said, he rose with deep regret to move the Notice which stood in his name. The Notice was in the following terms:—
Under any circumstances, it was a most disagreeable duty for any Member of Parliament to have to bring forward a Motion in condemnation of an appointment made by the Executive Government; but on the present occasion this duty was particularly disagreeable to him, because the gentleman named in the Motion was a personal Friend of his own, and the Government whose act he challenged was one under which he had served, and which still retained the confidence of the party to which it was his pride to belong. But there were occasions on which personal feeling and party allegiance must give way to a sense of duty, and he was satisfied that the great majority of the House—no matter into what lobby they would go when the division bell rang—would be of opinion, when the debate was over, that he could have adopted no other course than the one he was now pursuing, when all private remonstrance had failed to prevent the making of the appointment of which he now complained. For his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel White) he entertained the highest esteem. During the time he had been a Member of that House he had shown that he possessed abilities of no ordinary nature, and if ability was the sole qualification, there could be no objection to his appointment to the Lieutenancy of Clare. It was not on personal grounds that he objected to his hon. and gallant Friend's appointment. He objected to it on the ground that he was not qualified to be appointed to that high office, and that his appointment could not be justified by custom or usage. The office of Lord Lieutenant of a county was an office, as the House was aware, of a very important character. The Lieutenant of a county had practically the appointment of the magistrates of the county, for though legally the Lord Chancellor appointed them, he acted only on the recommendation of the Lieutenant. He had also the selection of Deputy Lieutenants from the magistracy whenever vacancies occurred, and though his duties with respect to the Militia were last year very much curtailed, he had still the nomination to first commissions of gentlemen who entered that force. The office was one of so much patronage and social rank that it was naturally an object of honourable ambition, and when a vacancy occurred it was the duty of the Executive to select a fit person for it Now, what ought to be the qualifications which a Government anxious to discharge its duty should have in view in selecting a Lieutenant of a county? He must, of course, be a man of character and integrity and he thought it would also be generally agreed that he should be a man of property in the county, and a man of position in the county—and of such position, that the appointment, if it did not satisfy every one, should at least commend itself to the general good sense of the county. He should also be acquainted with the resident gentry, for he would otherwise, when applications were made to him for the appointment of magistrates or Deputy Lieutenants, be obliged to lean on the opinions of others, instead of acting on his own judgment. If possible, moreover, he ought to be a resident in the county, for a resident Lord Lieutenant could exercise a great influence. He could soften a good deal of that asperity which naturally arose in the course of party contests, and by exercising a liberal hospitality he might bring together people who would not, perhaps, meet except at the neutral board of the County Lieutenant. He would now inquire whether his hon. and gallant Friend possessed those qualifications? On the 22nd of April Lord Inchiquin, who had for many years with honour to himself and advantage to the country, discharged the duties of Lord Lieutenant of the county of Clare, died, and much speculation naturally ensued as to who would be his successor. Many names were mentioned and their various claims canvassed; but he could assure the House that among those names his hon. and gallant Friend was never mentioned. In the county of Clare he was only known as a younger son of Lord Annaly—as an officer in the Guards, living in London, and attending at London or Windsor, or wherever his regiment was stationed, and Member for Tipperary. When, after a time, the rumour began to circulate that he was to be appointed, it was treated as a joke, more particularly because at the same time it was also rumoured that the Vice Lieutenancy was to be conferred on a gentleman well known in Ireland and also in that House, and a particular friend of the hon. Member for Shaftesbury (Mr. Glyn). ["Name!"] He referred to Mr. William Lane Joynt. When subsequently it became known that the rumour was no joke, and that his hon. and gallant Friend was to be recommended to the Queen for the Lord Lieutenancy of Clare, although he did not possess a single acre of land in the county, had never resided there, and was a total stranger in it, the news not only created a sensation, but also a feeling of deep indignation, and it was considered that the appointment was an insult to the county and to its resident gentry. Upon the assembly of Parliament, after the Recess, his hon. Friend the Member for Kerry (Mr. H. A. Herbert) asked a Question of the Prime Minister, and he must say that a more extraordinary answer was never returned. At present he would only refer to one part of it—namely, that in which the right hon. Gentleman stated, in reply to the hon. Member for Kerry, that there was no legal qualification necessary for a Lord Lieutenant of a county in Ireland. Now, that might, perhaps, be strictly the case in point of law; but he should be able to show that a qualification was contemplated by the Legislature when it passed an Act establishing Lieutenancies in Ireland, and that pledges were given to both Houses by the Government of the day that that qualification should be for ever maintained. In England the Lieutenancy was a common law office, which had existed from the reign of Mary, and Hallam stated in his Constitutional History that it had generally since that time been filled by a Peer or gentleman of large estate in the county. In Ireland, however, up to 1831, no such office existed. Up to that time there was a Custos Rotulorum in each county in Ireland, who partly discharged the duties now devolving on the Lord Lieutenant of recommending magistrates, while there was one, two, or three Governors, according to the size of a county, who discharged the duties with regard to the Militia. It was thought by the Government of Earl Grey, in 1831, that this system of county government in Ireland was a bad one, and that the English system should supersede it. A Bill was accordingly introduced by the Government in that year and was passed into law (1 & 2 Will. IV. c. 17); and the 17th section of that Act showed, he thought, what the intention of Parliament was as to who should be a Lieutenant of a county. That section provided that whenever any Lieutenant of a county should be absent from Ireland, or in any case of sickness or other disability should be unable to act, it might be lawful for the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland by warrant to appoint a Vice Lieutenant during his absence or disability, and on return of the Lieutenant to Ireland he was to notify the fact, and thereupon the Lord Lieutenant would revoke the appointment of the Vice Lieutenant. This, he thought, was a declaration by the Legislature that nobody should be appointed a Lieutenant of a county in Ireland who was not a resident in Ireland. The intention of the Government and of the Legislature of that day was more clear when tested by the declarations made in debate. On July 4, 1831, Lord Melbourne, who had introduced this Bill into the House of Lords, in moving the second reading, said its object was to establish in each county in Ireland an officer through whom there would be a settled communication between the Irish Government and the magistracy of the county—a responsible person of known property, local knowledge, and integrity, who—among other duties—would inform the Government as to the qualifications of persons to be appointed to the Commission of the Peace.—[3 Hansard, iv. 644.] Again, the Duke of Wellington, on the second reading, said—"To call attention to the appointment of Colonel the Hon. Charles White to the Lord Lieutenancy of the county of Clare; and to move, That this House has heard with great regret that a gentleman has been appointed Lord Lieutenant of Clare who has never resided in that county, who is a stranger to its Magistrates, and who does not possess that local knowledge of the county and its residents essential to the proper discharge of the important duties of a Lieutenant of a County, and that this House is of opinion that such an appointment is of evil example, and ought not to have been made."
Earl Grey said on the same occasion—"He would particularly direct the notice of Government to one point as most essential, which was, that the persons intrusted with this power should be resident generally in Ireland. So important did he consider this that he would like an Amendment to be introduced into the first clause of the Bill requiring that no person exercising the power of recommending magistrates should quit the country without the permission of the Lord Lieutenant; and, when such permission was given, such person should not leave Ireland until he had appointed a deputy (subject to the approval of the Lord Lieutenant) to act for him in his absence."—[3 Hansard, iv. 949.]
On the Report a clause was brought up by Lord Melbourne—the clause he had read—carrying out, as far as the Government thought they could safely do so, the suggestions of the Duke of Wellington. The Secretary for Ireland at that time, who had charge of the Bill in this House, was Lord Stanley, who said—"With respect to the qualifications of those persons, no doubt they should be of high character and rank, and above all, as suggested by the noble Duke, residents in the country. He had considered whether it would be possible to introduce into this Bill any limitation or provision to compel the Lords Lieutenant to reside in the country during the period of their appointment; but there was great difficulty on that point. In the first appointments, undoubtedly, residence would be an indispensable qualification, and he trusted the same qualification would be required under whatever Government the country would be placed…. The clause proposed by the noble Duke might be effectual, but it would place an extraordinary power in the hands of the Lord Lieuteuant of Ireland, which might at some time be tyrannically exercised. He trusted that residence would be enforced, if not by a provision of the Bill, at least by whatever executive power might be in existence when the appointment was made."—[Ibid. 951.]
