§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether yesterday's issue of the Irish People newspaper was seized last night in Dublin; on what ground that seizure was made; by what law the procedure was ordered; and whether the officers who effected the seizure were provided with warrants.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The reply to the first question is in the affirmative. The 1334 reply to the second is: To prevent the continuance of the commission of a crime by the further dissemination of a seditious libel, and to seize the instrument by which the crime was being committed. The reply to the third is: Under the Common Law, which authorises the prevention of crime and the preservation of the evidence. The answer to the last question is in the negative.
§ MR. DILLON
In consequence of that reply I desire to ask leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance—namely, "the action of the Executive Government in seizing the Irish People newspaper in Dublin last night."
The pleasure of the House not having been signified, Mr. SPEAKER called on those Members who supported the motion to rise in their places, and not less than forty Members having accordingly risen—
§ MR. DILLON
I think, although some hon. Members answered "No" when you, Sir, asked the House, it will be the almost unanimous opinion of the House that it would be impossible to imagine an occasion on which this right to move the adjournment of the House to call attention to a definite matter of urgent public importance was more legitimately availed of than on this present occasion. What is the transaction of which we complain? That one of the most important and influential newspapers in Ireland, the recognised organ of a great National organisation, which is represented in this House by many Members, was yesterday seized in the streets of Dublin and in the office of publication by the officers of the law, without warrants, and we have not been informed by the Chief Secretary of the course of action which the Government proposes to take. I think that if the Executive Government, acting under what is known as the Common Law, seizes the issue of a newspaper for the dissemination of an alleged seditious libel, it commits one of the gravest acts which the Executive Government can be guilty of in this country. I wish to make this comment on the reply which I have just received. The right hon. Gentleman, 1335 in giving the reasons for this seizure, stated that one reason was "to obtain evidence." I challenge that as an un-candid answer—
§ MR. DILLON
I do not think there is any difference, because the object of obtaining evidence could have been obtained by the expenditure of a penny. I deliberately say that, from the recent action of the Executive Government in Ireland, we are bound to treat this as part of the deliberate policy of striking and destroying other newspapers. What had we the other day in Dublin? A great National daily journal was hauled before the High Court in Dublin at the instance of the Attorney General. Why? Simply because it was a powerful and influential opponent of the present Government, and for no other reason; and the paper was allowed out of court because the scandal was so monstrous that even a certain distinguished judge shrank back. Now this is the next step, and a great National weekly journal is struck at by a high-handed and grossly illegal action of the Government. The Government have seized an important newspaper without warrant or authority. I wish to put a few questions to the Chief Secretary in connection with this matter, and I hope he will answer them when he replies. As to which of the articles in the paper was the seizure determined upon, and who adjudicated upon them and decided that the paper should be seized? Were they submitted to the Government, or were they adjudicated to be seditious by some obscure official sitting in a back parlour of Dublin Castle? We are entitled to know the steps and all the details of the process by which this extraordinarily high-handed act of public policy and, as I maintain, grossly illegal act, was committed against the liberty of the press in Ireland. The second question I would like to ask is, whether it is proposed to follow up this act by a prosecution? We are in the dark as to the cause why the newspaper was seized. The Chief Secretary was obscure in his reply. He said it was seized for the purpose of putting a stop to the machinery for the 1336 dissemination of seditious libel. He gave no information as to whom the seditious libel was applied to. Seditious libel is an expression that plays a great part in the history of this country. There is hardly the bearer of a single name connected with the long struggle for the freedom of the press in England that was not made the mark for prosecution and persecution in this country for sedition. It is a word of evil omen. Now, Sir, I have looked over this newspaper, and I have seen pretty strong writing in it. The first three columns are devoted to a very scathing and a very severe attack on the Chief Secretary. Is that the seditious libel for which the paper is seized? The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. I suppose that means that the paper was not seized for an attack upon him, but it is an unfortunate coincidence that this issue of the paper is the first since the advent of the right hon. Gentleman to Ireland in which he is attacked. The only other thing I can find in the paper is a very strong and a very violent attack upon His Majesty. Is that the libel complained of?
§ MR. DILLON
Well, if that is the libel complained of, I will address my observations chiefly to that question. As regards the language in which that attack is couched, I think that that is entirely beside the question, and I decline to discuss it. The Attorney General for Ireland laughs, but I decline to be drawn into a discussion on the language, and for this reason—in my opinion; if that language had been ten times as strong and as violent as it is, it would not in the least degree alter the strength of my case. My case is that neither the police in Dublin Castle, nor the Lord Lieutenant, nor the Chief Secretary, nor this House is the proper tribunal to judge whether a newspaper article is legal or not. I am not going to base my case upon the good taste or strong language, or, if you will, upon the violence and coarseness of the observations made in this article. My case is tins—that if you consent to leave to an official of the Government the 1337 right to say what ought to be written or what ought not to be written in a newspaper, the liberty of the press has completely disappeared. I repeat, if the language complained of was ten times more violent than it is it would not in the least degree alter the strength of the case I desire to make. All that we claim is that, dealing with criticisms of the Sovereign, the same spirit and principles should be applied to Ireland as in England. I am speaking now of the administration of the law, and I say from my own experience, and every hon. Member who has studied the question must know, that throughout the reign of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria certain newspapers in this country used bad language, more violent than anything in this article, and, Sir, they applied these articles to Her late Majesty and to her family at a time when the most violent and revolutionary press in Ireland was singularly free from criticism of such a character. I affirm without fear of contradiction that there can be found innumerable extracts from newspapers in this country applying epithets and comments to Her late Majesty much more violent than anything that can be found in the present article.
