House Of Commons
Thursday, 11th May, 1876.
Metropolitan Street Improvements Act, 1872—Clause 49
asked the honourable and gallant Member for Truro, What has been the cause of the delay in preparing the plots set apart by Clause 49 of "The Metropolitan Street Improvements Act, 1872," for the erection of dwelling-houses for the working and poorer classes; and, how soon the Metropolitan Board of Works will be able to sell or let these plots for the said purpose?
In answer to my hon. Friend I beg to inform him that the delay to which he refers has been caused by the terms of the 49th section of the Act of Parliament, which prevents the Secretary of State from exercising his powers with regard to the plots in question. Parliament has been asked to amend the Act in this respect during the present Session, and I hope the Board will soon be in a position to advertise for letting two plots in Liquorpond Street and Willow Walk.
West Indies—Island Of St Vincent—Question
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, If he can state whether the Lieut.-Governor of St. Vincent, during the month of February 1876, paid a considerable sum of money out of the public funds of the Colony for the costs of the plaintiff in the Chancery suit of Donnelly v. Gumbs, a private suit in which the public had no interest, and in which the Chief Justice of the Colony dismissed the claim as entirely unfounded; and, whether the Auditor General of the Colony refused to pass the payment; and, if so, whether the payment was made by special sanction of the Secretary of State, or in virtue of some general power in enabling Governors of West Indian Colonies to make such payments without legislative authority; and in the latter case, whether such power will continue to be exercised?
, in reply, said, that no information had been received with reference to the subject referred to, and it would be necessary to refer to the colony before he could give any answer to the Question.
Egypt—Mr Rivers Wilson—Egyptian Finance—Question
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether Mr. Rivers Wilson is or is not still in the Civil Service of Her Majesty; whether he has accepted office under the Khedive of Egypt; whether any person has been designated or recommended by Her Majesty's Government who is to be appointed by the Khedive to superintend the payment of the Egyptian debt, and whether the Government have any information that any person has been so designated or recommended by any Foreign Government; whether by any and what arrangement a portion of the founders' shares of the Suez Canal have been placed at the disposal of the British Government; and, when he will bring forward the Vote for the expense of Mr. Cave's mission, and give the House an opportunity of discussing the subject of that mission?
Mr. Rivers Wilson went out to Egypt about two months ago on leave of absence, with the understanding that if he should take service under the Khedive of Egypt he would resign his appointment in the Civil Service of Her Majesty. We are not informed as to the determination of Mr. Rivers Wilson; but as the time of his leave of absence has now very nearly expired, we shall very shortly know the conclusion at which he has arrived as to taking service under the Khedive. No person has been designated or recommended by Her Majesty's Government to be appointed by the Khedive to superintend the payment of the Egyptian debt, and I am not in a position to state what arrangement has been made or is in contemplation between the Government of Egypt and any foreign Governments. In answer to the second Question, I may say that no arrangement has been made with regard to the Founders' shares in the Suez Canal; and with regard to the last Question I may state that we expect very shortly to be in a position to lay Papers on the Table of the House explanatory of what has recently occurred, and when these Papers are in the hands of hon. Members Her Majesty's Government will be in a position to move a Vote for the expenses of Mr. Cave's mission. There will then be an opportunity of discussing the whole question.
Roads And Bridges (Scotland) Bill
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, considering the interest that is manifested in Scotland in the Roads and Bridges (Scotland) Bill, he can arrange to fix an early day and hour for the Second Reading of the measure?
, in reply, said, the measure was brought in at a time which would give an opportunity for its proposals to be discussed at the annual meetings in Scotland before the second reading was taken. Those meetings had been held; but he had not as yet received any communications as to the result of the meetings. As soon as he had information on the subject he would fix a day for the second reading.
Commercial Treaty With Italy—Malta—Question
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether, in case of the renewal of the Commercial Treaty with Italy, the Government intend to lower the high duties levied on imports of food into the Island of Malta, and to adopt a tariff more in conformity with the principles of free trade?
Considerable difficulty has been experienced in raising an adequate revenue in Malta, which island, it must not be forgotten, is an important fortress as well as a colony. I am led to believe that no new taxation could well be substituted for the duty on grain, to which the inhabitants are accustomed, and which does not press heavily upon them. This tax is, moreover, in accordance with the views of the Colonial Legislature, to which, upon a local fiscal question especially, it would naturally be the wish of Her Majesty's Government to defer as far as possible.
gave Notice that in consequence of the reply of the hon. Member he should take an early opportunity of bringing the question before the House.
The Windward Islands—Reported Disturbances—Questions
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he has any further information to communicate to the House respecting the state of affairs in the Windward Islands?
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether Lord Carnarvon has received any reply to his telegram for information respecting the rioting in the Island of Tobago; and, whether he has any further communication to make to the House on the subject?
As far as the Island of Barbadoes is concerned we hear of no further disorders. With regard to Tobago, a telegram received this morning from Governor Hennessy reports that, according to information received by him from the Lieutenant Governor the rioting had been confined to one plantation only; that a woman had been killed by a policeman, who had been subsequently assailed by the mob and had since died of injuries received. Order had been completely restored, and the Lieutenant Governor had no apprehensions of any further disturbances.
Mercantile Marine—The "Lockesly Hall"—Question
asked Mr. Attorney General in reference to the sentence of Mr. Paget at the Thames Police Court on the Captain of the ship "LockeslyHall, Whether the Captain acted legally or illegally in confining and putting in irons the mutinous seaman who refused to do his duty when required?
If I felt myself at liberty to answer the Question put to me by the hon. Gentleman I could not do so absolutely, for the legality or illegality of a captain's conduct does not depend upon any hard or fast rule, but upon the special circumstances which prevailed at the time he committed the act alleged to be wrongful. I must say, however, that by the Common Law all mariners on board ship are bound to obey the master's commands in all lawful matters relating to the navigation of the vessel and the preservation of good order; and in case of disobedience or disorderly conduct of any member of the crew, the captain may correct him in a reasonable manner. In my opinion it would in many cases be quite reasonable for the master of a ship to correct a seaman by putting him in irons, and keeping him in irons for some time. In all instances, the question must be whether the punishment inflicted by the master was excessive; and, in dealing with this question, it should always be borne in mind that as the captain is responsible for the safety of the ship, and for the lives of those on board, it is frequently absolutely necessary for him to exercise his power with considerable severity.
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether he has any objection to furnish to this House the Correspondence which has taken place between the Local Government Board of Ireland and the Board of Guardians of the Shillelagh Union, in the County of Wicklow, on the subject of walling round the churchyard of Crecrin in that county; whether it is the fact that said churchyard is in an exposed and neglected con- dition; whether said Board of Guardians have refused to take any steps to protect said graveyard; whether the Local Government Board have considered and declared themselves unable to compel the Board of Guardians to have the said churchyard walled or fenced round in consequence of a defect in their powers; and, whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce during the present Session any Bill to confer upon the Local Government Board of Ireland authority to prevent the churchyards of Ireland from desecration?
I have no objection to produce the Correspondence on this subject if the hon. Member will move for it. I am informed that a complaint was made to the Shillelagh Board of Guardians that the churchyard in question was in an exposed and neglected condition; but that the Guardians declined to take the steps asked for, and contend that there is no necessity for incurring the expense. The Local Government Board have not made the declaration alluded to by the hon. Member; but, in point of fact, they have no authority to compel the Board of Guardians to have the churchyard walled or fenced; and, as at present advised, I do not think that any necessity has been shown for empowering them to to interfere with the discretion invested in Boards of Guardians, acting as Burial Boards in such cases.
India—Army—Allowances To Orphans Of Soldiers
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether he is aware that the allowance of ten rupees per month for orphans of soldiers, formerly paid for all orphans sent to an asylum, has latterly been refused unless the orphan be sent to an asylum selected by the officer commanding the regiment; and that such officers have in several cases selected for Catholic orphans the Lawrence Asylum, an asylum to which Roman Catholics entertain well-grounded objection; and also whether he will lay the new Regulations relative to Roman Catholic Chaplains ministering to troops in India upon the Table of the House?
, in reply, said, he had no official informa- tion with regard to the first part of the Question of the hon. Member beyond this—that the regulations of the Lawrence Asylum were so framed that Roman Catholic orphans might receive religious instruction from the accredited ministers of their Church. There was no objection to lay on the Table the new Regulations relative to Roman Catholic Chaplains in India.
India—The Native Army
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether he will lay upon the Table of the House Copies of the Despatches recently received regarding the present condition of the Native Army of India, which show that the number of British Officers with each Native Regiment is sufficient for all purposes of service; or, if he cannot, whether he will produce such extracts of those documents as shall show that the determination to make no organic change in the system, in that respect, has been arrived at on grounds approved by Military authorities of European as well as Indian experience acquainted with the requirements and casualties of modern war?
, in reply, said, despatches alluded to in the Question of the hon. and gallant Gentleman had been received at the India Office, and though no organic change was proposed, a variety of suggestions were made as being likely to increase the efficiency of the forces. These proposals were at present under the consideration of the Secretary of State for India, and when anything definite had been decided upon concerning them he would lay the Papers and the reply of the Secretary of State on the Table of the House.
Orders Of The Day
Ordered, That the Orders of the Day be postponed until after the Notice of Motion relating to the Royal Titles Act Proclamation.—(Mr. Disraeli.)
Royal Titles Act Proclamation—Vote Of Censure
, in rising to move the following Resolution:—
said: Sir, I can assure the House that I will make it my earnest endeavour to confine this discussion within limits that shall be clear and well defined. I fully recognize the obligation that we should not make reference to the provisions or policy of a measure that Parliament has lately placed upon our Statute Book. The Resolution which I am seeking to submit to the House deals with that which has arisen subsequently to the passing of the Royal Titles Act, and it seeks to establish the proposition that the exercise of the powers conferred by that Act has not been sufficiently regulated or controlled in accordance with the declarations made by Her Majesty's Ministers. It is true that that Act conferred upon Her Majesty power to make to her Royal style and title such addition as she might think right to declare by her Royal Proclamation; but that statute being of necessity general in its terms, and silentas to the addition that was to be employed and as to any limits, if such were contemplated, it was to the declarations of Her Majesty's Ministers, who were responsible for the introduction and the passing of the measure, that we had to look for information to guide us upon that point. I am sure that I shall have the assent of every Member of the House, and foremost among them Her Majesty's Ministers themselves, to the proposition that these declarations should be regarded equally as binding in controlling the power to be exercised by virtue of that statute as though they had been embodied in and formed part of the measure itself. Before placing before the House what the effect of those declarations was, it will be advisable to consider the circumstances under which they were made to the House. I think I am not wrong in inferring from the statement of the Prime Minister, when he introduced the measure, that he entertained both the hope and the expectation that it would be received without dissent in Parliament, and without opposition in the country. Those expectations and hopes, if they were entertained, certainly were not realized; for the opposition to that measure was probably, in political life, unparalleled both here and without the walls of Parliament. The measure was one that affected the Crown, and yet the opposition was found proceeding, not from the disloyal or disaffected; it was not exhibited in public meetings or in factious gatherings; but it was rather an opposition proceeding from loyal and thoughtful men, and found utterance more in their private homes than in the public places of the country. So strong were the instincts—some might term them the sentiments—of those who opposed this measure, that they took alarm lest the Throne to which they were devoted should be in the slightest degree shaken even by the change of the name of the Sovereign. Such an opposition must have afforded gratification to the Leader of the Conservative Party. He must have felt satisfaction at discovering that the loyalty of the country was such that among those who generally supported him alarm was taken on account of the suggested alteration in the style of Her Majesty. Under these circumstances, the right hon. Gentleman apparently took a course which was perfectly natural and perfectly consistent with the circumstances under which he had introduced the measure to Parliament. In the Speech from the Throne it had been stated that it was in connection with our Indian Empire, and the transfer of that territory to the Crown in 1858, that the proposed alteration had been suggested. The Preamble of the Bill was to a similar effect, and the right hon. Gentleman, I believe, on its introduction, stated that the proposed alteration in the Royal Title was about to be made in consequence of a desire that had been expressed by the Princes and by the Natives of India. At a later stage he made a statement that attracted much attention, which was that the State policy which demanded that this measure should be introduced into Parliament had resulted from the necessity of checking Russian aggression on our Indian frontier. The right hon. Gentleman must have felt that the opposition was not one to his Government, and was not one to the application of this measure, if it were deemed right to India; but that it was an opposition which proceeded from a fear that the title might be employed in relation to home affairs. Under these circumstances, it seem to have been the idea of the Government that they could do more than allay, that they could almost destroy the opposition by confining their measure to that part of Her Majesty's dominions from which the demand for it alone had proceeded and from the relations to which alone the necessity for it arose. They, therefore, came to the resolution to limit the effect of the Act. Lest I should be mistaken in the construction I have put upon the views of the Government, I will read the very words of the distinguished Member of Her Majesty's Government who, in all probability, next to the Prime Minister himself is more responsible for the introduction of the measure than any other of Her Majesty's Ministers. The Lord Chancellor, on the 2nd of May in replying to the questions put to him by Lord Selborne said—"That, having regard to the declarations made by Her Majesty's Ministers during the progress of the Royal Titles Act through Parlia- ment, this House is of opinion that the Proclamation issued by virtue of that Act does not make adequate provision for restraining and preventing the use of the title of Empress in relation to the internal affairs of Her Majesty's dominions other than India,"
On the 20th of March, in moving that the House should go into Committee on the Bill, the Prime Minister said—"I may state what I understand the engagements of the Government to be, and what the Government meant to be their engagement. What I understand the engagement of the Government to have been and what the Government meant was this. There was a great apprehensions expressed that if the title of Empress was used commonly in the United Kingdom, this would happen:—It was said, 'Round the Sovereign there is a Court; there are persons in the Court who may fancy that the title of Empress is a greater and more sonorous title than that of Queen, and they may imagine it is a title more palatable to the Sovereign,' and therefore they said, 'If you allow that title to pass into common use, or use it in public documents, it will pass from documents into conversation and social use; it will be used in Court, it will become habituated, and overshadow the ancient great title of Queen.' In answer to that it was said, 'But we, the Government, will endeavour to prevent the use of the title in the United Kingdom. We mean it to be an Indian title. We mean it to be used in India and for Indian purposes. We mean it to be localized in India, and to be used for India; and the way that can be effected is to avoid the chances of a different result—namely, the use of the title in this country—by taking securities against the title being used here and securities that it will be a title used in India.' "
In reply to that observation of the right hon. Gentleman, the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition had said—"I am sure that under no circumstances would Her Majesty assume, by the advice of Her Ministers, the title of Empress in England."—[3 Hansard, ccxxviii. 273.]
"I cannot conclude without urging upon, the Government, as strongly as I can, the necessity of leaving, if possible some record upon our proceedings that it is intended that this title which the Government have advised Her Majesty to assume shall be used in India and for Indian purposes only, and that it is not the intention of Parliament in granting to Her Majesty this power, or that Her Majesty's Ministers in advising Her Majesty to assume this title, do not intend that it shall be used in conjunction with the ancient and Royal title of the Crown.—[Ibid. 275.]
rose to Order. He wished to ask the Speaker, whether the hon. and learned Gentleman was right in quoting speeches which had been delivered in that House during the current Session?
The question which has been submitted to me by the hon. Member has engaged my attention, and no doubt it is the Rule that reference to former debates in this House should not be allowed during the current Session. As the House, however, is aware, that Rule does not apply to the different stages of a Bill, and, speaking with all submission to the House, I would point out that the Proclamation which is now under consideration forms a part, as it were, and is the consequence and the sequel of the Act which has been passed by this House. In point of fact, the Proclamation could have no force at all unless it were founded upon the Act passed by both Houses of Parliament. Therefore, it appears to me that, under the exceptional circumstances of the case, it would be difficult to shut out from the consideration of the House observations made in the different stages of the Act of Parliament which has led to the Proclamation now under the consideration of the House, and which form the subject of the present Motion.
Perhaps the House will allow me to continue the quotation which I was making. The right hon. Gentleman further said that it was the intention, Parliament having granted to Her Majesty this power, that it should be only so used as not to endanger the ancient title of the Crown. On the evening of the day to which I have referred my hon. Friend the Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease) moved an Amendment to the effect that the operation of the Act should be limited by the exclusion of the title from the United Kingdom, no reference being made to its external use. My hon. Friend moved—
My noble Friend the Member for the Radnor Burghs (the Marquess of Hartington), speaking on the Amendment, said—"Provided, That nothing in this Act contained shall be taken to authorize the use in the United Kingdom of any style or title of Her Majesty other than those at present in use as appertaining to the Imperial Crown."
Now, having heard those views expressed by my noble Friend, the Prime Minister said—"From the expressions which had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman, and also from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney General, he gathered that it was the intention of the Government some way or other to advise that there should be a local limitation of the title of Empress, and that the Bill was not to make any difference in the ordinary style by which Her Majesty was known. If that were so the Committee ought to be told the fact in the most distinct language that the Ministers could use, and he thought they ought also to be told in what way an object in which all were agreed might be permanently secured…..Was it not desirable, then, if they were all agreed that there should be a limitation to India of the use of this title, that they should be put in possession of the intentions, opinions, and wishes that existed upon the subject, in order that their sense might be placed in the Bill as an authoritative expression of the opinion and wish of that House and of the country."—[3 Hansard, 318–19.]
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich urged the same views as my noble Friend, and in reply to him, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, in a somewhat indignant tone—"The noble Lord gives myself and my Colleagues credit for being sincere in the statements we have made, and feels that we have given honest advice to the Sovereign—and that advice, I am bound to say, has been received with the utmost sympathy—namely, that the title which Her Majesty has been advised, for great reasons of State, to assume, shall be exercised absolutely and solely in India when it is required, and that on becoming Empress of India, she does not seek to be in any way Empress of England, but will be content with the old style and title of Queen of the United Kingdom. To all purposes, in fact, Her Majesty would govern the United Kingdom as she has always governed it. At the same time, I cannot agree that we are to interfere with the Prerogative of the Queen, and that under no circumstances shall she acknowledge herself in this country, or be acknowledged by others, upon the necessary business of the State, as the Empress of India. Take, for example, a most important State incident that occurred a month ago. The Queen of England appointed a new Viceroy of India. In issuing that Commission, was the Queen of England not to act also as Empress of India? In diplomacy my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Sir H. Drummond Wolff) has already mentioned that it is the constant practice—indeed, the universal rule—in all documents relating to treaties to recite the full titles of the Sovereign; but because on such occasion the full titles are recited, it must not be regarded that to do so at St. James's is a violation of the engagement which, so far as I have any power in the matter, I have entered into with the House as to Her Majesty governing India only, and not England, as Empress."—[Ibid. 320.]
The Bill passed this House after the assurance had been given that, except for diplomatic purposes, the title of Empress should be localized and confined to India. The Bill passed from this House, and when it arrived "elsewhere," at an early stage the Minister, to whom I have already made reference, who had charge of the Bill, said—"After what had been stated by the Prime Minister at the beginning of the evening—that it was not at all the intention of Her Majesty's Advisers to advise Her Majesty to take the title of Empress to be borne in this country, but that it should be a title of a local character to be borne in India—the Amendment would be simply in the nature of an expression of Want of Confidence in the promise or statement of his right hon. Friend."—[Ibid. 315.]
"It is the intention of the Government that the Proclamation to be issued by Her Majesty under this Bill shall comply literally with the engagements which have been given to the House of Commons, and that it will provide in a manner analogous to the Proclamation of 1801"—
rose to Order, and asked whether the hon. and learned Gentleman was in order in quoting words that had been used in "another place" this Session?
The hon. and learned Gentleman, so far as I can collect, is not out of Order.
I rise not to speak to a question of Order, but to say that, although Her Majesty's Government are on their trial, and that while we think the House should be generous enough to remember that, yet we do not think that speakers should be held to a too strict interpretation of our Rules.
I have to thank the right hon. Gentleman for his statement. The noble Lord to whom I was referring said—
Sir, there was one who listened to these words with watchfulness and anxiety, and whose opinion, if I had a right to mention his name, would be treated with a respect equal to that accorded to the noble Lord whose words I have quoted; and he expressed his views "elsewhere"—in that place to which I must not more particularly refer. He said—"Well, my Lords, I have to state that it is the intention of the Government that the Proclamation to be issued by Her Majesty under this Bill shall comply literally with the en- gagements which have been given to the House of Commons, and that it will provide in a manner analogous to the Proclamation of 1801—that upon all writs, commissions, patents, and charters intended to operate within the United Kingdom, the Royal style shall continue as it is, without any addition…..It is said that the new title of Empress of India will overshadow the title of Queen of England. My Lords, that appears to me to be, not an argument, but a mere figure of speech….and I am at a loss to conceive how the great title of Queen of England, unchanged and unaltered and sacred in this country, and beloved by every subject of the Crown, can possibly be overshadowed by the addition of the title apposite and appropriate to and only to be used in India."—[Ibid. 1062.]
Instead of correcting such an opinion, if erroneous, another responsible Minister (the Earl of Carnarvon) said that Members of Her Majesty's Government had over and over again emphatically denied that the title of Empress was not to apply to India alone, and that he was at a loss to know how they could have done it in more explicit terms than they had done; and the same noble Lord added that he should be sorry if the Lord Chancellor and the Law Officers of the Crown were unable to find some means of effectually securing that object. On the 3rd of April my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt) asked the Prime Minister a Question with regard to the use of the full title in the case of a number of documents, which the Prime Minister was pleased to call a bead roll or catalogue of documents, and amongst others commissions in the Army and patents of invention. In reply, the right hon. Gentleman said—"Her Majesty's Government have pledged themselves that the title of Empress shall be used only in reference to India…..It is by the promise to localize this title in India that Her Majesty's Government have distinctly admitted their knowledge that the name is unpopular in this country."—[Ibid. 1072.]
On the 6th of April, in reply to a Question put "elsewhere" with respect to the use of the title of Empress, a Minister replied—"The Imperial title will be assumed, as I have before mentioned, in the transaction of all affairs connected with the Indian Empire, and in all communications abroad. It will be assumed solely externally, and not with respect to the internal affairs of the country; and, with regard to the details referred to, they will be provided for in the Proclamation."—[Ibid. 1098.]
Upon the third reading of the Bill, the same Minister said—"We have considered whether any Amendment is, according to our judgment, necessary in the Royal Titles Bill; and, after considering that question with the greatest care, the Government are quite of opinion that there is no difficulty whatever in giving effect to the intention of the Government to except from the operation of the Bill all commissions"—of course the noble and learned Lord includes the Army—"writs, and similar documents operating in this country."—[Ibid. 1301.]
