§ MR. ROBERT WALLACE (Edinburgh, E.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been called to a statement in this week's issue of the newspaper called Truth, to the effect that were exclusion of the Irish Members carried in Committee it would wreck the Government of Ireland Bill, a certain number of the, Cabinet having declared that they differ so strongly from Mr. Gladstone on this matter that they would rather break up the Government than yield on the point; and whether the retention of the Irish Members is regarded by the Government as vital to the Bill; and, if so, whether the exclusion of the Irish Members from British Business is also regarded by the Government as vital to the Bill?
§ MR. W. E. GLADSTONE
My attention had not been called to the particular statement in the newspaper Truth mentioned in the question. I know not with what degree of authority the statement is there made; but I am bound to say—and I ought to know something of the opinions of the Members of the Cabinet—that the announcement is to me wholly novel, and is entirely out of keeping with all the information that I possess as to the opinions of my right hon. Friends. In those circumstances I hope I shall not be called upon to outer further into the subject-matter of the question.
§ MR. R. WALLACE
Did not the right hon. Gentleman receive from me an extract from the newspaper to which I refer, and which I sent in due course? As to the second and third questions, which are of an independent character, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will not feel disposed to answer them?
§ MR. W. E. GLADSTONE
I have to thank my hon. Friend for calling my attention to this question. I received his communication. The question is perfectly in Order, and my hon. Friend has given me every opportunity of considering it; but I am bound to say with regard to the last paragraph that I hope he will not press it, because there is no class of questions more delicate.
§ DR. MACGREGOR
Does not the simplest way out, of the difficulty lie in the direction of Federal Home Rule?
§ [No answer was given.]