§ The Lord Lieutenant shall give or withhold the assent of His Majesty to Bills passed by the two Houses of the Irish Parliament, subject to the following limitations; namely—
- (1) He shall comply with any instructions given by His Majesty in respect of any such Bill; and
- (2) He shall, if so directed by His Majesty, postpone giving the assent of His Majesty to any such Bill presented to him for assent for such period as His Majesty may direct.
§ The CHAIRMAN
With regard to the Amendments on the Paper to this Clause, I have been asked to allow a rather general discussion on the Amendment which stands, in the name of the hon. Member for Stowmarket (Mr. Goldsmith), third on the Paper. I had at first some doubt if it would be right to do that, but I understand the request is made with the assent of the other hon. Members who have Amendments down to this Clause dealing practically with the same point, and I think the one Amendment will cover all or almost all the other ones, and since that, is the case, I think I may agree to the request.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
On a point of Order. May I ask, for the convenience of the Committee, 268 whether it would not be possible at the end of the Committee stage of the Government of Ireland Bill, each night, to indicate the Amendments you are likely to call upon on the following day? Many Members on both sides would be very glad to know at the end of the Committee stage each night what Amendments are coming on on the following day, rather than have to wait to learn it the next afternoon.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not quite see where the opportunity arises under our procedure. We do not have a Debate on the Motion to report Progress, and therefore there is a difficulty, but I make it my business to communicate with hon. Members in different parts of the House during the evening as to what my provisional opinion is as regards the following day, and I hope I shall be able to continue to do so; and I shall also be glad, if hon. Members ask me any particular questions, to answer them if I am able.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
I was not asking as to any specific question. Do I understand this is only a question of procedure, and if it can be arranged you see no objection to indicating approximately what will be taken the following day—
§ The CHAIRMAN
That does often occur, and that is why I used the word "provisional" and adopted the method of putting myself in communication with hon. Members interested, which seems to me to be the best course. I will, however, consider the suggestion which has been made.
§ Mr. GOLDSMITH
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "shall" ["shall comply with any instructions"], to insert the words "in the case of every Bill apply to His Majesty for instructions in respect thereof and."
We have been told that the Clause which the Committee is discussing this afternoon contains one of the most important, if not the most important, safeguard provided for in the Bill. The Clause gives the Lord Lieutenant power to give or withhold his consent to any Bill which has been passed by the two Houses of the Irish Parliament. 269 In the Bill of 1893 it was expressly laid down that the Lord Lieutenant was to act upon the advice of the Executive Committee, but those words have been omitted in this Bill. I think it is perfectly clear that where those words are in the Bill the Lord Lieutenant, as a constitutional officer, can only act on the advice of someone either of the Irish Executive or the Imperial Executive. It is equally clear that, subject to the two provisos contained in this Clause, in all cases the Lord Lieutenant will have to act, and can only act, on the advice of the Irish Executive. The Irish Executive Committee will advise the Lord Lieutenant whether he is to consent or withhold his consent to any Bill passed by the Irish Parliament. No one will contend that the advice given by the Irish Executive is going to be impartial, because that Executive is going to advise the Lord Lieutenant on their own measures which they have introduced and for which they are directly responsible, and which the Irish Parliament have passed on their advice and under their guidance. Does anyone believe that the Irish Executive is going to advise the Lord Lieutenant to Veto a Bill which has been carried through the Irish Houses of Parliament on their own responsibility? They are not likely to carry a Bill one day and next day to ask the Lord Lieutenant to refuse to give his assent to it.
As far as the Veto is exercised and is dependent on the advice of an Irish Executive, to that extent the Veto will only exist on paper and will be practically nonexistent. If there is any effective Veto in this Clause we must look for it under the two provisos or the two limitations which deal with the instructions which are to be sent to the Lord Lieutenant by the Imperial Parliament. The first question I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman is, Whether it is the intention of the Government that the Lord Lieutenant should refer all Bills which have been passed by the Irish Parliament to the Imperial Executive for their instructions? Is he to say in every case, when a Bill is presented for his consent, "I cannot give the Royal Assent until I have asked for and received my instructions from the Imperial Government," or is the Lord Lieutenant only to refer those Bills to the Imperial Government which, in his opinion, might come within the prohibited subjects of Clause 2 or the restrictions of Clause 3? I do not believe that that is the intention of the Government, because under Clause 270 29 the Lord Lieutenant is empowered, if he considers any Irish Bill or any provision thereof to be beyond the powers of the Irish Parliament, to refer the same to His Majesty's Government in Council to be heard and determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Apparently it is the intention of the Government that any Clause of this kind which will come under Clause. 2 and Clause 3 should be referred to the Judicial Committee and should not come under this Clause which we are discussing this afternoon.
Different meanings may be attached to the two provisos contained in this Clause. It is possible that it is the intention of the Government that general instructions should be issued by the Imperial Government to the Lord Lieutenant instructing him what category of Bills he has to refer to the Imperial Government for their consideration. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman is going to give us a clear and definite answer to these questions, because until we have got that answer it is impossible to estimate the value of these so-called safeguards which are contained in this Bill. Unless the Government are prepared to accept this Amendment, and lay down clearly in this Clause that all Bills should be referred to the Imperial Government, the whole question will be left in the hands and in the discretion of the Lord Lieutenant, who will have to decide, I suppose, on the advice of the Irish Executive whether a certain Bill which comes up for his assent comes within the class of Bills which he can deal with and assent to on the advice of the Irish Executive, or whether it is one of those Bills which ought to be referred to the Imperial Executive. I am afraid the unfortunate Lord Lieutenant will find himself on many occasions in a very awkward predicament. In the first place, however definite your instructions may be, there are sure to be cases which come on the border line which it will be extremely difficult and impossible to settle under which Clause of the Bill they should come. The Committee is already aware that the unfortunate Lord Lieutenant has to serve two masters, and the Chief Secretary told us the other day that this could not be avoided. There is no doubt that this Section is going to lead to constant and inevitable friction between the Irish Executive and the Imperial Parliament. If the Lord Lieutenant decides to refer a Bill to the Imperial Executive, he will act 271 in opposition to the expressed wishes of his own constitutional advisers. On the other hand, if he gives his assent to a Bill which he ought to refer to the Imperial Parliament, he will get into trouble with his other masters, the masters who appointed him and to whom as an Imperial officer he is directly responsible. Once the Royal assent has been given, it cannot be revoked; it is final. I know perfectly well, if an Act is ultra vires, it will be disallowed by the Courts and will become null and void; but in all other cases, once the Lord Lieutenant has given the Royal assent, it cannot be revoked, because the Government have not inserted a Clause giving power to disallow an Act within a certain time, a power which, I believe is contained in every one of the Constitutions of the self-governing Colonies. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will say Ireland is not in the same position as the self-governing Colonies. He will probably say the Lord Lieutenant can communicate at all times with the Imperial Executive over here and get his instructions by return of post, and, as I believe it is the Imperial post and not the Irish post, there will be no great delay; but I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman what happens when the Imperial Parliament is not sitting. It is quite possible in some future years we shall not be having an Autumn Session and that the Irish Parliament will be sitting and a Bill be presented to the Lord Lieutenant for his assent. What is going to happen in that case? Is the Lord Lieutenant to wait until the next meeting of the Imperial Parliament, or is the Cabinet going to be summoned on every single occasion the Lord Lieutenant requires to have instructions on some Bill passed by the Irish Parliament? The Government have further failed to follow the Colonial precedent in not giving the Lord Lieutenant power to reserve Bills for the consideration of the Crown I shall probably be told that power is given to the Lord Lieutenant in Clause 7, Sub-section (2), to postpone giving the assent of His Majesty to any Bill presented for his assent for such period as His Majesty may think advisable. That is not the same thing.
There is absolutely nothing definite, And I cannot see that any machinery is provided which will enable the Lord Lieutenant to bring any Bill before the 272 Imperial Cabinet, nor do I see any clear statement at what stage the Imperial Cabinet is to intervene and at what period the Imperial Government is to ask the Lord Lieutenant to submit a Bill for their consideration. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will deal with those questions when he replies. If he accepts the Amendment, it will, at any rate, be perfectly clear that every Bill which has been passed by the Irish Parliament will have to be referred to the Imperial Executive before the Lord Lieutenant can give his assent. The Lord Lieutenant will in every case have to get instructions from the Imperial Government before he gives his assent to any Bill which; has been passed by the Irish Parliament. I am quite aware some difficulties will still remain even if this Amendment is accepted. I do not think anyone can maintain that one or even fifty Amendments could possibly make this a sound or workable measure. Causes of friction between the Imperial Government and the Irish Executive are not going to be removed by this Amendment; that is perfectly clear. A certain amount of friction must exist in every Federal Constitution, and it certainly will exist in the Constitution which the Government are trying to set up by this Bill. I am not quite certain whether the adoption of this Amendment would please the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond), who on many occasions, I believe, has declared he is strongly opposed to this House acting as a Court of Appeal on Irish legislation. Apparently he is opposed to it, and I suppose, as the hon. and learned Gentleman is opposed to this Amendment, it is not going to be accepted by the Chief Secretary. We really ought to know what is meant by the expression:—Any Bill shall he referred to the Imperial Government for their consideration.Another difficulty which is not going to be removed is one which has been dealt with on previous occasions and upon which we have never received an answer from any right hon. Gentleman on the Treasury Bench. What is going to happen if the Lord Lieutenant exercises his Veto on the advice of the Imperial Government? How is that Veto going to be enforced? We have never been told what is going to happen in Ireland if and when the Lord Lieutenant exercises his Veto refusing a certain Bill passed by the Irish Parliament and if the Irish Government resign? That is one of the most important questions to which we have not yet received 273 an answer. I am afraid until we have an answer we shall have to repeat it from these benches. Let me ask the Chief Secretary another question, to which he has also not yet replied. I take it the British Cabinet in the case of some Bills—I do not know which—is going to give instructions to the Lord Lieutenant. Who is the Minister in the British Cabinet going to be responsible for this Irish legislation? Who is going to advise the Cabinet with regard to Ireland? Is it the Prime Minister, the Colonial Secretary, or the President of the Local Government Board? If the Cabinet is responsible for the instructions to be given to the Lord Lieutenant, then surely those instructions can be debated in this House, and surely there ought to be some Minister responsible for Irish affairs in the British House of Commons?
We have heard a great deal about maintaining the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament, and hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite have told us over and over again that on no conditions would they consent to any scheme of Home Rule unless the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament was maintained. I say without hesitation that if the veto of the Lord Lieutenant is only to be exercised on the advice of the Irish Executive, except in certain indefinite cases where he may get some sort of vague instructions from the Imperial Government, then that Imperial supremacy and that veto will only exist on paper and in the speeches of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. It will be one of those safeguards which are not worth the paper on which they are written. We have for the last two or three weeks been discussing various Clauses of the Government of Ireland Bill, and I think it has been shown day by day from these benches how utterly absurd and how utterly unworkable is this Constitution which we are setting up in Ireland. I believe to-day in this Clause we have reached the acme of absurdity and the height of confusion, and I do hope the Chief Secretary will be able to accept this Amendment. It will, at any rate, make it clear the Imperial supremacy will be preserved to a certain extent and that this House of Commons will have some control over Irish affairs. I know perfectly well, if the Government should ever be dependent on the forty-two Irish Members who will remain in this House, the veto, whatever it may be, would be absolutely useless; but at any rate it will be worth something if there are definite instructions in 274 the Bill that the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament is to be preserved. If the Government refuse to accept this Amendment and simply leave the vague and indefinite statement contained in the Bill, I believe the veto about which we have heard so much will be a mere sham, and unworkable.
§ Mr. GRANT
I beg to second the Amendment. I feel considerable satisfaction that we have at any rate an opportunity of debating this Clause. I do not say it deals with the most important part of the Bill, but I do think on this Clause an opportunity may be given to the country of recognising the difficulty, and we think the impossibility of carrying out the objects which the Government say they have in view in bringing the Bill before the House. We are told there is to be a Veto of the Imperial Parliament, and it has no doubt been inserted by the Government in order to give those safeguards about which we have heard so much. It is either a real Veto or it is an unreal Veto. These are the only two alternatives before us, and I venture to say whichever alternative we take the attainment of the objects of the Government will be precluded by this Clause. If the Veto is real, it cannot carry out the Government's pretence; neither, if it is unreal, can it do so. If the Government of this country is going to take absolute control of Irish legislation, where is Home Rule? Surely such a proposal cannot satisfy the aspirations of the Irish people. A Veto like this cannot carry out the object of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. It can bring about no finality in this question if the Government of this country is to control the whole legislation of Ireland. Look at the attitude of hon. Members below the Gangway. They are led by a very able and distinguished Gentleman, the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond), who up to-the present has distinguished himself by his silence in these Debates. I hope he will depart from that custom, and let us have his opinion on this matter. I may, perhaps, read to the House what he said on this question on 14th February, 1893:—You must, not expect that any scheme will be successful for the government of Ireland which sets up, either directly fir indirectly, this Imperial Parliament as a Court of Appeal on the acts of the Trish Legislature. Such a position would be an intolerable one for this House, and would he still more intolerable for the Irish Legislature. I say our position would be much worse than it is at present if, after having constituted a local legislature in Ireland, this House should act as a sort of a Court of Appeal to revise, amend, or repeal any of the Acts of the Irish Parliament.275 These are the words of the hon. and learned Gentleman. They apply to the case if the Veto is real. What becomes of the boasted safeguards, for they cannot exist if the Veto is merely a paper Veto? These are the alternatives we have before us. Which is the object of the Government? Which will this Bill carry through? Will it carry through the real or the unreal? We must come to the conclusion that these safeguards are more unreal than real, especially from the view of the Nationalist representatives from Ireland. If we look at the Clause itself, I agree with my hon. Friend that its phraseology does not tell us anything. I do not suggest that a Clause like this should schedule all the questions which the Imperial Government should be able to Veto. It could not do so, but I do think we ought to have some more concise phraseology in this Clause which would enable us to know what are the subjects for Veto and how these things will be carried out in the future.
It must be remembered that under this Bill forty Irish Members are to remain in the House of Commons. It is not improbable that the fate of Governments may depend in the future on those forty Irish Members. Their action may depend entirely upon what those honourable representatives may desire; they will have, no doubt, a considerable influence on the Governments of the future, and we representatives of Scotch, English, and Welsh constituencies will have to bear that in mind. If the Irish Executive in the future were to embark upon social legislation which might cost more money than they could afford, would that be a subject which the British Government would be able to stop by Veto? I hope it would. Undoubtedly this country would have to foot the Bill in the long run. These are questions which we, as representatives of England and Scotland, would like to keep in mind. I am very anxious to hoar the attitude of the Government and their explanation of the bearing of this Clause, and I cannot but again express the hope that the hon. and learned Member for Waterford will also give us the benefit of his present view on this matter.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
The hon. Gentleman is quite entitled to ask at the earliest possible moment for the views of His Majesty's Government in regard to not only this 276 particular Amendment, but the general effect of the Clause—Clause 7—now under consideration, on the scheme of the Bill. I propose to answer his inquiry and that of the hon. Member who preceded him as clearly, and at the same time as precisely, as I can. The actual Amendment before the Committee is one which requires that in the case of every Bill the Lord Lieutenant shall apply to His Majesty for instructions. I do not know that much importance is attached to the Amendment even by the hon. Member who moved it, and certainly it is a most unnecessary and inconvenient provision to be inserted in an Act of Parliament. In every subordinate Legislature throughout the length and breadth of the Empire the Chief Executive officer, by whatever name he is called, as representing the Crown, is entrusted, on behalf of the Central or Imperial Parliament, with the power that this Clause proposes to confer upon the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Primâ facie an Act passed by a local subordinate Legislature is entitled to receive, and in the ordinary course does receive, the assent of the representative of the Crown, and thereupon becomes law.
But throughout our Empire, in all the various forms in which local self-government has been developed and extended, from the most extreme form of Colonial autonomy to the most moderate form of delegation, it has been found expedient and necessary that there should be in every one of the communities so constituted a representative of the Imperial authority, acting upon the advice of Imperial Ministers here who, in the last resort, shall allow or disallow the proceedings of that Legislature over which he presides. I should have thought yon cannot carry on any system of Colonial, or federal, or delegated government without having in such a community a representative of the Imperial authority. With regard to the precise form in which this intervention is to be invoked from time to time, you must, of course, have regard to geographical and other conditions. Ireland is so near to our shores that whatever takes place there is immediately known and familiar not only to those who are responsible for the Government, but to the whole community, and the more or less elaborate provisions for delay which have been found necessary in the case of long distances seem to be altogether inappropriate and unnatural here. That, I suppose, is enough to dispose of the actual Amendment of the hon. Gentleman.
277 It would be a sheer waste of time to require that in the case of every Bill—the humblest and most trivial Act passed by the Irish Legislature, the Lord Lieutenant should formally ask the Imperial Government for his instructions. Again, in regard to another question put by the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment, whether instruction should only be asked for with regard to Bills that come within the prohibition of Clauses 2 and 3, obviously that is the one case in which instructions are not necessary. If the Irish Legislature passes a Bill which transcends the powers given by Clause 2, or is obnoxious to the limitations of its powers in Clause 3, the Bill does not receive the consent of the Lord Lieutenant, and it does not become law. No Court of Justice, either of Ireland or of England, would recognise its validity. I want, if I may, to ask the Committee to take a rather larger view of this matter than any question of mere drafting.
I have pointed out that wherever you have a delegated non-sovereign Parliament for the British Dominions, you must have a representative Imperial officer who, in the last resort, acts upon the Imperial advice, on the advice of the Cabinet who is responsible to the Imperial House of Commons. You must have an Imperial officer acting on the instructions of the Imperial Cabinet, responsible to the Imperial House of Commons, who in the long run will say whether or not the Act of the local Legislature shall take effect. Nothing can be easier from the point of view of dialectical exercise and ingenuity than to imagine cases in which the exercise of that ultimate controlling power here, with, on the other side, autonomous powers on the part of the local Legislature might lead to a complete deadlock. Of course it would! There is no Constitution in the world which could not be brought to a deadlock in a month if all the parties concerned acted up to the extreme limits of their legal powers without any regard to their common interests. This is not a new question. There is nothing in this Bill as compared with the previous debates on this subject which is in the least degree novel. It was raised in 1886 and debated exhaustively in 1893, as I remember. Though I am not fond of quoting myself, I will venture to read a sentence or two from a speech I made on the Second Beading of the Bill in 1893, which are just applicable to-day as they were then, and which deal with the precise point raised by this Amendment on this Clause. I 278 said, speaking in reply to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, on 14th April, 1893:—I will make a concession to my right hon. Friend. I will agree that, given perversity on the one side and pedantry on the other, it would he perfectly possible to wreck the Constitution which is set up by this Bill. If you can imagine the Irish people so dead to the sense of their own interests that they use their Legislature as an instrument for oppression: if you can imagine the English people so blind to the traditions of their own Constitution that they insist on a perpetual and meddlesome interference with the affairs of Ireland, then I agree that no assurances, however solemn and sincere, can possibly be affected. But the difference between my right hon. Friend and ourselves is this: That we believe in the good faith, the common sense, and the self-interest of two great nations. That, I agree, and that alone, is the ultimate security for the safe and smooth working of this Bill, as it is for the safe and smooth working of any free Constitution in the civilised world.That goes to the root of the whole matter. What is the hypothesis upon which all these ingenious dialectical illustrations of possible Constitutional deadlocks ultimately depend? The hypotheis is this: That you have, on the one hand, in the Irish Parliament the representatives of the majority of the Irish people who are bent upon oppressing their fellow countrymen, indulging in every form of persecution, civil, political, and religious, who are enemies to the unity of the Empire, who are seeking in every possible way to take advantage of the legislative power which has been conferred upon them by the Imperial Parliament to make the life of the minority in Ireland impossible, and the unity of the Empire as a whole a sham. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I hear the voice of Ulster. That is one branch of the hypothesis. The other branch is this: That you have here on this side of St. George's Channel a British Parliament vigilant, jealous, suspicious of the powers, or of the mode of exercising the powers, which it has itself granted to the Irish people, determined by a microscopic, continuous, perpetual survey to detect possibilities at any rate of oppression or injustice in any legislation which they may propose, and therefore, acting in that spirit and working upon those lines, to use the reserved powers, whether by the executive power of the Lord Lieutenant or the overriding legislative power of the Imperial Parliament, in such a way as to render the autonomy granted to Ireland an illusion and a sham. Those are the two branches of the hypothesis on which really all the arguments against this Clause depend for their plausibility.
I will make this concession to the two hon. Gentlemen who have just sat down, or to anybody who is going to follow me 279 from the other side of the House: If these hypotheses or either of them, certainly if both these hypotheses are founded upon reason and upon fact, not only is this seventh Clause of the Bill absolutely unworkable, but the very foundations of the Bill itself are undermined. I make you a present, and gladly make you a present, of that. It is because we believe that neither hypothesis has any foundation in fact, because we believe—not for the moment appealing to any higher or more exalted motives than those of actual self-interest—that once this great concession of self-government to Ireland has been made, the common sense, yes, and the self-interest of both peoples will lead them, so far as they can, to devise a smooth and workable method of combining Imperial supremacy with local autonomy; it is because we believe that that we are proposing this Bill, and believe this Clause to be an absolutely workable Clause. So we really get here, not the question of machinery or method, but down to a fundamental deep-rooted difference, an irreconcilable difference of principle and view as to what is going to be the broad effect of the grant of Home Rule. I do not think any hon. Member will differ from what I say, that if you accept my hypothesis the question, of the actual working of the Veto becomes comparatively simple. If I accept your hypothesis, I agree that the veto is absolutely worthless.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
On your hypothesis it is not a safeguard of any value or efficacy whatever. I am glad the right hon. Gentleman made that interruption, because I am going to point out why, upon my hypothesis, the Veto is necessary. We are often told that even if you grant self-government to Ireland, that if you look round the British Empire, and look at the various self-governing Dominions, and the various forms in which self-government has been granted, and the action of the representative of the Imperial power, we shall find that in practice the Veto is a worthless thing, and is not in fact exercised. It has been said over and over again that if you try to exercise the Veto, not merely in Ireland, but in any of these great self-governing Dominions, the Government will resign, there is no alternative government possible, and a dissolution will probably 280 produce an affirmation of the previous, verdict of the constituencies and a support of the original proposals of the Government that have been vetoed, and it would be reduced to a deadlock until the Imperial authority, unless it is prepared to go to war, would have to submit. We have heard that stated over and over again. Is that so where—I make that provision—there is, as there is throughout the British Empire, an honest desire both on the part of the subordinate Legislature and on the part of the Imperial Government to make an arrangement between them workable and smooth? Let me say this. I think I have said it before, but I cannot make it too plain. I do not think there is anywhere in the British Empire an exact analogy, or an analogy which can be cited without many qualifications-and reservations, to the relations between this country and Ireland. The conditions, which exist between Great Britain and Ireland geographically—a very important point—historically—not a less important, point—economic and social—perhaps a still more important point—the conditions and the relations which exist between ourselves and the adjacent island of Ireland are, I will not say fundamentally different, but so largely varied and qualified and conditioned by all these circumstances, that although the Colonial analogies may well be invoked for guidance and illustration, I am the last person to say there is any case which a lawyer would call idem per idem. I should say the same when we come, as I hope we may in time, to the application of self-government and devolution to the other parts of the United Kingdom.
The conditions of Ireland are very different. It is comparatively near geographically, and its conditions are such that you can never apply, it would be pedantry to attempt to apply, the precise method of delegation and devolution you are giving to Ireland now to the other parts of the United Kingdom. I say this, not for the purpose of widening the area, of discussion, but simply to guard myself against being regarded as being inclined to treat Colonial analogies and Colonial precedents as if they were absolutely governing and dominant. I come back to the supposed impossibility, in a self-governing community with a Parliament of its own, with a responsible Government and Executive of its own, but with a representative of the central Government representing the 281 central power, to the supposed impossibility of reconciling local freedom—that is to say the expression of local ideas, local. sentiments, and local interests in local legislation—with the ultimate overriding authority of the Imperial power. I will take two cases only. I think they are two very significant cases. I take them by way of illustration, and not in any way as exhausting the subject. I take, first, the legislation of our great Colonies and Dominions in regard to a subject on which they felt most acutely—I am not sure they do not feel it almost as acutely now as they did in the past, but twenty years ago they felt it most acutely—that is the immigration of Asiatics and persons not belonging to the British race. Before the constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Colony of New South Wales, the Colony of South Australia, the Colony of Tasmania, these three Australian Colonies and the Colony of New Zealand all passed Acts—I do not go into their minute provisions—with the object of restricting and ultimately preventing the immigration of coloured persons into those white Dominions. In regard to every one of those Acts—I will not use the expression Veto in regard to Colonial legislation—the assent of the Imperial Government was withheld. Here was a matter which most closely affected Colonial sentiment and feeling. It is the very sort of case which has been put hypothetically in this Debate as the kind of case in which you have a potential and, indeed, a probable deadlock between the Irish and the Imperial authority. What happened? In not one of those cases did the Colonies persist against the Imperial Veto. The ultimate result there was what I venture to predict the ultimate result will be in Ireland, if and when such a collision should occur between Irish opinion on the one side and Imperial opinion upon the other. The result was that, after deliberation, negotiation, and reasonable delay, a different solution of the difficulty was arrived at which both parties could agree to.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
The date of the Acts is 1896. The ultimate solution to which I refer, which was arrived at after the establishment of the Australian Commonwealth, was the Immigration Restriction Act of the Australian Commonwealth of 1901, which substituted what is called an educational test—not a 282 test of colour—for persons arriving in various parts of the Australian Dominions. A similar test was applied in 1899 in New Zealand by the Immigration Restriction Act of that Parliament. That is a very good illustration of what will take place where there is—and that is the hypothesis upon which I have proceeded—a genuine desire between the two parties to arrive at a reasonable agreement. I will take one other illustration, where the constitutional position was rather different. That is the case which arose in the Dominion of Canada. In some respects this may be considered even more relevant and more analogous than the case I have just cited. It was the case between the Province of British Columbia and the Dominion Government. This happened in 1898 or 1899. That, again, was a question which arose as between the two authorities in regard to this matter of the immigration of coloured labour, and the particular subject matter in dispute was the immigration of Japanese, and the province of British Columbia passed an enactment called the Labour Regulation Act for the purpose of restricting the immigration of Japanese. That Act was disallowed, not by the Imperial Parliament, but by the Dominion Government, and although it must have been a matter, as I imagine, and as I know from what I have heard, which caused a great deal of local feeling and heat, the disallowance of the Act by the Dominion Government was acquiesced in by the provincial authority, and although subsequent legislation has taken place, I agree, yet it has been legislation to which both parties, the provincial authority on the one side and the Dominion authority on the other, could bring themselves to assent.
