§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I beg to move, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
I venture to think that the position with reference to this discussion is absolutely without any kind of precedent whatever. We are being asked, under an Act of a very stringent character, to read a Bill of vast importance the third time and to deal with it in this House according to the Government view for the last time, and we are not yet told what are to be the proposals for the modification of that Bill which the Government intend to introduce.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I am very glad the Leader of the House has returned to the Chamber to guide our deliberations. [HON. MEMBERS: "Go on!"] Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I repeat the single sentence which I had already uttered, namely, that the situation is a very strange one in which the House of Commons is placed, because we 2182 are asked to proceed with the Third Reading of this very important Bill not knowing really what the proposals of the Government are in relation to the subject-matter of that Bill. We are in this position, that not only have we to debate this Motion, but we shall have to go to a Division, and there are Members in this House, Members in various parts, who, it may be, will have their opinion as to the desirability of passing this measure through this House materially affected by the knowledge of what the Government is going to do. All we do know is—because the Chancellor of the Exchequer told us so much in response to an interruption the other day—that the Government intend to propose the exclusion of Ulster in some shape or form, which may be satisfactory or unsatisfactory. It is quite clear that that is a matter of enormous importance, one which in many respects changes the whole character of the Bill, and about which we are really entitled to know the proposals of the Government at the earliest possible moment. This House will have heard, even Members on the benches opposite I think, with some astonishment that when this very important declaration of policy is made it is not to be made by a democratic Ministry to a democratic House of Commons, but in that House which hon. Members opposite are never tired of assuring us is absolutely effete and a disgrace to the Constitution. I cannot imagine anything more deliberately insulting than the procedure which the Government is adopting.
But there is another aspect of the matter which is perhaps of even greater importance. We have asked repeatedly for the Government to put their proposals upon the Paper of this House for discussion in the great inquest of the nation, as the right hon. Gentleman called it the other day. We asked it right away back in February or March; we have asked it repeatedly. We have said, Put your proposals in the ordinary legislative form; let them come before this House; let them be 2183 discussed openly in this House; let us hear what the objections to them are; let us see how they can be improved or modified, if they require improvement or modification; let them be treated as every other legislative proposal is treated in this House, or always had been treated until this Government came into power. I think we are entitled to say what is the reason why the Government adopt this extraordinary course. It is one of two reasons. The first is that the Government have not yet made up their mind what proposals they are going to make. In that case we are in this position: We are proceeding with the Third Reading of this Bill, not only without any knowledge, as a House of Commons, as to what the new proposals are going to be, but before the Government themselves Lave made up their minds what they are to be. I think that that is an astonishing position in which to place the House of Commons. The only other conceivable reason—there is no other possible explanation—must be that the Government are sure that when they produce their proposals, they will seriously imperil the progress of this Bill in this House. In other words, the Government are by no means sure that when the whole of their proposals are before the House of Commons they will command the assent of a majority even in this House. As far as I can sec, there can be no possible explanation which is not one or the other of those two. Either the Government do not know what they want, or they are afraid that what they want will not command a Parliamentary majority. If that is so, or even if it is not, surely this is a method of procedure which must be characterised as one of extreme levity. The situation in Ireland is really a deplorable one.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I was not referring to the hon. Member (Mr. Pringle). 2184 I was saying that the situation in Ireland was one of extraordinary gravity. I quite agree that we should all be of that opinion. It is not only Ulster. The Ulster situation is serious enough in all conscience; but, by the extraordinary procedure of the Government, there is growing up in the rest of Ireland a situation which is comparable, or may shortly become comparable, even with the Ulster situation. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I am glad that hon. Members opposite agree. This is the result of Radical Government for eight years. With this state of affairs, with—to use a common phrase—all this loose gunpowder lying about in Ireland, the Government go on dallying with the situation. They have not the courage to propose a statemanlike solution. They go on with their miserable Parliamentary tactics, seeking a vote here and a vote there, indifferent to the frightful danger which their country is running in the present situation. I say that, in these circumstances, it is really a farce to ask the House of Commons to proceed with the discussion of this Bill on the Third Reading. If ever a proposal to adjourn a Debate was justified, it is on the present occasion. I hope that there is sufficient independence and Parliamentary spirit on the other side of the House to enable hon. Members opposite to give some support to this protest which is honestly made against a procedure which is in defiance of all Parliamentary tradition.
