§ (1) The Irish Senate shall consist of forty senators nominated as respects the first senators by the Lord Lieutenant subject to any instructions given by His Majesty in respect of the nomination, and afterwards elected by the four provinces of Ireland as separate constituencies in the number stated in the Third Part of the First Schedule to this Act.
§ (2) The election of senators shall be according to the principle of proportional representation, the electors being the same electors as the electors of members returned by constituencies in Ireland to serve in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and each elector having one transferable vote.
§ His Majesty may by Order in Council frame regulations prescribing the method of voting at an election of a senator and of transferring and counting votes at such an election and the mode of appointment and duties of returning officers in connection therewith, and any such regulations shall have effect as if they were enacted in this Act.
§ (3) The term of office of every senator shall be five years, and shall not be affected by a dissolution; the senators, at the end of their term of office, shall retire all together, and their seats shall be filled by a new election.
§ (4) If the place of a senator becomes vacant before the expiration of his term of office, the Lord Lieutenant shall, unless the place becomes vacant not more than six months before the expiration of that term of office, cause a writ to be issued for electing a senator in the stead of the senator whose place is vacant, if that senator was an elected senator, and if he was a nominated senator nominate a senator in his place, but any senator so elected or nominated to fill a vacancy shall hold office only so long as the senator in whose stead he is elected or nominated would have held office.
§ Sir HILDRED CARLILE
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "of"["shall consist of forty"], to leave out the word "forty," and to insert instead thereof the words "one hundred."
1024 The object of the Amendment, I think, is fairly obvious. It has one object, and one object alone, the protection of the minority. Under Clause 11 of the Bill provision is made for a Joint Session of the Irish House of Commons, Dublin, and the Irish Senate; and the figures which are provided in the Bill constitute no kind of protection for the minority. Hence the Amendment which has been put upon the Paper. The provision of forty members for the Senate is altogether and entirely inadequate. That number constitutes no sufficient body in order to ensure that the views and the interests and welfare of the minority in Ireland may be duly and properly protected and secured. If the House will bear in mind these facts, then the number which we propose to substitute for forty, namely, one hundred, becomes entirely a reasonable one, at the same time equally showing that the number of forty becomes ridiculous and really constitutes a farce. We are justified in submitting that protection for the minority is necessary. Although I do not wish in the least to elaborate the argument in support of that, yet at the same time I think no reasonable man can well deny that under the conditions in which the minoriy in Ireland is asked to live, move, and have its being in connection with this Legislature, there can be no doubt that it is very necessary indeed. Under the provisions of the Bill it is possible that some thirty-nine Unionist Members might find their way into the' Irish House of Commons. On the other hand, the conditions under which they are to do their work there and the provisions of the Bill generally make it extremely unlikely that such a number will ever find their way into that House because of the initial difficulty which obtains in the minds of Unionists of Ireland that they do not desire to co-operate in forwarding the provisions of this measure. Then, not only does the question arise as to whether protection is necessary for the minority, but the question also arises as to whether it is intended. I think anyone reading the Bill as it now stands would come to the conclusion it was not intended, and that there was no real desire on the part of the Government and those connected with them to secure any protection at all for the minority, and that they are practically indifferent as to what happens to the Unionist minority in Ireland. Realising that, I think it is doubly important that this proposed modification should take place. Speaking in the Committee stage 1025 the other day, the Prime Minister made some reference, at any rate, to one other legislative body, in order to maintain his contention that the figure in the Bill of forty for the Senate was an adequate number. I think it was little realised at the time and it would hardly be thought likely that the right hon. Gentleman would "bolster up his case by selecting, of all the legislative bodies in the Empire, the one legislative body alone which presents the lowest percentage for the Senate in a supposed Joint Session.
I do not know whether the Prime Minister had them before him, but at any rate the percentages in the various Upper Houses in the case of supposed Joint Sessions were in the minds of Members of the House. I am perfectly well aware that a Joint Session is not provided in connection with the provincial Legislatures, but the numbers are not affected by that, and, that the Prime Minister should get up, and any statement he makes necessarily is looked upon by most parts of the House as a serious statement, and that he should quote Quebec of all provincial legislative bodies as a suitable one to support his case, is, I really do think, almost trifling with this House. He selected Quebec because the Upper House there has only 24 per cent. in a supposed Joint Session. I know the other figures were brought before the Committee, but I should like them to" be fresh in the minds of hon. Members and they run like this: Quebec, the very lowest of all, 24 per cent.; Nova Scotia, 35 per cent.; Queensland, 38; New South Wales, 29; Victoria, 34; South Australia, 31; Western Australia, 37; Tasmania, 37. And then in the Dominions: In Canada, when there is a Joint Session, 27 per cent.; Newfoundland, 29; in New Zealand there is an unlimited nomination for the Upper Chamber, so that no percentage can well be fixed. South Africa, the most recent, has 25 per cent., and in Australia, where there is a Joint Session as well as in South Africa, it is 32 per cent. In the Bill of 1886 there was a provision for 33 per cent., and in that of 1893 it was 31 per cent.; under our Amendment it will be 38 per cent., and in the Bill as it now stands it is 19½ per cent. I think it must be perfectly clear to the mind of any unbiassed person that the 19½ per cent. proposed in connection with this Bill is altogether inadequate, and that we are justified in asking for something more than at present obtains in those great Dominion Legislatures Oversea. We are justified in claiming that because of the character of the minority 1026 in Ireland, which is entirely diverse from the majority in that country. Such a minority so constituted, so homogeneous, and so different does not obtain in any of the Colonies or in any of the Dominions Overseas.
Then, again, on another ground we are justified in asking for it, and that is that since the Bill of 1893, when Mr. Gladstone proposed 31 per cent., as compared with 33 per cent. in his 1886 Bill, Ulster has made immense progress. The Unionist population of Ireland has gone ahead by leaps and bounds since 1893, and has had a progress industrially and in every other way which cannot meet with the parallel in any other part of Ireland. Therefore, when the Bills of 1886 and 1893 proposed a total of 30 per cent. for the Senate in a Joint Session, we are certainly justified in pressing on the Government that the figure of 19½ per cent. should be replaced with one which would constitute a percentage to which I now refer. I am sorry the Prime Minister is not here, but I do think he should not have selected Quebec as a guide and illustration for the House in settling the proportion with regard to the Senate. In all those provincial Legislatures the Upper House has the power in the case of disagreement to force a Dissolution. That is an additional power, which, of course, is not given under this Bill, but it is most essential that a suitable numerical proportion should be settled, and should be settled now. I pass on to another observation of the Prime Minister, which is indeed an astounding statement. The attendance, I think, at the time was rather small, but I really think to have made it in the presence of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway on this side was astounding. The Prime Minister stated seriously to the House that it was not possible to find more than forty men in Ireland suitable for the position. He actually went into the particulars of the qualifications required; he mentioned character and prestige and authority. I say that is a positive insult to Ireland, as I know it with the most superficial knowledge of it, and really almost amounts to a libellous statement on the character and efficiency of the people as most of us know them in Ireland. There is an abundance of men in Ireland—
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Sir H. CARLILE
I say there is an abundance of men in Ireland well qualified to take a seat in the Senate, and to 1027 say that the number cannot be increased because of the paucity of the supply of suitable men in Ireland is really to beg the question. That such a statement should have been made by the Prime Minister really condemns most of what he said upon the question. He must have been in a very tight corner to have made a statement of such an insulting character to those with whom he is accustomed to act, and under whose instructions he is so obedient. There are plenty of men in Ireland who have been trained for years now in connection with local government, and such men are well qualified to sit in a local Parliament of this kind. There is an abundance of men in or connected with Ireland who have been trained in Parliamentary politics, which doubtless would qualify them to act in this capacity. So that I think the Prime Minister destroyed his case or put it on a very low level when he brought forward that argument in support of the Bill as it stands. The right hon. Gentleman went on to refer to the introduction of the principle of proportional representation. We are all glad to see that proportional representation is to obtain in connection with the Senate in Dublin. We are all interested in that. But the Prime Minister said that the introduction of proportional representation—does not justify an increased Senate.That is the very thing it does justify. In fact, the introduction of proportional representation in connection with the Senate makes it absolutely necessary, if right is to be done, and the interests of the country safeguarded, that the number of the Senate should be increased. When the Bill was introduced it provided that one-fourth of the Senate should retire every two years. The reason for that is obvious. It was to secure continuity of policy in the Senate. It was in order that the Senate might do what it is intended to do, namely, act as a steadying power, in order that passing emotion, excitement, feeling, and thought should be controlled, and continuity of policy secured in connection with the Upper Chamber. All that was intended, I presume, by the Government. That is the object of all Upper Chambers. I know that the Prime Minister stated that the Senate was not intended to constitute an obstacle to legislation. I do not think it is likely that the Senate would bring about any such result. When the proportional representa- 1028 tion Amendment was accepted it was rendered impossible for the previous provision to be carried out, and it was decided that the whole of the Senate should retire at the same time. So that there is no security either for continuity of policy or that the Senate would be less subject than the House of Commons to the passing waves of feeling, sentiment, excitement, and opinion. Why the Prime Minister should say that the introduction of the principle of proportional representation does not justify an increase of the Senate I certainly cannot imagine. It clearly upsets a most important provision which constituted one of the safeguards for the minority which have been swept away in the course of the passage of the Bill. It is clearly necessary to make up for the removal of that safeguard by increasing the number of the Senate, so that with the principle of proportional representation it may still be possible to retain some of the Members of the House. That cannot be done if the number is only forty. The principle should be reinserted on Third Reading or in another place. By increasing the number as we suggest you could retain both principles, the principle of proportional representation and the principle of retaining a certain number of the Senate and in that way securing continuity of policy. If the Government do that they will take up a logical position and act in accordance with the dictates of common sense, honesty, and justice, so far as that is possible in connection with this Bill.
Another ground upon which I think we are justified in putting forward this Amendment is that the Irish House of Commons will have very exceptional powers. It is not to have powers such as are delegated to provincial Legislatures in other parts of the Empire. For instance, it is to have absolute power over finance. There is only one other Lower House that has that power, namely, the House of Commons, which only has it for the present during the existence of the present bastard Constitution. The Irish House of Commons is to have complete power over finance. Not only so, but it will undoubtedly have great power over economic questions. I think it is very-undesirable in connection with economic questions that in a country like Ireland, or indeed in any other country, there should be much dissension and ill-will created. There is another ground on which I press the Amendment. No doubt 1029 a small Senate is much more likely to be affected by wire-pulling. It is relatively easier to get at a small number of men and influence them for what is wrong or unjust than a larger number of men. If you can secure one just man you will be certain of the position. One will be enough. But it is too much to hope that you will get forty just men in one organisation such as this Senate all at once. But there is a chance of keeping the Senate right and relieving it from the outside pressure of the wire-puller if the numbers are increased.
Another reason why we insist on this proposal is that whatever plan is now decided upon is likely to form the principle upon which any other provincial or federal Legislature in connection with the United Kingdom would be set up. I should be out of order in discussing the real seriousness of any such proposal, or in referring to it more than in passing, but that consideration certainly ought to influence the Government if they really intend to place any such proposals before the country later on. They have said that they are going to institute federal Legislatures all over the country. If that is the case, it is doubly important that upon the first occasion when they deal with any portion of the United Kingdom reasonable principles should be adopted, and the Senate should be such as to have a chance of really possessing some say in the important matters likely to be debated in that Legislature. On these grounds I ask the Government to consider the Amendment. I do not suppose that my Friends on this side are definitely pledged to any particular figure. I dare say they would modify the figure to meet the Government. I believe, as a matter of fact, we did suggest a rather smaller number in Committee. We are not tied to the number one hundred, but we feel very strongly that the proportion should be somewhere about that which we have named. If, under the Bill of 1886, the proportion laid down was 33 per cent., and under the Bill of 1893 31 per cent., we think that something in the neighbourhood of 38 per cent. would be a suitable proportion on the present occasion. I beg to move.
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
Whatever else has or has not been discussed in the Committee stage everybody will agree that the Senate 1030 has received, I will not say an undue, but certainly a fair amount of discussion and consideration.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I do not suppose that anything would satisfy the hon. and learned Gentleman. This very point has been discussed, and it has at various times received its full meed of Parliamentary criticism. I cannot say that it has at any time excited any remarkable amount of enthusiasm on either side, and I do not know that on the Report stage it is likely to do so more than it did in Committee. The fact is that Senates and Second Chambers are not altogether popular bodies. They are always open to a good deal of criticism. On the one side they are said to interfere with the popular Chamber and the representation of the people; while on the other side they are said never to have sufficient power to make them useful to any Constitution. However, I still remain faithful to the doctrine of a Second Chamber. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh !"] I am entitled to my opinion. I have always been an advocate of a Second Chamber, for reasons which have been stated over and over again. I certainly think that this part of the Irish Constitution is a very valuable part, and need not either on one side or the other be rejected as unnecessary or useless. Quite otherwise. Of course, in order to appreciate the merits of the Senate of the size which it is proposed to set up in this Bill, you must visualise the scene. You must consider your Constitution to be in working order. The hon. Baronet, who has just sat down, at one of the moments of his speech, indeed at a good many, advocated a Second Chamber of the larger size on the ground that it would be a proper protection to the minority. In another part of his speech he intimated that he did not suppose the minority would avail themselves of this protection or would cooperate to work this Constitution. If they will not come in and accept nomination to the Senate, if they will not stand for election for the period of five years, why, then, it matters very little whether the numbers of the Senate be forty, eighty, or one hundred. We are bound to assume—I think the hon. Baronet showed that he was quite willing to assume—to visualise the scene, to imagine its Constitution in fair working order.
