§ This Act shall apply to Ireland to such extent and subject to such modifications as are hereinafter mentioned:—
- (1) The Lord Lieutenant may by Order apply Section 1 of this Act with the necessary modifications to Ireland or to any area or areas in Ireland specified in the Order;
- (2) The register for Ireland, or as the case may be for any such area or areas as aforesaid, shall be formed under the directions of the Lord Lieutenant by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Ireland (in this Section referred to as the Registrar-General for Ireland) whose duty it shall be to compile and maintain the register from information at his disposal or furnished by any other officer or Department of the Government pursuant to such directions or by the council of any county borough which may be desirous of assisting in the formation of the register;
- (3) The register shall contain as respects the persons registered the particulars set forth in paragraphs (a), (b), and (d), of Sub-section (1) of Section 4 of this Act, so far as the same have been ascertained from the information at the disposal of or furnished to the Registrar-General for Ireland as aforesaid, and the Registrar-General for Ireland shall tabulate the contents and make them available for such purposes as may be ordered by the Lord Lieutenant;
- (4) The expenses of the Lord Lieutentnt and of the Registrar-General for Ireland in carrying this Act into operation, shall to such an extent as the Treasury may sanction be defrayed out of money provided by Parliament;
- (5) Save as provided in this Section, the foregoing provisions of this Act shall not apply to Ireland.
§ Mr. R. MCNEILL
I beg to move, at the commencement of the Clause, to insert the words, "In the application of."
This is the first of three Amendments standing in my name which are closely related, and the total operation of which will be very materially to alter the meaning of the Clause. Clause 14 deals with the application of the Act to Ireland. We 573 all know that one can hardly mention the word "Ireland" without the danger of being thought to arouse sleeping controversies. I can assure the Committee that it is not my intention to do anything of the sort. I see the Chief Secretary opposite, and I have no doubt that he accepts the responsibility for this particular part of the Bill. I should like to assure him that just as I should extremely dislike to do anything to embarrass the President of the Local Government Board, so I should be equally anxious not to embarrass him in any way under the present circumstances, and I hope I shall avoid doing so. Some explanation may reasonably be required from the Chief Secretary as to the particular way in which the Bill is applied to Ireland. I do not know whether Members of the Committee have really analysed this Clause or applied their minds to the difference which exists between the application of the Act to Ireland and its application to England or Scotland. This is a Bill for compulsorily registering people throughout the country between certain ages for a definite purpose which has been described by the President of the Local Government Board, and which the Committee by this time fully realises. There is as regards England very definite and precise machinery set up for this purpose. There is to begin with the statutory duty imposed upon every individual in the country within those ages to register himself. Then there is the duty cast upon a specified local authority for seeing that the registration is carried out by the individual. The information which is to be obtained from the person registering is elaborately specified in the Bill, and provision is made for sending forms to every household with a view of making the register as complete as it can be made.
When we turn to the application of the Bill to Ireland, what do we find? We find that it is, shall I say amateurish and voluntary, without any delay cast upon any individual or any authority. It is left entirely optional, and it is left to be carried out, if at all, in a piecemeal manner, applied to certain unspecified area or areas. Therefore, having regard to the purpose for which this particular measure is brought forward, it would be perfectly valueless if applied to any part of the country in that way, and I do not think that it would be unjust to call it a mere pretence that this Clause really applies the Bill to Ireland at all. I want to ask the 574 Chief Secretary, and I have no doubt that he will tell us very fully, why this great distinction is made. When the President of the Local Government Board introduced the Bill there was, it is true, one single note of opposition raised against the First Beading. It came from the hon. Member for West Meath (Mr. Ginnell). The hon. Member put his opposition on a perefectly intelligible ground. We know that this is an emergency Bill for war purposes, and is only for the period of the War. We should never have heard of it but for the necessities arising out of the War. The hon. Member looks upon Ireland as a neutral nation. He says that Ireland ought to stand out of this Bill, because it ought to be no more concerned with the War than Norway, Sweden, Greece, or Bulgaria, if as much. Therefore, the opposition which came from the hon. Member for West Meath was perfectly intelligible, however much we may sympathise with his point of view; but I did not expect to find when the Bill was printed that the Government had allowed themselves, I will not say to be intimidated, but to be persuaded to the point of view of the hon. Member. The right hon. Gentlemen sitting on the Front Bench opposite, I believe I may say without exception, do not regard Ireland as a neutral country. I therefore cannot at all understand why they have adopted the point of view of the hon. Member for West Meath with regard to this Registration Bill.
Would the Bill impose any hardship upon any part of Ireland? Of course we know that Ireland—I am happy to say it as an Irishman—is the spoilt darling upon whom no hardship may ever be imposed, but could any hardship be imposed upon Ireland by this Bill? I do not see an overwhelming array of hon. Members below the Gangway who have come here in apprehension of the hardship that might be inflicted upon their country. There is only my hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Conner) who, like myself, is not an Irish Member. I should imagine, if there were any real opposition from Ireland to the application of this Bill in its entirety to that country that we should have those Benches conspicuously full to-day instead of conspicuously empty.
Of course, technically speaking, I have no title to speak for any part of Ireland, because, like my hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division, I am not an, Irish Member, but there is one part of 575 Ireland with which I am very intimately acquainted. I am so anxious to avoid the possibility of raising old controversies that I intend, if possible, scrupulously to avoid even mentioning the Northern provinces, but there is at all events a part of Ireland where the people, so far from wishing to be out of this Bill or to have the Bill applied to them in any less measure than to the rest of the country, are most anxious that it should be applied to them, and a considerable amount of feeling has been aroused and some disappointment has been caused to find that those people are treated in this amateurish, voluntary fashion and are not being treated seriously like the rest of the country. I am quite certain that the right hon. Gentleman opposite would confirm what has been said by some of his colleagues who represent both the War Office and the Admiralty that no part of the country has given more willing service in the Army, in the workshop, and in war measures, in assisting the Government than that part of Ireland to which I refer. Therefore, if there is any part of the country to which registration in one sense is less necessary than another, I think it might be said of that part of Ireland, because there is certainly nowhere greater willingness to serve the country in every possible way. But there is a feeling—whether this Bill imposes a hardship or not—that it has been produced by the Government in a time of emergency in order to discover the whole measure of willing service which is at the disposal of the State in different parts of the country, and in this part of Ireland—in the North—where they have shown this willingness to serve, they think there is a certain slur cast upon that willingness, in that they are not considered worthy to be treated like the rest of the country in being called upon compulsorily to answer the questions required by this Bill to be replied to by the rest of the country. In, applying this Bill to Ireland the right hon. Gentleman has proposed that the Lord Lieutenant, with the necessary modifications, may apply it to any area or areas specified in the Order. But the arguments by which the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board supported the Bill and the very nature of the measure show that its usefulness depends upon its being complete. It is trifling -with the matter to bring forward such a 576 measure as this and to apply to small and perhaps isolated areas. It would be ridiculous to take the register in a single county or a small group of counties, with the result that a man might cross a road or a river into another borough or village and pass out of that area into another which does not come under the Registration Act. To decide to treat any part of the country in that way is a mere pretence. I say it deliberately.
