§ Order read for resuming adjourned Debate on Amendment to Question [15th January',] "That the Bill be now read the third time."
§ Which Amendment was to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."—[Mr. Balfour.]
§ Question again proposed. Debate resumed.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir John Simon)
This is, I think, the fifty-second day of the Debate on the merits of this Bill. After more than ten weeks of Parliamentary discussion on the subject I think it may be assumed that every corner of the field of controversy has been elaborately explored from both sides. That makes it the more easy for me, on my part, I do not say to satisfy, but to endeavour, to some extent, to mollify my hon. Friend (Sir W. Byles), who has just addressed a question to you. If that be true of any subject of debate, it must be trebly true of the subject which is dealt with in this Bill. Ever since 1886 Home Rule has constituted a dividing line between the two great British parties. Its advocacy by Mr. Gladstone caused the most serious secession in modern Parliamentary history from one party to another. Opposition to it gives the party opposite the name by which they choose to be 2301 called, and, indeed, if there is anything in a name, the prime object of the existence of the Unionist party will disappear as soon as Home Rule is carried. We are told by those who oppose this Bill that time has brought its changes to the Irish problem, and that we are dealing with a changed Ireland in a changed world. So we are. But there is one thing about the Irish problem which does not change, that is the demand which is made by the mass of the Irish people, constitutionally expressed through their representatives here, for a measure of Home Rule. We have had years of resolute government; we have had the policy of killing Home Rule by kindness; we have had—and we all of us wish to acknowledge that the party opposite has contributed to and carried forward recent Irish reforms—we have had land reform applied. All these things may have had their effect, but they have not had the effect of modifying or qualifying or cutting down the demand of the Irish people for Home Rule. Indeed, that demand shows no sign of declining. Judged by the test of representation, and I know not what other test one can equally reasonably apply, the volume of that demand to-day is as great as, and is even greater than, the demand which has been made in times past, since Home Rule has become a question of practical British politics.
We had a speech last night, at the end of the Debate, from the right hon. Gentleman who is one of the Members for Trinity College, Dublin (Mr. J. H. Campbell). For some years before the year 1900 that right hon. Gentleman sat not for Trinity College, but for a Division of Dublin City. A right hon. Gentleman who has often intervened in these Debates, although I do not see him on the bench opposite at the moment, the right hon. Gentleman who is now the Member for the Strand Division (Mr. Long)—[An HON. MEMBER: "He is ill."] I am very sorry to hear that. Before that right hon. Gentleman sought the safe seclusion of the Strand he represented a Division of Dublin County. There are representatives of those constituencies in the House to-day, but they sit on the Nationalist Benches. More than that, go to Belfast itself. It was not so long ago that a Division of Belfast which is now represented by a Nationalist Member, was represented in this House by a Unionist Secretary for War. Can anybody fairly say that a cause has declined in view of this change which 2302 may be said to have taken place in some of the factors and elements of Irish politics? Can anybody say a cause is declining when you find those who advocate the cause successfully capturing the outposts of the enemy, and, indeed, carrying on, at this moment, a siege of Derry? The figures, of course are well known enough, though sometimes I think the Irish Unionists do not always speak with complete accuracy when they say what they do say about the proportions in this House. They speak of the representatives of a quarter of the people of Ireland. Let us see what the facts are in regard to representation in this House to-day. If you exclude the two Members for Trinity College for the moment—I shall have a word to say about Trinity College before I sit down—you have got in this House today 100 Members from Ireland, and of those 100 Members, sixteen alone—[An HON. MEMBER: "Seventeen"]—there is a vacancy at the moment—sixteen alone are opposed to the carriage of this Bill. More than that, no single one of those sixteen Members comes from the province of Munster or the province of Leinster or the province of Connaught. They all come from a portion of the province of Ulster, and if you go to the province of Ulster, with its nine counties, you find, if you put out of sight for a moment the county in which the present contested election is going on, Londonderry, there is not a single Ulster county which does not send to this House, either as a county Member or as a borough Member, from within the bounds of that county an advocate of Home Rule for Ireland. The strength and sincerity of those who speak as Irish Unionists we have never sought to doubt, and I trust we shall recognise its importance and its significance. They have fought their fight here from their own point of view with conspicuous courage and the most obvious single-mindedness and sincerity. But while that is true, and while it is plain to any fair-minded man, is not this also plain, that apart from that body of Irish Unionists, especially amongst the younger men on the Conservative side, there is really no such deep enthusiasm in the mass of the Conservative party for opposition to Home Rule as in times past?
Let me suggest why I think so. Let me take a test—not always an inconvenient test—of the strength of passionate feeling—though I hope hon. Gentlemen opposite do not understand me to suggest that because I think their passion has somewhat 2303 cooled they are not sincere in their passion as far as it goes—let us take the test of recent by-elections. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. F. E. Smith) has been to a good many in the last year. Will he give us, when he comes to speak, the case of any by-election since this Bill was introduced, in a British constituency, where the argument that has been pressed, and very firmly and enthusiastically pressed by himself and his friends, and has really been put in the forefront of the fight, is the issue of opposition to Home Rule? It may be that by-elections are fought on the cry that there will be no food tax till the General Election after next, it may be that last year they were fought on the alleged unpopularity of the Insurance Act, but certain it is, and well within the knowledge of any man who has followed recent political controversy, that the devotion of the rank and file of the Unionist party to the cause of opposition to Home Rule, sincere as I do not doubt it is within its limits, is not that fierce and passionate resistance which no doubt was exhibited a generation ago by many a man who thought this experiment was dangerous to this country and to the Empire. Let me go to Ireland itself. I submit that outside the ranks of the Ulster Unionists and those whom they directly represent in that portion of Ireland, even Unionists and even the Irish Unionists in Ireland itself have begun to feel that the times indeed are changing.
I said I would refer to the case of Trinity College. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. J. H. Campbell), who is one of the representatives of that institution, did not, so far as I observed, ever refer to it at all. He moved, when the Committee stage began, on behalf of his constituents, an Amendment which was to exclude Trinity College altogether from the purview of the Home Rule Bill. He did so in complete good faith, believing that he represented the deliberate wishes of the mass of his constituents, and he was to a certain extent confirmed in his view. The board of Trinity College—I rather think it consists of eight or nine persons, at the head of it the Nestor of the College, Dr. Traill—and the older men who compose that board confirmed him. But what happened in Trinity College itself? Among the junior fellows, among the teaching staff, among the body of younger men, Unionists, as many indeed most of them are, they none the less, when they came to -consider the course to which the right hon. 2304 Gentleman recommended them, came to a conclusion by a substantial majority, which was felt by him to be so sufficient that some modification of his course of action was desirable, not indeed that they are in favour of this Bill, but they came to a conclusion which, sincere as their resistance to this Bill may be, none the less recognised that the time has come when it is better for Irish people who care for their country not to cut themselves off from the National movement. The truth is that while one very formidable obstacle remains, which those of us who advocate this Bill will do well carefully to regard, the old fears of Home Rule are dead. I say nothing to the discredit of hon. Gentlemen opposite when I suggest it. At any rate, I think it must be true. What has happened in the interval since Home Rule was first suggested by Mr. Gladstone? Local government in Ireland, which the late Lord Salisbury declared to be more dangerous than Home Rule itself, has been established by a Unionist Government without producing disaster. We have had the experience of a whole generation in which the principles and the practice of self-government throughout the Empire has been abundantly vindicated and justified. You may think that the British people are foolish in the view they take, but surely you cannot deny that they are people who have been profoundly influenced on this Irish question by the undoubted success of self-government in the Transvaal. It is a favourite criticism when such a point is made that after all the framework of this Bill does not correspond precisely and exactly to the form of self-government which you find in the Empire at large. That is true. But let me call attention to the true limits within which that criticism becomes pertinent and relevant. In the first place, can it be denied that the form which self-government takes within the Empire at large, apart from Ireland, is not always the same? Constitutions differ amongst themselves. In the second place, can hon. Gentlemen opposite who use that argument point to any instance in which any form of self-government in the Empire has ever been followed by disaster? More, can they point to any instance where the denial to a white race under the British Crown of the rights of self-government has produced other than discontent? That is the true limit within which we seek to apply what is called the Colonial analogy, and I think it shows good sense and judgment on the part of our people that they 2305 at any rate are not affected by these nice distinctions and they have been profoundly influenced in their view of the right solution of the Irish question by the undoubted success of the application of self-government in other parts of our Dominions.
One reason further. The congestion of business in this House during the last generation has by common consent, by almost daily complaint, reached a degree which as a mere matter of practical readjustment calls for a remedy, and it does not appear to me that the Opposition really themselves contend or pretend that the present situation in Ireland is one which can continue. It is not their case that the present situation is satisfactory. According to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. J. H. Campbell) after a hundred years of the Act of Union, the mass of his fellow countrymen are people whom no one can trust. They are the associates of murderers and assassins, and that is the best that he can say for the policy which he is here to defend. To do the Unionist party justice on this matter, they have never contended, as I follow their argument, that they simply wish to leave things as they are. We have had the attempt to improve the situation by repression; we have had the attempt to improve the situation by benevolence; we have had the glittering prospect of unlimited sums of British money advanced, I suppose, in the interests of Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bonar Law) went to Belfast last April, and he, like others who spoke in opposition to Home Rule, was not content to attack it, but he had an alternative. He said, speaking of the Unionist party in the event of their assuming the responsibility of government:—It will be our endeavour to develop in every possible way the resources of Ireland, and so long as Ireland continues in full partnership with the United Kingdom, we shall, as British Statesmen, be justified in doing so, for the increased prosperity of Ireland will mean increased prosperity for England and Scotland as well.I quite follow the prospect. I note in passing that the right hon. Gentleman is one of those who clearly thinks that Ireland in this matter should be regarded as a whole. He goes on:—Yon know also—it is scarcely necessary for me to say it—that the return of the Unionist Government to power will mean a change in the fiscal system of this country, and of all parts of the United Kingdom there is none which in my opinion will benefit more from such a change than Ireland. That system will be framed with special and anxious regard to the interests of Ireland.Is the offer still open? The right hon. Gentleman, I understand, assents and says it is. We know, of course, what the nature 2306 of that offer was. Here is the official handbook against Home Rule, with a preface by the Leader of the Opposition himself, and with an article written by the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Carson) whose absence to-day we all so sincerely deplore. He defined the offer. It was an offer that—as long as Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom, in dairy produce and poultry, in bailey and oats, in hops, tobacco, sugar beet, vegetables and fruit, in all of which Ireland is specially interested, Irish products will have free entry into the protected market of Great Britain. Canadian and Australian products would of course have such a preference over foreign competitors as a Home Rule Ireland might claim, but it is only under the Union that Ireland could expect complete freedom of access to our markets.The offer is still open, and I do not think I can do wrong when I describe this as the official handbook against Home Rule. I see it has contributions from nearly every Member on the Front Bench, except the right hon. and learned Gentleman who is to follow me (Mr. F. E. Smith). It has an introduction by the hon. and learned Member for Trinity College (Sir E. Carson), a preface by the Leader of the Opposition, and it is edited by S. Rosenbaum. [Laughter and interruption.] Please do not understand me to say anything disrespectful of the editor. I think it is not too much to say that the only remaining ground of opposition to the measure we propose is that ground which depends on the case of the minority in Ireland, which for this purpose—they will forgive me if I say—appropriates the name of Ulster. That opposition is put in two forms. I should like to state them both and endeavour to state what the answer is. In the first place, it is put in the form—the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London has more than once put it—that there is a want of logic in the Home Rule position, because it is contended, on the one hand, that Ireland is entitled to Home Rule because her representatives demand it, and yet it is said, "You feel it is competent to you to disregard the claim of Ulster, although a large part of the representation of Ulster makes a contradictory claim." That proposition, attractive as it is, is based on a fallacy. It is based on a complete misunderstanding of the argument for self-government as we understand it. Our proposition is that Ireland is a unity. It has never been our proposition that Irishmen are unanimous. It is our proposition that Ireland, if fairly considered, will be found to be for political, legislative, administrative, and fiscal purposes a unity, and once that proposition is understood and accepted it really 2307 is no answer to the case we make to say that you find in one corner of Ireland a majority extremely well organised and extremely determined in its view, which is opposed to the general view of Ireland.
I do not believe that there has ever been a case in which self-government has been extended inside the bounds of the British Empire where you could not have found some people within the area who were in favour of the old order for reasons which are perfectly natural, and in no sense discreditable to themselves. But it is not a fact that you destroy the argument at the basis of the case for Home Rule by saying, "Oh! there are Ulstermen and people in Belfast and the surrounding counties who take a strong and determined view against the mass of their fellow-countrymen." The fact that Irishmen quarrel does not prove that they belong to two nations. It only proves that they belong to a rather quarrelsome nation, and the reason why, as it seems to us, we are entitled to treat Ireland as a unity is a thing which must be recognised as a fact on both sides of the House. I take the Statute Book, and I find, whether you look at Unionist administration or Liberal administration, every single year we pass Statute after Statute for Ireland alone, and we pass an immense number of other Statutes for Great Britain, Scotland, or Wales. There is an occasional case where a Statute deals with even a smaller area, but is, nevertheless, a public Statute. The broad proposition, if you analyse it, is that you will find 50 per cent. of the public general Statutes we pass through this House do not apply to the whole of the United Kingdom. I find that in the Statute Book for the five years, 1906–1910, there are 104 public Statutes which do not apply to Ireland at all, and there are thirty-four Statutes which apply to Ireland alone. Will anybody show me a Statute which applies to Ulster alone? Has there ever been in practical experience of legislation in this House a case where it has been found necessary, from the legislative point of view, to regard Ulster as a separate portion of Ireland? What is true of legislation is doubly true of administration, and the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, when he spoke at Belfast, made his proposition to Ireland as a whole, because he was appealing to the nation in respect of every department of legislation and every department of administration. You will 2308 find that while it is true that one party admit and the other party deny that Ireland has the attributes of a nation, we both agree in this, that she ought to be treated and regarded as a suitable and separate unity and entity for the purposes of legislation, administration, and finance.
Really, while it is true, and a sad thing it is, that there is this deep chasm dividing some Irishmen from other Irishmen, they will be the first to admit that the deep sentiment that unites them to their fellow countrymen is a far more precious thing in their own eyes than those differences. Every time an Irishman hears of a deed of Irish gallantry his bosom swells, but he does not ask what part his countryman comes from. Every time an Irishman hears of a raid by Irishmen on the British Treasury he joins hands with them without asking where they come from. While it is perfectly true, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London pointed out, that there is this deep division between the parties in Ireland to-day, we should not forget that the things that unite Irishmen are far more significant than those things which divide them. The other argument used as to the Ulster case is that advanced by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London. The House followed his speech yesterday with the closest attention, and nobody could fail to be impressed by it. I do confess that with the most sincere desire to find the result of his argument, I failed to understand where it is. The right hon. Gentleman said you will find identity of religious and political divisions in the case of the Irish people, and he added that wherever that occurred it was a disaster likely to lead to inconvenience, embarrassments, and even injustice to a minority. What conclusion does the right hon. Gentleman draw from that? There are many other countries in which there are those divisions of religious opinion. Divisions of religious opinion cannot in themselves be a reason for refusing self-government. It cannot be because there are different religious opinions in Ireland that this view is taken, for difference of religious opinion is to be found in many countries in the world. It cannot be because the majority is Catholic, because there are many areas which successfully exercise self-government where the majority is Catholic. If it is analysed, it will be found, though the right hon. Gentleman did not draw this conclusion, that the only ground on which you can seek to resist this 2309 proposal is not because there is a majority opposed to a minority, not because the majority is Catholic and the minority Protestant, but simply because the majority consists of Irish Catholics. What possible justification is there for that insinuation against the Catholics of Ireland?
§ Sir J. SIMON
I do not wish to attribute to the right hon. Gentleman any language he would think unfair. I meant. What ground is there for supposing that the majority in Ireland, because they are Catholics, are going to behave unfairly to the minority of their fellow countrymen who are Protestants?
§ Sir J. SIMON
The right hon. Gentleman spoke as if this was a thing that was always true in Ireland, but nothing could be further from historical fact. It is not true that the Irish people have been always divided into political camps of Catholics and Protestants through the centuries. It has characterised the period of the Union, but it characterised no other period in Irish history. An Irish Parliament consisting mostly of Catholics has met in Dublin before to-day. There was the Parliament of 1689. It met at a time of very great religious and social excitement. It undoubtedly consisted mostly of Irish Catholics, and one of the first acts of that Legislature was to pass for Ireland a measure of complete religious equality and freedom in the interest of the whole population of the country. That was one hundred years before the National Assembly did such a thing in France, and long before it was done by this House in this country. The right hon. Gentleman will forgive me for seeming to persist in this in spite of his argument. Take the history that led up to the Union and the agitation of 1798. You may think it was a good agitation or a bad agitation, but it certainly was not a Catholic agitation. It was an agitation in which the Northern Presbyterians and the Southern Protestants and Irish Catholics all took part, and it has been a matter of constant reference in these Debates, more particularly by the spokes- 2310 man of the Irish Unionists, that before the Act of Union the Protestants of Ireland were opposed to the carrying of that Act. The truth is that political parties then in Ireland did not correspond with religious divisions at all. The Roman Catholic hierarchy were for the most part in favour of the Act of Union, while a great mass of Irish Catholics were opposed to it. The mass, I dare say, of the Presbyterians of Ulster may have been opposed to it. I think, for reasons good or bad, some of them were in its favour. But peculiar to the period of the Union, speaking broadly, is this narrow identification of religious and political interest on one side and the other and it is no good for those of us who do not live in Ireland to make assertions as to the intolerance of Irish Catholics.
The right hon. Gentleman may have forgotten, but I did not attribute to Irishmen in general or to Irish Catholics in particular any degree of intolerance as being special to their country or to their religion. There is nothing in my speech to suggest such a thing. What I pointed out was that the phenomenon of which I was afraid had shown itself wherever a religion was in a majority-Protestant, Greek, Roman, or in India—and whenever you had party divisions and these religious divisions coinciding there the minority invariably did suffer. That had nothing to do with Ireland and nothing to do with Roman Catholicism.
§ Sir J. SIMON
I am very much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman, because he knows that I desire to do nothing but to answer his argument as I understand it. If I cannot meet it I suffer. But I do. not wish to pass it by and call it by some other name. I follow perfectly what the right hon. Gentleman has said, and I ask, if that be so, what is the right hon. Gentleman's remedy for Ireland? Is this to go on for ever? And my answer, which the right hon. Gentleman, as he has interrupted me, will allow me to put, is this: I submit to the judgment of the House that in the Ireland of to-day the political and religious divisions have been to a very large extent the product of the Union itself, and my comment, therefore, was really directed to the right hon. Gentleman's point, because I pointed out—and really I do not think this will be disputed—that Irish Catholics undoubtedly had before the Union, as, for instance, in the Parliament of 1689, taken a part which was not unfair to their Protestant fellow countrymen, that in the 2311 agitation of 1798 there was no such corresponding division, and that in the criticism of the Act of Union itself there was no such division according to religious distinctions. I believe it to be true to say that this narrow division to which the right hon. Gentleman quite properly pointed is merely a thing which is to be found historically identified with the period of Union, and anybody can see the reason for it. If you attempt to administer an area of this sort with the acute possibilities of difference within it from outside, if you deprive the people of that country of the opportunity of taking a common interest in things which concern their common welfare, if you leave them nothing to do but quarrel about things which are naturally matters of quarrel between them and attempt to manage their public affairs from outside, then that is the way you succeed in perpetuating these miserable divisions. Really is it possible for us to proceed to a Division on the Third Reading of this Bill on the assumption that the Irish Unionists themselves allege against Irish Catholics, the majority of their fellow countrymen, that they expect or are afraid of or think there is any risk of unfairness? The hon. Gentleman the Member for South Antrim (Mr. C. Craig) made a speech in this House on the Committee stage in which he said:—I think the House of Commons is the only place on the face of the earth where Members seem to be determined to ignore the fact that our objection, not only to this Clause but to the whole Bill, lies in the hostility which exists between the various Churches in Ireland. Everyone who knows anything about it, knows perfectly well that if we, Protestants, Presbyterians, Churchmen or whatever we may he, thought for a moment that we should receive fair treatment from our Roman Catholic fellow countrymen, and particularly from the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, we should look upon the proposal for Home Rule in a very different spirit and from a very different point of view.But what is it his leaders have said both in this House and outside it? The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Leader of the Irish Unionists (Sir E. Carson) laid down in this House in the plainest terms that he, for his part, had never any fear of legislation. I am particularly anxious to do him justice in his absence. He attached no importance to the suggestion that there was going to be oppression by way of legislation by the Catholics of Ireland. But the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Strand (Mr. Long) went very much further. These are his words:—If the Leader of the Irish party, Mr. Redmond, complains that we talk of religious differences in Ireland and we believe that the Catholic majority would 2312 trample upon the Protestant minority, that again is an argument to which I have never attached importance. I know Ireland well and I have a great many relatives and friends in Ireland, both Protestant and Catholic. I believe that in Ireland as in any other country religious difficulties will always be settled by the general common sense of the people.It would indeed be a sad thing at the end of these Debates if the Irishmen who take part in our discussion should leave us with the impression that each of them makes so grievous an imputation against the other as is involved in accusations of this kind. If no such accusation is made, then the last objection to the principle of this Bill disappears, and we, for our part, believe that by the carriage of this measure we shall substitute for the artificial divisions which at present divide Irishmen natural divisions, which in any self-governing community ought to divide opinion. By so doing, we believe that on a strict application of the principle which has succeeded throughout the British Empire, we shall reconcile the Irish and the British people.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
In the early part of the speech the right hon. and learned Gentleman recalled in support of his main contention some of the electoral changes which had taken place in Ireland in the course of the last ten years. I confess that that argument, when applied within so small a range, does not appear to me to be specially conclusive. If he intended to make any complete statement, I should have thought he would have noted the changes that had taken place in the representation of North Antrim and South Tyrone. If he did not intend to make a complete statement, the subject, perhaps, was hardly worth referring to at all. The right hon. Gentleman added—and I cannot investigate the truth of his position at length—that, in his opinion, there was not such deep enthusiasm among younger Conservative Members in opposition to this Home Rule Bill as there was in the old days. I am not old enough by personal knowledge of the House of Commons to say what degree of enthusiasm was shown by younger Members in those days. But the right hon. Gentleman suggested that the issue is not, and has not been, a prominent one at recent by-elections, I can only say upon this, that an issue can be made prominent by one side or by the other side, or by both sides, and that if the party which is introducing a change so vital, so fundamental as this, and so great a part of the whole party policy as this, has never busied itself to make it an issue at the 2313 by-elections, the argument at least is a somewhat double-edged one, which founds itself upon apathy in the constituencies. I was a little surprised that the right hon. Gentleman should have made a reference in support of his argument to the case of Trinity College, Dublin. My right hon. Friend the junior Member for Trinity College, Dublin (Mr. Campbell), announced the change, whether it was important or unimportant, which he had made in reference to that institution only a few nights ago. The right hon. and learned Gentleman followed him, and said with good feeling, which was appreciated on this side of the House:—The right hon. Gentleman has spoken with so single-minded a desire to do what he thinks will he best for the great establishment which he represents in this House that we for our part will never think of making party capital out of it.On the very next occasion on which the right hon. Gentleman follows my right hon. Friend in Debate, he uses this very case out of which he was prepared never to make party capital for the purpose of making party capital in its crudest form.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The argument may be a bad one or a good one, but I do not think that anybody who heard me could say fairly that I was using it in the sense referred to by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Sir J. SIMON
It depends on what you mean by party capital. I was using what I believe to be a relevant argument to support the truth of what I said.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I do not think that any considerable number of Members on either side of the House at this period of our existence would be in any doubt as to the reasonable and proper scope of the term "party capital." What I understand by the term is the use of an argument with the sole object of supporting the view which one's own party is putting forward against the view put forward by the other party. The right hon. Gentleman is supporting his party policy to-day against our party policy and uses this argument of which he said only a few days ago he would make no party use. Indeed, I hardly think the topic was worthy of the conspicuous place which the right hon. Gentleman gave to it in his observations. He used it, if I understand his argument aright in reinforcement of his main contention that a change of view had taken place among the younger Members of the Conservative party. What is the memorial 2314 that was signed by the junior fellows and teachers of Trinity College, Dublin? One would almost think by his introduction of the argument that they had weakened in some respect in their opposition to Home Rule. The only thing they have done is, they have agreed that they shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Irish Parliament on any specific issue as to which they desire it themselves. You could get Ulster to submit to this Bill on those terms. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Does anyone doubt that? Let the offer be made.
I will deal with one other observation made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman and which I regret. He read out with a very peculiar intonation, which I think all of us understood, the name of Mr. Rosenbaum. [Laughter.] I am going to ask the House to consider whether it is quite fair to indulge in laughter of that kind. This gentleman belongs to a class to the support of which every political party in this House is constantly and reasonably indebted. That is to say, he belongs to the class of gentlemen who are very expert on special subjects and supply the lack of expert knowledge on our part by the kind of assistance upon which all of us depend. No one then could possibly sneer against their profession. Then what is the object of this sneering? It was put with perfect crudeness by a Member of the Nationalist party, who spoke the other day and who stated in terms that this gentleman was not an Anglo-Saxon or not English, or something to that effect. I should like to understand whether the right hon, and learned Gentleman as representing the Government and sitting among his colleagues, desires to associate himself with the mention in Debate in this House of a gentleman who cannot defend himself and whose only fault is that he is a Jew?