These are concrete cases occurring within recent years within the limits of our own Empire, dealing not with mere matters of administration of a non-controversial character, but dealing with matters as to which local opinion, local feeling, and, if you like to call it so, local prejudice or antipathy were keenly excited. Yet in all these cases it has been found perfectly possible to make the use of the Imperial or the central Veto effective, without exciting violent local animosity, and, in the long run, attaining a common method of dealing with a difficult problem which would commend itself to the one and to the other. Why, I want to ask, as a matter of common sense, is that which has taken place, which experience shows to be perfectly feasible and possible in our own 283 Dominions, not going to take place in Ireland. You may say, of course, that my hypothesis—the hypothesis, that is to say, that both parties to this great constitutional compact will endeavour to work it in good faith and upon the lines of common sense—you may say, of course, that is the hypothesis of a credulous optimist. You are entitled to say that. I would rather be a credulous optimist and even be convicted by the result of having so been than indulge in this temper of constant suspicion, doubt, and more than doubt, as to the motives of my fellow countrymen. At any rate, I hope I have made clear that that is the real line which divides us in this matter. It is not a question of providing this or that additional safeguard; it is a question of whether or not in the long run you believe this arrangement will be worked in good faith, and if you believe that as a matter of safeguard—and safeguards I agree are always necessary; we have found them necessary throughout the length and breadth of the British Empire, without any distrust of the patriotism or the good sense of our fellow citizens across the sea—if safeguards be necessary, the safeguard provided by this Clause is the one which experience has shown to be justified, and which in the long run has proved totally effective for the purpose.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The right hon. Gentleman was quite right in regarding this as one of the very important subjects which we have to discuss in Committee. He promised my hon. Friend who introduced this Amendment that before he sat down he would point out clearly, but briefly, exactly how these safeguards would work. He has pointed out to us clearly and briefly that on this theory no safeguards of any kind are necessary. He ended his speech by what seemed to me, under the circumstances, a peculiar declaration. He is, he says, on these matters an optimist, and a credulous optimist. He was willing to be considered a credulous optimist. He would rather be a credulous optimist and be wrong, and be proved to be wrong, than take our view on this question. That is perhaps a noble sentiment, but I do not think it is precisely the way in which the business of State is generally carried on. And I think there is a qualification to be put on that. He may be a credulous optimist in regard to the future, but he is a very practical politician in regard to the present. His optimism applies to other 284 people. He is prepared to run these risks with the greatest equanimity, not one of which affects him, but as a practical politician he now has the support of hon. Gentlemen from Ireland by whom he maintains his position. The right hon. Gentleman, in beginning his speech, made another general statement which I cannot accept. He said that in any subordinate Parliament, or in any case of devolution—I think he put it as strong as that—there must be tome representative of the Crown—someone in the position of a Lord Lieutenant—and yet he pointed out at the same time the peculiar difference of the position of Ireland as compared with our Colonies on account of the geographical position of the two countries.
It is quite true, he said, to say that in this scheme of federal devolution, of which this is the first and necessary step, there would not be a precisely similar method of dealing with the different parts of the Kingdom, but I should have thought that though there might have been differences in detail the principle must be the same, and we are therefore, on the hypothesis of the right hon. Gentleman, in the strange position that the moment we begin to have federal Parliaments in Scotland, in Wales, in Yorkshire, and in Lancashire, we shall have a separate Lord Lieutenant for every one of them. I should have thought that the very fact to which he drew our attention, the difference of geographical position, would have made it evident that if this Parliament was in fact to exercise what he said it was intended to exercise, an overriding authority over the Irish Parliament, there was no need for a Lord Lieutenant, and that every Bill should go from the Irish Parliament to the Sovereign and be accepted or rejected on the advice of the Imperial Ministers. There seems to me therefore no necessity for that general statement which the right hon. Gentleman made. Now let us come to what is the crux of this whole question. The right hon. Gentleman put it, I think, quite fairly in this way. He said to us you are assuming that there is going to be friction, that there is going to be trouble, that the two Parliaments are not always going to work with a desire to act harmoniously together and therefore there might be difficulties. But let me say to him that his whole case as put to us this afternoon amounts to this, that the two Parliaments must work harmoniously together on all questions or else the Veto will not operate at all, and there can be no safeguard for it, in any shape or form.
285 Before dealing with the last part of the argument of the right hon. Gentlemen I should like to point out to the Committee that one of the things we should have liked to know was how he proposes that this scheme is going to work in actual practice. That is a thing that one would naturally expect to be put before us by the Minister responsible for the Bill. How is it going to work? As the Bill stands the Lord Lieutenant is to have authority to disallow any Bill in any shape or form. The Lord Lieutenant obviously is to be more or less in the position of a Sovereign. He cannot be as the Lord Lieutenant now is, that is certain—a member of the Imperial Government of the day. He is to be in a constitutional position. He has got to act on the advice of someone in his capacity of Lord Lieutenant. On subjects which the Irish Parliament can deal with and in regard to which no question of Veto enters there is no difficulty. He acts in precisely the same way as the Governor-General of Canada or India. But more than that is to be done under the Clause which we are discussing. He is to have the right of vetoing some Bill. Who is to advise him which Bill he is to pass and which he is not to be allowed to pass? Obviously the Irish Executive cannot give him that advice. The Imperial Government in some shape or form must give it. To whom is he to turn for advice? At present the Lord Lieutenant has the advice of the Law Officers and the Chief Secretary. This unfortunate man will not have a single soul in Ireland to whom he can turn for advice on all these questions—not a soul independent of the Irish Executive so far as we know. Then what is to happen? Whether you wish it or not, one of two things must happen: Either the Lord Lieutenant must do what we are asking to be done in this Amendment and send every Bill here and take instructions upon it, or he must use his own responsibility and judge whether or not any particular Bill is one which should be vetoed by this House. It must be evident to everyone that it cannot be left to his own responsibility, and if this is intended really as a practical scheme the least the right hon. Gentleman could have done would be to tell us how the Lord Lieutenant in such cases is to work, who is to advise him, and how the distinction is to be made between Bills which we pass automatically and Bills which must come under the review of the Government.
286 5.0 P.M.
Now look at the working of it from a more serious point of view—the actual, practical working of it. We will assume that this Government is set up, and a Government representing one or other of the parties in this House is established here. Let us suppose it is the party represented by the right hon. Gentleman. There are to be forty Irish Members in this House. Assuming that you have got over the difficulty as to finding out which. Bills are to be considered at all, of which, there is nothing said in the Bill, how is the safeguard going to act on the assumption that there is a Government like the present, and a Government actuated like the present? They may depend, as they do to-day, on these Irish votes. Does anyone suggest for a moment that in that case a Government like the present would put any Veto on any Bill? But take the other case. Supposing there were a Government belonging to the party of which I am a Member. In every speech which the right hon. Gentleman has made in the country he has said, "You have the final safeguard that this House overrides everything which is done by the Irish; Parliament. There will be differences in Ireland, and it is possible, at least, that the party which I represent may still desire to protect the interests of the minority, and the party opposite may be inclined to make use of the Nationalist vote. What will happen then? On any subject which is raised in the Irish Parliament, and which we think infringes on the rights of the minority, we shall say that by the very speeches of the Government which brought forward this Bill; and, secondly, by the terms of the Bill, we have a right to interfere in every one of these cases. According to our principles, we should be bound to interfere. Does anyone contend that an arrangement like that could possibly be an arrangement which would outlast under such conditions the stress of even a few months of discussion? It is impossible. Then what does it come to? It comes absolutely to this: that either the thing will not work at all, and whenever that Government is succeeded by a Government from our party, it will be brought to a deadlock—it will either be that, or the Irish Legislature, so far as independence is concerned, will be precisely in the same position as the Legislature of Canada to-day. It would not be altogether in the same position, for we propose to pay old age pensions; but, so 287 far as independence is concerned, the Government of Ireland would be precisely in the same position as the Government of Canada. If that is so what becomes of your safeguards? I think everyone must feel that it must take that form if it is to continue at all, and indeed that is the only way in which the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) would tolerate it for a moment. The words he used were:—I say our position would be much worse than it is at present if, after having a local legislature in Ireland, this House should act as a sort of Court of Appeal to revise, amend, or repeal any Acts of the Irish Parliament.The hon. and learned Member always says, and I am sure he would say so to-day, that he stands where Parnell did. What did Parnell say?Ireland refuses to admit any interference. Therefore she declines to obey the orders, so far as her own business is concerned, of any Imperial or English Minister, taskmaster or dictator.That is perfectly plain. The hon. and learned Gentleman accepts this Bill with safeguards; that is to say, he allows the right hon. Gentleman to make speeches about safeguards, and he accepts the Bill on the principle that, while the Veto is nominally there, no arrangements shall be made for exercising it, and it never shall be exercised. It is not merely that that is the view of these hon. Gentlemen; it is in the nature of the case. You cannot point to any single instance where one democratic Parliament has been living side by side with another where in the long run interference of the one with the other has not absolutely ceased to exist.
The right hon. Gentleman talked to us about what would happen as long as we work with common sense and without pedantry. His mind must go back to 1893 and 1886. Does he remember how Mr. Gladstone so eloquently dwelt on the wonders that had happened in Norway and Sweden? We never hear a word about that now. The experience which we have had of the very illustrations Mr. Gladstone gave us has shown irresistibly that a kind of shadowy control like this is impossible, and that you must either have it completely or not at all, and this Bill obviously gives it not at all. The right hon. Gentleman tried to make out that even in regard to our Colonies the Veto is still exercised. He did it entirely to his own satisfaction. He gave us two or three instances out of all our Colonies, and may I point out that most of them were pretty old, that within the last fifteen years there 288 has been a great development of the sense of nationality in the Colonies, and that it is certain that what was submitted to twenty years ago would not be submitted to now? The only illustrations which the right hon. Gentleman gave were in regard to alien immigration. I ask the Committee to remember that that is a question on which it is quite true the Colonies did feel fairly strong, and do now. Let me remind the right hon. Gentleman—I am sure he is aware of it—that the illustration he gave of British Columbia was not a very fortunate one. So far as my memory serves, I think there was intense friction, which lasted for years, and it was only put right by the passing of a measure which the Government at Ottawa did not wish to pass.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
A compromise, yes, but a compromise made necessary by the persistence of British Columbia. Let me give another case with which he must be familiar. In Manitoba on the schools question Manitoba took one line and the Government at Ottawa took another. Manitoba ignored the decision of the Government at Ottawa, and it had to be settled on other lines altogether. Remember these are all matters on which there was no feeling of hostility between one section of the people in the Colony and another. These were questions which were open to argument on general grounds. It is quite obvious to Australia, for instance, that if it is a question that does affect the Empire, it does affect them, and that they cannot make rules against Japan without the danger of having Japan for an enemy. There is no analogy there. Take cases where there is an analogy—cases within our own experience—though I have not had the opportunity of looking them up. At the time my right hon. Friend the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. J. Chamberlain) was at the Colonial Office a Bill passed the Newfoundland Legislature which the Governor believed was, I will not say corrupt, but was of such a nature that it ought not under any circumstances to pass. He delayed it. The Colonial Secretary of that day at once cabled, or at all events wrote, "You cannot continue your delay to that measure. It is within the powers of the Newfoundland Legislature, and the time has long passed when this Government can interfere with the Colonies on any matter which 289 is within the purview of a Colony." Here is the actual dispatch:—In advising Her Majesty as to the exercise of her prerogative of disallowance, the Secretary of State has to consider the legislation submitted from a still more restricted point of view than the Governor. That prerogative is a safeguard for the protection of those interests for which the Secretary of State is responsible to Her Majesty and to the Imperial Parliament. To advise its exercise in cases where only local interests are concerned would involve the Imperial Government in liability for matters of the control of which it has divested itself.That dispatch is dated December, 1898. It is well known to the Colonial Office, and I am quite sure the Colonial Secretary is aware of it. There is another case still more recent, and it is an exact case in point. This very Government in which the right hon. Gentleman was Chancellor of the Exchequer considered that the Government of Natal was exercising justice in an unfair and cruel way. That is precisely the kind of thing in regard to which, if this Veto is of any value, it ought to be brought into operation. It is precisely the case where I think the right hon. Gentleman himself or someone said:—If injustice is done, this Parliament will at once step in.That is a case where this Government thought injustice was done. They cabled to Natal to stop the execution of the sentence instantly.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
It is the same thing. I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman, as that really is our case. You may make your laws what you like, but if you have an Executive absolutely independent of you, these laws are not worth the paper on which they are written. What happened in Natal? It was a case where the Government thought injustice was being done, and they tried to stop it instantly. I think the Natal Government resigned or threatened to resign, but that was not all. They got representations from other Colonies that the course they had taken was one which could not be tolerated, and they climbed down in twenty-four hours. And yet that is the kind of thing which the right hon. Gentleman gives as a proof that they will be able to exercise effective control in any case of injustice. The right hon. Gentleman never likes to go without ground, and that is the basis on which his credulous optimism with regard to this Bill is founded. I ask the Committee seriously to consider what are the kind of cases in which, if the Veto is ever to be 290 effective, it will be required, and practically the only cases. The right hon. Gentleman says that if the two Parliaments are willing to work sensibly and harmoniously, there will be no trouble, and in that case no Veto is necessary. In everyone of their speeches the assumption as to the Veto is that if difficulty or unfairness arises, this House will step in and put an end to it. How is it to be done? The right hon. Gentleman did not treat it in quite so airy a fashion as the Chief Secretary, but he did not seem to think that there was any great difficulty about it, and he thinks that common sense would prevail.
What is the assumption? On some question the Irish Executive or the Irish Parliament does something which the minority consider is unjust. That is the assumption. It comes up for review in this House. The majority in this House also consider it unjust. It does not follow that this House is right, and that the Irish House is wrong. That is not the point. The point is that it is this House which is going to control. What happens? The Irish Executive are certain that they are right, or they would not have done it. They appeal to the Irish House of representatives and that House supports them, and they say to the right hon. Gentleman, or to anyone sitting in his place, "What we have done is just and fair, and if you Veto it, we will resign." They do resign. What are you going to do then? Let us assume that you try to start another Government. You go to somebody in the Irish House of Representatives and say, "Would you support a Government subject to this Veto." If we know anything not of Irish human nature, but of all human nature, if a question is raised like that, telling the majority that they are unjust and unfair, it will unite them in a way that nothing else will unite them, and it will be utterly impossible for any other Government to be formed. What happens? One of two things. Say that the Government will exercise this Veto; this is one of their functions. They will exercise it solemnly to protect the minority in the same way in which they carried out this question in Natal, by climbing down and giving way to the Irish Parliament. That is one way. There is only one other. That other is to realise that their position is so desperate and so intolerable that they cannot permit it and to begin once again to reconquer Ireland by force of arms.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
The hon. Gentleman who seconded this Amendment lather reproached me because I had been more silent in these Debates than he could have wished; and naturally when I have heard night after night complaints from hon. Members above the Gangway that they had not sufficient time to put their arguments before the House, I think it was only proper and considerate on my part not unnecessarily to intervene. But my silence could not have been due to a desire upon my part to disguise my real opinion, because my opinion has been put before the House by hon. Members who have spoken above the Gangway with an iteration which made me almost ashamed to hear the words "the hon. and learned Member for Waterford." This Debate has made, as the Prime Minister has said, the line of demarcation between the two sets j of policies perfectly plain. It is no use for the Leader of the Opposition to ride off by drawing imaginary cases, such as that with which he has concluded. These cases have not occurred in the experience of the working of self-governing institutions in any other part of the world. [HON. MEM-BEES: "They have."] They have not. [Interruption.] It is a little unfair for hon. Members to ask me to speak, and then continue to interrupt me. I say that they have not occurred in the experience of self-governing communities in any part of the Empire. What is the case on which the hon. Member founded his argument? It is really that, first of all the new Parliament in Ireland is a Parliament made up of such vicious men and such stupid men that they pass a law of an outrageous character designed to interfere with the liberty and property and perhaps the lives of a certain section of their own fellow countrymen.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
And that Bill of theirs is questioned by the Imperial Government, as, of course, it would be, and, of course, it ought to be questioned by them, that then the Government in Ireland which passed the Bill originally resigned, and that no other Government could be formed, and that the duty would be thrown upon England of reconquering Ireland. Has that, or anything like that, occurred in the experience of any self-governing portion of the whole Empire? Why, then, do you say it is likely to happen in Ireland? Only because of that sharp dividing line, of which the Prime Minister spoke, between those who 292 believe that the Irish people are not only criminals but fools, and those who, with some knowledge of the past history of the Irish race and with some knowledge of the part that the Irish race have played in building up the constitutional freedom of the whole Empire and in governing the Empire, believe that the Irish people at home in their own country will not prove themselves a nation of criminals, and, further than that, that they certainly will-not prove themselves a nation of fools. Just conceive for a moment the absolute insanity of an Irish Parliament, representing a people who, after untold trouble, sufferings, and sacrifices, had won that modicum of freedom for their country, setting to work immediately to embark upon legislation of that kind with the knowledge and with the certainty in their minds that the supremacy of this country would not allow them to proceed, and if they attempted to proceed, that they would immediately involve their country in ruin and their Constitution in destruction. It is inconceivable.
I can say, for my part, nothing new upon this question of Imperial supremacy. A quotation was read from a speech of mine which I have not verified, but as far as I could follow it it exactly expresses my opinion. If this Parliament, having granted Home Rule to Ireland, set itself to the task of turning itself into a Court of Appeal with reference to every act of the Irish Parliament, then most undoubtedly our position in Ireland would be worse than it was before, and your position would be worse than it was before, and a system so worked must inevitably break down. The Prime Minister was absolutely right in saying that the only ground upon which you can predict these horrors in the future is the double ground that Ireland would accept this in bad faith and work it criminally and insanely; and that, on the other side, this House, having granted this freedom to Ireland, would endeavour to take it back and interfere in every small local matter in Ireland. While the Debate was proceeding I turned to some of the declarations that were made on this subject in the past, and it is worth while again quoting the words of Mr. Parnell. Here is what he said in 1886:—I understand the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament to be this, that they can interfere in the event, of the powers which are conferred by this Bill being abused; but the Nationalists in accepting this Bill fire, as I think, under an honourable understanding not to abuse those powers, and we pledge ourselves in that respect for the Irish people, as far as we can 293 pledge ourselves for anything, not to abuse those powers, and to devote our energies and any influence which we may have with the Irish people to preventing those powers from being abused. But if those powers should be abused, the Imperial Parliament will have at its command a force which it reserves to itself and will be ready to intervene, but only in the case of grave necessity.That is exactly the meaning of the words which were quoted by myself a few moments ago. Under Home Rule it would be idiotic to suppose that this House would be a Court of Appeal from everything done in the Irish Parliament, but this House will remain, and nothing can prevent it from being, a Court of Appeal in cases of grave injustice. I came across, a moment ago, a quotation which bears this out, and which is rather interesting. The quotation is from a speech of Lord Haldane, the present Lord Chancellor. It says:—The extent to which a subordinate body must be actually controlled by the Imperial Parliament was a question of practice rather than of theory. It was impossible to define it in a Bill. It should be a control of various degrees and of varying periods. But if the action of a subordinate body were justified by experience, then Imperial interference practically lapsed, and so it seemed to him that the demand that a Clause should be put into the Bill declaring the extent of the practical supremacy to be exercised by the Imperial Parliament was not a reasonable demand. As the Irish Parliament fails or succeeds in its mission, so would the control of the Imperial Parliament be greater or less. If the Irish Parliament were successful, there would be no need to interfere except on the subjects reserved to the Imperial Parliament, and, if the Irish Parliament failed, then the theoretical supremacy would become a real supremacy and would be acted upon. If the Irish Legislature succeeded, the Imperial supremacy would be exercised less and less; and if it failed, that, supremacy could easily be enforced under the powers contained in this Bill.The Leader of the Opposition asked, when was the Veto put into operation against the self-governing Colonies? Why the fact that it has not been necessary for this Imperial Parliament to exercise its supremacy in these cases is proof of the success of the working of the system, and when the right hon. Gentleman quotes the dispatch which he read, which was written by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, in which that right hon. Gentleman laid down the meaning of the Imperial supremacy, by saying that it should only be exercised in matters which concerned the people and Parliament and Government of this country, and not in matters which concerned merely local affairs, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman, does he mean to say that if a Parliament in Ireland attempted to enact laws to interfere with or suppress the Protestant religion in Ireland—which is the case made on the platforms of this country—if the Irish Parliament attempted to interfere with men's liberty, property or lives 294 because of their religion, could that be held to be a local matter? Why the Government of the day, the Parliament which attempted to deal with it as a local matter would find itself in a very difficult position in face of the universal indignation of the great Protestant nation of England which would not tolerate it.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
The hon. Gentleman seems to think that some authority in Wales is interfering with the liberty, the property or the lives of people in Wales because of their religion. If any Government is convicted of any attempt of the kind it will not be able to plead that this is only a local matter; it will have the indignation of the whole English nation to reckon with.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
Exactly the same predictions of failure have been made in every case in the past in which self-government has been extended. We had it only the other day in the case of South Africa, when we were told from that bench and by the same men that it was practically insanity to trust these people in South Africa. You had it in the case of Canada, where in the debates in the House of Lords Lord Durham's proposals were denounced as certain to load to the oppression of the English Protestant minority, and certain to lead to the dismemberment of the Empire. There is no case in the whole history of this Empire where the advantages of self-government were extended in the past where these predictions have not been made, and there is no case in which history has not falsified them. All that my colleagues and I ask from the people and the democracy of this country is that they shall not believe in the scathing words of Mr. Gladstone, that we Irishmen have a double dose of original sin. Some people laughed at us the other night and said, "You are not angels." No, and neither are you angels; but we are not more demons than you are. Believe me, the goodness, the virile qualities, the common sense, the courage, the decency, the sense of religion which are to be found deeply embedded in the character of Englishmen are not wanting in the character of Irishmen, as their past history has shown, and we ask the people of this country to trust us.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I hardly think that the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken was quite sincere when he said that the reason he had not joined in this Debate was because he wished to leave some time to the Opposition. I have never seen much disposition on the part of the hon. and learned Gentleman or of his colleagues below the Gangway in anywise either to try and convenience us or in anywise to try and help us to get any further time for the purpose of carrying on our Debates.
§ Mr. J. REDMOND
To be quite frank with the right hon. Gentleman I desired to deprive him of the argument he has been using, that he had not sufficient time, and I would have strengthened that argument, if I had occupied any considerable time.
§ Sir E. CARSON
Really the futility and folly of such an argument I think is demonstrable by merely the statement of one fact, that the hon. Gentleman himself was a party to the gagging Resolution, and it could not have been carried without him; so that he is really, when he gets up with this great generosity, with these great appeals to all that love and friendship that he is desiring to hold out to us in Ireland, the very man who is using the gag here at the present moment. He is insisting upon promoting goodwill towards this Bill in Ireland by maintaining night after night that the proper course of conduct in relation to the Bill to govern Ireland for all future time is that the great majority of the Clauses and lines of it, and all the Amendments upon it, never shall be discussed at all. I leave the House to judge of the hon. and learned Gentleman's sincerity. It is just upon a par with the sincerity of his statements in this country, as compared with his statements in America and Ireland. The hon. and learned Gentleman made an impassioned appeal to us, and said that we are not to use Mr. Gladstone's phrase to imply that the Irish character is endowed with "a double dose of original sin." I hope for my own sake it is not. But, upon the other hand, does not the hon. and learned Gentleman see—and the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister in this House uses as a foundation also of his argument— that he is arguing upon the assumption that the Irish character is endowed with a double dose of original virtue. That is the whole meaning of what the Prime Minister was saying in the course of his 296 argument, and what the hon. and learned Member was saying—only trust us, only leave us alone, and we are such a nation that you have no right even to be suspicious that anything could happen which would bring about friction between the other House you are setting up in Ireland and this House.
