HC Deb 02 January 1913 vol 46 cc612-67

(1) The Executive power in Ireland shall continue vested in His Majesty the King, and nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of that power except as respects Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act.

(2) As respects those Irish services the Lord Lieutenant or other chief Executive officer or officers for the time being appointed in his place, on behalf of His Majesty, shall exercise any prerogative or other Executive power of His Majesty the exercise of which may be delegated to him by His Majesty.

(3) The power so delegated shall be exercised through such Irish Departments as may be established by Irish Act or, subject thereto, by the Lord Lieutenant, and the Lord Lieutenant may appoint officers to administer those Departments, and those officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Lord Lieutenant.

(4) The persons who are for the time being heads of such Irish Departments as may be determined by Irish Act or, in the absence of any such determination, by the Lord Lieutenant, and such other persons (if any) as the Lord Lieutenant may appoint, shall be the Irish Ministers.

Provided that—

  1. (a) No such person shall be an Irish Minister unless he is a member of the Privy Council of Ireland; and
  2. (b) No such person shall hold office as an Irish Minister for a longer period than six months, unless he is or becomes a member of one of the Houses of the. Irish Parliament; and
  3. (c) Any such person not being the head of an Irish Department shall hold office as an Irish Minister during the pleasure of the Lord Lieutenant in the same manner as the head of an Irish Department holds his office.

(5) The persons who are Irish Ministers for the time being shall be an Executive Committee of the Privy Council of Ireland (in this Act referred to as the "Executive Committee"), to aid and advise the Lord Lieutenant in the exercise of his Executive power in relation to Irish services.

(6) For the purposes of this Act, "Irish services" are all public services in connection with the administration of the civil government of Ireland except the administration of matters with respect to which the Irish Parliament have no power to make laws, including in the exception all public services in connection with the administration of the reserved matters (in this Act referred to as "reserved services").


I beg to move to leave out the Clause.

As the Clause now stands in the Bill it sets up an Executive Government in Ireland, and deals with the functions of the Lord Lieutenant as the head of the Constitutional Executive in Ireland. In my humble judgment, and I think my opinion is shared by many on this side, of all the bad Clauses of the Bill this is the worst. We believe that, bad as it may be to establish a separate Legislature in Ireland, an Executive, I will not say any Executive, but an Executive such as is proposed in the Bill, is more mischievous still. Of course the Clause and the Executive which it establishes must be considered in relation to the Bill as a whole. The purpose of the Bill is to confer upon the Irish native Parliament the responsibility of maintaining peace, order, and good government in Ireland, and upon that general phrase is grafted the extraordinary medley which we find in the Bill, of prohibited services, reserved services which may become transferred services, and reserved services which cannot become transferred services, and the Executive which has to administer all those various classifications has, I think, to be considered in relation to them all. In addition to those various classes of services, there is also what the Government propose about concurrent legislation by the Imperial Parliament, and it is not unnatural to find that a single Executive is naturally endowed, must be endowed, under those circumstances with divided responsibility, and I will not say merely dual control, but mixed control of the various administrative services in Ireland. When this subject was being debated in Committee, my right hon. Friend the senior Member for Dublin University declared that, so far as he was concerned—and in this I entirely agree with him—he would prefer, to such a system as is set up in this Bill, that Ireland should be given the much larger powers, the completer freedom or liberty enjoyed by the self-governing Colonies. For saying that he was greeted with a certain amount of jeering on the other side of the House from right hon. and hon. Gentlemen, who are disposed to say that we on this side are inconsistent in this matter because at one moment we cry out that too much and at another that not sufficient power is given under the new Constitution. But I do not think there is really any inconsistency at all. The reason we take that view is that, bad as we think it would be both for this country and for Ireland that the same Constitution should be conferred upon Ireland as the self-governing Dominions have, we think anything would be better than chaos and confusion such as must result from this Bill, and that anything is better than the make-believe and sham which we find embodied in this measure.

Why is it that the Government in framing this Constitution have not thought it right to confer those larger powers? We are sometimes led to believe 1hat it is out of consideration for the feelings of my hon. Friends from Ulster, or, at any rate for the views entertained on this side of the House. It is nothing of the sort. The Attorney-General quite candidly told us on a former occasion that the reason why those larger powers have not been conferred is a financial reason. It is because Ireland desires to have her Executive Government and her legislative powers, to have all the autonomy she can get, but she wants this country to pay for it. That is the reason why these restrictions, so far as they are restrictions, are imposed. Let us, then, get rid of the make-believe that it is done out of any consideration for the feelings of the Opposition. I wish to refer for a moment to the confusion which must result from this Bill. The machinery of Civil government may be said to consist of three main divisions: first, the Legislature, which makes the laws under which the country has to live; secondly, the judiciary, which administers and interprets those laws; and, thirdly, the police, using the word in its largest sense, which supplies the machinery for carrying out the laws which have been interpreted by the judges. Those three branches of civil administration necessarily depend closely upon each other. You cannot have one without the others, and the efficiency of one depends upon the efficiency of the others. Using a very apt, though common and threadbare metaphor, we often talk of the machinery of Government. Probably every Member at some time or another has admired the working of a complicated machine in which there are a great number of different co-ordinated parts, and one sees some extremely small and delicate pieces of apparatus working in co-operation with a ponderous piece of machinery. In the machinery of this Bill it appears to me that one of the most important cog-wheels in the machine has absolutely no other piece of apparatus correlated to it with which it engages; because the machinery of the Executive, as I hope to show, is entirely out of engagement, to continue the metaphor, with the judiciary and the Legislature.

To begin with, the legislative power in Ireland is to be duplicated. You have the legislative power in the Irish Parliament, and the concurrent power of legislation which is to remain in this Imperial Parliament. If that is so, it is essential that in some way or other the correlated parts of the administrative machine should also be duplicated. You must have a duplication in some form or other of the judiciary and of the police. When Mr. Gladstone proposed his Home Rule Bill some years ago, he, at all events to this extent, recognised the principle which I am pressing upon the House, by establishing Exchequer judges in Ireland, who were to be not Irish judges, but Imperial judges for the administration of the Imperial law. I should be out of order in referring in detail on this Amendment to the question of the judiciary, but I may be allowed to do so so far as it is part and parcel of the general Executive machinery of the country. Under this Clause the judges will be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant, who in this respect derives his prerogative by delegation from the King. I should like to read a few words which will be recognised by Members opposite as of authority, from Mr. Bryce, describing what they have done in this respect in America. I am not quoting our own Colonial Dominions, because we have had so much dispute as to whether or not they are to supply an analogy on this occasion; and also because it will be generally admitted that in a matter of this kind the United States, with their larger constitutional experience and their larger and more complicated society, supply a much better analogy to what we are doing here than such countries as the newly-federated Australia, or even the older federation of Canada. Mr. Bryce, dealing with the history and the development of the Federal Constitution in America, said:— Now that a federal legislature had been established, whose laws were to bind directly the individual citizen, a federal judicature was evidently needed to interpret and apply those laws and to compel obedience to them. The alternative would have been to entrust the enforcement of the laws to the State Courts. If the analogy holds, and I think it does, that is being done by this Bill. But they could not be trusted— I venture to emphasise that expression in view of the reiteration of the reproach by Members on the other side that we are not willing to trust the Irish. But they could not be trusted to do justice between their own citizens and those of another State— the analogy there being litigation between an Irishman and an Englishman or a Scotchman, which is not uncommon. Being under the control of their own State Governments, they migbt be forced to disregard any federal law which the State disapproved, or, even if they admitted its authority, might tail in zeal or power to give due effect to it. These Federal Courts, Mr. Bryce tells us, have jurisdiction in every cause in which either party to a suit relies upon a federal enactment. I take that example from the wisdom of the American Constitution to show that where you have concurrent legislation, as we have here, the State Courts are not to be trusted, that they may fail in zeal or power to give effect to the decrees of the Federal Parliament, and that, consequently, wherever any citizen has to rely upon a federal enactment—that is, in this case, wherever any citizen of Ireland had or wished to rely upon a Statute passed by the Imperial Parliament—it has been recognised in America that you must have federal judges, because the State Courts will probably lack zeal or power to carry out those federal enactments. The Lord Lieutenant will appoint the judges upon the advice of Irish Ministers. I do not wish to say anything in this connection with regard to distrust of the future Irish Parliament or of the Irish people. I am content to rely upon the analogy of America. Why should it not be found, as Mr. Bryce says it was found in America, that the Irish Courts would lack zeal or power to give due effect to Imperial Acts? After all, if we attempt to analyse how the working of these institutions is carried on, do we not find, in point of fact, that the efficiency of the whole administrative system really depends upon the sense of obligation on the part of various officials to perform the special duties which have been laid upon them? What is that sense of obligation? From what is it derived? I maintain with great confidence that it is closely related to the source from which Imperial and Civil officers derive their authority. In this country it has become second nature on the part of judges and Civil servants to do their public duty, because they have never had any doubt that the source of their authority was the Crown and, under the Crown, the Imperial Parliament. If you try to get at the idea underlying that sense of obligation I think you will find that in the last resort it really depends, although it may sound not a very high ideal, upon the power of removal. If judges neglect to do their duty they know-that the Imperial Parliament can remove them.

8.0 P.M.

But here we are setting up a system under which the judges and other Executive officers will be expected to do their duty to this Parliament although they do not derive their authority from it, and this Parliament will exercise no sort of control over them. The judges will be removable by the Irish Parliament. What would happen in Ireland so far as the carrying out of the administration of the law is concerned, supposing that in the case of concurrent legislation the Irish judges—and here, again, I wish the House to remember the American experience—were to refuse to take judicial cognisance of an Act of the Imperial Parliament which had not been passed by the Irish Parliament? I suppose one of the learned Gentlemen opposite to me may perhaps answer: "Well, if they do anything so outrageous, or foolish, or so unheard of in this country—though not unheard of elsewhere—there is the appeal to the Privy Council. In the last resort we must rely upon the ultimate Court of Appeal to give a decision which will take cognisance of Imperial legislation and will give effect to it." If that is so, if that is the reply, we come to the third of the important parts of the administrative machinery which I referred to at the outset. We are driven back to the police. It is no use having interpreters of the law laying down the law unless you have the legal sanction which is necessary to give effect to it—that is, to put it shortly, the police. We come to the police. To continue the analogy of the United States, their experience has prompted them to supply not merely Federal Courts in all the States, but federal officers to carry out (he decrees of those Courts. In other words, they have done exactly what I said a moment or two ago we have failed to do in this Bill. Having got concurrent legislation the same as we have—that is to say, duplicated legislation in the various States—they have also duplicated the judiciary and the police; consequently, whether their system is cumbrous or not, at all events it is a logical and coherent system.

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

In the United States?