§ Sir J. SIMON
I referred to this gentleman because, rightly or wrongly, I had got the impression that a good deal of the argument that had been used on the Home Rule Bill had been his composition. I care not the least in the world to what race he may belong, and the right hon. Gentleman knows me well enough to be aware that what I am saying in that regard is quite true.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I shall certainly accept any statement of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but I must confess that—and I am in the recollection of the House, though I may have been quite 2315 wrong—I thought he read out the name, Rosenbaum, with a very peculiar and derisive intonation.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I accept the right hon. Gentleman's statement that he did not intend to use any particular intonation, but whatever he may have intended there can be no mistake about the intention of some of his admirers who heard the name read out, because it was immediately received with derisive laughter. I confess, also, that I heard with considerable surprise a statement which the right hon. Gentleman made upon a matter which is purely historical. His statement was, if I understood him aright, that in the main the bitterness between Protestants and Catholics only dates from the Act of Union. Of all historical statements—
§ Sir J. SIMON
I am very sorry to interrupt, but I did not say anything like that. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] Then I will state what I intended to say. What I said was that this identity of division between religions on the one hand, and politics on the other, was in the main characteristic of the Union period.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I am very anxious not to enter into any controversy, but I thought and think that the right hon. Gentleman said that the division between the two religions in Ireland was contemporary with the Act of Union. Some one has been good enough to hand me a summary of Macaulay's history of the period anterior to the Union, 1689. Macaulay, speaking of the two sects—Protestant and Catholic—said:—It might have been possible to establish in Ireland a just and beneficent Government, a Government which would know no distinction of race or of sect, but which would alleviate by judicious liberality the. misfortune of the ancient gentry. That opportunity passed away; compromise again become impossible; the two infuriated castes were alike and ever convinced that it was necessary to oppress or to be oppressed, and that there could be no safety but in victory, vengeance and domination.The right hon. and learned Gentleman might have derived enlightenment from the speech of the Prime Minister made last night on this subject. He said:—What is the Irish question? It is not a question of what took place at the Act of Union: it goes much further back. I am not going to recall all the old stories of conquests and reconquests, of plantations and replantations, of devastations and expropriations,and so forth. And when the right hon. Gentleman referred to the chief 2316 grievances, mentioning tithe as one, and another equally anterior to the Act of Union, he showed—when he remembered the undoubted historical truth that those differences were anterior to the Act of Union—that his view was wholly contrary to the statement of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I listened—the whole House listened—with attention and great admiration to the speech which the Prime Minister made last night, and the eloquent conclusion of it, delivered with the most admirable rhetorical art, impressed us all. But I confess that, as I listened to the right hon. Gentleman's speech, I could not help thinking throughout it all that the constant attitude with which he met every argument heard from these benches, was optimistic; everything, in his view, is going to turn out right; if any specific objection is urged, causing great apprehension and great anxiety, the right hon. Gentleman finds no difficulty at all in satisfying himself that the apprehensions are unfounded. I could not help recalling an observation of Dr. Johnson:—It is always a disadvantage when self-interest coincides with the advocacy of a proposition by no means self-evident.The Government are all optimists. An optimist is an admirable character if it means a person who exhibits fortitude, compromise, or even a cheerful recklessness in his own dangers. It is much less admirable if it merely means one who retains cheerfulness before the prospect of dangers to others. The Solicitor-General is, for instance, persuaded that these differences have so recent a historical cause that he sees everything working smoothly in the happy time which is in front of Ireland. At the waving, as it were, of a magician's wand, ancient animosities are to be swept away at the moment of their greatest bitterness. He may be right, but supposing he is wrong? It makes no difference to him; he will still maintain a position of great, perhaps even of greater, dignity, which nobody will grudge him; his occupation will not be interfered with; the only thing he can possibly lose will be his reputation as a prophet. There are a great many other persons who cannot afford to look at the matter in that easy spirit. Yet that is the only real answer made throughout the whole of the Debate—we are to take an optimistic view of what is to happen in future.
Take the very real apprehension, felt by many persons, of persecution. You can found that, not upon old statements made 2317 at the time of the Act of Union, but upon a very recent pronouncement made by a person of great influence, "We will remember our friends and our enemies." Persons who under no conceivable circumstances can fall under the class either of friends or of enemies can afford to meet an observation of that kind with great optimism. It may mean nothing, but how about the people who do fall under the class of enemies? The Prime Minister dealt with that last night. He did not, indeed, conceal his view about some of the expressions. I have quoted one; there are others, which I will not quote now because it is no part of my present purpose to exacerbate the discussion. The Prime Minister last night made it quite clear that he contemplated these utterances with very considerable disapproval. How did he explain them 1 He said they were partly due to the greatest and most glaring of all Irish grievances, the payment of tithe. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say:—This is the lesson which has been branded on the memory of Ireland, and which has much to do with some of these things which the right hon. Gentleman condemns.My right hon. Friend (Mr. Balfour) had been condemning the language that had been used, and the Prime Minister was obviously dealing with the very circumstances to which I am referring. What does that mean? It means that because their fathers had to pay tithes forty years ago, the present generation of Nationalists rejoice at the wounds and humiliations of the sons of the men who relieved them of the obligation of paying tithe. Is this an illustration of the happy result of the gratitude of Ireland? Does this diagnosis of the Irish temperament promise a swift obliteration of racial differences? I suppose we shall be told, after forty years, that the explanation of a similar recrudescence is that we withheld Home Rule so long in Ireland. There is complete parity of argument. The case put forward by the Government requires the hypothesis of a profound, sudden, and inscrutable change in the Irish character. The Government's opinions on this point may be quite right. On the other hand, if they are wrong, they do not pay the penalty, but other people do pay the penalty. Let me make a similar observation on the question of finance. Men of business in Ireland, and not only in the North-East of Ireland, think that the financial proposals of this Bill will be deeply injurious to them in their business, and that they are 2318 in practice unworkable. Ignorant people, like the Association of County Councils in Ireland, lacking the Postmaster-General's intimate acquaintance with their own business and their own country, say that the financial arrangements are impossible.
The Committee appointed by the Government, the evidence given before whom has never been produced, although more than half the Members of the House have asked for it, propose a wholly different solution. The hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy), who can afford to express himself with freedom, has described the finance of the Bill as being "putrid." Lord MacDonnell has found reasoned fault with the finance of the Bill in a series of letters. Many critics have pointed out that the whole contract principle is discredited by experience and is pregnant with causes of friction. In the second place, it is pointed out that the system under which the services may be discontinued at the will of the Irish people, and the money so liberated used otherwise, is impossible to justify. And in the third place, it is pointed out that it is undesirable at the moment, when every other part of the Empire is realising the duties of Imperial Defence, that Ireland, claiming to be a Nation, should be ostentatiously divorced from any share in the most elemental obligation of Nationhood. It is pointed out finally, in this connection, that the existence of two rings of Custom houses for Irish and British trade, which will be necessary if Irish Customs are increased, as they may be increased under this Bill, is extremely undesirable. How does the Postmaster General meet all those objections? He looks forward to a future which is rosy with hope; he sees no difficulties in any of those objections, and here again he says to the men of business in Belfast, and in the South and other parts of Ireland, "You may be right or you may be wrong, but that is the view of the Government, and we take a very hopeful view." Of all qualities, optimism and the readiness to run risks should not be vicarious. In relation to the constitutional aspect of this enormous change, as I understand it, the position of the Government is still, though no reference was made to the matter by the Prime Minister or the Solicitor-General, that this is the first step in the direction of Federalism. I suppose it is common ground in every quarter of the House that, other things being equal, 2319 a unitary system is preferable to a federal system. It is simpler, stronger, more direct and concentrated, alike in its functions and activities. I could develop this argument, but let me assume against myself that it is desirable to substitute for a unitary system a federal system in these islands. Apparently the Government have convinced some of their Scottish supporters that it is actually their intention to substitute the federal for the unitary system. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned in this connection the congestion of Parliamentary business. I suppose in the days happily so near, when a leisured House of Commons shall devote its unimpaired vitality to the colossal education scheme, I think that is the term applied, to the bursting of the land monopoly, to the re-constitution of the Second Chamber and the inauguration of all-round federalism, we shall be able, no longer troubled by Irish controversies, to bless the framers of this Bill for having destroyed Parliamentary congestion. But constructive political philosophers have always found detractors, and it is pointed out that in every other federal system the constituent units have been self-supporting. Take the case of the younger provinces of the United States of America. Until those provinces were in a position to support themselves none of them was granted a constitution. Take the similar case of the North-West provinces of Canada. In every case, until they became self-supporting, a constitution was not given to them. Uniform practice in every country in the world has excluded the affiliation upon federalism of parasitic provinces. The province which you are creating is doubly parasitic, first on England, and then, with an incredible measure of humiliation, upon a minority which loathes the scheme. It feeds alike upon its creator and its unwilling twin.
The second observation in that connection is that no federal system has ever yet been instituted except on a basis which admitted of harmonious application to all the proposed constituent units. I am not going to develop the two considerations of the Post Office or the Customs, but I would like to ask, is it contemplated that the provisions under this Bill dealing with the Post Office and the Customs are to be applied to Scotland and to Wales, when in their turn they are made to share in the federal system. If not, why not? We 2320 are told that Ireland is a nation. That is a sterile subject of political disputation in which I do not propose to take part. Let me assume the conclusion is in favour of the Prime Minister's argument, and I ask: Are Wales and Scotland also nations? Are they less patriotic? Are their aspirations less stirred by considerations of patronage? If it is an affront to Irish sentiment that a letter from Limerick to Belfast should be conveyed by an English institution, why should correspondence between Aberdeen and Edinburgh be branded by the. stigma of sentimental inferiority? Is it not quite obvious, that if you are ever going to extend this all-round federalism, that you must do it on the same terms? I do not say in every secondary feature, but in its main terms in the same way? There are some critics who are led by these considerations to disbelieve that the Government ever intends to introduce federalism at all; they point to the necessity of placating the young Scots, and to the independence, ever growing before our eyes, of the Welsh Members, and they see in this proposal a momentary shift or a mere recurrence to preambular tactics. Dismissing this supposition as an un-unworthy one, we may at least note that federalism has sometimes been the consequences of war, and has oftener been the fruit of laborious diplomacy, but I am unaware of any single case in history, unless this, where a nation has fluidly drifted into a state of federalism.
The making of Constitutions, especially when they contain, as we are told this contains, novel and even unprecedented features, is not like the making of bricks, a mechanical process of uniform manufacture. Their successful working requires adjustment and the accommodation and co-operation of human beings, who, and this is my point, are very fallible, very prejudiced, and, in many cases, very antagonistic. The right hon. Gentleman, and I think everybody, will agree with what I say. Let us construe that in the light of what after all is the most important part of the Bill from the point of view of the district in Ireland of which so much has been said. Let me consider it from the point of view of the safeguards. The Prime Minister speaks, I think, on the whole, almost more about safeguards than any other Minister who has spoken on this Bill. He rolls them about in his mouth. We have asked at every stage in the Debates on this Bill a simple question on the subject of safeguards; we have asked 2321 over and over again how it is proposed that those safeguards should be made effective. It is clear that a safeguard that you cannot make effective is a fraud; it is intended to suggest a reassurance which has no basis in fact. My right hon. Friend pointed out last night that if the Nationalist party is trustworthy, safeguards are absurd. Whether or not the Irish party will ultimately prove to be trustworthy no one knows, but if it is desirable to take precautions in the meantime, some method of making your safeguard effective must be discovered. You cannot suggest one, and I say here, as has been said before in the course of these Debates, there is no method known to the framers of Constitutions by which you can make one single safegard in this Bill effective if the Nationalist party choose to make that safeguard ineffective. I have read or heard our Debates, and the First Lord of the Admiralty is the one Minister who appears to me to have faced this clearly. He said we should have the power in the Imperial Parliament to repeal this measure, and to use force to effect that repeal. The First Lord of the Admiralty is right. That is the way, and there is no other way. Will anyone pretend that that way ever will be used or ever could be used, short of one of those great national convulsions which concern much greater issues than the persecution of an individual citizen in the North of Ireland. It could not be used. Conceive the position of the Government which had framed this Bill and which was responsible for this policy, and which had dwelt week after week and month after month on the efficacy of these safeguards, coming to the House of Commons and saying, "Their valuelessness is proved, and we propose by force of arms to repeal the Home Rule Act." It never will and never could be done.
Here again I would say, and I say it with some little knowledge of Ulster, I believe that Ulster would much rather you told her plainly the situation did not admit of safeguards at all. These delusive reassurances are not the least of the provocations the inhabitants of the North of Ireland have recently received. The Prime Minister on this point is of all others an optimist. Some men are born optimists; some men are optimists from choice, and a few from compulsion. The Prime Minister trusts the Irish himself and he tells my friends in the North of Ireland that they ought to trust them. I think 2322 that the Prime Minister is entitled to trust them. It is long since the political world has witnessed an association so harmonious, so sustained, and supported by so mutual a benefit. It has ranged with unimpaired integrity over the whole field of politics, involving in its collateral activities even the defeat of the women. The right hon. Gentleman does well to trust the Irish. They give him the Welsh curates and he gives them Ulster. One accommodation deserves another. I make this final comment, that a shifty, groundless, and irresponsible hopefulness, exercised at other people's expense, is a political cowardice and a public danger.
I make this observation on the subject of Ulster. The Prime Minister asked us last night, as indeed he has asked us before, "What are you going to do?" It was a question which was received with very great enthusiasm from those who sit around and about him. It does not present itself to my mind as the insoluble problem which it apparently seemed to the Prime Minister. He asks, "What do we propose? What are we going to do?" Fortunately we are not without guidance and precedents in this matter, precedents coming not from these benches, but from the benches opposite. When the Prime Minister asks us what are we going to do, I tell him we are going to do what we did twenty years ago, when you told us that this problem was equally urgent, and when the country told you you were wrong and we were right. You were just as convinced it could not brook a year's delay twenty-five years ago as you are today. In that particular case you were pessimists and you were wrong in your pessimism. If the Prime Minister desires a more recent illustration or precedent when he asks what are we going to do, I can give him a recent one. We are going to do what he himself did in 1906. The matter was more urgent then than it was twenty-five years ago. I suppose it had grown in urgency all that time. The right hon. Gentleman and his Friends were then about to find themselves with a powerful Parliamentary majority, and if the matter was so insistent in its pressure it would have been possible to claim from the people a mandate to carry this measure which would tolerate no delay. When he asks us what we are going to do, I reply that we are going to do what the Liberal party have done whenever they have had an independent majority in the House of Commons. I may remind those sitting on the Front Bench who were 2323 members of the Liberal League—I think there are only two of them listening to me now—that, if my recollection of that history is accurate, they all remained in the Liberal League at a time when Lord Rosebery, as a part of his policy, and, I presume, as part of the policy of the League, publicly wiped Home Rule off the slate. [An HON. MEM-BER: "We wiped him off."] An hon. Gentleman says that somebody—I did not quite hear who was the author of the calamity—had wiped Lord Rosebery off. But those who then shared Lord Rosebery's views were not wiped off. They are asking us questions to-day, and I am attempting, with the leave of the hon. Gentleman, to answer them. With regard to the Parliamentary position of the Ulster question, I do not wish, as time is short, to repeat the observations which I made elsewhere, and for some of which I have been criticised. But I withdraw nothing that I have said in the provinces.
Let me, shortly, remind the House of the Parliamentary position as apart from the position in the country. At an earlier stage of the Bill I heard the Leader of the Irish party, who very seldom wastes words, ask my right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the Irish Unionists, "Are you willing that this Bill should be passed with the exclusion of Ulster?" I presume that that question was asked with some object. The First Lord of the Admiralty, who spoke on the Second Reading of the Bill, said, "There is no doubt that Ulster can make this Bill impossible. It will be very interesting to hear the reply of the Leader of the Irish Unionists to the question asked by the Leader of the Nationalist party." The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in the same Debate, said, "If Ulster renders our solution impossible, some other solution will have to be found."
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
The Prime Minister made that interruption when my right hon. Friend was speaking last night; I looked the passage up, and it is quite evident from the context of the right hon. Gentleman's speech that the remedy would have to be found by the Government.
§ Mr. F. E. SMITH
I am sure that is so, but I will not enter into controversy on 2324 that point. Under these circumstances those who are responsible for the leadership of the Unionist party in the North-East of Ireland introduced formally and officially on behalf of the party the Amendment which was discussed a fortnight ago. They introduced it, as will be readily understood, with very great reluctance. Two criticisms, and two criticisms only, were made of that Amendment. It was said in the first place, that my right hon. Friend proposed to exclude too large a portion of the province. It was said, in the second place—I think by the Prime Minister, and certainly by the First Lord of the Admiralty—that he indicated continued hostility to the Bill and vehemently disclaimed any desire to compromise. I want to ask, are those final criticisms'! I take the first, namely, that too large a portion of the province was proposed to be excluded. That is obviously a matter for consideration and discussion. What do you mean by the second complaint, namely, that my right hon. Friend disclaimed any desire to compromise? It is very necessary that we should understand one another clearly on this point. Do you mean that you will not exclude any portion of Ulster unless Ulster pretends to be satisfied with the Bill in its truncated form? Obviously that would be childish. The views of the Ulster Members are notorious; they have been frequently and publicly expressed. It is quite obvious that that cannot be the meaning underlying the criticism. What do the Government mean? Do they mean anything at all? In the position in which we find ourselves, is it not their duty as a Government to place their cards on the table? Are not the stakes too high for the two sides of the House to be manoeuvring for position in this matter? Obviously the Prime Minister does not expect Ulster Members to pay lip-service to a Bill which they detest. Of course, my right hon. Friend cannot accept or suggest a compromise. How could he? We all think this Bill a grave public misfortune, Ulster or no Ulster. But do you mean anything when you ask us in what spirit this exclusion is asked?
Let me test it further. Do you mean that you will take the Bill, under however much protest, without Ulster, leaving Ulster as she is? If you do mean that, why do you not say so? We could at least, and this would be a great advantage, address ourselves to realities in this discussion. Does anyone suppose that we on this 2325 side enjoy talking in this House about civil war? Does anyone suppose that any of us enjoy the prospect of playing a part for which many of us are not obviously suited? I myself am a middle-aged lawyer, more at home, and I may perhaps add more highly remunerated, in the Law Courts than I am likely to be upon the parade ground. Yes; but I would ask this question. Will not hon. Gentlemen opposite try to put themselves in our place? It ought not to be quite impossible, because at least two of their number are avowed Unionists, and believe that Ulster is right in her view of the situation. Let hon. Members try to put themselves in our position. If they believed in their hearts that Ulster was right, would they shrink from giving Ulster at whatever risk such help as they could, however little that help might be? There is not a man on that side of the House who would not do it if he believed what two of his colleagues and all of us, without exception, on this side of the House believe.
When I hear from some hon. Gentlemen, though not from many, a certain amount of laughter when the position and the intentions of Ulster are spoken of, I wish that those hon. Members could see what I have seen in Ulster. I have driven from the Ulster Club to the docks, where the Liverpool steamer lay. Many hon. Members know that that is a considerable distance. Every street along the whole of the route was crowded with men of a type with which most Members of the House are very familiar, and upon whose sincerity no one present will throw any doubt. If you want to know the reality of the risk, let the Chief Secretary tell you. He knows the number of arms that have been imported into Ireland in the last year. No one can expect the Ulster Members to pay lip-service to this Bill. If the Government mean anything when they have asked us over and over again what is our view as to the exclusion of Ulster, if they have any serious proposal to put forward, surely it is their plain duty to put it forward now. When the Prime Minister asks us what we propose, we propose that you should tell us plainly, Will you on any terms consent to the exclusion of Ulster? If so, what are those terms? If there are none, we know where we stand. The responsibility is then the Prime Minister's and the Prime Minister's alone, and I would not share it not if I were compensated by his position, his reputation, and his gifts.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
The right hon. and learned Gentleman concluded his speech by addressing a direct question to the Government. He did not address that question to me or to the Irish Members. [Laughter.]
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
I am exceedingly glad to have been fortunate enough in my first observation to cause amusement to hon. Members above the Gangway. But I wanted to point out this fact, that so far as that question affects the position of the Nationalist party, we had made our position on the matter perfectly plain. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is not correct when he says that there were only two objections taken to the exclusion of Ulster. The two that he mentioned were, first, that the area was too large, and, secondly, that no pledge was forthcoming that if the concession was made the Opposition would accept the Bill. There was a third objection taken by everyone who spoke on behalf of the national sentiment of the Irish people, and that was that nothing could compensate us for the mutilation of our country, and that we, as Irish Nationalists, were bound to oppose any such Amendment as that which was proposed and defeated on the last occasion. I pass from, but will return again later, to the Ulster question. I confess that I listened with some disappointment to the speech of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. We are accustomed in this House to his sparkling and vivacious oratory, but it seemed to me that if ever there was an occasion when a speech which would be a tonic and stimulant to his party was required the present was such an occasion. I expected from him a speech which would have been like the giving of a tumbler of champagne to a weary and depressed man. Instead of that he has delivered a speech which was a depressed speech from beginning to end. He complained of the Prime Minister because he is an optimist. Heaven knows it is better to be an optimist than a confirmed pessimist! The whole argument of the right hon. and learned Gentleman was based upon pessimism. Ireland will do everything wrong; therefore you cannot pass this Bill. But there was one extremely significant omission from the speech of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. The Solicitor-General asked a very pertinent question. We have been 2327 hearing in this House, and more perhaps in the country, of the alternative constructive Irish policy of the Unionist party. The right hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down has given the "go-by" entirely to that question. He himself more than once in the country has outlined this alternative policy. It was a policy of doles and subsidies, and above all else of tariffs. Ireland is an agricultural country, as we have often been reminded, and the alternative policy to Home Rule was to bribe the farmers of Ireland by a tariff. These are the words which were used more than once:—Framed with special and anxious care with regard to their interests.The right hon. and learned Solicitor-General quoted a part of the speech in Belfast of the Leader of the Opposition. May I conclude the quotation? After saying that there was no part of the United Kingdom that would benefit as much by Tariff Reform as Ireland—the agricultural country of Ireland—the right hon. Gentleman went on to say:—That system will he framed with special and anxious regard to the interests of Ireland. The adoption of the system of free imports, as I believe, and have always believed, was for the time being a benefit to England and Scotland, but it was never anything but a disadvantage to Ireland. Now Ireland can look forward with hope and confidence to the time when, under a new economic system, she can get that system removed.That means food taxes. If it means anything at all, it must mean food taxes! But we have been told that food taxes have been put on the shelf, or perhaps been thrown to the dustbin. Therefore, I am not at all surprised to find the great Unionist organ, the "Irish Times," yesterday bemoaning the disappearance of the alternative policy, and continuing:—We quite agree that Ireland has little use for Tariff Reform without food taxes. We have never concealed our opinion that a tariff on manufactured articles without the compensating advantage of food taxes will be of little or no benefit to Ireland Therefore we are not enthusiastic about the immediate policy of Tariff Reform.The most remarkable omission on the part of the right hon. and learned Gentleman was that he did not answer the challenge on this point put to him by the Solicitor-General. Is there an alternative policy for Ireland any longer? If so, what is it? I will endeavour, and I am sure I will successfully, to make a short speech. I hope I will be able to abstain from anything which can give provocation to Members in any part of the House. We have been reminded that this is the fifty-second day during which this Bill has been under 2328 discussion. During that time it has been subjected to a microscopic examination. It has night after night been subjected to a merciless criticism. So far as the principle and main features of this Bill are concerned, my opinion, at any rate, is that they have been exhaustively discussed. The constitution of the new Parliament, the powers of the new Parliament, the limitations and restrictions on the powers of the new Parliament, the finances of the new Parliament—all, in my opinion, have been subjected to exhaustive examination. There have been a great number of Divisions, and it is a remarkable thing that the majorities which have supported this Bill all through, at every stage, have been considerably larger than the normal Government majority.