I have called attention to this last statement because reliance has been placed upon it as the only promise that was made by the Government. I am quite sure that that noble Lord, if he had intended that that statement should be received in exchange for, or in exclusion of, all the other promises which had been given, would have said so. That noble Lord would not, without speaking in the fullest and frankest manner, have wished anybody to treat that as the entire promise of the Government, but rather that it should be regarded as the means by which a portion of that promise should be carried into effect. If any other proof be required as to what were the intentions of the Government, I will refer to the answer given to me on the 2nd of this month. On the 20th of March the Chancellor of the Exche- quer, when the Bill was in Committee, stated—"The attention of the Government had already been called to the fact that there were a great many formal official documents operating in this country—such as writs, commissions to magistrates and officers in the Army, charters and documents of that kind—in which the title of the Crown was recited; and the Government were asked whether it was their intention, after what had been stated in the other House of Parliament, that the style of the Crown in those documents should in future include the title to be assumed for India. The Government gave an undertaking on that point, to which they were pledged, and which they were bound to fulfil—and that was that there should be no change in the Royal style and title in such documents operating only in this country."—[Ibid. 1390.]
which appeared to have a considerable effect upon the Committee, and no doubt there are many hon. Members who can state to the House how far that statement had an effect upon their conduct. The noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho), whose opinions and whose conduct in political life as an independent supporter of the Government ought to have great influence on the House, in an Amendment of which he gave Notice, thus expressed his views:—The noble Lord moved an humble Address—"That it was not at all the intention of Her Majesty's Advisers to advise Her Majesty to take the title of Empress to be borne in this country, but that it should be a title of a local character to be borne in India,"
I regret that I have been compelled to have recourse to such copious quotations; but I think that I have shown that Her Majesty's Government made two distinct declarations and promises—the one that the use of the title of Empress should be excluded from the United Kingdom except in relation to diplomatic documents; the other—a more important engagement, because it covers a much wider area—that that title should be localized to India, should be borne and used only in that part of Her Majesty's dominions. There is still a very important part of Her Majesty's dominions not by name mentioned in those promises; I refer to the colonies and to that portion of the Queen's territory which is more important for our consideration—namely, those dependencies which have not an independent legislative body to protect them. On the introduction of the Bill the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) made an able appeal on behalf of the colonial possessions of the Queen, and asked if the time had not come when some recognition should be made of them on account of their increased wealth, their increasing power, and the loyalty they had ever shown towards the Throne. The right hon. Gen- tleman at the head of the Government gave an answer which I am sure caught the attention of us all, and met with the approbation of many. He said that the colonist was one who, though he had temporarily left this country, in his thoughts was ever with us, and when he had found his nuggets or fleeced his thousand flocks he returned home; that having been the Member for Melbourne one year, he was the Member, say, for Westminster the next; that he became a magistrate, a deputy-lieutenant, a sheriff of his county, and was presented at Court. He acknowledged in all things the name and title of the Queen—he was an Englishman, he was one of us. Surely that answer conveyed to us that whatever was the title to be applied to our internal affairs, it was to be applied to the colonies also—that to such loyal men no distinction should be made; that they should acknowledge their allegiance to the Queen under the same style when absent from us as when, obeying that all-powerful centripetal force, they returned to this country. But if this is not the correct view, and if we are to consider the letter and not the spirit of these declarations, when the second promise is referred to—namely, that the title of Empress should be localized to India alone, of necessity it is thereby excluded from application to the colonies and also to those enormous dependencies and that vast extent of territory which cannot be included in the colonies, and which certainly has no affinity to and forms no part of our Indian Empire. My task is now half done. I have placed before the House the promises made by the Government or the effect of them. To this House, which bears the responsibility of passing the measure, the pledge was distinctly given that, with the exception of diplomatic documents, the title of Empress should not be applied in this country, and should be localized and borne only in India. The second part of my duty is to show how these promises have been fulfilled. With regard to the Proclamation it must be confessed that, notwithstanding the assurances that had been given on the subject, it caused a vast amount of astonishment, not only among hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House, but to almost every one who read it. We should have expected to find in that Proclamation an explicit declaration that the style and title to be added to those already borne by Her Majesty should not be used except in certain documents which would be set forth there. We should have expected to find in it a declaration that, with the exceptions to which I have made reference, the new style and title would be localized and confined to India. But, on the contrary, when the Proclamation met our eye, we found it stated that—"Praying Her Majesty, if the title of Empress of India be assumed by Her Majesty, to be graciously pleased to cause such words to be inserted in the Royal Proclamation as will discountenance the ordinary non-official use, by Her Majesty's subjects other than in India, of Her Majesty's Imperial title."
We had been told that the title was not to be used, but in certain documents. I ask the House to consider what is the meaning of the affirmative declaration "that on all occasions, so far as conveniently may be?" Does it mean documents only, or does it not mean that the Queen's proper style and title is, whenever it is employed, "Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India?" Now it is for the Government to define what are the occasions in relation to which they have declared that this title shall be used. It does not suffice to say—"We know of no occasions except those represented." For it is not only the occasions that exist that we are to deal with, but those that may arise. But by what power can you stay the use and employment of this title? Is it by usage, is it by statute, or is it by the power of the Lord Chamberlain, that you can stop it? It has truly been said "else where" that you are powerless so to do. On every occasion when anyone chooses to address Her Majesty in language the most deferential, and employs the full style and title of the Sovereign you have told them by your Proclamation that they must use the title of Empress of India. It is declared that that should be the title on all occasions as far as conveniently may be. I will refer to one instance which lately occurred, and which has brought this matter to a practical test. The Corporation of Dublin purposed to exercise the right inherent in every subject of presenting a Petition to the Throne; and they thought it deferential to use the full style and title of Her Majesty. And who, excepting the Attorney General, will say that Her Majesty's subjects have not the right to do so? The Attorney General has stated, on the authority of his high position, that petitioners have no such right; and it is to be hoped that before this debate closes he will state upon what grounds he made that assertion. I hope the hon. and learned Gentleman will be able to state by what law, or by what decision, petitioners to Her Majesty have no right to address her by her full title; and if he cannot point to any such a law, I would ask him by what usage petitioners can be stayed from so addressing her. The hon. and learned Gentleman says they have not the right so to address the Crown, and I trust the hon. and learned Gentleman will be able to satisfy us of the correctness of that view of the law. If it be wrong now, since the Proclamation has been issued, to use the full style and title, it was equally wrong to use it at all before the Proclamation appeared. Let me ask the Attorney General whether he says now that it is the duty of those who sought to petition—namely, the Corporation of Dublin, in their discretion, to strike off a portion of the title of the Sovereign—namely, "the Empress of India." Had they the right, before the Proclamation was issued, to strike off the title of "Queen of Ireland?" Could they have addressed the Crown as "Queen of Great Britain," without the addition of the words "and Ireland?" Had they a right to pick out a part and portion of the title, which they might use in addressing the Crown? And yet, according to the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman, it is not improper for a petitioner to employ the title of the Crown; but that, for some reason, the title of "Empress of India," if employed, would be improperly used. If my hon. and learned Friend is right, this question is left in a sad state of confusion. I know not if there is to be any meaning in the words of the Proclamation, "as far as conveniently may be;" but if we leave it to every subject of the Crown to determine, according to his own view, whether the title of the Crown should be employed in its entirety or not, I do think that those who are most loyally disposed towards the Crown would regret that such a power was given to interfere with the name and title of the Queen. I have been dealing with those occasions when the subject is addressing the Sovereign. Let me now deal with those more important occasions when the Crown has to use the title in relation to the subject; and I think it will be convenient to divide these occasions into six different heads. I will put the question of coinage on one side, it being connected with the Queen's Prerogative. The first occasion is the Proclamation on the accession of the Sovereign, when the title is, of course, proclaimed with all possible solemnity. The second occasion relates to those diplomatic acts, such as Treaties, communications with foreign Powers, &c. The third occasion is in commissions of the Army. The fourth is in patents for inventions. The fifth is in writs and other judicial processes from the Courts. The sixth and last occasion is in documents which generally proceed from the Crown Office—such as special appointments, charters, commissions, and grants. In regard to the first division—namely, that of the Proclamation on the accession—of course the full title of the Sovereign is to be used, and the title of Empress of India must necessarily be employed. No complaint, therefore, can be made on this score. In reference to the second head—the use of the title in diplomatic documents—the right hon. Gentleman said, clearly and distinctly, that the full title would be employed. No objection, therefore, arises on that point. Then as to the third occasion—commissions in the Army. There was a time when the Government intended that the full title should not be used in these cases. The right hon. Gentleman, in answer to my hon. and learned Friend, took no exception to the exclusion of the title from commissions in the Army; and on the third reading of the Bill, the right hon. Gentleman, in answer to the noble Lord (Lord Elcho), distinctly stated that in commissions in the Army the title of Empress of India should not be employed. On the 5th of April the right hon. Gentleman said that in all commissions in the Army the title should not be employed; this statement was repeated; but when he answered a Question of my hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke), the right hon. Gentleman had discovered his error. At a later date the right hon. Gentleman, having his attention called to the question, said that the title would not be used in any document enumerated in "the bead-roll" of my hon. and learned Friend (Sir William Harcourt), save in commissions for the Army. After the Proclamation was issued it was discovered for the first time that in commissions for the Army the title of Empress of India must be used. To the fourth occasion, I beg to invite the attention of the Attorney General. It has been stated by the Prime Minister, and I think also by a noble Lord "elsewhere," that in regard to patents for inventions the style and titles would remain as they are. I may be wrong, but I ask the Attorney General if it is so. Patents for inventions are issued by virtue of our statute law—15 & 16 Vict.—and it is there declared that all patents for inventions shall run, not only in the United Kingdom, but also in the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Therefore the full style and title of the Crown must, as it appears, of necessity, be used. The Royal Titles Act Proclamation states that, in all documents operating within the United Kingdom, the full title should not be used, but that in documents operating beyond the United Kingdom the title of Empress must be used. Therefore, is it not clear and distinct that, in all patents for inventions, numbering as they do about 4,000 annually, the title of Empress of India must be used? With respect to the fifth occasion—the issue of writs under judicial process—it is true that in those writs which affect this country alone the title will remain as before; but in those numerous writs which are served on British subjects abroad, and in distant parts of Her Majesty's dominions—in commissions for examining witnesses, and other documents proceeding beyond the United Kingdom, and which have to be returned and read in this country, the title of Empress of India must appear. With regard to the sixth and last head, I had thought that in these special appointments there would be no employment of the title of Empress. In the case of chartered companies trading abroad the title would, no doubt, be used; but I thought it would not have to be employed in those commissions and patents which confer appointments on Ministers of the Crown. I find I was wrong. I do not know whether the First Lord of the Admiralty is aware of the great jurisdiction which is given him beyond the United Kingdom by the commission under which he and the other Lords of the Admiralty hold their appointments. He has high dignity as Lord High Admiral, and he has jurisdiction not only in the United Kingdom, but over many territories and islands. The consequence is that it will be necessary for him to receive his appointment at the hands of the Empress of India, instead of from the Sovereign under the usual title of Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. I believe it is not now the practice to issue one commission to all the Secretaries of State; but, if it were, they would all have to be made out in the name of the Empress of India, in consequence of their including the Secretaries for the Colonies. I have been anxious to find a companion for the First Lord of the Admiralty; and I have found one of the right hon. Gentleman's Colleagues, who will receive the commission of his Sovereign under her new title. I have found for the right hon. Gentleman a cheerful and agreeable companion; for I hold in my hand a copy of the patent that confers an appointment on one of the most distinguished and most active of Her Majesty's Ministers. The document runs thus—"We have thought fit, by and with the advice of Our Privy Council, to appoint and declare, and We do hereby, by and with the said advice, appoint and declare that henceforth, so far as conveniently may be, on all occasions and in all instruments wherein Our Style and Titles are used, save and except all Charters, Commissions, Letters Patent, Grants, Writs, Appointments, and other like instruments not extending in their operation beyond the United Kingdom, the following addition shall be made to the Style and Titles at present appertaining to the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom and its Dependencies; that is to say, in the Latin tongue in these words—'Indiæ Imperatrix.' And in the English tongue in these words—'Empress of India.' "
I believe that a Judge Advocate General is specially appointed for India, and the result of that will be that my right hon. Friend, having no connection with India, will nevertheless have to receive his commission from Her Majesty under her style and title of Empress of India. The result is that throughout this country, as well as elsewhere, with the exceptions I have mentioned, the title of Empress must be used. Let me remind hon. Gentlemen who have adopted different views on this matter, that this is not a question whether the title may or may not be rightly employed. The question is not one of policy. It is whether those undertakings which were given by the Government have been fulfilled. The promise was, in relation to the United Kingdom, that this title was to be excluded except in certain documents. For my part I venture to say, after due consideration, that excluding writs of summons and other judicial process, I believe—although it is difficult to make any accurate calculation—that in three out of every four public documents which hereafter will be issued, and which bear the full title of the Queen, the addition declared by the Royal Proclamation will have to be made. The Prime Minister referred in somewhat pleasant phraseology to the title as being intended for external application only, and the truth is, it is likely to cause somewhat similar results to other things which are intended only for external use. You leave it carelessly about—it is used for internal remedy—and the result is poison. It is idle, in my opinion, to say that the title can, under the terms of the Proclamation, be limited in accordance with the pledges which the Government have given to the House. And now as to the application of the title to Her Majesty's dominions beyond the United Kingdom. We have heard it stated that the Proclamation will not be issued in some of the colonies. If that is to be so it is very much to be regretted. You make the colonies, so far as their coinage is concerned, subject to the terms of the Proclamation. Are you not going to communicate to the colonies how far the Proclamation will affect them? The colonies owe allegiance to the Crown, and they must owe that allegiance under the proper style and title of the Crown. They cannot themselves determine what that style and title shall be; and the fact should not be lost sight of that the Governor of a Colony must pro- claim that he holds his office by virtue of a commission from the Queen of the United Kingdom and Empress of India. Can it, then, be contended that we should leave to the unrestrained action of these dependencies, numerous as they are, and some of which have no independent Legislatures, the question as to what shall be the title of the Crown? If so, one Governor will regard the title of Empress as convenient and fitting, his successor will take the opposite view, and the question will in that case be left to a shifting body uncontrolled by Imperial considerations. Is it to be contended that the title of the Crown is to be left to the consideration and determination of different Colonial bodies? If so, are they, for instance, to be at liberty to leave out the words "and Ireland" after "Queen of Great Britain?" Is such a power to be given to any one or to all of Her Majesty's Colonial dependencies? The result of the whole matter is that you either leave the title in uncertainty, or you employ it throughout the whole of Her Majesty's dominions, except in the documents I have referred to. This is not the localization of Empress, it is the generalizing of that title. It is not even preserving the title of Queen of England in England; for you have confined its use to certain writs and certain documents only. The Proclamation of 1801 has been used by those who have drawn the present Proclamation; but they have forgotten that that Proclamation was employed in relation to general circumstances, when no question as to the title of the Sovereign had been considered, when no limitation was intended and when no promises had been given. General words have been used, following that Proclamation of 1801; and the limitation which was intended has been found even too narrow to carry that intention into effect. And now, Mr. Speaker, I have stated the reason why there were many who came to the conclusion that the promises and declarations that were made have not been fulfilled, and it is because of this belief that this Motion has been submitted to the House. I have heard doubts expressed as to the policy of bringing it forward. [Ministerial cheers.] Yes; and if hon. Members opposite regard that policy in a narrow light they are right. If we had simply considered our personal convenience, and regarded defeat by a numerical majority as a disaster, we should not have moved this Resolution. But, sincerely believing that promises have been given which have not been fulfilled, we asked ourselves what was the course that must be taken? Sir, I find my answer in the words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman said—"Victoria, by the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, and Defender of the Faith. To all to whom these presents shall come greeting. We, of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, and for and in consideration of the good and acceptable services to us done and to be done by our trusty and well-beloved George Augustus Frederick Cavendish Bentinck, and also for and in consideration of the learning, skill, and ability of the aforesaid George Augustus Frederick Cavendish Bentinck, have given by these presents to him the said office and place of Judge Advocate General or Judge Marshal of all our forces, both horse and foot, raised and to be raised for our service in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and in all our other dominions and countries whatsoever, except in our dominions where particular Judge Advocates General or Judges Marshal are appointed."
We felt that the promises had not been kept; we heard the criticisms made elsewhere by a noble and learned Lord (Lord Selborne); we heard the Press of the country express the same opinions; we ourselves expressed them in private conversation. Under these circumstances, would it have been becoming in us to whom these promises had been made—would it have been becoming in us, holding and expressing the view that these promises had not been kept, to have refrained from coming forward to give the Government an opportunity of defending themselves? If this Resolution had not been moved, if this discussion had not been raised with the full sanction of my noble Friend, a Parliamentary duty would have been unfulfilled and the responsibilities of an Opposition completely abnegated. I venture to say to those who will support this Motion that whatever may be the result, an advantage and a benefit must accrue to them. If after this discussion—if after the explanations to be afforded to us it shall be proved that our opinion has been right that the promises given have been unfulfilled and the pledges made unredeemed—we shall at least have the satisfaction that we have not wrongly judged our political opponents, and that our judgment and discrimination have not been wrong. If, on the other hand, the result should prove that the error and misunderstanding have been ours—if it should be shown by the explanations about to be made that we have not rightly understood these promises, then we shall have that which will be compensation, and full compensation to us. We shall have the satisfaction of knowing that those to whom Her Majesty has entrusted the administration of public affairs—that those in whom the nation but lately placed a full and generous confidence—have not inconsiderately made promises they could not fulfil, nor have they forgotten to fulfil promises they intentionally made."The nature of the advice has been already stated. Of course the Proclamation, if at variance with the promise given, would be subject to comment in Parliament."—[3 Hansard, ccxxviii. 315.]
Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That, having regard to the declarations made by Her Majesty's Ministers during the progress of the Royal Titles Act through Parliament, this House is of opinion that the Proclamation issued by virtue of that Act does not make adequate provision for restraining and preventing the use of the title of Empress in relation to the internal affairs of Her Majesty's dominions other than India."—(Sir Henry James.)
said, he was somewhat at a loss, in commencing the reply which he should have to make to the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman, to know what the exact charge against Her Majesty's Government was. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen might laugh; but this was either a very serious charge, or it was a very light charge, and he was going to put the former alternative. If the charge was that Her Majesty's Government had wilfully broken promises they had made, either to that House or the other, if it was said that they had repudiated declarations in the one House which were made in the other, as not being bound by them, that was a charge of dishonourable conduct, and a charge which they were perfectly ready to meet. But it was a charge which should be made in plain terms. It was a charge that ought not to be left in ambiguity, and the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman, as well as his speech, left the matter in a degree of doubt of which he (Mr. Hardy) thought they had a right to complain. He wished the hon. and learned Gentleman to tell them whether in that House they had repudiated declarations made in the other, or whether he charged them with wilfully breaking their promises. Hon. Gentlemen might smile or laugh; but there was a great distinction between the two. The hon. and learned Gentleman at nearly the conclusion of his speech said that what he was going to charge the Government with was an omission or inability to fulfil some promise, or a mistake as to the fulfilment of a promise, and these were very different charges from what was implied in the word "repudiation." As the hon. and learned Gentleman was silent, he would take upon himself to answer both charges, and he was confi- dent that before sitting down he should be able to show that neither was applicable to the Government, but that the Government had pursued one course throughout, and that the dispute was simply this—whether the Government had fulfilled what hon. Members opposite expected, or whether, on the other hand, the Government had fulfilled what they themselves intended. Now, the hon. and learned Member began by telling the House that the Bill to which his Motion related had met with an opposition unparalleled in political life. He agreed with the hon. and learned Gentleman in every word of that. The hon. and learned Member started well; but when he added a qualification to that he (Mr. Hardy) was not so ready to agree with him. The qualification was, "outside this House." It was for the hon. and learned Gentleman to value the outside agitation for what it was worth; but he (Mr. Hardy) was prepared to show that in the present case the outside agitation neither answered the purpose of those who set it a-going, nor resulted in that "unparalleled political attack" on the Government that was expected from it. On the present occasion the position of the Government was unparalleled. The Speaker had, no doubt very properly, decided that reference might be made in that House to speeches delivered both there and elsewhere in relation to the Royal Titles Act. But he (Mr. Hardy) ventured to ask the House and the country whether ever before upon any occasion a Vote of Censure was asked against a Ministry without laying down in definite and precise terms the statement or declaration upon which they were going to make the attack? Was it ever suggested before that they should go through old files of newspapers to find out what the charge against the Government was, and that, to use a vulgar expression, they should look for this needle in a bundle of hay, though when it was found it would prove to be nothing so valuable as a needle, but only a poisoned pin? He ventured to say that no such thing had ever been done. The hon. and learned Gentleman, from his acquaintance with litigation, was no doubt aware that the first thing to be settled in a case was a clear issue between the parties. Now, in future generations could any human being, he should like to know, understand from the Motion, as recorded in the Journals of the House, what the charge against the Government was without referring to the contemporaneous debates Hansard? The hon. and learned Member charged the Government with making declarations which he understood in a certain sense; but they might have understood them and made them in a totally different sense. It was not what the hon. and learned Gentleman understood, but what the Government intended. To a great extent the hon. and learned Member had quoted very fairly the passages to which he referred; but, at the same time, he had not taken that amount of pains which he might have done to get them in an accurate form. He had quoted from the report of a speech of his noble and learned. Friend the Lord Chancellor, for instance; but never referred for a moment to the letter from his noble and learned Friend which appeared in The Times, in which he corrected in an important particular that part of the speech which was now brought forward. [Sir Henry James: I have not seen the letter.] Before any Gentleman in that House founded a charge against people in respect to a speech reported in the newspapers he generally asked whether the speech was correctly reported. This the hon. and learned Member had not done. Against reports generally he had not a word to say; but it was certainly a most dangerous precedent to go and search out declarations among whole masses of speeches, picking out what suited a particular purpose. Unless the context of a particular sentence were taken, a totally false impression of the speaker's meaning might be conveyed; and it seemed to him a very unfair and unreasonable thing to raise a debate, not on any official statement duly recorded, but on the interpretation of a great number of speeches delivered in Parliament. The hon. and learned Gentleman, in commencing his speech, said that declarations made by the Government ought to be as binding as if they were in the Act. That he did not dispute for a moment. If they made declarations clear and precise which they had not fulfilled—whether it were by omission or commission—it ought to be a subject of censure. The hon. and learned Member laid particular stress on the colonies. But he admitted that there was no distinct promise made on that subject. The first promise, he admitted, was the exclusion of the title from the United Kingdom; and it was a remarkable circumstance that when the hon. and learned Member put a Question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the use of the title he made no reference to the colonies himself. In effect, the hon. and learned Member asked whether it was the intention of the Government that the title of Empress should not be borne by Her Majesty in this country, but only in India, and whether the Proclamation to be issued would so limit the title of Empress that it could not be used in this country. Not a word about the colonies was mentioned. ["Oh, oh!"] He hoped hon. Gentlemen opposite would not interrupt his argument. He might have interrupted the hon. and learned Gentleman, but did not—and it would be unreasonable to stop him in the middle of his argument. The hon. and learned Member admitted that the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease) referred only to the United Kingdom; but he based his case with respect to the colonies on the words "localization in India." That, he said, implied that the colonies were to be excluded, and, further, he referred to the words "absolutely and solely in India" used by the Prime Minister as if there were no qualification attached to them. Now, the Prime Minister used qualifying words which were far stronger than those the hon. and learned Gentleman quoted, for, although he read up to a certain point, he did not read the last words of the passage, which showed that the Prime Minister guarded himself against an entire condemnation of the necessity and propriety of using the title in this country. His hon. and learned Friend who had brought forward the question contended that because in speaking on the Motion of the hon. Member for South Durham the Prime Minister used, as an illustration of his meaning, a reference to diplomatic documents, he thereby pledged his Government that the title of Empress would be used in diplomatic documents only. The reference was used merely as an illustration—and by no means an exhaustive one—of the point his right hon. Friend was endeavouring to make, and it contained no pledge of any kind as to a limitation of the title or its use. The hon. and learned Member for Taunton had urged in a very ingenious manner that it was upon the statement of the Prime Minister, as he had chosen to interpret it, that the Bill passed through the House. But how did the Bill pass? Not without opposition. Hon. Members seemed to think that they were cajoled, and that they allowed the Bill to pass; but the truth was that they divided upon it at the last moment. They divided upon it on the third reading, and upon the second reading in the House of Lords. They said, in consequence of the statements of the Government the Bill passed; but he ventured to say that if they had introduced the Bill without any limitation at all, it would have passed the House. He would venture to add his opinion that the objection to the Bill which was based upon the notion of Empress being substituted for Queen, and about which hon. Members had made so much fuss, was as unsubstantial and as unreal as any phantom that had ever been conjured up in a spiritual séance. He supposed hon. Members really feared it—some men had differently constituted minds, but to him it was an extraordinary fact that this hallucination was confined to Gentlemen of the Liberal Party. There was a sort of union, the table turned as they all put their hands upon it, and then the phantom was conjured up amongst them. His hon. and learned Friend had said that he would rely, in support of his case, upon the statement of the Lord Chancellor as to what the Proclamation to be issued in pursuance of the Act was to be. This seemed a little curious, for in opposing the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend he should rely more upon the statements made by his noble and learned Friend than upon anything else that had been urged in the course of the discussion of the measure. He did not think that anyone could distinguish the Proclamation from that which, three weeks before it was issued, the Lord Chancellor said it would be. His noble and learned Friend said—
They had to rely upon the Lord Chancellor for guidance in all legal matters, and he would put it to any man in the United Kingdom—not confining himself to Parliament—whether he could distinguish the Proclamation as issued from the authoritative declaration of the Lord Chancellor as to what it was to be. It had been urged in support of the Motion under consideration that the use of the title was only excluded within the United Kingdom and that it had not been attempted to localize it in India. As far as the first statement was concerned, he could only say that the Government only promised to preclude the use of the title within the United Kingdom; and in reference to the second argument it was only necessary to read the words of the Lord Chancellor, who said—"The Proclamation shall comply literally with the engagements which have been given to the House of Commons; and it will provide, in a manner analogous to the Proclamation of 1801, that upon all writs, &c., intended to operate within the United Kingdom the Royal style shall continue as it is."—[3 Hansard, ccxxviii. 1062.]
