§ (1) The appeal from Courts in Ireland to the House of Lords shall cease; and where any person would, but for this Act, have a right to appeal from any Court in Ireland to the House of Lords, that person shall have the right to appeal to His Majesty the King in Council; and all enactments relating to appeals to His Majesty the King in Council, and to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, shall apply accordingly.
§ (2) When the Judicial Committee sit for hearing any appeal from a Court in Ireland in pursuance of any provisions of this Act, there shall be present not less than four Lords of Appeal, within the meaning of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1876, and at least one member who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court in Ireland.
§ (3) A rota of Privy Councillors to sit for hearing appeals from Courts in Ireland shall be made annually by His Majesty in Council, and the Privy Councillors, or some of them, on that rota shall sit to hear the said appeals. A casual vacancy occurring in the rota during the year may be filled by Order in Council.
§ (4) Nothing in this Act shall affect the jurisdiction of the House of Lords to determine the claims to Irish peerages.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I beg to move to leave out the Clause.
This Clause deals with appeals from the Courts in Ireland. At present these appeals are to the House of Lords; but this Clause proposes to abolish the appeal to the House of Lords as the final Court of Appeal, and to transfer it to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Before I deal with the general question, I may refer to the precedents of the previous Home Rule Bills. In the Home Rule 1408 Bill of 1886 the proposal was precisely the one I am no[...] making: the appeal to the House of Lords from the Courts in Ire-land was expressly reserved. In the Bill of 1893 the proposal was the same as in the present Bill, but in 1893, under the guillotine, there was no discussion whatever of that particular Clause. It is fortunate that, if we had not a chance on the Committee stage, we had, at any rate, on the Report stage an opportunity for a few words before this final Court of Appeal of the United Kingdom is abolished. The appeal to the House of Lords is one of the most ancient institutions of this country. It is an appeal to His Majesty in his High Court of Parliament. There are some people who believe that the House of Lords as a judicial tribunal is the same as the House of Lords in its legislative capacity. There may be some people who bonâ fide believe that, but there are some who for political advantage and political prejudice, when they are attacking the House of Lords, try to induce that belief. Let me at the commencement once and for all dispel any such notion, because when the House of Lords is sitting as a Court of Appeal only the Lord Chancellor, the Lords of Appeal, and those Peers who have held high judicial office—retired judges who have held high office—constitute the Court.
§ Mr. CASSEL
They do not exercise it, I say that those who for the purpose of raising prejudice against that House try to induce the belief that it is the same body, can only do so from motives for which there can be no possible defence. However, the proposal is not now to do away with the House of Lords as a judicial authority. If that were the proposal, quite different considerations would arise. There might be much to be said for it, and for having a different Supreme Court of Appeal for the whole of the United Kingdom. My objection to this proposal is that while you leave the House of Lords as a final Court of Appeal for all cases in Scotland and England you are setting up an entirely different Supreme Court of Appeal for Ireland. That appears to me to be openly and avowedly a separatist proposal. So far as legislative action or executive action is concerned we have in this Bill at least a pretence of maintaining the legislative and executive unity of the United Kingdom. We have at least 1409 words in the Bill which, for whatever they may be worth in practice, are at least inserted for the purpose of creating the idea that the legislative unity of the United Kingdom is maintained. But so far as this particular proposal as to the judicature is concerned, it is openly and avowedly separatist, because it places Ireland simply, solely, and absolutely in the same position as a Colony or a Dominion. So far as the judicature is concerned it severs every link with the United Kingdom qua the United Kingdom and places Ireland simply in the position of a Colony. The distinction throughout the Empire is perfectly well understood. The Supreme Court of the whole of the United Kingdom is the House of Lords, and the Supreme Court for the Colonies and the Dominions is the Privy Council. In order to emphasise that distinction I should like to call attention to a Bill which has been some time before this House, the Appellate Jurisdiction Bill, introduced by the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General and backed by the Solicitor-General. There is a Memorandum on the face of that Bill which brings out very clearly the distinction to which I refer. The Bill, I think, is a result of a resolution of the Imperial Conference of 1911. It proposes to increase the number of Lords of Appeal from four to six. The Memorandum says:—The increase of the number of Law Lords from four to six proposed by the Bill is the first step necessary to give effect to the resolution passed at the Imperial Conference in 1911. The proposals of His Majesty's Government then were that they should add to the highest Court of Appeal both for the United Kingdom and the Dominions, and the Colonies, by selecting two English judges of the finest quality; that the quorum should be fixed at, say, five—These are the words to which I should like to call the special attention of the House—and that the Court should sit successively in the House of Lords for United Kingdom appeals and in the Privy Council for appeals from the Dominions and the Colonies.So that on the face of the Memorandum of the Bill prepared by the Attorney-General and backed by the Solicitor-General, following the resolution of the Imperial Conference, you have the distinction clearly made between the House of Lords sitting as a final Court of Appeal for the United Kingdom,' and the Privy 1410 Council sitting as a final Court of Appeal for the Dominions and Colonies. How would that resolution read if this Bill passed without my Amendment being inserted? It would read like this:—and that the Court shall sit successively in the House of Lords for English and Scottish appeals, and in the Privy Council for appeals from the Dominions and the Colonies, including Ireland.You could not read that Memorandum in any way if this Bill passed into law. The distinction then would be between English and Scottish appeals on the one hand, and on the other, Dominion, and Colonial, and Irish appeals. If the Lord Chancellor or the Attorney-General had to go to the next Imperial Conference with that proposal, how could you more clearly in the sight of the whole Empire mark the disruption of the United Kingdom? I say it would be a distinct intimation to the whole of the Empire that for the future, so far as the judicature is concerned—and we are dealing with that alone—that England and Scotland stood on an entirely different footing from Ireland, and that there was no longer one Supreme Court of Appeal for the United Kingdom. I think this is also an anti-federal proposal. We have sometimes had it suggested by the Government that this is put forward as a beginning of some federal scheme that is hereafter to be completed. I believe that this piecemeal federalism is an utter impossibility. In a federation there is one highest Court of Appeal for the whole federation. If you look at the United States of America, what would be the corresponding position to that proposed under this Bill? It would be this: "That the Supreme Court of Appeal of the United States of America was the Supreme Court, say, for the whole of America, except Massachusetts and New York, and that these two States had another final High Court of Appeal of their own, and that neither Court would be bound by the decisions of the other Court. What advantage is this proposal to the judiciary to the United Kingdom? Absolutely none, so far as I can see. I am not aware that in Ireland there has been any great demand for the change.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I am glad to have the hon. and learned Gentleman's agreement in that. There seems to be no demand for the change. What is the difference between the two Courts? What advantage 1411 would be gained as regards the difference between the two Courts? Yow gain no advantage so far as the personnel is concerned. The personnel of the two Courts is not so very different. It is quite true it is different to some extent. For instance, there are two Indian judges on the Privy Council, and I think there are certain distinguished Colonial judges on the Privy Council. These occasionally sit. Do you want the change in order that the Indian judges may sit on Irish appeals, or that the Colonial judges should sit on Irish appeals? It is quite true that there are words in the Bill that four Lords of Appeal must sit when Irish cases are being tried. So that it cannot be in order to cut out the personnel that you are making this change, doing away with that system of appeal to which the people are accustomed and familiar, and introducing the substitute of another appeal for it. Again, as to procedure: I quite agree that the procedure of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is different from procedure of the House of Lords, but if there be any difference in the procedure I think the advantage is all on the side of the House of Lords.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Oxford University (Sir W. Anson) took a different view.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I am expressing my own view. If the hon. Member has a different view perhaps he will express it later. But I think I am entitled to express my views. Whatever view the hon. Baronet, the Member for Oxford University expressed I do not think he would desire to transfer Irish appeals to the Privy Council. So far as procedure is concerned there is this disadvantage that in the Privy Council there is no reasoned judgment by all the judges; you have only one judgment, so that each judge does not, give his own view on the appeals before him, and the Colonies have expressed very strong feeling about that procedure of the Privy Council. In the House of Lords every judge gives his own reasoned decision. Australia and New Zealand objected very strongly to the fact that they did not have a reasoned judgment by each judge in the Privy Council. It may be very important to say that an Irish judge is to be put on, but it might be very important to know whether the Irish judge dissented from the judgment of 1412 his colleagues in the Privy Council. I cannot see that either from the point of view of personnel or procedure their can be any reason for transferring these appeals from the ancient tribunal of the House of Lords to the Privy Council, although it is the recognised tribunal in these things for His Majesty's Dominions. I do not think there is any advantage, and it might create great anomalies if you adopt the suggestion of this Bill rather than the suggestion of the Bill of 1886, because under this Bill you would have two final Courts of Appeal within the same United Kingdom and the decision of neither would be binding on the other.
Some of the Colonies at the late Colonial Conference adverted to the fact that there were two final Courts of Appeal within the Empire, but there is only one final Court of Appeal within the United Kingdom. Under this Bill you are setting up two Courts of Appeal with co-ordinate jurisdiction within the United Kingdom The answer the Attorney-General would doubtless make is that there is not very much difference in the personnel. If that is so, it seems to me in the first place to be an excellent reason for not making any change at all; and, in the second place, if there is not very much difference in the personnel at one moment there may be very great difference when the same question comes up again ten or twenty years hence. If it comes up ten or twenty years hence before either Court, the judges of that day would not be bound in the least by, although they would no doubt pay very great respect to, the decision of the other Court. I quite recognise that differences of opinion would not frequently arise, but why should you not have one single Court of Appeal without going out of your way to create two distinct Courts which may possibly be in conflict? I do not put it higher than that, but there is no reason even for running the possibility of risk of such a thing happening.
Look again at what might happen if you had these two separate Courts of Final Appeal in the United Kingdom. It is a mere matter of chance to which Court an action might come. Supposing there was an action for breach of contract brought to recover damages in respect of that contract. If it so happened that the plaintiff could serve an Irishman with a writ in England, if he happened to be here, then the appeal would come to the House of Lords; and, on the other hand, if it so happened that an Irishman was served with 1413 a writ in Ireland, the appeal would go to the Privy Council. Surely it is ludicrous to intentionally and deliberately, without any palpable advantage whatever, bring about that result. It may be, supposing the question was decided by the House of Lords on a breach of contract, that ten years hence the same question would arise, and that the action brought in Ireland, coming on final appeal before the Privy Council, the former decision might be reversed. Is it advantageous to transfer these Irish appeals from the House of Lords to the Privy Council having regard to the state of business in the Courts? Can that argument be put forward? The congestion in the Privy Council is much greater than in the House of Lords. I have taken the figures of the latest judicial statistics I could find—those of 1910. I do not think that we have later published, and these show that there were 142 cases in the Privy Council, and that great dissatisfaction has been expressed by some of the Colonies that their cases have not been tried, whereas there were only eighty-nine cases in the House of Lords; and it may be interesting to the House to know that of the cases that come before the Privy Council the greater number are from India. Out of the 142 appeals, eighty-eight were Indian appeals, fifty-one were appeals from the Colonics and Dominions, and three were from other Courts, such as the Consular Court of Constantinople.
There have been proposals made from time to time that there should only be one supreme Imperial Court of Appeal for the whole Empire and there is a great deal to be said for that, although Lord Loreburn gave strong reasons the other way at the Colonial Conference. If that were the proposal, we should consider it on an entirely different footing. It would have been a question of one Court for the whole Empire. That is not the question suggested here, and so long as the House of Lords remains and this House thinks it right it should remain the final and supreme Court of Appeal for Scotland and England, there is absolutely no reason for having any different procedure with regard to Ireland. Irish Peers will still remain members of the House of Lords. So far as I am aware there was no period in Irish history when appeals went to the Privy Council. Before the Union I think they went to the Irish House of Lords, and never at any period of Irish history did they go to the Privy Council. So far as precedent is concerned, I think that the precedent of the Bill of 1886, which is similar to the pro- 1414 posal I made, is better than the proposal in this Bill. It appears to me that the proposal in the Bill has really no substantive advantage. On the other hand, it may involve anomalies, difficulties and the possibility of conflicting decisions which do not exist at the present time. This proposal appears to me inconsistent with the policy of Union, with the policy of federalism, and I can conceive that the only reason it is brought forward is to lend some colour to the suggestion that this Bill would put Ireland in the position of a Colony and that she would not remain an integral part of the Union.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I do not know whether the Government are aware that it was to Mr. Isaac Butt, when Chairman of the Irish party about 1875 or 1876, that the retention of the House of Lords as the final Court of Appeal for Ireland under the Judicature Bill of that period was preserved. Of course, I am speaking entirely from memory of what happened at a period thirty-five or thirty-six years ago, but I well remember the charges Mr. Butt was exposed to because he maintained that the House of Lords should be preserved as the final Court of Appeal. The original proposal of the Judicature Bill, as I recollect, did not give the final appeal of the House of Lords to Ireland, and Mr. Isaac Butt felt so strongly upon this that his efforts, backed as they were by the Irish party, and speaking with the authority of the entire Irish party, were successful with the Conservative Government of the day, and it was owing to the efforts of the father of Home Rule that we owe the preservation of the House of Lords as the final Court of Appeal for Ireland. When this Bill was in Committee I did intend to ask some questions with regard to the reason for the change which the Government proposes. The Irish House of Lords for many centuries had the exercise of Appeal Judicature, and it was one of the causes of conflict between the two Parliaments that the English House of Lords insisted that appeals should come to them, but in 1782, as everybody remembers, the English House of Lords gave up its insistence, and appeals went to the Irish House of Lords, and many of these appeals were of a most interesting character.