A Chamber of forty persons of repute and character, such as are very easily 1031 found in Ireland, persons of trained habits, of experience in local government, men accustomed to affairs, -whose judgment will carry weight with it—such a body separately constituted and forming the Senate of the House, having full opportunity of debate, of public report and of publicity, with certain legislative functions—would afford the very opportunity that is most needed in that country for forming and expressing public opinion. These men would have the opportunity of giving utterance to opinions which do not always, as things are at present, get full and fair opportunity of expression. Those opinions would be recorded; they would be read; they would be debated, discussed, and considered in Ireland with, I think, more readiness to give weight and effect to them if there was anything in them than in any other part of the United Kingdom. The notion that this Irish House, dealing with purely Irish affairs, Irish education, if you will, would always be unanimous is a mistake. I do not suppose you would ever find in Ireland, on a purely Irish question, a complete and overwhelming concord of opinion among all the representatives of the people, or of the senators in the Upper Chamber—so called. That these persons would all agree upon Irish questions, purely Irish questions, anybody who has any acquaintance with the administration of Irish affairs or who has had any opportunity of finding out what Irishmen think or think they think about different questions, will know will not be the case.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I never contended that it was. Surely the hon. Baronet does not think that I am reflecting upon the character of Irishmen; far from it. It is a recognition of their intelligence. Whenever you get away from the Home Rule controversy and descend into particulars about other things, Irish people show a great interest, be the subject education, cattle, co-operation or anything you like, and you will find differences of opinion existing.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
There is a tremendous difference of opinion between persons who are otherwise, on Home Rule and Unionism, simply associated with one block or the other in that controversy. I think, 1032 therefore, that if hon. Members assume that forty is a totally inadequate number for the Second Chamber; that forty voting together and in conference in joint sitting in order to prevent deadlocks would be wholly insufficient, it is because they still allow their minds to be entirely dominated by the controversy which ex hypothesi ceases after this Bill is through. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh !"] As I have already said if hon. Members decline to contemplate the possibility of this Constitution coming into working order, what is the good of considering either forty, eighty, or a hundred. If the intelligent minority, the loyal minority—or any other name you choose to apply to them—will not play, will not come into the sitting of the Senate—
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Those metaphors really do not facilitate argument. If Gentlemen will not come in then it is of no use talking about forty, or eighty, or one hundred.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
If, on the other hand, they do come in, it is fitting to discuss the Amendment. Forty members of the Senate would play a very considerable part, and would be a great factor in determination, when it came to a deadlock. When it came to any voting in Joint Session, forty persons, or thirty, or twenty, or even a smaller number might very easily affect—in my judgment would affect—very materially these decisions of the two hundred members of the Irish House of Commons on purely Irish questions. Therefore, I do think that in that matter the hon. Baronet greatly exaggerates. When you come to consider the exact proportions between the two Chambers, you see at once that nobody can lay down any hard and fast rules as to the exact proportion that must commend itself to constitution makers or to those engaged in this particular task. There is not, I agree, any hard and fast rule for any fixed proportion to be determined beforehand which enables you to say whether it is right or wrong in a question of this sort. In one sense, I agree, it might be said we have made the numbers of the House of Commons—164—rather larger than the population demanded or required. In that I think we were quite wise not to be led by a consideration of distant Colonies, but by the facts of the case working in the minds 1033 of Irishmen When you set up a Parliament so near our own as the one in Dublin will be, you are very much affected by the feeling of the propinquity of this House. We felt, from historical considerations, that it would be undesirable in the interests of Ireland herself to reduce the number lower than 164. In fact, I, personally, would like to see even a larger House of Commons, because I think the larger the House the better the chance there is under the new scheme of getting men of all kinds of temperaments, and opinions, and of great authority, so that all the interests which exist in Ireland shall be properly and fairly represented.
Ireland, I am satisfied, is a country where individual opinions will, under the new Constitution, play a very great part, and men will have a very good chance of being representatives, not merely because they can repeat like parrots the items of a programme, but because they can make themselves effective in debate, and in discussion, and the constituencies will feel that they have the honour to be represented by live business men. I think it will be a great mistake, therefore, to reduce the 164, and I say I would have been rather more content to have had an even larger number in the House of Commons, but we have begun at 164. We start with that figure. We have considered the number of the Senate. Hon. Members perhaps want us, when we are setting up a Senate, to set up one which is to control the Lower House—that is, to be equal in authority with the Lower House, and to be regarded as having power over that House. That is not our idea at all. That is not the sort of Senate we have in our minds. Hon. Members opposite may be quite right in thinking that a Second Chamber ought to have those powers, but we have said over and over again that in creating a Senate or creating a body of independent persons so far as you can get them, to be nominated by the original Constitution—and I agree subsequently after a period of five years elected on a proportional system—we have not contemplated that the Senate should have any other powers than those of imposing delay, of being an independent body capable of putting their views authoritatively before the country, and of obtaining that measure of support which views well expressed, in an authoritative assembly, and properly recorded are certain to have in a country.
§ Sir HILDRED CARLILE
Will the right hon. Gentleman excuse me for a moment? The Prime Minister himself referred to the Senate and said that revision would be one of its functions.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am not precluding that by any means in stating what are our views as to what the business of the Senate will be. I began with"delay"—with the opportunity of discussing and stating the opposition to the views of the Lower House in such a way as to direct public attention to the matter. Then comes the opportunity for revision. They will have, in refusing the legislation of the Lower House, to give their reasons why they consider, why in one way or another the measure of the Lower House that has come up to them should be altered and amended. Those are, I think, the main considerations which were put forward by the Prime Minister, and what we had in view: Therefore I agree it is no use hon. Members putting another theory and another Constitution before us. Having regard to the fact that the Irish House of Commons has 164 members, we consider that a Senate of forty will properly and fairly be able to discharge its duties of criticism and delay, and also to give publicity to and debate the matter concerned. I think it has been very fairly put by the hon. Baronet. It has been said that you could not find forty men in Ireland of high character and position. I was very glad to find that the hon. Baronet differed entirely from that sentiment. You have to bear in mind in these proportions which have to be observed—whether it is forty or fifty or sixty—we want to get persons who will have time to devote to this particular work. I am perfectly certain that you could find forty, eighty, or one hundred persons of this kind or description—though it is not always easy perhaps to find them to start with—
§ Mr. BIRRELL
If the Unionists come into this Constitution, as I confidently 1035 expect they will, the hon. and learned Gentleman will find that, so far from being all Nationalists, the senators of his native land will represent a different class of political opinion as it exists at the present time. If they are content to join, as I have already said, the numbers that we are discussing now are comparatively immaterial. If they are all one way, and if they always mean to remain of one way of thinking, after the five years, or indeed for all time, the reduplication of two sets of opinion which are identical in themselves is really unnecessary. We are most anxious to establish a Senate of reasonable proportion, which will be able to discharge these most important duties—duties the importance of which I for one cannot underrate. I think, therefore, for these reasons it will be found that 40—though I agree there is nothing magic about the number—in its relation to 164 is a fair proportion, whether there be forty Unionists or forty Nationalists. I decline altogether to associate these party distinctions, which I hope will be removed, with a Constitution going to work on purely Irish matters. You, cannot introduce Unionism or Nationalism into such questions as education or Poor Law, or labourers' cottages, or things of that sort. I do not see how that could possibly be done. I am sure any attempt to carry on business for any length of time in the new Irish Parliament under the old watchwords would be absolutely impossible. I think the number of the Senate is quite sufficient, and on these grounds the Government cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Sir WILLIAM ANSON
The right hon. Gentleman began by saying it was regrettable that there was a lack of enthusiasm for this Senate. I quite agree it is impossible for any unsympathetic person to get into any sort of enthusiasm for this small debating society. The right hon. Gentleman says Second Chambers are not popular. Evidently they are not with His Majesty's present Government and its supporters who differ in this respect with framers of Constitutions in most parts of the world. We hear that two Chambers serve a very useful purpose, not merely for the protection of the minorities, although the protection of the minority has frequently and at length been spoken of as one of the great functions of this Senate which we are now discussing; but we regard the usefulness of a Second Chamber as a protection to the community 1036 at large. It is not merely that it will give an opportunity for revision, for delay, for discussion and amendment, but it should in some form or other enable an appeal to be made to the people in matters of doubt and uncertainty, in order to ascertain the voice of the majority of the people of the country; and in that way a Second Chamber is as much a protection to the majority which may be misrepresented in the House of Commons or whatever you call it, and is entitled to have a voice in legislation of an important character before such legislation is passed without the possibility of reform. Now the value of the Second Chamber and of this Senate must depend to a great extent on its relation with the other House, and if you look a little further into this Bill you will see how important it is that the Senate should at any rate be enlarged so as to meet the other Chamber on something approaching equal terms. In this Bill the Senate is prohibited from dealing with finance in any form, either by rejection or amendment. And I may remark in passing, it is not stated in the Bill what is to happen if they do. If the Senate were to reject a Finance Bill, there is no such provision as there is in the Parliament Act, for the Bill immediately to receive the Royal Assent, or the assent of the Lord Lieutenant. I suppose, that then the Imperial Parliament with its inherent legislative power, however inconvenient the case may be in practice, would have to step in and pass the Finance Bill, which was either thrown out or rejected or amended by the Irish Senate. But when we come to legislation of a general character what is to happen? The Senate may reject or amend, and if no agreement is come to between the two Houses in one Session then the matter lapses for that Session. Another Session follows and if there is still disagreement the Lord Lieutenant summons a Joint Session and the matter is then settled.
What is the prominent function of a Second Chamber upon which the Prime Minister has from time to time dilated. It is its value of giving time by its powers of delay for the public opnion of the country to be brought to bear upon the discussions and differences between the two Houses. If that is to prevail and to be effective, the time allowed ought to be ample. But this unfortunate Senate may differ in one Session and force delay for that Session; but there is no reason why the House should not then be prorogued and another 1037 Session commenced almost immediately. A month or so may intervene between the rejection of the Bill by the Senate and the prorogation. At the commencement of the new Session the Senate rejects the measure again and then the Houses would sit together and the Bill is finally passed. But what opportunity is given for public opinion to be brought to bear upon this measure as to which these forty brilliant men, of the eminent qualifications the right hon. Gentleman considers necessary, disagree, and for their opinion to be communicated to the- country, and for the public opinion of the country to be brought to bear upon the action of the two Houses. If this Joint Session is to be of any sort of value, the two Houses ought to meet on something approaching equal terms. I do not say that we should make them equal either in numbers or in power. I will not go through the proportion which every Second Chamber bears to the House of Representatives in every other Constitution. But I say this, that for any body of forty persons who differ with 160 to go and sit with them with any hope of influencing them is merely to invite the party of forty to assist in something in the nature of a farce.
If this delay is to be of any value it ought to be delayed for an appreciable time, and if the Joint Session is to have anything like a fair interchange of opinion on rival questions you ought to alter the proportion of the numbers. And there is this other view which we take of the value of the Second Chamber to the community at large, and that is that it has power in some way or other to force an appeal to the country. This Senate has neither the powers of delay nor the power of bringing about a method of ascertaining the views of the country. It is quite possible that a Parliament elected on a wave of popular opinion may have ceased entirely during its tenure to represent the feelings of the country in the last years of its existence. The House of Commons may pass measures which are wholly unpalatable to the country at large, the Senate may reject them, and Parliament may be prorogued, and then the next Session convened and the Bill may be passed without the country in general having any opportunity of pronouncing any opinion upon it. Now it is said that the powers you give this Senate are the utmost you could allow in a democratic country to a Second Chamber. The curious aspect of modern 1038 democracy is that the liberty of appeal to the people is regarded as anti-democratic, and that a Parliament once selected is to have some form of inspiration which makes the elected Chamber infallible until the conclusion of its tenure of power. What would be the value of discussion in a Senate of that kind? What is the use of talking it over among forty persons when they know perfectly well they are powerless, and when they know perfectly well that if they are invited to discussion with the other House the mere fact of their appearance in the other House of 160 Members would be almost ridiculous, and that they would be borne down in argument, as happens in other assemblies, by the mere weight of numbers.
What the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition said in discussions upon this subject last year is perfectly true, that a chamber was powerless in any way either to effect delay or to control public opinion, will be uninteresting to its own members, uninteresting to the public, that its debates would cease to be reported, and it would lapse into hopeless incapacity from lack of interest in itself and its incapacity to create interest in the public at large. We really find in the constitution of this Senate an exhibition of the attitude of this Government towards Parliamentary institutions. The Government obtained a majority, and having obtained it the supporters of the Government are expected to carry out its edicts in the form of legislation, and the Second Chamber, if it has any power of delay at all, has no power to appeal to the electorate against the decision of the Lower Chamber, and has no power to appeal to the electorate to ascertain whether they really approve of the legislation proposed. Although we, under our happy Constitution, have eighteen months or so during which public opinion may form its decision and in some form or otherwise express itself otherwise than at the polls, this Irish Senate will have no means whatever of ascertaining public opinion, because the time allowed is too short and its numbers too insignificant to make any impression whatever upon the legislation of the Irish Parliament of the future.
§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
The hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Albans called upon us Nationalist Members below the Gangway to resent the insult, as he called it, of the Prime Minister with regard to the difficulty of finding more than forty 1039 eminent men to form a Senate. I do not regard it as an insult, but I may say I felt more than flattered on the other hand by the remarks of the hon. Gentleman. "Why," he said, "talk about forty capable men in Ireland for the Senate as well as 164 Members of the House of Commons. Ireland is full of capable men. Your difficulty in dealing with Ireland is not the paucity, but the embarrassing richness of the intellectual political material in that country." I am not only flattered, but rather surprised when I hear that observation from the hon. Gentleman, because it is somewhat in contrast with one of the main positions of some of his colleagues from Ireland above the Gangway, which main position is that Ireland is altogether devoid of anything like political capacity; that the materials for the good self-government of the country do not exist. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] I thought I heard a faint "hear, hear," in the well-known voice of the hon. and learned Member for North Armagh.
