§ Order read for resuming adjourned Debate on Question [24th July], "That the Lords Amendments be now considered."
§ Question again proposed, Debate resumed.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I beg to move, as an Amendment, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."
The Motion I desire to submit is not at all of an unfamiliar character to the procedure of this House, and, as the House is aware, it has the effect of destroying the Bill under consideration. It is moved at this stage on Bills for very various reasons, and the reasons for which I am anxious to move it on the present occasion are these: That the Upper House of Parliament is not at this moment a free assembly; that, owing to the action of the Government, which, as I shall contend, is unconstitutional both in form and in substance, the House of Lords has been deprived of that freedom which as a legislative assembly it ought to enjoy in the performance of its high functions, and that it 968 is an idle and a foolish thing we should send back Amendments to that House in the ordinary course of constitutional practice, for an Assembly which has been deprived of its freedom has no advantage in carrying on a form of constitutional action. I have to prove, as it seems to me, two main propositions: First, that the action of the Government in applying this pressure is unconstitutional in form and in substance; and, secondly, that it operates on the House of Lords as duress, and actually destroys its freedom. Thirdly, I propose to argue that the Government itself, viewing their policy from the wider and deeper point of view, will hardly derive any benefit from the violent course they are taking, and that, therefore, they would be better advised at this stage in dropping the further proceedings of the Bill. Let me first deal with the point of the unconstitutional character of the action of the Government, both in form and in substance. I think it is unconstitutional in form. I will deal quite briefly with that, because it was dealt with very fully in a very able speech by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition yesterday. [Cheers.] I am very glad if that speech has begun to produce conviction. I wish I had seen more signs of that conviction in the Division 969 Lobby last night. Of course, the process of uprooting prejudice is a slow one, and I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer will have to listen quite often to the Leader of the Opposition before he agrees with him. Nevertheless, a beginning has been made. However, I must not be distracted, else I shall waste the time of the House. I was arguing that the action of the Government is unconstitutional in form and in substance, I say it is unconstitutional in form, because they induced the Crown to exercise the Prerogative in a manner which they ought to have advised the Crown it was not proper to exercise it. At the beginning of my argument I think hon. Members opposite will agree with me. I say we have during the last seventy years somewhat changed our conception of the constitutional functions of the Crown. Anyone who reads the history of 1832 will see the King was then supposed to take, and was recognised as taking, an active and personal part in political questions of high importance. King William IV. was known to be, and was recognised by all parties as being a very strong supporter of the Reform Bill. He acted, in a sense, freely. He acted, therefore, in a sense, on his own free discretion in exercising his Prerogative in respect of that Bill. That is quite incontestable. I remember an old rhyme written at the time, which ran:—What though I rejected be,Twenty Peers will carry me.If twenty won't, thirty will,For I am His Majesty's bouncing Bill.That was a jingle written at the time when it was universally recognised that King William was in favour of the Reform Bill. Both parties would desire and expect to find the Crown discretion exercised in a judicial spirit. The great Prerogative of the Crown—and this is a great Prerogative —ought to be exercised judicially with the same sort of discretion which the judge has in deciding a, point of law. It is not an absolute discretion to decide according to the Sovereign's inclination. It is a discretion to be used judicially. How did the Government give the King any opportunity of exercising that judicial discretion? They gave him no opportunity whatever. What is necessary for the exercise of judicial discretion? I, at any rate, think it is necessary to consult impartial persons, or if impartial persons cannot be found, then at least to hear both sides. In the Privy Council, for instance, a great many people might be found who are not violent partisans. Hon. Members 970 opposite, I am not surprised, do not welcome that suggestion; it would work against their party interest. The King might also consult the Leaders of the Opposition. He should refer to both sides before he came to a decision. It was claimed by the Prime Minister in his speech last night that the only result of that would have been to bring the King into the arena of party conflict at that moment. But why should it bring the King more into party conflict for him to hear both sides in a spirit of impartiality on some public occasion which could easily be arranged by means of the machinery of the Privy Council? Why should he not have announced his intention to sit in no partisan spirit, and to hear both sides, and then decide the constitutional question submitted to him in accordance with precedent? Surely such would have been the advice of Ministers who were anxious to save the honour of the King. But what, in fact, have the Government done? They have made the Monarchy and the Crown Prerogative a partisan institution. They have used the Prerogative in precisely the same manner as they have used their followers in this House. They have used them for their party convenience first. The consequence necessarily is to make a great body of loyal subjects, who are not less devoted in loyalty to the King's person than hon. Members opposite—to make them feel that they have been very hardly treated by the Monarch. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh."] I need not say I am attributing the responsibility wholly to His Majesty's Government. It is on them, of course, that any responsibility lies, and to them attaches the blame of what may be the effect of their action. In this respect they have sinned. It has certainly been so, because every fair-minded man will admit that both Houses of Parliament, and certainly this House in the last degree, but both Houses have been too much under the influence of partisan, feeling themselves. One of the reasons, indeed, I think, the true reason, for the constitutional difficulty has been that you have a party majority in this House using its followers without the slightest consideration, and you have a party majority in the other House not so partisan. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh."] How often has the House of Lords given way in late years? They may not have used their party majority ruthlessly, but still I am perfectly prepared to 971 admit they have done so in a spirit too partisan, and it is the conflict of these partisan bodies that has brought about the present constitutional crisis. Construct your Constitution as you please, but if the followers of any party in the Legislature or if the Crown are going to be used in a spirit of partisanship, you will have, in one way or another, a constitutional breakdown. In spite of that consideration, and instead of making things better, the Government have made things worse. Instead of trying to rid this and the other House of their exaggerated partisan character, they have tried to make the Crown itself partisan, and they have used the Prerogative for that purpose. Consequently I say they have been wrong in substance and in form in the advice they have given. This power of creating Peers is not one of the normal powers of constitutional working. I will presently quote authorities to show that. It is not, as the Prime Minister seemed to argue, a way out of a constitutional difficulty which any House of Commons may avail itself of whenever it thinks fit. It is one of the rare exceptional powers which in times of revolutionary pressure may be adopted. It belongs to the same order of constitutional powers as the power of the two Houses to declare the Throne vacant. That has been actually used in English history more often than the power of creating Peers. The latter has only been used once, and that on a very small scale, in Queen Anne's time. On three occasions has the Throne been declared vacant; thus I maintain that these are reserved powers to be used under the Constitution. They are not constitutional powers, they are revolutionary powers. Now the Prime Minister, in arguing this matter—I should gladly see him punished by the criminal law—but I cannot help being sorry he is not here. [HON. MEMBERS: "'Vide, 'vide."] I was only expressing my regret, I hope not in a manner distasteful to hon. Members opposite, that the right hon. Gentleman had found himself ill——
§ Mr. RAFFAN
On a point of Order. May I ask whether the Noble Lord is entitled to say that the conduct of the Prime Minister has been such as to bring him within the criminal Jaw?
May I ask whether, in your opinion, that expression was a pious opinion or an impious one?
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I conceive that the Government and the Prime Minister have been guilty of high treason. That is my point. Undoubtedly it is high treason to overthrow the liberties of either House of Parliament, and that is the whole argument I am addressing to the House, for that is precisely what they have done. He said in his speech that the precedent of 1832 was not so strong a case for creating Peers as the case at present existing. That seemed to me a very surprising statement. The first thing the Prime Minister overlooked in his statement is that the House of Commons which then deliberated was an unreformed House of Commons. The astonishing part of the Parliamentary situation of 1831 was that the House of Commons, itself unreformed, was specially anxious to achieve reform. It was a most imperfect mirror of public opinion. It could hardly be called a mirror of public opinion at all. But, nevertheless, so almost universal was the feeling in favour of reform that in that aristocratic assembly —for such it was; it was not in the least a democratic assembly—that a majority of 130 or 140 was in favour of the Reform Bill. That was the significance; and, of course, the feeling of the population was overwhelmingly strong. I will read the House a very remarkable description of the temper and feeling that took place when the Whig Government resigned on the failure of their advice to the King to create Peers and the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel attempted to form a Government. The description is by a diarist, long a clerk of this House, and dealing with the question why they did not. take office, he says:—The Duke thought a dissolution the only mode of establishing the new Government. Peel dreaded civil war. Both, perhaps, were in the right. The latter certainly would have had an uneasy berth at Tarn-worth. Hill told me that the Union——That is the political union of Birmingham, a revolutionary body then in existence. There are a good many Members from Birmingham and the surrounding districts here who will tell us whether there is a similar feeling in that district at the present time—'would have sent such a body of their members to that place during the election, that Peel's return would have been impracticable. The accounts from the country now poured in and were of the most alarming description. Parkes came on a deputation from Birmingham. He told me it was with extreme difficulty that the people could be kept from 973 coming to extremities…. The workmen walk about talking nothing but the Bill. The account of the vote of the Lords was received as a public calamity. The churches and dissenting chapels tolled their bells the whole night.Last night was there a general tolling of bells?Well might the general in command be alarmed. He Wrote to Lord Hill that he was wholly incapable of resistance in case of insurrection.It will be observed that the people were on the very brink of an appeal to force. It cannot be argued that because the creation of Peers was justifiable when an appeal to force was immediately pending it is justifiable to-day. How can you argue, as the Prime Minister argued, that there is actually a stronger case to-day than there was then? [An HON. MEMBER: "The 'Birmingham Post' says the Bill must be passed."] The "Birmingham Post" does not propose to use force if it is not passed. The point is there was then a revolution immediately pending, and that this operated on the mind of the Whig Ministry is shown clearly by the language of Lord Althorp himself. There are two very remarkable letters which appeared in his "Life." The first was on 23rd November, six weeks after the Lords rejected the Bill on the Second Reading, and after the great Bristol riots and after Nottingham Castle had been burnt down, in which he says:—I feel what I believe to be an insurmountable objection to overwhelming the House of Lords by a large creation of PeersThis was the Leader of the House of Commons, the Minister principally responsible for the Reform Bill itself.But still I must admit that if it was clearly proved to me that a revolution would be the consequence of not taking this step and that not only the House of Lords, but every other thing of value in the country, would be overturned, it would be a very strong thing to any it ought not to be taken.I should like to ask the Government whether they represented to the King that it was clearly proved to them that a revolution would be the consequence of not taking that step. If not, what is the use of building on the precedent of 1832? Then Lord Althorp goes on—I should prefer making use of the privileges of the Commons for the purpose of forcing the House of Lords to using this Prerogative of the Crown. As I told you this morning, both, however, are very desperate expedients.That is to say that he actually thought tacking, of which we have heard so much and which has been so often repudiated by the Government, a less unconstitutional course of two desperate expedients than the course of creating Peers. A few weeks later he was less disinclined, but 974 still very disinclined, to create Peers. He did not mind so much making a small creation, but to make forty, fifty or sixty would be to effect a certain revolution with the view of preventing a contingent one. Can anyone who has not closed his mind to all fair argument really maintain, in. face of these extracts, that the case now is the case of 1832? The thing is altogether absurd. The case is altogether different and we must look to another precedent, an interesting precedent, for such authority as can be brought for the Government action. There was once before in English history a contemplated creation of Peers which never took place. It was in the reign of James II. He was engaged in packing both Houses of Parliament. He was packing the House of Commons by proceedings in the law courts and by writs of quo uvarranto by which the charters were forfeited, a legal proceeding, but a very unconstitutional one, which enabled him to control the representation of the House of Commons. Then among his Ministers the question arose, what about the House of Lords. There were two Ministers who, it is interesting to remember were both ancestors of the present Home Secretary. One was Lord Sunderland, who, I believe, was the Home Secretary's ancestor in the direct male line, and the other is Lord Churchill, afterwards the great Marlborough, the right hon. Gentleman's ancestor in the female line. The right hon. Gentleman is too little a believer in the hereditary principle to be either gratified or offended when I say that they were men of eminent ability and also noted, even in an age of inconsistency, for the shamelessness of their tergiversations. Lord Sunderland said to Lord Churchill when this difficulty was propounded, "Oh silly, we will call up your troop of guards to the House of Lords." Such a conversation might almost have taken place between the Home Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, except that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is never addressed as "oh silly." Courtesy is so much more prevalent nowadays. But the policy is just the same. There was a total disregard of the liberties of Parliament that went hand-in-hand with the proposal for a packed House of Commons. We do not need to look at precedents to be assured that packing either House of Parliament or any legislative assembly is essentially unconstitutional. How could it be otherwise? How can anyone seriously maintain that to appoint to an assembly, be it what it may, a number 975 of persons pledged to vote in a particular way is in accordance with the constitution when the very existence of the assembly at all and the powers conferred upon it presuppose that it will act freely, honestly, and according to its conscience? Evidently what the Government is doing is to subvert one of the ancient Houses of Parliament by an act of Prerogative. It makes the matter worse that they are doing this in order to pass a Bill which in our view destroys, and even in their view most seriously limits, the powers of that House. If words have a meaning this is a revolutionary proceeding. It is a breach of all constitutional action. It is to apply pressure to a House of Parliament which is altogether beyond the limits of constitutional right.