Altogether there have been 230 Divisions up to the present, including every stage of the Bill, and there has been an average majority of 116.7. In the Committee stage of the Bill there were 164 Divisions, with an average majority of 118. On the Report stage there were thirty-five Divisions, with an average majority of 125; and on all stages of the Bill, as I say, there were 230 Divisions, with an average majority of 116.7. That means that this Bill has secured at every stage, apart altogether from the hope of the Irish Members, a purely British majority as large, or larger, than the majority which in the past, including Irish Members, sufficed to carry some of the greatest reforms of the last century. In my opinion, this Bill has passed unscathed through this great ordeal, and I have risen, at the end of the fifty-two days' discussion, to repeat here on behalf of my colleagues of the Irish party, and all those whom they represent, the statement I made when the Bill was first introduced. I, as well as everybody else, deprecate repetition, but statements have been made inside and outside this House which make it desirable that I should repeat categorically what I said on the first introduction of this Bill. What I said was this:—Viewing this Bill as a whole. I say here that it is a great measure, and it is a measure adequate to carry out the object of its promoters. It is a great measure and we welcome it. It will be submitted to an Irish National Convention. I say of this Bill what Parnell said of a But which in my opinion was a far worse Bill, that of 1886.Then I quoted Mr. Parnell's words. Let me quote them again:—The Prime Minister has truly said that this Bill ought not to proceed unless it is cheerfully welcomed not only by the Irish Members but by the Irish people. I cordially agree to this proposition. I am convinced that it will be cheerfully accepted by the Irish people 2329 and their representatives as a solution of a long-standing dispute between the two countries, and that it will lead to the prosperity and peace of Ireland and the satisfaction of England.Later Mr. Parnell said:—I now repeat what I have already said on the First Heading of the measure and immediately after I heard the statement of the Prime Minister, that we look on the provisions of this Bill as a final settlement of this question, and I believe that the Irish people have accepted such a settlement.Having quoted Mr. Parnell's words, I said:—I beg leave to apply every syllable of these two statements on behalf of my colleagues and myself to this Bill.The Bill was submitted to a great national Convention in Dublin. I have the figures by me here, but I will not trouble the House with them. It is sufficient to say that there were thousands of delegates at that Convention. Every one of the thirty-three county councils in Ireland sent six delegates each. The rural district councils, the urban district councils, the Poor Law guardians, and all the popularly elected bodies of the kind sent 294 delegates. Eleven corporations sent large bodies of delegates, and all the political bodies in the country also sent delegates. The largest representation came naturally from the United Irish League. There were present clergymen to the number of between four and five hundred. Unanimously, and without one single word of dissent, he following resolution was carried:—That we welcome the Government of Ireland Bill as an honest and generous attempt to settle the long and disastrous quarrel between the British and the Irish nations and this National Convent on of Irish people decides to accept the Bill in the spirit in which it is offered. We hereby declare our solemn conviction that the passage of this Bill into law will bind the people of Ireland to the people of Great Britain by a Union infinitely closer than that which now exists, and by so doing will add immeasurably to the strength of the Umpire.I repeated a similar declaration on the Second Reading of the Bill, and now again I say in the name of my colleagues, all those who they represent in Ireland, and all those whom they represent outside Ireland and throughout the world, that we regard this as a great measure of reconciliation and of freedom, and that we cordially accept it as a final settlement of the ancient international quarrel between the two Islands and the two peoples. I will on this occasion abstain from anything in the nature of the examination of the details of the Bill. This really is no time after all the discussion in Committee to dwell upon the details. There are just two questions which arise in connection with the details of the Bill 2330 to which I want to refer. The first of these is the finance of the Bill. I said when the Bill was first introduced that the financial system of the Bill needed no apology from anyone. I said that it was a good scheme, that it was a better financial scheme than that in the Bill of 1886 or the Bill of 1893. After nine days spent in the discussion of the Financial Clauses, I repeat that statement. Of course there are reservations. The Bill is not as liberal and generous as I could wish. That goes without saying. If the power had rested with me, I should probably have made the British Treasury act more generously than it has done. Again, it does not give us that complete and immediate control over all our finances that if circumstances had permitted I would have been glad to see in the Bill. But this financial scheme has two great merits. First of all, it does not profess—its authors do not profess for it—that it is a final arrangement of the financial relations between the two countries. Admittedly it is a provisional settlement. It will automatically come to an end for revision. Secondly, it provides Ireland for the first time for generations with the means of a thorough examination into the international accounts by a tribunal on which for the first time Ireland will be adequately represented—a tribunal of five, two representing the British Treasury, two representing the Irish Treasury, with a fifth appointed by the King.
That is the first time in our history that we have ever had a tribunal on which Ireland was fairly represented, charged with the duty of investigating the finances of two countries. When the time for revision does come—and I am one of those sanguine people who believe that it will come sooner than many people think—we will have full and accurate accounts to go upon, and then we will be entitled to complete power for Ireland over the whole of our financial system. The second subject on which I want to say a few words is the subject of Uslter. These Debates have made one thing absolutely clear. They have set at rest all doubt as to the real claim put forward by what is called Ulster, which, of course, every one now knows is simply the Unionist majority in four counties in the North-East corner of the province. Some people thought that Ulster's claim simply was that she should have Home Rule for herself in those four counties. That has been repeated over 2331 and over again. The Leader of the Irish Unionist party, whose absence I may be allowed to say, with the utmost sincerity, I deplore, and especially the cause of it, has repeatedly repudiated in express terms a desire for what he calls separate treatment for Ulster; and when the Amendment was moved, to which allusion was made just now, for the exclusion of the whole province—a most ridiculous proposition, the whole nine counties in which the Nationalists are about half the population, not only in actual numbers, but in representation in this House—when that proposal was made the Leader of the Irish Unionist party emphatically declared that if it was carried it would not mitigate in the slightest degree the determination of the whole Unionist party and of the Irish Unionist party to wreck and destroy this Bill. Speaking in Belfast, he was very emphatic on this point. At the famous meeting attended by the Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. and learned Gentleman said:—In no circumstances will we submit to Home Rule.He then addressed the crowd, and said:—Raise your hands and repeat after me 'never in any circumstances will we submit to Home Rule.' If both parties—Now, mark this:—If both parties were to try to force Home Rule upon us we will stand where we are and will use as our motto, 'We will not have Home Rule.'That is to say, if it were possible to do it, and if one issue alone were put to the electors of the United Kingdom, and if they by a practically unanimous vote—because he speaks of both parties—declared in favour of a Home Rule Bill, still, if both parties tried to force it upon us, we will stand where we are, and will not have Home Rule. The Prime Minister asked a pointed question upon this matter a few nights ago in the Debate on Ulster. He asked, "What would be the attitude of Ulster if at a new General Election, not the general principle of Home Rule, but this actual Bill, as passed by the House of Commons, were approved by the country?" He got his answer speedily from all the leaders of opinion in Ulster and their newspapers. The "Daily Mail" the next morning published a question which they sent round to every Unionist Member from Ulster. Here is that question:—Would you advise Ulster to submit if the Home Rule Bill is approved by the country after a General Election?and without exception everyone of them answered "No." The hon. Member for 2332 North Fermanagh said, "He would certainly give no such advice." The hon. and learned Member for North Armagh said, "He would give no such advice so long as he had got twelve rifles." The Lord Mayor of Belfast said, "Certainly not." The hon. Member for East Down said, "He would never submit." The hon. Member for West Down said, "I would most certainly advise Ulster to resist, whether the Home Rule Bill had been approved by the country or not." The proposition is perfectly plain and unmistakable. The position is that Ulster—this small minority of the population of Ireland, claims to be able to bar the way of the Home Rule Bill, even if both parties in Great Britain agree to it and were unanimous in their support of it, and if even the electors of the United Kingdom, with practical unanimity approved of it, and even if the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed it almost as an agreed measure, except, of course, for the votes of the Ulster Unionists. Now, that is the attitude which Ulster takes up, and the extraordinary thing is that that attitude is taken up in the name of loyalty. A very great man, of whom I will speak with the utmost respect, although he was a very formidable enemy to Home Rule in his day, I mean the late Lord James of Hereford, who, as the House will remember as Sir Henry James, left his party and sacrificed great and reasonable and natural ambitions in order to defeat the Home Rule Bill of 1886, used these words on this very point, because the same claim was raised in 1886 by the representatives of the North-East corner of Ulster. Here is what he said:—I venture to speak very freely, whether I please men or not, and I say that we ought, every one of us, to condemn those foolish, those wicked rumours and statements which are made about Ulster, that the minority in Ireland will find resort in arms, and that they will be right in doing so. Unreservedly I declare that any man who by word or act encourages such an idea is himself half a traitor.And he went on to say:—It is said that such physical force would be used by loyal men, and in one sense so it might be; but is it not apparent to everyone that to use arms against a constitutional. Sovereign acting in accordance with the will of Parliament, and to whom you say you arc loyal, is to make treason doubly dyed.I can fancy a rejoinder which some Unionist Member above the Gangway might make to me. He might say, "Yes, but that speech was made at a time when the Parliament Act was not in existence." Well, my reply to that is, that the Parliament Act is an Act of Parliament. It is an Act which was passed not by this House 2333 only, but it was passed also on a Division by the House of Lords, and it is to-day by the authority of Parliament and all the elements of Parliament the Constitution, and, therefore, Lord James's words, as I read them, uttered in 1886, apply with equal force in this year 1913. Now, Sir, that is Ulster's attitude towards us. What, let me ask for a moment, is our attitude towards her? It is rather hard upon us, I think, that whenever we speak sympathetic words about our Ulster fellow countrymen we are accused of being hypocrites; we are practically called liars, and we are denounced for insincere and fulsome language. Let me say this with all solemnity; let me say it from my heart and soul: My attitude—and I believe it is the attitude of the vast majority of the Irish people—is that we regard these men, notwithstanding the past, notwithstanding their attacks, perhaps even their insults, we regard them as brother Irishmen; we refuse to regard them as aliens chancing to live within the shores of Ireland. We invite them to join with us in emancipating and governing our common country. But there is one thing we decline to do, and that is to permit any section, any small minority of the people of Ireland, to overawe the overwhelming majority of the people of that country.
What, let me ask, is the great main purpose of this measure? I say it is to solve in Ireland, as it has been solved all through the Empire and in so many of the nations of the world, the great problem of liberty and Empire. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour) spoke about nationality last night. I deeply regret he is not in his place at this moment. He said that a large section of the coalition had duped the other section, but that the section which was most completely duped was the Irish Nationalist section, and why? He said that the Prime Minister had declared that in this Bill he was giving us nationality; that by this Bill he was creating an Irish nation. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister denied that proposition; I deny it too. The right hon. Gentleman never said he was giving us our nationality by this Bill. If he had said that it would have been an absurd statement. Whoever heard of nationality being given to people by Act of Parliament? No, Sir, Irish nationality exists. Ireland is a nation to-day; she has been a nation for many long centuries, and she will remain a nation whether this Bill is 2334 passed or not. What the right hon. Gentleman perhaps meant was that we were not getting the full attributes of a nation. What this Bill does is—it gives back to the Irish nation some of her national rights. The right hon. Gentleman says we are dupes, and are not getting back enough of our national rights. I must take this opportunity of saying to him that we are ourselves the best judges of that. We accept this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London did not always speak of this question of nationality as he spoke of it last night. Allow me to recall to the House some very fine and noble words spoken by him in the City of London recently. He said:—The problem was how absolutely to reconcile the principle of nationality, the feeling of nationality, the consciousness of separate history in many respects during very formative and important centuries, and yet to be able to do this without feeling that there is in it any antagonism whatever to that patriotism, not more ardent indeed but larger in its scope, which includes Great Britain, and not Great Britain only, but the whole of the Empire of which we are citizens. It is only by following the example that we have set that the future of this Empire can be made absolutely secure. A Canadian, an Australian, a New Zealander, a citizen of South Africa …must have, and they ought to have, and they will have, their own feelings of separate nationality. The Canadian is a Canadian. He wants, and ought to want, to feel that Canada has its own principles of development and its own future. So also of Australia pursuing the great experiment of freedom and self-government on very different lines from those of Canada.…Do not let us discourage this feeling of local patriotism.and he goes on to point out that it was just because political education in this country had not advanced sufficiently far that the American Colonies were lost to the Empire, and he went on finally to say, that it was in the extension of that principle, and that principle alone, that people could find the continued safety and prosperity of the Empire in the future. These are the lines of this Bill. That is a. precise summary in far better terms than I could use of our ideals in connection with this Bill. What we want is our nationality recognised. We want the power to govern ourselves in our own affairs, free from the meddlesome interference or the friendly interference, I care not which, of men who must necessarily be ignorant of our work. We want to do that inside the Empire; we want to have our Imperial patriotism as well as our local patriotism, and this Bill provides it for Ireland on the same principle as it was carried into effect in every other part of the Empire with the happiest results. In conclusion, let me come to what, after all, the discussions come down to, that is, as the Americans say, the last analysis. What is the real objection to 2335 this Bill? It is not an objection to this or that detail, it is not because the finance is too generous or because it is not good enough, it is not because there are forty-two Members in this House and there are some who desire we should have a fuller number and others desire that the numbers should be less; it is not because of the method of election to the Irish Parliament, it is not an objection to any of these details. The bedrock objection to this Bill is a profound distrust of the Irish people and not a distrust of the present leaders of the Irish people. We have been treated night after night to extracts, repeated again and again, from violent speeches, if you like from foolish speeches, made by all of us in times of stress that have passed. I suppose there is not a man in this House, unless he sits in the Unionist quarter, who will get up and say on his word of honour, that he had never made a foolish or a rash speech in his life.
It is not the present leaders they mistrust. The present leaders of the Irish Nationalist party in this House are warworn in this struggle, and in the ordinary course of nature, speedily their places must be taken by younger men. The objection is not a personal objection to us; but no matter how objectionable we may really be to hon. Members, it is an objection based on distrust of the Irish people. It is distrust, not only of the Irish people, but of the people everywhere. Distrust of the people has been the traditional and historic attitude of the Conservative party. They opposed every extension in the last century of the liberties of the people. They opposed the Ballot Act, the Franchise Act, the Emancipation Act, and every Act for the extension of the liberties of the people in this country as well as in Ireland. All these measures have been opposed by the party whose traditional policy has been distrust of the people. You distrust the Irish people. Only yesterday you distrusted the people of Canada. [An HON. MEMBER:"NO."] When Lord Durham's policy was first proposed, it was denounced as a revolution in the House of Lords, and the Duke of Wellington declared amongst other things that their Lordships might depend upon it that local responsible government and the sovereignty of Great Britain were completely incompatible. Yes, yesterday it was Canada, and nearer still it was South Africa. What did the right hon. Gentleman, the Leader of the Opposition, say about the self - government of South 2336 Africa? Speaking at Oxford in the year 1906, he said:—The Government justified that policy by saying it was part of their principles to trust the people, and they were going to trust the Boers…It was saying nothing disrespectful to the Boers to remark that they looked on South Africa as a country that ought to be theirs, and their one object was to retain Dutch supremacy.That is what we hear about Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman continued:—He did not believe that the people of this country yet realised what that meant or that the Government was, without the slightest reason, giving up by this arrangement everything for which this country fought in South Africa.Only for this concession everything that England fought for in South Africa would have been lost, and by this concession you have won far more for the Empire than any of those who waged this war ever contemplated at the time. The right hon. Gentleman ended by saying:—When that was realised he, for one, hoped and believed that the storm would arise in this country which would shake even the powerful majority that now supported His Majesty's Government.He called for his storm, but his storm did not come. He has called for his storm for Home Rule for Ireland, and his storm has not come. So far as the Liberal party are concerned, only one policy is possible for them, and that is the policy of trust in the people. Even in the old, bad, and dark days when they were groping along the paths of coercion, even at the worst time there was a large section of the Liberal party who had severe searchings of heart and conscience, and who were never quite easy at the policy being pursued in their name; and once Gladstone showed them the right path no turning back on their part was possible in pursuing the policy of trust in the people of Ireland as well as elsewhere. Hence the Liberal party in supporting this Bill are following out their traditional and historic policy and principle just as the men who are opposing it are carrying out their traditional and historic policy. I hope the House will realise that for my colleagues and myself this is a very serious and a very solemn moment. Many of us on these benches have sat in this House with one single object in view for well over thirty years. We have met with disaster and defeat, and discouragement and disppointment, but never at the worst time, even when we were faced with the tragedy of the loss of our great and incomparable leader, Parnell, even at that moment, we never despaired of the arrival of this day. It has been a struggle, not merely carried on by the men who are on these benches now, but our fathers carried 2337 it on before us. For generations my own family have been sent to this House to fight for the welfare and freedom of Ireland.
For us, therefore, this is a moment of the deepest solemnity and seriousness, but our hearts are quite confident. We are quite convinced that we have reached the end of this struggle. None of us have the remotest fear that now we shall be overtaken by a tragedy in the defeat of this measure, the consequences of which no man living could foresee. This Bill, we believe, is going to pass into law. The House of Lords, I take it for granted, will reject it next week. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] The House of Lords has still the privilege left to them of showing their teeth, but not of effectively biting. In spite of the House of Lords, if they continue their opposition, we are profoundly convinced that this Bill will pass into law, and will pass into law in the lifetime of this Parliament. This Bill has behind it the passionate enthusiasm of the great masses of the Irish people. It has centred on it the hopes and prayers of millions of loyal Irish subjects of the Empire wherever the flag of the Empire flies. At this moment, when we are actually speaking here, amidst the snows of Canada and under the scathing sun of Australia, there are millions of people of Irish birth and Irish blood who are eagerly waiting for the message this country is to send them. The fate of this Bill is also eagerly awaited by millions of people of Irish blood in America. All over America millions of men of Irish blood who believe that they were driven out of their own country by misgovernment and oppression, and who have cherished in their hearts in America undoubtedly admitted hostility to the British Empire—I know the Irish people of America well, and I have their statements in my hand—to-day are eagerly waiting for the opportunity of the passage of this Bill for a complete and absolute reconciliation with England and with the Empire. And let me say one word further before I sit down. My own belief is that there is not a people or a country in the civilised world who will not welcome as glad tidings of great joy the announcement that this powerful British nation has at last been magnanimous enough, brave enough, and wise enough to undo an old national wrong, and that, in the words of Mr. Gladstone, the long, periodic time has once more run out and again the star of Ireland has mounted in Heaven.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
At the end of the eloquent and impassioned speech which the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford has just delivered he said that the party on this side of the House had in the past distrusted the people. I should like to ask which is the party which distrusts the people now? Which is the party which refuses to allow the British people to pronounce a verdict upon this measure?
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
You have skulked behind the result of the last election, and you have refused to honour the pledge given by the Chief Secretary, that this Bill should be submitted to the electorate, and that the electorate should be permitted to say "Aye" or "No" upon it. Under these circumstances, to talk of us mistrusting the people is to use mere vain words, because the House knows that the party opposite are not prepared to allow the British electorate to say whether they will have Home Rule or not. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford made a most momentous announcement, and he once more gave his orders to His Majesty's Government, and slammed, barred, and bolted the door in the face of Ulster. The Ulster case, he says, has been considered; but he refuses to do anything to satisfy the demands of the Ulster Members. He regaled them—it was indeed a strange thing—with the high constitutional doctrine of passive obedience. He quoted Lord James of Hereford. Why did he not quote Mr. Gladstone, who said that if the doctrine of passive resistance had prevailed very few of the liberties of this world would have been won? Why did he not quote the First Lord of the Admiralty, who said:—When men really believe what they Bay, they will back their opinions by something more than their words?It is not by the doctrine of passive resistance the Irish party have tried to win their rights, as they call them, or to justify their grievances. It is after all his vain talk, because Ulster is the hardest rock in the British Empire, and the Ulstermen will do what they think is right in their own hearts. The Lord Advocate for Scotland, I observe, in Derry only a few nights ago, said that any people were justified in resistance if their case was good enough. The Ulstermen think their case is good enough, and I should like to ask anybody on the Government Bench 2339 how they propose to meet it. Things are what they are, and the consequences will be what they will be. What is the good of trying to deceive ourselves. If the Ulster-men have made up their minds to resist the application of this Bill to Ulster by force, what is His Majesty's Government going to do to make them bow to the yoke? It is quite true a mixed force of all arms can subdue any resistance the volunteers of Ulster can offer. It is equally true a whiff of grape shot would have stopped the French Revolution, but it was not fired; and I say without hesitation this Government would not dare give orders to a single officer to fire a machine gun in the streets of Belfast. Half the mistakes in politics are caused by thinking that a thing both can be and cannot be at the same time. If you recognise, as most sensible people do recognise, that the claim of Ulster is not bluff but reality, then, I say, Ulster has already won her exemption from the Bill and will be able to enforce her own terms.
The hon. Gentleman went on to taunt us with having done away with the alternative programme of helping the industrial future of Ireland by stimulating her agriculture. I do not think the point has very much in it, because it assumes the Unionist party has abandoned altogether the possibility of levying duties on food by arrangement with the Colonies. All they have done is to refuse to imitate the example of the Government to try to carry these things behind the backs of the people. They trust the people, and they are prepared to allow the people to decide what they will do and what they will not do with respect to their own Government. We all of us admire, and most of us envy the seasoned eloquence of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond), but even more than as a master of words I admire him as a master of political deportment. He always says the right thing in the right place. We should, however, have a little more confidence in his pleasant phrases if we did not recollect that the tones of his voice vary according to his platform. For consumption in this House and on British platforms the tone of his voice is honeyed with an almost sickly sweetness, but it is a very different thing when he speaks to Irish-Americans on American platforms. The hon. and learned Gentleman is looking for a sheaf of quotations, but I am not going to dive in the distant past. I would remind him that 2340 only two years ago, when speaking at Buffalo, in America, he talked of the American-Irish hoping in the final effort to dethrone once for all the English Government of our country. Does he pretend this Bill dethrones the English Government of the country?
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
He denied he used the words attributed to Mr. Parnell, "Let us get this first, and then demand more afterwards."
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
No, but it was reported in the Nationalist papers and was not denied. It appeared in the "Irish World" and in one of the principal organs of Catholic opinion, and that report was never apologised for or withdrawn.
§ Mr. JOHN REDMOND
Is the hon. Gentleman now attributing these words to me after my public repudiation of them?
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
Not in the least. All I said was the Nationalist papers neither apologised for nor withdrew that report. That does not show much respect for the assurance of the hon. and learned Member. Surely the House must allow we have some grounds for distrusting, not the hon. and learned Gentleman, but those who act and speak with him. Since Parnell's time we have had twenty-five years of speeches claiming nothing less than national independence, and I should like to know whether the hon. and learned Gentleman is prepared to answer this question. Whatever the Bill may do, or may not do, it can be a most potent engine for obtaining further powers of self-government from the weakness of this country. He has said to-night he accepts it as a final measure of self-government. At the same time, he said it would require immediate amendment in its Financial Clauses. The finality did not extend to finance, though the whole Bill turns on finance. I would ask him this: Is he prepared to do something more? Are he and his party prepared to set themselves against any attempt in Ireland to use this Bill as a lever for getting more? He says "Yes." That is a far-reaching pledge. I wonder whether it will be echoed and affirmed by the Ancient Order of Hibernians? I wonder still more whether it will have the assent of the Clan-no-Gael. This Bill may be a miracle of healing, but 2341 when the waters are troubled the miracle does not always come off. I am bound to say that to ask us to believe the old feuds are to die and the old suspicions are to disappear merely because this Bill is passed under the formula of the Parliament Act is indeed calling upon us for a large measure of credulity.
This is the third serial edition of Home Rule Debates I have sat through. That, I suppose, is in itself some feat of endurance. Of them all this is the least touch to reality. It has been unreal because of the stupid and stultifying form of Closure to which this has been subjected. The Prime Minister said last night that fifty-two nights have been passed in debating the Bill. It is not the talk that is the measure of the reality; it is the influence the Debate has had upon the decision, and I would ask whether the discussion has had any influence upon the decisions at which we have arrived both in Committee and on Report. It is unreal again, because we recognise that in spite of all that has been said the real decision does not rest with us at all. It depends upon force which we are very little able to measure or control. We may have a pompous parade of power here, and think Parliament can do everything, but when it runs up against the granite forces of human nature, as it does in Ireland, then I think we shall find it does not amount to much. This Debate has gone on under the artificial light of a great illusion. A book not long ago was said to be a book of assumptions. This has been a Debate of assumptions. It has been assumed everything would be for the best in an impossible world. The Prime Minister said last night he trusted common sense and self-interest to set right all the difficulty which might arise between the Parliament of Great Britain and of Ireland, and he actually appealed to foreign countries for example in proof. I venture to assert that local autonomy has done nothing whatever to heal old sores or to do away with old hatreds and suspicions. At the present time wherever you go in Europe you find local autonomy has only given fibre and effectiveness to national animosities and old hatreds.