All that is arguing upon a very false state of facts and entirely against the history both of Ireland and of this country. For my own part, I would agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the main difference between us, in approaching this Bill, is one of temperament, and one of belief, as regards what will happen in the future, having regard to the past. The right hon. Gentleman never tells us on what it is he founds his credulity as regards the way in which Irishmen will act in future. We tell him the reasons of our suspicion: we point him to the history of our country, we point him to the illimitable crimes that have been condoned by hen. Members below the Gangway, and are being condoned to-day. The only answer we get is, "Trust to me; I am optimistic; I am the great optimist." Well, we do not trust him, for the simple reason that he gives us no ground for trusting him. He quotes nothing in the past, and we really cannot elevate, whatever else may be desired, his great position as Prime Minister to the position of a secure prophet, of the future. So far as I am concerned, the only interest I take in this Amendment is this: The right hon. Gentleman, in the course of the Second Reading Debate, and many hon. Members of this House, have stated throughout the country that the safeguards constitute the main provisions, the cardinal provisions, of the Bill. What does the Prime Minister tell us? Why, his whole speech went to point out, as clearly as it could, that the Veto and the Imperial Parliament are two safeguards which are always relied on, yet his whole speech was a clear demonstration that this Veto is no safeguard whatsoever.
The right hon. Gentleman, upon the whole assumption of his argument, said no safeguard was necessary. What was his point? He said that as regards the Veto you will never require it. He said you have, to take the true state of the facts. You have to take the Parliament in Ireland and the Executive in Ireland as working so much for the good of their country, and so absolutely in accordance with what is laid down as the duty of any other Govern- 297 ment, that they will be acting, on the one hand, in such a way that there will never be any necessity to challenge their action; and then, on the other hand, you must take into consideration, and take it as the basis, that this Parliament will be acting in such a way that they will not desire to challenge the Irish party. If you take these two hypotheses, if nothing is to happen in Ireland, and if this House is never to be inclined to interfere, what becomes of the safeguards? That is exactly what we have been saying all through. It has been exactly the purport of every argument I have tried to put forward in this House and in the country, namely, the moment you set up an independent Irish Parliament, or Irish subordinate Parliament, without using the word "independent," you will never be able to interfere, you never will interfere—you know you will not interfere; you do not intend to interfere— yet still you go about pointing to the Clauses of this Bill and saying to the people of the country that they are safeguards. The right hon. Gentleman went into one or two cases in our Colonies within the last twenty years, and he said that the Veto was exercised with a view to bringing about a compromise. I tell you what I wish the hon. Gentleman had done, or what some right hon. Gentlemen who will speak afterwards will do at some stage, namely, indicate to us the class of cases where the Imperial Parliament, or the Government responsible to the Imperial Parliament, will be prepared to exercise the Veto.
The right hon. Gentleman himself said, and said very rightly, that if there were a clear case of ultra vires, where a subordinate Legislature was going beyond its power, or taking any reserved powers in the second Clause of the Bill, it would not be necessary to exercise the Veto, because the Acts themselves would be illegal, whether the Lord Lieutenant or the King gave assent to them or not. I think that is perfectly true, and I believe the right hon. Gentleman would also go as far as to say, as regards local matters entrusted to the Irish Parliament, that the Government never would interfere. But I would like to know where you are going to interfere. I would like somebody to indicate to us the line of cases in which the Imperial Government would interfere. I know perfectly well that they never will interfere, and that is why I think it necessary to show that this is a sham safeguard, in whatever form you put it in the Bill. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John 298 Redmond), in his impassioned way, appeals to us and says, "Do you think we are going to pass legislation as against Protestants? Do you think we are going to pass legislation that will be persecuting the Protestants?" Has anybody ever said that? I certainly have never said that. I give my Irish fellow countrymen credit who would be inclined in any wise, or from any motives, to interfere with their fellow countrymen on account of religion, that it would not be by legislation.
Nobody supposes that any Government-would pass an Act of Parliament to permit of the cruelties of boycotting, but the party can carry on the most dangerous system of tyranny and interference, and are still carrying it on, as the Chief Secretary knows. That is not done by law. People do not do these things by law. It is not done by law except so far as it is done by the law of the League. But still it goes on, and there is no use in talking to us as the hon. and learned Member for Waterford does, saying, "Do you think that any such law as that would be passed?" I answer, "Very well, I do not think it would be passed; I think it would be too absurd, and I know perfectly well that when a tyranny of that kind is attempted to be carried out, it is not carried out in that way at all; it is carried out either by conniving at it, or by not enforcing the law against it." It is because of that reason that we seek to demonstrate here that your Veto and your Imperial Parliament and all the rest of it that you set up and flaunt about on platforms, are useless, and that anything like the Veto of the great Imperial Parliament or the Veto of Lord Aberdeen is absolutely absurd and ridiculous.
The right hon. Gentleman said that every subordinate Parliament throughout the Empire had to have either a Lord Lieutenant or somebody in an analogous position. Having regard to what the right hon. Gentleman himself admitted as regards the proximity of Ireland to England, and as regards the fact that it is still, according to their argument, to be a United Kingdom, and having regard to the fact that we are to have still forty-two Members in this House—and this is always left out of consideration when you are considering the Colonies, and it makes an absolute difference between this and every other-Constitution, not only in the Empire, but in the American Constitution—will somebody inform us what is the use of the Lord Lieutenant at all, except as a sham safe- 299 guard. According to the Bill as it stands, is the Lord Lieutenant to act upon instructions—which I know means general instructions—as regards giving his assent to a Bill? Why on earth cannot the assent be given by His Majesty in the ordinary way? It is only another illustration of your keeping up all these absolutely useless and worthless provisions, which none of you are able to demonstrate as being of any real effect in the Government you are setting up. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition has challenged the right hon. Gentleman and his Government as to the use of the Veto throughout the Colonies. All I can say is I had the honour of being a Law Officer for six years, and I saw a great many Acts of Parliament that came from the Colonies and a great many questions were asked, but I do not believe that in my time a single Act of Parliament was ever rejected although Bills were reserved. We knew perfectly well we dare not do it, and it was not but we were often asked by sections to do it. So far from that being done, my recollection is that whenever we found out that those subordinate Legislatures had exceeded their powers, and had made changes which did not come within their Constitution, so far from ever interfering with them we at once brought in Bills in this House to validate everything they had done in order that the Bills they had passed outside their own Constitution might not be challenged even in their own Courts. You will find many instances of that kind in validating Bills.
Then I should like to know are we going to have an answer to this, because the hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke has not certainly attempted to give any answer. When he said that the Veto was effective and that he was willing it should be effective, he did not grapple with the cases that were referred to by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, and nobody on the other side ever does grapple with them. Will they explain, because they know better than anyone else why did the Government give way as regards Natal. It is an exact case in point. It is a case where this Government rushed in to prevent what they believed to be an injustice, and murder I think they described it, by the local Parliament. Do you think when you were not brave enough to stop that in Natal that you will stop it in Ireland? Do you think you will be able to do so when you did not stop it in Natal miles and miles away from you, having no 300 influence upon the electors of this country and no Members in this House? Do you think that you will really stop it in Ireland when you are dependent on forty-two Irish votes? And then will some hon. or right hon. Gentleman who follows also take up the case of Newfoundland which was a matter of very gross fraud that was being attempted to be committed or was committed: a case of corruption, relating to contracts? Will anybody tell us as to whether the statement put forward by the then Colonial Secretary, the right hon. Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain), in which he concludes his dispatch, is not an actual statement of what is the fact of the present day? He refers to the extraordinary and unparalleled character of the contract and the serious consequences that may result from it. He goes on to say:—My action has therefore been governed solely by constitutional principles on which I am bound to act and I think it desirable that it should be made quite clear that in accepting the privilege of self-government the Colony has accepted the full responsibilities inseparable from this privilege, and if the machinery it has provided for the work of legislation and administration has proved ineffective, or the persons to whom it has entrusted its destinies have failed to discharge their trust, they cannot look to Her Majesty's Government to supplement or remedy those defects, or to judge between them and their duly chosen representatives.Of course, you may argue that the Colonial Secretary was a very weak man, but everybody knows now perfectly well that it is the case throughout the whole of the Empire, in any single case in which a local Legislature raises any serious objection and refuses to assent to a Veto from this Government, that there is not a Minister in this country who would dare for a moment to hold out against it. Everybody knows it would be extremely foolish to do so. It all comes back to the same thing. In the end once you set up your local Government, you cannot in any wise afterwards interfere by any action upon the part of your Government here, or on the part of this House, or by Veto, or any other way, to prevent that local Government which you have set up doing any injustice that they may think proper, according to the policy that they may themselves frame. So far as I am concerned, as I said at the beginning, the only reason I take any interest whatsoever in this Amendment is that it gives to us the opportunity of raising a discussion here to show how false and hypocritical are the arguments that are put forward, both in this House, when it suits, and always throughout the country, when you say that you have in the interests of the minority in 301 Ireland stuffed this Bill with safeguards which you yourselves know are mere shams.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Isaacs)
The right hon. and learned Gentleman began his speech by refusing to believe in the sincerity of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Water-ford (Mr. J. Redmond) and those who are associated with him. We on this side of the House refuse to take that view. We believe in the sincerity and earnestness of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University (Sir E. Garson) and those who support him, and equally Ave believe in the sincerity of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford and those who are his supporters. We see no reason why we should draw—
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Why we should draw a distinction between the sincerity of hon. Members who happen to sit above the Gangway and those representatives from Ireland who happen to sit below the Gangway.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The right hon. and learned Gentleman went on to say, further, that although he did not claim that the Nationalist Members or that Irishmen as a whole had a double dose of original sin, he asserted that they had not a double dose of original virtue. Much as I admire and respect the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University, I have never yet accused him and those who support him of having a double dose of original virtue. What we do say with regard to him, and with regard also to hon. Members who sit below the Gangway, is that we regard them as human beings whose views are to be respected and taken into account. That is all we have claimed for those who sit below or for those who sit above the Gangway. The right hon. Gentleman went on to make what I think must prove to be a very valuable asset to us in the course of these discussions, the discussion to-night and those that follow, because what is it we are discussing at the present time? I cannot help thinking that in the greater part of his speech he forgot the Amendment to which we are addressing ourselves, and was regardless of the Clause which is at present under discussion. In that Clause 302 we have nothing whatever to do with administration, and we are dealing with the Veto of the Lord Lieutenant upon Bills.
§ Sir E. CARSON
The right hon. Gentleman has misunderstood what I was saying and arguing. I did not forget that at all. I said the Veto was no safeguard, because you got round the Bill by administration.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Then, if the right hon. and learned Gentleman is right, he ought to support us in voting against this Amendment, because, according to his view, he wants but administrative perfection. I really think that that is a feature of the Debate we must remember. He told us that he was not one of those, and I am not surprised at him saying so, who labour under the delusion or who are suspicious that if hon. Members who sit below the Gangway and who represent Ireland, came into power, and were the Executive Government in an Irish Parliament, that they would pass laws which would bear unjustly and oppressively upon those who differ from the Roman Catholics in their religion. He has told us that in plain language, and at least Ave are glad to have that stated so definitely All those who sit behind him, or some of those who sit behind him, who have very different sentiments, or who certainly take different views, must henceforth take pattern from the right hon. and learned Gentleman and also from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Strand (Mr. Walter Long). Both those right hon. Gentlemen, who speak no doubt with very great authority on Irish affairs, have demonstrated absolutely clearly that there is really no anxiety in their mind that those who profess the Protestant religion will be oppressed by anything that is done in the nature of legislation.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman be good enough to specify any person who has expressed a contrary opinion?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Then I am the more delighted, and I am only sorry that the hon. Member for Mid-Armagh is not present. I take it that he has not said it, and does not mean to say it, and does not think it.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I say without hesitation that again and again statements 303 have been made in the course of speeches on the platform which have suggested that there would be oppression by the Irish Parliament upon those who differed from them in religion.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Then if you say it is not by legislation, what is the good of all this parade of wanting to see what is going to happen in an Irish Parliament which is passing Bills dealing with matters of the kind? After all, we need not have any acrimonious discussion about it.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The right hon. and learned Gentleman says I am making a charge. I am not making a charge at all. If I am wrong in the view that hon. Members have expressed that opinion, then not only most unreservedly, but most delightedly I will withdraw anything of the kind, and I will accept it then as conveyed by what the right hon. and learned Gentleman says, and assented to by those who sit behind him, and who follow his lead, that we may state to the country, and state it as assented to by the right hon. Gentleman and those who support him and the whole Unionist party, that there is no reason to fear in any legislation which may be passed by the Irish Parliament that there will be any oppression of those who may profess a different religion. Then we come to the next step. What is it we are discussing? When I hear these disclaimers, which I may be permitted to say, without offence, do credit to hon. Gentlemen opposite—
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
If we have these what I call disclaimers—if the right hon.
Gentleman objects to the word "disclaimer," I will use the word "denial," although I did not use the word in regard to him—
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
If the right hon. Gentleman thinks for a moment he will see that he is doing me an injustice. I started what I said on this point by saying that I had heard the right hon. and learned Gentleman say the same thing before, and I 304 did not make the reference to him at all. I said that he had said it before, but that I was glad at any rate that he had said it here, and that those who sat behind him ought to take note of it. Whether it was was a disclaimer or a denial—I care not which word is used—it was meant to represent the views, not only of those Irish Members who sit behind the right hon. Gentleman, but of all the Unionist party. If that is the case, I cannot understand why it is that we are at the present moment giving up this time, at the request, or at any rate with the assent, of the Unionist party, to discussing the effect of the Veto on legislative proposals in the Irish Parliament, as everybody seems to agree now that you have nothing at all to fear in that respect. [Several HON. MEMBERS: "Religion."] I quite accept that hon. Members are entitled to say that nothing they have said goes so far as to assert that they have no anxiety in regard to the Veto in matters other than religion. But, at any rate, we have got this step, that it is not in religious matters, which we thought—we may have been wrong—were the most important matters in regard to which a safeguard was desired and in regard to which hon. Members opposite were most apprehensive.
If it is not that, let us proceed to ask what it is. Of what shape is the legislation, or in what direction it will go, of which hon. Members are apprehensive? Is it with reference to life, or to liberty, or to property? I certainly thought the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself took the view that that was not likely to happen either. This much he certainly made perfectly plain, that the provision as to Veto which we have introduced into this Bill is not meant to guard against the everyday normal course of business. Hon. Members opposite have spoken of the Veto as if we were saying that in regard to every Bill passed by the Irish Parliament this question of Veto will have to be discussed, and that it will form a matter for serious consideration whether or not the Lord Lieutenant is to exercise the Veto. That is not the point at all. The object of having the provision as to the Veto is as a safeguard to be used in case of necessity. As far as I am aware—hon. Members will correct me if I am wrong—in every subordinate Parliament that has ever been created by this Imperial Parliament there has been within the Statute itself a provision for the Veto. You may look at what has happened during the last twenty 305 years, or even further back. In the British North America Act you will find a provision of a similar character. You will find it also in the Australian Commonwealth Act, and in the Union of South Africa Act. Suppose you did not find the provision in this Bill. Suppose we had not introduced these particular proposals. I can imagine, although I cannot attempt to emulate, the speech which the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University would have made. He would have said, "Why, look at your safeguards! You and the hon. Member for Waterford have been telling the country that all that was going to be given to Ireland, and all that was desired was a subordinate Parliament. A subordinate Parliament? I look at once for the provision as to the Veto of the Crown on legislation, and I find that it is absent. You are not creating a subordinate Parliament; you are creating a sovereign Parliament.
But when you have created your subordinate Parliament, the Bills which are passed through the two Houses do not become Acts of Parliament. They do not become law until the Royal Assent has been given. That is the very thing with which we are dealing here, and by which we make it quite plain that the Parliament is to be a subordinate Parliament, and that there is to be that Veto over legislation. It is quite right to say—I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman said it—that you do not require this provision with regard to all the matters which are either excluded from the purview of the Irish Parliament by Clause 2 or forbidden by Clause 3. They are already dealt with. The laws themselves ate absolutely void, and there is no question of exercising the Veto. If any doubt or any question arises in regard to the matter it has to be settled by the Privy Council. This Veto applies only to cases of necessity, in which such questions might occur, for example, as those with which the right hon. and learned Gentleman was familiar as a Law Officer—questions in which the Law Officers have to consider whether in the Bills which come up for the Royal Assent there is anything making it necessary that further steps should be taken in regard to the matter dealt with. Why does the Law Officer look into those Bills?
§ Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman 306 kindly indicate more clearly the class of case to which he is referring?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
That is what I am pointing out. The right hon. and learned Gentleman gave his recollection of what happened during the years that he was a Law Officer of the Crown. I have been a Law Officer of the Crown, not so long as he was, but between two and three years, and the cases in which Bills come before the Law Officers are rare.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I do not know whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman had those in mind when he made the statement.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
He said that a number of cases came before him, and I understood him to mean that they came from the self-governing Dominions. Why do these Bills come before the Law Officers of the Crown? Not on questions of policy. Bills do not come before the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General for him to decide whether as a matter of policy it is desirable that the Royal Assent should be given or reserved. They come merely for the purpose of its being seen whether it is necessary that there should be some Imperial legislation for the purpose of giving effect to the measures, or whether the particular Bill under consideration conflicts in any way with Imperial legislation already in existence. That was made plain by the right hon. and learned Gentleman's subsequent statement, in which he said that he had actually had to take part in advising that there should be Imperial legislation, either to validate what had taken place or to follow up the consequence of what had happened in a self-governing Dominion. Reference has been made to cases which I do not propose to discuss in great detail. There were instances given by the Prime Minister; and other cases were referred to, particularly one in reference to Natal, a case which concerned the administration of justice and not in any way dealing with legislation. The administration of justice in a self-governing Colony is a much more difficult matter to deal with. That being the case, I look at the Acts of Parliament of the various Dominions in regard to which the Royal Assent has been reserved, and I 307 find that as late as 1908, in Natal, the Royal Assent was reserved in connection with two Bills dealing with prohibitions in the matter of trading licences being held by Asiatics. Hon. Members will remember that a very serious question arose in regard to the matter of trading licences, and a reservation was made in regard to those two Bills. The whole argument comes to this. As I follow what has been said by the right hon. and learned Gentleman and those who support this Amendment, their view is that you must not have a Veto which can ever be exercised, and that if the Veto can ever be exercised at all, as far as I can follow the argument, you really ought not to give a Parliament. I quite fail to appreciate—it may be entirely my fault—where it is that hon. Members opposite say that the Veto which does exist with reference to self-governing Dominions could be exercised. Is it asserted that never in any circumstances could that right of Veto be exercised?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Practically. That really means that it would never be exercised except in extreme cases. That is what it means, and I will assent to that view. That is really the argument which I am putting forward in favour of the Veto in reference to Ireland. That is the way in which it would work. You would never exercise it except in a really serious and extreme case. Suppose the right hon. and learned Gentleman had to consider a Bill in a different capacity from that of a Law Officer. Supposing he was considering, as a Minister of the Grown, whether or not a particular Bill should receive the Royal Assent. Supposing, on looking into the Bill, he saw that it was a grossly unjust Bill, one which it would be impossible to treat as fair, just, and equitable, no matter what view one took with reference to the particular question in a self-governing Colony or Dominion. Is it suggested that there would be no right of Veto in such a case? The true answer is, of course, that you would never get such a Bill. You do not get Bills of that kind, or, at any rate, if you get them at all, they are extremely rare.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The question is, imagining a case, such as the Attorney-General puts forward, how do the Government suggest that the Veto is in point of fact to be enforced?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Surely that is so. I do not at all object to the question, bur it has really been answered. I do not quite appreciate what the hon. Member means by enforcing the Veto.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
You do not enforce the Veto. A Bill comes up for the consideration of the Minister responsible or the Cabinet, as the case may be. I will assume that it is a Bill to which it is thought the Royal Assent should not be given. The Lord Lieutenant does not, on instructions, give the Royal Assent. What happens? The Bill which has passed through the two Houses does not become law. To follow it further: It seems to me that hon. Members are always creating this terrific bugbear for themselves. They say, "Well, now, if the Government were to resign what on earth would happen]" I suppose that would happen which would happen in one of the self-governing Dominions. We have had cases discussed to-day in which it has been shown that when there has been a refusal to give the Royal Assent there have been negotiations, and discussion, and no doubt a considerable correspondence. The result of it has been that some way has been found in which not perhaps the precise proposal, but a proposal which was at any rate acceptable to the self-governing Dominions has been accepted.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I do not want to go through it again, but my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister pointed out exactly what happened in two instances with which he dealt. Exactly in the same way would the case be met in Ireland. Supposing you had the difficulty arising there. It would be much easier, I should have thought, to bring about a settlement of a matter of this kind in Ireland, because Ireland is much closer. We know exactly, through the daily papers, what is happening. It is not the case of correspondence taking some time, or a question of cabling. We know daily what is happening there, and we can keep in 309 active touch with matters. There is good reason to fear little difficulty, unless you assume the hypothesis of the Prime Minister that you are going to deal with men who are not only unjust by nature, but who will set to work to do wicked things either by legislation or administration, or with the intention that their acts should press unduly upon the people. If you leave out a consideration of that kind, and get rid of these suspicions, it would be perhaps better for all. I cannot help thinking, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said, that the true view of this question is to be obtained only by the way in which you choose to look at the Irish people, and at the Irish Parliament which will be created when this Bill is passed. If you choose to assume that all the hon. Members who will be returned to that Parliament, or a majority, will do all these wicked acts why, then, there is no means I know, I agree, which would prevent us from interfering on every occasion. But nobody certainly has suggested that such a thing would happen. If, on the other hand, you assume that you are going to deal with men who, though they may be of totally different political views with regard to their own country from the right hon. Gentleman opposite and those who so loyally support him, are going to legislate—that they mean, at any rate, to do it as representative of the largest number of seats in Ireland—the best they can in the interests of the community at large, and in order to advance the prosperity and the happiness of their own country, then all these fears, suspicions, and apprehensions vanish, and we may rest in safety and peace in the knowledge that this Veto is still in existence.
§ Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
The speeches which we have had this afternoon from the other side of the House, including that of the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down, have all proceeded on one assumption, and that is that when this Bill becomes law amicable feelings will exist between the various parties in the Nationalist Parliament. That is a wrong assumption, because this Clause about the Veto must necessarily assume that all is not well. If all were well, I quite agree with the Prime Minister that safeguards would not be required. The right hon. Gentleman has entirely neglected the fact that in Ireland we must, whether we like it or not, recognise the presence of two peoples and two nations. 310 The one is spread all over Ireland, and the other is concentrated very much in the North-East corner of Ulster. You must recognise that these are two separate nations, both in race and religion, and that the loyal minority, whether we like it or not, do fear the powers which may be exercised by a Nationalist Parliament in Dublin. That is an assumption which the right hon. and learned Gentleman ignores. Both the Prime Minister and he have proceeded on the line that safeguards are not necessary. We say that safeguards are necessary. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford has also made a speech this afternoon. He said that he adheres to the opinion which lie has already expressed about the exercise of this Veto in a Nationalist Parliament. I should like to quote two other views that have been expressed on this subject as a test to show whether there is or is not anything in the Veto. The first is a speech made by Mr. Patrick Ford. [Laughter.] Hon. Members may laugh, but I believe Mr. Ford is a gentleman of very great influence amongst them. What does he say about the exercise of the Veto, speaking on 20th April of this year:—The Lord Lieutenant, ns representing the King, will have the power of Veto, but it is tolerably certain he will never exercise it. There has been no Veto in England for 200 years. It is never heard of in any of the British Colonies, and it is not at all likely to be revived in Ireland.Let me quote another opinion, that of the hon. Member for Meath (Mr. Patrick White). Speaking on 10th March, the hon. Member said:—The people of Ireland wanted full and free self-government without injuring any Imperial interest. The Irish Parliament must be supreme with regard to all Irish questions without any English Veto—They will not have it—An English Veto on the laws passed by an Irish Parliament would break down and destroy that Parliament before it would be two years in existence.That is only an example of the attitude which is taken up by hon. Gentlemen from Ireland. They will not accept the Veto. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] I am quoting speeches, and they say the Veto will have no effect, and the hon. Member for Meath, whose opinion I have quoted, says that the Veto will not be exercised. I should like to go back a little in history to the time when there was an independent Parliament in Ireland. I refer to Grattan's Parliament. Pitt had been arguing in 1798, just before the Union, in a speech made in this House, that Ireland was practically independent, and that the only con- 311 nection with this country was the Crown— "the very slender thread of the Crown," he called it. A Debate took place in the Irish Parliament on the Regency Bill, and a celebrated speech was made by Mr. Speaker Foster, who took the opportunity to reply to the remarks of Pitt about the slender connection between Ireland and England at that time. I am quoting from Lecky's "History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century," Vol. V., chapter 12:—Pitt said that one system of connection had been destroyed and that no other had been substituted for it, and he described the connection of the two countries as now depending merely upon the existence of the King—that is what I have just said; that Pitt had put it, that the only practical connection between England and Ireland was the existence of the King—and on the continued agreement of two entirely independent Parliaments exposed to all the attacks of party and all the effects of accident.How did Mr. Foster answer that? He said:—But in the amended Constitution of Ireland, no Bill could become a law of Ireland which has not been returned from England under the Great Seal of Great Britain.'Under the Act of Parliament which he quoted, the 21st and 22nd George III., Chapter 47 which enacted:—
"The Lord Lieutenant should certify to the King only such Bills as both Houses of Parliament in Ireland should certify to be enacted under the Great Seal of Ireland without alteration; that such of the same as should be returned under the Great Seal of Great Britain without alteration, and none other, should pass in the Parliament of Ireland…"
Mr. Speaker Foster, when he had quoted that, continued:—and the very object of this provision was to prevent the connection from being 'a bare junction of two kingdoms under one Sovereign'; by 'making the British Ministry answerable to the British nation, if any law should receive the Royal Assent, in Ireland which could in any way injure the Empire or tend to separate Ireland from it.What happened? Was that Veto, under the provisions of this Act of Parliament, ever exercised during Grattan's Parliament? Never once. Why? Because they in this country knew that if they attempted to in any way interfere or repeal an Act passed by the Nationalist Parliament in Dublin there would be a rebellion. It is perfectly true. I find it in the Castlereagh correspondence, which is in 312 the library, and I believe it is a letter written by Lord Cornwallis, who was Viceroy at that time. He sent a letter to the British Government telling them that if any attempt was made to exercise the Veto in any way on the legislation passed by the Nationalist Parliament, there would be a rebellion.
