§ Debate on the Amendment moved by the EARL OF DUNRAVEN to the Motion that the Bill be now read 2a—namely, to leave out all the words after "that" and insert "this House declines to proceed with a Bill which meets with no support from the great majority of the Irish people, and affords no prospect of any permanent settlement"—again resumed (according to Order).
My Lords, in presuming to address your Lordships at this stage in such an important debate and one which is to be followed by a Division as critical and as important as any in which your Lordships have to record your opinions, I venture to do so only because I happen to be placed in a position to represent a large loyal population in Ireland that is vitally affected by whatever decision your Lordships may come to to-day. It is on their behalf that I rise to support the Amendment moved by the noble Earl, Lord Dun-raven. In doing so I adopt a somewhat similar standpoint to that taken by the noble Earl, Lord Donoughmore, in the Opening remarks of his very damaging speech against the Bill. The noble Earl declared that he was an unrepentant Unionist. I, my Lords, am an unrepentant Unionist, and I think I must be rather more unrepentant than the noble Earl himself, for although his tone was unrepentant at the commencement of his speech it was somewhat apologetic at the close, for he told us that he was prepared to vote for some measure of Home Rule if he thought it was good enough.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I said that I would vote for it if it would improve the present condition of Ireland.
I apologise to the noble Earl if I misrepresent him. I am not and those I represent are not prepared to support any Bill which interferes with the broad principle of the maintenance of the Union. I claim to speak for a 630 large body of loyal public opinion scattered throughout twenty-six counties in Ireland and represented by the Irish Unionist Alliance, of which I have the honour at the moment to be chairman. Our policy differs somewhat from that of the noble Earl, Lord Midleton. He claims with great force to be an anti-partitionist. So do we. We are just as strong in our hatred of partition as the noble Earl. But while he is willing to avoid partition by accepting some measure of Home Rule for Ireland, we on the other hand maintain that you can only avoid partition by maintaining the Union. Accepting the fact, which we do, that Ulster cannot be coerced, Home Rule must mean partition. That is the very reason why we are debating this Bill to-day.
It is because we are unrepentant Unionists that it is impossible for us to consent to any Motion for the adjournment of this debate, if, as I understand, such a Motion is likely to be made. We are against the principle of the Bill, and when dealing with principle you can only do so by giving a straight direct vote. An adjournment must be for some purpose, for some form of compromise, and when you are dealing with principle you cannot compromise without losing your principle. I sincerely hope that the noble Earl will not move the adjournment of the debate, but will let us have a straight vote to-night one way or the other. If the adjournment is moved I shall be compelled for these reasons to vote against it.
I speak for those loyal men and women who through several generations have been the outposts of British civilisation in Ireland, who have upheld the honour of their King and country and fought for the welfare of the British Empire. Through times of great danger and difficulty they have always remained loyal. They sent their sons ungrudgingly to die on the battlefields throughout the Great War, while those who were unable through age or infirmity to go remained at home to live amongst a hostile population that openly allied itself to the Empire's enemy. They saw the positions which their sons had vacated filled by the very men who had openly and successfully flouted the efforts of the Government to enforce conscription and who publicly declared their sympathies with the King's enemies.
It is now proposed to hand over these loyal people to the allies of the great 631 enemy against whom their sons and brothers fought and died. I cannot believe that either the Government or the British people can realise the enormity or baseness of this great betrayal, or can fully realise the conditions under which the loyalists would be forced to live. Even now many of them in parts of Ireland are allowed to exist only at the will and pleasure of the Republican Army. They are forced to obtain permits from Sinn Fein even to buy flour. They are forced to attend Sinn Fein arbitration courts, and submit to their decrees. They are forced to pay subscriptions for the upkeep of the Irish Republican Army. They are forced to part with their lands and sometimes even with their dwellings by the activity of the Bolshevist element in the community. In many cases they are forced to give up their lands by the use of the utmost cruelty. Cases have been known where those who have refused have been placed in coffins and the lid fastened down before they would consent to give up their lands.
One poor man who twenty years ago was a prosperous farmer lost his money through no fault of his own. During the next seventeen years he worked hard as a common labourer. He saved his money, was eventually able to invest in a small herd of dairy cows and was ultimately in a position to buy an interest in the farm in which he was working and to mortgage the rest of it for a sum of money in order that he might hold it. When he had got that farm and worked himself up to this position he was brutally turned out of his home. I will tell you in his words exactly what happened to him. In his description he said—I was doing very well and we were very happy with our prospects until the night of Tuesday, June 28, at 10.30, when a body of over sixty armed men, disguised, suddenly appeared and shouted to me to get out' or if not I would be shot in five minutes.' My wife went out and called on the men if they had a leader? She got no response. They then rushed at her and covered her with revolvers. The family were round her. They told her to get out on the public road. She asked for time to get her young children out of bed. They would not let her move and marched her out on the public road. My eldest daughter then rescued the three small children who were in bed and brought them to me. She had to get permission to do this, and two went with her. The three children were brought out in their night-clothes and placed on the roadside. My wife asked for permission to go into the house again—she was let in. She asked the men if they had a leader. Some answered, We are all leaders to-night.' She made towards one man who was fully masked 632 and asked under what authority they presumed to turn us out. He made no answer but Get out.' When all were out on the roadside, with only the clothes we had on, they proceeded to burn everything. The house, offices, furniture, and farming machinery were all destroyed and burned. Nothing remains of our house but the ruined walls. They threatened that if I attempted to rebuild the house I would be shot, and also that they would shoot me if I applied for malicious injury compensation. To obtain compensation, notice must be served and information given within three days, and they watched the roads to see that I did not do this. I and my family have since been living in the open air, with only a few sheets of corrugated iron against a wall to shelter us. It is terrible, and we never know when we may be murdered.That is only one instance. I could give you many, but it would take up too much of your Lordships' time. In parts of Ireland people live in daily terror of the outrages committed in the name of the Irish Republic.
And that loyal body of Irishmen, those devoted servants of the Crown, the Royal Irish Constabulary, about whom we have heard no word mentioned in this debate, how are they to fare under this Bill? How can you expect men to arrest murderers if at the same time you produce and pass a Bill which will have the effect, anyhow in three years, of handing those men over to the very murderers whom now you ask them to arrest? That is a terrible position in which to place such a fine body of loyal men. For our loyalty throughout all trials and dangers we are now told that we are to be handed over by this Bill to be governed by those very enemies of the Crown against whom we have been striving for so long. If this Bill passes it will only serve to prove to the Empire one thing—that loyalty no longer pays; that loyalty can no longer claim or expect any reward; and that the forces of sedition, treason, and murder will ultimately be allowed to achieve their object. That is a proof which, I venture to submit, will shake the whole Empire to its very foundations.
What a moment at which to pass this Bill! What a moment at which to try to effect a settlement, while the whole country is stirred to its very depths with enmity, hatred, and mistrust, when the whole country at the present moment is recoiling in horror from one of the most barbaric outrages that has ever taken place in the history of our civilised Empire. Does the Government really believe that this Bill is ever going to be an accepted 633 settlement? Up to the present not a single Irishman has voted in favour of it, and twenty-six counties at all events are united, probably for the only time in Irish history, in denouncing it. Is this Bill to be forced on the country in face of such a position? Is the Government really prepared to gamble on an ultimate settlement by such means? The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack even admitted that this Bill might lead to the reconquest of Ireland. I believe he is perfectly right. But what is going to happen to us in the meantime? I say that no Government has the right to gamble with the lives of its loyal citizens and with the safety and welfare of the British Empire.
If this Bill is ever accepted by Southern Ireland it will only be seized upon as a weapon to lead to the ultimate aspirations of the disloyal elements in Ireland to establish an Irish republic. "No man has the right to limit the boundaries of a nation and say, ' Thus far shalt thou go and no further.'" That is inscribed in golden letters on the statue of Mr. Parnell in Dublin. After the Irish Convention, which was supposed to have so nearly accomplished the settlement of this question, a Majority note was issued in the Convention Report. In that note you have this statement—In coming to this decision we are largely moved by the belief that the Government we are helping to establish will be an effective instrument in obtaining for Ireland by general consent whatever further powers their material interests require.Does that sound as if they meant to establish a permanent settlement?
It has been brought out very strongly in the course of this debate that there are no safeguards whatever for Southern Ireland. Of course, there are no safeguards. When an army is running away and leaves its outposts in the hands of the enemy, that army is hardly in a position to make paper decrees telling the enemy how he is to treat those outposts when they are in his power; and so no paper safeguards that can be inserted in this Bill during the Committee stage would be of the least use, in my humble opinion, once you establish an Executive which can administer the laws of the country according to the wishes of a hostile majority. It seems to me that, instead of being able to reduce the military establishment which you have to keep in Ireland, the greater power you 634 give to the Irish people the greater will be the necessity for maintaining a large military force in that country. I believe that there is only one real Amendment which can be of the least use to insert into this Bill, and that would be an Amendment which would ensure that this Bill should not come into operation until Ireland is in a fit state to receive it and until it is acceptable to the majority of the people of the country.
At this very moment when you are attempting to extend self-government you have a very good example indeed of what self-government means in Ireland. We have already a very large measure of self-government in Ireland under the Local Government Act. How, I ask, is that helping to make Ireland prosperous and happy at the present moment? We have in Ireland now a typical and unparalleled example of hopeless disorder and chaos. County councils and corporations are refusing to work in the interests of the community; roads are not surveyed and repairs are not carried out; employees are unpaid, hospitals and asylums have had to be closed—in other words, an absolute state of chaos prevails. Yet this is the moment that is thought a fit and proper one to give them a greater management of their own affairs.
The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack said that this was an Irish question. This is not so much an Irish question as an English question, and the difficulty is not so much an Irish difficulty as an English difficulty. The difficulty lies in making the England people understand the real nature of the Irish demand. I am not one of those who believe that the noble Lord, Lord Willoughby de Broke, is the only Unionist in England. I believe that the rank and file of the Unionist Party in England are sound, and that they only want to be told the true state of affairs about Ireland. I believe that a settlement will ultimately be found, not in better Government of Ireland Bills, but in the ultimate realisation by Great Britain of the utter futility of any Home Rule proposals. One would have thought that this was sufficiently obvious, and that any one who believed that Home Rule would turn disloyalty into loyalty would have had those doubts already removed. Every Home Rule Bill that we have had, we were told, was going to settle the Irish question. When the 1914 Bill was placed on the 635 Statute book, what was the outcome? It was followed by the rebellion of 1916. It was followed by a Sinn Fein alliance with Germany. It was followed by the formation of the Irish Republican Army, by an alliance with Soviet Russia, and by the alliance of the Irish Workers' Transport Union with the Third International, a body which has for one of its avowed objects the setting up of an Irish Republic with the sole purpose of being a stepping stone towards the smashing of the British Empire.
This Bill was passed through the House of Commons to the accompaniment of a regular orgy of assassination. And on the very eve of its introduction into your Lordships' House we had those barbaric atrocities in Dublin to which I have already referred. Surely one would have thought that this was sufficient evidence to lay before the country to prove the hopelessness of the Home Rule cause and the vital necessity for maintaining the union in order to preserve the British Empire, and also to show that the Government, instead of persevering with another Government Bill for Ireland, should have gone to the country and told them the truth and demanded a mandate for the suppression of the Irish republican demand, a mandate not for the weakening but for the strengthening of the bonds of the Union.
But we are told that because the 1914 Bill is on the Statute-book this cannot be done, and that some compromise must be effected. The word "compromise" is one of the greatest stumbling blocks in the Irish question. To an Englishman the word is intelligible. England is the home of compromise. Englishmen invented compromise. Ireland, on the other hand, has no idea what compromise means. If you start compromising with an Irishman he at once takes it for granted that you are beaten and want to give in, and though he may swallow it at the moment, if he thinks fit, it will only be to wring greater concessions later on. Until the English people understand this fact they will always be at a disadvantage in dealing with the Irish question.
When we are told that the 1914 Bill is on the Satute Book and that that is the reason why this Bill must pass, I say that is an argument which carries no weight whatever with the majority of people in Ireland. It is an argument which has proved a very useful one in the hands of 636 those who wish to force this Bill through, but it is very much like holding an empty revolver at a man's head; it is only effective so long as it deceives the man into thinking it is effectively loaded. This weapon was loaded six years ago, and the explosive charge in it has become rotten and will never go off. We have nothing whatever to fear from it. I doubt if there is any one in Ireland who is seriously afraid of this ill-begotten and antiquated Statute, or who thinks that it can ever be forced on Ireland, hated and detested as it is by every section of the community. Does any one seriously believe that that Act can be forced upon Ulster? I do not believe it for a moment. If it could, all I can say is that the spirit which used to dominate Ulster must have changed very considerably in recent years. We have no reason to fear the 1911 Act; in fact, I think we can prefer it to be on the Statute-book to the present Bill ever getting there, because we know that it never could be put into force, while this Bill would probably set up a Parliament in the one part of Ireland that has always sworn it would never allow itself to be driven from the Union, thereby smashing not only the union with Great Britain but also the possibility of Ireland itself ever becoming united. One noble Lord said that this was only expression of opinion. Perhaps so, my Lords, but it is the expression of a very large body of opinion of people who live in a place where they are likely to know best as to whether it will bring about the unity of Ireland or not.
We are told also by those who have always been the real and earnest supporters of the Union that, much as they hate this Bill, they must allow it to go through in order to keep their pledge to Ulster. I hope that the Bill will not be passed by the aid of my fellow Ulster Peers. I use that expression deliberately, for in all probability this is the last time that I shall ever be able to do so, because if this Bill passes I and my fellow loyalists in the three counties of Cavan, Monaghan, and Donegal, will no longer have the right which was won for us and handed down to us by our ancestors of belonging to the great Imperial Province of Ulster. Your Lordships may think that a small matter, but I assure you there is nothing that we in the three counties feel more than that we may no longer be entitled to our proud title of Ulstermen. In fact, already we are no longer regarded as Ulstermen.