§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
That is one of the welcome incidents of our Debate upon this Bill; welcome, not merely because of the ability and geniality of the hon. and learned Member, but because also of that unconscious benefit he gives to our cause by his extreme opposition. I listened to the enumeration of the numbers of Second Chambers in different parts of the Empire with much interest, and I think forty is higher than most of them. So far as the argument of analogy is concerned, the number of the Senate rather confirms the argument drawn from the models in other parts of the Empire. A most important fact in connection with this argument, drawn from analogy, is that there are a great many of the States and provinces of the Empire in which there is no Second Chamber at all. For instance, British Columbia has only a single Chamber, and two or three more of the Western States are without a Second Chamber by their own deliberate choice. They were left to choose between the unicameral and a bicameral system. I hold an open mind on this question, but I cannot quite understand the attitude of hon. Members above the Gangway upon this question, because they are demanding Second Chamber powers, which are entirely irreconcilable 1040 with a democratic community. What is the House of Commons in Ireland? If the system be anything like a reasonable one, what is the House of Commons in England? It is the nation in microcosm. It is-the reflection, echo, and image of the nation, and, that being so, to distrust the popular Chamber over here or in Ireland is to distrust the nation itself and its-democratic institutions.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University, whom we all recognise as a high authority on Constitutions, complained of this Second Chamber in Ireland and elsewhere, and said that they were deprived of one of the fundamental rights and duties of a Second Chamber, namely, the right of creating an appeal to the people. I cannot quite follow that argument. What does it mean? What would it mean in England? It would mean, if a 'Conservative Ministry were in power-that there would be no attempt to force an appeal to the people; but if a Liberal Ministry happened to be in power, the opportunity would be taken of wearing the country out by a constant and rapid succession of elections. Elections are necessary things, and they are good things; but you can have too much of them. I am sure I could appeal to the right hon. Gentleman's own experience and judicial view of these matters so long as he is a good university Tory when I say that in the United States and other democratic communities nothing has been found more prejudicial to good government and to good and honest politics and politicians than the multiplication of elections, and one of the necessary evils and consequences of that is a creation of a professional political class. Another result is that the elections excite very little interest among' the general community because of their frequency, and the decision generally falls into the hands of the great battalions of political force. The Mover of this Amendment demands as the rights and privileges of a. Second Chamber what no true democrat can assent to. I agree with what the Prime Minister said, namely, that the rights of a Second Chamber in Ireland and elsewhere should be absolutely confined to the right of delay and revision. Any proposal at this time of day to make two-Chambers of equal power, one of them popularly elected and the other nominated or representative of the minority, will, I think, be rejected by any modern democracy.
1041 As the right hon. Gentleman well knows, a Second Chamber has a tendency in most countries to represent one of two oligarchies, 'and I do not know which is the worst, the oligarchy of class or the oligarchy of wealth. The result is that in many parts of the world Second Chambers, instead of being a protection to the rights of the people, have been the bulwark behind which all kinds of selfishness and anti-popular interests have been shielded. In the Constitution of the United States I do not know anything that I detest more as a legislative Chamber than the Senate. Although I am an admirer of many things in the Constitution of France, I am not an admirer of their Second Chamber, and I would give to no Second Chamber the rights it has in France. The control of finance must belong exclusively to the popular Chamber, which is representative of the people whose money is being expended. Those being my views I apply them to the Second Chamber in Ireland. I am quite willing to accept the opinion of the Chief Secretary that a Second Chamber is a desirable thing in Ireland. The Irish democracy will not be free any more than any other democracy from sudden and perhaps irrational gusts of popular passion, or what is a greater danger in a democracy, popular gusts of rather impractical sentimentality. Therefore, it is desirable to have a Second Chamber to give the country time to carefully consider hasty proposals passed by the popular Chamber, and that is all the power I would give it. But I would not give it equal powers. The right hon. Gentleman is on the wrong path when he talks of the power of the Second Chamber in Ireland being destroyed by the fact of the smallness of its numbers in comparison with the number of the popular Chamber. The power and authority of the Second Chamber in Ireland will not depend so much upon its numbers as upon the influence of the men who form it.
Here I must strongly dissent from the opinion expressed by the hon. and learned Member for North Armagh (Mr. Moore). He said that in fact the Government would be compelled by force to nominate the Senate entirely of Nationalists. I give the Chief Secretary fair warning that in my opinion he will act entirely against the spirit with which this Senate has been proposed by the Government and cordially accepted by us, if that Senate did not contain a very large proportion of men who did not hold Nationalist views.
1042 [Laughter.] The hon. and learned Member for North Armagh laughs at that statement. I do not know whether he suggests that I am not talking in all sincerity, but I assure him that I am. Perhaps he thinks it is beyond the power of the Government to act according to the principles which I have laid down. All I can say on behalf of my hon. Friends on these benches is that we should certainly be disappointed, and regard the Government as not having acted according to the spirit of this Bill if there were not a large mixture of Unionists and representatives of the minority in that Senate. I would add that I do not think violent fanatical' political opinion is the kind of thing you should look for most when constituting a Second Chamber. I would like to see men there, not Nationalists or Unionists, solely-owing to their position in the world of science, education, commerce, and law who would be able to give to the Irish community the benefit of their judgment, impartiality and experience. I hope that such a Chamber will play a much larger part in the life of Ireland than the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken anticipates.
If we have there forty of the ablest-minds of Ireland examining every proposal in the light of their intelligence, knowledge and experience, they will produce-an impression upon the mind of Ireland, and when they come into the joint Assembly again the power with which they can state their case will influence the minds of the Second Chamber and the popular Chamber, and this may turn the division. I dissent altogether from the anticipation of some hon. Members above the Gangway as to what is likely to be the constitution of the future Irish House of Commons. I do not believe that you will have there the block system or the discipline and the rigid rules we have under the present state of things. At the present time we are joined together for a certain special definite and supreme national purpose, and therefore we should be mad if we did not insist on rules of stern discipline-and inflexible unity. But does anyone suppose that when we face the internal problems of Ireland, which do not raise the same issues, that this group will consist entirely of men of one way of thinking. There are hon. Friends of mine on these benches with whom I have acted for twenty or thirty years from whom I entirely differ-in opinion except on the national question. I daresay in an Irish Parliament those hon. Members would be on one side and I 1043 should be on the other side. It may there for be that a small body of men numbering forty might have a decisive vote in coming to a decision.
Hon. Members above the Gangway are always telling us that forty-two Irish men coming from Ireland in a Parliament containing over 600 members will decide the fate of measures and the fate of Ministers. Their argument is that in the case of this Parliament forty-two Members are omnipotent amongst over 600, but in Ireland forty members are not omnipotent in a House of 164. I hope the Government will adhere to the present numbers of the Senate. Finally, let me say how much I welcome the temperate tone of the very interesting speech made by the hon. Member for St. Albans, and I also welcome the change in the tone of the whole Debate. I know that I am speaking before the hon. and learned Member for North Armagh has delivered his soul. I welcome the general tone of the Debate, including the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University (Sir W. Anson), as marking the timid dawn of a better attitude towards this Bill and the acceptance of the fact that the Bill is going to pass into law, and they had better make the best of it.
§ Mr. MOORE
At any rate, that is his description. Yet ho is going to live out of it for the rest of his life. He has taken good care of that. It is quite easy for him under those circumstances to prophesy that everything will go smoothly. On the other hand, I have got to live in Ireland and spend the rest of my life there, and I am convinced there will be anarchy or something worse. It is rather unfortunate we have to approach the consideration of the Bill from absolutely different standpoints. It is very easy for the hon. Member, who will be living out of Ireland, to prophesy these smooth things, but we are the people who will have to bear the brunt of things in Ireland. We have got to live 1044 in the country, and I think, therefore, when we have these sincere doubts and these grave apprehensions, we ought at least to be allowed to put our opinion before the House of Commons. I have heard the hon. Member and others since this Bill was introduced talk about the toleration which is always going to be shown for the minority in future. It really puts one at a disadvantage when he finds the enemy, if I may call them so, always talking about their toleration. It makes one who does not believe in it seem to be rather an unpleasant, stingy-minded, hardhearted sort of person. Yet, when I remember all this toleration is preached by a party who have been carrying on the most cruel propaganda for years past against Unionists and Protestants—
§ Mr. MOORE
I repeat it. When it is remembered this toleration is preached by a party who have been carrying on the most cruel propaganda for years past against Unionists and Protestants in the shape of cattle-driving, boycotting, and moonlighting, and every outrage of the propaganda of physical force, it seems rather late in the day for them to ask us to believe all these soft things about the good time the minority are going to have under them in future. When I hear hon. Gentlemen talk about the enormous representation, the disproportionate representation, Unionists are going to have in this new body, I cannot help thinking of what is commonplace in Ireland and of the meanness with which hon. Members, with exactly the same political machinery as they are going to have in the future, exclude every Unionist so far as is in their power from local government in the country, although the Unionists, small as their numbers may be in the South and West, pay very nearly half the rates. There are over 600 county councillors elected for the three Southern provinces of Ireland, and the manipulations of the United Irish League and the Ancient Order of Hibernians permit sixteen Unionists only in those three provinces. Those things are in the dry tree. Have we any reason to suppose the leopard will change his spots? Why should they abandon the machinery they have at their hands and the principles they have practised consistently up to this? Why should they not exclude Unionists from a share in this provincial Parliament in Dublin just as they have done from every body of local government 1045 within their control in the country? It is all very well for hon. Members to come into the House of Commons at the eleventh hour and say, "We are so tolerant." The facts of the past give them the lie. Their own past has been the exclusion of every Unionist and Protestant who does not see eye to eye with them. Now they say, "You may trust us in the future; we are going to turn our back on our past." They do not say so in Ireland.
The Chief Secretary seems to imagine this is a pantomime we are performing, because he treats the whole thing as a joke. It annoys people whose whole future is at stake to hear him get up and make a speech in favour of forty members of the Senate when they know perfectly well he would have said exactly the same thing if the figure agreed upon between him and the hon. Members below the Gangway had been sixty or eighty. It is all an elaborate joke with him. He has got the rules of the game in his hand. It is a perfectly casual matter with him. This is merely a point he is put up to argue. After all, it is only in his brief; it may be popular or unpopular, but he is only doing his duty in a perfunctory way. What does it matter to him? He will have nothing to do with Ireland if Home Rule is passed, but we will have to play the game and grin and bear it. Why should we play the Chief Secretary's game when we know it means disaster to our own country? He is absolutely regardless, and he has shown it from start to finish, of giving the minority in Ireland the very least protection. I want to show what this safeguard is worth. He gets out of it by saying, "Oh, but you say you are not going to have Home Rule. You say you will not have it. You will not join the Irish party. If you are not going to play the game, what does it matter what happens?" Why should we assent to a game which we know means ruin? Yet, because we will not consent, and cannot consent, the Chief Secretary does not feel himself bound any longer to give any provision which will mean fair play for the minority in Ireland. He says, "You will not play the game on my lines, therefore your blood is on your own head." After all, however, the House of Commons is the trustee of the rights of the minority and the rights of everybody for whom they are legislating, and, if the House of Commons considers forty members would not be anything like a reasonable safeguard, then I think it ought to 1046 support the Amendment and see a fair provision is inserted in the Bill in case those who come after us should not be of our opinions.
I differ entirely from the hon. Baronet in the illustration he gave of Quebec as the nearest analogy to the new Irish Parliament. I wonder whether hon. Members desire to set up another Quebec Parliament across the Irish Channel. What chance has the minority in Quebec? There is one powerful political Church which dominates the Senate of the Quebec Parliament, and, if the analogy is carried out, the Parliament in Dublin will be dominated in the same way. Quebec is the single exception in the British Dominions where you have a political Church in full political power and sway. That is the analogy the Prime Minister chose, and I think very appositely chose, for the Dublin Parliament. That is only another reason why the Unionist and Protestant minority in Ireland still more strongly object to this Bill. We say we want better safeguards across the Irish Channel than you gave in the case of Quebec, where your hands were fettered and bound by treaty obligations. This has been brought forward as a safeguard. It is just on a line with all the other safeguards. Let us, as the Chief Secretary says, visualise the situation. In the first place, the Chief Secretary says the use of a Second Chamber will be to inform public opinion. What chance have the people in agricultural Ireland of being informed of what is in the newspapers?
§ Mr. MOORE
What newspapers do they get? The ordinary farmer will go to the nearest country town once a week and bring the weekly newspaper back with him. Have hon. Gentlemen ever seen one of our weekly newspapers? There is a page which contains the entire summary of the things of the previous week. There is another page devoted to a novelette for the farmer's wife. There are four pages of farms to be let and advertisements. There is another page of agricultural news as to how many cows have had calves, and how many sheep have had triplets. I am speaking in the hearing of hon. Members below the Gangway, and I am saying nothing that will not be admitted. The ordinary country newspaper in Ireland has its entire political and social events on one little page. I am talking of the North of Ireland as well as of the South. That 1047 is the means by which the whole agricultural population of Ireland have to inform themselves. They cannot subscribe to the daily papers; it would cost two guineas a year. It is absurd to say you can mould public opinion by a little country newspaper, which is all they have in the rural districts of Ireland, and the rural districts will admittedly swamp the Parliament, because you will have over 120 rural members against some thirty-four members from the towns. Then it is said the Senate will have the power of delay. Those who wish to thrust a Bill through this Parliament under the Parliament Act at the highest possible speed must, nevertheless, have an interval of two years from the date of the Second Reading. There is no such limit imposed on the Irish Parliament, absolutely none. You can have your Bill rejected by the Senate in July. You can at once prorogue Parliament, have another Session, and send the Bill up again. You can put your Bill through in nine months. Where is the delay there? Then you come to the numbers. If things were equally balanced, you might have half the Senate against the Bill. You go down to the Lower Chamber, where they are all red-hot in favour of some particular measure. What are forty votes, of which twenty are against the measure, going to do thrown into a melting pot of 164 members? The thing as a safeguard is perfectly absurd.