Take the case of Austria-Hungary. It is a very favourite one. Mr. Gladstone used to parade it on every occasion. I should like to know whether in the whole history of Austria there has ever been a bitterer feeling of alienation than there is now between Austria and Hungary. I 2342 should like to know whether the Foreign Secretary is not trembling in his chair at the thought of what might happen if the Emperor of Austria were to die. What is true of Austria-Hungary is true of Sweden and Norway. Let us come nearer home. Has the Turkish Empire received any great measure of gratitude for the local autonomy given to its provinces'! Are the relations between the Balkan peoples who were once under Turkish sway any better now that they have independence than they were before? That is one of the old superstitions all who have followed political science have long since adjured. I have heard quoted to-night the healing effect of the measure of self-government extended to the Dominion of South Africa. I say again, as I said before, it is far too early to judge of the results of that concession. If the doctrine of General Hertzog was to prevail, then I think we should rue the day when we gave self-government to the Transvaal, because it has only seemed to embitter certain politicans there against the name of British Empire. At any rate, to parade an example which at the best is only six years old, and to found upon it any complete system of reasoning, is obviously absurd. So far as the teaching of history goes, it teaches us that the grant of these local liberties only exacerbates those who receive them, and that between liberator and liberated there is no redintegratio amoris; there is only increased bitterness as lime has gone on. There is one Minister who has spoken more truly on that subject, and that is the First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Churchill), who, only speaking the other night, said:—Who is the man who is vain enough to suppose that long antagonism of history and of time can. under all circumstances be adjusted by the smooth and superficial functions of politicians and ambassadors?That was said only the other day, and I think it applies much more forcibly than all the vain boasting we heard the other night of the grant of local autonomy as a means of finally settling the long arrears of wrong that may exist between a dominant and a subordinate race. That is especially so when you think of what the financial conditions are likely to be under this Bill. The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor)—both his facts and style reminded me of the Debates of the eighties when I listened to him with so much pleasure—complained that in Ireland vaccination was bad, that education was bad, and that the rivers of Galway 2343 wanted fish and factories to pot them. He stated that in support of the Bill, when he knows this Bill would do more to prevent the fructifying flow of capital into Ireland than anything else. Ireland will start at a moment, when she is by common acknowledgment recovering her lost prosperity, with a loss of public confidence and of public credit. The finance of the Bill has been called "putrid" by the hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy).
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
May I ask the hon. Gentleman to tell me what is the difference between this Bill and the two Home Rule Bills for which he voted?
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
There are wide differences. The first Bill would have relieved this House of the congestion of Irish business by banishing the Irish Members. That was a considerable gain. The second Bill did not impose a tax upon this country for giving Ireland the power to interfere with our business, whilst she was entrusted with a good deal of control over her own. The finance of the Bill differs so much from the others that for the first time now this country is asked to contribute towards the expenditure of Ireland. I cannot think of any more vital difference between the Bill, but I quite admit that the hon. Gentleman's colleagues have done a good deal to rid me of my illusions and to teach me lessons which I have not learned in vain. Considering the number of converts on that bench and considering that the right hon. Gentleman who sits opposite (Mr. T. W. Russell) was the most bitter enemy of the Nationalist party and was never tired of denouncing them as accomplices in crime, I do not think the hon. Member need taunt me with any change of opinion.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
I was glad to give it to him. We are now paying millions out of the British Treasury to confer this boon on Ireland, and we are also to be favoured with the company of forty-two Irish Members to relieve us of our congestion of business. I think I have answered the question the hon. Member put to me. My point was a different one. It was that there never was a moment when Ireland required a free flow of British capital and British credit to the same extent she does to-day. When the hon. Member for the Scotland Division says 2344 there would be such progress in Ireland as to make poverty impossible, and industry alive, well then he is denying himself the only means by which he can get it, and that is financial help from this side of the water. I should like to know whether the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford thinks the public credit of Ireland will be so good if this Bill passes as to ensure that?
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
The hon. Gentleman is a very sanguine man. He has the thorough optimism of the Prime Minister, who tells us that the whole difference between this Parliament and the Irish Parliament will be removed by applying the principles of self-interest and common sense. He denies those qualities to every other Legislature which is quarrelling with its subordinate Government. Savings in Ireland under this Bill can only be effected by economy in the public service. But Irishmen have never shown themselves so deficient in patriotism as to refuse the honour of serving the Government under which they may be. I think the army of public servants will be enormously increased under this Act. Every one of the hangers-on of the Nationalist party will ask for some recognition, and, surely, considering how important finance is in our modern system of government—nobody will be less inclined to deny that than the Chancellor of the Exchequer—it is not doing much to raise the standard of living or of industry in Ireland to put her in the position in which we put her by this Bill, by making her almost incapable of getting further money for the betterment of her natural resources. Another illusion is that there is to be a new line of cleavage in Ireland. Old sores are to be healed. There is to be harmony and concord where there has been discord and animosity. I recollect the hon. Member who leads the Labour party saying, that in future, instead of the distinction being between Nationalists and Unionists, Catholics and Protestants, the difference would be between labour and capital and between town and country. I look upon that as an assumption for which there is not the smallest ground. Is the Ancient Order of Hibernians likely to decrease its influence under this Bill. Only this afternoon I heard an answer given from that bench which shows that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has endowed that body with public money, so that they now have 130,000 members in their approved society, 2345 while the Orange Lodges have from 60,000 to 65,000. Does that look as though they were going to decline in influence? On the contrary, under the present Bill, prejudices and passions—which you are not going to get rid of by a few pages of print—which have raged for years, will have even greater effect on the common life of the Irish people than they have to-day.
You are asking a great deal too much from this Bill. You are asking Irishmen to show a supreme capacity in public affairs, which I do not think, without doing them an injustice, they have ever shown when they have had the chance of dealing with matters of government. In the States of America the reputation of the Irish as politicians does not stand so high as to warrant the belief that they are going to be very successful in dealing with the most serious and intricate problems of government that I believe have ever been set for a nation to solve. I will give an example in point. There is nothing the Irish have failed more conspicuously in in Ireland than in providing themselves with industrial organisation. Where it is a matter of politics or land they have done it. Mr. Sidney Webb says that every attempt to form trade unions in Ireland has failed because of the internal dissensions which have arisen. The only unit within which they have been able to establish any sort of industrial organisation has been the United Kingdom, when they could take advantage of the superior organising capacity to be found in the English nation. You are asking us here to deal with a hopeless entanglement of legislative and administrative powers and duties. In the daily life of the community the administration of the law counts for far more than its enactment. The men who really matter are the policeman, the sanitary inspector, and the exciseman. They are the people who come into contact with the community in its daily round of work and pleasure. How are you going to deal with them? How is the Executive in Ireland going to stand? In 1893 the discussion took a rather different turn. It was said it was no good having a legislative supremacy which you could not assert, and that the only executive officers that would be left in Ireland would be the aides-de-camp of the Lord Lieutenant with absolutely no power of enforcing the decisions either of the Court of Appeal or of the Imperial Parliament. Well that is true in a certain sense now. But take the case of our foreign relations.
2346 Ireland is debarred from dealing with them, but we have no means of enforcing the laws of neutrality unless we have the assent and co-operation of the local authorities in Ireland. Unless the civil officers are prepared to act, you cannot do anything. You cannot enforce the ordinary administration of the law by the mailed fist of the Army, and you must have the co-operation of a civil authority. Under the old Bill there would not have been a single officer left when the Imperial Government came in. But things are rather different now. This system simply reeks of impossible dualism. There will be a dual control and a dual responsibility by the officers who administer the law in Ireland for the Imperial and the local Government. That cannot possibly work. After all these men will look to those who are to be their masters in the future, and if they have to choose, they will rather serve the Irish than the Imperial Executive. Yet you are to keep for a long period the Excisemen under the control of the Imperial Government. You are going to keep the policemen under the control of the Imperial Government for a certain number of years. But the sanitary inspectors you hand over at once. All this will create complications which I dare say are realised by the Front Bench opposite, but which, I am quite certain, are bound to precipitate a catastrophe. I think the difficulties of finance and administration will be so enormous that it will be impossible for the Irish Government to solve them satisfactorily. The Lord Lieutenant is a sort of administrative monster who will stand alone among the dignitaries of the Empire in the functions he will have to perform. The Government, as usual, has taken the worst example in the whole range of British institutions. The only case which is in the least parallel is that of the High Commissioner of South Africa when he was also Governor of Cape Colony. But not even Sir Bartle Frere's influence was able to conquer the difficulties and incongruities of his position. The Lord Lieutenant in this situation will also have the dual responsibility, and in discharging it he is sure to fail. The fabric of Government under this Bill is so built up that it is bound to crumble at the first gust of passion and hostility. I wonder whether the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford is so pleased with it. Does he consider what difficulties will be thrown upon him when he comes to deal with the Ulster question? I believe it will all end in disillusion and disappointment. We were 2347 asked last night by the Prime Minister what alternative policy we had to offer. I am not a leader or guide of opinion; to some extent I am an interpreter of public opinion, I believe that public opinion in this country is anxious to complete land purchase and to give the land of Ireland to those who occupy it as owners. I believe the people of this country are prepared for such a social reform as will raise the standard of living among the industrial classes of Ireland to a level with our own. But more important still, I believe that we are prepared to extend to Ireland the largest measure of local self government so long as it cannot masquerade in the clothes of national independence. The Unionist policy is a policy of equal treatment and equal benefit. Much has been done, but much more remains to be done. I believe that this Bill is bound to lead to friction and exasperation. Mr. Leeky tells us that before any great catastrophe the credulous peasants were wont to see a sword suspended in the air bathed in blood. Portents are out of fashion now, but I fear that the passions and prejudices which gave rise to them are much the same as they were two centuries ago. If this Bill passes it means weakness for Ireland, weakness for Great Britain, weakness for the Empire, and it will leave Ireland in time a stunted, withered, and wasting member of the body politic.
§ Mr. PIRIE
I do not think it was fair to charge hon. Members on the Nationalist Benches with being office-seekers, when one remembers that that party for generations have refused the emoluments of office. I listened with a great deal of sympathy to the touching peroration of the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford. I wish I could share the optimism Which he evidently feels as to the ultimate fate of this Bill. It is only natural he should think that the question of Home Rule will be settled, but we have the experience of the last twenty years to bear in mind. I have only one object in view, and that is to further and advance the cause of Home Rule. I am convinced in this matter with two views—one that the scheme is put forward by the Government as part of the federal system. We are also told that it is a scheme dealing with Ireland alone. As regards the first of these two propositions I find it very difficult indeed to reconcile the attitude of certain Members of the Cabinet with the accepted principles of political rectitude 2348 and ethics. I have to admit that I have come to the conclusion that there is a divided opinion in the camp on this point. Last summer I put a question to the Prime Minister, as to whether the Cabinet were unanimous in the opinion which he had expressed as to the intention of the Government to eventually deal with Scotland in this matter on much the same lines as Ireland. The Prime Minister, much to my surprise, gave me what he intended to be, perhaps, a rebuke, but which I did not take in the very least as a rebuke. He told me that that was not a proper question to ask. I told him that it was a most pertinent question, and that the House ought to have an answer. In the very fact of his refusing to answer that question and his willingness to express, when he spoke yesterday, views which he said were shared by his colleagues, I detect a difference, and it discloses to me the fact that the Cabinet are not unanimous on the question. It is well known that there is a great, strong, and I hope a growing group in the Cabinet in favour of a federal system. I do not wish to state the names, but there is the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the Postmaster-General, and others. I know there is another group in the Cabinet. I bear in mind a speech made by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for East Bristol (Mr. Hobhouse), in which, if you please, the only reason he gave for this great Imperial, constitutional, epoch-marking change was the fact that the Liberal party owed a great debt of gratitude to the Irish Members. I call that the silliest of all the silly speeches that have been made on the Home Rule question, and I only wish the right hon. Gentleman were here to hear me say so.
Who is to be one of the principal exponents of this measure in the House of Lords? It is Lord Morley, who has taken a leading part in the two previous Bills. He has been an avowed and bitter opponent of a federal system, especially while he was in this House, and a Scottish Member. Take the attitude of the Secretary for Scotland. He is a Member of the Cabinet, and must be more aware than I am of the true state of opinion in the Cabinet. He sits there as a Member of the Cabinet, acquiescing in this want of unanimity and this reluctance to carry out the full scheme of federation which this Bill professes to begin. There are many English Members who avowedly are 2349 opposed to Scottish Home Rule. I say that all those Members who are opposed to Scottish Home Rule and those Members of the Cabinet who will give a vote for the Third Reading of this Irish Home Rule Bill, which is put forward as part of the federal scheme, are false to political rectitude unless they bind themselves by so doing to carry a Scottish Home Rule Bill and a complete federal system when it comes before this House. I hope to live to see the day when no Secretary for Scotland, certainly no Liberal Secretary for Scotland will accept or hold office in the Cabinet unless he knows that the Cabinet are determined to carry out that policy. That is what the right hon. Gentleman's duties would lead him to do if he had a proper sense of what the duties of his office were. I am told there are very many different conceptions of federalism. No statement about it has given rise to more guesswork and more legitimate comment than the speech of the First Lord of the Admiralty when he proposed a heptarchy for England. I want to put forward my own reading of that speech. I hope it is not the correct one, but I should not wonder if it were. What was at the back of the mind of the "right hon. Gentleman when he made that speech was this: He was prepared, if he saw his way to have this Home Rule Bill for Ireland, but as regards the rest of the country and Scotland—a seat in which country he represents—Scotland and the rest of England are to be satisfied with what I will call"Pinchbeck"Parliaments—in other words, that Scotland is to be satisfied with the same sort of pinchbeck Parliament he would propose for different parts of England and, perhaps, for Wales.
I am happy to say that I feel confident that the people of Scotland, if that were proposed to them, would have only one thing to say, and that is, "We will not have it." What I say as regards Scotland is that the Parliament which Ireland is to get under this measure we in Scotland must get also, with equal powers and equal liberty. I know that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Islington (Mr. Lough) has also a different conception of the matter. His idea is Ireland, if not a nation, Ireland a Colony, and Ireland with equal powers to some of the great Oversea Dominions. That is not my conception of what it ought to be. I want to see the question of Ireland dealt with on federal lines—that is, Ireland a unit in a United Kingdom governed on federal lines. That is what I have per- 2350 sistently striven for. I do not think I could put my view better before the House than if I were to read to it an extract from an important Canadian paper. I am glad to be able to quote the views of an important Canadian paper, especially when I remember the growing interest in and the growth of Imperial sentiment on this question, and that on a great constitutional question such as this the opinion of our Oversea Dominions is taken more and more into account. The paper I am going to quote from is the "Montreal Star." The two Clauses with which my quotation deals are the Clauses which are directly antagonistic to the federal idea, namely, the Clauses dealing with Customs and the postal service. The "Montreal Star"says:—While warmly supporting the Home Rule Bill, that Bill is clearly a compromise, and it probably is not exactly what any section of the alliance which is pushing it through desires. Consequently, we may be permitted to say that we do not like either the proposal to break up the Customs unity of the United Kingdom or that to divide its postal service. We in Canada are fighting for One Navy …because we realise that the Navy is an instrument which can best he managed by a central authority. Just as we say that the proposal to establish a Canadian Navy, no matter how loyal the motives of the proposers may be, is only logical as a preliminary to separation from the British Empire, so we may say that it looks to us at this distance as if the proposal to give Ireland Customs control and postal management had in it the same seed of separation.That is a very striking sentence and a very striking comment, which ought to appeal to the Irish Members. I make the appeal to them that before this Bill becomes law they will realise the necessity of carrying the Colonies with them, and will show the statesmanship they might easily show by themselves proposing to do away with the small remnants of what is left of both the Postal and Customs concessions. I think it would show an enormous amount of statesmanship and prescience if they had the generosity to give way. The newspaper cutting goes on to say:—There seems to be no logical necessity for these Clauses. They look like the beginning of disruption, and if there be one thing upon which the people of Canada have set their hearts and minds it is that the British Empire shall remain one and indivisible, now and for ever.I believe that the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) would speak like the statesman he can be when he wants to be if he will get the Irish National Convention to agree to the abandonment of these Clauses, and thereby do away with the objection Unionists naturally feel to them. A word or two as to the effects of this Bill upon Ireland. I do not believe that the Gov- 2351 eminent dare to impose this Bill on Ireland in its present form. I do not believe that even the Liberal majority of 1906 would have dared to look upon this as a final solution, much less this party at the present moment, who are really trying to carry a great constitutional change without a sufficient moral majority to carry such a change. The way I look upon it is this, and why I am going to vote for this Bill to-night—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—I shall justify my vote, even if I get taunts from the Liberal party—[HON. MEMBERS: "You will not."]—I know I shall not—why I am going to vote for the Bill is that I believe the Government want to pass it this year, knowing that they must face a conference, and they want to have something in their hands with which to barter, something to give away, and they want this Bill to pass in its present form so that they may have as much as possible to give away. I am, therefore, glad to be able to vote in favour of the principle of this Bill. May I again allude to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Islington, who to a certain extent shares my view that all the things have not been done that might have been done to smooth the working of this Bill and do something for the minority?
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Mr. PIRIE
I knew the right hon. Gentleman would approve of that. I am going to allude to something else. No one has done more in his own part of the world for peace and co-operation in Ireland than has the right hon. Gentleman. I think he deserves the compliments of the House for the modest way in which he has alluded to the work of others and has kept his own work in that respect in the background. There is no better friend to Ireland, who is not an Irish Member, than the right hon. Gentleman. I only wish I could follow in his footsteps in that respect, for I have always been a consistent friend of Ireland. He himself said that more might be done in regard to the representation of the minority than has been done in this Bill. I still think it is the duty of the Government to work towards that end. As regards Ulster, which is the minority I want to appease, I hold firmly that for success you must convert and not dragoon Ulster. To dragoon it is impossible. All civilisation and all history proves that you cannot dragoon a section of a nation, and it is opposed to the pre- 2352 sent day principles of progress. Right through this Bill there is an unsatisfactory feature. There has been too much talk of safeguards; talk which so far has been absolutely idle, and I wish the Prime Minister were here to hear me say so. There has been a so-called expressed desire for conciliation, and there has been a search for points of agreement, but what is the good of having spent these fifty days in search of points of agreement if you cannot find one. I say there has not been enough effort on the right hon. Gentleman's part, and, perhaps, on the part of hon. Members opposite, to find points of agreement. I listened with pleasure to the speech of the hon. Member (Mr. W. O'Brien) yesterday, when he, in the most absolutely generous way, went so far as to say, that if the Leader of the Irish Unionists were to sanction the Irish Parliament, possibly he would become Prime Minister. That is the line to take, and I believe if there was more effort made to regain the confidence—because, after all, you have to deal with hard facts—which has been lost, you would achieve greater success. But what is the Prime Minister's attitude? I put a question myself on the two occasions on which this great question of Ulster has been raised. On both occasions I had an Amendment down, namely, that Ulster should be in the first instance excluded from the Bill, but should be given a chance of coining into it by consent. On both occasions my Amendment could not be debated, and to drive matters home I put a question last week to the Prime Minister calling his attention to my Amendment about Ulster. I asked him whether he was aware of the probability of such an Amendment being accepted by the Ulster Members themselves. I have better and better reasons for believing that that Amendment would find favour with the Ulster Members. Anyhow, it would be one step in the right direction. Yet the Prime Minister gave me his usual sort of answer, almost as evasive an answer as the Secretary for Scotland is in the habit of giving—The question of the exclusion of Ulster from the operation of the Government of Ireland Bill WHS fully discussed and decided by the House of Wednesday last week.But that was not my question. My question was, whether he was aware of the probability of the temporary exclusion of Ulster and its ultimate inclusion, if the majority of the electors wanted it, being; 2353 considered in the other House. I say it is not worthy of the Prime Minister of England to treat suggestions of this great import in such a happy-go-lucky fashion.
I have suggested one solution as a possible method of agreement, and now I want to suggest another. The Solicitor-General, when he began his speech to-day, said that every corner of this great question had been examined, and the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond) said the Bill had been microscopically examined in the fifty-two days that it had been in the House. But has it been microscopically examined? I think not, in spite of the calculations which have been given us. There is one Amendment which has not been discussed, and that is the proposal to prevent the Irish Parliament from repealing the Malicious Injury Act. I believe that the Malicious Injury Act is looked upon in Ireland as a great safeguard amongst the minority, and I think it was a great pity that the Amendment did not have a chance of being discussed.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
Is the hon. Member aware that we agreed in 1908 to the whole of that question being remitted to the Irish County Court judges, and that not one of us has since protested against that settlement?
§ Mr. PIRIE
Both those statements are correct. A Bill was introduced to repeal the important Sections of that Act, and it was supported by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond), the hon. Member (Mr. Devlin), and the hon. Member (Mr. Dillon). I see still no reason why, for some years, anyhow, the Irish party should not pledge itself to keep these Acts unrepealed. It would give a great sense of security and would go some way to meeting the demands of the minority. What does the Bishop of Kerry himself say about this Act? He says that the malicious injuries with which it was supposed to deal were contemptibly mean and cowardly, destructive of all sense of security, intrinsically opposed to God's law and an indelible stain on the national Christian character of our people. If the Bishop of Kerry says that, surely there is a suggestion which the Irish party might accept and which would go far, as the Bishop of Kerry says, to increase the sense of security if it was still allowed to remain in force for some years. I can 2354 only hope as the hon. Member (Mr. W. O'Brien) prognosticated yesterday, that this year will see a conference. I believe that if a conference took place there would be an enormous number of points of agreement, and I am convinced it is the only way in which a final solution of this question could be found. Even the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Long), who once represented an Irish seat, talking in Vancouver of a conference instanced the cases of the Federations of Australia, South Africa, and Canada, and said that all those great federations had been the outcome of patient inquiry and conference, and I believe this great constitutional question can only be settled satisfactorily upon the same lines.
Mr. JOHN GORDON
I have listened with great attention and considerable interest to the speech of the hon. Member, but I fail to understand his precise attitude. He has made a speech, every word of which is strongly against this Bill becoming law. He has told the Government that they dare not force this Bill upon Ireland in its present condition. He told them that the Ulster people are not being rightly treated and we have Amendments down to try and relieve the Ulstermen from the oppression which he thinks will be forced upon them by this Bill. He says he will vote for the Third Reading of the Bill as a matter of principle. He has been in the House for many years. The matter of principle may be the deciding factor upon the Second Reading of a Bill, but after it has passed through Committee and Report and comes up for Third Reading, the vote upon it is either to pass it into law, or to refuse to pass it into law, and it is no longer merely a matter of principle. The idea in his mind is one of the things which I cannot understand, how anyone with his sound views against the Bill can allow such a consideration to influence his vote. There is to be a conference, a conference of whom, and by whom? Who are to be the parties to it? I would earnestly beg the hon. Member, with the sound views that he has, to reconsider the direction in which he will give his vote. There was one matter which he mentioned, and I think it was only one illustration out of many that we Irish Unionists could give of the way in which injury might be done in Ireland by a Nationalist Parliament. Compensation for injury in Ireland has been one of the few things which have formed some protection to the people who are not quite 2355 approved of by the United Irish League or the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and who, if their property was destroyed, would have to bear the loss were it not for the fact that the law now provides that they can go before a County Court judge and, if they prove that it was done maliciously, they get compensation, which is paid by the district. A Bill to repeal this provision was brought in in 1908 and was rejected, but if this Home Rule Bill is passed there is nothing to prevent the Nationalist Parliament in Ireland from repealing that measure and from leaving the people with whom the Nationalist party is not in sympathy themselves to bear the loss which might be inflicted upon them by these great organisations.
I pass from the hon. Member's speech, and I come to the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond), who has made a speech with which we are all familiar. That is to say, Ireland is a nation, and you are not creating a nationality but only giving to a nation certain powers; we are satisfied with this, and we regard it as being a satisfactory solution of the difficulties between Ireland and England, and the bedrock of the -opposition to-day is distrust of the Irish Nationalist majority. May I put to the House this simple question? Who are in the best position to know something about the Irish Nationalist people? Is it the people who have lived their lives amongst them, who have seen their daily actions, who know their history, who read in their newspapers the record of what they are doing? The statement was made nearly a year ago, but I do not think matters have improved very much, that they claim to be masters in Ireland, and in that they are either right or wrong. If they are right, they should put an end to outrage and crime. If they are wrong, how do you expect them to put an end to it if you hand over the control of the country to their care? It is only a year ago that the Chief Secretary told us there were in Ireland 366 people who were boycotted, and 353 people who were under police protection, and that is in a country in which these Gentlemen have, as they said themselves, complete control, and I believe, with their organisations, they have that control.
Are we then to trust these Gentlemen? Is it a wonderful thing that we do not trust them? You only hear what is brought forward in this House, or, perhaps, something that you see in some English newspaper which may publish something about what 2356 goes on in Ireland, but we see it every day. It is only the other day that a member of my own profession was shot at his own door down in Clare, because of some dispute, and not a word of remonstrance was raised by the United Irish League, by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, or by Nationalist Members from Ireland in this House. We have also had lately an indication of what we are to expect when these Gentlemen get control in Ireland. Do not be under any misapprehension about it. In this Parliament, and in England and Scotland, you have always got the chance, if you have a bad Government in to-day, of having a good Government or one that you like to succeed it. This country is not divided upon the lines in which division is marked out in Ireland. In Ireland, if you pass this Bill, you hand over the permanent control of all the affairs of Ireland to the Irish Nationalist people, and the Unionist people will always be in a minority. What is the prospect held out to us by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond)? He came up to the North of Ireland some time ago and told us that when we get Home Rule the people who do not agree with him must be overborne by the strong hand. But we are living there. We are the people upon whom that operation is to take place. What are we to do with the hon. Member (Mr. Dillon), who, a short time ago, said, "When we get Home Rule we shall know who are our friends and who are our enemies, and we will mete out the rewards and the punishments accordingly"? We Irish Unionists know all that, and know the hollowness and the sham and the pretence of what is going on by the Irish Nationalists at present in the country and in this House, pretending that if they get this Bill from the British people they will be perfectly loyal, perfectly contented, and perfectly peaceful, and they will treat their Unionist neighbours with every consideration. We know the contrary.
