§ Another Amendment proposed, at the end of the Question, to add the words,
§ "But humbly regrets that no mention is made of the recent deplorable events in Dublin and no promise made of an impartial and representative commission of inquiry into the conduct of the police."—[Mr. Barnes.]975
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BARNES
I rise to move this Amendment standing in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for North-East Lancashire (Mr. Clynes) who, I am sorry to say, is detained elsewhere. It is desired, if possible, to get a full, impartial, and representative inquiry into the conduct of the police of Dublin, or, alternatively, that there should be some proceedings instituted, either by way of prosecution of the police, or some other method, in order that the whole facts may be brought to light; and, in the second place, we demand that some adequate compensation shall be given to those people whose furniture was broken up and whose houses were forcibly entered by the police on the 31st August last. There has been a lurid light thrown upon Dublin during the last few months. Possibly Dublin may be little different from other industrial centres. Low wages and bad conditions of life obtain on this side as well as the other side of St. George's Channel. I was reading the other day some articles by Mr. Harold Begbie relating to Glasgow, dealing with tenement houses and the low life there generally. There is this difference between Glasgow and Dublin: that, whereas the Glasgow authorities are well aware of the trouble and are anxious to deal with it in a sympathetic manner, and that there the police are well under control, so far as I can gather the police in Dublin are masters of the situation and regard themselves as mere janissaries to keep the people in order; they are mere toadies of Dublin Castle and representatives of the minority in Ireland, who are well-to-do people, who seem to keep themselves dominant there. Although there may be a good deal of bad conditions on this side of St. George's Channel as well as in Ireland, we have far different and better methods of dealing with them. It will be noticed that our Amendment is pretty wide in its terms. It would include consideration of the industrial position in Dublin, and of the proceedings there before and after the events of last August and September. I may say, however, that we have no desire to discuss the industrial situation in Dublin for many reasons, the chief of which is that we want to focus attention upon the proceedings of the police; but perhaps I might be allowed to say personally that I think any efforts made on the part of the poor people 976 of Dublin themselves in the way of social and industrial betterment ought to have been met by sympathetic consideration on the part of the people who are in authority in Dublin.
Dublin is a city of low wages and very low conditions of life. It happened to be my lot to be there in the early days of last September, and I saw a good deal of the conditions of life there. I came to the conclusion that Dublin was a place where the forces of evil and, I am afraid, I must include in them strong drink, made havoc with the people's lives. It was my lot to go through some of the slums there, and I never saw worse in my life. I followed the body of the poor man who had been, killed in the disturbances. We went through a long stream of people, and I never saw such bruised and battered humanity in my life. It was my lot to go into some of the houses, some of them with little or no furniture at all. I even climbed the rickety stairs of the houses immediately adjacent to the gap made by the fall of two houses the week before, and I went into some of the rooms vacated by the poor tenants who had lived there, but who fled in terror when the houses had fallen, and I never saw such poverty anywhere else in my life. Whatever else might be said of what is called the Larkinite movement, it had in Ireland, at all events, brought some new life and new hope to these people, and from all I can gather it was a sober movement. Not only was sobriety and abstinence held up by precept by those who were leading the movement, but they held it up by example as well; therefore I say that movement deserved sympathetic consideration by those on the spot, instead of which it was met with nothing but savage repression on the part, I was going to say of the authorities, but at all events on the part of those in uniform.
Before referring, as I want to do later, to some evidence in favour of reopening the inquiry, I should like to give one or two reasons why in our judgment that evidence which I have here should not have been, as it was not, submitted to the Commission which reported a day or two ago. It may seem to some of our Irish Friends that it is presumptuous on our part to interfere in a matter of this sort, but I think even they will admit that we have some claim to speak on behalf of organised labour in Dublin. Moreover, I have to point out that this Commission, so far as I can gather, has not given any sort of 977 satisfaction to the people on the spot. I am not in a position to speak for the Corporation of Dublin. I know that the Dublin Corporation itself demanded a full and impartial inquiry in the early days of last September. Hon. Gentlemen opposite may be better qualified than I am to say whether or not the Dublin Corporation is satisfied with the inquiry that has been held. I know that six Members of Parliament, representing Dublin and the vicinity, did issue a letter on the 6th September last themselves, demanding a full inquiry into the events in Dublin. I am not going to say—I have no knowledge—whether or not those six hon. Members are satisfied with what has taken place. They, of course, must speak for themselves. I am here to say that this recent inquiry was held to be a sort of fraud upon the people of Dublin, and has been so held from the very moment it was first announced. That Commission was set up on the 5th of last month, and on the 8th the "Freeman's Journal" said:—No importance is attached by anybody in Dublin to the inquiry. Its Report will affect no opinion and change no judgment. The Commissioners are two highly esteemed Unionist lawyers, who will be certain to take a highly conservative view of the rights of the public as affected by police action.Referring to a statement made on the other side that their photographs of the events of 31st August had been faked, they said:—This statement is a sufficient test of the reliability of the whole inquiry. It gives us a measure of the methods by which the Report of the Commissioners is to be obtained, and it convinces ns that the citizens have exhibited a sound instinct in treating the whole inquiry as worthless.Even the "Irish Times," which I take it represents more or less the Conservative view in Ireland, on the 9th stated thatthe Report, whatever it was, would not satisfy the workers of Dublin.So far as Nationalist opinion, as viewed through the spectacles of the "Freeman's Journal," is concerned, the inquiry was not accepted as in any way satisfactory from the very beginning, and we shall, of course, hear later on whether it is accepted now after the Report. In the next place, the Commission has not been accepted as satisfactory by a body which has come into being—I do not know how long it has been in being—during the last few months. I refer to the Civic League. On the 14th of last month the Civic League had a letter in the "Irish Times," from which I quote two or three sentences. First of all, they say:—They do not intend in anyway to reflect on the character of the two Commissioners, but they were convinced that the body of evidence against the police 978 was of so serious and authentic nature that the fullest and most representative inquiry is absolutely necessary for the sake not only of public confidence in the Government's good faith, but also in the interests of the police themselves and their relations to the public.They suggestThere should be a Commission empowered to compel the attendance of witnesses, and empowered to report on the whole system of police administration in Dublin with a view to its fundamental reform.And they go on to say thatthese conditions have not been complied with in the setting up of the Commission,which had then been sitting for a few days. Further, they said thatsuch was the reign of terror in Dublin at that time that no workman or small shopkeeper could with safety go before that Commission.That is signed by Captain White, R. J. Collingwood, and the Rev. R. M. Gwynn. That is further testimony as to the state of feeling in Dublin at the time. There are other and special reasons why we of the Labour party should not accept the Commission that has recently reported as in any way satisfactory. In the first place, it is not the Commission that was promised by the Chief Secretary for Ireland. I may say that I put a question to the Chief Secretary the other day, but unfortunately it was placed so low down on the list—I do not suggest that he is responsible for that any more than I am—but it was No. 106, and therefore was not reached. I put down that question to the right hon. Gentleman with a view to getting from his own lips what he had himself said some time ago in promising the Commission as to what the character of that Commission should be. I believe it is usual, when a question is not reached, that the information should be sent later on to the Member, but although I have asked for that information several times since I have not yet got it. I do not charge the Chief Secretary with any want of respect.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
It was printed in the ordinary way. The question not being reached, I handed the answer in at the Table, and it appeared the next day in print.
§ Mr. BARNES
I have not seen it in print. I understood it was usual for a Member to get the information, when the question is not reached, in type. I make no charge against the right hon. Gentleman, and I merely mentioned the matter to show that I was anxious to quote his exact words. Not having his exact words, I have had to go to the newspapers, and I find them 979 reported as follows: In answer to a deputation of trade unionists, who waited upon him at Bristol, he said:—With regard to the conduct of the police an inquiry has been promised. It has not yet been instituted, but I hope it will be before long. It will be a judicial inquiry and so composed as to include a representative of the views of the working classes in Dublin or the neighbourhood. If the police behaved badly, they will receive the punishment which is their due.I do not know whether or not those are the exact words used by the Chief Secretary. He will be able to tell us that later on, but I believe that in essence he did promise that when this Commission was set up there should be a representative of the working classes of Dublin upon it. I should like to know who is the representative of the working classes on this Commission. Is it Mr. Dennis Henry or Mr. S. L. Brown? With deference to both these eminent lawyers, I should say probably not one of them knows anything at all about the working-class views of the organised workers of Dublin or elsewhere, and probably not one of them has any information at all of working-class life or working-class views upon anything. They are probably typical representatives of what might be called the garrison in Ireland, and therefore we, as a Labour party, do not accept for one moment either of these gentlemen or the two of them as in any sense representing the working classes, and we hope there will be some reasons given why that promise of the Chief, Secretary has not been carried out. Then, in the next place, we are dissatisfied with the Commission of Inquiry, because it is limited in scope by its reference to the events of the last few days in August, I believe, and a few weeks in September, and we have ample evidence not only of police brutality during those few weeks, but of police brutality long before that, as we believe, which led up to any disorder that took place during last August and September; and we further have proof of irregularity and misconduct on the part of the police since, and, therefore, in any inquiry that is going to be satisfactory all round, we submit that it should include not only the doings of the police during those few weeks, but the doings of the police before and after.
There is another reason why the Commission which has recently reported cannot be accepted as satisfactory, and that is that they did not get the full facts. Of course, we are open to the retort that they might have had those facts placed before 980 them if our friends had been willing to go there. But our friends were not willing to go there for good reasons, and, as a matter of fact, according to the Report itself, which is now in print, no fewer than 202 out of the 281 witnesses who went before that Commission were policemen or police officers. It seems to have been a sort of beanfeast of policemen, a self-glorification, and an opportunity for the police to use whitewash liberally on themselves. There is another thing: so far as we can see they had no power of examining witnesses on oath or even of compelling witnesses, when they were there, to answer questions. There is an item in the Report where the hon. Member (Mr. Booth) asked a question, a germane question, as to the proceedings on Sunday, 31st August last, and the Superintendent of whom the question was asked blankly refused to answer it, and he was supported in that attitude by the two Commissioners. Then, lastly, so far as we are concerned—this will be sufficient in itself—the organised trade unionists of Dublin have repudiated the whole business, and have boycotted it, and said they would not go near it because of their lack of confidence in it, and have treated the whole thing with contempt, and, therefore, the workers' position in Dublin has not yet been put before that Commission. Therefore, for all these reasons, for the reason that the facts have not been fully brought out, and for the reason that the recent Commission does not in any way comply with what we had been led to believe by the Chief Secretary would be the character of the Commission when set up, we say that the Commission has not been in any way satisfactory.
I want to quote some evidence. I have here a number of depositions, as I suppose they should be called. I am not sure whether they have been sworn to or not, but at all events they are ready to be sworn to by those whose names are appended to them at any time when a satisfactory Commission has been set up. The first one of these documents is drawn up for, or by, F. Skeffington, who is a resident in Dublin, and who has been an eye-witness of many disturbances during the last few months, before August and September, and since the termination of these trials. First of all we must go back behind the proceedings of last August—the last two days of August—in order to get some explanation of these matters. He says:—On the Thursday and Friday evenings, 28th and 29th August, I was in the streets at the hour when the 981 meetings were dispersing, and I saw the attitude of the police. They appeared to me to be in a state of high excitement. Every group of half a dozen that stood on the streets was immediately approached by them and broken up. I saw them rushing at and breaking up such groups on both evenings, in O'Connell Street and on O'Connell Bridge, without the smallest provocation. Batons were not used as far as I saw, but the members of these standing groups, if they showed the smallest inclination to resent the action of the police in hustling them, were struck and cuffed. Those who were fairly well dressed, as a rule, escaped these attentions.That is a matter which comes over and over again in these statements. The poor working man, the man ill-dressed, the man who appeared to be perhaps slightly under the influence of liquor, was mercilessly batoned by these policemen; but where a man had a good coat or was known to be a man of some influence, he escaped scot free. Then, he goes on to the Saturday night:—The events of the Saturday night, which are admitted to have been the worst examples of police brutality, I did not personally see; but from what took place on Sunday, 31st August, in broad daylight in the city's chief thoroughfare, before numbers of impartial and unimpeachable witnesses, it is possible to form some idea of how the police, in their then frame of mind, were likely to behave at night time, in the slums and bye-ways, and without any other witnesses than their working-class victims.Then he goes on with a long explanation of the sparseness of the crowd in Sackville Street on that particular Sunday afternoon. It has been said by the police afterwards, as a sort of plea for justification of what they have done, that the calling of a meeting elsewhere than in Sackville Street was a sort of ruse to get the police off the track. That is disposed of absolutely by this document, because it shows that he and those who were in the inner counsels of the labour people were perfectly bonâ fide in their endeavours to take the crowd off Sackville Street on that Sunday afternoon; that he himself did not know anything different, and that, as a matter of fact, in Sackville Street on that Sunday afternoon, there was not, at the very outside, more than fifty or sixty people who knew anything at all about the 3abour movement, and that the number was made up of decent people going home from church, who knew nothing about police riots or anything of the kind. There is a sort of lurid patch. This is in reference to Sunday:—A group of young girls in a semi-hysterical condition were lamenting the loss of a small child who had disappeared in the course of the charge. While my wife and I were speaking to them, a burly constable came running across the street at our group, in which I was the only man, with his baton drawn and uplifted. The girls, some of them mere children, screamed and fled down a bye-street. I called out the policeman's number and told him I was watching him. He then stopped, apparently recognising me, and said, apologetically, 'I did not do anything.' I replied, No, because I called out your number in time.'982 That is typical of this statement right through dealing with the incidents not only of last August and September, but later on. I may call another sentence here of an incident in November last. He says:—On November 8th, or rather on the morning of November 9th, about 1 a.m., I was walking home along the Rathmines Road with my wife and three friends, two ladies and a gentleman. A constable on duty on Rathmines Road, near Portobello Bridge, crossed the road towards us, planted himself in front of us, and peered into our faces. He lurched heavily from side to side and smelt strongly of drink. We asked what, he wanted and told him to stand aside. He continued to obstruct us and uttered insulting remarks. We asked if he intended to arrest us. He said for very little he would, but he knew us all and could get us any time. Ultimately we got past, leaving him lurching and muttering on the footway. Imagine any solitary passenger, especially a woman, being at the mercy of n charge brought against her by a man in this condition. He was a very big man and palpably drunk. I have his number.So much for that! I now get back to that Saturday night and to the killing of this poor man, Nolan, in respect of whom we hope something will be done to compensate those who have been dependent upon him, and also to bring, if possible, to justice those who had killed him. I have two statements