HC Deb 07 January 1913 vol 46 cc1089-144

(1) The Irish House of Commons shall consist of one hundred and sixty-four members, returned by the constituencies in Ireland named in the First Part of the First Schedule to this Act in accordance with that Schedule, and elected by the same electors and in the same manner as members returned by constituencies in Ireland to serve in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

(2) The Irish House of Commons when summoned shall, unless sooner dissolved, have continuance for five years from the day on which the summons directs the House to meet and no longer.

(3) After three years from the passing of this Act, the Irish Parliament may alter, as respects the Irish House of Commons, the qualification of the electors, the mode of election, the constituencies, and the distribution of the members of the House among the constituencies, provided that in any new distribution the number of the members of the House shall not be altered, and due regard shall be had to the population on the constituencies other than university constituencies.


I beg to move at end of Sub-section (1), to add the words (2)"In any constituency which returns three or more members, the election shall be held on the principle of proportional representation."

I do not propose to move the last Section of the Amendment now, because I am informed, if the first Section of my Amendment was carried, the second part of it would more properly come in on Clause 42 of the Bill. This is not the first time that this question has been discussed in this House on this Bill. As a matter of fact, the principle of proportional representation was discussed at considerable length on the Committee stage of this Bill, so far as the Senate is concerned, and so far as the House of Commons is concerned, yet in spite of these discussions one feels that the objects and methods of proportional representation appears so little understood, and the machinery so little realised by many Members of this House, that I propose, very shortly, to devote the first part of my speech in endeavouring once more roughly to go over the principle which underlies proportional representation before I apply it to the Amendment in question. Indeed, the object of proportional representation, as it is called, is that members should be elected in proportion to the votes cast for the various candidates. That is to say, whereas, under the present system, a candidate is elected by a majority, however small over his opponent, and all the minority votes are left entirely unrepresented, under proportional representation, the votes of the minority would be utilised in obtaining for its party a fair share of the representation. I have been asked by some Members in the course of these discussions what is the method of carrying out proportional representation, and what is the method which the Select Committee inquired into, among other matters. I should like quite shortly to illustrate how the principle involved would work in practice.

If you take a constituency in which 30,000 electors vote under our present system any candidate who obtains 15,001 votes which is one over half the total number of the people voting, is elected, and his opponent who obtains 14,999 votes is defeated, the latter large portion of the electors being thus deprived of any further voice in the government of their country. Let us assume that on the principle of proportional representation a constituency of this size has perhaps two members. Take now a constituency returning three members. If you divide the 30,000 electors by three, any candidate who obtains one-third of the 30,000 plus one, that is to say 10,001 votes, will be duly elected, that figure of 10,001 being what is properly called the quota. Supposing there are six candidates nominated, three by one party and three by the other, it is obvious that any three candidates, each of whom obtains one-fourth of the votes plus one would be elected, for only three candidates can each poll a quota of 7,501 out of a total poll of 30,000. How is the single transferable vote applicable to the case I have stated? Every voter has only one effective vote, but he can give this vote in an order of preference to as many candidates as stand. The object of this is that if the first or second candidate obtain more than the necessary votes, the surplus votes are not wasted, but are transferred to the candidates next in order of preference. This is repeated until all the electors' votes are utilised and all the seats are filled. It is obvious that by this method you must obtain a much closer approximation of the wishes of the electorate. I have been very much surprised to hear people say that this system is very difficult either to understand or work. I cannot understand why, if the voter goes to the poll with sufficient intelligence to comprehend the numerous and manifold political issues put from the platform, he is supposed to be so unintelligent that he cannot mark a ballot paper 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Wherever a model election has been held it has been extraordinary how few spoiled papers there have been. At the last election held in Lundon by the society there were 48,000 voting papers and only seventy-one were spoiled. When the ordinary person is given plain and simple directions there is no difficulty whatever in carrying out those instructions. Another objection that has been raised is that the counting is very complicated. I am not going to trouble the House with questions of detail in regard to the counting. It is not really very difficult and moreover it in no way concerns the elector, who need no more trouble himself about the method of counting than the user of a telephone need trouble about a knowledge of electricity, or no more than the man who-turns on the electric light need be an electrician. Anyone who has seen the counting done recognises that it presents no particular difficulty. The system is simple and by no means complicated, and as it is to be applied in Ireland to the election of the Senate the Irish elecors will have to learn it, and if they learn it for one purpose, there is no reason why that knowledge should not be applied to another purpose.

It is only fair to say on behalf of the Irish Proportional Representation Society that they would have preferred the previous Amendment covering the whole House of Commons should have been accepted by this House. It would not be in order for me now to open out the whole of this subject as far as the whole House of Commons is concerned. My Amendment limits the application of this principle to a small number of block constituencies, and it must not be implied that the Irish Proportional Representation Society and those who support them in Ireland are satisfied with this limitation and would not sooner have seen the entire scheme carried out.

One of the objections we have been asked to meet is that made on the score of the advantage which is supposed to be given to wealth by this system. That objection is based on an entirely illusory idea drawn from our present system. We all know that practically the bulk of the expenses of all modern elections is incurred to induce certain small fragments of undecided voters to vote for one candidate or the other. The agents of both parties can indicate within 500 how the bulk of their own people will vote, and it is only on account of a few wobblers that money is spent in motor cars, posters, and the other incidental expenses of elections. These would all become useless under proportional representation. [An HOST. MEMBER: "Why?"] Because under this system you are much more certain of having your quota. If you know that out of 30,000 electors you can poll 10,002, it does not matter whether you poll another 500 or more, because there is no object in increasing your election expenses in order to pile up a perfectly useless majority which will only be transferred to other people. In most constituencies the candidates know pretty well what their electoral strength is and how many members they can return, and they will not put up candidates far in excess of their electoral powers.

Wherever this system has been tried it has very largely tended to reduce the election expenses. At one place, where for the first time the Labour party returned two Members, the cost amounted to £52. They simply went for the Labour vote, and it was quite sufficient. A further point will arise of considerable value, more especially so far as Ireland is concerned, and it is that the surplus or second vote, or it may be the third vote, in those areas where one party is too small to return more than one member, will have a largely determining effect on the persons who are elected by the other parties. I will illustrate what I mean. Supposing you have a division with three members in which the Nationalists return two and the Unionists one. The Unionists will be able to give their surplus votes either to their quota or to such Nationalists candidates whose character or other qualities appeal to them, and in this way they will be able to exer- cise an indirect but a very strong influence in the choice and selection of candidates for the other side. Under the present system nothing of the kind would occur, because the Unionists could only vote for the Unionist candidates, and all their votes would be wasted, and they would not be able to exercise any kind of indirect influence on the kind of man the other side would select. For a minority, I think, that is of considerable importance—much more importance than has been generally recognised.

To come more closely to the Amendment, I would like the House to realise the position under the Bill, as proposed by this Amendment. My Amendment refers to the following constituencies in Ireland: Dublin—College Green, Harbour Division, St. Patrick's Division; Dublin County—North and South, Cork, and East, South, and North Belfast. As the Bill stands, College Green is to have three; Harbour, three; St. Patrick's, three; Dublin County North, three; Dublin County South, three; and Cork, four. Those are all constituencies of three and four Members each, a state of things which does not exist in this country at all. The total number of Members in those Divisions is nineteen. If I turn to Belfast constituencies, Belfast East, under the Bill, has five members; Belfast South, three; and Belfast North, four members—or a total of twelve. As far as I have been able to gather as the Bill stands, under the system of a block vote the result would be that you would have in Dublin, Dublin County and Cork nineteen Nationalist representatives, while Belfast East, South, and North would return a solid twelve Unionists to the Irish Chamber, because they would have an absolute majority there. I must confess that it appears to me and to a good many who have gone into this question that the present system is a disastrous one to Ireland. May I give the House the figures under the system of proportional representation? Under my estimate in College Green the Nationalists will have two and the Unionists one member; in the Harbour Division the Nationalists two and the Unionists one; in the St. Patrick's Division the Nationalists two and the Unionists one; in Dublin County North the Nationalists two and the Unionists one; in Dublin County South the Nationalists either two or one and the Unionists either one or two; and in Cork the Nationalists three and the Unionists one. Thus Dublin and the southern constituencies, instead of having a solid block of representatives of one shade of political opinion, would have a proportion of thirteen or twelve of one party or six to seven of the other.

Take the case of Ulster. Under the estimate I have given in Belfast East the Nationalists will have one and the Unionists four members; in Belfast South the Nationalists one and the Unionists two; in Belfast North the Nationalists one and the Unionists three. The result for Ulster would be three Nationalists and nine Unionists as against a solid block of twelve Unionists under the majority system. What would be the upshot of all this. Instead of a proportion of nineteen to twelve you would have sixteen Nationalists to fifteen Unionists. Does this not show how completely false and misleading the present system of electioneering is, and what an absolute misrepresentation it brings about. But bad as it is in single-member constituencies can you imagine anything more unfair than that constituencies with five members with majorities of ten or twenty should return the whole representation and leave the whole mass of the rest of the electors without any representation. Under the modest proposals we have made you get a fair representation of opinion between the two parties.

8.0 P.M.

I would like to draw the attention of the House to a, very similar case to that of Ireland on the Continent. Those who have followed Belgian politics know that in the early days it was absolutely ruled by the Catholic party, and the Protestant element had very little chance either of governing or of being represented. The politics of the Belgians drifted from bad to worse; the Catholic majority got more extravagant and in order to rectify this state of things, Belgium adopted the system of proportional representation on this point I do not want to mislead the House, and I do not allege that the Belgian system is the one which we should adopt. The Belgian method is a different one. It has some advantages with a good many disadvantages, but on the whole the Select Committee which went into this question rejected the Belgian system in favour of the one we are now proposing. On the 18th December last there was a very large banquet held in Paris, which was attended by men of all parties to celebrate the passage of the proportional representation Bill through the French House of Deputies. Speaking on behalf of the Catholics, the Socialists, the Independent and Liberal parties, as well as for himself, on the subject of proportional representation, that is what the Belgian Radical Deputy, M. Georges Lorand, said:— In Belgium the question was not a party one, all parties being equally satisfied with the system. If it still had some impenitent opponents, none of them dared to combat it openly. The Opposition parties demanded its more complete application, its inclusion in the Constitution, and its extension to provincial elections. Thanks to it. all parties were represented by their most eminent Members, thus enhancing the authority of Parliament. Before its application political activity was extinct in half the Belgium constituencies in which the results of elections were known in advance. There is an exactly parallel case in Ireland. You have constituencies in Ireland to-day where there is no real electioneering and in which the constituents get no kind of political education worth talking about, simply because everybody knows the result in advance. The same holds good in a large part of England. To-day all parties fought in all constituencies, and it may be said that in nearly all of them all parties were represented. The struggle had changed in character—it was no longer one of persons, but of ideas. Far from causing the Opposition parties to fall to pieces, it had concentrated them. Electoral struggles had lost none of their vigour, but had become more courteous and more dignified. Instead of having two men scrambling by all possible means to secure a few wobblers, wandering, as we have to do, from door to door begging for votes or setting other people to do it for us, you have a large constituency and a large number of people to appeal to, 'and naturally in a case of that sort political ideas take the place of these back-door methods. It had unquestionably raised the moral level of Parliament and had enabled the Government to deal with problems which it would not have dared to undertake when obliged to reckon with the hostility of the representatives of a large and powerful constituency opposed to a reform. This is the most important part of his speech— Speaking in the name of all the political parties in Belgium, I declare the results of proportional representation to be excellent. It has rendered our political life wholesome, it has strengthened our Parliament, and it has fortified the existence of our parties. No effort will be made in Belgium to touch the system except with the object of rendering it more complete and perfect. That is an extraordinary testimonial, and it was repeated in an interview they had the next day with the French Prime Minister. In the old days religious hatred existed in Belgium, but difficulties similar to those that you have in Ulster and the rest of Ireland have been broken down by this system of proportional representation. I think the House should follow this excellent example in the similar problem which faces it in Ireland. I admit the machinery is slightly different, but I do not think that difference is of importance. All I can say is the Belgium system is a party system whilst ours is a transferable vote system, and I think ours is the very much superior system, and so did the Select Committee.


Will the hon. Baronet say what is the cause of the general strike in Belgium?


I do not know where the hon. and gallant Members gets his information. Leaders of Belgian opinion appeared in Paris on December 8th on a formal occasion and said all parties were satisfied with the system.