Then we have extracts read to us from constitutional text-books. Constitutional textbooks are, of course, the work of commentators of eminent learning. They do not make the Constitution, but only comment upon it. But what is the line of Professor Dicey, for example, and many others who have written on the subject? It is "where the will of the people is conclusively ascertained." That brings me to the next argument. Is the will of the people conclusively ascertained on this point? Let us see. At the last General Election the question of cheap food and the like certainly operated very strongly on the electorate. There was also the question of whether they had the general approbation of the policy of the Government as a whole as against the general approbation of the policy of the Opposition as a whole, which is also a confusing element, and all the controversies which have arisen out of the Budget, and the question of how far finance was properly a matter for the House of Lords to discuss—all these matters were a confusing element for the issue that is now before the House. But apart from that there were two main points, only one of which can, even by hon. Members opposite, be supposed to have been decided. There was the attack upon the Veto of the House of Lords, and, though very little was said about it on the opposite side, there was also the question of the absolute supremacy of the House of Commons. Supposing it to be true that the issue of Peers v. People—the issue of the absolute Veto of the Lords—which was the staple of their speeches, was decided, that matter is not raised in the Lords Amendments, and does not arise to-day. It is common ground that we intend to repeal the Parliament 976 Bill. What is raised by these Amendments is not the Veto of the House of Lords, it is the Veto of the people in certain great issues over the proceedings of the House of Commons.
The Home Secretary developed once again that old argument, "be fair to both sides," which he has used very many times during these Debates as an argument in defence of the Bill. The answer to it is quite a simple one. Whatever may be said of the proposal that different people ought to have the same opportunity of doing the same thing, no possible canon of justice or equity can say that different people ought to have the same opportunity of doing different things. If the Home Secretary thinks that over he will see that equity of dealing is. destroyed at a blow by that consideration. Or to put an illustration, which is often more intelligible than an abstract proposition, it does not follow because the House of Lords passed the Education Bill of 1902 that, therefore, Home Rule is to pass with equal facility, because Home Rule is quite a different sort of thing. It is not only that we think it undesirable, just as the Prime Minister used to think it undesirable twelve years ago, and just as the Home Secretary thought it undesirable at a much more recent period. It is evidently a measure of a different calibre. It is a measure which will be exceedingly difficult to revoke, it is a measure which excites an opposition of an altogether different character, and it is a measure that alters the Constitution fundamentally. If you really care about giving both sides an equal chance, the proper thing is to shut out both political parties from passing such a measure without reference to the people. I do not suppose there would be much difficulty about coming to an understanding on that basis. But to say, that because of this doctrine of equality you are to have the absolute supremacy of the House of Commons, that is to say, that you are to have alternate tyrannies, first one party doing exactly what it likes, and then the other party doing exactly what it likes, the House of Commons being elected as it is with no real choice of the electorate as to what candidates it will have—as a matter of fact, the candidates are chosen by the party organisations, and unless the party organisation chooses a candidate he does not get in, broadly speaking. As a matter of fact, there is no absolute mirror of the will of the people in this House, and to say that the people of this country 977 are unaware of that is untrue. They are perfectly aware of the faults and defects of the representative system. They know that the House of Commons constantly does not represent their true mind, and to say that they have decided that they do not wish to have a veto upon measures of a great, primary, and irrevocable character is entirely untrue. The will of the people on that point has not been ascertained, and I am confident the will of the people is on our side. The Prime Minister yesterday challenged us to point out some other way. I will make a proposition which he may support; at any rate he has often foreshadowed it in his speeches. He has more than once said that he would have no objection to the Referendum as a way out of a great constitutional difficulty. Hardly any of us expect to see a greater constitutional difficulty than that which exists at the present moment. I suggest that the disagreement between the two Houses should be referred by special Act of Parliament to the electorate to decide. [An Hon. MEMBER: "It has decided twice."] Lord Lansdowne's Amendment has never been rejected; I am not suggesting a dissolution of Parliament. The thing should be referred to the people in this form:—
"Will you have the Parliament Bill with Lord Lansdowne's Amendment or without Lord Lansdowne's Amendment?"
It might be provided in the Bill that the Parliament Bill should be forthwith presented for the Royal Assent in the form in which the electorate prefer. That is a way out.
My right hon. Friend above the Gangway quite agrees with me that it would be perfectly satisfactory, but I do not suppose the Government will accept it. They know they would be beaten. They know that except for the purposes of party rhetoric the will of the people has not been conclusively obtained, and anyone opposite who has a fair judgment will agree in his secret heart that the will of the people on this particular issue of Lord Lansdowne's Amendment is on our side and against you. I have a quotation on that point which has the great authority of Mr. Gladstone. It was in that famous speech in which he finally left this subject to the House. It was the last speech he delivered in this House, and it contained great criticism by him of the action of the House of Lords. He said:—
The House of Commons itself is a party in the case. The House of Commons could not be the final 978 judge in its own case. I am by no means anxious to precipitate proceedings of that kind, however much they may be invited by an impatience not unnatural in the circumstances of the case. There is an authority higher than the House of Commons. It is the authority of the nation which must in the last resort decide.Does anyone really believe that the nation in the last resort is deciding this issue of Lord Lansdowne's Amendment? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] Controversialists who make that sort of case would make any sort of case, and argument is thrown away upon them. No one on this side of the House says that Lord Lansdowne's Amendment has been decided by the people. What has been the actual effect of the unconstitutional action of the Government in respect of the House of Lords. There has been pressure to divert the House from its natural lines. This has been expressly declared by Lord Lansdowne, who has said that he only yields to force majeure, that he yields only to mere force. He said he was no longer a free agent; he said he would insist upon his Amendment so long as he was a free agent, but as soon as he ceased to be a free agent he did not propose to insist further. I do not want to use a word that would in the slightest degree reflect—I have no reflection in my mind—upon the courage of Lord Lansdowne. I am quite sure that there is no defect in his courage, but I think his judgment is mistaken in this particular matter. I do think that if he adhered to the position which he took up, he would in the end make resistance to the position of the Government easier, the reaction more certain, and the eventual repeal of the Parliament Bill more certain. I do not want to throw even the tiniest stone against him. I do not in the least doubt that he is acting from motives of a conscientious character, but the point is that he is avowedly put under duress. It is not his own free judgment; he is constrained in what he is doing.
There are other Members of the other House upon whom the constraint has operated still more powerfully, and about whom I confess I cannot speak in equal terms of respect. I cannot conceive how any self-respecting person can give a vote against his convictions under the pressure of a Government of which he disapproves in the case of a Bill which he thinks is ruinous to the country. We have called the Peers who are to be created "puppet peers," but there is something worse than being a puppet: it is to be a puppet's deputy. There are not a few honest Liberals, I believe, who are shrinking from the ignominious task that the Government 979 would put upon them, and are unwilling to be made Peers in the circumstances of the case. I confess it would be more patriotic, more dignified, and more public spirited if the Conservative Peers had not been panic-stricken, because the Government had brought forward a bogey of a kind, which they are never tired of manufacturing, and if they were not going to vote against their own wishes and in defiance of their own convictions, in order that the Government may be able to claim their support in having put the seal upon that piece of legislation. Their apprehension, is that there will be such a creation of Peers as would create a working majority for the Government in the House of Lords. For reasons on which I will say a word or two in a later branch of my argument, I am not at all afraid of such a creation as that. Anyone who listened to the Prime Minister's speech yesterday could see for himself that no such creation is contemplated. He was very careful to direct his argument solely to the necessity of passing the Parliament Bill. The whole of his argument was directed to the passage of the Parliament Bill, and there was nothing of the suggestion which haunts the disorderly imagination of the "Spectator." That the Ministers of the Crown contemplate making such an addition to the House of Lords as would give them a permanent Liberal majority so as to pass any conceivable Bill is a fantastical idea.
The Prime Minister's speech, if you will read it, you will see what his argument was. It is not an argument I agree with, but it is an argument to create Peers for the purpose of passing the Parliament Bill. That is not an argument for the creation of a working Liberal majority in the House of Lords. I am personally indifferent how far the Government break up the Constitution. Indeed, I believe that so far as the Unionist party are concerned, apart from other considerations, the more they are able to break up the Constitution, the better it will be in the end for the national Constitution and the better for us. Let me give an illustration which will make my meaning clear. Suppose the heat of politics rose higher, and when Home Rule comes into discussion, there was opposition, such as I confess might very well take place, of a disorderly character to arrest the progress of that Bill. Suppose the whole of the Unionist party were behind that. Suppose that the Government proposed or threatened to suspend the whole of the Unionist party from the service of 980 this House? Would the Government gain by such a course? Does any one believe they would be better off, or that they would be stronger, if the Opposition were forcibly removed from this House? Any one can see that that would not only be a tyrannical proceeding, but an exceedingly unwise proceeding. It would at once make clear to the country that they were being governed by sheer power, by the sheer tyrannical assertion of power, and that the forms and liberties of the Constitution were at an end. Just the same argument applies in a, minor degree to the packing of the House of Lords with a permanent majority of Liberals by a large creation of Peers. All these things bring home to the people, who are believers in self-government in their very bones, that it was indeed true that there was a tyrannical system which was engaged in making subservient and has made subservient all the powers of the legislature to its own will and has long trodden under foot all the safeguards of true constitutional liberty.
I say, therefore, it is an unwise course even in the interests of the Government themselves. What are they doing all this for? There is no secret about it. They are doing all this, they are going through all this crisis, because they will not concede the point that Home Rule should be referred to the people. Will any Member of the Government dispute that if they conceded that point and made that the concession that Home Rule should be referred to the people before it came into law, the crisis would be at an end? Does any one here dispute it? [An HON. MEMBER: "What about Welsh Disestablishment?"] There is not the least doubt that if a concession so considerable were made it would put an end to the crisis. I may ask the Home Secretary, who is giving me his attention, does he deny that if that concession were made, the crisis would be at an end? You are going to create Peers because you will not refer Home Rule to the people. It shows how people mistake the country in which they live. If the Constitution and the system of Government comes to an end, if you break the Constitution, we must fall back upon force. Are you prepared to do that? The Home Secretary said last night that they would pass the Home Rule Bill. I will wager they do not carry Home Rule. I do not put any confidence in the suggestion in the Parliament Bill of two Sessions and all the rest of that nonsense.
981 I do not put any confidence in the safeguards which the Government have put in the Parliament Bill, and which have unhappily gulled some persons. The contest about Home Rule will not be decided in the City of Westminster at all. It will rather be decided in the City of Belfast. They who have broken the Constitution, they who have destroyed government by consent, will have no reason to complain if the people of the north-east of Ireland organise a secession from the Government of Ireland which the Government propose to set up, and if they set up a complete machinery, which I think can easily be done in the coming autumn—a complete machinery of government, collect their own taxes, and leave the Government of Ireland—[Laughter and interruption]. Hon. Members seem to take these observations as if they were mere empty threats. [HON. MEMBERS: "Who is the traitor now?" and "Teaching treason."] You thought that disorder in the House of Commons was an empty threat. [Interruption.] I say that I look back on the event of fourteen days ago with satisfaction. [Interruption, and HON. MEMBERS: "Divide."] I say I look back upon it with satisfaction, because I think it symbolised a great constitutional reality—a great political reality. No doubt hon. Members opposite were the majority. You had the power in the House, but you could not prevent us interrupting the Prime Minister. Now what is true on a small scale is true also of Home Rule on a much larger and more important scale. The Government have broken the Constitution and they cannot complain. Those who are fighting for what they believe to be constitutional liberty and freedom are not to be put down because the Government have captured the House and used it for party purposes, because they have wrested consent from the Sovereign—[Renewed interruptions]—so that they may with all the authority of the Crown, Lords and Commons in their hands, pose before the country as absolute masters and carry out their will as they please. Be sure of it, free men are not so governed. The Unionists of Ireland and England will make that understood in the near future, and the spirit and the heart of us will not allow this sordid chain of coercion—the Irish Party coercing the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister coercing Parliament. We will not allow it——
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
On a point of Order. I wish to ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether 982 it is in order to introduce the name of the Crown into our Debate?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
It appears to me that it would be impossible to conduct this discussion without doing so. Hon. Members will bear in mind what the Prime Minister said in his statement yesterday.