Hon. Members must all admit that probably this Veto would be very difficult to exercise. At the same time it is meant to be some kind of safeguard by the Government, or else they would not put it in. It ought to be put in, then, in such a shape as to make it a real safeguard. It should not be a Veto that will have very little effect. It ought to be such a safeguard that every Act of Parliament has practically to obtain the sanction and the agreement of the Imperial Executive. Bills should be directly referred to this Government for sanction. That is the view we hold. I hope the Government will see either now or on the Report stage that this Bill—I do not say that the wording of this Amendment is absolutely essential —contains some provision that will make what I say perfectly clear. The Government over and over again have invited the loyal minority in Ireland to name their own safeguards. They have almost gone the length of saying, "If you name safeguards we will put them in the Bill." This is one question where we ask the Government to recognise that those different in race and different in religion from the rest of Ireland should have some separate treatment, and some guarantee that a system of oppression shall not be exercised.
§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
I think very little of this Amendment, and I think very little of the Clause it proposes to amend as having no practical effect whatever upon the loyalist minority in Ireland. I had an Amendment upon the Paper to Clause 3, by which I proposed to leave out that Clause altogether, and the reason I propose to leave out Clause 3, and the reason why I think so little of this Clause is that these safeguards in the view of the loyalist minority in Ireland were not introduced for their benefit at all, but were introduced as a sop to the consciences of some Members of this House and the people of this country in order that the Government might say that they had provided adequate safeguards for the loyalist minority in Ireland. From the very first we said we did not value these safeguards, one pin's point. We did not think they 313 would in the slightest degree better our position, and speaking for myself I would gladly have them left out. If they are unnecessary, as we believe they are, they are useless; and they are insulting if they are necessary and required.
We have demonstrated a large number of these provisions are useless and that a large number of the provisions of this Bill are unworkable. The answer we always get amounts to this. We are asked to join in a sort of confidence trick in which we are asked to entrust all we hold dear to the care of people we do not trust at all. In all the discussions in Committee on every Clause of this Bill the same absurd answer is made to every point we make and to all our objections. We are told what we say is quite true, and that we are quite right in the view we take as to the probable course of events, but the answer we get in every single case amounts to this, that we are to trust to the Nationalists. It is admitted we do not trust the Nationalists. I do not know why on earth we should. It is not so much, as has been pointed out, that we fear the direct legislation of the Irish Parliament as its administration. We do not trust them in administration; we do not trust them any more than we trust the present Government in its administration.
The Irish Government, if it is ever set up, which I doubt, will have control over questions, for instance, such as the franchise laws in Ireland. Can we trust them in the administration of these laws? Will they do any better than the present Government? The loyalist minority in Ireland had a rooted distrust of the present Government in the administration of the franchise laws. I will give one or two illustrations of the reason why, and a fortiori, why should we not trust the Irish Administration. In this country the appointment of revising barristers is in the hands of the Lord Chief Justice. Whether he is a political partisan or not I do not know, but at all events he does not depend for his salary upon the result of elections. In Ireland the appointment of revising barristers is under the control of the Irish Government, and Irish Unionists have grave cause of objection to the way in which that power is exercised. We do not forget that it was attributed to one revising barrister appointed by the present Government that he did not object to the loyalists living in Ireland, because they were useful, practical, business 314 people, but he did object to their having votes in Ulster. In this country men are appointed who are not active politicians, but in Ireland it is the opposite. The most heated partisans are the people most sought after to conduct the revision of the voters' lists. In one instance a gentleman revised the voters' lists for South Derry and immediately afterwards stood as a candidate for that constituency. He had not had time to properly prepare the ground, and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for South Derry (Mr. John Gordon) beat him by a small majority. In another instance one of the revising barristers stood for North Derry. That was rather a hopeless enterprise, but having contested the constituency in the Liberal interest he was immediately appointed in the following revision to the position of revising barrister there.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Maclean)
I know that the Debate has been allowed to extend over a wide area, but I think the hon. Member is going rather deeply into the question of administration. General reference to administration has been permitted, but I must ask him not to go too much in detail into such matters.
§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
I do not propose to go beyond the present illustration, which, I think, is a very striking one. In that particular case this revising barrister was sent to revise a very critical constituency, and he has done his business very well from the point of view of those who appointed him. That can be done by administration, and, of course, by legislation also. The Protestant minority might be placed in even a worse electoral position than at present, because there are a large number of Unionists all over Ireland —some of the most respectable and intelligent citizens in all parts of the country— who are absolutely without any political power, and consequently they are very sensitive about any attack upon the position of the Unionist representatives in the North.
I only select that as an example of what administration can do. It would be perfectly possible, assuming the Irish Government would be willing to do it, to make the lot of the Unionists and loyalists in Ireland perfectly impossible without any legislation at all. That is why we have attributed no importance whatever to these so-called safeguards, which we have 315 all along regarded as only put into this Bill for British consumption. It is said, and the argument is a powerful one, "Trust the Nationalists." That is what it comes to. We heard the appeals of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) to history, and so forth, as to why we should trust the Nationalists; but if we go back to older history, I ask, why should we trust them? What has happened in the past in Ireland that would ever induce us to trust them? If you go back to the older times you will find that the Unionists and the Protestants in Ireland had a very bad time of it, except where they were able to defend themselves by the strong hand. We have not forgotten the Irish Parliament of 1588, and the confiscation of the property of the Protestants of the country. We have not forgotten the massacre of 1641, and we have not forgotten, coming down to more recent times, the rebellion of 1798. We have not forgotten that time of religious war, and I say it would be a long time before the Protestants of Ireland forget the Bridge of Wexford and the Barn of Scullabogue.
These are matters of history, and are somewhat ancient, and I would not refer to them at all if the more immediate past did not very much correspond with them. Why on earth should the Protestants and Unionists of Ireland trust the Nationalist party with the record before their eyes of the last thirty years? The Nationalist movement during the whole of that time has been marked by intimidation, outrage, and murder in every part of Ireland where the United Irish League held sway. That has continued up to the present time, and to-day there are people in Ireland strictly boycotted by the executive of the Irish Nationalist party. I would be very glad, no one would be more glad than myself, to forget the past, and to live in peace and amity with all my fellow countrymen, and wherever I can do so nothing affords me greater pleasure. But is it not asking rather much to say that we are to take all the risks?
It is all very well for the Prime Minister to indulge in cheerful optimism, but he does not live in Ireland and is not an Irish Unionist. His willingness to take the risk is vicarious. He would make the experiment with us and ask us to trust people that he himself does not trust and is not asked to trust. I feel we are entitled to say, as the right hon. Member for North 316 Tyrone once said (Mr. T. W. Russell), that the record of these men whom we are asked to trust was so bad, so stained by crime and outrage and intimidation, that we ought not to be asked to trust them. And the whole basis on which we are asked to accept the provisions of this Bill with its illusory safeguards is that the Members of the Nationalist party in the future will be something they never were in the past. That is practically what is said, not only in the Debate to-night, but in the Debates every night. These Debates here are practically a waste of time, because the arguments put forward from this side, however they destroy or batter down a particular Clause, are always met with a cheerful optimism which says, "You are all right in your arguments and sound in your reasoning, but under the superhuman virtue of the Irish party it will be all right under the new Constitution."
I always understood a Constitution was framed to stand stress and strain, and not to be a fair-weather Constitution that will only work if everything goes right. We are entitled to assume that a great deal will go wrong and we are entitled to do our best against it. We often wonder what do hon. Members opposite suppose is the state of the mind of the Protestant minority in Ireland. Are the whole people in the North-East corner and the thousands and thousands of loyalists scattered all through the rest of Ireland—some of them the best educated and most intelligent people in the country, who are absolutely convinced in their minds that they would incur intolerable risks by submitting to-this proposed Bill—to be ignored? Are the sensible, shrewd, and by no means emotional people in the North of Ireland, who have made up their minds that they will face the greatest risk before they will submit to put their destinies into the hands of the Nationalist party, not to be listened to?
It is a most extraordinary thing that the Protestant community, and that a very large number of Roman Catholics also who know Ireland, should be treated in this manner. Nothing is more irritating than the attitude of many hon. Members in this House, who know no more about Ireland than they do about Jerusalem, telling them that they do not know the mind of the people amongst whom they live. We are told we do not know anything about the conditions of our own people, and that we are absolutely foolish and wrong when we say that our position would be in- 317 tolerable under an Irish Parliament and when we say we are not prepared to take that risk. Yet we hear night after night Member after Member getting up and assuring us that we know nothing about the conditions of our country, that we are absolutely wrong in refusing to trust men whose records we know, and that they, who know nothing about Ireland, are absolutely right in saying that we have no reason to fear alarm and have no reason to fear a domination which the people in the North of Ireland are prepared to take very serious risks rather than submit to it. Speaking as an Ulster Member, from the very commencement of these Debates, from the time this guillotine was set up I could not see what was the object of our being here discussing kangarooed Amendments under the shadow of the guillotine. I think we would be better advised if we adopted the suggestion made by the President of the Board of Agriculture and ceased to indulge in wholly useless and unprofitable Debates in this House and went back to our constituencies in Ulster, where we could be more usefully employed.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
It seems to me that the question raised by this Amendment is of supreme importance, and it is really a test whether or not the Government intend to insert a proper safeguard. I wish to offer a word of criticism upon the Clause itself. I confess I am quite unable to understand the Clause. It says:—The Lord Lieutenant shall give or withhold the assent of His Majesty to Bills passed by the two Houses of the Irish Parliament.And it goes on to say in Sub-section (1):—He shall comply with any instructions given by His Majesty in respect of any such Bill.It further says in Sub-section (2):—He shall, if so directed by His Majesty, postpone the assent of His Majesty to any such Bill presented to him for assent for such period as His Majesty may direct.What are the instructions contemplated in Clause 1. One would have thought that the only instructions that could reach the Lord Lieutenant from the King would be to assent, refuse his assent, or postpone the consideration of the Bill. All these things are specifically enumerated in other parts of the Clause, and if that is what Sub-section (2) means, then it is surplusage 318 from beginning to end. I hope Ave shall hear from some Member of the Government what they really propose as instructions under Section 1, which obviously are not instructions at all. I can only suppose what is intended is that there shall be some instructions given to-the Lord Lieutenant to assent upon terms which, I presume, will include some alteration in the Bill. I think attention ought to-be called to this matter. I want to suggest to the Chief Secretary for Ireland that, if he really wants this Bill to work smoothly, he would do well to accept the suggestion contained in the Amendment. If you provide as part of this Bill creating a Home Rule Parliament that every Bill which is passed by the Irish Houses of Parliament of necessity requires the assent of the King, then we understand it, and there can be no objection or grievance upon the-matter, but if on the other hand this Bill remains in its present form without this Amendment, you have this condition of things. The Lord Lieutenant who, I suppose, will act upon the advice of the Irish Executive, is in doubt whether he shall give his assent or not to a Bill. Automatically he does not require the consent of the King, and all of a sudden the British Government comes down and interferes with the passing of the Irish Bill. The Bill as it stands at present does not provide that the Irish Parliament would of necessary require the consent of the King, because the consent of the Lord Lieutenant; would suffice. If the consent of the Lord Lieutenant be considered sufficient, then you have an interference by the English Government of the day which I can well believe would create irritation, and by accepting this Amendment you could not have such a possibility. Let me point out to the Committee the sort of questions I suggest are likely to arise. Under Section 41 of this Bill, Sub-section (1), it is provided that if an Irish Act of Parliament is passed which contravenes an Eng-list Act of Parliament dealing with Ireland, that Act is ipso facto void. It provides that:The Irish Parliament shall not have power to repeal or alter any provision-of this Act (except as is specially provided by this Act), or of any Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom after the passing of this Act and extending to Ireland, although that provision deals with a matter with respect to which the Irish Parliament have powers to make laws.319 It goes on to provide in Sub-section (2) that—Where any Act of the Irish Parliament deals with any matter with respect to which the Irish Parliament have power to make laws which is dealt with by any Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the passing of this Act and extending to Ireland, the Act of the Irish Parliament shall be read subject to the Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and so far as it is repugnant to that Act, but no further, shall be void.If the Irish Parliament passes a Bill which is inconsistent with an English Bill, that Act is void. Consider the condition of things which will arise. Suppose the Irish Parliament passes an Act which the Government of the day contend entails no contravention of an English Act of Parliament, but the Opposition says that it does, it is a question for somebody to determine whether the Irish Act does or does not contravene the English Act, because if it does it is void. The Opposition take one view and the Government in Ireland take another view, and who is to decide. I do not look forward with a great amount of satisfaction to the inevitable debate that would follow in this House. The Irish Government of the day have got to decide whether or not the Irish Act of Parliament contravenes an English Act. One can foresee what will inevitably happen. The question would come up for discussion in this House, and you would find yourselves here discussing all over again the very questions that had been discussed in the Irish House of Commons. We are told that this is a Bill designed to remove the discussion of Irish affairs from this House, and entrust them to the Irish Parliament. That is the sort of question that would come up for consideration in this House. The question which would be considered here in regard to the two Acts of Parliament would be whether the Irish one contravened the English one. What a field day it would be here for the Attorney-General and the ex-Attorney-General. It would probably mean many field nights and when the Closure came and the discussion was brought to its inevitable conclusion this House would be left with the inevitable task of deciding whether one Act of Parliament did or did not contravene the other.
Did any human being ever hear of such a way of determining an Act of Parliament, 320 and yet such a thing is inevitable under this Bill. I could imagine the Chief Secretary saying, under Section 29: That is a question which will be referred for determination to the Privy Council; but that is not so. The questions dealt with under that Section are those which arise when the Irish Parliament is alleged to have exceeded the powers given to it by the Constitution. But that is not such a question as I am considering now. The question I am surmising is whether or not a particular Act of Parliament which comes within the powers of this Bill does or does not contravene an English Act of Parliament. What Section 29 deals with is cases where the Irish Parliament exceeds the powers given to it by the Constitution, but in the case I have put they would not be exceeding the powers of the Constitution, but it would be alleged that the Act was void because it was a contravention of an English Act of Parliament. I do not pay much attention to the analogies which have been so often drawn between this Bill and the Colonial Legislatures, because the like of this Irish Bill was never dreamt of in heaven or earth. It is unlike any Colonial Bill of any sort or kind. This is a Bill which creates a Parliament with power to impose taxes which it cannot collect, to create laws which have to be enforced by a body of men paid and controlled by someone else; which has no power to regulate the external trade of this country, and on the other hand an Act of Parliament which retains not only control of the post office arrangements, the responsibility being borne by somebody else, and forty-two Members of the British Parliament—
§ The CHAIRMAN
We cannot discuss all the Clauses of the Bill on this Amendment. I know I said I would allow a wide discussion. This Amendment seemed to cover most of the other Amendments, but the hon. Member must not discuss all the Clauses of the Bill.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
I was dealing with the analogy which has been drawn between these proposals and the Colonial Parliaments. If you say I am out of order I will not pursue that argument. I want to point out that if this is really an honest attempt on the part of the Government to create safeguards you have in this Amendment a perfectly simple way of achieving that end and nothing could be simpler. Here you have a simple proviso that whenever an Act of Parliament has been 321 passed in the subordinate legislature, before the Lord Lieutenant gives his assent, it has to come before the King which means the advisers for the day in this House of the King, and so you have automatically perfect control over every Act of Parliament passed by the Irish Parliament. This Amendment would give you one simple effective safeguard, and if it is put in the Bill no one can then complain, because it will be a safeguard which will be always operative, and if the Irish Parliament fulfils your expectations you will not need to put this proviso into operation. If on the other hand apprehensions were felt, this Amendment will give you a proper precaution against such an abuse of power as we have heard threatened. I hope the Government will seize this opportunity of showing that they are not doing what we suggest they are doing, that is trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds and not putting safeguards in this Bill which they know are quite ineffective, and therefore will be satisfactory to hon. Members who sit below the Gangway. On the contrary, if you are honest in your desire to create a really subordinate Parliament leaving the English Parliament to have an effective control, a simple way of accomplishing this is by accepting the Amendment now before the Committee, and on those grounds I trust that this Amendment will be accepted.
§ 7.0 P.M.
The Prime Minister said he stood where he stood in 1886 and 1893 with regard to this matter, and the lion, and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) quoted a speech of Parnell, and said he also stood where Parnell stood in 1886 and 1893, but neither of them went so far as to admit that if their aspirations of those days had succeeded Ireland to-day would be a bankrupt country. They produced these arguments against accepting this Amendment, but they did not point out that if those arguments had been acted upon then they would have left my country bankrupt, shorn of all the good which has been done in the intervening years. The Prime Minister said if there was pedantry on the one hand and irreconcilability on the other, of course it would be impossible to hope that even this measure would be a success. You have pedantry on the one hand and irreconcilability on the other, and the Prime Minister therefore is condemned out of his own mouth so far as 322 the practicable working of this measure is concerned. There was a little weakness in the argument of the learned Attorney-General. I challenged him to resign his seat on this very point and see whether the country supported him in his views. I would myself be very glad to meet him down in Reading and fight him on this issue of Home Rule. The Attorney-General followed the Prime Minister with a very clever but unconvincing speech with regard to the Colonial cases, but over and over again he refused to come to the real issue raised by this Amendment.
If the Irish Parliament run counter to this House, how is this House to meet that case in the event of a resignation taking place in Ireland? The analogy of Natal was put to every speaker on the Treasury Bench, but they all run away from that concrete case. This Government said murder was being done, and it must stop. How did they stop it? They sent out telegrams, and it is common knowledge all the Colonies wired, with the result that the mere threat of resignation was enough to make the present Government haul down their colours. That is the whole argument we wish to press home to this hard-hearted Government. The Prime Minister refused to meet the case at all, and the Attorney-General shuffled round it in a clever manner. Perhaps the Chief Secretary or the Solicitor-General will tell us in some simple language how they intend to meet, the case we loyalists in Ireland fear most of all under this Bill. We, in fact, regard this particular Amendment as the kernel of the whole Bill. The Government say it is a Parliament subordinate to the Imperial Parliament, but, whenever it is pressed home to them, they cannot tell us how it is subordinate to this Parliament or how this Parliament is to have the slightest Veto or control over the doings of the Irish Parliament. They have absolutely failed to answer that concrete question. The way the Amendment is worded is a mere detail. I am not learned in the law, and I do not know the best way to carry out the proposition, which is to keep in the hands of the Imperial Parliament absolute control over every class of legislation proposed in the Irish Parliament, so that the loyal minority in Ireland will feel they have some real safeguard, not against any fresh terrorism, but against the continuance of that system of leagues and terrorism which exists to-day.
323 The Prime Minister, the hon. and learned Member for Waterford, and hon. Members opposite, all come down to this House and adopt an attitude as if they lived in the shadowy past a couple of hundred years ago and were quite cut off from all the speeches that have been quoted in the last few weeks, and as though we were digging them up in order to reproach and vilify our fellow countrymen. Nothing is more painful to me individually, and I am sure to every one of my colleagues, than to have to call attention, as we have been compelled to do, to certain matters with regard to the South and West of Ireland. We shall continue to do so while the necessity lies so nearly before us. The Nationalist party are desirous of getting this Bill through as quietly as possible, and the arguments they use are entirely different from that which is customary, not only in America, but in Ireland itself. When it comes to the question of safeguards, you find the hon. and learned Member for Waterford striving to impress the House with the value of the safeguards and of their reiterated promises, which neither he nor any one of his party could possibly hope to fulfil, while outside Nationalist Members say these safeguards are not worth the paper on which they are written, and that avowed out and out separatists in Ireland or America need not be afraid because a coach and four could be driven through any Home Rule Bill the present Government could make out. I hope the Committee will cast on one side these modern deathbed repentances of all the Irish Nationalist Members.
We are not dealing with the distant past, but with the present, and what we are most afraid of, is not the legislation that might be carried under Home Rule, but the administration when the whole of these matters are in the hands of the Nationalist party. The Attorney-General actually went so far as to put words into the mouth of my right hon. and learned Friend (Sir E. Carson). What my right hon. and learned Friend said—and I agree with him—was that the Nationalist party would find it to their interest to behave outwardly very well indeed towards England and the loyal minority in Ireland until they had got all the power they saw possible into their own hands. I agree they would be extremely foolish and far more stupid than anybody here would imagine them if they were to immediately burst out into 324 Acts of Parliament to crush in any way the minority in Ireland. They have a far more powerful method of terrorising the minority in Ireland and of exercising their will than through Acts of Parliament, and that is by those underhand, mean leagues which exist at present and which are entirely run by hon. Members representing Nationalist Constituencies.
The ramifications of the Ancient Order of Hibernians are already sufficient to run Ireland without an Irish Parliament, and if the Chief Secretary would only tell us what he knows about these inner workings in Ireland, I am sure he could give us four volumes as large as the life of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and far more interesting to read. The truth is the wording of a Section or the acceptance or the refusal of an Amendment does not get down to the real sincere feeling of apprehension that exists under any form of Home Rule. We do not suggest they are going to order all our heads to be cut off or that they are going to do something outrageous in the way of immediate legislation, but history has taught us they are not fit to rule themselves. All their local government—their county councils, their Poor Law guardians, and all those other bodies—have been an absolute failure, leading in many instances to bankruptcy. These safeguards are inserted not because they are of the slightest value, but simply and solely that they may act as a stalking horse in the country. They are inserted in order that hon. Members may go on to British platforms, and when the minority in Ireland are mentioned, say, "Why our Bill is bristling with safeguards!"
Yes, and the hon. Member would be the very first to go over to Ireland and in his own constituency claim their hearty support for the Bill because the safeguards in it were only "window dressing," and they would be able to carry anything they wanted once they got their Parliament established in Dublin. There is not a single Nationalist Member who will deny that what I have said is perfectly true. It is because we know it is true, and because we know that the people of Ireland most concerned in this matter are behind us in this struggle, because we know that they are not to be humbugged and tricked by these lawyers' niceties as to safeguards, that I heartily support the Amendment, if only that I 325 may have one more chance of voting against the Government.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The hon. and gallant Member will probably have many opportunities of gratifying his desire to vote against His Majesty's Government.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
That, no doubt, is the feeling entertained by many Gentlemen sitting on the same bench. The speech which the hon. and gallant Member has made hardly contributes to the discussion of this particular Amendment. I should like to say a word or two on the Amendment in reply to the hon. and learned Member for the Rassetlaw Division of Nottingham (Mr. Hume-Williams). The hon. and learned Member appears to feel that if this Amendment were passed it would prove a real safeguard against certain dangers which he contemplates. But the Clause itself relates simply to the Veto on Bills. It interposes something which prevents a Bill becoming law. The Irish Houses of Parliament may present a Bill which, but for the Veto, would become law, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has pointed out that this Amendment will not at all have the effect suggested by the hon. and learned Gentleman. It will not affect Bills which cannot become law, and consequently we are not dealing with Bills which infringe or touch upon any subjects which are made ultra vires by Clause 2, nor are we dealing with any Bills or any Clauses of a Bill which would by any chance, directly or indirectly, establish religion or prohibit or restrict the free exercise of religion or interpose any disability or disadvantage on account of religious beliefs, and so on. Therefore anything under Clause 2, or which is prohibited under Clause 3, is outside the scope of this Clause altogether. We are only dealing with Bills which do not touch upon Clause 2, or outrage any of the principles established by Clause 3. We are not dealing with Bills of an outrageous or highly controversial character, neither are we dealing with acts of administration. Acts of administration may be more likely to be tyrannous than legislation, but they do not come under this particular Clause, which only relates to the Veto the Lord Lieutenant is going to give on advice or instructions. We cannot go outside that; we must therefore limit our observations to it.
