§ "The appointed day for the purposes of this Act shall be the first Tuesday in the eighth month after the month in which this Act is passed, or such other day not more than seven months earlier or later, as may be fixed by Order of His Majesty in Council either generally or with reference to any particular provision of this Act, and different days may be appointed for different 1782 purposes and different provisions of this Act."
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I beg to move, at the beginning of the Clause, to insert the words, "This Act shall, except as expressly provided, come into operation on the appointed day and"
We owe these words to the assiduity and clear-headedness of the hon. and learned 1783 Gentleman (Mr. Cassel) who, all through this Bill has displayed, not only knowledge of it, but also a critical faculty, sometimes disagreeable and sometimes the reverse. He pointed out that there was running through this measure a contrast between those things which will happen when the Act passes and those which will happen on the arrival of the appointed day, and as we already have looming in the distance what the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Balfour) calls the "happy day," it was desirable that we should, as between the appointed day and the day of the passing of the Act, make the measure as clear and distinct as we possibly could. I, therefore, propose to insert these words. I have to put in the words, "as expressly provided," because there are Clauses in the Bill under which certain things happen on the passing of the Act, and, therefore, as expressly provided. I think now we really have the matter, so far as language goes, cleared up, so that everyone who runs may read; but it is worth while calling the attention of the House to the Clause as it will stand, when both these words are inserted and also certain other words which are proposed to be added at the end of the Clause. The Clause as then amended at the beginning and at the end will read as follows—
"This Act shall, except as expressly provided, come into operation on the appointed day, and the appointed day for the purposes of this Act shall be the first Tuesday in the eighth month after the month in which this Act is passed, or such other day, not more than seven months earlier or later, as may be fixed by order of His Majesty in Council, either generally or with reference to any particular provision of the Act, and different days may be appointed for different purposes and different provisions of this Act."
And here we come to a thing which marks the final terminus, so that there is to be an end of doubts as to what that day is to be—
"but the Irish Parliament shall be summoned to meet not later than four months after the said Tuesday, and the appointed day for holding elections for the Irish Senate and Irish House of Commons shall be fixed accordingly."
That was to meet another objection, forcibly urged by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that there might be a very long period during which there would be an Executive, and there would be no Parlia- 1784 ment to whom that Executive would be responsible. We have therefore now, I think, done what is right in that matter. There is, I notice, an Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson), which raises another point which, I quite agree, may have to be debated. He docs not object, I gather, to my Amendment at the beginning, but he would stop at the word "passed," so that it would read:—
"This Act shall, except as expressly provided, come into operation on the appointed day, and the appointed day shall be the first Tuesday in the eighth month after the month in which this Act is passed."
He would omit the final words, which allow a time not more than seven months, earlier or later, and that different days should be appointed for different purposes. Of course, it is really essential for the proper working of any such Constitution as this that different days should be allowed for the coming into operation of the different powers conferred by this Act.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Will the right hon. Gentleman say what are the provisions which will necessarily come into operation on the passing of the Act?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I think they are very clearly stated Clause by Clause in the Bill. I do not think I can advantageously state them now.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I wish to make certain criticisms which, I hope, will prove agreeable. The right hon. Gentleman said he thought he had cleared everything up. I think he has very much improved the Bill, but there are certain points which I do not think have been cleared up. There are cases where the passing of the Act is still mentioned where it really does not work out properly. The first instance I should like to take is that there is now absolutely no provision in the Bill for the judges either of the Supreme Court or the County-Court or any Irish Civil servants who are appointed between the passing of the Act and the appointed day. May I tell the right hon. Gentleman why I think so?
§ 8.0 P.M.
§ Mr. CASSEL
Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that judges who are actually holding their offices when the Act passes are to be in a different position from those appointed under the authority of the 1785 Imperial Parliament during the interval between the passing of the Act and the appointed day? That interval may be anything from one month to fifteen months. The period provided by the Bill is eight months, but it may be extended by seven months, or it may be reduced by seven months. Any judges, whether of the Supreme Court or the County Court, and any Civil servant in the Irish service, appointed in that period while the Imperial Parliament has still control, has absolutely no provision made for him in this Bill. What reason is there for this distinction? I thought it was an overlook until the right hon. Gentleman got up and told us that it was not. That is an amazing statement. A judge who happens to be on the bench when the Act passes is to have certain rights. He is to have his salary paid from the Consolidated Fund, and he is not to be removed except by an Address from both Houses of Parliament. But a new judge who is appointed under the auspices of the Imperial Parliament during these fifteen months, or whatever the period may be after the passing of the Act and the appointed day is not to be in the same position.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
A new judge when the Act comes into operation comes under the conditions applicable to his appointment. Though for purposes of administration we may change the appointed day, the Act, as a matter of fact, comes into operation on the day it is passed.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I should think that this House ought to see that proper provision is made for all the judges and officers who are appointed during the time this House has control over the affairs of Ireland. This House is to have control for a certain limited period, even after the Act passes, and if, under the auspices of the Imperial Executive, officers are appointed during that period, this House surely cannot say in regard to them that it is a matter of indifference. Surely Civil servants appointed under the auspices of the Imperial Parliament should have the same rights as to pensions, superannuation, and allowances, as those who have been appointed the day before the Act was passed. [An HON. MEMBER: "They take the position with their eyes open." The hon. Member opposite no doubt will have an opportunity of speaking. I should have thought that in the cases referred to this Parliament would have felt it to be its duty to see 1786 that they were properly treated. I agree that from the moment the Irish Parliament and Irish Executive take over the responsibilities of government Civil servants will take service in Ireland with their eyes open. But officers appointed while the Imperial Parliament has still control, look to this Parliament to protect them in their position when any change takes place. If any doubt were felt upon that question, I think it is set at rest by the definition given in Clause 48, which says:—
"The expression 'existing' means existing at the passing of this Act."
Clause 32, Sub-section (3), says:—
"If any of the said judges or officers retires from office with His Maajesty's approbation before completion of the period of service entitling him to a pension, His Majesty may, if he thinks fit, after considering any representation that may be made by the Irish Government, grant to him such pension, not exceeding the pension to which he would on that completion have been entitled, as His Majesty thinks proper."
I must say that when I rose to make these observations I expected the right hon. Gentleman would get up and say that this was an oversight. I really can hardly think that he means judges and all Civil servants appointed during the period between the passing of the Act and the appointed day, which, under the Bill, will be eight-months, but which may by Order in Council be extended or diminished, are to be absolutely left without any provision whatever when a change takes place in their position. I think that is a provision which ought to be carefully considered. It is not too late even now to amend the provisions of the Bill in this respect, for although under the guillotine the Clauses mentioned have been passed, the Government could still put into Clause 48 something to protect these people. I am sure that many hon. Members, when they realise the nature of the provisions, would wish to have some safeguard put in for the officers in that position.
Let me refer to another point. Under the Bill as drawn, if the Franchise Bill passes into law later than the Home Rule Bill—I am merely making an assumption for the sake of argument, and I hope no one will take it that it is an expectation—it would not apply to Ireland unless this House, having given Home Rule, chose almost by its first act to exercise the over- 1787 riding power of the Imperial Parliament conferred by Clause 1. That is the only way in which the Franchise Bill could be made applicable to Ireland. Assuming that the Franchise Bill became law after the Home Rule Bill, I do not know whether the Government intend that it should apply to Ireland. When there was a discussion about giving votes to women under the Home Rule Bill we were told that it was a matter that ought to be dealt with in the Franchise Bill. But the probability is that if both Bills pass, the Franchise Bill will pass later than the Home Rule Bill. Assuming that it passes at a later date, you must then refer to Clause 43, Sub-section (2), which says:—
"All existing election laws relating to the Commons House of Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Members thereof shall, so far as applicable and subject to the provisions of this Act, and especially to any provision enabling the Irish Parliament to alter those laws as respects the Irish House of Commons, extend to the Irish Senate and the Irish House of Commons and the Members thereof."
Then in Section 48 you have the definition which I have already quoted. If you make the Franchise Bill applicable to Ireland by the exercise of the special overriding power in Clause 1 of this Bill, that seems to me entirely inconsistent with what the Government said on the subject of giving women the vote in Ireland. I do not see how we can make the Franchise Bill applicable to Ireland unless it is passed before the Home Rule Bill, except under Section 1 of this Bill, in which case almost your very first act, after you have granted this Constitution, would be to override it under the extraordinary power which you yourselves say is only to be exercised in circumstances of special difficulty.
The third point is in regard to Clause 14, which says that after the passing of this Act there shall be an Irish Exchequer and an Irish Consolidated Fund separate from those of the United Kingdom. The setting up of the Irish Exchequer would, I suppose, take place within eight months of the passing of the Act, unless there was an Order to set it up earlier or later. I am going to assume that it is set up on the first Tuesday of the eighth month after the passing of the Act. I suppose you could hardly begin to pay the Transferred 1788 Sum into the Irish Exchequer until you have set up that Exchequer. Clause 14, Sub-section (2), paragraph (a), says:—
"Such sum as may be determined by the Joint Exchequer Board established under this Act (hereinafter referred to as the Joint Exchequer Board) to represent the net cost to the Exchequer of the United Kingdom at the time of the passing of this Act of Irish services."
Therefore, you have here fixed that the Transferred Sum is to be ascertained with reference to the state of things existing at the time of the passing of the Act. For instance, if you wanted to know how much was to be allowed to the Local Government Board, how much for education, or how much in respect of Grants-in-Aid, that would have to be determined in reference to the condition of affairs existing at the passing of the Act. But the Irish services are not taken over, on the assumption I was making that there was no special Order in Council, until eight months later, when the cost may be entirely different and may be very much greater than at the passing of the Act. Many things may happen meantime. Teachers' salaries may increase automatically to a very considerable extent or they may increase by special Grant under this new scheme of which we have heard from the Lord Chancellor. The one thing definitely stated about that scheme was that it was to be colossal. Assuming that that colossal scheme came into operation in the eight months' interval when the Irish Government took over education, the extra cost might be added on to the expenditure not allowed for in the Transferred Sum. It is almost inconceivable that during the eight months there should not be some increase. So you start the Irish Government on their career of managing these various services by giving them less than the Imperial Government is actually expending upon these services. For the period between the passing of the Act and the end of the eight months the Irish Government have no responsibility. The responsibility is with the Imperial Government, and if the expenditure is increased during that interval the responsibility of the Imperial Government would, as the Clause now stands, operate to the detriment of the Irish Government.
Suppose that some new scheme of education was brought into operation which involved a normal increase of £150.000 expenditure during those eight months, then what the Irish Government gets in the Transferred Sum is not the actual cost, but 1789 the actual cost less £150,000. I do not know that they will have any of the reductions which they spoke about before this Bill was brought in. They always said they would make reductions in the expenditure. Now, so far as I can see, the only way they can make up this amount is by a duty on tea or beer or spirits, which would at once set up the separate Custom Houses within the different parts of the United Kingdom to which we have so strong an aversion. It would seem to me to bring it almost automatically into operation, assuming, as we are now bound to do, that reductions in expenditure cannot be made by the Irish Parliament. That is a real difficulty which the Government ought to face. It is perfectly easy for them to provide that the Transferred Sum instead of being ascertained on the passing of the Act should be ascertained as on the date when the Irish Government takes over the service. The natural and obvious time to fix is the date when responsibility passes from the Imperial Government to the Irish Government. You have here the same lacuna which you left with regard to Civil servants. That lacuna might be a very serious matter indeed and very seriously affect the finances of Ireland. Of course it might not. It might be that during those months nothing would be added, but it is an absolutely wrong and unsound principle to leave that lacuna. The right hon. Gentleman ought to take steps even at this late day to put right a matter which is so obviously defective. I have tried as well as I could to make out what would be the first year for beginning the Transferred Sum, but I am quite unable to do so. Perhaps the Attorney-General will give me some enlightenment. I do not know whether the first year is regarded as one which under the provisions of I he Bill would be fixed by Order in Council as that from which the Transferred Sum would commence. I am not sure that the Clause definitely says it commences from the passing of the Act. The fact that you fix the ascertainment of the sum from the passing of the Act rather leads to that inference.
At the same time it is not easy to know what is the period from which the first year is to run, because that also is of importance in connection with two Amendments in the Bill which were made to-day under the guillotine without our being allowed to say a single word upon it. It only illustrates what a scandal the guillotine is that these two Amendments were made without anyone being allowed to say 1790 a word upon them. They were made to Clauses 44 and 45, which affect the particular point. In Clause 41 we have inserted the words—
"for the first year in which the Transferred Sum is to be paid."
I should like very much to have had an opportunity of discussing what was the first year, because that is the first year in which the sum of half a million is paid. Then we added at the end of paragraph (f) of Clause 45—
"and for the proper reductions being made in the payment of the Transferred Sum for the first year in which it is paid in respect of any part of that year during which any Irish service is not executed by the Irish Government."
There again, I am not at all certain that I know over what period the Government intends this provision to operate. There is another point in reference to Clause 4. It seems to me that Clause 4 would now come into operation on such day as the Government by Order in Council appoint. That means that the time when the Executive is to be brought into existence rests entirely in the hands of the Government of the period. This seems to me to be a ease where Parliament and the Executive should be brought into existence at the same time. In the Bill as it stands, with the Amendments in it, there may be a period of eleven months during which there is an Irish Executive and before the Irish Parliament meets. The Lord Lieutenant then institutes the Irish Parliament and appoints the Irish Ministers, and those may continue eleven months before the Irish Parliament meets. But assuming even that it is only six months you have this, that the Government here would practically be bound to go to the Nationalist Executive in the first instance. Even if you have the period of six months, during that time the Nationalists will have an opportunity of forming all the Government Departments, and of making all the appointments in Ireland before the Unionists have even a chance of having any voice in the matter. It is quite true when Parliament begins to sit they will have an opportunity of controlling the Executive, but it is these six months which are so important, and during which all the most important appointments will be made. It will be extremely difficult for the Irish Parliament, when it does meet, to upset and cancel everything which may 1791 have been done by the Nationalist Executive during that period. I do not put it longer than six months, because I assume that they will not have separate officers, some of whom might have served five months each.
