§ Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Irish Parliament shall have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of Ireland with the following limitations, namely, that they shall not have power to make laws except in respect of matters exclusively relating to Ireland or some part thereof, and (without prejudice to that general limitation) that they shall not have power to make laws in respect of the following matters in particular, or any of them, namely—
- (1) The Crown, or the succession to the Crown, or a Regency; or the Lord Lieutenant except as respects the exercise of his executive power in relation to Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act; or
- (2) The making of peace or war or matters arising from a state of war;
546 or the regulation of the conduct of any portion of His Majesty's subjects during the existence of hostilities between Foreign States with which His Majesty is at peace, in relation to those hostilities; or
- (3) The Navy, the Army, the Territorial Force, or any other naval or military force, or the defence of the Realm, or any other naval or military matter; or
- (4) Treaties, or any relations, with Foreign States, or relations with other parts of His Majesty's Dominions, or offences connected with any such treaties or relations, or procedure connected with the extradition of criminals under any treaty, or the return of fugitive offenders from or to any part of His Majesty's Dominions; or
- (5) Dignities or titles of honour; or
- (6) Treason, treason felony, alienage, naturalisation, or aliens as such; or
- (7) Trade with any place out of Ireland (except so far as trade may be affected by the exercise of the powers of taxation given to the Irish Parliament, or by the regulation of importation for the sole purpose of preventing contagious disease); quarantine; or navigation, including merchant shipping (except as respects inland waters and local health or harbour regulations); or
- (8) Lighthouses, buoys, or beacons (except so far as they can consistently with any general Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom be constructed or maintained by a local harbour authority); or
- (9) Coinage; legal tender; or any change in the standard of weights and measures; or
- (10) Trade marks, designs, merchandise marks, copyright, or patent rights; or
- (11) Any of the following matters (in this Act referred to as reserved matters), namely—
- (a) The general subject-matter of the Acts relating to Land Purchase in Ireland, the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908 and 1911, the National Insurance Act, 1911, and the Labour Exchanges Act, 1909;
- (b) The collection of taxes;
- (c) The Royal Irish Constabulary and the management and control of that force;
- (d) Post Office Savings Banks, Trustee Savings Banks, and Friendly Societies; and
- (e) Public loans made in Ireland before the passing of this Act:
§ Provided that the limitation on the powers of the Irish Parliament under this Section shall cease as respects any such reserved matter if the corresponding reserved service is transferred to the Irish Government under the provisions of this Act.
§ Any law made in contravention of the limitations imposed by this Section shall, so far as it contravenes those limitations, be void.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I beg to move, after the word "laws" ["that they shall not have power to make laws except in respect of"], to insert the words "or (without the previous approval of the Lord Lieutenant acting on the instructions of His Majesty) to discuss or pass any resolution or address."
This Amendment has not been discussed in Committee on the present Bill, but when an Amendment similar in substance was presented in connection with the 1893 Bill it was described by the late Mr. Gladstone as one of the most important Amendments which had been discussed on that Bill. Such being the case, it might be expected that this Amendment will command the interest and attention of the House, but I have little hope that it will do so, because I think most of the interest has gone out of the discussion. It has gone because the soul has gone out of the Bill. Everybody knows, the supporters of the Bill as much as those who are opposed to it, that the Bill will not have a chance of being put into operation, and, therefore, the Amendments are regarded with little interest and receive little attention. Hon. Gentlemen opposite regard them as pieces of Parliamentary lumber, and they are only too glad to see them relegated to the lumber room in order that some more attractive pieces of Parliamentary furniture may be introduced in their place. Notwithstanding, I propose to argue this Amendment as if the Bill were going to pass. The object of the Amendment is to prevent the Irish Parliament from passing resolutions on subjects, except the subjects upon which they are permitted to legislate 548 by the Bill. It will not be denied, least of all by the Chief Secretary, that the resolutions of deliberative bodies are entitled to as much respect as the assembly itself commands, even where those resolutions have no binding effect. The late Sir Erskine May, in his reference to resolutions in his book on procedure, says that by its resolution the House declares its own opinion, and resolutions would have certainly considerable moral even if they had no practical effect. The first of the subjects on which the Irish Parliament is forbidden to legislate is, "The Crown or succession to the Crown, or a Regency, or the Lord Lieutenant, except as respects the exercise of his executive power in relation to Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act." Everyone knows that the Irish House of Commons could, if it chose at a time of crisis in this country, have a most mischievous effect on questions affecting both the Crown and the Regency. The question which above all others precipitated the Union was the interference of Grattan's Parliament on the question of the Regency. It is a matter of historical importance. I myself think that Mr. Pitt, that much maligned man, with Lord Castlereagh, for whom I have just as much admiration as I have a whole hearted detestation of the men he was fighting, the rebels, whose methods others would like to copy to-day if they dared, would have been justified, even if there were nothing else calling for the abolition of that Parliament and the establishment of the Union, in what they did, by the thoroughly mischievous and treasonable interference of the Irish Parliament with this question of the Regency.
Everyone knows that at that time this country was passing through one of the greatest crises in its history, and that the resolutions which the Irish Parliament passed greatly increased the difficulties of the situation. There is little reason to-suppose fortunately that there will be any question of a Regency again for many years to come, but if there was any question affecting the Regency or the Crown, the Irish Parliament by passing a resolution: dealing with the subject might very gravely endanger the good government of this country. In the same Sub-clause the Irish Parliament is forbidden to make laws in reference to the Lord Lieutenant. I ask the Chief Secretary whether he is contemplating what the position of the Lord Lieutenant will be—that unfortunate man who, by other Clauses of the Bill, has 549 put upon his shoulders more than it is reasonable to expect any man to bear, if he is going to be subject in season and out of season, whenever this Legislature is in Session, to insulting resolutions proposed and passed by the Irish Parliament? The next Sub-clause deals with—
"the making of peace or war or matters arising from a state of war; or the regulation of the conduct of any portion of His Majesty's subjects during the existence of hostilities between Foreign States with which His Majesty is at peace, in relation to those hostilities."
Everyone knows that the Parliament in Dublin might in a time of great crisis, when the question of peace or war between this and some other country was trembling in the balance, pass a resolution which might do great harm. Suppose that the question was actually decided, and this country was at war. What would be the position of the Imperial Government if the Irish Legislature, after hostilities had commenced, proposed a resolution expressing sympathy with the country with which this country was at war? I have no doubt whatever that in all these matters the hon. and learned Member for Waterford would be no party to such proceedings, but in the Bill, as it stands, the Irish Parliament is not prohibited from passing and it is not prohibited from discussing a resolution of the kind. How is the hon. and learned Member to prevent any irresponsible Member of the Irish Parliament in a time of crisis from proposing a resolution expressing sympathy with the enemies of this country? It is not suggested, when the new Parliament gets into full swing, that he will be able to control all sections in that House. No one supposes that he will be as omnipotent in that Parliament as he is over a certain section in this Parliament, and while all of us must admire the manner in which his followers have obeyed his orders during the last two years and the excellent way in which they are drilled, there is every reason to suppose when the Bill is passed that his authority over his followers will be very much less in the Irish Parliament than it is here in this House; and for this simple reason.
While sitting here under his leadership they are working to obtain something which they want, and they are only human, and it is reasonable to suppose that a considerable section of them hope to obtain—I am informed that some of them have been promised—office in the new Government which is to come into operation in 550 Ireland. It is all very well for the hon. and learned Gentleman to act as a sort of sergeant-major to his followers, but when the new Parliament meets some of the drummer-boys may be very anxious to obtain promotion. Under those circumstances they may take action which is opposed to the best interests of their party and of good government. There is nothing to prevent any individual or section of such persons, even though the hon. and learned Gentleman himself may have expressed disapproval of such resolution, putting down such a resolution and greatly endangering the interests of this country. By Sub-Clause (3) the Irish Parliament is prevented from dealing with the question of the Navy, the Army, the Territorial Force, or any other naval or military force; but it is easy to see that harm might be done by the passing of resolutions or even the proposal of resolutions in the Irish Parliament on that question. The fourth and perhaps the most important of all matters dealt with is the question of making treaties. The Irish Parliament is prohibited from making treaties or entering into relation with foreign States or with other parts of His Majesty's Dominions and so forth. There is nothing in the Bill to prevent the Irish Parliament from sending an Ambassador, or whatever you like to call him, to some foreign State.
This matter was referred to in the Debate on the 1893 Bill, and Mr. Gladstone asked how could the Irish Parliament send a representative to a foreign country when it would not have power to accredit such a representative. It was pointed out at that time, and during the nineteen years that have elapsed since then no answer has ever been given, that there is a very famous historical case of a representative being sent to a foreign country who was not recognised by that country at first, but was afterwards accredited, and when the country sending him had not itself the actual legal power to send any representative. Benjamin Franklin was sent to France by the United States of America before they were recognised by this country or before they were recognised internationally as a separate entity. It would be perfectly possible for a representative of Ireland to be sent to some foreign country, and conceive what the effect would be if the Irish Parliament, as I think is extremely likely, having regard to the relations between the 551 Irish and American parties, endeavoured to send a representative from Ireland to Washington.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Yes. This Amendment proposes to exclude from the entire purview of the Irish Parliament all those matters upon which it is not permitted to legislate by the Bill. The proposal is to prevent the Irish Parliament passing resolutions upon those subjects on which it cannot legislate. Under Sub-clause (4) it is not allowed to legislate upon treaties. I am attempting to show that under the Bill as it stands, unless some Amendment such as I propose is introduced, it would be competent, by the passing of a resolution in the Irish Parliament, for an envoy to be sent by the Irish Parliament to some foreign States.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That would surely be the act of the Executive. An envoy would be sent by the Executive and no address or resolution would be required. I do not see how the Noble Lord's Amendment would stop one being sent.
§ Earl WINTERTON
On the point of Order. In the case of Benjamin Franklin, to which I was referring, it was done by order of Congress representing the United States. When this question was debated on the 1893 Bill, when this same Motion was proposed, it was submitted by the right hon. Gentleman the junior Member for the City of London, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham and others on this side, and I submit, that it would be competent for an Irish Parliament, without any resolution to accredit an ambassador. That was denied by Mr. Gladstone, and the Debate was allowed in exactly the same form as it has been to-day. However, I do not wish to emphasise that point further, if it does not arise here. I believe it would be perfectly competent for the Irish Parliament, even though the Executive might object, by resolution to send to some foreign nation a representative who would go to that nation with all the authority of that resolution.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
On the point of Order. May I ask you, Sir, whether this may not arise: That the Irish Parliament may pass a resolution resolving that a Minister might be sent to the United 552 States. If they pass that resolution the Executive might send a man to the United States, and that man arriving in the United States upon the resolution passed by the Irish Parliament, is an indication that the Irish Parliament desires that he should represent them in the United States.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think that is very far fetched. It generally happens that the Executive send the representative and not the Legislative body.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
But even supposing this Amendment were passed, there is still nothing to prevent the Executive from sending a representative. Therefore, I do not see how the mischief which the Noble Lord is seeking to cure is affected by the Amendment.
Sir GILBERT PARKER
On the point of Order. May I put forward this consideration? The Irish Executive, feeling perhaps that their action might be questioned in sending a representative to a foreign State, would seek to secure support and authority from their Legislature which would strengthen their hands, if there was any question whatever of their right, or of the legality of their action. It seems to me that we cannot discuss this question of addresses and resolutions at all, unless we have the power to refer to just such a situation as I have indicated—that the Executive, wishing to secure further authority, would go to its Legislature in order to obtain a resolution, if not empowering them, at any rate strengthening their hands.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
How if the Executive sends its representative without consulting the legislative body at all?
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
This House passes resolutions, as it often does, on a variety of subjects, and those resolutions have no force as a matter of law, but they strengthen very much the hands of the Government in dealing with a subject, and they are made use of by the Government to deal with it. In the same way a resolution passed by the Irish House of Commons might strengthen, or encourage, or even compel the Irish Executive to take such action as that of sending a Minister or Ambassador to the United States, unless there was something in the Bill to prevent the taking of such a course.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
There would be no provision under this Amendment preventing the Executive Government from sending their particular representative. If there is no such provision, I cannot see any force whatever in the argument of the Noble and learned Lord.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
On the point of Order, Sir. While I quite agree that of course nothing can prevent the Executive from sending a representative, Still I think the effect of this Amendment, if inserted, would be to prevent the House of Commons of Ireland from accrediting such a representative.
§ Earl WINTERTON
It seems to me there are two cases involved. The first case is when the Executive sends a representative without the permission of the Legislature, and on that I submit it is almost inconceivable that the Executive would send a representative if the Legislature by resolution objected. Therefore, by passing a resolution, I submit that it would be possible, in effect, for the Irish Parliament to prevent the Executive from sending a representative. The second case is that of the Irish Parliament passing a resolution sending an envoy to the United States, and that might be supported by the Executive. I would point out that we are not dealing with an Executive such as we have in this country—the Executive in Ireland will be double-headed—and the Irish Parliament might pass a resolution in favour of sending an envoy, even without the concurrence of the Executive.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If the Noble Lord confines what he is saying to the legislative body, I have no objection; but he was not doing that; he was confining his argument entirely to the sending of a representative. The effect of his Amendment would be to prevent the legislative body from disowning the representative which had been sent by the Government.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Apparently I have not made my argument clear. What I wish to submit is that the Irish Parliament might by resolution invest with authority some person who would not necessarily be called an envoy, but who might be called a representative, or an agent-general, or by any other name that could be appropriately used, and such a person would be invested with all the authority that any man could be invested with who is sent under such conditions to some foreign country. I say there is the danger that such a man 554 might be sent to Washington, and I hope the Government will take it into consideration, because I think that if such a case did arise, the good feeling which has been increasing between this country and the United States might be affected, in view of the power of the Irish vote. Anybody who has studied American politics recognises the growing power of the Irish vote and the homogeneousness of the Irish as a unit in American politics, and also recognises that it is a power which is increasing every year. I say that circumstances might arise which would very largely destroy the progress of friendly feeling between the two countries, if some such proposal as that which I submit be not adopted. It may be said that the contingencies of which I speak are remote; but why not put in the Bill a provision which would make it clear that this House has in mind the possibility of such things occurring, and is determined that they shall not take place.