here. First of all, one from Stephen Gilligan:—I was going down to the post office with a telegram. As soon as I landed outside I saw the charge of the police. The people were talking in threes and fours, and got no chance of moving. The first thing they knew was the batons coining down on them. I heard a voice saying, Now give it to them, boys!' I pretended I was a reporter and got safe. I saw the police charge the doorway and smash the sidelights. They charged round Eden Quay. The majority went on the footpath charging the people there. The people for the most part kept to the quayside. I stood in the shadow of the Corporation weigh-house and saw poor Nolan trying to get away. He was dodging along, but he was under the influence of liquor, appearing to be that way. I saw a police constable, 224 C, Constable Bell, strike him with a baton. I saw him fall on his knees. The constable ran on, and then 149 C struck him across the neck. I went back towards the Butt Bridge. I saw another small man hit by a baton—this was between seven and eight o'clock. I saw another man try to pull the injured man out of the way. The rescuer was struck also by a baton and fell across the first injured man. The police charged as far as the Tivoli Theatre. I went off to the post office and sent the telegram, and know nothing more. I saw windows smashed another day in Waterford Street by the police—the R.I.C. men.There is another statement of a man who also was an eye-witness of the killing of that Nolan—Patrick Carton, 54, Marlborough Street, Dublin. He says:—As far as I can remember on the night of the occurrence, when the first baton charge took place, I was at Liberty Hall and I noticed about twenty police on duty outside Tuck's entrance. There were about 300 people round Liberty Hall. I noticed a number of children singing national songs. The police advanced and drew their batons and commenced batoning the people owing to the children singing national songs. I was on the steps and I heard a voice stating, 'Clear the steps of Liberty Hall!' I then made my way out to Eden Quay, but got a blow on the way which my cap saved me from. 983 I saw a man lying on the ground after being batoned, whose name subsequently turned out to be James Nolan, who died owing to the effects of this baton charge. I saw a policeman going in front of Nolan and looking at him after, as I thought, striking him. I took the constable's number, which was 224C. After the constables had retreated I rendered all the assistance possible to the man, and, as a matter of fact, went with him to the hospital. I called the attention of Inspector Campbell to the state of the man on the ground, and lie ordered the constable to disperse the men about, Inspector Campbell sent 52C in a cab to the hospital with the man. I insisted on going also, and after a lot of argument I managed to step into the cab and accompanied the constable to the hospital. The man never spoke after he went into the hospital, and on looking at him his eyes and head were all swollen and battered. What took me to Liberty Hall was to pay my weekly subscription, which I did before the charge.That is all I will read with regard to this man Nolan. I think it is sufficient to show that he, an inoffensive man, was done to death unnecessarily by the police. I have here also a statement by Mr. Lennox Robinson, 73, Lower Baggot Street, manager of the Abbey Theatre. He says:—On Saturday night, 30th August last, I was going down to the theatre via Brunswick Street and Tara Street, towards Butt Bridge. Everything was quite ordinary in Tara Street. Just as I approached the bridge I saw two men leaning against the Quay wall. They were standing apparently doing nothing. Two policemen crossed the bridge, and, without any parley or words, they caught hold of one and threw him into the street, and the other policeman struck the other man with his baton. There was no disturbance, and I crossed the street to the bridge. I met eight or ten policemen coming over the bridge: they charged down Burgh Quay towards the Tivoli Theatre. It was apparently in this charge that one of the men was killed.I want to read a statement from Henry Nicholls, Esq., B.A., B.A.I., T.C.D., 1, Church Avenue, Rathmines. This gentleman is one of those who came under the batons of the police—I suppose accidentally—and after the police had batoned him and he had asserted himself, they found out that he was a man of some influence Then they apologised to him. If he had been a poor workman there would not have been any apology. In his statement he says:—On the evening of 29th August (Friday) I went to Beresford Place, about 8.30, to listen to the speeches. The crowd was very peaceable, and remained quiet under the provocation given by the police forcing a way through them to let a motor car pass. When the speaking was over I was making my way home along Eden Quay, when suddenly, without any provocation, about twenty police charged the crowd, of which I was one. The majority fled. I walked on and was knocked staggering by a blow between the eyes by a constable. When turning to notice his number I was struck by another constable in the mouth, my pipe being smashed. I got the numbers of both constables (33B and 188B) and immediately went to College Street station to lay a charge against the constables. Two people who witnessed the assault (Mr. and Miss Byrne) came with me. At College Street I was referred to Store Street, when I handed in a 984 written statement, as did Mr. and Miss Byrne. Next day I saw a solicitor, and on Monday Mr. Smith (29, Lower Gardiner Street) advised me to ask for a summons at the Police Court office. This was refused me, and Mr. Smith said he would apply to the magistrate the next day. However, the next morning, Inspector McCaig called on me and asked me not to summon the constables and offering me an apology. I asked him to put his apology in writing, and on receiving it agreed not to proceed with the summons.The apology was in the following terms:—On behalf of the constables who assaulted Mr. Nioholls I apologise to him on their behalf for having done so, and regret very much that such should have occurred.That is what happens in the case of a man who, having money, is able to go and fee a solicitor—a man who has such a position in society in Dublin that he can have justice done to him. The next statement I want to read is a short note from an Englishman who happened to be there—Mr. H. J. Macauley. He wrote to the Lord Mayor of Dublin:—My Lord,—On being informed that it is your intention of holding a public inquiry into the conduct of the police during the last few days. I wished to state that on Friday night last, after having a business appointment in the city, I was unmercifully beaten by the police and knocked down and trampled on at the corner of Eden Quay without, the slightest warning. I reported the case to College Street Police Station, and stated there that I thought the police deserved censuring, but of course this would not be likely to do much good. I brought three witnesses with me, and they agreed that there was no cause for a charge on innocent people of which a good proportion were women and children. I may state that I have been confined to bed since as I am unable to walk and this is a serious matter, as I am the manager of a wool warehouse in the city. I have only been resident a short time in Dublin, and coming from England I might be pardoned if I state that the police of this city, are in my humble opinion, unworthy guardians of law and order. Trusting that this may be of some little assistance to Your Lordship.Then I have a statement from an engineer who was walking out with his wife on 31st August. His wife had a child in her arms. The statement is to the effect that they were walking peaceably along Townsend Street in the afternoon, and that at the corner of Shaw Street there were about twenty people. He saw them do nothing, but somebody shouted, "Look out!" and when he turned round he saw the police charging. He pushed his wife up some steps into a door where others were rushing. When he turned round to see what was going on he was immediately struck by a baton on the hand, and the bones of the hand were broken. He attended a hospital and was in receipt of 10s. weekly from the National Health Insurance ever since. I want to call attention to a statement from a person in a very high position in society, again showing the discrimination made by the police in favour of such people as compared with the poorer citizens. The Hon. Mary Lawless, Hazel- 985 hatch, county Kildare, in her statement says:—On Saturday, 25th October, I was responsible for bringing the children from Liberty Hall to Hazelhatch. The parents of each child were there and a consenting party. As a matter of fact, they were coming with the children. At King's Bridge Station the crowd, headed by John E. Nugent, attacked the parents and took one child away. I complained to police Nos. 93 A and 47 A, and they declined to do anything. They said they could not do anything. They did not try to. I said I would complain of them to Mr. Harell, who was a friend of mine, and send him their numbers. They immediately started to keep order, and succeeded to a great extent. This was after we were considerably jostled. Afterward we went up to Kilmainham Police Station to charge some of these people, and we met Inspector Murphy and a constable on duty at the door. It was then about 7 o'clock. Mr. Skeffington was with me. He said we were come to make charges against Nugent and a certain woman named Farell for kidnapping the child. Superintendent Murphy said it was too late, and that everyone was gone home, and told Mr. Skeffington to 'be off until Monday.' Mr. Skeffington then mentioned my name, and immediately the police were servile, and took long statements and depositions from four of us. The father and uncle of the boy were with us and also gave depositions. The uncle's head was bleeding where he had been beaten.I wish also to refer to a statement which Mr. William Lowry, LL.B., barrister-at-law, addressed to the Lord Mayor as to the conduct of the police. It has reference to an assault on a number of people at one of the Dublin railway stations. He says that the people were quite inoffensive and peaceable, and that the police made an attack upon them and brutally assaulted many of them. The charges against the police are stated in this way:—(1) No attack has been made on the police from the station premises; (2) the police invaded the station in considerable force; (3) the police attacked people in the station indiscriminately; (4) several persons were injured; and (5) a superior policeman came into the station after his underlings had withdrawn, walked round, refused to listen to complaints, and then took himself off.
§ Mr. BARNES
It was the 31st. That would be after the so-called riot in Sackville Street. I have statements from two or three dozen people—from women whose houses had been broken into and from men who had been brutally assaulted, some of them old men, one seventy-three years of age. I do not propose to read these statements, because it so happens that we have now the printed Report of the Commission which was set up on the 5th of last month. The two lawyers forming the Commission admit, on the whole, the charges made against the police as to people living in the Corporation Buildings. I want to put on record what the Report of the Commission says at page 11:—We make every allowance for the excitement under which the constables were labouring owing to the attacks made upon them from the buildings, but in our 986 opinion in the case of eight or ten dwellings wilful damage was done without justification.The rooms in which the principal damage was caused were seen on Tuesday, 2nd September, by Mr. Eyre, the City Treasurer, and his evidence fully corrobrated the statements of the tenants of the dwellings, and was fully accepted by us, as was the evidence of Miss Harrison, who saw some of the dwellings. We are also satisfied that in some instances assaults were committed without just cause.In the case of a man called Michael Whelan, who seemed to us a respectable working man, living in No. 28 D, it was proved that he, his wife, a man named Bernard Morrissy Morrissy's daughter, and two other persons were sitting in the room. The door was broken in a number of constables entered, and Whelan was violently assaulted. As a result of this assault one of the bones of his arm was broken. Bernard Morrissy was also beaten with batons, and sustained two scalp wounds, and also injuries on other parts of his body. In the course of the struggle injuries were also inflicted on other inmates of the room.I skip a bit and read further on:Complaint was made also as to injuries inflicted on a Mrs. Byrne in the south block of buildings. In this case it was proved that both her husband and her son had thrown stones at the police, who followed them to their dwelling and arrested them. They were subsequently convicted and sentenced. We are satisfied that the injuries which Mrs. Byrne received, and which were described by Miss Harrison, a member of the corporation, were sustained by her during the scuffle which took place during the arrest of the two prisoners.I come now to the last case, which was, perhaps, the worst of all. The Report says:—At the close of the evidence given as to Corporation Buildings a Mrs. Thompson gave evidence as to an occurrence at the house No. 2, Foley Street, where she resided The lady was a widow, whose husband had recently died, and she alleged that on the night of Saturday, the 30th, hearing a loud noise at the hall door, she left her room on the first floor, taking her child with her, and went to the landing on the floor overhead. While there a, number of constables rushed into the house and, finding light in her room, entered it, and proceeded to wreck the furniture in the room—the pictures on the walls and the delph. It was impossible to trace the constables who were alleged to have entered this house, but we believe the evidence of this witness, and are satisfied that in this case also damage was done without any just cause.Might I call attention to the word "just." I think it throws some illuminating evidence as to the mind of the Commissioners who reported on the proceedings, because it implies that in their opinion, there might be just cause for a body of policemen entering the house of a poor widow and smashing all her furniture. I think it throws a peculiar light as to the mind of the people who have been conducting this inquiry, and, as we believe, this unsatisfactory inquiry. I hope I have put the matter without unnecessary offence to anybody. I hope I have said enough to show that there have been events in Dublin which ought to be the subject of a searching and representative investigation. I think I have said sufficient to show that the conditions of life and labour in Dublin are not such as to satisfy any sympathetic justice-loving man or woman. I think that the working people of Dublin in their 987 efforts struggling to be free ought to have the support of all the people in Dublin, instead of what they have just got, and I want to press for a full and impartial investigation. Further, I want to ask the Chief Secretary, in all seriousness, even now after the Report has been given, and when no mention is made of compensation to these poor people living in the Corporation Buildings who did not take any part in these disturbances, many of whom knew absolutely nothing at all about them, some of whom were lying on their sick beds, one of them being a woman who had been confined only two days previously, is not there an unanswerable case for these people to be compensated and given full value for all their furniture and belongings that have been destroyed? Of course we want a special inquiry into the whole circumstances.
One last word as to the plea put forward sometimes by the police in justification for this harshness and brutality on their part that there was lawlessness and harshness on the other side. I was in Dublin on the 7th of last September—that was the Sunday following the unprovoked assault by the police on about 100 civilians of Dublin. It might be thought if the people of Dublin were lawless, that when 50,000 of them were gathered together in a confined space, there would have been a row. Instead of that, 50,000 people were gathered in that broad street of Dublin which was packed from one end to the other, and there was not the least disturbance. I was one of those who were somewhat timid, having heard all that I had heard about Dublin, and when I arrived at the bottom of that street and saw the immense crowd, I had some misgivings as to whether the whole thing would go off peaceably. It did. The procession marched up through the street and through the dense mass of people. Each contingent fell into its place without confusion. The trade unionists themselves had appointed some hundred stewards to maintain order. They were armed with ample staffs with a flag at the top. Everything passed off without the least indication of disorder, and the meeting dispersed without the slightest disturbance. In view of the fact that the police have made statements as to the lawless character of the people of Dublin. I may say that, probably, if the police had been in Sackville Street that afternoon there would have been a row. There was no row, and so far as rows in 988 Dublin in times gone by are concerned, they have been caused very largely, so far as I can judge, because of the police. We say that the police ought to be the servants and the guardians of the people of Dublin, and not their masters, or their gaolers, or their janitors. It is because we want this enforced in this House by the Chief Secretary that we put forward the Amendment which I now beg to move.
§ Mr. BRADY
I desire to make a few observations on the Amendment from the standpoint of a Nationalist representative of one of the Dublin City divisions. I feel confident that the House, although it may involve the exercise of a little patience on its part, will extend some little indulgence to one who has not many opportunities of addressing it. There will be general agreement with the hon. Gentleman the Mover of the Amendment in all parts of the House, with the description, in the Amendment of recent events in Dublin as deplorable. Whether one sits on these benches, or above the Gangway, or on the other side of the House, we must all agree that the state of things which obtained for five long weary months in the city of Dublin, is a matter for profound regret and not a little disquiet. If a stranger happened to visit Dublin during these days he would almost think that he had found himself in a beleaguered city. He would see tramears guarded front and rear by armed policemen and lorries conveying goods to their destination, carrying at the same time policemen to protect both the goods and the driver, and he would be told that sometimes it was positively dangerous even for the ordinary peaceable citizens to walk in broad daylight in the main thoroughfares of the city. It is because these things obtained for five months, from August until the end of last month, that I can say with confidence that there is no division of opinion in any part of the House with the hon. Member for Blackfriars when he describes these things as deplorable. But it is, of course, when one tries to examine the causes which reduced Dublin to this state of siege, that one enters at once into the regions of controversy. The trade of the city was unquestionably, if not entirely, paralysed—at any rate carried on under the conditions which I have indicated.
