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Member. It came from a highly re- sitting at Nine o'clock, when the Orders of the spectable resident in Cork:
Day not disposed of at the Morning Sitting, and Pending legal investigation on the part of the minutes to Seven o'clock, shall be set down in the
any Motion which was under discussion at Ten Government, the Municipal Council think it better Order Book after the other Orders of the Day. to take no steps in the matter of the mayor. The
Resolved, That whenever the House shall be in feeling of the Council is entirely against the Committee at Seven o'clock, the Chairman do Mayor.”
report Progress when the House resumes its No telegram of the nature mentioned by sitting:-(Mr. Gladstone.) the right hon. Gentleman had been received by the Government.
SUPPLY. MR. DAWSON DAMER rose to ad
Order for Committee read. dress the House, but
Motion made, and Question proposed, MR. SPEAKER intimated that there
“That Mr. Speaker do now leave the was no question before the House which
Chair." would entitle hon. Members to discuss any Irish question. The sole question STATE OF IRELAND.-OBSERVATIONS. before the House was whether or not the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman
MR. GRAVES said, he did not know with respect to the suspension of the that he had ever risen in that House Orders of the Day, for the purpose of under a greater sense of the responsienabling the House to hold Morning bility which he incurred than he did Sittings, should be agreed to.
in rising to deal with this question ; MR. GLADSTONE said, that, in order and he felt that responsibility still more to prevent any misunderstanding, he after the appeal to postpone the consiwished to state that the right hon. Gen- deration of this question which had been tleman near him (Mr. Bouverie) had made to him that night by the First rightly understood the intention with Minister of the Crown. It required which this proposal had been made on
some confidence in his own motives and the part of the Government. It would in his own judgment to resist such an be too early in the Session, looking to appeal. If the grounds upon which he the state of business in the Committees, brought this matter under the considerafor Morning Sittings to be held as a
tion of the House were identical with matter of course. It would be a matter those mentioned by the right hon. Genfor subsequent consideration when they tleman, he should feel that there was should revert to them. In reply to the some force in that appeal; but he did noble Lord (Viscount Sandon) opposite, not intend to make more than a mere he apprehended that it was within the passing allusion to the Mayor of Cork, or power of the Committees themselves to to regard the act of that person as more determine whether or not their sittings than one of the incidents or events that should be suspended during the week?
had recently occurred in Ireland. His
object in bringing forward this matter Motion agreed to.
had a much larger and wider range—it
was to call the attention of the House to Resolved, That, unless the House shall other the condition of Ireland at the present wise order, whenever the House shall meet at
He understood that, in
moment. Two o'clock, the House will proceed with Private Business, Petitions, Motions for unopposed Re-ther place," a similar Notice had been turns, and leave of absence to Members, giving given last night, and as a discussion Notices of Motions, Questions to Ministers, and upon the subject was likely to arise such Orders of the Day as shall have been ap- there, he saw no advantage that could pointed for the Morning Sitting,
Resolved, That on such days, if the business be be derived from postponing the connot sooner disposed of, the House will suspend its sideration of this subject to a future day. sitting at Seven o'clock; and at Ten minutes be- Having taken the pains to consult many fore Seven o'clock, unless the House shall other- representatives of the various sections wise order, Mr. Speaker shall adjourn the Debate sitting on both sides of that House, for on any business then under discussion, or the Chairman shall report Progress, as the case may the purpose of ascertaining whether, in be, and no opposed business shall then be pro- bringing forward this question, he was ceeded with.