There is another very important Subsection of this Clause to which I invite attention—Sub-section 6 dealing with "treason, treason felony, naturalisation, or aliens as such." It has frequently been said in the course of this Debate that what is most objected to by hon. Gentlemen who represent the Nationalist party in Ireland, and by their supporters, is the fact that the laws which are made by this House go to Ireland in "an alien guise"—that is the kind of phrase which is always used. Can anyone conceive any law which would have more an "alien guise" than the law of treason, or treason felony, and what is there to prevent the Irish Government from passing a resolution any time a man is convicted of treason. Such things have happened and are likely to happen again. I turn to another branch of this question which I think is most important. There is nothing in the Clause as it stands to prevent the Irish Legislature from passing resolutions on questions in regard to which it is not permitted to make laws. There is nothing in the Bill to prevent the Irish Parliament from passing a resolution on a question of the proceedings in this House. Circumstances might arise, and I believe very probably would arise under the new-Irish Parliament, under which an Irish Nationalist Member of this House had been suspended by Mr. Speaker, and what is to prevent the Irish Parliament, under the Bill, from passing a resolution disapproving of the conduct of the Speaker of this House. There is nothing, and very con- 555 siderable friction might arise between the two Houses. There are many other questions which might be dealt with and in regard to which I submit it is undesirable for the Irish Parliament to have power to pass resolutions.
I wish to anticipate a little what will be the probable line of argument adopted by the Chief Secretary in replying to this Amendment. Two arguments have been advanced on every Amendment brought forward by this side. The first, is as to the power placed in the Dominion House, or the Canadian, or the South African, or the Australian Legislatures to pass resolutions on any subject they desire. The answer to that is that they have not forty representatives in this House. I consider that the situation of the Irish Parliament is very different from that of the Dominion House, which has no representation in this House. The subordinate Legislature in Ireland will have forty Members from Ireland sitting in this House. It might be said that the effect of my Amendment would be to prevent the Irish Parliament from petitioning this House. I agree; I think it would. But surely it is not denied for a moment that the effect of the unanimous resolution of forty Irish Members, or say of thirty-two Irish Members, would have more effect upon the opinion of this House than a resolution passed by the Irish Parliament. Therefore, the Irish Parliament has the very right which is given to the Dominion House of Parliament, though in a different form it is true. In regard to the question of the Irish Parliament passing resolutions I do not for one moment deny the bona fides of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford or of his colleagues. I do not think it is likely that they would pass resolutions of the kind, certainly not often. But I should be more impressed to hear, not the views of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, but the views of the Irish-American party who are responsible for the policy of hon. Members below the Gangway. It is a well-known fact that the Irish-American party is largely responsible for the financial stability of the Irish Parliamentary party; it is also a well-known fact that those who pay the piper call the tune; and I should like to hear the views of Patrick Ford, the two Sullivans, and others whose names are household words in Irish-American circles.
The Chief Secretary, throughout these Debates has always appeared to believe 556 in many difficult things and many impossible things. That belief proceeds I think less from conviction than from the hard necessities of the case which, I have no doubt, convince him that he is justified in his views. After nine years experience of the House of Commons I have never seen a more convinced Mark Tapley than the right hon. Gentleman. He sits here day after day, and on each occasion when any safeguard is suggested he gets up and says that that safeguard is not in the least necessary. "We," he says, "trust the Irish, and we know from what they tell us, but not from their past record, that they intend to turn over a new leaf." I wish I could believe that was so. I wish we had a more concrete assurance that it would be so than what we have had from the speeches and writings from the hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway. I have no doubt the argument will be used that after all you are only going to trust the new Legislature to make laws and pass resolutions in the same way as the people in South Africa, without hindrance of any kind. As it happens I am the Member who has been most recently in South Africa. I happen to have some interest out there. I can only say, and it is as well that it should be said, that while I believe myself that the enmity between Boer and Briton was decreasing in all the years after the close of the war until the grant of the Constitution, I do not believe that the grant of the Constitution itself had the wonderful result of healing racial differences. Hon. Gentlemen opposite believe so, but I do not think you will get a single South African, Unionist or Progressive, to say that racial differences have been finally healed. You have the case today of General Hertzog, and what is splitting the Progressive parly to-day—
§ Earl WINTERTON
I should not have used the argument had it not been used so frequently by hon. Gentlemen opposite on this question with, as I venture to say, as much relevance as it has been used by me. I will not say anything further on that subject, except to remark that it is untrue to say that the grant of the Constitution has as yet healed those racial differences which exist out there. No doubt there are a great number opposite who honestly believe that this Bill is going to heal all such differences in Ireland, and that there is going to be nothing with 557 which you may not entrust the Irish Legislature. I believe that those hon. Gentlemen, sincere as I know them to be, are looking in a mirage, and when they come to examine it they will find that it is nothing but dust and stone. No hardship will be involved by this Amendment on the Irish Legislature and it will save that Legislature and this country from many grave and obvious difficulties.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The Noble Lord began by reminding the House that an Amendment of this kind was discussed in 1893, at very considerable length on, I think, two occasions. He referred also to the fact that Mr. Gladstone treated the Amendment as an important one and dealt with it at a great length. Having done that he dropped Mr. Gladstone, and I cannot help thinking that it would have been more useful for the discussion of this Amendment if the Noble Lord had answered some of the arguments which he had had the advantage of reading in "Hansard" and which Mr. Gladstone employed on that occasion, instead of treating at all events on a variety of other matters. I do not myself propose to quote Mr. Gladstone at any length to the House, or to attempt to repeat his arguments. If I did so I might expose myself to Goldsmith's criticism of a little fish trying to blow like a great whale. I will not set myself in competition with that very great man. I should like to ask the Noble Lord to consider what it is he is really trying to do. He stated that I believed in everything that was impossible, and he emphasised that with some force.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am bound to say that if indeed I did believe in what was impossible then I should be a supporter of this Amendment. This is an attempt, as Mr. Gladstone pointed out, to do the impossible, namely, to shut the mouth of an independent Parliamentary Assembly which is free to discuss all these matters, and he also pointed out what you are trying to do is to confine a deliberative Assembly to purely legislative acts, and he proceeded to show that that really is one of those impossible things in which the Noble Lord says I believe. If this Amendment were introduced into the Bill, 558 it would say that without the previous approval of the Lord Lieutenant, acting on the instruction of His Majesty, the Irish Parliament is not to be at liberty to discuss or to pass any resolution or address whatsoever upon any kind of subject that you like. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] Yes, without the previous approval of the Lord Lieutenant it would prevent this Assembly from dealing with any of the matters which legislatively they cannot deal with. That is an attempt to close the mouth of an Assembly of this sort in a manner which I simply say is impossible. The thing cannot and ought not to be done. Mr. Gladstone pointed out:—I would have no sympathy with the Irish Legislature if it should proceed to perform acts which were manifestly inconsistent with the Act of Parliament, and I would say 'if you can stop such acts without inconvenience stop them.' The difficulty which I feel, however, is that they could not stop them, and, what is more important, we might, in the attempt to stop them, be stopping that which we ought not to stop, and which we would have no executive means of stopping.I have had considerable experience of Irish resolutions, and I am very often compelled to remind a number of subordinate bodies in Ireland, such as boards of guardians that it is really no part of their duty to meet in the board chamber and to pass resolutions affecting things altogether outside their province, and over which they have no power of control whatsoever. I am bound to say it would be perfectly futile, idle and impossible on all occasions when boards of guardians or any other bodies did those things to put into operation a law or anything of that sort to stop them from doing anything of the kind. The only way in which you can deal with them, and it has been done very often successfully, is by appealing to their sense of their own dignity and their own importance, and to call their attention to the fact that their dignity and importance is not served or promoted by departing from those matters which are within their jurisdiction, and over which they have very considerable powers and control. I am very glad to think that, as time goes on, those bodies are exercising a certain amount of self-restraint in connection with matters of that sort. Here you are going to suggest to a Parliament in Dublin which may be moved at different times by different feelings that they are not in any sort of way to give expression to those feelings except within the very narrow limits of an Act of Parliament. In other words, you are to say to them you are to do nothing but legislate.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
In effect that is the result. At all events it is a limiting resolution which seeks to prevent them giving expression to their views by resolution or address on certain kinds of subjects. I think, therefore, it is absolutely open to all the objections which were made to it by Mr. Gladstone on the former occasion. With reference to the argument as to whether it was in order the Noble Lord was of opinion that it was within the power of the Irish Executive to send an envoy to America. If you read Clause 4 in conjunction with the Sub-section of Clause 2 which prevents anything being done in relation to foreign States or to other parts of His Majesty's Dominions, that is an excluded subject, and consequently does not come within Clause 4, which deals with the powers of the Irish Executive. Therefore, in the first place the sending of an envoy would not be an act of Parliament at all, or in pursuance of any resolution or address, but would be the result of an act of the Executive, which is not within the power of the Executive under the other provisions of the Bill.
Sir G. PARKER
I would like to ask whether the Legislature would not have the power, independent of the Executive, to send its own envoy, and it could only send an envoy by virtue of a resolution passed by the House.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Legislature would have no power to send its own envoy. I assert that under Sub-section (4) of Clause 2 that would be dealing with the matter which is not within their power at all, and Clause 4 confines the powers of the Executive to those matters which are subject to and within the province of the Legislature. Therefore, the thing cannot really be done either way. It would not be by resolution, and therefore it is not within the terms of the Amendment, and it could not be done by act of the Executive as it is not within the powers of the Executive.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Did not Mr. Gladstone send Mr. Errington to the Court of Rome without a resolution?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Mr. Errington did not occupy the position of an accredited agent at the Court of Rome. That was the advantage of Mr. Errington's position. Mr. Gladstone contended he went there as a gentleman of the Catholic persuasion interested in those things, and that he might 560 very usefully supply Mr. Gladstone with information, very useful information for a Government to have, as to the state of mind or feeling of the Pope. But Mr. Errington was not an accredited agent, or, at all events, Mr. Gladstone always asserted that he was not an accredited agent of the Government at all. You cannot prevent a person going to Rome and having interviews with His Holiness or with Cardinals dealing with Papal affairs throughout the world. The thing cannot be done. Mr. Gladstone got into trouble over it; but his trouble was that Mr. Errington was not an accredited agent. Therefore that case does not come in. If the hon. Baronet suggests that some day or another there may be somebody in the Court of Rome who will write a letter to the Irish Government informing them of the state of mind of His Holiness the Pope on any subject concerning Irish affairs, of course I cannot say that that would not be the case. But it will not be within the province of the Executive or Parliament established under this Bill to have any envoy or any accredited persons of their own with principalities, popes, or powers.
Therefore I would ask the House gravely to consider whether it is desirable or necessary, whether it is likely to accomplish the purpose you have in view of preventing unseemly differences of opinion between the two Parliaments, to say that the Irish Parliament shall not have any power whatsoever in this matter of giving expression of their state of mind. The only example that has been put forward does not affect my mind very much. It is said that Members sometimes get into conflict with Mr. Speaker. That is the case on both sides of the House. It might very well be that some Mr. Speaker in the future would suspend one of the forty-two Irish Members—I do not know whether it would be an Ulster Member or a Member from some other part of Ireland—and that thereupon, inflamed by patriotism, the Dublin Parliament would pass a vote congratulating the suspended Member upon the courage he had displayed, and assuring him that he carried with him into suspension the feelings, hearts, aspirations, and passionate love of every honest Irishman. I hope that that would be some consolation to the hon. Member. I am quite sure that the last person to attach any importance to it would be the Speaker of this House. I ask the House to remember that the resolutions of an Assembly, I care not how dignified or how representative it may 561 be, relating to matters over which it has no power or control, matters altogether outside its province and jurisdiction, can only have force if they are supported by really strong and genuine feeling in the country itself; and if they are representative of that strong and genuine feeling you will not get rid of the feeling by preventing discussion or debate where differences of opinion will arise in a representative assembly of this character. It is far better to allow it to have overt action, and to be expressed in the form of resolutions which can be and certainly would be debated and disputed, than to suppress it and to deny to the new assembly one of those outlets of opinion which has always been of value, and which, although of no authority or legal effect, nevertheless is a right to speak which I do not think any representative assembly ought to be asked to forego.