§ Mr. WORTHINGTON EVANS
I beg to second the Motion. I hope that hon. Members opposite will consider it as a very serious proposal. It is such, at any rate, as far as Members on this side are concerned. We must all feel that we are face to face with a dangerous position, one which may become more dangerous at any moment, and we are asked to read for the third time a Bill which is supposed to be for the better government of Ireland. There is only one thing that we know about that Bill, and that is that, even if finally carried, the Government of Ireland will not be regulated by it. There is a new measure that we are to be asked to pass. Whatever there may be in that amending Bill, it is certain that the Bill 2185 which we are now asked to read a third time will not be the Bill under which Ireland is to be governed. Yesterday we spent hours discussing the finance of this Bill, but everybody felt that it was a waste of time, because it was certain that those financial provisions could never be applied to Ireland. My Noble Friend gave two possible reasons for the course the Government are taking in introducing the amending Bill in the House of Lords, and not in the House of Commons. I venture to add one more. If the Government were sincere and really intended that that amending Bill should effect such amendments in the present Bill that Ireland could be governed under it, and that it might be the means of effecting an agreement, there is no reason at all that I can think of why that Bill should not be introduced in this House. If, on the other hand, the Government feel that that which will be asked for from this side of the House is something which hon. Members here do not intend to give, then I can understand their introducing the Bill in the other House. They are very good electioneerers; they never miss an election cry if they can possibly help it. They have used the cry "Peers versus People" often and often. The introduction of this Bill into the other House may afford them another election cry. It may be said then that the other place refused to pass such an amending Bill as the Government proposed, and so refused to form a basis for an agreement in Ulster. That is a possibility. That may be the reason why the Government propose to introduce the Bill in another place. If the Government have an honest intention to form a basis of agreement, there is no reason why a trick like that should be played. There is no reason why the Bill should not be introduced into this House, and unless it is so introduced, it is, in my judgment, futile to attempt to continue this discussion.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)
We have had two speeches which are very characteristic of the attitude which in these latter days is taken up by the Opposition at large with regard to this matter. If they were the dominant party in this House—[HON. MEMBERS: "We are!" "We 2186 are the biggest, and we are getting bigger!"]—if they were dictating terms of capitulation or surrender to a defeated and impotent minority, the sort of language which the Noble Lord and his Seconder employed would be perfectly appropriate to the occasion. But I beg to assure them that that is not the true situation. This Bill has passed through all its stages in this House—all but the last stage, which is being entered upon to-night—in three successive Sessions. It has been carried on every one of those stages—
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Not at all; with substantially undiminished majorities. It represents the deliberate and considered judgment of the House of Commons. [HON. MEMBERS: "Then why do you amend it?"] May I be allowed to continue? I say that it represents the deliberate and considered judgment of the House of Commons—[HON. MEMBERS: "No!"]—and we propose, by the Order of the Day which is now before the House, to ask the House to affirm once more, and for the last time, that it represents that judgment, after two years and three Sessions of reflection and consideration. I have said repeatedly, and I reiterate tonight, that, in the opinion of the Government, this Bill, both in its principle, in its detail, and in its machinery, is a wise and statesmanlike measure; that it provides safeguards adequate, and, indeed, abundant, for the protection of minorities against either religious, political, or social oppression. It has been framed in that spirit—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must ask the hon. Member for Holborn (Mr. Remnant) not to interrupt. This is not a public meeting. There will be plenty of opportunity— [HON. MEMBERS; "None!"]—to reply to the Prime Minister. I would respectfully suggest to hon. Members that we should continue the discussion in the ordinary-Parliamentary way.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
It has been framed in that spirit, and it is in that spirit that in all its stages it has been supported and carried in this House on the part of the majority. One of the great difficulties which we have had, and which we have now, in trying to arrive at what I still hope may not be unattainable, namely, a pacific settlement, is that whenever we make a proposal of any kind in the direction of peace—
§ The PRIME MINISTER
Whatever it is. The Government made a proposal, which has been denounced as a hypocritical sham. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is the only one you have ever made!"] Whenever we make any proposal in the direction of agreement and peace it is taken, and taken exultingly, by speakers on the benches opposite as an admission on our part, after reflection, of the injustice of our scheme. I am speaking what is the common knowledge of the House of Commons. I make no such admission. The Government are going, when the Motion is put from the Chair for the Third Reading of this Bill, to ask the majority of the House of Commons to affirm its belief that this Bill is a just and a wise Bill. I do not recede, and will never recede, by one inch from that position. I have made proposals on behalf of my colleagues and myself in the direction of peace. They have not met with a very encouraging reception.
Nevertheless, so important do we regard the matter, not from the fear of force, but from the desire, when any new system of government is set up in Ireland, that it should start upon its career in an atmosphere of something, at any rate, like general acquiescence and welcome, that with that motive, and with that motive only, we have put forward our proposals. Those would involve not, indeed, any transformation of the fundamental principles of this Bill—for this Bill in its entirety would apply, if these proposals were accepted and adopted, to three-quarters of Ireland—it would set up in Ireland what the vast majority of the Irish 2188 people desire to-day as they have desired for a generation past, a Legislature and an Executive of their own. We have made proposals in no sense inconsistent with the fundamental principles of this Bill, designed to meet the susceptibilities, the genuineness of which we recognise—the genuineness I mean in the sense of the motive, though the reality and the ground for which we do not believe to be capable of proof—in order to meet the susceptibilities, and in order to remove any possible suggestions of injustice, of oppression, of coercion. We have made proposals, the effect of which would be to give to the people at the poll, voting freely, a chance of saying whether or not they are prepared to come under the new scheme. That is a democratic proposal. I do not know why anybody who really believes that he has the sentiments of his fellow countrymen should be afraid of it. We have made that proposal, and we are prepared to continue to make it. For my part, as I have always said, and as I repeat to-day with the same strength and emphasis of conviction as ever before, we are ready to consider sympathetically, and not in a spirit of uncompromising opposition, any suggestions that may be, and can be, made to make those proposals more acceptable and more adaptable for the purpose for which they are intended. But, Sir, we must have as a preliminary to any proceeding of that kind, the firm and deliberate judgment of this House upon our main proposals. It is for that reason, and from no disrespect to this House, that we have thought it right that the proposals, the limited proposals, which we have agreed to embody in an amending Bill should be put forward in the first instance in another place. That does not in the least degree deprive this House of its ultimate authority, its supreme and determining authority, as to whether these proposals should or should not be accepted, or what form they should take!. The House of Commons would have the last and determining voice in the matter.