989 No useful purpose can be served by entering here and now into personal issues or an analysis of motives. I have no desire, and I am sure that my colleagues have no desire, to say anything harsh or intemperate of men whose objects may have been good and whose ideals may have been conceived, and I am willing to assume that they were conceived, in the best interests of the working men of Dublin. But, speaking for myself, I do feel most strongly that these methods, however well-intentioned, were wrong methods, were bad methods, and have resulted, unfortunately for the workers of Dublin, in disaster to those in whose cause they were adopted. The methods employed in Dublin during these recent occurrences were those of pure syndicalism, and Dublin has afforded the latest and, as I think, the most conclusive proof that the syndicalists are, as the hon. Member the Leader of the party opposite so well described them in a recent Debate, the worst enemies of organised labour. A writer of authority, hardly less eminent than the hon. Member himself, has said that if the sympathetic strike principlewere adopted by the whole labouring class, all social intercourse would be destroyed, all mercantile concerns would have to close, the cultivation of the soil, the production of wealth, on which rich and poor alike depend, would come to an end. There would be universal starvation and red-handed anarchy.Trade unionism on sound lines is an urgent necessity in Dublin, as in any part of this great Empire. There are many good employers in Dublin; unhappily there are not a few bad ones, and even one of the most prominent employers, one who played a very large part in the recent disputes in Dublin, was the first to recognise and state positively, with all the authority which such a statement coming from him carries with it, that he attributed the strikes in Dublin largely to the bad employers who existed in the city. But syndicalism is not the remedy for all this. The writer whom I have already quoted says:—Give the labourers strong unions, which will enable them to make fair terms, and they will enjoy true liberty of contract; they will be too strong to be driven to accept famine wages or iniquitous conditions of work; they will not have the perpetual goad of wretched homes and starving wives to drive them into revolution.I have quoted that expression of opinion because it describes so accurately the mind of the Irish party on this question. That party has always been a Labour party in the best sense of the word, and, 990 what is more, the workmen of Dublin recognise this. During the recent troubles, with which we are dealing in this Amendment, our enemies seized the opportunity of criticising the Nationalist Members for the City of Dublin, and taunting us with our persistent silence, as it was sometimes called. We bore these taunts and sneers, it is true, in silence. We knew that they were unfounded. Throughout the long and bitter struggles the attitude of the Members for Dublin, for whom it is my privilege to speak, was this: They conceived it to be no part of their duty to enter into this industrial dispute unless and until their aid was invoked by the parties to the dispute, and that there was a reasonable prospect of any decision which would be arrived at being accepted by the parties to the dispute. We were never invited to intervene, and by no word or act did we seek to make difficult a situation which was already difficult and acute enough. My colleagues and I are confident that our attitude has not been misunderstood by our friends, and we care not how much it is misrepresented by our enemies.
I do not wish to labour that point further as to these deplorable five months in Dublin. From the bottom of my heart I can say that I am very sorry that any such occasion has arisen at all. Following the example which the old Parliamentary hand, the Member for Blackfriars, has set me, I might profitably employ the remainder of the short time which I propose to occupy in discussing the proposal made by the Amendment as to the necessity for a further inquiry into the conduct of the police. The Amendment expresses regret that the Gracious Speech from the Throne indicates no intention of holding any further inquiry into the conduct of the police during the recent strike in Dublin. Speaking for myself, and again I am hopeful that I am interpreting the views of my colleagues, I do not regret that there is no prospect of any further inquiry. If my hon. Friend opposite will bear with me for a brief moment or two I will satisfy him, I think, that it involves no root disagreement between us. The hon. Member for Blackfriars throughout his whole argument assumed that if a further inquiry took place it would be a much better inquiry than that which has already been held. I am not prepared to assume that at all.
§ Mr. BARNES
I will assume that it would enable a representative of the working classes, as was promised by the Chief Secretary, to be present, and sworn evidence to be taken. [An HON. Member: "This evidence was sworn."]
§ Mr. BRADY
I quite follow that. But the point I was endeavouring to make is this: It is that the Irish people and those who represent them in this House have no confidence in these inquiries and Commissions, and the only inquiry in which the Irish people would have proper confidence is one which would be set up by themselves in a Parliament and by an Executive responsible to them. I am certain that hon. Members opposite will be the very last to deny the reasonableness of that view which I am submitting to the House. I would also like to say that I wish to speak, as I do speak, with the greatest respect of the two gentlemen who constituted the recent Commission. Both of them are in the very forefront of their profession, and, of course, they brought to the discharge of their duties, their delicate and difficult duties, not only legal ability of the highest order, but also. I have no doubt, speaking for myself, a desire to get at the truth of all the happenings in Dublin. I do not blame the police so much for what occurred at all. I am not traversing for a single moment the accuracy of the statement of the hon. Member for Blackfriars; but I say that one has to go much deeper to get at the root of the troubles which take place in Dublin. I say that, whilst the police, as the hon. Member for Blackfriars has shown to the House, have been to blame, and seriously to blame in many cases, yet the culprits are the authorities at Dublin Castle. Even hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway, I understand, are now coming round to the view that that "absurd and irritating anachronism," as it was once so fitly described by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, must go. I may be shown later by hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway to be wrong, but I submit that the whole root of the trouble during these deplorable transactions is to be found in the manner in which the authorities in Dublin Castle dealt with a situation which was unquestionably a difficult one, but which could have been dealt with much more advantageously on other lines.
Though the police were very greatly to blame no doubt for many of the occur- 992 rences which took place, at the same time their masters are still more to blame. I say with confidence, and here I think I shall be expressing the feelings of my colleagues, that had a Government responsible to the Irish people been in power in Dublin, the blundering with the situation which took place would never have occurred. In the early days of surgery the universal remedy for all ills was bleeding; whether it was a pain in the head or the big toe, the patient was always bled. In the same way the universal panacea of Dublin Castle for every ill has always been, and I suppose always will be to the end, proclamation and prosecution. Prosecutions have brought fortunes and judgeships to many an Irishman; they have brought nothing but misfortune to their fellow countrymen. True to this inglorious tradition, at the very outset, even before the Member for Blackfriars, I believe, arrived in Dublin, we had the inevitable proclamation and the inevitable prosecution. I say that there was no necessity either for the one or the other, and if anybody questions that, I refer him, as the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division has already done, to the experience of that day fortnight, the fortnight following Sunday, 31st August. The hon. Gentleman bore eloquent testimony to the conduct of my fellow citizens when 50,000 people assembled in O'Connell Street—by leave, this time, forsooth, of the authorities—and when a mother with babe in arms could have passed through that crowd without any danger to her or the child. As regards the conduct of the police, I desire to adopt as my own view that put forward at the recent inquiry by the solicitor to the corporation, who presented his clients' case with a moderation and skill which in no way surprised the members of his profession, in whose ranks he stands so high. I want to quote the words of Mr. Rice, in which he so moderately described the situation so far as the attitude of the police is concerned. Mr. Rice said:—In his opinion, in normal limes, under normal conditions, the police force of Dublin was very satisfactory, and did its duty efficiently and for the benefit of the citizens. But on the days in question the police were subjected to extraordinary strain, to bitter attacks, and, in fact, to attempts to murder them, by large numbers of evilly disposed people. Assuming that to be correct, the natural result would be that the temper of the police and their self-restraint would have been very much tried, that they broke down under the strain, and that in their consequent fierce excitement and anger they lost command of themselves, and forgot the respect due to property and persons, life and limb, and simply 'ran amok' in Corporation Buildings. It was natural to think 993 that men suffering from the attacks which the police had described us having taken place in the buildings, which, it was the case of the police, was the rallying ground and ambush, and specially selected place of attack on the police, who, as they stated, were lured to the place where the people had laid up 'ammunition' and prepared fortifications to receive them—it was only natural under these circumstances that they should wish to get some satisfaction from the people they thought were responsible for this.Mr. Rice, of course, was not alone in adopting that opinion, which he put so moderately and temperately to the Court. His opinion is fully borne out by the findings of the Commissioners themselves. As the hon. Member for Blackfriars has already told the House, the Commissioners found in reference to this particular transaction that damage was done by some of the police after the entry was made into those houses belonging to the corporation, and when no rioters were found inside. The Commissioners say:—We make every allowance for the excitement under which the constables were acting, but, in our opinion, in the case of eight or ten dwellings, wilful damage was done without justification.I will not read other passages which have already been quoted by the hon. Member for Blackfriars, but again the Commissioners find that there was unjustifiable violence in the baton charge which took place in O'Connell Street on the same day, Sunday, the 31st August. As frequently happens, there seem to have been several peaceful citizens swept into and along with the mob and received some injury in the street. In one regrettable instance Mr. O'Donnell received some severe injuries at the hands of the police. I wonder what the citizens of London would think if a Commission, carrying with it all the respect and weight which, at any rate, some people will attach to a Commission such as this, found that members of the Metropolitan Police had inflicted injuries such as these on life and limb and property here in London. I will not say that this is an ordinary occurrence in Dublin, but it all comes back to the original cause of the evil, namely, the manner in which the same laws as obtain in this country are administered in Ireland. In this country, the police, like every other department, whether local or Imperial, are governed by the people through their representatives. The police are only one of sixty-seven boards which govern Ireland, and on which the people have no power. I do not think I could profitably labour the case any further for or against the police. I am quite with the hon. Member for 994 Blackfriars in everything he has said regarding the attitude of the police, but where he and I part, unfortunately for me is the conclusion which he draws that another inquiry is necessary. I deny that altogether. I think it would be both unnecessary, unprofitable, and possibly mischievous.
My colleagues and I want to forget these five sad months in Dublin; we want to forget them, at any rate, so far as their recollection would be likely to engender bitterness of feeling; we want to remember them for other purposes which may be described briefly in a sentence or two. I subscribe to Mr. Rice's view that the police were to blame, but to blame under circumstances which, at any rate, can be accurately described as abnormal. I do not think that any good purpose would be served by having another inquiry into their conduct, but I can see that a great deal of evil might result from such an inquiry, however impartial it might be, and however well constituted the tribunal might be. The Irish party want, and the Members for Dublin want, to continue to do in future as they have done in the past, namely, to plead and support the cause of legitimate trade unionism in its endeavour to obtain fair wages and fair conditions of employment in Dublin, and there is plenty of field for us to do a great deal of work in that direction. I regret to have to admit that in Dublin, as I have said, there are many employers who do not give a fair wage to their workers, and whose general conditions of employment are made very onerous indeed. I say we can much more profitably employ our energy in putting an end to that kind of thing than in pressing the right hon. Gentleman and his Government for another inquiry into the conduct of the police. There is another thing we can do, and which, of course, those with whom I am associated have been doing for years, and that is to press the question of housing. That might at first sight not appear relevant, but with great respect I submit to the House that the ill-housing conditions which unfortunately obtain in Dublin are largely responsible for the unrest which obtains in the labour world, and that it behoves all of us, whether we sit on these benches or above the Gangway, as Irish Members, to do everything in our power to promote this question of the proper housing of the working classes. The Corporation of Dublin have done everything which they could do within 995 their resources. I happened this morning to see the only copy available in the Library, as it has not yet been generally circulated and printed, of the Report of the Housing Commission, which the Chief Secretary set up to inquire into the housing condition in Dublin, and I am very glad to find in it confirmation of the statement I have just made. The Commissioners say:—We now turn to the action of the corporation in regard to the provision of houses.The finance of their operations is dealt with later—and it is with pleasure that we state that they appear from the beginning to have taken advantage of the powers given to them in this regard, and it must not be forgotten that the Acts before 1890 placed a limitation on their borrowing powers for those purposes.I think I shall have the best opinion of all sides with me when I say that this question of housing is not a purely local one, but that it is an Imperial question, and that it exists for Dublin to perhaps a greater degree than in any other portion of the Kingdom. We shall continue to press with all the force at our command the necessity for dealing with this question on Imperial lines, and dealing with it at the very earliest opportunity. I believe that it is only by the removal of such sources of industrial unrest, as unfair wages, and unfair conditions of employment generally, and by the removal of ill-housing, that disturbances, of which Dublin has had so terrible an experience, will not recur, and that permanent industrial peace will be secured.
§ Mr. BOOTH
I certainly shall not join issue with the hon. Member who has just spoken in any remarks he has made as regards the importance of this controversy. I think it is of special importance, also, for the business Members of this House and those responsible for the conduct of industry, because if the employers and men of wealth and station allow the idea to be fostered that the power of the public authority is always to be exerted against the poor or against men clamouring for improvement in their conditions, then the lot of those of us who manage industries in the United Kingdom will be hard indeed. One of my greatest regrets in reviewing the unfortunate incidents that took place before my eyes in the metropolis of Ireland is, that the inevitable result must be to throw the great city of Dublin back in commerce. Mart and exchange cannot thrive where there 996 is fear, distrust, and hate deliberately manufactured against the captains of industry. Hon Members may attribute that work largely to some imaginary body of syndicalists. That is a term at present which is used most by those who understand the least, but I may say that as far as I am able to judge, the police force of Dublin was deliberately used to increase ill-feeling and to provoke riot and disorder in order that they might make a demonstration on behalf of wealth. I had hoped that the inquiry into the proceedings in Dublin would have included the examination of the heads of the police as to their attitude towards the Trades Dispute Act and towards the trades union movement, and I ventured in the letter I wrote to the Chief Secretary to indicate my wish that the inquiry should be more extended in its scope than ultimately he saw fit to adopt.
One of the most serious charges that has been brought against the police officials was that they took sides early, and that they acted most bitterly in what they supposed to be, no doubt, the general interests of law and order which, according to their minds interpreted, meant siding with the employers against the men on strike. There was no inquiry into that issue. I should have thought the police themselves would have been anxious to show that, apart from disorder and riot, they were perfectly impartial in this dispute about wages or hours. The hon. Member who has just spoken has a concern that he quite justified, and I would not attempt to minimise it. To translate it into insurance language, let me point out that the insurance rate at Lloyd's amongst underwriters against riots and disorder in Dublin was 12 per cent. per annum, whereas in the case of Ulster it is only 7s. 6d. per hundred pounds against any risk resulting from civil war. I do think the House will expect me, as one of their colleagues, to devote my remarks principally to as impartial an account as I can of what I actually saw. I must ask to be excused if any Member is expecting me to discuss the trades dispute, or even to discuss too closely any estimate of the capacity of this inquiry from a legal standpoint. I can only say here, that before I give my evidence to the House, that in attending that inquiry, which has proved so unsatisfactory, and which I do not regard as in the least worthy of any attention from this House in its conclusions and Report, I was not able, as I had intended, 997 to give any evidence there. That was through no fault of mine. I volunteered immediately I arrived before the Court to make a statement of exactly what I had seen, and of what charges I brought against the police. I was directed rather to cross-examine police witnesses, and I very reluctantly undertook that course.
Directly I arrived in Dublin and left my hotel, the first visit I paid was to a firm of solicitors to ask them to engage a distinguished Unionist King's Counsel, in order that he might attend the inquiry on behalf of my wife and self, and I was only deterred from doing so by the suggestion from those in charge of the inquiry that it was unnecessary. That inquiry has issued its Report. I shall not trouble with its testimony, I consider it waste of paper and ink. I do think that even the employers should not desire that two lawyers should solemnly give their opinion upon matters on which they did not hear the evidence. That is so contrary to my ideas that I wonder why they troubled to write a large part of their Report when we remember that no statement of the case against the police with regard to general incidents from beginning to end was given, and that the whole of the police evidence was unanswered and not upon oath, and that, apart from the cross-examination of three or four of the leading officials, there was none offered. When we remember those things, I ask the House to take upon itself to disregard in an emphatic way findings on evidence of that description. However, that is a point more for the barristers of the House than for myself.