Sir GILBERT PARKER
I am quite willing to admit that in the lines he has taken the Chief Secretary has considerable authority. I agree that he has the authority of Mr. Gladstone and his party in 1893, and he has the still higher authority of the experience of the Oversea Dominions, where I think every provincial Legislature has the power to pass resolutions upon subjects in regard to which it is not competent to legislate. They pass resolutions upon fiscal questions and upon matters affecting foreign relations. I would point out, however, that the practice has been productive of a great deal of ill-feeling in the Oversea Dominions themselves. The reason they have that power is that the Provinces or States had ii when they were given practically autonomous and independent government, and therefore when they came together it was thought undesirable to press the question of the prohibition of Resolutions of this kind. But we are in an entirely different position with regard to Ireland and Home Rule. The Prime Minister has said over and over again that he does not have regard to the Colonial analogy or approach the question of Ireland in the same way that any of the Oversea Dominions approach the provincial Governments within their orbit. We are, therefore, entitled to approach this question absolutely independently of any analogy or of any authority represented by Mr. Gladstone or anybody else. The considerations I wish to put before the House are sincere and practical. It has been thought desirable to exclude 562 from the purview of the Irish Legislature certain very grave questions affecting the welfare of the United Kingdom and of the whole Empire. My Noble Friend (Earl Winterton) has referred categorically to the separate questions—the Crown, treaties, trade, the Army, the Navy, and' so on. You are entering upon an experiment of an extremely grave and delicate kind. It is necessary that that experiment should be begun and carried on-with the least possible friction, ill-feeling, and passion.
The Irish people have the idea that this Parliament of theirs is going to have far more power than it will actually have. They have been led to believe that they are going to have an enormous amount of power, and that this Parliament will be able to do practically anything. [An HON. MEMBERS: "It will not."] Of course it will not; but there are a great many ignorant people even in Ireland. I hope I am not saying things that are offensive; I want to argue the question. We want to avoid agitation and ill-feeling. When the Irish people come to realise that there are certain questions with which they cannot deal in their Legislature, hon. Members below the Gangway and their colleagues in that Parliament are going to encourage resolutions, the effect of which would be to create in the country a feeling in favour of a development of their constitutional privileges and opportunities. That is a very grave consideration, and I do not think the Government ought to reject the argument. If the Irish Executive desire to strengthen their influence-in any particular direction it will be very easy indeed for them to arrange for a-resolution to be passed upon one of the subjects excluded from their legislative power, thus creating in the country a passionate feeling upon which they can trade in order to induce an amendment of the Constitution or a development of their power. The right hon. Member for Islington (Mr. Lough) dropped a phrase in the course of his speech yesterday indicating that this Bill only half-satisfied the aspirations of the Irish people, that it was not final, and that he and others were looking forward to an increase of the powers of the Irish Legislature. Whatever the long future may do, I believe it to be an extremely dangerous thing, in this first delicate experiment of detaching from the Union one section only of the United Kingdom to perform legislative functions, to give into the hands of the Legislature this secondary power of 563 being able by resolutions, which in the eyes of the public will have a very powerful effect, to indicate policies which they cannot put into operation through Acts of Parliament.
That is exactly the point. They are not to put policy into a legislative Act, but they are to be able to indicate their policy, which might be antagonistic to the Imperial policy of this country and this Parliament, As the Bill now stands, they -would be able on every one of the subjects upon which they are denied the right to legislate to incorporate in resolutions their policy, which might be diametrically opposed to that of the Imperial Parliament. There is, for instance, the question of the Territorial Army. That is a matter upon which it might be thought that they ought to be permitted to express an opinion. I say, and I think that most Members of the House will agree, that on the matter of principle it would be most inadvisable for the Irish Parliament to express any view of policy, incorporated in a resolution, on matters which this Imperial Parliament has decided were to be carried out by Acts passed by this Parliament. I hope the House will face that situation. We pass Acts here incorporating a policy represented by this Parliament. The Irish Legislature, by resolutions or an address, but particularly by a resolution, will be able to represent a different and opposing policy, which, at any rate in the first years of this experiment, would be extremely dangerous to the good feeling existing between the two countries. The Government are relying not upon any past precedent or upon the Debates of 1893, but upon the Debates in this House during the last few months, which have shown how extraordinary sensitive the feeling is both here, in Ulster, and in other parts of Ireland. You have no parallel anywhere in the Empire. In other parts of the Empire these Resolutions have sometimes been resented by the Central Government, but there you have had your provincial Constitutions granted, and your Union accomplished, by absolute good feeling and by agreement on the part of every section of the community. Here you will not have agreement with every section of the community, and the case is not on "all fours" at all. I beg the Chief Secretary, in spite of his rather relentless attitude towards this question, to reconsider the matter from 564 the standpoint of the view which my Noble Friend put forward and from the standpoint of the view which I now put forward. I believe these views are not only worthy of consideration, but ought to appeal to him. If hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway want peace, the smooth running of the legislative machine, and good relations between this country and Ireland, what I now present to the Committee ought to be supported by them and by hon. Members on the other side of the House as by Members on this side.
§ Mr. DILLON
This is really an exceedingly absurd Amendment. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh !"] I think I shall be able to show it. The proceedings are a singular instance, illustration, and commentary on the complaints made of the insufficient time given for the Debate on the Report stage of this Bill—that the Opposition should hand in a manuscript Amendment at the head of all the other Amendments they have put on the Paper, and so take up a very large portion of the time allocated, to the exclusion of a number of persons who are anxious to speak upon the Bill. If this Amendment were inserted it could have no possible effect except to irritate. I want, as a practical question, to assume that the Amendment is put in. Suppose the Irish Parliament passed a resolution in spite of this Amendment, what would you do?
§ Mr. DILLON
If the Irish Parliament passed legislation you can take effective action. Everybody knows perfectly well that you can take effective action in that case, or if the Executive oversteps its powers; but how can you take effective action supposing a resolution is passed, as suggested? What are you going to do? Are you going to prosecute or suspend the entire Irish Parliament because they pass a resolution? That is not all. Attempts have been tried in other spheres to prevent people expressing their opinions. They have never succeeded. The only possible effect has been to create irritation and to induce or irritate people into passing such resolutions, and so give vent to their feelings when they might otherwise not have attempted to do so. Supposing you were able to prevent the Irish Parliament passing a resolution, I maintain you have no power to prevent them expressing their opinion. Supposing you do accept the Amendment, we Irish, after all, are not without resource. What is to prevent 565 us moving the Speaker out of the Chair, and so bringing our proceedings to an end, putting another person in the Chair and expressing our opinion? It would be a resolution of the Members of the Irish Parliament assembled, though not at a legal sitting. It would have exactly the same weight and influence—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—with our countrymen in Ireland, or in any other part of the world, as if the Speaker were in the Chair. Therefore I say, even if it were possible to prevent the Irish Parliament passing a resolution, a resolution could be passed by the Members of the Irish Parliament, and that for all practical purposes would have the same effect. I wish to show that all the time engaged in debating this matter is the purest waste of time. It is futile. It can have no possible object.
§ Mr. DILLON
I never said it was. But the Amendment is a futile one, and if passed it can have no effect whatever except to irritate, annoy, and insult. To take up the time of the House in debating such an Amendment is manifestly preposterous. As the Chief Secretary pointed out with irresistible force, such a resolution can never have any force and effect, for any attempt to suppress popular opinion and deny it exit or means of expression never served any useful purpose or had any useful result in any country in the world. Debate nearly always leads to difference of opinion, and I should have thought that debates on any subject of the kind in the Irish Parliament would be very much more preferable to debates outside Parliament, especially with the grievance that such subjects were not allowed to be debated in that House of Commons at all. Even if it were possible to take any conceivable action to prevent the Irish House of Commons passing a resolution it is futile.
One word on the question of the envoy. I listened to the remarks of the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury), who is generally extremely acute, but he misses the mark when he speaks of the famous case of Sir George Errington. Does he really seriously think that any Amendment, or that any Veto put into this Bill, would prevent the Irish Government sending an envoy of the character of Sir George Errington? I do not envy the Irish Minister who would be responsible for it. What was Sir George Errington? He was in theory an 566 agent of the kind that go between the Ministers of this country and the Holy See. He got his friends or patrons in this country into a good deal of hot water, but who imagines that any Amendment of this character or any other Amendment in this Bill would prevent the Irish Government talking with some friend who might be at Washington, or the Vatican, which seems to be a great terror to many hon. Members on this side of the House? Anyone who chanced to be in those countries, after converse with the Irish Minister, could act as a "go-between" between that Minister and any other part of the world that it might be thought desirable to converse with. You cannot do what is suggested. The thing is absurd. The danger conjured up by the imagination of the Noble Lord and other Members is grotesque—absolutely grotesque. Of course, it really goes back to the question which lies at the root of this whole matter, and that is this: Is this policy of this Bill going to improve the feeling of the Irish people towards this country or not? If it is not, this Bill ought to be thrown out. We ought to waste no time over it. If it is, all these fears, these nightmares, are absurd and grotesque. I certainly think that the Noble Lord was singularly unhappy when he alluded to Irish agents at Washington. I think the more Irish agents in Washington and America after this Bill passes the better for the British Empire.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
The hon. Gentleman called this an absurd Amendment. In 1893 Mr. Gladstone, in a similar instance, began his contribution to the Debates with these words:—I confess that the Amendment appears to me to be one of great importance.He went on to ask Members to look at the matter temperately and apart from all party differences. I take Mr. Gladstone's opinion, not on the merits of the case, but on the importance of the issue as being more deserving of respect than that of the hon. Member for East Mayo. Clearly it is an important matter. Let me just reply to the answer that the Chief Secretary thought adequate. I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree that he only put up two replies to the speech of my Noble Friend. The first was that if this Amendment were accepted the Irish Parliament would be debarred from talking about anything that was not in order upon the Bill, and the second answer that he thought adequate was even if the Amendment were accepted it would be impossible to enforce it. Let 567 us deal with these two replies. The first was only a debating reply. I agree that this Amendment covers all the Sub-sections in Clause 2—that is to say, it covers every matter upon which the Irish Parliament is not to be allowed to legislate. If the Chief Secretary had said it is impossible or undesirable to say that the Irish Parliament shall never pass a resolution on any of these matters, I think one would have been prepared to continue the discussion on those lines. But it is not an adequate reply to say if you take the Amendment in its present form you debar the Irish Parliament from talking about anything. If the hon. Member for East Mayo wishes this Bill to go through with any chance of success, would not he and his Friends, upon their own premise, try to meet the Opposition on matters on which the Opposition clearly have a good case and in respect of a matter admitted by Mr. Gladstone to be worthy of consideration? I do not take all subjects. You might pick and choose and say in respect of the Crown or the Succession to the Crown you do not debar that because you will hurt their feelings, and we accept their feelings on all such matters.
What then? But there are matters where through ill-feeling, ignorance, or other causes there is or has been great trouble. You would strengthen the hands of the Irish Government by saying that you are not to discuss such subjects as the Army. The right hon. Gentleman does not agree with me. I will take another matter. At the present moment there is a general tendency throughout the civilised world to tighten up the laws against foreign enlistment. It is felt to be a very dangerous thing to allow men, however exalted their motives may be, to go and fight for another State to which they are not subject: against a third State. We do not deal with these matters as light-heartedly as we did in the old days. The Chief Secretary has told us his opinion as to what Sir George Errington's capacity was and he has given Mr. Gladstone's version. It was sufficient then to say, "Oh, he was a gentleman who happened to be in Rome," and so forth. That did not go very well then. I am not talking of the question of the envoy, but of the question of foreign enlistment. We can no longer adopt in these days the light-hearted attitude of Lord Palmerston, when a number of Irishmen—and I respect them for it—went to Sicily to fight with Garibaldi 568 because they shared his opinions. When Lord Palmerston was severely cross-examined in this House, and asked what attitude the Government took towards them, he thought it sufficient to say, "I think they have gone to watch an eruption of Mount Etna."
That would not be very well received by the Concert of Europe at a time when all the nations are trembling as to the terrible calamity of war that might fall upon European civilisation. It is not too much to ask that at such a time in which we are now living, with the recollection of a situation which called forth the historical speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that if these hon. Gentlemen from Ireland are acting in good faith, and wish to give the people of this country some assurance that they accept this Bill in a loyal spirit, to ask them to accept a self-denying ordinance that they will not pass a resolution in their Parliament, and take up, say, the matter of foreign enlistment, or the question of one State against another, at a time similar to the present stage of acute tension in European matters. If only on that ground we cannot seriously accept their attitude towards this Bill. I have tried to answer the first part of the Chief Secretary's reply. My point was that it was not sufficient to say that if you accept this Amendment you bar the Irish Parliament from even passing a vote of condolence to the head of some neighbouring State. You utterly refuse to consider questions of which I only gave one example. There are grave questions which the Irish Parliament might themselves, without any humiliation, rightly and properly accept in order to say that they do not wish to embarrass this Parliament. The other answer of the Chief Secretary was, on the supposition of accepting the Amendment in whole or in part, that it would be impossible, in fact, to enforce it. It would not be impossible for the Irish representatives to say that they accept this Amendment in part, but if they say they will not accept this Amendment, if they have the presumption to tell us that these discussions are futile, and that we are wasting time upon a matter which we consider of such importance, then what is the value of the safeguards in this Bill when we are told that you cannot enforce any of them.