§ Mr. LEIF JONES
On that point may I submit that we are not to-day debating the Resolution of yesterday. I submit that it was in order to introduce the name of the Crown yesterday, because it was in pursuance of a Resolution definitely drawing attention to a matter affecting the Crown. To-day we are debating the question whether we shall consider the Lords Amendments. The case to-day is entirely different from that of yesterday. Under the practice of the House, is not the Noble Lord out of order in introducing the name of the Crown into Debate?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Gentleman is rather late in taking that point. [Interruption, and HON. MEMBERS: "Order."] I do not think there is anything in the point for this reason: The House is considering not only the Motion before it, but the results of that Motion, and therefore the House is well entitled to take into consideration before it arrives at a decision what the results of that decision will be both in this House and elsewhere, and all the surrounding cirumstances of the case.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I assure the House I am not going to trespass on its attention beyond a single sentence more. We will not allow the spirit of liberty to be fettered by such a chain as that. We are prepared to contend, as many have contended before us, for the greatest cause that can appeal to a free people—the cause of the unity of the people and the liberty of the subject.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
Through the courtesy of the Prime Minister last night I was prevented from utilising the few minutes that remained after the speech of the Home Secretary to make some observations which I desired to make. [Interruption.] I speak very seldom in this House, and I think I can show reason, having regard to the announcement made yesterday by the Home Secretary, that I have a special right to be heard as representing the minority in Ireland. The truth of the matter is, as was said by the hon. and learned Member for North-East Durham (Mr. Atherley Jones) yesterday, 983 the Irish question, which was put forward in. such a bombastic way by the Home Secretary last night largely dominates, if it does not entirely dominate, the present situation, because anybody who will recollect the succession of events which led up to the last election, to the guarantees, and to the present deadlock, will, I think, be satisfied that the situation from the start down to the present moment has been dominated by the Irish Nationalist Members, and, in point of fact, it has been dominated by them, and by them alone. I congratulate them upon their power. I cannot help congratulating the hon. and learned Member for Waterford on the success of his operations in bringing to their knees the great Liberal party of England, and in announcing as a necessary part of their policy for keeping the loyalty of the Irish Members that they were prepared to destroy to the uttermost the ancient Constitution of this country. The truth of the matter is that when you look back upon the arrangements—I call them advisedly arrangements—with the Irish Nationalist Members, the whole of the proceedings in relation to this Parliament Bill have been a farce and a delusion from the start. This House has never been, a free agent. The Government has never been a free agent, and from the disgraceful tale that was unfolded to us yesterday, it appears that at the time when the Crown was given advice when the crisis arose, even the Crown was not a free agent, because the Crown had been bound contrary to all precedent in reference to a situation which it was impossible to contemplate, and in addition to that the House of Lords, who have sent us this Bill down here, themselves ceased to be free agents from the moment the blackmailing letter of the Prime Minister was sent. [Interruptions, and HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] Withdraw what? I shall not withdraw it, and I repeat it.
§ Mr. THEODORE TAYLOR
On a point of Order. I wish your ruling, Mr. Speaker, whether the application of the term "blackmailing" by one Member to another Member is Parliamentary?
§ Sir E. CARSON
In these circumstances —[HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] This does the Government much more harm than the Opposition.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I am afraid I cannot accept the hon. Gentleman's opinion. I prefer my own. [Hon. MEMBERS: "Withdraw 'blackmailing,'" and "Order."] May I ask if the hon. Gentleman opposite is entitled to keep interrupting?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I was asked whether an expression used by the hon. and learned Member was unparliamentary. If I had thought it was unparliamentary I would have asked the hon. Gentleman to withdraw it. I have told the House that, though I did not like the expression—and I quite understand that many hon. Members share in that dislike—I cannot say it is an unparliamentary expression, for I have frequently heard it used in this House.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Would you consider in the case of an expression which is not entirely unparliamentary, but is an improper expression to use, that it would be more proper for the right hon. Gentleman, opposite to withdraw it?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Whether the hon. Member withdraws an improper expression or not is entirely a matter for himself.
§ Sir E. CARSON
I shall not accept the standard of taste set up by that hon. Gentleman. [HON. MEMBERS: "Set up by the Speaker "and" Order, Pringle!"] I will strip the whole of this matter of all its technicalities, and see if I cannot make good what I have stated as to the Irish party dominating the situation. Of course, it is very interesting to go into precedents. Nothing could have been more interesting or able than the review that was given by the Noble Lord; but everybody knows that a Government which is out for revolution cares nothing for precedent, and there is no precedent in the present case that is applicable. All the precedents and all the forms of the Constitution so far as they are used are only used to cover up and give a veneer of constitutionalism to the revolutionary acts of the Government. The Noble Lord laid down, what no one would dispute, that when His Majesty is called upon to exercise this great Prerogative, which is almost unknown in our history, he exercises, or ought to be advised to exercise, a fair and judicial judgment as between the various subjects of his realm. No one can dispute that for this reason, that a Constitution is not a Constitution for a political party. [Cheers.]
§ Sir E. CARSON
A Constitution is a Constitution for a nation. I understand these ironical cheers. You refer to the House of Lords as at present constituted. Who made the bulk of the Peers? [HON. MEMBERS: "You did" and "Charles II."] Of course, in the present state of affairs, and with their Irish allies holding the key to the situation, it never occurred to the Prime Minister, naturally, that anybody ought to see the Sovereign or advise him or be consulted by him except those who were prepared to carry out the will of the Irish Nationalists. Just take the dates. The hon. and learned Member for Water-ford said in a speech in October last that the situation was an ideal one for them; and the Prime Minister knew it. Here is what the hon. and learned Member said in the month of October. Mark the date, because you will remember that the Prime Minister told us last night that it was on the 14th or 15th of November that he tendered his advice to the Sovereign: "We do not care a snap of the finger for either political party in England, or for any political leader. If they refuse to do our will we can turn the Liberals out as easily as we can reduce a Conservative Government to impotence. The situation is ideal for our cause." So it was. Then again, a few days afterward he said this, "Whether they," that is, the Liberals, "are sincere or not we will make, and we have got the power to do it, we will make them toe the line." [An Hon. MEMBER: "We heard all that last night."] Within a month of that statement the Prime Minister was before his King getting guarantees to which he was going afterwards to bind him under an entirely different state of circumstances.
I noticed in the written communication which the Prime Minister produced yesterday as having passed to the Sovereign that he used the words, which seemed to me to be somewhat extraordinary, that he had asked for guarantees; but it does not go on to say with reference to the Parliament Bill, but in reference to the policy of the Government. That was rather a tall order—to ask the Sovereign for guarantees with reference to the policy of the Government, and now we are told that that policy includes Home Rule. I do not think that anybody can doubt, having regard to the dates which I have given, that it was the dominating factor. I believe, at all events, that if the Government had been free agents here—and I do them the justice of 986 saying that—I believe they would have framed this Parliament Bill not as a mers political party, but as trustees for the nation. Look how it stands at the present moment. Does anybody believe that if it was not for hon. Members below the Gangway this crisis would not have been settled days and days or weeks and weeks ago? [An Hon. MEMBER: "Which Members?"] The sole question of substance between the two Houses is whether Home Rule shall be passed, if the House of Lords disagree with it, without submitting a Bill which the nation have never seen to the nation themselves, and it is because the Government are not free agents in the matter, that all this constitutional uneasiness, and all these proposals, including the degradation of the Prerogative of the Crown, are resorted to by His Majesty's Government. My right hon. Friend the Member for the Strand (Mr. Long) put a, question last night which has been repeated by the Noble Lord who has just addressed us. It is: Do you agree, before other matters are withdrawn, to some Clause in the Parliament Bill under which they can send Home Rule to the people, who, whenever they saw a concrete Bill have in the past always repudiated it?
I should like to know this—I think I have a right to ask—when His Majesty, as stated in the communication made to us yesterday by the Prime Minister, assented under some hypothetical circumstances, of which the Prime Minister was to be the judge, to the exercise of constitutional powers as they were called of creating peers, was it put before him that that involved, as is now announced, the passage of a Home Rule Bill without its ever being submitted to the country? What Home Rule Bill? The Prime Minister says Home Rule was before the electorate at the last election. What Home Rule was before them? Anybody who remembers the struggles we had on the question of Home Rule in years gone by will know perfectly well that it was not until the details of the measure came to be discussed in this House, and were put before the people, that the people were enabled to understand the full results of the policy of disintegration. I think I have a right to ask when His Majesty was, as I think, trapped into giving this promise of guarantees on some future occasion if those advisers who were so anxious that his name should never be brought into politics advised him as to what would be the effect on this Home Rule controversy? For myself, I believe it was impossible, 987 because I do not believe that even the Government themselves at the present moment know what they mean by Home Rule, and I am certain that the country does not. The Prime Minister said yesterday that Home Rule was sufficiently discussed before the country at the election. I believe that to be absolutely untrue. In the same breath in which he said that he said at the last election that it was a bogey. Are electors in the habit of seriously considering bogeys? I see a letter which has been sent to "The Times" today, enclosing a circular from Sir Ernest Scares, who was, I think, at the time one of the Government Whips. He also uses the same phrase. I expect he got it from the Prime Minister. He says:—I hope you will not be led astray by the Home Rule bogey, with which our opponents are attempting to confuse the issue.[HON. MEMBERS: "Read on; read the rest of the paragraph."] I will read the whole of it.And you have known me long enough to rely upon my word and I definitely pledge myself to vote against that independent Parliament, and against any scheme for separation of the two countries.That was the way in which Sir Ernest Soares gave an explicit definition of the policy of Home Rule.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Sir EDWARD CARSON
I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his very courteous interruption. Sir Ernest Soares was a Whip, I believe, of the late Government. Does the Prime Minister seriously tell us that Home Rule was the issue before the country at the last election, when not a single one of his colleagues, including the Chief Secretary for Ireland, put the question of Home Rule into his election address? That is a very curious way to put an issue before the country. I can imagine the Prime Minister and the Cabinet saying: "Gentlemen, let us all leave it out in order that the country may the better understand it." The truth of the matter is, as I think I have shown, at all events to my own satisfaction, which is something, that from the point of view of the Irish it is an ideal situation—to use the hon. and learned Gentleman's words—which have given rise to this controversy. It is the Irish, and not the House of Lords, who have brought about this deadlock. They can turn you out to-day, or they can turn 988 you out to-morrow, and that is a situation brought about by the fact that the Prime Minister has gone back upon what he once so wisely laid down, that it would be unwise of the Liberal party to take office unless it had a majority independent of the Irish vote. The Home Secretary, last night, gave away the whole case when he said: "We are going to pass Home Rule in this Parliament." Yes, that is the price of the support of hon. Members below the Gangway. I cannot prophesy whether this statement will come true or not, but I can at all events say this, that we are not going to accept Home Rule from this Parliament.
I know that hon. Members opposite think they are better acquainted with the North of Ireland than I am. Their information is overwhelming. I once met a Liberal Minister, who asked me something about Home Rule in Ireland, and I said, "Do you think there is any use our discussing it? Do you know anything about it?" And he said, "Something." "Have you ever been there?" And he said, "Not exactly, but I have been round it in a yacht," and he knew the whole position of Ireland remarkably well. If anything ever justified resistance to Home Rule it is the conduct of the Government in relation to this Parliament Bill. You are going to attempt to pass it, according to the Home Secretary, without putting it before the electors, and by a pure act of force. I do not want in the least to boast, but I may at least express my own hope, made most solemnly, that your act of force will be resisted by force. I believe myself it will, and I believe that those who resist will have constitutional right on their side. For these reasons, and because neither the House of Lords nor the Commons, or the Government have been free agents, throughout the whole of the transaction in relation to this Parliament Bill, I beg to second the Motion of the Noble Lord.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)
It is not my intention to follow at any length either the Noble Lord or the right hon. and learned Gentleman into their speeches, which obviously were intended to be compressed within the scope of yesterday's Debate, and the Amendment they have moved may be inconvenient from the point of view of the business of the House of Commons, though I frankly admit not from the point of view of their speeches. But I will answer the question which the right hon. and learned Gentleman has just put to me very shortly. He has asked the 989 Government to state whether at the time when the advice was tendered in November, of which the Prime Minister gave the House a full account yesterday, the Sovereign was apprised of the fact that the Government contemplated using the Parliament Bill for carrying Home Rule.
§ Sir E. CARSON
May I ask whether he had informed His Majesty of the Government proposals in relation to Home Rule?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
With all respect to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, I do not think that is the right version of the question, or, at any rate, it is an extension of it. I am not going to reply to the question except in the most formal manner, as is my duty. The Sovereign, as is well known, takes no part in party politics, he expresses no opinion thereon, and there would be very great danger if we were to embark on a discussion which seemed to suggest that His Majesty associates himself with the opinions of either one or the other of parties in this House. We repudiate for ourselves any such intention. But it is right and proper to say that His Majesty was fully acquainted in November with the true facts of the political situation and with all the matters in dispute between the various parties in the State, among which Home Rule was unquestionably one of the more important. And how could there be any mistake about this? Because before November, 1910, in the Parliament of 1910, on April 14th, 1910 —it is a memorable date, and I fancy it will prove to be one in the history of this country—the Opposition, in an Amendment which was supported by the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself, moved to exempt Home Rule from the provisions of the Parliament Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "NO. no."] Certainly, to exempt Home Rule from the provisions of the Resolution—I make the hon. Gentleman a present of any advantage from that—to remove from the scope of the Resolutions, which governed the Parliament Bill, a measure connecter with Home Rule for Ireland. That matter was debated fully in this House, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself spoke upon it. After full debate in this House it was rejected on a Division by more than one hundred votes. Therefore, it is absurd—and hon. Gentlemen opposite know in their own hearts it is absurd—to say that we have made any secret of our intention, our consistent and original intention, to use the machinery of the Parlia- 990 ment Bill for the passage of Home Rule, for which we consider we have ample authority derived from the electors. I do not intend to follow the Noble Lord, the Member for Greenwich—[An Hon. MEMBER: "For Oxford University"]—I remember when the Noble Lord was Member for Greenwich, and I recollect he was turned out of his seat for Greenwich, but if he was turned out, the difficulty was not with me, but with the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir E. Carson). I cannot attempt to answer at all the thinly veiled criticism of the Noble Lord upon the action of the Crown. There is one matter in his speech, referred to also by the right hon. and learned Gentleman, to which I am bound immediately to refer, namely, the reference which the right hon. and learned Gentleman made to the use of force. I should not have thought that any Member of that party was less suitable to play a leading part in a fray. He advocates in this. Debate, openly refers to, recourse to methods of riot and disorder on the part of any minority who conceived themselves, discontented with the decision of the. Government. The Noble Lord even asked us to consider if we had any reason to expect that the Parliament Bill would pass into law, because unlike the case of 1832, there had been no rioting in the country before it. No, Sir, there has been no rioting in the country. The people had no votes in 1832, so that they had little choice as to what alternative they should adopt. But they have votes now, and they have, used their votes, and we stand here to see that the use of their votes shall be respected.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman and the Noble Lord are very wrong in using language of this kind at the present time when there is very grave labour unrest all over the country. There are 70,000 dockers on strike in London. Those men have just the same strong feelings as the Noble Lord. Some of them are hungry, some of them are suffering, and I should like to know if they were to break out into rioting who would be the first to come here and urge that the soldiers should be sent. We deprecate the use of this language. It is not suitable for the House of Commons, it is injurious and injudicious in the times in which we live, and least of all is it suitable for the party which prides itself as being the party of law and order, and the party which undoubtedly has the most to lose by any scenes of turbulence and riot. There is 991 another argument of the Noble Lord with which I will deal in passing, and it is the only fresh argument that I have discovered in the course of this Debate. The Noble Lord's contention is that there ought to be another special appeal to the country—he suggests by Referendum, on the subject of the Parliament Bill. [Hon. MEMBERS: "Home Rule."] On the Lansdowne Amendments to the Parliament. Bill. [Hon. MEMBERS: "Home Rule."] He suggested that there ought to be another appeal on this subject because, although the Parliament Bill itself might have been before the electorate at the last election, the Lansdowne Amendments could not have been foreseen. There are a great many Amendments which cannot possibly be foreseen, but suppose we had the other appeal which the Noble Lord desires, and I learn he does not suggest that it should take an election form, suppose we had that appeal on the Parliament Bill and the Lansdowne Amendments and that the Parliament Bill were again approved and the Lansdowne Amendments were again repudiated, how can we tell that the electors would have foreseen other contingencies and that other Amendments might be introduced and that we might be going on till the extremes of perverted political ingenuity had been exhausted.