I give four considerations which influence me, in my intention not to waste the time of the House by dealing with this unreliable Report. First of all, they made no effort to secure evidence with regard to the death of Nolan. The police had been charged with murder. An hon. Member of this House, who is not now in his place, at a meeting I attended, and in the presence of police taking it down openly in the streets of Dublin, charged the police with murdering Nolan. One would have thought, that the witnesses who appeared in the previous police cases, would have been brought before the inquiry that had taken place, because the coroner's jury in their verdict found:—That James Nolan died on the 30th September, 1913, from fracture of the skull and compression of the brain and this was caused by the blow of a baton.I do not press that point too far, but I say I am bitterly disappointed that any inquiry worthy of having regard given to its con- 998 clusion should have given so little attention to the decease of a quiet trade unionist done to death in the streets of Dublin. My second point is, that the inquiry did not deal with the photographs and with the newspaper reports of the occurrences. I shall have to refer to that later in connection with Sackville Street. My point now is, that these men did not even read the newspaper report, and did not have before them the newspaper reports in capitalist organs, in Mr. Murphy's own organ, the "Irish Independent," and it did not trouble to look at what his paper said about the proceedings in O'Connell Street, nor did they examine photographs taken from the spot. Thirdly, when they started they promised that we should have, as part of this Report, a copy of the evidence taken. Mr. Henry, in opening the Court, said:—The evidence will be taken by the Official Shorthand writer, and will be transmitted by us as part of our Report to the proper quarter.Where is that evidence? The Report has been issued to hon. Members, but the evidence is not available. Fourthly, I say that the House cannot give that respect to this Commission which it seeks because of the threat of violence made by the official spokesman of the police. On Thursday, 8th January, at the opening of the Commission, counsel raised the point that I had attempted on the previous day to hand in a copy of the "Evening Telegraph," which is the evening edition of the "Freeman's Journal," with a reproduced photograph of the scene. It annoyed him so much that on the following morning he drew attention to it, and complained in strong terms against my producing it, because under the picture they had printed the words, "It will be observed that there was no sign of disorder." Again, as a layman, I offer no opinion as to whether that was contempt of court, breach of privilege, or whatever it might be. Counsel went on to say:—They had to submit yesterday to the most cruel and vindictive aspersions, and now it is sought, while this inquiry is still open to prejudice and poison the minds of the public against them by suggesting that there was no disorder in Sackville Street on that day. I do not know what steps you will take to protect them from these statements, but I will say this, that there is a limit to the human endurance even for a policeman, and if this fresh persecution is continued any longer the citizens of Dublin, including the writers in the 'Evening Telegraph,' may have to bike steps to protect themselves and their property from hooliganism.I ask any Member of this House, when counsel spoke in those terms of the questions I have put in cross-examination the previous day, and used that language with 999 regard to journalists connected with the official organ of the Irish Nationalist party, what did he mean by saying that they might have to take steps to protect themselves from hooliganism because the policemen's patience would have been exhausted? I submit that an inquiry conducted under these conditions cannot be expected to have the public confidence. I would now like to describe briefly exactly what I saw. Probably, with the exception of a visitor in the Ladies' Gallery, I am the only person at present in the building who actually witnessed these terrible scenes. The hon. Member for Dublin City said quite rightly that he would like to forget them. I never can. When I arrived in Dublin it was not for the purpose of exploring any labour trouble. I did not know there was any. The first time I heard the name of Jim Larkin was at a football match, when I asked why a brass band advertised on the bills had not appeared. After a very arduous Session here—I think hon. Members will admit that I spend as much time on these premises as any other of the 670 Members of this House, except our worthy Speaker—on going to Ireland for the first time in my life for a holiday, the last thing I wanted to do was to investigate a labour trouble. A deputation from Liberty Hall waited upon me when Jim Larkin was in prison, urging me to go and help them with my counsel or to guide them in some way, but I felt bound to decline. I said that I was a visitor, that I knew nothing of the labour or commercial conditions except what I was learning from day to day, and that I could not see my way to comply with their request. They appealed to me for over an hour, but I refused to concern myself in any way whatever in the labour dispute. A deputation from the employers' leaders also interviewed me, putting their side of the case, and suggesting that I might mediate. Again I declined, saying it was none of my business, and that I did not think I should be at all useful. I have never passed an opinion, and I shall not do so to-day, about the matters in dispute between the Transport Union and the masters.
The frame of mind that I was in was that of one keenly interested in a land of which I had heard a great deal, and which is one of the leading topics of discussion in this House. I arrived in Dublin, a supporter of the Government and a great admirer of the Chief Secretary and of the 1000 Lord Lieutenant. So far from wishing to say anything disagreeable or to be found here complaining of the acts of the Dublin. Executive, anything further from my mind I cannot imagine. The hotel was chosen by accident. I wished to stay at the Shelbourne Hotel, but, it being Horse Show Week, they were full, so I got rooms at the Imperial. Some friends have suggested that, knowing something interesting was going to happen, I determined to be on the spot. Nothing of the kind. I claim no credit whatever for being on the scene of action. It was pure accident. I did not know that the Imperial Hotel belonged to Mr. Murphy, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, but it was none the less acceptable on that ground. I submit that no one could have had less bias or less wish to find complaints against anybody. What did I do? Apart from visits to the Show, polo matches, and the approved societies of Dublin, and Hibernians and Orangemen combining together to stand me a lunch, apart from incidents of that kind, which were very enjoyable, nothing unusual took place until Saturday evening. I had made arrangements to go into the country to stay with some friends near Blackwater. But on Saturday evening I had to begin to look at things in a very different light from that of the happy experiences of the few days I had passed there. I saw one or two attacks upon the police in the course of Saturday. I saw people throw stones and bottles at the police. I have not the slightest intention of giving the House an account of what occurred without stating both sides. This piece of granite (the hon. Member produced a piece of granite), which just missed my head, was thrown at a policeman; it missed the policeman and broke a shop window. I saw a good deal of the rioting—at some little personal risk. I felt that being there I would risk getting a knock in order to find out what was going on in the street. I would not have complained at all if I had met with some trouble myself; I had to take that risk.
It is not at all a correct view to take that the rioting, as far as I observed it, was on the part of trade unionists or strikers. I never saw a striker or trade unionist or working man who seemed to me to be of the type of Larkin's union in this disorder at all. The person who threw this piece of granite was a woman. I asked her what her husband did; was he a striker? Nothing of the kind. He 1001 was a fish hawker, and had nothing at all to do with Larkin's union. I asked, "What is the meaning of it? Why did you throw the piece of granite?" She replied, "Some years ago a younger brother of mine was brutally ill used by the Dublin police, and I am getting a bit of my own back, and when it grows a bit darker I have another piece here for them," and from beneath her shawl she produced another piece of granite. I mention that to show that the position in Dublin is a legacy from a terrible past. There has been such an experience, which I am not here to describe or to judge, but of which this is the result. There is no doubt that in the poorer parts of Dublin there are numbers of people who regard the police as their natural enemies, and are animated by a spirit of revenge for what they consider to be intolerable wrongs in the past. I saw a man called Burn in the custody of the police. What he had done, I do not know. He seemed to me to be simply suffering from drink. I accompanied the arresting party to the police station. He was a strong man; on the way he struggled, and he was cuffed and beaten by the policeman in charge. Further on, another policeman came up, and in broad daylight, in the presence of scores of women and children, the man was knocked about. I was following with the rest of the party on a jaunting car, within a few feet of them, and I saw four policemen stretch him out, one holding each ankle, and one holding each wrist, while a fifth struck him over the private parts in order to quiet him. I simply mention that, and leave it for the House to draw their own conclusion.
Later on I went about the district of the hotel; half an hour later I went out again; half an hour later again; and so on during the whole of the Saturday evening. I was on the spot where Nolan was butchered just before and just after the occurrence. I did not see it; I simply heard that a man had been knocked down and carried off, and that they thought he was dying. I made personal inquiries, and found that Nolan was one of the most quiet men in Dublin. He never liked to argue, and would not dispute. If ever there was a wrangle, he was invariably the first to get up and go. He was killed because of that trait in his character. When he had paid his subscription at Liberty Hall, he did not, want to hear the speeches, and so withdrew himself to the outskirts of the crowd. Consequently when the police 1002 charge came along he was the first man to be struck down, and he was struck down from behind. The widow is an estimable woman, as also is the widow of the other victim. Miss Harrison, who is well known in Dublin, wrote to me only this week giving independent testimony. She finds that the wives and families of both these men are very respectable, and she wishes to help them in their necessity. What the Government are going to do, I do not know; but if they do not reply to the appeal of the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division of Glasgow by making some announcement in regard to these people as well as the other unfortunate victims, I think Members will go home with very sad hearts. On the Saturday night I was talking to Councillor Briscoe, who I believe is secretary of the Town Tenants' League of Ireland, and from whom I was trying to get some information in regard to the working of the League with a view to possible legislation here. Whilst we were discussing the matter there was noise in the street. We stepped on to the balcony, and I saw a police charge come round the corner by the hotel with a number of people fleeing before it, whilst there were one or two on the ground. It was a disagreeable sight. We stepped right forward on the balcony and looked down. We saw a man lying in the gutter being kicked by policemen. I called down and said: "If the man has done anything wrong arrest him, but you have no right to kick him while he is on the ground," and I added, "If you do not stop I will come down." Councillor Briscoe said: "Remember, you are not in England; you are in Dublin." I must ask the Chief Secretary to get what consolation he can from that remark. I do not know whether it was really my shouting or not, but the police did leave the man alone, and slunk away. The man raised himself on one arm, and I noted that blood was streaming down his head and neck. He crawled towards the hotel and steadied himself, and subsequently he was taken away by someone. What the man had done I do not know. If he had broken the law he ought to have been taken and charged by the police. There was no crowd, no riot, no larking, no demonstration that took place in front of that hotel.
On the Sunday I determined to change the subject. I determined to go out into the streets, and speak to every man I could find, as I desired to know the working of the Insurance Act in Ireland. Some 1003 hon. Members may think that I have got Insurance on the brain. However, I went from man to man, and from group to group simply discussing the Insurance Act, and asking them what they thought of it. I probably spoke to about 100 groups in the course of the morning—that is from about nine o'clock to 1.30. I occasionally walked along Beresford Place for the purpose of seeing the procession start to Croydon Park. The whole of the Larkinite or Transport Union forces were marshalled together. They had issued a manifesto stating the meeting, as arranged, had been abandoned, and that they were going to hold it at Croydon Park, about two miles away. I strolled back again, continuing my peregrinations, up and down Sackville Street, or O'Connell Street, I do not know which is the right name. I mention this because I think I know, as well as any man could possibly do, what population there was in the street.
The few men that I did meet, when the dispute was mentioned to them, made some criticisms of Larkin; not one of them spoke of Larkin with whole-hearted approval. They were critics and opponents of Larkin. About 1.30 my wife came back to the hotel with some friends with whom she had been a motor ride, and we subsequently went into lunch. This is a melancholy part to me. The matter had an effect upon my wife's mind, for had she come into lunch ten minutes later, she would have been in the dreadful mélée and have been knocked down, and possibly maimed for life. It is all very well to say that on such occasions one must keep calm and collected. Personally, I can stand a very great deal. I bear no ill-will to opponents however violent may have been the conflict between us. Whether I get the best or the worst of it I bear no malice. But it is a very different thing to contemplate one's wife being in an affair of this description. Police-counsel Powell said at the inquiry that no one in their senses would have been in Sackville Street on that day. But is an English visitor to the Horse Show who is staying at one of the leading hotels to be fastened up the whole day? I have never heard such a monstrous doctrine as that laid down as this inquiry. It seemed to be considered that no people should have been in the street at all. In that street, however, there is the Gresham Hotel, the Metropole Hotel, and also the offices of the news- 1004 papers close by, and some of these papers issue Sunday editions. The post office is also there. Yet it is stated that people would have been well advised not to have been in the street. I would like to know whether the Chief Secretary takes that view. It is a monstrous thing to suggest that people staying at the hotels there should be unable to step into that beautiful thoroughfare on a Sunday.
Just before we sat down to lunch we looked out from the balcony again, and noted to each other that there was nothing going to happen; that everything was perfectly quiet. There was no riot, no meeting, no anything. My wife had seen the demonstrators go away, and I had seen them start off for Croydon Park. Looking up and clown the street, we said there could have been nothing more peaceful when we sat down to lunch. Larkin appeared. I did not know him. He wore a false beard. He appeared immediately in front of our table, and addressed a few words to the street below. What he said I do not know because of the hum of the passing traffic. We were within a yard of him. We understood him to say that he was going to speak until the police arrested him. Immediately he said that he turned on his heel, passed our table, and went, I understood, to the kitchen of our hotel, where he was arrested by Superintendent Murphy. That officer was certainly quite calm and collected. He was one of the officers of the police who impressed me of being a substantial person, but one or two who came to his help were very excited. We stepped back into the balcony to see what was happening in the street. One of the police witnesses at the inquiry said that a few people had stepped from the near footpath into the middle of the road, and some others had stepped from the footpath on the opposite side of the road to the middle of the road. While on the balcony somebody shouted that it was Larkin, or that it might be Larkin. What else was shouted did not reach our ears; but we were interested in seeing Larkin brought out of the hotel. He was brought out peaceably enough. We were just thinking of turning to go, back to lunch when the mad scene broke out. We looked down and saw the shouting and excitement in the street. The police had drawn their batons. Some of the police had gone one way, some another, and were being met by others and by the people, many of whom, girls and others, wore straw and sailor hats. It was an ordinary Sunday crowd. 1005 They were certainly bewildered, and did not know which way to turn. I cannot do better than to read a description of the scene which I contributed to the London Press. I said:—I was back on the balcony when he (Mr. Larkin) was removed by the police, who had been rushing excitedly into the hotel. The puzzled crowd could not tell what was happening. Policemen came in view from all sides, girls hastened away with their companions, and excited women shouted for cheers for Larkin. A few responded as the prisoner was marched away; then silence ensued save for pattering feet and sickening thuds. The noble street was in the hands of the most brutal constabulary ever let loose on a peaceful assembly. Up and down the road, backwards and forwards, the police rushed like men possessed. Some drove the crowd into side streets, to meet other batches of the Government's minions wildly striking with truncheons at every one within reach. In escaping many ran the gauntlet until the third or fourth blow knocked them senseless. The few roughs got away first; most respectable persons left their hats, and crawled away with bleeding heads. Kicking the victims when prostrate was a settled part of the police programme. Three such cases occurred in a direct line with our window.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BOOTH
Maybe he was not, but let it go. I have got in my possession here a copy of the "Sphere." It is not, I understand, a political organ at all. The "Sphere" reproduced the balcony scene after my description was in print. Anyone can compare the dates. Any impartial persons who will examine it can see what the photographs say, and these photographs were taken on the spot. [HON. MEMBERS: "Pass it round" and "Circulate it with the Votes."] The "Daily Sketch" reproduced the photographs; so did the "Freeman's Journal" and the "Manchester Guardian." At the inquiry a remarkable statement was made by Mr. Powell. He said that he had been instructed that the photographs that appeared in the "Freeman's Journal" were faked. I want to know from the Chief Secretary, who instructed him. It was not the surmise of an advocate. It was a distinct statement that he was instructed. I want to make an appeal to the Press of this country. We hear a great deal now 1006 about the honour and conduct of Members of Parliament at by-elections, and so on. Is there not to be a standard of honour amongst the Press? If these great newspapers are capable of taking photographs and faking them by inserting batons in policemen's hands which they did not hold in order to bring discredit upon the force, I say these papers should be denounced throughout the length and breadth of the land. There is a great London newspaper, the "Times," and the "Spectator." Either in this matter they should support the honour of the Press and defend these other newspapers against the vile attack, or they should themselves criticise their colleagues; for if the charge is true, they have been guilty of one of the worst offences that a journal can commit. And I will be very anxious to see what line the London "Times," and the other great London organ who pays such respect to journalism, will take upon that statement, that counsel was instructed to say that these photographs were faked.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
May I ask the hon. Gentleman did counsel say that these were all faked, or only the one that appeared in the "Freeman's Journal"?
