§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Gordon Hewart)
I beg to move,That the Bill be now read a second time.Perhaps it would be an exaggeration to say that this Bill, like some others, was almost if not quite the most attractive of all Bills presented to the House last Session. It would also be a little inaccurate, because the present War Emergency Laws (Continuance) Bill is not the same as the Bill which excited so much cheerfulness in October and November last. The earlier Bill, as the House is aware, had been drafted a long time before it was introduced. It was introduced a long time before the Debate on the Second Reading was reached. When the Debate on the Second Reading was reached, as I at once announced, much that the draft Bill contained had become unnecessary through lapse of time. In the subsequent and frequent discussions in Committee, where there was never any asperity and often there was no quorum, what was left of the Bill was, by common consent, pruned and cut down until it could not at that time be cut down any further. Two more months have gone by and—such is the healing influence of time—the present Bill not only begins where the old Bill left off, but it exhibits an even more modest and attenuated form. There are some new editions—bad ones—which bear on their title page the words, "Revised, corrected and considerably enlarged." There are other new editions—good ones—which bear the words, "Revised, corrected and considerably abbreviated." I am glad to think that the present Bill belongs to the second and more meritorious class. I need not dwell on the fact that some Bill of the kind was and is necessary. This Bill has often been spoken of and written of as if it were a Bill to continue the Defence of the Realm Regulations. That is a complete misrepresentation of the Bill. It consists of two parts. The first and, perhaps, the 568 main part, consists of statutory enactments which it is proposed to continue for a further period until the transition between peace and war has been, I will not say completed, but further entered upon. It is only the concluding portion of the Bill which consists of Defence of the Realm Regulations which it is proposed to continue. The House is aware that under the Termination of the War (Definition) Act, the War as a whole does not come to an end until an Order in Council is made under the terms of that Act declaring that it has come to an end. It is quite true that a little time ago, after the ratification of the Peace with Germany, another Order in Council contemplated by that Act of Parliament in another Sub-section was made, declaring that War was over as between this country and Germany The larger Order in Council still remains to be made, and it cannot be made until the requisite legislation or provision has been passed which will provide that these Defence of the Realm Regulations which are necessary may continue, notwithstanding that the war has practically ended. I say that because hon. Members are perfectly well aware that, with the termination of the War as a whole, the Defence of the Realm Regulations will automatically come to an end.
May I add a few words upon the large changes which took place in Committee in the predecessor of this Bill. I will mention only two. First of all, as the Bill was originally drafted there was a difference of period for the enactments that it was proposed to continue and for the regulations that it was proposed to continue. After a good deal of discussion the Committee came to the conclusion that the simple and better course would be that both the enactments and the regulations that it was proposed to provided for should come to an end upon the 31st day of August next. That date accordingly is provided in the Bill. I must, however, add a word of warning in regard to that date. So far as the regulations under the Defence of the Realm Act are concerned that date is not to be the date to which they will certainly continue. It is the date beyond which they cannot continue, and there is an expressed power in the Bill to revoke any one of these continued regulations as soon as it appears consistent with the national interest to do so. I hope, therefore, it 569 will not be suggested or understood that in continuing these regulations, with the outside limit of 31st August, we are of necessity continuing them or any of them until that date.
There was another important step taken in Committee. Some observation was excited by the penalties which were provided in the original Bill and the argument was made that, although during the period of actual hostilities very severe penalties might be right, less penalties would be sufficient in the transition period between peace and war. The Committee took that view, and accordingly in the Bill as it now stands there are no offences except offences that can be tried by a Court of Summary Jurisdiction, and there is no penalty of imprisonment provided which goes beyond a period of three months. I might explain very briefly the few respects in which the Bill as it is now presented differs from the Bill as it was left by the Standing Committtee at the close of its last sitting. There are one or two amendments of a purely drafting character and apart from these amendments the changes are these: In the first schedule, which contains not the regulations but the Statutes, the Injuries in War (Compensation) Acts have been omittted, because they are not longer required. The Public Authorities and Bodies (Loan) Act, 1916, has been omitted because as similar provisions are contained in Section 8 of the Housing (Additional Powers) Act, 1919, that Act has become unnecessary. What was Clause 2 of the Bill and the Second Schedule have been omitted altogether. We were able to omit these because they refere to two sections of the Naval Discipline Act which are no longer required by the Admiralty. In the Third Schedule which refers to the Regulations, Regulation 39, dealing with pilotage, and Regulation 55A, relating to special police areas, have been omitted because it is thought they are no longer required. In addition to these slight alterations limitations have been introduced in the third column of the Schedule referring to Regulation 5A and 6A. These regulations have to do with control of highways in certain events and the control of factories in certain events, and the limitations we have introduced are by way of giving effect to promises which were made in Committee. In this case the limiting words reduce and do not enlarge what was otherwise contained in the Bill.
570 Finally Regulation 35A has been restored. That is the Regulation which gives power to make rules for explosive factories and stores. It has been restored because its omission was due to an error in Committee. The necessity for the continuance of that particular regulation is shown by the serious accident which lately occurred in one of the factories used for breaking up ammunition. In the limitation as to the continuance of Regulation 15 (c) a reference to requisitions has been introduced as well as to contracts, because a question might arise whether that which was obtained was obtained by requisition or by contract. The fact of the matter is that we have still further and in many substantial respects reduced this Bill beyond the very modest dimensions which it had reached as a result of the deliberations in Committee last year. It now contains, as we believe, nothing which is unnecessary. The penalties are severely cut down and the period of time beyond which not one of these regulations can be continued is limited to the 31st August next. In these circumstances, and in conformity with the understanding which was arrived at between both sides of the House on the closing days of last Session, I trust that we may now with all proper speed pass the Second Reading and afterwards the Committee stage of the Bill.
§ Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the understanding which was come to at the end of last Session. Perhaps it would be as well if I state our interpretation of that understanding. This Bill passed through Standing Committee upstairs, and the Government proposed by a new-procedure to carry the Bill forward in its then stage and start it again in this Session at the stage which it had reached after the deliberations of last Session. On the discussion on that motion an arrangement was come to by which the motion was abandoned, the understanding being, as we think, that we should have a free discussion on the Second Reading, and that the Committee stage should be treated as a formal stage. It was understood that the Committee stage and the Second Reading should be passed in one day.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I do not think we differ in substance. The arrangement was that the Second Reading and Committee stage should occupy together not more 571 than one day, and as to the allocation of time as between the different stages, I do not recollect that any arrangement was made.
§ Captain BENN
The understanding, as far as we are concerned, was that not more than one day was to be devoted to these two stages of Second Reading and Committee.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
The understanding was that the Committee stage should be taken as a formal stage and that the real fight on the Bill, in so far as it could be carried on, should take place on the Report stage, the idea being as far as possible to take up the Bill where it was left and to carry it on to the Report stage for a real discussion, except that on the Second Reading a full deliberation on the principles of the measure was regarded as quite permissible by the Leader of the House when the arrangement was made. Of course, we must have some aleration in Committee to get a Report stage.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I quite understand what my right hon. Friend says, and I do not think there is any difference of view between us. Steps will be taken in Committee to make sure that the Report stage should follow.
§ Captain BENN
The important thing from our point of view is that we are entitled to fight this Bill on the Report stage. We understand that the first two stages are somewhat emasculated by the proceedings which took place during the last Session. With a good deal of what the Attorney-General has said I am in complete agreement. The Bill is far leas formidable not only than the Bill which went upstairs at the beginning of the Session, but it is far less formidable than the Bill which was introduced before the conclusion of the Session, and which might have been taken if it had not been for the intervention of the right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) and other hon. Members. In the Committee upstairs the Bill was cut down by the Government themselves. Then it was reintroduced in its reduced form. In the Committee a great many alterations were made. Some penalties were modified and some provisions were altogether excised from the Bill. During the Recess it has been found possible to take out still more. The Injuries in War 572 (Compensation) Acts have been eliminated, and other items have been struck out, with the result that the Bill is now introduced in a still more reduced form. If the Government would leave the Bill alone it would not be necessary at all. If they waited for a few months they would find that the Bill was superfluous. In regard to many matters we have found, during the past months since the Bill was originally introduced, that the Bill has become superfluous. Except for certain parts of the Bill which should be incorporated in the permanent Statute law of the country, the rest of the Bill will lapse and become quite superfluous before the time when the existing powers of the Government under the Defence of the Realm Act come to an end. I have not seen any signs of any rapid making of peace by the Government. It took fourteen months to make peace with Germany. I do not think the terms of the Turkish Treaty are yet arranged. Is there any reason to suppose that peace with Turkey will be ratified by the belligerents before this Act, according to its terms, comes to an end?
It is a most objectionable Bill. It is almost impossible to understand it without a vast deal of study. You have not only to study the regulations by reference to the schedules, but you find that there is an enormous volume of regulations that have been made. It is a very formidable job for anyone understand what really is the intention of this Bill. There are 12 Acts of Parliament which are amended or affected or altered in some way in this Act, each of which in the ordinary way would be the subject of a separate Bill. In addition, 44 regulations are continued with certain limitations, and some of these limitations are extremely objectionable, while others are, we think, entirely superfluous. I will give a few illustrations of what we regard as objectionable. In Section 2 of the Bill power is given to the Court to seize any goods that may be used in respect of offences committed under the Act. I have read the Reports in Committee, and it is very doubtful whether that would not authorise the Court to see the printing presses of a newspaper that has been suppressed under the Defence of the Realm Act. That I hold to be an extremely objectionable proceeding. We have seen something of it in what has occurred in Ireland. Take some of the other proposals. There is a perfectly 573 good proposal for regulating the sale of cocaine. I have not the least objection to that; it is a very good proposal, but it should be made part of the permanent law of the land. There is no reason why it should be brought in by regulation under the Defence of the Realm Act.
There is another regulation about assuming names and another about shop hours. Both these, if good, and I do not doubt that they are, should be made part of the ordinary body of statute law. Another Act continued is that relating to the making of wills by men serving in the Army or Navy. The case for this was explained so lucidly in Committee by the right hon. Gentleman that obviously it should be made not part of a Bill which continues only to a certain date of this year but part of the permanent body of legislation of the country. Then the Summer Time Act, whether you like it or not, obviously is a matter which should be embodied in a Bill so that both those who like it and those who disapprove of it might decide the issue on the floor of the House. Some of the Bills seem to add great confusion to the general body of legislation. For instance, there are schedules which deal with financial regulations, coal control, road transport and railway transport. The proper and orderly way of dealing with these subjects would be in the Bills which were recently passed through the House or are about to be passed and deal specifically with these subjects. We set up a Ministry of Transport by an Act which was discussed at great length upstairs, and then we find that a War Laws Emergency Regulation is introduced, conferring new powers or modifying powers which the Ministry already possess. That is an unsatisfactory way of doing business.
But those are not objections of a very contentious or essential character. But there is one objection which would alone justify me in moving the rejection of the entire measure. That is Clause 2 subsection (4). Though the word "Ireland" is not inserted in this Clause it is provided that in any district where a proclamation is in force—which applies to the greater part of Ireland—the whole body of the Defence of the Realm machinery is to continue in operation not until the 31st of August this year, as in the case with every other part of the United Kingdom, 574 but for one year after the "expiration of the present war." That is to say that for a year after the last belligerent ratifies the Treaty this year right to the end of 1921 this repressive administration is to be continued in Ireland. Here is a subsection conferring upon the administration in Ireland the whole of the power for carrying on the abominable system of repression existing in that island today, and there is no representative of the Department concerned at present on the Treasury Bench.