I have no wish to put the Government in any great difficulty, nor have the people in the North of Ireland, on whose behalf I speak in this respect, though perhaps with less authority than hon. Friends behind me. The Committee has heard from my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for East Belfast, who speaks for the largest industrial constituency in Ireland and one of the largest in the three Kingdoms, that the great desire of the people he represents—and they are part of a very large population—is to be included along with their English and Scottish fellow subjects in the full provisions of this measure, and to come under the machinery of the Act by which that can be done. The object of my Amendment, and I think it is perfectly reasonable, is to secure that the Act, with the small necessary changes in authorities, such as have also been introduced into the Scottish portion of the Bill, shall be made to extend to the whole of the country, and shall apply to Ireland in the same way as it applies to England and Scotland. There is one small point in this connection to which I should like to call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman. We have already passed Clause 7, and if the right hon. Gentleman will look at Sub-section (2) of that Clause he will see that it is provided that within twenty-eight days after the arrival of any person, not in England or Scotland, but in the United Kingdom, between the ages aforesaid, who has not been previously registered, he is to take measures to register. The right hon. Gentleman is proposing that in Ireland the registration, if it takes place at all, shall take place only in a certain area or areas to be specified by the Lord Lieutenant. Suppose the county of Cork or the county of Derry is not a specified area. What is to happen when a person arrives in the United Kingdom, at the port of Cork, or of Derry, or of Dublin, which are not registered areas? That person is to be under a penalty, according to Clause 7, for not registering, when the right hon. Gentleman has not provided any means by 577 which the registration can be carried out in Ireland. I do not know whether that is a mere oversight. If it is, it shows a very great want of care in the drafting of this particular part of the measure. It may be a mere oversight, and no doubt it would be tolerably easy to put it right by going back on the Clause I have referred to, or by introducing an Amendment in another place, substituting "Great Britain" for the "United Kingdom." But I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not do that. I hope he will keep the United Kingdom in the Clause, and in order to carry out the intentions of the measure as introduced by my right hon. Friend, and also in view of the fact that there has not been the slightest sign of opposition to this measure, so far as this House is concerned, from any part of Ireland, with the single exception of West Meath, I trust that the right hon. Gentleman will accept this and the consequential Amendments, so that we in Ireland may do our part, to the best of our ability, just as the rest of the country has been doing its part.
May I remind the right hon. Gentleman that within the last few hours we, Irishmen especially, have read with intense pride of the magnificent achievements of the Dublin and Munster Fusiliers in the Dardanelles, where they have been adding fresh lustre to the glorious history of Irish regiments. My hon. Friends below the Gangway have been telling the House and the country that they are as anxious as anyone to do their best to support the Empire in this time of stress and trouble, and I do not believe any hon. Member, except possibly the Member for West Meath, will get up and say that Ireland is behind any part of the United Kingdom in its anxiety to bear its share of the stress of war. Having regard to the attitude and example which has been set by soldiers from all parts of Ireland, I do think the right hon. Gentleman will only be acting in accordance with, if not the universal, at all events a widespread Irish desire, if he alters the Bill in the direction I propose.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
By the permission of my right hon. Friend in charge of this Bill, I gladly avail myself of the opportunity of the Amendment of the hon. Member for the St. Augustine's Division (Mr. R. McNeill) of doing what I quite admit is necessary to be done—of offering some explanation to this Committee of 578 the reasons why the Government in their treatment of Ireland have inserted a differentiating Clause into this Bill. I confess I do not think it requires off-hand justification. We are considering a Bill which deals with the social condition of the country, and before it is assumed that those conditions are the same in all parts of the United Kingdom, inquiry should be made whether there are not circumstances in Ireland—whether of population or occupation—which justifies this differentiating Clause. I am going to follow the moderate language of the hon. Gentleman. I must confess he takes to moderation as a dog takes to water. He shows he can be as moderate even as myself. I should like to point out it has always been a good thing in dealing with Ireland, if this House, acting in an emergency and under the strength of great conviction, has sometimes paused to inquire whether there are not circumstances in the social community of Ireland which render it necessary there should be some difference of treatment. If this House had always done that during the last 100 years, the Irish question with which we are all familiar would have borne a very different aspect.
This differentiating Clause is not inserted in the Bill with any intention of not procuring the information which the country requires in this period of emergency for the purpose of dealing with what has been so eloquently described as "the human resources" alike of Ireland and of the rest of the United Kingdom. But when we are asked to apply the machinery of this Bill to Ireland, I really would invite this Committee to bear in mind a few facts with regard to the pupulation, and also the main and dominant occupations, and then to ask themselves whether the machinery of this Bill, which is passing so rapidly through its Committee stage, is the best way of acquiring the very information you are in search of, and acquiring it at once. We all agree that in a Bill of this sort, an emergency measure, time is its very essence. It is necessary the information should be obtained as quickly and as accurately as possible. I would like to tell the Committee what is the total number of males in Ireland at this moment between the ages of fifteen and sixty-five—how many men between those ages exist in that happy island at the present time. The total is 1,325,000, and by an arrangement of Providence over which, happily, the 579 Committee of this House has no control, there is an almost exactly corresponding number of women. There are, in fact, 1,317,000 women. These are facts and figures relating to the size of the problem with which you have to deal. Of the 1,325,000 males, 1,054,000 live in what really may be called the depths of the country. They are a rural population, and in no sense industrial. Of that 1,054,000 no fewer than 800,000 are small farmers and agricultural labourers, or persons otherwise closely connected with the most important task of looking after their small farms, raising their crops, and making a very good thing out of selling their stock, or rather out of the persons who purchase the stock. Here you have 800,000 persons, out of a population of 1,000,000, actively engaged in a pursuit where labour is already sparse and scanty, and any interference with it would be a matter of considerable danger to the social welfare of the whole United Kingdom.