§ Lord HUGH CECIL
I expressly stated in the proposal I adumbrated that the special Reference Bill would provide that the Parliament Bill would be submitted for the Royal Assent forthwith without further proceeding in either House in the form approved by the electorate, either with or without Amendments.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Where then is the logical reason for the Noble Lord's Amendment? Why, if because the Amendments were not foreseen the will of the people in favour of the Bill is vitiated, why would not this other decision on the Parliament Bill, plus the Lansdowne Amendment and other unforeseen Amendments, be vitiated also? We cannot really have any hope of coming to any agreement with the Noble Lord. He has his own definitions and his own conceptions and data in this conflict. His definition of partisanship is that it is an inherent vice of all Liberal Governments and of the Liberal party, and that they adhere to it in spite of the many examples of tolerance and self-respect with which they are furnished 992 by the House of Lords, by the Conservative party, and by the family to which the Noble Lord belongs. His definition of high treason is when the majority of the nation claim for themselves the same political rights as the other portion of the nation have long enjoyed. There is one question I should like to ask, not only of the Noble Lord, but of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, not for the purposes of controversy, but for the general information of the House and of the country. The Noble Lord said that of course it was his intention to repeal the Parliament Bill at the first opportunity, and that that was common ground among the different bodies and sections into which the Conservative party is now divided. I want to know, is that really so? I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman who leads the Opposition, is that really so, that it is common ground among all sections of the Conservative party that at the first opportunity the Parliament Bill should be repealed?
The policy of the party to which I belong is that the House of Lords should be reformed, and that with that reform, coincident with it and contemporaneous with it, there should be a readjustment between the reformed House of Lords and this House, so that some better method of dealing with deadlocks should be devised. If a revolution is to be carried out by the arbitrary will of the Minister of the day that involves an entire modification from top to bottom of the present policy of the Government. It he calls that repeal I am in favour of it, but I am not in favour, and so far as I know none of my Friends' are, of the mere repeal of this Bill without substituting any reform system.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
We were quite aware on this side of the House, and we had it from the public declarations of the right hon. Gentleman and other leaders of the Conservative party that the party which he leads was united upon curtailing the Prerogative of the Crown. We know that and quite recognised that he has clearly declared his intention of carrying out some alteration in the House of Lords which would have that effect. [Hon. MEMBERS: "NO, no."] A Bill has already been introduced by Lord Lansdowne which would have that effect, but it is very useful and very convenient at this stage for us to get placed on record, and there is nothing to be ashamed of in expressing an opinion clearly, that it is the settled policy 993 of the Opposition to repeal the Parliament Bill. Whether that will expedite their return to power or not is a matter which only the future can tell. The Noble Lord's Motion, although it has given me the opportunity of making this speech, has another use to which I think it might be put in the interests of the general convenience, of the House, and that is that this Motion which raises the whole question of the Lords Amendments, which after all is the matter we have come here this afternoon to discuss, does afford a convenient opportunity for the Government to state generally what course they propose to take in regard to these different Amendments.
I think that a statement should be made briefly in relation to the whole group of Amendments in order that the House may not begin the discussion without knowing the view we take generally of all the Amendments on the Paper. The first Amendment which the House has to consider raises the question of the substitution of a Joint Committee which is to be composed as is set out in the Lords Amendment, and which has to decide several important functions. This Committee is to be composed of the Lord Chancellor, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords, the Chairman of Ways and Means of the House of Commons, a Lord of Appeal to be chosen by and from the Lords of Appeal in ordinary and other Peers of Parliament holding or who have held high judicial office, and a Member of the House of Commons to be appointed by the Speaker. This Committee is to decide first of all what is or is not a Money Bill; and secondly, it is to decide the special subjects relegated to it under Sub-section 3, or what is called the Lansdowne Amendment. These matters are so described in the Lansdowne Amendment:—The Committee is to settle whether a Bill is or is not a Money Bill, whether it is a Bill which, in their opinion, raises an issue of great gravity upon which the judgment of the country has not been sufficiently ascertained.I do not think I need say much or occupy the time of the House further than saying that we regard that proposal as altogether fantastic. It is perfectly impossible that matters of supreme issue in the country, and which are great subjects of conflict between the political parties, are to be decided upon by a fancy tribunal of six or seven superior men. No nation 994 would ever willingly entrust the decision of its policy to such hands. In any case the matters on which they would decide are not those which are susceptible in their very nature, of being the subjects of judicial decision. How are you to decide judicially, and on what judicial grounds can you come to a conclusion that the matter is or is not one of great gravity, or one upon which the judgment of the country has not been ascertained? How that could be done has never been pointed out. Those are obviously matters of opinion, and highly controversial opinion, and we regard it as utterly impossible that such matters could ever be adjudicated upon by such a tribunal, or, if they were submitted to be adjudicated upon by such a tribunal, that the tribunal would have any means of coming to a decision of any value at all for the purposes of the discussion.
As for the first part of the duties of this new tribunal, that the tribunal shall be the judge of what is or is not a Money Bill, the position of the Government again is perfectly clear. The House of Commons had always claimed to be the judge, through its Speaker, of what are its privileges, and there is no privilege which the House of Commons values more than the sole control of all matters relating to finance; and we are not likely at this time of day to abandon that most necessary and essential privilege, or to add to the House of Lords at this present time powers which in all the centuries they have never successfully asserted. I may add, as a comment upon the technical preparation of the Amendment, that it is quite evident to anyone who studies the text of the Amended Bill that the tribunal to be set up to adjudicate on these matters was devised with an eye on Clause 2 of the Bill, and the House will in all probability recognise that it is in itself quite unsuited to decide the much simpler matters which come within the scope of Clause 1. We shall, therefore, ask the House to reject the whole apparatus of the Joint Committee, and to restore the Speaker of the House of Commons to his ancient and natural place, not only in the Parliament Bill, but in the constitutional practice of this country—his ancient and natural place, not merely as the judge of the privileges of this House, but as their defender.
But the Government have given full consideration, as was their duty, to the speech delivered in the House of Lords by the only living Member of that body who has 995 filled the Chair of this House. I mean the speech of Lord Peel. We have felt it our duty to consider very gravely the observations which that most distinguished and famous Speaker of the House of Commons then thought it necessary and proper to make. He dwelt upon the need of associating with you, Sir, in your task of coming to a decision, some other persons of weight and responsibility. He dwelt on the need of consultation which a Speaker may feel in regard to what we all admit is an extra burden added to the already heavy duties which fall upon the Chair. We cannot in any circumstances admit any Member of the House of Lords to any share whatever in the decision as to the privileges of this House with regard to finance, nor could we in any way impair or divide the sole and plenary authority of the Speaker of this House to decide finally upon these matters. But we have come to the conclusion—the House will realise that I am only speaking in the regrettable absence of the Prime Minister, whose voice is strained by the speech which he had to deliver yesterday—that it may render the decision of the Chair more easy, it may lighten the burden and make the decision when taken more readily acceptable to the House at large and to the public out of doors, if it is known that there has been an opportunity for consultation between the Speaker and other responsible Members of Parliament, that a statutory opportunity has been provided whereby the Speaker shall consult with Members in responsible positions representing both sides of the House. Therefore the Government propose to move an Amendment to Clause 1. Of course we shall previously have restored the Speaker to his position and excised the provision for a Joint Committee. We shall then propose to move the following words:—
"Before giving his certificate the Speaker shall consult, if practicable"—
I will explain those words presently—
"the Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means"—
who is usually by long custom drawn from the supporters of the Government—
"and the Chairman of the Committee on Public Acounts"—
who by long Parliamentary tradition is drawn from the Members of the Opposition. The Amendment will read in this way:—
"Before giving his certificate the Speaker shall consult, if practicable, the 996 Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means and the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts."
The Government trust that this statutory opportunity of consulting with Members of authority will be an aid to you, Sir, in your duties—an aid which we do not think you require, but which your successors may find useful. The words "if practicable" are inserted because it is possible that one or the other of those Members might be ill or absent from the country at the time, and it is felt that this amount of elasticity must be provided.
The Joint Committee is the foundation upon which what is called the Cromer Amendment is based, and also that upon which the Lansdowne Amendment rests. The Joint Committee being rejected root and branch, as we shall ask the House to reject it, the Cromer Amendment falls ipso facto to the ground, and the Lansdowne Amendment, we think, does not require any additional weight to pull it down. The natural force of gravity will bring about that inevitable conclusion. For what does the Lansdowne Amendment amount to? It amounts to the substitution of that very policy of the Referendum which was definitely rejected at the poll in December of last year. It amounts to the substitution of the rejected policy for the policy of the Parliament Bill which was specifically affirmed. [Several HON. MEMBERS: "No."] The House will doubtless take notice that some hon. Gentlemen opposite say "No." We do not expect to convince them; we do not expect that anything we may say will alter their opinion. Shortly stated, the Lansdowne Amendment means that any Liberal Bill to which the Conservative party object must first pass the House of Commons three times in a period of not less than two years; it must then run the gauntlet of the Committee so curiously and mysteriously composed — a Committee which, in our opinion, is sure always to be Conservative in tone, if not, indeed, with a permanent Conservative majority. Then, after it has been through all the Parliamentary processes, it is to be referred by that Committee, if the Committee think fit, to the decision of the electors by a Referendum under some system never yet defined or explained, either in the Amendment to the Bill or in any other proposals which have yet been brought before Parliament. Meanwhile, as an instance of the political equality that we are offered at this time of day by this concession which the House of Lords is re- 997 presented to have made, every Conservative Bill which passes by a bare majority would at once receive the Royal Assent. [Several Hon. MEMBERS: "NO."] Let me add that the introduction of the provision of the Referendum into this vital Amendment to the Bill, unaccompanied as it is by the slightest explanation of the manner in which the Referendum is to be effected, or even of the principle on which it is to proceed, is to all intents equivalent to a dilatory Motion. It is exactly the same, in fact, and in result as a Motion to read a Bill this day six or twelve months. It is, therefore, practically tantamount to the direct rejection of the Bill.
I have only two or three more points to deal with in regard to the Lansdowne Amendment. I have explained why it is we shall ask the House to reject it in toto. The Amendment deals, not merely with subjects of gravity or subjects which have not been sufficiently discussed, but with certain specific topics. All those topics have been debated over and over again in this House during the long Debates we have had this year and last year, because the same subjects were raised on both occasions and decided during the passage of this Bill, and in connection with the Resolutions on which the Bill is founded. We are now asked to introduce the principle of the Referendum on a method not yet defined in regard to any Bill affecting the existence of the Crown. We can only say in regard to that that the British Crown requires no propping by Referendum or by a Joint Committee of the curious character now proposed. It reposes on the almost universal and ever-deepening conviction of the great mass of all classes that the limited monarchy is the only sure means by which the liberty and prosperity of this country can be secured and maintained. Then we are asked to exempt the Protestant Succession. The Protestant Succession does not stand in any need of these Jacobin or Napoleonic devices of Referendum or Venetian plans of a special tribunal of superior persons. So far as the Crown and the Protestant Succession are concerned, such peculiar safeguards are wholly unnecessary, as everyone knows. But it would be a matter of great inconvenience if a Bill such as that which was passed by a very large measure of general consent last year to relieve the King from having to make the Royal Declaration in terms which were so offensive to many of his subjects—it would be a real misfortune if such a procedure could have been made to apply to that measure. It is very 998 probable that it would have prevented altogether that very necessary and desirable act of policy being consummated. Lastly, there is Sub-section (b) of the Amendment, which seeks to exclude from the scope of the Bill any measure establishing Home Rule in Ireland or in the United Kingdom. That also we have dealt with on numerous occasions in this House, both this Session and in previous years, and the Government ask for nothing better than to join issue in the most abrupt and direct manner with the Opposition upon that specific point.