The Act was passed by Parliament with a full knowledge of the title which the Queen was about to assume, but also with, a knowledge that the title was to be applicable to India only, and that it was in no sense to supersede the title of Queen. There might possibly be weak persons of the toady stamp who would use the new title in conversation, but it could not be supposed that the substitution would be general. Lord Nelson had conferred upon him by a foreign Power the title of Duke of Bronté, and it was his habit to use the title in his signatures; but no one in England was fool or toady enough to suppose that the title of Duke absorbed the name of Nelson. Similarly, he could not suppose that if the full style of Her Majesty was recited in any of the documents or upon any of the occasions when it was customary to set forth all the titles which she bore, any of the evils that had been so glibly predicted would follow. When they were referred to the newspapers of the country to see what everybody had said, he replied—"Bring them to the test of facts." What were the controversies? The controversies were upon the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease); and in the debate the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone), with great earnestness, urged the Government to use the word "local" in front of the addition. The Prime Minister on that occasion stated that there was—"We mean it to be localized in India, and to be used for India; and the way in which that can be best effected, so as to avoid a different result, is by taking security that the title shall not be used in this country."
That statement was emphatically carried out by the Proclamation, which was as near as possible in accord with that of the reign of George III. It was to be used "on all occasions wherein our Royal style and titles ought to be used." The word "wherein" was adopted because it was in the Proclamation of 1801, although perhaps it would have been more proper in this instance to have said—"on all occasions on which,"&c. As far as he knew, the only occasions on which the full titles of the Sovereign were proclaimed and set forth—excepting, of course, the documents to which reference had been made—were on the accession or the death of the reigning Sovereign. He could not for a moment suppose that on any such occasion the title of Queen would be taken to be superseded by that of Empress. He remembered that, at the funeral of the great Duke of Wellington, in St. Paul's, his full titles were recited—a long beadroll of names—but none of them, not even the Prince of Waterloo, absorbed the great English name of Wellington, under which he lived, and fought, and conquered, in spite of all the Dukedoms and Princedoms which he possessed. So through all time and in all circumstances the title of Queen or King would among Englishmen be regarded as grander and higher than that of Empress or Emperor. The hon. and learned Gentleman had referred to the reply given by the Attorney General to the question relating to the congratulatory address said to have been drawn up by the Corporation of Dublin, in which the words "Empress of India" appeared; and what he understood the Attorney General to have said was that there was nothing in the terms of the Proclamation that would justify the use of the expression."Not the slightest intention to substitute the now title of Empress for the supreme title of Queen, and that it was to be localized in India."
He said there was nothing in the words of the Proclamation which would warrant them in using the title.
There was nothing at all referring to the matter to be found in the Proclamation. He quite admitted that, Her Majesty being Empress of India, any one who chose to do so might tack that title on to the other titles of the Queen. In reference to the dreadful apprehensions that were entertained respecting the use of the new title in England, he might mention that a few days since he had been shown a most remarkable publication—which was the organ of a council upon which were a great many hon. Members, and among others the hon. Member for Newcastle-on-Tyne (Mr. Cowen), who had electrified the House by a striking speech the other night—which was called The Financial Reformer's Almanack, and he only referred to it because so many Members of the House gave their names to the Association. In the number of that publication which appeared in 1875, Her Majesty was styled not only Queen, but also Empress of India. The editor of the publication, however, had been so alarmed by what had occurred recently that he had omitted from the publication this year all reference to Her Majesty and the Royal Family, fearful, apparently, that people might compare the present with the past year's description of Her Majesty's style, and come to the conclusion that the title of Empress of India was not thought so dreadful in 1875 as it was in 1876. The hon. and learned Member had then proceeded to refer to a certain number of cases in which he said that the new title might be used with propriety. He had spoken of the accession. He (Mr. Hardy) had no doubt it would be used on the accession. In all diplomatic acts and documents the title would be used, that was to say, in all our affairs and communications with foreign countries we should use this title, and yet he considered that when they were doing that and proclaiming to the whole world outside their own country that Her Majesty was Empress of India, that light could be hidden under a bushel by the attempts which hon. Members were now making to discredit it. With regard to commissions in the Army, he did not think that it would be an improper use of the title to use it in the commissions of officers who had to serve in India. In fact, the hon. and learned Gentleman made no objection to the propriety of its use in such cases; all he appeared to contend for was that such a use of it was contrary to the promise which he said Her Majesty's Government had given. It was quite true that reference was made to Army commissions, and no doubt it was stated generally with regard to these documents that they would be excepted; but there was one point in reference to them which his hon. and learned Friend did not quote—namely, that the noble and learned Lord (the Lord Chancellor) said that if any addition was to be made to those documents it would be to those which operated only out of the United Kingdom. [Sir Henry James: Not "only."] If they were to go into questions of that sort, he must say that when they had that kind of discussion in which they had to look through all the debates, not only in that House, but also in the other, on that question, and when he found that the Lord Chancellor in those words excluded "commissions, and so on," which were to operate in the United Kingdom, and when he was told that when the noble and learned Lord used the instance of Army commissions, &c., he did not use the word "only," he was compelled to adopt a portion of the speech which became inconsistent with the principle upon which the Proclamation was to be made. Turning to the question of patents for inventions, what was the enormous charge that had been brought against Her Majesty's Government on that point? The House would be amused to find that the apprehensions of the hon. and learned Member extended as far as this—that patents for inventions, inasmuch as they extended to the Isle of Man and to the Channel Islands, would contain the title of Empress of India. That was the terrible catastrophe which the hon. and learned Gentleman feared would happen. The hon. and learned Gentleman and his hon. and learned Friends thought that such a use of the title would necessarily drag it into use in the United Kingdom. But the hon. and learned Gentleman might allow his apprehensions upon this point to subside, because it appeared that under the Patent Laws Amendment Act it was in the discretion of the Commissioners of Patents to determine what the form of the patents should be, and he need not be under any frightful apprehensions that the Commissioners would alter the title of Her Majesty as it at present appeared in them. The hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to think that these words, "Empress of India," would appear in the patent of his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, but the words in the Proclamation were, "as far as conveniently may be." Some hon. Members in and some persons out of the House appeared to think that that expression meant that it was to be used on all occasions when it was comfortable and pleasant to do so. That, however, was not the interpretation he placed upon the language of the Proclamation. He understood the words to mean the "suitable and appropriate" use of the title. The form of the documents to which the hon. and learned Member had referred was not fixed by statute, but had grown up by usage in course of time, and there was no reason why that form should be changed. With regard to the Judge Advocate, in reference to whom the hon. and learned Gentleman had thought it worth his while to make certain somewhat unseasonable jests, he might remark that it was not the present Judge Advocate who would be put to all this dreadful trouble foreshadowed by the hon. and learned Gentleman. If success should attend the efforts of the hon. and learned Gentleman that night, it would probably be upon one of his learned Friends that that trouble of the Judge Advocate's patent would fall; and, whoever he might be, he would no doubt be worthy of the glowing eulogium which the words of the patent would imply. He did not doubt, also, that if in any such case the hon. and learned Gentleman would read it to the House, it would be received with as much amusement as was derived from it when read just now. With regard to the colonies, in reference to which so much had been said, it was quite true that some self-elected friends of the colonies thought that they should have been considered when the title of the Crown was being-altered; but nothing to that effect was introduced into the Act when it was passing through Parliament. The hon. and learned Member had told them that the use of the title was to be local, and that that would be sufficient to keep it out of the colonies. Our colonies consisted of two different kinds—those which were self-governed, and those which were directly governed by ourselves. In the year 1801, the Proclamation was proclaimed separately in every colony—colonies which had even their own Legislature. And it was under that Proclamation no doubt that the colonies acted. Now, what was the position of those colonies? Either the commissions or documents which were spoken, of were legal by statute or represented usage. If they were so by statute, what they had done there would make no difference, and he challenged any lawyer to dispute it. If it was so by statute, the colonies had a perfect right to decide what the title should be in their own documents. If, on the other hand, it was by usage they could do the same, for they had a perfect right to alter the usage. He (Mr. Hardy) was not going to say that they could not exercise the Imperial power so far as to say what the Imperial title should be; but we had treated our colonies of late years rather as friendly allies than as being subject to the Imperial power, and on this question, as on all others, Her Majesty's Government would consult the wishes of the colonies. Her Majesty's Government would also consult the wishes of our dependencies which were not self-governing. Thus, with regard to Ceylon, it could scarcely be denied that, frequented as it was by those who resided in India, and closely attached as it was by its situation to that continent, nothing could be more appropriate than that the same title should be used in that island as was in use in India. Again, take the case of the Mauritius. That colony was composed of more than one half of East Indians, and, therefore, nothing would be more graceful than to say that the title used in their own country should be extended to them. Those were cases in which the words "so far as conveniently may be," seemed to him might be applied with great advantage to the colonies. The curious argument, however, had been used that if the title of Empress were to be commonly used in our colonies, it would by reflex action come to be commonly used at home. The position which was taken up by the hon. and learned Gentleman was that Her Majesty's Government were going to force upon the colonies a title which they detested, and yet that this unpopular title would so soon get into common use there that it would come back here. Was not that a contradictory and a preposterous argument? It had further been said that the Government showed by their consent to limit the use of the title to India that they were conscious that it would be unpopular in this country; but he could retort that those who opposed the Act showed by their desire to exclude the use of the title from this country how popular they thought it would become. There was nothing to thrust this title on the colonies if they did not like it. They would be consulted about it, and the self-governed colonies would have the same option which they had always had. Although, no doubt, the title of Empress of India would remain attached to the title of the Crown in this country for ever, yet there was nothing in question now but whether there had been a sufficient limitation as to the use of it. No one had said that there was any danger in the use of the title, and he could not draw any conclusion from the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech, whether he meant that the Proclamation was not in accordance with the declarations made in that House, or whether it was inadequate for the purposes for which it had been issued. Now he asked this question—If deception was not imputed to the Government, what was? What was it that brought those serried ranks of the Opposition if it was not thought that there had been something dishonourable on the part of the Government? It was a small and inadequate issue which was raised for so great a purpose as that whether or not in certain documents the title of Empress of India should be used, and whether the Proclamation was sufficient to exclude those documents. He contended that the Proclamation followed literally what was said by the Lord Chancellor, and by that declaration Her Majesty's Government were ready to stand. He ventured to say that no difference would be found between the two. Parliament was to be censured, for the Motion involved a censure upon Parliament as well as themselves, for Parliament had allowed a statute to pass which some persons considered to be dangerous. The only danger that had ever been suggested was the supercession of one title by the other. He asserted that there was nothing which could be brought forward to show that there was the slightest reason to think that. What was the reason for passing the measure? It was not done merely with the view of adding to the dignity of Her Majesty's Crown which he would say shed lustre quite adequate in itself, but it was sent as a message of peace and conciliation to India. It had been so stated throughout. No one ever supposed they could add any dignity to the Queen, who reigned over the same dominions as before. The time chosen for proposing that that message should be sent was while His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, with the consent and by the assistance of Parliament, was visiting India—an undertaking which some persons supposed would be dangerous, and others unsuccessful. We had heard of the loyalty and affection with which His Royal Highness was received throughout India. He was hailed as the successor of Her Majesty by a future title synonymous with that which had been adopted by Her Majesty. We chose that occasion to heal those wounds which had been opened, and from which blood flowed freely in 1857 and 1858. When we saw the mode in which all those great quarrels and battles and difficulties had been forgotten, and that India was reconciled to our rule, it was a fit time for us to send such a message as we had sent to India. The hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett), he understood, took the decided line of saying that the title of Empress was wrong, and that the Government acted unconstitutionally in adopting that title. But when he (Mr. Hardy) found that censure was proposed not on that ground, but on the technical terms in which the Proclamation was couched, he thought that was not a kind of Motion which was worthy of a great Opposition and of the great Liberal Party. The noble Lord opposite refused to undertake the conduct of that censure. A day would have been given to him to propose it, but he refused to lead and would not march that regiment through Coventry; but he now, as rumour told them, through pressure in the House, not in the country, was going to support this Motion, and no doubt they were threatened with a debate upon one of the narrowest issues ever submitted to Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham (Mr. John Bright) scouted anything like the censure which the hon. Member for Hackney had thought of proposing. When the right hon. Gentleman was told that censure was put off till the Proclamation was issued, he said—
[Mr. John Bright: The Government have committed new sins.] The Government had done nothing in the Proclamation but that which they said they would do. It was not a question of what the Opposition expected, but of what the Government intended, and their promise had been fulfilled in the spirit in which it had been given. He contended boldly that there had been no failure on the part of the Government in the promise they had given. He knew very well that any stick would do to beat a dog; but this stick was rotten and would break in the hands of the Opposition; it was without sap or substance. They could understand a Motion which condemned a principle or a policy. The Opposition used to tell the Government they had no policy. Was the policy of the Opposition this—the number of times in which the title of Empress should be used in certain documents? When, after two years, the Opposition looked to the manner in which the Government had conducted the internal affairs of this country, and Colonial, foreign, and Indian affairs, they could not discover anything on which they could put a hand of censure. They took this miserable ground—this technical ground—this narrow issue—an issue which they themselves could not put upon a definite basis, but which they could only make after fishing through different speeches, and taking out extracts which it was known were qualified by contexts in every instance. He said that such an issue was not worthy of a great Party, which the Government would like to contest with upon such an occasion. It was well known that in moving an Address to the Speech from the Throne the hon. Member for Downpatrick (Mr. Mulholland) suggested this Very title, and yet not a word was said against it. It was a question that did not affect in any degree the real interests of the country. And yet what had hon. Members opposite done? They had, in the course of the debates on the Royal Titles Bill, tried to irritate the colonies by saying they had been neglected. Fortunately the colonial policy of his noble Friend (the Earl of Carnarvon) had been such that the colonies knew whether the Government meant to insult them or not, and that they were in hands which treated them with a delicacy which was at least equal to that with which they were treated by the late Government. The Opposition wentfurther—they tried to excite suspicion in the minds of the Chiefs of India by saying that, although the title of Empress was paltry, yet it was pregnant with great meaning, and would be used for the purpose of asserting an authority over them which we did not possess. That was insinuated by men who once had the confidence of that House, and who had attempted to gain the confidence of the country, which he (Mr. Hardy) believed they had lost—by men who wished to make the Chiefs suppose that instead of this title having been assumed as a message of peace and affection, it was really one of tyranny and despotism. The Opposition tried their hand at the Press, but the Press failed to excite public feeling. They called from their haunts some of the old agitators to see if they could rouse the feeling of the country, and they tried their hands, but soon retired from the hopeless task. They had addressed their appeals to the country, but how had the country answered them? Where was the response? They had indeed sent out forms of Petition from a Liberal Association which had no doubt been returned to them with signatures. He knew no question upon which they could not get signatures in such a way as that. [Opposition cheers.] He understood those cheers, and he quite understood that Petitions might be obtained in the same way on one side as on the other. But he said there had been nothing but factitious agitation—he would not use a stronger word—in the country on that subject. Did such a Motion as this, couched in such language, meet the views of those who were prepared to censure Her Majesty's Government upon their general policy on this question, and was this limited and miserable Motion that which they intended? There was some sting in that of which the hon. Member for Hackney had given Notice; but having failed to kill Her Ma- jesty's Government with the sting, was it reasonable or right that a great Opposition should attempt to spit their venom upon the Government? No doubt they never had trusted the present Government—they did not expect them to do so—but there were men of considerable distinction among them, and who were universally respected, who had the patriotism, believing, as they did, that this title would not be injurious to England while it would be advantageous to India, to give the Government their support. There was something dangerous in a long retention of power. Forty years of power seemed to carry people almost insensibly to the opinion that they could not possibly be done without, and no doubt the Opposition, in their non-trust in Her Majesty's Government and their excessive trust in themselves, awaking from the stupor in which they had for some time been plunged by the downfall which came suddenly and unexpectedly upon them, had been looking in bewilderment for some means to attack the Government which had taken their seats. They did not trust the Government; but, at least, they should point out something in their policy, something in their principles which they did not trust, and not fasten on some little technical question about words in which they could employ the immense ability of the late Attorney General, although even that hon. and learned Gentleman, he ventured to say, could not, with all his skill in advocacy, succeed in making out a case against them before an impartial jury, for he confessed that he wished they could lay aside their Party feelings and look on that question as an impartial jury would decide it. No such indictment as that would stand—no such plea could be supported; and neither in a civil nor in a criminal Court could he possibly obtain a verdict in his favour. He (Mr. Hardy) was convinced that he would not bring such a conclusion about here. The right hon. Member for Birmingham had been pleased to call hon. Gentlemen on that side a "mechanical majority." It was a majority with a will and an instinct of its own, which could at least recognize that the Government had not, as far as any one had yet shown, in any way betrayed the confidence which had been reposed in it, and that it was at least a barrier—if it was nothing better—to "the glorious life" which the late Government had led. The country wanted not that "glorious life" to be led over again, and at least Her Majesty's Government could act as a barrier to that. Wherein had the Government failed in their policy?—for it was only in regard to their policy that a great issue commensurate with the occasion could be raised. If they looked back to the Votes of Censure formerly moved in that House, they would see that they had reference to the substantial measures and actions of the Government, to some matters on which they were said to have fallen short—for example, in respect to the suffrage, or some other great issue on which the intellect of the House might well come into conflict. But what had the Opposition turned this Vote of Censure into? A question of words, of names, and petty things—and such things as were really not worthy of being debated in that House. With regard to India, the Government of which they had undertaken, he might quote the concluding passage of a speech delivered by the Governor General, Lord Lytton, who had just gone out to that country, because it expressed not only that noble Lord's sentiments, but also, he believed, the sentiments of the Government. The Governor General said he prayed Heaven—"Nobody on this side of the House wants to pass a Vote of Censure on the Government. Every one knows that would he a foolish and absurd thing to do in the present state of the House. It is not for the purpose of passing a censure upon the Government, which, in the present state of the House, is not in the power of this side even if they were so disposed to do."
It was not to interfere with the honoured and inalienable title which Her Majesty bore in these dominions that this Proclamation would be solemnly proclaimed throughout India; but it was to show the Indian people that the interest which this country bore them was a real interest, and that in the Representative of Her Majesty the Parliament of England also had a Representative who went to them to tie them nearer to itself by bonds of affection and loyalty, and to show on the part of this country that there was between them and Great Britain an indissoluble union."To direct our counsels to such issues as may prove conducive to the honour of our country, to the authority and prestige of its august Sovereign, to the progressive well-being of the millions committed to our fostering care, and to the security of the Chiefs and Princes of India, as well as of Allies beyond the frontier, in the undisturbed enjoyment of their just rights and hereditary possessions.