§ Mr. BOOTH
I think the Noble Lord is entitled to know that the photograph which appeared in the "Sphere" and in the "Manchester Guardian" is identical with the one which I handed in at the inquiry. I was asking one of the superintendents, who described, in the course of the inquiry, what had taken place in O'Connell Street, whether he had seen this photograph. I handed him this picture, and asked was not that a picture of the scene in which he took part. Objection was at once taken by the police, and I had to withdraw the picture; and the following morning the statement appeared that this was a faked picture.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
Did not the President of the Commission say that if evidence was given that that was an actual photograph of the scene, he would be very glad to receive it?
§ Mr. BOOTH
I said I would produce the photographer, whose name is Matthew Blakemore, and I said he appeared at the trial of Larkin at the Police Court and went into the box in my presence, and was prepared to swear to it. It was objected to then on behalf of the police, and the police magistrate said he would not take it. I put this in in cross-examination so that I might produce the photographer and put the picture in evidence.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
Did you produce him? I do not think the lion. Gentleman quite understood my point. I asked him "Did not the Chairman of the Commission tell him that the photograph would become evidence the moment the photographer was produced to prove that it was an actual, original photograph?"
Mr. JOHN GORDON (Londonderry)
At the inquiry?
§ Mr. BOOTH
No, at the Police Court. I put it in in cross-examination so that I could call the newspaper people later on to support me and to get it in evidence. It never got in because I withdrew from the inquiry, and the "Freeman's Journal" itself denounced the whole inquiry as a, farce, and said they would have nothing to do with it. The point is, that if the Dublin police want to answer this they can hardly be satisfied to leave the inquiry where it is. Would any man of honour and respect, seeing that those responsible newspapers produced this picture, be satisfied with an inquiry which, in any circumstances, had terminated without this being gone into? The statement that it was faked was one of the most miserable subterfuges. I saw that scene exactly as depicted in the photograph. I am ready to take my oath anywhere and to submit to cross-examination by anyone on that question. I declare to the House that it is a true and exact picture of what I saw from the balcony of the hotel, and what scores of other people saw as well. It surely throws a lurid light 1008 upon the action of the police and their friends that this is to be their reply to a picture taken by the camera. I am not an authority on photography, but I am informed that it is physically impossible to do with a picture what the police allege. The "Freeman's Journal" are ready to produce their photographer, and the "Manchester Guardian" stand by the photograph and say that they have examined it with scrupulous care. I do not think a single person in Dublin, or the police or their officers, have the slightest doubt about what took place.
Where was the Chief Commissioner and his assistant all this time? Skulking in a shop. The police charge had come down the street as they were coming over O'Connell Bridge, and they went into a shop. The Chief Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner were in a telephone box behind the barrier at this time. I say the heads of the police should have immediately asserted themselves and found out what was the right or the wrong of this matter. When the prisoner went by with his escort, and the charges were over, the Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner came on the street. What took place after they passed the balcony? There was a boy collecting women's hats and boys' caps as those two proud heads of the Dublin police scanned the scene of what had taken place. These are the two men whom I blame for what took place at the inquiry. I bear no malice towards Mr. Powell. When anything offensive was said to me by him it was always after consultation with his neighbours. When I withdrew, I did not withdraw because of what was said, but because it was not rebuked by the chiefs of the police, and because no withdrawal was demanded by the Commission.
In their Report the Commissioners regret that they had not my assistance during the latter part of the proceedings. If they had requested me to stay and said I was helpful to them, as they consider now, and if they had called upon that offensive word to be withdrawn, of course I should have continued, although my task was a very difficult one. At any rate, as far as I am concerned, the evidence of the heads of the Dublin police is another lesson as to why the inquiry was conducted in the way it was. How was it conducted? The whole Court was crowded with policemen in uniform who occupied the seats in order to keep the public out. I am told that that was done frequently all over Ireland 1009 in the old days. The great trouble in Dublin is the old spirit of oppressive coercion which still survives in Dublin Castle and amongst the police. The Court was crowded with policemen. After an appeal by one of the town councillors one day, the Commissioners said that in future they would reserve a few seats in the jury box for the public. I submit to the House with confidence, that this was a travesty of an inquiry. I identify myself to some extent with the hon. Gentleman opposite who says he does not want another inquiry. I am entirely with him there, because there has not been one, and therefore you cannot ask for another, and I should be very sorry if the result of the discussion should be that another inquiry of that kind would be set up.
I wish to refer to only one other matter, and that is the trouble that took place at the corporation building. There again you will find that the police in reply to the charges go to terrible extremes in order to evade the facts. They try to evade the the charge of destroying sacred pictures pictures were faked. They try to evade the charge of destroying sacred pictures and relics and ornaments by saying that the people did it themselves. Now, I am a Protestant, but one attribute I think every Protestant will believe of the Roman Catholic faith is, that, the poorer the home or the tenement, the more attached the people living there are to the faith, in which they are brought up. I am perfectly sure my friends, both Churchmen and Nonconformists, will pay that tribute to the Roman Catholic faith, and it is additionally cruel that after the police had gone into these houses and wrecked these houses, proceeding from door to door, from room to room, scattering the dinners of the people upon the floors, beating women in bed, giving a black eye to a baby, and running riot, they should then charge these people With tramping upon the emblems of the faith which they adore. I regard that as one of the ugliest features in the conduct of the police.
All I saw and witnessed—which struck me with so much horror—makes me, if possible, a more convinced Home Ruler than I was before. But if this is to be a sample of English Government at the end of 1913, with an enlightened Liberal Cabinet in power as the professed sympathisers with the democracy, I say it is time that we gave the Irish nation an opportunity of 1010 ending its own miseries and proceeding on other lines. Therefore, I am bound to say that I think it would be a very ill result of a complaint of an incident like this if we by so doing delayed the arrival of that time when the responsibility for the treatment and good conduct of the Irish nation will be placed upon their own executive. I therefore await with some anxiety the attitude of the Government upon this Amendment. What I say generally to the House is this: Whether we are Unionists or Home Rulers, we cannot leave this inquiry in the miserable condition in which it is left. Hon. Members who are Unionists will not denounce a Chief Secretary and Lord Lieutenant in Dublin Castle. Surely they must feel as I do the need for enlightened and sympathetic rule in Ireland. I believe the Unionist party lost more headway with regard to their Irish policy in that country through Dublin Castle than any other, and it was that which made the people of this country conceive that a change from Dublin Castle to self-government was necessary, and it was for that reason that the democracy of the United Kingdom made up their mind to end their responsibility and to place responsibility on the shoulders of the Irish people. Those of us who are Home Rulers looking forward to visiting Dublin under happier auspices, we feel the deepest shame; we who boast of our success in government throughout the wide world, and spend vast sums of money in teaching the heathens the Gospel of Christ, that our last contribution to the Government of Ireland should be a scene like this, carried out in this dreadful manner, which must fill the heart of every loyal citizen of the King with deep regret and remorse.
§ Mr. R. M'NEILL
I propose to offer only a few observations upon the Amendment before the House, and upon the speech to which we have just listened. I hope the hon. Member for Pontefract will not consider it offensive if I feel that I am unable to take quite so seriously as he himself does the interesting chapter of his autobiography which he has given. But even if the hon. Member takes himself a little more seriously than we can, at all events we can congratulate him most heartily upon his first visit to Ireland. In the latter part of his speech the hon. Member seemed to shake his head over his experiences, but I gather that he had the time of his life. To begin with, the hon. Member was given a lunch by the approved 1011 societies, and for no less than an hour understand that the persuasive powers of the Labour party in Dublin were directed to overcoming the reluctance of the hon. Member to give them his counsel and advice. There is one thing in which we may condole with the hon. Member, and that is that he does not seem, to have succeeded in preserving his incognito as well as he no doubt desired to do. From all we have heard, he seems to have got himself mixed up in a number of proceedings in Dublin, and we can all sympathise with the painful publicity which the hon. Member received in consequence. I was at pains to gather what the hon. Member for Pontefract was doing in Dublin at all. I understand that he went to Dublin, accompanied by his wife, to enjoy a holiday at the time of the Horse Show, and I think that is a very sensible way of spending a holiday. He was unable to find accommodation at one hotel, and we afterwards find him relegated to the balcony of another hotel. Afterwards he finds himself in a Court of Law. The hon. Member has told us that he is a layman in these matters, and we hear that he was ready to produce this and that witness, and subject this and that person to cross-examination. He never told us, however, for whom he was acting, or the fee for which he was retained.
§ Mr. R. M'NEILL
I have no doubt that the people of Dublin and all the parties concerned have gained great advantage from the services of the hon. Member who was rescued from the Horse Show to conduct this examination before learned Gentlemen. The hon. Member seems to have been rather upset by his experiences in that Court. I do not pretend to know the rights and wrongs about these photographs and I do not think the hon. Member made this point very clearly. As far as I can gather, the hon. Member's complaint is, having no idea what is evidence and what is not, he was prevented from presenting this evidence in a way the Court of Law would not accept. If the hon. Member had gone through the ordinary steps necessary for making these photographs evidence there would have been no 1012 objection to their acceptance. The hon. Member made one very great mistake during his visit to Ireland. I am sorry to say that he appears, after spending that holiday, to have come back without having his sense of humour sharpened by his experiences there. He came into contact with one of the leaders of the Irish Bar, and the result of that was, as the Report has told us, that the Commissioners were deprived of the great advantage they would have undoubtedly have derived from further examination and cross-examination by the hon. Member, and possibly of evidence which he might have given himself.
The hon. Member's exit from the Court appears to have been somewhat inglorious—I think he rose to a considerable height of repartee with the leader of the Irish Bar. I have not refreshed my memory, but if I recollect rightly, he reached the height of informing this legal gentleman that he had lunched, and that he was a liar. It is quite clear that the hon. Member left the Court a little crestfallen, and although a fine performer on the trumpet, the tune he was playing on that occasion was certainly not Handel's "Conquering Hero." Perhaps I may pass away from the autobiography of the hon. Member with the feeling that after all his experiences in Dublin, although intensely interesting, have really not a very great bearing upon this particular case. I have not the slightest doubt that the hon. Member has sincerely and honestly told the House what he saw. It is a great pity he did not give all this in evidence where it could have been sifted by cross-examination, and then the impression of the Commissioners would have appeared in the Report. After listening to the speech of the hon. Member for Blackfriars I am bound to say that I do think he has made out a pretty strong case against the Dublin police. I decline altogether to accept the statement which the hon. Member for Pontefract made that the police had deliberately got up this row in Dublin in order to make out a case on behalf of the employers. What I think is true, and what has been brought out by the hon. Member for Blackfriars, is that under circumstances when the police had suffered a good deal of provocation, and when they had had onerous duties to perform and a good deal of overwork, on this, particular occasion they did seem to lose their heads and exceed their duty. That appears to have been borne out both 1013 by the Report of the Commissioners and certainly by the evidence, which, unfortunately, was not laid before the Commissioners, and which has been brought forward by the hon. Member for Blackfriars.
Whether or not the best method of dealing with that unfortunate occurrence is to have a new inquiry or not I do not know, but I do think that in this particular the people of Dublin have cause for complaint against the Chief Secretary for Ireland. I understood, when the hon. Member for Blackfriars was speaking, that there was some question as to the exact words used by the Chief Secretary for Ireland when he gave a promise that an inquiry should be held. I do not think it very much matters what the exact words of the right hon. Gentleman were, because he was undoubtedly reported and generally understood to have promised that there should be upon this Committee of Inquiry a representative of the working classes in Dublin, and if that promise was so reported and understood, and if there is any accuracy in the report, I think it was the bounden duty of the right hon. Gentleman at once to put an end to that misunderstanding, and not allow the expectation to go forward unquestioned for so many weeks that there would be a different sort of inquiry to that which he eventually set up. We listened with amazement to the speech of the hon. Member for Dublin. We watched him in his anxiety to avoid, on the one hand, causing any dissatisfaction as to his attitude in his constituency, and, on the other hand, any dissatisfaction with his attitude among the Labour party opposite; and he seemed still more anxious to avoid any dissatisfaction with his speech on the Treasury Bench. We find the hon. Member pointed out that although the case against the police was overwhelmingly strong, the very last way of dealing with this particular evil was by an Amendment to the Address. The hon. Member for Pontefract took the occasion to point out to the House that, after all, this was only one more illustration of the crying necessity for Home Rule. I suppose he means that if we had had Home Rule and an Irish Executive this state of things would not have occurred. The hon. Member seems to forget that this is one of the reserved services under the Bill of the right hon. Gentlemen opposite.
§ Mr. R. M'NEILL
I know what the hon. Member is going to say. He is going too tell us that this is only a reserved service for six years. [HON. MEMBERS "No."]. Well, it is only the difference between the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police. Let us see where this lands us. After the policy of the Government has been carried out it is supposed that we shall immediately, under the Home Rule regime, have a perfect police in the City of Dublin and an execrable police in the rest of Ireland. That is the case which has been made by the hon. Member for Dublin, and which has the enthusiastic support of the hon. Member for East Mayo. I think a case has been made out against the police. I think the thief Secretary has not given the inquiry he led us to expect, and if I were to give a vote on this Amendment I should feel obliged to vote with the hon. Member who moved it. There is, however, one consideration which deters me from doing so, and I shall not vote for the Amendment for this reason: I do not want by any action of mine, or my hon. Friends on these benches, to compel the hon. Gentleman opposite to tell against his own Amendment, and I do not want, by the vote I shall give, to compel the hon. Gentleman opposite to stultify his vote.
§ Mr. GEORGE ROBERTS
I do not think I shall be able to follow the hon. and learned Gentleman in what he has just said. His intervention is always very acceptable. I admit him to be a good lawyer, and I have known him to be a good shot, but this afternoon he has proved himself to be a most entertaining humorist. His speech led me to conclude that he had decided to vote for the Amendment, but instead of that he recognises that it is unwise for his party to take sides against the police and the constituted authorities; and, on the other hand, when it is a question of labour and human life, then we do not find we get the support which we might reasonably contemplate.
§ Mr. GEORGE ROBERTS
The Noble Lord can always find that out when the Question is put. I desire to avoid obscuring the real issue which we are submitting to the House this afternoon, and I will try as far as possible to avoid unduly controversial points. The inquiry we have had has been of a 1015 very indecisive and unsatisfactory character. The hon. Member representing the city of Dublin had an extremely delicate and painful duty to perform. He had my profound sympathy, for I am sure that his heart was not in his task, and that he would have preferred to have been in cooperation with us this afternoon. He, in my opinion, rather sought to avoid the real issue by introducing what appears to me to be the extraneous question of syndicalism. I do not see how that question is involved in the question of the conduct of the police in the city of Dublin. It is hardly necessary for us on these benches to declare that we have no sympathy what ever with what is called the syndicalist movement, and I only apprehend that the word is so frequently used in order to conjure up an amount of prejudice against us and our actions. After all, the hon. Gentleman himself seemed to realise towards the conclusion of his speech that it is not sufficient merely to mention a phrase which is causing alarm in society, for he acknowledged that there was some reason even for the growth of this movement in the city of Dublin. The neglect of the authorities in the past, the absolute indifference of the employers of that city, the wretched housing conditions that prevail there are in themselves the causes of the unrest and the unfortunate manifestations which have taken place in the city.
