HC Deb 28 October 1912 vol 43 cc76-191

(1) The public services in connection with the administration of the Acts relating to the Royal Irish Constabulary and the management and control of that force, shall by virtue of this Act be transferred from the Government of the United Kingdom to the Irish Government on the expiration of a period of six years from the appointed day and those public services shall then cease to be reserved services and become Irish services.

(2) If a Resolution is passed by both Houses of the Irish Parliament providing for the transfer from the Government of the United Kingdom to the Irish Government of the following reserved services, namely—

  1. (a)All public services in connection with the administration of the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908 and 1911; or
  2. (b) All public services in connection with the administration of Part I. of the National Insurance Act, 1911; or
  3. 77
  4. (c) All public services in connection with the administration of Part II. of the National Insurance Act, 1911, and the Labour Exchanges Act, 1909; or
  5. (d) All public services in connection with the administration of Post Office Savings Banks, Trustee Savings Banks, and Friendly Societies;
the public services to which the Resolution relates shall be transferred accordingly as from a date fixed by the Resolution, being a date not less than a year after the date on which the Resolution is passed, and shall on the transfer taking effect cease to be reserved services and become Irish services:

Provided that this provision shall not take effect as respects the transfer of the services in connection with the Post Office Savings Banks, Trustee Savings Banks, and Friendly Societies until the expiration of ten years from the appointed day.

(3) On any transfer under or by virtue of this Section, the transitory provisions of this Act (so far as applicable) and the provisions of this Act as to existing Irish officers shall apply with respect to the transfer, with the substitution of the date of the transfer for the appointed day, and of a period of five years from that date for the transitional period.


With regard to the Amendments to this Clause, I propose to call, first, the Amendment to leave out Subsection (1). The effect of that, if carried, of course would be to make the Royal Irish Constabulary permanently a reserved service. Subsequently, if the points are not covered in the earlier Debate, I should propose to call the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for the Wells Division, to leave out the words "by virtue of this Act," and to insert other words; and next the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Falmouth, which proposes to leave out "six years" and substitute another condition. Then on Sub-section (2) I should propose to call the Amendment to leave out the Sub-section, or the next on the Paper, the one standing in the name of the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Amery), inserting a ten years' reservation to cover the various services in that Section.

Colonel BURN

I beg to move, to leave out Sub-section (1).

4.0 P.M.

I consider this to be one of the most important Amendments in this Bill, because it opens up an entirely new aspect of Home Rule as it will be under an Irish Parliament, and, so far as I know, none of my hon. or right hon. Friends on Second Reading have brought up this matter for discussion. The Royal Irish Constabulary occupies a unique position. It is recognised by all military critics as part of the Imperial forces, and it has been, under its present constitution, since it was established by Sir Robert Peel, a mainstay of order and Empire, and it is to-day, under modern conditions, from a tactical point of view, an infinitely better and more efficient force than the Irish volunteers embodied after Turgots raid in Carrickfergus, and whose procession through the streets of Dublin between 1778 and 1782 frightened the London Parliament into granting legislative independence to. Grattan's Parliament in the absence of our regular troops abroad. The Royal Irish Constabulary has done yeoman service for this country under the most trying conditions. It is beyond dispute a military force; it is armed with rifle, sword, and pistol, and it earned its title of "Royal" for its services in suppressing the Fenian rising. Complete absorption of our armed forces in Ireland is far more necessary to-day than it was either in 1782or 1812,and mere casuistry will not suffice. What would have been the result had there been the Irish constabulary at Castlebar in 1798? Many chapters in the history of that period would have to be entirely rewritten. We must have complete absorption and unhampered control of all naval and military forces in the great Imperial system. The Royal Irish Constabulary would be the only mobilised troops in Ireland in the event of our regular troops being sent abroad. Those who consider this is a mere chimera I recommend to study the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman who now controls the War Office, or his chief military advisers, and they will be readily and finally disabused, indeed it is on that assumption and that alone that they base their urgent appeals for recruits to the depleted ranks of the Territorial force. The riflemen of the Royal Irish Constabulary are not only the line of ancient troops, but the gendarmerie and national guard of Ireland, and yet it is calmly and deliberately proposed to hand over this magnificent body of men to such champions of civil order and Imperial expansion as Molly Maguire and Patrick Ford. This Bill, and especially this Clause, seems to men like Mahan and Bernardhi—the first exponents of modern strategy—to be mere partisan madness. This view is confirmed by distinguished officers and writers on modern strategy—which I do not suppose makes much difference to hon. Members below the Gangway, Their opinions are based on the history of the past and on the present conditions of to-day, and every nation in Europe pays heed to what they say. Unless my Amendment to this Clause is accepted you are providing the very Nemesis of Imperial disruption and furnishing their champions with the means to attain their ends.

The Royal Irish Constabulary would be absolutely vital to the service of this country in the event of a sudden invasion or of a raid, rising, or rebellion. They would have numerous duties to perform almost too numerous to relate. They would be responsible for the holding of the Post Offices for the Marconi stations, and not least of all, they would be responsible for the terminals of the Atlantic cables. They would also be entirely responsible for the rapid mobilisation of troops, and for the movement of men, arms, and ammunition, and our food supplies, and yet, light-heartedly, this Government proposes to hand over this magnificent body of 10,000 men ready for immediate action to the tender mercies of these fierce and determined agitators against the supreme power and authority of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. At least that is how you ironically put it in Clause 1, That is what this Government proposes to do, and more than that. They are going to hand over to the enemies of our rule depots and places of arms in every town and village in the country, and you are going to provide these agitators with an advance guard of admirably drilled and picked men. What is that advance guard going to do? It is an advance guard for securing the confederacy of Munster, Leinster, and Connaught, and I might say of all Ireland, were it not for the fact that the loyalists North of the Boyne are as true to the flag of this country as were the Yankees North of the Potomac to the American Union. And yet Lord Wellington, the greatest strategist of his age, said that to neglect the strategy of Ireland would be to ensure the ruin of Great Britain. His warning was not the result of vote-catching expediency, but of mature and deliberate reflection based upon his own personal experience.

The Royal Irish Constabulary is absolutely vital to our strategy, and it does hold a unique position. Moreover it was selected for its character and intelligence, and it has the confidence of one section and the respect of all sections. What is it likely to expect under an Irish Parliament? I think it will get short shrift from them. This Irish Constabulary has done yeoman service under most trying-conditions, and I think it has earned the respect of every nation in the world for that service. It is only reasonable to imagine that the position of the constabulary under the Irish Parliament will not be a pleasant one, because that constabulary has in the past been brought into contact with these opposing forces, has put down proclaimed meetings, and assisted to keep law and order in Ireland, and has even gone so far as to assist and protect little children from a raid by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. We remember during the South African war what splendid service the Royal Irish Constabulary performed. When Britain was denuded of troops, and there were only a mere handful of troops in Ireland, there was no difficulty at all about the military position there because we were then masters of the situation, we controlled the military position, and the constabulary were always ready to give information of any possible movement that might be leading in the direction of rebellion. They have always done perfectly admirable service.

Why are these proposals for the transfer of the constabulary different from the proposals in the two previous Bills of 1886 and 1893? What is the object of that? I suppose the dictator has ordered that it is to be so, and therefore the Government meekly and calmly submit. The position of the constabulary is unassailable, and I think I can best illustrate what it has done by the story of an Englishman who went to the United States and met an Irish-American there and began to discuss with him the political situation in Ireland. The Englishman asked how things were, and the Celt replied that "Ireland is ready to-rise. There are 270,000 men in Connaught, 70,003 in Leinster, and 90,000 in Munster, all ready to rise at a moment's notice." And the Englishman asked, "Why don't they rise? "and the reply of the Celt was, "Sure the police won't let 'em. "Many Nationalist Members and their leaders in Ireland have spoken on public platforms about the police. I will quote a few ex- tracts from some of those speeches, because I think there is in them much that gives good reason for the constabulary to fear what their future may be. The hon. Member for East Mayo said, on 18th May, 1880:— It will be our duty, and we will set about it without delay, to disorganise and break up the Irish Constabulary that for the past thirty years has stood at the back of the Irish landlords bayonet in hand. The pay of these men, which is taken out of the pockets of the Irish tenants, is voted yearly in the English Parliament, and not an Irish Member could be found to protest against it. Let ns now see that instead of £1,200,000 a year which is devoted to pay the Irish Constabulary, that not one £ 100,0000 will go for that purpose. Then would like to see the landlord who would face the Irish tenant! (Applause). I tell you that the hour we lake away the bayonet of the Irish policeman, that hour the landlords will come to ask us for a settlement of the land question. At Cork, on the 26th of March, 1891, the hon. Member for East Mayo was cross-examined, and he is reported as follows:—

"Mr. Ronan

Did yon say ill a speech 'It will he our duty to disorganise and break lip the Royal Irish Constabulary?'

"Mr. Dillon

Yes, and I trust to do it yet.

"Mr. Ronan

You would break and disorganise the Royal Irish Constabulary?

"Mr. Dillon

No; I have not the power yet, but when I have the power I trust to do it."

Speaking at Castlerea, on 5th December, 1886, the hon. Member for East Mayo said:— I tell these people that the time is at hand, and very close tit hand, too, when the police will be our servants, when the police will be taking their pay from Mr. Parnell, when he will be Prime Minister of Ireland. And I warn the men to-day who take their stand by the side of landlordism, and signalise them as the enemies of the people, that in the time of our power we will remember them.

That is not a covert but an open threat, and we all know what will happen to the Irish Constabulary under an Irish Parliament. What safeguard have we got to prevent recruiting for the Irish Constabulary only being open to the members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians or the United Irish League? Surely we are all human beings. What do the constabulary see before, them? In six years time they will be under an Irish Parliament, and during that time is it not possible that they may begin to consider what their future position will be, and they will themselves, instead of remaining loyal to the Crown and flag, see where their bread-and-butter lies, and feel that they have to obey the orders of the Irish Parliament, and they will have to begin by owning allegiance to it?

I look on this as the most dangerous Clause in this iniquitous Bill, and I do still believe there are hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House who, whatever else they may do, will not jeopardise the safety of these islands by voting with their party. I expect substantial support from hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House, and, if this Amendment is not accepted—I do not for one moment suppose it will be—it is because I feel perfectly convinced the real Prime Minister, the real ruler of Ireland and the real Chief Secretary will not allow the Government to accept it. I do, however, put this to the Government on the ground of the safety of our islands. There are forces in Ireland which neither the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford (Mr. John Redmond) nor the hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. Devlin) can control. They go and make inflammatory speeches in that country and surely it would be folly to place any reliance upon them when they come back here with their smooth-tongued speeches saying, "It is all very well, trust us, and everything will be all right." I see no guarantee for that, and I feel the safety of those islands is in jeopardy, I dare say hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House are prepared to swallow all this and to obey the Whip and go into the Lobby and vote against this Amendment, but, if they only think it out for themselves, they surely must vote in our Lobby on this occasion. I believe this means the break-up of these islands in the event of foreign complications, for we have had enough speeches from hon. Gentlemen who are Members of the Nationalist party saying what they would do when the Germans had designs on this country. Of course, they laugh at it now; they are always ready to do that here, but when they preach what I might fairly call a Jehad in their own country and to an audience less well educated than this, then I say the danger to this country is incalculable.


The more I examine this Bill the more convinced I am that it is far the worst measure of Home Rule that has ever been submitted to this House. It is more unjust to the British taxpayer; it is more dangerous to the interests of the United Kingdom, and it threatens more disastrous consequences to^ the minority in Ireland than either of the two Bills that were associated with the name of Mr. Gladstone. I think, perhaps, there is no part of the Bill which exhibits what I may call this crescendo of iniquity in a more striking manner than this proposal with regard to the Royal Irish Constabulary. In the Bill of 1886 this force was to remain under the control of the Imperial authorities. In 1893 the policy was changed, and the force was to be gradually disbanded, as local police forces were brought into existence. The Irish Government was expressly prohibited from establishing an armed force similar to the Royal Irish Constabulary. In this Bill we have another change of policy, and I think it is a change for the worse. It is provided that at the end of six years after the passing of the Act the constabulary is to be handed over to the Irish Government without any condition or direction that it shall be disbanded and replaced by a purely civil force. That I venture to say is a most dangerous power to put in the hands of an Irish Government. It was the opinion of Mr. Gladstone, and he strongly expressed the view during the Debates of 1893, that an Irish Government ought not to have control of a, force like the Royal Irish Constabulary. I think we are entitled to ask the Government for some better reason than they have yet given as to why they have thrown over Mr. Gladstone in this matter. It is no use repeating over and over again the parrot cry of "Trust the Irish." The Government have shown by their own Bill that they do not trust the Irish Parliament, else why have they retained the control of the Royal Irish Constabulary for six years? The Government do not care what happens after the six years are over, because they know perfectly well, whoever may be responsible for the affairs of this country, it will not be themselves. They will have long before gone to their political account.

In this matter, as in every other matter, the Government are guided and controlled entirely by the necessities of the moment. The most important question for them is how to retain office, and, when the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) made a point of having control of the Royal Irish Constabulary, of course the Government consented at once. It may be asked, Why has the hon. and learned Member for Waterford agreed to this delay of six years? I strongly suspect, if he would only tell us his real reason, he would say that he shirks the task of dealing with Ulster. As has often been said in this House, Ulster will resist this Bill if it ever reaches the Statute Book, and the hon. and learned Member for Waterford would rather that the British Government should incur the odium of applying coercion to the loyalists of Ireland. The hon. and learned Member can threaten Ulster with the strong hand, but no one knows better than he does that it would be impossible for a Nationalist Government to force their rule upon the people of Ulster. Therefore, he relies upon the British Government to do his dirty work. When they have, as he hopes, smoothed all the difficulties out of the way, he will take over the Royal Irish Constabulary armed and organised on its present footing. What will the Irish Parliament do with it when they have got control of the Royal Irish Constabulary, when they have got this force in their hands? I think the first thing they will do with it will be to weed out any officers and men who have shown any Loyalist sympathies. That will be one of the first things they will do with it. I have a significant statement on this point from the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon). I regret very much the hon. Member is not present, but I do not think if he were he would deny the accuracy of this report. This is a statement he made at Castlerea on the 5th December, 18S6, about the same time ho told the people of Tipperary that the police would be all working under his orders within the year:— The time is at hand, and very close at hand, too, when tile police will be our servants, when the police will be taking their pay from Mr. Parnell, who will he Prime Minister of Ireland, and I warn the men to-day who take their stand upon the side of landlordism that in the time of our power we will remember them. It may be said, and truthfully said, that statement was made a long time ago, and that it does not represent the spirit which animates the Nationalist party to-day. I do not believe there has been any change in the Nationalist intentions, although they may have made some change in their tactics. There is another statement of the hon. Member of a much more recent date, in which ho talks about remembering the friends and enemies of the Nationalist cause in the days of their triumph. That statement has been so often quoted in the House that I need not do more than refer to it. That it represents the spirit in which the Nationalist Government will deal with the Royal Irish Constabulary is shown, I think, by an incident which took place and is reported in the "Clonmel Nationalist" of 24th January, 1912. A Nationalist meeting was proclaimed at a place called Moyglass. Three Nationalist Members had arranged to address this meeting, and they protested rather vigorously against the action of the police in preventing the meeting being held. One of the Members, the Member for East Tipperary, declared that he meant to assert his right to address a public meeting.

At this juncture— I would remind the Committee I am reading an extract from a Nationalist paper— a stalwart police sergeant laid his hand on Alderman Condon, assuming a rather aggressive attitude. Thereupon, the hon. Member for East Tipperary became very angry, and, again I quote from the report pointing to the police sergeant already referred to, Alderman Condon said to the County Inspector, 'I will have the name of that man, and I will mark him. Thank God our day is coming soon when, under a. Home Rule Government, we can hold our meetings where we like.' Does not the Committee see how unjust is the proposal that the Royal Irish Constabulary should be handed over to the control of men with whom, in the loyal discharge of their duty, they have been brought into conflict in the past? The Irish Government, when they have got the force in their hands, will be able to transform it in whatever way they please. What is there in this Bill to prevent them filling its ranks with members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and, instead of making it an instrument to preserve the peace, making it an instrument of tyranny against all who dare to oppose the Tammany ring in power in Dublin? This proposal to transfer the Constabulary to the Irish Government throws a very strong light upon the separatist tendency of this Bill. You propose to give the Irish Parliament all authority over the police and judiciary, and you will therefore hasten that time which is looked forward to by the hon. Member for West Belfast, when, to quote his own words:— Those who think we should destroy the last link which binds us with England should operate by whatever means they think best to achieve that great and desirable end. This proposal of the Government involves the greatest injustice to the taxpayers of Great Britain. I do not wish to anticipate the discussion on Clause 17, Subsection (4), but I want to remind the Committee that when the Royal Irish Constabulary is transferred to the Irish Parliament the British taxpayer will continue to pay for it. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford regards that provision with great satisfaction, and he said at the Mansion House in Dublin, on 23rd April:— We get control of the Royal Irish Constabulary at the end of six years, and mark you, when we get control of that force, the cost of the service will continue to be paid from Imperial sources, and we will benefit on any economies that we may make. Let the Committee observe—they are to benefit from any economies, not the British taxpayer but the Nationalist party—who are directly responsible for the great expense which this force entails upon the British Exchequer. The cost of the Royal Irish Constabulary, in comparison with other police forces in England and Scotland, has for long been one of the standing arguments for Home Rule. It has been quoted as an example of the excessive burdens which have been placed upon the Irish people by the British Government. We all know that the establishment of this force—and its maintenance for all these years upon its present costly scale—has been due entirely to the character and the continuance of the Nationalist agitation. Not only were the Nationalist party responsible for the continuance of this force but they have deliberately prevented any reduction of the constabulary during the last few years. When the present Government came into office they found Ireland in a more peaceful condition than it had been for 600 years. The Unionist Government had brought about a reduction of the police force corresponding to the improved conditions in Ireland. What happened when the present Government succeeded to office? There was a resort to cattle driving and other forms of agrarian disorder and the Chief Secretary, although he did little or nothing to check this outburst of criminality, increased the strength of the Royal Irish Constabulary by 750 men and the cost of the force was proportionately increased. We have been told in the course of these Debates that Home Rule is going to effect some magical change in the Nationalist character; but, human nature being what it is, and especially Irish human nature, I do not believe in this Home Rule millennium. Assuming that these expectations are realised and that the constabulary can be reduced, I ask this Committee is it right or just that the transfer should take place under these conditions. What the Government say in effect to the British taxpayer is this:— The Royal Irish Constabulary cost you £1,500,000 a year, but, although disorder may decrease and the police force may be reduced, you are still to go on paying a million and a half a year, and the Irish Parliament can spend the money as they please. I do not think the electors of Great Britain are likely to view such a prospect with any pleasure. If the British taxpayer is to pay for the maintenance of the Royal Irish Constabulary, he is entitled, through his representatives in this House, to claim to exercise some control over the expenditure of that money. I therefore object to the control of the Royal Irish Constabulary being handed over to the Irish Parliament. I do not believe that body could be trusted to use it with fairness to all sections of the community. When we are asked to believe that Home Rule is going to produce peace in Ireland I think it is very pertinent to remind the Committee that there are still between 300 and 400 persons in Ireland who are boycotted; and on the 30th September last there were 317 persons receiving special protection from the police. These people who required this special protection are not in Ulster. In the Northern Counties, where the loyalists predominate, what do we find? In county Armagh there are fifteen policemen for every 10,000 of population. In Antrim and Down the number is twelve for every 10,000. But when you come to the figures for Clare and Galway, I think the Committee will agree that the contrast is somewhat startling, because, instead of there being twelve policemen for every 10,000 of the population there are no fewer than forty-eight, or one policeman for every 208 inhabitants against one policeman for every 833 in Antrim. What do these figures prove? They prove in my opinion that the Government which will be controlled by organisations responsible for this state of affairs in the South and West of Ireland, cannot be entrusted with the control of the Royal Irish Constabulary. In Nationalist hands this force would be used, not to protect the minority, but to crush out every vestige of political liberty. I maintain, therefore, that in the interests of the minority and the integrity of the United Kingdom, if you grant Home Rule to Ireland it is essential that the control of the Royal Irish Constabulary should remain in the hands of the Imperial Parliament.


We have had a variety of arguments from hon. Gentlemen opposite in support of Amendments of this nature, and last week I almost bowed my head before the statements of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour) and the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Trinity College (Sir E. Carson), who pointed out the undoubted fact that we are setting up an Executive in Ireland to which it is intended to entrust the duty of maintaining peace, order, and good government, and yet we are interposing between them and the officers of their will a medium in the form of the Lord Lieutenant. They come down to-day and suggest that by thus reserving the control of the police we are paralysing the arm of the Executive who must always feel that they have behind them the strong force of the law, and that they are ineffective to carry out its decrees without force. Indeed, Bedlam was the expression used by a right hon. Gentleman opposite as being the one nearest to the necessities of the description. So far so good. Everybody will agree it is a disadvantage to do what this Bill does, namely, to interpose a period of six years before the Irish Executive will have control of the Royal Irish Constabulary. If everything were for the best in the best of all possible worlds, I dare say that reservation would not be in the Bill. But with the eloquence of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen still ringing in their ears, the Opposition come down and suggest that these Bedlamite restrictions and this paralytic legislation shall continue, and that the Trish Executive is to be for ever without the Royal Irish Constabulary and that it is to be powerless, ineffective, and without the means of giving effect to its resolutions. Really you must make up your minds as to what you want. We have already decided there shall be an Trish Parliament with an Irish Executive, and now we have to consider the best and most reasonable way of making any Government work in a country like ours and in circumstances such as these. Having regard to the powerful arguments used by right hon. Gentlemen opposite last week, the real question is not that which has been put before us this afternoon in the military speech of the hen. Member, but how can I possibly justify the reservation of this force for six years? How can I make that good? That is the question that weighs on my mind. I think we had better argue this question broadly. One hon. Member advocates that the reservation shall be for one, rather than for six years. Another hon. Member has an Amendment which suggests ten years' reservation. I should like to state the reasons why we oppose the Amendment, reserving the police altogether, and I shall be only too happy to pray in aid the admirable and eloquent speeches made last week. I should much prefer if this anomaly or difficulty did not arise. Hon. Gentlemen cannot help paying me the compliment of saying that I do pray in aid against the military Gentlemen and the hon. Baronet the arguments which they used. I am sure they will all agree with me in thinking that it is a great disadvantage to an Executive, in ordinary circumstances, if it is not armed at once with the power of setting in motion its own officers.

Now we come to the question, Why do we reserve for this period of six years the Royal Irish Constabulary? Everybody who has had anything to do with Ireland personally, who knows anything of its administration, or of the country, recognises perfectly well what a marvellously well-organised service the Royal Irish Constabulary is. People in this country never hear of it except in connection with outbreaks and alarms and scares which appear in the newspapers. You might imagine that they were always concerned in breaking the heads of the people, during the land war, the eviction of tenants, meetings which had to be proclaimed, troubles in the North in connection with annual demonstrations and the like. These are the services of the Royal Irish Constabulary which most engage the attention of the mere onlooker, or the reader of the newspaper, but the persons engaged in the administration of Ireland know perfectly well that this force has other duties. No doubt it grew up originally upon a purely military basis, and the object was, if you like, to hold down the people and to prevent their combinations and agitations which have since taken place, leaving their record on the Statute Book, and have accomplished a revolution in Ireland, which I think renders all quotations made from excited speakers during the existence of the land war entirely obsolete. The services of the Royal Irish Constabulary are to-day, I am happy to say, for the most part of quite a peaceful character. They have played, as everybody will admit, an important and a most useful part in a country which, being a small country, lends itself to centralisation and to a centralised force, and they have performed during the last few weeks a most important service with regard to the most unfortunate outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Ireland.

I do not know what Ireland could have done without the services of the Royal Irish Constabulary. They have played a great and most interesting part in the beneficent instructive work of the Board of Agriculture, whether under the guidance of Sir Horace Plunkett or anyone else. The Irish policeman, the Irish priest, and in the North the Irish minister of religion, all play a part in the organisation of society, which no ordinary Englishman in any way realises. I have here a long list supplied to me of the duties they carry out. It runs to more than twenty heads, showing the kind of work the Royal Irish Constabulary do, taking the Census every ten years, acting as auctioneers in connection with sales on distress, acting as enumerators of emigrants, and carrying out duties connected with the Congested Districts Board—in fact there is quite a long list of the meritorious services performed by this very admirable body of men. Here they are, highly organised, highly successful. In every village you have the sergeant, his staff consisting of himself and four constables. Over him you have the head constable, then there is the district inspector, and then a county inspector. All of these men are I think with hardly any exceptions very capable men, held in esteem all through the country, although they may occasionally have run counter to some interests of the inhabitants. There they are at the head of this highly organised hierarchy, a great system for keeping things going in Ireland. Over 11,000 men are in the force. They have different duties in different counties. I quite agree with what the hon. Baronet (Sir J. Lonsdale) said, that in North Antrim, owing to the peaceable nature of the people—I do not wish to quarrel with the people of North Antrim: God forbid!— there may not be the same necessity for the same number of police as in the disturbed part of Clare, or as in the disturbed part of Galway. I do not know what conclusion the hon. Baronet wishes us to arrive at from that.