§ MR. DILLON
I say, "Yes," and I say, when Her late Majesty was on the Throne—we in Ireland always have a respect for women—the most violent and revolutionary newspapers in Ireland were singularly free from criticism of such an offensive character as that to which I have alluded. But, Sir, upon this character of the language nothing could be more easy than for me to come down to this House and to read out a long string of quotations and comments published upon the Royal Family of England existing for many generations, but which during Her late Majesty's reign were never interfered with, although of course they must have excited great passion and prejudice in the minds of hon. Members having a strong reverence for the Throne. No matter how violent the paper may be, no matter how much individuals, or even the great majority of this House, may condemn the language used by a newspaper, it is entitled to the 1338 protection of the law, and cannot be suppressed by the will of a Minister, no matter how large the majority he has at his back. I have no intention of quoting from great English writers, as I might, to illustrate how violent has often been the language used by Englishmen of leading in reference to the sovereigns, language which was not noticed by the Governments of the time, who felt that the institutions of this country were based upon the people's will. I will not do that. I will merely refer to one classical case. That of the Irish Avatar, written by Lord Byron in relation to the visit of George IV. to Ireland. Let me quote—Is it madness or meanness which clings to him now?Were he God, as he is but the commonest clay, With scarce fewer wrinkles than sins on his brow,Such servile devotion might shame him away.Spread, spread, for Vitellius the royal repastTill gluttonous despot be stuffed to the gorge,And the roar of his drunkards proclaim him at last—The fourth of the fools and oppressors called George.Let the tables be loaded with feasts till they groan,Till they groan like thy people through ages of woe;Let the wine flow around the old Bacchanal's Throne,Like their blood which has flowed, and which has yet to flow.That was the language of an English peer; yet I have never heard that Lord Byron was proceeded against for seditious libel, or that the Irish Avatar was seized when it was struck from the press. I might quote hundreds of these extracts on the same lines. These are as violent as the imagination could conceive, but they were not made the cause in those days of any attack upon the liberty of the Press. No doubt we will hear some extracts nearly as strong as that which I have just read, but it is in no sense my business, nor any part of my task, to discuss the propriety of the language used in any particular case. A blow has been struck at the liberties of the press; and speaking, as I do, on behalf of the liberties of the press throughout the whole country, I deny the right of the Chief Secretary, learned authority as he may be on Shakespeare's sonnets, or the 1339 Attorney General, or the Under Secretary, or Lord Cadogan, to sit in judgment on the good taste or the more or less force of the language employed in an Irish newspaper. This newspaper is one of wide circulation and importance. It undoubtedly speaks for a very large section of the Irish people. Therefore the attempt to suppress it is a gross outrage upon the liberty of the press in Ireland. If it stood alone, I should regard this action as most sinister. There are two methods of criticising the Executive Government in Ireland outside this House. One is by the right of public meeting, and the other by the means of the public press. Public meetings have been held—
§ MR. DILLON
It was only by way of making an a fortiori case as to the importance to us of resisting this attempt to muzzle the press in Ireland. I will not, however, allude to it any further. How can there be an honest and independent press if its freedom is not respected? And you must regard the action of the Government as a whole. You must take into account the action with regard to the Freeman's Journal, and to the efforts to influence the independence generally of the press in Ireland. How can an important newspaper be conducted—how can you expect people to put their money into these concerns—if they are liable to such scandalous interference? How can you suppose the editors of such journals to do their duty, and express clearly and fully the views and wishes of the people, if they are told that every article they write must, as in Russia, be considered in a back room of Dublin Castle, and, if found not agreeable to the authorities in all respects, be suppressed by police sent into the city for that purpose, acting without warning, and without the sanction of a warrant. What would be said if in this country The Times were seized? I hear some hon. Members laugh. Of course it is to them an impossible supposition. They would think veritably that the end of the world was at hand if that happened. Yet its seizure would hardly be such a blow as 1340 this. The Times newspaper is a great and wealthy corporation with an enormous capital, and could stand a seizure much better than a poor Irish newspaper with limited means. It is not a likely thing that The Times would be seized, but I have often thought ft deserved that treatment. I use the illustration to bring home to hon. Members the gravity and importance of this transaction. I ask the House to treat this in a serious spirit, and to require from the Government some justification for the most high-handed and arbitrary action of which it has been guilty. I beg to move, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
I rise for the purpose of seconding the motion for the adjournment of the House, which has been moved by my hon. friend the Member for East Mayo. The first thing which strikes me is the extraordinary coincidence that this newspaper should be suppressed shortly after a strong attack was made by it upon the conduct of the Chief Secretary at Arklow. It cannot be denied that it is a new departure. I am glad of this seizure in so far that it compels the Chief Secretary to throw off the mask. So long as the right hon. Gentleman is in receipt of complimentary allusions to his own abilities, and to his great ancestor Lord Edward Fitzgerald, he faces Irish Members with soft speeches and courtly manners, but as soon as Irishmen consider it their duty to deüver an attack on his conduct as Chief Secretary his manner changes, and he arbitrarily suppresses the newspaper which gave the fullest account of that attack, and is determined to have recourse to the despotic and outrageous methods used by every Chief Secretary for the last twenty years. The upshot of the new policy of killing Home Rule by kindness, as adopted by one with the blood of an Irish patriot in his veins, is that in this year 1901 we are called upon to discuss the very practices which were indulged in twenty years ago, when Mr. Forster was Chief Secretary for Ireland. In those days Irish newspapers were suppressed and issues seized, and we were told by Mr. Forster that the seizures were necessary in order to put down crime and to carry on the Government of Ireland 1341 in a proper way. We said then that those methods would not be effectual either in restoring peace to Ireland or in making the task of government easier, and we say the same to Mr. Forster's successor, who, though perhaps kinder in manner, is, I believe, quite as determined as any of his predecessors in his resolve to ignore the feelings and to trample upon the aspirations of the Irish people. We welcome this new departure of his, because it will once for all get rid of the cant of complimenting the right hon. Gentleman, not because he does Ireland any good, but because he happens to have the honour of being the descendant of a man such as he himself will never be.
