but, if the Home Rule Bill does not become law, doubtless he will have a seat here to support Members of the Government, the Postmaster-General included. He is reported in the "Kilkenny People," 14th December, 1909, only three years ago, to have said:—I appeal to you most earnestly to do all in your power to prevent your countrymen from entering the degraded British Army, If you prevent 500 men from enlisting you do nearly as good work, if not quite so exciting, as if you shot 500 men on the field of battle, and you are also making the path smoother for the approaching conquest of England by Germany. Let one of your mottoes be, 'No recruits for England.' Should the Germans land in Ireland they will be received with willing hearts and strong hands, and should England be their destination, it is to be hoped they will find time to disembark 100,000 rifles and a few score of ammunition for the same in this country, and twelve months later this island will be as free as the Lord God meant it to be.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Unless the hon. and learned Gentleman gives way, the hon. Member is not entitled to interrupt.
§ Mr. MacVEAGH
I wish to ask you, Sir, whether it is in order for the hon. and learned Gentleman to quote as the opinions of Nationalists a statement made by a gentleman who is an opponent of the Nationalist party and is a supporter of the hon. and learned Gentleman?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. and learned Member is quite in order. It is for the Committee to form their own opinions on the subject.
§ Mr. MOORE
The gentleman I referred to has not got a seat in the House of Commons, but he was given a position in the Dublin Corporation which boasts itself to be the most Nationalist corporation in the country, and from our knowledge of them, if his opinions run counter to theirs, he would be treated like an ordinary Unionist and have no position whatsoever there. That goes without saying. There is the whole case. That is how the Army—I have similar quotations about the Navy and the police—that is how these men have been denounced again and again within the past. This history is not a thing of the past. At present there is an organisation in Ireland which was got up because a certain British organisation was so successful—that is the Boy Scouts. These are the National Boy Scouts, and what is the pledge a boy has to sign on joining? That under no circumstances, as long as he lives, will he ever take service under the Crown in the Army, Navy, or Police!
§ Mr. MOORE
Again and again during the last two Sessions has the Postmaster-General had to defend himself against attacks by Nationalist Members for appointing Army pensioners to some small office in the postal service, and the gravamen of these attacks has been that these men have served their country and the Crown in one of His Majesty's forces. Yet with that official knowledge the right hon. Gentleman to-day is in the unfortunate position—and it must be an unfortunate position to a thinking man—of getting up and saying he does not anticipate any such difficulty whatsoever in the future. The object of this Amendment is merely to prevent the Irish Parliament making a law which would put these people under a disability. But even if the Amendment were carried it would not affect the administration: it would not prevent any Irish Parliament saying that no one shall find a place in the Irish postal service who has ever served the Crown in this way.
§ Colonel YATE
One point in connection with this Debate occurred the other night when my hon. Friend the Member for Mile End asked the Postmaster-General what arrangements he would make to carry out the promise to give 50 per cent, of the appointments in the Post Office to old soldiers. The right hon. Gentleman, I 2324 regret to say, replied that the matter was of no consequence, as there were very few old soldiers in the Irish Post Office, there being fewer than 100 such appointments made every year. I had hoped he would try and secure even more such appointments under the new organisation, for after all these are loyal soldiers. Nationalist Members have from time to time called attention to the grand services rendered by Roman Catholic soldiers in the last war, and every one of us acknowledges their bravery. We are equally proud of them, and I am therefore sorry to hear a representative of the Government saying they are to be treated as of no account, and that it does not matter what happens. Therefore I appeal to the Postmaster-General, to all old soldiers, and all interested in old soldiers on the opposite side of the Committee, and I would also appeal to Nationalist Members who are so proud of their fellow countrymen—I know there is a certain number of people in Ireland who make statements about men who enlist being traitors, but they are not the majority in Ireland—to get up and say they do not approve of these things, and that they do wish to do their best for the old soldiers, and give them what appointments there are.
