§ (1) The executive power in Ireland shall continue vested in His Majesty the King, and nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of that power except as respects Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act.
§ (2) As respects those Irish services the Lord Lieutenant or other chief executive officer or officers for the time being appointed in his place, on behalf of His Majesty, shall exercise any prerogative or other executive power of His Majesty the exercise of which may be delegated to him by His Majesty.2412
§ (3) The power so delegated shall be exercised through such Irish Departments as may be established by Irish Act, or subject thereto, by the Lord Lieutenant, and the Lord Lieutenant may appoint officers to administer those Departments, and those officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Lord Lieutenant.
§ (4) The persons who are for the time being heads of such Irish Departments as may be determined by Irish Act or, in the absence of any such determination, by the Lord Lieutenant, and such other persons, (if any) as the Lord Lieutenant may appoint, shall be the Irish Ministers.
§ Provided that—
- (a) No such person shall be an Irish Minister unless he is a member of the Privy Council in Ireland; and
- (b) No such person shall hold office as an Irish Minister for a longer period than six months, unless he is or becomes a member of one of the Houses of the Irish Parliament; and
- (c) Any such person not being the head of an Irish Department shall hold office as an Irish Minister during the pleasure of the Lord Lieutenant in the same manner as the head of an Irish Department holds his office.
§ (5) The persons who are Irish Ministers for the time being shall be an Executive Committee of the Privy Council of Ireland (in this Act referred to as the "Executive Committee"), to aid and advise the Lord Lieutenant in the exercise of his executive power in relation to Irish services.
§ (6) For the purposes of this Act, "Irish services" are all public services in connection with the administration of the civil government of Ireland except the administration of matters with respect to which the Irish Parliament have no power to make laws, including in the exception all public services in connection with the administration of the reserved matters (in this Act referred to as "reserved services")
§ The CHAIRMAN
In regard to the Amendments on the Paper, I propose to take first the Amendment relating to the establishment of an Irish Executive. That is proposed in three different forms. I think the best is the one proposing to leave out from the word "power" to the end of Sub-section (1). When that has been disposed of, I propose to take the Amendment proposing to leave out the words "Lord Lieutenant" in Sub-section 2413 (2), and insert instead thereof the words "Secretary of State for Ireland, who shall be responsible to His Majesty and to the Parliament of the United Kingdom."
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave oat the words "except as respects Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act."
The effect of this Amendment would be to retain the Irish Executive under the Imperial Parliament. It has been truly said in the course of these Debates that executive power is in many ways more important than legislative power, because it is possible for the executive power to nullify the effect of the best legislation and to find loopholes through almost any enactment. This would be especially true of a subordinate Executive, which, in view of the restrictions upon the legislative authority, would be especially eager to find loopholes to defeat the law. I am not going to argue the question so much from the point of view of any act of injustice that an Irish Executive might perpetrate towards any section of the population. I think my Friends from Ulster have perfectly good reason to fear the action of such an Executive, though not perhaps for some of the reasons sometimes alleged; but I look upon this matter rather from the English point of view and as to its effect on the whole fabric of Imperial government. What is the position of the Lord Lieutenant? He is to exercise on behalf of His Majesty executive power in Ireland. He is in a dual position, first, as regards Imperial services, and, secondly, as regards Irish services. As regards Irish services, he is simply in the position of a constitutional Sovereign who has to act on the advice of the Irish Ministers. But as regards excepted and reserved services, he is subject to the Imperial Government. How will that work out in practice? The only way to show that is to take a few concrete instances. I would first refer to the working of this provision in relation to the Post Office. The subject of the Irish Post Office is still enveloped in a good deal of mystery. I do not think the explanations of the Postmaster-General on this subject the other day were at all adequate, and they were not expressed with the right hon. Gentleman's usual lucidity—possibly because the ideas in his own mind were still in an extremely nebulous condition. But we do know this, there is to be dual control. The cables and terminal 2414 telegraphs are to be in the hands of the Imperial Post Office, and the internal service and internal wires are to be in the hands of the Irish Post Office. What then is the position of the Irish Executive? When I speak in these instances of the Lord Lieutenant, I mean him as covering all the Departments. In the case of the Post Office the Lord Lieutenant has a dual capacity. In certain respects as regards the terminals he is to act on the order of the British Postmaster - General. As regards, however, the internal Irish services of the Post Office, he is to act presumably on the constitutional advice of the Irish Postmaster-General. Here we have dual control at once.
It is very easy to imagine how confusion may ensue; far more easy to imagine the difficulty than to imagine how that confusion is to be avoided. What would mean confusion in time of peace would be danger in time of war! This has been recognised up to a certain point by this Government, who have proposed that there should be an Amendment dealing with this important Clause 44. Clause 44 refers to the transitory provisions of the Act and to the taking over of various services. How by an Order in Council, arranging for the taking over of one service by another, you can lay down in that Order in Council the provisions that are necessary for the future in the case of a state of war and for the Imperial Government to have adequate control I cannot possibly see. If the Government were serious in their desire to find a satisfactory answer to this difficult question of the control of the Post Office in time of war I think they ought to put down a new Clause, and make quite sure it is adequately discussed; because it is a very real danger. I said something about it the other night when the House was very empty. I think it is necessary to repeat it now, because it is only by repetition that these points can be driven home. There are other instances besides the Post Office of the absolute and paramount importance of control by the Imperial Government in case of war. We know now how very tight is the control of the present belligerents in the near East over their post offices and telegraphs; and quite right! It is a lesson to be noted.
During the South African war the military censors happened to be friends of mine. They told me it would have been impossible to have carried out their duties adequately if it had not been for the loyal co-operation of the Postmaster-General of the Cape. That might not have been so, 2415 and there would have been no provision for enforcing the wishes of the military authority. That, unless adequate measures are taken, will be exactly the position in Ireland. You need not suppose disloyalty. You only need to suppose imperfect co-operation. Here is another instance of the danger of having no Imperial control over national services, afforded by the war in South Africa. The Imperial Government having no control over the railway services an immense advantage was given to the enemy, provisions and munitions of war being taken over the Cape lines into the Transvaal. Therefore, I submit that in both peace and war there must be adequate Imperial control over such services as the Post Office. The control must be adequate, because it must give to the Imperial Department the right of exercising proper disciplinary measures for the officers of those services. It is no use in time of war for the British Postmaster-General to give orders if the officers of the Irish National Service are aware that the full discipline of the British Post Office will not be enforced, and that if they neglect to carry out those orders properly and efficiently the ordinary consequences of indiscipline will not follow, whereas on the other hand if they throw themselves heart and soul into the matter they will get proper promotion. What is true of the Post Office is, I think, true to some degree of other services. Supposing the Government calls out some reserve power. I understand that in the various Railways Acts of the United Kingdom the Government do reserve power to control the railways in time of war. Supposing the Government made use of that provision how would they have the means of enforcing it against the Irish Executive? What methods are there of getting adequate control? This question may be a very serious one, because it is quite possible the Irish railways may be nationalised. That has often been suggested, and it is far more easy to do it there than in this country. If you imagine the Irish Executive controlling the railways which is a reserve service, and the British Executive, by virtue of an Act calling forth their emergency powers, you see the makings of a first-rate quarrel between the Imperial Executive and the National Executive.
In the working of the ordinary powers there would be very great difficulty. I noticed that amongst the excepted fields of legislation which we were not able to debate is that of "alienage or aliens as 2416 such." I should like to ask the Chief Secretary whether the working of the Aliens Act at the ports will be under the Irish Executive or not? I imagine that "alien-age or aliens as such," refers to the legislative status of aliens, not to the actual working of the Aliens Act. In any case supposing the Irish Executive did choose to relax the rules about landing of persons, not aliens, perhaps, but returned subjects, at Queenstown or elsewhere, what power is the Imperial Government to have over them? Supposing the Imperial Government decided under the powers of the Home Office to tighten up the rule for the landing of emigrants, and the Irish Government objected to any such tightening up, surely the Irish Government would have power to nullify the regulations of the Imperial Government. This, in time of stress, might be of the greatest importance not only to Ireland, but to the whole country. Instances and illustrations of this kind might be multiplied, and I repeat this state of things would be confusion in time of peace and danger in time of war. Take the ordinary services. What is the position of the Irish Executive as regards the Customs and the Excise? This seems to me to be a matter of somewhat considerable difficulty. Sub-section (1) of the Clause says:—The Executive power in Ireland shall continue vested in His Majesty the King, and nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of that power except as respects Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act.We turn, then, to the definition of Irish services, at the end of the Clause, where Sub-section (6) reads:—For the purposes of this Act Irish services are all public services in connection with the administration of the civil government of Ireland except the administration of matters with respect to which the Irish Parliament have no power to make laws …Having power to make laws in regard to the Customs and Excise, primâ facie you would say that the control of the Irish Executive was supreme over the Customs and Excise. But now that is modified. You look back to the last Sub-section of the provision (Clause 2) we did not discuss, and you find amongst the reserved services are the collection of taxes. So apparently the Irish Executive have the power to make laws for the Customs and Excise, except as to the collection of taxes. 2417 I presume they will have the regulation of the Customs and Excise services, the appointments of Customs and Excise officers, the promotion of those officers. If there is any doubt as to their power of making laws they will, at any rate, have power to make the assessments and to pass laws for the regulation of the assessments. Therefore you will have a very strange condition of things, for the Customs officers will have to take orders from the Irish Government with regard to the assessments and matters connected with assessments, and, presumably, though it is not clear, take orders from the Imperial Government as regards the actual collection. Surely when you have dual control of that kind, one body having power over assessments, and the other over the collection of the assessment, the most extraordinary confusion is bound to occur! I do think it is necessary to insist upon this point.
This Bill, as was the Bill of 1893, is very largely founded on the Constitution of Croatia, in Hungary. It is all very well for the Postmaster-General to smile. The Bill of 1893 was founded on the Constitution I have stated. I had information on the point from an Hungarian friend, whom Mr. Gladstone sent an emissary to discover all about the matter. That Constitution of Croatia, which was the model of this proposal, has broken down absolutely on this very question of the collection of taxes, as well as on the higher Imperial and national grounds. It has broken down so absolutely that in virtue of the reserve power vested in the King of Hungary the whole Constitution has been hung up. A Royal Commissioner has been sent down, freedom of the Press and of juries has been done away with, and Croatia, which was the model for the future Government of Ireland, is now under absolutely drastic autocratic government.
I now come to the further and larger point: Supposing there is such a breakdown—and it may very easily arise—what provision is there for continuing the Executive Government of Ireland at all? Confessedly there may be difficulties. When my hon. Friends have argued on this point and suggested that possible injustice would arise, the answer always has been: Remember the overriding legislative powers of this House; remember the Veto! But what use are these overriding powers? What use is the Veto? You can only use the Veto at the cost of an absolute breakdown of the Government in 2418 Ireland. Supposing the Irish Parliament to pass a law which the Imperial Government Vetoes. The Irish Ministers resign. The Lord Lieutenant sends for some of my hon. Friends—assuming they will serve—in the Irish Parliament, which I understand they are not going to do—but the Lord Lieutenant, at any rate, sends for somebody else, and they decline. They say they cannot take office because they know they will be immediately out-voted on the question of Supply for the ordinary Irish services. What provision is there in the case of a breakdown to enable the Executive Government to go on? You have none at all! It may be true that you do not have it in the case of the Colonies, but admittedly if you over-rode any Act of a Colonial Legislature you would have them protesting; and on their reiteration of their protest, and the failure of the Governor-General to form a Government, you would have to submit and abandon your position, as indeed was done in the case of the Kanaka legislation in Queensland and, I think, the divorce legislation of Victoria. These were vetoed for the time, but when the Colonial position was reaffirmed the Governor-General in each case had to give way.
If you are to carry on the Government at all under these circumstances you must have some power in reserve. Of course you would be quite logical if you are going to say that you would not interfere with the internal administration of the Government or with the acts of the Irish Parliament in any case; but then that would be absolutely inconsistent with your arguments and the provision of the Veto for the protection of minorities or the overriding power of this Parliament, which, in suggested Amendments, have been continually urged by Government spokesmen. I therefore submit that if you are to make this Bill work, you will have to have in the document some emergency paragraph such as is known to foreign Constitutions allowing the Lord Lieutenant under the direction of the British Ministry to assume control and to carry on the government for a time, and you will have to mortgage the Transferred Sum for the country to the Government during this period of stress. If you face from the beginning these problems, then, when giving legislative powers to this Assembly, you will have to continue the Executive under the direct central control of the Imperial Government answerable to this House.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Before proceeding further with this Amendment, I might point out that the question of the legislative Veto arises on Clause 7. Of course, reference to it by the way is all right, but it cannot be gone into in detail in this discussion.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down made, as he always does, a very clear speech presenting certain points which he conceived to be points of very great difficulty. The conclusion at which he arrived is one which indeed is made perfectly plain by the Amendment. It is that it is practically impossible, having regard to Ireland, to establish a subordinate and derivative Parliament with an Executive responsible within its limits to itself for the execution of its laws. In other words, he conceives that however much you establish a Parliament in Ireland, it should be no more in that respect than Grattan's Parliament, which had all the ancient privileges, oratorical powers and the like, but was without Executive control. Well, upon that point I must at once join issue with the hon. Member. In my judgment it would be much better to leave things entirely as they are—which is not our case, we are not leaving things exactly as they are—than have a Parliament without an Executive responsible to it. It would be a complete and utter failure. It has always been recognised by all the historians and critics of Grattan's Parliament that to have in Ireland, of all countries in the world, a Parliament and a Parliament House and Debates and the like, without the Executive responsibility which grows up by trusting to a Ministry dependent upon a majority of that House, is not the way by which you can give real life and force and responsibility to that Parliament itself. I do not want to make quotations. I have already referred to Lecky's criticisms of Grattan's Parliament, and it was Lecky's opinion that, so far as Grattan's Parliament had not these powers, that, accounts for its comparative failure. I do not say it did not accomplish many good works, but no one acquainted, as I am sure the hon. Member is, with the memoirs since published of the relations between this country through the Lord Lieutenant with that Parliament would seek to resuscitate or revive in Ireland any such institution. That really goes to the root of the matter. Unless you can establish a Parliament with an Executive responsible to it, I 2420 quite agree with hon. Members opposite it would be better not to establish any Parliament at all, and you must therefore abandon once and for all time in the future, everybody else as well as we, any thought or idea of investing the Irish people, through an Irish Parliament, with Executive authority. You may say they are unfit for it. That was not the argument of the hon. Gentleman; although he did not altogether withdraw it,—but for the purposes of his Amendment he did not base his case upon the legislative inefficiency of any such Irish Parliament. He said, "Even supposing all its laws were good laws, or, at all events as good as the laws of this House"—it always is a matter of great controversy whether laws are good; there is no such thing as perfection in legislation, even that of the Imperial Parliament. He did not say that these things would be all wrong; they would follow much the opinions and, so to say, the common law of civilized nations—
§ Mr. BIRRELL
That I quite understand. He said let their legislation be as practical and wise and reasonable as that of any representative Assembly, as indeed it is likely to be, but you still have this great difficulty. Let us assume their legislature is as good as ours, which, after all, is not such a very high standard—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] When I say "ourselves" I am referring to the Government of this country, and I would say the same thing, with even greater confidence, if hon. Gentlemen opposite occupied these benches, than I do now. The argument of the hon. Gentleman opposite is, let the Parliament stand as a legislative Assembly, but it ought not to have any executive authority whatever. In my judgment, the only curative effect for such ills as exist in Ireland is by securing that you get in Ireland a Ministry exercising derivative powers conferred upon it by its written Constitution, and responsible to itself and the public opinion of Ireland for the manner in which it performs its obligations. It is very difficult to say which is the more important, laws or their administration. I would not myself wish to appear to say one is more important than the other. I am perfectly certain that if you seek to educate and to create public opinion, if you seek to get an Assembly 2421 reasonably capable of discharging its grave duties of administration, it can only be by conferring responsibility upon them. My great objection to any other course has been fortified by such experience as I have gained in the last six years in Ireland. I say the one want of the Irish character and of the Irish people is sufficient courage and determination in the work of administration. I am certain, however much money you may give them, however generous you may be however you may give them Grants for education, for example, to be administered by a national board or otherwise, pouring it for the most part into the pockets of religious bodies of Ireland, you will not make up for that want. You may in a way raise the standard of Ireland in the manner so powerfully enforced by the senior Member for the University of Dublin, when, with the most obvious sincerity, he said it is far better for Ireland to have plenty of money, under the present system, than to have greater responsibility and less money; but that is a view from which I differ altogether, and, as I said already, I regard executive authority conferred upon this Irish Parliament through an Irish Ministry responsible to the Members of that House and country which elect them as, in my judgment, one of the most important and indeed absolutely essential operations of this Home Rule Bill.
Even admitting that it is a desirable thing to educate the Irish people in a manner in which they never had been educated so as to make them masters in their own house, so that they can say to their supporters, "You cannot have that, and you shall not have that, and you will not have that." The hon. Gentleman says it cannot be done; it is impossible, and confusion and difficulty will arise. Assuming that there are to be difficulties, and assuming that what he calls dual control would give rise to difficulties, I am still so impressed with the desirability and the magnitude of the task that I say at once I am willing to run certain administrative risks in that matter. Let us not be frightened by the examples which were given. The hon. Member began by referring to the Post Office. He told us there would be dual control over the Post Office, and he wants to know how the Lord Lieutenant of the future, so far as the external Post Office is concerned, would be responsible to the Imperial Parliament. He wants to know how he can distinguish between the internal Post Office, which would be an Irish service and 2422 the external Post Office, which would be worked from the Imperial Parliament. He conceives that the Lord Lieutenant would find his position very difficult. I do not really think he would, because the person who would be responsible for the Imperial service would not be the Lord Lieutenant, but would be the Imperial Postmaster-General in this House, which would continue to be an Imperial House, and which would contain Irish, Scotch, and Welsh representatives, and therefore I think, as a matter of business, that the Lord Lieutenant would find in the course of his office that he would not have to give ten minutes to the consideration to the question of the external Post Office. That would be managed in this House, where there would be a responsible Minister, and it would be managed from the headquarters of the Post Office. The hon. Gentleman then referred to Clause 44 and talked of what would happen in time of war. Clause 44, I think we agree, requires revision. It may be that the matter would be better dealt with by a new Clause.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am not prepared to say that; whether it will require a new Clause will depend upon what changes are effected in Clause 44. This Amendment is not to be met by the introduction of a new Clause. Army authorities do not quite agree as to the extraordinary importance of telegrams and post offices in time of war. Of course, there are most important censorships of the Press and the like. I do not quite know in what particular kind of circumstances the hon. Member assumes that they will be of enormous importance in Ireland, and the same observation applies to the railways. The hon. Member said with perfect truth that it might well be that one of the things the Irish Government may shortly deal with is the nationalisation of the railways, which has indeed been recommended by a very businesslike committee, which said that the question does not present in Ireland the same enormous monetary difficulties which such a question does present in England. The hon. Gentleman said, "Supposing the Irish Government were to nationalise the railways or place them under Government control, what a terrible thing it would be supposing you had in Ireland in time of war a recalcitrant Irish Administration." Does he assume that an Irish Administration would be hostile in 2423 time of war? [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] Well, I call it hostility if it would not co-operate in a friendly manner so as to create the best result.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Would the right lion. Gentleman call the Government of Mr. Schreiner in the Cape in 1899 hostile?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I think I am acquainted much better with the likelihood of the conditions between England and Ireland than I am with those between those more distant places and this country, and the question I ask is, "Does the hon. Gentleman think it is a reasonable assumption that in the case of war in which this country was engaged where it was necessary to operate on the Irish railways, and make arrangements with regard to Irish railways, that a recalcitrant Irish Senate, not perhaps in a direct spirit of hostility, would act as if desirous of doing everything it could to put a spoke in the wheel of its own powerful friend? Is the state of things in Ireland likely to be benefited by the refusal of such a measure sis this? A time of war has been mentioned when the people have an opportunity of doing an injury to that country with which they are connected not only by ties of constitutional obligations, but by business ties and the like. If it is true that they are likely to do that under a Constitution which gives them a very great amount of power and freedom, is it not likely that they will put as many spokes into your wheel under other circumstances with which they are discontented? It is far more important to secure good will and good feeling between the two countries than to dwell upon the difficulties which under this written Constitution might arise. What are the difficulties that will arise without this written Constitution? Supposing Irish railways were nationalised by an Act of this House, I do not share the apprehensions of the hon. Members opposite, but if he puts his apprehensions I am entitled to put mine, although I regard them both as equally improbable. Argument meets argument in this connection, and whatever difficulties could possibly arise under this Constitution would arise in a more aggravated form under the state of things which the hon. Member contemplates if you say once and for ever it is impossible that you should have an Executive in Ireland, and if you say they ought not to have it and cannot have it, 2424 on account of the relations existing between the two countries, I confess I am not able to follow that line of reasoning.
The hon. Member also dealt with the difficulties that would arise in the formation of ministries, but I will not pursue that subject at length. He proceeded to put various propositions. He supposed an Irish Minister brings forward a Bill which although within the powers of Clause 3 is of so shocking a character or so injurious to the interests of this country that the Lord Lieutenant, in the exercise of the authority which he derives, and which is delegated to him by the King, says that he proposes to veto it. Then the Irish Prime Minister has an interview with him and says, "I cannot stand this, because this is a measure we have introduced. It is a Government measure which appears in the King's Speech, and it has received the support of the House, and you must not do anything of the kind. If you do I shall have to tender my resignation." The next step would be that he tenders his resignation. Under ordinary constitutional circumstances the King sends for somebody else. Up jumps the hon. Member opposite, and he asks, "Whom else can he send for?" That is not only a negation of Irish nature, but it is a negation of human nature. That is a strange assumption, and can only be based, if it is justified, upon a well-reasoned view which hon. Gentlemen have formed, based upon the history of the Irish people.
§ Sir E. CARSON
May I suggest that as we are here discussing these questions with such a limited amount of time, and as you cannot segregate these questions in the time we have, we ought to have a good deal of latitude in the discussion of them.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am most anxious to give the greatest latitude. My view was that Clauses 7 and 8 receive a separate day for discussion, and they deal with nothing else except the Veto. It seems to me to be wasting the time of the Committee when there is an opportunity immediately arising to go from the Executive to the legislative powers on this occasion. I do not object to necessary references between legislation and the Executive, but 2425 to develop the Debate which must come on later would, I think, be a pity from all points of view.
§ Earl WINTERTON
The case of Natal which has been mentioned, was a case of administration and not legislation. The Governor had refused to sanction a certain act of administration and the Government resigned. Surely that is in order.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am very much impressed with the arguments put forward by the right hon. Gentleman, and I think hon. Members should have the freest possible scope in regard to the time placed at their disposal, and as the Veto Question will arise and a whole day kits been assigned to it, I will endeavour to confine my observations to the executive part of the transaction. It seems to me a strange assumption that in Ireland, having regard to what we believe is likely to be the result of entrusting to the Irish people the privilege of having a Parliament of their own, they will be totally incapable of forming an alternative Government. With regard to Customs and Excise, I know we cannot discuss the details of the Bill, but the powers of legislation in regard to Customs and Excise are of an extremely limited character, and the collection of them is entirely reserved to the Imperial Parliament. The notion that the Customs officers and others will be appointed by the Irish Parliament is out of the question. All that the Irish Parliament is allowed to do is in certain cases to have a certain amount of freedom to vary the law with regard to these duties. But the whole collection of them, whether modified or not, is left to the Imperial Parliament. The notion that the Customs House officers will be divided, and that there will be dual control—one set of officers to collect one sort of tax and another set of officers to collect the Customs within the limits of this Bill, is out of the question. It is not intended, and it is not so under the Bill as it stands.