It is in the paper of the Labour party that they, do not agree with the system.


The strike is not to abolish proportional representation, but to give universal suffrage.


I do not think there can be any doubt about the matter. It would take me too long and too far to go into the differences of the systems, and I think it is really unnecessary because I have got here the Report of the Royal Commission. They examined all these systems, and they said the transferable vote system was more perfect than the other.


They say the Belgian system is from the practical point of view the best, and the transferable vote system the least satisfactory.


That merely deals with the question of by-elections.


No, read on.


I am not going to read the whole Report, but I may say the Royal Commission arrived at most contradictory conclusions in its Report, and nothing was more contradictory than having demonstrated to everybody that proportional representation was the right thing, they should suddenly come to a volte face and say it would not apply to a House of Commons but only to a Second Chamber. I want to quote one paragraph which has a direct bearing upon the matter. Lord Lochee, in his Report, says:— I would refer more particularly to the Belgian system, but I think the transferable vote is the simplest and the best. I would like also to quote paragraph 136: Lastly, we may observe that we have carefully considered the question of trying an experiment with the transferable vote by applying it first to a few constituencies. Such a step would no doubt be advisable as a final test before committing the whole country to so radical a change. They also point out that the Belgian example is a very striking one in our favour. I do not want to enter into the whole discussion as far as this country is concerned. I do not think it is relevant, and I do not think anyone who would not like to see proportional representation introduced into England, Scotland, or Wales is thereby debarred from supporting this Amendment so far as these few constituencies in Ireland are concerned. You have to deal with nine constituencies, and every one admits the block system would crush out minority representation in practically North, East, and Southern Ireland to a very large extent. We propose to apply this system to these nine constituencies, and, if the Irish people do not like it, they can in three years' time change it. If they do like it, they can extend it to the rest of the country. I know it will be said, "Why not wait those three years?" You would then have created a vested interest of a new lot of members in these constituencies. We are practical men. We are creating new constituencies, and, if gentlemen sat for those constituencies for three years, you would never get them to agree to a change which would jeopardise their seats without a great deal of difficulty. The best thing is to make the change right away before creating these vested interests. This question arouses passionate interest among many people in Ireland. It has been the subject of approval of unanimous resolutions by the two Liberal organisations in Ireland—the Belfast Liberal Council and the Dublin Liberal Council—and it has been supported by men of all political parties and distinguished men of all kinds, and I feel quite sure, if the Government could see their way to meet this very small point, they would do a great deal to help those men in Ireland, who, while not liking Home Rule, want to live under Home Rule in Ireland, and would like to feel that something at any rate was being done to give them more representation and to show them they are not altogether disregarded in the heat and battle of party strife.


I beg to second the Amendment.

On 4th November I had the opportunity of bringing forward an Amendment to the effect that the Irish House of Commons should be elected upon a system of proportional representation. That; of course, went a great deal further than the present Amendment. I admit I was defeated in a thin House, but, although I was defeated, I was able to carry with me into the "Aye" Lobby nearly twenty Members of the Coalition forces. I admit your justice in calling not upon myself who had the first Amendment upon the Paper, but upon the hon. Baronet who moved his Amendment. If you had called upon me it might have seemed that proportional representationists were enthusiastically engaged in the harmless pastime of flogging a dead horse. The Amendment of the hon. Baronet, of course, represents to those of the Irish minority who are anxious for proportional representation something in the nature of a crust. We want the whole loaf, and this is something in the nature of a crust. I confess I am very sorry I have not had the opportunity of moving my Amendment. There are a great many people in Ireland who, like myself, will be deeply disappointed that this Amendment, which I call the whole hog Amendment, has not been moved. It will disappoint thousands of moderate men in Ireland, and it will be a bitter disappointment to the great number of men of all shades of opinion who are members of the Irish Proportional Representation Society. An Irishman does not know when he is beaten, and from the day of that defeat the Irish Proportional Representation Society has been at work and has increased its membership. It has held nonparty meetings which have been attended by both avowed Nationalists and Unionists. May I, in order to show the interest this particular question is arousing at present in Ireland, just quote a few lines from a leading article in the" "Irish Times" of the 4th of this month. It puts in a very few words what we feel in regard to this matter. It says:— The block vote system is an instrument for crushing minorities. The rejection of this Amendment means the disfranchisement of every Southern Unionist under a Home Rule Parliament. It means more than this—the uncontrolled will of the party 'machine' Proportional representation, on the other hand, besides giving a real 'safeguard,' instead of a host of illusory ones for the minority, opens the door for men of moderate opinions. In the face of such men the door of an Irish Parliament is to-day banged and barred. The proportional system affords the only possible entry to that saving element in our national life. On that ground we insist upon the full extension of the principle, and reject the partial, and comparatively useless, Amendment which would only affect constituencies in the cities of Dublin, Belfast, and Cork, and in the County of Dublin. That is the deliberate opinion of an Irish newspaper which voices the opinion of Unionists in the South of Ireland. I do not say I reject it as altogether useless. But there is one remark the hon. Baronet made which is perfectly true, and that is that hon. Members who are talking about proportional representation always speak of Ireland as if it were England. Let us suppose that the policy of the First Lord of the Admiralty of twelve separate Parliaments was adopted by the Government. What would have been the result of that? What would have happened, say, if you had taken the cases of Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and Hampshire? With their electoral Divisions they would send three or four or more Members under the block vote. Under this Irish system one single Liberal or Labour Member. By this blocking system they would have been crushed out for all time. After a certain number of years the local Liberal and Labour organisations would fall to pieces, they would die. Local Liberal opinion would disappear. But take another example—take the case of the county of Middlesex. There, in one Division they hold a seat by 500 votes, and it is as certain as anything can be that at the next General Election the representation of that seat will pass over to this side, and then you will have the county of Middlesex without a single Liberal representative in this House, and thousands of Liberals and Labour men will be debarred from representation here. I think that would be absolutely unfair. But that is what we in the South of Ireland are asked to submit to. We are asked to tolerate what the Liberal and Labour voters of Middlesex would not tolerate; yet you are endeavouring to force it on the minority in the South, West and East of Ireland. I am leaving Ulster out altogether. Ulster is able to speak for itself. I am here to speak for the minority in the three Southern provinces. Take the Schedule. We find under this Bill as amended in Committee that North-East Cork, North Cork, and East Cork are to return two members each. There the Unionists have no show at all. For thirty years we have been disfranchised; indeed, in one division we have not had a contested election. But take the Schedule which I suggest. How would it work out? In that you would have North, North-East Cork, and East Cork grouped together. At the present time they re- turned five members. Under my Schedule we should have a very fair fighting chance of returning at least one member, out of the five members for the three grouped divisions. But I am sorry to say we cannot expect to get that. What we are asking to get is of course that where a division returns more than two members there should be proportional representation. The hon. Baronet who moved this Resolution has developed that part of the proposal very well, and I do not think I need add anything to what he has said. It is rather galling to gentlemen who reside in the South of Ireland that we should have these safeguards thrown at us; that we should be told here is something you can take or leave. What we want is justice. We want to have a chance in a very small way of being represented in the Parliament of Ireland should it ever be established. The hon. Baronet has told the Committee how small that representation will be, but at any rate we should like to have an opportunity of securing that share of representation, however small it may be. At any rate that would be something. It will mean giving us once more an interest in Parliamentary and civil life, and of setting our organisations going. Take the great city of the county from which I come—Cork. We have not contested Cork City since the famous election when Mr. Pike stood against Mr. Parnell. We have no organisation at all, no registration agents, and we do nothing whatever. When elections come along the seats are divided between hon. Members who follow the hon. Member for Cork City (Mr. William O'Brien) and hon. Members who follow the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond), but we Conservatives stand by idly looking on. Supposing the Amendment is accepted by the Government, we shall at once set our organisation going again and have a chance of getting one Member up to the Dublin House of Commons. That will be a good thing for Unionist life in Cork. What is true of Cork is true of Dublin, and to a certain extent will be true of Labour interests in Belfast, supposing Belfast chooses to come in. It is but a small thing, but it will lead to great results. It will lead to a quickening of civic and Parliamentary life. Hon. Members below the Gangway have said that they want in the first few years of this Irish Parliament to have every Irishman of every shade of opinion doing his level best to make Parliamentary life in Ireland a success, and the new scheme of government a success. Therefore I ask the Government to grant to us this small boon. It is something in the nature of a crust to hungry men. We, the minority, who are hungry men, want the full loaf, but I understand we cannot get it, so I ask the Government to give us this crust and send us away, if not happy, at all events not altogether starving.


I cannot help thinking that if the Government accept this Amendment they will be going back on a great deal they have said, if not actually revoking what practically amounted to a pledge. In order to substantiate that statement, I should like to quote a passage or two from speeches that were made in Committee on this point. During the Debate the hon. Member for Cork City (Mr. William O'Brien) interrupted the speech of the Prime Minister by saying— Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this is to apply to the Irish Senate and to the Irish House of Commons as well? The Prime Minister: I am speaking only of the Senate. When we come to the House of Commons, the popular body, I think there different considerations -apply. It must be understood that what I say applies to the Senate and to the Senate alone."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th October, 1912. col. 506, Vol. XLIII] Now the Solicitor-General:— We must accept this responsibility here and now for the Senate, while for the Irish House of Commons they may very well decide the matter for themselves, subject to certain limitations in point of numbers."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 31st October, 1912, col. 697, Vol. XLIIL] Next, the Attorney-General, who was very specifie:— After the lapse of three years the Irish Parliament is entitled to deal with those questions and decide them for itself, according to the views of the Irish people as manifested by the representatives of the Irish Parliament. According to this Bill, our view is that they shall then decide, if so minded, to adopt proportional representation. It may be that they would like to do it after a lapse of three years in advance of what is done in this country. That is a course which is open to them, and which they are free to adopt, but it must be determined by them, and not by this Parliament for the Irish Parliament only."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th November. 1912, col. 911, Vol. XLIIL] The Attorney-General went on to say:— The conclusion we have come to with regard to Ireland is the same we came to with regard to Dominions in which we have given a Parliament, for we have always left them to decide these questions for themselves, leaving them free, and we refuse to fetter the Irish Parliament in regard to a matter which we have declined to fetter other subordinate Parliaments. So far we have refrained from adopting proportional representation in this country, and we ought not to press it upon the Irish Parliament. That is the view we ask the Committee to adopt, and I think that is the only sensible view which can be adopted when you are creating a new Parliament. When you recollect that we have had no experience of any kind in regard to this principle, when you realise that in such an old Parliament as this we have not adopted it, then I say it would be a very serious thing if we were to come to the conclusion that it should be adopted for the Irish House of Commons."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th November, 1912, col. 912, Vol. XLIII] Last of all, a very short quotation from the Chief Secretary:— This great question of proportional representation, with its obligations and its difficulties, which we have not tested for ourselves, and which we are in no way likely to test for ourselves, ought not to be forced on the Irish people."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th November, 1912, col. 942, Vol. XLIII] The impression left in my mind, at all events, by these words was that the Government was in no way going to interfere with the liberty of the Irish after three years, to themselves adopt a system of proportional representation if they chose to do so. I think every word of these quotations expresses exactly what I feel. We are here face to face with a very difficult and novel proposition. It is novel in this sense, that as the Royal Commission's Report said, we have really absolutely no guide from experience or precedent to teach us in this matter. We have Tasmania, but, as the Royal Commission pointed out, Tasmania cannot be taken as a real precedent, although the elections there are conducted on the same system as is now proposed. We have Belgium, but the Belgian system is an entirely different system. I should like to quote from the Report of the Royal Commission. The hon. Baronet the Member for Swansea (Sir A. Mond) quoted a few words, and then shied at what he saw was coming:— All three systems are feasible, though none of them provides a solution of the problem of by-elections, which is both fitted to English ideas and practically satisfactory. It would be impossible, we believe, to avoid the necessity of polling the whole of a constituency normally returning several members for each contested by-election. In other particulars the Belgian system is from the practical point of view the best, and the transferable vote the least satisfactory, because the processes by which the results are arrived at are the most complicated, and who are unable to satisfy ourselves that some element of chance is not involved which would not excite prejudice, perhaps unreasonable, in the minds of a section of the electorate. It is the transferable vote, and not the Belgian system, which is proposed in this Amendment.


Will the hon. Member read paragraph 139 of the final conclusions?


