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Commons Chamber
24 November 1882
Volume 275

House Of Commons

Friday,24th November,1882.

Questions

Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881—The Irish Land Commission—" Shiels V Johnston"

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asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieu- tenant of Ireland, Whether, in the case of Shiels v. Johnston, in which the originating notice was served 27th October 1881, for Sessions holden 7th January, the County Court Judge of Cavan adjourned the case to the 20th February, when, after a partial hearing, it was again adjourned to the 17th March, owing to the absence of Shiels' solicitor; whether, when the re-hearing came on upon the 17th March, it transpired that the Land Commission had remitted the case to their Sub-Commissioners; whether this was done without any notice being given to plaintiff or his solicitor, until the 2nd February, although the case was partly heard by the County Court Judge on February 20th, and although it should have been heard on 7th January; whether, as Rule 62 provides that notice of transfer must be given ten days before the first day of sessions, this should have been served in December 1881, instead of February 1882; whether the County Court Judge considered the proceedings so irregular that he adjourned the case until June, and directed Shiels to apply to the Land Commission to rescind their transfer order; whether the Commissioners refused this application; whether he is aware the result was that Shiels was put to heavy costs by bringing his witnesses twice to Cavan, and by having to make the Dublin motion; whether the case was not tried until the 23rd ultimo; whether he is aware that the decision then given was that Shiels' rent was reduced from £50 to £35; that the Government valuation is but £16; that several witnesses proved the fair rent at £20 to £23; that the landlady, Mrs. Johnston, gave no evidence as to value, although she had two valuators in court; that the fair rent fixed is £2 over what her valuator swore before the County Court Judge on 20th February; that the court ordered new rent to date from 25th March 1883, instead of 25th March 1882, although the originating notice was served 27th October 1881; whether Mr. Vernon, the Head Commissioner, was formerly agent upon Burrowes' estate, upon which Shiels resides; whether he was a member of the court which remitted the case to the Sub-Commission, or which refused to rescind the order; and, whether the Government propose to make Shiels any compensation for the loss he sustained, or to take any legislative steps to prevent other suitors being similarly treated?

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, in reply, said, he hoped the hon. Member for Wexford (Mr. Healy) would take the course that he felt sure, from previous transactions he had had with the hon. Member, he would take, and allow him to communicate a document which would answer these Questions, and then, perhaps, the hon. Member would put any Question that arose out of that document afterwards. In fact, it would consume an immense amount of the time of the House if he answered the Question in detail.

Scotland—Crofters In The Island Of Skye

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asked the Lord Advocate, If it is true, as reported in the "North British Daily Mail," that the magistrates of Edinburgh, Govan, and Partick, and other places, have refused the assistance of their police for the protection of officers engaged in serving writs of ejectment upon crofters in Skye; and, if he can state the reasons given for such refusals by the magistrates referred to?

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I understand that in some cases the requests for assistance have been granted, and in some refused; but I have no information as to the grounds of refusal.

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I will ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman if he will ascertain the grounds, and whether he will have any objection to lay Papers on the Table next week? I also beg to give Notice that next week I shall ask the Prime Minister if the Government have definitely made up their minds whether, before Parliament rises, they will issue a Royal Commission to inquire into the condition of the agricultural population of Scotland; and, further, I will ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will give me a day for discussing that question, as a matter of urgent public importance, without resorting to the facility afforded by Rule No. 2?

Spain—International Law—The Spanish Steamer "Leon Xiii"

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asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether any steps have been taken by Her Majesty's Government to obtain compensation for the three British engineers who were forcibly carried off from the British port of Singapore, with the connivance of the Spanish Consular and Naval authorities, in the steamship "Leon XIII.; "and, whether he is yet in a position to lay the Correspondence on the subject before Parliament?

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The Correspondence is not closed, and the Papers cannot, therefore, conveniently be laid before Parliament at present. The question whether any compensation can be claimed has been referred to the Law Officers of the Crown.

Post Office (Ireland)—Letter Carriers

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asked the Postmaster General, Whether it is a fact that during fourteen weeks the letter carriers of Belfast only received an advance of pay amounting on the whole to £29 9s. 5d. or at the rate of £94 12s. 1d. per annum, although they were promised £278 per annum; and, if the facts are as stated, will he be good enough to explain the discrepancy?

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The figures mentioned by the hon. Member as to the increase of pay which the letter carriers of Belfast have up to the present time received are substantially correct. No promise was given that the immediate increase of pay would amount to £278 a-year. The Return which was furnished to me was that this would be the increase in the cost at the mean; and the difference arises from the fact that whereas the scale at the maximum has been increased by 1s., there has been an increase in the scale at the minimum of 4s. a-week, and, consequently, the cost will be proportionately increased by new appointments.

Arrears Of Rent (Ireland) Act—Official "Investigators"

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asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Is it a fact that the Sessional Crown Prosecutors who represent the Crown before the Arrears investigators in many cases act also as advocates for the landlords who are their clients; and, whether such conduct has his approval?

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Sessional Crown Prosecutors occasionally attend at the request of Mr. Richard Bourke, who represents the Treasury in all matters under the Arrears Act, at investigations under that Act in the counties for which they are the Sessional Crown Prosecutors; but Mr. Bourke informs me that never on any of these occasions have they acted as advocates for landlords, and that they have never appeared on behalf of the landlords at any such investigations so far as he is aware.

Mercantile Marine—Shipwrecks—Hms "Lively"

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asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, If it is a fact that H.M.S. "Lively," when on a voyage from Harwich to Sheerness, on or about the 13th instant, passed a vessel on shore on the Dunfleet Sands, and did not make any effort to rescue the crew beyond telegraphing from Sheerness, after her arrival there, for the life-boat to be sent from Harwich; if the "Lively" is not fitted with one or more life-boats suitable for such a service; and, if it is true that four survivors of the original crew of fourteen were subsequently rescued by the small boats of some fishing smacks?

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On the 13th instant the Lively, bearing the flag of the Admiral Superintendent of Naval Reserves, observed, in common with other passing ships, a vessel on shore on the Dunfleet Sands. The Lively had no life-boats, and the sea was too high to allow her boats to approach the wreck. It was considered better, instead of remaining by the wreck, to push on to Sheerness and send a life-boat, which was done. This action is approved by the Board of Admiralty. There were five salvage smacks (not ordinary fishing smacks) watching the wreck; but we have no official knowledge of the subsequent events.

Peace Preservation (Ireland) Act—Arms Licences—House Searches

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asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, On what information did Sub-Inspector M'Dermott, on 14th August last, at three o'clock in the morning, search the house of MR. Murphy, of Cloonsam Cloone, county Leitrim; and, on what grounds did Major Neild, R.M., refuse a licence to Mr. Murphy, at Cloone Petty Sessions, on 16th August, although he is owner of 130 acros of land in fee, and his application was recommended by two local magistrates?

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I must decline to give the information on which the Constabulary act in such cases. Major Neild, who is not at present stationed in the district, has no recollection of having refused Mr. Murphy an arms licence, and he states that his rule is to refuse no person property recommended; but Mr. Turner, who is now the licensing officer of the district, states that he refused a licence to Murphy on the 23rd of August, as his certificate was not signed by two magistrates and his application was opposed by the police.

Spain—International Law—Surrender Of Cuban Refugees

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asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he has yet received, by telegram or otherwise, the Report of the Committee of inquiry as to the case of the Cuban Refugees; and, if so, whe- ther he will lay it upon the Table of the House?

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asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, When he will be able to communicate to the House the result of the investigation into the surrender of Colonel Maceo and his companions to the Spanish Government?

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If the right hon. Baronet will recall my answer of Tuesday last, he and the House will see that no time has been lost when I tell them that the despatch is now on its road between Gibraltar and this place. We got a telegram from the Governor the day before yesterday, saying that it would be sent off yesterday morning. Considering the very important and complicated issues that are involved, Her Majesty's Government have thought that it would not be proper and would hardly be decent not to wait for the Report.

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Do I understand that the Government have received no telegram at all as to the substance of that Report?

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Yes, Sir.

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asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the Government have taken any steps to secure the release of the Cuban refugees by the Spanish Government; and, if so, what steps have been taken for that purpose; and, whether he will lay all the Correspondence between the British and Spanish Governments upon the Table of the House?

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Under the circumstances disclosed in the reply of my hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, it is clear that it would be a gross dereliction of duty on the part of Her Majesty's Government if, having to deal with so delicate a matter as the alleged misconduct of Colonial authorities, they committed themselves to any particular course until they had full opportunity of considering the Report which is on its way he me, and which will contain all the details of the case.

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What I want to understand is this. These people are for the moment condemned to imprisonment, and we desire to know whether Her Majesty's Government have made any representations at all to the Spanish Government up to the present moment?

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I have already said on four or five occasions in this House that communications have been made; but those communications, as we have not a full knowledge of particulars, have been of an unofficial character.

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I wish to know whether it is a fact that the wife and sister-in-law of General Maceo have been imprisoned by the Spanish authorities?

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Perhaps the hon. Member will give Notice of his Question.

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I will repeat both of my Questions next week.

State Of Ireland—"Moonlighting," Co Limerick

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asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is the case that the two agents of the Property Defence Association returned for trial for "moonlighting" at Murroe, county Limerick, on the 17th instant, were admitted to bail; whether it is the fact that over sixty persons from the Millstreet district were detained in gaol some nine months, without bail, for a similar offence, and kept in solitary confinement twenty-two hours out of the twenty-four, without liberty of communication; if so, why a different course has been followed in the case of agents of the Property Defence Association; whether two of the accused Millstreet prisoners are still in gaol, the Crown having opposed bail for them at the Winter Assizes, the indictment being changed to treason felony; whether one of them, Moynighan, has been in custody twelve months; whether, although four assizes have been held since his arrest, no attempt has been made to put him on trial; whether the Government is aware that at the Winter Assizes of 1881 he had fruitlessly to keep eight witnesses in Cork during seven weeks, at heavy expense; will the Crown now either order his discharge, or give a guarantee that he will be tried at the next Winter Assizes; and, in the latter case, will care be taken to give reasonable notice, so that he may prepare his defence; and, will the Crown defray the reasonable expenses of counsel and witnesses for Moynighan and his fellow prisoner, as under the Crimes Act?

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The two agents of the Property Defence Association referred to in this Question have been admitted to substantial bail. Sixty-two persons from the Millstreet district, charged with treason-felony, were detained in gaol in Cork, but only two of them were detained so long as nine months. They were all treated in accordance with the rules approved of by Parliament which are in force for untried prisoners. No agent of the Property Defence Association has been committed to the Cork Prison. Two of the Millstreet prisoners are still in custody in that gaol. Moynighan, the man referred to by name, was tried at the last Summer Assizes for treason-felony, when the jury disagreed. He is to be put on trial at the approaching Winter Assizes for an attack by night on the house of a person named Carroll. It is the case that he applied to be admitted to bail, and I believe the application was opposed by direction of the Attorney General for Ireland, and was refused. With regard to the other points in the Question, I must refer the hon. Member to my right hon. and learned Friend.

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then gave further answers to parts of the Question.

Ireland—Seizures Of American Newspapers

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asked the Postmaster General, How many copies of American newspapers have been stopped in the Irish Post Offices within the last four months, and the names of the journals; whether these seizures are made in the General Post Office, Dublin, and under warrants of the Lord Lieutenant, or whether instructions to seize have been given to Postmasters generally; and, whether any similar seizures have taken place in England?

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During the last four months all the copies of the New York Irish World and United Irishman, and a pamphlet called The Irish Avenger and Dynamite Evangelist, have been stopped in the General Post Office in Dublin, and since the 31st of August last The Irish Nation has likewise been stopped. In answer to a Question during last Session I gave the reasons for stopping them. These newspapers have been detained by virtue of express warrants of the Lord Lieutenant. I am informed that no similar proceedings have been found necessary on the part of the Executive in England.

Navy—Chili And Peru—Commander Acland, Rn, And Lieutenant Brenton, Rn

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asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, Whether the meritorious services of Commander Acland, R.N., lately attached to the Chilian Army by our Naval Commander in the Pacific during the recent war with Peru, and of Lieutenant Brenton, R.N., in like manner attached to the Peruvian Army, services involving great personal hardship and danger, and which markedly conduced to the safety of the Peruvian capital in that war, have been brought under the consideration of the Admiralty; and, whether at this time, when the services of many other naval officers are being specially recognised, he will undertake that the services of the two officers above named will not be lost sight of? The hon. Member explained that in putting the Question he had had no communication, either directly or indirectly, with the gallant officers named.

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The Board of Admiralty are well aware of the excellent service done by the two officers named by my hon. Friend, and I can assure him that their merits are fully recognized and appreciated.

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I should like to say that this Question is not asked in consequence of any communication with the friends of these officers.

The Irish Land Commission—Court Valuers—Mr Grey

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asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Mr. Grey, who has been recently engaged as Official Valuer in connection with the Land Commission in the County of Clare, is the same gentleman who, as Official Valuer acting with the county Dublin Sub-Commission, valued the farms of a number of tenants of Lord Talbot de Malahide at a higher figure than that fixed by the sworn Valuer for the landlord; and, whether he is the same gentleman whose valuation in a number of cases listed for trial at Edenderry caused the immediate withdrawal of those cases from Court; and, whether, if so, the Government intend to continue Mr. Grey in the position of Court or Official Valuer?

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, in reply, said, that Mr. Grey, the official valuer now attached to the Clare Sub-Commission, was the same gentleman who was attached to the Dublin Sub-Commission. He valued the farms on the estate of Lord Talbot de Malahide, and he was the official valuer of the Sub-Commission who sat at Edenderry. The Land Commissioners had no official knowledge of the matter; but they informed him that they apprehended that any cases withdrawn from the Land Courts were so withdrawn before any valuations in those cases had been made by the official valuers. MR. Grey was changed to the County Clare Sub - Commission only because the Sub-Commission to which he was first attached was going to a locality with which he was connected.

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asked, was this the same gentleman who was appointed by the Land Commissioners as one of the first of their official valuers?

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said, he was not. Mr. Grey, the head of the official valuers, was a different person.

Crime (Irelnd)—The Maamtrasna Murders—Rewarding Crown Witnesses

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asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the Irish Government intends to mark its appreciation of the courage displayed by the witnesses, other than the two informers who turned Queen's evidence, by whose testimony the arrest, and conviction of the Maamtrasna murderers was mainly brought about, by conferring on them some reward commensurate with the great service thus rendered to public justice, and calculated to encourage similar aid in the discovery and punishment of grave crime?

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, in reply, said, this question had only just been brought under the notice of the Irish Government, and they had not yet had time to consider the matter.

Parliament—Privilege—The Votes Of Peers—The Cambridge University Election

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asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that Lord Rayleigh, a Peer of the Realm, has voted for the election of a Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge; and, whether this does not constitute a "high infringement of the liberties and privileges" of this House? He added that he had since received information that another Peer had voted.

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Sir, I thought it was perfectly well known and understood that no Peer, either temporal or spiritual, and no Irish Peer, unless a Member of this House, can vote for an election of a Member. It has so been stated more than once in the House of Lords, and was so judicially determined in a case heard eight or ten years ago, when Lord Beauchamp endeavoured to assert his right to vote by having his name put on the register. The question came before the Court of Common Pleas on appeal, and after full discussion, it was determined that by the Common Law no Peer is entitled to vote; and I know of nothing that exempts the elections for the Universities from this general rule of law. My hon. Friend asks me whether the fact of Lord Rayleigh having voted does not constitute a high infringement of the liberties and privileges of this House? Of course, that is the language of the Resolution, but it has not the effect of law; and I should think the better course will be to assume that Lord Rayleigh was advised that he was acting within his right when he tendered his vote, and had no intention to interfere with the liberties of this House.

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Will the hon. and learned Gentleman state whether, if a Peer tenders his vote, the presiding officer should receive it, and trust to the action of a scrutiny to remove it or reject it?

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Without referring to a University election, I should say that if a Peer's name were on the register—which it ought not to be—the duty of the presiding officer would be to receive the vote, which, however, would be a nullity and could be struck off on a scrutiny.

Conservative Loan Societies

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asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether he has observed in the "Standard" newspaper of Tuesday last a letter signed "W. J. Richards, President of the Working Men's Constitutional Union," the writer of which "strongly advocates" the formation of Conservative Loan Societies in different parts of the United Kingdom, openly avowing that

"The business opportunities of such societies afford the best means of enlisting' political sympathy amongst the masses,"
and that
"Each householder should be attacked, and the truths of Conservative principles brought to the doors of every elector;"
whether he is aware that the Working Men's Constitutional Union is supported by wealthy persons of the Conservative party; and, whether loan societies, having for their object the "enlisting of political sympathy among the masses," are, at the present moment, lawful institutions; and, if so, whether he will bring them within the provisions of the Corrupt Practices Bill?

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Yes, Sir; my attention has been called to the subject of this letter, which certainly is a remarkable one, by several correspondents. It is a letter from Mr. W. J. Richards, President of the Working Men's Conservative Union, in which he suggests that certain Societies, among others Loan Societies, should be formed on the ground that the business opportunities of such Societies afford the best means of enlisting political sympathy among the masses, and for bringing he me the truths of Conservative principles to the doors of every elector. [Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL: Hear, hear!] I am sorry to hear that cheer from the noble Lord, because clearly this matter is a serious matter. I may mention that formerly it was not regarded as an offence—at least it was not well understood to be an offence—to give a loan in order to influence votes; but, in 1842, the Report of the Lyme Regis Committee to this House stated that corrupt practices had for some time prevailed by the lending of money on notes of hand and other securities, and that the practice was insiduous and demoralizing, and peculiarly adapted to interfering with the free and he nest exercise of the franchise, and demanding serious attention and inquiry from the House. In consequence of that Report, and a Report by another Committee, by the Corrupt Practices Bill of 1854 it was made an act of bribery and a penal offence, involving two years' imprisonment, for any person to make a loan or promise a loan to another in order to influence his vote, and on proof of agency, any Member obtaining the benefit of such a proceeding would lose his seat, in consequence of the Statute having been broken. It seems to me that the law was quite sufficient to meet any such case as the hon. Gentleman suggested, and it is not necessary to deal with it by legislation. But now that the matter has been made public, and the question brought to the knowledge of influential Members of the Conservative Party, I trust that their influence will be used to deprecate such a suggestion being carried into effect.