What I would like to impress upon the Government is that if ever there was a case this is one where the Executive ought to be brought into existence at the same time as the Parliament, not long before, and unless you do that the Government will unquestionably give to the Nationalists, who would still have their 103 Members in this House, an opportunity to form the whole scheme of Government in Ireland without a single Unionist having a chance to say anything about it, and when Parliament met the Unionists might possibly have a very small minority of representatives. These, of course, are all assumptions which I make for sake of my argument, that they will not have any voice at all cither as regards appointments or the control of Executive action. I should like the right hon. Gentleman to give me an explanation on these points, which I will enumerate again. The first is with regard to the appointing of Civil servants; the second is as to the Franchise Bill; the third point is as to Clause 14, and the lacuna between the passing of the Act and the period when the Irish services are taken over; and the last point is with reference to the power which is given to the Nationalist Executive to control the destinies of Ireland for a considerable period before any Irish Parliament can meet.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
There are one or two points on which I should like some further enlightenment from the Attorney-General before he answers the questions which have been put to him. In the first instance, I take it that there will be a radical change in the Act in consequence of this Amendment. As the Bill at present stands. I understand that the Executive will come into operation immediately on the passing of this Act; the Irish Exchequer will come into operation immediately on the passing of the Act; and the arrangement as to the Transferred Sums and the determination of the first Irish financial year will come into operation immediately on the passing of this Act. But now the Government seek power to fix different dates for these different operations of the Executive Government. I think that is so, though I am not quite 1792 sure. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to make that point quite clear, because I think this Amendment is rather wide and more sweeping than might be inferred from reading its terms in the first instance. I also wish to ask him whether I am right in my chronology, which I have jotted down. Assume that the passing of this Act is delayed as far as possible in another place, and the Crown gives assent, the latest date I take it will be May, 1914; and am I right in saying that the earliest date of operation, after the passing of the Act, will be June, 1914?
The mean date of operation, that is the contemplated date, will be January, 1915, and the last date of the operation of any or some part of the Act would be August, 1915, but that the last date of the coming into existence of the Irish Parliament would be May, 1915. I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether my rough chronology is right. I want to call attention to one other matter, that is the operation of this Amendment in connection with Clause 45, which is passed. The assent of His Majesty's Government may be by Order in Council "to make such regulations," etc, "for various purposes," some of them of the first importance. As the Bill stands at present that power to make Orders in Council for the various purposes enumerated, would exist from the moment of the passing of the Act, but under this Amendment those Orders could not be made until after the appointed day, or one of the appointed days at any rate. That seems to have a retrospective action on Clause 45. I am told that the Government will first have to appoint a day for the purpose of Clause. 45, and then Clause 45 will come into operation—which makes a great difference. This Amendment really presents the Bill to us in different sequences, indifferent chronology, and, in some respects, a different aspect, for no one can tell what events may happen between now and May, 1914. The reply of the Government on these points must be of great interest, and of great importance to anyone who has considered these matters.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Will the Attorney-General mind dealing with these two questions'! The Member for Sheffield asked the Chief Secretary for this information, but the right hon. Gentleman smilingly put the matter aside. Perhaps the Attorney-General may be inclined to give us the information, which would be very convenient to Members of the House, 1793 who wish to know the different dates appointed for carrying out the provisions of this Act. No doubt the right hon. and learned Gentleman has the facts at his fingers' ends, and it will be no trouble to him to give the dates, which would greatly help in following his speech, and assist hon. Members in their reply. There is another matter on which I shall be grateful for information. In the Third Schedule certain conditions are given referring to existing Irish officers, and stating what compensation and other benefits they are entitled to if they retire or are removed from office under certain specified conditions. I should like to ask the Attorney-General to say how, in respect of this particular provision, these officers will be situated who are appointed between the passing of the Act and the appointed day, and when they are left, like Mahomet's coffin, suspended between heaven and the other place. It will be very interesting to have that information on these two points, and I hope the Attorney-General will be good enough to give us a reply.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Isaacs)
The points raised by the various speakers do not seem to me to present any great difficulty, although it may be that the result may not be quite satisfactory to hon. Gentlemen opposite. The position is this: Those who are appointed, those who are existing judges or servants, those who are in occupation of their office at the date of the passing of this Act, are protected in all respects by the various Clauses. Those, on the other hand, who are appointed for certain purposes after the appointed day hold under another tenure. The point raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman was as to those who may be appointed in the interval. As my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary says, those who are appointed then are not appointed without knowing the circumstances under which they are appointed. I can quite see that during this interval which must elapse before the Bill comes into full operation there may be a good many offices which may not be filled; but, on the other hand, some will be, and it will be for the Irish Parliament to say whether or not it will confirm what has happened with regard to persons who are appointed and in all respects have to be dealt with by the Irish Ministry in the Irish Parliament. It would not be possible for this House to say that all those who are appointed in the interval should 1794 be treated as if they had been appointed by the Irish Parliament or as existing officers. That would be quite wrong. Really what it comes to is this, that during this period of interval the appointment will not be of the same character as if it had been made before the passing of the Act or after the appointed day. Every person who is appointed will know perfectly well the circumstances of his appointment, and it would be quite wrong to say, as the hon. and learned Gentleman did say with an inaccuracy which certainly I am not accustomed to from him, that those gentlemen would be left; they would not; they never existed in the meaning of the Bill because they were not in existence as judges at the time of the passing of the Act.
I could understand the complaint if the judge had been an existing judge, and then, in consequence of the Bill coming into operation at a later day, if the judge would lose a tenure otherwise given. That does not exist, and everybody agrees that it does not, and that all protection is given with regard to those judges—[Mr. CASSEL made some observations which were inaudible] Supposing it were, it would not affect the position as to the security of his tenure at all. In the other case it must be absolutely determined by the Irish Parliament, because you are not dealing with a judge who is in existence at the time of the passing of the Act. The hon. and learned Gentleman went on to deal with another point—that is, with regard to franchise. He did not deal with it at any length, but assumed a certain state of facts, quite fairly. I cannot conceive that there would be any difficulty in dealing with that state of facts if they arose. I do not think that is a point which need be seriously met. There would be, and I think there must be, means of dealing with that kind of thing if it ever arose. The hon. and learned Gentleman proceeded from that to argue about Clause 44, and to reopen an old controversy by asking how are you to ascertain what is the cost of a service at the time of the passing of the Act if you have to do it some months afterwards. Surely there is no difficulty in ascertaining what the cost is by reference to a past period. The Joint Exchequer Board can do it. I do not attempt to dictate to any future Government as to what it should do, but I should think one of the first things would be to create the Joint Exchequer Board.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
You must first of all have your Irish Treasury to select your Irish members from it to act on the Joint Exchequer Board, and the very first thing to do is to set to work to get the Joint Exchequer Board.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
It may be in the month which elapses immediately after the passing of the Act. Suppose your Bill is passed in January. Then there is the first Tuesday in the eighth month after January, and you may by Order in Council either ante-date or post-date by seven months, and that would take you back to one month after the passing of the Act. The House will remember that you bring the Act into operation for different purposes at different times, and you make your Orders in Council at different dates, all of which is absolutely necessary in order to bring a great Bill like this into operation. An hon. Gentleman opposite says that is rather a curious provision. I am rather surprised at him saying that. If he had sat opposite in 1902 he would not have said it. There are a number of provisions in which this kind of Clause is introduced for the purpose of bringing your Act into operation piecemeal. When you have done what is necessary in that respect, all that you have to do is to set up your Joint Exchequer Board, which sets to work under the various Clauses to do what is necessary in order to bring the Act into working operation. There is no difficulty in regard to them assuming that you once get your Joint Exchequer Board set up. The hon. and learned Gentleman said you want an Irish Treasury to do so. No doubt you do. There will be an Irish Department, or officers by whatever name they may be called, for the time being entrusted with Irish affairs. It is not necessary you should call him Chancellor of the Exchequer, but you must have somebody no doubt who is entrusted with the administration of finance, and from the Treasury thus created you can get two persons who are to be the representatives of Ireland on the Joint Exchequer Board.
§ Mr. CASSEL
My point was that you are ascertaining the sum at a date different from that on which the responsibility is taken over.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
That is the point I thought I had dealt with, and the hon. Gentleman said that he was not raising it.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
You are able to ascertain it without any difficulty, even though you have to ascertain it at a later date. You have to ascertain it as from the time of the passing of the Act. You know the date at which the Act passes, and it may be six months later that you set to work to ascertain the cost. It may be that there has been some increase of expenditure, but you can still ascertain what the cost was at the time of the passing of the Act. I pass from that to the last point raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman with regard to Clause 4. There, too, he raised a difficulty which does not appear to me to be so insuperable as he seems to think. You have power purposely given to proceed by Orders in Council. There is power, if necessary—it is not for me to say whether or not it will be exercised, but there is certainly power to have an election before the first meeting of the Irish Parliament. An Order in Council might be moved immediately after the passing of the Act providing that there should be an election of Irish representatives to Parliament. If this took place you might have an early meeting of the Parliament, the Speaker elected, and all the paraphernalia of Parliament set up. No doubt you would have a Ministry selected from the majority of those who had been returned at the election, and you would have also the various Departments set up. All these are matters which would follow once you had taken that course. I am not saying that that is the only course. I remember the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. Campbell) saying at one time in this discussion that I had stated two quite inconsistent propositions.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I was not surprised at the right hon. Gentleman's saying it. But there is nothing inconsistent in them. The propositions were that the Lord Lieutenant might create a Ministry without a Parliament, and that the Lord Lieutenant might think it desirable to have an election and then select his Ministers. Those two propositions are by 1797 no means inconsistent. They are alternative plans open to the Lord Lieutenant. The only difficulty would be in determining which would be the better of the two, or which would be the best of several plans which suggested themselves to him. The only other point was one raised by the hon. Member for Sheffield. It is quite right to say that in the absence of any Order in Council you may have the Bill in operation on the first Tuesday in the eighth month after the Bill passes.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
It is a very easy calculation, once you make up your mind as to the date from which you will start.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
My political assumption is not worth discussing, but for the purpose of arguing this Bill we must assume that it will have its normal course, that it will go to another place, be considered, and, presumably, in accordance with the views of the majority, pass its Second Reading. But I do not want to discuss these questions. I am dealing now only with the point of time raised by the hon. Gentleman. I agree that there was a considerable amount of doubt until we had some criticisms from hon. Members opposite, and from Members on this side, which led to an alteration in the Bill. But there cannot be any doubt about it now. It is as plain as drafting can make it. That there is no difficulty has been proved by the fact that no one has been in any doubt in their calculations. Every hon. Gentleman who has done it has, in my opinion, done it rightly. Therefore it is not necessary for me to discuss the point at any length. But I did not quite follow the hon. Gentleman's point about Clause 45. The Interpretation Act, 1889, contains a general Section under which there is power to exercise all these functions, and you can pass Orders in Council notwithstanding that the Bill has not come into operation.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
Would that be so in the face of this Amendment?
"This Act shall, except as expressly provided, come into operation on the appointed day."
1798 It is not expressly provided that Clause 45 shall come into operation on the appointed day; therefore, my submission is that you will have to take an appointed day before you can get Clause 45 going.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I do not think that is so, for the reason I have given. You have the Interpretation Act, Section 37 of which provides:—
"Where an Act passed after the commencement of this Act is not to come into operation immediately on the passing thereof, and confers powers to make any appointment, to make, grant, or issue any instrument—that is to say, any Order in Council, warrant, scheme…that power may, unless the contrary intention appears, be exercised at any time after the passing of the Act, so far as may be necessary or expedient for the purpose of bringing the Act into operation…"
That is a Section which has to be used in almost every Act of any magnitude. These words are not novel. There are certain provisions which do not come into operation on the appointed day at all. There are a majority, on the other hand, that come into operation only upon the appointed day. There is no difficulty under Clause 45 in passing Orders in Council to bring some portions of the Act into operation. You must not go in conflict with the specific words of any particular Clause, but there is nothing to prevent Orders in Council being made in pursuance of Clause 45 under the Interpretation Act, 1889.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I quite agree that the Clause, amended as suggested by the right hon. Gentleman, will be in much less confusion than it was in the original shape. At the same time I cannot for the life of me understand—and this is the point on which we have asked for information, and on which the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General is absolutely silent—why was it thought necessary, when the Government took the trouble of amendment, they should have left any interregnum at all. What we pointed out—and the only answer to that was the reiteration of it—that the Government do create difficulty and confusion even yet by having an appointed day different in certain cases from the date of the passing of the Act. What we asked an explanation of was, why, when you were amending Clause 47 you did not amend previous provisions of the Bill which prescribe that certain things 1799 are to take place on the date of the passing of the Act, and which could just as well and more conveniently have been amended so as to make them fit in with the appointed day. The right hon. Gentleman, the Attorney-General, so far from telling us why this was done simply informed us that it was done, and that so said the Bill. He says it is quite true as regards the judges and Civil servants that there is an interregnum, which may be an interregnum of fifteen months. That, he says is in the Bill, and he says that you must always have an interregnum. Why? Would it not have been consistent with the symmetry of this very Clause which we are now discussing, and with the symmetry of the Amendment, to have altered the reference to the passing of the Act in those Clauses which deal with the Civil servants? That is the first question on which we have got no assistance, and it certainly is not solved by telling us that the Bill as at present stands would leave an interregnum. It is because of that that we wanted some explanation.