I will read it with the greatest pleasure; in fact, I had intended to do so without the invitation of the hon. Baronet. We recommend the adoption of the alternative vote— which, I need hardly explain, applies only to the single-member constituencies, and of which I am in favour, and for which I have introduced a Bill in this House— in cases where more than two candidates stood for one seat. We do not recommend its application to two-member constituencies, but we submit that the question of the retention of such constituencies, which are anomalous, should be reconsidered as soon as opportunity offers. Hon. Members will notice that the Royal Commission's Report, so far from advocating larger constituencies, actually advocates the splitting up of the present two-member constituencies into two single-member constituencies; another method of which I am in favour. The Report goes on:— Of schemes for producing proportional representation, we think that the transferable vote would have the best chance of ultimate acceptance, but we are unable to recommend its adoption in existing circumstances for elections to the House of Commons. I think that all the satisfaction the hon. Baronet can get out of that is rather set at nought by the final conclusion of the Commission, that it does not recommend its adoption for elections to the House of Commons. That Commission's Report, which, carefully read, would, I think, really dispose most people to think that proportional representation was not a desirable departure in this country, was, with the single exception of Lord Lochie, really adverse to proportional representation and in favour of the alternative vote, and I, personally, am perfectly ready to abide by the Commission's Report and to found myself upon it. I want no better authority and no better support than is afforded by the only Report we have had on the: subject—the Report of the Royal Commission on Electoral Systems, which reported only a few years ago, and which specially sat to investigate this difficult and complicated problem. I am far from admitting, as most people, I think, are inclined to, that proportional representation is very accurate in theory but would break down in practice. I not only think it is difficult to apply in practice, but I also do not agree with the theory which it involves, and I should like to deal for a moment with that theory. What is the ideal of the proportional representationist? His ideal is a small scale map of this Kingdom in the House of Commons. That is not really what is obtained. You could obtain that if you polled the whole of this Kingdom and gave each man a vote. Then the enthusiastic Liberal would vote for the Liberal party; the enthusiastic anti-vivisectionist would vote for the anti-vivisectionist cause.

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)

I hardly think we should discuss the whole matter as applied to the United Kingdom in this Amendment, which deals specifically with a limited number of constituencies in Ireland.


I will endeavour to apply it to the Amendment. Let us take the city of Belfast. Under the terms of this Amendment you would hope to get a small scale map of the city of Belfast, and if there was a strong anti-vivisectionist feeling in Belfast you would expect to get an anti-vivisectionist member returned. But if he were returned under proportional representation, he would not be returned by the first vote of enthusiastic anti-vivisectionists, but by the third, fourth, or tenth, or fifteenth vote—because this is a transferable vote—of enthusiastic Ulstermen or enthusiastic Nationalists, and so, even in theory, you would not get. under proportional representation in Belfast or in any town or in any country, that small scale map which is the ideal, and in some ways the excellent ideal, of the supporters of proportional representation. Then, again, they say in a place like Ireland, let us have these special representations.


Of minorities.


They are not, as I pointed out, true minority representations, but they are aspects of the majority. They are representatives of another aspect of the majority and not of the true minority. But I dispute altogether this specialist idea. The ideal of the proportional representationist is that in this Kingdom there are soldiers, sailors, tinkers, tailors, rich men, poor men, ' beggar men. Let us have the rich men, poor men, beggar men, and tailors as such in the House of Commons. [HON. MEMBERS: "Thieves."] That is not an excellent theory for the government of the Kingdom. What most people would want to see would be broad party representation in this House. There are plenty of cranks who get in already. There is no lack of them on any occasion. The idea that special representation is lacking in this House is an utterly fallacious one. There is a representation of almost every specialist theory in being. Then they say, lastly, that the present system in Ireland and elsewhere does not give a fair proportion to parties in the State. They say in Ireland, under the present system of electing the House of Commons, you would not perhaps get an absolutely accurate division by representation between the Nationalists and the Ulster vote according to its true strength in the country. The present system never has pretended to do anything of the kind. It does not want to do anything of the kind. It says what we want is to have a working majority. Each side has its turn. One is over-represented at one time and gets into power, and another is over-represented at another time and gets into power.


When does the Southern Unionist have a chance?


If the hon. Member means that the Northern Unionist does not and cannot represent the Southern Unionist—


I do most emphatically.


Then I cannot agree with him.


The Labour people.


The Labour people seem to get a chance now.


Not in Ireland.


The hon. Member in pointing out from his place that the Labour party gets no chance now seems to me to be in a rather Gilbertian situation.


I was using the argument in application to Ireland.


The Labour party in Ireland will find itself in very much the same position as the Labour party finds itself in this Parliament before very long. If I remember rightly the remarks of my Friend and colleague in the representation of Leicester (Mr. Ramsay Macdonald) one of the reasons he is supporting Home Rule so vigorously is that he hopes to see a vigorous Labour party springing up in the new Parliament. There, again, without any assistance from proportional representation we may very probably see the Labour party get a share of power under the new system. Imagine the difficulties of an Irish Parliament which may be called upon to transact its Parliamentary business under a system where there is always bound to be a comparatively large fluid mass of opinion having no settled convictions on some of the greatest subjects of Parliamentary life, because under systems of proportional representation you will always get some men whose only object is to get in upon one idea. They will be elected perhaps on that idea—you may say anti-vivisection or anti-vaccination—but when it comes to a great question of Irish life—


The hon. Member appears to me to be delivering a speech which was prepared for an Amendment that was not called. It applies to the whole Parliament. We are now discussing a limited Amendment.

Captain CRAIG

Does it matter very much really when we are receiving a lecure of this sort what it is on?


I am afraid I cannot administer the Rules for the hon. Member's pleasure. I have to administer them as they stand.


I may reassure you, Sir, that the notes I have made on these points were made during the speech of the hon. Baronet (Sir A. Mond), and sprang directly out of his remarks. Therefore I plead guiltless of the charge of having come down with a set speech on an Amendment which was not called. To pass to the Amendment in question and to deal specifically with it and not, as the Mover of the Amendment did, with the general question of proportional representation, I would say I frankly admit that the Government Bill as it stands is very sadly defective in this-matter. No one who has read the Bill and looked at the Schedule could think, I imagine, that the simple block vote in question would be a very satisfactory method of dealing with the election of the new Irish Parliament. But there seems to be an idea abroad that because the proposal in the Bill is bad the hon. Member's Amendment must be good. That is by no means the case. I do not like the proposal in the Bill as it stands, and still less the hon. Member's Amendment. The true way out would be an alteration of the Schedule. If you alter it, and give a number of single-member constituencies instead of the large constituencies now proposed, you would get rid of the necessity for this proportional representation scheme, and, to my mind, you would vastly improve the Bill. I conclude by pressing the Government not to accede to this Amendment, but to devise some method of altering the Schedule so as to bring it into conformity with the recommendation of the Royal Commission. As to proportional representation, you should not prejudge the matter for the Irish in this Bill. You should follow the Chief Secretary's advice and not force proportional representation on the Irish, but leave them in their own good time to decide the matter for themselves.


I would like to preface the very few remarks I have to make on this matter by saying that I appreciate very much the whole tone and purport of the speech of the hon. Gentleman who seconded the Amendment (Mr. Newman). He has told us that those for whom he speaks, the Southern Unionists, are not represented by the Ulster Unionists, and that was evident from his speech. What was the whole meaning of it? He came with an appeal which it is very difficult to reject. I will not attempt to push it too far. He did not say that he is in favour of Home Rule, or that he was going to abate his opposition to Home Rule at all; but he took up the position of a man who looks at the situation that may, and probably will, arise when this Bill passes into law. He says that Irish Southern Unionists, under those circumstances, desire to have the opportunity of coming in and sharing in the duty of doing all that is possible inside the Irish Legislature to advance Irish interests. I sympathise with the tone of that speech, and I confess that he makes in that way an appeal to me "which I find it very difficult indeed to answer. Let us consider for a moment what exactly it is that this Amendment proposes. The hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Crawshay-Williams) has delivered an able and powerful argument against proportional representation. This Amendment does not establish proportional representation. It makes an experiment strictly limited in the area it touches, and strictly limited in time. It does not apply to the whole of Ireland. It applies only to nine constituencies in Ireland. It is not the adoption, after careful consdeiration by a convinced House of Commons, of the principle of proportional representation. It is a proposal to make a limited experiment, because at the end of three years the Irish Parliament can do as it likes in this matter by the simple expedient, not of repealing it, but of creating, as I feel myself is certain to happen, single-member constituencies in those cases, and automatically the proportional representation proposed in this Amendment would disappear.

Therefore you ask us not to accept proportional representation, but to make a small experiment limited in area, and limited in time. Why should we do that? Why should any man like myself, who entertains very grave misgivings and doubts on the question of proportional representation, accede to that appeal? You must argue this question in view of the special circumstances of Ireland. The first years of this new Irish Parliament will be the most critical years in its existence. After it has survived the first few years, and after, as I feel convinced, the experience of those years will be successful, you will have no trouble whatever. The Southern Unionists will have no trouble whatever in getting representation in the Irish House of Commons under the present system. I would look with dismay at the future of Ireland if I thought the present Divisions were to continue after Home Rule as they are now. But as sensible men we must admit that that change, while it will come very rapidly, must in its nature be a gradual change, and you cannot expect it just after this Bill becomes law. When the first elections are held for the Irish House of Commons, you cannot expect, as if some magic had been exercised, that the old dividing lines will at once disappear. I feel that at the first election of the Irish House of Commons, if the Bill remains as it is, in all probability what the hon. Gentleman who seconded the Amendment predicts will come true, and surely it would be a very great misfortune for our country if that first election resulted in not a single Unionist member of Parliament being elected for the three southern provinces, except for Trinity College, which I do not take into account.

If Parliament came together, and if from the whole of Munster, Leinster, and Con-naught there was not a single Unionist representative, I think that would be a bad thing for Ireland, and for my part I would look with great dismay at such a result. In two or three years' time it would not happen, for things would have changed. But at the first election it very likely would happen, and therefore I say, as a man who has grave misgivings as to the general principle underlying this system of proportional representation, I am justified in making this narrow and limited experiment in it. If it brings about the result which the hon. Gentleman who seconded the Amendment predicts, and if it brings into the Irish Parliament a fair representation of Irish Unionist opinion—which will not be Unionist very-long, because the name Unionist will soon disappear—if it will bring into the Irish Parliament representation of those in the South and West who are now Unionists, and if these representatives come in to join with their Nationalist fellow countrymen to work for the good of their country, I welcome the Amendment. I do not know what answer the Government are going to give in this matter. I put it that way from the Irish point of view, and as to the appeal made by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Newman) I say, speaking for myself and my colleagues, we find it irresistible.

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

I have listened with great attention to the speeches which have been made on both sides of the House, and certainly I have listened to them with a mind not in any way prepossessed in favour of the system of proportional representation as applicable either to our own or to most electoral systems Some of the arguments against it have been dealt with by my hon. Friend. (Mr. Crawshay-Williams) in his able speech. Having regard to the narrow nature of the Amendment he was not able to develop his case so fully as he otherwise would have done. Some of the difficulties which have been mentioned have not, I think, been satisfactorily solved. Therefore, as I say, I do not speak in the few observations I am going to make as a disciple of that creed, or as one prepared to advocate the adoption of it, either as regards our own electoral system in Great Britain, or as regards its application to the electoral system, at any rate in its inception, of the Irish House of Commons. The quotation which my hon. Friend behind me read from the speeches made, I think by myself, and others by my colleagues sitting on this bench, in discussing the question of the Constitution of the Senate, are enunciative propositions to which I entirely adhere. I do think that the adoption of proportional representation as the basis of the electoral system is a matter which ought to be left to the unfettered judgment of the Irish Parliament. But that is not the Amendment before us. If the Amendment were that which stood first on the Paper, and which was passed over, I should certainly have offered my unqualified opposition, but in regard to this much more restricted Amendment I confess that I have kept an open mind. I do not think that it in any way commits us or the Irish Parliament to adopt proportional representation as a system in itself, but taking the specified number, nine I think altogether, out of the constituencies in Ireland in which under existing conditions we have been obliged to abandon what prevails for the most part in this country, namely, single-member areas, and aggregating the constituencies in such a way that they return three or four members dealing with those specific cases, and those specific cases alone, the Amendment, as I understand its purpose, seeks to get rid of what, if passed, might have been a very serious infringement, I will not say of the rights, but of the interests of the minorities in these areas.