Will the House allow me to make a personal explanation? My right hon. Friend has called attention to the fact that I used the word "repudiation." I certainly used the word, but not in the sense attributed to me; I intended only to convey that objection had been taken to reliance being placed on promises which were not made in "another place."
said, he thought the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War had himself used a most improper expression when he spoke of Gentlemen on that side "spitting their venom" at the Ministry, when the whole of the argument of his hon. and learned Friend was a moderate, sensible, legal, and he might almost say impartial argument, based entirely on documents which he had quoted. After the presentation of Petitions which had occupied some 20 minutes that afternoon, he confessed he was somewhat surprised at the audacity of the right hon. Gentleman—he could not use a milder expression—in taunting that side of the House with having, through a political Association, got up Petitions against the Royal Titles Bill. Nothing of the kind had been done, but exactly what the right hon. Gentleman charged that side of the House with doing had been done by his own Friends. He had seen that day a circular issued by the Conservative Association and signed by a gentleman of the name of Gorst—a Member of that House—which was addressed to the branch Associations all over the country, asking them to send up Petitions—not to express the opinion that the Proclamation was in accordance with the Act, for that was most carefully avoided—but only to declare—what, of course, every Conservative Association would be always prepared to declare—that they had full confidence in the Government. The right hon. Gentleman had gone at some length, and with considerable skill, over the old ground of the merits of the question, but had made suggestions of a very novel character. He (Mr. Childers) had never heard before that it was the province of the House to treat as a Ministerial declaration an expression in a maiden speech of a Member on the Address, such as that of the hon. Member for Downpatrick (Mr. Mulholland), and to protest against the opinions which were expressed in it; but the right hon. Gen- tleman had forgotten that in "another place" allusions were made in the debate on the Address to the title of Empress, and the objection which had since been taken by the Liberal Party in the House of Commons was taken on the first night of the Session by the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. The right hon. Gentleman, also forgetting the declaration of the Prime Minister that the new title would add to the splendour of Her Majesty's Throne and the security of the Empire, had denied that it could add anything to the splendour of the Throne; and he had given a novel and unconstitutional description of it. He said that the title Empress of India was to be an additional title here, but a substituted title in India.
said, he did not say it was a substituted title anywhere. He said it was an additional honour and title of the Queen.
said, he was quite ready to accept the explanation; but he certainly did gather from the words of the right hon. Gentleman that in India the Sovereign would be Empress instead of Queen, and here she would be Queen and Empress. He had no hesitation in saying that if that had been the view put forward it would have raised more opposition than the proposed change had now encountered. He was not going to refer at any length to the new reasons given for the Bill itself. In an early part of the Session they had Whitaker's Almanack, Debrett, and similar publications pressed into service in support of the title, and to-night they had had another almanack. Well, it was said that history was an old almanack, but the Government had apparently improved on that view. According to them, old almanacks made history. They had also a novel view of Ministerial declarations. The question turned upon the difference that existed between the promises of the Government and the fulfilment of them; but when they quoted verbatim the formal declarations on the subject they were told that, although they had quoted many speeches, they must quote many more in order to get at their meaning. But every fresh quotation would strengthen his hon. and learned Friend's case rather than weaken it. What his hon. and learned Friend did was to place on ordinary English words their plain ordinary meaning. He quoted several sentences in which it was stated that the title was "only" to be used in India. "Oh," said the right hon. Gentleman opposite, "only" did not mean only; something quite different was intended. Then the word "convenient," they were told, was not to be accepted in its ordinary meaning; it had nothing to do with convenience; but meant what the Government thought suitable. In short, the House was not to understand words in their ordinary English sense, but in the sense in which the Government intended them. The right hon. Gentleman, in his rhetorical style and in his peroration, had accused his hon. and learned Friend and the Opposition of dealing "with words and names and things." Why, in this world, words and names and things constituted realities. In this case the "names" were the names of the Sovereign, the "thing" was the conduct of Her Majesty's Government, and the "words" were the words they used. Now, he would just refer to some of those words and names and things, taking care to give the language he might quote in the sense in which it was understood by the House. His hon. and learned Friend contended that the Government had promised that in respect of the new title the colonies should be placed on exactly the same footing as the United Kingdom, whereas, according to the Proclamation, the new title was to be used by them and was not to be limited to India. What reply to that did the Government make? They pleaded, first, that they had not promised to exclude the colonies; and, secondly, that they had excluded them. That reminded him of the old legal plea—first, that the plaintiff never had the goods; and, secondly, that he had paid the bill. The right hon. Gentleman had proved too much, and that very fact showed the weakness of his case. But what were the promises made with respect to the colonies? They were—First that the title of Empress should be localized in and limited to India; and secondly that the colonies should be placed on exactly the same footing as the mother country. The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted having used these words—"The title of Empress will be a title of a local character to be borne in India." The Prime Minister, on the 23rd of March, used a much stronger expression—"The assumption of the title of Empress," he said, "is to be limited to India, and to be of a local character." Surely, those words were plain and distinct enough to satisfy any ordinary mind. The Secretary of State for War said they should read the context of quotations; but the context in this case did not qualify the statement in the smallest degree. The statement was precise and definite. Again, they had these words—
Could anything be clearer than that? It was quite impossible to give those words the restricted sense in which the right hon. Gentleman wished them to be understood. In addition to the words he had quoted, they had a very express declaration by the Under Secretary of State for India. On the 16th of March he said—"Being an Indian title, we considered that if not used here, it would be used nowhere but in India—a title apposite and appropriate to India. No one suggested that it would be used elsewhere; no one desired to bring it into use elsewhere."
That language surely signified that the same title would be used for the colonies as for the mother country. Then the Prime Minister, on the 20th of March, said—"If there was one thing the colonists would resent more than another, it would be that of being placed in a category different from and lower than that occupied by the inhabitants of these Islands."—[3 Hansard, ccxxviii. 152.]
The Prime Minister also used these words—"The proposition to add to the style and titles of the Queen with reference to India is occasioned by the circumstance that a great revolution has occurred in the relations between England and India—between Her Majesty and her Indian subjects….In the relations between Her Majesty and her colonial subjects no such change has occurred.ߪColonists look upon themselves, and rightly, as brother Englishmen."—[Ibid. 280.]
Clearly, therefore, whatever title was to be used in this country was to be used in the colonies also. These promises were plain and positive; how had they been fulfilled? His hon. and learned Friend had referred to the Proclamation. Let the House mark its effect. Parliament had been told all along that the use of the new title would be localized, and limited to India. Would the House believe that there was no mention of India in the Proclamation except in the recital of the words of the Act, and the Act of Union, and the title "Empress of India." The operative words were that—"It would be a slur on colonists if we drew a line and made a distinction between those of Her Majesty's subjects who live in the United Kingdom and those who are to be found in Canada and elsewhere."
shall be used. Again, when his hon. and learned Friend had quoted the precise words of the Lord Chancellor, he was told that he ought to have referred to a letter that noble Lord had written correcting the report of his speech. Now, he had referred to that letter; it was written by the Lord Chancellor, and had appeared in The Times of May 4. In it the Lord Chancellor used these words—"On all occasions and in all instruments wherein Our Style and Titles are used, save and except all Charters, Commissions, Letters Patent, Grants, Writs, Appointments, and other like instruments, not extending in their operation beyond the United Kingdom and its Dependencies….these words Empress of India"
The argument, therefore, was that the Government were to be pardoned for their indiscretion, as it would have such a small result. Now, he would show that that proposition was untenable. It was absolutely obligatory to publish the Proclamation in the colonies, for a portion of the Proclamation was—"This Proclamation has not been made or issued in any Colony, and even if it were to be made or issued in a Colony, there are very few instruments indeed in the Colonies in which the full titles of the Crown are used."
Therefore, in every colony where money was coined, or money coined elsewhere was made by Her Majesty's Proclamation lawful money of that colony, it was absolutely necessary that this Proclamation should be made. This extended to all the Australian Colonies and North America, in fact, practically to the whole Colonial Empire, Then, again, it was admitted that all the appointments by the Queen of the Governors of her colonies and dependencies must in future bear in their commissions the announcement that they had been so appointed in the name of the Queen and Empress of India. He would now tell the House from his own knowledge what happened when a new Governor went to a colony. A public meeting was held, the Chief Justice was present, and administered the oaths of allegiance and of office to the new Governor, and his commissions were read in extenso, so that, for the future, in the most public way, the new style and title would be proclaimed. It afterwards had to be published in the Colonial Government Gazette. It had been alleged that in the colonies very few instruments ran in the name of the Queen. When he read those words he was very much astonished, because not very long before the Prime Minister said exactly the reverse. These were the right hon. Gentleman's words—"And Our will and pleasure further is….that all moneys coined for and issued in any of the Dependencies of the said United Kingdom, and declared by Our Proclamation to be current and lawful money of such Dependencies, respectively bearing Our Style or Titles, or any part or parts thereof, and all moneys which shall hereafter be coined and issued according to such Proclamation, shall, notwithstanding such addition, continue to be lawful and current money of such Dependencies."
He had looked in the Library, and he could tell the House that the list of the instruments which ran in the colonies giving the full style and titles of the Queen was as long as the Return which had been laid on the Table that day as to such instruments in the United Kingdom. Copies of such instruments in scores might be read there in force in Canada, Newfoundland, all the Australian Colonies, the Cape, the West Indies, New Zealand, and even Malta. Again, the original powers of a colony with regard to the administration of justice were derived from the Crown. As in the recent case of Fiji, Letters Patent were sent out establishing the Government, forming its Supreme Court, and the Judges obtained their powers in the first instance from the Royal Prerogative. If any new colonies were henceforth established, in New Guinea, Northern Australia, or elsewhere, the Letters Patent would run in the name of the Queen as Empress of India; and thus, if the contention of the Government were correct, you would have a cluster of colonies, some day probably to be united in one Con- federation, but meanwhile using the name of their Sovereign some as Queen only, and others as Queen and Empress of India. Again, every colony had a seal, which derived its power, not from the Colonial Legislature, but from the Royal Prerogative. A new colony had been formed some time ago by separation from another colony. By some inadvertence the Colonial Office omitted to send out a seal. The Colonial authorities made and used a temporary seal; but the moment the new seal went out it became necessary to give validity to all that had been done before, and an Act was passed reciting the facts and setting forth that the new seal had been brought into operation. On every occasion of the demise of the Crown it was necessary to issue to every colony a new seal. Upon this seal what would be expressed? These seals had the full titles of the Crown, and if they did not bear the title of Empress of India, still greater confusion than that which he had already pointed out would be the result. Another case might be put. Writs emanating from the Supreme Court of a colony set out the full style of the Crown. It was said that it would rest with the colony itself to decide whether those writs should bear the title of Empress of India. But the Supreme Court was also the Vice Admiralty Court, drawing its entire jurisdiction from the Admiralty Court in this country. It was manifestly necessary that the Vice Admiralty Court of the colony should use the full style and title of the Crown, because it was not only an Imperial and Colonial Court but an International Court. What, then, would be the result if in one jurisdiction the style of Empress was used and in another it was not used? These were practical difficulties in the way of the suggestion made by the Secretary of State for War. But there was a difficulty of much greater importance. It had been suggested that it should be in the power of each colony to decide whether or not it would use the whole of the Queen's title in instruments which had a colonial effect. Now, Her Majesty was Queen "by the grace of God," and also "Defender of the Faith." There were some persons—though, he hoped, only a small minority—who would wish to omit the words "by the grace of God;" but in certain colonies the great majority of the people belonged to a religious denomination to which the title of "Defender of the Faith" was unpalatable, and they would like to omit it. If, therefore, as was suggested, the colonies might alter the Royal style in local instruments, he warned the Government that attempts might be made to omit the words "Defender of the Faith." This was a grave difficulty which ought to have been well weighed by Her Majesty's Government before they put forward the dangerous doctrine as to the power of colonies to alter the style of the Crown. The end of all this would be that, owing to the Proclamation, there would be not only grave inconveniences but the greatest confusion, and the whole method of proclaiming the Royal style and title would be a muddle from beginning to end. The best thing for the Government to do would be to admit that there had been—not a breach of faith, because his hon. and learned Friend never said there had been a breach of faith; his language on this point was cautious and temperate; but to admit that in this matter there had been grave and culpable carelessness, evidence not only of precipitation but of very considerable ignorance. If the Government would admit this, the best thing they could do would be to bring in a Bill enabling them to withdraw the Proclamation and proclaim the addition, to the Royal title in the manner in which it was promised to Parliament. The country would then be saved from the carelessness, ignorance, and precipitation of the Government, the end of which they had not at all foreseen."In the Colonies every act of the Executive runs in the name of the Queen….All civil processes issue under the Crown; Judges are appointed, criminals are arraigned and convicted, and conveyances of land are made," &c. [3 Hansard, ccxxviii. 280.]
said, he could not recommend the Government to take the advice given them by the right hon. Gentleman to bring in another Bill for another series of debates and divisions and Motions, which would make the question an interminable one. As to the present Motion, he thought, with the Secretary for War, that it was hardly possible to look upon it as serious, being supported merely by clippings from newspapers—detached passages, without the context. The complaint on the other side resolved itself into that urged in "another place" by Lord Selborne, that the Government had promised, negatively, that the style and title of Empress should not, when it could possibly be avoided, be made use of in Great Britain and Ireland, and, positively, that the new title should, as far as possible, be limited in its use and localized in India. Lord Selborne referred principally to the words of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government which had been already quoted that evening. Those words gave a very wide margin for exceptions to the rules; because it was impossible that the title of Empress of India could exist as a part of the titles of the Sovereign without there being some occasions on which, even in the absence of direct reference to India, it must be used in this country. It appeared to him that for the purposes of this Act the Governor of a colony came within the description of a diplomatic functionary, and consequently confusion might arise unless the title of Empress of India was used in the instruments by which he was appointed. This might be done consistently with the statements made by the Government and with the exceptions contained in the Proclamation. Singapore, Ceylon, the Straits Settlements, Mauritius, and Hong Kong were so mixed up with India that we could not carry on their governments unless the Governors were to represent our Sovereign not only as Queen of the United Kingdom, but also as Empress of India. In reference to certain objections urged by the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James), he remarked that the title of Empress would fitly be used in the appointment of the Lords of the Admiralty. Their jurisdiction extended over the whole world wherever there was sea, and, at least in theory, they might have to take command of a squadron in India. As to the Secretaries of State, no departmental distinction was ever drawn between them. Any of them might be called upon at any moment to act for the Secretary of State for India, and they must have the same Warrant. In the Address in reply to the gracious Speech from the Throne there was not a word about localizing the title. At that time the House unanimously accepted the principle of an additional title. The question of localization only cropped up when, by some reason, the Opposition wished to object to the particular title which the Government thought right to propose. It was very easy to adopt such a method of warfare. The weapon was, in fact, a shell invented during the course of a protracted siege, but with so slow a fuse that it did not burst until the siege had been raised. The present was not the first instance since 1801 that a new title had been given to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. In 1815 the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland assumed the title of King instead of Elector of Hanover. He did this as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, as might be found in the Treaty of Vienna, and he then published a Proclamation whereby he decreed that an escutcheon of pretence, bearing on it the arms of Hanover, should be placed on the arms and coinage of the United Kingdom. The King also founded the Royal Guelphic Order, the decorations of which were still recognized in England. He did not mention this as a precedent for anything to be done now, but merely in order to show that when we consented to give an additional title to the Sovereign, even though the title was a foreign one and did not carry any weight in this country, it was a difficult thing to lay down a hard-and-fast line that that particular title should never crop up in matters affecting this country. In Hungary there was the greatest jealousy of the title of Emperor of Austria; but on the coinage the title was kept as a subsidiary or additional title to that of King of Hungary. Numerous titles were also recited in Austrian State documents. The Emperor was King of this place, Grand Duke of another, and these titles were recited, not for use in Vienna, but for the purpose of localizing power and showing where particular functions were to be exercised. He would also instance Sweden and Norway, which countries were extremely jealous of each other. There, though the title immediately applicable to Sweden was used first in Sweden, and that applicable to Norway first in that country, yet in both countries the two titles were used. Now, India was part of the British Empire, and hon. Gentleman must not run away with the idea that the use of the title "Empress of India," even in this country, in connection with matters of great Imperial importance, was in contradiction to the spirit or the substance of the promises which had been made by the Government. When the East India Company was done away with it became necessary that the Queen should take some title which should indicate the manner of her succession to the function and powers of that Company. She could not take the title of "Company," and the title of Empress was, he maintained, the only one which really corresponded with such a position. As had been well observed by the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) in a recent debate on the subject, we looked upon that title at the present moment as coming from the word "Empire," and not "Imperator." The case of the German Emperor was, he thought, entirely applicable to the question under discussion, because while, in that case, the title of Emperor was used for Imperial purposes, it was not used for matters which merely regarded his own kingdom of Prussia, and the King of Bavaria, in offering him the new title, employed language to the effect that the Presidential rights of the Confederacy should be coupled with the Imperial title. Again, when in 1858 the Proclamation was issued by which Her Majesty assumed the rights of the East India Company, she did so in a capacity not adequately expressed by the title of Queen, inasmuch as she did so not as Queen of the subjects of the Native Princes, but as having suzerain rights over the Princes themselves. That was recognized by right hon. Gentleman opposite, too, when the Order of the Star of India was founded, for the qualifications of persons who were to be admitted to that Order were described in the Queen's Patent as being for "meritorious services rendered to our Indian Empire;" whereas in other Orders the qualifications were set forth as being for services rendered to the United Kingdom in certain territories. In December, 1858, a letter, he might add, had appeared in The Times, in which it was stated that Her Majesty was hailed everywhere in India, on assuming the place of the East India Company, as "Queen of England and Empress of Hindostan." The title of Empress of India localized itself. It represented duties. They could not deny the title without also denying those duties; and, as a Member of that House nottied down by any forensic technicalities, he considered the Government in connection with it—and he hoped the division that evening would support that view—had acted in perfectly good faith, had redeemed their pledges, and were worthy, not of the censure, but of the confidence of the House. He was glad, however, that the Motion had been brought forward; for in rejecting a useless Motion the House would allay a senseless agitation invited by a clique and scouted by the people—an agitation quite as unmeaning as that which assailed the introduction into this country of the Gregorian Calendar. For what was done then was all that was done now—a fact was declared to be a fact, and the Sovereign of the United Kingdom was proclaimed in name what she was in reality—Empress of India.
said, as he did not intend to take any part in the division, it would be unreasonable for him to trespass very long on the House, and he would only ask attention for a very short time while he stated the reasons which rendered him unable to support the Motion that had been made. He might say, in the first place, that he spoke merely his own sentiments as an individual. Sometimes he was permitted to speak for others on questions which those who acted with him thought unimportant; but this was not one of those questions. There was no person in the House who entertained a stronger feeling on the Royal Titles Bill and the assumption of the title of Empress than he did; but he was afraid it was now useless to argue that question. He could only hope that the mischief which he had anticipated and which, he was sorry to say, he still anticipated, from the adoption of that ill-advised step, would not be realized. He believed it would be the anxiety of everyone of them to endeavour, as far as they could, to avert the mischief which would follow, if ever the title of Empress became indigenous in England; but, feeling this, he must recollect that the Motion before the House had no relation to the policy orimpolicy of the assumption of the title. It could do no good. If it were carried, and a change of Ministry followed, the Ministers who would succeed to office must use the title of Empress of India in every case in which the present Ministers would use it. The Act and the Proclamation were irrevocable, and all they could do now was to make the best of it. But he must say there was reason for holding that the Proclamation—he did not like to use the word miscarried—but it was not framed as carefully as it ought to have been framed with reference to the assumption of that title in Colonial documents. Was that, however, a case for the grave step of censuring the Ministers? Before he could vote in support of a Vote of Censure upon the Ministers, he must remember what had occurred. There were opportunities in that House of discussing the limitations that ought to be put on the title. On the 16th of February leave was given to bring in the Bill; on the 7th of March it was read a second time without a division, and on the 20th they went into Committee. There was, however, a Motion made by the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Hartington) against the title of Empress, and that was defeated, he thought, by a majority of 305 against 200. It was true that a division was taken on the third reading of the Bill, but it was by mere accident and quite unpremeditated. He must say that if there really was that strong feeling in this country against this Bill which many persons supposed, if others felt as he felton the subject, that was a paltry account of an opposition to a measure involving great principles. It passed that House and went to the Upper House, and after it had gone there, a question was raised as to the impossibility of localizing the title, because the title of the Queen being one and indivisible, it must be used throughout all her dominions. They then learned from the usual organs of public opinion that somewhere or other—he would not say where—Ministers had stated that it was their intention to limit the application of the title not by Act of Parliament, but by the Proclamation. What followed? They also were told that eminent lawyers had doubted whether that would be in strict accordance with the Act of Parliament. When that question was raised a totally new issue which had never been before that House arose, that was as to limiting the application of the title by Proclamation. There were some who thought that gave them a fair opportunity of discussing the question, and the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett) put a Notice of Motion on the Paper. Had that Motion been discussed the whole question of the limitation of the title by the Royal Proclamation might have been the subject of debate, and the House would not have had to trust to vague recollections of what had been said in previous debates. He did not say that such a Motion would have succeeded; but he believed it would have modified the action of the Government in drawing up the Proclamation. The Prime Minister upon that occasion made an offer—he would not call it the generous offer—to allow this Motion to come on. He offered Monday for this purpose if two hon. Gentleman who had Notices of Motion put down for Friday would give way and allow certain Government Business to come on upon that day. The noble Marquess deliberately told the House that if he had asked his two Friends to give up their Motions he was certain they would have done so; but that the Motion of the hon. Member for Hackney did not appear to him to be of sufficient importance or urgency to justify him in making that request. Those Notices were not without importance. One related to Public Schools and another to a Central Arsenal; but they were neither of them subjects of great State policy; and if the noble Marquess had allowed the Motion of the hon. Member for Hackney to come on, the Government might have been warned as to the feeling of the House on the limitation of the new title, and the Proclamation might have been far better framed. The noble Marquess gave another reason, for he said that the Motion would come on upon the day before the holidays, when there would be a thin House, and that it would have been difficult to induce Members to remain in town for another day. So that the House was told that the question was regarded of so much importance by his Friends that they could not be expected to remain in town one day longer. It was not for him to criticize the course taken by the noble Lord, who was the best judge of what should be done; but he would say that every Member of that House who was now asked to join in this Vote of Censure was placed in a very unfair position. As long as there was a probability of altering the terms of the Proclamation and limiting the application of the title of Empress, the Motion of the hon. Member for Hackney was declared to be of no importance compared with the Notices of two Members of the Opposition, or with detaining Members in town for another day. With every respect for the noble Marquess, he must decline to follow him in that course. And he felt that, when he refused to obtain a day for the Motion of the hon. Member for Hackney, the time for discussing it with any advantage had passed away from the House and the country. There was another opportunity after the Recess. The House met on Monday, the 24th of April, but the House of Lords did not meet until the Thursday following. There were therefore three or four days within which the House might have discussed the question and presented an Address to Her Majesty as to the way in which the power should be used which had been granted to the Queen. Again the hon. Member for Hackney made an attempt to raise the question. In despair, he put his Motion in the form of a Vote of Censure upon the Ministry, thinking that by so doing he might induce the Leader of the Opposition to adopt it. That Motion died, however, under the cold shade thrown over it by the front Opposition bench. The noble Marquess again declined the discussion; and was it fair to expect him as an independent Member, bound to no Party, to join in a Vote of Censure after the opportunity for discussion had been twice declined, although it might then have had a practical effect and modified the terms of the Proclamation? The House was now discussing this question, and all the great interests involved in a Vote of Censure upon the Government, upon points depending upon the doubtful construction of the doubtful words of different Ministers. The question was what had been said on one day by the Lord Chancellor, and what had been stated by the Lord President on another. The First Lord of the Treasury had said so-and-so; but if they would look a little further down the columns of The Times they would find that something had been said by somebody else, and that, at all events, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made a different statement. He would say, with great respect, that this was embarking the House in a debate which was dwindling down into something more like an alternate altercation between angry schoolboys than the grave deliberations of a Legislative Assembly. The more he reflected upon the greatness of the questions involved, the greater the objection he felt to enter upon the discussion of that which was now irrevocable, the more strongly he was convinced that the course they were asked to pursue was perilling the honour of the English Monarchy—the less he felt inclined to degrade and dwarf this great question to the proportions of a miserable squabble and wrangling. For these reasons he was unable to support this Motion. He thought there were grounds for saying that the Proclamation had been carelessly framed, and at one time he had felt inclined to move the Previous Question. Perhaps, however, if anyone did so he would find himself in the position of an Irish constable who should attempt to interfere between two conflicting persons who were determined to fight it out. As far as he was concerned, therefore, he should remain neutral. He could not quite shut his eyes to the present state of Parties; and, having regard to the principles that would always guide him, on whichever side of the House he should sit, in acting in dependently of all Parties, he saw no practical result as likely to follow from the division—nothing but the roll-call of one Party. Believing that he should best maintain his own independent position if he took the course he had described, he should remain neutral.
