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the Government had their majority than a similar proposal coming from the securing its control, but in which they late Government, and for this reason, would have as large a constitution of When the late Government introduced Irish Members as possible. He thought their Land Bill they were warned from the answer to that suggestion might clear this side of the House that it would be the way with respect to the rest of the met with very considerable opposition. Session, and might allow them, while If the late Government, therefore, had bringing their sittings to an end in the made use of their majority to send the middle of August, to accomplish the Irish Land Bill to a Grand Committee, main part of the Government programme, he assumed that they would have been and also to satisfy some of the aspira- warned from the Front Opposition tions of private Members. Did they Bench that, if they did so, and that if want this Irish Land Bill to pass or the Bill, as a result, was passed through not ? That was the question. If they that House, it would be killed in another wanted the Bill to pass, and it was not place. Therefore they would have apcontroversial, here was an opening for proached such a proposition from a Gov. considering how it might be done, and ernment which was face to face with an if they got that opening and that means irreconcileable Opposition, having the of settling that business accepted, then support of the House of Lords, in a thry greatly facilitated the conduct of totally different condition of mind from the other part of the work. They might that which they would approach the prepossibly then realise what had been sent proposition if it were made by the scouted as absurd on the other side of Government. While he was not in a the House, the conclusion of the Second position to give any pledge as to what Reading Debate in the time that had course would be adopted by the Party been mentioned, and they might even to which he belonged, and still less by realise the conclusion of the Second the other Irish Party to which he did Reading Debate of the Rating Bill. In not belong, he thought it was a proposiconnection with these Bills, it must be tion of very great gravity, and one which remembered both had been subjected to ought to be very carefully considered by the bad and comparatively new habit of the Government before they decided prolonged Debate on introduction-De- what answer they would give. Turning bates which really were very difficult to the general question of the Resoluoperations of most doubtful expediency. tion, he wanted to point out, from the Hon. Members could not speak with Irish point of view, that no inducement authority on a Bill they had never seen, of any kind had been held out to them and they sometimes made very injudi- by the Government to support or abstain cious remarks, which they afterwards from supporting the proposal

. If the found it difficult to explain.

First Lord of the Treasury had come for*Sir G. OSBORNE MORGAN: I did ward and made some statement to them not wish to interrupt the right hon. of a satisfactory character, that he would Gentleman when he was speaking, and place the Irish Land Bill in such a posiI only rise now to say that I never said tion in the Government programme, that anything so absurd as to suggest that 20 not only the Second Reading would be Welsh Members should take part in the taken before Whitsuntide å matter to Debate. What I said was that I knew which he attached very little importance there were 20 Welsh Members who indeed—but that the Committee stage would be very glad to speak on the would be brought on at such a date as subject if they got the chance.

would give them a rational opportunity, MR. J. DILLON said he must at not of obstructing and delaying the Bill, once confess that prima facie, he felt but of endeavouring to amend it, and to strongly inclined to urge upon the Gov. remove the enormous defects it at present ernment that they should give the pro- contained, then it would have been the posal of the right hon. Gentleman the duty of the Irish Party to very seriously Member for Bodmin the most serious consider the present proposal. But the consideration before they rejected it. First Lord had told them that the first Such a proposal, coming from the pre- use to which he would put the whole sent Government, would meet with a time of the House, if it were surrendered totally different reception at his hands to the Government, would be to pass the

J. Leonard Courtney.




their power.

Agricultural Rating Bill, to which they [Nationalist cheers. The Bill were opposed root and branch, and dangled before the Irish Members as a which he ventured to characterise as the Measure so magnificent and valuable most grotesque and indefensible attempt that they ought to prostrate themselves ever made in that House to treat Ire- in gratitude before the Government, and land unjustly from the financial point of to allow the Government to quietly walk view, and the principle of which they over their bodies with the other two would oppose with all the resources in Measures. [“ Hear, hear!”] But this