In all countries there are places where you need more police than at others. You can generally find some good reason for that without attributing extra villainy or even lawlessness to the inhabitants of the place which requires to have more police. Here are these police, highly organised under their General Inspector, and it would be a cruel thing and an unfair thing to any new Government in Ireland at once to require them to take over and reorganise this great body. But you have really to consider what will happen. If you can only leave Ireland out of your minds for a moment, and think of any country for which you have only a small concern, and where prejudice and passion are not concerned, where the ordinary peace, law and order of a small locality is in the hands of a highly organised body, taking their orders from one person and another until you get to the top, think what would happen if they were taken suddenly away, or you were to say suddenly to them, "We have given you a new master." What would it mean? These police are for the most part all Irishmen, although some of their officers are not. The great body of the men are Irish, and the large majority of them belong to the religion of the majority of the people. They know what discipline is, and what it is to obey the orders of their own officers, and I think it would be most rash—rash for the force itself to say, "Over you go," without any time of reservation, without any opportunity of seeing how you are likely to get on with those who have, ex hypothesi, assumed the responsibilities of government. To interfere with them would be harsh, unwarrantable, and very unwise. It would upset their peace of mind and endanger their loyalty to the service.


Is the six years enough?


I think so. I think six years is enough. There I differ from one of the lion. Friends of the hon. Gentleman who interrupted me. I think six years will do it. I do not think one would be enough. On the other hand, I think that ten years is an unnecessary length of time. I think a reservation of six years is necessary by reason of the feeling of the force itself, the obligations you have to the force, the duty which every Chief Secretary owes to that force, his sense of gratitude to it for services rendered in past times, and otherwise. I think, therefore, that this force, of all others, deserves the fullest and kindest consideration at the hands of every person who takes it upon himself to effect any alteration in the country. That is one reason. The other reason is that this force is so organised and has carried on such work of all sorts and kinds in every village in Ireland that it would be too much to impose upon the new Irish Government— which I fully recognise has a very difficult task before it—to expect them to at once set about organising a new force, establishing a new order of things, and getting it in working order, and the men accustomed to obey their orders. That would be most unkind, unfair, and unreasonable to the new Irish Government. I do not want to go back upon the arguments. You say that the new Executive will not need this force at all, and the first thing they would do would be to weed everybody out of it, because in times past a constable had broken a Nationalist's head. Irishmen do not bear grudges of that character, and nothing of the sort is to be anticipated at all. What the new Irish Government will want is a strong and efficient force of police, as every other Government nowadays requires—and perhaps more nowadays than in past days. It will require an efficient and capable force, and my opinion is that the scheme in the Bill is wiser than the scheme in the Bill of 1893.


Can the right hon. Gentleman explain to the Committee why the Government have departed from the proposal in the Bill of 1893 that the constabulary should be gradually disbanded and their places filled by purely local police?


I have got the Bill of 1893 before me, and I am very glad to find that now it is dead and gone it has more friends than I remember it had during the discussion upon it. The Bill of 1893 provided:—? The…Royal Irish Constabulary shall, when and as local police are from time to time established in Ireland in accordance with the Sixth Schedule to this Act, be gradually reduced and ultimately cease to exist as mentioned in that Schedule; and after the passing of this Act no officer or man shall be appointed to either of those forces; Provided that until the expiration of six years from the appointed day nothing in this Act shall require the Lord Lieutenant to cause either of the said forces to exist, if as representing Her Majesty the Queen he considers it inexpedient.


The Chief Secretary has left out important words.


I have only left out the words: "The Dublin Metropolitan Police."


There were the words "and thereupon the Acts relating to such forces shall be repealed."


I beg the hon. Member's pardon. I quoted from the Bill as introduced. The Bill as amended said:— The forces of the Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Metropolitan Police shall, when as local police forces are from time to time established in Ireland in accordance with the Sixth Schedule to this Act, be gradually reduced and ultimately cease to exist as mentioned in that Schedule, and after the passing of this Act no officer or man shall be appointed to either of those forces; Provided that until the expiration of six years from the appointed day, nothing in this Act shall require the Lord Lieutenant to cause either of the said forces to cease to exist if as representing Her Majesty the Queen he considers it inexpedient. 5.0 P.M.

I read that for the purpose of showing that the period of six years was in the Bill of 1893. The scheme was that local police forces should be established in the manner provided for by the Schedule, and if and as and when they is ere appointed, so that a new police force rose gradually in the place of the old one, the Royal Irish Constabulary would cease to exist by inanition. We do not think that was a wise plan. We think upon the whole the necessities of Ireland and the real needs of Ireland are best met by a centralised force, and not by leaving it to different localities to raise their own forces. It might very well be that some localities might be shy of raising their own forces. They might not require them. Other places might require a larger police force owing to the habits of the district and to the necessities of the case. Let us be quite frank in the matter. One has not much temptation to be frank in this House, because however deeply convinced we may be of the truth of any statement, if it in any way whatsoever tends to support any argument of hon. Gentlemen opposite you are greeted at once with derisive laughter, and you are assured you have given the whole case away.


You say that of me too.


If I ever did say it of the right hon. Gentleman I should feel ashamed of myself, because I am perfectly sure in a matter of this kind fairness requires that the thing should be properly discussed. Does the Leader of the Opposition really, looking into his own breast, honestly say that he always places every consideration that is in his mind fully and fairly before this House without any regard to the people behind him? I think an honest man, in discussing a difficult question like this, should not be frightened of making observations which are received with that kind of derision by hon. Members opposite which indicates that in their judgment he has said something which, from a party point of view, he had better not have said. Very well, let us hermetically seal our minds if you like, each against each, and we will not try to say anything as a recognition of the fact that there may possibly be some point in the argument which you use and that there may be difficulties in the government of Ireland which render it desirable and necessary that there should be a centralised force of police. I think myself that to impose immediately upon the Irish Government the obligation of creating a substituted force for the existing admirable force, and to put upon the local bodies, local councils, county councils, and the like, the obligation of raising sufficient local forces would be a great mistake. I do not think it would be a wise or prudent thing to do, and I think the feeling in Ireland, at one time so accentuated, it may be, against the Royal Irish Constabulary, no longer exists, and I think the six years that they are allowed to remain as they are and under their present management and control will not be six years of discomfort, six years of agitation, and six years of difficulty, but when the thing is started you will be surprised to find how ready and willing the Royal Irish Constabulary are to obey the orders which are imposed upon them, and how ready the Executive will be to give them such orders as they will have no difficulty whatsoever in carrying out. These are the reasons. We do not think local forces do meet the necessities of the case. We do not think it will be easy to have them established during the first six years of the Irish Government, when there will be difficulties, financial and otherwise, in the way of everybody. We think it would be far better to allow the force to remain where it is during that period of time, but we quite agree with hon. Gentlemen opposite that that time must be limited, that a period must be placed to it—we think six years a reasonable and proper time—and at the expiration of that time the Royal Irish Constabulary will be handed over, if you like to use that expression, to their new masters, to whose demeanour and method they will have become accustomed. Of course, "O ye of little faith." I cannot argue with people who meet me with boundless scepticism and deep-rooted convictions that the new Irish Government will be what no self-government that has ever been established has been—incompetent, worthless, and villainous. We do not think that, but, on the other hand, we think this reservation is one which justice and wisdom prescribe.


The right hon. Gentleman began his speech by paying an almost exaggerated tribute of admiration to the arguments which my learned Friend and I endeavoured to lay before the House last week with regard to the extraordinary absurdity of this Bill, which makes the Irish Government responsible for law and order, and which gives them no means of carrying it out. The right hon. Gentleman now tells us that he felt overwhelmed by the strength of those arguments. I wish he had been overwhelmed when we were using them. I wish this strength of our case had not occurred to him some days after the case had been made. The right hon. Gentleman did not reply to me, but two Gentlemen on that bench did reply to me: one the Postmaster-General, and the other the Attorney-General; and I did not see any trace of this perception of the strength of our case. They did not see any point in our arguments at all. They swept them aside as if they were entirely negligible; and yet if the right hon. Gentleman had made last Thursday some of the observations he made to-day I think, overwhelming as our speeches then may have been in his view, we could have made them even stronger. What did he tell us just now? He said the Irish Constabulary are not merely a police force intended, like other police forces, to break people's heads. So I understood the argument to run. The Irish police force, in conjunction with the Irish priests and the Irish ministers, really constitutes what I may cell the whole skeleton and the whole sustaining organisation of Irish society. And then he drew a picture, perfectly accurate I think, of how the Irish police really carry on the work of administration, not merely in connection with law and order, but in connection with every Act passed by this House, in connection with the Contagious Diseases Acts, in connection with education—I cannot even begin the enumeration of these numberless duties all so admirably performed by the Royal Irish Constabulary. Then I began to ask myself whether the Government think they are giving Home Rule at all, because the Irish Constabulary are to remain under the Imperial Government?


I did not say that.


The right hon. Gentleman, I think, will admit that he went rather near it.


I daresay I am rather difficult to understand. I certainly did not wish to represent that all the main operations of the Government, including education, are in the hands of the police. I only said that for the purpose of carrying out a considerable number of Acts of Parliament they were a highly organised body which was to be found in every village and every district and every town, and that they do perform most invaluable and important duties, and if they were swept away at once it would be very difficult to replace them. There are other functions besides those of a police force.


The right hon. Gentleman is quite right upon education. I made a mistake in that, but I am quite content with his re-statement of his case. Perhaps that was his original statement as well as his re-statement. I will not quarrel with him on that point. But even as he has put it now—I quite agree he has pointed out that the Irish Constabulary carry on functions in connection with the Government of Ireland which are so widespread and so important that you really cannot do —what?


Replace them at once.


I should have thought the conclusion of the argument would be that you cannot keep them in the pay and in the service of a Government which is going to have nothing to do with Ireland. There we have this extraordinary picture of the omnipresent utility of the Irish Constabulary, and the Irish Constabulary are not going to be handed over to the new Governors of Ireland for six years.


And under this Amendment never.


True, but let me point out to the Government that because they bring in a Bill, and you can make an absolutely conclusive attack upon them from two sides, it does not make the Bill right and it does not make us wrong in pointing out that it is open to that attack. It is their business, if they choose to bring in a Home Rule Bill, to make it impregnable against attack on any side, or as impregnable as any human work can be. I do not say you cannot raise arguments of some sort against any plan, but can you bring forward absolutely overwhelming arguments, on the admission of the Government themselves, against any other plan but this piece of legislative insanity which they are laying before us. The right lion Gentleman has shown, in his opinion, that the Irish Constabulary ought to be kept. He has not shown why they ought not to be given to the Irish Government. He did not show it the other day, and he does not show it to-day. There are reasons why you cannot hand them over to the Irish Government. What does that prove? It proves that this Bill cannot, on the lines that the Government lay before us, be made watertight. You cannot so contrive it that arguments—not merely technical, not merely dialectical, not merely debating, but arguments of substance, going to the very root of the whole scheme—cannot be brought against other solutions which the Government has laid before us. Our real case with regard to the Irish Constabulary is this. As far as the Irish Government is concerned, you make them responsible for law and order. If you think that a proper thing to do, you ought to give them a force to carry out law and order. We also, under this Bill, retain duties in Ireland — prodigious duties. I am not going over them, but the whole case of the Government is that we are not giving Colonial government to Ireland. What we are giving to Ireland is something so profoundly different from 'Colonial government that control remains with this country over important points. There are administrative points; there are questions of the protection of minorities; and there are matters connected, as we know, with Customs and Excise, and all the rest of it; therefore we have duties too. I suppose the best solution would be that there should be in Ireland a body responsible to the Irish Government, and a police body, or something equivalent, with officers responsible to the British Government. That is what I gather is the case in the United States of America. The United States Executive Government has great functions to carry out, and it takes care that it shall have power to carry them out, but you take care that the Irish Government shall not carry out its duties for six years, and you take care that, after six years, we shall not carry out our duties. I call that an utterly illogical and preposterous system. And remember I am not talking a paradox; I am recommending something like the solution in the Bill of 1893. In that Bill, I admit, the British Government retained that power, and they gave, or proposed to give to the Irish Government, power to have their own police. Why do you not have that solution now, because we show that on the one hand and then on the other your plan is ridiculous? [An HON. MEMBER: "It was the 1886 Bill."] Well, your plan in 1886 showed the line on which something could be done, and not be open to the overwhelming criticism which may be urged against your present plan.

I think something better in the way of defence ought to be laid before the Committee than the right hon. Gentleman has laid before the Committee to-day. We have duties also towards the Royal Irish Constabulary. The right hon. Gentleman has not exaggerated the merits of that force. Persons ill acquainted with either the British system or the character of Ireland—foreigners who get their ideas from I know not what source—ask whether we should keep Ireland under the heel of an alien Government by main force. When they do so, I often think that if you tell them that the Irish Constabulary are entirely composed of Irishmen, that the proportion of creeds in the force—I do not know what it is exactly, or whether it is the same proportion as that of the population—but unquestionably a very large number of the Irish Constabulary are Roman Catholics—when you tell them that force, entirely Irish in its character, not drawn specially from any class of the population, but largely from the peasantry of the country, when you tell them that that force is not only loyal to the core, but absolutely efficient and popular with every section of their fellow countrymen, I think you have said something in praise of Imperial administration in Ireland; and, in any case, I am sure you have said a great deal in praise of the magnificent force which you now propose to hand over at the end of six years to the Irish Government. I do not think you have the least right to do it. They did not enlist with that prospect in view, and merely speaking in the interests of that force itself, I think they should have full opportunity of leaving the force with the compensation always given in this country when office is abolished.

I am surprised that the Government have done nothing in this Bill to ensure the future of men who have entered their service on conditions so absolutely different from those laid down in the Bill, and who by the universal admission of every section in the House, and of every one who has the smallest knowledge of Ireland, have deserved well of this country, of Ireland, of civilisation, and of progress, and who have earned what the servants of civilisation do not always earn —the gratitude of that part of the country which is more devoted than any other part to the United Kingdom. I hope the Government will think whether the hint I have thrown out is not one which they ought to take. I have made two suggestions, one in the interest of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and the other in the interest of rational government in Ireland. I would now ask the Committee, in conclusion, just to look for a moment at the actual plan the Government are asking this House to adopt. The Royal Irish Constabulary is to be ours, paid for by the Imperial Government, it is to be controlled by us, and recruited by us for six years, and during that period the Irish Administration, before they order a constable anywhere, I suppose, will have to get leave of the officer who in this respect is responsible, not to themselves, but to the Government for the time being sitting on the benches opposite. That is a sufficiently awkward position for the Irish Government.

How about the position of the British Government during that time? They are responsible as the paymasters of the force for everything which the force does. The advice that would be given to them as to how the force should be used will not come from independent officers responsible to them alone; it will come presumably through the channel of that unfortunate man, the future Lord Lieutenant, and he will have no sources of information of his own. His whole source of information will be through that Ministry of which in certain respects he is the servant and responsible adviser. With this source of information alone open to them, other than common report, they will have to advise in their turn, the British Prime Minister sitting on that bench and with that information, and that information alone, the responsibility of giving protection, or refusing protection, using this great force, or misusing it, or withholding it from any use at all, will be thrown upon the Minister in Downing Street, who himself cannot have any cognisance of the real necessities of the situation. Therefore, I think I have shown that the Irish Government will have ground of complaint with the British Government under this arrangement. But, after all, I am not sure that I have exhausted the grounds of complaint, because it is in the course of these six years that the difficulties which may arise in the North of Ireland will take place, and they will be responsible, directly and immediately, for any use of the police in the North of Ireland should the resolute attitude of that part of Ireland require the use, or misuse, as the case may be, of the powers of the Crown. The Irish Government will be relieved of that responsibility. It would fall upon the right hon. Gentleman or his successor. Is that the kind of duty which the right hon. Gentleman thinks it very desirable in anybody's interest to put upon him? I do not understand exactly how he proposes or contemplates dealing with that situation.

There is another point. Both my hon. Friends who spoke to-night quoted speeches made by Nationalist Members of this House expressing in the plainest terms that they intended, when the opportunity came, to misuse the powers which Home Rule would give them over the Irish Constabulary. The speeches were delivered by Gentlemen who are still in the House, and I am quite ready to admit, if anybody thinks it worth while in discussing the point, that the passion and rhetoric of the moment may in certain cases, and in certain temperaments, carry people further than they in their quieter moments would approve. Remember, that if you are going to discredit every disloyal speech made by Nationalist Members below the Gangway, you must equally discredit loyal speeches lately made by them, though representing the feelings and passions which might animate the speakers at the moment. But I protest altogether against the attitude taken up in this House and outside—I do not care particularly to quote from those speeches, but they are there, and it is folly for us to pretend to ignore them. You may say they were not meant, and I am not sure that they always were meant. I cannot gauge the feelings of the speakers, but I say if people are led away by rhetoric on me side, they are equally led away by it on the other, and if you are right in making some rebate from those utterances of ten or fifteen years ago—[An HON. MEMBER: "Before 1886."]— if you think it right to make a rebate from those speeches, common sense and common logic require you to make a corresponding rebate when you are told that if you pass this Bill Ireland will be a harmonious and contented member of the British Empire as keenly devoted to Imperial interests and the interests of the United Kingdom as any other part of His Majesty's Dominions.

I think, however much you discredit the fervour of Irish rhetoric on either side, you have to face the fact that there are and will be causes of friction between the Parliament you are setting up and this Parliament which retains over it these indefinite powers of control, and you do not know to what length these differences may go, or what the general European situation may be, when these difficulties arise. I ask then, did any other Government—did any other Legislature in the whole history of the world ever propose to hand over to men who have declared themselves the enemies of this country—[An HON MEMBER: "No."]—well, they have said so—to men who say they are no longer the enemies of this country, but who may be again in the future what they were some years ago—has any other Government in the world ever handed over a great organised force of this kind without taking any precautions, not even the smallest precautions, that the constabulary of Ireland should take some such shape as the London police, or the Manchester police, or any of the local police forces which exist in England or Scotland?


What about General Botha? Was not exactly the same thing done in the Transvaal? They were not British subjects, and yet they were handed over.


I really do not understand the right hon. Gentleman's question.


The right hon. Gentleman asked was anything so insane ever done as handing over a force of this kind not to an enemy in the field, and I pointed out that it was done some years ago in the case of the Transvaal, and that General Botha was in charge of every one of these forces.


I do not know what forces the right hon. Gentleman means.


The forces that exist.


I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman interrupts me. I said did anybody ever hand over an organised force of this kind to those who Lad declared themselves enemies of this country, and who might under circumstances not at all difficult to picture become hostile to it again? But if anything would make that which is criminal in itself doubly criminal it is that we are to go on paying. We are actually going to put under the control of those whom we cannot influence, though they with their forty-two Members in this House may greatly influence us, and those whose political forces we cannot touch—we are handing over to them this great and organised force, and, not content with that, we are to go on paying for it out of our own pockets, though it can be used against us, and we cannot give a single order to it and it will be absolutely at the service of those whose loyalty may remain quite unaffected by the force of events after Homo Rule is granted, but whom I do not think anybody, they themselves least of all, would guarantee as necessarily to be always faithful to the wider interests of this country. If that be true, how can the right hon. Gentleman, with the example of the previous Home Rules before him, maintain a system which really has not the advantage of any possible solution and has contrived to sin against every canon? It is unfair to themselves. It is unfair to the new Irish Government, until it gets a police force. It is unfair to the British Government while it controls the police force for the purpose of maintaining law and order in a country with regard to which it has no official knowledge at all. It is an act of national insanity to drill, organise, pay, and arm this great body of men, and then to hand it over to those whose political future it, is folly to say you can foresee; while after you have handed it over, after they have absolute control over it, you are to continue to put your hand in your pocket and continue to pay the million or million and a half which the constabulary costs the taxpayers of the United Kingdom. With the accumulated criticism, which the right hon. Gentleman did not deal with when he made his speech this afternoon, I trust that some of his colleagues may deal and thus afford him such loyal service as they consider desirable during this discussion.


It is very hard to follow the right hon. Gentleman's arguments right through, because he gives one argument at a certain moment pointing a particular way, which he says is conclusive against the Bill, and then takes the opposite argument which is also said to be conclusive against the Bill. But the point in which I interrupted him was the question: Can anybody point to any case in which all the forces of a country were handed over to gentlemen who have used the language which has fallen from the lips of hon. Members opposite who sit below the Gangway? And I gave as an answer to that the, as I think, entirely relevant case—just because it is the latest case—of the setting up of Home Rule in Africa. In that case not only did General Botha and his compatriots, use very strong language, but they drew the sword, and General Botha in particular fought the English with the greatest valour, and yet within seven years of that time this House was ready to hand over to him all the forces in the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "What forces?"] He has got all the power. Can any hon. Gentleman deny that General Botha has in his hands all the forces that exist in that country for maintaining law and order, I do not envy the logic of hon. Gentlemen opposite who dispute that fact. Not only that, but this is not a solitary instance. I say that in every case of the concession of Home Rule to any of the Colonies exactly the same thing took place. In Canada the strongest language was used, but that did not prevent this House going forward with its policy of Home Rule and all the forces for maintaining law and order in the country were freely handed over to the men who had not only used the strongest language but used military force against this country.

Another point I will take with regard to this matter. I do not know how hon. Members opposite feel, but if I were in their place I would never say that I was willing to unsay any of that strong language that I had used in the eighties and in the early days of this movement. [HON. MEMBERS: "Much later."] Even if it was later, I do not want to say that it was perfectly justifiable—it is for them to justify it—but the circumstances in Ireland in those days were such as to justify almost any language. If you ask me again why it is that those very Gentlemen who used such strong language in the eighties, and perhaps in the nineties, are willing now to give any guarantee that any reasonable man can give to endeavour to work these institutions loyally and well, that does not rest on any change in their speeches? It does not rest on the point that they have abandoned anything they said with regard to Ireland. It rests on the change which has taken place in this House. They have been twenty years here, during which peace has been made with Ireland, and I say to the right hon. Gentleman that he will not wean away the hearts of any hon. Member who recognises the great part he has contributed towards this happy solution by the somewhat extravagant and foolish speeches that he is making now. In my opinion the reason that Irishmen may be trusted to manage the police work properly and well now, is because there has been this great change for twenty years in the relations between this House and the Irish people, arid no man knows it better than the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down.

All the old spirit in which up to 1893 this House governed Ireland and used its police in Ireland, about which we are talking, was the spirit of coercion. This House passed a hundred Coercion Acts between 1800 and 1893, when we had the last, and I should say the worst, but I do not wish to urge that against the right hon. Gentleman, because many of his Liberal predecessors passed almost as bad up to within a short time previously. But he has had the honour of passing the last. He has also had the greater honour, between 1895 and 1905, of introducing the new-system. He began with the old undesirable Bills, and he introduced coercion. But then he made peace with the Irish people, a peace which culminated in a series of most excellent Acts, ending up with vague proposals that amounted almost to Home Rule itself. There have been many cases in the history of this country where men who have gone much further than the Irish leaders have gone in this contest have been entrusted afterwards, within a few years of making* those speeches and taking those measures, with full control over all the resources of the country. Coming to the exact Amendment, hon. Gentlemen opposite will have to think seriously about these Amendments. I was glad that my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary was a little firm about the Amendment to-day. Last week we had a whole series of Amendments, the object of which was that the Congested Districts Board and all sorts of things should be excluded from the control of the Irish Parliament. My right hon. Friend towards the end of the week got tired of it, and he said, "All right, you shall have one Amendment," and he excluded Trinity College. The result was that Trinity College itself will not have this Amendment. They do not want to be under this House, and the Fellows are up in arms against it, and so are the undergraduates.