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The hon. and learned Gentleman has not answered the middle part of the Question—that is, whether he is aware that the Working Men's Constitutional Union is supported by wealthy persons of the Conservative Party?

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No, Sir; I really have no knowledge affecting the wealth of Members of the Conservative Party; that is a matter with which my hon. and learned Friend is better acquainted than I am, and perhaps he can give some information to the House on the subject.

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Will the hon. and learned Gentleman tell us whether this is the same Society whose members received 1s. for coming into the Lobby of the House?

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Perhaps the Attorney General can inform us whether there are not several Building Socities called Liberal Societies, which advance money to Liberal voters to enable them to build their own houses?

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said, he had no knowledge on the subject.

Egypt (Political Affairs)—Action Of Italy

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asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether there is any foundation whatever for the statement, made on the authority of the French "Moniteur," that Italy has taken the initiative in proposing a Conference on the Egyptian question?

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No, Sir; there is no foundation whatever for the statement.

Piers And Harbours (Ireland)—Kinvarra Harbour

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asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he has received any Reports from the Inspectors of Fisheries in reference to the condition of Kinvarra Harbour, county Gal way; whether the harbour is falling into such a state of decay as to be useless, and also unsafe to life; whether the harbour was originally built at the public expense; and, how has it come to be now private property; whether the Government contemplate any steps for putting the harbour in proper repair, and restoring it to the public; and, if there be any objection to publish the Correspondence and the Reports of the Inspectors of Fisheries on the subject?

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I have received Reports from the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries in reference to the Kinvarra Pier and Harbour, in the County Galway. They show that the harbour is falling into a state of dilapidation. The pier was originally built at the expense of the county by county presentment. It is now private property, having been purchased in the Landed Estates Court by Mr. Blake Forster, together with the town of Kinvarra and some adjoining lands. The Government have been advised that as the pier is private property no public money can be expended on it under the Piers and Harbours Acts. Although there is nothing in the Reports of the Inspectors and the other official documents which would render their presentation in any way embarrassing, I must, on principle, decline to lay the Correspondence on the Table.

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asked, was it not a fact that the harbour came into the possession of its present owner by mistake?

[No reply was given.]

Egypt (Re-Organization)—The Police Force

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asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he has observed the statement in a telegram from Cairo, in the "Times" of November 22nd, in which it is stated that 450 Albanians, who are now in Alexandria, are to be incorporated into the Police Force of Egypt; and, whether Her Majesty's Government have been consulted on the employment of Albanians in the Egyptian Force; and, whether that Force is largely composed of foreigners?

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In answer to the last 'portion of the hon. Member's Question, I may say that a certain portion of the Police Force is composed of foreigners. Her Majesty's Government learnt that it was intended to enrol in the Egyptian urban police large numbers of Albanians; but, owing to the representations made on the subject by Lord Dufferin, the scheme will not be carried out.

Egypt—Treatment Of Prisoners At Zagazig

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asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether he has obtained any further information in regard to the alleged cruelties committed on prisoners, by the Egyptian Government, at Zagazig; and, whether he will take steps to prevent such cruelties being committed, or arbitrary arrests being ordered by that Government, so long as it is maintained by the presence of British Troops in Egypt?

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No information has been received with regard to the allegeged cruelties on prisoners at Zagazig; but Lord Dufferin has directed a British officer to proceed on a tour of inspection of the provincial towns. This officer will examine their state, ascertain the number of prisoners confined for political offences, and report upon their treatment. The Egyptian Government has also appointed a Sub-Commission to sit at Cairo, to examine the cases of the prisoners in the provincial gaols. The functions of this Commission will be to sift documentary evidence, and allow prisoners accused of light offences to be released on bail. A British officer will be present at the sittings of the Commission.

Fishery Piers And Harbours (Ireland)—A Deputation

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asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether it is his intention to comply with the request made to him some days since to receive a deputation of Members representing Irish Maritime Counties for the purpose of making a representation respecting the desirability of renewing the advances in aid of local efforts towards the construction of Fishery Harbours; and, if so, will he be kind enough to appoint some day before the greater part of the Maritime Members will have left for Ireland?

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The hon. Member asks me whether I will receive a deputation of Maritime Members from Ireland. I confess, Sir, that I have an abiding aversion to receiving deputations; not so much on account of the consumption of time they involve, as because they proceed from the assumption that personal solicitation secures an attention denied to written Memorials. however, if the hon. Member and his Friends think they have something to tell which cannot be put in writing, I will arrange to meet them some day next week.

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Am I to understand that the hon. Gentleman declines to accede to the request to receive a deputation on the subject?

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If the hon. Gentleman has anything to say that he cannot put in writing, I will arrange a meeting.

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In compliance with the request of the hon. Gentleman, I put the whole matter in writing and asked him for a reply. He gave me no satisfactory answer as to whether he would receive a deputation or not. I wish, therefore, to ask him if——

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The hon. Member, if he desires, can put a Question arising out of the answer of the hon. Gentleman; but he is not at liberty to debate the matter.

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I beg respectfully to ask the Prime Minister, If he will receive a deputation of Irish Members for the purpose of making a simple representation with regard to harbours in Ireland, the Secretary to the Treasury having declined to do so?

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I think the hon. Member is under a misapprehension. I understood the answer of my hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury to be that if the hon. Gentleman, and those on whose behalf he spoke, are of opinion that any useful purpose would be served by any further exposition of the question, he would be ready to receive them.

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I beg to ask Mr. Speaker, as a matter of Order, whether an hon. Member of this House has not a right to demand an interview with a Minister?

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The Question the hon. Member puts to me does not arise on any point of Order with reference to the answer of the Secretary to the Treasury.

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On a Question of Order I beg to press the hon. Gentleman for a distinct answer as to whether he will or will not receive a deputation?

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I have twice stated that if the hon. Gentleman has anything to say that he cannot put in writing, I will make arrangements to see him.

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I have asked a plain Question and I want a plain answer.

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The hon. Gentleman is not entitled to debate the matter. He has put a Question twice and received two answers. He is not entitled to pursue the matter further.

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Then, Sir, I will ask the same Question on Monday, and every following day, till I get a satisfactory answer.

Egypt (Military Expedition)—The Expenses

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asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, how soon he can inform the House of the probable cost of the recent Naval and Military operations in Egypt; and, whether it will be necessary to submit Supplementary Estimates for Army and Navy Services during the current financial year?

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I hope to be able to make a short statement on Monday on the subject which will be sufficient for all practical purposes. Of course, it will partake of the nature of an Esti- mate. There can be no account as yet; bat that short statement will, I think, meet the purposes of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman on the subject. With respect to the second part of the Question, it cannot yet be determined whether if will be more convenient to ask for a further Vote in the form of a Vote of Credit or in the form of a Supplementary Estimate. There is no intention and no need—indeed, it would not be a regular course—to ask for a further Vote during the present Session, as the funds at command of the Government under the direction of Parliament and under the existing law are ample for the purpose.

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I wish to ask if the right hon. Gentleman, when he makes that statement, will move the adjournment of the House, in order to allow the question to be discussed; or whether, under the New Rules, Ministers of the Crown enjoy privileges which are not allowed to ordinary Members?

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I shall exercise no privilege on Monday. I do not know whether the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will renew his Question on Monday; but my statement will simply be an answer to the Question which has been put to me to-day.

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I will renew my Question on Monday.

Egypt (Military Operations)—The Proposed Votes Op Censure

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asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he is in a position to give a day for the discussion of the Notices condemning our Military Operations in Egypt? The hon. Gentleman explained that he intended the Question only to apply to the Motion of which he had given Notice.

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We are not in a position to give a day for the discussion of the Notice. That Notice is a Vote of Censure on the Government, and it is not our opinion that it would be of advantage to bring on that Notice at the present time. In fact, we think the hon. Member himself would be ill a much better condition to make such a Motion, if he thinks fit, when the House meets at the regular time and in the regular Session than he would now, when, in all likelihood, after we have finished the Procedure Resolutions, the House will be sufficiently exhausted. I think my hon. Friend will see that, as regards the Party opposite, it certainly would not be desirable that a Vote of Censure on the conduct of the Government should, for their purpose, be brought on in the absence of the right hon. Baronet the Member for North Devon (Sir Stafford Northcote). ["Oh, oh!"] I hear some murmurs. I am not giving that as the reason, because my answer would be the same if the right hon. Baronet were here; but I think it is an additional reason. The substance of my reason was given before. I see no advantage in raising the question at the present moment; and my hon. Friend knows that whatever respect we may pay to his views personally, the line of distinction is a broad one between a Motion of this kind, made on irresponsible—I mean on individual—authority, and a Motion made in expression of the sentiment of a large portion of the House.

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If I can got 40 Members I shall go on.

Egypt (Political Affairs)—Anglo-Egyptian Convention

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asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he can now lay upon the Table of the House the new Anglo-Egyptian Convention; whether any other Convention with respect to Egypt is in contemplation; whether a Conference upon Egyptian affairs has been proposed; and, whether Her Majesty's Government has consented to take part in such Conference?

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In regard to the first Question, I think I should apologize to the House for having rather hastily used the word Convention, because the form of proceeding has not been determined. But the new arrangement—because arrangement it will be, whether made by correspondence or otherwise—has not yet been concluded. With regard to the second Question, there is no other arrangement of a similar kind in contemplation at the present time. With respect to the third Question, no Conference upon Egyptian affairs has been proposed; and the fourth Question, therefore, falls to the ground.

Arrears Of Rent (Ireland) Act—Affidavits

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asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether it is a fact that magistrates in the county of Longford have refused to take affidavits from tenants seeking to obtain the benefit of the Arrears Act, thereby compelling the tenants in many cases to go long distances in search of a Commissioner of Affidavits, to whom they have to pay a fee; whether the refusal of the magistrates is warranted by the Law; and, whether, if it be not so, he will endeavour to have the practice discontinued?

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, in reply, said, he did not know that magistrates had refused to receive these affidavits, and he had not sufficient time to inquire into the matter. If the hon. Member furnished him with any individual cases, he would have inquiry made into them. He had telegraphed to the Resident Magistrates to know if they had done so, if any of the other magistrates had done so to their knowledge, and he had not yet received a reply. There was a rule made by the Land Commission authorizing the affidavits to be so made, and the same rule also applied to the Arrears Act. He could not imagine but that any magistrate would afford every facility in his power to tenants in these cases; but, as he had not the facts, he was unable to give them a definite answer.

Mr Parnell, Mp, &C (Release From Kilmainham)

Adjournment Of The House

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I beg to ask leave to move the adjournment of the House, in order to bring on a definite matter of urgent public importance.

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The hon. Member is bound to state to the House the definite matter of urgent public importance.

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The definite matter is the conduct of the Government, and in particular the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, in reference to a controversy recently at issue between himself and me with regard to the release of the three prisoners from Kilmainham Gaol a few months ago.

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I rise to Order. I wish to ask whether the hon. Gentleman has a right to refer to a question with reference to which there is already a Notice on the Books? There is a Notice standing in the name of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) for Tuesday next.

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I understood the hon. Member to say, in the definite statement which he made, that he purposes to discuss the conduct of the Government, and does not propose to deal with the Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton. I must ask the hon. Member whether he proposes to proceed by asking the leave of the House, and if he be supported by 40 Members?

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I beg to ask the leave of the House.

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Is it your pleasure that Mr. Yorke be now heard? And there being many voices for and against—

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I must now ask whether there are 40 Members prepared to support the Motion? Whereupon, a large number of Members—not less than 40—rising in their places—

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called upon the hon. Member for East Gloucestershire to proceed.

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I beg to rise to Order. I wish to know whether, in your opinion, Sir, and in the opinion of the House, the question can be raised as to whether this is a matter of urgent public importance?

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The hon. Member, upon his own responsibility, has stated that it is a matter of urgent public importance. I have no authority for contravening that statement.

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said, he was quite aware that in taking the present course he was incurring a serious responsibility. He had stated that the question was one of urgent public importance, and he hoped to show that it warranted that description. The point between him and the right hon. Gentleman was of a precise and distinct character; and he thought he was not going too far when he said that not merely was the character of a private Member having the courage of his opinions a matter of public importance, but that the character of the Prime Minister for consistency in his statements and conduct was also a matter of urgent public importance. It could not be fairly said that he raised the question by a side-wind, for he had endeavoured to get a Committee appointed to inquire into the question of the release of the three prisoners from Kilmainham, and failed through no fault of his own. In entering upon a subject of this kind it was necessary that he should recapitulate a few of the facts relating to it. The history of the case went back to the 13th of October last year, when the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government announced at Guildhall, amid the cheers of the audience, the fact of the arrest of the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) and two of his associates. The captivity of those hon. Members lasted until May of the following year, and during that time the House had no reason to believe that the Government had in any degree changed their minds with regard to the position.

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rose to Order. The hon. Member was entering upon a question which had already been discussed in that House under the title of what was called the Kilmainham Treaty. He also wished to point out that a Notice had been given on this subject for next Tuesday week by the hon. Member for Northampton; and he wished to know whether it was competent for the hon. Member to raise any question with regard to a subject in reference to which a Notice of Motion was standing upon the Paper?

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On that point of Order, Sir, may I ask you a question? The hon. Member for Swansea raises an important point, and one which, unless we have the good fortune to get an authoritative ruling from you, is likely to degenerate into a most serious abuse. The question on which your ruling is asked, Sir, is this—whether it is in the power of an hon. Member in this House to put down on the Notice Paper bogus Motions—["Oh, oh!" and "Order! "]—I say bogus Motions, for the purpose of pro-venting hon. Members from bringing forward bonâ fide Motions? This is a point on which during the last day or two we have had some examples; and it is of the last importance that we should have a judgment from you on the subject, in order that the House may be able to guard itself in future. The Motion to which the hon. Member for Swansea draws your attention is, I would inform you respectfully, a bogus Motion.

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I rise to Order, Sir.

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The hon. Member cannot interrupt the noble Lord unless he rises to a point of Order arising out of the noble Lord's observations.

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I do rise to Order, Sir. I wish to ask you whether I cannot move that the words of the noble Lord be taken down?

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I second that Motion.

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The noble Lord says my Motion is a bogus one, and I hardly think that is a Parliamentary expression. Perhaps the noble Lord would like to withdraw it.

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Certainly not.

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Lord Randolph Churchill.

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I should not have used the word, Sir, if it were not within the knowledge of every Member of this House that what I have stated is perfectly correct. In order to point out that the word I used is justified, I will just draw your attention to what has taken place. My hon. Friend (Mr. Yorke) gave Notice of a Motion with respect to the release from prison of the hon. Member for the City of Cork, and the hon. Member for Northampton, in order to prevent the Motion from coming on after half-past 12, moved an Amendment almost precisely in the terms to which the hon. Member for Swansea now draws your attention. But he did more than that. When the Prime Minister proposed to adjourn the debate on the Rules of Procedure the other night shortly after 12 o'clock, in order to get the Motion of my hon. Friend discussed, the hon. Member for Northampton rose in his place and spoke against the adjournment in such a manner that he very nearly incurred your displeasure, obviously with the view of preventing my hon. Friend bringing forward his Motion. And more, Sir, in order to prevent my hon. Friend having the slightest chance of bringing on his Motion, the hon. Member for Northampton has placed on the Paper for every day on which the House sits, up to December 5, a Notice of Motion relating to the other hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Brad-laugh), which Notice of Motion was highly inconvenient, if not absolutely irregular, and in deference to that he has taken that Notice off the Paper. The means adopted by the hon. Member for Northampton to prevent the subject being discussed being thus characterized, he has now put down two Motions in a substantive form—

"That this House, being of opinion that it is fully in possession of the facts with regard to the release of Mr. Parnell, Mr. O'Kelly, and Mr. Dillon, thinks that no further inquiry into the facts is needed."
It is perfectly obvious to the meanest intelligence that the hon. Member never has any intention of bringing forward that Motion, because if he did it would have the very object which he wishes to prevent—of opening debate on this subject. This is obvious. I do not suppose the Rules of the House have ever been so grossly abused before. The hon. Member has put down on the Paper a Notice which he has no intention of bringing forward, which he cannot have any intention of bringing forward, and which is solely for the purpose of stifling discussion——

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I rise to Order, Sir.

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It strikes me that the noble Lord is raising an entirely different point of Order from that raised by the hon. Member for Swansea. The hon. Member for Swansea asks me whether the hon. Member for East Gloucestershire was in Order in adverting to the Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton, seeing that that Motion is on the Order Book? I am quite clear on that point. According to the Standing Orders, no doubt, he is not entitled to anticipate the discussion of that Motion. Then the noble Lord says that the Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton—using an expression which is scarcely Parliamentary—is a bogus Motion. I wish to say that the Motion which the hon. Member for Northampton has placed upon the Order Book is respectful in its terms, and is, as far as I know, orderly. It is clear, from the observations of the noble Lord, that he thinks that I should strike the Motion from the Order Book; but I have no authority to do so.