Our purpose is to make out a case for a genuine inquiry into the police excesses, and to prove the justice of the demand for compensation of those who have been injured and for the property that has been destroyed. My hon. Friend the Member for the Blackfriars Division produced a great deal of evidence to prove that, if a properly constituted inquiry had been conducted, then an extraordinary strong case might have been made out against the police. Our first point is, that the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, at any rate, misled us into believing that an inquiry would be set up that would deserve and secure the confidence of the trade unionists and labour people in Ireland. He told my hon. Friend yesterday that when he inquired he found it difficult and impossible to carry it out. I would like to know on what point he found it impossible to set up an appropriate inquiry, an inquiry of the character he led us to believe would be set up as the result of questions put to him at Bristol. Is it that the right hon. Gentleman himself has been 1016 overborne by other authorities? Is it that other influences have been brought to bear against him to prevent him from fulfilling the pledge he then made. If so, we are entitled to know the reason that promise was unfulfilled and why we are compelled to make this demand to-day for a more satisfactory inquiry. It is undoubted that the police committed a number of excesses.
It appears to me, after listening to the hon. Member the Member for Pontefract, and going through the Report that has been presented to us, that it is extremely unsatisfactory to have to recognise that those who murdered the men Nolan and Byrne have not yet been traced. I am certain that had they been two men of the well-to-do class every means would have been resorted to in order to trace their murderers and, in my opinion, there is no doubt whatever that they would have been brought to law. Here we have citizens who are prepared to testify in a Court of Law to the identification of at least the man Nolan, and, when the hon. Gentleman the Member for one of the Divisions of Dublin tells us that they are anxious to forget, I say that if we defend this present inquiry and its findings we are going the wrong way to work to induce the people of Dublin to forget what has happened in recent times. They will labour under a sense of grievance; they will feel that there is one law for the rich and another for the other classes even in Dublin; and I am sure, if the Government desire to restore confidence there, they will accede to the request we are submitting in the Amendment. It is a remarkable feature of this Report that the only body represented by counsel at this inquiry was able to make its case and compel some acknowledgment to be incorporated in this Report. The Corporation of Dublin was represented at the inquiry by counsel, and they were able to prove police excesses and unprovoked attacks and the destruction of property of harmless, private citizens. After we have had that admission here, I think that we are entitled to ask the right hon. Gentleman what it is proposed to do in respect of those citizens who, by full admission, took no part in any riotous conduct, but were the victims of police excesses, and suffered both in person and property as the result of those excesses. I am sure if we were to have a further inquiry that we should be able to prove that many similar cases might be upheld.
1017 Like my hon. Friend the Member for the Blackfriars Division, I had an opportunity of visiting Dublin just about the period of this disturbance. We prosecuted, as well as we could, the fullest inquiries, and there is no doubt whatever in my mind that the police did lose their heads and commit many assaults upon harmless, inoffensive citizens. I do not deny that there may have been provocation; but, after all, that is no justification for police excesses. After all, the police are supposed to be a disciplined body, acting only under instructions, and never to be allowed to run amok amongst citizens. I say quite candidily that I am bound to confess, on the evidence that is placed before us, and in respect to inquiries we made in Dublin, that the police were provoked in a great many measures, but that, in my opinion, affords no justification whatever for the conduct of which it has been proved they were guilty. I am sure, unless you are able to satisfy the trade unionists and labour people generally of Dublin that you are going to deal with the police as they ought to be dealt with, having regard to the reports that have been submitted to this House, that they are not going to forget this matter at all. A sense of grievance still exists, unrest will not be allayed, and you will have further trouble in the times to come. I trust that we shall be able to induce the Government to grant us our plea. We want a better inquiry, one in which all sections of the community can have perfect confidence. We desire that compensation shall be granted; and, furthermore, we hope, having regard to the conditions of the working classes in Dublin, that the hope expressed by the hon. Member who speaks for the City will be fulfilled, and that all classes will co-operate for the purpose of removing the fundamental causes of this unrest—the wretched poverty and terrible housing condition which so widely prevail in the city. In conclusion, I may say, in response to queries which have been addressed to me from the other side, that it is the intention of my colleagues to press this Resolution to a Division.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am very sorry that I have to begin the observations which I have to make upon the Debate, certainly introduced to the House in a speech of great moderation by the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division of Glasgow (Mr. Barnes), by one of those unfortunate personal explanations. It has been asserted 1018 boldly in this Debate that I gave a pledge to the four gentlemen who waited upon me at Bristol representing the trade unions in the capital, not only that there would be a judicial inquiry into the conduct of the police, but that in any event on, that Commission there would be placed a representative of the working classes. I do, not complain at all that the idea should have got abroad. My attention having been drawn to certain newspaper reports, I can see that it is not an unnatural conclusion to have been drawn. I did not myself search for reports of the proceedings. They were at the time very disagreeable to me. Four representatives of the Trade Council met me before one of my meetings at Bristol, and I am sorry to say that, as the result of what I always considered to be the outrageous behaviour of one of the members of that deputation, we had a most stormy and tempestuous interview. I received, unsolicited, a few days afterwards, an apology from the actual union to which this person belongs for the nature of the language he employed. I had constantly to protest against it, and, indeed, I really think that I would have left the room had it been possible for me very well to have done so; but it was so completely filled up by the four gentlemen that I really thought it better, and I am glad now that I did so, that I should remain where I was. We had a most stormy and tempestuous interview, in which all sorts of language passed between us.
I said most emphatically, and it was true, that the kind of Commission I had in my mind and wanted to appoint would be a Judicial Commission, and that there would be a judge of the High Court as its chairman. I should endeavour to obtain someone well acquainted by actual experience with the life and best traditions of a police force, and then I should hope to obtain some gentleman who might be taken fairly as representing the working classes. I said that was what I was going to do. That is what I intended, and that is what I did most strenuously endeavour to do. I may point out in passing that this inquiry which I had in view would have been exactly the same kind of inquiry, so far as the legal powers of putting witnesses to the oath or compelling their presence are concerned, as the Commission which was actually set up. I cannot set up a Commission of any other character. An Act of Parliament would be required to set up the kind of Commission that hon. Gentle- 1019 men opposite now say they would have liked. That would have postponed the inquiry. They were all pressing that it should be obtained without a moment's delay. Therefore, any Commission that I appointed would have been of necessity just the same kind of Commission, having regard to its powers, as that established. I came back and at once set to work to obtain, if I could, the services of a judge. I badgered two Lord Chancellors, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland and the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, to see whether I could be spared a judge of the character and of the experience that I most certainly desiderated. I could not get him. I then set about to obtain someone who would have the confidence of the police in this matter. I was not going to leave them out of consideration. They, too, were parties to this inquiry. Their characters were at stake, and they were just as much entitled to someone, not, of course, representing them, but acquainted with the circumstances of their lives, and with the traditions of the police force. I am sorry I could not get a person of that character. Therefore the whole framework of my scheme fell through. I could have succeeded in obtaining a gentleman of the working class, who, no doubt, would have acted in as grave and judicial a spirit as anybody else, but I could not put him on alone, and, without anyone else to balance, the composition of my ideal would have been impossible. I regret I could not do it. You cannot advertise for gentlemen of this sort. Anybody engaged in setting up Commissions knows, as hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, when in the fulness of time they come to form an Administration, will find, that nothing is more difficult than to get persons to undertake work of this character when once you seek to represent different kinds of interest and different persons. I was sorry to abandon the scheme, but I ask the House to believe that what I said to the Bristol Trades Council I intended to do, and I did endeavour to do. Still I failed.
I then found myself thrown back on precedents hitherto employed in the case of police inquiries in other parts of Ireland and, no doubt, in other parts of the United Kingdom, namely, to obtain as members of the Commission legal persons of high authority and position. I do not ask the Gentlemen below the Gangway to 1020 have confidence in Mr. Denis Henry and Mr. Samuel Brown. They are not Dublin citizens themselves, and they do not know the position that these two gentlemen occupy as distinguished lawyers and as Dublin men. I really think, this being a Dublin inquiry, relating to the Dublin police, it was a most desirable thing to have men on the Commission, so long as they were independent and impartial, entertaining the feeling of Dublin citizens. These two gentlemen are no friends of mine in a political sense; they are perfectly impartial, but, I do not know two men who would enjoy a tilt at me more than those two gentlemen. I cannot imagine two men, however, better fitted to do this work and to bring out the facts. I have received many letters saying this, that, and the other. I addressed a letter to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, who was dissatisfied. I wrote telling him what I said at Bristol, and there was a good deal of feeling about it, but I think that feeling has died down so far as Dublin is concerned. I notice that the Corporation itself, which was very much opposed to the constitution of the Court when it was first announced, nevertheless sent a representative to look after their case. They took part through him in the whole of this inquiry. Further, in the Corporation only the other day a motion was submitted very much of the character of the Motion submitted to this House, and, on being put to a division, was defeated by twenty-three votes to fourteen. I think the citizens of Dublin, rich and poor, men and women alike, are fully satisfied of the character and independence of these gentlemen, and with the nature of their report.
It is a misfortune that sonic of the evidence that was read out by the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division was not submitted to them. I could not help that. They could not help it. They would have listened to anyone who came forward. As a matter of fact, they had seventy-nine civilian witnesses and 202 police witnesses before them. The police necessarily ought to be witnesses. They were the persons who alone could give their account of the transaction, and it was for the civilians who had a case against the police, or information to put before these gentlemen, to come before them. They did not do so; they sulked. I could not help it if they had no confidence in the tribunal. They were not represented on it in the way they thought they were going to be, and there- 1021 fore they stood aloof from it. People who stand aloof from an inquiry of this sort are not entitled to come here and read out statements which they would have made had they been there. I am not questioning the truth of what the hon. Member for Blackfriars has said, or of the depositions he has produced; but everybody with a knowledge of the proceedings of a body which has to discover the truth, knows how difficult it is to rely on written statements by persons not even before you, and to accept them as evidence of what really and actually took place. I admit it was a pity that these people did not come forward; but I cannot help saying that neither the Government nor these two excellent painstaking lawyers are to blame for that. I repeat, and I want to emphasise the fact, that unless the inquiry was postponed until such time as an Act of Parliament could be passed, sworn testimony and the compulsory attendance of witnesses could not be secured by any action of the Executive at Dublin Castle.
I do assure the House that I feel very much the gravity of the case made against the police. I confess I do not understand the attitude if even so moderate a man as the hon. Member who introduced this Amendment: he seemed to speak of the police as if they were the enemies of the people. He spoke of them as toadies of Dublin Castle, braggarts, and as masters of the situation. He spoke of them in a way which to anybody who knows the good nature and good humour of the Dublin police under ordinary circumstances is ludicrous. They are poor men, not endowed with great salaries. They work extraordinarily hard for comparatively small pay. Many of them are married men living in Dublin with their families. They have sympathy with the working classes, and to imagine some malign influence in Dublin Castle operates on these men and turns them into janissaries or Bashi Bazouks—whose one desire is to break someone's head—I cannot understand. The police discharge vicariously on our behalf the duty imposed on every one of us of keeping order, and protecting life and property. They discharge their duty to the best of their ability, and every Government—I do not care whether it is a Home Rule or a working-class Government—every Government that ever comes into existence will have to rely in its great towns and cities and in the small municipal boroughs on these men. Therefore I 1022 admit, until you can show a case against them which compels me to withdraw my sympathies from them, they have that sympathy. Having regard to the duties that they have to perform, until you can show that they have forfeited, and to what extent and how many are involved in that forfeiture, I say I stand here, Division or no Division, be the consequence what it may, to defend the police if I honestly can do so.
People talk about this as if there were nothing in it. Yes, but there were more than 240 police badly injured, and some were injured two or three times over, because, with great courage they stuck to their work, although they could easily have obtained medical certificates which would have entitled them to go back to their families. They stuck to their work and were brutally injured, kicked, knocked down, cut with bottles, assailed with stones. One stone was presented here to-day; I have seen much bigger ones. For months before there had been strikes in Dublin. The police had been doing extra duty for a considerable period, working far harder than usual and exposed to a great deal of danger. I agree that the proceedings mostly centred upon two very black days, Saturday and Sunday, 30th and 31st August. During those two days there were fifteen riots in different parts of Dublin. The whole force practically of the Dublin Metropolitan Police was employed. There were fifteen fierce engagements, some lasting only a few minutes, others prolonged over many hours. These men were kept engaged in this fierce occupation in different parts of the city; they were struck with stones and glass bottles. They were injured in the manner I have described; they were taken to hospital, and their lives were, over and over again, endangered.
Perhaps some Members of the House have read the Report of the two Commissioners. The hon. Member behind me lays it on one side, and seems to regard it as a chapter out of a novel, and as if it were describing things which did not take place. I do submit to the House that anyone who reads the Report cannot possibly take that view. How did these 240 policemen come to be wounded? Did they wound themselves? Did they go about encouraging riots, knocking peaceable people about, in order that they might be carried to hospital? Nothing of the kind. Nobody who knows anything about it will say that. The hon. Member for Pontefract said he saw 1023 bottles and stones thrown at the police. Were they thrown because the police went up to perfectly quiet people and struck them with their batons? No. There were, during these two days, and before and after, as well, violent and tremendous riots in the streets. The tramway men had to be protected. The police had to protect them; they were constantly wounded and assailed, and dragged from the trams. Who did it? Someone must have done it; the police did not do it themselves. If you take this Report you will see it analyses and historically sets out these fifteen riots which took place during Saturday and Sunday, 30th and 31st August. This, according to the Report, is how it began:—On the afternoon of Saturday, the 30th August, the first of the riots which we have investigated broke out in the district of Ringsend, near the city.The power station of the Dublin Tramway Company is situated here, and it was in the neighbourhood of this building that disorder first showed itself.Inspector Bannon, of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, was in charge, and he was assisted by Inspector Chase, who was accompanied by a namber of mounted troopers.During the riot Inspector Chase was struck by a stone, and his horse was knocked down by members of the crowd. The tram cars were attacked, and when the police sought to protect them, they were received with a volley of stones, bottles and other missiles, thrown not only from the street, but also from houses. Four members of the force were injured in the course of this riot, which lasted for an hour.The efforts made by those responsible for the preservation of the peace did not involve the use of any unnecessary violence.7.0 P.M.