Only the other day I strongly recommended the Librarian of the House of Lords to obtain the series of volumes to be found dealing with these appeals, some of them of the most interesting kind, and to place them in the House of Lords Library, 1415 if the Treasury would only allow them to spend the few pounds necessary to procure these volumes. The Privy Council of this country, except for a short period in the reign of Charles I. never interfered with any Irish judicial questions. It was laid down, I think at the time of Strafford, by this House that the Privy Council was the judicature, and was entitled to interfere in matters affecting property. That existed for a short period during the reign of Charles I., but not by way of appeal but on petition from Ireland. They never intervened in any way even on questions of real property, therefore I think it requires some strong justification to change a system which has prevailed for so many centuries. I do not myself attach to this matter the very largest importance, but at the same time I do think we may well ask what is the reason for this change. It may be connected with the suggestion of partisanship. That is a suggestion which I am sure nobody will publicly make, and therefore I assume it is nothing of that kind. It may, however, be due to economy on the part of the Treasury because, as this House may remember, for the last twenty years controversy of an interesting kind as to the right of Ireland to be represented amongst the Lords of Appeal has gone on. I raised the question myself in this House fifteen years ago. The first time a change was made in allowing the voice of Ireland to be heard amongst the Lords of Appeal was when Lord Morris resigned. Then Lord Lindley, for the first time was appointed, and Ireland did not have in the House of Lords any judicial representative because Lord Lindley ousted from the judicial authority the Irish representation which had hitherto obtained in that House. The result was that the present Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour), when the next vacancy occurred, in consequence of representations made in this House, appointed an Irish lawyer, Lord Atkinson, amongst the Lords of Appeal. It may well be that the Treasury brought about this change. The salary no doubt is a substantial one, and it may well be that the Treasury, if the appeal still lay to the House of Lords, would attempt to debit Ireland with that £6,000 a year. If there is anything of that sort, I think we ought to know what it is. If, on the other hand, that view is maintained by the Treasury, we desire to know why we should not be debited with some part of the salaries of the Privy 1416 Council. If one portion is debited, why should we be debited with the other? Speaking without any great amount of feeling in this matter, one way or the other, it occurs to me that the tribunal of the Privy Council is not the most suitable for appeals from Ireland. It consists, as we know, very largely of gentlemen having great Colonial experience. Some of them are well acquainted with Dutch law, and some with Indian law, but so far as the common law goes it runs in Ireland, and the common law being the same in both countries, and the Statutes being very much alike, one can hardly see any reason from the point of view of the judicature for the transfer. Having no feeling in this matter, and as the Government have yielded to the Opposition in so many mischievous Amendments granting a whole number of changes mischievous to the Bill, and which have done us great harm from a financial point of view, as was faintly confessed yesterday by such a stalwart financial opponent as the Postmaster-General, it seems to me that there is no reason why this Amendment should not be granted.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Issacs)
From the speeches to which we have just listened it must be quite clear to the House that there is nothing very vital which separates us on this point. The hon. and learned Member for North-East Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy), said that he did not attribute very great importance to this proposal, but at the same time he seems to have a preference for an appeal to the House of Lords instead of to the Privy Council. It seems to us that the better constitutional course is for these appeals to go to the Privy Council, because it is better that you should only have one Court dealing with all the questions which may arise in Ireland—that is to say one Supreme Appellate Tribunal—and if you are to leave it merely to the House of Lords you would be confronted by a very serious difficulty, because you cannot refer to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council any question which it seems fit it should be referred to them for their opinion.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I know there are questions affecting the Colonies, but I was thinking of a very much wider jurisdiction which is given than that, and it is the power to apply by an Address to the King 1417 in case any question of difficulty arises. I gave an instance of this in one of the earlier Debates, and I will mention it again. A question arose on the demise of the late Sovereign as to whether judges and magistrates were bound to renew the oaths which they had taken originally on being appointed under the new Sovereign upon his accession, and there was a good deal of conflict of opinion, and eventually it was referred by the Crown to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council under that Section of that particular Statute. I will give an instance which will show how this jurisdiction may be exercised. When we had a debate upon the appointment of the Select Committee to decide as to whether or not the hon. Baronet the Member for the Whitechapel Division (Sir Stuart Samuel) had vacated his seat, it was suggested in this House that the better course would be, as a question of law was involved, to refer the matter to the Privy Council, and the constitutional course would be to present an Address to the Crown and then the Crown would seek the opinion of the Privy Council. As the House knows, the result of the discussion has been that the Committee has reported that it would be better to take advantage of that course of procedure. Those are instances, and I would suggest that the hon. and learned Member should bear them in mind, and he will then see that the constitutional course would be to do what we are doing in reference to questions arising out of Clause 29. We are assuming the Bill is introduced into the Irish Parliament, and the question might arise as to whether or not the Bill, or some provisions of it, are in conflict with the provisions of this particular Bill we are now discussing; or in other words, the Irish Parliament was acting ultra vires. The only way would be by some such reference to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and it would be an extremely cumbrous procedure, because you would have to have an Address to the Crown praying that the Crown would direct that this question should be decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
There are a number of matters upon which an appeal will now lie to the Privy Council, and what we say is that the moment such a question does arise under the Bill it goes straight to the Privy Council, and it could not go to the House of Lords. I do not say it would be impossible to provide that these matters should proceed to the House of Lords, but I do say that the constitutional course is to 1418 proceed as we are providing. No constitutional lawyer will doubt for one moment what I have been saying, that you do not get a very great difference in the personnel of the two tribunals, and it is infinitely better that you should have one Supreme Appellate Tribunal, instead of referring constitutional questions for opinion and advice as to what the law is to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and any other matters which come up for the Court of Appeal in Ireland could go to the House of Lords. The hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras (Mr. Cassel) said that by our proposal we should have two final Courts of Appeal, and the decision of one would not be binding on the other. I agree that is technically true, but, as the hon. and learned Member knows, it is really only technical. I am not disputing the proposition. Any person who has had to argue in the House of Lords knows perfectly well that when he quotes a decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council he does not suggest it is binding, but I must point out that that Committee is composed almost invariably of the judges who sit in the House of Lords. It has been said over and over again that the decision of the one tribunal, although not technically binding, is looked upon with the greatest respect by the other tribunal. Otherwise it would be an absolute absurdity, because you would have before the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary—not the Lords of Appeal who are Members of the House of Lords—sitting in the House of Lords deciding questions one day, and, according to my hon. and learned Friend, they might the next day sit on the Privy Council and accept a different decision from them.
§ Mr. CASSEL
What I suggested was that the same legal question might come up ten or twenty years after.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
But even Lords of Appeal in Ordinary do not live for ever, and in regard to a final Court of Appeal consisting of those on the Privy Council and the House of Lords, we have not arrived at that stage yet.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I am not suggesting that; it is only technically binding. If the hon. Member means does one Court follow the decision of the other, then I say undoubtedly. I do not want to mislead the hon: Member, but when I say 1419 undoubtedly I mean in practice that that is what happens, and you may look through your law reports and you will see that every lawyer who has argued there has quoted Privy Council Reports, and the House of Lords has followed them. I agree that the House of Lords is not bound to do so, but, in fact, that is what happens because you really have the same judges. If there is any substance in the point which has been stated, and any real difficulty in proceeding as we are proposing, and if, as he says, you ought to leave your Supreme Appellate to the House of Lords, what would happen? Various constitutional questions and points would arise which would be bound to go to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The very same matters might come up for decision in the Court of Appeal in Ireland, and the appeal might go to the House of Lords, which would be a totally different tribunal. It is really most undesirable that you should have that unless there was a serious objection to it, and it is ever so much better to have a tribunal consisting, as it does, of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, to decide all Irish questions, and all matters of opinion on constitutional points, as to whether they are ultra vires, and whether they infringe the provisions of the Government of Ireland Bill which we are now discussing. All these questions go to one tribunal by our system.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
As I understand, this affects the rights of the individual and it does not affect constitutional questions at all.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
Yes, but the case we are dealing with at the moment is whether or not the appellate tribunal is to be the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. I was dealing with it from that aspect. I cannot conceive that anyone, whether it be the hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras or the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, would suggest that you should preserve the House of Lords as the Court of Appeal for Clause 28 and that for Clauses 29 and 30 you should set up the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. You must have the same tribunal.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I quite understand, but I was only pointing out to the 1420 Leader of the Opposition why I was arguing it in that way, and I think that every lawyer must agree that you must have the one Court for all these appeals. Something might be said for sending them to the House of Lords instead of to the Privy Council, but, in my opinion, nothing can be said for separating them and sending some question from Ireland to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and others to the House of Lords. Let me point out what the tribunal will be in substance. It will be a tribunal assisted by men who are administrators of justice in Ireland. That is to say, that this Clause 28 provides that you must have at least four Lords of Appeal sitting in that tribunal to decide Irish questions, and also one judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland. That one judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland may not be, and need not be, a peer. If he is not a peer he could not sit in the House of Lords, and the consequence would be that you could only have the Lords of Appeal, and you could not have this judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland assisting them to decide Irish questions, giving his point of view and his experience and judgment on Irish matters.
Therefore it seems to me there is every reason why we should keep to the course which we have prescribed in this Bill. In the first place, it is the proper constitutional course. It gives you all the advantages of going to the House of Lords with none of the disadvantages of separating the constitutional questions from the others. Finally, there is no tribunal in this Empire which is so fit to deal with constitutional questions as the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. There is no tribunal which has ever existed in this country, or, so far as I am able to judge, anywhere else, which has had to deal with so many and such very difficult questions coming from all parts of the Dominions upon constitutional matters. And it does seem to me, as against the point taken by the hon. and learned Member for North-East Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy), that you would have sitting in this tribunal, which is going to deal with Irish legal matters, not only the four Lords of Appeal, but also the one judge from the Supreme Court of Ireland, that it is no objection that in addition to these you might have one of the distinguished judges from Canada, or it may be a distinguished judge from South Africa sitting also, and that they will altogether proceed to deal with and pronounce a decision upon the matters 1421 which come before them from Ireland. I should have thought that that was an argument in favour of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, that there might be representatives from all these countries sitting together.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us how the attendance of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is regulated? We know how the attendance of the House of Lords is regulated. Suppose there was a constitutional question affecting Ireland coming up, has not every legal member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council a right to attend? It might be that the Government of the day would be strongly opposed to the views of the Irish body, and I should like to ask therefore, how you are going to regulate and provide what persons shall sit in the Court and how they are to be summoned?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
That is provided for in Clause 28. There is a special rota, and that rota is a rota of the members of the Privy Council who are entitled to sit to hear appeals, and it is drawn up annually, and it is from that rota that the members who are to hear appeals from Ireland and the questions coming from Ireland will have to be constituted. That is subject, of course, to the provision that there must be at least four Lords of Appeal and one judge from the Supreme Court of Ireland, so that you have that rota already. I cannot but think that this tribunal, which has dealt, for example, with matters from Canada over and over again, and with these many constitutional points, assisted by those other judges who will form the tribunal, is the most desirable one that you can have. In answer to the comment made by the hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras, no one for a moment suggests that we should get rid of the House of Lords as an appellate tribunal because of some political prejudice. That is not the reason for this proposal. The reason is that, to our minds, it is the only way in which you can get one tribunal to deal with all these constitutional matters, and therefore we have adopted the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for all appeals on all matters that come from Ireland to our High Court.
§ Mr. CLANCY
I rise to say that I have heard with much satisfaction the statement of the Attorney-General. I have not the slightest doubt that there will be a strong 1422 preference in this quarter of the House for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as against the House of Lords, and that probably will be the general feeling among most people in Ireland. The argument in favour of the proposal in the Bill seems to me to be two-fold. In the first place, I think the greater part of the questions which will come up for decision before the Privy Council will be questions relating to ultra vires and questions of constitutional interest arising from the Acts of the Irish Parliament. I think the House of Lords as compared with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is far less fit to deal with questions of that kind, and for this very plain reason that at present and ever since the constitution of the Privy Council as a judicial body that body and that body alone has dealt with such constitutional questions, and has dealt with them whether they came from Ireland, or whether they came from inside or outside the United Kingdom. It seems to me it will be a criminal waste of experience and fitness to throw away the long experience of that body and substitute for it the far smaller experience of the minority of the Judicial Committee who would constitute and would be members of the House of Lords. The second argument in favour of the Clause as it seems to me is that it is of great importance to convince the people of Ireland that they shall have fair play in these matters. They want nothing but justice, but they do want justice. They want fair and calm consideration of every question brought up for appeal and particularly questions of a constitutional nature.
The constitution of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council seems to me to offer a better guarantee by far that fairness will prevail in these matters when dealt with by the constitutional and legal tribunal which is to be set up. It has judges coming from South Africa, Canada, and Australia. I do not know whether there might not be some from India. There may be some from any part of the Empire in which fully established Courts prevail and in addition to that there will be the special experience of an Irish judge of a Supreme Court. It seems to me that a body like that, largely composed of judicial minds brought from outside the United Kingdom altogether is more likely to take a detached view, a more impartial view, than any other tribunal that could be imagined. I do not think it is possible to imagine that the House of Lords would 1423 take a more detached view, or even as detached a view, that is to say, an impartial view, as this body composed of lawyers who, to a large extent, have never had any part in the administration of justice in these Islands. I was astonished to hear the argument of the hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras, who said that this spelt separation. Is it to be supposed that Canada is no longer a part of the Empire, or that the Australian Commonwealth is no longer part of the Empire, or that the South African Union is now separated from the Empire? It seems to me that the extravagance of an argument of that character carries with it its own reputation. So far from accepting that, I think that, on the other hand, any impartial person would look upon it not as a measure of separation but as a measure of union. I can hardly imagine anything more plain to the beholder, anything more plain to the masses of the people of the United Kingdom, as proving that the outlying parts of the Empire are part and parcel of the Empire, than to find these judges coming from those parts of the Empire and sitting in its supreme tribunal, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and deciding these constitutional questions.
