§ Mr. DEVLIN
I beg to move "That this House do now adjourn."
I do not think that I owe an apology to the House for taking advantage of the rule which permits us to discuss matters of most vital concern, not only to our constituents, but to public liberty, and even humanity. Perhaps there has been no record so ghastly as the story which I propose to submit to the House to-night. The condition of Ireland is exceedingly sad. We have witnessed in the supposed interests of law and order a policy of repression unparalleled in the history of violence, which has been pursued by the Government in order, as they state, to preserve law and order in that country. Yet I say, and I will prove it, that if there are to be found in any country in the world malefactors with the stigma of crime upon their record, they sit upon the Front Bench opposite. They are the responsible agents for cruelties perhaps as horrible as any that have ever been told in Armenia or in any other country 335 where horrors are perpetrated against the people. I am afraid that my statement this evening will be a very unimpassioned and cold narrative; but I hope that that will not rob it of interest, and that Members will not deny that it does not require violent rhetoric in order to impress the House with the horrors of the incidents which I am about to relate.
In the city of Belfast, during the last six months, we have been accustomed, among other things, to murders, Government murders, military murders, murders embellished with all the glory of authority, which are perhaps of as ghastly a character as ever were committed. On the 26th December, in the early hours of a Sunday morning, a number of armed men, uniformed, and wearing uniform caps, drew up to the house of a man named John Edward Trodden, in the Falls Road, and in the presence of his wife and children dragged him into the back yard and murdered him. They proceeded from the house of John Edward Trodden to the house of John Galer, of Springfield Road, forced their way into the house, and did this man to death in the presence of his aged mother. They then proceeded to the house of John McFadden, of Springfield Road, and murdered him. I raised the question of these murders in the House, and asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland what was to be done to bring these cowardly midnight Sabbath assassins to justice, and he told me that these matters would be submitted to a tribunal which he would set up, I think a military tribunal of inquiry. I have no faith in a military tribunal. I have no faith in any of these inquiries; I do not believe in them. They are not established to hold the scales of justice even. They are not brought into existence for the purpose of seeing that these cowardly crimes are stopped, or the perpetrators punished. These tribunals are deliberately set up to cloak crime, and not to expose it or punish it. As I stated at the time, when the powers which the right hon. Gentleman sought to receive from this House were given to him, I have no confidence in these tribunals, and everything that I then said has proved true by all the circumstances that have followed.
From the day that I asked the question in regard to these cowardly midnight murders, I have never heard the result of the inquiries, except in one instance. 336 In the case of two of the murders the right hon. Gentleman said that he could not find out who had murdered the men; but in the case of the third, he said that the man was shot while attempting to escape arrest. This House is an intelligent assembly, at least I think it is, but I do not think anything has so degraded the majesty of Parliament, or has so lowered it in the eyes of all just men, as to find that horrors of this character can be committed, and not only is there not a blush of shame brought to the faces of the Parliament that allows the crimes to be committed, but they seem to pass as though they were one of the ordinary mundane incidents of our life. Imagine a man, shot at 1 o'clock in the morning attempting to escape from arrest; caught in a little humble cottage, of 3s. a week rent, trapped like a rat in the night, a motor lorry outside, with armed policemen, and this man was shot, and the military court of inquiry tells us that he was shot whilst escaping from arrest. The murders of the other men, about which the right hon. Gentleman said he knew nothing, took place on the same night, under the same circumstances, and by the same body of men, and consequent on the same organisation. From then to now there has not been a single word uttered, not a single apology made from the Government Bench. There has not been a single explanation given. No light has been thrown on this terrible transaction. The blood of the men rests upon those who have permitted this outrage to be committed upon absolutely innocent men, in the dead of night. Since the malefactors have escaped justice, their malefaction has continued. Therefore, I will proceed to the next record of their work.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
Certainly I condemn all murders. To me, murder is horrible in any form. It hurts all causes; no good comes out of it. I have repeatedly said so. Do not let us obscure this matter. Does the hon. and gallant Member mean that because a policeman is murdered in one part of a city that you are entitled to carry murder into every peaceful part of that city?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
When the hon. Member brings up these cases of murder he should condemn all impartially.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
May I remind the House that we are here to discuss a definite matter, and we can only discuss a matter which has arisen quite recently. The hon. Member will recollect that he obtained leave to move the Adjournment on the incidents of Sunday morning last. I suppose that he is now leading up to them.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
I am leading up to them. I recognise the force of your ruling. I recognise also the sympathetic spirit in which you have permitted me to raise this question, though I say frankly that if I were an English Member and not an Irish Member at all I would rejoice at the opportunity that Parliament is afforded of expressing horror at transactions of this character, and I invite the hon. and gallant Gentleman, when I sit down, unless he believes that I have recited a series of statements which are not true, to join with me in condemning them. I ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman who turns up the whites of his eyes in holy horror of what has happened elsewhere to join with me in demanding that this Government will not only condemn these transactions but will promise this House that they will take very vigorous means which the law can afford to bring to justice the men who are responsible for them. I come to the next case. On Sunday the 24th of April two young men, brothers, named Duffin were in the kitchen of their house some time after midnight. All the rest of the family had retired for the night. The noise of a passing lorry was heard. Shortly afterwards there was a knock. One of the brothers opened the door. Immediately the command "Hands up!" was given. Several shots were fired and the armed party then left.
On a point of Order. May I draw attention to the fact that the hon. Member began his statement by referring to events which he says took place on the 26th of December last, and, disregarding your ruling, he is now proceeding to give us an account of happenings which took place on the 29th of April. I put it to you that, under the terms of the Motion to which he is supposed to be speaking, he is not entitled to review the whole course of events during the last six months, but ought to, 338 as you pointed out just now, confine himself strictly to what happened on last Sunday morning.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have already stated that I think that the hon. Member is not entitled to do more, in relation to the other incidents of which he has spoken, than merely enumerate them, should he wish so to do—to make his case with regard to what happened on Sunday morning last.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
This is not the Ulster Parliament. There is still some decency left, I hope, in England. Anyone reading what occurred on last Sunday morning might think that these murders of peaceful inoffensive civilians by the representatives of the Crown were abnormal incidents, but they are only one of a series of murders, and my point is this, that when I raised in the House of Commons the first of these murders, and appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to take vigorous steps to deal with the men responsible for these assassinations, I got no satisfaction, and the result was that those murders were passed over, and the men responsible for them are still his servants, the servants of the Crown, and the subsequent incidents occurred because of the immunity of these assassins from justice, and the whole series of murders has been directly caused by the fact that no attempt has been made whereby the responsible Government authorities do deal with these assassinations. These two young men were in their home at night. All the rest of the family had gone to bed. There was a knock at the door. There was a command, "Hands up." Several shots were fired, it is believed by three men wearing trench coats. The people upstairs rushed down. Daniel Duffin had expired and Patrick was badly wounded and died in a few minutes. Patrick was 28, and was a national teacher, and Daniel was 24, and was formerly a temporary clerk at the Ministry of Labour in Belfast. It is stated that about 100 houses were searched, and arrests were made at night.
339 I do not know any of these men who were murdered, but as a representative of the city I have made inquiries and I found that these two Duffins were most exemplary young fellows and were a model of personal repute and character in the district in which they live. I have never heard anything alleged against them. Yet a little after midnight, on Sunday morning, these military forces, rampaging through the city of Belfast, go to their house and murder them in their own home. Not one solitary word of condemnation from the Government The Government goes livid with rage at every mention of a soldier or a policeman being killed in an ambush or some military attack, and not a single indication of regret is given to the citizens of Belfast or to the relatives of these murdered men or to anybody for this cruel outrage. Naturally, if no attempt is made to bring these men to justice, those who commit these crimes believe that they can continue them. That is the sum total of it. We have long got beyond the expectation of the right hon. Gentleman attempting to hold an even balance. I put a question to him to-day about these murderers and the two which I will recite to the House in a moment, and he talked about the disturbance, about riots, about stone throwing, about rivalry among sections of the people; and he referred to these murders in such a way as if they were something like a postscript of no consequence at all. May I point out that he sought the powers and got them from this House, which were never given to any Chief Secretary for Ireland in the long, chequered, bloody record of the British Government in Ireland. He got powers of so coercive a character that all the machinery of constitutional law disappeared, and there was no trial by jury and none of the ordinary machinery of justice in existence. Military tribunals were set up, and the Press were excluded if the tribunals so desired. Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Colonel Sir Hamar Greenwood)
They rarely desire it.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
If they desire it. I will tell him something further. If the military tribunal decides that there is certain evidence which should not be published the Press is not allowed to pub- 340 lish that evidence. That is not permitted in any other Court.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
This is really irrelevant to the Motion. The hon. Member obtained leave to move the Adjournment on account of some alleged dereliction of duty on the part of the Executive with regard to incidents on Sunday morning last. His whole argument must be closely connected with that alleged negligence on the part of the Executive.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
With all respect that is the very thing I am commenting on. What greater dereliction of duty could there be than for the Chief Executive Officer of the Crown, the man who holds our fortune in his hands, to whom our bodies are entrusted, to allow these murders one after another to be committed and to make no attempt to bring the murderers to justice? The assassins are allowed to walk abroad by day and pursue their cause in the night? I come now to the incidents of Sunday. What happened on Sunday? Three citizens, Alexander M'Bride, a merchant, of 28, Cardigan Drive, Cliftonville Road; Malachy Halfpenny, a postman; and William Kerr, a hairdresser, were assassinated, and the incidents are coldly described as follows: In each case the victims were dragged out of their homes in a most callous and brutal fashion. They were taken out, clad in the scantiest clothing and hurriedly driven in a motor lorry to a scheduled spot, there to meet with a terrible fate, all of them being riddled with bullets. The districts in which these men lived were mostly at the northern end of the City, and it was apparent that the assassins were acting in concert and by a pre-arranged plan. Mr. M'Bride was a well-known merchant. He had a business in one of the principal streets and lived in a villa outside the City. He was taken half a mile away and shot. The second victim, Mr. Halfpenny, was an ex-soldier. He had resided on the Crumlin Road in what is called the Ardoyne district, and was killed a mile from his home. Mr. Kerr, a hairdresser, was taken two miles away and murdered.