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May I rise to a point of Order? It used formerly to be the case that no Motion for Adjournment could be moved on a matter as to which a Motion stood on the Paper of the House. By a Resolution of last week—No. 2—it is provided that—

"Unless a Member rising in his place shall propose to move the adjournment, for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance;"
and I ask whether an hon. Member, under these New Regulations, proposing to move the adjournment for the discussion of a matter of urgent public importance, is to be debarred from doing so by a Motion standing on the Paper for perhaps six months hence?

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One word, Sir.["Order!"]

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I have explained already that an hon. Member is debarred from discussing, on a Motion for Adjournment, a Motion which stands on the Order Book of the House. That is an established and fundamental rule of debate. With respect to the Resolution lately passed by the House, I apprehend that all that is done by the Resolution was this—that whereas formerly any hon. Member might, if he pleased, move the adjournment of the House, now that privilege or power is restricted under the conditions laid down by the Resolution.

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One word on a point of Order. The noble Lord has used the expression "bogus" as applied to the Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton. Might he call attention to what had occurred within the memory of most Members of that House when the hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron)—[Cries of"Order!"]

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I said that the expression appeared to me to be scarcely Parliamentary.

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, resuming, said, he had been sufficiently guarded in his observations. He had merely been proceeding to touch on a historical point which he did not think would be contraverted. On the 16th of February the Attorney General for Ireland stated that the imprisoned Members—at any rate, one of them—were steeped to the lips in treason——

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I understood you, Mr. Speaker, to rule that the hon. Member must not refer to what is commonly known as the Kilmainham Treaty. He again proceeds to do so.

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I trust that the hon. Member will observe the ruling of the Chair, that he is not entitled to discuss the Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton.

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said, he was not discussing it, but alluding to facts which he believed were not disputed. During the six months ending October, 1881, and the succeeding six months, there was no diminution of outrages. On the contrary, they had to a certain extent increased. Up to the 4th of April the Government had apparently no intention whatever to release the prisoners. On the 2nd of May the Prime Minister announced that he had liberated the prisoners, and also that they had been liberated on the Government's own responsibility, without any negotiation, promise, or arrangement whatsoever. On the other hand, on the 4th of May, the late Chief Secretary (Mr. W. E. Forster) said——

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I would ask whether, when, under the New Rules, an hon. Member seeks to move the adjournment of the house for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance, he is not bound to confine himself to the point, which, in this instance, is the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government? I wish to ask whether the hon. Member is permitted to range over a wide variety of questions which would raise much larger questions?

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The hon. Member stated his desire of bringing to the notice of the House the conduct of the Government with regard to this matter, and he is, as I understand it, laying the ground for bringing a charge in reference to that matter against the Government. So far as I have heard what has fallen from the hon. Member, I have no wish to interpose.

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said, he only wished to go very lightly over this portion of the subject; but it was essential that he should do so in order that his position might be understood. On the 4th of May the late Chief Secretary (Mr. W. E. Forster) said that the release of the prisoners would be the price paid for the diminution of outrages, and would, he believed, tend to the encouragement of crime.

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I rise to Order. I wish to ask if the hon. Mem- her is in Order in quoting from debates in the present Session of Parliament?

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My hon. Friend is in possession of the House. Is he not entitled to proceed without interruption from other hon. Members? It lies with you, Sir, to call the hon. Gentleman to Order if he commits any breach of Order.

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If the hon. Member for East Gloucester is quoting from speeches made during the current Session he is not in Order.

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said, that, in that ease, he would simply refer briefly to the dates and events as they occurred. On May 5 the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government declined to make any statement in reference to the matter. On the 6th, the Phoenix Park murders were committed; on the 11th, the he me Secretary brought in the Coercion Bill; and on the 15th, the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government again declined to give any information on the subject. Upon that the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) produced a letter, which he read. The late Chief Secretary asked that hon. Gentleman whether he had read the whole of the letter. The answer was that he believed a paragraph had been omitted, and on a document being handed to the hon. Member for Clare (Mr. O'Shea), it was read by the latter hon. Member under protest. This paragraph, it appeared afterwards, had been shown to the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Chamberlain), who stated that he had seen it, but he considered it of such little importance that it had escaped his memory, and that he had not mentioned the fact of having seen it to any of his Colleagues. The Arrears of Rent Bill was introduced on the same evening, and it admitted that, in principle and detail, it was founded upon a clause or clauses of a Bill introduced by the hon. Member for New Ross (Mr. Redmond). During the debate the hon. Member for Clare explained the negotiations, or communications, or arrangements—he did not know which word to use, since so many had been employed—with the Prime Minister and the President of the Board of Trade on April the 13th, and also with the late Chief Secretary, who gave an order for the hon. Member to see the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Parnell) in Kilmainham Prison. On May 15 the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. E. Forster) read a Cabinet Memorandum—[Mr. W. E. FORSTER: It was not a Cabinet Memorandum.] Well, it was a Circular or Memorandum which, as he understood, the right hon. Gentleman had made for his own use, and which he showed to the other Members of the Cabinet. That was a very remarkable document, and there were portions of it which created a great sensation at the time, because allusion was made——

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Really, Sir, I must rise to Order. The hon. Member is again referring to the question of which a Notice stands on the Books of the House.

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As I have stated before, I understand the hon. Member to be laying down, so to speak, a foundation for arraigning the conduct of the Government, and I see no reason for interfering.

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appealed to hon. Gentlemen opposite to bear with him a short time longer. He was conducting this discussion under considerable difficulty. He was about to say that in the Circular there was an allusion to a certain gentleman of the name of Sheridan, who, it appeared, had been in the habit of visiting Ireland in various disguises for the purpose of promoting outrages, and whom it was proposed to bring back from his refuge in some foreign parts in order to be turned from butcher into gatekeeper, and to be used for the suppression of those outrages which he formerly had been engaged in stimulating. That was the allegation. It was mentioned to the right hon. Gentleman the late Chief Secretary (Mr. W. E. Forster), and no doubt it appeared to him a very serious one, for he expressed his great regret that he had had anything to do with the "negotiations." He would ask the House to mark that word; because, if there was one term which the Prime Minister had repudiated as being applicable to anything that was done it was the word "negotiation." [Mr. Gladstone: Hear, hear!. He was only calling attention to the fact that the Head of the Government and the late Chief Secretary for Ireland gave a totally different account. He would not draw any inference, lest he should be trenching on forbidden ground; he left the House to determine whether the inference to be drawn was satisfactory, and whether something ought not to be done to ascertain the truth in the matter. He would only now say, what struck the public mind mostly at that time was, that every particular in this "intrigue," as some persons termed it, had been withheld by the Government, until it was disclosed by the late Chief Secretary for Ireland, and by others, against the wish of the Government.

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, interposing, said, he did not admit the accuracy of the hon. Member's statement.

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said, the Prime Minister had declined to be the first to communicate to the House any statement with regard to this matter. That there were other matters in which the right hon. Gentleman himself was not included was another point to which reference would have to be made, because the President of the Board of Trade had distinctly said that he had seen what was known as the suppressed paragraph; but since he conceived it to be entirely unimportant, he had forgotten it himself, and had not communicated it to his Colleagues. That was a remarkable fact, which was much dwelt upon at the time, and which he would not recall to the right hon. Gentleman's recollection. Another circumstance to be borne in mind was that the Government allowed the suppressed passage to be omitted from the letter without any comment or protest. As regarded the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister that was to be expected, because it appeared that he had not seen it. But it was, he thought, a little remarkable that the memory of the President of the Board of Trade—who had seen it—was so treacherous that he had forgotten entirely the existence of the paragraph. The conditions stated in the letter of the hon. Member for the City of Cork had been fulfilled. The Arrears of Rent Bill was brought in and the prisoners were released.

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I rise to Order. I wish to know whether the hon. Member, in laying the foundation for a charge against the Government, is entitled to base that foundation by discussing a Motion already on the Paper of the house?

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I submit, Sir, that the hon. Member is entirely within the ruling you have laid down.

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Might I ask, on the point of Order——

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I have already stated that, so far as the hon. Member has gone, I have seen no reason to interrupt him.

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remarked, that he quite understood that there were many Members on the Liberal side of the House who would rather that the facts were not plainly stated, because they were very awkward. He called attention to this matter not because he believed the Government had really deceived the House by the expressions they had used. He did not suppose that the most diligent research would discover in any secret chest a document, duly signed, sealed, and delivered, called the "Kilmainham Treaty." But his contention was that, call them by what name they would, there had been communications, understandings, arrangements, negotiations, givings and takings on both sides of these proceedings, which might very properly be designated by the name of a Treaty. The Prime Minister had always denied that there was such a Treaty, and it might be that there was a certain amount of verbal correctness in that statement. But the facts were somewhat different from what the right hon. Gentleman would make them appear, and these facts would be very likely to transpire if a further investigation took place. The matter excited a good deal of attention last summer, and they had often been challenged by hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House to move for an inquiry. They had been told that, holding the opinions they did, they ought to have moved for an inquiry. The answer to that was that the Government occupied the whole time of the House, and that, without gross abuse of the Rules, they could not bring the subject forward. He had hoped that they would hear no more of that; but on Monday week the controversy as regarded the Autumn Session was resumed. It arose from a casual allusion of the noble Lord the Member for Woodstock (Lord Randolph Churchill) to the Kilmainham Treaty, which he described as a disgraceful transaction. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Disgraceful transactions."] He (Mr. Yorke) was sitting, unfortunately, opposite the Prime Minister, and he confessed that he laughed. If he laughed more than good manners warranted, he begged to offer an apology to the right hon. Gentleman for the personal discourtesy to him. They knew the saying, "Celui qui rit ne pense pas de mal faire." He assured the right hon. Gentleman there was really no malice in that laugh. He simply laughed at the skill with which the noble Lord, after his manner, was throwing a fly over the Treasury Bench, and he laughed also at the manner in which the largest fish on the Treasury Bench rose and gorged that fly. With greater prudence the right hon. Gentleman might have passed it by, for it had already given him some trouble, and would probably give him more. The right hon. Gentleman might have allowed him to enjoy his laugh in the obscurity of the Back Benches—the monotony of which was sometimes more than one could bear—instead of making a dive like a policeman into a jeering crowd, and pulling him out like a little boy by the ear into the fierce light that beat upon the Treasury Bench. He had provided himself with the reports of all the Liberal papers that there might be no mistake as to what passed on the occasion in question. [The hon. Member then read an extract from a newspaper report as to what took place on Monday week.]

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intimated that it was not open to the hon. Gentleman to read extracts from the debate which had taken place during the present Session.

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said, it was a great temptation to do so, because the present Motion turned upon what then took place. The Prime Minister had burnt his ships and cut off his retreat. He had told him that those who made imputations without proving them brought disgrace upon themselves. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear!] Then he asked the right hon. Gentleman to give him an opportunity of moving for an inquiry, and since that time he had been unceasing, in season and out of season, in doing everything he could, without violating the Rules of the House, to bring the Motion forward. Although he was not the first person who started the charge, he felt that there was no course open to him but to bring the matter before the House. He accordingly gave Notice of Motion for a Select Committee to inquire into the arrangements attending the release of Mr. Parnell and his fellow-Members. It was true that the Motion alluded to the arrangement commonly called the Kilmainham Treaty; but he thought that the right hon. Gentleman might have assented to the terms of that Notice. That Motion was objected to, and he submitted a colourless Motion to the noble Lord the Member for Flintshire (Lord Richard Grosvenor) for the approval of the Prime Minister. After two days the noble Lord informed him that the Government would not object to a Motion for a Select Committee to inquire into and report upon all the circumstances relating to the release of Mr. Parnell, Mr. Dillon, and Mr. O'Kelly from custody in Kilmainham Prison, in May, 1882. The Prime Minister seemed only partially satisfied, for he said he had his own notion about the terms of the Motion, although he would not oppose it; he also said that he would move the adjournment at an early hour on Monday, to permit it to be brought on. But his zealous henchman (Mr. Labouchere) was not idle on that occasion, and managed with some assistance to prevent the adjournment of the Procedure debate till after half-past 12, when it was no longer possible to bring it on. His (Mr. Yorke's) position with regard to the right hon. Gentleman and his supporters was this—he declined to separate the responsibility of the Prime Minister from that of his supporters. Even in this supplementary Session they had had evidence of the manner in which the screw could be turned if it suited the purpose of the right hon. Gentleman. ["Question!"] As the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. George Russell) said the other night, the Prime Minister had only to hint a wish, and nine-tenths of his supporters would regard it as law. No doubt, if the Prime Minister had expressed a wish to that effect, the hon. Member for Northampton would have withdrawn his Motion and humbly apologized. The other day, when he asked the Prime Minister whether it was right that his supporters should delay the matter when he had earnestly invited him to make the Motion, the right hon. Gentleman denied that he had "earnestly invited" him to do anything of the kind. But the House would recollect what happened. If the right hon. Gentleman did not earnestly invite him, he must have invited him in joke. All he could say was that he made the joke in so serious a manner that he (Mr. Yorke) did not feel that he had any option but to take the right hon. Gentleman literally at his word and to press on his Motion. The right hon. Gentleman was a very great man.

"He doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge logs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves."
But the right hon. Gentleman had, unfortunately for that side of the House, put many good things out of fashion of late years. There were, however, two things which, thank Heaven! were not yet out of fashion in this country—namely, the love of fair play and straightforward conduct. Like Achilles, the right hon. Gentleman might be described as—
"Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer,
Jura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis."
He told the right hon. Gentleman, without the smallest disrespect, that no qualities, however great, no position, however high, and no career, however distinguished, would prevent him from incurring the just indignation of his countrymen, if his moral fibre should have been so relaxed by the atmosphere of adulation that surrounded him, that he thought he could depart from engagements openly entered into, and again and again repeated before the House and before the country. He moved the adjournment of the House.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—( Mr. J. R. Yorke.)

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I understand very well the hortatory and declamatory portions of the speech of the hon. Member, and I understand that very much better than what I might call the argumentative and historical portions. According to the hon. Member, I am a man who appeals to the majority of this House to support me, whether right or wrong. [MR. BIGGAR: Hear, hear!] I am a man who disdains to be bound by right, and says there is no law but force; I am a man who lives in an atmosphere of adulation. Well, I am a man who lives in an atmosphere where, I fully admit, confidence and commendation, far beyond what I deserve, are accorded to me; but the evil moral effect of such confidence and commendation, carried by friendship to excess, is in no small degree counteracted by the character of the charges and accusations which are incessantly poured upon me by men like the noble Lord the Member for Woodstock (Lord Randolph Churchill) and the hon. Member who has just spoken. I have disposed so far, perhaps, of the closing sentences of the hon. Member's speech. I think it is quite needless for me to meet them with a denial or to take any further notice of them; and if I be iracundus, as the hon. Gentleman says I am, I can assure him that it requires much sharper weapons and much heavier blows to rouse my anger than any which he has wielded or dealt to-night. The next charge, Sir, that the hon. Gentleman makes is that he cannot distinguish between my supporters and myself. Whatever any supporters of the Government, any person professing Liberal opinions, does or says, I am responsible—that it is my act. That is the doctrine of the hon. Gentleman who comes forward on this occasion, of course after great efforts, to put himself into a judicial frame of mind; because, I presume, he admits that in bringing forward charges importing the deepest disgrace upon persons with whom we sit in this House, we are bound to put ourselves in a judicial frame of mind; and the result of all the hon. Member's efforts in that direction is that he holds that whatever is done by the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere)—in fact, by any Gentleman on this side of the House, perhaps even by the hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. Cowen)—I am responsible for it. The hon. Member appears to know nothing of the relations which subsist between the Leaders of the Liberal Party and their followers. Upon that subject he might innocently be ignorant; but he is as grossly ignorant of what has taken place under his own eyes and within his own hearing in this house. He quotes my hon. Friend—I hope he is in the House—the hon. Member for Aylesbury (MR. G. Russell), and says that that hon. Member stated the other night something to this effect—"That if the judgment of the Prime Minister were announced, nine-tenths of the Members sitting on this side——

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If the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, I will tell him what I did say.

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Certainly.

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I stated that, according to the hon. Member for Aylesbury, the right hon. Gentleman had only to hint a wish, and nine-tenths of his supporters would regard that wish as law.

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I understand that was stated by my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury. But was it meant that the hon. Member for Aylesbury himself regarded my wish as law; or was the declaration satirical and sarcastic like the compliment to myself which the hon. Gentleman opposite introduced into his speech to-night?

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The declaration appeared to me to be made in all seriousness.

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I will refer to the matter again by-and-bye, when I have a reference, which I have not with me at the present moment. The hon. Gentleman is entitled to this credit from me—that undoubtedly, since the question to which he has referred first arose—namely, when the noble Lord opposite spoke of the Kilmainham Treaty, and described it, with his accustomed moderation and good judgment, as a disgraceful transaction—he has made every effort to bring the matter forward. But, Sir, I tell him, that if he had really been in the frame of mind which he appears now to have come into, and if he had consulted the propriety of the case, and those who think with him—the noble Lord, and others beside him who have characterized the release of the hon. Member for Cork City, and the supposed transaction connected with it, as disgraceful transactions—I think they ought to have brought it forward at the time, and moved for an inquiry when these transactions occurred. That is my distinct charge against those who repeatedly made those accusations against the Government and myself, and did not think fit to bring them to the test; and I repeat what I have said with respect to those who make these accusations, and do not seek to bring them to the test at the proper time. Now, the hon. Member makes a reply to that charge, and his reply is that the Government were in possession of the whole time of the House. Of course, the hon. Member does not consciously mean to deviate from what he believes to be exact truth; but he said that from the 2nd of May, when these charges began, to the close of the Summer Sitting, the Government were in possession of all the time of the house; and this is really in such glaring variance with, and contradiction of, all the facts of the case, that I must say that, as a defence of the charge, it is perfectly worthless. And, if it be worthless as a defence of the hon. Gentleman, still more is it worthless as a defence of those who have shown an inclination to support that charge, and who were in a position on the occurrence of the facts—when everything was fresh in the recollection of everyone concerned—to have made a demand for such an inquiry without the smallest difficulty. Therefore, I think the defence of the hon. Member upon that question is entirely without value. The hon. Gentleman has also said he was not surprised that hon. Members on this side of the House felt disinclined to have the facts produced, because, in his judgment, they were awkward facts; but he will do me the justice to believe that I have never said that there were any awkward facts to disclose. I have always said, in the broadest was, that there could not be a more complete fiction than this whole affair of a Kilmainham Treaty; and to that statement I adhere. I have endeavoured to pick out from the recitals of the hon. Member what it is that he means to bring as a charge against me. If he means to bring as a charge against me my conduct with respect to this matter within the last few days, I assert that I have redeemed every engagement that I have entered into; and that I have not—except for the hon. Gentleman I do not suppose it is necessary for me to say this—done underground anything inconsistent with my expressed intentions. So much for my recent conduct. But what is the charge with respect to my past conduct that the hon. Gentleman desires to make? The House has heard him; and what was stated by him that constituted a charge or accusation against me or against the Government? He stated that my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade had been in possession of certain information with which I was not acquainted. Well, I tell him that that I could not follow. I am not able to verify, or affirm, or contradict that statement; but, anyhow, it is a statement which does not concern myself.