§ Captain BENN
The right hon. Gentleman has just won by a short head. It is at least due to this House that the Chief Secretary himself should be present to show why these powers are being conferred upon Dublin Castle. But the Chief Secretary does not think it worth while to be present and to answer for his Department. This is a typical commentary on the way in which Dublin Castle is running the country at present. Step by step with this repressive administration in Ireland there have been outrages or crime. Every step which the Government, as represented by the Irish Administration, has taken to put down liberty in Ireland has been followed by further outbreaks of crime in that country, and those who deplore and condemn, as we do, outrages in Ireland desire to see the Administration in Ireland altered in order that those outrages may come to an end. I would remind the House of what has taken place in the course of the last six months. In September six newspapers were suppressed together and the Sinn Fein organisation was suppressed in Dublin. Later on the Sinn Fein and three other organisations were suppressed over the whole of Ireland. Then the prison rules were made more severe. Then the "Freeman's Journal" was suppressed, and only the other day there was another round-up and 65 members of the Sinn Fein organisation were arrested, and the Lord Mayor of Dublin was arrested and lodged in gaol in this country without any charge being made against him.
Step by step with this repression there have been fresh outbursts which the leaders of the constitutional party in Ireland and the Sinn Fein party have been powerless to prevent owing to the 575 action of the Government itself, and I say that to confer new powers of this kind on the Government is the worst possible course to pursue in the interests of order in Ireland. Their argument always is, "There is another crime. We must have more powers of repression." The fact is, as all who study history know very well, that the more savage the repression the more savage the reprisals. Even the "Times"—(laughter)—at one time the "Times" commended itself to hon. Members opposite, and it is at least an organ which reflects the opinion of the" people of this country, and the "Times" says,a bitter hatred arises against the administration not because it endeavours to secure law and order but because the Irish people are convinced that the objective, in reality, is the suppression of the national ideal.Though under the arrangement which we have come to as regards Second Reading and Committee the time to be devoted to a discussion of this subject is limited. I must warn the right hon. Gentleman that when we get to the Report stage we shall fight as strongly as we can this proposal to hand over to Dublin Castle further powers for stamping out liberty and freedom in Ireland. What is the Government's intention as regards Ireland? They are taking powers to continue for a year after the conclusion of peace, which will probably mean the middle of 1921, or later, all the machinery of defence and repression which they thought were necessary in a time of war. But they profess to be going to introduce a Home Rule Bill. We were told by the Prime Minister that it was to be introduced this week. If the Home Rule Bill is to be introduced this week, and if the Government mean business about it, why are they asking us to pass a Bill to invest the administration with these military powers? Supposing that the Home Rule proposals are bona fide, by whom are these powers to be exercised? Are they to be exercised by the War Office in this country or to be handed over to be exercised by the two Parliaments in Ireland. Because if they are to be exercised by nobody, why should they be proposed? The fact is that this part of the Bill, which is really the gravamen of the whole of our objection to it, throws a lurid light on the Government intention with regard to Ire- 576 land, and I invite the Chief Secretary, who is now in his place, some time during the debate on the Second Reading of this Bill, to tell us precisely what is the Government intention in reference to this most objectionable portion of a very objectionable measure.
§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
As my hon. and gallant Friend has just remarked, the word "Ireland" does not occur in this sub-clause. I do not know whether the Government calculated on the presence of so small a number of Irish Members in this House as to think that they might successfully camouflage opinion in this House by adopting this dexterous and subtle form of words. They do not mention Ireland, but the main purpose of this Bill is to coerce Ireland and to continue the coercion of Ireland, and yet Ireland is not mentioned. I have sometimes thought that my countrymen and some foreigners were a little severe in their judgment upon England when they spoke of its perfidy and I shall not imitate their example in this respect because I have no charge to make against the good faith and good feeling of the mass of English, Scotch and Welsh people, but so far as the Government of Ireland is concerned, above all, so far as the present administration of Ireland is concerned, I think that this attempt to smuggle through a new Coercion Act for Ireland without mentioning the name of Ireland is one of the worst pieces of Government hypocrisy and Pharisaism that I have ever seen, even during my forty years' experience of successive Irish administrations. Why did not the Government put the word "Ireland" into this Clause of the Bill? Why did they adopt such a wretched, dishonest, hypocritical way of enacting coercion for Ireland without mentioning the name? I am dealing with sub section (4), page 3, which saysif immediately before the passing of this Act a proclamation suspending the operation of Section 1 of the Defence of the Realm (Amendment) Act, 1915,etc.… the regulationsshall continue in force until the expiration of twelve months after the termination of the present War. 'That date, if I remember aright, is the 31st August of the present year in England. In Ireland they are substituting, without mentioning Ireland—that is-their dexterity and dishonesty—a repress- 577 sive act justifiable only by all the emergencies and perils of a great war. The effect of the clause is, that whereas this Act, with all its pains, penalties, and restrictions on liberty, will come to an end in August next in England it is to be maintained for a further year or a year and a half in Ireland. When you come to the definition of the end of the War, that may not happen until every single Treaty of Peace is adopted and ratified by all the parties to the treaties. We have only just begun the discussion of the Treaty of Peace with Turkey, and so far as the indications go we are going to make a very dishonest peace. But whatever the treaty may be, we are only beginning negotiations and the Treaty may not be ratified by the Turkish Parliament for from six to nine months from now, and until it is ratified the War may be declared not to be at an end. Therefore nine months from now, when the last Treaty of Peace is ratified and when the Government declare the War is at an end, these repressive powers are to be maintained in Ireland for a further period of twelve months. That is the dishonesty—dishonesty in its terms or omission of terms.
What is the justification for it? Is the policy of repression a success? I know that gentleman will probably get up and describe the number of assassinations that have taken place in Ireland. Need I assure the House that I regard those assassinations with horror and dismay? I believe that although revolutions, and even sanguinary revolutions, have been made necessary by the follies and iniquities of Governments, every sanguinary resolution leaves a certain amount of poison in the veins of a nation. I could give no better example than that of France, where still fierce divisions of party, which even threaten the unity of that nation, are derived from the horrors of the campaign of terror in 1793 and later. What I ask is this: has the policy of repression diminished murders in Ireland? Has it diminished crime; has it detected crime? There was practically no assassination or crime in Ireland until this policy of repression was put into force, and I lay it down as a proposition as clear to any man with an open mind as a proposition in Euclid that the greater the repression the greater the crime. What, then, is the use of any man getting up in this House and saying 578 that we require this dishonest prolongation of repression in Ireland for the purpose of putting down crime? I say that the longer you continue the policy of repression the deeper will be the stain of these crimes upon Ireland and upon its administration. Does the policy succeed? Take some of the facts mentioned by my hon. and gallant Friend (Captain Benn). Ireland has had a series of municipal elections. For good reasons or bad, in most of those elections she has returned a Sinn Fein majority.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
Sinn Fcinism is the child of such politicians as my hon. Friend (Sir J. Butcher) and of a Government which has been the miserable slave and creature of such politicians since the present Prime Minister came into power, and it derives also from the rebellious and outrageous movement which was started in the North of Ireland just before the enactment of the Act of 1914. [Some interruption.] I do not want to revive old controversies. I am engaged with the Government at the moment, not with my hon. Friends on the opposite side. If they choose to trail the tails of their coats my hon. Friend (Mr. Devlin) will be quite willing to take up the challenge.
What is the state of things in Ireland? I read an article by a Sinn Fein writer in a French paper the other day. A nice kind of reputation you are giving to the country when such proceedings as those I am about to relate are published to the world. I read that between 50 and 60 lives of civilians have been lost since this policy of repression began in Ireland. The other day I took up a paper and I found that in the city of Limerick a number of soldiers and policemen broke loose from all the bonds of discipline. I do not deny that there was provocation to both soldiers and police, and certainly to the police, in the number of their force who have been murdered, but that doe3 not excuse the fact that the police and soldiers broke away from all discipline, fired indiscriminately through the streets of Limerick and killed two or three people, two of whom, I think, were women, as innocent of any participation in the disorder, or whatever else it may have been, as any man or woman in this country. Talk of crime! Talk of 579 lawlessness! The greatest lawbreaker in Ireland to-day is the Government. The greatest crime manufacturer in Ireland to-day is the Government itself.
The proposal here is to re-enact in Ireland the Defence of the Realm Act for a year or a year and a half after it has ceased in England. That even does not state all the case. D.O.R.A., with all its faults, in England still has a check over it in the Courts of Law. The Courts of Law have had before them several of the proceedings by the Government under D.O.R.A., and those proceedings have been revised and declared illegal by the Courts in this country. As one living in England, I am proud that no Government has been able to touch the purity and the love of liberty and the impartiality of our judicial tribunals in this country. But go to Ireland! Do you suppose that Dublin Castle and the officials there, the little gang of whom those two Gentlemen I see opposite are merely the puppets and the marionettes—[HON. MEMBERS:" Which is which? "] I will call one the puppet and the other the marionette. I am quite willing to make hon. Gentlemen a present of that. I ask, what do Dublin Castle and the officials there care about legal decisions? The very things that have been condemned by the Courts of Law in England, acts done by the Government, the things which have been condemned as illegal, are carried on in Ireland as if no decision had been given. They all snap their fingers, not only at the opinion and the resentment of three-quarters of the people, but at the most solemn decisions of the highest tribunals of England.
Do people realise what is going on? The other day a republican majority—I must call it republican, I suppose, though I believe there are nuances in Sinn Fein—was elected to the municipal councils in Ireland. That was the verdict of the Irish nation, but immediately after that verdict had been given the Government arrested 65 Sinn Feiners, so that the more Ireland expresses its confidence in a certain type of politician the more certain is it that politicians will be arrested, imprisoned and imported to England. The Municipal Council of Dublin elected one of its Sinn Fein members as Lord Mayor. He is in Wormwood Scrubs in London to-day and cannot hold communication with any of 580 the people whom he represents, and he is there on a principle which I would have thought as antiquated in any free country as the lettres de cachet by which Ministers and Sovereigns sent men to the Bastile in pre-revolutionary France. Fairs and markets are abolished. I heard of an old woman who made a living as a small poultry farmer. She came to a market town to sell two or three dozen eggs and to raise the money wherewith to meet the needs of her household budget. She was told that the fair had been proclaimed and that she could not sell the eggs. Unless she and her family eat the eggs themselves, a thing which they cannot afford to do, they will be left without bread. Liberty has ceased to exist in Ireland. Do not tell me that you are doing this to put down crime. I have gone through all this before. I was with the late Mr. Parnell, one of the executives of the Land League in Ireland in the eighties. Mr. Parnell was sent to Kilmainham Gaol. As he went through the portals of that sinister prison he said, "I am in gaol, and Captain Moonlight will take my place"; and that is exactly what happened. After Mr. Parnell was placed in prison there came not a diminution but an enormous augmentation of crime in Ireland. Why should I argue a position so simple? Is there a single man in this assembly who, considering similar conditions in any country in Europe, would not avow the principle that autocracy and repression are the parents of crime? Was it not that which produced Nihilism in Russia and the revolution which has since occurred? I do not believe there is a single member of the most Tory obscurantist section in this House who would not say that Czarism was condemned by the existence and creation of crime. We gave a cheer—I am sure it was a welcome surprise—to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Duncairn (Sir E. Carson) this afternoon, when he rose to ask for the restoration of trial by jury.
§ Sir E. CARSON
In civil cases, because it is not suspended in the other. That is why I could not understand your joke.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
I could not under stand why the right hon. and learned Gentleman should object. He began his great fame and position under a coercion system which abolished trial by jury, and substituted a system whereby resident 581 magistrates held their positions at the pleasure of Dublin Castle from whom they had their instructions as to whom to convict or acquit. Civil law is dead in Ireland. I hear some talk of establishing martial law in that country. It exists already. After all this deadly condemnation of the system of coercion in Ireland, here comes the simple Attorney General for England, with the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and without mentioning the name of Ireland, with dishonest taciturnity seek to renew D.O.R.A.
I have to warn the Government that this policy will not put down crime in Ireland. I put it to the Government that this policy of theirs does not end its sphere of evil within the shores of Ireland herself or the shores of England herself. I know politicians like the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Duncairn, snort when anybody mentions America as having any influence on the policies of this country.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
The right hon. and legal Gentleman has so often been called a "war horse" that I thought "snort" was an appropriate term to apply to his speeches. I think I saw a letter of his in the "Morning Post" on this subject which I would describe as a "snort."