§ Mr. DILLON
What I said was, I believe, this discussion was futile, because such an Amendment as this could not be enforced.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
It clearly could be enforced if the first Government of Ireland said we will bar ourselves from interfering in questions of diplomacy or questions of enlistment in the Army. Why do they not do that? The hon. Member for East Mayo says that from his point of view these discussions are futile, because he believes he has got the Government and that they are bound to pass the Bill, and he refuses to accept any Amendment, however reasonable. From that point of view it is futile, and the Government have once more departed, not for the first time, from the conditions they laid down. In the last Debate, when the Leader of the Opposition indicated that this Bill would not become law this year, he was taunted with the cry, "Oh, you know what the House of Lords is going to do," and that was considered fair debating. But the Prime Minister said over and over again that, in his conception of the Parliament Act, any Bill of magnitude would have to be two years before the country before it can be passed, and that these Debates in the House of Commons are for the purpose of moulding public opinion. If you abide by that then this discussion is not futile, and when we say it is a danger to multiply Parliaments which could interfere in an acute state of affairs, such as foreign enlistment, if we can prove that to be the case, then we believe that the country will become alive to the fact that these matters are of grave importance, and that they are now being treated with levity by the Government and its supporters of this House.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
The Chief Secretary and the hon. Member for Mayo has put to the Opposition a question which has not yet been answered, namely, What machinery do you propose to establish in order to enforce this prohibition? Three speeches have already been made from the opposite benches, but we have not received any reply to that question, and I think we are entitled to receive a reply.
§ Mr. WYNDHAM
My reply would be, if we are to attach any importance to the speeches of the Leaders of the Nationalist party and to the safeguards in the Bill, then they should accept this Amendment and do their best to carry it out.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
To that I think there are two replies. The first is that in no part of the House has it been more frequently stated than from the Unionist Benches that the present Leaders of the 570 Nationalist party cannot bind the future Irish Parliament. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman heard the speech of the Mover of this Amendment. If he did he will recollect that it was upon that argument he based the greater part of his case. The right hon. Gentleman then referred to other safeguards in the Bill. I presume his argument there is that we could not carry into effect the prohibition the Bill contains upon the power of the Irish Parliament to pass Acts or certain measures. After all, the machinery for the prohibition upon Acts of Parliament is contained in the veto of the Lord Lieutenant. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have not suggested even the slightest machinery by which it could be attempted to enforce the prohibition in this Amendment, and until they suggest some form of machinery we are justified in saying that this is not a serious Amendment. The Noble Lord who moved this Amendment argued that it was unnecessary to give these powers to the Irish Parliament because they would have forty-two Members to represent them and to express their views in this House. Why is it that hon. Members opposite always urge in the case of Ireland proposals which in the case of England, Scotland or Wales they would themselves admit to be grossly unfair? The arguments in support of this Amendment would equally entitle them to say that the London County Council shall be prevented from passing resolutions. It would equally entitle them to say that the ancient right of petitioning should be taken away from the inhabitants of this country. If you were to reason with regard to England as you are reasoning with regard to Ireland, then the right of petitioning is not necessary, because the views of the petitioners could be expressed by their representatives in this House.
Hon. Members who have spoken opposite appear to me to attach very exaggerated importance to the power of the resolution. Of course a resolution expressing the views of four millions of people would naturally be entitled to due weight, but if it be the case that the Irish Parliament were to pass a resolution intended to embarrass this country during the progress of a war, then the people of this country and of foreign countries would give that resolution the value it deserved, namely, the value of a resolution passed by a subordinate assembly which has no military or naval forces. Of course it is evident there is not the remotest possi- 571 bility that a resolution intended to embarrass the Government would be passed by the Irish Parliament. Hon. Members have referred to speeches which have been made and to resolutions which have been passed by Irish local bodies in the past. These resolutions and these speeches prove nothing at all. People under conditions of freedom do not continue to act as they did under conditions of coercion. One point made by the hon. Member for East Mayo was that, if you did wish to goad any assembly into passing resolutions of this character, there is no better method of doing so than to issue a challenge to them and to impose upon them a prohibition, which would be a continual insult. Every town council, every board of guardians, even the humblest parish council, has a right to pass these resolutions. Out of the thousands of Parliaments and local assemblies throughout the British Empire you wish to tell the Irish Parliament and the Irish Parliament alone that it is not to have the right of expressing its opinion by resolution. That would be perpetual insult; it would be a standing stigma upon that Parliament. The view of hon. Members opposite that that is the way to prevent the Irish Parliament passing these resolutions is another of the many indications we have had in these Debates that they do not yet understand the proper method of legislating for a free people.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
I think my Noble Friend who moved this Amendment has very good reason to congratulate himself that he did so, and that it has led to the Debate to which we have just listened. I cannot help thinking that the Debate has been very satisfactory from the point of view of those of us who oppose this Bill, and I think nothing could be more satisfactory than the speech of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. He began with a very pertinent question: What machinery do we propose to establish in order to enforce the prohibition in this Amendment. I think we may very well reply that we were not told what machinery the Government proposed to establish in order to enforce the veto of the Lord Lieutenant, and when we are told, then we shall be in a position to answer the question of the hon. Member. Allusion was made to the Debate in 1893, and the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary seemed to think he had entirely disposed of the Noble Lord who moved this Amendment when he suggested to him that he 572 might have read the answer of Mr. Gladstone. I think the right hon. Gentleman himself might have also read a little more deeply into the Debate at that time than he appears to have done, because then he would have realised that Mr. Gladstone was answered and answered very effectively. If he will turn to the passage of Mr. Gladstone in the Parliamentary Debates of 30th May, 1893, he will find this passage:—I would like to put it this way: what would be the position of this House if the prohibitions we are now asked to impose were disregarded. Those prohibitions might be flourished in the face of this Parliament and disregarded by the Irish Parliament. This House would have no means of enforcing them. It would be out of the power of this House to interfere.That was what Mr. Gladstone said, and that was accurate to some considerable extent, but I should also like to read the answer given to that argument by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, and I think it will be found that Mr. Gladstone was admirably answered. The right hon. Gentleman said:The argument cuts both ways. It absolutely destroys the argument of my right hon. Friend, who can no more enforce the supremacy or restrictions, or safeguards, which he puts forward in his 15ill than he can enforce the prohibitions which we propose. If he says he has convinced himself that the safeguards in the Bill are insufficient to enable this House to exercise control over the Irish Parliament that admission applies equally to all the other safeguards—it applies to those which he has accepted just as much as to those which he has not accepted. The securities are insufficient by the admission of the Prime Minister himself…He tells us 'you cannot enforce your will upon the Irish Parliament.'That is being said to day by the Chief Secretary and by the hon. Member for East Mayo, and we quite agree with it. He says that no Amendment and no human ingenuity which can be put into this Bill would prevent the Irish Parliament from sending an envoy to this country, and I quite agree. What is more, no Amendment or safeguard that human ingenuity can put into this Bill will make the supremacy of this Parliament effective if the Irish Parliament does not wish it. No Amendment or safeguard will make the veto of the Lord Lieutenant operative if that is not the wish of the Irish Government and the Irish Parliament. We have pointed that out over and over again in these Debates, but I do not think the opportunity of showing up this point so conclusively has ever arisen before as it has to-day. Every speech made by hon. Members opposite and by hon. Members below the Gangway against this Amendment are in support of the Amendments we have been constantly putting forward in the course of the Committee Debates. It 573 cannot for a moment be said that this Amendment has been futile, idle, or impossible. It may be that I have already argued on the assumption that it is impossible to enforce the safeguards, and I agree that that is the chief argument against the Amendment, in fact it is the only valid argument against it. I may point out, however, that it is no more valid against this Amendment than against a great many of the safeguards which are in the Bill already, which are always held up to hon. Members representing Ulster as safeguards on which they should rely and which should induce them to accept the Bill. If the Prime Minister attended the Debates more when we are discussing such details as these, perhaps he would refrain from making such observations as those in which he informed us, almost pathetically, that Ulster men have nothing to fear from the Irish people, and when he informed us if there were any more safeguards they demanded still even now he would be willing to admit them in the Bill.
If the Prime Minister attended the Debates a little more he would realise that we do not care whether those safeguards are put in or not, because we do not think the Bill is ever going to become law, and because we know that those safeguards are not worth the paper they are written on. Therefore that does not meet our arguments against this Bill as a whole. You admit in your own words, copying what Mr. Gladstone said, that this is an impossible safeguard to enforce. It rests upon hon. Gentlemen opposite to show that it is any more difficult to enforce this Amendment than to enforce the various safeguards already in the Bill. I do not believe it is possible, even with the ingenuity of hon. Members opposite, to show that it is impossible to enforce one safeguard and possible to enforce another. But supposing it could be enforced, there would be a great deal to be said for it. One of the greatest arguments against setting up a Parliament in Dublin, which we believe must sooner or later become as independent as the Colonial Parliaments, is that you will have that Parliament on occasions frequently hostile to this country and acting in opposition to the interests of this country. The case of a war has been referred to. The hon. Member who spoke last said that a resolution passed by the Irish Parliament in case of a war would not very much matter, and the belligerent nation with whom we were at war would be likely to say that that is the 574 resolution of a subordinate Parliament to which not much importance can be attached. I do not take the same view. If you had a resolution passed supporting; the enemies of this country by a Parliament nominally subordinate but in practice independent, that might have a very disastrous effect upon the operations in; which this country might be engaged. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] It might be an invitation openly extended to a foreign power to use Ireland as a base. This has been done before in the course of Irish history, because a hostile Ireland has offered its shores as a base for the invasion of this country. I have no faith in hon. Memhers below the Gangway, and circumstances might arise in which the same-course of action might be taken by the-Irish Parliament.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
The Irish Parliament will be certain to quarrel with the Imperial Parliament on a great many issues, and this Bill is full of opportunities for friction between the two Parliaments. I have very little faith in the assumption freely indulged in by hon. Members opposite, that because you set up this Parliament you are going to create a feeling of good will between the two countries which has not hitherto existed. I believe the feeling of hostility to this country which has animated so many Irish Nationalists in the past will animate them in the future, and they will use the Parliament you are setting up to get more and more power, and they will not be content with the extended form of government in the present Bill. Does the hon. Member for East Mayo accept this Bill as a final settlement of the question?
§ Mr. DILLON
Has the Noble Lord never heard of the Dublin Convention, where over 6,000 delegates accepted this Bill as a final settlement?
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
The hon. Member for East Mayo has always been one of those who has gone further than his colleagues, and there are many of his speeches which show that his ultimate aim is complete independence for Ireland. He has been one who freely acknowledged? that he belonged to the Separatist group.
§ Mr. DILLON
Never. It is absolutely untrue. I frankly admit I have said a great many things in the course of a rather stormy career which are very extreme, but I never belonged to the Separatist group, and even if I had done so I would not in the slightest degree consider it inconsistent with the attitude I am adopting to-day. But, as a matter of fact, I never did belong to that group, and from the day I entered politics thirty-five years ago I have always been an advocate of the constitutional policy of Home Rule.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
Then the hon. Member has been exceedingly unfortunate in some of the expressions used in his public speeches.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
If words mean anything at all, the speeches made by the hon. Member for East Mayo show that there can be no doubt that the attitude of the hon. Member at the present moment is a new one, and not one which he has held very long. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] The House will notice that even to-day the hon. Member has rather qualified his remarks by saying that if he had been a separatist he would see no inconsistency in his present attitude. What he means by that I rather fail to understand.
§ Mr. DILLON
I will tell the Noble Lord frankly what I mean. In the ranks of the constitutional party, converted by our propaganda, there are tens of thousands of Irish separatists who are now quite willing to become loyal subjects of the Crown of England on the conditions of this Home Rule settlement.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think it would be better if hon. Members would discuss the Amendment. A discussion of the opinions of the hon. Member is really not relevant to this Amendment.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
I will not pursue the discussion of the opinions of the hon. Member for East Mayo any further, except to state that there are a great number of people, especially in America, who will not regard this Bill as a settlement, and whatever anybody else may say now I am sure the course of events themselves will lead to a further estrangement between the two Parliaments, and that will lead to the Irish Parliament acquiring more power. Therefore, to endeavour to 576 restrict the Irish Parliament and confine its action to the sphere of legislation would be a wise and politic step. If you say that you cannot enforce this safeguard, that is an argument against the Amendment, but it is no greater argument against this particular Amendment than it is against a great many lines contained in this Bill.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Isaacs)
I do not intend to follow the Noble Lord in the last part of his speech, because that does not advance us in deciding whether or not this Amendment should be accepted. I propose to consider the earlier part of the Noble Lord's speech and to deal with the observations made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham). I cannot help thinking that the statements which they have made to the House, and particularly those made by the Noble Lord, are due to a complete misunderstanding as to the position of this Bill. I cannot help thinking that they are giving an extraordinary illustration of their belief that the safeguards which have been introduced are merely waste paper, or as the Noble Lord suggested illusory. If they are illusory, then there is no point whatever in seeking to introduce a safeguard which from all points of view must be more illusory than the safeguards which are already in the Bill. This is really all the more remarkable if they believe in the suggestion that all these safeguards are of no avail. One of the arguments put forward is that my right hon. Friend refused to accept this Amendment on behalf of the Government because it could not be enforced. The Noble Lord says you cannot enforce it, and apparently to his own satisfaction, and, so far as I can judge, to the satisfaction of the Members of his party who are present in the House, he accepts the view that consequently you must conclude that the safeguards in the Bill are mere waste paper and illusory. The Noble Lord has quoted the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Joseph Chamberlain) as having said that you could not possibly enforce any of these safeguards. With regard to the safeguards in the Bill I would remind the House that there is a provision to the effect that any legislation which is passed in contravention of the particular Clauses of the Bill is void. The Noble Lord asks what is the use of saying that? Is he unaware of the fact, and are those who support him unaware, that if a law is void it cannot be enforced and may 577 be broken with impunity, and there is no provision by which you can bring a man to account, because such a law is ultra vires.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
I am aware of that provision, but an Irish Government hold office, and it may not be able to get the support of an Irish Parliament until this Parliament is made to withdraw its voidance of that Act.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I agree with the Noble Lord, and if he is voicing the opinion of his party I say that the moving of this Amendment has not been futile if it has only produced that answer. Nothing can demonstrate more that the safeguards are not illusory than the admission the Noble Lord has just made. He admits in perfectly plain terms that what I said just now is quite correct. I am not professing to enunciate any new doctrine, but it is one which ought to be borne in mind and which must not be lost sight of when you say all the safeguards are illusory. The Noble Lord said that if the Prime Minister were here more often he would not give us these platitudinous expressions with regard to safeguards or say that if there were any further safeguards needed they would grant them. The Noble Lord asks what is the use of that when they are all perfectly illusory. Hon. Gentlemen opposite do not seem to distinguish between a safeguard which says if you pass a law that law shall be void and unenforceable and the safeguard which it is sought to introduce here, and which I say no power of legislation of this Parliament or of any Parliament in the world could' enforce upon any people who had any respect for themselves. If this Amendment were accepted it would prevent the expression of the opinion of the representatives of the people's Parliament of Ireland. It would prevent the expression of their opinion upon points which are, no doubt, of very great importance. It would prevent addresses of congratulation or of condolence, and the expression of their opinions on all matters of that description which come within the excluded matters in Clause 2.