You may raise technical difficulties, and some of them may possibly be practical difficulties with regard to the Lord Lieutenant, but may I point out that all the Governors of our Colonies have a dual capacity. The Governor of South Africa has his own position with regard to the matters within his domain. He has matters in which he acts directly, although 2426 most closely associated with the politics, and position of the Dominions themselves. With regard to Basutoland and other places, he acts directly as a representative of the King and of the Government here, and in that sense he exercises dual control. In certain matters he represents the Crown and acts independently on the advice of the Ministers of the day. I think almost all these difficulties, when they come to be examined, will not be found to be practical difficulties in the way of the Lord Lieutenant, who will be able to distinguish between these various-duties. But supposing they are difficulties, are you prepared to say that they are difficulties which cannot be got over, and which entitle you to say that Home Rule cannot be granted, because you cannot distinguish between those parts of the Lord Lieutenant's duties in which he would be in direct communication with Irish Ministers and those parts in which he would have to be associated with the Imperial Ministry having its headquarters in London. Unless you can make out an absolute non possumus as regards the scheme in the Bill your proposal is impossible. It is not simply a question of a readjustment or making the language clearer. This proposal makes it impossible for you to have an Irish Executive. If that is so the whole case which operates most strongly upon my mind falls altogether to the ground and we must proceed upon other lines altogether.
Although the hon. Gentleman opposite went into useful details at the beginning of his speech he wound up by saying he moved the Amendment in order that there might be no Irish Executive at all, and that so far as the Executive was concerned it might remain very much as it is at present exercised through an Irish Chief Secretary in this House. The right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite knows all about these things much better than I do, although they are not generally known in this. House, He knows in how many respects, the Irish Executive is completely divorced and separated from the English. It proceeds from different points of view, and the whole thing is as different as it is possible to be. The Chief Secretary finds himself an isolated figure more or less in this House, and administers the affairs of a country which, although I hope it is forever indissolubly bound and connected with this country, is no doubt quoad administration separate and apart. In regard to almost all the things that 2427 press upon a Minister of the Crown he is cut off, switched off, and he is separate and apart from his other colleagues and finds himself representing a country not foreign, God forbid, and not alien—those words from my lips ought never to be used—but separate and apart quoad administration and perhaps more separate and apart quoad administration than anything else. Therefore, I would sooner this House legislated entirely for Ireland and handed over the Executive to Ireland than confer legislative authority upon the Irish Parliament and yet reserve to us here the difficult task of bringing home to the mind, quick-witted and intelligent, of the Irish people the obligations of the execution of the law and of obeying the law. Of the two, I will venture to say that in my deliberate conviction it is far more important to transplant as far as we can services which need not be reserved. It would have been very much better in one way if the reserved services did not exist, but by common consent they do exist, and they have to be reserved on account of our financial obligations and for reasons which I think are paramount. The whole essence of Home Rule is the Executive principle worked by Irish hands.
I think the right hon. Gentleman must have felt, while he was making the speech to which we have just listened with attention and pleasure, that whatever else that speech did it made a very poor case for the Government's scheme. My hon. Friend pointed out various difficulties, not of a superficial character, not of a transitory character, not those casual elements of friction which may come into any machine, whether it be a material machine or a Governmental machine, but fundamental and essential difficulties in this plan proposed by the Government. How did the right hon. Gentleman deal with those difficulties? He said: "Grattan's Parliament was a failure because it had not got an Executive. We propose therefore to give an Executive, and we cannot think of any plan of getting over the difficulties suggested by the hon. Member and other difficulties of a similar character, as we are quite determined to give an Executive. The House must just lump those difficulties as well as it can. It must just swallow them all." I do not think I am misrepresenting the right hon. Gentleman. I am not sure he would even suggest I have not given a very good condensation.
I think it was not an unfair condensation of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. Might I ask him whether the sort of plan he now proposes for Ireland has ever been tried; if it has been tried, whether it has ever succeeded; whether, when it has been tried in form, it has ever succeeded in substance! Of i course, it is true that in form a Colonial Governor is very much in the position of the Lord Lieutenant under the Bill of the Government. There are close analogies between the two. The Colonial Governor has responsible duties to the Home Government. He is appointed by the Home Government and the Home Government can advise him directly upon vital questions of policy. But everybody knows the Colonial system and the system proposed to be established in this Bill are utterly and entirely different in substance. The whole case of the Government as put before the people of this country is that Ireland is not to be treated as a self-governing Colony, but is still to be part of the United Kingdom in a new and federal connection. The last thing the Government desire to see introduced is anything which would put Ireland in the position of Canada, South Africa, or Australia. Thus, the solution which has been found for these difficulties in Canada, South Africa, and Australia cannot be applied to Ireland. What is the solution that has been found? It is this. We now recognise, if not by the letter of our Statute by public utterances of every responsible statesman both in our Dominions and in this country, that they are wholly self-governing communities. Close and intimate and I hope eternal as the union may be between them and this country, it does not depend upon the formal connection they have with the Imperial Government. As you are not going to adopt that with regard to Ireland, you are bound to tell us how your system will work. You cannot tell us. We know how the system of the United Kingdom works, and we know how the Colonial system works, but we do not know, no human being can imagine, and certainly the right hon. Gentleman has not succeeded in making clear how this hybrid system, which is neither the Colonial system nor the British system, can stand the stress of even the smallest difficulty between the two Parliaments.
I do not think the right hon. Gentleman has in the least appreciated the difficulty which must arise in those cases where a service is reserved, but where the people who 2429 carry out the service are not appointed by this country, but are appointed by the Irish Government. It is, of course, quite true, as the right hon. Gentleman said, that the collection of taxes will be paid for and carried out by officers appointed by the Imperial Government. How they are to carry out those duties against a hostile Irish Parliament I do not know. I presume they swill require the protection of the Executive of Ireland, and, if that protection is withdrawn, I am perfectly unable to understand how the duties will be carried out. Let us, however, put that point aside for the moment. I am not, however, dealing with cases in which the service is reserved and the officers carrying out that service are appointed by the Imperial Government; I am dealing with the other case, the case in which the service is reserved but in which the duties are carried out by persons appointed by the Irish Parliament. Take the very case referred to by my hon. Friend, and with which the right hon. Gentleman dealt, the case of the Post Office. There are, as I understand, certain duties of the Post Office which, under an Amendment not yet before us, at all events in its final shape, are reserved to the Imperial Government, but I suppose they are to be carried out by the ordinary post office officials in Ireland.
Here you have the very case I suggested. The policy of the service reserved to the Imperial Government is decided by the Imperial Government, but the officers who are to carry out that service are neither appointed by the Imperial Government nor can they be dismissed by the Imperial Government. Can anybody suggest a more ridiculous arrangement? The facts are admitted by the Government. I am not sure whether that criticism is equally applicable to the Savings Bank. I rather think it is. I do not know whether the officers of the Savings Bank are to be appointed during the time it is a reserve service by the Imperial Government or the Irish Government. If they are appointed by the British Government, of course this particular criticism falls to the ground; but if this case and the case of the Post Office are analogous it does not fall to the ground, and it also introduces an extraordinary absurdity into your system. Take the case of the police. I cannot imagine 2430 a more critical issue on which to decide the practicability of the plan you are trying to set up than the case of the police. The police, as I understand, are during the first years of the Home Rule Government an Imperial service. The Home Rule Government during those six years are responsible for law and order in Ireland. They will have their own view, good or bad, of what law and order consists. They will have their own view as to how the police will be used, and, as I gather, upon the use of the police the Imperial Government have really nothing to say. That is correct, is it not? I do not ask it in a controversial spirit; I am asking for information. I understand the police at the beginning are to be paid and appointed as at present.
§ 5.0 P.M.
Yes, and managed and controlled for those years, as at present. Then who is responsible for law and order in Ireland? It will be observed by the Committee this is exactly the difficulty I pointed out with regard to the Post Office, only inverted. As for certain parts of the Post Office service, the Imperial Government are responsible, but can neither dismiss nor appoint officers, so the Irish Government are placed in the same preposterous and absurd position with regard to law and order. They cannot appoint or dismiss the police, and they cannot order the police about, but they are responsible for those very duties which depend upon the police and the police alone. Really out of Bedlam was ever such a method of devising a new Constitution ever contrived; T will not say by the wit of man, but by the want of the wit of man? It does not bear examination. It has never been justified, and the right hon. Gentleman did not justify it to-day. I remember referring to it myself on the Second Beading. It was never answered then nor has it been answered since. There are other difficulties, but none of them could be stronger than those I have mentioned. Take the case of the railways mentioned by my hon. Friend. He said that by an existing Imperial Statute the Government have certain rights reserved to them in case of emergency over all the railways in the country, in Ireland as well as England. Those powers may be of vital importance to this country in times of great stress and difficulty connected with war. What will 2431 be the position of the Irish railways, either nationalised or non-nationalised, and especially nationalised, under this Bill? The right hon. Gentleman said the position would be no worse than it is at present. Suppose you had a great Imperial difficulty now, would you be able to control the Irish railways for the purpose of conveying troops or munitions of war? Of course, you would be able to do it. There would be no difficulty whatever in controlling the Irish railways. The Executive in Ireland is in the hands of a Minister responsible to this House, and there would not be the slightest difficulty, I venture to say, in management under the existing system. The right hon. Gentleman appeared to think that if under the present system the Irish railways were nationalised they would belong to Ireland rather than to the United Kingdom, but of course, that is not so. If the Irish railways were nationalised now, the Imperial Government would appoint and be responsible for and be able to dismiss all the officials on those lines. The difficulty mentioned by my hon. Friend would never arise, but that it can arise now is perfectly obvious, and I would call the attention of any other right hon. Gentleman who is going to speak on this point to the fact that, though the Chief Secretary chiefly referred to my hon. Friend's argument, what he gave to us purporting to be a reply was in reality no reply, or even the beginning of a reply, to what is, I think, or may be, a very serious question. I want to deal with one other point which I think deserves attention. It has nothing to do with legislation or with Clause 7, but it has to do with the dependence of the Irish Executive upon the Irish Parliament. My hon. Friend in his speech pointed out that the Lord Lieutenant, even if he were acting undoubtedly within his proper functions, if he were vetoing some action of the Irish Parliament, which it was within his statutory right to do, he could, nevertheless, be brought to his knees by the resignation of the Ministry. "And then," says the right hon. Gentleman, "what would happen? The Ministry would resign and human nature, especially Irish human nature, being what it is, somebody else would at once be found to grasp the sweets of office." They may be perhaps sweeter in Ireland than they are usually regarded in this country—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Whose feelings have I outraged? If I am hurting anybody's feelings, I hasten to withdraw. I 2432 am putting forward what I believe is a good solid argument, and it is no business of mine to hurt the feelings of anybody, be his opinions what they may be, but the right hon. Gentleman said human nature being what it is, and especially Irish human nature, though I do not know why he said that—
The Ministry would resign, and some alternative Government would be sure to be found. But an alternative Government will depend in this new Parliament on the same forces on which alternative Governments depend in this Parliament. I presume that in the new Parliament the alternative Government could not hold office, at all events, for more than a relatively brief period, till the opinion of the country was taken, in the face of a hostile majority. Well, the Government resign; they go down to the House and they explain, in language which may be calm or may be inflammatory, that they and the Lord Lieutenant have not been able to agree on the exercise of the Veto, or at all events on the Lord Lieutenant's exercise of the Veto, in a manner which, in their opinion, is ruinous to the interests of Ireland, and under these circumstances they do not think that, as true Irishmen, they should for one moment longer retain either the responsibility or the emoluments of office. They therefore resign with the approval of the majority of the Irish Parliament. Who is going to take their place? It will be observed that in this country there is one House in which this majority is to be held. But here the Lord Lieutenant is appointed by the Imperial Government and is supported by a majority on this side of St. George's Channel, and, therefore, if the Parliament sitting at Westminster and the Government dependent on the majority in that Parliament chooses to support the Lord Lieutenant in what is his undoubted statutory right under this Act, Ireland would be plunged in chaos because the present Irish Government-will not continue to hold office and no new Government will take their place.
What is the position of the Government to be then? What are your safeguards worth? Chaos in Ireland, no Government in office and no apparent possibility of getting a Government! On this side of St. George's Channel the Imperial Government with a strong majority behind it holding that the Lord Lieutenant, who presumably acted on their advice, was absolutely 2433 right, holding perhaps not only that he was right but that on his action depended the safety and security of some minority in Ireland. In Ireland you have the Government saying, "If you persist in using your Veto in this way, although it is jour legal right and although it was undoubtedly contemplated by Parliament when the Home Rule Bill was passed, we shall go out and no Government will take our place." Then Ireland falls into chaos. There is nothing far-fetched or imaginary in that statement. It is not a fine-spun dream. It is not an almost unthinkable hypothesis. How are you going to deal with this state of things which may arise? The Government have always told us that the protection in a case where the interests of a minority or where some Imperial interests are concerned, the Lord Lieutenant may intervene, and that the Lord Lieutenant will have behind him the Imperial Administration and the Imperial Parliament. I say that is perfectly worthless in view of the constitutional weapons which this Bill will put in the hands of the Irish Ministry of the day. 'They can bring the Lord Lieutenant or a dozen Lords Lieutenant, or the Government on this side of St. George's Channel to their knees by simply saying what I suppose in certain circumstances a Ministry might say in this House, "We command a majority; nobody else has a majority or can get one; you give way or else we resign." The machinery of the Government falls into abeyance, and the whole fabric of civilisation is shaken to its foundation.
You avoid all that under the Colonial system, because there is no question of giving way, or, rather, to put it more properly, there is no question of resisting, but our whole point is that you will not have the Colonial system. Then as to the unhappy man you are going to make Lord Lieutenant; after a few years he will have no police to protect him. What is to be his fate He has got plenty of advisers. The Irish Cabinet advise him on one set of subjects, and the Imperial Cabinet advise him on another set of subjects. But there are doubtful cases, and I am very much puzzled as to who is to advise him, or whose advice he ought to ask in regard to them. As a constitutional Lord Lieutenant he has always to act on somebody's advice. That, I understand, is the theory of the Government, but when he does not know on whose advice he is to act, who is to advise him? I do not know 2434 what competitive examination in the theory and practice of constitutional law you are going to make this unfortunate man pass. But I am utterly unable to see how he is to carry out the duties which are to be entrusted to him, and how, when he has taken advice, he is going to see that it is carried out, and who is going to decide on the doubtful points, too many of which are left in the Bill. It does not appear certain who are really the constitutional advisers whose advice he is bound to follow. I do not wish to multiply examples, but I should feel that I had greatly failed in the task which I have set before me if, to every impartial auditor, I had not shown that under the system which the Government mean to set up there is no element of stability whatever. It is so inherently unworkable. It must move in one direction or the other; it cannot stand still. In which direction it will be forced to move I do not know. But I know it cannot stay where it is. I think it would probably move in the direction of the full-fledged Colonial system, and that I suppose is not a consummation that would be regretted by hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. The Colonial system as it has worked out in practice is perfectly clear, logical and workable.
The existing system is perfectly clear, logical, and, as I believe, perfectly workable. The system you are going to set up is neither clear, workable nor logical, and it cannot last. Believe me, whatever happens, it cannot last. If this House and this country is determined that Ireland is to have a separate Parliament. I agree that you are driven to giving it a separate Executive. I believe Grattan's Parliament to have been an absurdity, but no absurdity could be greater than giving Ireland a separate Parliament and a separate Executive, and then hampering that Parliament and that Executive as this Clause would do. So firmly am I convinced of that and so clearly do I see the evils of the plan you are trying to adopt, that when I try to think of what is going to happen if ever, in an unhappy moment, this Parliament and this Executive are established in Ireland, I really am not sure that it would not be better to make a clean sweep of the whole thing and have a coherent and logical system, having in fact as well as in name a United Kingdom and not a mere sham or pretence of a federal system. I object to the whole substance of this 2435 kind of legislation, but I am afraid that the thing which irritates me most is the false pretences under which it is put before the country. Nothing could more expose the hollowness and absurdity of the scheme you are trying to set up than the Clause we are now discussing, coupled with the defence of it, and the only defence of it, which so far the Government has succeeded in making.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The right hon. Gentleman has made, as we all know he always does, a deeply interesting speech, and I have no reason to complain that he has used this Amendment as an occasion for criticising the proposals of the Bill and asking for replies with respect to difficulties he indicates. I think the Committee will do well to observe that so far as the particular Amendment we are debating is concerned, and which the Committee is called upon to judge, the right hon. Gentleman has said no word in defence of it. [Interruption.] I will deal with the points raised by the Mover of the Amendment later on. [Interruption.] I can assure hon. Members I shall not evade any of his points relating to the division of Parliaments. The right hon. Gentleman said no word in support of the proposition which is embodied in this Amendment, namely, that while it is arguable there should be an Irish Parliament there should not be an Irish Executive. On the contrary, he ended his speech by saying that that was an impossible proposition, that Grattan's Parliament was an absurdity, and that nothing could be worse than the separation of legislative and executive power such as is proposed by the hon. Member who moved the Amendment.
I had intended to add a few considerations to the powerful arguments put forward by my right hon Friend in opposition to the proposal which this Amendment raises, but in view of its complete abandonment by the right hon. Gentleman we need not further argue the substantial proposition of the Amendment itself. I propose to deal, to the best of my ability, with the various propositions made by the right hon. Gentleman, with one exception—I do not propose to argue the general case as to the exercise of the Veto by the Lord Lieutenant, for the reason stated from the Chair that we have a whole Parliamentary day devoted to that one point and nothing else, and that the Veto on the grounds of 2436 legislation stands on precisely the same footing as the Veto on grounds of administration. The difficulties which have been raised -with respect to the resignation of the Government in Ireland, and the impossibility of forming another Government, apply in precisely the same degree-to the Veto on the ground of legislative action as to the Veto on the ground of administrative action, and the Government submit that, in obedience to what has fallen from the Chair, we should not debate now the subject to which a whole Parliamentary day has been allotted, with no other matter to debate on that occasion. With respect to the many difficulties the right hon. Gentleman has alleged? against our scheme, he says that the-existing scheme of unified Government for the United Kingdom is understandable; that the Colonial scheme under which a country or a Dominion is given complete control, or almost complete control, over its own destinies is understandable; but a mixed system, under which certain powers are reserved to the central Government and certain powers are reserved to a local Government, and' under which there are Executive officers of the central Government and Executive officers of the local Government, that is impossible, and cannot be workable.
What I said was this: I said in the first place, that if officers are to carry out Imperial matters they should be appointed by the Imperial Government. Of course, we might have a separate police of our own in Ireland, running side by side with the police of the Irish Executive. I do not say it would be a good' system, but it would be a possible system. I say the present system is quite impossible.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I will deal with the police point in a minute or two. I am sure the impression on the Committee was the right hon. Gentleman's main proposition that it is really unworkable to have two Executives ruling in the same area—that there must be friction, and that there cannot be a clear-cut division.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The right hon. Gentleman really speaks as if there were no such things as federations in the world, and as if it were impossible to devise a federal Constitution. As a matter of fact nearly half the European peoples of the world live under federal Constitutions.
I said nothing on that subject. The right hon. Gentleman is perfectly entitled to make the most of the federal system, but he is not answering me when he does that.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I think I am answering him, because I shall show that under federations precisely these things do occur which he says are totally impossible. Half the white peoples of the world live under the system of dual government—220,000,000 in the United States, in Germany, in all our great Dominions, in the Argentine, in Brazil, and many other countries live under Constitutions under which there are certain powers in the hands of local parliaments, and certain other powers in the hands of the central Parliament, and where certain functions are exercised by the central officers, and certain functions exercised by the local officers, and certain functions are exercised by the officers of one authority as agents and officers on behalf of the other authority. The right hon. Gentleman says that our proposals are attended by fundamental difficulties so grave that it is totally impossible to proceed further with this Bill in anything like its present form. His instances are three, and only three. One is the relation between the Imperial Post Office and the local Post Office in time of peace and in time of war; secondly, the position of the police; and, thirdly, the position with regard to railways. With regard to the Post Office in time of war, as we have already pointed out, while the Bill does provide that an Order in Council can be made for regulating and determining the relations between the Imperial and the local Post Office, not merely at the period of transfer, but at any future time, in time of war as well as in time of peace, we do propose to put into the Bill, in response to criticism made, some specific words making that perfectly clear. Undoubtedly the powers which would be exercised by the Imperial Government in the time of war in respect of the Post Office in Ireland with regard to the censorship, military telegrams, and mobilisation, and so forth would be com- 2438 plete. It would be regarded as a necessary part of the strategic system of the whole Empire, and since we reserve in the hands of the central Government all matters relating to peace and war, therefore, so far as the Post Office is a part of that machinery, so far there will be complete Imperial control.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I was coming to that point. Of course, if the population of Ireland is in sympathy with the enemies of England, then you will have difficulties in time of war. You will have difficulties in time of war if they are in sympathy with the enemies of England whether you have Home Rule or whether you do not have Home Rule. I am perfectly convinced that if Ireland were really hostile to England, and there was a war, and the Irish nation were in favour of our enemies, even if we had a centralised control over the Post Office or the railways, it would avail us nothing. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because if the sympathy of the whole population were against us it would naturally affect this service just as much as the rest of Ireland. They are staffed entirely by our officials. I must say it is an unfortunate thing for right hon. Gentlemen opposite to make us speak about these things at all, for the reason that it is not in the interests of the nation at large for the suggestion to be made, even for the purpose of scoring a debating point—[HON. MEMBERS: "The Boer war."]—that any portion of the United Kingdom is regarded in this House as being likely to embarrass the Government of the day. I say this in order that it should not be thought outside this House that in dealing with these arguments I for a moment consider that my staff in the Post Office in Ireland would in such circumstances as those cause any embarrassment to the Imperial Government.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I did not wish to interrupt. I only rise with reference to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman. He says he will have complete confidence in his staff in Ireland in regard to 2439 the Post Office. I understand he will have no staff. Will he explain whether he will have any staff?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The right hon. Gentleman is perfectly well aware what my argument was. I was saying that if the Irish people were hostile to this country, whether we have Home Rule or whether we do not have Home Rule, this service would be embarrassed in time of war. I then proceeded to say that it must not be considered true that I, speaking as Postmaster-General in this House of Commons in public, consider that in respect to my staff there is the slightest tendency in that direction. I think it is my duty to say that, to prevent any possible misunderstanding as to my meaning. What we have to consider is whether or not the passing of this Bill would make our position easier in case we were engaged in some great national conflict, or more difficult. I venture to say that if, in one of our great Dominions, we had steadily refused to grant any measure of self-government, if in Canada, which is now a most loyal Dominion, or if in Australia, or if in South Africa we had deliberately refrained, against the wishes of the people, from conceding to them self-government, and had insisted upon governing them from Westminster against their will, that, in time of war, no matter how Imperial or centralised your Government might be, you would find your services would be embarrased. With regard to that point I have this one further remark to add. I do not think anyone would suggest that the German Empire is not highly and most efficiently organised for military purposes. All the world knows it is the greatest, perhaps, of the military nations of mankind, but there, in the German Empire, you have in the frontier State of Bavaria Post Office control, not in the hands of the Imperial Government, but in the hands of the local government. This state of things now exists, and it is not regarded by anyone in Germany as being in the least likely to embarrass German military organisation or operations in case that country were engaged in war.
The right hon. Gentleman asked how we could conceivably propose that, while certain services should be reserved to the central Government, we should allow the officers who carry out those services to be appointed and controlled by the local Government; and he instanced the Savings Bank. How can we conceive that the 2440 Savings Banks should be controlled here while the Post Office clerks in Ireland, who receive deposits and issue payments, are to be appointed by another authority? That, of course, is a point of detail, but a point which necessarily requires consideration. What happens in England now? The Savings Bank is managed by a Controller, who has a large staff of his own. His organisation is, to a very great extent, complete in itself. The Post Office, with its branches all over the country, acts as the agent of the Savings Banks. It is paid for all its transactions; it hands over the money. It merely acts as an agent, and is nothing more than an agent on fixed rules for fixed payments, and nothing can be simpler than to continue precisely that system. The Post Office would act as the agent of the Imperial Savings Bank in Ireland, just as the Post Office acts as the agent of the Savings Bank now. The right hon. Gentleman may say, "How can you have control of correspondence from abroad in the hands of the Imperial Government while you have the local officers of the Post Office managed by the Irish Executive?" Where is the difficulty there? A man posts a letter in Dublin in a pillar-box, with a 2½d. stamp, to France. The right hon. Gentleman says if the Irish Post Office clerks are appointed, promoted, and dismissed by the Irish Government, and not by the English Government, it will be totally impossible for us to organise any system by which that letter will get from Dublin through England to France. [An HON. MEMBER: "That is a travesty."] Not at all. It is precisely the right hon. Gentleman's argument. The right hon. Gentleman says, "If we reserve postal matters to countries outside the United Kingdom in the hands of the Imperial Government we must also reserve the whole Post Office in Ireland." Is that his proposition? Undoubtedly it is. We are reserving services to the Imperial Government while leaving the officers who perform those services to the Irish Government. How is the postal work of the world carried on? It is carried on to a great extent as one unit. A letter posted in any village in any part of the civilised world goes with almost certainty to any house in any town or any village in any other part of the civilised world, not because all the administrations are under one control, but because there are arrangements made by which the correspondence is handed from the one to the other, and each acts as the agent of the other, and there are pro- 2441 visions inserted in this Bill to enable the precise method of determining all these matters to be decided before the Bill comes into operation.