There are towns, of course, in Ireland—Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Derry, and other important places. But it brings home to us how completely Ireland has remained an agricultural country, while England and Scotland have become industrial countries, when we find that the whole male population in these cities and towns of Ireland, between the ages mentioned in the Bill, numbers only 271,000. These are the people mainly with whom this Bill has concern. In these industrial centres you have only got a population of males of 271,000, between the ages of fifteen and sixty-eight, and in regard to them we have already analysed the figures. In Ireland we know how many of these men are engaged in any particular trade. The Irish Government can tell that without this Bill and without the machinery provided by it. Having regard to the smallness of the towns and the size of the agricultural counties, it really is easy for the Irish Government to say how many men and women there are in Mayo or in Kerry, or in other places between these ages. The Royal Irish Constabulary have a police register of all the householders in every part of Ireland where the Royal Irish Constabulary prevails, which is almost the whole of it. That register of householders is kept up to date, and will enable us to tell you at once, or in only a very few weeks and at no expense whatever, what the population of Ireland is and the ages of 580 the persons occupying the houses. Therefore it would be to break a butterfly on the wheel to do as the hon. Gentleman wishes us to do, and to say that this Bill, with all its machinery of the local authorities, should be applied, with its compulsory powers, to the provision of a mass of information—it is hardly a mass, because the whole contents of it will not amount to that when it is not necessary to set the machinery in motion, or to incur that expense to produce such a result.
I sympathise very much with what the hon. Member said about the passionate desire of people, particularly in that part of the country in which he is interested, to inscribe their names upon this register. That is a spirit which I admire, but that is not the object of this Bill. This Bill is not brought in to induce people to believe that they are discharging a patriotic duty by filling up a register. It is done in order to produce a mass of information which can be utilised, if necessary, in a period of great emergency, for the purpose of moving people about from one trade to another, or from one place to another, where they are wanted. That is not the condition of things which prevails in Ireland. If you had that information—indeed, I could supply it to you—you would not find it useful for the very thing-that is so useful and necessary in this country, namely, what has been called the migration of people from one part to another, in order to supply particular wants, the supply of population where there is no population, and the supply of workmen where there are no workmen. To take a workman from one place to another would be of no use for the purposes we have in Ireland.
What is wanted is not to gratify the desire of people but to acquire information, and if we are satisfied, as I think we are, that that information can be obtained, owing to the manner in which Ireland is already parcelled out, analysed and dissected—if we can supply that information, at all events over a great part of Ireland, without the obligation of putting the Irish Clause in the Bill into operation at all, we need not, as reasonable, practical men, incur expense and irritate people. You do not want to irritate people by saying you must do this, when your only object is to obtain information. With regard to that part of the Irish population—a very limited part indeed—engaged in the manufacture of munitions and carrying on the great shipbuilding industry in Belfast and 581 Arklow, no words of mine are strong enough to express the admiration I feel for the manner in which the people in Belfast and elsewhere have set themselves to discharge a great national obligation. They have given way to no temptation, they have shirked in no single respect, and no complaint of slack time or lack of temper can be properly brought against them. Irishmen may well be proud of that fact. It is said that you may be able to find people in the agricultural or other parts of Ireland willing to come to work in the munition works in Belfast and Arklow. If you think so you are under a very great mistake. There is every opportunity in the Clause of the Bill as it stands. I am quite willing that it should be amended in respect, if necessary, of the assistance of local authorities and of county councils. If that Amendment is accepted we shall certainly obtain in all parts of Ireland the assistance of these bodies for the purpose of bringing about the obtaining of information, but not by compulsion. We are not dealing with people who want compulsion. There is no credit in doing a thing by compulsion. If the county councils so desire it, these figures can be secured by the aid of the machinery of this Clause as it stands.
I assure the Committee that they are quite mistaken it they suppose that this is a dodge or an attempt to keep Ireland out of the ascertainment of these necessary facts. It is only because these facts can be secured in the way indicated by this Clause much more quickly, and with at least equal accuracy, as by the machinery set up for the rest of the United Kingdom. Ireland does not want to block this Bill in the very least. There is no desire whatsoever to prevent the production of a return, or register, giving everybody all the information they can possibly require. But we do say, having regard to the figures I have given and the fact that 800,000 people out of this meagre population of 1,325,000 are already engaged as peasant proprietors, tilling their own soil, subject to a mortgage to the State, or as agricultural labourers, a scanty body already not sufficient for the purpose, that to apply the whole of the Bill to the whole of Ireland would be an unnecessary, expensive, and difficult operation. The local authorities in Ireland have given very valuable services. No one who knows anything of them will join in any harsh criticism of their ability and capacity. They are the most democratic set of men who have ever been brought together, 582 and to impose upon them an extraneous duty of this kind, which possibly they might not understand, and possibly in some parts of the country might be very unwilling to adopt, would only lead to delay and excite the very friction which none of us want. I would re-echo the eloquent language used by the hon. Member who preceded me about the part Irishmen have taken in the War. He referred to the hon. Member for West Meath and the question of Irish neutrality. There was no neutrality at the great meeting at Warrenpoint yesterday, which was presided over by the Lord Lieutenant and attended by the Lord Mayor, and in which the spirit was one of universal loyalty and approval.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No, he was not there, and Ireland can represent itself very well without either the Member for West Meath or myself. It is perfectly idle to introduce the names of particular individuals, because the feeling of Ireland is enthusiastic and warm. I do not deny that in Ireland there is among the peasant population a very great dread of conscription. A certain number of persons very foolishly left the country—some 300 or 400 of them altogether, young men—in order to avoid conscription. I am happy to say that most of them have come back and are subjected to a great deal of ridicule and derision at the hands of their friends. But at the same time, in dealing with a country about which most of you are entirely ignorant and a state of affairs that perhaps even the hon. Member for the City cannot even begin to understand, it is not at all desirable to overlook this difference of condition.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am very sorry I said it, and I withdraw it. I do say this seriously to the hon. Baronet, speaking with much knowledge after eight or nine years of Irish administration, that the machinery set up by this Bill for the purpose of getting this information quickly, without trouble, without friction, and without creating undesirable ebullitions of feeling is inapplicable; in fact, the provisions of the Scotch and English Bill are totally inapplicable to Ireland. That is not the way the thing should be done. You are dealing with this meagre population of 1,325,000, 800,000 of whom you do not 583 want to interfere with, and only 271,000 of whom are residing in the large towns, and probably not more than 60,000 are carrying on skilled occupations. Of those workers most have already enlisted or are engaged at Belfast or at Arklow, doing their work in a manner which excites the admiration of the War Office and all those who are brought in contact with them. It is a very small population. I do not hesitate to say, that with the assistance that is indicated in the Clause, of the municipal authorities, and if you make the Amendment, of the county councils also, the Irish Government, that much abused body, will be able with that assistance, without penalties and without the other provisions of this Bill, to procure, probably before you are able to get it in England, as full and as satisfactory an analysis of the human resources in Ireland available for the purposes of this War, as if you had adopted the proposal of the hon. Gentleman opposite, and insisted upon applying to a country to which it is inapplicable, the very excellent provisions of this Bill so far as they relate to England and Scotland.