It is a very striking lesson indeed, and it ought to bring home most forcibly, and I am sure it does, to the minds of the people of this country the lesson that is taught by giving self-government within the limits of the Empire to those out-lying Colonies and Dominions, when we find their representatives here in the capital of the Empire taking part in the decision of constitutional questions relating to themselves. I was astonished at another statement made by the hon. and learned Member for St. Pancras. He stated that the Privy Council of twenty years hence being composed of different persons from those that composed that body now, would disregard the decisions of their predecessors. I wonder how often has the House of Lords failed to respect the decisions of its predecessors. I have a distinct recollection of the decisions of the House of Lords being reversed by themselves, and I am perfectly certain there is not a single lawyer who is listening to me, or who has read the reports of the cases decided by the House of Lords who has not seen contradiction of themselves in various cases, and I am sorry to say in some cases not direct contradiction, but implied contradiction, which is really the most 1424 dangerous form of interpreting the law which I can imagine. I hope the Government will adhere to this proposal, which seems to me to have a distinct advantage to Ireland in having these matters considered in this way by a great body who in my opinion would be more impartial, and therefore would command greater confidence in any decision which could be given, much more than could be placed in any decision of the House of Lords, no matter how it might be constituted.
§ Mr. W. MOORE
I hope the House will note the interesting admission made by the last speaker, which was entirely true. He says he has no doubt whatever that the work of this appellate tribunal, after Home Rule is started, will be mainly confined to applications to restrain the Irish Parliament from acting ultra vires. I think that is a striking admission, and is an absolutely accurate prophecy, and what we believe is likely to happen. So long as the minority have any means left to them to proceed with litigation, which after all is a luxury, there will be applications to have cases tried so as to prevent the Irish Parliament from perpetrating some course of injustice which will be ultra vires. The hon. Member has affected to be in some doubt as regards the impartiality of the House of Lords. I do not think it is necessary in this case. Certainly the learned Attorney-General protested, and I, for one, have no desire to suggest that one of these bodies is a bit more impartial than the other. I will assume that they are equally impartial. I do not know, supposing there is to be a nominee of the party below the Gangway—a nominee to an Irish judgeship, who is to come over here and act as a Law Lord—I do not know if that will make for impartiality, but at any rate that has not yet happened. It is only provided for in the Bill. It would be wrong to suggest the slightest atom of partiality on the part of either of these tribunals. We are, however, not dealing with Clause 29. Clause 28 refers to the ordinary appellate tribunal for private individuals, and for the ordinary litigation of the country. Apart from any question of impartiality, surely when you have the common law in England and in Ireland exactly the same, it would be better to have, as you must have in the Appellate Tribunal of the House of Lords, people who have spent all their lives in the study of the common law, and, impartiality being granted, it must be better for litigants to have their cases decided 1425 according to the law of the country by jurists who have been brought up in that law.
The question of partiality or impartiality does not come in. Men who have made a special study of the Statute law of Australia, or of French-Canadian law across the Atlantic, or of the Roman-Dutch law of the Cape, are not likely to have the same ripe experience in deciding matters in common law as judges who have practised in the country all their lives, and, therefore, I, for one, have not the least doubt that the House of Lords, as at present constituted, would be a better and more satisfactory tribunal for the British or the Irish litigant.
The hon. Member who last spoke takes the view expressed by the Attorney-General some little time ago. It is very characteristic that he should use what I may call the detached argument. I ventured when making a very axiomatic statement the other night to suggest that the Attorney-General had never been in Ireland and therefore did not understand the facts to which he was seeking to apply legislation. Thereupon the right hon. and learned Gentleman said that the fact that I myself had been born in Ireland and was an Irishman prevented me being able to take a detached view on the question. The argument amounts to this, that a person who knows nothing about a country is a better judge of what is necessary for that country by reason of the fact that he knows nothing about it or its traditions, because he is thereby enabled to take a detached view. It is a suggestion that our knowledge prevents us being impartial, and that is the argument which the hon. Member who last spoke has laid before the House in favour of appealing to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Attorney-General's argument was that because under Clause 29 you have a constitutional question on which you are to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, therefore you ought to have the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to deal with all appeals, including those of private litigants and everything else. The Attorney-General cited a constitutional case which this House has recently been discussing, the case as to whether Sir Stuart Samuel has vacated his seat. The Attorney-General pointed out that that case was to go to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. That may be so. But you are not going to abolish the House of Lords for England; you will keep the House of Lords 1426 for English appeals, and if you are going to do that, why should you not apply the same treatment to Ireland?
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I pointed out that that procedure could only be brought into operation by moving an Address to the Crown, and that it would be too cumbrous a procedure to apply to all cases likely to arise.
§ Mr. MOORE
The right hon. and learned Gentleman showed what was done in England when a certain constitutional point arose. One would imagine from what he said that the English Appellate Courts are discussing constitutional questions every day of the week. As a matter of fact, I should think that if the House of Lords decided two or three great constitutional questions in the course of a year, that would be an outside number. It is generally dealing with private and other litigation. The Privy Council recently, no doubt, decided an important constitutional question from Canada and very probably that is the only big constitutional question it will be called upon to deal with this year. The Attorney-General said that in English constitutional cases you have to go to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. But you do not therefore abolish the House of Lords. You are going to retain the two tribunals for England while you will only give one for Ireland. Surely if it is good for England to have the two tribunals, it would be equally good for Ireland. I am not profoundly moved by the legal point of view he put forward; indeed, the right hon. and learned Gentleman in his speech showed how very little real difference- there is in it. He said that after all the constitution of the Courts would be very much the same. If you come to the House of Lords you have four or more Law Lords, and in this Bill you will have four or more such Gentlemen sitting on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. It really comes to this, there is really no difference in working it out; the only object is to make the Bill constitutionally perfect, otherwise there is not very much reason for the change. I do not think that this is a case which will cause the sluggard blood to flame. On one ground I should rather be in favour of the change. There was a case decided by the House of Lords some little time ago and it was one in which the hon. and learned Member for North-East Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy) was engaged. It was a case affecting fishing rights in Lough 1427 Neagh. The case was decided by the House of Lords, which, I have no doubt, came to a perfectly good legal action.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Mr. MOORE
That brings me exactly to the point I want to make. I do not think the Attorney-General will say it was not a good legal decision. Personally, I believe the Court was impartial, and I do not think there is a lawyer, apart from counsel engaged in the case, who will deny that. No one will suggest that it was a bad decision or a corrupt decision on the point of law. I believe the House of Lords, in giving that decision, did its duty and decided according to its ability. The decision went against the fishery; it was not, therefore, on the popular side, and a paper which calls itself the only Liberal paper in Ulster, as a result of this judicial decision by the highest Appellate Court in the land, came out with a gross, unwarranted attack on the House of Lords as the House of Lords, and not as the legal members of the highest judicial appellate tribunal in the country. It used the decision of the Law Lords as a tag upon which to hang abuse of the House of Lords as a whole and of the hereditary system which fit represents. It was an absolutely gross and unfair misrepresentation, and it was exactly what one would expect from the only Liberal newspaper in the North of Ireland. From the point of view that I would be glad to prevent any further misrepresentation of that sort, and to take away from unscrupulous journalists, and from people who edit leaflets for the Liberal Publication Department, the opportunity of making use of these things for political purposes, I might be inclined to support this Clause and take away this power of appeal to the House of Lords and transfer it to the Judicial Committee -of the Privy Council. But then everybody should be treated in the same way. We say that an exception ought not to be made in the case of Ireland, and that is the reason why I object to this proposal of the Government. Our appeals have been dealt with in the House of Lords, not because it is composed of judges, or jurists, or eminent men, but they were originally dealt with in the House of Lords because that body was part of the High Court of Appeal, and was supposed to be stronger than the Courts of the land. It was not until the last century that the Jay peers gave up the right they claimed 1428 to sit and deal with appeals. As a matter of fact, we know that the lay peers, according to the theory of the Constitution, have this jurisdiction, and they also have the right to bring in the judges to advise them. I believe that is the origin of judges attending in the House of Lords at the Coronation and at the opening of Parliament. At any rate, the lords used to have the power of submitting question to the judges and bringing in the judges to advise them. This is really a new growth. When the lay lords gave up their claim, about the middle of the last century, to adjudicate on these appeals, the new tendency arose of leaving the cases to the Law Lords acting under the direction of the Lord Chancellor. If Ireland, in view of the fact that the High Courts of Parliament now exercise the power, is to be sent to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council it will be the only instance in the British Dominions where a country or Colony, or whatever you may term it, which has representatives in the Imperial Parliament is confined for appeal purposes to the Privy Council like a Colony. I do not want to say one word derogatory to our Colonies, but I would rather, as an Irishman, have my rights decided on the same footing and by the same Court as Englishmen and Scotchmen, who are equally part of the same Constitution, than I would be relegated, like Tasmania or the West Indies, to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as is proposed by this Clause. I should consider it a badge in the sense of inferiority. Hon. Members below the Gangway, I know, would accept any badge of inferiority for their country, if they can get out of it a little more of the idea of separation. They want to be able to go home to their constituents and to claim that, owing to these shackles and restraints and limitations, Ireland is placed in the same position as the self-governing Dominions. They are not averse, therefore, to having to carry their appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. There is no demand for this. The ordinary Nationalist in Ireland, if you went to him and said, "Do you know that in future your appeals are going to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council instead of the House of Lords?" would not thank you for the information. He would not know how he stands now. He would never be likely to have an appeal to either of these august tribunals in his life, and he would 1429 not be moved by this statement. Therefore there is no demand for it.
§ Mr. MOORE
Then we agree for once. It is illogical to say that we who are members of the United Kingdom, who are Members of this House, who ought to have the same rights as Englishmen and Scotchmen, should be put in the position of the smallest Colony in the whole of the Empire. Whatever the advantage of it may be, we should not submit to it without a protest, especially when there is no national demand for it. I shall therefore certainly support the Amendment.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
One would have expected that when a considerable change in our judicial system is proposed, which is entirely without precedent in the history of the United Kingdom, that some plausible reasons for that change should have been urged. We have heard two speeches in support of the change, one from the Treasury Bench and the other from the Nationalist Bench. Both, as one would naturally expect, for we have seen it always occur, arrived at the same conclusion, but both were ill-advised enough to arrive at that conclusion, although their reasons were, not only not the same, but were in some respects entirely inconsistent. The Attorney-General told us it really did not matter, but that it was a little more symmetrical to have an appeal to the Privy Council. He said it was not a serious matter at all. The hon. Member for North Dublin (Mr. Clancy) treated it as a matter of great importance. The Attorney-General told us that the constitution of the House of Lords was very much the same as the constitution of the Privy Council; therefore, from the litigants' point of view it did not very much matter whether the appeal was to the Privy Council or to the House of Lords. The hon. Member for North Dublin took up an entirely different line, because his speech from start to finish expressed distrust of the House of Lords. He told us that it was necessary to convince the people of Ireland that they would have fair play. Apparently, in his view, the people of Ireland will not be convinced that they will have fair play, if the appeal in civil 1430 matters, as has been the case for the last 100 years, is to the House of Lords, and that in order to convince them they will get fair play they must have an appeal to the Privy Council. Does the Attorney-General agree with that view?
§ Mr. BUTCHER
Then these two reasons are entirely inconsistent. The Attorney-General thinks that one tribunal is just as fair as the other, while the hon. Member for North Dublin thinks the House of Lords is not a fit tribunal to give fair play. There is another difference. The Attorney-General told us that of course the House of Lords would follow the decisions, not only of themselves, but of the Privy Council, and that the Privy Council would of course, though not technically bound to do so, follow the decisions of the House of Lords. Not so the hon. Member for North Dublin. He tells us that the House of Lords cannot even follow their own decisions, which means, I suppose, the decisions of the Privy Council. Which of these reasons is right? The truth is that, so far as I can see, there is no substance in either of these reasons; they are self-contradictory. Are there not sound reasons for keeping things as they are? We are told that this Bill is to make for the peace, order, and good government of Ireland, and that there is no intention in any way to disturb the unity or the integrity of the United Kingdom. If that is so, why should you in this Bill differentiate between England and Scotland on the one hand, and Ireland on the other. The effect of what is here proposed is to say that the House of Lords is a proper tribunal for appeals from England and Scotland, but that you must have an entirely different tribunal for appeals from Ireland. That effect is of a separatist character. It puts Ireland in a different position from that of the other component parts of the United Kingdom, and in the position, so far as this Clause can do it, of either a self-governing Colony or a Dominion. Why should that be done?