637 Over and over again in the course of this debate Ulster has been spoken of. My fellow Ulster Peers have spoken of Ulster, but they meant, not Ulster, but a new geographical province composed of the six counties. My fellow Ulster Peers at all events know me too well to attribute to me any vindictiveness or bitterness of spirit in what I may say on this question. I profoundly regret my severance from them, and it is a real personal grief to me to be associated with them no longer, nor to be able to be one of the most devoted helpers of our great leader, Sir Edward Carson. But the question between us is one of conscience, and when consciences differ so utterly as to what is right there is no further room for argument.
I say at once that this Bill does not keep the pledge to Ulster. It has succeeded only in dividing their ranks, in breaking their Covenant, and in showing three counties of Ulster that they no longer have the right to remain in the Imperial Province. The whole essence of British justice now appears to be taken from Mr. Birrell's statement that minorities must, suffer. The minority in Ulster must suffer because you are setting up an ascendency of one Party in that province. Ulstermen have never claimed any ascendency. They have always said they never wanted any ascendency, but to remain on equal terms under the United Kingdom. The small minority of Covenanters in the three counties must suffer because the very smallness of the minority was an inconvenience to the remainder of their fellow countrymen. The minorities in the South and West must suffer because you are placing them under the domination of a hostile majority, practically without any representation whatever.
I maintain that there is only one way for the Government to keep its pledge with Ulster and only one way in which Ulster can keep her Covenant or her honour, and that is by maintaining the whole Imperial Province within the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, my Lords, I know site was skilfully manœuvred into such a position that she found it difficult if not impossible to oppose having a Parliament which she did not want forced upon her, and so she acquiesced, though up to now no single Member of Parliament has voted in favour of the Bill in another place. It is true we hear now that there has been a great change of opinion suddenly, and that the. Ulster Peers in this House will 638 vote for the Bill. We also heard a letter front Sir Edward Carson read in this House, to which of course your Lordships must give great consideration; but I humbly submit that in reality if the Ulster Peers vote for this Bill they can only register their own opinions and not the opinions of those they represent.
How have they become aware of this great change of opinion which has suddenly come about in Ulster? I know of no monster demonstration such as we are accustomed to in Ulster whenever there is any intense feeling amongst the people on a particular subject. In the houses of Ulstermen there are placards bearing words which were invented by the lamented father of the Duke of Abercorn, that great Ulster leader, "We will not have Home Rule." I have not heard of those placards being torn down and other placards placed upon the walls, saying," We will have Home Rule. We will have finality."
I submit that public opinion, at all events in the country, cordially disapproves of it, and that there is really no necessity from that point of view for the Ulster Peers to vote in favour of this Bill. I earnestly hope that no representatives from Ireland will vote in favour of this Bill. If they do, they will be voting to place their loyal fellow-countrymen under the domination of a rebel Parliament, and to place their fellow-Covenanters in the three counties under such a Parliament—I use the very words of the Covenant—as they swore, with them, "never to acknowledge." My Lords, if those of them who protested against the breaking of the Covenant on March 10 vote in favour of this Bill they will be doing the very thing they protested against so strongly on that occasion. That, to my mind, betrays an elasticity of conscience which is past all understanding. It will be the irony of fate indeed if this Bill is passed by the very votes of those who have always sworn that they would never have Home Rule.
In conclusion, with a full sense of responsibility and with all the earnestness and sincerity I can command I appeal to your Lordships' House, which has always stood between the loyal population of Ireland and Home Rule, to save us once again from this great betrayal. There is no mandate for this Bill from any section of 639 the community; there is no demand for it in any part of the country. If you take the bold course and stand by your friends and refuse to betray your own loyal kith and kin we are confident that you will have behind you, as you always had on previous occasions, the great majority of the British people. But should this Bill be allowed to pass we believe that it will be the first step towards the downfall of the British Empire.
§ LORD SHANDON
My Lords, the position which I would earnestly press on you is this. I, unlike the noble Lord who has just spoken, who professed himself an unrepentant Unionist, am an unreprentant Home Ruler. There is one thing upon which I would distinctly congratulate the Government—namely, that they have realised that the condition of things in Ireland is such that a literal, strict, and uncompromising adhesion to the Act which we call the Act of Union has become impossible, and also that they have recognised that there is no use in waiting until we have an ideal condition of things in which to proceed with those ameliorative measures which ought to be passed.
When this Bill was introduced into the House of Commons I, for one, recognised that it did not contain large concessions, large provisions and potentialities. But I also, in common with a very large section of moderate Nationalists in Ireland—and it is them whom I represent—am convinced that the Government, in framing the Bill, have defeated the very objects which I feel perfectly satisfied they honestly intended to carry out. And anything which I wish to say to-night is intended merely, so far as those whose opinions I believe I represent are concerned, as a last effort to place their views before you, and earnestly to beseech the Government, even at this eleventh hour, to give some concession to them. I have not only expressed an individual opinion, but after the introduction of the Bill I endeavoured as far as I possibly could to ascertain the views of those in Ireland who are absolutely moderate in their views and who wish only for finality, and finality which will be peace, and not hostility.
One point which emerged as the result of the discussions in the House below and of the action of the Government is that there is an enormous majority of absolutely moderate opinion in Ireland which 640 sees in particular parts of this Bill, not the beginning of that peace which we all would wish, but the starting point of further differences, further bickerings and further misunderstandings. Do not think that, in saying this, I am in any way hostile to the general principles of this Bill. If those principles had not been, as I conceive, defeated by the very frame of the Bill itself, I for one would have been most delighted to give it complete and most enthusiastic support. One of the points in which unquestionably, in the opinion of those who think with me, it fails is that, by an elaborate and useless series of clauses, it prevents the operation of the very principle which the Bill is supposed to carry out and embody—namely, the principle of ultimate unity between North and South.
Let there be no mistake with regard to what that unity means in the minds of those who think like myself. It does not mean the setting up of that form of Government which has unfortunately been described as Colonial Home Rule. We have to borrow from the Colonial Statutes and from the Colonial systems certain forms, certain principles, but none of us pretends that you are to apply all those forms and all those principles in the solution of this difficulty in Ireland. We all recognise that the proximity of Ireland to Great Britain and all the other matters which have been mentioned here from time to time, and truthfully and accurately brought forward, differentiate to some extent the position of the Colonies from the position of Ireland. There is no desire for control of the Army and Navy on the part of any moderate opinion in Ireland, whom I honestly believe are actually or potentially existent—and it is the potential existence to which I look forward, because at the present time, to use a popular expression, they are snowed under by hostile forces on all sides. Control of the Army and Navy is not only impracticable from a military and naval point of view but is perfect nonsense from a financial point of view, because one year's naval and military enterprise would leave Ireland hopelessly and completely bankrupt. That is a view which, being practicable, appeals to those who take practical views of things. Neither from the sentimental nor the practical point of view is there any such desire. I certainly think they would repudiate the idea which has been expressed in terms by so high an authority 641 as the Prime Minister, that Colonial Home Rule is asked for because it includes the control of the Army and Navy, which cannot be granted. Of course, if you assume your premises the conclusion follows, but the premises are false.
What we do seek and have sought by suggestions in the Press and in the form of Amendments in the House below is improvement in two particular matters. One was in the direction that ultimate unity should not be, to use the words of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, a possibility as the result of this Bill, but a probability, because unless there is this probability of ultimate union we are simply laying up stores of mischief for ourselves in the future. Ulster has been placed in the position under this Bill that so long as she pleases she can prevent union. I have always conceded the view that Ulster must not be coerced. No one must be coerced, least of all should Ulster, because Ulster has its own strong opinion which seems to be divergent from the rest of Ireland. But that does not give to Ulster the right to coerce the rest of Ireland; it does not give the right to Ulster to say, as some members in the House of Commons said, "We will never have this union," and they were sincere and honest and straightforward in that. You place in their hands the power to prevent that union, and. therein lies the first grave difficulty, unless it should be amended in this House, in the probable success of the Bill. There is no real difficulty that I can see. I am not now going to trouble you with the manner in which some of us have endeavoured to place this thing on paper. Personally I am entirely against talking in the abstract. In the concrete there is no difficulty at all in phrasing clauses which will have the effect of enabling the North of Ireland to have the utmost freedom within its own counties, be they six or four, or be they the whole of Ulster, while at the same time avoiding placing those six counties in such a watertight compartment that it would be more difficult by an Act of Parliament to extricate the situation in the future than to extricate the situation as it exists at the present time.
It is proposed to set up, at defiance of all economic laws, a costly dual system without any provisions in the Statute except this shadowy Council which would enable the two parties by constant contact to be induced, not even to the construction 642 of one single Parliament for the whole of Ireland, but to the construction at the start of the services to be utilised. Do not think I forget for one second that the Council is composed in some advisory capacity to suggest this, that, and the other thing about community of services. The Council with its equal division of twenty men on one side and twenty men on the other may or may not make proper suggestions, but they are bound to remain in the temper in which the whole business will start. There is no difficulty, as I have said, that I can conceive in framing clauses which will produce that gradual process of conciliation and amalgamation which certainly the duality created by this Bill is bound in its very essence to prevent.
But this can be cured unquestionably by this House in Committee, and I should have been very hopeful indeed but for the fact that the same promises were held forth with regard to Amendments in the House below as are held out here. The Government, for reasons which seemed to them, I presume, sufficient beyond all doubt, adhered to the very letter of the provisions with regard to the condition of feebleness in which the Council must find itself, and have up to the present time refused as a matter of principle to accept any alteration of that Council so as to make it a real active power capable of controlling in the interest of every one in Ireland the acts of both Houses, North and South. That is still a matter which this House could cure.
But there is another matter which this House cannot cure—at least it has been so said—and that is the fiscal provisions which are contained in this Bill. I have taken the trouble—believe me I am not stating what is not only as far as I can see well-founded but founded in reason—of consulting men of business in Southern Ireland. I have not had the same means of access to men of business in Northern Ireland, but it certainly seems to me that there has been a singular change of view with regard to some business men at least in the North of Ireland. But so far as the South is concerned all classes, whether they be landowners, farmers, owners of creameries, or owners of such manufactures as we have, are convinced that the financial provisions of this Bill are absolutely unworkable. There is one view of looking at it which has been so well put by Lord Donoughmore that I am not 643 going to repeat it. That view points out that you are by one section providing in grandiloquent terms that Ireland shall collect its own taxes, except—and when you come to the exception the exception is enormous, and you leave only £3,000,000 out of £42,000,000 to be collected, not by Ireland, but to be again subdivided and to be subject to cost of collection apparently by two separate bodies.
That view of it having been put so clearly by Lord Donoughmore, I wish to put this only as supplemental. If it is wrong it is better that I should state it, and that it should be corrected. The finance of the Home Rule Act, from which finance of this Bill in principle has been largely copied, was, even when that Act was going through the House of Commons, made the subject of complaint and prophecies of disaster on the ground that it was impossible to work. The basis of the finance of that Act was this. At the time it was believed to be the fact that Irish services cost more than what was expended on them. I think the exact amount of excess was something like £1,500,000. The bill accordingly was based on the assumption that, after certain processes of balancing, Ireland should have to begin with something like £500,000 going down to £200,000 a year as a grant. I think those were roughly the terms. In addition to that there were some temporary concessions which correspond to the temporary, and in many respects generous, concessions in the Bill. No sooner had that Bill been passed through the Commons than a tremendous attack was made upon it in Ireland by the commercial classes, and I think the leader of those was a very distinguished man of business, Mr. William Martin Murphy. Long before Sinn Fein was thought of and long before the universal condemnation of the Home Rule Act the finance clauses of that Act had made it absolutely repugnant to a majority of people in Ireland. Whether they were right or whether they were wrong is a matter, of course, of opinion. Personally I had always thought they were wrong, but recently I went to the trouble of going into the matter, and I have come to the conclusion they were right.
Taking the round figures of the Lord Chancellor you are taking first out of a possible surplus of £22,000,000, on the basis of those figures, £18,000,000 as the contribution towards the charges. You leave about 644 £4,000,000 for Ireland under the finances of this costly Bill. You add to that some other items; amongst others, what certainly must be regarded as a very substantial matter, the uncollected annuities under the Irish Land Acts, and in the words of the Lord Chancellor, subject to correction, you bring it all up to £7,000,000. He said—it will be seen—the excess of revenue over expenditure being estimated at £2.2,250,000—that when the Imperial contribution is fixed in the way I have described at £18,000,000, there is a margin of £4,250,000 to which the Irish Parliaments will be entitled. But that is not the only margin which will be available for them. As I explained in dealing with the amount of expenditure, there is a sum of £1,750,000 for services which have not yet matured. The margin is increased, therefore, to £6,000,000. Nor is this all upon the financial side. It is intended to make a free grant to Ireland of the Irish Land Annuities, amounting at this time to about £3,250,000 and rising to something over £3,500,000 as the existing land sales are completed.On the face of it that looks, if you take only the figures, very generous treatment. The view taken of it in Ireland is this. In the first place the finances of the United Kingdom are not at all the same as they were in 1914. The value of money is not the same, and the first thing you have to discount in these figures is that your expenditure has increased much more in proportion. These increases are not only the natural results of any Bill framed in this way, but are artificially inflated by the provisions of this Bill. If there was only one Civil Service and one system and not this dual system in Ireland there might be some chance of this covering things even at the present value of money, but you duplicate everything and adopt the most enormously expensive way of doing it, and expect there is to be equilibrium brought about by both Irish Parliaments. In addition, in Ireland it is recognised that in the South the only manufacture which we have is the manufacture of beef and mutton and farm produce. The value of these must fall. Great Britain will not tolerate the present prices, and with the fall of prices will fall the taxable capacity of Southern Ireland.