326 I do not suppose that the class of Bill to which this Veto applies can be of a particularly sensational or highly controversial character; it is not that sort of Bill which is contemplated by this Clause. What we have inserted in this measure, and what we find inserted in it, is the reservation of the right to exercise this Veto. We have been asked, "What class of Bill have you in your mind?" I do not think it is possible for any person to say what class of Bill they have in their mind. But for Clause 2 or Clause 3 it would be easy to say we have in mind Bills which affect civil and religious liberty or infringe on the reserved services, or which would affect all sorts of Imperial matters which have not been delegated to this Parliament at all- But having regard to the presence of Clauses 2 and 3, it is impossible to say precisely what kind of Bill anybody would have in his mind. It is, nevertheless, a probability that a Bill might contain matter which, in the opinion of the Imperial Government, it ought not to contain, and upon which, therefore, it would advise the Lord Lieutenant, as the executive officer of the Crown, to Veto, or, as Subsection (2) provides, to direct that it be postponed in order to gain time for further consideration.
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman what are the instructions contemplated in Section 1, not what are the Bills, but what are the instructions?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Let me, in order to show how this thing presents itself to my mind, give this quotation from the book of Sir Henry Jenkyns upon "British Rule and Jurisdiction Beyond the Seas." There it is laid down, in dealing with the Government's Veto, that:—He may withhold His Majesty's assent, i.e., Veto the Bill in His Majesty's name. The Bill is then as absolutely lost as would be a Bill of the Imperial Parliament were the Crown to exercise its obsolete power of Veto over Imperial legislation. The Governor's Veto is exercised like his power of reservation, in accordance with instructions from home. These instructions may be in general terms or in reference to a particular measure; they may owe their origin to the forethought and experience of the Colonial Office, or they may be in answer to a request of the Governor for advice in view of apprehended damage to Imperial interests. Failing such instructions, the Governor of a self-governing olony now exercises his Veto only on the advice of his Ministers, and not according to his own personal discretion.I say with regard to these instructions, which may be either in general terms or in reference to a particular measure, that they owe their origin to the experience to which 327 reference has been made. The hon. Gentleman assumes that this new Irish Parliament will very soon give rise to novel experience. I do not anticipate that, nor indeed do I think it is likely to arise in connection with the legislative action of the Irish Parliament. In fact, it has been suggested that for a long time these very clever, though devilish, persons will be most astute in avoiding anything in the nature of legislation which would be startling to British or Imperial ideas, and that they will confine their fraudulent treatment of Catholics and others to acts of administration. This Clause deals only with Bills. I do not think, therefore, we shall have very novel experiences in legislation on the part of the Irish Parliament. If we do, Ministers of the Crown responsible in the matter will gain experience which may induce them to give general instructions. If the hon. and learned Gentleman wants to know whether before the appointed day Ministers of the Crown will take upon themselves to deliver to the Lord Lieutenant a code of rules stating beforehand what possible Bills of the Irish Legislature he is to Veto, I say quite frankly that we have no such idea in our mind. They will have to be guided by the course of events, which has a remarkable habit of frustrating the ideas, of frustrating sometimes the hopes, and sometimes the fears which the course of events proves to be entirely unfounded.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I do not say that Suppose he reserves a Bill. Suppose he postpones a Bill, is it not conceivable that rational men would ascertain what it was that stood in the way and what was the obstacle to the Royal Assent being given to the measure; and would not they try to get over the difficulty' just as they did in the case pointed out by the Prime Minister, which, after all, was a perfectly genuine case, the Veto having been used against, the local Legislature on matters which deeply affected it? It was said that the local Legislature eventually got over the difficulty because the matters to which objection was taken were altered, and in that way an adjustment was arrived at. 328 That was an instance of the use of the Veto; it enables the interchange of ideas and opinions, and, although it may take in some eases four or five years, it eventually results in the parties coming to an agreement. We have been confronted with the difficulty of a deadlock.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite have put with considerable force the objections with regard to circumstances that may give rise to a deadlock. They say if the Irish Parliament were bent on passing a particular measure, if the whole Irish Parliament were bent upon that, they would send it along with other measures to the Imperial Government for its opinion; and then it is suggested that if the Lord Lieutenant exercises his Veto there would be deadlock, with the result that every Bill, good, bad, or indifferent, important or unimportant, would be at a standstill. But the Prime Minister pointed out, in the first place, that this Clause would not apply, because a measure of the kind suggested could not become law. Again, it is said that if the Government resigned nobody else would be found to form a Government, and that therefore a dissolution would be no good. It is further said that there is no opinion in Ireland, no real opinion, because everybody votes by machine, and consequently the majority would be returned just the same as before, and the deadlock would continue, and there would be no way of getting out of it. Here in tins country the Referendum has been suggested. A good many people are in favour of the Referendum, and no doubt it is, in a sense, a way out of a deadlock. A dissolution in Ireland would be a Referendum, but it is suggested that thus to take the opinion of the country on the conduct of the Lord Lieutenant would have no effect, because everybody would know beforehand what the answer of Ireland would be. Consequently the deadlock would continue, but to my mind this Amendment docs not remove that difficulty; it does not deprive the argument of its force.
The Natal case has been quoted, but it does not come within this particular Clause at all, and I would say that the difference between the Natal case, to which reference has been made, and the case of Ireland seems to be enormous. Hardly anybody in this country knew or took the least interest in the particular acts of injustice, which excited some indignation. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] 329 I am bound to say I have asked a good many people in the course of the last week or two what they remembered about the case and they did not give me any clear account about it at all. This I contend, and I doubt very much whether anybody will controvert it, that there will be far more interest excited amongst the Protestants of this country by any act of gross intolerable administrative injustice to their fellow religionists across the St. George's Channel than there would be in the case of persons in Natal. I do not in any way wish to limit sympathy by mileage, but I am certain of this, that it would be ridiculous to say that people in England, Scotland, and Wales will not watch with indignant interest what appears to be a shocking violation of justice, or to imagine that the Irish Parliament under this Bill can hold itself independent of and defy the opinion of this country in the same way as the Natal Parliament was able to do. That would be to strain one's capacity of belief.
I think public opinion in this country will operate far more readily and with greater influence and greater accuracy. The people will know the merits of the case and form their judgment upon it, and any Irish Parliament would find that it had a great body of feeling to deal with which it would not be able to disregard. The Natal case was not a case of legislative enactment, but, I am told, an extreme administrative injustice. I feel perfectly confident myself that any such act which violated the principles of civil and religious liberty, were it ever to be attempted by an Irish Administration, would be visited by a strong body of public opinion. So far as this particular Clause is concerned, it follows every kind of precedent and is absolutely essential in a Bill of this kind, which maintains Imperial control over the Trish Parliament's Bills. A Veto of this kind is necessary, and the Veto we have inserted meets all the necessities of the case.
§ Mr. HEWINS
I do not think the Chief Secretary has added anything at all to the case made by the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General. His case is this: He says, "Assuming you are going to have Home Rule, the Bill we have now before us is about as perfect a Bill as I can imagine, and in Clauses 2 and 3 the legislative powers of the Irish Parliament are sufficiently defined, and if any question of difficulty arises between the Imperial Par- 330 liament and the Irish Parliament afterwards, the experience we have had in our self-governing Colonies leads us to suppose that the Veto we suggest will be ample to meet the case." That argument breaks down at every point. You cannot assume that Home Rule is to be granted before you have decided whether the powers you propose to confer on the Irish Parliament are defensible in themselves. In the second place, Clauses 2 and 3 are not a watertight division of subjects which the Irish Parliament may not deal with; and, in the third place, the examples which the Prime Minister and subsequent speakers have given as to the working of the Veto relations between the self-governing Dominions and this country do not prove the case.
I will take a case, not of dramatic conflict between the authorities here and the authorities in the self-governing Dominions, but a case of a mere difference of view and its profound influence upon the relations between this country and the Empire. I will take a ease which the Chief Secretary well knows, I mean the navigation legislation of the Australian Commonwealth, which was considered ultra virus, and is at the present time suspended. What was the effect of that? There was no quarrel, no conflict. The Act is suspended; but there you have it as a record of the aspirations, wishes, and desires of the Australian Commonwealth, and, on the other hand, you have the Imperial power. The effect of the passing of that Act was that at the Imperial Conference an important resolution was introduced by Mr. Fisher, asking for the modification of our treaty relations, and this Government, of which the Chief Secretary is a Member, is now actually engaged in obedience to that in pulling those treaties to pieces.
If you can have a case like that, affecting the whole situation of the Empire, arising when there is a mere difference of view which is expressed and contained in an Act which is ultra vires and suspended and where there is no conflict, how great are going to be the results of a difference of view which amounts to a conflict, and which goes to the root of the relations of the populations here and in Ireland. Take the other point raised by the Chief Secretary and the Prime Minister, that Clause 2 states definitely and succinctly the subjects upon which the Irish Parliament may not legislate. They say it is the simplest, thing in the world, and that no difficulty will arise. Is it so simple? I will give the 331 right hon. Gentleman a case which he gave to me some time ago in reply to a question, a case of a service which is reserved, but which is not in the Bill at all. He says it is reserved because of the implications of something else which is in the Bill. That is the case of the Irish fisheries. Hon. Members below the Gangway are greatly interested in Irish fisheries. Because Irish fisheries are governed by an Act of Parliament which was passed to carry out regualtions drawn up by a body of Commissioners, who were appointed years and years ago to carry into effect a treaty with France, therefore Irish fisheries are reserved. I give that case because the Chief Secretary knows it perfectly well. There are countless other instances of services which will be found to be reserved on inquiry, and upon which the Lord Lieutenant and the Cabinet here cannot come to a decision unless they go carefully into the matter and obtain legal assistance. What provision is there in the Bill for investigating these cases, and saying whether or not Ireland shall have a special Act of Parliament? I do not see any provision in the Bill for dealing with cases of that kind, which are likely to arise every month.
I have given the case of a reserved service which is not specifically mentioned. I will give the case of a service which is reserved, but where, as a matter of fact, other provisions of the Bill practically take away that reservation. The Chief Secretary may point to Clause 2, and say it is stated there that the Irish Parliament may not make laws in regard to treaties. I suppose it is said that treaties are entirely removed from the purview of the Irish Parliament and the Irish Executive, but are they? Clause 2 also contains a provision giving the Irish Parliament very large powers of internal taxation and powers of differentiation; and, as everybody knows who has read a commercial treaty, it is a very simple thing indeed to neutralise the effect of the treaty by internal legislation, which is fully within the competence of the Irish Parliament. Supposing they pass a Bill affecting the taxation of my hon. Friends in Ulster. Who is to say it contravenes the treaty? Who is to determine that point? It may alter the whole position, let us say, with regard to which sugar is imported into Ireland. It is purely an internal matter, and entirely within the competence of the Irish Parliament, and yet it does modify a treaty. Is that to be ruled out of the Veto or not? Who Is to decide the point?
332 This conflict is going to turn up at every point, and, as the Chief Secretary knows, you cannot draw a hard-and-fast line between a body of subjects solely concerned with its external affairs, on the one hand, and its internal affairs, on the other hand. They act and react upon each other at every point. The Chief Secretary sets up no body of advisers to tell the Lord Lieutenant whether or not he may give his assent to a particular Bill passed by the Irish Parliament. Where is the machinery? I would give all the poetry we have heard from the Front Bench this afternoon for five minutes of real constitutional discussion. We do not know where we are. I have said nothing as to how the Executive may range over a whole variety of subjects and modify treaties. There is no guarantee against that in this particular Clause. I have shown good reason for saying that under the Bill, after taking into full account all the reservations in Clause 2, the Irish Parliament may, in the exercise of powers which are within its competence, modify a situation which the Imperial Government is bound to take account of, but which it cannot act upon owing to the difficulties created by the Bill itself.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I do not know whether the hon. Member heard the Attorney-General state that it was part of his duty to consider Bills coming from the Colonies in order to ascertain whether they did or did not infringe any particular treaty, and in the same way it is the duty of the Law Officers, if their attention is called to it, as I have no doubt it will be, to consider the Bills passed in the Irish Parliament with a view to considering whether the Lord Lieutenant ought to exercise his Veto because they do violate treaties. You do not want machinery for that.
§ Mr. HEWINS
If the Chief Secretary will allow me to say so, he cannot point to any self-governing Colony or Dominion which has the financial powers given under this Bill. What country, what Colony, what local governing body, what Imperial body, ever tried to regulate finance by an abstract principle like that contained in the system of drawbacks. I cannot under the rules of Order go into all the financial absurdities, but there is no Dominion in the British Empire which has financial powers defined in at all the same way as these are. I am not considering what may or may not take place under a 333 federal Power, such as America or Germany, or what may or may not take place in a British Colony or Dominion; I am considering what the Irish Government-can do under this particular Bill, and I want to know what guarantee or safeguard you have. That difficulty is not overcome by anything the Chief Secretary has explained. If these difficulties can be overcome, do not reply to me by saying that the Attorney-General said this or that about something that does not occur.
§ Mr. HEWINS
Oh, the same class of thing. If it is the same thing, why do the Attorney-General and the Chief Secretary so object to discussing Ireland and Irish conditions and circumstances. Here is the Bill. Here is Ireland. Here are the cases which will actually arise. Let us have an answer to the specific request that we make. I feel certain that the more carefully we go into this Bill—it is greatly to be regretted that we have not had an ample opportunity for the discussion of Clause 2, on which so many of these important questions might be properly raised—the more we see that this Clause cannot operate because of the inconsistencies between it and the Clauses we have already passed.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
The Chief Secretary made one statement which caused me considerable surprise. He said the Veto of the Lord Lieutenant on legislation was never to be exercised on laws which were passed by the Irish Government in excess of their powers—in other words, on laws which contravene the provisions of Clauses 2 and 3. The right hon. Gentleman is under an entire misapprehension, because these laws will be passed by the Irish Parliament, or at any rate may be, and they will go to the Lord Lieutenant for the Royal sanction. I understand the Chief Secretary to say that the Veto of the Lord Lieutenant in such a case will not be exercised. But I ask why not? If it is not exercised, the Bill will become law, and it will be perfectly valid until some Court of Law says it is bad. Therefore, we have this extraordinary situation, which certainly is a novelty, that you have the Irish Parliament passing a Bill through both Houses and sending it up to 334 the Lord Lieutenant to be assented to, and the Chief Secretary says the Lord Lieutenant is not to exercise the Veto and therefore he must assent to it, and therefore the Bill, which is on this hypothesis beyond the power of the Irish Parliament is to become law and will be good until the Privy Council sets it aside. May I ask the Chief Secretary to reconsider that position, and to say that where a Bill—I am not talking about a Bill as to which there might be some nice constitutional question—but where a Bill which it is plainly beyond the powers of the Irish Parliament to pass into law is sent up to the Lord Lieutenant for the Royal Assent, may I ask him to say that the Lord Lieutenant will have power to Veto it? It seems to me that is only reasonable. But supposing he does Veto it, under whose advice is he to do it? Is he to be asked to act on his own responsibility, or is he to have an adviser always at his hand, and, if so, who is the adviser to be unless the Irish Ministers? In a case like that the Irish Ministers are absolutely worthless as advisers. Of course if they advise the Irish Parliament to pass this Bill they are not going to advise the Lord Lieutenant that it is void. Therefore the Irish officers are useless. Then are we to leave the Lord Lieutenant entirely to his own responsibility?
§ Mr. BUTCHER
And how is he to know where he is to go for advice. He is left in this difficulty. He will not be a lawyer, I suppose, he will not even be a constitutional lawyer, whatever that may be, and therefore you put this unfortunate man, who has already, Heaven knows, difficulties enough, with two masters to serve—you leave him to his own responsibility to say whether or not he shall give the Royal Assent to Bills which exceed the powers of the Irish Government. That difficulty might be got over if this Amendment were accepted, because then you would have automatically all Bills passed by the Irish Parliament sent over to the English Ministers, and they would give instructions to the Lord Lieutenant whether they should receive the Royal Assent or not. Then let us take the Chief Secretary's own view that this Veto is to apply merely to matters which are within the legislative competence of the Irish Parliament. Again, I ask, supposing the Irish Ministers ask him to pass a law and 335 he has some doubt in his own mind, is he again, to act on his own responsibility? The difficulty can only be got over by stating in the Bill that in all these cases he is to apply to the English Ministers for instructions.
It has been pointed out that cases will I arise when the Veto ought to be exercised, and that there are difficulties in the Lord Lieutenants exercising the Veto, and that, at any rate, this Amendment affords a remedy for some of these difficulties. What is the answer of the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General? Perhaps I ought to say, What is the answer of the hon. and learned Gentleman Mr. Redmond? He declines to admit the existence of a case at all where the Veto would be necessary. He says you can only imagine such a case if we are all criminals or fools, and, of course, the Attorney-General submissively adopts his argument and says the same thing. Without imputing either criminality or folly to the Irish Parliament, many cases must arise, upon the admission of the Prime Minister himself, where the Veto ought to be exercised. If it is never to be exercised, what is the meaning of all the flaunting in the country of this Veto as a great safeguard against oppression? Have we not heard already, on platforms innumerable, that no oppression of minorities can occur because there is this Veto, exercisable on the advice of English Ministers, which will prevent the passing into law of any such legislation?
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I gather that the hon. Member approves of the argument that cases may arise when the Veto ought to be exercised. Not only is that said on the platforms by English Radicals, but that very argument has been used in the House by the Prime Minister himself, and used when he introduced this Bill. He said, in effect, that certain limitations and powers of the Irish Parliament have been omitted from this Bill which were contained in the Bill of 1893, and he justified these omissions mainly by this argument, that the safeguards were to be found in the Veto 336 and in the power of overriding legislation. I should like to refer to two or three words which he used in his speech in 1893. He said the Bill of 1893 contained certain limitations which were not embodied in the present Bill. Amongst those limitations, as we all know, is that very important limitation which we asked the Prime Minister the other day to introduce in this Bill preventing the Irish Parliament from depriving any man of his life, property, or liberty, without due process of law. The Government have expressly refused to put that provision in this Bill, because the Prime Minister told us, in this-speech from which I am quotingthese dangers are provided against by the other safeguards in the Bill.Then he went on to enumerate those safeguards, and lie said they were, first, the Veto, and, secondly, the power of overriding legislation which is left to this Parliament, and he said:—We reserve completely unimpaired, subject to the responsibility of the Executive here and the Imperial Parliament here, the power of Vetoing or of postponing any legislation which the Irish Parliament may pass.So that the Veto there was not put on one side as though it could never arise. It was expressly referred to as a valuable safeguard against the oppression of the minority.
Attention called to the fact that forty Members wore not present; House counted and forty Members being found present,
§ Mr. BUTCHER
If the Prime Minister was really sincere in making this Veto effective, what possible objection is there to accepting this Amendment and ensuring that Bills passed by the Irish Parliament are brought over here for the consideration of some English Minister? I am aware that there is a difficulty which arises from the attitude which the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond) adopted on the First Reading of this Bill. He said, true, you have the Veto in this Bill and you have the power of the English-Parliament to pass overriding legislation, but he went on to say that, in his view, that Veto should never be exercised, and overriding legislation should never be passed except in the same way as the Veto is exercised and overriding legislation passed in the case of our self-governing Colonies, and he insisted that the Veto should never be passed on Irish legislation, which is within the 337 competence of the Irish Parliament to pass unless in such cases as it would be exercised in the case of the self-governing Dominions. That means that the Veto would not be exercised at all, because we know in the case of the self-governing Dominions, when they are legislating on matters within their admitted competence, the Veto is never exercised. Does the Chief Secretary dispute that proposition? Whatever was done in times past, at the present time it cannot be exercised.
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
Such grave cases cannot arise. No case can arise in which the Veto would be exercised, and, if the right hon. Gentleman doubts that, let me read him the views of Professor Dicey, whose authority he will accept. He says:—The Imperial Parliament, though for Imperial purposes it may retain an undefined supremacy throughout the British Empire, has, as regards the self-governing Colonies, renounced, for all other than Imperial purposes. Executive and Legislative functions.In other words, when the Dominion Parliaments are legislating within their own competence, no matter what the legislation is, whether grave or not, I say this Government will not interfere to Veto that legislation. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) says that the Veto must not be exercised except as in the case of the Dominions, in other words, it must not be exercised at all. Therefore we are reduced to this, either that the view of the hon. and learned Member is to prevail that the Veto is not to be exercised at all, or that the Government might have the courage of their convictions, and for once in their existence go contrary to the advice or instructions of the hon. and learned Member. Let them take their courage in their hands, and possibly he will give them leave to continue a little longer in office. Probably he might waive his supremacy in this case and allow them to exercise a little of their own judgment in this matter. Let me suggest to the Chief Secretary that it might be worth trying. Let him do what admittedly, according to the Prime Minister, is right, namely, make the Veto effective by accepting the Amendment, and he will prove two things. He will prove in the first place that he is sincerely anxious to give effect to the Veto which the Prime Minister admits to be necessary, and secondly he will prove for the first time I am bound to say 338 in connection with this Bill, or for a long time past, that he has a mind of his own, and that he is not willing to submit constantly to the servitude under which he labours of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford.
Mr. JOHN GORDON (Londonderry, South)
I should certainly like to have some information on one or two points. I listened to the Chief Secretary very attentively, and so far as I could gather there are no Bills to which this Clause will apply at all, because, as I understood him, it would not apply to those things in regard to which the Parliament in Dublin is to be prevented from dealing under Clause 2. The right hon. Gentleman cannot conceive of this new Parliament doing anything which would call into existence or bring into force the power which is given to the Lord Lieutenant by this Clause. He said in conjunction with that that what is contained in this Clause was according to precedent. He said it was essential. According to his own argument, for what is it essential? If it is essential, it must be for some purpose. The purpose, as he points out, cannot be (he giving of assent to any Pill with which the Irish Parliament cannot deal. Suppose they attempt to deal with something within their powers—suppose they attempt to deal with a mode of taxation which would be unfair to certain parts of Ireland, and certainly unfair to certain people in Ireland. That could be done. I could point out a mode of taxation which would never take a penny out of a Nationalist's pocket, and which would raise considerable revenue. The Nationalists in Ireland do not possess any of the industries which have created any of the commercial prosperity of the country. You could pass an Act of Parliament imposing a tax upon certain classes of machinery, or certain classes of industry connected with the real prosperity of the country, and no Nationalist would have to pay a penny. Is that not a matter in regard to which there should be some power vested in somebody to prevent it becoming law? The Lord Lieutenant, as I understand, is to i have power to give or withhold his assent. Is that to be according to his own opinion, his own unaided judgment. Is he to have no advice, or is no other person or body to be consulted as to what he is to do? If the Amendment is accepted, you will have in any case the necessity of reference to His Majesty, and we may take it that would be His Majesty's Government in this country.
339 There is no other way I can see, and certainly no other way provided by this Clause whereby His Majesty's Government can have any official knowledge of what is taking place in Ireland. They may read it in the newspapers, as any other Member of the community may do, but there is no provision in this or any other Clause for their having official information as to what the Irish Parliament is doing. This Amendment would ensure that they should have official and direct information as to the legislation which the Irish Parliament was attempting, and they could advise the Lord Lieutenant to give or withhold his assent to that intended legislation. The Chief Secretary says this is essential. There are people in Ireland, notwithstanding all the great trust of the present Government, and notwithstanding all the credulity of the Prime Minister, who have profound distrust of the Parliament you are going to establish in that country. If it is essential to have some provision of this kind in the Bill, let it be real. Let it not be an imaginary and worthless provision which can effect no good or useful purpose. We say that an Amendment of this kind would, at all events, give an opportunity to the Government to examine into the nature and effect of the legislation which has passed the two Houses, and has not yet received the necessary assent to make it law. It is said that if any injustice is done to Ireland, it will at once excite agitation in England. That may or may not be, but that is not the way to leave the question. It should not be left for popular opinion to operate in this country upon His Majesty's Government. They should have direct and immediate information as to what is proposed to be done. The Chief Secretary says that this Amendment will not get rid of the deadlock which has been spoken of. It might not, but, at all events, it would place clearly on the face of the Bill, that Bills which have passed both Houses of Legislature, in Ireland are not thereby to become law without the approval of His Majesty's Government, and without the Government consulting, perhaps, the Imperial Parliament with reference to the matter dealt with.