How can you possibly prevent the representatives in an Irish Parliament from expressing their opinion either in that Parliament or outside it? Even if you pass this Amendment, it is quite clear you cannot prevent somebody in debate, for example, from expressing an opinion, and, whether you assume the Speaker of 578 the Irish Parliament will be as vigilant as Speakers to whom we are accustomed here or as indulgent as sometimes the Speaker is willing to be here, you cannot prevent expressions of opinion; and, supposing you say you will not allow a discussion on a resolution in the Irish Parliament, what would prevent the party meeting and passing a resolution either in a committee room or in some public hall? Let me point out that all you are dealing with are expressions of opinion. Resolutions in this House are of importance in certain respects, because generally they precede legislation, but a resolution in a Parliament which is incapable of legislation is of no value. That is a very vital and material distinction between the two. We discuss matters in this House over and over again before a Bill is introduced. You have a resolution proposed and debated, and as the result of that resolution a Bill is framed. If a resolution of the Irish Parliament dealt with any of the excluded matters, that Parliament would be quite incapable of introducing a Bill, and the resolution would remain nothing else but the expression of a pious opinion. I cannot help thinking the Amendment would not only not do what hon. Members desire, but it would be impossible to enforce it. I will take the two instances which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham) gave, enlistment and the Foreign Enlistment Act. He complained that my right hon. Friend might, at any rate, have dealt with these matters, and have made some exception, but at the time my right hon. Friend replied to the Noble Lord not one word had been said about them. The instance given by the Noble Lord was suspension by Mr. Speaker, upon which the Irish Parliament might wish to pass a resolution. The right hon. Gentleman's complaint was that my right hon. Friend did not deal with those instances, and my answer is that they had never been made a peg upon which this argument could be based. The instance which had been given was of a totally different kind.
I propose now to deal with the right hon. Gentleman's point. Does he think it would tend to popularise the Army in Ireland if you had a Clause in the Bill saying the Irish Parliament should never be entitled to express an opinion upon enlistment in the Army? Does he think that would help? He, of course, has had far greater experience than I have of what enlistment 579 means, and of all the difficulties surrounding the distinguished position which he has occupied. If you had enlistment as one of the points in respect of which a resolution could not be passed, do you think you would have made the Irish people anxious to enlist? Of course, you would not have done that at all. The only effect of this Amendment, as my hon. Friend the Member for Mayo said, would be to annoy, irritate, and constantly keep before the Irish Parliament, and therefore the Irish people, the fact that they were not allowed freely to express their opinion upon various matters. The right hon. Gentleman used one other instance, and that was the Foreign Enlistment Act. I could understand preventing a resolution being passed if it could be followed up by legislation, but the Irish Parliament could in no way touch the Foreign Enlistment Act, and I cannot see what value any resolution would have. It proves what my right hon. Friend said in regard to this matter, that you can never effectively prevent expression of opinion. It will certainly never be effectively prevented by this particular means. Consequently, on every ground I submit this Amendment ought to be rejected.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The hon. Member for Mayo (Mr. Dillon) is perfectly entitled, if anyone is, to take the line which he has taken, because he has always perfectly consistently held the idea, and said in public, that no amount of safeguards will be of any value. He is therefore, perfectly entitled to turn round upon us and say, "You cannot enforce this. Of what value is it?" I confess, however, I am very surprised that line should be taken by the Government. I do not want to refer at any length to the past career of the hon. Gentleman, but he has at all events in the past been a conspicuous prophet of more extreme measures in Ireland than he appears to be to-day. I want the House to listen to one extract from the speech of the hon. Gentleman, who says now in the House of Commons when there is a question of the passing of an Home Rule Bill that he has never been a separatist. Speaking at Moville on 4th December, 1904, as reported in the "Freeman's Journal" on the following day, the hon. Gentleman said:—I say deliberately I should never have dedicated my life as I have done to this great struggle if I did not see at the end of this great struggle the crowning and the consummation of our work.580 What?A free and an independent nation.And the hon. Gentleman thinks this Bill is finality. The hon. Gentleman may think so and the Liberal party may think so, but they must at least allow us to be free to hold our own opinion. I want to say a word on what the Attorney-General said with regard to the impossibility of enforcing an Amendment of this kind. If that is true, your safeguards are of no value. The Attorney-General, however, says this is quite different from anything else in the Bill. Will the House believe it, the identical words of this Amendment are in the Bill? Let the Attorney-General look at Clause 10, Sub-section (2).
"(2)The Irish House of Commons shall not adopt or pass any vote, resolution, address, or Bill for the appropriation for any purpose of any part of the public revenue of Ireland, or of any tax, except in pursuance of a recommendation from the Lord Lieutenant in the Session in which the vote, resolution, address, or Bill is proposed."
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The effect of that, put shortly, is that the Irish House of Commons is, by the terms of your Bill, precluded from appropriating money by resolution, except in pursuance of a recommendation by the Lord Lieutenant, just as a resolution is allowed here on the recommendation of the Lord Lieutenant. That is the answer to the Attorney-General, who says the Irish House of Commons could not pass a resolution of condolence. They could, because, of course, that would be a case in which the Lord Lieutenant would recommend a resolution.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I should have thought it is perfectly obvious Clause 10, Sub-section (2), refers to a money resolution which has to be followed by the Appropriation Act. If you cannot pass your Statute, your resolution, of course, is of no use whatsoever.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
May I remind the right hon. Gentleman that these words were put into the Bill originally because the very hypothesis of a case in which the Irish Parliament might dispose of money by resolution without an Appropriation Act was taken. Supposing that case docs occur, what check have you upon it? Then the right hon. Gentleman said 581 that by this Amendment we are seeking to stifle tree discussion. I want to ask him of what use is free discussion on these prohibited subjects except for the purpose of embarrassment? What is the use of the Irish Parliament spending its time talking at large about subjects on which it can never, unless the terms of the Bill are altered, legislate? What possible effect can it have except to embarrass this country? One has to cross swords often enough with the Nationalist party, and I do not want to be needlessly offensive upon this occasion, so I will not take the case of this country being at war; I will take the case of a diflicult diplomatic situation. There is one thing on which everyone in this House will agree. It is this: that the Nationalist party in Ireland have always, and I do not mention it as being to their discredit, been the champions of little nationalities. Over and over again the Irish Nationalist party have come forward as the champions of some little nation which has been oppressed by a bigger one. But I want the House to observe that nearly all great European wars during the past two centuries have arisen exactly out of that state of things. They have been caused by the fact that a small nation is being oppressed, or it may be ill-treated, by a larger nation, and one can only liken the position to that of an open powder magazine ready to receive the spark. But in view of this tendency on the part of the Nationalist party in Ireland one can well imagine circumstances arising when it would be extremely criticial for the Parliament to pass a resolution which might precipitate a diplomatic crisis at the moment. I suggest quite seriously that there is a great deal more in that than has hitherto been considered by the Government. I believe there is a real danger. I recognise it will be a hardship to say that the Irish Parliament shall be prevented from discussing resolutions, and that is why my Noble Friend has been anxious, in framing this Amendment, to put in special words securing that, subject to the approval of the Lord Lieutenant being obtained, certain resolutions may be discussed. Unless you are prepared to believe that the Lord Lieutenant is going to be an absolute tyrant it cannot be suggested that his approval will be withheld. Surely the Government do not wish us to believe that the Lord Lieutenant is going to act oppressively towards the Irish Parliament. If they do not wish us to believe that, then 582 what is the reason of their refusal to accept the Amendment allowing him to give his approval. I submit to the House that there are circumstances perfectly conceivable in which an Amendment of this kind might not only be important, but absolutely necessary, and I suggest that this is a matter on which the Government might well reconsider their position.
§ Mr. DAVID MASON
I think it must be very obvious to those who have studied the Amendment what is to be the machinery for obtaining power to discuss these resolutions in the Irish Parliament. It is obvious that the Lord Lieutenant, in giving his approval, will act on the instructions of His Majesty's Ministers, and if this Amendment is passed you will have the absurd position that any law passed by the Irish Parliament must be subject to the instructions of His Majesty's Ministers. Just imagine what an absurdity that is. Hon. Gentlemen opposite may not believe in Home Rule, but having passed the Second Reading of the Home Rule Bill it becomes necessary to do what we are now engaged in doing—to frame the Constitution. While we do not expect hon. Gentlemen opposite to agree with Home Rule, I do suggest it would be absurd to lay it down that laws passed by the Irish Parliament shall be subject to the approval of the Lord Lieutenant, acting on the instructions of His Majesty's Ministers. If this Amendment were adopted one result would be that Bills passed by the Irish Parliament would have to be debated over again in this House. Hon. Members opposite say they do not expect Home Rule to become law, although most of us on this side believe it will do so, and it is reducing the thing to an absurdity to spend our time in discussing a proposal of this nature. I do not think that up to the present the time has been badly spent. I have listened to some very interesting speeches on both sides of the House, but it cannot be made too clear that we are engaged in drawing up a Constitution. If there are any hon. Members who do not believe that it is possible to have Home Rule I can quite appreciate their idea of introducing safeguards into the Bill. Let us grant, for the sake of argument, that that is their position. If they will turn to Clause 1, Subsection (2), they will find ample safeguards. There is admirable provision against the passing of disloyal resolutions by the Irish Parliament. What are the words of the Sub-section?
583 "Notwithstanding the establishment of the Irish Parliament or anything contained in this Act, the supreme power and authority of the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall remain unaffected and undiminished over all persons, matters, and things within His Majesty's dominions."
Those words have become part of the Bill. It is clearly laid down what the Irish Parliament may do. Could a more moderate measure be framed than this Bill? Seeing that the delegates at the
§ great Convention in Dublin unanimously accepted this Bill, and bearing in mind, too, the moderate speeches we have had from Nationalist Members opposite—
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 154; Noes, 279.587
|Division No. 477]||AYES.||[6 12 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Gardner, Ernest||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gibbs, George Abraham||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Barnston, Harry||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Barrie, H. T.||Grant, J. A.||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Greene, Walter Raymond||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Haddock, George Bahr||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Bird, Alfred||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Blair, Reginald||Helmsley, Viscount||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Boyton, James||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Stanier, Bevilie|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hoare, S. J. G.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Butcher, John George||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Home, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Swift, Rigby|
|Carilie, Sir Edward Hildred||Horner, Andrew Long||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hunt, Rowland||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Cautley, Henry strother||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Cave, George||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Chambers, James||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||White, Major G. D. (Lancs, Southport)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||M'Mordie, Robert James||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Magnus, Sir Philip||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Malcolm, Ian||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Croft, H. P.||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Younger, Sir George|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Moore, William|
|Doughty, Sir George||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Earl|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Newman, John R. P.||Winterton and Major Gastrell.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Barnes, G. N.|
|Alden, Percy||Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Barton, William|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Hazleton, Richard||O'Dowd, John|
|Bentham, G. J.||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||O'Grady, James|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, East)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Malley, William|
|Boland, John Plus||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Shee, James John|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Brace, William||Higham, John Sharp||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Hinds, John||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hodge, John||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hogge, James Myles||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Pointer, Joseph|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Hudson, Walter||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Hughes, S. L.||Radford, G. H.|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Clancy, John Joseph||John, Edward Thomas||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Clough, William||Johnson, W.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Clynes, John R.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Compton-Rickett. Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Richards, Thomas|
|Cotton, William Francis||Joyce, Michael||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Keating, Matthew||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Crean, Eugene||Kellaway, Frederick George||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Crooks, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kilbride, Denis||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Cullinan, John||King, J. (Somerset, North)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Delany, William||Leach, Charles||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Levy, Sir Maurice||Rowland, S. James|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lewis, John Herbert||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Dillon, John||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Doris, William||Lundon, Thomas||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Scanian, Thomas|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lynch, A. A.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Sheehy, David|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||McGhee, Richard||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Maclean, Donald||Shortt, Edward|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Macpherson, James Ian||Smith, H. B. L. (Normanton)|
|Falconer, James||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Snowden, Philip|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Field, William||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Sutton, John E.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Meagher, Michael||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Furness, Stephen||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Millar, James Duncan||Thomas, James Henry|
|Gilhooly, James||Molloy, Michael||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Gill, A. H.||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Thome, William (West Ham)|
|Ginnell, Laurence||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Morgan, George Hay||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Glanville, H. J.||Morrell, Philip||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Morison, Hector||Wadsworth, J.|
|Goldstone, Frank||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Muldoon, John||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Munro, R.||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Guiney, Patrick||Needham, Christopher T.||Wardle, George J.|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Neilson, Francis||Waring, Walter|
|Hackett, John||Nolan, Joseph||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Hancock, J. G.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale;||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Webb, H.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Brien, William (Cork)||White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Whitehouse, John Howard||William, John (Glamorgan)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Whyte, A. F. (Perth)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Wiles, Thomas||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Wilkie, Alexander||Wilson, W. T. (Westheughton)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
Question, "That the Question be now put," put, and agreed to.