taking a step which, in their opinion, was Resolved, That when such business has not been injudicious, he felt bound to state that he disposed of at Seven o'clock, unless the House shall otherwise order, Mr. Speaker (or the Chair: had not heard a single dissentient voice man, in case the House shall be in Committee) do with reference to the propriety, nay, the leave the Chair, and the House will resume its necessity, of the course he had thought
it right to adopt. Under these circum- counties, but there was no security that stances he trusted that, if he found him- that crime would not extend to other self unable to accede to the request of parts of the country. Each day the the right hon. Gentleman, he should not category of crime in that country swelled be deemed to be showing any want of and became darker and darker. In the courtesy or of respect to either the right North there were indications of approachhon. Gentleman personally or to Her ing sectarian strife, and in the South Majesty's Government. He was in there were strong symptoms of disaffluenced in this matter by one feeling fection—disaffection which had become only, and that was by a sense of public more remarkable from the fact that the duty; and, as far as he could, he would chief magistrate of Cork, to whom the endeavour to deal with it in fairness and right hon. Gentleman had alluded, had moderation He could not take up this lent himself and his high office to lanquestion without expressing his regret guage of the most seditious and treasonthat it had not fallen into the hands of a able character. He was not going to somewhat more experienced Member on repeat from the public prints the words either side of the House, because he which the Mayor was alleged to have did not consider that the question was uttered on the occasion, for he had no one of an entirely party character, and desire to give greater prominence to his because he felt that there must be men rebellious language than he could by poson both sides of the House who viewed sibility help; but the fact was striking the present state of things in Ireland and significant—that the gentleman in with the deepest concern. There were, question, having been removed last year however, reasons of a personal character from the Commission of the Peace in why, possibly, he felt more than any other censquence of his seditious practices, English representative especially in- should, in a few months afterwards, be terested in the condition of Ireland—his returned as the chief magistrate of the associations were centred in that coun- second city in Ireland, and that since he try-he was almost the only member of had attained office, he had never lost an his family residing out of it, and the opportunity of giving utterance to treaconstituency in which he had the honour sonable and seditious language without, of sharing the representation (Liverpool) as far as he knew, the slightest admonicontained a much larger Irish popula- tion, from Her Majesty's Government. tion within it than any other constitu- One of the principal reasons why he had ency in England. It was bound to Ire- not felt himself at liberty to postpone land by trading relations of no ordinary bringing the subject forward was that magnitude—and he need scarcely say the released Fenian prisoners, for whom that peace and tranquillity were the es- the banquet had been given, had just sential conditions of prosperous trading; left for America, and, looking at the and that if in Ireland credit was receiv- desire shown by the Press of that ing a shock, if confidence and security country to magnify the power of Feni
. were both being more or less lessened, anism, he held it to be important that and trade consequently became paralyzed the law should be vindicated with in that country, its reflex action upon promptitude, so that, concurrently with the trade of Liverpool and England was the arrival of those men in America, and felt to a considerable extent. It would the reception of the report of the probe unnecessary for him to go into any ceedings in Cork, it should also be known large amount of detail to satisfy the on the other side of the Atlantic that House that the condition of things in the law had been vindicated, and that it Ireland was most unsatisfactory—nay, was not sanctioned or allowed that the more, that it was absolutely dangerous Mayor of Cork should continue in office. to the national welfare. There was a or, at least, continue unindicted for the lawlessness, an insecurity, and a sedition offence he had committed. They could extending itself throughout the country, well imagine how the proceedings at unchecked, apparently, or at least un- Cork would be exaggerated in America; detected, which if allowed to go on un- and, if there were no other side of the restrained might possibly lead to con- question was presented to the Irish sequences of a very disastrous character. there than that shown by the detiant It was true that the crime of murder was language of the Mayor of so importconfined at present to two of the Irish ant a city as Cork, the dying embers
of Fenianism in that country might (cumstances of the country. He did not be again kindled, and lead to results remember any previous year in which such as it would be painful for us to there had not been an “Irish debate”. contemplate. Without going further a debate on the general state of Ireland into detail as to the number of murders -at an earlier period of the Session, which had occurred, the number of and certainly he did not remember any threatening notices which had been re- former Session in which there was greater ceived and the number of agrarian of- reason for such a debate. Since last night fences of a greater or a minor character he had received a large number of letwhich had been committed must produce ters from friends—some of them Memthe most serious anxiety in the minds of bers of that House-on the condition of all thoughtful men; and he must say Ireland, and he could assure the House that, to his mind, Ireland at this moment that those communications indicated even presented a darker and a sadder picture a more alarming state of affairs in Ireland than he had known it to present at any than was represented by the statements former period within his experience. In all in the public papers. He did not wish former outbursts of discontent and crime, to aggravate the general feeling with there was a silver lining to the cloud in regard to Ireland, but he might say, the loyalty and fidelity of the North ; but without troubling the House with the now he grieved to say this was all shaken, letters themselves—[“Read.”]