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
This is a gospel I have preached all my life, and in face of tremendous opposition on the part of my own countrymen and great misunderstanding and calumny, that I regarded the greatest guarantee of the future good Government and liberty and peace of the world in friendship between the two great English speaking countries, Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America. If I made that proposition before the late war, still more have I the right to make it after the late war when the two nations fought side by side for the same ideals. Twelve months ago, or a little more after the Armistice, there was nothing but good feeling between the people of the United States and the people of Great Britain as a whole. There was hope all over the world. The proposal of President Wilson for the League of Nations was regarded by everybody as the opening of a new and better 582 chapter and a new and holier gospel in the relations of nations and of mankind generally. Where are those hopes now? Where is the good feeling in America towards this country now? Where is the faith in the efficiency of the League of Nations? I warned you, almost within 24 hours of my arrival from America, that you would be face to face in that country with one of the greatest anti-English movements of my time. I never realised it would be ten times as bad as I anticipated at that moment. If it had not been for some of the articles and speeches of provocation and of incitement which appeared in the journals and in speeches in England and Germany, we might never have had to face that magazine of ill-feeling between the two countries which required, in the end, only a fuse to burst into the horrible and devastating War through which we have just passed. Beware, for if you allow bad feeling and hostile opinion to arise between the two countries, you never can answer for the consequences. The repute and fame of this nation have gone down since the Armistice, and mainly through this policy which you seek, by a subterfuge, to perpetuate in Ireland. Does anybody now believe that the present policy of your administration in Ireland represents what you declared to be your desire, namely, to give justice to small nationalities and freedom of the world? I will go further, and I say there is not a single problem still unsolved in the world since the War that does not derive some of its poisonous fruits owing to the relations you have created between the British Government and the Irish people. To-day a question was asked by the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Spoor) with regard to the massacre of fifteen hundred Armenians, and the Government had to confess that that statement was true. We had some questions also to-day with regard to the policy of the Government in Turkey. If you had a peaceful and reconciled Ireland, you would have had America to-day the mandatory and guardian of Constantinople, and you would have liberated the Armenians and you would have freed yourselves from some of the most difficult and terrible problems which you still have difficulty in solving. I read a book a few days ago by a brilliant Pole on the question of Turkey, and, describing the effects of the War, he said that the chief fact was that the jailer nations had disappeared from the world for ever, but he 583 forgot Dublin Castle. We have still a jailer nation in Ireland in England which ought to be the guardian and the champion of liberty.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I claim to myself the credit of always having opposed this Bill. It was partly owing to my exertions on a certain Bank Holiday in August that the Bill did not go through all its stages. In the Committee I took a considerable interest in the Bill, and I desire to say that the Government met us in a very statesmanlike manner The only-part of the Bill which did not meet with my opposition, was the clause which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. O'Connor) has been denouncing, and which, as far as my recollection goes, was passed almost without controversy. I desire to ask the Government one or two questions as to the course of procedure. I understand that we are going to have a report stage during which certain amendments can be moved. An arrangement was come to about the Committee stage, and though I was not present I must abide by it. There are one or two suggestions to which I hope the Government will listen. In the second schedule the 31st August has been inserted as the date on which these Regulations are to expire. In the first schedule the dates on which they expire range from six to twelve months. I ought to have moved a similar amendment limiting them to the 31st August on the first schedule. I think it would be a convenience to all concerned to have the same date in both schedules. This is a point which perhaps does not arise on second reading, but I mention it as we are not going to have the opportunity of an ordinary Committee Debate.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The shipping control proposals are very drastic, and under present circumstances I do not think they ought to be continued. We had a division in Committee on this, and the Government only carried it by a majority of one. I think under those circumstances we might ask the House to support the minority of the Committee and to delete those Regulations. There is also the question of summertime. Whether that is right or wrong, if it is necessary, it should be continued by Act of Parliament and not by Regulation of 584 this kind. We have also restrictions on the purchase of ships. I should have thought we would want more ships, and not restrictions. With the exceptions I have mentioned I have not very much to say on the Bill as it is now. I have a copy of the Bill marked with the amendments of Committee, and I do not see some of them.
§ Sir G. HEWART
There were certain Acts of Parliament which were mentioned in the Bill as it left the Committee, such as the Compensation for Injuries Act, and an Act continuing certain powers and there are one or two regulations which were also in the Bill, but which are now omitted. There are four or five omissions altogether.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I understood the right hon. Gentleman to refer to Regulations and not to Acts. I would ask the Government to accede to the suggestions I have made, especially with regard to the alteration of date. I would also like to know if we shall have time to put our amendments down on the paper for Report stage.
§ Mr. MacVEAGH
What does the right hon. Gentleman propose to do in case there are no Amendments to the Committee stage, and therefore no report stage?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I understand that that has been arranged and the formal Amendment of some sort will be proposed.
§ Mr. CLYNES
The understanding which was reached when this Bill was before the House in December of last year precludes many of us from making any long statement at this stage of our discussion, but I want in the course of my very few remarks to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman who has submitted this Bill for Second Reading, because he omitted to refer to a point which I thought would have found some place in his several references to points of detail. I have been approached by those who are associated with the manage-ment 585 ments of the Rochdale Canal Company, and they inform me, as indeed is proven by reference to the different Bills which have been before us in connection with this subject, that there has been dropped from this Bill the provision contained in a former Bill empowering the Transport Minister to exercise control over canals, and if that be so, then I should ask for some opportunity to move in Committee for the insertion of powers of that kind, or at any rate to ask from my right hon. Friend for information as to the reasons for deleting so important a provision as that. On the Bill generally, I think it must have struck Members in all parts of the House that this is really very extraordinary procedure. It is true that the Government has to its account a succession of retreats, both in Committee and in the House itself, since they first took this matter in hand, and therefore the Bill is a much more understandable matter now than it was when it was first brought before us. We are entitled, therefore, to offer some protest, if not against the matter of this Bill, certainly against the manner in which legislation of this kind has been submitted to us.
Here is a Bill of but three or four Clauses, but of double that number of pages of schedules, and I can imagine some body of amateur legislators assembled in this House later on, if empowered by the electorate to make any changes, proposing a completely new social order in one Bill. Why should we not have these immense industrial and economic changes all put through in a few days in one measure if some Government of the future can have behind it a large enough majority to take such drastic action? I do not think it is to the credit of the Government that they have thrown at us such a bundle of proposals as are to be found in the pages of this Bill, and we ought therefore to have several separate Bills if there is to be any serious continuance of some of the existing emergency laws. Our main point of protest, if I may so name it, against this Bill is this, that we had passed almost by common consent a number of laws during the period of the War that were regarded as essential because we were in a period of war, and measures which were passed for that purpose for the particular conditions of the War ought not now to be any longer continued unless some proof is given to 586 the House as to the necessity. Indeed, I think I could refer to one or two points mentioned in the schedules in order to show how inconsistent the Government is in bringing this measure before the House at a moment when by administrative measures and by Cabinet action they are taking action of a very different kind in regard to one of the most important matters affecting questions of prices and food control. The Food Ministry is being demobilised and shorn of its powers. Reference is made in this Bill with respect to food control in a manner to make it appear that there is still to be considerable control exercised in regard to food supplies and food prices. The laws that were essential, and to which we unanimously agreed during the course of the War, are no longer now necessary, and I think, therefore, the House should have been treated in quite a different manner from the treatment to which it has been subjected by this Bill.
I will not follow my hon. Friend who spoke from the point of view of conditions in Ireland along the path into which he has entered, but as the Chief Secretary for Ireland is present, I would, on behalf of my colleagues on these Benches, put the view that once more a case has been presented from the Irish point of view which remains unanswered. That case is that the measures taken to deal with and to prevent crime in Ireland are evidently succeeding only in increasing crime. These measures, if they become more stringent and more serious than they now are, are quite unlikely to have the desired effect, and if the House shortly, as we understand is to be the case, is to be asked to approach the Irish question with the object of reaching a settlement of that unhappy controversy, then we ought to be permitted as a House to face a discussion of that question in a temper wholly different from that in which we are placed by everyday events as they are happening in Ireland. Ireland is not the country where alone crime of a kind is on the increase. We cannot open a paper, not a single edition of a newspaper, in this country day after day without ourselves being shocked at some record of crime of the very worst kind in our own country, and yet we do not think it necessary to take any more steps than the ordinary steps taken to deal with it. I am not saying that the 587 parallel is quite a complete one, but I do say that events in Ireland have completely failed to justify the policy of the Government and that some announcement more consoling than any we have yet received may well be given to us in order that by the time we are able to approach the general question of the future of Ireland we may do so free from the painful reflection of that country being still under a condition practically of martial law.
I hope my right hon. Friend will be able to give me, on that point of detail which I mentioned, some reassurance, because in a part of Manchester which I represent this position of the Rochdale Canal and tributaries to it are matters of the highest importance, and we cannot understand how it is that the control which this measure will continue in respect to other forms of transport is not to be continued in the case of the canals.
§ Mr. LESLIE SCOTT
Several speakers have already stated the fundamental truth that the regulations which are to be continued under this Bill are so complicated and so various that probably nobody in the House at the present moment really appreciates what the House is doing in continuing them. The Attorney-General remarks that it is the House's own fault. I am sure he, as a lawyer, will agree with me as another lawyer, that the total bundle of regulations under the Defence of the Realm Acts, and the Orders made thereunder is a vast and complicated congeries of legislation which not a single lawyer to-day understands from beginning to end. Of course many are understood, and it may be that all are understandable, but the fact does remain that we are asked under this Bill to carry on a vast and heterogeneous body of legislation at one stroke, a body of legislation brought into existence in a time of extreme urgency, much of which is unsuited even to the state of affairs in which the country now is to-day. The point which seems to me important in connection with this debate is not so much to consider the details of any individual regulations, but that the House should have from the Government an absolutely definite statement of policy in regard to this whole type of legislation. The right hon. Gentleman, the Attorney-General, 588 who moved the Bill, said, and I know he meant it, that the Bill provides an ultimate date, the 31st August next, beyond which the regulations cannot go under the provisions of this Bill. What the House wants to know from the Government is whether it is the deliberate policy of the Government, so to speak, to decontrol all the various Departments affected by these regulations as quickly as may be between now and the 31st August, so that on the 31st August we shall really see an end of them. That seems to me the important thing that the House ought to deal with to-day. If the House can get from the Government today a quite clear undertaking of policy on these lines, then I for one submit the view that, taking it broadly, the Bill is a reasonable Bill under the existing circumstances.
Take, for instance, the case of the Food Ministry. We all appreciate that it has been a very difficult thing to know whether the whole food control should be terminated at once, or whether it should be continued for some indefinite time longer, and we know that it has been so difficult that there has been more than one change of policy in regard to that matter, but that is an excellent instance of the essential necessity of continuing some of the powers of the Food Ministry so long as food control is a necessity. But if the House has from the Government a perfectly clear undertaking that decontrol of the Food Ministry will be completed by the end of August next, then the House will be justified in looking upon these proposals in a very different light from what it would if the Government were not in a position to give the House any such undertaking. Therefore, I venture to emphasise very much the importance of the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill giving the House an assurance on that aspect of the case. Assuming that we have such an assurance, then the examination of the Bill, I sub mit, should be limited to one or two particular points. Under Clause 2 there is a provision that all the Defence of the Realm Regulations which are contained in the Schedules are to become, as it were, an Act of Parliament. The words are at the end of Sub-clause (1) of Clause 2, which says: "And as so continued shall have effect as if enacted in this Act."