The Chief Secretary said he was a Second Chamber man. That is another of his jokes. Somebody has told him it is a respectable thing to have a Second Chamber, and accordingly, for the sake of appearances and perhaps to salve the consciences of some Liberals, he has put a Second Chamber in the Bill, but he has done his best in the draftsmanship from start to finish to whittle down every power given to the Second Chamber. We talk about the limited powers of the House of Lords in this country, but they are omnipotent compared to the Second Chamber under this Bill, because at the last moment they are to be brought down to be outvoted in an Assembly of 164, or in the proportion of four to one. It must be remembered that when the Chief Secretary talks about independence, beyond all doubt a man can be independent if he does not owe his seat to popular election. But it is a fact, whether he is an elected Member or not, he has to face his constituents. This is the body in which the Senate will 1048 have to face the same constituency of electors at the end of every five years. But what chance has you for an independent body? The whole position varies. You have an elected Senate elected by the same electors as the House of Commons. That would make a difference as showing what the safeguards are. I can see absolutely no practical working safeguard in these proposals. We are going to forbid this being put into force. When you are going to give a free country safeguards such as these we say we are entitled to claim that those safeguards shall not be a sham, but that they shall be a real safeguard in the interests of the minority.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
The hon. Member has referred to Colonial precedents. I believe, but I am not sure, he quoted twelve or fourteen cases of Second Chambers in the Empire and with the exception of two of these cases I cannot suggest what conceivable connection there can be between the size of the Colonial Second Chamber and the size of the Irish Senate. The hon. Member says the size of the Second Chamber is only of importance when there is to be a Joint Session. But the only Second Chambers with which comparison can be made are those in Australia and South Africa. If you take the proportions in South Africa they are very different to those proposed here.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
In the case of South Africa it was forty as compared with a Lower House of 121, and that is very different to the proposals contained in the Bill.
§ Mr. LEES SMITH
The hon. Member held up the Australian Colonies as an example. He argued that the case of the institution of the Commonwealth was so new that it was unfair to draw any inference from it. This Amendment would actually confer on the Irish Senate powers greater than those possessed by the House of Lords. It could hold up all legislation, for the Session, and, unless the majority of the House of Commons was exceptionally strong, the Irish Senate will be a formidable rival to the Irish House of Commons. It could hold up all legislation for the Session unless the majority in the Irish House of Commons 1049 was exceptionally strong. It could force a General Election and still be free from all fear of a Dissolution itself. The Amendment appears to be more out of the question when one remembers that it proposes to confer these tremendous powers upon the two Chambers. Such powers ought not to be given to the Second Chamber even in an Imperial Parliament, and they are altogether disproportionate in the case of a Second Chamber. It raises, after all, a question of proportional representation, the result of which we cannot foresee. The hon. Member for Oxford University said that he and his party considered Ireland as a country which needed a Second Chamber stronger even than that of the House of Lords. Yet only a few weeks ago he and his party were insisting that Ireland was a country which needed no Second Chamber at all. What explanation can there be for that sudden variation of opinion unless, indeed, it is a question of tactics? In a country like Ireland a Second Chamber ought to derive its strength from its personal authority, and that authority would be weakened by this arrangement. With a Senate of forty we have every reason to believe the best men will be attracted, and Ireland will be free from the danger which has beset some Colonial institutions, the danger of the Second Chamber being filled by candidates rejected by the First Chamber.
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
The hon. Member has found fault with the figures of the hon. Member for St. Albans, but I think I can show that the figures he gave were, in the main, correct. I will only take the proportion of the members of the Senate and of the House of Commons in the Bills of 1886 and 1893 and those in the Bill introduced by the present Government. It will be impossible for the hon. Gentleman to deny that so far as there is any value in the safeguard attaching to the proportion of the numbers between the Senate and the House of Commons, so far this Bill is unfavourable to the minority as compared with the Bills of 1886 and 1893. Indeed, it is a singular thing that throughout all these Debates we have had far more enunciations of the view of the Prime Minister that minorities ought to be protected than ever came from Mr. Gladstone, while at the same time the safeguards put into the Bill for the protection of minorities are far less than were put in the Bills of 1886 and 1893. The Chief Secretary, earlier in this Debate, said that 1050 this question appeared to arouse no enthusiasm; that we had debated for some hours the questions whether the Senate should be elected or not; whether, if elected, it should be elected by proportional representation or by the present system, and whether it should consist of forty or 100 members. Yet, he said, it aroused no enthusiasm. We are all agreed that the Chief Secretary has many good qualities, but we have never detected enthusiasm as being particularly attributable to him as one of his best qualities. He cannot expect enthusiasm in discussing any portion of this Bill, because we do not believe that this Bill will ever come into practical operation in Ireland at all.
Quite apart from that, even if we did believe the Bill would become law, and we did visualise—to use the word of the Chief Secretary—our belief that Irishmen would have to work this Bill, even so, no enthusiasm would attach to any discussion of the Bill, because the proposals of the Government utterly fail to carry out all the advantages which we think ought to be derived from the formation of a Second Chamber. Our views are probably very different from the views of hon. Gentlemen opposite. My views on the Second Chamber are very different from the views expressed by the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) in a very charming speech he made a little while ago. He told us that he had not quite made up his mind as to the utility or inutility of Second Chambers. He certainly had not much good to say about them. I noticed that he picked out several for censure, but not one for praise. He said he could almost lay down as an axiom that to distrust the popular Chamber was to distrust the nation, and that if we were ever guilty of distrusting the popular Chamber, we must also be guilty of distrusting the nation. That is an utter fallacy, and one of the greatest possible fallacies. One of the objects of the Second Chamber is to defend the population on those rare occasions when the popular Chamber goes in advance of or wholly against popular opinion. One of the powers that ought to be given to any well-regulated Second Chamber is to bring about such a condition of affairs that the nation's will must prevail against what is called the will of the popular Chamber. That is one of the conditions which I and many of those who think with me attach to all Second Chambers that are properly constructed with a view to the work for which they are created. When the hon. 1051 Member for the Scotland Division says that if we distrust the popular Chamber we distrust the nation, then almost every civilised country appears to have the same distrust of the nation, because most of them have given to their Second Chamber this power—I admit on rare occasions—of bringing about some kind of appeal to the people when they think the will of the popular Chamber is being exercised against the popular will. [An HON. MEMBER: "That is not so."] The hon. Member will have an opportunity of speaking and showing that that is not so. I still maintain my proposition.
The hon. Member for the Scotland Division himself went on to admit that even in Ireland itself there would be great gusts of passion sweeping over the popular Chamber, and that it would give way at times to impracticable sentimentality. If this popular Chamber is swept by these great gusts of passion, and from time to time gives way to impracticable sentimentality, what power on earth is there in the Senate as devised in this Bill, to prevent those gusts of popular passion enabling the popular Chamber to do something entirely contrary to the will of the people? None whatever. When the hon. Gentleman says that the power of any Second Chamber depends more upon the personnel, the character, and weight of the men who compose it than on anything else, while I do attach great importance to the personnel of the Second Chamber and to the character of those gentlemen who occupy positions in it, at the same time I say that what we have to look at is not only the personnel, character, and weight of these gentlemen, but at the powers that they can exercise if they are disposed to exercise them. When we look into the Bill we see that practically the Senate will have no power whatever to stop these gusts of popular passion or acts of impracticable sentimentality from having any force. I take no interest whatever in the question whether the Chamber shall consist of forty or a hundred members. That is to me an academic question to a very large extent. It is interesting because it is part of the whole of many discussions in which we have been engaged, and probably shall be engaged for years to come, as to the question on what principles Second Chambers shall be constructed, but so far as I am able to visualise Ireland, whether there be forty or a hundred members in this Chamber has little practical bearing from my own point of view.
1052 I will attempt to visualise Ireland. I will assume that the Bill is carried, that it comes into force, and that it has to be worked. For the first five years the forty members of the Senate will have to be nominated. The Prime Minister has again and again told us that he values a Second Chamber because the Senate will have the capability of adequately protecting the rights of the minority. Let us see how it will work out. First of all, if we are to believe hon. Gentlemen who represent the North of Ireland, and we are bound to believe them, they will be entirely unwilling to work this Bill; they will have nothing to do with it. From what class and from what portion of the minority can these forty gentlemen be drawn? I imagine that the nominations will rest with the Prime Minister of this country. Assume that the nominations will be in the hands of the present Prime Minister. Whom will he have to nominate? They must either be Nationalists or they will be those gentlemen who, in the guise of Protestants and in the guise of Unionists, a kind of hermaphrodites, who are always willing to do the will of the majority, providing there is some consideration attaching to it. They will be the persons the Prime Minister will have to choose, if the representatives of the minority in the North of Ireland stand aside. Let us pass away from that particular period. Let us assume that the Bill is passed, that it becomes an Act, and that it has been working in Ireland for five years. Then the Second Chamber is to be elected. The Prime Minister said he attached enormous importance to a Senate or Second Chamber, and the hon Gentleman the Member for the Scotland Division said that he attached enormous importance to it in Ireland, because forty of the ablest men in Ireland would be elected to that Second Chamber. Will they? If the really able men in Ireland who are really wise and weighty, who really care for their country and want to serve it, want to serve in either of the Houses, will they not choose to serve in the House that has all the power rather than in the House that has no power at all?
Whether they go into one House or the other they will have to face a popular election, and I imagine that they will have to pay for it. If the election is spread over a large area it will probably be more expensive than if spread over a smaller area. Perhaps somebody who follows me in this Debate will show whether in considering the position of this Senate—for I imagine it 1053 has been much considered at the hands of the Government—they have thought it would be wise and well that the Senate should consist of paid members, as we'll as that the House of Commons should consist of paid members. That would make a great deal of difference. I imagine that many of the ablest men in Ireland would be somewhat poor men, not able to afford large sums of money for electioneering, the maintenance of seats, and so on. If the members of that House are not paid, but the members of the other House were paid, and the members of the other House had all the power while the members of the Senate had practically no power, is it likely that the ablest men in Ireland are going to seek election to the Senate when by seeking election to the Irish House of Commons they there would be able to exercise their powers far more than they would be able to exercise them in the Senate? I do not believe that this Senate is going to effect either of the objects of the Prime Minister has in view—either that the Senate would be an adequate protective body for the minority, or that it would be drawn from the resources which could not otherwise be drawn upon, namely, a body of men who are not likely to face elections. I will quote the Chief Secertary himself during the Debate on the Committee stage. He, too, visualised and imagined what would happen under this system. He went very carefully into the numbers of those who would probably be elected to the Senate to represent the minority.
He said that for Ulster he thought there probably might be ten: ho would give eight as a minimum and ten as a maximum for Leinster. The minority could rely on two and possibly on three. In Munster they could rely on one, and possibly on two. He took a very dismal view of Connaught, and said he could hold out no hopes at present that the minority could rely on any representatives being sent from Connaught. As a result of his arithmetical calculations he gave to the minority, as a maximum, fifteen, and, as a minimum, eleven out of forty senators. That is the House especially designed to protect minorities and their rights. In that House, according to the best calculations in the most sanguine mood of the Chief Secretary, all the minority can hope to have is at the utmost fifteen, and, if the sanguine estimates of the Chief Secretary are falsified, that fifteen will tumble down to eleven. Then these two Houses are to vote together. There will be fifteen representing the minority in the Senate, and, 1054 at the outside, forty representing the-minority in the Irish House of Commons. The Irish minority, for the first few years-at all events, will be able to rely upon fifty-five out of a total body of 204. From the point of view of the minority, what is the good of all this joint sitting They will be voted down time after time, of course they will be able to make their speeches, so far as we are aware, and to publish them in their own papers, and a mighty lot of good that will do.
There will be the power in the Senate, we are told, of revision—I suppose correcting the grammatical mistakes of the other House, and matters of that kind—but there will be no real power given to the Senate at all, and when they come to vote together, those who represent the minority, particularly in the most difficult years, when this Parliament is started, would be voted down immediately by a heavy and swinging majority in the total Assembly. I think the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. T. M. Healy), who made a most chivalrous speech on this question, offering to the minority far better terms than the Government are offering them, was absolutely right when he said you are simply providing two Houses of exactly the same pattern, with a Nationalist majority in each. That, I believe, will be the real effect of this Bill if it ever comes into force. You will merely be setting up two-Houses of the same character and the same complexion, one not affording any more protection to the minority than the other, and both practically of the same pattern, with a Nationalist majority in each. If I were looking at it purely from the point of view of the minority, I should care very little as to whether there were forty or 100 members in this Chamber. If the Government had really wished to put in some fairly adequate safeguards for the minority, they would have looked rather to a later Clause, in which, when they come to consider the Clauses under which the two Houses are to vote together, they would have taken some means by which, on large questions at all events, there should have been some preponderating majority necessary to carry into law the proposals of the Irish House of Commons—that these proposals should be carried not by a small majority but by a two-thirds or a three-fourths majority or something of that kind. There are no real safeguards in this Clause at all, but it is interesting from quite another point of view. The Prime Minister, in introducing- 1055 this Bill, said, "All through our discussion we must continually keep in mind that this was a first step towards federalising the United Kingdom."