I will tell the story recited by the first man's wife, Mrs. M'Bride. Mr. M'Bride lived in the villa with his wife and child. It was a very retired part of the city and a quiet spot. It was almost impossible to interview Mrs. M'Bride, who 341 was in a state of prostration, but after some difficulty she was able to give a story of what occurred. She says that about 1 o'clock she and Mr. M'Bride were awakened by a sharp knock at the door. Mr. M'Bride got out of bed, opened the window, and asked who was there. The reply was that they were the police, and that he must open the door. Mr. M'Bride went downstairs in night attire and opened the door, when the leader of the gang ordered him to go up and dress. He hastily donned a pair of trousers and boots when a couple of the raiders got hold of him roughly and said he would have to come with them. Mr. M'Bride asked to be allowed to see his baby, only a year old, and made an effort to approach the bed, but the men dragged him away. Mrs. M'Bride ran in between her husband and the raiders, but was thrown back, and her husband was taken out to a lorry. What subsequently happened can only be surmised, but it is possible to trace in the mind's eye the tragic incidents. The route taken by the lorry was via Old Park Road and Ballysillan Road. A visit to the exact spot revealed blood-soaked grass where apparently the body had lain for the few hours before it was discovered. The lorry must have come to a sudden stop a few yards away. The victim was then taken to a plot of grass in the lane, about ten years from Ballysillan Road, and done to death. Seven shots were fired at him: four bullets entered the head, and three the chest. Mr. M'Bride was a man of splendid physique, and I gather from the information I have received that he made a desperate struggle for life. On his body were marks as if he had been maltreated. A pair of rosary beads were entwined in his hands. The body was discovered at 4.30 in the morning, and the police at Ligoniel barracks having been apprised of the occurrence proceeded to the scene, and the body was removed to the morgue. Mr. M'Bride had been married over a year, and he had one child. His wife declares that he belonged to no political association of any sort.
I come now to the murder of the young man, William Kerr. It was of an equally atrocious character. His house is situated at the corner of California Street and Old Lodge Road. The assassins arrived at about twenty past 1 o'clock, about the same time as their arrival at the houses of Mr. M'Bride. I am going to charge 342 them with being concerned in concerted and preconceived plans by which they left wherever they came from at the same time, having marked out their victims, and proceeded in separate detachments to assassinate citizens in the dead of the night. A sister of this man Kerr, when interviewed, gave the following statement:At about twenty past one she was awakened by a knock at the door. She opened the window and asked who was there. She was ordered to open the door. When she did so she was faced by a man wearing a tam o'shanter, who asked if William Kerr lived there. The girl said that he did, and that he was upstairs. The man went upstairs, followed by another man dressed in civilian clothes and wearing a cap and glasses. A third man had a kind of soldier's tunic. When my brother came downstairs he had only his shirt and trousers on and was carrying his boots in his hand. I asked them would they not take me instead of my brother, and they laughed and jeered at me. I said that if anything happened to my brother I would be able to identify them again, but they replied, 'You will not see your brother again.' He was dragged out into the street and put on a lorry. I rushed into the street and round the corner screaming, but was stopped by a man in a trench coat, who had a white handkerchief over his face. He put a revolver against me and said he would shoot me if I did not get back home. A little whippet dog that belonged to my brother ran after the lorry, but the men chased it back.The finding of the body was due to an organised search party from the locality. Three of the party had been looking for Halfpenny, when they came upon the remains of Kerr, at 6.30, lying on the ground. One man said the appearance of the body would lead one to believe that the boy had made a struggle while being dragged to the spot, and he evidently had received terrible abuse. His scanty clothing was torn, his boots were unlaced, and there were seven bullet wounds in the body and limbs, two being over the heart, two on the throat, one on the side, one on the thigh, and one on the foot. One of his legs was doubled up under him and the body was covered with blood. During the removal of the body to the morgue a large number of people knelt and recited the rosary. The deceased was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, of which I am President, and was a member of the Foresters. His brother is a regimental sergeant-major in the Machine Gun Corps in Mesopotamia, and was to have arrived home this week. 343 He himself, probably, was one of the soldiers who went out to fight in the War, on the appeal that I made to the Ancient Order of Hibernians and to other citizens who helped in that War, and were repaid in the form in which this man has been repaid.
Let me come to the third case, that of Malachy Halfpenny. He was unmarried and lived with his mother and two sisters, and the circumstances in which he met his death are much the same as those of the other two men. Armed men numbering about 14 or 15 arrived at the house in what was described by neighbours as a blue-gray motor lorry about 1.15 a.m., which is within the curfew hours when no civilian is allowed to walk the streets. One of the men knocked at the door, and deceased's mother went to the window and asked if they were the military. She received no reply to the question, but was ordered to open the door. This she did, and one of the men came into the house and asked if that was where Halfpenny lived, and she replied in the affirmative. Others came into the house and rushed past Mrs. Halfpenny upstairs to deceased's bedroom where he was asleep. They dragged him out and down the stairs in his night attire. He asked the men to let him put on some clothes, but they refused. The mother and sister rushed between the men and their victim. One of the men produced a revolver and threatened to shoot both mother and sister. The family appealed to the men to release deceased, but in vain. The deceased man resisted, and it was stated his arms were twisted as he was dragged to the motor. He was put into the motor which drove off, and the people in the street heard shots a few minutes afterwards. The family were distracted, and they entertained the worst fears, and after curfew hours a search was made. Even the neighbours of this man who watched this ghastly tragedy, who were the witnesses of this spectacle of the glory of your rule, were not permitted to go out during curfew hours to try and get the remains of this poor murdered lad—an ex-soldier—who was dragged out by your servants and murdered in this cruel and merciless fashion. Who was this young boy? He was a young fellow like the others, in the prime and fulness and glory and flower of youth. I will give you his record. He was 22 years of age and he served for 3½ years in the 344 Army with the Royal Field Artillery. He joined the Army when he was 16½ years of age, and he served in France.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
He was twice gassed, and on being demobilised he returned to the General Post Office, where he was a postman. Four brothers of his have served or are serving in your Army. One of them was killed in France on the same date and at the very spot where my lamented colleague, Major William Redmond, lost his life, and the other three brothers also fought in France and were also wounded. This is the boy, who in the dead of night, in the name of British law, with your authority, in pursuance of your policy, and for the preservation of order as we understand it in modern conditions, was put to death. There was the end of this young and inspiring career. This poor lad did not know what the pleasures of youth were, for he spent the most glorious days of his young life fighting your battles in France, and he died your victim in the presence of his mother and his sisters. That is the British rule we are called upon to respect and in honour of which we are asked to sing "Rule Britannia" upon every platform in these islands.
§ Major PRESCOTT
Does the hon. Member seriously ask the House to believe that servants of the Crown have put an end to such a life at that?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member has obtained liberty to make a statement. I would ask other hon. Members to let him make his statement, and anything they have to say regarding it can be said after he has finished.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
We are not children. Does the hon. Member who interrupted me think there is any other conclusion to be drawn from the taking out of three separate motor cars or lorries on a Sabbath morning at an hour after midnight?
§ Mr. DEVLIN
The hon. Member (Major Prescott) perhaps does not know what curfew means. I shall tell him. I 345 am always anxious to enlighten Englishmen about Ireland. After half-past 10 o'clock at night, no civilian can walk the streets of Belfast; no motor car is allowed to go through the streets of Belfast, and the city is like a city of the dead. Who was it, if it was not the forces of the Crown, who were able to rampage over the whole city at 1 o'clock in the morning, to stop at three different and distinct houses, to take these three men out from their families, bring them to lonely roads, assassinate them and leave them there dead, only to be found when the curfew was over in the morning? Who does he think did it?