589 A good many Regulations under the Defence of the Realm Acts have been before the Courts, and in four cases, I think I am right in saying, four important Regulations have been held by the Courts to be invalid. Amongst these Regulations which the Bill proposes to continue are some conferring very drastic powers indeed, empowering, for instance, the Food Ministry to interfere with commerce, with manufacturing industry, and with agriculture to an extent which is obviously not necessary at the present time. Now it may be that these Regulations are valid, or it may be that they are invalid, but I Jo submit that the House ought not, by a stroke of the pen, to translate all invalid Regulations into the realm of effective Acts of Parliament as is proposed by this Clause. If the Government know that a Regulation may be put to the test of judicial proceedings as regards its reasonableness, in view of the Acts under which it was made, then they will be careful before they attempt to put into force any of the extremely drastic powers contained in these Regulations. For that reason, in the Committee stage or the Report stage, I shall propose to move, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill may see his way to accept, as an amendment, a proviso that they shall be continued by this Bill to the extent to which the same would have been valid if not continued under the provisions of this Act. That is to say, if by any chance a government department does take action under one of these Regulations against some person or class of persons who regard the action as very unreasonable, I submit that now, 15 months from the end of hostilities, it would be only reasonable to leave the validity of that Regulation to the judgment of the Courts, and not prejudge the case by three or four words at the end of this sub-section put in when the House does not know what it is doing. We cannot, any of us, undertake to know the details of all these Regulations beforehand, and, by the addition of some such proviso as I am suggesting, we shall keep open that question in regard to any aggressively strong Regulation, or against any unreasonable action, which we hope will not take place but may take place on the part of a government department.
590 If we put in a proviso of that kind, the Government will be careful not to call in powers under the Regulation about the validity of which it has any doubt. It will be, as it were, a caution to the Government not to be too drastic at this stage in the progress of reconstruction in this country since the War. That is the point I submit, and I think it is particularly important in regard to the Food Ministry, because practically the whole of the powers of the Food Ministry under these Regulations are preserved, and the House will remember that in the New Ministries' Act power was given to the Food Ministry to make orders, not only dealing with the sale of food, but with the whole of British agriculture, and all or nearly all the powers obtained by the Board of Agriculture during the War to make compulsory orders dealing with agriculture were obtained by the Food Ministry under the Food Ministry Act by means of the Food Regulations. At the present day it is the policy of the Government, announced through the Ministry of Agriculture, that agriculture is to be decontrolled in every respect as rapidly as possible—a decision for which I, for one, am devoutly thankful. But preserving the whole of these Regulations as to the powers of the Food Controller still keeps alive the powers of the Food Controller to interfere with agriculture, and, therefore, I venture to think that is another reason why we should look very jealously and carefully upon a proposal of the Government that they should not be given complete carte blanche. Therefore I ask, first that we should have a definite undertaking about decontrol before the end of August next, and, secondly, I make a proposal about invalid Regulations.
There is one more proposal of a particular kind. The House will remember that, during the war, possession was taken of a great number of buildings and pieces of land, under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, and that the Government took the line of saying "We are entitled to take your buildings and your land under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, or under the Royal Prerogative, as the case may be, without any obligation of the Government to pay anything in respect of our occupation." They said "We will give you something as an act of grace if you go to the Defence of the Realm Losses Commission, where small sums are given, not as a matter or right, 591 but as an act of grace. General Regulation No. 2, enabling Departments to take possession of land, is not continued by this Bill, but one Regulation is continued, namely, Regulation 2 A.B. Now Regulation 2 A.B. was not issued by the Order in Council until some days after the Armistice. it was issued under the powers of two Acts of Parliament passed on the 21st November, 1918—the Act which deals with the Ministry of Pensions, and the Act which deals with the Ministry of Labour, both of which Acts provided that the Ministry of Pensions or the Ministry of Labour respectively might give a certificate that certain land must be requisitioned. This Regulation 2 A.B. continues those powers, and under this Regulation the Minister of Pensions or the Minister of Labour may take premises compulsorily anywhere throughout the country by a mere certificate that it is necessary. On those premises being taken by the Government, the Government then, under the Regulation, if it becomes a part of the Act, as it does by the words I have previously read, will no doubt contend that they are not under any obligation in law to pay anything in respect of that occupation. They will say handsomely and graciously "Go to the Defence of the Realm Losses Commission, and out of the bounty of the Crown you may get something." I submit that the War is too far gone by to justify the continuance of a provision of that kind, and that this Regulation 2A.B. and any others of a similar character that there may be under these Regulations enabling the Government to take possession of the private property of individuals, whether it be land, houses or chapels, should be subject all the way through to a stipulation that if without those the individual would be entitled in law to receive fair compensation, that individual shall continue entitled in law to receive it, and I would propose that this House should insist in attaching a proviso to clause 2, sub-section (1) of the Bill to the following effect:Provided that no person shall by reason of this Act be deprived of any right of compensation which he otherwise would have had, and no person shall be obliged to submit his claim to compensation to the Defence of the Realm Losses Commission who, hut for this Act, would have been entitled to have such claim assessed by any tribunal or authority.The War has gone by too long to justify 592 any other procedure, and therefore I would strongly urge that that proviso should be inserted in the Bill. The House will remember that the right of the Crown to take land without compensation is at the present time sub judice in the House of Lords, and will be argued shortly, and that on the question of taking goods there was a decision in the High Court the other day, Mr. Justice Salter holding that, under a Regulation which provided for taking over a large quantity of rum, the Department taking it was not entitled to take it except at the market price. I venture to submit that the sound view for the House to take on this matter with regard to this Bill is that we will continue these Regulations to the end of August, and say to the Government that during that period of winding-up you shall not have any higher rights, so to speak, than you would have had had the Regulations remained as Regulations merely, and the subject shall have any rights of compensation which he had before, coupled with the right to go to the proper legal tribunal as before.
§ Colonel PENRY WILLIAMS
Those of us who followed this Bill rather care fully through the Committee stage find ourselves this afternoon in somewhat of a difficulty, owing to the pledge which was given by my right hon. Friend to the Government at the end of last Session. The effect of that pledge is that we get no Committee stage. We are unable to put down our Amendments on the Paper, and have time for their consideration. I would suggest to the Government that they give us a full Report stage, and that they give us not only a day, but that they suspend the 11 o'clock rule in order that those of us who really object to this Bill in principle may have a full opportunity of discussing the measure. It would also enable Mr. Speaker to look upon our Amendments with a rather more indulgent eye than he might under our new Rules of Procedure if the time were limited to 11 o'clock. I mean, as far as I can to carry out quite scrupulously the pledge given by my Leader, so that the Government get the Second Reading and the Committee stage to-day. I shall put no obstacle in the way because I feel bound by that pledge, and I will observe it the more scrupulously, perhaps, because I am indebted to the Government for the way in which they met us in Committee upstairs. They did not succeed 593 in overcoming our objections to the principle of this Bill, but, so far as they could, in matters of detail they met us very fully and very fairly, and I am grateful to them for it.
I am not going to traverse the ground that was so admirably covered by my hon. and gallant Friend who moved the rejection of this measure, but, with regard to Ireland, I do want to make an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman opposite. Is it worth while extending this Defence of the Realm Bill to Ireland at all? You are not dealing with a class of offence under this Bill that is troubling Ireland to-day. It is not whistling for cabs that is troubling Ireland to-day; it is murder. It is not assuming a name that is troubling Ireland, but it is breaking into police barracks by armed force, and you are not really helping to govern Ireland by continuing these Regulations in Ireland in an extraordinary manner a full year after they have ceased to be operative here. It is not really worth it, and to treat Ireland, a high-spirited nation, in this way, is to ask for bitter opposition and bitter resistance. It would stir up opposition in a docile country, and you can hardly call the Irish race a docile race; they are a high-spirited race, and bear repression very badly. I repeat my appeal to the Government to let Ireland come into line with England on this question. It is not going to help you in any way, I maintain, to continue Defence of the Realm Act in Ireland longer than in England. That is all I really have to say in respect to Ireland. But I would add one word of protest at the way the provision was brought into Committee. It would have been better if it had been explained to the Committee in the first instance, and then it would not have been necessary to spread the debate over several days.
We were told by the right hon. Gentleman that the regulations under what are now the Second Schedule would come to an end on August 31 of this year. Suppose you do not get the Ratification of Peace before August 31. I take it that this Bill is of no value, that the Defence of the Realm Act comes into operation and is continued until the Ratification of Peace with the last of our enemies. If you, therefore, do not get the Ratification of Peace with Turkey before the Autumn the whole of the Defence of the Realm Act 594 will run and the regulations will not come to an end on August 31st. That is a point about which I should like the Government to give us an answer. It will be within the recollection of the House that my right hon. Friend the Member for the City of London, who did admirable work in this Bill in Committee upstairs, raised a point of order as to whether the subject could be deprived of his right to proceed by means of Petition of Right. Mr. Speaker ruled that that was outside the scope of the Bill. I would, however, ask hon. Members of this Committee to examine this Bill very carefully. There is the same sort of thing in this Bill. If hon. Members will look at the Regulations they will find that Regulation 2 B of the Second Schedule will be the first statutory sanction given by this House to a proceeding which was condemned the other day by Mr. Justice Salter. It is the first statutory enactment depriving the subject of his right to proceed by Petition of Right. There may be other cases. I notice that this Bill is altered, and as the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General said it has been whittled down. So far as I can make out the whittling down has taken out of the Schedule some enactments that were, or might have been of some considerable value. On November 19th of last year it was considered necessary to continue the compensation for war injuries. Why is it not necessary to-day?
§ Sir G. HEWART
If the hon. and gallant Gentleman desires an answer I am prepared to give it. In consequence of the lapse of time the Admiralty and the War Office, the two departments which alone were concerned, have come to the conclusion that further provision of that kind is no longer necessary.
§ Colonel WILLIAMS
That is very admirable, but I would refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to the statement made by the then financial Secretary to the War Office in reply to questions which were addressed to him in Committee. If the report of the Second Day's Proceedings on November 19 are consulted.
§ Colonel WILLIAMS
Yes. Hon. Members will find the following:Colonel P. WILLIAMS: Is it not possible for the naval and military authorities to put these men under the scheme of compensation 595 that exists for serving sailors and soldiers? What is the objection? Is it because the naval and military authorities get some advantage by not putting these men under the general scheme?The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Forster): No. The whole conditions of employment of these men are quite different from those of the serving soldiers. They are civilian workmen, and it is only because they are denied the benefits conferred by the Workmen's Compensation Act, by reason of their service abroad, that it has been necessary to cover them by special legislation.I invite the attention of the House to what follows:—We have done that by means of an Act which we propose to extend, and I think that is the best way to cover them.Three months ago it was not only proposed to continue this Act, but to extend it in order to cover these men. If that were so then, I suggest to-day that it is rather extraordinary that it is not necessary to provide for their compensation. However, this is more a Committee point than anything else, and I leave it at that.
I should like very briefly to point to the Regulation on page 10 of the second schedule, 6A, which gives power to exempt factories and workshops from the provisions of the Act of 1901. It came as a blow to a good many of us in Committee to be told that the Government had the right to exempt themselves from the operations of the factory laws. It was very much more of a blow to find that the Government intended also to take powers to exempt any factory which was making goods for the Government from the operations of the Acts. My right hon. Friend, the member for the City, is supposed to be a high Conservative authority, and opposed to Labour. But he, and I, and those who acted with us fought long this provision in Committee. We fought for the retention of the factory legislation to the factories working on Government work. An hon. Member gave us an illustration in respect to rubber manufacture. During the Recess I have had an opportunity of looking into the matter. I find, with the hon. Member, that the Government could not have given a worse exemption than this one. In the manufacture of rubber I am told there is great danger from the salts of naphtha employed. Fumes are given off, and they produce a sort of intoxication on strong men who are work- 596 ing with it. If that be so it must surely be wrong to employ women and children in late hours in factories of the sort. I would like to urge this point upon my hon. Friend who represents the Home Office. I see that the provisions of this regulation have been whittled down considerably, but as I only got the Bill on Saturday I have not been able to appreciate the full effect of the measure.