But I want to call attention to a speech which was made yesterday which contains one or two very striking things. So far as I am personally concerned, and I think so far as my colleagues are concerned, we give the greatest credit to the hon. Member for Cork City (Mr. W. O'Brien) for having a sincere desire for conciliation and a sincere desire that his fellow countrymen will not be badly treated. He has been badly treated himself, and he has told the House of it. He said yesterday:—We have for obvious reasons abstained, in the course of these Debates, from reminding hon. Members 2357 above the Gangway who have natural anxieties—in our mind wholly visionary anxieties—as to the effect of this Bill on the Protestant minority, that they are not the only minority who have something to risk in accepting the rule of the Gentlemen who, no doubt, for some years, will have the upper hand in the Dublin Parliament."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th January, 1913, col. 2187.]That is from a Nationalist, and he belongs to a minority who will also have to run some risk from the Gentlemen who will be in control for a number of years in the Dublin Parliament. The Ancient Order of Hibernians are practically in control of the Irish Nationalist party at the present moment. The hon. Member says he is a Nationalist, and therefore he is prepared to run that risk. But we in Ulster are not Nationalists, and we are opposed to all these ideas of Home Rule. Unionists seek to remain an integral part of the United Kingdom, and to continue to have their share in the management and control, and in the benefits that are to be derived under the Imperial Parliament at Westminster. Are we then to be blamed because, knowing the risk, and knowing it as a serious risk, we will not do what only his Nationalism induces the hon. Member for Cork to do, namely, accept the risk? Unionists know the situation, and we will not accept the risk. You may take it that, whether the Government or the supporters of the Government believe it or not, Ulstermen will never accept that risk willingly. You will have to do something which every member of your party will regret, and I believe there is not a single member of the party who wants or will dare do it. As the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Pirie) said, "You dare not force this Bill upon Ulster."
We are asked by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond), when we refer to the speeches which have been made and the strong language that has been used: what hon. Member in the House has not at some time made a foolish or rash speech? When you consider that the speeches extend through a long course of years, and that they were made at different places under different circumstances to people who were expected to believe that the Gentleman uttering those sentiments believed in them themselves, why should they now ask us to believe that when they made the speeches they did not believe them? The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) felt the pressure of these speeches, and yesterday, amid the plaudits of hon. Gentlemen opposite, he said it was long ago at the time 2358 of the famine, and at the time of the great exodus of people from Ireland. He stated that all is changed now. Is it changed now? The speeches to which reference has been made were delivered after great benefits had been conferrd by the British Parliament on Ireland. The two speeches to which I have referred were made within the last ten years—I think within the last four or five years. These great benefits having been conferred on the country, it is idle and absurd to pretend that these rash and foolish speeches were made without consideration long ago when things were quite different. Not a bit of it. These Gentlemen who try to persuade Members of this House that their utterances were foolish statements made in the bad old times, and that they did not believe in them, are trying to mislead, because the speeches were made recently. The hon. Member for the Scotland Division tells you that it is all nonsense to think of Ireland being hostile to England in the future. He told the House of the great exports from Ireland to England and of the great imports from England to Ireland, and said it was the interest of Ireland to remain friendly with this country. But these exports and imports have been going on as long as anyone in this House remembers. In 1904 they amounted to £104,000,000, and it is since then that all those anti-British utterances and expressions of hostility to this country have been made, notwithstanding all the great commercial transactions between the two countries. It is idle to talk about depending for the goodwill of Ireland upon the community of commercial interests. It has never preserved the goodwill of Ireland in the past, and it will never preserve it in the future.
I could not help being struck by one observation made by the Member for the Scotland Division last night. He said that every Unionist, whether he belongs to Ireland or not, who has spoken on this question, has asked, "What benefit is Home Rule going to confer on Ireland?" We have never got an answer to that question. The hon. Member attempted to deal with it. Mark you, the business men in the North of Ireland who have created the largest manufacturing industries in the country, and who are as keen business men as any in England, say that there is no benefit to be derived from Home Rule. They say that their industries and credit will be destroyed. Anyone who is unfortunate enough to have capital invested in 2359 Irish banks, railways, or other concerns, knows what has taken place with respect to the value of stocks and shares. What has happened in this connection shows the opinion of commercial Ireland on the subject of Home Rule. What are the benefits to be derived from Home Rule, according to the hon. Member for the Scotland Division? He says that if in an Irish workhouse a doctor has unskilfully vaccinated a patient they would have that discussed before the Irish Parliament. That is his idea of the use of an Irish Parliament. There is a Local Government Board in Ireland which deals with such a matter promptly and efficiently, and the idea of suggesting that that is sufficient to justify you in breaking up present arrangements and trampling upon the dearest wishes and aspirations of a loyal and contented people in Ireland could never have entered into the mind of a man like the hon. Member for the Scotland Division, unless he knew that Members on the other side of the House were practically in the position. no matter whether right or wrong, of being bound to support the Bill. He knows that when the bell rings for the Division, they will troop into the Lobby to vote for the Bill whether there is any benefit for Ireland in it or not.
The hon. Member opposite (Mr. Pirie) clearly stated his views against the Bill, and yet he says, "I will go into the Lobby and vote for the Third Reading." The hon. Member for the Scotland Division also told the House that it was absurd to talk about the people in the North of Ireland having any fears. He stated that the democracy of the South and West would protect the liberties of the people in the North of Ireland. Have they done so in connection with their own organisations? The United Irish League and other organisations have their Sunday Courts in which they deal with people who have done anything of which they disapprove. Have they done anything to preserve and protect the liberties of the people among whom they live? Let me tell you that the people who are opposed to this measure are the only real democracy in Ireland. [Laughter.] I am appealing to English Members, and I am not moved by the laughter of hon. Members below the Gangway. I am one of those who believe in the power, intelligence, and capacity for seeing ahead of British artisans. The whole of the artisan class in Belfast are against this Bill.
2360 [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] The artisan class in Ulster show that they are against the Bill in this way. They are members of their trade unions, and they have from time to time been urged to try to have a Labour Member returned for Belfast. Although the Labour vote there is an exceedingly strong one which could turn the elections in three out of the four divisions, the Labour party have never been able to get the workers of Belfast to return a Member to this House. They say, "We will not send to Parliament a Member who will be forced to support Home Rule for Ireland. It will be against our interests to have Home Rule. We know that we will suffer."
I was surprised yesterday to hear an hon. Gentleman talk as he did of the industrial conditions in Belfast. There is a great deal less unemployment there than in any other part of the three Kingdoms, and there is less pauperism. [An HON. MEMBER: "Lower wages."] In connection with the shipbuilding trade there is only one place in the three Kingdoms where higher wages are paid, and that is for the higher grades of work in London. Irish Unionist representatives take the keenest interest in these matters. As to housing, there is no place in the three Kingdoms where the workman has a better chance, because he can get a little house for 3s. 6d. or 4s. a week. There are streets of such houses, with more accommodation than is required by the people. These people know their own interests. That great democracy is opposed to this Bill, and it is idle to talk about what will be done for them by the democracy of the South and West of Ireland. They know how to protect their rights and interests, and they know what is best for themselves. They are the strongest opponents of this Bill. The hon. Member for Water-ford and those who speak in support of this Bill said it was going to be a final settlement of the whole question. But the hon. Member for Cork yesterday said:—I abstain from saying anything more upon chat point on an occasion like this. Under such circumstances it would be unfair to England, as well as unfair to Ireland, to pretend that as to the finances of the Bill, or as to the powers of the two Parliaments and the relations between them, this Bill in its present form can any longer be accepted by us, at all events, as a full and final acquittance of our national requirements.That is from an honest Nationalist who risks being misrepresented in his own country, and is candid enough to tell the House what he believes. The hon. Member for Belfast, when not speaking in this. House, goes a little further, and tells his 2361 friends across the Atlantic that when they get the Home Rule Parliament then would be the time to put into force any means they thought right to accomplish the great and desirable end of breaking the last link that binds Ireland to England. Do not be under any delusion or misapprehension about this matter. You are not getting rid of this question; you are not getting finality on any one matter dealt with in this Bill. As to the argument about congestion of business in this House, you will have forty-two Members from Ireland who have no concern with your interests, who come here as free lances to try to get whatever they can from you, who will use any difficulty of any political party in power which requires votes to get either more money or more power or more freedom from restraint for Ireland, and they will occupy your time. I believe that the capacity for obstructing may be exercised just as effectively by forty-two Members as by one hundred. These forty-two men can obstruct you and tell you what sort of a Government you are to have in power, and compel you to do what they wish. Does your experience of them in this House lead you to the conclusion that if the Irish Members wanted to get something, and there were forty-two of them here with nothing else to do, they would not try to press their views by every means in their power? If something went wrong in Ireland, it would be brought before you here and it would be all threshed out; and so far from the time taken up by Ireland in this House being lessened, it would be enormously increased.
We had from the Solicitor-General all those things to which we are accustomed in Courts. When a man has a brief in a case, he puts forward the best argument he can. Failure, will not affect him. He does his best for his client. His clients at the present time are the Nationalist parly. He tells us to trust them, and he does what we in the Courts know perfectly well; when you cannot face the substance of the case and you do not feel prepared to deal with realities, you deal with side issues. When we begin to talk about giving Ulster separate treatment, he says, Ireland is a unity, a legislative unit because we pass so many Acts of Parliament in the year for Ireland, and an administrative unit because it is administered by the Chief Secretary from Dublin Castle. All that is absurd when you have got to face realities. The reality you have got to face here is that you have got a large body 2362 of people, certainly a million and a quarter at least, united in determined opposition to what you are doing. They have not asked for any change. It is the other people who have sought to force this change upon them. You will not get rid of it by bringing forward these suggestions made by the Solicitor-General when he has a bad case. The people who represent Ulster, indeed some of the people upon whom the injustice to Ulster has been borne in on the other side have not merely warned the House of what they are doing, but have suggested a means of avoiding the serions consequences of passing this Act, and forcing it upon an unwilling population.
The hon. Member for St. Austell (Mr. Agar-Robartes) moved the exclusion of four counties. I think it likely that the Government would have accepted it if they had been free agents, but they did not. We, on our part, though we do not like the Bill or any part of it, and believe it would be injurious to every part of Ireland, Nationalist Ireland as well as the rest of it, after serious consideration came forward, through the senior Member for Dublin University, to say, leave Ulster out. We are bound to do it, knowing what we know of the conditions in Ulster and what are likely to be the consequences of your action if you endeavour to force this Bill upon them. Again, you did not leave Ulster out. You are driven by the power of those who keep you in office to refuse these concessions which men who ought to consider the realities of the situ-tion would regard as being an absolute necessity. The Prime Minister repeated last night the statement made by him in Dublin that a minority should not be allowed to thwart the will of the majority of the people of a country. That was applied to our opposition to the whole Bill for the whole of Ireland. What application has it to the situation when Ulster asks that itself should be left out? What answer is the fine sentiment of the Prime Minister to the request to give the Bill to the people who want it and to leave out the four counties of Ulster? It is no answer. The only reason for this Bill is that those Gentlemen below the Gangway demand it. They want to get free, as far as they possibly can from English rule, and they want to get under their control and their domination the industrial and loyal people in Ireland. You may try to conciliate them. Your efforts and your intentions may be good enough. They will fail. 2363 Ulster will not submit to it. Ulster will prevent you from ever forcing this Bill upon the people of Ireland.
§ Mr. HAYWARD
I trust that I may claim the indulgence of the House for a few minutes on rising for the first time. I am sure that hon. Members will agree that there is little which is new to be said at this late hour in so well worn a controversy. I merely venture, in lending my small quota, to deal with the matter as I think representing the views of my Constituents. I know that hon. Members opposite have told us again and again that we have had no mandate to deal with this matter, and this statement has been repeated this evening, and we have been charged with perpetuating a fraud upon our constituencies in forcing this Bill through Parliament under' present circumstances. I may say that I have taken every available opportunity of ascertaining from my Constituents if that is their view, and I can assure hon. Members that they made it perfectly clear to me that so far as they are concerned they would have considered the charge far better merited if I had taken an opposite view and sheltered myself behind the position that this Bill was not before the country, I had voted against it. Upon this question I presume that the Opposition will scarcely refuse to concede to us on this side the same latitude in applying the doctrine of mandate which governs their own actions when in power. If this is so, I should like to inquire what subtle distinction places the action of the Government outside the limits of the Opposition's own doctrine of mandate, as interpreted by their own acts after the election of 1900?
It will also be interesting to know if the doctrine of resistance to law and order as defined and limited by the Opposition now was in their minds when they were forcing through an Education Bill after the election of 1900. The Home Rule Bill has passed through all its stages and has emerged from all the searching criticism which was passed upon it without one of the main positions upon which it was based having been undermined. First, there is the Irish demand itself, which has been referred to again and again. During a long period, through all its varying fortunes, Ireland has remained sustained in its purpose, and its demand has remained undiminished in its inten- 2364 sity. That demand is really at the root of the whole case, yet so far as I can remember not one Member of the Opposition attempted to deal adequately with this Irish demand. In this respect the Bill is in the strict line of succession to the very best traditions of British statesmanship—that is, ever since the disasters following on an opposite course in regard to America. That policy is to extend self-government and the kind of self-government required whenever there exists a sufficiently explicit and persistent demand emanating from a homogeneous population within well defined and appropriate geographical limits.
The Colonial precedents have necessarily very largely loomed in our Debates. We on this side have declared that for the one essential purpose these Colonial precedents are analogous. Hon. Members opposite tell us that this is not so, and they repeat again and again that this Bill proposes that which is not like any other Constitution that has ever been granted to our Colonies—that there is nothing like it in any Colonial Constitution. I should like to ask if those Colonial Constitutions are exactly alike in all details among themselves, and, if not, whether they are any the less efficient on that account? Everybody knows that they are none the less efficient on that account. The likeness or unlikeness of the Irish Constitution to these Colonial Constitutions is no more essential to its success than uniformity of Constitutions amongst them is essential to their success. There is. however, one fundamental characteristic which is common to every one of them, and it is the one vital and essential characteristic in their success. It is not that each shall be formed on the same model, but it is that each provincial community shall have the kind of autonomy it wants as best suited to its needs, and that enables its people to pursue their own line of development in matters not common to the whole federation. The real test of this matter is not the power delegated or the powers withheld, but that the people living under the Constitution sanction it and consent to it, finding under its provisions full and ample freedom for the growth and development of their commercial character and for the solution of their own peculiar problems.
These are essential conditions to the smooth working of any stable Imperial scheme. It has been the teaching of British experience that ample scope and freedom 2365 should be given to the constituent parts of a federation as being an essential condition of the harmonious and smooth working of a scheme such as this, so that each part shall revolve on its own axis and around its own orbit, as in the harmonious working of the solar system. But we have been told that the Bill, far from being consistent with the present evolution and development of Colonial policy, is the opposite of it, and is a direct reversal of the true progress of national and Imperial development, which is more and more in the direction of unification. In one sense that may or may not be true, but even if it is, any tendency to unification is always subject to leaving to the various parts such autonomy as is required for the satisfactory management of their own domestic affairs. This principle is never violated, because a wise statesman always realises that otherwise the unity of the whole would be jeopardised. No one has been disposed, I believe, to deny that general proposition. I believe that one of the most lamentable features of the present position is that we have not the co-operation of hon. Members opposite in endeavouring to devise some settlement of this Irish question. I believe that if they could view the case without being obsessed by apprehensions as to Ulster they would long ago have framed some such solution themselves. I do not propose to go into the long story of the Unionist coquetting with this question. The House is familiar with, every phase of it, but it has this very important significance, that it shows, whenever hon. Members opposite bring their minds to bear upon the solution, when they abandon merely destructive criticism and really endeavour to find a remedy, which shall be lasting and effective, they are driven back into this channel, and along no other avenue can they perceive the remotest chance of success. Nobody, of course, suggests that this problem is without its difficulties or that this Bill is without its defects, but how have hon. Members opposite applied themselves to removing the one or remedying the other.
Of course, they will tell us that owing to the operation of the Guillotine Resolution they have had no adequate opportunity for attempting to remedy the defects of the Bill. But how have they employed such time as they have had? I remember looking at the Amendment Paper on the day the Guillotine Resolution was proposed, and I discovered, as 2366 the first fruits of the ingenuity of hon. Members opposite, that there were twenty-four pages of Amendments on part of the second and the third Clauses alone, ranging from the proposal to make this. House a judicial tribunal for the decision of points of law, to a proposal to make the Scotland Division of Liverpool a part of Ireland for all administrative and legislative business—proposals which, on the very face of them, were never intended to. be treated seriously. That was their attitude to the Bill as a whole. While, on the one hand, they declared that it was narrow in its scope and restricted in its provisions, and that constant friction must result; yet on the other hand, nearly the whole of their Amendments were directed to further limiting the power of cramping the operations of the Irish Parliament, so that could not have worked for a single day without coming into violent conflict with the Imperial Parliament. Of course, we all recognise that the chief difficulty in this question has been the position of Ulster, and the Debates have shown that it is the only difficulty of real substance. The Opposition have always expressed themselves particularly concerned as to the position of Ulster, and they have made themselves the peculiar guardians of that province. How have they discharged their trust? How did they propose to amend the Bill for the further protection of Ulster? In the first place, they proposed to omit altogether the Clauses providing for the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament. Then they supported an Amendment establishing Single-Chamber Government, thus depriving the Ulster minority of what protection the Second Chamber could afford; and then, strangest of all, especially at this time, I have seen suggestions in Opposition papers that the personal veto of the Crown should be revived in all its integrity—of course for the purpose of vetoing Radical legislation, the Opposition actually proposed an Amendment abolishing the veto of the Crown altogether on the legislation of the Irish Parliament.
Again, the attitude of Ulster itself has, of course, called for very careful thought. For my part, I have always been anxious to know if Ulster made any claim or took up any position, apart from unbending opposition to Home Rule, under any conditions whatever. I know, of course, that Ulster Unionists would destroy the Bill altogether if they could, but I was anxious to know whether in the case of 2367 the Bill being passed—and one has to assume that the overwhelming majority of Ulster people persistently and insistently demand separate treatment—whether in that case they desired to be cut off from the rest of Ireland for the purposes of government, of taxation, Customs, of education, the services of the Local Government Department, the Agricultural and Technical Instruction Department, the administration of justice, and all the rest of it. Secondly, I wanted to know whether such a scheme was practicable and feasible. If the demand were really made, and if such a demand did exist, I should have thought that the representatives of Ulster would have formulated their claim and pressed it from the very commencement. What happened? In the first place, the proposal did not come from the hon. Members opposite at all, but from a Member on this side of the House. I believe that I am correct in saying that on the first day of the Debate, on the Amendment which was then proposed, not a single Ulster Unionist Member took any part in the Debate at all. On the second day, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University did speak, but so uncertain was he of this Ulster demand for separate treatment, that he told us he had never faced any subject in the whole course of his public life which had given him more trouble. At last, on the Report stage, the right hon. Gentleman himself did propose an Amendment excluding the whole of Ulster. I read the speech he delivered on that occasion, but I must say I still fail to find any adequate evidence that the people of Ulster really demand this separate treatment in the event of the Bill passing; and I think not a single speaker on the opposite side even yet has ever directed any observation whatever to show that separate treatment would be practicable and feasible at all. We know that the Ulster Unionists continue to express the greatest fears of what will happen under Home Rule.
We know that they have declared their apprehension that they will be subjected to tyranny and unfair treatment at the hands of the Nationalist majority. All their speeches will not be looked through in vain for traces of a more encouraging tone and evidences of a more generous spirit. The hon. Member for East Down, on the First Reading, told us that friendly relations between Unionists and other people in Ireland were being cemented every day. In the same Debate the right hon. and 2368 learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University said:—Great differences were dying down, and men of all creeds were meeting each other in a spirit that he thought had never existed there before.I believe I am right in saying that so far have those friendly relations been cemented, that I believe all parties in Ireland have co-operated on various measures and projects for the benefit of the country as a whole. I believe, as a matter of fact, that they co-operated in bringing about the establishment of the Department of Agriculture in Ireland, and in getting various measures passed through this House. Yet when it is proposed to establish a Legislature in Ireland for the management of her local affairs hon. Members above the Gangway opposite resist it, although they have already co-operated in the promotion of neasures, and we are told that friendly feeling between the different parties is being cemented every day. In the same speech, to which I have already referred, the hon. Member for East Down said the curse of the country for the past five years has not been the warring of factions; it has been that the Government and the Chief Secretary have failed to do their duty. When we are told that friendly relations are being cemented and that different parties have already worked together and have extracted by their very importunity a few crumbs of reform, reluctantly given by the Government, surely they will not again draw the sword of contention just because there is placed in their hands the power to obtain for themselves the full feast which their united efforts have hitherto been directed with but ill success to secure.
There are many things, I understand, on which among all parties in Ireland there is already considerable consensus of opinion. The Leader of the Opposition told us it was his intention to develop the resources of the country. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University told us that primary education needed attention, and I believe there is general agreement that that is so. The Member for East Down (Captain Craig) told us that the whole system of poor law requires reform, and I understand there is general agreement that that is so. We are told that if the Unionists are returned to power they wish to develop the system of land purchase. What a fruitful field all that opens up for the initial activities of the Parliament in Dublin. I should like to know if this Bill is rejected are "we to 2369 understand that we in this House are to be almost exclusively engaged for many years to come in the almost futile attempt of pressing home those Irish reforms according to British ideas? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire (Mr. Austen Chamberlain), speaking some time ago in the country, said that this Parliament was overworked, and that there was a case made out for the extension of local government to Ireland, and that that has always been the Unionist policy. I should like hon. Members opposite to note this. The right hon. Gentleman said that Parliament is overworked;? presume he is going to extend local government to Ireland in such a way that the overworked British Parliament will be relieved of some of that work. I should like to ask if that means some of the British Parliament's legislative power? For my own part, I fail to see what else it could mean. I should like to know if the right hon. Gentleman is going to submit such a suggestion as that will he carry Ulster Members with him, or will they resist rather than fall in with such a scheme?
We have heard again and again in the course of this Debate that though you may write the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament as large as you like in the forefront of your Bill, yet it means nothing. That supremacy means nothing in the case of Canada. The British Parliament dare not exercise any act of supremacy over Canada hon. Members opposite say. But has it ever occurred to them that ever since the grant of responsible self-government to Canada, there has never been any need to exercise any such authority? There were occasions enough before. At the very time when self-government was granted to Canada it was practically in a state of open rebellion. One remembers Sir Charles Gavan Duffy stating that Canada did not get Home Rule because she was loyal and friendly, but that Canada has become loyal and friendly because she has got Home Rule. These same apprehensions which are expressed as to the grant of Home Rule to Ireland were expressed also with regard to Canada, and I have no doubt that alarmists in those days were just as concerned as to what Canada might do if she proved unfriendly in case of war. I have no doubt the very idea that Canada would establish a Navy of her own controlled by the Canadian Government would have sent them cold with horror. Have any hon. Members opposite 2370 those same apprehensions now when such a suggestion is actually afoot? I believe the fears and apprehensions as to Ireland will prove quite as futile in the years to come. I think of all the points made by the Opposition the narrowest, and in view of the generous disposition of the Irish people the most senseless, is that one which was insisted upon so often in these Debates, namely, that the natural resentment and irritation felt at generations of grievous wrongs inflicted will be the habitual attitude and temper of the Irish people after those grievances are redressed. Burke, who was after all no mean authority on this question of conciliation, once said:—It is not fair to judge of the temper or disposition of any man or set of men when they are composed and at rest from their conduct or expressions while in a state of disturbance and irritation.Later on he said:—Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom, and a great Empire and little minds go ill together.Fortified by the testimony of the whole experience of the British Empire, we do not share those apprehensions of disaster or oppression. It would be asking us to believe that in this case the whole experience of British policy would be reversed if we did. It would be asking us to believe that the apprehensions as to the extension of self-government which hon. Members opposite have always expressed, and which have always proved to be wrong, would on this occasion prove to be right. It is asking us to believe that our hopes and convictions of the efficacy of the same policy which has always proved to be right would on this occasion prove to be wrong. We do not believe anything of the kind. Self-government has been courageously extended to our Colonies even in times of agitation and difficulty, when the experiment seemed fraught with the gravest risks. We have seen the same results ensuing in all cases—agitation giving place to tranquillity, discontent to prosperity, and, as in the case of Canada, where it existed even rebellion giving place to loyalty. We have seen hostile factions, races, and creeds under the sobering influence of the responsibilities self-government imposed upon them co-operating in harmonious effort for the common good. Is it surprising then that with us the hope has become a conviction that what has never failed elsewhere will not fail in Ireland.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
May I respectfully suggest to the hon. Member who has 2371 just spoken that, before composing an elaborate oration for the Debate on the Third Reading, it would have been well if he had taken the trouble to read the Bill. I notice, among the very laboured reasons he has given to the House for the vote, which I have no doubt he will presently give, he said it would be a good thing that the great reforms which are required in Ireland—and among others the carrying out of the Unionist policy of land purchase—should be removed from the cognisance of this House and handed over to the care of a domestic Parliament in Dublin. If the hon. Member had read the Bill, which he has had some time to do, he would have known that the policy of land purchase is one with which the Irish Parliament will have nothing whatever to do, and if it is to be carried out in future it will have to be carried out as in the past by this Parliament. I observe that the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford (Mr. John Redmond) at the commencement of his speech exulted rather in the fact that he had noticed an air of dejection or depression in the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool (Mr. F. E. Smith). I do not know whether my right hon. Friend was speaking in that mood or not, but I have not the slightest hesitation in making the admission that that is the mood in which I address myself to the consideration of this Bill. I cannot pretend to be in a particularly cheerful mood when I know perfectly well that nothing which we can say upon this side of the House can at this stage have any effect, I will not say on the ultimate fate of the proposal of the Government, but, at all events, on the immediate fate of the Bill so far as the House of Commons is concerned. We know perfectly well that owing to the machinery which the Government has at their control, within a few hours this Bill, so far as this House is concerned, will have passed into law. That is a consideration which as a Member of this party and personally as an Ulster Irishman, I cannot view in cheerful mood.