I can assure the Committee there is no intention whatsoever on the part of the Irish Government to interfere with or to block this measure, or to take any steps, dilatory or otherwise, which will prevent the information being at the disposal of the nation quite as rapidly as it will be in any other part of the United Kingdom. I therefore, say—subject to the Amendment which I have already indicated, and speaking with the authority of my right hon. Friend, who is perfectly willing to accept it, that the county councils as well as the municipal authorities should come to the assistance of the Government in the compilation and the making of this register—it will be quite as complete, and contain as much information as you will find in your English register. We are prepared to do that, and will do that. The hon. Member referred to the fact that the Irish Benches are not crowded. He ought to thank me for that fact. The Clause as it stands is one which will excite no opposition in Ireland, and will result in the collection of just as much information as if it had been cast in another way.
§ Mr. CHAPLIN
I frankly own that when I first read this Bill, the question did arise in my mind why it was so totally different in its application to Ireland from its application to England. After hearing the speech of my hon. Friend behind me I awaited, with even more interest then before, the reply of the right hon. Gentleman. I am bound to say, having listened to all that he has been good enough to tell us in his very lucid statement, which we all heard with great interest, that I feel I am in rather a peculiar position, and that I am convinced that the right hon. Gentleman was able to show that the Bill in the form in which it appears ought not to apply to Ireland. I had no idea that the number of men is so small that might be available in the various works, and who might be required for them, and for which it has been the purpose of the Government to introduce and carry this Bill. In some parts of Ireland I still understand that there are many available for the purposes which are required in connection with this Bill, and that where that is the case the machinery already exists, which he himself considers would be more effective than the machinery generally applied to this country or Scotland. So far as I am concerned, although I only speak with the greatest possible diffidence on a question like this relating to Ireland, I am bound to say that I heard with great interest and a good deal of satisfaction the explanation which I was anxious to hear from the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
I hope that my hon. Friend will allow me to express my gratitude for the very moderate and conciliatory manner in which he proposed his Amendment. I am sure that in that respect he represented the feeling of appeasement to Ireland which I hope will go on and increase, but I must express my strong dissent from his proposal. Tracing the history of Ireland, I do not know any principle which has inflicted more injury upon her, very often unconsciously and unintentionally, than the principle which underlies my hon. Friend's proposal—that the same thing that was good for England was also good for Ireland. I will not be drawn into a discussion of that subject further than to say that the tragic figures of the email population of Ireland—a great wrong and a great injury to this Empire at this moment, as well as to Ireland—may be traced largely to the fact that the same land system which was 585 considered good for England was forced upon Ireland. Therefore, when anyone starts any proposal by the suggestion that, because it has been done in England, it should also be done on similar lines in Ireland, he errs against the underlying principle of the relations of the two countries. The point I want to bring home to the mind of the Committee is that the reason why this whole system is unnecessary is because England is governed on English lines in these matters, and Ireland is governed on Continental lines. The first thing that happens to all of us when we go on the Continent is to be presented with a document by the hotel proprietor in which we have to state our age, occupation, place of residence, etc.—a very easy thing to do, but I am sure an extremely unwelcome and stupid performance from our English point of view. Apply that to Ireland and you will find that it runs through the whole system of the government of the country. As a matter of fact, everybody in Ireland is ticketed and docketed. Everyone has his dossier. If I ever get inside Dublin Castle, I shall have the pleasure of reading the dossier of my hon. Friend at a time when he was closer to being in contact with the police than I hope he will ever be in the remaining days of his life. We know all about everybody in Ireland, and I sometimes hear the official representative of Ireland, when asked a question about the religion of a gentleman who has just been appointed to a good job, declare, with an assumption of innocence which may even deceive himself, that the Government "never know anything about the religion of anyone whom they appoint to any office."