If for that reason alone, was a mistake. It would be idle to he for his part would do everything in pretend that the Irish people or the Irish his power to oppose the First Lord's Members attached any great importance Motion. His statement, when it was to this Irish Land Bill. [Nationalist read in Ireland to-morrow, would go a cheers.] His position in regard to the long way to enforce the view which had Bill was perfectly clear. He thought been prevalent there for the last three the Bill contained some valuable provimonths, that the Land Bill had been in- sions, which he should be sorry to see troduced for the purpose of deluding lost, especially those relating to purchase and humbugging the people of Ireland. and the Land Court. The great body of Some of them were old enough to re- the Irish people were anxious to obtain member the circumstances that attended Amendments in those directions, espethe introduction of the Local Government cially such Amendments as would sweep Bill. They would recollect that the Bill away the complications that had been was introduced in such a manner by the woven around the Ashbourne Acts. right hon. Gentleman who was now the Were the Irish Members to be told that First Lord of the Treasury, and who was they were not to be at liberty to propose then Chief Secretary for Ireland, as to Amendments embodying improvements convince everyone that it was not in- to which the Irish people attached such tended to pass. This was a similar case, great importance ? It had not been the for could anyone believe, after having intention of the Irish Members to offer heard the speech of the right hon. Gen- any prolonged opposition to the Measure, tleman, that this Land Bill was meant to or even to weigh it with a great array pass? The First Lord of the Treasury of Amendments; on the contrary, they had stated that, as regarded the Agri- believed the Irish demands, or desires, cultural Rates Bill and the Education might be embraced in a very moderate Bill, the Government were determined to number of Amendments, and he saw no pass them, whether the Resolution before reason why the Debate on the Bill should the House was passed or not. ; but, with occupy a very long time. That was an reference to the Irish Land Bill, he said argument, surely, in favour of giving the that it trembled in the balance, and that Bill precedence over the Agricultural whether it passed or not would depend Rating Bill and the Education Bill, both on the action of the Irish Members. of which were extremely contentious What did that statement mean? It was Measures, and would occupy a long time. one of an extraordinary character, the Nationalist cheers.] The Irish Land like of which, he believed, had never Bill immediately and directly affected been made in the House by a Minister the interests of a very large class of on an important Government Measure at people ; in every respect it was more a similar stage of business. If it meant urgent than either of the Bills he had anything at all, it was meant as a threat just named, and therefore he urged that that the Irish Members were not to it should have precedence of those Bills. exercise their rights as private Members But why should it be placed behind both to criticise or oppose the Measure. But of the Bills? If the right hon. Gentlethe threat was uncalled for, because the man would give a pledge that the Irish Irish Members had not given the Gov- Land Bill should be placed in front ernment the slightest ground for believing of of the other

Bills, say that they intended to obstruct the Bill. the Rates Bill, so that they might The circumstance would go a long way have some security that the Meato convince the Irish people that the sure would not be pushed off to the Government had no serious intention very end of the Session, he would withat all of passing the Irish Land Bill. draw his opposition to the present



proposal of the Government. ["Hear, CAPTAIN BETHELL (York, E.R., hear!”]

When the First Lord of the Holderness) said, he thought it was Treasury expressed the hope that the greatly to be deplored that those Irish Members would allow the Land who led the House of Commons-on Bill to pass in the course of a few hours either side-should so overload the pro-in a time too short, in fact, to permit gramme of work that it became necessary them to express or enforce the views to ask the House for the whole of its of their constituents, he would remind time. It was a shortsighted course to the right hon. Gentleman that the Bill take, The opportunities of private was of so large and complicated a char- Members to initiate discussion or legislaacter that the Chief Secretary took three tion could not be wholly taken away hours and a half merely to introduce it. without harm being done to the House ["Hear, hear!"] It would be hard, and the country. (“ Hear, hear !”] He indeed, in such circumstances, that the did not intend to oppose the Resolution, Irish Members should be deprived of fair but earnestly invited the Leader of the opportunity to express their views and House to take the matter into careful the views of their constituents on the consideration ; for all who had reflected Bill. But this whole matter illustrated upon it would admit that not infrein a striking manner the radical evils of quently the discussions and proposals Irish Government. Why was it that in initiated by private Members had proved Irish Land Bills, and in other Irish Bills, of advantage to the House and the country. there were so many points that required He believed that right hon. Gentlemen amendment? It was because the Irish on both sides thought it essential to their Minister took his instructions and advice popularity in the country to overload in such cases from persons of one side the Session. That idea of theirs was an only. Men of Nationalist views, or men entire mistake. Opposition cheers.] One attached to the Nationalist cause, were or two Measures thoroughly discussed never consulted at all; their opinions would do much more to augment the and their advice were entirely ignored. popularity of any Government. [“ Hear, hear !”] The hon. Member for THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREAthe) St. Helens division had stated that SURY, who rose at the same time as the House had been more than 25 years several hon. Members, said : As there discussing the subject of Irish land legis- are Amendments to be discussed, perlation, but that it had never succeeded haps it would be convenient to the in settling the question and never would. House if I were now to reply to the He entirely agreed with the hon. Mem- speeches which have been made. [Oppober; the House of Commons never would sition cries of No, no !”] settle it while the unfair course was pur- MR. JOSEPH A. PÉASE (Northsued of trying to legislate on the question umberland, Tyneside), said, that he without consulting those who represented had a non-controversial Bill down for the opinions and feelings of the vast May 13—the Steam Engines (Persons majority of the people. It was, there in Charge) Bill. This Bill passed the fore, all the more the duty of the Irish House last year with the assent of all Members to insist on their right to place parties, and both employers and emsuch Amendments on the Notice Paper ployed were agreed as to its value. As as their constituents considered to be in all probability it would secure essential, with a view to making the early Second Reading if it came before Bill a really valuable one to the people the House, he hoped the Government of Ireland. Having repeated that he would give facilities for its discussion on should be sorry to see the provisions of May 13. the Bill relating to purchase and to MR. JOHN REDMOND (Watertenure lost, he said the Irish Members ford) said, that he took a very serious would do all they could to compel the view of the situation with regard to the Government to bring on the Committee Irish Land Bill and its chances of stage of the Bill at such a period as passing into law. He was most anxious would secure to them full opportunity of to make nothing in the nature of a moving those Amendments which they partisan speech, but to say something deemed to be absolutely essential. which might lead to the passing of the [“ Hear, hear !”]