§ Mr. DEVLIN
I am ready for enlightenment. I wanted to be enlightened before, when the first atrocities were committed nine months ago, and I brought the question before the House. I then invited the right hon. Gentleman to give us an impartial court of inquiry to probe this thing to the bottom, to let us see there was not one law for one set of assassins and another law for another set. I asked him, "If you come to this House, come to it with clean hands," and if the right hon. Gentleman had given me what I asked for then, and if this matter had been probed to the bottom, as I wanted it to be, we perhaps would have avoided the scene and the circumstances I am dealing with. Remember, the scene and the circumstances will be told all round the world, wherever the English language is spoken and in countries where it is not spoken. People will say, "What about Ireland?" and you will tell them, "They are an unruly people, an impossible people; you cannot satisfy them, you can concede nothing to them, and they are hopeless." The reply to that will be, "Did you take out a young fellow of 22, who had spent the golden years of his life fighting your battles in France and Flanders, and do him to death—you or your agents? "There can be no camouflage in replying to that question. It will be so powerful an indictment of your policy and your rule of Ireland that I venture to say that if nothing else brings blushes to your faces, surely a transaction of this character will.
What is my case? My case is that on three different occasions innocent men have been either taken out of their homes 346 and shot, or else shot in their homes, by forces of the Crown, and there never has been the slightest attempt to bring the perpetrators to justice. An hon. Member opposite raised a point of Order that I was departing from your ruling, Mr. Speaker, when I mentioned the powers given by the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act. If these men were guilty of any crime, surely with all this, machinery they could be brought to justice. You have never allowed anyone to slip through your fingers. Many an innocent man has been brought before these tribunals with hardly a scintilla of evidence to convict him. You were always sure of your convictions. Therefore if these particular men, or any of them were guilty of any crime, you had not to submit them to a jury of their countrymen, you had not to pursue them by the ordinary constitutional methods and machinery observed in every country except Ireland. You could have brought them before the military tribunal, strengthened by all these powers, and you could have tried them and have found them guilty. I do not suppose any allegations were brought against them. If this young fellow of 22, this ex-soldier who joined at 16½ years, did join the Sinn Fein or Republican Army—I do not know whether he did or not; there is no allegation that he did, and as a matter of fact, I think it is stated that he belonged to the organisation to which I am attached—but supposing he did, what a commentary on your rule. Countless ex-soldiers who went out and fought with superb courage, men of the 16th Division, who played a magnificent and gallant and fruitful part in that War, have come back and joined the Sinn Fein movement, because you have driven them into it, as you have driven those of us who are not soldiers, but mere politicians, to exasperation and despair by all these things that are being done in Ireland.
If you could justify them by the success of your policy, something might be said for them, but what a drama could be written on the story of this boy, if it were true, who joined your forces at 16½ to fight for your Empire, and all the causes which the Empire claimed to stand for then, and who came back and saw his country as we all see it to-day, distracted, disorganised, oppressed, without the semblance of liberty or freedom, 347 individual or public, anywhere, what a drama could be written and what a story could be told of the ignorance and malignity of a policy which you have forced down the throats of an England chloroformed, for nothing but an England chloroformed would tolerate the things that are being done in Ireland to-day. I understand the right hon. Gentleman stated in the House of Commons yesterday or the day before that he intended to put a stop to reprisals. Is this the first instance of it? The right hon. Gentleman will permit me to say that he suffers largely from what I might call intellectual self-conceit. He has formed the opinion that to think he will do a thing is nearly that he does it, but I wonder in his heart if he is satisfied with this policy. Six months ago he was to kill the murder gang, and at the end of it all I am here to expose a fresh murder gang, a murder gang with motor cars, a murder gang with authority, a murder gang after curfew, a murder gang free to play its part in whatever way it may, with these horrible and tragic results on the lives of innocent citizens in the dead of night. Is that the end of the policy? No good man, whether he be a politician or an ordinary citizen, need ever be ashamed to admit that he is wrong, and I invite the right hon. Gentleman to admit that this policy is wrong, that this country, for the government of which he is responsible, is at this moment simply a reservoir of blood and tears, a Saturnalia of assassination—
§ Mr. DEVLIN
When I have done, if you have any intelligence you will get up and answer, but I have never known the hon. Gentleman yet to rise up and speak intelligently. He tries to do it without rising, but he cannot. If I were in his position, I would be glad to have these things exposed that they might be ended.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
You need not be eloquent if you are human. It does not require rhetoric to recognise the fundamental truths of the Ten Commandants, but being a, Tory and a seasoned reactionary you do 348 not understand. I understand that the only time the hon. Member was eloquent was when he was pronouncing in fierce form the glories of President Wilson's 14 points during the War.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
No, this policy has absolutely failed. It has done nothing but the things I have described to the House, and was there ever such a story told in a civilised or Christian community? This thing is going on from day to day, and you are getting no nearer to a solution of this Irish problem. You will have to stop it, but in the meantime the public conscience in England, and the public opinion in Ireland if it counted at all, demands that the right hon. Gentleman will give some explanation to the House of the horrors which I have ventured to bring before it to-night.
§ Mr. STURROCK
I listened to my hon. Friend in the indictment, as he considers it to be, which he has laid at the door of the Chief Secretary, but having listened to many similar discussions in this House on previous occasions, I suggest to hon. Members in all parts of the House that there is exceedingly little to be gained by the sort of charges which my hon. Friend has just made. He has told us a very tragic story, which, if it were true, would be heart-rending, but how many stories are there from every part of Ireland which could engage the attention of the House all hours of the day and night, if they were given to us with the rhetorical effect which my hon. Friend knows so well how to employ? It is very sad indeed to think that a youth who entered the British Army at the age of 16½ years should be murdered or killed in some form at the age of 22, but really, it does not sound to me convincing as a damning proof that the Government of Ireland in all its Departments is thoroughly bad. There have been men killed in this country who served during the War, and countless numbers of men who have done great service, both in the Army and in the public life of this country, who have been foully murdered in Ireland, and if my hon. Friend wishes to he judicial in this matter and not merely to score points on particular cases, he should appeal to his own fellow countrymen to bring an end to this sort of campaign of murder and counter-murder, which is a matter affecting Irish- 349 men and Irishmen only. My hon. Friend comes to this House and endeavours by attacking the Chief Secretary to attack not only the Chief Secretary but the English and the Scottish Members of this House, suggesting that we are always to blame for these things which are going on. I repudiate the doctrine out and out. It is evident that he and those who sympathise with him in this House would be far better engaged in trying to curb the passions that have arisen in Ireland instead of fanning them and fomenting them in this House.
§ Mr. STURROCK
The difficulty in all these inquiries is that, owing to the Sinn Fein terror, it is impossible to have impartial inquiry. My hon. Friend talked about an England which was chloroformed, but that was merely another rhetorical touch. The hon. Member for Harrow (Mr. Mosley) is a new Member, and he has taken up a case in regard to which the more I heard him develop it the more firmly I am convinced that he does not half understand it. I have been in many parts of England and Scotland in recent times, and I feel that there is this to be said, that people who are maintaining a calm view of affairs in Ireland are supremely disgusted with the action of Irishmen in Ireland, although I know the people of England and Scotland would do anything to secure an improvement in the conditions in Ireland. When, however, it is suggested here that this country is apathetic because it supports a Government—
§ Mr. STURROCK
Hon. Members are urging that this is a Government which is pursuing a malicious policy in Ireland against the best interests of Ireland, but I say that that is not so. The country as a whole is sick to death of the behaviour of Irishmen in Ireland, and it does not attribute one iota of the blame to the Government. Hon. Members who support the so-called Independent Labour party should realise that all those who have been in politics, not only in this Parliament but in previous Parliaments, are every whit as much to blame as the present Government. It is all very well to keep raising these matters time after time and stating all these harrowing 350 details and I confess that such speeches do very little good. I appeal to the hon. Member for the Falls Division (Mr. Devlin) and his colleagues to use their influence not in order to make political points in this House or in the country on the affairs of Ireland but to use their influence with their own fellow countrymen. Now that Irishmen have their own Parliamentary procedure at work I ask hon. Members representing Ireland to restrain the people from carrying on a campaign which is a disgrace to the country concerned, and which cannot in any sense be attributed to the Chief Secretary or the Government. As for an inquiry into all these cases, whenever an inquiry can be held where the evidence will be truthfully given, let it be held. I am quite sure the Chief Secretary would be the first to welcome every opportunity of vindicating his policy in every part of Ireland.
§ Sir C. TOWNSHEND
I have heard several Debates on Ireland in this House, and I say as an Englishman that I feel tremendously the state of things going on in Ireland, and I would like to give to the House what a student of history and a soldier thinks of the situation. I will say straight away that I agree with the hon. Member behind me, that this kind of thing must be stopped, but we have to stop the rebellion first, because that is civil war. Personally, I am astonished at the moderation of the Government in this matter. I admire the Chief Secretary's resolution and his tenacity in sticking to the most difficult and awful task a Minister can have to carry out, that is enforcing vigorous methods against a people one loves. Many Irish soldiers served in my command during the War, and I loved them.
These things having arisen in Ireland, who can we blame? We all remember the Rebellion of Vinegar Hill when the same thing occurred as that which is occurring to-day. I have been astonished at the moderation which has been shown in this matter, because it is civil war, in which we know the most dreadful things must occur. You cannot help reprisals. I am sure hon. Members must have been deeply affected by the story told by the Chief Secretary the other day about the murder of Colonel Compton Smith, because it was a most touching story. I have no feeling in the matter, except that it is 351 dreadful, and I would give anything to stop that kind of thing. Were I sent to stop this kind of thing, I should try to do it, although I dare say you might be ready to execute me afterwards, but I should do far worse things than the Government are doing, and, probably, I should be brought to the Bar of the House.