Then we come to an occurrence which, I think, was one of the riots witnessed by the hon. Member for Pontefract. He gave a rather sad account of it. I am not disputing it at all, but there is another account given by somebody else who also saw it, a clergyman of the Church to whom the hon. Gentleman paid so sincere a tribute. This is the account of the Rev. J. Curran, who writes from Archbishop's House, Dublin. He is a citizen of Dublin, and was not visiting it for the first time. He says:—I passed through Great Brunswick Street on a tram between 4.30 and 4.45 p.m. on Saturday, the 30th August, and witnessed the threatening conduct of the crowd towards the tramway men and their subsequent violent conduct towards the police. At every street corner along Brunswick Street there were large groups of people, chiefly women and children, of a degraded class, obviously labouring under great excitement. As the tram passed each group they lost all control of themselves and behaved like frenzied lunatics. They shouted coarse language and threats at the tramway men, and, with violent gestures, indicated the fate that awaited the 'scabs' if the 'scabs' fell among them. The violence was renewed and increased from time to time as policemen arrested men and escorted their prisoners along the street. Not only men, but women, with hair all dishevelled, and even 1024 young girls, of fifteen or sixteen, rushed and surged round the police. The women, indeed, almost eclipsed the men with their wild cries, shaking their fists in the very faces of the constables, hitting them on the back and pulling them and their prisoners about. One obsessed creature seized are empty coal-bag from a cart and belaboured the constables to the utmost of her power. I saw five or six arrests, and within ten minutes matters went from bad to worse. Cries gave way to more or less violent assault, and assault to attempted rescue. … In the last case I witnessed, as I turned towards Westland Row Station, two policemen, who made a double arrest, were subjected to a very severe mauling, and were violently hindered in making the arrest. They were surrounded by a dangerous-looking body of mess, who violently impeded the constables, who, as far as I could see in the crowd, were subjected to very severe treatment. … The mob did not seem to contain more than one striker, and he was more demonstrative than violent. It was composed of the roughest element of the city—people who, in my opinion, had no concern with the labour trouble as then existing. I consider it my duty to accede to the request of the police authorities to state my opinion of what I saw.I want this to be borne in mind. I am not saying that these rioters belong to the Transport Union, or were honest working men simply trying, as everybody is entitled to try, to make the best of what they can for themselves. They were mobs of violent hooligans, and a danger. They exist in all large towns. They are the enemies of all citizens, be their political opinions what they may. These were the people whom this clergyman saw. He goes on to say:—It is my distinct opinion that the five or six policemen of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and Royal Irish Constabulary whom I saw subjected to these insult and violent conduct, behaved with singular self-restraint, and in some cases with actual good humour. There was an absence of violence oil their part, except in the last instance, when they only employed such force as was necessary to secure and retain their prisoners. Their behaviour was the only redeeming feature of what was for a Dublin citizen a really humiliating and disgusting spectacle.I do not ask hon. Gentlemen opposite—I do not know this reverend gentleman—to believe that that account is all that can be said in this matter, but I ask them to believe it as against my hon. Friend. He saw things, and the clergyman saw things. The scenes were scenes of violence. You may see a policeman hustling, knocking down and attacking a man, and it may be in the course of his duty, but you will also see the police themselves being attacked. It is their business to maintain order. They are there by the order of their superiors, and it is their business to keep order. During that time there will be scenes of violence, and I dare say regrettable incidents on both sides. All through this Report you find the same testimony. There was the lamentable occurrence at Eden Quay, when James Nolan met his death. I protest against it being said 1025 that James Nolan was murdered. I must be allowed to say that. I deeply regret James Nolan's death. I dare say it is perfectly true that he may have been an innocent and inoffensive member of the community in himself, but the fact only too often happens that if you will have violent rioters challenging the authority of the police, dragging tram-men down from tramcars and proceeding to throw missiles which you have previously collected in large numbers—stones, bottles, and the like—at the constituted authorities of the State, and if people are to be found inside these crowds, it may very well be, as the hon. Member anticipated, that some damage will be done. It is most regrettable that injury resulting in death was inflicted upon poor James Nolan; but to say that he was murdered is, I think, striking a blow at the very foundations of our social order. There was a coroner's inquest, which found, undoubtedly, that this poor man had met his death by a fractured skull from a baton blow. There was nothing to show the precise circumstances in which it was delivered. It was delivered in a fierce riot, and it sometimes does happen in these cases that it is not the most violent man in the crowd to whom the most severe punishment is meted out. Five policemen were severely injured in that riot.
Then we conic to the Sackville Street meeting which the hon. Gentleman witnessed front the balcony of his hotel. The meeting was proclaimed. It was an advertised meeting and people were begged to come there in overwhelming numbers. They are not entitled to hold any meeting at all in Sackville Street. Sackville Street, or O'Connell Street, whichever it may be called, is no doubt a wide and noble thoroughfare. Tramways run right through the middle of it. This was a tramway dispute. Tramways are entitled to make their way at all hours of the day unmolested and unimpeded by huge crowds. I do not say that it is always a wise thing to proclaim a meeting. I know no question about which it is more difficult for an executive official to come to a decision. If you have proclaimed a meeting and there is a row, people say that if you had not proclaimed it there would not have been a row, and the row only comes because you inform people they are not entitled to hold a meeting in that particular place. Anybody who knows Dublin knows that it would be a foolish thing to permit a great crowd to collect in Sackville Street. 1026 To allow it to collect without any demur, to allow any body of discontented persons, rightly or wrongly discontented, to have the right to hold meetings in that place, is to upset all constituted authority. They have not even a customary right. It is not a place like Hyde Park or a common, where the people have permission to be, without injury to their fellow-subjects. It is not a place where they are entitled to hold a meeting at all. The meeting was proclaimed. The hon. Gentleman severely criticised the conduct of the two heads of the police. He said he saw them skulking in a shop. Even if they were in a shop, I cannot see why they should have been described as skulking. As a matter of fact, Sir John Ross was not in any shop, and Mr. Harrel went to the shop to do what the hon. Gentleman seemed to think was the chief duty of the police in trying times, namely, to telephone. As a matter of fact, it is all in the Report if you care to read it. The whole incident lasted a very few minutes. This was not a case of prolonged riot, but there was an unfortunate circumstance connected with it. Princes Street, as everybody who knows Dublin is aware, comes into Sackville Street just by the Post Office, and there two converging crowds met, and there it was that the batoning—if there was any batoning—took place, for otherwise the police did not come into physical contact with the crowds.
Here is another case. There was an attack on the Inchicore trams by a mobof three or four hundred people. Every policeman out was struck and cut, and some were badly injured. Inspector White was badly cut. Two policemen were saved by a Roman Catholic clergyman, who brought them to his Presbytery. That was a scene of the most extraordinary violence. The Report states:—In the meantime the windows of the tramcar had been smashed by rioters who had got behind the police, and two of the police who were nearest to the tramcar were badly injured, one of them being knocked down with a stave and the other getting his chin split open with a bottle.Those are aggravating circumstances.Some of the rioters were arrested and taken with great difficulty to Chancery Lane. Inspector White, who went in front to keep back the crowd, being struck on the head, and badly cut, in Back Lane.He did not inflict those injuries upon himself.On their way back from Chancery Lane to Corn-market the police were again assailed from the tenement houses in Nicholas Street with stones and bottles, thrown from the windows of the houses. A little later in the evening another tram car coming from Inchicore to College Green, and protected by two constables, was 1027 attacked and held up by another riotous mob in High Street, throwing stones, bricks and bottles. The mob numbered about 200, and there were only the two policemen, who were rescued from a position of imminent danger by Father Reilly, who brought them into the Presbytery, followed by about fifty of the crowd, who proceeded to smash the windows of the Presbytery"—It only shows what people will do when they get angry, even in spite of religion.and tried to force the door. They were relieved by a party of six police from Chancery Lane, who managed to disperse the crowd. From about 5.15 p.m. until 7 p.m., owing to the presence of riotous and disorderly crowds, it was necessary to patrol the streets in the neighbourhood with six members of the Royal Irish Constabulary troop, who were stoned by the crowd in High Street, and pelted with bricks and bottles from the windows of the houses in High Street and Francis Street.And so on for several hours with regard to that riot. The next riot was in Aungier Street, Redmond's Hill, and Cuffe Street. The report says:—This riot commenced with an attack, a little before 5 p.m., on one of the outgoing cars of the tramway company. The attack came from a crowd which had collected opposite the Transport Workers' Union Hall in Aungier Street. Two members of this crowd attacked and struck the motorman with sticks. The motorman was obliged to leave his car, and defend himself with his driving handle. In the meantime the crowd, which had increased to 300 persons, smashed the windows of the car. There were no police in the immediate neighbourhood at the moment, but two men of the 'B' Division were quickly on the scene, and one of them (145B) went to the rescue of the motorman. He was at once knocked down, and brutally assaulted while on the ground, and the motorman in attempting to get back to his car was struck with a bottle on the back of the head, and so severely injured that he had to be removed to Mercer's Hospital. One of the policemen went for reinforcements, which soon afterwards arrived, and the crowd was dispersed. Constable 145B was so severely injured that he had to go off duty for three weeks.About the same time an incoming tramcar was held up at the same place by the same crowd, who wrecked the car, knocked the conductor down, and took his leather bag, containing about £3 in money. The conductor was so badly injured that he had to be taken to hospital, and remained there for ten days.The whole report goes through and analyses each of these cases. This is the last one. The report says:—On Sunday, 21st September, about 5.50 p.m., a procession, estimated to contain several thousand people, formed in Beresford Place and the neighbourhood, and proceeded to march through the city. Chief Superintendent Dunne, with Superintendent Kiernan and Inspector Bannon, and sixty sergeants and constables, accompanied the procession, which was led by a crowd of roughs, many of whom were under the influence of drink. The chief superintendent, who has forty years' experience in the Dublin Metropolitan Police Force, stated that he had never seen such an assemblage of the disorderly class. In the course of their march tramcars were attacked and wrecked, to the number of nine in all, and the members of the crowd behaved in a very disorderly fashion. Stones were thrown at different times during their progress, but it was not until Townsend Street was reached that the riot assumed a really serious 1028 aspect. When the procession reached the street an organised attempt was made by its members to overwhelm the force which had accompanied them. Showers of stones and bottles were thrown, in many instances from the houses, and a hand-to-hand struggle went on here for twenty minutes between the police and rioters. Some of the horses belonging to the troopers were knocked down; the men themselves received severe injuries, and in many instances their lives were only saved by their helmets, which were broken by stones and missiles. Pieces of concrete, iron nuts, and bricks were freely thrown. Batons were drawn and used at several points in the street, but for some time even this measure had not the effect of dispersing the crowd or restoring order. Some of the constables were knocked down and rendered unconscious, and in one instance a member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police was wounded by a knife. The total number of constables injured in this riot was thirty-six.There was the state of things going on in fifteen different places during these two unfortunate days of Saturday and Sunday, and during the whole of this time a body of men, whom I do not hesitate to call a gallant body of men, were engaged in violent conflict, and certainly although, no doubt, they inflicted injuries, they themselves received very heavy, and some of them very cruel, sufferings. Therefore, looking at the matter as a whole, if you have a police force, and everybody will always have to have a police force, it will have to be composed of human beings, and human beings are so constituted that if they are kept for hours and hours engaged in difficult work of this kind, not getting their food, or only getting it at intervals, and not in comfort, and if missiles such as I have described are thrown at them from houses and from roofs as well as from the street, if they sustain and see their fellow constables sustain such injuries, they will at times lose their tempers. You cannot help it. There has never yet been a police inquiry on any police force anywhere, without discovering that although the police, as a whole, may have been vindicated, as they have most successfully been vindicated here, there are instances—individual cases—in which some of them have escaped from discipline and have lost their tempers. You have only to consider the circumstances, and even that does not become such a very serious offence. One Christian doctrine which I have never had any difficulty in believing is original sin. Humanity seems to bind us into a common bond. We understand how men behave in certain circumstances. The policemen of Dublin are the friends and guardians of all well-disposed persons, whether citizens or visitors, and will give them the information they sometimes sorely need. Anyone who says anything to the contrary, I am sure, can only speak from ignorance or 1029 prejudice against all police forces. It has been shown that a certain number did misbehave themselves in Corporation Buildings. I analyse that with the care and particularity that it is my duty to do, and I find that the greatest number of men that could by any possibility have o done any of these improper acts is twenty' two, and of these twenty-two it seems perfectly clear that not more than seven or eight were engaged in the acts of violence and impropriety which has been found against them by this inquiry.
They went up into Corporation Buildings—they were being stoned, and they went up and forced their way into some twenty or thirty of these small tenements, and they were found by these two perfectly impartial persons guilty of impropriety and cruelty. To me it is painful. Hon. Members may think it is a nice thing to find them guilty. I am very sorry. It shows that their discipline is not complete. It shows that they cannot be trusted, under the most terrible and trying circumstances, to behave with perfect, propriety. A certain number of them have been found guilty in this matter, and what has been found against them is that they hit one man and broke a bone in his arm, and inflicted two scalp wounds on another person, and broke pictures, and made hay, so to speak, in these very scantily-furnished rooms. That is a very serious thing. I deeply regret it. It has been put to me what the Government will do in that matter, I certainly think it is most desirable, first that all disciplinary efforts should be made—the area, of course, is not large; the total is confined to twenty-two—to find out who these men were and punish them, and I certainly think every effort ought to be made so to do. Every part of the House will agree that the best thing we can do to vindicate the general character of the force is to deal out suitable punishment when it can be done to the persons who, under any provocation were guilty of the improper acts referred to. The provocation was great, and was found and admitted to be great by the advocate who represented the Corporation, and who certainly deserved, in my judgment, the praise bestowed upon him by the hon. Member for one of the divisions of Dublin, who read out some words which otherwise I would have read. I am sorry the evidence was not printed in time for this Debate, but the Minutes of Evidence will be in the hands of Members as soon as possible. If they will look at 1030 Sir John Ross's concluding observations on this very transaction in Corporation Buildings they will read what is, at all events, my opinion upon their conduct. So far as compensation is concerned for the furniture and the things which have been destroyed, I certainly think it ought to be given.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
With regard to the two persons, Mr. Whelan and Mr. Morrissy, their cases also, I think, ought to be considered in exactly the same way.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No, certainly not. There was nothing brought against the police with regard to Nolan and Bryne. I do not admit it for a single moment. My case stands upon this Report and upon the coroner's inquest, and I find nothing in them to justify any such language, which I have already reprobated with regard to these two. With reference to the people in Corporation Buildings, the poor people whose furniture has been destroyed, and who have been injured in their own homes, and who were, it appears from the Report, behaving in a perfectly quiet manner—though you must not forget that stones were being thrown at the police from these very buildings—the police, whoever they were, have been found guilty of misfeasances. I certainly quite agree that they should be subjected to discipline if they can be found, and I am quite willing to take the stern view of a disciplined force that ought to be taken by anyone. I do not say these Dublin policemen are Aristotles or Solons—they are big, stout, healthy men, and I dare say their tempers may be occasionally hot. At all events, looking at all these transactions and studying this Report, considering what they were exposed to, not only during these days but for months before, I think you will say these are a police of whom any city or any executive officer may be proud.
§ Mr. JOWETT
There is one point that we on these benches wish to keep distinct and clear, and that is that the tribunal which was appointed was of a kind which we think to be unsuitable for its purpose, and whatever the Chief Secretary may say with regard to his promise to the Bristol Trades Council, this one thing is certain; 1031 that he had conveyed the impression that there should have been a tribunal which contained a representative of the working-classes and others. If he could not get exactly the type of tribunal that he had then in his mind, I maintain that he should have got the nearest approximate to it, and he could have got one much nearer than the one which he actually obtained. I cannot understand how, after reading the reports which appeared in the ordinary Press, a fair-minded man, as I take the Chief Secretary to be, should ever allege or believe that the Commission which sat on that case was an impartial Commission. There was no Press report which did not bear, on the face of it, examples of partiality, so far as that Commission is concerned. But now so far as the Chief Secretary's statement goes, he has made one or two admissions. He admits, for instance, that those who have suffered damage in regard to property ought to be compensated.