I have stated to the House the course which the Government propose to adopt on what we must call the vital and controversial Amendments to the Bill. It may be shortly stated that we propose to reject them all. There are, however, several other Amendments which offer some opportunity, I do not say of minimising our differences with the Lords or with the Opposition, but of observing those relations of courtesy which ought to prevail between the two branches of the Legislature. We welcome that opportunity. We have never regarded this Bill as being incapable of Amendment in either House, so long as its main principles were unaffected. We are contending for great issues and for real facts. We do not desire to show any want of respect or to deny any serious consideration to the labours of the other House. It is our duty to do our best to co-operate with them. Let me take the least important of the remaining Amendments first. There is an Amendment which seeks to make it clear that Provisional Order Bills are not included in the term "Public Bill," and are wholly outside the ambit of this measure. That was the original intention of the Government. We propose to ask the House to agree to a new Clause which gives effect to that. In the second place the House will see that there is another new Clause which proposes to introduce new enacting words appropriate to the condition of affairs which will be established when the Parliament Bill is passed into law.
We have always felt that sooner or later the need would arise of making some alteration in the enacting words, and we have indicated that we thought that that had better apply in the future to all Bills. That was the argument which we adopted, and not to any special class of Bills. But it has been represented that meanwhile, before this new legislation, introducing new enacting words is passed through, occasions may arise when it would not be 999 appropriate to say that a Bill which has passed into law has passed "By and with the advice and consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal." We have no desire to take their name in vain. Therefore we propose to accept that Amendment, which introduces in the form set forth on the Paper, new enacting words.
I now come to the last of the Amendments—the one which seeks to prevent the machinery of the Parliament Bill being used to extend the duration of Parliament beyond five years, which is the new limit of life of Parliament which we introduced and which, as the House will remember, from the days when the late Sir Henry Campbell-Banuerman first put forward this plan, has always been an essential and inseparable part of our constitutional proposals. We have often adopted this, although the Government have never taken any very strong line in pressing it. We say frankly that we do not think that there is any real danger of Parliament seeking to extend its life. If there is a real danger, as we have often said, it is a danger which we have successfully passed through for many years, and when we lived under the Government of right hon. Gentlemen opposite. But. Sir, if at this last moment in our discussions the House of Lords seriously desires this reassurance we are not prepared to deny it to them.
Such, then, is the advice which the Government would respectfully tender to the House in regard to the Amendments which the House of Lords have made in the Parliament Bill. It is advice in which we trust our friends will discern no weakness, and our opponents no provocation. We must insist upon our position in all essentials, but we do not wish at the moment of prosperity to exult unduly over conscientious men from whom we differ, and whom by constitutional methods we have defeated. We do not pretend that our acceptance of some of these Amendments will in any way mitigate either the hostility of the Conservative party or the hostility of the House of Lords. On the principle of our measure the gulf remains unbridged. But we do net seek at all to proceed by efforts which will inflict any unnecessary humiliation upon our opponents. We do not seek their humiliation. We seek only our right! I think it right to make a statement at this stage to the House as I think it will facilitate the course of our Debate.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I am sure we are all very grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his kindness in not exulting over us in his moment of triumph. Yesterday and to-day I have occasionally taken the opportunity of scanning the faces of Gentlemen who sit on that Bench opposite, and I have seen no sign of exultation. I should advise the right hon. Gentleman, before he uses a phrase of that kind, to take to himself the phrase of the Prime Minister, and to "wait and see" what the final result will be. I rise for the purpose of supporting the Amendment which has been brought before the House. I do not intend, therefore, to take up any time with the details with which the right hon. Gentleman has just furnished us. I think that is all the less necessary because it was quite evident the right hon. Gentleman was not enough interested to get up his own case. All that he has done, all that it amounts to is that, after paying a high tribute to Lord Peel, he told us that the Government had brought forth the smallest mouse of concession which had ever been produced. I am now going to deal with the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman told us that he was not going to answer the speeches of the Noble Lord or of the right hon. Gentleman who sits beside him. But he did not entirely neglect in his speech the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Trinity College.
That right hon. Gentleman put to the-right hon. Gentleman opposite a plain and definite question. That: question was: "Did the Prime Minister at the time he dealt with his Sovereign put before him the Home Rule scheme which would be the result of the granting of the Prerogative?" What was the answer of the right hon. Gentleman? He turned up the OFFICIAL REPORT, and told us there was a Debate which conclusively proved that the Prime Minister put the whole case before the Sovereign. Then he dealt also next with the Noble Lord who sits below the Gangway. How did he deal with him? He said if disorder or riot or force arose, the Noble Lord was the last man to make complaint. Well, I thought that even in war we had got beyond the stage that brute force was the only element that counted? I venture to say, in spite of the admiration which I feel for the ability of the right hon. Gentleman, in spite also of the training as a great commander which he obtained in Sidney Street recently; in spite, I say, of these advantages, if it-comes to a struggle I will back my Nobler Friend against the right hon. Gentleman.
1001 I would like, if I may, to make an appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite. We all feel pretty strongly about this subject. It is said by some hon. Gentlemen opposite that our indignation is simulated—that it is not proved that it is very real. Well, in giving expression to the indignation which I feel I shall endeavour to use strong restraint. I should try, but hon. Gentlemen opposite must not be surprised if occasionally the language seems too strong for them. At all events I promise this: that I shall go not a hair's breadth for the sake of trying to get cheers from hon. Members behind me, although I like the cheers of those Members. I shall go a length beyond what I think is necessary to make the charge which we make against the Government, and which can quite properly be brought up in this discussion in the Amendment which I am now supporting.
The charge which we make against the Government is this—and it. is a charge which I shall try to make good in every point: It is that they have deliberately departed from their own proposals, the proposals which they laid before the country at the last election, and on which they won that election; proposals which included not merely the alteration of the relations between the two Houses, but the alteration of the composition of the Upper House. I say, in the first place, that they have deliberately abandoned those proposals, and by doing so have lost the claim that they have the support of the people of this country. Secondly, I say that the Government have carried out, or are carrying out—I think as a matter of fact it is already carried out—the destruction of the Constitution of this country by revolutionary means. I say that such means were quite unnecessary; that every object which they dared openly to avow could have been secured without any recourse to revolutionary methods. I say further, that the Government, or rather the Prime Minister—and in this respect he has a special responsibility which cannot be shared by any Cabinet—has abused his privilege as confidential adviser to the Crown, and has used the Prerogative as a party weapon in the interests of party. I say, in addition, that they have done all this, not because they themselves thought it either just or necessary, but they have done it at the bidding of a small faction in this House, whose votes they now depend upon; whose Leader commanded them only a year ago to use revolutionary tactics—and they have obeyed the command—whose Leader also told us in this House 1002 that neither he nor his Friends cared, anything about British politics. Yet the Government have not only allowed these Gentlemen, who care nothing about British politics, to dominate British politics, but they have made themselves their tools in abolishing a Constitution which is nothing to them, but which ought to be much to the men who sit opposite. I shall try to make good these charges, and I shall do it as briefly as I can.
What about reform of the House of Lords? Hon. Gentlemen who sit on that bench at least will not pretend that the Preamble was put in only as a form in order to win votes. They must assert it was honestly meant to be carried out. The Prime Minister, indeed, in this House in an earlier Debate said that he regarded it as a debt of honour. When can that debt of honour be fulfilled? What would hon. Gentlemen opposite, what would the Prime Minister himself think of a man who admitted that an obligation was a debt of honour, but who said: "I am not going to pay it now; I am going to leave it to be paid by my heirs." That is exactly what they have done. It is in this Parliament, and in this Parliament alone, that that debt of honour can be carried out. Already in this House the speeches, not only of the Socialist and Labour Members, but scores of Members on his own side, have shown it is utterly impossible for him to fulfil that pledge. The Government have no right to carry out half of their policy if they cannot carry out the whole of it. They have no right to use the votes of men given to them because they did not apply to Single-Chamber Government in order to establish Single-Chamber Government in this country. The second point is this. I say that this revolution was not necessary in order to obtain everything which the Government dare openly avow. They could have got it without that. The Prime Minister yesterday challenged us to point out any alternative course which he could adopt. In making the challenge he himself made an assumption which, of course, does not exist. His assumption was that the Parliament Bill had received the support of the people of this country. Well, I accept that to a certain extent, but his assumption also implies that the assent of the people of this country had been received to the refusal of any modification in the Parliament Bill whatever, and that assumption we do not accept. But even for the sake of argument, if I take the right hon. Gentleman's own assumption I 1003 might point out to him that he had an alternative course, and it was an alternative course which must have occurred to him. It is very obvious. It was simply to consider for a short time not merely the interests of his party, but the interests of the nation and to risk the loss of the Irish vote. That was the alternative. It was not a great thing.
Hon. Gentlemen from Ireland will not, I am sure, feel any offence at my saying this—they have often said it themselves— that they put up their sword to auction for the highest bidder. But there was only one bidder—and a single bidder can always dictate the terms—and if the Prime Minister had had the courage to say to the Gentlemen who sit below the Gangway from Ireland, "We believe in Home Rule," I think he would say that now with much truth, "and we will do our best to carry Home Rule for you; we will make arrangements by which you will get Home Rule if the people of this country desire it, but we will not destroy the Constitution in order that you may get Home Rule in spite of the will of the people of this country." If he had said that what choice would Gentlemen below the Gangway have but to accept it? But he knows what would follow. There is not a man whom I am addressing now, not one, who does not recognise that if it had not been for Irish pressure this question would have been settled, and settled by agreement, and there would have been no revolution, and they have been asked over and over again even at this hour, "will you accept one single Amendment preventing Home Rule from being carried until the people of this country wish it carried? Will you accept that and get the crisis over?" They refuse because they are afraid of the Irish Members. That is the alternative, and it is an alternative which would have resulted in more cause of exultation to which the Home Secretary has alluded than the proceedings of which the Government are so proud now.
And the third charge which I wish to make against them is that the Government, or rather the Prime Minister—for he alone was responsible—has abused his privilege as adviser of the Crown in the interests of his party. The Home Secretary asked us to leave the relations between the Prime Minister and the Crown where it was left yesterday by the Prime Minister's speech. We have no intention of leaving it there, and the Government have no right to ask us to do so. It must be 1004 obvious to everyone they cannot use the Prerogative of the Crown as one of their ordinary party weapons and then turn to us and try to shelter themselves by saying, "leave it where it is." They cannot do that. They have got to play their cards in this matter upon the table. Some questions have already been asked, but have not yet been answered. The Prime Minister will have to answer them. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition put one yesterday. It was in effect this: "Did you," he said to the Prime Minister, "remember that you were not merely the Leader of a party, but the adviser of the Sovereign, and did you point out to him when you asked for these guarantees that they would not be required for eight months, and that it was impossible to foresee the exact form in which they would be required?" That, as a matter of fact, it would come to this, that these guarantees were to be given solely to enable Home Rule being carried without submission to the will of the people of this country. The Prime Minister did not answer that question specifically, he answered it in substance, and what was his answer? In this connection, by the way, I am bound to say this, though I am sorry to say it in the absence of the Prime Minister, I find it very difficult to understand the answer to the question given by the Prime Minister to my hon. Friend when that is contrasted with his subsequent statement. I ask any hon. Member upon the opposite side to compare his speech with his answer and he will find, though I may be mistaken, that while the answer was true in the letter, it was false in the spirit.
The answer deliberately left on our minds the impression that he had only asked for these powers from the King a few days ago, when as a matter of fact he extracted them eight months before, Now, I say, did the Prime Minister point out to the King exactly the nature of the contingency in which the use of this Prerogative might be required? He did nothing of the kind. His ultimatum to the King, which was accepted, is in writing, and what was it? Not that he would grant powers to pass the Parliament Bill, but that he would give powers; to carry out the policy of the Government, and once that pledge was given what happened. The King was no longer a free agent, the Prime Minister had bound him in advance hand and foot, and the Prime Minister and not the King must henceforth be the sole judge as to whether or not and under what conditions Peers 1005 should be created. I say there never was in the whole history of this or any other country an incident which I believe was so discreditable.
I come to another question also put and not answered. When the Prime Minister went to the King for these guarantees before the election did he point out to him as he was bound to do by his duty to his Sovereign as well as to his party, that the proposal he made was very unusual and extra-constitutional, not to say unconstitutional, but that the King had another constitutional alternative. Did he point out to him that he had the right, constitutionally, which no one will deny of trying to find out if there was any other Minister who before this change was made would give him any other advice. I say the Prime Minister was bound in honour to do that, and in my belief he was bound in honour to do more. He talked a great deal about the historical precedent of 1832, and he tried to be sarcastic with my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition as to his knowledge of history. He told us the Reform Bill for instance, in 1832 was only before the people at one election and how did he account for it? He said there was another election the year before but that was on the demise of the Crown.