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In what I said I was merely drawing attention to the inconsistent accounts of these transactions given by different Members of the Government.

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The hon. Member rose to make a charge against me in particular, and I was looking through the chaff of the hon. Member's speech to see whether I could find a grain of wheat in it. I have now noticed some of the chaff, and I am coming to what may be called the single grain of corn that can be found in it. I cannot say to what the hon. Gentleman refers—whether he refers to something known to the President of the Board of Trade and not known to me. There are two things with regard to which I wish to say a word; and perhaps, therefore, I ought to say that there are two grains of corn in the hon. Member's speech. The hon. Gentleman gave me no Notice that he was to raise this question to-day, so that what I say is from recollection, and from reference to a volume of Hansard that has been brought to me with a speech made upon the occasion. But as my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. G. Russell) has come into the House, I may refer to what was done by him in illustration of the accuracy of the hon. Gentleman's statement. The hon. Member holds me responsible for everything said or done by every hon. Gentleman on this side of the House. My hon. Friend (Mr. G. Russell), I have no doubt, is aware of the complimentary reference made to him in his absence by the hon. Member, who said that the judgment of the Government—perhaps, he said, the wish of the Prime Minister—was law to nine-tenths of the Gentlemen on this side of the House. There was an occurrence which, I think, illustrates the liberty with which the hon. Member for Aylesbury, in the perfectly just exercise of his discretion, of which I do not complain, interprets that law which the hon. Member opposite says depends upon the express wish of the Prime Minister. On the 7th of July there arose a question, which, differing from many persons in this House, I regarded as a very serious question, with respect to a provision in the Prevention of Crime Bill for searching private Houses—a provision which the Lord Lieutenant had expressed his desire to surrender, and which I was extremely anxious, in conformity with that desire of the Lord Lieutenant, to exclude from the Bill. I consequently argued the question against that provision in terms as strong as I could use, and there was no effort that I did not employ to induce the House to take that view of the ease. I appealed to them in the strongest language—indeed, the language I used was such that reference was afterwards made to it with taunts; and it was said that I intimated if my views were not adopted I would resign the Office which I hold. My hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury, who said that my word was a law to Members on this side of the House, aware of the language I used, and of the importance I attached to the question, in the exercise of his liberty, spoke upon the other side and told against the Government in the division which ended in my defeat and the defeat of the Government. So much for the justice of the charge of the hon. Gentleman.

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The speech was subsequent to the vote of the hon. Member.

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Certainly, it was subsequent to that vote; but I tell the hon. Gentleman fairly that that is only one of a number of indications which have been given—and which I hope, on due occasion, always will be given on this side of the Ilonse—of absolute freedom and independence; and I tell the hon. Gentleman that a more ridiculous charge than that every act of every Gentleman sitting on this side of the House is in conformity with the wish of the person who happens to be the Leader of the House never was advanced. What are these two charges—if they be worthy of that name—which can be extracted from the speech of the hon. Gentleman? And here I may observe that I did not rise at once when the hon. Gentleman sat down, because I was desirous of knowing whether there was any hon. Gentleman who had any other charge to make, because I hoped if there were he would have risen and enabled me to meet it. But the charge was this—and it was quite truly and fairly stated by the hon. Gentleman—that on the 2nd of May I declared that the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) and the two other Gentlemen confined with him had been liberated without any negotiation, promise, or engagement whatever. Most true that I did say so, and most true the statement that I made. On the 5th of May I declined, he says, to make a statement. Well, I had made the only statement I could make as distinct from the production of documents. I do not remember the words used, and I do not know whether the hon. Member quoted them accurately; but, undoubtedly, I declined the production of Papers. It might have occurred to the hon. Gentleman, whose standard of public morality is so high, and who has so high a sense of the delicacy and courtesy that ought to govern the conduct of Members in this House, that possibly I might have declined to produce the letter of the hon. Member for the City of Cork, from an idea that it would be more proper that the hon. Member for the City of Cork should produce it himself. I thought I would leave to the hon. Member for the City of Cork perfect liberty of judgment to determine whether he would produce it or not.

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There was another letter—the letter that passed between the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary. That was never produced.

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I believe I was asked to produce that letter, because I had quoted certain words referring, not to the matter and substance of the transaction, but to a collateral point in respect to the relations of the Liberal Party, of which I have said we had no right to take any notice whatever. I tell the noble Lord fairly, with regard to the producing of that letter, that it contains nothing in the world that I would not be perfectly content to have read publicly at Charing Cross. But the precedent of producing a letter passing between two Members of the Government is a precedent which I am not willing to be responsible for establishing, unless it can be shown—and then I would ask that permission which might probably cover the case—that there was some reason for supposing that the letter contained something which was material to the case, and would tend to bring he me some charge against the Government. I am not sure that there was not another document; but, at any rate, there was no document of my own. It appeared to me that it would be most ungenerous on my part towards the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of Cork if, when I was challenged upon that subject for the justification of the Government, I had either cited this letter or said anything which would leave him less than perfectly free to determine whether he would produce the letter or not. I said—" Here we stand upon our own responsibility. Challenge that responsibility if you like. I leave it to the hon. Member for the City of Cork whether he will produce the letter or not." I believe he exercised a very sound discretion in its production. That was the reason I declined to produce the letter. Then the hon. Member has found another charge upon which he dwells. He observes that upon the 2nd of May I said there were no negotiations, or promises, or engagements whatsoever, and that on the 5th of May my right hon. Friend the late Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant (Mr. W. E. Forster) regretted that he had anything to do with the negotiations. I believe, Sir—though I have Lad no opportunity of reference—that at the time there was an explanation between us, and that I myself declared that there was nothing which, in my opinion, constituted or even approached the idea of negotiation. My right hon. Friend took a different view. I do not know what my right hon. Friend's meaning was. I do not pretend to get into the interior of men's minds. But my reason for maintaining that there was no negotiation was that while we welcomed all information as to the intentions of the hon. Member for the City of Cork—and I contend that it was our duty not only with regard to him, but with regard to every other person who came within the same category as himself, to catch at every indication that we could obtain of a disposition on their part which would enable us to open the prison doors—while that was our view, and I cannot conceive its being cavilled at or denied—nothing whatever passed between us in the way of negotiation. But the hon. Member for the City of Cork neither asked nor knew anything from us, or from anyone authorized by us, as to any relations with us or on the subject of any political measures we intended to produce, except what he might have gathered from the public journals in common with all the world. I held as a matter of fact, and I told the House of Commons, that there were no negotiations, promises, or en- gagements whatsoever. I must say—it is only an incidental matter—but I can account in some degree for a different use of words by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, and myself. My right hon. Friend, in the explanation which he made on resigning Office, intimated, I think, that he would have sought or obtained further declarations from the hon. Member for the City of Cork; that he thought the hon. Member's declarations were not satisfactory, and that he would have endeavoured—so I interpret him and a letter of his which I have since seen—to bring the hon. Member's declarations to a higher mark.

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asked if the right hon. Gentleman would produce the letter from the right hon. Member for Bradford, to which he had just referred?

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That letter is not in my possession. It was not addressed to me. It was simply confirmatory of what my right hon. Friend spoke in this House—to exactly the same tenour, and adding nothing. But I can better understand he w, if my right hon. Friend did really contemplate further communication at that time—I do not know that it would have justified any negotiation, unless there was to be some equivalent for the declarations that were to be asked—but still, considering my right hon. Friend's apparent desire for further engagements by the hon. Member for the City of Cork, I can conceive that on that account he may have used a word—with the greatest possible respect to my right hon. Friend—a word which I reject and repudiate as totally inapplicable according to all that I know. Now, there are two points in the speech of the hon. Member for East Gloucestershire; and I should be much obliged if any hon. Member would prompt my memory while I am on my legs and am in possession of the House.

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The right hon. Gentleman has not touched upon the reason why he will not give me a day for my Motion? That is the main point.

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I understood the hon. Gentleman to charge me for what I did not well understand, but to charge me for steps—taken by my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton on this side of the House—which he supposes to have been taken with the view of baffling him, and saying I was responsible for those steps.

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The right hon. Gentleman is, of course, in a position to give me a day whenever he chooses. That is perfectly within his power, and I contend that by his action in this matter he has entitled me to expect that he will do so.

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The hon. Gentleman's contention is that the Government should interrupt the Procedure debates. That is what we will not do, and what I never engaged to do, and never held out any expectation of doing. It appears, then, there are only two charges—first of all, that my right hon. Friend (Mr. W. E. Forster), in the choice of his own language, used a word which I submit to be inapplicable, and which, so far as my views and my share in this business are concerned, and the views of all my Colleagues, every one of them, so far as I am acquainted, has nothing whatever to justify it; and with respect to the non-production of documents, I have also stated that I should have felt myself exceedingly deficient in the feelings which ought to prevail between one Member and another had I placed the hon. Member for the City of Cork under any sort of coercion or disadvantage with regard to the production of that letter. There are those who seem to think that because we have taken the gravest exception to the conduct, as we viewed it, of the hon. Member for the City of Cork at a former period, therefore we are to treat him as a man convicted on a criminal charge, or in some way or other disparaged and deprived of all right to our courteous attention and the ordinary consideration that prevails between Members of Parliament because of our opinion and impression about his conduct, and because of the steps we, in our responsibility, have taken. That was not my view of the matter at all. I was bound to proceed towards a Member in every matter of courtesy and consideration precisely as I should have done to any Member in this House. I will not go into the speech of the hon. Member, except in regard to one point. He wants a day for the discussion of this matter. Well, if the House of Commons chooses to prolong this Session for the purpose, it is open to the hon. Gentleman to raise that question. But with respect to the interruption of the important Business of Procedure, which I have steadily declined to interrupt for the sake of the Egyptian Question, for the sake of the Arrears Act, for the sake of every other public question that has been raised, I distinctly and positively decline to interrupt it for the sake of the Motion of the hon. Member for East Gloucestershire.

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I assure the House I am not going to detain it more than a few minutes. I am strongly of opinion that there is no public advantage in this Motion made to-day, or in the Motion which the hon. Member has given Notice of; and I would not have risen at all but that I feel it my duty to correct an impression which might be thought—though I do not think it was intended—to be convoyed by the speech of the hon. Member. I understood him to say that a certain letter and Memorandum would not have come before the public had they not been brought forward by others than the Members of the Government.

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I said that matters were commented on at the time which required explanation. I did not go further than that.

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Well, no allusion would have been made by me to the letter of the hon. Member for the City of Cork if it had not been read in the House, and I thought it necessary to correct the mistake; nor would any allusion have been made by me to the conversation I had with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Clare (Mr. O'Shea), except that I thought it necessary to correct what I thought was a mistaken account; and in order to show that I really had some grounds for what I stated I produced a Memorandum which I had drawn up at the time, and which I sent to my right hon. Friend. I thought it only due to myself, and I should never have divulged any of these matters unless forced to do so, by hearing them alluded to in the House, as I considered, somewhat incorrectly. Just one other remark. The hon. Member (Mr. Yorke) dwelt a great deal on a difference of opinion between my right hon. Friend and myself as to what passed with regard to the release of the hon. Member for the City of Cork. I must adhere to my opinion that I did not use a wrong term in the matter; but that is not my right hon. Friend's opinion, and I dare say he is quite as likely—and perhaps more likely—to be right than I am. I still think that what I said was the true version of the matter.

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said, he would not discuss the arrangements of what was popularly known as the "Kilmainham Treaty;" but there was one remark of the Prime Minister which deserved an answer from that side of the House. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the hon. Member for East Gloucestershire (Mr. Yorke), and those who agreed with him, were in duty bound in the early part of the Session, when the matters in question were fresh in the memory, to have brought them to the test of an inquiry. That was the distinct counter-charge brought against his hon. Friend and his supporters, though at the time when the Treaty was engaging public attention, or immediately afterwards, the House was transacting its Business under the Rules of Urgency, and there was no opportunity whatever for moving for an inquiry. The right hon. Gentleman had charged him with having stated outside the House that which he would not state inside the House; but he had told the right hon. Gentleman that he was prepared to make the same statement in the House. The charges he had made were serious, so serious as fully to justify the right hon. Gentleman in challenging his hon. Friend to proceed to an inquiry. Indeed, his only wonder was that the right hon. Gentleman, on reading the speeches to which he referred—speeches to which he adhered, and for the very moderation of which he might almost apologize—had not at the time addressed his challenge to those who were in a position to demand an inquiry. Certainly, if he had had the ghost of a notion that an inquiry would be granted, he should have moved for it at the time. As for the charges against the Government, he had stated—to put the matter mildly—that the action of the Government came within a measurable distance of infamy; and he had also ventured to express an opinion that the act was scarcely distinguishable from an act of the grossest political corruption. That was the statement he made, fully accepting whatever responsibility attached to it. The right hon. Gentleman had said that a full opportunity for inquiry could have been found during the early part of the Session; but, after all, what op- portunity was there? The Procedure Resolutions, commonly spoken of as the "Gagging Rules," did not then exist. ["Order!"]

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I must point out to the right hon. Gentleman that he is bound to confine himself to the subject-matter involved in the Motion. He cannot discuss the Rules.

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said, he was referring to the remark of the Prime Minister—that if any hon. Member had at the time accepted the responsibility, there were those who could have demanded an inquiry. The opportunities for discussion were most meagre during the earlier months of the Session, and it would have been almost useless for anyone to have brought on a Motion for Inquiry unless he had previously obtained the promise of facilities from the Government. The Prime Minister, having now promised to entertain a Motion for Inquiry, said he had afforded the promised facilities by moving the adjournment of the Procedure debate before half-past 12 o'clock. But he w was that act received by his supporters? The moment he had offered to do it, the hon. Member for Stockton (Mr. Dodds) rose and gave Notice of opposition. The Motion was altered in its terms so as to obviate the objection of the Prime Minister to the wording of it; and then the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) put down a Motion which effectually prevented the matter being taken as an unopposed Motion, and by means of the Forms of the House had precluded the House of Commons from passing judgment on it. It had been said that the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister was not responsible for the Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton; but nobody, of course, alleged that the right hon. Gentleman had asked the hon. Member for Northampton to put down his Motion, or that indirect communications had passed. But it must be recollected that when the Prime Minister expressed his intention to grant facilities, he spoke of doing a day's work before he came to the House and a day's work in watching the discussion of the New Rules, so that he was not prepared to do a third day's work in listening to the debate on the hon. Member's Motion. What did that mean but that he was prepared to adopt, with regard to the sworn Member for Northampton, the policy adopted with reference to the unsworn Member, when the Prime Minister ostentatiously abnegated his functions as Leader of the House and said—" You have got into a mess contrary to my advice, and you must get out of it he w you can? "Then the noble Lord the Member for Woodstock (Lord Randolph Churchill) asked the Prime Minister whether he would use his influence as Loader of the House to secure that the Motion should come on, and would provide a deputy to do his third day's work? He could not think that this was a trivial matter, as if it was of no concern. Distinct charges had been made against Her Majesty's Government as a whole, and into those charges they demanded an inquiry. Did the Government intend to grant that inquiry? If so, it was wholly illusory to tell his hon. Friend that they would move the adjournment of the Procedure debate at a quarter past 12, and then leave their Friends to talk out the Motion. It was equally futile to allege that they were keeping faith with the House of Commons by meeting in this manner the distinct pledge they had given. Those who deserved it were still entitled to ask whether the Government were bonâ fide prepared to facilitate the granting of such an inquiry as that which had been moved for by his hon. Friend the Member for East Gloucestershire.

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desired to say one word in explanation of the course which he had taken in this matter. He had the case of his own constituents to bring before the House, and, the Prime Minister having declined to give him a day, made the offer to the hon. Member for East Gloucestershire to allow his Motion to come on. Then, without any communication with the Prime Minister, he objected to the granting of any facilities which were denied to himself, accepting the Prime Minister's declaration that the House had been called together for a specific purpose with which the Government could not allow anything to interfere. He admitted that he had spoken on the Motion for Adjournment the other night in order to bring the hon. Member's Motion under the Half-past Twelve Rule. He thought that as his own Motion could not come on another ought not to do so. In the same way he had put down on the Notice Paper fur every evening for the remainder of the Session a number of sound Democratic Motions, with the object of preventing the hon. Member from gaining priority for his Motion. Since, however, the Speaker had declared that those Motions were irregular, he had taken them off the Paper; but he should infinitely prefer to see the house discussing these matters to its going into this absurd species of historical mares'-nesting which was opened up by the Motion of the hon. Member for East Gloucestershire. The noble Lord the Member for Woodstock (Lord Randolph Churchill) seemed to think that he had a monopoly of independence; he did not himself treat the Front Opposition Bench with much respect; and he thought, because the Ministerial Party did treat their Front Bench with respect, therefore they were not independent. Still, the noble Lord would find that he had spoken and voted against the Government twice as often as he had supported them. He regarded this Motion as au insult to the Prime Minister, and maintained that there ought to be a primâ facie case made out for inquiry before it was granted. It was all very well for the Prime Minister, in a moment of generous impulse, to say that he would grant one; but it was a case in which his independent followers should step in and say that they would not have the time of the House wasted and the Prime Minister subjected to these insults.