Our objection to this Bill is really one of principle. I am almost ashamed to repeat to my right hon. and learned Friend what I said before, but I really want to lay before the House the Regulations which give the power of search and arrest. I admit that we have got very substantial concessions, and I am very grateful to the Government for having given them. But the fundamental difference between us remains. Under these Regulations, in certain cases, the naval and military police authorities have the power of arrest without a warrant. That is taking out of the hands of the magistrates the power of arrest and the power of search in very many cases and transferring it to the Executive Government. What we say is that it is essential to the liberties of the people that the powers of arrest and search should rest with the judicial authorities and not with the Executive Government. That is fundamental. No amount of concession will remove our objection on that point. I would, in conclusion, appeal to the Government to remember that the original Act was passed under very peculiar circumstances It was passed at a time of very great danger and very great difficulty. It was given to the Government of that day by the country as a free offering of their liberties to enable the Government to conduct the War on the best possible terms to defeat the enemy. But the time has come, a good many months after the cessation of hostilities, when the Government should hand back the liberties of the people intact and without one shred detached from them. I believe that if the Government do not do that history will consider they have been guilty of a breach of trust in a matter given to them by the people who were very loyal and desired to do everything possible to win the War.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Because I am a Parliament man, I like to see legislation by Parliament. Our principal objection to this Bill to-day is that it in- 597 volves, not government by Parliament, but government by the executive. The fact of the matter is that the sooner we remove out of the way all this legislation by Regulations under D.O.R.A., and substitute for Regulations, Orders in Council, and Orders of a Department statutory and substantive law, the better it will be for the whole of the country, and the better precedent it will be for the government of the country. A Government, in perpetuating this sort of government by the Executive, are inventing a very dangerous precedent, which may be used hereafter against the liberties of the people in a most disastrous way. We want to see a good example set even by the Coalition Government, and even though they have got a sort of half-and-half war on with Bolshevism in Russia. It is quite true there are many of these Regulations which it is not proposed to continue after the end of August of this year, but which may have to be continued. There are even more of these special enactments which are continued which may have to be continued to a future time. That is no excuse for passing this Bill, because every single one of these Regulations ought to be in a Special Act of Parliament instead of being an act of the Executive. There could not be anything more ridiculous, for example, than the passing of the Summer Time Bill under the Defence of the Realm Act. That ought not to be an act of the Executive, and the same argument applies to all the Acts which are prolonged. So far as the Regulations are concerned, the case is even stronger. When this Bill was first introduced these Regulations were intended to continue for six or twelve months after the termination of hostilities, but, under pressure, the Government reduced the period to the 31st August this year. It is obvious that the War will not be over by that date and the last peace will not have been ratified, and therefore there is no need for this Bill, because under the Bill itself these Acts will cease to have effect before that date under the original passing of these Regulations. Therefore, the Bill is quite unnecessary, so far as those particular measures are concerned.
This Bill has been brought before us because the Government have nothing else ready, and it is inconceivable that 598 the House should be put to the trouble of dealing with this measure seeing that it gives the Government so little. Is it worth while to take up two or three days simply to extend the Special Constables Act for another 12 months or to deal with such questions as whistling for cabs? Not one of these questions is worth taking up five minutes of our time. Although the Bill is useless we now have an opportunity of dealing with regulations passed under the Defence of the Realm Act which are contrary to all the principles we have always maintained in the House of Commons. We have seen almost weekly during the last three or four months judges outside declaring that they will maintain the old rights of property even against these Regulations. The judges have decided several cases in spite of the Defence of the Realm Regulations, which they say are ultra vires. We have these judicial decisions which rule out the Regulations as completely as if they had never been made. The judges have been able to establish the rights of property, but not the rights and liberties of the individual. Take, for example, the Zaidak case. It is quite true in this case that Lord Shaw, who had a firm foundation of liberty about him through being a Member of this House, protested that an injustice was being done. That has been the only attempt to secure the liberties of the individual, and it is those liberties which this House ought most jealously to guard.
There was another case at Rotherham where a man was prosecuted under the Defence of the Realm Act for telling in public some ridiculous lies about British ships sinking British submarines, and because he made these idiotic statements he was prosecuted under the Defenee of the Realm Act. I am afraid if we are going to start putting all the people into prison who tell lies there will be a great lack of accommodation and an urgent need for the building of more prisons. It should be quite unnecessary to bring all the forces of the law into operation in order to put those in prison who tell lies. The English people have acquired a certain amount of equilibrium in these matters by hearing fools as well as wise men, and if you are going to cut off the supply of fool oratory then you are doing a deliberate disservice to the education of the people. It is only when you allow 599 people to hear what is wrong as well as what is right that they are able to choose freely of their own volition. This is a question involving the liberty of the subject and now when there is no possible danger of a foreign invasion to put a man into prison for getting up and talking nonsense is the acme of beaurocratic ineptitude, because in this way you make a man who is otherwise damned as a liar into a martyr, and you break down a tradition which throughout the ages we have managed to build up in this country. Of course prosecutions like that at Rotherham will not be extended and it does not come within the Bill because that regulation dies out; but we have other regulations in the Bill which are equally defective. Regulation 18a is one under which anybody is dealt with who has dealings with a foreign agent and it reads:—Where a person, without lawful authority or excuse, has been in communication with or has attempted to communicate with a foreign agent he shall be guilty of an offence unless he proves that he did not know or suspect that the person was a foreign agent, and a person shall be deemed to have been in communication with a foreign agent if he has either within or without the United Kingdom visited the address of an enemy agent or consorted with an enemy agent, or if he has the address of the enemy agent upon him or any information about the enemy agent. The enemy agent includes any person who is reasonably suspected of being or having been employed by the enemy directly or indirectly for the purpose of committing any act outside or inside the kingdom which would be a contravention of any of these regulations.That regulation hits every member of the Labour party who goes to an international conference or anybody who has any dealings with any foreigners who may belong to the extreme section of opinion who visits this country. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Widnes (Mr. A. Henderson) recently was attending a conference abroad and he found that he was being tracked and the British police were looking after him. Of course no prosecution would lie with my right hon. Friend. Then there is the more alarming case of Mr. Geo. Lansbury, who is in Russia, for he is bound to be seeing people who might be considered to be reasonably suspected of having been employed by the enemy for the purpose of committing some acts contrary to the Defence of the Realm Regulation. As Mr. Lansbury would always have broken 600 all such regulations he could, he may be accused of consorting with some people of that sort abroad and under these Regulations in those circumstances a man may go to prison. This is why we protest against this regulation, which has nothing to do with the War that has ceased.
In the Bill Regulations 51 and 55 are amended, and they are all of the same kind. They are only put into operation under Regulation 18A. The whole of the clauses to which we object are based upon Regulation 18A. What is the object of the Government keeping these powers, and who has brought pressure to bear upon the Government? What is the object of all this, and why are we not having these regulations made in a separate Bill for which the Government and the House of Commons can be held responsible, instead of leaving it to the unchecked operations of the Home Office to deal with as they think fit. The parts of this Bill which deal with special constables and foreign agents are what we on these Benches must fight against, and I think the Government themselves would be well advised to cut them out. The people of this country are tired of government by the Executive, and government by rules and regulations is a bad precedent. Could we not at least cut out of the Bill those parts which must necessarily be contentious, and leave in those which deal with such matters as whistling for cabs and the keeping of pigs? Those parts would go through with out any serious opposition, but Regulation ISA on the right of search under Regulation 51, under which you may destroy printing presses as well as search for illegal literature, are the clauses against which we have very serious grounds for objection. I do beg, to facilitate matters and also to prove that the Government have no secret war, no underhand warfare, in prospect against these dangerous doctrines from abroad, that they will cut out those regulations and leave us a Bill which will be temporary in character, and which we may hope the country will forget as soon as possible.
§ Sir G. HEWART
We have had a considerable and varied discussion which has occupied some little time.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman propose to close this debate without any reply from those Benches on the question of the application of the measure to Ireland?
§ Sir G. HEWART
The hon. Member asks mo a question, and I therefore answer him. It is not in my power to close the debate. I rose for the purpose of answering certain specific questions which have been put to me, but I am bound to say that it was my intention to ask the House not to continue the debate unduly. If, however, I am rising at an inconvenient moment, I am prepared to sit down.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
I think that you did rise at an incovenient moment, because the House is entitled to have some declaration either from the Attorney General for Ireland or from the Chief Secretary.
§ Mr. HENRY
My right hon. Friend has asked me to say a few words in reply to the speech of the hon. Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Mr. O'Connor) simply owing to the fact that I had charge of the Bill during the Committee stage upstairs. I will reply as briefly as I can. I can assure my hon. Friend that his fears that the intentions of the Government in connection with Clause 4 of the Bill have been camouflaged is without foundation, because that clause and the Bill have been before the House for a period of nine months, and it is fairly well known that the portion of the United Kingdom in which Section one of the Defence of the Realm Act suspends trial by jury is Ireland. May I point out that we are not asking for the application of the Bill to Ireland for any great length of time. Not only is our period limited to twelve months, but we take power during those twelve months to revoke, if necessary, any of the regulations, and I can assure the House that no one would be more pleased than the Irish Government if the state of affairs became such that we could at any time revoke any of the regulations. Just let me contrast the condition of affairs as regards Ireland with this country. Here you have lived under these regulations for a substantial portion of the War. We ask that those regulations under which you have lived for those years should be continued in Ireland for a period of twelve months. Is it an unreasonable request? Is there any doubt that the condition of things at present existing in Ireland requires something exceptional? I submit that it is not so very exceptional to apply to the existing condition of things in Ireland for a period of twelve months the 602 very same regulations under which you yourselves have lived.
§ Mr. HENRY
That is the one exception. Let me point out exactly what that means. Trial by jury is merely suspended for offences under the Defence of the Realm Act. It is not suspended for the ordinary class of criminals. It is not suspended for murder, burglary, forgery, and cases of that description. It is merely suspended for offences under the Defence of the Realm Act.
§ Mr. HENRY
Offences against the Regulations themselves. In those cases it is not possible to have a jury. Offences against these Regulations, however, do not include any of the ordinary crimes. In cases of murder, forgery, burglary and all those crimes, the criminal is not deprived of his right to be tried by jury. It is only in cases of offences against the Regulations themselves, which in many cases are summary offences, and offences which would not in any event be tried by a jury.
§ Mr. HENRY
Cases such as the carrying of firearms. Take the case of a man found in possession of a revolver. He is not to be tried by a jury. Is it unreasonable that he should be tried summarily having regard to the present state of affairs in Ireland? I submit that it is not. It is impossible to conceive such a case being tried by a jury. When I point out the intimidation to which jurors are liable, I think it is not unreasonable that they should be relieved to some extent from trying these cases. Only the other day, a jury on finding a verdict at an inquest, a modest enough verdict, asked as a favour that their names should not appear in the Press. What then must be the intimidation exercised in a real case of murder when it has that effect in so small a matter as the verdict at an inquest? There is a provision for the removal of the suspension of trial by jury, and the moment it is suspended it brings down the whole of the regulations and leaves Ireland on the same footing as 603 this country. I submit that twelve months is not a long time, and that the Regulations with which hon. Members are all familiar are not unreasonable seeing that they are designed for the purpose of restoring peace to an afflicted country. I put it to the House that this is a Bill which should receive a Second Reading not merely for England but also for Ireland, and that no undue pressure or coercion has been applied by virtue of these Regulations, having regard to the very serious difficulties which confront the Irish Executive.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
I should not have thought that there would have been so much force required to press the right hon. and learned Gentleman to make the speech which he has just delivered. It is a very modest and a very simple contribution to the debate. One really would have thought that the right hon. and learned Gentleman was presiding at a tea party, telling what a pleasant environment and atmosphere existed rather than dealing, as the Chief Law Officer of the Crown, with a condition of things in Ireland which, I think, are unparalleled in the history of that country for the last century. There have been objections raised by Englishmen to this Bill. I have read it and have tried to understand it, but I cannot. That may be due to my limited mentality. I regard the whole Bill as a farago of nonsense from beginning to end. There is not the slightest need for it. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) told us a story of how an Englishman was arrested the other day for telling lies. He condemned that, and he said: "Why should he not be allowed to lie if he likes?" I think the hon. and gallant Member was quite right. This man is to be made a martyr because he has told lies. You imprison people in this country for telling lies, and you imprison them in Ireland for telling the truth The right hon. and learned Gentleman has told us that this War Emergency Bill is to be brought into operation in Ireland, not for the purpose of dealing with crime as we understand it, and as it exists in this country and in every great centre of population throughout the world, not for the purpose of dealing with criminality but with opinion. Does the right hon. and learned Gentle- 604 man think that we are going to sit silently here without protest when we read in the newspapers that the Lord Mayor of Dublin has been arrested, deported, and sent to an English prison? You may arrest him if you like, and you may put him in prison, but you have a right to try him and to inform us, to inform Ireland, and to inform the world, everybody who wants to know, what the Lord Mayor and the Chief Magistrate of Dublin was arrested for. That is the sort of answer that I wanted from the right hon. and learned Gentleman. It is not a question of carrying arms or of assassination.