That would to a large extent get rid of the necessity and occasion for deadlocks arising, because people who know beforehand what are the limits of their power are less likely to exceed those limits. For my part, I cannot understand why, if Clause 7 is inserted at all, there should not be an Amendment like this inserted also which 340 would give it some reality. We have heard a great deal about the position of our Colonies. Every man knows that the incident in Natal created a very great impression upon the people in these countries. I think there are very few men who read newspapers who were not greatly impressed by the want of power on the part of this Government to carry out what they thought was the wise and just opinion they had formed in regard to what had taken place in the Colonies. How are you to do it in Ireland if you once allow Bills which have passed the two Houses to receive the assent of the Lord Lieutenant without your having an opportunity of expressing an opinion upon them? How are you then to interfere? Surely the time to interfere is before they become law in Ireland. We take a very different view of the situation from that taken by the Government. The Government are never tired of telling the people of this country that they have not merely provided in their Bill the safeguards necessary for the people in Ireland who do not approve of this class of legislation, but that they are perfectly willing to insert any other reasonable safeguards. What is there unreasonable in the safeguard proposed by this Amendment? If there is the smallest reliance to be placed on the words of Ministers with reference to safeguards, or their willingness to accept safeguards, then the Government ought to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. HAMERSLEY
The whole question involved in this matter depends on whether the supposed safeguards are of any practical value or not. If they are of no practical value, they should never be proposed. I listened carefully to the speech of the Prime Minister this afternoon when he gave his reasons for stating that these safeguards are of real practical value. He divided his argument under two heads. One was that the case of Ireland was peculiar and therefore analogies could not give entire satisfaction. On the other hand, he gave as analogies some instances in support of his view. He no doubt searched with very great care to find analogous cases in our Colonies, and he gave two which struck me very much, namely, the Australian one and the British Columbia one. Both related to the immigration into these countries of coloured races, chiefly Mongolian. In both cases the Prime Minister unfortunately was not accurate in his facts, and he did not state the whole case as he should have done. I am addressing the Committee now from 341 personal knowledge, because I happen to know intimately about both cases. The Australian case occurred shortly before the Commonwealth was formed, and therefore it never came up as an issue at all, and could not be an issue, between the Federal power in the Colony and the province. It was an issue between the Imperial Government and the Colonies of Mew South Wales and New Zealand. Almost immediately there was a proposal for a Commonwealth. The Commonwealth, when established, passed the very enactment which the Colony of New South Wales originally wanted. In New Zealand, on the question of Mongolian immigration, they can pass laws making conditional the coming into the country of Chinese and Japanese. We will take the Canadian case. The British Columbian case was this: There was a large immigration of Japanese coming into the country. The Labour party—and in fact all parties on both sides of the House in British Columbia—strongly opposed that immigration unchecked. They passed an Act through the local House prohibiting all immigration of Japanese into the Colony, except under very stringent conditions. By the British North America Act there is a certain limited period of time within which the Federal Parliament allows or does not allow Acts of the Provincial Parliaments, and if they are not allowed within that period they lapse. That Act was not allowed, and what was the result? This is what the Prime Minister absolutely omitted. He did say that the Dominion Parliament disallowed the Act; he ought to have said they did not pass the Act, though that might be practically the same thing, but he also said that the British Columbian people acquiesced in that disallowance by the Dominion Parliament. That was absolutely incorrect.
The hon. Member for East St. Pancras (Mr. Martin), who sits on the Radical Benches, happened to be in the British Columbian Parliament at the time, and I heard him say in the House that the British Columbian people would oppose to the last point this disallowance by the Dominion Parliament. Riots ensued, the Militia were called out, and for a fortnight the -whole country was in a state of turmoil. Then what happened was not the acquiescence, as the Prime Minister stated to-day, of British Columbia, but that the Japanese people of their own Motion, on receiving a letter from British Columbia, entered into an agreement, 342 which is in existence to-day, limiting the immigration of Japanese. That ended the matter. This was the case which the Prime Minister wished us to believe this afternoon was a case of acquiescence. Where was the acquiescence when rioting took place and the Militia had to stay out in camp for a fortnight to put it down and every man was up in arms against it? The Prime Minister, when stating matters of this kind, should be more careful than he has been to-day in his facts. It was the action of the Japanese people in agreeing to limited immigration of their countrymen which put an end to a state of things that had produced an absolute deadlock, and I say with all confident knowledge that if they had not entered into that agreement there would have been an armed conflict between the province of British Columbia and the Dominion. How can we found an argument on such a case as that to show that this Veto power in this Bill is of any value at all? In addition, you have other Colonies where these things have happened. There is the Natal case, which is absolutely unanswerable. What would have happened in British Columbia if the Japanese had not acquiesced in what the people wanted? If the British Columbian Government of that day resigned you could not have elected a Government in that Colony at that time. It would have been an absolute impossibility.
I wish to urge on the Committee this proposition: We know that the Irish people have very strong opinions in whatever matters they take up, far stronger probably than any other people in our Empire. It is their nature. They take up a thing strongly and earnestly, with the desire to carry it through. Take the position of a Government, if this Bill became law, trying to enforce the so-called safeguards. Will any hon. Gentleman contend if the majority of the Irish people as represented by their Government are earnestly desirous to have a certain thing passed in their country and the Government here say, "You shall not pass it," that you could then get a Government in Ireland elected by the people to support this Parliament against their own Parliament? Of course you could not. That must be the inevitable result if this Bill ever becomes law. Then where are your safeguards? If you are to pass an Act and if you wish to make peace between the two countries, do not let these propositions for safeguards go out to our people when you 343 must know from all history, from your whole Empire and from your knowledge of the Irish people, that these safeguards are simply a sham and a fraud. Why not be honest and say, "We will trust the Irish people altogether, and we will not have these safeguards at all"? Is it fair to the people of our own country to go on platforms and tell them that we have given every safeguard they can possibly want? If you cannot support your safeguards by a better argument than those of the Prime Minister to-day; if you cannot give us instances where similar safeguards have been of value, then drop them, or accept the Amendment, and be just and fair to the people of this country, instead of perpetrating a sham and a fraud.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
I cannot understand the uncompromising attitude adopted by the Government whenever we put forward a reasonable Amendment. I should have thought that, knowing the extreme bitterness of feeling which this Bill has aroused in the country, they would have done their utmost to meet the Opposition even more than half-way. They expressed surprise at the anxiety of the Opposition in regard to the particular point which is raised by this Amendment. There is no reason for that surprise considering the number of speeches which have been made by hon. Members below the Gangway on this side and others, showing that they intend that the Veto—that is to say the Imperial supremacy—shall really be a dead-letter. I have here part of an article written by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford at the time of the last Home Rule Bill. He said in this article, on a question of Imperial supremacy:—We are not wholly satisfied by the Bill. That supremacy we recognise ns unquestionable and inalienable. At any time after the establishment of an Irish Legislature, the Imperial Parliament will be competent, as it is now, to legislate for Ireland But the establishment of that Irish Legislature would of course mean that, in relation to purely Irish affairs committed to its charge, the Imperial Parliament should leave its powers dormant. That this is the intention there is no room for doubt.I am very glad also to think that the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Mr. T. W. Russell), at the time of the last Home Rule Bill, practically said exactly the same thing about the Veto. He said:—Look at the situation which would be created under the Bill if a Statute were passed by the Irish Parliament that the majority of this House would consider oppressive! They had got eighty Irish Members, first of all, hanging on their flank to deal with; and what was more certain than that one party would make terms with the eighty outside and bring them in, and 344 the position of the Imperial Parliament in endeavouring, to right the wrong done in Ireland would be almost intolerable?After the speeches made on this point, the anxiety of the Opposition really ought to excite no surprise at all. I think it was, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington who said the other day that it was a tragedy that Ireland up to now had not had self-government and an Executive of her own, but, to my mind, it will certainly be a tragedy for Ireland in future that this sort of Executive, with all the complicated machinery which the Lord Lieutenant will have to direct, is set up as this Bill proposes to do. I am really not at all surprised, when one looks at this Clause, that Home Rule was not properly put before the country at the last election. It seems to me that now the only bait that you can offer the people of this country to accept Home Rule, is that the Bill should be a final settlement of this intolerable and perennial Irish question. But I do not think there is anything more likely to postpone the settlement and to exacerbate the relations between this country and Ireland than the provisions which you are laying down in the Clause you are discussing. As this Clause stands, the position of the Lord Lieutenant is really intolerable. Last week the Chief Secretary spoke of the Lord Lieutenant as acting not only in a dual, but in a triple capacity. He spoke not only of bisection, but of tri-section of the Lord Lieutenant in the future. I believe that is perfectly true. I go further, and say that I believe that the Lord Lieutenant will act not only in three, but in four capacities.
In the first place, a Lord Lieutenant is going to be advised by the Imperial Government on matters which are considered of great importance to the Government on the one hand, and, on the other, giving advice or asking for advice. In the second place, the Lord Lieutenant is going to be advised by the Irish Executive in regard to purely Irish local affairs. In the third place, he will have to take his own advice, and act on his own initiative from day to day in regard to Irish local affairs which happen to be reserved by the Imperial Parliament. There is a fourth capacity which I submit he will also have to fill. If you look at Clause 4, Sub-section (2), His Majesty, it is quite clear, may, on the advice of the Imperial Government, delegate practically the whole of the Royal prerogative to the Lord Lieutenant. So that the Lord Lieutenant 345 may practically exercise the whole of the Royal prerogative delegated to him on the advice of the Irish Minister. Could there be greater complication or more opportunities for quarrel and friction, or more danger to the solidarity of the United Kingdom than the four capacities in which the Lord Lieutenant will have to act in future, especially if you have a Government in this House willing to act with the Irish Members, who are going to sit here, in sympathy with the Irish Executive on the other side of the Irish Channel? Mr. Bryce, the present Ambassador at Washington, said at the time of the last Home Rule Bill, thatthe system of Grattan's Parliament worked extremely badly. One of the reasons why that system could not have lasted, although it need not have come to such an untimely end as in fact befel it, was that the Irish Executive was not necessarily in due sympathy with the Irish Legislature.But does the right hon. Gentleman really think—does it follow at all—that the Lord Lieutenant, at the head of a future Irish Executive, will be in due sympathy with the Irish Legislature? I think it most unlikely that he would be always in due sympathy with the Irish Legislature. I certainly think that this Clause is not fair, to say the least of it, to any future Lord Lieutenant. The Lord Lieutenant may frequently have to act upon his own discretion on the spur of the moment without having any advice to call upon in regard to local matters reserved by the Imperial Parliament. We have not been able to elicit a categorical answer upon the point, as to who will be able to advise him in any particular difficulty in which he may find himself. It is inevitable that many questions will arise on the boundary between the spheres of the Lord Lieutenant as an Imperial officer on the one hand, and those subjects with which the Irish Minister is entitled to deal. Who, on the spur of the moment, has really to decide finally the particular question that may happen to arise? As far as I can see, the Lord Lieutenant will be entirely divorced from many urgent questions of the day from all executive advice and all practical moral support. I feel that it is certainly against public policy to throw this very heavy burden of responsibility upon the shoulders of one man. I think it is absolutely undemocratic, and I believe in the long run it will certainly tend to undermine liberty of speech.
New Zealand has been referred to this afternoon, and I should like to refer to that country from another point of view. Surely the example of New Zealand ought 346 to be a warning to us in this matter. At one time, as hon. Members probably know, New Zealand had the same sort of Imperial control as you are now setting up in Ireland in respect of local affairs. The Imperial control was conceded by New Zealand to Great Britain just in the same way as hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway are now conceding supremacy to Breat Britain under the Bill. Many New-Zealand local affairs were taken out of the hands of the Colonial Government and vested in the Governor of New Zealand. The Imperial Executive officer, just as will the Lord Lieutenant under the Bill, will have to act on his own discretion in many sudden emergencies. What happened? The result of that dual control in New Zealand led to heart-burnings, difficulties, bitterness, and eventually to a series of bloody wars with the loss of thousands of lives and the waste of a good deal of Treasure. Lord Stanley, in a great Debate in this House in the year 1845, described the intolerable situation which had been set up by this new and irresponsible control. Governor Fitzroy, who was Governor at the time, after a series of blunders, was dismissed from his post of Governor of New Zealand. Sir George Grey succeeded Governor Fitzroy, and exactly the same difficulties occurred under the system. The wars in New Zealand, owing to this difficulty of irresponsible dual control, lasted for about twenty years uninterruptedly, with the loss of a great, deal of money and a great many lives. The end of the whole of this difficulty was that the Governor's irresponsible control over the internal affairs of New Zealand had to be abandoned, I think, in 1862 or 1865. The further result of it was that New Zealand, which up to that time had been divided into nine provinces, was unified under a central legislative authority, and it remained unified to this day.
We need not go to New Zealand for an example, as we had one in Cape Colony. There was a Governor of Cape Colony, Sir Bartle Frere, who had to act on the advice of the Cape Ministry and on his own discretion in the internal affairs of the Cape where they happened to touch upon Imperial interests. It was that irresponsible situation and dual authority which led directly, as hon. Members will remember, to the Zulu war. You will find practically the same thing in the United States. When they set up their first Constitution in 1781, the central power had 347 no practical authority, but the Government did try to exercise authority over the different States. The central authority certainly could recommend good laws, but they had absolutely no power to prevent bad ones. The result of the whole thing was that the States at that time fell into a condition of complete anarchy, and the result of that was that they had to re-frame the Constitution in 1789 and give the central authority proper, effective, and practical responsibility in the various States of America. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman this question: Suppose, for instance, the Lord Lieutenant vetoes a Bill on his own initiative which has a large majority of Parliament in its favour, is it for one moment to be supposed that that is the sort of condition which will lead to peace, order, and good government in Ireland1? Will it lead, for instance, to peace in this House, where there are going to be, I believe, about forty Irish Members taking part in our Debates? I have a quotation here from a gentleman whose name is very much respected by hon. Members below the Gangway, Mr. Frank Hugh O'Donnell, the author of a history of the Irish Parliamentary party. Mr. O'Donnell said that—no Veto will be worth even a minute's purchase so long as yon keep forty or fifty couples of wolf-dogs able and ready to fly at the Imperial throat at the first hostile demonstration against our country.Suppose, instead of the Lord Lieutenant of the day being in the right, that he happens to be wrong, and that the Veto is reversed by an overriding Act of the Imperial Parliament. Is it likely that the Lord Lieutenant's executive authority will be enhanced? It is quite possible that at the time of the reversal the Lord Lieutenant may be moving constabulary about Ireland against the advice of the Irish Executive, and not being able to get any English advice at the time. I think it is difficult to appreciate what the conditions in Ireland might be if that sort of thing happened. In fact, there will be nobody, as far as I can see, to advise the Lord Lieutenant as to how he should act in any emergency in regard to Irish internal affairs. It really would not so much matter if right hon. Gentlemen opposite had used Colonial precedents, and if Ireland was going to be a self-governing Colony. After all, any Colony, if it desired to separate from the British Empire, I imagine, would be allowed to' do so. I think Ireland stands in quite a different position, and separation would certainly be impossible. I do 348 feel on these grounds that it is enormously important, if possible by some Amendment, to link up the Imperial Parliament and Imperial Government directly and effectively with the Executive of Ireland. This Amendment raises that issue, and would, I believe, secure that the Imperial Government would be linked up in that way, and I therefore have great pleasure in supporting it.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
The character of the Debate this afternoon has been twofold. There is, first, the issue raised by the Amendment itself, and, secondly, the broad issue of the whole question of Veto, which, by general consent of the House and by the indulgence of the Chair, has also been opened up. I think perhaps what I may call the practical aspects of the questions involved by the Amendment have been sufficiently elucidated. There are one or two points about which I should like to ask the Postmaster-General as to the intentions of the Government. In the first place, this Clause says—and the Amendment is designed to meet this point—that,The Lord Lieutenant shall give or withhold the assent of His Majesty to Bills passed by the two Houses,and it goes on to say,He shall comply with any instructions given by His Majesty in respect of any such Bill.I would ask why is there no machinery provided for the Imperial Government being informed as to the passage of a Bill in question, and as to the decision of the Lord Lieutenant in the matter? It might very easily occur that the Lord Lieutenant might give his decision without the question having been properly considered by the Imperial Government at all. The Imperial Ministers are naturally a busy set of men. They have many things to think about and they might easily ignore an Irish Bill, even though it were of great importance to Imperial interests, and the Lord Lieutenant might give his assent and the matter might never have been properly brought before them at all. I think that is all the more likely because we understand the Irish Parliament is to sit in the month of September. September is exactly the month in which the energies of Imperial Ministers are usually more relaxed. The Imperial Minister most nearly responsible for the conduct of affairs in Ireland might easily be undergoing a course of recuperative treatment at a foreign watering 349 place, and he might not have the gravity of a Bill, passed in a hurry by the Irish Parliament, and assented to by the Lord Lieutenant, brought properly to his notice. Therefore, as a mere matter of machinery, I submit that if the Veto of the Lord Lieutenant exercised at the instance of the Imperial Government is to be made a reality, some machinery such as is suggested by the Amendment ought to be introduced, whereby every Bill before it becomes law in Ireland should be sent to the responsible Minister in this country and considered upon its merits. I notice a rather peculiar circumstance, namely, that the Lord Lieutenant has no suspensory power of his own. He may suspend the giving of the assent of His Majesty for such period as His Majesty may direct; but why can he not exercise that suspensory power on his own volition? Surely if he has some doubt as to the merits of a Bill, or as to whether or not a Bill is within the powers of the Irish Parliament, he should have some power of suspension on his own volition, without reference to this country.
Further, no Amendment is provided for. In certain Colonial Constitutions it is within the power of the Governor-General to send back a Bill, suggesting certain Amendments. He does not Veto the whole measure or put the Parliament in the position of taking ail or nothing. He sends back the Bill with certain suggested Amendments. Why is not such a provision embodied in this Bill? It is quite certain, whatever may be the other consequences of this measure, that the House of Commons in the Imperial Parliament will not be free from Irish questions; they will come up on all hands. It would be going beyond the scope of the present Amendment to suggest other Irish matters which might be discussed; but to take the question of Veto alone, if any Bills are subjected to the Imperial Veto they will undoubtedly be discussed in this Parliament, and the Irish Members who remain in this House will take a prominent part in those debates. What provision is there for a proper department of the Imperial Ministry to be responsible for the determination of these questions in the Imperial Parliament? Who will represent the Lord Lieutenant in this country? Who will be responsible to this Parliament for the decisions of the Lord Lieutenant in his capacity as an Imperial officer? No light whatever has been thrown upon this question. It is left absolutely in the dark. We 350 pity the position of the Lord Lieutenant; we speculate as to who he may be.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
No; I think he will probably be the right hon. Member for West Islington (Mr. Lough). I can imagine no one better qualified by his knowledge and independence for the position. But whoever he may be, it would be unfair to put those duties upon him without providing some representative who would be able to defend him and bo responsible for his actions in the Imperial Parliament. I turn from these somewhat technical matters to the broader aspect of the question. There has been a good deal of semi-theological discussion this afternoon as to original sin and original virtue. Hon. Members opposite have alleged that we have charged the Irish nation with possessing a double dose of original sin. Our spokesmen, on the contrary, have said that the Government have proceeded as though the Irish nation were possessed of a double dose of original virtue. I think that those two allegations might be allowed to cancel one another, and that we might consider the question of the working of the Constitution of the Irish Parliament in the light of ordinary human nature. If we consider it in that light can anyone deny that in the ordinary course of human nature difficulties may occur, just as they have occurred in the past in other Constitutions. It seemed to be assumed by the Attorney-General, who made a very flamboyant speech, that the only possible difference that could arise was on the question of religion. Has he never considered the possibility of taxation which some part of the Irish nation or some interest might consider unfair? Have such questions never arisen in this Parliament? In the experience of the Postmaster-General have the members of no honest trade ever considered themselves the victims of unjust and discriminating taxation? They have, and for very good reasons too. What has happened in this Parliament may very easily, and even probably happen in the Irish Parliament or in any other subordinate Parliament that may be set up. If that is so, will not the question of Veto arise? Do not the Government contemplate that some such question may arise? If they do not, why this Clause at all? If they do, they ought to see that the provision in Clause 7 has some effective sanction behind it.
The matter may arise in many forms, not necessarily on questions concerning 351 any minority in Ireland at all. It may arise on some question concerning the interests of the Imperial Government. For instance, I asked a question the other day, to which I had no answer. How about the working of the Aliens Act? The status of aliens, no doubt, is a matter reserved to the Imperial Parliament. But the question of the immigration of aliens or, in time of trouble, the emigration of undesirable characters, would, I presume, be within the jurisdiction of the Irish Parliament. Suppose they relaxed the existing Aliens Act, or passed a measure allowing immigration of a kind of which the Imperial Parliament disapproved. That might easily raise the question of Veto, because, if such legislation were allowed, Great Britain might have to take steps for refusing admission to the aliens admitted to Ireland under the jurisdiction of the Irish Parliament. Take the importation of arms. The Irish Parliament might easily permit the importation of arms, to which the Imperial Parliament might object, and they would be under the obligation either of exercising the Veto or of passing special legislation to prevent the arms which had been imported into Ireland being imported into this country. Take, again, the whole question of protection, which is rather a pertinent one, whether in regard to diseases of human beings or diseases of animals. Suppose the Irish Parliament, under the pressure of a strong agricultural interest, relaxed the regulations for preventing the spread of disease. It might easily be a very pertinent question for the Imperial Parliament whether or not they should Veto such a measure. Again, they would be under an obligation either to Veto the measure or to pass special protective legislation of their own. Take, again, the question of the security of the Imperial Parliament for their advances under the Land Purchase Act. Is it not easily possible that the Irish Parliament may bring in legislation impairing that security? It might be done in many different ways. It might be done by simply increasing the burden of unavoidable taxation so that the margin—I do not think this is a likely way, but it is possible—of purchasers pay- I ing their instalments might be impaired. I It might be done by creating conditions amongst those who had not signed agreements to purchase which would excite envy on the part of those who had signed agreements, and might make them combine 352 to refuse to pay their instalments. At all events it is easily possible that, not in the interests of a minority, but in the general interests of the Empire, and of the security for their advances, that they would have to Veto such legislation. Well now, if that be the effect of it, the question next arises, how are they to make that Veto effective? Behind every law there should be a sanction. What is your sanction here? The truth is in a case like this where you have the Veto you must either be prepared to waive that Veto if the question of conflict comes, or be prepared with some powers which will enable the Government of the country to go forward, apart from the ordinary machinery of Government.
The question of jurisdictions throughout the Empire have been raised. Something happened in a Crown Colony not many years ago where the elected members of the Legislative House went on strike because they could not have their way with regard to the language in the Law Courts. It did not matter, because the Imperial Government had reserved powers which enabled them to deal with this question. But if they had not had these reserved powers what would it have been possible for them to do? This was on a small scale in a Crown Colony, where no great question can arise. But in the great self-governing Colonies it is perfectly patent, or has become so in the course of this Debate, that the Imperial Parliament has no ultimate sanction where domestic affairs are concerned. They must acquiesce, because they are not, and could not be, willing to enforce their demands by force, or to create an alternative machinery of government. It might be different in the case of Ireland if you could bring any financial pressure to bear. Supposing you reserved the powder to withhold the Transferred Sum, or part of it, in ease the decision of the Imperial Government were not acquiesced in. But you do not! The whole of the financial provisions are not under control of the Imperial Government at all. They are in the control of this hybrid, bastard cross of a Joint Exchequer Board over whom we have no power. Therefore you have no financial lever. What other lever have you? You have no reserved powers, no emergency paragraph, and in the ultimate resort you must be prepared either to give in or to Veto this Constitution—by force if necessary.
A good deal has been said about Colonial analogies, but very little has been 353 said about Imperial analogies. I cannot help thinking that the Government, which sometimes taunts us on this side of the House with a rather too insular patriotism, have been singularly loath to look at the analogies of foreign Governments. I do not attribute a double dose of original sin to foreign States, but these difficulties have occurred with foreign States and foreign people, and they have ended disastrously. I think in every case where there has existed anything at all analagous to the Constitution proposed to be set up the end has been disastrous. The Norwegians broke from the Swedes, not on account of original sin: they refused to obey the decisions of the Swedish Executive, not on account of any special original sin, but because a Constitution of this kind, once having been granted them, it could not work as it stood. The thing went from one step to another in the direction of separation. What has happened in Hungary? There the Government has only been able to carry on at all by the most extraordinary powers being exerted. The Hungarian Parliament refused to comply with the directions of the Imperial Executive with regard to the enlistment of troops. For a time no Government could be formed. When a Government was at last formed it could only obtain a majority by a degree of mixed force and corruption, for which, happily, there is no precedent in this country. When the Government was formed it was only able to carry on and get its decrees through by the gag and the guillotine, to which even the proceedings of the Prime Minister and the Government afford no parallel. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Yes, it is indeed a surprise that it is possible to quote anything worse than this Government—but it is possible! Take the case of Russia and Finland. There the question has been quietly settled by the absorption of the smaller country. I suppose hon. Members below the Gangway will disregard the precedent in that case. I mentioned the other day the case of Croatia, and the face of the Postmaster-General was suffused with a benevolent and somewhat contemptuous smile. But it is really a very pertinent case, because it affords a nearer parallel to the present proposed Constitution. What has happened there? The Constitution has absolutely broken down, not because of any special wickedness that I know of in the parties, but because the system absolutely 354 could not work. It was a question neither of real autonomy nor of local government.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I think I can connect this matter and the Amendment, especially with regard to the arguments that have been put forward by the Prime Minister and the Postmaster-General. They said that you want only a little goodwill and a little common sense on both sides for a Constitution like this to work admirably. In this case it has not worked admirably. So deplorably has it worked that the whole machinery of a free people has been suspended, and you have a Royal Commissioner enforcing despotic power over the people of Croatia. That is an end to their Constitution, and their Constitution is the model on which this Bill and previous Bills have been founded. At least they had a remedy in the background. They had power to appoint a Royal Commissioner. You have no such remedy. You put forward your Constitution. You talk about your Veto. You know at heart you have not the power nor the inclination to enforce that Veto. So long as you talk about the overriding powers of the Imperial Parliament through the Veto in this Clause, you are merely going a further step forward in your plan of deceiving the electors.