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said, if the Motion was an insult to the Prime Minister, the right hon. Gentleman was in the extraordinary position of a man who had insulted himself, because the Motion would not have been dreamt of by his hon. Friend the Member for East Gloucestershire (Mr. Yorke) if it had not been passionately solicited by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister had now refused, in every possible way, to give the hon. Member facilities for bringing it on. He thought the opinion of the public would be that there was something very dark and mysterious, not altogether very savory, about all the transactions from the extraordinary nervousness which had boon betrayed by the Liberal Party, not so far as the Prime Minister was concerned, because he had conducted himself with extraordinary self-possession. Some people might call it something else. They had abused the Forms of the House, and had resorted to every kind of artifice; they had interrupted his hon. Friends, one after another, in order to prevent the Motion being brought on. He was reminded by those interruptions of a time when seven Irish Members had risen one after another and interrupted the Prime Minister and had been one after another suspended. He found it difficult himself to discern the difference between the action of the Irish Members and the action of those extremely nervous Members of the Liberal Party. There had been another curious point in the matter. The Prime Minister, who generally addressed the House with a great deal of facility, had on the present occasion been only able to address them after having received a great deal of assistance from his Colleagues. A Colleague of the right hon. Gentleman must have been exhausted by running in and out of the House to assist him in the references he thought it necessary to make. The Prime Minister had continually referred to the Home Secretary, although he could not see what assistance the right hon. Gentleman was likely to obtain from that right hon. Gentleman.

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, interposing, observed that he did not appeal to the Home Secretary.

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accepted the statement of the Prime Minister. He saw a great deal of commotion on the Treasury Bench, and thought the right hon. Gentleman was conferring with the Home Secretary; but probably he was conferring with the noble Marquess. The right hon. Gentleman contrived to speak for 40 minutes or half-an-hour on this subject with a great deal of assistance, and when he sat down the House was not one bit wiser than when he got up; and as for his hon. Friend's Motion, he defied anybody to say whether the right hon. Gentleman wished for this inquiry, or whether he desired to draw back. The Prime Minister said it would require a much sharper blow than his hon. Friend could strike to rouse him to anger; but if the earlier parts of the right hon. Gentleman's speech were specimens of his geniality and good humour, he would only exclaim—"God preserve us when he is really angry." The place which he now occupied would become a great deal too unpleasant on account of its proxi- mity to the Treasury Bench. He had been referred to as having characterized this Kilmainham Treaty as a disgraceful transaction. Owing to the extraordinary course taken by hon. Members opposite, they could not go into this disgraceful transaction; but, at all events, it was so disgraceful that the Lord Lieutenant and the Chief Secretary resigned their Offices on account of it. The Prime Minister often talked about his inaccuracy—he thought the right hon. Gentleman said his constitutional inaccuracy—but he was dealing with facts, and one of the originators of this transaction said about it—

"I was very sorry that I had had anything whatever to do with the negotiation, though all I had to do with it was to get from the hon. Member for the City of Cork a promise not to break the law. I felt that I could have nothing more to do with it."
Those were the words of the late Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, who had, moreover, said he would have nothing more to do with it. It must, therefore, have been a disgraceful transaction. The Prime Minister said the inquiry ought to have been asked for at the time. He (Lord Randolph Churchill) was not present in the House when this subject was originally brought forward. He only wished he had been. If he might venture on a classical allusion, he would say that it reminded him of Paris after the Siege of Troy escaping from Diomedes and being saved by Venus, who had wrapped him in a cloud. In a similar manner, and by some interposition, Providential or otherwise, the Prime Minister had been preserved from his presence in the House on that occasion. At any rate, the country would know that the negotiation, arrangement, convention, treaty, or any other word which the enormous range of the Prime Minister's vocabulary might suit, there was something which had never seen the light of day, and which, so far as the Government were concerned, never would. When the other night the Prime Minister challenged his hon. Friend to move this Motion, the right hon. Gentleman reminded him of a well-known game of cards called "poker." When a player held very bad cards and had no likelihood of winning, he adopted the course of "bluffing." No doubt, it was imagined that his hon. Friend, intimidated by the grand man- ner and the apparently good cards of the Prime Minister, would shrink from pursuing the inquiry. But, fortunately, his hon. Friend had three aces—courage, straightforwardness, and determination —and he met the Prime Minister's challenge boldly, and forced the right hon. Gentleman to show that his hand was an uncommonly bad one, which would not bear the inspection of the public. The Prime Minister and his Colleagues were in the unpleasant position of having challenged an inquiry into a transaction which had caused the resignation of two of their Colleagues, which was surrounded by every element of mystery; and, having challenged that inquiry, they and their supporters had used every artifice to evade it. The judgment of the public would be, after what had taken place that night, that there had been a Kilmainham Treaty, and that it was a disgraceful transaction.

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said, he wished to be precisely accurate. He had stated that when he was speaking he had no communication with the Home Secretary; but he now understood that his right hon. Friend took a volume of Hansard from the noble Marquess and handed it to him.

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, having been thrust into this discussion, desired to make a brief personal explanation. He would not follow the noble Lord in his references to the adventures of Diomedes and Hoyle's Book of Games, which appeared to be the noble Lord's Parliamentary vade mecum. The hon. Member for East Gloucestershire had quoted him as having said, in a recent debate, that for nine-tenths of the Liberal majority the Prime Minister's wish was law. He believed that he did make that observation in a debate, in the course of which the Prime Minister explained that it was a sufficient safeguard for the right of minorities to leave the right of moving the adjournment to the decision of a majority of the House, because, he said, a majority would be sure to give fair play. He was not particular about the form of the phrase, and perhaps it would be better to say that in nine cases out of ten the wish of the Prime Minister was law. While he did not revoke or modify the language which he used, he hoped the Prime Minister would understand that in making that statement he did not wish to cast any reflection on the loyalty that existed among the Liberal Party, nor to imply that the right hon. Gentleman would make a wrong or a tyrannical use of that loyalty, yet occasions arose when Members of the Party felt reluctantly compelled to dissent from him.

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wished to refer to one or two points which appeared to him to be conclusive' in favour of the present Motion for Inquiry. If he ever had any doubt as to the propriety of such an inquiry, it would have been entirely removed by the attitude of the Liberal Party, which appeared to be stricken with panic whenever a suggestion was made that an inquiry should be instituted into the conduct of the Government on any point. The facts which had leaked out in reference to this Kilmainham business were such as to demand inquiry. The "suspects" had been imprisoned, the Government said, for the purposes of vindicating law and order, and of restoring peace and tranquillity in Ireland; but in a-very short time they were released without any explanation, except that that course had been taken in order to restore peace and tranquillity to Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman now said that those sitting on the Opposition side of the House, if they were dissatisfied with the conduct of the Government in the matter, ought to have moved a Vote of Censure upon them at once. What more, however, could they do than they had done? On the very afternoon when the matter became public he had moved the adjournment of the House for the purpose of pressing the right hon. Gentleman to give a day to enable the Opposition to move a Vote of Censure upon the Government. Therefore, when the right hon. Gentleman blamed the Members of the Opposition for not having taken the course he indicated, he must have done so in ignorance or in forgetfulness. The right hon. Gentleman had told the House that the release of the prisoners had been made without any negotiations between the Government and the prisoners having been entered into previously; but the late Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. Forster) had repeated that night what he had said on several previous occasions—namely, that there were such negotiations. Surely, if there were no other reason for an inquiry, this strange and extraordinary inconsis- tency between two Members of the Cabinet would call for it. The Prime Minister had stated that night that the hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) knew absolutely nothing as to the intentions of the Government with regard to future Irish legislation; but he was totally unable to reconcile that statement with the Memorandum drawn up by the late Chief Secretary, in which he referred to the fact of Mr. O'Shea giving him a letter from Mr. Parnell, expressing a hope that its terms might bring about a satisfactory union with the Liberal Party. The late Chief Secretary went on to state in that Memorandum that, having read the letter, he had asked Mr. O'Shea whether that was all that Mr. Parnell was inclined to say; and, on Mr. O'Shea asking him what more he wanted, he said— "It comes to this—upon our doing certain things, he will prevent outrages in Ireland." How, therefore, could the Prime Minister say, in the face of that Memorandum, that no negotiations were entered into with the hon. Member for the City of Cork? There was, moreover, the letter of the hon. Member for the City of Cork itself, and there was other evidence which went to prove most distinctly that the contention of the late Chief Secretary, that there were negotiations between the Government and the prisoners, was right, and that the contention of the Prime Minister, that there were none, was wrong. If the hon. Member for the City of Cork, in his letter, made a point of one thing more than another, it was this—that there should be a settlement of the Arrears Question. The hon. Member said—"I desire to impress upon you the absolute necessity of a settlement of the Arrears Question." And what had happened? Why, an Arrears Bill had been introduced by Her Majesty's Government framed upon the precise lines indicated by the hon. Member for the City of Cork. There were other matters referred to in that letter, such as the admission of the leaseholders to the advantages of the Land Act of 1881, and an alteration in the Tenure Clauses and Purchase Clauses of that Act, with regard to all of which the Government had given qualified undertakings to introduce measures at some future period. All these matters were of a most suspicious character; and the Government, on a matter which they themselves admitted was vital to their character and their reputation, ought not to resist, but should facilitate inquiry, without which the Opposition would never remain satisfied.

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did not know whether Her Majesty's Government proposed to allow this matter to rest with the lame and laboured statement of the Prime Minister: Towards the end of his speech on this subject on a former occasion, the Prime Minister had promised to give a day for the discussion of the subject after the discussion of the Procedure Rules was over. [Mr. GLADSTONE dissented.] He had heard the Prime Minister make the statement himself; and, difficult as it was sometimes to understand the right hon. Gentleman's meaning, he was quite clear upon the point. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that he would not, for this or for any other matter of Business, have the discussion upon the Procedure Resolutions interrupted, but that if the House was disposed to prolong its Sittings for another day, then a Motion on the subject might be made. That, however, was an idle challenge, for what was the use of appointing a Committee of Inquiry into the conduct of the Government on the last day of the Session, when the next day the Committee would be dissolved by the Prorogation? That challenge, however, had been thrown out so that the Government might be able to go through the country and declare that they were not afraid of an inquiry into the matter. The truth was that the Government were practically backing out of their pledge. For his own part, he believed that there were negotiations between the Government and the Kilmainham prisoners, and that there had been a treaty entered into with them. He regarded that treaty as a disgraceful transaction. He had said that elsewhere, and he intended to say so elsewhere again; and he used the expression now in order that he might not afterwards be taunted with saying that elsewhere which he was afraid to repeat in that House. There were sufficient materials before the House to show that certain action had been taken by the Government, and that certain other action had been taken by the hon. Member for the City of Cork and his Friends, both of which actions were in accordance with the terms of the agree- ment entered into, as indicated by the letter of the latter. It had been shown that an hon. Member of that House had, with the knowledge and with the authority of the Government, passed several hours with the hon. Member for the City of Cork, and that he had come as an ambassador from Kilmainham with the formulated terms of an agreement, and that he was authorized to take them back if they were not approved; that they were submitted to the late Chief Secretary for Ireland, and were circulated throughout the Cabinet, who had power to release the hon. Member for the City of Cork if they thought fit to do so. But they know something more than this. On the day after this interview with the Chief Secretary, the Kilmainham ambassador saw the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, and discussed with him the propriety of omitting the passage relating to the union of the Irish Party with the Liberal Party, and he was told by the right hon. Gentleman that it would be better that nothing should be said about that passage. The right hon. Gentleman, who knew that the question of the release of the "suspects" was being discussed by the Cabinet, said nothing of that passage to his Colleagues.

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said, that the hon. and learned Gentleman was mistaken. The letter itself was placed before the Cabinet.

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said, that the right hon. Gentleman now said that the whole letter—passage and all—was before the Cabinet. If that were so, they were getting a little deeper into the matter. Then this passage, which promised the support of the Irish Party to the Government, was before the Cabinet when they decided to release the prisoners. In that case, the whole Cabinet must bear the reproach of allowing that letter to be read in that House with that passage deliberately suppressed. The Prime Minister had said that nothing was given to the hon. Member for the City of Cork. But something was given— the order of release was given. [Mr. GLADSTONE: Hear, hear!] The hon. Member for the City of Cork said, in effect—"Let me out, and you shall have my support in the suppression of outrage, and my support of the Liberal Party in future." That was the substance of a passage contained in the letter written by the hon. Member for the City of Cork and brought by his ambassador to the Chief Secretary for Ireland.

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I think it right to point out to the hon. and learned Member that he is now going far beyond the distinct statement which the hon. Member for East Gloucestershire desired to bring under the notice of the House. The hon. Member for East Gloucestershire desired to bring under the notice of the House the conduct of the Government with reference to refusing facilities for bringing on this matter. The hon. and learned Member for Plymouth is now going into the matter at large.

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said, he was under the impression that his observations were relevant to the immediate Question before the House, because his charge against the Government was that they were shrinking from the challenge which the Prime Minister himself had given. The House could now understand what sort of challenge it was that the Prime Minister throw down. He challenged the hon. Member to bring forward a Motion. He said— "Move for your inquiry, and we will accept your Motion;" but now he shrank from that challenge. When the Motion for the adjournment of the debate was moved at 10 minutes past 12 one night, the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) got up to talk against time, and he admitted to-night that such had been his intention. If the Prime Minister had expressed his wish that the Motion should be brought forward, was it credible that the hon. Member for Northampton and other hon. Members opposite would have opposed the Motion? One word from the Prime Minister would have afforded an opportunity of bringing this matter on, and would have enabled the House to discuss with fulness a subject upon which the country felt very strongly—a transaction which he believed was a disgraceful transaction, and one the full and free discussion of which the Government dared not face.

Question put, and negatived.

[The following is the Entry in the Votes.]

Mr. Reginald Yorke, Member for East Gloucestershire, rose in his place, and asked leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance; but the pleasure of the House not having been signified, Mr. Speaker called on those Members who supported the Motion to rise in their places, and not less than forty Members having accordingly risen in their places:—

Motion made, and Question, "That this House do now adjourn," put, and negatived.

Egypt—Arabi Pasha

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asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the statement was correct that had appeared in yesterday's morning papers that the Egyptian Government was now prepared to leave it to the British Government to decide whether the evidence was sufficient to enable the trial of Arabi Pasha to be proceeded with?

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It is impossible for me to know what is the private intention of the Egyptian Government; but, so far, no statement of the kind referred to has been made to Her Majesty's Government.

Order Of The Day

Parliament — Business Of The House—The New Rules Of Procedure—Eleventh Rule (Consideration Of A Bill, As Amended)

[TWENTY-NINTH NIGHT.]

Order read, for resuming Further Consideration of the New Rules of Procedure.

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, in rising to move the 11th Resolution as follows: —

"That, on reading the Order of the Day for the Consideration of a Bill, as amended, the House do proceed to consider the same without Question put, unless the Member in charge thereof shall desire to postpone its consideration, or notice has been given to recommit the Bill,"
said, the object of the Resolution was to bring the details of the Bill immediately before the House, and to do away with the intermediate stage between Committee and the consideration of the Bill, as amended.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That, on reading the Order of the Day for the Consideration of a Bill, as amended, the House do proceed to consider the same without Question put, unless the Member in charge thereof shall desire to postpone its consideration, or notice has been given to re-commit the Bill." —(Mr. Gladstone.)

Amendment made, in line 1, by leaving out the words "on reading," and inserting the word "when," instead thereof.—( Mr. Gorst.)

Amendment made, in line 2, by inserting, after the word "amended," "in Committee of the whole House has been read."—( Mr. Beresford Hope.)

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, in rising to move, in line 2, after the words "as amended"—

"Unless in the opinion of the Speaker the scope of such Bill has been materially altered or enlarged in Committee,"
said, that the object of the Amendment was to enable a debate to be raised upon a Bill where it had undergone considerable alteration in Committee. For instance, in the case of the Arrears Bill, provisions were inserted in Committee, relating to the purchase of small tenements, of which there was no trace in the Bill on the second reading. In such, cases it was very convenient that there should be a discussion on the whole Bill as amended.

Amendment proposed,

At the end of the foregoing Amendment, to insert the words "unless in the opinion of the Speaker the scope of such Bill has been materially altered or enlarged in Committee." —(Mr. Gorst.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

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said, the objection to the Amendment was that it would refer that matter to the opinion of the Speaker and impose on him without necessity an additional burden—a thing which was undesirable. If a Bill had been seriously and vitally altered in Committee, it would be perfectly competent for any Member to move that it be re-committed, in order to raise a discussion and call attention to the changes it had undergone, even although he might not intend to persist in his Motion. Again, in Committee, after the Bill had been gone through, the Chairman must put the Question, "That I report the Bill, as amended, to the House;" and then there would be a full opportunity for discussing the whole of the Amendments which had been made in it. Thus there were actually two occasions for raising such a discussion as the hon. and learned Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst) contemplated; and his Amendment was, therefore, unnecessary.