We are told that this newspaper was suppressed to put down crime. I say that that is not the case. This paper was suppressed to put down criticism upon the Government. We are told indirectly that the issue was seized because it contained a paragraph in reference to the King. I have not seen the issue, but this much I know, that, although it may have contained one paragraph about the King, it contained four columns of denunciation of George Wyndham, Chief Secretary for Ireland, and it was on that account the paper was suppressed. Time after time in English papers—papers published in this City of London—there are attacks made upon the King, the late Queen, and the Royal Family, couched in language quite as strong as, or even stronger than, that which may have been contained in the Irish People; but we never hear of the police visiting the offices of those papers and seizing the issues. Why is that? Because as a rule they confine themselves to attacking the Royal Family, and do not at the same time attack the Chief Secretary for Ireland and the Irish Government. The Irish People has been suppressed not because of any reference to the King or the Royal Family, but simply because, in what it considered to be the exercise of its duty, it contained a very strong, a very proper, and a badly wanted attack upon the conduct of the Chief Secretary. It was the first weekly issue containing a full report of a speech at Arklow delivered on the previous Sunday, and it is only from the weekly papers that the country people get the 1342 news. I deliberately say that that special issue was destroyed because the Chief Secretary and his friends in Dublin Castle dreaded the effect which might be created in the west of Ireland and elsewhere by the circulation of the first real attack upon the right hon. Gentleman. What is the real meaning of this act? It is that this newspaper is filling in Ireland to-day the place filled twenty years ago by United Ireland. In the days of the Land League, United Ireland was attacked in every conceivable form by the Government of the day, but it survived those attacks. Unfortunately, through disunion and dissension in Ireland, the national movement lapsed into a state of apathy. We do not hear then of the suppression of newspapers to any great extent, but directly a new national movement springs up, with an organisation equalling, if not rivalling, the power of the Land League, and the people become powerful because they are united, on the flimsy pretext of an obscure paragraph about the King the whole machinery of twenty years ago is put into force, and the weekly organ of this national movement is suppressed in order to prevent the farmers in the west of Ireland reading these denunciations of the Chief Secretary.
All I have to say is that, while it is no part of our business as Nationalist Members to indulge in pesonal criticism of His Majesty or of any of the Royal Family—that has never been a characteristic of the Irish party in this House—at the same time we are not going to allow our liberty and the freedom of our press to be put down upon any such flimsy pretext. The Government would have better considered the feelings of the King if, instead of bringing this obscure paragraph before the House and the whole country, they had treated it in the same way as they treat similar writings in the English newspapers. I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues, in their desire to defend their conduct in Ireland, should have fallen so low as to attack the Irish national party and to suppress one of their principal organs, not honestly because we are opposed to the Government, but under the plea of regard for the feelings of the King. Let me tell the right hon. descendant of Lord Edward 1343 Fitzgerald that we are prepared to face him and his Government as we have faced his predecessors for the last twenty years. We are prepared to stand by everything we say either in Ireland or in this House, and to organise our people to the best of our ability, advising them that as little is to be expected from the present Chief Secretary as has been the case with his predecessors. But we ask one small thing in return by way of special favour. As we are prepared to stand up and face him, to adhere to our political opinions, and to oppose him in this House and in the country in a straightforward way, we ask him, as an honourable opponent, to stand up and face us in an equally straightforward manner. When he wants to interfere with Irish opinion, and when he tries to prevent our views from reaching the masses of our fellow-countrymen through the medium of the press, I ask him as a favour to be man enough to stand up and say, "We will suppress your newspaper because it is opposing the Government, and because it is propagating a great national movement which we do not approve of." Let him say that honestly, and not attack us and suppress our newspaper behind the back and under the shadow of the name of His Majesty the King. The late Mr. Forster in this House opposed us bitterly. He imprisoned us, suppressed our newspapers, and tore to shreds the last atom of liberty in Ireland. He earned for himself the title of the most unpopular Chief Secretary which Ireland ever had. But unpopular as he was, and bitterly as he fought us, Irish Members gave him credit for being an honest and straightforward opponent, and when he wanted to suppress a newspaper he did so honestly, and not through the Queen's name. The policy which the Chief Secretary has inaugurated in Ireland is that of stifling Irish public opinion, and that will fail with him as it has failed in the past. In the fight which is going to take place between the Irish National party and the Government it will be no fault of ours if, in the course of the conduct of this contest, the name and the position of the King and the Royal Family is brought in. That will be no fault of Ireland or of Irishmen, but it will be the fault of the Chief Secretary for Ireland and his advisers, who, instead 1344 of suppressing a newspaper honestly because it opposes them and backs up a great national movement, have done so under the shallow pretext that they wish to defend the honour of the King.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. Dillon.)
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Mr. Speaker, as I listened to the first hah of the speech of the mover of the motion, and through the whole of the speech of the seconder, I felt that I was not entitled to take exception to their action in moving the adjournment of the House. The mover of the adjournment began by using language which led me to assume during the greater part of his speech that he had no knowledge of the contents; of this newspaper. He said that in the reply which I gave to his question I had left him somewhat in the dark as to the nature of the libel. I chose my language circumspectly in giving that reply. I answered the question fully, but I was unwilling at any rate to associate myself in any way with the promulgation of the libel which is the subject-matter really of this motion. The seconder told us furthermore that, although he had read a great many English newspapers, he positively had not seen a copy of this newspaper.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
The right hon. Gentleman will forgive me for saying that the reason why I have not seen it is because it was only published yesterday. I read it regularly every week, and will continue to do so.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I read it regularly every week. But the point I was making was that it is surprising that the hon. Member should have been able to draw an exact comparison between the violence of language in English newspapers and the language of the Irish newspaper, although he had not read the latter. He assured the House that he was familiar with English newspapers which made gross and violent attacks on the person of the Sovereign, and he declared that the. Irish newspaper, which he had not read, went no further.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Hon. Members on this side of the House, who challenged the hon. Member opposite when he declared that English newspapers were guilty of such attacks upon the person of the Sovereign, were told by him that they probably did not read such newspapers. In any case, when he said that my hon. friends do not read such newspapers, he pointed out that if any English newspapers of the character referred to by the hon. Gentleman exist at all, they are mere gutter rags, which have but a limited circulation amongst persons who have a predilection for garbage. Then he developed his argument by declaring that the Irish newspaper in question held in Ireland a position conformable to The Times newspaper in this country. So that in one part of his argument he compares the Irish newspaper to a gutter rag and in another says it is a great organ of public opinion. If we could assume that a great and powerful organ of public opinion in this country could be guilty of a seditious libel, of a scandalous, scurrilous, gross, and false attack upon the person of a Sovereign who is revered by his subjects throughout a wide Empire, that would be a fair analogy of the case which creates the situation before us this evening.