There is no doubt whatever that as the Bill stands in these places where every elector has three, four, or five votes, the effect would be to produce a solid, homogeneous representation on the part of the majority, and the minority, however large it might me, and however deserving of representation, would not, to use a vulgar expression, have a look in, and the evils which to some extent are very largely counteracted under our system of single-member constituencies, and which it is possible might even there be counteracted to an even greater extent by the adoption of the Royal Commission proposal of the alternative vote, would be forcibly aggravated and emphasised in those constituencies. Therefore I look on it as did the hon. and learned Member did who has just sat down as an attempt to deal with a particular case for a particular purpose, and to deal with it as we must do now only as regards the inception of the Irish Parliament; for as the hon. and learned Gentleman quite truly pointed out under the general powers which the Irish Parliament has under the Bill it would be quite open to it, if this experiment is unsuccessful, or if some alternative or substituted method of dealing with the same problem appears to be preferable in the light of Irish experience and condition, it would lie within their constitution to make the change. This House would have nothing to do with it. We propose deliberately to confer that power upon them. As the hon. Member quite truly pointed out this Amendment proposes in the first instance on the election of this first Parliament in regard to specific constituencies, where the evils of undue majority representation in reference to the numbers of members returned are likely to be peculiarly injurious and even oppressive to the minority that we should by a system of transferable votes give this minority a chance of representation.

9.0 P.M.

I find it very difficult as did the hon. and learned Gentleman to resist that appeal. I think it of the utmost importance that in these constituencies the minority should have this chance of securing representation. I will not mention again the case of Belfast, but take Dublin, or take the City of Cork itself where there is a substantial minority of Protestants and Unionists who at present are entirely unrepresented and who, under the new proposal here—remembering the City of Cork has no fewer than four members—would remain unrepresented in the Irish Parliament, I feel that it is a very strong case which has been so well put by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, who seconded the Amendment and who speaks with knowledge of the conditions under which Unionists live and have their social and political being in the Southern parts of Ireland, in the provinces outside Ulster. It is very difficult, indeed, having regard to those special exceptional conditions to refuse any reasonable experiment which might have the effect, I think probably would have the effect, of securing to a community so situated representation which under the Bill, as it stands, I am afraid they cannot possibly obtain. On those grounds, stated shortly to the House, as far as the Government are concerned, we shall be prepared to accept this Amendment. I wish to reiterate all that I have previously said and that my colleagues have previously said in regard to the general application of the principle, and to confine the ground of our acceptance of it here to the absolutely special and exceptional circumstances and particular issues to which the hon. Member referred.


I listened with great satisfaction to the acceptance of this Amendment by the Prime Minister, and I certainly do not propose to inflict upon the House a discussion of proportional representation again; but I would like to point out why I think that this very modest proposal is particularly suitable and practicable in the present case. In the first place, the constituencies with which the hon. Baronet dealt are just the sort of constituencies with which Parliament endeavoured to deal some thirty years ago in its efforts to provide for minority representation in the large towns. These are the sort of constituencies which were formerly known as three-corner constituencies, and the efforts to secure representation of the minority, which were certainly not altogether successful, were followed by the single-member constituencies which Mr. Gladstone, somewhat to my surprise, maintained would secure as minority representation. There is one reason why I think this Amendment is peculiarly applicable to the circumstances of the present case. The Royal Commission which reported on minority representation, in referring to the system of proportional representation and its possible effect on the balance of parties, pointed out that in the system which we recommend personal qualifications might outweigh the main advantage of party, and their view evidently was that it was important that the Government should have a strong majority. That may very well be so in the case of a Government which has to transact Imperial affairs and which needs the backing of a large majority in this House to secure respect in its dealings at home and abroad, but it is different in the case of the Irish Parliament where the business will be mainly local and where the requirements of a constant, uniform, overwhelming majority is not so necessary, and therefore that consideration may be left out of count. The most important reason why this Amendment should be accepted is this. We do not wish to fix the Irish Parliament of the future with any method of representation of our own choice. That I understand to be the view of the Government—as a matter of fact they are doing it when they put the block system into the Bill—and no Government would ever risk a majority through introducing a new system by which that majority might become less. Therefore, we are now enabling the Irish Parliament to judge for itself during the next three years by a comparison of the two systems, that of proportional representation in these large towns and the block system for the rest of Ireland. We are enabling them to judge for themselves which system they prefer. Many of us hope—and I share the hope of my hon. and gallant Friend who seconded the Amendment—many of us very much hope that the view to a system of proportional representation in being at their doors in those great towns may convince the Irish Parliament of the future, if it ever comes into existence, of the merits of the system for the whole country. At any rate, we give them that chance. They had not the choice before, but they will have it now, and for that reason I rejoice that the Government have accepted the Amendment, even on this limited scale, and introduced this system of proportional representation in those constituencies where it is urgently needed, and where it can be exercised with advantage.


I desire in a sentence to join in the chorus of gratification which has been expressed at the Government's acceptance of this Amendment. I recognise that the whole question of proportional representation is not involved, although I think, if it had been, I would have been prepared to offer a few observations in its support, if I had been sure that it would not have prejudiced the Home Rule Bill. I desire to speak on behalf of the organised labour movement in Ireland. Representations have been conveyed to us asking members of the Labour party to give support to this Amendment. The Labour party of Belfast and also of Dublin entertained some apprehension that under the block system they would have no chance of getting representation at all. In fact, every speech delivered here to-night proves beyond contradiction that the block system does place in the hands of the smallest majority an absolute monopoly of seats in a district; and any democrat certainly cannot advocate such a system. Under the proposal of the Amendment minorities will certainly have a fair chance of securing representation. If a minority has not a quota sufficient to entitle it to representation, then it has no right to it. I am one of those who believe that this House of Commons ought to reflect the actual opinions of the people of the country, and if the Labour party or any other party have not sufficient support in the country to entitle them to representation here, well then they should not have representation on sufferance. Nevertheless, in the Irish case, we have at least a reasonable prospect under this Amendment that the minority will obtain a share of representation in the House. I am glad that the hon. Member for Waterford so readily stated his acceptance of it. I believe that not only does it do him personal credit, but that at any rate his acceptance of it is a most expedient thing in the interests of Home Rule itself. Undoubtedly, as he has admitted, peculiar difficulties will assail the early stages of the new Constitution. We know that the feeling amongst the Labour section in Belfast runs very high, but if they have a reasonable prospect of getting representation in the Irish House of Commons we may rely upon it they will be among the heartiest co-operators to make the very best they can of the new Constitution.

On the other hand, with the retention of the block system, and with the inevitability under that system of their never having a chance of representation in the House, they would feel like many other sections, that they were forced into methods not quite so commendable as the constitutional method of securing representation of their opinions in the House. As the hon. and learned Gentleman observed, under the Home Rule Bill, Ireland will have the opportunity at. the end of three years to revise its whole view of the matter. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to imply, to my mind, that the Irish people would be so dissatisfied with this experiment that they would revert to the single-member system. For my own part, I hope that will not happen, and I gladly welcome this experiment because it is in accord, I believe, with the finding of the Royal Commission. I believe the Royal Commissioners expressed a desire that some experiment should be conducted in this country morder to see how far the system would answer, and in Ireland we will have an experiment conducted of which I am convinced in my own mind the result will be so acceptable to the Irish people that there will be no desire to depart from it, but rather an imperative demand for an extension of the principle. I do not think that there is any need for lengthened discussion of the matter, but I thought that on behalf of those for whom we have been requested to speak, I should express the gratification of those with whom I am associated at the action of the Government in accepting this Amendment.


I do not pretend to agree with the last speaker as to the feeling which animates the House in regard to the acceptance by the Prime Minister of this Amendment. I cannot help thinking that it has been accepted rather hastily, in fact, just as hastily as the whole scheme of proportional representation was accepted by the Government a few months since. Indeed, if the Prime Minister had been present, though perhaps it would have been futile, I should have asked him to reconsider his decision, even if, on second thoughts, he could not do so, after having expressed such a distinct view. The hon. Baronet who moved this Amendment has been successful in getting his proposal accepted, but I do not know that I can altogether congratulate him, because I confess I am sorry that it has been accepted. The hon. Gentleman raised one or two points on the question of proportional representation. I do not intend to travel over everything that he has said, but I shall, I hope, be allowed to deal with one aspect of the subject which is applicable to this Amendment, and to proportional representation wherever it has been adopted. The hon. Member who seconded the Amendment told the House, and I am perfectly certain he means what he says, that he will be ready to accept this Amendment as a crust, purely as a crust, hoping to get the whole loaf later on. I believe if proportional representation is pursued with the energetic propaganda which it has at present, we will have proportional representation for the whole House of Commons before another six months have passed.

The most extraordinary thing about this proposal is that hardly one per cent. of the House can explain what proportional representation is. It has been adopted really blindfold by the Government. I do not know whether they have gone into the question, but certainly two months' ago not a single right hon. Gentleman on that Bench attempted to explain what proportional representation was, and yet the House of Commons accepted it blindfold. I hope I may be allowed to explain why I think it is so undesirable that it should have been accepted in this limited form, because I submit that before very long there will be a strong agitation to accept it for the whole of Ireland, and once you accept it for the whole of Ireland you will be asked to accept it for England. May I say, therefore, why I think this would be a disastrous attempt. Proportional representation in theory and on paper is apparently the most excellent thing you can have for an elected House of Commons, and it has not lost any of its strength and attraction by the way in which the hon. Baronet put it before the House. What is the system going to do to the elector? Let us bring it right down to the elector going to the poll, and see how it will affect the majority of the people in this country. You may at the next election have 11,000,000 voters, and suppose that this system grows and that it is adopted for the whole country—


The hon. Member cannot argue as to the whole general question, but must apply himself to this particular case in Ireland.


I will try to keep within the limits of your ruling, but it is very difficult to argue the matter and explain one's objection to the adoption of this system without general reference. Suppose, then, that this system is applied to these elections, what will the electors have to do? They will have to deal with the ballot papers on which there may be any number of names. The hon. Baronet said that there would not be more than half a dozen, but there might be any number, because the very essence of this system is that there shall be absolutely free choice to the elector. There is going to be no way of adopting party candidates. It is going to do away with all that, and you are going to have as many candidates as like to come forward. I would like any member of the Proportional Representation Society to explain why that should not be so. If they are not free to come forward, then they are at the mercy of the party caucus; but the whole point of the system, if it is to work, is that anybody can be a candidate. Therefore we come back to the fact that the elector will be faced with a ballot paper with perhaps a dozen names. Take the case of Dublin County, for which there are three Members, and in which you might have a dozen names, as there is absolutely no limit.


What is there to prevent a thousand people being nominated in any constituency at present?


There is nothing at all to prevent them. It is very difficult to argue the matter without referring to it generally. I would have welcomed the opportunity of a discussion on the whole question, as we have never really gone into the question of proportional representation generally. In the case of Dublin County you might have a dozen candidates, and how is that going to improve the membership of the House? Do you suppose that the electors will know every one of those candidates or their qualifications? They will probably not have heard the names of more than two. What will they do? I know exactly what the hon. Baronet would do or a great many other educated people. They would look seriously at the paper and would take the trouble to put the names in the order of their preference according to the qualifications of those gentlemen. But the ordinary elector is not going to take the trouble to do that. The ordinary elector would ask the agent, "Who shall we vote for?" so that the whole thing will go into the hands of the caucus, and the more candidates you have the more will it result in the necessity of having somebody to advise the elector. It must be so. It is folly to think that the ordinary elector will take the time to study the qualifications of the different candidates, whose names they would hardly know. Thus everybody who was a candidate would have to have party agents to whom the electors would go to find out for whom they should vote. [An HON. MEMBER: "That happens now."] It does happen, but only between two men, except on very rare occasions when the Labour party intervenes, and it is in single-area seats.

I say that the right solution would be to make the single-area seats as equal as possible, and let the elector choose as between two or three candidates with the alternative vote. In the election in Dublin County, which I have instanced, for three seats, with possibly seven or ten candidates, every one of the candidates would want to be one of the three. Nobody stands for fun, and none of them would like to be in the "also ran" list. What will they do? Every man would have to have an election agent, or a dozen, or as many as he could afford, in every village. He would have to send out posters with his name on top, with appeals to vote for him first. The law of competition would drive each candidate to do that. The hon. Baronet said that agents could tell how many votes they had got, and that they would not bother about the others. He gave a case of 10,000 and 2,000, but nobody knows within a thousand or five hundred, except in Lundonderry, and the candidates would be obliged to have agents to secure the first vote for them. That would put the election in the hands of the party agents, and the cost of the whole elaborate machinery would be intensified beyond what it is now, when you have only two men fighting for one seat. You will then have twenty or thirty candidates for six or ten places.