§ Mr. JOWETT
But what about Nolan? The question was put to the Chief Secretary and I understood him to say that the death of Nolan could not be traced to the police. I beg to call his attention to the Report of the Commissioners themselves.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I did not say he could not be traced. But he was an unfortunate person in the crowd. I quite agree that poor Nolan met his death as any person might have done who came into contact with the police in that particular crowd.
§ Mr. JOWETT
Here is the passage:—They also found that the injuries were caused by a blow of a baton, but the evidence was too conflicting to say by whom the blow was administered.If it was a blow on the head by a police baton, surely the Chief Secretary cannot deny liability for any compensation which may be necessary. The most liberal compensation must be quite inadequate for the purpose. I should like to ask whether he can find who these policemen were who invaded these homes in Corporation Buildings, and whether they will be retained in the service, because it seems to me to go without saying that they ought to be dismissed. We have had in times past many agitations in Ireland, and I remember well one very great agitation about Mitchelstown. A great statesman 1032 made this country ring years ago with the words, "Remember Mitchelstown." From my knowledge of what occurred then, I think I can say that the occurrences in Dublin were equal to, if not worse, than those at Mitchelstown. They show, if they show anything, class bias. They show that force is always available in order to repress the aspirations of working men when they are trying to better themselves, by means of strikes. They show also the beginnings of a class war. When that class war is properly understood then you may be sure that the authorities will not at the finish have the laugh on their side. So far as I am concerned, whatever others may do, I will go into the Lobby against the Government, feeling that I am only doing what is right and performing what I regard to be my duty to the working people of this country.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
I feel that I owe some apology to the House for intervening in this Debate. I do so with some satisfaction to myself, for it seems to me that the occurrences in Dublin may form a dangerous precedent with respect to, strikes in this country. The prime cause of the occurrences is known to be the proclaiming of a meeting and the prevention of freedom of speech. That is an old crime in Ireland; but it is a new crime to prevent freedom of speech in relation to a labour dispute. I think the Amendment ought to be supported for that reason, if on no other ground. The meeting, according to all the evidence brought before us, was to be held in a place where meetings have been held before for that purpose. What happened was the same kind of action as was taken on the Rand. It was the same in Ireland, and we shall have it in England, I can tell you, as soon as the authorities consider that the condition of things here is as dangerous as in Ireland or South Africa. I wish to refer to, the composition of the Commission of Inquiry. Every unprejudiced person who reads the Report of the rioting in Dublin will realise at once that the Commission was a white-washing Commission. Two Castle lawyers were appointed to white-wash the police in order that they should not be thrown over by the authorities whom they supported so nobly on the 31st August last. I think anyone who wishes to keep a check on the bureaucracy of this country ought to register a protest against the appointment of two lawyers who are more or less in with the police, who support the police before the Magistrates' Courts, and who 1033 cannot be trusted to treat the police from the same point of view as the democracy of the country. The weakest point of the Chief Secretary's case was his defence of the police. I think it was about as lame a one as I have ever heard from him. The right hon. Gentleman must have realised that this inquiry has been a farce, largely because of his own action at Bristol. I shall quote to the House the words he used at Bristol, as reported in the daily Press. He said:—It will be a judicial inquiry, and so composed as to include it representative of the views of the working classes in Dublin or neighbourhood.These words reported in the Press may not be the words he used. They were reported broadcast throughout the country. The members of his official staff must have known of that promise being made, and if these words were not those which he used, then it was his duty to let the world know through the usual channels that they were mot the words he used, and that he had given no pledge to appoint on that Commission a representative of the working-class. It may be that the interview was a stormy one. It may be that, having four men face to face, he used a form of words which he did not mean to use. Everyone who took an interest in what happened in Dublin knew that the right hon. Gentleman had given that pledge, and if a wrong impression had been given, it should have been put right at the first possible moment. I am bound to say that, in my opinion, if it had not been for the arrest of Larkin and his release, there would not have been any wish to disavow this pledge to appoint working man on the Commission. The pledge was given, but it was not acted upon. Two Castle lawyers were appointed to act as impartial arbitrators. The people of Dublin—Civic League and all independent people—on hearing of the appointments, and knowing the pledge that had been given, realised at once that the Chief Secretary was not living up to the pledge. They boycotted, naturally enough, the whitewashing Committee. They refused to give evidence before the Committee. The hon. Member for Pontefract, (Mr. Booth) did give evidence, but he found that the partiality of the Commissioners was such that they would not support him against the browbeating of the counsel who appeared for the police. What chance would an ordinary citizen lave standing up to Mr. Powell, when a Member of Parliament was treated as was the hon. Member?
1034 The Commission was naturally boycotted by all the people who had cause of complaint against the action of the police on 30th and 31st August. There was one exception. Dublin Corporation brought evidence before the Commission in regard to certain incidents in the rioting. The Corporation brought evidence to show that their own property had been destroyed in a moment of frenzy. In the one case in which evidence was brought forward, even this partial Committee, and these two Dublin Castle lawyers, had to find that the complaints were justified, and that the police were not justified in what they did. Hon. Members have read from friends in Dublin evidence which the Civic League had available for any really impartial Committee. There were 500 sworn testimonies as to what took place on these two awful days in Dublin. The Chief Secretary has quoted large extracts from the evidence of the police of what took place during these days. He has taken the evidence of the police. It was not sworn evidence. It was ex-parte evidence, and apparently the Chief Secretary knew so little of what was being done, that he thought the evidence was given on oath.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No, no. I knew perfectly well that it would require an Act of Parliament if the evidence was to be taken on oath.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Of what value is the evidence which the right hon. Gentleman quoted to the House, in view of the fact that the police who appeared as witnesses spoke in the presence of their superior officers at the inquiry, in which the police had everything to gain by exculpating themselves. We are told that their evidence justifies the outrageous behaviour of the police. The Chief Secretary moved the House by describing the atrocities committed on the police on the previous day. The hon. Member for Pontefract showed us a piece of granite that was thrown. No one knows better than the Chief Secretary that the fact that the police were assailed one day by certain crowds is no justification for their next day batoning innocent people who were not rioting, who were perfectly peaceable, and who were carrying on their work as ordinary citizens. The people in leaving Sackville Street were batoned by the police; and every man had a blow or two. The police rushed up in to the Corporation Buildings and wrecked rooms where there was no person. The rooms were entirely 1035 empty in certain cases. I say that no man who reads the evidence can imagine for a moment that any amount of rioting would justify such outrageous behaviour on the part of the police. It is an insult to the police force of this country to compare the men of the Irish police with them. No British police force has ever behaved in such a manner, and no amount of provocation could justify such action. I ant prepared to say that a British police force would not do so. The House has before it the extraordinary evidence of the Civic League. In a statement as to what occurred, the Countess Merkieviecz says:—We had driven down with a few friends to see if the proclaimed meeting would be held. There were no unusual crowds; our ear trotted clown O'Connell Street and pulled up at Prince's Street, opposite the Imperial Hotel. We noticed a great number of police everywhere. Larkin was just, finishing his speech, and went into the hotel a few seconds after our arrival. A few people gathered. They were all laughing and very much amused at Larkin's appearance. A friend recognised me, and called on me for a speech. I did not want to create a disturbance, so I jumped down off the car and walked across the street. As I reached the other side Larkin came out of the hotel, between two policemen, and surrounded by an escort of about thirty police. I ran across in front of him and shook his hand, saying 'Good-bye, good luck.' As I turned to pass down O'Connell Street, the inspector on Larkin's right hit me on the nose and mouth with his clenched fist. I reeled against another policeman, who pulled me about, tearing all the buttons off my blouse, and tearing it out all round my waist. He then threw me back into the middle of the street, where all the police had begun to run, several of them kicking and hitting at me as they passed. I saw a woman trying to get out of the way. She was struck from behind on the head by a policeman with his baton. As she fell her hat slipped over her face, and I saw her hair was grey. She had a little book, which fell out of her left hand as she fell. I saw a barefooted boy with papers hunted and hit about the shoulders as he ran away. I shall never forget the look on his face as he turned when he was struck. I could not get out of the crowd of police, and at last one hit me a back-hand blow across the left side of my face with his baton. I fell back against the corner of Hoyte's shop, when another policeman started to seize toe by the throat, but I was pulled out of the crowd by some men, who took me down Sackville Place and into a house to stop the blood flowing from my nose and mouth, and to try and tidy my blouse. I noticed that the policeman who struck me smelt very strongly of stout, and that they all seemed very excited. They appeared to be arranged in a hollow square, and to be gradually driving the people into the street, and then closing in on them and batoning them. I tried to go up, down, and across O'Connell Street, but each time I was put back by them into the crowd of charging police. The people were all good-tempered, and there would have been no row. They were also outnumbered by the police round about where I was.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
No. This is a sworn statement made before the Civic League. 1036 It is better than evidence not given on oath before this sham Commission.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
This evidence was not taken alone. I find in the depositions of the Civic League several other witnesses referring to the fact that they saw the blood flowing down the Countess Marckievicz's face, and that they picked her up. I find among the evidence at least half a dozen other cases of women hit by the police, and the case of a little child in the Corporation Buildings who said, "Don't hurt my daddy," whereupon he was promptly knocked down by a baton. It seems to me to be the habit of the Dublin police not only to attack men, but also to make a speciality of onslaughts on women. [HON. MEMBERS "Oh, oh!"] Unless hon. Members have read these statements made by the Civic League, they have no right to protest. This is what the Commission ought to have inquired into. It is not what they did inquire into. I do not want to labour the case against the police. I know perfectly well the difficulties which they had to face in these clays of riot. There is no doubt that they lost their heads and batoned innocent people. Seven hundred cases were admitted to hospital in Dublin, and there were any number of cases who did not go to hospital. This was done not only on the day of the riots, but on the day succeeding the riots. There are photographs here showing the whole thing—photographs which cannot lie. And then hon. Members opposite ask the hon. Member for Pontefract why he did not prove these photographs before this Commission, and prove that they were not faked! What business was it of his to prove that? It should have been the business of the Commissioners to see that they got that proof. He does not represent the public interest. The gentlemen on the bench were supposed to represent the public interest in a case like that, and they naturally did not choose to call a single, piece of evidence to be used against their protégés, the police.
The hon. Member for Pontefract put the question: "Does the Chief Secretary for Ireland, or the police, or the hon. Member opposite, maintain that these photographs 1037 were faked?" If those pictures are accepted, they are proof positive of what went on—something that could not possibly have been justified. It is a great pity that the Chief Secretary did justify it, for it is a bad precedent as regards the action of the police in time to come. The Amendment asks for a genuine inquiry into these disturbances. What we have had was undoubtedly a whitewashing inquiry. It has successfully spread the whitewash, which has been added to by the Chief Secretary for Ireland. The grounds on which the House ought to insist on having a genuine inquiry are, first of all, the pledge given to the representatives of the working classes at the time when the whole of the country was; outraged by the imprisonment of Jim Larkin, and given under very special circumstances, and the House would be very ill-advised not to insist upon it. We have not seen in this country for over 100 years any such action on the part of the police as we have witnessed in Ireland during the last few months. They are looking forward in the near future to the possibility of equally serious disturbances in the North of Ireland. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance, for all those who believe that law and order must triumph, that the action of the police, and of Dublin Castle in particular, in this matter should be carefully scrutinised. The triumph of law and order should be carried out in as lawful a manner as possible. For all those reasons we are perfectly justified in asking for a new inquiry. Even if that inquiry has to be postponed until the Chief Secretary for Ireland can get an Act passed to allow the inquiry to be held on; oath. The inquiry is still wanted, and ought to be held.
§ I remember many inquiries into the actions of the police, and am bound to admit that anybody who studies these inquiries must come very rapidly to the conclusion that the police have a great pull over the public in all these inquiries. They have enormous advantages. There is a certain solidarity about them. There is a certain unwillingness to credit the citizens as against the police. The police are accustomed to give evidence, standing together in the Magistrates' Courts. Why on earth is it necessary to give them even a stronger pull than they have already? Why is it necessary to allow them to make statements un-crossexamined and not on oath before Commissioners who are already interested in their favour? And let us have an inquiry that will re-establish confidence in the police. If we do not get it, these people in Ireland will be justified in believing that it is useless to ask for justice. So long as this class war, to which the hon. Member for Pontefract has referred, is in operation, those who are rising against class in justice can expect no justice from the upper classes. These people when they come into conflict with the civilisation which presses them down and robs them, cannot expect justice any more than the Italian groaning under the yoke of Austria could expect justice sixty years ago in Italy, or any more than the aristocracts in the days of the Terror could expect justice from Saint Just and Couthon. That is not only the impression, which the workers of Dublin and of this country will get, but it is the impression of the truth.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 45; Noes, 233.1039
|Division No. 7.]||AYES.||[7.54 p.m.|
|Adamson, William||Gill, A. H.||Snowden, Philip|
|Arnold, Sydney||Glanville, H. J.||Sutton, John E.|
|Barnes, George N.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Thomas, James Henry|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hogge, James Myles||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Hudson, Walter||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||John, Edward Thomas||Wardle, George J.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Johnson, W.||Watt, Henry Anderson|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Jowett, Frederick William||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Crooks, William||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|De Forest, Baron||Outhwaite, R. L.||Wilson, W T. (Westhoughton)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Richards, Thomas||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||Rowlands, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Mr. Goldstone and Mr. George Roberts.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Agnew, Sir George William||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Ainsworth, John Stirling||Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Hazleton, Richard||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick Burghs)||Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Barton, William||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Dowd, John|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St, George)||Higham, John Sharp||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Hinds, John||O'Malley, William|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Boland, John Pius||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Shee, James John|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jones, H. Hayden (Merioneth)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pryce, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Joyce, Michael||Radford, G. H.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Keating, Matthew||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Clough, William||Kellaway, Frederick George||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Kelly, Edward||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Kilbride, Denis||Reddy, Michael|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Lardner, James C. R.||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Cowan, W. H.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Leach, Charles||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cullinan, John||Levy, Sir Maurice||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lundon, Thomas||Robinson, Sidney|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Delany, William||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Devlin, Joseph||McGhee, Richard||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Dillon, John||Maclean, Donald||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Donelan. Captain A.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Samuel, Sir Stuart M. (Whitechapel)|
|Doris, William||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Duffy, William J.||Macpherson, James Ian||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Sheehy, David|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||M'Curdy, C. A.||Shortt, Edward|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Falconer, James||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Tennant, Harold John|
|Ffrench, Peter||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Field, William||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|France, Gerald Ashburner||Middlebrook, William||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Furness. Sir Stephen Wilson||Millar, James Duncan||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Molloy, Michael||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Molteno, Percy Alport||Webb, H.|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Mooney, John J.||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Morison, Hector||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Griffith, Ellis Jones||Muldoon, John||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Wiles, Thomas|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Murphy, Martin J.||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N.W.)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Murray, Captain Hen. Arthur C.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Hackett, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Needham, Christopher T.||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton. Beds)||Neilson, Francis||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Nolan, Joseph||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Nuttall, Harry||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Hayward, Evan||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
§ Main Question again proposed. Debate resumed.