I certainly do not intend to detain the Committee very long to-night, especially in view of the most inadequate time which is at our disposal to discuss so important an Amendment as this. I was rather struck to-day by the Prime Minister's speech. In it, I think, he certainly gave no adequate reason for not accepting this Amendment. His speech suggested to me that if the Irish Government made unreasonable laws that had always to be vetoed that this Bill becomes unworkable. Certainly I quite agree with that proposition. But what difference, I would like to ask, would it make if the King exercises the power of Veto instead of the Lord Lieutenant? It would make no difference whatever to that argument. After all, Bills referred to the King would not be more likely to create a deadlock than reference to the Lord Lieutenant. The Government must realise that quite well. Therefore I say why will not the Government accept this very reasonable Amendment? Again the Prime Minister 355 says that the geographical position of Ireland prevents legislation passing unobserved. We are very doubtful indeed about that. So far as we can possibly see the future state of the Irish party we shall not have the advantage of the presence of the junior Member for the City of London on this side, nor the hon. Member for Ponte-fract on the other side to watch the legislation. Consequently I take the very opposite view, and say that this very reason, that is to say the proximity of Ireland to the English shores facilitates in every way the reference of all Bills, because that is the point, which may be passed by the Irish Parliament direct to the King himself and the British Executive here responsible to him.
All through this Home Rule Bill, both in this House and out of it, the Prime Minister has always been talking of safeguards and assuring us that if we only brought forward reasonable suggestions for safeguards, he would be willing to accept them. If there is any truth in that statement, why will the Prime Minister and the Government not accept this Amendment. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen cannot say that this particular Amendment is a wrecking Amendment. We should be equally glad, no doubt even more glad, to support it if it were a wrecking Amendment, but in this particular case it is not. It is a reasonable Amendment which is another reason why the House should accept it. What confidence can we, or the country have in any assurance the Prime Minister gives in this House or to deputations he may receive of safeguards when he deliberately refuses such a one as this. It is really no use arguing upon this subject. The Prime Minister has already told us he will not accept this Amendment. I should like therefore Jo make a few remarks upon the Clause as it stands, which I think are quite relevant to the Amendment now before the Committee.
The Lord Lieutenant, as I take it, must have his authority and his responsibility very largely increased from what it is at present if this Bill ever becomes law. Is it intended that the Lord Lieutenant of the future, if this Bill passes, is to exercise any real and personal Veto apart from what I might describe as the constitutional Veto which he would only exercise, either at the direction of the Irish Executive or the Executive here as the case might be. I think that the situation would warrant the establishment of a Lord 356 Lieutenancy rather different to that to which we have hitherto been accustomed. I think in the future the Lord Lieutenant with the power and responsibility which it is proposed to give him under this Bill should be a man of rather different qualities and capabilities to many who have occupied that important position in the past. It will not be sufficient, in my opinion, under this Bill that any man should be appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland simply because he happened to be possessed of wealth and happened to hold a high position in the peerage, I think he would have to be appointed with equally if not with even more important powers than are now given to a man occupying such a position as the Viceroy of India. He would have to be a man who is not biassed by ordinary party politics, and he would have, in my opinion, to be a strong man and an independent man, and what our newspapers are pleased to call one of our great proconsuls. I should like, as we do not get many opportunities, on my own behalf and on behalf of my Constituents, to join in the protest very often reiterated from these benches against the Government for the scandalous way in which this Bill is being carried through the House. It would really meet the case just as well, no matter how reasonable the Amendments we bring forward are, if the Government—
I am quite aware of that. At the same time I hope you will receive my assurance that I am about to sit down, and therefore I shall not for more that two or three inmates go wide of the Amendment now before the House. I was only going to say that such a state are we brought to that it would be just as suitable if the Government, or the Chief Secretary, were represented by a wax doll in whose inside there was fitted a suitable gramophone, which might be wound up by one of the Members from Ireland below the Gangway who is a warm supporter of the Chief Secretary.
§ Mr. HAMAR GREENWOOD
The hon. and candid Member who has just sat down advocated that the new Lord Lieutenant for Ireland when the Home Rule Bill becomes law should be a most brilliant member of the peerage. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin 357 University (Sir E. Carson) believes in wiping out the Lord Lieutenancy altogether. That conflict of view is very difficult to reconcile.
My contention was not so much that, but rather was that this question should be referred direct to the Sovereign; but failing that, and as we know this Amendment is not going to be accepted, if there is to be a Lord Lieutenant, I said I was strongly of opinion he should be the most capable and efficient man this country could find.
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
I am heartily in accord with the hon. and gallant Gentleman, but my point is there is a conflict of view on the benches opposite as to whether there should be a Lord Lieutenant or not.
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
Let me put this point of view. The hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite is young enough and able enough to be willing to consider other points of view than those he puts forward himself. Anyone who takes a broad view of the Empire surely does not wish to worry the Sovereign of these realms and Empire with additional duties and more manual routine. He has enough to burden the strongest man, and it is anti-Imperial to advocate increased burdens rather than a delegation of them. In the course of these Debates as to the Veto power over Bills, naturally the Colonial example has been drawn upon by all sides. It has been held by hon. Members opposite that the Veto on Bills of the Oversea Parliaments is dead; that that Veto does not exist. I admit at once that the Veto of the Imperial Parliament is rarely exercised in reference to Colonial legislation, but surely that is not a cause of complaint, but is rather a cause of congratulation. The Veto is still there, but in obeyance. I hope it never will be required in years to come, but the reason why it is not used as it used to be a generation or two generations ago, is because this Empire is drawing closer together, and every Parliament, whether it be a Parliament of mixed races in Jamaica or one of the score or more Parliaments in the Caribbeans, or whether it 358 be a Parliament of one of the great Oversea Dominions, all these Parliamentary Governments are actuated by a desire to put themselves in accord with Imperial movement, and not to cut athwart the constitutional progress of the British Empire. I confess I do not understand hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, who are eternally prating about the Empire. You cannot read a single modern text-book on the development of the Oversea Dominions without coming to the conclusion that the Veto is not used because all serious grievances were swept away by generous grants of Home Rule.
Secondly, the local Parliaments abroad never wish, if they can possibly avoid it, to raise, any point of conflict between their local interests and the wider and greater interests of the whole Empire. There is a great exception to that rule, and it covers all the cases quoted to-day up to the present, with one exception, namely, Newfoundland. In reference to the Aboriginal races, and the question of Oriental immigration, there is still a conflict of opinion between self-governing Dominions and the Imperial Executive of the day, whichever party happens to be in power. That is the only source of conflict existing now between our self-governing Dominions and the Imperial Executive. This difficulty has been met in different parts of the Empire in different ways, but it still remains an outstanding problem, and I should not be frank if I did not admit it. Let me give one case of a great Dominion where the Government and the opposition showed themselves willing to be in accord with the Home Government against their electoral interests. This is the greatest strain you can put on any Parliamentarian.
We all remember the Japanese Treaty, which was made by the late Government and adopted by the Administration which came into power in 1906. At that time the Government of Canada, under Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and the present Government of Canada, with Mr. Borden at its head, both agreed to the adoption by Canada of that treaty, although there was not the slightest pressure put upon them and they have or will suffer electorally. There is an instance of the willingness of a self-governing Dominion to put itself in accord with the greater interests of this Empire as a whole. Let me give a case in which the Veto of the Imperial Executive was insisted upon. When the Commonwealth 359 delegates of Australia were here in 1901 there was a great discussion with the Government of Lord Salisbury in reference to the appeal to the Privy Council from Australia in Clause 74 of the Commonwealth Act. The Australians were determined to cut the appeal from Australia to our Privy Council, but the late Marquess of Salisbury, to his eternal credit, was equally determined not to have that appeal to the Privy Council cut, and he held out and insisted upon his view and it was incorporated in Clause 74 of the Commonwealth Act. There was a case in which the Executive of this country—in what I consider a wide Imperial interest, namely, an appeal to the Privy Council which is really an appeal to the Crown—insisted that that should be included in the Commonwealth Act, although every single delegate from Australia was opposed to it.
Leaving out these questions of the Aboriginal races and the Oriental immigrants, I would like to deal with Newfoundland. The facts of this case show that the Government of Newfoundland saw fit to sell to a very able Scotchman the whole of their railway system, telegraph system, and an enormous acreage of land. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University said this was fraud and corruption, a most amazing thing for an Imperialist to urge against a Dominion Government. I am not aware that there was any fraud in it. On the contrary, it was a piece of business which the Government of Newfoundland saw fit to carry out, but it was vetoed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, in the name of the Crown. Let me remind the Committee, with all humility, that it is quite possible that Colonial Secretaries are sometimes wrong. There is nothing particularly divine about a Colonial Secretary or an Imperial Government any more than there is about a local Legislature in an Overseas Dominion. In this case it is not only the accepted view of Newfoundland, but the accepted view of other Dominions that Mr. Chamberlain was absolutely wrong in endeavouring to Veto this contract between the Government of Newfoundland and the purchaser of the railways. There was a case in which a self-governing Colony was quite within its powers and within its Constitution. I am bound to say that unless it can be clearly shown that such a local Act has some effect upon the Empire as a whole, no Colonial Secretary has any business to Veto such local legislation.
360 I say the same thing in reference to Natal. Personally, I think the Colonial Office was quite wrong to interfere with Natal. I have given a case from a Liberal Administration, and from a Conservative Administration, which show that Imperial Executives are no more divine than local Legislatures, for both are liable to err and make mistakes. The outstanding fact is that the vetoing power of the Imperial Executive is now used less frequently because there is on the one side, namely, the Colonial side, a growing desire to fit in with Imperial needs and aspirations, and there is on the other side, namely, the Imperial Executive side, a growing trust and confidence in the Dominions free from all the red-tape of the old-fashioned Colonial Office. [An HON. MEMBER: "No Veto."] Yes, the Veto still exists. Hon. Members opposite seem to make a complaint because it is not used every day and trotted out to show the great power of the Imperial Executive. The more you use a thing like the Veto, the less effect it has, and the more you remove grievances from your Overseas Dominions—and those grievances are nearly all gone now—the less need there is for an Imperial Veto.
Let me remind the Committee that the whole idea of the Veto grew up at a time in the history of our Empire which has now gone by. The old-fashioned Governors who used to go to Canada at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, before the time of telegraphs and steamships, actually received written instructions, and were sometimes removed from their homo Governments for months, and at certain places for a year or more. These men were generally soldiers, and good soldiers too, and they had to act upon their own initiative. They did not refer every question to the Home Government, and speaking generally they had not the slightest confidence in, and no use for, Parliamentary institutions at all. An old-fashioned soldier of the early Victorian period was the worst possible man to put over a self-governing Colony that aspired to have perfectly free Parliamentary institutions. These men vetoed right and left. It was their pride, and they thought they were doing good for the Crown and the Home country, to show these miserable Colonials how to keep their place and not pass the democratic laws they were passing and are, I am glad to say, passing now. That period has passed away for good.
When a Governor of the self-governing Dominions or any Colony, because we 361 have any number of Colonies that are not called Dominions, sees a Bill started, within twenty-four hours the text of that Bill is known here in the Colonial Office. If it is not necessary to cable it, a steamship will bring a copy of the Bill within two or three weeks. The Colonial Governor, if he thinks there is a Bill introduced that will come into conflict with the policy of the Empire, does not use or threaten to use his Veto, but he invites his Cabinet to dinner. That is how it works in practice. I trust the hospitality of our Colonial Governors will never grow less—and after a good dinner he points out in the most friendly way to his Colonial Cabinet—they have not the benefit of sitting in this House and many of them may not come here during their lives, but all of them are anxious to do the right thing for the Empire—that if such a Bill becomes law it will come into conflict with Imperial interests. The Bill is then dropped. If it cannot be dropped because of electoral influences, it is passed through the elected House and snuffed out in the nominated Chamber. I have seen it done in the Dominion of Canada again and again. That is the modern way of exercising the Veto. There is no cause for grievance there. There is cause for congratulation.
I say, therefore, that the Veto is now in abeyance. It probably will never be needed in the future because this Empire is growing closer together every day. I say, further, the Veto is not likely to be needed because all grievances in the Overseas Dominions are now removed. There are some local grievances, like naturalisation, left, but they are being settled at the present time, as a matter of fact, by negotiation. How is it that everywhere in your Overseas Dominions and other Colonies, where there are some forty or fifty Parliaments meeting, debating, quarrelling, and adjourning, you have removed the grievances and given the fullest Home Rule the need for the Veto at once ceases I In this matter undoubtedly the two parties—those who trust the Irishmen and those who mistrust the Irishmen—can never come together unless those who mistrust give in and yield to the precedents throughout the whole of the British Empire. [HON. MEMBERS: "Never."] You may never do it, but you are in a hopeless minority if you do not.
Not such a hopeless minority as you think, if you will only put it to the test of an election.
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
I would put it to a wider test than even this United Kingdom, Every speech of hon. Members opposite winds up, "And disruption of the Empire." What part of the Empire says Home Rule is going to mean disruption? I consider it more important to have the goodwill of the Overseas Dominions—
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
I thought Ireland was a part of the Empire. I consider the Overseas Dominions equally as important and even more important than the whole of Ireland.
§ Mr. H. GREENWOOD
The Irish question after all is a local question; it is a parochial question. It is not a question anything like as important as some of those great Imperial problems that face this or any other Executive. I submit, therefore, that those who support this Amendment in the hope of destroying the Bill have against them the precedents of scores of Parliaments and the precedent of the experience of our Empire which prove beyond a doubt that where grants of Home Rule are made you do not breed a race of traitors, but a race of Imperialists and patriots.
Sir G. PARKER
I am speaking personally when I say I always listen to my lion. Friend opposite with the very greatest interest, but his speech to-night, while commanding a very great deal of accord on my part in its generalities, had very little to do with the case under discussion. When my hon. Friend came down to any connection with the Amendment under discussion, I think he gave himself rather into our hands. The hon. Member has just said that whenever you give Home Rule at once the need of the Veto ceases. That is an extraordinary statement to make in the presence of recent history. I wonder what the Solicitor-General, who has had very lately the Copyright Act of the Dominion of Canada, and its relations with this Government within his historical recollections thinks of that. It is only a few years ago Canada passed a Copyright Act and sent it to this country for the approval of the Crown. She was told the Act could not receive the assent of the Crown, and it is only within the last few months that bitter question, which has caused a very great deal of irritation on the part of the people in Canada, was 363 settled. Year after year this exacerbation and protest on the part of the Dominion Government and this firm opposition on the part of the British Government went on, until an understanding was at last come to. But the hon. Member has just told us that when you give Home Rule, all grievances disappear. It was given to Canada in 1841, and from 1841 to 1912 is a good many more years than either the hon. Member or myself can acknowledge. During that time there has been these constant reservations of Bills of importance by the Crown requiring much negotiation and much delay before they were settled.
The hon. Member cited the case of Newfoundland. I do not think it is a very good one. He said the Newfoundland Government was acting absolutely within its rights in dealing with the question. Of course, but why did not the hon. Member say this Government is not giving to Ireland the kind of Government it gave to Newfoundland. The Constitution this Bill is giving to Ireland is one which the hon. Member himself has said is not like that given to the Dominion of Canada or to the Commonwealth of Australia, but akin to that given to the British Province of Columbia or Manitoba. If that is the case, I would like to ask this question: Suppose that Bill had been passed by the Province of British Columbia instead of by the Government of Newfoundland, would it not have been referred to the Government at Ottawa, and could not the Government at Ottawa have given its Veto on the Bill. It is abundantly clear, the two instances which the hon. Gentleman cited do not stand the scrutiny of any constitutional or historical inquiry. May I address myself now to some of the other speeches which have been made. Prom the Prime Minister to the Attorney-General, and to the Chief Secretary for Ireland, we have been treated to doses of dope. To listen to the speeches of the right hon. Gentlemen this afternoon, one would think that all this Committee had to do was to pass this Veto because it really meant nothing. The sum of the whole argument was that the Veto is only a kind of technical warning, a piece of machinery which is part of the constitutional legislation, and that it is not to be taken seriously. Have I given a wrong view of the speeches of right hon. Gentlemen opposite? They have said it will not be necessary to put the Veto into operation. It is merely there as a tenchincal warning, as a piece 364 of constitutional necessity, but in actual practice it will not be needed. If that be so why in the world has the Government been continually saying, "We are providing for those who are deeply concerned for the future of Ireland; we are providing for those who believe that this Bill will bring to Ireland miseries undreamt of in the legislation of this Kingdom?" Why is it they are saying that, and at the same time they are declaring there are already adequate safeguards in Clause 7. I hear an hon. Member interject the statement that it is a fraud. If the speeches of right hon. Gentlemen this afternoon mean what they would have us to believe they mean, that the Veto provided by this Clause will not be called into operation because the condition of Ireland will be such that there will be no necessity for it, then, I say, it is a fraud.
The hon. Member who last spoke talked about grievances disappearing. If it is the case that after a hundred years grievances have disappeared in the Dominion of Canada, though they still exist, if they have disappeared in Australia, though they still exist, if it has taken a hundred years to do that, does it not remain the fact that you are to start in Ireland with a whole set of grievances, and, therefore, you will need a hundred years to get rid of them I [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] At any rate, you will not dispute this position. If you do not need a hundred years you will need a very considerable time before you arrive at the same condition of things that exists in the Overseas Dominions. If there are deep grievances in Ireland—and there are deep grievances in the North as well as in the South—if those grievances cannot be reconciled now, are they likely to be reconciled when a Parliament is set up in Ireland which the North of Ireland refuses to recognise? It is for those whose future it concerns in the granting of this Irish Parliament to answer that question. The Attorney-General, in his speech of soothing syrup alternated with forensie fireworks, said that in the case of a difficulty arising and the Veto having to be used to an Irish Bill, it would be easy to settle the difficulty, because we could meet from day to day, and negotiations can be carried on every day. But a few days ago the right hon. and learned Gentleman spoke of the geographical separation of England from Ireland as being a reason why Home Rule was necessary in order to solve problems which could not 365 be solved so long as the Irish Sea ran between the two countries. The right hon. and learned Gentleman used that argument as an argument for Home Rule; but when he comes to deal with the question of the Veto he says that the silver streak presents no difficulty, and that the officials in Ireland and in this country can meet together every day and solve their differences.
Right hon. Gentlemen this afternoon have been doing exactly what they have done from the very beginning of this discussion. They have continually contradicted themselves. They have continually misrepresented their own views. I am in the hands of this Committee, and I think hon. Members will agree that if you must give Home Rule because of this geographical separation and because it marks a division, why, then, does it not mark the same division when you come to consider the effect of this Veto? The Attorney-General was arguing without logic and without effect. I do not remember whether it was the Chief Secretary or the Attorney-General—I think it was both of them—who said that this Clause only dealt with the Veto of Bills, and that therefore my hon. Friends need not concern themselves about it. Is there any Member of this House who does not realise that legislation may be passed which will affect all future administrations. We have had during the last two or three years the Old Age Pension Act, the National Insurance Act, and the Finance Bill. These three Bills, though they are Acts of legislation, though they have dealt with questions which were for the Legislature alone, seriously affected the question of administration, and we believe on this side that questions have arisen in connection with that legislation which have amounted almost to scandals, abuses, jobs, and appointments that were made for purely political purposes, and as pure political rewards. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] My point is this: That whether I am correct or not in saying that Shere have been a multiplicity of jobs arising out of legislation passed in this House directly secured by administration, am I not reasonable in saying that legislation may directly affect administration, and that when we deal with legislation in relation to this Clause, we also deal indirectly with administration. May I turn for a moment to the speech made by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond). He made one or two 366 statements which I think ought to be corrected. We always hear the Dominions quoted when it suits the purpose of the Government. They are wonderful Imperialists when they want to make a point, and when they want to secure an advantage in argument.
Sir G. PARKER
At least the hon. Member might be courteous. If I do not secure an advantage in argument, I can at least say it would not be the hon. Member who would ever prevent me, if I may judge from his past expeditions into Debate in this House. I apologise for this personal reference, for after all I do not make discourteous remarks to my opponents. The hon. and learned Member for. Waterford said that in regard to Canada there were prophecies made in the House of Lords that there would be nothing but oppression and tyranny when self-government, was given to the Dominion of Canada—oppression and tyranny of the Protestant minority and of the English minority, as it was then. There have been the most continual misrepresentations of the Canadian case in this House, and I really think it ought to be disposed of. I am within the understanding of those who have studied this question. I ask the Committee this question: Was it not the case that the two Canadas separated, one French and one British, were brought together with the view, based upon Lord Durham's Report, that it would produce peace in Canada. The Union of 1840 was consummated for that purpose. Anyone who reads the history of the Dominion of Canada must realise that peace was not secured by bringing together that English Protestant minority and that Catholic French majority. On the contrary, from 1840 to 1867, the sectional differences, the intrigue, the struggle for position, the manœuvring for superior advantage were so constant, that at last the statesmen of Canada who tried to rise above it, both French and English, said there was only one way, and that was to broaden the area of administration and to provide a larger union, that union to consist of two provinces with an invitation to the other provinces to enter. Until the English majority was so large that there could be no question of its power then, and not until then, did the intrigue, the sectional differences, the faction fights between the religious and the racial 367 parties in the provinces of Canada cease. It was only in 1867 that by the larger union you were able to secure anything like an understanding between the different peoples of that great Dominion. The same thing occurred in South Africa.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think this is rather overlapping the point. It only bears slightly on Clause 7, and I do not think we can go into that.
Sir G. PARKER
I am much obliged to you, Sir. I thought that the question was elaborated previously in Debate, and perhaps I was led into elaborating it because so much has been made by previous speakers regarding it. Will you allow me to say, in conclusion, in regard to the South African, analogy, that when, you gave the Transvaal its separate and independent Government, had you given Natal also a Government in connection with the Transvaal, as there was in Canada in 1840, you would have had to-day in South Africa not peace but discord. The same thing exists in Ireland. You attempt to bring these two sections together in a Legislature, and you will have exactly what you would have had in South Africa, if you had had Natal and the Transvaal, as two separate and distinct opinions and with their differing feelings, brought together. My point is this: That it was only by larger union that you were able to secure that peace, good order and understanding which right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite have said have only been achieved in the Oversea Dominions by the steady decrease of the Veto. I believe that with this mongrel and hybrid Government you are attempting to establish in Ireland.[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"]—it is mongrel and hybrid in Ireland, because it has some characteristics of dominion government and some characteristics of provincial government—your difficulties will be very much greater, and for that reason it is absolutely necessary that where you have the prospect of difficulties of legislation unheard of in our Oversea Dominions, with their clearly defined Constitutions, you ought to reserve to this Government and to the Crown the Veto on all legislation that is passed by the Irish Legislature, such as the Amendment suggests.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir J. Simon)
I wish to ask the Committee, as the result of the discussion we have had, 368 to see whether there is not, on some important aspects of the controversy under discussion, really some considerable measure of agreement between us, because I think it will be found that while, of course, we differ, and deeply differ, and sincerely differ, in the broad aspects of this question as it relates to Ireland, there really is a much greater measure of agreement on some aspects of the whole policy and constitution of the Veto than would appear from some of the speeches that have been made. It seems to me that there are at least three things which all of us, whatever our views on Irish Home Rule, will be prepared to agree about in respect to the Veto. I desire to bear in mind the caution which the Prime Minister administered this afternoon when he said that the Colonial analogy must never be carried too far, but at the same time the hon. Gentleman (Sir G. Parker) and other hon. Members have, as it seems to me, quite naturally and inevitably, referred to the operation of the Veto throughout the British Empire. Let us sec if there are not three propositions about it on which we can all agree. The first proposition which I invite the Committee to assent to is this.
Wherever you may go throughout the British Empire where you find a subordinate Parliament which derives its authority from this Imperial Parliament, you will find in its Constitution a Veto, be it operative or be it inoperative, and you will find in every case, in the New World and in the Old, in Canada, in Australia, in New Zealand, in South Africa, that side by side with the full concession of local self-government we have, in fact, got a provision for a Veto. In the second place, I invite the Committee to observe that though that Veto exists in every such Constitution it is a, Veto which is brought into operation very rarely and in only the most exceptional cases. It is not, indeed, obsolete and dead, but it is certainly a part of the machinery of the local Constitution which is left in abeyance except in the most extreme cases, and it is because it is so treated, because it is a thing that is used so very seldom, and only in such very exceptional cases, that the self-governing institutions of the Empire operate as they do. That brings me to the third point on which I think there should be agreement, that while, as we concede, in our own" Empire there is a Veto provided in every 369 such Constitution, and while that Veto is in fact very rarely and exceptionally used, I make the concession in the frankest terms that if that Veto was constantly, irritatingly, and habitually used the whole machinery of local self-government would break down.
I think these three propositions with reference to our experience of the Veto in our Empire beyond the seas are fairly stated, and I think they will receive common agreement. You find it everywhere. It is indeed sometimes, though very seldom and exceptionally used, and I frankly state that if it were used habitually and as a matter of system the whole method and manner of self-government, as we understand it, would break down and fail to work. It is upon these three propositions that we found ourselves in proposing this Clause. We provide a Veto, amongst other things, because all precedent goes to show that when self-government, whatever its precise form, is conceded, there should be over and above the Legislature which one sets up this overriding and final authority, but I concede frankly that if that Veto was habitually and irritatingly used as a matter of course in Ireland, just as in any other part of the British Empire, the machine would not work. But that is not our conception at all of the way in which the scheme embodied in this Bill is to operate.