In the following year, when a Motion was made complaining of one of these appointments, Lord Stanley again said—"This Bill would, he was convinced, tend greatly to promote the residence of the nobility and gentry in Ireland. Every Lord Lieutenant of a county when he left Ireland would be obliged to appoint a Vice Lieutenant, who, during the absence of the Lord Lieutenant, would execute the whole of the patronage. This would be a direct encouragement to the Lord Lieutenant to reside in Ireland."
These passages, he thought, bore out his construction of the Act—that if a local qualification was not prescribed in the words of the Act, yet the intention of the Legislature was that no person should be appointed Lieutenant who had not at the time a bonâ fide residence in Ireland. He challenged the Government to prove that his hon. and gallant Friend had such a residence. If so, where was it? Where was he rated? Where were his servants? Where did he pay his income tax? On this ground alone the appointment should not have been made. Then what had been the custom since the passing of the Act of 1831? Out of 32 persons first appointed under the Act only six did not reside in the county in which they were made Lieutenants, and not one was without a residence in Ireland. From that time, as far as he was aware, every Lieutenant of a county had been a resident in Ireland, and nearly all had been residents in the county in which they acted. He did not say that residence in the county was indispensable; but he should cite some very high authorities to show that it was highly desirable. At the time when the present Secretary for War (Mr. Cardwell) was Chief Secretary, and the Earl of Carlisle Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, a question arose in reference to the Lieutenancy of Londonderry; and in a debate which was originated by the Earl of Belmore in the House of Lords, Lord Carlisle said—"The object of the Government in bringing in this Bill had been to appoint persons residing in or contiguous to the county over which they would preside, who by their influence in the particular district, and by their residence, would be better able to attend to the interest of Ireland."
Then, defending the appointment of Mr. Lyle to the office, he said—"I hold, moreover, the primary qualification for the office of Lord Lieutenant to be that of residing in the county; and it is well known that the noble Marquess referred to (the Marquess of Waterford) not only never resides in Londonderry, but resides in the county of Ireland that is most remote from Londonderry."—[3 Hansard, clviii. 1644.]
Though he (Sir Colman O'Loghlen) did not go so far as to say that the law required residence in the county to which a Lieutenant was appointed, he did contend that such residence was most desirable. The first ground on which he impugned the appointment of his hon. and gallant Friend was that at the time of his appointment he had no residence in Ireland at all. His next ground of objection related to the possession of property in the county. No one denied that the possession of property in the county to which a gentleman was appointed Lord Lieutenant ought to be a necessary qualification for holding that office. But at the time the Prime Minister recommended his hon. and gallant Friend for the appointment of Lord Lieutenant of Clare the hon. and gallant Gentleman did not hold a single acre of and there. He might say, in passing, that the Act directed that the appointment of Lieutenants of counties in Ireland should be made by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, but the First Minister seemed to have taken the present one upon himself, and at the time he was appointed his hon. and gallant Friend was not the owner of a single acre in the county to which he was appointed. The First Minister stated this fact expressly in answering the hon. Member for Kerry—"Mr. Lyle has been for 15 years a Deputy Lieutenant of the county of which he is now made Lieutenant. He has regularly attended the noble juries, and he is intimately acquainted with the business, and with the gentry, and with the best interests of the county in which he resided."
The House would recollect this answer was given on the 23rd of April. The right hon. Gentleman proceeded—"I hope," said the right hon. Gentleman, "I shall be able to answer my hon. Friend in a manner which will give some satisfaction to him…It is true that I have recommended to Her Majesty's Government for the Lieutenancy of the county of Clare my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tipperary (Colonel White)."
Now, he ventured to say that this was one of the most extraordinary statements ever made by a Minister in this House. The right hon. Gentleman submitted to Her Majesty for the appointment the name of a gentleman who, he admitted, was not qualified by property to act as a Lieutenant of Clare. It was true a promise was made that he should be qualified; but he would ask what right had a Minister of the Crown to put the Lieutenancy of a county into a family settlement. It was most extraordinary that the Queen's Sign Manual should be put to a document in order that a family arrangement might be carried out for transferring estates from a father to a son. As he had said, the first question which he would submit was this, had his hon. and gallant Friend a residence in Ireland? He had not, and he challenged the right hon. Gentleman to prove that he had now or at the time of his appointment. In the second place, he submitted that his hon. and gallant Friend was not qualified, because at the time of his appointment he did not possess any property in Ireland. But assuming that residence in Ireland was not necessary; that actual property in Ireland was not necessary; and that a promise of property to be acquired was sufficient, he came to this question—which he considered a vital one—had his hon. and gallant Friend that position in the county at the time of the appointment which entitled him to be made a Lieutenant of Clare, and which would commend that appointment to the good sense of the county? What was the position of his hon. and gallant Friend in the county of Clare? There was no doubt that Lord Annaly did possess or had possessed considerable property in Clare; but it was not ancestral property. The noble Lord possessed ancestral property in the counties of Dublin and Longford, and he believed in other counties in Ireland, but none in Clare. His sole connection with that county was that 22 or 23 years ago Lord Annaly purchased property in Clare which had belonged to the Duke of Buckingham, and he had increased it by other property since acquired. But Lord Annaly never lived in the county nor any of his family. In 1859 there was a General Election, and Colonel Luke White came forward as a candidate for the county of Clare, not to defeat a political opponent, not to recover the county for the Liberal party, but to oust the Liberal Member for the county, Mr. Macnamara Calcott. The White family were new to the county, but Colonel Luke White was declared the sitting Member. A Petition was presented by Mr. Macnamara Calcott against his return. It was heard by a Committee, of which the present Lord Derby was Chairman, and the hon. Member for Berks (Mr. Walter) and the hon. Member for North Hants (Mr. Sclater-Booth) were Members, and the decision of the Committee was that Colonel Luke White was not duly elected, and that the election was void; and Colonel Luke White was disqualified for standing for the county on the ground that he had, by his agents, been guilty of bribery and treating. Mr. Macnamara Calcott started again for the county, and was opposed by the hon. and gallant Member for Tipperary. In the contest that ensued his hon. and gallant Friend was beaten by a majority of 2 to 1. Not satisfied, however, with his defeat, his hon. and gallant Friend petitioned the House against the return of Mr. Macnamara Calcott, but the Committee decided that Gentleman to be duly elected. From that day to this he ventured to say his hon. and gallant Friend had never been inside the bounds of the county. Such was the connection of the White family and of his hon. and gallant Friend with the county of Clare. The hon. Member for Kerry (Mr. H. A. Herbert) had asked whether his hon. and gallant Friend was a magistrate for the county. One reason for asking that question was that being a magistrate was considered to be the qualification in England for the office of Custos Rotulorum, which office was now united in Ireland with the Lieutenancy of the county. Blackstone stated that the Custos Rotulorum was always selected from among the justices of quorum, and was appointed on the grounds of his high character and acquaintance with the county business. But his hon. and gallant Friend was never a Justice of Peace of the county of Clare, or a Grand Juror—he never was a Poor Law Guardian, or even the governor of a lunatic asylum. In a social point of view his hon. and gallant Friend was equally a stranger to the county. He was not a member of the County Club or of the County Hunt. He was, in fact, a total stranger to the county—he had not a relative or connection in it, even if such matters were judged according to the custom of Scotland—where the relationship extended to the 131st cousin. It was a serious thing when they came to consider that a perfect stranger, who knew nothing of the county, and whose justice he had never administered, should have been put at the head of the county magistrates. The other point which Lord Carlisle considered essential for the position of Lieutenant of a county was that he should have a residence in it. He now challenged the First Minister to show that the hon. and gallant Member had any residence in Clare. On this point the answer already quoted was very curious. It ran—"Whether he is a Justice of the Peace or a Grand Juror of the county I am unable to say, because I have had no opportunity since the Notice of the Question was given of speaking to my hon. and gallant Friend on the subject; but I quite agree with my hon. Friend in what I take to be the substance of his Question—namely, that although there were not any legal conditions, yet there were attached to the office substantial conditions which it was most desirable to secure, and, moreover, that next to the qualifications of character and competent ability are the qualifications of property and residence….. My hon. Friend is aware that, although the hon. and gallant Member for Tipperary has not been down to the present time a landed proprietor in the county of Clare, his father, Lord Annaly, has hitherto been possessed of large estates in the county. Lord Annaly has determined to transfer forthwith to his son the absolute possession of those estates. That intention—and I hope it will not be thought a colourable qualification—having been announced to us spontaneously by Lord Annaly as a family arrangement, there still remains the question of residence. But we have also received an intimation that it is his (Colonel White's) intention to reside upon the estate. I believe there is a residence for all purposes that are necessary, and consequently we do not hold it would be necessary to inquire as to qualification, and into the amount of accommodation which the present residence affords, or whether my hon. and gallant Friend intends putting additions to it. I am not able to say whether the transfer of these estates in point of law has been absolutely completed; but substantially, both as to residence and property, my hon. Friend may consider the transfer as entirely and finally made."