So far with regard to the Post Office. The right hon. Gentleman's next point was the police. The police for six years are to be controlled by the Imperial Government here. Who, he asked, is to be responsible for law and order in Ireland, and is there any place out of Bedlam where you can conceive that one Government should have executive power while another Government, even for a short period of years, controls its police?
I said that to make people responsible for law and order and not to give them the only instrument by which law and order can be preserved is worthy of Bedlam.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I am afraid I must be very obtuse, but I cannot distinguish any grave misrepresentation in what I said. Indeed, what I said seems to be precisely the same as what the right hon. Gentleman says he said. I wonder whether he considers that Australia is a place out of Bedlam. In Australia we have granted a Constitution to the Commonwealth in which they are responsible for making laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth of Australia. Who controls the police? The States. In New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and the rest of the States of Australia the police are controlled by the officers of the local government; yet Customs and other matters are in the hands of the central Government. Hon. Members opposite often say it is totally impossible to have Customs and Excise in one hand and police in the other. What is to happen suppose some one infringes, say, Customs or police or Excise regulations, and the police are not under the same control? What happens in Australia? The central Government makes laws dealing with Customs and Excise, and when those laws are broken and the police have to take action the police do take action, although they are directly under the control of the State Government and not of the central Government.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The police in Ireland will not be under the control of the State. In Australia they are under the control of the State.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
That will be so after six years. Now, with respect to 2442 the six years. Undoubtedly it will be the duty of the police under the management of their Inspector-General, who will be controlled by the Lord Lieutenant in his capacity as an Imperial officer, to take whatever action is necessary to maintain law and order, and in so far as inaction by the police is the cause of any breach of law and order the Lord Lieutenant would be responsible for that inaction and would be responsible for that breach of law and order. That is a complete answer to the right hon. Gentleman's question. During the transitional period the Lord Lieutenant, as an Imperial officer under the indirect control of this House through the Government which sits in this House, will be responsible for the actions of the police.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
He is responsible to Parliament. During the transitional period of six years, and during that period only, the police will be in the hands of the Imperial Government, and if the police are wrongly used the Imperial Government will be to blame and they will be the people to be censured. There is no doubt or ambiguity or division of functions at all. After six years, if the police are insufficiently or inefficiently used, the Irish Government will be responsible, and they must be accountable to their own Parliament. Now with regard to railways in time of war. There will be the same military control after Home Rule, if military control were necessary, as there is before Home Rule, and if it were necessary to assume any direction by military authorities of any portion of the Irish railways for any purpose those military authorities would have ample power, whether there were Home Rule or not, to carry it out. The right hon. Gentleman—I have dealt with him and his three points —speaks as though these problems had never arisen in any part of the world. All over the world they do arise. All over the world there are local Parliaments and there are central Parliaments. On the lines of his speech he would have proved most conclusively that not one of our Colonial Federal Constitutions could ever have worked at all. They do exist and they do work, because the world is not bereft of common sense. By means of ordinary common sense all these various small points in the working of the system in Ireland will be dealt with also.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
The speech to which we have just listened was of course marked, as all the right hon. Gentleman's speeches are, by ingenuity, but fundamentally it proceeds upon this principle, that the Irish Parliament is going to be perfectly reasonable, and that we can trust it altogether. If that is so, it is perfectly useless to have any safeguards in this Bill. That is really fundamental to the whole argument. You introduce safeguards because you fear a danger. If you do not fear a danger you do not introduce safeguards. It is essential that your safeguards should be effective, or otherwise they are much better out of the Bill altogether. I wish to point how wholly the right hon. Gentleman misapprehended the argument of my right hon. Friend. He said my right hon. Friend was not in favour of a Home Rule Parliament without an Executive. He admitted that that would be a futile proposal, and that therefore he did not really deal with this Amendment at all. The argument was this, and I thought it an extremely plain and forcible one. Granted that the Chief Secretary is right, and that you must have an Executive, if you are to set up a separate Parliament, the proposals for an Executive as defined in this Bill are impossible.
Therefore, admitting that the Chief Secretary is right, that shows that the whole scheme of Home Rule proposed by the Government is out of the question. Surely that is a perfectly simple argument and arises directly out of this Amendment. That is the argument which was put forward by my right hon. Friend. He then went on to say my right hon. Friend's great criticism was that there were two Executive; provided by this Bill. I did not so understand my right hon. Friend. The real objection to the Government scheme is not that there are two Executives, but right through their scheme they give certain rights either to the Irish Parliament or to the British Parliament, and they give no power to carry those rights into effective execution. It is not that there are two Executives. If there were two complete Executives it would be a very cumbrous and ridiculous form of Government, but it would not be open to the criticism of my right hon. Friend that you retain certain powers in the hands of the Imperial Parliament, but you do not give them any effective power to make those powers effective. In the same way you give rights to the Irish Government and yet you deprive them of the only 2444 instrument by which they can carry those rights into execution. That is the real point.
Take, for instance, this Post Office question. The right hon. Gentleman said, "Of course it is quite easy. The Post Offices are always acting as agents for other Governments. Nothing could be easier than for the Irish Post Office to act as an agent for the British Government." I quite agree, if there is no difficulty, if everybody is working perfectly reasonably. If no doubts nor difficulties ever arise, and if no strain is put upon the machine, almost any machine will work. The only way to test a machine, whether it is good or bad, is to require it to do some work, and put some strain upon it. Of course, if it is merely carrying out the ordinary work of distributing letters. I dare say the scheme would work as almost any scheme would, but the real test is to have such a case as is put forward by my right hon. Friend. Take the case of a war in which the Irish Government were not whole heartedly with the British Government. Of course, right hon. Gentlemen are at liberty to say we decline to consider that case, and then the whole question of the value of the safeguard disappears, but if you want to test the effectiveness of that safeguard, you must assume that case. It is only to provide against some such danger that you want a safeguard at all. Take the case of an Irish Government which is hostile. How are you going to make effective the rights of the Imperial Government to the use of the Irish Post Office? What are the provisions in this Bill which are going to do that Is it not quite clear that if you give to the Irish Government the control of all the Post Office servants then, when the Imperial Government require their services in time of war, it must depend upon the goodwill, and only the goodwill, of the Irish Government whether the Imperial services are properly carried out? Surely that is a plain argument, and it is one of which, so far as I could observe, the right hon. Gentleman took no notice.
That is the point with regard to the Post Office, but there are a number of other points of a similar character which might be put. There is the case of those services which are not reserved, but are limited. Take, for instance, the question of education we were discussing yesterday. Assume, what I am afraid is only too likely to happen, that one of the results of your proposals will be a great exacerbation of religious feeling in Ireland. I am afraid that is only too certain. We are told that 2445 the Conscience Clause is not necessary at present. Suppose it becomes necessary in order to secure that everybody shall have the right to elementary education without reference to his or her attendance at some religious service, how are you going to secure it under the Bill? You put it in Clause 3, but how on earth are you going to secure it? Education is a service which? will belong to the Irish Government. Suppose by their code, or what answers to our code—I am not familiar with the details of the Irish educational system—they do not provide for a Conscience Clause, how are you going to force a Conscience Clause upon them? The whole of the Executive staff will be in the hands of the Irish Government. The right to a Conscience Clause is reserved, and I suppose it is to be enforced by the Imperial Parliament. But how? What is your proposal? How do you make it effective? These are the kind of difficulties which the right hon. Gentleman altogether failed to meet. He did not even address himself to them. Where rights are given to the Imperial Parliament without effective means of enforcing them, how do you propose to do it? Let me put another case which seems to me absolutely certain to arise. Suppose this Bill becomes law, and the Irish Government imposes one of the taxes which it is within their power to impose, and which will effect the people of Belfast. That is within their rights. The tax is resisted and not paid. Surely that is not an extravagant proposition!
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
We have heard of those who are prepared to take that course, and we know that there are hundreds of thousands in Ulster who will take that course.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
What is the Irish Government to do next? It has no control over the constabulary. That belongs for the first six years to the Imperial Parliament. "Oh," says the Chief Secretary, "it will be the duty of the Imperial Parliament and the Lord Lieutenant to carry out the law whatever it is." We have asked repeatedly in this Committee what is the policy of the Government in such a case as that. What steps are they going to take to coerce Ulster? The question arises here directly, and we are entitled to an answer. How, under the Bill, can they say the constabulary are to be used? I do not believe 2446 any majority in this House would ever consent to such a thing. What is to happen next? What is the plan of the Government? How do they propose to meet the case? Are they prepared to go into this country now and say that in that case the constabulary, and if necessary the troops, will be used against the people of Ulster? It always comes to shooting down in the end when you have resistance to law or order which you want to enforce. There is no other remedy ultimately. You must cither forego the enforcement of the law or be prepared to shoot.
I want to know, and I think we have a right to know, what is the policy of the Government in regard to that matter. That is the kind of case that goes to the root of the whole of their proposals. If it were a Colony, and if you were really prepared, and thought it feasible, to cut off Ireland from this country, you would give it an adequate military force, and you would say, "You are entirely free to enforce your own order." But no human being is prepared to say that with regard to Ireland. You would not say it to your own party, servile as it is. If you did, you would not be long in office, even under your ingeniously contrived Parliament Act. The truth is that you cannot do that. You cannot treat Ireland as a separate entity, and that is the fundamental difficulty brought out by every detail of the Bill. When you come to examine it, it comes back to this: Is Ireland to be a nation, an independent nation, or is it to be part of the British Empire? That is the real issue which always faces you, and the Government have never had the courage to answer that. They set up a Lord Lieutenant, who is sometimes to act, as Pooh-bah in the play, in one capacity as the independent representative of the Crown, at another time he is to act upon the advice of Irish Ministers, and on another occasion he is to act on the advice of English Ministers. When it is pointed out by everybody who has read the Bill that such a system cannot work, and that it must produce disorder and chaos, the Government have no reply. They have never made a reply. They have never yet told the Committee their method for dealing with the difficulties that, must arise. For these reasons I will vote with great confidence for this Amendment.
§ Earl WINTERTON
The argument used by both of the right hon. Gentlemen who 2447 spoke on the Front Bench opposite was to the effect that there were analogies to be found for the dual control that is proposed for Ireland in many foreign countries and in our own Dominions. I would ask the Chief Secretary if he can mention any one of our Dominions, or the case of any country with a federal system in Europe or out of it, where there are two Legislatures, and where there is an Executive appointed by one Parliament which is responsible for carrying out the decrees of the other. I know of no such case. Take, for example, the United States of America. You have there a State Governor and a State Legislature. The State Governor is appointed directly by the people of the State. The different State Governors have no connection with the federal Government of the United States. In the case of Germany there is no resemblance to what is proposed under this Bill, and certainly, so far as I know, there is no resemblance in the case of our Dominions. The right hon. Gentleman, in the course of his reply to my hon. Friend, stated that in the case of South Africa you have a Governor-General, an officer who holds exactly the same dual functions as are proposed to be held by the Lord Lieutenant under this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman said that officer is Governor-General in one portion of the Union and High Commissioner in other parts. He is Governor-General so far as the Union is concerned, and High Commissioner for Nyasaland, Basutoland, and Rhodesia. Does the right hon. Gentleman really contend that there is any sort of analogy between a man who has two different functions in different territories and the dual functions which are proposed in the case of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I say that the functions are ejusdem generis. I do not say they are exactly the same, but they are analogous.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Earl WINTERTON
What are they? It may be my obtuseness, but I cannot see what the resemblance is between a man who has functions in different territories and a man who has two different functions in one territory. Is there any possible resemblance? I do not think any impartial man can say there is any possible connection between the case of the Governor-General in South Africa and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland under this Bill. Although the Chairman has ruled that the case where the Veto was last imposed on a self-govern- 2448 ing Colony should not be made too much use of in this Debate, I think it should be pointed out that what took place was not the legislative Veto, but a Veto which arose over a question of administration in the Colony. Therefore it was on all fours with what would take place in Ireland under the Bill if my hon. Friend's Amendment is not adopted. What was the case in Natal? It was found impossible to form an alternative Government. Does anyone suppose for a moment in the case of Ireland that that could happen as regards a Nationalist Government? Does anyone who remembers the good discipline of the Irish Nationalist party during the past fifty years, and the careful way in which they have always been controlled and have always followed their leader—does anyone suppose that it would be possible to form an alternative Government, or that any alternative Government would command the confidence of the Irish House of Commons itself? Anyone knows that it would be impossible to do so. Therefore, you fall back on the old position that it would be impossible to enforce Acts of Parliament. If it were attempted to enforce them, and if they were not favourably considered by the Government of the day in Ireland, and that Government refused to make themselves responsible for the Acts, it would be absolutely impossible to carry on any form of Government at all under the Bill as it stands. That is a difficulty which was foreseen by the present Prime Minister himself in the course of the Debate on the 1893 Bill. An Amendment was moved then and reference was made to the case of the United States, and to the fact that the Acts of the Federal Government are carried out by officials appointed by the Federal Government. The Committee are aware that under the 1893 Bill there were to be in Ireland Exchequer judges, as well as a Privy Council, and that they were given power to appoint agents and officials to-carry out their decrees. This is the reply of the right hon. Gentleman on the point raised:—How are they to execute their decrees? That is a very pertinent question and one which I propose to answer. We have heard a great deal in the course of this Debate in reference to the Constitution of the-United States. In the United States you have exactly, mutatis mutandis, the same state of tilings—the federal Legislature and the federal judiciary and the federal Executive. On the other side you have the State Legislature, the State judicature and the State Executive. The Constitution of the United States is absolutely silent as to the mode in which these decrees should be executed, but as a matter of fact we know that the United States have provided this by providing a power in the Imperial Government, should occasion arise—federal 2449 marshals and other executive officers—to execute the degrees of the federal Court. I do not anticipate any necessity in this case, but it would be the duty of every official of the law in Ireland and every sheriff and sub-sheriff to execute the decrees of the Exchequer judges in enforcing the law of the Imperial Parliament.In the 1893 Bill it was anticipated that if it was impossible to carry out the decrees of the Exchequer judges in the ordinary way, special officers would be appointed. It would be interesting to know whether the view then held by the right hon. Gentleman is held by him to-day, namely, that it may be necessary in Ireland in order to carry out the Acts of the Imperial Government to appoint Executive officers appointed directly by the Imperial Government in London. It is remarkable that there is no such provision made by this Bill. I can attribute it only to the same cause which has appeared so often in the course of this Debate as explaining why useful safeguards for the minority which did exist in the 1893 and 1886 Bills have been omitted from this Bill. It is because of the orders of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford. Let no one suppose that it is going to be easy to carry on this system of dual Executive authority when the new Parliament is set up, especially during the first few years. A most important and responsible Member of His Majesty's Government, at present sitting on the Front Bench, the right hon. Gentleman who represents the Board of Agriculture in Ireland (Mr. Russell), himself anticipated this difficulty, because he said, in a speech which he made at Strabane on 24th January this year—there would probably be a very dirty bit of water for the Irish Government during the first four or five years.I feel sure that in those circumstances the right hon. Gentleman, with his usual prescience, would leave the sinking ship before it went down. It is perfectly clear that it would be impossible for the Imperial Government under any circumstances whatever if this Bill remains as it is to get its Acts properly carried out. As regards the case of the Lord Lieutenant, which I realise would be more properly discussed on the Amendment of my Noble Friend the Member for Maidstone (Viscount Castle-reagh), it has not been so very easy during the last few years to find a suitable class of men to send as His Majesty's representatives either to the Dominions or to Ireland. I cannot think that there has been very much competition, or some of the appointments recently made would not 2450 have been made. I have great respect for the present Lord Lieutenant—
§ Earl WINTERTON
Who is a relative of my own; but I am bound to say that I think of all the men who have ever been made Lord Lieutenant in Ireland, there is no one less capable of carrying out the difficult duties which the Bill puts upon his shoulders than the present Lord Lieutenant. No one who has seen what his administration has been in Ireland during the last six years believes that he would be capable of acting the Janus-like part expected under this Bill. He would not, if he could, and certainly he could not if he would. All the honest and convinced supporters of Home Rule, apart from those who are entirely connected with party, have foreseen the difficulty put by my hon. Friend the Member for the City of London in the course of his speech. There is no alternative whatever between continuing Ireland under the present system of government and giving her self-government on the-principle of the Dominions. It is a remarkable fact that a gentleman who, I think, was responsible for writing a book upon which a great deal of the Home Rule casein the constituencies was argued, Mr. Basil Williams, treating this Bill when first brought before the public, made the remark in a letter to the "Nation":—If any Irish party feels that any question need not be finally decided in Ireland, but that even an Irish minority may gain its point by pressure on a British Ministry or House of Commons, neither party will seethe necessity of accommodating its differences by compromise or working out a practical Irish policy. Each will be striving for support from British parties. The result will be to perpetuate differences in Ireland. For the same reason British parties will be hardly less occupied than before with the differences of Irish parties.I can conceive nothing more calculated to cause every sort of friction between this. House and the Irish House of Commons than this Clause if passed in its present form, and so far from the time of this House being less occupied with Irish affairs, and so far from there being more time to deal with' questions with which hon. Gentlemen opposite are anxious to-deal, for the first five years the time will be almost entirely taken up with points regarding the powers of this House and its control over the Irish Legislature and the Irish Executive. I think that the wit of the Speaker and the Chairman of Committees for the time being will be severely taxed to decide what are its powers and rights, and you will have every sort of 2451 friction that can possibly be conceived. I hope that some hon. Gentleman opposite who does not represent the Government will rise and say whether in his heart of hearts he believes it possible to have in Ireland the system proposed in this Clause, and whether there is any real alternative which has ever been found workable in practice existing anywhere in the world at present between a full system of self-government such as we have in the Dominions and the system of government which we have in Ireland at present?
§ Mr. LOUGH
The hon. Member for Central Sheffield is an old Member of this House who understands the rules, and is very good at taking points of Order on Amendments, and making excellent speeches in support of the Amendments, and to-day he moved a very intelligible Amendment, and he supported it with a relevant speech to which I listened with the greatest interest. What has happened? Has the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Balfour) treated him with ordinary courtesy? The very moment the senior Member for the City of London got on his legs he threw over the Amendment. He said, of course, if you set up a Parliament you must have an Executive, and the Amendment was not to have an Executive. The right hon. Gentleman is too unkind to those who sit behind him. They are doing the best they can in very bad circumstances. When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London did intervene at all he might, have tried, with his extraordinary ingenuity, to say a few words in support of the Amendment. He was explained and defended by the Noble Lord who spoke a few minutes ago in order to justify the speech delivered from the Front Bench. The Noble Lord said lie had frankly abandoned the Amendment.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
The right hon. Gentleman is labouring under some curious defection of the ear. I said nothing in the least resembling that.
§ Mr. LOUGH
It is within the recollection of the Committee. The Noble Lord explained to the House the right hon. Gentleman's argument. He said he put aside the precise Amendment which had been proposed by the hon. Member for Central Sheffield and his argument was on the Bill, that it was not a good Executive, that the Government had to work under such difficulties that really it would plunge Ireland into confusion. That was the right hon. Gentleman's argument. I say that anything more cynical and anything less calculated to help the poor hon. Member for Central Sheffield could not have been presented in this House. Suppose the object was to show that the Executive proposed in this Bill would be a bad Executive and would plunge Ireland into confusion, as the right hon. Gentleman said, then the Amendment should have been to improve the Executive and strengthen it and make it a good working Executive, but nothing of that kind was done, and we have an Amendment put forward to get rid of the Executive altogether.
§ Mr. LOUGH
The hon. Member for North Armagh approves of that because he always goes wide of the subject and the reasonable conduct of business in Committee, but if hon. Gentlemen opposite, especially those on the Front Bench, would try to get up a few arguments, even bad arguments, in favour of the Amendment proposed, it would be a saving of the time of the House. Yesterday I had a rather unfortunate experience, because I was called to order, and I am afraid that if I go on as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London did, I may be called to order again, as I am not such a favourite with the House as he is, and therefore I will keep strictly to the Amendment. The Amendment sweeps away the Irish Executive and says, "Let them have a Parliament but no Executive." A more ridiculous proposal could not be submitted to any Assembly. The Executive is the instrument by which a democratic people or Parliament accomplishes its will. There is not in all the world a country which wants an Executive so much at this moment, and has wanted it so much for the last hundred years, as Ireland does. Was there any relevant argument advanced by hon. Gentlemen opposite? They took the case of war. What on earth can Ireland have to say to war? No country at war with this country would dream of 2453 touching Ireland at all. It would be a hot potato and would be left severely alone. They took the case where the machine worked badly. They were afraid to grapple with the principle of the Amendment, which is, that there ought to be no Executive Government at all. The whole reason for the great suffering of Ireland for the last hundred years is, that under the existing system of government Ireland has had no Executive, and if you do not furnish her with an Executive you will leave that deplorable state of things, which has reduced the population to half, and which still operates with calamitous results.
Take some of the functions that the Irish Executive would have to attend to. There would have to be a real Local Government Board, a real Home Office, a real Board of "Trade, a real Minister or Ministry of Railways and Communications, and all the various functions of an Executive. At this moment Ireland has none of these. The English offices do not extend to Ireland, and that country is not allowed to establish any offices for itself. That is the tragedy of Ireland. Here we all meet together in this Parliament, remote from Ireland, divided from her by a stormy sea, and we have beside us a most powerful Executive. We go out of the door and we see mansioned in Whitehall splendid public offices, the Local Government Board and every other Board, and this House thinks that because the British people have an Executive therefore the Irish have it. I do not exaggerate one whit when I say that in not one of the functions of their country does any branch of the British Executive extend to Ireland. The Home Office does not touch it—I am stating a rudimental truth—and the Local Government Board does not touch it, though the Treasury has to touch it occasionally. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] If it does, it is to its injury. So there is poor Ireland, side by side with this country, and not even a shred of that Executive is left to Ireland. The Noble Lord opposite said that if an Irish Parliament is set up it will introduce an Education Bill which will have some poisonous Clause 3 in it.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I do not say the Noble Lord used the same picturesque language, because he seemed to me to be very tired when he was making his speech. He knew 2454 he had a most difficult task; he was not going to defend the Amendment himself; he was going to follow the example of the right hon. Gentleman, and, being in that difficulty, he spoke under great restraint. What he did say was that an outbreak of sectarianism was too certain to occur. I say that is the very thing that will not occur in Ireland. Irishmen do not care, and never have cared, about these sectarian matters. There is in Ireland a body called the National Board of Education, composed of both Catholics and Protestants. When a Catholic is appointed to it, a Protestant is appointed as a balance, and as far as I can see it has worked well. Appointed by this House, it has existed ever since 1833, and it has never been torn asunder by any sectarian question. It has solved the whole difficulty. I think I have shown to hon. Gentlemen opposite—I do not mean that I have absolutely enlightened their minds, because that would certainly be a -very difficult thing to do—what can be done? We in this House, who have a splendid Executive, and who are not gifted with the Irish imagination, cannot understand the hard case of the country which has never had an Executive and which is perishing in sight of the world for -want of one. Let me take an example up to date. Here we have to support a Minister of Agriculture whether we like it or not, who has brought a vast trade in Ireland to a standstill at the present moment.