Undoubtedly the surplus which is on paper at the present time will disappear. Then what shall we have? We shall have in lieu of the present system, by which Irish services have to be paid for in the first instance out of the revenues of the United Kingdom, a primary tax of £18,000,000, and you have to balance the 645 rest as best you can. I can quite understand that in the House below there was so much insistence upon Clause 24, because it seems perfectly clear that owing to the changed monetary conditions and the present position of affairs in Ireland, Ireland will be commencing her career as a self-supporting country with this primary charge of £18,000,000, and if we come to put Clause 24 in force, if the surtax becomes, as I conceive it must, an absolute necessity, the financial ruin which is foreseen in the South will unquestionably come to pass. I certainly sympathise deeply with those who have much interest in the South of Ireland, and who are endeavouring to carry on such manufactures as we have, and endeavouring also to carry on with success farming operations. I think there must be the greatest sympathy with them when we look forward and see the future which is before them, with vanishing revenues, higher charges, and the necessity of a surtax. We are told this cannot be cured in this House.
We are told that this is not real. The majority in Ireland are convinced that it is real. They are convinced, and I believe myself they are absolutely right, that the finance of this Bill must fail. I would again beg the Government even at this eleventh hour, whether it takes the form of an adjournment or not, to reconsider this question, and to see whether there is any good in launching a Bill with such inherent defects, however meritorious it may be, and it is meritorious, in other ways. Why should we not be united, whether we hold the views of Lord Farnham, or of myself, or the views of those who are advising the Government financially? This must be a matter of compromise. The whole Empire is concerned in starting this Bill in a way which will ensure that it Flail float properly, and I greatly fear that it cannot float properly. Therefore I have ventured to address your Lordships, to-night, not in a spirit of hostile criticism but with an honest desire, if I can, to help the Government.
§ THE EARL OF MIDLETON
My Lords, after the illuminating debate which we have had now for nearly three evenings, I cannot help feeling that the time has come when we are nearing the necessity of making a decision, and when we must face the actual realities of the situation in which we find ourselves. I confess, 646 much as I admired the speech with which the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack introduced the Bill, that it struck me that there was an air of unreality about the tone which he adopted. It is difficult to understand how, in the face of the universal condemnation which has fallen on this Bill, rightly or wrongly, from all parts of the South of Ireland, he should have been able in his concluding sentences to tell us that this proposal of the Government had a greater promise of settlement than any previous Bill which has been introduced. Again, he spoke in one sentence of finality, and a few sentences afterwards he was talking of the possibility of having to substitute Crown Colony government for the ordinary government throughout the whole of the South of Ireland. Once more—in a matter which is of vital importance to Southern Unionists—he told us that it would pass the wit of man to discover the proper means of making a Second Chamber for these two Governments in Ireland; but in the next sentence, that which an impartial Government with all its ability was unable to do he hoped would be found easy of achievement by the partisan Council, consisting of twenty Ulstermen and twenty extreme men from the South, who differed from each other from every point of view. I felt throughout his speech that I was listening to a fairy tale, and admirable as was the edifice, I would ask you to consider whether he has not built his house upon the sand.
Why for the last thirty-five years have these Bills been introduced? It is not from any unrest or difficulty or want of prosperity in Ulster, but because the South and West of Ireland presented a problem and made demands which have taxed all the wisdom of statesmen. Let it not be supposed, if I criticise the Bill from this standpoint, that I desire to throw myself in any degree against proper safeguards for Ulster. We have all at different times had to take part in these discussions with the utmost admiration for the manner in which Ulster has fought for her freedom, and my only criticism would be on the point where anything which is done for Ulster is done in such a way as to block the path of settlement for the rest of Ireland.
The noble Marquess, Lord Londonderry, who always speaks with such moderation as well as ability, spoke of the adoption of 647 partition and gave as one of his rea ons for supporting it that he loved Ireland. I do not question that statement. The noble Marquess has a hereditary right to claim that he has done his very best for his country. But I doubt, when you have regard to the fact that you cannot find a man, woman, or child in the South who does not resent the idea of permanent partition in Ireland, whether the noble Marquess quite had in his mind the famous judgment of Solomon, who, when asked to decide between the two claimants, did not give the verdict to the unselfish affection of the parent who proposed to divide the child but to the parent who proposed to make a sacrifice in order to preserve the life and wellbeing of the child.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY
The noble Earl has rather misunderstood me. I did not speak of permanent partition. I expressed a hope that partition would not be permanent.
§ THE EARL OF MIDLETON
That hope is a very academic one. I might ask the noble Marquess to consider the statements of his own friends in another place who have based themselves on this particular form of partition as being the one thing which would cause Ulster to be divided off for ever, and are prepared to support it on that ground. I should like to ask your Lordships to consider—I will do so in as few words as I can, as we have had a prolonged debate—what the effect of looking at this Bill solely from the point of view of Ulster will have upon the rest of Ireland. First of all, you have marked out six-counties, the exact number demanded by the North and the number which has been most criticised by the South. My noble friend Lord Killanin, in a remarkable speech delivered at an hour which unfortunately prevented many of your Lordships hearing it last night, reminded the House that it was on this question of the six counties that Mr. Redmond by his compliance in 1914 lost the whole support, or a large proportion, of his most cherished followers, and ultimately from the sadness of the surroundings lost his life.
Take the question of finance. I am not going to labour any of these questions, because your Lordships have had a surfeit. The financial powers given by this Bill are precisely those for which Ulster contended in the Convention, and they do 648 not give any one of the powers for which 76 members out of 95 in the Convention went into the lobby together to demand as the right of the country and as the only grounds on which it was possible to make an arrangement. Take again the question of a second Parliament. It has been pointed out that up to a few months ago, I might almost say weeks ago, the demand of Ulster was that she should remain part of Great Britain—"Let us be as we are." We are all prepared to assent to that demand, much as we would have preferred her to take a predominant place in Irish politics and assist to rule the rest of the country as by her wealth and education she is so well fitted to do. That has been given up, and we are now told that it is impossible to devise in the two Parliaments any security for the minority in Ulster on the one side or the minority in the South on the other; a decision the Convention found no difficulty in arriving at by a unanimous vote, but from which Ulster at the last moment dissented. It was one of the most encouraging features that all classes in the country and in the Assembly recognised the necessity and feasibility of securing proper safeguards for minorities.
It is not for me to suggest to the Lord Chancellor how he should conduct his case, but I wonder whether it occurred to him, when he took the very unusual course of suggesting to your Lordships how you should treat this Bill through the medium of a letter from an eminent member of the House of Commons, that the higher the praise which is felt due to Sir Edward Carson for the stand he has made for the liberty of those with whom he is associated the greater is naturally the feeling amongst those whose aspirations he has foiled that he and his opinions on behalf of the one part of Ireland which has obtained all she wants are used to commend a Bill to your Lordships in regard to the whole South and West of Ireland who have had to sacrifice that which they most desired in order to obtain for the North what the North wants. If I had had such a letter as that, instead of flaunting it before your Lordships in a peroration, I should have kept it dark, and I say so simply because I desire if we possibly can to get some result out of these discussions.
I think the Government should also consider how their reputation for good faith stands by the Bill. They are pledged 649 not to the minority in the North alone; They are pledged to the minority in the youth. The eyes of the Government, which were so acute when focussed on the 800,000 Protestants who are massed together in the North, became uncommonly dim when diffused among the 350,000 Protestants scattered in the South and West. Your promises and pledges were as good for one as for the other; and your pledges are of more than recent date. They have been given in the highest quarter by the Prime Minister. They have been reiterated by every Minister who has dealt with this question, and I agree with Lord Farnham that there is no vestige of vindication of those pledges in this Bill.
Look at it as a matter of business. Every day in this House we see measures coining up which have to be dealt with, some drastically, but all in some detail with the full consent of the member of the Government who happens to be in charge of them. Yet you assume that what has been found necessary for an Assembly which has been a pattern Assembly for all civilised countries for 800 years is not necessary in a new Assembly with a hostile atmosphere in a country which has been riven by faction, torn by different groups, divided in every way in which a country can be divided; and you assume that they are to meet and between Monday and Saturday in any week may pass any piece of legislation they like. There is nothing between you and those who are to be subject to them except the veto of the Lord Lieutenant. I only wish the noble and gallant Field-Marshal, whom I see in his place to-night, could have heard the unanswerable speech made by Lord Salisbury last night. The unfortunate Lord Lieutenant, who is to be the servant of and advised by the Southern Ministry in regard to their affairs, and by the Northern Ministry in regard to theirs, and is either to be advised by, or accept the guidance of, British Ministers with regard to all affairs, in each case has no remedy whatever if the Government whose advice he disregards should declare itself willing to resign. The whole proposal is one which would not stand for a month if it were once started.
In what position do you leave those for whom I and Lord Farnham have the right to speak? Have they no claims on your Lordships? The men whom you are going to put in this position are the men who have built up the whole prosperity 650 of the South of Ireland. The men who are behind us in the protest I am making are the men who hold all the greatest businesses in Dublin and throughout the South, all the largest owners of land, those to whom the country owes most and to whom, as a reward for services in the war, coming as they did from a population which to some extent held aloof from the war, you say: "What we give you is this, that you shall from this time forward be so placed that you will have no part whatever in the government of the country whose wealth you have made and for whose fortunes you have fought." It is riot usual in this House to speak of personal feelings, but I will venture to depart from custom and to ask your Lordships whether you can imagine what are the feelings of my noble friends and myself who, on many platforms in the last few years, have assured our supporters in Ireland that whatever happened, if this step forward is to be made and they take a generous view and support the Government, they may rest satisfied that these pledges for safeguards which are given in every other civilised country would not be forgotten.
We have passed through a great deal, and I can say that the bitterness of the cup which you have forced the Southern loyalists to quaff by your advocacy of this Bill, by deliberately ignoring the pledge given by Mr. Walter Long in another place last May, entitles us to feel the words, which I venture to repeat here, used by Lord Cairns in 1881 over another body of loyalists who were deserted by the then Government—"In all the ills we ever bore, we grieved, we sighed, we wept; we never blushed before." ft is not really a question now of how we are to reconcile those difficulties, but I ask the House of Lords to extricate the Government and Ireland from this impasse.
I would like to clear away what seem to me shams in the reasons which have been given for carrying the Bill in its present form. I will put them as shortly as I can. In the first place, I entirely agree with what has fallen from Lord Farnham as to the bogey of the 1914 Act. I am not able to bandy legal argument with the noble and learned Lord, but I am informed on high legal authority that if this Bill fail and the last Treaty is signed to-morrow it is impossible for you to put the Act of 1914 in force. The finance has all been altered and the constituencies 651 have been altered, but your pledges remain. To state that this Bill must be passed in this form or the 1911 Act will operate, is, I believe, a complete mistake. The second reason to which I specially desire to draw attention is the suggestion that if this Bill does not pass there is nothing between it and the acceptance of a Republic; that no proposals which stop short of that would have any ground for acceptance. On this Bill there has not been raised one single voice at a public meeting in the South of Ireland, and so far as I know there is not a newspaper there in support of the Bill. Not one member of the House of Commons connected with the South of Ireland voted for the Bill and not one member of the House of Lords connected with the South of Ireland in this debate, in which some thirty speeches have been made, has said one good word for the Bill.
But if you would extend your net a little more generously, if you would consider opinion which is ready but which has found difficulty in utterance, if you would retain for Great Britain all those truly Imperial matters, the Army, the Navy, Treaties, Foreign Affairs, defence of the ports, then I think you might afford to give Ireland that which is local. I could not go so far as the noble Viscount, Lord Grey, went in his admirable speech last night. Those with whom I am connected would not be prepared to see Ireland march out without making the contribution which is due from her for the vast expenditure by which she has come to her present prosperity. We object to being the Cinderella among the nations of the earth in any circumstances. Subject to that, I would give full fiscal control of all that is not imperial into Irish hands. Under the present Bill, so long as you retain the full powers which you have over Irish finance, Ireland has no security on which she can borrow a farthing. She is absolutely in leading strings. The municipalities in Ireland will be able to borrow more readily than the Central Government.
On this subject of finance, with which your Lordships are not able to deal, the bankers of Dublin, the traders of Dublin, and the commercial men throughout the South of Ireland are as absolutely opposed to the restrictions in the Bill as are the peasants of Donegal. If such a programme were put forward I know I should be asked, Who can come forward to support it?
652 In the last few days we have had some evidence. It is not a month since certain Members of the Lower House—chiefly the younger Members—put forward a strong financial programme in the direction that I have indicated. There is hardly a newspaper in Ireland which did not chorus approval. Efforts were made that suggest extraordinary commendation of it. That was at least a salutary example of what we might hope, and that is but one indication of feeling. The Lords Lieutenant of counties in Ireland called meetings during the autumn to consider this very programme, and I believe I am right in saying that in almost every case it was endorsed unanimously. My noble friend the Lord Lieutenant of Cork who is here to-night, the Lord Lieutenant of Carlow, and one other noble Lord who I see present now were at the Queen's County meeting. I could give your Lordships a list of eight or ten counties in the South which held meetings called by the Lieutenants, and which came to the same conclusion. The Chambers of Commerce of Dublin and of Cork, and I believe of other cities, have passed resolutions to the same effect. Even in Ireland there is some consistency. After two years the great majority of the Convention were at one, and the whole question could have been settled as far as the South was concerned by the grant of these larger powers.
Within the last few days we have had the most remarkable manifestation that we have yet had. Everybody knows what is the power of the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland. Every one also knows how unusual it is on a subject which is so largely political, if not wholly political—since it deals so much with the pacification of the country—for individual Prelates to make speeches of the description of those which have been made by the Bishop of Cork and the Bishop of Ross within the last fortnight. Each of those Prelates differs from the other, as all of us who are connected with Ireland know, in appreciation of the situation, and yet they have come forward to make a proposition on these lines and to indicate that such a proposal would be accepted. Is it not a hard thing for a Government, when there is no organised body to meet them, to turn a deaf ear to these manifestations, coining as they do from men wholly differing in opinion and not the result of any organisation, yet all pointing in the same direction? Give us something under the Crown, within the Empire, something which gives us not 653 control of Imperial affairs (for which no wise man in Ireland has ever asked) but control of our own local affairs. I am asking your Lordships to-night not to shut the door upon this attitude. I ask that you will give us the opportunity of seeing whether something cannot be done which we are unable to do in Committee of this House.