Of course, if the hon. and gallant Member had said he would give up his position in the Army, abandon the delights of London life, and go and reside on his father's estates in Clare, no doubt he would do it; but it would certainly be a strange thing for him to do, at his time of life, and with the position he occupied in the Army. The answer continued—"There still remains the question of residence. But we have also received an intimation that it is his (Colonel White's) intention to reside upon the estate."
The hon. and gallant Member, he believed, had no residence in the county of Clare at all, and if a month before his appointment to this office a letter had been addressed to "Colonel the Hon. Charles White, County Clare, Ireland," he assured the House it would have been returned to the Department so well presided over by the right hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. Monsell)—the Dead-letter Department of the Post Office. He had since heard it said that Lord Annaly had a residence in the county of Clare, which, of course, would be transferred with the estates; and the name of it was given as Annaly Lodge, Broadford. For many years he had represented the county of Clare in this House, and until within the last week he never heard of Annaly Lodge, Broadford. On referring to Thom's Directory, he found mentioned there as residences of Lord Annaly—Woodlands, Clonsilla, county Dublin; Rathcline, county Longford, and Totness Park, Sunninghill, Berks; but Thom did not mention any residence in Clare, and he was glad to see the Attorney General making reference to that authority, as he would find there no mention of Annaly Lodge. Burke's Peerage, and Lodge's Peerage gave the same residences as Thom; and neither of them mentioned Annaly Lodge. The rate-book showed that this lodge, at which the Lieutenant was to dispense a generous hospitality—with all its greenhouses, stabling, &c.—was valued at £13 a-year. As the First Lord of the Treasury had accepted an invitation to Ireland he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would visit Annaly Lodge. The truth was, that eight or ten years ago Lord Annaly, or his agent, thought it expedient to build a small shooting lodge in Clare; and although it was roofed in, it was never finished; there was no furniture in it; and, of course, no member of the family had ever lived in it. True, there was a park or shooting woods attached to it; but the valuation of these, deducting the valuation of the lodge, was £35 10s. Was he not justified in bringing this appointment before the House? The gentleman appointed was most estimable in private life, and he deeply regretted that it was his duty to make these observations about him. "Some are born to greatness, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them;" and in this case the hon. and gallant Member had a position thrust upon him which he had no right to occupy, and for which he was perfectly unqualified, by want of residence in Ireland, by want of residence in the county, and by his being a perfect stranger to the county, and therefore totally unfit to discharge the duties of the office. Was it surprising that the gentlemen of Clare indignantly resented this appointment? They entertained, too, another objection which ought not to be overlooked by the House. Nothing was more dangerous to a Monarch than to have it believed that there was some person behind the Throne who ruled and directed everything. Nothing was more injurious to the Government of Lord Melbourne than the supposition that he acted under the influence of O'Connell, who was then a Member of this House. In modern times a Government had lost prestige because it was supposed to be influenced by a Member of the House not a Member of the Cabinet. A feeling existed in Clare that the real Lieutenant was another person. ["Name!"] It was not necessary to give the name; but he had no objection to state openly that the feeling in the county was that the real Lieutenant would be Mr. William Lane Joynt, Crown and Treasury Solicitor for Ireland. The county gentry had expressed their indignation in these words—"I believe there is a residence for all purposes that are necessary, and, consequently, we do not hold it would be necessary to inquire as to qualification and into the amount of accommodation which the present residence affords, or whether my hon. and gallant Friend intends putting additions to it."
This protest was signed by 16 out of 19 Deputy Lieutenants of the county, and by 69 out of a magistracy numbering substantially between 90 and 100; in addition to which other names were coming in every day. In the face of this protest, he asked whether he was not fully justified in bringing this matter before the House? But this was not all. In pursuance of a requisition signed by Deputy Lieutenants and magistrates of the county, the High Sheriff of the county convened a public meeting of magistrates at Ennis, which was held last Saturday. This meeting was attended by 34 magistrates, and a resolution was passed expressing disapproval of the appointment of Colonel White, with but one dissentient. If Colonel White had friends—he did not mean personal friends, for the hon. and gallant Gentleman had no personal enemy, but if he was backed by any among the magistracy who approved his appointment—it would surely have been easy for them to have come forward and said so by their votes in a meeting of their own body openly convened by the High Sheriff of the county and as openly held. He was sorry to detain the House; but there was another branch of the subject to which he must refer. The appointment of his hon. and gallant Friend was defended out-of-doors on very curious grounds, one of which was that the White family had done good service to the Liberal cause in Ireland. He did not deny that the White family had rendered services to the Liberal cause in Ireland. The history of the election contests they had been engaged in, if written down in a book, would make a most curious and entertaining volume. The counties of Dublin, Longford, Leitrim, and Tipperary had witnessed battles fought by the White family on behalf of the Liberal cause. In the county of Clare they had also fought, but there it was not in support of the Liberal cause, but against a Liberal candidate. The family had not confined their attention either to county constituencies or to Ireland, but had visited the boroughs of Carrickfergus and Kidderminster, of which last borough the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer must have a very grateful recollection. He did not dispute the claims of the White family to recognition by the Liberal Government. By the universal sanction of everyone who knew him the head of the family was raised to the Peerage, and was now in his old age surrounded by troops of friends; but why should another member of the family be rewarded by elevation to an office for which he was not fitted? If the family had not been sufficiently rewarded, why not make Lord Annaly a Viscount or an Earl—he would not go further, because Marquisates were reserved for the successful negotiators of treaties, and he did not think all the eloquence of the Crown and Treasury Solicitor in Ireland would be sufficient to induce the hon. Member for Shaftesbury (Mr. Glyn) to recommend the noble Lord for a Dukedom. If there was no other means of showing respect to the White family, he, for one, should not object to his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tipperary (Colonel White) being raised to the Peerage alongside his father; and if that was not a sufficient reward, let him be made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, an office which was about to become vacant, or Vice Chancellor of the Queen's University in Ireland, a post which was not at present vacant, but which his hon. Friend (Sir Dominic Corrigan) might, no doubt, be induced "spontanously" to give up if proper language was used. All he objected to was the attempt to reward any member of the family by appointing him to an office he was not fitted to fill, and for which there were so many eligible candidates. He did not think it necessary to run through the whole catalogue of eligible persons; but as he had himself recommended one, he might mention his name. He alluded to Colonel Francis Macnamara, a descendant of one of the oldest families in the country, the owner of an estate more ample than that of Lord Annaly, a man who voted for the Liberal cause in that House for three years, and whose father held the county of Clare for the Liberal party during 22 years. He could name many other gentlemen who were also eminently well fitted for the office. Why not have appointed his hon. and gallant Colleague in the representation of the county (Colonel Vandeleur), who would be admirably well suited for the post, although he sat on the Conservative side of the House? If there was a proper person for a Lord Lieutenancy who held the opinions of the Government of the day, by all means let him be appointed; but the absence of such a man was no justification whatever for the appointment of an utter stranger. In the debate on a Motion brought forward in that House on the 13th of April, 1869, in reference to the appointment of a Lord Lieutenant of Cumberland, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) used the following words:—"We, the undersigned magistrates and Deputy Lieutenants of Clare, have heard with deep regret that Colonel the Honourable Charles White has been appointed Lord Lieutenant of this county. While recognizing in the fullest manner the right of the Executive Government to appoint any person they may think fit to be Lord Lieutenant of a county, we cannot but express our opinion that the person appointed to that high office should be connected with the county by residence and local knowledge of its magistracy and gentry. Colonel the Honourable Charles White has up to this time never resided in this county; he is not a magistrate or grand juror of it, and, being a total stranger to its residents, he must be entirely dependent on others, in the discharge of his duties, for local information. On these grounds we respectfully protest against his appointment to the office of Lord Lieutenant of this county, and call on our representatives in Parliament to take such steps as they may think proper to make this our protest known to Her Majesty's Government and to Parliament."