When you get up to deal with the Irish Question in this House or on platforms in England, one would imagine that you were dealing with a race of assassins. There are more murders committed in this country in a week than there are in Ireland in a year. There were more people killed in the riots of Belfast in 1886 than there have been killed since the Sinn Fein movement started, and, as one who profoundly differs with the Sinn Fein party, as one who disagrees with them absolutely, I object to this continued policy of trying to put the stigma of criminality upon a race which is free from crime simply because your policy in Ireland has provoked the condition of things which exists there. My hon. Friend the Member for the Ex-, change Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) is right. There have been infinitely more murders since the policy of repression was started, and there have been infinitely more Sinn Feiners since you have started suppressing them. Everybody knows—it is why I took your side in the War—that every despot who crushes freedom, and every man who tries to drench the spirit of justice and of liberty in the world, will live to witness a fresh crop of indignation, of bitterness, of hatred, and of reprisals from those who are crushed and oppressed. I hardly go anywhere in Ireland now but there are Sinn Feiners. I ask them, personal friends of my own, colleagues with whom I have worked in the Constitutional Movement for the last 20 years, and whom I am amazed to find Sinn Feiners. "Why?" And they say: "The Government has made us what we are." Do you mean to tell me that the whole nation has gone mad or wrong, or have they reason for what they are doing? The real fact of the matter is, that all your 605 Regulations, all your Defence of the Realm Acts, and all your measures to suppress free opinion, even when you differ from it, will only result in making your policy and yourselves more hateful to the people of Ireland, and will only make moderate and constitutional opinion impossible of operation in that country.
I was not here the other day when the Prime Minister made his speech with regard to the Irish Question, but I was greatly struck by one sentence in that speech. The noble Lord the Member for Oxford University (Lord H. Cecil) adumbrated a proposal in favour of a Convention being called to formulate new plans for an acceptable solution of this problem of Ireland, but the Prime Minister replied by saying, "We had a Convention before." The noble Lord rejoined that that was not an elected assembly, but a nominated body, and the Prime Minister retorted that the Convention failed because the Sinn Feiners did not attend it," and they were the only people who count." We on these benches have been subjected to a good deal of insult and ingratitude—more ingratitude than the public representatives of any country in the world have ever been treated to by a so-called Liberal Government and a Liberal Prime Minister, and when I look back upon the loyal and unchanging support which this party gave the Liberal party for a period of ten years I cannot but express surprise at this statement of the Prime Minister. Of course, we do not count. You want to know why everything is wrong in Ireland. I will tell you. It is because we do not count, And who are responsible for our not counting? The right hon. Gentleman says the Convention was a failure because the Sinn Feiners would not attend, and they were the only people who count. Yet he comes here and asks for a new D.O.R.A. to keep these people in gaol. This Bill will be in operation when the right hon. Gentleman puts his measure on the Table next Thursday. Most of the men who have been elected to this House and who he says are the only people who count will be in prison.
You are going to bring forward this new beneficent policy to solve this problem of Ireland, to bring peace again to Ireland, to once again raise the power and prestige of the British Empire, you are, I say, going to present this plan 606 to the people of the world while you use the powers of D.O.R.A. in Ireland. While you are about to change the Government of Ireland, you are going to keep locked up in prison the men elected by the Irish people. Was there ever such a grotesque situation in the history of mankind? The Government betrayed the Irish party by their weakness in playing fast and loose with principles. By a course of political turpitude for which there is no parallel, they wrecked and broke up the only true vocal expression of Irish opinion that ever existed in this House. They robbed us of our influence; they made us incapable of speaking for the people, and they took the rest of the representatives of Ireland and muzzled and imprisoned them. Now they come forward with a Bill which they say is a solution of the Irish question and a settlement of the Irish claim! What is it I object to? The policy of the present has failed. That is clear, and there is no one on the Government Benches who will claim that it has succeeded. Is it to go on? I am speaking now of Ireland, tortured and torn by the tragedy of the last five or six years. I have no claim to speak for anybody but myself, but I should like to see, even now, the great work for which Mr. Redmond fought and sacrificed so much—it is my ambition and my passionate desire that, although he is now in the grave to which he was driven in comparative youth, his policy should be vindicated—and that even now you should do something to redeem the pledges you made to him and in breaking which you broke his heart
The position to-day is practically impossible. We constitutionalists have been driven to despair and the rest of the country has been driven to desperation, yet you go on and on, and there seems to be no end. As my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool (Mr. O'Connor) said just now, it is not a question merely of dealing with a little island with 4,000,000 of population. Any strong Power can crush a small Power. Germany could have crushed Belgium, and you gave as your reason for going into the War that you wished to prevent Belgium being persecuted and invaded by Germany. What is the difference here? There is no difference whatever. You have as much right in Ireland as Germany had in Belgium. No race of people has a right to take hold 607 of the people of another race. No country-has a right to take hold of another country, simply because it has a big military power and can crush the opinion of the people. Whatever a country wants, be it a small country or a large one, that is precisely what that country ought to get, and that is why I agree with the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford that no matter how you may try to play with this question of Ireland, you need not force anything on the country which that country does not want. You need not think, if you carry on your make-believe policy of trying by Welsh oratory or rhetorical wizardry, that you thereby throw dust in the eyes of intelligent mankind. There is no liberty in the world that is not based on the people's will The people s will in Ireland is the only thing you ought to deal with, and you will be safeguarding your own Imperial interests if you produce a scheme of freedom which will enable Ireland to work out her own destiny in her own way.
The sooner that this policy of suppressing free speech is dropped the better. No one has resented Sinn Fein speeches more than I have. I have denounced them in terms even stronger than those used by the right hon. Gentleman. But that is no reason why they should be muzzled; it is a reason rather to let them go on. You suppressed the Sinn Fein loan, and it was trebled in amount. You suppressed Dail Eirann, but it is better known now throughout the world than before it was suppressed. You suppressed the "Freeman's Journal" because it was violent, and it is now twenty times more violent. For every man you send to prison three more come forward ready to go. There is the whole cycle of events in Ireland. There is the whole development of your policy there. I know I am a voice crying in the wilderness, but I am telling the House what I have always told it. I would imagine that the Chief Secretary for Ireland would turn a sympathetic ear to what I have said, because there is not a single proposition I have laid down that he has not put forward on a Scottish platform with far more perfervid oratory than I could ever use. I would like to see the right hon. Gentleman in his kilts standing on a Highland platform talking about the glories of freedom of speech in Gaelic. I would like to see him dancing a Scot- 608 tish dance. I would like to hear him whistling "Mary of Argyll." Yet he is the instrument by which people who dance Irish dances, who sing Irish songs, and who whistle Irish lyrics are thrown into prison. Vast masses of people gather together for sport, and police, armoured cars and soldiers are brought to break up their festive gathering, When half-a-dozen Irishmen gather for any purpose it seems to be imagined that they have some criminal intent.
I myself have been a victim of this policy. I was announced—as a matter of fact without my own knowledge—to address a meeting in County Tyrone, which was called for the purpose of dealing with a question of sweated workers and the victims of employers who drove the people out of their mills because they struck work. When the strike had been settled everybody who had taken a prominent part in it was dismissed and these people were turned out of the houses belonging to the mills. A meeting was convened to protest against that, and the organisers, knowing that I would be a draw, put me on the bill. But the first thing I knew about it was when I read in the newspapers that the meeting had been proclaimed by the "competent military authority," whatever that may mean. It is enough to make a cat laugh. Competent military authority! What is the competent military authority? Immediately I read the Proclamation in the papers I wrote and stated that I had had no knowledge that the meeting was to be held and had not been invited to it, but I certainly would attend it. I went and I found there assembled a whole army of soldiers in steel helmets and a large number of policemen with rifles. The district inspector met me at the commencement of the village and said he would not allow me through. I asked him why. He said the competent military authority—one would not know they were competent if the word were not there—the competent military authority which represents the incompetent un-military Government had decided that I was not to be allowed to denounce sweating and the eviction of the workers. I did not know what I could do under the circumstances. I had only about two hundred with me. With two hundred men I might have managed a small rebellion in Ulster, which is the Holy of Holies of hon. Gentlemen opposite. 609 Why was that meeting suppressed? Because the owner of the mill got the Grand Master of the Orangemen to write a letter to the Government not to allow the meeting to be held, and the Government proclaimed the meeting. I do not know what the government of Ireland is, or who rules Ireland. I once asked a Lord Lieutenant of Ireland who governed Ireland, and he said he did not know. No one in Ireland knows who rules Ireland. I thought the Chief Secretary, forgetful for the moment of his radical Traditions, was responsible for some of the occurrences of the last few weeks, but he was away out of the country at the time and therefore he was not responsible, so that we do not know who governs Ireland. But whoever governs Ireland proclaimed the meeting.
I went to the district inspector, and he told me I could not go to the meeting. I aid, "I am bound to hold the meeting." He said, "If you do, I have the military here." I asked him if he had ever heard of Dean Swift. He said, "Yes." I said, "Dean Swift, who was a distinguished Protestant divine, once said that one man in his shirt could not fight 10 armed men." It was impossible for me to hold this meeting in face of this manifestation of military force, but I did the best thing I could. I did not meet my own audience, but I rose in a brake and I addressed the conscript soldiers. I said, "Gentlemen of the conscript army, you joined to fight the battle of humanity all over the world, and of liberty against the despotism in Germany. You fought to make England a land fit for heroes to live in, and now you are brought up to cloak Lord Caledon's treatment of his tenants, who did not go to the War at all, and to help to maintain a sweater who was paying something like 9s. a week to women and 15s. a week to men before the War, and in whose firm there had to be a strike in order to get it to pay wages on which people could live. You are conscript soldiers, brought here from England, the sons of working men and women, and working men yourselves, to be used for such mischievous and indefensible purposes as to defend the condition of things which exist here." There was my own experience. I was a victim of this Defence of the Realm Act, which existed in Caledon to make women work for 9s. a week. Why do you not put that in the Regulations and frame it and send a copy to every conscript soldier in 610 England so that he can say, "Hooray! This is a land fit for heroes to live in."