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said, he thought they ought to be careful how they allowed Members to be ousted from their opportunities of opposing the further progress of a Bill which had been materially altered in Committee. Although it might not be right to require the Speaker to give an opinion as to the extent to which a Bill had been altered, it would, on the other hand, be rather hard if Members objecting to the measure so altered could only take the course of moving its re-committal, which might be highly inconvenient, and not what they desired.

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said, that they had often found Bills so greatly and materially altered in Committee that it was necessary that the House should afterwards consider them on coming up for Report. If the right to discuss Bills at that stage was abolished, the House would lose all opportunity of criticizing the details of a measure after it had passed through Committee. The House should remember that it was hampering itself by new Rules and Regulations in every way; and from what they had seen already, it was clear that the Government would not be slow to put them in force. There was little doubt that, next Session, the Government would have two or three first-class Bills passing through the House at the same time, and that was a further reason why the discussion on the Report stage should not be done away with. Experience would show in the future, as it had demonstrated in the past, that Bills would be materially altered in going through Committee; and if the present Rule, as proposed by the Government, should pass, there would be no opportunity of considering the changes made in any measure. The reason why the legislation of that House had been so successful and so satisfactory was because it had been carefully considered at every stage. This would not be the case if they got into the habit of driving measures hastily through the House. That was not the wish of the country, although he knew that several right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench were most anxious that certain measures of their own should be driven through the House. The noble Marquess the Secretary of State for India had declared that this was the reason why he was desirous of seeing the clôture passed, and the President of the Board of Trade had frankly admitted that his object in supporting the Rule was to get certain measures passed by Parliament. That being so, he (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) viewed with reluctance every proposal made to abridge the liberties of Members; and if the hon. and learned Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst) went to a division with his Amendment he should vote for it.

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said, that the present Government once brought in a Bill professedly for the philanthropic and harmless object of relieving distress in Ireland; but during the progress of the measure through Committee they attempted to introduce into it wholly different and highly contentious matter, to which serious exception was taken by Members sitting in various parts of the House, and which related to what was called compensation for disturbance. That was an illustration of the great abuse which might occur under the system which the Government desired to establish. In future, those who had been somewhat disrespectfully referred to as private-Bill-mongers might have a strong temptation presented to them to introduce apparently harmless Bills which might afterwards be converted into substantially different measures, and would have virtually to be swallowed by the House without the discussion of their principle. The House ought, therefore, to have an opportunity of debating, at the stage of Report, the principle of a Bill, which might, perhaps, have assumed an entirely new aspect during its progress through Committee.

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said, that if a Bill had been altered and come out of Committee a different measure, or materially changed, a second opportunity of considering it was necessary. The Chairman or the Speaker might safely be trusted to determine whether any serious alteration had been made, and might be allowed to shape its future course, having regard to that fact.

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said, he agreed that Bills had sometimes gone up into Committee and had come back again materially altered. It had always struck him that there ought to be some provision for considering Bills passed through Committee for the purpose of pointing out what was the effect of the Amendments made there. That might be an inconvenient rule if invariably followed; but where considerable Amendments were adopted it would be found of the greatest utility. In that way the inconsistency so often complained of by Judges, and difficulties of interpretation, would be largely avoided.

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said, he might remind the House that they had already accepted a modification of the Half-past Twelve Rule; and they must carefully bear in mind the fact that certain Bills not formerly affected by that Rule would, in future, come within its operation.

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said, that the Amendment then before the House would not meet the wishes of the right hon. Member for South-West Lancashire; but if such a step were to be taken at all, it would come more usefully when the House had decided finally upon the form the Bill was to take.

Amendment proposed, at the end of the foregoing Amendment, to insert the words "the Question shall be put forthwith that."—( Mr. Gorst.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

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said, he distinctly objected to the Amendment, as it would remove the chief benefit of the Rule.

Amendment, by leave, Withdrawn.

Amendment proposed, in line 4, after "or," leave out "notice has been given." —( Mr. Monk.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Resolution."

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said, he would accept the Amendment, substituting the words "or a Motion shall be made."

Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

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said, he wished to move an Amendment which would have the effect of preventing a Bill, as amended, being proceeded with where a Motion should be made to oppose or re-commit the Bill.

Amendment proposed, in line 4, after the word "to," to insert the words "oppose or."—( Mr. Sclater-Booth.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'oppose or' be there inserted."

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said, he must oppose the Amendment, as it would strike at the whole principle of the Rule.

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maintained that if this Rule were amended in the direction proposed, they might as well have no such Standing Order.

Amendment, by leave, Withdrawn.

Main Question, as amended, put.

The House divided:—Ayes 57; Noes 27: Majority 30.—(Div. List, No. 396.)

(11.) Resolved, That when the Order of the Day for the Consideration of a Bill, as amended, in the Committee of the whole House, has been read, the House do proceed to consider the same without Question put, unless the Member in charge thereof shall desire to postpone its consideration, or a Motion shall he made to recommit the Bill.

The New Rules Of Procedure— Twelfth Rule (Notices On Going Into Committee Of Supply)

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, in moving the 12th Resolution, which was as follows: —

"That, whenever the Committee of Supply-stands as the first Order of the Day on any day except Friday evening, on which Government Orders have precedence, Mr. Speaker shall leave the Chair without putting any Question, unless on first going into Supply on the Army, Navy, or Civil Service Estimates respectively, or on any Vote of Credit, an Amendment he moved, or Question raised, relating to the Estimates proposed to be taken in Supply,"
said, that the Resolution was one of considerable importance. It rested on the ground that the practice which it proposed to deal with was of rather modern date, and that that practice had been of significant effect on the Business of the House only during the last 10 or 20 years. In the year 1811 the first instance occurred, according to Sir Erskine May, of a Motion, the nature of which was now so familiar—namely, against going into Committee of Supply. Up to 1820 there were only three or four such Motions. Up to 1837, embracing five years after the Reform Act, when the great change in the Business took place, there were about two cases each year, and up to 1860 no more than 11. But during the last 10 years the cases had increased to 33 actually moved, besides the discussions raised and other incidental proceedings, which were about as many more. That showed that the item was becoming a serious and important one in the Business of the House. Of course, it was not to be denied that they were making a serious demand upon independent Members. In the course of the debates he had heard statements to the effect that the Government only were interested in those Resolutions. But in some of them at least private Members were equally interested. Plow was the time of the House now divided? In the first place, the Government were liable to have a very considerable portion of their evenings blocked up by unlimited questions. The Question time belonged to private Members; and, therefore, it was not accurate to say that even on Mondays and Thursdays the Government had the whole time. Independent Members had Question time on five days of the week, Tuesdays for Motions, Wednesdays for Bills, and Fridays for Notices on going into Supply. The latter they did not propose to interfere with. The result was that two days a-week were given to the Government, and more than three to independent Members, against which there was to be set whatever advantage was obtained by the Government by Morning Sittings in the latter part of the Session. The object they had in view in reforming the conduct of Business was to facilitate both independent Members' and Government legislation; but it was the Government Business which had most egregiously failed of late years. In consequence, they thought they might reasonably ask from the House that, excepting on days as expressed in the Resolution, when the Army, Navy, or Miscellaneous Estimates were brought forward, there should be no preliminary Motions on going into Committee of Supply. They thought that that additional time would be a division of the time of the House which was just, and, on the whole, not illiberal towards independent Members. In making this demand they acknowledged the authority of the House, and they put it before the House as a rational and a fair demand, in the conviction that the House would give it just consideration and a favourable reception.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That, whenever the Committee of Supply stands as the first Order of the Day on any day, except Friday evening, on which Government Orders have precedence, Mr. Speaker shall leave the Chair without putting any Question, unless on first going into Supply on the Army, Navy, or Civil Service Estimates respectively, or on any Vote of Credit, an Amendment be moved, or Question raised, relating to the Estimates proposed to be taken in Supply."—(Mr. Gladstone.)

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rose to move, in line 1, after the first word "That," to insert—

"The usual statement by the Minister in charge of the Army or Navy Estimates, or by the Vice President of the Committee of Council, shall be made, the Speaker being in the Chair, on the Motion 'That Mr. Speaker do leave the Chair,' and that."
The effect of the Amendment would be to enable the Minister to make his statement at a much earlier period than he could under the present Regulations of the House; while, at the same time, it would not curtail the rights of private Members. It was proposed in the year 1857 by Mr. Wilson to make the statement on the Civil Service Estimates with the Speaker in the Chair; but the proposal was not then received with much favour. The right hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. W. H. Smith) in 1877,when he was Secretary to the Treasury, proposed to follow the same course; and the noble Lord the late Member for Liverpool (Viscount Sandon) in the same year made a similar proposition with regard to the Education Estimates. The course he suggested was not adopted on those occasions; but no objection was taken on principle, but only on the ground that due notice had not been given. The principle, in fact, was very generally approved; and Mr. Raikes, who was temporarily not a Member of the House, said that a more satisfactory change could not be introduced.

Amendment proposed,

In line 1, after the first word "That," to insert the words "the usual statement by the Minister in charge of the Army or Navy Estimates, or by the Vice President of the Committee of Council, shall be made, the Speaker being in the Chair, on the Motion 'That Mr. Speaker do leave the Chair,' and that.'—(Mr. Salt.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted,"

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said, that the Amendment of the hon. Member in its present shape would produce great inconvenience, because, after a Minister had made his statement with the Speaker in the Chair, a Member who had on the Paper some Notice on going into Supply would interpose and the discussion which ought to follow immediately upon the statement of the Minister would be interfered with, and at last would be taken in the most inconvenient manner. He would prefer that Mondays, and Mondays alone, should be set down for going into Supply without any Motions by independent Members, and that no other Government Business should be allowed to displace Supply on those days. But he had seen Mondays which the Government professed to keep for Supply appropriated to other Business, and the consequence was that they had to scamper through Supply in July and August. He recollected the right hon. Member for North Devon (Sir Stafford Northcote), the cause of whose absence they all deplored, making, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, a very important statement with the Speaker in the Chair, and Gentlemen who felt interested in the subject desired to follow. But his hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Nolan) had a Motion on the Paper with respect, he believed, to rifled guns, and brought it on, three or four Gentlemen spoke to it, and it was with great difficulty that the discussion was brought back to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement. He was therefore opposed to the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stafford.

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said, there was a great deal to be said in favour of the Amendment of his hon. Friend (Mr. Salt). There could be no doubt that it would be a great convenience to Members of the Ministry to be able to come down to the House, and so avoid the desultory conversations which generally happened when any question such as the hon. Member referred to arose. They must admit that whenever a certain responsible statement was made within a fair and reasonable time, the House had an opportunity of traversing the whole of it, and were able to bring to bear upon it that criticism which was so essential to the interest of the country. Therefore, so far as he could judge of the whole question, whilst giving his Friend every credit for a desire to save the time of the House, yet he thought it would not be for the best interests of the country that the Amendment should now be adopted. He (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) thought the proposition of the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Rylands) was about the best that could be made, if the Government were prepared to say that they would take Monday, and Monday alone, for he believed that the House would give them that day. But if they did not do so, he thought they would involve the House in a serious position. He recollected serving on a Select Committee in 1871, when the present Lord Sherbrooke (then Mr. Lowe) was in the Chair, and Lord Beacons-field (then Mr. Disraeli) was on the Committee. The proposal of the Government of that day was precisely the same as it was at this moment, with one exception. They gave up the whole of Friday; and if the House would now remark, the Government put down Friday evening, clearly showing that they were going to take Friday morning for Committee. What happened on that Committee, however, was that Mr. Disraeli said—"Oh, no; we cannot stand your taking all these days; but we will give you Monday." The right hon. and learned Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) then, perhaps, not exactly in that Parliamentary language some would desire, said—"This is a job between the two Front Benches, and I will oppose that," and Monday clear and simple was assigned to the Government. But what use did they make of it? Was Supply put down for Monday? No. Supply was brought in late again that year, and did not get finished in sufficient time. The way in which Supply had been brought in this House in recent years had been an absolute scandal to the House. This year they had had many questions of Supply brought in at 1, 2, and even 3 o'clock in the morning, owing, as they were told, to the exigencies of Business; and they succumbed to the inevitable. By the proposals that had now been made to the House, they were asking private Members to give up an amount of time they could not spare. The Prime Minister had told them it was part of his scheme that they were to have early Morning Sittings on Tuesdays to get through the Business, and that the Evening Sitting should be relegated to private Members. Again, there was the proposal to have Morning Sittings on Fridays; but how would hon. Members be able to carry on any discussion at 9 o'clock on a Friday evening at the end of the week, after they had been sitting there hour after hour during so many nights? They had never sat so late in recent years as since the present Government came into power. They had sat there until 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning, passing legislation for them. They had now passed 11 of the most stringent Bales that possibly could have been made, and they were now asked by the Government to pass a 12th, which would absolutely annihilate private Members' rights. Let the Government take Monday for Supply. That would not only settle the question in five minutes, and satisfy the House, but also satisfy the country.

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said, he agreed that it would be an advantage to have the Ministerial statement in a full House; but there was the inconvenience that the discussion would very likely be broken off by some Member who might have a Motion on the Paper on a totally different subject. The question was one of the balance of inconvenience. The Government would naturally claim the largest slice of the cake; but they ought not to get too much, or to misuse their share of the public time. As his hon. and gallant Friend had said, the result would be perfectly satisfactory if the Government took Monday for Supply on the understanding that Supply alone would be the work of that day, and that not more than one Vote of Credit would ever be asked for. As for Tuesdays, why should not the private Members take the Morning, and the Government the Evening Sittings? If the Government wished to pass this Rule with anything like unanimity, they would have to revert to the old Rule of leaving to private Members the time they had, and being content with Mondays.

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said, that the Rule recommended by the Committee of 1871 gave the Government more days than Monday for Supply. There seemed to be conclusive objections to this Amendment. The effect of it would seem to be that when a statement had been made, on going into Committee the subjects dealt with would be discussed in a desultory way in Committee, and much of the Minister's statement would have to be repeated. It was better that the statement should be made in Committee, when the Minister could be followed by Members who could speak as often as they liked.

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said, he believed there was a great deal to be said in favour of the view of the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Rylands), and he could not support the Amendment which would give the Government not only every Supply night, but also what were called first nights. There was a great practical inconvenience in a Minister who had an important statement to make waiting for hours while a variety of subjects were discussed. It ought to be positively known when a Minister would make such a statement. It was a grave question whether they should part with the Constitutional right of stating grievances before granting Supply. It might be that the practice dated from 1811; but it must be remembered that there were formerly other opportunities of calling attention to grievances, and most able speeches had been made on the presentation of Petitions. He had objected strongly to any Government taking Supply on Monday night before the statement of grievance, and he could only regret that his political Friends had not always been staunch to the Constitutional doctrine. He hoped the Government would not insist on the Resolution as it stood, and that they would consider whether it left Members due facilities for calling attention to grievances before Supply.

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said, he was glad the Government had not adhered to the original form of the Resolution, but had incorporated an Amendment of which he had given Notice. This Rule would be as effectual as any in advancing Public Business, and it would operate quite as much in favour of the private Member as of the Government. At present, early in the Session, private Members disorganized the Business of the Government, and later on the Government retaliated, with the result that the weakest went to the wall.

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I rise to Order. The noble Lord is not confining himself to the Amendment.

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said, he was replying to the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken. Was it supposed that the redress of grievance before Supply only dated from 1811, when the practice was introduced of stating grievances on going into Committee of Supply? The practice of Motions on going into Committee of Supply only began in the year 1811. The evidence of Mr. Bouverie was clear that the practice was by no means of ancient date; and Lord Eversley, in his evidence before a Committee of the House in February, 1861, said that if he could put a stop to the practice he would do so. Before 1811 Notices of Motion always took precedence of Orders of the Day. The present practice, beginning in 1811, was developed gradually; at first, two such Motions were, on the average, made each Session; but by degrees there grew to be no limit to the number. He hoped the Government would stand by their Rule.

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said, he thought the Amendment, taken by itself, was objectionable, because its effect would be to take away even the small modicum of time for discussing private Motions which the Government proposed to leave hon. Members. At the same time, it touched one of the greatest grievances which they had to endure. It was monstrous that Ministers of the Crown should have to make important statements at 12 o'clock at night. The Rule would make things worse than ever, and would be found so intolerable as to require speedy alteration.

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said, that the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Salt) had said that it was inconvenient that Ministerial statements should be made in Committee; and the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Rylands) had said it was inconvenient that they should be made with the Speaker in the Chair. He would ask was it necessary that they should be made at all? They were, after all, generally long and uninteresting speeches, full of details which were supplied by the clerks of the various Departments—the War Office, the Treasury, the Admiralty—and could easily be printed and distributed as official Reports. He intended to move that a printed statement by the Minister in charge of the Estimates proposed to be taken in Supply should have been at least one week previously circulated among the Members of the House.

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said, he hoped the Government would adopt the proposal of the hon. and learned Member for Chatham.

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I must point out that the matter cannot be properly discussed until the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Chatham is before the House.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. GORST moved to omit the word "whenever," in line 1, the effect being to make the Resolution begin with a statement that Supply should be the first Order of the Day on Monday. Since he had had the honour of a seat in the House there had not been a single case in which the Dockyards Vote had been discussed before August. In order that the Government might carry their Bills, Supply was put off week after week and month after month, until it was hurried through at the end of the Session. His Amendment was an attempt to bring home to the mind of the House its duty with regard to Supply, and to secure, as far as possible, that that duty should be efficiently performed.

Amendment proposed, in line 1, to leave out the word "whenever."—( Mr. Gorst.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'whenever' stand part of the Question."