In the case, also, of the appointment of a Lord Lieutenant for the county of Londonderry, the gentleman who was appointed differed in politics from the Government of the day. Another argument that had been used in favour of the appointment was that it was desirable to destroy the old régime in the county of Clare, under which "no Papist need apply" to be placed upon the Commission of the Peace. He regretted deeply the use of such language, and disbelieved entirely that the mere fact of a gentleman being a "Papist" would, under any circumstances, cause his being chosen for the magistracy. He at any rate was not animated in any way by considerations of party politics; but desired simply to see that done which would be most to the advantage of the county which he had the honour to represent. The fact was, that out of 32 Lieutenants of counties, 22 were Liberals, so that there was no political reason why a Liberal should be selected for the Lieutenancy of Clare. He apologized to the House for the time he had detained them. He did not consider that the Resolution in any way interfered with the Prerogative of the Crown, this patronage being really exercised by the Ministry. It was casting no slur upon Her Majesty when he asked the House to say that this was an appointment of evil example which ought not to be followed. It tended directly to absenteeism—it tended to disparage the local gentry—it told them—"You may discharge all the duties of your station and act as magistrates and grand jurors; but when the highest honours of the county become vacant you are not fitted to fill them, no matter what may be your title, wealth, or position; and we will put in a stranger over your head," That was not the way to govern Ireland. It was not governing Ireland according to "Irish ideas" when absentees were appointed and the local gentry, who acted in times of difficulty and danger, were passed over. He had brought forward this subject with great regret and pain, for the hon. and gallant Gentleman whose appointment he questioned was a personal Friend of his own, and possessed influence in Clare. It was not a pleasant thing to attack an influential supporter of his in his own county; but he had felt it his duty to do so, and having done his duty must now leave the House to do theirs. The right hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by moving his Resolution."I am sure the House will not place me in the invidious position of having to go through a catalogue raisonné of the gentlemen in the county of Cumberland who might possibly be fit for the office of Lord Lieutenant; but I may say that their claims were thoroughly examined into, not in the light of party interests only, but with a due regard to the public weal. I have always been anxious, when in office, never to recommend any person to a high post under circumstances which would not command further confidence; and I should not have hesitated, in this instance, to have recommended a gentleman professing Whig politics, if it had been in my power to place before Her Majesty a name which should have immediately been recognized as an unimpeachable appointment. It is not a very easy thing to find a Lord Lieutenant, especially when the number from whom to choose is limited. There are gentlemen in the county who have estates, but who are not resident, and gentlemen who are resident, but have no estates.…So far from not having given the matter full consideration, I took pains to make myself acquainted with the general opinion of the county of Cumberland upon the subject, and I cannot see that I have been deceived in this respect."—[3 Hansard, cxcv. 736–7.]
Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That this House has heard with great regret that a gentleman has been appointed Lord Lieutenant of Clare who has never resided in that county, who is a stranger to its Magistrates, and who does not possess that local knowledge of the county and its residents essential to the proper discharge of the important duties of a Lieutenant of a County, and that this House is of opinion that such an appointment is of evil example, and ought not to have been made."—(Sir Colman O'Loghlen.)
I think the House will agree with me that the right hon. and learned Gentleman has brought forward his Motion in a speech of great ability, though we may perhaps think it might with advantage have been somewhat curtailed. I am quite ready to admit that he has, on the whole, treated what must have been to him a painful subject in a temperate and moderate spirit, excepting a few allusions which might, I think, have been omitted. He has given us some details, which were scarcely necessary, as to the history of the White family, the elections they have contested, and the claims he thinks they thus possess upon the Government. But, on the other hand, the right hon. and learned Gentleman has given us a great deal of interesting and valuable information, both respecting the institution of Lieutenants of counties, and the history of the families in the county he knows so well. I do not in the least underrate the importance of the Motion he has brought before the House. To a certain extent, I am perfectly aware, it is a Vote of Censure upon the whole Government, and it is a most direct Vote of Censure upon the Irish Government, which I represent. I say I do not underrate the importance of the Motion; but I hope it will not be thought that I am guilty of any disrespect either to the right hon. and learned Gentleman or to the House, if I do not emulate the length to which he ran, but attempt to dispose of a very simple matter in a short and very simple way. The question before the House is really not whether Colonel White is the most fit of all the candidates for the Lieutenancy of Clare; but whether he is a properly and duly qualified candidate. So far as I can make out, his qualifications are impugned upon three grounds. The first objection is, that when appointed to the office he was not possessed of any property in the county; secondly, it is said that he is not now, and has not been, a resident in the county; and thirdly, that he is not possessed of any local knowledge of the county or the magistracy. Now, the right hon. and learned Gentleman is himself obliged to admit, as to the first of these objections, that the possession of property is not a legal qualification. About that point there is no doubt. Her Majesty's Government are quite as willing to admit, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman can be, that property in the county is an essential though not a legal qualification for the office. As far as I am aware, however, it has never been held that the actual possession of property is essential, if the person appointed were known and recognized as heir to large estates. The right hon. and learned Gentleman can hardly be ignorant of the fact that in several instances the, eldest sons or heirs to large estates have been appointed without the smallest objection by anyone. In this way the present Duke of Rutland, then Marquess of Granby, was, I believe, appointed Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire. Though not then possessed of any property in the county, he was no doubt perfectly qualified as the heir to large estates there, and well acquainted with the county. A more recent appointment was called in question in this House. On the resignation of the late Lord Lonsdale, his nephew, Colonel Lowther, was made joint Lieutenant of Cumberland and Westmoreland. He was heir to his uncle; but as far as I am aware, was not possessed of property in either county, and the case is a strong one because, though the appointment was questioned here, not one word was said about the absence of a property qualification. Colonel White was designated by Lord Annaly as heir to large estates in Clare, and we, therefore, considered that, so far as a property qualification was essential, that condition was entirely fulfilled. On this part of the subject the right hon. and learned Gentleman made an allusion which I think cannot be justified. He intimated that property had been transferred to Colonel White, in order to give him the necessary qualification. That insinuation is, I am happy to say, entirely without foundation. I should not have thought it necessary to mention the circumstances unless that insinuation had been made but I happen to know that some little time ago, during the lifetime of the late Lord Lieutenant of Clare, who was in extremely bad health, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland asked Lord Annaly whether, in the event of a vacancy, and in the event of his being considered an eligible candidate, he would desire that the Lieu tenancy should be conferred upon his eldest son, Colonel Luke White; and a that time Lord Annaly informed my noble Friend that the Clare estates would be left to his second son, Colonel Charles White. No more was said about the matter at that time; but this fact disposes of the insinuation that the appointment of Colonel Charles White had anything to do with his inheritance of these estates. The second objection to the appointment is, that Colonel White has not hitherto been a resident in the county. I consider this the most important objection, and it seems to me the only point upon which an explanation is really required. I am quite willing to admit that residence is an essential qualification for the office of Lieutenant of a county. Indeed, I go further than the right hon. and learned Gentleman goes on this point. He says that residence in Ireland is an essential qualification, while residence in the county is only desirable. Now, a man may reside in Dublin, and may be no more fit to discharge the duties of the office than if he resided in London. But residence in the county, if not a legal, is, I think, an essential qualification; and upon this point the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and the Government thought it necessary to institute an inquiry. There was a difficulty in the filling-up of this appointment. No doubt the absence of residence in the county was an objection to Colonel White. That was stated both to Lord Annaly and to Colonel White, and we received assurances from them which were satisfactory. The promise of my hon. and gallant Friend was as good as anything more formal, and we received from him an assurance that as, by the act of his father, he had been made one of the largest landed proprietors in the county of Clare, he intended becoming a resident proprietor, and to reside in the county during a part of the year. I acknowledge that my hon. and gallant Friend did not express any intention of giving up either his position in the Army or his seat in this House; but I should be surprised if holding a commission in the Household Troops or a seat in this House should be any disqualification for the post of Lord Lieutenant of a county. Of course, these duties would take up a considerable portion of my hon. and gallant Friend's time; but having the distinct assurance of my hon. and gallant Friend that he will reside during a portion of the year in the county, that is sufficient. The third objection to the appointment is, that my hon. and gallant Friend does not possess any knowledge of the county, or any acquaintance with the magistrates. I presume, however, the explanation I have given on the question of residence will almost answer this point also. We admit that my hon. and gallant Friend does not at present possess a knowledge of the county; but we submit that it is not required that a Lieutenant should have knowledge of the county as regards the past, or even that he should have present knowledge of the county, but that he should be in a position to possess such knowledge in the future. The Lord Lieutenant of a county is not required to write a history of the county over which he is called to preside. His duty is to make himself acquainted with the magistrates, and with the persons who are eligible to be magistrates, and with those also who are eligible for commissions in Militia regiments, that he may judge of their fitness for the posts they seek. If the pledge given to us is acted on—as I have no doubt it will be—residence in the county will give knowledge of the county, and enable my hon. and gallant Friend to watch the interests of the county. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has referred to the debate on the Lieutenancy Bill, and he quoted a passage from a speech by Lord Grey which did not tell very much in his favour. Lord Grey attached so much importance to residence, that he questioned whether it would not be expedient to introduce a clause in the Bill making it imperative. We entirely concur in Lord Grey's view; but Lord Grey did not require that the Lord Lieutenant should have resided in the county, but that he would reside there. It never occurred to Lord Grey, or to any other reasonable person, that previous knowledge of the county was essential, as long as there was a reasonable assurance that future residence would enable the holder of the office to acquire the necessary knowledge. But the right hon. and learned Gentleman went on to assure us that Colonel White was not objected to so much on account of personal unfitness, as from the fact that the real patronage of the county would fall into the hands of the Treasury Solicitor, Mr. Lane Joynt, to whom the right hon. and learned Gentleman alluded as the shadow which stood behind the Throne. This shadow seemed greatly to haunt the imagination of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. Upon one occasion the right hon. and learned Gentleman applied to me with reference to the appointment of a governor of a lunatic asylum in the county of Clare, and when there was some slight hesitation about appointing the right hon. and learned Gentleman's nominee, he wrote an extremely indignant letter to me, saying he knew the question of the appointment had been referred to Mr. Lane Joynt, whose shadow would stand behind the Throne. In my reply to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, I assured him that not a single word had been written or spoken to Mr. Lane Joynt upon the subject, and he assured me on that occasion that he was perfectly satisfied. I hope that upon this occasion he will be satisfied with my assurance, when I tell him that not one word has been said or written to Mr. Lane Joynt upon this subject, either by myself or by any other Member of the Government. I hope the hon. and gallant Member (Colonel White) will, if he addresses the House at a later period of this debate, give the right hon. and learned Gentleman equal satisfaction, by his assurance that in the administration of the affairs of the Lieutenancy he will act upon his own opinion, and not allow himself to be overshadowed by the terrible spectre which haunts the imagination of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I cannot leave this correspondence without recalling to the mind of the right hon. and learned Gentleman that in one of his letters he laid down the principle that appointment to the governorships of lunatic asylums was the undoubted privilege of the county Member. I do not know whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman thinks the appointment of the Lord Lieutenancy is also part of the undoubted patronage of the county Members. He did not say so to-night in as distinct terms as he laid down the other principle in the correspondence I have referred to; but I must demur to both with equal decision. Now, Sir, I do not know whether the House desires me to enter upon a discussion of the merits of the other candidates for the office. ["No, no!"] I can assure the House I will gladly abstain from doing so. The next point to which I have to refer is the reference made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman to what he describes as a protest signed by the county magistrates against the appointment of Colonel White. I have seen no protest; I do not know anyone who has; I have seen a report in the newspapers of a meeting on the subject; and that meeting does not seem to me to tell in favour of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. We were told there was great excitement in the county, and that the magistrates had met to protest against the appointment. But that meeting was attended by only 32 gentlemen, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not inform the House the number of magistrates in the county of Clare.
said, there were 150 on the roll, and between 90 and 100 resident in the county.
But out of the 150 on the roll only 32 met to protest against an appointment which we are told is universally regarded as an insult to the magistracy of the county. The right hon. and learned Gentleman says the resolution was carried unanimously, and asks why, if the feeling were not general, no opposition had been raised against the protest. But it is hardly reasonable to expect that the supporters of the gentleman appointed would attend a meeting called to condemn the appointment. I am not surprised that the solitary gentleman who did attend the meeting in the interest of my hon. and gallant Friend did not secure a seconder; and I must say he is a friend who is more to be commended for the warm of his attachment than for his discretion. I do know something about the magistrates who attended the meeting, and I am informed that a considerable number of them were not magistrates possessed of any property whatever in the county, but were merely agents of others, and gentlemen whose opinions therefore could not be regarded as of very great weight. But when the right hon. and learned Gentleman asks by whom this protest was signed, I should like to hear from him or from some of his Friends, by whom it was prepared, and whether it emanated from the county of Clare or from the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his Friends. I am quite ready to admit that there is dissatisfaction in the county on the subject of this appointment; but I do not believe that that dissatisfaction originated in the county, nor that it originated in the county, and was transferred to the right hon. and learned Gentleman as the mouthpiece of the county. I believe—and I am sorry to say it—that it originated in a feeling of disappointment—I will not say of anything else—on the part of certain hon. Gentlemen who are a great deal nearer to this House than the county of Clare. I believe it originated much more in London than in the county of Clare. If that be the true explanation, as I believe it is, of all this business, I can hardly imagine that this House, although it likes to take up a great number of multifarious subjects, will deem it to be part of its functions, or one of its bounden duties, to redress the wrongs of gentlemen who might think they have a claim to the office of Lord Lieutenant of Clare superior to that of my hon. and gallant Friend. If it can be shown that my hon. and gallant Friend is in any way unfitted for the post he holds, I can understand the House taking up the matter. But it has been acknowledged in an ample manner by the right hon. and learned Gentleman that every personal qualification that is required for his position is possessed by my hon. and gallant Friend. I have shown that in our opinion—and I hope also in the opinion of the House—the Lord Lieutenant of Clare has all the substantial and legal qualifications that are necessary; and I trust, therefore, the House will not make itself the means of redressing the fancied wrongs—for I cannot allow that they are real wrongs—of any hon. Gentleman who may think that he has been passed over in this instance. The right hon. and learned Gentleman mentioned that this matter of the appointment of Lords Lieutenant of Irish counties is one which is vested by Act of Parliament entirely in the hands of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Now, my noble Friend the present Lord Lieutenant of Ireland is perfectly ready to take the responsibility of the appointments he has made of Lords Lieutenant of counties in every case, and especially in this case. It is true that these appointments are of such importance that my noble Friend never makes one of them without consulting my right hon. Friend at the head of the Government, and I may here say that my right hon. Friend is perfectly prepared to take any responsibility that may belong to him on this question. The real responsibility, however, practically rests with my noble Friend the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and he is quite ready to bear it. I could have desired that my noble Friend had an opportunity of defending in the House of Lords his appointments, in the same way as the late Lord Carlisle, when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, once had of defending his; but as the statement of his case has devolved not on him, but on me, I may be allowed to say what my noble Friend could not have said of himself—and that is that I conscientiously believe there never was a Lord Lieutenant of Ireland who has acted under a greater sense of responsibility, or with greater care and attention in regard to all appointments, than my noble Friend has done ever since he became Lord Lieutenant. I do not believe that any Lord Lieutenant of Ireland ever took more pains than he has taken to make himself personally and locally acquainted with that country, and with every county in it—the most remote as well as those near to Dublin. I also do not think that any of his predecessors have taken more pleasure in the discharge of the duties of his office. I think he esteems it a great honour to hold the high office he fills. I am certain he has a feeling of pride in the execution of its duties, and that he would not wish to continue one moment in that position if the House of Commons asserts—as it would assert by assenting to the Motion of the right hon. and learned Gentleman—that he is capable of making a corrupt or an unworthy use of the patronage which is attached to it.