We should like to know whether this is to be the model Second Chamber, not only for Ireland but also for England, for Scotland, and for Wales, when the present Government have time to complete their scheme of federalising the United Kingdom. Whenever we put a question to them they are silent, except that they give us their one and only answer, which is that when the time comes it does not naturally follow that what is given to one portion of the United Kingdom shall be given to another. I take some comfort from that, but I hope, when it is considered what kind of Constitution England shall have when it is made a unit of this federalised system, we may be treated in a very different way as regards our Second Chamber from that treatment which is accorded to Ireland under this particular Clause, which creates this Senate without any real power of protecting the minority at all. I should like to know whether the Government have thought it out at all, and whether they have come to any conclusion as to whether, when they federalise the United Kingdom, they are going to set up ten Houses or not within the United Kingdom, and whether the Second Chambers in the other portions of the United Kingdom are to be framed on the same kind of system as that which is adopted in the formation of the Second Chamber in this Clause. That would be an interesting question to discuss, but that is not a question which the present Government are ever willing to discuss. It is a question which they always avoid. While they tell us we ought always on this side to consider the whole of this Bill as only the beginning of federalising the United Kingdom, they themselves shrink from any mention of any argument in favour of any such scheme as that which they say they are one day going to bring forward. Whether who take them on the Customs or the Post Office or the Second Chamber, it is the same. We never get any answer as to whether England is to have these things—Customs, Post Office, and Second Chamber—or whether Scotland or Wales is to have them. They mean us to wait and see, and it is from that point of view only that the matter appears to be worth discussion, and not from the point of view of the minority, because there is no pro- 1056 tection whatever in this Clause for any minority in Ireland.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I think this discussion is the greatest condemnation of the allocation of time adopted by the Government under the guillotine system. The Chief Secretary had to admit that no one took any interest whatever in this matter. Accordingly the one matter in which we take a vital interest, namely, the question of finance, is practically to have no time for discussion, and what is an utter unreality, though that is not due to any of the able speakers who have spoken, is given a number of hours in which it may disport itself. I took the trouble a few minutes ago to take a little census of the House. There were twenty-one Liberals in it, fifteen Tories, and seventeen Nationalists—total fifty-three. That exactly represents the amount of interest that is taken in this question. Therefore the few remarks I have to make will not quite follow upon the lines of the Amendment itself, but I ask to be allowed to take a somewhat larger line. In the first place, I quarrel with the Clause as proposed. There was introduced into it an Amendment, to which Amendment I gave a certain amount of support, but a phraseology has been used in it which is utterly non-legal and which is for the first time imported into any Irish Bill. When the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Carson) moved his Amendment on Thursday I took the opportunity of pointing out to you, Sir, that there was no such place in Ireland as Ulster and that there was no such entity as a province, and it is really astonishing, therefore, that an Amendment should have been accepted in this Bill which provides that the Irish Senate shall consist of forty senators, who are to be elected by the four provinces of Ireland. There is no such place as the four provinces of Ireland. Then when you turn to the Schedules you find out what are the four provinces of Ireland and you find that, like Mrs. Harris, "there is no such person," because you find out that the province of Ulster is to have fourteen Members, there being no such place, the province of Leinster is to have eleven, the province of Munster nine, and the province of Connaught six, total forty. There are Parliamentary units known as counties. They have statutory recognition and there is power in certain Statutes to alter their area. But search the Irish or the English Statutes and, excepting the Parliament of Tara 1,500 years ago, at which time Ireland 1057 had five provinces, for county Meath was one, there is no recognition, as far as I know, of a province in any such shape or form as this Bill gives it. I therefore say that the scheme of provincial proportional representation has had rather a bad start. I did think at one time, when an Amendment was accepted, it would be possible to work it under Sub-section (2)—"The election of senators shall be according to the principle of proportional representation, the electors being the same electors," and so on—
"His Majesty may by Order in Council frame regulations prescribing the method of voting at an election of a senator and of transferring and counting votes at such an election and the mode of appointment and duties of returning officers in connection therewith, and any such regulations shall have effect as if they were enacted in this Act."
But under that Clause there will be no power whatever to group counties. That is only dealing with an election for a given area and does not enable you to say that for the purpose of Section 8 of the Government of Ireland Act the counties which will be embraced in Munster, Leinster, and Connaught shall be definitive counties. Nothing of the kind. He would be a very daring lawyer who would say that that Sub-section had that meaning. I therefore say at the outset I think the Government in the matter of proportional representation have struck a snag, and that it will be very desirable, if this Clause is to have any legal effect, that some further consideration shall be given to this so-called preferential method of representation. So much upon that point.
With regard to the effect of the Senate, which has occupied the attention of the hon. Member (Mr. Hayes Fisher), I listened with amazement to the statement of the hon. Member (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) that the popular Chamber in Ireland would be swept by great gusts of passion and that it would give way to impracticable sentimentality, and I asked myself, "Great gusts of passion about what?" Every possible subject upon which it is possible to feel any passion has been subtracted from the power of the popular Chamber, ending at last with the question of taxes—the Budget. You can have great popular gusts of passion about the Crown, about the Regency, the making of peace or war, relations with foreign States, hostilities, the Navy, the Army, the Territorial 1058 Forces, the Defence of the Realm, or any other naval or military matters, treaties or relations with foreign States, or relations with His Majesty's Dominions or offences in connection with such treaties, or the extradition of criminals or fugitive offenders, and even you might have great gusts of popular passion upon the distribution of dignities or titles of honour. You might have similar passion about treason, treason felony, alienage, naturalisation, quarantine—we have noticed at Question Time gusts of passion arise as to that—navigation, including merchant shipping in inland waters, local health or harbour regulations, lighthouses, buoys or beacons, coinage, legal tender, trade marks, designs, merchandise marks, land purchase in Ireland, the Old Age Pensions Act, the National Insurance Act, the Labour Exchanges Act, the collection of taxes, the Royal Irish Constabulary, Post Office Savings Banks, Trustee Savings Banks, friendly societies, and public loans. All these are withdrawn from the control of the popular Chamber. What is it to have great gusts of passion about? Hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway want protection from the popular party in the Lower House. Protection about what? What will the Parliament of Ireland be doing? Is this House aware that in the great State of Texas, which is nearly as large as France and England put together, the Legislature is only allowed to meet once in four years, and our little island, 300 miles long by about 100 miles wide, is to have an annual sitting? Many States in the American Union only meet once in two years, and, therefore, to say that this Senate will be necessary to prevent great gusts of popular passion sweeping, like an Eolian harp, over the Lower Chamber, is really to marshal up an amount of imagination which I did not think even had yet taken refuge in the Scotland Division of Liverpool.
Now I come to the question of the method of representation. The hon. Gentleman says that this Senate is going to attract to itself forty of the best brains in Ireland. Well, any man who stands for the Irish Senate must be a lunatic. Consider what it is to be. This is what is provided for out of your wisdom, and after taking many months to consider it. Each constituency, roughly speaking, will have a population of over one million. Taking Lundon with I suppose its 4,000,000, what is your constituency here? Even in this 1059 hive of industry and closely collected body of people, why! if you had a constituency with a population of 100,000 or 150,000, I suppose it would be a very large one, and yet you, the English Parliament, having withdrawn from us every possible subject of interest, including the Budget, suggest that forty of the best brains of Ireland will go on a canvass of a million people to be represented by proportional representation. Let us take the case of Munster The county Cork has in this House seven Members, and the City has two. To canvass that county alone would take about two months, and then you add on to it, for the purpose of the Senate, county Kerry, county Clare, county Tipperary, and county Waterford, and you suggest that forty of the best brains of Ireland will start out to canvass that constituency which would take something like twelve months to accomplish, even if the candidates did not kiss a single baby. That is supposed to be the wisdom that is brought to bear upon the construction of this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman above the Gangway (Mr. Hayes Fisher) said that on a former occasion I made a proposal which he was good enough to call chivalrous. I made no such thing. I made a proposal which was businesslike, namely, that instead of drawing your analogies from the Cape of Good Hope, Botany Bay, and other parts of the world of which we hear so much and know so little, you should take the country as it is, with its divisions, with its apprehensions expressed, with its dread of turmoil and disorder, and with the fact that for about two hundred years, from 1613 to 1800, there was practically a Protestant Government in Ireland from which every Catholic was excluded, and it is some comfort to me to think that it was Irish Protestants who sold their country and not Catholics. I said that with all these facts, and with the great dread expressed by hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway with regard to Catholics, some measure should be taken to give the Protestants, as regards this Senate, not the thin and useless plan for this purpose of proportional representation, but ad hoc representation in the Senate.
I say that is not chivalry; that is common sense, and accordingly when I hear hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway proposing to cut out Ulster, that is to say, to cut out the most historic part of Ireland, and leave us the English pale—the country which was really settled by the English, 1060 and which they worked at for 400 years before they got a foothold—we took it from them, naturally enough—and when I hear them saying that because in 150 years they have planted a few men around Belfast, we should give up the see of St. Patrick and the grave of Shane O'Neill, and be content with the area around Dublin Castle, I say that is really the most extraordinary proposal I have ever heard from any man in or out of Ireland. Have we no solution? We say that there is no real ground for your apprehension, but if you have that apprehension, take in this Senate any power you like, I care not what it is. No doubt the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) said this pretty much himself, and I am only echoing his words. I am well aware that "soft words butter no parsnips, "but if the Opposition were really practical in this matter, they would fasten on the proposals the hon. and learned Member for Waterford has made, and say, "Come down to hard facts, and let us know what you mean in terms." My hon. Friend the Member for North Armagh (Mr. Moore), if I may call him so, used a remarkable expression a moment ago. He said, 'We have put down no Amendment, but those who come after us may change their minds. "That is a funny expression. They will not change their minds at all. What he means is that they may not be of the same mind as himself, and I think that was a very honest and a very practical saying. I say that, so far as we are concerned, if the Conservative party above the Gangway want either in whole or in part either a full guarantee or a small guarantee, so far as this House of Legislature is concerned, if they will only let us know that such is their desire, I believe they would find the Catholics of Ireland of all classes only too anxious to shake hands with them and make a bargain on the subject.
§ Mr. J. H. CAMPBELL
The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. T. M. Healy) told us that he had taken the trouble to make a census of the House when this matter was under discussion, and he said, thinking perhaps that the statement would astonish hon. Members, that the total component elements of the House amounted to fifty-three. I think he has been a constant attender of the Debates on this Bill, and I would have expected him rather to say that number suggested an overflowing meeting, having regard to the attendance of hon. Members during the 1061 discussions. Nothing has been more remarkable, particularly in regard to the position of hon. Gentlemen opposite, than the extraordinary misapprehension that prevails among them regarding the Committee stage. But, after all, the explanation is perfectly simple. In the first place, we have it on authority of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. T. P. O'Connor)—the statement has never been contradicted, and he was himself one of the parties who took part in the negotiations—that this Bill was an agreed matter even to its smaller details as early as 28th April last year. That was before the Committee stage was ever reached in this House. Eight hon. Gentlemen opposite and hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway were the only ones consulted. No. hon. Gentleman who had the misfortune to sit for a Unionist constituency in Ireland was ever consulted as to a line or comma in the Bill. Hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway were not only consulted but took part in the framing of the Bill, and down to its most minute details this entire Bill, we were told, was an agreed matter between right hon. Gentlemen opposite and themselves. Therefore, does anyone wonder that there is no interest taken in this matter? Surely everyone knows that during all these weary nights and days we have been taking part in a humiliating farce. Surely they know—and they show it by their action—that all they have to do is to come in at half-past seven, and again at half-past ten, and march through the Division Lobby without taking the trouble to ask what they are voting about. When I have taken part in the discussions I have always done so with a sense of humiliation, but I have done so in the hope that some portion of what I said in expressing the Unionist opinion of Ulster—and this also was the feeling of Unionist Members from the North of Ireland when they spoke for those whom they represent—might permeate into the minds of the electors of Great Britain. Otherwise I would think that I was wasting: time in taking any part whatever in the Debates under the conditions that exist in connection with this matter.
Let me also call attention to another illustration of the uselessness and the futility of these discussions. Within the last week I heard the Prime Minister himself say—I heard the hon. and learned Member for Waterford also say it—that there was no guarantee or safeguard that we would ask for, that he would not gladly concede, 1062 and yet I do not know at this eleventh hour of the discussions of the existence in the Bill of any practical or real safeguard whatsoever for the Unionist minority in Ireland. There have been safeguards introduced, but whether they will be effective or not I will not stop to discuss. There have been elaborate provisions made for the protection of the British taxpayer, but as to safeguards proposed from our side with the object of providing in this Constitution some real and working safeguard, no single one of these, as far as I know, has ever been accepted by the Government. What is their attitude upon this point? Uncompromising opposition. Let me analyse what they are pleased to describe as their reasons for this opposition. In the first place, the Government which prates so glibly about readiness to give us any safeguards we ask for has in regard to this Senate taken a more extreme course than was taken by their predecessors in the Bills of 1886 and 1893. There was some pretence at reality in 1886 and 1893 as regards the safeguards, because the number of the Senate and therefore its influence in Joint Sessions was much greater under those Bills than under the present Bill. But not only have they not given us the safeguard contained in those Bills but when they come to deal with this matter of the Senate they put it in a less favourable position than we were in under either of those Bills. They have gone one step further, because, although they admit that this is an experiment and they are proceeding not upon any actual experience as to how this new machinery in Ireland is going to work, but are simply trusting entirely to prophecies and promises which the very men who are making them will be themselves unable to fulfil if they wish to do so, yet when they are risking this terrible experiment, relying merely upon the fulfilment of these prophecies, they reduce the number of the Second Chamber to a lower figure than is to be found in any constituent part of the whole British Empire. Yet they say, "that is a safeguard and we have gone out of our way to show our anxiety to conciliate Unionist opinion in Ireland and to calm their fears."