An election was fought on the death of the King, and no other issue at all, but is there a man who ever read the elementary text books of history, who does not know that the leading issue in the election of 1830 was the question of Reform. The indication which the right hon. Gentleman gave us of his knowledge of history at least showed that he has studied the precedent of 1832. Well, what was it? Why, after the two elections, which were fought solely on this issue and that reform had been carried through the House of Commons by an overwhelming majority and had been amended in the Lords, the King did not agree to create Peers. He sent for the Leader of the Opposition, and he asked him if he was prepared to form a Government and give him different advice, and it was only after the Leader of the Opposition refused that the King consented to make Peers. I say the Prime Minister was bound to point out to the Sovereign that that was his constitutional duty. Why did he not do that? The question was put to the right hon. Gentleman specifically. Did he answer it?
§ Mr. PRINGLE rose. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order."]1006
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must ask the Hon. Member for North-West Lancashire not to interrupt. He will have an opportunity of speaking later on, and he must reserve what he has to say until the proper time.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
It was the Prime Minister's duty to take that course. The conditions, as was pointed out by my right hon. Friend before the election, made that duty far greater than in 1832 because the Sovereign is in a much less independent position now and is more in a judical position. The right hon. Gentleman did not answer the question categorically, but he answered it in his speech because he said no alternative Government was possible. He was the judge, and what was the ground upon which he said no alternative Government was possible? He said that the Leader of the Opposition could not have passed Supply. As a matter of fact, I think that was not true because, I think, the Supplies for the year had been passed. But if it was true what a sidelight that gives us upon the scheming of hon. Gentlemen opposite. We understand now why the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought in Supply only for a month. We see now what that meant. The Prime Minister was prepared to prevent the King from exercising his legitimate Prerogative by the use of every chicanery of which it was possible for him to avail himself. What was the other excuse given by the Prime Minister? He said it would have brought the name of the King into the controversy. He was jealous for the honour of his Sovereign, and he was afraid that his name might be brought into the controversy. How could it be brought into the controversy? There is no hon. Member sitting on the bench opposite who dare deny that the King had the constitutional right to take the course I suggested and send for the Leader of the Opposition. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why did he not do it?"] Because the Prime Minister did not advise him to do it.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Why should he be attacked for exercising that right? [An HON. MEMBER: "He is not being attacked."] The Prime Minister said he would have been attacked. There is nothing to my mind which shows more the baseness—that is the word that was in my mind, but perhaps it is too strong a word— 1007 there is nothing more than that which shows the undesirableness of the course pursued by the Prime Minister. He knew and he was right that we who sit on this side of the House would not, under any circumstances, attack the King. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh."] He preyed upon that knowledge, and deliberately refrained from giving the King the advice which he ought to have given to him because some of the Gentlemen below the Gangway might attack the King.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD
May I ask if the right hon. Gentleman means that we should have done that more than he is doing himself at the present moment?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
That is a question which is easily answered. I have from first to last deliberately said that I am attacking the Prime Minister for the advice he has given. It is the Prime Minister alone who is responsible. That is the case. There was no alternative Government because it would bring the King's name in. Surely we might begin to be a little more sincere in this House. [An HON. MEMBER. "And not so insulting."] Why did the Prime Minister not give that advice? Everybody knows that if it had been given an alternative Government would have been formed. They know also that if that change of Government took place it would have attracted the attention of the country to the fact that a revolution was going on, and the Government knew that would have diminished their chance of winning the election. That was the sole reason why they refrained from giving the advice which they ought to have given. I made another statement which I also desire to make good. I said that all this was done at the bidding of hon. Gentlemen who sit below the Gangway. I can assure the House that I am not going to repeat the arguments which have been put much more strongly by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Trinity College, Dublin (Sir E. Carson) than I can hope to put them. I will, however, point out that, to my mind, there is nothing in our political life which is more extraordinary than that the Government should come now and tell us that Home Rule was an issue at the last election. On what ground do they base that statement? One argument has been used which is so contemptible that I would not have referred to it but for the fact that it has been used by the Prime Minister. It was that we had made admissions in our 1008 speeches. I tried to make it an issue over and over again, at least a dozen times in Manchester, and I was met by cries: "That is not the issue; that is a bogey." We did try to make it the issue, but we failed, and it is because we failed that right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Gentlemen opposite are now sitting on that Bench. The Home Secretary last night, in an amusing impromptu which, for greater accuracy, he had committed to writing, referred to the courage of my right hon. Friends the Member for Dover (Mr. Wyndham), and the Member for the Walton Division of Liverpool (Mr. F. E. Smith). The Home Secretary gave us a great proof of his courage last night, for he said: "We are going to pass Home Rule, whatever happens." Why did he not say that in his election address? It would have shown a little courage if the right hon. Gentleman had made that declaration at Manchester, but he did not do so.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Yes, and the right hon. Gentleman carefully chose to leave it out of his address, and if he had not taken that course it, would certainly have shown more courage. After all, what are the facts? Home Rule was not mentioned either in the election address of the Home Secretary or the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister gave his excuse for this in a previous Debate, for he said: "My address was entirely on the question of the House of Lords, and that was the sole reason." That is exactly our case. I have looked up the Prime Minister's election address, and I find there a sentence which did not refer to the House of Lords, and it was this in substance:" I have so recently put all my views on the different subjects of the day before the country at the previous election that I am not going to repeat them now."
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
That was in the Prime Minister's address, because I turned it up, and the right hon. Gentleman will find that my statement is accurate. In the previous election in the year 1910 the Prime Minister did remember this question, and mentioned almost every political controversy, except Home Rule. He forgot all about that. As has already been pointed out by my right hon. Friend the Member for Trinity College, Dublin, the 1009 one man in the Government whom everybody thought would have put Home Rule in his election address was the Irish Secretary, but he did not do it, he also forgot it. But although the Chief Secretary forgot it in his election address he did not forget it in his speeches at Bristol, because he said just before the election——
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will take the opportunity of contradicting it again if he has any comment to make on my statement. The right hon. Gentleman said:—Home Rule was one of the questions that ought to be left to the judgment of the people. That was only the beginning. If some of those present thought the Liberals could smuggle a Home Rule Bill through the House of Commons during the following three years, all that he could say was that their ignorance was astounding.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I suppose the right hon. Gentleman means by his cheers that we are not going to smuggle it through, but that we are going to discuss it. But what was the charge we were making. It was that you were going by the arbitrary force of your majority to force Home Rule through, and it was to meet that charge that the right hon. Gentleman used those words. It is not so much what the right hon. Gentleman says now that his words meant as what the people who heard them thought they meant. If you want a contrast I can imagine none greater or more striking than the speech of the Chief Secretary before the election with the speech delivered by the same right hon. Gentleman in Manchester after the election. What does the right hon. Gentleman do. He goes to Manchester, and he says, "Home Rule is the one thing that lies nearest to my heart. My heart is beating for Home Rule."
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Well, it sounds rather ridiculous as the right hon. Gentleman has quoted it. I hope it did not sound so ridiculous when it was delivered.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I know I cannot rival the right hon. Gentleman in the force of language, but I have given the substance of what he said. After the election, 1010 he professed his ardent love for Home Rule, but he did not dare to say a word in its favour while the Parliament Bill was before the country.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The right hon. Gentleman is perfectly in error. Everybody in North Bristol knows that I am, and always have been, an ardent Home Ruler, and again and again I have argued the case at full length before my constituents. [Hon. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."]
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
I am not dealing with the question whether the right hon. Gentleman has over and over again stated that he is in favour of Home Rule. I am dealing with the sole question whether he pointed out to the electors that Home Rule was an issue at the last election. There is only one other remark I would like to make before I sit down. Considering that I have made some very strong statements, I am obliged to hon. Gentlemen opposite for their courtesy in listening to me. The right hon. Gentleman was very indignant with my Noble Friend and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Trinity College, Dublin, for threatening resistance. I should like to say a word or two about that question. I say quite seriously, and I am in earnest when I say it that the Government are deliberately destroying not only the Constitution but also representative Government. On what basis does representative Government rest? It is a convention everybody will admit that as a last resort every Government rests on force. Representative Government, which has grown up in all democratic countries, is based on the convention that the majority for the time being represents the balance of the forces in any given country. It is part of that convention if it is to continue that the majority should not ride rough-shod over the minority, and it is for that reason that in every democratic country except this it is supposed that a Second Chamber is necessary in order to preserve representative Government. I do not think I am disloyal, and I do not want to be shot. I do not want to be shot, but I say this with absolute deliberation, if the people of this country decide that they will make the experiment of Home Rule then—and here again I must part company with some of my hon. Friends in this House, and I must certainly part company with some of those who supported me in the constituency I represent— I should say I believe in representative government, and, however much you dislike it, 1011 you cannot compel the United Kingdom to keep up the present arrangement against their will, and I should say to the loyalists of Ireland, "You have got to submit." On the other hand, I say equally deliberately if this or any other Government try to force through a measure on which there is good reason to believe the people of this country are not agreed, and to which those of us who abhor the Bill believe the people of this country are opposed, I would never, if I were one of those Irish loyalists, consent to have such a system forced upon me as part of a corrupt Parliamentary bargain. I believe if this or any other Government attempts it they will find they have broken up the foundations of society in this country, and they will not carry their Bill.
§ Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN
In the white heat of party passion which has prevailed during the early part of the evening, and which affected even the powerful and restrained speech to which we have just been listening, I cannot expect that the few observations which I feel it my duty to make will prove altogether satisfying to men in any quarter of the House who are party men first of all. Possibly for that very reason the observations may not altogether be thrown away in the times for calmer reflection which will come hereafter. My friends and myself have supported the Parliament Bill on every critical Division, and we shall, of course, do so till the end, but we do not support it because we believe it to be the best method of reconciling England to Home Rule. We support it because our paramount business in this House is to endeavour to win Home Rule for Ireland from either English party so long as the incomparably greater blessing of winning it by the consent of both parties combined is denied to us. We supported the Parliament Bill because I think, in the Debate on the Address, we had from the Prime Minister a public pledge that the introduction of the Home Rule Bill would be the first business of the Government once this Bill is passed, and we supported it also out of respect for the majority of our own countrymen, who allowed themselves to be captured by the assurance that the moment this Bill was passed into law the last obstacle had disappeared to carrying a great measure of Home Rule for Ireland into law within the lifetime of the present Government.
Some of us did not share that illusion, and do not share it now. We had our re- 1012 serves, not at all, I am bound to say, as to the sincerity of the Prime Minister's promise so far as it went, and most decidedly not at all as to the good faith of the mass of the Liberal party, but we had our doubts and we have our doubts and our reserves as to the all but insuperable difficulties from the Parliamentary point of view of devoting three Sessions in the dwindling span of activity of the present Parliament to forcing a Bill likely to arouse so much passion into law without another appeal to the country at another General Election. I am bound to say, in my humble judgment, those difficulties have not been greatly diminished, as no doubt they were meant to be, by the very comforting assurance given last night by the Home Secretary in the fine speech which he delivered. The Home Secretary last night challenged anybody to name for him any way out of this deadlock except the action which the Government is now taking. We had to-day two ways pointed out, one by the Noble Lord below me (Lord Hugh Cecil) and one by the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken (Mr. Bonar Law), with both of which, of course, I am in entire disagreement. Speaking very humbly, my Friends and myself believed from the beginning, and believe with still more firmness now, that not only the Home Rule problem but this whole constitutional cleavage between the two estates of the realm—if I should not say between the three estates of the realm— might be remedied by other methods, less belligerent methods than the revolutionary or reactionary threatenings with which the air is now filled in this House.
Possibly I may be forgiven if I recall to the House that in the early days of the Session I respectfully pointed out to the hon. Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) that the influence of his seventy votes might be wisely exercised, not in exacerbating the quarrel between the two Houses or between the two British parties, but in endeavouring to bring them to an agreement which would solve the constitutional crisis, and thereby earn for Ireland and for him the everlasting gratitude of moderate men of every party in this country, and at the same time a Home Rule settlement that would save Ireland from certainly half a generation of uncertainty and anxiety that, entirely apart from those rather, if I may be excused for saying so, absurd threats of actual physical violence we have heard uttered in; this House to-night, must attend any Irish Parliament that started without a certain 1013 large degree of good will and of appeasement on the part of reasonable men among the Protestant minority in Ireland and among their sympathisers here in Great Britain. I made that suggestion, and I promised that my Friends and myself would most cordially and most heartily support him in securing the credit of that great achievement for Ireland. I dare say it is very easy to scoff in exultation on the one side or anger on the other side at proposals of that kind, as the Home Secretary scoffed at them last night as ideal, but I have my doubts whether, apart from the passions of this moment, there are many men on either side of this House who in their confidential moods would deny that eighty votes exercised, not for any mercenary purpose, but with a high purpose of that kind, would have been effectual in sparing us all the long years of trouble and revolution and reaction which are now before us. To-night the Noble Lord the Member for Oxford University told us, and indeed we all knew it, that with the one exception of the Irish reservation the House of Lords would swallow the Parliament Bill as it stands. We know, but for that one single exception, it would be susceptible of agreement in the course of an hour's negotiation.