I think I ought to answer the specific questions put to me. The hon. Member who moved the adjournment asked me what was the process by which this article was adjudicated upon; was it here or at Dublin Castle? It was here. He asked who was responsible. I am responsible to this House for the conduct of Irish affairs. It has always been held that the Chief Secretary is responsible to this House. I have no wish to avoid that responsibility. But, as a matter of fact, I will go further and say that it is actually my own personal responsibility. This article was telegraphed over and came to my hands yesterday evening about six o'clock. I wish the House to know all the facts. On that, in consultation with my colleagues, but on my own motion and wish, I telegraphed that in my opinion a paper containing such an article ought to be seized and every effort made to stop as many copies as possible from coming into the hands of the subjects of His Majesty. Then the hon. Member asked, will there be a prosecution? Upon that I make no 1346 reply. Hon. Members will allow that that is a very reasonable attitude to take up. Then I come to a part of both those speeches which hon. Members will allow me to dismiss with brevity. They have stated that this newspaper was suppressed because it contained three columns of personal abuse directed against myself. I do not think I need tell the House, but as a matter of fact only the article in question was telegraphed over here, and therefore the paper was suppressed at my instance before I had the privilege of reading the report of the hon. Member for Waterford's speech. I always enjoy the hon. Gentleman's speeches, and if I had read those three columns of abuse of myself I should have been subjected to the sore temptation not to do my duty, but I hope I should have resisted the temptation. The attacks against myself are harmless, whilst the libel contained in this article is of a very serious character. [Nationalist cries of "Read it."] I am asked to read the article. The hon. Member who moved the adjournment did not venture to read it. He said that he declined to be drawn into a discussion of the language. Why? For this reason, that the strength of the language would not help his case. The strength of the language would help my case, would carry my case, but I decline to soil my lips with such language. I decline to offend the ears of hon. Members and to wound their feelings and the feelings of millions of people throughout the world by making myself the channel for further publicity of such outrageous, scandalous, gross, loathsone, and false attacks. When I am asked whether we intend to prosecute this paper, I am quite ready to declare to the hon. Member who moved the adjournment that I agree with a great deal of his political philosophy with respect to the press. If any organ of the press contained a seditious libel directed even against the person of the Sovereign, I am not prepared to say that I would in every case advise a prosecution. I think that something of common sense comes in. You have to consider whether a prosecution will not do more harm than good.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
As a matter of law it is not only the right of the Government to suppress by any means in its power a seditions libel directed against the person of the Sovereign, but I imagine it is also the duty of every private individual. Any loyal subject of the Crown is bound to intervene, without any commission of any sort or kind, if a seditious libel is directed against the person of the Sovereign. But that was not the reason which guided me in coming to a conclusion on this difficult position. I remember that last year a paper was seized in Ireland because it contained insulting remarks, not of the character which this paper contained, but insulting remarks against our late revered Majesty of blessed memory. I remember also that this country was deeply moved and stirred more than once last year by articles that appeared in foreign newspapers. I remember that in almost every newspaper in this country, belonging to every shade of political conviction, leading articles were written, in temperate and reasonable terms, inviting the Governments of foreign Powers, as a neighbourly act, humane act, as common courtesy, as an act in accordance with the comity of nations, to take some steps to abate a nuisance which was wounding the feelings of so many people in this country. In what position should I have been if, with a similar nuisance, only in a more coarse and offensive form, at our very doors, in what position should I have been if I had hesitated—because I admit that the whole philosophy of press prosecutions is a difficult one—to take immediate and stringent steps to abate that nuisance and to save my fellow-countrymen from having their feelings wounded again in a more outrageous manner by language more foul than the language employed even in some foreign newspapers last year?
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
The right hon. Gentleman has informed the House that he declined to read the words complained of because he did not wish to make himself the channel for the propagation of this matter, which he considered objectionable; but the right hon. Gentleman, by the suppression of this paper, has fastened the attention of the whole world upon it. Does the 1348 right hon. Gentleman imagine that he has seized the entire issue of this paper? Does he not know that the paper went through the post last night to America and other foreign nations? Does he not know that there are in this House even several copies of the paper? And is he not aware that what he has done in seizing the paper must have the effect of fastening the attention of the whole world upon the paragraph which, according to his expressed wish, he would have been glad to cover up and hide away for ever? The position of the right hon. Gentleman from that point of view is inconsistent, and, in my opinion, is most mischievous.
The right hon. Gentleman was asked who adjudicated upon this. Now, the complaint I have to make is a very plain and a very simple one. If a newspaper is guilty of publishing a seditious libel, it makes itself amenable to the law, and it deserves to be punished by the law; but it is only the recognised legal tribunals of the country that can decide what is or is not seditious libel, and I claim that, no matter how grave or how coarse the language may be in any paragraph published in any newspaper, no Executive Government has by law the right to judge that question and to decide what is and what is not seditious libel. If seditious libel has been in this case committed, and if it was thought desirable by the Executive Government to fasten the attention of the world upon it, then they would have been perfectly within their right in instituting a prosecution and deciding the question of law whether it was a seditious libel or not by the recognised legal tribunals of the country; but I protest that neither the right hon. Gentleman nor his colleagues, nor the whole of the Government of this country, have by law the right to judge and decide for themselves whether this is or is not seditious libel. And if it is not seditious libel, then the action of the Government is absolutely illegal, and cannot be supported. That is the ground I take. I would not complain of a prosecution for seditious libel, but I do complain and characterise as arbitrary and illegal the action of any individual in deciding for himself that this is a seditious libel, and acting upon it and seizing this newspaper. 1349 The right hon. Gentleman has, of course, disclaimed the imputation that he suppressed this paper because of the attacks made upon himself. I absolutely accept that statement. I am perfectly certain that he did not do it for the sake of saving his own feelings, and he has told us that he reads the paper. But I assert that he has taken this action as part of a settled policy to interfere with freedom of speech on the platform and in the press, and I repeat the charge which has already been made that this action has been taken because this newspaper is the organ of a political organisation which is in antagonism to the right hon. Gentleman and his Government, whose power is rapidly growing in Ireland, and whose power perhaps he is beginning to realise and fear. It is because the Irish People is the organ of the United Irish League movement in Ireland that it has been seized. If that were not so I venture to assert that these obscure paragraphs would have been allowed to rest in their obscurity, and would not have been picked out to serve as an excuse for this illegal action of the Crown. I repeat the assertion that has been made that it is possible to find from time to time in great organs of opinion in this country such as—I am reluctant to mention, and it would be wrong to mention the names of papers, but I have in my mind certain weekly newspapers, published in this country, with large circulations, and it is true to assert that in some of these newspapers from time to time attacks upon Royalty, personal, and indeed gross, attacks upon Royal personages, do appear, any one of which might be held technically to form the subject of prosecution for seditious libel, but neither are prosecutions brought, nor in any single case that I know of have the Government ever decided this question of law for themselves, and seized the issue of the newspaper.