As a matter of fact, there is not a man in Ireland, except the representative of the Irish Government and of Dublin Castle, who does not know the religion of every man, woman and child in Ireland. I am going to put the dots on the i's. I see two headsmen there of Dublin Castle—the headsman at the present moment and the right hon. Gentleman who formerly occupied that position. They know very well that their police could give them, in the course of a fortnight or three weeks, practically all the information this Bill requires by simply handing up a list in which they have set down the name, the occupation, the habitation, and even the movements of practically everybody in the place. Therefore, from the 586 point of view of the necessity of this Bill, my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary has conclusively proved—my hon. Friend knows it even though his visits to Ireland, like mine, may be few and far between—that practically, outside Dublin, and even in Dublin I should say, all the information required under this Bill can be supplied by the constabulary to the Chief Secretary and to the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill. Consequently, there is no necessity for the Bill. I have supported it and have given loyal support to the Government, partly because I thought it might be necessary for England, but largely because it was brought forward on the responsibility of the Government of the day, and I have pledged myself—and I mean to keep my pledge—to give my loyal support to the Government, which is the body that has the conduct of the War in hand, and I should consider I was not acting loyally up to that principle if I opposed a Bill brought forward on their responsibility. But if the Bill be unnecessary in Ireland, why should you impose it upon her? If my hon. Friend says to me, "If it cannot do any good, it cannot do any harm," I have to take issue with him upon that point. It is quite true there is no large attendance of Irish Members here to-day, but I solemnly assure my hon. Friend that he is entirely wrong as to the feeling of Ireland if he does not realise that this Bill has created a good deal of excitement and a great deal of apprehension in Ireland. They may be right or they may be wrong, but the Irish people have a perfect loathing of the very mention of the word "conscription." My right hon. Friend gave an instance of the extremes to which that sometimes has carried a portion of the population. You cannot bully Irishmen, and my hon. Friend has very handsomely and very properly borne testimony to the service which Irish soldiers have done to the nation in this great War. I am perfectly sure that will go on, and when the story of the War may be told, it will be found that Irish soldiers have taken their fair and honourable share in winning the victory of which we all feel certain.
But there is this feeling in Ireland, and I implore my hon. Friend not to persevere in any course which may exasperate Irish feeling—I will even say Irish prejudice. When the history of this War comes to be told, I believe one of the phenomena which will stand out from the glorious and 587 remarkable story is the extraordinary change of heart which this War and other circumstances to which perhaps it would be improper to refer, have brought about in the minds of the Irish people. We, who are responsible for giving counsel to our people, took our course early, promptly, and courageously. We told the Irish people that we regarded it as a solemn obligation on them, and in accordance with all their principles, to back the Empire and her Allies in this War. I was struck by two facts, one of which I brought privately to the notice of my hon. Friend, that this change of heart is brought out in the most remarkable way by the story of two Irishmen who were once prominent in very different conditions of those of to-day. One was O'Donovan Rossa. He is known to my hon. Friend and to me, though probably his name is unknown to the rest of the House. He figured largely in the controversies of the past. O'Donovan Rossa was all his life an advocate of revolution and a preacher of the most violent and, in my opinion, the most criminal methods against this country. He was sentenced to penal servitude for life, and served many years. He went to America, where he conducted very violent and revolutionary organisations, and I read with satisfaction in the columns of the "Daily Telegraph" the other day a cable from America in which this old, dying revolutionary gave a message of goodwill to the people of England, and expressed his sympathy with them in the War against Germany. The other case is the case of Captain O'Meagher Condon. He was sentenced to death in 1867, and his companions were actually executed. He had also served a term of penal servitude. Captain O'Meagher Condon was a fierce anti-English revolutionary, but he stands to-day with us on the side of the Allies in sympathy and support of their fight for the cause of liberty and European civilisation. When we have produced so noble and so beneficent a change of heart among our people, I pray this House not to embarrass our work by such proposals as these.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir E. Carson)
I do not intend to follow the hon. Gentleman in many of the matters which he has raised. It might bring us back to old controversies, which I certainly intend absolutely to avoid as long as I hold a seat in the Coalition Government. I only rise because I think there 588 has been a good deal of misapprehension both in Ireland, certainly in parts of Ireland, and also here, as regards the provisions in the Bill in relation to Ireland. It has been said, even by the hon. Member, that this Bill is not to apply to Ireland. That is only true in a certain sense. The Bill is to apply to Ireland. In other words, there is to be the same register made as regards Ireland in such parts of Ireland as desire to have it. It will be made by the Lord Lieutenant with the official information that he has, and as regards a great deal of the information that is required I agree with the hon. Member that it can be got from official documents and with the assistance of the Irish Constabulary, which is a central force entirely different, and doing entirely different duties from what the police do in this country. Therefore a great many of the records are already available. As regards the forms which are to be filled up in this country, I understand there is to be an Amendment accepted that one of the matters that are left out in the Irish portion will be put into the Irish portion. Therefore the matter really stands in this way. Any portion of Ireland which desires to have this register with a view to declaring how far they are anxious and willing to assist in the present crisis will get an opportunity of doing so, and I have not the slightest doubt that in the industrial parts of Ireland, which are mainly in the North, that will be a provision which they will value and will gladly sign. Therefore, so far as I am concerned, I have agreed to this provision.
I should be very sorry if it was attempted in a crisis like this to force this Bill upon any part of Ireland that did not desire it, or that wished to resist in any way, but I have been given an assurance that as regards the industrial portions of Ireland, which would certainly deem themselves insulted if they were left out of this Bill, they will have the fullest opportunity of going upon the register and exactly the same opportunity of declaring their desire to serve the country as is granted to their English and Scottish fellow subjects. Therefore, so far as I am concerned, I am quite satisfied with the way in which the Bill has been framed. I merely rise in order that the idea might no longer prevail that those persons who desire to have that opportunity are not to have it under this Bill. The Bill, I think, in that way will work out satisfactorily, and those who do not like the Bill and 589 who do not wish to be registered will be left as they are. The Bill will apply to those who desire to fill up a form, and I feel perfectly sure that the forms will be voluntarily filled up at the request of the Lord Lieutenant in the great majority of the industrial portions of Ireland.