held that the question before the House was a very narrow one. Outside the walls of that House strenuous but abortive efforts had been made to heap ridicule upon the Government in regard to the Royal Titles Bill, while within that House the supporters of the Government had been charged with undue subserviency to Party considerations. Hitherto, however, no one had attempted to raise a distinct issue impeaching the conduct of the Government until the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James) had given them an opportunity of vindicating it. The most valid argument in their favour would be the decisive majority which he felt confident the Government would obtain that night, and the Ministerial benches had, therefore, much for which to thank the hon. and learned Member for Taunton. The House might take it for granted that the Motion had been framed after much anxious consideration on the part of the hon. and learned Members for Taunton and Oxford, and it was nothing less than a distinct indictment against the Government, charg- ing them with having given undertakings to limit and restrain the title of Empress, and with afterwards violating the arrangements they had made. The hon. and learned Member for Taunton certainly intended to convey by his speech that night and by his Motion that the Government had deliberately violated their engagements. That was about as grave a charge against a Government as could well be conceived; because, if well founded, it would render the Government unworthy of the confidence of the House and the country. It was, however, a charge which the House would not entertain unless it was satisfactorily established; and what was the evidence upon which it was founded? It was a series of declarations on the part of the Government, made at different times, in different places, in different terms, and with different surrounding circumstances. It might be possible to pick out isolated expressions that might bear the meaning sought to be attached to them; but no frank and candid mind would doubt that the Government had in good faith fairly fulfilled every promise and engagement that they had ever made during the progress of the Royal Titles Bill through Parliament. Before the House could adopt this Vote of Censure it must be satisfied as to the promises alleged to have been broken, and the construction to be put upon the statements on which those promises were founded. The Proclamation, he admitted, might have been drawn in a more concise form than that in which it appeared; but, divested of its verbiage, what did it mean? It meant this—that whenever it was customary and convenient to use the Royal title and style it should be used with the addition of the title of Empress of India, but that such addition should not be used in any English official document of any sort or kind. That he regarded as the true construction of the promises made by Her Majesty's Government, and he believed that they had been most adequately fulfilled. But what, he asked, had led up to those declarations being made? It was announced in the speech from the Throne that an addition to the Royal title was to be made, and the announcement was received by the Press and the public with, he might say, universal acclamation. Thus matters continued until the middle of March, when a panic occurred, from what cause arising he knew not, probably from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe), who stated that the ancient title of the Crown was about to be impaired. In view of that crisis, the Government gave an undertaking that the new title would not come into use in this country, and the Proclamation excluded its use from any official document. What, then, remained for the Government to do?—for it was impossible to exclude it from verbal use. "But then," said the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt), "you have broken faith with us, because you said you would confine the title to certain diplomatic documents." Well, the answer was that that was not so. The engagement was that the title should be locally applied in India, and it was added that it should not appear in any documents relating exclusively to the United Kingdom. On the 20th of March the Prime Minister emphatically disavowed any intention on the part of the Government to advise Her Majesty to use the additional title of Empress, except in reference to India, and the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition, accepting that statement, said that what he apprehended was that once the title was assumed it would gradually come into common use and appear in official documents. The noble Lord then referred to the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease), which was then before the House, which excluded the use of the title from the United Kingdom. But the Proclamation carried out that Amendment in its spirit. For all purposes, Her Majesty would govern the United Kingdom as she had hitherto governed it; but he could not agree that they were to interfere with the Prerogative of the Crown, and say that, under no circumstances, should Her Majesty be acknowledged as Empress of India. There was no hon. Member of the House who was more acute in understanding the meaning of declarations made than the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone), who, in a speech he delivered in one of the stages of the Bill, said, referring to the Prime Minister—
These words showed clearly and unequivocally that the right hon. Gentleman perfectly understood the meaning of the statement that had been made by the Prime Minister and the intentions of the Government in reference to the measure. If anything were wanting to show that the right hon. Gentleman was aware of the views of the Government it was to be found in the speech which he delivered on the third reading of the Bill, when he said—"The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government had refused to be absolutely bound to exclude the recital of the proposed Imperial title from every document not relating specifically to the business of India."—[3 Hansard, ccxxviii. 328.]
It was quite plain, therefore, that the intentions of the Government were clearly understood, and he maintained that the Proclamation was an honest carrying out of the policy they announced from the outset. The statements of the Government in that House were sufficiently explicit but at the House of Lords they were, if possible, even more clear and full. The Lord Chancellor stated on the 3rd of April that the Proclamation to be issued would comply literally with the engagements given in the House of Commons; and on another occasion he said there would be no difficulty in giving effect to the intention of the Government to except from the operation of the Bill all commissions, writs, and similar documents operating in the United Kingdom. If any doubt remained at the time when the measure reached the Upper House, nothing would have been more easy than to question the Government on the matter. They were to-night considering niceties of expression and language and subtleties of words, and he doubted whether these were matters on which the country took much interest. The people of this country took a broad and statesmanlike view of the position. They believed that the Government intended by their declarations that Her Majesty was to be Queen in England, and Empress in India, and that they had honourably fulfilled their promises. They were satisfied with what had been done, and he believed the time was not far distant when hon. Members opposite, who now looked at the Titles Act through a jaundiced medium, would candidly confess that the policy of Her Majesty's Government had been wise and judicious, and that it was calculated to consolidate and promote the interests of this mighty Empire."We understand from the Government that it is their intention that this title shall be, as far as possible, only employed as a local title. The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister has felt it necessary to say that it cannot be made absolutely local."—[Ibid. 481.]
said, he thought it was too late to recall the decision at which Parliament had arrived in passing the Bill; but, at the same time, it had a perfect right, if it chose, to express an opinion that there was a marked difference between the Proclamation that had been issued and the Act that was passed. He entirely disagreed with the right hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Hardy's) estimate of the public agitation on the Bill when it was before the House. Throughout the whole of the North of England there had been a decided and earnest feeling against this measure. This feeling was evidenced in his county by meetings in every town and village, and he was not aware that the slightest exertion had been made to secure local support for the opposition against the measure. The Bill was not complete without the Proclamation, and the Proclamation could not be made without the Bill; but he should be able to prove that what they now beheld was a very different child from what had been promised them. The enabling portion of the measure was the Act of Parliament, but the enacting portion was the Proclamation. Knowing that the Proclamation must follow the Bill, he ventured to place on the Paper the Amendment which had been so much alluded to both there and in "another place." He doubted very much the policy of applying this measure to India; and, on the contrary, he was inclined to regard it as an insult to the Indian people to cause Her Majesty to be described in India by a style and title different from that by which we liked to know her at home. The only question he had to decide in his own mind was as to the manner in which Her Majesty's new title was to be restricted to India; and therefore it was that he appealed to Her Majesty's Government to promise that a record of its limitation should be placed on the face of the Act. Eventually he consented to withdraw his Amendment, trusting to the promises which had been made by Members of the Government. The Chancellor of the Exchequer asked him to withdraw his Motion, lest by it he should imply a want of confidence in the Government, and he did withdraw it. They pressed the Government for explanations, however, and at length arrived at this declaration—that the principle of the Proclamation was to be localization. Instead of any such localization, however, the Proclamation gave to the use of the new title, with few exceptions, a very wide application, and the country was not to be convinced that the indication of the Proclamation as given by the promises of Ministers, and the Proclamation itself, were one and the same thing. It was now evident that the use of the full title was to be thrown broadcast before the people, who might either use it or leave it alone. He regretted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had supported this measure with an earnestness in which he feared that he would forget his position as a statesman in that of the advocate. He supposed he should be asked if he were prepared to charge the Government with a breach of faith. That was the gravest charge possible that could be levied by one Gentleman against another; but such a charge, if possible, was still graver if levied against a responsible Government. He was not at all prepared to make such a charge; but it seemed to him that they were open to the charge, also a grave one, of going into the matter of this Royal title without contemplating, or properly contemplating, where they were going to. It was a piece of haphazard legislation—a going about seeking for a policy. The whole measure was a blunder from the beginning, and it remained to that hour a tissue of blunders. It had been said that there were no Petitions. The difficulty about petitioning was that people did not know what they were petitioning about. When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of London (Mr. Lowe) stood before the House the other day in an unenviable position, and in that penitential garb which he so properly assumed, he felt that, though he regretted the mistake the right hon. Gentleman had made, great good had arisen out of it, as the House now knew for the first time that no Minister at any time had been asked by the Sovereign for this title, and the only argument which had occupied the minds of men—an argument which could not be used in this House—was swept away; and had Her Majesty's Government looked at the question as they did now, he believed they would not have attempted the initiation of the Bill, which, whatever might be said to the contrary by hon. Gentlemen opposite, had not been regarded with favour by the country at large. The only point before them that evening was that which had been raised by his hon. and learned Friend (Sir Henry James)—namely, how far the intentions of Her Majesty's Government, as expressed in their behalf both there and in "another place," had been carried out by the Proclamation which he had criticized? He felt that no one could read the declarations made by the Government, and also the Proclamation, and then say that the two were consistent; and he should, for those reasons, support the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend.
said, the House should deal with this question, not in the pettifogging way in which Members on the Liberal side of the House were inclined to treat it, but on the broad ground of statesmanship and of confidence or not in Her Majesty's Government. If treated in that way they would see that the objections introduced in this House and caught up, he admitted, by the people of London, were mere cobwebs, and that Her Majesty's Government were worthy of the confidence not only of their supporters, but of the great majority of the people of this country. First, they had to ask themselves what was the object with which the Government had introduced the Bill; and, secondly, what were the fears that its introduction had aroused, and then they must look at the Proclamation to see whether or no those advantages would be obtained, and whether or no those fears would be now realized. First, the object. It was, if he understood it rightly, to bring together into the focus of political unity the varied interests of the peoples and Princes of India, so that although the Rajahs and Maharajahs, Begums and Nizams, and all the other different Chieftains and Sovereigns of that country held their territories with different titles and with different authority relative to each other, and differed again in their relative positions towards the Throne of England, yet that they should for the first time in the history of the world be all collected together under one Sovereign. One Sovereign whom they could call their own, one Sovereign whose power was not only greater than either, but greater than that of all of them together, and yet who was not the mere Representative of a foreign Power, but was their own Ruler, their own Empress. As Queen of England she could but rule over them as a foreign Power, and they were always reminded by her name and title of their being a conquered people, but as Empress of India they could rally round her Imperial standard as the standard of their own, their native land. This might be mere sentiment, but all patriotism was sentiment. At present there was nothing to unite these Princes and Powers together, for they were different, many of them, at least, in religion as well as in race, and the only idea which would unite them would be the desire to drive out their common conqueror; but now they ceased to be subject to one who was only Queen of a foreign land; they would be subject to their own Sovereign. Then, see what an opportune moment had been chosen for this change. It was proposed now as an acknowledgment of the loyal and affectionate reception given by the inhabitants of India to the Prince of Wales. He went there the heir of their conquerors; he left it the adopted heir of their Throne; he went there unknown, except by reputation; he left it beloved by the people and the friend of every Chief; he found it a country divided, though brilliant as the stars of heaven; he left it united into one great Empire, whose glory was only equalled by the Eastern sun. Was not this an object worthy of their consideration? Was not the Government which had sent him to India, and which had brought about such a change, worthy of the confidence of their country? Next, what were the fears which had been created by the introduction of this Bill? Why, either that the Queen and the Royal Family would get so enamoured of the title of Empress that they would wish her to become Empress of England, or that the people would out of mere fulsome flattery, endeavour to change our good old title of Queen. What absurdity! It was admitted that the title of Queen did not represent, and could not represent, our Power in India. It was equally admitted that Empress did not represent her position in England. Could we not trust our Queen and our countrymen to abstain from such unpatriotic wishes? But, even if they gave way to them, did not the Proclamation prevent the use of the word Empress as one of the styles of her title in Great Britain? It was admitted that it did. What more, then, was wanted? Just as well say that the Peers of England would be ashamed at hearing their second titles pronounced, that the Earl of Derby would be ashamed to hear that he also bore the honoured name of Stanley—a name under which his ancestors had won their glory, as that we of England should be ashamed to know that our Queen or King acknowledged the glorious victories of our soldiers and the wisdom of our statesmen by being called also Empress or Emperor of India. If this effort to bring together into the focus of political unity was worth an effort, could any policy be imagined more likely to frustrate its object or to minimize its advantages than that adopted by the Opposition? Their conduct, the storm that they had raised against the word Empress, the awful fear that they said they felt, had been sufficient to frighten a far less sensitive people than the inhabitants of India. They must think there was some poison in the cup we were offering, or that it would change the freedom and liberality of English government of the 19th century into the tyranny and narrow-mindedness of the middle ages. It would make them think that this proffered Crown, instead of being a diadem of peace, was, indeed, a crown of thorns. Could they have so acted with the intention of so injuring their country? He thought not. He thought no one in this House could be so base. We must look round, therefore, for some other reason, and in the history of Parliament we find it. History sometimes reproduced itself, and it had done so now. They had only to search the records ofHansard, and they would find that this was not the first time in which India had been made the battle-ground of political Parties, not the first time that a Liberal Opposition had attempted to get back to power by sacrificing the interests of India to the chance of overthrowing a Conservative Government. In 1858, when the Conservative Government condemned the policy of confiscation adopted and announced in the famous Proclamation of the Liberal Viceroy, Lord Canning, the Conservative Government condemned it, whereupon a great and factious attack was made by the Liberal Party against the Government, because of the publication in England of Lord Ellenborough's despatch condemning that policy of confiscation, and insisting that it should be withdrawn. The same noble Lord was put forward then as moved the hostile Resolutions in the House of Lords the other day. The same noble Lord then, as now, announced that he was not actuated by Party motives. He literally called God to witness that he at least had no factious motive, and I suppose thanked God that he was not like poor publicans and sinners. What said the independent Liberals of that day, men still in the House, men who refused then to be dragged through the mire and to dishonour their country for the sake of obtaining a Party victory? What said the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck)? [See 3 Hansard, cl. 767, 772.] What said the hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn)? [Ibid.] Was not this a reproduction of those scenes? He appealed, therefore, to those whose independence was not yet lost to oppose this Resolution, and he believed that not only would those who wrote their history of these times, but even that public opinion which was said to be against them, would applaud the conduct of Her Majesty's Government, and condemn this Vote of Want of Confidence and the policy of the Opposition as being unworthy of any great Party, and not likely to restore to the Liberals the appellation of that name.
said, that having on a former occasion spoken and voted against the Royal Titles Bill, he felt that he ought to state why he had no sympathy with the present Motion, and why he should vote against it. He cordially sympathized with the language of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War, who said that he was unable to understand the terms and the object of this Resolution. Having read the Resolution very carefully, he (Dr. Kenealy) had come to the same conclusion, and was equally in the same mist and fog as the right hon. Gentleman. He hardly thought the attention of the House had been sufficiently called to the extraordinary language of the Resolution, which said that—
One single declaration was pointed out by the hon. and learned Gentleman who put it upon the Paper; but he cited half-a-dozen declarations without telling them exactly upon which one he asked the House to affirm the Resolution. The Resolution was involved in a cloud of words; it was evidently framed with the purpose of concealing what it meant. The present movement was part of that which had evidently been concocted out of doors by the Liberal Party, who were now grown desperate in their hunger after office. They had stirred up their Press and had set to work all the machinery of Party against the Government. It had been generally announced to the public at those meetings which had been held on this subject that the Ministry had violated every principle of good faith, and were no longer worthy to occupy the Treasury benches. But they had uttered very different language in that House that night, and he had not heard from the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James) any charge of breach of faith on the part of the Government—any imputations of falsehood such as had been freely indulged in out-of-doors. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Pontefract (Mr. Childers) had said that they had been guilty of great carelessness, and other hon. Members had stated that they had been guilty of a series of mistakes; but surely they were not going to turn out the Government because they had been guilty of carelessness or had committed one or two mistakes. If every Government were to be turned out on such grounds, he did not know when it would be possible to have a permanent Government in this country. There was not one of them that did not commit both offences. What he wanted to know was, what was the charge against the Government? If the hon. and learned Member for Taunton and those who supported him had convinced the House that the Ministers had been guilty of a breach of faith he should have gone into the Lobby with him; but having heard the charges and listened very attentively to his speech in support of them, he found that every one of them, when fairly examined, vanished like mist into thin air, leaving himself and his charges like Robinson Crusoe—on a desert island. The speech of the hon. and learned Member for Frome (Mr. Lopes) had been unanswered. Nothing could be more clear than that the Prime Minister on the occasion referred to expressly used language, showing beyond an atom of doubt that the title of Empress was to be exercised solely and absolutely in India. An attempt had been made to confound the words "used" and "exercised;" but politically speaking, there was a great difference between the two. The language used by the Prime Minister here, and by the Lord Chancellor in "another place," was precisely that which was used subsequently in the Royal Proclamation. They could not shut their eyes to that fact, however much the hon. and learned Member for Taunton might involve his Motion in a cloud of words which nobody could understand. It was perfectly clear that the Ministry had not been guilty of any breach of faith in this matter, and therefore he wanted to know why they were to be visited with a Vote of Censure. The hon. and learned Member for Taunton told them that promises had been given which had not been fulfilled. What did the hon. and learned Member mean by that? Did he mean distinctly to charge the Government or their Representatives with having made promises which they intended wilfully to break? He would not tell the House, but left them still in the clouds and mists—reminding him of the old line—"Having regard to the declaration made by Her Majesty' Ministers during the progress of the Royal Titles Act in Parliament, this House is of opinion that the Proclamation does not make adequate provision," &c.
The hon. and learned Member insinuated various charges of bad, disgraceful, dishonourable conduct against the Government; and then, when some right hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side asked him to define what his charges were, he flew off at a tangent and vanished into mist, like some of the gods of old, leaving nothing but a cloud which one sought in vain to seize. Take, for instance, the absurd accusation with reference to Army commissions. It was made matter of complaint that the words "Empress of India," would appear in these. Now, it was certain that such commissions must contain the full title of the Sovereign. Did the hon. and learned Member contend that whenever a regiment was ordered to India, a new set of commissions with the word Empress was to be made out; and when the regiment was ordered home these commissions were to be cancelled, and an entirely different set made, excluding the word Empress? Such an argument would be ludicrous. It would amount to nonsense; and it could not be seriously urged in such an Assembly as the present. So with writs. There was no obligation, by any law or statute that he knew of, to insert the full title of the Sovereign in the common writs that were issued from day to day. It was simply usage. Did any sane person seriously suppose that any one would ever insert the words "Empress of India" in the bits of parchment commanding an appearance in the case of John Doe and Richard Doe? Yet that was the sort of argument—if it could be called argument—which was gravely put, or rather was insinuated by the hon. and learned Member. As to patents, the Secretary of State for War had demolished that plea, and had demonstrated conclusively that the hon. and learned Member for Taunton was either ignorant or disingenuous, and he left him to choose which horn of the dilemma he would hang himself upon. Now as to the charters and grants. What harm there was in calling Her Majesty Empress of India in certain grants, he was unable to discover, and he should like to see really pointed out some of those evils that would result from it. Another favourite accusation was that this title ought to be localized. But it was absolutely impossible that a title which appertained by right to the Imperial and Royal title of the Queen of England could be localized in India. That was admitted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone). He (Dr. Kenealy) wanted to know what harm there was in calling Her Majesty Empress of India? He should like to have had some of the evils results pointed out. He had not heard any. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Pontefract (Mr. Childers) anticipated some extraordinary things which were going to happen with regard to the colonies. Some discontented or disaffected colony was about to find fault with the title of "Defender of the Faith," and to remove it from the series of titles given to Her Majesty; but when that occasion arose, when this discontented colony was about to interfere with the Royal titles, he had no doubt the people of England and their Representatives in that House would be able to deal with that particular difficulty. The colonies were placed by the Royal Proclamation in precisely the same position as the United Kingdom. Her Majesty's title of Empress would never be used in any colonial document in which it would not be used in any document in England; so that the colonists were only as badly off as we were in England, but he confessed he had no sympathy for that grievance. It was argued that the title had already been used by the Corporation of Dublin under the authority of Sir Bernard Burke. He thought that argument might well be ranged with Whitaker's Almanack and the young lady's geography about which so much had been said—for both were equally beneath contempt. It might be asked why, in addition to the reasons he had given, he could not support that Motion. He should speak frankly and bluntly, because he considered it was wholly and absolutely a factious Motion. He believed there was not one atom of true patriotism—no real love of England or the Constitution of England, no real fear that the use of the title of Empress of India would invalidate in the least degree the rights and liberties of the People, which were supposed to be invaded. Why, those who now put forward this argument about the Empress of India were the very persons who in 1858 proclaimed Her Majesty Empress of India. ["No, no!"] Yes, he knew what he was saying. They issued a Royal Proclamation, in which Her Majesty was proclaimed Empress in every dependency of hers in India, and now they came or rather rushed forward and said that the whole Constitution of the country was going to be destroyed—that we were all going to be made slaves for the rest of our lives—because Her Majesty had been made de jure that which she was made de facto in 1858. There was a great deal of the out-door agitation that had been got up on this matter, which was perfectly hollow, hypocritical, and was founded on wounded personal vanity and conceit. On the first discussion which took place in the other House on this subject, the Leader of the Opposition (Earl Granville) complained with some bitterness that the Government had been guilty of the unusual discourtesy of not communicating with him and his fellow-leaders beforehand with respect to the proposed innovation. That seemed to be the gravamen in the noble Earl's mind. But the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government did not choose to do that. He preferred to rely on that great and powerful majority which he possessed, and not thinking it worth while, he supposed to smooth the matter over in any way, he might have said to himself as Alexander Selkirk did—"Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike."
"I am monarch of all I survey,
My right there is no one to dispute;
From the centre all round to the sea
A great deal of this factious or fictitious opposition had evidently been got up because certain polite and friendly communications were not made to the other side by the right hon. Gentlemen who now occupied the Ministerial benches; and was the House, because of that want of courtesy or consideration, to be led by the nose by the Leaders of the Opposition, who were actuated by simply factious views, to turn out the Government and put the Opposition in their places—for what reason? Why, if the hon. and right hon. Gentlemen of the Opposition were put into power tomorrow they would be turned out the day after. The whole thing was absurd and utterly unworthy of a great, deliberative and practical Assembly, such as the House of Commons. The Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Taunton was as bad, if not worse, than the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease), about which he was so extremely unhappy. That hon. Member said he had consulted some eminent lawyer about the Royal Proclamation and had got certain advice. He certainly had consulted no lawyer before he put his absurd Amendment upon the Table of the House—for it manifested the greatest ignorance of the law. He could not suppose that the hon. Member had written it himself; and if he had not drawn it up by the advice of a lawyer, he listened perhaps to some lawyer's clerk. Certainly it was such a one as the Chancellor of the Exchequer need not have been afraid of in the least; and if the hon. Member for South Durham withdrew it, no gain to the Government could have accrued from that act; for the Amendment was too silly to do any one harm—except its Mover. And now, what was the House called upon to do? To annihilate the Ministry for no offence whatever that could be discovered by any one who scanned the speeches of the Opposition speakers. The House was asked, not to judge, but to condemn. He believed that the House was actuated by different principles. He was no admirer or worshipper of the Government. He always endeavoured to vote in accordance with right and truth, and he believed that in voting against that factious proposal he should best please his own conscience and best satisfy the great constituency which he represented. Since the Royal Proclamation was issued the most extraordinary efforts they all knew had been made to stir up the country against the Government; but those efforts had most lamentably and miserably failed. He could corroborate everything that had been said by hon. Members on the other side of the House on that subject. The country was not in accord with that factious movement. It was tired of the pretended indignation and patriotic heat which had been got up by those hon. and right hon. Gentleman who were simply seeking to transfer themselves from one side of the House to the other. There was no doubt they would fail; and, for his own part, he should not be sorry to see them remain still in Opposition for the next 20 years, to exercise those great powers of political criticism in which they were adepts, for there never was a Party like the Liberal Party, which, when in power, forgot more completely the pledges which they had so vehemently given in their days of Opposition.I am lord of the fowl and the brute."