What is going to happen with regard to the Civil servants? Take the judges first. The Chief Secretary said that they would take their new tenure and their new masters with their eyes open, and they know well what they are doing. As regards them, to some extent I admit they are protected by Clause 27, which provides that if appointed after the date of the passing of the Act they are to be removable only by an Address of both Houses of the Irish Parliament. Here again I ask why; from what conceivable reason, either in logic or principle, was this Clause not altered? Why was not the power of appointing the judges retained, as it is at present, up to the appointed day? Why, when you altered a great many other Sections, and changed the words to the passing of the Act—
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
was understood to make a reference to Clauses 27 and 32 and to an alteration outlined by the Prime Minister.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
That is exactly the point I want to make. Why, if you altered Clause 27, did you not alter Clause 32? You cannot have it both ways. If it was right—and I think it was right—to alter the provision in Clause 27 from the passing of the Act to the appointed day, have you not done the same thing in Clause 32? Why are the judges who are 1800 appointed by you in the same way as hereafter between the date of the passing of the Act and the appointed day to have different rights as regards their future than those who are appointed prior to the date of the passing of the Act? I believe myself it is an omission—an oversight. The right hon. Gentleman must see that the point is a good one, and that it is right. At present nonsense is made of that part of the Bill. Take the case of the Civil servant. That is a much more serious matter, and for this reason: you make no provision whatever of any sort, kind, or description either as to the present status or the future status of the Civil servant who may be appointed between the date of the passing of the Act and the appointed day. You have made provision for the judges, but none for the Civil servants who get their appointments between the date of the passing of the Act and the appointed day. It is no answer on the part of the right hon. Gentleman opposite to say, "Yes, that is what we have done." We know you have done that. We want to know why. What is the position in which you have placed these men whom you may select to fill Civil servants' positions for the period covered—perhaps fifteen months? They have no right whatever. They are not to be your officers. They are to be taken over after the appointed day arrives, and if they are then taken over there is no provision for their rights. Let me take a specific case, one that may occur between the date of the passing of the Act and the appointed day. You perhaps appoint a high Civil servant, the Secretary of the Post Office, or the Chairman of the Prisons Board. What is his status going to be? What is going to happen to him? It is quite true he may be taken over by the new House of Commons. But if they take him over, and he is then dismissed, you have not secured him his pension, not one single shilling compensation; you have not protected him in any way or description. We have had the observation before that the official will understand his position. But what is the necessity for leaving the matter in that way, when all you have to do in order to make your Bill symmetrical is to define your officer as a man holding office at the appointed day? That is all we want. It is a perfectly simple change that would meet the justice of the case. Instead of that, you go out of your way not to do it. You have not defined an existing officer as an officer who holds his office at the date of the 1801 passing of the Act. These are some of the things we pointed out. The right hon. Gentleman says that I alleged two inconsistencies against him when we raised these points on the last occasion before this Clause was amended. The right hon. Gentleman said then that the Clause was perfectly right; that there was no ambiguity about it; that it was a perfectly clear and intelligible Clause, and the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary said the same.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
I assure you you did. I was present in the House and the matter was discussed in Debates for several hours. There was no suggestion of Amendment from either the right hon. Gentleman or his colleague. On the contrary, they said there was no Amendment required, and that the Clause was perfectly plain, intelligible, and simple. They said it was not a Clause to be amended, and they felt grave doubts whether amendment would improve it. On the last occasion when we discussed it they told us it was incapable of improvement.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
You said that in effect, that there was no ambiguity or inconsistency in it, and that it required no amendment. But what I want to know is why, when you have amended it, you have not carried that amendment throughout so as to protect a very deserving class of officers, who may be few or many, and who will be appointed to higher or lower subordinate offices in the Civil Service for the period running over perhaps fifteen months? What is the answer to that? The Attorney-General said that was so. He said there must always be an interregnum. Why must there be an interregnum? What is the necessity for it in this case? Take the first attempt that was made by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Pancras (Mr. Cassel) on the same point, to fix the time when the Transferred Sum is to be ascertained by the Joint Exchequer Board. Why could you not in that case have made the sum ascertainable on the "appointed day"? That would have made the Bill logical. But instead of that you left it in the form that the Transferred Sum is to be ascer- 1802 tained as on the date of "the passing of the Act." The criticisms of my hon. Friend were not that there was any difficulty of ascertaining it, say, twelve months later by reference to an existing date, but were that the financial position might have materially altered one way or the other in the interval. That is a point which the Attorney-General did not venture to answer. My hon. and learned Friend never suggested that there was any difficulty, one, two, or ten years hence in coming back to a date and ascertaining what was the state of Irish finances at that, date, but he pointed out that by retaining the words "passing of the Act" in the Financial Clauses you were making it possible that the whole account might be subsequently changed, and he took the case of the promised reform in education as an illustration. He said, supposing that reform was carried out, it might involve a loss to Irish education of £100,000 or £200,000, because they are bound to ascertain the sums at the date of the passing of the Act. Again, I ask why should you not be logical throughout? Why, when we took the trouble, under very great difficulty, of pointing out all these anomalies created by having these two extraordinary dates—one the date of "the passing of the Act," and the other a transitory date, namely, "the appointed day"—did you not amend your Bill throughout, and where the words "passing of the Act" occurred change them into the words "appointed day"? You would have had no difficulty.
If the "appointed day" was a fixed date you might be embarrassed, but you deliberately prevent yourselves from being embarrassed because you take power in this Clause to have as many appointed days as you like. Therefore you are in no difficulty. You may have named one for the ascertainment of the Transferred Sum and another as to the date for existing officers, but you ignore them and leave the matter in a state of very great confusion and difficulty. I am specially concerned with regard to the very grave injustice that may possibly be done to a very deserving class of public servants; I mean those that may be appointed in the long interval to Civil Service posts, whether small or big. You are putting them in the position, first of all, that they may not be taken over at all after serving you for fifteen months; and, secondly, that if they are taken over they are taken over without a particle of right or protection 1803 or provision as to what is to happen to them. A month after they are taken over they may be summarily dismissed. This will have to be remedied in some way or other, because you would get no competent men to join the Civil Service under these conditions. I suggest, therefore, to right hon. Gentlemen opposite that they will have to find a better answer to those criticisms, than to say these things are in the Bill. They are in the Bill, and it is because they are in the Bill that we complain of them. I think they will have to give us some reason as to why they should remain in the Bill. We wish now to impress upon right hon. Gentlemen opposite the necessity of removing these words wherever they occur, and instead of the words "passing of the Act" to substitute for them the words "appointed day."
§ Mr. CLANCY
The right hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down made two complaints, as I understood him. First, that there were so many appointed days and that there was not one appointed day.
§ Mr. CLANCY
Then I did not understand him correctly, but I understood he complained of the number of appointed days.
§ Mr. CLANCY
It is well the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not, because the very arrangement of this Bill to which he apparently took exception in respect of appointed days is exactly the arrangement of the Local Government Act of 1898.
§ Mr. CAMPBELL
May I again tell the hon. and learned Gentleman I took no exception of any sort or kind or description to the words" "appointed day"?
§ Mr. CLANCY
Of course, if that is so, it does away with the point I was making; but still what I say is perfectly accurate, namely, that the provision of this Bill regarding appointed days for particular purposes is exactly the provision contained in the Local Government Act of 1898, framed and constituted by the party to which he belongs. There is not a single provision in this Bill regarding appointed days to which there is not a perfect analogue in 1804 the Local Government Act of 1898. The right hon. and learned Gentleman's second point was this, as I understood him, that there was no protection apparently for persons appointed to the Civil Service between the passing of the Act and the particular appointed day. I really do not understand what difficulty or injustice there is in this matter at all. The proposal to provide compensation for persons who are existing officers at the date of the passing of the Act is one on which everybody is agreed, but the mover of the Amendment wants to extend the provision to persons appointed after the passing of the Act. Did anybody ever hear a proposal made like that at this stage of any Bill? I do not understand what right people have to special protection who are appointed in the interval and, as a matter of fact, the difficulty may be easily got over in either of two ways. Persons who are appointed, whether they are judges or not, I presume, might be appointed with full notice that they hold office subject to any law that might be afterwards made by the Irish Parliament. What objection can anybody make who takes office after getting full notice of that fact? The right hon. and learned Gentleman says no person will take office under these circumstances. I do not believe that. There are scores of persons who would take office under this or worse conditions, and I am sure that some learned Gentleman, for whom I suppose the right hon. and learned Gentleman is concerned particularly, will take office in these conditions also. But supposing that method was not pursued, there is a method well known even in this country. The administration of the affairs of Ireland might equally be adapted with similar results, and an office might be left open. Take the case of the judges. I remember very well when there was a vacancy in the King's Bench Division in Dublin it was left open for two years in order, I presume, that the judge eventually appointed might get it if his Government were returned to office. But his Government were not returned to office, but he was appointed to that office before they went out. I think that is a lesson to us, and it ought to be a lesson to any future Irish Government. I do not think if the office was left vacant either the public or any other body would be injured thereby. The difficulty seems to me to be quite unreal, and I hope the Government have no intention of yielding to the 1805 demand to extend this compensation beyond the existing officials to officials appointed after the passing of the Act.
§ Mr. CHARLES CRAIG
The Chief Secretary, in the short speech which he made in introducing his Amendment, ended by saying he hoped that he had cleared out all the difficulties which beset this question of the appointed day. I hope the right hon. Gentleman has come to the conclusion by now that this question is not much clearer than it was before this Amendment was introduced. Let me say at the outset that the hon, and learned Gentleman who has just sat down missed the point of the whole discussion from beginning to end. My right hon. Friend below me pointed out in an interruption that it is not the question of the appointed day we have been criticising, but the effect and result of the difference between the appointed day and the passing into law of this Bill, and that is what we are criticising. We all know that it is the usual way in dealing with a matter of this kind to have an appointed day, in fact we might say it is absolutely necessary that we should have such a day. It is the confusion between the appointed day and the day the Act passes into law that is creating all the difficulty. The hon. Member for St. Pancras who has made very notable speeches on this subject, dealt with several of these points, and to my mind the most important one was the question of the cost of the Irish Government and the date upon which the cost of that was to be estimated.
One point struck me which has not yet, I think, been mentioned. The hon. and learned Member very properly contends that the calculation as to the cost of the Irish Government ought to be calculated as from the appointed day and not from the date of the passing of the Act. He has also shown that the appointed day may be fifteen months from the date of the passing of this Act into law, and during that time the whole of the present body of the Irish Members of Parliament, numbering 103, would still be sitting in this House. He instanced the case of the proposed new education scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Think what the position is with reference to that and all other measures which may be brought forward during that period of fifteen months which might apply equally to Ireland as to England. We presume that there is a desire for this education scheme, whatever 1806 it may be, to be extended to Ireland in order that Ireland may get the benefit as well as England. I know it is conceivable that it might be otherwise, but it is difficult to understand how a period of fifteen months could pass without some increase in the cost of Irish Government by reason of some law being passed for the benefit and the amelioration of Ireland which would necessarily cost a certain amount of money. During that fifteen months, when these schemes are passing through this House here, you will have 103 Irish Members who will practically settle the fate of these measures, and yet they are absolutely unable to apply them to Ireland, because, if they did, the cost of them cannot be estimated in the cost of Irish Government as from the date of the passing of this Act.
Of course, I am presuming that all this takes place after the Act has passed into law. Then you will have one-sixth of this House able to adjudicate and vote upon vast measures which they are unable to apply to the country they represent in this House, and, on the other hand, they are able to say whether England or Scotland shall have the benefit of those measures or not. That is the ridiculous position in which you land yourself if you insist upon having the cost of Irish Government calculated as from the date of the passing of the Act instead of from the appointed day. Time after time my hon. Friends on this side of the House have asked the Attorney-General and the Chief Secretary what objection there is to making this calculation as from the appointed day instead of the date of the passing of the Act, and no answer has been given to that question yet. So far as I can see, the real answer to the question is that in the Money Resolution which governs this Bill the date of the passing of the Act is mentioned, or the date from which the Resolution starts, and not the appointed day. If that is so, why do not the Government get up and tell us plainly, because that would put a different aspect on the discussion? If they cannot make this alteration because of the terms of the Money Resolution, which they are unable to alter, I admit that that is a very considerable difficulty and one which is insuperable. If that is the case, why can they not say so quite plainly and openly, because in that way they would have stifled a good deal of the arguments from this side of the House? With regard to the judges, the hon. and 1807 learned Member who preceded me seemed to think that giving the judges and Civil servants fixity of tenure by saying if appointed during the interregnum they should be counted as having been in office at the date of the passing of the Act would be providing pensions for those appointed after the passing of the Act. So it would to a certain extent, and it would have that effect, but surely the House will say that if you are going to have, as you may possibly have, a term so long as fifteen months for an interregnum, they will recognise that during that long period, when a very considerable number of offices may have to be filled up, that there should be the widest selection and chance of getting the best possible persons to fill these appointments. I say without hesitation you will not get the best men to fill these appointments if they know they will be treated in a hostile spirit as soon as the Irish Executive comes into being if their appointment happens to offend the Nationalist party.