I say deliberately and with a full sense of responsibility that there has been nothing about the entire course of the last twelve months which has so excited and intensified the alarm and apprehension of my loyalist fellow countrymen in Ireland as the repeated failure on the part of His Majesty's Ministers to make good in any 1063 real degree or any effective sense these constant suggestions about safeguards. The hon. Gentleman who spoke on this. Amendment from the opposite side of the House, who has shown not only constant attention to these Debates but has intervened with great industry and fairness, said, "You should not increase the number of this Senate because it is an experiment." Is the Lower House not an experiment? And if the fact that you were trying an experiment in the Senate is any reason at all in connection with this question, surely it is a reason for extending this safeguard instead of diminishing it and making it a less effective safeguard than the Second Chamber in any part of His Majesty's Dominions. The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool said he disliked Second Chambers. He even went so far as to express a great dislike to the Second Chamber of the United States, and he mentioned Second Chambers in other countries, showing plainly that he has no love for them. But he was quite prepared to support this Second Chamber. Could you have, or desire to have, a better illustration or proof of the fact that this Second Chamber is going to be a sham than the fact that it has the support of the hon. Member, who detests Second Chambers of all kinds? But we are told, and the argument was repeated to-day by the hon. Member, that it is a mistake to imagine that such safeguards would be wanted in connection with the Irish House of Commons, because by indulging in prophecy, which is very cheap, there will be a lot of Unionist representation in this new House of Commons. Where is it going to come from? Hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway are always telling English audiences that this is only a mere measure of local government. The hon. Member told them that in Canada. He made light of it. But if it was only going to be an extension of local self-government, surely we are entitled to rely on our experience of what has already happened under local self-government, rather than to trust our future fate and fortunes to the prophecies and promises of what is going to happen, when we find that these things that they prophesy are entirely falsified by experience similar to the experience which we met with a few years ago.
My hon. and learned Friend the Member for North Armagh reminded the House what happened in 1898. I want to develop that a little. In that year the Local 1064 Government Act for Ireland was passed practically on lines identical with those adopted for England in 1888. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford, not only in this House, but upon the platform in Ireland, implored the Irish electorate in the three provinces outside of Ulster to find room upon these new boards for Unionists and for leading men wholly regardless of politics and religion, and he went so far as to say that the extent to which that would be done would be an indication and a test of the fitness of the Irish people for Home Rule; and he declared his belief, which he re-echoed in this House, that room would be found on these bodies, under the Local Government Act, for these leading men who were prepared and able to give their time and attention to the management of their own county affairs. We got that pledge and these prophecies repeated ad nauseam. In the result, in actual experience—and remember we are now asked to take even a further risk on the strength of prophecies given by the very same Gentleman, and in relation to the very same subject-matter: that is, local self-government—what happened in 1898? The hon. and learned Member has reminded the House that outside Ulster, out of some 600 county councillors altogether, there were only sixteen Unionists. But he overstated the case, because those sixteen include the Corporation of Dublin, and in the Corporation of Dublin—a city in which, by the way, Unionists pay nearly three-fourths of the entire rates—there are eight Unionist representatives out of something over sixty members, and those eight are included in the sixteen out of the entire 600 for the three provinces outside of Ulster. In the province of Connaught there is only one Unionist on the county councils, and in Munster there are two.
The point I wish to make on that is it shows how futile it is to ask men who have so much to risk) where the stakes are so tremendous, and its issues are so momentous, to stake all upon prophecies of this kind in the face of the non-fulfilment of prophecies made under precisely similar circumstances. But what I complain of most in regard to this is that although in 1898, and ever since, these prophecies and promises of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford have failed in fulfilment, he never from that year to this, so far as I know, has by any act, word, or deed attempted to carry them out or use his influence to have them carried out. That is 1065 what fills me with graver apprehension and alarm even than the fact that these prophecies have failed in the performance. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for one of the Divisions of Cork, asked, "What do you want any protection in the Senate for? What do you seek protection against? It cannot be against this House of Commons, which is emasculated. They have taken everything from us which is likely to excite passion or controversy or differences of opinion." I agree with him to a large extent that while this co-called Constitution—which it is pretended is going to satisfy the aspirations of those who for half a century have proclaimed that nothing will satisfy their aspirations except complete separation and independence—this crippled and maimed article is never going to satisfy any national sentiment in Ireland. At the same time I do not agree with the hon. and learned Member that it does not contain within it so far as it goes the seeds of a certain harvest of controversy and friction and trouble. Take, for example, one illustration, the question of education. That is, as I understand, entirely within the control and management of this new Irish House of Commons. The hon. and learned Gentleman knows the country as well as or perhaps a great deal better than I, and he knows that that is one of the great burning questions in Ireland, not merely as between the various creeds, but as between the members of the various religions amongst themselves, and that it is certain to form a subject matter of great bitterness of feeling and very wide and divergent views.
Where, then, is the protection provided by this safeguard? What is to be the nature and kind of body which is going to attract forty of the most brilliant intellects amongst the Irish people? The conditions under which this Assembly will sit admittedly are so degrading that no man of any spirit in Ireland would cross its threshold for an hour. It is purely ornamental; it is a mere debating society, without one particle of administrative power, organisation, or capacity. It consists of forty members. I care not how they are elected. It is not a question of their election, though, of course, the preliminary difficulties pointed out by the hon. Gentleman in the way of extra expense and wide area which will have to be canvassed, and all that, will be in itself a deterrent to men of great ability, but 1066 who shrink from the unpleasant campaigning and canvassing; but I could understand even that being done by ambitious men with plenty of money, and although we have many ambitious men in Ireland yet we have not many with plenty of money, at least not as many as we would like to have. But assume you have enough ambitious wealthy men in Ireland to form an Assembly of forty, what is to attract them to this House? They will be, on the very first occasion they find themselves in conflict with the Lower House, in a degrading position. They will number forty. Suppose they are Unionists which is a very violent assumption on the figures given by the Chief Secretary, namely, that Unionists could only have a representation of fifteen which leaves twenty-five of the other way of thinking; but suppose there are twenty-five of the other way of thinking and a permanent majority of twenty-five, why, they never will differ from the others. And that will make their position all the more ludicrous, degrading, and humiliating, because they will have nothing to do except register the decrees of the others.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I assume the other House will always have a permanent majority of one way of thinking. No man who knows the realities of Irish life, or understands his fellow countrymen, or who has lived amongst them, can have the slightest doubt that at least for years to come—I hope and believe it will not always be so—the minority in the present generation will be affected. It is poor satisfaction to speak of those born afterwards as living under altered conditions; the safeguard for which we ask is for those who have to live out their lives, and no one who knows the conditions of Irish life can entertain the slightest doubt that for years to come, certainly for a full generation, there will be a permanent majority of one way of thinking in the Irish House of Commons. Look at the degrading and miserable position of this wretched body which you seek to glorify and make something out of it by calling it a Senate. There will be there, also, a permanent majority, who will agree with and act on the lines of the permanent majority in the Lower House, and under these conditions they will remain absolutely a worthless body, simply registering the decree of the other. But assume the contrary—why, then its position becomes still more 1067 degraded. Assume that it differs from the Lower House, and assume that the Senate is unanimous in its disagreement—see the position you are placing it in; you send forty men to mix with 164, and to vote with them on equal terms; that is to say, one vote for each member of the forty is to have no more weight in the Joint Session than the vote of each member of the majority of 164. That you call a safeguard, and in framing it, as I have shown, you put it on a lower level, and with less power and efficiency for protection, than any other similar body in any constituent part of our great Empire. It is only one more proof of what I honestly believe, that this Bill has been framed, and deliberately framed, with less protection in it, less security in it, for the Unionist minority in Ireland, than in either of its predecessors, in 1886 and 1893; and any advance of any sort or kind that has been made towards us in the way of affording security or safeguard has only been to replace small fragments of the securities and safeguards that are to be found in the Bills of 1886 and 1893. It makes, as I have said, the duty of attempting to take part in this discusion, to say something in defence of those whose fears are as real as is their determination to save themselves from the consequences of those fears, and of putting their case before this House, even more irksome and more difficult than it would be under ordinary conditions.
§ Mr. LOUGH
I cannot listen to these Debates without regretting the spirit of bitterness with which these matters are always approached by the right hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down. Undoubtedly, if the Amendment on which he was speaking lends itself to the argument that he has been addressing to the House, he might have been said to have put forward a strong plea. But the House will remember that the Amendment is simply to increase the number from forty to a hundred. How will that give the minority protection? If it rests on the people of Ireland to elect forty, and if they proceed to discharge that duty in such a bitter way, with so much antagonism to the opinion of the minorty throughout the country, what protection will there be in increasing the number to a hundred? According to the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself, there would be no improvement effected in the scheme at all. One has only to weigh for a moment the 1068 arguments addressed to the House by the right hon. Gentleman and his friends to see that it is they who have introduced the touch of unreality, the strong spirit of unreality into these Debates. Will one hon. Member opposite get up and say that if one of these Amendments were accepted, and especially this Amendment, the Bill would be made more agreeable to them than it is at this moment? Those Amendments are all practically wrecking Amendments, brought forward in the spirit of general opposition to the Bill. Take one or two of the arguments of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. As he goes along, there is scarcely anything he can say which will appeal to this British Assembly but is bitter and has not got much foundation in it, as far as Ireland is concerned; there is scarcely a point of that kind he does not make. He said, "You will have very bitter debates in Ireland about education." How does he know that? There never are any bitter debates in Ireland about education. I see no reason why there should be; both sides in Ireland take the same view about education, so far as I know.
Both sides have settled the whole question, and have worked peacefully together for half a century. It is in this House that the bitter debates about education arise; it is among the British people that you get it. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not in Scotland."] If that be so, Scotland owes it to Ireland, and she has got all those ideas which make her so prosperous from Ireland, and she cannot be sufficiently grateful for it. Take this question of education—I say there is not a scrap of foundation for saying that there would be any quarrel or difficulty in Ireland in connection with it. It will be settled, and amicably settled, and so far as difficulty has been dragged into it it has been done in this House. One might build up a very strong argument in favour of the general principle of this Bill if one chose to go into that question, which it would not be quite relevant for me to do now. The right hon. and learned Gentleman did undoubtedly mention a matter which touched me very strongly, namely, the way in which county councils are elected in Ireland. The county of Cavan is a bad illustration of the way in which the minority is treated. On a county council of forty members, though there is a very substantial Protestant minority in the county, yet never a Protestant has been elected to the council. Right hon. and hon. Members opposite 1069 apparently blame the Irish for it, but it was this House which narrowed the electoral area, and which invented every means by which the minority in Ireland has been debarred from getting any expression of its opinion. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said that perhaps on some future day—when he is dead—there will be less bitter feeling in Ireland, and that Irishmen will love one another. The difference between us is that the right hon. and learned Gentleman takes such a melancholy view, while I am more hopeful. Why should not Ireland begin to reform in this respect? Why should not the advent of this Bill be the great occasion in Ireland for one side to stretch out the hand of fellowship to the other? The right hon. and learned Gentleman is willing to believe that there will be something of the kind among Irishmen—well, in centuries to come. Why should they not begin at once?
Since this House changed its attitude towards Ireland some fifteen or twenty years ago, in consequence of these Debates and this demand for a constituent Assembly in Ireland, at the time of 1886 and again in 1893, it has been felt by hon. Gentlemen opposite that something must be done, and they supported a great many good things, including county councils in Ireland. To every experiment that has been made both sides in Ireland have responded excellently; both have tried as far as they could to correct the faults of measures which this House framed. I do not pretend or believe for one moment that this Bill is at present in a perfect state. But I have a strong feeling of complaint against the right hon. and learned Member and his fellow Member for Trinity College, and other hon. Members opposite, that they do not come forward with some constructive proposal which they mean to be seriously considered by the House, and say, "On these grounds we will be satisfied with your Constitution, on these grounds we will work in a national and patriotic spirit." They have been invited by my right hon. Friend in this House and out of it to do that. They will have to do it some day. Would it not be better to introduce less bitterness into these Debates—sometimes to bring forward constructive proposals? I can tell them, for one, that any influence I may have I shall use in support of what I under-
§ stand to be the general argument, that the minority in Ireland is not? adequately represented as the Bill now stands. I have constantly said that I am not very much in love with the Senate. It has not been spoken of with very great respect this afternoon. It is small in number and somewhat limited in power. I am convinced if they in an honest spirit brought forward a proposal for putting these matters right it would not fall on deaf ears so far as the Government is concerned.