I shall vote against this Bill. I should oppose it if I were an Englishman. The War is over. What need is there for it? You want personal liberty in this country. The only thing is that you need not make any row about it because any thraldom under which you suffer you are responsible for yourselves, and therefore you cannot complain. But we are here with this thraldom put upon us by a Parliament in which we are not represented. If we were I suppose we should be voted down as usual. You have a right to be governed by D.O.R.A. or by martial law or anything at all you like. It is your own business, but you are not going to do it with Ireland so long as we have a voice to protest against it, and I am going to propose that if you want this Bill you can have it for Great Britain, but that Ireland be omitted, and then you can go home and hug the notion which you have sought and secured for yourselves. I am not at all sanguine that when we went into this War we really got the things we wanted, and I, being a strong supporter of the Allied cause and having contributed as much to help the war as any individual Member of this House, am not at all sure that I ought not to appear in the penitential garb and in sackcloth and ashes. The War has been fought and lives have been lost and blood has been shed and stories have been told of the good things which will occur in all these islands and the great benefits with which humanity would be blessed when the War was over. I have always felt that Englishmen had better be on the watch lest in destroying militarism in Germany they establish it in England. In destroying the military machine and all that the military machine stands for in Germany, do not make the military machine more powerful in this country. It is the military who are governing Ireland to-day. I would not trust a military man as far as I could see him across the street where public interests are concerned. He is all right on the battlefield, but when the battle is over, every General and Colonel, and even Lieutenant, ought to locked up. When you get these sabred and rifled gentlemen coming in to interfere with civil affairs, with the rights and liberties and freedom of the people, we know what the consequences are, and it is because the military are 611 ruling in Ireland now that a condition of affairs exists in that country which is causing so much pain and torture to the soul of the whole nation and which is raising a spirit of indignation and hostility towards you on the part of lovers of freedom all over the world.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
I do not think the hon. Member's condemnation ought to be left without any reply. In an early part of his speech he explained that he was vehemently opposed to any scheme of Home Rule which was rejected by the Irish people. On that point I do not know that I should be of a very different opinion from him. I certainly do not understand on what principle, in the name of self-determination, you have the right to impose a scheme of self-government which apparently all Irishmen reject. The hon. Member went on to say—and this seems to me to be the kind of exaggeration which so often makes Irish speeches quite ineffective to an English audience—that we have no more right in Ireland than the Germans had in Belgium, Really, that is a most fantastic statement. We are not invading Ireland; we are there as the governing power. You may think we ought not to be there, but as long as we are there it is our duty to govern. Up to the present moment, he said, in a passage which I do not think can have been altogether seriously meant, Ireland was almost entirely free from crime.
§ Captain REDMOND
I cannot allow the noble Lord's last statement to pass. He says, "We are there in Ireland and it is our duty to govern." Does he mean to say that there is an English garrison in Ireland and it is the duty of the English to govern in Ireland? Docs he mean to say, therefore, that the Irish people in Ireland shall have no voice in the government of their own country?
§ Lord R. CECIL
I was not entering on any constitutional disquisition. We shall have to discuss a proper constitution for Ireland when the Prime Minister presents the Home Rule Bill. But for the moment the only people who have any possibility of governing there are the people who are there by the present constitutional law of the country. There is no one else who can do it. The hon. Member suggests that we ought to abandon it. Who is to maintain order? Who is to enforce the law? 612 Certainly we are there to protect everyone in the free exercise of their ordinary rights as citizens of a civilised country, and I think the hon. Member himself will see that it would be quite impossible for us to leave the unpopular minority in the South and West of Ireland without any protection at all. I do not know anything of Ireland except what I read in the papers, and what friends of mine tell me from their own experience, but I understand there is a regular campaign there, and not only against the Protestant minority. They are apparently being left alone. It is against the policemen and officials who have done no harm at all except to carry out their duty. I do not think any Government would be worthy of the name of a Government—I have not an unlimited admiration for the occupants of the Treasury Bench, but if they were to abandon their duty and decline to enforce law and order in Ireland my tepid admiration would be converted into profound contempt. There is no doubt at all that it is their duty to enforce the law. My only doubt is whether they are taking the best steps to enforce the law. That seems to me to be a matter which is well worthy of consideration on a proper occasion. As far as I am concerned, I should support the Government of the day in almost any measure they thought necessary to put down crime. They must be responsible for what they think is necessary, and if they ask for the wrong things it may be necessary afterwards to pass a vote of censure on them and remove them from office. But I do not think this House would ever be inclined to refuse any power that the Government demanded as necessary for the enforcement of law.
§ Lord R. CECIL
They have done so. I have not a very sanguine view but I think they might do so if the Government were so monstrously wrong as to fail to enforce law and order. But I want to put to the right hon. Gentleman a question or two as to the real conditions. It may be that very exaggerated accounts reach me but I am assured that practically the law is suspended in large parts of Ireland and that it is impossible for an ordinary citizen to enforce his rights unless it is permitted by some dark authority which is not very clearly known.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Lord R. CECIL
The hon. and gallant Gentleman says it has no law and no crime. Ail my information confirms the proposition that there is no law, but I am bound to say it is very far from confirming the proposition that there is no crime. That is a very serious state of things. As far as I can make out the state of Ireland is proceeding steadily from bad to worse. I should like to know why that is. What is it that is wrong? Is it want of some further powers? If so, let them ask for further powers. This House I am quite certain would give them any powers they want. Is it perhaps that they have by some of their measures discouraged those who are charged with the enforcement of the law? I do not know. I know there has been a very long history of Coercion Acts in Ireland. As far as I know the only one which has ever been successful was that for which my right hon. Friend (Mr. Balfour) was responsible. I believe that Act really was a great success, and did in fact put down crime. I am not sure whether I am right, but I understand that the great difference between that Coercion Act and all those which preceded it was that my right hon. Friend aimed at catching the actual criminals and nobody else. He did not bother so much about sedition and things of that kind, but when he saw a violent ruffian was guilty of maltreating cattle or boycotting somebody who was starving or in danger of his life he had summary procedure by which such a man was sent to six months' imprisonment with hard labour. That was the basis of the great success of his policy. I believe that was the central principle of his Coercion Act. Up to then the great specific had been the suspension of the Habaeas Corpus Act, the making of large arrests of suspected people thought to be dangerous to the peace, who were locked up as first-class misdemeanants for a certain number of months, and if there was found no definite crime on which they could be charged they were let out again. I believe that system of coercion was entirely a failure, and is now generally condemned. I should like to know from the Chief Secretary, if he thinks it right to reply in this debate, whether there is anything to be said for the view that the form of coercion that is being adopted in 614 Ireland at the present moment is not that which is best fitted for putting down crime. I recognise the enormous difficulty of his position, and there is nothing? wish to say in this Debate that would in any way hamper or interfere with him in the execution of his extremely difficult task. If he says he is satisfied that the things that are being done by the Government are the only things that can be done in the present conditions in Ireland, then I shall have nothing more to say. But I do feel very strongly on this point, and I think it right to put it forward. I know there is a very strong feeling outside and great uneasiness about Ireland. People are asking, "How is it that this thing goes on and on and gets worse and worse? Is it quite certain that the Government are doing the right thing?" I venture to express that doubt so that my right hon. Friend may have an opportunity to reply. At the same time I must express in the strongest possible way my entice dissent from the general propositions laid down by the hon. Gentleman who preceded me (Mr. Devlin). It is the duty of the Government to enforce the law, and, so far as I am concerned, I am prepared to give any vote or take any action which would assist the Government in that direction.
§ Captain REDMOND
I had not intended to take part in this debate, but I feel impelled to do so after the speech of the noble Lord. I was perhaps hasty in interrupting him, but I could not contain myself. With a considerable portion of his speech I am in agreement; but I am not in agreement with other portions. I cannot for one moment allow the statement to pass that it is the duty of this country to govern Ireland. It is not the duty of this country to govern Ireland. According to every right principle it is the duty and the sole right of the people resident in Ireland, Irishmen and others, to govern that country. The noble Lord spoke as though this House could be composed of non-Irishmen, and that they should govern Ireland. Would he say the same of Australia or Canada? Would he say that Australia or Canada are less British than Ireland? They are considerably more so. But he does not say that this country should govern Australia, New Zealand, Canada or South Africa. He wound up his interesting speech by discussing the form of remedy for the present deplorable condition of affairs in 615 Ireland. They are deplorable, lamentable and tragic. What is going to be the end? He was discussing the forms of remedy, the forms of coercion, as if coercion were the only remedy. He said that if the Chief Secretary could show him that the present form of coercion was better than another form of coercion for the present state of affairs he would be in favour of it. Why did not the noble Lord discuss the only form of remedy, and that is what form of liberty can you give the people and, therefore, ensure for ever the peace and contentment of that land? It was not a form of coercion that made South Africa what it is to-day. Campbell-Bannerman did not discuss what form of coercion he would apply to South Africa in order to turn South Africa into a law-abiding self-governing and loyal portion of the Empire. I appeal to the noble Lord to turn his mind away from the discussion of which form of coercion will be the proper remedy for the ills of Ireland, and to turn his eyes towards the only remedy, discuss it, go into the pros and cons of this form of liberty and the other, because it is only a form of liberty and never a form of coercion which will remedy the Irish case.
I want to associate myself with my two colleagues in the steps they are taking against this Bill. I oppose it root and branch as a Member of this House, and as an Irish Member, especially as it-regards Ireland. We know that an arrangement has been come to, and it is a sorry thing that an arrangement has been come to, between certain sections as to facilitating the passage of this Bill. Small though we may be in number, and much as we have lost in our own country through the deeds and the betrayals of your Ministers and statesmen in this House and in this country, we will be no party to allowing this measure to go through any stage of its proceedings unopposed. We will with our voice and with our vote oppose this measure root and branch. We will oppose it in the Committee stage and on the Report-stage. Never can it be said hereafter that the few Irish Members remaining in this House voted in favour of the application of the Defence of the Realm Act either to Great Britain or to Ireland, and never shall it be said that we were party to the continuance of an emergency system which was brought in during the War 616 and is now being foisted upon the country by a Parliament which has already lost the confidence of the people of the country. We are anxious to hear what the Chief Secretary may have to say in reply. Not only personally but politically we may sympathise with the Chief Secretary; but what can he say? He has no defence to make. There is only one possible way out of the position. The whole policy of the Irish Government is the old policy of "What we have said we have said." If a measure is introduced into Ireland, if an order is made in Ireland, or if any action is taken by the Irish Executive, no matter if it is proved to be of no value and to be exasperating and futile, it does not matter so far as-the Irish Executive is concerned. With them, it is a case of "what we have said we have said." That is their policy, and I presume that is the policy which will be propounded by the Chief Secretary. Once more he can only float round the old vicious circle. Ho will say that because of the condition of things in Ireland we cannot do otherwise. It is because they did not do otherwise that the condition of Ireland is what it is, and so the vicious circle goes round. I wish the Chief Secretary would speak to-night as he spoke years ago when he was a strong Radical supporter of the principles which we on these Benches have not yet deserted. If he would come forward and confess that the present state of Ireland is impossible of a remedy except by one means, and that he was the man to shoulder the responsibility for giving to the Irish people as great a measure of liberty as Canada, Australia or any portion of the Empire. If he did that, he would be doing the best day's work for this country, for this Parliament and for Ireland.
§ Sir G. HEWART
A debate upon Ireland, especially when it is conducted by Irishmen, is so interesting that it seems a pity at any time to interrupt it. The House has listened this afternoon to Irish history, to Irish biography and to Irish autobiography.
§ Sir G. HEWART
It has heard from one quarter indignant rhetoric and from another quarter an interim manifesto. After that, I am afraid I am perpetrating an anti-climax in reminding the House that the question we are discussing is 617 whether the War Emergency Laws (Continuance) Bill shall be read a second time.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I propose to resist the temptation, great as it is, to follow some of my Irish friends into the regions that they so skilfully traversed, and to pursue the task of answering some of the questions which have been put to me in regard to the Bill as a whole. The hon. and gallant Member (Captain Benn) made the pleasant suggestion that the Government might very well wait a few months, for the reason that many months must elapse before peace is made with Turkey. I hope that estimate is unduly pessimistic. At any rate, if it be sound, what is the suggestion? That we should refrain from continuing by statute the enactments and regulations to which this Bill refers for many months to come. If that be the right view, and if that view foe sincerely put forward, the Government by this Bill are taking much less than they possess already. By this Bill the regulations are not continued to a later date than 31st August next. More than one hon. Member has put questions as to that date, 31st August. I repeat now what I said a couple of hours ago that that date does not represent—and if anyone who takes the trouble to look at the Bill they will see that it does not represent—the date to which the regulations must continue. It represents only the date to which the regulations may continue, and the Bill expressly provides that any one of these regulations, or all of them, may be revoked as soon as it is consistent with the national interest to revoke them. The hon. Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Mr. Scott) asked me another question which has a bearing upon that point, namely, whether it can be said' to be the policy of the Government to put an end as soon as may be to these exceptional enactments and regulations. To the best of my knowledge and belief that is the policy of the Government. It is precisely for that reason that the proviso to which I have referred is contained in the Bill. It is not proposed that it must be continued until the date named, but it is hoped that the regulations may be brought earlier to an end.