You must, if you are going to get the best men, give them a perfectly safe tenure, and there is nothing in the world to prevent a provision being put in that those officers should be treated as having been in existence at the time of the passing of the Act. I admit the date of the passing of the Act is most important, but the appointed day is equally important, because that is the date when in reality the working of all the Irish Departments is actually carried over from this House to the Irish Parliament. There is nothing inconsistent or absurd in treating a person appointed a month or six months after the passing of the Act the same as a person appointed before the passing of the Act. There is nothing more absurd in that than in stating, as it is stated in the Interpretation Clause, that the expression "the Irish Treasury" means "the Department or the officer." It is quite as ridiculous to say that an officer is a Department or is equal to a Department as to provide that a person appointed after a certain date should be considered to be in office at that date. I do not think there is anything absurd in it at all. It would tend to the appointment of a better class of official than is possible under the Bill as it at present stands. It seems to me the same applies in a still greater degree to the judges. While it is important Civil servants and persons in the humbler ranks of His Majesty's service should be good 1808 officials and the best that can be obtained, it is infinitely more important those who have the administration of the law entrusted to them should be men of the highest character and of the highest possible position. No man who has an eminent position would accept office under such circumstances, as a judge would have to do if he took office during the interregnum between the two dates I have mentioned. In conclusion, I desire to say that, quite apart from the arguments put forward by my hon. Friends. I shall vote against this Amendment. I shall vote against it on the general ground that I am very much opposed to this Act ever coming into operation at all.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I think we are entitled to some information as to what is in the mind of the right hon. Gentleman as to what the appointed day should be. I gather the Amendment is one which has been proposed for the purpose of enabling us to discuss that question really and not, I do not like to say the petty question, but the infinitely smaller question which the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Trinity College (Mr. J. H. Campbell) has raised. However important that may be, I do not think it is at all in magnitude as important as the one which the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman raises. The matter is of very much importance both from the point of view of the people of Ireland and the arrangements which must be made by the Government and by the Irish Members in their private and public capacity and also from the point of view of the general business of Parliament. I do think we are entitled, when sixty-one Members are to be subtracted from this House and when this great new change is to occur in Ireland, to ask whether the construction which some of us have put upon the Clause and the Amendment is correct. Is it the case that after His Majesty has given his gracious assent to this measure and after hopes have been raised that it will come into operation within a reasonable time, the Government will have a latitude either to defer or accelerate that date within a period of fifteen months? That is really the serious question which concerns both this House as an Imperial Chamber and the people of Ireland who are to have this subordinate, devolutionary measure conferred upon them. Let me take the lowest, and, if you like, the basest view of the case, that which concerns the sixty-one Members 1809 who are to be subtracted from this Assembly. Their £400 a year will be put an end to, and after all some people may think that is a matter of solid sustenance. Are the Treasury to have fifteen months in which, so to speak, they may play with Parliament, with those sixty-one Members, and with the Irish people, and say, "We shall postpone or accelerate the appointed day at our pleasure according to the interests we conceive to be best." This Bill is to be passed for the benefit of the Irish community, and also to relieve the House of Commons of that congestion which has been spoken of so often as a reason for its introduction. I therefore respectfully claim the appointed day which this Amendment says is to bring the Act into operation ought to be much earlier. There ought not to be the same latitude—
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
On a point of Order. If the hon. and learned Member raises the question of this optional period shall we be able to discuss the Amendment which I have next on the Paper, and which raises that very specific point?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Whitley)
I hope that question will not now be opened. It certainly could not be debated a second time. One or two Members have alluded to it, and perhaps the hon. and learned Member is not aware the next Amendment specifically raises that particular point.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I do not know whether the next Amendment will ever be reached. At any rate, the hon. Gentleman has a more optimistic view of the Guillotine Closure than I have. I really think it was most unreasonable of the Opposition to take no less than five Divisions within one hour and a-half, abstracting from us a very considerable period of time which we were most usefully occupying in writing our letters. Even in regard to the Amendment it is really a serious one which, unless it is discussed on this occasion, may never be reached at all. I think it would be unreasonable on this last night, our only chance, during which we have had much time fruitlessly consumed in stretching our legs in the Lobby that we should not have an opportunity of discussing this Amendment. I hope the hon. Gentleman will not suppose that I am trying to take the virginity from any Amendment he has on the Paper. No doubt it would come with 1810 much freshness from him, and if I supposed for one moment that it would be reached I would not attempt to refer to the subject in the remarks which I am making now. But I do hold that this is really a serious, important, and vital question. This Amendment, as I understand it, declares that this Act shall "except as expressly provided, come into operation on the appointed day." Therefore, I think I am entitled, unless the Chair thinks otherwise, to ask what is the meaning of the words "except as expressly provided." I can only construe those words by turning to Clause 47, which says:—
"The appointed day for the purposes of this Act shall be the first Tuesday in the eighth month after the month in which this Act is passed, or such other day not more than seven months earlier or later, as may be fixed by Order of His Majesty in Council."
I say that this Amendment raises that very question. Supposing this Bill should pass into law in January, the nearest, as I understand it after the appointed day, will be the first Tuesday in the eighth month—that is to say, the August following. But in addition to that, the Government have taken power not only that there shall be this interregnum of eight months as between January and August, but they say "or such other day not more than seven months earlier or later." That must be what the Chief Secretary points to when he uses these words that this Act shall "as expressly provided." Therefore it seems to me that this Amendment raises the whole question of when the Act shall come into operation. I hold that the Government should give us some information as to what is in their minds as to the meaning of this Amendment of the Chief Secretary. I do not quarrel at all with his having moved it, but I do want to know the meaning, and I respectfully submit this consideration as a reasonable one in its interpretation: that after this Bill has passed a period of one year and a quarter may elapse before the Irish people may see their Parliament set up in Dublin. That is, of course, most undesirable, because the Irish people were promised by some of their leaders that the Parliament would be established before Christmas two years ago. It was also promised to them before the Coronation. Yet now, in the actual Bill itself, provision is made that after all this trouble has been taken in frustrating the Veto of the Lords, fifteen months' delay is to be interposed 1811 before the measure will be brought into operation. What is the meaning of it? Let me turn to another Clause. Clause 13 says—
"Unless and until the Parliament of the United Kingdom otherwise determine, the following provisions shall have effect:—
"(1) After the appointed day the number of Members returned by constituencies in Ireland to serve in the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall be forty-two."
Does that mean that the Government will allow itself fifteen months to keep the Irish Members here for their own purposes? Those Irish Members will want to be in Dublin, and to take fifteen months in which you can impound and interlock them, and prevent them from going to their own country, thereby preventing their Parliament from being opened, is a prospect which surely cannot be approved. I cannot understand why the hon. and learned member for Waterford should have consented, as he apparently has done, to any such proposal. What purpose can be served by delaying the operation of a Bill of this kind for a period of eighteen months? It is to the question of this long delay that I wish to address myself rather than to the infinitely more trivial subject of the status of Civil servants. I hope the Government will give me some reply on this point.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
In the earlier part of the Debate on the Report stage of the Bill, Clause 13 was amended, and it now reads:—
"That unless and until the Parliament of the United Kingdom determine the following provisions shall have effect."
Then Sub-section (1) no longer reads "after the appointed day the number of Members to be returned shall,"but—
"after the date of the first meeting of the Irish Parliament the number of Members to be returned for constituencies in Ireland shall be forty-two"—
and in Clause 43 a similar provision appears.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
It must be read in connection with another Amendment which stands on the Order Paper for to-day, and if the hon. Member will turn to that Amendment he will see the following proposal standing in the name of the Chief Secretary:—
"but the Irish Parliament shall be summoned to meet not later than four months after the said Tuesday, and the appointed day for holding elections for the Irish Senate and Irish House of Commons shall be fixed accordingly."
These Amendments are the outcome of the discussions which took place in Committee, and are put down in fulfilment of the promise given by the Prime Minister in response to representations made in various quarters that the area for the day appointed might be restricted and particularly that the period when the Irish Parliament should be opened should be more definitely fixed.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I think there is some reason for hoping that the Amendment will be reached. The point made by the hon. and learned Member has really been anticipated by the Government, so far as they could anticipate it. That Amendment has been put down to meet this very point, and to provide that in no circumstances, whatever arrangements may be made for other purposes under the Bill, shall the meeting of the Irish Parliament be postponed later than a period of about one year from the time at which the Royal Assent is given. We are following strictly the precedents of other Constitutions, in all of which cases a certain latitude is allowed for making the preliminary arrangements. It must not be assumed that one year will necessarily elapse. A shorter period of six or eight months might throw the elections at an inconvenient time. Many preliminary arrangements have to be made before the Parliament can actually come into being, and it was thought desirable, following the precedents of the Australian and South African Constitutions, that this latitude should be allowed. A period of fifteen months is allowed. I think the period of three years was mentioned by the hon. Member.
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
Of course, the period of three years is not possible if the Amendment we propose is put in. The Amendment made in Clause 13 makes it clear that the moment that Irish Members shall be withdrawn from this House shall synchronise with the time when the new Irish Parliament comes into being.
Mr. JOHN GORDON (Londonderry)
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the Irish Parliament is to meet four months after the date decided upon—that is, eight months after the passing of the Bill?
Is that to be wholly irrespective of whether the Government of the day have postponed the appointed day for seven months, so that the Parliament may come into existence three months before the appointed day?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
The appointed day may be appointed for other purposes. The Clause lays down an appointed day for different purposes, which again is following precedent. It may be that some matters will have to be postponed until after the Parliament is actually met, in which case, the Parliament having been summoned not later than a year after the passing of the Act, the appointed day for some purposes may be three months later. The whole process must be over within fifteen months
§ after the passing of the Act, and the Parliament must meet within fifteen months of the passing of the Act.
Then it is wholly immaterial whether or not Parliament is to meet within four months after this is decided, and the appointed day will be regulated under Clause 47 absolutely independently of when the Irish Parliament is to meet?
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
As the right hon. Gentleman has referred to an Amendment down in the name of the Chief Secretary, which we shall have no opportunity of discussing in this House, can he explain how it is possible to have an appointed day for holding elections for the Irish Senate, seeing that the first Irish Senate is to be nominated and not elected?
§ Sir J. D. REES
I submit that I simply asked a question, which was not answered. I did not rise except to ask a question.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member did more than that, for I have his name down on the list of speakers.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 239; Noes, 117.1817
|Division No. 514.]||AYES.||9.50 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cawley, H. T. (Lanes., Heywood)||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Adamson, William||Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Clancy, John Joseph||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Clough, William||Ffrench, Peter|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Clynes, J. R.||Field, William|
|Arnold, Sydney||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Fitzgibbon, John|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Compton-Rlckett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Condon, Thomas Joseph||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd|
|Barton, William||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Gilhooly, James|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Crean, Eugene||Ginnell, L.|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Crumley, Patrick||Glanville, H. J.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George)||Cullinan, John||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Goldstone, Frank|
|Black, Arthur W.||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Greig, Colonel J. W.|
|Boland, John Pius||Dawes, James Arthur||Griffith, Ellis Jones|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Delany, William||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Guiney, P.|
|Brady, P. J.||Devlin, Joseph||Hackett, J.|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Dickinson, W. H.||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Donelan, Captain A.||Hardie, J. Keir|
|Bryce, John Annan||Doris, William||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Duffy, William J.||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Burke. E. Haviland-||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Hazleton, Richard|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. S. C. (Poplar)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Holme, Sir Norval Watson|
|Hemmerde, Edward George||Meehan, Francis E. (Leltrim, N.)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Menzles, Sir Walter||Robinson, Sidney|
|Henry, Sir Charles S.||Molloy, Michael||Roch, Walter F.|
|Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Hinds, John||Morgan, George Hay||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Hobhouse. Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Morrell, Philip||Rowlands, James|
|Hodge, John||Morison, Hector||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Hogge, James Myles||Munro, Robert||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Holmes, Daniel Turner||Nannettl, Joseph P.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Hoit, Richard Durning||Neilson, Francis||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Nolan, Joseph||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Hudson, Walter||Norman, Sir Henry||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Norton, Captain Cecil William||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)||Nuttall, Harry||Sheehy, David|
|Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Brien, William (Cork)||Shortt, Edward|
|Jones, Leif Stratter. (Notts, Rushcliffe)||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney)||O'Doherty, Philip||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Jowett, Frederick William||O'Donnell, Thomas||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Dowd, John||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Keating, Matthew||O'Grady, James||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Kellaway, Frederick George||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)||Thomas, James Henry|
|Kennedy, Vincent Paul||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Malley, William||Toulmin, Sir George|
|King, J.||O'Neill, Or. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Lambert, Richard (Wilts. Cricklade)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||O'Shee, James John||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal. West)||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Outhwalte, R. L.||Wardle, George J.|
|Leach, Charles||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Webb, H.|
|Lundon, Thomas||Pointer, Joseph||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Pollard, Sir George H.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow. Tradeston)|
|Lynch, Arthur Alfred||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|McGhee, Richard||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Maclean, Donald||Pringle, William M. R.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Radford, G. H.||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Wiles, Thomas|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Reddy, Michael||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|M'Kean, John||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Rendall, Athelstan||Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Richardson, Thomas Whitehaven)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Meagher, Michael||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Hohler, G. F.|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)|
|Baird, J. L.||Croft, Henry Page||Hope, Major J. A. (Midiothian)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Horner, Andrew Long|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Dennlss, E. R. B.||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Duke, Henry Edward||Ingleby, Holcombe|
|Barrie, Hugh T.||Eyres-Monsell, B. M,||Jackson, Sir John|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc.)||Faber, George Denison (Clapham)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)|
|Bathurst, Charles Wilton||Falle, B. G.||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Fell, Arthur||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Keswick, Henry|
|Blgland, Alfred||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Boyle. William (Norfolk, Mid)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Boyton, J.||Forster, Henry William||Larmor, Sir J.|
|Bridgcman, W. Clive||Gardner, Ernest||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Gibbs, G. A.||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)|
|Butcher, J. G.||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Goldsmith, Frank||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Macmaster, Donald|
|Cator, John||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Cave, George||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Clive. Captain Percy Archer||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Clyde, James Avon||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Mount, William Arthur|
|Cooper. Richard Ashmole||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Cory, Sir Clifford John||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Nield, Herbert|
|Courthope, George Loyd||Hill, Sir Clement||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hills, J. W.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Peel, Captain R. F.||Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Pollock, Ernest Murray||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Steel-Maitland, A. D.||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Pryce-Jones, Col. E. (Montgom'y B'ghs)||Stewart, Gershom||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Rees, Sir J. D.||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Salter, Arthur Clavell||Talbot, Lord E.||Wood, John (Stalybrldge)|
|Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)||Younger, Sir George|
|Sanders, Robert A.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Sanderson. Lancelot||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Sandys, George John||Touche, George Alexander||Chambers and Mr. Moore.|
§ Mr. GODFREY LOCKER-LAMPSON
I beg to move to leave out the words "or such other day not more than seven months earlier or later, as may be fixed by Order of His Majesty in Council either generally or with reference to any particular provision of this Act, and different days may be appointed for different purposes and different provisions of this Act."