said, he wished to state the reasons why he must vote against the Motion. He entirely disagreed from the right hon. and learned Gentleman who had made it, both as regarded the law he had laid down in reference to his Motion, and also as to the expediency of the Motion itself. He maintained that in England, in Scotland, and in Ireland, the office of Lord Lieutenant of a county being regulated by statute, there was no qualification attached to that office, and that gentlemen had been repeatedly appointed Lords Lieutenant in all three parts of the United Kingdom by previous Governments who had neither residence nor property in the counties over which they were placed. He would enumerate the case of the Earl of Mansfield, who was made Lieutenant of Clackmannan by Lord Derby's Government in 1852; the case of the Earl of Dalkeith, who was made Lieutenant of the county of Dumfries in 1858. Sir Graham Montgomery who was made Lieutenant of Kinrossshire in 1854; and the Earl of Wemyss had been made Lieutenant of Peeblesshire in 1853, having no residence there but the Castle of Nidpath, which for years had been in ruins. Was it, he asked, intended to issue a Commission to inquire whether property and residence in their counties existed in regard to all Lords Lieutenant appointed either by Lord Derby's, Lord Aberdeen's, or any other Ministry, and rightly appointed, as he assumed, because no exception had been taken to their nomination? His own opinion was, that the Motion had been thrust upon the right hon. and learned Gentleman by three owners of property in Clare, who considered themselves entitled to the appointment. References had been made to the elections in which the White family had been engaged from the year 1812 to the present time; but the election proceedings of that family had proved of some use, he believed, to the cause of Catholic Emancipation. On the part of the Irish Roman Catholics he begged to express his satisfaction that the family of Colonel White, who had stood by their cause in the time of Catholic Emancipation, had at length had its claims recognized. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said he had no objection to the appointment of the hon. and gallant Gentleman on either personal or public grounds. It must, therefore, be upon local grounds that the right hon. and learned Gentleman objected to the appointment, and those grounds must be founded in the belief that Colonel White would abuse the trust that was placed in him by permitting Mr. William Lane Joynt actually to make all the appointments which were nominally made by the Lord Lieutenant. He was satisfied that the hon. and gallant Gentleman would not be guilty of such conduct. The hon. and gallant Gentleman had been assailed most unhandsomely on this occasion, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman, while declaring that he only made this Motion on public grounds, had condescended to enter into the meanest personal details. Everyone knew that the hon. and gallant Gentleman would discharge his duties with honour and with great ability; and under these circumstances he trusted the House would not allow to succeed a Motion which was instigated by political hostility, by political rivalry, and by political disappointment.
wished to assure the hon. and gallant Member for Tipperary (Colonel White), that in the remarks he was about to make he was actuated by a feeling of public duty, and not by a wish to annoy him. He must, however, say that he did not like the way in which the hon. and gallant Gentleman had been made the Lord Lieutenant of the county of Clare over the heads of the magistrates who had lived for years in that county, and who must, therefore, possess a knowledge of those who lived in it which he necessarily could not have. While admitting that the hon. and gallant Gentleman had discharged his duties in the Army and in that House with great ability and energy, he could not help being influenced in his judgment as to the expediency of the appointment by the fact that he had not possessed any property in the county at the time he was selected by the Government to fill the office, and that he was not then a resident in Ireland. No doubt his father meant to leave the property to him; but supposing the father were to die in the meantime intestate, there would be a Lord Lieutenant for Clare without any property in the county. Absenteeism had given rise to great evils, and the Government were wrong in encouraging it, by appointing an absentee to such an office. He was glad to hear that the hon. and gallant Gentleman was going to reside in the county; those who knew him as well as he did would acknowledge that he was a good fellow; but he doubted much whether he would reside there—although he said he would—for a sufficient time to enable him to acquire that knowledge of the people, which was requisite for the holder of the office of Lord Lieutenant of the county.
said, that the appointment of an absentee to this office had given rise to considerable excitement in the county, a feeling which was not confined to the magistracy, but was generally entertained by the people at large. The people of Clare did not like to have a man whom they had scarcely seen put over their heads. The hon. and gallant Member for Tipperary (Colonel White) had stood for the county in 1860, when he had opposed a Liberal candidate, and when there were expressions used which he did not like to repeat. As an ex-magistrate of Clare, he begged to enter his protest against this appointment.
I wish to say a few words upon this subject, not because I am particularly well acquainted with the county of Clare, although I know that the hunting to which the right hon. and learned Gentleman has alluded is the worst in Ireland, but because I am a constituent of my hon. Friend—and I call him "my hon. Friend" not in the sense in which he has been so called to-night by some of his "damn'd good-natured friends." ["Order!"] Are hon. Members not aware that it is a quotation? If The Critic is an improper book to quote from, I apologize to you, Sir, for having used the expression—I call him my hon. Friend, not because I take a particular interest in Clare, but because I am proud of the hon. and gallant Member for Tipperary, because I know his good qualities as a man and his ability as a Member of this House. While I can do full justice to the feelings evinced on this occasion; while I know the sensitiveness which has been evoked by the hon. Member for Ennis (Mr. Stacpoole), who was a candidate for this office; while I acknowledge the disinterested manner in which, feeling that disappointment keenly, he has thrown up the Commission of the Peace of that county; while I do justice to the motives of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for that county; while I acknowledge the variety of information which, through the means of this Paper, he conveys to the House, the multitudinous Motions which he puts upon it; and while I admire his great ability in every respect—more especially in having lately extracted the longest answer from the Attorney General that ever was given; while I still more admire the paternal ingenuity with which he contrived to make away with his own legislative bantling by performing the "happy despatch" upon it on a late occasion, I regret that in this instance he has been seduced, by what I call the parochial animus, to make this great storm in the House about a very little matter. I regret it the more from one in his position, considering his descent and his politics, and I think I may address him in the words of Cassius to Brutus—
"Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
I have not from your eyes that gentleness
And show of love that I was wont to have.
You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
I regret that the right hon. and learned Gentleman should have borne so heavy a hand on the present occasion. He did not in the whole course of his very carefully-elaborated speech say a single word to show that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tipperary is not a fit and proper person to be appointed Lord Lieutenant of the county of Clare. If the Hon. Charles White is a fit person to represent the interests of the great county of Tipperary in this House, much more is he fit to reign over the magistrates of Clare, and appoint those strange creatures called Deputy Lieutenants, of whom I could never yet make out the use. There is an old proverb which says that if one Irishman is put on a spit there will immediately be found two more to turn him. Of the justice of that proverb we have had an example to-night. An attempt has been made to throw discredit on the White family, on account of the money which they have spent in elections; but my right hon. and learned Friend ought to be the last person to deal in any expressions of that kind. He alluded to the election for Clare in 1859. Has he forgotten that great election for the same county which shook the fetters from the Roman Catholics, when O'Connell stood for Clare, and was materially assisted by the White of that day? He should have recalled that election to mind, before he said a word in disparagement of the grandson of that gentleman. And what, let me ask, is this office of Lord Lieutenant, about which we have heard so much? The qualifications for it, I believe, are generally supposed to be property, residence, and, above all, a political diploma. Well, nobody can deny that my hon. and gallant Friend has, or will have, considerable property in Clare. It is true a most ungenerous attempt has been made to turn into ridicule the rating of Annaly House; but it is an attempt which is, I think, unworthy of the occasion. As to residence, I congratulate the county of Clare on having got among them a gentleman whom they cannot fail to regard as being one good Irishman the more; and as to political diploma, there may in this respect have been some neglect on the part of the Government, for they might have remembered the unswerving devotion of the hon. Member for Ennis, who, on all questions, except, perhaps, relating to a Royal residence in Ireland, has proved himself to be one of their most constant supporters. I hope he will continue to be so, for I do not understand that he has resigned his seat for Ennis. With regard to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tipperary, it is well known that he opposed the Government on the Land Bill, on the Re-organization of the Army Bill, and on the Peace Preservation Bill. I trust he will continue to hold the same independent course, and that he will not be seduced by the baubles of a Lord Lieutenancy. But I regret that this question has ever come before the House. I think it was unworthy of the position of the right hon. and learned Gentleman to have brought it forward, and unworthy of the House to entertain it. Whether the House entertains it or not, and whatever the shortcomings of the Government may be, I do not for a moment imagine that their conduct in this instance will be censured by the Irish votes. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has been commissioned by 31 magistrates out of 150 who met in a hole and corner—no one else being admitted, but I hope he will rest satisfied with having called attention to the subject; but in any case I trust the House will not express its disapproval of the conduct of the Government, but will, I was almost going to say, thank them for having made so bold and good and honest a choice.Over your friend that loves you."