We have been told that whatever Amendments were made in this Bill here, whatever amending Bill was passed, would not in the least degree affect the resolute 2189 determination of the majority in another place to reject this Bill upon Second Reading. We thought it would be a waste of time, and paying the House of Commons very ill compliment, if we were to ask it to spend hours, and days and even weeks, in elaborating suggestions which in all probability would be rejected. That seems to me a simple and ample justification for the course we have taken in the matter of procedure. With all respect to the House, and no one has a higher opinion than I have of its ultimate supreme jurisdiction and authority in that respect—and the Parliament Act was the greatest act of homage that has ever been paid to it!—with all respect to the House, we believe we are pursuing not only a constitutional, but a convenient course. I am certain that we are pursuing the only course which holds out any prospect of pacific agreement in the end. We have asked the House now to affirm the principle, of this Bill for the third time. Then, whatever may be its fate in another place—and we know very well what it is going to be!—I say that our proposals with regard to the one limited aspect and area may be for settlement and agreement, that those proposals, being there discussed, amended and amplified to any extent which that Assembly may desire, let them come back here, and the last voice in the matter will be the House of Commons, and the ultimate responsibility will be ours! That is the course which the Government, after full consideration of all the aspects of the case, believe to be the most consistent, both with the principle of this Bill and with their own honest and persistent desire to arrive at a settlement. Therefore, I ask the House unhesitatingly to reject the Motion.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
If the House had any doubt as to the advisability and, indeed, the necessity of the Motion which has been moved by my Noble Friend, that doubt is set at rest by the speech to which we have just listened. Incidentally, in the closing sentence of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, he exhibited his appreciation of the situation in a way which showed that he utterly misunderstands the whole position with which he has to deal. He told us that the last and final 2190 word would be left with the House of Commons, for which body, he told us, in words, he had so high a respect, but for which, in action, he has shown more contempt than any other man. He told us that the final word would rest with the House of Commons. He forgets one fact, that the House of Commons, after all, is supposed to represent another body outside, and that that body outside, as the right hon. Gentleman will find, in spite of all his party manœuvring, and in spite of his buying and selling of votes, that that is the final tribunal that will settle this question. The right hon. Gentleman made one remark with which I entirely agree. He said that he was adopting a convenient course. That is the sole explanation and the sole justification for the course which he is adopting to-day. He has told us that we, the Opposition, are treating him as if be were the captain of a garrison on the point of surrender. Why? Because we asked that before the House of Commons parts, as he maintains, or thinks, for the last time, with a Bill which is vitally to alter the whole Constitution of this country that the House of Commons ought to know what the proposals are with regard to it. He told us that it is treating him as if we were the dominant factor. It is asking, Mr. Speaker, what has never been refused to any House of Commons before, and what nothing but the extraordinary position in which the right hon. Gentleman finds himself would make him refuse now. What does he tell us?
He tells us that this Bill, as it stands, represents not only the considered judgment of the House of Commons—it does represent la careful balancing of the methods by which you can get a majority in the House of Commons—but that it is a wise and just measure. In itself, he may think so; in vacuo, it may be so. But you have to deal with actual conditions. If the Bill is, as he professes it to be, why in the world is he going to amend it, and why is the House of Commons not to know in what way he proposes to amend it? The right hon. Gentleman tells us that every advance which he has made has been treated as a sign of weakness, and used as a means of pushing concessions further. Let me 2191 tell the House frankly what is my view of that. What is it? If is from first to last—I do not doubt that the right hon. Gentleman has desired a peaceful settlement, that he desires it now, that he would try to get it—but from first to last whatever proposals he may himself have entertained, the moment he comes up against his Parliamentary majority, that moment his views fall to the ground, and he considers only what will give him a majority. It has been so from the beginning. The right hon. Gentleman, at Ladybank, made a speech which really showed that he did desire to recognise the conditions of Ulster, and to treat them fairly. A month afterwards, at Leeds, he flew back to his original position, and made a speech that went completely back, as we all thought—and as one of his own colleagues, the President of the Board of Agriculture, said—went completely back on any proposal to exclude Ulster. What did we find in the House of Commons on the first day of the Session? Again, he spoke, in a real sense, of the exclusion of Ulster. The tempest rose again. He found he could not command his majority, and in two or three days he went back and brought forward a proposal which there is no man on that bench opposite, wherever he sits, does not know in his own mind is ludicrous and could not be accepted. And what is the position now? If the right hon. Gentleman really wants a settlement, wants to make proposals which fit the condition of things, which fit the situation in Ireland, what steps is he taking? If that were his view would not the reasonable and obvious course be to let the House of Commons know, to let the House of Commons discuss, and to let the House of Commons as a whole decide upon what alterations are to be made in the Bill. Why does he not take that course? The hon. Gentlemen on the Nationalist Benches below the Gangway will not permit him. And why? The hon. Member for Waterford on the discussion the other day showed clearly that what he expected as a result of the method of the right hon. Gentleman was that the Bill as it stands, and it alone, would go through. 2192 And to-day when my hon. Friend was speaking, when he said the Bill as it stands is not going to be put by the Government as the real measure, there were jeers from the Nationalist Benches. Then what does it mean? It means that they at least know where the right hon. Gentleman is drifting: that they understand the tactics; that what they mean by the proposals they made him adopt is, that this Bill is to be put upon the Statute Book, and if he can be made to do it, he is to use the whole forces of the British Crown to drive loyal men out of the Union.