I have studied this question to see whether we could submit these points to the House in Committee. I have come to the conclusion that it is perfectly futile to do so. The main question of finance may at any stage involve a charge on the British. Exchequer which is not involved in the Bill now before us, and that would be ruled out by another place on the ground of privilege. The question again of a Second Chamber is not a Committee question. It is of the essence of the Bill. The change is one which requires to be discussed quietly, and to come to an agreement upon. Discussion is also needful to see whether any change can be made which, while wholly securing Ulster, would not place her in a position which would be regarded as antagonistic by the great mass whose consent it is necessary to obtain in the South. That obviously also is a subject that we cannot deal with in Committee.
What I would ask is that we might be permitted to follow a precedent of which there exists I believe more than one. But there is one precedent that I should especially press upon the attention of the House to-night. In 1884 the Franchise Bill came up to this House, after prolonged and careful debate, as the first measure of the session. It was not like this Bill, which has had a meandering course for nearly a year and has been taken up and put aside for other urgent business and has undergone very little change in its passage. When the Franchise Bill to which I have referred came here the efforts of your Lordships were directed to asking for a great enlargement of its scope without throwing out the Bill. The Government resisted that by every means in their power. They declared, as I have no doubt the Government will declare after I sit down to-night, that if an adjournment were made and the Bill hung up they would consider it equivalent to rejection of the Bill. In the case to which I have referred the Government held their ground through three debates, but in the 654 end they agreed to negotiate. Mr. Gladstone and Sir Charles Dilke met Lord Salisbury and Sit Stafford Northcote, and that which seemed insoluble was by the vote of your Lordships' House solved in such a manner that for thirty years the settlement remained undisturbed. That also is the basis on which the Franchise Bill passed last year.
Our situation is not dissimilar. In those days those who were opposed to the Bill were taking the popular view, and we are urging the popular view upon you to-night, because it is only through the popular view that you can achieve the settlement which you desire to make. They also were asking for an advance upon what the Government proposed. So are we. They did it solely in order to promote a settlement. So do we. If you shut the door upon us we can only say that if the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, like the traditional Mrs. Partington, attempts to encounter the onrush of the. Atlantic he may have a less formidable enemy to meet but he will not be more certain of complete defeat. He is certain to meet with defeat if he endeavours to force this Bill in its present state on the South and West of Ireland.
I should ask to be allowed to move the adjournment of this debate for a fortnight—a definite period, not the indefinite one which the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack deprecated. That would enable negotiations to take place, and I venture to suggest that in the meantime nobody would be prejudiced. If my noble friend's Amendment were to be destroyed by it, I know that there are many members of this House who would hesitate to vote with me. But my noble friend's position will be precisely take same after we have voted on the Amendment to adjourn for fourteen days as it is now. If we succeed—and I hope we may—we shall have those opportunities for negotiation which we have never enjoyed heretofore. We shall have at our backs the immense force of the fact that your Lordships will have shown by a vote that you are dissatisfied with a Bill that satisfies only one Party and the others not at all, and are determined to step into the breach to facilitate, if you possibly can, a settlement of the question. If on the other hand we are defeated, my noble friend's position will be as good as it is now. I ask your Lordships to choose between certain failure and 655 a reasonable chance of success in this settlement. The noble Viscount, Lord Grey, said last night that mistakes have been made continuously throughout these long years of struggle. He did not spare the Government with which he has been officially connected. I urge your Lordships not to add to those mistakes by hastily deciding to go into Committee on this Bill to-night after the warnings you have had from every part of the country.
This question will not be decided by the Irish speakers who have occupied a good deal of this debate. It will be decided by the mass of those who have come to hear the arguments and who will vote as they think fit. If they should go into the Lobby into which I invite them to go—and I shall certainly ask your Lordships to divide—they will find in that Lobby nearly every man in this House who has a large stake in Ireland; they will find in it the consent of all the classes in Ireland who are not represented in this House, and those who are in favour of keeping open every avenue of settlement. I know that in taking this course I am departing in some degree from that which has been the past history of those who have spoken for the Union from this side of the House. I think there are no two ways about it: either you must have government by this country, which government we all feel has recently failed, or you must give to Ireland sufficient latitude to govern herself, which you do not do by the present Bill.
§ THE EARL OF MIDLETON
I can conceive of nothing in the long history of this House which will be more fertile in popular support and statesmanlike reward than the fact that the people of Ireland find that, without derogating from the Imperial ditties which come first to us, they have not had to look further for the support of the rights or privileges which are to be afforded to them than this, the oldest Assembly in the world. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the debate be adjourned until this day fortnight.—(The Earl of Midleton.)
THE EARL OF DUNRAVEN
My Lords, this Motion for the adjournment of the debate to a definite date has my most cordial approval, and for two reasons. The debate has been very illuminating and very instructing. A great many noble 656 Lords most eminently qualified to form and express a sound opinion have given their views as to the effect that this Bill, if it becomes an Act in its present shape and is put into operation, will have all over the South and West of Ireland. I think their views deserve very careful consideration.
I have one special reason for approving of this Motion. Your Lordships will recollect that in moving my Amendment I addressed myself almost entirely to the fiscal question. The noble and learned Lord upon the Woolsack, in opening the debate, expressed the view that I was inconsistent in the attitude I have taken up towards this Bill, and he quoted this passage from a letter I wrote to The Times towards the end of August last—If these assumptions are correct, the path to a possible settlement is open and simple to follow. The only danger lies in its simplicity. Why clamour to scrap the Government Bill?If the noble and learned Lord had quoted another two lines the House would have understood why I said, "Do not scrap the Government Bill." This is what I said—Why clamour to scrap the Government Bill Y It can by amendment be brought up to the grant of full autonomy, fiscal and financial. His Majesty's Government know, just as well as every man, woman, and child in Ireland knows, that full autonomy is the only alternative to moral, social, and economic ruin. If they prefer the former, it is their business to put their proposals into concrete shape in an amended Bill.They have not put their proposals into concrete shape in an amended Bill. We cannot amend the Bill in this House in that direction, and, though I suppose it is a forlorn hope, there is hope. I most sincerely and from my heart implore His Majesty's Government to take an opportunity of giving consideration to that and to other points that have been made during the debate.
THE MARQUESS OF CREWE
My Lords. I am anxious not to detain your Lordships at any length, because we all desire to hear the view of His Majesty's Government upon the new situation which has arisen from the Motion for the adjournment proposed by the noble Earl, Lord Midleton. But I am bound to say a few words from this Bench, and, I hope, on behalf of those with whom I usually act. I trust it will be clearly understood by everybody that my noble friend's Motion, as I think he clearly showed, is not moved with a dilatory purpose nor in order to kill the Bill without the onus 657 of voting against the Second Reading, but that it is moved for the distinct purpose of bringing about conversations and possibly agreement which could not be arrived at in the ordinary cut and thrust across the Table in Committee of your Lordships' House. I hope that will be generally believed, because I am certain that the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack will not imagine that we could think that he is the sort of man who would walk with his eyes open into a simple booby-trap of that kind, or be induced to lead his colleagues there. No, this is, I am certain, a serious Motion of the noble Earl's, and I hope that when the noble Earl opposite comes to reply he will so treat it.
The fact that I am speaking to this Motion of course limits the area of discussion of the Bill. One is not entitled to discuss it as a whole after a Motion for the adjournment of this debate, but one is entitled, I conceive, to point out those special features of the Bill which make the adjournment, in my opinion, reasonable at this moment. I have no hesitation in saying—and those who happened to hear what I said at the beginning of this session will not be surprised—that I am not entirely enamoured of this measure as it stands. At that time I ventured to lay down three conditions which seemed to me necessary if a measure of self-government for Ireland was to be accepted there—hi the first place, that there should be a single Parliament, with all possible safeguards for Ulster; in the second place, that Ireland should have, generally speaking, control over her own finance; and, in the third place, that there should be no Irish representatives sitting at Westminster.
On the third point I need say very little, because it is not one upon which, I conceive, the adjournment of the debate would be likely to bring me much comfort. I feel strongly on it myself, because I am convinced that in present circumstances the presence of Irish Members at Westminster can only be purely mischievous—and for these reasons, that if there are Irish Members in the House of Commons, it must remain from time to time the cockpit for Irish contending factions, as it has been in the past. In the second place there is the risk, to which Mr. Gladstone alluded long ago and which has been mentioned in the course of these debates, that in the political sense—not, of course, in the 658 material sense—the Irish vote in the House of Commons is up to auction, and parties are likely to be tempted to try and secure it. In the third place, there is what I think it is not pedantic to mention, that so long as you continue to tax Ireland from this country you will find that you are taxing a country which is under-represented according to its population—only forty-seven Members instead of sixty-five at least which it ought to have—and therefore you are breaking tile canon that taxation and representation should go together.
But I pass to the two more important matters—those of the partition of Ireland and the creation of the two Parliaments. It is not too much to say that in listening, as we have, to all the speeches made by Unionist Peers outside Ulster, we have found their grievances have all hinged upon this partition. I say it in no spirit of hostility, but I am bound to agree with what has fallen from the noble Earl, that this Bill has been simply framed from the point of view and in the interests of the six counties of Ulster. In fact, I should deliberately assert that if it had happened that at the General Election of two years ago the Coalition Government had been headed by Sir Edward Carson instead of by Mr. Lloyd George, this Bill would have now appeared in practically the same form in which we see it to-day. Of course, it may be said that Sir Edward Carson would not have brought u a Home Rule Bill at all, but there I cart call in the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, who has made it clear that, things being as they are, some measure of Home Rule must have been brought in by any Government which was entrusted with the affairs of the country.
I am bound to note what the noble Earl behind me said of the somewhat unusual course which was taken by the noble and learned Lord in quoting front the Woolsack a letter from Sir Edward Carson, designed apparently to influence the course which those who follow him should take in dealing with this matter. I venture to think that, if the converse course had been taken by some noble Lord here—if some noble Lord, like Lord Farnham for instance, who represents a large body of opinion, had written a letter which he desired read out in another place—some adverse comment would have been made, probably by the authorities of the House. And I am bound also to point out to the noble and learned Lord that he infringed a canon 659 which we are here accustomed to observe in reading out a long extract from a speech made in another place. That, for obvious reasons, is never done here, and I trust it may not become a custom in your Lordships' House.
The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack pointed out what was perfectly true, and he naturally twitted various sections of the House with it, that the opposition to this Bill is composed of a number of people holding quite incompatible views and prepared to oppose it from altogether different standpoints. That is not altogether a new phenomenon. I think I can recall cases where something of the same kind has happened before. And it has also to be borne in mind that if the opposition to the Bill is heterogeneous, so also is its support. Because on this very question of the partition of Ireland into two Parliaments the Government are going to receive the support of noble Lords who look at it from a totally different point of view.
My noble and learned friend Lord Haldane, in a most sanguine spirit, looked forward to the creation of those two Parliaments as leading in due time, presumably in a somewhat short time, to a united Parliament for Ireland. I am altogether unable to share the smiling confidence of my noble and learned friend.
The noble and learned Marquess opposite, Lord Londonderry, also held out a hope that in time it might be a united Parliament for Ireland, but he qualified it by using the words "some of us may not live to see it." One hopes for a long life for the noble Marquess; he has, I trust, a great number of years before him; but if any union is to be postponed for thirty or forty years at least, if not more, I greatly doubt its taking place at all. On the other hand, there are seine noble Lords from Ulster who have made it quite clear that they do not expect that the two Parliaments will unite in any time which it is possible to foresee. They are not quite so open in their statements as an hon. Member in another place was whose speech has been alluded to, who congratulated himself and congratulated Ulster that this partition was to be for all tine. The noble Duke, the Duke of Abercorn, alluded to the phrase that has become famous which was used by his father when he said "We will not have Home Rule." I really do not think that the filial piety of the noble Duke need 660 be in any way offended by what is happening. They are not having Home Rule. This is not Home Rule in the sense in which it was understood in the time of the late Duke of Abercorn and in the sense in which we have all of us understood it. It is something altogether different, and the invention of this new Parliamentary Ulster is not in my judgment an infringement of the anti-Home Rule pledge of that time. It was also true that during the passage of the measure through another place the only concessions that were made at the different stages of the Bill, so far as I am aware, were made to the Ulster view on representations from the Ulster Members. I do not think that any Amendment was accepted from those who are entitled to speak from the same point of view as the noble Earl who has moved the adjournment of the debate. It was agreed in another place as a concession to Ulster union that the Council should not be either nominated or elected on proportional representation, proportional representation being a method which appears to be peculiarly odious to Ulster, but that it should be appointed on purely partisan lines. Then again it was enacted in another place that there should be no chance of the two Parliaments uniting unless, not a majority of those voting, but an absolute majority of both the Parliaments on the Third Reading of a measure for the purpose voted in its favour. You may say that this is not an unreasonable proposition, but all those things tend to make union more difficult, and tend in the opinion of some of us to postpone it indefinitely.