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said, that if there were any Members who desired that the Government should pass no Bills at all they ought to support this proposal. The consequence of the Amendment, if carried, would be that the Government would only have four days for carrying their Bills. The proposal of the hon. and learned Member meant simply that the Notice Paper would be choked with Motions on going into Committee of Supply, and the very reason for which they were proposing these Resolutions—namely, to facilitate Public Business—would be frustrated. All Members, therefore, who desired that the Government should do more legislative Business than at present would vote against the Amendment.

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said, he thought that there were several fallacies in the ob- servations of the Home Secretary. The question was not whether the Government should have facilities for pressing on their Bills, but whether they were justified in the wholesale appropriation of the time heretofore at the disposal of private Members. Under the Rules that now existed the Government had no power to put down Supply, unless Members had a correlative right of discussing their grievances. The Government proposed to grapple with the inconvenience, the existence of which everyone admitted, by taking every day in the week except Friday evening. It was indicated as clearly as possible in the Resolution that the Government intended to take Friday morning, and to leave the Friday evening only to private Members. For his part he was not disposed to acquiesce in the proposal of the Government. It would greatly tend to shorten the discussion if the Government indicated what concession with respect to the time of the House they would be prepared to make to private Members. In such a Rule as the present there were two evils to be guarded against. The first was to take care that Supply was not finished too rapidly, and the second to take care that Supply was not postponed till too late in the Session. It would cause both inconvenience and disaster if Supply were finished too early in the Session, for it was desirable that it should be kept open, in order that independent Members might have some control over the Government. If the Amendment now before the House would have the effect of causing Supply to be finished too soon, it would be an objection to it; but no such objection had been urged by the Home Secretary. The other inconvenience—that of postponing Supply till late in the Session — might arise under the Rule. It would be quite possible for the Government to use up all their Government days to pass those measures which they said the country was so anxious for; and when the House was wearied out, as it now was, when only 100 Members were present to discuss the most vital changes in the organization of the House, the Government could take four days in the week for Supply. It would be impossible, then, for a wearied House to adequately discuss the Estimates, and the Votes would be passed without discussion, and serious injury be done. That monstrous inconvenience he was not prepared to face. It was very well to tell them that they could rely upon the Government. They had a right to be suspicious of the Government, and they were bound to take care that Rules were not passed which would enable the Government to postpone Supply until it could not be adequately discussed. He believed that if the Rule were passed in its present shape such a power would undoubtedly be given.

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said, that on that side of the House they were anxious to facilitate Government Business, but they did not wish private Members to be entirely crushed out. They were told at the commencement of these discussions by the Prime Minister that in all probability Tuesday would be taken a short time after the commencement of the Session as a Government night. Private Members would then only be able to bring on their Motions at 9 o'clock. They could not keep a House then, and therefore only Friday evening remained to them. He would suggest that private Members should be given Tuesday morning, and that Supply should be taken on Tuesday evening.

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said, he understood the Home Secretary to state that it was a question whether the House preferred legislation or Supply, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to prefer that Supply should be thrown over to a late part of the Session. [Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT denied that he had said anything of the kind.] That was how he understood the right hon. and learned Gentleman's words. For himself, he was inclined to think that the country would be better pleased with its Representatives if they gave more attention to Supply. Supply ought to be taken early in the Session, and not thrown late; and if the Prime Minister was anxious that the finances of the country should be conducted with the care which he had so often expressed, it was not easy to see how he should object to that Amendment.

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said, he thought it would be convenient that they should dispose of the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member for Chatham before they went further into that discussion. Afterwards they would have an opportunity of discussing the serious and vital question whether they should give the Government every day of the week except Friday, and thus give them such a command over the time of the House that they might have the power of lengthening or shortening the Session almost as much as they pleased. He thought the Amendment had better be withdrawn.

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said, he thought that the effect of the Resolution would be to hand over the whole time of the House to the Government, and practically to extinguish the rights of private Members, and he, therefore, protested earnestly against it. Morning Sittings were to be taken early in the Session on Tuesdays and Fridays, and that meant "a count out" in the evening. The Government would not have a reason for keeping a House on Friday; and even if a House were then kept, private Members would only have in the whole week the four hours from 9 o'clock to 1 in order to bring forward the questions in which they and their constituents were interested.

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said, he must complain of the exaggeration of those who said the Government would have every day of the week. It was nothing of the kind. As to Morning Sittings commencing early in the Session, they would commence at such a period of the Session as the House might think fit. There, however, was an evident jealousy about Morning Sittings; and he, therefore, thought the better way of dealing with the matter was to postpone it, and to disarm that jealousy by taking no power at all under this Resolution with respect to Morning Sittings. It would then become simply a Monday and Thursday Resolution. If the House found occasion, it could hereafter make any modification it chose in regard to Morning Sittings. To give the Government Monday alone would be to give them what was insufficient in amount; and, moreover, it would give it in the worst possible form. It was impossible to conceive a worse arrangement than to say to the Government that they were to take Supply every Monday and legislation every Thursday. That meant delay, long intervals, and feebleness of discussion. The Government had said they did not wish to obtain any distinct or definite concession from the House as to Morning Sittings. They had reserved their liberty, according to their experi- ence, to propose Morning Sittings on Tuesdays at an early period of the Session, if they found that independent Members did not choose to employ the Evening Sitting in discussing their own Motions. That surely was not a very violent or extravagant thing to suggest. However, they were willing to dismiss the whole of that subject from the Resolution, and to take the minimum boon, which he thought the House would be disposed to give them; that was the power of proceeding with Supply with something like consecutiveness on Mondays and Thursdays, and, when it was convenient, to use both Mondays and Thursdays for the purposes of legislation. The right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gibson), influenced by a most powerful imagination, actually feared that Supply might be prematurely finished. [Mr. Gibson dissented.] At all events, the right hon. and learned Gentleman thought it worth while to argue that Supply might finish prematurely, and then the control of the House would be lost. Now, it would not be lost or weakened in the slightest degree. The control of the House depended not on Supply, but on the Appropriation Act, and the Appropriation Act was not touched by that Resolution. Then it was said that Supply might be thrown very late. That was a practical evil with which they were now struggling. That Resolution was a Resolution in favour of full and effective discussion on Supply. Hon. Gentlemen often found themselves so hampered when they desired to discuss the Estimates in detail that they were almost powerless; and when the Government asked for Mondays and Thursdays in order to go into Supply, they meant that when it got into Supply the House might return to the full performance of its primary duty of considering, criticizing, and curtailing, if they could, the demands made by the Government for the Public Service. Probably the first two months' experience of the next Session would enable them to judge in some manner of the working of the new system; and if it were found necessary to introduce a new regulation as to Tuesdays and Fridays, the matter might then be discussed.

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said, that the right hon. Gentleman forgot the immense number of private Members' nights recently taken by the Government. He did not think it was any exaggeration to say that the Motion of the hon. Member would take the whole of private Members' nights, and they must remember that next Session they had to look forward to fresh Irish legislation. No doubt, the Prime Minister stated last night that no fresh departure was in contemplation; but that was no guarantee that none would take place. They might have to consider some measure of Home Rule more or less modified. The Government said they would be content with the Mondays and Thursdays, but for how long? Would the Prime Minister guarantee that they should have them for the whole Session? One of the weakest arguments the Prime Minister had ever used was that in favour of continuity of legislation, and of pressing it forward speedily. If they had not advanced it continuously from day to day, perhaps there would not now be so great an outcry for the introduction of amending Acts. Judging from the past, they might well think that if measures were not hurried through Parliament with such speed they would be spared the fiascos they had so often seen of late in Government legislation.

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said, he thought the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) was right in saying that the Prime Minister, in first introducing the Rules, had referred to the intention of the Government to take Tuesday nights.

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What I said was that, in view of the fact that the House had been counted out on 16 Tuesdays, the Government might feel it their duty to obviate so great a waste of public time.

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said, the effect, at any rate, would be that Friday alone would remain at the disposal of private Members. He did not think that even the Government expected to pass their Rule in the form pesented to the House. One of the great objections to the old practice was the frequent taking of Votes on Account. There was no great objection to taking one Vote on Account; but the repetition of such Votes was greatly to be deprecated, and he wished to give formal Notice that if this Rule were passed as it stood, he should strongly object in the future to perpetual Votes on Account. He quite agreed with what had fallen from the Prime Minister in reference to the disadvantage of breaking the continuity of debate by making Monday and Thursday Government nights, and had often felt that it was an arrangement which was attended with many inconveniences.

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said, he believed the proposal of the Government to be perfectly equitable to private Members, whose sentiments in this matter the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) did not express. It practically embodied the views of the influential Committee of 1871.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 104; Noes 40: Majority 64.—(Div. List, No. 397.)

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rose to say that the concession of the Prime Minister was no concession at all, and he desired to move an Amendment, the effect of which, he said, would be to restore the Resolution to the form in which it stood when they adjourned for the holidays. As had been stated, it was the revival of a proposal made in 1871. Lord Sherbrooke told the Members of the Committee that the proposal of the Government was that on Mondays and Thursdays the Speaker should leave the Chair without putting the Question; and Lord Beaconsfield said if the Government limited the proposal to Monday he would agree to it. And in February, 1872, by the very narrow majority of 40, a Resolution was carried, giving the Government Monday only for Supply, and abolishing the privilege of making independent Amendments to the Question of the Speaker leaving the Chair on that day. The Resolution was dropped by the late Government in 1874, and. not revived until 1876, when it was introduced in a modified form by omitting the word "first;" and then the noble Marquess the Secretary of State for India, while supporting the proposal, said—

"That the late Government never wished to hinder Motions on going into Committee of Supply."—[3 Hansard, ccxxvii. 472.]
This Resolution dropped in 1878; and when the Government deemed it necessary to propose it in the more stringent form of the Resolution of 1872, they were met with one of the most violent and obstructive oppositions which mo- dern times had seen. The debate was carried on during the nights of the 17th, 20th, and 24th of February until a late hour. The opposition was led by the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Rylands), who, in an exhaustive oration, exposed the conspiracy of the wicked Tory Government to suppress free speech. The hon. Member was supported by every section of the Opposition, by the hon. Members for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn), Birmingham (Mr. Muntz), Glasgow (Mr. Anderson), Kincardineshire (Sir George Balfour), and many others below the Gangway—by the hon. and judicial Member for Bedford (Mr. Whitbread), who
"Thought the power to bring forward questions on Supply should be retained, it being a privilege the House would not willingly surrender."—[3 Hansard, ccxliii, 1370.]
But the most important feature on that occasion was the action of the Members of the present Government. The noble Marquess the Secretary of State for India urged the retention of the power to make Motions on Supply, but suggested that they might be advantageously transferred to the Report of Supply under a new Rule to be framed for that purpose, which Rule it was, perhaps, needless to say was not amongst the proposals now before the House. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Home Secretary objected strenuously to any curtailment of the rights of private Members. He said—
"If there was a tendency on the part of the Government to draw the strings tighter, that was all the more reason why Members should not relinquish the privileges they now possessed…And he knew of no circumstances which could induce him to think that the House of Commons would do well to enlarge the powers of the Executive Government at the expense of the authority of Parliament."—[Ibid. 1524–5.]
The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Chamberlain) and the First Commissioner of Works (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) followed in the same strain; but the most active and busy opponent on that occasion was the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Charles W. Dilke), who, in some 10 divisions, offered wilful and persistent Obstruction, and repeatedly urged that the ancient practice of discussing grievances before granting Supply was one of the most valuable parts of our Parliamentary Constitution. It was only fair, then, to ask the Members of the Government why they had so materially changed their views since last August, for it was admitted, even by its authors and supporters, that the old Rule had worked well? He (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) thought that the real reason was to be found in the Prime Minister's long - standing and persistent enmity to the independence of the House of Commons, which was, in fact, in his idea, another "Upas tree," which he was determined to cut down at the first opportunity, and he had, therefore, seized the occasion of an Autumn Session and of a weary House to accomplish his purpose; and the frank and candid admission made that evening by the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. G. Russell), that "nine-tenths of the Party opposite regarded the will of the Prime Minister as law," showed that the Prime Minister had them completely under his control, and could make them vote as he pleased, and against their own convictions. He (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) could not conclude without calling attention to the misstatements which the Prime Minister had made in his speech of October 24th to the 12th Resolution, as originally drawn. The Prime Minister said that—
"Under the established usages of the House, Friday, which was originally a Government night, has become a Members' night, with very few exceptions. It is desirable that the House should boar in mind that Friday used, in the regular course, when Business was far less urgent than it is now, and when less Business was initiated by Ministers, to belong to the Government. And when the present Regulation was made that Friday should be a night of Committee of Supply, it was contemplated and expected and intended that a large portion of that night should be available for Government Business."—[3 Hansard, cclxxiv. 51.]
Now, in reply to that statement, he (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) would observe —first, that Friday was appointed for Committee of Supply in 1860, in exchange for the whole of Thursday given to the Government, and the abolition of the Motion for Adjournment from Friday till Monday, upon which Members had a right to speak; secondly, that, according to the existing practice, a large portion of Friday's time was available to the Government, as proved by the fact that on 10 Fridays at least during the current Session Votes in Supply had been taken. If the Resolution were carried in its present form, the "gag" would be complete—Monday and Thursday would belong to the Government, and on Tuesday and Friday independent Members would be counted out, because the Prime Minister, failing to follow the practice of Lord Beaconsfield, took no pains to make a House at 9 o'clock, and it was only the Government, with the aid of their paid janissaries, as all experienced Members knew, who could accomplish that result with any degree of certainty. He (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) appealed to the independent Members of the Party opposite, and especially to the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Rylands), not to be influenced by the Prime Minister and by the dictation of the "Caucus" at his back, but to adhere to the opinions they had so frequently expressed when in Opposition, and support the Amendment which he had the honour to move.

Amendment proposed,

In line 1, to leave out from the word "Supply," to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "appointed for the consideration of the ordinary Army, Navy, and Civil Service Estimates stands as the first Order of the Day on a Monday, Mr. Speaker shall leave the Chair without putting any Question, unless an Amendment be moved, or Question raised relating to the Estimates proposed to be taken in Supply, on first going into Committee on the Army, Navy, and Civil Services respectively,"—(Mr. Cavendish Bentinck,)

—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words 'stands as the first Order of the Day on' stand part of the Question."

After a pause,

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said, he really thought that it was a monstrous thing that a Resolution which was opposed by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen now sitting on the Treasury Bench for three consecutive days should now be sought to be disposed of in less than three hours. He hoped that Gentlemen who had so much distinguished themselves by their opposition when the Resolution was proposed by the late Government, would condescend to give the House a few hints, at any rate, why they had so materially altered their opinion, and why the House should be called upon to adopt it now. He saw on the Treasury Bench at that moment more than one right hon. and hon. Member who took a prominent part in the opposition at the time referred to; and although he (Mr. Gorst) sat upon the Government side of the House at the time, he did not imitate the conduct of the hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn) and the hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. Rylands), who ran away from the principles they professed in Opposition when they found themselves on the Government side of the House; but he had assisted the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain), the President of the Board of Trade, and the right hon. Baronet the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs (Sir Charles W. Dilke), and the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Courtney), in the opposition they then offered to the Resolution. He had done so because he was foolish enough to believe that those right hon. and hon. Members were in earnest, and that they were sincere and zealous to maintain the rights of private Members and the privileges of the House. Of course, if he had then had the experience he had gained since, he would have known what the opinions held by those hon. Members were worth, and that what they did when in Opposition was no guide whatever as to the action they would take when in Office. Certainly, if he had known as much as he did now, he should not have been so foolish as to have joined their ranks. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck), who had brought this matter before the House, had referred to the speeches made by Members of the present Government in opposition to the Resolution when it was proposed by a Conservative Government, and in particular he had quoted the arguments of the right hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain). But Her Majesty's Government did not now think it worth while to answer any of the arguments they had themselves adduced against the proposal in the last Parliament. Surely it was worth while that they should make some apology for their change of opinion. It was almost a scandal that the matter should be allowed to be passed by sub silentio, and that not a single reason should be given for the change which had come over the spirit of their dream. He had no wish to repeat the arguments they had used; he had no desire to remind them too much in detail of the position they were now occupying; but the question was really this—Whether they were to take away now from the non-official Members of the House the opportunities which they at present enjoyed of criticizing the acts of the Executive Government? He would warn the Government of one thing—namely, that they could not stop the criticism of the Executive Government. If they succeeded in stopping it in one direction, they might depend upon it that it would break out in another. When the Session of Parliament commenced, there were always a certain number of grievances to be brought forward—a certain number of wrongs and complaints to be made against the Executive Government; and they would find vent and be talked out on the floor of the House in some form or shape. Her Majesty's Government might prevent them being discussed on a Monday or a Thursday; but those who had the grievances to bring forward would find some other day, and if they were to be deprived of the opportunity on going into Committee of Supply, they would find some other by means of Motions for the adjournment of the House or for reporting Progress. In some shape or other an opportunity would be seized for ventilating grievances, no matter what attempt the Government made to circumscribe the occasions when such opportunities would be available. The short experience which he had had of the House taught him that if they wished to be economical in regard to the time at their disposal they would let people talk out their grievances with the Speaker in the Chair and then go into Committee of Supply. They would assuredly make more progress with the Business of the country by adopting such a course. The Motions which were generally discussed on going into Committee of Supply were Motions which involved more or less of principle; whereas in Supply it was not the custom to discuss questions of principle, but simply to consider details in reference to the money proposed to be expended. If they were going to have their Committee of Supply continually interrupted by the cropping up of Motions and questions involving matters of principle, they might depend upon it that their time would not be economically expended. He did not see why the Government should not accept a Rule which had already been tried, and which had been found to work very well, and for his own part he was satisfied that they would be able to get on with Supply without taking away from private Members the privileges which they now enjoyed. He did not believe that Her Majesty's Government were honest in proposing this Rule. He did not believe that they intended it for the purpose of enabling them to make real progress with Supply, but they wanted the Rule to enable them to put off Supply until a late period of the Session, so that when they did go into Committee of Supply they could take the whole time of the House, and, to use a vulgar expression, "rattle through" Supply without being delayed by any Motions on the Question of the Speaker leaving the Chair. In point of fact, the wish of the Government was not to have Supply discussed at all, and the best way of accomplishing that object was not to give the House time for discussing it. In the last Amendment the House had a specimen of the sincerity with which the Government were acting. They would not even pledge themselves to put down Supply on a Monday. They would not pledge themselves to put it down at all in the early days of the Session; but what they really did want was to get possession of the whole of the time of private Members—to take the whole time of the House themselves, and not to afford any opportunity for the discussion of grievances. He trusted the House would oppose every attempt of the kind.