Take another point of view. What about Irish law? Is there any reason why the House of Lords cannot decide questions of Irish law? We know that the common law of England applies equally to Ireland, and that questions of law coming from Ireland are to be decided on exactly the same principles—I do not think the Attorney-General will contradict this—so far as the common law is concerned, as questions coming from England. When you come to Statutes, of course many of the Irish 1431 Statutes are different from those of England, but the principles of interpreting those Statutes are exactly the same, whether those Statutes apply only to Ireland, or to England, or to the United Kingdom. Therefore, so far as that question is concerned, it appears to me that the appeal from Ireland ought to be to the same tribunal as the appeal from the Courts of England. A word about the Constitution of the Privy Council for hearing Irish appeals. There is a point in regard to Sub-section (3) upon which I should like some information. Apparently the Irish Privy Council for hearing Irish appeals is to be constituted in some different way from that which has hitherto been the practice in regard to Privy Council appeals from the Colonies or from other places. There is to be a rota of Privy Councillors, who are to sit and hear appeals from the Courts in Ireland, which is to be made annually by His Majesty in Council. Is there any provision in the Bill to ensure that the Privy Councillors who are to hear Irish appeals shall be persons of any judicial experience whatsoever? Where are they to be drawn from, and what are the qualifications for these Irish Privy Councillors? I should like that point to be cleared up. Apparently the rota is to be made out annually by His Majesty in Council—that is, by the Ministers of the day.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
The Bill is not very happily worded, because it looks as if this Sub-section constituted a new tribunal, and that a rota of gentlemen from Ireland were to sit upon it. However, if that is not made clear by the Bill, perhaps it will be made certain that when you summon Privy Councillors from Ireland to hear Irish appeals, they shall be persons of qualified judicial knowledge. There is another point which shows the necessity of keeping the appeals from Ireland as they are. Supposing you have a dispute between an Englishman and an Irishman in regard to some commercial question or some contract. In such a case it is perfectly possible that the action will have to be begun either in Ireland or in England, and you have this extraordinary result: 1432 That if the action is begun in Ireland, the appeal goes to one tribunal, the Privy Council, specially constituted with this special rota, and if it is begun in England, the appeal is to the House of Lords. What justification is there for an anomaly of that sort? The Englishman may prefer to-go to the House of Lords, but he will be taken to the Privy Council by the Irishman, and rice versa. There ought to be uniformity in this matter, and unless some special reason is urged by the Attorney-General for this change—and so far we have not heard any adequate reason for it—I cannot see why you should introduce these anomalies. The Attorney-General tells us to look at Clause 29, in which special provision is made for the decision of constitutional questions. I will not for the moment discuss whether or not the Privy Council is the proper tribunal for that purpose. Lot us grant that it is for the purpose of questions of a special character, questions entirely apart from ordinary litigation between parties. There is no analogy whatsoever between the ordinary litigation between parties which has hitherto gone to the House of Lords as the Court of ultimate appeal and the questions of a special constitutional character which are sent to the Privy Council by the Order of the Lord Lieutenant or a Secretary of State.
Clause 29 provides special procedure by which the Lord Lieutenant or a Secretary of State can take the advice of the Privy Council in somewhat the same way as it is open to the King, on the advice of his Ministers, to ask the opinion of the Privy Council on any matter whatever. I think there is a Section in an Act of William IV. which allows the King, on the advice of his Ministers, to submit any question to the Privy Council for decision. No doubt it is on the analogy of that Section that Clause 29 is founded. Assuming that Clause 29 is right for the purpose of determining constitutional questions on the-Order of the Lord Lieutenant or a Secretary of State, is that any reason whatever for disturbing the present arrangement by which cases between litigants-come from the Courts in Ireland to the House of Lords in England. I think the-statement of the Attorney-General that it is a better constitutional Court, is entirely inapplicable to this case. The only other Clause the Attorney-General referred to was Clause 30, under which, where the validity of an Irish law is questioned, the appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal in Ireland is to the Privy 1433 Council. The Attorney-General said that because there was that provision in Clause 30, there should be this alteration in the law under Clause 28. That assumes that Clause 30 is right, but to my mind Clause 30 is wholly wrong. I cannot conceive why an appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeal under Clause 28 should not go to the House of Lords, just the same as in ordinary litigation between parties, and therefore he is really justifying Clause 28 by assuming that Clause 30 is right. If you eliminate Clause 28 and leave the appeal in the case of ordinary litigation from the Irish Courts to the House of Lords you should eliminate Clause 30 also, and the same reasons which apply in favour of the elimination of Clause 28 seem to me to apply in favour of the elimination of Clause 30. The truth of the matter is that we have not yet heard the real reason for this Clause being put in. Perhaps the real reason is that the hon. Member (Mr. Clancy) and those associated with him dislike the House of Lords. At any rate, that is the only reason he gave us, and if that view is shared by his colleagues from Ireland I think that affords a much more convincing reason for the change than any which has been put forward yet by the Attorney-General. We have had an expression of Irish opinion, and I think perhaps very competent Irish opinion, against this change. We have had the views of the hon. and learned Member (Mr. T. M. Healy), and if you are to consult Irish opinion in this matter I should very much prefer to follow the advice of the hon. and learned Member, and especially when he agrees with my own view. But I hope before this Debate ends that the Chief Secretary will tell us in some clear and plain language why this change is introduced. Let us put aside this talk about symmetry and so on, and have the real reason, and then I think the House will be in a better position to decide, if they are to decide in favour of the change, than they are at present after hearing the Attorney-General and the hon. Member (Mr. Clancy).
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
The Attorney-General, in arguing that this Clause should be retained, punctuated his observations by saying that it is the only course. If he made that observation once he made it at least half a dozen times. We are getting accustomed to strange doings in regard to constitutional matters, 1434 but it is the first time I have ever heard the expression "the only constitutional course" applied to a course which the Constitution has never known in the whole of its history. Our Constitution, as it used to be understood, is a Constitution which is based upon tradition, custom, precedent, and history. It has to some extent become crystallised in Statutes, but in its origin and in its reality it depends upon what the wisdom of our forefathers has gathered. Here we are now told, so far have we got in our modern methods of dealing with Constitution, that the only constitutional course is the one course which this country and Ireland have never known. We have known a House of Lords in Ireland. You have never known, except for a brief period which did not deal with general matters, appeals from Ireland dealt with by the Privy Council in this country. If constitutional precedent has any value it will require stronger arguments than have been advanced to the House to-day to make a Government fair and frank in rejecting an Amendment of this kind on no stronger reasons than they have thought fit to state to the House. There may be other reasons, I do not say there are not, but the reasons which have been advanced are quite ineffectual for asking this House deliberately to depart from the precedent of centuries and to import into the Constitution a thing which the Constitution has never known. What reason did the Attorney-General give? He said that, under the Act of 1833, now the Crown can send things to the Privy Council on the suggestion of a Minister. That has always been so. It was so before. It is so now in England. He puts that forward as a reason for getting rid of the House of Lords in Ireland because in reference to difficult matters of Constitutional law a Minister may, on occasion, ask the Crown to take the, opinion of that Council. That is a good reason for getting rid of the House of Lords as a tribunal in England. It is not a good reason for getting rid of the House of Lords in Ireland on purely judicial matters appertaining to constitutional questions. To show how poor and futile such an argument is as a justification for this Clause, the right hon. Gentleman was ill-advised enough to instance the case of the recent proposal to submit questions in regard to the hon. Member (Sir Stuart Samuel). That is an English question, and von have still got your English House of Lords, and yet you make your reference to the Privy Council on such questions. They 1435 would still, if you left the House of Lords to determine Irish questions as the ultimate Court of Appeal, have that advantage, and still the Crown would act on the advice of the Minister on Irish questions, and the two parts of the Union would be co-ordinate and would be regulated side by side in the same way. Why treat Ireland differently in regard to judiciary from England, if Ireland is still part of the United Kingdom?
The hon. Member (Mr. Clancy) said that this proposal would take away the powers of the House of Lords and refer them to the Privy Council wholly, and that it was a proposal really for linking closer the Union. We have heard a good deal of linking closer the Union as an argument for every one of the Clauses of this Bill—a real union of hearts, and so forth. But the hon. Member overlooks that when we talk about separation in relation to this matter it is not a question of separation of the different units of the Empire; it is a separation of the different units in the Union, and when he says that it puts us in the position of Canada, of Australia, and of India, are they separate from the Empire because they have appeals to the United Kingdom? The hon. Member entirely overlooks the fact that none of these Dominions and Dependencies have ever been part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland has been and is part of the United Kingdom. It is because of that one points to this as an indication of a separatist character, perhaps not very important, but important enough to be introduced to enable people, who desire a real union of hearts and are going to be really loyal in future as they have been disloyal in the past, to go to Ireland and say, "Look what we have done for you; you have not got complete separation, but, at any rate, you have got so far rid of England that you are in the same position as South Africa, Canada, and Australia when it comes to making appeals on questions of law to England." That must be the true reason, for no other has been given. As regards the suitability of the two tribunals, it is actually urged as an advantage that you have a miscellany of judges drawn from every different point of the Empire, expert in the laws of every Dominion Parliament of our Empire, instead of having judges who have qualified by long experience and practice in administering the law which it is their duty to administer in the House 1436 of Lords, namely, the common law of the land and the Statute law, which for all intents and purposes is the same in England as in Ireland. Can any man of ordinary common sense believe that a tribunal is better suited to determine questions of common law and Statute law in Ireland, which are, for all intents and purposes, the same as the common law and the Statute law in England, if it consists of a body of men who have administered different kinds of law in different parts of the Empire, than a body of men who have devoted their whole lives to learning the interpretation of the laws which will govern Ireland? I cannot believe that that is a serious argument. It certainly cannot commend itself to anyone who really appreciates judicial necessities.
One observation with regard to the rota. It is quite true, as the Attorney-General said, that no one would be entitled to come upon this rota if he is not a judicial authority. But this also is true. No one under the existing law can sit as a member of the Judicial Committee unless he has had high judicial office. But what is the meaning of this Sub-section which is going to pick out from people who have that high judicial office, particular men? Why is that necessary? I should like, and probably the House would like, some explanation of that. If you are going to have the Judicial Committee have the Judicial Committee as it is. Why make a special rota out of the Judicial Committee to deal with Irish affairs? According to the argument that has been put forward from the Treasury Bench the more miscellaneous they are in their experience and in their knowledge of law, the more suitable they are to try Irish questions. Why then make a special rota? What is the necessity for a rota? If the Judicial Committee is the proper authority why is the Judicial Committee not to be taken in its ordinary form but to have drafted upon it or carved out of it a smaller Judicial Committee which shall deal with Irish affairs alone? Of course, if the rota is going to consist of the whole of the Judicial Committee, there is no necessity for this Sub-section at all. If it is going to consist of a small number, why are particular people to be picked to deal with Irish affairs? Why not take the Judicial Committee as a whole?
One other word. It has been said, the Attorney-General himself has stated the inclination which he has towards eventually working to an Imperial Court of Appeal to deal with the whole of the 1437 judicial affairs. But let the Attorney-General bear this in mind, that if he is aiming for that end, if he is proposing to substitute as an Imperial Court of Appeal the Judicial Committee in preference to the House of Lords, he is countering the modern tendency of all Colonial opinion.
Attention called to the fact that forty Members were not present, House counted, and forty Members being found present—
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
I was calling the attention of the Attorney-General to the fact that modern opinion throughout the Empire is tending in favour of the House of Lords and not the Privy Council. If the right hon. Gentleman will refer to the proceedings of the different conferences, he will find that Australia, Queensland, South Africa, and other parts of the Empire, have all expressed their preference for the House of Lords.
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
Then, if the right hon. Gentleman himself prefers it as the one Imperial Council, I do not know what his reason is for not taking the House of Lords as the preferable tribunal in the case of Ireland. There are only two logical alternatives for Ireland. If Ireland is still to be part of the United Kingdom, the natural constitutional ultimate Court of Appeal must be the House of Lords. If Ireland is not to be part of the Union, and desires to be a federal State, then Ireland ought to have a penultimate Court of Appeal in her own bounds, and should then come to the Privy Council. But so long as the Union remains, there is no logical justification for the proposal in this Clause. It is interesting to note that no argument that will bear contemplation has been offered by the Government in defence of the proposal. I support most cordially the Amendment proposed by the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras. I do urge that the Government in justification of the course they have taken should submit, at any rate, some material reasons explaining to this House why this proposal is placed before us.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I confess I am somewhat surprised at the conditions under which we are now discussing this very important constitutional question—one of the most important questions involved in this Bill. The proposal indeed is so important as to 1438 be described by the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras (Mr. Cassel) as one for Imperial judicial disruption. I thought under these circumstances there would be more interest taken in these proceedings, more particularly in view of the announcement which appears in one of the leading papers this morning that now that the Unionist party is once more united, there will be a disappearance of the lassitude which has marked the Debates on Home Rule.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
Where is the Prime Minister while this great Constitutional question is under discussion?
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I will not pursue that announcement any further. It was in view of what I saw in that paper this morning I was surprised that greater interest was not manifested in the question. I wish to deal with some of the arguments brought forward in the course of debate from the other side of the House. There have been many attempts made to discover some sinister motive underlying this proposal. For example, the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras went through the-history of the various judicial proposals in the three Home Rule Bills, and he discovered that the proposal we are now discussing appeared for the first time in the Bill of 1893. It is interesting to note that it took its origin at that period, for we all know that, whatever may be the present situation regarding the relations between the front Ministerial Bench and the Nationalist Members opposite, there was at that time no dictation on the part of the Nationalist Members. We have often heard from the present Leader of the Opposition that Mr. Gladstone at least knew how to deal with the Nationalist leaders, and that the present Prime Minister is always in Mr. Redmond's pocket. We have been told that Mr. Gladstone knew that he had something to give, and that he was always able to make a good bargain. Therefore, at that time when a good bargain could be made, and when we had such a distinguished leader as Mr. Gladstone, this proposal was introduced, and consequently it was not done at the dictation of the Nationalist Members. According to the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Gladstone did not take his lead from the Nationalists, and therefore this proposal was not at that time introduced at their dictation. I would refer the hon. Member for North Armagh (Mr. Moore), who is one of the most eager to find sinister interpretations—
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Oh, yes. I do not desire to misrepresent the hon. Gentleman. He was particularly delighted when he obtained a valuable admission from the hon. Member for North Dublin (Mr. Clancy). The admission over which he was so greatly rejoiced was that the Judicial Committee would be largely occupied by appeals relating to the proposals of the Irish legislative body which exceed their powers. The hon. Member said that he agreed that would be the case, for members of the minority there would be constantly bringing the action of the Irish Parliament before the Judicial Committee. But we always understood that the minority would not be there, and that there would not be any minority in the Irish Parliament, because they would have nothing to do with it. Now, according to the hon. and learned Member, they are to be, there, and constantly obstructing the Irish Parliament.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
At the same time, that is a step in the right direction. The resistance to be shown to the Irish Parliament is to be legal resistance by means of appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and not to implements of warfare.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I have at least obtained a valuable admission from the hon. and learned Gentleman. It is probable his association with the hon. and learned Member for North-East Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy) in this matter has led him to take a more rational attitude in regard to it. He made another equally strange admission. He said, "Why should we in Ireland, under this new Constitution, be treated like people in the Colonies and Dominions? They are not represented in the Imperial Parliament, but we in Ireland will be members of the United Kingdom. Why should we be excluded from the House of Lords as our judicial body for the purpose of appeals?" We always understood that it was the main contention of the hon. Gentleman, and those 1440 with whom he is associated, that they would cease to be members of the United Kingdom, and that they were being driven out of this Constitution. He has, indeed, in the course of the Debate made a few valuable admissions which we shall not forget. The main arguments, however, which have been brought forward by the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite apparently are that Ireland is to surfer some great disadvantage by being removed from the House of Lords, and by not having that body as its supreme legal tribunal in future. I think the arguments brought forward by the Attorney-General in favour of the proposal in the Bill are very sound and practical. After all, there is no difference in principle between the two sides of the House in regard to this particular proposal. It is merely a difference of method and machinery, and when you are dealing with a difference of method and machinery the only question is one of practical agreement. I think the argument from the practical point of view is just as strong. If you are going to have the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the tribunal for appeals on constitutional questions, it is also practically convenient that the same body should be the tribunal for appeals on all legal questions from the Irish Courts. On that ground I do not think there has been any answer from the other side of the House.