I do not want at this hour to dwell upon the different elements of financial freedom on which a great deal has been said, and well said, in the course of the debate, and upon which the noble Earl, Lord Dun-raven, especially fixed as justifying his Motion for the rejection of the Bill. I think that the design and composition of the Exchequer Board is a fatal blot on the Bill, and it is one of the matters which I am sure the Government ought to be asked to reconsider. I do not want to trouble the House with my own views, but I certainly should give Ireland control over all her finances; yet at the same time it would seem to me reasonable, and I believe it would be regarded as reasonable in Ireland, that. a lump sum or the equivalent of a lump sum should be paid in reduction of the National Debt as a final clearing 661 up of the financial position between us and Ireland. It is not always remembered, I think, that even if you were to do that Ireland would have to tax herself pretty heavily. It is a mistake to suppose that you will find a heavily-taxed England and a lightly-taxed Ireland. The noble Lord opposite, Lord Armaghdale, drew attention to one necessary source of heavy expenditure—namely, education in the North of Ireland. What he said about the North is equally true about the South, and I. ant convinced that unless the new Ireland is to become a mere peasant State with none of the annual expenditure which the more civilised order of States are in the habit of incurring it will be necessary, even if you give full financial freedom, for the scale of taxation to be almost, if not quite, as high in Ireland as it is in Great Britain.
The real point, as was mentioned by the noble Earl behind me, is, Why is it more desirable to adjourn the debate at this stage than to read the Bill a second time, give an interval for Committee, and endeavour to secure Amendments. It has already been often pointed out, as far as financial Amendments are concerned, that it is not, and indeed it practically never would have been, even before the Parliament Act, feasible for us to recast in any way the financial provisions of the Bill. One noble Lord—I think Lord Stuart of Wortley—pointed out that the Parliament Act admitted of a process of suggestion. I am afraid that no suggestion, however hypnotic, would have the effect of altering tie finance of the Bill in the House of Commons unless His Majesty's Government took it in hand themselves and were prepared to re-cast it.
I desire to be quite candid. I think it is extremely possible that if we were to go into Committee now His Majesty's Government would be able to carry the Bill through Committee in practically its present form, without any Amendments whatever, unless of course they changed their minds on certain points and desired to amend the Bill themselves. His Majesty's Government are to be congratulated upon that point—on the fact that, as sonic noble Lord said yesterday, they can "divide and rule"; that that incompatibility of criticism which the noble and learned Lord mentioned is the strength of the noble Lord opposite and of His Majesty's Government when you 'come to discuss particular clauses in Committee. 662 If any Amendment were moved with the design of what we should call on this Bench strengthening the Bill the Government would, of course, secure the enthusiastic support of Lord Willoughby de Broke and of those who agree with him, and I dare say of most of the Ulster Peers. On the other hand, if there was a desire to weaken the Bill from the strictly Unionist standpoint, and the Government were to resist that process, they would no doubt receive the support of many of us who sit on this side of the House.
I feel therefore that the only thing to do is to make an appeal, as the noble Earl did, to the Government to take a more excellent. Way—not rely on the chances of Committee but to engage in a different kind of discussion with those who, with full knowledge and also with the knowledge that they will be the people who will suffer if mistakes are made, object so strongly to much that is in the Bill. I ask all your Lordships, Is not Clause 70 and the probability that Clause 70 may have to be put into practice—that is the clause which provides for the non-existence of one of the Parliaments (of course, the Southern Parliament)—is not that a deplorable thing in itself? What an end to a measure of this kind if, as regards three-fourths of the country, you cannot put it into operation at all.
We have been told that, failing this Bill, Southern Ireland will be subjected to Crown Colony government. As an old Colonial Secretary I protest most strongly against any statement of the kind. The government—a government without any representation or consent—which is going to be imposed upon Ireland bears no sort of resemblance to Crown Colony government. If it were tried on Ceylon or Jamaica I should like to know where yon would be. Crown colony government in all important cases is representative government. What Crown Colony government does closely resemble is the position of Irish Members at Westminster since the Union. Ireland has not had responsible government but representative government, just as in Crown Colony government there is a body of representative members always liable to be outvoted by the official majority, but able to state their views. It was because Irish Members were in that position at Westminster that they deserted the ordinary course of discussion and argument and took to obstruction and 663 even to violence, because they knew very well that however forcibly expressed their views might be in argument they were not likely to obtain any general acceptance, even on an Irish matter. What really, therefore, is proposed is the sort of government which might be imposed upon some pagan Protectorate—upon people who are in themselves assumed to be completely unfit for any form of representative government. That is the alternative to the present measure.
I wonder whether it is not the fact that a so-called settlement like this, imposed by Parliament, is one which can never be accepted by Ireland as a whole; whether, indeed, we ought not to have persevered where we did make a start at one time—namely the effort of trying to get some form of agreement in Ireland itself before bringing the matter to Parliament at all. I look back to the time of the Convention with a personal reminiscence which will always be of deep interest to myself. It will always be a matter of satisfaction to me that by the pure accident of a casual meeting at an entertainment held in this House I was able to ascertain that Mr. John Redmond would support and attend such a Convention as was afterwards held in Ireland if the offer were made to him; and being no longer a member of the Government at that time—it was some months after I had resigned office—I was able to put his views before His Majesty's Government in a way which enabled them to make the offer they did. I have noticed in a memoir of Mr. John Redmond that during the course of the Convention when things were going well he said, "How lucky it was I went to that dinner." That is a recollection of my own, and I trust that your Lordships will pardon my mentioning it; but I do feel that such is, in fact, the only real possibility of anything like an agreed settlement on the lines which the noble Earl has mentioned—of the statements of view made by distinguished Prelates of the Roman Catholic Church.
My Lords, is it not possible for the Prime Minister, who has taken so conspicuous and so honourable a part in these different attempts which have been made and who himself so nearly succeeded in the autumn of 1916 in bringing about an agreement, to make sonic further advance? I am most unwilling to believe that he has given it up as a hopeless task, and has simply fallen back on what this Bill does—namely, 664 give satisfaction to Ulster but almost letting the rest of Ireland go hang.
There is a real difference between such action as can be taken during an interval such as the noble Earl asks the Government to accord between different members of the House, invoking also, as it may be possible to invoke, some responsible opinion outside, and the mere discussion and weighing of Amendments around the Table front which one feels that very little will come. I do not disguise from myself that this proposal, particularly if it is to meet with success, involves a possible further adjournment. I do not disguise from myself that it might involve, what after all your Lordships have often done, an adjournment even over Christmas and meeting for a short time in January, with, of course, a postponement of the Prorogation and the beginning of the next session. That might be inconvenient and uncomfortable, but I cannot think that your Lordships, if you believed that this Bill was going to be improved thereby, would shrink from any small inconvenience which such a course might cause.
I feel so deeply that the fate of Ireland as a whole, through what has been proposed about Southern Ireland, is hanging in the balance and that the situation is so delicate, that I beg His Majesty's Government to consider deeply before they throw away the chance and dismiss the possibility of turning this measure, so much criticised as it is now from many quarters, into one which will be acceptable at any rate to a large number of responsible persons in Ireland.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON):
My Lords, although technically I am speaking on the Motion of the noble Earl that the debate be adjourned, I hope your Lordships will allow me a certain latitude, as claimed and indeed most liberally exercised by the noble Marquess who has just spoken, in covering a rather wider field. For the best part of three days I have had the pleasure of sitting on this Bench listening to a series of speeches as serious and as important as any that I have ever heard in a first-class debate in your Lordships' House. I am the only member of the Cabinet who will have had an opportunity of commenting upon those speeches since the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack resumed his 665 seat two days ago. Upon some of them I shall ask your leave, and indeed I think you will expect me, to comment. I do not want to make two speeches this evening, particularly at the present late hour, and if I were to speak only, upon the Motion that the debate be adjourned, and if that Motion were carried, as I earnestly hope it will not be—I shall give my reasons a little later on for venturing to offer you Lordships that advice—I should have no opportunity of replying, as I believe some of your Lordships at any rate will expect me to do, upon the general debate. I trust, therefore, that you will exonerate me if I follow the example so generously set by the noble Marquess in dealing with some of the larger issues raised by the Bill that is now before your Lordships' House.
For instance, if I speak only on the Motion for the adjournment of the debate it would be quite out of my power to deal with the very serious and moving statement made by the noble Earl (Lord Midleton) himself, speaking as he did for those Irishmen in the West and South and centre of Ireland with whom he is associated. He will expect me, your Lordships will expect me, after the direct challenge that was issued to this Bench, to say something in reply to the charges which were delivered with so much vehemence by him.
I said just now that it had been my privilege to listen to a series of remarkable speeches in this debate. Two of them were, I think, so exceptional as to deserve more than a passing notice. I allude, in the first place, to the speech of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, who on the first day of the debate gave us a masterly exposition of the contents and details of the Bill, went on to deliver a very searching analysis, indeed almost an exposure, of the criticisms contained in the Amendments and elsewhere of the opponents of the Bill, and ended up with an appeal by the moving eloquence of which we were all greatly stirred. The second speech to which I desire to refer in a sentence was that of Lord Grey of Fallodon. We were all of us delighted that a silence of four years, due to causes which have excited our warmest sympathy but which we hope are now in less active operation than they were, was brought to an end, and none of us who heard him yesterday in your Lordships' House could fail to entertain the wish that on many future occasions we shall be able to profit by his calm and 666 dispassionate utterance and by the counsel which his great authority and almost unequalled experience entitles him to give to your Lordships. The other speeches in this debate have not fallen below the standard of the two to which I refer, and it cannot be denied that the views of both sections in Ireland—because, unfortunately, there are two sections represented in this House, Ulster on the one hand, and what is somewhat inaccurately called Southern Ireland on the other—have been expounded with very great fulness in the course of this debate.
In recommending to your Lordships the favourable treatment of a Home Rule Bill cannot, of course, help remembering for a moment the very different fate that befel Home Rule Bills which are in the recollection of many of your Lordships. It is twenty-seven years ago since the first Home Rule Bill, reaching us here in September, 1893, was thrown out by a majority of 419 to 41. Then ensued an interval of twenty years, and the second Home Rule Bill, reaching us in January, 1913, was thrown out by a majority of 326 to 69. In September of the same year, a new session having opened in the interval, the same Bill was thrown out on Second Reading by a majority of 302 to 64; and in September, 1911, just after the opening of the war, that Home Rule Bill was placed on the Statute-book under the Parliament Act without a Division in your Lordships' House.
Now we have arrived at the position when another Home Rule Bill, introduced by one Unionist sitting on that Woolsack and commended by another Unionist now addressing you, is presented to your Lordships, accompanied by an earnest appeal, which I shall presently make on behalf of the Government, that you will give it your respectful and sympathetic consideration. To what has this change been due? It has been due, I think, in the main to three considerations. I was rather surprised to hear the noble Earl, Lord Midleton, speak with so much contempt of the situation in which we are placed by the operation of the Parliament Act and the presence on the Statute-hook of the Act of 1914. My Lords, we are held in the clutch of those circumstances. We are tightbound in the vice of the Parliament Act, and it is all very well for the noble Earl to say that, supposing the war comes to an end and the Treaty with 667 Turkey is ratified, it does not matter a bit, because the Act of 1914 is so absurd or so obsolete that no one can put it in operation. That is not the case. It will come automatically into operation on the day when the Peace Treaty with Turkey is ratified. And if it be said that great changes have taken place in the interval, that the constituencies in Ireland have been altered and that the financial provisions of the Bill are in many respect obsolete—granted. But what will the duty be that will then fall on the Government of the day, whether it be this Government or any other Government? We should have to introduce an Amending Bill; but we cannot wipe off from the slate that which is inscribed thereon. Therefore I think the noble Earl held out illusory hopes when he told us that we need not bother about that aspect of the case.
The second consideration is this, that the march of events has brought a great number of us—I believe they are the majority of your Lordships' House, in spite of some of the sentiments which I have heard to-night—to the conviction that some form of Home Rule must be conceded to Ireland. I admit that every one is not converted. Nothing will convert my noble friend Lord Willoughby de Broke. He still remains a magnificent relic of the old guard, but the backwoods in which my noble friend ranged at the head of a formidable band some years ago are now relatively deserted, and his picturesque figure is seen stalking, consoled only by Lord Farnham, amid the scenes that were once those of his adventures and triumphs. The third change is that, whereas on all previous occasions Ulster had been firmly and definitely opposed to Home Rule, she now desres and welcomes it. Lord Grey did not, in the whole course of his speech, make a truer remark than when he said that one of the great mistakes that have been made—I think he was speaking for the Party to which he belongs—in previous discussions of this question has been the manner in which they have been disposed to ignore and disparage the claims of Ulster. I remember speaking on this subject on previous occasions myself. I remember once answering the noble Marquess opposite, who had endeavoured to convince your Lordships that the case of Ulster was inspired by sectarian feeling and rested largely on religious prejudice. Although an Englishman I made a protest on this, as I thought, gross act of injustice 668 to Ulster, and from the moment Mr. Asquith made the statement that Ulster could not he coerced it followed that no Home Rule Bill could be carried without the consent of Ulster. That consent has been given, and the only thing I would seriously traverse in some of the speeches to which I have listened with reference to Ulster has been the tendency on the part of some noble Lords even now to disparage the reality and the sincerity of the acceptance of this measure by Ulster.
Not so do I read the speeches to which I have listened. In the course of the last two days speeches by Ulster Peers have been made by the Duke of Abercorn, Lord Armaghdale, the Marquess of Dufferin, Lord Massareene, and the Marquess of Londonderry. I have also read on many occasions the speeches delivered by Sir Edward Carson in another place, and we had the letter—the irregularity of which I am prepared to condone—from that eminent-man which was read out by the Lord Chancellor two days ago. I do not deduce from those expressions of opinion the view that Ulster is giving a grudging or un-gracious acceptance to this Bill. I do not look upon her acquiescence in Home Rule as a tepid, reluctant acquiescence. On the contrary, I believe that Ulstermen and those who speak for Ulster are prepared to give this Bill a fair chance, to set up their Parliament, and to work it in good faith in the interests not merely of Ulster but of Ireland and of the Empire as a whole. Therefore I think this does mark a great step forward. When we are told that nobody wants this Bill, after all the men in this House, speaking for one and a quarter millions of the population of Northern Ireland, have told us that they do want it; and when we are told by our critics in foreign countries that we ought to defer to the principle of self-determination, at least that is the principle on which we have acted in so far as Ulster is concerned.