My hon. Friend below the Gangway, and my Noble Friend behind me, hoped that hon. Members opposite might be induced to see the unfairness and unreality of the course we are adopting. I believe many of them do see it; but all of us know it will not alter their votes. But this I do say, that the course which the right hon. Gentleman is adopting is an absolute insult to the House of Commons that it shows that in his view this whole question is not to be settled as the considered judgment of individual Members of the House of Commons; that it is to be settled as a bargain between him and the hon. Member for Waterford; that he will get the best terms he can from them, but that is the limit of his possibility of action, and that what they demand is what he must grant. That is not a position which is tolerable to the House of Commons, and he will find it, is not tolerable in the country. Everybody knows, and no one better than Gentlemen who sit upon the benches opposite, that the only interest in the discussion upon which we were to enter to-day is not the merits or the demerits of Home Rule, but it is the situation which has arisen in consequence of the Home Rule Bill, and that the whole situation depends, not upon the Bill, but upon the amending proposals which the Government intend to introduce. You cannot ask the impossible. You cannot ask the right hon. Gentleman to say what his proposals are if he does not know. That is impossible. But I do say that until he does know, until the House of Commons is able to judge of them, it is utterly wrong that the House of Commons should 2193 be asked to part for the last time with the Bill when they do not know in reality what the proposals of the Government are to be. I can only say in conclusion that in my view, farcical more or less as the discussions in the Second and Third Session under the Parliament Act are inevitably, I say that to ask us to formally discuss the Third Reading of the Home Rule Bill under these conditions is an absurdity, and I can see absolutely no use in taking part in them.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
The right hon. Gentleman who has just resumed his seat does not seem to be able to make up his mind whether the Prime Minister is a tyrant dictating to the House, or whether the majority of the House is dictating to the Prime Minister. He has expressed both views. He told us, in the first instance, that the Prime Minister is tyrannising over the House of Commons, insulting it, treating the House of Commons as the House of Commons never has been treated before, and almost in the next breath he told us that, although he believed that the Prime Minister is sincerely desirous of obtaining a peaceful solution of the Irish problem, and that he has made attempts to secure that peaceful solution, yet whenever he finds himself in conflict with the majority of the House his schemes are withdrawn. [HON. MEMBERS: "In conflict with the Nationalist Members."] The expression I heard was "the majority of the House." I desire to call the attention of the Prime Minister to the manner in which the advances he has made have been received by the Opposition. He has made offers unparalleled in generosity. He has made offers such as a leader of a large majority in this House has never made before to the Opposition. He has pushed generosity almost to the extent of weakness, almost to the extent of surrender. And let me call his attention to the manner in which his offers are received. His first offer was a very clear and definite offer, namely, that he would grant to the counties of Ulster the option of exclusion for six years, and that he would make such Amendments in the Bill as were necessary to give effect to that offer if it were accepted. This offer was described as a hypocritical sham. It was 2194 rejected absolutely straight off. There was, therefore, no chance of that offer being accepted in this House at that stage of the Bill. After this offer was described as a hypocritical sham the Prime Minister went further and offered to introduce, after this Bill has been passed, an amending Bill giving effect to his previous offer. [Hon. MEMBERS: "What offer?"] That is the offer which I understood him to make, and now there is this other offer. [Hon. MEMBERS: "What is it?"] The offer to introduce an amending Bill giving effect to the offer which he has made, and the offer he made is perfectly clear. It is an offer to give the counties of Ulster the option of being excluded for six years—that is the only offer I heard put forward by the Government.
Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
Yes, the right hon. Gentleman has offered to embody that offer in the amending Bill, and now this offer is described as a hypocritical sham. When the Prime Minister offers to bring forward his amending Bill it is used as a pretext to ask him to suspend discussion on this Bill and to withdraw it from passing at all, and it is described as an insult to the House of Commons. It is used as a pretext to ask the House not to proceed further with this Bill.
As I indicated on a previous occasion, I think this offer of an amending Bill is one which is risky for the Government, and not too hopeful for those of the Opposition who do desire, and do honestly desire, a settlement. And in view of the manner in which it has been received I desire to impress strongly upon the Prime Minister the desirability of reconsidering his position with regard to his offer to introduce an amending Bill. It lies within the power of the Opposition to secure a full discussion of a compromise, to secure a full discussion of a settlement, if they so desire. [Hon. MEMBERS: "How?"] They can secure it in this House if they desire. The option still remains open to them under the Parliament Act. [Hon. MEMBERS: "How?"] I should have thought it was unnecessary 2195 to explain how, but I will explain how. The Bill, if passed by this House, will proceed to the House of Lords. The House of Lords now have the knowledge that this Bill must pass into law within a few weeks. That is inevitable, and knowing that, they can, without any sacrifice of principle, but with the object of diminishing what they believe to be the evils of the Bill, pass its Second Reading. And, having passed the Second Reading, they can proceed to amend it as drastically as they please. They can exclude the whole of Ulster or make whatever Amendments they please, and then they can send back the Bill in its amended form to this House. If the Bill is returned from the House of Lords in that form this House would have to consider these Amendments. It is possible it will not be willing to accept them in that form. It will not be able, under the terms of the Parliament Act, to change them, because if it did it would be falling into a trap, and when the Bill went back to the House of Lords all they would have to do would be to reject it, and the work of the past three years would be sacrificed. But still there would be an opportunity for a Suggestion stage, if really desired by the Opposition. And if we were not able to accept the Amendments inserted by the Lords, then would arise the opportunity of embodying in Suggestions such Amendments as this House was willing to conceive. I suggest if hon. Members do honestly desire to discuss this Amendment, as they profess to do, and the promised suggestions—[HON. MEMBERS: "What are they?"] "What is the use of saying" What are they? "They are the option to the counties of Ulster to remain out. If they do honestly desire to discuss them or to enlarge them, they can exercise that option through their party, which has a majority in the House of Lords, by returning the Bill to this House.
In view of the manner in which the unparalleled generosity of the Government has been received in shouldering a burden which does not belong to them, but which properly belongs to the Opposition, and in granting to the Opposition opportunities which they refuse to take for themselves, I desire to impress upon the Prime 2196 Minister the desirability of withdrawing his offer of an amending Bill and throwing upon the Opposition the burdens and the responsibilities, which are theirs, of securing that opportunity for the consideration of Amendments, which they can secure if they desire. I think, in view of the result in North-East Derbyshire, and in view of the overwhelming demonstration of support for the policy of Home Rule there, in view of the fact that a certain candidate who was returned there to oppose the policy of Home Rule—and there are many other candidates similarly returned—represents not a majority of the people of North-East Derbyshire, but only an insignificant minority, I think the Prime Minister can draw the conclusion that in whatever measures are necessary to enforce the decree of the majority of this House he will have the support of the majority of the people of this country.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
I hope the incident which appears to have caused some amusement has served to restore the equanimity of the hon. Member who has just addressed the House, and I hope he will not mind me prefacing my observations by expressing the hope that the intensity of his mental excitement will not have the result of inflicting any physical damage. There is one thing, however, for which we may be grateful to him, and it is that he has been good enough to give us one piece of information which the Prime Minister absolutely refused to give. The right hon. Gentleman refused more than once, even when pressed by my right hon. Friend, to give any information to the House as to what the amending Bill is to contain. If the hon. Member who has just sat down is in the confidence of the Government, as I imagine he must be from the character of his vehemence, we have learned from him that the amending Bill is to contain nothing whatever except the so-called proposals which the Prime Minister laid before the House on the 9th March. I do think it would be of some advantage, both to the temper of the House and the future of the present Debate, if we could get from the Front Government Bench any confirmation of the information which has been given by the hon. Member 2197 opposite. So far as the Prime Minister is concerned, we might accept every word he has said to-day on this subject and still we should be able to urge upon the House that no reason has been given to us for not giving the House an outline of the whole proposals of the Government before we are called upon to debate the Third Reading of the Home Rule Bill.