§ Captain CLIVE
After the quotations we have heard from hon. Members on this side of the Committee, quotations which have practically gone unchallenged, except in one instance where the hon. and learned Member for Waterford challenged a quotation from a speech of an hon. Friend of his, which I understand the hon. Member himself did not challenge—does the Postmaster-General still maintain that the Amendment contains a suggestion insulting to the Irish nation? Surely the Amendment can only be insulting to them if it attributes to them intentions which they do not entertain. If they intend to treat old soldiers in the future as they have been treated by the Home Government in the past, then the Amendment, if not insulting, is unnecessary. I would ask the Leader of the Nationalisd party if he is prepared to get up and say that the same consideration will be given to old soldiers in the future in Ireland as has been given to them in the past—
§ Captain CLIVE
I hope the Committee will take note of that assurance, and I hope that the Leader of the Nationalist 2325 party will use his influence to carry it out. If that is his view and intention, why should he not support the Amendment?
§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
I would not have risen but for the two last speeches, which have been of quite a different tone. I go back to the observation, which I think went to the core of this question, made by the hon. and learned Member for Dublin University. He said:—Let us get to the realities of Irish life.What are the realities of Irish life? That all through Ireland you find that old soldiers—and I have just as strong a sympathy as the hon. and gallant Gentleman has with old soldiers—and police pensioners are given offices of all kinds, are elected to county councils, have the goodwill and friendship of their neighbours. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where?"] I am challenged to say where. I will name county Monaghan. [Interruption.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
Hon. Members have appealed to me that they might have their speeches listened to. I hope they will listen to other hon. Members.
§ Mr. C. CRAIG
On a point of Order. I distinctly heard the hon. Member for Monaghan prompting the hon. Member. I interjected the remark I did because I heard him prompting.
§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
I could be prompted by more Members than the hon. Member for Monaghan. My hon. Friend below me, who comes from King's County, tells me the same thing obtains there, namely, that police and Army pensioners are given offices in the gift of the people of the country, and this lurid spectacle of a vendetta against men who have served in the Army or the Navy or the police in Ireland is absolutely imaginary and has no
§ foundation. I regret very much some of the speeches which have been made to-night. There have been references to the Boer War. I would say honestly and in a friendly spirit that references to the Boer War should be very sparingly and very carefully made, especially by hon. Gentlemen belonging to a party who-threatened and tried to take the life of a present Cabinet Minister because he had the courage to express his opinions. The war is over. The leader of the Boer army is now one of the honoured Prime Ministers of this Empire. The liberty which was taken away from his country has by a generous and wise act of oblivion on the part of this great and generous nation been given back to them, and the result of it is that there is not one man, even among the Orange Gentlemen above the Gangway to-day, who would deny that General Botha, who was once the enemy of this country, is now amongst its most loyal supporters and friends. Do not you think the same generous treatment dealt out to the Irish people, who are as kindly and as generous and as forgiving a people as there is in the world, would produce similar results? As to these very strong statements' with regard to the past, I am not here to apologise for them. It is you who-ought to apologise.