There is only one other preliminary observation which I would ask leave to make, and that in a sentence only, with regard to this debate. It is true that we have been discussing this Bill in an atmosphere that is blackened with the shadow of horrible and revolting crime—crime which is a disgrace to our country and a blot upon our fair name. And yet, I think, in the whole of this debate I have heard only one speaker— 669 and to him I will not refer—who in the presence of that sombre background has argued that we ought, in consequence of these events, to stay our hands and to desist from the attempt at pacification upon which we have embarked. Why have none of us been deterred by those events of which I am speaking? Because it is not the practice of our people to be diverted from a path which they believe to be both right and expedient by crime, however scandalous and however revolting; and still more because we believe that those crimes are neither practised nor condoned by a great majority of the people of Ireland, but are regarded with as much abhorrence by them as they can be by any man who is sitting in this capital of London. And again, it is universally recognized—and we are grateful for the recognition—that whatever be our views about the political solutions we have to put forward it is the duty of this Government, as of any Government, to combine in repressing this condition of affairs which is a menace not only to peace and good will in Ireland but to the essential fabric of society itself.
Just now the noble Marquess, Lord Crewe, was kind enough to admit that I might find in the speeches that have been delivered from different quarters of the House plenty of material for knocking heads together and pointing out how various and how discrepant are the views that have been entertained. It is true. And listening to him I was brought back in memory to the days, now thirty or more years ago, when from the gallery in the House of Commons—not being then a Member—I heard Mr. Gladstone deliver his speech on the Second Reading of the first Home Rule Bill. I remember very well how, at the end of the debate, reviewing the various criticisms that had been directed against him, he said, "My Bill holds the field." I think I might use the same words with regard to the outcome of this debate.
You may take, for instance, the two main bodies of criticism that have been directed against the Bill. The first was that which was contained in the speech of Lord Dunraven, and it is important, because his speech was the first instalment of that volume of criticism upon the financial aspect of the case of which we have heard so much since. The Motion of my noble friend Lord Dunraven on the Paper is to the effect that this House 670 declines to proceed with a Bill "which meets with no support from the great majority of the Irish people and affords no prospect of any permanent settlement." Those are the ostensible reasons for which he asks your Lordships to vote against the Bill; but as a matter of fact it was when we listened to his speech—if I may say so, a most able one—that we found that his main, indeed I think I might say almost his sole, objection was that the Bill does not give the fiscal autonomy to Ireland which lie desires.
I ask the noble Earl this question. Supposing our Bill had had in it the fiscal autonomy which he desiderates, supposing by some device, unrealisable as I believe it to be, we could put fiscal autonomy into it now, can the noble Earl assure me that the Bill so altered will meet with support from the great majority of the Irish people? Who are "the great majority of the Irish people"? Are they Ulster? No. Not a single Ulster Peer in this debate has asked for fiscal autonomy to be introduced into this Bill. Are they my noble friend Lord Midleton and his friends? No. The whole object of Lord Midleton's speech was to contend that he represents a small and defenceless minority in Ireland. Who, then, are the great majority of the Irish people? My Lords, we all know who they are. We all know they are the Party whose seventy Members, although they may not be willing to take their seats over the way, are yet the constitutionally elected representatives of Ireland at this moment, and we know perfectly well that if we remodelled our Bill to satisfy Lord Dunraven not one of those seventy Members would accept it—not one. I judge by their utterances. We know very well that what they want is not a Bill with fiscal autonomy in it. What they want is a Bill for political independence. They are not out for any particular advantages, financial or otherwise, which my noble friend desires. They are out for an independent Irish Republic. They treat fiscal autonomy of the character that he desires with contempt. And, my Lords, I say this. Give them Customs, give them Excise, give them Income Tax, let them off their contribution to the National Debt, let them off the payment for their share in the war—do you think you will get peace? No. Do you think you will get acquiescence from them? No. They would meet your offer in exactly the same way that de Valera met it in America when the suggestion was 671 made to him. They would meet it with a resolute and an implacable No. Therefore, even supposing that we were to take the advice of my noble friend Lord Dun-raven, we should not, I respectfully submit to you, succeed in getting support from the great majority of the Irish people.
The next adviser to whom we listened with natural respect was Lord Grey of Fallodon. Do we find salvation in his advice? I am sorry not to be able to say what I am now going to say in Lord Grey's presence, but he told us himself of the circumstances that rendered it impossible for him to be here to-day, and I am sure lie will acquit me of any discourtesy in mentioning in his absence, as I am bound to do, the points which I should have preferred to make in his presence. A few weeks ago Lord Grey of Fallodon wrote a letter to the newspapers in which he proposed that the Irish should be left to frame a Bill for themselves, and after two years the forces and representatives of the Crown were to be withdrawn from Ireland. He yesterday, in your Lordships' House told us that after a few weeks' reflection he had abandoned that scheme. These were his words, "Unless the Government could assume direct and real and effective control of what is being done in Ireland"—which is. I take it, what we are trying to do at this moment—"he would withdraw at once." There is a saying of the Roman historian, Solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant. My Lords, does any one seriously propose that salvation for Ireland or safety for ourselves would be secured by following the second thoughts of the noble Lord, Lord Grey of Fallodon, and at tins moment, when we are engaged in this terrific struggle, beating a wholesale retreat from Ireland?
"But," it may be said, "you are ignoring, you are slurring over the concrete proposal of the noble Viscount"; and as I gathered from what Lord Crewe said just now that that proposal meets with some favour from him, may I be allowed to say a word upon it. What Lord Grey proposed as regards legislation was this. He wanted, not a Bill, but certain broad lines of policy laid down. He did not tell us in what form, whether in a manifesto or a speech or a pronouncement by the Government, or to whom. And, of course, it is very difficult to say to whom this statement ought to be addressed. But his proposal in substance was this. You should say to Ireland that Great Britain must reserve Army, Navy and Foreign Affairs. Every- 672 thing else he would leave to a Constituent Assembly or Convention. Yet within five minutes of having made that suggestion to your Lordships the noble Viscount went on to say that he was doubtful if a Constituent Assembly or a Convention would be practicable at the present time. It does seem to me that in the course of this debate a good deal has been said about the possibility of an Irish Convention which is based on a very imperfect memory of the past. Lord Bryce, for instance, in his very eloquent contribution to this discussion, revived that proposal; and more than one noble Lord has said, Why not try the Convention again: surely the last time we had it, in 1917, we very nearly came to an agreement? Is not that a good omen for the future?" That is not my recollection at all.
Nobody was more keen or enthusiastic about the Irish Convention than myself. It fell to be my duty to stand at this Table and propose it to your Lordships' House, and we remember the general sense of expectancy and almost of enthusiasm with which we Englishmen, who have blundered in Ireland for centuries, felt that at last we were handing over this inexplicable tangle to Irishmen to solve, and we were only too content to stay our hand and sit down and see how they would solve it. Did they solve it? I have been refreshing my memory by looking at the results of the Convention. So far from their having arrived either at an agreement or at anything approaching an agreement, it is well known to all of us that Sinn Fein would have nothing to do with the Convention from the start; that the only scheme that was presented by Ulster to the Convention was confined to the exclusion of their own Province from any scheme of self-government; that the Southern Unionists agreed with the Ulster Unionists; that the Nationalists were divided into two parties and signed separate reports, twenty-eight signing one and twenty the other; and that the nearest approach to union that could be arrived at was a series of resolutions drawn up by the Majority.
Thereby hangs a tale. When the Convention reported, so anxious were we to extract advantage from their labours that I was a member of a Committee set up by the Cabinet to try to draft a Home Rule Bill on the Majority Resolutions and the Majority Report. We got no distance with our labours before we found it was 673 absolutely impossible, and that on those lines we could only draw up a scheme which nobody would have. Consequently I fear that the second scheme of Lord Grey, followed by Lord Bryce, of referring the matter to another Convention or another Constitutent Assembly now would be hardly likely to be any more fruitful than the first. Therefore as regards the schemes we have had submitted to us I am rather disposed to agree with the noble and Learned Viscount, Lord Haldane, who on the first night of the debate—and he might equally have said the same thing to-night— said that no alternative to the Bill had been produced in the debate, that no one had framed or could frame a Bill which would satisfy everybody in Ireland, that it passed the wit of man to produce such a Bill, and that in those circumstances he thought the Bill which we had introduced held the field.
But you may say, my Lords, that the whole atmosphere of this debate has been changed by what has passed to-night, and that I have to look at the case from the standpoint of the speech that was made by the noble Earl, Lord Midleton. I will attempt to do so. I hope that if I disagree with my noble friend he will acquit me of any desire in the smallest degree to disparage either the great authority with which he spoke or the profound and intense conviction, amounting almost to passion, that inspired his utterance. I know the record of my noble friend in connection with Ireland. I know the services he has rendered. I know the part he played in the Convention, and I know the anxious time he has gone through since, severing long ties as the result of the course he felt compelled to take. And when he stood up to-night to address your Lordships in moving tones I know that he was speaking from his heart that which represents his inmost conviction. But what is the case that he made? I understand his view to be that it is wrong to give a separate Parliament to Ulster at all. I do not think he definitely said so in his speech to-night, but it might be inferred from what he said and from the remarks he has made on many other occasions. He said it because he holds profoundly to the view that partition will be the greatest mistake. I rather agree with him.
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
I quite accept my noble friend's correction. He regards partition as the greatest barrier to a settlement, and that view of the case has found expression in some other speeches to which we have listened in the course of this debate—speeches to which, if I may say so, I listened with no small dismay. For instance, I remember hearing or reading the speeches delivered on the first night by the noble Marquess, Lord Sligo, and by Lord Kilmaine. Those noble Lords argued that if once you set up two Parliaments in Ireland or, supposing that you failed to 3et up a Parliament in the South of Ireland, if once you set up a Parliament in the North of Ireland the separation becomes permanent, no amalgamation is possible between the two, and you stereotype the particular type of Legislature that you are about to create.
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
That remark is endorsed by many noble Lords speaking with great experience. That is not my reading of Irish history, that is not my diagnosis of Irish character, and that is not the object with which the Government have framed and introduced this Bill.
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
Speaking for the latter, I can truthfully say that on the many occasions when we have discussed this matter, if ever with reference to any provision as regards the six counties—finance, education, or anything else, a question has been rather evenly balanced—the moment it has been said, "Oh, well, if you treat it in such and such a way you will render the ultimate fusion and unity of Ireland more certain and will give it a better chance," then inevitably and at once the balance has inclined in that direction. Speaking for myself—I dare say it is impertinent in an Englishman to say or feel anything about it at all—deep in my heart is the conviction that sooner or later (it may, perhaps, be later in view of what is happening now) that passion of nationalism which is deep-seated in the Irish bosom, that spark of fire which every Irishman has, that love for his country which we all know so well, will bring them together. And through these dark and stormy avenues that we are treading, I never 675 lose sight of the goal that I believe to be at the end of our endeavours. Therefore my picture, if it is fair to draw a picture, is quite a different one from that of the noble Lords to whom I have referred. I believe that when this Bill is passed the Ulstermen will take it and will set up their Parliament in the North of Ireland, in Belfast, and I believe that without vindictiveness, without partiality, and without provocation they will show how Irishmen can govern themselves and can govern other Irishmen who do not agree with them. I say that I trust Sir Edward Carson in this matter. I am profoundly convinced of the sincerity of that right hon. gentleman. I believe everything that he has said in the House of Commons, and that when more than once he said across the floor of that House that he would be willing to shake hands with those he has so long opposed—
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
—he spoke not only that which is in his own mind but in the minds of the people whom he leads. I prefer to be sanguine, I prefer to be hopeful; and instead of thinking that we are building up a wall with big bricks that is to sever these two sections of the Irish people from each other, I believe we are building a flimsy wall that will be kicked over by the common-sense and moderation of that people before many years have gone by.
Now I come to the question of finance. I really think, if I may say so, that there is some confusion of ideas about this. A great many people have talked about fiscal autonomy. It is an easy generality, but if requires a little examination. Fiscal autonomy is a conceivably possible and practicable proposition for a single Ireland and a single Parliament. Even so, there is a good deal to be said against it; and the other day, in replying to a Motion made by my noble friend Lord Loreburn, I ventured to trouble your Lordships with some of the arguments (which I will not repeat to-day) that I thought militated against the acceptance of any such proposal. No such proposal was put forward by Mr. Gladstone; no such proposal was in the Bill of Mr. Asquith. Even the Convention, if I remember rightly, when they dealt with fiscal autonomy proposed to postpone it for seven years after the conclusion of peace. I think I am right 676 in saying that. But, whatever be the case for or against fiscal autonomy in relation to a United Ireland and a single Parliament, how can you possibly give fiscal autonomy to two Irelands and two Parliaments Are you going to have two fiscal autonomies, one in the North and one in the South, a Customs barrier between the two, two Income Taxes, two methods of collection, two manners of incidence, and so on? The proposition is altogether unthinkable. I venture to say that none of the critics who talked so easily and so loosely about fiscal autonomy has considered it in relation to the present scheme.
The finance of the present Bill has formed the subject, as nobody knows better than the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, of the most profound and anxious investigation by him and his colleagues for the best part of six or eight months. You do not imagine that the finance of the Bill has been lightly tossed on the floor of this House, to be taken by your Lordships as if it was a casual thought of His Majesty's Government. Not at all. And the further you investigate the matter—I am only sorry that the conditions of work in your Lordships' House render it so difficult for us to touch finance—the more you will find that the kind of autonomy which some noble Lords advocate is inconsistent with the structure of this Bill.