What harm would arise supposing there were an Executive in Ireland with some little power and a little money, to consider what should be done for the country in the existing difficult circumstances? My right hon. Friend (Mr. T. W. Russell), as a sort of Titan, has to fight a hard battle in these circumstances. He is working hard, he has the Irish people with him, and public opinion behind him, and yet because he has not got an Executive to talk in some formal way to the British Minister, we have a situation which is creating havoc to Irish interests, and in which nothing can be done for the unhappy country. Even when the Union was set up, the Executive was not entirely abolished. Until 1817 there was a separate Chancellor of the Exchequer left, and, most important, it was recognised that Ireland must have some sort of Executive, even if it was a sham Executive. Anyone acquainted with the Irish situation knows how the country wants draining, how it wants public works executed, how the 2455 railways need managing, and how there is need of an Executive. A great number of workhouses in Ireland are still continued, even since the immense relief afforded by the Old Age Pensions Act, and there is no authority to consider whether it is necessary to continue all the expenditure on the maintenance of these workhouses and old local government.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the right hon. Gentleman is going wide of the question raised by the Amendment, which relates to whether there shall be an Executive or not, and not to the nature of it.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I was at my last sentence. I have not travelled very far from the Amendment, and I only desired to give one or two illustrations to show why Ireland wanted an Executive. I need not say any more on the point, however, and I hope, after what has been said from the Front Bench opposite and by the Noble Lord, the Committee will give the Amendment decent burial.
§ Mr. DUKE
There was a great deal in the good-tempered speech of the right hon. Gentleman with which, for my part, I sympathise very strongly. He deplored the absence of control of Irishmen over their local affairs, and, if this were a Bill to give Irishmen control over their local affairs, so far as I am aware I should support it. But I regard this Bill as a most formidable obstacle to securing for Ireland control over her own local affairs, because it proposes to give Irishmen control, contrary it may be to the desire of this Parliament, over the affairs of the United Kingdom and the Empire. This is not a Bill for local government at all; it is a Bill setting up a sovereign Parliament in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman derides the position of hon. Members on this side, who confess that a sovereign Parliament without an Executive responsible to it, would be a sham; but a sovereign Parliament in Ireland, with an Executive responsible to it, would not be a sham, it would be a great public danger. That is the reason why, if the choice is put to us between voting for a sovereign Parliament in Ireland with an Executive, and a sovereign Parliament without an Executive, although the sovereign Parliament which the Government have promised and are under pledges to give, shorn of its Executive would be ridiculous, we far prefer that it should be ridiculous than 2456 that it should be a menace to the well-being of the Kingdom. The Government seem to forget all the time that the ultimate sanction of authority in all public affairs is force, is power, and power capable of being applied. They seem to think that Ireland in the future will be a sort of voluntary society in which everybody will be only too delighted to do what he ought.
The theory of government is that there are certain sections of the people who will be tempted to do—and, if not restrained, will insist upon doing—what they ought not to do, and it is because that is the theory of government that this Administration recognises that you must have safeguards in this Bill. At the same time, it takes care, under an influence which we can only regret it should be subject to—because I do not attribute the misfortunes of the Government in this respect to original sin; I think their lamentable position is due to their political misfortunes—to create safeguards which will not operate—to keep a dog which is sure not to bite. I asked the right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General (Mr. Herbert Samuel) when he spoke of responsibility—"Responsibility to whom, and how are you to enforce that responsibility?" There is no answer to either of those questions except a merely illusory answer, and hon. Members below the Gangway do not intend to have effective safeguards. Although I do not like the prospect of setting up a Parliament which would be a sham, I propose to vote for this Amendment rather than set up a Parliament that would be a menace. If this House were going to speak the last word, not merely about matters of legislation, but matters of administration, or if the Executive responsible to this House were going to say ultimately what should be done, I would regard this Bill with far less misgiving than I do sincerely regard it now. But this House is not going to say the last word; it is going to have a futile word when things are done, when the deed is accomplished, which can always be accomplished by a Legislature within its own sphere if its Executive is responsible to it.
I will not discuss posts, telegraphs, or railways, though when the Government talk lightly about controlling posts and telegraphs and railways, we want to know who is going to be on the spot to do it, and how, if you have not an army there to-enforce the will of this House, it is going to be enforced. It does seem that this 2457 Government leaves nothing between Ireland and the absolute will of its future Irish Executive except the power this House would have of directing hostile operations with force of arms against the Irish people. You are going to have two classes of administrative Acts and two classes of legislative Acts. With regard to one class of these legislative and administrative Acts, there will be power on the spot—there will be the Royal Irish Constabulary, which, after a very short period of turmoil, will be the power at the hand of the Irish Executive. There will be entire immunity of the Irish Executive and of every official in Ireland from any practical interference except by force of arms, either on the part of this House or on the part of any Imperial force. I regard that position as a most serious one and the touchstone of the sincerity of the Government in setting up safeguards. The matter rests between Gentlemen on the Front Bench and the hon. Member for East Mayo below the Gangway. Hon. Gentlemen opposite say that the safeguards will be effective. That is very consoling to believe, but one hears with the other ear that the Member for East Mayo says the safeguards will be merely trivial, and nobody will attach the least importance to them, but will have regard to what the Irish Executive will do. One is bound, even if one desired this Bill to become an Act of Parliament, to see what is going to be the position of men who are honestly afraid under such a scheme as is to be set up. Suppose you are not ready to interfere by force of arms, and for my part, greatly as I should regret the separation of Ireland from this country, I would far sooner she were separated from this country than that we should direct an army to take possession of Ireland.
Suppose you are not ready to do that, and I cannot conceive any Parliament centred here will be ready to do it, then what are you going to do? A question arises, say, with regard to one of the contentious matters between the North-East of Ireland and the rest of that country, and the Irish Parliament takes the view of the majority of its constituents, while the Lord Lieutenant, with the advice he gets from Downing Street, takes the contrary view. The Irish Parliament insists upon its view, and if it is worth its salt as an Irish Parliament it would exert its sovereignty for every purpose for which it can be exercised to the full extent to 2458 which it thinks it could beneficially be exercised in Ireland. I do not impute to hon. Members below the Gangway that they are not sincere in their belief of what is good for Ireland, and, on the other hand, I cannot impute to my hon. Friends here, who have been staunch to the British connection, that they are not sincere in what they believe. There will be absolute conflict between men of principle and men of determination, and what is the authority of this House in the matter? It may pass a Resolution and it may express a pious opinion. If an officer of the English Executive falls short of his duty in a matter of administration, or is guilty of any shortcoming or any default in his conduct which leads to public or private mischief, he may be called to account in the Courts of this country. If a Member of the Irish Executive, performing his functions loyally to that Executive, falls short of his duty towards the minority against whom that Executive has decided, although that minority has the Lord Lieutenant behind it, that Member of the Executive will be absolutely immune from legal consequences.
It is from considerations of that kind that I ventured to interrupt the Postmaster-General, and ask him to whom will the Lord Lieutenant be responsible. It is said he will be responsible to this House. A Member of this House is responsible to his constituents, and what happens if he makes the most glaring errors, is that he loses his seat, and the Lord Lieutenant, I should think, would be exceedingly glad to withdraw himself from a position in which he was the chopping block for those contending factions in the North-East and the rest of Ireland. Responsibility to this House he would have none—real responsibility, because this House can do nothing but impeach him before the House of Lords. I think that is the only effective function which has been left to the House of Lords, and it has been obsolete for nearly a century. That is the respon-ability of the Lord Lieutenant. I would not risk a bad sixpence in property upon such a security as that. It is with regard not to high politics but to matters nearer home in daily life, as to which officers of the Executive will act, or can come to be called in question. The responsibility of the Executive and the power of the Courts in this country over the Executive is the foundation of every liberty we possess in this country and exercise in daily life. 2459 This Government professes to be careful for the liberties and rights of the people in the North-East of Ireland, but it leaves them naked against Executive oppression. It does not even introduce into this Bill a Clause which would make it an offence, cognisable in Courts of British jurisdiction, to contravene the provisions of this Bill which are provided for the protection of minorities. They are left to be a mere dead letter, unless the goodwill of the Executive in Ireland, and the goodwill of the majority of the Irish people, shall see fit to give them effect. In that state of things, although I deplore the possibility of giving to Ireland a ridiculous Parliament, that would be the result of the passage of this Amendment, if it did not result in the abandonment of the Bill. If you could pass this Amendment there would be an end of this preposterous attempt to combine power with liberty, and of this attempt to set up two Executives, one of them with sovereign authority and one with no authority at all, except some goodwill is at your command. Then the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington, might possibly see a measure of local self-government for Ireland which would satisfy all reasonable demands of the Irish people and would leave the minority, who have been faithful in their allegiance to this country, safe from the dangers to which at the present time they are exposed, and against which the Government does not find it in its power to give them any adequate defence.
§ Mr. WILLIAM PEARCE (Limehouse)
We have had many challenges this afternoon with regard to the question of safeguards and the control of the Irish Executive addressed to the Liberal party. We are told that they are all paper, and that there are no effective safeguards. The Noble Lord the Member for Hitchin (Lord R. Cecil) took as an example the education system where, he said, the school authority might pass a conscience Clause and withdraw their rights from the parents of the children going to the school. He asked how would the Imperial Parliament be able to deal with that position? I was a school manager in charge of a voluntary school for a great many years in this country and I said to myself: If anything of the kind happened in Great Britain what would be the result? What would happen here is that the grant would 2460 be refused. That is the only power of the Imperial Parliament in controlling various matters of local administration in this country, and we have altogether forgotten in this question the great financial power which is still left to this Imperial Parliament. There is a large Transferred Sum which will probably be made in quarterly payments and which is given for services rendered. It does seem to me that if abnormal and extraordinary circumstances arise we are still left with a very powerful weapon in our hands, because if such happenings came to pass the Irish side of the bargain would not have been performed, and in the same way as British authorities are treated this Parliament would have the power to make deductions from tin-Transferred Sum. It seems to me that that is a very considerable power still left to us Everybody agrees that we are only treating of an abnormal condition of affairs. Nobody wants to use the big stick in the power of the purse, but we still retain it, and if that abnormal state of things does happen, it appears to me as one of the back benchers of the Liberal party that the Imperial Parliament is not so much without resources as many of the speeches from the other side seem to suggest.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
The progress of this Debate certainly gives rise to some very strange arguments from hon. Gentlemen opposite, who, I think, have given very little consideration to the terms of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) a few moments ago actually went so far as to suggest as one of the real necessities of a strong Executive in Ireland, that in the present crisis in the cattle trade if we only had at the present moment a Home Rule Government and a strong Executive responsible to it, it would be able to compel the English Executive responsible to this House to admit suspected cattle into this country. [An HON. MEMBER: "He said no such thing."] The right hon. Gentleman must have some confusion in his own mind as to what will be the relative powers of the two Executives if he imagines that an Irish Parliament with an independent Executive, would have more influence with this House than when you have two Departments which are responsible to the same Parliament. The hon. Gentleman who has just addressed the House has made a most extraordinary statement, which I should like to examine just for one moment. He says 2461 after all "What are you talking about the want of safeguards for. Have we not retained in our own hands here a weapon of holding back the money which is promised in this Bill?" I should like to ask the Government, have we? I should like it for the information of the hon. Member. I should like to ask the Government this question. If you did hold it back what do you think would happen in Ireland? I think we ought to have the matter cleared up. Is that a safeguard that the Government profess to put forward or is it not, because let me point this out, that if that is the true state of facts the position of this House will be this, that each year when those sums come up upon the Estimates, it will be the duty of this House, and certainly it will be within the province of this House, to examine the whole course of administration in Ireland, and to pronounce upon it whether they have performed their duties, not in accordance with the ideas of the Irish Parliament, but in accordance with the ideas of the English Parliament. Really, without wishing any offence to the hon. Gentleman, I venture to think, if he is supporting this Bill upon the idea that he is safeguarding people in Ireland on this question of money, the sooner he reconsiders his position the better.
§ Mr. W. PEARCE
I did not say that that was the sole or only protection, but that it was some protection. [An HON. MEMBER: "What are the others?"]
§ Sir E. CARSON
It was the one, at all events, that occurred to the hon. Gentleman as being the chief one—
§ Sir E. CARSON
As it was the only one he discussed. I pass away from those two extraordinary arguments, and I should like to go back to what has been said during the course of this Debate. There has been the usual parsing of this Amendment. They say what they always say: "You do not mean these Amendments; you mean something else," and they try always to get up and say: "You are not really in favour of this Amendment; you have only put it forward for the purpose of arguing on the Bill." That is a very common way to deal with these matters, and particularly when we are under the gag. They always say, "Wait until we get on to Clause 7," and when we get to 2462 Clause 7 we will be told, "Why did you not discuss it on Clause 4?" Clause 7, we were told by one of the right hon. Gentlemen who spoke, raised the question of the Veto over legislation, and because we are now discussing, not legislation but Executive, they say we ought to wait to discuss the effects of the Veto upon the Executive,, upon a Clause which deals, not with the Executive, but with legislation, and when we get, if we ever get, to the discussion upon legislation, we will be told that was really fully discussed when you tried to-go into the question of the Executive. Putting aside these subtleties for getting Ministers out of difficulties, Members opposite say that my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour) did not even support the Amendment before the Committee. I think they fail entirely to appreciate the position that he and the Opposition take up upon this point. The real object of this Amendment is to show that you cannot set up a subordinate Parliament of this kind with any hope of success or of its working satisfactorily if you have a divided Executive.
The whole object of the Amendment is to show—as has been shown without answer—that the carrying on of any Government with a divided Executive in the country in which it is carried on is an impossibility; and, further, as my right hon. Friend specifically argued, that, however well-intentioned you may be, however anxious to set up this kind of Parliament and administration in Ireland, your very effort to do so demonstrates that there is, and can be, no half-way house between the full system of self-government that prevails in the self-governing Colonies and a united Parliament here. The reason you are in all these difficulties is very simple. You are not prepared to give the Irish the full rights of a self-governing Colony. Why? Because you do not trust them. That is one reason. Another reason is that they would not be prepared to take it on the conditions on which every Colony has its self-governing rights—that is, of standing on its own financial powers and carrying out its own financial obligations. Therefore, being in that position, that you will not give the Irish full self-government because you do not trust them, and that they will not take it unless you pay them for taking it, you attempt to set up this hybrid kind of Constitution, which resolves itself into this divided responsibility, which we say will lead to nothing but friction if it is really worked at all, or, as we 2463 think, may lead to the complete abandonment by this country of the very matters retained in the Bill. Has anybody really ever contemplated what this divided Executive means?
Let me give one or two instances. You are giving the Irish Government power to appoint the judges, who will be the source of the decrees for enforcing the decisions of the Irish Legislature. If the Irish Government require the forces of the Crown, including the police, for carrying out those decrees, they have not got them. Having got their decrees from their own judges, appointed by themselves, they have then to apply to the Imperial power—I suppose the Lord Lieutenant, as representing the Imperial power—and to say, "Please, Sir, may we have the loan of your police to carry out the decrees which have been given by our Courts?" That is setting up an Executive which is absolutely impossible. I think I will demonstrate that in a few moments. Is the Lord Lieutenant to be bound to give the Executive the police or the military forces on every occasion they are asked for? If he is bound to give them on every occasion, are the forces governed by and reserved to the Imperial Parliament to be employed at the will of the Irish Executive, without any consideration on the part of the Imperial Government as to whether the purposes for which they are being used are right, just, and proper?
On the other hand, if the Lord Lieutenant is to have a Veto as to whether they are to be used or not, how is he to make up his mind? Who is going to tell him whether or not the forces ought to be given? Who will be the officer of the Imperial Government to whom, when he is applied to for the forces of the Crown for the purpose, let us say, of coercing North-East Ulster, the Lord Lieutenant will go for advice as to whether he ought to give them or not? I should like an answer to that. I have heard very grave discussions in this House as to whether, in relation to riots in various parts of this country, the forces of the Crown ought to be used; and I think we ought to have it cleared up now as to who, when the forces of the Crown are called for by the Irish Government, is to advise the Lord Lieutenant whether they should be given or not. Who is to tell the Lord Lieutenant who will be responsible to the Imperial Government, whether the purposes for which the Irish Parliament and the Irish Executive are asking those forces are proper, just and 2464 justifiable, according to the views of the Imperial Government? Can I have an answer?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Certainly. In my opinion the Lord Lieutenant, acting as an Imperial officer, if he had any doubt in his own mind, would take advice from the Imperial Government at home.
§ Sir E. CARSON
Let us look at the real absurdity of the position. The Irish Government, through their Irish Courts, have got decrees to carry out and require the police. The Lord Lieutenant has grave doubts whether what is being done is just and proper.
§ Sir E. CARSON
Yes. The Lord Lieutenant having doubts whether what is being done by the Irish Executive is right, what is he to do? He is to come over here to the Imperial Government—I suppose to the Attorney-General—and state a case, upon which that right hon. Gentleman will advise him whether what has been done by a Parliament of two Houses and a full-blown Executive in Ireland is a matter that ought to be carried out. Is that a possible system?
§ Sir E. CARSON
It is the Parliament that sets up the Court and has the appointment of the judges. That is the whole point. In a case in which the matter has to be submitted to the Attorney-General, as the Chief Secretary suggests, supposing the Lord-Lieutenant says, "I cannot give you the police or the forces of the Crown to carry out what you want to do," what is going to happen then? The Executive, responsible to Parliament, have nobody there to do what the Executive think is necessary to carry on the government of the country for which they are responsible. Take another point. The police, as I understand, are to be appointed by and under the control of the Imperial Government.
§ Sir E. CARSON
But we have to live through those six years, and, in my view, they will be a critical six years. The police are appointed by the Imperial Government, and I understand that they will be under an Inspector-General, as they are at present, accountable to this House and to the Government of the day. Supposing the Irish police displease the Irish Government, what is to happen? Will they be dismissed? Who will have the power of dismissal? If the Imperial Government come to the conclusion that the Irish Government, responsible to the Irish Parliament, are wrong in the complaint that they make, because they take a different view, will they say, "No, we will not dismiss them; you must go on employing the police that you as a Government say are an improper force to use?" There is and can be no instance of a Government successfully carried on in any country in the world under such a divided responsibility as is here proposed.
Take another matter. We are always told that one of the great advantages of this Bill is that you will get rid of virtually all Irish questions in this House. You are going to add to them. In this Bill you are reserving to yourselves the right to question almost every act of the Irish Parliament and the Irish Executive. Let me point out a few subjects of which I made a note while the right hon. Gentleman was speaking. Relief of Parliament? What are your Estimates? The police—a subject which generally creates a great deal of criticism in this House. That will raise the whole question not only of administration in Ireland as it is at present, but will every year give rise to an examination of the relations between the Imperial Government and the Irish Government as regards the lending and the using of the police, which is an Imperial service, for Irish purposes. Post Office. Customs, Land Commission, old age pensions, all existing loans, friendly societies, and the trade of Ireland outside Ireland—every one of these is reserved to this Parliament. And yet we were told by the Foreign iSecretary—whohas never appeared here since—that even out of patriotism, the people of Ulster and all those in Ireland who object to Home Rule, if they are really true and loyal, ought no matter what their own objections may be, to fall in with the wishes of the Government in order that more time may be left to this House for carrying on discussions in relation to Imperial affairs. What a farce it 2466 all is! What pretence! What hypocrisy lies at the root of the whole of this!
Tell us if you like that you cannot help giving a Bill, and that you are trying to give a Bill that will give the minimum of separation, and we will understand you. But let us not delude the country, as you do day by day, by saying: "Once this Bill has passed the House of Commons will be relieved of the congestion of business; then when we have relieved it of this congestion of business, we will take the first opportunity of relieving it of the same congestion of business in relation with Scotland, Wales, and England." A hollow pretence! A dishonest argument! As far from the facts as anything that ever could be stated is all this argument about devolution and getting rid of business. You are doing nothing of the kind. You are, at all events in my opinion, adding to the difficulties, and you are certainly adding to the labours of this House. What is to go? The Postmaster-General said: "It is very unfortunate we should talk of such things as probable difficulties in the case of war, and all these other matters." Yes, and I can never understand how it is that we consider this Bill as if we were contemplating Ireland as a land of saints.
It may be no worse than any other country. The people may be no worse. It may be that they will all, as soon as this Bill is passed, be suddenly transformed into a country of angels. It may be so, but even angels could not avoid friction over this Bill. Let me point this out to the right hon. Gentleman. Every argument he uses in favour of the Executive powers being retained which we are asking to be deleted in relation to Ireland, is just as good for other matters to be reserved to Ireland which are reserved to this Parliament. Why do they not get the police at once, the Post Office, the land question, and old age pensions? Surely these are matters which they might very well consider. Why do they not get the question of dealing with existing loans? Why should friendly societies-be taken from them? Why the regulations of trade outside Ireland? Why are they not to take the Customs in their own hands? Because the right hon. Gentleman says: "We have reserved these because we have to pay the money, and we have to keep a tight hold over the money." That is an extraordinary kind of trust in a land of saints!
2467 I hate this Home Rule Bill, as I have always said. I hate and loathe it, because I believe it is going to be a disastrous tragedy to my country. I hate it because I believe it is going to create evils far worse than those that I know exist in Ireland, though I think things have vastly improved. I say this, were I asked: "You must have a Home Rule Bill, which will you prefer, this Bill or a Bill which will be an absolute trust in your fellow countrymen?" leaving them to work out their own destinies in their own way, without this dangerous friction and without this kind of hybrid monster which has never appeared in any other Constitution in all the time that history has been written, I would say, "For heaven's sake let us close the chapter and stop all chances of irritation between the two countries." Far better is it to do that at once if you do it at all.
Everybody knows that, as my right hon. Friend said, that under the system you are setting up—for reasons he stated—there is no demand in the future which Ireland can make on you which you will have the slightest power to resist. The Irish Executive and the Irish Parliament, with the assistance of the Irish who come to this House, will be always persisting in those demands, as have been proclaimed time after time by hon. Members below the Gangway. "Let us," they say, "get this as a start. Having got the weapon into our hands, nothing can resist us." That is true. Therefore it is, so far as I am concerned, that if Home Rule is going to be forced upon those who care for Ireland, I say it will be far better to set up a reasonable system which has been tried in other countries and has succeeded, than to have this ridiculous pretence of bringing back peace and contentment and avoiding friction between the two countries.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Isaacs)
We have had a very interesting Debate, one which I think must leave its mark upon future discussion upon this Bill. We have had both from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London and from the right hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken emphatic declarations on their part that if a Parliament is to be granted to Ireland it should be one with far greater rights. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Yes, apparently that meets with the unanimous support of the Unionist party. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] That is from a 2468 party that is constantly complaining in this House and out of this, that we are not giving sufficient safeguards. Apparently one is asked, on the one hand, that there should be more safeguards; then, when we have given these safeguards in the Bill, the answer that is made is, "We do not want safeguards; we want you to give a full measure." [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] The observation of the Noble Lord (Lord Helmsley) is one which I quite understand. It is perfectly natural on his part. I quite appreciate his view when he says, "No, we do not want safeguards, and we won't have them." What I am arguing about is this: If you start, as we do, from this standpoint, that you must give some measure—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"]—a standpoint that is not a new one, and it has not been adopted hastily; it is one that has existed since 1886; if you take that standpoint, what we have to do, according to the views of the leaders—[Interruption.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
Will hon. Members allow mc for one moment. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University has made a strong speech, and the House has listened to it, and hon. Members should now listen to the reply.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
This point of view is one upon which we shall differ, I am afraid, for all time, at any rate on this part. When we are arguing now, as we are doing in Committee, we must at least assume for the purpose of discussion that a measure of Home Rule is to be given. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO!"] We must assume it when you have passed the Second Reading. I am not assuming that hon. Members opposite agree with it, but that is what the House has decided. What we are now doing in Committee is to discuss the various details of a measure of Home Rule. As I said just now, I venture to impress upon the House this very extraordinary statement which we have heard to-day in this House—a very remarkable statement—from two right hon. Gentlemen, that henceforth, apparently, the discussion which is to take place and the criticism which is to be addressed to us is not that we should reserve something more, it is not that we should introduce some further safeguards, but that we are to give everything to Ireland just the same as we would have done to the Australian Commonwealth. I hope, at any rate, that that point of view will not be forgotten.