My own belief is that if you tried to keep the Irish police as a force permanently under the control of this House when you set up institutions in that country, the Irish police would not agree to exclusion any more than Trinity College will agree. I would like to say a word in praise of the Irish police. I do not want all the eulogies of that great force to come from hon. Gentlemen opposite, although my right hon. Friend has done them full justice. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment spoke of them as an Imperial force. They would be a very fine Imperial force if used for that purpose. They are as good a body of men as are to be found in any part of the Empire; they are a pattern in a great many respects to all police forces; they are Irishmen, and if they gave loyal service to this House for many years because they promised to do so, they will give still more loyal service in the days to come to the institutions and the Government of their own country, and it is an undeserved slur to cast on the loyalty, intelligence and capacity of this great body to suppose that they will not do their duty just as well in the years to come as we all admit they have done it in the years that are passed. As my right hon. Friend says, you are giving over this body to an Irish Parliament, but for six years this House is to have control, and I like the scheme of this Bill in that respect better than the Bills of 1886 or 1893, because it is based on this, that in the course of the six years, by the gradual growth of a better understanding and good feeling, the Irish Government will be able to arrange with the Irish police the basis on which to carry on in a way agreeable to that force, and there will be no break in their institutions; the thing will be moulded a little by circumstances in the course of the six years.

The right hon. Gentleman said, "You are depriving this Government of the power to effect its will. This Government has to pay the bill but will not have control." My answer is that this House, for the first six years at any rate, will have full control, and when this force has passed over to the Irish Government this House can still pass any it pleases, as it has full power under the first Clause and under many provisions of this Bill to make every arrangement that is desired. I say then, having studied the Bills of 1886 and also of 1893, this is a better working system; there is less friction. Indeed, there is no friction at all now, and I believe that when the six years elapse the Irish Government will be able to take over the police without any difficulty. There is one other aspect of the case. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment spoke of this as an Imperial force. The hon. Member who seconded it simply spent his time in referring to hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. But this is the only civil police that exists in Ireland, and there must be some civil police. This police, if it is an Imperial force, ready to collect landlords' rents, and ready to suppress rebellions, is also an admirable civil police force. Will they not discharge that duty as well in the future as in the past? If hon. Members opposite had only looked at that side of the Irish policeman's duty, that side, which has been so well done, I think they would have hesitated before bringing forward this Amendment. One other feature of this subject is the financial side. Perhaps this body is so excellent because it is liberally paid. They cost £1,400,000 a year, and that burden rests on the Irish people. The Irish Constabulary are the servants of the Imperial Government, and you make Ireland pay for them. The Government call them the Royal Irish Constabulary, and Ireland has to meet the expenditure. The cost to the Irish people of the Royal Irish Constabulary is about 6s. 8d. per head of the population, while the cost here is 2s. 4d. and 2s. 6d. per head, so that the police force in Ireland costs about three times as much as the police force in Great Britain.

If you set up national Government in Ireland and give them control of this service, you will do a great deal to reduce its cost, and might be able to reduce it to as low a point as the expenditure in Great Britain. In 1886 and in 1893 it was anticipated that a great economy would be effected if the police were put under the control of the Irish Government; and my own belief is that the result would just be the same as was then anticipated. If this Amendment were accepted it would be the same as with another Amendment last week. I doubt whether hon. Members opposite are serious in bringing forward these Amendments, and I believe that if the Government accepted them they would be plunged in the greatest confusion, just as they have been in the case of Trinity College, who have passed a resolution for hon. Gentlemen to get them out of the scrape into which they have put them. If this Amendment were accepted, a similar result would be experienced, and in the future we would find Members being urged to get out of the scrape those whom they had caused to fall into it.


I claim to lay before the House the protest which I, as well as the vast majority of electors, urge against the attempt to pass this Home Rule Bill through the House without their having been consulted. Certainly the electors of London knew no particulars about it. We have heard a good deal this evening against quoting speeches made by hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway on this side of the House, but they have not denied, and could not deny, that those speeches were made during and since the discussion of previous Home Rule Bills. Attention has not been called to the fact that even at this day those utterances, serious as they are, have never been refuted, and, for all we know—and we can only judge from those speeches in days gone by and up to quite recently—the feelings which prompted them are the same to-day as formerly. I note that there are not many right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite present, important though this great Bill is—barely thirty of them, and not more, as a rule, than one or two Members of the Government sitting on the Treasury Bench. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about your own side?"] We are, at all events, present in much more considerable numbers than those on the other side of the House, though we are outnumbered by the other parties, to take part in the discussion of this Bill. We are asked by the Government to assume that proper safeguards will be inserted in the Bill, and when we bring forward any point upon which we feel deeply, and on which we think it necessary to safeguard the minority in Ireland, we are told that we are not serious, as we have been told in regard to our trying to keep the Royal Irish Constabulary under the control of the Imperial Parliament.

The Chief Secretary for Ireland himself said that an honest man could not be frank in this House. That is the admission made by the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill. Arguments are brought forward, and the right hon. Gentleman said, giving it as a reason, that he cannot be frank because we may be able to make capital out of what he said in support of our arguments against the Bill. The vast majority of the electors of this country have never been consulted in regard to this Bill, and there is not an argument brought forward by the Government in support of this measure which we are gagged and prevented from discussing. The Prime Minister was asked if he would allow merely Divisions on some of these Amendments, and he replied that he was not prepared to make any alteration, and that the proceedings were working well. I wonder he did not go a little further, and say that they would work much better if they were shut up once for all, and this hollow sham of discussion ceased. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lough) said that six years' time would be a sufficient period for the police force to change its masters. But these men were enrolled to serve the Imperial authority, and not the authority of the Irish Nationalist party.

The right hon. Gentleman said that the Irish Constabulary are a great and intelligent body of men, and that they will be ready, and if not ready they ought to be ready, to change masters, and to serve the new masters as faithfully as they had served the old. Does the right hon. Gentleman know, and, if he knows, will he deny, that large numbers of officers and men already claim the right to retire at their own option during the six years on the terms usual on abolition of service I That pretty well shows what these men feel, if this change of control is to be forced upon them. If the Government choose to be even reasonably fair to the men, they will insert in the Bill a provision allowing those who retire during the six years, if they so wish, the same terms as are usually given on the abolition of office. Will the right hon. Gentleman do that? Will he be prepared to give these men those terms if they are not willing to continue in the service of the Irish Nationalist party? Will he give them the terms which are always given on abolition of office?


I do not want to give a public pledge, but I am considering an Amendment which I think will go a very long way to meet the point of the hon. Member. I could not at the moment give the words, but the subject is under consideration.


I do not ask the right hon. Gentleman to give a decision on the matter before it is ripe. As regards safeguards, a deal has been said in the House and out of the House to the effect that the Government will see that reason- able safeguards are granted. Here we have two opposing factions in Ireland, and this Imperial police force, as everybody admits who knows it, has kept independent between them, not merely during recent years, but ever since they were appointed. They have necessarily incurred the enmity of some of the Irish people, but what about the minority for whom we ask protection in future? Are they to ask protection from the very men in regard to whom they are now seeking this protection by way of safeguards? Is it likely that these old animosities will cease even in six years' time. [An HON. MEMBER: "Yes; and long before then."] All I can say is that the hon. Gentleman who says that does not understand the matter. Six years will not see the submission of Ulster to any Parliament in Dublin. [An HON. MEMBER: "Nor 600 years."] Those who have not studied the question deeply—though hon. Members opposite are given credit for having deeply studied it—cannot appreciate the depth of feeling in Ulster if they think that Ulster is likely to give way on this important question. Yet the proposal is that they are to be handed over to a party who are their enemies. We ask for safeguards. We say that you should keep this force under your control, and keep it permanently; or, at all events, you should give an opportunity for deciding this question before handing over the minority to the tender mercies of those who are and have been our opponents in the past. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof, and we prefer to protect ourselves in the future by preparing safeguards to-day. The right hon. Gentleman cannot deny that it is best to keep the Royal Irish Constabulary under the Imperial authority, and that the request we now make is only fair and reasonable in the circumstances. I have a good many questions with which I could deal, but, like other hon. Members, I forego dwelling upon them as there are many others who desire to speak. I will only refer the Committee to a recent declaration by the hon. Member for West Belfast (Mr. Devlin):— Allow us to have as owners the tillers of the land, to have an Irish Parliament that will give our people all authority over the police and the judiciary and all government in the nation; and when equipped with comparative freedom, then would be the time for those who think we should destroy the last link that binds us to England to operate by whatever means they think best to achieve that great and desirable end. I am quite sure I speak for the United Irish League in this matter. I am quite sure of this, if you hand over the police and judiciary to the Irish Legis- lature, you are, as shown by past declarations, handing it over to those who will not show that tender mercy to the minority which you seem to think will be the case.

6.0 P.M.


I should like to ask the Chief Secretary one or two questions about the duties to be carried out by the Royal Irish Constabulary, or which they are going to be allowed to carry out if they are handed over to the Irish Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned that there were about twenty branches of duties which they perform outside their existing duties. I make the number about seventeen, but I do not see quite how they are going to carry out all those duties, if the force are handed over to the Irish Parliament after six years; inasmuch as a good many of those duties will have nothing whatever to do with Irish local affairs, Irish services, or even reserved services dealing with Irish internal affairs. For instance, the Royal Irish Constabulary at the present moment are supposed to deal with the Fishery Acts. You will find that under the Fishery Acts, by-laws can be passed in Ireland under four or five Acts dealing with extra territorial waters, so that as far as I can see at the end of the six years, when the Royal Irish Constabulary come under the Irish Parliament, they will be able to deal with matters concerning extra territorial waters which are certainly not within the purview of the Irish Parliament. They will also have to deal with the Congested Districts Board in some of its aspects which are reserved in the present Bill. I do feel, however, there is a far more important question, and that is handing over what is practically a military force to the Irish Parliament after six years. Everybody knows perfectly well that although it is called constabulary, it is really a military force, and not only a military force, but a highly centralised military force consisting, as the Chief Secretary pointed out, of between eleven and twelve thousand men who are, I believe, drilled exactly like soldiers, and who at any moment might be made the nucleus of a very much larger force and turned into a highly efficient military force. As hon. Members below the Gangway know much better than I do, there is a large number of barracks all over Ireland which are capable of accommodating far more persons than they do at present, and, unlike ordinary police, the Royal Irish Constabulary members all live in the barracks, and can be concentrated almost at any moment.


All the married men live out.


You have station sergeants and head constables and district inspectors, while the whole force is under the command of the inspector-general whose office is in Dublin Castle, showing that the whole force is a highly centralised and practically a military force. In Dublin there is a dep6t with 600 men, where recruits are trained, and which is a distributing centre, and where all the arms are kept. The Royal Irish Constabulary are armed with carbines and sword bayonets and with revolvers, if necessary, and there is also, which really makes it still more a military force, a mounted force attached to it of about 150 men. All that really shows that it is a military force, and if one wanted confirmation of that one could go to this document, which, I believe, as a matter of fact, was a short time ago issued as a confidential document by the Treasury. That document points out that this force must certainly be regarded as a military force. It says:— Moreover, being a quasi-military force armed with bayonets, carbines, pistols, and swords, they are called upon, as occasion may require, to undertake all the duties of the soldier, and their officers are expected to exhibit the qualifications of officers in the Army.


What is that document?


I cannot say exactly what the document is. It is headed "1911–1912 Royal Irish Constabulary" and it was certainly issued under Government auspices. I can give it to the hon. Member if he wants it. The Royal Irish Constabulary is in fact just as much a military force as the Cape Mounted Police or the Canadian North-West Mounted Rifles. The only excuse for those forces was the abnormal conditions of the countries in which they were situated. In the Cape, for instance, you had tribes which were practically in a perpetual state of revolt, and in Canada you had the Red Indians, or "the wild men," as some people would call them, in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Those were armed forces which, while discharging the functions of police, were constantly engaged in military operations. In Ireland in the past we certainly had abnormal conditions. Whatever may be the merits of the case put forward by hon. Members below the Gangway on this side they cannot possibly deny that there have been extraordinarily abnormal conditions, rioting and outrage in various forms, which necessitated that the police should act as a military force because they were continually shot at themselves when they were engaged in police duties. Hon. Members below the Gangway always tell us that those conditions under Home Rule are going to alter and that Ireland is going become a perfectly peaceful country, and that those abnormal conditions will entirely disappear. But if, as a matter of fact, the abnormal conditions do not disappear, and if, after the expectations of hon. Members below the Gangway, Home Rule does not really produce the milennium, and if the conditions still require an armed force, surely that armed force ought to remain in the hands of the Imperial Parliament. The right hon. Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) seemed to think that this Bill was in accordance with the federal principle, but surely, as a matter of fact, the Cape Mounted force is a federal force at the present moment. It does not belong to any one of the States. If you look at Section 114 of the Australia Act, no State in Australia is allowed to have a military force of any kind or sort. In Canada, again, you have got the North-West Mounted Rifles, which is a federal force, and is moved about wherever it happens to be required by the federal authority. At the time of the last Home Rule Bill, in 1893, the hon. and learned Member for Waterford wrote a very interesting article in the "Nineteenth Century." It was entitled "Second Thoughts on the Home Rule Bill." Second thoughts are very often the best. The hon. and learned Member wrote:— The proposal to saddle Ireland with two-thirds of the cost of the police while they exist, and their gratuities and pensions when they are disbanded, is inequitable and intolerable. The Royal Irish Constabulary is distinctly an Imperial force. It is neither more nor less than a standing army of occupation. Its existence has been necessitated by the system of government forced upon the Irish people against their will as part of Imperial policy. There you have the hon. and learned Member for Waterford declaring, when the Irish Parliament had to pay, that the police force was an Imperial force, and that Ireland did not want it at all, and that it was not regarded as a local force in any sort of way, but when the Imperial Parliament has to pay for the Royal Irish Constabulary then the hon. and learned Member is only too glad to have it, and it ceases to be an Imperial force and is a local force which should be handed over to the Irish Parliament. If Ireland was going to be a separate Colony this would not so much matter, but Ireland is not going to be in the least like a self-governing Colony. She is not to have control over the armed forces of the Crown. You are going to prevent her doing that, but you are going to give her after six years a highly efficient centralised military force of between eleven and twelve thousand men. I think, in spite of what the Chief Secretary has said, that the Government do realise the danger of handing the constabulary over. They realise it, because they are not handing it over for six years. They do that, I imagine, because they know perfectly well that if they handed it over at once this force would be used against the province of Ulster should any difficulties take place there, and they also do so because they believe it will be necessary to have this sort of highly efficient military force in Ireland in order to curb the various movements which may take place in that country during the next six years. How-do we know that they will not want the same force in six years? How do we know what the conditions may be in six years? It is possible they may be good, but it is possible, on the other hand, that they may be very bad.

If they think it is advisable to keep the Royal Irish Constabulary in their own hands for the next six years, surely it is most unwise to pledge themselves to hand over the Royal Irish Constabulary to the Irish Parliament until they know that the conditions in Ireland would warrant them in doing so. If at the end of six years, as a matter of fact, the conditions are so bad that they do not feel warranted in handing them over, then they will have to pass an Act in this Parliament repealing Clause 5 of the Bill. Is that likely to lead to order, peace, and good government in Ireland? Surely it is much better to retain the constabulary in the hands of the Government until you know that the conditions in Ireland warrant you in handing them over than to cause an enormous amount of friction by repealing part of this Bill, which has proved so bad that you do not feel warranted in handing over the constabulary at the end of six years. Since you propose to hand over the constabulary at the end of six years, is it not very probable, as the six years come to their termination, that the constabulary will do all in their power not to offend their future masters and controllers. After all, the future controllers of the constabulary will be the people they themselves have been watching for the past two years. There are now three proclaimed counties in Ireland—Clare, Galway, and Roscommon— and there are no less than thirty-eight protection posts. After all, persons known as land grabbers will exist just as much under Home Rule as at the present day, and is it likely that those people will be properly protected by the constabulary against the express views of those who are going to control the constabulary? I do feel on those few grounds that it will prove a most dangerous measure to hand the constabulary over at the time mentioned by the Chief Secretary, and I should certainly support the Amendment.


I am bound to say I thought my right hon. Friend the Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) was absolutely justified, though the Committee, I am afraid, greeted him in a spirit of mockery, in bringing forward what seems to me to be, not only an analogy, but an exact parallel between the language which is used to-day on this Amendment and the-language which was used in July, 1906, by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour) with regard to the Transvaal Constitution. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down and one or two others have raised the point, which may be a perfectly relevant point, as to the police being a federal force or not; but whether that is good or not, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the' City of London, in 1906, said:— No human being ever thought of such an experiment before of giving a population equal to and far more homogeneous than our own, absolute control of everything, civil and military. There is nothing to prevent the country making every preparation, constitutionally, quietly, without external interference, for a new war. The objection raised to-day is the danger of handing over to Gentlemen who have made disloyal speeches the control of the police. Attention was called to exactly the same danger in those days, not because they might renew speeches, but because they might renew war. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say:— What security does he (the Minister) see that this-absolute power given to the Transvaal will not be used; to establish a condition of things which may make-some future action against this country possible, probable and dangerous? I do not believe there is a single Member of the Committee to-day who will suggest that that language was justified. It has been disproved by the march of events, and I believe that the fears put forward in connection with this Bill will also be-disproved by experience.


I do not know that it was necessary for the hon. Member (Mr. R. Harcourt) to get up and make the impassioned speech to which we have just listened, for the simple reason that until right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite remember that Home Rule is not Colonial self-government and Ireland is not South Africa, they will never be able to appreciate our arguments and the basis of our fears in regard to Home Rule. The Chief Secretary made some scathing remarks about the Mover and Seconder of this Amendment, but I think he ought to be very much obliged to them, because if it had not been for their intervention Clause 2 would have become an absolute laughing stock. Under Sub-section (3), for instance, the Irish Parliament is to have nothing to do with the Navy, the Army, or any other naval or military force. The Sub-section under discussion deals with the Royal Irish Constabulary, and our case is completely established if we can prove that the Royal Irish Constabulary is another military force. The Chief Secretary shakes his head, but he is not a greater authority on the subject than Mr. Gladstone, who in 1893 took quite a different view. He may have been wrong; on the other hand, he may have been right. On the 1st June, 1893, he said:— The question might then he asked: 'Do you conceive that it ought to he within the attributes of the Irish Legislature, which you have disabled from establishing any description of military force, to establish a force like the Irish Constabulary?'…For myself, I frankly own I do not think the Irish Legislature ought to be in a position to re-create the Irish Constabulary. Such as it is, whether it is to be described as a civil or a military force, it appears to me to be beyond the attributes of a local legislature, working for local purposes, having, of course, the resource of the military, and at the discretion of the Executive in case of need, to create such a force. I regard it as an admirable force, but abnormal in many of its conditions, and, as such, not lying within the proper attributes of a local legislature. Mr. Gladstone certainly did not cavil at its being described as a military force. My hon. Friend reminded the Chief Secretary that the Royal Irish Constabulary is, in many respects, a quasi military force, armed with bayonets, swords, and pistols, and requiring of its men on enlistment a knowledge of military matters. The arms and ammunition are made by army contractors; the forage for the horses is supplied by army contractors. In the Fenian riots of 1848 the county inspectors of the Royal Irish Constabulary were given the rank of major, and were to work with the troops in the field, while the lower grades were to rank as captains and lieutenants. From beginning to end there is absolutely no doubt that the Royal Irish Constabulary is in truth and in fact a military force, and that you are making a perfect laughing stock of Clause 2 by the provisions of this Clause. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the offices which the Royal Irish Constabulary admirably fill outside their military duties. I know something of those duties myself. Here again the Clause is in complete contradiction to Clause 2. Under Clause 2 (7) the Irish Parliament is precluded from dealing with matters of quarantine. At present, however, the police officers in Ireland are the instruments of the Government for enforcing the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, and for helping the Irish Board of Agriculture. So that quarantine will be something which the Imperial Government alone can touch; but it is now worked by this force, who I suppose will not be able to work it when they are handed over to the Irish Parliament, because that would mean dual control with local officers in Ireland working an Imperial reserved service. Further, the Royal Irish Constbulary are the inspectors of weights and measures in Ireland, and Clause 2 (9) reserves weights and measures as an Imperial service. Again, an Imperial service will be carried out in Ireland, either by the local force of police, or, what is more likely, if the present Government happen to be in power, by a new set of inspectors with large salaries. Finally, the collection of taxes is a reserved service. At the present time the Royal Irish Constabulary are among the most active collectors of taxes. They assist in the collection of Customs by preventing smuggling, and they help the Excise Duties by preventing, where they can, illicit distillation. It is difficult to know exactly who, when the constabulary pass over to the control of the Nationalist Parliament, will fulfil these functions. I gather from Clause 37 that the Royal Irish Constabulary will be liable to perform the same duties as heretofore. There, again, there will be the grave danger of dual control to which I have referred. They will be performing an Imperial service, although under the control of the local Parliament.


Clause 40 provides for that.


Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will clear the matter up when he speaks. It is certainly, to my mind, one of the great justifications for asking the right hon. Gentleman to persuade his colleagues to omit Sub-section (1) of this Clause.


Reference has been made to a speech in which the hon. Member for Waterford referred to the Royal Irish Constabulary as a "standing army." We all regarded it as such, and regretted that it was necessary because of our mis-government of Ireland. I believe that the hon. Member for Waterford, although he referred to it as a standing army, condemned it, as do many of us. Is there anything like it in the history of civilisation, where you have a body of armed police carrying out its duties and at such a great expense as this force in Ireland? We believe that when Home Rule is passed, this standing army will be very much reduced, and, to a large extent, disarmed. The hon. Member for Holborn (Mr. Remnant) gave us credit for earnestness. We also give hon. Members opposite credit for their earnestness. As for the hon. Member himself, we look upon him as one of the most sincere and earnest-minded men in the House. I very much regretted the tone of his speech, moderate though it was. I would say, Give to the winds your fears; hope, and be undismayed. Hon. Members talk about six years. I firmly believe that in less than two years after this Bill becomes law most of those fears will have been banished, and that even our Ulster friends, fearful and terrified as they are at the dreadful things that will happen under Home Rule, will all work together in harmony to rule, reduce, and to a large extent disarm the constabulary, because it will not be wanted. The Irish Lave always protested against it as not being necessary. I hope we shall reject the Amendment, so that the rule of the police may be transferred to Ireland, and that our friends there will all work together to reduce it, because they will have a happy, peaceful time such as they have never had before.


The speech to which we have just listened was, if nothing else, at any rate interesting. The hon. Member (Mr. H. Collins) started by saying that the Irish Constabulary was a standing army, and that it was a disgraceful thing to have such a standing army in Ireland. He then went on to say that by his vote, after that standing army had been kept up by England for six years and brought to great perfection, he was prepared to re-establish it under the Irish Executive in Ireland. That seems to me to be a very extraordinary statement. I think it gives away in several aspects the whole case of the hon. Member. In the first case he admits that the standing Army, which he has already voted to keep in this House— "the Navy, the Army, the Territorial Force, or any other naval or military force for the defence of the realm or any other naval or military matter"—are to be kept absolutely from the Irish Parliament. I think the hon. Member, having regard to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, would have thrown a little more light upon the subject than he did if he had told us how he found it consistent with that Clause which he insisted upon passing—even without discussion—to hand over to the Irish Executive what he himself called a standing Army. That is not the whole of the hon. Member's inconsistency, because one would have thought that if you were going to gain anything by the passage of the Home Rule Bill it would be to get rid of what is called the great disgrace to civilisation of having to have such a force to govern Ireland. The hon. Member assents to that?


Under the misgovernment of Ireland.


But the hon. Member does not mind it if it is the misgovernment of the Irish by the Irish themselves? The truth of the matter is that the moment hon. Members assent to what was done the other day in the Divisions that we have had, in the maintenance of this force for six years, they entirely put an end to any idea that they have any hope, when this Bill passes, that this force will be unnecessary. The hon. Member means, I have no doubt, to vote with exactly the same enthusiasm as he has spoken against this Amendment, for this "monstrous and disgraceful blot upon civilisation," that he voted for the other day. Why? To maintain it for another six years at the expense of the British taxpayer. Now he is going to vote for it to be further maintained after the six years under the control of the Irish Executive, and that he and his fellow-taxpayers in Great Britain should continue to pay the cost. Was there ever a more ridiculous position taken up by any hon. Member? Was there ever a, greater instance of inconsistency than in the hon. Member voting as he has done—


There are a good many of us.


So much the worse.


In relation to these matters, and then getting up and making a bombastic speech about this monstrous outtage upon civilisation? If he had been in the House a few minutes ago when the Chief Secretary was speaking he would have learnt that this force was the whole mainstay of the Government, not merely for the ordinary police government, but for the ordinary duties of the various Departments, and the various Acts of Parliament that have to be carried out. I suppose the hon. Member did not think it worth while to come in and listen to the Chief Secretary.


I am sorry to say that I could not be here.