I will put in a few sentences what I should do to suppress civil war in Ireland. The first thing I should do would be to proclaim martial law all over Ireland. Secondly, I should give General Macready another 20,000 men because 60,000 is not enough. Thirdly, you must carry out the principle of economy, which is not being carried out now. Fourthly, the police and the Army must be under one command. You must trust the Commander-in-Chief. He represents your power in Ireland. The Commander-in-Chief must be supreme and the civil government had better stand down till the business is over. I should have four military commands in Ireland, one in Ulster, one in Munster, one in Leinster and one in Connaught, each with a general responsible for the province and with an adequate force worked by wire from Dublin. If one of these generals found his neighbour in trouble, then he marches down to the assistance of General Jones in the province on his border. He will endeavour to do the best that can be done somehow or another. If I were there I might have to stand my trial afterwards, but I would have to chance that, and to my mind that is the only way we can have peace in Ireland. [Interruption.] Such a way would be short, but it would be merciful in the long run compared with what is going on now.
§ Sir C. TOWNSHEND
I am astonished at the moderation of the Chief Secretary, to whom I would like to pay my tribute for having done the best he could.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Perhaps I may be allowed again to remind hon. Members that we are getting a long way away from the point at issue, which was to bring to the notice of the Executive a certain alleged dereliction of duty in regard co things that happened on Sunday morning last.
§ Mr. MOSLEY
I trust that I shall keep within the ambit of your ruling, Mr. Speaker. While I disagree largely with the remarks of the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just eat down. I think he did not even achieve his ambition. He desired to be far worse than the Government and to transcend the iniquities of the Chief Secretary for Ireland. In the programme which he sketched to the House he fell lamentably short of his ideal. My hon. and gallant Friend was merely modelling himself upon the high command behind the lines in the recent War. The iniquities of the Chief Secretary for Ireland far transcend, far surpass—[Laughter]—Hon. Members may laugh, but remarks of this kind have been justified, I venture to suggest, in the course of Debates in this House. A military repression carried out under proper discipline and under the recognised laws of a martial régime is understandable, and has often happened, not only in the history of the world but in the history of this country. What, however, has not happened before has been the organisation of a privy murder gang working at night under the auspices of His Majesty's Government. That is the unprecedent situation with which we are faced in Ireland to-day. Those are facts which cannot be refuted, facts which the right hon. Gentleman dare not take before a judicial impartial inquiry conducted by judges of that English Crown. These are facts which he has been forced to acknowledge, and which have been extracted reluctantly from the Government Bench in Debates in this House. These are facts which cannot be repudiated by an impartial and just investigation. [An HON. MEMBER: "Liar!"] We find hon. Gentlemen supporting the Government through fair and foul weather. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Leng Sturrock) who to-night endeavoured to refute some of my arguments in advance to me as a young Member. May I remind him in passing that some time ago another Member of this House had to meet a similar charge, but his remarks were subsequently justified. The same charge had been made, and in reply it was pointed out that age was not necessarily an asset even to an hon. Member's politics, for in certain cases the passage of years merely added the quality of obstinacy to that of stupidity; in some cases the advance of time was merely marked by the recession from virtue. Surely these re- 353 marks are peculiarly applicable in this case, when we find that hon. Members come down to this House and justify the crimes of the agents of the English Crown by reciting the crimes of the Sinn Fein murder gangs as their only justification, but two blacks do not make a white, and Sinn Fein murders do not justify others in saying, "Let us go out and murder."
What is this new philosophy in our Imperial tradition? Wherever a band of assassins may make murder by night is our only remedy not to bring them to justice in the time-honoured fashion, but ourselves to go out and do likewise, and emulate them by a murder gang working under the auspices and instigation of His Majesty's Government? The right hon. Gentleman opposite may think to shelve responsibility for these incidents by speaking of spontaneous outbursts of fury. He may think that he will in the end escape facing that Tribunal which I hope and believe he will face one day; but let him remember that a greater man than the Chief Secretary for Ireland faced a tribunal of his countrymen for lesser crimes than the crime. I refer to Warren Hastings. [Laughter.] Hon. Members may laugh, but there are some who come down to this House for the purpose of taking part in a reasonable discussion.
§ Mr. MOSLEY
I know there are hon. Members who come down to the House not to take part in a reasoned discussion, but to howl down other hon. Members, but may I remind Conservatives who take part in those exhibitions that Disraeli, their great leader, in one of his greatest speeches, told us that "The system that cannot bear discussion is doomed." Advice from a statesman whose doctrines are destined to perpetual life on the lips of Conservatism in default of that improbable phenomenon—a new idea. Such a remark is peculiarly applicable to the present situation. Great causes were never drowned beneath the jeers of partisans. This cause will survive the laughter and mockery of hon. Members who troop into the House from the Smoke Room to howl down anyone—
§ Mr. MOSLEY
I did not intend to transgress your ruling, Mr. Speaker, as I feel I have in the remarks I have made in reply to the observations of hon. Members. What have we in this particular case? We have a repetition of incidents which, as my hon. Friend has described, have constantly occurred in Ireland during the last nine months or more. In the middle of the night, when a strict curfew prevents, or should prevent—if it does not prevent it is entirely due to the incompetence of the right hon. Gentleman's administration—the passage of any man or vehicles through the streets other than those of the forces of the Crown, we have atrocities of the kind described by my hon. Friend (Mr. Devlin) this evening. The Chief Secretary, I have no doubt, is about to get up and deplore the crime, but at the same time to confess entire ignorance of its perpetrators, as he did at Question Time this afternoon. He has a stereotyped answer in cases of this kind, and it is one that we expect to-night. Let him answer this question, put to him already: If it was not his agent, who did it, or who can have done it? What else does he expect? For months past, although I know it has now been checked, "Weekly Summaries," and other literature has been circulated to these unfortunate irregulars, who are organised in haphazard fashion and despatched without any organisation to Ireland, which constitutes an absolute incitement to murder. [HON. MEMBERS; "Oh, oh!"]
§ Sir F. BANBURY
On a point of Order. Is the hon. Member justified in imputing to the Government a charge of circulating literature which incites to murder? [HON. MEMBERS: "Is it true!"]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
It is necessary to remind hon. Members that we come here to hear two sides of a question, otherwise we need not come at all. Hon. Members must be good enough to listen. We are not asked to accept the statements made on this side or the other. It is only by hearing the opposite view that we hope some day to arrive at the truth.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I am not in anyway objecting to hearing the opposite view, 355 but the hon. Member does not present a particular case—
§ Sir F. BANBURY
He merely accuses the right hon. Gentleman of circulating literature which incites to murder.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That, of course, is a matter of opinion. There may be one opinion on this side, and another on that I do not think it is out of Order. There have been occasions when the hon. Baronet has made very severe comments.
§ Mr. MOSLEY
The hon. Baronet was so eager to prevent the utterance of my arguments that he did not allow me to supply incidents which have been reiterated over and over again in this House, and which it is scarcely necessary to repeat.
§ Mr. MOSLEY
Take No. 11 of the "Weekly Summary." That publication, published under the auspices of the Chief Secretary and paid for out of public funds, reproduces a manifesto issued by an Anti-Sinn Fein Society in Cork, to the effect that for every policeman or Loyalist who was murdered three Sinn Feiners would be murdered. Quotations of that sort—it is never done in a direct way—from the manifesto of a murder gang, from the more inflammatory and ill-balanced section of the Press, appeared weekly in the "Weekly Summary." I reiterate the charge that that document—before it was exposed in this House and the right hon. Gentleman found it convenient to lose the first thirteen numbers—in its earlier stages, every week incited these irregular forces of the Crown to commit murder. It constitutes one of the most damning links in the chain of evidence which history will record against this Government, demonstrating conclusively to future generations, if not to the present, that they have been guilty of organising to commit political murder.
If further proof were required—I am not going into details, but broad outlines—this is not the first incident of the kind which has engaged the attention of the House. Take the incident three weeks before the Prime- Minister went to Carnarvon and made his famous speech de- 356 fending in their entirety the actions of the Crown, condoning reprisals, and encouraging the irregular forces to go on and do it again. What happened? In the middle of the night two men were dragged out of their beds in Balbriggan—that is on the admission of the right hon. Gentleman—and after being kept for some hours were butchered in cold blood, but not one man connected with that transaction was brought to justice. Three weeks after this the Prime Minister goes down to Carnarvon and describes reprisals as the scene in which the troops came round a corner in a secluded lane and found their comrades' dead bodies on the road and men standing over them with smoking revolvers. A direct misrepresentation of facts. These are very different circumstances. Twenty-four hours after the outrage they go to a village, which has had nothing to do with it, drag out two men who had nothing to do with the murder, sack the village, burn the houses, and drive women and children into the fields, with the result that four little children with measles and two women died.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I would beg the hon. and gallant Gentleman to come to the particular case, otherwise we shall lose ourselves in generalities. The purpose of this Debate is to bring the Government to answér a specific charge, definite and immediately arising. If the hon. Gentleman confine himself to generalities, it will be very imperfect.