In the United States, I believe they are called marshals. How do we stand? I have been supposing—because I do not think it is unthinkable or improbable as the years go by—that the Irish Courts refuse to recognise the legislation of the Imperial Parliament. I am supposing the Privy Council give a decree reversing the judgment of the Irish Courts. How are they going to give effect to that judgment? First of all, consider it after six years. The police, and the only police in Ireland, will be in the hands of the Irish Parliament, and ex hypothesi, if my case is accepted as an illustration, it follows that the Irish Parliament will be of the same mind as the Irish Judiciary, and the Irish Parliament, and the Irish Executive, which we are setting up are not in the least likely to put the police at the disposal of the Privy Council to carry out a judgment in conflict with the Irish Courts which is recognising Irish legislation to the exclusion of Imperial legislation. If there is—and I think it can hardly be maintained that there is not—a certain amount of force in what I am saying—if it is true, it proves two things. It proves that the two safeguards which are constantly being emphasised from the other side of the House for our satisfaction are perfectly nugatory—the safeguard of concurrent legislation and the safeguard of the asserted supremacy of the Imperial Parliament. Those two safeguards stand, of course, in the Clauses of the Bill, but unless there is some way whereby the Executive of the country can carry them out they are perfectly nugatory.

The condition of affairs is quite as bad during the six years before the police are to be transferred to the Irish Parliament. The only difference is that the conditions are reversed. Instead of the Imperial Parliament and Imperial legislation having no method of making itself effective in Ireland, it is the other way round. The Irish Parliament during those six years will have no way of discharging the responsibility which is thrown upon them by this Bill of safeguarding the peace, order, and good government of the country. They have no means of doing it. Let me take an example to prove what might happen—not by any means an impossible case. I will try to place myself for the moment in the position of hon. Members opposite, or of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway on this side, who are sincerely anxious that this legislation should be carried out with efficiency, hopeful that it will reconcile hostile interests in Ireland, and that it will prove for the good of the country. No doubt there are a good many hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side who will hope that. Let me suppose this state of facts within the next six years. Suppose that the two parties in this House were to change sides after this Bill had become law. We will suppose the Government in office consists of, amongst others, the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool. At the same time we will suppose that, contrary to the expectation of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, there is some little trouble in Ulster over the administration of this Act. What is going to happen? We will say that there is—I will not say civil war; I do not want to be controversial, for I dare say there are a good many hon. Gentlemen opposite who are entirely incredulous as regards civil war—but they may be inclined to admit that there might possibly be some serious rioting in the North of Ireland before this Act settles down. What is going to happen? The Irish Government will be responsible for the peace, order, and good government of Ulster. Ulster people are resisting the administration of this Act. The Irish Government, whom it is not extraordinary to suppose the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford will be the head of, finds itself entirely without any means of coercing the people of Ulster. The hon. and learned Gentleman comes to the Government of this country, to the Imperial Parliament who have control of the police. He goes to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, whose speech last night will be in the recollection of the House, and to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dublin University.

The hon. and learned Member for Waterford says to my right hon. Friend, "I find that, contrary to our prophecies and in accordance with yours, there is a good deal of trouble going on in Ulster: we require the use of the Royal Irish Constabulary to put it down: we call upon you to give orders for putting it down." If things become a little more serious, possibly the Irish Government might go further, and say, "Not only do we require the Royal Irish Constabulary, but we require the use of the military." That is a consideration which will not be limited by six years! At any time it may be necessary to have the use of the military for such a purpose, and to come for the sanction of this House or the administrative Government of this country. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford will have to go to my right hon. Friends, and say, in effect, "It is quite true that for years past I and my friends have reviled the British Army; we have insulted their uniform; we have degraded them so far as we could; we have held them up to obliquy amongst our people, but will you now be good enough to lend us soldiers, or give us the use of the military forces in order that we may coerce, and, if necessary, shoot down the only people in Ireland who have ever done them honour." Can anyone imagine a state of administrative chaos greater than that? Does anybody suppose that a Government such as I have supposed to be in power in this country would for a moment listen to the proposal of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford. What would be the result so far as the administration of peace, order, and good government in Ireland was concerned? In this connection I should like to refer to a speech which my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dublin University made earlier in these Debates. It is very relevant to this question of the Executive. My right hon. and learned Friend said:— That the apprehensions which I and many of my friends who know Ireland well hold in regard to the future is not that the Irish Parliament will by legislative enactment carry out the persecution of Protestants in Ireland. I humbly expressed my entire agreement at the time with that opinion of my right hon. and learned Friend. I noticed not very many days ago that this opinion was used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as if it were something very novel, and carried with it some very far-reaching admission. I believe that opinion has been general amongst those with whom I generally act, general, though perhaps not universal, amongst the Protestants of Ireland themselves. But even if they are not prepared to go quite so far as my right hon. and learned Friend, if they are not prepared to say that there is no fear whatever of persecution or unfairness by legislation, I think they would all say that, at all events, the greatest danger they apprehend is not from legislation but from Executive action. It is for that reason that we want to change the whole proposal of this Bill as far as the Executive is concerned. There are many other considerations which might very well be urged in this connection. There is the whole question of the Lord Lieutenant's veto, which is also one of the safeguards offered to hon. Members on this side, and particularly to hon. Members from Ulster, as supplying some security for their safety in the future. The proposals in regard to the veto of the Lord Lieutenant which are embodied both in this Clause and in a later Clause, are only another example of the absolutely hopeless chaos, so far as I can understand it, which this Bill must introduce.

The Lord Lieutenant under this Clause is sometimes an Imperial officer and sometimes an Irish officer. There are, I agree, precedents or analogies elsewhere for Governors who have double duties—not always quite easily distinguishable. I do not think there is any example where the double capacity in which a great Imperial officer is to act is so patent as it is in the case of the Lord Lieutenant under this Bill. Sometimes he is called upon to give his veto as an Imperial officer acting upon the advice of the Ministry in this Imperial Parliament. At other times he will be an officer who is bound to follow the constitutional advice of the Irish Ministers. The difficulty is that there are, or at all events might be, so many cases where it would be very difficult indeed for him to judge, or to judge with any certainty, as to whether the matter in dispute is or is not one of those services which are exclusively Irish, or one of those services which are Imperial in character. When the Lord Lieutenant has any doubt upon this matter he will, if a constitutional officer, be obliged himself to take advice from somebody. Who is he to take advice from? Is he to go to the Irish Ministers and say, "This service appears to me to be an Imperial matter," or, "It appears to me to be an Irish matter: what is your opinion?" Or is he on the other hand to disregard the constitutional advice of the Irish Prime Minister, and to come, or send, over here to London for instructions, and to take the opinion of, and his instructions from, the Imperial Government? There is one matter, though a smaller one to which I will call the attention of the House, because it appears to me to be of some importance, although not very far-reaching. Sub-section (1) of this Clause says:— nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of that power— that is the King's power— except as respects Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act. I think, apart from all further questions, it appears to me that that is exceedingly objectionable on the ground that it is a definite statutory limitation of the Royal prerogative. The Royal prerogative ought not to be touched by a specific enactment in this way. The Royal prerogative has never been defined by Statute, and although it would be true to say it was limited by Statute in the past it has not been the custom definitely to say that with regard to certain matters in delegating his authority His Majesty parts with his prerogative altogether. His Majesty, with the advice of His Ministers, has inherent power to delegate his authority by Commission to various Governors, such as India or the Dominions or Ireland, but I know no other example where Parliament laid it down that with regard to certain specific matters the Royal prerogative shall be limited in this way.

It may be said that in endeavouring to delete this Clause from the Bill I am proposing that the Irish Parliament shall have no Executive powers at all. I do not know from some points of view that there would be anything very inconsistent if we were to take that course. We have been constantly told by hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway from Ireland that what they are seeking is the restoration of Grattan's Parliament. We heard it in the last few days in an eloquent speech from the hon. Member for South Donegal, in which he referred in glowing terms to the history of Grattan's Parliament, and used the expression, I think, that we were seeking by this legislation to restore it. It has been the boast, and it is to-day the boast of the Nationalist party, that they are carrying out the same movement as O'Connell. O'Connell's movement was a movement for simple repeal, and therefore if a responsible Executive were deleted from this Bill, by that means, if we are to trust the statement to which I have referred, we should be granting the specific demand of the Irish Nationalist party. But I am not taking that ground. I quite agree with the opinion given on a former stage of our Debates by the right hon. Gentleman the senior Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour), when he said that to set up in these days a legislative body without an executive of some sort would be a proposition to which we could not pledge ourselves. I therefore do not propose that, but what I do say is that, considering the confusion of the administrative functions to which I have referred, we ought to have an Executive which would answer more accurately to the duplicate legislative powers and be better suited also to the judicial powers given by this Bill.

I do not think that hon. Members can say that this Amendment is proposed for the purpose of wrecking the Bill. Certainly I am not going to pretend that I would not be as glad as anyone in this House to wreck the Bill. But it is perfectly compatible with the desire to wreck the Bill to move and support an Amendment that may not wreck the Bill but make it less mischievous, and it is for that purpose I press this Amendment upon the favourable consideration of the House and the Government. If the Clause was deleted it would not, so far as I have been able to see, and I have examined the matter from that point of view, cut so deeply into the structure of the other Clauses as to require the complete remodelling of the measure. It would, of course, I admit, leave a blank, but if the Government were to accept the Amendment and delete this Clause it would be perfectly easy, by a Supplementary Bill, to introduce an Executive more in accordance with the requirements of the case I have ventured to outline to the House, and I hope therefore the House will be willing to accept the Amendment.


In seconding this Amendment, I feel I can safely begin with one remark which will have the cordial approval of Members upon both sides of the House now present, and that is that it is with great regret we heard such a masterly analysis of this particular Clause of the Bill and its operation in such an unfortunately thin House. There is no doubt I am placed in great difficulty in following the hon. Member, because he has put the case against divided authority in the clearest possible manner. He has shown without the slightest exaggeration, without calling upon his undoubted gift of imagination to the slightest extent, that here are real and absolutely insurmountable difficulties in the way of carrying out this Bill, if it ever becomes law, with this Clause 4 in it. I am in another difficulty. On the 24th October we had a Debate in Committee on an Amendment of the hon. Member for Sheffield to omit certain words from this Clause which would have had practically the same effect as this Amendment. The hon. Member then moved to omit from Sub-section (1) the words:—

"Except as respects Irish services defined for the purposes of this Act."

In the Debate on that Amendment we have the advantage of speeches from most of the Members on the Front Benches on both sides, which threw the greatest amount of light upon the subject. The Chief Secretary for Ireland, at the very outset of his speech, negatived the whole proposition in these words. He said:— In my judgment it would be much better to leave things entirely as they are than have a Parliament without an Executive responsible to it. In my view, to a large extent, that begs the whole question. Although we do complain about the setting up of a Parliament with an Executive responsible to it, what we are complaining of here is that you are really not doing that at all. You are setting up another Parliament within the United Kingdom which is to have an Executive responsible to it in certain matters, and certain matters only, and these matters inevitably overlap matters excluded from its Executive powers, and the consequence will be undoubted confusion in the carrying into effect of the Act, and the people to be governed under it will be placed in a position of hopeless difficulty in respect to it. I do not think I could possibly sum up the position better than did the senior Member for the City of London when he said:— Really out of Bedlam was there ever such a method of devising a new Constitution tried? That I believe to be a fact. In that Debate to which I have referred, as well as in the speech of my hon. Friend who has just spoken, the question of difficulty was very fully dealt with. Questions of how you are going to deal with the Post Office, with the railway services, whether nationalised or not, were dealt with, and also the difficult and impossible position of the Lord Lieutenant, who is master in one sense in respect to one authority and servant in respect to another, never knowing whom he ought rightly to consult, with no definition as to where his absolute authority ends, and dependent upon the Government of this country in respect of the other of his administrative duties. All these matters were very fully dealt with, and what I want to do is to bring before the House another aspect of the case altogether. I want to deal with the question which I think is absolutely at the basis of the whole of this Home Rule Bill. We have heard a great deal about the Legislature which is to be set up in Ireland. I believe that the attention of the people is mainly concentrated upon the question of the laws they will pass. The aspect of the case put before them from the Government point of view, is that Legislature is to be set up having legislative authority to deal only with purely Irish affairs. That is a very specious proposition, but what is infinitely more important to the people who will be goverened is the Executive authority. What I am convinced is of infinitely greater importance than the legislative power of the new Parliament is the divided Executive which will be set up under this Bill. I agree with the hon. Member who moved this Amendment, that it would have been perfectly possible to maintain undivided Executive authority. It-would also be possible to arrange the application of Executive authority infinitely more in accordance with the good government of the various parts of the United Kingdom than that which is proposed under this Bill. There is another thing in which I think the people of this country, who may be sometime asked to give an opinion on the question of this Home Rule Bill, are likely to be misguided. When you consult Clause 4, you find in the first three Sub-sections a great deal of reference to the authority of His Majesty's Government and the authority of the Lord Lieutenant, but it is not until you arrive at Sub-section (4) that you find out what is the real authority behind this new Executive which is to be set up in Ireland. In the last lines of that Sub-section we find the words—

"and such other persons (if any) as the Lord Lieutenant may appoint, shall be the Irish Ministers."