I thought not. But the hon. Member really might have asked somebody before he got up to make his speech what the Chief Secretary said in his own peculiar style. The Chief Secretary in discussing this question prefaced his arguments with remarks, with many of which, certainly as regards the character of the Royal Irish Constabulary. I entirely concur, as anybody who has ever had anything to do with the administration of law in Ireland must concur. As to the multifarious duties which they carry out, and the way in which they are carried out, I entirely agree. But the Chief Secretary prefaced his observations by suggesting that there was something inconsistent in our attitude in voting for this Amendment, having regard to the speeches, that he was kind enough to call eloquent speeches, last week upon other Amendments that were then discussed. For my part I do not feel that I have acted inconsistently. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman really pointed out any inconsistency, because, after all, what we were discussing last week was this: If you have an Irish Executive, ought it to have a police force? We were not discussing whether the police force ought to be handed over: if there was a police force carrying out the necessary matters under an Irish Executive, ought it to be under Irish Executive control? What we are discussing now is: you have set up under Home Rule an Executive Government in Ireland, and these are matters which you have retained for this Imperial Parliament. You have set up an Irish Executive Government as well. What you are proceeding by this Clause to do is to take away the only force that the Imperial Government have for carrying out the powers which you yourselves are reserving to them in other parts of the Act. Is not that absurd?

Does the right hon. Gentleman himself not see the absurdity of it? I have not the least doubt when we get somewhat further on to other Amendments, the eloquence and cogency of our arguments will appeal to the right hon. Gentleman, because he never sees the cogency of any argument until the time has passed for voting. The right hon. Gentleman, so far as I could follow his argument, gave one reason for framing this Bill in the way in which it has been done. He says, "True it is you must have this monstrous army" —as the last speaker called it—"for six years; true it is that you must retain it as an Imperial force for six years. But, after all "—if I understood him—"we must take care that we take upon ourselves the duty of enforcing this Act when it comes into power on behalf of the Irish Government." I do not think I unfairly state the argument of the right hon. Gentleman. I think the statement of that proposition shows the absurdity of the whole position. What is he going to do? Why does he retain this force as an armed military force and as an Imperial force for six years? In order that if there is any disturbance in Ulster this House, this Imperial Government, having set up an Irish Executive may themselves take away from the Irish Executive the odium of proceeding to enforce the Bill which hon. Members below the Gangway—the majority of Members for Ireland—have been asking for; that the whole of that odium may be thrown upon the Imperial Parliament, who would not be in immediate contact with the circumstances in Ireland or the acts of the Irish Executive?

All I can say is that if that is his object it is an object which I hope will be noted in the North of Ireland. I hope it will be noted there that if this Bill passes the constabulary are to be kept as a force under the Imperial Parliament, not with a view of protecting Irish minorities, but with a view of repressing Irish minorities. That, I think, you will find a very serious situation. I think the moment it comes to be understood that your real object in framing your Bill as it has been framed is for the purpose of having at hand, and using, this splendid body, the Royal Irish Constabulary, not under the Irish Parliament, but under the Parliament of Great Britain, for the purpose of repressing Ulster and the people who think with Ulster, you will have a state of affairs arise in Ireland which will not be altogether satisfactory to the right hon. Gentleman. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman, or whoever may reply, this question: When you have handed over the Royal Irish Constabulary to the Irish Government and the Irish Executive, what will be your Imperial Executive in Ireland? I think we have a right to put that question, for two reasons. In the first place, you are retaining a very large number of matters under the Imperial Government. We want to know what will be your Executive in Ireland for enforcing whatever may be necessary for the purpose of safeguarding such matters as you are retaining in this Imperial Parliament. So far as I know, there is nothing in the Bill that gives you any Imperial Executive at all.

I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman this question, as it seems to me to go to the whole root of the matter: Supposing in these matters which are to be carried out in Ireland upon the advice of His Majesty's Government in this country through the Lord Lieutenant, it becomes necessary to enforce any of them, do you mean to tell the House that you are going to set up an Executive power ad hoc, at the moment, that you are going at the very moment when friction arises—because the very fact that you retain these powers in the Imperial Parliament shows that you anticipate that there may be difficulty—you are going to create a force which you are going to set up or send to Ireland for the purpose of overbearing the local Executive, the Government which you are setting up under the Home Rule Bill? Many questions have already been pointed out. I have heard no answer at all to this. My hon. Friend behind me, the Member for one of the divisions in Norfolk I think, has already in a very able speech, pointed out that such daily matters as quarantine, navigation, and so on, which are raised in the previous Sections of this Bill, have to be regulated to a large extent by the Irish Constabulary. We want to know how they are to be regulated in the future. You have kept these matters from the Irish Parliament. If the Irish Parliament cannot deal with them, nor the Irish Executive, we want to know how they are to be regulated in the future?

Perhaps hon. and right hon. Gentlemen do not know; everything is so much divided in this Bill. It may be that after six years an Irish policeman may be half an English policeman. It is quite possible that in this divided responsibility, just as you make a chief Land Commis- sioner an Imperial agent in relation to purchase, and a local agent in relation to the fixing of fair rents, so the Irish Constabulary policeman may be an Imperial policeman one day or one half day, and the other half of the day a local policeman. So far as I can see there is no other way of his discharging his duties under the Bill. I am entitled to press this little matter, for this reason: We are always being told that this Bill is stuffed full of safeguards. I have never myself been able to find them. For the moment let us suppose they are there—as we have to suppose many things. This great Imperial Parliament is supposed to be a safeguard. Upon what ultimate resort will these safeguards stand? What do they depend upon? For six years, for all I know, they may depend upon the Royal Irish Constabulary. What do they depend upon after the six years? Suppose this Parliament disagrees from something the Irish Parliament has done, and suppose this Parliament lays down that what has been done ought to be rectified, and proceeds to try to rectify it. We are told that the Imperial Parliament is a great safeguard. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman or anybody else that may speak in reply, how will that rectification be carried out when you have handed over a trained army of 12,000 men?

As far as I can see there will be no method whatsoever of enforcing anything that may be necessary for the protection of those for whom you say safeguards will not be necessary. Then after the six years you hand over this force, a proceeding which as I said before is entirely inconsistent with the previous part of the Bill which says you are to retain the Military and Territorial Forces in your own hands. May I ask this question: If you hand them over, why are you going to continue to pay for them? I remember there were provisions in the old Bills which regulated certain contributions between the two countries, but here you are going to pay for a military force that you are handing over to the Irish Parliament. I should like to ask this further question: As you have agreed to pay for them are you going to pay at what they cost at the time they are handed over? As I understand the Bill that is so, so that if more police become necessary between this and the end of the six years, and if you have more men in the force then, are you going to pay the larger contribution which Ireland will be getting from the Imperial Parliament at the time the police are handed over. If the Irish Parliament likes to disband the Royal Irish Constabulary after it is handed over, does the Imperial Parliament still continue paying the money? As I understand the Bill, not only do you hand over this force, but you pay for the force and then after it is handed over the force may be got rid of in any way the Irish Parliament likes, but you are to continue to pay the money. I really think that is the reductio ad ab-surdum of financial arrangements between Ireland and England, or between any other countries that anybody has ever heard of, that you should pay for a force that you have no right to maintain as an Imperial force, and give the Irish Parliament the power to get rid of it if it chooses. Perhaps that is a matter as an Irishman that I need not concern myself about.

The English taxpayer is, as far as I can see, the most easily gulled man in the whole world. He seems to be so rich and wealthy that he does not care a brass farthing as to what is done with any of the money he contributes, and he seems to be willing to put his hands into his pocket after he has to part with this splendid force after it is made a force which the Irish Executive can do what it likes with, and to go on paying the money; I suppose, as an Irishman, I ought to commend him for his great generosity. But what would be the result—and let the Committee consider it—of handing over this great force to the Irish Parliament? It will be one more engine in their hands to compel any further concession in the direction of separation which they please. Not only when we have passed this will they have their Irish Parliament; not only will they have their forty-two Members in this House, but they will have an armed force in Ireland of 12,000 men to thwart, if they please, anything that this House tries to enact, or to compel the granting of anything the Irish House demands. I think, as we go along with these discussions, it will be more and more plain that what we said in the Debates last week are true, although the Attorney-General seems to think we were talking at random of something with which we had no real concern, and demonstrate day after day that the system of half-way house is absolutely and practically impossible, and that you are being driven in the end, whether you wish it or not, to the logical conclusion, the only conclusion which can follow from this attempt to split up the United Kingdom, namely, to give absolute separation to Ireland in the exact way in which you have given it to Canada or to the other self-governing Dominions.

One other observation in reference to the Irish Constabulary themselves. Does it not strike everybody in this House, after what we heard of this body from the Chief Secretary, that they deserve some consideration. I ask this: If you have got a faithful body of men that enlisted under your Government, where do you get your right to hand them over to anybody else without their assent. They enlisted under an Imperial Government, and you say they must serve a local Government. You give them no option. I have looked at the Bill to see if there was any option for these men. There is nothing at all. All you say in Clause 37, which is the Section dealing with this matter, is:— All officers and constables of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and of the Royal Irish Constabulary who are serving on the day of transfer shall after that day continue to serve on the same terms and conditions as theretofore, and shall be liable to perform the same duties as theretofore, and while performing those duties shall not receive less pay than they would have received if this Act had not passed. After all, we are not dealing now with indentured labour. We used to hear a great deal of how monstrous it was that any employer should be able to transfer a body of men that entered into his service over to another man. Why we lost an election upon that! And here you are under this Bill calmly telling this splendid body of men, "True you are an Imperial force, you joined as an Imperial force, everyone of you has been entitled to the protection of the Imperial Parliament as to your rights, as to the way you are ordered about in your responsibilities and the carrying out of your duties, and we tell you now we have the right to say you shall be no longer an Imperial force and we must hand you over to a body of men, whether you like it or not, to be your masters in the future, who have threatened you in the past and promised that if they ever got control, having regard to the whole history of your force, they would regard you as a hostile force, and would regard you, as an hon. Member opposite said, as a monstrous outrage upon civilisation. We hand you over to them, and we deprive you of your status as an Imperial force, and you must obey because the Imperial Parliament says so."


Is there no present power to dismiss them? I ask solely for the purpose of information. I want to know whether it is not possible to reduce the force at the present time.


The people who employ them can dismiss them like any other employer. But I hope the hon. Gentleman does not really mean to dismiss them without having regard to their rights and without having regard to their services to the Empire, which very often brought them into hostility with many of those in Ireland who will be their masters in the future. I hope, when he talks of dismissing them, he does not merely mean turning them out without a single word of consideration, or anything of that sort.


Certainly not.


Then I do not see the relevance of the interruption. It does not at all follow because these men are told to trust the fairness of the Imperial Parliament, having regard to the history of the past—because in many cases, under the Imperial Parliament and the Imperial Government, they have given up their lives to the force—it does not at all follow for that reason that they are willing or would be willing, if they got the option, to be handed over to an entirely different body, with whom they were more or less in conflict in times past. The truth of the matter is the arguments upon this Amendment once more show that you can extract from this Bill no principle of government of any kind that has ever been known in any Constitution set up in any country. When it suits you, you say, "Let the force be with the Irish." When it suits you, you say, "Let all the forces be with the Imperial Government. But in every circumstance let Great Britain pay." That appears to be the sum total of the whole matter. I hope hon. Members will give some regard to the claims upon this House. It will pay the same contribution, perhaps more, for the force which they are proposing to hand over without any consent to the Irish Government. For my part, I think this Amendment, if it has been useful for nothing else, has been useful as demonstrating that when you proceed to break up the intimate relations that have existed for so long between Great Britain and Ireland, you are entering upon a task which is leading you into such anomalies and difficulties that I think you ought to face them and consider whether you cannot see some other way of attempting to solve what seems to be an insoluble task.

7.0 P.M.


I honestly cannot say that the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, in presenting the case which he has presented, has done so in a manner that has caused me any qualms of conscience or searching of heart. The right hon. and learned Gentleman referred to one or two things, which were also referred to by the hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) and the hon. Member for Croydon (Mr. Malcolm), with reference to those duties hitherto and at present performed by the members of the Royal Irish Constabulary which, under the provisions of this Bill, would be reserved as an Imperial service, and they wanted to-know how, for example, a member of that force was to concern himself with quarantine and coinage—to mention only two of the things—at the end of the six years, when they become the instrument of the Irish Executive. The answer to that is to be found in Clause 40, which provides:— Arrangements may be made by any Department of the Government of the United Kingdom for the exercise and performance on behalf of that Department of any powers or duties of that Department by officers of an Irish Department. The right hon. and learned Gentleman thinks it is a perfectly extraordinary view to take that a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary who serves the Irish Executive could for a quarter of a day discharge duties for the Imperial Parliament. He asked would he be for one half-hour an Englishman or a Britisher, and for the rest of the day an Irishman? Of course, physiologically, he will remain an Irishman for all time.


I asked would he be an Irish policeman or a British policeman?


He would be an Irish policeman acting by this Clause under an arrangement as an agent of the Imperial Government. [Laughter.] If hon. Members opposite can laugh at that there is really nothing that you would not laugh at. What is there strange in an Irish policeman occasionally or now and again acting as the agent of the Imperial Government?


Does the Imperial Government pay for it?


That is a matter of arrangement. There is nothing new about transferring officers for it is constantly done. It is done in many of our great ports where bodies of men are transferred from one employer to another.


After this transfer of the police what control will the Imperial Government have over these Irish policemen if they do not do as you tell them?


That is exactly the thing contemplated in Clause 40, under which they enter into an arrangement with the police. What knowledge can the hon. Member have of any federal government if he does not contemplate employing men in this way. They employ local forces to discharge duties for the federal government. I think Clause 40 of this Bill affords the answer to that particular question. One hon. Member has mentioned the duty we owe to the Royal Irish Constabulary. The Committee may remember that that was one of the reasons I gave why the reservation of this force for a period of six years is necessary, because I do not think it would be fair or reasonable to hand them over at once. Clause 37, for which I hope there will be ample opportunities of discussion, deals with the terms upon which the Royal Irish Constabulary are to be handed over. The right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite seems to think that this matter is causing them a good deal of perturbation of mind, but I do not think that is so at all. I have had negotiations, with the constabulary, and they have had many opportunities of meeting together and presenting their case to the Government, and they have done it in a manner worthy of their traditions. Home Rule is no new question to them. They have long known all about it, and when I met them they were quite ready with their proposals, and I met and considered them in the friendliest spirit. As for the statement that there would be an exacerbation of feeling when this provision becomes law, I do not think that is so, in view of the alterations and Amendments I have already agreed to make, and which will appear on the Paper in the course of a very few days. I do not wish to mention those Amendments now, because they are not finally completed, although many of them are ready.


How many will there be?


I think there will be six or seven. I do not complain of the right hon. Gentleman opposite putting the case of these men before the Committee. It may very well be that after Home Rule they will consider our proposals fair, and will be found willing to remain in the force, as I am persuaded the vast majority of them will. Nevertheless, in dealing with a body of men who have enlisted under other conditions, you are bound to consider those who may not stay on, and that is the point of view from which the alterations which will appear on the Paper have been drawn, and they will deal with those who desire to withdraw from the force. There, I think, we must allow the matter to remain until we come to the Clause 'actually dealing with their rights. I do not think upon that point I need to say anything more. The two-fold character of this very intersting force has been dealt with. There is the old idea which has been put forward, sometimes on both sides, that the Royal Irish Constabulary was really a standing Army, kept together to keep the people down and impose British rule upon those who protested against our Constitution and made representations to this House. The suggestion is that at the end of six years this force will be found more formidable as a military power, that these 11,000 men, armed to the teeth, will immediately become the servant and slave of a military-minded Irish Administration, who "will use them as a great force in order to assert their rights to be an independent nation or interfere with the Constitution under this proposed measure.

I think that is a far-fetched argument. That this force does possess a quasi-military aspect I do not deny, and I often wish it had contained better policemen and not quite such good soldiers. If they have a fault it is not one that is inherent in them, but one which has been encouraged in certain quarters and which has made them more military than detective in their duty. I think they might be more policemen and less military in their bearing. That is very easily cured, and I think it is being cured by a general alteration in the social laws in Ireland. For many years past these men have admirably discharged the duties to which I have referred. They have discharged a host of very desirable local duties with nothing military about them, and I am hopeful at the end of the six years, when the time comes for them to be transferred, they will be found to be by no means that monstrosity and that great military armed-to-the-teeth sort of soldier, but highly respectable and eminently useful policemen. That is what I am satisfied the new Irish Government? will want. They will want a good and effective policeman, and not a military force. I think the military aspect, and the standing army aspect, of this force which has so long occupied its place in history is disappearing, and will continue to disappear during the next six years. Those are my hopes and we are entitled to our hopes. I ant hopeful that at the end of six years it will be found that this force can gradually be reduced. The recruiting will not be necessary on the same footing and scale as it was before, and I think we shall see the number of policemen in proportion to the population greatly reduced.


What about Sub-section (3) of Clause 2?


Although you may say it is quasi-military you cannot say it is an army. I know it is said that it is a body of men who have military drill and smartness, but this is not an army in the sense which Sub-section (3) refers to. You may say it is a formidable force although it is not an army, but might serve the purposes of an army. Well, any organised body of men can always serve some of the purposes of the army, but it is a police force and not a military force, and Subsection (3) is perfectly consistent with the provision we make in this Bill for reserving of this force for six years, and then handing it over as a body of policemen to the new government. Fairness to the new Irish Government requires this reservation, because to impose upon them at once the duty of reorganising a new force would be unwise, having regard to all the circumstances of the case. Notwithstanding the arguments which have been put forward, I think the Committee would do well to resist this Amendment.


The reply of the right hon. Gentleman is satisfactory in so far as he has told us that he has come to a certain arrangement to include certain Amendments with reference to the provisions of Clause 37. I am not going to deal with that matter now, because it would be out of order, and moreover, it would be useless until we have seen the concessions. I think before the Chief Secretary sat down he might at least have given us some light upon the most difficult question arising under this Section, and that is what is to be the position of the Imperial Government in this matter after the six years are up? The right lion. Gentleman has told us this Clause retaining this force for six years as part of the Imperial force has been inserted in fairness to the police themselves and to the Irish Executive, but surely something is required in fairness to the Imperial Parliament and the Imperial Executive. A vital question upon this Section, which the right hon. Gentleman has ignored, is that after the transfer of this force there still remains in the hands of the Imperial Executive and of the Imperial Parliament many of the most important public services to be discharged in Ireland. That is admitted, because they do not cease or pass out of the hands of the Imperial Parliament at the end of six years as the police do, and at the end of that period the Imperial Parliament and the Imperial Executive is left without an officer of any sort or description in Ireland to carry out its wishes. The only way the right hon. Gentleman met that argument was by saying: "No one ever heard of a man serving two masters." We have a high authority for saying that is not a very profitable, or likely to be, a very desirable arrangement. Supposing it is true—and, of course, it is true—that it is quite competent for a man at one portion of the day to be serving one employer and at another portion of the day to be serving another employer, does not that assume the two employers are agreed? Does not that assume no friction or quarrel has arisen between them? Does any man suppose an employer would allow his servant to work for another employer if he was in actual conflict or quarrel with that other employer? The condition we have assumed is that at the end of six years differences may and, indeed, are certain to arise between the views taken by the Imperial Government on the one hand and the local Parliament and local Executive on the other, and we ask, in that state of affairs, where is the Imperial Executive going to get the force on which it can rely to loyally and faithfully carry out its views? It cannot be the local police, because they will be under the possible dismissal or promotion of the local Executive. The Imperial Executive has ceased to have anything to do with them in so far as their remuneration, promotion, or reward is concerned. The position then becomes impossible. The suggestion is that in such a time as that you are going to rely on this force you have cut adrift from the Imperial Executive and have handed over to the local Executive. I think it -would have been well? worth the right hon. Gentleman's while to have thrown some light on that difficult position.

The whole Bill, in the so-called safeguards, Veto, and these other things, assumes, I will not say the probability, but the certainty of some friction and quarrel as between the Imperial Parliament and the local Parliament. Otherwise, all these provisions as to what is to happen after the six years would be waste paper. Assume that what is contemplated does arise and there is friction as between the Imperial Parliament and the local Parliament, we want to know where are you going to draw in Ireland for the force that will carry out the wishes of the Imperial Parliament when you override the action of the local Parliament? It is ridiculous and ludicrous to say that in such a case as that you will utilise the very servants of the body with whom you are in dispute. The thing is grotesque. These men will then be the servants of the local Parliament. All their views and sympathies will be with their employers, the people who pay them and can promote and reward them, and it is ridiculous to say that under those conditions all you are leaving to the Imperial Parliament is the right to request the use for the time being of the very men who are in the service of the people with whom you are in dispute. It is in reference to that I think the Committee would like some assistance. The Imperial Executive and Parliament are left in the position that at the end of six years they have not an official of any sort or kind; not an executive officer left in Ireland, and yet the Imperial Executive may find itself in a position when it will be essential to enforce its views as against the views taken by the local Parliament and Executive. Perhaps if the Postmaster-General is going to take part in this discussion he may be able to throw some light upon this matter, which up to the present has been left by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary in absolute obscurity.

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

I think the Committee is probably very nearly ready to come to a decision on this Amendment—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—and I shall only intervene for a very few minutes in order to offer a reply to the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, and also to deal with one other point which has been raised in the course of this Debate. The right hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken and others who have preceded him, including the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour), have put this point. They say, "Here you have important functions which will still be reserved after the six years to the Imperial Government, and yet you hand over the police who should be the natural agents for assisting in the exercise of those functions to another body, a subordinate Parliament. How are you going to secure that these functions shall be properly performed? Can you point to any instance in which this absurd division of powers and division of agents has been effective? Is there any example out of Bedlam of so preposterous and so unworkable a scheme as this?" Prophecy is very easy, but experience is very much better: and, if one can point to concrete "working constitutions where these very things occur, it is much better than trying to prophesy as to what may or may not happen under the system proposed to be set up by this Bill.

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London, in a speech to which I had the pleasure and opportunity of listening, said: "What is the case in other federations? Look at the United States. There you have a division of functions between the central Government and the State Legislatures. There also you have agents of the central Government and you have agents of the State Legislatures to assist in the exercise of those functions." True, in the United States, I believe there are some federal officers who exrcise functions in the various States throughout the country, but the United States is not the only federation. We have three within our own Empire. Can you point to any case there where there are agents both of the central and the local Government in the nature of policemen to carry out the several functions allotted by the Constitutions to the central Government on the one hand and the local Government on the other?


The North-West Mounted Police of Canada.


The North-West Mounted Police of Canada is a centralised police.


And so is the South African police.


I know, but are there local police forces in the case of the- State Legislatures? There is no local police force, that is my point. I am going to deal with these various points. If the hon. Member will allow me to do so in my own way, I shall deal with Canada. Let me first take the case just put. What is to happen after six years 1 The central Government has functions to fulfil, and the local Government—the Irish Government —has the force by which they can be fulfilled. What happens in Australia now? The central Government has important functions to fulfil. It has large measures which are entrusted to it to administer. It has no police force; the police force is in the hands of the Governments of New South Wales, Victoria, and the rest, just as we propose in Ireland; and the Constitution works. This impossibility exists. This impossibility has its counterpart in Australia.


With constant friction.


Let me take an example much closer home in our own country. This Parliament passes laws which have to be administered. It maintains a system of tax collectors, Custom House Officers, Excise men, post offices, and so forth by the action and under the charge of Ministers responsible to this House. How are those laws administered outside London? By the local police force, not managed by the Imperial Government at all. One authority, say the City Council of Leeds or Bradford, or whatever it may be, has the agents under its control and dismisses and promotes them and enlarges the police force if it chooses, and the other authority, the central Government here, has to see its taxes are collected, and has constantly to invoke the aid of the police controlled by another authority in order to carry out the? administration of the laws with which it is charged. That works; it is not found to be impossible; it is within the knowledge of us all that every year of our lives it works and proceeds quite smoothly.

Hon. Members opposite may say, "Very well, if you have proved your case that it is right the Imperial Government should have control of certain functions, while the Irish Government is to have control of the police after six years, then necessarily you must be wrong during those six years you retain the police in the hands of this central Government, while making Ireland responsible for the maintenance of law and order." There are precedents both ways. I now come to the case of Canada. Canada has now the same system we shall have during the interim period of six years, while Australia has the system which will prevail after the six years. Canada has the system which will prevail during the six years because there the police force is centralised. It is also centralised in South Africa. I have my information from the Colonial Office, and we are informed that in Canada and South Africa the police force is centralised, while in Australia it is localised. But in all these Dominions certain functions are central and certain functions local, and the system works quite well whichever way it is.

I come nearer home, and deal with the matter in the first six years, taking the case of London. The London police force is controlled by the Imperial centralised Government, and yet the county council has to perform an infinity of functions for which it has to have the assistance of the police force. It is continually making by-laws and regulations which have to be enforced, and, when it needs to enforce thorn, it has to invoke the aid of the police, who arc not under their control, but under the control of the Home Secretary here, and that works quite well. The system in London and in Canada is very similar to that which we. propose to set up during the first six years, and the system in Australia, and the system in our local authorities in England is very similar to that which you propose in Ireland after the first six years. There is a division of functions. The police is in the hands of one or the other, and in both cases, owing to the exercise of a little common sense and a little goodwill on both sides, the system works quite well. We do not expect the Irish Government will be angels, but we do expect they will show as much businesslike capacity and common sense as the town councillors of Leeds or any other provincial town.