2469 The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University, who always speaks with so much force and earnestness in these Debates, and who, I am quite sure, will be the first to recognise that he always receives the most attentive hearing from those of us on this side—as I admit he is entitled to owing to the position he occupies—has sprung a number of difficulties. To some extent I cannot help thinking they are figments of his imagination. Some of them, perhaps, are difficulties which may occur. But he has been engaged in a task which is not unknown to those who have to point out how difficult a task may become in the future, of imagining all the various obstacles which may or may not occur, in order that those who are listening may be frightened at the enormous number of possible difficulties. He addressed himself to two difficulties in particular, and to these I would like to make a reply. He asked what is to happen supposing you get the decree of a Court pronounced in Ireland by Irish judges appointed in Ireland under this Bill, and this decree of the Court has to be enforced. I take it the right hon. and learned Gentleman was speaking of what would happen during the next six years when the constabulary is still under the Imperial Government. I confess, as I listened to him, I quite failed to understand what the difficulty in his mind was upon this point. I appreciate some of the constitutional difficulties which ho did put. Hut why on earth are we to be frightened in this country or in this Committee by the decree of a Court pronounced by Irish judges having to be enforced by the constabulary, which is maintained under the control and management of the Imperial Parliament through the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland? What is the difficulty?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I am coming to that in a moment But does anyone imagine for one moment that in the matter of a decree of a judge pronounced in Ireland that there will be any obstacle to the enforcement of it? I understand it is put forward that a possible case may arise in which the question of policy may have to be taken into account. I quite understand the views of the right hon. Gentleman, who said it might happen that the Lord Lieutenant would be in doubt. Let us, first of all, get rid of the enormous number of difficulties created on this score by 2470 saying that those cases must be extremely rare in which the Lord Lieutenant will be in any doubt as to whether the constabulary shall be employed to carry out the decree of the judges. Let us suppose a difficulty may arise. The right hon. and learned Gentleman pictured to us what would happen. The Lord Lieutenant would come over here and he would have to consult me as the First Law Officer of the Crown—
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Certainly, and I am sure if he asked for advice from the Law Officer whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, was Attorney General, or whether I was Attorney General, on a question of law, he would get the same answer. And if he wanted advice on a question of policy he would not have to consult either of us unless the right hon. and learned Gentleman occupied, as he might very well do, a very much more distinguished position than that of Attorney-General. With regard to the police in Ireland, we must remember that the police are at present controlled by us in this country, and that just the same sort of difficulty may occur for this reason. I have no doubt and I am sure the right hon. and learned Gentleman must know because he is more familiar with what has taken place in Ireland during the past twenty-five years, that there must be occasions in which advice would be sought here as to whether the constabulary should be employed in certain circumstances.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
That does not alter the point. What I am pointing out is that the difficulty which he raised about consulting somebody over here is a difficulty which exists at the present moment, and at the same time must be occupied now in consulting this country if a real difficulty occurs. The right hon. and learned Gentleman must have forgotten for the moment when he indulges in a sneer at the Foreign Secretary for not being here, and taking part in these Debates, that certainly the right hon. Gentleman has a good deal to occupy him, which I think may well excuse him from being present here.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
My right hon. Friend has had a good deal to do before the war also, but he has made speeches both inside and outside this House, and I should have thought his views were quite clearly known and that there is nothing to be said against him because he does not come here to the Debates in Committee on the Government of Ireland Bill. There was one further point made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman. The criticism he addressed to us was that we advanced hypocritical arguments when we said that we were giving some relief from congestion in this House by this Bill, and he based that argument on the fact that while we handed over a number of things to the Irish Parliament we reserved some things and that therefore we were giving no relief. According to the right hon. and learned Gentleman because we are retaining some things we are not getting rid of that difficulty, but we must get rid to some extent of those matters which we hand over to the Irish Parliament.
§ Sir E. CARSON
That was not my argument. My argument was that you reserve all the important matters upon which discussions have hitherto arisen in this House and that in addition you have the chance of friction between the two on matters which would have to be reviewed here.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I have not forgotten what the right hon. and learned Gentleman said about the angels. I was dealing with the earlier part of his speech in which we were referred to not as angels but as hyprocrites.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I did not refer to hon. Gentlemen opposite as angels, I referred to my own countrymen as angels.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
At any rate the right hon. and learned Gentleman is so fond of saying that we are led by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford that at least we are entitled to say we are led by the Archangel. Let me just say in answer to what the right hon. Gentleman said, it is idle to say that when you are devolving a number of matters from this House to the Parliament in Ireland you are hypocritical when you say that to some extent at least you are relieving the Parliament in Westminster. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said he would much prefer that things should remain as they are, and he twitted us for not trusting the Irish Parliament sufficiently, and not handing over to them the whole of the finances and certain other matters that are 2472 reserved. It is idle to discuss this problem without keeping our eyes fixed upon the financial part of the question. The financial question is really a very serious one, as everybody admits who has discussed this matter on either side. It is said to be the crux of the situation. It may be; but it is certainly a financial situation which we have not with any other country among our Dominions;, and consequently when we start, as we do, by saying there must be a measure of self-government for Ireland, we are perfectly consistent, and are acting, as we think, in the true interests of the United Kingdom and of the Empire when we say we cannot treat Ireland exactly as we treat one of our self-governing Dominions, because the relations between us are different, and must be different, because we have this financial tie. We must bear that in mind and keep it before us, and I defy any right hon. Gentleman to say you can give the same measure of self-government to Ireland as you give to Canada or Australia. You cannot do it and I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite admits you cannot do it. What he said was that we do not hand over the finances and all the other services "because we are afraid to trust Ireland. I think that was not quite a generous observation from the right hon. Gentleman, and I will tell him why. The representatives of North-East Ulster and all those who sit on the Unionist Benches opposite have told us again and again of the fears they have of what will happen in Ireland. Impressed as we are by these matters, we take care, so far as we can and in accordance with the best wisdom we can bring to bear upon it, so to legislate as to protect them against those things they fear.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
There is no question of withdrawing the police. On the contrary, the point made against us is that we are leaving the police. What I would venture to impress upon the right hon. Gentleman is this: It is not very generous, although, perhaps it is immaterial, to say here in this House "you do not dare, trust Ireland completely" and to go up and down the country denouncing us for trusting Ireland at all. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Walton in some of the speeches he made took that line. I remember one particular sentence in which he said, if I am not mistaken, that he would not trust any one of the hon. Gentlemen from Ireland who sit below the 2473 Gangway and who may in the future perhaps be Ministers in Ireland, with a second-hand clothes shop. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is entitled to his opinion and he expresses it with much force and great freedom, but if that is his view what is the use of coming to us and saying, "You do not dare give Ireland full self-government." When we listen to what right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite say and strive to meet the objections they raise, when we do what we can to allay the legitimate apprehensions as we understand them, of hon. Gentlemen opposite, they tell us we do not dare trust the Irish Members and the Irish people. We have put forward this plan and this Bill as the scheme of legislation which is fitted for the particular circumstances of the case. I repeat that we have never suggested that there is any particular precedent for this particular form of self-government. That statement is nothing new. It has been said again and again that the case and the state of things is very different from that which obtains in our Colonies, and therefore I submit that the taunt against us which has been indulged in to-day is a taunt which comes very ill from the mouths of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, and is beside the mark, when we have done our best to meet every grievance that they put forward.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I have no doubt that the right hon. and learned Gentleman, with the best of temper which he always displays, has done his best to meet the case presented to the Committee. Well, of course, it must be a matter of opinion, but I do not think he did it very successfully, and I shall now try to deal with the answer, such as it was, which he presented to us. His great point, the only point, which really drew anything like spontaneous applause from those behind him, was that both my right hon. Friends who spoke this afternoon have said if there is to be Home Rule they would prefer the real measure on Colonial lines rather than such a hybrid monstrosity as that before the Committee now. Hon. Members opposite cheered that as if it were some new discovery. It is not new to me, for I remember perfectly well that in the Debate on the First Reading of this Bill I used, as well as I could, the same arguments which have been used by both my right hon. Friends. I said this, and I think it ought to be evident to anybody, that the 2474 one excuse for Home Rule is that we hope to settle discontent in Ireland, and even the first examination of this Bill convinced me that from beginning to end it is full of causes of friction: that even if they were better than angels, no two countries could go on under these conditions without inevitably coming into friction, And therefore I said, and we all said, assuming that there must be Home Rule, we would have it on those lines rather than on the lines of this Bill. Now take the ground the Attorney-General gives for not having it on those lines. Of course, we all knew what the ground was, but it is nice to have it clearly stated. It is finance. He told us it was finance. I hope hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway will not think I am discourteous, but I am going to put my case. Look at this. The Prime Minister told us, in introducing this Bill, that we cannot resist the national aspirations of Ireland declared over so many years by their representatives. Here is a national aspiration. They are determined to have complete control of their own country without any interference from us, but they cannot run their own country themselves. They cannot have the larger measure of Home Rule, because we have got to subsidise this national Government, and yet have absolutely no control over it. We have another sample of it to-day, and it is really amazing this nationality. The moment the Chancellor of the Exchequer finds that he has to give more money under the Insurance Act, the hon. and learned Member for Waterford rises up and says, "You are giving more money to England —we mean to run Ireland, but we want more money." But that is not all. That is not the only side of the finance. It is not merely that they cannot run the nationality without getting money from us, but when it was suggested that the part of Ireland which loathed and detested Home Rule should be left out, hon. Gentlemen opposite said, "That is impossible, and it would wreck the Bill." Why, finance again. Here you have Ireland a nation first by means of money provided by us without control, and secondly, by means of money provided by that section of Ireland which, if they had the power, would never submit to be governed by an Irish Parliament, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman says it is ungenerous of my right hon. Friend to talk about preferring this larger scheme when they are making such efforts to protect the minority. We do not attach the smallest value to that.
2475 My right hon. Friend, from his own point of view and from the point of view of the people whom he is seeking to protect, would prefer the larger measure. Why? Have the larger measure, and you will not talk of using British soldiers to coerce Ulster. Have the larger measure, and those for whom my right hon. Friend speaks, can take care of themselves. Even from that point of view, I say that there is nothing that I should dislike more than to see them protecting themselves in that way except seeing them protect themselves against the armed forces of the United Kingdom. There is nothing I dislike more. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say, in a phrase which I do not think we shall forget, "We must have a Bill." It is quite true. You must have a Bill or go. Of course that is an alternative that never occurred to any of them. We must have a Bill. Just see how that is an answer to our argument. I never heard a case more strongly put than it has been put this afternoon. It has been shown in speech after speech—and I speak mainly of the speeches made by my colleagues on this bench—that by no conceivable hypotheses can this Bill be a working arrangement between the two countries. That is our case, and what is the answer? "We must have a Bill." What is the use of proving that this Bill will not work. No Bill will work, but still we must have it. Let me take a superficial summary of the case presented by my right hon. Friend. Our case is not as the Postmaster-General tried to make out in answer to my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London, that you cannot have two Executives at the same time. That is not our case. Our ease is that in any race of mortals that has ever been created, if you have one Executive responsible for Government, but not controlling the men by whom the Government is to be carried out, such Government is impossible. You may quite easily have two Executives. You have two Executives in many federal States, but who ever heard of an Executive Government responsible for anything which had not the power of dismissing the men who did not carry out the duties which they were told to carry out! Did you ever hear a case like that?
We could name scores of instances—in fact everything in this Bill is an instance of it. Take the case mentioned by my right hon. Friend. Take the railways or 2476 the Post Office. The right hon. Gentleman said, "What does it matter whether an Irish Executive or an English Executive controls the railways. In time of war, if the people are hostile, it is the same in both cases." Is it not a fact that the Executive does control? The Executive can send its own troops to see that its orders are obeyed. That makes all the difference. I hope I can say it without suggesting anything in our relationship with the German Empire which would be offensive to any German, but I will take the position of Alsace and Lorraine. Suppose Germany were at war with France. Suppose that the people of Alsace-Lorraine—and this is where the danger comes in—were friendly with France? Does the right hon. Gentleman really say in that case they would have the power to injure Germany in the same way if Germany controls the railways as they would if they controlled the railways themselves? The thing is ridiculous, and nobody knows it better than the right hon. Gentleman. Then take the police. The right hon. Gentleman felt that he had a pretty hard case when he came to that, but he did his best. My right hon. Friend, in his illustration, used the decrees of the Courts. The right hon. and learned Gentleman jumped at that as if it were something that would save him from the real consequences of the difficulty, but it does not even technically. Suppose the case of my right hon. Friend arose that the people of Ulster refused to pay taxes to the Irish Parliament. How would you force them? By decrees of the Court distraining on the people's property. What happens? The Irish Government would, of course, try to get their taxes, and they are responsible for law and order in Ireland. The question goes to the Lord Lieutenant, and he says, "This is a very serious thing; I must consult the Imperial Government, to whom I am responsible in this connection." He goes to the Imperial Government, and they say, "For whatever reason, we are not going to have the troops employed for that purpose."
What happens? The Irish Government is responsible for law and order in Ireland, and the only force by which it can be maintained is not within their control. Was ever such a proposal imagined out of Bedlam? The right hon. Gentleman says that this is the sort of difficulty that might arise at any time. Yes, but it can only arise upon a scheme as insane as yours, if the control of law and order is in one 2477 hand and the means of enforcing that control is in other hands. Those are the only conditions under which it can happen. Let us look at this question from the joint of view of what is likely to happen. The right hon. Gentleman says you can easily magnify difficulties and make mountains out of molehills, but what is likely to happen? Take the control of the police even in our own country. We have had during the last two or three years a tremendous lot of questions and some debate about the way the police have been used, and there has been some doubt as to whether they would have been used in the same way if another Government had been sitting on that bench. If there is that difference of opinion even here in this Parliament does anyone doubt that the same difference of opinion would certainly assert itself between two Parliaments looking at things from different standpoints. That is a difficulty that is inevitable. Of course it is only six years, but many of us will be dead before the six years are over, and six years for practical purposes in looking at the effect of a Bill of this kind is the same as eternity, because it will either work in the six years or it will never work at all. We are glad now to have the admission clear and explicit that the police are to be absolutely under the control of a Government responsible to this House. That has been admitted now and there is no doubt about it.
But let us assume the impossible. Let us suppose that Home Rule is carried and shortly afterwards there is an election and the two parties in this House change places. [An Hoy. MF.MBEK: "That is impossible."] Well, let us assume that it happens. Let us assume that, taking all the facts of the case, we try to work this scheme, again assuming the impossible. Is anything more certain in this world than that immediately differences of opinion between the Executive of Ireland and the Executive here will arise and we should be responsible for law and order How would the Executive Government in Ireland carry on the Government? This brings me to another case made by the right hon. Gentleman about congestion. My right hon. Friend did not simply say that Irish business would occupy as much time under the new arrangement as under the old, but he said more. He said it would occupy us a great deal more than under the old arrangement. Does any sane man doubt that? As my right hon. 2478 Friend pointed out, nearly all the services which now raise controversies are reserved, and must be dealt with in this country. But more than that If there is an Irish Parliament, it is natural to assume there will be two parties in it. There are to be forty Irish Members here. Those forty Members presumably will have some portion of both parties. What will happen? Every subject of conflict which is taking place in the Irish Parliament will be fought over again here, and does anyone doubt that forty Members are quite enough to do that? Of course they are, and I say my right hon. Friend was not going one hair's breadth beyond the truth when he said that for anyone knowing these facts to go about the country saying, "We want devolution to save congestion of business," is deliberately deceiving the electors to whom he speaks. I shall only refer to one other point, and I will refer to it because of what seemed to me the remarkable speech of the Chief Secretary. It was in regard to our old friend the Veto. We all had supposed it was common agreement that the Veto could not be carried out if it was in regard to something on which the Irish and English Executive Governments differed. That is not the view of the right hon. Gentleman. His view is this. The Lord Lieutenant vetoes something, acting on instructions from this Government: and then the right hon. Gentleman says quite calmly as if he was just going to have tea in the afternoon—
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The Irish Government resigns. Then another Government is formed. How can you suppose there would be another Government? Just imagine the frame of mind of anybody responsible for a Home Rule Bill who can take that attitude! That is the amazing thing about it. But there is this one comfort. Nobody who regarded the Home Rule Bill as serious could have got this length without realising what would happen under circumstances of that kind. What would happen? The assumption is that the Lord Lieutenant, acting on the advice of British Ministers, vetoes something which is unfair to the minority in Ireland, but the majority in the Irish Parliament do not think it unfair or they would not do it. There is that difference of opinion. They resign. The whole Parliament, that is to say, the solid majority, more solid than under any of her circumstances, support them. It is utterly 2479 impossible to form another Government in Ireland. Then what happens? you come here and the only protection that is left, the only means of enforcing the will of this House and in reality the only protection which will be left by this Bill is simply this: we are the stronger,
§ and we can send troops and force them. There is no other.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 280; Noes, 190.2483
|Division No. 270.]||AYES.||[7.50 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Acland Francis Dyke||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Adamson, William||Falconer, J.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Farrell, James Patrick||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Leach, Charles|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Ffrench, Peter||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Field, William||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)|
|Armitage, R.||Fitzgibbon, John||Lundon, T.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Flavin, Michael Joseph-||Lynch, A. A.|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Furness, Stephen||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Gill, A. H.||McGhee, Richard|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Ginnell, L.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon, Dr. T. J.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Gladstone, W. G. C.||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Glanville, H. J.||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Barton, W.||Goldstone, Frank||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Kean, John|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Guiney, P.||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Bentham, G. J.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hackett, John||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Boland, John Pius||Hancock, J. G.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Meagher, Michael|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, M.)|
|Brady, P. J.||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Molloy, Michael|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Mooney, J. J.|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Morgan, George Hay|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hayden, John Patrick||Morrell, Philip|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hayward, Evan||Morison, Hector|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Muldoon, John|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hemmerde, Edward George||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Henry, Sir Charles||Neilson, Francis|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Chancellor, Henry G.||Higham, John Sharp||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hinds, John||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Clough, William||Hodge, John||Nuttall, Harry|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hogge, James Myles||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Hudson, Walter||O'Donneil, Thomas|
|Crawshay-Williams Eliot||Hughes, S. L.||O'Dowd, John|
|Crean, Eugene||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Grady, James|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Cullinan, J.||John, Edward Thomas||O'Malley, William|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Davies. Ellis William (Eifion)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Shee, James John|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushclife)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Dawes, J. A.||Jones, W. S. Glyn (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Delany, William||Jowett, Frederick William||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Joyce, Michael||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Keating, M.||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Doris, W.||Kelly, Edward||Philipps, Col. Lvor (Southampton)|
|Duffy, William J.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Kilbride, Denis||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||King, J.||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Price, C. E. [Edinburgh, Central]||Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Scanlan, Thomas||Wardle, George J,|
|Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Pringle, William M. R.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Radford, G. H.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Sheehy, David||Webb, H.|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Sherwell, Arthur James||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Reddy, Michael||Shortt, Edward||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Redmond, John E. (Watertord)||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Smith, Albert (Liancs., Clitheroe)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Whyte, A. F.|
|Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Snowden, P.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, W.)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Sutherland, J. E.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Robinson, Sidney||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Tennant Harold John||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Thomas, James Henry||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Rowlands, James||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Rowntree, Arnold||Verney, Sir Harry||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Cripps, Sir C. A.||Kyffin-Taylor, G.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Croft, Henry Page||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Dalrymple, Viscount||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Boctle)|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Col. J.||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Lee, Arthur Hamilton|
|Baird, J. L.||Dennis, E. R. B.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Duke, Henry Edward||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han.S.)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. G. (Droitwich)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Falle, Bertram Godlray||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Fell, Arthur||Mackinder, Hallord J.|
|Barnston, Harry||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Malcolm, Ian|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Fitzroy, Hon. E. A.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Forster, Henry William||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gardner, Ernest||Moore, William|
|Benn, I. H. (Greenwich)||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Gibbs, G. A.||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Goldsmith, Funk||Mount, William Arthur|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Newman, John R. P.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Bird, Alfred||Greene, Walter Raymond||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Gretton, John||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Boyton, James||Gwynne, R. S, (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Haddock, George Bahr||Paget, Almerie Hugh|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Hall, Marshall, (E. Toxteth)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Butcher, John George||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Harris, Henry Percy||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Campion, W. R.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Helmsley, Viscount||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Royds, Edmund|
|Cator, John||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Cave, George||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hills, John Waller||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hoare, S. J. G.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Chambers, James||Home, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Horner, Andrew Long||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Ceilings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Stanier, Beville|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Jackson, Sir John||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stewart, Gershom|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Kerry, Earl of||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Keswick, Henry||Sykes, Alan John (Ches, Knutsford)|
|Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)||Tullibardine, Marquess of||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Talbot, Lord Edmund||Valentia, Viscount||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)||Wheler, Granville C. H.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Thomson, W. Mitchell (Down, North)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Tobin, Alfred Aspinall||Winterton, Earl||TELLER FOR THE NOES.—Lord Robert Cecil and Mr. R. M'Neill.|
|Touche, George Alexander||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Tryon, Captain George Clement||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
I beg to move in Sub-section (2) to leave out the words "Lord Lieutenant" and to insert instead thereof the words "Secretary of State for Ireland who shall be responsible to His Majesty and to the Parliament of the United Kingdom."
This Amendment raises two specific questions. In the first place it raises the status of the Lord Lieutenant, and I am anxious that the power conferred by this Bill should be taken away from the Lord Lieutenant and invested in a Secretary of State. I am one of those who have always been in favour of the abolition of the Lord Lieutenant. I have never seen that the office has any reason for its establishment at all, and, although I do not think under this Bill it would be possible to abolish the Lord Lieutenant, still the Amendment raises the question of his status. I should like, as he has been referred to by a great many people in this Debaters a standing institution, just to mention the reason why he holds the position he does at the present moment. I have always understood that hon. Gentlemen on the benches behind me have always been in favour of the Lord Lieutenant, for this reason. He has been an emblem of the separation of England from Ireland. He was established in years gone by because Ireland was then a greater distance from England than it is at the present moment. It was practically a week, or a fortnight, or a month distant, and, for that reason, it was necessary there should be someone in Ireland to represent His Majesty. But that has entirely gone by; the Lord Lieutenant is a complete anachronism, and when we are maintaining a Lord Lieutenant we are only accentuating the fact that England is separated from Ireland. I should like to put a second question to right hon. Gentlemen opposite. They are not very willing to answer questions because, under the guillotine system, there is no need whatsoever for them to do so. They are perfectly well aware that the guillotine falls at a certain time, and, whether the question is answered or not, the Motion before the House is passed without further comment. Let me, how- 2484 ever, put this specific question: Under the federal system which is to be established, is there to be a Lord Lieutenant for all four separate entities? Is there to be a Lord Lieutenant for England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland? I might even go further and ask if there is to be a separate Lord Lieutenant for Lancashire and Yorkshire? In respect to the question which my Amendment specifically raises, that the Executive power shall be vested in the Secretary of State, who will be responsible to this Parliament, I should like to say that I feel my position is rendered the more difficult because this Bill is of an absolutely impossible character. I could understand a Parliament established by the consensus of opinion in all parts of the country. I could understand a whole population coming together and saying, "We must have a Parliament," and that would be a very difficult thing to refuse.
In this connection hon. Members opposite are never wearied of quoting Colonial analogies, but no Parliament or Constitution has been established in any one of the Overseas Dominions in the manner in which we are establishing this Constitution for Ireland. There they have been brought about by a universal consensus of opinion. The scheme has been originated by a great deal of argument between a great number of representative people. But here we have a Constitution formulated by one political party forcing a Constitution on an unwilling country, and that, to my mind, is an entirely different position to that in which any of our Overseas Dominions now stand. I can understand a Parliament being established by a general consensus of opinion in Ireland and being placed there to carry out certain duties which I maintain can be carried out under the form of government under which Ireland exists at the present moment. But if you are going to establish a Parliament of that description there is no possibility of refusing to that Parliament the power it desires. It is true there might be a vague and shadowy authority of the supreme Parliament, but that might mean nothing whatever. You are creating a sort of hybrid institution which has partial powers; you reserve certain services and 2485 create certain safeguards. You are, in fact, establishing two separate authorities in Ireland. That is a matter of great importance, and when we are told that you are trusting the Irish people I reply that there is no trust whatsoever, because, on a great many matters of immense importance, you are showing that you are unwilling to trust Ireland, while you hand over to her questions suitable perhaps for county councils. You reserve to yourself, in fact, jurisdiction and powers on matters of a more important character. This Amendment has for its object the transference of Executive authority from the Executive in Ireland, and through that Executive from the Lord Lieutenant to a Secretary of State, who will be responsible to this House of Commons. I know there is a great and fundamental difference of opinion between us on this subject. You are anxious to establish a Parliament in Ireland with an Executive responsible to it. But if you are going to reserve certain services, it is impossible to establish an Executive in Ireland responsible to that Parliament unless you give to that Executive all those powers which you, at the present moment, are proposing to reserve.