The Irish Ministers are the real power, and it is useless to put in all these words, which I cannot but regard as verbiage to a great extent, intended to deceive the people who may read them about the Executive authority and its real and original constitutional fountain head. What we have to consider under this Bill with regard to all Irish matters which really concern the daily details of the lives of the people to be governed is that they are going to be under the sole exclusive control of Irish Ministers responsible to an Irish Parliament. If there were any racial affinity between the people of North-East Ireland and the rest of that country, if there were not these grave differences which cut far deeper than political differences, this might seem a reasonable arrangement. The majority in the new House of Parliament will be the authority which will appoint the Irish Ministers, and no one can doubt for a moment, at any rate, that in the earlier Parliaments, whatever the anticipation of hon. Members opposite may be, the majority will be that which is represented here in this House by the majority of the representatives of Ireland. It will be a majority of the South and West of Ireland, mainly agriculture, a purely Roman Catholic majority, differing in every respect from the views, ideals, and even from the past history of the people of the North-East of Ireland. They will have no say in the appointment of this Executive which is to govern them. We may fairly suppose that the Executive which will be set up in Ireland will not be behind the present Government from whom they will trace their origin, and they will not be bashful in making an infinity of appointments of minor officials of all kinds to carry out the government of the country in its every detail, with respect to Irish services, at any rate, and they will naturally appoint people who hold the same political, social, racial and religious view as they hold themselves. Therefore, I say as far as the earliest Parliaments are concerned, the anticipation on which hon. Members opposite largely base their support of this Bill will not be realised. That is undoubtedly true of the early Parliaments. I notice that the hon. and learned Member for Waterford said yesterday:— No one who observes the current of public opinion in this country can doubt for one instant that if this opposition from the North-East corner of Ulster did not exist. Home Rule would go through to-morrow as an agreed Bill. A little earlier the hon. and learned Member said:— The Prime Minister expressed the hope that they will, as good citizens, fall in with this legislation. If it is in the opinion of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford the duty of good citizens to fall in with this legislation, I would like to ask whether it is his conception of the duty of good citizens that they should necessarily gladly accept the rule in all matters of daily life of a horde of officials appointed by an Executive in whose appointment they have no voice whatever, and who would be entirely alien to all their ideas of the Government they desire. I ask the House to consider whether it is likely that where there are these racial differences it will make for the good and smooth working of the new Constitution which it is proposed to set up, that you should have an Executive which is appointed by one part only of the people by virtue of the majority which they will undoubtedly have. Would it not be infinitely better, by way of an experiment, that at first, at any rate for a time at least—if you are really anxious to give a separate Legislature to Ireland, while it is admitted by everyone that these differences and this strong opposition exists—that as long as they do exist, even if they are going to be obliterated, there should be an Executive appointed by the same impartial authority, that is the authority of this House which has appointed the Executive in the past, and which I think has governed Ireland with an increasing measure of success. The confusion that will arise under this Clause of the Bill has been very ably dealt with in the previous Debate, and also by the Mover of this Amendment. Perhaps it is only necessary for me to refer in a little detail to what I said just now. Not only will the Lord Lieutenant be the servant of two masters, but it is not using too Irish an expression to say that he will be the master in the one case and the servant in the other.

I will tell the House what I mean. Supposing he has to act in respect of the Irish services; he has to deal with the Executive in Ireland, and if he disagrees with that Executive he possesses the delegated authority of His Majesty, and if agreement with the Ministers is hopeless he can dismiss them, and to that extent he is entirely master of the situation. But when he is dealing with the reserved services so long as they are reserved, and when he is dealing with Imperial matters which are reserved under this Bill, for all time he is undoubtedly completely in a position of subordination to the Executive and to the Cabinet of this country. It puts him in an even more impossible position and in a light which makes it more impossible for him to carry out his duties than was indicated by the Mover of the Amendment. It is really a position of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He is first one thing and then another, and I cannot see in the Bill how he is ever to know when one of the characters he is supposed to impersonate ceases and he is called upon to play the other part. I want next to call attention to a question which has been already asked and which has never been answered. I want to know, and I think we have a right before we leave this Clause to know, who is going to be the responsible Minister in this House in respect of the reserved services? I want to know who the representatives of the North-East portion of Ireland, probably eight in number, are going to have to answer them if they have any questions to put in this House with respect to those reserved services? Various suggestions, more or less playful, have been thrown out in the course of the Debate, but there has been no attempt on the part of the Government to give us a definite answer to that question. That leads me to what I regard as an infinitely more important question. I want to know whether there is going to be any Minister in this House after this Home Rule Parliament has been set up to answer questions with regard to the Irish services? It may be said that the whole purpose of the Bill is to transfer the control of the Irish services to the new Parliament, and that they will no longer be any concern of this House. I want to know if that is going to be the position?

The hon. Member for the St. Augustine's Division (Mr. Ronald M'Neill), indicated in his concluding remarks that this Bill makes a new departure. It calls upon His Majesty to give up a part of his authority, not to delegate it, but to give it up definitely and entirely. I want to know also whether under this Bill this House is to be called upon, not only to give up all control over, but all power of dealing with, or even of asking questions with regard to the Irish services? If the answer to this question is in the affirmative, and if we are to have no further concern with those services, then what becomes of the safeguard to which the Prime Minister specially referred last night in this House? Speaking on the Amendment then before the House, and with regard to an individual Member of the minority in the North-East of Ireland, he said:— He will still be represented unlike any of our Dominions outside the United Kingdom, here in the Imperial Parliament. He will still have, through that representation in the Imperial Parliament, and through the overriding legislative power which the Imperial Legislature will still possess, and which on all occasions I do not hesitate to say it will undoubtedly exercise—[Hon. Members: 'No']—on all occasions of proved injustice."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st January, 1913, cols. 392–8.] I do not think the sentence is very well reported, but what the Prime Minister indicated clearly to those who heard him was that one of the safeguards of the Irish minority would be their representation still in this House. I ask: What is the value of that if there is no Member of the Government to whom questions can be addressed on subjects which obviously concern the constituents of a Member for North-East Ireland? He may think his constituents are being unfairly dealt with in respect of the administration of Irish services. Those powers are exceedingly wide; they go into all the details of the whole life of the people, they concern their prosperity, their trade, and almost everything they value; and, if there is to be no Member here of the Government who is concerned with and in charge of those affairs, what is the value of that safeguard which is represented by their representation here? I think we have a right to ask for definite answers to those two questions. Who is to be responsible in this House for questions relating to reserved services so long as they are reserved services and Imperial questions for all time, and who, if anybody, is going to be responsible in this House for the Irish services? If on the other hand we are to have some one responsible in this House, some one who can answer questions, and if the Members for the North-East portion of Ulster are to have the right of raising any question in this House with regard to those services, what becomes of the arguments of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) which he used last night? Perhaps I had better read his words:— No one who observes the current of public opinion in this country can doubt for one instant that if this opposition from the North-East corner of Ulster did not exist, Home Rule would go through to-morrow as an agreed Bill. [Hon. Members: 'No, no.'] In my opinion it would be welcomed in their hearts by Members of the Unionist party as leading to the solution of that perennial Irish question which has been a danger and an inconvenience to them just as much as to every other English party since the Union."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st January, 1918, cols. 400–1.] Everybody knows the gist of the hon. and learned Member's argument. It is the old argument: If only we will pass this Home Rule Bill, we can get rid of the Irish question, and none of these difficulties and inconveniences, party inconveniences, will occur in this House. We have got in this dilemma: We have either got to admit that the safeguard represented by the representation of Members from the North-East of Ireland is absolutely illusory, because their mouths will be closed in this House on every question that really concerns them and their constituents, or else we have got to admit we do not get rid of the perennial Irish difficulty, and that we do not minimise that difficulty even if you regard it from the mean and sordid view of party convenience, as the hon. and learned Member asked us to regard it. I will ask the attention of hon. Members to this fact. There is no doubt there will be questions in the future which it will be impossible to say are purely Irish questions because at the present time we choose to say they are so. There is the whole question of Irish finance. I have been informed on the very best authority this afternoon that, taking the decade beginning in 1900, the cost, not, of the reserve services, but of the Irish services over which the Parliament in Dublin would have control, has increased by no less than 26 per cent., and when the additional sum of half a million a year has been reduced, as is proposed in the process of this Bill, to £200,000 a year, when that is in operation, then there can be no further increase in the cost of the Irish services beyond, not 26 per cent., but 16s. per cent. or less, or else there must be additional taxation. If that is the position, and I believe it is, of the finances of this Bill, I suggest there will immediately arise questions concerning the Executive control of the Irish services which will have to be raised in this House, if the people who are mainly affected are to be safeguarded in any way. I believe that these questions must mainly affect the North-East part of Ireland. The moment you come to any question of finance, and the administration of legislation that may impose additional taxation, although it is an Imperial concern to collect that taxation, if you admit, as you must admit under this Bill, officials will be appointed by the Irish Executive, then I say that is a question which mainly concerns the North-East part of Ireland, because the people there will be the biggest contributors to any additional taxation that may have to be imposed. I believe that, as the Bill is drafted, with this divided authority, quite apart from the graver question—and I entirely disagree with the dictum of the Postmaster-General the other night—quite apart from the graver question of what would happen from a national point of view in the case of a national crisis—I believe that in the daily life of the people you are not making arrangement that is likely to or can possibly work smoothly, and which can secure the cohesion of the minority in the North-East of Ireland, which is essential to the smooth working of your Bill.