I know what the difficulties now are. I know too well. I have no doubt the Unionist party have been driven, most foolishly and stupidly, to reconsider their attitude towards Ireland of twelve months' ago, when "The Times" newspaper itself declared that Home Rule was now an open question. Heretical as it may seem, I regard that attitude of "The Times" newspaper of twelve months ago as a more happy omen for Home Rule than even the passing of this Parliament Bill. Moreover, I say, great as the difficulties now are, I want no better proof that a settlement—even on the question of Home Rule—is not beyond the resources of statesmanship on both sides of the House than the fact—it is only one of many facts to the same purport—that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Strand Division (Mr. Long), who is, I think everybody will admit, perhaps the most typical and respected English opponent of Home Rule among the chief men in this House, within the last few weeks expressed his belief that the Home Rule difficulty was one to be approached by the methods of a Peace Conference on the South African model. I do not want for one monent to read into the right hon. Gentleman's words anything whatever that would be unworthy of his 1014 record as a staunch champion of the Protestant minority in Ireland. I do say it is in that direction and it is not in the implacable spirit which appears to be now settled upon this House lies the true solution of almost every difficulty that at the present moment distracts the two Houses and the two English parties.
A different course was followed. My counsel was rejected with every species of insult. Instead of playing the part of a great peacemaker which was open to him, the Member for Waterford contented himself with sitting silent, receiving the rather ill-omened adulation of the Leader of the Opposition as "the hero of the situation," of the hon. and learned Member for the Walton Division (Mr. F. E. Smith) as "the master of the Prime Minister," and to-day of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, the Member for the University of Dublin (Sir E. Carson) as "the English dictator," and with falling back upon what is called the old methods of making the Liberal Prime Minister toe the line and of wringing Home Rule from the necessities of the English parties. I make no disguise about it. Time there was fifteen or twenty years ago—aye, even ten years ago in the Asquith-Rosebery days—when the-hon. Member for Waterford was quite rightly carrying on his campaign. That policy then and now was to my mind a wise policy and a necessary policy in order to force either English party in this House of Commons to give us Home Rule. We had to fight both in turns, but now when circumstances are wholly and completely altered between the two Houses that policy in my humble judgment is the surest means of repelling, and of arousing the unreasonable prejudices, of the English people and of furnishing the opponents of Home Rule with what is really their last argument.
Ireland, not altogether to her advantage, has throughout this crisis undoubtedly had a more decisive power than ever she had before or than possibly she will ever have again. I am afraid that power has been exercised in a way that, whatever its effect may be upon the Liberal party, leaves the cause of Ireland in a more dubious position at this stage of the struggle than it was before. Well, we shall see; the next year or two will tell. We are asked in the meantime to shut our eyes and to darken our understandings and to put our trust in the Member for Waterford. I do not wish to say a word of unnecessary heat but I am bound to say that we will not 1015 shut our eyes until, at all events, we have read the Home Rule Bill, as to which it is now confessed the Member for Water-ford knows as little as any other Member in this House, although we were informed several months ago that Bill had been submitted to the Irish leaders and had been approved by them. As a matter of fact, the present situation in Ireland is this: She is paying a heavy pecuniary penalty. The farmers are losing at least a million and a half a year by the destruction of land purchase. The official records published only the other day by the Chancellor of the Exchequer prove that within the last year over two millions sterling additional burdens were placed on Ireland, and I am sorry that Ireland has already paid the most crushing penalties for the Liberal alliance, while its advantages up to the present are in the world of dreams, and so much in the clouds that the Prime Minister and the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) scarcely ever refer to one another in this House except to disown any negotiations for Ireland as if there were something disreputable about the fact. I never knew Gladstone disown his negotiations with Parnell, and I never knew that either Gladstone or Parnell had any reason to be ashamed of them.
I am sorry to have to speak at so much length, but this I will say, in connection with the struggle into which so many men in this House are entering in such light spirits and with so light a heart that my Friends and myself undoubtedly enter on it with the deepest reluctance, and we do not acknowledge any responsibility of our own. I think no doubt that this Bill is practically in course of law. I do not care in what particular way it will work out, but I see nothing whatever, in the prospect put before Ireland to-day, except the certainty of years of bitter and uncertain party warfare. I have no right to make any appeal, but I have the right to say this. My Friends and myself in the past eight years have suffered something from abuse for our fidelity—and that is our only crime—to the magnificent peace programme of 1903, which will stand to the everlasting credit of Ireland and to which the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford was as deeply committed as we are. I think that gives me some right to say that I trust the Unionist Party will not allow themselves to be coerced into playing an unworthy part against Ireland in the conflicts which certainly, through no 1016 fault of ours, will again and for many a day take place. One cannot shut one's eyes to the fact that the acceptance of Home Rule on the principle of self-government ought to have been easily secured six months ago, but most reasonable men both in England and among the Protestant minority of Ireland now fear it will be complicated by a fresh crop of misunderstandings, and may be altogether wrecked if the position of the Liberal Government should be seriously shaken by some unforeseen accident, by some great slump in English trade, by some great English war, or by the inevitable swing of the English pendulum.
I am not content to stake the future of Ireland on the chance how ninety or ninety-five people may vote on one side or the other at Bethnal Green. I shall be most glad to make a public apology in this House if time should prove me to be in the wrong. Any great measure of national self-government will receive ungrudging support from us whatever party may have the credit of carrying it through. I believe opinions have advanoed very far now, and no outburst of feeling, no matter how extreme on the part of any party, whether English or Irish, can prevent the growth of good feeling between the two countries or can prevent the ultimate satisfaction of the demand for self-government.
I will only say, in a moment like the present—when this country has taken the lead in the peace propaganda and in peace conferences, when it is joining in arbitration treaties with America and Japan and, in fact, all round except Ireland—it does seem a little lamentable that the Government of a country which has grown great by good sense and by reasonable compromise should shrink from uttering one word of peace in a crisis like this.
I hold the differences, either as to the House of Lords or as to Ireland, are largely reconcilable. My Friends around me are a very small minority of the representatives of Ireland and they have been exposed to many outrages and insults. But they are men who are not to be deflected from their course, no matter what the cost may be, for they know that they possess the unflinching confidence of at least half a million of the bravest and the most self-sacrificing members of the Irish race. We do not intend to be intimidated from going on in the belief that, whatever may happen to ourselves, the principles which we are contending for are the only principles that will bring genuine peace between the two countries, and, in spite of the anger of 1017 the moment, we believe that at least a million, of our Protestant fellow-countrymen can be induced to become willing partners in the Irish nation, and we would welcome them to take their part and exercise their influence in the future of their own country.
§ 7.0 P.M.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
It would be presumptions for a young Member to follow the hon. Gentleman. The appeal which he has made is not addressed to those upon these benches, but to Gentlemen who sit in other quarters of the House, and it seems hardly proper and fitting that on a day such as this any attempt should be made to seek conciliation in regard to this question of Irish Home Rule. I am indeed surprised that the hon. Member, after hearing the speeches of the Noble Lord (Lord Hugh Cecil) and the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Carson), should have thought it necessary to make an appeal for a pacific solution in regard to Ireland. He might surely have seen that the voice which today preaches peace in relation to Irish Home Rule is indeed a voice crying in the wilderness. I should like to bring back the attention of the House to the considerations which were being dealt with by hon. Gentlemen opposite. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bonar Law) made a very able, a very acute, and a very ingenious debating speech. Among other things he showed, as he has frequently done, his con-tempt for the Irish vote. Apparently, to judge from his treatment of Irish votes, both in this House and in the country, the value of Irish votes is considerably less than the value of a vote in any other part of the United Kingdom, but I would remind him of the fact that he has evidently forgotten that had it not been for the Irish vote in the General Election of 1900 he would never have been Member for the Blackfriars Division of Glasgow, and would probably have never had an opportunity of distinguishing himself as he has done in this House. But this Debate has revealed a very extraordinary situation in the ranks of the Unionist party. It has surely brought that party to the sorriest pass to which ever any great party in this country has been reduced. We have had the Unionist party in this House yesterday and to-day attacking the Crown, for after all it was an attack on the Crown, however disguised it might be. We have had them attacking the intelligence of the country, we have had them justifying disorder in this House, 1018 and we have had them inciting to armed revolt in the North of Ireland. Such is the condition to which this party has been reduced. It is said that an Englishman never knows when he is beaten. We always thought that it was the part of an, Englishman to know how to take a beating, but it is obvious that hon. Gentlemen opposite have forgotten, if indeed they ever learnt, that part.
We are told, for example, by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bonar Law) that the Prime Minister has not made a full and frank disclosure of all his negotiations, with the Crown and of all the advice which he tendered to the Crown. What forsooth does he suggest were the material and relevant facts which the Prime Minister should have put before the King and which he alleged had not been put before the King? He suggests, for example, that it was never put before His Majesty that under the Parliament Bill the Government would seek to pass Home Rule in this Parliament. This is a matter of common knowledge. It has been a matter of common knowledge, not only in this Parliament, but in the last Parliament. In Debate after Debate in this House during the spring of last year, I think on 14th April of last year, this very question was debated, and it was clearly admitted and acknowledged by the Government that if the Parliament Bill were passed the powers of that Bill would be used for the purpose of passing Home Rule for Ireland. I believe the then Prince of Wales was sitting over the clock and heard the whole discussion. To suggest that His Majesty is not now aware of these considerations is nothing more nor less than a direct insult to the intelligence of His Majesty.
Then we are asked, did the Prime Minister advise His Majesty to send for the Leader of the Opposition and ask for his advice? When was it the part of any responsible Minister in this country to advise the Crown to send for advice to the Opposition? The duty of the Prime Minister is to tender advice to the Crown. That is the constitutional duty. If the advice is not accepted it is the duty of the Prime Minister, under these circumstances, to resign his office. Then, of course, if the Crown is able to have other advice and if the Leader of the Opposition then believes that he has the majority of the country behind him, he will take the responsibility of offering other advice to the Crown. That is the constitutional position. It was the constitutional posi- 1019 tion in the time of Lord Grey. He did not advise King William IV. to send for the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel, so as to advise him of the circumstances in connection with the Lords' Amendments on the Reform Bill. He tendered definite advice to His Majesty for the creation of Peers for the purpose of overbearing the opposition of the House of Lords. That advice was rejected by His Majesty. In these circumstances Earl Grey resigned office and gave the Opposition of that time the opportunity of assuming responsibility for the Government of the country, a responsibility which the Opposition then was not able to undertake and which they would not have been able to undertake last year if they had had the opportunity. I think I have said enough to show that the Vote of Censure yesterday, and this discussion to-day are really an attack upon the Crown, but they are further an attack upon the intelligence of the electors. The whole case of the Opposition is that the country had not sufficient intelligence to understand that the Parliament Bill would be used for the purpose of passing Home Rule.
The Prime Minister, before the General Election, on 19th January, in his famous speech in the Albert Hall, said clearly and categorically that the Parliament Bill was intended for that very purpose. It has been reiterated again and again through the last Parliament, and it was said constantly in the course of the whole of the last General Election. We all remember the incident in relation to the Referendum connected with the right hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Balfour) Albert Hall speech. We remember how he then decided to take Tariff Reform out of the last General Election, as it were, so that it might not embarrass the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bonar Law) when he was fighting the North-West Division of Manchester, and we remember that he made a sporting offer to the Prime Minister then, and asked him if he, in return for this, would allow Home Rule to be submitted to a Referendum. There was no ambiguity about the Prime Minister's answer to that offer. It was perfectly clear that under no consideration would he agree to having a Referendum on Home Rule. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] Because he was taking the opinion of the country on it at the General Election by the only constitutional method hitherto known in this country, but, strange to say, 1020 the only constitutional method which has now become disagreeable to the constitutional party in this country.
The issue at the last General Election— the Parliament Bill as a means of regulating the relations of the two Houses—was before the country, and all that the Parliament Bill involved, particularly in regard to Home Rule, and with the result, after that appeal to the people, with the majority which now supports His Majesty's Government in regard to that policy, we hold that this Parliament has a moral authority to carry through a measure of Home Rule for Ireland, and all this talk about armed revolt in Ireland leaves us cold. We do not believe for a moment that the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Carson) is going to desert his lucrative practice at the English Bar in order to engage in military operations in the North of Ireland. Certainly, if he did we are sure of this: that the military results would not compensate for the pecuniary sacrifice. All these things leave us cold. We believe that the people of the North of Ireland, many of them of Scotch extraction, will at least show that they retain a certain amount of that shrewdness which belonged to their Scottish ancestry and will determine to make the best of the condition of things which will result out of the establishment of Home Rule. We are not terrified by any of these things. We believe that these attacks upon the Crown and upon the electors, and this talk of armed revolt are only evidence of one thing, the utter discredit into which the party opposite has fallen. It is a party which is bankrupt in leadership, bankrupt in ideas, and bankrupt in reputation. It has fallen into a condition of disrepute.
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd George)
I rise to make an appeal to the House to bring this discussion to an end, and to proceed to the consideration of the Amendments. The only question before the House at present is whether we shall proceed to consider the Lords Amendments. I think that has been discussed at very unusual length. I remember this Motion being made by Conservative as well as Liberal Ministers, and we have always discussed it for an hour or two; but I cannot recall any instance in which it has taken quite so long as on the present occasion. I think there is every evidence that the Debate has been exhausted, though I should like very much to have replied to the very powerful speech of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bonar 1021 Law), with reference to what fell from the hon. Member (Mr. William O'Brien) and the interesting appeal he made. I hope we shall be able to proceed now to the discussion of the Amendments. The speech of the hon. Member (Mr. Pringle) shows what unlimited possibilities there are in this Motion, if we proceed to discuss it.