The object of my Amendment is to leave out the whole optional period for the appointed day. The appointed day is to be the first Tuesday in the eighth month after the passing of the Act, or alternatively it may be seven months earlier or seven months later at the option of the Imperial Government. The Bill was read a second time in May last. One may suppose for the moment that the Act receives the Royal Assent in May, 1914, under the operation of the Parliament Act, and I think that is a reasonable supposition if the Government remains in power. The appointed day, therefore, might be fixed for June, 1914, January, 1915, or August, 1915. In other words, as the appointed day might fall on the earliest alternative date, in June, 1914, it might be fixed for one month after the passing of the Act. The Government propose, under their new Amendment, to the date of the meeting of the Irish Parliament shall not be more than four months after the appointed day. Therefore, if the appointed day is fixed for the earlier alternative, in June, 1914, the first Irish Parliament could not meet later than October, 1914. Such a procedure would be very undesirable. If nothing untoward happens to the Government, I suppose they will remain in power to the end, say, of 1914, or until the beginning of 1915, because under the new quinquennial period, I imagine it will be the ordinary practice, as it has been in the past, not to remain in power to the very end of the legal period, but probably four years will be the ordinary average life of a Government. Therefore, if the Government choose the earliest of the alternatives for the appointed day under this Clause, the Irish Parliament, which could meet not later 1818 than October, 1914, would have sat for several months and passed a considerable amount of legislation before a General Election had taken place and the whole question of this Home Rule Bill had been submitted to the electors. I think hon. Members for Ireland will agree that once the Parliamentary machine has been set in motion in Ireland it would be enormously difficult for any Imperial Government to rescind a measure that has been passed in this House. It is far easier to withhold Parliamentary institutions than to take them back when once you have parted with them, and I believe this is really the intention of the Government in putting this provision into the Bill. I believe this is the real meaning of the optional period during which the appointed day may be fixed. Unless this Amendment, therefore, is accepted, the result would be that, although a large majority has been returned at the next election against the Home Rule Act, it will be practically impossible for the Government whom the electors return to carry out the express wish of the electors themselves on that subject, and the Government always poses as a democratic Government. I should have thought, if they really had consideration for public opinion, they would rather have gone out of their way to make it easy for the electors, if they did express their opinion against the Home Rule Act at the next election, to be able to rescind it, anyhow in regard to certain of its provisions.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
If the hon. and learned Member had done me the honour to listen to my argument, he would have known that my point is that it is enormously difficult when you have given institutions to a country to take them away. It is much easier to withhold them than to take them back. I have only one more point to make, and I should like to ask a question, because I am not quite sure that the point is an absolutely sound one.
1819 Therefore, I should like to treat it in the form of a question to the Postmaster-General. His contention is that the Government provide an optional choice for the period under this Clause. They may wait fourteen months and fix the date for August, 1915. In that case the Irish Parliament would meet not later than December, 1915. Here comes the difficulty. Supposing the Government fix different appointed days for different purposes of the Act, as they could easily do under this Clause, is the Irish Parliament to meet not less than four months after the first appointed day to deal with these minor purposes of the Act for which that date may have been fixed? Supposing, for instance—I am taking an extreme case which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will say is ridiculous—the Imperial Government fixes the appointed day for the Post Office in June, 1914, and the appointed day for all other purposes of the Act in August of the following year, as they could do under the Bill, is the Irish Parliament to come into existence to legislate about the Post Office, and to be unable to touch any of the other Irish questions with which the Irish House of Commons is to be empowered to deal? Is the Irish Parliament, having once come into existence, to be allowed to deal with the other subjects in respect of which the appointed day has not yet been fixed? I submit that either alternative will lead to a host of difficulties, and to many complications, because if the first alternative is the correct one, it would enormously irritate the Irish- people, and if the second is the correct one, it would put this country in an impossible, and, I think, a false position. This may be an extreme instance to take, but very often these extreme instances show the unsoundness underlying a particular measure. Under this Clause, as it stands, the Irish Parliament is coming into existence on an appointed day for any purpose, however insignificant, presumably before the Irish Parliament is allowed to touch any of the very important Irish questions which Irish Members are burning to deal with.
After all, this is supposed to be a Bill for cementing the relations between Ireland and this country, and I do think if my supposition is correct, this is an extraordinarily unsound proposal in the Bill. I really do not think the Government can mean that the first alternative should really be the true interpretation of 1820 the Bill. The appointed day for the purposes of the Act is the first Tuesday in the eighth month after the month in which the Act is passed, or alternatively not more than seven months earlier or seven months later. I think it is perfectly clear that the Irish Parliament will meet four months after the first appointed day, and be able only to deal with some very insignificant subjects, while for the rest of the fourteen months various days may be fixed by the Imperial Parliament for other subjects. The Irish Government will not be able to say where it is, because it will be able to deal with some subjects, and unable to deal with other subjects which are cognate in character. I hope the right hon. Gentleman if he cannot accept my Amendment will be able to explain the point.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir John Simon)
The hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) seems to see some practical inconvenience in the provisions of the Clause as it stands, and as it will be amended by the Amendment standing in the name of the Chief Secretary. He has of necessity been indulging in prophecy. Indeed, there is no other way of attacking the Clause than by assuming the role of prophet. He thinks the Clause as it stands, and as we propose to amend it, is open to his criticism. I do not think he is fortified in that belief, because all precedent shows that it is quite right in making provision for important changes of this character to allow certain latitude of judgment which may be exercised, if need be, by Order in Council. I will not attempt to cite any authority for which a Liberal Government may have been responsible, because naturally to do so would be only to cite an authority which might be regarded by the hon. Member as suspect. Let me take an authority which he will be the first to recognise is not open to any such criticism. There are one or two purely Conservative measures, that is to say, measures proposed and carried through both Houses of Parliament by Conservative Governments. I will take the Local Government Act of 1888 which was brought in by a Conservative Government and passed, not only through this House, but the House of Lords by that Government. Section 109 provides:—
"Subject as in this Act mentioned, the appointed day for the purposes of this 1821 Act shall in each county be the first day of April next after the passing thereof, or such other day, earlier or later, as the Local Government Board (but after the election of county councillors for such county on the application of the provisional council or county council) may appoint, either generally or with reference to any particular provision of this Act, and different days may be appointed for different purposes and different provisions of this Act, whether contained in the same section or in different sections or for different counties."
The Conservative Government thought it right to begin the Act on All Fools' Day, or such earlier or later day as might be appointed without any limitation at all. Surely we cannot be accused of doing anything contrary to precedent in view of what was done by the Conservative Government of that day.
§ Mr. G. LOCKER-LAMPSON
The right hon. Gentleman surely remembers that the Government of that day were not in conjunction with that measure setting up a National Parliament?
§ Sir J. SIMON
That is quite true. All I say at present is that there is abundant precedent for what we now propose. This Bill is going to reconstitute the Government of Ireland, and it is desirable to provide in your measure that there will be an appointed day which you indicate by definition, and at the same time that there should be latitude. We think it should be latitude which is restricted. In the case of the Act of 1888 it was unrestricted. There should be some latitude as to the time within which the limits may be fixed, and within that time it is quite usual, and in the past it has been found not to work unjustly, to provide that the appointed day may, if need be, be different for one purpose and for another purpose within the scope of the Act. It may be said after all that is not for Ireland. But if the hon. Member turns to the Local Government Act for Ireland of 1898 he will find in Section 124 a provision which is substantially identical. If it is said these measures did not establish subordinate Parliaments within the British Empire, then I take the Commonwealth of Australia Act of 1900, which provides in Clause 3 that it shall be lawful for the Queen with the advice of the Privy Council to declare by Proclamation on and after a day therein appointed, not being later than one year after the passing of this Act, and so on. So there 1822 you have a latitude of twelve months; not in exactly the same terms, but it is exactly the same thing. In the South Africa Act, passed in 1909, Clause 4 provides that it shall be lawful for the King with the advice of the Privy Council to declare by Proclamation on and after the day therein appointed, not being later than one year after the passing of this Act, that the Colonies, and so on, shall be united. So whether you deal with Local Government Acts affecting Great Britain or Ireland, or whether you deal with Legislatures subordinate to this Legislature, in South Africa or Australia, you have in all these cases the precedent that it was found convenient to have a certain latitude as to the appointed day. The-reason is obvious. To take only one point: If you are going to deal with such matters as finance, it is desirable so to adjust the appointed day that the financial year-will begin at a suitable point in the calendar. I do not think that the House will think, in view of the fact that we have provided for a future notoriously uncertain, which according to hon. Gentlemen opposite is specially uncertain in dealing with Ireland, we are doing anything out of the way in providing for this limit within which the Order in Council may range in choosing a suitable day for this Act of Parliament to come into operation.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
We all feel that from the dialectical point of view the answer of the right hon. and learned Gentleman is sound, but from the point of view of intellectual sustentation there is nothing in it. No Act which has an appointed day in it was ever passed in the circumstances in which the Government contemplate it is required that this Act should be passed—that is, that it must be passed in three Sessions of Parliament. These Commonwealth and local government Acts had not to go through the mill three times. I do not know whether we are now in the Session of 1912 or 1913. The position reminds me of the famous question of Major O'Gorman after twelve o'clock, "Mr. Speaker, is this to-day or to-morrow?" But I assume that this Bill, after it passes now, will have to pass again in the year 1913 and in the year 1914. Could anybody have said that of the Local Government Act of England, 1888, of the Local Government Act of Ireland, 1898, or of the Commonwealth Act or the South African Act? These provisions have been inserted with the object of enabling the parties to prepare. You know now, I 1823 gather, that at the moment your legislating, there will no doubt be fluid matters upon which the Government or the Department cannot make up their minds. But even the British Treasury does not require eighteen months to make up its mind how to diddle the people of Ireland. It takes to it like a duck to water. But you require eighteen months in order to adjust the financial relations; and the right hon. and learned Gentleman went on to say that this must be brought into force on a given day, and arrangements must be made by the Treasury. Almost all this generation of Treasury servants, speaking from the Treasury point of view, will have got advances of salary or will have been pensioned before this Act comes into force—I think there are advances of salary every three months in that Department, while they are screwing down everybody else—and a long time will have elapsed when the Treasury has made up its mind when the Bill is to come into operation. The reasons the Government give for this postponement are not valid reasons. The Commonwealth of Australia Act was passed under these conditions, that every one of the four or five Colonies in Australia had an existing Parliament at the moment, and there was a number of matters on which it was necessary to have local agreement before the Imperial Government could get the Act in motion. It -was therefore a most reasonable thing to give the Colonies, who had to make certain federal arrangements, and to provide for devolution being made to the central authority, a period of twelve months in which to make up their minds. The same may be said of the South African Parliament. I think I am right in saying that there was in the Orange Free State, in the Transvaal, in Cape Colony, and in Natal—certainly in three of the four places—existing Legislatures, and accordingly, before they were formed into one central body, they had to make arrangements for "shuffling off their mortal coil" legally, and providing new institutions when they were put into one body. A natural and proper delay was therefore interposed.