A good deal of reference has been made to Grattan's Parliament. We have been told by hon. Gentlemen opposite that one reason for the failure of that Parliament was that it did not possess an Executive responsible to it. I cannot say that I entirely share that opinion. To my mind, Gratton's Parliament was a failure from beginning to end, and the main reason for its failure was that it was a Protestant Parliament. It was not representative of the country. It did not contain those elements which would have combined the support of all parties in the country to make it a success. It may be said that a Parliament without an Executive responsible to it could not be a success. I have a feeling in my mind, and it is shared by hon Members on this side, that no Parliament set up in Ireland can be a success. Therefore we are opposed root and branch to the setting up of such a Parliament. We believe that it cannot but be attended by grievous failure, and that it must be a menace and danger to this country. By setting up such a Parliament with those local powers, which we are told by hon. Members who sit on these benches is all they desire, you establish a hybrid institution which is bound to create friction. If you establish an Executive which has half the responsibility to this country and half 2486 to Ireland, you establish a Parliament which creates friction both in Ireland and in England. The object of my Amendment is to curtail that, and if you are going to establish a Parliament—I need hardly say we hope such a Parliament will never be established; but if you do establish it, then I suggest there should be no Executive power in Ireland, but that it should be concentrated in a Secretary of State for Ireland, who should be dependent on this Parliament and on this House.
I wish to support the Noble Lord's Amendment, and I would amplify it, if possible, to the extent of hoping that in any case, whether this wretched Bill pass or not, we shall do away with the office of Lord Lieutenant in Ireland. I think the arguments advanced by the Noble Lord apply equally to our present Constitution. It is obvious to anyone who has studied the Bill how impossible it would be to carry on the multifarious duties and double responsibility of any official politically appointed under the present Home Rule Bill. The Committee are aware, of course, that the appointment of Lord Lieutenant is a political one. He is appointed by the party in power for the time being, and, although he is supposed and hitherto has always honourably observed the condition that he should not mix himself up in politics publicly, unfortunately we have had a recent example of that good rule being broken. Consequently it has been brought home to us that he is in a dual position as representative of the Sovereign in Ireland and is also appointed as a politician. The difficulty which has been experienced in the past will be doubled, and oven trebled, under the Home Rule Bill. He will have to serve two masters—the Irish Government in relation to its Irish services, and the Imperial Government so far as the Irish reserved services are concerned, and at the same time he will be supposed to uphold the dignity of the Crown throughout Ireland.
If you take a very keen political issue, it is always desirable, if possible, to keep the name of the Crown out of it. But how can you hope to do that? Picture to yourselves some keen political situation in Ireland. It is most desirable in that case that the Lord Lieutenant should keep as far away from the discussion in the country as possible. He would be in a dual position. How would it be possible for him to take sides as representing the Irish part of the 2487 Government and the superior Parliament. It would immediately bring him into the heated vortex of political strife. But if you have a Secretary of State for Ireland he would occupy a position on the bench opposite, and he would be free to advocate his own cause, and consequently he would be clear of any connection in the slightest degree with the Crown. I think that one thing would be of the greatest possible importance. Take, for instance, the case of one of the reserved services, the case of the Post Office Deposit Department. I understand that the Postmaster-General intends to use Irish Post Office officials to collect money from depositors in Ireland who desire that it shall be transmitted to England and kept here. In other words, that body of Civil servants in Ireland will be carrying out a certain amount of work connected with a reserved service—the deposit part of the Post Office work, and will therefore be immediately connected with the great system of the English Post Office here. Supposing that something happens, either by way of legislation or administration, which makes it necessary to pass an Act in the Irish House of Commons regarding the services of the postal officials in Ireland that clashes with the desire of the Postmaster-General in this country. It may be necessary for the Lord Lieutenant to exercise his Veto in order to prevent the Act going any further, as it would be prejudicial in some way to the service of the Deposit Department of the Post Office as Imperially managed. Picture what that means. You immediately get the Veto of the Lord Lieutenant as representing the Crown, and you get him dragged into what may be a very sordid squabble as to the handling of some £12,000,000 which passes through the Post Office in Ireland, a squabble in which he has to hold the scales between the Postmaster-General of Ireland and the Postmaster-General in England. Could anything be more regret-able than a case of that sort It would be far better to have a Secretary of State who would frankly take up a partisan attitude in the way the Secretary for Scotland does, or the Chief Secretary for Ireland does, and say the Act was to be carried through, and to say whether the will of the people in Ireland, as it will be called, or the will of the people in England is to prevail.
With regard to the Royal Irish Constabulary, another reserved service for a term of years, more delicate questions may 2488 arise. As our Leader has pointed out this afternoon in the course of a very eloquent speech, there is bound to be a difficulty if you reserve in your hands the administration of the police and yet make the Irish Government responsible for law and order. Their idea of law and order differs from the idea current among Englishmen, and the consequence would be that over and over again the Lord Lieutenant would have to exercise his Veto where a difference of opinion occurred as to the action of the police in Ireland who are controlled entirely from this House, action taken on the advice of some officer who was appointed by the Irish Parliament. I think it would be most regrettable. The difficulties of the constabulary in Ireland are immense, even in normal times, but when you have a Nationalist Parliament established in Dublin issuing conflicting orders —we can picture to ourselves the sort of orders which will be given by a Nationalist Parliament with regard to the constabulary, for whom they have always shown such a bitter hatred—the Lord Lieutenant would have to step in and take perhaps the Imperial attitude, which would immediately bring the forty Members sitting below the Gangway, who would still be here, into conflict with this House upon a subject which you, in passing this Bill, had thought you had got rid of. You would have constabulary questions threshed out across the floor of the House with great vehemence, for everybody knows that forty Nationalist Members can hold up this House quite as readily as 150 Saxons. We have had experience of that in the past, and I do not think that any of the modern Members from across the Channel are in the slightest degree inferior to their predecessors in the art of carrying on a guerilla warfare across the floor of the House. Picture the Lord Lieutenant in a case of that sort. He would either have to crawl to the Nationalist party or else offend them so bitterly that the Government in Ireland would take the extreme step of resigning. You would constantly be having the high position to which hitherto Lords Lieutenant in Ireland have always attained, degraded down to the ordinary status of a Secretary of State.
There is another point. Ireland is more or less the same size as Scotland. The population is about the same, and the wealth is approximately the same. In all particulars I understand Scotland, Ireland, Yorkshire, and London, are about the same 2489 units from the administrative point of view, and they all have about the same mileage of railway. In the ease of London, you have a county council which runs the whole of the Government of the county of London. In the case of Scotland you have a Secretary for Scotland, and in the case of Yorkshire, you have a chairman of the county council. These three persons have practically the same status. I suppose you are to make the chairman of a county council in Ireland a Lord Lieutenant. You are to take away from Scotland your Secretary of State and elevate someone to the status of Lord Lieutenant. It is absolutely absurd, and it perpetuates the idea of a separate country, which is what we are anxious to avoid. The expense of keeping up the Viceregal State in Dublin is enormous. The salary alone is something like £20,000 a year.
I am not quite sure who is to pay that, or whether it is included as an Irish service. I am told that Ireland is to pay it, but perhaps the Postmaster-General will clear up that point. If they have to pay £20,000 a year to keep up more or less mock State in Dublin, I think it is a waste of money. I do not know what the salary of the Secretary for Scotland is. I suppose about £5,000. [An HON. MEMBER: "£2,000."] I do not think the Committee would quarrel if the Secretary for Ireland, having a much more difficult task to perform and a much more difficult crew to rule over—[HON. MEMBERS: "Rebels."] Yes, rebels—we will never be rebels against the Crown—were to receive a salary of £5,000 for his office. But it is most extravagant in these days of great economic government and power, with so much social reform to be carried out across the Channel, to spend £20,000 a year on, after all, a mere figure head, one who hitherto has been absolutely in the hands of the Chief Secretary. The Chief Secretary does the work, and the Lord Lieutenant parades throughout Ireland on a philanthropic political campaign which has disgusted every decent man, and we have been paying him £20,000 a year. I think it would be a great mistake to perpetuate the position. The Noble Lord's idea is one which ought in this democratic age to appeal to every section of the House. It would save money; it would bring it on a level with Scotland, and in every way, when you come to consider the situation, nothing under this Home Rule Bill, which is never to pass, will be more sensible than to accept the Amendment.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir John Simon)
This Amendment has been recommended to the Committee in two interesting speeches, but it appears to me to be really directed, not quite to the same subject as a part, at any rate, of their remarks. The Sub-section which is now before the Committee begins with the words "as respects those Irish services," and whatever be done by the Amendment nothing that it does can alter the fact that we are here only dealing with the Lord Lieutenant, or whoever takes his place, as respects the Irish services—that is to say, the non-reserve services. I admit that there is very legitimate matter for discussion and argument in regard to the reserved services. We had a discussion about it this afternoon. But keeping oneself to what is the real subject of this Amendment the question comes to be this. Assuming for this purpose that there is an Irish Parliament, and assuming that there are reserved services which are left under the administration of the Imperial Government in Ireland, but, subject to that, that Irish services are not reserved, who is to be the formal head, the direct representative of the Royal authority in respect of those Irish services? What the Noble Lord's Amendment proposes is this. I think I state it fairly. I am confident that if I state it clearly the absurdity of such a suggestion will surely be apparent. What he proposes is that in respect of the very Irish services, in respect of the very things which are to be handed over to the management of Irish Ministers in an Irish Parliament, all reserved services being out of the way, the person who is to be the head of that Administration is to be a Member of the Government sitting on the Government Bench in this House of Commons from day to day.
What a very curious change has come over the scene. About half-past seven the Leader of the Opposition was complaining that our Bill proposed what he called a "hybrid system." Who has ever heard of a system in which with one hand you say to an area, "You are to have the administration of your own local affairs, and upon that basis we proceed to grant you a measure of self-government," and which then says, "But the spokesman and head in these very administrative matters is to be an English Minister who is not necessarily of the same opinions as you, who may change and indeed may represent a quite opposite side of political 2491 opinion though you and your country remain of the same opinion all the time"? Whatever may be said for a scheme of devolution, a scheme which on the one hand left to Ireland Irish services which Irish Ministers were to deal with, and on the other hand said that the head of that body was to be a political Minister in this country sitting on this bench, would surely produce a maximum of conflict and could not be regarded as avoiding what the Noble Lord called a hybrid Constitution.
The real truth is that if you apply local self-government to an area, you must have someone who is the formal head of the local administration who ought to strive to be above party, who ought not to take one side against the other, but who ought to be the representative and the spokesman of the supreme head of the Government in the Empire—the King. That, of course, under one name or another, is what is done not only in the great self-governing Dominions, but in those subordinate and secondary areas to which we are sometimes asked to look for a better analogy in the proposed self-government of Ireland. If you go to the provinces of Canada you have there someone who is called, I think, a Lieutenant-Governor. If you go to South Africa you have in the different subordinate areas an administrator. If you go to Australia you have in the separate States a Governor. Our conception of this Clause—and it is well to say it clearly to avoid misunderstanding—is that there will indeed be a change in the character and nature of the office of Lord Lieutenant, but certainly you are not going, at the very time when you are handing the local administration of local affairs over to an Irish Parliament and an Irish Government, to say that the head of that Government is to sit from time to time on the Treasury Bench in this country.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The change which is contemplated and involved by the Bill is this. As things stand at present, the Lord Lieutenant—I am not discussing any question of personal merit or demerit—is a Member of the Government of the day. When the Government is defeated or resigns the Lord Lieutenant resigns and loses his position, and his place is taken by another belonging to the Ministry which takes in turn its position as the Government of this country. That is not the position which 2492 will be occupied by the Lord Lieutenant under this Bill at all.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I think the hon. Gentleman will see if he will have regard, as I am sure he would wish to do, to analogy, there is nothing in it to prevent it in the Constitution, let us say, of Australia or of Canada. But the fact is that the Lord Lieutenant, though ho remains the formal head of the Irish Administration, is not intended to be, and would not in fact under the Bill as it is drawn become, a political Minister who was a member of either one English party or another, taking his share in their fortunes or misfortunes, but will occupy a position similar to that which is well understood when one speaks of the Governor or the Administrator of a Colony or Dependency. That, at any rate, is the intention. We need not, for the moment at any rate, discuss whether that is precisely and in terms the result of the Bill. I think it will be found in Clause 31 that there is a provision that he can hold office for six years. I do not think it can be doubted, whatever be the merits of the proposal, that that is in fact its effect as it stands.
What we are discussing under this Amendment has nothing to do with reserved services and the authority which speaks for reserved services. It is simply and solely the Irish services, and the question therefore comes to be, in respect of those Irish services which, on this assumption, an Irish Parliament and an Irish Legislature is to be responsible for and have control of, is it really proposed that the formal head of it should be a Member of the British and Imperial Government of the day. The question as to whether, under the existing administration of Ireland, it is desirable to have a Lord Lieutenant, with the incidental consequences which the hon. and gallant Gentleman pointed to, is an interesting question, and has been discussed before to-day. Indeed, I rather think in the memory of some hon. Gentlemen, about 1850, Lord John Russell actually introduced into this House a proposal that the Lord Lieutenant should be abolished and that in his j place there should be a Secretary of State. Whatever may be the merits of the proposal, it is not on the face of it illogical or inconsistent as long as you have a single administration for the United Kingdom, which hon. Gentlemen opposite are contending for, and which undoubtedly is 2493 modified by Home Rule. But the moment you start Home Rule it is merely a question of name, and whether it be Lord Lieutenant, Governor, or Administrator, the character of the post which is meant by that expression will not be partisan or political. The person who holds it will not change, as under present conditions, with the British Government, after a General Election. On the contrary, it is intended to be a post of dignity and importance, and it is intended to be essentially non-political. I am sure we should all wish it to be as truly non-political as possible.
The Noble Lord opposite (Viscount Castlereagh) has asked me to state how this scheme might be applied to other parts of the United Kingdom if Home Rule was applied to them. For my part, I cannot conceive that in any part of the United Kingdom where local government is conceded you should on the one hand create a local legislature with local ministers, and yet on the other hand, say, that the head of that local administration should always be a member of the political party in office in the Imperial House of Commons. I can understand different language being used and adjustments made to suit the purpose, but I have no hesitation in saying that it is quite inconsistent with any views we hold on the matter that that condition of things should exist in any part of the United Kingdom where local self-government may be set up. As to salaries, if the Noble Lord will look at Clause 31, he will see that there is a reference to that so far as the Irish Government is con-corned. For these reasons we find it impossible to accede to this Amendment. Hon. Members on the other side have no doubt raised a number of interesting points, and I do not wish to quarrel with the spirit and temper of their observations, but with all respect I would say that a large part of the argument is put on the assumption that the reserved services would be affected by the Amendment. Assuming that there are to be Irish services, under the Irish Parliament, surely it is right to have a non-political and nonpartisan representative of the King, who will do his best to hold the balance fairly between contending parties.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
The lion, and learned Gentleman has not for the first time in our discussions, as was the case with his colleagues, found himself confronted with difficulties they have created for themselves—difficulties 2494 which, I think, are insuperable. He is trying to justify the extraordinary proposals of the Bill first of all on the ground of necessity, and next on the ground of precedent. The Solicitor-General pointed to the case of Canada and the case of South Africa. I venture to say there is not the smallest analogy between the position you are creating under this Bill for the new Lord Lieu-tenant of Ireland and the officers he mentioned in the Overseas Dominions. The hon. and learned Gentleman said there is a change, but he passed lightly over the change. There is a great change. The office of Lord Lieutenant is being transformed completely, and I say that, so far from the Solicitor General being right in his anticipations, the change is not in the direction of making the Lord Lieutenant a non-party official like the Governor-General of Canada or the Governor-General of South Africa, solely representing the sovereign, and removing him altogether from Parliament. To compare the new Lord Lieutenant, as he will be under this Bill if it ever becomes law—and I for one do not believe it ever will—with any Governor in the Overseas Dominions is a thing you cannot justify if you are going to rely on the actual facts of the ease. I do not think it is quite fair to make limitations in our Debate in the way suggested. The Solicitor-General says you cannot, in discussing this particular Amendment, have any regard to the duties which the Lord Lieutenant will have to perform under other parts of the Bill. It may be difficult to discuss the matter within the limits of order in this House, but I say it is impossible, and it would be futile, for us to discuss a question of this kind, the creation of the new office of Lord Lieutenant under new conditions, without reference to the other duties which the official will be called upon to carry out under other parts of the Bill. The Solicitor-General was extremely courteous in his reference to my hon. Friends' speeches, but he did not give a direct reply to their arguments. We heard with great interest the remark of the hon. and learned Gentleman that there is a great change in the position of the Lord Lieutenant. I hope he will explain to us fully what the change is. He went on to tell us that the Lord Lieutenant at present occupies a very difficult position.
§ Mr. LONG
I should have thought that was the last remark to which the Solicitor-General would object. I do not think anybody has ever contested the statement that the position of Lord Lieutenant is a very difficult one. If the Solicitor-General does not think so, I will withdraw what I said. He stated that the Lord Lieutenant, under present conditions, comes in and goes out with the Government.
§ Sir J. SIMON
If I interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, it is not that I should dissent from the proposition he is laying down. I was merely endeavouring to state what, in fact, was the change this Bill involves. I really did not ask leave to discuss whether it was a serious or not a serious one. I think it was the Noble Lord who asked me to say what the change was. That was all.
§ Mr. LONG
Well, we shall leave it there. I do not wish to get into controversy on that matter. I was only saying that the office of Lord Lieutenant is a difficult one. The Solicitor-General states that the Government propose to give the new Government in Ireland the advantage of somebody at their head who is to be represent the Sovereign and who is to be a non-political official. I have no doubt that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite will, with extraordinary forgetfulness of all the past Debates we have had on this subject, meet me with the same answer as they met the Leader of the Opposition, the Member for the City of London, and others, when I say what I am going to say now: "You pretend when it suits you that this is a subordinate Parliament, and when it suits you, you tell the country that you are giving Ireland the same kind of Parliament as exists in Ontario, Quebec, or Manitoba." That is the argument with which Ministers go to the country. When we told the people at the last Election what Home Rule meant, they met us by asking, "How can the Home Rule Bill mean this? Why should not Ireland use the same advantages as Manitoba or Ontario would use?" But when we come to examine the Bill here, even Ministers with all the ability and ingenuity possessed by the Solicitor-General cannot evade the issue on the floor of this House, and they are forced to admit what they are really doing. The Solicitor-General has only followed the example of the Prime Minister in Debate yesterday. He has practically admitted that what we are doing in Ireland is not following the precedent of Manitoba 2496 or Ontario, because nobody would compare the position of the Lord Lieutenant as created under this Bill with that of a Lieutenant-Governor. He had not pretended that we are following the example of South Africa, which the Secretary for the Foreign Office referred to when he wanted to justify his position and that of the Government about Home Rule in the country, and asked, "Why cannot you do in Ireland what you have done already in South Africa?" The Solicitor-General did not attempt to prove to us that what you are doing can be compared with what was done in Canada in 1867 or in South Africa the other day. Here you are setting up, as the Solicitor-General frankly admitted, a Government in Ireland which is to rank not with the Governments of Manitoba or Ontario or South Africa, but with the Governments in the Dominion of Canada and United South Africa.
You are dealing in those two cases with great parts of the British Empire which, apart from any other reason, must have representatives of the Sovereign who can discharge the duties which the Sovereign commonly discharged on the advice of his Ministers, and if you are setting up a subordinate Parliament in Dublin your proper course would have been to follow the example of Canada and South Africa and appoint a Lieutenant-Governor, or call him what you will, charged with certain limited duties. Your main duties would have vested in the Sovereign as they do now. I do not understand what is to be the exact position of the so-called Lord Lieutenant, because the Solicitor-General tells us that he is to be the representative of the Sovereign at the head of the Ministry who would be called upon to dismiss the Ministry if they were beaten in Parliament or for any other justifiable reason—in other words, to exercise the functions of the Sovereign as his representative, and he hopes that the result of this will be, as he is appointed for six years to make him really an independent Lord Lieutenant. The Solicitor-General does not want us to have regard, when we are first assenting to the creation of the Lord Lieutenant, to the other duties with which you charge him in the Bill, but you charge him, so far as I understand—I admit that a great deal is not to be found in the Bill, but is to be found only in the answers which Ministers have made—with the duty of being the representative of the reserved services. The Solicitor-General, I do not think, realises; indeed, nobody who has not had very close experience of Irish 2497 Government can realise, unless he devotes himself to a very careful study of questions every day, how much of the reserved services interests Irishmen, and how little of the unreserved services forms part of the subjects which occupy our attention here. On the Question Paper to-day there were about thirty questions asked by Irish Members above and below the Gangway. Out of those, so far as we can understand the explanations given by Ministers, more than twenty referred to reserved services. More than twenty will be under the services for which under the Bill this officer for whom you are now asking powers to create will be as much responsible as he would be for the discharge of the high duties of Lord Lieutenant representing the Sovereign.
In the whole of the British Empire there is not to be found a precedent for this. In no single case of those quoted by the Solicitor General, whether he be a Governor General or a Lieutenant-Governor, is he called upon to discharge one moment duties as representative of the Sovereign and the next moment the duties of a Minister of the Crown. The Solicitor General says that it is a monstrous thing to suggest when you are setting up a representative Parliament in Ireland that it should have as its head and representative an ordinary political Minister. If we are going to assume that there are not going to be these practical difficulties of a minor character to which we have constantly to call attention and which hon. Gentlemen opposite deny, if we are going to assume that Ireland is going to be carried on to the greatest possible satisfaction and benefit of all concerned, the proper course to adopt here would be if you want an official to do the duties of a Lieutenant-Governor to appoint one, but above all, to provide in this House somebody who would represent the Government of Ireland, because the reserved services are not only those which attract our attention in Ireland at the present moment—certainly they are so if you can judge by the order paper—but above and beyond that they are services of the greatest importance imposing upon this House very great responsibilities and imposing upon the taxpayers of this country very vast expenditure. Yet this official, who, you say, is to be a nonparty man, who is to be called upon so to discharge his duties that he shall be above and beyond party, and therefore more attractive to the people of Ireland than the Lord Lieutenant of to-day, is to 2498 be appointed under this Section charged as we know he is to be, with the multifarious duties, far more important duties, which come upon him in consequence of all the sections and of the arrangements that the Government have made. I believe that my Noble Friend is absolutely right. It may be that the suggestion that there should be a Secretary of State is absolutely inconsistent with the designs of the Government. It may be that it is inconsistent with some part of the policy of the Government, but in the real interests of Ireland it is the right policy. My Noble Friend pointed out that he and others of whom I am one have always regarded the existence in Ireland of the Viceroy as really a source of weakness and not of strength to the United Kingdom. It has had its advantages no doubt. The Viceroy has filled offices with great distinction. He has through all the succession of Viceroys done his best to fill a great position of dignity and honour with the utmost hospitality; but can anybody say that it has been necessary for any of the duties which have to be performed in that country to have an authority divorced from the authority here?