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
After what my right hon. Friend has said in support of this Bill I have no hesitation in at once stating that any Amendments that I have got I gladly withdraw. I do so on the assurance which I have received from the right hon. Gentleman that this Bill may be applied to every part of Ireland which desires to have it. I confess I do not understand how any part of Ireland can object to the register. We are told by responsible Members of the Government that the Empire is in great peril, and surely it is the duty of every man, both in Ireland, England, and Scotland to show that he is ready and willing to do all that he can for his country in its hour of need. What we want to know is that the people of Ireland shall have the opportunity of showing what they can do and what they are willing to do in the same way that the Bill applies to England and Scotland. I am not able to speak with the authority of some hon. Gentlemen who sit below the Gangway as to the south and west of Ireland, but speaking for Ulster I have had innumerable resolutions, letters and telegrams asking me to see to it that Ulster is placed exactly on the same terms as England and Scotland. The Ulster people claim their right to serve their country in the time of need. I do not want to say one discordant word after the speeches which have been delivered, but I must speak for the people of Ulster who have shown their anxiety and their keen desire to bring this War to a successful conclusion in every way that is open to them. They have subscribed to provide hospitals, they have subscribed to provide ambulance corps, and they have subscribed to every one of the war funds, and they are anxious to continue to show their practical desire to help their country in the same way that the people of England and Scotland are doing. Therefore it is only on the assurance of my right hon. Friend that I withdraw the Amendments which stand in my name.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
When I first read this Bill I could not conceive why on earth Ireland was left out, and I came down specially this afternoon to support my hon. Friends on this side of the House. 590 After listening to the speech of my hon. Friend I felt that my first impression was right, and I told him that if he divided the House I should go into the Lobby with him. I did not suppose that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Birrell) was going to alter my opinion. I have heard the right hon. Gentleman for many long years, longer than I like to say, and I have never yet known him to convince me with any speech he has made. Something, however, seems to have come over the right, hon. Gentleman, or something has come over me, and, although it has been said that no speech has ever turned a vote in this House, I must confess that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman turned my vote, until nearly his concluding words. I do not like his concluding words. I cannot agree that this measure has not been brought forward in order to give people an opportunity of showing their eagerness and patriotism. In regard to the other part of his speech, however, I must confess that I have been convinced, and I would not have divided with my hon. Friend if he had gone to a Division. I do not quite understand one statement that was made by the right hon. Gentleman. He said the population of Ireland in the industrial parts is only 271,000.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
It is a very small number and much smaller than I had expected. As I understand the population is so small, and as they are engaged in the way that the right hon. Gentleman says, and as, moreover, there are means of obtaining this information without spending further money, I make this present to him, if he will accept it, namely, that he has converted me.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
It is with no disrespect to the Chief Secretary that I say that the speech of the Attorney-General produced a greater effect upon my mind than the speech of the Chief Secretary.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I understand that the Attorney-General, on behalf of the Government, gives the assurance that in the industrial portions of Ireland there will be a register made up much on the same lines as it is made up in England, and that the people there will have an opportunity not only of stating their ages, occupations, and so on, but an opportunity 591 of saying whether they are prepared to serve, and if so in what capacity, in the interests of the country during this War. I want to have that point made quite clear. Did the Attorney-General say he had received an assurance or did he say the Government were prepared to give it?
§ Sir E. CARSON
I said that an opportunity would be given to such parts of Ireland as desired it to make these statements on the form, and I said that I had an assurance, and I gave an assurance, that it would certainly be applied to those industrial portions in the North of Ireland, where I know they want to make a statement on the forms provided in connection with this National Register.
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
Will the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Birrell) say if there is any machinery in Ireland that will enable the people to record their desire?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I said, in the course of my speech, that I proposed to accept an Amendment which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Derry (Sir J. Dougherty), who has assisted me in this matter, providing that the Lord Lieutenant will accept the assistance of county councils in the preparation, compilation, and maintenance of this register.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Borough councils are in the Bill already. That Amendment will enable county councils who are desirous of assisting in this compilation to express their desire. I have no doubt whatever that if a county council in the North of Ireland should say that they are desirous of assisting the Lord Lieutenant in the compilation of this register, such a register will be produced in that district. We insert also in the questions the paragraph (c), which enables the person to express his willingness to serve his country.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I am much obliged for this explanation. I understand the right hon. Gentleman gives this explanation on behalf of the Government, and that if a county council or a borough council should desire to assist—
§ Mr. BUTCHER
If these councils desire to assist in the preparation of the register in the area for which they are responsible, 592 then I understand it will be made up accordingly in the English form. If that be so, surely it would be much better to incorporate a provision of that sort in the Bill. I am not mistrusting the assurance of the Government, but it is much better to have these undertakings incorporated in the provisions of the Bill, A short Clause or a paragraph would carry out the intentions of the Government as expressed by the Attorney-General. It would be far better, lest mistakes should occur which would be very regrettable and create friction, to put in black and white this undertaking in the Bill, so that the people in Ireland who are desirous of having the register in the same way as the people are registering in England and Scotland would know exactly where they stand and would be able to apply accordingly. That would be far better in the interests of everyone rather than it should be left to a statement in this House, which does not circulate in its verbatim form in Ireland and is not recorded in a way in which the Irish people can readily get access to it. If the words are put in the Bill they will stand on record, and I strongly urge the Government to embody the assurance in the Bill.
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
I would like to mention one consideration why this Amendment should not be put in the Bill, and it is a very important consideration. If this War is going to be prolonged, the struggle for food in this country is going to be a very serious one. In this respect I would point out that Ireland is playing a very important part in feeding this country. Last year, or the year before, we imported from Ireland no less than £34,000,000 worth of food, and £18,000,000 worth of that was for meat, dead or alive, If that meat did not come from Ireland there would be a meat famine in this country. Therefore the farmers in Ireland are playing a very important part in feeding the working men of this country, and enabling us to keep down the price of meat and other produce. On these grounds I think that after the very interesting statistics which the Chief Secretary gave in regard to the agricultural population in Ireland it would be a very serious matter if we were to create any disturbance in Ireland.
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
For this reason. I believe that the Irish farmers are largely 593 proprietors of their own farms, and many of them are aged, and they are doing very important work in producing the very article that we require for this country. I believe, further, that it is not essential that we should draw from the agricultural population in this country, otherwise the price of food would go up to a very much higher figure than it is now. I think that we should leave it to the discretion of the Lord Lieutenant to apply this Bill according to desire.