§ Mr. GODFREY LOCKER-LAMPSON
I beg to move, after the word "laws" ["that they shall not have power to make laws"], to insert the words "or to vote any grant of public money."
With this Amendment the Clause will read—
"that they shall not have power to make laws or to vote or grant any public money in respect of the following matters—"
and then follows a long list of subjects with regard to which they are not to be allowed to act. On the face of it this Clause has been drafted by the Government in order to prevent the Irish Parliament from passing laws in reference to certain matters, but so far as I can see, on the face of the Bill, there is nothing to prevent the Irish Government from granting money which might be paid out of the Irish Exchequer before the vote could be embodied in an Act of Parliament, and which might be utilised to further the very objects which Clause 2 is drafted to prevent. Without this Amendment the provisions in the Clause could easily be rendered a dead-letter. I should like to take one or two instances to show that. Paragraph (1) says that the Irish Parliament may not make any laws in respect to the Crown or the succession to the Crown, but as the Bill stands, on the face of it, I do not see anything to prevent the Irish Parliament, if they wanted to do so, subsidising a movement which practically was a revolutionary movement against monarchical institutions or subsidising some political association with avowed republican ends in view. Paragraph (2) says that the Irish Parliament may not make laws with respect to war or the conduct of His Majesty's subjects during hostilities between foreign States. Again, on the face of the Bill, there does not seem to be anything to stop them granting subsidies to an independent body of His Majesty's subjects fighting under a foreign flag, or, perhaps, granting pensions to their widows and orphans. I have no doubt hon. Members below the Gangway will repudiate these suggestions as entirely outside the range of all possibility, but I think there are some eventualities which even they in their hearts will admit are quite probable.
588 Paragraph (3) says that the Irish Parliament may not make laws in respect to the Army, the Territorial Force, or any other military force, but as the Bill stands there does not seem to be anything in it to prevent the Irish Parliament from making a grant to a non-statutory body of volunteers which, with the Royal Irish Constabulary as a nucleus, might be turned into a very formidable weapon in certain contingencies. Hon. Members will agree that it has always been one of Ireland's grievances that she has never had, in recent years at all events, a body of Volunteers, and I have no doubt that under Home Rule that feeling will tend very much to increase. I think we are almost certain to see in the future, under an Irish Parliament, an organisation very much in the nature of a Volunteer force, whose spirit will probably be no more friendly to the Imperial connection than that of the so-called National Boy Scouts, who, I believe I am right in saying, have taken an oath never to enlist or serve in the British Army. I see the Attorney-General smiling. I think I know why he is smiling; he is thinking of Clauses 21 and 10, to which I am coming in a moment. Under Clause 2 the Irish Parliament is not to be permitted to make laws in respect of any matters arising from a state of war, but as the Bill stands there is nothing to prevent them, if they want to do it, making grants for entertaining or harbouring the King's enemies. I do not say that these things will be done, but, if they may be done, I do not see why these safeguards should not be put into the Bill, to prevent them from dealing with them in any shape or form. Hon. Members below the Gangway will recollect, it was mentioned in the Debate yesterday, that an Irishman, Major McBride—whom they repudiate as a representative Nationalist, but who is a man of considerable importance as a public official—did organise an Irish brigade, which fought on the side of the Boers in South Africa, and they will also recollect quite well how he was subsequently rewarded by being given the post of inspector of markets under the Nationalist Corporation of Dublin. This gentleman is still a public official, and I think I am right in saying that he has 589 been given a new post during the last year or two, with an additional salary attached to it. Only last year, in a speech in St. Mary's Minor Hall, he said:—He personally laid no claim to gifts of oratorical rhetoric. The rhetoric he would like to hear would be the crack of the rifle, and the rattle of the machine gun when directed against the power of England.Hon. Members below the Gangway—I say this in no spirit of bitterness, but you have to face facts as you find them—will remember the incident of the visit of the Hibernian Order of America, which is closely affiliated to the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Ireland, who came to Ireland no longer ago than 1909. The spokesman of those gentlemen was a certain Mr. Cummings.
§ Mr. BOOTH
On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. I should like to ask you whether these references to speeches which may be called in question was not thoroughly gone into earlier this week on the Clause relating to military control, and whether under a mere money Amendment, the House can again review the same kind of speech.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I can hardly stop the hon. Member. He brings this forward, I suppose, as showing the possibility of the Irish Parliament voting sums of money for certain purposes we should not consider legitimate. I cannot prevent him using these speeches, but I think I may say we have had quite enough of them.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
I will certainly adopt your suggestion, Sir, and will not follow up the quotations I proposed to make. I have certain quotations here, but I refrain from using them. I will take another instance, that of harbour regulations, which are expressly excluded under paragraph (7). "Harbour regulations" is a very wide term indeed, and the Irish Parliament might easily decide to remit or repay harbour dues in respect of Irish-built or Irish-owned ships, and by these means could easily build up a preferential tariff trade with foreign countries. It may be said that the Irish Parliament, with the very many calls that will be made upon them, will not be able to afford to make these various Grants or subsidies, and that, in the words of the Chief Secretary, Irish finance will prove to be a very tight fit. There is no doubt that it will prove to be a very tight fit, even with Ulster thrown in as a milch cow. But, after all, people in this world generally manage to afford what they want and what they are determined to have, and it 590 will always be possible under the new regime in Ireland to starve one Department in order to feed another. For instance, Irish traders who have a great deal of very strong Nationalist backing, will not be unlikely to starve Irish education in the future for their own purposes; and, in fact, it seems to me if the present form of this Clause is adhered to it is more than probable that the history of Irish finance in the future will be one long story of robbing Peter to pay Paul The examples I have given show that it is quite possible that unless a restriction is placed upon the Irish Parliament making grants of money, the safeguard in Clause 2 will be rendered entirely nugatory and of no avail.
To come to what I know is going to be the reply of the Attorney-General, he will probably say that the matter is already provided for in Clause 21, and under which all votes of money have to be included in the Appropriation Act, and that therefore the Appropriation Act will be void if it includes any votes for those subjects which are forbidden to be touched legislatively by the Irish Parliament in Clause 2. How is this going to be worked out in practice? How do we know, for instance, what financial procedure the Irish House of Commons is going to set up in the future? How do we know that emergency or provisional issues and issues by intermediate ways and means may not be made long before the Appropriation Act gives legal effect to them? Supposing these issues were made in order to subsidise these various forbidden subjects under Clause 2, would the Appropriation Act be wholly void in such a case, or would it merely be void in respect of this particular vote? Again, who is to raise the question whether this Irish Appropriation Act is void or not? Is the Paymaster-General to refuse to pay the money out of the Irish Consolidated Fund, and is he to be prosecuted by the Irish Attorney-General, who himself would be the servant of the Irish Government, if the payment turned out to be illegal in the last instance? Supposing a private person chooses to try and prosecute the Paymaster-General for issuing money, what is to prevent the Irish Attorney-General from stopping the prosecution? Or would it be the duty of the Irish Comptroller and Auditor-General to raise the whole question of legality? Under Clause 21 the Comptroller and Auditor-General is to be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant, but 591 there is absolutely nothing in the Bill to show whether he is going to be appointed on the advice of the Irish Ministers or of the Imperial Government, This is a very important matter, and I do not think it ought to be left in this state of uncertainty. After all, you are not going to have any Insurance Commissioners in this case to clear up the muddle, and if the Bill is allowed to pass through in its present sloppy condition there will be inextricable confusion in the future. Sub-section (2) of Clause 21 merely says that the Comptroller and Auditor-General is to be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant, but if he is going to be the servant of the Irish Government he will practically exercise no control at all. I mean that the control that, as a servant of the Irish Government, he exercises in regard to Imperial interest will really be not worth having. It will be a dead-letter.
Suppose, for instance, that the Irish Parliament grants subsidies for gradually building up a carrying trade with foreign countries in conflict with the spirit of Clause 2, is it likely that the Irish Comptroller and Auditor-General will question the payment out of the Irish Consolidated Fund for such an eminently desirable national object? Of course, the Comptroller and Auditor-General will have the whole sentiment and feeling of the Irish people behind him, and it would be as much as his place was worth to question the disbursement of the necessary funds. It will not only be merely a question of the Appropriation Act. There will presumably be intermediate issues of money just as there are at present in this House. This takes place at the present day by means of a Royal Order, without which no issue can be made, but under the Bill the Royal Order will merely be an Order by the Lord Lieutenant, acting, as I presume he will be acting, under the advice of his Irish Executive, and the Executive Government in Ireland, at any rate in the near future, will be the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond), the hon. Member (Mr. Dillon), the hon. Member (Mr. Devlin), and others. This Amendment might have been necessary even if Clause 10 were clear. Clause 10 says the Irish House of Commons shall not pass any resolution for appropriating any revenue except in pursuance of a recommendation from the Lord Lieutenant. But just as in the case of Clause 21, I should like to know on whose advice will this recommendation be made. Will it be on 592 the advice of the Irish Ministers or of the Imperial Government? It certainly looks, when one reads the Bill, as if he was going to act on the advice of his Irish Cabinet, and really the point is of very great importance. If the right hon. Gentleman can satisfy us that he is really going to act on the advice of the Imperial Government this Amendment would certainly not be nearly as necessary as it is at present; but if, as it seems to me, he is going to act, not on the advice of the Imperial Government, but on the advice of his Irish Cabinet, the safeguards in Clause 2 in regard to all these subjects are perfectly illusory and of no avail at all. I take it for granted that the Government want to abide by the spirit as well as by the letter of the Clause they are proposing, and if they really have that intention I cannot help feeling that they ought to put these safeguards into the Bill and make it quite certain that the Irish Government shall not be able to go behind the back of the Clause and really do by a Money Resolution what they are forbidden to do by an Irish Act of Parliament.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I do not rise in order to refute the prophesy of the hon. Gentleman that the Attorney-General was going to deal with this question, but by prearrangement, with which I cannot interfere, and if anything I say does not give satisfaction to the hon. Member he can put my right hon. Friend further to the torture. I have some difficulty in understanding my hon. Friend quite as well as usual. He said for example that Sub-section (2) of Clause 2 does not provide against harbouring the King's enemies, and suggested that in Sub-section (7) harbours were not properly defined. That pointed to Amendments in those particular Sub-sections rather than to the Amendment which he now moves. If we have not sufficiently defined the services which are outside the scope of the Irish Parliament, of course in that respect the Bill is open to criticism, but my hon. Friend does not propose any Amendment of that character, therefore we have for the moment to proceed upon the assumption that the excluded subject matter is properly defined in the various Sub-sections of Clause 2. Then, says the hon. Gentleman, what is there to prevent the Irish Parliament from proceeding to vote sums of money for purposes which are outside the scope and purport of this Clause. He -was inconsistent to dwell so much as he did on my expression of the 593 tight fit, and then to suggest that it was quite likely that the Irish House of Commons would seek by vote to support the widows and orphans of foreign fighting Powers. However, as he said widows and orphans, probably they were widows and orphans of gallant Irishmen, fighting in extraneous battles. I do not think that is likely to happen. At the same time in another part of his speech he referred almost in terms of reprobation to the exceedingly hard financial terms which had been imposed upon Irishmen by the financial provisions of this Bill. But the hon. Member was quite right in anticipating that, when the Attorney-General rose to reply he would call attenton particularly to the provisions of Clause 21, and incidentally to the provisions of Clause 10 and Clause 29. Clause 21 rigorously imposes a scheme of action upon the Irish Parliament corresponding to that in our own. A vote of the Irish House of Commons by itself has no more effect than a resolution. The hon. Baronet knows what little effect resolutions of this House have unless followed up by legislation, and any little inaccuracies and errors which in the past we have attributed to resolutions, have now been finally decided by the Courts, and we are all placed upon our good behaviour in the future. We all recognise that a resolution, unless followed up by an Appropriation Act, counts for nothing. Therefore, we have inserted in this Clause 21 a provision which makes that matter perfectly plain—
"All sums paid into the Irish Exchequer shall form a Consolidated Fund and be appropriated to the public service of Ireland by Irish Act, and shall not be applied for any purpose for which they are not so appropriated."
Consequently if the Irish Act were to seek to appropriate them to a purpose outside the provisions of the Bill, it would be illegal, void, and of null effect. On the other hand, they could not be appropriated to any purpose except a legal purpose. Therefore the vote to which the Amendment refers would have no effect whatsoever as a disposition of public money until such time as it had been subsequently appropriated by an Act of Parliament. Then Clause 21 goes on in the same way:—
"Save as may be otherwise provided by Irish Act, the existing law relating to the Exchequer and Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom shall apply with the necessary modifications to the Irish Exchequer and the Irish Consolidated 594 Fund, and an officer shall be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant to be the Irish Comptroller and Auditor-General."