—well, if for the Protestants of Ireland looked it were the wish of the House he would on with indifference, if not with disgust. read the letters; but probably the House They found that crime was unrepressed, would be of opinion that it was enough and that the law was defied in the most for him to say they all indicated that open manner. In no one of the recent there was a most uneasy feeling in Irecases of assassination had the murderer land—that property was regarded as to been brought to justice. Whether this some extent insecure, and life was bearose from sympathy, or from fear on lieved to be still more insecure. In point the part of the people of Ireland, he was of fact, there was a general feeling of unable to say; but the fact remained alarm and consternation among the better that crime was undetected, life inse- classes, who did not very well see what cure, and the rights of property in was to be the result if the present lawvaded. Under these circumstances, he lessness were not put an end to. One thought, to remain longer silent might naturally asked oneself a question, which be regarded as timidity on the part of he had put to himself over and over independent Members like himself, and again--"What_was the cause of all their reticence might be regarded as in this ?” Was Fenianism cropping up difference to the condition of Ireland. again under another phase? He did not He regretted exceedingly his being believe that it was. Any one who had obliged to delay for a moment the free watched the course of Fenianism could course of the debate on the Irish Church; not have helped being struck by the sinbut, even at the risk of doing so, he felt gular fact that the life of an individual it to be his duty to bring forward this was never attempted to be taken in Iresubject. On the Opposition side of the land in order to promote the views of FeHouse they had met and resisted, by nians. Assassination was foreign to them free opinion and argument, the position in this country. Therefore, he could not taken by Her Majesty's Government see any reason to think that Fenianism and their supporters on the Irish Church was at the bottom of the crimes now bequestion. He hoped, however, that, ing committed in Ireland. The Habeas while endeavouring to carry out their Corpus Suspension Act had been allowed own views, the Opposition had not made to expire, and they had had no explanause of any unfair or illegitimate means. tion of why it had been allowed to exIndeed, he rather feared that the desire pire, but he presumed the Government entertained by Gentlemen on his side felt warranted in not asking for a reof the House not to do anything that newal of the suspension. Besides, the might have even an appearance of ob- outrages to which he had been alluding struction had led to greater forbearance had not been commenced since the exon their part, in respect of comment on the piration of the Habeas Corpus Suspenpresent state of Ireland, than was war- sion Act; they had been going on during ranted or justifiable under the sad cir- the continuance of that Act. Could the VOL. CXCV. (THIRD SERIES.]
debate on the Irish Church question have sent state of Ireland could be ascribed. anything to do with the present state of Having given the subject the best conthings in Ireland ? He had no wish to sideration he could, and knowing the introduce into the discussion on those country well, he was bound to say that crimes the concurrent one of the Irish he believed the land question lay at the Church ; but he could not help thinking root of the disorganized state of Ireland that Her Majesty's Government, and at the present moment. He had always those who took the same view as they contended that the land question was the did, must feel deeply and bitterly disap- primary one that ought to be dealt with, pointed that, while they were doing what, he had proved it by his vote in supportaccording to their own honest convic- ing the Bill of the Prime Minister in 1866; tions, they thought was calculated to re- and if, instead of taking up the subject dress that which they believed to be in- of the Irish Church-though he admitted justice towards Ireland, those crimes great differences of opinion existed on were being committed in that country. this point-the Government and that The Government were almost chival- House had found means of devising rously, and certainly, from their point of an equitable enactment, which, without view, philanthropically forcing their re- violating on the one hand rights of promedy on the House. He thought, there- perty, or on the other hand the rights fore, it must be a source of bitter dis- of labour, would have settled the land appointment to them to find such a state question, such a course of legislation of things, after a course which, no doubt, would have been more advisable. There they had supposed would produce a con- was a general feeling abroad in Ireland trary effect in Ireland. He did not him- that some great changes were to be made self admit that there was any very close in connection with the land as well as connection in the way of cause and effect with reference to the Church in that between the Irish Church debates and country; and, in preparation for those the disorganization of Ireland. There changes, it might be that there was a never has been any connection be- desire to get possession or occupation, or tween the Irish Church and Irish dis- to retain the occupation of the land in content, and there is none now. Well, Ireland among a large number of perthen, was there any defect in the ad-sons. If that feeling existed, from what, ministration of the law ? He was now he should like to know, had it sprung? alluding more particularly to the ad- Had expectations been held out that the ministration of the law under the Lord changes to be introduced would be of an Lieutenant. Had his Excellency been organic character? He feared that such wanting in force and judgment during was the case, and although he should the few months he had been at the head have liked to have omitted all reference of the Irish Government ? Those who to what had fallen from leading Memknew that nobleman would agree with bers of the Government in the remarks him in thinking that no one could bring which he felt called upon to make that to his high office qualities more likely to evening, still he felt it to be necessary to be successful than those possessed by his argument to state that false hopes Earl Spencer. Were the police inefficient had been raised in the minds of the or wanting in zeal and fidelity, and were people of Ireland with respect to a most they unable to lay their finger on the vital question—hopes which could never criminals? They had proved the Irish be realized—and that the fact that these police during the Fenian conspiracy. It expectations were unfulfilled was bringwas quite possible that the Irish con- ing about a most serious state of things stabulary might not be the very best in that country. He recollected being description of machinery for discovering struck, at the time when it was published, the persons who committed outrages. by a speech which had been delivered The military character of that force by the right hon. Gentleman at the head might be an obstacle in the way of the of the Government in Lancashire, last men fraternizing with the people in such year, in which, speaking with reference a way as to get at the secret of the pre- to Ireland, he said, sent disposition to lawlessness; but no one could say that the Irish police wero
" It is clear the Church of Ireland offers to as wanting in zeal and fidelity.