All I have got to say is that I realise to the full the whole meaning of this action of the Government. I think my colleagues realise it, and I am certain that the Irish people will realise it. I am certain that the Irish people will realise that this is simply a move in the game which the Government are carrying on, and that they will regard it as an indication of an advance in their policy and a 1350 determination to grapple, if they can, with the new movement, the United Irish League movement, which has sprung up in Ireland. But I tell the Government—and in making this declaration I will content myself and resume my seat—I tell the Government that the organisation and the paper they are attacking are too strong for them, that they have at their back the great mass of the Irish people, in Ireland and out of Ireland, and that whether we have to face in the future persecution and prosecution, fines, and penalties, and imprisonment, as we have done in the past, this movement will go on, and will soon, rather sooner than perhaps he expects, make short work of the Chief Secretary and his new policy.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester, E.)
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, and other hon. Gentlemen who have spoken, have endeavoured to persuade the House that the cause they are advocating is, in the first place, the cause of the freedom of the press; and, in the second place, the cause of an Irish agitation carried on by legitimate constitutional methods. It is nothing of the kind. The hon. Gentleman tells us that he abandons the childish accusation that my right hon. friend was influenced in the course he took by the fact that he himself has been subjected to personal attack in the newspaper. The charge was ab initio an absurd one. My right hon. friend knows well the lot of every Chief Secretary.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
He has had the fullest opportunity of observing the Irish methods of attack which are thought to be legitimate on the Chief Secretary. He knows that those attacks; are made quite impartially on every Chief Secretary, whatever his politics, and although the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. J. Morley) during his Government from 1893 to 1895 was subjected to fewer of those attacks, there-were still a sufficient number, couched in the accustomed phraseology, to prevent even him being an exception to the universal experience. I venture to say that 1351 not only is every Chief Secretary attacked in this manner, but no Chief Secretary has ever in the least minded the attack. Whatever other inconveniences and discomforts may attach to the post, no Chief Secretary has ever accounted the abuse of the Nationalist press among their number. I have asked myself what value there is in the argument that this is an attack on the liberty of the press, and an attack on an Irish newspaper which is legitimately carrying on the work of a political party in Ireland. Is the publication of an obscene libel a necessary weapon in the armoury of Irish agitation? Is it a part of their equipment which they cannot do without? Is it an essential method for carrying on their case? [Interruption from the Nationalist Members.]
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Very well, if that be the case, and I am quite ready to admit it is, why is it that a newspaper which hon. Gentlemen claim to be a leading newspaper of Ireland submits to use this foul and poisoned weapon? There are no epithets that can be employed too strong to describe this article, and there is no hon. Gentleman on that side of the House who has read this article but would say that no epithet which my unhappily limited vocabulary could employ exaggerated its abominable character. It is a foul and it is a seditious and obscene libel. I listened with attention to the hon. Gentleman, but are we to be told that a newspaper is to be allowed to publish a foul, an obscene, and a seditious article because in other parts of the newspaper a Minister is attacked? It is very proper to attack a Minister, but that does not cover every sin; it is not sufficient by itself entirely to absolve the editor of the newspaper from any guilt of a crime, or to prevent the newspaper, when published, from producing serious evil consequences. Not only was this libel foul, obscene, and seditious, but, from the very nature of the case, it was directed at a quarter which is especially helpless in dealing with these matters. The Sovereign of this land, from the very height of the position in which 1352 he is placed, is less capable than the rest of us of dealing with these matters; and I can hardly believe that any man in this House seriously condemns the course which has been taken, or in his heart thinks that any Government could sit quietly by and see this gross offence against public decency and public morals, as well as against law and loyalty, committed. The hon. Gentleman says to us, "Granted that a great offence has been committed, are you the judges? Is it for you in Dublin Castle to judge whether a libel is obscene and seditious?" Sir, it is the duty of every subject of the Crown to stop a crime if he can; and it is incorrect to say that in doing so we have acted in such a manner that the law is incapable of protecting the people against whom we have directed our proceedings.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
My right hon. friend has done what he conceives to be a public duty—he has done it in what he conceives to be the interests of the law. You have your remedy if you think he was wrong. This is not an arbitrary act performed by a tyrannical Government against whom no individual has any remedy. The courts are open to you.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The hon. Gentleman may think that the machinery of the law is inadequate. That is not my point. My point is that this is not an action above the law.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The whole machinery of the law, be it good or be it bad, can be set in motion by those who think themselves aggrieved. Our old friend "jury-packing" has been thrown in by way of interjection and argument. If the persons aggrieved in this case think they have ground of 1353 action against the Government, it will not be in the power of the Government to set aside the jury; so that if jury-packing takes place, it will not be due to any action of the Government. They have their remedy and they have their law. And is it not dragging in the mud the great and sacred cause of the liberty of the press to say that it is bound up with the unchecked publication of these nauseous statements—not directed to any responsible Minister, not written in favour of any cause, small or great, but levelled simply at the head of the State in his private character, and going beyond every decency of expression, using language so gross that there is not a single Gentleman on that side of the House who would, either in public or in private, venture to defend it? Sir, the liberty of the press is not added to by pleading such as this; and I am convinced that this House, the more it knows of this case, the full strength of which we are obviously incapable of laying before it on an occasion like this—the more it understands the strength of this case, the more it will feel that my right hon. friend would have been guilty of a gross dereliction of his duty if he had for a moment shrunk from taking on his own shoulders the responsibility which he has gladly accepted.
§ MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)
This is a matter which is undoubtedly of a very painful character, and is very grave in its constitutional aspect. For the purposes of this debate the House has not had an opportunity, probably never will have an opportunity, and I trust from what we have heard never will have an opportunity, of reading this paper itself; and the House is bound to take the description which is given of the paper and its contents by the responsible Ministers of the Crown. They have described it as an unusually gross form of seditious and obscene libel, directed, not against the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, or the Chief Secretary for Ireland, or the officers engaged in the administration of the law in Ireland, as has often been the case in days gone by, but directed against the personal character of the Sovereign himself. A publication of that kind—and we must assume for the purposes 1354 of to-day, without in any way prejudging the question, that it has those characteristics—was brought to the notice of the Government as one which was about to be, or was being, circulated and disseminated broadcast in Ireland; and thereupon the Chief Secretary and the officers of the Government seized the paper and stopped its circulation. Now, Sir, what I want to point out to the House is this—either that was or it was not a legally justifiable act. We are not in a position to say whether it was or was not, because until the character of this newspaper has been judicially ascertained we have no material before us on which we can pronounce any such opinion. But it is perfectly certain that no officer of the Government stands in this respect in any different position, is clothed with any greater authority, is entitled to any more ample legal powers, than the humblest man who walks the street. And although I agree that it may be, as it is, the primary duty of the Government, who are charged with the maintenance of law and order and with the prevention of crime, to take action in a case where that action would not be equally imperative and urgent upon an individual, yet, unless an individual would be justified in doing what the Chief Secretary and his officers have done in this case, the Government themselves were not justified. What is the conclusion from that? The question is whether the persons who are responsible for the publication of this newspaper have sufficient confidence in their case to take it into a court of law. Neither the Chief Secretary, nor any of his agents, nor the officials, nor the police can claim in that court of law any privilege of any sort or kind. That being the case, I have not the slightest hesitation in advising the House of Commons that they would be going far beyond their duty and their constitutional right if they were to sanction in any way the notion that it is the duty of this House to make a protest against an act which can be, and ought to be, legally inquired into before another jurisdiction. Having received, as we have, a solemn assurance from the Ministers of the Crown that this was the character of the publication, I shall certainly support the Government.
§ MR. JAMES O'CONNOR (Wicklow, W.)
The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, in the course of his speech, stated that if anything illegal had been done by the Chief Secretary for Ireland the remedy was in the courts of law. But I wish to remind the House how that remedy worked out in the year 1870, when Lord Hartington was Chief Secretary for Ireland. An amnesty meeting was held in the Phoenix Park in August, 1870, and, without any notice whatever, a number of men, women, and children were batoned by the police under the orders of the Chief Secretary; and those people whose heads had been broken brought an action against the authorities, and a large sum of money was subscribed, and the then leader of the Irish party, the late Mr. Isaac Butt, took the matter up, and after trial after trial, and appeal after appeal, the result was that they got not the slightest satisfaction. If the people of Dublin were to act on the suggestion of the First Lord of the Treasury and take action against the Chief Secretary the result would be the same, and they would get no satisfaction whatever. It occurred to me during the debate, "Is it possible that England can produce no Chief Secretary for Ireland who has some originality?" Whenever English Ministers have suppressed newspapers, the only result has been to give a big advertisement to these newspapers, and to extend their circulation, and to make the Irish people more determined than ever to resist these encroachments on their liberty. The right hon. Gentleman appears to have adopted the German model of lèse majesté. In 1848, when Lord Clarendon was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, John Mitchell called him, in his newspaper, "The butcher-general of Ireland," and no notice was taken of it, and yet Lord Clarendon was the vicesovereign, and there was as much lèse majesté in that as if it had referred to the Sovereign himself. When the Chief Secretary says that he seized this paper in order to get evidence, he must be aware of the fact that a policeman in plain clothes is sent down to the newspaper office every Thursday afternoon to buy a copy of the paper, which is taken up to Dublin Castle and there initialed and filed. That is all the evi- 1356 dence of this seditious libel necessary, and there was not the slightest reason to seize all the other copies of the paper issued which the detectives could lay hands upon.
§ MR. DILLON
I hope I may be permitted by the House to say two sentences. [Cries of "Order."] Hon. Members do not appreciate my desire to bring the debate to a conclusion. I only desire to say two sentences. The first is that when we are told—if that be the position of the Government—that we have our remedy at law, my reply is that that is no remedy and no answer. It was the answer given to us at the period of The Times libels and the Pigott forgeries, and, as is perfectly well known, it had no result. One word in reply to the statement of the First Lord of the Treasury. He asked us, in a manner which conveyed to us the impression that he meant it as a charge, whether we in Ireland thought we felt bound to carry on our struggle by resorts to seditious and obscene libels. No man knows better than he that there is not an atom of foundation for that charge, and that the politics of Ireland, through all the years of passion which have characterised them, have been singularly free from that character of warfare. I hope the House will now divide.
MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
I wish to dissociate myself entirely from the position taken up by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife, that when Ministers of the Crown declare that a certain paper, of the contents of which they alone have knowledge, contains an obscene libel, then the House is bound to accept that decision and support it in the division lobby. If that principle had been adopted by our forefathers, the liberty of the press would never have been established. If they had accepted the view that the opinion of Ministers of the Crown, based on secret information 1357 known to them and to them alone, was to be acted on in this House, the liberty of the press would never have been established. In the early part of the last century the historical trial of William Hone established the liberty of the press. Although I am opposed to strongly seditious and obscene libels, yet I think that Gentlemen sitting on the front bench ought not to be the judges as to what is a libel, but that the House at large should judge. The head of the State has no more ground than any other person in this country to fear the publication of any libel, and it is perfectly certain that punishment would follow the publication of a libel if it really were a wicked libel. Every person in the country ought to be willing to rely on the tribunals of the country, and therefore, on that ground, I will support the motion. The view that the right hon. Gentleman acted in his private capacity is not correct. He acted as the representative of the Government, and to say that he is in the same position as a private individual is inaccurate.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
I simply rise to ask the Attorney General for Ireland to be good enough to tell us what the law is. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen must thoroughly understand that this is at least a free assembly, and although we are in a minority we have a right to express our own opinions. I wish to get certain information from the Attorney General for Ireland before deciding how I am going to vote. I want to know under what law the proceedings in this matter have been taken. I deprecate what I hear this article is, and I think I am ready to accept the statement of the Chief Secretary that the article is a most improper one, and ought never to have been published; but still, when an improper article of this sort is published there is a distinction between the action of the Executive and the action of the judiciary. I can perfectly understand that newspapers should be prosecuted, but when the Chief Secretary tells us that he acted on the principle that any individual, who considers that an attack is made on the Sovereign in a newspaper, has a right himself to take action and seize the newspaper, and that that is the law of the land, I take the liberty of 1358 entirely disagreeing with him. I do not yet know whether it is intended to prosecute the newspaper. [Several HON. MEMBERS: No, no.] Why not? As I understood the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife, he said that the matter could be referred to the law courts.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
But when there is a violation—accepting the fact that there is a violation—of the law of the land by a Minister in the House, the first appeal is to the House, and until the Minister or his legal advisers can show that his action was legal and justifiable according to law, then I say we ought to express our disapproval of the action of the Chief Secretary for Ireland.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)
I had the honour of being prosecuted for what was termed in my warrant of arrest "seditious conspiracy," and therefore I ought to know a little about seditious libel, when seditious libel is joined to seditious conspiracy. I had the honour of being acquitted on that occasion, because a distinguished judge, now unfortunately dead, decided, with all the facts before-him, that the ipse dixit of Sir Charles. Warren was not the last and final statement that ought to be made, untested, in any court of law before a jury of my fellow-countrymen, and that the word of an official was not to be the arbitrament as to whether seditious conspiracy should be urged against me or not. A jury of my fellow-countrymen acquitted me—
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
My definite matter is only by way of illustration. It is evident that circumscription and suppression are to be the order of the day.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
That is an improper observation to address to the Chair, and I must ask the hon. Member to withdraw it.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
As applied to the Chair, certainly, Sir. I was only going to say for the purposes of illustration, and then leave it, that it should not rest with any Executive officer in either England or Ireland to say what is seditious conspiracy or what is a seditious and obscene libel. I believe that this particular libel, which I have read, is not seditious, and not so much obscene as criminal, and the proper authority to determine what a criminal libel is is a judge and jury in Ireland, under the forms that the law of this country prescribes.
How did this libel originate? For many centuries, certainly for many generations, the Roman Catholic section of our fellow-countrymen have rested under certain references that are as insulting as they are ungrammatical in the Royal Oath. An address was presented by the Roman Catholic section of our fellow-countrymen to the King, asking, through Cardinal Vaughan and the Duke of Norfolk, that these insulting and ungrammatical words should be excised from the Royal Oath, and on these objectionable words the writer of this particular article made certain comments. I need not read them. They will all be read to-morrow, and hon. Gentlemen opposite will probably buy for the first time the newspaper, with a burning desire to see what these particular words are. What I want to point out is not whether the words are libellous, not whether they are a seditious, or criminal, or obscene libel, but I want to draw the attention of the House to the statement of the Chief Secretary that these words are gross and foul. After all, that is a matter of opinion. I think The Times, sixty-three years ago, published an article with regard to a King now departed which was probably more gross and foul than the language I have read in this particular paper. The Chief Secretary said that the libel was so gross and foul that he would not defile his lips with it, and he refused to be the medium of communicating it to this House. The House is therefore asked by its refusal to vote for the motion to sanction the suppression of a libel 1360 which is not within its cognisance, and which it does not know to be either seditious or criminal. If I were the Chief Secretary, I would have read the libel, but without having heard it the House of Commons has no right to pass an opinion on it. Hon. Members should not be misguided in one respect, or to misjudge the libel in another respect. The information is not produced, and the facts necessary to enable us to judge whether the adjournment should be carried or not are withheld from the House of Commons. The Chief Secretary, to justify his position, should have read the libel to which he takes exception. The libel is undoubtedly personal to the King. I have always a rule in regard to monarchs, whether they be kings or queens. They cannot come down into the arena; they are outside the ring; and they are debarred from using the ordinary weapons of controversial attack and defence. Therefore I am not personally disposed to associate myself with a personal attack on a man who, by virtue of his position, cannot retort, or reply, or defend himself. During the life of her late Majesty the Queen I can remember libels published in English papers with large circulations quite as gross, quite as offensive, and perhaps not quite so grammatical as the libel I hold in my hand. Then take the American papers. I only refer to this because the right hon. Gentleman referred to the libel on the Queen made by one of the gutter rags of Paris, with which newspapers in this country too frequently, in my opinion, associated the whole of France. Her Majesty was too great in her mind and too exalted in her station to take any notice of attacks made upon her. Those things are done in France, and have been done every day in the American papers for years in quite as gross a form. With regard to the colonial papers, no one who has read the celebrated case for which one of the Members of the New South Wales Parliament was put upon his trial could be without evidence to refute the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman that a libel more gross, more seditious, and more criminal than this has never been published. This is a vulgar and an offensive attack on the King. One of the spiciest items says the King is bald-headed, 1361 and another says he has associated with actors and actresses. That is not libellous. I contend that they are rather trivial and personally insulting remarks, and, what is more, I believe that if this libel had been brought to the knowledge of the King he would have smiled and taken no notice of it, but would have put it into the waste-paper basket, and would not have given this newspaper a gratuitous and worldwide advertisement. How thin-skinned some of the Irish Executive are getting! I do not believe the King, if he knew, would sanction this act which is done in his name. He is far too sensible to allow such a thing. When we remember how some of the gutter press of England have been insulting the Boer generals and the Boer people, I want to know why, in the name of the honour of the English people, the Executive have not interfered with greater cause than this vulgar and personal attack upon the King seems to have justified. Why trouble about this? The First Lord of the Treasury has been called almost as many bad names in the newspapers as I have, but he knows he is secure in the hearts of his colleagues. He has never gone into the courts to justify himself. And it seems to me that if the King's own view was taken he would resent the behaviour of his advisers, who have inflicted upon him an insult he would not have sustained but for the acts of some of his newly-appointed Ministers. I dissociate myself entirely from this libel, and I believe the King is of my opinion; but what I want to point out is this, that the suppression by the Irish Executive of this issue of this newspaper for an attack upon the King curiously synchronises with an attack which appears in this paper on a Member of the Executive who happens to be the Chief Secretary himself. This act, which is taken upon the ground that the article prejudices the King, is only part and parcel of a general system on the part of the Government, and is the natural consequence of the Nationalist, Liberal, and Labour Members of this House allowing the suppression of the South African News.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