§ Mr. MOSLEY
I apologise, Sir. I was merely trying to point out that this is not the first instance of the kind which has been brought to the notice of the Government; that it was the failure of the right hon. Gentleman on a previous occasion to punish the perpetrators of the outrages; that it was this inflammatory literature, inciting to murder, that was responsible in the first place; that it was his speeches, and those of the Prime Minister condoning the action of these men that were responsible. The right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary has once again to meet a charge with which he is familiar, a charge which he will meet in his accustomed manner, a charge which he will refuse once again to bring before an impartial tribunal. It is a charge which merits, if ever a charge merited, an impartial tribunal composed of judges of the English Crown. The right hon. Gentleman, I am afraid, will 357 once again refuse that tribunal He now claims that he has stopped the system which he instituted. I was tempted to wonder whether this change of policy was due to the failure of the programme or to some belated acquisition of elementary Governmental morality. I fear it must be ascribed to the former rather than the latter cause. The trouble is that when once you set a ball of this sort rolling you cannot stop it when you may think fit. When once you have started to debauch the discipline of an organised force, when once you have issued literature of this sort, when once you have encouraged crime and murder you cannot call a halt whenever your policy fails or when the will moves you. The right hon. Gentleman is being overwhelmed by the system which he initiated, and incidents of this kind will multiply and continue till he and his administration are dismissed and brought to the bar of justice, which I for one trust they will be.
As an Irishman I wish, as calmly as I can under the circumstances, and without any passion, to say in all truth and sincerity that the speech we have just listened to is one of the type which has done more to encourage lawlessness than—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Unless the hon. Member restrain himself, I shall have to ask him to remove himself from the House. I must ask him not to make interjections during hon. Members' speeches.
I have sat throughout this debate and have not made one interjection in any of the speeches. I desire to emphasise what I have said in relation to the speech of the hon. Member. He seems to understand so little of the Irish question and so little of the difficulties of the Chief Secretary; he seems to realise so little the responsibility attached to the Government of Ireland that he makes this kind of speech, and though his speeches may not carry with them great weight in this House, although 358 he may not be a known politician throughout the United Kingdom, yet the speeches are reported in the Press and I have no doubt whatever that when Sinn Fein reads the one he has just delivered it will be encouraged to go on with its record of abominable crime and murder. I agree with the hon. Member for the Falls Division (Mr. Devlin) that the condition of Ireland is lamentable indeed, but here again I submit it is hardly fair to submit that the Government are responsible for the condition of things instanced by what happened on Sunday morning last. If we are not to obscure the facts, we must begin at the beginning. I have no intention of going over the history of what has led up to the present condition in Ireland, but it is only right that the House should bear in mind the fearful provocation that has been given to everyone who has lived in Ireland since 1916. Ireland is a country which those who live in it love with a passionate devotion. Personally I abominate these Debates upon Ireland, but I believe the hon. Member for the Falls Division is sincerely of opinion that he is doing his duty by Ireland and by his constituents in raising them here. Let us remember that for a year the policy of murder and crime has been proceeding in Ireland with a definite purpose of establishing an Irish Republican Government. I have not the slightest intention of dealing with that subject in this very limited Debate, but when hon. Members quote instances which they say deliberately are a result of reprisals and of the conduct of the Government of Ireland by the Chief Secretary, I submit that it is only fair that they should be asked at some time, if not on this occasion, to devote some of their speeches to considering the actions of the criminals and murderers who belong to the Irish Republican Army. It is exactly because they do not do that, but devote themselves chiefly to referring to what they say are the crimes of the forces of the Crown, that I find fault with them. They devote too little attention to the murders by the Irish Republican Army of His Majesty's troops, and it is not too much to ask of Englishmen who speak on the question of Ireland and its condition at the present moment, that they should adopt that course.
May I refer to one or two instances which do not go any further back than 359 those quoted by the hon. Member for the Falls Division? Here is one that happened two days ago. According to the official report, a shoemaker was taken from his home by a party of armed and masked men, he was conducted a short distance outside the village and there his dead body was found, his hands and feet being tied, his head bandaged and his body riddled with bullets. Upon him was pinned a card bearing the words, "Shot by the I.R.A. Spies beware. This body is not to be touched." This man was a widower and he leaves five children. I could believe in the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken if, in addition to the foul cases he mentioned, he would take up a case like this. I will give another, which is only recent:A sensation was caused in Mullingar yesterday when it was learned that an ambulance had arrived with the remains of Head Constable McElhill, of Kilbeggan, who, it had been reported, had been shot that morning. It appears from the correspondent of this paper that the head con-table was hit in six places, including the leg, chest and back of the head. He lived between one and two hours. Deceased was a native of County Tyrone, and had 33 years' service.That is the case of a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary. I would like, as I have said, some hon. Members to take up the cudgels on behalf of these gallant men. I will quote just one other instance, which happened on the same day as the events to which the hon. Member for Falls has referred, and on which he has based his Motion:The Very Reverend James Finlay, M.A., of Bawnboy, County Cavan, was taken from his house late on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning, and foully murdered. The reverend gentleman, who was about 80 years of age, and resided at Brackley House, on answering a knock at his door, was confronted by a number of armed men, who, without any parley whatever, removed him to the front of his residence, shot him, and then battered his head almost to pulp. They then set fire to the beautiful house, and it was soon reduced to ruins.An old clergyman, 80 years of age, was taken from his house, shot, and battered to death, and yet, in the hon. Members' speeches there is not a word of it. What are we to think of English Members of this House who deliberately take up the position of condemnation of the Government and the Chief Secretary for the reprisals which may happen as a result of such unpardonable crimes? These Debates always seem to be to run in 360 exactly the same direction, and they always seem to be without practical result, except the encouragement of these men who continue these crimes. That is the only practical result. As we know perfectly well, as hon. Members know, and as the world knows, if Sinn Fein stopped crime to-morrow, it would be the end of crime in Ireland. Let us then, every one of us, use our influence to that extent. I do not know if there is any possibility of anything happening between the Northern and the Southern Parliaments, or between those who are responsible for the establishment of those Parliaments, but I will say this, that questions asked in this House, and Debates like this, are going a long way to postpone the eventual settlement of affairs in Ireland. I do not know what may happen in the near future, but if all the Members of this House would conspire to keep quiet and not put these questions from day to day in triplets concerning what is happening in Ireland, which bear the impression of coming from Sinn Fein sources—if all this were to cease for a month, I believe we should see a very different Ireland. I would beg all those who, I believe, at heart wish to see Ireland peaceful once again, to act together in this matter, and to give the Chief Secretary and the Government a chance to quell all these things that have been mentioned by the hon. Member for Falls.
The hon. and gallant Member for the Wrekin (Sir C. Townshend) stated his idea of the way in which the Government could settle these difficulties, but how litle does he understand the position of affairs in Ireland. He may take his troops from Munster into Leinster, and when he has passed out of Munster into Leinster, some of these murderers will come behind and take a farmer out of his home and murder him in cold blood. How is that to be stopped by moving troops? The hon. and gallant Member does not seem to appreciate the difficulties of the Government or of the Commander-in-Chief in Ireland. It may be that unification of command will help to solve the difficulty to some extent, but the first and the only thing, in my opinion, that will give a solution, is that Sinn Fein should stop its activities once and for all. I should not be surprised, however, if the individual who was responsible for these outbreaks at the 361 beginning is no longer capable of restraining the force he has set up. In this difficult task which the Government have undertaken, I believe that they and the Chief Secretary deserve the sympathy, the support, and the help of every man who deserves to be called British, to enable them to carry to a successful issue the settlement of Ireland in its pristine condition. I do beg hon. Members of this House, as an Irishman who loves his country, to help us by not asking these questions and not making these speeches, which are an encouragement to these criminals.
The hon. Member for Falls referred to the magnificent service of the 16th Division. I saw its work myself, and I remember that at the Battle of Messines the 36th, that is the Ulster Division, and the 16th were side by side, and all that they thought of then was who should be the first to reach their objective. It is that spirit that we want in Ireland now; it is not these divisions, these pin-pricks in the form of questions, and so on. I remember that when the hon. and gallant relative of the hon. and gallant Member for Waterford passed away after that battle, in the casualty clearing station of our Division, the padre of our Division said to me afterwards that the only words he uttered during all those hours were, "I am tired." I wonder what he was tired of? Perhaps, as sometimes happens, a panorama of what had happened during his life passed before his mind, and he was tired, perhaps, because, after all he had done and after all his service for his country, this horrible thing was rising up in his country. This dragon of murder was rearing its head and he saw it. I beseech hon. Members to assist us in all ways they can, particularly by the cessation of these questions and speeches, which are a disturbing element to the Celtic blood in Ireland. They can do it, and I appeal to them to do it. This orgy of crime is going on. It seems to be getting worse, and hon. Members opposite are not assisting us, they are not assisting the Chief Secretary and they are not assisting the Government. I beg them to do what they can to assist us in order that our distressful country may recover. If those who are responsible in Southern Ireland would but take the reins of government in their hands, who knows but eventually, with those 362 who may be elected to combine the two Parliaments, we may work together hand in hand for the good of our country. There are capacities in Ireland yet untouched. I believe there are in Ireland unbounded sources of wealth and progress. I appeal even, if my voice reaches that far, to those whose hands are stained with murder to stop this murder and to get on to the business of governing their country. Then and only then we shall have peace and prosperity.