, as an independent Member, had not the slightest intention of following the example of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt), and withdrawing from this Party fight, for he should give a hearty vote against the Motion with as clear a conscience as he had ever voted upon any question. He would not have troubled the House with any observations had not his name been brought prominently into the discussion, for he was one of those—and he was sure they were a majority in the country—who thought that much more had been made of this question than ought to have been made of it, and much had been said that ought not to have been said. With regard to the general question, all he would say was that after the flood of talk they had had he remained of the same opinion as he was when the Bill was first brought in—an opinion which at that time also appeared to prevail in the country, if they might judge from the language of the newspapers, in which it was stated that the proposed addition to the style and titles of the Crown was a wise measure as regarded India—a graceful and fitting recognition of the reception which had there been accorded to the Prince of Wales. As regarded the effect of these discussions in India, it was not the fault of right hon. Gentlemen opposite, who had drenched India with rhetorical petroleum from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, if the susceptibilities, the fears, and the jealousies of the Native Princes had not been aroused. But happily they appeared to have failed in this, for when the news first arrived, the Rajahs were reported to have rejoiced at the adoption of the title of Empress, because it would have the effect of recognizing their position as Sovereigns in a way which no other title could do. Whether he looked to England or to India it appeared to him that the title was not only well chosen, but that no sound ground of objection could be urged against it. At the same time, it occurred to many Members that the title might get into general use in this country, and that many regarding the title of Empress as superior might supersede the title of Queen. He had, therefore, ventured to frame an Amendment, the effect of which was to give precedence on every occasion to the title of Queen over that of Empress, and to guard against the non-official use of the title of Empress in this country, and also against the addition by the Princes of the Royal Family of the Imperial title to that of Royal Highness. Well, they got an assurance on both those points—a distinct assurance from the Government that the new title should be confined, as far as possible, to India—very much turned on those words, "as far as possible"—and that the members of the Royal Family should not add the title of Imperial to Royal Highness. That was held to be satisfactory at the time. But it was said the Government had departed from their undertaking, because they did not absolutely localize the title in India; while, by the Proclamation, it was to be used on certain occasions in England. When the hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease) moved his Amendment, he was followed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who carefully guarded himself by specifying two occasions as examples when it would be necessary that the whole title of Her Majesty should be used, including that of Empress. The Proclamation came out, and he did not deny that, to a certain extent, he was disappointed when he first read it. The first notice he had of its wording was from his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt), who met him in the Lobby and chaffed him in a friendly way on the subject. ["Order!"]
I must protest against a private conversation being repeated, especially as I have received no Notice that this was intended.
said, he did it all in good humour: but he could refer to the point in question in another way. The point which struck him in reading the Proclamation was this—that the Proclamation said the title of Empress, "so far as conveniently may be, on all occasions," but it went on to say "and in all instruments wherein," &c. Now, one's grammar could not attach "wherein" both to "occasions" and "instruments." In ordinary language "wherein" could not be supposed to govern both, and must be restricted to "instruments" alone. He could not, therefore, consider the Proclamation as fully giving effect to the promises of the Government. But within two hours after a question on the subject of the Proclamation had been addressed to the Government by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir Henry James), he heard the Lord Chancellor in "another place" explain away the difficulty. What did he say? He said that undoubtedly the word "wherein" in the ordinary usual language would appear only to apply to "instruments;" but he had taken the wording of the Proclamation from the old Proclamation of 1801, which applied "wherein" to "occasions" as well as "instruments." That dissolved his doubts, and he frankly told the House that the Proclamation now appeared to him strictly in accordance with the promises of the Government. The Pro- clamation not only said that the title was to be confined to occasions wherein certain documents were signed, but it also limited those documents and occasions. He could not help thinking that the course now pursued was somewhat factious. It was very natural that right hon. Gentlemen opposite should take up the question. They had failed to sink the First Lord of the Admiralty with the Vanguard and the Mistletoe; they had failed to drown the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Suez Canal; the Burials Question was buried, and he doubted whether the noble Lord who, in "another place," was trying to play the part of resurrectionist would succeed in his efforts. The Session was advancing—there was nothing more to be done—the Royal Title was really the only horse left in the Opposition stable, and it was very natural that they should try and make running with him; but having done so, and having been beaten, he thought that it would have been better if they had not brought out again as they had done this stumped-up steed and placed upon its back the best and cleverest light-weight of their Party. It had been said that the country did not back right hon. Gentleman opposite. There could be no doubt of that. The offer of the Government to discuss this question before Easter was not accepted, because it was expected that triumphant meetings would be held throughout the country against the Royal Titles Bill. But these hopes had been signally disappointed. There might have been hole-and-corner meetings, but he had seen no reports of them. He had, indeed, seen that there had been a great meeting in Hyde Park, not to express hostility to the Royal Titles Bill, but sympathy with the unfortunate nobleman who was now improving his figure in that imprisonment which we were told was the result of a Roman Catholic plot. There had also been a meeting in Glasgow, presided over by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stoke who had just sat down, who appeared there in a Rob Roy plaid. It was quite possible that if the hon. and learned Member opposite (Sir Henry James) had also gone starring about the country in a Rob Roy plaid he might have succeeded in getting up an agitation against this Bill; but as it was, the country had turned out to be a dead horse on this question, and had been flogged, and flogged in vain. The Opposition he thought did "protest too much," and certainly not in love, when they asked the House to declare that Her Majesty's Government had been guilty of a breach of faith. The hon. and learned Gentleman who had moved this Resolution appeared to have put his Party in this dilemma, either they maintained that Gentlemen as honourable and high-minded as any on the Opposition benches had been guilty of a breach of faith and of conduct that would disgrace any trickster, or that the Government, willing and anxious to fulfil the promise they had given, used questionable grammar in the wording of the Proclamation. On this latter supposition the discussion was degraded into atechnical and etymological discussion. He felt confident that the verdict of the House would be the verdict of the country—namely, that the Government had done their best to give effect to the pledges they had made.
congratulated the Government on having secured the services of a new and powerful ally in the hon. Member for Stoke (Dr. Kenealy). He (Mr. Osborne Morgan) would endeavour to bring back the discussion to the real question. He denied that the odious charge of having broken faith was brought against the Government. All that the Opposition said was that there had been in this affair an amount of loose asseveration and helter-skelter assertion, which, though not intended was likely to mislead, and did mislead people of ordinary sense and intelligence. When the Bill was before the House he put an Amendment on the Paper, and before it came on for discussion the Prime Minister said that under no circumstances would he advise that the new title should be used in England. He moved his Amendment, however, and then the right hon. Gentleman said that if carried it would defeat the object of the Mover and would have the effect of preventing the title being localized in India. Accordingly he withdrew his Amendment, and when the Bill came on for third reading, so satisfied was he with the declarations of the Prime Minister that, instead of voting against it, as otherwise he certainly would have done, contrary to his custom he walked out of the House. It was laid down in the course of the discussion that the colonies were to be put on the same footing as the United Kingdom, because they were part and parcel of ourselves—"flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone;" but the Proclamation put them on the same footing as India. Our colonists were told that what was good enough for India was good enough for them, and they would in future have to address the Queen as Empress, a change which they certainly did not desire. If they could once get rid of Party obligations he would willingly leave it to hon. Members opposite to say whether the performances of the Government corresponded with their promises. He should be satisfied to submit this question to any jury. No doubt, the Motion would be defeated by an overwhelming majority. But such a majority would not be worth the Paper on which the Clerk at the Table would record it. These were not questions which could be settled by majorities. The right hon. Gentleman had a wonderful control over his Party. Talk about Empress! talk about Emperor! If they wanted to see a real Emperor, why there he sat (pointing to Mr. Disraeli). They would be wanting in their duty as an Opposition if they did not protest, though ineffectually and unsuccessfully, against this mode of redeeming promises which were unreservedly given and implicitly believed.
Sir, I am aware that the House is getting very impatient, and I wish, with its indulgence, to occupy its attention for only a very short time. I was anxious to hear the remarks of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Osborne Morgan), but was only able to catch one—that he was so satisfied on one occasion with the assurances of the Government that he did not vote, but walked out of the House. The Motion made by the hon. and learned Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James) is one which must be met, not by walking out of the House, but by a bold and determined front. I am only sorry that the House was not as full as it now is when the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Butt) addressed it. He said he should support the Government—["No!"]—and thought the issue was not one which had been fairly raised. ["No!"] I must have misunderstood my hon. and learned Friend; but I thought he said that, be- lieving the division would be only a roll of Partyvotes, he would abstain from voting at all. Now I consider the question far more serious than that. Members who sit on the Government side of the House have been taunted over and over again with being a mere technical and mechanical majority. This, however, should be an occasion when not only those who may be the recorded and absolute supporters of the Government as a Party will be found on one side, but when they will be joined by many others who have sat in this House for years, who have attentively followed the debates, and who have considered the conduct of the Government—independent men, for instance, like the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Butt), who will support the Government, and will tell the country, in the spirit in which it ought to be told, that the issue now raised is one which is most unfairly raised. I listened most attentively to every word that was spoken by the hon. and learned Member for Taunton, and will frankly say what I thought of that speech. I thought that he made a very bad speech. When I say a bad speech, I mean a bad speech to be put forward by a Leader of the Opposition on a great occasion. I took down accurately a good deal of what he said. The hon. and learned Gentleman answered that he was putting the Government upon their trial. He would show, he said, what their promises had been, what their declarations were, what their engagements were, and how they had met them. And then he made up what he elegantly called half his tale by unauthorized quotations from newspapers. I always listen to lawyers in this House with the greatest forbearance, particularly to a lawyer's opinion from a Party point of view. I recollect some 20 or 30 years ago, a celebrated occasion on which lawyers occupied the whole of the evening, and at last Sir James Graham rose and said—"Let us get out of Nisi Prius," a course which was adopted to the great relief of everybody. To-night I heard the hon. and learned Member for Taunton say—"These are facts, and I defy you to disprove them." Well, I have heard over and over again hon. and learned Gentlemen on the opposite side state that they were prepared, on the most conclusive evidence, to refute every word that was said by other hon. and learned Gentlemen. What weight, therefore, can be attached to these "facts" of the hon. and learned Member for Taunton? The whole speech of the hon. and learned Member for Taunton was of so technical and legal a character that it was tiresome to the last degree, and its conclusion must have been most welcome. First of all, he divided it into two halves, as if there could be more than two halves, and the last half he parcelled into six divisions. Really, when an hon. and learned Member divided his speech first into two halves and then into six divisions we may suppose that he has pretty well got up his case. One thing in the speech particularly displeased me. The hon. and learned Member has made a serious charge against the Government—a charge not only of Censure but of Want of Confidence. You wish to turn out this Government and to take their places, or else you do not want to take their places. One of the chief points of the hon. and learned Member's speech was the joke about the Queen's Patent for the appointment to the office of Judge Advocate General. He read the whole of that document. It was bad taste. He read the whole of the Queen's Letters Patent, evidently meaning to throw a slur on what is the received language of the Sovereign on appointments of that kind. I said just now I was somewhat surprised at the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Taunton being put forward on this occasion. I expected that the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett) would be put forward; but I understand he is too advanced, and that in the interests of the Party it would be better to put forward the hon. and learned Member for Taunton. Did the hon. and learned Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt) put the hon. and learned Member for Taunton forward? It was admitted to-night, I think, that he was instrumental in having this Motion brought forward. The hon. and learned Member for Oxford shakes his head. Well, if he did not, that makes the matter worse, for it shows that the hon. and learned Member for Taunton put himself forward on his own bottom at the instance of the hon. Member for Hackney to make this serious charge against Her Majesty's Government. When I see the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Taunton sitting on the front Opposition bench by the favour of the late Government—when I hear the late Attorney General and chief Law Adviser of the Crown tell us, as he does to-night in a solemn and, I hope, a serious tone, of all the dangers which must accrue to the Constitution of this country in consequence of the Proclamation and the Royal Titles Bill—I should have thought he would have been about the last man in this House in his position to endeavour to make political mischief when he cannot make political capital. I am really surprised at the conduct of the hon. and learned Gentleman, for while I sat wearily listening to the verbose periods of the hon. and learned Member, indicting everything and everybody, Crown, Parliament, and Government, I thought of the stuff of which great Leaders of Party were wont to be made, and I asked myself whether this puny outcry of the hon. and learned Member in any degree echoed public opinion or that of the Party which may or may not have put him forward to act on this occasion. He has given a long catalogue of unauthorized speeches from the newspapers. I never knew it to be done before. It may be perfectly in Order, and I have no doubt that, having been ruled to be so, it is. Speeches delivered in the House of Lords by the Lord Chancellor have been alluded to in this House. This was un-Parliamentary, in my opinion; but I suppose I was wrong, and let the House of Commons understand that from henceforth, after a Bill has passed the first, second, and third reading, after it has received the assent of both Houses of Parliament and of the Crown, it is perfectly legal and legitimate and opportune for hon. Members in this House to allude to speeches delivered on former occasions in the other House of Parliament. As the hon. Member has alluded to a past case, I will, with your permission, Sir, refer to what has occurred on this Royal Titles Bill. I listened attentively to all the speeches that were made. There was the extraordinary speech of the right hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Gladstone), which, now the Bill is passed, I am sorry he should have delivered. Some remarks in that speech I am sure the right hon. Gentleman must himself regret. I listened, too, to every speech of the Prime Minister. I hung on his lips for a remark on which to make one or two comments, and I am bound to say in all frankness, and as independent as any man in the House of Commons, that I thought the statements so honest, so straightforward, so above board in this matter, that I gave a vote—a silent vote, I admit, but a vote most conscientiously—in approval of the Bill of the Government. Both Houses of Parliament, I believe, did the same thing. Large majorities approved the measure—majorities rendered still more remarkable by the fact that many hon. Members sitting behind the front Opposition bench abstained from voting rather than record their votes against the Government. From the very beginning—from the moment it was announced in the Speech from the Throne—public opinion was unquestionably in favour of the measure which Her Majesty's Ministers proposed. It received the Royal Assent, and now, not even at the eleventh hour, but when everybody is satisfied, and when 12 o'clock has struck, down comes the hon. and learned Member for Taunton, like that foolish young woman who forgot to trim her lamp in time and had the door shut in her face, and when everything has been settled makes all this hubbub and tears this Party "passion to tatters, to very rags." "Oh!" how "it offends" that such things should be in this House. I say this all the more because from the very commencement of these discussions I have admired the action of my noble Friend the Leader of the Opposition. I do not mean to compliment him because he sits there; but I see that his task must be a difficult and a trying one, and, having heard the several speeches which he made on this question, I cannot but say that I candidly admit that I have admired his tact and discretion. Knowing what is past, I cannot believe that he was a party to the action of the hon. and learned Member for Taunton. It is unlike him. I am of opinion that this action has been stimulated and got up by a few discontented Gentlemen who thought they would do something in opposition to the Government. It cannot be the action of the Liberal Party, because they must know that the majority against the Motion will be such as to show them in more disorganized ranks than they have ever yet got credit for. I therefore hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will not, for his own sake, go to a division. Liberal Members, I am convinced, will not in the future look back with satisfaction at this half-hearted sort of a way of seeking to secure a Party victory. What is the point he raises? He takes the Proclamation, and contends that it does not express what the Government said they would do. Now, I have read this Proclamation attentively. Any fool can read; but a lawyer is bound to read such a document with acuteness and astuteness, especially when he makes a Motion such as that under the consideration of the House. I read the Proclamation most carefully, and I do not see that there is in it anything which is not perfectly in accordance with the wishes of Parliament and of the country. I particularly remember one sentence in the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Taunton, in which he spoke of the Proclamation as reciting "this, that, and the other;" but he omitted one very important part. It was not fair—in fact, the speech had not that nobleness of character which a Leader of the Opposition should display. The Proclamation states that it is expedient that there should be a recognition of the transfer of the Government of India from the East India Company to the Crown by means of an addition to the Royal style and title. That is an important point; yet the hon. and learned Member omits it. It is really in fulfilment of what Parliament has enacted that this Proclamation has been issued, and the hon. and learned Gentleman was, I think, very hard on Members from Ireland. ["No, no!"] Well, he more than once intimated that they were disloyal, and that they would omit from the Royal style and title the words, "Queen of Ireland." The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Oxford says "No;" but it is clear that he does not know what the hon. and learned Member for Taunton did say. The hon. and learned Gentleman's speech was as bad a speech for the occasion as I had ever the misfortune to listen to; and therefore I am not surprised that it has not been fully comprehended by the hon. and learned Member for Oxford. The Motion is one of a Want of Confidence in the Government, and the hon. and learned Gentleman in the course of his remarks said that the Proclamation had made a deep impression on the House and on the country. ["Divide, divide!"] Hon. Gentlemen need not be alarmed—I am not going to read a number of newspaper extracts like the hon. and learned Member for Taunton. I am only referring to what the hon. and learned Gentleman has to-night stated. He has told us that the opposition to this Act was unparalleled, and that some hon. Members took alarm lest the Throne should be shaken. The hon. and learned Gentleman said the feelings of the country were against the measure, Now, I think I could prove the contrary. I believe that if you canvassed the country through all the boroughs you would find an almost unanimous opinion in favour of this measure. They are pleased at it, and I am convinced that I give expression to the popular wish far more than the hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease) when I say—"Long may Her Majesty continue to reign, as she has reigned for more than 40 years, in the hearts and affections and love of her people, without one blot, one stain, one blemish on her life; but she will henceforth continue to reign, not merely as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, but with that addition to her Royal style and title which is specially intended to apply only, and notwithstanding all the lawyers can say to the contrary, does apply only to the great Empire of India, the brightest jewel in the British Crown." That is what it was intended to represent—a jewel won and secured by the skill and wisdom of statesmen, and cemented in that Crown by the blood of heroes. I heard the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War say that the title of Empress of India was meant as a symbol of peace and reconciliation for India. That is the way to look upon it; that is the way the country views it. I often look upon a Victoria Cross in my possession, still stained with blood, which once adorned the breast of a brave and gallant officer who fell fighting in India in the service of his country; and, thinking over all these protracted discussions, I have often asked myself this question—Why not now, after all the dangers and perils of the past, after brilliant achievements of national service by flood and by field, in a time of profound peace, when the government of that great Empire has been transferred to the Government of the Crown—why, I ask, should not the Crown accept at the hands of Parliament that which Parliament in its wisdom and in the name of the people offers to the Crown? I am sure the people of this country view not with disfavour, but with satisfaction, that addition to the Royal style and title as conveyed by the Royal Proclamation which best represents and expresses the high and paramount authority exercised by Her Majesty over millions of our fellow-subjects in India—that expressive and appropriate designation and appellation—Empress of India.