expressed his thanks to the Government for having made an appointment in which not only Clare, but he might say the whole of Ireland, was interested, for the Irish people were glad to see a compliment paid to a member of a family who had fought their battles in past times. The House had been told that 30 magistrates had assembled at a hole-and-corner meeting and protested against the appointment to the Lord lieutenancy of Clare. But Clare had a population of 130,000. Why was not an aggregate meeting called and the general opinion asked? Why, the result would have been an approval of the appointment. An objection had been made to the appointment of Colonel White that he was a stranger to the county of Clare. The magistrates of Clare had taken that view. But in 1829 the magistrates of Clare took the same view. They objected to O'Connell because he was a stranger. O'Connell replied that he was identified with the people of Clare in everything that could identify man with man. The Government had done nothing more than repay a debt of gratitude which every Liberal in Ireland owed to the White family.
said, it was not his intention to detain the House more than a few moments—in the first place, because he was physically incapacitated from doing so; and, in the second place, because he thought it would be more modest, and would show more proper feeling on his part, if he were to leave the defence of his appointment in the hands of those who were so well capable of defending it, if they deemed it to be right. He would not even touch on the speech of the right hon. and learned Gentleman who brought forward the Motion (Sir Colman O'Loghlen), save to say that he thought the right hon. Baronet might have spared him and his family the sneer in which in the course of it he deemed it right to indulge. He would say very little or nothing with regard to the compliment the right hon. and learned Gentleman had paid him in supposing that he was not competent to discharge the duties and responsibilities attached to the office of Lord Lieutenant of Clare. The right hon. and learned Gentleman, he durst say, had some reason for thinking that he (Colonel White) was not fit for that office; but he was not quite sure that the sentiment of the right hon. and learned Gentleman was reciprocated by the Gentleman to whom he had referred. The feeling which he (Colonel White) experienced at the present moment on this subject was an intensely painful one—so painful that it might be wondered that he still cared to be Lord Lieutenant of Clare. If his personal feelings were to be consulted in this matter, he should be bound to relinquish the honour which had been conferred upon him; but nothing would induce him to take that step short of a decisive vote of the House, and for this reason—that if he did so, he should be doing that which, in the first place, would be unjust to himself; and, in the second place, would be unjust to those who had done him the honour of appointing him to this post, and of supposing that he was competent to discharge the duties and responsibilities attached to it. But, above all, if he did so, he would be doing that which was unjust to the Liberal gentry and to the people of the county of Clare, and not only to them, but to the Liberal party in the South of Ireland. He looked upon this appointment as the embodiment of the principle that religious or political opinion ought not to debar a gentleman of position, a gentleman of worth, a gentleman of loyalty, a gentleman of high standing and of credit from an equal share, at least, in the administration of local affairs; and that it was not for the public weal that any section or clique should monopolize the privileges, honours, and responsibilities attached to such an office. For his own part, he could only say that it should be his endeavour, if the House thought fit to ratify the appointment the Government had made, by a consistent course of entire impartiality to do his best to obliterate the unpleasant feelings which might exist at present. And as to the future, he had far too exalted an opinion of the sense of fair play, justice, and good feeling of the magistracy and gentry of the county of Clare to suppose for one moment that he would not be welcomed when he went amongst them—as go he would—with that kindliness, courtesy, and good feeling which he was sure they could not fail to extend to one whose aim would be to convince them that his only desire was to do that which was right.
said, the hon. and learned Member for Tipperary (Mr. Heron) had endeavoured to justify this appointment by referring to the appointments of certain noblemen as Lords Lieutenant in Scotland. The hon. and learned Member said that Lord Wemyss had no residence in the county of which he was appointed Lord Lieutenant. He believed the hon. and learned Member was grievously misinformed on that subject. The hon. and learned Member said the Earl of Mansfield had no property in the county of which he was appointed Lord Lieutenant. On that subject also, he believed the hon. and learned Member was grievously misinformed. And as to the Earl of Dalkeith, he had been a resident during the greater part of his life in the county of which he was appointed Lord Lieutenant, and was the heir of enormous property there. The hon. and learned Gentleman ought to have known the difference between a heir presumptive and a heir apparent. He (Lord Claud Hamilton) complimented the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel White) on his ability. He had always heard him spoken of in the highest terms, and therefore he regretted to have to record a vote against his appointment.
said, he was induced to say a few words in consequence of what had fallen from the noble Lord who had just sat down. He confessed that until a recent period it was his intention not to have taken a part in the division. During the last few hours he made himself acquainted with the facts, which had very much changed his opinion. The noble Lord who had just spoken had alluded to some appointments which were made by Conservative Ministries, between which and the appointment of his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel White) he said there was a great distinction; and he talked of the difference between heir presumptive and heir apparent. Well, what were the facts of this case? A vacancy occurring in the Lord Lieutenancy of Clare, it was quite open to the Government, according to the rule which prevailed in such matters, to select a Peer, and appoint Lord Annaly to the office, as the Earl of Lonsdale had been appointed to the Lord Lieutenancy of Cumberland and Westmoreland, and the Duke of Buccleuch to the Lord Lieutenancy of Dumfries. Lord Annaly, he believed, was in his 83rd year, and was not desirous of taking a new office. Lord Lonsdale did not wish to retain the office of Lord Lieutenant of Cumberland and Westmoreland, and he applied to the Government to appoint Colonel Lowther, who had not an acre in those counties, Lord Lieutenant of them. That appointment was challenged in the House. There was not a Conservative in the House who did not defend that appointment, and who did not feel that Colonel Lowther, from his education, his position and character, was a fit man to fill that appointment, although he had not an acre of property in those counties. The Duke of Buccleuch was appointed to the counties of Mid-Lothian and Dumfries; and for the latter he recommended his son, the Earl of Dalkeith, although he had not an acre of landed property in that county. Was there a Conservative who would not have defended that appointment? Lord Annaly was Lord Lieutenant of two counties and he declined to accept another appointment. What was the difference between the case of Lord Annaly and that of the Duke of Buccleuch? Lord Annaly said—"I do not wish to take this appointment, but there is the heir of my estates in that county; appoint him." What was the difference between an heir presumptive and an heir apparent? It was well known to the Friends of his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tipperary, and also to the Government, that he was as much the heir of Lord Annaly in the county of Clare as the Earl of Dalkeith was the heir of the Duke of Buccleuch. The Government were aware that under family arrangements he would have property which would qualify him for the Lord Lieutenancy of the county of Clare. Allusion had been made to the past election contests of the White family in Ireland, and he might remark that he knew more respecting this subject than his right hon. and learned Friend (Sir Colman O'Loghlen), because it happened that the first Election Committee on which he had ever sat unseated the present Lord Annaly, one of three brothers who had been returned to Parliament in the hottest conflicts ever known in Ireland. Those brothers were regarded as the strength and stay of the Liberal party among Liberal Protestants at a time when Liberal Protestants were rare. Hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House prided themselves on their party zeal and fidelity, and he was surprised, therefore, at their finding fault with Her Majesty's Government for recognizing party services. His hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tipperary was not a weak specimen of aristocratic imbecility, but a Member of that House whose ability and manliness had made him an object of respect to his opponents, of admiration to his friends, and the pride of the Irish Representatives. His hon. and gallant Friend possessed those qualifications which were calculated to make him popular in the county, and he knew no man who possessed them in a higher degree than his hon. and gallant Friend. He agreed with his hon. Friend the Member for Waterford (Mr. Osborne) in thanking the Government for making the appointment, and he hoped that after the unanimous expression of opinion in the House in favour of the appointment, his right hon. and learned Friend would not press his Motion to a division.