§ Major M'CALMONT
I would like to ask the Chief Secretary if he will make one point clear. It may not have occurred to other Members, but it occurred to me, that he wished to discourage the agricultural labourers in Ireland from enlisting or doing their share. I am sure he did not mean that, but he conveyed that impression to my mind. Will he make it quite clear, for the benefit of those who are concerned with recruiting in Ireland, not only in the North but elsewhere, that he did not mean to imply that the agricultural labourer was so valuable that he did not need to enlist.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I do not think that any interpretation of my language could be such as to prevent any man from enlisting if he wants to enlist. If they wish to enlist we shall let them. If any persons in Ireland are guilty of not doing what they might do, I would rather say it is the farmers' sons, and if I were a recruiting sergeant I would address myself to them rather than to the agricultural labourers. But whether it be an agricultural labourer or a farmer's son, I say he would do well to enlist if he considers it his duty in a crisis like this to serve his country in the field. In regard to the matter raised by the hon. Member for York (Mr. Butcher), I do not think it would be at all desirable to introduce the statement into this Bill making it obligatory in any shape or form for the Lord Lieutenant in certain circumstances to adopt any particular course. If a county council expresses its desire in such a manner as to make it certain that that desire represents the wish of the county council, that this register should be compiled, it is impossible to suppose that the Lord Lieutenant would not at once declare that county an area, and thereupon the register would be compiled. What would apply then would be that this Clause would be operative, but it would not be compulsory, and the register would be formed on the English lines.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
There would be no penalty for not signing. It would be done on the English lines, and the same questions would be asked that are asked in England and Scotland. If the people are anxious to give the information they will give it. It would, however, be impossible to lay down hard and fast rules that that course should be taken. That course will be taken if a county council or a borough council expresses a desire to assist the Lord Lieutenant in the compilation and maintenance of a register. I think it is best to leave it in that way rather than adopt the course suggested by the hon. Member (Mr. Butcher).
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
This is a very important matter about which the industrial population of Ireland feel very strongly, and I would like to know if it is the intention of the Lord Lieutenant, as expressed through the Chief Secretary, not to apply this register, say, to the City of Belfast, unless on a formal resolution of the city council. Or take the counties of Antrim and Down, is it the intention of the Lord Lieutenant not to apply the register to those counties unless the county council pass a formal resolution?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
There is no such intention. The Lord Lieutenant acts on his own responsibility in the first instance. All that is said is that if the county council expressed the desire to assist, then of course there would be an almost overwhelming case, even if the Lord Lieutenant had any reluctance to apply to that area.
§ Mr. DENMAN
Like the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London, I had intended to vote in favour of the Amendment. But, like him, I have been convinced that it ought not to be supported. An additional reason which I had in desiring to vote for the Amendment was the number of hon. Members below the Gangway who, representing Irish constituencies, had voted in favour of the Second Reading of this measure, and I had imagined, since they were so anxious that the measure should apply to England, that they were anxious that it should also apply to its fullest extent to those places 595 which they represent. The exceedingly interesting and important discussion which we have had shows us, more than anything else, what a mere window-dressing Bill this is.
§ Mr. R. MCNEILL
I moved this Amendment with not the slightest desire to do anything to embarrass the right hon. Gentleman opposite, but the right hon. Gentleman has not convinced me on this occasion that there is any really overpowering reason for not applying this measure for Ireland. I do not contest what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for the Scotland Division, that what is good for England is not necessarily good for Ireland, but I do think that the onus of proof is on those who contend that any given measure, especially an emergency war measure, is so repugnant to the Irish nature or the necessities of Ireland that Ireland should be excluded from it. The right hon. Gentleman has failed to show that great repugnance either of the necessity or the character of Ireland. All that he attempted to show in the few concluding words of his speech was that he could get the bulk of the information which was wanted from other sources. With great deference to the right hon. Gentleman, and even in spite of the partial—and only partial—support which he got on that point from my right hon. Friend the Attorney-General, I doubt very much whether there is any dossier existing in Ireland which would give the information that is wanted. One hon. Member opposite referred to the agricultural necessities of the country, and used as against this Amendment the extraordinary argument that the necessities of agriculture in this country were so great that if a number of people in Ireland wrote down their names the food of the people of England might be jeopardised.
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
No; but if you were to create a disturbance in Ireland arising out of this Bill it might be very serious.
§ Mr. McNEILL
I do not wish to pursue that point. I misunderstood the hon. Member. I thought he meant quite a different point. I will tell where I think valuable information might be got for this country in the direction of agricultural work. There is at present a considerable autumnal migration of agricultural 596 labourers from Ireland to this country to assist in the harvesting. So far as my information and belief go, Ireland at present is very much better circumstanced than this country is with regard to its normal supply of agricultural labour. It is much more able than England is to carry on from its own sources the normal operations of harvesting. Consequently my belief is that, if there were a complete register in the agricultural districts in Ireland, it would be possible for Ireland, and Ireland would probably be glad, to supply during the coming harvest a much larger measure of labour which would help the English harvest, which will suffer much more owing to the want of labour than Ireland will by any corresponding depletion in the agricultural labour in that country. Of course the right hon. Gentleman cannot have meant seriously a great deal of what he said about the extraordinary difficulty of securing this register in the country districts. After all, the country districts in Ireland compare very favourably with the country districts in Scotland. We have not heard a word of objection to the proposal to take this register to the islands of the Hebrides or the wilds of Ross-shire, Inverness-shire, or Aberdeenshire. There is no part of Ireland where the remoteness of which the right hon. Gentleman spoke can impose the same difficulties as it does in some parts of Scotland. Therefore, I do not think that that part of the objection is meant seriously, and it would have been a great advantage if they could have got in these country districts, small, comparatively speaking, as I admit the available amount of the population is, and I do think that that part of the right hon. Gentleman's objection has not very much weight.
My right hon. Friend the Attorney-General said that he agreed with the provisions as contained in this Bill. Of course, we all know pretty well the difficulties and the exigencies which arise out of a Coalition Government, and we all sympathise with them, and it is for that very reason that at the outset I said that, even if this Bill had been entirely confined to the attention of the right hon. Gentleman who is now opposite, I should have been just as unwilling to embarrass him as if it were in the hands of the right hon. Gentleman who belongs to my own party. But with regard to this assurance as to the industrial districts, I understood the right hen. Gentleman the Chief 597 Secretary, just now to say, in answer to my hon. and learned Friend, that the area to be prescribed by the Lord Lieutenant would not necessarily be an area where a request was made to the Lord Lieutenant; in other words, that the initiative would be taken by the Government. I am very glad to have heard that from the right hon. Gentleman, and for this reason: The right hon. Gentleman has told us about the industrial population in Ireland, to which alone he seemed to think the application of the register would be valuable. The industrial population is not by any means confined to the North of Ireland, although that comprises the largest part of it. There is a very considerable industry, for example, in Dublin, where there is a great number of people employed in making the most excellent beverage, for instance, and a register in Dublin might be very valuable indeed if the nation's needs became more critical than they are to-day.