said, he did not think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Tamworth had long been an admirer of the speeches of his hon. and learned Friend; and as to the point whether the speech of his hon. and learned Friend was or was not a good speech, that was a matter of taste about which they must agree to differ. He wished to recall the attention of the House to what really was the Motion before it, for in the interesting and amusing speech of the right hon. Gentleman there was very little allusion to the character of that Motion. The right hon. Gentleman's speech would have been highly appropriate to the discussion of the question whether the title of Empress should be assumed or not; but it was not so appropriate to the question as to whether the title ought to be limited in its use. The question as to the assumption of the title had been settled long ago; the Government determined that there should be certain limitations to its use, and the question the House had to consider was whether those limitations had been actually carried out. Hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed extremely anxious to have brought against them a charge of breach of faith. For his own part, he did not desire, unless compelled to do so, to bring a charge of breach of faith against anybody, and especially against persons occupying the responsible position of Her Majesty's Government. But did not hon. Gentlemen opposite know the difference between a breach of faith and a breach of contract? ["No."] Did they not? Really, he was very much astonished. He saw a great many Gentlemen opposite, who would, he ventured to say, if any of them sold a horse which they had warranted as being sound, be a good deal surprised if the purchaser came to them dissatisfied and accused them of having committed a breach of faith or done something dishonourable. What the Resolution before the House said in substance was, that Her Majesty's Ministers had made certain declarations, and that the Proclamation did not conform to those declarations. The proper answer to that was easy—either that they did not make those declarations, or that the Proclamation did conform them. Did they say that they did not make those declarations? He could not make out from the speech of the Secretary of State for War that they did not make those declarations. The Government did say that they would localize the use of the title of Empress to India, and, in the words of the Lord Chancellor, that they would admit the use of it nowhere else. That substantially represented what was said. The Secretary of State for War told the House the question was between what the Opposition expected and what the Government intended. But that was not an accurate statement. Every one knew what the Government had said, and the Opposition could only judge their intentions by their statements. They had a reasonable expectation that the Government would localize the title of Empress in India. But had they done so? It was, on the contrary, made universal in all the dominions of the Queen with the exception of certain documents issued in the United Kingdom. Instead of localizing the title of Empress the Government had partially localized the title of Queen of England, and that was as different a thing as could be. This result had come from the extraordinary manner in which the Proclamation had been drawn. It took the Proclamation of 1801 as its model—a Proclamation which adopted and published not a localized, but a universal title. The House had been distinctly told by the Prime Minister that the title of Empress would apply to India and nowhere else and to diplomatic documents. His right hon. Friend (Sir Robert Peel) objected to the declarations of Ministers being brought up against them; but what was the use of declarations on the part of Ministers if they were not to be referred to afterwards? The Prime Minister told the House that an engagement on the part of a Minister was as good a security as an Act of Parliament; but what was the use of such an engagement if after the Proclamation was issued it could not be referred to? Upon the second reading of the Bill in the House of Lords it was stated that the new title would be included in every document of State in England. Upon that he put a Question to the Prime Minister, who stated that it would not be included in the documents he enumerated. Upon the third reading the Lord Chancellor changed his views, and said that the new title would not be included in commissions for the Army. That was not a careless statement, because the Lord Chancellor repeated it on the 3rd of May, and gave a pledge that the title of Empress would not be employed in Army Commissions. Two or three days afterwards the Prime Minister, in answer to the hon. Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke) stated that the new title must be included in commissions for the Army. This showed a want of fixity of purpose, a want of knowledge of the consequences of this document, which was the very thing of which the Opposition complained. The result, then, of the Proclamation was that the title was to be used on all occasions when it conveniently could be employed. The Secretary of State for War, in commenting on the word conveniently, said he preferred to use the word "suitably;" but what he did not explain was who was to be the judge of the "convenience," and who was to say when it was "suitable." There might be one Government to-day and another to-morrow, and they might differ in their views on this point, and that was the great danger of the thing that was done—namely, that they had made for the Queen a title as to which nobody knew when or where it was to be applied or what was to be Her Majesty's title in any part of her dominions. He ventured to say that anything more dangerous to the Monarchy of this country than this species of uncertainty it was impossible to conceive. If it were not so, why have a title for the Sovereign at all? If the thing were immaterial, why had the Government taken such pains to pass the Bill and give Her Majesty an additional title? The Government never heard until to-night what a scrape they were in as to patents for invention. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government told the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea that the title would be excluded from all the documents mentioned in the Question asked by him (Sir William Harcourt). In that list were patents for invention. When, however, the matter was put to them that night by his hon. and learned Friend (Sir Henry James), the Secretary of State for War was taken completely by surprise. He could not deny that primâ facie the thing applied to all patents for invention, because they extended beyond the United Kingdom; but he said the Commissioners of Patents could alter that. How could they do so? By saying that the whole title of the Queen was not to be used in patents? He ventured to say that no Commissioner of Patents could do any such thing, for it was of the very essence of a patent that the full title of the Queen should be used; and if so, according to the Proclamation, patents for invention must be issued in the name of the Empress of India. Did he charge the Government with having wilfully deceived them? No; but he charged them with not having fully considered the question, and he said that they ought not to have learned that night for the first time the difficulty they were placed in with regard to patents for invention, one of the most common documents issued in this country. He did not say that the Government had wilfully deceived them on the question of the colonies; but what was the situation? They now admitted that with respect to every colony, not the great representative colonies only, but the numerous possessions of the Crown in every part of the world, they were to put this title into the patents of the Governors. If so, did they imagine that the Governors would not use the title in all the documents they issued? Of course they would, and they must do so. The result was, that instead of localizing this title, they had, if he might coin a word, universalized it all over the dominions of the Queen. They said the matter was to be discretionary; but was he to be told that they were going to leave to every Governor of a colony the right to say what the title of the Queen was to be? They could not do that, and they would not do it. Giving no answer to this question, the Secretary of State for War made an impassionate Party appeal. That was not the way in which the question should be answered. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Frome (Mr. Lopes) said—"We are going to answer it by the decisive test of a majority." They could not answer a question of this kind in that way. No matter what might be their majority, the argument remained the same. The repeal of the Corn Laws was rejected by a decisive majority, but numerous as were its opponents they could not answer the arguments in its favour, and ultimately they were defeated and the Corn Laws were repealed. When they came to a pure, clear matter of fact like the question before the House, they must meet it by something better than a decisive majority. The view of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt) had been misunderstood by the right hon. Member for Tamworth. He did not say he approved of the policy of the Bill. On the contrary, he disapproved of it altogether; but he did not approve of the particular form of the Motion before them. The Opposition had been charged with indulging in factious opposition. It was part of the duty of an Opposition to oppose; but the Government had the consolation of the support of the three model independent Members of that House—the noble Lord the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho), the hon. Member for Stoke (Dr. Kenealy), and the right hon. Member for Tamworth (Sir Robert Peel): a worthy combination, owing to which the Government surely had no need to fear any factious opponents. But before he sat down he would venture to say one or two words as to why, in his opinion, it was necessary that this Motion should be brought forward. All this violent language was not used about a Motion of the same character being brought forward in the House of Lords. Even the fervour of the Secretary of State for War would have been restrained, and he would hardly have thought it right to talk of a man like Lord Selborne spitting venom on his opponents. But they could not restrict to the House of Lords the discussion of this question. They had a duty to discharge in that House also; and if it were right that the House of Lords should discuss the Proclamation and the declarations of the Government, could it be wrong that the House of Commons should discuss it too? The Opposition were of opinion that a course had been taken which they thought wrong, and they had a right to bring the matter before the House as long as they did it in a temperate manner, and in a way respectful to their opponents, and no one could say that his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Taunton did not conform to that principle. It was their right and their duty to bring forward a question of that kind, and they were not to be taunted because they were in the minority. It was the fate of an Opposition to be in a minority: when it became a majority it ceased to be an Opposition; and therefore an Opposition was not to be dumb because it was not certain or even probable that on a particular question it would find itself in a majority. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War said if they did not make the charge of a dishonourable breach of faith it was a very small matter. He did not make a charge of dishonourable breach of faith; but he did not think it was a small matter. The Government did not think it a small matter, or why did they make the limitation as to the use of the title? Why did they come forward and say they would localize this title if they regarded it as a small matter? Why did they not say to the Houses of Lords and Commons—"This is all nonsense; the title is popular in the country, and we will apply it everywhere?" They did not do that, and they had good reasons for not doing it. Their reasons for promising to make the limitation were the same reasons the Opposition had for discussing it. Their reasons were because they believed that in meddling with and changing the title of the Queen in this country they would weaken the strength of the Monarchy. The Opposition had as much interest in the Monarchy as the Government had, and were just as much entitled to express their opinion as to what was for the interests of the Monarchy or not as the Party opposite. The Party to which he belonged had taken no small share in making the Monarchy of England what it was, and it was its right and its duty to express its opinion on matters which seemed to it to endanger the Monarchy. He could not agree with the Secretary for War that this was a small matter. The Monarchy of England was not a thing of yesterday. It was not a thing of to-day, which could be dealt with by Party majorities. It would remain, he hoped and believed, for generation after generation to crown the pyramid of the liberties of a free nation. But depend upon it that nothing they did in reference to the Monarchy was of indifference. The Government thought that what they had done for it was a good thing. They were entitled to that opinion. The Opposition, on the other hand, thought that what had been done was a bad thing, and they were entitled to their opinion, and were entitled on a question of this magnitude to bring it under the consideration of that great Assembly, and no man had a right to condemn them for doing so. The Government chose to treat this as a Vote of Want of Confidence. If they liked to do so let them do it by all means. If the title they desired to establish to the confidence of the country was their course with reference to the Royal Titles Bill, he, for one, should not complain of their putting it on that ground. The Opposition said by their Resolution that the Government had said a certain thing, and that what they had done did not correspond to their declaration. The right hon. Member for Tamworth said, talking of this as a question of confidence, that he believed this title was universally popular in the country. It was a very difficult thing to judge of these matters; but there were some occasions on which they could judge of them, because when people wished to obtain the votes of constituencies they often endeavoured, as far as was consistent with their convictions, to state that which they thought would be agreeable to their constituents. A candidate sought the suffrage of Aberdeen at a recent election on the ground that if he had been in the House of Commons he would have voted against the Royal Titles Bill. [An hon. Member: He lost the election.] It was certainly thought by many persons that in North Britain the Royal Titles Bill was very popular. On each side of the House hon. Members held, as they were entitled to do, opinions on this as well as on other subjects. On the side of the House from which he was speaking those opinions were very clear and distinct, and they intended to express them. They would speedily go to a di- vision, and the majority would be against the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Taunton. It would then be for the country to judge whether having the majority they had the best of the arguments also. When the right hon. Baronet the Member for Tamworth expressed an opinion that his hon. and learned Friend was not acting in this matter with the cordial assent of his noble Friend the Member for the Radnor Burghs (the Marquess of Hartington), he was—as on some other occasions he had been—mistaken. What the Opposition intended to do was to record upon the Journals of the House, which constituted the political traditions of a great nation, their final protest against a course which they believed to be a dangerous and mischievous innovation.
Sir, I am glad to hear that the protest which the hon. and learned Gentleman has just announced his intention to place upon the records of the House on the subject of the Royal Titles Act and the subsequent Proclamation is to be a final one. I rise to maintain and to show that the language of the Proclamation does agree with the declarations of Ministers; and I meet the hon. and learned Gentleman on the ground that he has himself chosen. But then the question naturally arises where the declarations of the Ministers are to be found. I protest—as the hon. and learned Gentleman is in the habit of protesting I will also protest—against single words, selected, perhaps, out of a considerable number of speeches delivered in both Houses of Parliament during a period, not of many weeks merely, but of several months, being taken without their context and treated as the sole and complete exposition of the sentiments of Ministers upon this matter. Many of the speeches from which this selection has been made were delivered under circumstances when the Minister expressing himself was speaking in general debate and not in answer to any inquiry of which formal notice had been given. The hon. and learned Member has fixed upon one word, a word which I believe was introduced into this debate by a side wind, but that is a matter not of much consequence, and upon that single word "localizing" he has built up the whole of his argument. He said—"You have promised to localize the title of Empress in India—and by localizing the title you meant that under no circumstances it should be used in any other place. You have not even mentioned India in your Proclamation, and by having followed the wisest precedents that exist on this subject, and by admitting and announcing that Her Majesty will assume the title of Empress everywhere except under peculiar provisions, you have violated your promise to the House, and you have given us a Proclamation which is not in accordance with the declarations you have made." Now, Sir, in the old days it was always a rule in this House that there was to be a liberal interpretation placed upon language used in debate. If there was a measure of great importance before Parliament, and any doubt or ambiguity arose as to the principle upon which it was introduced, Notice was given of a Question which was maturely prepared by some Member, and the Minister of the day had, in answering that Question, an opportunity of speaking in prepared and precise language. You were not then in the habit of fixing upon some particular word an adjective or an adverb, and founding upon it a policy for the Ministry, and then, if their conduct did not exactly square with your own definition of that adjective or adverb, protesting against their conduct, and declaring that it was not consistent with their declarations. The declarations we made are not to be estimated in a manner so meagre and so unjust. I maintain, and I will show, that we have substantially carried our declaration into effect. The Bill was originally brought in, I admit—and I admit it with perfect self-satisfaction—without the intention of making any exceptions in its provisions. We did not believe in their utility; we did not believe that under any circumstances they would be called for. But there was a considerable agitation got up—I will not stop now to analyze the modes and means by which it was created and augmented—I believe it was a factitious agitation, but to a certain degree it influenced this House; and we did that which every Ministry to whom the carriage of an important measure has been entrusted is in the habit of doing, and what as wise men they are justified and obliged todo—we deferred, in order to carry our measure, to fears which we believed to be groundless; we yielded to arguments which we thought were utterly futile, because we felt all the time we were making these concessions that they would relieve the public mind from this unfounded—I will not call it panic, but—misconception. In making that concession we did not believe that it would in any degree diminish the practical effect of the legislation we were recommending the House to adopt, and that, in spite of it, the great purpose we had in view would be attained. Then, what was the declaration made? Remember, there was much misconception and misrepresentation about. There were even Gentlemen in this House who intimated that they expected that Her Majesty would substitute for her title of Queen of ancient kingdoms the title of Empress taken from one of her dependencies. There were Gentlemen who believed this, and Notices were given in reference to it. It was said that the Royal children and agnates of the Royal House were to assume titles which certainly were not popular with the English people and the adoption of which was never dreamt of. A great many of these unreasonable imaginations were then afloat, and we came forward and made this declaration—"Do not be alarmed on this subject unnecessarily; we will take care that the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland in her United Kingdom shall always be styled officially and publicly by her ancient title, and we will insure that result by means which cannot be baffled." And it was not by using an epithet one day or an adjective another day that we expressed our declaration. The declaration was complete in its conception, and in its expression adequate to the object to which I have referred. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt) followed a course strictly Parliamentary—and his conduct I will say is generally strictly Parliamentary—in order to ascertain what was the precise policy of the Government. He gave Notice of a Question, and that is the proper course to pursue when ambiguity exists as to the policy of the Government. The hon. and learned Gentleman drew up with much art and with accuracy a question which involved, I may say, the whole political and administrative system of the country. He read all the instruments, all the muniments which are necessary to carry into effect the action of our political and administrative system. I have not at this moment his paper at hand, and I am sure the House has had papers enough to-night. They may trust to my memory and their own. He reminded the House that the full title of the Queen must be in every writ when Parliament is summoned and that the full title of the Queen must be used when Parliament is prorogued; that it must be in the authority of magistrates and of Judges, and so on, as to a long list of offices (probably 25) of the highest importance, including the patent of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He came down to Parliament and asked me whether I was aware that into all of these documents, which I would again impress upon the House really contain the whole political and administrative system of the country, the full title of the Queen must be introduced, and what was the intention of the Government thereon. Well, I said then to the hon. and learned Gentleman that it would be quite impossible to go through in detail in an answer the whole of his catalogue, and I described generally our policy in these words:—I said the policy of the Government with respect to the Royal Titles Bill is this—It is a Bill which, if it becomes law, will allow Her Majesty to assume the title of Empress externally; but for the whole internal Government of the United Kingdom it will not be used. What is the use of talking, as the hon. and learned Gentleman does, of our engaging to localize the title—a word which is only one for debate or discussion—when we have that formal and complete interrogatory addressed to us, and when it was answered by those general but satisfactory and complete terms? Then, with regard to the catalogue of instruments which the hon. and learned Gentleman read out, I said to him that the Proclamation will deal with all this machinery, and I remember that that observation was welcomed by some Gentlemen below the Gangway opposite with rather derisive and sceptical laughter, as much as to say—"You will never be able to manage that with your Proclamation." But the fact is that the whole administrative and political system of the United Kingdom of England and Ireland is touched, is completely regulated and controlled, by the Proclamation. I now come to what appears to be the exception on which the hon. and learned Gentleman dwelt, and that is as regards military commissions. In his long catalogue there were other commissions, besides military commissions. I was justified in giving a general answer indicating the general means by which our policy was to be expressed and our purpose might be effected. But afterwards, occasion offering, in answer to another Question from the hon. Baronet the Member for Chelsea (Sir Charles Dilke), who inquired about military commissions, I informed him that in military commissions the title of Empress would be used, and I gave the reason because a military commission was a commission to an individual who might to-morrow be called upon to serve his Sovereign in India in the very Empire which is the subject of our discussion; and could anything be more foolish, more monstrous, than that Her Majesty's Army in her Empire of India should not be allowed to serve the Empress of India? But that was no mistake on my part or on the part of the Government. There are still other military commissions besides those of the Regular Army. In the present day there are many military commissions. There is the Militia, for example, now a powerful arm of the State; and, according to the language of the Proclamation, which says the title of Empress is not to be used in instruments confined in their operation to the United Kingdom, that exception would apply to commissions other than those of the Regular Army. Therefore, I maintain that taking a large view—and a large view you ought to take of such a matter—we have completely accomplished the policy which we indicated, and fulfilled the promise which we gave to the House of Commons. Now, Sir, the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just addressed us says that the Monarchy of England is a great and sacred subject, and that the course we are taking is one dangerous and unusual, and that he deprecates the consequences of the policy we have pursued. Well, Sir, the Monarchy of England is a great Monarchy. It has existed for more centuries, I believe, than any European Monarchy. But it is not true that the title of our Sovereign is an ancient title. Hon. Gentlemen must know very well that the title of Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is a title merely of this century, and that there have been other occasions on which the title of the Sovereign has been changed. Unquestionably, it is a solemn act. It is one that ought not to be had recourse to except for grave political reasons, and with a conviction on the part of the advisers of the Crown that it is a policy that ought to be pursued and pressed upon Parliament. But look at the instances in which the titles of the Sovereigns of this country have been changed. I take the most memorable. Perhaps there may be others, but these occur to me. When James, the King of Scotland, became King of England, he changed his title, and made himself King of Great Britain. Surely that was an occasion on which a change was highly desirable that, when so important an event took place as the two Thrones of England and Scotland being filled by the same individual; and a change of dynasty so remarkable occurring, every one must agree that it was an act of high policy to mark it by the adoption of a new title, which from its effect on the imagination of the country was calculated to exercise much influence. Every one must agree that under those circumstances the change of title was wise and necessary, and it has been a lasting change. Well, it cannot be denied that when the union of Ireland and England was made a change of title was again justified by circumstances. That also was a change which had a great moral and political end and purpose in view. And, surely Mr. Speaker, the circumstances under which, after such varieties of fortune and such remarkable achievements on the part of this nation, the Empire of India, from being merely the trading possession of a Company of Merchants, became an appanage of the Crown—surely under these circumstances every man must have felt that a change of title which should describe such an event—an event calculated to have such influence on the character and fortunes of this country—should be made. The only wonder is that it has not been done before. But why has it not been done before? Those who have given much attention to the subject will easily understand that there have been events in this country which have rendered it undesirable. But other events have recently occurred which render the addition to the title peculiarly felicitous and appropriate. And of that opportunity we were justified in availing ourselves. I am not now discussing the question of the particular title, but I am speaking in reference to remarks which seemed to intimate that we were tampering with the dignity and interests of the Crown by having introduced a new title. I maintain that by every political consideration, and justified by every political truth, we gave good advice to Her Majesty to take that course which she has pursued. Now, Sir, I shall ask the House to come to a decision to-night upon a broad issue. I stall ask them to decide whether they believe or not that the language of the Proclamation exactly and completely declares and expresses the declarations of the Ministers. As to what has been said about the colonies, that is a point involved in much difficulty. I cannot bring myself to believe that it is a very great, or will be a great, source of evil and calamity if Her Majesty is described in the colonies as Empress of India. I may go back to a point I ought to have touched on before with reference to that bead roll which was the test of our power to draw an effective Proclamation to carry our policy into effect. I believe the hon. and learned Gentleman was not at all justified in the remarks he made on that subject. There are many points, no doubt, on which I cannot compete with the hon. and learned Gentleman; but from the best information I can get I believe he is entirely wrong in the declaration he made about patents. Patents are limited to the United Kingdom. [Sir William Harcourt: Not quite.] Well, and the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. I did not suppose it was upon the Channel Islands that he was building up his portentous edifice of political terror. The hon. and learned Gentleman seems to be annoyed that he has been described as the leader of a factious Opposition—or that he is a Member of a factious Opposition. I think myself he is quite competent to be a leader of a factious Opposition; but I will not thrust greatness on him before his time. It is not my habit to complain of the conduct or the language of right hon. or hon. Gentlemen opposite. I bear as well as I can the contumely they bestow on us. I can account for the spirit they display and the language they use. But I have no occasion to complain myself of the conduct of the Opposition on this question. If it has been factious—if it has been the consequence of deep device, of many leaders, of many meetings, even of round robbins, that the Titles Bill, which has now prevailed, has been opposed with such pertinacity during the whole of this Session, so far as the position of the Government is concerned, it has neither frightened nor weakened us. We owe it, I believe, to that Opposition—carried on, I admit, with consummate spirit by the hon. and learned Gentleman who introduced the Motion to-night, and by the hon. and learned Gentleman who supported it just now—we owe it to that Opposition that our majority appears almost to have doubled that which a generous country accorded to us at the last Election. In "another place," which has been most freely spoken of in this debate, but which I will treat with Parliamentary decorum—in "another place" where I was not conscious that Her Majesty's Government were so strong as I believe they are in the House of Commons, when there was a trial of strength we had a substantial majority. I should be guilty of political ingratitude if I did not show some sense of the services which have been rendered to us by those who are our opponents. But, at the same time, though I wish to live on good terms with my opponents, though I wish to do justice to their good qualities, they will not be offended, I am sure, if on such an occasion as the present I confide more in the friends who have supported me for 30 years; and it is in them that I now trust; it is they that I now call upon to enter the Lobby to vindicate the honour of the Ministers they have hitherto supported, and to show by their vote to-night to the country, as well as to Parliament, that they believe we have dealt fairly and honourably with our Sovereign and the country, and that the language of the Proclamation does express the declarations of the Government.