§ It being half-past Ten of the clock, the Chairman proceeded, pursuant to the-Order of the House of the 14th October, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at this day's sitting.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 215; Noes, 316.2329
|Division No. 269.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Bridgeman, William Clive|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Barnston, H.||Bull, Sir William James|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Burn, Colonel c. R.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Bathurst, C. (Wilts, Wilton)||Butcher, J. G.|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Beckett, Hon. Gèrvase||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Campion, W. R.|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Benn, Ion K. (Greenwich)||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred|
|Baird, J. L.||Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bigland, Alfred||Cator, John|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Bird, A.||Cave, George|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City Lend.)||Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid)||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Boyton, J.||Chambers, James|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Hills, J. W.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Ceilings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Hoare, S. J. G.||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Hohler, G. F.||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Home, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Horner, A. L.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Houston, Robert Paterson||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Hume-Williams, W. E.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Croft, H. P.||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Ingleby, Holcombe||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Joynson-Hicks, William||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Dixon, C. H.||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (Liverp'l, Walton)|
|Doughty, Sir George||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Kerry, Earl of||Stanier, Beville|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Keswick, Henry||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Starkey, John R.|
|Fade, B. G.||Knight, Captain E. A.||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Fell, Arthur||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon, Sir Robert||Larmor, Sir J.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. E. A.||Lee, Arthur H.||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Fleming, Valentine||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Forster, Henry William||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Goldman, C. S.||McCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Mackinder, H. J.||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Cordon, John (Londonderry, South)||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Malcolm, Ian||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Greene, W. R.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Gretton, John||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S. E.)||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Williams, Col R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Mount, William Arthur||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|Mall, Fred (Dulwich)||Newdegate, F. A.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Hall, Marshall (L'pool, E. Toxteth)||Newman, John R. P.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Hamersley, A. St. George||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Nield, Herbert||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Harris, Henry Percy||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Yate, Col. Charles Edward|
|Harrison-Breadley, H. B.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Younger, Sir George|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.— Mr. Rawson and Mr. Moore.|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Wodbridge)|
|Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Bentham, G. J.||Clough, William|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Clynes, J. R.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Black, Arthur W.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Adamson, William||Boland, John Plus||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Booth, Frederick Handel||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Bowerman, C. W.||Cotton, William Francis|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Brady, P. J.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Crean, Eugene|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Brunner, J. F. L.||Crooks, William|
|Armitage, Robert||Bryce, J. Annan||Crumley, Patrick|
|Arnold, Sydney||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Cullinan, John|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Burke, E. Haviland-||Davies, E. William (Eifion)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Dawes, J. A.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Delany, William|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Barton, W.||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Dickinson, W. H.|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Seek, Arthur Cecil||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Doris, W.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Clancy, John Joseph||Duffy, William J.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Radford, G. H.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lansbury, George||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Reddy, Michael|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Levy, Sir Maurice||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lewis, John Herbert||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Falconer, J.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lundon, Thomas||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Lyell, Charles Henry||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Lynch, A. A.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Field, William||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||McGhee, Richard||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneslde)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Robinson, Sidney|
|Furness, Stephen W.||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Macpherson, James Ian||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Gilhooly, James||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Gill, A. H.||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Ginnell, L.||M'Kean, John||Rowlands, James|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Glanville, H. J.||M'Laren, Hon, H. D. (Leics.)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Goldstone, Frank||Manfield, Harry||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Samuel, J. (Stockton)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Martin, J.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Meagher, Michael||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Guiney, P.||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Sheehy, David|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Hackett, J.||Millar, James Duncan||Shortt, Edward|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Molloy, M.||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Hancock, J. G.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Mooney, J. J.||Snowden, Philip|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Morgan, George Hay||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morrell, Philip||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Morison, Hector||Sutton, John E.|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Muldoon, John||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Munro, R.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Thomas, J. H.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hayward, Evan||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||Needham, Christopher T.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N. E.)||Neilson, Francis||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Nolan, Joseph||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Nuttall, Harry||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wardle, George J.|
|Hinds, John||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Waring, Walter|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Hodge, John||O'Doherty, Philip||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Hogge, James Myles||O'Donnell, Thomas||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Dowd, John||Webb, Henry|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Ogden, Fred||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Horns, C. Sylvester (Ipswich)||O'Grady, James||White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Malley, William||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Shee, James John||Wiles, Thomas|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Williams, J, (Glamorgan)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Jones, William Carnarvonshire)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Jowett, Frederick William||Pollard, Sir George H.||Winfrey, Richard|
|Joyce, Michael||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Keating, M.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Kelly, Edward||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Primrose, Hon, Nell James|
|King, J.||Pringle, William M. R.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Limb, Ernest Henry|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again to-morrow (Thursday).
§ The Chairman then proceeded to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at this day's sitting.