It is said, "You are going after six years to hand over to the Irish Government, the control of the Royal Irish Constabulary, but for all time the British Exchequer is to pay. They may reduce the police force or abolish it, and still the British taxpayer will pay the cost of it." In the first place, what is meant by "the British taxpayer"? Hon. Members opposite speak as if Irishmen pay no taxes. They forget the whole of the present revenue paid by the Irish taxpayers will go into the British Exchequer, and, if we take the Royal Irish Constabulary alone, that would pay for it six times over. While it is true we should continue to pay to the Irish Government the present cost of the Royal Irish Constabulary, which is about £1,400,000, we should take from the Irish Government all their normal increases of revenue. If and when their revenue grows, from growth of population or through greater prosperity, the whole of their increments of taxation, which in every other country would naturally go to the Government of the country to help them to pay for their normal expenditure, will come to us and will all be used to meet the present deficit of £1,500,000. I certainly think it is not the British taxpayer who loses by an arrangement of this character. We do anticipate that the Irish Government may be able to make economies in the Irish Constabulary when they have it under their control. It costs now £1,400,000, and the cost of the Bulgarian army, about which we hear so much to-day—the whole cost of that army on a peace footing is hardly more than that of the Royal Irish Constabulary. The whole cost of the Servian army and the whole cost of the Greek army is much less than that of the Royal Irish Constabulary. In the case of the Greek army it is £1,200,000.


The cases are hardly analogous, if you bear in mind the vast number of services outside constabulary duties which are performed by this force.


The Irish Constabulary is not called upon to maintain expensive artillery armaments. Certainly economy is possible, and if the Irish Government are to have control they must have some inducement to bring about that economy. It would be absurd to say that the Irish Government should take over the Royal Irish Constabulary, but if they like to cut down the expenses the resulting economy shall go to the benefit of the British taxpayer. Under such circumstances there would be no economy at all. The benefit should go to the Irish and not to the British taxpayer. These are the reasons why we think it desirable and necessary that the Irish Government should, in the long run, have control of the police force, and they are also the reasons why during the first six years they should not be charged, but should be given full time to feel their feet and to get accus- tomed to the functions cast upon them. We therefore think it is right that for six years the police should be retained here, and after that period be transferred to the control of the Irish Government.


The right hon. Gentleman has made two points in reply to arguments from this side of the House. In the first place he thinks that there can be a dual arrangement—an Imperial and Local Government control of the police force. He thinks that is perfectly possible in regard to a force which the British taxpayer has to pay for. He has adduced instances from various Colonies to prove what he desires to impress upon the Committee, but, as has been pointed out already, Ireland is not a British Colony, and the circumstances of that country are entirely different from those that obtain in our Colonies. It is idle, from our point of view, to urge that either Canada or Australia, or South Africa, are in a precisely similar position, because we deny that the case of Ireland is really analogous. If the right lion. Gentleman persists in taking these cases, I reply that I do not think that they bear out his argument at all. He quotes the case of Australia, and he says he looks forward to an arrangement under which the Irish Police can work in the same way. But the right hon. Gentleman must know that there is constant friction between the States and the Government, and that there have been misunderstandings and quarrels which have prevented the attempted arrangement succeeding. It does not appear to me to be at all an ideal proposal to set up in Ireland a system such as has been set up in Australia. With regard to Canada and the North-West Mounted Police, their position is not identical to that which the right hon. Gentleman desires to set up here. They are, and always have been, a federal force; they are kept for special police purposes and they are controlled from Ottawa; it would be absurd in Canada to transfer that force, with its present duties, to the control of the Local Legislatures. In the Western States, where the Canadian Mounted Infantry are most strong in numbers, the control of the local Legislature is confined to purely local purposes. If the right hon. Gentleman desires to institute in Ireland a purely police force under a local Legislature, let him apportion duties suitable to a police force of that character. But I would point out that the Royal Irish Constabulary is an Imperial Fore with duties far beyond ordinary police force duties, and we want to know whether, when this force is transferred to the Irish Parliament, it is still going to have the extended powers allotted to it which it is at present able to exercise. Is it still to be armed with bayonets, carbines, and pistols? Is it still going to be a quasi-military force? I must say that the proposal of the Government in this respect seems to me to partake of the nature of wild-cat legislation.

The Postmaster-General has admitted, in answer to arguments, that the British taxpayer will have to pay—in fact, he asked, why should not the British taxpayer do so? This force is going to cost £1,400,000 a year, and, if it is to be under the Irish Parliament, I, for one, do not see why the British taxpayer should contribute that sum, and why, if, after the end of the six years, there is a retrenchment of the cost, the British taxpayer should not reap the benefit of the reduction. It must not be forgotten that the British taxpayer under this Bill is to be penalised permanently, for all time, and is to pay the cost of the Royal Irish Constabulary as it stands at the time when the transfer is made. Should the prophesied reduction take place, it would be most unjust to the British taxpayer that he should be asked to keep on contributing the full amount of £1,400,000, while it is costing the Irish Parliament infinitely less to maintain the force. I venture to say, if that argument is put before the British public clearly, they will strongly object to any such arrangement, especially when they once begin to realise that they are to pay a fixed sum for this service for all time, even although the service may not be really performed. They will look upon it as a most outrageous proposal.

I do not know what means are going to be provided for dealing with certain questions. The Irish Secretary seems to treat Clause 40 as meeting all points. I have read it through. It certainly refers to arrangements being made between any Department of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Irish Department. But the Irish get an extremely good bargain under this Bill in almost all the circumstances which must come under Clause 40. Therefore why should they consent to come to arrangements with the United Kingdom departments as contemplated by Clause 40? And if they do not consent, who under the Bill is to compel them? The Bill, in fact, gives every advantage to the Irish taxpayer in regard to these financial arrangements, bearing in mind the interests and necessities of government in the United Kingdom. Every time any one looks through the Subsections of this Bill he realises the infinite difficulties which are involved. You are not only risking the dangers of civil war in Ulster, but you are setting up a Government which must, in my opinion, break down in many details, and, at any rate, there must be constant friction between Ireland and this country in regard to these matters under the Bill.


I am sorry that the Postmaster-General is no longer in his place, because there are one or two observations which I wish to make on his speech. I will, however, devote my remarks to the Chief Secretary. When I listened to the right hon. Gentleman I could not help reflecting that the general procedure of the Government with regard to an Amendment of this kind is very peculiar. They keep a sort of three-barrelled gun. First, they consider an Amendment as it affects their interests from the point of view of what I may call a subordinate Colonial body. Then they look at Amendments from the point of view of provincial Governments in South Africa and Australia; and if that does not happen to suit their point of view, they have yet another barrel, and they say that Ireland is a place by itself, and ought to be treated separately and to have distinct consideration. The Chief Secretary has fired off all three barrels upon the Amendment, one after the other, but I do not know that any one of them has exactly hit the mark. The Postmaster-General has referred to Colonial analogies. I should like to say to the Government that if they are going to adopt the Colonial argument let them adopt it all through. If you are going to say you must treat Ireland as you treat South Africa and Canada, let that be so, and for goodness sake do it, only let the Committee reflect that if you are going to say that, it means that Great Britain is no longer to be responsible for the financial proposals in this Bill. As several Colonial analogies have been brought forward, may I say a word or two upon them. I do not believe there is a single case in the treatment of any British Colony where exactly what the Government are proposing to do has been done—that is to say, a single case where a body which has been under control of a central federal body has been removed from that control and placed under local control. The Postmaster-General referred to the United States. Precisely the method which was suggested by my right hon. Friend below me (Mr. Balfour) as being the only logical suggestion, namely, two separate bodies, one responsible to the central Executive, and one responsible to the local Executive, is in operation in the United States to-day. The local police forces in the different States are responsible to the State Legislature, but the Federal Executive has its representatives in the local States, and those Federal representatives are the Federal marshals.

Not only is that the case, but so highly was that system thought of in 1893 by the Government, that it was actually put into the 1893 Bill. The representatives of the Imperial Government in 1893 were to be the Exchequer Judges and their officers. The Government have now departed from the Bill of 1893 and have adopted another principle. I do not say that the 1893 principle was better, but it was less bad than the present principle. The case of Canada was stated, but the Postmaster-General was in error in the statement he made in regard to Canadian conditions. The North-West Mounted Police in Canada is a centralised force, and if anybody suggested in Canada that they should be put under local State control it would be very much resented. Of course their are municipalities in Canada which have their own municipal police forces. The same is true of South Africa. You have the South African police, a centralised body, but you also have the local police. Every town in Natal has its local Zulu police. It is ridiculous to quote either Canada or South Africa as proving the opposite to the theories stated by my right hon. Friend. Then there is the case of Australia. The Postmaster-General said that Australia is a place where you have a local police force working perfectly smoothly and carrying out the desires and necessities of the central Executive. I join issue with the Postmaster-General on that point. If there has been one provision in. the Australian Constitution which has caused great trouble and difficulty, it is that one. You need not go further back than the recent disturbances in Brisbane, in the spring of this year, to see the tremendous difficulties brought about by that fact. There was one authority in charge of the police force, and the central authority had no body directly responsible to it. The right hon. Gentleman when we came to criticise some of the details of this proposal in the Bill, dealt with an Amend- ment which is down in the name of one of my hon. Friends, which cannot be reached under the present conditions of Debate, and therefore we must intelligently anticipate such Amendments. I invite anybody who replies for the Government to deal with this aspect of the question.

Two of my hon. Friends are pressing to add to this Clause words providing that the Royal Irish Constabulary is to be transferred subject to its being reorganised in the accustomed manner of the civil police. Those words come directly from the 1893 Bill. They were not in that Bill as originally introduced, but so strong was the case made for them that they were introduced later on, and they formed part of the amended Bill as it finally left the House of Commons in 1893. They do not appear in this Bill. I want to know why not. The Chief Secretary, in his last speech, said, "I hope that by the end of six years the constabulary will have been reorganised as a civil force, and that when they are transferred it it will be as a civil force and not as a semi-military organisation." If you hope so, why not say so. I hope before the Debate closes that some answer will be forthcoming on that point from the Government. The right hon. Gentleman went on to adopt a policy which I have been long enough in this House to know is very often adopted by Ministers on the Treasury Bench. When they are pressed on any particular question the3' have a way of saying, "That is provided for in a later Clause in the Bill, and when it comes up you will have an opportunity of discussing it." In accordance with that habit of Ministers, the right hon. Gentleman refers us to Clause 37. He says that that Clause makes provision for the compensation of the police, and that he intends to put on the Paper a number of Amendments which will meet the difficulties which he knows that some of the representatives of the Irish Constabulary have felt with regard to the proposals of the Bill. There are two things I want to say on that. In the first place, I do not think it is fair to this Committee that we ought to be asked to discuss the whole question of the status of the Royal Irish Constabulary in the future without knowing what the Government proposals are going to be. I do not think the Government are treating the Committee fairly. They ought to put their Amendments on the Paper early, and if negotiations are not in a sufficiently forward state, they ought to say they will postpone the consideration of the Clause.

The right hon. Gentleman says we shall have ample time to discuss them on Clause 37, and, if not on Clause 37, upon the Schedule. I naturally look to see how long we are to get on Clause 37. What do I find? Clauses 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41 are all to be disposed of in three and a half hours. Is that the right hon. Gentleman's idea of ample time 1 As for the Schedule, if there is one thing more certain than another under the present scheme of the Government^ it is that none of the Schedules will ever be discussed. Clause 40 is in precisely the same position. If we are to discuss the six or seven Amendments the Government are going to put down with regard to the police on that Clause, it is manifestly impossible, in the three and a half hours we are to have, to get any discussion of Clause 40 at all. It is really trifling with the Committee when questions arise, to refer them to Clause 40, and say that we can discuss the question on that Clause. There is another point on which I press for a reply. Clause 40 provides that certain arrangements may be made between Departments in the United Kingdom and in Ireland for the carrying on of the Imperial duties in Ireland by an Irish Department. The right hon. Gentleman says, "This is a great solvent for all your difficulties about the Imperial Executive in Ireland. Clause 40 settles the whole matter." An English Department, not an Executive body, is to say to the Irish Department, "You shall carry out any of the Imperial responsibilities in Ireland, and you shall use the Royal Irish Constabulary when we have handed them over to you in order to do so." But the Clause contains an important proviso about which the right hon. Gentleman said very little or nothing. They are to do that on terms and conditions to be arranged. Does that mean that the Imperial Executive is to pay the Irish Government for work done for them by the Royal Irish Constabulary? That is a very important question, to which I hope we shall get an answer, because if the Imperial Executive is to pay the Irish Government in respect of any work which the Irish Constabulary does for the Imperial Executive, then they will pay twice over, for they pay already, on the day of the transfer, for the whole cost of the Royal Irish Constabulary as it is on the day of transfer. If I apprehend the Chief Secretary aright, when they want anything done on behalf of the Imperial Executive in Ireland, they have to pay again on terms and conditions to be arranged. I hope that on these three points we shall have some answer from the Government before the Debate closes.

8.0 P.M.


I should like to follow my hon. Friend in dealing with some of the extraordinary analogies the Postmaster-General brought forward to try and defend this particular provision from the federal point of view. I notice that beyond the Postmaster-General no other Minister ever pays the slightest attention to the federal point of view in this Committee, but he does, to the best of his ability, try to bring forward certain federal analogies. I do not propose to follow him in his comparison between the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Bulgarian Army and the Servian Army. That comparison had very much better be addressed to his colleagues at the War Office when they discuss the merits of voluntary and compulsory service. I should like to deal briefly with his extraordinary comparison with the police force in the United Kingdom, which are administered by local bodies. Those police forces are supported by an Imperial Grant-in-Aid. The Imperial Government reserves to itself the power of inspection in order to keep these forces up to the mark, and they are controlled in the ordinary way, not by bodies having legislative powers, but by bodies which have very limited powers, namely, borough and county councils. To come to his Imperial analogies, his great stand-by is the police in Australia. My hon. Friend has just pointed out that Australia shows how badly that division of authority works. It is worth while remembering that in Australia you have a union of large States already possessing complete police systems, a union of the most limited characters possible, in which the functions of the federal power extend to very few internal matters at all, and even so, these police are civil and not military police. Wherever in the Empire you have a force which is both a police force and a military force it is under the central Government, in Canada as elsewhere.

The whole point of this Amendment is to try to bring the Government to realise the constitutional issue, and to make their Bill to some extent fit in with their federal professions. It seems to me to be a perfectly feasible solution on the assumption that the Bill went through. This force, by universal admission, is not only largely military in character, but is a valuable military asset from the point of view of the War Office in certain eventualities. It is also a United Kingdom force for certain particular kinds of work, and should remain under the control of the United Kingdom. Subsequently, if it should be found that its worth, as a purely police force, did not require, or was superseded by the development of an Irish civil police force, that force might be reduced or, on the other hand, it might be kept at its full strength and converted into a purely military force. Anybody who knows the difficulties the War Office has had with recruiting and who knows the splendid physical and moral qualities of the Irish Constabulary, might very well consider that it would be very important to keep those cadres together and convert them from the point of view of the United Kingdom for Imperial defence into a purely military force. I wonder whether the Imperial Defence Committee has ever been consulted with regard to the disposal of the Irish Constabulary. If it is in contemplation that the Royal Irish Constabulary at the end of six years are to become a purely civil force, what is the view of the Imperial Defence Committee on the diminution of our military defensive power by several thousand men? It is a point worth considering, and it seems to me if you preserve the constitutional spirit, or the spirit at any rate which the right hon. Gentleman professes, the right constitutional solution would be to maintain this force as an Imperial body and reduce or modify it according as the circumstances develop, but, whatever it is, to maintain it still subject to the control of this House, and I think that is the right financial solution. In that case, as long as it is an Imperial body, it ought to be paid by Imperial funds. If the services of Ireland allow of its diminution the Imperial funds will gain. If the circumstances of Imperial defence make it desirable that it should be converted into a purely military body, it is only right again that the Imperial taxpayers should bear that. Meanwhile, whatever force is required for the civil policing of Ireland should be provided from those Irish revenues which by hypothesis are going to grow so immensely out of savings under the transformed home services.

There is one further point in this connection which is of very material consequence. The Chief Secretary admitted rightly that even after the six years there are certain very important functions at present fulfilled by the constabulary which will still be United Kingdom services and functions. Admitting that, he says quite frankly that may be provided for out of the provisions of Clause 40. I wonder if the Committee has yet fully appreciated the immense bearing of this Clause 40 which has begun to be used so freely by right hon. Gentlemen opposite. It is a Clause under which any Department of the United Kingdom can have its executive and administrative work done by an Irish Department. The right hon. Gentleman contemplates the transfer of a number of important United Kingdom functions in connection with the constabulary to an Irish Constabulary. The Postmaster-General, after introducing an Amendment with regard to the Post Office which retains as a prohibited service—not merely as a reserve service — all postal work in Ireland, whether the postage in Ireland of letters for abroad or for England or the delivery in England of letters from England or abroad, also quite frankly contemplates, as he said, in answer to a question of mine this afternoon, that Clause 40 should be invoked. You transfer that service also to the Irish Department and you withdraw from Parliament here all effective instruments for carrying out his policy. If Clause 40, which we shall never have a chance of discussing, is already to-day intended to be used for transferring these two vitally important Imperial functions to the Irish Parliament, what is to prevent Ministers in a difficulty, three months or three years after Home Rule passes into law, from transferring any and every of the reserved or prohibited services to some Irish Department? What is there to prevent the whole constabulary being transferred to any Irish Department next year or the year after, the cost still being retained as a reserved cost by the taxpayers of this country? The issue which we have raised by this Amendment is one of vital importance. It affects the position and prospects of a body which has rendered great service to the Empire in the past, but it also affects the question of United Kingdom defence, a matter which apparently has never been considered by the Government. It also affects the whole constitutional position, and in connection with this Clause 40 it opens up a prospect of administrative and private discussions between Ministers and their friends on the other side of the water by which every one of the safeguards, of which so much had been made in public speeches and in Committee here, can be set absolutely at naught.


My hon. Friend (Mr. Mitchell-Thomson) laid a good deal of stress, very rightly from the point of view of the British taxpayer, on the fact that no matter what happens in future, the English taxpayer would have to continue to pay this annual subsidy, and the Postmaster-General in reply to that made the point—and I really think the Committee will recognise that it was a small point after all, though he laid great stress on it —that the English taxpayer was not the only person who contributed to national revenue. As a matter fact we know that the English taxpayer pays about 83 per cent., and the Scotch taxpayer 11 per cent., and my own countrymen pay the balance. But I am content to leave it at 83 per cent, and 11 per cent, representing Great Britain, and if 94 per cent, of the taxpayers who have to find these £2,000,000 a year come from England and Scotland, there is very little in that point. The Postmaster-General said on high constitutional ground that the Cabinet had determined to leave the control of this force with the Imperial Parliament for six years, because ho said it was in order to follow exactly the precedent of the Canadian system. It was not for that reason at all. It was because Mr. Sexton, when he was a Member of this House as far back at 1893, said it was absolutely vital to them to have a central force to put down disturbances in Ulster, which were threatened even in those days, and the idea of putting it on the high constitutional ground, coming from those benches opposite, is not a thing that even he, I take it, would expect to be generally believed. But I want to look at this from the point of view of a minority who have to live in the country under the administration which is involved in this Clause.

If you have a police force in a country there are only two ways of doing it. There is the English and Scotch way and there is the Irish way. The English and Scotch way is that every county forms itself into a local unit and enlists, generally in the county its own police and uses them as a county force, and my experience in English counties is that the average policeman is in nearly every case a local man. That has been possible in England and Scot land, but it is absolutely impossible in Ireland, because we have racial and social and religious and class differences that make the local man wholly unfit to be a policeman in a local case. If you take the son of a Kerry farmer and put him into the Kerry police, if it was a county force, what protection would there be for one of the minority who were nightly being harried by cattle-drivers or shot at on their way home from a fair or held up under the ban of the local persecution of the League of Hibernians. A local constabulary force formed of local material would be, so swayed by local prejudices and so much under the influence of local terrorism that it would be impossible that it should ever be an effective force. The police are held in great odium by the people who call themselves patriots among my countrymen and it would be very difficult for a local police force to get recruits. When recruits arc required now an applicant has to present himself in Dublin and his neighbours never know what has happened to him until some years afterwards they find he has blossomed out into a sergeant or a head constable, and of course when he has his pension and comes home to scatter it about, he is as popular as anyone else, except that the local bodies will not allow him to have any public appointment. That is the local system.


Suppose he blossoms out into a publican?


He may do that, in which case he is still more popular with the patriots. That is the one trade which commands their undoubted allegiance. It is practically impassible to have a local system of county units and recruiting in the counties for any system of Irish police. That is why the Royal Irish Constabulary has performed such good service. You take a man from Galway; you drill him at the depot in Dublin; he is sent to do his service perhaps in Tyrone, Antrim, or Derry. He has no local prejudices or feelings or anything of that sort. He is a disciplined man, and an impartial policeman, and very often it is impossible to say what his private views or religion or feelings or origin may have been. He does his duty just as an ordinary loyal servant of the Crown, and if he was not a loyal servant of the Crown probably there would not be the same feeling at his being handed over, tied and bound, to the majority who have been pestering him as far as they can for years. That is the centralised system, and what makes me uneasy about it, knowing Ireland and knowing it can never be run except under a centralised system for these reasons, is that I think if the Committee reject this Amendment as far as I read the Bill they are ringing the knell of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Of course there is Clause 41, which says every authority and jurisdiction is to go on as it is at present, except in so far as this Act allows it to be repealed. Then you come to Clause 2, which says the following are matters about which the Irish Parliament may not legislate, and the Royal Irish Constabulary is one of them. Then comes the sting at the tail, which says as soon as you transfer a service from this country to the Irish Parliament it becomes an Irish service, and thereupon of course they have power to repeal it. There is power to repeal every Act relating to the management or control or anything else connected with the constabulary. As I read the Bill there is absolutely nothing in it, once the six years are up and this service automatically passes under the Irish Parliament, to prevent them repealing all the Police Acts now in force. They are going to get £1,400,000 a year whether they have any police or not. Why should not the Irish Parliament say, "We are going now to run the country on the English system; we are going to have local bodies to take charge of the police in every county; we will give you a small grant out of the £1,400,000, but you must make up the rest out of the rates"? Suppose they save £500,000 a year in that way, what an opportunity for the patriots. They would put the police on the county rates, and as we know that more than half are paid by Unionists, the matter would not cause feelings of dissatisfaction to the Parliament in Dublin.

The Royal Irish Constabulary can be abolished the day after they are transferred from the control of the British Parliament. The first thing they will do will be to take away the word "Royal" Why should a Nationalist Parliament, dependdent on the good opinion of the Irish across the Atlantic and the approval of Patrick Ford, call the police force Royal because it suppressed a Fenian insurrection 1 Then the patriots might ask, "Why should the men have a crown on their buttons and caps, and why should there be a crown above the harp? Away with such unclean things! Why should they have a uniform that bears evil memories of the past when they were a Royal and an Imperial forced" I do not say that they would abolish the force on the spot, but they have the power to do so. There is no use of my hon. Friends putting conundrums to the Chief Secretary as to what is to become of the force. If you are going to do what is proposed by the Bill, the force will not be there to give rise to these conundrums. The Irish Parliament can easily say, "We are not going to have the Royal Irish Constabulary any longer; we are now going to have a local police force. The poor landlords left in Clare will be much better if looked after by the Clare police under the Clare County Council." It would solve the question sooner and cause less trouble. Then you would have the Clare Bashi-Bazouks going round the country among the boycotted. The police would be recruited from the mountains in Clare.


There are no mountains in Clare.


The Chief Secretary day after day gets up, and tells us that So and So in Clare has been shot at.


Oh no, I do not.


I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. These questions are only asked on Thursday. Thursday after Thursday admissions are wrung from the right hon. Gentleman in regard to boycotting and outrages in Clare. If the Irish Parliament say, "We are going to let Clare County Council appoint their own police"—as has been suggested in Nationalist papers before now—where is the protection for the minority to come from? You would hear daily through the papers of outrages and of no arrests being made. The Government need not talk about the provisions of Clause 40 unless they are prepared to do something which will guarantee that even after the transfer this force is to be allowed to exist. As the Bill stands it can be absolutely wiped out. If it is wiped out, you will lose the whole benefit of a centralised police. If you are to get the benefit of a centralised police this force must be maintained. It would lead to general anarchy in the country to have the control of the police, handed over to the county councils, where everybody is subject to local influences and feelings, and where a man is appointed because he has been in the Ancient-Order of Hibernians or has distinguished himself in the service of Captain Moonlight. It would be bad enough to hand over the police to the county councils, but if you are going to pay half of the cost out of the county rates—and there is nothing lo prevent the Irish Parliament doing that —it just shows what a ridiculous, hopeless —I will not say hopeless, because the Bill is founded on hope. It is all hope.