said, he rose for the purpose not of delivering a speech, but of making a statement as to a matter of fact. His right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Clare (Sir Colman O'Loghlen) had objected to this appointment on the ground that his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Tipperary had not when appointed a residence in the county of Clare. The truth, however, was, that at the present time the hon. and gallant Gentleman had in the county as good a residence for all practical purposes as any gentleman possessed in it. To show that residence in the county was not a necessary qualification he would cite the case of the Duke of Abercorn, who was appointed Lord Lieutenant of the county of Donegal, in which county he had large estates, but no residence. [Cheers.] He was not detracting from the merit of that appointment, but he was mentioning a fact. The noble Duke had a residence, no doubt, in the county of Tyrone. His hon. and gallant Friend was neither heir apparent nor heir presumptive; but his father made a will some years ago. [An hon. MEMBER: His father is not dead yet.] Well, according to the hon. Gentleman opposite a man could not make his will till he was dead. At all events, he hoped the sapient legislator who had just interrupted him would not wait until he was dead before he made his will. Perhaps, the hon. Gentleman was thinking that a will was an "ambulatory" instrument which could be altered in the testator's lifetime. The truth was that Lord Annaly bequeathed his estates in the county of Clare and in an adjoining county, worth £13,000 a-year, to his son the hon. and gallant Member for Tipperary, and his Lordship had lately, and before the appointment was made, executed a deed conveying them absolutely to the hon. and gallant Member, who was now in possession of them. He apprehended that would satisfy the hon. Member opposite. At the present moment the hon. and gallant Member was possessed of an estate worth nearly £9,000 a-year in the county of Clare, with a residence upon that estate, and also of another estate worth £4,000 a-year in an adjoining county. In his opinion such a man, an officer in the Guards, and a Member of that House, was a fit person to be appointed Lord Lieutenant of the county. It had been objected that his hon. and gallant Friend would be the Custos Rotulorum of the county, albeit he was not a magistrate; but the fact was that every Lord Lieutenant was ex officio in the Commission of the Peace. He might remark, however, that the late Lord Roden was removed from the Commission of the Peace in 1849, but nevertheless he retained the office of Custos Rotulorum until his death in 1870.
said, he would not have spoken if there was not a voice that ought to be heard, and that was the voice of the people of the county who had the chief interest in this appointment. There had been no expression of local opinion during the debate. The city he represented (Limerick) bordered on Clare, and he had thought it his duty to endeavour to ascertain from his constituents, and from the people of Clare, what was the popular opinion on this subject. He had to say distinctly that the popular opinion—and he was not speaking of discontented magistrates who might, like the "moping owl," feel offended because a stranger had entered into their county to "disturb their ancient solitary reign"—was in favour of this appointment. From intelligence he had received to-day, the popular voice throughout the whole western district of the South of Ireland was in favour of it; and the appointment was a proof that manly independence in that House would not prevent a man from receiving an appointment which had been too often reserved for the obsequious followers of a Minister. He believed there was a great deal of exaggeration about the dissatisfaction of the gentry. He objected, however to the House of Commons reviewing the appointments of the Executive Government. That course was quite unconstitutional; and the power of the House consisted in being at liberty to censure the Government, if there was anything in an appointment that called for interference.
asked the indulgence of the House while he contradicted a statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Liskeard (Mr. Horsman), with reference to the appointment of his brother (the Earl of Dalkeith) as Lord Lieutenant of Dumfriesshire. That right hon. Gentleman might no doubt make any statements of facts within his own cognizance; but he had no right to state as facts what he could not be informed of. The right hon. Gentleman stated that his brother had been recommended for that appointment by his father. Now, he did not know what justification the right hon. Gentleman could have for making that statement. Such was not the case. So far from that appointment being made as a party appointment, it was offered to his brother by the most popular Liberal Minister of the day previous to its acceptance under the Minister who succeeded him.
apologized to the noble Lord for the statement he had made. When the Earl of Dalkeith was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Dumfriesshire he (Mr. Horsman) had assumed that the appointment would have been given to the Duke of Buccleuch, if he would have accepted it, and that he preferred his son should be appointed. He had believed that to be so, but he regretted the statement he had made. He made it with the greatest respect for the Duke of Buccleuch and the Earl of Dalkeith, both of whom he had the honour of knowing, and for whom he entertained the most cordial regard.
said, he wished to say a few words with reference to the statement of the Attorney General for Ireland as to the appointment of the Duke of Abercorn to the Lord Lieutenancy of the county of Donegal. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said the Duke of Abercorn had no residence in that county, and he also stated that the county of Tyrone was contiguous to the county of Donegal. That was correct; but he ought also to have stated that the estates of the Duke of Abercorn were continuous, running from one county into the other, and situate almost within a ring fence. He had also been associated with the county of Donegal by early connection, and was perfectly well acquainted with every gentleman residing in the county, having been a Deputy Lieutenant of that county himself.
said, he thought the House would be pursuing a most unconstitutional, revolutionary, and mischievous course by attempting to take from the Executive appointments of this description, and placing them virtually in the hands of the House. If there was anything in the character of the person appointed which militated against the appointment that would be a different matter; but there was nothing of that kind here. On the contrary, every thing was in favour of the appointment.
said, he thought that such appointments ought to be canvassed in the House, otherwise there was no restriction on the acts of the Executive Government in such matters. There was no foundation for the remark made by the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland that the meeting at Ennis on Saturday last was a hole-and-corner meeting. It was perfectly true that only 34 magistrates attended the meeting; but it was open to every magistrate who chose to attend, and, as he has said, he held in his hand a protest against the appointment, signed by 69 magistrates and Deputy Lieutenants of the county. He would only say further that if he had in the course of this debate made any observations which he ought not to have made he was sorry he had done so, and he at once apologized for them to his hon. Friend. With respect to the sneer which had been levelled at him on the assumption that he had been a candidate for the office—he treated it with scorn, for there was no foundation for the assumption. He also thought he had a right to complain of the use which the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland had made of private letters relating to another subject. It was the first time he had heard in an Assembly of Gentlemen that such a use could be made of such documents, and all he could say was that it would teach him a lesson as to the way in which he should write to the noble Lord for the future.
concurred in the statement that the hon. and gallant Gentleman who had been appointed Lord Lieutenant of Clare was respected by all parties in that county; and he believed that the meeting referred to by the right hon. and learned Gentleman was a hole-and-corner meeting, attended by very few magistrates, and it was held in the Grand Jury room, which was a private room.
said, much stress had been laid on what was called "expression of opinion" from the Clare people. He would confine his observations altogether to that one point, which he thought it was important for the House fully to understand before it went to a division. His right hon. and learned Friend the Mover of the Resolution said, with great unction, that the magistrates had met and protested, but the great demonstration of opinion was the protest of the 69. That ominous figure, 69, was held before their eyes three times in the opening speech, and it was so important, in the view of his right hon. and learned Friend, that he referred to it again in tones of triumph when winding up his observations. Now, the point he was anxious to unravel was, where did this protest come from? Whence did it emanate? Was it from the county of Clare, or was it from that House? His right hon. and learned Friend (Sir Colman O'Loghlen) said he was not a candidate for the Lieutenancy. Every hon. Member present accepted his word for that, and those who knew the details of the case knew he was not a candidate. They also knew that there were three candidates. The hon. and gallant Colonel opposite (Colonel Vandeleur), who, if his party were in, ought to be considered with favour; his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ennis (Mr. Stacpoole) was the second candidate, and he made good running; and a gallant Colonel, Francis Macnamara, was the third. There were three colonels and a captain, besides the "favourite," as the right hon. and learned Member for Clare called the hon. and gallant Colonel (Colonel White) who obtained the appointment. Now, these 69 names were the result, not of what was amusingly called the "spontaneous" expression of opinion of the people of Clare, but of the earnest canvass of the three defeated candidates. ["No, no!"] He said "Yes!" and he held in his hand the circular issued from London by two of the candidates, inclosing the London Protest, and asking that, being stamped in Clare, it be sent to the third defeated aspirant, to be called in that House "The Clare Protest" against the appointment of Colonel White.
"London, April 27, 1872.
"SIR—Sir Colman O'Loghlen having, in deference to the feelings that exist in the county on the subject, given notice of bringing before the House of Commons, on the 7th of May, the appointment of Colonel the Hon. Charles White to its Lieutenancy, it has been deemed advisable that there should be a written expression of opinion on the matter from the deputy lieutenants and magistrates of Clare. We enclose a form of protest which, if you approve of, we will thank you to sign and forward, as soon as possible, either to Sir Colman O'Loghlen or Colonel Vandeleur, House of Commons, London.
"Signed—FRANCIS MACNAMARA, D. L.,
The House would, he thought, now understand how Clare opinion was manufactured in London, and the weight to be attached to the jealousy, not of a mortified county, but of the disappointed competitors.WM. STACPOOLE, M. P. "
The House divided:—Ayes 41; Noes 257: Majority 216.