Looking back upon the Debates which we have passed through, I notice that from the time the Bill was introduced by the Prime Minister until the present moment, with one almost trifling exception to which I will allude to in a moment there has never been from first to last the smallest attempt on the part either of any Member of the Govern- 2372 ment or of any Member of the party opposite, or of the party below the Gangway on this side, to prove what I should have imagined to be the first duty of anybody recommending such a measure as this to Parliament, namely, to show that its passing would offer the prospect of any material benefit to the people of Ireland. There have been, of course, numerous arguments addressed to the House from different standpoints, but I challenge any Member of the House to produce in the Reports of the speeches delivered one single attempt to deal with that particular point, and to show that material advantage or any advantage would accrue to Ireland under the Bill. The inconsiderable exception to which I referred just now was made in the speech of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) in this House yesterday, a speech to which I regret I was not able to listen. What was the contention of the hon. Member, and what were the advantages which he held out to the House and to the country which Ireland might gain from this Bill? He said that Ireland would then be in a position, in a domestic Parliament, to consider such matters as the administration of the Poor Law and workhouses, the abolition of sweating, the carrying out of schemes of drainage, and the improvement of education in Ireland. I would ask the House to consider those four schemes of reform which the Hon. Member offers as the material on which the Irish Parliament is to legislate.
First of all, as regards the administration of the Poor Law and of workhouses, that is a matter which has been dealt with by this House. It is not a matter which requires constant adjustment. Although I entirely agree with the hon. Member for the Scotland Division, that reform of the Poor Law is very necessary in Ireland, just as it is also very necessary in this country, I do maintain that that is. a measure of reform which the Imperial Parliament, with the wisdom and experience of the three countries pooled in one Assembly, is much more competent to deal with than a domestic Parliament in Dublin. What about the other matters? There is that of the main drainage in Ireland. Under the Bill we are now discussing does anybody believe that there will be sufficient margin in the Transferred Sum handed over to Ireland, and which is based upon the existing expenses of Government in Ireland, that out of that Transferred Sum 2373 there will be monies at the disposal of an Irish Parliament to carry out any large considerable scheme of main drainage? It will not be possible. With regard to education, we have had the opinion of the Irish Education Commissioners themselves, who are more competent to express an authoritative judgment on the question than any other body the country can produce. These gentlemen, largely Nationalists, have objected to this Bill on the very ground that under it all improvements in education in Ireland will be rendered impossible, simply because there will not be the financial means at the disposal of the Irish people to carry them out. Therefore, the only attempt which has been made to show that the Bill will result in material advantage to Ireland breaks down the moment it is examined in the light of the actual proposals before the House.
The line of argument which has been addressed to the House on more than one occasion by the Prime Minister, with the commanding power which he displays in all his speeches, is that there is a demand for Home Rule made with persistence and insistance by the representatives of the Nationalist party, and that therefore, because that demand is made, it is a constitutional necessity that it should be granted. That is really the argument upon which the Prime Minister exclusively relies. The right hon. Gentleman attempted yesterday to drive this argument home by adding, apparently as an axiomatic proposition, that if this constitutional demand were resisted in relation to this Bill, it would be the destruction of democratic Government. On that I should have thought it quite sufficient to know that that is not the view with regard to democratic Government. On that I should of fact taken by the great English-speaking nation where democracy had its birth, and has had its chief development. Everyone remembers the famous declaration of Mr. Gladstone himself with regard to the secession of the Southern States of America that Jefferson Davis had brought a nation into existence—the very thing which the hon. Member for Waterford is trying to do under other circumstances here. Yet, so far from agreeing with the Prime Minister that because a demand was put forward by a portion of the population quite as distinct in those Southern States as Ireland is in the United Kingdom, therefore that demand must be conceded, the great democratic Republic of America fought the greatest civil war the world has 2374 ever seen rather than allow that doctrine to prevail. There is this, further, to be said with regard to the constitutional argument. The Prime Minister, in his speech yesterday, laid stress upon the contention—I do not know whether it is a fact or not—that in the controversy over this Home Rule Bill, as compared with former occasions, little has been said about these proposals leading ultimately to separation. Whether or not little has been said, I can certainly assert for myself, with such knowledge as I possess on the subject, both in the past and in the present, and I believe that most of my Friends from Ulster will agree with me, that we do believe, as firmly to-day as was believed twenty years ago, that these proposals, however much they may be accepted as final by representatives below the Gangway now, will inevitably lead to separation.
But that is not so much the point to which I wish to call attention. Hon, Gentlemen below the Gangway cannot bind their successors. Supposing that at any time in the future a demand is put forward by the representatives of the majority in Ireland for an extension of the powers given by this Bill—an extension amounting, if not to complete separation, at all events a very long distance on that road—there is not one word that the Prime Minister has uttered in support of this Bill which would not be equally conclusive in favour of a demand for complete separation. Because his point is not the justice of the demand; it is not that there is any proof that benefit will result from the granting of the demand; the whole force of his argument is that because the demand is made in a constitutional sense, therefore it must be conceded. There is another consideration arising from the Prime Minister's argument. If it is the case, as I think follows, that there is no onus lying on hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway to do more than make their demand, if there is no onus upon them to show that the demand is reasonable, or that it will benefit the people, why should there be any onus on my Friends from Ulster to show that their apprehensions are reasonable, or that they have good ground for asking for separate treatment? Why is their demand for separate treatment, or whatever it may be, not equally just and why does it not equally require that it should be granted by the Imperial Parliament? The hon. Member for Waterford told us that the Bill had been microsco- 2375 pically examined. If that is so, I can only say that very large portions of it have never yet come under the lens at all. That is important from this point of view. The Prime Minister has reiterated time after time, with growing emphasis, that if hon Members on this side, whether on the Front Bench or representing Ulster constituencies, made any demand for any safeguards which could be considered reasonable, he and his Friends would be only too happy to consider them with a favourable mind and to put them in the Bill. It is very easy to say that. It sounds very considerate. It looks well when the speeches are reported in the papers. It sounds well when hon. Members are able to quote the Prime Minister as saying that he is willing to give every reasonable safeguard that can be asked.
But what is the actual benefit when you find that in point of fact every safeguard asked for by my Friends upon this side of the House is immediately put down as being unreasonable? What is the use of it when you find that the Bill is plastered with safeguards which we do not value, and a refusal is given to every safeguard that we desire? Innumerable safeguards which were asked for have been swept into the wastepaper basket by the Government machinery without even a moment's consideration. I do not want to take up too much time, because other hon. Members want to speak, and the Government have only given us two evenings to discuss this most important matter. But let me just glance at some of the Amendments which have been so treated, in some of which I have taken a personal interest, which I think are at all events important enough to have been discussed, and which have never been brought before the House at all. Under this Bill, when it becomes law, the law of marriage and divorce will pass from the control of the Imperial Parliament into the hands of the local Irish Parliament. That is a point which brings clearly before the House the reasonable difference of view between my hon. Friends from Ulster and hon. Members who represent the South of Ireland, because on questions of marriage and divorce there is a clearly defined ecclesiastical view and a clearly defined civil view. It is idle to suppose that in a Parliament predominantly representing people taking the ecclesiastical view of marriage and divorce the expression from those representatives in 2376 such a Parliament will not give effect to the ecclesiastical view, and make it the law of the country.
I do not suggest in this matter that there will be any deliberate persecution of Protestants by Roman Catholics. It is not necessary to show that. I do say that in respect of a law of that sort, going to the very root of the social life of our people, the minority in Ireland were entitled to bring their case before Parliament. They have asked for a safeguard in that respect, and it was one which, under the pledge and promise of the Prime Minister, they were entitled to receive. Instead of that the Amendment which appeared on the Paper not only in my own name, but in the name of other hon. Members, has never been brought before the House, and the House has never had even the opportunity of considering whether or not there was something to be said for it. A matter of a kindred kind that I should have liked to bring before the House was this: There is power given to the Irish Parliament under this Bill to set up Ecclesiastical Courts in Ireland for the consideration and the determination of matrimonial and other causes. It is an important point. Ecclesiastical Courts have played a large and controversial part in the history of this country. It is a matter upon which strong feelings exist, especially among Nonconformists in this country, and upon which strong feelings are held amongst Protestants in the North of Ireland. Yet under this Bill there is nothing to prevent the whole of the Protestants in the North of Ireland seeing Ecclesiastical Courts—which are obsolete in this country, though not abolished—set up in Ireland with all the ideas attaching to thorn which are odious in the minds of Protestant people. There is the whole matter of factory legislation and of company law, which touches an industrial community like Belfast, and we see them passing into the hands of a body which may entirely alter the character of the standard to which the industry of Belfast has made itself accustomed and has grown up.
One of my hon. Friends below me a little time ago referred to another point which I think was first raised on the other side—the Malicious Injuries Act. There, again, the minority in Ireland, especially the scattered minority in the South and West, feel that a definite menace is held out against their prosperity and security in the future, both over life and property. 2377 About this we should have liked to ask for a safeguard under the pledge of the Prime Minister, but which under the machinery employed for the consideration of this Bill we never had even the opportunity of bringing forward. In these Debates, in such opportunities as I have had of addressing the House, I have carefully refrained from saying, so far as I can recollect, a single word with reference to the religious aspect of this question. But it would be perfectly idle for anyone who is as familiar as I am with Ireland to leave it out of account altogether. The religious side is mixed up with the political side in the controversy raging around this great question. I hate, and I loathe, religious animosity. Many of my most valued friends, both in this House and out of it, belong to the Roman Catholic faith. But what I think is the most terrible part of this legislation touches something in this connection which, as the hon. Gentleman opposite said just now, has been admitted by friends of mine in this House. During recent years there has been a most happy dying-away of religious animosity under the healing influence of time, of modern ideas, and of remedial legislation. I believe that the very first result of this Bill will be to revive that religious animosity in a more fiery form than it has ever exhibited in Ireland since 1641. It has done it already to a very great extent. The difference in the feeling in Ireland during this past autumn and summer as compared with recent years is too marked to escape the attention of anybody who has been there, and the state of resentment and hatred which will be, I regret to say, introduced into Ireland by the passage of this Bill into law—if it ever does pass into law—is the saddest side of all this mischievous legislation.
The Prime Minister, speaking yesterday, used the words which have been already quoted by a right hon. Friend of mine: that he was not going back upon the old history of Ireland, with its conquests and reconquests, and so forth. These, he said, had left an indelible impression upon the memory and imagination of the great masses of the Irish people. That is perfectly true. But that indelible impression is just as deep in the minds of the Protestants of the North of Ireland as it is in the minds of Catholics in other parts. It is precisely because they have that indelible impression in their memories, as the Prime Minister said, of memories stretching back through rebellions, mas- 2378 sacres, plantations, and expropriations—it is for that very reason that they have entertained, and do entertain, the apprehensions, which are generally derided by hon. Members opposite, of what may come in the future. I do not care a pin myself whether you say that intolerance, or bigotry, or animosity, or whatever it may be called, is in the minds of Protestants or Catholics. I believe it is in the minds of both. If the Prime Minister is correct, and I am certain he is in saying this, surely the very last thing that statesmanship ought to do is to withdraw the controlling unifying influence of a great Imperial Parliament like this, which may keep these two sections from displaying their animosities more than necessary, and which may enable them through the healing processes of time to settle them completely, and instead to dig into them and stir them up afresh, which is what is being done by the Bill we are now discussing.
At two stages during the Debates upon this Bill proposals have been made to exclude Ulster or part of Ulster from the purview of the Bill. I cannot help recalling the first occasion upon which that proposal was under discussion. It was raised by one of the hon. Members opposite. I remember very vividly two speeches which were delivered in that Debate, one was from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford and the other by the hon. Member for West Belfast (Mr. Devlin). It has struck me very much that the hon. Member for West Belfast, whom I am sorry to see is not present, has taken a very small part in Debates from that day to this. I am aware that he has for some time been absent from the House for reasons which I and my Friends regret, but some time back he was here, and during a considerable part of the Debates he has taken very little part in them. I cannot help thinking and asking myself whether it may not be that the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford put some pressure upon his hon. colleague to abstain from future debate, because on the occasion to which I refer, when the proposal was made to leave the four counties of Ulster out of the Bill, I remember thinking at the time, in listening to the hon. Member for West Belfast, that I wished he would speak every day in this House and as many days as possible outside the House. If, I thought, he spoke in the same tone, you could never have a better demonstration of the reasonableness of the fears and apprehensions of my hon. 2379 Friends from-Ulster. The hon. Member for WestBelfast is credited with being the most powerful man in Ireland at the present time, powerful because of the organisation of intolerance of which he is the controlling power, an organisation which is so narrowly intolerant that it is just as odious to the Nationalists of the county of Cork as it is to the Orangemen of Ulster. The hon. Member, speaking with that power behind him, followed his leader, the hon. and learned Member for Waterford in that Debate. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford made one of those speeches such as he has made to-night, and of which he has made many in Parliament during the process of the passing of this Bill, statesmanlike speeches, if I may say so, from his point of view, because designed to persuade this House and this country that all the old animosities had died down in Ireland, and that he himself is prepared to accept this Bill as a loyal subject of His Majesty as a final settlement of the dispute. He has also attempted to show that the apprehensions of my Friends from Ulster are unreasonable, and may be legitimately left on one side. And then came the hon. Member for West Belfast. What a contrast! The hon. Gentleman was sitting on that bench below the Gangway; the very tone of his voice was a menace, the fire that was in his eye as he spoke was almost terrifying. I was very thankful that the statuesque form of the hon. Member for East Mayo was between me and the hon. Member for West Belfast. I thought he was going to bite, and what struck me particularly was this. A rather fantastic proposal had been made in the course of the Debate by the hon. Member for Stirling—a proposal of which we have heard very little since, and that was that if Ulster was so anxious to remain outside the jurisdiction of a Parliament in Dublin, Ulster might, in the Federal scheme which is to follow this Bill, join herself to the Parliament not in Dublin, but in Edinburgh. That was the proposal. It was a very fantastic and absurd proposal. It was one which I, as an Irishman, could not seriously consider. But nevertheless while I recognised that as absurd, while I listened to the hon. Member for West Belfast expressing in his peculiar way the Jove which the Nationalists have for the Protestants of Ulster, I could not help thinking that possibly Ulster might be wise to escape if she could from the ferocious affection 2380 of the hon. Member for West Belfast, even though it should be into the arms of a Scottish co-respondent. The hon. Member gave us another glimpse into the intolerance which the Protestants of Ireland may legitimately fear if this Bill comes into operation. Dealing with the arguments of one of my hon. Friends, the hon. Member for West Belfast apparently did not see the extent to which his admissions carried him. He quoted with approval a statement made by a leading merchant in the South of Ireland that in relation to local government in the South of Ireland the people there would prefer a Turk who was a Home Ruler even to a Catholic who was a Unionist. It goes even beyond that; it is not necessary for him to be a Unionist, because in the South of Ireland apparently the people would prefer a Turk that was a follower of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford rather than a Catholic and a Nationalist if he was a follower of the hon. Member for Cork City (Mr. W. O'Brien), because the hon. Member for Cork and his followers appear to have been quite as much banned by what I may call the orthodox Nationalist party as the Protestants and Unionists. But if that is true, if the hon. Member is right in saying that they would prefer even a Turk who was a Home Ruler to a Catholic who was a Unionist, what chance is there for a person who has the misfortune to be both a Unionist and a Protestant? A fortiori I should think that the intolerance for which the hon. Member for West Belfast stands would be much greater towards people who combine these two qualities. It is therefore for these reasons that it appears to me perfectly reasonable and perfectly intelligible that the people of Ulster, deliberately speaking their minds through their representatives in this House, should have said that if this Bill is carried into effect they will resist it, if they can, even by physical means.
The hon. Member for Waterford, speaking this evening, referred to this threatened resistance by the people of Ulster, and he said that "if that resistance were carried out, what becomes of the boasted loyalty of the people of the North of Ireland?" He said, "You will be resisting the Crown, and if you fight, you will be fighting against His Majesty the King," and he asked, "What, therefore, becomes of your loyalty?" I am quite prepared to admit that as a mere matter of dialectics, that is a position which is plausibly taken up by the hon. Member for Waterford and 2381 hon. Members opposite, but I entirely deny it has any substance behind its mere dialectical force. What will happen is this: There is not among the loyalists in the North of Ireland a man who would entertain a thought of disloyalty or disrespect to His Majesty the King, or to the Crown or flag of this Empire; but there is a constitutional doctrine which is generally used in another sense which plays a very large part, in fact, perhaps the largest part in the whole theory of Executive government in this country, and that is that the King can do no wrong. Now, what the people of Ulster recognise is this, that if they are driven to resist this legislation, although they may be resisting an Act which will possibly bear the Royal signature, the Royal signature attached will not be the action of the Crown, but of the advisers of the Crown; and although you may bring it up against us as a mere technicality that the resistance will be against His Majesty the King, it will not be so in fact; and while we should not for a moment think of offering resistance to His Majesty, we should not have the slightest compunction in resisting the demands of a row of Parliamentary partisans who occupy the position of His Majesty's advisers and sit upon the Front Bench opposite. That is why the people of Ulster if they resist, as I am sure they will, will to my mind be entirely justified. I say as solemnly and deliberately as I can here, within an hour or so of the passing of this Bill, that I believe that the result in Ireland of its passage, if carried under the Parliament Act without an appeal to the country will be the effusion of blood. If that should be the unhappy result of these proposals, the blood guiltiness will lie upon the heads of the Government, and upon their heads alone.
§ Mr. HODGE
The hon. Gentleman, who has just sat down, has told us in effect that this Bill, before it passes into law, ought to be submitted to the country. We have it from the Ulstermen that even if the Bill were submitted to a test at a General Election it would not force them to accept the measure. We are also told by a right hon. Gentleman opposite that the safeguards are of no value. When I have had the privilege of visiting the city of Belfast it has reminded me of some of the cities in South America where the black people are segregated from the whites. That is the condition of things we have in Belfast, because there the Orange workers are segregated from their 2382 Roman Catholic fellows. There you have districts where an Irishman who is a Roman Catholic dare hardly take a house; that is one of the things that has tended to the evil feeling existing between those two religions in that city. If the people were permitted to mix more together and were not incited by hon. Gentlemen who represent Ulster in this House, I think these religious feelings would die away so far as Belfast is concerned in the same way as religious rancour has died away between Orangemen and Roman Catholics in this country. It is more years than I care to remember since I first sat on a platform upon which Home Rule was being advocated. The first time I had that privilege the chief speaker was the late Michael Davitt, and after dealing with the subject from his political point of view and from the inherent right of Irishmen to rule themselves, ho began to deal with the matter from the economic standpoint. I may say that at that particular period of time I was a citizen of the city of Glasgow, and as the official of a largo Trade Union which has over 200 branches scattered all over the United Kingdom, I have had many opportunities not only from that period of time but from then up till now of judging as to that particular aspect of the question.
The religious rancour and bitterness between Orangemen and Roman Catholics) in this country has died away. In the 'sixties and 'seventies, aye, and even in the 'eighties in the West of Scotland, so sure as the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne came round we had nothing but riots and disturbances. When it came to the 17th of March there was a repetition of those scenes. At that time there was a great migration of labour between Ireland and the West of Scotland. They came periodically, and economically it was bad for the people in the West of Scotland. One of the managers of one of the largest concerns in the shipbuilding industry had a chart prepared which demonstrated that the improvement in the iron and steel and shipbuilding industries usually commenced to show improvement about the beginning of September in each year, and that coincided with the migration of unskilled labour from Ireland into the West of Scotland, as well as into the North of England. The result of that migration was, as another hon. Member has already put it, that the employer was enabled to get more profitable labour. In other words they kept the wages of the labourer in the West of Scotland below a decent living 2383 standard. What was it that drove those people from Ireland in such a way. It was because of the rapacity and greed of the landlords. These men, with a desire to save the homesteads of their fathers or save their own homesteads, had to come and work for a few months each year for the purpose of paying the rents of an absentee landlord. That is one of the reasons, why I, as an individual, support Home Rule.
I support Home Rule not only from the economic point of view, but wholeheartedly because of the inherent right of Irishmen to rule themselves. We cannot appreciate and understand as we should do the Irish point of view, and one has only to live in Ireland in order to appreciate to a greater extent that which cannot be appreciated by those who have never lived in that country. We have heard a good deal to-night from various Ulster Members about intolerance, bigotry, and so on. I have a strong remembrance of the fact that in the City of Cork to which reference has been frequently made that although the Roman Catholic population in that city was 75 per cent. of the whole there the two parties lived together in the most amicable relationship, in fact they lived so harmoniously together that in alternate years the mayor of the city was a Protestant and the next year a Catholic. I can also remember that at that time the same thing happened so far as the City of Dublin was concerned, but when we get to Belfast, where the Protestant element was in a majority, we had no such toleration. The result of my experience of the South of Ireland is that I have come to the conclusion that there will be no danger so far as Roman Catholic intolerance is concerned towards their fellow countrymen of different religion. I will go back to the 'seventies and 'eighties, and remembering the continual riots and disturbances and sometimes bloodshed that took place on the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne as well as on St. Patrick's Day. At that time it was only as those anniversaries came round that any ill-feeling was possible. At other times during the year between those anniversaries all nationalities worked amicably, contentedly, and harmoniously together, but whenever those anniversaries came round, then there was a bit of a Donnybrook. But, as the result of becoming members of the same trade union, members of the same friendly society, members of the same football 2384 club, and perhaps members of the same committee organising in some way a fund, it may be by a concert, for relieving the distress of widows and orphans, they have come to realise their interests are identical in every respect, although they may differ in religion.
§ Mr. HODGE
Whenever hon. Gentlemen like you leave the workers of Belfast without inciting them by riotous speeches, we shall have a chance. The hon. Member for South Londonderry (Mr. J. Gordon) made a reference to wages in Belfast, and said they were higher than in any other part of the country. There is an economic reason for that. Until Harland and Wolff's ship building yard was started, the ship building industry was almost unknown in Ireland. They have built it up. There were not any skilled workmen in Ireland, and they had to get them from this country, and to induce men to go from this country to Belfast they had to offer an increased wage. That only affects skilled workmen. When you come to the labourers, you have lower wages by 20 per cent. than in any other ship building yard. We have also got to realise the report that was issued with respect to the linen industry in Belfast only a week or two ago. It is a disgrace to Belfast. I have yet to learn that a single Member from Ulster belonging to the Unionist party has ever done anything to seek to lift those women to a higher plane, either so far as their conditions of labour or their wages are concerned.
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
The statement that the hon. Member has made has been contradicted in this House in the course of these Debates, not once but twenty times.
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
Both the statement with regard to sweated labour and also that with regard to lower wages.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HODGE
Of course, the hon. Member believes that nothing can be ill in that best of all possible cities. We know the conditions of labour there, because we have come into contact with the Labour leaders of Belfast, and with those women who have made investigations there, and whom we trust. We know those conditions are as bad as the so-called white slave traffic in this country.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)
I think the hon. Member is entitled to refer to the conditions of labour in Belfast. The proposals of this Bill are relevant to those conditions.
§ Mr. HODGE
The conditions in the linen and textile industries of Belfast are a disgrace to Ireland, and I believe under Home Rule the people of Ireland will have an opportunity of redressing that great wrong. On behalf of the Labour party, I desire to say that, not only from the economic point of view, but, as I have already pointed out, from the point of view of the inherent right of Irishmen to rule themselves, we support wholeheartedly the granting of Home Rule to Ireland.