618 It was urged by more than one hon. Member, including the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Platting Division of Manchester (Mr. Clynes), that this Bill was a Bill which is hard to follow. I would suggest that it is really a very proper, exact and skilful piece of draughtsmanship. We had a considerable number of statutory enactments and Regulations which appeared to the Government and to the Departments immediately concerned to be necessary to continue for a time. Assuming that proposition, was it to be carried out by having a separate Bill for every one of these enactments or Begulations? That would be intolerable. What the draughtsman has done and done clearly and with no little ingenuity, and producing an excellent and intelligible result, is thi3. He has put the Acts into one schedule and the date to which they are to run into another, and he has put the Regulations into a schedule, and in another schedule the modifications with which they are to be continued. Complaint was made that in order to understand this Bill you must have recourse to the Acts of Parliament to which it refers and the Regulations which it proposes to continue. Of course you must, but does that present any difficulty to Members of this House and, if it is difficult, how is that difficulty going to be diminished by multiplying your Bill by the number of measures which are to be continued? If I may say a word on behalf of those who are never able to say a word on behalf of themselves, I submit that this Bill, far from being a piece of work for which any apology is required, is an excellent product of the draughtsman's art and within the time which was available for dealing with this problem, the work could hardly have been better done.
When one comes to reply to the detailed criticism of this measure it is found that what is complained of is not what it contains but what it omits. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting has said that in the original Bill with all its imperfections there was a useful power whereby the Transport Minister could in proper cases, obtain control of canals, and he deplores the fact that in the revised and abbreviated Bill that power is omitted. It is omitted because it ceases to be necessary, because by Section 3 of the Transport Act the Minister is given not for a time but in all 619 proper cases the power which was given to him by this Regulation. It is not that the power is no longer available. It is that by an existing Act he has got all the necessary powers.
§ Mr. CLYNES
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the people interested in this particular Question have made representations to the Transport Minister, and have sought access to him by deputation, but have received no response?
§ Sir G. HEWART
It is quite obvious that I myself of my own knowledge cannot answer that, but I am told by my hon. Friend (Mr. Neal) that he is not aware of any such application or refusal;. but however that may be, on the substance of the matter the explanation of the omission is, that that which is omitted is omitted because it has ceased to be necessary. Then another hon. and gallant Member called attention to the fact that in the amended Bill we do not propose to continue certain Acts to give compensation for injuries that had occurred during the War to persons like minesweepers who suffered injury after the War had concluded owing to acts done during the War. That was a matter which concerned two Departments, the Admiralty and the War Office. Both those Departments have looked into the matter and have come to the conclusion that we can omit that emergency provision. There was a suggestion, which I agree deserves consideration, by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Mr. L. Scott), who desires that the Bill should provide that, where it continues Regulations, no more validity should be given to these Regulations through their being continued by this Bill than they had before. I quite agree that that raises an important question of principle, and between the present stage and the Report stage I will consider whether we can do that. Meantime may I endeavour to disabuse my hon. and learned Friend of a belief which he appeared to have? He seemed to say that Regulations which had been held to be invalid by the Courts were proposed to be continued by this Bill.
§ Mr. L. SCOTT
No. In cases in which the Courts have held the regulations to be 620 invalid I do not suggest that this Bill proposes to continue those regulations. I do not think that that is the case.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I apologise to my hon. and learned Friend for having misunderstood him. The Bill does not propose to do any such thing. It was said by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Newcastle under Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood), that this Bill gave so very little power that it was not worth while proceeding with it and I think that he went so far as to say that it had been put in as a stopgap because we had no other Bill. Those of us who took part in the deliberations of the Committee are aware that a great deal of time and trouble were expended upon this Bill and it is introduced at this very earliest state of the session in order to get it passed into law so as to make the final Orders in Council under the Termination of the War (Definition) Act, which cannot be made until this Bill in some form is passed into law. I will not attempt to add to what has been said by my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland (Mr. Henry) upon the Irish aspect of the question, but I ask the House now, after this third or fourth discussion—or for those of us who were in Committee this twentieth or thirtieth discussion—of some of the main points contained in the Bill.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I thought that that part of my hon. and learned Friend's inquiry was an aspect of what I have already explained—that the Bill was not giving to any regulation validity superior to that which it now possesses. I trust that the Bill will now be given a Second Reading.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
Will the right hon. Gentleman agree to omit Ireland? If so he will get the Bill without any further discussion.
§ Sir G. HEWART
I am afraid that I cannot do that, anxious as I always am to comply with any reasonable request on the part of my hon. Friend. I now ask the House to give this Bill a Second 621 Reading, and when we pass, as we shall then pass, to the Committee stage, I will move an Amendment which will have the effect of making a Report stage necessary, and when we come to the Report stage, if anything remains to be thrashed out it can be thrashed out then.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
Will the right hon. Gentleman report progress immediately after he gets the Second Reading, or does he wish to proceed to the Committee stage?
§ Sir G. HEWART
It has already been said by one of the hon. Members that he will not hold himself bound by that arrangement, but the arrangement made by those whom it binds is that we should have the Committee stage after the Second Reading.
One or two things said by the Attorney-General make it necessary for something to be said on this side. An impression might be conveyed that the arrangement spoken of by the Attorney-General was an arrangement made with the intention of facilitating the passing of this Bill. That was not the intention. The intention was to prevent the Bill being carried over from fast Session. With regard to the Bill itself, I agree with the Attorney-General that it was excellently and skilfully prepared. There can be no doubt that the Defence of the Realm Regulations have been smoothed out by the draughtsmen of the Bill. Both in Committee and in this House, everyone who has given consideration to this Bill has been helped by the extreme courtesy and lucidity of the Attorney-General. Despite that fact I cannot think that the arguments of the Attorney-General are arguments for the passage of the Bill now. They may very well be arguments
|Division No. 5.]||AYES.||[7.35 p.m.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Barnett, Major R. W.||Birchall, Major J. Dearman|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Barnston, Major Harry||Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland|
|Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Barrand, A. R.||Blair, Major Reginald|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Blake, Sir Francis Douglas|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.|
|Balfour, Sir R. (Glasgow, Partick)||Bennett, Thomas Jewell||Breese, Major Charles E.|
|Barlow, Sir Montague||Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Bridgeman, William Clive|
§ for the passage of the Bill some future time. The right hon. and learned Gentleman began by emphasising the fact that it was a very different Bill from that which was brought in. As I listened to him expatiating on the size of the original Bill and how at every stage the Bill had diminished I could not help feeling that there was gathering round the discussion not so much the atmosphere of the House of Commons as the atmosphere of Maskelyne and Cook, and that we were having another illustration not of the vanishing lady but of the vanishing Bill.
§ The Government appear to look upon this Bill in somewhat the same fashion as a cook looks upon a stock pot—as a receptacle for all sorts of odds and ends, the use of which is not understood at the particular moment, but which it is hoped may be found of value at some future date. The Attorney-General went on to commend the Bill not so much for what is in it as for what is not in it. Every illustration ho gave seems to show the reasonableness of postponing its passage into law. Since the Bill appeared before the House, essential matters have been taken out of it and have found their place in other permanent Acts. Some have gone into the Housing Act and some into the Transport Act. There is no immediate necessity for passing the Bill into law now. No one wants it. None of the Regulations is cared for. It may be that the time will come when it is necessary to continue some of these Regulations, but that time has not yet arrived. If it should arrive it will be a simple matter for the Government to ask for their immediate passage into law. Last year the Government were able to get the Profiteering Bill through in one day, and it is perfectly obvious that if occasion should arise for these regulations to be continued the Government will be able to do what they wish.
§ Question put, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes. 219: Noes, 61,
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Guest, Major O. (Leic., Loughboro')||Murray, Hon. Gideon (St. Rollox)|
|Broad, Thomas Tucker||Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)|
|Brown, Captain D. C.||Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar||Neat, Arthur|
|Brown, T. W. (Down North)||Hamilton, Major C. G. C||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)|
|Ball, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hanna, George Boyle||Nicholl, Commander Sir Edward|
|Burdon, Colonel Rowland||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)|
|Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay)||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John|
|Burn, T. H. (Belfast, St. Anne's)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Oman, Charles William C.|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||O'Neill, Major Hon. Robert W. H.|
|Campbell, J. D. G.||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Camplon, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Hills, Major John Waller||Peel, Lieut.-Col. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Hinds, John||Peel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)|
|Carter, R. A. D. (Man., Withington)||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.||Perkins, Walter Frank|
|Casey, T. W.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Pickering, Lieut.-Colonel Emil W|
|Cautley, Henry S.||Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central)||Pollock, Sir Ernest M.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)||Hopkins, John W. W||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Pratt, John William|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Purchase, H. G.|
|Chadwick, R. Burton||Hurd, Percy A.||Rae, H. Norman|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J A. (Birm. W.)||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Ramsden, G. T.|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Cheyne, Sir William Watson||Jesson, C.||Rees, Sir John D. (Nottingham, East)|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H H. Spender||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Reid, D. D.|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward F.||Johnson, L. S.||Richardson, Alexander (Gravesend)|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Jones, Sir Evan (Penbroke)||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.|
|Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Janes, J. T. (Carma-then, Llanelly)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Courthope, Major George L.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)|
|Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)||Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr||Seddon, J. A.|
|Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid.)||King, Commander Henry Douglas||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Shaw, William T. (Fortar)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. G. F.|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Denison-Pender, John C.||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Stewart Gershom|
|Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)||Lloyd, George Butler||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Donald, Thompson||Lloyd-Greame, Major p.||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Edgar, Clifford B.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)||Sugden, W. H.|
|Edge, Captain William||Lonsdale, James Rolston||Sykes, Sir Charles (Huddersfield)|
|Edwards, Allen C. (East Ham, S.)||Lorden, John William||Talbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Taylor, J.|
|Edwards, John H. (Glam., Neath)||Lynn, R. J.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lyon, Laurance||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Waddington, R.|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||M'Donald, Dr. Bouverie F. P.||Wallace, J.|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Ward, William Dudley (Southampton)|
|Farquharson, Major A. C.||M'Guffin, Samuel||Waring, Major Walter|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)||Watson, Captain John Bertrand|
|FltzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.||McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)||White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Flannery, Sir James Fortescue||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Whitla, Sir William|
|Gardiner, James||Macieod, J. Mackintosh||Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (Bas'gst'ke)||Macmaster, Donald||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Wilson, Capt. A. S. (Holderness)|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)|
|Glyn, Major Ralph||Macquisten, F. A.||Wilson, Lieut.-Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Goff, Sir R. Park||Moles, Thomas||Winterton, Major Earl|
|Gould, James c.||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Goulding, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward A.||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred M.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Greenwood, Colonel Sir Hamar||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.|
|Gregory, Holman||Morrison, Hugh||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Mosley, Oswald||Lord E. Talbot and Capt Guest.|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Murray, Lt.-Col. C. D. (Edinburgh)|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D.||Hall, F. (York, W. B., Normanton)||Newbould, Alfred Ernest|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Hancock, John George||O'Connor, Thomas P.|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hartshorn, Vernon||Onions, Alfred|
|Brace, Rt. Hon. William||Hayward, Major Evan||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hirst, G. H.||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Cairns, John||Holmes, J. Stanley||Redmond, Captain William Archer|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Robertson, John|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Kenyon, Barnet||Rose, Frank H.|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Lunn, William||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Devlin, Joseph||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Finney, Samuel||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Galbraith, Samuel||M alone, Lieut.-Col. C. L. (Leyton, E.)||Spoor, B. G.|
|Glanville, Harold James||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Myers, Thomas||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|Tootill, Robert||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)||Williams, John (Glamorgan, Gower)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Waterson, A. E.||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Wignall, James||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhbughton)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Hogge and Mr. G. Thorne.|
§ Bill accordingly read a second time.
§ Resolved, That this House will immediately resolve itself into the Committee on the Bill.—[Sir G. Hewart.]
§ Bill accordingly considered in Committee.
§ [Mr. WHITLEY in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1 (Continuance of certain emergency Acts), ordered to stand part of the Bill.