Hon. Members have made it perfectly clear in the course of these Debates what they are betting on, if I may use the phrase—on what they really depend in giving this Bill their support. They believe that once it is passed into law all present differences of opinion will vanish, and that ordinary political conditions will spring up; that the people will at last become a united people and be glad to have a Parliament of their own. If the idea on which this Bill is based is that you are going to weld these two absolutely divergent peoples into one, then I say the worst way to bring that into operation is by putting the people in the minority under the monstrous hardship of being governed from day to day, not only by an Executive, but by minor officials, over whose appointment they have no control and no voice whatever. If you keep the Executive in the hands of a just and impartial outside power, if you give at the same time the Parliament that you propose—though I need hardly disclaim, being an advocate of that course—if you do that, then I say there might be some hope of these varied peoples, these two opposing elements, flowing together. But you will never beat them into one by appointing a horde of officials and an antagonistic Executive for that purpose. I believe that this part of the Bill is of infinitely greater importance than the question of the legislative authority we set up in Ireland. The people will in their daily life come into contact with the Executive almost hourly, and I say that under this Clause 4 you are instituting a perpetual reminder to the people who object to Home Rule that they are under the Government of an alien power which is interfering with their everyday life.


Let the House consider, in the first place, at what stage we have arrived in the consideration of this Bill. We have passed the Second Reading. We have decided that an Irish Parliament shall be set up, and in the Committee stage and on the Report stage we have passed Clauses establishing that Parliament. Now we have reached a Clause which provides for the creation of an Executive Government, and this is the Clause which the hon. and learned Member, who spoke in a very interesting manner in moving this Amendment, proposes to omit. The suggestion before the House is that if we pass a Home Rule Bill at all it is to be a Bill to set up an Irish Parliament, but not to set up an Irish Executive—in other words there should be established a body of the nature of Grattan's Parliament. I cannot conceive that that is an Amendment which is likely to meet with acceptance at the hands of the British House of Commons. It is obviously contrary to any precedent established in other parts of our Empire. It would give to Ireland a Constitution in some degree resembling that of Germany and the United States, where the Executive is not directly responsible to Parliament, and that is a feature in those Constitutions which is usually regarded by British constitutionalists as being inferior as compared with the distinguishing feature of the British Constitution. It would differ from them in that the Executive apparently would be nominated from here at Westminster, while in Dublin there would be a Legislature which would be supposed to work with that Executive elected by the Irish people. Is it possible to imagine any arrangement which would involve a greater degree of friction than that suggested in this Amendment?

The hon. Member who has just spoken has said that that is what he desires as a temporary arrangement, and he paid a most welcome compliment to the Chief Secretary when he said that the Unionists of Ireland would be very ready to continue the present system, which he called an impartial system, and which was year by year achieving a greater and greater measure of success. But the hon. Member is quite at variance with the hon. and learned Gentleman who moved the Amendment. The Proposer and Seconder, in fact, hold diametrically opposite positions. The hon. Member who moved declared that the proposal which was subsequently made by the Seconder was a totally impossible proposal. He said we got far beyond that, and that a Parliament of the nature of Grattan's Parliament was inconceivable nowadays. The hon. and learned Gentleman himself completely answered, in advance, the speech of the hon. Member who was to second his proposal. The suggestion of the hon. and learned Member who moved the Amendment was that the Government should look about them and see if they could not improve their measure here and there and introduce, sooner or later, a supplementary Bill which would set up another Executive of another kind. But he made no suggestion as to any difference in constitution which that Executive should show compared with the one proposed by this Bill, and he made no suggestion, too, of any description that the kind of Executive we are setting up, namely, a Ministry chosen by the Lord Lieutenant but responsibe to the Parliament of Ireland—was an objectionable proposal. The form of Executive, of course, follows the precedent adopted in all British Constitutions. His objection was not to the constitution of the Executive, but rather to its power, and he moved his Amendment less in order to secure the omission of this Clause and the destruction in any form of the Irish Executive, and less in order to suggest an Executive of a different kind,, than for the purpose of taking the opportunity, to which, of course, he was fully entitled, and in respect to which I do not wish to raise any objection, of complaining that the powers to be conferred upon this. Executive were not the right powers, and he asserted that our Executive was not properly co-ordinated with the judiciary and the police. He also took occasion to criticise, in very strong terms, what he described as the medley of reserved and unreserved services that are included in this Bill—some functions to be conferred on the Executive in Ireland, some functions to be reserved to the Executive here, and some functions which may at first be reserved and ultimately be transferred.

9.0 P.M.

I can only repeat an argument it has been my duty to advance in this House, I am afraid with almost wearisome iteration, during the course of these Debates, that in every federal system of the world there are services which are reserved to the central authority, and there are services which are transferred to the local authority. In every federal system in the world—I use the word "federal" to mean a system in which there is a central Parliament and local subordinate Parliament; here there is only one local subordinate Parliament, but, none the less, the system has the characteristics of a Federal Constitution—in every one there are two Executives covering the same area, each with its own powers, each with its own Executive machinery, or, more usually, one Executive machinery acting for both. There are about 220,000,000 people living under Constitutions such as this. Half the white races of the world live under Constitutions under which, in every area, the whole population is subject to two Executives at one and the same time, the local State Executive and the central or federal Executive, and in all these great and prospering countries of the world we find that there is what the hon. and learned Member has called a medley of services, some of which are reserved to the central authority and some delegated to the local authority. Therefore there is no reason for us to apologise for a system which is working happily and prosperously among so many great and important nations. I now come to the hon. Member's specific points. He says that where you have this, you have at all events a corresponding judiciary and a corresponding system of police. He gave as an instance with regard to the judiciary and the police the United States of America. There, he says, it has been found essential, since many functions are reserved to the Federal Government, to establish also Federal Courts, and that it would be absurd, in the case of Ireland, to leave in the hands of the Imperial Government certain functions, and yet if any case of law arises with regard to those functions it will have to be decided by Courts appointed by the Irish Government. He gave the answer to his own contention. He said no doubt the answer that would be given is that we do reserve supreme judicial power to the Privy Council, which is in the nature of a Federal Court. He did not say that was a bad answer, but merely gave the answer and said, "If that answer is given, let us turn to the question of the police." Therefore by the lack of objection I assume he thinks it is a good answer.


I suggested that that would be the answer given, but obviously it does not satisfy me to have only a Court of Appeal which is a Federal Court.


In the first place, the hon. Gentleman is assuming that the Irish Government will appoint perverse judges. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] If they are judges who will do justice, who will carry out the law, who will conform to their oaths of office, they will administer the law properly and equitably, whether it is a law passed by the Imperial Parliament or whether it is a law passed by the Irish Parliament. I have no desire to cast any reflection upon the judicial system of any other country in the world. I know that American judges are appointed by popular election, but our Irish judges will be appointed under a different system. That is a matter which has to be taken into account. If the hon. Member says that it will be essential in Ireland to have all Imperial matters tried by Imperial judges in the first instance, he is assuming that the Irish judges will be incompetent to try them, which is an assumption we do not make.


Mr. Gladstone made it.


I do not think it is fair to say that, because Mr. Gladstone proposed to establish Exchequer judges for certain purposes.


Can the right hon. Gentleman guarantee that in future Irish judges will not be appointed by popular election?

Captain CRAIG

Or out of the "Freeman's Journal" office.


That will require legislation which will have to receive the sanction of the Lord Lieutenant, subject to the control by overriding legislation that we think proper, of this House. Furthermore, if any alteration of that kind was made in the judicial system in Ireland, we might here make other provisions to establish a separate judiciary if we thought it necessary in Ireland. But these are matters for the future. In any case we do reserve this and other matters, and an appeal to the federal Court—that is to the Privy Council—which will have the supreme power over the judiciary, and be able to enforce by its decrees the laws passed by the Imperial Parliament on all matters relating to Imperial Services.


How will the Privy Council enforce its orders'! Has it any officers to enforce is own decrees?


I am coming now to the question of police, which was the other point the hon. Member (Mr. R. M'Neill) made. He took the United States again as his example, and gave as a reason that the United States is a federation long established, and he refrained from taking as an example the federations existing within our own Empire—Australia, Canada, and South Africa—because he said they have been established a shorter time.


And because you also said these are no precedents.


I would suggest a third reason. The United States gives some support to his contention, but if he had taken the case of the federations within the British Empire they would have given none. There may possibly have been a dominant reason in his mind. There are, it is true, officers of the Supreme Court of the United States in the various federal court districts—the marshals—who are, of course, court officers, who have certain powers of enlisting a force, who call upon sheriff's posses, I believe, in the case of necessity. How far, in fact, these powers are exercised I am not myself aware. But if from the United States he turns to the practice of British Dominions, he will find that in Australia, for example, the police is a State police, that the Commonwealth of Australia depends upon the States for the use of such force as may be necessary to carry on all the functions, and they are many, which are reserved to the Commonwealth Parliament and Executive; that in the provinces of Canada on the other hand—some of the new provinces—there is only a central police and no provincial police; and you may get examples both ways from various parts of the British Empire and from foreign countries of the police force being in the hands of the central executive or of the local executive. But it is only in the United States, so far as I am aware, that you have this system of marshals where you have something in the nature of a police force, both for the central Government and for the local government. In Germany, for example, of course the police is a State police, although such questions as Customs and Excise are reserved to the Imperial Government. They have to depend upon the goodwill of the State for carrying out any measures which may be necessary, and it is found that these provisions give rise to no difficulty, whatever system be adopted.

Then the hon. and learned Gentleman suggested that the Executive that we are setting up with these dual characteristics was an impossible one, that the Lord Lieutenant would never know to whom to turn or by whom to be advised, when he was acting on behalf of the Imperial Government and when he was acting on behalf of the local Government. Which are Irish services and which are not Irish services? Who is to tell him? Here, of course, we are dealing with the Clauses of a Bill on a piece of paper, and we are dealing with phrases in a discussion, but the Lord Lieutenant will be dealing with Irish services in being. It will be quite obvious to him what services are in fact being carried out by officers of the Irish Government and what services are in fact being carried out by Departments which have their headquarters in Westminster. And, of course, if there is any case of doubt, there is provision for determining what is an Irish service and what is not in the Bill, The Courts may decide if it is a case of law, or he may discuss it with the Irish Ministers, and also he can receive advice from the Imperial Government. But the picture which has been conjured up of an unfortunate Lord Lieutenant never knowing when he gets up in the morning whether he is going to deal with any particular thing as head of the Irish Government or as an officer of the Imperial Government is an exercise of those powers of imagination which the Seconder of the Amendment very properly attributed to the Mover but which he had suggested he refrained from exercising.


I did not say anything of the sort.


Perhaps it was the hon. Member (Mr. Peto) who said that.


I did not say it was a frequent occurrence but it might occur, and the right hon. Gentleman has entirely supported me, because he has said that in such cases he would have to take the advice of the Irish Ministers and of the English Ministers. Therefore he has not really carried it any further because he shows that the confusion exists, and he does not show any way out of it.


Indeed I have. There is a way out of it, because questions of what are and what are not Irish services would be questions of interpretation of the Act, and would, if necessary, come before the Courts. But no doubt it would be the duty of those entrusted with the working of the Act to provide for its smooth working, and conference and discussion would, no doubt, be better than deciding them, as they are very often decided in Canada and other federations, by reference to the Privy Council. Two specific questions were raised by the hon. Member (Mr. Peto). He asked again a question which has been asked five or six times at Question Time and has been answered by the Prime Minister on many occasions, as to who would be responsible for answering questions relating to reserved services in this House. The Prime Minister has said again and again that a Member of the Government would be responsible specially for Irish business in this House, but that it was premature at present to determine precisely what his designation would be. The designation surely is a matter of very little importance. The point of the substance is that there should be someone who is a Member of the Government of the day, and who speaks with Government responsibility and weight in this House, who should respond with respect to the Irish services.