Order, order. The hon. Gentleman cannot enter into a general indictment of the Government.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
I bow to your ruling, Sir. But this, in my opinion, is part and parcel of a system that has grown up, and which numbers of people who are growing up think this aristocratic Government is responsible for, and who think the day is not far distant when the King should take the side that a constitutional monarch should take and ought to take.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Gentleman is not in order in discussing the personal action or opinions of the King.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
In this matter, Sir, he wants someone to defend him, and it is to save a constitutional monarch, who need not fear insult, from his friends that I have stood up against the Executive of Ireland suppressing this newspaper. In conclusion, I may say I heard with some regret the attitude taken up by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife upon this question. I think he has allowed the aristocratic interpretation of the law to influence his usually clear legal mind to an extent to which I cannot follow him. The doctrine he has laid down to-day is a serious one; it is a dangerous one, and put to the test may become a revolutionary one. It is this: that not a jury of our fellow-countrymen are to determine what a libel is; not a court of law; not Parliament itself is to determine what is a libel. The initial step is to be taken by a peace officer—an illegal, improper, and unconstitutional authority.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I beg the hon. Gentleman's pardon; I am as much opposed to that doctrine as the hon. Gentleman himself. What I said was that officers of the Executive took the course they did take at their own risk, that their conduct was liable to be questioned in a court of law, and that of their conduct that tribunal, not the House of Commons, should judge.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
What I would suggest is that a safer and a better course when a libel of this kind took place would be for the Executive, not to suppress the edition first, but to take action in a court of law, and having obtained 1363 a verdict from a jury and the fiat of the judge, suppress, not one issue of the paper, but the paper itself. I stand up now to assist Irishmen, because the time has come when we should not allow Irishmen alone to defend the citadel and ramparts of freedom. Too long has it devolved upon these men to uphold and defend the freedom and privileges we have enjoyed for centuries. I shall vote
§ for this adjournment, because I believe the King is far above being hurt by any power of libel, and that by the action of the Executive of Ireland our liberty of comment and discussion is endangered.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 64; Noes, 252. [Division List No. 180.]1365
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Hammond, John||O'Doherty, William|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Blake, Edward||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Dowd, John|
|Boland, John||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Boyle, James||Joyce, Michael||O'Malley, William|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Labouchere, Henry||O'Mara, James|
|Burns, John||Leamy, Edmund||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Cameron, Robert||Lloyd-George, David||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Lundon, W.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Carvill, Patrick George H.||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Clean, Eugene||M'Dermott, Patrick||Roche, John|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Fadden, Edward||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Daly, James||Mooney, John J.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Delany, William||Murphy, J.||Tully, Jasper|
|Dillon, John||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Doogan, P. C.||Newnes, Sir George||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Duffy, William J.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Ffrench, Peter||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)||Captain Donelan and Mr.|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Patrick O'Brien.|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|NOES.||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Denny, Colonel|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Brown, Alex. H. (Shropshire||Dickinson, Robert Edmond|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)||Dickson, Charles Scott|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Asher, Alexander||Brymer, William Ernest||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Bullard, Sir Harry||Doxford, Sir William Theodore|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Caldwell, James||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.||Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Gl'sg'w||Dunn, Sir William|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin|
|Austin, Sir John||Carlile, William Walter||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Elibank, Master of|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Cautley, Henry Strother||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas|
|Baird, John George Alex.||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh)||Emmott, Alfred|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cecil, Evelyn, (Aston Manor)||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manc'r||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Farquharson, Dr. Robert|
|Balfour, Maj. K. R. (Christch.)||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Chapman, Edward||Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J (Manc'r)|
|Barry, Sir F. T. (Windsor)||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Coddington, Sir William||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B.||Colville, John||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Fletcher, Sir Henry|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Flower, Ernest|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir Henry|
|Bill, Charles||Craig, Robert Hunter||Fuller, J. M. F.|
|Black, Alexander William||Cranborne, Viscount||Garfit, William|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin & Nairn)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Crombie, John William||Gordon, MajEvans-(T'rH'mlts)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Cross, Herb. S. (Bolton)||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Cust, Henry John C.||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Brigg, John||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Grant, Corrie||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)||Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H. E (Wigt'n||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Grenfell, William Henry||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William||Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Hain, Edward||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Middx||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Smith, H. C (Northumb. Tynesd|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Rbt. Wm.||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd||Morrell, George Herbert||Spear, John Ward|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Spencer, Ernest (W. Bromwich|
|Hayne, Rt. Hn. Chas. Seale-||Moss, Samuel||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormsk'rk|
|Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Helder, Augustus||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'T.|
|Higginbottom, S. W.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Stroyan, John|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Nicholson, William Graham||Tennant, Harold John|
|Holland, William Henry||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside||Norman, Henry||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Horner, Frederick William||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Tomkinson, James|
|Howard, John (Kent, Faversh||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hozier, Hon. James Henry C.||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Partington, Oswald||Tufnell, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington)||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Peel, Hn. Wm Robert Wellesley||Ure, Alexander|
|Joicey, Sir James||Pemberton, John S. G.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Kimber, Henry||Percy, Earl||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H. (Sh'f'ld|
|Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Pirie, Duncan V.||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Kitson, Sir James||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth||Plummer, Walter R.||Wallace, Robert|
|Lawson, John Grant||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Warde, Col. C. E.|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Pretyman, Ernest George||Warner, Thomas (Courtenay T.|
|Lee, Capt. A. H. (Hants, Farehm||Priestley, Arthur||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Purvis, Robert||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Pym, C. Guy||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Loder, Gerald W. Erskine||Randles, John S.||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham)||Rea, Russell||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Long, Rt. Hon Walter (Bristol, S||Remnant, Jas. Farquharson||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Whitmore, Chas. Algernon|
|Lowther, Rt. Hn. Jas. (Kent)||Rentoul, James Farquharson||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Renwick, George||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(B'rm|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Rickett, J. Compton||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Ridley, Hn. Matthew W (St'r'ge||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Ridley, Samuel F (Bethnal Gr'n)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|M'Laren, Charles Benjamin||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Sir William Walrond and|
|Malcolm, Ian||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|