The same may be said with regard to the question of the Local Government Acts. You had in Ireland the Grand Jury, and in England Quarter Sessions. Very acute questions arose between counties and boroughs, and as to the adjustment of new areas, and the whole of those matters 1824 required time. Besides, there was the question of elections; and it must be remembered that the elections cannot take place in Ireland until the appointed day. If the Amendment of the Chief Secretary is carried, a year will be allowed in which to play about for the appointed day, while the people of Ireland are keen and anxious that the measure should be put into force. Remember what elections mean. Here, for the first time, a national election is to take place throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. There is to be a year in which the Government of England may never put the Bill into operation, and then there may be, for aught I know, another four months before which this election can take place, so that you will have the country in turmoil for sixteen months before the new Parliament can be elected. Yet we are told that the Government are most anxious to put this Act into force. We are to become a nation by a notice in the "London Gazette." As Clarence Mangan said, "Curious anti-climax to my dreams of twenty golden years ago." The country is to wait instead of having the date fixed in the Act on an indeterminate and unknown date which is to depend on the whim of the Minister of the moment. I will give my reason why this long delay has been interposed. It is not the Treasury, it is the Orangemen. It is an odd thing to me that the Member for Salisbury should have proposed this Amendment, because this is a proposal which carries out the view of the First Lord of the Admiralty which he presented at Dundee, and which the Liberal candidate at Midlothian presented. The First Lord said at Dundee to the Orange party, and what I give is a free translation, Why make all this fuss? Do you not see that there will be twelve months' delay after the Act passes, and in that twelve months a Conservative Administration may come into office and repeal the whole measure—why be uneasy? That was the argument, and that is the proposal which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Salisbury objects to. Therefore it is not, I respectfully submit, the precedent of the Commonwealth Act of Australia, nor the precedent of the Orange Free State, nor of the Local Government Act, Ireland, nor the Local Government Act, England, nor the uneasiness of the Treasury officials, nor how the Joint Exchequer Board is going to be composed. That is not the object of this. The object of this, as I 1825 apprehend it, is that after the Irish Members have slaved and worked in this House for all these years, and after they have helped the Government to assist in the carriage of those measures, such as the Education Bill, to which the Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond) pledged himself so ardently at Nottingham, we are to be still left to the chances of twelve months after the passing of this Act, in which twelve months the Bill and the Government may disappear through a trap door, or, rather, the Government through a trap door, and the Bill in a puff of blue smoke.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The Solicitor-General taunted us, who have criticised this particular provision, with having to indulge in prophecy to prove our case. That may be true; but he had equally to indulge in prophecy to prove his. We are prophesying that the Government will possibly be constrained by political exigencies to dodge about the appointed day. He prophesies that the Government will be actuated by the purest motives and the most unselfish considerations. It is equally prophecy on the one side and (he other, and the House must judge which of the two sets of prophecy is the more likely to be borne out by the facts. No man on the Treasury Bench can pretend to speak with certainty or to reprove us for speaking with uncertainty on that point. The right hon. Gentleman quoted the Local Government Acts, the Commonwealth Act, and the South Africa Act, and pointed out quite rightly that in all those Acts there was power to vary the appointed day just as there is in this particular Clause. He says that we took no objection to those provisions in those Acts; why, then, do we object to it in this measure? It is true that in the Local Government Acts for England and Ireland, the South Africa Act, and the Commonwealth Act, there was power to vary; but the variation did not affect the composition of this House or possibly the existence of the Government in this country. That is the difference, because it is perfectly plain that by exercising the power of variation under this Clause the Government can and do affect the composition of this House, and can and may affect the existence of the Ministry sitting on that bench. The hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy) says that it has to be done by Order in Council, and that that is something of a protection. I should rather like to know—because I 1826 think the point has been overlooked in redrafting the Bill—whether this Order in Council is to lie on the Table of this House. I doubt very much whether under the Bill this particular Order in Council will be an Irish Transfer Order in Council. I do not think it will be. As I read the Bill, there is no provision that this Order in Council shall lie on the Table of the House. In the Bill before it was amended in Committee there was such a provision, but the provision now applies only to Irish Transfer Orders in Council.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
This Clause is the same, but the immediately preceding Clause was a general Clause applying to all Orders in Council under the Act, and that has been amended.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The previous Clause, as introduced, referred to any Order in Council made for the purpose of the transitory provisions of this Act. As the Bill was introduced and as it stands now, all those Orders in Council will be laid on the Table.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I do not agree. The original words of the Clause were—
"any Order in Council made for the purpose of the transitory provisions of this Act shall …have effect as if enacted in this Act."
This particular question of the appointed day was one of the transitory provisions of the Act. It came in that part of the Bill, and I always understood—I may have been wrong—that it was one of those provisions. But I should like to have it quite clear now, whatever may have been in the Bill as introduced. Is this Order in Council which is to determine the appointed day to be laid before Parliament or not?
§ Sir J. SIMON
The answer is "No," neither was it ever so provided. The hon. and learned Gentleman is, if I may say so, mistaken in his reading of the Bill as introduced. As introduced,the Bill is Clause 44, as it was then, dealt with the power to make adaptations and so on by Order in Council for the purpose of the transitory provisions of this Act. Clause 45, as introduced, said that when "an Order in Council is made for the transitory purposes of this Act it shall be laid upon the Table of the House." Clause 46 said 1827 that the appointed day for the purposes of the Act shall be referred to an Order in Council, and that that Order in Council may be fixed and so on; but it never had any such provision as suggested that that Order in Council was to be laid upon the Table of the House.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
I still should have read the Bill as introduced differently. But that does not affect the point that I now make. I accept what the hon. and learned Gentleman says, but I think this is emphatically an Order in Council which ought to be laid on the Table of this House. I could imagine no Order in Council more deserving of being laid on the Table of the House. May I say, in passing, that the Postmaster-General attacked me very severely two or three evenings ago, when I had no opportunity of replying, for suggesting that Orders in Council like this should be laid in draft and not in complete form, He suggested that no one had ever heard of laying draft Orders in Council. I certainly thought it should be laid in draft,
§ for if laid in complete form you presumably have the will of the Sovereign. I have fortified myself on the point. I have discovered that is the Small Holders' (Scotland) Act passed only last year, that there is precisely an analogous Clause as to transferring powers from the Board of Agriculture in England to the Scottish Board, and Clause 4, Sub-section (13) specifically refers to the Order in Council being a draft Order.
§ Mr. MITCHELL-THOMSON
And I accept the apology in the spirit in which it is tendered. I only quote the reference to show, as I said a moment ago, the necessity of this hierarchy of Orders in Council receiving the sanction of the House before being carried into effect.
§ Question put, "That the words or such other day not more than seven months earlier, stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 252; Noes, 144.1831
|Division No. 515.]||AYES.||[10.38 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Crumley, Patrick||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Cullinan, J.||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)|
|Adamson, William||Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Davies, Timothy (Lines., Louth)||Hazleton. Richard (Galway, N.)|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Dawes, James Arthur||Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)|
|Arnold, Sydney||De Forest, Baron||Helme, Sir Norval Watson|
|Baker, H, T. (Accrington)||Delany, William||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Henry, Sir Charles|
|Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark)||Devlin, Joseph||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Hon., S.)|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Dickinson, W. H.||Higham, John Sharp|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Donelan, Captain A.||Hinds, John|
|Barnes, G. N.||Doris, William||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Barton, W.||Duffy, William J.||Hodge, John|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Hogge, James Myles|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St, Geo.)||Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Bethell, Sir J. H.||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary)||Horne. Charles Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Black, Arthur W.||Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Hudson, Walter|
|Boland, John Plus||Esslemont, George Birnie||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Falconer, J.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Farrell, James Patrick||Jardine, Sir J. (Roxburgh)|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Brady, P. J.||Ffrench, Peter||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Field, William||Jones, Leif Stratten (Rushcliffe)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Fitzgibbon, John||Jones, W. S. Glyn. (T. H'mts, Stepney)|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Jowett, Frederick William|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Joyce, Michael|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Gilhooly, James||Keating, Matthew|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Ginnell, L.||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Glanville, Harold James||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Carr-Gomm, H, W.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||King, J.|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Keywood)||Goldstone, Frank||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon.S.Molton)|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Guest, major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe|
|Clough William||Guiney, P.||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)|
|Clynes, John R.||Gulland, John William||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th),|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Hackett, J.||Leach, Charles|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hardie, J. Keir||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Crean, Eugene||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Lundon, Thomas||O'Malley, William||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.|
|Lynch, A. A.||O'Shauohnessy, P. J.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)|
|McGhee, Richard||O'Shee, James John||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.|
|Maclean, Donald||O'Sullivan, Timothy||Sheehy, David|
|Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Outhwaite, R. L.||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Shortt, Edward|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Parker, James (Halifax)||Simon, Rt. Hon, Sir John Allsebrook|
|M'Callum, Sir John M.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|M'Kean, John||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Pointer, Joseph||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Pollard, Sir George H.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Marks, Sir George Croydon||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Thomas, J. H.|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Primrose, Hon. Neil James||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Meagher, Michael||Pringle, William M. R.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leltrim, N.)||Radford, G. H.||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Millar, James Duncan||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Wardle, George J.|
|Molloy, M.||Reddy, M.||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Morgan, George Hay||Rendall, Atheistan||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Morrell, Philip||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Merison, Hector||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Munro, R.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Neilson, Francis||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Roberts, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)||Wllkie, Alexander|
|Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Robinson, Sidney||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Roc, Sir Thomas||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Rose, Sir Charles Day||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|O'Donnell, Thomas||Rowlands, James||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|O'Dowd, John||Rowntree, Arnold|
|O'Grady, James||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Captain|
|O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wieklow, W.)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Guest and Mr. Webb.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninlan||Keswick, Henry|
|Astor, Waldorf||Dalziel, D. (Brixton)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Baird, J. L.||Dennis, E. R. B.||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Baker, Sir Randoll L. (Dorset, N.)||Eyres-Monscil, B. M.||Larmor, Sir J.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City. Lond.)||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lee, Arthur H.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Forster, Henry William||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gardner, Ernest||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gibbs, G. A.||MacCaw, Wm. J. MacGeagh|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Glazcbrook, Captain Philip K.||Macmaster, Donald|
|Bentinck, Lord H, Cavcndish-||Gordon, John (Londonderry, South)||M'Neill. Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Blair, Reginald||Grant, J. A.||Malcolm, Ian|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Guinness Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Mason, James F. (Windsor)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.|
|Boyton, James||Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)||Moore, William|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Harris. Henry Percy||Mount, William Arthur|
|Butcher, J. G.||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin UnIv.)||Helmsley, Viscount||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Nicholson, William G. (Pitersfield)|
|Cassel, Felix||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset. S.)||Nield. Herbert|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Cator, John||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Cave, George||Hills, John Waller||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Peel, Captain R. F.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Chambers, J.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Clive. Captain Percy Archer||Horner, Andrew Long||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Hunt, Rowland||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Ingleby, Holcombe||Quilter, Sir Wiliiam Eley C.|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Jackson, Sir John||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Cory. Sir Clifford John||Jardine. Ernest (Somerset, East)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Sanders, Robert A.||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)||White, Major G. D. (Lancs., South)|
|Sanderson, Lancelot||Talbot, Lord E.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)||Terrell, G. (Wilts, N.W.)||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l., Walton)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Smith, Harold (Warrington)||Thompson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Stanley, Major Hon. G. F. (Preston)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. Geerge|
|Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)||Touche, George Alexander||Younger, Sir George|
|Steel-Maitland, A. D.||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Stewart, Gershom||Valentia, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.|
|Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)||Walrond, Hon. Lionel||G. Locker-Lampson and Mr. Fell.|
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I beg to move to add at the end of the Clause, the words "but the Irish Parliament shall be summoned to meet not later than four months after the said Tuesday, and the appointed day for holding elections for the Irish House of Commons shall be fixed accordingly,"
This Amendment really arises from a discussion which took place in Committee when a general desire was expressed that there should be some limit of time within which the Irish Parliament must be summoned to meet. We have taken the period of twelve months as the extreme limit, and that is the period fixed in the Colonial Acts. The hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy) will see that this is a fixed period of one year. Under this proposal, if there were a general desire that the Irish Parliament should be summoned at an earlier date then an earlier date might be taken.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
I again venture to point out that whilst it is quite true this Amendment would reduce the period originally in the Bill of fifteen months to a year it would still leave it possible for the Government to postpone the calling of the Irish Parliament for one year. I consider that a very grave matter. It has been moved by my right hon. Friend in a speech which must have been intentionally brief. No one could argue a case better than the Postmaster-General with his intellectual qualities; but in spite of what has been said to-night the Clause has not even been defended by the Government. They have not answered any one of the arguments that have been addressed to them as to why this period of one year is interposed. I will not repeat what I have just said with regard to all the precedents that have been quoted, but the Bill in reference to which these precedents existed were all Bills which came into operation in the same Session in which they were passed. Here the Lords notoriously will reject this Bill twice, and therefore you have no reason whatever for this delay. I am amazed hon. Gentlemen above me consent to an arrangement like 1832 that, which may postpone for twelve months the calling together of that Parliament they are so anxious to see set up. Why has not the right hon. Gentleman given an answer? He is most assiduous in his attendance in this House. No one can complain he has shrunk from the difficult duties he has discharged with so much skill and distinction. The mere fact that he is unable to provide an answer shows the bankruptcy of the Government position as regards the allegations which we have ventured to put forward. I again assert that this twelve months' delay is not invented for the purpose of enabling the Irish Departments to pull themselves together or the English Departments to adjust themselves to the new conditions; it has been invented for the purpose of submitting this Bill to a General Election, and on the result of that General Election the Irish party are gambling for their existence. Let me point out a very remarkable fact on the occasion of the great reception given to the Prime Minister in Dublin, a meeting was held at which the hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) tried with great skill and in my opinion with perfect justifiableness to pin him to a promise that the Bill would come into law before a General Election. The Member for Waterford said:—The Government were pledged—These are his words—to pass this Bill into law before a General Election.Any one who reads knows the care with which the Prime Minister uses words. He did not back the Bill as Mr. Redmond wanted him to; on the contrary, he drew a most marked distinction, and he left the demand of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford absolutely unresponded to. I am not charging the Government with anything in the nature of bad faith. On the contrary, I think this Clause carries out the intention which the Prime Minister expressed at the Theatre Royal, Dublin. But would it not be more frank, when pressed again and again from the Front Bench opposite, for the right hon. Gentleman to say whether the Government intend to allow the Bill to come into law 1833 without a General Election? Is it right that a matter of this cardinal importance should be left to depend on drafting inferences? Why not state frankly and clearly, "We do intend to allow a General Election to take place before this Act can come into operation, and it is with that view that we have inserted Clause 47"? We must acknowledge that both sides tell lies; and if one sought only to tell the truth the other side would have a great advantage over it.