But you may say to me, "Well, that is rather disheartening. Do you really mean to shut the door when there is so strong a wave of opinion in favour of making liberal concessions financially to Ireland? Are you going to say that, because Lord Birkenhead and a number of able men have decided that it cannot be done in the present Bill, therefore it cannot be done for all time?" No, I do not say so for one moment. I say this—I think the Lord Chancellor said much the same the other day—that if any real proposal for fiscal autonomy for a United Ireland and a. single Parliament were put forward by a body competent to speak for the majority in Ireland and offering prospects of settlement, we will go a long way to meet it. How foolish should we be if we did not. If Ireland came with one accord and with one voice and said "Give us our Customs, give us our Excise, give us our Income-Tax," do you think there is any British Government that would steel itself to immediate refusal? No. Under such conditions an Irish body, or an Irish Parlia- 677 ment, speaking with the authority that I described, would have the game in its own hands and would almost be able to exact such reasonable terms from any British Government as it might desire.
And when the noble Lords who have advocated fiscal autonomy speak about endeavouring to secure it at the present stage and about delegating the matter to a Convention or a Constituent Assembly, do they not forget that the machinery is provided in the Bill itself by which this request of which I have been speaking can be made? I am surprised at the small attention that has been devoted by speakers to the proposal of the National Council. As I understand, the National Council in Ireland, drawn in equal proportions from the two Parliaments, can make to the Government any proposal that it pleases, and once the two Parliaments exist and the National Council is called into being there is nothing whatever to prevent it from corning to the Government and saying, "Give us this tax," or "Give us that tax," and from receiving a favourable reply.
But the noble Viscount, Lord Grey, would invert the order. He says, "Do not wait for your National Council to come into being and to make the request. Do it straight away. Do it of your own accord." He said, with an emotional appeal that touched all of us, an appeal to our bygone history. "When has Britain ever lost by giving too much?" Yes, my Lords, I think it is true that we have often gained by giving liberally and amply. But when we gave the Constitution to Canada, as recommended by Lord Durham, and when we gave the Union to South Africa, with the great and blessed results to which Lord Grey of Fallodon alluded, how did we do it, and in what circumstances did we do it? We did it because there were people to deal with, because we knew with whom we were negotiating, because they came into the council chamber with us. I was at Cape Town and saw the conferences between all parties and all States that preceded the South African Union; there we knew, in making this contract, in entering into these terms, that the goods would be delivered. Whom are we to make the bargain with now? Who is going to deliver the goods? If you adopt Lord Grey of Fallodon's advice and hand over your fiscal autonomy—gone for ever—what return are you going to get? It will be thrown into your teeth 678 by the Sinn Fein Party, who neither ask for nor want anything of the kind. I really think that Lord Crewe was not fair—I have no doubt quite unintentionally—to the Prime Minister in one remark he made. He said. "Could not the Prime Minister indicate by some gesture or some word that he is willing to receive any representations of an authoritative character on this or other questions?" He has issued the invitation. I have read it in the papers. I forget whether it was in Parliament or elsewhere, but he certainly deliberately said that he was open to receive any responsible suggestion coming from representative planers in Ireland, either on the finance of the Bill or on anything else.
THE MARQUESS OF CREWE
My impression is—the noble Earl will correct me if I am wrong—that the Prime Minister was unable to receive a very representative deputation which desired to see him.
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
That is not my recollection, because when I have spoken about the matter to the Prime Minister—I think within the last few days—he has expressed his perfect willingness at any time to receive such representations. But while that is his attitude here, and while, as my information goes, no reply is made to him, from across the Atlantic there is thundered the implacable "No" of de Valera. Those are the circumstances in which we stand. It is always that sinister figure in the background that is confounding our best efforts.
Before I deal with the proposal of my noble friend Lord Midleton for the adjournment of the debate I ought, I suppose, to say a word to him upon his charges against the Government, which were very serious. He accused us of shameless violation of our pledges. I may be—I probably am—less familiar with the subject than is he, but I do not know to what pledges he refers, and I am not aware of the manner in which they have been violated. The noble Earl, indeed, went so far as to say that there was not a vestige of vindication of our pledges in the Bill—
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
I am talking about the South. I am dealing 679 with the noble Earl and those for whom he speaks. And further he says that they, by which he means the Parliament of the South, may pass any legislation they please. That is not in the least the case. I have a copy of the Bill here, and I looked at it while the noble Earl made that remark. What do I find? If it is legislation based on religious prejudice that he fears, that is provided for by Clause 6 of the Bill. I will not trouble your Lordships to read it, but you will take it from me that that reference is correct. If it is administrative injustice that he fears, that is deliberately provided against in Clause 9, subjection (6), of the Bill. If it is legislation against the propertied classes that he fears—I rather gather that he did from some observation he made—that will apply to others besides those he represents. The wealth and the property even of Southern Ireland are not entirely confined to those for whom my noble friend speaks. If it is a question of posts and appointments to offices, I am afraid the clients of my noble friend do not get very many now. If it is a question of the administration of public grants to schools, the present Education Board has, I believe, shown no sectarian animosity whatsoever, and the schools of all denominations have been treated with fairness and equality. What are the other safeguards that my noble friend desires? I implore him to believe that anything in the nature of safeguards that he and his friends can demonstrate to be necessary we are only too glad to listen to. He will have his opportunity in Committee. We do not take up an obdurate attitude on this point.
I waited when I heard the noble Earl denounce us for not carrying out our pledges to hear what are the particular safeguards he desires. He only mentioned one, and that was a Second Chamber. May I say a word on that point? The Irish Convention of 1917 recommended a Senate of sixty-four members for the whole of Ireland, partly nominated and partly representative of various classes and interests, although they shrank from indicating how they were to be chosen. That was, as my noble friend quite correctly remarks, the original idea of the Government when they prepared the scheme, and if that is what he was alluding to when he talked about the broken pledge of Mr. Walter Long I really think he was most unfair. Both my right hon. friend 680 and the Government were anxious to the full degree to carry out their pledge. But what happened? When it was drawn up into form it had this fatal flaw. The noble Earl will surely not suggest that you could have two Second Chambers organised on a different basis for the North and South of Ireland; yet the kind of Second Chamber that you would require to give protection to his friends in the South would be exactly the kind of Second Chamber that would not be wanted because it would swell the majority in the North. That was the real difficulty; and further there was the difficulty of imposing a nominated Second Chamber of this sort, or, if it was an elected Second Chamber, a Chamber necessarily chosen on a high property qualification upon the representative institutions provided for in this Bill. So much for our intentions. But then the noble Earl went on to say, "The Committee stage will give me no chance; it is really impossible for me and my friends to safeguard ourselves in respect to the Second Chamber." As I understand the Bill, that is not at all the case. I have been looking forward to the Committee stage in the hope that we should have from my noble friend a concrete suggestion as to the way in which we might meet his views.
§ THE EARL OF MIDLETON
We have a right to the safeguard of a Second Chamber on the lines provided by the Convention. We had the pledge from the Government that they would insert a provision for some such Second Chamber. They find a difficulty because they cannot make two, and consequently they make none and leave us without any at all.
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
That is not my point. My point is that the noble Earl has the opportunity presented to him by the Committee stage of this Bill; and when at an earlier period this afternoon either he or some other spokesman of his party said the opportunity would not arise, he was quite mistaken. We shall hear, I think, when we come to Committee exactly what is the kind of Second Chamber that the noble Earl desires. Commanding, as he does, very wide support from many quarters of this House no doubt he will be able to make an exceedingly effective case to us.
I now come to the Motion with which the noble Earl concluded. It was a Motion 681 that your Lordships should agree to the adjournment of this debate for a fortnight. I own that when I first heard last night of this suggested intention I thought it had a tactical character, and I dare say there are some of your Lordships who still entertain that unjustifiable suspicion. It was rather warmly expressed by Lord Ribblesdale in a speech that he made yesterday evening, and it looked as if it was an attempt to collect together in one fold all those scattered parties whose discrepant views I have ventured to comment upon in my remarks this evening. But as the noble Earl and Lord Crewe tell me that that is not the object but that it is seriously put forward, I dismiss it from my mind and will treat the proposal as a serious one.
The noble Earl—and he is supported by Lord Crewe—proposed that we should adjourn this debate for a fortnight. Why? What is to happen in the interim? I understand that the noble Earl is anxious that certain views which he and others entertain about fiscal matters, and possibly about other matters, should be taken into serious consideration during the interval. With whom are we to negotiate? For whom does the noble Earl speak? He spoke to-night for the Protestants, for the loyalists of the centre and South of Ireland. Are we to consult with them alone? Are we to consult with the noble Marquess the Leader of the Opposition? Are we to consult with all the various sections in this House? There is no analogy whatever between this situation and the events of 1885. On that occasion—my recollection goes back as far as that—the Franchise Bill was held up (the noble Lord will correct me if I am wrong) in order to provide for a fair redistribution of seats. That was a matter that equally affected all parties. The arrangement was made, if I remember rightly, by Sir Charles Dilke, or at any rate he co-operated in making it, and the request for a fair redistribution came from all quarters and was officially put forward by all sections of the Opposition and was deferred to by the Government.
Let us suppose that we adjourn to-night. What are we to do I Are we to wait for a visit from the noble Earl, Lord Midleton? Are we to wait for Lord Crewe to come round? Or are we to wait for this party or that party in Ireland? Even supposing we get into touch with these noble Lords speaking with great authority, what guarantee have we—if I 682 may use the metaphor I used a short timeago—that they will "deliver the goods?" What guarantee have we, if we postponed the Bill and put something into it which is not there now, that it is going, to use Lord Dunraven's words, to be "accepted by a great majority of the Irish people"? Then how is it to be done? This Bill has come to us from another place; it is about, if your Lordships pass the Second Reading, to enter Committee here. Now the very points upon which the noble Earl and his friends want the Bill turned upside down are financial points. They are points we cannot deal with. What are we to do? To come back here in a fortnight's time, after discussing the thing with the noble Lord and his friends, and find that even if we arrive at some basis of agreement with him the House of Lords is powerless to deal with the matter, would be an absolute waste of time.
§ THE EARL OF MIDLETON
Surely the noble Earl is putting up difficulties which do not exist. The noble Earl would be in a position to give assurances that the Government are prepared in the House of Commons to make the necessary Amendments, if he was satisfied that there was that opinion behind our proposal which we shall endeavour to show him, and which we shall have no difficulty in showing him is universal in the South of Ireland.
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
I do not think that that is the course which events would pursue. Even supposing that were possible, let me say this quite definitely—that the finance of this Bill has been, as I think I indicated a little time ago, the subject of most patient and anxious investigation on the part of the Government, and it is not likely that in a fortnight from now it would be possible for us to introduce any such changes as, quite apart from other considerations, would satisfy the desire of my noble friend. On the contrary, if we delayed the Bill for a fortnight the only result would be that a fortnight hence we should reappear in this House, and the spokesman of the Government would have to say that they adhered to the finance in the Bill as it at present stands. And when the noble Marquess, Lord Crewe, as he did, contemplated an even longer delay—a delay, I think, extending over Christmas and into next year—I for my part am quite willing to sacrifice any holiday, and I am sure we all are, in 683 order to bring about peace in this matter; but after all it is not only the peace of Ireland but the peace of the world that is concerned. I think that the noble Marquess, when he suggested this extensive delay, rather forgot the ratification of the Peace Treaty with Turkey. If the whole matter is to be suspended until some time in the early part of next year it means that we cannot conclude peace with Turkey, we cannot terminate the war, because the moment we do so, as your Lordships know, the Act of 1914 comes into operation.
THE MARQUESS OF CREWE
But surely it is possible in two days in another place, And two days here, further to postpone the operation of the 1914 Act?
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
That presupposes general assent to the propositions which are likely to be put forward by the noble Marquess. He may be right, but I think myself he is wrong. I am sorry to have to return this reply to Lord Midleton, but I do not think that it is along those lines that salvation is to be sought. I hope, my Lords, that you will not accept the Motion for adjournment this evening, but that you will proceed to a vote upon the Bill.
About the Bill itself I desire to make only two observations in conclusion. The first is this. Lord Midleton in his remarks said that what the people of Ireland, or rather the people for whom he was speaking more particularly, wanted was control of their local affairs. Those were his words. What are local affairs?" I suppose nothing can be more local than agriculture, education, land, old-age pensions, local government, poor-law, railways, liquor, health insurance, and unemployment. All these local affairs, round which the local life of any community revolves, are given to Ireland by this Bill, and the noble Earl is not merely forcing an open door but actually declining what is offered to him in this respect. That is what we are prepared to give, and I have no doubt that in Committee we shall be willing to go some way to meet the views and criticisms that may be put before us by our critics. I ask you, my Lords, not to cast this Bill away. I am not certain that we have been altogether justified in our attitude to previous Home Rule Bills; but whether that be so or not, do not cast this Bill away. Take 684 it, use it as a basis, use it as a platform from which to move out and do something better. If you refuse it, once again you plunge Ireland into the old unending and cruel strife. My Lords, the second reflection is this. I ask your Lordships to look upon our policy as a whole. Do not urge us forward on one side of our policy and then stop us short on the other. Over and over again your Lordships, only in the last few months, have risen here and appealed to the spokesmen of the Government to be resolute and unflinching in defence of law and order in Ireland. We have not failed to respond to that appeal. The strain and the burden are not borne by us. Although the responsibility is ours the strain and burden fall upon those heroes who, in daily risk of their lives, are fighting our battles and yours. That is one side of our policy. We have had to meet the sword with the sword. It is a hateful necessity, but it is one which, as every one knows, any Government worthy of the name was bound to accept. Then we come to you with the other side of our policy, and we ask to be judged by the two together. We come to you with that which we regard as the indispensable concomitant of the suppression of crime and disorder, which we have been bound to undertake.