The Government hope that everything they wish will come to pass, and they close their eyes to everything else. Knowing that they might alarm the voters now, everything is brushed over with the remark, "Can you not trust the Nationalist party?" I am quite prepared to trust the Nationalist party to carry out what they have threatened year in and year out. I know how the unfortunate Protestants and Unionists of Ireland have been boycotted and molested, and how their liberty and property have been taken by the organisations of the Nationalist party. I cannot expect anything better from them when they have actually the power in Ireland. Is it not a lamentable thing, after all these years of loyal service, that this police force should be handed over to those men? It was stated in the earlier Bills that the force was to be disbanded. Although the Government do not put that in this Bill, the fact is that it will be disbanded. I cannot, with my knowledge of the force, sit down without saying: "Here is a loyal force that have taken every risk for you; they have been true to their oath; they have taken the King's shilling,. and they are now in danger of disbandment." The Government say there are going to be troublous times in Ireland, and they whistle to keep their courage up. They say they have sufficient force in this body which they are retaining to deal with these troubles. How do you think a man is going to fight for you when he knows that you are going to turn him out on the world with a minimum pension? Does not that take the heart out of him? He knows that, however loyal he is to you, there is no loyalty on your part. He also knows, and this is a great trial for the conscientious officer, that however loyal he is to you during these six years, the more a marked man he will be when your allies and his enemies come into power. The temptation under which you are putting him is very strong. It is not human nature to resist it. You are putting these men to 'too great a strain which will break. It is unfair to them, but it is quite consistent with the policy of the party that betrayed Gordon, and never bothered their heads about the position of the minority in South Africa. But it is grossly unfair treatment of a loyal body of men and will bring disaster on the whole country.


I wish to correct the statement in reference to Canada made by the Postmaster-General. He said that for the first six years under this Bill the situation in Ireland would be exactly the same as it is in Canada, and that the police would be under the federal authority. He also stated that he was sure he was correct because he got his information from the Colonial Office. From my personal knowledge of Canada for some considerable time I can inform the Postmaster-General that he is absolutely wrong. If he wishes to satisfy himself and asks the Colonial Office again he will find that instead of the police in Canada being under federal authority they arc under provincial authority which is entirely different from the position of the Royal Irish Constabulary under this Bill during the first six years. If you take every province you will find that there is no federal authority whatever over the police. If you go through British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and all the rest of them, you will find that that is so. The only analogy which can be found to the Royal Irish Constabulary in the British Empire are the South African Constabulary and the Canadian North-West Mounted Police. They are all of them quasi-military forces and fulfil duties that are not usually fulfilled. by policemen. The North-West Mounted Police of Canada have no authority whatever in the provinces of Canada except in the Hudson Bay Territory and other places that have not yet been formed into provinces. When they have been formed into provinces the North-West Mounted Police will be withdrawn from them, but they never will be handed over to the provinces as this Bill proposes to hand the Irish Constabulary over to the Irish Executive. Under the British North America Act it is almost impossible that any conflict of opinion should arise which would render it necessary for federal police to interfere with the provinces. Under this Bill, bristling, as it does, with matters that must inevitably cause trouble between the Imperial Parliament and the Irish Parliament, it is absolutely essential that there should be retained in Ireland what they have not found it necessary to retain in Canada, under the British North America Act, a force like the constabulary to carry out matters brought forward by the Imperial Parliament. If, when the British North America Act was passed, or the South African Union, or the Common-wraith of Australia was established, it had been proposed to hand over a force like the North-West Mounted Police of Canada or the South African Police in Africa, after the lapse of a certain period, to any provincial power or authority, it would not have been allowed. They would have said, "If you do not want Imperial matters enforced in Ireland at the end of six years, then let the Imperial Government deal entirely with the Irish Constabulary. Do not let the Irish Parliament have anything to do with them at all, so that these men who will have devoted their lives to the constabulary can be treated properly by the Imperial Parliament, and will not be under the Executive in Ireland, who at that time will probably be in conflict with the Irish party."


There is one point in regard to the interjection by the hon. Member for Salford while my right hon. Friend the Member for Dublin University was speaking. He said, "They can be dismissed." The Radical mind of my hon. Friend saw at once the illogical idea that without any time limit being expressed, people in England are to continue to pay £1,400,000 out of the British taxpayer's pocket, to keep up a force which might or might not exist, and therefore his suggestion cannot they be dismissed as so inopportune. I would not for a moment put it that the hon. Member meant that they were not to be found by this Parliament positions quite equal to what they already hold. I do not think that he or any other hon. Gentleman on the other side is mean enough for that, but I think what he meant was that we as a body should be able to dismiss them from the position of being in the Royal Irish Constabulary in Ireland and find for them some other position under our Imperial powers in other directions.

The hon. Member for Birmingham has already suggested that the Empire Defence Committee, if they were approached, might surely find within our whole Empire some positions for 12,000 men trained as they are, and I am speaking now as a representative of a Constituency of taxpayers who object most emphatically to the idea of continuing to pay £1,400,000 a year in perpetuity for a force which may never exist, and I am quite certain that what has already been said will be carried out, and that if you go down to constituencies in this country and say, "Are you prepared to vote £1,400,000 in perpetuity to the Irish Parliament for the upkeep of a force which may not exist?" there will only be one answer, that on no account should such a Clause as that ever pass in this Bill. Therefore I suggest that the hon. Member for Salford is not so far wide of the mark. Let us have this in our mind, that for six years you would pay £1,400,000 a year while the Government of Ireland is looking about to see how it shall develope its own police force, and that this grand body of 12,000 men shall be utilised as an Imperial force somewhere within the Empire, or it will pay us a great deal better if we give them handsome pensions rather than pay £1,400,000 in perpetuity. As a financial transaction it would be very much better to give them any amount of money as compensation for their change of employment, but on no consideration should we put that body of men under the control of a Parliament in Dublin with the entire cost to be paid out of the British Exchequer, and as has already been hinted at an additional payment whenever they perform services for some Department of the Imperial Government. I think that on all these grounds the proposition contained in the Clause we are now discussing is absolutely impossible, and therefore I shall certainly vote for the Amendment before the House.

Sir J. D. REES

Either the transfer of the Royal Irish Constabulary is good business or it is bad business. If it is good business, "it were better done" now; but if it is bad business, the Government, "infirm of purpose," will let somebody else use the dagger. They put the whole question off for six years. If the electorate of this country understood that this Bill contained one Clause under which they were to be taxed to the extent of £1,200,000—or £1,400,000, as it is stated, though it does not matter to the Government, who do not care about £200,000—and were under liability for any such sum, that alone would be enough to make them rise in their wrath and throw out both the Bill and the Government. The real fact is—and I have found it out on every platform and at many meetings I have attended—that you cannot make the electorate of this country understand what this Bill means. It is far too impudent a proposition for them to think that any British Government could possibly bring it forward. That is the real and literal truth. The electorate are under the impression that this Bill means that the Irish are to manage their own affairs and pay for it. That is their impression, arising from the seeming supine-ness, the actual supineness, I am sorry to say, of the electorate, in the face of a Bill which contains so many provisions of the character of this one. Their own supporter, Lord MacDonnell, a strong Home Ruler, said that separation from England should be complete, except in respect of the English purse. He has never made any difficulty about recognising what are the facts. This Bill is a proposition for letting the Irish Parliament—[HON. MEMBERS: "Amendment."]


The hon. Member must confine his observations to the Amendment.

Sir J. D. REES

I submit to you, Sir, that my remarks are strictly to the Amendment. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] Under this Clause the proposition is that the British taxpayer should pay a sum of £1,200,000 or £1,400,000, certainly for four years, perhaps for an infinite time, for a non-existing Royal Irish Constabulary. I submit that is relevant.


The hon. Member himself used the word "Bill," and he was directing his remarks to the Bill, and not to the Amendment.

Sir J. D. REES

I apologise, Sir, but nevertheless I say with respect to this particular proposition, Nummus non olet—we do not want them, but we will have their money. It is upon ignorance upon this point that the supine concurrence or indifference of the British taxpayer is based. I submit that is a relevant statement of the case. Leaving that point for the moment, I should like to come to the question of the transfer of this force. I remember an analogous case where the servants of the East India Company, which was a sovereign body, or practically a sovereign body, were transferred to the Crown, when it took over the Government of India. That was a case where the Crown and the East India Company were friendly and co-operating bodies, on the best possible terms one with the other. Xo question of this kind was involved, nor any of the questions which underlie the Bill. The officers of the East India Company were transferred to the Royal force, and though they were never happy and comfortable in that force, yet simple loyalty to the Crown made workable an arrangement which want of loyalty to the Crown would here make impossible. That illustration from India, I submit, is as relevant as any to the position, though it is not often, I admit, used in this House for the purpose of illustration.

The Chief Secretary based his argument in support of this Clause to a great extent upon the fact that under Section 40 of this Bill suitable give and take arrangements, dealing with the issues applicable in the case, could be made as regards the officers in the transferred department. But the right hon. Gentleman left out of account just one factor, and that was human nature. I think it is left out of account throughout the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman entirely omitted to take into account what is an important factor in dealing with men, and that is human nature. He said, "Suppose an officer of the transferred department was occupied for half an hour doing duty under the Home Rule Parliament. For half an hour? Why not half a day or three-quarters of a day, or nine-tenths of a day? I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman should beg the question by suggesting that only a small portion of the officer's time might be devoted to the Imperial service. The right hon. Gentleman said of them that the Irish policeman would be an English policeman for such portion of the day as he was engaged in obeying the English or British Government. I confess it seems to me that the Irish Secretary during the course of his service in the office which he holds has acquired some capacity for making that kind of pleasantries which have acquired the name of "Irish," though I do not know why.

It seems to me perfectly obvious that any officer, if a human man and not a perfect archangel, would naturally look to the Government which he serves for nine-tenths of the day for approbation, pay, and promotion, and everything else, and not to that Government which he served only on exceptional occasions for a small portion of the day. The Chief Secretary said that Home Rule is no new matter to the Royal Irish Constabulary. I agree that it is no new matter to the Royal Irish Constabulary, for they have been engaged in combating it with exceeding loyalty and devotion during the greater part of their existence. Then the Chief Secretary said that there is another reason: Supposing that the transferred force should become an army for the Home Rule Government. He drew a picture of the Irish Constabulary officer jingling his spurs and all the rest of it, which I shall not try to imitate lest you should describe it as irrelevant. Suppose that the Irish Government when this force is transferred to them after six years, although I do not say it is likely to happen, wish to make this force practically an army. I know that the Irish Government are not likely to be at variance, for instance, with the Government of the French Republic, but those are things to be taken into account. In 1788, I think, it was the case that a French force under General Humbert landed on the coast of Mayo, and established themselves for fourteen days in the heart of Ireland. I do not think that is likely to happen, because Ireland is far more likely to be friendly with anybody who might, unlike France, be unfriendly towards ourselves, but we have to deal with possibilities. When the Chief Secretary launches an argument such as that, I instance the case which I have mentioned, and I ask what would happen? The hon. Member for Mayo never rises in his place except to take the part of someone who either by way of sedition or actual hostility is at variance with the British Government. Is the case, then, so extravagant? I do not think it is likely, but for the purpose of argument it is a perfectly relevant and reasonable argument to adduce to the Committee.

The Chief Secretary said, and I regret it as it was a very unfortunate expression if meant seriously to say about so loyal a force, that he wished they had been better police and less good soldiers. I submit they are all the better police for being good soldiers, and I think that every private citizen would be the better citizen if he were a good soldier. I hope with all my heart that the time will come when there will be no antagonism between those two characters, and when one will imply and contain the other. The Chief Secretary went on to say that the Irish Government would want an effective police. I think it will, very much so, to look after themselves apart from the point of view of the United Kingdom, or of what was the United Kingdom, and then will be the Island of Great Britain shorn of Ireland. I cannot understand how Great Britain, when this Section comes into operation, is to continue any effective supervision over such services as remain under its control. How is it to do so? If the Government think that they want the Irish Constabulary now, will they not want that force in six years, when there will be a greater mess in Ireland than there is now, and when it will be, so far as any person can divine, in a state of something like anarchy and confusion? Therefore the proposal that the Irish Government should be able to do without this force is an absolutely absurd and untenable proposition. We are told that it is quite easy, though Holy Writ says the contrary, for a policeman, like no other man, to serve two masters. I gave the instance of a case of the transfer of officers from one Government to another. Let mc give another illustration from the Government with which I am most familiar, the Government of India, which is a far better governed country than this at the present time—far better in comparison, in my humble judgment. We take the case in which ex hypothesi an officer of the Imperial Government is to have a certain rather ill-defined control over officers of the officers of a subordinate Legislature. I can remember on one occasion an officer of the Government of India, which had precisely that position in reference to the subordinate Government of Madras, two friendly and completely harmonious administrations, gave some orders to the people whom he considered to be his subordinates in that subordinate administration of Madras. The Government of Madras rose in their wrath, and the Governor in Council said, "Are we to be treated with this want of consideration?" and immediately they warned off the officer of the Government of India and told him, "Do not give any orders to our officers; we are the Government of Madras, and we can look after our own affairs." The officer went back and gave such an account to the Government of India of the Government of Madras, that the Government of India penned a very severe censure to the Government of Madras.

That happened between two Governments which are a part of one whole, in which, if ever such an arrangement could be got to work, it would be there. Under this Bill it is actually proposed to introduce such an arrangement which will be inherently unworkable between the Imperial Government and the Government of Ireland, which is separating from that Government because it hates it. The Postmaster-General quoted federal cases, and said we would be able to do it. I gave you a far stronger case where you had infinitely more reasons why such an arrangement should work and when it broke down. It is utterly absurd to suppose that such an arrangement would ever work. The inference I draw from this Section and the Government defence of it, is that they are acting, as I believe they have acted in similar cases, namely, to try and get the Bill through to satisfy the present application of the dunning creditor, letting whoever is in power carry out the details when the time comes, and let the devil take the hindmost. That is the only principle that has animated the Government, in dealing with this Section. We know what will happen will be that if all goes according to the programme, Ireland will be in the grip of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The constabulary will be disbanded on pensions of the lowest scale, and there will be a new force hostile to this country enrolled in their place. The position taken up by leaders of the Nationalist party is perfectly obvious from the quotations from their speeches. I respect those hon. Members to this extent, that they do not pre-pretend, like Ministers on the Treasury Bench. They say out fairly and squarely what they want, and do not dissimulate their hostility to the United Kingdom. They mean to have a force entirely subservient to themselves, and to pay off old scores by treating the Royal Irish Constabulary, who have been their enemies and our friends, as scurvily as possible. It would be far more satisfactory to me if there was less alternate simulation and dissimulation upon the Front Bench in regard to this matter. The hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon)—whose speeches I am always able to follow, because, unfortunately for him, I know something of the countries of which he speaks and he does not, his sole qualification for speaking being that in those countries there are a certain number of people who are hostile to this country—said in 1887:— The police will all be working under my orders within a year. He now thinks, I suppose, that within six years they will all be working under his orders. What loyal citizen of the United Kingdom can contemplate without dismay the position of that loyal body under this Clause? Either they will have to turn to the body whose illegal and disloyal proceedings throughout their existence they have been checking, or they will have to be disbanded upon such terms as the Irish Parliament thinks fit.


Will the hon. Member give his authority for that quotation?

Sir J. D. REES

Certainly. It is from a speech delivered by the hon. Member for East Mayo at Tipperary on 13th March, 1887.


From what paper is it?

9.0 P.M.

Sir J. D. REES

I have given the date. If the quotation is incorrect I shall be very happy to apologise. But the hon. Member would not think any better of it if I told him it was from a book I had written myself. I do not wish further to occupy the time of the Committee, but it is only at a time like this when one who is not an Irish Member and has not the claim of an Irish representative on the time of the Committee can obtain a hearing; and I have intervened because I was able to give instances out of my own knowledge, not similar, but somewhat analogous, in which the system which it is proposed to introduce in Ireland has entirely broken down, and also because I view with dismay and apprehension the position of this loyal body, which during the next six years is to drag on life under a sentence of death, and then has before it the terrible alternative of either joining its past enemies or being disbanded on the smallest of pensions and under the most unfortunate circumstances.


I have listened to most of the speeches in this Debate, but have not heard a single reason for rejecting the Amendment. The Postmaster-General adduced many interesting instances from various Colonial and other Governments. But what we are trying to make right hon. Gentlemen opposite understand is that there is no analogy whatever between a Colonial Government and the proposed Government in Ireland. Either you must say that you will grant Colonial government to Ireland—and in that case you must entrust Ireland with the administration of all those services which at present are reserved to this country—or you must take the view which we on this side hold: that the Government of Ireland and the Government of England are indissolubly united and must continue to be so, and that to establish the hybrid institution, which seems to be the idea of the Government, is absolutely impossible. As these Debates continue and the different Amendments are discussed it must become obvious to any fair-minded individual that the proposed arrangements— one service being reserved and another handed over to the Irish Government, another reserved for six years and then handed over—must result in the greatest chaos ever seen in any country. With reference to the present Amendment, there is one conclusive reason in its favour. We have heard nothing whatever from hon. Gentlemen behind the Treasury Bench. I have often noticed that when the guillotine is to fall at a certain hour there is on that side a certain amount of loquacity which does not occur on occasions when the Debate can be prolonged. Therefore I take it that since the hon. Gentleman opposite has not joined in this Debate he feels in his heart of hearts that loyalty requires him to support the Government, although his conscience tells him that this is a very good Amendment.


I have spoken in this Debate.


The hon. Member speaks so seldom in our Debates that I had forgotten he had spoken, but I was referring to the hon. Member behind him (Mr. Lees Smith). The question, however, I would like to ask the Government, in handing over the control of the Royal Irish Constabulary, as they propose under this Bill, in six years, is this: How are they going to carry out what is contemplated in Section 1, which deals with the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament? We know that a great deal of the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament over Colonial Parliaments as a matter of fact does not exist at all. It is a vague and shadowy influence: in substance it has no practicability. If you are putting to one side the one means which we have for enforcing the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament, I cannot see on what alternative the Government propose to fall, unless it is the power of the purse—that is, of cutting off the contributions which it is contemplated will be given by this country to Ireland. The other point which I wish to make is whether the Government have contemplated the situation which must arise during the six years in which the Royal Irish Constabulary is looked upon as a reserved service. In six years' time you are going to change the Administration. It will be altered from that of this country to the Administration of the Irish Parliament. Those two Administrations must be different. What, might I ask, will be the moral effect upon those who have been recruited under the present system 1 They go from one authority to another. It is obvious that during those six years the men must consider their position, and what may happen if they are placed under the authority of the Irish Parliament. I think it is an argument of common sense to think that their actions will be cramped to a certain extent when they realise that they are to be transferred to the authority of an Administration which they will have to consider from an entirely different point of view to that of the time when they were enlisted. This argument is one to which the right hon. Gentleman has not addressed himself. He has looked upon the Royal Irish Constabulary in a sort of way as if it were a machine. In a certain sense you can look on any military force as a machine; but such a force must have continuity. In the arrangements under this Bill there is no continuity for the administration of that force. It was only in his peroration that the right hon. Gentleman addressed himself to an aspect of the matter which I should like to ask him about, and that is: Why six years were selected? He said that the Irish Government would be in a certain amount of difficulty—I am not quoting the right hon. Gentleman's exact words, but the sense as it seemed to me—before they have settled down, and it would be as well to leave the administration of the Royal Irish Constabulary in the same hands as it had been previously. If there is any argument in giving to the Irish Government responsibility surely the sooner the better that yon hand the constabulary over to them! I am speaking from the point of view of the right hon. Gentleman. If the arguments of hon. Gentlemen opposite have any substantiality in this matter, I ask, if they have this implicit trust in the Irish Government, whether it would not be advisable and far better to trust the Administration, and hand over the Royal Irish Constabulary at the first possible opportunity? That is not going to be done. I do not think right hon. Gentlemen feel disposed to give an answer to my question.

The Chief Secretary in his speech told us that the Royal Irish Constabulary were bad policemen and good soldiers. I am not going to suggest that that is a reason for the eternal refrain that comes at the end of the various Irish questions put to the right hon. Gentleman that "no arrest has been made." I do not know whether it is the case that they are better soldiers than policemen. It has been suggested, I believe, that the constabulary will eventually be disbanded. I think that it would be a very great misfortune both for this country and for Ireland if that took place, for it will, I think, be agreed on all sides that there is no finer body of troops in the world than the Royal Irish Constabulary. I would suggest that sooner than this magnificent force should be disbanded, they should be taken out of Ireland altogether, and form an integral part of the British Army. I do not think the British Army would be at all the loser by such a proceeding. I hope the Government will be able to adduce some better reasons than they have been able to do for their course, or I shall have great pleasure in supporting the Amendment.


I have listened to this Debate for nearly the whole of this afternoon and evening. I am bound to say that I agree with what the Noble Lord who has just sat down has said, that the arguments on this side of the House have not been answered. I listened to the speech of the Chief Secretary with very greatest care. One is always in danger of being lured by the right hon. Gentleman's good humour and his brilliant phrases into forgetting the radical unsoundness of his position and arguments. I do not find it easy to reconcile certain statements that he made. He said, for instance, that he found it difficult to discover reasons for the six years' delay in handing the control of the Royal Irish Constabulary to the Irish Parliament. He said he had set himself to work to find a good reason for it, and he found it in this: The Royal Irish Constabulary have a vast number of duties to perform. They have, for instance, a good deal to do with the census and emigration. They have to be auctioneers. They have duties connected with the Congested Districts Board. They have to enforce order at public meetings, and they have to look after the weights and measures. They are concerned in carrying out the Customs regulations, and with quarantine, with navigation, and so on. "And," said.

the Chief Secretary, "we think it better in order to be kind to the Irish Government"—those were his words—"that they should not be saddled with this responsibility, but should be enabled to settle down and to work themselves, as it were, into a place for their responsible duties." If ever an argument was put forward which would suggest that the Irish Secretary did not believe in the competence of the Irish Parliament it is this.

The Postmaster-General referred to the case of the Transvaal. Certainly the hon. Member for Montrose did so. The Government gave a new Constitution to the Transvaal, but those concerned had never had experience in the working of any scheme of British administration, or of administration, or a Constitution controlled by the principles of the British Constitution. Their only experience had been in a backward and reactionary Government —acknowledged by the whole of Europe to be so. Did the Government of the right hon. Gentleman then say, "Oh, we will not put upon this new Government of the Transvaal any such responsibility. Let them work themselves down into the place. Let them shake themselves down into their places first because the Royal Irish Constabulary will have so many duties to perform." But the constabulary in the Transvaal had much the same kind of duties to perform as the Royal Irish Constabulary have. Every officer was a magistrate, and had multifarious duties, just as the Royal Irish Constabulary. They used to arbitrate in disputes between farmers and so on.

All these duties performed by the Royal Trish Constabulary were reproduced in the South African Constabulary. Did this Government, say, we must not give South Africa those great responsibilities. The people in South Africa, men of another race, never worked under a British Constitution, and knew nothing of the working of administrative control by British methods. Did the Government say that? Not at all. In their eagerness they handed over the constabulary to that Government with the result that I and my right hon. Friend below me (Mr. Lyttelton) had continually to protest against the dismissal of British officers from the South African Constabulary without compensation. It was reorganised upon their own lines. You gave them independent Colonial Government. You shook yourselves free of responsibility save large general constitutional responsibility, and you said, "go your way." You do not do that in this case. You do neither one thing nor the other. You give services to Ireland to administer them without control, while you reserve another set of services, and you expect this House of intelligent men to believe that this constant dual responsibility is going to work in any possible way. There is no analogy between the responsibility concerning the police or constabulary in any of our Oversea Dominions and the police or constabulary in Ireland.

In South Africa at the present time there has been yielded up even by the Transvaal the control of the constabulary to a Union Government over the whole of the Union. We had that kind of control now in the United Kingdom, for England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO."] This House at least controls the Royal Irish Constabulary. Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales, have a voice in the control of the Royal Irish Constabulary. In South Africa the Union Government, composed of two races, English Colonies like Natal, and half English Colonies like Cape Colony, and half English and half Dutch Colonies like the Transvaal, control the constabulary. The position there and here is not the same. The things are not on all fours. I have great respect for the Postmaster-General's opinions, but he should be more careful in his illustration. The Royal North-West Mounted Police represent in the North-West Territory the same duties and responsibilities as the Royal Irish Constabulary represent in Ireland. They do the double duties—that of local civil police work and that of military work. Has any Member of this House been at the barracks at Regina? There you see an elaborately trained Artillery force, and this body was responsible in the North-West Territory of Saskatchewan for law and order and good government in every form. They did the work that a Militia or Regular army would do. My point is that the two provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, when the Constitution was granted, were advanced to the position of responsibility for the government of these territories.