There is a second question. On the question of procedure the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras took the view, which he was quite entitled to take, that the procedure in the Judicial Committee is defective as compared with the procedure in the House of Lords. In an interruption I suggested to him that the hon. and learned Member for Oxford University (Sir William Anson) has expressed in his book on the Constitution a preference for the procedure in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. I think we are entitled to make use of this statement of opinion by the hon. and learned Gentleman in a book which is regarded as the standard and most authoritative work on the British Constitution. Of course, we know the difference in the procedure is largely due to the difference in the constitution of the two bodies. Each of the Members of the House of Lords gives his opinion separately, and a vote is taken among the judges, copying the procedure in the House of Lords as a legislative body. In the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council the opinion is the 1441 opinion of the whole body, because there can be no difference of opinion in the advice given to the Crown by the Privy Council. There is only one judgment given by the Committee representing the whole of the views of those upon it. [An HON. MEMBER: "They decide by a majority."] The Committee rarely give reasons for their finding. I think it is a defect that you should have reasons for the finding of the tribunal, because these reasons are the only ground upon which argument can be based for the purpose of subsequent debate in the various Courts of Law. It is, I think, a matter of great inconvenience that there should be dissenting judges in a Supreme Court, because by the help of such dissenting judges it is quite easy to bring about a great deal of unnecessary litigation. Indeed, a great deal of argumentt in the various Courts at different times is obtained by means of the obiter dicta of judges in the House of Lords.
In these circumstances, I think, it is for the benefit of the administration of the Court in a Supreme Court that there should be only one judgment which gives the reasons upon which the finding of the whole Court has been based. It is on that ground that the hon. and learned Member for Oxford University has expressed his preference for the procedure in the Privy Council as compared with the procedure existing in the House of Lords. I do not desire to enter into any comparison or contrast between the House of Lords and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in respect to their impartiality or capacity for deciding judicial questions. I think such a comparison or contrast would be invidious. I maintain it is of comparatively little importance in the present Debate, because to a large extent the personnel of the two bodies is the same. The whole question is determined by the two considerations which I have mentioned, first of all the question as to practical convenience of having a single Court of Appeal, and, secondly, the question as to which Court has the better procedure. On both of these grounds I think that the opinion of this House should be in favour of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. There are two points in regard to this question of the House of Lords which have not been raised by the Opposition, and in view of the difficulty in establishing new points I may be allowed to raise them. I noticed, for example, that the hon. and learned Member for York 1442 (Mr. Butcher) was only able to make one new point, and that a bad one. As the law at present stands, the House of Lords is the tribunal for impeachment, yet there might be a question raised as to whether it would be possible for the House of Commons to impeach Irish Ministers before the House of Lords, and there is nothing in this Bill to prevent such an impeachment taking place. The second point I would refer to is the right of Irish peers to a trial by their peers, which might be more than an academic point in future, because in the view of hon. and learned Gentlemen opposite there may be serious happenings in Ulster if this Bill is passed into law.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
There may be serious proceedings in other parts of Ireland: I do not make special reference to Ulster.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Suppose an Irish peer is engaged in criminal proceedings after the Home Rule Bill has passed, there is nothing in the Bill to interfere with the existing practice that such a peer is entitled to trial by his peers, namely, by the King and Parliament, when the House of Lords would sit under the presidency of the Lord High Steward. That would mean under these circumstances, after the passing of the Home Rule Bill, that an Irish peer would be tried in the House of Lords. I think that is a matter for which provision should be made in the Home Rule Bill, especially when the appellate jurisdiction in Ireland is being altered, but on the general question as to which tribunal is preferable, I think for the two reasons I have mentioned the Judicial Committee is better.
§ Mr. POLLOCK
I desire to point out why I regret the decision of the Government not to accept the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend. I agree with the hon. Member for Lanark that it would be very invidious, and I think wholly unnecessary, to go into discussions as to the merits of these two tribunals from the point of view either of justice or their capacity. The learned Attorney-General has just pointed out that those who know 1443 the tribunals are quite confident of their impartiality and their ability, and those who know them best wish to pay a high tribute of respect to both of them. But, while we do not make any invidious distinctions between them, the hon. Member for Lanarkshire has pointed out that even under this proposal you will not do away with all the legal functions that must in some cases still fall to the House of Lords, and I think that the learned Attorney-General has failed to make any case for altering the present system. The grounds on which I regret the decision of the Government are these: The House of Lords is at present the supreme appellate tribunal of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, as many people think, and has been often said, it goes by the name of the House of Lords, and some members of the tribunal and a great number of Members of the House of Lords have expressed their regret that that should still be its name, because, as appears by the speech of the hon. Member for North Dublin, it is that name which gives a certain opportunity for confusion in the minds of those persons who are not very well versed in either constitutional law or in our legal system. At the present time the House of Lords does stand as our supreme appellate tribunal, and I think it unfortunate that any part of the jurisdiction which is now exercised so well by the House of Lords should be withdrawn from it. I think that if the name of the supreme appellate tribunal at present were other than the House of Lords this proposal would never have been made.
In the days when the House of Lords was perhaps less discussed, and commanded the confidence of Members on both sides of the House, it is interesting to find that the proposal made by the hon. and learned Member for West St. Pancras was the proposal then made for the judicial system and for appeals from Ireland, because in the Bill of 1886 it was provided that appeals should be carried to the House of Lords in all matters which affected the personal private rights of Irishmen. But since that time a great deal has happened, and there is a great deal of ill-informed, and I might almost say ignorant, prejudice against the House of Lords, and a great deal of very unfortunate ignorance on the part of persons who confuse our supreme appellate tribunal with the legislative Second Chamber. There is no ground for the Govern- 1444 ment, who know exactly what our constitutional system is, adding the weight of their authority to this prejudice, and agreeing only for the purpose of prejudice to withdraw the private rights of the citizens of Ireland from this supreme appellate tribunal of the United Kingdom. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has duties which are somewhat different from those of the House of Lords. It is the supreme appellate tribunal of our Colonial Empire. Also, as the learned Attorney-General has pointed out, and as a recent case has shown, it has a consultative power which can be made use of in certain cases. Those are very valuable powers, and no doubt it is a satisfactory tribunal for the purposes of our Colonial Empire. But time and again, when we have been discussing this Bill, the idea that we were setting up a Colonial Parliament in Dublin and separating the two Kingdoms absolutely, and dividing them in the sense in which Canada is divided from England, or South Africa is given a free Constitution, was disclaimed emphatically by the Members of His Majesty's Government.
At the present moment their actions speak louder than the Bill, and now actually they are giving in the Bill colour to the arguments and observations which have been made so often that in truth they are giving Colonial procedure, and a Colonial Parliament and freedom, and that under this Bill a Colonial Parliament and new Constitution are being set up. If they had desired to prevent that colour being given to this new Constitution, they would have taken this opportunity of introducing the Bill in the form in which it was introduced in 1886, and not in the form in which it was introduced in 1893. They would have tried to make it quite clear that there is a very important position still to be maintained and preserved to the citizens of Ireland, and they should be able to know that as to their private rights at least they have the same privileges as citizens of England or Scotland have of going to the same supreme appellate tribunal. On those two grounds I think it unfortunate that the Government have come to the decision they have. There is one more point that was raised by the hon. Member for Lanarkshire. He prefers the system under which Judicial Committees give one judgment, and one judgment only. As a lawyer I should object that that procedure should obtain for more appeals than is necessary, because if you do desire the 1445 elucidation and development of the law it is very important that you should have the free expression of a number of acute minds of those who have listened to the arguments and have given judgment on matters before them. I confess that the legal world would be the poorer if we had not got a great number of the speeches made in the House of Lords upon the matters that come before them. The Judicial Committee has suffered from this procedure, and I think that in the Colonies it has been pointed out how unsatisfactory it is, and that for one mind to deal with all the points that are raised is almost impossible; but that you have a much better opportunity of finding what the decision was in all its bearings when you are able to collate the various opinions that have been expressed by the several judges that have given their decisions.
That is the procedure which is followed in the House of Lords and it is a much happier procedure to my mind than the procedure of the Judicial Committee, and so far from agreing with the hon. Member for Lanarkshire on this point I disagree wholly, and I certainly think it hardly just that litigants in Ireland should not have the same opportunities as litigants from other parts of the United Kingdom of having a full decision upon the various points that are raised, which is much more satisfactory to the litigants themselves. I would like to know from the Chief Secretary what is to be done with regard to pending appeals when this Act comes into force? There is no provision for that in the Section, which says that on and after the appointed day appeals shall go to the Judicial Committee. There must be a certain number of appeals then before the House of Lords, and under these Sections the Clause we are discussing and Clause 29, so far as I know, there is a difficulty, because no provision has been made for meeting the case of appeals which have not yet been heard, but have been started. So far as I follow the Bill it seems that the powers of the House of Lords will have gone, and I do not quite see what will happen to cases that may have been entered before the House of Lords. I do not know whether there is power to transfer them to the Privy Council, but perhaps the Chief Secretary will tell me that. On these two grounds, to which I attach the highest importance, namely, that Ireland under this new Parliament is not to have a Colonial Parliament, and also because I think that it is the duty of His Majesty's Government to 1446 give no weight to the prejudice which has been raised against the House of Lords as the supreme legal authority, and because I think they are giving the weight of their authority to this unfortunate prejudice, that I regret very much the decision of the Government, and I shall certainly support the Amendment of my hon. Friend.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. CAVE
Nobody knows better than the hon. and learned Gentleman that if these Debates were allowed to be real Debates, influencing opinion, if we were permitted to thresh out our points and endeavour to convince the House that we were right, and if we had to come to a decision on the merits of a subject, then these benches, and possibly the benches opposite, would be filled by Members interested in the matter. It is the deadening effect of the guillotine, under which it is impossible for us to deal with all the provisions of the Bill on their merits, which is accountable for the small attendance which we see at many of these Debates. I think it is not we, but the Government themselves who are responsible for the unreality—for to some extent they are unreal—of the Debates. They are not on our side unreal, but they are unreal because hon. Members opposite are not desirous of discussing matters on their merits, and come here to vote, and to vote only. This Amendment is to some extent a testing Amendment, in this way: If Ireland is going to be a part of the United Kingdom, then she has a right of appeal from the Court of Appeal in Ireland to the House of Lords. If the appeal is only to be to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, it is because of the intention to make the Irish Government in status and position a separate body, and nearer to the Colonial form of Government than to a part of the United Kingdom. Hon. Members who vote against this Amendment are really demonstrating once again that this is a separatist Bill, cutting the Kingdom into two, and intended to make in Ireland a separate jurisdiction.
§ Mr. CAVE
With regard to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council no one who knows that Committee and the House of Lords as a judicial tribunal would dream of making a comparison between the two, or of putting one above the other in ability, or in any other respect, except perhaps in reference to procedure. But there is a real difference between the two bodies. The House of Lords is the Supreme Court of Appeal in this country, and has been so for a very, very long time. The Privy Council does not occupy that position at all.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The Church has absolutely nothing to do with the matter. The hon. Gentleman's interruption was quite irrelevant, and has nothing to do with the Bill.
§ Mr. CAVE
That is an irrelevant point, I submit. The point I was making is this: Whereas the House of Lords is the Supreme Court of Appeal on questions of fact and of private rights of persons in this country, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is in the position of a Board advising the Crown as to the exercise of its prerogative. The two bodies are quite distinct in that respect. The Privy Council exercise jurisdiction with regard to the Colonies and Dominions, and, of course, with regard to India, whereas all appeals from England, Scotland, and Ireland go, as they have always gone before, to the House of Lords. Why is it that you put Ireland in the position of appealing only to the Privy Council and not to the House of Lords? It must be because you are putting Ireland in the position of a separate Dominion altogether and more like a Colony than a part of this Kingdom. With regard to that question, I should like an answer 1448 upon this point. I see that the Bill provides that all the enactments relating to appeals to the Privy Council shall apply to appeals from Ireland. Does that mean that leave must be obtained to appeal from the Irish Courts to the Privy Council? We know that with regard to appeals from the Colonies there is no appeal without leave, either from the Colonial Court or the Privy Council. Does that mean that the same shall apply in Ireland, and with regard to that country the subject shall be deprived of his right, as a matter of course, without leave, to bring an appeal? I think it quite possible that the effect of the Bill would be to limit the right of appeal in the way I suggest. I hope I shall be told what the intention of the Government is with regard to that. There is this further point with regard to the Privy Council. It contains, of course, great judges including most of the judicial members of the House of Lords; it also contains Colonial and Indian judges, the intention being, of course, to set up a Court which shall be competent to deal with systems of law which are not known in this country. My hon. and learned Friend, the Member for York called attention to a point in connection with Irish appeals: Why is it that you do not leave the rota of Privy Councillors for Ireland in the same way as the rota for the Colonies and other places? Why are you going to pick out certain members only of the Judicial Committee to deal with Irish appeals? I hope some answer will be given on this point.