The Prime Minister tells us that the Home Rule Bill has the confidence of this House and the country in those phrases which we have heard from him so often before. Even if that be true, why in the world, because the House and the country may have confidence in the Home Rule Bill, is that any reason why the House and the country should not be given the information which the Government have in their own minds as to what their total proposals are going to be for dealing with the whole of the Irish question. It is quite clear to us all that it is only because of the necessity imposed upon the Government and the House by the peculiar provisions of the Parliament Act that we are to have an amending Bill at all. It is obvious that if the Government want, as they say they want, to introduce for some reason or other changes in their proposals for the future Government of Ireland which have been laid before the House and the country, and which they could do but for the Parliament Act, they could make those changes by an amendment of the Bill. When we are debating the Third Reading and accepting the particular procedure of the amending Bill why are we not to be told, as we should have been told but for the complication of the Parliament Act, what the Government intend to do. My hon. Friend who introduced this Motion suggested that there could only be two reasons why the Prime Minister refused to give us this information. One was that the right hon. Gentleman did not himself know what he was going to put in, and the other was that he was afraid of the effect his proposals might have if disclosed to the House.
I think it is possible that there is a third explanation. On this side of the House we cannot escape from the recognition of the fact that we are now approaching the 2198 end of what we have been for a long time entangled in, and that is a long series of duplicities which have created a vast amount of distrust of the Government, not only in this House, but in the country at large. The third explanation is not that the right hon. Gentleman does not know what he is going to put in his amending Bill, not that he is afraid of the result of it when it is produced, but that he has not got, and never had, the slightest intention of producing an amending Bill at all. I think that will probably be found to be the true explanation. The right hon. Gentleman knows quite well that when he has got the Third Reading, and passed it through by the automatic machinery prepared for it elsewhere, that then the situation may or may not arise in which he can dispense with an amending Bill. The right hon. Gentleman wants to keep this up his sleeve as an escape from a situation which may, at any rate, become too dangerous for him to face. The right hon. Gentleman may find that a moment comes when he must obey the behests of the hon. Member for Salford and other hon. Members who have come out lately in the character of Bashi Bazouks. He may find that he has the forces of the Crown which he can use to destroy the people in Ulster, for whom the hon. Member who has just sat down seems to care less than he does for the people of the Malay Peninsula; but we have a right to tie the Prime Minister to some pledge more than his spoken word that we are to have an amending Bill at all, and that is why we should refuse to have this Debate.
Sir HENRY DALZIEL
I think the exact position in which we are placed cannot be regarded in any quarter of the House as entirely satisfactory. I regard the situation before us more as a House of Commons point than a party point. I have had some considerable experience in this House, and I must say that I can recollect no occasion on which we were asked to give a verdict without knowing that it was to be a final verdict, having before us the fact that a vital proposition affecting any decision we might arrive at might be brought before us at a later stage. We all know that the Prime Minister is 2199 actuated in this matter by the desire to bring about a peaceful settlement of this most unfortunate situation. We all know—and I am sure the right hen. Gentleman will be the first to admit—that his supporters have trusted him loyally throughout in this matter. Some of us have had occasion, as we thought fit, to severely criticise his policy, not only in regard to the abduction of the powers of the Government on many occasions in Ireland, but in regard to many of the proposals brought forward in regard to this measure. We have been told one day that it is a complete and final measure, and the next day we have had suggestions of vital amendments in regard to it. We are asked to stand by this Bill, and we are informed at the same time that a Bill which may vitally alter the character of this measure, if the Government have their way, is again to come before this House.
We must have more information before we can give an intelligent vote even on this Motion for the adjournment of the Debate. Is it the case, as the hon. Gentleman said, that the amending Bill is to be confined to the limited proposition of county option? I think we ought to know that. If that is so, then we can give an intelligent vote not only on the Adjournment, but on the Third Reading of the Bill. If it is the case that the Government are simply going to confine their amending measure to embodying the legislative proposal that certain counties are to have the option under certain conditions of excluding themselves from this measure for six years, we can go into the Lobby knowing what we are voting for. We ought to have at the same time an undertaking that the Government are not going to suggest or accept any vital proposal that may be brought forward in the House of Lords. We ought to know from the Government whether what has been suggested is the proposal which is going to be contained in the amending Bill. I think the House of Commons, irrespective of party, ought to know that before they can give an intelligent vote, or a vote that is very little more than a farce, on the Third Reading.
I would in all seriousness ask the Prime Minister and the Government why is this 2200 amending Bill to be brought forward at all. Who has asked for it? Have the right hon. Gentlemen on the front Opposition Bench asked for it? No! The moment the Suggestions were put forward by the Prime Minister they were called "a hypocritical sham," and that view was supported by hon. Members opposite. No man in this House has asked for this amending Bill, and it has been treated with contempt on every occasion, and no encouragement whatever has been given to it. Have the Nationalist Members from Ireland asked for it? No! No one has welcomed it, but, on the contrary, views entirely antagonistic to it have been expressed. I have known no hon. Members on this side of the House who have supported this amending Bill. Therefore, this suggestion has either been made too late or too early, and it ought to have been brought forward on the responsibility of the Government, and it should have been allowed to take its chance in another place. If it is to be brought forward now, then the House of Commons as the supreme Chamber should have a voice in settling the matter.