The hon. Member appears now to be arguing the general question.


I meant that you will have ten candidates for three seats. Let Members think out what that means. Would the people do what the Proportional Representation Society think they would? Would they sit down and work the matter out for themselves? Take what happens in this House. If it applies here, it will apply in the country. Here we are, 670 Members, voting on certain subjects. Do we in the morning study the Order Paper and all the Amendments? Do we listen to the Debates? Do we really decide matters as we hear them? Or do we wait until the Division bell rings, and then have an elaborate machinery of Whips and every other kind of apparatus to tell us into which Lobby to go? That is what really happens. But we are paid £400 a year to think these matters out. We are politicians; we are Members of Parliament; we are told that it is our business in life to do it. But we do not. We have an elaborate machinery of Whips, newspapers, and everything else to tell us what to do. Yet the Proportional Representation Society deliberately think that the electors of the country, who work for their living, have time to work out who is the best man in a list of ten candidates. It is perfectly ridiculous. They will not do it. That is the real danger of this proportional representation system. It is not that it is difficult. The difficulties are really nil. You would have a body of people to work the matter out for you. It does not matter whether you understand how the vote will come out. The real objection is that the elector will be faced with a long list of names, of which he would know very few, and he would have to get the assistance of the party agent to enable him to decide for whom to vote and for whom his preference should be given.

I regret that the Government have accepted the Amendment, because I am perfectly certain that my hon. Friend, having got the Government to accept his proposal on two occasions, will go on from victory to victory. At any rate, I am afraid he will do so, although I shall do my best to stop him. I regret that, after stating they could not apply the system to the House of Commons, the Government have accepted the proposal with regard to these three cities. It is a dangerous line to take, particularly when the Prime Minister has said that he does not believe proportional representation to be suited to the House of Commons. He said something about this being an exceptional case. If he said to some very educated lady, "You are an exceptional case; you are so clever I will give the vote to you but to nobody else"; having got the vote for one lady they would go on to ten, and before we knew where we were we should have 12.000,000 women voters. This society will take courage by the two victories they have won. Nobody will take the trouble to understand what it really means, and before we know where we are we shall have this House elected by proportional representation. Though that might help the Tory party, I think it would be a grave mistake. It would lead to the multiplication of political machinery. You have it now for single Members. If there were three Members, you would have three times as much machinery. It is no use making an appeal to the Government now to change their minds, but when the Proportional Representation Society come to the Government, as they surely will, and say, "You have adopted proportional representation for these three cases; adopt it now for the rest of Ireland," I hope the Government will set a very flinty face against the proposal, and tell the hon. Baronet that he has secured quite enough for one year, and that he must wait until the country is really desirous of this change.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just spoken expressed a fear that the Prime Minister had accepted this Amendment with his eyes shut. I think, however, that the right hon. Gentleman saw quite clearly that the advantages entirely countervailed the possible disadvantages detailed by the hon. Member for Leicester (Mr. Crawshay-Williams). Even if it were true that the Prime Minister accepted the Amendment with his eyes only half open, I can assure the House that many of his followers are accepting it with their eyes wide open, and are not at all alarmed at the prospect of the principle of proportional representation extending far beyond the constituencies with which this Amendment specially deals. I should be out of order in going into the general question of what may happen hereafter. I will confine myself to the effect upon the existing constituencies to which it is now proposed that the principle should be applied. I followed carefully the hon. and gallant Member's objections, and I think they are particularly easy to answer. He was afraid that there would be multiplicity of candidates. He seemed to see disadvantages in that which I confess I cannot see. But I do not believe that there would be such a multiplicity of candidates, because gentlemen would not come forward with such readiness to share election expenses with a very small chance of success. Even if they did, I should see no particular danger in it. The hon. and gallant Member imagined that the effect of there being a large number of candidates would be to prevent electors using their own judgment and that they would rush off to agents to ascertain for whom they should vote. But they do that now. A candidate would not want more than one agent any more than he does now. The machinery for each individual candidate would be the same.

The hon. and gallant Member further said that each candidate would have to send out cards soliciting votes and explaining to the electors how to mark the cards. Most of them do so now. I am inclined to think that in the hon. and gallant Member's constituency matters are more under the domination of the agent and the caucus than they are in many Scottish constituencies. However that may be, I do not see that the condition which he anticipates can possibly be worse than it is at the present time. The general objection seems to be that the system of proportional representation will open the door to the greater employment of agents. As a matter of fact, the agents do not think so. They think it would rather shut the door against them. The hon. and gallant Gentleman appealed to us to look into the matter. I can assure him that many of us have done so. I have carefully gone into the, matter and tried to understand it ever since the time when our great leader in this matter (Lord Courtney) introduced what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham—whose absence we all regret—used to call his Patent Machinery for Political Thought-Reading. The proposal excited a good deal of criticism. To many of us it was very difficult to accept at the time. But I can assure those hon. Gentlemen who are still hesitating about it that they cannot do better than follow the advice of the last speaker and look further into it for themselves. Instead of talking in general terms about caucassing, the power of money, and all those general objections it would be well if they would look into detail and see how, and in what way, it would be possible to work the system, bearing in mind the foundation principle of proportional representation. I can assure them that, in my opinion, they will be of our opinion, and that if the consequences of introducing the system here are good, obviously if it works here, it is only in somebody's imagination that it will be out of place if extended in other directions.


May I express from the point of view of the ordinary English Member how grateful I am to the Government for their acceptance of this Amendment. Putting aside entirely the theory as to whether proportional representation is best for a General Election to a House like this or a House like the Irish House of Commons, I do hope that this House to-night will unanimously agree with the Amendment of my hon. Friend, the Member for Swansea. The real answer in regard to this Amendment to the remarks made by the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has made himself so thoroughly a master of the details affecting the problem is that it is scarcely possible to conceive that the first election in Ireland after the passing of the Home Rule Bill will be an election in which Irishmen will not know perfectly well—that he will not know how, or have the several degrees of loyalty perfectly clear in his own mind—what the issues or the candidates are. Of all elections that we can possibly conceive that first one must be one that will excite the greatest amount of local interest, and there will be the less danger of anybody being confused or of not taking adequate trouble to vote. If that be the case it entirely disposes of those reiterated objections which may or may not have weight when they apply to a long scries of elections, none of them held under circumstances as stimulating as the first General Election in Ireland after the Home Rule Bill has become law. May I point out as regards this Amendment and the matters to which it refers that there is really no alternative. If the maximum of fairness is to be obtained in Ireland with regard to that first election you either have to have the block vote as originally proposed—and no one can doubt that that means the due exclusion of minorities like those in Cork, Dublin, and Belfast—you have to take the Amendment now before the House, or you have to do what has not been done in this Bill at all in regard to the Irish House of Commons, you have to go in for redistribution and the alteration of electoral areas, a matter which some of us believe ought to be left to Ireland to settle for itself and ought not to be brought into this Bill. This therefore is the only alternative. When we have heard, as we have to-night, from Members of this House in very different positions that they are agreed as to the effect that his Amendment will have in helping the representation of minorities, and what has intensified the importance of the system, the representation of minorities in different geographical parts of the country, if we are agreed, as we surely are—for it is undoubtedly true—what possible objection can there be to this being unanimously agreed upon? We can leave to the theorists in the future to try and persuade their fellow citizens as to the advantage or beauty of their comparative views as to the method of voting. Even the Royal Commission, which has been quoted by my hon. Friend, the Member for Leicester, which was over-whelmingly against this method, has in its Report a paragraph which, to some of us, at any rate, explains that anxiety we have that this Amendment should be adopted. It says:— That the condition Which gives proportional representation the peculiar advantages is a mixture of races or religion in the country, for the power which the system confers on minorities remains the truer coincidence of political, racial, and religious boundaries. We believe that the minority representation secured by this Amendment in Belfast will be a valuable variety of Nationalist opinion as compared with that from other parts of Ireland. We believe that that conferred upon the so-called Unionist minority in Cork and Dublin would be a different variety from that of the Unionism in the North of Ireland. The experience of Belgium goes not only, as the hon. Gentleman for Swansea says, but it goes to efface largely the great geographical boundary which used to exist there between the Flemings and the Walloons, with all Parliamentary representation either on the one side of Catholicism or on the other side of Liberalism. This Amendment, applied as it is only to constituencies in Ireland where there are more than two members, will, we believe, do something to make the line of demarkation less coincident with geographical areas than it is today. In so far as it does that, it is surely doing something which every Member of this House, in whatever part he sits, would desire to see done at once and as much as possible.


I think a word or two of congratulation ought to be spoken to the supporters of proportional representation who have worked so very hard and so very long, and have at the last gained so small a victory. I am not quite sure whether the House realises that this is only really a very small gain that they have made. How many members are there to be in the Irish House of Commons? One hundred and sixty-four. How many are to be elected by this new system? Only thirty-one—not quite one in four; therefore it is quite obvious that we are very far from setting up in the Irish House of Commons a complete system of proportional representation. I think that ought to be fairly understood by the House. Though it has begun perhaps on the right lines, yet after all it is a mere experiment which is being made. For my own part I do not like experiments being made on such new, and—well, I will not call it the corpus vile—of the Irish House of Commons. I am not at all sure whether an experiment like this is worth making at all. Either let it be made over the whole of the area of the field of operations, or else let us wait until some more convenient season. However, I shall support the Prime Minister, partly because, so far as I can see, nobody is going to divide against it. The hon. Member for Honiton made a very able speech, and reiterated his arguments very forcibly, that he did not say he would have the courage to divide against the Prime Minister. I do not want to make a boast of independence in this matter, and I shall support the Amendment. One point more; that is, the contention which is so frequently put about by people who do not understand the system that neither they nor anybody else do understand proportional representation. The hon. Member for Honiton ventured to say that not 1 per cent. of the House understood the principle of proportional representation. If he really means that he is greatly mistaken.


If I said 1 per cent., that was really somewhat of a slip. I did not mean it to be taken literally. I think that few Members outside the hon. Member and a few others understood it.


I thought so. When anybody speaks very forcibly and is then brought to book, he tells us he was only speaking metaphorically, and that is what I should expect from the genial and rather imaginative hon. Gentleman opposite. The experience of foreign countries where proportional representation is in force shows us that it works more simply, more cheaply and with less friction and less difficulty than almost any other system. Under proportional representation you are not obliged to fight for your own hand only. You are obliged to fight with others, and when you have, say, five members to be elected, it is absurd for each alone of the candidates to fight merely for himself. Each must work in close co-operation with the other. That has been realised in all countries where proportional representation has been introduced, and I am quite sure that in his forecast of the great difficulties and absurdities that would ensue the hon. Member was speaking without really any experience and merely from his imagination, which I am sure will prove to be all wrong. In conclusion, I want again to congratulate those who have worked so hard for this cause. I do not know whether we shall live to see proportional representation introduced in the elections for this House, but I am perfectly certain that the step we are taking to-night cannot be regarded as a precedent in that matter.


I am glad the Prime Minister has accepted this Amendment, and I congratulate the Government on having taken a step to rectify somewhat a condition which would have been to the minority perhaps bordering on an injustice. I am glad the Conservative party in Ireland—it is very hard in Ireland to say who is a Liberal and who is a Tory—have got this additional concession. It is a very small addition. My reckoning is that it will only give them three more seats. [HON. MEMBERS: "Less."] I am approving of it because I believe it will give them three. I believe they are entitled to more and if I had the framing of this Bill I would take means to give the Conservative party in Ireland more. Nay, I would go further, I would give them more than their due on a count of skulls. I mean if you count heads I think they are entitled upon many grounds, historical and others, to more than they have got. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Trinity College said to-night that under the scheme of Local Government nothing had been done to recognise the position of what he calld the propertied classes, and he was especially strong about the case of Dublin. Now I wish to show the House that the views we are now expressing are not nascent or new, and I want to show the House to what really the present position in Ireland is owing. I take the case of Dublin. Something like fifteen years ago, Dublin promoted a Water Bill in this House, and I incorporated upon it a minority representation Clause. It was accepted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Lundon (Mr. Balfour) and all his party in this House. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Trinity College complained that his party had only got eight Members in the whole Corporation of Dublin. I do not say I recognise the figure as exact. I gave them a three-corner representation providing even for the grouping of the Aldermanic seats whereby they would have at least twenty-one seats out of sixty, and that passed through this House unanimously. Where was it rejected? It was rejected in the House of Lords and if the Conservative party of Dublin to-day are in the minority which the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Trinity College says they are, and probably says justly, the fact is owing to the action of the House of Lords, which said that a Water Bill was not a place for such a thing as proportional representation or minority representation.