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said, that since he had had the honour of a seat in the House, nothing had impressed him so much as the very unsatisfactory way in which the money of the people was voted away owing to the uncertainty of the time at which Supply would be brought on, and the lateness and unreasonableness of the hours at which the Votes were brought on. A reform in this respect was, in his opinion, most necessary. He thought it was essential that Supply should be brought on at a time and under circumstances which would enable hon. Members to give decent attention to the subject. Supply ought to be voted at a reasonable hour, and it was most improper that millions of money should be voted away in the small hours of the morning. For these reasons he most heartily supported the propositions of the Government. On the other hand, he was not without some apprehension that when the Government had the means of taking Supply on Monday and Thursday, the privilege hitherto possessed by private Members of bringing forward grievances would be much abridged. He should have been glad if the Government could have seen their way to adopt some of the suggestions that were at one time thrown out by the noble Marquess the Secretary of State for India (the Marquess of Hartington), and that some compensation would be made to private Members in the event of their privileges being abridged or taken away. After the views which had been expressed, he entertained the hope that the Prime Minister would be able to do something in order to protect the interests of private Members.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 99; Noes 27: Majority 72.—(Div. List, No. 398.)

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said, he rose now, in fulfilment of the pledge he had given, to move that after the word "on," in line 2, all the words of the Resolution should be struck out down to the words "have precedence," inclusive, inline 3, for the purpose of inserting the words "Monday and Thursday." The object of the Amendment was to meet the criticisms and complaints of hon. Gentlemen opposite and to expedite the Business of Supply. There seemed to be an impression that the Government was bound to introduce Supply at an earlier period of the Session than had been the case of late, and that not more than one Vote on Account should ever be taken. It was impossible to enter into a proposal of that nature at any length at the present moment, and it would be very difficult to carry out the wishes of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South-West Lancashire (Sir R. Assheton Cross) without altering the practice in regard to the calling of Parliament together. For example, if they should prorogue, as he supposed they would, in the month of December, and it was the wish of the right hon. Gentleman that they should meet in the middle of January, the Government would be glad to consider that wish; and if effect were given to it, then they might be able to make some progress with Supply before Easter, which next year he believed came earlier than usual. He could not agree with the right hon. Gentleman that under no circumstances should the Government ever ask Parliament for more than one Vote on Account. He did not think that would be possible even with the increased facilities which they proposed to provide by giving the Government the command of Monday and Thursday for purposes of Supply. Undoubtedly the having command of those days would very much alter the position of the Government, and, under ordinary circumstances, he thought Votes on Account ought to become either unknown or known only under very extraordinary circumstances.

Amendment proposed,

In line 2, to leave out the words "any day except Friday evening, on which Government Orders have precedence," and insert the words "Monday and Thursday,"—(Mr. Gladstone,)

—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Resolution."

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suggested that the Amendment should be "Monday or Thursday."

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said, he accepted the alteration.

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said, he was glad that anything which had fallen from him should have drawn from the Prime Minister the remarks which had fallen from him in reference to Votes on Account. He hoped that in future any such Votes, except a first one, would be unknown and never asked for except upon a very extraordinary occasion. So far as the meeting of Parliament was concerned, he hoped the Prime Minister would feel that the labours of the House had been excessive this autumn. As, however, the question had been raised, and the right hon. Gentleman talked about proroguing in December, he (Sir R. Assheton Cross) was still in hopes that the Notice he had given for putting off the consideration of the Resolutions relating to Standing Committees this Session would receive the favourable consideration of Her Majesty's Government when the House met on Monday next. At any rate, he trusted that the Government might not deem it necessary to call Parliament together again until a considerable time after the usual period in February.

Question put, and negatived.

Question, "That the words 'Monday or Thursday' be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

MR. GORST moved to amend the Resolution by inserting, after the word "Thursday," the words—

"And a printed statement by the Minister in charge of the Estimates proposed to be taken in Supply shall have been at least one week previously circulated amongst the Members of the House."

He had already stated what his views were upon this matter, and he would not detain the House by recapitulating them.

Amendment proposed,

In line 3, at the end of the foregoing Amendment, to insert the words "and a printed statement by the Minister in charge of the Estimates proposed to be taken in Supply shall have been at least one week previously circulated amongst the Members of the House."—(Mr. Gorst.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

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said, he hoped that the Prime Minister would accept this Amendment. It was of the highest importance that there should be some printed statement of the kind proposed, and many hon. Members with whom he had conversed upon the subject were in favour of the proposal. Hon. Members would be spared immense labour if they could have all the details before them on a printed paper. He was also able to say, from his own knowledge and experience, that such a statement could easily be prepared by the Naval and Military Departments concerned; and he could not help thinking that such statements would go far towards enlightening the House, when they came to discuss the Votes, upon many questions on which they were left in the dark. He thought, also, that the Budget might be printed; and, in regard to the Civil Service Estimates, he strongly recommended that an attempt should be made to explain in detail many of the items which appeared in them. Experience proved that the Miscellaneous Estimates were, of all the Votes, the worst prepared, the least known, and the most difficult to understand. He would strongly urge that the heads of the Departments representing the Civil Service branch should be required to prepare an explanatory statement, so that the House might become acquainted with the nature of the various items' The House would recollect that when the Votes for the Civil Service came to be taken in Committee of Supply last year, there was a remarkable failure on the part of the heads of Departments to lay information before the House. It was, therefore, of the utmost importance that the Estimates should be accompanied by a printed statement explaining them, and materially lightening the labours of the Committee. For these reasons he should strongly support the proposal of the hon. and learned Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst).

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said, he hoped the Prime Minister would receive with favour the proposal of the hon. and learned Member for Chatham, which would tend to the proper discussion of the Estimates, and, by giving hon. Members time for consideration, would enable them better to appreciate the statement made by the Minister in charge.

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said, he was, in one sense, no great authority on this subject, because, although he had performed most of the duties devolving on a Member of Parliament throughout a lengthened experience, he had never proposed the Army or Navy Estimates, nor the Indian Budget. He had, however, proposed the Budget of this country a great number of times. Before arriving at a positive conclusion on the proposal of the hon. and learned Member, he should like to have it carefully considered by those who had experience in moving the Indian Budget and the Estimates he had referred to; but, speaking from his own experience as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he thought there was a great deal to be said in favour of the proposition, and that it deserved, at least, impartial and un-biassed consideration. Further than that, however, he could not go, and he hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would not press his Amendment. It was quite clear that this was no matter of Procedure, and, therefore, ought not to form any part of the present Resolution.

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said, he was quite sensible to the objection taken by the Prime Minister with regard to the proposed arrangement being out of place in the Procedure Resolutions. He had never intended to press this Amendment to a division; and, having called atention to the matter, which he hoped would receive further consideration hereafter, begged leave to withdraw his Amendment.

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remarked that last year the Secretary of State for India had taken the course suggested by the Amendment, which met the convenience of Members, and, at the same time, very much simplified his own labours.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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said, he had an Amendment relating to the withdrawal of Supplementary and Excess Estimates from the operation of the Rule. This Amendment, also, he had no intention of pressing to a division, but simply drew attention to the question, in order to afford the Prime Minister an opportunity of saying whether he would give it his consideration.

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said, he entirely agreed that Supplementary and Excess Estimates should be discouraged wherever they were the result of want of care in framing the original Estimates. But, under the present arrangements, large numbers of Supplementary Estimates were necessarily brought forward in order to satisfy the theory of a perfect account which was required by our Constitutional system. It would, therefore, be a source of the highest public in-convenience were the hands of the Government tied in the manner proposed by the hon. and learned Member.

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said, under the circumstances, he would not move, but would call attention to the subject of his next Amendment. The Resolution as it stood obliged every Member who had a Motion on going into Committee of Supply to bring it forward on the first night of Supply. Now, that was the night of all others when it was essential that the House should get into Committee at an early hour; Members were then desirous of hearing the statement of the Minister in charge of the Estimates, and an appeal was generally made to Gentlemen having Motions on the Paper not to bring them forward, but to allow the Ministerial statement to be made. But if the Resolution were passed in its present form, no one could in future give way with regard to his Motion on the first night, because that would be the only occasion on which he would be able to bring it forward. An hon. Member, for instance, wishing to bring forward a Motion on the state of the Navy would not do so under ordinary circumstances on the first night of Supply, in order that the First Lord might make his statement; but if that were the only occasion open to him he would be compelled to intervene because he would have no other opportunity of making his Motion. For his own part he would prefer to see any other than the first night of Supply assigned to the Motions of private Members, and therefore begged to move its omission from the Resolution.

Amendment proposed, inline 4, to leave out the word "first."—( Mr. Gorst.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'first' stand part of the Question."

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said, he hoped the hon. and learned Member for Chatham would be satisfied with having raised the question involved in his Amendment without putting the House to the trouble of a division. The effect of not limiting Motions to the first night on going into Supply would be to open a door to dilatory Motions which it would be difficult to close. The House had already experience of Resolutions of this kind, one of which, the first introduced, was in force in the Sessions of 1872 and 1873; the limitation of Motions then was to the first occasion of going into Committee of Supply on the Army, Navy, and Civil Service Estimates, the result being that the days on which the House was enabled to get early into Committee were much more frequent than they had been in previous years. In 1876 and in 1877 a similar Rule was in force, from which, however the word "first" was omitted, and which produced hardly any perceptible result. In 1879 and in 1880 a Resolution of the kind was again adopted by the House, the word "first" being re-introduced. This, again, had a marked effect of allowing the House to get into Committee of Supply without resistance or impediment. It would be seen, therefore, that they had had full experience of the effect of the present wording of the Resolution; and he thought Her Majesty's Government could hardly be expected to adopt the alteration now proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Chatham.

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said, he agreed with almost all that had been stated by the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken. But he must point out that, while his arguments were perfect, his premisses were wrong. The right hon. Gentleman had not touched one part of the proposition of his hon. and learned Friend, who contended that if they gave to private Members the first night on going into Committee of Supply, that was to say, the night on which the Minister in charge would make his statement, Members wishing to hear the Secretary of State for War or the First Lord of the Admiralty, and the Ministers themselves, would be kept waiting from 4 o'clock in the afternoon until all the Motions on the Paper were disposed of, no one being able to say when that would be. That he understood to be the difficulty alluded to by his hon. and learned Friend, who said — "If you are to have one night only for Motions, it is better to take the second than the first occasion of going into Committee of Supply, so that the Secretary of State for War or the First Lord of the Admiralty may come down and make his statement at 5 o'clock on the first night, and on the second occasion private Members would have the right of bringing forward their Motions." He thought there were strong reasons in support of that proposal.

Question put, and agreed to.

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said, the next Amendment also stood in his name and in the name of the right hon. Member for Hampshire (Mr. Sclater-Booth), and provided that the rights of Members should be recognized in regard to the Civil Service Estimates. The Civil Service Estimates, as everyone knew, comprehended a number of classes perfectly distinct from one another, and there seemed to be no logical reason for not allowing Motions to be made upon the different classes of Civil Service Estimates in the same way as in regard to the Army and Navy Estimates. The Civil Service Estimates were quite as distinct from one another as the Army and Navy Estimates were, and as the latter were from the Civil Service Estimates. He did not see why each class of the Civil Service Estimates should not be treated separately. This was a matter which had been often ventilated in the House before, and often supported by hon. Members opposite; and he did not see why the proposal was not worthy of consideration.

Amendment proposed, in line 4, after the word "or," to insert "on the several Classes of the."—( Mr. Gorst.)

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and negatived.

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said, he should not move the next Amendment; but he wished to ask the Government whether they would consent to a Rule for reporting Progress at 12 o'clock at night? ["Oh, oh!"] Hon. Members might cry "Oh, oh!" but the Business of the country ought to be properly performed. He wondered what hon. Gentlemen would think if their managers and clerks transacted their business every night after 12 o'clock. Now, there was a new state of things under which the House was going to get into Supply at half-past 4 or 5. The House would sit in Committee of Supply until 12—seven hours of continuous exertion—and if the House went on after 12 o'clock passing Votes in Committee of Supply, people outside the House would not consider that their affairs were properly attended to; and they would be right, because it was impossible for any man, however great his power of attention and his ability to attend to matters of this kind, to do justice to the subject after seven hours close attention. He remembered a statement made by the late Mr. Hermon in reference to shortening the hours of labour in factories. That Gentleman said his experience of business was that all the bad work was done in the last hour, and that it was really an economical plan to shorten the hours in the factories, because they would get rid of all the bad work in the last hour. It was just the same in the House of Commons. If they lengthened their hours beyond 12 o'clock there would be bad workmanship. They had an instance of that now; they were finishing up this business at a late hour. He was endeavouring to do his best: but he was conscious that he could not do justice to the subject or adduce proper arguments, because the House had been going on so long with the matter and hon. Members were not able to give proper attention to the subject. He earnestly entreated the House not to lengthen the hours for work, believing that if the House was to go into Committee of Supply earlier in the evening, 12 o'clock would be a sufficiently late hour at which to report Progress. He begged to move an Amendment to this effect.

Amendment proposed,

At the end of the Question, to add the words "but that at the hour of Twelve of the Clock the Chairman shall report Progress without putting any Question."—(Mr. Gorst.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there added."

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I notice that the speech of the hon. and learned Member has been made after 12 o'clock, but that the Amendment was framed before 12 o'clock, and I am bound to say that I think the speech is a great deal better after 12 o'clock than it would have been before 12 o'clock. The argument of the hon. Gentleman applies very much to one side and to the other, and I am not disinclined to the general opinion that as soon after 12 o'clock as may be without inconvenience, Progress shall be reported. It is, however, quite another matter to propose that we should have a Standing Order by which the Chairman is to report Progress without Question put. From that point of view it is a matter of serious importance. In the first place, we all know what a great inconvenience these fixed hours sometimes are. We cannot entirely get rid of them; but nothing has been so fruitful in the introduction of abuse by indirect methods of Obstruction, which all our Rules can only partially check, as these fixed hours, and it is now proposed to have three days in the week for Supply subject to that most dangerous arrangement. But, over and above that, it must be borne in mind that very often it is a matter of legal necessity, as well as of public expediency, that Votes shall be taken on a particular day in order to meet the actual wants of the Public Service; but, according to the present proposal, all such Votes will have to be thrown out of consideration, and an absolute unbending Rule will compel the House to stop Supply at 12 o'clock. The proper way of controlling very late hours in Supply is by moving that the Chairman do report Progress. That power will still remain in the hands of hon. Members, and I hope that on occasion they will not scruple to use it.

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said, he was glad to hear the remarks of the Prime Minister, because, in future, the House would remember that 12 o'clock was the proper time for reporting Progress. The right hon. Gentleman knew that up to 1874 and 1875 Supply was never allowed to proceed much after 12 o'clock. Many hon. Members present did not know that it was an established custom formerly that Supply should never go on till 1 o'clock, but that it was always stopped between 12 and 1. If the House began Supply at 5 o'clock, they could not discuss it with any profit to themselves or the country later than 12 o'clock.

Question put, and negatived.

Main Question, as amended, again proposed.

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said, he had given Notice of a Motion to reject this Resolution altogether; but he did not intend to go to a division, not because he had altered his mind as to the mischievous character of the Resolution, but because of the present state of the House. He should like, however, in withdrawing his opposition—under protest—to make an acknowledgment which he felt was due to the Prime Minister for the manner in which he had met the criticisms offered upon this Resolution. He did not suppose the Prime Minister would consider him guilty of any flattery, or as acting in any way except as a strict opponent of the Government, when he said he felt very strongly the candid and patient manner in which the right hon. Gentleman had met all the various Amendments which had been proposed to this Resolution. The Prime Minister had such a majority at his back that he might have enshrouded himself in silence and carried his Resolutions as he had framed them; but, instead of that, the right hon. Gentleman had thought proper to meet, in the fairest manner, all the arguments introduced, or, at all events, to listen to them, and he felt grateful for the way in which the right hon. Gentleman had acted.

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said, he was sorry his hon. and learned Friend had decided not to divide the House, because, having no opportunity of voting, he could not record his strong feeling of opposition to this Resolution, which he regarded as the death-knell of the rights of private Members. He believed that, under this Resolution, it would be utterly impossible for private Members to bring forward important questions; and it seemed to him that the House was taking away from Members all chance of discussing questions which might be considered with great advantage to the country and to the Empire at large. He wished he had an opportunity of recording his vote against the Resolution, and he regretted the course taken by his hon, and learned Friend.

Question put, and agreed to.

(12.) Resolved, That whenever the Committee of Supply stands as the first Order of the Day on Monday or Thursday, Mr. Speaker shall leave the Chair without putting any Question, unless on first going into Supply on the Army, Navy, or Civil Service Estimates respectively, or on any Vote of Credit, an Amendment he moved, or Question raised, relating to the Estimates proposed to be taken in Supply.

Further Consideration of the New Rules of Procedure deferred till Monday next.

House adjourned at One o'clock till Monday next.