§ I confess, however, that I do not see how this Amendment is to effect much improvement. The right hon. Gentleman, I believe, agrees with that. Everybody agrees with that. If the Amendment would do nothing towards curing the evils described in their speeches, why should we bother about it? Why should we pretend to be serious about it? With great respect, I think it is greatly to be deplored that we are not able, working under great limitations of time, to turn our opportunities to better account. If I could see some good constructive Amendment brought forward in a proper spirit from the Front Opposition Bench I should have hope; and it is the duty of the Opposition to do that sort of thing. They are failing in their duty when they always raise the whole principle of the Bill and make Second Beading speeches on every Amendment. They ought to bring forward some constructive Amendment in a fair spirit, and I think if they did so they would win support in the House, and might perhaps cause it to make its way to the minds of the Ministry. It must be admitted by hon. Members opposite that if this Bill is allowed to pass as it is it will be left to Ireland to amend it. Some day the Irish leaders may do it, and perhaps sooner than is expected, and I hope that the minority who are associated with the majority in Great Britain and other parts of Ireland will then be given some sort of fair play and recognition, to which they are entitled. I heartily hope at some stage in the discussion that some spirit of this kind will be introduced into this Debate, and I believe if a proposal were made in that spirit that it would be met.
§ Question put, "That the word ' forty' stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 292; Noes, 170.1073
|Division No. 490.]||AYES.||[6.45 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Addison, Dr. Christopher||Alden,percy|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Allen,Arthur A.(Dumbarton)|
|Adamton, William||Ainsworth, John Stirling||Allen,Rt.Hon.Charles p.(stroud)|
|Arnold, Sydney||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Morison, Hector|
|Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Muldoon, John|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Munro, R.|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Guiney, P.||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon R. C.|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Hackett, J.||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C.|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Needham, Christopher T.|
|Barton, W.||Hardie, J. Keir||Neilson, Francis|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Nicholson, Sir C. N. (Doncaster)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Nolan, Joseph|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Bentham, G. J.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, William (Cork)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hazleton, Richard||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Boland, John Pius||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Helme, Sir Norval Watson||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Dowd, John|
|Brace, William||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Grady, James|
|Brady, P. J.||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Kelly. James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Higham, John Sharp||O'Malley, William|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hinds, John||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon, John||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Shee, James John|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Hudson, Walter||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Hughes, S. L.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwick)||John, Edward Thomas||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Swansea)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|clough, William||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Clynes, John R.||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Pollard. Sir George H.|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Jones, Leif Stratten (Rushcliffe)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jowett, Frederick William||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Joyce, Michael||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Keating, Matthew||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Kellaway, Frederick George||Radford, G. H.|
|Crean, Eugene||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Crooks, William||Kilbride, Denis||Reddy, M.|
|Crumley, Patrick||King, J.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Cullinan, J.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon.S.Molton)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal. West)||Richards, Thomas|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardiganshire)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Leach, Charles||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Delany, William||Levy, Sir Maurice'||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Lundon, Thomas||Roch, Walter F.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Doris, W.||Lynch, A. A.||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Duffy, William J.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||McGhee, Richard||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Maclean, Donald||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Russell. Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Elverston, Sir Harold||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L (Cleveland)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macpherson, James Ian||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Falconer, J.||M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Kean, John||Sheehy. David|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Manfield, Harry||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Field, William||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Snowden. Philip|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Meagher, Michael||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Furness, Stephen||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Menzies, Sir Walter||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Gilhooly, James||Millar, James Duncan||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Gill, A. H.||Molloy, M.||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Ginnell, L.||Molteno, Percy Alport||Tennant, Harold John|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Thomas, J. H.|
|Glanville, Harold James||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Morgan, George Hay||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Goldstone, Frank||Morrell, Philip||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Verney, Sip Harry||Webb, H.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Wadsworth, J.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Walters, Sir John Tudor||White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Wilson, W T. (Westhoughton)|
|Walton, Sir Joseph||Whitehouse, John Howard||Winfrey, Richard|
|Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Wardle, George J.||Wiles, Thomas||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Waring, Walter||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R,||Fell, Arthur||Moore, William|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton).|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Fleming, Valentine||Mount, William Arthur|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Fletcher, John Samuel||Newman, John R. P.|
|Astor, Waldorf||Forster, Henry William||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Baird, J. L.||Gardner, Ernest||Nield, Herbert|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Gastrell, Major W. H.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid).|
|Balcarres. Lord||Gibbs, G. A.||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G.|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gilmour, Captain John||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Gordon, John (Lundonderry, south)||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Barnston, Harry||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Barrie, H. T.||Grant, J. A.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Rawson, Col. R. H.|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Blair, Reginald||Harris, Henry Percy||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Boies, Lieut.-Col Dennis Fortescue||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby))|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hickman, Colonel T. E.||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Sandys, G. J.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l, Walton|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Campion, W. R.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Stanler, Beville|
|Carson, Rt Hon. Sir Edward H.||Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cassel, Felix||Horner, Andrew Long||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Cator, John||Houston, Robert Paterson||Stewart, Gershom|
|Cautley, H. S.||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hunter, Sir C. R.||Sykes, Alan John (Ches.,Knutsford)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Ingleby, Holcombe||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Chambers, J.||Joynson-Hicks, William||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Thomson, W. Mitchell. (Down, N.)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Kerry, Earl of||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Kimber, Sir Henry||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Larmor, Sir J.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lewisham, Viscount||Willoughby. Major Hon. Claud|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanetl||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Cralk, Sir Henry||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt. Col. A. R.||Winterton, Earl|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Croft, H. P.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droltwich)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||Macmaster, Donald||Younger, Sir George|
|Duke, Henry Edward||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Magnus, Sir Philip||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||H. Carlile and Col. Yate.|
|Falle, Bertram Godfray||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
§ Mr. CRAWSHAY-WILLIAMS
I beg to move, after the word "and"["in respect of the nomination, and"], to insert the words, "If a resolution in favour of electing the Senate be passed by either House of the Irish Parliament within five years from the appointed day."
1074 The effect of the Amendment, together with the consequential Amendments, would be to ensure that if the system of nominated Senate was found during the-first five years to be working well, and, if no desire were expressed on any side for any change, the Irish Parliament and the- 1075 Irish people should not be forced to leave a system which was found to be a success and to embark on a system of which we have had no previous experience in these Islands, and which might possibly be a considerable change for the worse. By this Amendment, if a resolution were to be passed during the first five years by cither House of the Irish Parliament calling for an elected Senate, then the second scheme of the Government, and I say advisedly second scheme, as the first scheme was a scheme for a nominated Senate, then the second scheme which appears in the Bill as it stands would be adopted. That is a considerable prejudice in favour of this proportional representation scheme. It means to say if there is the slightest desire, real desire, expressed by the new Parliament in favour of a scheme for an elected Senate, elected by proportional representation, then that scheme shall hold the field. On the other hand, it does leave a loop-hope by which the Irish Parliament shall be enabled, if they find the nominated Senate a success, to continue the system of nomination. I do urge the Government to leave this loophole for the new Parliament. After all this system of proportional representation, which is now being adopted in the Bill, was somewhat sprung upon us. It is conceivable that from experience of the nominated Senate, and from reflection on the difficulties attendant upon the system of proportional representation, it might appear to the new Parliament better to cling to the system which is working well rather than to change to a novel system about which a good many people have certain misgivings, misgivings which I think were voiced most eloquently quite recently by the hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy) when he pointed out the extreme difficulty which would be attendant on any attempt to canvass the huge constituencies which the provinces of Ireland would form.
I would ask the Government not to imagine because the advocates of proportional representation seem to be rather more numerous than its opponents, and speak perhaps with louder voice, that there is really no opposition to proportional representation, and the way is perfectly smooth for those who are in favour of that scheme. There are a great many, I believe, who have a clear apprehension of what proportional representation does 1076 mean and who oppose that scheme. Probably the whole idea is too new to this country and to most of us for any considerable body of opposition yet to have developed. You will always hear more of a scheme from its supporters at the beginning until reflection upon the scheme amongst those who have not yet thought about it has had time to develop a body of opposition. I might perhaps claim to be one of those who understand the system of proportional representation and could even conduct an election, and yet one who does not sympathise with the system, who does not believe that it is in the interests of our democracy or in harmony with our ideas in these Islands, and for this reason oppose its introduction. When there has been more time for reflection over the practical difficulties of the scheme, and when a certain amount of experience has been gained of the nominated system, it may still prove that the Irish Parliament will prefer to abide by the original intention of the Government—a nominated Senate.
The change in the Bill is vast and fundamental. In the first place, it is the introduction of a system of election for the Second Chamber; and, in the second place, it declares that system to be the novel and untried system of proportional representation. It sets a precedent which may have rather far-reaching results. Under the circumstances I am not quite sure that this House has sufficiently considered and thought out what is meant by these vast and far-reaching changes. We are deciding, first of all, that an elected Second Chamber is desirable; and, secondly, that the system of proportional representation is the best for an elected Second Chamber. To declare that an elected Second Chamber is desirable is to decide precisely the point that we shall have to decide when we come to consider the reform of the House of Lords in this country, and to my mind we are considerably prejudging the issue in that most momentous discussion. Is it wise in an Amendment, after an hour or two of discussion—for that is all we, had on this particular point—to make such a far-reaching decision? There are many, of whom I am one, who consider that an elected Second Chamber is not desirable in the interests of democracy. We find from precedents set all over the Empire that elected Second Chambers have a habit of encroaching on the privileges and rights of 1077 the First Chamber, that they very often exceed their true functions, and obtain powers which are not really pertinent to a Second Chamber. We find that in many Colonies the Second Chamber, because of its being an elected Second Chamber, has interfered with and defied the decisions of the First Chamber. We find that because of its election or elective character it has arrogated to itself power over finance, and has ended very often by becoming, if not actually the paramount Chamber, at all events one which is a serious menace to the supremacy of the First Chamber.
Therefore, I think it may be perfectly legitimate to say that, in the interests of democracy, although it may not seem so at first, it is more desirable to have a nominated than an elected Second Chamber. All this is, at all events, worthy of considerable thought and discussion. To my mind, the system should not be definitely and inexorably entered upon in a light-hearted manner. Then, again, we are committing ourselves definitely to the system of proportional representation as the most suitable method of electing the Second Chamber. We are committing ourselves to that system in a country where in these large constituencies the conditions are peculiarly ill-adapted to proportional representation. I would prefer the Amendment, which I understand is to be discussed later, applying proportional representation in certain cases to the large towns, rather than a scheme which applies the system to large country areas over Ireland. I do not think that the Amendment which we are to discuss is in itself a good one, but I would prefer it to the system by which proportional representation is applied to the election of the Senate. You would, at all events, have small areas, whereas in the present scheme, as applied to the Senate, you have vast areas extremly difficult to cover, and giving a great advantage to a type of candidate who may not be considered in all respects the best fitted to represent the Irish people. There are many other grounds to which I do not wish to refer in detail, because they were gone into in Committee, but which many of us hold in opposing proportional representation. We believe it would be in the interests of plutocratic government; we think it will make for less personal representation.
There is, however, one point worth mentioning more particularly. The question of by-elections is an absolutely insuperable difficulty in the way of such a scheme. 1078 In the Bill, as it stands, we have the system of proportional representation applied to the provinces of Ireland. Imagine that in one of the provinces, whichever one you like to take, one of the minority representatives dies and another member has to be elected in his stead. Take the province of Ulster, where there are to be fourteen members. Let us say that six of the members are Nationalists, and that one Nationalist dies. What will happen? You have to poll the whole of that great province to fill his place. Were a Nationalist to die, it is absolutely and inexorably certain that a Unionist would be returned. There is no way out of this difficulty. No one has ever propounded a way out of it where you have proportional representation. The same applies to towns as to country areas. The same will apply to Belfast as to Ulster. The same would apply in the other direction with the opposite result to the provinces of Leinster, Munster, and Connaught. If in one of those provinces a Unionist died, it is absolutely certain that a Nationalist would be returned in his place. There has never been propounded, to my knowledge, any real and logical way out of this difficulty. At all events, the Government have not propounded any way out of the difficulty, and I should like to hear what solution they have for it.
Let us visualise, if I may use the Chief Secretary's word, what will happen with regard to the Second Chamber when this new Irish Parliament comes into being. For the first five years you will have men qualified for their work nominated to the Senate. These men will get into their work and serve for five years. At the end of the five years the whole of the edifice which has been built up will by law have to be torn down, and the men who have been nominated, who may not—very probably and properly in the case of a Second Chamber—be precisely the men who would be elected by a popular vote, but who may yet do their particular work exceedingly well, will have to go out on a pilgrimage canvassing these huge electoral areas. At the same time, it may have been proved to the satisfaction of every one in Ireland that the system of a nominated Senate has succeeded remarkably well. In spite of this inexorable fate will say that these men must go to the country or go out of the Assembly altogether, and that a new and untried system, about which we may have found out many practical difficulties by then, must be set 1079 up in its stead. Under these circumstances I ask that the Government should leave a loophole of escape. I can understand the Government saying that Ireland must not have an absolutely free hand in this matter; that a Second Chamber is one of the safeguards with which we are endeavouring to please and placate the Ulster faction. I can understand their saying we must settle the scheme under which the Second Chamber shall come into being. But the Government have settled the scheme of nomination as well as the scheme of election. The first scheme put forward by the Government was the scheme of nomination, and if you leave that scheme available to the Irish Parliament you will not be in any way transgressing the rule which you lay down that this country and this Government must prescribe the form which the Second Chamber shall take. All I ask is, that if the first scheme is found to be good, if there are no objections to a nominated Senate, if everything is working smoothly under it, the new Irish Parliament shall be allowed to retain that system, instead of being wantonly forced to throw away what they have tried and found successful, and to adopt what is untried and may lead to very unsatisfactory results in every way. I beg to move.