Mr. JOHN GORDON (Lundonderry, S.)

May I call the hon. and learned Gentleman's attention to the fact that it was in Committee that it was struck out and not in the House of Lords itself?


I think my hon. and learned Friend knows me too well not to know that an interruption against me is of very little use. What are the facts? It passed through this House, through Committee upstairs, through this House on Report, and on Third Reading unanimously. Look at the records, and you will find it was in the House of Lords it was rejected, and it was by the action of the House of Lords it was rejected. My recollection is that it was in 1896, and the records will show that when complaint is made that we have not been careful of the interests of property or of the interests of Conservatism in our capital city of Dublin, I answer that by the action we took this House unanimously passed that provision and it was rejected, and rejected only by the House of Lords. So much, therefore, upon that point. May I make one other observation. I think I have done so already to some extent to-night. I think this Debate shows the monstrosity of the guillotine proceedings. We had tonight first to carry Clauses, and now we are to take at 10.30 Clauses 9 to 14.

Clause 14 has no more to say to this question of representation than New Zealand has to say to Connemara. Clause 14 deals with finance, and I am quite sure the Government are determined that not a word shall be said upon finance to-night. We have debated all these trumpery things, because they are trumpery when compared with finance. Finance is the one thing necessary. It is the one thing of importance, it is the life-blood of this Bill, and if we have not a proper system of finance, all these questions of the Senate and of proportional representation are merely leather and prunella. What have the Government done? They have so managed as to yoke this Clause 14 with five others—six in one bunch—to-night, whereas if they had omitted Clause 14 from this group we would start to-morrow with Clause 14. I do not know what Clause we shall start with, but Clause 14 is the most important Clause in the Bill, and here we are to-night at the tail-end of all this back-wash about the Senate and proportional representation and all these other questions that are of no moment. I hear a great deal of the connection of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. Redmond) with this Bill; but I think he has had very little connection with any part of it except the trickery. The other night I thought all this had been done by a mere accident, but I am now convinced that it is the other way, and therefore I am equally convinced that all this Debate has gone forward with a view to smother and conceal from the Irish electors the effect of these other Clauses. While I am convinced that the Bill is in the main so far as the Government is concerned an honest attempt to try to grapple with a great evil, I do think that these petty manoeuvres which have prevented honest discussions upon this Bill, throttled discussion in Ireland when it arose, and when one of the Ministers made a protest, he was told that he ought to shut up. In the same way Clause 14 has been stuck in the middle of all these Clauses dealing with finance with no other object than that of concealing from the Irish people that this is a Bill which in the main as regards any real reform they will be unable through its finance to stir either hand or foot.


I hope this Motion will not be carried unanimously. I feel quite certain that a large majority of this House are opposed to the principle of proportional representation. I agree with all the arguments which have been delivered in regard to that question, and I agree with the suggestion made by the hon. Member for the Honiton Division that this Amendment, if it were carried unanimously, would be put forward by the Proportional Representation Committee as an example of the manner in which their theories had obtained possession of the House of Commons. As a matter of fact, since the statement was made three or four hon. Members have pushed the matter exactly in that way. I hope, without attempting to take part in the Debate, and without giving reasons one way or the

other, that this Amendment will not be carried unanimously, because if it is it certainly will have a very bad effect with regard to the question of proportional representation in future with regard to the House of Commons. I consider proportional representation is a pure freak, and there is nothing in it whatever. I therefore wish to support very heartily the suggestion of the hon. Member opposite, and I urge him and other hon. Members of this House who agree with us to see that this Amendment is not carried unanimously.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 311; Noes, 81.

Division No. 492.] AYES. [10.I p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hackett, J.
Acland, Francis Dyke Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Rossendale)
A damson, William Condon, Thomas Joseph Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Addison, Dr. Christopher Cooper, Richard Ashmole Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D. Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cotton, William Francis Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Alden, Percy Courthope, G. Loyd Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton) Crean, Eugene Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Crooks, William Hayden, John Patrick
Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R. Crumley, Patrick Hayward, Evan
Arnold, Sydney Cullinan, J. Hazleton, Richard (Galway, N.)
Astor, Waldorf Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy) Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)
Baird, J. L. Davies, E. William (Eifion) Helme, Sir Norval Watson
Baker, H. T. (Accrington) Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.) Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Henderson, Major H (Berks, Abingdon)
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Dawes, James Arthur Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George De Forest, Baron Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)
Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset) Delany, William Higham, John Sharp
Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs) Denman, Hon. R. D. Kill, Sir Clement L.
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Devlin, Joseph Hinds, John
Beale, Sir William Phipson Dewar, Sir J. A. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.
Beck, Arthur Cecil Dickinson, W. H. Hodge, John
Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.) Donelan, Captain A. Hogge, James Myles
Bentham, G. J. Doris, William Holmes, Daniel Turner
Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish- Doughty, Sir George Holt, Richard Durning
Bethell, Sir J H. Duffy, William J. Hope, Harry (Bute)
Bigland, Alfred Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Hope, John Deans (Haddington)
Bird, A. Edwards. Sir Francis (Radnor) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Black, Arthur W. Elverston, Sir Harold Hudson, Walter
Booth, Frederick Handel Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary) Hughes, S. L.
Bowerman, C. W. Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus
Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.) Falconer, J. John, Edward Thomas
Brace, William Farrell, James Patrick Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)
Brady, P. J. Fell, Arthur Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles Jones, Leit Stratten (Rushcliffe)
Brocklehurst. W. B. Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Brunner, John F. L. Ffrench, Peter Jones, W. S. Glyn. (T. H'mts, Stepney)
Bryce, J. Annan Field, William Jowett, Frederick William
Burke, E. Haviland- Fitzgibbon, John Joyce, Michael
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Flavin, Michael Joseph Joynson-Hicks, William
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Furness, Stephen Keating, Matthew
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North) Gardner, Ernest Kellaway, Frederick George
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sidney C. (Poplar) Gilhooly, James Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Byles, Sir William Pollard Gill, A. H. Kilbride, Denis
Carr-Gomm. H. W. Ginnell, L. Kimber, Sir Henry
Cassel, Felix Gladstone, W. G. C. King, J.
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Glanvllie, Harold James Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Lardner, James Carrige Rushe
Clancy, John Joseph Goldstone, Frank Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)
Clay, Captain H. H. Spender Griffith, Ellis J. Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)
Clough, William Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Leach, Charles
Clynes, John R. Guiney, P, Levy, Sir Maurice
Collins, G. P. (Greenock) Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds) Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)
Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.) Sheehy, David
Lundon, Thomas O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.) Sherwell, Arthur James
Lyell. Charles Henry O'Malley, William Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook
Lynch, A. A. O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich) O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid) Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)
MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh Orde-Powlett, Hon, W. G. A. Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Macdonad, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
McGhee, Richard O'Shee, James John Snowden, Philip
Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. O'Sullivan, Timothy Spear, Sir John Ward
MacNeill. J. G. Swift (Donegal, South) Outhwaite, R. L. Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert
Macpherson. James Ian Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Stanier, Beville
MacVeagh, Jeremiah Parker, Jamis (Halifax) Stanley, Major Hon. G. F. (Preston)
M'Callum, Sir John M. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Stewart, Gershom
M'Kean, John Pearce, William (Limehouse) Strauss, Arthur (Paddintgon, North)
McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics) Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Markham, Sir Arthur Basil Perkins, Walter F. Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)
Marks, Sir George Croydon Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Thomas, J. H.
Marshall, Arthur Harold Pirie, Duncan V. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Masterman, Rt. Hon C. F. G. Pointer, Joseph Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Meagher, Michael Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Verney, Sir Harry
. Middiemore. John Throgmorton Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Wadsworth, J.
Millar, James Duncin Primrose, Hon. Neill James Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
Molloy, M. Pringle, William M. R. Ward, John (Stoke-upon -Trent)
Molteno, Percy Alpo t Pryce-Jones, Col. E, Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz Radford, G. H. Wardle, George J.
Money, L. G. Chioza Raphael, Sir Herbert H. Waring, Walter
Morgan, George Hay Reddy, M. Webb, H.
Morrell, Philip Redmond, John E. (Waterford) White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Mount, William Arthur Redmond. William (Clare, E.) White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Muldoon, John Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Munro, R. Richards, Thomas Whitehouse, John Howard
Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. D. Richardson, Albion (Peckham) Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Nannetti, Joseph P. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Wilkie, Alexander
Needham. Christopher T. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Neilson, Francis Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs) Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Newman, John R. P. Roberts, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Newton, Harry Kottingham Robinson, Sidney Williamson, Sir Archibald
Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Nolan, Joseph Roche, Augustine (Louth) Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Norman, Sir Henry Rowlands, James Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Norton, Captain Cecil W. Rowntree, Arnold Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Yate, Col. Charles Edward
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W. Young, Samuel (Cavan. East)
O'Brien, William (Cork) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Young, William (Perth, East)
O'Connor, John (kildare, N.) Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Younger, Sir George
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Sanders, Robert A.
O'Doherty, Philip Scanlan, Thomas TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
O'Donnell, Thomas Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
O'Dowd, John Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.
Age-Gardner. James Tynte Gordon, John (Lundonderry, South) Neville, Reginald J. N.
Aitken, Sir William Max Gordon. Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Nield, Herbert
Amery, L. C. M. S. Goulding, Edward Alfred Norton-Griffiths, John
Baldwin, Stanley Grant, J. A. Palmer, Godfrey Mark
Barnston, Harry Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Pollock, Ernest Murray
Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.) Hall, Fred (Dulwich) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Barrie, H. T. Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Randies, Sir John S.
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Henry, Sir Charles Rawson, Col. R. H.
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Hickman, Colonel T. E. Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)
Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian) Remnant, James Farquharson
Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith- Home, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford) Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)
Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid) Horner, Andrew Long Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)
Bull, Sir William James Houston, Robert Paterson Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)
Burn, Colonel C. R. Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath) Steel-Maitland, A. D.
Butcher. J. G. ingleby, Holcombe Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.) Jackson, Sir John Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)
Cator, John Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr Thompson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Keswick, Henry Touche, George Alexander
Craig, Captain James (Down. E.) Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Croft, H. P. Lee, Arthur H. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Faber, George Denison (Clapham) Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey) Willoughby. Major Hon. Claud
Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue Lonsdale, Sir John Brownies
Fleming. Valentine Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)
Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead) McNeil, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Forster, Henry William Martin, Joseph Crawshay-Williams and Mr. Morrison-
Gastrell, Major W. H. Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas Bell.
Gibbs, G. A. Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)

I beg to move to leave out Sub-section (3).

The object of the Amendment is to reserve to the English House of Commons the powers which it is proposed by this Sub-section to bestow upon the Irish House of Commons. The Irish House of Commons is to continue for five years before it is dissolved, and at the end of three years it is to have the powers which are conferred upon it by this Sub-section. It may first of all alter the qualification of the electors. It may therefore alter the whole of the franchise. It may give female suffrage; although opinion in the Government of this country may remain in the disordered condition in which it is at the present time. Then it is to have the power of altering the mode of elections. It may do away with the secrecy of the ballot. It may alter the whole procedure which it has taken us centuries to evolve in this House as a safeguard for the secrecy of the electorate. It may alter the constituencies. That is one thing I think the Irish Parliament might retain the power to alter, because it is a question we have not had an opportunity of considering in this House at all. Under the guillotine proposal the constituencies set out in the Schedules, so far as I know, have never been considered by any human being except perhaps the Government of the day, with the aid of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond). We in this House have had no opportunity at all, and shall have no opportunity, of considering what the constituencies in Ireland are doing. All we can say is that it is not wholly unreasonable that somebody should be left the power of saying what the constituencies are to be when you are setting up the new Parliament. They are to have the power of altering the distribution of the members of the House. At the present time the agricultural constituencies have no less than 128 representatives out of 164. It is quite possible, if the Irish Parliament does not achieve the brilliant success which hon. Members opposite suppose may be achieved, that it will be thought desirable to increase the agricultural constituencies to the disadvantage of the industrial constituencies of the North. The Bill provides that there shall not be any increase of members, but at the same time it gives power to alter the whole composition of the House. Why there should be that limitation I cannot say. Then comes this extraordinary provision at the end which I hope hon. Members may be able to understand:—

"Due regard shall be had to the population of constituencies other than University constituencies."