indeed, a great question; but even that question is
There was but one of a group of questions. There is the only one other thing to which the pre- Church of Ireland, there is the land of Ireland,
there is the education of Ireland ; there are many | in the course of last autumn, the followsubjects, all of which depend upon one greater ing words :than them all ; they are all so many branches from one trunk, and that trunk is the tree of
“ Was it not a deplorable fact that only 7 per what is called Protestant ascendancy. Gentle-cent of the land belonged to the Roman Catholio men, I look, for one, to this Protestant people to population?. How was such a state of things put down Protestant ascendancy, which pretends effected but by the enactment of the most cruel to seek its objects by doing homage to religious res, and he was not ashamed to state-the most truth, and instead of consecrating politics dese- infernal laws that had been made and enforced crates religion. It is upon that system that we upon a people." are banded together to make war. So long as Now, it had, he understood, been stated that system subsists our covenant endures for the in“ another place” that those words had prosecution of that purpose for which we seek not been used by the right hon. Gentleyour assistance ; and because, although, as I said early in these remarks, we have paid instalments man, and he was glad to afford him an to Ireland, the mass of the people would not be opportunity of making the denial in the worthy to be free if they were satisfied with in- House of Commons; the passage which stalments, or if they could be contented with any- he had quoted contained an expression thing less than justice, we therefore aim at the such as the Members of that House destruction of that system of ascendancy which, though it has been crippled and curtailed by were not in the habit of hearing from former measures, yet still must be allowed to the right hon. Gentleman, and he, for one, exist. It is still there, like a tall tree of noxious doubted his having made them. In congrowth lifting its head to heaven, and darkening clusion, he had simply to observe that he and poisoning the land so far as its shadow can had carefully abstained from casting, reextend.”
flections on any one.
He had endeaNow he did not think he was putting voured above all things to avoid throwthe argument too high when he con- ing reflections on Her Majesty's Governtended that those remarks were calcu- ment, because he felt the difficulty of lated to raise the greatest expectations, the position in which they were involved; and to bring about, in a considerable and he was to the fullest extent alive to degree, the existing state of things, in the disappointment which they must exIreland. He now came to a speech perience at the present state of Ireland which was delivered by another leading after the sacrifices which they had urged Member of the Cabinet, the right hon. that House to make-law and order Gentleman the President of the Board
were the first principles of good goof Trade (Mr. Bright), either at Edin- vernment, and they must be mainburgh or Glasgow, which was published tained at all hazards. He had had but in The Times newspaper, and in the one motive in bringing forward the course of which the right hon. Gentle- question to which he had called the man said
attention of the House, and he trusted " In Ireland the land really is not in the pos. that the result of the discussion which session of what I may call native proprietors, or might possibly follow would be the natives of the country, to a large extent. It taking some course of action by means seems to be an essential thing for the peace of of which the tide of lawlessness which every country that its soil should, at least, be in the possession of its own people. I believe that ir.
was apparently setting in with so much Ireland it will be necessary to adopt some plan- force in Ireland might be stemmed. He and I believe there is a plan which can be adopted begged, without further comment, to ask without injustice or wrong to any man—by which the Government whether, under the cirgradually the land of Ireland may be, to a considerable extent, transferred from foreign, or alien, cumstances which he had detailed, they or absentee Protestant proprietors—transferred would feel warranted in giving some into the hands of the Catholic resident population explanation as to their views with reof the country. I do not anticipate myself that spect to the condition of Ireland, and until something of that kind is put in process and such an indication of their policy towards in operation we shall find tranquillity and content that country as might give some assur. in Ireland such as we would wish to see it."
ance to those who reside in it, which There was one more expression of opi- would be satisfactory not only to them nion on the part of a Member of the but to the public at large? Government in relation to the question MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE: of the land in Ireland, to which he Sir, I should be the last man in this wished to refer. The right hon. Gentle- House to under-rate the importance man the Secretary of State for the Home of the subject to which the hon. GenDepartment (Mr. Bruce) was reported in tleman (Mr. Graves) has just invited the Cambria Daily Leader to have used, our attention, or to endeavour to palliato