We propose that there should be a Veto which should be exercised by the Lord Lieutenant. The Lord Lieutenant is not designed to be a person belonging to a political party in this House. He is to act with the same impartiality and independence as Governors or Lieutenant-Governors act in self-governing areas in different parts of the Empire. He will not act in exercising this authority upon his personal judgment, his personal wisdom, or his personal prejudices. No Lieutenant-Governor does any such thing in any part of the British Empire with which I am acquainted. He acts in some cases upon the advice of the local Executive, and in so acting he always has regard to what may be, in an extreme case, the overriding advice of the central Government at home, and so it always has been, and while those cases are rare and no one desires to exaggerate their frequency, the fact is that from time to time, side by side with the well-applied and well-worked system of local self-government throughout the Empire you get this very 370 Veto being exercised, not as the result of the personal judgment of the Governor, but because the Governor gets instructions from the Imperial Government at home, that it is his duty so to do.
I ask the Committee, what is the solid ground for supposing that that which in fact has happened everywhere else in the-Empire where this system has been in principle applied, is not only not going to happen in Ireland, but that the exact reverse is going to happen? It is not a good answer to tell me that certain honest persons think that the result is going to be disastrous. There has never been a case in which it has been proposed to extend the bounds of self-government in the Empire in which certain honest persons have not said the same thing. It is no answer to tell me that some of those who now speak on behalf of this area, have in the past used extravagant language. Does anyone think that extravagant language has not been used by the French Canadians before they got self-government or by the Transvaal Boers? Everyone knows it. It is not an answer to tell me that opinion is divided in the area where we propose that this solvent should be administered. There always is in these cases, before the grant is made, a body, the sincerity and genuineness of which I do not wish to challenge, who say they stand by the existing order.
What are the special reasons for the views that have been put forward by hon. Gentlemen opposite? One reason has been several times developed in this Debate, and it surprises and amuses me. We are told, You may have your Veto in Ireland and you may think it is going to operate just as it operates elsewhere, but supposing an occasion ever arose in which the Imperial Government thought it right to intervene and Veto the decision of the local Legislature, what would happen? The Prime Minister of Ireland would resign. It astonishes me to hear that this consequence is thought to be so lamentable and alarming by the Unionists of Ireland. They usually suppose that the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond) might have something to do with it. Hitherto I have always supposed that their principal alarm was that he was going to be Prime Minister. Now it turns out that the thing that really upsets them is the thought that he should ever resign, and it further turns out that the reason why they are so afraid of his ever resigning is that there is no one to take his 371 place. I pass from it with the observation that this will be interesting news to the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. T. M. Healy).
On the other hand, let us get to what is, by the admission of hon. Gentlemen opposite, the principal difficulty which faces them. I do not think they are right in saying that in other cases there have not been acute and deep-seated differences between different cliques and clans in a country which has got self-government. At any rate, it is the circumstance which makes them express their honest apprehension. The hon. Member (Mr. C. Craig) on the 22nd inst., used language which I will quote. Pointing to what was the real reason in the view of himself and his friends why Home Rule for Ireland could not be adopted, although Home Rule everywhere else was all right, he said:—Everyone who knows anything about it knows perfectly well that if we Protestants, Presbyterians, Churchmen, or whatever we may be, thought for a moment that we should receive fair treatment from our Roman Catholic fellow countrymen, and particularly from the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, we should look on the proposal for Home Rule in a very different spirit and from a very different point of view.I do not in the least complain of the hon. Gentleman making that straightforward assertion, but let the Committee observe that in the mind of those who propose this Amendment, and who criticise the Bill, the thing which they think explains this inexplicable contrast between the case of Ireland and the rest of the Empire, is the fear on the part of Protestants that they are not going to get fair treatment from their Roman Catholic fellow countrymen. I do not wish to dwell on what transpired in the course of the Debate this afternoon. I quite understand what the right hon. and learned Member for Trinity College (Sir E. Carson) said, though it was by no means, so far as I know, a new declaration on his lips. I understand that what he said was confined to the case of legislation by this Irish Parliament. His proposition was—and it is accepted and adopted by those who follow his lead on this crucial question, whether or not the Protestants of Ireland are going to be fairly treated by Roman Catholics—that so far as legislation is concerned, he has no fear. There remains administration. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Strand Division (Mr. Long) is going to follow me, and that being so, let me invite the Committee once again to observe what his view is on that subject. 372 The fears that the Irish Parliament in their legislative action will maltreat and persecute Protestants have been wiped off the slate. We are left now with administration. The right hon. Gentleman knows Ireland well, and we all know the high reputation he has as a man of courage and character. Referring to the Leader of the Nationalist party on 2nd October last year, he said:—Mr. Redmond also complains that we talk of the religious differences in Ireland, and that we believe the Catholic majority would trample upon the Protestant minority.….not that they could pass laws to their prejudice, but—would trample upon the Protestant minority. That again is an argument to which I have never attached importance. I know Ireland well, and I have a great many relatives and friends in Ireland, both Protestant and Catholic. I believe that in this and in any other country religious difficulties will always be settled by the general common sense of the people. I have never been so stupid as to ignore the fact that the differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics in Ireland occupy a totally different position from what they occupy in Scotland, England, and Wales, and in considering any legislation for Ireland you must not forget that the religious question will arise there as it does not arise here.That represented the view of the right hon. Gentleman then, and I do not doubt that it represents it now, and I call the Committee's attention to the fact, first of all, that we are told by the Unionist party that this special difficulty between Protestants and Catholics causes them to doubt whether Home Rule can be applied to Ireland as it has been applied elsewhere. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Unionist party—
§ Sir J. SIMON
The Leader of the Irish Unionist party has told us, not for the first time to-day, that as far as legislation is concerned he has no fear in his mind. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Strand Division, who speaks with all the authority of a Leader of his party and an ex-Chief Secretary, says that he has never attached importance to the statement that the Catholic majority would trample upon the Protestant minority. Difficulties there may be and will be. If we had always been afraid of difficulties there would have been no Home Rule in any part of the Empire, but a little common sense and pride of local institutions on the one hand, and a little sincere goodwill on the part of Imperial Parliament on the other, as we are well founded in thinking, is going to produce in Ireland the result which has been produced elsewhere by similar methods. Hon. Members opposite 373 circulate the fallacy of supposing that a community which, it may be, uses language of indignation when it feels it is labouring under a grievance, is still going to exhibit that spirit when it feels that the grievance has been removed. All history gives the lie to that, and for my part I do not believe that in the case of Ireland history is going to be falsified.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
I have to express my thanks to the hon. and learned Gentleman for his courtesy, but I regret that on my behalf he has had to abbreviate his own remarks. I do not believe any man whose judgment is exercised without prejudice would say that this Debate, full of the greatest importance not only to Ireland but to this country, and I think to the Empire as a whole, should be concluded in the very brief time now available, and under pressure of the Closure, which makes adequate consideration of the right hon. Gentleman's own speech absolutely impossible. The Solicitor-General began by telling us that in every constitution of which we have had experience in this Empire there is to be found a Veto, and obviously a Veto must be included in this Bill. It is unnecessary to make a statement of that kind, but if we are to accept that as a serious defence of the Clause, my reply is that if you have got this wealth of experience, and if you have got these numerous precedents why, with this experience and these precedents, why have the Government deliberately refused to follow the example set by their predecessors, and the example set by themselves a few years ago? Why have they adopted for Ireland a Constitution which in every detail is found to differ materially, fundamentally, and gravely, without any of those safeguards on which the Solicitor-General relies for his first argument to-night? The hon. and learned Gentleman criticised what was said on this side of the House, but through the whole of his speech, and the speeches we heard from the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General this afternoon, the same strange omission is to be found.
We have argued this case from the beginning, in and out of the House of Commons, and during the election as we are arguing it now. I suppose the Government will claim that because we told the country at the election that the result of their policy would be Home Rule as found in the Dominions and in South Africa, and not in the provinces, therefore the country had this case fully before 374 them. They denied the truth of our statements. They declared that we were indulging in imaginary statements. They talked about bogies. This Debate has made quite clear, if there was any room for doubt, that the real object of the Government and the policy which they had in their mind while drawing this Bill and preparing it for this House, has not been the adoption of some provincial form of Home Rule, such as we find in the provinces of Canada or South Africa, but that form of Home Rule which is to be found in the Dominion, in the Union of South Africa, or the new Federation of Australia. Therefore it is that we have asked, and asked in vain, of the Government to-night that they will tell us what is the reality of these safeguards which in the country have been the one answer of the Government to the criticisms of my hon. Friends and those who act with us. I hope in a moment to deal with the quotation by the Solicitor-General from my own speech, though, like other Members of this House, I do not ever regard my speeches as worthy of the attention that is paid to them, mainly by political opponents. I have nothing to withdraw or qualify in the extract which has been read by the Solicitor-General. That quotation has nothing on earth to do with the grounds upon which we are pressing the Amendment now under the consideration of the Committee.
We have been told in the country, hon. Gentlemen have told their constituents times without number, that there are these difficulties. A great many hon. Gentlemen and their predecessors upon that bench have realised, and I suspect that they realise now as much as we do, the reality of the religious difficulty in Ireland and that that difficulty is at the bottom of the greater part of the trouble in Ireland, and to quote my words as showing that if you believed that that was the only difficulty it is one that should be dealt with—and if it was worth while to go on I could have shown that I pointed out that it could be dealt with, in my opinion, by the determination of the people of the United Kingdom to use any means available to them to put down the power of a Church the moment it became identified with Government—but to use that as an answer to the contention that under this Clause as it stands you are creating a safeguard, which is a sham and a delusion, is evading the real issue which we ask the Committee to consider. The Solicitor-General, to my amazement, referred 375 again to the Canadian and South African precedents. I ask the Solicitor-General, in all earnestness, do he and his colleagues on that bench rest their confidence and their hope upon these precedents, because if they do they have done everything in the power of mortal man to do to destroy the whole value of those precedent for use on the present occasion? The Solicitor - General pointed to what has followed in Canada. He knows as well as any man in this House that the federation of Canada was only brought about by the most grave and open conference between all parties concerned. He knows, as everybody else in this House knows, that the same policy was adopted in South Africa, and something more than this. Not only had you conferences of the contending parties, not only had you them going from place to place in Canada, but it was the same in South Africa where not content with holding the conferences in one central place, however convenient, they went from place to place and from Colony to Colony, and they brought them within reach of everybody most intimately concerned.
They did not stop there. This is not the only difference between the policy of the Government and the policy of those great statesmen who brought about federation in Canada or South Africa. They were in real union; they were honestly set upon the great task of burying the hatchet and removing grievances. Have you tried to bury the hatchet or remove grievances? The Solicitor-General tells us, with those extraordinary hopes which are based upon nothing but theory, that he looks to a future when all his going to be peace. What is the prospect of peace? Whatever importance you may attach to the new view which you form of them— though they themselves have never withdrawn the language which we have quoted —you attribute to them all these virtues, and think that they do not mean a word of what they formerly said. Supposing you succeed in your policy of conciliation, you are going to raise up against you—as the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted last nisht—a body of most determined and God-fearing men, such as no country ever possessed. What is your answer to that? Your answer to the country has consistently been, "We know that there are these dangers; we do not deny them, though we believe they will disappear; but in order to meet them we have 376 provided a Veto." What is the meaning of this Veto? I have read the Clause many times, and I have read, as no doubt some other Members have done, works which have been produced illuminating this rather difficult Bill. I confess that I honestly do not know what is the precise meaning of this Clause as it now stands. But I know what I want, and what those who act with me want. We want what is the only possible fulfilment of the pledges of the Government to the country, given times out of number on election platforms—that if you are giving those powers to a Parliament which can or may be so used, whatever your ideas for the moment may be, to the prejudice and injury of the minority, then safety must be found in the exercise of the Veto. But when we ask you what that Veto means, you tell us that it is to be exercised by the Viceroy on the advice of the Ministers who are themselves responsible for the legislation. When we ask you to define your Constitution, you turn round and point to our Oversea Dominions and great Colonies in other parts of the world, and you say, "We pass by all that we have said about safeguards. You will find this Veto in every other Constitution, and if you find it in every other Constitution it is naturally and automatically put into this." That is the attitude taken up by the Government.
I now come to the charge brought against us. I listened to the Attorney-General this afternoon with great interest, and I have been long enough a Member of this House never to grudge any man the opportunity of enjoying a score if he thinks something has put it in his way. But I confess, having unlimited regard for the ability of the right hon. Gentleman, I am utterly puzzled when I heard him declaring amidst the enraptured cheers of his supporters, that he had made a new discovery, and had suddenly found out that the Unionist party had abandoned all their old criticisms and attacks on this Bill. We have done nothing of the kind. My right hon. and learned Friend, in language somewhat similar and very much better than was quoted from my speech, said that we do not anticipate that the Nationalist Parliament, suppose there be a Nationalist Parliament, will proceed to legislate against the Protestants, and this is the new discovery. I am referring to what the Attorney-General said as to the remarks of my right hon. and learned Friend dealing with the ques- 377 tion of legislation. Is it to be supposed if I used the words Catholic and Protestant, or does the Solicitor-General really think that either my right hon. and learned Friend (Sir E. Carson) or I, or anybody, would interpret that language as meaning that the Nationalist party would proceed to pass Statutes attacking Protestants as such and condemning them. What the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General and the Prime Minister refuse to recognise, because for some extraordinary reason they will not face the facts, is this, that you are giving to this new Parliament under this Bill extraordinary powers. For instance, in land legislation you will enable them to legislate in such a way that they may bring very great injury upon the minority to the advantage, through the circumstances of the case in Ireland, of the majority. What is their protection? You have told the country that their protection is in Veto. Those who anticipate this loss and this injury —it is to go out from this Debate to-night on your statement that their security and their protection and their safeguard against robbery or injury rests on the Veto of the man who will act on the advice of Ministers who have produced the very
§ Bill of which they complain. There could not be in my judgment—I said it before and I repeat it—a worse Bill than the Bill which you have produced. There could not be for the purposes which you maintain you have in view a worse Clause than the Clause now being considered; a Clause which I shall vote against not only because it is a bad Clause, but because it is something worse than a bad Clause, I think it is that which I personally hate most of all, a gross sham. It is intended not for the protection of the minority. It is intended not as a precaution that the legislation of the new Parliament shall be just and proper, but it is intended merely in order to delude and deceive the electorate that you are doing that which you are not doing, and when in reality you are doing the very reverse. On those grounds I and others who share my views will vote against this Clause as being the worst Clause and the greatest sham of the worst Bill that has ever been introduced into this House.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 813; Noes, 327.381
|Division No. 280.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Fitzroy, Hon. E. A.|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Fleming, Valentine|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Cassel, Felix||Forster, Henry William|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Castlereagh, Viscount||Foster, Philip Staveley|
|Ashley, W. W.||Cator, John||Gardner, Ernest|
|Astor, Waldorf||Cautley, H. S.||Gastrell, Major W. H.|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Col. J.||Cave, George||Glimour, Captain J.|
|Baird, J. L.||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.|
|Baker, Sir R. L. (Dorset, N.)||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Chambers, J.||Grant, J. A.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Greene, W. R.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Gretton, John|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford)||Clyde, J. Avon||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Haddock, George Bahr|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc, E.)||Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Courthope, George Loyd||Hambro, Angus Valdemar|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hamersley, A. St. George|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Bigland, Alfred||Cripps, Sir C. A.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Bird, A.||Croft, Henry Page||Henderson, Major Harold (Berkshire)|
|Boles, Lieut-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Denniss, E. R. B.||Hewins, William Albert Samuel|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Dixon, C. H.||Hickman, Colonel T. E.|
|Boyton, J.||Doughty, Sir George||Hill, Sir Clement L.|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Duke, Henry Edward||Hoare, S. J. G.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Hohier, G. F.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Hope, James Fltzalan (Sheffield)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Falle, B. G.||Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R,||Fell, Arthur||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Butcher, John George||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Hume-Williams, W. E.|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Hunter, Sir Charles|
|Jardine, E. (Somerset, E.)||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Jessel, Captain H. M.||Newdegate, F. A.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Newman, John R. P.||Starkey, John R.|
|Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Stewart, Gershom|
|Kerry, Earl of||Nield, Herbert||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, N.)|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, sir Clement||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Knight, Captain E. A.||Paget, Almeric Hugh||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.w.)|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Parkes, Ebenezer||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)||Perkins, Walter Frank||Thynne, Lord A.|
|Let, Arthur H.||Peto, Basil Edward||Touche, George Alexander|
|Lewisham, Viscount||Pole-Carew Sir R.||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Lloyd, G. A.||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Valentia, Viscount|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Pretyman, E. G.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Long, Rt. Han. Walter||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Rawson, Col. R. H.||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo.,Han. S.)||Rolleston, Sir John||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Ronaldshay, Earl of||Winterton, Earl|
|MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Royds, Edmund||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Macmaster, Donald||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Ripon)|
|M'Mordie, Robert James||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Malcolm, Ian||Sanders, Robert A.||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Sassoon, Sir Philip||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Younger, Sir George|
|Moore, William||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pool, Walton)|
|Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Spear, Sir John Ward||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Mount, William Arthur||Stanier, Beville||Goldsmith and Mr. S. Roberts.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Clough, William||Gilhooly, James|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Clynes, J. R.||Gill, A. H.|
|Adamson, William||Collins, G. F. (Greenock)||Ginnell, L.|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Glanville, H. J.|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)|
|Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire)||Cotton, William Francis||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Greig, Colonel James William|
|Arnold, Sydney||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Grey, Rt, Hon. Sir Edward|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Crean, Eugene||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Crooks, William||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Crumley, Patrick||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert||Cullinan, John||Guiney, P.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)|
|Barnes, George N.||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Hackett, John|
|Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs)||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)|
|Barton, William||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hancock, J. G.|
|Beate, Sir William Phipson||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Dawes, J. A.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||De Forest, Baron||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Delany, William||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Donelan, Captain A.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Doris, W.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Boland, John Plus||Duffy, William J.||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Brace, William||Elverston, Sir Harold||Hayward, Evan|
|Brady, P. J.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperay, N.)||Hazleton, Richard|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Essex, Richard Walter||Helme, Sir Norval Watson|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Esslemont, George Birnie||Hemmerde, Edward George|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Falconer, J.||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Farrell, James Patrick||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Higham, John Sharp|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sidney C. (Poplar)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Hinds, John|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Ffrench, Peter||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Field, William||Hodge, John|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Hogge, James Myles|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Fitzgibbon, John||Hoit, Richard Durning|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||France, G A.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon, Winston S.||Gelder Sir, W. A.||Hudson, Walter|
|Clancy, John Joseph||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Hughes, S. L.|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Muldoon, John||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Rowlands, James|
|Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Needham, Christopher T.||Runclman, Rt. Hon. Waiter|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Neilson, Francis||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Nolan, Joseph||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T.H'mts, Stepney)||Norman, Sir Henry||Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel)|
|Jowett, F. W.||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Joyce, Michael||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Keating, M.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Kelly, Edward||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Sheehy, David|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Doherty, Philip||Shortt, Edward|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Donnell, Thomas||Simon, Sir John Alisebrock|
|King, Joseph||O'Dowd, John||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|Lamb, Ernest Henry||Ogden, Fred||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S.Molton)||O'Grady, James||Snowden, Philip|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Law, Hugh A, (Donegal, West)||O'Malley, William||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Lawson, Sir w. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Sutton, John E.|
|Leach, Charles||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||O'Shee, James John||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Tennant, Harold John|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Outhwaite, R. L.||Thomas, J. H.|
|Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Lundon, T,||Parker, James (Halifax)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Lynch, A. A.||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Pease, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Rotherham)||Wadsworth, J.|
|McGhee, Richard||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Pirie, Duncan V.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Pointer, Joseph||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Pollard, Sir George H.||Wardle, George J.|
|M'Curdy, C. A.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Waring, Walter|
|M'Kean, John||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Watt, Henry A.|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Webb, H.|
|Manfield, Harry||Pringle, Wm. M. R.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Radford, George Heynes||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Raffan, Peter Wilson||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Martin, Joseph||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Reddy, M.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Meagher, Michael||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leltrim, N.)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Williams, P. (Middlesbrough)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Millar, James Duncan||Rendail, Athelstan||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Molloy, M.||Richards, Thomas||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincol[...])||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Mooney, J. J.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Morgan, George Hay||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Morrell, Philip||Robinson, Sidney|
|Morison, Hector||Roch, Walter F.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
§ It being after Half-past Ten of the clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 14th October, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at this day's sitting.382
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 328; Noes, 213.387
|Division No. 281.]||AYES.||[10.40 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Ainsworth, John Stirling||Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Allen, A. A, (Dumbartonshire)||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)|
|Adamson, William||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Barlow, Sir John Emmctt (Somerset)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Arnold, Sydney||Barnes, G. N.|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick Burghs)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Barton, William|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Griffith, Ellis J.||Martin, Joseph|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Guiney, P.||Meagher, Michael|
|Bentham, G. J.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hackett, John||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Boland, John Plus||Hancock, J. G.||Molloy, Michael|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Mond, Sir Alfred M.|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Brace, William||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Mooney, John J.|
|Brady, P. J.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Morgan, George Hay|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Morrell, Philip|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Morison, Hector|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Morton, Alpheus Cleephas|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Muldoon, John|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hayden, John Patrick||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Hayward, Evan||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hazleton, Richard||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Neilson, Francis|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Hemmerde, Edward George||Nolan, Joseph|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Henry, Sir Charles||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Higham, John Sharp||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hinds, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Clough, William||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Clynes, John R.||Hodge, John||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Hogge, James Myles||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Dowd, John|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Ogden, Fred|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hudson, Walter||O'Grady, James|
|Cotton, William Francis||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jardine, Sir John (Roxburgh)||O'Malley, William|
|Crean, Eugene||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Crooks, William||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Shee, James John|
|Cullinan, J.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Dalziei, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jowett, Frederick William||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Joyce, Michael||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Dawes. J. A.||Keating, Matthew||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|De Forest, Baron||Kellaway, Frederick George||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Delany, William||Kelly, Edward||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kilbride, Denis||Pirie, Duncan Vernon|
|Doris, William||King, Joseph||Pointer, Joseph|
|Duffy, William J.||Lamb, Ernest Henry||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S.Molton)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Leach, Charles||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Essex, Richard Walter||Levy, Sir Maurice||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lewis, John Herbert||Radford, G. H.|
|Falconer, James||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lundon, Thomas||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Lyell, Charles Henry||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Reddy, Michael|
|Field, William||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||McGhee, Richard||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||MacNeill, G. S. Swift (Donegal, South)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Macpherson, James Ian||Richards, Thomas|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Gilhooly, James||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Gill, A. H.||M'Kean, John||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Ginnell, L.||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Glanville, H. J.||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Roch, Walter F.|
|Goddard. Sir Daniel Ford||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Manfield, Harry||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Rowlands, James|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Tennant, Harold John||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Thomas, J. H.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Toulmin, Sir George||Whyte, A. F.|
|Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wiles, Thomas|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.||Verney, Sir Harry||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wadsworth, John||Williams, Llewellyn (Carmarthen)|
|Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Walters, Sir John Tudor||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Sheehy, David||Walton, Sir Joseph||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Shortt, Edward||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Simon, Sir John Allsebrooke||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Wardle, George J.||Winfrey, Richard|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Waring, Walter||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Snowden, P.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Sutherland, John E.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Sutton, John E.||Webb, H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford|
|Ainery, L. C. M, S.||Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Kyffin-Taylor, G.|
|Archer-Shee, Major W.||Croft, Henry Page||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Larmor, Sir J.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Denniss, E. R. B.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Dixon, C. H.||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Doughty, Sir George||Lee, Arthur H.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Duke, Henry Edward||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Balcarres, Lord||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Lloyd, G. A.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Faber, Captain W. V. (Hants, W.)||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Falle, B. G.||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Fell, Arthur||Lonsdale, Sir John Brown lee|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Barrie, H. T.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Fleming, Valentine||Macmaster, Donald|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilton)||Forster, Henry William||M'Mordle, Robert|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Foster, Philip Staveley||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gardner, Ernest||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Malcolm, Ian|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Gilmour, Captain J.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Bigland, Alfred||Goldsmith, Frank||Moore, William|
|Bird, Alfred||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburten)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Munro, Robert|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid.)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Boyton, James||Gretton, John||Newman, John R. P.|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Nield, Herbert|
|Bull, Sir William James||Haddock, George Bahr||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Burgoyne, Alan Hughes||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Burn, Col. C. R.||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Butcher, John George||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Harris, Henry Percy||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Cassel, Felix||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Cator, John||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Pretyman, E. G.|
|Cave, George||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Chambers, James||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Houston, Robert Paterson||Royds, Edmund|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Hume-Williams, Wm. Ellis||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Clyde, James Avon||Hunter, Sir C. R.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, E.)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Kerry, Earl of||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Kimbar, Sir Henry||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Spear, Sir John Ward||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)||Winterton, Earl|
|Stanier, Beville||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Thynne, Lord Alexander||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Touche, George Alexander||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Starkey, John Ralph||Tullibardine, Marquess of||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Stewart, Gershom||Valentia, Viscount||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)||Walker, Col. William Hall||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)||Younger, Sir George|
|Talbot, Lord Edmund||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)||G. Locker-Lampson and Mr. Grant.|
§ Committee report Progress; again to-morrow (Wednesday).