In a matter like this it is no part of the party game at all. In this matter you have raised the hopes of the Irish people that this Bill will come into force as soon as it receives the Royal Assent, and that the Parliament will come into existence. There is in that case no necessity for this Clause, because you will have a period necessitated by the action allowed to the House of Lords to make all the necessary arrangements. The only object there can be for the insertion of this Clause is that the Government is alarmed by the threat of the Orange Members, and in view of the hint from the Front Opposition Bench that they would not join with the Orange party if the English people endorse this Bill, they have therefore determined to have a General Election and give the Tories a chance of coming into power before this measure comes into operation. If I am right in that, I think the matter is of sufficient gravity to be grappled with by speakers on the Government Benches. While I do not charge the Government with any breach of faith, I say that in imposing this delay they have used language which can be construed in a contrary sense. I think it is in a preface or a letter written by the Prime Minister that he declared that they would continue to press this measure forward provided they were sustained by adequate majorities in the House of Commons and by the support of the constituencies. That was construed by the simple Irish to mean that the Bill would be carried to its absolute fruition if these two conditions obtained. What Irishman understands—I mean what Irishman beyond the intellectual Gentlemen who are supporting the Government at the present moment—that this Bill has been so drawn as to provide a period in which a General Election can take place, and that that has been done deliberately, unnecessarily, and solely with a view to meeting the demand of the Orange party? This Clause represents the triumph of Orangeism. It ought to be called the 1834 Orange Clause, because it has no other meaning than that of enabling you to go to the country and take the verdict of the electors upon it. Therefore, so far as I can judge, we are engaged in a gamble with the electors as to the results of the next General Election, and we are engaging the Irish people to give their assent not merely to this Bill, but to all the measures which the Government may propose for the next two Sessions. We are to pledge ourselves to give our assent to all these measures because of this Bill. I wonder is there a similar Clause in the Welsh Disestablishment Bill. I have not looked at it. [HON. MEMBERS: "You have voted for it."] I know what it is about. The Welsh Members by a majority of something like thirty-eight to one are in its favour, and that is enough for me. They know their own business best. How many Irish Bills have been passed that you have never read? How often do you go into the Lobby on Irish questions, caring nothing whatever? If a similar Clause to this exists in the Welsh Disestablishment Bill, then all my argument, to some extent, would be met, but if there is no similar Clause, I ask why it is that the Welsh Bill is not to be submitted to the constituencies and the Irish Bill is? There is one Bill which I know has no such Clause. That is the Franchise Bill. I have read that. There is no twelve months' delay before we are to have the blessings of one man one vote, and I want to know why is it that you confine your prudence to Ireland? Why do you confine your prudence to men who have been waiting for this Bill for something like generations, and why is it-only with regard to measures that have become actual within the last twelve months, or three or four years, such as the Franchise Bill, that you do not postpone their operation in law? I therefore claim that the Postmaster-General or the Solicitor-General ought to give us an answer upon these points. I think the question is large enough to deserve the attention of the Prime Minister, and certainly at a time when we know that this policy has been sprung upon the Government, as I believe, by reason of the speech of the First Lord of the Admiralty, who promised a Parliament to every island and almost a "Dreadnought." I think he at least, and those who are responsible for these declarations, ought on such an occasion as this to let us know the reason for this twelve months' delay.
§ Mr. PETO
I certainly am not at all surprised that the hon. and learned Gentleman showed a little bitterness in his challenge to the Government for not having given any answer whatever either for the meaning and necessity for this Clause or for this very ingenious Amendment. It has the appearance of limiting the period of delay. I think the hon. and learned Gentleman is perfectly justified in taking the view which appeals to me in this way. For many days the House and the Committee have been considering the instalment of an Irish Parliament and the appointment of the necessary Irish Executive, and we now come to Clause 47, and we find that under this Amendment, if the Clause is passed in its present form, the House has really no substantial control whatever as to when this great operation is to come into force. The hon. and learned Gentleman inferred that the whole secret motive of the Government was to be able to make sure, if they find themselves in extremis, they would be able to throw over the Irish party, for whose assistance they would then have no further need, and have a General Election and wash their hands of the whole business. It is very possible that may be one of the contingencies the Government are contemplating. But I want to call attention to something beyond that single contingency altogether. It is not only a tendency, but a root principle of their legislation, that the Government appear to be passing through this House a Bill over which the House has some control and actually you always find this cloven hoof somewhere in the Bill—that the Executive is to have the real power and they are to put the machine in operation. They are to appoint the necessary officers in order to put it into operation and in one way or another they are to have complete control of this Bill after it is supposed to have been passed through the House. How does that operate in regard to this particular Amendment? It is absolutely idle, considering all the circumstances of the Government's present tenure of office; considering all the rival and strongly opposed views which are held on this question of Home Rule that they should pass this Bill at a very large expenditure of time in the House, and then finally keep it in their entire control and make the appointed day eight months earlier or eight months later, just as they choose, and then as a final concession appear to say that at any rate the Parlia- 1836 ment shall be summoned not more than four months after the final appointed day. There are two further questions to which the hon. and learned Gentleman has been asking for an answer. As I understand, he has been asking why this elastic arrangement at the end of the Bill leaves the whole operation of the Bill entirely to the control of the Government. He received no answer whatever to his question from the Postmaster-General. The only consolation that the right hon. Gentleman gave was that at any rate this was the maximum delay. It is not only a question of a maximum delay. He said the maximum delay was twelve months. Looking at it the other way, supposing it should suit the purpose of the Government—the party exigencies of the moment—to hurry up tremendously. They have that enormous power given them by these words "or earlier" of making this maximum delay five months. They can do exactly as they like when we have done with the Bill. They can put it into force if they choose, or they can delay it to a period when it has not the slightest chance of coming into force by the interposition of a General Election, as the hon. and learned Gentleman pointed out. The appointed day is to be the first Tuesday in the eighth month after the month in which the Act is passed, or such other day not more than seven months, earlier or later, as may be fixed by Order in Council, but I find that, in addition to that, there are to be other four months within which the Irish Parliament shall meet. I wish to know exactly when we are to have any finality at all. Where is there any provision in the Bill that the suspense of hon. Members below the Gangway will on some particular day be determined? When will the Government be graciously pleased to make up their mind as to whether they will put the Act into operation, or let us know whether they are merely playing the fool with the House and keeping the trump card up their sleeve, so as not to put the Act into operation at all. I hope we shall some day know whether it is to be eight months earlier or later. That makes an enormous difference to the Government when they are coming near the end of their tenure of office, I should like to know when the Government are going to decide whether all these discussions are to be futile or not—whether in fact they mean business by the Home Rule Bill, or whether it has been a mere trick to get the support of hon. Members below the Gangway for all the other log- 1837 rolling measures they wish to pass. When are we to know whether we have been wasting our time, whether the time has been devoted to the single purpose of keeping the Government in office for a couple of years more, or whether this has any real relation to the government of Ireland.
§ Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
The hon. and learned Member (Mr. T. M. Healy) made, as he always does, a speech full of entertainment and instruction. I think there was something very significant in the speech. He disclosed the fact that the leader of the Nationalist party attempted, but apparently without success, to pin the Prime Minister—that was the expression of the horn and learned Member—to pledge himself that this Bill should pass through Parliament without the danger, for it was a danger from his point of view, of an appeal being made to the electors of this country. That statement appeared to me to be a complete and ample vindication of the contention which has from the first been put forward from this side of the House. It was an admission on the part of the leader of the Nationalist party that he regarded it as exceedingly dangerous to submit this view to the judgment of public opinion, and that he at least would be content that this Bill should be passed into law even though there might be that presumption that it was not supported by the public opinion of the country. We are told by the hon. and learned Member that the Prime Minister declined to give that pledge. The hon. and learned Gentleman went on to tell us that the interval which is given by this Clause is the triumph of Orangeism. I would be glad to believe that that were true. But I cannot help thinking that in this particular the hon. and learned Gentleman is unduly optimistic. What I want to impress on the House is that if it is true as the hon. and learned Gentleman contends that the moratorium which can be found in this Clause is the result of the Prime Minister's action why in the world does the Prime Minister not go further and consent to make an appeal to the country at a time when it might be effective and at a time when the result of the appeal to the country might take effect without dangerous consequences? If it is true—and I am not concerned to deny the contention of the hon. and learned Member for Cork—that the Prime Minister recognises by the Clause as we now have it before us that this Bill though it may pass through 1838 the House cannot be put into operation until the country has been consulted why does he not take the more straightforward, more honest and more constitutional course of making the appeal to the country and getting either the consent or the refusal of the electorate not after this Bill has passed and when expectations and hopes have been raised, but before the Bill has finally passed through both houses of Parliament and received the Royal assent?
The right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General, in moving his Amendment, pointed out that there was what he chose to call a drafting error, and he made an Amendment by striking out certain words which he was good enough to say I had called attention to. I much regret, owing no doubt to my Parliamentary inexperience, that I came prematurely to the assistance of the Government, and improved the Bill, enabling the right hon. Gentleman to represent this as a mere oversight on the part of the draftsman, when if I had had the sense to hold my tongue for a few moments the Government would have been convicted of putting an absolute absurdity into the Government Amendment, which probably would have passed then with the Bill. The only reason I call attention to the remarks of the hon. and learned Member is that we have had in the course of discussions upon the Bill both in Committee and upon the Report, a great number of Government Amendments which have been passed under the guillotine closure at half-past seven and half-past ten. The Chairman of Committee, or you, Mr. Speaker, have read out Government Amendments which have been passed, and which have hardly been heard—certainly comparatively few Members have been able to place them in their proper position in the Bill to consider what their effect would be. If by a mere fluke we have been able to find an error in a Government Amendment, which the right hon. Gentleman says is a drafting Amendment—I should have said a slipshod drafting Amendment showing complete ignorance or incompetence on the part of the draftsman—how many similar mistakes may have already become embodied in other Government Amendments which we have not had an opportunity of examining? I suggest that in this very Amendment as it stands there is another absurdity almost as great, if not as great, as that connected with the Senate.
1839 Under this Clause, as I understand it, the Irish Parliament cannot meet for twelve months—eight months plus four months. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not later."] At any rate that is the limit, and the time for the Irish Parliament to meet will be twelve months after the passing of the Act. "The appointed day," for the purpose of the Bill, apart from the meeting of Parliament, varies from a month to fifteen months after the passing of the Bill. We must assume that these dates are put in with some deliberate purpose by the Government; we must not assume that they are absolutely haphazard or absurd; we must assume that they are dates that they may possibly feel it necessary to use, and therefore I am entitled to select those dates and show to the Government and the House what the results may be. Parliament is called into being twelve months after the passing of the Bill. For the rest of the purposes of the Bill one month may be the limit of time, and consequently the executive power in Ireland may be brought into existence one month after the passing of the Bill and eleven months before the Irish Parliament is called into being.
If hon. Members turn to Clause 4 they will find that the Executive of Ireland is to consist of the heads of the Government. Departments in Ireland, and not one of those heads of Departments can hold office unless he becomes a member of one House of the Irish Parliament within six months of his appointment. Therefore we have this absurdity under the dates which are scattered through this Bill without any design—that the Executive Government of Ireland is to consist of officials who by the very terms of the Bill are precluded from holding office after they have been appointed. That is only an example of the kind of way in which the Bill may operate when it becomes an Act. I am perfectly certain that a little industry and research would show numerous absurdities and unworkabilities in the Bill similar to that which I have just laid before the House. I certainly support the Amendment.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The hon. and learned Gentleman has referred to the fact that it is owing to his intervention at an earlier stage to-night that my right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General had his attention called to a drafting change in the Amendment.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The only thing that surprises me is that the hon. Gentleman referred to that circumstance in anything else than a spirit of legitimate pride. It is by no means the first time he has made contributions to the Debates which we all of us felt useful. Let me say the Government is very much indebted to him for taking so careful and minute care to sec that the Amendments incorporated in the Bill are not susceptible to even the slightest criticism. Instead of speaking with legitimate pride of his achievement-he spoke of it in language of unavailing regret. I cannot imagine why, for he is a good Irishman and I am sure desires that this Bill, if it passes into law, should pass into law in as perfect a form as possible. I must say that the Debate on this Amendment illustrates as it appears to me the difficulty of pleasing our critics. On (he last Amendment the criticism took this form. The hon. and learned Member for North-East Cork (Mr. T. M. Healy), complained that this Clause 47 was a Clause which gave the opportunity to the Government of postponing quite unduly the happy moment at which this Bill would come into force.
We, of course, listened with great respect to the hon. and learned Gentleman. What is his criticism of the present Amendment which provides that even if the Order in Council were to extend the appointed day by as much as seven months? That, nevertheless, it shall not postpone the summoning of the Irish Parliament by seven months, but shall at most only postpone the summoning of the Irish Parliament to a point not later than four months after the first Tuesday mentioned in the Bill. That is not an Amendment which postpones the bringing into force of this measure, but, on the contrary, it is an Amendment which accelerates it. The hon. and learned Gentleman is never satisfied. He has given us almost vivid account of a great meeting in the Theatre Royal at Dublin, when the Prime Minister spoke, and the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Waterford (Mr. J. Redmond), was also present. Many of us were there. I happened to be there, but I do not remember seeing the hon. and learned Gentleman there. Far be it from me to say his account of the meeting is not entirely justified in the recollections of those who were present. The hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Peto), made a contribution to the debate, and put a conundrum in the form of an alternative. 1841 He invited the Government whether or not he and his friends had been wasting their time in discussing the Bill, or whether on the other hand the Government meant business? I do not recognise those two alternatives as strict alternatives. Both may be true. It is not of course forme to say whether the debate on this particular Amendment has been one of great value. It may or may not, but I can assure him with perfect certainty that I am right, that the Government certainly mean business.
§ Viscount HELMSLEY
I must say it appears to me to be a pity that the Prime Minister is not here to answer the very pointed reference to his speech—[HON. MEMBERS: "Where is Austen?"—and "Where is Chamberlain?"]—made by the hon. and learned Member for Cork. Although I admire the perspicuity of the hon. and learned Member for Cork in supposing that it is the intention of the Prime Minister to allow a General Election before this Bill actually becomes operative, still I must say, so far as I am concerned and so far I am sure as all of us on this side are concerned, it would be in no way satisfactory to us that this Act, if it were an Act, should not become operative. What we want is that it should be submitted to the people of this country while it is yet a Bill. I thoroughly agree with the hon. Member for the St. Augustine's Division that the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Cork (Mr. Healy) shows how much the Irish party distrust their own policy, and how they in their hearts believe that the democracy of this country if consulted would give an emphatic negative to the proposals in this Bill. My hon. Friend pointed out some absurdities in the measure which the Solicitor-General seems to think is a mass of perfection.