§ Mr. HAZLETON
The speech of the hon. Member who spoke last from the benches above the Gangway (Mr.Ronald M'Neill) was one more proof that for all practical purposes there is now only one serious ground of objection left to this Bill, namely, the objection of a section of Protestant Ulster Unionists. The Debate has turned mainly upon that issue. Most of the speeches to which we have listened have been directed to it. It was dealt with very powerfully yesterday by my hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) and by the Leader of the Irish party (Mr. John Redmond) to-day. It is not too much to say that, if this one question could be got out of the way, this Home Rule Bill would be passed into law within a few weeks from the present time. It is therefore with great regret we have listened to the tone and temper of the speeches of hon. Members from Ulster representing the Unionist cause, and have noted that there has been very little change in them since this controversy began. We have heard from them yesterday and to-day much the same kind of speech that we have had all along. It would be unreasonable to expect they could give us any new argument upon this question now, but I do think their speeches have shown a considerable lack of appreciation of the realities of the situation. Can they fairly deny that all their efforts to arouse the people of this country against Home Rule have absolutely and completely failed? The Senior Member for Trinity College (Sir E. Carson) has acknowledged that there are few weapons 2386 they have not tried and few expedients to which they have not resorted. They have had two General Elections, and they lost them both; and it is perfectly certain, if they had a third election to-morrow, they would no more fight it upon Home Rule than upon Food Taxes. Any strength they might have got out of their Ulster campaign they have deliberately thrown away by their incredible folly of running that campaign upon the lines of a Drury Lane pantomime. They got their opportunity in this House all through the autumn and winter of showing in what way this Bill could be made less objectionable to them, and they threw that opportunity away in useless and obstructive-criticism.
They did their best to kill this Bill, but they should have known that the attempt was bound to fail. They ought, from their point of view, rather to have directed their efforts to attempting to cure it. What is their position now? They have failed to kill, to maim, or to injure this Bill in any way. They have failed to rouse the opinion of the country against this Bill. Their sole reliance now is upon their friends in another place, who have no longer the power to help them in this matter as in days gone by. It is for these reasons that it is quite useless for the Opposition to attempt to hold the position they occupied before this present fight began and to keep on shouting "No Home Rule" when it is practically an accomplished fact which they are powerless any longer seriously to resist. [An HON. MEMBER: "Wait and see."] They are like children clinging to a fanciful pretence. Let them face the position as it is to-day. Day after day I have listened to the speeches of Ulster Unionist Members, and I have asked myself, when I heard the pictures of the dreadful things that would happen in Ireland which they drew, if these were the phantom terrors of childhood still surviving in the brains of grown men. Do Ulster Unionists really believe one-hundredth part of the evil things they have said about their fellow countrymen in Ireland. Everybody recognises that the Ulster difficulty is the main question we have to face. We on these benches have never sought to make light of it. We have never sought to ride rough-shod over Ulster's opinion. We have laughed at the methods used by hon. Members from Ulster to exploit that opinion, but the whole Empire has laughed with us. I say that the fears of Ulster are unfounded 2387 There are prejudices, but we are willing to give them fair consideration, and we will go to any length short of abandoning the principle embodied in this Bill to prove to our Protestant fellow countrymen in Ireland that they have nothing to fear from the Catholic majority. [An HON. MEMBER: "Rats."] Not once, but scores of times, the Ulster Unionist Members have poured scorn on the idea that they have been asked to trust us in Ireland. I do not think they ought to be asked to trust us. [An HON. MEMBER: "We do not, indeed."] We have never asked them to trust us. It is not a question of trust. Do they trust the present Government?
§ Mr. HAZLETON
I say their security here is in trust. Their security here, as it will be in Ireland, is the sense of power. All sorts of absurd proposals were brought forward in Committee as regards safeguards and, because they were not inserted in the Bill, we were told that the safeguards put in were absolutely of no value. But here again our opponents make the fundamental mistake that the party in Ireland or Great Britain may contain in its ranks unscrupulous men who will be prepared to inflict injury on their fellow countrymen.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I must appeal to the hon. Member for North Armagh to refrain from these interruptions.
§ Mr. HAZLETON
Even if it were, as the hon. Member suggests, it would be no argument against the granting of self-government to Ireland. All sorts of violent language have been used against the present Government. The Prime Minister has been told that he is a traitor. The Leader of the Opposition accused him of having no principle. But does it follow that because these things are said of men who are in control of the Government of this country the people of England think they are unfit for self-government? Do they take up the position that the present Administration is a danger and evil, and that it ought to be suppressed? If they do not, then I say they have no right to take up such a position in the case of Ireland. 2388 They do not do it here, because they know that, however bitter party controversy may be, there is always a limit beyond which the nation will not allow the most extreme or violent partisan to go. The people of this country know that these safeguards exist. The whole tendency of the present system has been to keep Catholic and Protestant apart in Ireland. Self-government will break down those barriers. On most questions the interests of Catholics and Protestants are absolutely identical. It has been proved time after time in this House that they are so. We look forward to a time when in Ireland under self-government these differences will be removed and when the passions and prejudices which have been so harmful to our country will disappear and Catholics and Protestants will join together for the common good and for the benefit of their countries.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down made at least one remark with which I entirely agree. He said that we should have been foolish if we imagined that under existing conditions we could kill this Bill in this House. We never thought so; we never hoped for it. We have fought it as well as we could in this House, not with the view of influencing the majority who have voted for it, but with precisely the same object with which it was fought on previous occasions. The hon. Member has said that we had not now our friends, as he called them, in another place to whom we can appeal. We appealed to them in the past not with any belief that they could themselves prevent Home Rule, but with the knowledge that by their help we should have an opportunity of appealing to the masters of this House and of that other House. It is to the same tribunal that we appeal now, and, in spite of the inevitableness of this Bill of which the hon. Member has spoken, I think we shall not appeal in vain. He said that the demonstration in Ulster had caused to him and his friend, which, I believe, and to the Empire, which I do not believe, nothing but laughter. Let me remind the hon. Member of this proverb:He laughs best who laughs last.The right hon. Gentleman, the Solicitor-General, who opened the discussion this afternoon, began his speech by making a claim which he has often made before. He did not make it quite so rhetorically as he has done on previous occasions, but he made it. That claim was that for twenty-five years the party to which he belongs 2389 has been identified with and has been devoted to Home Rule. He might, I think, have spared us that. I have myself pointed out on many occasions and proved, I think, what was the extent of that devotion. It was pointed out again to-day very briefly by my right hon. Friend (Mr. F. E. Smith) who spoke from this bench. I do not mean to elaborate it, but I happened to be reading yesterday a previous Debate on this subject and it may perhaps interest the Government to hear what they own ally said. Speaking in 1899, the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) said:—The alliance existing between the Liberal party and the Nationalist forces in Ireland, has during the year which is past been practically repudiated on a score of Liberal platforms, by a score of great leading organs of Liberal public opinion in this country, and by a score of Liberal leaders.But something else followed which is more striking. In the course of the Debate the then Leader of the Liberal party, the late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, spoke of—the Irish policy which for the last twelve years we have constantly advocated.I am quoting from "Hansard."Mr. William Redmond: Oh, for !There can be no better or truer comment on the devotion of that party to this Bill. It is quite true that for nearly a generation the party opposite have been engaged not indeed in steadily or consistently, but at irregular intervals, for which they were not responsible, in imitating the toils of Sisyphus. Once again they have rolled the stone to the top of the hill, but the cheers with which I am sure the result of this Division will be received will scarcely have died away before the stone begins once more to move to the bottom of the hill, and this time I think it will stay there. They have tried to accomplish this task in every possible way. They have twice tried to effect their purpose by convincing the people of this country that it was a wise policy. Twice they have failed. They have tried it now for the third time, and I think the last time—they have tried it by a different method. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] They have tried, and, up to a certain extent, as the hon. Member truly says, they have succeeded. They have tried to manoeuvre themselves into a position where they hoped—I do not know that they hope now—to carry it not only without the consent, but, as they know, against the will of the people of this country. They will not succeed. [HON. MEMBERS: "Wait and see."] 2390 It is too great a problem—I admit there is a problem, and if it were possible to see it solved on the lines suggested by the hon. Member for Cork City (Mr. W. O'Brien), nobody would be better pleased than I should—it is too great a problem to be settled in this way, and I venture to say this, although, of course, it is a prophecy, that this Bill or any Bill like it, which includes Ulster without the consent of Ulster never by any possibility can become law.
What were the original grounds on which this Bill was justified? The Prime Minister, in introducing it, dwelt almost exclusively on this justification: He said that Ireland was a nation—he used the phrase—that it had the rights of a nation, and because that nation in a constitutional way by its representatives had demanded Home Rule, therefore we are bound to grant it. That carries us a long way. My right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Mr. Balfour) yesterday pointed out that this Bill must fail because it does not do what it professes to do, and because it does not satisfy anything which can be described as a national aspiration. It was easy for the Prime Minister yesterday, and for the hon. and learned Member for Waterford this afternoon, to say that we Unionists are complaining because this Bill does not go far enough. That was not the ground of the criticism of my right hon. Friend. The ground of his criticism was that such a Bill, from the nature of the case, cannot bo permanent, and must be merely a halting place towards some further development, and for that reason it was not and could not be a permanent settlement of this question. Does not everyone who took any part in those Debates know that that is true? Almost every Clause of the Bill is full of causes of friction which would make it utterly impossible that this could be a real working arrangement between any countries, however friendly they felt towards each other. I had intended to try to prove this by discussing at some length the Financial Clauses. I shall only say this about them. The Postmaster-General yesterday made an elaborate speech in explanation of these Clauses. The fact that he delivered that speech was in itself a most striking commentary on the claim made by him and by the Solicitor-General this afternoon that this Bill has been adequately discussed. If it had been adequately discussed, if the House had 2391 understood these Clauses, what justification is there for making on the Third Reading a speech, which would have been in place on the Second Reading, explaining what the Bill did? It was a proper speech to make, for there is no one in the House who understands the provisions unless perhaps it is the right hon. Gentleman himself, and I doubt if he understands it, and it is right that he should explain it.
In that speech the right hon. Gentleman spoke with even more than the usual amount of parental fondness for his own handiwork. He told us that these Financial Clauses had come out unscathed through nine days of criticism, and what was his proof of their immunity? It was that they had only been altered in one important point. But if that is a proof of the soundness of the Financial Clauses it is equally a proof of the soundness of the whole Bill from beginning to end. And what was the alteration which was made 1 We on these benches had pointed out the absurdity of the Bill as it stood with arguments, I think, as good as those which were afterwards directed from the benches behind. They had no influence. It was not arguments that made the alteration. It was only when they learned that a number of their followers, almost as large as hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, were going to vote against them. It was only votes and not arguments which made that alteration. I take a different view from the right hon. Gentleman. I think that throughout even the truncated discussions which we had the financial provisions were riddled from top to bottom, and they were saved not by their merits but by the fall of the guillotine and the docile votes of a majority which would have voted for anything else. That is, of course, a matter of opinion. But there is another test of the value of this Clause which is not so much a matter of opinion. Everybody, Irish or British, who is competent to speak upon the subject and who has examined them, has condemned them without exception, from the county councils of Ireland to Lord MacDonnell. And there was another condemnation more striking still. The Government appointed a Committee—their own Committee—to guide them as to the financial relations between the two countries. That Committee condemned in advance everything financial which is in this Bill. They adopted the very system which that Committee said had failed everywhere where it had been tried, and, 2392 what is more, the Government are so afraid of that condemnation that to this day they have refused to let us see the evidence on which the opinions of the Primrose Commitee was based.
There was one point in connection with this financial arrangement to which I should like to refer, but which I admit is out of place on the Third Reading. But that is not my fault. I referred to it at least twice in Committee, and it was never answered by anyone on that bench. I may be wrong, therefore, in the view which I have taken of it, but if I am right, and I think I am, then the whole of these financial provisions from beginning to end are an elaborate pretence and nothing more. Let me point out what I mean. I believe, and I think everyone believed, that the scheme of finance on which this Bill was based was that Ireland was not at present able to pay her way, that we must give her a contribution to enable her to set up the new Government, and that until the financial position of Ireland was changed she was to make no contribution to our Imperial necessities. That was my understanding of the Bill, and I think everyone else's. But one day the Chancellor of the Exchequer kindly strolled in, as he put it, to take part in our Debates, and he made a speech, and in that speech he said that after the Home Rule Bill, as before, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer will not only have the right, but it will be his duty, to put any new tax on Ireland as well as on the rest of the United Kingdom for any Imperial service. Think what that means. Suppose this Bill were law tomorrow. There will be contributions necessary, I believe, for our defensive forces this year. Under this scheme of the Bill, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer expounded it, Ireland will be taxed just as much as England or Scotland, and it will be taxed when Ireland is only represented by half the number of Members who would have a right to take a share in criticising that new taxation. Is that a system which could possibly be permanent or which hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway would accept if it were permanent? Of course they would not. The hon. Member (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) yesterday laughed at the idea that the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. John Redmond) was a dupe. The hon. and learned Gentleman himself to-day said that he and not the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Balfour) was the best judge of whether he was a dupe. I agree. He is not a dupe. He knows exactly what 2393 he is doing. He knows that this Bill is temporary and cannot last as it is for a year, and he knows that once you have given him the leverage of a Parliament in Dublin he can alter it precisely as he likes. And how can you refuse any demand he makes? The Prime Minister has told us he has given this Bill because Ireland asked for it in a constitutional way. Whatever they ask by their Parliament will be asked also in a constitutional way, and by what they have done they have precluded themselves from the right of refusing anything which the Parliament may demand.
Two other arguments were used on the introduction of the Bill which I think have practically disappeared. The first was that this was the beginning of a federal system. We have not heard much about that lately. In the nature of the case, it was incredible. No architect, at least no sane architect, ever built one wing of a building before he had a ground plan of the whole. But there is more than that. If they really meant to have a general federal system, they have made an arrangement which admittedly will make the carrying out of that system not easier but far more difficult than if they had the whole of it. Whatever life was in it was killed, and I think deliberately killed, by the First Lord of the Admiralty when he spoke of Parliaments for Yorkshire and Lancashire. Did not everyone see that if that was the idea in the mind of the Government it was utterly absurd to talk of carrying through a Bill which did not extend to Ulster the self-government which is proposed for Ireland? Then there was another argument, that we would relieve the congestion of business. I thought it would have disappeared. It had disappeared, but the Solicitor-General trotted it out again this afternoon. I could only explain it in one way, that he, like the rest of us, is reduced to repeating his old speeches. I do not profess to have anything new to say on the subject on which I have spoken so often. What ground does it take? Under the Bill every one almost of the services which raise discussion in this House are still reserved to the House. But that is not the point. We are to have forty-two Irish Members, and both sections of the Irish Parliament will he represented here. Can anyone doubt that, as Lord Morley said in 1893, if you had that condition of things, every quarrel fought in the Irish Parliament will be fought over again in this Parliament, and 2394 instead of relieving congestion, it will be infinitely worse.
There is another point in this Bill which shows, I think, that it cannot be permanent, and that is the retention of the Irish Members from the point of view of the representatives of England and Scotland. We in future are not to have the smallest say in anything concerning the internal affairs of Ireland, but they are to come here and have the same voice in our affairs as we have ourselves. And more than that by the arrangement of our parties—a system which I think most of us are beginning to think is pretty tightly drawn—everyone knows that frequently they will not only have an equal voice but a deciding voice on vital questions affecting England and Scotland. Is that a tolerable situation? Mr. Gladstone did not think so. He said that such an arrangement would mean a sovereign Parliament and a subordinate Parliament, and he added that the sovereign Parliament would be in Dublin and the subordinate Parliament would be in Westminster. That is true, and if there are to be these two Parliaments, sovereign and subordinate, I think the man who pays the piper should call the tune, and it is we who subscribe the money who should be the sovereign and not the subordinate Parliament. I am not an Englishman, but I have represented two English constituencies. The English are, I think, a very magnanimous people, but they are not fools absolutely, and I do not believe that such an arrangement could possibly be tolerated when they understand what it means. That it is intolerable is admitted by the Government. The Foreign Secretary told us that it was an anomaly. That is a mild word. He said he liked the anomaly, and for what reason? Because it would make it necessary to have an alteration soon. That is the high-water mark of Liberal statesmanship. They are so fond of revolution that they make one so that there must inevitably be another. It is quite true, as has been pointed out, that there are many people in this country who would tolerate Home Rule if they thought they were going to get rid of the Irish Members. They do not think that they are an acquisition to our Parliamentary institutions. Well, from the personal point of view, I do not share that opinion; I should be very sorry to see them removed; but from the point of view of the effect on our institutions, I do not think they are an advantage.
2395 That is the price we have had to pay for the Union. Does anyone suggest that we are going to pay that price after we have destroyed the Union? It is quite true, as has been pointed out, that the proposed arrangement does at least give us this advantage, that the number is reduced by half. That is something, but the same, or nearly the same, result can be attained in another way, and if we ever get the chance it will be done in another way which does not carry the dangers of this one. We shall give to Ireland the representation to which in proportion to her numbers she is entitled, but we shall not give her more. That will make a great change. It will for one thing at least—this is my opinion—end the demand for Home Rule. There is nothing more remarkable, and nothing more certain in my judgment—I know that hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway will not agree with me, but I am entitled to express my opinion—than that as compared with 1886 or 1893 the demand for Home Rule in Ireland has lessened, and that the hostility against Home Rule has been immensely intensified. The real vitality of the Home Rule demand does not come from Ireland. It comes from a party in this House which has eighty votes to sell, and from another party in this House which is always ready to buy them. We will remove from them that temptation if we get the chance, and when that temptation has been removed the party will readily return to that state of devotion to Home Rule which was described by the hon. Member for Clare.
I think the points with which I have dealt are of some importance, but after after all they do not touch the real issue. The reality of this situation does not consist in discussions in this House. It does not consist in your majorities, however you get them together. It consists in the resistance of Ulster. That is the reality of the situation, and until the Government will tell us that they are prepared to face that resistance, and how they are prepared to face it, then the whole discussion is an unreality, and they know it. As I have said, I do not profess to be able to say anything new on this subject, but I am entitled to put the old arguments until they are answered, and they have not been answered yet. What is the ground on which you justify this Bill? It is that because the majority of the people of Ireland wish it, therefore, whatever the opinion of the rest of the United Kingdom 2396 may be, they are entitled to get it. On a like theory how can you justify the imposing of this Bill on a great homogeneous community in Ireland which loathes it, and will not accept it unless you drive it upon them by force? How do you justify it? You say that Ireland is a unit; that is your justification. The Solicitor-General this afternoon endeavoured to prove it was a unit. He was dealing with the argument of my right hon. Friend, and he begged the whole question, and then said, "If you assume that, everything else is as I pointed out." He did make an attempt to prove that Ireland is a unit. How did he do it? He used the same argument once before. I hardly thought he would have considered it worth his while to repeat it. He said that in all our public Statutes we referred to Ireland and not to Ulster, and that that proves that Ireland is a unit. Does the right hon. Gentleman not see that to whatever extent Ireland is a unit from that cause, it is the Union that made it a unit. That is a literal truth.
Anyone who knows anything of the history of Ireland knows that Ireland never was a nation. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] And whatever semblance of unity has been given to Ireland has been given to her by the United Kingdom. If leaving that aside Ireland is a unit, is not the United Kingdom also a unit, and if you are entitled to give to something like one-fourteenth of the population of the United Kingdom separate government because they ask it, on what grounds of justice can you refuse separate treatemnt to the other unit of Ireland which is not one-fourteenth but is one-fourth of the whole population of Ireland? In Belfast and the surrounding counties there is a population of a million people strongly opposed to Home Rule. [HON. MEMBERS:"NO."] I do not say that there are no Home Rulers in Ulster, but there are many Unionists in Leinster, nearly as many as there are Home Rulers in the counties to which I have alluded. That area, with its population of one million people, is more determined not to have this Bill than any other part of Ireland is desirous of having it. By what right can you force it upon them? The Solicitor-General has said to-day that the fears of these people are entirely groundless. Let them loyally accept the Bill, and they will find that it will work quite well. Very well! Reverse that argument, say to the Nationalists of Ireland, "You are a small fraction of the United Kingdom. Loyally accept the position and you will find 2397 it will work quite well." And we have some ground to say that. No one doubts that the British people and the British House of Commons have tried, and are ready now to deal with Ireland, not only justly, but generously, and we have not dealt with Ireland unsuccessfully. During the last twenty-five or thirty years there has been, I believe, a greater social improvement in Ireland than in any other country in Europe. That is not my opinion alone. Lord MacDonnell, for instance, said a few months ago:—From Mr. Balfour's time up to the present day there had been a succession of great Bills. Consequently they must admit that, however Ireland might have suffered in the past, the day of her regeneration had come.And the hon. Member for Waterford himself, about a year ago, said that Ireland was studied with the peaceful, happy homes of a contented peasantry. That is under the Union, and has been through the Union, and therefore, we have some right to say to them, "Accept the position -which is accepted by England and Scotland. It is not a bad position." But if they do not think that that is a sufficient answer, then by what right can they turn to Ulster and say, "The argument we will not listen to, you must listen to, and whether you like it or not you must submit to our rule?" This is not a Bill to enable Nationalists in Ireland to govern themselves, it is a Bill to enable Nationalists in Ireland to inflict their yoke upon a great community which detests it. And it is more even than that. It is a Bill to enable Nationalists in Ireland to use British forces to do for them what they could never do for themselves. For there is no one who will pretend that if Nationalist Ireland had only its own resources it ever could impose its yoke upon the Protestant and loyal population. The Prime Minister another time said, "What Ulster?" And by Ulster—there is no use in making a play about that—we all know what is meant—we mean the North-East quarter of Ulster where this community is an overwhelming majority. But they say, "Ulster does not demand something for herself; she demands to put a veto on Home Rule for the rest of Ireland." That is the contention of the Prime Minister. How can he justify it? His own colleagues do not think so. The First Lord of the Admiralty in one of the early speeches said this:—Half a province cannot impose a permanent veto on a nation. The utmost they can claim is for themselves. Ho they ask for a Parliament of their own or do they wish to "remain here? Is that their demand? We ought to know.2398 Well, they know now. With the full authority of the Ulster community, an Amendment has been moved asking that it should remain here. Then what is the meaning of the First Lord's query? We understand it now. This afternoon my right hon. Friend asked the Government what they were going to do about Ulster. The hon. and learned Gentleman got up and said, with great indignation, "Why do not you put that question to me?" The Government pretend this is their Bill. We now know whose Bill it is. We now know the nature of the bargain by which they sit there, and that that bargain includes the betrayal of the liberties of the people of Ulster. Why should it be impossible—does the right hon. Gentleman say it is impossible—to give local government to the South and West of Ireland while Ulster remains here? Of course he does not. It only means that this Bill could not go through. But what is the moral to be drawn from that? That you must have another Bill which can go through. If you tell us that something which is just to Ulster is an impossible thing, then the moral is not that you should have this Bill, but that any Home Rule Bill is impossible at all if you cannot be just to Ulster. I know—at least, I think I know—that Ulster will resist; and I have some means of knowing; and I think they will be right; and I think that if there is an attempt made to force this Bill upon them in the way in which it has been forced through this House, without the sanction of the British people, then in their resistance they will be supported by the overwhelming majority of the people of England and Scotland. The hon. and learned Member for Water-ford quoted to-day a speech or a letter in which the late Lord James of Hereford condemned such resistance. I shall quote the expression of opinion of another statesman, who is equally entitled to be heard, the late Duke of Devonshire. Of all the statesmen with whom I have come in contact there is none who was more guarded in what he stated or more careful to say exactly what he meant. He said:—If they (the people of Ulster), resolve that they are-no longer bound to obey the law, which does not give them equal and just protection with their fellow subjects, who can say how, at all events, can the descendents of those who resisted James II., that they have not the right, if they think fit, to resist, if they- think they have the power, the imposition of a Government put upon them by force.Remember that those words were used by the Duke of Devonshire, not in the connection which I have used them at all. but 2399 on the supposition that the people of this country did agree to Home Rule. Under the conditions which the Government proposed it is my deliberate conviction that no rebellion which has ever taken place in this country would be better justified. Even the hon. and learned Member for Waterford was shocked by my using that kind of language. He did not, however, always take that view. I remember hearing a speech in this House of a different temper, and I had it looked up. It was in 1905. And then the hon. Member said this:—If he believed that there was the smallest reasonable chance of success, he would have no hesitation in advising his follow country men to end the present system by armed revolt.That is your new constitutionalist. I do believe the condition we lay down is a proper condition. I say that I know that Ulster will resist. I say more. I say that the Government know they will resist, and I challenge the Chief Secretary, who ought to know, and who is to follow me, to say on his honour that he believes that this Bill can be imposed upon Ulster without bloodshed. He will not say it. Then what is the position? They have a right to rebel against such treatment if they think they can succeed. There is no question of their succeeding. They are bound to succeed. It does not mean that they must be in a position to defeat British soldiers. Nothing of the kind. It means this, and this only; that they should be ready in this case to give up their lives at the hands of British soldiers, and they are ready. If you shot down a hundred of them in Belfast to-morrow, a thousand would be ready the next day to share the same fate. And you know it. And what would be the effect of that on opinion in England and Scotland? It is quite true as the Solicitor-General said, that there is not the same excitement either on one side or the other about Home Rule as there was. But why? It is because the people of England and Scotland are sick of the whole subject. They would seize any remedy that they thought would get rid of it, but let them understand this mode of getting rid means the coercion of Ulster, and what will they say then? Is there any man who has listened to me who doubts that if what I suggested happened there would be such an explosion throughout the length and breadth of this country as would drive the Government out of office in a single day. These are the real facts of the situation. What are the Govern- 2400 ment doing? They are simply waiting in the hope that something will turn up. They have put their head in the sand, and refused to look at the facts. Is that statesmanship? Does any one doubt what I say is true? The Prime Minister put a question to me the other day, at least I thought it was meant to be addressed to me as Leader of the Unionist party. His question was, "Supposing this Bill is approved as it stands by the people of this country before it becomes law, what will be the attitude of the Unionist party?'* Why did he put that question to me? Did it mean nothing? If it meant anything it meant that he is drifting, that he does not know what he is doing, or what he means to do. If that is what he is doing it is a dangerous course—a state of things in Ireland which everyone knows is liable at any moment to produce an explosion. It is a dangerous course, and if evil results from it, the responsibility rests alone on the head of the Minister who is responsible.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
There is one observation of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down which I confess filled me with a hope which the rest of his speech did not realise. He said that he fully recognised that this question of the good government of Ireland was a problem. In a few days I shall enter upon the seventh year of my holding the office of Chief Secretary for Ireland, a somewhat longer period than has fallen to the lot of many at all events, or most of my forty-nine distinguished predecessors since the Act of Union, and ever since that fatal first of February on which I crossed the Channel to assume my office I have been immersed in Irish business. Every one who has held my office, I dare say, will recognise the truth of that statement. I have been very much cut off from other questions and considerations which up to that period of my life had occupied most of my thoughts. The Chief Secretary for Ireland in a British Cabinet is an isolated and lonely figure, and he therefore finds it all the easier to devote himself to the task of considering the Irish problem, and the great task, above all others, of how best to reconcile the great body of opinion in Ireland to the rule of a really United Kingdom, and to instil into all their minds that obedience to the law and that recognition of the necessity of such obedience which can only come, as we all know in these days, when the Executive in Ireland enjoys the confidence of the great body 2401 of the people, and is in some real and true sense responsible to it. That, at all events, is the Irish problem which, whether you believe it or whether you do not, has pressed upon my mind during the whole of my period of office.