I appeal to the Prime Minister to give us an undertaking that before the Division on the Third Reading is taken he will indicate what is, and what is not, going to be in the amending Bill. For my part, I think the Government have gone to the very limits of conciliation in regard to this matter. I do not say that they ought not to go further, but I do say that on the Opposition side there has not been one single word of encouragement from the very commencement, and you cannot expect a Government to ask their supporters to go on for three years voting for a Bill and then at the very last moment on their own initiative, because certain external circumstances have altered the situation—I will not inquire into that now because it ought not to have any weight with the Government or with their power and authority to carry out legislation and the law of this country—amend the Bill because the situation has changed. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to give an assurance to the House that he will take into consideration the question whether he cannot give us more information as to what this amending Bill is to contain, and 2201 what is the position of the Government in regard to it before a final vote is taken on this very important measure.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I think both hon. Members who have spoken on the other side of the House seem to have misconceived the situation altogether. We are making this Motion for the Adjournment in order that we may get the central fact, and until we get that we do not know whether the answer is conciliatory or unconciliatory. We are told that the Prime Minister is always making advances, but I deny that altogether, for he has never made the slightest advance in this matter from the beginning to the end. The right hon. Gentleman has tried to adjust his scheme to new conditions, but that is characteristic of a lucid interval in the counsels of the Cabinet. The Government started with a most insane and foolish policy which led Ireland to the brink of civil war. Ireland was peaceful and happy before the Government suggested the separation of one part of Ireland from the other, forgetting that it was the elementary duty of a Government to adjust their scheme to meet the situation which had arisen. They have made no concession to the Opposition, and, indeed, there is no occasion to make concessions to the Opposition. We want no offers; we want no conciliation whatever as an Opposition. What we want is that the Government should do what they think right, and we will support them if we think it right. What else can patriotic legislators do? Our business is to co-operate with the Government in what we conceive to be for the good government of the country, and especially in avoiding civil war, and from that duty we certainly are not going to shrink. We earnestly desire, as they earnestly desire, to avoid civil war, and what steps it is necessary for us to take to avoid civil war we may reasonably be called upon to take. There is no question of bargain between the two sides; there is no question of our being asked to vote in any way except in strict accordance with our conscience, whether in this House or in the other House. Our position is a perfectly plain one. We ask now that the Government 2202 will tell us in what respect they think that their scheme will have to be modified? We do not ask it as a favour to the Opposition or as a matter of conciliation. We ask it as a matter of common sense and decent respect for the House of Commons. We say that to engage on a Debate like this without knowing what is the central feature of the Bill that you are going to discuss is to treat the House of Commons as if it were a very silly sort of debating society.
What are we going to debate? The Home Rule Bill as it is, or as it is going to be? How can we possibly discuss the finance of the Bill or the judiciary, or the Customs arrangements of the Bill, or the constitution of the new House of Commons, or of the new Senate, if we do not know whether Ulster is to be included or not? It is obvious that the whole Bill will have to be different in machinery if you cut out Ulster. We know that they are going to cut out Ulster, somehow or in some degree, but we do not know by what method or in what degree. The hon. Member seems to think that they are going to stand by their old plan, but the Prime Minister did not say so. The real difficulty there was, not that it happened to be ill received by my right hon. Friend, but that it was not suited to the conditions. If the Government have got a plan which will suit the conditions, let them bring it forward. It does not take a minute of Parliamentary time. Let them bring in their amending Bill under the Standing Orders before next Tuesday. It is perfectly manifest that somebody is going to be tricked. There is no genuine honest reason for making a secret of this kind. My hope is that it is the Nationalist party who are going to be tricked. It may be them, or it may be us, but that somebody is going to be tricked is perfectly plain, and for the right hon. Gentleman to talk as if we were treating him as a defeated garrison because we ask a perfectly plain question about a matter which every House of Commons before this would have asked is to insult our intelligence after he has insulted the self-respect of this Assembly. We are treated not only as if we were children playing at a debate, but as if we were 2203 fools who believed any silly story he likes to tell us. I protest against the course the Government are taking, because it is one more blow at the dignity of the House of Commons. I protest against it also because it is plain evidence that they are engaged on a course essentially perfidious which they dare not bring to the light of day.
§ Mr. CROFT
I only desire to say one or two words on this subject. We are entitled to hear whether the Prime Minister agrees with the view of the hon. Member who represents one of the Glasgow Divisions as to the meaning of the amending Bill. We are entitled to know whether that is the meaning or not. The present suggestion to send the amending Bill to the House of Lords, which the Government themselves have frequently told us is quite incapable of debating any question and which is full, according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his various speeches, of robbers of poor boxes and thieves and kangaroos, seems to me an extraordinary way of treating this House of Commons at the present time. I do think that this House is entitled to know, when the hon. Member has got up, and, speaking as we know for a very large number of his party, deliberately said that the amending Bill is only going to contain the six years' proposal, from the Prime Minister whether it is a true expression of the Liberal Government's policy on this occasion or not. If that is the suggestion, it is perfectly clear there is no reason whatever why the Government cannot repeat that offer now. Otherwise, by Parliamentary means this House is being tricked in a most disgraceful manner, as the right hon. Gentleman on the last occasion he spoke said he was going to make an offer far in advance of any previous action. If it simply means the previous offer we have heard before, I can only say that it is the most disgraceful, base trickery, and that it is not the way to bring about a settlement of this question before civil war takes place.
§ Mr. AMERY
The protest of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the 2204 Kirkcaldy Burghs (Sir Henry Dalziel) shows that even the right hon. Gentleman's supporters are beginning to kick against the last indignity inflicted upon this House under the Parliament Act, and the meaning and purpose of this indignity is just this, that the Prime Minister himself does not know to-day what he means to do with Ulster or what he means to do with this Bill. This House has simply got to undergo to-day the same thing it has undergone for the last three years—being allowed to drift on into an impossible and appalling situation simply because an old Gentleman cannot make up his mind.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If I caught the expression of the hon Member, "an old Gentleman who could not make up his mind," correctly—
§ Mr. AMERY
I withdraw the reference to the right hon. Gentleman's age, but I certainly do say that the whole of the appalling situation in which this country is drifting is because the Prime Minister cannot make up his mind. His supporters think that he is a man of iron and rock, but he is like some old piece of driftwood grown over with weeds and limpets which looks like a rock until you see it drifting up and down the tide. From beginning to end he has drifted in this business. He drifted into Home Rule with Mr. Gladstone, and he drifted out again with Lord Rosebery. When he drifted into it again four years ago, he came at once against this question of Ulster. It was no new question; it was exactly the same question as twenty years ago. What attempt did he make to deal with if? The essential features of the situation then were the same as they are to-day, only things had not gone so far as they have gone now, and the same settlement which, if it is to settle things, must come to-day, if it had come then it would have been far better for the peace and welfare of this country. When arguments were produced on this side and were produced by his own followers, did he pay 2205 the slightest attention? Why did he not pay attention? It was because to do so would have involved some definite action. It would have involved making up his mind and coming to some definite understanding with the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond). So he drifted on. On the other hand, he took no steps when Ulster was arming to stop Ulster arming.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is now violating the Standing Order of the House, which says that the Debate must be confined to the question of the Adjournment. He is now ranging over the whole policy.