With regard to procedure, I only wish to add one word to what my hon. Friend said just now about having one judgment. I know there is a difference of opinion about that. The Prime Minister reminded the last Imperial Conference in 1911 of the differences of opinion. Some of the delegates from the Colonies objected to the one judgment. The Prime Minister said there was a difference of opinion, but he did not express his view either way. I think there is some real advantage in having the reasons given on both sides. To begin with, it satisfies the defeated party that his arguments have been taken into account, and tells him whether the decision is unanimous or not. What is perhaps more important, you do supply, by means of a separate judgment, a better guide by which the parties in other cases may judge how far the decision applies to their cases. You have the whole matter argued and threshed out by the highest officials in England, and you learn more from reading 1449 the speeches made in the House of Lords in particular cases than by reading one judgment. Therefore, I hope it -will not be taken as admitted that it is the better course to have one judgment. I do not want to compare the two bodies, even in procedure, to the disadvantage of the Privy Council; but I am bound to add that there is no doubt that in some Colonies at all events, possibly in all, a preference felt and expressed for the House of Lords rather than for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. I may quote here a speech made by Mr. Deakin at the Colonial Conference held in 1907. He said:—The aim that we have was well expressed in course of the Debate on the Commonwealth Bill, if my memory serves me, by the Right Hon. R. B. Haldane, when he said that he understood the Colonial view to be that what in the shape of a Court of Appeal was good enough for the people of Great Britain was quite good enough for the Colonics, and what was not good enough for the people of Great Britain was not good enough for Colonial litigants. That was a very pithy way of putting the case as it presents itself to us. We venture to entertain the opinion that notwithstanding the theory of its relation to the Crown, but from a purely legal point of view, the House of Lords is the tribunal to be preferred. It certainly stands higher in the estimation, at ail events of Australian lawyers, than the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, speaking of it, of coarse, as a Board and not under special circumstances. If the two are to be compared, having some regard, of course, to the differences in their procedure, the House of Lords is preferred in Australia.In the House of Lords there is more than one judgment, while in the Privy Council only one is given. I think there is ground for arguing that Ireland, in its own interests, might probably prefer the House of Lords, as a supreme tribunal, to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. There is a further point I want to note. Irish law is very similar to English law in most respects; the differences are mainly statutory and are very easily dealt with. The difference between Irish and English law is infinitesimal compared with the difference between English and Scotch law; yet the House of Lords deals with Scottish appeals, and, of course, with English appeals. In dealing with Irish matters you are dealing with the same subject-matter, the same common law, in many instances the same Statutes as in English appeals; and, if this provision passes, you may have, I do not say you will have, a difference of opinion, and you may have the House of Lords dealing with the English Statute in one way and the Privy Council dealing with the same law in another way. It is very desirable to have uniformity of decision, and if our House of Lords is—as, of course, it is in every respect—most competent 1450 to deal with English law, it seems to me that it ought to be allowed at the same time to deal with the same points that will arise in the Irish Courts.
I confess I am not impressed very much by the point that under the other Clauses of the Bill there may be appeals to the Privy Council, or applications to the Privy Council, because they will be appeals and applications on questions of constitutional law. The Privy Council is accustomed every day of the week to deal with matters of that kind arising in the Colonies. It is the proper tribunal for questions of that kind. It by no means follows that it is the proper or best tribunal for dealing with matters of ordinary law, in which the rights of individuals are concerned. Therefore I do not see the least reason why appeals on constitutional matters should not go to the Privy Council, and appeals on other matters go to the House of Lords. I regret that the Government are not dealing with this question in a more scientific way. There has been for a long time a desire in this country and in the Colonies that we should have all final appeals heard by one tribunal, that we should have what is called an Imperial Court of Appeal to deal with appeals both from this country, the Colonies and Dominions, and India. Advantage, I think, might be taken of this Bill to make a beginning with that idea, instead of which we are getting the old dual system continued. I would much rather have seen all appeals taken to the House of Lords, in the hope that if this Bill passes—I hope it will not—a beginning might be made to constitute the House of Lords, working under the same name, or some other—it seems to me to make no difference—the nucleus and beginning of a final Court of Appeal for the whole Empire. I think you are dealing with the matter in these Clauses on the wrong line and in the wrong way, and that you are going to give the appeal to the wrong body. It would be far better to keep your final Court of Appeal from Ireland, for this purpose at least, in the same position as England, and give your Irish fellow subjects an appeal to the high tribunal that we have in this country.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I have listened to all the speeches that have been made, and for the most part they were speeches on very reasonable lines, and they have indicated that we are dealing with two tribunals of the highest possible character. The question simply is, which is the best 1451 tribunal to make the Court of Final Appeal in Ireland? Nobody is going to say a word or in any way to reflect on the House of Lords as a final Court of Appeal in this country, or on the Privy Council. Certainly both of those Courts deserve all the praise given to them, and they are both very much the same in public estimation, with the same degree of authority. You can refer in the House of Lords to a decision of the Privy Council with the assurance that it will be treated with the same respect as if you referred to one of their own decisions. There may be a shade of difference of opinion, but I cannot agree with the hon. Member for North Dublin (Mr. Clancy) that the House of Lords have absolutely reversed decisions of the Privy Council. There have been cases in which they have got round them by a process of high intellectual distinction, which practically amounts to the same thing. I quite agree the decision of the Privy Council is not on the same footing in reciting it in the House of Lords as would be a decision of the House of Lords itself. At the same time they are Courts of very high authority and nobody need be ashamed of practising before them. As far as I remember the only difference in doing so is that in one case you have to appear in a big wig, and in the Privy Council, although my experience of it is small, you are allowed to practice in the ordinary bob wig. That, I think, is very much in favour of the Privy Council. An hon. and learned Gentleman referred to the advantage in the case of the House of Lords of being able to read all the speeches of the learned lords. That, I agree, is an advantage, but at the same time I think it would require very great consideration when you were advising His Majesty as to the particular action he was to pursue on the construction of a Constitution or anything of that kind, whether that would be altogether desirable. When you are dealing with the rights of citizens inter se, I rather think a distinction may be struck.
The Attorney-General presented really what is the case, and the sole case, in this matter. I can assure hon. Members that in this case, at all events, no pressure of any sort, kind, or description has been put on those responsible for this Clause. The responsibility entirely rests upon the Law Officers and upon myself and upon the Cabinet generally. The Irish Members are not responsible for it; nobody is re- 1452 sponsible for it. It is one of those matters in which if you go wrong you go wrong simply by reason of your own folly, as sometimes happens in the case of us all. Therefore, the idea that this was to indicate separation, or to flatter the desire of those in Ireland who wanted to be separated, or that it was from a desire to associate Ireland in any way with the Colonies, is not so, and it has rather the opposite kind of effect. We may have been right or wrong, but our consideration simply was that, inasmuch as under Clauses 29 and 30, we were constituting the Privy Council the Court of Final Appeal in Ireland, we thought it desirable to do so under Clause 28. The hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken did not quite see why that should be so, and thought that on the constitutional question about ultra vires you might have gone to the Privy Council, and have reserved the House of Lords as the final appeal between subjects on matters of common law and the like. We did not overlook that, but many of us thought it was better to take the course we have adopted here, and to secure for all Irish appeals, both appeals as between subjects and appeals on constitutional questions, that they should go all alike to the Privy Council. I am rather surprised to hear that that is thought to be a retrograde step. We rather flattered ourselves that we were rather in front of the age in this matter, and that we were rather pointing to the time to which the hon. Gentleman referred in giving expression to the hope that there would be one Court of Final Appeal for all portions of the Empire and of the United Kingdom. I hope so, too; but he says it ought to be the House of Lords. That would require that every member of this final Court of Appeal would have to be a Member of the House of Lords. That would cumber the case.
When you do come to constitute your Court of Final Appeal, for the Empire you would really have to go outside the House of Lords and reconstitute some other Court. When you come to do that, I am quite sure you would have to fall back on the Privy Council, which contains the nucleus of a Court of the Empire. Therefore this seems to me to be in the direction of establishing one final Court of Appeal for the Empire, whenever that time comes. In the meantime look at the provisions of the Bill. Clause 2, I think, secures a very strong Court. The Court of Final Appeal must be constituted of four Lords of Appeal, not Lords 1453 in Ordinary, but Lords of Appeal, and you must have as well one member who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court in Ireland. As the Attorney-General has pointed out, that distinguished gentleman is not likely to be a member of the House of Lords at all, and therefore, if your Court of Appeal was the House of Lords, you could not secure necessarily his attendance there, and you might not have a Lord in Ordinary who had Irish experience. I think, therefore, that is a safeguard which gives Irish appellants an advantage over appellants from other parts of the United Kingdom, since, when he goes to the Privy Council, it will be constituted of at least five judges. Sometimes we see in the House of Lords very important final appeals decided by only three members. That advantage is something for which the Irish appellant ought to be grateful, and it gives what every lawyer will be very glad to secure, a Court of Final Appeal constituted of five members, of whom one is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court in Ireland. I can assure the House that those are the reasons which animated us in this matter.
As to what was said by the hon. Member for York (Mr. Butcher), I do not think the Attorney-General used the word "symmetrical." He considered that the House would think that when you come to the Privy Council to get advice on constitutional questions that then, on the questions under Clause 28, we should constitute the Privy Council the Final Court of Appeal. It is a Court of great authority, whose fitness and impartiality cannot be impugned, and which, I am quite sure, will discharge this duty satisfactorily. With regard to the point as to whether leave to appeal would have to be obtained, if the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Kingston looks at Clause 28 he will see there is a provision that where any person would, but for this Act, have the right of appeal from any Court in Ireland to the House of Lords, that that person shall have the like right to appeal to His Majesty the King in Council. That is to say, he will have then the right to go to the Privy Council unencumbered and unfettered by any necessity of obtaining leave. With regard to pending appeals, I apprehend that when the Bill passes appeals will cease, and that therefore pending appeals will have to be transferred to the Privy Council by an Order in Council. I think these are all the questions which have been put. I can only 1454 assure the House that the reasons for this particular Clause are the reasons given by the Attorney-General, and not some other more sinister and obscure reasons which have been hinted at by various speakers.
§ Sir J. D. REES
The right hon. Gentleman said that the House of Lords and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council occupy much the same position in public estimation. It would ill become me to attempt to compare them or to decide which stood the higher in public estimation. I only rise because I can speak from the point of view of those who live under a Constitution in which the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the Supreme Court. When I was in the Registrar's Office of an Indian High Court, I had opportunities of seeing how anxiously the judgments were awaited by litigants who had gone from the Subordinate Court to the District Court, from the District Court to the High Court, and from the High Court to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. I have seen how disappointed they were, after waiting month after month for their judgments, at having a brief judgment delivered by one judge, instead of the individual judgments showing the arguments and decisions of the most eminent judges on the bench, as is the case with those who live under a Constitution in which the House of Lords is the Supreme Court. The Chief Secretary in comparing the two Courts described one as the "wigs" and the other as the "big-wigs." Those who live under a Constitution in which the Supreme Court is the "wigs," would very much prefer to be under the "big-wigs." When they have gone through the trouble and delay of carrying their cases to the Supreme Court, they would infinitely prefer to have judgments in the form given by the House of Lords. Therefore, I believe that the Irish will be the losers by this change which is unfortunately being imposed upon them. The judgment of the Judicial Committee is necessarily a judgment of compromise, and litigants know it. In the case of a judgment by the House of Lords, they can see what has happened. They may get a judgment from one judge entirely in their favour, while the majority of the Court are against them; they feel s[...] satisfied at having a judgment in their favour from one eminent judge that they consider him to be the judge who is right, and to be the most eminent judge on the bench; in fact, they are almost compensated for their disappointment in losing 1455 the case by the thought that the judges who decided against them are inferior to the judge who was in their favour. That may be described as sentiment, but it is certainly a serious point.
The effect of this Clause is to put the Judicial Committee in the place of the House of Lords. But in Sub-section (2) it is provided that when the Judicial Committee is sitting for the purpose of hearing appeals from Ireland, there shall be present not less than four Lords of Appeal. How will this Court remain in effect the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council if it is necessary that there shall be present four Lords of Appeal, who, I understand, are judges of the House of Lords? You have a hybrid and composite Committee. By Sub-section (2) you practically take away what is given by Sub-section (1). The Attorney-General shakes his head. Is it not the case that when the Judicial Committee deals with appeals from India and the Colonies it does not necessarily have four Lords of Appeal sitting, or, indeed, any Lords of Appeal?
§ Sir J. D. REES
I thought I had seen the Court sitting without a Lord of Appeal. I must be wrong. At any rate, there have not been four present. The provision that there shall be four Lords of Appeal present is novel. Seeing that four judges of the House of Lords must necessarily sit on the Judicial Committee for the purpose of hearing appeals from Ireland, I submit that the change which appears to be made is not really made in effect. There is a great deal of make-believe about it. The Government evidently felt that they ought not to take away from Ireland the appeal to the House of Lords, as they clearly ought not, if it is still to remain, as they say, a portion of the United Kingdom, and, being in two minds, they produce this halting and, as I think, unsatisfactory compromise. May I ask whether these four Lords of Appeal will be salaried officers?