When the right hon. Gentleman told me, as he did just now, that he recognised that there was a problem and a problem not yet solved, I hoped that he might before he concluded his speech give me a notion of what was passing in his mind, for I doubt not something is passing in his mind. [Laughter.] I do not know why hon. Gentlemen laugh. The right hon. Gentleman has a mind, and things,. of necessity, pass through it. I, too, am in the same, perhaps unfortunate, plight, and I hoped he was going to help me in the task which I had before me, but unfortunately he said nothing whatever for my relief. The right hon. Gentleman's speech seemed to be levelled at an attempt, a futile attempt, to make little and almost to deny the existence of a Home Rule national movement in Ireland. He dwelt on the fact, and we all rejoice it is a fact, that so many good things have happened in Ireland between this date and 1886, let us say, when the first Home Rule Bill was introduced. Of course great things and beneficial things have happened. There was just before that time the extension of the franchise which gave for the first time to constitutional Ireland a fair chance. Following upon that there was fixity of tenure, which ever since has been the charter of the liberty and of the property of the Irish peasant. Flowing from that there were fair rents, and then inevitably following upon those two there came land purchase, followed by light railway and other beneficial measures, settlement of the university question, old age pensions, and the like. Yes, but what right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, and what indeed some people in this House even on our side, do not fully recognise, but what I know, is that all those beneficial revolutionary measures, many of them revolutionary in their effect upon the constitution of Irish society, all those measures, with the exception perhaps of old age pensions, owed their full inspiration, and derived all their driving force, and obtained all their Parliamentary opportunities in this House from this Home Rule National Movement.
Most essentially every one of them, except the one that I have just mentioned, 2402 were the by-products, the incidental benefits, the things that came by the way as the Home Rule National Movement was proceeding along its storm-tossed path. And the notion which the right hon. Gentleman seems to entertain that those great measures sprang from the unaided benevolence, or are the result of a kind of paternal forethought or statesmanlike prevision of the Whigs and the Tories, who sit on one bench or other of this House, that notion is a shallow, silly delusion. The pages of "Hansard," dreary and melancholy as they are, for ever shatter that, and will forbid it access to the sober page of the grave historian. I say it is the Home Rule National Movement all these years that has been the soul of Ireland, and it has been its lot hitherto to see itself conferring blessings upon others, but now we have every reason to hope and believe that it is approaching its own self-fulfilment. Oh, said the right hon. Gentleman, everybody who knows anything about Ireland knows quite well that the people do not really care a snap of their fingers about a Parliament of their own, and still less for an Executive of their own; they do not want it; it is all a farce; it is all a sham; all that they ever wanted was the land; so long as they got the land and the opportunity of making contracts for the roads, and all the petty patronage appertaining to the offices of the Workhouse and the Jail, if they had all those things, and they have got most of them, they want for nothing else, except indeed by way of postcript an unending series of grants from the British Treasury, to be expended in Ireland by the Board of Works. Give them those, and this, I suppose, is the alternative policy of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite; give them those promises, and make them believe in your promises, and about that there may be some little difficulty; but, if you can only make them believe, then they will tear out their Irish hearts from their bodies; they will foreswear their history, raze out of their memories their leaders, living and dead; aye, and what is more, they will send away all those Gentlemen below the Gangway, or as many of them as you permit to remain after you begin to solve the Irish problem; they will give them all the goby, and they will return in their places a solid mass—O exhilarating and joyous thought!—of Unionist Members.
It is true men and women do occasionally take low and base views about things, but low and base views about a country 2403 are always wrong. The right hon. Gentleman is hopelessly wrong if he believes for a single moment that the increasing prosperity, intelligence, self-discipline, and habit of managing affairs, which the Irish people have during the last twenty-five years or so gradually been obtaining, has deadened their hearts in any way, although it may have made them more educated in their methods, or in any way has dulled their desire to have a Parliament and an Executive of their own. If he or anybody else imagines that, they are indeed mistaken. I know that respectable people—people whom I am bound to respect—in Ireland itself sometimes tell me that. In their case the wish is father to the thought. I have found no evidence whatever of it. We have been told in these Debates that we are inhabiting a paradise of fools. All I can say is, that I hate the company of fools anywhere, but if I am to be condemned to live with them, I would sooner share a paradise with them than the inferno which awaits those who lay the flattering unction to their souls that all they have to do to-night, if they have the power, is to reject this measure and then to go home to bed fully satisfied that they have destroyed once and for ever this bugbear of Irish Home Rule. No, no. Of this the House may rest assured, that anything it might do to-night, if it had the power to do it, anything that may be done to this measure elsewhere, even if it were to be destroyed altogether, so far from putting a period to anything, would be nothing more than an episode in the strange and eventful history of the national demand, which ever since 1886 has been known in Ireland and to every elector of intelligence in this country to mean what we mean by Home Rule, and what this Bill provides namely, the establishment in Ireland of an Irish Parliament for Irish affairs with an Executive responsible to do it.
We have been accused—the right hon. Gentleman accused us to-night, and we have often been accused during these Debates—of a lack of imagination, of being unable to put ourselves in the place of Ulstermen and others. That hit me rather hard, because I have always thought that, if I have any merit at all, it is that I am able to put myself in the place of others and to sympathise with people holding different opinions and sharing different hopes and aspirations from my own. I can very well, and I do, understand, how 2404 it comes about that there are hundreds and thousands of persons in a particular part of Ireland, or indeed scattered all over Ireland, who regard with intense dislike this notion of an Irish Parliament, and perhaps even more, that of an Irish Executive responsible to that Parliament. I well understand their dislike. It would indeed be rather strange if they did not have it. But what I cannot even begin to understand is how any sensible man, with any knowledge of the facts, can contemplate with composure the idea that our present mode of governing Ireland is to go on indefinitely. After all the things you have done, after all the outposts yon have yielded—the franchise, land, local government—having abandoned willingly or reluctantly all these outposts, how you think you can hold the citadel, straddle across the path, and forbid this great movement having any further development, how you can ask the Irish people to be content to remain under their present form of government puzzles me. How you can hope or feel that they can rise to that proper place that their great gifts and talents entitle them to also puzzles me altogether beyond belief. We have an Executive in Ireland, but no Parliament. We have a bit of a Parliament here, but no Executive. I am dealing with the Irish problem, the existence of which even your own Leader admits. I say you have to consider the problem and how you are to solve it. I do not wish now, because I have a word or two to say on something else, and I have not got much time. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] I admit I have got all the time there is, but it is not enough, and even Chief Secretaries pat up to conclude Debates must come to an end some time. I really did wish to make this point with my whole soul having had the experience that I have had in Ireland during the last six years that the present mode of governing Ireland by this House—by a Chief Secretary over here, who is even not responsible for a good deal that the Irish Executive does is impossible. He has not a word to say, for example, except by pressure on the Treasury, upon education; he is not a member of the Board, nor any board that has anything to do with it. Therefore he is too often merely the mouthpiece of other persons.
You have an Executive in Ireland whom four-fifths of the Irish people regard with dislike, for the reason—and it is a good reason—that they have no control over it. 2405 All their representatives, Nationalists, come to this House, and what good are they except to represent the principle of Home Rule? They cannot belong to any Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] They cannot, holding the opinions they do. They cannot be Chief Secretary, or be associated with the Chief Secretary. Therefore you have an Executive for Ireland divorced from the people, and a Parliament here in which you cannot make the representatives of that same majority responsible for the Legislature or for the Executive itself. I say that is a state of things so ridiculous that nobody but Englishmen would tolerate it. Englishmen are always ready to tolerate any absurdity so long as it does not affect themselves. Consider this, and ask yourselves how a country like Ireland, with a history like Ireland, can by any possibility be brought properly within the regions of law and order with an Executive over which they have no control, and with a Parliament in which their own leading statesmen and Members cannot take any more active part than that of mere critics? I say that is an absurd state of things. An hon. Member says they can do these things if they like. Why do they not respond to them? Why do they not come and ask the police to break their heads? Why cannot they become Cabinet Ministers? How foolish! You call the nation a nation of fools! If that is your view you have got to alter your own attitude towards them. You have got to change it. Therefore I say I deeply regret the right hon. Gentleman did not himself elaborate in the course of his speech what is his solution of the problem. He challenged me to get up and say that I was confident there would not be bloodshed in Ulster if this Bill were forced upon the people of Ulster, and he read a passage from a very great statesman for whom I have as profound admiration as he has—the late Duke of Devonshire. I say I associate myself with every word of that declaration. I say, that if the working of this Constitution is such as to have any of these consequences, Ulster, of course, would fight, and Ulster would be perfectly right; but simply because you do not like this measure, simply because you see in it all kinds of possibilities, you in-
§ voke the terrible agency of civil war, and you say, "What a terrible thing civil war is. "Of course it is. Who is going to have civil war? And you say, "Oh, we are. And, as you do not like civil war, and as we tell you there will be civil war, withdraw your Bill." I say that is not reason. It is not history. Make your proposals! You never did so yet. You say, "Will you leave Ulster alone?" What do you mean by leaving Ulster alone? If you leave her alone, you would leave her under the jurisdiction of the Irish Executive, under the Irish Board of Education and under the Irish Local Government Board. What is your proposal, or rather what is the proposal of Ulster? Do they want to be managed in their police by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary? [HON. MEMBERS:"NO, no."] Do they want their admirable denominational system of education managed by the Board at Whitehall? You have not thought these things out. Are you going to have your own Local Government Board? Your own Education Board for Belfast and its environments? Tell us what you mean and want, and let us have some assurances that you have brought your minds to bear upon this problem; that you, like us, are anxious to settle this tremendous problem; that you will throw your minds with ours into a common stock; that you will help us and not thwart us that you will aid us, and not wreck us. Best assured, if you do that, we, at any rate, will be perfectly ready to consider any proposals you wish to make. The right you demand is an arrogant right. It is the right to defeat this great national solution of the problem. You claim that right, and you do not possess it, and therefore it is that I am satisfied that all of us with a clear conscience to-day can vote for the Third Reading of this Bill, satisfied that it is the only available solution to secure the great and permanent constitutional government of Ireland. The coercion of Ulster is terrible; so is the coercion of the rest of Ireland. Therefore I commend this Bill to the House.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 368; Noes, 258.2411
|Division No. 522.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Addison, Dr. Christopher||Alden, Percy|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Agnew, Sir George William||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)|
|Adamson, William||Ainsworth, John Stirling||Armitage, Robert|
|Arnold, Sydney||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Asquith, Rt Hon. Herbert Henry||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Leach, Charles|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Firench, Peter||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Baker, Joseph Allan (Finsbury, E.)||Field, William||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Logan, John William|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Fitzgibbon, John||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)|
|Barnes, G. N.||France, G. A.||Lundon, Thomas|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Furness, Stephen||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Lynch, A. A.|
|Barton, W.||Gilhooly, James||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Gill, A. H.||McGhee, Richard|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Ginnell, L.||Maclean, Donald|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Glanville, Harold James||MacNeill, J. G. Swilt (Donegal, South)|
|Bentham, G. J.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Macpherson, James Ian|
|Bethel), Sir J. H.||Goldstone, Frank||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||M'Curdy, Charles Albert|
|Boland, John Plus||Greig, Colonel J. W.||M'Kean, John|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Griffith, Ellis J.||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spaiding)|
|Brace, William||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Guiney, P.||Manfield, Harry|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hackett, John||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Bryce. John Annan||Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Martin, Joseph|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hancock, John George||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meagher. Michael|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hardle, J. Keir||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Buxton, Noel (Noel (Norfolk)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Middlebrook, William|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Cameron, Robert||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Molloy, Michael|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Money, L. G. Chiozza|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Hayden, John Patrick||Mooney, J. J.|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hay ward, Evan||Morgan, George Hay|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hazleton, Richard||Worrell, Philip|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Morison, Hector|
|Clough, William||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Clynes, John R.||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Muldoon, John|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Hemmerde, Edward George||Munro, R.|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Henry, Sir Charles||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Neilson, Francis|
|Cotton, William Francis||Higham, John Sharp||Nicholson, Sir C. N. (Doncaster)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Hinds, John||Nolan, Joseph|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Crean, Eugene||Hodge, John||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Hogge, James Myles||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Cullinan, J.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Nuttall, Harry|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Brien, William (Cork)|
|Davies, E. William (Elfion)||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Hudson, Walter||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Hughes, S. L.||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Dowd, John|
|De Forest, Baron||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Ogden, Fred|
|Delany, William||John, Edward Thomas||O'Grady, James|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Johnson, W.||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Malley, William|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Dillon, John||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Jones, Leif Stratten (Rushcliffe)||O'Shee, James John|
|Doris, W.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Duffy, William J.||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Outhwalte. R. L.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Jowett, Frederick William||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Joyce, Michael||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Keating, Matthew||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Kelly, Edward||Pearson, Hon, Weetman H. M.|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Kilbride, Denis||Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||King, J.||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Falconer, J.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Scanlan, Thomas||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Priestley Sir W. E. (Bradford, E.)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wardle, George J.|
|Primrose, Hon, Neil James||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Waring, Walter|
|Pringle, William M. R.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Radford, G. H.||Sheehy, David||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Rattan, Peter Wilson||Sherwell, Arthur James||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Raphael, Sir Herbert H.||Shortt, Edward||Watt, Henry A.|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||Webb, H.|
|Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Reddy, M.||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Snowden, Philip||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Rendall, Athelstan||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Richards, Thomas||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Sutherland, J. E.||Wiles, Thomas|
|Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||Sutton, John E.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Tennant, Harold John||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Thomas, J. H.||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Robinson, Sidney||Thorne, G. R. (Wolvehampton)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Roch, Walter F.||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Toulmin, Sir George||Winfrey, Richard|
|Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Rose, Sir Charles Day||Verney, Sir Harry||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Rowlands, James||Wadsworth, J.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Rowntree, Arnold||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Walters, Sir John Tudor||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Cave, George||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Grant, J. A.|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Greene, W. R.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Gretton, John|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Chambers, J.||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Haddock, George Bahr|
|Astor, Waldor[...]||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)|
|Baird, J. L.||Collings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)|
|Baker, Sir Ramdolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Cory, Sir Clifford John||Hambro, Angus Valdemar|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond)||Courthope, G. Loyd||Hamersley, Alfred St. George|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Craig, Charles (Antrim, S.)||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Harris, Henry Percy|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Craik, Sir Henry||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.|
|Barnston, Harry||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Helmsley, Viscount|
|Barrie, H. T.||Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)||Croft, H. P.||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton,)||Dalrymple, Viscount||Hewins, William Albert Samuel|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Hickman, Colonel T. E.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Denniss, E. R. B.||Hill, Sir Clement L.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Hills, John Waller|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Doughty, Sir George||Hill-Wood, Samuel|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Duke, Henry Edward||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney|
|Bigland, Alfred||Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy|
|Bird, A.||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Hope, Harry (Bute)|
|Blair, Reginald||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Fell, Arthur||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Horner, Andrew Long|
|Boyton, James||Fisher, Rt. Hon, W. Hayes||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Hunt, Rowland|
|Bull, Sir William James||Fleming, Valentine||Hunter, Sir C. R.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Fletcher, John Samuel||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Forster, Henry William||Jackson, Sir John|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Gardner, Ernest||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Butcher, J. G.||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Jessel, Captain H. M.|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Gibbs, G. A.||Joynson-Hicks, William|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Gilmour, Captain John||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr|
|Cassel, Felix||Goldman, C. S.||Kerry, Earl of|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Goldsmith, Frank||Keswick, Henry|
|Cator, John||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Cautley, H. S.||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Knight, Captain E. A.||Norton-Griffiths, John||Starkey, John R.|
|Kyffin-Taylor, G.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Stewart, Gershom|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Booths)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Parkes, Ebenezer||Switt, Rigby|
|Lee, Artnur H.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Lewisham, Viscount||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Lloyd, G. A.||Perkins, Walter F.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Peto, Basil Edward||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Pretyman, Ernest George||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Lowther, Claude (Cumberland, Eskdale)||Randies, Sir John S.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)||Ratcliff, R. F.||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel||Valentia, Viscount|
|MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Rawson, Colonel Richard H.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Mackinder, H. J.||Rees, Sir J. D.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Macmaster, Donald||Remnant, James Farquharson||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|M'Mordle, Robert James||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Rolleston, Sir John||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||Rothschild, Lionel de||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Malcolm, Ian||Royds, Edmund||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Mallaby-Deeley, Harry||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Salter, Arthur Clavell||Wilson, Hon. A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Winterton, Earl|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Sanders, Robert A.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Sanderson, Lancelot||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Moore, William||Sandys, G. J.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Sassoon, Sir Philip||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Mount, William Arthur||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Yate, Col. Charles Edward|
|Neville, Reginald J. N.||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pl, Walton)||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Newdegate, F. A.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Younger, Sir George|
|Newman, John R. P.||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Newton, Harry Kottingham||Stanier, Beville||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Lord|
|Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Balcarres and Lord Edmund Talbot,|
|Nield, Herbert||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
§ It being after half-past Ten of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 14th October last, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the Business to be con-2412
§ cluded at half-past Ten of the clock at this day's sitting.
§ Question put, "That the Bill be now read the third time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 367; Noes, 257.2417
|Division No. 523.]||AYES.||[10.42 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Black, Arthur W.||Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Boland, John Plus||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Adamson, William||Booth, Frederick Handel||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Bowerman, C. W.||Cotton, William Francis|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Brace, William||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Brady, P. J.||Crean, Eugene|
|Alden, Percy||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Crumley, Patrick|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Brunner, John F. L.||Cullinan, J.|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Bryce, J. Annan||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)|
|Armitage, Robert||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Burke, E. Haviland-||Davies, E. William (Eifion)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Dawes, James Arthur|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Byles, Sir William Pollard||De Forest, Baron|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Cameron, Robert||Delany, William|
|Barnes, G. N.||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Devlin, Joseph|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Dewar, Sir J.|
|Barton, W.||Chancellor, H. G.||Dickinson, W. H.|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Dillon, John|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Clancy, John Joseph||Doris, W.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Clough, William||Duffy, William J.|
|Bentham, G. J.||Clynes, John R.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Keating, Matthew||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid]||Kelly, Edward||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Kilbride, Denis||Phillpps, Col. Ivor (Southampton)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||King, J.||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Es8lemont, George Birnie||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Falconer, J.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Leach, Charles||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Firench, Peter||Levy, Sir Maurice||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Field, William||Lewis, John Herbert||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Logan, John William||Primrose, Hon. Nell James|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Radford, G. H.|
|France, G. A.||Lundon, Thomas||Rattan, Peter Wilson|
|Furness, Stephen||Lyell, Charles Henry||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Lynch, A. A.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Gilhooly, James||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Gill, A. H.||McGhee, Richard||Reddy, M.|
|Ginnell, L.||Maclean, Donald||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Redmond, William (Clare E.)|
|Glanville, Harold James||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Macpherson, James Ian||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Goldstone, Frank||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Richards, Thomas|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||M'Kean, John||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs.,Spaiding)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Robertson, John M. (Tyneslde)|
|Guiney, P.||Manfield, Harry||Robinson, Sidney|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Roch, Walter F.|
|Hackett, J.||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Hall, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Martin, Joseph||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Hancock, John George||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meagher, Michael||Rowlands, James|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Runclman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Middlebrook, William||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Millar, James Duncan||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Molloy, M.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Money, L. G. Chlozza||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Mooney, J. J.||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Hayward, Evan||Morgan, George Hay||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Hazleton, Richard||Morrell, Philip||Sheehy, David|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Morison, Hector||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Shortt, Edward|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||Muldoon, John||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Munro, R.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Smyth, Thorns F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Henry, Sir Charles||Needham, Christopher T.||Snowden, Philip|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nellson, Francis||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Higham. John Sharp||Nicholson. Sir C. N. (Doncaster)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Hinds, John||Nolan, Joseph||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Norman, Sir Henry||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Hodge, John||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Sutton, John E.|
|Hogge, James Myles||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Nuttall, Harry||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Brien, William (Cork)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Home, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Doherty, Philip||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Hughes, S. L.||O'Donnell, Thomas||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Dowd, John||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Ogden, Fred||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|John, Edward Thomas||O'Grady, James||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Johnson, W.||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Malley, William||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Jones, Leif (Rushcliffe)||O'Shee, James John||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||Outhwaite, R. L.||Wardle, George J.|
|Jowett, Frederick William||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Waring, Walter|
|Joyce, Michael||Parker, James (Halifax)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)||Wintrey, R.|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wiles, Thomas||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Watt, Henry A.||Wilkie. Alexander||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Webb, H.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Wedgwood, Joslah C.||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Whitehouse, John Howard||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Doughty, Sir George||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Duke, Henry Edward||Larmor, Sir J.|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Lee, Arthur H.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Fell, Arthur||Lewisham, Viscount|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Lloyd, G. A.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Baird, J. L.||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Fleming, Valentine||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Fletcher, John Samuel||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon A. J. (City, Lond.)||Forster, Henry William||Lowther, Claude (Cumberland, Eskdale)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gardner, Ernest||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S.Geo.,Han.S.)|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Gibbs, G. A.||MacCaw, Wm. J. McGeagh|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gilmour, Captain John||Mackinder, H. J.|
|Barnston, Harry||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Macmaster, Donald|
|Barrie, H. T.||Goldman, C. S.||M'Mordle, Robert James|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Goldsmith, Frank||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts., Wilton)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Malcolm, Ian|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mallaby-Deeley, Harry|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Grant, J. A.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Greene, W. R.||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Gretton, John||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
|Bigland, Alfred||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Bird, A.||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Blair, Reginald||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Moore, William|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Haddock, George Bahr||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Mount, William Arthur|
|Boyton, James||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Newman, John R. P.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Burgoyne, A. H.||Harris, Henry Percy||Nield, Herbert|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Norton-Griffiths, John|
|Butcher, J. G.||Helmsley, Viscount||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hickman, Colonel T. E.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Peel, Captain R. F.|
|Cator, John||Hills, John Waller||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Cave, George||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Quitter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r)||Home, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Chambers, J.||Horner, Andrew Long||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Houston, Robert Paterson||Rawson, Col. R. H.|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. J. (Birmingham)||Hunt, Rowland||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Hunter, Sir C. R.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Ingleby, Holcombe||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Jackson, Sir John||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Royds, Edmund|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Rutherford, John (Lancs, Darwen)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Joynson-Hicks, William||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Cripps, Sir Charles Alfred||Kerry, Earl of||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Croft, H. P.||Keswick, Henry||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Kimber, Sir Henry||Sandys, G. J.|
|Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Knight, Captain E. A.||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Spear, Sir John Ward||Thynne, Lord Alexander||Winterton, Earl|
|Stanler, Beville||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Touche, George Alexander||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Tryon, Captain George Clement||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Starkey, John R.||Tullibardine, Marquess of||Wright, Henry Fitzherbert|
|Staveley-Hill, Henry||Valentia, Viscount||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Steel-Maltland, A. D.||Walker, Col. William Hall||Yate, Col. Charles Edward|
|Stewart, Gershom||Wairond, Hon. Lionel||Yerburgh, Robert A.|
|Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)||Younger, Sir George|
|Swift, Rigby||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Lord|
|Talbot, Lord E.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.||Balcarres and Mr. Pike Pease.|
|Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read the third time, and passed.
§ The Orders for the remaining Government business were read, and postponed.
§ Adjourned accordingly at Five minutes before Eleven o'clock.