But it is now proposed to withdraw and disband the Royal North-West Mounted Police. Just as soon as these provinces came to have constitutional responsibility for the Government, the Dominion Government made up its mind to withdraw that force entirely, and these two provinces will have their own local civil police to do these duties. The North-West Mounted Police were responsible for control, but they are going to be disbanded. The Chief Secretary said, "We hope to have at the end of six years necessity only for a civil police." Does any human being in these islands believe that? [An HON. MEMBER: "Yes."] There is one hon. Member who believes that at the end of six years, in view of the difficulties that are ahead of Ireland, in view of the fact that a very powerful portion of that community is determined not to work in alliance with that administrtaion, you will have a civil police such as you have in Birmingham, Manchester, or Glasgow. The thing is absurd, and if hon. Members opposite were not tied by party strings and were not bound by their oaths of loyalty they would do as most of them would have done after the Debate on the Post Office, and would not give their adherence to this Clause as it stands.

We are accused of being illogical because we say, "You ought to give the constabulary to Ireland if you are to carry out administration successfully." Hon. Gentlemen opposite say that is not logical if you say you ought not to give them the police at all. It is their fault that our arguments are as they are. If you had not this hybrid kind of dual responsibility these arguments would not be logical, but they are logical now. The thing would not work if you give over the services under the present Constitution because Ireland is not to have the responsibility of a Colony, and it will not work when the reserve services are half taken over. If you withhold it, the Irish Government will naturally be crippled in enforcing the Resolutions and determinations of their own Legislature. I do not think there is anything illogical at all in our position. We take the ground that whether you give it or withhold it, there would be difficulties of a kind which the genius of the present Government or the genius of the Irish Parliament cannot solve when it takes over the Government of Ireland. I am only repeating what the Chief Secretary said, and I have his words here. He said that in order to give this Government, which would not have learned the duties and responsibilities of its office, and would not have had the necessary experience to administer as it ought to administer, the Government in this country thought it wise to withhold the control of the constabulary for six years. I congratulate hon. Members below the Gangway upon this fact. In vain the Government have been trying to find a firm footing in regard to this question, seeking for arguments where there were none, offering illustrations which were unsound, and references that did not apply; and in face of all this the party opposite and the right hon. Gentlemen who represent that party imagine that the country is going to be blinded. But we who are capable of understanding the force of argument and appreciating it are able to say towards the close of this Debate that not one single sound argument has been advanced on this point from the opposite side of the House.


There are two Amendments on the Paper—one in the name of the hon. Member for Wells and one standing in my own name. I understand that under the power of the Closure neither of those Amendments is likely to be discussed, and that all questions relating to Clause 2, Section 1 may now be debated in Committee. The purpose of those two Amendments is to raise the question why this Committee should be asked to absolutely neglect the old adage, "Look before you leap."


I am not aware that all those Amendments referred to by the hon. Member are open for discussion. I do not know that that has been decided from the Chair.


I was told that almost the exact words I stated to the Committee were used, but I will confine my remarks to the Amendment before us, which is the omission of Sub-section (1), which deals with the question of why the transfer of the Royal Irish Constabulary should be decided now to take place six years hence, a question which I had heard debated in six or seven speeches to-day. I want to know why we are now asked to decide what it will be wise to do six years hence under circumstances which it is perfectly impossible for us to foresee. We can all imagine the Government have considered this problem from every point of view, but it is difficult to understand why they have decided upon six years. Even supposing they could not make up their minds whether the Royal Irish Constabulary was to be transferred to the Irish Parliament or not, that is a dilemma of common occurrence.

Having decided that they were on the horns of a dilemma it is strange that they should have fixed upon this method of meeting the difficulty, and decide now what is wise six years hence or that they should settle on that particular period. I have heard the arguments put forward from the other side as to why it is necessary to have some delay, but I have not heard any reason given why six years has been fixed. I imagine it must have been argued by some Member of the Cabinet that the period should be seven years, a period which we are familiar with in Acts of Parliament and other things. Other Members of the Cabinet may have thought five years long enough, and then the Prime Minister may have decided that it would not be dignified to toss up and that he therefore decided to make the period six years. The obvious way to decide whether this service ought to be administered from here or from Dublin would be to have omitted this Sub-section altogether, leaving things as they are, and when the new circumstances arose and when it was known how the new Constitution was going to work, when we knew whether we were going to have the Millennium or a period of greater stress and difficulty than has ever been experienced before in Ireland, we should then be asked to decide whether this service could be transferred to the local Legislature or not.

On the opening day of this Session I attended a deputation to the President of the Board of Agriculture headed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon, and I heard a panygeric from the right hon. Gentleman opposite as to the wonderful virtues of the Irish Constabulary, the marvellous things they could do, how they excelled and how they could make a cordon round an area that was declared to be subject to cattle disease, and how nothing could escape out of that cordon, not even a rat. Apart from the difficulties of governing Ireland, how can the Government know what will be the condition of things in respect of cattle plague or anything else six years hence. How can they justify the giving up of all control of this great force used for so many different purposes and allow it to be disbanded by the Irish Parliament? The right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Dublin University, asked what right the Government have to decide that this body of police is to be transferred at all. They deal with the police absolutely as if they were so many cattle that they have a right to hand over to any authority who may be the purchaser. The only place where my analogy breaks down is that the price is not to be paid. We are to pay for the whole cost of the police force although at some future date it is settled that we are to give up all control.

If the electorate could understand this one single point that it is seriously proposed that the police force should be handed over to the Dublin Parliament, that in the meanwhile whatever sum it may be, and whatever number of police may be necessary during the next six years we should continue to pay that amount, giving up all control and receiving nothing in any shape or form in return for this contribution of over one million pounds, I believe if that one fact was brought home to the electorate they would say, we will take that as a sample of the whole, and it is evident that this Home Rule Bill is designed for one purpose, and that is that we should pay and obey hon. Members who represent the Irish Government in this House. It is a great pity that we cannot have opportunities of debating this Sub-section at greater length and in more detail. There are some large considerations. I want to ask hon. Members opposite what is the reason they feel so confident that this matter can be left entirely in the hands of the Irish Parliament after six years' time. Is it because they believe that after six years of Home Rule things will settle down, there will be new Hues of party cleavage, the old animosities will have entirely disappeared, and, as the hon. Member for Leicester said, a final blessing may come to this now Parliament by the creation of a new Labour party. When that comes of course we shall expect to find all discord healed, and all need for a police force at an end. If that is the argument, how does the Government justify the proposal to hand over this police force to the management of hon. Members on the benches behind me who will then be in power in Ireland. How do they justify handing over that force and handing over also continuously for all I know the necessary money with which to pay that force? If there is anything in the argument that this Bill is to bring peace and contentment to Ireland, such a force, such a quasi-military force as the Royal Irish Constabulary is wholly unnecessary. How on earth do they justify robbing British taxpayers in perpetuity of £1,250,000 for a force which, according to their own hypothesis, is not required? You cannot have it both ways. Either this Sub-section ought to have been omitted altogether and the question debated when the facts are known, or else there ought to be a provision wholly different from that in the Sub-section.

If hon. Members from Ireland are confident that if only Home Rule is granted peace and tranquillity will reign, then a police force of this character will be wholly unnecessary, and it would be a reasonable provision to say that at any rate for five or six years, until we know whether you are right or wrong, we are going to pay and control the force. When you take it over we cease to pay, because, according to your own hypothesis, you will not need any such force at all. For these reasons, I am very glad to have the opportunity of supporting the Amendment. I think it is wholly inconceivable a Government should come here and ask us to decide in this Bill on a complicated and very debateable point what will be the best thing to do six years hence. I venture to say if in any simple business transaction any board of directors or other controlling body were to sit down and debate for a whole afternoon as to what it would be wise to do six years hence they would not be very long out of the Bankruptcy Court, Yet the Government bring forward their Bill and solemnly purport to settle what it will be wise to do in one of the most controversial issues in the whole of the Home Rule controversy six years hence. Nobody has explained why it should be six years; why six years are better than three, five, seven or any other period. We are left entirely in the dark. Six years is supposed to be a sort of blessed period—a period in which a Labour party will have emerged, and in which all the present factions will cease. We are to take it for granted that an omnipotent Government knows it is better the British taxpayers should have no control over the force for which they arc asked to pay.


I observed in the two speeches made on this Amendment by the Chief Secretary that there was one point which he twice emphasised. He said the Government did not consider the Royal Irish Constabulary could be handed over to the new Irish Government under a period of six years without doing an injustice to that force. I do not think the Chief Secretary went on very fully to explain what was the particular danger or injustice which he evidently apprehended as being likely to fall upon this force if they were transferred immediately to the Irish Government. In 1893 this provision did not exist, and on that occasion the Nationalist party pressed very strongly to have the control of the constabulary handed over to them. I should like very much to know how it has come about that the leaders of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway have on this occasion been willing apparently to accept the deprivation of the Irish Parliament of control of this force for a period of six years. I cannot help feeling the real reason why hon. Gentlemen have been content to accept this deprivation is they realise very well that, if this Bill becomes an Act, and it is attempted to put it in force, there is a portion of Ireland in which they will meet with very considerable trouble, and they are not merely willing but arc anxious, when that, trouble occurs, that the necessary coercion of that part of the country should be carried out, not by themselves or by the Government whom they control, but by the Imperial Government, and under the re-sponsibliity of the Imperial Parliament. In 1893 the objection to handing over the constabulary to the Irish Government entertained by Mr. Gladstone was not an objection grounded upon any temporary circumstances peculiar to that Bill or period, but upon general principles. Mr. Gladstone said:— For myself I frankly own I do not think the Irish Legislature ought to be in a position to recreate the Irish Constabulary such as it is whether it is to be described as a civil or a military force. It appears to me to be beyond the attributes of a local legislature working for local purposes to create such a force. I know quite well the party opposite in these days pay no more respect to Mr. Gladstone than if he was the Grand Turk, but it does occur to me that language of that sort, based on general principles, ought not to be so lightly brushed aside by lion. Gentlemen opposite without some explanation of the grounds on which they do if In the Bill as it stands it is true that some respect is paid to the opinion of Mr. Gladstone, and I should like to know how the Government reconcile their attitude to this Amendment with Clause 2, Sub-section (3). It is there laid down that the Irish Parliament is not to have the power of making laws concerned with the Navy, Army, the Territorial Force, or any other naval or military force. It has, I think, been admitted this afternoon that this Irish Constabulary is a military force. What will be the position when the transfer takes place in six years' time, when the Irish Parliament will be debarred from passing any law with regard to a military force, and, therefore, with regard to the Irish Constabulary, when by the Clause we are now discussing they must ex hypothesi be in a position to pass such legislation, otherwise they will have no effective control. I certainly for myself and most of us on this side of the House, regard the retention of the constabulary in the hands of the Imperial Government as a necessary safeguard for minorities in Ireland. The Chief Secretary, speaking to his constituents the other day, used some rather severe language with regard to the party to which I belong. He said safeguards had been inserted in the Bill, and though we might reply that such safeguards are no use, he would retort, "then name your own safeguards."

That is the language which the right hon. Gentleman and the Prime Minister are constantly using in the country. But when we come to this House and put forward proposals which we think would make the Bill, I will not say acceptable, but slightly less mischievous, if these safeguards were inserted, instead of being accepted, they are laughed out of court and voted down by the Government majority. I do not say that the retention of the Royal Irish Constabulary would make this an acceptable Bill, but I do say that if the force were retained under Imperial control, so far as some apprehensions which we entertain are concerned, the measure would be less glaringly bad than at present. There are many persons in Ireland belonging to unpopular minorities who have been intimidated and boycotted, and who have been under police protection. These attacked individuals will continue to exist six years hence, as much as now, and we would regard it as some sort of safeguard for them if the constabulary by which they have been protected in the past, and by which they will have to be protected in the future, should remain in the hands of the Imperial Government and subject to the control of this House. It is not merely the minorities of whom my hon. Friends from Ulster speak, and who are generally jeered at and considered of no account whatever, whose interests need be borne in mind. There are minorities belonging to hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, and there have been many occasions on which hon. Members have not been able to address their constituents without police protection. I suppose that in the future there will continue to be parties, factions and sections, amongst the Nationalists as in the past, and it may be impossible for some of them to address their own constituents unless they can get police protection. If the constabulary is in the hands of the Irish Parliament the effect must be that whoever happens to be the Government of the day, the dominant faction of the Nationalist party will have at their control and entirely subject to themselves, the only force by which their rivals may be protected, and, consequently, for minorities of that sort quite as much as for the loyalist minority of the North, the police should be in the hands of a neutral over-ruling authority like this House, so as to keep the protection of these minorities out of the hands of factions.

There is one other reason I should like to bring before the Committee, and it is one which I believe has not yet been touched upon. At the present time in Ireland there is a very large outstanding debt to this country on account of land purchase. There are £64,000,000 sterling outstanding in the way of advances and something like £30,000,000 of further commitments; therefore a very large sum of money indeed is owing at the present time from Ireland to this country. Surely it is most extraordinary, viewing the matter from a purely business standpoint, and remembering that the British Treasury is, so to speak, mortgagee of Irish land, to withdraw the only security for the debt, as if you were to withdraw a receiver in possession, as you will do by this Clause, at a time when an enormous debt is still unpaid. What is the security which this country has for the debt owing on account of land purchase? Of course, in the last resource it is the land itself, but if, as often happens in the matter of rent in Ireland, the tenants should be defaulters, and it should be necessary to evict, which is the only method by which the security can be realised, it will be impossible to evict those tenants in the interests of the country, in order to liquidate the debt, unless this country has under its control the constabulary or some central police force in order to carry out evictions. I know hon. Members opposite think that the passage of this Bill will introduce a new heaven and a new earth. It is useless talking to people who proclaim to all the world their belief that this will be the best of all possible worlds as soon as this Bill passes. I would address my remarks to Members who take a less ignorantly optimistic view and who approach this problem with the knowledge that there has been friction in the past and probably there will be in the future. What is going to happen in the future with regard to the debt due from Irish land? I notice it is said, and quite truly, that at the present time there is practically no default; but there is no security that that absence of default is going to be permanent, and I think that when a Home Rule Government has been established in Ireland, it will not be very long before there will arise leaders of parties in Ireland who will claim that Ireland has been made a nation and who will ask, Why go on paying this tribute to a foreign nation? That is a perfectly likely thing to happen, and if it does occur there will be no means by which this country can get the debt from Ireland if they release the hold on the government of the country which they at present have through the Royal Irish Constabulary. Actually a Committee which was appointed by the Government themselves to go into the finances of Ireland was of the same opinion, for, after discussing the question of the Commitments for Land Purchase, it says in its Report:— Nevertheless we think it would be right, in order to allay any possible apprehension, to make the Irish Government responsible for the annuities in the event of failure on the part of the purchasing tenants. And then they go on to suggest a method of doing so. They say:— We suggest that, the Government of Ireland Dill should provide that should payments to the National Debt Commissioners in respect of the interest and Sinking Fund for Irish Land Stock be in arrear for three months, it should become lawful for the King in Council to issue an Order appointing a receiver, etc. It was perfectly well recognised, even by those gentlemen appointed by the Government, that this is a real danger. I think it would be easy to show that the appointment of a receiver, recommended by that Committee, by itself would be of no avail, because the receiver could do nothing unless he had some force at his back to give effect to the collection of the debt. From the business point of view which is involved in the enormous and growing debt owed by Ireland to this country, as well as for other reasons, it is perfect madness on the part of this country to choose at a time like this—I regard six years hence as being practically the present time, considering the length of time the instalments are running—to give up the control, such as it is, that it at present exercises over the government of Ireland by throwing the control of the constabulary entirely into the hands of the Irish Government.

10.0 P.M.


The hon. Gentleman has made, as he always makes, an interesting speech from the point of view which he has undertaken to speak of as being familiar to him, but the Committee will not fail to observe that he finally at the end of this Debate has nothing to urge on one branch of the case which has been very elaborately explored in the course of our discussion. When the Amendment was first moved, it was supported by the argument, among others, that you really could not have two Executives, each with its own responsibility in a common area and yet relying for the execution of both sets of administration on a single police force. The argument that you could not have such things is, however, completely and effectually met by saying that in fact they exist, and, whatever may be the difficulty that reasonable men may apprehend —for my part I do not deny the possibility of difficulties—it certainly cannot be contended after this Debate has run its course that the proposition with which this Debate started is one which is really justified by experience. Here is the Bill proposing, as regards the policing of Ireland, that for six years from the coming into operation of Irish Home Rule the police shall be an Imperial force under the control and management of the Imperial authority, and it proposes further that after six years that police force should cease to be under that central control and should be a body under the control and management of the local Irish Executive. Colonial analogy is much used in these Debates on one side and the other. I venture to think that when Colonial analogy is used we are not all of us sufficiently careful to observe the limitations under which any parallel from the Empire elsewhere must be employed. Colonial analogy is not the same thing as Colonial identity. Nothing is proved by saying that you cannot produce from the existing Constitutions of our Empire beyond the seas the precise photographic parallel to that which you propose in this regard in Ireland. No advantage is gained by that contention, and I concede it. When one speaks of a Colonial analogy one is not speaking of some precise reproduction of that which we now seek to create in Ireland. On the one hand, the one has reference to the common spirit which animates an arrangement in every part of the Empire, namely, that you show yourselves prepared to rely, within reasonable measure, upon a local Executive expressing a local sentiment and proud of its local institutions; and, on the other hand, everywhere in the Empire you find this spirit expressed not in identical form, but, on the contrary, in forms which change and are adjusted according to the circumstances of the local case. We have had that clearly illustrated in the course of the discussion this afternoon and this evening.

Take the position of the police force. If you go to Australia, you find that the police force is, in fact, a State force, and in that sense the force of a subordinate authority, and used for purposes not only on behalf of those subordinate authorities, but on behalf of the central federal Government itself. If you go to South Africa, the exact reverse is true. There you find a police force which is answerable to the central authority, but which maintains the law not only for the benefit of the central authority, but of the provinces as well. Then you have the case of Canada. We have had the advantage in this discussion of the intervention of Members who speak with special authority on Canada. It has been pointed out by more than one hon. Gentleman it is, perhaps, not strictly true to say that you have a single police force representing the authority of one of these two bodies, because it is supplemented to some small degree in quite local matters by a local police force as well. Be that as it may, does not that set of circumstances prove two things, first of all, that the exact method by which you apply the principle of local self-government in such a matter as police differs according to the circumstances, and that, therefore, nothing is gained by saying that our Irish proposals have no precise parallel; and, in the second place, is not this proved, that it is perfectly impossible, in view of the ascertained facts, to contend what seemed to me was contended when the Amendment was moved and the Debate was started, that Colonial analogies show that two Executives cannot exist each with their own responsibilities in the same area and yet relying on a single police force which is responsible to one of them. Nobody can say it is impossible, because it happens under varying conditions in varying places, and the differences which exist between the different cases are for this purpose quite unimportant on a matter of principle.

This finally disposes of the suggestion that in principle the proposals in this Bill are necessarily absurd and preposterous. That brings down the whole of the discussion to a lower level, and it appears to me to be a much more practical level. The question is no longer whether this thing is in itself impossible. It is no good asking whether two Executives, one a central body and the other a local body, cannot have and exercise authority in a common area over the police force which is responsible to one of them. It happens. Therefore it comes down to this more practical and humble question: Are these proposals in the Bill the wisest and most practical proposals having regard to the nature of the case. The hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir Gilbert Parker) gave us an interesting piece of testimony. We are told that this proposal is open to criticism, that it probably comes from Bedlam, because we suggest that for a period of some six years these police should remain the police of a central authority for all purposes, and that after that time it should be the police of the local authority for all purposes. The hon. Gentleman told us about Alberta and Saskatchewan. As we all know, these places, important as they are to-day, were not provinces then. He explained to us with great clearness what is happening now in Canada. He says that up to the present the police of the central authority, the mounted police, are acting as police in those areas for all purposes, but he says that central authority has announced that it proposes to hand over a portion, at any rate, of those functions to a local police either now or in the near future. Is that a suggestion out of Bedlam?


What I said was that the Federal Government of Canada proposed to disband entirely that police, and not to hand anything over, leaving to the newly formed provinces the duty of forming a civil police of their own.


Really, the correction that the hon. Gentleman makes, though I wish to accept it and make allowance for it, does not affect the point I am making. The point I am making is, here is, in our British Empire, at this very moment, in a part of it where nobody suggests that there is going to be revolution and riot, a case where for six or seven years the central Executive has thought right to retain in its own hands the policing of the province, and where it is thought right—public opinion no doubt confirms it—that the central authority should not, as I gather, merely hand over some of the powers, but should actually say, we will take steps now to leave the whole policing of this neighbourhood to a local force. I do not want to carry Colonial analogies too far. I quite admit it is easy to carry them too far on one side or the other. The only proposition I lay down is that it is really not open to anybody who has followed this Debate, and who has taken advantage of the illustrations which has been given in the course of it, to say that there is anything impossible or anything on the face of it improper or unfair in the proposal which we are, making that for six years the police shall remain responsible to the central authority and when that six years are over the authority responsible for the police shall be this subordinate Parliament. The question then arises, confining myself now to the narrower ground as to whether our own proposals are the best, why is it that you propose to transfer this Royal Irish Constabulary? Why do you not do what was suggested in the Bill of 1893, and when the time comes get it disbanded and substitute for it a civil police force similar in general character to the police force in England? I cannot hope to give a better answer to that question than one which was given by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Moore). He gave some information about the character of this Royal Irish Constabulary. He said the Royal Irish Constabulary is all very well, but you could not apply what English people think ordinary methods of recruiting police to Ireland. The son of a farmer in Kerry could not fairly be expected to join some local and civil police force and police Kerry. On the contrary, he enlists in Dublin and he goes, I understand, to police North Armagh, or some place in the country—part of the same nation anyhow. There is the answer.

It may be that this a country where, in view of its past history and possibly its peculiar characteristics, you could not expect to raise, or you could not be certain of raising, a police force exactly of the kind with which we are most familiar. But surely it will not be disputed that this police force, whatever be its peculiar character, is an Irish force. The members of it are Irish people. They speak, so far as I have been able to judge of the matter from some occasional visits to that country, with an Irish brogue. I believe they sympathise with the Irish population. The hon, and learned Gentleman says, I have no doubt with truth, that they discharge their duties with great loyalty, and hold the scales fairly, and no one can accuse them of partisanship on one side or the other. Be it so. But they are an Irish force, and is it really to be said that when you are going to establish, as the assumption for this purpose is, a local Parliament in Ireland, when you are going to make the people of that country responsible for the laws which regulate their daily life, that you are permanently and for all time going to say that the authority which is to see to the proper application of these laws is to be responsible, not to the Irish Executive, whose responsibility it is to carry them out, but for all time is to be a police force responsible to the central Government here? I confidently submit that that arrangement, if it was a permanent arrangement, would be one which nobody could regard as normal or natural, or likely to produce a settlement. If we had proposed that this police force should be handed over now at once, every hon. Gentleman opposite would have got up to condemn the proposal. If we propose that we should keep it altogether, the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Carson) would have got up and said, "If you are going to do this thing at all, do it thoroughly." What we have done is to say, as a concession to the apprehension which we know is honestly entertained, with a desire to make this transfer an easy transfer—as easy as we can—for six years let us retain directly in the hands of our own central Executive the responsibility for this force. We say when that period of probation is over the Irish police should be responsible to an Irish Executive. Hon. Gentlemen who object to Home Rule altogether cannot ask this Committee, on the assumption that there is going to be a Home Rule Parliament, and that the Irish people are for this purpose to be trusted, to say that while that is true the authority which is going to be responsible for the local police is to be permanently not a local Executive but a central Executive. For these reasons I submit that it would be proper to reject this Amendment.