Can such a Minister as that be appointed without an Act of Parliament? That is a question which we have often asked and have never had an answer to it.


Oh, yes, I think so. If an Act of Parliament is necessary a Bill might be introduced, but as at present advised I do not know that there is any necessity for an Act of Parliament for the purpose. I think the Prime Minister has already stated that.

Sir J. D. REES

Will he have the status of a Secretary of State?


He will not necessarily be a new Secretary of State. The hon. Member, however, asked who would be responsible in respect of Irish services in this House. Of course, the House will not be charged with the direct administration of Irish services at all, and the whole purpose of the Bill is to relieve this House of the burden of attending to these multifarious details of local administration which ought properly to be controlled by an Irish Parliament; and, indeed, the Irish people would be in a sad way if they were governed by a Parliament of four Houses, two of them in Ireland and two in Westminster, in any one of which any current matter of administration could be raised. But undoubtedly if grave and exceptional circumstances arose in which there had been some serious case of maladministration in Ireland, with regard to which an appeal was made to this Parliament to override the action of the Irish Executive, whoever was responsible for the reserved service would also probably speak in this House, unless it was a matter of such great importance that the Prime Minister himself took charge of the question.


Who would be the authority to decide when these grave matters occurred? And if it were decided by Mr. Speaker that it was not a grave matter, would it be ruled out of order?


It would be decided of course by the common sense of the House and by ordinary Parliamentary procedure. Who decides now that a matter is of sufficient importance to come before the House or not, and whether a day should be given for the discussion of any question. If it was asked for formally by the Opposition for a Vote of Censure, a day would be granted. If it were merely some individual who took up a little trumpery grievance of his own, it might well be that the opinion of the House would be that such a matter was not worthy of delaying its attention.

There is one final point to which I would refer, namely, the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Ronald M'Neill), that by Statute we are for the first time limiting the prerogative of the Crown, and that that is a thing which is improper to be done. We are not in any degree limiting the prerogative of the Crown. We are only determining on whose advice that prerogative shall be exercised. The Clause we are now discussing says:—

"The Executive power in Ireland shall continue vested in His Majesty the King, and nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of that power except as respects Irish services as defined for the purposes of this Act."

And then it goes on to say:—

"As respects those Irish services the Lord Lieutenant or other chief executive officer or officers for the time being appointed in his place, on behalf of His Majesty, shall exercise any prerogative or other executive power of His Majesty the exercise of which may be delegated to him by His Majesty."

It is perfectly clear there is no limitation by Statute of the prerogative of His Majesty, but simply a provision as to the agency through which it will be exercised. Precisely the same is provided when a new constitution is set up in our self-governing Colonies with respect to the individual on whose advice the prerogative is to be exercised. For these reasons I ask the House to reject the Amendment.


I do not feel that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman has thrown much light on this vexed question. The Mover and Seconder of the Amendment made clear and eloquent speeches in which they asked a great many specific questions, and I do not think we can say that the right hon. Gentleman has answered them in any shape or form. I have always felt very great difficulty in discussing this measure. I can understand the system as it is at the present moment, and I had great hope that that system would go on, and that the prosperity which it is now bringing about in Ireland would have been allowed to continue, but the Government have thought otherwise. If they had gone further and said, "We are really going to trust the Irish people and give them control of their own affairs. We are giving to Ireland an independent Parliament and an independent Executive. In fact, we are going to give the Irish people colonial Government." I could have understood that. I would say that sooner than give the kind of Government they are now giving, I would much rather that they were given complete independence. But the right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench think differently. They say, in answer to any difficult question, "We are anxious to trust the Irish people," but in this Bill they do not trust them. The fact that there are reserved services contradicts that absolutely. Here we are faced with an independent Executive, and yet there are a number of reserved services. It is quite true, as the right hon. Gentleman says, that my hon. Friend proposes to omit the important Clause dealing with the Executive while he puts nothing in its place. It is quite true that if Clause 4 were omitted there should be something put in its place, but I did hope that we should hear some convincing argument from the front bench, as to the relation between the independent Executive and the reserved services which are taken away from the Executive.

Let me ask a question about the collection of taxes. The Imperial Government are to be called upon to collect the taxes, and the right hon. Gentleman, in his speech, did not refer to this point at all. I am completely at a loss to understand how it will be possible for the Government of this country to collect the taxes in Ireland if the Executive is hostile to the collection of those taxes. [AN HON. MEMBER: "Why."] The hon. Gentleman asks why it should be if you trust the Irish people. He believes there is absolutely no reason why they should be hostile, and consequently they will not be hostile. The great reason why we are giving Home Rule to Ireland is because that country is different in a great many respects from this country. If Ireland has a separate Government of its own, there are a great many questions with respect to which that Government are bound to differ from the Government of this country. The conditions existing in Ireland and in this country are of such a different character that it is almost obvious that differences must arise between the Governments in the future. It is quite possible that the Government of Ireland may take an entirely different view from the Government in this country, and we may have a hostile Executive in Ireland. To collect the taxes in that case, the Imperial Government will have to employ the police, which they will have under their control for the next six years. The Government will say to the Lord Lieutenant that he is responsible for law and order in the country. But after six years, how do the Government propose to carry out the collection of taxes in the face of a hostile Executive, when neither the police nor the constabulary are under their jurisdiction?

Then I come to the question of law and order. Who is to be responsible for law and order in Ireland? It is true that the Imperial Government have control of the police and constabulary for the next six years, but even then, how are they to carry out law and order in Ireland when there is an Executive in Ireland holding totally different views? The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment gave a very good example of what might occur in Ulster. It is quite possible that some of the disorder which has been prophesied from this side of the House will take place. In Ulster the police will be in the hands of the Imperial Government, and the Executive will call upon the Imperial Government to preserve law and order. I come to the position of the Post Office. That is a case where there is dual control. There are Imperial services which are reserved to the Imperial Government, and there are also the remaining duties which are controlled by the Executive in Ireland. The officers of the Post Office will be Irish, and they will be called upon by the Imperial Government to carry out the Imperial services. There will be no greater illustration that a man cannot serve two masters. I cannot understand how Irish officers can be called upon to carry out Irish services and also Imperial services.

There is another question in respect to railways. At the present moment the Imperial Government have control of the railways in the United Kingdom. Whether they are nationalised or continue to belong to companies as at the present moment, in the event of war breaking out the Government can control the railways. But when you have the railways in Ireland under the control of the Executive in that country, which may be hostile to this country, I should like to know how the Government propose to carry on the services in Ireland under those circumstances. There is another question which I think is one of the most important of all, namely, the resignation of the Executive. I want to know exactly what would be the situation in the event of the Executive in Ireland resigning. The Imperial Government supports the Lord Lieutenant. The Lord Lieutenant may have to veto some provision which has been carried in the Irish Parliament. The Executive resigns. It is impossible for the Government to be carried on because there is no one to undertake it. The Government will say, "There is a majority supporting us, but we cannot continue because the Imperial Parliament is opposed to us." What is the position of this country in such a case? The Colonial analogy is no answer, because it is obvious we have no control whatever over the Colonies. It is a purely sentimental tie which binds us to the Colonies. If they bring forward a suggestion to which we are opposed the Imperial Government has to give way, but when it comes to a country which we are called upon under this Bill to look upon as a portion of the United Kingdom, a situation cannot be ignored which we could afford to ignore in the case of Colonial Governments. These are considerations which all affect an independent Executive and to which the Government have given no answer.


May I add one word of explanation to what I have said? In the course of my remarks I was referred to the fact that many of the judges of the United States were elected, and the hon. and learned Member asked what would happen if the Irish Parliament determined that judges in Ireland should be elected also. I said that that was a matter which would have to be taken into consideration by this Parliament as to the steps to be taken. I overlooked for the moment the fact that under Clause 27 the Irish Parliament had no power to cause the judges to be elected. The Act says that the judges shall be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant, and shall hold office by the same tenure as it is held at the time of the passing of the Act. Therefore legislation affecting the subject will be ultra vires.


I wish to say one or two words from a national point of view in reference to the statements made by hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway. The Noble Lord who last spoke, as indeed all the speakers from his point of view, have based their argument entirely upon a deep distrust of the Irish people. Of course, if it is true, as he assumes, that the Irish people from the very commencement will take every opportunity to be hostile to this country and make things difficult, there will be no end of trouble; but there is nothing at all to warrant the statement that the Irish people would do anything of the kind. Any trouble that there has been in Ireland has been due to the fact that the Irish people have felt that they have not had on their own shoulders the responsibility for the government and regulation of their own affairs, and directly they feel they have that responsibility it will be found, as we all fully expect, and as is believed by everybody who knows Ireland, that the Government of the country will be animated by the strongest possible desire to work smoothly and avoid all cause of friction with this Government and this House. To any reasonable Englishman it will come as an absurd proposition that the Irish people, directly they have a Government of their own with legislative power, are to commence to prove that they are utterly incapable of exercising the power of government. Within the last few minutes we have heard that for some extraordinary reason taxes would not be collected in Ireland, and the Imperial Government would have no power to enforce the collection of taxes in Ireland. How does any reasonable man suppose for a single moment that the Irish people or the representatives under this Bill would object to the collection of taxes? Under this Bill the Irish people will have the control and the expenditure of an enormous amount of those taxes. Yet we are asked to believe that for some extraordinary reason, because of some double dose of original sin, the Irish people directly they get their own Parliament will object to the collection of those taxes without which the Parliament could not exist for a single week. There is no warrant for any such absurdity as that.

The Noble Lord asked what would happen in time of war if the Imperial Government had not the power of controlling the railway traffic in Ireland. He said in time of war the Government have now the power of controlling the railways of the United Kingdom and putting them to any use which they think fit in view of the necessities of war. His question is based on the assumption that when the Irish people get the privilege and the right to manage their own affairs they will be so hostile that any power the Irish Government has over the railways will be exercised against the interests of this country, and I suppose in favour of some enemy that may be at war with this country. I say here, as I have often said before, that the interests of Ireland are bound up to an enormous extent with the interests of this country. The disaffection which has existed in Ireland has existed despite the natural inclination of the people to be on terms of friendship and good will with the people of this country; and to assume that, when the people of this country bestow on the Irish people the rights of government which they had at one time the Irish people will be so hostile that the Irish Government will dispose of the railways and other matters for the benefit of some enemy of this country is to assume what is perfectly absurd. It was only yesterday we had in this House anxious inquiries and some discussion as to the position created in Ireland and this country by an unfortunate outbreak of cattle disease. That outbreak has proved not only to the Irish people, because they always appreciated it, but to the people of this country, how closely Ireland's interests are bound up with this country. The prevention, even for a short time, of the export of cattle from Ireland into this country so deranged the affairs of Ireland and created such loss that the masses of the people were almost in a panic in that country. Eighty per cent. of the produce of Ireland is marketed in this country, and there would be every possible incentive to continue to strengthen the links of friendship and unity with the people of this country, and yet we heard these absurd statements made by Gentlemen like the Noble Lord, who ought to know a great deal better, that if the Irish people be granted a measure of self-government, and therefore have their century-old claim recognised they will be so hostile that they will do all they can to promote the interests of some possible enemies of this country.