Bill into law. He regretted extremely Mr. J. Dillon.



that the right hon. Gentleman had not the greatest possible interest and made a more satisfactory statement with sympathy to the proposal made by the regard to the Bill. In the main he right hon. Member for Bodmin. agreed with the hon. Member for East this point he was inclined to echo what Mayo in his description of it. It was a was said by the hon. Member for East Bill of the most vital necessity to the Mayo. Were the Government going to vast bulk of the population of Ireland. accept the right hon. Member's suggesIt was not satisfactory in all its details, tion or not? If the Government would and with regard to some of its clauses it agree to it, and if all the various parties required considerable amendment. But in the House would honestly and fairly while the tenure clauses were in some agree to it, then he should be delighted respects not so satisfactory as those in to see it carried into effect, and he the late Government's Bill, yet it was a believed it would be a means of carrying more comprehensive Measure, and dealt the Bill with certainty this Session. in an eminently satisfactory way, on the [“ Hear, hear ! ”] He regretted exwhole, with the vital question of pur- tremely that the Government had not chase. He did not believe that the put the Bill in an earlier portion of discussion of the Bill would occupy any their programme. In past years the prolonged period. ["Hear, hear ! "] It House had had occasion to complain of was not a case for a prolonged Debate the Leader of the House because he was on Second Reading. ["Hear, hear!”] not sufficiently frank and candid in exOn the principle of the Measure there plaining the course of business. During was very little difference of opinion the late Parliament he repeatedly between the various parties, and a long addressed questions to the then Leader Second Reading Debate must resolve of the House, and never received a frank itself into a discussion of those very and candid answer. [Ministerial cheers.] details which could only be dealt with But the right hon. Gentleman opposite in Committee. ["Hear, hear!”] The had been most brutally frank and candid. Second Reading ought not to take more Opposition laughter and cheers.) They than one or two nights; and he should could not complain that the right hon. be content with a single night, provided Gentleman was endeavouring to disguise that the time so saved should be devoted his programme,

which was

that the to the discussion in Committee. The Education Bill and the Rates Bill must hon. Member for East Mayo said that absolutely pass. They were to be taken he should insist on the right of the Irish before any serious progress was made Members to move Amendments. It was with the Committee on the Land Bill ; scarcely necessary for the hon. Member and if the Land Bill were to pass at all, to make that protestation. (Ministerial it could only be by Irish Members actcheers.) The most sanguine Leader of ing in a way which would only require the House who ever existed could not a limited time to be occupied by the imagine that any Bill of consequence discussion. He greatly deplored this would pass without those specially programme, and that the Land Bill had interested having a sufficient opportunity not been given the first place, which it to move Amendments. But while, of deserved. He would do anything in his course, the necessary Amendments must power to compel the Government to be moved to give expression to the views change their programme; but he had no which the Irish Members held with power to compel the change, and he regard to the deficiencies of the Bill, believed it to be his duty to get the yet, if the Committee