§ Mr. A. HENDERSON
The hon. and gallant Gentleman has occupied a good deal of his speech in appealing to us on this side of the House. If we could have entered into the spirit of his speech we could have done so more fully if he had left it free of the charge that he also preferred against us. More than once he suggested that we share a great measure of responsibility for the conditions now obtaining. He also suggested that whilst we were ever ready to raise cases similar to those which have been brought before the House by the hon. Member for the Falls Division (Mr. Devlin) we were not prepared to enter into a condemnation of the murders which are being perpetrated by Sinn Feiners. Once again I repudiate that suggestion.
I admitted that hon. Members condemned murder in a general way where and when it took place, and the right hon. Gentleman is hardly doing me justice when he says I did not. But I said they do not spend very much of their time and opportunities in doing it.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HENDERSON
If the hon. and gallant Gentleman had given me the opportunity, as I gave him the opportunity, of completing my speech without interruption, he would have found that I was going on to say that not only did I condemn murder in a general way, but I had never delivered a speech on the Irish question in this House or out of it in which I had not condemned the murders for which Sinn Fein or those associated with Sinn Fein were responsible. But in the whole of his speech the hon. and gallant Gentleman never came to the crux of the case that is before the House. Instead of lecturing us, it was surely important that everyone who spoke should especially call attention to the responsibility resting upon the Government for the disgraceful conduct—I can use no other term—of the agents of 363 the Government, and we can only accept that position until someone in the name of the Government has repudiated the charges made by the hon. Member for the Falls Division for one of the most disgraceful cases that has ever been brought before the House in the whole of the Irish Debates that we have had. The hon. Member told us that these cases occurred during curfew hours. I have been in Ireland during the time the curfew has been in operation. I had some little experience of curfew during the last visit I paid to Ireland, and especially to Dublin. I know some of the dangers that you run—even Members of this House—if you care to be out of doors during curfew hours. These murders—and they cannot be otherwise described—had associated with them strong points of evidence that clearly demonstrate that they could not be conducted by other than Government representatives. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I have sat through the Debate, and on one has attempted to reply to my hon. Friend. I heard one hon. Member say that another hon. Member on this side was a liar, and that he was talking rot. That is the sort of thing I have listened to in interruptions from the Government side of the House in this most serious Debate. I am quite prepared to wait and listen to the Chief Secretary in order that he may put an entirely different aspect upon one of the most disgraceful episodes that has ever been reported to this House.
We were told that two, if not all three, of these young men had served in the Army and had magnificent records of service during the War, that there were three motor cars associated with the case, that they were dragged from their homes, and, I belive, some of the men were stated to have been in uniform. At any rate, that was said in a question asked earlier in the day. I again repeat, how is it possible, with the curfew in operation, for any civilian outside the Crown forces, the agents of the Crown, how is it possible for them to be patrolling the streets to go to these different homes and to conduct these foul deeds? I await the answer. But it is very important that Members on the Government side of the House, if they are to address the House at all on this particular occasion, should have in mind that these cases took place in Belfast. The great majority of the 364 cases that have been brought before the House in previous Debates have been cases in the South and in the West. Surely, there is an important aspect to be kept in mind, that these cases occurred in the North of Ireland, in Belfast, and occurred just at the time when a new Government has been called into being. I am prepared to say, as I have said in this House before, that I am afraid that some of the things that are now going on in the North of Ireland are the direct results of encouragement that certain politicians in the North of Ireland have received from those in high places. [Interruption.] I hope my hon. Friend here will find some other occupation than to be constantly jeering and giggling. It is time some of us replied to some of these interruptions. Our people behind here are kept in order. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That gives me the opportunity of appealing to both sides. I would not like to judge between one or the other, but when we have to discuss sad occurrences of this kind, cannot we listen to another, whatever be the views expressed?
§ Mr. HENDERSON
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have no desire to do other than that which would be in strict harmony with your wishes, and I was only diverted because of the constant stream of interruption that has passed this evening from certain Members on the other side. The point I wanted to make was that we ought to keep in mind that these cases which have occurred in the North of Ireland are not altogether dissociated with the spirit which has been making itself marked in the North during the last few months. We on these benches called attention to the conduct of the people in connection with the shipyards. I am quite convinced that if a stronger hand had been exercised by the Government in the North—I am not calling attention to it to-day for the first time—by those in responsible positions now in the new Government, instead of encouraging their men in the way that they did—and I am prepared to repeat the statement which has been made on the Floor of this House before—it is just possible that the North of Ireland would not have become the terrible cockpit of fighting that unfortunately it is to-day. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman when he rises will be able to satisfy the House that the charges 365 made by the Member for the Falls Division are not founded upon substantial evidence. Unless he can do so, many of us will be compelled to come to the conclusion that the reprisals we heard of yesterday, which many of us were led to believe that the Government were determined at last to put down with a very firm hand, and the three sad cases which the Member for the Falls Division brought before us this evening, were reprisals of a most determined kind, and they were reprisals for which agents of the Crown were directly responsible. I hope the Chief Secretary will be able to say what course he proposes to adopt in order to bring the offenders in these disgraceful cases to justice, and that he will be able to tell us a little more than he did in the reply to the question yesterday as to the Government's new policy of putting down with a very firm hand every kind of reprisal.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
I shall do my best to answer the specific and, as far as I can without breaking the rules of the House, the general allegations made against the Government and its servants in Ireland. I regret that the rules of Debate will not allow me to deal with the last question put by the right hon. Gentleman, because it would not be possible on this occasion to go into the question of policy, though I hope you will allow me to wind up with one sentence on that. As this deals with Belfast I think the House would like to have the latest telegram that I have received with reference to the condition of affairs in that city. This is from the police, and received at 5 o'clock to-day:I have to report that the state of the City is unsatisfactory. Outbreaks of rioting accompanied by shooting have occurred every day and several times a day in different districts. This shooting has become very serious and about six persons have lost their lives. This morning, at about 7.45 a.m., an attack by sniping was made on the shipyard workers at the corner of North Queen's Street and Clifton Street at the trams on which the workers were travelling to the shipyards. The attackers came on the streets and used revolvers. The police had to use firearms to restore order. No casualty has been found. The police had also to requisition a military armoured car. During today there have been several cases of rioting with shooting in the Stanhope Street area and at the top of the Falls Road. It is quite evident that the Sinn Fein element intend, if possible, to create disturbance in the City. At 2.40 p.m. to-day, special constables passing in lorries returning from 366 the funeral of the late special constable who was recently shot, were fired on in the Falls Road. There was no police casualties. At 4.30 this evening, firing was going on in the Falls Road.It does bring to the House the fact that the condition of Belfast at the present moment is one of those regrettable occurrences that have extended over centuries of Irish history. Coming to the Motion, it is for the Adjournment of the House to call attention tothe want of proper control and discipline of the Crown forces in Belfast on Sunday morning whereby people were taken from their home and murdered during curfew hours.The hon. Gentleman did not content himself with the words of the Motion, but specifically made allegations against the Crown forces as being responsible for these three murders. He did not specify which arm of the armed forces he held responsible. Perhaps he will tell me now.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
I was not there. How do I know? All I know is that three citizens were dragged out of their beds in the dead of night by persons on motor cars in curfew hours, on the evidence of the relatives of the assassinated persons. Some of them had uniform on. That is good enough for me.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
The only uniform mentioned by the hon. Member in his speech was that one relative of one of these murdered men said that she thought that one of the men had on a khaki coat. [HON. MEMBERS: "Trench coat!"] A trench coat is not a uniform. First of all, let me say, why is the presumption urged in this Resolution against the Crown forces?
§ Mr. DEVLIN
The presumption is founded upon the fact that three different motor-cars arrived at the same time at three different places in curfew hours, dragged these people out of their beds, took them out, and shot them.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
My point is that, on the suggested evidence as urged by the hon. Member, it is an unworthy presumption that these brutal murders were committed by any members of the forces of the Crown. His accusations are couched in language against which I must protest.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
The hon. Member refers to "Government assassins" 367 and to these men as "having been dragged out by Crown forces and murdered." He himself admits that he knows nothing of the facts.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
I submit that it is a most serious thing to make charges against these forces, who cannot answer in this House, except through me, and I am going to stand up for them again to-night.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I warn the hon. Member for the Silvertown Division once more that he is not entitled to interrupt, as he does continually during certain Debates.
Good-night, all you assassins. You are trying to murder my country. You are nothing but a gang of assassins, all of you.