The right hon. Gentleman has, as he always does, made a very interesting and up to a certain point a very convincing speech. The only thing in which he fails—and that is not due to him, but to the exigencies of the case which he has to defend—is that he never came within a hundred miles of the point which we have been pressing. We have had the advantage to-day of a good many speeches from that bench—two from the Chief Secretary, one from the Postmaster-General, and one from the hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir J. Simon). I cannot deal with them all in the short time at my disposal, but I shall do my best. The first point I wish to allude to is a reference in the speech of the Chief Secretary. My two right hon. Friends who spoke from this bench dealt, and I thought not with unnecessary strength, upon what seemed to us the obvious unfairness of handing over, as is done in the Bill, the police enlistment to serve the British Government to another Government when they have no power whatever of saying anything in regard to its management. What is the right hon. Gentleman's answer? He tells us that discipline has been relaxed and that he finds out now what the real wishes of these people are. I do not know whether he is quoting from any document, but if he is, I should like to see it, and I should like to know whether discipline is relaxed to this extent, that these men are free to say to him, "We would rather have the present arrangement if it was in our power to continue it." But take him at his own words. He tells us that he is making arrangements to meet the objections of my right hon. Friend, and we are discussing this proposal without any opportunity of knowing what these Amendments are. He tells us that they are coming on Clause 37. Will the Committee believe that we are to discuss Clauses 37 to 41 in one afternoon in the space of three and a half hours? How much of that time will be left for these Amendments? That is what they call discussion on the Home Rule Bill.

We had two very different lines of argument from the three right hon. Gentlemen. It was pointed out from these benches that the arrangement by which in the government of Ireland there are to be two Executives responsible for different subjects, but not controlled by the people who carry out these subjects, is a system that could not continue. What is the answer given by the three right hon. Gentlemen? The Chief Secretary was so impressed with the force of this argument put forward three or four days ago that he told us he was almost driven to alter his Bill—not so far as that, but very nearly. The other two right hon. Gentlemen get up and tell us that there is nothing in these arguments at all, and that there is no reason to suppose that there is the slightest substance in them. The Chief Secretary made an appeal to me which fell upon sympathetic ears. He said, "Will the Leader of the Opposition say that he always says everything that is in his mind on every subject without regard to the party behind him?" I do not think I was the right person to address that question to, and I will tell him why. He does not read his own Press, when he refers to me in that way, or he would find that I am in the same boat as himself. I hardly ever take up a Radical newspaper in which there is not some remark about my glaring indiscretions. I have two advantages over the right hon. Gentleman in that respect. One I am certain about, and the other is perhaps more doubtful. The doubtful one is that he seems to mind, and I do not. My skin, either by nature or as the result of flagellation, has become thickened. The other one, where the advantage is not doubtful, is this: It is true that I have got to consider what one party thinks, but the right hon. Gentleman has got to consider the effect on three parties, and his difficulty is therefore three times as great as mine. But, in spite of that, I will venture to give this consolation to the right hon. Gentleman. I do not believe that in the long run he suffers by saying what he thinks in this House or out of it. The other day, when he told us that land purchase was far more important than Home Rule, we all agreed with him, but it was not quite acceptable to one of the parties he has to deal with. When, later on, he told us he hoped it would not be thought he was doing it at the dictation of his Leader, it was acceptable to one party, but the others did not like it.

I am going to examine the two lines of argument: one that there is nothing in it, and the other that there is something. The two right hon. Gentlemen who said that there was nothing in it went on the same line. The Postmaster-General and the hon. Gentleman who has Just spoken said that the thing is done every day. The Postmaster-General took Australia, and asked where is the difficulty or friction about a local State with complete control of the police? The central body, he said, has nothing to do with it, and yet they get on quite well. He is wrong, I think, as regards the facts, and certainly as regards the friction. The local authorities, I think I am right in saying, are in the main responsible for order in their districts, just as our borough councils, or county councils of large towns are with us, but did they remember the case of the Brisbane strike when the thing got beyond the control of the local authority and they applied to the central Government just as we should do here. The difference is, there, as here, there is no question as to who the real authority and responsibility for keeping order is. It is the central Government. Our whole case is that here you do not know where the responsibility is. You put it apparently for six years under this House. Is that so? Are the Irish Government to have nothing to say about law and order in Ireland for six years? By what moans are they to preserve order? There is no other means. Therefore the position simply is that for six years one Executive is to be responsible for law and order and to have no control over the officers by whom law and order are to be maintained, and at the end of that period another Executive which has equally important functions is to be responsible for it and not have one single man to whom it could give orders and who is bound to obey.

Another difference is that in Canada the powers given to the local authorities are clearly defined. They are devolved. They cannot go beyond them. It is the same in Australia too to a large extent, but not to such an extent, because at the time of the federation the States were more distinctly independent. But here in this country, as in Canada, the powers are clearly defined. There is therefore no ground for friction. Here is the whole point of the case. We admit perfectly well that it does not come from Bedlam to suggest that if there is no vital difference between the two Executives they may get on very well, but the moment that that vital difference comes, then unless the Executive which wishes to exert its authority has some force by which it can enforce it, it is absolutely impossible that the arrangement can work. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary said to us, "I was almost convinced by the argument the other day, but you have turned round," and he seemed to think we are placed in an extraordinary dilemma. The one alternative we would not have and the other alternative we would not have. We proved as best we could that neither alternative would work. If we are successful in that, if you take two alternatives, both of which are bad, the obvious answer is, if you cannot get an alternative which will stand examination your whole proposal is impossible. Even admitting the principle of Home Rule you are not reduced to the two alternatives. The hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke last actually asked us to regard it as an absurdity that there should be any question of handing over this Irish force to an Irish Executive. Why did not Mr. Gladstone do it in 1893? The right hon. Gentleman, the Chief Secretary, said we are very fond of the Bill of 1393 now, but we were not at the time. But he was in the House then and he defended the Bill of 1893 with far more enthusiasm, as far as I can judge, than he defends the present Bill. Mr. Gladstone would not have it, and why? For the simple reason that this force is in the nature of a standing Army, and Mr. Gladstone did not think that a suitable force for a subordinate Parliament. This is what he said:— The question might thru be asked: Do yon conceive that it should he one of the acts of the Irish Legislature which you have disabled from establishing any description of military force, to establish a force like the Irish Constabulary? For myself, I frankly own that I do not think the Irish Legislature ought, to be in a position to recreate the Irish Constabulary. Such as it is, whether it be described as a civil or a military force, it appears to me to be beyond the attributes of a local legislature. I regard it as an admirable force, but abnormal in many of its conditions, and as such not lying within the proper attributes of a local legislature. You do not admit that the Irish subordinate Legislature has the right to have an Army, but there is to be no limit to this force that you have handed over to them, and it is as an army at least, if I may say so without offence, as good as the Territorial Force. You are handing over to them this great force. Do consider the way in which you are doing it. As my right hon. Friend said, the one thing the English elector understands is that every other nationality has to get, and he has to pay. Here is this force for which, when it is handed over, the British elector, as before, has got to pay. The right hon. Gentleman said, "But to my mind

Ireland is taxed now." But he does not deny that if this force were handed over and paid for by Ireland, she would still receive a large contribution from us, and not pay a single penny towards our expenditure. There is one difference in this from every other reserved service. The Irish Executive will raise the expenditure to the highest possible limit before they take the force over. They will double old age pensions, and when they have doubled them they will take them over from us, and we will pay for them at the double rate. In regard to the Irish Constabulary it is precisely the same. They know it will come to an end in six years, and they will take care to have the largest possible amount of expenditure and raise it to the highest level, and England has got to pay for it from then till Doomsday. My right hon. Friend and some hon. Friends behind me—and I am sorry to be so hurried, as the time is short—said that the object is that this new nation may be able to have Ulster coerced for them so as to avoid the ignominy. It is not the ignominy they are afraid of. Nationalist sentiments and Nationalist aspirations are gratified, as I pointed out the other night, in the first place financially, by our running the new nation, assisted by Ulster, which will not have anything to do with it. Now they are going to govern Ireland by means of British troops supplied by the British Government, when they know themselves that, left to their own resources, they would have no more chance of overcoming the resistance of Belfast than they would have of capturing Berlin.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out [Sub-section (1) "The public services in connection with the administration of the Acts relating to the Royal Irish Constabulary and the management and control of that force, shall"] stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 306; Noes, 209.

Division No. 276.] AYES. [10.29 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Barnes, G. N. Booth, Frederick Handel
Acland, Francis Dyke Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs) Bowerman, Charles W.
Adamson, William Barton, William Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)
Addison, Dr. C. Beale, Sir William Phipson Brace, William
Ainsworth, John Stirling Beauchamp, Sir Edward Brady, P. J.
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton) Beck, Arthur Cecil Brocklehurst, W. B.
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Brunner, J. F. L.
Arnold, Sydney Bentham, G. J. Bryce, J. Annan
Baker, H. T. (Accrington) Bethell, Sir J. H. Buckmaster, Stanley O.
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Burke, E. Haviland-
Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Black, Arthur W. Burns, Rt. Hon. John
Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset) Boland, John Plus Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.) Henry, Sir Charles S. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar) Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) O'Doherty, Philip
Byles, Sir William Pollard Higham, John Sharp O'Dowd, John
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hinds, John Ogden, Fred
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. O'Grady, James
Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood) Holt, Richard Durning O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)
Chancellor, H. G. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Hudson, Walter O'Malley, William
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hughes, Spencer Leigh O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)
Clancy, John Joseph Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Clough, William John, Edward Thomas O'Shee, James John
Clynes, J. R. Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Sw'nsea) Palmer, Godfrey Mark
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) Parker, James (Halifax)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East) Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe) Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Cotton, William Francis Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney) Pointer, Joseph
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Jowett, F. W. Pollard, Sir George H.
Crawshay-Williams, Eliot Joyce, Michael Power, Patrick Joseph
Crean, Eugene Keating, Matthew Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Crooks, William Kellaway, Frederick George Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)
Crumley, Patrick Kelly, Edward Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Cullinan, J. Kennedy, Vincent Paul Primrose, Hon. Neil James
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Kilbride, Denis Pringle, William M. R.
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) King, J. Radford, George Heynes
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Lamb, Ernest Henry Raphael, Sir Herbert H.
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S.Molton) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)
Dawes, James Arthur Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Delany, William Lansbury, George Reddy, Michael
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Dickinson, W. H. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West) Redmond, William (Clare, E.)
Donelan, Captain A. Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th) Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)
Doris, W. Leach, Charles Richards, Thomas
Duffy, William J. Levy, Sir Maurice Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lewis, John Herbert Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
Duncan, J. Hastings (York), Otley) Lough. Rt. Hon. Thomas Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.) Low, Sir F. (Norwich) Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid) Lundon, Thomas Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) Lyell, Charles Henry Robinson, Sidney
Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Lynch, Arthur Alfred Roch, Walter F.
Essex, Richard Walter Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Roche, Augustine (Louth)
Esslemont, George Birnie Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Roe, Sir Thomas
Falconer, J. McGhee, Richard, Rose, Sir Charles Day
Farrell, James Patrick Macnamara, Right Hon. Dr. T. J. Rowlands, James
Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles MacNeil, John G. S. (Donegal, South) Rowntree, Arnold
Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Macpherson, James Ian Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Ffrench, Peter MacVeagh, Jeremiah Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.
Field, William M'Callum, Sir John M. Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward M'Curdy, C. A. Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Fitzgibbon, John M'Kean, John Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel)
Flavin, Michael Joseph McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Scanlan, Thomas
France, G. A. M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.) Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)
Gelder, Sir William Alfred M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd M'Micking, Major Gilbert Sheehy, David
Gilhooly, James Manfield, Harry Shorn, Edward
Gill, A. H. Marks, Sir George Croydon Simon, Sir John Allsebrook
Ginnell, L. Marshall, Arthur Harold Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Gladstone, W. G. C. Martin, J. Smith, H B. L. (Northampton)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Mason, David M. (Coventry) Snowden, P.
Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) Masterman, Rt Hon. C. F. G. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland) Meagher, Michael Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert
Greig, Col. J. W. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Menzies, Sir Walter Sutherland, J. E.
Griffith, Ellis J. Millar, James Duncan Sutton, John E.
Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke) Molloy, M. Teylor, John W. (Durham)
Guiney, P. Molteno, Percy Alport Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Mond, Sir Alfred M. Tennant, Harold John
Hackett, J. Money, L. G. Chiozza Thomas, J. H.
Hall, Frederick (Normanton) Mooney, J. J. Thorne, William (West Ham)
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale) Morgan, George Hay Toulmin, Sir George
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Morison, Hector Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Verney, Sir Harry
Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Muldoon, John Wadsworth, J.
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C. Walters, Sir John Tudor
Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.) Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C. Walton, Sir Joseph
Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Nannetti, Joseph P. Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Neilson, Francis Wardle, George J.
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster) Waring, Walter
Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Nolan, Joseph Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Hayden, John Patrick Norman, Sir Henry Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Hayward, Evan Norton, Captain Cecil W. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Hazleton, Richard Nuttall, Harry Watt, Henry A.
Helme, Sir Norval Watson O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Webb, H.
Hemmerde, Edward George O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Wedgwood, Joslah C.
White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston) Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough) Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
White, Patrick (Meath, North) Williamson, Sir A. Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)
Whitehouse, John Howard Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.) Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)
Whyte, Alexander F. Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Williams, J. (Glamorgan) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen) Winfrey, Richard Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Forster, Henry William Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Foster, Philip Staveley Moore, William
Amery, L. C. M. S. Gardner, Ernest Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)
Archer-Shee, Major Martin Gastrell, Major W. Houghton Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)
Ashley, W. W. Gilmour, Captain J. Neville, Reginald J. N.
Astor, Waldorf Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K. Newman, John R. p.
Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J. Goldsmith, Frank Newton, Harry Kottingham
Baird, J. L. Gordon, John (Londonderry, South) Nield, Herbert
Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.) Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)
Balcarres, Lord Goulding, Edward Altred Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William
Baldwin, Stanley Grant, J. A. Paget, Almeric Hugh
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.) Greene, Walter Raymond Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gretton, John Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.) Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)
Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester) Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S. Edmunds) Perkins, Walter Frank
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Peto, Basil Edward
Barrie, H. T. Haddock, George Bahr Pole-Carew, Sir R.
Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.) Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight) Pollock, Ernest Murray
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth) Pretyman, E. G
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hambro, Angus Valdemar Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Hamersley, A. St. George Quilter, Sir William Eley C.
Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich) Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.) Rawson, Colonel Richard H.
Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish- Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry) Rees, Sir J. D.
Beresford, Lord C. Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bigland, Alfred Harris, Henry Percy Rolleston, Sir John
Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Royds, Edmund
Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid.) Henderson, Major H. (Abingdon) Rutherford, John (Lancs, Darwen)
Boyton, James Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.) Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby)
Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell Hewins, William Albert Samuel Salter, Arthur Clavell
Bull, Sir William James Hickman, Colonel T. E. Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hill, Sir Clement L. Sanders, Robert Arthur
Butcher, J. G. Hills, J. W. Sanderson, Lancelot
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ) Hoare, Samuel John Gurney Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Campion, W. R. Hohler, G. F. Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian) Stanler, Beville
Cassel, Felix Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford) Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Castlereagh, Viscount Houston, Robert Paterson Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Cator, John Hume-Williams, W. E. Starkey, John R.
Cautley, H. S. Hunter, Sir C. R. Staveley-Hill, Henry
Cave, George Ingleby, Holcombe Steel-Maitland, A. D.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East) Stewart, Gershom
Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin) Jessel, Captain H. M. Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, N.)
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Kebty-Fletcher, J. R. Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)
Chambers, J. Kerry, Earl of Talbot, Lord E.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Keswick, Henry Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)
Clay, Capt. H. H. Spender Kimber, Sir Henry Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)
Clyde, James Avon Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)
Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford Thynne, Lord A.
Courthope, George Loyd Lane-Fox, G. R. Touche, George Alexander
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Larmor, Sir J. Tullibardine, Marquess of
Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe) Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle) Valentia, Viscount
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Lee, Arthur H. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Craik, Sir Henry Lewisham, Viscount Wheler, Granville C. H.
Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan Lloyd, G. A. White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)
Croft, H. P. Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)
Denniss, E. R. B. Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Dixon, C. H. Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Winterton, Earl
Doughty, Sir George Long, Rt. Hon. Walter Wolmer, Viscount
Duke, Henry Edward Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)
Eyres-Monsell, B. M. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han.S.) Worthington-Evans, L.
Faber, George Denison (Clapham) Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) MacCaw, W. J. MacGeagh Yate, Col. C. E.
Falle, B. G. Mackinder, H. J. Yerburgh, Robert A.
Fell, Arthur Macmaster, Donald Younger, Sir George
Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey M'Mordle, Robert J.
Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Colonel
Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue Malcolm, Ian Burn and Mr. Remnant.
Fleming, Valentine Mildmay, Francis Bingham

It being Half-past Ten of the clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 14th October, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at this day's sitting.

Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."


Mr. Whitley, do you call this fair and full discussion? It is a perfect farce.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 306; Noes, 208.

Division No. 277.] AYES. [10.40 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.) King, J.
Acland, Francis Dyke Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid) Lamb, Ernest Henry
Adamson, William Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)
Addison, Dr. Christopher Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S,Molton)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Essex, Richard Walter Lansbury, George
Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire) Esslemont, George Birnie Lardner, James Carrige Rushe
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Falconer, James Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)
Arnold, Sydney Farrell, James Patrick Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)
Baker, Harold T. (Accrington) Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles Leach, Charles
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Levy, Sir Maurice
Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Firench, Peter Lewis, John Herbert
Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset) Field, William Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Barnes, George N. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)
Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs) Fitzgibbon, John Lundon, Thomas
Barton, William Flavin, Michael Joseph Lyell, Charles Henry
Beale, Sir William Phlpson France, Gerald Ashburner Lynch, Arthur Alfred
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Gelder, Sir W. A. Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)
Beck, Arthur Cecil George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk)
Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George) Gilhooly, James McGhee, Richard
Bentham, George Jackson Gill, Alfred Henry Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.
Bethell, Sir J. H. Ginnell, L. MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Gladstone, W. G. C. Macpherson, James Ian
Black, Arthur W. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Boland, John Plus Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) M'Callum, Sir John M.
Booth, Frederick Handel Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland) M'Curdy, C. A.
Bowerman, Charles W. Greig, Colonel J. W. M'Kean, John
Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North) Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Brace, William Griffith, Ellis Jones M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)
Brady, P. J. Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding)
Brocklehurst, William B. Guiney, P. M'Micking, Major Gilbert
Brunner, John F. L. Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Manfield, Harry
Bryce, John Annan Hackett, J. Marks, Sir George Croydon
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Hall, Frederick (Normanton) Marshall, Arthur Harold
Burke, E. Haviland- Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale) Martin, J.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Mason, David M. (Coventry)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds) Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North) Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Meagher, Michael
Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)
Byles, Sir William Pollard Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Menzies, Sir Walter
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Millar, James Duncan
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Molloy, Michael
Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood) Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Molteno, Percy Alport
Chancellor, H. G. Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Hayden, John Patrick Money, L. G. Chiozza
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hayward, Evan Mooney, John J.
Clancy, John Joseph Hazleton, Richard Morgan, George Hay
Clough, William Helme, Sir Norval Watson Morison, Hector
Clynes, J. R. Hemmerde, Edward George Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Henry, Sir Charles S. Muldoon, John
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Herbert, Colonel Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Higham, John Sharp Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hinds, John Nannetti, Joseph P.
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Neilson, Francis
Cotton, William Francis Holt, Richard Durning Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Nolan, Joseph
Crawshay-Williams, Eliot Hudson, Walter Norman, Sir Henry
Crean, Eugene Hughes, Spencer Leigh Norton, Captain Cecil William
Crooks, William Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus Nuttall, Harry
Crumley, Patrick John, Edward Thomas O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Cullinan, John Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Davies, E. William (Eifion) Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) O'Doherty, Philip
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East) O'Dowd, John
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe) Ogden, Fred
Dawes, James Arthur Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) O'Grady, James
Delany, William Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T.H'mts, Stepney) O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Jowett, Frederick William O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)
Dickinson, W. H. Joyce, Michael O'Malley, William
Donelan, Captain A. Keating, Matthew O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)
Doris, William Kellaway, Frederick George O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Duffy, William J. Kelly, Edward O'Shee, James John
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Kennedy, Vincent Paul Palmer, Godfrey Mark
Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley) Kilbride, Denis Parker, James (Halifax)
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Rose, Sir Charles Day Wadsworth, J.
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Rowlands, James Walters, Sir John Tudor
Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton) Rowntree, Arnold Walton, Sir Joseph
Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Pointer, Joseph Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W. Wardle, George J.
Pollard, Sir George H. Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Waring, Walter
Power, Patrick Joseph Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham) Scanlan, Thomas Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton) Watt, Henry A.
Primrose, Hon. Neil James Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Webb, H.
Pringle, William M. R. Sheehy, David Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Radford, G. H. Shortt, Edward White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry Slmon, Sir John Alisebrook White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe) Whitehouse, John Howard
Rea, Walter Russell, (Scarborough) Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton) Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Reddy, Michael Snowden, Philip Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Soames, Arthur Wellesley Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Redmond, William (Clare, E.) Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.) Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West) Williamson, Sir A.
Richards, Thomas Sutherland, J. E. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Richardson, Albion (Peckham) Sutton, John E. Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Taylor, John W. (Durham) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Winfrey, Richard
Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Tennant, Harold John Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Robertson, John M. (Tyneside) Thomas, James Henry Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)
Robinson, Sidney Thorne, William (West Ham) Young, William (Perth, East)
Roch, Walter F. Toulmin, Sir George
Roche, Augustine (Louth) Trevelyan, Charles Philips TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Roe, Sir Thomas Verney, Sir Harry Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Hill, Sir Clement
Amery, L. C. M. S. Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe) Hills, J. W.
Archer-Shee, Major Martin Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Hoare, Samuel John Gurney
Ashley, W. W. Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Hohler, G. F.
Astor, Waldorf Craik, Sir Henry Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)
Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J. Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)
Baird, J. L. Croft, Henry Page Horne, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford)
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Denniss, E. R. S. Houston, Robert Paterson
Balcarres, Lord Dixon, C. H. Hume-Williams, William Ellis
Baldwin, Stanley Doughty, Sir George Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City. Lond.) Duke, Henry Edward Ingleby, Holcombe
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Eyres-Monsell, B. M. Jardine, Ernest (Somerset East)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Faber, George Denison (Clapham) Jessel, Captain H. M.
Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester) Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Falle, B. G. Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr
Barrie, Hugh T. Fell, Arthur Kerry, Earl of
Bathurst, Hon. Alien B. (Glouc, E.) Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Keswick, Henry
Bathurst, Charles (Wilton) Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Kimber, Sir Henry
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Fleming, Valentine Knight, Captain E. A.
Benn, I. H. (Greenwich) Forster, Henry William Lane-Fox, G. R.
Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish- Foster, Philip Staveley Larmor, Sir J.
Beresford, Lord C. Gardner, Ernest Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)
Bigland, Alfred Gastrell, Major W. Houghton Lawson, Hon. Harry (Mile End)
Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith- Gilmour, Captain John Lee, Arthur H.
Boyle, W. L. (Norfolk, Mid) Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K. Lewisham, Viscount
Boyton, J. Goldsmith, Frank Lloyd, G. A.
Bull, Sir William James Gordon, John (Londonderry, South) Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)
Burn, Colonel C. R. Goulding, Edward Alfred Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.
Butcher, J. G. Grant, James Augustus Long, Rt. Hon. Walter
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.) Greene, Walter Raymond Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee
Campion, W. R. Gretton, John Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo.,Han.S.)
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.) Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds) MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh
Cassel, Felix Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Mackinder, H. J.
Castlereagh, Viscount Haddock, George Bahr Macmaster, Donald
Cator, John Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight) M'Mordie, Robert James
Cautley, H. S. Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth) M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)
Cave, George Hambro, Angus Valdemar Malcolm, Ian
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hamersley, Alfred St. George Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin) Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.) Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry) Moore, William
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.) Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)
Chambers, James Harris, Henry Percy Morrison-Bell, Major A. c (Honiton)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Neville, Reginald J. N.
Clay, Captain H. H. Spender Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire) Newman, J. R. P.
Clyde, James Avon Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.) Newton, Harry Kottingham
Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Hewins, William Albert Samuel Nield, Herbert
Courthope, George Loyd Hickman, Colonel T. E. O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood) Tullibardine, Marquess of
Paget, Almeric Hugh Sanders, Robert A. Valentia, Viscount
Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Sanderson, Lancelot Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge) Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pl, Walton) Wheler, Granville C. H.
Perkins, Walter F. Smith, Harold (Warrington) White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)
Peto, Basil Edward Stanler, Beville Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Pole-Carew, Sir R. Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Pollock, Ernest Murray Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston) Winterton, Earl
Pretyman, Ernest George Starkey, John Ralph Wolmer, Viscount
Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (Montgom'y B'ghs) Staveley-Hill, Henry Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)
Quilter, Sir William Eley C. Steel-Maitland, A. D. Worthington-Evans, L.
Rawson, Col. Richard H. Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Rees, Sir J. D. Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford) Yate, Colonel C. E.
Remnant, James Farquharson Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central) Yerburgh, Robert A.
Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Talbot, Lord E. Younger, Sir George
Rolleston, Sir John Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)
Royds, Edmund Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)
Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen) Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. G
Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby) Thynne, Lord Alexander Stewart and Mr. Brassey.
Salter, Arthur Clavell Touche, George Alexander