I am sorry at so late an hour that I feel called upon to address the House, but I promise to trespasson its attention as briefly as possible. Sir, I do not know that it would have been necessary for me to address the House at all after the able speeches of my hon. and learned Friends on this bench were it not for one or two observations made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth (Sir Robert Peel), which appeared to meet with some acceptance on the other side, to the effect that I have not been a willing party to the Motion of my hon. and learned Friend(Sir Henry James) to-night. I do not know where my right hon. Friend obtained that information; but I cannot allow this debate to terminate without showing him and the House that that statement is utterly and entirely without foundation. My right hon. Friend was kind enough to pay me some compliments of a very flattering character. I do not myself think that the progress of Public Business is very much advanced in this House by the interchange of compliments between Gentlemen who take a considerable part in our proceedings. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman and others who have been kind enough to address me in those terms that I would very much rather dispense with that patronage, and the kindness bestowed on me, especially if that patronage and kindness are bestowed at the expense of those with whom I have the honour and the privilege to act. The speech of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down was addressed in part to an argument with reference to the immediate question before us, but a very great part of it was, in my opinion, directed to a question not before us. Whether it was really wise or politic that Her Majesty should have been advised to assume an addition to her titles in respect of any part of her dominions is not the question now before us. That question has been decided—unfortunately as I think—by both Houses of Parliament. That is not the question raised by my hon. and learned Friend. The Secretary of State for War spoke very little upon the subject immediately before the House, but at considerable length upon the question of confidence in Her Majesty's Government, which he stated was raised by the Motion. Now, it is perfectly open, as has been said, to Her Majesty's Government, if they please, to treat this as a Motion of Want of Confidence, and I do not for a moment assert that it was possible for them to treat it in any other way. But the Government and their supporters must be perfectly aware that if this Motion has assumed the shape of a Motion of Want of Confidence, it is because the Forms of the House did not permit of our raising the question upon which we desired to take the opinion of the House in any other manner. The subject-matter of the Motion is the advice which has been given under certain circumstances by Her Majesty's Ministers to the Queen. That is a matter which cannot be brought before the House in any other manner than by calling in question the propriety of that advice; and the Government must be perfectly aware that, unless we were prepared to sit silent and admit that the Proclamation had carried out in every respect all that we had been led to expect from the declarations of the Government, there was no other way in which the Motion could have been brought before the House. If we are to be blamed for bringing forward the question in this manner, what was the meaning of the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Committee on the Bill? The right hon. Gentleman on that occasion appealed to us to treat with confidence the declarations of the Government, and he added—"If the Proclamation does not fulfil the declarations of the Government, it will be competent for you to call the attention of Parliament to it, though the Proclamation itself will stand." I do not suppose that was intended to be an empty declaration. If, then, in our opinion, the Proclamation does not entirely carry out the declarations of the Government, what are we doing but strictly and literally following the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman in calling attention to the discrepancy between the Proclamation and the promises of the Government? With the permission, therefore, of the Secretary for War, I shall abstain from following him into a discussion of the general merits of the present Administration. No doubt it is a very interesting subject of discussion, and if the right hon. Gentleman and his friends like to give us an evening for the discussion of the general merits of the Administration, I have no doubt that many Gentlemen upon both sides of the House would be happy to avail themselves of it. Upon the present occasion, however, I think it will be more for the convenience and advantage of the House to limit ourselves to the Motion raised, without diverging to the more general subject of the title of the Government to confidence. This is, no doubt, a question of a somewhat delicate and difficult kind; but I think it has been treated, on the whole, with great moderation and temper on both sides of the House. The charge which has been brought by my hon. and learned Friend, that the Government have not fulfilled the pledges which they gave, might, no doubt, be made to approach dangerously near to a charge of deliberate bad faith; but my hon. and learned Friend has made no charge of deliberate bad faith, nor has any such charge been made by any Member who supported the Resolution. We do not for a moment impute to the Government anything in the nature of deliberate bad faith. I impute nothing to them beyond what is in the terms of the Motion itself, which appear to me to have been somewhat forgotten in the course of the discussion. There is no question on either side of the House that a pledge was given and that an intention existed of restraining in some way or other the use of the title of Empress in the internal affairs of Her Majesty's dominions. The only question is whether the Proclamation issued by virtue of the Act has or has not made adequate provision for that restraint. We say that it has not, and on the other side they say that it has. Surely that is a question which ought to be discussed deliberately and without accusations of bad faith on either side. There are many ways in which it is conceivable that the Government fell short of their pledges. It may have been through want of care, or through want of ability. Again, it may have been in consequence of something inherent in the original conception of the measure, or it may have been in consequence of the haste in which the pledge was given. Again, it may have been in consequence of the haste—I think the unnecessary haste—with which the Proclamation was issued after the passing of the Act. The work of the limitation of the title could not have been acceptable to the Government. It was not one to which they could have applied their minds with any degree of satisfaction or vigour; and the right hon. Gentleman has just told us that there was no intention to limit the use of the title on the occasion of the first or of the second reading. The first indication of an attempt to limit the use of the title was in the speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer in answer to the Motion which I had the honour to move. The right hon. Gentleman then expressed his astonishment that I should have for one moment imagined that on sundry occasions which I enumerated the title of Empress would be added to the Sovereign's title of Queen. The proposal took a more definite shape in Committee, and a still more definite shape in the House of Lords. It was a proposal that was gradually and by some kind of pressure forced upon the Government and which formed no part of their original plan, and which they could have no anxious desire to see added to their plan. We can assume, therefore, that the pledge was not given with any good heart or grace. I will not read the House any extracts except one, and I am compelled to read that because, as the right hon. Gentleman told us, it contains an answer given in the proper Parliamentary manner. It is a reply to a Question deliberately placed upon the Notice Paper after the issue of the Proclamation by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Taunton (Sir Henry James). My hon. and learned Friend asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was his understanding of the engagements which had been given by the Government and as to his opinion of the way in which the Proclamation carried those engagements into effect? Now, I am perfectly satisfied with the statement and the pledge on behalf of the Government given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in reply to that Question. He said in substance—"It was stated to be our intention to advise Her Majesty that the title of Empress should not be borne in this country, but that it should be a title of a local character borne in India." With that statement, made after full consideration, I, for my part, without referring to any other speech that was delivered, am perfectly satisfied. Different minds no doubt see the same thing from a very different point of view. The right hon. Gentleman says the Proclamation seems to him emphatically to carry into effect the views and promises of the Government. I must, however, say that after reading the Proclamation with the best attention I was able to give it, it appears to me that a document which orders that on all occasions, with certain exceptions, and in all in- struments, with, certain exceptions, the title of Empress should be used throughout Her Majesty's dominions does not carry into effect the pledge that the title should be one of a local character. I should like in a few words to point out why it is we on this side attach so much importance—and, as hon. Gentlemen opposite may think, undue importance—to the use of new titles in this country and the colonies. There are two classes of cases in which the title can and will be used. There are, first of all, the cases in which it will be used by the Government of the country; and, secondly, those in which it will be used by Her Majesty's subjects in addressing or speaking to Her Majesty. Now, our contention is that in the first class of cases the use of the title has been insufficiently limited; and that in the second—and, in my opinion, the more important class—no pains whatsoever have been taken to limit it. I maintain that that is by far the most important matter. That is a class of cases by means of which it is possible that that may occur which we fear, that the title of Empress shall be permanently superadded to the ancient Royal title of the Crown, and may overshadow and to some extent supersede the ancient simplicity of the title. It is not a mere unimportant addition; it is not the mere addition of the enumeration of territories. The addition which has been made by the Government is not an unmeaning addition, such as might be that of words which already form part of the title, the words "Defender of the Faith." These words do not to us in England convey any idea whatever. They do not possess any attraction which would bring them into general use. My right hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract (Mr. Childers) said that if the colonies were invited to settle the Royal title for themselves, warm debates would arise. Certainly the addition of Empress is one that possesses considerable attraction to certain classes, and it is perfectly possible that the addition may, in the ordinary usage of the country, become an addition generally used; and it is not from any pedantic objections that we have inquired most scrupulously as to the documents in which the title is to appear. We have made those inquiries because we believe that the addition to the title in these documents will be one of the most powerful means of introducing it into ordinary use that can possibly be imagined. Before I sit down I should like to say a few words with reference to the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt), which I, in common with many others, had not the opportunity of hearing. I understand he said he could not support the Motion, and that he made some complaint that I had discouraged the bringing forward of the Motion of the hon. Member for Hackney (Mr. Fawcett), in the discussion of which, he intended to take part. I trust I am not unwilling to accept any responsibility which properly devolves upon me; but it does appear to me that the hon. and learned Member for Limerick and the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury have endeavoured to fix a responsibility more than it is right I should bear with regard to the Motion of the hon. Member for Hackney. My position with regard to that Motion was perfectly clear. I stated if my hon. Friend obtained a day that, holding the opinions I did, I should have no alternative but to vote for it. It did not rest with me whether the hon. Member should have a day or not; it rested with the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government; and if the right hon. Gentleman choose to say he would not give him a day unless I adopted the Motion, that was placing, I say, an undue responsibility upon me. If I had said that I was willing to adopt the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney I should have pledged myself to the opinion, not only that the Motion was right in the abstract, and that I should vote for it, but I should also have been pledging myself to the opinion that there was some good and sufficient reason, some good and sufficient object to be obtained by bringing it forward. That was not my opinion, and therefore I should have been placed in a false position. Sir, I may have been wrong. In the circumstances in which I am placed I have to act according to the best of my judgment, and with the assistance of such of my Friends as I may be able to consult. But did I receive any assistance from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Limerick and his friends? I am under the impression that the hon. and learned Gentleman was in the House on more than one of the occasions when this matter was discussed. Why did he not rise in his place and urge the importance of giving a day for this discussion? We know that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government has not on former occasions turned a deaf ear to the appeals of the hon. and learned Member. I recollect an occasion in the course of last Session, if I may without irregularity refer to what took place last year, when the Prime Minister complained that one of the impediments against which he had to contend was that he had to meet two Oppositions instead of one, and that one of them was the opposition of hon. Gentlemen from Ireland. Well, Sir, the Irish Opposition is recognized by the right hon. Gentleman, and no doubt the leader of the Irish Opposition would have been recognized also if he had made an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman opposite. As I have said, I have to act according to the best of my judgment, and I cannot expect, and I never did expect, that every one will approve of the position that I may take up. It appeared to me that the issue proposed to be raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney was very nearly, if not identically, the same as that which had been already decided by the House. It did not seem to me that much new light would have been thrown upon the matter, and the opinion of the House had been, as I thought, unequivocally expressed upon the measure. And I can assure the House that nothing would have induced me to utter another word on this painful question if the Proclamation issued under the terms of the Act had been such as we on this side of the House had been led to expect. That has not been the case. Whether through the fault of the Government or through the want of apprehension on the part of myself or my friends is not now the question; but certainly the Proclamation is not couched in the terms we anticipated, and I think we should have failed in our duty if we had not brought the matter before the House. Somehon. Members seem to think that this is a small question, and that we are wasting the time of the House in discussing it. To us it appears to be an important question, and for two reasons. It is important because we think that everything that touches in any degree, even in name, the honour and dignity of our Sovereign is of importance to us. It is important to us in another respect. It is important to us in regard to the conduct and management of our proceedings in this House. Our debates are sometimes—indeed, often—warm, they are sometimes somewhat bitter, but they are redeemed generally from extreme bitterness by the faith and confidence which each side places in its opponents. I think, then, that when a misunderstanding has arisen—whosesoever the fault may have been—it will tend to future good understanding among all parties that the matter should be frankly brought forward and discussed in this House, rather than that imputations should be made privately or among Members of the House upon the subject. Sir, it is for these reasons that, knowing perfectly well what the result of the division will be, whether it be a Vote of Confidence or not, and miserably small as our minority may be, we believe we have no alternative but to bring this Motion before the House of Commons.
The House divided:—Ayes 226; Noes 334: Majority 108.
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Carter, R. M.|
|Allen, W. S.||Cartwright, W. C.|
|Amory, Sir J. H.||Cave, T.|
|Anderson, G.||Cavendish, Lord F. C.|
|Anstruther, Sir R.||Cavendish, Lord G.|
|Antrobus, Sir E.||Chadwick, D.|
|Ashley, hon. E. M.||Chambers, Sir T.|
|Backhouse, E.||Childers, rt. hon. H.|
|Barclay, A. C.||Cholmeley, Sir H.|
|Barclay, J. W.||Clarke, J. C.|
|Bass, A.||Clifford, C. C.|
|Baxter, rt. hon. W. E.||Cogan, rt. hn. W. H. F.|
|Bazley, Sir T.||Cole, H. T.|
|Beaumont, Major F.||Colebrooke, Sir T. E.|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Colman, J. J.|
|Biddulph, M.||Conyngham, Lord F.|
|Blake, T.||Corbett, J.|
|Blennerhassett, R. P.||Cotes, C. C.|
|Brassey, H. A.||Cowan, J.|
|Brassey, T.||Cowen, J.|
|Briggs, W. E.||Cowper, hon. H. F.|
|Bright, Jacob||Crawford, J. S.|
|Bright, rt. Hon. J.||Cross, J. K.|
|Bristowe, S. B.||Crossley, J.|
|Brocklehurst, W. C.||Davie, Sir H. R. F.|
|Brogden, A.||Davies, D.|
|Brown, A. H.||Davies, R.|
|Brown, J. C.||Dease, E.|
|Burt, T.||Dickson, T. A.|
|Cameron, C.||Dilke, Sir C. W.|
|Campbell, Sir G.||Dillwyn, L. L.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, H.||Dixon, G.|
|Dodson, rt. Hon. J. G.||M'Arthur, A.|
|Downing, M'C.||M'Lagan, P.|
|Duff, M. E. G.||M'Laren, D.|
|Duff, R. W.||Maitland, J.|
|Dunbar, J.||Maitland, W. F.|
|Dundas, J.C.||Marjoribanks, Sir D. C.|
|Earp, T.||Marling, S. S.|
|Edwards, H.||Martin, P.|
|Egerton, hon. Adm. F.||Martin, P. W.|
|Errington, G.||Massey, rt. hon. W. N.|
|Esmonde, Sir J.||Matheson, A.|
|Evans, T. W.||Meldon, C. H.|
|Fawcett, H.||Middleton, Sir A. E.|
|Ferguson, R.||Milbank, F. A.|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord E.||Monk, C. J.|
|Fitzwilliam, hon. C. W. W.||Montagu, rt.hn.Lord R.|
|Fletcher, I.||Moore, A.|
|Foljambe, F. J. S.||Morgan, G. O.|
|Forster, rt. hon. W. E.||Morley, S.|
|Forster, Sir C.||Mundella, A. J.|
|Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.||Muntz, P. H.|
|Gladstone, W. H.||Mure, Colonel|
|Goschen, rt. Hon. G. J.||Murphy, N. D.|
|Gourley, E. T.||Noel, E.|
|Gower, hon. E. F. L.||Nolan, Captain|
|Grey, Earl de||Norwood, C. M.|
|Grieve, J. J.||O'Brien, Sir P.|
|Hankey, T.||O'Byrne, W. R.|
|Harcourt, Sir W. V.||O'Callaghan, hon. W.|
|Harrison, C.||O'Conor, D. M.|
|Harrison, J. F.||O'Conor Don, The|
|Hartington, Marq. of||O'Keeffe, J.|
|Havelock, Sir H.||O'Loghlen, rt. hon. Sir C. M.|
|Hayter, A. D.||O'Reilly, M.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Palmer, C. M.|
|Herschell, F.||Pease, J. W.|
|Hill, T. R.||Peel, A. W.|
|Hodgson, K. D.||Pender, J.|
|Holland, S.||Pennington, F.|
|Holms, J.||Playfair, rt. hon. L.|
|Holms, W.||Plimsoll, S.|
|Hopwood, C. H.||Portman, hn. W. H. B.|
|Howard, hon. C.||Potter, T. B.|
|Howard, E. S.||Price, W. E.|
|Hughes, W. B.||Ralli, P.|
|Ingram, W. J.||Ramsay, J.|
|Jackson, Sir H. M.||Rashleigh, Sir C.|
|James, Sir H.||Redmond, W. A.|
|James, W. H.||Reed, E. J.|
|Jenkins, D. J.||Richard, H.|
|Jenkins, E.||Robertson, H.|
|Johnstone, Sir H.||Russell, Lord A.|
|Kay-Shuttleworth, U. J.||Rylands, P.|
|Knatchbull-Hugessen, rt. hon. E.||St. Aubyn, Sir J.|
|Laing, S.||Samuda, J. D'A.|
|Lambert, N. G.||Samuelson, B.|
|Laverton, A.||Seely, C.|
|Law, rt. hon. H.||Sheridan, H. B.|
|Lawrence, Sir J. C.||Sherlock, Mr. Serjeant|
|Lawson, Sir W.||Sherriff, A. C.|
|Leatham, E. A.||Simon, Mr. Serjeant|
|Lefevre, G. J. S.||Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.|
|Leith, J. F.||Smith, E.|
|Lloyd, M.||Smyth, R.|
|Locke, J.||Stacpoole, W.|
|Lowe, rt. hon. R.||Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.|
|Lubbock, Sir J.||Stanton, A. J.|
|Lush, Dr.||Stevenson, J. C.|
|Macdonald, A.||Stuart, Colonel|
|Mackintosh, C. F.||Swanston, A.|
|Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Tavistock, Marquess of|
|Taylor, D.||Whalley, G. H.|
|Taylor, P. A.||Whitbread, S.|
|Temple, rt. hon. W. Cowper-||Whitwell, J.|
|Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-||Whitworth, B.|
|Trevelyan, G. O.||Whitworth, W.|
|Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.||Williams, W.|
|Vivian, H. H.||Wilson, C.|
|Waddy, S. D.||Wilson, Sir M.|
|Walter, J.||Young, A. W.|
|Weguelin, T. M.||TELLERS. Adam, rt. hon. W. P. Kensington, Lord|
|Adderley, rt. hn. Sir. C.||Christie, W. L.|
|Agnew, R. V.||Churchill, Lord R.|
|Alexander, Colonel||Clifton, T. H.|
|Allen, Major||Clive, hon. Col. G. W.|
|Allsopp, C.||Close, M. C.|
|Allsopp, H.||Clowes, S. W.|
|Anstruther, Sir W.||Cobbett, J. M.|
|Archdale, W. H.||Cobbold, T. C.|
|Arkwright, A. P.||Cochrane, A.D.W.R.B.|
|Ashbury, J. L.||Cole, Col. hon. H. A.|
|Assheton, R.||Coope, O. E.|
|Astley, Sir J. D.||Corbett, Colonel|
|Bagge, Sir W.||Cordes, T.|
|Bailey, Sir J. R.||Corry, hon. H. W. L.|
|Balfour, A. J.||Corry, J. P.|
|Barne, F. St. J. N.||Cotton, rt. hn. W. J. R.|
|Barrington, Viscount||Crichton, Viscount|
|Barttelot, Sir W. B.||Cross, rt. hon. R. A.|
|Bates, E.||Cubitt, G.|
|Bateson, Sir T.||Cuninghame, Sir W.|
|Bathurst, A. A.||Cust, H. C.|
|Beach, rt. hn. Sir M.H.||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Beach, W. W. B.||Dalrymple, C.|
|Bective, Earl of||Damer, Capt. Dawson-|
|Benett-Stanford, V. F.||Davenport, W. B.|
|Bentinck, rt. hn. G. C.||Deakin, J. H.|
|Beresford, Lord C.||Denison, C. B.|
|Beresford, G. dela Poer||Denison, W. B.|
|Beresford, Colonel M.||Denison, W. E.|
|Birley, H.||Dickson, Major A. G.|
|Blackburne, Col. J. I.||Digby, hon. Capt. E.|
|Boord, T. W.||Disraeli, rt. hon. B.|
|Bourke, hon. R.||Douglas, Sir G.|
|Bourne, Colonel||Duff, J.|
|Bousfield, Major||Dyott, Colonel R.|
|Bowyer, Sir G.||Eaton, H. W.|
|Bright, R.||Edmonstone, Admiral Sir W.|
|Brise, Colonel R.||Egerton, hon. A. F.|
|Broadley, W. H. H.||Egerton, Sir P. G.|
|Brooks, W. C.||Egerton, hon. W.|
|Bruce, hon. T.||Elcho, Lord|
|Bruen, H.||Elliot, Sir G.|
|Brymer, W. E.||Elliot, G. W.|
|Bulwer, J. R.||Elphinstone,Sir J.D.H.|
|Burrell, Sir P.||Emlyn, Viscount|
|Butler-Johnstone, H. A.||Eslington, Lord|
|Buxton, Sir R. J.||Ewing, A. O.|
|Cameron, D.||Fellowes, E.|
|Campbell, C.||Finch, G. H.|
|Cartwright, F.||Floyer, J.|
|Cave, rt. hon. S.||Folkestone, Viscount|
|Cawley, C. E.||Forester, C. T. W.|
|Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G.||Forsyth, W.|
|Chaine, J.||Fraser, Sir W. A.|
|Chaplin, Colonel E.||Freshfield, C. K.|
|Chaplin, H.||Gallwey, Sir W. P.|
|Chapman, J.||Galway, Viscount|
|Charley, W. T.|
|Gardner, J. T. Agg-||Legh, W. J.|
|Gardner, R. Richardson-||Leigh, Lt.-Col. E.|
|Garnier, J. C.||Leighton, S.|
|Gibson, E.||Lennox, Lord H.|
|Gilpin, Sir R. T.||Leslie, Sir J.|
|Goddard, A. L.||Lewis, C. E.|
|Goldney, G.||Lindsay, Col. R. L.|
|Gooch, Sir D.||Lindsay, Lord|
|Gordon, rt. hon. E. S.||Lloyd, S.|
|Gordon, W.||Lloyd, T. E.|
|Gore, W. R. O.||Lopes, H. C.|
|Gorst, J. E.||Lopes, Sir M.|
|Grantham, W.||Lorne, Marquess of|
|Greenall, Sir G.||Lowther, hon. W.|
|Greene, E.||Lowther, J.|
|Gregory, G. B.||Lusk, Sir A.|
|Guinness, Sir A.||Macartney, J. W. E.|
|Hall, A. W.||Mac Iver, D.|
|Halsey, T. F.||Majendie, L. A.|
|Hamilton, Lord C. J.||Makins, Colonel|
|Hamilton, Lord G.||Malcolm, J. W.|
|Hamilton, Marquess of||Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.|
|Hamilton, I. T.||March, Earl of|
|Hamilton, hon. R. B.||Marten, A. G.|
|Hamond, C. F.||Maxwell, Sir W. S.|
|Hanbury, R. W.||Mellor, T. W.|
|Hardcastle, E.||Merewether, C. G.|
|Hardy, rt. hon. G.||Mills, A.|
|Hardy, J. S.||Mills, Sir C. H.|
|Harvey, Sir R. B.||Monckton, F.|
|Hay, rt. hon. Sir J.C.D.||Montgomerie, R.|
|Heath, R.||Montgomery, Sir G. G.|
|Helmsley, Viscount||Moore, S.|
|Henley, rt. hon. J. W.||Morgan, hon. F.|
|Hermon, E.||Morris, G.|
|Hervey, Lord F.||Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.|
|Heygate, W. U.||Mulholland, J.|
|Hick, J.||Muncaster, Lord|
|Hildyard, T. B. T.||Naghten, Lt.-Col.|
|Hill, A. S.||Nevill, C. W.|
|Hinchingbrook, Visct.||Neville-Grenville, R.|
|Hogg, Sir J. M.||Newport, Viscount|
|Holford, J. P. G.||Noel, rt, hon. G. J.|
|Holker, Sir J.||North, Colonel|
|Holland, Sir H. T.||Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H.|
|Holmesdale, Viscount||O'Gorman, P.|
|Home, Captain||O'Neill, hon. E.|
|Hood, hon. Captain A. W. A. N.||Onslow, D.|
|Hope, A. J. B. B.||Paget, R. H.|
|Hubbard, rt. hon. J.||Palk, Sir L.|
|Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.||Parker, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Isaac, S.||Pateshall, E.|
|Jenkinson, Sir G. S.||Peek, Sir H. W.|
|Jervis, Colonel||Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.|
|Johnson, J. G.||Pell, A.|
|Johnstone, H.||Pelly, Sir H. C.|
|Johnstone, Sir F.||Pemberton, E. L.|
|Jolliffe, hon. S.||Pennant, hon. G.|
|Jones, J.||Peploe, Major|
|Kavanagh, A. MacM.||Percy, Earl|
|Kenealy, Dr.||Phipps, P.|
|Kennard, Colonel||Pim, Captain B.|
|Kennaway, Sir J. H.||Plunket, hon. D. R.|
|Knight, F. W.||Plunkett, hon. R.|
|Knightley, Sir R.||Polhill-Turner, Capt.|
|Knowles, T.||Powell, W.|
|Lacon, Sir E. H. K.||Praed, C. T.|
|Lawrence, Sir T.||Praed, H. B.|
|Learmonth, A.||Price, Captain|
|Lee, Major V.||Puleston, J. H.|
|Legard, Sir C.||Raikes, H. C.|
|Read, C. S.|
|Rendlesham, Lord||Taylor, rt. hon. Col.|
|Repton, G. W.||Tennant, R.|
|Ridley, M. W.||Thornhill, T.|
|Ripley, H. W.||Thwaites, D.|
|Ritchie, C. T.||Thynne, Lord H. F.|
|Rodwell, B. B. H.||Tollemache, hon. W. F.|
|Round, J.||Torr, J.|
|Russell, Sir C.||Tremayne, J.|
|Ryder, G. R.||Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-|
|Sackville, S. G. S.||Turnor, E.|
|Salt, T.||Twells, P.|
|Sanderson, T. K.||Verner, E. W.|
|Sandford, G. M. W.||Wait, W. K.|
|Sandon, Viscount||Walker, T. E.|
|Sclater-Booth, rt. hn. G.||Wallace, Sir R.|
|Scott, M. D.||Walpole, rt. hon. S.|
|Scourfield, Sir J. H.||Walsh, hon. A.|
|Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.||Waterhouse, S.|
|Shirley, S. E.||Watney, J.|
|Shute, General||Welby-Gregory, Sir W|
|Sidebottom, T. H.||Wellesley, Captain|
|Simonds, W. B.||Wells, E.|
|Smith, A.||Wethered, T. O.|
|Smith, F. C.||Wheelhouse, W. S. J.|
|Smith, S. G.||Whitelaw, A.|
|Smith, W. H.||Williams, Sir F. M.|
|Smollett, P. B.||Wilmot, Sir H.|
|Somerset, Lord H. R. C.||Wilmot, Sir J. E.|
|Sotheron-Estcourt, G.||Wolff, Sir H. D.|
|Spinks, Mr. Serjeant||Woodd, B. T|
|Stanhope, W. T. W. S.||Wroughton, P.|
|Stanley, hon. F.||Wyndham, hon. P.|
|Starkey, L. R.||Wynn, C. W. W.|
|Starkie, J. P. C.||Yarmouth, Earl of|
|Steere, L.||Yeaman, J.|
|Stewart, M. J.||Yorke, hon. E.|
|Storer, G.||Yorke, J. R.|
|Sykes, C.||TELLERS. Dyke, Sir W. H. Winn, R.|
|Talbot, J. G.|
House adjourned at half after One o'clock.