§ The hon. Member for the Silvertown Division then left the House.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
I stand here to protest against the allegation, without evidence, against the forces of the Crown operating in Belfast. I could understand an accusation, based on some evidence, against a particular arm operating in a specific district, but I cannot understand the sweeping allegation made by the hon. Member, without a tittle of evidence to justify him, against men of the Royal Irish Constabulary who, in the great majority, are Irishmen and Roman Catholics like himself, no more capable of murder than he is. They are his own countrymen, who are doing their best to maintain order in the city, and in that endeavour they are not assisted by him and some of those who agree with him.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
How dare you make a statement of that sort? What right have you to make a statement of that sort? I have done more to keep order than you have. Against every odds I have fought to keep the peace. [Interruption.] How dare you make such a statement, you cynical—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member made some very violent charges in his speech, and he should listen to the Chief Secretary, whether he agrees with his defence or not.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The Chief Secretary made some reference to what he considers the effect of certain of the hon. Member's actions. Complaint was made on the other side of an exactly similar kind.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
I hope that the House will permit me to make my speech in my own way. I repeat that there was nothing in the speech of the hon. Member for the Falls Division to justify the wholesale accusation of assassination against the forces of the Crown in Belfast. The fact that three men were murdered in brutal circumstances has been set up—
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
Ten policemen have also been murdered in Belfast, and no one has been arrested for these murders. The difficulty of arresting murderers in Ireland is notorious. It is best known to Members who come from and live in Ireland. These murders occurred during curfew hours.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
Some of them were murdered in curfew hours, which have been one of the most fatal times in the history of Ireland. It is impossible, especially in an enormous city like Belfast, to have patrols in every street and to enforce—
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
Motor cars are given permits during curfew hours. There is nothing in the fact that these motor cars went out during curfew hours 369 to mix the murderers with the forces of the Crown. The motor car during curfew hours has been one of the favourite vehicles of the murderers in Ireland. That, to my mind, is not only not conclusive evidence in favour of the argument of the hon. Member for the Falls Division, but it is not evidence at all. It is common ground that three murders were committed, but I take issue with the mover of the Motion. He has got no right, on the evidence which he has produced to this House, to fasten guilt on these brave men, who are upholding at this very hour the authority of this House and of the Crown in Belfast.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member for the Falls Division has stated his case for more than three-quarters of an hour. I am sure that I may appeal to him to listen to the reply of the Chief Secretary, even thongh he may disagree with it.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
The hon. Member for the Falls Division has asked me to condemn these murders and to take every step to find the murderers. I condemn them. I will take every step I can to find the murderers. Whether they are civilians or someone else, it does not redound to my credit if they escape. I admit it. All I ask of hon. Members in this House is to unite in assisting me to track down all murderers. The difficulty is that the House is always divided in a Debate of this kind. Questions are always being asked me in reference to a specific kind of murder, but not in reference to the general and paramount question of rebellion, out of which flow the great majority of the atrocities. Who are these forces that are accused of murder in Belfast? The principal force in Belfast is the force of Royal Irish Constabulary, about 1,200 strong, almost entirely Irishmen and Roman Catholics, as I have said. They are in charge of that great city. They are reinforced by military, if they ask for the military to assist them. In addition to them, there is a certain number of special constables, who are under the Royal Irish Constabulary and do their duty under the control of the regular police. My submission is that against 370 none of these three classes has there been any evidence adduced to-night that would lead the House to any of the conclusions suggested by the hon. Member who moved the Resolution, namely, that these brutal crimes were committed by forces of the Crown. If he can get any evidence I would be the first, reluctantly, naturally, to bring to book anyone responsible for these murders—any one. The one case of murder that has been proved against the police was the case of a man, accompanied by another, responsible for the murder of an Irish gentleman named Dixon. He was tried for murder, found guilty and duly hanged for his crime. The Government is the first to wish to bring to justice murderers, whoever they are. I hope that the House, when it deals with these specific questions in a Debate of this kind, will not allow this murder or that murder to blind their eyes to the fact that a deliberate campaign of murder is going on in Ireland against the forces of the Crown and against law-abiding civilians. There is at the present moment a deliberate campaign, engineered by Sinn Feiners, against the Northern Parliament in the hope that its success will be impossible. Within the last few hours comparatively, one result of that campaign has been to destroy a considerable fraction of the Belfast waterworks, which supply that great city with water.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
How do you know that Sinn Feiners did it? What right have you to make statements and insinuations? It may be you did it yourself.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
The reason I am convinced that it was done by Sinn Feiners is, first, a report I have got, and, secondly, that I told the House some time ago that we had discovered plans which had for their objective these very waterworks. There is a deliberate campaign going on to destroy the Northern Parliament and its success. I regret it profoundly. I have answered the specific case put to me by the hon. Member for the Falls Division. I want to conclude in the spirit of the hon. and gallant Member for Mid-Armagh (Lieut.-Colonel Allen) who made to-night one of the best speeches I have ever heard in an Irish Debate. The hon. Member for the Falls Division blames the British Government for everything.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
The tragedy of the Irish situation at this minute is that Irishmen are murdering Irishmen. It is not an English question at all, and nobody knows it better than the hon. Member for the Falls Division. We are trying to hand over the government of Ireland to Irishmen.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
It is a point to be considered if it would not be a good thing to withdraw the military from the Northern Parliament area and hand over the control of that area to the duly elected Northern Parliament.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
Yes, and by exactly the same policy when the South come into their Parliament there will be equal treatment for both parties in Ireland.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
There is one point about it. If we did hand over the policing of the Northern area to the Northern Parliament a Debate like this would not take place in this House.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
It is the hon. Member's country, and I say seriously— 372 and I am sure I shall have the House with me—we all desire to hand over to Ireland absolute control of her local affairs. One Parliament has already been elected, and the hon. Member for Falls is a member of it for two constituencies.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
He would be welcomed in, I am sure, and my only regret would be that he would have to leave this House, I fear.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
Well, I should be sorry. No one would miss him more than I should. The point is that one Parliament is functioning. I would like to see the other Parliament functioning on 28th June, and taking over from this House all questions of law and order and having them administered by Irishmen for Irishmen—
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
—with the widest possible measure of financial control as well. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] That is nothing new, but let us see the position at the moment. A state of rebellion exists, and the rebellion is being carried on, not by uniformed men, but by men who go about in large or small groups generally with concealed weapons, and whose activities are directed not only against the armed forces of the Crown, but against unarmed and innocent civilians, both men and women. The onus of the blame for the continuance of this state of things is not on the British Government, and it is not on the Government of the Northern Parliament. The Prime Minister of the Northern Parliament has already met the leader of the Sinn Fein movement, and is prepared to meet him again, but that leader refuses to meet him. The Prime Minister of England long since, was prepared to meet the leaders of Sinn Fein, but they refused. The two conditions that I would urge the House to consider in looking at this question are: First, let us unite and remain united against this rebellion. 373 Second, having put the rebellion down, let us remain united and encourage the North and South of Ireland to come together. Let them settle their differences and there will be no trouble after that in dealing with the Irish Question, what is really an Irish question and not primarily a question for this House at all. In the meantime what is the use of hurling accusations against me—that is immaterial—or accusations against the Government—that is useless. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Yes, these accusations are useless. The Government is compelled to take every step, and will take every step, to defeat this conspiracy of Sinn Fein, which has for its object, and has alone for its object, the break up of this United Kingdom and the British Empire, by a highly organised, heavily financed, principally from America, organisation of murder and of terror.
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
I do not profess to have quite grasped the meaning of the Einstein theory of relativity, but I gather that we have to have new ideas of space and time, and whenever I hear a speech of the right hon. Gentleman and some of the other hon. Members on the opposite side I begin to wonder whether their mind is insane or mine, but I never heard a more extraordinary and preposterous reply to the indictment of my hon. Friend the Member for the Falls Division (Mr. Devlin) than the attempted reply made from the opposite side. Let me divide the reply into its different categories. My hon. Friend has been accused of a lack of delicacy in bringing this matter forward. My hon. and gallant Friend opposite (Lieut.-Colonel Allen), with an air that would have done credit to Mr. Pecksniff, asked, "Why these questions? Why this Debate?" That is the indelicacy of which my hon. Friend is guilty. Three of his constituents, his coreligionists, his fellow-countrymen, are foully murdered, and it is indelicate for him to bring these matters before the attention of the House! Was there ever a more ghastly travesty of what are the duties of a Member to his constituents? He and others who have taken part in the Debate are charged on the ground of policy. My hon. and gallant Friend opposite actually makes the charge that questions and Debates of this kind are an encouragement to crime in Ireland. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Other 374 hon. Members by their cheers give their assent to that proposition. The hon. and gallant Member said that every true Briton ought to stand by the Government without bringing these cases for criticism before the House. I wonder whether I can claim to be as good a Briton as my hon. and gallant Friend. At any rate, I have a good many good Britons on my side. Nearly all the Bishops of the Anglican Church have taken up the same position as we have taken on this side with regard to these Governmentally encouraged and authorised and condoned assassinations. The Free Churches have taken up our position. All the decent men in the country outside this House have taken up our position, and the last two elections have shown you that the people of this country, too, when they get the opportunity of pronouncing, have taken up our position.
What is our position? Our position is that it is not we in our denunciations of these reprisals, these authorised and condoned assassinations, that have encouraged and created crime in Ireland. It is the Government policy of reprisals that has created crime in Ireland. I put it to any Englishman in this House: if his fellow-citizens were taken out of their beds in the middle of the night by the forces of the Government and were, without trial, even without accusation, or with nothing beyond rumour of suspicion—or even without rumour or suspicion—were put up against the wall, after having been torn from the side of their wives and the cradles of their children, and shot, is there a single Englishman who does not know that that would produce an outburst of outrage, crime, and reprisals from the free citizens of this country who would not submit to such tyranny? Supposing anyone in the course of recent times had gone down into Wales and because there happened to be some disturbance the man was assassinated, does anyone suppose that Wales would take a thing of that kind lying down? Do you suppose there would not have been reprisals?