It was all very well when it took hours and hours to cross the Irish Channel, and when for some days it was impossible to have communication between London and Dublin. It was necessary then no doubt, but it is not necessary now, and if you are making this change, it would be far wiser to take the course suggested by my Noble Friend, to get rid of this particular office and get a Secretary of State and then if you want a Lieutenant-Governor get him. But that is not what you want, it is not what you are doing. I do not wonder that the Solicitor-General is unable to accept the Amendment because its acceptance would strike a blow at the very foundations of this Bill. It would be an admission by the Government that what they are doing is really appointing a subordinate Parliament in Ireland, and that they do not quote these precedents, whether in South Africa, or Canada, or Australia, to set up an authority which from its head to its foot shall be of a subordinate character. That is not what they are doing, and, despite what they have said in the country, and all the protestations they have made on platforms—because it has really only been extracted from them by slow degrees in this House—they are really setting up what they know as well as we do to be a 2499 practically independent Parliament, as independent as the other Parliaments of Canada, or South Africa, or Australia. No man on that bench will dare to get up and say that for the broad, practical purposes of government within the Empire, those Governments are not really independent. No man would dare to contest it. If he did, there are arguments to be based upon facts within our knowledge within the last few hours to show that any contention of the kind is impossible. This is what you are doing, although you deny it all on public platforms, although you have attacked us for what we have said, although you have accused us at previous elections of misrepresenting you or making false statements when we foretold what would be your policy. The Solicitor-General is now forced by circumstances to refuse this Amendment, not because it is not a good Amendment, but because it would be destructive of what the Government are really doing—that is establishing, not a subordinate, but really an independent Parliament in Ireland.
§ Mr. MOORE
We are always being told that we, the minority, have got splendid safeguards in the control of the Imperial Parliament. We hear that ad nauseam, and I do not think it is too much, when confronted with the dangers this Bill involves, that we should try to make certain that there will be some control in the Imperial Parliament. We have had a new statement of policy, one which it is almost impossible to discover in the Bill, namely, that it is intended that the Lord Lieutenant shall no longer be a Member of the Government. There is no suggestion of that in the Bill; the only suggestion is that, after a term of six years of office, the appointment may be revoked at His Majesty's pleasure, which means the pleasure of the Government, and, presumably, with a Viceroy like the present no Government could possibly stand him for more than six years. If the Lord Lieutenant is to be no longer a member of the Government, he will neither be in this House nor on the benches of the House of Lords. We, the minority, if the control of the Imperial Parliament is to be our safeguard, want a chance of getting at the person who is responsible, and if you take the Lord Lieutenant out of the Government surely you ought to put a Secretary of State into the Government who will be in this House and who will be responsible. If you abolish the Lord Lieutenant as a Minister, how are 2500 you going to have a Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant when he is not a Minister? You cannot have a Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant who is not a Minister, and you ought to make a new State Secretary of State for Ireland. There is no proposal of that sort in the Bill. You cannot leave the Chief Secretary as he is once-you abolish the Lord Lieutenant as a Member of the Government. That goes without saying.
Then it is said that we cannot have a Secretary for Ireland in this House as head of the Irish Government, because he would have to look after the Irish reserved services. You are going to make responsible an officer to this House the censuring of whom would not necessitate the resignation of the Government, and you are going to make him independent and stereotype him in his position for six years. Our proposal is more democratic because it would ensure the presence in this House of a representative of the Irish people, the real head of the Irish Government, and who would be responsible. But the only-answer we get to that—and it is not a constitutional answer—is that such a Minister would be too busy with Irish reserve services, and that it would not be reasonable to ask him to look after those services and to be at the same time in this House. Does not the Chief Secretary represent Ireland and its Government in this House? The-only difference that you make in Irish administration is that, instead of having a Local Government Board and a Board of Works, you are going to have an elective body in Ireland to carry on the same work as they are doing. You say the Irish Parliament is to be a subordinate body and a local body, but, though they are a subordinate and a local body, what is there to prevent your having a Secretary of State for Ireland in this House? He would only have to give his assent to Bills that are passed; he has only to confirm or reject at certain stages legislative Acts of the Irish Parliament—as Irish administration is carried on at present from the Chief Secretary's office in Westminster—just as it could be carried on with a Secretary of State for Ireland. There is nothing in the argument that the Secretary for Ireland would have too much to do to enable him to be here. He would have less to do than is being done at present, because there are elective representatives of the people. What the Secretary for Ireland would have to do would be to give assent to 2501 measures passed by the representative body, nominally on behalf of the Crown, though, as everybody knows, it means the Government of the day. It seems to me if the thing is to be done logically that you ought to have a representative of Ireland in this House so long as you have an Irish subordinate Parliament. Under Clause 29 of this Bill there is another safeguard, that if it seems to the Lord Lieutenant, who would not be a Member of the Government, or to the Chief Secretary, whose duties will go when the Lord Lieutenant ceases to be a Member of the Government, that there is a question affecting important Constitutional rights of the minority, either the Lord Lieutenant or the Chief Secretary will have power to refer it for decision to the appellate tribunal. We have had a good many instances in which the Lord Lieutenant has refused to act under the present system. Supposing the Lord Lieutenant, who is outside the Government, or the Chief Secretary, who is a Government partisan, should say that it is not expedient that steps should be taken for the determination of the question, what would be the position? We had the case of Mrs. M'Cann, in which the Lord Lieutenant was asked to use the Government forces, but he put the telescope to his blind eye—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Maclean)
It is not open to the hon. Member in this House to criticise the action of the Lord Lieutenant.
§ Mr. MOORE
I bow to your ruling, Sir, I will merely speak of the inaction and not the action of the Lord Lieutenant. It is quite open to me to suggest that there was no action, but supposing the Lord Lieutenant or the Chief Secretary did not deem it expedient in the public interests, though a large minority were suffering, to comply with the request that the question of their Constitutional rights should be submitted to the determination of His Majesty in Council representing him in the House, even if we have only one Member out of forty-two, we could come to the House of Commons and ask that this question ought to be determined in a manner provided by the Act. If you do not put either the Lord Lieutenant or his representative into this House here, it would be absolutely impossible to bring proper pressure to bear and to see that the safeguards will operate. If we are to criticise and influence in our own protection, there must be someone in this House to whom we can address ourselves. 2502 If there is someone to answer here, surely it ought to be the head of those combined Departments who knows what is going on and can make his own defence. Therefore, I say that this is a singularly unsatisfactory form of safeguard, because you are not leaving us under the control of the Imperial Parliament but of people outside. When hon. Members here suggest that the control should be kept here we are met with a direct negative. We cannot help these negatives. We are voted down in the Division Lobbies no matter what arguments are used. We saw that this evening, and we see the use of the guillotine and of the party Whip and of a majority, most of whom have been in the smoking and dining-rooms, so that argument does not matter, as it is shouted down or ignored in that way. But there ought to be some decency, and I hope hon. Members will not go and say that we have still got the control and support of the Imperial Parliament. We have not, and nothing shows that more clearly than the refusal of the Government to accept this Amendment. I say if power is not taken here whereby we can bring forward an Irish grievance, or the refusal or inaction of the governors in Ireland under Clause 29, then it is nowhere, and we have not that power unless you give us someone in this House in whose salary we can move a reduction. That is why I think this Amendment is a good one, and ought to be supported. Personally I was always in favour of having a Lord Lieutenant. I thought it was a pity to abolish an old existing institution. I cannot criticise how the present occupant performs the duties as I bow to your ruling.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I have to add that, except on a specific Motion, it is not open to the hon. Member to criticise the action of the Lord Lieutenant. If any hon. Member wishes to do so he must do so on a specific Motion.
§ Mr. MOORE
I do not care to pursue the topic, but the last six years has absolutely converted me to wishing for the instant immediate and wholesale abolition of the office, and I think there are very few sitting on this side who formerly held my opinion who will not be exactly of the same view now. I quite agree with the aspirations the Solicitor-General stated about that office, that the occupant should not be a partisan, and that he ought to be above the strife of party politics. I only hope that that state of affairs will come about as soon as possible. It is not necessary in 2503 order that that should happen that this Bill should become law, but for the sake of good government and for the comfort and security of the people generally, the sooner those aspirations are realised the better. I am sorry the Government cannot support this Amendment, because it has taken away another chance from people, who are deprived of all fair representation under this scheme, of laying their grievances before this House and the Imperial Parliament.
§ Mr. AMERY
You gave a ruling just now, Mr. Maclean, that it is not open to us to criticise the action of the Lord Lieutenant. That is undoubtedly a fortunate state of things. It is a state of things which is only possible because we have a Chief Secretary who does, as a matter of fact, carry out all the administrative and executive and party work of the Government in Ireland. It is because of the existence of the Chief Secretary that you are able to rule that the Lord Lieutenant, though appointed by Parliament, occupies the same dignified position—a position that ought to be above party whatever may have happened on some occasions—that is occupied by a Governor-General in other parts of the Empire. But, so far from making that more possible by this Bill, you will, by the very framework of the Bill, throw upon the Lord Lieutenant an enormous number of responsibilities and services, responsibilities not to the Irish Parliament, but to this Parliament, and on matters that are bound to be for many years of the gravest issue between parties in this country, and with regard to which it will be vital for the Lord Lieutenant to represent the views of the Government whom he serves here, as apart from the views of the Irish Government. Early in the afternoon the Chief Secretary dismissed quite lightly this fundamental difficulty of the dual responsibility of the Lord Lieutenant. He said it existed in all the Dominions. As a matter of fact, it does not exist in any of the Dominions to any extent whatsoever, except in South Africa, where the Governor of Cape Colony was also High Commissioner, to deal with external affairs which it was supposed he could deal with more conveniently from Cape Town or Pretoria than they could be dealt with from London.
My Noble Friend the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) pointed out to the Chief Secretary that in that case, 2504 though the High Commissioner had a dual authority, it was at any rate not a dual authority over the same territory. As regards anything that happened in Cape Colony, the High Commissioner was only Governor, and was responsible to the Ministry or acted in accordance with the Ministry. But as regards dealings, say with the Transvaal or with the Protectorates, on behalf of the Colonial Office, that same individual acted in a different capacity. Yet even in that case the existence of that dual responsibility was only a few years ago provocative of the gravest constitutional difficulty as we all remember. We all know that during the months which preceded the South African war Lord Milner had to carry on a series of difficult negotiations with the Transvaal Government, in his capacity as High Commissioner for South Africa and not in his capacity as Governor of Cape Colony. Lord Milner acted during those negotiations as the faithful and loyal exponent of the policy of the Government of the day. In pursuit of his duty as High Commissioner he was bound to send dispatches to his Government, laying the situation as between the British Government and the Transvaal and as concerning the rights of British subjects in the Transvaal clearly before the Ministry here, and yet the one crime alleged against Lord Milner in Cape Colony and by many Gentlemen opposite, was that in so doing he was violating his position as constitutional Governor of Cape Colony. At that time the Ministry of Cape Colony had an entirely different view as to what was to be the policy of the Imperial Government, and the one grievance was that as Imperial officer he pursued the instructions of the Imperial Government and carried out the policy of the Imperial Government, and did not carry out the policy the local Government in Cape Colony wished him to carry out.
There you have that difficulty, in a self-governing Colony where the two functions were only accidentally combined in the same person, but were separate territorially. It was perfectly easy to see when Lord Milner was acting as Governor of Cape Colony and as High Commissioner of South Africa, and it was a case which could only very rarely occur. Under this Bill you have got both the most intricate interlacing of responsibilities in the same territory that has ever been invented, and you have the same person at the head 2505 continually responsible for two different positions. He is responsible in his constitutional capacity to assent to Irish laws, and in his capacity as a servant of the Imperial Government he may be responsible for refusing an order to carry out those laws. He is responsible in one capacity for one aspect of land purchase, and he is responsible in another capacity for another aspect of land purchase. He is responsible in his constitutional capacity for administering the local postal service, which postal service is also being carried on in certain respects as a United Kingdom service on behalf of the Postmaster-General, who is responsible to Parliament here. The question is, if the Postmaster-General here considers that the Irish Government have broken their bargain with him as to the way in which the postal service is to be conducted with regard to posting letters from Dublin, whether to France or to Birmingham, is the Lord Lieutenant then to be in a position, as an officer of the same Government as the Postmaster-General here, to order the Irish Executive to alter the system under which they are administering the postal service? You get a most inextricable tangle. It is to make it clear that you are vesting two irreconcilable functions in the same individual that this Amendment has been brought forward. What it says is that if the Lord Lieutenant in future is to combine the functions of Lord Lieutenant and Chief Secretary, it would be far better to have the Chief Secretary and not the Lord Lieutenant. At any rate the purely registering functions are of less importance, while the other functions are of vital importance. It is of vital importance, not only that they should be carried on in accordance with the wishes of the Parliament here, but also that, there should be somebody in this Parliament to justify the manner in which they are carried on. I have entirely failed to discover from the Bill who will be responsible in this House for the many questions over which this Parliament will still retain control. The Bill is being piloted very largely by the Postmaster-General. Are we going to understand that in future the Postmaster-General will answer on behalf of the constabulary?
It is extremely difficult to understand how such a system can ever be made to work Hon. Members opposite keep referring to Colonial federations. The Postmaster-General seemed to assume that we were not aware that the federal system was in 2506 existence elsewhere, and that our Amendment proceeded on that assumption. Everybody knows that the federal system is in existence. It is perfectly possible to have a provincial Government in Ireland, and in that case the Lieutenant Governor, however appointed, would be its titular head. But then he would not have a word to say with regard to any Imperial service. The Lieutenant-Governor of, say, Saskatchewan has not a word to say about the duties of a single Dominion emigration officer scattered about the province. He cannot interfere with a single officer belonging to the Dominion. He has no responsibility for him and no control over him. But in this measure you are inextricably mixing up at every stage a federal Constitution and a separatist Constitution. Almost every Amendment has been directed to that point, but we have never succeeded in getting an answer in regard to it. Of course we have not, because this Bill seeks to reconcile two irreconcilable things. It is meant to square the talk of federalism, which alone keeps a certain number of Liberal Members faithful to their allegiance, with the actual demands of hon. Members from Ireland, and to do it in such a way that sooner or later every one of those demands shall be satisfied. My right hon. Friend (Mr. Balfour) said this afternoon that this system is bound to break down, that it can have no stability. It is perfectly evident to me that it can break down in one way only, and that is in the direction I have suggested.
The Solicitor-General just now expressed his view that the Lord Lieutenant should be a person above party. If he is to keep in the position that the Solicitor-General desires for him, it can only be by the surrender on the part of the British Government here of all the powers that this Bill retains. In this Clause we have a fair indication of the process that will begin. In the first Sub-section it is declared that the Executive power shall continue vested in His Majesty, and that nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of that power, except as respects Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act. That means that every power that is not specifically handed over to the Irish Parliament shall be exercised by the Imperial authorities and by Imperial officials. But what have we heard from the Postmaster-General this afternoon? He admits quite frankly that the Post Office in Ireland in spite of the reserva- 2507 tion contained in his Amendment, is going to be handed over, lock, stock, and barrel, to the Irish Government. The post offices are to be handed over; the whole of the official appointments are to be theirs. It will be their Post Office, and he will make business arrangements with them just as he would with Belgium or Canada. I would remind the Committee that in Clause 2, by a reservation which he promised to introduce, the whole Postal Service in so far as it concerns the delivery of letters in Ireland—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member seems to be going back to an Amendment with which we dealt the other day.
§ Mr. AMERY
I do not want to go back to a previous Amendment. I wish to point out that the functions of the Lord Lieutenant as an Imperial Minister are variable functions, and may at any moment in practice cease to be Imperial and become Irish, in spite of the express reservations that the Government have promised to introduce. I assume that this action with regard to the Post Office is to be done under the powers provided in Clause 40. If that can be done with regard to the Post Office, there is nothing on earth to prevent the handing over, when it suits the convenience of the Government, or in order to avoid friction, of the Customs, Excise, constabulary, and every other service that is reserved, in whole or in part, to the administrative control of the Irish Government, even if the financial burden still remains on the taxpayers of this country. In that case you would day by day alter the position of the Lord Lieutenant. As regards certain services, he may one day be responsible, as an Imperial servant, to the Parliament of the United Kingdom; the next day, by a private arrangement between, say, the head of the Inland Revenue and some Irish Department, he may cease to exercise his powers in that capacity, and become merely, as the constitutional Sovereign, responsible for signing his name at the bottom of documents. The whole object of our Amendments in this Committee is to try and find out what this Constitution really is going to be that is to be carried by the gag. We do want to find out who is to be responsible for the services in Ireland and in this House, and the only answer we get is the bland remark of the Solicitor-General that he hopes that 2508 the Lord Lieutenant will stand above party and occupy the same impartial position in Ireland as does the Governor-General in Canada. If it comes to that, the only way of getting him to occupy that position would be straight away to set up Ireland in the position of Canada. Hon. Members might think that impossible, but at any rate it is Constitutionally less unworkable than the proposals in this Bill.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am sorry I. have not been here during the whole of this Debate. I understand that some difficulty has been found, and some desire for information expressed, in reference as to what service there would be in this Imperial House, what Minister there will be in charge of the Irish services, and in a position to communicate to the House the policy of the Government in relation to these matters in which the Lord Lieutenant has been acting and may be called upon to act in a representative capacity. I remember the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Strand Division raised that point, I think, on the Second Reading. I then hinted that no doubt whatever that the course of business in this House would render it absolutely essential that there should be a Minister on this Bench who might be interrogated from all parts of the House with reference to the very important reserved services, and who might also be a connecting link between this House and the Lord Lieutenant as an Imperial officer. I did not then say that I had no doubt that such a Minister would be a Cabinet Minister, but that all these were matters of arrangement and need not be subject to particular Statutory enactment. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] I think the necessities of the case will govern the situation, and I am not aware that it is customary in enactments of this kind to particularly allot any person to the task or to assert that that person should occupy the position peculiar in a certain sense to ourselves who belong to the Cabinet. It is a matter of comparative recent institution that the Chief Secretary occupies a Cabinet position. But that there should be someone in this House who would be responsible to this House for the matters to which I have already referred is to me absolutely essential.
In a way the Irish Office in London is an offshoot of the Home Office. We still send many of our Papers to the Home Office, and send for Papers and documents which we wish to obtain for the Govern- 2509 ment of Ireland from the Home Office. I frequently have to wait a considerable time in consequence of having to adopt that particular step. Amongst other things the Home Secretary always invites, not only the Chief Secretary, but the officers of his Department, and also distinguished Irish officials, to the dinner which he is in the habit of giving on the King's birthday. He does not do it out of any particular love for the Chief Secretary or for the Irish officials, but simply because it is a custom that has come down to him owing to the fact that the Home Office used to have control, and, to some extent, still has control over business of the Irish Office. I quite agree it would be impossible to add to the duties of the Home Secretary the very considerable duties that belong to whoever shall be responsible for the reserved services, and also for the Lord Lieutenant as an Imperial officer. It could not be done. Therefore I have no doubt whatsoever that there will be a Minister, but whether he will be able to assert his right to a seat in the Cabinet is, of course, a matter on which I have no opinion. As I said, the necessities of the case will doubtless decide the matter. The business which this person will have to discharge will of necessity require the appointment of a Minister for the purpose.
In the old days there were discussions in this House as to the abolition of the Lord Lieutenant, and remarks were made frequently of a disagreeable character in connection with it. Sir Robert Peel on one occasion, speaking with respect to the Chief Secretary, said that the expedient of giving the Chief Secretary a seat in the Cabinet was a clumsy device. The object of the efforts of those concerned then was not to accomplish the abolition of the Lord Lieutenant, as to unify the Irish administration; to make it simply and solely a branch of the English or Imperial Administration. In other words, the Lord Lieutenant was always to be a Member of the Cabinet, and the Chief Secretary was not to be a Member of the Cabinet in order that you might, as it were, completely tie up and bind up the administration of Irish affairs with the existence of the British Administration. We are acting entirely on different lines now, and that is a reason why we propose that the Lord Lieutenant should cease to be a Member of the Government. He has ceased for a considerable time to be a Member of the Cabinet, and the Chief Secretary is—not by reason of his superior abilities, but simply and 2510 solely because it was felt that Irish administration demanded that he must be responsible to the Irish Members on both sides of the House—takes his place. It was felt that it was necessary to have an Irish Minister who in this House could discharge the burdens of the office and stand the racket of Parliamentary life. Therefore, those proposals to abolish the Lord Lieutenant were I consider wisely drafted. They were very much resisted by Mr. Disraeli in speeches which anybody may still read. The points he put were of a kind that I think showed his insight into Irish affairs.
We now propose that the Lord Lieutenant should be an officer connected with the Irish service. No doubt, there will be a new Minister in this House who will be responsible to this House for the reserved services—important as they are—and of a kind which requires constant attention—at all events will do for a good many years to come—and he also will be a means of communication between this House and the Lord Lieutenant in all matters of policy on which the Lord Lieutenant takes the advice. I think it is inevitable, under the circumstances, and having regard to the reserved services, and the dual position which the hon. Gentleman opposite has in an exceedingly able speech dissected with a considerable amount of astuteness. I am not for a moment suggesting that anybody would seek to divide the holder of this office into different parts, much better he should be one and indivisible, and that all his duties should appertain to one class of action. But you do not find that even on your Colonial system. Most Colonial Governors have duties with reference to their own Government or Ministry, and also duties with reference to matters at home. I quite agree it has disadvantages, and it may create some friction, but I think it probable that it will not be found that the disadvantages which do ensue and the friction that does occur are in the case illustrated is an argument that it will turn out most unexpectedly in the administration. I do not doubt that there will be cases where the Lord Lieutenant will have difficulties, but his difficulties will not apply in the precise direction indicated even by the astuteness of the hon. Gentleman, but in other directions. We have to consider whether you are to treat the Lord Lieutenant as if he had no duties whatsoever except in regard to his Irish administration and Irish Parliament, and that we say is impossible, because there are the cases of the reserve services, and 2511 we say reserved services are inevitable, because of the entanglements and financial obligations of this country, and also because of the perfectly honest suspicion of a considerable number of persons which we seek to allay.
I think land purchase is one of the subjects we were absolutely bound to reserve. I am sure right hon. Gentlemen opposite, though they do not like Home Rule in any shape or form, would be within their rights if we did not reserve land purchase and the constabulary to point out how unwise, how foolish, even how insane—to quote a famous expression—we were in declining to reserve land purchase with £160,000,000 of British credit at stake, and I am sure the City would be very much frightened if we did not rigorously adhere to that view and maintain it entirely under Imperial control. In the same way with regard to the police, it would be much easier to say let the police go over at once and obey the orders of the Parliament in Ireland, but if we had done that we would be charged with having entirely disregarded and with having rejected as absolutely absurd the expostulations already expressed on behalf of those who for a considerable time, at all events, will be dissatisfied with the new Constitution. We were therefore bound to reserve these things. I dare say it is a more controversial matter as to whether the Post Office should be reserved or not. But there are important services that ought to be reserved for financial reasons until such time as the Irish Government felt strong enough to take them over. I think that is quite evident, and is dictated by the necessities of the case. Having made these reservations and these stipulations, the dissection of this unfortunate, Lord Lieutenant became a matter of necessity. Of course, the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down would have bisected or tri-sected him, for the hon. Gentleman is persuaded that the mere fact that there is this differentiation between the classes of his duty is so formidable as absolutely to destroy the foundations of this Bill, and make it an impossible Constitution, and one which could not by any possibility be worked. But I am bound to say that so able a student as himself and one so versed in various Constitutions would have no difficulty in demonstrating the absurdity of any Constitution, even a federal Constitution, to which he paid a great deal of attention. They are all more or less experiments.
2512 There are people who say that the famous Australian Commonwealth is by no means full of wisdom, and that there are dangers already appearing. I do not speak with confidence on the point, but I am sure that all the federal Governments must be exposed to danger as between States and other things. That is written all over the famous history of the United States, and if people are disposed to quarrel the fact that there is this contingent jurisdiction and reserved rights and separate authorities, in some matters supreme, as in America, and in other matters subject to federal control, anyone, I will not say with a morbid imagination, but with an active imagination, could find various possibilities which naturally lead to some dislocation in those places. Hon. Gentlemen opposite although they say with great force that they would prefer the Colonial system would not give us a Colonial system nor could we ask them. I do not think having regard to the obligations we have assumed, having regard to those reserved services and other matters we could make such a proposal, and if we did it would be opposed with most powerful argument. We therefore adhere to this course, and while I do not deny our difficulties I do not think they are impossible if there is the will to accomplish what we hope. I, therefore, do no more now than say I quite agree it will be essential that there should be a Minister in this House responsible to it and able to discharge the obligations to the House to which I have already referred.