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
What my hon. Friend proposes is to a very large extent that this House should now go back upon a decision arrived at in the Committee stage. The first proposal of the Government was that the Second Chamber should be a nominated body. It was found that that proposal had few friends and very many critics in every quarter of the House. Apart from my hon. Friend himself and one or two others, it received very little support from any Members on these benches. Right hon. Gentlemen opposite particularly complained that, while we suggested that the Senate was put forward as in some degree a safeguard and protection for the interests of the minority, we were proposing that after the period of the first five years the members of that Senate should be nominated by the Lord Lieutenant, on the recommendation of his Irish Ministers, and that, therefore, the future members of the Senate would, in fact, be appointed on the recommendation of the leader of the majority of 1080 the Irish House of Commons. They urged with great vehemence that this could not be regarded as in any way a protection of the interests of those on whose behalf they were speaking. It was very largely in response to that plea that the Clause was remodelled and given the shape which it now has. Yet we find to-day the right hon. and learned Gentleman the junior Member for Trinity College declaring that he took part in these Debates with a sense of humiliation because of their futility; that every detail of the Bill had been settled between the Government and the leaders of the Nationalist party before it was introduced; that no Amendments could or would be made in it, and that he regarded the whole discussion as a waste of time.
But we had the Leader of the Opposition only a few days ago using exactly the-opposite argument. He dwelt upon the number of Amendments that had been made by the Government during the Committee stage, stating that they were no fewer than eighty-four in number. He emphasised also the fact that we had put down no fewer than fifty-nine Amendments upon Report. Yet we have the right hon. and learned Gentleman declaring that our discussions are a farce, that the Bill is cut and dried, and that no alterations of any kind could be the outcome of our Debates. The very Clause which we are now discussing is in itself a proof of the falsity of that argument, and provides one of the best illustrations of the desire which the Government and the House have shown to meet reasonable proposals from the Opposition Benches for the protection of the minority in Ireland. That is the chief reason, amongst others, why we cannot accept the Amendment which is now proposed by my hon. Friend. This House decided in the Committee stage, and decided even without a Division being-challenged—though my hon. Friend spoke against the Amendment, he did not carry his views into the Lobby—that the Senate in Ireland should not be nominated, but that it should be elected on the principle of proportional representation. The Senate, in our view, must be regarded as the creation of this Parliament. We give no powers to the Irish Parliament to redistribute its seats, to alter the qualification of its members, or in any way to affect the composition of the Senate. It is as much regulated by Imperial Act as the representation of Ireland in this Parliament. 1081 To that we adhere. Perhaps in this connection I might give a very brief answer to the comparatively minor point raised by the hon. and learned Member for Cork, who protested against these members being elected by provinces on the ground that "province" was not a term of art, was unknown in law, that if we had included such a term in our Bill it ought to have been denned. I would like to call attention to the fact that in the Act relating to the setting up of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in Ireland, passed, I think, in 1898, the basis of representation in the Agricultural Council is by provinces. That term "province" appears frequently in that Act undefined, and no inconvenience has been found to arise; indeed, I am told that the provinces of Ireland are older than the counties, and that there can be no possibility of misunderstanding the meaning of Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connaught.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
It is an answer to the hon. and learned Gentleman, who said that the term was unknown in law, to quote from an Act of Parliament in which it is. The hon. and learned Member said that the omission of this word must give rise to infinite difficulties in working, and I pointed out to him that an Act of Parliament contains it, and has done for a considerable number of years, and there has been no difficulty at all. I submit to the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. T. M. Healy) that at all events that is prima facie some answer to the argument which his colleague addressed to the House. I am not debating on its comparative merits, or demerits, the system of proportional representation. I can only say that after very prolonged consideration, the Government whatever inconvenience may attach to the matter in certain respects, much less the inconvenience of feelings which may exist in this particular case to any other proposal, certainly would not assent to such a proposal as that now made by the hon. Member that either House of Parliament in Ireland should by some resolution determine what is to be for all future time the method of election of the Irish Senate. That proposal would give into the hands of forty nominated gentlemen, elected by no one, the power of saying by fiat of their own what shall be the Constitution for all the years to come 1082 of this body. We consider that this House must take upon itself the responsibility of that determination. Therefore I ask the House to adhere to the Bill as it stands.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
The words of the right hon. Gentleman indicate to me that he has no expectation whatever of his proposal ever passing into law, and certainly no expectation that it will ever work.
§ Question, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill," put, and negatived.
§ Government Amendment made: In Subsection (2), leave out the words "an election of a senator" and insert instead thereof the words "election of senators."—[Mr. Birrell.]
§ Mr. MILDMAY
On point of Order, Sir. May I ask if you have passed over the Amendment standing in my name of set purpose?
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I beg to move to add the following as a new Sub-section:—
"(5) Before any Order in Council is made under this Section, a draft thereof shall be laid before both Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom during the Session of that Parliament, and if an Address is presented to His Majesty by either of those Houses within the next subsequent forty days on which that House has sat against the draft or any part thereof no further proceedings shall be taken upon the draft, but without prejudice to the making of any new draft,"
I had so little expectation that this Amendment would be reached that I had not fortified myself for its discussion. However, I think I can present a very sufficient case for the adoption of this Amendment. Let us consider the difficulties in which the system of proportional representation—which, personally, I am inclined to support—will involve the Government, when it carries it out by an Order in Council, contemplated by Clause 8, Sub-section (2). If hon. Members will turn to that Section they will see:—
"The election of senators shall be according to the principle of propor- 1083 tional representation, the electors being the same electors as the electors of Members returned by constituencies in Ireland to serve in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and each elector having one transferable vote."
A great deal of argument has been used in regard to the transferable vote. Certain test elections, toy elections, have taken place to illustrate it, but I do not believe the House, as a whole, and much less the electors, as a whole, have fully grasped its working. The Government may by Order in Council—
"Frame regulations prescribing the method of voting at an election of a senator and of transferring and counting votes at such an election …"
I think that gives a rather dangerous power to the Government. I imagine, when they set out their Order in Council a great many people will say, "That is not at all what we understood by the, transferable vote; they are not carrying out in their purity the true principles of the transferable vote." I think that is another instance where too wide powers are given to the Government by the Order in Council. Therefore, I suggest, at any rate, before this becomes law that this House shall have the opportunity of revising the consequences in this respect of its own work. I suggest that a draft Order should be laid before both Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom, and that if an Address is passed by either House that that Order in Council shall not work. I object to give these powers of subordinate lawmaking to the Government. I think that there should be some check upon its operations. Otherwise we may find a method of election being set up is not that which the House intended or desired. In the hope that at any rate the Government will make some concession in this matter I beg to move.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I beg to ' second the Motion, and I would draw the attention of the Government to the fact that in the Amendment is that the Order in Council is to be laid before both Houses of Parliament. That is the constitutional way.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The hon. Gentleman who seconded the Motion dwelt upon the importance of sound 1084 constitutional principles. I do not know that he will find anything stated in the provision that the draft Order in Council shall be laid upon the Table of the House to be considered by this House. There are provisions, of course, in the Statutes, and there is a provision in this Bill that Orders in Council shall be laid, and having been laid by His Majesty, shall be laid upon the Table of this House or both Houses, and if an Address is passed by the one House or another certain consequences will follow. There has never been a proposal such as that which is inserted in the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman that the Order in Council, not passed by His Majesty, merely apparently drafted by some Minister—
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
It is rather late in the day to cut the Amendment about, and considering the time at our disposal. But I was going to say that in itself this Amendment is unnecessary, because the matter with which it deals is a pure question of machinery of the kind which is always left to the Orders in Council, and which is in no degree a legislative matter. All the principles on which this method of election is to be founded are contained in the Bill. It is merely detail, and the execution of those principles which are to be left to the Order in Council. Should an improper Order be made, or some question be raised, hon. Members will have their remedy in this House. The Order in Council is made on the responsibility of the Government of the day, without any statutory provision being inserted in this Bill that the Order itself should be laid upon the Table of the House. Hon. Members, if they think fit, and if occasion arises on some real point of substance, will be able to ask for opportunities of debate, and will be able to take the opportunity of debate on the many occasions during the course of the Session when administrative action comes under review. I have no doubt the Government of the day would give proper respect to any representations that were made of that kind. I do not think the hon. Member attaches very much importance to this; certainly the Government do not think the Amendment is one that is really necessary.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."1086
§ The House divided: Ayes, 186; Noes, 313.1089
|Division No. 491.]||AYES.||[7.30 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Forster, Henry William||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Gardner, Ernest||Mount, William Arthur|
|Baird, J. L.||Gastrell, Major W. Houghton||Newman, John R. P.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Gibbs, G. A.||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gilmour, Captain John||Nield, Herbert|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Norton-Griffiths, J.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Gordon, John (Lundonderry, South)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Grant, James Augustus||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Barnston, H.||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Barrie, Hugh T.||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Peel, Captain R. F.|
|Bathurst, Charles Wilton||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Perkins, Walter F.|
|Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks||Haddock, George Bahr||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hall, Marshall (E. Toxteth)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (Montgom'y B'ghs)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Randies, Sir John S.|
|Bigland, Alfred||Harris, Henry Percy||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Bird, Alfred||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Blair, Reginald||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hickman, Colonel T. E.||Rolleston, Sir John|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hill, Sir Clement||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hills, J. W.||Royds, Edmund|
|Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hohler, G. F.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hope, James Fltzalan (Sheffield)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Butcher, J. G.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Sandys, George John|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Horne, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Campion, W. R.||Horner, Andrew Long||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Houston, Robert Paterson||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hume-Williams, William Ellis||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Cator, John||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Stanler, Beville|
|Cautley, H. S.||Ingleby, Holcombe||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jackson, Sir John||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Joynson-Hicks, William||Stewart, Gershom|
|Chambers, James||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Kerry, Earl of||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Kimber, Sir Henry||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Kinloch-Cooke. Sir Clement||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Cory. Sir Clifford John||Larmor, Sir J.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North).|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lawson, Hon. Harry (Mile End)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||Lee, Arthur H.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Lewisham, Viscount||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)|
|Dalrymple, Viscount||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)|
|Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Wills, Sir Gilbert|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo., Han. S.)||Winterton, Earl|
|Du Cros, Arthur Philip||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Macmaster, Donald||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Magnus, Sir Philip||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Falle, B. G.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fell, Arthur||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Yate, Colonel C. E.|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Younger, Sir George|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Fleming, Valentine||Moore, William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr-|
|Fletcher, John Samuel||Morrison-Bell. Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||S. Roberts and Mr. J. Lyttelton.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Black, Arthur W.|
|Adamson, William||Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Boland, John Pius|
|Addison, Dr. Christopher||Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Booth, Frederick Handel|
|Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.||Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Bowerman. Charles W.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Barton, William||Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)|
|Alden, Percy||Beale, Sir William Phipson||Brace, William|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Brady, P. J.|
|Alien, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Beck, Arthur Cecil||Brocklehurst, William B.|
|Arnold, Sydney||Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Brunner, John F. L.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Bentham, George Jackson||Bryce, John Annan|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Bethell, Sir J. H.||Burke, E. Haviland-|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Henry, Sir Charles S.||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Buxton, P.t. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Higham, John Sharp||O'Dowd, John|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hinds, John||O'Grady, James|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H,||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Hodge, John||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Hogge, James Myles||O'Malley, William|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Holmes, Daniel Turner||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Clough, William||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Clynes, J. R,||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)||O'Shee, James John|
|Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Hudson, Walter||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon, Sir J,||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||Palmer. Godfrey Mark|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||John, Edward Thomas||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Jones, Rt.Hon.Sir D.Brynmor (Sw'nsea)||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Crean, Eugene||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Crooks, William||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Pointer, Joseph|
|Crumley, Patrick||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Cullinan, John||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepnoy)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Jowett, Frederick William||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Joyce, Michael||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Keating, Matthew||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Kellaway, Frederick George||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Radford, G. H.|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Kilbride, Denis||Raphael, Sir Herbert Henry|
|De Forest, Baron||King, J.||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Delany, William||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Reddy, Michael|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Donelan. Captain A.||Leach, Charles||Rendall, Atheistan|
|Doris, William||Levy, Sir Maurice||Richards, Thomas|
|Duffy, William J.||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Lundon, Thomas||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid.)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Eiverston, Sir Harold||Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Roberts, Sir J. H (Denbighs)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||McGhee, Richard||Roch, Walter F.|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Maclean, Donald||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Falconer, James||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Roe, Sir Thomsa|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||Macpherson, James Ian||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Field, William||M'Curdy, C. A.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||M'Kean, John||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Fitzgibbon, John||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Furness, Stephen||Manfield, Harry||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Scott, A. MacCalium (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|Gilhooly. James||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Gill. Alfred Henry||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Sheehy, David|
|Ginnell, L.||Martin, J.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Glanville, H. J.||Meagher, Michael||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Menzies, Sir Walter||Snowden, Philip|
|Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Millar, James Duncan||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Molloy, Michael||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Griffith. Ellis Jones||Molteno, Percy Alport||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Guest. Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Guiney, P.||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Hackett, J.||Morgan, George Hay||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Harcourt. Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Morrell, Philip||Tennant, Harold John|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Morisen, Hector||Thomas, James Henry|
|Hardie, J. Keir||Muldoon, John||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Calthness-shire)||Munro, Robert||Tievelyan, Chorles philips|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Needham, Christopher T.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Neilson, Francis||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Walters, Sir John Tudor|
|Hayden. John Patrick||Nolan, Joseph||Walton. Sir Joseph|
|Havward, Evan||Norman, Sir Henry||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Hazleton, Richard||Norton, Caotain Cecil William||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Healy. Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard||Wardle, George J.|
|Helme, Sir Norval Watson||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Waring, Walter|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||O'Brien, William (Cork)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)||Wiles, Thomas||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)||Wilkie, Alexander||Winfrey, Richard|
|Webb, H.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas)|
|White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|White, Sir Luke (York, E-R.)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Williamson, Sir A.|
|Whitehouse, John Howard||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland,|
|Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|