Who is to be the judge of what is "due regard?" You are not setting up in this Bill a proportion between population and representation. You are leaving it vague. It is proposed to take power to entirely alter the whole composition of the House. The whole thing is illusory. It is an illusory safeguard. You are to have "due regard to the population" of the constituency. You are not even to have due regard to the industrial interests, or the tax-paying value, you are simply to have regard to the population. Under the Redistribution Bill as it-emanated from this House the Commission was directed to have regard, not merely to population, but to the interests in the Government of the country possessed by the old franchise, and instructions were given to the Boundary Commissioners in 1885 to take into consideration, not only the populations, but the industries and pursuits of the population. In this new Bill you propose to give power at the expiration of three years, not five years, to have due regard, not to the industries, not to the stake in the country possessed by those whose franchise you are going to alter, but you are merely to have due regard to population of the constituencies other than University constituencies. If the intention of this Bill is to set up in Ireland an independent Parliament, with the right to settle how its representation is to be fixed, what the franchise is to be, what the system of electing the Members of Parliament is to be, and you are going to make them an independent Parliament with power to alter their Constitution, and with power to be practically a sovereign Parliament, then by all means let this Clause stand; but if you desire, and you state the object of the Bill is to set up in Ireland a purely subordinate Parliament and to leave the representation of the United Kingdom—because it will still be the representation of the United Kingdom in this House—the power to settle not only what the powers of the Irish Parliament are to be, but its Constitution, then you should reserve to yourself the right to settle now, once and for all, what the Parliament is not to do, how it is to be constituted, and what it is to be. In the hope that the Government will take this view and will allow this House to settle once and for all what the Constitution of the Irish Partliament is to be, I move this Amendment. In conclusion, it will be said that all the powers that are now conferred upon the Irish Parliament are possessed by this House. Yes, Sir, but the circumstances are absolutely different. You admit that you are giving, for the first time in the history of the world, self-government to Ireland, to a people a great part of whom are passionately opposed to having it imposed upon them at all. You admit that safeguards are required; you introduce them into the Bill at every turn, and you admit that the circumstances are peculiar. If safeguards are required, if the supremacy of this Parliament requires to be carefully safeguarded, let us settle, once and for all, for this Irish Parliament what its composition is to be, what its powers are to be, and what its relations to this Parliament are to be. In the hope that the Government will take that view, I beg to move.


I beg to second the Amendment. I should like to ask the Government one question. We had some little confusion about this matter in Committee, and I want to be quite clear about one phase of it. I understand that this Sub-section allows the Irish House of Commons to deal with the qualification of electors, the registration of electors, and various other matters as regards the House of Commons, but I understand they are still precluded from doing that with regard to the Senate. Am I correct in that?


indicated assent.


Then I understand that the effect will be that if the Irish House of Commons, after three years, exercises its power to vary the franchise laws in Ireland, you are going to have two separate registers in Ireland, one register for the Senate and one for the House of Commons, and two separate sets of electors, two separate sets of qualifications, and it may be two separate sets of election laws, and to that to-night this House, by the vote it has just taken, has added the third obligation, that as regards Dublin, Cork, and Belfast, there is going to be a third set of electors. I should really like to know from the Government, whether that really is, the case, that the effect of the provisions of the Bill is that if the Irish House of Commons do exercise the powers which are given them by this Sub-section at all, then there will have to be two separate registers and two separate sets of electors, one for the Irish Senate, and one for the Irish House of Commons. I do not suppose there is the slightest idea that the House would regard the insertion of this. Clause as constituting any safeguard for the minority in Ireland. It does the very reverse. You have been labouring to-night to put in a tiny shred of proportional representation in the Bill as giving a greater safeguard to the minority in Ireland. In this Subsection you are going to say, we have given you this proportional representaion for these nine seats in Ireland. It shall only last three years, and at the end of three years the majority in the Irish Parliament may take it away. We have given you the protection of the English franchise laws, we have given you the protection of the Ballot Act and all the rest of it, but at the end of three years the Irish House of Commons may take it away from you, and the only thing which restrains them is that in jerrymandering the franchise in Ireland they must have due regard to population. And who are the judges of due regard? The Nationalist majority themselves. If any Member of the House thinks that any Irish Unionist will regard that as a due safeguard, I hope that is not a policy which he will cherish any longer.


I wish to submit to you, Sir, a point of Order. We are ap proaching half-past ten o'clock, and the Clauses that you will put from the Chair are grouped in this way:—(9) Composition of Irish House of Commons. (10) Money Bills. (11) Disagreement between two Houses of Irish Parliament. (12) Privileges, qualifications, etc., of members of Irish Parliament. (13) Representation of Ireland in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. Then, in italics, is "Finance," and Clause 14 is Irish Revenue and Expenditure. So that you will see this revenue and expenditure has been interpolated quite out of its place into the group dealing with the Irish Parliament and Irish representation. There are many Members of the House who desire to enter a protest against this system of grouping and against the provisions of Clause 14. I want to ask whether there is any possibility—I do not ask you to start a new precedent—of putting Clause 14 as a separate Clause, so that we might have an opportunity of voting against it.


The hon. and learned Member will remember that I do not put the Clauses. I only put the Amendments as they appear. I am afraid it is not possible for me to put any question which would give him the opportunity of voting in the sense which he desires. Of course, the proper time to raise his objections was when we were discussing the so-called guillotine Motion. If I remember aright I think he did then raise that point and took a division upon it.


The hon. Member (Mr. W. O'Brien) did. I was only wondering whether you could enable us to do it now, because the circumstances are so special.


I am afraid it is not within my power or else I should be very glad to meet the views of the hon. and learned Member.


The Government regard this Amendment as imposing a very undue limitation on the powers of the Irish Parliament, and hold that it is right that in these matters the Irish people should have an opportunity of expressing their own ideas as to the way in which they wish their people to be represented in the Irish Lower House. This Parliament should not endeavour to

enforce its own ideas upon the nation. In regard to the specific question of the hon. Member who seconded the Amendment, it is the case that the electorate, both for this Parliament—for electing Irish Members to serve in this House—and also for the election of the Irish Senate is a matter for Imperial legislation, and the register cannot be altered by the Irish Parliament. If the Irish Parliament were to alter the register for their own House of Commons they would have two registers. If there be any inconvenience in that, that would be their doing, and it would be for them to do it if they so desired. There are frequently two different registers for local elections and Parliamentary elections, and similar inconvenience might possibly occur in the case of Irish local elections.

It being half-past Ten of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Orders of the House of the 14th October and the 30th December, 1912, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.

Question put, "That the words 'After three years from the' [at beginning of Sub-section (3)] stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 312; Noes, 187.

Division No. 493.] AYES. [10.30 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)
Acland, Francis Dyke Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North) Edwards. Sir Francis (Radnor)
Adamson, William Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar) Edwards. John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)
Addison, Dr. Christopher Byles, Sir William Pollard Elverston, Sir Harold
Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D. Carr-Gomm, H. W. Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)
Alden, Percy Chapple, Dr. William Allen Esslemont, George Birnie
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton) Clancy, John Joseph Falconer, James
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Clough, William Farrell, James Patrick
Arnold, Sydney Clynes, John R. Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Collins, G. P. (Greenock) Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson
Baker, H. T. (Accrington) Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Ffrench, Peter
Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.) Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Field, William
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Condon, Thomas Joseph Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward
Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Fitzgibbon, John
Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs) Cotton, William Francis Flavin, Michael Joseph
Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.) Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Furness, Stephen
Barton, William Crawshay-Williams, Eliot George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd
Beale, Sir William Phipson Crean, Eugene Gilhooly. James
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Crooks, William Gill, Alfred Henry
Beck, Arthur Cecil Crumley, Patrick Ginnell, L.
Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.) Cullinan, J. Gladstone, W. G. C.
Bentham, G. J. Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy) Glanville, H. J.
Bethel!, Sir John Henry Davies, Ellis William (Elfion) Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Goldstone, Frank
Black, Arthur W. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)
Booth, Frederick Handel Dawes, James Arthur Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Bowerman, C. W. De Forest, Baron Griffith, Ellis J.
Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.) Delany, William Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)
Brace, William Denman, Hon. R. D. Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)
Brady, P. J. Devlin, Joseph Guiney, Patrick
Brocklehurst, W. B. Dewar, sir J. A. Hackett, J.
Brunner, J. F. L. Dickinson, W. H. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Rossendale)
Bryce, J. Annan Donelan, Captain A. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Burke, E. Haviland- Doris, W. Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Duffy. William J. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.) Meagher, Michael Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Robinson, Sidney
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Menzies, Sir Walter Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Millar, James Duncan Roche, Augustine (Louth)
Hayden, John Patrick Molloy, M. Roe, Sir Thomas
Hay ward, Evan Molteno, Percy Alport Rose, Sir Charles Day
Hazleton, Richard Mond, Sir Alfred M. Rowlands, James
Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.) Money, L. G. Chiozza Rowntree, Arnold
Helme, Sir Norval Watson Morgan, George Hay Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Morrell, Philip Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.
Henderson, I. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Morison, Hector Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Henry, Sir Charles Muldoon, John Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Munro, R. Scanlan, Thomas
Higham, John Sharp Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C. Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.
Hinds, John Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C. Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.
Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. Nannetti, Joseph P. Sheehy, David
Hodge, John Needham, Christopher Sherwell, Arthur James
Hogge, James Myles Neilson, Francis Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Alisebrook
Holmes, Daniel Turner Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Holt, Richard Durning Nolan, Joseph Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)
Hope, John Deans (Haddington) Norman, Sir Henry Smyth, Thomas F. (Leltrim, S.)
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Norton, Captain Cecil W. Snowden, Philip
Hudson, Walter Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert
Hughes, Spencer Leigh O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Stanley, Albert (Staffs., N.W.)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus O'Brien, William (Cork) Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)
John, Edward Thomas O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Jones, Henry Hayden (Merioneth) O'Doherty, Philip Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)
Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East) O'Donnell, Thomas Tennant, Harold John
Jones, Leil Stratten (Rushcllffe) O'Dowd, John Thomas J. H.
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) O'Grady, James Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney) O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Jowett, Frederick William O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Joyce, Michael O'Malley, William Verney, Sir Harry
Keating, Matthew O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Wadsworth, J.
Kellaway, Frederick George O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
Kennedy, Vincent Paul O'Shee, James John Walters, Sir John Tudor
Kilbride, Denis O'Sullivan, Timothy Walton, Sir Joseph
King, J. Outhwaite, R. L. Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton) Palmer, Godfrey Merk Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade) Parker, James (Halifax) Wardle, George J.
Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Waring, Walter
Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West) Pearce, William (Limehouse) Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th) Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Leach, Charles Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Levy, Sir Maurice Pirle, Duncan V. Webb, H.
Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas Pointer, Joseph White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich) Pollard, Sir George H. White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)
Lundon, Thomas Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Lyell, Charles Henry Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Whitehouse, John Howard
Lynch, A. A. Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
McGhee, Richard Primrose, Hon. Neil James Wiles, Thomas
Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. Pringle, William M. R. Wilkie, Alexander
MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South) Radford, George Heynes Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Macpherson, James Ian Raphael, Sir Herbert H. Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
MacVeagh, Jeremiah Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields) Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
M'Callum, Sir John M. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Williamson, Sir A.
M'Kean, John Reddy, Michael Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.) Redmond, William (Clare, E.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding) Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.) Winfrey, Richard
M'Micking, Major Gilbert Rendall, Athelstan Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Manfield, Harry Richards, Thomas Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Markham, Sir Arthur Basil Richardson, Albion (Peckham) Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)
Marks, Sir George Croydon Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Marshall, Arthur Harold Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Martin, J. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G. Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs) Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Barrie, H. T. Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)
Aitken, Sir William Max Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Bridgeman, William Clive
Amery, L. C. M. S. Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Bull, Sir William James
Astor, Waldorf Beckett, Hon. Gervase Burdett-Coutts, William
Baird, J. L. Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Burn, Colonel C. R.
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Bennett-Goldney, Francis Butcher, John George
Balcarres, Lord Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)
Baldwin, Stanley Bigland, Alfred Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Bird A. Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.
Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester) Blair, Reginald Cassel, Felix
Barlow, Montague (Salford, south) Boles, Lieut.-Col Dennis Fortescue Cator, John
Barnston, H. Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith- Cautley, H. S.
Cecil, Evelyn (Alton Manor) Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Pollock, Ernest Murray
Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hltchin) Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian) Pretyman, Ernest George
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Home, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford) Pryce-Jones, Col. E.
Chambers, J. Horner, Andrew Long Randies, Sir John S.
Clay, Captain H. H. Spender Houston, Robert Paterson Rawson, Col. H. R.
Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Hunter, Sir C. R. Rees, Sir J. D.
Cooper, Richard Ash mole Ingleby, Holcombe Remnant, James Farquharson
Courthope, G. Loyd Jackson, Sir John ' Rolleston, Sir John
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Jessel, Captain H. M. Rothschild, Lionel de
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Joynson-Hicks, William Royds, Edmund
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)
Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan Kerry, Earl of Rutherford Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)
Croft, H. P. Keswick, Henry Salter, Arthur Clavell
Dairymple, Viscount Kimber, Sir Henry Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)
Dalziel, Davison (Brixton) Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Sanders, Robert A.
Denniss, E. R. B. Larmor, Sir J. Sandys, G. J.
Doughty, Sir George Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle) Sassoon, Sir Philip
Eyres-Monsell, B. M. Lee, Arthur Hamilton Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Faber, George Denison (Clapham) Lewisham, Viscount Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)
Falle, B. G. Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Fell, Arthur Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey) Spear, Sir John Ward
Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Stanier, Beville
Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Fleming, Valentine Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston) Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Fletcher, John Samuel Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo.,Han. S.) Steel-Maitland, A. D.
Forster, Henry William Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich) Stewart, Gershom
Gardner, Ernest MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)
Gastrell, Major W. H. Macmaster, Donald Sykes. Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)
Gibbs, G. A. M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) Sykes. Mark (Hull, Central)
Gilmour, Captain John Magnus, Sir Philip Talbot, Lord E
Glazebrook, Captain Philip K. Mason, James F. (Windsor) Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)
Gordon, John (Lundonderry, South) Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Terrell, H. (Gloucester)
Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Middlemore, John Throgmorton Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)
Goulding, Edward Alfred Mildmay, Francis Bingham Thynne, Lord Alexander
Grant, J. A. Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas Touche, George Alexander
Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.) Moore, William Tryon, Captain George Clement
Guinness, Hon. W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds) Morrison Bell, Capt E. F. (Ashburton) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton) Ward, Arnold S. (Herts, Watford)
Haddock, George Bahr Mount, William Arthur Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight) Neville, Reginald J. N. Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud
Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth) Newman, John R. P. Wills. Sir Gilbert
Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence Newton, Harry Kottingham Winterton, Earl of
Harris, Henry Percy Nield, Herbert Wolmer, Viscount
Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Norton-Griffiths, J. Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon) O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid) Wortlinton-Evans, L.
Hewins, William Albert Samuel Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A. Yate, Col. C. E.
Hickman, Colonel Thomas E. Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Younger, Sir George
Hill, Sir Clement L. Parkes, Ebenezer
Hills, John Waller Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Hill-Wood, Samuel Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Perkins, Walter Frank Hume-Williams and Mr. Fred Hall.
Hope, Harry (Bute) Peto, Basil Edward