That is the officer in Ireland corresponding to the officer who keeps us right in this country. He is to be appointed independent of all party consideration. The Comptroller and Auditor-General occupies the proudest position of anybody in this country, namely, that of having the duty of determining whether moneys voted in this House have been appropriated to their particular and proper purposes. The Sub-section provides that the corresponding officer in Ireland is to act in the same way. The hon. Gentleman is very suspicious as to the independence of this Comptroller and Auditor-General. He thinks that the Comptroller and Auditor-General is to be subject to Clause 10, Sub-section (2) of which: provides:—
"The Irish House of Commons shall not adopt or pass any vote, resolution, address, or Bill for the appropriation for any purpose of any part of the public-revenue of Ireland or of any tax, except in pursuance of a recommendation from the Lord Lieutenant in the Session in which the vote, resolution, address, or Bill is proposed."
That, of course, refers to a money resolution. The hon. Gentleman says that the-Lord Lieutenant is to make a recommendation, and he wants to know in what capacity the Lord Lieutenant is acting. He is acting in his capacity as head of the Irish Executive. There is no doubt at all of that, I think. If that wipes away, in the opinion of the hon. Member, all the financial arrangements and the code established by this Bill—if that is to be swept away by the officer who recommends a money resolution, and who is the officer at the head of the Irish Executive, then, of course, I am open to the criticism which the hon. Member has passed, namely, that the whole of the arrangements become illusory, waste paper, worth absolutely nothing, and is all sheer nonsense; because the Lord Lieutenant who recommends a resolution in the ordinary way to the House of Commons is notoriously a creature of the Government, and that they may devote their own money to some purpose outside of the scheme and the restrictive scope of this Bill. I really cannot attach any importance to that. The hon. Member has pointed out what is to happen if there is a case where it is doubtful whether it is legal or not. All law, it may 595 be said, is a matter of doubt, and I am far from saying that some cases may not be on the line. Clause 29, Sub-section (1), on which there was a great deal of discussion and Amendment in Committee, runs in this way:—
"If it appears to the Lord Lieutenant or a Secretary of State expedient in the public interest that steps shall be taken for the speedy determination of the question whether any Irish Act or any provision thereof, or any Irish Bill or any provision thereof, is beyond the powers of the Irish Parliament, or whether any service is an Irish service within the meaning of this Act or not, or if the Joint Exchequer Board, in the execution of their duties under this Act, are desirous of obtaining the decision of any question of the interpretation of this Act, or other question of law, which arises in connection with those duties, the Lord Lieutenant, Secretary of State, or Board, as the case may be, may represent the same to His Majesty in Council, and thereupon, if His Majesty so directs, the said question shall be forthwith referred to and heard and determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, constituted as if hearing an appeal from a Court in Ireland."
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I dare say. It might be or might not be. It is to be before the Appropriation Bill is passed. The question cannot arise until there has been an attempt to deal with public money in a way which, in the opinion of some person or another, offends against the restrictive provisions of this Bill. If that is so, complaint can be made and brought into Court, and it can be decided then whether the appropriation was ultra vires, and a remedy will have to be provided. I cannot provide for the hon. Member opposite a hypothetical world in which no wrong will ever be done, and where everything will be considered and decided by a Court of Law before any overt act takes place. There must be irregularity before any Court of Law can determine that there was irregularity. We have gone a great length, because we allow the thing to be taken before a Court before it is an Act of Parliament and while it is merely a Bill. The Bill was subjected to a great deal of criticism in that matter, and I had a little difficulty in supporting it as it stood. I 596 thought we should go into Court on this matter at the earliest possible moment. If the hon. Member will give his mind more to the subject, I think he will see that we have done all that can be done in the way of applying to Ireland all the safeguards which our own historical Constitution has afforded us that no public money shall be dealt with except by resolution, and then by appropriation in an Act of Parliament. We have also provided in the best possible way a method whereby anybody or any Secretary of State, as well as the Lord Lieutenant, may take the opinion of a final Court of Appeal on the subject. I think the hon. Member will agree that the point he has raised is rather too nice and too fine for this workaday world.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I have always a high regard for the Attorney-General, notwithstanding the company he keeps, but I am afraid that my respect for him cannot prevent me discharging a public duty in asking whether he will give the same exposition of the Bill as has just been given by the Chief Secretary. Clause 21, Subsection (1), says:—
"All sums paid into the Irish Exchequer shall form a Consolidated Fund, and be appropriated to the public service of Ireland by Irish Act, and shall not be applied for any purpose for which they are not so appropriated."
The first point I take upon that is that it will not necessarily follow that moneys levied under the authority of the Irish Parliament will be paid into the Irish Exchequer at all. It will be within the competence of the Irish Parliament to switch them off into a special fund for any purpose to which the Irish Parliament choose to devote them. Sub-section (2) of the Clause says:—
"Save as may be otherwise provided by Irish Act, the existing law relating to the Exchequer and Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom shall apply with the necessary modifications to the Irish Exchequer and the Irish Consolidated Fund, and an officer shall be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant to be the Irish Comptroller and Auditor-General."
Before the Exchequer and Audit Act of 1866 was passed it was often found that there were great evasions of the intention of Parliament in regard to the application of moneys voted, and therefore that Act was regarded by Mr. Gladstone as 597 the perfection and crown of our financial system, and as absolutely necessary to prevent the abuses that formerly prevailed. But when you are applying this to Ireland you are at the same time giving power to the Irish Parliament utterly to cut away the whole of that system if you say—
"Save as may be otherwise provided by Irish Act.…"
You give power to the Irish Parliament to do away with the office of Comptroller and Auditor-General. These are not integral parts of the Irish Constitution. They are only provisions which may be reversed by the Irish Government at any time. The Irish Government may destroy the whole structure built up mainly by Mr. Gladstone and other great financial authorities in the past. Therefore, if the Irish Government choose to repeal the Exchequer and Audit Act in so far as it applies to them, and to modify the status of the Comptroller and Auditor-General, there is nothing to prevent them, provided they get the assent of the Lord Lieutenant. They might proceed to apply money not by Act, but by resolution, and the officers would be instructed to pay out the moneys, and no Act of Parliament would be necessary. There would be no one to challenge their action at all. So far as I understand Clause 29, that applies to Acts which are passed, but it would not apply to Executive action on a resolution. So far as I can see, whatever may be the intention of the Government as regards these provisions, it is perfectly open to the Irish Government to knock down the whole protection this Bill professes to afford, and to apply money in any way the Irish Government think fit, notwithstanding the provisions of Clause 2. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to deal with these points.
§ Sir HENRY CRAIK
It may not be that the process of destroying the office of Comptroller and Auditor-General, which is contemplated by my hon. Friend will be carried out, but even supposing the Comptroller and Auditor-General continues to exist in Ireland as he does in England, is the right hon. Gentleman not quite aware that the Treasury now claims, and not only claims, but repeatedly exercises, dispensing power over and above the Comptroller and Auditor-General? Is not that in ordinary official administrative matters an almost everyday occurrence? If that is the case in regard to the Treasury in England, might not the same be done by 598 the Executive in Ireland? Might they not by the exercise of this dispensing power overrule their own Comptroller and Auditor-General? I think the right hon. Gentleman will not deny that I am right as regards the practice in this country. I wish to know what he thinks as to the possibility of such action in the case of the Irish Executive.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I only rise to deal very shortly with the subject which has already been dealt with by the Chief Secretary. I agree entirely with the observations which were made by my right hon. Friend in respect to the interpretation of these Clauses and their effect in relation to the Amendment we are now considering. The hon. Gentleman said that the provisions of Clause 21, which deals with the sums paid into the Exchequer and their appropriation, will only apply to those sums. He is quite right in regard to Sub-section (1) of Clause 21. If the money comes out of the Consolidated Fund, it goes into the Irish Exchequer, and the proceeds of all the taxes will go into the Irish Exchequer. It is only from the Irish Exchequer you can get money to pay. If you are dealing with a Vote of public money, you want to prevent in this case the Irish Parliament and people from using money for purposes which are not legal.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Is there anything in the Bill to prevent the Irish Parliament opening up, say, a Local Taxation Account which will not form part of the Exchequer at all?
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
If you are going to assume that the Irish Parliament is going to divert the money from the Exchequer, the proceeds of taxes, to some other account, or is going to invent an account for that purpose, there is nothing you could possibly do in an Act of Parliament which would prevent that kind of thing. If you assume that that is going to be done you never can prevent it. All you can do is to say, this is the legal form in which it shall be done. I do not think there can be any difficulty in carrying this out, more especially when you remember Clause 29, which is very valuable in this connection. I am not quite sure that the House appreciated the importance of the insertion of the words giving the power of applying to the Privy Council in reference to any Bill before it becomes an Act, until we had this discussion. It certainly shows it is a very 599 useful provision indeed, because here you must have an appropriation in order to legalise the expenditure of the money. You cannot get an Appropriation Bill if it appropriates money to purposes which are declared to be unlawful by this Bill. If the Lord Lieutenant has any doubt about it then the door is open for him. He need not remain in doubt. He need not even take the Law Officers' opinion. If any question arises he has at once the opportunities afforded him by the provisions of this Bill, which have been so much criticised, enabling him to go direct to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and get what is the highest judicial interpretation in the land. I should have thought that that was the best safeguard you could devise to meet this kind of thing.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
If that is the case this Amendment will not assist you in the slightest degree. I do think that this answer is complete to the hon. Gentleman. If you postulate for this purpose that the Irish Parliament is going to use the money, notwithstanding that it is an unlawful purpose, if it is once voted, and is not going to proceed to appropriation, no safeguards you can have introduced will have any effect, but they can, if they choose to vote this public money, notwithstanding that the Bill does not legalise it, and draw the money from the Exchequer and spend it, notwithstanding that they know that they cannot lawfully spend it and that they are going to put their hands into the till illegally. It does not matter what you say, you cannot prevent those who have got the right to draw the money from the Exchequer doing it, whatever Acts of Parliament you have. All your Acts of Parliament in this country are equally useless if you assume that; all the safeguards we have here as regards public expenditure would be equally illusory if you choose to assume that state of things. All we are attempting to do for this is to provide that kind of safeguard which will prevent the money being used for illegal purposes.
§ Mr. MOORE
In the case which the right hon. Gentleman has put an appeal to the Privy Council is what he relies on. There is no suggestion of stay on any legislative action. Now suppose the case arises that he puts, and there is a contested appropriation. The Irish Parliament passes the Bill. The fact that there 600 is an appeal pending does not prevent them doing it, and does not prevent the Bill being acted on. These things may take place. In addition to that, suppose an Appropriation Bill passes at the end of the Session when you have the legal vacation and so on, it is not an extravagant way of putting it that it may be nine months before you get a decision from the Privy Council. In the meantime the Bill is a perfectly valid Bill, and the money has been spent, when the ultimate decision of the Privy Council is given, on an improper object. Will you provide that money so spent shall be deducted from the Transferred Sum? That will be a guarantee.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Surely the answer-to the question raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman is clear enough if you look at the provisions of the Bill. He is assuming that you have got to wait until the Bill has become an Act before you proceed to the Privy Council. But he has omitted to give effect to the insertion in the Bill of the provision to which I have referred that the Lord-Lieutenant can proceed, as soon as it is a Bill, and that he has not to wait, but can proceed to take the advice if he likes, if he has any doubt on the question.
§ Mr. MOORE
The Appropriation Bill in the ordinary course does not come on until the very end of the Session, that is towards the end of July. There are preliminaries and pleadings, and you will not get the Privy Council to sit then. If the Parliament want to commit an illegality you will not get a decision for nine months. If the money is misapplied, is there any machinery for getting it back once the Privy Council has condemned the misappropriation?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I cannot agree with that assumption. It is quite inconceivable that in a matter of this kind affecting the appropriation of public-money you should have to wail nine months to get a decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The long vacation does not last nine months. There is not the slightest difficulty with regard to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Anyone acquainted with the way in which work is done by that body knows that if a constitutional question arises for their 601 determination as to whether a Bill is within this Act or not the matter would be heard at once. There is no question of pleading. There are no parties in this case. What you have to do is to put the question to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to decide, and the idea that it would take nine months in order to do that would defeat the object of these provisions.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
When you get to one month it is possible I agree, but first of all we do not know that it will be the practice in the Irish Parliament to take the Appropriation Bill at the end of the Session. But suppose this question has arisen and there is a doubt as to its legality. Is it really suggested that the money would be used—not voted: I am assuming that it has been voted—but would be used, taken out of the Exchequer by those who have the power to take it out of the Exchequer, notwithstanding that the point is to be sent to the Privy Council for determination whether the Bill proposed to be passed would be valid or not?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
There is no more to stop that than what I put just now. If we choose to assume that it is impossible to provide any safeguard which would prevent a person putting his hand into the till, if you choose to put it in that way, notwithstanding that it is an illegal thing to do, or that there is an objection to it, I can conceive nothing more improper, and I cannot imagine, however extreme you may think your Parliament would be, that it would deliberately take the money and use it, notwithstanding that the question is to be raised and determined by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as to whether you can use it for this purpose or not. Dealing with the point before us, this Amendment would be absolutely useless if it is devised to prevent a thing of this kind. If the hon. and learned Member wanted to introduce some other safeguard he might have had the opportunity of moving an Amendment, but that is not the Amendment we are dealing with. The Amendment we are dealing with is one which says they must not vote public money. If we assume all these things which the hon. Member has assumed, sup pose you got that in your Bill and then they did vote public money; then assume again, as is done for the purpose of the 602 argument, that notwithstanding that they cannot vote public money they have done it, and notwithstanding that they cannot pass an Act of Parliament which will properly legally appropriate that money they have chosen to vote it and have voted it, they have chosen to take the money out and spend it, that is the kind of thing which you may assume with regard to this Parliament. What safeguard have you here? What is there in this Parliament to prevent it? Why are we to assume that the Irish Parliament and the Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer are to be more dishonest than the Ministers and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this Parliament? I am quite aware that the hon and learned Member takes a very strong view and a very earnest and very sincere view upon this Bill and opposes it, but I should imagine that he is not going to suggest, with regard to Ireland and Irish Ministers, that he will assume that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be a more dishonest Minister than Ministers here.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
If the hon. and learned Member is assuming that Ministers in Ireland and the representatives who are elected to Parliament are going to be dishonest, then there is no use in talking about safeguards. I agree with him. If that is the view he takes of his countrymen, nothing then but prisons will be of any avail. But whatever he may say, I do not think that that is really his view. I mean he does not really suggest that they would be so dishonest as to do the thing I have mentioned. Neither do I mean that this House or the Unionist party could assume or can assume that such a state of things will exist. It is only if you so assume that it is necessary to introduce this particular safeguard. There might just as well be the same question raised with regard to what happens in our Parliament, and if it is assumed that all of us are going to be guilty of the same dishonesty, no Act of Parliament can prevent a fraud or dishonesty. Surely there is here an ample provision, and a better provision than there is in this country, and I should have thought that that would satisfy him.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
Will the right hon. Gentleman deal with the question I have raised as to the dispensing power of the Treasury 603 to set aside the decision of the Comptroller and Auditor-General?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The same observation applies as I have just made. The money can only be used in a certain way-according to an Appropriation Act, and the Treasury cannot do anything which would not be authorised by the Bill.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
But the Treasury constantly issue a dispensing power setting aside the decision of the Comptroller and Auditor-General in England. Why cannot that be done here?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
We are dealing with the specific provision of this Bill which says that the money can only be used in a certain way. If you say that it can only be used according to the Appropriation Act the Treasury cannot dispense in any way with that. Whatever it may do here it cannot do that.