§ Mr. AMERY
I do not wish to range over the whole policy, but I do wish to bring out that what the Prime Minister is doing to-day in not telling us what he means to do is exactly what he has done throughout the whole of the business. He has drifted from one stage to another; he drifted into proposals which he knew were impossible and unworkable; he drifted into the Pogrom in the wake of the First Lord's "Dreadnoughts." Again, when the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. John Ward) raised a storm in a teacup he drifted again into the cancelling of his pledges.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have twice called the hon. Member to order, and, if he offends again a third time, I shall have to ask him to resume his seat.
§ Mr. AMERY
I am only giving illustrations, and other Members who have spoken have also given illustrations, but, of course, I have no desire to infringe your ruling by exceeding the limit of fair illustration. It is time, at any rate, that the Prime Minister should make up his mind on this question. After all, there is not an infinite variety of courses which he can take. There are only two or three possible courses before him. He can go on, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs and some of his Friends would like him to go on, with his whole policy without attempting to find any real solution; with his policy as it stands in this Bill; or amended with those ridiculous proposals put forward last March. If so, the sooner he begins mobilising his 2206 troops and sending battleships to coerce the people of Ulster and the Unionists of this country the better for all concerned. If, on the other hand, he wishes to preserve peace by the exclusion of Ulster, then let him exclude Ulster, not Ulster as he defines it, or exclusion as he defines it, but Ulster and exclusion as the 100,000 armed covenanters define it. You did not listen to the men of Ulster when they only used arguments. The first time you listened to them was when you felt that they were strong, and the last proposal for peace, such as it was, you did produce was after they had landed 30,000 rifles to make sure that they were not to be coerced. That is the other alternative, and the third is the one for which we have stood right through. It is that the Government should go and consult the people of this country before they attempt to carry their odious measure into effect. Those are the obvious questions on which the Prime Minister can decide, and it is time that ha should decide.
It is time he stopped drifting round and round in circles, and made up his mind whether he is going to go on. Let him get somewhere. Let him get on, or let him get out. I believe that is the true and main explanation of the manner in which this business is being brought before the House now. There is another possible explanation. It is, I suppose, the idea that if he should by any chance find some scheme of exclusion, whether by selling his supporters behind him or by some-other means to content the people of Ulster and avoid civil war, he could then turn round and say, "You have by the exclusion of Ulster assented to the inclusion of the rest of Ireland in a Home Rule Bill." What right has he to make that assumption? There is nothing in what the Leaders of our party have said that does in any degree imply that the passing of this Bill by force over our heads mitigates the determination of Unionists to see that this Bill should never be carried into effect. The amended Bill may possibly avoid civil war between this time and an election, but, if an election takes place, as by the admission of right hon. Gentlemen opposite it will take place, before this Bill is put into operation, and we, as the 2207 Unionist party, go to the country and secure the verdict of the country in our favour. [Laughter.]—I am putting the alternative.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is now discussing the Bill. His speech would be perfectly relevant to the Bill, but it is not relevant to the Motion for the Adjournment. I will give him one more chance.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member was "talking about going to the country, and about hon. Members being prepared.
§ Mr. AMERY
It will be suggested, if this Rill is read a third time, that the Unionist party have acquiesced in a Home Rule Bill for the rest of Ireland, and I say that if in the event of a General Election the Unionist party were returned to power, they would, by repealing this Bill, prove that they had not in any sense acquiesced in such a proposal. That is all I wanted to make clear. We are put into this position because the Prime Minister does not and apparently cannot make up his mind at any moment on this business, or he has some idea of tricking cither the Unionist party or the hon. Members from Ireland who support the hon. and learned Member for Waterford.
Mr. C. WASON
The hon. Member has qualified himself for the post of Poet Laureate when his party comes into power. I rise practically for the purpose of repudiating certain observations which have fallen from hon. Gentlemen on this side. It is nothing to me what hon. Gentlemen on the other side say, but I do protest against the inference which may be drawn from what was said, I believe honestly and sincerely, by the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir H. Dalziel). Several hon. Members on this side have spoken forcibly with reference to the 2208 action of the Prime Minister. I myself honestly and sincerely believe that that action has been most admirable, and that it provides the only method by which we can hope to arrive at some peaceful solution of the problem with which we are faced. We are not children, but sometimes we are very like children playing on the brink of a precipice. It occurred to me in my youth during my schoolboy days to be blown up by gunpowder, so I know what it means. I say that the action of the House of Commons in this terrible crisis is not calculated to conduce to a peaceful solution, but it does seem to me that the doctrine laid down by the Prime Minister indicates most admirably the course we ought to pursue. If he were now to produce the amending Bill, which is so very emphatically demanded by hon. Members opposite, it is clear that the reception given to it would not be of a character likely to lead to a peaceful solution of the difficulty. I do not want to say one word calculated to cause irritation, but I am confident that the attitude of the Prime Minister deserves the confidence, not only of the Liberal party throughout the country, but also of those men on the Unionist and Conservative side who are sincerely desirous of bringing about a peaceful solution of the difficulty.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
I regret to some extent the intervention of the hon. Member who has just spoken. I think it is somewhat unlucky he should have ventured to criticise the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Kirkcaldy, which I do not think he heard.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
If the hon. Member had heard the whole of it I do not think he would have ventured to make the remarks to which we have just listened. I do not intend to follow in the footsteps of the hon. Member for South Birmingham (Mr. Amery). I am not going to speak as if this were a Debate on the Third Reading of the Bill. I will try to keep myself to the Question immediately before the House. I think there is much force in the plea which my right hon. Friend put to the Government, that before the Debate 2209 on the Third Reading of the Home Rule Bill comes to a conclusion in this House, the Government should announce at least the main points which are to be embodied in the amending Bill to be introduced in the House of Lords. I put this plea forward in no spirit of hostility to the Government or with any intention to endanger the progress of a settlement of the Home Rule question. I am one of those who distrust to some extent the policy of an amending Bill, but apart from the merits of the procedure which the Govern-
§ ment have adopted, I think it is due to the House of Commons and to its power over legislation that I should join in enforcing this appeal on the Government for an assurance that, before the conclusion of the Debate, the main points to be embodied in the amending Bill shall be announced.
§ Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 176; Noes, 286.2213
|Division No. 117.]||AYES.||[5.50 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Newman, John R. P.|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Foster, Philip Staveley||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Gilmour, Captain J.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City. London)||Goldman, C. S.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Barnston, Harry||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Grant, J. A.||Pole-Carew, Sir R.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gretton, John||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S. E.)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Bird, Alfred||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Blair, Reginald||Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Boyton, James||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Harris, Henry Percy||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bull, Sir William James||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Royds, Edmund|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Butcher, John George||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Campbell, Captain Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hoare, S. J. G.||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Campion, W. R.||Hohler, G. F.||Sandys, G. J.|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Sessoon, Sir Philip|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Sharman-Crawford, Colonel R. G.|
|Cassel, Felix||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'pool, Walton)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Houston, Robert paterson||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Stanier, Beville|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Swift, Rigby|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Jardine, E. (Somerset, East)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Kerry, Earl of||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Chambers, J.||Keswick, Henry||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Thomson, W. Mitchell (Down, North)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Tickler, T. G.|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Larmor, Sir J.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts., Mile End)||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Lloyd, George Ambrose (Stafford, W.)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Croft, H. P.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Colonel A. R.||Weston, Colonel J. W.|
|Currie, George W.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Denison-Pender, J. C.||Mackinder, Halford J.||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Macmaster, Donald||Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Wilson, Maj. Sir M. (Bethnal Green, S. W.)|
|Dixon, C. H.||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Winterton, Earl|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Duncannon, Viscount||Malcolm, Ian||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)|
|Du Pre, W. Baring||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Worthington Evans, L.|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Fell, Arthur||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Mount, William Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Pike Pease and Major Stanley.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Adamson, William||Gelder, Sir W. A.||Martin, Joseph|
|Agnew, Sir George Croydon||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Mason, David M. (Coventry)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Gill, A. H.||Meagher, Michael|
|Alden, Percy||Ginnell, Laurence||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix).|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Glanville, Harold James||Millar, James Duncan|
|Arnold, Sydney||Goldstone, Frank||Molloy, Michael|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Greig, Colonel James William||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Money, L. C. Chiozza.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Mooney, John J.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Hackett, John||Morgan, George Hay|
|Barnes, George N.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Morrell, Philip|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morison, Hector|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Muldoon, John|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Murphy, Martin J.|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hayden, John Patrick||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hayward, Evan||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Boland, John Pius||Hazleton, Richard||Nolan, Joseph|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Henderson, John M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Henry, Sir Charles||Nuttall, Harry|
|Brace, William||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Hewart, Gordon||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Higham, John Sharp||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hinds, John||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Buckmaster, Sir Stanley O.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Hodge, John||O'Dowd, John|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Hogge, James Myles||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Malley, William|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Hudson, Walter||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Shee, James John|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||John, Edward Thomas||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Johnson, W.||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Clough, William||Jones, Rt. Hon. Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jowett, Frederick William||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherhamt)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Joyce, Michael||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Cowan, William Henry||Kellaway, Frederick George||Pointer, Joseph|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Kelly, Edward||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Crooks, William||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pratt, J. W.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kenyon, Barnet||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Cullinan, John||Kilbride, Denis||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eiflon)||King, Joseph||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lamb, Sir Ernest Henry||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molten)||Radford, G. H.|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|De Forest, Baron||Lardner, James C. R.||Reddy, Michael|
|Delany, William||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rid, Cockerm'th)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Leach, Charles||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Dillon, John||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lundon, Thomas||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Doris, William||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)|
|Duffy, William J.||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||McGhee, Richard||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Maclean, Donald||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Rowlands, James|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Macpherson, James Ian||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Falconer, James||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||M'Kean, John||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Ffrench, Peter||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Field, William||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Seely, Rt. Hon. Colonel J. E. B.|
|Fitzgibbon, John||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Sheehy, David|
|Sherwell, Arthur James||Walton, Sir Joseph||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Wardle, George J.||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Snowden, Philip||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay T.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Winfrey, Sir Richard|
|Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Webb, H.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.||Yeo, Alfred William|
|Tennant, Harold John||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Thomas, James Henry||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Toulmin, Sir George||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wiles, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.|
|Verney, Sir Harry||Wilkie, Alexander||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N. W.)|
§ Question again proposed. Debate resumed.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
rose—[OPPOSITION MEMBERS: "Adjourn, adjourn!" and Interruption last several minutes.]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Hon. Members seem determined not to hear their Leader. I would ask the Leader of the Opposition whether that is with his assent and approval—
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I would not presume to criticise what you consider your duty, Sir, but I know mine, and that is not to answer any such question.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Having invited the right hon. Gentleman to assist me in obtaining order, I have been disappointed in that—[AN HON. MEMBER: "Hurrah!"] —and there is nothing open to me except, under Standing Order 21, to suspend the sitting of the House, which I do until to-morrow.House adjourned at Five minutes after Six o'clock, without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 21.