May I point out a further point where this Amendment seems to create an absurdity? The words of the Clause provide that the appointed day may, if the Government so choose, be postponed until fifteen months after the passing of the Act. An Amendment is put down providing that the Irish Parliament is to be summoned to meet not later than four months after the given Tuesday: that is, twelve months after the passing of the Act. The Irish Parliament may therefore be summoned to meet three months before the appointed day. That is absolutely contrary to the provision in another part 1842 of the Bill. Clause 1 states that on and after the appointed day there shall be in Ireland an Irish Parliament. The Government have taken no power there to call or summon the Irish Parliament before the appointed day. Therefore this Clause is an utter absurdity. Power is taken to postpone the appointed day for seven months after the eight months, but if this Amendment is inserted that power cannot by any possibility be exercised. That shows the carelessness with which the Amendment is drafted, and how necessary it would have been, had we had time, to have discussed many of the other Government Amendments which have had to be passed sub silntio to the great indignity of this House.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The Solicitor-General told my hon. Friend that he ought to be proud that he had been able to assist the Government to remedy an error in the Amendment. It is very kind of the right hon. Gentleman to pay such a tribute to any hon. Member on this side. But I suggest that it is the province of the Government to provide Amendments which are workable and sense, and not Amendments containing words which make nonsense, in the hope that my hon. Friend or some other equally astute Member on this side will put them right. The right hon. Gentleman was very careful not to deal with the last point made by my hon. Friend the Member for St. Augustine's. That point was that in Clause 4 it would be possible for the Executive to be appointed one month after the passing of the Act, but the Minister that would be appointed could not hold office for more than six months unless he was a member of the Irish Parliament, and that therefore if the Irish Parliament did not meet for twelve months after the passing of the Act there would be an interval of five months, during which there would be no executive officer in Ireland. The Attorney-General, while thanking my hon. Friend for pointing out the errors in this particular Amendment, did not admit that was a palpable error in the Amendment when it is construed in connection with Clause 4. There is also another error in the Amendment or, at least, the possibility of a curious state of things. It seems to be perfectly clear that under the Amendment the Irish Houses of Parliament must meet within twelve months of the passing of the Bill. I understand that the Amendment provides that the Irish Houses of Parliament must meet 1843 within twelve months of the appointed day—not later. If the right hon. Gentleman will turn to Clause 13—
§ Sir J. SIMON
It is not, I think, within twelve months of the appointed day: it would be twelve months after the Act is passed.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg pardon; twelve months after the passing of the Act. If the right hon. Gentleman will turn to Clause 13 he will find this:—
"Unless and until the Parliament of the United Kingdom otherwise determine, the following provisions shall have effect:—
"(1) After the appointed day—"
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Then I understand we shall not be blessed with the presence of hon. Members below the Gangway after twelve months of the passing of the Act. I was rather afraid that we might have for fifteen months after the passing of the Act the presence of the eighty hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, instead of forty-two. I am wrong.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Oh, certainly. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Cork made, as he always does, an interesting speech. His solution of this Amendment was that it was intended to provide for a General Election before the passing of the Act. I do not view that with the same feelings of horror that he does. Personally I shall be very glad to see a General Election before this Act comes into operation. The people of the United Kingdom should have the opportunity of expressing their opinion upon the Act as it has passed this House, and not merely upon the statements in election addresses of right hon. Gentlemen which appeared not very often and upon which apparently they claim their mandate. Therefore I do not agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for North-East Cork that there is anything regrettable in the idea that a General Election may not take place. On the contrary I would welcome it. But I am not at all sure that that is the meaning of this Amendment. As I understand this Amendment it provides I think for the presence 1844 of 103 Members in this House until the middle of 1915, and therefore what you do is to insure that the present Government shall continue in office until 1915. I do not view that prospect with much happiness either for myself or for the people of this country.
I observe that the Prime Minister, to whom the hon. and learned Gentleman appealed, has not honoured us with his presence to-day. I should have thought that as this is the last day of the Report stage of this Bill we might have been honoured with the right hon. Gentleman's company for a little while at any rate. I know he is in London because I travelled up in the same train and I saw him get out at Paddington at half-past one. Of course I do not know but there may be good reason for his absence, but I cannot but remember that when my right hon. Friend the Senior Member for the City of London was Prime Minister if he happened to be absent from the House for a moment on important occasions there were always great cries from hon. Gentlemen opposite when they sat on this side of the House. I do not often agree with the hon. and learned Member for North-East Cork, but I do agree on this occasion that his speech deserved a better answer than it got. It is true the right hon. Gentleman, the Solicitor-General made a speech of about five minutes' duration in reply. It was a very nice, pleasant speech, but it had little or nothing to do with the Amendment. Before we pass from this Amendment we ought really to consider what the position of the Government is, and what is the object they have in view. If they are going to give a Parliament to Ireland, surely, as the hon. and learned Gentleman said it ought to be set up as soon as possible. All they do is to reduce the period from fifteen months to twelve. Three months have been taken off. The hon. and learned Member for Waterford (Mr. John Redmond) ought to have been here during this Debate to insist that as soon as this luscious fruit is ripe it ought to be given to him in order that he may enjoy its luxurious effects.
I believe I have really found out the true inwardness of all this. It is that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite are of opinion that without 103 Members from Ireland they cannot hope to continue sitting on the benches opposite enjoying the fruits of office. Putting aside the pretence that this is really a Bill required 1845 by hon. Members below the Gangway, and regarding their own tenure of office as more important, the Government insist that they shall have the power of postponing the assembling of the Irish Parliament for twelve months. I hope the country to-morrow morning will devote a little attention to this Debate. The time is approaching when discussion will cease—[Cheers]—and possibly hon. Members opposite are cheering because it is impossible to answer the few remarks I have made. [An HON. MEMBER: "Quite impossible."]
§ Viscount CASTLEREAGH
I should like to ask the Attorney-General if he is capable of answering the points put to him by the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury)? He has raised some very important points, and right hon. Gentlemen opposite are always anxious to shelter themselves under the guillotine and taking no notice of interrogations raised on this side of the House. I will put my point as shortly as possible. There may be an interval of fifteen months and the Amendment fixes four months after the said Tuesday. That shows the absolute absurdity of the Amendment. In accordance with the courtesy we expect in this House and to show that the Government are serious in putting forward this Amendment, I hope the Attorney-General will have the ordinary courtesy to answer the points raised.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
I do not think that this is the kind of place I should choose to shelter myself. I have never attempted to take shelter, and I think I have always answered the questions put to me to the best of my ability. I do not hope to satisfy hon. Members opposite, but I have always tried to answer their questions, and that is what I will do now. One of the questions can be answered simply by reading the Clause. If you start with the assumption that the appointed day must be fifteen months ahead and that Parliament must meet not later than twelve months from the first Tuesday, then of course it is easy to suppose all the conundrums which the Noble Lord puts to us, but apparently it is not recognised there are different appointed
|Division No. 516.]||AYES.||[11.55 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Arnold, Sydney||Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)|
|Adamson, William||Baker, H. T. (Accrington)||Barnes, G. N,|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Barton, William|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton)||Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanarmy,||Beauchamp, Sir Edward|
§ days which can be appointed under this Clause and that there are a number of Clauses in which references are made to the appointed day. Altogether, there are eighteen Clauses which depend upon the appointed day.
§ Sir RUFUS ISAACS
It docs not follow there are eighteen appointed days, but it does at least follow that it is necessary to bring your Bill into operation by stages. That does not seem to me in the least degree remarkable. We have already pointed out the precedents, precedents not created by us, for the Clause we have introduced, and one of the very objects of the Clause is to meet exactly the point made by the Noble Lord, so that you may be able to make an earlier appointed day if you wish the Parliament to meet earlier than the twelve-month limit proposed by the Amendment now under discussion. All you have to do is to fix your appointed day with reference to that, and your difficulties vanish the moment you have done it.
§ Mr. MOORE
I understand the Government idea is that you should have a succession of appointed days. I do not think that is unreasonable from their point of view. As soon as the Act passes they will wish to create an Irish Executive which will take over various services, and I assume there will be various appointed days between the passing of the Act and the first meeting of the Irish Parliament who is going to defray the cost of those services, which are thus called into being and which become Irish services before the Irish Parliament meets? There is no power whatever to make provision for the payment of any service which becomes an Irish service until you have the Irish Parliament in force. Who is going to defray the cost of these services if the Irish Parliament does not meet till twelve months later?
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 243; Nces, 145.1849
|Benn, W. W. (Tower Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Henry, Sir Charles||O'Shaughnessy, P. J,|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||O'Shee, James John|
|Black, Arthur W.||Higham, John Sharp||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Boland, John Pius||Hinds, John||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E.||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Hodge, John||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Hogge, James Myles||Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)|
|Brady, P. J.||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Pearson, Hon. Weetman H. M.|
|Brockiehurst, W. B.||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Brunner, J. F. L.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hudson, Walter||Pointer, Joseph|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Illingworth, Percy H.||Pollard. Sir George H.|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Jones, Henry Hayden (Merioneth)||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Jones, Leif Stratten (Rnshcliffe)||Primrose, Hon. Neil James|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lanes., Heywood)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Chapple. Dr. William Allen||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts., Stepney)||Radford, George Heynes|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jowett, Frederick William||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Clough, William||Joyce, Michael||Reddy, Michael|
|C'ynes, John R.||Keating, Matthew||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Kellaway, Frederick George||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Rendall, Atheistan|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Kilbride, Denis||Richards, Albion (Peckham)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||King. J.||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Crawshay-Williams, Eliot||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon,S.Molton)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Crean, Eugene||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Cullinan, J,||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)|
|Dalziel, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. (Kirkcaldy)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Robinson, Sidney|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Leach, Charles||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Levy, Sir M3urice||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||Lewis, John Herbert||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|De Forest, Baron||Lough, Rt. Hon, Thomas||Rowlands, James|
|Delany, William||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Rowntree, Arnold|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lundon, Thomas||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lyell, Charles Henry||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Dickinson, W. H.||Lynch, A. A.||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Maclean, Donald||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Doris, W.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Scott, A. MacCallum (Bridgeton)|
|Duffy, William J.||MacNeill J. G. Swift (Donegal, South:||Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. S.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Macpherson, James lan||Sheehy, David|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Shortt, Edward|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||M'Ghee, Richard||Simon, Rt Hon. Sir John Allsebrook|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||M'Kean, John||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Falconer, James||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Marshall, Arthur Harold||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Martin, J.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Ffrench, Peter||Mason, David M. (Coventry)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|Field, William||Meagher, Michat||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward||Meehan, Francis E. (Lleitrim, N.)||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Fitzgibbon, John||Menzies, Sir Walter||Wadsworth, J.|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Millar, James Duncan||Walsh, J. (Cork, South)|
|Gilhooly, James||Molloy, M.||Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)|
|Ginnell, L.||Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Wardle, Geerge J.|
|Glanville, H. J.||Morgan, George Hay||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Goldstone, Frank||Merison, Hector||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Munro, R.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Guiney, Patrick||Nannetti, Joseph P.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Gulland, John W.||Neilson, Francis||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Hackett, J.||Nolan, Joseph||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Rossendale)||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Whyte, A. F. (Perth)|
|Hardie, J. Keir||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Doherty, Philip||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Donnell, Thomas||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Dowd, John||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|Hayward, Evan||O'Grady, James||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Hazleton, Richard||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow)||Young, W. (Perthshire, E.)|
|Healy, Timothy Michael (Cork, N.E.)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)|
|Helme, Sir Nerval Watson||O'Malley, William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Captain|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Guest and Mr. Webb.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Baird, J. L.||Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Barrie, H. T,|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Balcarres, Lord||Bathurst, Hon. A. E. B. (Glouc, E.)|
|Astor, Waldorf||Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Harrison-Broadley, H. B.||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Helmsley, Viscount||Nield, Herbert|
|Bigland, Alfred||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Blair, Reginald||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Peel, Captain R. F. (Woodbridge)|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Hill, Sir Clement L.||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Boyton, James||Hills, John Waller||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Pryce-Jones, Col. E.|
|Butcher, John George||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Quilter, Sir William Eley C.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.)||Horne, E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Horner, Andrew Long||Rawson, Col. H R.|
|Cassel, Felix||Hunt, Rowland||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hunter, Sir C. R.||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cator, John||Ingleby, Holcombe||Royds, Edmund|
|Cave, George||Jackson, Sir John||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Chaloner. Col. R. G. W.||Jessel, Captain H. M.||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Chambers, J.||Kebty-Fletcher, J. R.||Sandys, G. J.|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Kerry, Earl of||Smith, Rt. Hon. F. E. (L'p'l., Walton)|
|Cooper, Richard Ashmole||Keswick, Henry||Smlth Harold (Warrington)|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Larmor, Sir J.||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Lloyd, G. A.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central)|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Talbot, Lord E.|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Falle, B. G.||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee||Terrell, H. (Gloucester)|
|Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, North)|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo.,Han. S.)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Tobin, Alfred Aspinall|
|Fitzroy, Hon. E. A.||MacCaw, William J MacGeagh||Touche, George Alexander|
|Fleming, Valentine||Macmaster, Donald||Tryon, Captain George Clement|
|Forster, Henry William||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Gibbs, G. A.||Malcolm, Ian||Walrond. Hon. Lionel|
|Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Mason, James F. (Windsor)||White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud|
|Grant, J. A.||Mills. Hon. Charles Thomas||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Guinness, Hon. Rupert (Essex, S.E.)||Moore, William||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Guinness, Hon.W.E. (Bury S.Edmunds)||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Younger, Sir George|
|Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Mount, William Arthur|
|Hall, Fred (Dulwich)||Neville, Reginald J. N.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr|
|Hardy, Rt. Hon, Laurence||Newton, Harry Kottingham||Newman and Mr. John Gordon.|
§ It being after Twelve of the clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Orders of the House of the 14th October and the 30th December, 1912, to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Twelve of the clock on the Seventh Allotted Day.