We have heard during the progress of this Bill a great deal as to the possible necessities of the future, when we shall be thrown back upon our resources more than we are at the present moment, and, therefore, it might become very important to know how many people who are now engaged in making stout in Dublin would be available for making shells somewhere else. The right hon. Gentleman has talked about the industrial districts of Ireland, and has admitted that the register would be valuable so far as those districts are concerned. I want to know is it the intention of the Government to prolaim— "proclaim" is rather an unfortunate word; "prescribe" perhaps is better—as areas under this Bill any industrial districts outside the North of Ireland? Will Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Arklow, and those parts of Ireland remain, regardless of requests coming from them, as areas for registration under this Bill? I will tell the right hon. Gentleman perfectly candidly why I hope they will. The hon. Member for the Scotland Division said that this Bill had created a great deal of apprehension in Ireland. We must take it from him that, speaking broadly, this is a true statement of the South and West of Ireland. I have already told the Committee that, so far from causing any apprehension, there is a great desire to be included in the North of Ireland.
§ Mr. McNEILL
No, but in some parts of the North of Ireland—roughly speaking, 598 the industrial parts. There we see the perennial contrast which is always cropping up in Ireland between one geographical portion and the other. I am quite certain that the right hon. Gentleman does not want that contrast to be emphasised. I do not think that my Friends behind me want to see it emphasised. I do not want, when this Registration Bill is carried, to have those parts of Ireland included in the register which might be represented as anxious to come in for political reasons, and other parts of Ireland, where the hon. Member says apprehension exists, left out of the Bill, also, as might be represented, because they are anxious for political reasons. I want those areas to be selected for industrial reasons and for reasons of population, to which the right hon. Gentleman referred, and not merely because they come within certain areas, which in former times were, and possibly again in future times will be, distinguished by certain political principles. That is the reason why I welcome the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that they will not have to wait for a request. Personally, I feel strongly about this matter because I foresee so much danger in Ireland of this Bill being once more a political flag in different parts of the country, and I am so convinced that in the method pursued by the right hon. Gentleman in applying it to Ireland it will be for all war purposes practically useless that I would much rather avert the danger which I foresee by seeing the Bill withdrawn altogether than to have it applied by a method which might be said to be practically waiting until certain areas of a certain complexion make a request to be included, while others of a different political persuasion would either remain silent or would wish, to be left out. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will take care of that point of view. All I am concerned about at the present moment is to repeat once more that at all events there is one part of Ireland where they are anxious to bear their share, and it should be known to the people of this country that they are anxious to bear their share under the register. Having made that point as a protest against the decision of the right hon. Gentleman in adhering to the methods practically excluding Ireland, I repeat that I have no wish to press this matter, and I ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.599
§ Sir JAMES DOUGHERTY
I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), after the word "council" ["council of any county"], to insert the words "of any county or."
This is a small Amendment, but I think a useful one. It would secure that people outside the borough sharing the same sentiments as those inside the borough would have an opportunity to assist in the formation of the register, and for that reason I think it is desirable to extend the Clause.
§ Mr. BUTCHER
I am extremely glad that the Chief Secretary has accepted it, and I think he will see that it is very necessary in these specific areas to which the Act is applied to call attention to the manner in which the information was to be gathered. If the matter were left to the police they would have to tell a man personally in what capacity he had to act. If I were asked to leave it to the police to say in what capacity I should act, and even if I were asked to leave it to the Chief Secretary, I should respectfully decline. I am very glad that the right hon. Gentleman has accepted this Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. R. McNEILL
I beg to move, in Sub-section (3), after "(b)" ["paragraphs (a) and (b)"], to insert "(c)."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendment made: In same Sub-section leave out the words "and (d)."—[Mr. Birrell.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
The next Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Westmeath (Mr. Ginnell) is not in order.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member's Amendment introduces the land question, and in the case of an Amendment by the hon. Member for Hanley (Mr. Outhwaite), and another hon. Member, I ruled that they could not introduce that question in connection with this Bill. It is quite outside the scope of the present measure.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I beg to move to add, at the end of the Clause,(5) There shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament towards expenses incurred, with the sanction of the Local Government Board for Ireland, by county councils and county borough councils in assisting in the formation of the register, allowances on such scale as the Treasury may approve, and such expenses, so far as not covered by the allowances, shall be defrayed in the case of a county council out of the poor rate as a county at large charge, and in the case of a county borough council out of the rate or fund applicable to the purpose of the Public Health (Ireland) Acts, 1878 to 1907.This Sub-section is introduced as a matter of precaution. My right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board clearly indicated that it is not the intention of the Government than any of the costs incurred by a county council or municipal authority shall come out of the rates, but shall be borne by the State. But if a county council or municipality, in taking the matter into their own hands, incur expenses beyond those the Treasury approve, those extra costs must be met out of their own funds.
§ Sir J. LONSDALE
May I ask whether it is intended to issue the same form in Ireland as in England and Scotland, for if that is not the intention I am at a loss to understand how any expense will be involved in the application of this to Ireland?
§ Mr. GINNELL
Will the right hon. Gentleman explain that part of the Sub-section referring to expenses to be paid out of the rates.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The provision is exactly the same as that for England and Scotland, which provides that where the county or municipal authority increases the expenses beyond what the Treasury think fit, the extra expenses must be borne out of the local funds. Having put in the words "county council," it is necessary to have this Amendment.
§ Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.601
§ Mr. COWAN
In regard to the Amendment standing in my name—to leave out Clause 14, I would point out that the juxtaposition of my name and that of the hon. Member for West Meath (Mr. Ginnell) does not imply any collusion between myself and the hon. Gentleman, whose courage I admire, and whose opinions I detest. Having said that, in view of the admirable speech of the Chief Secretary, I do not move the Amendment.
§ Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ CLAUSE 15.—(Short Title and Duration),
and CLAUSE 9.—(Expenses), ordered to stand
part of the Bill.