They were hostile even when they had a Government of their own.


I suppose the Noble Lord refers to the Parliament which a Noble Lord, an ancestor of his, took such a great part in abolishing. He says they were hostile.


Which you want to perpetuate.


I say, with great respect to the Noble Lord, that an inspection of the history of the period when the Irish people had their own Parliament would show on the contrary that so far from being hostile to the interests of this country the Irish Parliament voted large sums of money and supplies and men and in every possible way assisted this country in its warlike operations. That the Irish party did that nobody can deny. The open page of history proves that to be true, and I fail to understand how the Noble Lord can make the extraordinary statement that when we had an Irish Parliament that Parliament was hostile to the interests of this country, or lent its aid to any enemy of this country. Such was not the case for a single moment. The Noble Lord said he could trace no analogy at all between the position of Ireland and the Colonies in this matter. Of course, the Colonies differ considerably from Ireland. The claim of the Colonies for national self-government in some respects is not so strong as that of Ireland. In many of the Colonies the establishment of absolutely free institutions was no doubt necessary, but at the same time it was more or less in the way of experiment. These were large new countries which were sparsely populated, and which had no experience in the past. We in Ireland are asking for no experiment to be made whatever; we ask for the re-establishment of that which we had for centuries, and held with success. But there is this analogy between the Colonies and Ireland in considering this matter: Let us consider what is the attitude and position of Irish Nationalists who hold positions in the Colonies. Within the last few minutes we heard the suggestion thrown out that the judges in Ireland would be incapable if they were not absolutely corrupt, at any rate, that they would be men who for one reason or another would not do their duty.

We can look to the Colonies to some extent in refutation of this suggestion. Take the Colonial judges. Two of the five judges of the Highest Court of Australia are Irish Nationalists like ourselves. One is an Irish Nationalist and Catholic in religion; the other is an Irish Nationalist Protestant, and a distinguished graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. These two men are fair representatives of the national life in Ireland, both Catholic and Protestant. They have proved themselves neither unreasonable, incapable or corrupt. They have carried out their work with great distinction; they are looked up to with respect and with confidence by the whole population, of all classes and creeds, in Australia. I might go through the States, where you will find Irish judges of the same standing and character. Only the other day I was in Canada, and I attended a Home Rule meeting which was presided over by a gentleman who for years has been one of the most distinguished judges in the Dominion, and who at the present time occupies a very high position in the Dominion Government. All through Canada, all through Australia, and in South Africa, too, you get men of the same blood, the same fibre, the same temperament as the men in Ireland, who will be called upon to administer justice and carry out the provisions of this Act of Parliament. May we not with perfect reason point to the attitude and action of these men as at least some guide to what their fellow countrymen will do at home, in their own country, when they have got the power. Ireland certainly will be quite as ready to administer justice and to see that fair play is given in their own country as they are in every portion of our Dominions. The fact of the matter is the suggestion to leave out this Clause is made on the basis which is at the bottom of the whole of the opposition to this measure, that the Irish people cannot be trusted. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] I really do not see that there is any other reason for the opposition which is forthcoming.

Nobody can deny that there has been friction, disaffection, suspicion, and misunderstanding in the past. We claim that that is entirely due to the fact that instead of allowing us to manage our own internal affairs according to our own ideas and as we think best for our country, you have insisted upon sending gentlemen from this country to rule us who are not responsible to us. The result has been distrust, and to create in the minds of the Irish people from generation to generation, all through the last century, the feeling that they are not trusted, and that they are governed by people who are not responsible to them. I am not going to attack the gentlemen who have been sent over from time to time. I think, myself—it is my own personal opinion—that almost without exception every single statesman that has been sent over to Ireland, whether as Chief Secre- tary or Lord Lieutenant, went to that country with the intention of doing, according to his lights, what was fair and just. I do not deny that in the circumstances of Ireland they found a population naturally and instinctively suspicious, and that their task, was made almost an impossibility. We believe that all the trouble in the past is to be found in that refusal of years to trust in the Irish people as you trust the people of every other portion of the Empire. We believe that under the provisions of this Bill you will restore to Ireland that self-respect which can only come when the people feel that they are allowed to govern themselves as are people in every other portion of the Empire. We believe that everybody in this House and in this country will be delighted to find that Home Rule has been justified, and that before very many years have passed there will not be a single Member of this House, on any side, or of any party, who will feel justified in getting up and saying that it was not a wise and satisfactory policy to trust the Irish people in their own local affairs; that it did not benefit Ireland; that it did not relieve and benefit this Legislature at the same time, and, above all, that it did not unite the people of the British Empire as they never could have been united until the Irish people were allowed to manage their own affairs.


The hon. Member who has just sat down said that the basis of our opposition is that we are not prepared to trust the Irish people or their representatives in this House. It would be quite an easy retort for me to make to say that we do trust all they have said in recent years, and we do trust the evidence they have given by their action down even to yesterday. What was it they did? They voted not on a claim of local self-government by those who want it, but in resistance to the claim of a million people who do not want to be included in that Government. And they call the people of Ulster rebels unless they are prepared to be included. The whole claim of the Nationalists, the whole cause of their disaffection, is due to the fact that they have not had on their shoulders the responsibility of their own Government. But under this Bill they do not get control of their own affairs, and therefore I think we can very rightly say that the Irish Nationalists, not in view of any double dose of original sin, but in view of Nationalist sentiment will strive to get rid of every restriction in the Bill which interferes with the exercise of Nationalist self-government. That is a very intelligible point of view. I think we are entitled to object to this Bill because it is above all bound to be worked for Nationalist objects. I think we could understand a federal system under which purely local affairs and provincial affairs are given to certain districts. We could also understand a clear scheme such as that suggested by this Amendment, where legislative powers are given to a certain area but the Executive retained in the hands of the Central Parliament. The Postmaster-General answered that suggestion by saying that it was contrary to the experience of the Dominions and of half the white world, 220,000,000 of people who live under federal constitutions. It is curious that throughout the Committee stage whenever we appealed to the experience of the Dominions and of every federal Constitution we were always told that there was no precedent for the Irish case.

The Postmaster-General is never so pleased with himself as when he is posing in the rôle of a federalist. He was even less fortunate than usual in that rôle tonight. What is his case? It is that, after all, you do have different Executives in the same area in federal Constitutions. That is perfectly true, but what you have in every federal Constitution, and the main principle governing it, is that the Executive functions correspond to the legislative functions whether in a province or a State, and that you have an Executive power to carry out those functions, while you have a federal Legislature with federal powers and a federal Executive. Minor points, like the State police in Australia, do not affect that issue. Under this scheme you have nothing of the sort. Your Irish Parliament makes the law, and the Imperial police has to carry out that law and preserve order. The Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer frames the financial scheme, but you have Imperial tax-gatherers who collect the money and make regulations under which the scheme is to be carried out. You have no clear division anywhere between Executive and legislative functions. If you are not prepared to give a rational federal system, then you might consider another rational and intelligible alternative, namely, that of one Executive in Ireland under the Imperial Parliament carrying out the legislation of the Imperial Parliament where it is Imperial legislation, and of the legisla- tion of the Irish Parliament where it is Irish legislation. The right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General says that that would provoke friction. That is an astonishing argument to come from one who is reputed to be the framer of the extraordinary financial scheme of this Bill. Why should there be friction in the general conduct of the Executive any more than in the carrying out by Imperial officers and by an Exchequer Board with an Imperial majority of the financial scheme.

I wish to support this Amendment on other grounds as well. I wish to support it because I hold that this Clause, especially in the opening important words of it, is misleading in fact and also actually inconsistent with other parts of the Bilk This Clause, this eye-wash Clause, declares that—

"The Executive power in Ireland shall continue vested in His Majesty the King, and nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of that power except as respects Irish services."

I will say something later about one part of this Bill which does affect the exercise of that power. Whatever may be in the Bill, in practice the result will most undoubtedly affect the exercise of the powers of His Majesty the King and this Parliament. Let me take any of those services which are reserved as Imperial services, such as treaties or relations with foreign Powers. It has been pointed out in Committee that if you give the Irish Government the power, as you do, and as you certainly will give them after the revision of the Financial Clauses, of altering their tariffs, you do in effect, in practice, give them the power of making treaties and negotiations with foreign States, and thus diminishing the exercise of the power of His Majesty the King. The same applies to trade. The moment you give the Irish Government power over its tariff and of imposing Excise Duty then in practice, whatever the Bill may say, you do affect the prerogative and exercise of the power of His Majesty the King. Take the case of treason. Who is to judge of treason? Who is to deal with traitors in Ireland, if such there should be? Will there be officers directly under His Majesty the King and under this Parliament to deal with this question? Of course not. So, in effect, whatever the law may be, you are again diminishing the exercise of the King's power in that respect. Take another point, that of aliens. Who is actually in practice going to deal with aliens there? It will be some officer of the Irish Government, certainly after the constabulary are transferred. There, again, you are, in effect, diminishing the exercise of the sovereignty of this Parliament. I will go further and say that actually under this Act the exercise of His Majesty's power in Ireland is affected. In Clause 40 there are provisions under which any Department of the Government of the United Kingdom may arrange for the exercise and performance on behalf of that Department of any powers or duties of that Department by officers of an Irish Department—

"Provided that no such arrangement shall diminish in any respect the responsibility of the Department by which the arrangement is made."

By that the exercise of the power reserved under Clause 2 to His Majesty the King and to this Parliament can by Clause 40, in fact, be transferred to the Irish Government and the Irish Executive. Therefore the first sentence of this Clause is not a true statement of the facts. It is not true that nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of this power, because under Clause 40 it is directly affected. Let me give an instance. There was the case of the Amendment with regard to the Post Office, introduced yesterday by the right hon. Gentleman and which we have never had the opportunity of properly discussing. Under that Amendment the postal service and the rates of charge therefor, excepting purely local services and designs of stamps, remain in the power of the Imperial Government. If this Clause 4 were true nothing in this Act could affect the exercise of that power by His Majesty. In other words, the service would remain under the King and under this Parliament, and, certainly, as far as the wording of the Act, apart from Clause 40 goes, it is obvious that the result of that Amendment would be that the whole postal service in Ireland would remain an Imperial service, and that the officials would be Imperial, and that if the Irish Government like to set up a local service it might do so at its own expense or by arrangement with the Imperial postal service. We know from admissions by the Postmaster-General and the Attorney-General that as a matter of fact the intention of the Government is to transfer the Post Office and the staff and the whole Postal service in Ireland to the Irish Executive, and to do so under Clause 40. In other words, it is their intention in fact, in respect to that matter, to diminish or to do away with the exercise of the King's power in Ireland, while maintaining a purely nominal and utterly ineffective responsibility to this Parliament. They will be responsible for the exercise of the censorship in critical times. How will they be able in effect to exercise that censorship if they place under the Irish Government the Post Office and practically every other reserved or Imperial service scheduled in Clause 2; The Chief Secretary admitted, in answer to a question, that there is nothing in this Act, as long as Clause 40 stands, which would make it impossible for the Government of this country in close alliance with the Irish Executive and dependent upon the Nationalist contingent for its votes, to transfer the actual exercise of any and every Imperial power, including the control of the troops, to the Irish Government. Therefore, I submit that Clause 4, as it stands, is misleading, inaccurate, and inconsistent with the rest of the Bill, and on these grounds, as well as on the grounds so ably put forward by my hon. Friends, I support the Amendment.