Mr. SPEAKER then proceeded to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given as necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at half-past Ten of the clock at this day's sitting.

Government Amendments made: In Subsection (3), after the word "the"["three years from the"], leave out the words "passing of this Act," and insert instead thereof the words "day of the first meeting of the Irish Parliament."

In the same Sub-section, after the word "qualification"["The qualification of the electors"], insert the words, "and registration."—[Mr. Birrell.]

Government Amendment proposed: In Sub-section (3), after the word "the"["and registration the"], leave out the words "mode of election," and insert instead thereof the words "law relating to elections and the questioning of elections."—[Mr. Birred.]

Question put, "That the Amendment be made."

The House divided: Ayes, 309; Noes, 189.

Division No. 494.] AYES. [10.40 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Adkins. Sir W. Ryland D. Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)
Acland, Francis Dyke Ainsworth, John Stirling Arnold, Sydney
Adamson, William Alden, Percy Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry
Addison, Dr. C. Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire) Baker H. T. (Accrington)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Griffith, Ellis Jones Molteno, Percy Alport
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke) Mond, Sir Alfred M.
Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset) Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Money, L. G. Chiozza
Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick) Guiney, Patrick Morgan, George Hay
Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.) Gulland, John William Morrell, Philip
Barton, William Hackett, John Morrison, Hector
Beale, Sir William Phipson Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale) Muldoon, John
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Munro, R.
Beck, Arthur Cecil Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.
Bentham, G. J. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C.
Bethell, Sir J. H. Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Nannetti, Joseph P.
Black, Arthur W. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Needham, Christopher T.
Booth, Frederick Handel Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Neilson, Francis
Bowerman, C. W. Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)
Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North) Hayden, John Patrick Nolan, Joseph
Brace, William Hayward, Evan Norman, Sir Henry
Brady, Patrick Joseph Hazleton, Richard Norton, Captain Cecil W.
Brocklehurst, W. B. Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, East) Nugent, Sir Walter Richard
Brunner, John F. L. Helme, Sir Norval Watson) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Bryce, J. Annan Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Burke, E. Haviland- Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Henry, Sir Charles O'Doherty, Philip
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) O'Donnell, Thomas
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North) Higham, John Sharp O'Dowd, John
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar) Hinds, John O'Grady, James
Byles, Sir William Pollard Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hodge, John O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Hogge, James Myles O'Malley, William
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Holmes, Daniel Turner O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)
Clancy, John Joseph Holt, Richard Durning O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Clough, William Hope, John Deans (Haddington) O'Shee, James John
Clynes, John R. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey O'Sullivan, Timothy
Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Hudson, Walter Outhwaite, R. L.
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hughes, S. L. Palmer, Godfrey Mark
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Illingworth, Percy H. Parker, James (Haliax)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Ruus Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. John, Edward Thomas Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Cotton, William Francis Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Crawshay-Williams, Ellot Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East) Pirie, Duncan V.
Crean, Eugene Jones, Lelf Straiten (Notts, Rusbcliffe) Pointer, Joseph
Crooks, William Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney) Pollard, Sir George H.
Crumley, Patrick Jowett, F. W. Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Cullinan, John Joyce, Michael Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy) Keating, Matthew Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Kellaway, Frederick George Priestley, Sir W. E. (Bradford,)
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Kennedy, Vincent Paul Primrose, Hon. Neil James
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Kilbride, Denis Pringle, William M. R.
Dawes, J. A. King, J. (Somerset, N.) Radford, G. H.
De Forest, Baron Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S.Molton) Raphael, Sir Herbert H.
Delany, William Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Devlin, Joseph Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Reddy, M.
Dewar, Sir J. A. Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th) ' Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Dickinson, W. H. Leach, Charles Redmond, William (Clare, E.)
Donelan, Captain A. Levy, Sir Maurice Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)
Doris, William Lough Rt. Hon. Thomas Rendall, Athelstan
Duffy, William J. Low, Sir F. (Norwich) Richards, Thomas
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Lundon, Thomas Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Lyell, Charles Henry Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid) Lynch, A. A. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Elverston. Sir Harold Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) McGhee, Richard Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.) Macnamara, Rt Hon. Dr. T. J. Robertson, Sir Scott (Bradford)
Esslemont, George Birnie MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South) Robinson, Sidney
Falconer, James Macpherson, James Ian Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Farrell, James Patrick MacVeagh, Jeremiah Roche, Augstine (Louth)
Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles M'Callum, Sir John M. Roe, Sir Thomas
Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson M'Kean, John Rose, Sir Charles Day
Ffrench, Peter McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Rowlands, James
Field, William M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.) Rowntree, Arnold
Flennes, Hon. Eustace Edward M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spalding) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Fitzgibbon, John M'Micking, Major Gilbert Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.
Flavin, Michael Joseph Manfield, Harry Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Furness, Stephen Markham, Sir Arthur Basil Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd Marks, Sir George Croydon Scanlan, Thomas
Gill, A. H. Marshall, Arthur Harold Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.
Ginnell, Laurence Martin, Joseph Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.
Gladstone, W. G. C. Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G. Sheehy, David
Glanville, H. J. Meagher, Michael Sherwell, Arthur James
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook
Goldstone, Frank Menzies, Sir Walter Smith, Albert (Lancs, Clitheroe)
Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough; Millar, James Duncan Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Molloy, Michael Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrlm)
Snowden, Philip Walton, Sir Joseph Wilkle, Alexander
Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton) Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West) Wardle, George J. Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Taylor, John W. (Durham) Waring, Walter Williamson, Sir Archibald
Taylor, Theodore C. (Radeliffe) Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Taylor, Thomas (Bolton) Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan) Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Tennant, Harold John Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Thomas, James Henry Webb, H. Winfrey, Richard
Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston) Wood, Rt Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)
Trevelyan, Charles Philips White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.) Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)
Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander White, Patrick (Meath, North) Young, William (Perthshire, E.)
Verney, Sir Harry Whitehouse, John Howard Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Wadsworth, J. Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince) Whyte, A. F. (Perth) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Walters, Sir John Tudor Wiles, Thomas Wedgwood Benn and Mr. W. Jones.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Gibbs, George Abraham Mount, William Arthur
Aitken, Sir William Max Gilmour, Captain John Neville, Reginald J. N.
Amery, L. C. M. S. Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K. Newman, John R. P.
Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R. Gordon, John (Lundonderry, South) Newton, Harry Kottingham
Astor, Waldorf Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton) Nield, Herbert
Baird, John Lawrence Goulding, Edward Alfred Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Grant, J. A. O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)
Balcarres. Lord Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.) Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.
Baldwin, Stanley Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds) Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Parkes, Ehenezer
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Haddock, George Bahr Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Barnston, Harry Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight) Peel, Captain R. F.
Barrie, H. T. Hall, Fred (Dulwich) Perkins, Walter F.
Bathurst Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth) Peto, Basil Edward
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence Pollock, Ernest Murray
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Harris, Henry Percy Pretyman, Ernest George
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Harrison-Broad ley, H. B. Pryce-Jones, Col. E.
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire) Randies, Sir John S.
Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish. Hewins, William Albert Samuel Rawson, Col. Richard H.
Bigland, Alfred Hickman, Col. Thomas E. Rees, Sir J. D.
Bird, Alfred Hill, Sir Clement L. Remnant, James Farquharson
Blair, Reginald Hills, John Waller Rolleston, Sir John
Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue Hill-Wood, Samuel Rothschild, Lionel de
Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith- Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Royds, Edmund
Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid) Hope, Harry (Bute) Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)
Bull, Sir William James Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian) Salter, Arthur Clavell
Burdett-Coutts, W. Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford) Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)
Burn, Colonel C. R. Horner, Andrew Long Sanders, Robert Arthur
Butcher, John George Houston, Robert Paterson Sandys. G. J.
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.) Hume-Williams, W. E. Sassoon, Sir Philip
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Ingleby, Holcombe Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l., Walton)
Cassel, Felix Jackson, Sir John Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Cator, John Jessel, Captain H. M. Spear, Sir John Ward
Cautley, Henry Strother Joynson-Hicks, William Stanier, Beville
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Kerr-Smiley. Peter Kerr Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin) Kerry, Earl of Stanley. Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W, Keswick, Henry Steel-Maitland, A. D.
Chambers, James Kimber, Sir Henry Stewart, Gershom
Clay, Captain H. H. Spender Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)
Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Larmor, Sir J. Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)
Cooper, Richard Ashmole Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle) Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)
Courthope, George Loyd Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End) Talbot, Lord E.
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Lee, Arthur Hamilton Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lewisham, Viscount Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury) Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)
Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey) Thynne, Lord A.
Croft, H. P. Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Touche, George Alexander
Dalrymple, Viscount Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee Tryon, Captain George Clement
Dalziel, Davison (Brixton) Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Denniss, E. R. B. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S.Geo., Han.S.) Ward, A. (Herts, Watford)
Doughty, Sir George Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud
Faber, George Denison (Clapham) Macmaster, Donald Wills, Sir Gilbert
Falle, Bertram Godfray M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) Winterton, Earl
Fell, Arthur Magnus, Sir Philip Wolmer, Viscount
Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Mason, James F. (Windsor) Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Worthington-Evans, L.
Fleming, Valentine Middlemore, John Throgmorton Yate, Colonel C. E.
Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead) Mildmay, Francis Bingham Younger, Sir George
Forster, Henry William Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas
Gardner, Ernest Moore, William TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Major
Gastrell, Major W. Houghton Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. A. (Ashburton) Baring and Major Morrison-Bell.