I rise to express my regret at the appeal that has been made to us by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He must have noticed that a large number of Members were rising and were anxious to take part in the Debate. He apparently also forgets that we have suspended the Eleven
§ o'clock Rule, and that many of us have come out prepared to make a good night of it. Under the circumstances, I should suggest that we continue this discussion till after the dinner hour and then proceed to business. If the right hon. Gentleman will consent to that course——
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 335; Noes, 205.1025
|Division No. 309.]||AYES.||[7.15 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Crooks, William||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Crumley, Patrick||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)|
|Adamson, William||Cullinan, John||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Addison, Dr. C.||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Harwood, George|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Haslam, James (Derbyshire)|
|Alden, Percy||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Allen, Arthur Acland (Dumbartonshire)||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Dawes, James Arthur||Haworth, Sir Arthur A.|
|Armitage, Robert||De Forest, Baron||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Delany, William||Hayward, Evan|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Denman, Hon. Richard Donglas||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Devlin, Joseph||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Dewar, Sir J. A.||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Dillon, John||Henry, Sir Charles S.|
|Barnes, George N.||Donelan, Capt. A.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick)||Doris, W.||Higham, John Sharp|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Duffy, William J.||Hinds, John|
|Barton, William||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Hodge, John|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|Bentham, George Jackson||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Home, Charles Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Bethell, Sir John Henry||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Elverston, Sir Harold||Hudson, Walter|
|Black, Arthur W.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Boland, John Plus||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Essex, Richard Walter||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Sowerman, Charles W.||Esslemont, George Birnie||John, Edward Thomas|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Falconer, James||Johnson, William|
|Brace, William||Farrell, James Patrick||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Brigg, Sir John||Ferens, T. R.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Ffrench, Peter||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Field, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Fitzgibbon, John.||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Joyce, Michael|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Furness, Stephen W.||Keating, Matthew|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.)||Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Kelly, Edward|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Gibson, Sir James Puckering||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Cameron, Robert||Gill, Alfred Henry||Kilbride, Denis|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Glanville, H. J.||King, Joseph (Somerset, North)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lamb, Ernest Henry|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Goldstone, Frank||Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Lansbury, George|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Clough, William||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld., Cockerm'th)|
|Clynes, John R.||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Leach, Charles|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hackett, J.||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hall, Frederick (Normanton)||Logan, John William|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hancock, John George||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Colton, William Francis||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Harcourt, Robert V, (Montrose)||Lundon, Thomas|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||O'Malley, William||Smith, H. B. Lees (Northampton)|
|Macdonald, J. Famsay (Leicester)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||O'Shaughnessy, p. J.||Snowden, Philip|
|McGhee, Richard||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Stanley, Albert (Staffs., N.W.)|
|Maclean, Donald||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Summers, James Woolley|
|Macpherson, James Ian||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Sutherland, J. E.|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Sutton, John E.|
|M'Callum, John M.||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|M'Curdy, C. A.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|M'Laren, H. D. (Leices.)||Pointer, Joseph||Tennant, Harold John|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Pollard, Sir George H.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Manfield, Harry||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Power, Patrick Joseph||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Priestley, Sir w. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Verney, Sir Henry|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Pringle, William M. R.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Meagher, Michael||Radford, George Heynes||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Walters, John Tudor|
|Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Rainy, Adam Rolland||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Middlebrook, William||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Millar, James Duncan||Reddy, Michael||Wardle, George J.|
|Molloy, Michael||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Waring, Walter|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Rendall, Athelstan||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Money, L. G. Chiozza||Richards, Thomas||Webb, H.|
|Mooney, John J.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Morgan, George Hay||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Morrell, Philip||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Muldoon, John||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Whitley, Rt. Hon. J. H.|
|Munro, Robert||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Robinson, Sydney||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Murray, Capt. Hon. Arthur C.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Needham, Christopher T.||Roche, John (Galway, E.)||Williams, John (Glamorgan)|
|Neilson, Francis||Roe, Sir Thomas||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Rose, Sir Charles Day||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Rowlands, James||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil William||Rowntree, Arnold||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcstr'sh, N.)|
|Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wilson, W. T. (West Houghton)|
|Nuttall, Harry||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Scanlan, Thomas||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Sheehy, David|
|O'Dowd, John||Sherwell, Arthur James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Ogden, Fred||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Bridgeman, William Clive||Craik, Sir Henry|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Bull, Sir William James||Croft, Henry Page|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Burdett-Coutts, William||Dalrymple, Viscount|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Burn, Colonel C. R.||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Butcher, John George||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Dixon, Charles Harvey|
|Astor, Waldorf||Campion, W. R.||Doughty, Sir George|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Col. J.||Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Balcarres, Lord||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Cassel, Felix||Faber, George D. (Clapham)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Castlereagh, Viscount||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cator, John||Falle, Bertram Godfray|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Cautley, Henry Strother||Fell Arthur|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Cave, George||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford Univ.)||Finlay, Sir Robert|
|Barnston, Harry||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W,||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r)||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Chambers, James||Forster, Henry William|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Foster, Philip Staveley|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Gardner, Ernest|
|Bigland, Alfred||Clyde, James Avon||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton|
|Bird, Alfred||Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Gilmour, Captain John|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Goldman, C. S|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Courthope, George Loyd||Goldsmith, Frank|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid.)||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim S.)||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)|
|Boyton, James||Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lee, Arthur Hamilton||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Grant, J. A.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Greene, Walter Raymond||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Gretton, John||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Stanier, Beville|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Haddock, George Bahr||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Mackinder, Halford J.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||M'Mordie, Robert James||Stewart, Gershom|
|Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Magnus, Sir Philip||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Terrell, George (Wilts, N. W.)|
|Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Harris, Henry Percy||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Thomson, W. Mitchell (Down, N.)|
|Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Neville, Reginald J. N.||Thynne Lord Alexander|
|Hillier, Dr. Alfred Peter||Newman, John R. P.||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Hills, John Waller (Durham)||Newdegate, F. A.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Hill-Wood, Samuel||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Norton-Griffiths, J. (Wednesbury)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid.)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hope, Harry (Bute)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Walrond, Hon Lionel|
|Horner, Andrew Long||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Parkes, Ebenezer||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||Wheler, Granville, C. H.|
|Hunt, Rowland||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)|
|Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. (Bath)||Peel, Hon. William R. W. (Taunton)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W)|
|Jardine, Ernest, (Somerset, E)||Peto, Basil Edward||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Jessel, Captain H. M.||Pollock, Ernest Murray||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Joynson-Hicks, William||Pretyman, Ernest George||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Kerry, Earl of||Quilter, William Eley C.||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Keswick, William||Rawson, Col. Richard H.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Kimber, Sir Henry||Remnant, James Farquharson||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Rolleston, Sir John||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Knight, Captain E. A.||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Lane-Fox, G. R.||Salter, Arthur Clavell||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Sanderson and Mr. Barrie.|
|Larmor, Sir J.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."1026
§ The House divided: Ayes, 348; Noes, 209.1029
|Division No. 310.]||AYES.||[7.30 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Brace, William||Crumley, Patrick|
|Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda)||Brady, P. J.||Cullinan, J.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Brigg, Sir John||Dalziel, Sir James H. (Kirkcaldy)|
|Adamson, William||Brocklehurst, W. B.||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Brunner, John F. L.||Davies, E. William (Eifion)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Bryce, J. Annan||Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Burke, E. Haviland-||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)|
|Allen, Percy||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Dawes, James Arthur|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||De Forest, Baron|
|Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Delany, William|
|Armitage, Robert||Byles, Sir William Pollard||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Cameron, Robert||Devlin, Joseph|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Dewar, Sir J. A.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Dillon, John|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood)||Donelan, Capt. A.|
|Barlow Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Chancellor, H. G.||Doris, W.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Chapple, Dr. W. A.||Duffy, William J.|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Barry, Redmond John (Tyrone, N.)||Clancy, John Joseph||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Barton, W.||Clough, William||Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Clynes, John R.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of|
|Bentham, G. J.||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Elverston, Sir Harold|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Cotton, William Francis||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Cowan, W. H.||Essex, Richard Walter|
|Boland, John Pius||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Crawshay Williams, Eliot||Falconer, J.|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Crean, Eugene||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Crooks, William||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Ferens, T. R.||Lewis, John Herbert||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Logan, John William||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Field, William||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Reddy, M.|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Lundon, Thomas||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lyell, Charles Henry||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Furness, Stephen||Lynch, A. A.||Richards, Thomas|
|Gelder, Sir W. A.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaves)|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Gibson, Sir James Puckering||McGhee, Richard||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Gilhooly, James||Maclean, Donald||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Gill, A. H.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Glanville, H. J.||MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Forde||Macpherson, James Ian||Robinson, Sydney|
|Goldstone, Frank||MacVeagh Jeremiah||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||M'Callum, John M.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||M'Kean, John||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Griffith, Ellis J||M'Laren, H. D. (Leices.)||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Rowlands, James|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Manfield, Harry||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Guiney, P.||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Hackett, J.||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Hail, F. (Yorks, Normanton)||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Hancock, John George||Masterman, C. F. G.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Meagher, Michael||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Hardie, Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.)||Sheehy, David|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Middlebrook, William||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Millar, James Duncan||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||Molloy, M.||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Harwood, George||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Snowden, Philip|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Mooney, J. J.||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Haworth, Sir Arthur A.||Morgan, George Hay||Summers, James Woolley|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Morrell, Philip||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Hayward, Evan||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Sutton, John E.|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Muldoon, John||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, East)||Munro, R.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Henry, Charles E. H.||Needham, Christopher T.||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor||Neilson, Francis||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Higham, John Sharp||Nolan, Joseph||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hinds, John||Norman, Sir Henry||Verney, Sir Henry|
|Hobhouse Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Hodge, John||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Holt, Richard Durning||Nuttall, Harry||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs, Ince)|
|Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Home, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||O'Brien, William (Cork, N.E.)||Walton, Sir Joseph|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Hudson, Walter||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Hughes' S. L.||O'Doherty, Philip||Wardie, George J.|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Donnell, Thomas||Waring, Walter|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||O'Dowd, John||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|John, Edward Thomas||Ogden, Fred||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Johnson, W.||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Webb, H.|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Malley, William||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Palmer, Godfrey||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)||Parker, James (Halifax)||Whitley, Rt. Hon. J. H.|
|Jowett, Frederick William||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Joyce, Michael||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Keating, Matthew||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Kelly, Edward||Pirie, Duncan V.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pointer, Joseph||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pollard, Sir George H.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|King, J. (Somerset, North)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Lamb, Ernest Henry||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Lambert, George (Devon, S. Molton)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Lansbury, George||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Pringle, William M. R.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Lawson Sir W. (Cumb'rld., Cockerm'th)||Radford, G. H.|
|Leach, Charles||Raffan, Peter Wilson||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fell, Arthur||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Mills, Hon. Chas. Thomas|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Finlay, Sir Robert||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major William||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Archer-Shee, Major M.||Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue||Newdegate, F A.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Newman, John R. P.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Forster, Henry William||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Astor, Waldorf||Foster, Philip Staveley||Norton-Griffiths, J.|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Gardner, Ernest||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Baker, Sir Randolph L. (Dorset, N.)||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gilmour, Captain John||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Goldman, C. S.||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, Lond.)||Goldsmith, Frank||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Peel, Capt. R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Grant, J. A.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barnston, Harry||Greene, W. R.||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Gretton, John||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Guinness, Hon. W. E.||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Quilter, William Ely C.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Haddock, George Bahr||Rawson, Colonel R. H.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Bird A.||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Boyton, James||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Harris, Henry Percy||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton)|
|Bull. Sir William James||Hillier, Dr. Alfred Peter||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hills, John Waller||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Burn, Col. C. R.||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Stanier, Beville|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Starkey, John R.|
|Campion, W. R.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Horner, Andrew Long||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Cassel, Felix||Houston, Robert Paterson||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cator, John||Hunt, Rowland||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hunter, Sir C. R. (Bath)||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Cave, George||Ingleby, Holcombe||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, N.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Thynne, Lord A.|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Joynson-Hicks, William||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Touche, George Alexander|
|Chambers, J.||Kerry, Earl of||Tryon, Capt, George Clement|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Keswick, William||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kimber, Sir Henry||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Walroad, Hon. Lionel|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Knight, Captain E. A.||Ward, Arnold S. (Herts, Watford)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Kyffin-Taylor, G.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Weigall, Capt. A. G.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Larmor, Sir J.||Wheler, Granville C. H.|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Louth)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lee, Arthur H.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claude|
|Croft, H. P.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Long, Rt. Hon Walter||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Dixon, C. H.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Doughty, Sir George||Mackinder, H. J.||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Duke, Henry Edward||M'Mordie, Robert James||Yerburgh, Robert|
|Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Magnus Sir Philip|
|Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount Valentia and Mr. Pike Pease.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Middlemore, John Throgmorton|
Question, "That, the Lords Amendments be now considered," put, and agreed to.