§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, it was understood that there was to be a statement upon Ireland by His Majesty's Government to-day. I understand now that this is not going to be the 972 case, and I should like, if I may, to ask the noble and learned Viscount on the Woolsack whether it is proposed to make a statement about Ireland to-day or not.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT BIRKENHEAD)
My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Marquess for having given me private notice of his intention to put this Question. It was originally the intention of my right honourable friend, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, to make a more or less elaborate statement upon the subject of Ireland in another place, but within the last day or two he has formed the conclusion, which I share, that the state of affairs in Ireland at this moment is too fluid and too indeterminate to permit, at the moment of such a statement as that which he contemplates—and which, indeed, could alone be useful—being made in another place or this House. It is too early to state completely the results of the Election, and it is too early to discuss the inferences which it is proper and safe to draw from the results even so far as they are known to-day. So far as other conditions in Ireland are concerned, I could not, at this moment, tell your Lordships much more than has appeared in the newspapers, though, of course, one could attempt some general observations in the light of additional information. The suggestion I would venture to make to the noble Marquess is that, watching the proceedings from day to day, he should be good enough to repeat his Question, perhaps when the Elections are concluded.