I am not blind enough to suppose that this Bill will be a solution of the Irish question. No, my Lords; it is only our contribution to the solution. It takes you sonic distance. You may call it a half-way house or a quarter-way house, or what you like, but it is an attempt on the part of Great Britain, speaking through her Government, to discharge her age-long debt. And, my Lords, if you let us discharge it, do bear this in mind—that just as I said three years ago that we all welcomed the idea of throwing the thing into the hands of the Convention and saying to Irishmen "Make your own fate," so if you pass this Bill the responsibility from the moment of its passage into law will rest upon Irishmen. One more the destiny of Ireland will be in the hands of Irishmen, and I am myself sufficiently hopeful to believe that, in view of all that they have accomplished in the past, Irishmen are still capable of saving their own country.
§ LORD BUCKMASTERrose to continue the debate, but in response to cries of "Divide" gave way and resumed his seat.685
§ On Question, whether the debate should be adjourned for a fortnight?—686
§ Their Lordships divided—Contents, 91; Not-Contents, 177.687
|Argyll, D.||Harcourt, V.||Holm Patrick, L.|
|Somerset, D.||Hutchinson, V (E. Donoughmore.)||Inchiquin, L.|
|Aberdeen and Temair, M.||Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.)|
|Camden, M.||Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)|
|Crewe, M.||Anslow, L.|
|Lincolnshire, M. (L. Great Chamberlain.)||Ashton of Hyde, L.||Killanin, L.|
|Askwith, L.||Kilmaine, L.|
|Barrymore, L.||MacDonnell, L.|
|Abingdon,||Braye, L.||Monteagle, L. (M. Sligo.)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Buckmaster, L.||Monteagle of Brandon, L.|
|Buxton, E.||Carmichael, L.||Morris, L.|
|Carnock, L.||O'Hagan, L.|
|Darnley, E.||Chalmers, L.||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Buccleuch and Queensberry.)||Clifford of Chudleigh, L.||Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.)|
|Crofton, L.||Parmoor, L.|
|Drogheda, E.||Cullen of Ashbourne, L.||Pentland, L.|
|Fitzwilliam, E.||De Freyne, L.||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)|
|Iveagh, E.||de Mauley, L.||Raglan, L.|
|Kimberley, E.||Decies, L.||Rathdonnell, L.|
|Kingston, E.||Denman, L. [Teller.]||Ravensworth, L.|
|Lanesborough, E.||Desart, L. (E. Desart.)||Rovelstoke, L.|
|Mayo, E. [Teller.]||Dynevor, L.||Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.)|
|Midleton, E.||Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)||Saye and Sele, L.|
|Nelson, E.||Ebury, L.||Shandon, L.|
|Portsmouth, E.||Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)||Stanley of Alderloy, L. (L. Sheffield.)|
|Stanhope, E.||Emmott, L.||Swaythling, L.|
|Wicklow, E.||Farrer, L.||Sydentham, L.|
|Allendale, V.||Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)||Tennyson, L.|
|Bryce, V.||Cainford, L.||Tenterden, L.|
|Cowdray, V.||Greville, L.||Vernon, L.|
|Do Vesci, V.||Hare, L. (E. Listowel.)||Wavertree, L.|
|Gladstone, V.||Hemphill, L.||Wrenbury, L.|
|Canterbury, L. Abp.||Mount Edgcumbe, E.||Knutsford, V.|
|Birkenhead, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Onslow, E.||Milner, V.|
|Pembroke and Montgomery, E.||Peel, V.|
|Wellington, D.||Plymouth, E.||St. Davids, V.|
|Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.)||Reading, E.||Termpletown, V.|
|Bath, M.||Roden, E.|
|Dufferin and Ava, M.||Rosslyn, E.||London, L. Bp.|
|Linlithgow, M.||Rothes, E.|
|Sandwich, E.||Aberconway, L.|
|Albemarle, E.||Scarbrough, E.||Aberdare, L.|
|Ancaster, E.||Strafford, E.||Addington, L.|
|Bathurst, E.||Vane, E.(M. Londonderry.)||Alington, L.|
|Bradford, E.||Westmeath, E.||Ampthill, L.|
|Cavan, E.||Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.)|
|Chesterfield, E.||Farquhar, V. (L. Steward.)||Armaghdale, L.|
|Chichester, E.||Sandhurst, V. (L. Chamberlain.)||Atkinson, L.|
|Craven, E.||Bangor, V.||Avebury, L.|
|Curzon of Kedleston, E.||Bertie of Thame, V.||Balfour, L.|
|Dartmouth, E.||Cave, V.||Beaverbrook, L.|
|Dundonald, E.||Charlemont, V.||Bellow, L.|
|Durham, E.||Chilston, V.||Bledisloe, L.|
|Eldon, E.||Churchill, V.||Cawley, L.|
|Ferrers, E.||Devonport, V.||Cheylesmore, L.|
|Fortescue, E.||Esher, V.||Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.)|
|Harewood, E.||Falkland, V.||Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.)|
|Howe, E.||Falmouth, V.||Clinton, L.|
|Kilmorey, E.||French of Ypres, V.||Clwyd, L.|
|Lindsey, E.||Goschen, V.||Colebrooke, L.|
|Lovelace, E.||Hampden, V.||Colwyn, L.|
|Lucan, E.||Hardinge, V.||Cottesloe, L.|
|Lytton, E.||Hood, V.||Cozens-Hardy, L.|
|Malmesbury, E.||Knollys, V.||Crawshaw, L.|
|Dawnay, L. (V. Downe.)||Methuen, L.||Ruthven of Gowrie, L.|
|Deramore, L.||Monckton, L. (V. Galway.)||Sackville, L.|
|Desborough, L.||Monk Bretton, L.||St. Audries, L.|
|Douglas, L. (E. Home.)||Monson, L.||St. Levan, L.|
|Dunedin, L.||Montagu of Beaulieu, L.||Saltoun, L.|
|Ernle, L.||Moulton, L.||Sanderson, L.|
|Erskine, L.||Mowbray, L.||Sandys, L.|
|Fairfax of Cameron, L.||Muir Mackenzie, L.||Savile, L.|
|Fairlie, L. (E. Glasgow.)||Newton, L.||Shaw, L.|
|Faringdon, L.||Nunburnholme, L.||Somerleyton, L. [Teller.]|
|Farnham, L.||Oriel, L. (V. Massereene.)||Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)|
|Glenarthur, L.||Ormathwaite, L.||Southwark, L.|
|Glentanar, L.||Oxenfoord, L. (E. Stair.)||Stanmore, L. [Teller.]|
|Hamilton of Dalzell, L.||Penrhyn, L.||Sterndale, L.|
|Harris, L.||Phillimore, L.||Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)|
|Hindlip, L.||Playfair, L.|
|Horne, L.||Pontypridd, L.||Strabolgi, L.|
|Hothfield, L.||Queenborough, L.||Stuart of Wortley, L.|
|Hylton, L.||Ranfurly, L. (E. Ranfurly.)||Sudeley, L.|
|Incheape, L.||Ranksborough, L.||Sudley, L. (E. Arran.)|
|Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)||Rathereedan, L.||Sumner, L.|
|Lawrence, L.||Rayleigh, L.||Teynham, L.|
|Leconfield, L.||Redesdale, L.||Treowen, L.|
|Lee of Farnham, L.||Ribblesdale, L.||Weir, L.|
|Lovat, L.||Riddell, L.||Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)|
|Marchamley, L.||Ritchie of Dundee, L.||Wigan, L. (E. Crawford.)|
|Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)||Rochdale, L.||Willoughby de Broke, L.|
|Mendip, L. (V. Clifden.)||Rotherham, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Meston, L.||Roundway, L.||Wyfold, L.|
§ Resolved in the negative and adjournment of the debate disagreed to accordingly.
§ The House then divided upon the Amendment to the Motion "That the Bill be now read 2a"—viz., to leave out all the words after "That" and insert "this House declines to proceed with a Bill which meets with no support from the688
§ great majority of the Irish people, and affords no prospect of any permanent settlement."
§ On Question, whether the words proposed to be left out shall stand part of the Motion?—
§ Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 164; Not-Contents, 75.689
|Canterbury, L. Abp.||Lytton, E.||Hood, V.|
|Birkenhead, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Malmesbury, E.||Knollys, V.|
|Mount Edgcumbe, E.||Milner, V.|
|Wellington, D.||Onslow, E.||Peel, V.|
|Pembroke and Montgomery, E||St. Davids, V.|
|Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.)||Plymouth, E.||Templetown, V.|
|Bath, M.||Portsmouth, E.|
|Camden, M.||Reading, E.||London, L. Bp.|
|Dufferin and Ava, M.||Roden, E.|
|Sandwich, E.||Aberconway, L.|
|Abingdon, E.||Scarbrough, E.||Aberdare, L.|
|Albemarle, E.||Stamford, E.||Abinger, L.|
|Ancaster, E.||Strafford, E.||Addington, L.|
|Bradford, E.||Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||Alington, L.|
|Cavan, E.||Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.)|
|Chesterfield, E.||Farquhar, V. (L. Steward.)||Armaghdale, L.|
|Chichester, E.||Sandhurst, V. (L. Chamberlain.)||Atkinson, L.|
|Craven, E.||Allendale, V.||Avebury, L.|
|Curzon of Kedleston, E.||Cave, V.||Balfour, L.|
|Dartmouth, E.||Charlemont, L.||Beaverbrook, L.|
|Dundonald, E.||Chilston, V.||Bledisloe, L.|
|Eldon, E.||Churchill, V.||Cawley, L.|
|Ferrers, E.||Esher, V.||Cheylesmore, L.|
|Fortescue, E.||Falkland, V.||Clinton, L.|
|Harewood, E.||Falmouth, V.||Clwyd, L.|
|Howe, E.||French of Ypres, V.||Colebrooke, L.|
|Kilmorey, E.||Goschen, V.||Colwyn, L.|
|Lindsey, E.||Hampden, V.||Cottesloe, L.|
|Lucan, E.||Hardinge, V.||Cozens-Hardy, L.|
|Crawshaw, L.||Methuen, L.||Sackville, L.|
|Dawnay, L. (V. Downe.)||Monckton, L. (V. Galway.)||St. Andries, L.|
|Deramore, L.||Monk Bretton, L.||St. Levan, L.|
|Desborough, L.||Monson, L.||Saltoun, L.|
|Douglas, L. (E. Howe.)||Moulton, L.||Sanderson, L.|
|Dunedin, L.||Muir Mackenzie, L.||Sandys, L.|
|Dunmore, L. (E. Dunmore.)||Newton, L.||Savile, L.|
|Etnmott, L.||Nunburnholme, L.||Shaw, L.|
|Ernle, L.||O'Hagan, L.||Somerleyton, L. [Teller.]|
|Erskine, L.||Oriel, L. (V. Massereene.)||Somerton, L. (E. Normanton.)|
|Fairfax of Cameron, L.||Ormathwaite, L.||Southwark, L.|
|Fairlie, L. (E. Glasgow.)||Penrhyn, L.||Stanmore, L. [Teller.]|
|Faringdon, L.||Phillimore, L.||Sterndale, L.|
|Glenarthur, L.||Playfair, L.||Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)|
|Glentanar, L.||Pontypridd, L.|
|Greville, L.||Queenborough, L.||Strabolgi, L.|
|Harris, L.||Ranfurly, L. (E. Ranfurly.)||Stuart of Wortley, L.|
|Hindlip, L.||Ranksborough, L.||Sudeley, L.|
|Horne, L.||Rathereedan, L.||Sumner, L.|
|Hothfield, L.||Rayleigh, L.||Teynham, L.|
|Hylton, L.||Redesdale, L.||Treowen, L.|
|Inchcape, L.||Ribblesdale, L.||Wavertree, L.|
|Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)||Riddell, L.||Weir, L.|
|Lee of Fareham, L.||Ritchie of Dundee, L.||Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyes.)|
|Lovat, L.||Rochdale, L.||Wigan, L. (E. Crawford.)|
|Marchamley, L.||Rotherham, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)||Roundway, L.||Wrenbury, L.|
|Meston, L.||Ruthven of Gowrie, L.||Wyfold, L.|
|Argyll, D.||Hutchinson, V (E. Donoughmore.)||Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)|
|Crewe, M.||Ampthill, L.||Kilmaine, L.|
|Lincolnshire, M. (L. Great Chamberlain.)||Ashton of Hyde, L.||Lawrence, L.|
|Barrymore, L.||Leconfield, L.|
|Linlithgow, M.||Bellew, L.||MacDonnell, L.|
|Braye, L.||Monteagle, L. (M. Sligo.)|
|Bathurst, E.||Buckmaster, L.||Monteagle of Brandon, L.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Chalmers, L.||Morris, L.|
|Drogheda, E.||Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.)||Mowbray, L.|
|Fitzwilliam, E.||Clements, L. (E. Leitrim.)||Oranmore and Browne, L.|
|Iveagh, E.||Clifford of Chudleigh, L.||Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.)|
|Kimberley, E.||Crofton, L.||Oxonfoord, L. (E. Stair.)|
|Kingston, E.||Decies, L.||Parmoor, L.|
|Lanesborough, E.||Denman, L. [Teller.]||Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)|
|Lovelace, E.||Desart, L. (E. Desart.)||Raglan, L.|
|Mayo, E. [Teller.]||Ebury, L.||Rathtdonnell, L.|
|Midleton, E.||Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kincardine.)||Ravetisworth, L.|
|Stanhope, E.||Saltersford, L. (E. Courtown.)|
|Westmeath, E.||Farnham, L.||Saye and Sele, L.|
|Wicklow, E.||Farrer, L.||Shandon, L.|
|Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)||Stanley of Alderley, L. (L. Sheffield.)|
|Bangor, V.||Hare, L. (E. Listowel.)|
|Bertie of Thame, V.||Hemphill, L.||Sudley, L. (E. Arran.)|
|Bryce, V.||Holm Patrick, L.||Sydenham, L.|
|De Vesci, V.||Inchiquin, L.||Tenterden, L.|
|Harcourt, V.||Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmore.)||Willoughby de Broke, L.|
§ Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.690
§ Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.
§ House adjourned at twenty-five minutes past eight o'clock.