The Mover of this Amendment made a speech which all those who heard it were sorry was not listened to by a larger House. I followed his argument carefully, and I wish to address myself to what I think was the central point in his reasoning. His argument was that he could understand a federal system of Government in which you had a federal Executive to enforce federal legislation, and a State Executive to enforce State legislation, but that this Bill was setting up a system in which you would have a State Executive to enforce federal legislation, and vice versa. This, he said, would lead to hopeless friction, which would eventuate in the collapse of the system. The difficulty which I see in his argument is that it is flatly contradicted by the experience of almost every federal country in the world, and particularly by the experience of that federal Constitution which is the nearest to us, and perhaps the most successful in the world—the federal Constitution of Germany. The leading characteristic of the federal Constitution of Germany is the extent to which federal legislation is dependent for its enforcement upon State officials. The Imperial legislation of Germany interferes with the domestic concerns of the different German States to a degree with which there is nothing in this Bill to compare. Imperial legislation in Germany embraces railways, roads, canals, press laws, civil and criminal legislation. If, therefore, there is any real danger that there will be in Ireland resentment against Imperial legislation, in Germany where the area of Imperial legislation is so much wider the danger would certainly be more serious still. Yet all this legislation is enforced in Germany by State officials.

10.0 P.M.

If hon. Members opposite had ever had to debate the German Constitution, I can well imagine how thoroughly they would have proved to their own satisfaction that it was bound to collapse, and how thoroughly they would have proved that Bismarck was a very clumsy and second-rate statesman. Possibly the mistake they would have made is the mistake that they make throughout the discussions on this Bill. They never can believe that if you give a people rational powers they will use those powers for rational purposes in a rational manner. Hon. Members opposite have said that this is one point which marks the difference between the two sides of the House. It does mark a difference. We on this side believe that Irishmen are as unlikely to push their views to extremes, that they are as willing to compromise on these questions, that they are as able to operate a difficult form of government, as Prussians or Bavarians or Boers. There is one other point to which I wish to refer. It has been stated in this Debate and during the Committee stage that the power of Imperial interference in the legislation of the self-governing Colonies is obsolete. From that it has been argued that our power of interference in Ireland would soon become obsolete. I do not think that that statement is true, and it seems to me a very undesirable doctrine continually to emphasise. So far as the legislation of the Colonies affects themselves and themselves alone, the Imperial authority certainly would not interfere. So far as the legislation of the Colonies affects Imperial interests, so far, for example, as it might influence or affect our relationship with a foreign Power, we still are bound to claim the right to interfere.


And you do so.


The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Amery), of whose writings I am to some extent a student, has been one of the foremost advocates of an ultimate scheme of Imperial federation. But when you consider it, it is impossible to conceive of any scheme of Imperial federation in which it will not be necessary that the decisions of the Imperial authority should be enforced by the various State or Dominion officials. If, therefore, the arrangements on which hon. Members opposite are relying this evening were correct, we should now have to conclude that a scheme of Imperial federation was bound to lead to such friction that it would collapse and have forthwith to be abandoned. As a matter of fact, when it has occurred—as it has sometimes occurred—that the Imperial Parliament has had to intervene in Dominion legislation—as did occur, for example, in the case of the Immigration Restriction Acts of Australia—the common sense of the authorities on both sides has been strong enough to overturn and to confute the arguments on which hon. Members are relying. What has occurred in those cases, I see no reason to believe will not occur in the case of Ireland.

Sir J. D. REES

The hon. Member who has just sat down has shown to what straits hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side are reduced in opposing this Amendment. He is driven to Germany, the most autocratic Government left in Europe, for an illustration on which to base his approval of the democratic lines of this Bill! It is a very extraordinary refuge for him to take, and I sympathise with him. But he might at least have remembered that there are one or two important distinctions in this respect between Germany and Great Britain. In these federal States in Germany there is not one subject who is not a German first. You will never find an internationalist there who will preach the general strike. You will never find a Socialist who will stand against the German Empire and the Fatherland. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Clare said, "Why does this House distrust the Irish people?" Is not that the genesis of this Bill? Was not this Bill based upon the fact that the Irish do not trust Great Britain; otherwise where is the case for this Bill? "Why," says the hon. Member, "distrust the Irish people?" The origin of this difficulty is not distrust by Great Britain of the Irish, but by the Irish of Great Britain. The whole of the hon. Member's arguments, I submit, falls entirely to the ground, and if he had not been driven to desperate straits he would never have gone to autocratic Germany, with its patriotic citizens, to find a case on which to base opposition to this Amendment.

The hon. Member for Clare said—and I very much agree with him in his instance—that in other countries you have Irish judges most distinguished, most respected, and most impartial. I could have endorsed all that from my own personal experience. I have spent the greater part of my life in a country where a large proportion of these judges were Irish. They are impartial and most impartial; most capable, and in all respects an honour to the position they occupy. But in those countries they are cut off from the Irish atmosphere. There is no reason there to believe that there is anything to prevent them exercising their great ability in the most complete and absolute independence and impartiality. I cannot share the feeling of the hon. Member for Clare. The men are not necessarily at all the same individuals capable of impartially exercising their functions in Ireland as they are outside its narrow limits; for everywhere else they shed lustre upon their country! The Postmaster-General dealt with the position in which Ireland would be left if this Clause were omitted under this Amendment. He said, "You would have a Parliament without a Government." He overlooked, I submit, the evidence before his own eyes in the case. That is exactly the position Ireland is in now. This Parliament has governing powers, but it does not govern. The Executive Government docs not enforce the law which ought to be enforced in Ireland. In point of fact while Ireland has a Parliament it is not governed. There is cattle driving, and as everybody will admit, even the right hon. Gentleman, that the most powerful man in Ireland is the hon. Member for West Belfast, and the hon. Gentleman who sits beside him, the hon. Member for East Mayo, claims himself to be not a separatist. I submit that while the Postmaster-General—I am a great admirer of his abilities, therefore he will excuse me if I say he did it in a somewhat superior manner—laughed at the effect of this Amendment, he overlooked the beam in his own eye. Ireland is bereft of an Executive Government, and people have to look to other influences and powers, than those the Executive Government provides. The consequence is that the Front Bench really are unable to take up that supremely superior attitude taken up by the Postmaster-General as to what the result would be if this Amendment is carried. I do not disguise from myself the fact that if we carry this Amendment, and omit this Clause, it would leave the new Government of Ireland in a truncated and miserable condition; but I maintain that she is in that position now, and that the Executive law does not really run, except in outward forms, throughout the Island. The Postmaster-General also said that half the white races in the world are now under a federal Constitution. He overlooked the fact that these federal Constitutions govern, and that the people who break the law are punished; that there is no special list for those who are possessed of some influence or are members of powerful societies, that they shall be exempt from the operation of the law. The atmosphere is an entirely different one. I submit the state of things which will be introduced into Ireland under this Bill will be of the character described by the hon. and learned Gentleman, for good and sufficient reasons, who moved this Amendment. Of course the omission of this Section would have to be replaced by something else, because it is perfectly obvious, if carried, that there must be some Executive Government. That I admit. This state of things existing in Ireland has been for a long time semi-anarchy. It has not necessarily been confined to right hon. Gentlemen's administration. There have been many of his predecessors who in the same way have not really administered the law in Ireland because of that fear of the Irish people, and from that very want of trust which the hon. Member for Clare referred to in his speech, and from the existence of which I deduce a wholly different moral.

It has been urged that under this Bill the powers of the King are not immediately affected. The hon. Member for Wiltshire (Mr. Peto) said that under this Bill the Lord Lieutenant would serve two masters. It was the only statement made by my hon. Friend with which I did not agree. The Lord Lieutenant will not be under two masters. He will be under one master, and that will be the Irish Executive. The authority of His Majesty the King will only be a minus quantity. It is difficult to see what powers are really left to His Majesty, which, I presume, in that behalf will be the Home Government, because the Home Cabinet are by this Bill so far as they may be, transferring their authority to the Irish Cabinet. It is obvious that under this Bill as it stands, under this Section above all others which remains in the Bill, there will be a complete want of co-ordination between the different services, between the reserved and the unreserved services, and I am unreservedly associating myself with what the hon. Gentleman said in opposing the Bill. Why, supposing that this measure becomes law, is Ireland not to have a Minister of the rank of a Secretary of State? The Postmaster-General fenced with that question. Therein he followed the Prime Minister who also fenced with it. But it is a question of the utmost importance. In dealing with the Bill one minute the Irish Government is a small matter—not more than a gas or water business—in another minute it is a great federal Government, as near independence as can be—just the argument which the moment requires. But in any case, if there is to be an Irish Parliament surely it will be necessary for the dignity of Ireland and of its Parliament that a Minister of the status of the Secretary of State, and nothing less, should be in this House? I believe and understand that an office of principal Secretary of State cannot be created, and that the number cannot be increased without special legislation. Why is this necessary information upon this point withheld from the House? Effort after effort has been made to get such information without result. Then it is said that North-East Ulster will still be represented in this House. What will be the value of that representation after the case of North-East Ulster has been completely given away, as it was last night. What advantage will it be to North-East Ulster to have but a very small percentage of the forty Members from Ireland in this House to secure for the loyal subjects of Ireland that representation which they deserve? I appeal to the Government to take this matter into their consideration.

I wish to refer to another matter now. I understand that the Executive Government under this Bill will have power under Clause 2 to give a bounty for the encouragement of manufactures in Ireland. One such manufacture is lace making. It is quite true that it is a hand industry. There is a law in force in Ireland, which is renewed every year under the Expiring Laws Continuance Act, which enables the Irish Executive to give advances to home manufacturers out of the public Exchequer. I understand under this Bill it will be competent for the Irish Government to give not only this advance for the manufacture of home-made lace, but also to give a bounty or encouragement in various ways for machine-made lace. And the persons who will be appointed under Clause 4 will be able to superintend that manufacture, to encourage and to stimulate in every respect a trade which would directly compete with Buckinghamshire and Nottingham and other centres in which lace is made now. If that is so, and I am assured it is, that is an additional reason, and a very strong one, in the minds of those interested in a trade which is not one of the most unimportant in the United Kingdom, why this Amendment should be accepted. I shall be glad to have an answer upon that point. I do not want to raise any points which have already been discussed upon the whole Clause, and it has been very fully discussed, but I should like to urge, as other speakers have done, that I view the appointments to be made under this Section with the utmost distrust. Hon. Gentlemen have appealed to the House and asked why is an Irish Minister or an Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer not entitled to as much trust as a British Chancellor of the Exchequer. I think we might give them all that, and yet have great distrust of them. The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, in spite of all the safeguards provided in the British Constitution, has collected taxes without authority, and has given salaries to Members of Parliament without the sanction of the electorate, and any of the officers appointed under this Clause may at least be guilty of equal irregularity. There is every reason for believing that they may be guilty of even greater irregularities. Hon. Gentlemen opposite ask us to trust everybody in the future. The best method to adopt in this matter is to judge by the past. It is the case that in the past there has been great hostility to this country in Ireland while enjoying every privilege enjoyed by this country, and what guarantee is there that that hostility will not be continued in the future? I have mentioned one matter peculiar to my Constituents, and I will now sit down in the hope that the Chief Secretary will give me some reply as regards the manner in which Irish moneys may be expended under this Bill for the encouragement of an industry which will directly compete with one of those industries upon Which the prosperity of these Islands is founded.