I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman has dealt at all fully with the point raised by the hon. and learned Member for North Armagh. It is perfectly true that you never can have complete protection against dishonesty in the public service; but when you say that safeguards cannot do that, safeguards are unnecessary unless they are to protect you from at least irregularities, and if we are to assume, as the right hon. Gentleman appears to do, that everything is going to be regular then we want no safeguards at all. The object of a safeguard is to prevent irregularities. I do not say dishonesty. Let us see what might happen quite conceivably under the Bill as it stands; that is to say, the Appropriation Bill is brought in in the month of July, but the Lord Lieutenant is advised that it may be ultra vires, and therefore he intervenes before it has become law and while it is still a Bill. The Irish House of Commons despises its intervention; they think they are quite right, and that the Bill is intra vires; they go on with it, and before, by any conceivable dispatch of business, the Judicial Committee can arrive at a decision, or before they conceivably can have time to decide it, the Bill becomes law. Then the Judicial Committee decide that the application of this money has been ultra vires, and all we want to know is what machinery there is in the Bill by which that money can be brought back. The right hon. Gentleman assumes, quite contrary to experience, that this point of 604 grave constitutional importance can be decided in a few days. That has not been the experience of the public as to the operations of the Judicial Committee, even under the most favourable conditions, no matter how anxious that body may be to facilitate the dispatch of its business. They must have the documents before them; there must be an application, and the whole proceeding must take time. Therefore we want to know—after the Lord Lieutenant has intervened, and before the Judicial Committee can give a decision—how the money that has been spent is to be brought back. If this Amendment will not meet the case, surely the right hon. Gentleman ought to be in a position to say that he will put in a provision in such a case as that, whereby the amount could be deducted from the Transferred Sum. I think that would be a complete protection. Otherwise I do-not see how you are going to get the money back.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
The suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman is that a deduction should be made from the Transferred Sum. That sum has to be paid by this country to Ireland. How is that to help Ireland to get the money which on this hypothesis it has improperly spent?
If they knew that money improperly spent would be deducted from the Transferred Sum, that would be a check on improper expenditure, and they would wait until they had got a decision from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Why should there not be some way of ensuring that they cannot, in anticipation of a decision of the Judicial Committee, force on their legislation? It would be a very simple thing to say that in the event of their proceeding to spend money which the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council afterwards say has been applied to purposes ultra vires, there should be some means either of indemnifying the Exchequer against that expenditure or getting back the money improperly spent. I see no way of doing it except in the way suggested by the hon. and learned Gentleman, and the purpose of this Amendment would be 605 covered if the right hon. Gentleman said that he recognised the danger. I do not say it is a probable danger, but it is a possible danger, and if it is a possible danger there should be some undertaking that it will be met.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
This Amendment is a very simple one, but we have travelled away from it to a certain extent. I am quite prepared to admit that the Irish Government will be an honest Government, and as honest as the present Government.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
What can be the possible objection to these words. You have at all events words which provide that the Irish Parliament is not to have power to make laws in respect of certain matters, among other things foreign trade, harbour regulations, and other matters. All the Amendment simply suggests is that the Irish Parliament is not to spend public money in respect of those objects. What possible harm is there in that? No possible harm could be done. No suggestion has been made from the Front Bench opposite that any harm would be done by the insertion of these words. The Attorney-General referred to the case of dishonesty, against which, of course, there is no possible safeguard. Is it absolutely clear that "they shall not have powers to make laws in respect of the following matters" does necessarily exclude the power to make payments in respect of them? Is it anything illegal, under the new Act, for the Dublin Parliament to make grants under the Appropriation Act as secret service money? Once they are granted that power, then it is absolutely in the discretion of the Executive to spend that money on anything it likes—on any one of those excluded matters. In regard to the object of this Amendment we have not had one word from the Front Bench opposite which deals with the point. The Attorney-General said that there are safeguards. No doubt there are safeguards, but the point we are dealing with comes long before the safeguards. There is nothing in the world to prevent these things being carried out and money being spent unless you put these words in. My point is that no possible harm is done by the Government inserting this Amendment. Doubts certainly arise, and I do submit that no 606 harm can be done by the adoption of this Amendment, for which a substantial case has been made out. Perfectly honest people may make mistakes, and the money might be used for purposes to which nobody suggests it ought to be applied.
§ Mr. CASSEL
The point we desire to take on this side of the House, and which has not been met by the Government, is that the money may have been spent long before the safeguards are reached. The Attorney-General referred to the Appropriation Bill, but money may have been spent in the majority of cases before the Appropriation Bill has been introduced at all. Let us take a case which will be in the memory of all of us, that is the granting of our own salaries, which was done by a mere Resolution of the House. I think we all received our first cheque before the Appropriation Bill was introduced into this House at all. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] My recollection is that it was so, but whether it was so or not in that case I do not think any right hon. Gentleman opposite will deny that in a great many cases money is perfectly legitimately and properly spent before the Appropriation Bill is ever introduced. Therefore the safeguards to which the right hon. Gentleman refers of Clause 29 comes in at too' late a period. On that ground we asked for a further safeguard by making it perfectly clear that it shall be illegal to pass a resolution. The result of putting in these words would be that the Paymaster-General would then have the discretion of refusing to give his authority in the first instance for the money being paid over on the ground that the resolution was an illegal resolution. What reasonable objection can the Government have to this proposal? Nobody suggests that it is an insult to the Irish Parliament. There is a provision that the Irish Parliament shall not make laws in regard to certain subjects, and if that is not an insult, surely it is not an insult to say that they shall not spend money upon them. I cannot imagine that any hon. Member below the Gangway finds his susceptibilities offended by this proposal. The only thing which astonishes me is the determination with which the Government resist these reasonable words. With regard to the suggestion of the Attorney-General that the Appropriation Bill is going to be submitted to the Privy Council, I think it shows the absurdity of submitting these 607 Bills to a Court of Law. Fancy the Appropriation Bill of the year having to be submitted to the Privy Council for its consideration! Can anything more absurd than that be imagined? What a safeguard that, is to prevent the expenditure of money upon purposes for which it ought not to be spent, and with reference to which there may be bond fide differences as to whether those are legitimate or illegitimate purposes. I should have thought the
§ safeguard to which the right hon. Gentleman might have referred is Clause 10, Sub-section (2), but upon that the Chief Secretary completely gave the case away, because he said the Lord Lieutenant took the advice of the Executive. If he takes that view it destroys the only safeguard which does exist.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 169; Noes, 294.611
|Division No. 478.]||AYES.||[7.30 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Nield, Herbert|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Forster, Henry William||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Gardner, Ernest||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Gibbs, George Abraham||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, Hon John Edward (Brighton)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Barnston, Harry||Grant, J. A.||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Greene, Walter Raymond||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Gretton, John||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Haddock, George Bahr||Royds, Edmund|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Harris, Henry Percy||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Bird, Alfred||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Blair, Reginald||Helmsley, Viscount||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Boyton, James||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hickman, Col. Thomas E.||Stanier, Beville|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hoare, S. J. G.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Butcher, John George||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Swift, Rigby|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Horner, Andrew Long||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hunt, Rowland||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Cave, George||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Thynne, Lord A.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts. Hitchin)||Kimber, Sir Henry||Touche, George Alexander|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Larmor, Sir J.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Chambers, James||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Ward, A. S. (Herts. Watford)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Lowe, Sir. F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Willoughhy, Major Hon. Claud|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Craik, Sir Henry||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Winterton, Earl|
|Croft, H. P.||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Malcolm, Ian||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Doughty, Sir George||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Moore, William||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Duke Henry Edward||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Younger, Sir George|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Faher, George Denison (Clapham)||Newman, John R. P.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Newton, Harry Kottingham||G. Locker-Lampson and Mr. Cassel.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Ainsworth, John Stirling||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Alden, Percy||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Guiney, Patrick||Muldoon, John|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Munro, R.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Hackett, John||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Hancock, J. G.||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Barton, William||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Nellson, Francis|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Harmsworth, R. L. (Calthness-shire)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Bentham, G. J.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hayward, Evan||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Boland, John Plus||Hazleton, Richard||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, East)||O'Dowd, John|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Holme Sir Norval Watson||O'Grady, James|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Brace, William||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Malley, William|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Higham, John Sharp||O'Shee, James John|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hinds, John||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hobnouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Hodge, John||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hogge, James Myles||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Pointer, Joseph|
|Chappie, Dr. William Allen||Hudson, Walter||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hughes, S. L.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Clough, William||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Clynes, John R.||John, Edward Thomas||Radford, G. H.|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Johnson, W.||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swn'sea)||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Redntond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Crean, Eugene||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Crooks, William||Joyce, Michael||Richards, Thomas|
|Crumley, Patrick||Keating, Matthew||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Cullinan, John||Kehaway, Frederick George||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Kilbride, Denis||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||King, J. (Somerset, North)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Dawes, J. A.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Delany, William||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Robinson, Sidney|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Leach, Charles||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Dillon, John||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lewis, John Herbert||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Doris, William||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Duffy, William J.||Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Rowlands, James|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lundon, Thomas||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Lynch, A. A.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||McGhee, Richard||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Macpherson, James Ian||Sheehy, David|
|Falconer, James||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Shortt, Edward|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||M'Curdy, C. A.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Kean, John||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Field, William||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Smith, H. B. L. (Normanton)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Snowden, Philip|
|Furness, Stephen||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Martin, Joseph||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Gilhooly, James||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.)|
|Gill, A. H.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Ginnell, Laurance||Meagher, Michael||Sutton, John E.|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Glanville, H. J.||Millar, James Duncan||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Molloy, Michael||Tennant, Harold John|
|Goldstone, Frank||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Thomas, James Henry|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Thorne, G. R. Wolverhampton)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Morgan, George Hay||Thome, William (West Ham)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Morrell, Philip||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Morison, Hector||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Suest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Morton, Alpheut Cleophas||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Verney, Sir Harry||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Wadsworth, J.||Webb, H.||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Walsh, J. (Cork, South)||White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Walters, Sir John Tudor||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Whitehouse, John Howard||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Wardle, George J.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Waring, Walter||Wiles, Thomas|
|Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Wilkie, Alexander||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
§ It being after half-past Seven of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Orders of the House of the 14th October and 30th December last, to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at half-past Seven of the clock at this day's sitting.
§ Government Amendments made: In Paragraph (1), after the word "Regency" insert the words "or the property of the Crown (including foreshore)."
§ In Paragraph (4), after the word "Dominions" ["His Majesty's Dominions"], insert the words "or matters involving the contravention of treaties or agreements with foreign States or any part of His Majesty's Dominions."
§ In Paragraph (6), after the word "such," insert the words "or domicile."
§ In Paragraph (7), after the word "disease" ["contagious disease"], insert the words "or by steps taken, by means of inquiries or agencies out of Ireland, for the improvement of Irish trade or for the protection of Irish traders from fraud; the granting of bounties on the export of goods."
§ In the same Paragraph, after the word "waters" ["inland waters"], insert the words "the regulation of harbours."
§ Leave out the words "or harbour" ["or harbour regulations."]—[Mr. Birrell.]
§ After Paragraph (7), insert the words,
§ (8) Any postal services and the rates of charge therefor (except postal communication between one place in Ireland and another such place, and any other postal service which is executed completely in Ireland); designs for stamps, whether for postal or revenue purposes; or.—[Mr. Herbert Samuel.]