stage were Land Bill passed this Session. The approached in a practical business spirit, Irish Nationalist Members had no power and if the Irish Members of all parties to compel the Government to take the were actuated in Committee by a bond Land Bill first. Unfortunately they no fide desire to pass the Bill, the Committee longer held the Government in the hollow stage would not take long. [“ Hear, of their hand. [Ministerial cheers.] It hear ! ”] He did not see why a com- was better to look facts straight in the paratively short period should not suffice face. If the Irish Members held the to pass the Bill into law-comparatively Government in the hollow of their hand with the time occupied by such measures he would advocate a very

different as the Act of 1881. He listened with course. He did not gather from the



speech of the hon. Member for East, [Cheers.] He sincerely hoped that the Mayo whether he and his friends were present Land Bill would pass into law. going to vote against this Motion. The He wished the Bill to pass ; and he hon. Member sat down without precisely believed that the overwhelming majority stating his intentions. [Ministerial of the Irish Members wished it to pass also. laughter.] But he had heard that it was But they could only get it passed on the the intention of the hon. Member to Government terms. He did not like those vote against the motion of the Govern- terms, and he thought they were unjust. inent. His mind went back to what But he had no power to compel them to had happened in recent years on similar change the terms, and the question for motions. On April 9th, 1894, the then every Irish Member to consider was : Government—whom the Irish Members “Did they want this Bill passed this did hold in the hollow of their hand- Session or not?" That question he had [Ministerial cheers)-proposed to take answered in the affirmative, and he Tuesdays. He had looked in "Hansard” would take no tittle of responsibility for vainly for any speech of the hon. Mem- any action which would lead to the ber for East Mayo or any Member of his failure of its passage into law. He Party on that occasion. [ Laughter.] would, therefore, vote in favour of taking But he had found a short speech of his the whole time of the House for Govern

(Laughter.] He asked the ment business, and he would strenuously Government then to state what the advocate such an arrangement being precedence of the Bills would be, and arrived at between the Irish Members the Chief Secretary of the day, in reply, and the Government as would enable the stated that in asking for the time of the discussions on the Bill, if retained in the House the Government were asking for House, to be regulated with strict regard an expression of confidence from the to business, and in such a way as to inHouse, both as to their programme and sure its passage into law. ["Hear, as to the arrangement of it. There was hear !''] at that time an Evicted Tenants Bill on MR. BENJAMIN PICKARD (York, the stocks which every Irish Nationalist W.R., Normanton) said he had no stones Member regarded as of the most vital to throw at his own Party - Nationalist and pressing necessity; and the en- cheers)—but he reminded the right hon. deavour was made to get the Govern- Gentleman of a small deputation which ment to promise to take that Bill earlier. waited on him with regard to a day But those who made the attempt had being given for discussing the Mines not sufficient strength, and those who (Eight Hours) Bill. had the strength to exact the promise COLONEL WARING (Down, N.) said, did not use it, but remained silent, and he was anxious to loyally support the walked into the Lobby with the Govern-Government in this proposition as he ment. [Ministerial cheers.] In May of had supported them in others, but on 1894 the remainder of the time of the House this occasion his loyalty was conditional was taken by the late Government ; and ironical cheers from the Irish Memagain he asked the Government to state bers]—on the non-acceptance of the sugwhen they would go on with the Evicted gestion made by the right hon. Member Tenants Bill, but the Leader of the for Bodmin. The Irish Land Bill was House then wittily replied by reminding not a Measure which should be remitted him of the great man's saying that while to a Grand Committee to be discussed questions were generally discreet, answers by many who knew nothing about the were very seldom discreet. [Laughter.] subject.

[Laughter.] subject. Nor could he join in the Again, those who held the Government sanguine hopes of the hon. Member for in the hollow of their hands remained Waterford that this Bill could be looked silent, and voted in favour of taking the upon as non-contentious, or that it could time of the House. {Ministerial cheers.] be passed without a full discussion.

Sir W. HARCOURT: But we did MR. HENRY LABOUCHERE pass the Bill through the House of (Northampton) supported the appeal as Commons.

to the Miners' Eight Hours Bill. By MR. J. REDMOND said that it was the chances of the Ballot he had brought passed late in August, when everyone in a Bill himself, and he understood that knew it had no chance of becoming law. the Leader of the House or his colleagues

Mr. John Redmond.

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