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
The courtesy of the House of Commons has been invariably extended to me, and I hope that I may expect it on this occasion. What, I ask, does the Chief Secretary in reply to the 375 charge put by my hon. Friend. I am sorry there was not so full a House as there is now when my hon. Friend brought forward his case. I do not propose to recapitulate it. But I may say this: This young man, probably under the inspiration of my hon. Friend near me who, like myself, was a supporter of the War, and of the liberties of this country and of the world, before he was of military age, at 16½, joined the Army and fought during the War until disabled. He has since been in the public service. He and others were zealous to protect the liberties of England and of the world which exist, while the liberty of Ireland has been destroyed by this Government. This young man joined the Army at 16 ½, inspired by the patriotism to which I have referred, and at 22 he is taken out of his house in the middle of the night and foully assassinated. [HON. MEMBERS: "By Sinn Feiners!"]
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
The right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Mid-Armagh is surprised that my hon. Friend (Mr. Devlin) represents this man's case in this House, and brings it before the attention of the House and the world. What is the answer of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary to it? Really I am a little disappointed in the Chief Secretary, if he has left me any room for disappointment—and he has left me very little. I thought I saw some reform even in his "Rake's Progress," but he is just the same man. He is just the same official. He gives exactly the same official reply as he gave after the burning of Cork. The hon. Gentlemen opposite, under the inspiration of the Chief Secretary, makes some reply, and except that I knew the sincerity of some hon. Members, I would say it was an insincere reply. When the right hon. Gentleman was asked about the burning of Cork he said—I do not give the exact robustiousness of his gestures, and the resonance of his voice, but we all remember it—"I have yet to see any evidence whatsoever of what has been put forward." The fact that he was trained in a Canadian school of calisthenics accounts for his gestures.I have yet to get any evidence against any of the forces of the Crown having taken part in the burning of Cork!376 Hon. Gentlemen opposite, under the Chief Secretary's inspiration, when I asked the question, "Who burned Cork?" immediately replied, "Sinn Feiners." Do you say now it was the Sinn Feiners who burned Cork?
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
One hon. Gentleman opposite still remains in the virginal innocence of saying it was the Sinn Feiners who burned Cork. I think my hon. Friend represents Blackpool. He has the roystering spirit of the seaside holiday resort he represents. Go to General Strickland and produce his Report, and you will see who burned Cork. When this charge is brought tonight, what does the right hon. Gentleman say? In the first place he puts in the mouth of my hon. Friend (Mr. Devlin) a statement he never made. He never said the Royal Irish Constabulary committed these murders. He said all the evidence pointed to them being committed by forces of the Crown. How can he tell which it was? What he could tell is this, if men are able to drive around at almost the same hour, and evidently on a concerted plan, in three motor lorries, after curfew—in face of that evidence the primâ facie case is these murders were committed by forces of the Crown and could have been committed by no other body. Why does the right hon. Gentleman not get up and in candour say, "I believe there is some ground for the suspicion that these crimes were committed by the forces of the Crown"? Instead of that, by every form of evasion, by the suppression of the truth and the suggestion of the false, the right hon. Gentleman has done his best to spread the opinion to that side of the House, which is so easily gulled, and to the world, that there is no evidence whatever against the forces of the Crown. We raise this as a matter of policy, apart altogether from our duty to our constituency and our country. Our settled conviction is, which is justified by the events of every day, that the policy of the Government has led, leads, and will continue to lead, to this horrible and costly vendetta which, to my horror, sorrow, and despair, is going on to-day. Why, there are 50 murders to-day for every one that was committed before the right hon. Gentleman brought in his Bill of last year. 377 What is the cause of all this, when men are taken out of their houses and assassinated by the forces of the Crown, and when these acts are, if not defended, at least condoned to a large extent, by the highest Minister in the Government?
§ Mr. O'CONNOR
I deplore and condemn as much as my hon. and gallant Friend the murder of this poor old clergyman, but is it suggested, because a clergyman is assassinated, that it justifies assassination by the forces of the Crown with the connivance of the Government? If his interruption does not mean that, it means nothing except an attempt to obscure the issue, such as has been done all through this controversy. A Government which, without any provocation whatever, encourages, defends, and condones private assassination has ceased to be a civilised Government. I entirely sympathise with my hon. Friend in his expression of a wish, and I even share some of his hopes with regard to the coming together of Ireland on this question. How will such conduct as the right hon. Gentleman defended to-night, in so far as he could defend it, lead to their coming together? [An HON. MEMBER: "Stop the Sinn Fein murderers!"] The
§ hon. Gentleman went back to 1916, but he might have remembered some of the years immediately preceding it, which provided a reason for the existing state of things to-day. I want the two parts of Ireland to come together, but do you suppose that you will get the Catholics in the South of Ireland to have much faith in the Parliament of the North of Ireland if three Catholic citizens can be assassinated in the middle of the night by the forces of the Crown in Belfast without anything like a reasonable condemnation either from that quarter or from the right hon. Gentleman? I hope they will come together. At the present moment there is a seething cauldron of religious and political passion in Belfast. The circumstances and conditions there are very deplorable. One-third of the six counties is protesting in the most violent manner it can, by abstention from this Parliament, against this Parliament, and four-fifths of the rest of Ireland. Of all the insane and the profligate counsels ever given, the counsel of His Majesty's Ministers is to drag into this controversy as a partisan what should be the elevating, healing and unifying influence of the Crown.
§ Question put, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 64; Noes, 192.379
|Division No. 164.]||AYES.||10.55 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis D.||Guest, J. (York, W.R., Hemsworth)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hartshorn, Vernon||Robertson, John|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hogge, James Myles||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Irving, Dan||Sexton, James|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Kennedy, Thomas||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Briant, Frank||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bromfield, William||Kenyon, Barnet||Swan, J. E.|
|Cairns, John||Kiley, James Daniel||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Davies, Major D. (Montgomery)||Lawson, John James||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Lunn, William||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)|
|Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Wilson, James (Dudley)|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||Morgan, Major D. Wats||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Mosley, Oswald||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Gillis, William||Myers, Thomas||Wintringham, Thomas|
|Glanville, Harold James||Newbould, Alfred Ernest||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||O'Grady, James||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Grundy, T. W.||Redmond, Captain William Archer||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. Devlin and Mr. T. P. O'Connor.|
|Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.||Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James||Balfour, George (Hampstead)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.||Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Barlow, Sir Montague|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Barnett, Major Richard W.|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Haslam, Lewis||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||Purchase, H. G.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Rae, H. Norman|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Rankin, Captain James Stuart|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hinds, John||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)|
|Bird, Sir William B. M. (Chichester)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Reid, D. D.|
|Borwick, Major G. O.||Hood, Joseph||Renwick, George|
|Boscawen. Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Hopkins, John W. W.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.||Rodger, A. K.|
|Brown, Major D. C.||Hurd, Percy A.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.)||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Seager, Sir William|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Seddon, J. A.|
|Clough, Robert||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Shaw, Capt. William T. (Forfar)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Kidd, James||Smith, Sir Harold (Warrington)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Smith, Sir Malcolm (Orkney)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster)||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Stanier, Captain Sir Beville|
|Cope, Major William||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||Lindsay, William Arthur||Stanton, Charles Butt|
|Craig, Capt. C. C. (Antrim, South)||Lloyd-Greame, Sir P.||Starkey, Captain John Ralph|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Lorden, John William||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Davies, Sir William H. (Bristol, S.)||Lowther, Col. Claude (Lancaster)||Sugden, W. H.|
|Dewhurst, Lieut.-Commander Harry||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)||Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.|
|Edge, Captain William||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Taylor, J.|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Maddocks, Henry||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Manville, Edward||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.||Marriott, John Arthur Ransome||Townshend, Sir Charles V. F.|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Mason, Robert||Tryon, Major George Clement|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B.||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Mitchell, William Lane||Waddington, R.|
|Fildes, Henry||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor|
|Ford, Patrick Johnston||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Ward, William Dudley (Southampton)|
|Forrest, Walter||Morrison, Hugh||Waring, Major Walter|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Murchison, C. K.||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Murray, William (Dumfries)||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Nail, Major Joseph||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John||Neal, Arthur||Williams, C. (Tavistock)|
|Grant, James Augustus||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Williams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Green, Albert (Derby)||Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)||Williamson, Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud|
|Greenwood, Colonel Sir Hamar||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Wilson, Capt. A. S. (Holderness)|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Wise, Frederick|
|Greig, Colonel James William||Parker, James||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Parkinson, Albert L. (Blackpool)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike||Worsfold, T. Cato|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Peel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Hailwood, Augustine||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Young, E. H. (Norwich)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Perkins, Walter Frank||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'I, W. D'by)||Perring, William George|
|Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Prescott, Major W. H.||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr. McCurdy.|
Question put, and agreed to.