§ Sir J. D. REES
I understand, then, that they would have no salary. I was about to speak of the judges from India and so forth, who sit upon this body. When this Bill comes into force, and these judges have these new powers and duties imposed upon them, will they be provided with salaries? Are they to have all these extra duties thrown upon them, and to perform them without salary and without even luncheon being provided for them? If so, it seems to me a very unsatisfactory provision. The Judicial Committee under this new dispensation will require to be reconstituted, and the judges provided with salaries, before it can be a satisfactory tribunal. Is anything of that sort contemplated? I asked the Prime Minister a question on the point the other day, but I did not get any satisfaction. I may be more fortunate with the Attorney-General. I should like to express my agreement with the remarks of my hon. and learned Friend as to the injustice suffered by the House of Lords as the Supreme Court of Appeal, in consequence of its name. At meeting after meeting the judgments of the House of Lords are exposed to unjust accusations and suspicions. I wish that some new name could be given to it; but it would not be in order to pursue that subject now.
§ Mr. SCANLAN
The setting up of a final Appellate Court for Ireland is a matter of first-rate importance to every representative of Ireland. The provision made in this and the proceeding Clauses appears to give Ireland as august and as efficient a tribunal as could possibly be provided. Those who make the insinuation that the Members supporting the Government and resisting this Amendment are influenced by a general prejudice against the House of Lords are entirely mistaken. I wish to dissociate myself, and I am sure the whole of my colleagues from any such imputation. It is one thing to have a rooted objection to the House of Lords as a legislative body; it is quite another thing to form one's view as to the character of the House of Lords as an appellate tribunal. I yield to none of the hon. and learned Gentlemen above the Gangway in the respect which I have for the august character of the House of Lords as a supreme Appellate Court and judicial tribunal. There is an obvious advantage in having for the people of a country one supreme Appellate Court, and not two. It is surely of importance with regard to 1457 appeals from Ireland that we should know with certainty to which Court we are to go. No one contends that the class of appeals contemplated under Clauses 29 and 30 could with propriety be sent to the House of Lords constituted as it is. No one suggests that a question as to the constitutionality of any measure or as to whether an Act passed by the Irish Legislature is within the four corners of this Bill should be referred to the House of Lords. That surely is a matter which must go to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The class of case contemplated under Clause 30, which it is proposed should go to the Judicial Committee, is exactly the class of case which is likely to come up under the general terms of Clause 28. Where a private citizen seeks to enforce certain rights which he thinks are conferred upon him by an Act of the Irish Legislature, the objection may be raised that the Statute under which he makes his claim is one which is was not within the competence of the Irish Legislature to pass. These are just the questions that arise constantly in Ireland. These are the matters of dispute and questions of difference out of which the crop of appeals arise which come from Ireland to the House of Lords at the present time. Seeing that it is absolutely necessary in one class of case of dispute to have appeals taken from the High Court to the Privy Council, surely it is a matter not only for convenience, but of the highest propriety, that all questions issuing from the High Courts in Ireland should go to one tribunal. So obvious docs it appear to me that the contention of the Government is well founded, that I have no hesitation in saying that if the plan of the Government had been to allow appeals from the ordinary Courts to go to the House of Lords in the ordinary way, and the Government had provided, as they have in Clauses 29 and 30, for another class of questions and of appeals to go to the Privy Council, that the same hon. and learned Gentlemen above the Gangway who are now condemning the Government for the plan here adopted would have brought up more formidable arguments against that plan of the Government—even if it had been to give effect to what the hon. and learned Gentleman so ingeniously contended for in his speech in proposing the Amendment.
There cannot be any great substance in the arguments of the hon. and learned Gentleman when we consider that he has admitted that you will have as sound and 1458 reliable a judgment from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as from the House of Lords. I have heard with some surprise as to the importance of decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. It was said that a decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is not binding on the House of Lords. In considering the relative validity and binding of the decisions of those two supreme tribunals, it is interesting to recall that a short time ago this House discussed the position of the hon. Baronet the Member for Tower Hamlets, and the Prime Minister refused, at the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member above the Gangway, to refer that question, as he was entitled to do, to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Other hon. and learned Gentleman speaking from this side, who urged that course upon the Government, used this argument in support of the position; that no one who was acquainted with the weight afterwards given to the decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council could entertain any doubt whatever, that if the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council came to a judgment in respect of this question, the common Law Courts before which it and other questions arising out of the decision came would pay as must respect to the decision of the Privy Council as they would pay to the decision of the House of Lords. There is another matter which I think should be taken into consideration; the provision for Irish appeals was debated at considerable length in the Committee stage—
§ Mr. SCANLAN
Well, the question of appeals to the Privy Council was debated, and I had the pleasure of saying something during the course of the Debate. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Trinity College spoke on this very question of appeals from Ireland to the Privy Council. During his very able and interesting speech he made no objection whatever to these appeals going to the Privy Council. The objection which he did make is an objection now provided for by the Attorney-General. He complained—and the hon. and learned Gentleman and Member for North Armagh also complained—not that the system was to have appeals to the Privy Council, but that you did not give sufficient scope for taking all such appeals. Now, hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway on this side are making this objection; they start a new hare and raise 1459 this further objection. I am satisfied that the House will consider that the only objection of any substance in the Debate which they made the Chancellor of the Exchequer dealt with, promising that if there was any inadequacy in the machinery provided for appeals for Ireland, the Government would devote further machinery to make such provision as would secure that a citizen in Ireland would have as free and direct recourse to the Judicial Committee as any citizen of this country would have to the House of Lords.
We have been told that a very serious objection to the proposal in Clause 28 is that we will only get one judgment; we shall be deprived of the conflicting opinions of the judges who consider our appeal. My hon. and learned Friend says that judgments must necessarily be conflicting. There is less reason for having separate judgments if they are all in agreement than if they were in conflict with one another. I think it is a matter of test whether you are to have one judgment expressing the view of the whole Court, or the different opinion of the various judges who comprise the Court for the time being. I myself prefer the certainty which we shall get in Ireland by having an opinion of the Court expressed and embodied in one single judgment. I think it has often happened, even in this country, as, for instance, in the Osborne judgment, that the multiplicity of opinions has not in any way helped to make the law clear to the litigants or to the public. If we take the character of the tribunal set up here, we have not only all the arguments in favour of taking our appeals of all kinds to be dealt with by one single tribunal, but we have a tribunal which is probably better and more suitable for Irish litigants than the Privy Council in general. I think any person looking at this matter from the Irish point of view must be very much impressed by the provision made in Subsection (2), which is as follows:—When the Judicial Committee sit for hearing any appeal from a Court in Ireland in pursuance of any provision in this Act there shall be present not less than four Lords of Appeal within the meaning of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1876, and at least one Member who is or has been a judge of a Supreme Court in Ireland.Surely there are certain differences of procedure, and differences of practices, if 1460 not differences of law—although there are certain differences of law between Ireland and this country—that it is important for us that we should have, when Irish appeals have to be dealt with in a final Court of Appeal, one judge at least who brings to bear upon the final judgment to be given the best talent which the Irish Judicial Bench can send to reinforce the Privy Council in the giving of its decisions. Viewing this fact in conjunction with the general arguments which have been advanced by the learned Attorney-General, and by the Chief Secretary, in favour of this Clause, I shall have no hesitation in coming to a decision that this Amendment should be resisted. One further argument --and this is the only one I want to refer to—is that if this system is adopted, it must lead—so some of my hon. and learned Friends above the Gangway say—to separation, and it is putting Ireland outside the Constitution. No one has ever entertained the idea in regard to Canada, Australia, or South Africa, that the conferring on the peoples of those great Dominions and Colony of their Constitution was the denying to them the privilege of protection by our Constitution. The most valued privilege of the Colonies and the Dominions, and the provision in the Constitution which brings them nearest to the heart of the Empire, is the decision of their causes by that august tribunal the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. In all the circumstances, therefore, I have no hesitation in expressing the view—which I am sure all my colleagues share—that this tribunal will be the most satisfactory for Ireland; therefore, we warmly support the Government in resisting the Amendment proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman above the Gangway.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I do not know that I should have arisen had it not been for the observations which fell from the Chair. I understood the argument of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Kingston to be that because the proposal in the Bill is that appeals shall lie with the Privy Council, that that marked this measure as a separatist measure. The interjection I made was not to throw the hon. and learned Gentleman off his argument: I was anxious, in view of his great ability and his great standing as an ecclesiastical lawyer, that before he sat down he should deal with the point I put. Instead of that, he has seen fit to leave the House. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Cambridge has also made 1461 a speech and left the House. The hon. Gentleman for East Nottingham has done likewise. These were the hon. Members who were surprised that more of us did not stay in these Debates.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I beg the hon. and learned Member's pardon. It was the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Pollock). He made a speech and left the House, and so did the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for York (Mr. Butcher). But I do not want to press that too far, except to say that when hon. and learned Gentlemen make points and are not inclined to hear the answer, it is not much encouragement to those on this side to give constant attendance in Debate. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University has not favoured the House with any contribution, I understand, upon this matter. Unfortunately he has been driven out by the thin
§ arguments of his Friends. But the point I put to the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Kingston was in effect this—and I submit with all respect that my interjection was relevant; the argument he was using was that by virtue of its appeal to the Privy Council the Bill was a Separatist Bill. I want to ask what hon. Members opposite, who are connected with the Church of England, would think of an argument like that? It means this, that the fact that appeals in ecclesiastical and Church cases lie to the Privy Council is a sign of the separatist position and that the Church is already Disestablished. I submit that for hon. and learned Gentlemen opposite, who have a great advantage over me in their knowledge of the law to bring arguments of that description and to occupy the attention of the House for hour after hour with them is a keen disappointment to those of us who are students of criticism and of correct interpretation, and I therefore appeal to the House to come to the next Amendment, as there is nothing more left to be said upon this.
§ Question put, "That the words of the Clause to line 14 [end of Sub-section (1)I stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 286; Noes, 159.1465
|Division No. 502.]||AYES.||[7.4 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Chappie, Dr. Wiliiam Allen||Firench, Peter|
|Alden, Percy||Clancy, John Joseph||Field, William|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Clough, William||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Arnold, Sydney||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Furness, Stephen|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||George, Rt. Hon. D. Ll[...]yd|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Cotton, William Francis||Gilhooly, James|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Gill, A. H.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Crean, Eugene||Ginnell, Laurence|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Crooks, William||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Crumley, Patrick||Glanville, H. J.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Cullinan, John||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Barton, William||Davies, Ellis William (Elfion)||Goldstone, Frank|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Dawes, J. A.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||De Forest, Baron||Guiney, Patrick|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Delany, William||Hackett, John|
|Black, Arthur W.||Devlin, Joseph||Hancock, J. G.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Dickinson, W. H.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Donelan, Captain A.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Doris, William||Hardie, J. Keir|
|Brace, William||Duffy, William J.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Elverston, Sir Harold||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Burke, E. Havlland-||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Hayward, Evan|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Esslemont, George Birnle||Hazleton, Richard|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Falconer, James||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, East)|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watso[...]||Millar, James Duncan||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durh[...])||Molloy, Michael||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberde[...] W.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor [...]in., S.)||Morrell, Philip||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Higham, John Sharp||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Rowlands, James|
|Hinds, John||Munro, R.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Char E. H.||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Hodge, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Hogge, James Myles||Needham, Christopher T.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Neilson, Francis||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Horne, Charles Silvester [...]Wich)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nolan, Joseph||Sheehy, David|
|Hudson, Walter||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Hughes, S. L.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Ru[...]u||O'Brien, William (Cork)||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Bryn[...] (Sw'nsea)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr T[...]ll)||O'Doherty, Philip||Snowden, Philip|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merlo[...])||O'Donnell, Thomas||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carm[...]en, East)||O'Dowd, John||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Ru[...]liffe)||O'Grady, James||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Jones, William (Carnar[...]lre)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Keating, Matthew||O'Malley, William||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Kellaway, Frederick Geo[...]||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Shee, James John||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|King, J.||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (D[...], S. Molton)||Outhwaite, R. L.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts[...]ricklade)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Wadsworth, J.|
|Lardner, James Carrige she||Parker, James (Halifax)||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal,[...])||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rl[...]ockerm'th)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Leach, Charles||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Wardle, George J.|
|Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Lundon, Thomas||Pointer, Joseph||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Pollard, Sir George H.||Webb, H.|
|Lynch, A. A.||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkir[...]urghs)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|McGhee, Richard||Price, Sir R. J. (Norfolk, E.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Maclean, Donald||Pringle, William M. R.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. [...]J.||Radford, G. H.||Wiles, Thomas|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (D[...]gal, South)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Reddy, M.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|M'Curdy, C. A.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|M'Kean, John||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Regi[...]d||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilber||Rendall, Athelstan||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Manfield, Harry||Richards, Thomas||Winfrey, Richard|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Ba||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Marks, Sir George Croyd||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. [...]G.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Meagher, Michael||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Le[...]n, N.)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Robinson, Sidney||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tyn||Bridgeman, W. Clive||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian|
|Aitken, Sir William Ma[...]||Burdett-Coutts, W.||Dairymple, Viscount|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir Wi[...]m R.||Butcher, John George||Denniss, E. R. B.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major [...]llam||Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Doughty, Sir George|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Balcarres, Lord||Campion, W. R.||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick[...]rge||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Falle, Bertram Godfray|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy [...]Winchester)||Cator, John||Fell, Arthur|
|Barlow, Montague (Salfo[...]South)||Cautley, Henry Strother||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey|
|Barnston, Harry||Cave, George||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes|
|Barrie, H. T.||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts[...]llton)||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue|
|Beach, Hon. Michael H[...]Hicks||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Forster, Henry William|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (F[...]fouth)||Chambers, James||Gardner, Ernest|
|Blair, Reginald||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S[...] Griffith-||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Gibbs, George Abraham|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk[...]ld)||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Gilmour, Captain John|
|Boyton, James||Craik, Sir Henry||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Grant, J. A.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Gretton, John||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Sandys, G. J.|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|. Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Scott, Sir S (Marylebone, W.)|
|Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Stanier, Beville|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Magnus, Sir Philip||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||Moore, William||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Hoare, S. J. G.||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Mount, William Arthur||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Home, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Newman, John R. P.||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hume-Williams, W. E.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Hunt, Rowland||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Ward, A. (Herts, Watford)|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Jessel, Captain H. M.||Peel, Captain R. F.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Joynson-Hicks, William||Perkins, Walter F.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Peto, Basil Edward||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Kerry, Earl of||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks., E. R.)|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Winterton, Earl|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart.|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Randies, Sir John S.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Lewisham, Viscount||Remnant, James Farquharson||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Lloyd, G. A.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclcsall)||Cassel and Mr. Rawlinson.|
§ Mr. HUME-WILLIAMS
I beg to move, at end of Sub-section (1), to insert the words, "And the provisions of this Section, as to appeals from the Courts in Ireland, shall extend to appeals against convictions in respect of any offence which under the existing criminal law amounts to a felony, and His Majesty in Council may from time to time make rules as to the mode in which, and the conditions under which, in pursuance of this provision, appeals in criminal matters may be brought before His Majesty in Council, and any rules so made shall be of the same force as if they were enacted in this Act."