The hon. Member opposite based his argument very cleverly upon one side of the question only, and he referred to the federal system of Germany. There is not time to dwell upon that, but the hon. Member knows just as well as I do that there is no possible parallel between the German federal system and any system within our own Empire or within the bounds of the English-speaking world. The Executive of Germany is not dependent upon the will of the democracy, as every Executive within our Empire is dependent. The hon. Member also knows perfectly well that every one of the German States was an ancient zollverein and the federal system is a monarchial Bund, and not a federation or union such as exists within our Oversea Dominions. It has been pointed out that this central Imperial Government reserves for itself the right to interfere with the acts of autonomous States, like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Newfoundland, when they cross the line of our Imperial policy. That is perfectly true, but his reasoning was based upon the assumption that we were giving to Ireland a dominion and autonomous Government instead, as we are told, of a provincial Government.

The hon. Member dealt with one side of the question. Let me put the other. Can the hon. Member point to a single instance in our Empire where a provincial Government in a federal system has the power to revise the Acts of the central Government? We are giving to Ireland, we are told, a provincial Government. The provincial Government will have the power to revise the Acts of this Imperial Government in the matter of Customs. Not in any one of our Oversea Dominions has a province in a federal system control of the Post Office, and not in any case in a provincial system has a provincial Government the power to take over, with the assent of the Imperial or Federal Government, a Department of State which deals with Imperial affairs. This Bill does those three things. It gives the power to a Provincial Government to revise the acts of the Imperial Government; it gives the

Division No. 479.] AYES. [10.30 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Bowerman, C. W.
Acland, Francis Dyke Barnes, G. N. Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)
Addison, Dr. C. Barton, William Brace, William
Ainsworth, John Stirling Beale, Sir William Phipson Brady, Patrick Joseph
Alden, Percy Beck, Arthur Cecil Bryce, J. Annan
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire) Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, St. George) Burke, E. Haviland-
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Bentham, G. J. Burns, Rt. Hon. John
Baker, Harold T. (Accrington) Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Boland, John Plus Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Booth, Frederick Handel Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)

right to control the Post Office, which is I always considered an Imperial service; and, finally, it gives the right to administer an Imperial Department with the assent of the Imperial Government; and, as my hon. Friend pointed out, a time may come when a Government in power in this country is dependent upon the forty votes of the Irish Members, and, influenced by public opinion in Ireland and the desire of an Irish legislature, they may demand in return for their votes that they shall have the right to administer some Department of Imperial affairs in Ireland. That is the kind of thing that is absolutely antagonistic to every principle of Imperial Government, and to every principle of Federal Government as it has existed within the British Empire. In every federal system that has been granted you have had one great general principle to which every province and every State has had to conform as it came into the federation. Does any hon. Member on that side of the House suggest that England, Scotland, or Wales would come into a federal system upon the basis of the Constitution which is being given to Ireland? We know perfectly well that neither England, Scotland, nor Wales would do so, and the analogy breaks down in every particular when you draw upon the experience of the Empire and the experience of all constitutional powers granted by this Government to any oversea Dominions. The argument put forward by the hon. Member and by those on the back benches and also those on the front benches in connection with this Bill, and the principles contained in this Clause are fallacious, unreasonable, lacking in all historical precedent, and, when put into operation, will only result in breaking down every principle the Empire has ever known for the proper working of democratic government throughout the Empire.

Question put, "That the words of the Clause to line 39"—[end of Sub-section (2)]—"stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 2S2; Noes, 162.

Byles, Sir William Pollard Holmes, Daniel Turner Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich) Pointer, Joseph
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Power, Patrick Joseph
Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood) Hudson, Walter Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Chancellor, Henry George Hughes, S. L. Pringle, William M. R.
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Isaacs, Rt. Hon, Sir Rufus Radford, G. H.
Clancy, John Joseph John, Edward Thomas Raffan, Peter Wilson
Clough, William Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Sw'nsea) Raphael, Sir Herbert H.
Clynes, John R. Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)
Collins, G. P. (Greenock) Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East) Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Jones, Leif Stratten (Rushcliffe) Redmond, William (Clare, E.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney) Rendall, Athelstan
Cotton, William Francis Joyce, Michael Richards, Thomas
Crawshay-Williams, Eliot Keating, Matthew Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Crean, Eugene Kellaway, Frederick George Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
Crooks, William Kennedy, Vincent Paul Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Crumley, Patrick Kilbride, Dennis Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Cullinan, John King, J. (Somerset, North) Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton) Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Robinson, Sidney
Dawes, J. A. Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Delany, William Leach, Charles Roche, Augustine (Louth)
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Levy, Sir Maurice Roe, Sir Thomas
Devlin, Joseph Lewis, John Herbert Rose, Sir Charles Day
Dillon, John Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas Rowlands, James
Donelan, Captain A. Low, Sir F. (Norwich) Russell, Rt. Hon, Thomas W.
Doris, William Lundon, Thomas Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Duffy, William J. Lyell, Charles Henry Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lynch, A. A. Scanian, Thomas
Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.
Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.) McGhee, Richard Sheehy, David
Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid) Maclean, Donald Sherwell, Arthur James
Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. Shortt, Edward
Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook
Essex, Sir Richard Walter Macpherson, James Ian Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Esslemont, George Birnie MacVeagh, Jeremiah Smith, H. B. L. (Normanton)
Falconer, James M'Callum, Sir John M. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)
Farrell, James Patrick M'Curdy, C. A. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson M'Kean, John Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert
Ffrench, Peter McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Stanley, Albert (Staffs., N. W.)
Field, William M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.) Sutherland, J. E.
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Markham, Sir Arthur Basil Sutton, John E.
Fitzgibbon, John Marshall, Arthur Harold Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Martin, Joseph Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)
Furness, Stephen Mason, David M. (Coventry) Tennant, Harold John
Gilhooly, James Meagher, Michael Thomas, James Henry
Gill, A. H. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Ginnell, Laurence Millar, James Duncan Thorne, William (West Ham)
Gladstone, W. G. C. Molloy, Michael Toulmin, Sir George
Glanville, H. J. Mond, Sir Alfred M. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Money, L. G. Chiozza Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Goldstone, Frank Morgan, George Hay Verney, Sir Harry
Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) Morrell, Philip Wadsworth, J.
Griffith, Ellis J. Morison, Hector Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke) Morton, Alpheus Cieophas Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Muldoon, John Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Gulney, Patrick Munro, R. Wardle, George J.
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C. Waring, Walter
Hackett, John Nannetti, Joseph P. Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Hall, Frederick (Normanton) Needham, Christopher T. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Hancock, J. G. Neilson, Francis Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale) Nolan, Joseph Webb, H.
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Norton, Captain Cecil W. White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)
Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.) Nugent, Sir Walter Richard White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E. R.)
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Whitehouse, John Howard
Hayden, John Patrick O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Whittaker, Rt. Hon Sir Thomas P.
Hayward, Evan O'Doherty, Philip Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Hazleton, Richard O'Donnell, Thomas Wiles, Thomas
Healy, Maurice (Cork) O'Dowd, John Wilkie, Alexander
Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, East) O'Grady, James Williams, John (Glamorgan)
Helme, Sir Norval Watson O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.) Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Hemmerde, Edward George O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.) Williamson, Sir Archibald
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Malley, William Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Henry, Sir Charles O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) O'Shee, James John Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Higham, John Sharp O'Sullivan, Timothy Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)
Hinds, John Outhwaite, R. L. Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Parker, James (Halifax)
Hodge, John Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Hogge, James Myles Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead) Newton, Harry Kottingham
Aitken, Sir William Max Forster, Henry William Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Amery, L. C. M. S. Gardner, Ernest Nield, Herbert
Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R. Gastrell, Major W. Houghton Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)
Astor, Waldorf Gibbs, George Abraham O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)
Baird, John Lawrence Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K. Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Gordon, John (Londonderry, South) Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Balcarres, Lord Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Baldwin, Stanley Golding, Edward Alfred Perkins, Walter F.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Grant, J. A. Pole-Carew, Sir R.
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Greene, Walter Raymond Pollock, Ernest Murray
Barnston, Harry Gretton, John Pretyman, Ernest George
Barrie, H. T. Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds) Pryce-Jones, Col. E.
Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.) Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Randies, Sir John S.
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Haddock, George Bahr Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hall, Fred (Dulwich) Rawson, Col. Richard H.
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Rees, Sir J. D.
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Harris, Henry Percy Royds, Edmunds
Beresford, Lord Charles Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)
Bigland, Alfred Helmsley, Viscount Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)
Bird, Alfred Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire) Salter, Arthur Clavell
Blair, Reginald Hewins, William Albert Samuel Sanders, Robert Arthur
Boyton, James Hickman, Col. Thomas E. Sassoon, Sir Philip
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Spear, Sir John Ward
Burn, Colonel C. R. Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian) Stanier, Beville
Butcher, John George Home, E. (Surrey, Guildford) Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.) Horner, Andrew Long Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Hunt, Rowland Staveley-Hill, Henry
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath) Steel-Maitland, A. D.
Cassel, Felix Jessel, Captain H. M. Swift, Rigby
Castlereagh, Viscount Kebty-Fletcher, J. R. Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)
Cator, John Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)
Cautley, Henry Strother Kimber, Sir Henry Talbot, Lord E.
Cave, George Larmor, Sir J. Thynne, Lord A.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle) Touche, George Alexander
Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin) Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End) Tryon, Captain George Clement
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Lee, Arthur Hamilton Valentia, Viscount
Chambers, James Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Clay, Captain H. H. Spender Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey) Ward, A. (Herts, Watford)
Clive, Captain Percy Archer Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Wheler, Granville C. H.
Courthope, George Loyd Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston) Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud
Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe) Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich) Wills, Sir Gilbert
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)
Croft, H. P. M'Mordie, Robert James Winterton, Earl
Denniss, E. R. B. Magnus, Sir Philip Wolmer, Viscount
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott Malcolm, Ian Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Doughty, Sir George Middlemore, John Throgmorton Worthington-Evans, L.
Du Cros, Arthur Philip Mildmay, Francis Bingham Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Duke, Henry Edward Moore, William Yate, Colonel C. E.
Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton) Younger, Sir George
Faber, Cant. W. V. (Hants, W.) Mount, William Arthur
Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Neville, Reginald J. N. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes Newman, John R. P. Ronald M'Neill and Mr. Peto.
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.

It being after half-past Ten of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Orders of the House of the 14th October and the 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 Ten of the clock at this day's sitting.

Government Amendment made: In Subsection (3), leave out the word "thereto" ["subject thereto, by the Lord Lieutenant"], and insert the words, "to any alteration by Irish Act."—[Mr. Birrell.]

Government Amendment proposed: After Sub-section (5) insert—

(6) In the exercise of powers delegated to the Lord Lieutenant in pursuance of this Section no preference, privilege, or advantage shall be given to, nor shall any disability or disadvantage be imposed on, any person on account of religious belief, except where the nature of the case in which the power is exercised itself involves the giving of such a preference, privilege, or advantage, or the imposing of such a disability or disadvantage.—[Mr. Birrell.]

Question put, "That the Amendment be made."

The House divided: Ayes, 280; Noes, 162.