§ Mr. LONG
I do not complain of the Chief Secretary's absence from the Debate due to causes which we all understand, and we hope his absence was entirely satisfactory to himself. He was good enough to remind us that I asked this question on the Second Beading. I gathered then that the mind of the Government was not fully made up, and that we were to have fuller information as time went on. The Chief Secretary was not here when you, Mr. Maclean, interrupted my hon. Friend and called his attention to the immemorial rule and practice of this House that the action of those who represent us abroad is never called in question in the course of ordinary debate. We can only impugn their action by direct Motion made for the purpose. The Chief Secretary has told us in his interesting, amusing, but somewhat discursive speech what were the difficulties 2513 which confronted the Government. They have all sorts of Constitutions before them full of difficulties, and therefore the Government in order not to be behind as Constitution makers determined to create a new one which would be full of fresh difficulties and which would provide those who were to exercise it with all the difficulties and pitfalls in other Constitutions as well as with some perfectly fresh and wholly unnecessary ones. The case of South Africa was not suitable, Canada was was not suitable and therefore a new Constitution had to be found. The Chief Secretary says when you are out making Constitutions and acting under stress of difficult circumstances, carrying out behests which may not be altogether agreeable to you—
§ Mr. LONG
The Chief Secretary gave reasons which appeared irresistible to himself, but, whatever may have been the reasons, the Government bring in their new Constitution, and, having all these difficulties before them, they start afresh on a new course of their own, and they are setting up under this Clause a Lord Lieutenant whom you, Mr. Maclean, reminded us is, by the immemorable custom of this House, to be protected from any special attacks here, except by a special Motion. What we have asked for, and what the Solicitor-General and the Chief Secretary have refused to tell us, is what is the way in which you contemplate that this Bill is going to be worked. That is a question to which we can get no answer. The Solicitor-General talked about other Constitutions in our Colonies, and the Chief Secretary gave disquisitions upon various Constitutions, but he never came near the difficulty which he himself and the Government are themselves creating by setting up in this Clause an official who is to be called upon to represent, first of all, the position of Sovereign free from party politics in Ireland; and, secondly, in Ireland to represent the Government to which the Government of the day in Ireland may be entirely hostile, and who may be called upon to discharge duties in Ireland as an Executive official to which the people of Ireland may altogether object. After throwing this duty upon him you are doing the best you can to make him more like a Sovereign and less like a Minister than he is now. The Chief Secretary says, "We are going to appoint a Minister, but you should not ask us whether we are going 2514 to make him a Cabinet Minister, because that is not generally done. The Chief Secretary is distinguished for his learning, but I think he might have given us credit for possessing a certain amount of knowledge. There is a distinct reference in every Bill to the status of the Ministers created, and in the very Clause we are discussing, by a subsequent Sub-section, you enact that no man shall be the head of an Irish Department unless he is a Member of the Irish Privy Council. That is the way in which all modern offices of State-are created, because the creations of the Cabinet are unknown in Acts of Parliament. That is in the hands of the Prime Minister, but even he is limited, although not by law, to the selection of men who are Members of the Privy Council as heads of Departments. We are told that this is to be a Minister, but what kind of a Minister? Is he to be a Member of the Government of the day? Is he to go out of office with the Government?
§ Mr. LONG
If he has to go out of office with the Government, what becomes of the unfortunate Lord Lieutenant who is to be made a real Sovereign by remaining in office for six years, called upon to discharge duties by himself and not on the advice of his Ministers, and to be answered for here by a Minister who belongs to a Government with whom he has no connection at all. What is the meaning of the Chief Secretary's explanation? I thought he said that there would be a Minister here to answer for the reserve services. Is that Minister to answer like one of the junior Members of the Government, who now occasionally answers for some Department whose doors he probably never enters? Is he to have sent over to him from the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland a series of answers put on the Paper, and is he to have no knowledge of those particular matters?
§ Mr. LONG
The Chief Secretary shakes his head, but he has not told us what the status of this Minister is to be. We do not ask that he should be a Cabinet Minister, because that is not a matter to be settled in a Debate here. My Noble Friend proposes that there shall be a Secretary of State for Ireland. The Solicitor-General objects to that because he says you could not put a Government official at the head of a Government you are creating and clothing with all these powers. We ask 2515 who is to answer for the work done under the heading of Reserve Services, and we are told a Minister of the Crown. We do not ask that it should be a Member of the Cabinet, but we are entitled to ask, if you are going to reserve all those services, who is going to answer for them. We are not dealing with the wisdom or folly of reserving these services, or whether the Chief Secretary and his colleagues are doing the best or the worst thing possible, but we are dealing with the Bill before us. You have reserved services over which the Irish Parliament and the Irish people are to have no control except through their representation in this House. We ask that you should have a Secretary of State who in this House would represent all the services over which this House would "have control, and the Chief Secretary rides off on the mere question of a Secretary of State.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I want to know whether the right hon. Gentleman emphasises "Secretary of State," or will he be content with "Minister of the Crown"?
§ Mr. LONG
I do not think my Noble Friend minds what the designation is. Personally I have not sufficient knowledge of the distinctive terms "Minister of the Crown" or "Secretary of State." I know that as a Minister of the Crown on some occasions I have been present at functions in the country where Gentlemen whose position in the House of Commons always seemed to me to be somewhat humble have been described as Ministers of the Crown, and I have never yet found that they have any of the duties which Ministers of the Crown generally perform. If the right hon. Gentleman means a junior Member of the party who has no responsibility, and who merely answers the questions, that is obviously not what my Noble Friend requires or would satisfy us.
§ Mr. LONG
That duty should be discharged by a man who is personally responsible. There should be a Secretary of State, and you should not create, as you are doing by this Bill, a Lord Lieutenant with different duties to those which he has to perform now, and make for him an office which it will be impossible for him to fulfil, attended with more difficulties than it is now, making fresh difficulties both for the Irish people and this Parliament.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. CHARLES CRAIG
I have listened very carefully to this Debate, and after the speech of the Chief Secretary I was in great doubt and perplexity as to what the position is going to be if this Clause passes as it is at the present time. Under the Bill practically two distinct classes of services are created, namely, Irish services and reserve services. A great deal of the Debate has dealt with the question of who is to be responsible and answer questions in connection with the reserve services in this House. It seems to me that it is quite as important to find out from the Government who is to be responsible for and answer questions in connection with the Irish services in this House. After six years the police will be a purely Irish service. I am one of those who distrust the good faith of my Nationalist fellow countrymen, and if Home Rule is established, and I trust it never will be, I can see that there will be a very great number of questions put to Ministers on the subject of the police and their action. We have been discussing this matter for a considerable number of hours, but I think I am right in saying there is not a single soul in the Committee who yet knows who would be the official on that Bench who would answer for either the reserved or the purely Irish services. The Chief Secretary has told us it is obvious somebody must answer those questions. I agree with him to that extent; but surely it must be also obvious to him that this matter is one of sufficient importance to be that person designated and specified in the Act itself. So long as the official called the "Lord Lieutenant" is retained in the Bill, there is absolutely no connecting link whatever between him and this House, and that I am sure is a state of affairs which the Government themselves do not intend. At present we do -not know whether it is going to be the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster or the hon. Member for St. George's-in-the-East who may in future answer those very serious questions, not merely with regard to the reserved services, but with regard to the general administration of Irish affairs which must arise just as they do at the present time. That is a most ridiculous state of affairs. It ought to be stated specifically in the Bill on whose shoulders the duty of answering questions connected with Irish Administration is to fall. I submit by far the most reasonable way would be to substitute an officer called a "Secretary of State" for 2517 this ambiguous and anomalous creature the "Lord Lieutenant." The Chief Secretary has tried to show why it is impossible that a Secretary of State should hold this office, but he has utterly failed to convince me there is any impossibility whatever about it. Assuming Ireland does have Home Rule, I see no reason why there should not be either a Chief Secretary or a Secretary of State, though I trust we will not have the same sort of Chief Secretary. It must be obvious to everybody that an official of that sort is necessary. What is to prevent an official like the present Chief Secretary—I am not speaking of the personality of the Chief Secretary—holding this office in the future. After all, the duties of the Chief Secretary and those of the Lord Lieutenant are at the present time so inexplicably mixed up together that it is hard to say, except in formal matters such as the signing of documents, which is the duty of the one and which is the duty of the other. In a way the duties of these two officials are identical, and I cannot see any reason why the person who exercises the supreme authority in Ireland should not sit in the House of Commons in precisely the same way as the person who at the present time really exercises the supreme authority in Ireland does. The Chief Secretary has said that the duties of the Lord Lieutenant in looking after the Irish services would be so great that he would not have time to sit in this House. Surely that is a mistake, but, whether it is a mistake or not, it is not a proper view to take of the situation. We have to look at the importance of the duties he has to perform, and to the fact that there will be forty Irish Members here whose duty it will be to look after the good government of Ireland and to look after the interests of their constituents in precisely the same way as it is the duty of Members who come from Ireland at the present time. What is the good of our presence here if we have nobody on the Front Bench to whom we can address questions or whom we can criticise for the administration of law and order in Ireland? In 1893 the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in Ireland, to give him his full title (Mr. T. W. Russell), asked this question:—What I want to know is this: If the Irish Members left in this House desire to raise any question, who is to be responsible for Ireland here? To whom are we to appeal? Will the Chief Secretary answer that question now?'We have always said on this side of the House, and this is a great compliment to 2518 the Vice-President of the Department, that any hon. Member who wants to find speeches against Home Rule could not do better than repeat the speeches made in 1886 and 1893 by the Vice-President of the Department. It seems to me the case we have made out is so strong that the Government must meet it in some way. So far as I have been able to find out, the office of Chief Secretary, as it exists at present, is not abolished, and, if this Bill was passed, it would still exist. I wonder whether it is in the contemplation of the Government that the Chief Secretary is to go on forming the link between the Parliament in this country and the Irish Government. If that is so, it is undoubtedly a considerable advance on the position which the Chief Secretary has taken up, but, then, there is a redundancy, and there is one official more than necessary. If the office of Chief Secretary is to remain, it seems to me the office of Lord Lieutenant should be swept away. The Government have absolutely failed to make clear what position we are to be in in respect of this matter if the Home Rule Bill becomes law, and I think on a matter of such extreme importance they should make it clear.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The speech of the Chief Secretary was an extremely able one, but I could not find out until the last concluding words whether he was going to support or oppose the Amendment. He told us he was always asked to dine with the Home Secretary on the King's birthday. I, as a Member for the City of London, also have that privilege, but I do not see quite what is has to do with the question before the House. I was inclined to think the right hon. Gentleman, not having any argument to advance against the proposal of my Noble Friend, sought refuge in those literary acquirements which have so distinguished him and endeavoured to involve in a cloud of words the issue which was before the Committee. That issue is a very simple one. Are we as a country—I am alluding for the moment to the United Kingdom—whose people will have to put their hands in their pockets to keep hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway going, to have the power of saying that they or the Executive here are responsible to this House? That seems to me to be a very simple proposition. How has it been met by the right hon. Gentleman? Unfortunately I did not hear the speech of the learned Solicitor-General, though I am 2519 told it was to the effect that the duties of the Lord Lieutenant were so onerous that it would be impossible for him to sit upon that bench if his office were done away with and the Chief Secretary take his place. We know perfectly well that the duties of the Lord Lieutenant, like those of the Governors of Australia or Canada, are of a more or less social and ornamental character. The real duties of the Lord Lieutenant are already performed by the right hon. Gentleman himself, and I have not noticed that their performance has prevented him from being present in this House. I admit I have not such an intimate acquaintance with the Bill as the right hon. Gentleman has, but I have not yet been able to find that, under its provisions, there is any Clause which appoints a Minister to sit upon that bench and to be answerable for the functions of this Government in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman stated that the Amendment of my Noble Friend must not be accepted because there was going to be a Minister who would sit upon that bench and be answerable to this House. Then why was that not put into the Bill? Is it in the Bill?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Why was it not put in the Bill? We are told we cannot appoint a Minister without ministerial responsibility. I have learned a great many things during the last few months. Right hon. Gentlemen on that bench can do anything they like. They do not study precedents. Whatever they wish to do they do. I am perfectly well convinced that if it suits their purpose they will, utterly regardless of precedent, do what they wish. I am glad that the Postmaster-General is here. He is rather a stickler for etiquette. I will ask him why they have not put this proposal into the Bill? I wonder if the hon. and learned Member for Waterford looks on this as another of those graceful concessions which are intended to win over this country to his side. It is a most important question from a financial point of view, and that is the point of view with which I am most concerned. It is most important we should have on that Bench a Minister to whom we can address questions and whose salary we can cut down if he does not meet us in the proposals we put forward. I again ask why has not this proposal been put in this Bill, which has taken a great many months to adumbrate? 2520 I understand that the right hon. Gentleman-is going to vote against this Amendment because it is intended that a certain official should occupy his place in the next Government. Does he intend to move that?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I did not say I was going to move any Amendment of that kind. I said it would be the case that there would be a Minister to answer questions.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I do not wish to commit any breach of the Rules of this House, but I am really so confused that I do not know what I am saying. I listened attentively to the right hon. Gentleman and what I am anxious to know is when is this Minister going to be appointed. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not think I am in any way discourteous when I say that unless we have the statements of the right hon. Gentleman opposite in black and white we cannot be sure that they will be fulfilled. I can quite conceive that in the absence of any statutory obligation in the Bill the question may arise when perhaps the right hon. Gentleman has been called to a more elevated sphere, or when he is perhaps returning to that career of literature which he has so often adorned—I can quite understand the Postmaster-General getting up and saying, in answer to a humble person like myself, "Can the hon. Member for the City of London show me in any Act or Bill any definite obligation by a responsible Minister of the Crown that such an official shall be created?" I should have to answer 'No," and the retort naturally would be that if it had been the intention of the House of Commons that such a Minister should be appointed, it would have been put in the Bill. I think it is very desirable we should have someone in this House with power to control the expenditure which will be put upon our Constituents.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I think the Amendment which is before the House has some substance apart from the question that the Minister is to answer questions here if this Home Rule Bill should unfortunately become law. I have always been in favour myself, and I think at one time it was the policy of the Liberal party to draw closer the bond between Great Britain and Ireland by the abolition of what I conceive to be an absolutely unnecessary office—that of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. I remember very well hearing a discussion that took place many years ago in this 2521 House on the policy of the Lord Lieutenant, when a very eminent Irish lawyer, who afterwards became an eminent judge, got up late in the evening and said he thought he could put the whole question of the institution of the Lord Lieutenant for Ireland in a nutshell, as he called it, and he put it in these words:—In England, your aristocracy love to bask in the sunshine of Royalty; why should not we in Ireland love to bask in the moonshine of Vice-royalty?The really absurd part of this proposal in the Bill is that you are throwing onerous duties, I think extremely onerous duties, perhaps more onerous than arise in the case of any Colonial Administration, upon a gentleman who will never be here to answer for himself. What is the necessity? What is there so sacred about the office of Lord Lieutenant or about having a person in that position so close to this country? You do very well in Scotland, where, I suppose, they are also to have a Parliament with a Lord Lieutenant. I do not know whether this will be a precedent for setting up a Lord Lieutenant in Scotland, Wales, Lancashire, and Yorkshire. If so, Lords Lieutenant will become as common as turnips. Ought not we to try, on the assumption that the Bill passes, to do what hon. Members below the Gangway are now so anxious for, namely, draw closer the bonds existing between the Irish nation, as we are called, and the nation that rules in this country? What does it all come down to when we take the admissions of the right hon. Gentleman and Members on the other side? Everybody admits that you must have in this House somebody to answer as regards Irish matters. I believe we have in this House a Secretary of State for the Colonies. I do not know exactly what he has to do or whether he has anything to do. I assume he has something to do. I do not believe he has half as much to do as whoever is concerned with Ireland will have to do in this House after Home Rule becomes law. If the Colonies are important enough to have such a proud official as a Secretary of State—I notice that the most aristocratic Member of the Government is selected for that post—surely the least a nation like Ireland, a whole nation, ought to expect is a Secretary of State. The Colonies, who are always glad, I think and I hope, to boast that they are the same nation as ourselves, are satisfied with a Secretary of State. Why should not the whole nation, as we are a great nation, have at 2522 least as much as the Colonies, who are satisfied to be part of the British nation? Think for a moment what is to be discharged by the Gentleman who will be answerable for Ireland. He will have all the reserved services, which really reserve everything that there has ever been a discussion upon in my recollection in this House.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I gather from that observation that the right hon. Gentleman is laying down that whatever is done about education in Ireland you cannot raise it in this House.
§ Mr BIRRELL
The right hon. Gentleman said everything had been reserved which gave rise to discussion in this House. I pointed out that that is not so.
§ Sir E. CARSON
But the object of the observation must have been to show that we should at all events have been relieved from education. I will take the present frame of mind of the Chief Secretary. He says nothing is withdrawn from the House. If that is so surely we ought to have a Minister here at all events as important as the Chief Secretary. With the admission now that nothing is withdrawn from the House, with the admission now that we shall have discussions here just as great as we had before, with the admission in addition that you will have under Subsection (7) a right to challenge the action of the Lord Lieutenant, as it is in the present Bill, but as we think it ought to be the Secretary of State, because he is ordered to comply with any instructions given by His Majesty in respect of any Bill, that means by His Majesty's advisers in this country, andHe shall, if so directed by His Majesty, postpone giving the assent of His Majesty to any such Bill presented to him for assent.Do you not think those two Clauses give rise to additional controversies? Just fancy a Bill passed by the Irish Parliament and His Majesty's Government over here, from their observation of the news- 2523 papers, writing over and telling him "That is a matter you must reserve." Just imagine the Irish Parliament saying, "What are you reserving it for?" and sending over to their Irish Members in this House to get up and raise a discussion or move the Adjournment of the House to know why the Lord Lieutenant dares not) to give assent to a Bill that has been solemnly passed by the two Chambers in this country and by the representatives of the people. The questions which will arise upon the terms of your own Statute will be far greater and far more constitutional than the ordinary questions which arise here as to whether a man was wrongly arrested or someone was wrongly convicted—great constitutional questions arising between two nations, to come back to the claim that is made. We are told the real solution of the question is, do not have in the House the one man who is accountable for the administration of all these difficulties which will arise between the two countries. Was anything ever more absurd? Of course, if the right hon. Gentleman would really state what is running in his mind, it is this: He would say, "I do not like to take away someone who is such a great asset to the social life of Dublin as the Lord Lieutenant is." There is nothing else in it. There is nothing on earth which the Lord Lieutenant has to do which could not be far better done by someone who is in this House and is accountable to this House. It would be far better done and done with a far more serious sense of responsibility if he knew that what he was doing was at once readily to be challenged upon the Vote for his salary, which is the proper way of raising the question as to whether anybody in office in this House is property carrying out his duties or not. To all that I give you the go by, and we
§ must go through this form, according to the right hon. Gentleman. "We set up a Lord-Lieutenant. He will not be accountable to this House, but we will appoint somebody or other in the Government. We will not tell you what is his status or position or anything else. We admit there must be somebody, but we refuse to tell you who." It may be the Lord President of the Council, or the Lord Privy Seal. I do not know that it will not be better in the end to appoint the Charity Commissioners, or whoever represents them in this House. I put it to the Committee, is that business? Have we got any reason as to why the man who is to be accountable is not to be in this House? Anybody, to make it certain, is better than nobody. I would rather have the Chief Secretary appointed, even if the present occupant of the office were to continue to act. I am not sure that I would not rather have the Vice-President of the Board of Agriculture. [Indications of Dissent.] My hon. Friends behind me demur to that. But it would be very interesting, because the advice he gave one day he would be absolutely certain next day to withdraw. It would be really an interesting situation in this House. Really, I do hope still that sometime we will hear from the right hon. Gentleman, or some Member connected with the Government, that this matter will not be lightly passed over, and that as a mere matter of business and as a constitutional matter, we shall have somebody connected with the Government in this important office who will have to do this duty. I hope that we will be allowed to have in the Bill who is to be answerable in the future as to the Government.
§ Question put, "That the words 'Lord Lieutenant' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 201.2527
|Division No. 371.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Burke, E. Haviland-|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Barton, W.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John|
|Adamson, William||Beale, Sir William Phipson||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Byles, Sir William Pollard|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bentham, G. J.||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Boland, John Pius||Chancellor, Henry G.|
|Armitage, Robert||Booth, Frederick Handel||Chapple, Dr. William|
|Arnold, Sydney||Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Clancy, John Joseph|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Brady, P. J.||Clough, William|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Collins Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Brunner, J. F. L.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Bryce, J. Annan||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Barnes, G. H.||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jowett, F. W.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Joyce, Michael||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Crean, Eugene||Keating, M.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Crooks, William||Kellaway, Frederick George||Priestly, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kelly, Edward||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Cullinan, John||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Kilbride, Denis||Radford, G. H.|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||King, J.||Rattan, Peter Wilson|
|Davies, Timothy (Louth)||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields).|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||Lambert, Richard (Cricklade)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lansbury, George||Reddy, Michael|
|Delaney, William||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leach, Charles||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Doris, W.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lewis, John Herbert||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E)||Lundon, T.||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Lynch, A. A.||Robinson, Sidney|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||McGhee, Richard||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Falconer, J.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Farrell, James Patrick||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Rowlands, James|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Macpherson, James Ian||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Field, William||M'Kean, John||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Furness, Stephen W.||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B|
|Gill, A. H.||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Sheehy, David|
|Ginnell, Laurence||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Martin, Joseph||Shortt, Edward|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Goldstone, Frank||Meagher, Michael||Smith, Albert (Lancs, Clitheroe)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Greig, Col. J. W.||Millar, James Duncan||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Molloy, M.||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, W.)|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Moiteno, Percy Alport||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Guiney, Patrick||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Tennant, Harold John|
|Hackett, J.||Mooney, John J,||Thomas, James Henry|
|Hancock, J. G.||Morgan, George Hay||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Morrell, Philip||Thome, W. (West Ham)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morison, Hector||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Muldoon, John||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Harvey W. E. (Derbyshire N.E.)||Needham, Christopher T.||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Neilson, Francis||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nolan, Joseph||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Norman, Sir Henry||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)1|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Wardle, George J.|
|Hayward, Evan||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Waring, Walter|
|Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)||Nuttall, Harry||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Henry, Sir Charles||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Webb, H.|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon. S.)||O'Doherty, Philip||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Higham, John Sharp||O'Donnell, Thomas||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Hinds, John||O'Dowd, John||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Grady, James||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Hodge, John||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Hogge, James Myles||O'Malley, William||Whyte, A. F.|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Shee, James John||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Hughes, S. L.||Outhwaite, R. L.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Winfrey, Richard|
|John, Edward Thomas||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)||Young, William (Perthshire, E.)|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pirie, Duncan V.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Mount, William Arthur|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Newman, John R. P.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Fleming, Valentine||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Col. J.||Fletcher, John Samuel||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Forster, Henry William||Nield, Herbert|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Gardner, Ernest||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gibbs, G. A.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Goldsmith, Frank||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greene, W. R.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Gretton, John||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Barnston, Harry||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barrie, H. T.||Haddock, George Bahr||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Royds, Edmund|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Harris, Henry Percy||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Helmsley, Viscount||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Bird, Alfred||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Boyton, James||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hills, John Waller||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Stanier, Beville|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Butcher, John George||Home, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Horner, Andrew Long||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Campion, W. R.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Stewart, Gershom|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildrea||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Ingleby, Holcombe||Swift, Rigby|
|Cator, John||Jackson, Sir John||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Cave, George||Jcssel, Captain H. M.||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Joynson-Hicks, William||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Kerry, Earl of||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Chambers, James||Keswick, Henry||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Ceilings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Larmor, Sir J.||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Croft, Henry Page||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Winterton, Earl|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Mackinder, H. J.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Moore, William|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount Castlereagh and Mr. Malcolm.|
|Fell, Arthur||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
§ It being after 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.2528
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 296; Noes, 198.2531
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next (28th October).