The object of this Amendment is to include among the cases that are to come up on appeal to the Judicial Committee to the Privy Council cases in which convictions have been obtained in Ireland for crime amounting to a felony under the existing law. I do not think, speaking at this time of day, that there is any necessity to emphasise the advantage of the existing Court of Criminal Appeal. I believe when the Bill for the constitution by this House of a Criminal Appeal Court in this country was first brought in there was some difference of opinion, but now that that Court has been in existence for some time I think there is a general consensus of opinion that it is performing a very useful work and has met a long-felt necessity. The object we have in view in this Amendment is to provide that there shall be in future 1466 in Ireland some form of Court of Criminal Appeal. The criticism will obviously be-made on the Amendment that the Privy Council does not form an ideal tribunal for constituting a Court of Criminal Appeal, but that is not our fault. I had myself a. Clause down to constitute a separate Court of Criminal Appeal for Ireland, but under the procedure existing in this House we have not been allowed to consider it, and therefore the only thing we can do is to try and utilise the tribunal, on which the Government is placing heavy work in connection with appeals in the future, for what we consider to be the very serious necessity of the case. I do not want to put it offensively to hon. Members from Ireland, but there can be no doubt that in the past in Ireland politics and crime have been inextricably mixed up together. You cannot shut your eyes to the political motives which are at the bottom of a great deal of the crime which comes before the Courts in Ireland. You only need to consider the annual returns which come to this House, showing the large number of cases in which the Crown has undertaken prosecutions in which they thought convictions ought to be obtained, and which they have entirely failed to obtain. Juries have allowed themselves in these matters to be swayed by political ideas. Who is to know in the future, when the Irish Parliament comes into being, if ever it does, that the process will not be reversed, and that you will have political prosecutions 1467 based on political grounds coining before the juries? It is idle to suppose that in the future they will be free from the bias which undoubtedly influences them at the present moment. No doubt there will be prosecutions resulting in unjust convictions. Under these circumstances, is it not obvious that some sort of Court of Criminal Appeal ought to be brought into existence? We should be content if we could get, even at this stage, some assurance from the Government that a really independent Court of Criminal Appeal will be established.
I am not in love with the Privy Council for carrying out this work, but owing to what the House has already decided, it is the only alternative. Therefore, I suggest that this power should be given to the Privy Council, or else we should have some undertaking that a Criminal Court of Appeal will be established. Great as is the necessity for a Court of Criminal Appeal in this country, and great as its success has been under the existing condition of things, I am sure that when the Irish Parliament comes into being it will be still more required, because you have introduced into this Bill a provision under which the judges in Ireland are to be nominated by the Lord Lieutenant, who will be a political partisan. [An HON. MEMBER: "NO."] I understood from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the Lord Lieutenant acted upon the advice of his Executive, and may be treated as a political partisan. The real gist of what I am saying is that you have got first a judge appointed by the Lord Lieutenant and removable by a Joint Address of the Irish Parliament. What is the meaning of that? At present the judges are removable in Ireland only upon a Joint Address of this House, and in the future you are going to put this power into the hands of the Irish House of Commons, dominated, as it undoubtedly will be, by the political majority of the day. The Joint Address is that of the House of Commons, and of this particular debating society which you are pleased to call a Senate.
What will be the result? You leave hanging over the heads of the judges this sword of Damocles, and if they exercise the independence of English judges upon which in this country the whole success of the law is founded, they are liable to have their actions called into question and to lose their position on the initiative of a political majority in the Irish House of Commons, totally uncontrolled by any 1468 Second Chamber. It is quite clear that in the future you run a serious danger in your quasi political criminal trials of having a judge without the absolute sense of independence which he possesses at the present time. That is the reason why some form of appeal should be given to some tribunal for the protection of the liberties of those whom everybody must admit when this Irish Parliament comes into existence will be seriously jeopardised. Those hon. Members who have heard the Debates will have no doubt whatever in their hearts that there will be when this Act comes into operation serious trouble for the community in Ireland. If this is so in regard to the temptations which I have outlined; if at the present moment you have juries admittedly liable to be swayed by political opinions, surely if ever a case was made out in which there ought to be an appeal this is that case, and there ought to be some form of independent tribunal in which an appeal would lie.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I think it is obvious to the House that my hon. and learned Friend scarcely expected that this Amendment would be accepted, and I even think he hardly desired that it should be accepted, because I doubt very much whether he will suggest that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ought to be made a Court of Criminal Appeal in these matters. Of course, I gather from his argument that he felt constrained to make this proposal because he had not had an opportunity to put some other proposal he wished to make before the House. If we were to accept his Amendment, the Court of Criminal Appeal would be the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. I am somewhat surprised at this proposal, because, so far as I know, there has been no agitation in Ireland for a Court of Criminal Appeal up to the present. We instituted such a Court in this country because there was a demand for it. It was an experiment which had a great deal of comment and criticism passed upon it, but I quite agree that it has worked extremely well, and has satisfied everybody, even its most severe opponents. That is a Court of Appeal which is granted by Statute. The hon. Member asked what would happen assuming that we accepted this Amendment. It is suggested that, supposing a conviction had been wrongly obtained through a wrongful admission of 1469 evidence, or some technical point, as the Court of Criminal Appeal is here constituted it would mean that the Court has to be satisfied as to the conviction, but it has already expressed the view that it ought to have power to grant a new trial.
As this Amendment stands, there would be far greater power vested in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council than actually exists in the Criminal Court of Appeal. I am puzzled by the Amendment, because there is no appeal at all in Ireland to this House. It is suggested that there should be an appeal direct to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. I am not criticising so much the details, and I appreciate that the hon. and learned Member has been constrained to put this Amendment forward in this form on account of our Rules of Order, because we have now passed the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the supreme tribunal. But surely the answer to that argument is that, if it is desired by the people of Ireland that there should be a Court of Criminal Appeal, you should let the people of Ireland decide that for themselves. It is not for us to decide a question of that character. You say, "It is quite true there has been no demand, but we in the Imperial Parliament wish to insist upon setting up this Court of Appeal and you must take it as we propose it." I do not think that really is a proposition which can be really seriously put forward. If you once accept the view as provided by this Bill that there is to be an Irish Parliament, you must allow that Parliament to decide this question in its own way, and determine for itself in what cases and under what circumstances there shall be a criminal appeal. I do not think it would be of any use to give further reasons in answer to this Amendment. Personally, I am very much puzzled by the suggestion, and I can only say it would be quite im-
§ possible to carry out this proposal in the form in which the hon. and learned Member proposes.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I think the Attorney-General's speech begs the whole question. First of all, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is, as the right hon. Gentleman admitted, the only body which is now open to us to propose as a Court of Appeal. In the second place, the Attorney-General omits to remind the House of what is the fact, namely, that we protested with all the strength in our power against the Irish Parliament being allowed to appoint the judges in Ireland, and to dismiss them as well. We pointed out that that was entirely novel in federal Constitutions, and something which has never been before allowed in any federal Constitution. Now the Attorney-General says if the people of Ireland desire a Court of Criminal Appeal they will ask for it. They are to be judges in their own cause. If the majority in Ireland do not want a Court of Criminal Appeal the minority will have no power to get one. You cannot get away from the fact that a judge who will be responsible to and removable by an Irish Parliament will be inclined to have some regard for the political feelings of the majority in the Irish Parliament. That is an essential vice of the Government's scheme of making the judges removable by Parliament.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
Yes, I know it does, but here we have greater faith in the good sense of the majority than we have in Ireland.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 175; Noes, 303.1473
|Division No. 503.]||AYES.||[7.30 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bird, Alfred||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford, Univ.)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Blair, Reginald||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Chambers, James|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Boyton, James||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Bridgeman, W. Clive||Cooper, Richard Ashmole|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Burdett-Coutts, W.||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Butcher, John George||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Campion, W. R.||Dairymple, Viscount|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)|
|Barnston, Harry||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Denniss, E. R. B.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Cassel, Felix||Doughty, Sir George|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Cator, John||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Cautley, Henry Strother||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Becket, Hon. Gervase||Cave, George||Faber, George Denison (Claptum)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Cecll Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Falle, Bertram Godfray|
|Fell, Arthur||Kimber, Sir Henry||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Larmor, Sir J.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Royds, Edmund|
|Fiannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Lewisham, Viscount||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Forster, Henry William||Lloyd, George Ambrose||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Sandys, G. J.|
|Gibbs, George Abraham||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Gilmour, Captain John||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Goldsmith, Frank||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich)||Stanier, Beville|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Stanley, Hon, Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Grant, J. A.||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Gretton, John||Magnus, Sir Philip||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Haddock, George Bahr||Miidmay, Francis Bingham||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Moore, William||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Mount, William Arthur||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Newdegate, F. A.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Newman, John R. P.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Henderson, Major H. (Berks)||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Hoare, S. J. G.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Peel, Captain R. F.||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Home, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Perkins, Walter F.||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Peto, Basil Edward||Winterton, Earl|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Hunt, Rowland||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Wyndharn, Rt. Hon. George|
|Ingleby, Holcombe||Quitter, Sir William Eley C.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Jessel, Captain H. M.||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Joynson-Hicks, William||Rawlinson, Sir Frederick Peel||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Rawson, Col. Richard H.||Hume-Williams and Mr. Bigland.|
|Kerry, Earl of|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Ffrench, Peter|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Clancy, John Joseph||Field, William|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Clough, William||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Alden, Percy||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Furness, Stephen|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Condon, Thomas Joseph||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Gilhooly, James|
|Arnold, Sydney||Cotton, William Francis||Gill, A. H.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Ginnell, Laurence|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Gladstone, W. G. C.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Crean, Eugene||Glanville, H. J.|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Crooks, William||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Crumley, Patrick||Goldstone, Frank|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Cullinan, John||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward|
|Barnes, G. N.||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Barton, William||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Guiney, Patrick|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Hackett, John|
|Bentham, G. J.||Dawes, J. A.||Hancock, J. G.|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||De Forest, Baron||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Delany, William||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Devlin, Joseph||Hardie, J. Keir|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Dickinson, W. H.||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Donelan, Captain A.||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Brace, William||Doris, William||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Duffy, William J.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Elverston, Sir Harold||Hayward, Evan|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Hazleton, Richard|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford)||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N. E.)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Helme, Sir Norval Watson|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Essiemont, George Birnie||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Byles, Sir William||Falconer, James||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Farrell, James Patrick||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Higham, John Sharp|
|Hinds, John||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Worrell, Philip||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Hodge, John||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Rowlands, James|
|Hogge, James Myles||Munro, R.||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Horne, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Needham, Christopher T.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Hudson, Walter||Neilson, Francis||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Hughes, S. L.||Nicholson, sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Schwann, Rt Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Nolan, Joseph||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|John, Edward Thomas||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Sheehy, David|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Brien, William (Cork)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Smith, Albert (Lanes., Clitheroe)|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Doherty, Philip||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Donnell, Thomas||Snowden, Philip|
|Keating, Matthew||O'Dowd, John||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Grady, James||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|King, J. (Somerset, North)||O'Malley, William||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||O'Shee, James John||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Outhwaite, R. L.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Leach, Charles||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Walsh, Stephen (Lanes., Ince)|
|Low, Sir F. (Norwich)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Lundon, Thomas||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Lynch, A. A.||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Pointer, Joseph||Wardle, George J.|
|McGhee, Richard||Pollard, Sir George H.||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Maclean, Donald||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Watt, Henry Anderson|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Price, Sir R. J. (Norfolk, E.)||Webb, H.|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Pringle, William M. R.||White, J. Dundas (Glas., Tradeston)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Radford, G. H.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|M'Curdy, C. A.||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|M'Kean, John||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wiles, Thomas|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Reddy, M.||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Manfield, Harry||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Rendall, Athelstan||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Richards, Thomas||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Martin, Joseph||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Winfrey, Richard|
|Meagher, Michael||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Middlebrook, William||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Millar, James Duncan||Robinson, Sidney|
|Molloy, Michael||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Wond, Sir Alfred M.||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
§ It being after half-past Seven of the clock, Mr. SPKAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Orders of the House of the 14th October and 30th December last to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at half-past Seven of the clock at this day's sitting.
§ Government Amendment made: At end of Clause add,
§ "(4) Any person who is aggrieved by any decision of the Court of Appeal in 1474 any proceedings taken by way of certiorari, mandamus, quo warranto, or prohibition, shall have a right to appeal to His Majesty the King in Council in the same manner as if he had such a right to appeal to the House of Lords before the passing of this Act."—[Sir Rufus Isaacs.]